Monday, February 29, 2016

Dragline checks Luke's eggs capacity

Luke’s Dragline dies

George Kennedy, who won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in “Cool Hand Luke,” died Sunday in Boise, Idaho. He was 91.

He played a bear of a man who was sadistic chain gang prisoner Dragline.

My favorite scene is when Paul Newman (“Luke”) ate a zillion boiled eggs while Dragline egged him on admiringly. The photo above captures a pause in Luke's venture.

Kennedy had been in failing health since the death of his wife Joan about a year ago, and had been in hospice care for a month.

Kennedy’s film credits also included “The Dirty Dozen,” the “Airport” movies, “The Naked Gun” and the disaster film “Earthquake.”

Sunday, February 28, 2016

America has been lurching toward a Trump for 30 years
People say that Trump is an unconventional candidate and that he represents a break from politics as usual. That’s not true.
Trump is the culmination of the trends we have been seeing for the last 30 years: the desire for outsiders; the bashing style of rhetoric that makes conversation impossible; the decline of coherent political parties; the declining importance of policy; the tendency to fight cultural battles and identity wars through political means.
To read New York Times op-ed columnist David Brooks’ brilliant shish kabobbing of The Donald’s bullshit, click on

Saturday, February 27, 2016

John Olesky          
                Bob Page

When it’s fun to be teed off

You don’t have to be in Ohio to have an every-Thursday golf group of former Beacon Journal co-workers.

It works fine in The Villages, Florida, too.

Retired BJ printer Hugh Dowing, who has lived in The Villages almost two decades since moving from Medina, sets up the tee times.

The rest of us just show up.

That would be Bob Page, former BJ State Desk reporter, who later went into the ministry and is an associate pastor in The Villages, and John Olesky, former State Desk assistant editor, who lives in The Villages four winter months with Paula Stone Tucker, another former State Desk reporter, and the other eight months in their Tallmadge home.

Bob and John played at the Heron golf course Thursday. Hugh’s sinuses acted up so he skipped this week.

Bob shot a 36, John a 37 on a very windy day which made it tough to figure out whether the ball was going 100 yards or 200 yards with the same club.

Next Thursday Hugh, Bob and John will have company from Ohio, Paula’s brother, Tom Stone, who lives in Summit County, for the Thursday teebox tete a tete.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Wild West returns to America

February 25, 2016: Hesston, Kansas, 3 died and 14 others were wounded.

February 22, 2016: Kalamazoo, Michigan, 6 died and 2 others were wounded.

December 3, 2015: San Bernardino, California, 14 were killed and 21 others were wounded.

October 2, 2015: Umpqua Community College in Oregon, nine were killed and nine others were wounded.

July 16, 2015: Chattanooga, Tennessee, four dead and three others wounded.

June 18, 2015: Historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina, nine dead.

September 16, 2013: Twelve people were killed and eight others injured at the Washington Naval Yard.

It’s still April but there have been 49 deaths and 127 injuries in 2016 mass shootings (4 or more victims).

Yet gun control and NRA supporters keep sniping at each other to protect their agendas.

Isn’t it time for solutions?

Thursday, February 25, 2016

The wreck on the parking deck revealed

Part of BJ lore is the head-on collision in the parking deck.

I always knew that the late Sandy Levenson, once a BJ reporter, was the culprit barreling down the many levels of the deck that plowed into another employee's car at Ol’ Blue Walls.

But I didn’t know the guy who was the victim. I’m playing golf with him today in The Villages, Florida: Bob Page.

“I could hear Sandy’s car coming down the parking deck, because his mufflers were so loud,” Bob recalled.

Bob stopped, pulled over as far as he could, and waited.


Sandy’s car met Bob’s car head-on.

It’s still part of BJ legend, like Fran Murphey’s sleepovers in her car in the parking deck, or in the ladies lounge at the BJ where Harry Liggett would pop in and wake her up.

But now you, as I do, know the rest of the story.
Maybe that, and Pat Englehart's salty language, is what drove Bob into the ministry. He's associate pastor at a church in The Villages after decades of ministering to folks in snowbird land.
Slaves that few know about

You want to talk “ethnic cleansing”?

How about one ethnic group wiping out 40% of another ethnic group’s population in one decade?

We’re not talking Hitler, although the bastard’s killing crusade against the Jews is a well-documented abomination.

We’re talking the English.

Specifically, King James II. Another bastard in history.

From 1641 to 1652, more than a HALF-MILLION Irish were killed by the English and another 300,000 were sold as slaves. Ireland’s population fell from 1,500,000 to 600,000 in one decade.

The Irish slave trade began when King James II sold 30,000 Irish prisoners to English settlers in the West Indies. The fathers were shipped overseas and the women and children left behind and homeless.

So the British auctioned off 100,000 children to bolster the Irish slave market and tamp down those Irish who dared to think about being free of John Bull’s bullshit. And, for bad measure, also dumped husbandless Irish women into the America’s slave market.

Pretty much like the way Southern white bastards broke up African-American families because they considered them in the same category as workhorses and cows, a way to pump up their wallets to support their aristocratic lives.

Only a century ago, all over America employment offices boldly posted this sign:


More than two centuries after the English tried to kill off the Irish, Americans who came to our shores to be free of persecution still were pissing on other ethnic groups.

So the Irish migrated to positions of power – politics, police – and saw one of their own, John F. Kennedy, elected President.

African-Americans saw one of their own, Barack Obama, elected President.

So far the Jews haven’t seen one of their own elected President. Give it time. Every group deserves a shot at the office.

Both climbed on a lot of mistreated, scarred shoulders to get there.
The worst my children and I had to deal with were Polish jokes because, well, Poles were dumber than blondes. Right?
Of course, in Poland, various nations took turns over-running the country and subjugating the population. Something like 500 years without a free Poland.

Isn’t it time we eliminate ethnic hate? I know it’s trite and over-used, but we all REALLY are of the same race: The human race.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

‘IRS’ scammers peaking

It’s tax season, which means it's IRS scam season.

If you get a phone call saying you owe the IRS refund and to send it with a prepaid debit card or wire transfer:

Phone The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) or call 800-366-4484 with any information you have about the caller, although they’re good at disguising phone numbers from caller ID.

TIGTA says 736,000 scam contacts since 2013 have extracted $23 million from 4,550 victims.

The IRS doesn’t work that way.
At least hang up and relax.
Trouble for Aber & Fitch

The most dissatisfied customers in America: Abercrombie & Fitch.

The American Customer Satisfaction Index for the retail industry dropped Wal-Mart to No. 2 after a 10-year run as the dissatisfaction leader.

I don’t understand why Wal-Mart can’t get no satisfaction but the stores are crowded with spandex-filled butts every day.

Apparently price is most important than satisfaction.

A&F is trying to regain its mojo since CEO Mike Jeffries left in December 2014.  

The ACSI report is based on a survey of 9,358 customers asked about recent shopping experiences at the country's biggest retailers.

Customers love Nordstrom, Costco, Amazon and Wegmans. They prefer quality over price.

George Bing Davis

George “Bing” Davis took a BJ buyout in 2001, but he’s still writing for Ol’ Blue Walls. I saw his article about Green the other day.

I asked George to bring me and the BJ blog up to date on his career since he showed up in the building daily.

George Bing Davis

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

#1 forever now

Sonny James dead at 87

Sonny James
Sonny James, who was atop the country charts for 57 weeks from 1960 to 1979, died in Nashville on Monday. He was 87.

James was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2006.

He was born James Hugh Loden in Hackelburg, Alabama.

His biggest hit, "Young Love,"  in 1957.

James would hit No. 1 on the country chart 23 times. He had 16 straight No. 1 country hits from 1967 to 1971, including "Need You" and "Here Comes Honey Again."

He also recorded “Running Bear.”


Sunday, February 21, 2016

Egypt cracks down on authors

It’s a tough time for writers and artists in Egypt.
Novelist Ahmed Naji was sentenced to two years in prison for being “sexually explicit” in his novel, "Using Life."
He discussed genitals and sexual intercourse. The horror!
A lower court had acquitted the writer in December.
Tarek El-Taher, editor of the state-run magazine that published the excerpt of Naji's novel last year, was fined $1,250.
Saturday's verdict is the fourth against an Egyptian writer or artist in the recent months.

Film producer Rana El-Sobky was sentenced to a year in prison for "violating public modesty" in a film released in theaters.
Poet Fatma Naoot was sentenced to three years in prison for contempt of religion for a post she wrote on Facebook.
TV presenter Islam El-Beheiry is serving a yearlong prison sentence after he was found guilty of contempt of religion for questioning traditional interpretations of Islamic teachings.
Five years after the Egyptian revolution, police brutality persists.
Tut, tut, Egypt.
Stroke in rear-view mirror, Lacy enjoys concert

Former BJ reporter Lacy McCrary, 83, who had a stroke last December, enjoyed the Glenn Miller Orchestra concert Saturday night in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Life is better for Lacy McCrary
Colleen Christy McCrary was in the mood for enjoying the evening with her father at Alabama Theatre at Barefoot Landing.

Colleen wrote:

“Waiting for the Glenn Miller Orchestra show to start with my Dad. What a treat!”

It was an even bigger treat for Lacy.

Lacy and wife Colleen celebrated his 50th wedding anniversary Dec. 5 with Colleen in the Vanderbilt mansion, the 255-room Biltmore in Asheville, North Carolina.

Lacy had a stroke shortly afterward.

By Dec. 18 he recovered enough to return to Murrells Inlet, South Carolina, where they live.

Murrells Inlet is 18 miles from Pauleys Island, South Carolina, where retired printer Dick Latshaw and his wife Pat live. Dick and Pat live two blocks from BJ business department retiree Harold McElroy’s widow, Linda. Retired printer Sid Sprague, who also lived near them on Pawleys Island, moved to Loveland, Colorado with his new bride several years ago after former Cuyahoga Falls resident Sid’s first wife died.

Lacy is a Kent State graduate involved in some of the BJ’s Pulitzer Prizes.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Susan Miller's friend, Harold, getting leg amputation

Amputation for Susan Miller’s long-time companion

Former BJ graphic designer Susan Miller, who lives in her hometown of Canton, writes:

“It is with great sadness that I must share that Harold is going into Aultman for leg amputation surgery on Monday. We have been loving friends for 15 years, coming in to each others' lives after our divorces.”

Susan Miller
Andrew has stage 4 lymphoma. He's in Aultman Woodlawn for rehab.

Sue was at Ol’ Blue Walls for more than 25 years when she left the Advertising Art Department in 2009.

In 2014 Sue suffered a hairline fracture of her right tibia from her car's non-Olympic luge-style slide into an abutment on an icy Akron freeway.

Sue is a graduate of Canton Lincoln High School and Miami of Ohio in Oxford.
America’s Great Divide: Income inequality

Who doesn’t think this is a problem for America?

2015 was a tough year for Schlumberger, an oil drilling company. So they laid off 25,000 people – 20% of the work force.

And gave CEO Paal Kibsgaard $18.3 million.

400 people in America have more combined wealth than 14 million African-American households. Despite Oprah Winfrey’s $2.9 billion.

And the 400 are closing in on having more wealth than 53 million Latinos in America.

This is a problem peculiar to America. U.S. CEOs get 400 to 500 times the median salary for workers. In Europe, CEOs get 12 to 22 times more. Big difference.

When this let ‘em eat cake mentality was at its peak in 1789, the guillotine took down royalty.

This time, at least the guillotine should make CEOs suffer with the peasants.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Jim Carney, the BJ's bionic man

Carney’s knees match again

Well, now former BJ reporter and sometime radio call-in show host Jim Carney has TWO store-bought knees.

BJ reporter Katie Byard, Jim’s wife, writes:
“Jimmy got a new knee today!” It was his right knee.
Now Jim has a matched set because the left knee was replaced 15 months ago.
Jim on Day 2
Last time, Jim wrote:

“Turned a corner at 6.5 weeks when nothing hurt or ached. Couldn’t be happier.”

Jim keeps the medical profession’s bank accounts overflowing.

He had two back surgeries and both knees replaced since 2012.

He broke his hip on a skateboard with son Michael in 1999. That brought pins and screws.

Dr. Ian Gradisar did the knees at the Crystal Clinic.

Dr. Richard Brower did the spinal fusion in November.

Jim writes:

“Haven't been able to take a long walk since early April.” I think that was about the time Paula and I ran into Jim at the Daffofil Trail in Furnace Run Metro Park.
When his body doesn't betray him, Jim handles the mishaps himself. It's part of Ol' Blue Walls legend that, on his lunch break, Jim hurried across the street to beat oncoming traffic, leaped onto the curb -- and smashed his head into a sign.
That one took 21 stitches.
Although the first knee arthroplasty wasn’t performed till 1968, there are 719,000 knee replacements in America every year.

I had mine done a half-dozen years ago. 

For the first two weeks at Edwin Shaw rehab (before they closed that building down), they had me on happy pills & drips so I don’t remember much.

But I’ll never forget the next two weeks – the pain. After all, they cut into your knee bones to insert the scientific stuff.

Then I spent 2 months in therapy at Akron General’s Sports & Fitness Center in Tallmadge, which has a fantastic staff.

No more pain. Before the surgery, my knee hurt as if someone was taking a chainsaw to it. Then they used a medical chainsaw, sort of, before doctors inserted the artificial knee.

It’s tricky getting in and out of cars and into those cramped concert and theater seats and it gets stiff if you don’t flex it every 10 or 15 minutes, but it sure beats the pain of the human knee gone wrong.

And it hasn’t hurt my golf game at all. In 26 rounds in The Villages, Florida, I’m averaging just a shade under 39 on executive courses.

It only gets better from here, Jim, as long as you maintain it through exercise. But you know that from your first knee replacement.

And you have plenty of company: About every retired NFL lineman in the country.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

From akros to nadir

Akron is from the Greek akros, meaning high point. Not any more. Today, a middle French word, nadir, is a better description.

Akron -- with the economy-boosting rubber shops long gone -- is as stagnant as a pool of water waiting for mosquitoes to take over:

57% increase in individuals living in poverty, an alarming jump  from the 27% in 2013.

Per capita income down 16%.

Median household income fell by $9,158 to $33,909, more than double the national figure.

Population down 8.3%.

20% have a college degree.

Zero growth in the percentage of young ­professionals living in the city.

To read Rich Armon’s story about the Columbus-based Greater Ohio Policy Center findings, click on

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Jane Williams going to the foodie goodies in Mexico

Ole! This is what I call a REAL cookout!

BJ Advertising Art retiree Mike Williams (BJ 1968-2012) and wife Jane Spiess Williams give a new meaning to cookout.

Jane enjoys more than the food
They are in Mexico again, since Jane has trouble with the altitude in their previous haunt, Ecuador, particularly trekking up the Andes Mountains. 13,000 feet isn’t much fun for some people.
Photo is of Jane going for the uchepos at the Tarerio village booth at the Cocineros Tradicionales food festival in Morelia, where the wandering Williamses hung out last year, too.
In January they were in Guadalupe.
Mike explains the cookout cavalcade:
Cooking booths had an outdoor cooker of some kind out front. Several guys kept busy with wheelbarrows full of wood, supplying the fires.
“Three huge dining tents sheltered several hundred tables from the strong sun.
“Last year we went on the weekend, could barely find two seats together. This year we waited til Monday, the third day, early, found it much more relaxed.
Jane is Mike’s interpreter for the Spanish because “she speaks it much better than me,” Mike said.
Jane became fluent in Spanish because her first husband was from Ecuador and they spent a lot of time there.
Mike with John Olesky during the Papa Joe's lunch days
Jane, being a woman, gives a better description of the cookout heaven:
“An area the size of a football field with several really large tents filled with tables with fabric tablecloths and staff ready to pick up your decorated clay tableware as soon as you are finished with your samples offered by about 100 vendors.”

Mike and Jane, who will celebrate their 37th wedding anniversary in Mexico on March 19, have two sons, independent trucker Nathan Williams and chemical engineer Trevor Williams. Mike retired in December 2012 after 44 years, including coming under John Grimm’s wing in 1976.

Mike’s sister, BJ information technology retiree Linda Williams Torson, is married to Akron-Summit County Metroparks retiree Tim Torson. Linda was with the Beacon Journal for 42 years.

Another sister, former clinical dietician Cindy Williams Chima, worked in the BJ classified phone room in the 1970s and writes fiction novels for young adults.

Linda started in the Beacon Journal classified phone room in the summer at age 16 before her senior year in high school.  Helen Becton, manager in the phone room at the time, got a two-fer:  Linda's twin Cindy started at the same time.
There’s never been a Supreme Court vacancy NOT filled in a presidential election year

Despite Republican claims that blocking a President’s Supreme Court nomination in a presidential election year is common practice, it hasn’t happen since at least 1900.

In that time, there never has been a case of  the president failing to nominate and/or the Senate failing to confirm a nominee in a presidential election year. Even Republican Ronald Reagan’s nomination was confirmed by a Democratically-controlled Senate.

President William Taft (a Republican) nominated Mahlon Pitney to succeed John Marshall Harlan. The Republican-controlled Senate confirmed Pitney.

President Woodrow Wilson (a Democrat) made two nominations during 1916:  Louis Brandeis to replace Joseph Rucker Lamar and John Clarke to replace Charles Evans Hughes. The Democratic-controlled Senate confirmed both.

President Herbert Hoover (a Republican) nominated Benjamin Cardozo to succeed Oliver Wendell Holmes. A Republican-controlled Senate confirmed Cardozo.

President Franklin Roosevelt (a Democrat) nominated Frank Murphy to replace Pierce Butler, who was confirmed by a heavily Democratic Senate.

President Ronald Reagan (a Republican) nominated Justice Anthony Kennedy to succeed Louis Powell.  A Democratic-controlled Senate confirmed Kennedy (who followed Robert Bork and Douglas Ginsburg as nominees for that slot).

When Sherman Minton retired, President Dwight D. Eisenhower (a Republican), with the Senate adjourned, made a recess appointment of William J. Brennan. Brennan later was formally nominated to the Court and confirmed in 1957. 

When President Lyndon B. Johnson (a Democrat) nominated Abe Fortas, Republican Senators filibustered, but there was no vacancy because Chief Justice Earl Warren remained on the bench.

So there has never been a presidential election year nomination not confirmed when there is a vacancy, as there is now.

Contrary to what some Republicans are saying.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Pam & husband are moving on

Former BJ reporter Pam McCarthy, who retired after a zillion years as Hoover High journalism teacher in North Carolina, is downsizing.
Pam & Ken Pakeham put their house on the market.
Writes Pam:
“It's a great family home and we have been very happy here. But it's time for someone else's kids to grow up in this spacious and completely remodeled home.”

OFFICIAL LISTING website. 1006 Sunset Blvd Southwest, North Canton, OH 44720, 4059 square foot, 5 bedrooms, 4.00 bathrooms, asking price of $247,900 …

Pam’s mother, Charlotte McCarthy; Charlotte’s husbands, James J. Longstreth and Edward J. McCarthy; and Pam’s brother, Steven McCarthy, have passed away.

Still alive are Pam's siblings Karen Uber of Cuyahoga Falls, Kathy McCarthy of Cuyahoga Falls and Jerry McCarthy of Bradenton, Florida.