2017-11-11 / Viewpoints

The Old Timer

BY HOWARD ‘MAC’ MCDONALD

On the way home from supper at the pizza shop I observed the moon shining in all its silver glory. That brought back many memories of old love songs from the cobwebs in my mind.

Kate Smith could really belt out the love tunes, such as “When the moon comes over the mountain, that’s the day I’ll come back to you.”

How about Andy Williams’ hit song, “Moon River?”

Those old ballads sure beat the hell out of the popular music of today. When I was in high school, we bought our records at the five-and-dime store. I remember when Frank Sinatra was visiting McKeesport in 1946 hawking his records at McCrory’s Five and Dime.

The young girls mobbed him and he was almost undressed. “Fly Me to the Moon” was a big hit for Frank.

Ol’ Blue Eyes had a great voice and was one hell of a crooner. He also had an interesting lifestyle and plenty of connections with both show business and dirty business.

Barbershop quartets used to sing a lot of songs about the moon. One of my favorites is “Moonlight Bay.” That song would never make the hit parade today because of the politically incorrect lyrics.

Does a full moon really bring out lunatics? That is a question that will probably never be answered.

Many of you are reading this column on Veterans Day. That also happens to be our anniversary. Shirley and I tied the knot on Nov. 11, 1950.

My mother told her that if she lived one year with me that she would surely go to heaven. That was 67 years ago and she is still hanging in there. The Lord works in mysterious ways.

People in the Coudersport area are making plans for a big event next July they are calling “Eliot Ness Fest: Touched by the Untouchable.” I have been waiting many years for this event to become a reality. I’m sure they will be publicizing details about this later on.

We could use a guy like Eliot Ness today to clean up Washington and just about every state capital and big city in the United States. Corruption and inefficiency run rampant. From everything I have read about Ness, he wouldn’t put up with any of that.

I am glad Coudersport is jumping on the opportunity to hold a festival right in the town where Eliot Ness spent his final years. I predict it will be a big success.

I do not remember a year where there have been so many bad things occurring in this country. We have had it all -- bad storms, mass murders and multiple investigations over and over. Meanwhile, nothing is being accomplished in Washington except for name calling.

President Trump is too busy fighting the Democrats and some of the rats that are in the GOP. Backstabbing seems to a way of life. If we do not get back to the business of being true patriotic Americans, this country could be finished.

Potter County potatoes are the best in the world for mashing and they make for a great addition to your Thanksgiving dinner. If anyone wants to mail me a big box of Potter County spuds, check with the Endeavor News newspaper office to get my address.

I am one of those gluttons who fills his gut with Thanksgiving dinner and then tops it off with pumpkin pie. You can keep your NFL games and so-called news channels on the TV. If you are with family, why not give your attention to those you love instead of the big-screen TV?

Speaking of television, it looks like TV violence has reached a whole new level with a sport they call ultimate fighting. The contenders fight in a cage called an octagon. It is a very brutal sport and the contestants try to beat each other’s head off. Believe it or not, some parents let their kids watch it.

Each round lasts five minutes and a fight rarely goes past two rounds. The rules are just about “let them do anything to each as long as it is not fatal.” They can kick each other in the face or do whatever they can to inflict injury and make blood spill.

Michael Vick, the former football quarterback, went to jail for dogfighting. To me, this type of gutter fighting with humans is even worse.

Pennsylvanians are getting more and more rules and regulations forced on them each day. Any more, you are not in charge of the property that you are paying taxes on.

You can’t build a house on certain lands, as they may be in the 100-year flood plain. If you own a parcel that is wetlands, you can’t do anything with it except pay your taxes. The state can do anything its wants with its property, but don’t you try doing the same thing.

When I was back in Emporium earlier this year, I ran into Ken Gerg. We were reminiscing about our snowmobiling times. I remarked to him that I would like to go back to Yellowstone.

He told me that I would not like it because of all the restrictions. The people who run the parks don’t want any kind of noise and are looking at this public land as a nature sanctuary. So much for the multiple-use policy.

They don’t limit the number of cars, trucks or motor homes that pass through there in the summer months, but there is a strict limit on snowmobiles. What’s the difference?

I am not a big fan of modern conveniences. For instance, when you call a business number they always say press “1” for English.

You push “1” and you get someone you cannot understand. These features are supposed to save time, but by the time you get someone you can understand you have forgotten what you called about in the first place.

Halloween here in Apache Junction included a canned food collection and it was a big success.

Old people are chow hounds and most of us are generous givers.

Some of the Halloween costumes I saw were out in left field and would have scared a Navy SEAL. I am glad that the trick-or-treat tradition has survived all these years when so many other fun activities for our kids have gone by the wayside.

You may already know that when frogs are looking for a mate, they make a noise that is called a “trill.”

At one of the schools, they had a male and female that the teacher kept alive in his lab. They had been together for so long that they no longer called to each other.

Like with many marriages, I guess the trill was gone.

Keep your chin up even when things look bleak and always keep your musket and dry powder close by.

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