January 14, 1998 |
John H. "June Bug" Smith Jr., who spent a good part of his life tossing wood on other people's woodpiles, died Wednesday. He was 76 and lived in East Mount Airy. Just saying the name "June Bug" could make people smile, and his entering the room could make those smiles bigger. He got the name as a kid when the family called him "Jun," short for Junior. Then a little neighborhood girl added "Bug" and he was branded for life. In later years, when he met new friends, he asked to be introduced, and introduced himself, as John.
December 24, 1997 |
It's one of those stories you read with disbelief. An 11-year-old girl was found in a decrepit New York City apartment building this month. The girl was covered with sores and living in filth. She was dazed and by all indications had been sexually abused. And she had never gone to school. Immediately, the questions began: Didn't the neighbors know about this? Why didn't they say anything? How could they let this go on? At first, neighbors denied knowledge of the child's existence.
September 3, 1997 |
For their season opener, it was clear, the Eagles fielded a version of dead men walking. What wasn't known at the time - and perhaps would have mitigated some of the harsh criticism that followed - was that some pretty important players actually felt deathly sick. Which might help explain, in part, their sickly performance in a 31-17 loss to the Giants. Eagles medical personnel confirmed yesterday that at least half the team suffered from a stomach virus last week. The sickness originally was thought to originate from a charity function the team attended last Tuesday night.
August 29, 1997 |
This week I reached out for a Chicken, Bacon and Swiss Sandwich at Arby's. Chicken? Hey, I'm all for diversity - in the workplace. But what's a chicken sandwich doing at Arby's, which specializes in roast beef sandwiches? Even the restaurant's name says it: Roast beef. R-B. Ar-by. If this Chicken, Bacon and Swiss thing takes off, Arby's will have to change its name to C-B-S, and that will only confuse Dan Rather even more. Here's the blueprint: a breaded fried chicken breast, Swiss cheese, slices of thick, peppered bacon and creamy honey mustard on a plain hamburger bun. Total calories: 595. Fat grams: 29. I loved this sandwich.
August 28, 1997 |
The Eagles have seen the enemy, and it is . . . Roast beef. Or was it the ribs? Either way, it can't be a good omen when a well-meaning preseason charity function leads to food poisoning for at least half a dozen players, as well as some of their wives. Three starters - Chris T. Jones, Mike Mamula and Joe Panos - missed practice yesterday after contracting food poisoning at the Eagles' annual United Way Kickoff function Tuesday night. Several other players, including Ricky Watters, James Willis and Darion Conner, were sick but managed to get on the field yesterday.
April 12, 1997 |
Like spring, it started out with promise, albeit two weeks late. The electric-green Phillie Phanatic materialized from out of thin air with the game ball during a magic trick at second base. Then, the mascot and relief star Ricky Bottalico plucked bright-eyed 8-year-old C.J. Small from upper-deck purgatory to christen the season by throwing out the first pitch. He threw a strike. And to top it off, Phils ace Curt Schilling - the man who probably will have to win every game he pitches for the team to have a prayer at post-season play - was on the mound with a 2-0 record.
February 26, 1997 |
I am a hash hound. No, I don't mean narcotics, although I do find this dish addicting. I'm talking about a classic American breakfast dish, a delicacy found at greasy spoons and roadhouses. Let sophisticates have their omelets and eggs Benedict. I raise my fork for hash. Our word "hash" comes from the French term hacher (to chop). (Hash has the same etymological root as that chopping device, the hatchet.) Hash is certainly a venerable dish: The English diarist Samuel Pepys waxed grandiloquent about a rabbit hash he savored in 1662.
February 2, 1997 |
For Steven Caltabiano, getting fresh coffee and bagels on the way to work once proved quite a challenge. "There was nothing out here," said Caltabiano, 28, referring to a stretch of Route 322. So Caltabiano, a former construction worker, and his brother Al, 32, decided to take matters into their own hands. Literally. Using their combined construction skills and knowledge of gourmet coffee, the Caltabiano brothers renovated an abandoned garage on Route 322 to create the Commodore Coffee & Bagels shop.
December 3, 1996 |
In the beginning there were holidays, which begat family gatherings. And they were good. But lo, disharmony entered the peaceful kingdom when someone uttered the evil words: "What's that supposed to mean?" And it came to pass that dysfunction reigned. Behold! Another holiday season is upon us. Let us pray. Light the Protection From Dysfunctional Family Christmas candle and recite the following devotion: "Protect me from the annual invasion of my peculiar relatives and their gaggle of sticky-faced, candy-cane-eating, sugar-infused children . . . grant me the ability to feign gratitude upon receiving yet another crocheted poodle tissue cover.
July 22, 1996 |
In a culture like ours, in which people are constantly moving, friendships mainly take place against a backdrop of separation. Something like a third of all Americans are likely to move to a new town within a given five-year period. Despite some recent changes, husbands, wives, and young children almost always relocate with their spouse or parent. Mothers, fathers, and adult children sometimes come along, and so do many partners in romantic relationships. But when was the last time you heard of someone moving because their friend was?