The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

February 11, 2013

Thinking about ‘Grassy’ and the man at the pump

An Editor's Notes

By Jim Raykie
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---- — I’ve been thinking lately (really it happens once in a while) about a few interesting subjects as they have related to recent news coverage.

• Congratulations to my old buddy Nicky Cannone, who last week notched his 400th win as a head basketball coach in the Shenango Valley area.

Nick and I were part of Farrell High’s Class of 1970, and in addition to his coaching exploits, Nick was a terrific all-around athlete at Farrell, starring in baseball, football and basketball.

But my congratulations are for more than coaching wins. I thought it was a wonderful tribute he paid to his dad after Hickory defeated Sharon Thursday night.

He invoked the memory of the man and coach we as Farrell kids all affectionately knew as Grassy, saying how much he misses him and how he carries his prayer card with him. Grassy died last year.

It’s a wonderful thing when adults publicly pay tribute to dads, moms and others who have had a great impact on their lives. Grassy was one of them, and Nick humbly paid tribute to the man who meant so much to him.

You’re a good man Nick. The man we called Grassy was too.

• I came across a recent story that pointed to video games as one of the possible reasons for gun and other violence in our country, especially by our youth.

I’m an old-school kind of guy, and I believe that the main problem stems from a lack of parental guidance, first and foremost.

When I was a kid, and my mom or dad caught me reading or watching something that they thought was improper, that was the end of it.

Heck, trying to hide a copy of Playboy magazine in my room was an impossibility. When compared to what some children read on social media and the Internet today, a copy of Playboy is rather mild in content.

My parents weren’t zealots, and I had a great childhood, As an adult today, reflecting on their supervision and their dogged determination to raise my sister and me right, I am indebted to them for their love.

It’s missing in many homes today, and that’s the big problem.

• Maybe I’m in the minority, but if the United States Postal Service carries out its plan to end Saturday delivery, it won’t bother me in the slightest bit.

Its efffects will have a greater impact for commercial entities, but for residential delivery, Monday through Friday seems more than satisfactory.

I realize that not everyone is technologically savvy, but one fewer delivery day no doubt means less than it did years ago. Direct deposit is available for checks and other payments, and bills can be paid safely and efficiently via the Internet, which no doubt has been a blow to postal traffic.

I’m a fan of the postal service. I’ve maintained that for less than 50 cents, you can place a letter or other item in your mailbox to be mailed anywhere in the country, and picked up by your letter carrier. That’s a pretty good deal.

• I was on my way to Sharon High School one recent afternoon, and as I was driving past Fred Kloos’s gas station on East State Street near Case Avenue, I couldn’t help but recall the days when attendants worked gas stations.

They would walk up to your window, ask if you wanted regular or high-test and how much, and had three or four cars going at the same time.

And how about the old Texaco service stations, where the guys wearing the star on their chest pumped your gas, cleaned your windshield and checked your oil and other fluids.

All for about 27 cents a gallon.



Jim Raykie is executive editor of The Herald and writes this column on Mondays.