My Corner, Your Corner: We’re counting down to tomato time

My Corner, Your Corner - Tony Callaio

Each week, people ask me, “What are you going to write about?”

My typical answer is, “I don’t have a clue.”

It’s true. Each week I don’t know what to write about until I get up the morning of my deadline.

Sometimes columns “write themselves,” and other weeks, not so much.

A colleague of mine always dreamed of writing a column rather than hard news or features stories. So when I got a phone call that her dream was going to be a reality, I was happy for her.

The call went like this: “Guess what?” she said. “I’m going to write a column.” Then there’s a pause on the phone followed by, “OK, what can I write?”

So many times between columns, I get an idea in my head only to be forgotten on deadline day. I guess I should start making notes for myself.

For example, as I was driving throughout the Wyoming Valley, I noticed the windmills at Bear Creek have not been circulating. I always ask, “I wonder why they are not working? If they are not working, then how can they be producing energy?”

Another question while driving is, “When will the bridge work on Interstate 81 be done?” Many may have noticed that all the bridges have been reconstructed for three-lanes instead of two. I know there has been plenty of talk of making I-81 a three-lane highway from Nanticoke through Scranton.

I’m sure state Rep. Michael Carroll has answers to my questions. Mike has been very involved in the infrastructure of our local highways, including the redesign of the project at the airport, as he serves on the state House Transportation Committee.

Speaking of roadwork, West Pittston and Pittston have continuing projects in place. West Pittston has the ongoing sewer upgrading project happening were Luzerne Avenue from the Water St. Bridge going west has been very active.

In the beginning phase of that project, businesses like Agolino’s Restaurant, Antonio’s Restaurant, and Crest Quality Cleaners were affected. It’s a temporary nuisance, but when completed, new sidewalks, tree lawns and replanted trees should enhance that part of the borough.

Pittston City is in the process of completing the last phase of the Main Street streetscaping project heading south to Columbus Ave. It looks like they should have a real handle on it by the time the Tomato Festival rolls around.

Farmers market fun

If you didn’t get to the downtown farmers market on Main Street this past Tuesday, you missed a great day. I’ve never seen such a flurry of activity with all of the local farmers setting up fruits, veggies and flowers. It was Children’s Day and there were plenty youngsters on hand.

The Pittston Memorial Library had a tent filled with free books. There was face painting, balloon making, and a table set up so the children can experience what it is like to plant seeds in soil. There was even a folk singer entertaining the children, as well.

It was so popular parking was at a premium, and that is a good problem for organizers. It’s hard to believe, but in a few short weeks, the city will be bustling with action when the Tomato Festival begins Aug. 18.

You know it’s getting closer because the tomato statue on the corner of William and Main streets got a facelift from artist Kristen Rinaldi. The tomato was getting — pardon the pun — a bit rotten-looking, but now looks bright and ready to pick. The statue is 350 lbs. was installed in 2009 in honor of the festival’s 25th anniversary. Kristen donated her time and materials to refurbish the statue.

Dr. Jen’s Hope

The Fourth Annual Dr. Jen’s Hope Memorial Ride & Block Party in honor of the late Jennifer Sidari, who passed away in May 2013, will take place on Sunday, Aug. 14 at Cooper’s Seafood Waterfront and Cabana Tiki Bar in Pittston.

The West Pittston native and Wyoming Area graduate was a bright, energetic and talented person that had a huge career ahead of her when her life was taken way too soon.

If you can’t do the 50-mile motorcycle ride, you can support the cause by showing up and purchasing raffle tickets. The raffle baskets and items are plentiful and worth the trip to Cooper’s.

Top 10 sunset

How about the sunset this past week? Wow. I was on Interstate 81 Tuesday near Nuangola heading back to the Pittston exit when the sky filled with red, white and orange against the backdrop of a beautiful blue sky.

I’m a huge fan of sunsets and this one was a 10-plus. Facebook was filled with cell phone photos from every angle, back porch, front porch and even me, traveling at 65 mph snapping away. I don’t recommend doing so, but I couldn’t help myself. Tuesday evening’s sunset is definitely in my top 10.

Family reunion

Congratulations to the Clifford family, originating from Avoca, on celebrating the family’s 105th reunion July 31 – one of the longest family reunions in the state.

Quote of the week

“Ambition is the path to success. Persistence is the vehicle you arrive in.” – Bill Bradley, former pro basketball player and U.S. Senator.

Thought of the week

“But I always think that the best way to know God is to love many things.” – Vincent van Gogh, Dutch painter.

Bumper sticker

“We are always the same age inside.” – Gertrude Stein, American writer.

My Corner, Your Corner

Tony Callaio

Tony Callaio’s column My Corner, Your Corner runs weekly in the Sunday Dispatch. He can be reached at

Tony Callaio’s column My Corner, Your Corner runs weekly in the Sunday Dispatch. He can be reached at

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