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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
Friday, August 3 2001

Far away places

I'm trying to resist the temptation to write about my upcoming planned trip to the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales) and Ireland later this month. In the first place, it may not fill the expectations of the members of this forum for local topics and views. However, partly because I am going away for half the month, my workload most days now is heavier than usual, resulting in my having less time than normal to think about topics and actually put notes together to turn out these postcards.

So, pleading that this one is easy, today I'll try a "close but not quite" exercise...putting down some thoughts about travel in general. Travel has always captivated my imagination and has had a top priority in my hierarchy of values. I'm more disposed to spend money on travel than things many others consider more essential. For example...all the furniture in my house (most of it "collected" rather than bought new) didn't cost as much as one of my major trips. More commonly, people spend more on their dining room sets than I do on a vacation trip. I'd prefer that it be that way, in fact, which has a lot to do with my not even considering remarrying (being unable to imagine finding a woman who'd share that opinion).

One of my first big excitements as a preschool child (not to put Frank McCort's spin on that word, excitement) was a trip I made with Mom and a couple of my parents' friends and their daughter, the Baldwins (whom our family knew from our years in Vintondale and not the Baldwins we later knew in Belsano). The Baldwins invited Mom and me to travel in their brand new Hudson to Ohio, where we visited Mom's brother and sister and their families in Akron and a little town outside Cleveland. I never had a sense that it mattered to anyone but me that I was the first in my generation in our neighborhood to get out of state, but it was a big deal to me.cIn school, no subject had more appeal to me than geography, and no assignment more welcome than drawing maps. In history classes, the stories of explorations and migrations compelled my attention and fueled my imagination. I was more intersted in the migration to the West than the movie and radio version of "the West" in entertainments. "Far Away Places" is one of my all-time favorite songs, and is definitely my favorite from the 1940's.

When I became editor of the Journal, my favorite features were about tourist attractions both nearby, like Loretto, and farther away, like the Raystown Dam. My writing (and photographs, often taken by my sidekick Stewart Wertz) about tourist subjects attracted the attention of the head of the County Tourist Council which got me my first important and lucrative freelance writing opportunities.

One of those tourist publications earned me my first and still only journalism award, and each of them went a long way to underwriting a year of my undergrad studies at Pitt. Even in later life, tourism articles (most of them available for reading on our tourism section here at the Home Page) resulted in most of my freelance publication in prestigious publications like the Los Angeles Times.

I'm finding lots of ways to go with this topic, so let's try keeping it alive for a few days. What do you think about travel in general? What has been your most memorable vacation? Where would you most like to go? If you'd rather spend your time off at the family's cabin 50 miles away than traipse through the cathedrals of Europe or jungles of South America, input on that not uncommon preference is also much welcomed.

Webmaster Jon Kennedy

More differences between men and women

MONEY—A man will pay $2 for a $1 item he needs. A woman will pay $1 for a $2 item that she doesn't need but is on sale.

BATHROOMS—A man has six items in his bathroom: a toothbrush, shaving cream, razor, a bar of soap, and a towel from the Holiday Inn. The average number of items in the typical woman's bathroom is 337. A man would not be able to identify most of these items.

Sent by Mike Harrison

Finding God

Many millions search for God and find Him in their hearts.

Sent by Zan

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