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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
                 Wednesday, May 28 2003 

Jon Kennedy, webmasterNew York, New York

My son having just returned from his first visit to New York and full of impressions of the premiere city on the North American continent, I can't help thinking over my many visits, mostly in my younger life.

My first visit was when I was 15, when totally out of character my parents teamed up with my uncle and aunt from Altoona to take a week driving first to New York to visit Dad's and Uncle Ed's half-brother, Raymond Fusselman, then on to Aunt Erma's brother's place in Newport, Rhode Island, and my aunt Annie's in Worcester, Mass. Though our impression of New York from the past score of years is that it's a place where tourists are unsafe and you have to be on constant guard for muggers and shysters trying to sell you the Brooklyn Bridge, the good news of the past five years is that New York is again supposedly one of the safest cities in the country, and that's the way it was when we visited in 1957.

Having seen all the movies set in New York and endless television series and having read some novels set there as well as the daily output of the Winchell "colyums," I felt right at home in Manhattan. My uncle and his family lived in a high rise apartment building in Washington Heights, which is near the northern end of the Manhattan island. At that time it was a middle-class neighborhood, though from the TV shows set in New York these days I gather it has fallen on bad times.

I hardly hit the city than I was taking a walk, looking for the nearest subway station. At the time, you could ride the whole system for 15 cents, and as the budding journalist I was even I could afford that. I found the Broadway line and made my way down into the bowels of the earth for my first subway ride ever, alone, in one of the world's largest cities. Getting to Times Square was no trick, but of course being the adventurer I was, I wanted to find my way back to Washington Heights by making a couple of line transfers, so I could make a stop at the Columbia University campus. I had been writing a novel set in that neighborhood (which I'd never seen, of course), and wanted to correct my information.

I found a train going in the right, northern, direction and got off to find the campus, only to discover I was a little east of where I thought I was. In Harlem. Though it wasn't particularly dangerous at the time, it was total culture shock to me. It must have shown, as a kind well-dressed African-American man stopped me on the sidewalk to say, "I don't think you want to be here." "You're right," I replied, and he then showed me how to get the right connections back to Washington Heights. Columbia would have to wait for another time.

Webmaster Jon Kennedy

 Killer biscuits wanted for attempted murder
(the actual AP headline, it says here)

Linda B----, 23, a resident of San Diego, was visiting her in-laws, and while there went to a nearby supermarket to pick up some groceries. Several people noticed her sitting in her car with the windows rolled up and with her eyes closed, with both hands behind the back of her head.

One customer who had been at the store for a while became concerned and walked over to the car. He noticed that Linda's eyes were now open, and she looked very strange. He asked her if she was okay, and Linda replied that she'd been shot in the back of the head, and had been holding her brains in for over an hour. The man called the paramedics, who broke into the car because the doors were locked and Linda refused to remove her hands from her head.

When they finally got in, they found that Linda had a wad of bread dough on the back of her head. A Pillsbury biscuit canister had exploded from the heat, making a loud noise that sounded like a gunshot, and the wad of dough hit her in the back of her head. When she reached back to find out what it was, she felt the dough and thought it was her brains. She had initially passed out, but quickly recovered and tried to hold her brains in for over an hour until someone noticed and came to her aid.

And, yes, Linda is a blonde.

— Sent by Judy Rose

Thought for today

Own only what you can carry with you; know language, know countries, know people. Let your memory be your travel bag.

— Alexander Solzhenitsyn

Top daily news stories linked from our sister webpage
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