Monday, August 9, 2010


I’m back!

My “totally 1040-free” vacation really began on Tuesday night with a trip to NYC to see “Viagra Falls” at the Little Shubert Theatre on “Theatre Row”. The show starred Bernie Kopell, the LOVE BOAT’s “Doc” and Siegfried from GET SMART, Teresa Ganzel, a familiar face from 1980s tv (still a stunner – and I was surprised to see she was so tall), and co-author Lou Cutell, with whom I was not familiar.

In the play Kopell and Cutell celebrate Cutell’s 77th birthday with the help of some black market Viagra and local “lady of the evening” Ganzel.

It was very funny, with lots of flying one-liners. Age has not noticeably slowed down Mr Kopell. I was disappointed that there were so many empty seats – although it was a Tuesday night. At the tdf (Theatre Development Fund) member price of $31.50 it was truly a bargain.

The next morning I left for my annual visit to the summer playground of my youth – Wayne and Pike Counties, the Lake Region, in PA - staying once again at the Delaware and Hudson Motel in Honesdale.

As usual the visit was scheduled around a production at Hawley’s Ritz Playhouse. The show this year was “Whose Wives Are They Anyway”, a silly farce cast with familiar faces from previous productions.

I was truly confused upon entering downtown Honesdale on Wednesday afternoon to find that the traffic pattern had totally changed - Main Street and Church Street are now one-way streets! Why is anyone’s guess. It really makes no sense to me. And it is backwards – instead of entering the downtown shopping area on Main Street, the obvious choice, one has to drive all the way up Church Street to get to Main Street to shop and dine.

I did the “usual” on my trip, visiting Beach Lake, Hawley and Honesdale while driving Routes 6, 507, 590, and 652 in PA and Lake Huntington and Narrowsburg while driving 52 and 97 in NY.

After checking in at my motel I went to the multiplex in the Route 6 mall to see “Cats and Dogs 2: The Revenge of Kitty Galore”. It was my first 3-D movie in a normal theatre (other than at an IMAX). While the 3-D process was entertaining, it really did not add much to the movie. I paid $9.50 for a bargain matinee – the most I have ever paid for a movie, again at a “normal” theatre, in my life! As you can probably tell, it has been quite a while since I have been to a movie theatre.

I spent the mornings and early afternoons reading mystery books on the Lake Wallenpaupack Observation Deck and overlooking the Delaware River at the Tusten Veterans Memorial Park. The weather was perfect – with delightful and refreshing lake and river breezes, a welcome change from the oppressive heat of NJ.

I finished the latest Margaret Truman “Capital Crimes” entry, which I began on my flight to Austin TX, and completed “The Morning Show Murders” by Al Roker (and a co-author). The book was surprisingly very good. It was totally fictional; Roker did not place himself and other real-life celebrities as characters in the book (as had been the case with the mysteries penned, or co-penned, by Steve Allen and George Kennedy). I look forward to the 2nd installment in the promised series.

{I couldn’t help including this – In the opening chapter the protagonist, a celebrity chef, restaurant owner, and morning show co-host, is shooting a pilot for a cooking-related so-called “reality tv” show. The network exec says, “I want the contestants to look like idiots during the tryouts. The dumber and more inexperienced they are, the better. If there’s one thing viewers love to watch, it’s extroverted idiots who don’t care if they look like assholes.” I expect Mr Roker stole that quote from a real conversation by a real network exec. The last sentence of the quote sums up the entire “reality tv” genre.}

I dined at regulars Cordaro’s and the Towne House Diner in Honesdale and Gresham’s Chop House across from Lake Wallenpaupack. New this year was Tony’s on the Lake in Lake Huntington NY, my mother’s home town. While it looked like a fancy restaurant from the outside I was surprised to find the menu limited to “pub food” (pizza, burgers and sandwiches), although they did have two “traditional” specials (steak and chicken).

Breakfasts were returns to Shirley’s Family Restaurant at the junction of 6 and 652 and the Country Café in Beach lake and the Whistle Stop Café in Narrowsburg, with Shelly’s Family Restaurant in Hamlin PA being a new find.

I was reminded of the tranquility and relaxation one can experience from just sitting by a body of water. It doesn’t have to be at the Caribbean or the Mediterranean or the Aegean – Lake Wallenpaupack or the Delaware River or the Atlantic Ocean will do just as well.

I was truly sorry to head back to New Jersey on Sunday afternoon. Unfortunately, although as expected, the GD extensions were still in the box when I got back home.


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