Friday, August 23, 2013
Every now and then I'm reminded that there are two sides to every story. Such is the case with Bradley J. Wolfe, the Flying Hills man charged with third-degree murder, attempted murder and related offenses for a Sept. 5 crash on the Bingaman Street Bridge that claimed the life of Lance Quinones. Wolfe, 32, was held for court after a hearing Wednesday before District Judge Stuart D. Kennedy, Millmont. The case against Bradley is one that, if true, is enough to make one's blood boil.
Posted by Geedas Jones at 11:23 AM
Ever since I was a wee lad I’ve been fascinated by the efforts shore communities make to preserve their beaches. I remember standing on the boardwalk at Ninth Street in Ocean City, N.J., watching as tons of sand being pumped from the bay, across town to the beach. If they didn’t dredge the bay and pump sand every few years the beaches would all get washed away like the one at Ninth Street that disappeared under the boardwalk twice a day at high tide that year. I would spend hours building walls of sand waiting for the tide to roll in and wash them away. In the end, the ocean flattened my walls and reclaimed all the sand I shoveled.
Posted by Geedas Jones at 11:12 AM
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
We are in the process of getting new laptops and iPhones at the Reading Eagle. The laptops are pretty amazing and much faster than the desktops we had been using. I thought our internet connection was slow but it was just the five-year-old processors bogging things down. ...
Posted by Geedas Jones at 10:02 AM
I only remember bits and pieces from the first six years of my life in Delanco, N.J. There is the one fuzzy memory of a nun washing my mouth out with soap after I dropped my lunch in the coat room at St. Joseph's Elementary School and uttered a mild expletive. This being a family paper I can't repeat it here, but it rhymes with whoopee. Then there's my Mitt Romney moment when I conked my friend Ricky Conlow on the noggin while shaking my Etch A Sketch on the front stoop of my house at 410 Larchmont Drive. I got old Rick with the corner and it split his forehead open. He had to get a couple stitches and became an instant celebrity.
Posted by Geedas Jones at 9:37 AM
Thursday, December 8, 2011
It was with mixed emotions that Reading police Inspector Francis F. Drexler turned in his badge and gun last week and sidled off into the sunset after 37 years. "I don't know," he said, when asked how he felt about retirement. "Mixed emotions, I guess. I'm going to miss the work. I'm going to miss the people. I won't miss the 2 o'clock phone calls." He was born and raised in the city and graduated from Central Catholic, Class of 1968. He joined the city in 1974 after getting an associate degree in business at St. Gregory's University, Shawnee, Okla. Two years in the heartland taught Drexler one thing: He didn't want to be a businessman. "I saw an ad in the newspaper and applied at the police department," he said. He spent the first five years as a patrolman, then moved to a high-crime unit, serving as a plainclothes officer for two years. He took a liking to plainclothes work and spent the balance of his career in vice and narcotics and later in criminal investigations. He was promoted to captain in 1992. Drexler also has been an instructor at the Reading Police Academy for 25 years. "I'm going to miss that (teaching) most," he said.
Posted by Geedas Jones at 10:16 AM
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Friday, January 14, 2011
There’s a light around Pete Cammarano.
It’s not the light from the ancient Reading Premium beer signs behind the bar at Mike’s Tavern.
Pete, 53, of Reading owned and operated the Northeast Tap Room on North 12th Street for almost 20 years.
He sold the Tap Room in 2003 and moved to Seattle and then Memphis, Tenn., looking for a new start.
He came back to Reading and bought Mike’s at 135 Exeter St. in May, from the Duplak family, who owned and operated the bar for 76 years. The original liquor license hanging behind the bar is dated 1934, one year after Prohibition ended.
Mike’s was popular with shift workers at the former Dana Corp. Parish plant. The blue-collar shot-and-beer crowd is gone.
Pete bought the Northeast Tap Room in 1983 and replaced a Budweiser tap with one of Yuengling’s varietal beers. Eventually, the Tap Room offered 100 different beers. The tavern started drawing beer aficionados from all over Berks County.
Then around 1990, the microbrew craze hit and the Tap Room was a hot spot.
While living in Memphis, where he opened a hoagie shop, Pete came home for the holidays in 2009 and visited Mike’s, which had been one of his old haunts.
The owners were looking to sell and Pete saw a way home.
Since May, Pete has transformed Mike’s. Stella Artois is the most conventional beer on tap.
“The Stella Artois is there on tap so the others can be weird,” Pete joked.
Mike’s features three varieties from Lagunitas Brewing Co., San Francisco, on tap and 80 other beers, domestic, international and “weird.” One tastes like Frank’s Black Cherry Wishniak.
Pete, almost from the day he left Reading, felt the tug of his hometown calling him back.
As the light faded outside one recent afternoon and patron after patron wandered in, Pete greeted each by name.
The patrons at Mike’s, many former denizens of the Tap Room, will tell you that it’s the warm light of Pete’s beer knowledge, mellow personality and friendly smile that keeps them coming back.
For Pete, he says he’s home for good.
“This is where I’m supposed to be and it feels really good to be back,” he said.