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No Place Like Home

 

 Wow! It's hard to believe Williamsport is Welcoming the World for the 70th playing of the Little League World Series. If you're visiting our area for the most special of youth sporting events, my staff and I welcome you to Central Pennsylvania. In the movie Field of Dreams, ‘Shoeless’ Joe Jackson asked Kevin Costner, "Is this heaven?" in reference to the beautiful ball field nestled against the cornfield. His answer, "No, it's Iowa."
  Well this is Little League Heaven and to me I would be perfectly happy if God's destination we are all trying to reach was the same as this area of Penn’s Woods we call home. Of course without the headaches and problems of the mortal world.
  I hope you enjoy your stay and the hospitality of my neighbors and friends as much as I do. We all take great pride in hosting the Little League World Series. If you have any questions or need a good place to eat or something to do, much can be found within these pages. My staff and I would be glad to answer any questions you may have. Call my office at 570-326-9322, ask for me or speak with whoever is available. If you would sooner text, you can reach me at 570-337-0755. I hope your team does well and you take home some great memories of the Series.
  Now back to it being the 70th Little League World Series. That could only mean one thing, I'm getting older and I'm sure many of you reading this can relate. I remember the 35th Little League World Series like it was yesterday. The Taiwanese had won four straight World Titles and to say they were good, big, and very mature would be an understatement. The one thing everyone wanted was a United States team to end the Taiwan dynasty, unless if you were from the Far East that was.
  My has the Little League World Series changed since back then. I believe it was a five-day event in the early 1980s. Eight teams participated in a single elimination event. Four from the US – the East, West, South and Central regions. Four from the International bracket – the Far East, Latin America, Europe and Canada. If you lost your first game your hopes of reaching the title game evaporated into the West Branch Valley sun. You were scheduled consolation games so your trip to Williamsport wasn't a one and done event. The only game televised was the final game on ABC's Wide World of Sports and I don't believe it was aired live until maybe a couple of years later.
  The big news at the 35th Little League World Series was Tampa, Florida had a pretty darn good team. Everyone in Red, White and Blue chanting USA – USA hoping they could end Taiwan's dominance.
  The team representing the South region had a future Major League Star, Derek Bell who played for five Major League clubs during his 11-year career, winning a World Series with the Blue Jays in 1992.
  Incidentally the team from Barrington, Illinois representing the Central region that Tampa defeated in the US Title Game also had a Big Leaguer of tomorrow. Catcher Dan Wilson who spent most of his career in Seattle. He was an outstanding defensive catcher who caught Hall of Famer Randy Johnson for the Mariners.
  Back to the World Series game that year. The boys from Belmont Heights Little League hung in there, but it wasn't meant to be. The team from Taichung Little League extended Taiwan's dynasty to five consecutive Little League World Series titles.
  The US champ would end Taiwan's run the following year. Who can forget Cody Webster pitching and hitting his team from Kirkland Washington to a 6-0 victory.
  There will be plenty of memories like this made this year, let's hope the USA again sits atop the Little League World.
  God Bless America.

 
 

Many of you have asked my take on the recently held Republican and Democratic Conventions, wondering if I was going to pen up an article. I really did not want to but since it matters to so many here is why there was no interest in doing so from my point of view.
  I think the Republican and Democratic National Conventions are ridiculous, a complete waste of time and money. I have always felt this way. It's like a glorified high school pep rally for adults with more money than brains. It drives me crazy to watch some 50-year-old couple dancing with a Trump or Hillary for President sign. Get a life.
  It has to be the most undignified way to announce the chosen ones and their running mates, our Country deserves so much better than this free-for-all of self promotion and political party beliefs taking precedence over issue, discussion and solution. Besides, everyone knows who they are, we voted for them. They also have not won anything yet why have an inauguration in honor of their party nomination? I can't stomach it!
  So let us review in reverse order beginning with Ms. Hillary ‘Prison Stripes are Presidential’ Clinton and her democratic poppycock of a convention.  Bill loves Hillary and Hillary loves Bill, yeah right! Chelsea loves everyone and thinks her mom is swell. Hillary is the candidate to vote for if you are not white. Hillary is the candidate to vote for if you are white and not a racist.  No one still knows who the heck her VP candidate is, nor does anyone really care. It's more important to elect a woman President for the first time than not to elect a person with more scandals than the National Inquirer.
  Did I miss anything? Oh, I almost forgot, the Democrats get better entertainers for their Convention of Convicts in waiting, than the Republicans.  Lastly I'm glad they held it in Philadelphia and at least brought revenue into our state. It's great punishment for all those Philly sports fans to have to deal with the gridlock created by the lifestyles of the rich and infamous, but we are fighting for you poor America, convention.
  Up Next Donald Trump and the Republican National Desertion, I mean Convention. Well Ohio Governor John Kasich spoke and he didn't endorse Mr. Trump, Mr. Ted Cruz spoke and he didn't endorse "The Don." Melania Trump spoke and unless you're lost in space you know her speechwriters copied Ms. Michelle ‘My Husband is Doing Great’ Obama's Convention speech from years gone by. All the rest were ‘The Don Endorsers’ but probably only because they had to be. The alternative being Hillary's house of taxations, immigrations and Bill's constipation. What an uplifting way to have to decide whose worthy of your support.
  Back to the convention. Donald was being Donald and losing more votes as he spoke. Donald patted himself on the back about his wealth and business smarts so many times he dislocated his shoulder. The transparency everyone talks about in government was on full display.  The far to the right old-school Republicans may really be worse than the Democrats or should I say equal as in their self preservation of party over Country.  The only true champion in Cleveland was LeBron James and his Cavaliers. How would the Republicans not have better entertainment, they were in the home of the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame?
  Now you know why I didn’t find the pen when it comes to both dog and bologna shows.  Save the money, save your dignity and find a better way to announce the already known.
  One last thought, Mr. Trump is suffering a slow political death created by a thousand cuts from his own tongue. Unless Ms. Hillary is wanted in the Oval Office someone better get a tourniquet around his mouth.
  God Bless America.

 
Everyday Player
  Congrats and tip of the cap to our own Larry Andrews. After 32 plus years at the Sun Gazette and 13 years as General Manager of the Webb Weekly Larry is going to enjoy a well-deserved retirement.
  It wasn't an easy decision for him, see he loves his job! His main focus has always been helping his clients with the advertising and promotion of their business. He and I have the same belief, job one is the businesses and people that advertise with us, making sure we write the right ad and get them a response. It's personal and we go to work for everyone who runs ads with us, no matter how big or how small.
  Well along the way you make great relationships with people and Larry has a lot of them. It is most difficult for Larry to give up seeing these fine folks. Joking, smiling, talking and getting to know their family. Hopefully helping and watching their business grow. Larry has been taking his fair share of ribbing because it seems he was going to retire for years.  They will believe it when they no longer see it – as in him showing up at their door many have said.
  I am honored to say Larry is also having a tough time leaving us at the Webb Weekly. See, we're a pretty close-knit family and he enjoys coming to work every morning and being part of the family. We have the least politically correct office you can imagine and my belief is if we are having fun we are working hard. Yeah, my dad and I have maybe a little different approach.
  Larry will be missed by his advertising clients and by his Webb Weekly family. But never fear my friends; if you depended on Larry for your business we will continue the fine service you have grown accustomed to. Larry has helped grow and get Charlie Gizenski ready to fill his shoes.  I have the utmost confidence in Charlie, as does Larry. The other thing I can guarantee, Larry isn't going to be far away and will probably be checking up on Charlie and all of us at the office.
  I personally can't thank Larry enough. His knowledge and demeanor was a perfect fit when he was hired by Mr. Webb. He was my greatest supporter and mentor. He provided a buffer between my father and I and allowed me to be me, and do what I do. He was always in my corner, especially when I was on the ropes. His support of me personally along with the hard work of our team has been paramount in our success.
  God bless Larry and wife Brenda. I wish them the very best, along with sons Erik and Trent. Although he will be missed, I can't express to you the importance of Larry leaving in good health and having time to enjoy the fruits of his labor with his family.