Shining solid gray in the warm spring dusk, the Rodham family headstone toppled sometime over the weekend near the edge of Scranton's Washburn Cemetery.
How the heavy stone fell remains a mystery.
Did fanatics drag it down a day or two after a local television news report showed it for the world to see?
Did the wind blow it over, as the kindly undertaker suggested Monday evening while standing on sacred ground? Did vandals overturn it on purpose or did the earth above our abandoned coal mines shift in a natural gasp of living soil?
Whatever force sent that heavy marker on its back must have been substantial. More significant, though, is the power that righted the wrong and worked to raise the stone to its original dignity.
Virtue still lives in that old Scranton graveyard. Strength breathes as testament to a legacy of life, love and commitment to what is just. The Rodham family stone anchors an indelible spirit that remains so much a part of this city. So, too, does the family memorial mark the presidential campaign of a special Rodham daughter. Like those who came and went before her, Hillary is part of this town, her father's town, a town that helped shape her and her family.
The Rodham signature remains part of Scranton's past, present and future.
Family history provides identity to us all.
That's one reason why, born of good stock, Hillary brings the Rodham character of discipline, purpose and honor to her pledge to help people and a country in need.
Little about life is easy – especially in Scranton. Mystery clouds tomorrow. But what we know for sure is that when trouble arises, the chance to help people makes for better people. The chance to make a difference in people's lives turns bad into good in any town.
A man and his wife had spotted the downed Rodham headstone Monday afternoon while walking the cemetery where the man has family buried. So he went home and quickly made a call. The man he called listened, hung up and made a call of his own. Other calls went out as well.
By early evening, four men and a woman stood by the Rodham family plot, talking in quiet tones the way good people have stood around talking at Scranton burial grounds for centuries. Then they shook hands and went to work to solve the problem.
The undertaker called a crane operator who said he would show up at the cemetery the next day. Police would be notified. A Rodham family friend called Hillary's brother, Tony, to tell him that everything would be okay. Another person called the man and his wife to thank them for their concern and promised to keep them up to date.
People looking out for each other, neighbors watching out for neighbors, good citizens helping anybody who needs help. Money or no money, black, white, Latino, citizen, non-citizen, gay or straight - just like the video Hillary released Sunday when she officially announced her presidential campaign.
"Hillary for America" translates into exactly what happened in Scranton yesterday.
Helping, not hurting, creates a new day in our lifetime as sturdy as a toppled headstone raised again in dignity, stability and love for all that's good.
At our best, in Scranton and elsewhere, we're simply people helping people.
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There was one reported in the US back in the '50's. Turned out to be part of a nuclear detonation test. So what was the black smoke ring hanging in the sky in Kazakhstan doing there? Read the rest at LockLip.com.
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Washed up mob movie actor Paul Sorvino needs a nickname.
After his sniveling performance on my show last week, his feigned outrage over the fate of his latest film was less than memorable. Sorvino's real-life role as victim was also far from convincing. But his whiney whimpers were impressive.
How about "Paulie Sniffles?"
"Paulie Sniffles" it is.
And you, Paulie Sniffles, better be ready for what's coming. Because we're going to the mattresses, as the goodfella goons say, in our fight to get what you owe us. We're the victims here, not you, Paulie Sniffles. But we're victims unlike any you've ever met.
You want Scranton, "Paulie Sniffles," we'll give you Scranton. Our Scranton, though, the real Scranton, is unlike the prissy, pampered place of privilege you know and claim to love.
If you love us why stick us for the half a million in taxpayer money you grabbed and sunk into that flop, "The Trouble With Cali," that you created here and now claim nobody wants to distribute? If you love us why blame us for sinking your so-called movie? If you love us you wouldn't blubber and crybaby your way around town with your failure film following you like the ghost of our late great hometown actor Jason Miller, who gave you your break and opened up our town to you?
No, Paulie Sniffles, you only love yourself.
That's why you cheated us.
So give us our movie.
We're partners, remember?
You said it yourself, Paulie Sniffles, when you called the show and blamed me, Times-Tribune columnist Chris Kelly and other critics for destroying your movie distribution deal with an unnamed Canadian company.
You never had a deal, ya lug, ya.
And the two goofs who signed over the 500,000 clams that you skimmed off the top of their chowder heads never had our approval to give away our money in the first place. Both guys, former Republican majority Lackawanna County Commissioners Bob Cordaro and A.J. Munchak, are currently serving federal prison sentences on unrelated public corruption felonies. Cordaro is even listed as an executive producer on your - I mean our - film.
That must have impressed the Canadians and anybody else foolish enough to give your family enterprise – written by one daughter, featuring another – credit for anything except finality.
Final as in croaked.
"Cali is dead," you told me on the air in breathy dramatic tones before trying to pull a fast one and hang up on us. I sensed your final curtain falling and had to throw a couple of fast body shots that doubled you over.
"You stick us and we're supposed to feel bad for you?" I asked.
"You son of a bitch," you said.
And the whole world suddenly saw through you, recognizing you for the loser you are, the failure you have become, the hustler who never cut it in Scranton and killed his – I mean our - movie. Then you turned and ran, leaving a dull roar in your wake like the frothing waves of a tramp steamer full of holes going down for the last time.
So here's the deal, champ. Kelly and I will meet you at a saloon of our choosing – New York or Scranton, take your pick. You hand over the movie. And we show it for free in Scranton and then we show it again to benefit charity. I doubt that anybody will want to see your "masterpiece" more than twice.
Of course you're welcome to attend although I would advise against it.
Some of us carry a grudge in Scranton the way you beautiful people carry a canape.
So dry your eyes and give us our movie.
We're not through with you yet, "Paulie Sniffles."
He thought he'd found some part of the wreckage of a sunken boat. Now he thinks it was a cocoon. Nikolay M. lost consciousness and when he awoke, discovered he'd also lost part of his hand in this story at WorldUFOPhotosAndNews.org.
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It shimmered like 'Star Trek cloaking'. A huge V-shaped craft, fast and silent, in the nighttime skies over Palmyra, PA. Read more at OpenMinds.tv.
His assassination marked the start of World War I. Was it just a coincidence that the license plate on the car he died in marked the end of World War I? You'll find more creepy coincidences, 13 in all, if you click LockLip.com!