Artist of the Month: Jack Reilly

Artist of Month pic Reilly

John Reilly is shown with his featured painting entitled “Coal Train.”

Jack F. Reilly of Bangor, who is the September Artist of the Month at the Dunmore Activity Hub, worked on the railroad for 42 years.

“After retiring in 2003, I needed to do something constructive,” Jack explains.  “My wife encouraged me to go to oil painting class with her.  Although I’ve never painted before, it seemed like a good idea that we could do something together. In the six years I have painted pictures of each of my children’s houses along with mine, and a few still lifes.”

Because there are only a few men in the class, Jack says that the ladies, along with their teacher, Jill Swersie, have given him the confidence to continue.

“The Dunmore Activity Hub has offered me the opportunity to make everlasting friendships that I hold dear in my heart,” he relates.

Jack’s very talented wife was featured as the July Dunmorean Artist of the Month, and their equally talented Dunmore relative, Maria Ragnacci was featured in August.  They, along with friends and family, can be seen sampling local restaurants after art class on Monday evenings.


Upcoming:  Please plan to attend the Dunmore Activity HUB’s Community Arts Show, Oct 6 and 7. Show and activities will take place at 1414 Monroe Ave # B, Scranton, PA 18509.  For further information call: (570) 207-2662.



Dearly Departed Players to Host 20th Anniversary Tour

Dearly Departed Players pic

Members of the Dearly Departed Players prepare for their annual Dunmore Cemetery Tour to be held on Oct. 1 and 8. Shown from left are: Wendy Belaski, Silas Robert Powell, Christine McGeachie, Nelson Wood, Julie Esty and Megan Esty.

Julie Esty has announced that the 20th anniversary Dunmore Cemetery Tour will be held this year on Oct. 1 and 8.  It’s always a bit funky with publicity when we have that October 1 tour day.

The tour this year is the “Guest Appearance” tour.

Julie was the recipient of a Lackawanna County Arts and Culture Grant, so she opened up the cemetery — this year it is “Death’s Playhouse” and the Dearly Departed Players are welcoming people from the past from different area cemeteries.  

Two people on the tour are buried a bit further but played significant roles here in the valley.  This year’s program will include are Forest Hills, Cathedral, St. Mary’s German Catholic in South Side, the cemeteries of Minooka, Cathedral,  Pittston Avenue, and St. Catherine’s in Moscow.

“For more than 20 years I have accumulated a significant amount of information on people from the past buried in the cemeteries around here and it’s nice to be able to

Dearly Departed Players pic 2

Shown at Dunmore Cemetery are Dearly Departed Players including, from left: Christine McGeachie, Wendy Belaski, Nelson Wood, Megan Esty, Tom Fritz, Laura Micelli, Jennifer Ochman, Julie Esty and James Patterson.

address those people,” Julie explains. “I also get asked a lot to be in other cemeteries and do tours, especially Forest Hills and Cathedral, but it’s not possible to take this sizable audience on the road.  This was the easiest way to incorporate people from other places.”

For the third year, Kuhn’s Classic Memories of Williamsport will participate with their team of horses and Victorian hearse. They will appear for both tours, weather permitting.  Their driver,Lance Ohnmeiss, is the conductor of the Northern Appalachin Wind Symphony and is also an award-winning bagpiper.  He is going to lend his musical talents to the tour this year.    

Also participating will be Scranton Reads, who book selection of  Gilead works very well with a cemetery theme.  Sons of Union Veterans/GAR Memorial Association will be on hand, as well as the Friends of the Forgotten Northeast Wing will be out there.

One of  the people presented on the tour, a firefighter who died almost 100 years ago, did something amazing for his fellow man.  Because of what he did — because of his kind works — the tour is also partnering with Feed-a-Friend in his memory. People attending are asked bring a nonperishable to the cemetery gates on tour days only.  That firefighter will also be receiving a proclamation from the Mayor of the Scranton.  

Traditionally, the tour draws at least 1,500 people over the two weekends, including people from all over the East Coast.  This year, upgrades to the sound system are planned. This year’s tour will be performed in memory of Dunmorean Karl Wegforth, president of the Dunmore Historical Society, who recently passed away.

The tours, which last two hours, begin at 2 p.m. at the Dunmore Cemetery gates at Warren and Church Street.  Arrive early to see exhibits.  Comfortable walking shoes are suggested.  Admission is free. No reservations are required.   For more information, please call 570-344-3819 or visit Dunmore Cemetery Tour on Facebook.


Cheryl’s Cuisine: September 2017

Cheryl's Cuisine

Sands Casino Executive Chef Victor Bock displays two dishes from Emeril’s Fish House he prepared at the recent Lehigh Valley Food and Wine Festival.

By Cheryl Radkiewicz

Chatting with Sands Casino Executive Chef Victor Bock is truly one of the highlights for me during the annual Lehigh Valley Food and Wine Festival.  Bock oversees six restaurants and manages over 400 food and beverage employees.   I can’t even imagine what his daily routine consists of.    He arrived at the Sands after a  career which began at the Culinary Institute of America, Accomac Inn, Windows on Steinman Park in Lancaster,  Hotel Hershey, Greensboro Country Club, Bent Creek Country Club and Woodstock Inn and Resort.  Part of his culinary duties include not only overseeing the restaurants and food services, but also demonstrating his expertise during the annual festival.

This year Chef Bock highlighted some of the most popular dishes served at Emeril’s Fish House.  The menu at the Fish House offers a variety of chilled and raw seafood appetizers including Clams on Half, King Crab Legs and Tuna Poke Lettuce Wraps.

Now for the  dishes shared by Chef Bock during the event:

Asian BBQ Salmon Poke with Green Onion Pancake with Sesame:

Asian BBQ Salmon:
1/2 lb. wild salmon, cut into half inch cubes
1/2 cup green onions, minced
1 Tbsp. shallots, minced
1 tsp. ginger root, minced
2 Tbsp. white sesame seeds, toasted
1 tsp. lemongrass, minced
1 Tbsp. cilantro, minced

Combine all ingredients and allow to marinate for 1 hour.

Poke Dressing:
2 tsp. garlic, minced
1/3 cup sesame oil
1 cup soy sauce
1 1/2 oz. hoisin sauce
1/2 Tbsp. dry chillies or red pepper flake
2 tsp. rice vinegar

Combine all ingredients.  Makes approximately 2 cups.

Green Onion Pancakes:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup minced green onion
1/2 cup and 1 1/2 Tbsp. hot water
1 Tbsp. vegetable or coconut oil
1 Tbsp. sesame oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
Vegetable oil, to fry

In a large bowl sift flour.  Add 1/2 cup and 1 1/2 Tbsp. hot water and stir until the ingredients are blended well.  Sprinkle flour over a kneading board or other appropriate kneading surface.  

When the dough is still hot, knead the dough for about 3 minutes or until it becomes soft and elastic.  Shape dough into a ball and place back in the bowl, covering with plastic wrap.  Let dough rest for about 30 minutes.  Place dough on lightly floured surface and cut dough into two sections.  

While making sure that the dough does not stick to  your kneading surface, roll dough into a 14″ circle.  Spread 1/2 Tbsp. coconut or vegetable oil on the dough.  Next, spread 1 tsp. toasted sesame oil.  Sprinkle 1/4 tsp. salt.  

Finally, Sprinkle 1/3 cup chopped green onions on the dough.  Roll dough into sections and make each section into a spiral/snail shape.  Flatten spiral with the palm of your hand.  Roll it out into a 5″ disk.  Repeat with other 3 pieces.  

Heat 1 Tbsp. salad oil in a frying pan.  Put one of the pancakes in the pan and immediately flip it over to coat the dough with oil evenly.  Cover with a lid and cook each side about 3 minutes or until nicely browned.  (Makes approx. 2 cups).  Serve salmon on top of pancake and top with dressing.


Charred Octopus Salad:

2 cups cooked octopus tentacles
1Tbsp. olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbsp. sliced smoked green olives
2 Tbsp. flat leaf parsley
1 Tbsp. celery leaves
1 cup charred cauliflower florets
4 fresh figs,  grilled, if possible
2 Tbsp. crumbled Greek feta cheese
2 cups arugula
1/2 lime, zested and juiced
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp. honey
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. red pepper-curry emulsion

In cast iron skillet or grill, char the octopus, approximately 5-8 minutes, remove and hold warm.  In a mixing bowl, combine lime zest, lime juice, Dijon mustard, honey.  Drizzle in olive oil to emulsify.  Place red-pepper-curry emulsion on plate.  

Combine arugula, olives, figs, cauliflower, and octopus with lime dressing.  Arrange on plate and garnish with crumbled feta.


Pan-Seared Red Snapper and Tuna Bolognese:

Pan-Seared Red Snapper:

2 Red Snapper fillets (pin bones removed, skin on, approx. 6-7 oz. each)
4 oz. Ahi Tuna Belly, minced
3 oz. pancetta, coarse grind or  fine minced
1 oz. olive oil
1 1/2 Tbsp. garlic, minced
2 cups canned diced tomatoes with juice
3 oz. white wine
1 Tbsp. fresh oregano leaves
1 Tbsp. fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup grape tomato confit
Salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbsp. whole butter or 1 oz. extra virgin olive oil (to finish)
Grilled lemon for garnish

Sear fish fillets in olive oil, skin side down first.  Cook 3-4 minutes.  Turn and cook 3-4 minutes or until firm.  Remove and hold.  To saute’ pan, add pancetta.  Cook until golden brown.  Add garlic, tuna, diced canned tomatoes.  Cook for 3-4 minutes.  Add in grape tomatoes, oregano, basil.  Finish with butter.

Arugula Herb Fennel Salad:
2 cups Arugula
1/2 cup thin shaved fennel
1/2 Tbsp. basil leaves
1/2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
Lemon oil
Kosher salt/pepper

Mix all ingredients together and serve with snapper.

Area Illustrator and Son Co-Create New Children’s Book

Summa and son pic

Al Summa, an illustrator who was born and raised in Dunmore and now lives in Moscow, provided the illustrations for a children’s book written by his son, Joshua, entitled “Courage for the First Day of School.” This is Joshua’s first book with Foundations Books.

The book shows this is a bittersweet time since summer is over and school is about to start. Children worry about which teacher they will get. The child’s imagination runs wild, hoping for the best, but imagining the worst.

The book is now available from Amazon for Kindle and paperback, Foundations Books, Barnes and Noble, the Nook, Smashwords, Books a Million, Kobo, Scribd, and 2200 other retailers.