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CARL KOLOGIE: A hectic holiday schedule

by on December 29, 2013 1:49 AM

I don’t know about you, but my holiday schedule was really messed up with Christmas falling in the middle of the week.

It was almost like three weekends run together, just getting over one and then another started.

Actually, when I stopped to recap the past several days — although they were really hectic and nonstop — they were entertaining and boosted the holiday spirit, despite the fact that my family got into town the day after Christmas.

It all started Monday evening when I had the opportunity to meet Indiana’s newest celebrity, 17-year-old Zach Beeken.

Fresh off the Fox network talent show “The X Factor,” the talented young singer walked into a surprise party on the second floor of The Coney, where he thought he was meeting his family for dinner.

Like everyone else, I smiled as Indiana’s newest TV star was surrounded by teenagers, mostly girls, asking for his autograph or to have their photo taken with him.

It was a joy to witness.

The welcome home was planned by his employer, Janet Buggy of Buggy’s Dry Cleaning, with the help of Tim McQuaide of The Coney.

Remember the name “Restless Road.” That’s the name of the group, and not only did they reach the semifinals of the network show, they already have opportunities before them that could be the springboard to a successful musical career.

And just between you and me, I walked out with an autographed Restless Road T-shirt.

We wish the best of luck to this talented and personable young gentleman.

o o o

Anchovy linguine in an oil and garlic sauce or a tuna marinara sauce over linguine are two of my favorite dishes on the Feast of Seven Fishes.

Traditionally, this feast is celebrated by Italian-Americans on the night before Christmas.

Tuesday evening we were in Clymer at the invitation of Louie and Debbie Tate to join their family for the fishes meal which was privately held at Luigi’s Ristorante.

As you would expect, the hospitality of the Tate family and the cuisine before us, made for a delightful evening and we whole-heartedly thank them for that.

Later that evening it was off to Slickville area for a Christmas Eve celebration with family members, many of whom we were with later on Christmas Day, at a homestead in Trees Mill, near Delmont.

Then Thursday morning my family arrived in Indiana after a stop in Hollidaysburg on Christmas Day visiting the other grandmother and great-grandparents.

It’s getting tougher every year to keep track of where everyone is going to be on a holiday.

My two grandsons, Ryan, 18, and Nathan, 16, are now both driving and Ryan will enter college next year. It doesn’t seem that long ago they playing T-Ball and would come to Indiana on vacation from their home in Bethlehem.

o o o

Birthday bests to Grace Pollock of Indiana who will celebrate her 100th on Jan. 4.

Her family is holding an open house for Grandma’ Gracie from 2 to 4 p.m. on Saturday at Rustic Lodge and all her friends are invited to make her big day a memorable one.

o o o

Seated in church on Christmas Day I intently listened to the organ music and thought to myself, “Did St. Bernard of Clairvaux get a new organist?” It is difficult to see the organist from some areas of the church.

Or did a previous one return?

Then at the end of Mass, the organist sang a beautiful Christmas Hymn, and she sang it in Italian.

I knew then is was Carolyn Violi, a former organist and choir director at the church.

So I greeted her when she had finished the hymn, which was beautifully done, and asked her if she was returning to Indiana for the musical production of “Beauty and the Beast.”

She had been the musical director for the touring show for the past few years but stated she had not renewed her contract and was getting weary of traveling all over the country.

She was home for the holidays and is currently teaching music at the University of Alabama.

Carl Kologie is a columnist for The Indiana Gazette.
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