Local Color

The Pinball Enthusiasts

By J.F. Pirro In American entertainment circles, if video killed the radio star, the advent of video games slowly smothered pinball machines. Then, as video games became smaller, arcades dried up, too. Conversely, as houses were built bigger, basement recreation rooms became modern in-house arcades—and pinball has since rebounded. Denise and Brian Heins’ Whitehall basement... »

State Theatre For The Arts

By Frederick Jerant Way back in 1910, the Northampton National Bank in Easton was torn down, just 33 years after its construction. By itself, that fact merits no more than a footnote. But the bank’s replacement–a vaudeville house originally named the Neumeyer Theater–was the genesis of a Lehigh Valley performing arts gem, the State Theatre Center for the Arts. ... »

America On Wheels

By Frederick Jerant Americans are crazy about things with wheels. It doesn’t matter whether they have two, four, six or more, or whether they’re used for fun or profit – we love to fire ‘em up and hit the road. And America On Wheels (AOW), a 43,000 sq. ft. museum in Allentown, is chock-full of historic bicycles, automobiles, trucks and other vehicles that have fueled our p... »

Q & A with Katherine Ramsland, Ph.D.

By Christine A. Krahling Katherine Ramsland and I met nearly 10 years ago at the Greater Lehigh Valley Writers’ Group. A former psychotherapist and philosophy professor, she has a master’s degree in forensic psychology from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, a Ph.D. in philosophy from Rutgers University, and a master’s degree in Clinical Psychology from Duquesne Univers... »

Bob McLeod

By J.F. Pirro On his living room wall in Emmaus, Bob McLeod has painted white, puffy clouds set against a blue sky. His wife Lucy continues to wonder why Superman hasn’t appeared from behind those clouds. “Not yet,” he jests. Like Superman, a character that helped cinch his career, McLeod (pronounced Mac-Loud) is caught between two worlds: He’s a highly successful comic bo... »

The "Ice Screamers"

By J.F. Pirro If you want the scoop on ice cream, one Coopersburg collector is a veritable soda fountain of information. Rich Grumer* shares his passion with his fellow “Ice Screamers,” a fanatical, history-minded international collectors club. Members specialize in collecting – and celebrating – ice cream parlor and soda fountain memorabilia. The group of 450 or so member... »

SouthSide Film Festival

By J.F. Pirro Bethlehem is a city of festivals. Of course, there’s the granddaddy, Musikfest, a summer calendar must. And there’s the Celtic Classic in the fall; however, late spring welcomes the SouthSide Film Festival, a combination of art and culture. “It’s really a testament to Bethlehem that it can have such a variety of festivals, and that Bethlehem never tires of it... »


By Sara Hodon Belly-dancing is typically seen as something exotic and seductive—forbidden, even. The word itself conjures images of sultry, mysterious women with a certain something—that strong sense of who they are and their own feminine power.  Belly-dancing isn’t something that many women can picture themselves doing, but Lehigh Valley-based belly-dancing instructor Tah... »

Alex House

By Sara Hodon For a stand-up comic, there are a few things Alex House takes pretty seriously. Her family, for one (she’s a proud wife and mother). Making people laugh for another. And third is her latest gig—she teaches Zumba® at the Human Performance Center in Allentown. It wouldn’t seem as though House’s comedic and fitness careers had anything in common, but she would d... »

Mike Kopp ~ Allentown Central Catholic

By J.F. Pirro At 5-foot-7, just about everything that’s important in Rockne Hall Gymnasium towers above Mike Kopp, Allentown Central Catholic High School’s legendary girls basketball coach and the school’s athletic director, especially when he’s in his underground office. There are all those colorful green and gold championship banners hung so high. There’s a volleyball te... »

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