The countdown to Christmas is underway

The Christmas Tree at Perry Square was featured, Dec. 3, 2021, during the Downtown D'Lights celebration, which included the lighting of the Perry Square decorations and a visit from Santa Claus.
The Christmas Tree at Perry Square was featured, Dec. 3, 2021, during the Downtown D'Lights celebration, which included the lighting of the Perry Square decorations and a visit from Santa Claus.

Now that Thanksgiving is over, it’ll be a mad dash to Christmas, which is just a little less than a month away.

A heavy snowstorm prevented most local residents from getting out and decorating their yards and the exteriors of their homes for Christmas, but I see that many are starting to make up for lost time.

For many years, our next-door neighbors, Ernie and Pat Brown, used to put up thousands of lights on their home and in their yard. When we first moved in more than 30 years ago, two of our boys asked if Santa Claus lived next door. I said no, but the Browns' house was Santa’s first stop when his sleigh landed in Erie.

• Harborcreek Township Supervisor Dean Pepicello proudly points out that the national publication, Business View Magazine, recently featured a flattering profile on Harborcreek. Anyone who’s ever visited Harborcreek knows what a beautiful place it is.

• Great musicians and a large boisterous crowd turned out recently at Waldameer’s Rainbow Gardens for the Paul Yoculan Sr. Memorial Scholarship Dance. Yoculan, who died at 82 in 2019, was one of Erie’s best-known singers and performers.

In Memoriam:Erie musician, baseball coach, former runaway dies at 82

He starred at New York’s Copa Cabana in the 1960s with the Younger Brothers, and the popular band was visited one night by the Beatles. They partied together after the show, and Paul and Vinnie Frazzini had plenty of photos for proof.

Paul was also a skilled baseball coach from the little league level up through high school. He was one of Erie’s top entertainers for decades and I’m glad his fans turned out to fund the scholarship dance.

• Speaking of top bands, Little Feat announced a show in Erie at the Warner Theatre on April 13, 2023. That’s sure to be a hot ticket.

• Sorry to hear that the mighty Wurlitzer organ at the Warner will be out of action for a while. During a rehearsal for the Erie Philharmonic’s recent concert, the organ console caught fire and was severely damaged.

More:'Such wonderful music': Erie musician, recording studio owner on The Beatles, The Epics, more

Organ Supply is helping to rebuild the console, which is a major job.

• Erie’s Reagan Kennedy, who graced the stage of the Erie Playhouse when she was still in high school, will be a major part of the production of “Legally Blonde,” the musical, scheduled for performances Dec. 5-6 at the Warner.

Kennedy, a recent graduate of the School of Theater, Film and Television at the University of Arizona, has been serving as an understudy to the star who plays Elle Woods. This is Kennedy’s first national tour and she’s making quite an impression.

Another Erie connection to the show is Music Director and Conductor Eddie Carney, whose father, Martin Carney, is an Erie native. The opening night of “Legally Blonde” is Eddie’s parents’ 35th anniversary. They and many family members from Erie and Northeast Ohio plan to be in attendance that night.

• A sign that the years keep rolling past in a blink of an eye was the recent celebration of Pete Rose Jr.’s 53rd birthday. Rose played for the Erie Orioles many years ago, although it seems as if it were yesterday.

Bobby Tolan, a teammate in Cincinnati with Pete Rose Sr., was Erie’s manager that year and he looked after young Rose during that difficult time. It was when Pete Sr. was embroiled in the gambling scandal that ended his career in baseball.

• Sorry to see that popular newspaper columnist Michael Gerson recently succumbed to cancer at the age of 58. Gerson, a former speechwriter for George W. Bush, later became a popular columnist. His columns appeared for years in the Erie Times-News.

Michael Gerson
Michael Gerson

• A sign has been posted saying “The sidewalk is open” near the construction site of the Richford Hotel addition and the expansion of the Experience Children’s Museum. It’s good to see so many construction projects under way downtown, but you can’t help but feel sorry for businesses like Glass Growers, which seems buried amid all the scaffolding and equipment.

• HBO is running another in its “Hard Knocks” pro football shows, and this one, “Hard Knocks in Season,” features the Arizona Cardinals. It’s been primarily focusing on Arizona quarterback Kyler Murray, although Erie’s James Conner is also getting quite a bit of airtime.

As usual, Conner comes off as the classy veteran and team leader ― just as he was at McDowell High School, the University of Pittsburgh and the Steelers.

• Looks like workers are dredging inside Presque Isle Bay, east of Dobbins Landing. That area has received quite a face-lift in recent years.

• The Cleveland house featured in the popular movie “A Christmas Story” is for sale. Located at 3159 West 11th St. in Cleveland’s Tremont neighborhood, the house also includes five buildings on seven parcels and three parking lots.

More:Iconic house used to film 'A Christmas Story' is up for sale in Cleveland

The current owner, Brian Jones, who invested a lot of money in returning the house to what it looked like when Ralphie lived there, said the new owner must be willing to care for It as a piece of Americana.

Obituary:Carolyn Fischer Bauman

• Her family and many friends are so sorry that Carolyn Fischer Bauman lost her courageous fight against pancreatic cancer. Carolyn was a devoted wife and mother, and also an excellent tennis player. She was only 63 and will be greatly missed.

Kevin Cuneo can be reached at

This article originally appeared on Erie Times-News: Christmas is on the horizon, Legally Blonde comes to the Warner, and more