Barbed Wire: Belabored Day

While the rest of the working world celebrated a day off for Labor Day, a gossip columnist’s work is never done. Alas, yours truly toiled away yet another holiday weekend, slogging through a slew of celebrity spottings, grinding my way through yet another gourmet restaurant review and trudging through yet another night of tripping the light fantastic.

Move over Norma Rae: It’s time for Rude Rube to organize my own union to combat the unfair labor practices suffered by rumor mongers and professional tattle tales the world over. Why, no one should be forced to drink Absolut martinis while wearing platform sandals and a hip-hugging tube dress for more than eight hours at a time. Here’s to being paid time-and-half for stage diving at the Hardware Bar and being issued standard protective eye gear to stave off beer goggles just after 2 a.m. Solidarnos!

Anyhoots, Friday night proved another hip and happening time in downtown Scranton thanks to yet another uber successful First Friday Art Walk. For starters, I popped over to the AFA Gallery where the creative McGuigan clan – Maureen, Conor and Papa Jack – all held court out in front. From there, I bounded across the Lackawanna – the street, not the river mind you – and headed over to Marquis Art and Frame where the delicious demigod himself – Ken Marquis – was spotted schmoozing amongst admirers wearing a succulent saffron shirt complemented by a stunning smile.

Although Ken’s Outrageous roommate, Paul Nardone, shuttered his Scranton shop and consolidated his Shavertown store into one downtown Wilkes-Barre locale, the Scranton space is now booming thanks to that tasty little vixen, Tracy Ann Anderson, who has since opened The Alley Coffeehouse in that very spot. Let’s just say that java joint sure was jumpin’.

After working up an overly enthusiastic appetite, I sauntered through Courthouse Square as La Festa vendors began setting up shop and parked my derriere outdoors at a street-side table at the carnivorous café known as Carl von Luger’s Steakhouse Thanks to a decadent filet mignon washed down by a robust Malbec, my taste buds punched in for overtime by the time we dove into our decadent desserts. And just when I thought I was ready to clock out, I spied WNEP-TV’s morning reporter Ryan Leckey at a nearby table, sipping a rather massive margarita amongst friends. The tan man was supping with an adorable couple and occasionally they’d be interrupted by fans. The station’s other Ryan – as in meteorologist Ryan Coyle – has permanently left the building, bound for ABC 27 in Harrisburg. He and his new wifey, Tiffany Lane, tied the knot earlier in June and already they’re bound for the big city and even bigger horizons. Best of luck to you in the Capitol, Ryan.

And I had a capital good time at the Labor Day barbecue at Mount Airy Casino Resort. Much to the delight of radio legend Rusty Fender, I managed to dunk Froggy 101′s Crockett in the dunk tank not once but twice with all donations going towards Scranton’s Friendship House.

Although a bit soggy, Crockett remained a good sport. Magic 93′s fun and funky Fran Pantuso also rode the dunk tank for a spell and somehow managed to NOT get her hair wet as she descended into the stormy waters below. Perhaps the delightful deejay mistakenly thought a few card sharks were lurking under the surface?

Let’s hope I don’t get a grievance filed against me for that one.