Julie D. Imel

Writing ● Editing ● Content Creation

Hula Hoop Dreams

They say that “to hoop is to smile with your body.” Those are words to live by for the founders of the Whirligig Hoopers, Jennifer Hill and Susan Anderson. When we first met these hoop dancing friends back in November of 2010, they had just begun offering hoop dancing classes in the Wyoming Valley and their hoop jams in the park were starting to take off. Nothing beats spending a sunny afternoon in the park with friends hooping under the shade of a beautiful old cherry blossom tree. At that time, word was also beginning to spread about their artistic and practical handmade hoops, too. Like any sport or artform, one needs the right equipment and tools for the job, and hooping is no different. Photo by Tom Bonomo. Cover design by Eric Toffey.

Spinning Yarns

When it comes to the art of storytelling, it seems folks in the Electric City can really appreciate a great tale. Zoe McNichols introduced Scrantonians to the area’s first StorySlam in March and the event received rave reviews. A second Scranton StorySlam will be held on Saturday, June 30, at 7:30 p.m. at the Banshee, 320 Penn Ave. We recently caught up with the McNichols family—Zoe and her parents, Pam and Ed, who have been working in conjunction with Maureen McGuigan, deputy director of arts and culture in Lackawanna County, to keep this new tradition alive in the area. Photo by Tom Bonomo. Cover design by Eric Toffey.

Looking Back: Jenna Fischer’s thoughts on 9 seasons of The Office

Every office needs a “Pam” to keep things running smoothly. Just imagine the state of Dunder Mifflin without her ... Yikes! We shudder at the thought. As we prepare to bid farewell to our pals at The Office, we caught up with Jenna Fischer to talk about her experience playing Pam (Beesly) Halpert on the hit NBC comedy. We quickly found out that she’s as charming and witty off camera as she is on camera. Cover design by Eric Toffey.

Blog What You Know

If you’re a fan of The Office, then you probably already know Jennie Tan (AKA “the Tanster”). Tan’s blog, OfficeTally, averages 20,000 page views a day, and has been viewed more than 76 million times. The fansite features everything you need to know to stay up-to-date on everything — and everyone—at The Office. (Check it out at www.officetally.com). We recently caught up with the most famous Office blogger to talk about, what else, all things Office. Cover design by Eric Toffey.

Dive In! Celebrate the Joys and Benefits of Chocolate

When it comes to understanding the chemistry and nutrition of chocolate, Dr. Joe Vinson’s findings are just delicious. The University of Scranton professor is an expert on chocolate and antioxidants who enjoys sharing the news that chocolate (in moderation, of course) isn’t bad for your health. In fact, it’s actually good for you. Can you hear the collective sigh of relief from chocoholics across the land? With 36 million people receiving heart-shaped boxes of chocolate on Valentine’s Day, this is indeed good news. Cover design by Eric Toffey.

Beauty of Shakespeare

Theater has always been, and always will be, a part of life for Marie Casey Philbin, of Scranton, and Camille Reinecke, of Dunmore. The two enjoyed being part of the cast of the first Scranton Shakespeare Festival at Nay Aug Park last year and they say they’re honored to join the festival again this year, which runs from June 27 to 30. This year’s production of Comedy of Errors will bring a new interpretation to the Shakespearean classic filled with themes of mistaken identity and comedic twists and turns.

The Wonderful Story of Planters Peanuts

You just can’t help but smile when you see Mr. Peanut. We see images of the iconic character who represents Planters Peanuts with distinguished style and good taste (pun intended) everywhere – from the company’s unmistakable, classic cans of peanuts to the pages of Facebook. This delightful character, who was created by a 12-year-old boy in 1916, is timeless; as is the success story of the men who brought Planters Peanuts to life, Amedeo Obici and Mario Peruzzi.

In Good Humor

It takes a brave woman to agree to be the subject of a community roast in front of family, friends and colleagues. And, make no mistake, Scranton’s Laurie Cadden is ready for her big night. Friends will roast Cadden on Thursday, April 12, at the Scranton Cultural Center, as part of an annual fundraising tradition for the Kiwanis Club of Scranton. Celebrating its 95th anniversary this year, club members are working diligently to ensure this year’s celebration is extra special. (And by working diligently, we mean staying up late at night drafting delightfully funny copy to tease their friend). Photo of Laurie Cadden by Julie Jordan Photography. Cover design by Eric Toffey.

Bundle Up and Belly Up

Step inside the Winter Garden Ice Bar at Damenti’s Restaurant in Mountain Top, and a frozen world of flora, fauna and hand-carved fun await you. Chef/owner, and expert ice carver, Kevin McDonald and his team of world class ice sculptors have transformed a bocce court in the restaurant’s back yard into a true work of art. After spending just a few minutes with Mc- Donald, who describes himself as a “slice of P.T. Barnum, a pinch of Peter Pan and a dash of Mel Brooks,” it’s easy to see that his approach to ice carving is one that encompasses wild creativity, a great sense of humor and a fearless spirit.