Jay Beeler

Happy Holidays? Maybe next year as this one has been a bummer for many people, us included.

While we still enjoy spending limited time with family members – especially the grandkids – we miss that personal contact with extended family, co-workers, friends and neighbors. The good news is that a vaccine is on the way and this pandemic should be greatly reduced by next summer.

Suddenly we’ve had more time on our hands to learn new computer software and explore its features. Given the popularity of sharing computer screens during Zoom sessions, we devoted some time to creating two informative videos. Any organization with a website should include videos like ours to add pizazz to its web pages.

The first one is called “30 Hats.” It’s about 20 minutes long and demonstrates the various jobs that I’ve had prior to becoming a newspaper publisher as well as lessons learned from those jobs, with a little bit of humor injected. You can see it on the main page, bottom right corner, at

My motivation for doing this was a recent request to give a speech before a local group. I figured that “30 Hats” – using the Zoom technology and VideoStudio – would be a good way to outline a talk for any organization desperate enough to hear my babblings.

The second one is called “Beeler Ink.” It’s four minutes long and demonstrates a sampling of the public relations, advertising and publishing projects that we’ve created during the past 42 years. The fun part is “The Typewriter Song” background music performed by Erich Kunzel and the Rochester Pops. The main presentation was created in PowerPoint, then finished in VideoStudio with an intro and exit that scrolls credits to team members involved with those projects. You can see this production at the bottom of page one at


The holidays during this pandemic are a challenge. This was the first year that our immediate family ordered the entire Thanksgiving meal from The Grand, picked it up hot and ready-to-eat late Thursday morning and took the four large boxes to our daughter’s home in Rancho Mission Viejo.

Three minutes out she called to say our granddaughter was running a fever and needed to be tested at the nearby urgent care center. Needless to say, we kept our distance from 8-year-old Lyla and the rest of her family. We dined outside on a wonderful meal, basking in the warm sun. We were delighted to learn two days later that the COVID-19 test came back negative.

We are considering a similar meal approach at Christmas. Jim Choura, operator of The Grand, told me this week they’ll be offering a prime rib package. TGIS Catering is another good source for packaged, ready-to-eat meals and both companies are members of the Executives Association of Long Beach, of which I am the current president. Check out what each has to offer at and

Considering that the meals are low cost, taste great and offer a clean kitchen afterward, this is a great way to enjoy the holidays so that you can spend more time with family.


We were saddened to learn of the Monday, Nov. 30, passing due to brain cancer of Fran Blowitz, 76, the wife of former Grunion Gazette owner John Blowitz and the sister to Beachcomber advertising representative Dick Landau.

As an advertising agency we supplied ads on behalf of clients to John and Fran, who owned the Gazette from 1981 until 2004. When we purchased the Beachcomber in 2000, John was supportive with tips and suggestions for this new competitor.

They wisely sold their paper after 23 years to a newspaper chain for “something less than $10 million,” according to sources. Let’s see, they have 32 pages each issue and we have 12 pages, which means we’re about one-third their size. In three more years, we’ll reach our 23rd anniversary and gleefully retire for one-third of the Grunion’s selling price!


And we’ll end this commentary with a very heavy heart over the passing of my eldest sibling, Joyce Morissette on Wednesday evening in Chicopee, Mass., at the age of 83. She has been in a nursing home for several years following a brain aneurysm. We were alerted to her failing health on Sunday by my other sister, Margaret Honodel, of Waynesboro, Penna., and brother Tom, who lives in Anacortes, Wash.

Joyce married Donald Joseph Morissette, Sr., in 1960 while I was attending high school in Waynesboro. He was a U.S. Army chaplain’s assistant at nearby Ft. Ritchie, Md. (near Camp David) and swept her away to live in Chicopee Falls.

Together they raised Jeanne (Nowak) and Donald Joseph Morissette, Jr. They both became Chicopee peace officers before she retired and Joe later following in his father’s footsteps as a (now assistant) principal at Chicopee Comprehensive High School.

I have fond memories of driving our mother, Rieman Beeler,  to Massachusetts to see those babies in the early 60s. Husband/father Samuel E. Beeler passed in 1956. Who could possibly forget trying to navigate from Waynesboro to Chicopee via New York City? “Look for the Bronx Zoo and you’ll find the expressway,” the natives would say as we continued to be lost.

Don Sr. passed away in 2009, which brought many of the Beeler family members together for a final farewell. We sincerely regret that our clan can’t gathered together this year of the coronavirus to properly celebrate Joyce’s life. But she will live in our hearts forever.


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