John P. Burkhart

This is the post excerpt.



The fun family stories and individuals of local interaction are at the bottom, so you have to scroll down.

At Least I Tried!

To the few that have read some of my pathetic little stories, I am just letting you know that after May 6, 2019, my Blog:  Shut Up John! will end.  What I “think” is funny is from a person who is way out of the loop.  I shall just take each day one at a time and enjoy life in my own style.

Thanks for the few comments and many thanks for letting me know that I am really not a blogging individual.

In Memory of my brother, Bob!


We all know that the only constant is change.  What we do not know is when major change in our lives hits us as a total surprise.

Thursday October 4th, I received a call from one of my brother’s friend, Justin Mounts and he informed me that Bob was in the hospital and that 2 other friends of Bob would be calling me later that evening after they arrived at the hospital to see him.

I called Bill and Sharron as they had just arrived at the hospital and confirmed that they would call after their visit.  Approximately 30 minutes later, they called to inform me the Bob had died at 8:30 Las Vegas Time, 11:30 Eastern Time.

All night I just could not stop thinking about so many things related to my brother and remembered that the last time I actually saw him was when he visited me last year. 

It was Hockey season, and we went to All Patti’s to watch a Penguins game.  Barb Riley took the above pictures.  I am happy to share them with family and friends.  Bob was 9 years younger than I and he definitely was a very wonderful individual!

My cousin, Tom Smith informed me that Bob was suffering with Endocarditis and Bob never mentioned anything regarding his health to me via E-mail, phone or when he visited me.

Sharing jokes one should “hear” not read!

  1. Did you know that you cannot “run” through a campground?  It is “ran” through a campground because it is “Past Tents”!
  2. What do you call 4 Hispanic people in quicksand?  In English:  “Four Five”               In Spanish:  “Cuatro Cinco”
  3. Did you know that scientists have found out why Chameleons are having trouble changing colors?  They are suffering from “Reptile Dysfunction”!
  4. Do you know the nickname for a “German Virgin”?  “Good and tight”!
  5. Did you hear about the 2 Peanuts that were walking down the street last evening?  One was “a salted”!
  6. What is an Amish Girl’s Dream?  “Two men a night!”

The Cup……Results!

Well I took upon myself to be more involved with the Penguins in the playoffs, so I did my first ever beard.  I shall say it was “Good”.


The Penguins did not make it to the finals, but just for fun I had my beard darkened just to see what it may have look many years ago.  I shall say it is “Better”.


For the finals, most Penguin fans were favoring the Las Vegas Golden Knights, because of Marc-Andre Fleury.  It was a good first season for the Knights but the Capitals won.  Then it was time to shave my face and get back to my “Best”.


PS  Thank you Tammy for taking the pictures!

Sayre House Humor and Beyond

The last 4 years, 2 months and 3 weeks of my Dad’s life were spent at a nursing home called Sayre House.  It was a needed change since living in a two story home had become difficult in his condition.

The nurses, aids and doctors were good at the facility.  Since I had come home to help out years before Dad was admitted, I would still help and go in the morning to help Dad with his breakfast.  I also worked with the Activity Director on projects offered to all the residents that wanted to have some fun with arts and crafts.

Since the type of Parkinson’s my Dad had made him clench his fists tight and he had some slight dementia, I would help feed him his breakfast.  He did not always know who I was but that did not matter to me.  I knew who he was and took it all in stride.

One morning, when I came to help with his breakfast, Dad kept telling me that I needed to help him with a project.  There were a number of cars that needed to be moved quickly that morning.  He kept mentioning it even as I was getting ready to leave.  He sounded very frustrated that I would not help him move all the cars.

After I left my Dad’s room, I stopped by the main desk and mentioned the story my Dad had mentioned to me and asked the staff if they knew what it was all about.  Come to find out, with all the physical issues my Dad was experiencing, his hearing was still good.  One of the staff nurses had been sharing a story about her husband’s work load for that day with another employee in the hallway near my Dad’s room.  He heard the story, thought it was his problem and believed I could help him out.

From that day forward, I would jokingly check in at the main desk to ask the nurses and/or aids what stories they may have told in the hallways that my Dad may have heard before I went to his room to help with his breakfast.

Beyond the above, one year when the Redskin Awards were being given out, my Dad was one of five to be awarded by the Sayre Area Joint High School.  My Dad was a track star back in the 30’s and still held the record for the mile.  With my Dad now needing a wheel chair to get around, we were required to make special transportation arrangements with the Activity Director at Sayre House to transport Dad to and from the event in a Med=Van.

Before the awards were given out, there was a wonderful dinner and a few guest speakers from Sayre High School.  It was a fun time for Dad to interact with the many individuals that stopped by his table to say hello and wish him well.  He was always a people person.

The 4 other recipients were first to be presented with their awards and each spoke for 10 to 15 minutes, thanking the committee, school and sharing stories related to their past and present life.  When my Dad got to the podium to receives his award, he said:  “I have learned over the years that if I speak too much, I get into trouble, so I will just say, Thank You!”

He got a standing ovation.  That’s my Dad!


Good Memories Regarding Dad

When I was growing up, there were many positive experiences that my Father shared with me regarding owning a home.  The number one lesson is that all projects for the home are never really done and until you start, you will not know the scope of any actual project.  There will always be something that will need attention.  Be sure to do the projects methodically from start to finish.  Short cuts will not help in the long run, so if it takes more time to complete a project, at least it will be done correctly the first time.

On day, I slammed the side door closed at our house, and the glass in the upper part of the door shattered.  Since I did the damage, Dad took the time to teach me how to replace the glass in the door.  After we cleaned out all the broken glass and took the actual measurement of the needed replacement glass, we went to a local store to buy the glass.

Then the process began with inserting the glass, using the special metal triangle clips to hold the glass in the wood frame and caulking the edge of the glass near the wood frame.  After the caulk had time to harden, the actual painting could be done to finish the project.  It took time , I learned a lot and I never slammed the side door shut again!

Many years later when I returned home to help both Mom and Dad, there were several projects that really needed special attention at the house.  Number one was the total redo of the half bath on the first floor located in the kitchen area.  The house was built-in 1902 and the half bath still had dated electrical wiring.  So I removed everything down to the bare floor and studs.

With all that needed to be done, wiring, venting, taping and mudding the sheet rock, sanding, priming and painting, I worked hard to get things back in order in a timely manner.  The 24 hour drying time between the three coats of mud cannot be rushed and code inspections added additional time.  Once in a while, Dad would come and sit in the doorway and ask me questions about the project.  His number one question was how did I know how to do all the different work.

My Dad was suffering from Parkinson’s Disease.  He had forgotten all that he had taught me while I was growing up and my 25 plus years working in Retail Visual Merchandising and Store Design.  Be that as it may, when the project was finally completed, he was not happy with one of the final additions.  On the walls to the left and right of the new higher rise toilet, I installed the ADA metal bars to assist one on and/or off the toilet.  He said he did not want to use that bathroom at all.  He was a very proud man but I told his he did not have to use the bars.  They were just there in case someone did need them.