A stinging pair of cancellations


By Jeff Gates - For The Madison Press



This week, Liztech, an eclectic jewelry hub in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania closed its doors after 34 years of operation. It was one of many stops during the East Coast trip of the self-dubbed “Nerd Herd.”

This week, Liztech, an eclectic jewelry hub in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania closed its doors after 34 years of operation. It was one of many stops during the East Coast trip of the self-dubbed “Nerd Herd.”


Jeff Gates | For The Madison Press

Everyone loves bacon.

Especially when it involves the six degrees of separation — the Kevin Bacon game.

For those unfamiliar, the premise is that almost anything can be tied to the longtime actor who has appeared in a variety of television shows and movies.

One of my many obsessive-compulsive driven hobbies is to take unrelated subjects and try to link them together in some way — in similar fashion to how Kevin Bacon brings us all together.

This last week I found out about the cancellation of two of my favorite things in life.

They of course are two things easily linked — a television show and a store specializing in handmade jewelry.

I have to admit I don’t watch much regular TV. Before the people in my home raise their voices in disagreement, by ‘regular’ I mean the ABC/CBS/NBC/PBS old school conglomeration.

In past decades, shows like “Law and Order” (the original), “Criminal Minds,” and “NCIS” have been intriguing to me because of their problem solving aspect.

Almost four years ago, a show came on the air and quickly became one of my top five favorites of all time.

“Scorpion” took the classic “MacGyver” to a whole new level.

Based somewhat on the real life of the main character, the show centers around the socially-awkward genius, Walter O’Brien, who organizes a group of cerebrally-gifted eccentrics who form Homeland Security’s new think-tank, helping defend against the high-tech threats of the computer age.

Self-Christened ‘Team Scorpion,’ the confident elite problem solvers include a mechanical prodigy, a human calculator, an unstable psychologist, a hard-nosed (and soft-hearted) government official, and a common-sense (and real world translator) woman who keeps them on track.

They became the poster children for geeks everywhere, solving life or death cases at places ranging from high rise buildings to war-torn countries to medieval festivals. And like the Bacon movie, “A Few Good Men,” they were always looking for the truth (and they could usually handle it).

Scorpion — along with the long-running “Big Bang Theory” — has made it okay to be looked at as a geek or nerd. Those two shows have demonstrated what we have known all along — that it is possible to be academically intelligent, extracurricularly involved, and quirky.

My oldest son, Aaron, and a group of his friends reveled in being called the “Nerd Herd,” taking pride in tying together their school smarts with outside interests — often taking conversations on zany Scorpion-esque tangents.

During Spring Break of their senior years at London High School, I had the pleasure of being tour guide for the Nerd Herd east coast tour.

In true eclectic fashion, the trip covered everything from history (9/11 Museum in New York City and various locations in Philadelphia) to entertainment (a Broadway musical) to sports (miniature golf in the Poconos).

Another main stop was the small college town (luckily not to the low standards of the place of higher education portrayed in the Bacon movie, “Animal House”) of East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. My wife and I lived there when we first married decades ago. Staying with our boys’ Godparents, the Herd got to see some old stomping grounds.

One such location was Liztech Studios and Gallery, a homemade jewelry building that was a cornerstone of the arts-driven Pocono community. Liztech was a go-to place for me when purchasing various celebratory gifts for my wife during the seven years I worked at the local university prior to us relocating to London.

Closing its doors one week ago after 34 years, it was a treat to see the intricate and artsy pins and other theme-related items on display. Especially interesting was always a trip to the second floor where all of the magic happened.

Specializing in vintage handcrafted mirrored chrome pieces and handmade glass stones, all of their signature pieces were made by hand, making each a one-of-a-kind piece.

Heavily involved in fundraising efforts for various causes in the East Stroudsburg community, Liztech will be greatly missed.

The two cancellations are loosely tied together if you use your imagination.

If nothing else, it can all come back to bacon.

The Crystal Street Diner has been serving breakfast for at least half a century almost next door to Liztech.

Because … everyone loves bacon.

This week, Liztech, an eclectic jewelry hub in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania closed its doors after 34 years of operation. It was one of many stops during the East Coast trip of the self-dubbed “Nerd Herd.”
https://www.madison-press.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/37/2018/05/web1_Gates-Photo.jpgThis week, Liztech, an eclectic jewelry hub in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania closed its doors after 34 years of operation. It was one of many stops during the East Coast trip of the self-dubbed “Nerd Herd.” Jeff Gates | For The Madison Press

By Jeff Gates

For The Madison Press

Jeff Gates is a contributing writer for The Madison Press.

Jeff Gates is a contributing writer for The Madison Press.

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