For the past few weeks, we’ve been highlighting Penguins fans on the FIRST LINE in the fight against Covid-19 on our social media pages (nominate your essential employee, healthcare worker or volunteer here). We wanted to give you a little more info on some of those making a difference, so every Monday we’ll be introducing you to one of those nominees in our FAN FILES feature.
Today, we’re chatting with Larry Saltz.
Are you an essential worker?
Yes. I work as a Paramedic and have been working Full Time in EMS in some capacity since 1989.
For you, what has been the most challenging part of this transition?
The biggest challenge has been teaching my children at home as well as working my full time job. I was working as a substitute teacher part time as well prior to the COVID crisis, but the challenges present now with my wife having to work from home and having to teach my 10 year old and 7 year old at the same time. We have come up with a daily schedule that works for us and we have been doing it since March 16th. The biggest factor is I work night shift 7PM-7AM so that doesn’t afford me much time to sleep.
What hobbies or activities have you focused on while social distancing?
I really enjoy the outdoors so things have been difficult in this regard. We are used to attending sporting events, especially the Pens games. I am a huge racing fan as well and all of that is on hold. We try to do what we can as a family from playing board game, video games, taking walks and practicing their youth sports, basketball, softball and even some hockey! I also enjoy riding my Harley and having a good cigar occasionally.
Is your family, neighbors or community doing anything unique to stay connected?
I wouldn’t say it’s unique but just trying to keep up using social media, Facebook messenger and video just to get some face time in. Also calling our neighbors to make sure they are all okay and if they need anything.
What type of music or artists do you listen to?
We have always listened to contemporary Christian music and attend concerts by them on a frequent basis. Some have been rescheduled and we attended the recent Roadshow Tour concert at the arena just prior to the stay at home order. Some of our favorite artists are, For King and Country, Jordan Felix, Casting Crowns, Toby Mac and Lauren Daigle.
When you are home, what are your favorite snacks?
Popcorn is always a favorite. When the weather warms up we enjoying making s’mores in the backyard. We are trying new recipes that we see and having the girls help making them.
Do you have a book, recipe or TV recommendation?
Right now I am reading a biography of Neil Armstrong called First Man The Life of Neil A. Armstrong by James R. Hansen. As for TV, the girls are always watching children’s shows but we have started watching a few shows in conjunction with their home studies. One is the Our Planet series and the other is an animated series called Liberty’s Kids, it is the story of our Founding Fathers and the events leading up to the Revolutionary War. I find both of the series entertaining and educational as well.
Do you have any suggestions that may help others physically or emotionally?
My biggest recommendation for people is to turn off the news. Spend time with your family and do what is suggested for social distancing and personal hygiene. People get so caught up in the 24/7 news that it truly affects their emotional state. If you are spending too much time watching it can get depressing. Warmer weather is coming, so get outside and away from the TV.
What’s your favorite hockey memory?
That’s an easy one. I have been an avid hockey fan since the late 80’s. I was introduced to hockey by a high school friend who was attending Drexel University in Philadelphia and I have been a Flyers fan ever since, sorry not sorry! My favorite memory though is attending the very first game here in my home at the First Union Arena at that time, our brand new team, the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins against the Kentucky Thoroughblades. It was great to see the level of excitement and energy for a sport that I had been following for some time. I enjoy making new memories with my daughters every time we go to a game.
When hockey returns, what excites you most?
The whole thing! Attending games in person and the level of access the fans have to the players at the AHL level. My girls go down to high five the players when they come out for warm ups, they participate in Kids Club activities and of course they love to eat! They enjoy the Fan Fridays and the post game autograph sessions. We participated in the Pens and Pins event last year and we are really going to miss it this year. Anthony Angello was great with my two girls and my nephew. He was very personable and was even showing my daughter how to shoot and stick handle. It will be nice to get back to this sense of normalcy when this is all over, we miss it!