Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Heat Is On!


Summer begins to reappear....not that it's been that cool, but what little rain we received greened up the grass, but not enough to mow.....maybe tomorrow I'll do it. Highs in the low to mid 90s with no rain in sight for the next few days.

First round baseball draft pick, Cory Luebke, from Marion Local(Hal coached him for awhile one summer)and Ohio State, moves up to Class A Fort Wayne from the Rookie League, Eugene team of the San Diego Farm System.....Cory will start in Fort Wayne tomorrow night, too bad Patricia and I have tickets for Thursday noon...when the heat will really be on. The plan for me then is to head out Friday for the Twin Cities.

Hal working in DC today, then New Jersey before driving back with the Celina Moving truck.....Sam meanwhile took an RV run to "Beautiful Downtown" Burbank, California, and is heading across Indiana as I type....he'll drop that off Friday if all goes as planned, then fly back to Chicago and head for home.

Not much going on in my world...worked in Greenville this morning, haircut, and took Hal's car up for a look-see at his stuck door latch, I do not have the patience for that minor pain in the neck stuff....either that or I'm just lazy.

Last day of July, 10 days until my first football scrimmage.....ankle is healing, but I have other pains.....and the lack of working out probably doesn't help....old or not, I will press on.

8 Years ago today

________________Heading out to Mt Vernon(Miller), Missouri...Sam is finishing up his week at Mickey Owens Baseball School....we will watch his last games, motel, then head for Florida. The past 2 years(97 & 98) we have split time between my childhood hometown of Venice and Key West(the freak show)....this year Venice and the Inn at the Beach gets the main part of the Vacation.

On a lucky hunch, I decided to get tickets to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays game with Cleveland....Wade Boggs was pressing for 3000 hits when I ordered tickets, as we left Venice for St Pete, he needed 3 hits and our game was up.

V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N in a nutshell......

Sam batted over .300 but really didn't love the place(unlike Hal would the next year, he loved it)....Florida was hot(hey, it's July-August) and rather wet....but we got our pool and beach time in. Boggs got his 3 hits, and we had our video camera there to record it....Hit #3000 was a rare Boggs home run.....we were indeed lucky to catch this right, just on a whim. Got back to Celina on August 7th...had to get the dogs out of the kennel, pay $1100 for a new Central Air unit.....and was pretty much broke the rest of the summer...Hal returned just in time to start his final football season at Celina....at that time he was 5' 6" and about 145, a Sophomore.....he concentrated on baseball the rest of his high school days...even though growing by 100 lbs and 9 or 10 inches, as he finished off his senior year.( he has settled in at 6' 3 1/2" and about 250 at Wright State) Sam meanwhile gave up High School baseball as he entered his senior year.....why? You would have to ask him.....but he stayed close to the game and enters his 7 year as a High School umpire(working with me on many occasions during the season), after graduation from Harry Wendelstadt Umpire School in Daytona Beach in 2001.

Picking up the Airedales from the Pet Center....Reagan was just a year old(7/6/98) and her dad Jack was not yet 3(8/16/96)....now they are getting up there in the twilight of their dog lives...but still kicking.


Monday, July 30, 2007

Summer winds down

I know, I know, it's still July, but with the end of the Lake Festival, I usually consider summer to be on the wane. Variety was the theme today....drove down to Greenville and put in my hour or so...then back to plug the results into the spread sheet...over to mom's to pick up brother Mike and head to the Columbus VA Out-patient Clinic...results were about the same, come back in 2 months and continue to go easy on the leg...does not look good, more surgery may be the end result. Stopped by his daughter Lori's place in Gahanna, and took my first look at my 2nd Grand Niece, Olivia...she is 2 months old. After a brief visit, Mike and I headed for Waldo, Ohio....Waldo is interesting for several reasons....lying about 23 miles north of Columbus on the Marion-Delaware County line...Waldo is famous for G&R Tavern with it's world famous Bologna Sandwiches....and don't bother thinking yeck...."I hate baloney"....these are fixed the way you want them, and taste nothing like store wrapped or deli bologna...washed those down with a Miller Lite each, and headed out of town...had to stop by the Waldo Cemetery to show brother the graves of our forefathers...the Houseworth clan lived in Waldo in the 1860-1890 peroid, and GG-Grandmother Ursala and a number of her kids and cousins are planted in the ground there.....It's one of the few Ohio towns where the small Houseworth Clan has deep roots....my Great-Grandparents married and lived there before moving northwest to Paulding County.

After Waldo we wound our way through the back roads of central and western Ohio before arriving back in Celina around 6PM.

On a much sadder note, I read in the paper than a Well Contractor whom I worked with and have known for many years lost his 16 year old son in a Saturday night car crash, not far from his rural Willshire home.....the young man was a catcher on the Parkway baseball team, and as a umpire I had stood behind him on several occasions this season while working the plate.....sad, sad, indeed, I pray for the comfort for Jim and his family.

I just don't believe 16 year olds are old enough to make good driving decisions...speed on a rural road appears to be the cause of this tragedy, and it really sucks.....I believe nighttime driving should be limited until 18.....unless a work permit and set hours are part of the process.

37 years ago

________________Really didn't/don't plan on dropping this a year with each post, but it just is working out that way for now.....

July 1, 1970 was the day I arrived home from Vietnam....took the "freedom bird" from Tan Son Nhut to San Francisco(Travis AFB), then grabbed a red eye to Chicago...and a morning flight to Dayton.

I had 39 days leave(30 leave, 9 days travel) before I had to get to my unwanted next base, Griffiss AFB in Rome, New York.....just what I didn't want, a cold sorry, SAC Base with Gung HO lifers, and me with no interest in what they had to say or do....it would be a long 20 months until discharge.....I planned on living it up as a civilian wannabee until early August.

To get it started, I took in the 3rd ever game at Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati, (with dad, one of the few things we did those last years together, besides a couple of fishing days)...brand new then, hard to believe it's been gone for 6 or 7 years already. After that, things were pretty much a blurr...didn't save up enough money in Nam for that new Plymouth Roadrunner I wanted, so settled for a 1968 Mercury Cyclone...it got the job done. Spent the rest of the leave drinking hard, driving fast, usually with my neighbor and classmate Jerry Jones....Jonsey had a new 70 Dodge Charger 440 six pack....that thing did run, by the time I headed back to the Air Force, Jerry had his licensed pulled....seems we decided to cruise Main Street in Celina, and Jerry pulled a "hole shot" for about 3 blocks through a couple of lighted intersections....by the time we got home a few hours later, the County Deputy was waiting on us.....Jerry was busted for reckless op and evading....so much for the fast times....we used the Cyclone the rest of the month, and I kept it down speed wise....but that didn't stop us from the party life...I also had a couple of dates with old acquaintances....after over a year from any interaction with the opposite sex, I was like a shy 6th grader....so much for the returning warrior....lol.

All-in-all a summer(or part of one) to remember....the rest of my Air Force time until May 72 would be a time to forget....I headed off to Rome, NY, in my Cyclone about August 7, 1970, would report for duy a couple of days later.


July 30, 2007

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Lake Festival winds down

Don't even know why I should call this thread Lake Festival? Have not been up town for the entire event...will go up this morning to fetch the Lima News for mom, seems she, as well as Patricia, is sick...don't know what it is with these summer "colds", but I want no part of them.

Blew off most of the plans for yesterday, no Tiki, ankle not up to the 2 mile walk, then another 2 miles back after a few beers, down the dark, limb strewn bike path, was just not in the cards...good thing for festival goers, the rains missed us completly.

Back to Greenville tomorrow, for my two days-a-week gig at GTI....then will take Mike to the VA Clinic in Columbus, stopping(at least that's the plan) off to see his daughters and their young ones.

Talked with my buddy Jim Olson in Minot, ND, last night, he wants to trade me for a Pete Rose autograph...if I can dig it out, what the heck? Plans are for me and Nick Hromish to head to the Twin Cities next Friday to meet up with Jim and another guy for the Twins-Cleveland weekend series.....

87 and sunny is today's forecast.....excuse me while I work on the format for this blog/diary.

38 years ago
_________________I was just completing my first month in Vietnam, at Nha Trang AB. Actually had a pretty good gig, A(Day)Flight Law Enforcement, worse things in Vietnam than being a Air Force Cop...dangerous? As I look back, yes...but it wasn't like being a ground pounding grunt...my cousin Jack Poling had been killed the previous July, and before that, my brother Mike's best friend, Kim Deeter, was killed in a firefight in April 1968....that was the main reason I had opted to join, rather than let my name come up for the draft...no gung-ho warrior was I.

I do credit Vietnam with turning me from the non-confrontational type of guy(wimp?) I was, into a "you can kiss my ass" guy that really didn't give a rat if you were a little bigger than me or not, I was not going to put up with your BS...that got me in a few fights as the years passed, never remember losing, because I was smart enough to know when defuse the situation, if needed. But in July 1969, I was still a "newbie" and just getting my legs on the ground...the most interesting year of my life was just beginning.


Saturday, July 28, 2007

July 28, 2007

Celina, Ohio
Fog High 85


Lake Festival Day 2

The rain missed the Celina area once again, grass is starting to green up, but we are still far short of what we need.....buy hey, I'm not a wet weather fan, so I'll take it a little on the dry side....just a 30% chance of a storm today, looking good for the annual Festival Parade, which of course I won't be viewing....may head up to the car show later this morning.

Hal, the youngest son, is in a softball tourney up at the park starting this morning, after umpiring close to 80 games since March, I may or may not walk up that way.....not much else on the agenda until Monday, when I take brother Mike to the VA in Columbus for his broken leg checkup...will do that after finishing up at GTI in Greenville in the early AM.

Patricia has managed to come down with a sinus infection, she has had several over the past few years, for someone who used to never get sick, I'm sure she hates that.

39 Years Ago Today
____________________Not sure what I was doing on July 28, 1968, but I can tell you for sure it wasn't all that much fun. Was about 1/2 way through Basic Training at Amarillo Air Force Base, Texas. As I remember AAFB, hot, dry, days and cooler moon filled nights. Getting up at 4 or so each morning was a pain, especially after I had spent the previous 12 months or so, drinking almost every night, in my 18-19 year old party mood. As I look back at the workouts SSgt Joe Prokop(our TI)gave us...they don't seem all that tough, I'm sure they were nothing compared to the training the Grunts and Jar Heads were getting.

I survived Basic Training, was shipped to Lackland AFB, in San Antonio, in August, for Security Police School. I would meet Joe Prokop again in December 1969, when I arrived at Tan Son Nhut AB Saigon, RVN....seems Joe(who died in Wisconsin in 2005), was a AF Cop as well....he had taken 2 years off to become a pretty damn good Drill Instructor.


Friday, July 27, 2007

July 27, 2007

July 27, 2007

Celina, Ohio

Thought for Today:

What the heck am I doing, starting a personal diary blog at 58 years old, and how will I keep it up?

Lake Festival Weekend Begins

Up early with daughter Anissa, Ness is handicapped and an early riser, so letting Patricia sleep in, and I'm getting ready to shower. Will leave at 8:15 or so, heading to Dayton to pick up oldest son Sam...he is on his way back from dropping a RV off at the Baltimore docks for shipment to Italy, no cheap airfare from Maryland, so he is "Busing" it, nasty way to travel, but sometimes in the RV delivery work a necessary evil. I do it as seldom as possible, usually on Southern California trips, I will grab a bus to Vegas and fly out of there....but avoid them otherwise....nasty, nasty, nasty, way to go.

Usually avoid the Lake Festival for the most part, the festival started back in the 1930s, was stopped during the war years, then around 1960(just before we moved here) it was kicked into service again, always the last full weekend in July. This year, I may walk the 2 blocks to the Celina Insurance parking lot to view the classic cars, other than that, I plan on heading out to the Tiki(old Lakefront Racquet Club) Bar and have a beer with Wulfie after the parade, which I will avoid at all costs.

We have had a very dry summer, almost drought-like, but the past few days have seen some rain showers, although Celina has gotten less than the rest of west central and northwest Ohio....with a 60% chance of thunderstorms tonight, the planned fireworks on the western waters of Grand Lake could have some extra lights.

The right ankle sprain I managed to put on myself last Sunday(just after my final umpire gig for the season) is still swollen, but getting better, with just 2 weeks left before the start of football scrimmage officiating work, I need it to be better than it is now...at my age, it's hard enough to get up and down the field, especially since I really have slacked off my workout routine, something else that needs to change...although my days of lifting heavy weights are probably done, more reps, less pounds is the goal....also once the ankle is healed, I need to get back on track and do some decent walking.

So this is it, the blog/diary begins.

40 years ago today
_______________________1967 was called "The Summer of Love", the Hippies and Anti-War Nuts were in full bloom, for me, no love, just the summer after graduation from Celina High, that I spent paying off mom, after wrecking my brother's Dodge.  Mike had headed off to Thailand, and let me use his fine 64 push button 318....Rick Pearson, Phil Schmidt, and I headed up to Cedar Point Amusement Park on July 4th, we made it home July 5th, after a night in the Wood County Jail...the Dodge followed a few days later. Wrecked it on US 6 coming back from Sandusky, of course I failed to tell the folks that I was taking it that far. Anyway the roll job cost about $600 and my freedom for the summer, no I wasn't grounded, I was already out of school and 18 years old, but being 18 I was also pretty damn broke, had to borrow the bucks from mom, and spent the rest of the summer giving her my Huffy paychecks to pay the repair bill. The next 9 months before joining the Air Force went well(despite another wreck with the Dodge, this one not my fault), but "The Summer of Love" was not, at least for me.


27 July 2007