Friday, August 31, 2007

Travel Time/Jobs I have known

8:50 PM

Here goes....Jumped in the Jeep and headed up to Nappanee, Indiana, (about 120 miles NW of Celina) this morning to pick up one of two RVs that I will be delivering to a post Labor Day show at the Hershey Chocolate World grounds in Hershey, PA...and I thought New Orleans was Chocolate City...guess I was misinformed. So I will officiate a JV football game at St Henry tomorrow, watch a little college football(Ohio State's new starting QB is from St Henry, where the wife teaches), then head out and make my way towards Pennsylvania. Will deliver RV#1 Sunday AM, come home...stay the night, then head back to Nappanee Monday pick up RV#2 then run that back to Hershey...getting home, if all goes well(they or the Jeep have broken down before), Tuesday evening sometime.....will work in Greenville Thursday and Friday of next week, rather than the usual Monday-Tuesday set-up.

0-49 years ago

_____________Did you ever look back and(being old enough) remember exactly how many jobs you have held in your life? My dad passed away about 35 years ago(this coming Christmas Eve 1972).....Mom will on occasion recall just how many jobs the Old Man had during his career....a mechanic by trade, Stan Houseworth was never without a job....but he did switch quite often....I think mom counted about 31 different jobs in their 27 years of marriage....I used to smile about that wanderlust way....however, thinking back...I've had my share in the past 49 years of my 58 years on this is a quick list:

Toss in first the 20 years I spent as a Environmental Health major career, spending 8 years in Mercer County(Ohio), and the final 12 as Director in my birth county of Van Wert....20 years as a bureaucrat was more than enough...I enjoyed the job, but let's face it, enforcing rules and laws in which you didn't believe in 75 or 80% of, 20 years was plenty.

The rest....from the start, the ones I remember:

paper carrier-9 years old-Venice, Florida

carry out groceries-16-18-Marsh Supermarkets-Celina, Ohio

Bike Factory(Huffy)18-19-Celina, Oho

(a) several different jobs there

US Air Force Security Police-19 to 23 years old

Dover, DE, Nha Trang RVN, Tan Son Nhut RVN, Griffiss(Rome) NY

Back to the Bike Factory 1 more year

Metal Sheet Factory 2 weeks

School Janitor 1 year age 24

Bar Tender/Bouncer 2 years The Red Door, age 25-26 Celina, Ohio

College-Athens and Nelsonville, Ohio

Pizza Delivery Guy-Van Wert, Ohio

Broadcast School -Wausau, WI


Ski Lift Operator-Wausau..finally reached 30

Broadcasting Jobs fulltime age 30-34

Stations WRIG Wausau DJ/WJMT Merrill, WI DJ/WIOU Kokomo, IN Morning News Anchor/KGNO/KDCK Dodge City, KS News Director/WCSM Celina, Ohio Program and Sports Director, Morning DJ. Part-time gigs TV News Anchor Cable 7 News Ohio/Sports Play-by-Play WKSD Van Wert and Paulding, Ohio...........WHEW!

Since "retirement" in 2002

RV Delivery, ave delivered in 46 states(Alaska, Hawaii, South Dakota, and Vermont are the exceptions)

High School and American Legion baseball umpire(since 2000)

High School and Rec football official(2006)

and Inventory and spread sheet work as a private contractor.

And I'm sure I left out a few part-time gigs while in college and the Air Force...couple more bar tending gigs, sold typewriters(whatever the Hell they are?) matter your education level, and believe me I used my GI Bill up and more....I bet when you think back, you've had more jobs that you really ever thought about.

OK...back and forth between Indiana, Ohio, and Chocolate City for the next 4 days...

[photo: this is RV#1 a mid price 40 footer from Gulf Stream..sitting in my drive-way until I head out late tomorrow afternoon].


Thursday, August 30, 2007

10 years ago


Everybody has vices, whether a sinning Christian like me, or a hard core agnostic, like my VSPA buddy Mark...don't know what his are, but voting liberal Democrat seems to be a big enough vice for any one person to bear.

I have a few(too many) know doubt....sometimes I drink a few more Miller Lites than necessary(is any of it really necessary?), I like an expensive bottle of Drambuie on occasion, my wife and daughter usually supply me with a bottle for birthday and Christmas...those don't last long, and at $40 a bottle, I don't see many of them.

About 10 years ago in the early fall of 1997 I fell in love with fine hand rolled favorites include Don Carlos #2 torpedo, Indian Tabac, and several others....much like the Drambuie, hand rolled cigars are expensive, especially the AF Don Carlos #2s..they run from $11 to $14 needless to say, I smoke em' if a friend buys one for me....I usually buy my favorites(excluding the DCs) from a Cigar clearing house and spend from $30-$50 a box(25), or I go down to the local Low Bob's Discount outlet and pay a couple of bucks for a decent smoke[like the one in the photo].

Don't get me wrong, I like good cigars, but only smoke between 40 and 50 per year... don't inhale(you always get some secondary smoke), don't smoke in my car(occasionally the jeep when returning from a RV run), don't smoke in the house, and don't smoke where they can bother anybody else...usually that means, sitting either on the front porch, back steps, or out by Grand Lake on a picnic bench. I also only smoke in nice weather....which means...I smoke a couple of cigars a week between the months of May and October, outside, usually with a Miller Lite and listening to the Cincinnati Reds game on radio.

Life's small vices....we all have em', some just won't admit it.....GUILTY I AM!
[photo...A Churchhill, my marble ashtray, my QC VSPA Cap, my Zippo from Nha Trang, and a cutter from my favorite cigar outlet, The Cigar Room, on Highway 41 in my childhood home of Venice, Florida]


On The Road Again

1:30 pm

Since Baseball season began(March) I've been limited in my RV delivery runs across the US. With working a couple of mornings as an independent contractor down in Greenville, baseball and football runs have been short miles and few. Tried to get a Vegas run over the Labor Day, but with a big RV Show in Hershey, PA...I will run back and forth for the next few days doing the schedule is. Football tonight, run the 120 miles to Nappanee tomorrow, come home, Football Saturday morning, leave late Saturday afternoon, after the Ohio State crowd leaves Columbus, drive towards Pennsylvania...drop RV #1 off Sunday, come back back over to Nappanee on Monday, deliver RV#2 to the show lot on back home....and rest up....will work a Thursday and Friday at Greenville.....

So much for the "retired" life.....great thing is, you pick and choose...whether it be RV runs or games you want to keep busy.

One last storm(for the next few days anyway) rolled through the area about 2 this morning....some good lightning, so jumped up a caught a photo off the front porch.[see photo].
Another song from the summer of 69 I really is CCR

Hal working in Indianapolis today, home this afternoon, then they move some stuff down to Atlanta tonight and tomorrow morning....he is then done for the summer...back to Wright State to finish off his senior year next week.....after graduation this next spring he will head to University of Dayton to work on his Masters....hopefully he'll be teaching sometime in the next 10 years!!!!

Sam is in Memphis, then goes to Elkhart, picks up a Diesel Pusher, and heads out for San Bernardino, with a quick run that will need to be dropped off by next Thursday.....that will keep him busy and out of trouble.


Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Summer of 69

2:45 pm

One last hot day before some less humid weather comes along, maybe a storm or two tonight....Football Officials meeting at Van Wert High School at 7 tonight.....2 more meetings to make my quota after that.

Finished off the back yard, walked about 3 miles, and lifted weights...back feels tomorrow at Wayne Trace(Jr High) and St Henry on Saturday morning(JV)....may take a RV run over the Labor weekend(after)....if they give me a run to Vegas....otherwise I stick around the house and do whatever.

38 years ago

"The Summer of 69"

The Brian Adams song has always been a favorite....not sure if the Summer of 69 was mine. As the summer of 07 winds down, I can remember back to the last days of that summer in Vietnam...I had been stationed at the resort(of sorts) Air Base at Nha Trang, located on the shores of the South China Sea...was there for 6 months, and as I had previously mentioned, it was by far my favorite location in the Air Force....war going on around us, and even a couple of rocket attacks, but the duty and the town time were pretty easy....and I have to say Nha Trang duty prepared me for what would lie ahead in my life. I stopped taking crap, got tough, and didn't look back at what I was more going along to get along, and no more backing down...yes, Nha Trang Air Base on the sun baked South China Beach...would be the turning point in my life...the old days were gone....the changes were slow, but by the time I lifted off in that C-130 bound for my next duty station Ton San Nhut(Saigon) Air Base, I was ready for what lie ahead.

One of the guys I ran with at Nha Trang was Harry Bevan, he left Vietnam in late 69, and after his stint in the AF went on to become a cop in his home town of Philly....Harry took the new posted photo of me on the top of the blog.....the photo on today's post is me(L) and Harry(R) on patrol....found him a few years ago, along with other Nha Trang guys Phil Lange(my old NCOIC) Bruce Thompson, Johnny Clalfin, Marc Payan, and others, genealogy research and the Vietnam Security Police Association,

have made it possible to find many folks thought lost....still some more to find....Jack Gates where are you?, and others you find are no longer with us....RIP Jack Friedl and Joe Prokop.

No, the Summer of 69 was not my favorite summer(have to say 67 the year I graduated from high school)...but it is one that I remember well, and with pride for the changes it brought.


Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Best of Times/Worst of Times

4:00 pm EDT

Have always loved summer, but by the time late August and early September rolls around I am usually sick of the heat and humidity, and ready for Autumn....bad thing about that however, winter is just around the corner...wasn't bad growing up in south Florida, but many of my other places of "cooler" climate are a different story. Ohio, Wisconsin, upstate New York, Dodge City, Kansas, Kokomo, Indiana, are a different story...getting sick of winter in a quick fashion makes you not so happy to see the heat of summer go away.

Freshman football at Coldwater yesterday where the home team scored late, converted a fake extra point kick and came away with a quick 8-6 victory of the Flyers of Marion Local....worked Line Judge, and I was on Thursday and Saturday, looks to be cooler, and hopefully I'll be able to shake off the rest of the rust.

Mowed in the heat again today...after going from mid June until early August with only mowing once, I've now had to clip that stuff 3 times in 10 days, including last Friday and today. Gonna kick back in a few, pop open a Miller and clip a torpedo and fire that up.

23 years ago

_____________My high school and bar stool buddy Nick now owns a nice classic pontoon boat(see Bar Stool Open thread), but in past years he had a 24 footer which we fished, drank, and partied on Lake Erie with...we tore off a few props, slept standing up, passed out in the Put-in-Bay public restroom...well at least Nick did, but that's another story....almost sank on more than one occasion, and usually drank more beers than fish we caught...but we did have some good weekends. Labor Day weekend 1984 was one of those....we were blessed with good weather, 2-3 foot waves, and I had my Transderm Patches to keep the sea sickness away.

Now growing up in south Florida, on the Gulf, I had the opportunity to catch much larger fish than I ever could in Ohio, or Wisconsin, or even upstate NY, where I learned to trout fish with fly rod...but although not the fisherman my dad was, or even what I used to be...I still enjoy an occasional trip(but only catch and release these days).....from my youth, catching pier and jetty Shark, Jewfish, and Red Snappers, to Perch, Crappie, Walleye, Trout from a stream, Catfish, from lake and quarry....I still enjoy fishing or at least thinking about it.....that Labor Day Weekend in 84 we caught our share, drank our share, and made it home from the Lake Erie Islands alive to talk about it for years.

photo: me with a decent sized Walleye, and still sober...must have been early and I suspect we were about 10-15 miles out in Erie.


Monday, August 27, 2007

Grand Lake(St Marys)

12 Noon EDT

Lake, Lake St Marys, Grand Reservoir, Celina Reservoir, etc.....Grand Lake as we all call it on the Celina side of the lake has been around since 1837 or so....for the history of Grand Lake go here:

My family moved to Celina back in the fall of 1962 from the sun baked town of Venice, Florida, located squarely on the Gulf of Mexico. Celina was on a large body of water as inland lake called Grand Lake, at one time Grand Lake was the largest man made body of water in the's still the largest one dug by hand...approximately 10 miles long and 3 miles wide the lake consists of 17,500 or so acres. Not deep by any standards, the lake runs between 4 and 10 feet deep, depending on the amount of rain fall in any one time a great fishing lake, it is now surrounded by condos and has become mostly a ski, sail, and party boat of any quality is gone....still some catfish, crappie, and a few large mouth bass remain, but there are better places for anglers.

After spending my time as a youngster living a few blocks east of the Gulf, Grand Lake was different...but I did spend much of my Junior High School days fishing for Cats and Crappies in the back waters of the lake.

The lake is now known by it's festival activities in the summer months....The Freedom Days in early July, The Lake Festival, the last weekend in July, and the Governor's Cup Regatta (Hydroplane races) the last weekend before Labor Day.

Yesterday at the boat races....and a shot of the south island area of Grand Lake

Yesterday finished off the races, and I spent a few hours down that way watching and doing some photographing.....

Interesting how Grand Lake/Lake St. Marys/Grand Lake St. Marys got it's official name....we think it is now known as Grand Lake St. Marys...St Marys, our ugly step-sister of a town is located on the eastern edge on the lake, while Celina on the west and Montezuma on the south are located directly on the water....St Marys managed to get the name locked in by a politician of the ruling GOP many years ago...he represented them, while our rep was a Democrat...thus St. Marys got it's name included in the Lake's title, even though not actually located on the shores.....good political move in my view...but Celina residents refuse to this day to call it (Grand) Lake St Marys.....stubborn Germans they are[what they got for voting Democrat, something that seldom happens around these parts today].

Freshman football at Coldwater this afternoon, against a rival school Maria Stein Marion Local.....both teams along with St. Henry are state powers each and every year, and produce many Ohio State(Todd Boeckman, Ross Homan this year) and NFL(Jim Lachey, Bobby Hoying, Jeff Hartings) players....even at the freshman level, these games usually are pretty intense.....should be a good one.

47 Years Ago

___________finished up the summer of 1960 visiting our future home of Celina, on the lake. Spent the last month of school vacation visiting our family friends, Jon and Sharon Swoveland, who we knew from our days in Scott, Ohio...they had moved to Celina a few years earlier.

Main thing I remember is, I had contracted some nasty skin problems...viruses that were nasty, and took a month of intense treatment before Doc McElroy in Celina found the problem...gave me a shot in the butt cheek and a few days later I was cured...just in time to head back south to Venice where we would reside for another 2+ years


Sunday, August 26, 2007

Weekend Wrap-Up/"Ruptured 2003"

10:15 AM

Patricia headed off to church, with the boys both gone(Sam off to Oklahoma City, Hal down to Dayton getting his place ready for the start of classes after Labor Day. I stayed home with Anissa, we headed over to mom's to visit with her and Mike, take the Lima News over etc.

Speaking of Lima...and the area..Football Friday was a mess, most game were either postponed outright or delayed in the middle and played yesterday(Saturday)...Celina led at Lima Senior 7-3 late in the first half when the lightning and downpours stopped play...they finished up yesterday with Lima coming out on top 20-14...Celina had lost their starting QB earlier in the month in a scrimmage, and the freshman QB, although playing well, could not get the Bulldogs over the hump.

I was scheduled to officiate the JV contest(Lima @ Celina) on Saturday morning, but with the change(the JVs travel with the varsity) they moved the Freshman game from Lima to Celina, so we did that one....back and forth they went, in cloudy, wet, and very humid conditions....Celina up 20-13 gives up a TD to LS with 5 minutes left, x-tra point blocked making it 20-19. The Bulldogs managed to fumble 2 plays later and the Spartans take over near midfield...poor clock management by Lima sees them at the Celina 30 with 10 seconds left and no time outs....lucky for Lima they get called for a "motion" penalty(not by me)...stopping the clock...on the last play of the game, the QB tosses a 35 yard er as the clock hit 0:00 the wide out makes the grab, walks into the end zone, and Lima runs off the field with a 25-20 victory...rough weekend for the Bulldogs, all around.

Photo: 9 years ago Hal was a Freshman linebacker(#54), that Celina team in 8th and 9th grade went 15 wins 0 loses, outscoring their opponents 490-89...they never could convert it into a winning High School team however, a new clueless coach, and injuries, made them a .500 team their 3 varsity season...this is a Freshman game with Lima Bath in September of 98.

4 years ago

___________Had been lucky health wise for the past 10 years, no back problems, and since I had started working out with weights and walking, umpire work, and a vitamin regiment...I had only been sick on a couple of occasions.....that's why this hit me like a brick. Sam and I were doing some umpire work just before Labor Day 2003....between games of a double header, I begin to feel like the time I got home, I wasn't in the mood for a beer or a cigar, and this being late summer with great weather, that should have been the alarm...but ignoring the pain in my side and stomach I also ignored Patricia's pleading with me to go to the emergency room...Stomach Flu I said.

The next day, never left the house, when Patricia returned from school, I was still sitting around in my robe and feeling(I thought), somewhat better....but 7 PM I was rolling off the couch and in major pain....finally agreed to go to the emergency room at the Coldwater Hospital....Probably an appendix attack said the ER DR.....well, you could say the time they rolled me into surgery, the appendix had blown....they put me under(no near death experience, but peaceful to say the least)...needless to say, I was out of commission in the hospital for 4 days, then out of sorts for another month.....the doc basically said, 50 years ago you would have been D.O.A. or SOL, take your choice....before penicillin, I would have assumed room temperature before they got me off the operating table.....

But I survived, and am still here to write/talk about my brush(one of several) with the grim reaper.


Friday, August 24, 2007

Weather or not!


Weather seems to be the blog thing...must mean I'm leading one boring life. Hot and humid continues, mowed our lawn today, and got that out of the way, Sam will head over to mom's and mow hers tonight, at least that is the plan. More storms over in western and northern Indiana, moving east and north, so will see if we get those.

Did a Jr High scrimmage last night in the heat at Lima Perry, 2 hours but got through ok..the Miller Lite went down easy after. Tonight the Varsity schedule begins....unlike baseball where almost all my games during the spring are varsity affairs, football, being my newest sport, I do the JV, Freshman, Jr High, and rec league is the same, and not sure I could keep up with the varsity kids....officiating football is a completely different animal than baseball umpiring....tomorrow I stay in Celina to do the JV game with Lima time 10AM, some storms around, but it looks to be a bit cooler.

15 years ago

_____________we mentioned Katrina in the last entry, in 1992 Hurricane Andrew made a direct hit on Miami/Homestead this weekend back then.....a destructive storm to say the least, the fragile homes in south Florida couldn't stand up to Andrew, and at the time it was the most costly hurricane in US History....after crossing Florida, Andrew entered the Gulf of Mexico and headed for Louisiana...dropping rain and doing more damage there.

Despite all the rants from the global warming nuts and "The Hurricanes are coming, we are all gonna die crowd"....this year(07), like last has been hurricane lite so far...even with Dean this past week, a large one which did some damage in the Yucatan and Jamaica, as we get ready to enter September(the month with the most hurricanes), we have been basically storm lite....much to the dismay of the folks at the Weather Channel, who seem to live for major "named storms".

Sorry about their luck.
photo...more weather, I think this was May 1970, shot this one at the "Monsoons" in Saigon..a couple of idiots walking in the rain at the 1300 Security Police Sq Barracks.


Thursday, August 23, 2007

The Great Flood of 07


Not sure if the "Great" would describe this years flooding in northwest and central Ohio, but wet it has been for the past 4 or 5 days....interesting to say, Celina has received about 2 or 3 inches, which has busted our drought...but places 20(Van Wert), 30(Delphos), 65(Findlay, see photo), and 100(Mansfield) miles away have received from 8 inches to a foot and showers and storms it is called....the summer long dry spell can officially be called....OVER!

Sam and I made or way to Rootstown(20 miles east of Akron) taking a southern route to miss the closed US 30 and Interstate areas in the west Ohio region, dropping down US 33 to 36 across Delaware County to I-71 and northward to I-76....put the Dodge on the guys "Dollie" and proceeded to take the in need of repair RV north and west to the Ohio Turnpike and then onto Indiana and Nappanee...after a bitch of a time getting my Intrepid off the 2 wheel car cart, we finally headed home in our separate cars, Sam's Dodge was at Hoosier, thus why he went along, lucky for me, because with the latch problems on the "Dollie" I probably would have slept in the RV until morning, working together we got it unhooked in about a half hour...we made it home by 2:15 this what the Hell am I doing up?

Another scrimmage tonight(regular football season starts tomorrow), this one a Jr High Scrimmage at Lima Bath....90 for the high with humidity making the heat index about 100+....right knee is acting up, and left ankle is still sore...Hell getting old, isn't it? JV game at Celina Saturday AM, and a Freshman contest at Coldwater Monday evening....we will see how the body holds up against the heat and running(walking fast in my case?) of 3 games in 5 days. Meanwhile, more rain is forecast through Saturday which could cause more problems for many folks.

2 years ago today

______________Might as well keep this weather related. Hurricane Katrina formed in the Atlantic on this day in 2005. I won't get too political here, there are other places for that, but Katrina was a disaster for the folks in Mississippi and Louisiana...much damage, the people in New Orleans however get all the sympathy...why? Because they, their idiot mayor, and political fool of a Governor were to stupid to see the forest for the trees...the criminal element was alive and well in New Orleans the days and weeks after Katrina...who got the blame..The Feds...yep, it's always the nanny state that needs to take care of stupid folks, people stupid enough to listen to a fool of a Governor and a arrogant mayor....I wonder what will happen when something really big,, something 9/11 and bigger happens, will we as American be able to handle it?....the people of New Orleans could not...while the residents of Mississippi did just fine, and continue to recover today.

When Katrina was getting ready to make landfall, I was on my way southwest to the Dallas area with a RV...fuel prices rose almost by the hour as "big oil" made their profits, come Hell, high water, and higher the time I had dropped the 36 footer off and headed back in my little 19 MPG Jeep Wrangler, unleaded gas had hit $3 per gallon....costly for me, since I don't get reimbursed for return fuel....ol' well, it happens...after all, I could have been floating in New Orleans.


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Jack Drambuie


After working in Greenville this morning, longer than the usual 45 minutes to an hour....some material was, let's say, out of my eye...and it took longer than normal...but nothing big....I got home and took 11 year old Jack the Airedale to get his haircut....Jack is getting long in the tooth, has a large tumor on his side, and sad to say, this will probably be his last trim....he basically hangs out in the large dirt hole he has fashioned beneath the spreading tree next to the dining room window.....even though he's has a nice kennel and a dog box with plenty of bedding, he seldom goes there anymore, unless the thunder and lightning gets to be a little much.

I bought Jack after Josey Wales died in 1996, wasn't sure I wanted another dog, but Hal especially seemed more than bummed that Jose had passed I went to northern Indiana and picked out Jack...the breeder had no females available, so Jack was it...little bastard puked in the van all the way home.....tried to make him a house dog, that lasted about 2 weeks....he likes it outside, and the fenced in back yard has been his land, except the few times he has managed to escape and run the town streets, usually with his sidekick the late L.T. the Beagle....who passed away a couple of summers ago at the ripe old age of 16.

Female Airedales(and most breeds) are much better house dogs and breeding Jack with Mick Szabo's(my college roommate and fellow Airedale breeder) Ivy brought us Reagan, the house dog...Reagan turned 9 last the pups are getting old.....and I suspect this will be Jack's last summer, hopefully he will at least get to enjoy the coming fall...but time I'm afraid is getting short for Jack Drambuie(that would be Jack Daniels and Drambuie the Liqueur).

Will pick up Sam at Van Wert around 7....he will head to Rootstown with me tomorrow to bring back the RV to Nappanee for repairs, and pick up his car.....Hal was in Cleveland working, called and said the Interstate(75) was a flooded mess this morning, but they were on their way back.....Patricia has her first day with students today.

48 years ago

___________Where were you when Hawaii became our newest and last state, if you're old enough that is? Not sure this is like the Kennedy shooting(9th grade Algebra Class) or Neil Armstrong stepping on the Moon(SP Barracks, Nha Trang, RVN)...but I do remember the 49 star flag only lasting a short while...the 50 star old glory was introduced when I was in 5th grade....I do remember early on, our 5th grade teacher having us do a report on the Hawaiian Islands.

Got to visit there on my way to Vietnam...about 45 minutes at the International Airport Bar.....Hawaii always held my interest when I was I decided to take my R&R there in April 1970...even though most of the guys were going elsewhere, I always wanted a week in our Island State, a Army guy from West Virginia, Denny Moneypenny, and I shared a room and some other expenses to keep our costs down....and got to see most of the Oahu and Maui islands....all in all, it was a good 5 day stretch back in the states....hardest part was stepping back on that plane and heading back for Saigon.
photos [Jack Drambuie in his early days]
[ a much thinner me April 1970 @ Honolulu Airport, getting ready to head back to Tan Son Nhut]


Monday, August 20, 2007

Drought Buster


As I have written, we have had a very dry summer, and for the most part, what rain we've had in the area has been north....this latest "gully washer" is no exception. Most of the rain, and it has been heavy, has went north...we have had a couple of strong storms this morning, but nothing so far like the guys in Nappanee(where we deliver the RVs out of) or even Rootstown, Ohio(where I am scheduled to pick up a RV for repair). Multiple inches in most locations north and northwest.

Brings me to the point, I contacted the owner, and we've decided to delay the pick up and return of his RV until Wednesday at least....not opposed to driving RVs in the rain, but the roads and Hoosier's parking lot are under a bit of delayed it is.

Greenville this morning, again tomorrow...will pick up Sam in Van Wert tomorrow evening, and drag him with me to Rootstown and Nappanee to pick up his car at the Indiana site on Wednesday.

Patricia back to school, Anissa back part-time to the Cheryl Ann Workshop, she will split her days....seems to work best for her if she is not at one task too long....part of the multi handicapped world that none of us can figure out.

45 years ago

_____________"Where were you in 62?" As the poster line from the movie American Graffiti asks....I can't remember exactly what I was doing the last days before beginning my 8th grade classes at Venice(FL) Jr High, but I know our time as residents in south Florida were coming to an end. We would pack up our belonging, rent out our house at 328 School Street, and head for the unknown in Celina, Ohio. I could not foresee what it would be like to pick up and leave the home and friends I had known for my school years to that time and move back north to Ohio, a place I was born, had relatives, but really never knew. Mike was in his Junior year, that really had to suck, Marty was in 5th, Kelly just a newborn...

After the experience of moving to Celina and having to adjust, I swore if I had kids, I would not pick up and move them during the middle of school..especially High School....and I stuck to that promise to myself....whether they appreciated that is not was important to me.
photo: Looking out my front porch about 20 minutes ago, at the welcome rain.


Sunday, August 19, 2007

Weekend Wrap-Up

12 Noon

Gotta say, not much done. Mowed mom's lawn, smoked a decent cigar, drank a couple of beers last night....and that is about it.

Sam left an hour ago for Lake Park, GA, dropping off a Diesel Vista Cruiser, Hal returned from his job in TN, KY, and Atlanta last night.

Will go back on the work out/weight lifting again tomorrow, after work and before I head to Rootstown to pick up and take back to Nappanee, a Class A(Large one) RV, will be a long day on Tuesday...Patricia heads back to school tomorrow, her students start Tuesday.

39 years ago

____________Finished up boot camp at Amarillo this week in 1968, as I mentioned before, our(Air Force) basic training was nothing compared to the grunts and Marines, but sucked none-the-less.

After not taking an option to go to Keesler AFB, Mississippi, to become an Air Control and Warning Operator, because it was 53 weeks of school(Hell, if I had wanted to go to school at this point in my life, I would have avoided the military and went to college back in Ohio) I was destined to become an Air Force Cop, Air Police, soon to become Security Police.....imagine me, a! Was almost too funny.

Anyhow, AF Cop school was another 6 weeks in Texas, but this school was located in San Antonio, where most of the guys had basic, Amarillo was a sort of overflow during the Vietnam War I jumped on a TWA 707 one afternoon 39 years ago, and headed southeast for Lackland AFB...Lackland I would become familiar with, in addition to SP School, I would return less than a year later for AZR school, the so-called combat preparedness school for Air Force most of the so called "preparing" in the AF, it was basically lifers teaching us no way did we really get prepared to work or fight.... however, it did prepare us for the chicken crap rules that lay ahead.....ahead of myself I am....I would spend the next six weeks "preparing" to become a cop, learn how to march, polish my shoes and boots(all repeats of basic training), and fire all kids of weapons(never call them guns they told us)...the weapons training was my favorite part....loved firing those M-16s and .38 Specials.

6 weeks later I was fully trained in becoming a military policeman.....NOT...but had went from 135 lbs to about 175 in a matter of 13 weeks, didn't quite get my bad ass attitude yet, that would come a couple of years later....all good things take time.....but I was on my way.


Friday, August 17, 2007

Lazy Daze.....


Patricia and I headed for Lima this morning, Lowe's for some replacement lighting for kitchen and garage....stopped by and had half a sub and soup at Quiznos before heading home.
Hal down in Kentucky, then Tennessee and Atlanta making as much as possible before Wright State starts up again after Labor Day.....Sam headed for Nappanee to pick up his unit, he will head for Georgia on Sunday for a early Monday delivery.

Sunny, 80 or so and less humid today.....Anissa will head over to the Family Care Options facility around 6PM....Pat, me, Reagan, and the Cat, will be the masters of the manor until later tonight anyway. Not much planned for the weekend, at least at first glance.

14 years ago

___________A couple weeks after the Kings Island/Reds vacation...two things of note...(1) We got to see Reds manager Lou Pinella toss a base several times as Cincinnati defeated Sam's Cubs....(2) My back, which had been bothering me for several years, took a serious turn for the worse, even in pain things get funny. I took a ride on a "train" at KI, which turned out to be a roller coaster, not good for the ol' back, Hal slammed my hand in the car door at the motel, and with my back completely out, I got stuck in the bathtub, wife and kids had to turn me over to get my sorry butt out...not a pretty sight, I am sure. I'm 44 and my body is shot!....anyway, by the time mid-August rolled around my humorous back problems had turned into major problems....could barely walk, or sit to drive, it was affecting my work, and about everything else. My 2nd motorcycle wreck back in 1987 had started the beginnings of my back problems...doing a 360 after hitting the bumper of the car that pulled out in front of me....not good, of course it could have been worse...I at least hit ass first, then I was wearing a helmet(a rare occasion) as my head smacked the roadway on the second bounce.

The back problems lasted on and off for over 7 years...this was the worst of them....Tom Santenello, my OD, was not a big believer in surgery, but he did tell me that he would give me a "cocktail" of sorts for my back, then to sit in the A/C and relax for a week or so, I had the sick time accrued, so that was not a was coming up and I knew I could not coach or even be out there in my current condition...TS said, "If this doesn't work, I will set you up with a surgeon.....lo and behold, it worked...and after years of pain, I would become basically back pain free the next 13 years.....this spring and summer they have re-occurred, but nowhere near the problems I had back in 87.....knock on wood!
photo(clockwise) Top Left 1975 my 63 dirt bike carrying van, 1978 Yamaha 650...this thing could run...topped out at 140 going down US 127, The 550 Suk with Sam and Hal on board, my last bike... aka: the bike that messed up my back...damn, wasn't even my fault, and the 250 Kaw Dirt Bike....had this little number from 1974 to 1977...on-off road MC and believe me, I did both with it.


Thursday, August 16, 2007

Elvis has left the building


Hot and humid, got the scrimmage in before noon today...did the 1 1/2 hours by myself, let the coaches call their own penalties....Celina(freshman) and Bellefountaine each scored once....even though I did not over extend myself, I did pour out the sweat. Games start next week...Jr High game at Lima Perry next Thursday, JV contest at Celina vs Lima Senior next Saturday morning, Legs held up, but did manage to get my right ankle stepped on and the swelling is still there...but all-in-all, I survived.

Sam will head for Nappanee tomorrow to pick up his south Georgia run....Patricia starts school next Monday, the kids start Tuesday.

30 Years ago today

_______________Where were you(if alive) when you heard the news that Elvis had assumed room temperature? I remember Patricia and I had just returned from checking out Wausau, Wisconsin, as a place to take up residence. We had arrived back at Bill and Bev's in Oconomowoc, and the TV flashed the News that Elvis had been found dead.

I like his music, and even some of those Corny movies, but was never a great fan or worshipper of "The King"...but when he died, from his own over excessive life style, the ending of an era was upon us. Music would never been the same...Disco was in full force(2nd worse music of all time) and then the disease know as Rap, Hip Hop, or as I call it, "Total Crap" would come into anybody with a brain or soul can listen to today's inner city garbage is beyond me(of course take one look at those playing that junk as they drive by in their cars, no brains, no souls). Thank God even my kids, who have minds of their own, laugh and shake their heads at the garbage known as Rap.

The King, Elvis Presley left the building, 30 years ago today...August 16, 1977.


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Just Mowing Along


Just a average type boring day...did wake up with right triceps muscle hurting...guess the reinvented weight lifting has a glitch. Killed some weeds over at mom's, mowed our yard, all in advance of the coming rain...which hasn't arrived yet....although the Reds game at Wrigley in Chicago is under a rain delay, and will start real late.

Heading to Van Wert for the first football meeting of the local association....scrimmage, freshman contest at Celina tomorrow...I may end up doing that one by myself...but since it's a scrimmage....and not varsity action, should not be a big problem.....not to many guys available for a 10AM weekday scheduled game.

Had a chance to go to Lake Park, Georgia, with a Vista Cruiser, Sam took one, I turned the other down...the football and other factors are making most runs almost impossible....still plan on picking up the return unit in Rootsville some time next week though.

50 years ago

_____________Probably one of the great summers of my life was coming to an end. Guess it shows you how simple things can really endure. The family was living in Venice, Florida, dad decided to come home for the summer, home being the little berg of Scott, Ohio, population 250. We moved north from south Florida in June and spent 2 months living at Grandma Houseworth's place in Scott....hand pumped well water, out house and all the trimmings. Grandma lived with us many winters in Venice, so guess we decided to return the favor that summer....not sure how happy mom was with the situation...but I loved it.

Spent the summer with my Ohio friend Al Foust....walking the fields and railroad tracks between Scott, Van Wert, and in the streets, and basically just hanging around that little hick town. I can't remember all the details, or every event....but Grandma, Aunts Eva and Cecil, and the rest of the clan fed us well, kept us busy, and, at least to me, it was a sad day when we packed up and headed back south.

Today, not much has changed in Scott...the Elevator is still the largest around, the cafe on the Van Wert-Paulding County Line is still open...the Post Office, located in the same spot...yes the grocery store and gas station are gone, and so are those never to be forgotten members of my family, during that great summer of 57'.


Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Today and 5 years ago

2:15 pm

Did the double inventory in Greenville, after getting back to the workout routine with weights yesterday, I will begin getting the shoes worn out starting today, by beginning my walks....was supposed to be hot(90s) and humid, but up until an hour ago the clouds had kept the sun and heat away....but with the red ball back out, we'll see if the heat/humidity increases.

Patricia is doing school work preparation, they get back going next week. Hal got home at 1:30 this morning, back up and headed for the Cleveland area around 5AM for move unloading....his replacement phone arrived an hour or so ago. No RVs available for Sam, so he is a couch potato in waiting. Anissa is off to "The Place" and 'The Brown House"....I'll pick her up around 5, since Patricia won't be home until later. Heard word from Wisconsin, Bev is still in hospital, temp spiked at 102 last night, so at least another day, to see what was up with that.

Bringing up the RV reminds me that I retired from the Van Wert Health Department 5 years ago in late July.....always wanted to do some extended travel.

5 years ago

___________Had my ducks in a row as I retired from the Health Dept. in July 2002....I had been working for several weeks, getting driving records, D.O.T. Physical, and resume ready to change jobs....I want to drive luxury RVs for delivery around the country.

After a couple of calls, letters, and "feelers" a place out of Nappanee, Indiana(about 120 miles northwest of Celina) calls and wants to interview me for a RV driving would be independent contract work, I would get paid so much per mile(depending on the cost of fuel) up front, finding my own way home was my job(problem). After a week or so of hassling about insurance, getting the drug test etc....I was offered a run to either San Diego or Charlotte(NC)...not knowing how I would handle a large RV across the desert or mountains, I told Ross(the manager of Hoosier Transit) I would take the North Carolina run....a 24 foot(small by RV standards) BT Cruiser to Charlotte....I did not have a tow vehicle, so I would grab a Greyhound back after delivery.

That run to Charlotte would begin what has become 5 years of driving to almost every state(Vermont and South Dakota in the lower 48 are the exceptions) plus Canada. I got to pick and choose the size and locations of my runs....and I did them all...16 foot business vans, to airport buses, to 42 foot luxury "Diesel Pushers"...drove in heat, rain, snow, wind(especially going west)'s been an interesting 5 years, I would take a couple months off for baseball, making only local runs to locations in Ohio and that I am contracting out to the Greenville plant, plus picking up my football license, the runs have slowed to a crawl..but still do one on occasion, unlike oldest son Sam, who got his CDL in 2003 and joined me in the runs, he still spends much time on the road.

Making money was a slow learning process, but finally getting the knack, I did all right, plus the tax benefits(expenses) made it basically income tax free....I also bought a Jeep Wrangler in later 02, which I used to more buses for me....I either tow the Jeep and drive back, fly, or on occasion rent a car.....the bus trip back from North Carolina, plus one later from Tucson, made my decision...I would deliver these things, but no way I was doing a bus coming back....nasty, nasty, way to travel. Sam still does on occasion, but usually flies, only if doing a double with me does he drive back.

It's been an interesting and quick 5 years.

[photo: Me and a 20 foot Vista Cruiser diesel at the Route 66 Casino on I-40 in New Mexico, heading to a RV show in Pomona, California 9/06]


Monday, August 13, 2007

Back to the Weight Room

2:30 PM

Worked my morning at Greenville today, finished up there, squared my Recreation Football schedule at the Celina Rec Department...full Sunday schedule plus a couple of weekends....hopefully the legs, ankle, and heart hold out....then headed for the MRS Board of Directors quorum so we talked and discussed for an hour then back home.

With the onset of football, back feeling better, I decided, after a 2 month layoff, to hit the basement weight easy task when you're 58, getting back to the physical stuff...but has to be done, or I will surely age fast(er)....the sets were not that bad, I dropped the weight for each thing by about 15%, bench, butterfly, curl, triceps, etc, but finished better than I should, given the time off and my excuses here. I sat on my ass for 2 months and did nothing but umpire and drink beer...time to pay the piper.

Hal headed with a straight truck to Pittsburgh to unload 10 boxes of "stuff"...I think he took his old roommate Stu with him, but basically it's his first long distance job on his own....he has two quarters left before his BS in High School History Ed...but then has to go right into his Masters...which looks like he will go to U of Dayton, rather than Wright State. He may be teaching by the 09-10 school year...but maybe not...heck he could become a full timer at Celina Moving....better money, but a little harder 6'4" 250, I don't think he has to worry about the physical part...but do believe he wants to teach and coach.

13 years ago

______________Took the plunge today. Went to Lima and traded my 86 Toyota Pick-up in on a new Toyota PU with extended cab. Really the first "new" vehicle I had purchased, that I really wanted, since the 76 Jeep Cherokee.....I had bought a couple of new Ford/Merury small cars(Escort and Lynx), but nothing I really wanted, since the Jeep.

Automatic 6cy, bright red....too bad I would rear end a SUV about 6 weeks later...but the damage was limited to the hood and grill, so the $1800 in repairs didn't keep it off the road for long.

(photo show truck after repairs)

This truck would turn out like the TV commercial, it just kept running....ended up getting 230,000 miles out of it, despite 4 wrecks...the one by me, and 3 more with the boys using it....although amazingly, only the original crash was our fault..the others were caused by someone crashing us...but no injuries, no total job...I finally sold the truck to my hispanic buddy at the shop across the street....I think Manuel gave me $250 for it(with the bed crushed by a out of control teenage female driver)....he fixed the bed and took it back to San Bernardino...who knows, probably used to haul illegals. That was 2002....the Toyota did me right.


Sunday, August 12, 2007

7th Annual "Bar Stool Open"

10 AM

Yesterday was the annual Bar Stool Open on Grand Lake.....Grand Lake at one time was the largest man-made lake in the world(until those lakes made by power plants such as Hoover's Lake Mead came along)...stretching from Celina to St, Marys it measure 10 miles long by 3 miles wide. Over the past 20 years it has turned from a weekend cottage and fishing lake, to a expensive lake front property and ski lake...the fish for the most part are long gone, the Yuppie trash that has moved in from Dayton and Cincinnati and raised both the property values and taxes are not exactly welcomed by all...but the LIA(Lake Improvement Association) continues to work at making the local lake better for all.

The Bar Stool Open started in 2001 with less than 50 "contestant" boats...yesterday we had 144 teams of 4 golfers with another couple of hundred "hangers on"....12 bars, accessible by boat, 12 miniature golf holes, and plenty of beer and booze...the Bar Stool Open gets pretty decadent by the time it wraps up late Saturday/early Sunday.

I missed last years, being on vacation in Florida. 2 years ago, I admit to being so drunk, as not to remember the final 3 holes...stupid is as stupid does. This year, I was going to participate, but sober I would be....basically just to see how foolish the boozing golfers would be....I was(sober) and they were(boozing golfers). Made for a rather boring day, but I survived it and feel great this morning. #2 son Hal was with a different team, starting off at the Sunny Side Inn...Nick and his crew(Joey the Trucker, his girlfriend Jen the teacher, and me) started off at the infamous Duck Foot's Landing(so we would finish up at Nick's dock at Bayview Marina and Bar)....we golfed lousy, Nick and Joey were pretty trashed by the time we were 2/3rds done, and Jen and I stayed the sober ones. Meanwhile Hal and his team of college friends drank their share, but golfed well...finishing 3rd in the 144 team event....First Place $500/2nd $250/3rd $125...only bad news for Hal we were heading for our final and home dock at Bayview, I was talking with him on the cell phones lamenting the boredom of boating sober(but also the genius of it)...his boat his a wave and his cell phone flipped from hand to the bottom of It's It Inlet....never to be seen again....his share of the prize money will go towards a new cell phone....he has a bad habit of losing or washing those phones.

All-in-all I'm glad I stayed sober for this move on my part, one of the few I've made it that event.

2 years ago


Bar Stool Open #5.....started drinking Miller Lite about 10AM....4 of us, Nick, Joey, Newcome, and me...made up one team, with youngest son Hal as our back-up, as we became more trashed, would golf each hole for one of us. We ended up at midnight, the 4 place team(tied) out of 112 entrants...not bad for a bunch of drunks, but out of the money none-the-less.

I stayed at Nick's sleeping on the recliner, and feeling the effects for the next 3 days......vowing I would not repeat this scenario....and I have been true to that vow as of yesterday's 7th annual Bar Stool Open.


Friday, August 10, 2007

Football begins

11:20 pm

First football scrimmage in today....8 of us officials did a 2 hour plus scrimmage...temps around 90, but lower humidity...ankle a little sore, but more or less, the first action went all right.

Talked with Hal, they were in West Virginia around 9pm after a day of 100+ heat with 111 heat index in North Carolina.

The Bar Stool Open begins in about 10 1/2 hours.

33 years ago today

_________________Tricky Dick resigns.....voted for the man in 72(would have in 68, but you had to be 21 at the time, I was 19)....although he eventually got us out of Vietnam, it was with a 'Cut and Run' strategy...surprised the left doesn't like him more....he cut and ran, plus he expanded trade with the reds in China, and expanded the government at home....Nixon was no conservative.

I was sitting at the drive-in with Patricia on this evening in 1974 when Herb Stanfill, my old bar stool buddy when I ran the Red Door, and Lake Drive-In manager made the announcement...."President Nixon has resigned"

Thursday, August 9, 2007

A Little Rain Never Hurts


A couple of strong storms lashed the Celina area this afternoon, did little to halt the heat and humidity. Temps once again in the mid 90s with steamy conditions to match.

Started off by heading over to mom's and mowing her yard, yep one of those exciting days....sprayed the weeds in the garage and drive-way area, being it was hot and sunny I figured it was a good shot of no rain(especially considering the dry summer we have had), and the Round Up would hold....wrong! Came home and started our yard, almost done with the front and sides when the first drops came along...after a short delay we got a couple of short blasts of heavy rain and wind, knocking the power out for about 1 1/2 hours. The back yard remains unmowed, but that 20 minute job will get done tomorrow, when we are scheduled for less humid, but sunny weather.

Patricia's step-mom underwent Gall Bladder surgery this morning in Wisconsin....some complications, but at 75 that can be expected...she should be home to the condo by the weekend if all goes well.

Picked up another football game today...September 6th, a Jr High contest at Waynesfield, Ohio...about 30 miles east of here....tomorrow night the season begins with the scrimmage at Convoy.

Hal spending the night in the Greenville, NC area....will pack up a truck load and head home tomorrow night...Greenville is calling for 106 degrees with 115 heat index tomorrow....I've never seen those kind of temps in the eastern US.

24 years ago
_____________After a few years in radio broadcasting, full time, I had had enough of bad management, back stabbing, poor pay, and all the other things that took the fun of our broadcasting. I had left WCSM in June of 1983 after less than 3 years there, and about 5 years full-time in the "business".

After a couple of months looking around, and keeping busy by working part-time at the cable TV station in Van Wert, I finally had a chance to put my other college major, Environmental Health, to my benefit. I had applied for the job of Sanitarian(license and inspect restaurants, septic systems, water well, trailer parks, campground, rabies control, and about a dozen other environmental programs licensed by the State of Ohio)....I was destined to come in second in the interview process, until fate took a hand...anyway, I ended up with the job, and would work in my home county, Mercer, at the Celina-Mercer County Health Department, for the next 7 1/2 years before getting the job of Environmental Health Director(same thing as a Sanitarian) in my birth county Van Wert.

Nothing bad to say about my 20 year career in Environmental Health, it was a stabilizing force, plus the pay and benefits were not all that bad....but 20 years was plenty, and it was time to move on and do something else.

24 years ago, early August 1983, I begin my EH Career.


Wednesday, August 8, 2007

"Dog" Days


August is usually referred to as the "Dog Days" of summer, at least in Ohio....this early August 2007 is no exception. We have been in the 90s with humidity to match since the calendar changed from July(a rather mild July at that). Sitting here with my XM Radio tuned to Channel 6(60s music and nothing else).

Today was a Dog Day...took Reagan, the 9 year old Airedale, out to the vet for her allergy shot this morning...have had at least one Airedale in the family since 1974, raised many a litter of pups in those 33 years, and had some good dogs, only a few "clunkers"....the Airedale is a regal breed, and not many have been involved as our family with them over the years.

The rest of the day will consist of picking up Sam at the bus stop in Dayton, now moved back to 3:15....22 hours via bus, not a fun thing...but I guess the young can handle it if they have to. State Football Rules Meeting at Lima tonight at 7:15, so although nothing physically demanding, it will be a long day by the time I return from Lima. On a similar note, I picked up another scrimmage, this one, a Freshman game at Celina next Thursday.

27 Years ago

____________This week in 1980 I was making my transition from radio News Director to DJ, having moved from Dodge City back to Celina. My best friend Rick Pearson and I headed back to Dodge to pick up my Jeep Cherokee and a few belongings...the Jeep was in the shop for repairs, I had to have another driver, and Rick was willing and able. We headed out to Kansas, and the next few days were a story in itself.

Borrowed my brother Mike's Ford Pick-Up and headed west, hot it was, as we headed southwest out of Salina, Kansas(yes pronounced the same as Celina, Ohio), with a cooler full of beer and pop, we picked up a guy our age hitchhiking to somewhere southwest of Dodge City, so we told him to grab a bag in the back of the covered pick up and sit back there, in the heat there was no way we were going to sit 3 in the lone bench seat....told the guy to have a couple of beers and pop if he wanted and make sure he opened the side windows, we would open the sliding window so he could get a share of the A/C....the guy ended up pounding down about 4 beers in the 150 mile stretch of Highway 56 to DC....we dropped him off at a watering hole, just kind of poured him out....he thanked us for the ride and beer.

The Jeep was ready, but we wanted to see the Rockies, so the next morning, after staying at my rented house(good through the end of the month), we headed out across the hinterland of western Kansas into Colorado. West of Pueblo, we arrived in Canon City the next afternoon....asked around for the best scenic road to Cripple Creek, and were given directions to what the locals called Red Horse turned out to be a great view for sure....Red Horse was a one(2 lanes at times) dirt road winding path towards Victor and Cripple Creek. Once there we hit a couple of bars and talked with the locals(mind you this was before they turned these basic Ghost Towns into Condo Cities)....we ended up sleeping in the back of the truck on the shores of Cripple Creek, next morning we got up, panned for a little gold(Rick was a Geology Major at Ohio University), found some specks, bottled it, and headed back for Dodge.

We spent one more night in the rental house, packed our cooler with ice and beer...Rick drove my Jeep, I drove the Ford back....all-in-all it was only 4 or 5 days, but one of the most memorable "vacations" I had. The next week I was sitting behind the mic at WCSM, doing the morning show.
prh 8/8/07

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Football=The Heat is on!


The Heat Is On, as the old 80's Glenn Frey song west central Ohio, we seldom see 100 degree temps, just too humid, and unlike the western and plains states, we don't get the blast furnace winds....we do however get plenty of humidity....which makes the 90-97 temperatures we do get, that much worse.

95 through Thursday with high humidity to match......just in time for football scrimmage. I have my first one at Convoy Crestview Friday night, they take on New unlike baseball where almost all of my games are varsity, football is my new sport(2nd year officiating), and I do only the lower(JV and below, down to Rec Football)levels...I doubt at 58 I'll be looking for any varsity I like the pace of the higher levels, I'm content with the slower paced football contests for now.

No matter what the level, it's gonna be a hot early season....I don't envy the kids, or pros, out in this stuff.....not a lot of fun IMO.

Saturday we have the Bar Stool Open...12 bars, 12 miniature golf holes via the boat route around Grand Lake....we will be riding in Nick's boat again this year...right now I plan on being the Designated (Boat) Driver....2 years ago I got a reminder, not to boat and drink in 90 degree sun and heat....I'll let the rest of the fools do that.

Patricia is preparing to head back to school, I think it opens August 20th or somewhere in that time frame....Sam taking another RV, this one to Savannah, Georgia, Hal is heading with the Celina Moving crew to New Jersey, then down to North Carolina.....he'll be home later Friday, in time for his Bar Stool Open crew(not the same boat as us old guys)...Sam should be home tomorrow, taking the bus back to Dayton, where I'll pick him up around noon.

15 years ago

_____________we have for the most part taken our vacations in early August, sometimes starting in late July, 1992 was no exception. I've been delivering motor home RVs for 5 years now, off and on, since I retired. 1992 was the first time I had driven on of any size. We borrowed Mike and Dawn's 30 footer and headed north to Michigan. Patricia, I, and the kids made stops at Higgins Lake and Kneff Lake in the upper/lower part of the state, near, but just south of Grayling. After a couple of days camping, we packed up and headed over to Lake Michigan...we had camped at both Kneff and Higgins many times before kids(with our other kids, Rags and Max, the Airedales), but had not done Lake Michigan....we ended up at Pentwater, Mead State Park, on the southern region of the lake. Nice sunsets and a good time for the next few days before heading home....Hal would then play for the 8-9 year old baseball all-star tournament team in Rockford...his team, the Celina Reds would sweep the 3 game round-robin tournament, Hal hit .667 while switching between the Outfield and Catching. Vacation and baseball over, now time to get ready for school and soccer, a sport I once I was in my 3rd year of coaching, and would end up with much success as the years progressed.


Monday, August 6, 2007

Nick at Nick's...The Twin Cities

12 Noon

Back from the Minneapolis-St. Paul area from the weekend. Took in part of the Indians/Twins series, Minnesota appears to be making another late season run, as Cleveland and Detroit slump. We arrived Friday late rush hour, and really not much traffic despite the I35W Bridge disaster. We got out yesterday(Sunday) around 8:30 Central AM time.

Observations.....we walked around Sunday AM before the game started, heading towards the bridge area, the local cops had things under control, and nobody was getting close to the area. The only notable thing was a few idiot war protesters with their phony signs "Build Bridges Not Bombs" typical ass clown left wing solution for hey! It's all Bush's fault, isn't it? Anyway, I ignored these burnt out hippies of my generation, Nick was not as kind...he pretty much insulted them all....and being the manly liberals they were, they pretty much looked know, if you look away from your antagonists, they can't see you??? LOL!

Anyway, enough of the lefties, it wasn't about those clowns. The weekend was our usual...drink beer, smoke cigars, watch baseball, drink beer, smoke cigars, drink a glass of Drambuie on the know the routine. Olson still inhales those nasty machine made, I'll never know...if it isn't a fine hand rolled smoke, well, it just isn't a smoke.

The sunny drive up, by-passing Chicago, was pretty non-eventful, the drive back, highlighted by clouds and some rain(cool temps too) through Wisconsin was OK...then came Chicago, I decided to take 94 through the city, usually quicker than the toll road(294)..big mistake, Sunday traffic, along with the large construction project was a mess....2 hours to go the 29 miles. We picked up Sam's car in Nappanee on the way back, Nick drove that, and make it back to Celina last night just after 9...about 12 1/2 hours total. Anyway, we agreed no more taking the Minnesota trip, unless we go through Michigan and the Upper P.....a little longer, but taking a trip anywhere near Chicago, is out of the is the worst traffic around, beats LA, Orlando, and Atlanta, and they are bad enough.

10 years ago
______________Took our first family vacation to Florida in 1997. Even though I grew up there, the family as a whole had not been there. Mom has been wintering there since 1989, Mike lived off and on for years at Homosassa, and youngest sister Kelly and her Dane husband Michael moved to Naples from St Croix, USVI, in 2002 or so.

We really had no plans on exactly what we were going to do...15 year old Sam was given some freedom to map out the 9 days. We started off heading to Manmouth Caves in Kentucky, after a day and night there we headed south to Florida. We arrived in my old hometown of Venice, and grabbed a large room at the Inn at the Beach. We really had no plans from there, but the place was so darn nice, and right next to the beach, we ended up staying for 3 days just relaxing. We then headed south once again to Key West...the freak show as I call it. Couple of days there watching the goings of another beach city changed forever, not in a good way, by the freaks of nature, we headed up Florida's east coast to Daytona Beach, mom's winter home at the time(actually she lived in Ormond Beach, just to the north). Then on to Virginia, the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, and on to Cooperstown, NY. The first ever long vacation to multiple locations was deemed a success, and we made variations of that theme until the boys one at a time finished high school.


Thursday, August 2, 2007

Minneapolis/Ft Wayne


Back from a Hot Day at the Fort Wayne Wizards game...not much breeze and about 95....Patricia and I only stayed until the 7th....Wizards were up 2-1 when we left and that was the final. Cory Luebke, the local kid from Maria Stein, pitched last night, getting no decision, but pitching well after a shaky first inning, in which he gave up 3 runs.

Speaking of baseball, our annual get together in Minnesota was planned for this weekend...after the disaster of the I 35 Bridge we had second thoughts, but have decided to go ahead and take off for the Twin Cities in the AM......a mess, and a tragedy for sure....God bless those people and their families involved in this.

Will be the last entry until at least Sunday night when I get computer viewing when on vacation.....just won't do it.

41 years ago
______________Decisions, decisions, 1966 got a job offer from Marsh Supermarkets to be a carry-out boy...only other job I had ever had was back in Venice, delivering the Sarasota News....the decision more likely sit the bench) football my senior year at Celina, or make some money, so I can buy a car. Being a 5' 8" 130 lb defensive back 2nd or 3rd stringer made the decision easy....I was forgoing my football life and sacking groceries.

Met my best man Rick Person there and a few other life long friends, Paul Andrews, and more. The decision was the right one...had a 62 Falcon by late fall, and never looked back on the senior year(we finished 8-2 after going 9-0-1 the 65 season) with any regrets....I was a late grower anyway, finally hitting 5' 11" and 185 when I was shipped off to Vietnam. The Marsh gig lasted only until my graduation was secure, and then I took an assembly job at the Huffy Bike plant, where I would work until June of 68 when I joined the Air Force, and then work a year or so until after my discharge. I decided that factory work would not be my life's quest....but Marsh Supermarkets got me started, 41 years ago this month.


Wednesday, August 1, 2007



The last full month of summer begins, high around 93 with the humidity on the rise and no rain in the forecast. May try to get out and mow the lawn today....the hip/right leg pain is still there, bothered me while sleeping last night, but figure, I might as well move around, could be worse, could be like Mike, on crutches with no relief in sight for his leg problems...guess I should feel lucky at 58...I can move around as well as I do...especially considering the back problems I had for a 6-7 year stretch back in the late 80s and early 90s.

Tomorrow Patricia and I will head to Ft Wayne and take in the Class A Wizards game...Friday, I still plan on heading to Minnesota with Nick, and take in the Indians-Twins weekend games, with Olson.

Heard from both Sam and Hal yesterday, Sam was in Missouri, heading west to Burbank...Hal was leaving DC for New Jersey, then if all goes well, they will drop a load off in NJ, and head back towards Dayton.

27 years ago

_____________August 1st 1980, We had just moved back to Celina from Dodge City....Patricia, Anissa, and me. Not sure Pat was real pleased, she had a nice job at the Dodge City Hospital working in social News Director at KGNO/KDCK Radio, I continued to try to move up as fast as possible...fact was, I was bored, had went from Wausau, Merrill, Wisconsin, to Kokomo, Indiana, then on to Kansas, all in a matter of 18 months...7 months into my Dodge gig, I knew, western Kansas was not where I wanted to be. Celina beckoned, not that I ever felt Celina was "home"...I may have graduated from Celina High, had lived there except for my Air Force years, and a stretch in upstate New York, for the past 17 years...but Celina was not my favorite place, still isn't today, and I've lived here off and on for the past 45 years....and here I will remain, without regrets, probably until the day I check out.

Broadcasting, especially radio, back in the 70s and 80s was a nomadic life, to make it big, you had to keep moving, if you didn't move, you got stuck in a rut,and you starved, salary wise. Looking back, broadcasting was a nasty business, even though I remained in it until 2003, the last 20 years doing part-time news and sports. My final full-time stop in broadcasting was back "home" in Celina at WCSM, where I took on the morning gig on August 4th...after being in news the previous two jobs(Kokomo and Dodge City), being a morning DJ, the prime announcer was a bit of a challenge, I also got to pick up extra bucks doing sports play-by-play(I was named Program Director 6 months into my WCSM tenure)....I managed to put my outspoken right wing independent mouth to work in both the morning show and in my sports for the next 2 1/2 years...never made much money, but I did have fun, despite the nasty business of small market radio, and the cheap conniving souls who run it. Radio and small market cable TV were a large part of my life for 25 years...I still get feelers from broadcasters and broadcast wannabees today....but I have no reason to get back into that rat race at 58.