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Archive for the ‘Holiday’ Category

Alright already.When we last talked, I was in Portland, Oregon, I believe. So we’re going to speed ahead now, and hopefully I can put some linear sense to my entries, but if not, too bad, so sad. Mainly I want t o get some photographs and videos, and maybe an audio or two, up on the site. My memory not being what it was (since yesterday say), they will be some sketchy parts here and there, but I trust you all to suss it out and end up complimenting me for my witty remarks, and gorgeous photos.And one more think: WordPress only give me so much space, so I may find myself going back and deleting some pix and clix. Read it and weep my friends. So let’s whiplash back to Minneapolis and catch the Fourth of July fireworks from Nancy Herrick’s 19th floor condo at Le Rive, St Anthony Main, on the east side of the Mississippi River.

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I’ve been staying at my brother Barry’s home for the past four days, and enjoying the weather; coastal, breezy, sunny. I visited with my niece, Shani, her husband Clint, and my first grandnephew, Logan. Barry, Margaret and I went to Ivy Lawn Memorial Cemetery and tried to locate Dr. Ethyl Percy Andrus’ mausoleum but ran out of time, as the maintenance crew had to ready to grounds for Memorial Day. Back at their home, we had a wonderful try-tip steak with rice and steamed spinach. I’m packing up tomorrow to return to another leg of my road trip. My next week or two will center around getting my car repaired. The fender and parts will be here next week while I am up by Santa Cruz. Then I will return to Oxnard and spend three more days with the car in the shop. Then back up north I go again, this time to continue with the “gray road experience.” It will be interesting to see how this all works out, as making firm arrangements is problematic to say the least. Oh well, it’s all good.

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From December’s snow to April’s BBQ, here are some pix of food, some of which I prepared myself. I’m making myself hungry as I type…

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Although Hilltop Diner is now under new management, the food is still the same, especially the burgers (more on that in a bit). My family, now a three-pack, visits Hilltop on the date of her birthday. It was Jay’s fave family restaurant, and she always ordered – drum roll please – a burger. (It will serve everyone well to know that Jay considered a well-rounded meal to be, what else – Spaghettios!) For the past seven years we would show up, and set a plate for her: burger, plain, fries, and Diet Coke. After removing all the condiments that we requested be removed in the first place, we would then draw straws to see “who got The Job.” Bradley did The Job this year, and expertly spread the catsup edge-to-edge over one side of a bun. It was then up to me to “steal” one french fry, which I did with relish – pun intended. The past few years found Spencer in NYC of all places, and he bought her a bag of Peanut M&M’s. May has been our wait staff for most of these years, and -red faces here – she was the one who remembered the Diet Coke. Lord almighty, we would have never lived that down if we had forgotten.

I love my beautiful bride, no matter what her address is…and so it goes.

One of Jay’s legacies is her almost mystical recreation of dolls, into lifelike babies, called Reborns. Many women and girls in our extended family were given one to remember Jan by.

WeeBit at 15 years of age

WeeBit, when Jay brought her home, I considered a “dead kitten walking” although she didn’t walk much. Dehydrated, emaciated, small beyond belief, Jay sat with her in her arms at the bottom of the stairs for two weeks. She nursed her from a sure demise, into the wonderful cat she is. After WeeBit’s mom moved on, the cat-that-would-not-die, began following me, and she continues to do so today.

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Bradley, Spencer and I met up with the family at their grandparents home, Bob and Karen’s. Mike and Vanessa and their two kids (?) traveled from Virginia and filled the home to the max. Karen and Vanessa put out a spread to rival all those that went before. Of special note was Vanessa’s Greenberg’s Smoked Turkey from Texas. Other delights too numerous to mention made the tables groan. Bob’s wine cellar was visited often too, with various reds and whites appearing – and disappearing – throughout our visit. As a regular reader of this blog, you’ll recall the photo of the George T. Stagg Kentucky whiskey, right? Well, as of Friday, one bottle is almost gone. (It burns so nice!) Today we celebrate Tara’s graduation from nursing school, and wish her the best on the Boards this coming January.  Well, here’s some pictures to show some of the people enjoying themselves, me included.

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Family pictures without our beloved Jay at her family home – sadness still in posting these. Yet we came together in loving memory of her, and thanks for all that we have.

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My business partner and I placed red, white and blue bouquets at Fort Snelling National Cemetery this weekend. Within these hallowed grounds lay the men and women who, throughout history, have died serving their country. The white marble headstones come from Dorset Mountain, Vermont, carved by Danby Quarry Co., in large underground vaults. Only the purest of their marble is used for our fallen brethren. We have performed this solemn service for the past four years now. Talking to our clients, meeting their requests, and photographing their beloved’s grave site, is both an honor and a remembrance for us all. Our country has given its best and it brightest, and for this I am deeply thankful.

To my father, Randolph, I hold misty memories of his wearing the Naval officer’s uniform, with all the “scrambled eggs” on the brim of his hat. Of taking the Coast Daylight train from our hometown to and from Frisco, to visit him when he did his “two week” training.

  The Coast Daylight

Of vague WWII mentions of North Africa (I still have a designed weaving he brought back from Algeria) and Sicily and Italy. The photo I have of mom and him in South Bend, IN where he taught post-war at Notre Dame (nine months later I was brought into this world – does that make me a Hoosier? My wife would say “yes!”). And the monthly weekend drills held at Chavez Ravine next to Dodger Stadium. (Note: when I joined the Navy in the summer of 1963, the Dodgers were busy sweeping the Yankees in the World Series. Ah, how sweet it was!)

To my uncle, my father’s brother, Lincoln, who served WWII in the South Pacific. I am sure it was no paradise then as now. The silver lining was that he married a Kiwi, my aunt Susie, and they provided me with some cousins to play with.

  USS Chicago (CG-11)

I acknowledge my service in the USNR from 1963-68, and the lessons learned, no matter how painful they seemed at the time. This photo of the USS Chicago (CG-11) underway in some remote waters, took me to Viet Nam, North Korea (USS Pueblo incident) and points in between: Hawai’i, Guam, Midway, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Singapore, and San Pedro. Sold for scrap out of Bremerton, WA, in 1978.

To those in my high school who fell in Viet Nam. To those after them; in Granada, Panama, Lebanon, Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq and other place way too numerous for my memory, I give my thanks and deeply held gratitude for your sacrifice. This is Memorial Day after all, and your memories are hereby held in the highest regard. Godspeed.

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