Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Ingenuity of a Professional Handyman

There may be only one person in addition to Elaine and I who can relate to this picture. That person is my brother-in-law Larry who is a “professional handyman”. We had been having trouble with one of our toilet stools while he and my sister Janice were visiting us some years ago. It seemed that the “stopper” would flip back to far when flushed and water would continue to run. Larry ingeniously cut a piece of metal out of a soda can and wired it in place to solve the problem. Corrosion ate away at the material and about 3 years ago, I replaced it. It “went bad” again the other day but having learned a long time ago that you never do any plumbing over a Holiday weekend, I waited until this evening to work on it. I also needed to do something productive today in addition to going to coffee, to Kiwanis, grocery shopping and playing 18 holes of golf. I gave some thought to seeing if we could get by until Janice and Larry come this summer but will probably have other “handyman” items on the list when they get here.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day 2011

My Great Grandfather, Christopher Turner was born in Northern Ireland, September 1, 1833 and came to Illinois in 1851. He served in the 99th Illinois Infantry, Company A, from 1862-1865 along with troops from Virginia and Cass Counties. Christopher was a farmer/bricklayer who came to Seward County, NE in the early 1870’s and married Matilda Robinson on October 13, 1873. Matilda was born in Tyron, Ireland May 12, 1857 and came to this country as a youngster and on to Seward County, NE. She was 24 years younger than Christopher. They raised a large family here in Seward County. He had suffered several infirmaries during the Civil War and died November 20, 1905. Matilda died July 15, 1930 and I remember there living on the Henry Heuman farm a couple miles south of Seward. Over the years I had heard the stories of Christopher having served in the Civil war but it wasn’t until I saw his name on a bronze tablet in the Illinois monument at the Vicksburg National Cemetery and read more of the battles that it took on new meaning. Elaine had done considerable genealogy research and was familiar with his military service. As we traveled to Biloxi, MS for the International Soil and Water Conservation Society meeting in August 1999 we stopped at several National Parks to get my Passport stamped. It was an honor to have my picture taken pointing to the Christopher Turner name on the Bronze Tablet. It was also an honor yesterday to put a spray of flowers on his grave here in Seward at the Greenwood Cemetery in the shadow of the Guthman Memorial Bell Tower.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Family Tombstones

In accordance with old family traditions, Elaine & I took flowers to family graves here in the Seward Cemeteries this afternoon. Families include parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, great-grandparents, great aunts and uncles. Our Peonies were slow to bloom because of our cool spring but we had enough for our parent’s graves. Beyond that we used plastic flowers. We were pleased to see the amount of decorating that had already been done before we got out. It’s always a solemn task which brings back many memories. The Seward Cemeteries are well maintained so along with all the flowers, and the many, many flags that are displayed, it makes for a very impressive scene. It’s a far cry from what I remember as a child when we lived near the Oak Grove Cemetery out in the country north of Garland. We would not only take flowers and water but also the old “push-type-reel” lawn mower to cut the grass on the family plot. Though that Cemetery was classified as “abandoned”some years ago, the County contracts for the mowing and care of several such ones in Seward County. This public service can be largely attributed to one County Commissioner who did much of the maintenance himself until he got the County committed to it. While at the Seward Cemetery this afternoon, I came across an old friend who is a couple years older than I. He had on dark-glasses and told of eyesight problems. We hadn’t seen each other for a few years and had to ask who I was. Later, I began to wonder if it was because of the way he saw or the way I look.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Energy to Spare

After playing 9 holes of golf and having lunch, I spent nearly 3 hours working in the yard this afternoon. Needless to say, I did stop to rest a few times. With the rain and cool weather, the grass had grown considerably since it was mowed a week ago but I was pleased to see the progress of my asparagus and sunflowers. Elaine has about given up on her radishes assuming that see planted them in the wrong time of the moon since they mostly went to tops. When I finally used up all my energy on the yard work this picture came into view. It was taken in the fall of 1946 when 5 of us fellows went on a trip down in the Ozarks. We had no particular destination but after “throwing a rod” in Bub's '37 Chevy, we enjoyed several days in Conway, Arkansas. This was “Old Town” Conway and not the metropolis it is today. We were fortunate in having a great mechanic get the engine repaired in a matter of 3-4 days. By that time we had spent most of our money and headed for home. We left early one morning, drove through Fort Smith and over to Oklahoma City. We were home early enough to go to a dance in Bee that evening. That was in September of 1946 and Elaine and I had our first date in October of that year. Oh to have some of the energy now that was “surplus” in those days.  

Friday, May 27, 2011

King George VI

With her English “roots”, Elaine had been anxious to see “The King's Speech” since it was first released and especially since the Academy Award presentations. There were no baseball games to watch last night and we needed to take things to the recycle center, so we picked up the DVD from the local Movie Place video store on the same trip. It's a great story but I wonder if his speech problems may have been slightly exaggerated for the movie. I don't remember hearing him speak over the radio but I do remember the day of his Coronation. The spring of 1937 was a busy time at our home with the arrival of twins in January. I had been moved up to 7th grade and had difficulty competing for good grades with my sister. Students in Country Schools were required to take 7th & 8th grade “County Examinations” in those days with tests given in each of the subject areas in the curriculum. The tests were given twice each spring at the nearby High Schools. You could take a tests the 2nd time to improve your grade if you chose. I didn't know that at the time and missed an opportunity by staying home the morning of the final day of the tests. My morning wasn't wasted however, since I listened to the Coronation of King George VI on the radio and was very much impressed with the formality. King George VI served his country well during the dark days of WWII and the difficult years of reconstruction that followed.  

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Harold Walker and his wife Linda from Clinton, Arkansas were at our house the other evening to visit. Harold is one of my first cousins on my Mother’s side of the family and we hadn’t seen them for some years. Of the Walker grandchildren, sister Vivian(d)was the oldest, then Verlon, Clifford(d), Donald, Imogene(d), Marjorie(d), Kenneth(d), Harriet(d), Stanley, Roger(d), Melvin(d), Jerry, Janice, Doris, Delores, David Gene(d), Duane, Bonnie and Ronald. The birth dates range from 1923 to 1948. Nine of the twenty are deceased and unfortunately, little contact is maintained between the cousins. This is in contrast to the first cousins on my Dad’s side of the family where we get together periodically and maintain a family news letter. Ruth(d) was the oldest of the Vrana cousins, then Theodore, Vivian(d), Richard, Robert(d), Linsford(d), Verlon, Donald Wayne(d), George(d), Donald Dean, Doloros, Kenneth(d), Philip, John, James(d), Dale, Barbara Phyllis(d), Robert, William(d), Janice, Jerry, Merle, Bonnie, Patricia, David Gene(d), Margaret and Joanne. These birth dates range from 1918 to 1947. Eleven of the 27 are deceased. The picture was taken when my folks celebrated their 25th Wedding Anniversary in1945. Most of my cousins on both sides of the family were there as well as their parents. WWII had just ended and several of the older cousins had not yet returned from military service. Families lived closer together back in the days when I and most of my cousins were growing up and so we knew each other. In today’s world families are much more widely dispersed, and it is more difficult to maintain close relationships. However, with Facebook, Tweeter, and other social media, hopefully they can be maintained for the benefit of Families and Society.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


 The recent tornados brought back memories of the one that hit Ankeny, IA on March 13, 1990  destroying 20 homes and damaged another 16 including our Condominium . This was during the time that I was serving as Executive Vice-President of the International Soil and Water Conservation Society headquartered there. We kept our house in Seward and drove back frequently for family reasons. Elaine stayed in Seward to be with a Granddaughter who had tubes put in her ears the weekend prior to the tornado so I was alone. The Maple Wood Condominiums included several 3-story buildings next to I-25 on the east edge of Ankeny. Ours was on the 3rd floor in the southeast building of the development. We had 4 inches of rain the night before and by sunset it was obvious that we were in for another storm. While we had warnings, there were none specific to our area. Our electricity went off so I lit a candle on the kitchen table and stepped out on the balcony. The first thing I noticed was the pair of Swan that lived on the small pond in the development went sailing by at the 3rd floor level. Normally we could hear a constant roar from traffic on the interstate highway but the roar as the swans went by was 10-times greater. Suspecting something was about to hit, I went back inside, blew out the candle and I heard our bedroom windows being blown in and the ceiling in the hallway falling down. It was over in a matter of seconds and when I opened our door to the central hallway, it was blocked with about 2-feet of insulation and ceiling material.  I got on down where residents had congregated and determined that no one in the building had been injured. The top-floor unit to the east end our building was destroyed with the young couple having taken refuge in their bath tub. Considerable damage was done to the whole eastern end of the building. There were injuries on I-25 when motorist ran into debris and auto accidents occurred. I called Elaine 3 times during the course of the evening since they too were in a tornado warning area. Insurance restored all of our damage including new windows, carpet, etc.  I didn’t report that I found a thorn from a locust tree in one of my shoes that had been in the closet with the ventilating doors closed.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

William Klefkorn Tribute

William Klefkorn, Nebraska State Poet died recently and the Lincoln Journal Star paid tribute to him in their editorial this morning. Among their comments on how his “words live on”, they cite the painting and poem on the side of the Masonic Lodge building in Seward. The building is at the downtown intersection of highways 34 & 15 and visible to anyone passing through town. Reinhold Marxhausen was involved in the design of the mural along with Klefkorn providing the poetry when it was painted several years ago. On August 3, 2005, the mural was repainted and Klefkorn was back out to Seward to re-sign and date it. Marxhausen was also in attendance for the event and is in the red shirt behind Klefkorn.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Old Age & Golfing

Dad would have been 89 years of age at the time this picture was taken back in the summer of 1986. Mother is enjoying the smell of new mowed grass from the back porch. I noticed this picture after coming in from having played one of my worst rounds of golf of the season.  It made me think that Dad was in better shape at my age than I am. The course was crowded today and Charlie and I played the last 2 holes with Kathy and Mary who were ahead of us as we waited. These are not young ladies but talked of celebrating 43 and 41 wedding anniversaries this summer. On these 2 holes the red and yellow tees are on the same tee box and I must admit they outplayed us. It does make one wonder how much longer a fellow should keep on playing the game but it does give me a lot of exercise. Charlie is a good companion and normally we don't have to play with ladies.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Gina Jo is Graduating

Gina Jo is graduating from East High School in Lincoln this month. We attended her party this afternoon along with many friends and family. It seems like such a short time ago when in the valley of Texas along with my sister Vivian and Eddy, they would have these delightful telephone conversations with their little granddaughter. She received many academic and athletic honors during her High School years and will go to UN-L. We are all real proud of her and her accomplishments. I only had a sandwich after church before going to the golf course and even with a dessert after I got home, the food at the party was delicious. I ate my fill and enjoyed visiting with family, friends and especially Gino Jo, Mick and Sandy.  

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Preakness at Pimlico, etc.

The Preakness will be run later this afternoon at Pimlico in Baltimore with Animal Kingdom being one of the favorites. This is a picture of Animal Kingdom at Churchill Downs prior to winning the Kentucky Derby. While son Tim lived in Kentucky, we had an opportunity to see the 101st running of the Derby and developed a greater appreciation for the sport. While we didn’t get to see the Preakness, on Saturday, July 1, 1978 we went up to Pimlico and cashed tickets from 5 of 6 races. The Black-eyed Susans were in full-bloom and it was great atmosphere. We then ate at Haussner’s which was an Art experience along with fine dining. The Haussner family traveled all over the world and bought up art, sculptures, paintings, etchings, statues, etc. and displayed it all at the restaurant. Unfortunately, after 76 years the place closed down in 1999. To “top-off” our day in Baltimore, we saw the Orioles beat the Red Sox in 11 innings with Jim Palmer going the first 9 for Baltimore and Torres all the way for the Red Sox. We were home in Northern Virginia soon after midnight following a very busy, enjoyable day.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Russ Snyder-Baseball

One of my Coffee Buddies brought in a recent Nelson, NE newspaper with an article on Russ Snyder receiving an Award for Community Service. Snyder went back to his home community after a successful major league baseball career. He signed with the Yankees in 1953 and came to the “show” in 1959 with the Kansas City Athletics after some years in the minor leagues. He was with the Baltimore Orioles from 1961-1967 and helped them win the World Series over the Dodgers by hitting 306 in 1966.  He closed out his baseball career with the White Sox, Indians and Brewers and retired in 1970 with a 271 batting average. Back in Nebraska he operated a Steak House and Tavern in Nelson for some 10 years. The establishment suffered a devastating fire consuming much of Snyder’s baseball memorable. He then worked some years for the USDA Soil Conservation Service.
The notation of Snyder receiving the Award prompted me to do some research and refresh a personal memory of his baseball career. We lived in the Washington, D. C. area and attended many Senator’s games during the time he was with Baltimore. Among my souvenir programs from all of the Major League parks, I came across one for a Washington Senators-Baltimore Orioles game on July 23, 1967. The scorecard was filled out by our 15-year old son Tim and shows Snyder getting a hit and scoring in the 11th inning to beat the Senators 7-3.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

2003 Winter Break in Texas

An Old Crow on the Move (Post)

The old Crow that Carolyn bought for me at the local Et-Cetera store this past Christmas moved out doors today. I had just started my "Crow's Nest" Blog page and it was very appropriate gift. It has enjoyed the winter inside the house to the amusement and shock to some of the house guests. It was time for it to go outside but "where" became the question. We have a variety of birds that make our backyard there home as well as the travelers that just stop by to eat. We didn't want this large black plastic crow to serve as a scarecrow. The front of our house already has a big old black "butcher kettle" planted with flowers, shrubs, more flowers, as well as a porch with black wrought iron furniture. It was feared that the addition of the crow might give the place the appearance of  being a little tacky. So we found the "middle ground" on the south side of the house on top of the backyard fence post. "Caw, Caw"

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

New City Administrator

We made a significant decision at our City Council meeting this evening by approving the Mayor's recommendation for filling the position of Seward City Administrator. Brett Baker comes from Hickman, NE and has had previous experience as City Administrator in Kansas. He has had considerable experience in economic development. He is a native of Chadron, NE and is familiar with Seward through close family friends. He replaces Dan Berlowitz who is moving on to a similar position in Belleview, NE. Pictured are Mayor Josh Eickmeier, Baker, City Attorney Larry Brauer, Council President Mark Eilers and Councilman Vrana.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Frisbee Golf

Our Kiwanis Family Frisbee Golf course here is Seward is rapidly taking shape. It is located in the Northeast part of town in the Plum Creek Park area. A ribbon cutting is scheduled for the day the school gets-out this spring. We anticipate a large number of participants who will be given instruction and a couple disk to get started. It should be a great addition and an opportunity for family exercise and fellowship. It has come about as the result of one young man moving into the community with an idea, enthusiasm, and the passion to bring it to to fruition.  

Sunday, May 15, 2011


We were not familiar with azaleas before moving back to Northern Virginia many years ago. Once there we realized how beautiful they are and enjoyed them in our yard. The National Arboretum in North East Washington, D.C. was a “must visit” during the azalea season each spring. Visitors often commented at the contrast between the beauty, peace and tranquility in the arboretum compared to the drive out New York Avenue to get there. We lived in the Mantua area of Fairfax County Virginia the last few years we were in the area. Prosperity Avenue in Fairfax County Virginia, is a minor street between Rt. 50 and the Little River Turnpike that we traveled to our home There was a place on the east side of Prosperity that had a collection of azaleas and rhododendrons fitting a nursery. We too added many azaleas to the plantings in our yard on Laurel Leaf Lane. It was a beautiful place and I once made a comment that, “No one should have to live where azaleas don't thrive” but here we are in Nebraska. The azalea pictured is a small sample of what we had in Virginia but it did make it through the past winter and we do have other compensations.  

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Songs of the Civil War

Son Jon sent these pictures that were taken this morning back in Vienna, Virginia. It is apparent that Jon is enjoying himself playing his Mandolin and talking to people. We had no idea when he got his first little ukelele that music would become such a continuing source of pleasure in his life. But music is like that. Music has a “magic” way of communicating. Our Kitone group sings at care facilities occasionally. Recently at an Alzheimer's unit  while one of our group whistled and sang an old love song, a patient whom I was near and hadn't spoken any words for some time, sang along with every word. Though Jon sang with us in the Kitones when they lived in Seward some years ago, our best times singing together was when he was a Senior in HS, the other kids were off to college and Country Music was popular. I wish I could have been there to sing with him this morning but I doubt I would have known  the words.  

Friday, May 13, 2011

There are stories in this picture beyond what meets the eye. Elaine received the Climbing Black Eyed Susan for Mothers day. It obviously needed something to climb on if it were to achieve its full glory. I suspect we could have bought a nice trellis but conservative old people don't spend money if they have things “in their inventory” that will “fill the bill”. Auctions are a great source of “supplies”. A roll of chicken wire was purchased at one a few years ago to keep cats out of the back yard and 6 feet of it makes an excellent “rack” for climbing vines. Elaine was pleased to be the high bidder on a “Linch pin” at a farm auction 25 years ago when we still had the farm. She was so pleased to have bought it for me that I have kept it in the garage all these years, not knowing how it could ever be used. It made an ideal “base” for the chicken wire “rack”. The top of the rack was secured to the clothesline crossbar with some “electric fence” wire that we brought in from the farm. So, we are not only watching the vine begin to climb, we are taking satisfaction in our handiwork.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Old Virginia

Do you see any similarity between the little fellow in the lower picture and that of Col. Drake discussing policy issues at the RR Museum in the upper pictures. It was just a matter of time. But not of space, the two pictures were taken within25 miles of each other.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Happy birthday Terry

The date of May 10th has always had some special significance in our family. My early farm boy memories are that it was the “frost free date” and the time to start planting corn. My sister Vivian and Eddy got married on May 10th and four years later had a 6 pound, 3 ounce son on that date. The picture was taken when they stopped by our house while on their way home from the hospital. There is something about a new baby that brings out the look of pride in the Father and  loving kindness in the Mother. Over the Years a number of personally important events have occurred on May 10th.  They include: Oak Grove school picnic; singing, “Now the Day is Over” at HS graduation; Trains running on the new tracks in Seward (’52); Elaine home from a Appendicitis operation (’59); Buying Tim a $20.00 bike from Marty Jacobson(’62); Speaking at a NY State all SCS employee’s meeting on the program with Harry Golden(Washington Post Columnist) (’76); a Flea Market sale along with Mel & Marilyn (’80); Preparing the ground for our final farm crop (’88); Participating in a Soils meeting at Purdue U. (’91); Julie graduated with Distinction from UN-L (’03); The wind blowing the Ash tree over on to the house (’04) as we were leaving to drive back east. But on this date, we wish Terry a most Happy Birthday and many more.

Monday, May 9, 2011

The Day After Mother's Day

We were around early this morning and did some gardening after breakfast. Elaine received many nice plants for Mother's Day so we got them in the ground early before it got hot and the wind came up. I started some sunflowers in containers early which didn't do very well but got them planted along with a packet of sunflower seeds. We have had very little rain this spring so the ground was very dry. We did a lot of watering after our planting. In preparation for Mother's Day (and a couple other events) Elaine got her hair cut short and a new permanent a couple weeks ago. With the temperature showing 100 degrees on the Bank Drive in as I came in from the golf course this afternoon, it was a good time to have short hair.  

Sunday, May 8, 2011

57 Years+ X=85

Our daughter, along with two other teachers from the Seward school system, were honored at a retirement dinner Friday evening. While none of them seem old enough to retire, the system provides that opportunity when they reach the magic “85”. That is achieved with a combination of age and years of service. Ben has always had a unique sense of humor and a way with words. He does crossword puzzles in ink and in a matter of minutes. But most people are not that familiar with Carolyn's wit. She demonstrated it very well the other evening and was partially “set-up” by her Principal reading the “self evaluation” that Carolyn had filled out in jest. She even acknowledged that she had inherited the family gene that causes us to “say what we think” without always recognizing the consequence. We were proud and pleased with everything she said and has been a pleasure to us over the years. Her “Sunny” disposition dates back to an early age as is shown in this picture with her two older brothers.  

Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Boys

Mother took this picture of Jerry, Don and I on December 26, 1963. While it's a nice picture of the 3 of us, like many old pictures, the things that show on the periphery are also interesting. We had driven back from Arlington, VA and as was customary, we had Christmas dinner with Elaine's folks one day and mine the next. When this picture was taken, we had apparently finished dinner, probably had our pie and coffee and were eating chocolates and cracking nuts. The Folks' barn had burned that fall taking many of Dad's tools and the hammer in the picture is obviously a new one. The picture on the window sill behind Jerry appears to be of Don & Gladys' girls. I suspect that the basket hides kolaches wrapped up in a towel. The coffee pot was still on the table and we all used cream and sugar in our coffee those days. Jon played his Ukulele later in the afternoon and Terry his guitar. Don and Jackie also stopped by. We left for home at noon the next day and drove the 1,275 miles straight through to get home in 21 ½ hours. Tim scored 24 points in a Jr. High basketball tournament the next day.  

Friday, May 6, 2011

More than meets the eye

On Sunday, March 5, 1950 we had gone to Church where I sang with the Quartet; then out to my folks for dinner along with Vivian and Eddy from Garrison, NE, and Gladys (Don's girlfriend). The folks were pleased to have Don and the twins, Janice and Jerry at home with them after Vivian and I having gotten married during the preceding year. We had recently been out to tell them of their up-coming Grandparent status. Janice and Jerry would have been in the 8th grade of country school. (Does anyone remember the dog's name??). After taking this picture, (I took this one and Don took one with me on it) we all went over to the home place to “see about remodeling the house” as a place for Don & Gladys to live after getting married. It was determined that the old cow barn would be torn down to salvage some lumber for the project. On March 25th, “I took Elaine to work and went out to help finish tearing down the old barn. We borrowed Paul Wagenknecht's tractor, a cable, and kinda tore it down in sections. Pulled a lot of nails and piled the lumber. Vivian and Janice brought dinner over.” It was truly a “family event”. Ah, the good old days.  

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Musical Memories

We had lunch in Lincoln yesterday with brother Don & Gladys at the Big Red Keno Parlor on West “O” St. Among the subjects of discussion was Dad’s accordion (concertina). I had earlier noted that he got it on December 28, 1948. I checked out my old Diary today and the entry on that date includes: “Pop and Don went to David City and got an accordion”. I was gone working with SCS and didn’t note the price but my memory is that it cost $90.00. Don said yesterday that he remembered Mother and Dad discussing it before they left and Dad was willing to not make the purchase because of the cost. Mother, however was insistent that he buy it. The billows on his old instrument had deteriorated and had been inoperable for probably 15 years. The above picture was taken on Sunday, June 7, 1987 at cousin Ted & Muffy Vrana’s home in Lincoln. The Folks, sister Vivian & Eddy Soucek, Elaine & I were invited down for a family dinner honoring their daughter Doni and her fiancĂ©e Bob Belau from New York City. His folks from St. Louis and cousin Doloros from O-Fallon, IL were also present. Dad was asked to bring his accordion along and played for the garden party as we danced the polka and Flying Dutchman. The picture conveys the pleasure the music provided the Folks and to all of us over the years. I listened to a cassette tape of accordion music on the way home from the golf course this afternoon, and it brought back the happy memory of that day 24 years ago as if it had been yesterday.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Joe DiMaggio, 56 in '41

I finished reading Kostya Kennedy’s “56 Joe DiMaggio” this afternoon. In my March 12, 2011 Blog, I wrote about the Sports Illustrated cover story of the book in their March 14 issue.  While that story focused on the game where he broke George Sisler’s 41 game streak, the book picks up at about the 20 game point and carries the reader right on through his 56 consecutive game hitting streak in 1941. The book includes enough “personal” information on DiMaggio to make it interesting. The writer also brings in the war in Europe and the tensions that existed in this country among many of the recent Italian and German immigrants. Joe’s parents didn’t get their citizenship until he was with the Yankees. I enjoyed reading and refreshing my memory of the names of the many baseball players of that era as well as the descriptions of many of the ballparks that we have visited. It also includes a probability section on the very slim likelyhood that the record will ever be broken.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Monday Lunch,

When Granddaughter Julie got married last July, her Grandmother and she struck a deal. Since the new Groom was President of the Kiwanis Club of Seward and conducted the weekly meeting every Monday noon, they decided they too would go out to lunch every Monday. Grandad also goes to Kiwanis so it's an ideal time for "the ladies" to "do lunch".  I don't know what will happen when Julie's Mother retires but I hope she will join them. But regardless of what is decided, these past several months have been a great opportunity for quality time between the generations. After Julie having been back in New York City, we are all delighted to have her back.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Coffee Seminar

Osama bin Laden having been “taken out”, the history of al-Qaida, and the Taliban was the subject of discussion at our coffee group this morning. It was probably the subject of “coffee groups” throughout the world. We had heard the President's message last night, read the morning papers, and watched the TV and Internet coverage. We are also old enough to have some first-hand knowledge of the evolving world situation. Our discussion this morning (and many mornings) was elevated to a higher level with the presence of Dr. Robert Fiala, a retired History Professor from Concordia University. Bob has traveled extensively, has had foreign teaching assignments in China and elsewhere, and a student of world events since WW II and the establishment of Israel. Some of us are very fortunate to be able to participate in such a Seminar while drinking coffee and eating a chocolate cupcake.  

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Great Snyder Story

Dana Snyder spoke to SCS retirees at their 40th annul spring banquet in Lincoln's Cotner Center last Thursday evening. Dana used Dr. Gary Chapman's “5 Love Languages” and his personal experiences to enlighten the crowd. Dr. Chapman's 5 love languages include: affirmation, quality time, gifts, acts of service, and physical touch. Dana gave examples of each of the 5 in his relationship with his wife Cindy. But Dana himself is an interesting story. He is a professional engineer having had a successful career with the USDA Soil Conservation Service/NRCS. Since childhood he had a stuttering problem. He tried the “Mel Tillis” system of singing, reading children's books aloud, and sought help from speech pathologist. He also joined the “Toastmasters Club” which he gives considerable credit for his ability to be part of a “motivational speaking” organization that books him to speak throughout the country. What may have been a handicap to some people, he has turned into an exceptional ability.