Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Tim sent me a note this morning saying he thought it was on January 31st back in the 1960's that we had seen the Boston Celtics play the Cincinnati Royals and asked me to check on the year. It was in fact on this date in 1963 that we saw the game at Cole Field House on the University of Maryland Campus. (I noted in my diary that the boys and I had picked up Arnold Davis and had gone to the game). Bob Cousy was the one I particularly wanted to see since he was 34 years old and in the twilight of a brilliant career. The roster also included; John Havicek, Tom Heinsohn, K.C. Jones, Sam Jones, Frank Ramsey, Clyde Lovellette, Tom Sanders in addition to Bill Russell, etc. How the game has changed. Russell and Lovellette were the big men at 6'9" and Cousy was only 6'1". This was during the "Glory Years" of the Celtics when they won 11 NBA Championships in the 13 years between 1957 & extending through 1969. Bill Russell has 11 Championship rings and Sam Jones 10. Modern players don't even approach those numbers. I watched part of a Utube showing the Celtics-Lakers Championship game in '63 and marvel at how "civilized" it seemed. The picture here of Tim & Verlon was taken when we were back in Seward for our first Christmas after having moved to the D.C. area. I also noted in my diary that a couple days after having been to the game, we went over to Gunston to play basketball. Verlon played the best I'd ever seen him and Tim dribbled behind his back.
Monday, January 30, 2012
This is what our old 2000 Gateway looks like these days. I pulled it off the desk where it has set for the past 11 years to better work with it and leave my other PC and Internet connections in tact. I have uninstalled many of the programs off the computer and hope we can preserve the Word program so it can be used as a Word Processor. The printer works O.K. and the black cartridge is half full. If all else fails, I have learned that I can use the USB cable and print from my Apple laptop. And my final piece of salvage is the USB cable. At worst I can plug it into my HP printer and print from my laptop instead of buying a wireless printer. It is apparent that the "Burden" of having lived through the 1930's is at play here. It makes it difficult for me to throw away any thing that may have some value or might be able to be used for something someday. At least I have an excuse, but how about all these "young people" that are filling all of the "storage units" throughout the country with "stuff".
Sunday, January 29, 2012
The attractive young lady is my little sister, Janice and the nice looking little guy is her son, Mark. It was early May 1977 and they were in Washington, D.C. with a Wisconsin school group according to my old Diary. (I just wonder if that is a mistake and should be California. Drinking that Potomac River can cause those kinds of mistakes. ). Mark has a "Merced" Tee shirt and I'm pretty sure they were back in California by this time. It seems that we met them at Smithsonian on May 4th after getting off work. Then picked them up the next evening and had them out to our house. Since Janice was a chaperon, she couldn't be away from her kids for very long. They had lived in Wisconsin near Brother Jerry & his family and moved back to California since the lifestyle in small town Wisconsin was quite different than California plus the winter was so long.
Coming across pictures like these and then going back in my Diaries or Journals to read about the circumstances at the time, is most interesting. This was in the early days of the Carter Administration and leadership changes were taking place in the USDA and throughout government. I participated in a 2-week seminar at Williamsburg, VA. a couple months earlier where several of our instructors had been high level officials in the Nixon & Ford administrations. Brookings is one of the Institutions in D.C. where a certain number of high level individuals "park" until their party gets back in power. This provides for continuity in government but it is also part of the problem.
Saturday, January 28, 2012
I believe this picture was taken in the summer of 1965 but it may have been a year or so earlier. I thought it was a good picture of the Soucek, Don and Gladys & Tony and Elaine's kids. We think the girl next to Sandy must be a friend of one of the girls. I have been playing with our old Gateway Computer in an attempt to get programs uninstalled and down to where Elaine can use it as a "Word Processor" with the Word program . I got it all unhooked and moved away from the computer desk where it was set up and believe it may work. The printer works good and the black cartridge still has quite a bit of ink in it so I hope to be able to get it used up.
Friday, January 27, 2012
We had a CD mature a while back and with interest rates what they are, decided to just let it set in our checking account for a while before investing in something. We are getting some help with our decision. Yesterday we bought the new TV and last evening the oven appeared to go out (flamed out) on Elaine's nearly 17 year old GE Electric stove. Carolyn came down and went with us this afternoon to Davisson Furniture Store here in Seward where we bought a new Maytag Electric stove with a convection oven. Elaine wants a white one to match our other kitchen appliances and unfortunately, they didn't have one in stock. It will be next week before it can be delivered and installed. Meanwhile we are heating water in my old electric coffee pot and Elaine is cooking on her electric skillet. We have the circuit breaker "flipped" which also takes out our microwave. We don't want to have any electricity going to the stove since the oven gets hot even without anything being turned on. We also had a bit of a scare with our hot water heater a week ago so we may not have to be too concerned about investment decisions.
Thursday, January 26, 2012
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Elaine and I went to Lincoln today as soon as I came home from morning coffee. We did a variety of things including shopping at the Ben Franklin Store at 70th and Vine. They have things there that you just don't find elsewhere. After stopping at Cartridge World in the Meridian Shopping Center, we had lunch at the Olive Garden. Our standard fare is the Salad, Soup and Bread stick Special. Elaine's choice of soup is the Pasta e Fagioli and mine is the Zappa Toscana. It was a late lunch for us so I enjoyed a bowl of the Fagioli and another bread stick after finishing my Zappa Toscanna. It was an enjoyable lunch but would have been more so had it not been for the 10-12 women who were seated in our same little "nook". It sounded like they were all talking and no one was listening. We then went to Dillard's where Elaine was able to buy a white, light weight sweater. With that, we were ready to head west to Seward and have a short "eye treatment" nap.
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
I attended the Seward County Bridges annual meeting today and came away very favorably impressed. Their 1-page annual report lists some 20 active projects, the number of people involved and the sources of the $87,000. in grants that were obtained during the year. There were personal reports of CASA, Social media safety, 4-H After school, Alcohol abuse prevention, End of Life Coalition, Family Nights, Prescription Drug Take back, Suicide Prevention, Teammates and Safe Homes. Gail Brand has been involved in the program since it's beginning back in 1998 and served as the original Manager. She reported on the Family Nights which touched 600 people. After working with one young mother on parenting, Gail said the lady came back later and said to Gail, "You changed my life and that of my family". That probably could have been said by many of the people involved in each of the programs. Dennis Kahl, the Extension Educator was presented the "Troll" award by incoming President Jonathan Jank. Lisa Bennett as Bridges Manager does a great job of facilitating and "causing" good things to happen. We are a better community because of the "Bridges" that are continuing to be "built"--Dennis Behrens should be pleased.
Monday, January 23, 2012
Success stories are always good to tell and Hughes Bros. Inc. is certainly one of them. I took this picture yesterday of the "plant"showing the framework for the new building. At a recent Kiwanis meeting, a company representative told of a new product called "Thin Wall" construction. It shows up on their website at <www.hughesbros.com> The new addition will house part of the fiberglass re bar production that is a vital component in the Thin-Wall. The Company dates back to 1923 and is in it's 3rd generation of family leadership. It has been a great part of Seward for these many years. I was born in a house on West Moffitt Street, that was moved several years ago to allow expansion of the plant at that time. Some of my earliest memories are of watching some of the early transmission line testing that was done across our backyard fence. I have admired the plants operation ever since.
Sunday, January 22, 2012
In addition to Church, Football games and Nebraska Girls basketball, I also went to an Auction this afternoon. It was a Moravec Auction of antiques and collectibles from Glenn & Diane Callaway and held at the Seward Fairgrounds 4-H building. I don't know the Callaways but it appears they must have had an antique business somewhere with all the "stuff" included. Moravecs are excellent auctioneers and it's not unusual for them to bring things here to Seward when businesses or people are looking to "sell-out". I doubt that 20% of the people there were local but dealers and collectors come from miles around for such sales. I didn't even bid on anything but it's always interesting to see some of the old stuff. I've always admired people who are good at what they do, regardless of what it is. The Moravecs are about as good as they come. For my brother's benefit, I have to say they are just about as good at auctioneering as he and his partner.
Saturday, January 21, 2012
I spent much of the day working on a file of "Important papers". These include SF2800, the form necessary for Elaine to receive my Civil Service survivor annuity. And, the form to be filled out to receive my FEGLI (Federal Employee Group Life Insurance). At the time I retired, it was necessary to request these forms and now in the 21st century, they are available on-line. I printed out the forms and as Elaine filled out part of the form (she left some of the critical boxes empty) but it helped us realize we need to get a couple pieces of information. We were able to have a few laughs with some of the questions. My knee has given me some problems lately but that's not what prompted my action. It was another cold day and it was the most productive thing that needed to be done. Income tax time always promotes these financial planning thoughts. So after a day of work, I thought it appropriate to pull up a picture of younger days. Elaine would have still been in her 30's at the time this was taken with our '65 Chevy Station Wagon. I was only about half my current age but still weigh about the same. Notice the bicycles in the background. I wonder if I was telling Elaine that, "times are pretty tough wearing these 3-piece suits here is D.C. but eventually we will have a good retirement back in Nebraska".
Friday, January 20, 2012
Son Jon, portraying Congressman Justin Morrill (R, VT) addressed USDA people in Washington, D.C. yesterday on the 150th anniversary of the establishment of USDA and the Land Grant College system. Jon began his career in USDA while still an Agronomy student at Virginia Polytechnic Institute at Blacksburg, VA. He worked as a field Soil Scientist in Virginia, North Carolina, New York and Nebraska before being transferred to the Agency Headquarters in Washington, D.C. in the mid-nineties. His soils and field experience gave him excellent experience as he assumed management responsibilities. Though still devoted to his job, he has become a "student" of Civil War History and in the reenactment of events of that era. Jon has considerable "institutional" memory of the agency since he was in 2nd grade when we moved back there in 1962. He developed a deep interest in the Department at an early age which has continued. Though our careers overlapped for a few years, there has been a member of our family in the Agency since 1948. This is not unusual and I have known families with 3 generation involvement.
Thursday, January 19, 2012
The 28 page Association of retired Conservation Service Employees (ARCSE) Newsletter came in the mail today. It is published every 2 months with information about people who have retired from the USDA Soil Conservation (SCS)and the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS). The latter represents a name change that occurred back in the mid-nineties. The Agency typically has had some 12,000 employees over the years and I expect there are at least that many retirees. Having been the Director of Personnel for the Agency at one time, I had an opportunity to know many of the employees personally. I was able to "keep-up" with agency personnel during the years following my retirement from the Agency while working with the Nebraska Natural Resources Commission. Then as Executive VP for the Soil and Water Conservation Society (SWCS) in the early 90's, I had close contact with them. I served as president of ARSCE during the 2002-2004 period and attended annual meeting for a few years following. Times have changed, the Agency has changed but many lasting friendship continue. The "In Memoriam" section seems to get longer with each issue and yet, longevity seems to be a pattern. Most of the employees spent many years out in the countryside working directly with farmers where they got physical exercise and lived healthy life styles. We also have the peace of mind that we helped to protect and conserve the Nations Natural Resources. Though I know fewer of the people referred to with each passing issue, it is still like a "family reunion" when it comes.
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
This picture really needs no explanation other than it was taken at Church on Sunday during Social time following the Services. It was in the hallway leading to the New Beginnings child daycare area. You can sense the close relationship between this Grandmother and her first Granddaughter. I sense that the little girl already realizes she is Special.
Monday, January 16, 2012
This is the group of Seward High School students that presented the program today at Kiwanis. They are members of the Skills USA organization. It is a national nonprofit organization serving teachers and students who are preparing for careers in trade, technical and skilled service occupations including health occupations. There are 50 students in Seward HS participating in this program. They were a very impressive group of young people and all have aspirations to go to college and have professional careers, but this is a way to learn some of the basics of their chosen profession. The young man at the podium is a sophomore, the young lady to the left of the picture is a senior, President of the Seward group and Secretary of the State organization, and the two to the right are Juniors. Their appearance, demeanor and presentation was most professional. It is very comforting to be with young people like this as we contemplate the future; much more so than reading the newspaper or seeing the evening news.
Sunday, January 15, 2012
I have always been a supporter of the U.S. Postal Service and before that, the U.S Postal Department but was a bit chagrined this morning when learning that mail will not be leaving Seward until Tuesday evening. The BC/BS Federal Employee Prescription mail service supplier switched from Medco to Caremark on January 1, 2012. We were notified of this change back in late October and told that a "Welcome Kit" would be sent to participants, but it never came. I tried calling in December as well as trying to get the kit over the Internet but was not successful. On the 4th of January, I talked to a lady at BC/BS who after hearing my plight, assured me that a Rush Order would provide me with the form for me to attach my new prescriptions. Nothing has come. Last night, I again set down to the computer and was successful in downloading and printing the order form. We diligently filled it out, attached my prescriptions, folded the form properly, and had it ready to mail this morning. Then, when we got to the drop box outside the Post Office, found that its next pickup will be at 4:30pm on Tuesday. I have a 22 day supply of the 3 prescriptions which carry me until the new order can be delivered. But, it is an example of the difficulty of trying to do business without the personal contact we took so for granted in the past. As I get older, and BS/BS continues to switch mail order suppliers, I may reduce the stress by just paying the price and having prescriptions filled by a local pharmacist. Some would say I should be doing that now.
Saturday, January 14, 2012
Time marches on. This was taken back in the late '60's when our oldest son, Verlon, had already gone off to collage. There is only 4 years and 3 months difference between the birth date of our oldest child and the youngest. If a young couple were to develop a "family plan", I doubt theirs would be like ours but sometimes a "higher power" projects "blessings" into plans beyond our expectations. Each of our children have very distinct personalities. We have wondered what another one may have been like. But, will never know. Fortunately, they were ready for college at a time when it didn't cost "an arm and leg" and things have turned out well. We have our 5 Grandchildren and Carolyn, the "girl" in the picture , is going to be a Grandmother. What's difficult for me to realize is that even our youngest, Jon, is nearly 15 years older now than I was at the time the picture was taken. But the same picture still hangs above our couch though it's in Nebraska and not in Virginia.
Friday, January 13, 2012
This picture was taken in April of 2010 when I invited the local USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service employees to be my guest at Kiwanis where we presented a program on the 75th anniversary of the Agency. I was with Scott (left end) and Sarah (next to me) earlier today as our Chamber of Commerce, 1st Impressions Committee had a strategic planning session. Our Committee's mission is to improve the impression people get as they drive through or visit Seward. Scott coordinated our meeting and Sarah was invited along with a couple other relatively "new comers" to share their thoughts. Several ideas were presented and plans were made for a "survey" of visitors and others, in town for special occasions. Gary, one of our "new comers" has experience developing questionnaires from his years of service with the U.S Air Force. It was a productive meeting; Thanks to all who participated. And, we had an opportunity to congratulate Sarah for being a recent bride.
Thursday, January 12, 2012
We had a most interesting day as Jack and Glennie picked us up and we visited the Sheldon Museum of Art, Statewide Traveling Exhibition at the Concordia University, Marxhausen Gallery of Art. It will be here until February1, 2012. My favorite of those displayed, is pictured here. It was done by Nebraska native, Herbert Johnson who did political cartoons for the Saturday Evening Post. This ink drawing was done in 1915 at the time Women's Suffrage was being debated prior to that fall's general election. It is titled: "Mr. Voter, Your Wife Wants You". Those are the words of the paper boy as Mr. Voter plays a losing card game with Mr. Booze, Grafter, Man-Higher-up, Reactionary Interest, and Political Boss, while Mr. Voter's wife, Women's Suffrage, waits outside the door. Women's suffrage failed to be approved by the voters in the 1915 election but was approved in 1919 and ratified as the 19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Oh Yes, we went on to eat a noon lunch with the students in the cafeteria, pretty nice with a great selection of good food. The Seward Community is very fortunate in having Concordia University in our midst for many reasons, not the least of which is the quality of people that it brings and attracts to our city.
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
The Seward Aging Commission (SAC) Board of Directors met last night at the Lied Senior Center. I have been designated by Mayor Eickmeier as the City Liaison to attend their meetings. Last night was the "transitional" meeting where new Board Members were seated and Officers elected. To the right is a picture of the Board that has served admirably during the past year. They are: (Front row l-r) Emily Greguras, SAC Ass't(Not a Board Member); Harold Wheeler, Vice Chair; Marna Grubb, Chair; & Mike Klintworth, Sec'y. Back row: Jean Kinnamon, Wilma Luth, Nita Goings, Merlyn Berg and Dean Gade.
The new Board is pictured to the left. You will note the carry over of some Board members but they are limited to two consecutive terms to assure turnover. Again, Front row, l-r: Emily Greguras, SAC Ass't; Merlyn Berg, Vice Chair; Harold Wheeler, Chair; & Dave Besse, Sec'y. Back row: Leona Feistner, Jean Kinnamon, Wilma Luth, Nita Goings and Ben Chaffin. Though Emily has the title SAC Assistant, she is the Coordinator of all the activities that are carried out by the Volunteers. They really provide a service to the community with activities ranging from a Transportation service to Wellness classes. In between are Meal services, Birthday Dinners, Potato Bakes, Card playing, Movies, Exercise events, etc., and even occasional out of town trips. The Center will celebrate the 15th anniversary of their facility next month. While they have over 200 participating for their "once a month" potato bake, the number of daily participants is much lower. It is a great facility and Emily is providing excellent leadership. More of us senior citizens in the community should be taking advantage of what is being offered, the most important of which is Fellowship.
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Monday, January 9, 2012
Sunday, January 8, 2012
Yesterday's blog page was a picture of the four of us taken at last year's Chamber Extravaganza and this one was taken at the event last night. Do we all look a year older? And, are there any other changes that you may detect other than my new tie. The food was really outstanding last night. Music was provided by "Just Alex". Pat Coldiron gave the Chamber of Commerce report, Business anniversaries were recognized, the incoming President was installed and the outgoing one honored. Former Secretary of State Allen Beermann gave a great talk. It was really a collection of motivational short stories and all were good. One of my favorites implied that if people are working as a team with everyone pulling on their own oar, no one will be rocking the boat.
There was a lot of visiting after all the formal program. On our way to the exit, we walked past where Alex was playing some very danceable music. Out of nowhere appeared Dixie, the recent Mother-in-Law of Alex, who read Elaine's message that she wanted to dance, so off they went. Had it been Polka music I may have tried it but in this case was pleased to just take the picture.
Saturday, January 7, 2012
This picture was taken a year ago at the Seward Chamber of Commerce Extravaganza. We are going to the same event this evening. It is the highlight of Chamber activities. Allen Beermann will be the Guest Speaker this evening. He currently serves as the Executive Director of the Nebraska Press Association and is a past State Attorney General. He is a good speaker so it should be an interesting evening. I hope his wife is there since she did the weather on the Lincoln TV channel with a blackboard and chalk some 30 years ago and I haven't seen her since. Julie and John will also be there again tonight so we may need to get a picture again. I will be sure to wear a different necktie.
Friday, January 6, 2012
The Nebraska girls beat Indiana in Lincoln last night led by Freshman Emily Cady and Sophomore Jordan Hooper. Emily helped Seward to 3 Class B State Championships with 75 consecutive wins. Last night against Indiana, she scored 18 points, grabbed 9 rebounds, and had 5 steals during her 31 minutes on the floor. Connie Yori, her coach was quoted as having said, “...she was everywhere, I thought there were three or four No. 23's out there on the court at times.” The Seward girls extended their win streak to 84 by beating a talented Beatrice team tonight 43-32. It wasn't easy with Seward leading 21-20 at the half. Alicia Armstrong, a Beatrice Senior is an outstanding player. Hannah Tvrdy a Junior who has already signed with Nebraska and Beth Bohuslavsky a senior who has signed with Hays State led the Seward scoring.
Thursday, January 5, 2012
It is difficult to remember how to use certain programs on the computer as well as my camera when they're not used very often. Such was the case Sunday when it would have been nice to have had a picture of all six of us. However, I couldn't remember how to set the camera for a time delay shot. After the guests left, I finally got it "remembered". This picture is the result of those efforts. The camera did this all by itself, setting on the edge of the piano. And Yes, I did get out to the golf course today for the first time in about 7 weeks. Just had to take advantage of the 68 degree temperature. Though I remembered what to do on the golf course, my body didn't remember how to follow through. It doesn't take much of a "lay-off" to prompt the need for more exercise and practice. I once heard a concert pianist say that if he didn't practice every day, he could tell the difference, if he went 2 days without practice his music critics would notice and if he went 3 days, his audiance could tell.
Wednesday, January 4, 2012
The local sports writers continue to rehash the football season and replay the Capitol One bowl game where our Nebraska Huskers lost 30-13 to the South Carolina Gamecocks. A 9-4 season is just not acceptable to many Husker fans. Many of us were frustrated this season by the play that varied from outstanding to awful. While Bo seemed to have "calmed -down" somewhat this year, it got away from him a couple times the other afternoon. And, as some sports writers have said, "The players tend to reflect the actions of the Coach". After having just read Tom Osborne's book, "Beyond the Final Score", I couldn't help but wonder what Osborne was going through during the game. I wonder how he reconciles the virtues of Transformational Leadership, which he espouses in his book, with the performance we are seeing in the football program. Our Church Foundation is sponsoring a One Book One Church program on February 1, 2012, when Osborne will be at the Seward High School to discuss his book. I'm sure the matter of Leadership Style and Performance will be discussed. It should be an interesting evening.
Tuesday, January 3, 2012
We are still eating and enjoying the baking that Elaine did in preparation for our New Year's family dinner. I took some of the Lemon-coconut cookies to coffee this morning which were appreciated. I have been eating pumpkin pie after meals when I'm too full to really enjoy the Cherry pie. It always requires ice cream on top so I wait until I'm hungry to fully enjoy it. We had Kiwanis this noon and will have a City Council meeting this evening. I have asked for an agenda item on "Cats". The City has recently endorsed a citizens proposal for establishing an "Animal Shelter" and I believe we need more owner responsibility for cats running wild. I believe cats should be licensed just like dogs and at least wear a tag when they defecate in our flower bed.
Monday, January 2, 2012
Final score:South Carolina 30 Nebraska 13
What do you say after a game like that? How can the Huskers look so good at times and then make so many mistakes? The sports media seem to focus on our best and overlook the rest, and we get our expectations too high, consequently, big disappointments. Maybe we need to put the "Corn" back to lead the "huskers" and start hitting more singles. A game like this must even cause Bo to rethink Penn State.
Sunday, January 1, 2012
We hosted the New Year's Day Dinner at 1:00pm today. It was a change from Carolyn and Ben having the honors as they have done so regularly for some time. Carolyn did help with the dinner and took this picture. It turned out O.K. with Grandma's Baked Chicken, mashed potatoes & gravy, stuffing, fruit salad, green beans, pickled beets, cranberries, blue berry bread, fruit cake and pumpkin or cherry pie. It was well for Elaine and I to do this for a change since it reminded us of how much work is involved with a family dinner of even 6 people. It makes one wonder how our Mothers were able to do it when there may be 25-30 involved. And, yes, we will be eating leftovers tomorrow.