. The Seward Middle School property is up for sale. It includes the building shown built in about 1918 which for many years was the High School. Also included is the original HS building known at one time as the "Band Building", the Elementary building constructed in 1931, a gymnasium-auditorium built in the early '50's, and additional classrooms built in the '80's and a classic, free standing, maintenance building. It sets on 3 city blocks near the City Square. The asking price is $199,000. However, the school board retains the right to refuse offers. They want to assure that it will not become an "eyesore" in the community when a purchaser may later find the cost of renovation or demolition prohibitive. It is a very unique challenge. Estimates for demolition of the building shown have run as high as a million dollars because of asbestos and other material. This building is where Elaine went to HS and graduated with the Class of '47.This is the old Elementary portion of the complex built in 1931. I was in 1st grade when we moved to this building after Christmas vacation. We moved to the farm on February 8, 1932 so only spent a few weeks in it but distinctly remember the brightly varnished wooden floors. This is also the building where Verlon and Tim started to school. Julie also started to school in this building. While we don't like to see old landmarks destroyed, we have to be realistic in what purposes they may serve and what the cost of conversion may be. My old country school was bought by a local farmer and was converted into a corn crib. Unfortunately, this challenge isn't that simple.
Friday, March 30, 2012
This is a page from "The Winston Readers", by Firman and Maltby, Third Reader. It was Illustrated by Fredrick Richardson and published by The John C. Winston Company with a 1930 copyright date. I bought it at an auction a couple weeks ago in a box with several other books for $1.00. The book is in very good condition and contains 84 stories, many with colorful illustrations in its 252 pages. Several pages in the back of the book are devoted to "List of Words Taught in The Winston Third Reader". The "Story" of Ponce de Leon tells of his having been born in Spain in 1460. When Columbus returned to Spain after the discovery of America, Ponce was so impressed that he was among those on Columbus' 2nd voyage. He remained in America and became the first Governor of Puerto Rico. As he aged he set out with a crew in ships to find what was believed to be a "Fountain of Youth". It was Easter morning when they reached land (which they thought was India where the Fountain supposedly existed). They called the place, "Pascue Florida" which means Easter in Spanish. He and his party were greeted by friendly Indians and bathed in all the springs and rivers they encountered, but their youth was not restored. He returned to Puerto Rico where he lived for many more years. This story only takes up 2 pages in the book but what a wonderful way for a 3rd grade student to learn some history, geography, and some new words while reading a story.
Thursday, March 29, 2012
This Hopa Crab tree was in full color out at the golf course this afternoon. The blooms were just opening so it may be even prettier tomorrow. The small Bradford pears and the old windbreak provide a nice background. Many of the old pines in the shelterbelts and elsewhere have succumb to various insects over the past few years. Some evidence is shown in the upper right hand side of the picture. This Hopa Crab sets just off the fairway on #5 next to the cart path. Over the years it has been a bit of a hazard to those of us with a slight fade, especially if the pin is on the north portion of the green. I have had several shots "knocked down" by it and had difficulty with the pitch shot that followed. But seeing it today and looking forward to enjoying it for the next few days, makes it more than tolerable. We did Home Delivered Meals today which again prompted Charlie and I to talk about how fortunate we are to be out enjoying the beauty of nature and getting our exercise by swinging a golf club rather than being in therapy. Our scores weren't very good today but that really didn't make much difference.
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Dale took this picture of Charlie and I last year on the 27th of April when this Bradford Pear was in full bloom out on #8 at the golf course. He took one again yesterday on the 27th of March with the tree again in full bloom. We were dressed in shirt sleeves yesterday and many were dressed in shorts and short sleeves in our near 80 degree temperature. The picture yesterday was taken on my cell phone and so far I haven't been able to get it transferred to the computer. I'm awaiting assistance from a younger generation. I didn't score very well at the golf course today. Having gone to a funeral this morning, it was difficult to get in the proper mood. Then when I got home, Elaine told me of 2 of her local HS classmates being placed in a care facility. We bought groceries soon after and picked up over $90. dollars worth. It just didn't seem to make much difference what things cost considering how lucky we are to enjoy good health. We do have some clouds in the western skies and may get some rain tonight, and could sure use it. We do Home Delivered Meals tomorrow where most of our customers are younger than we are. We will do this ahead of my tee time and hope the blossoms are still on the Pear tree .
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
I expect we mowed the lawn during March when we lived back in Virginia, but don't believe we've ever done it before in Nebraska. We are about 2 to 3 weeks ahead of normal this spring. While we enjoy the beautiful weather, we can't help but wonder what the summer may bring. We both had dental appointments for cleaning this morning. I have a couple small cavities that are scheduled to be fixed and Elaine is facing the forming and installation of a bridge to replace a tooth pulled recently. I hope all the new techniques for cleaning teeth "pay-off". The Technician worked on me for over 45 minutes this morning and I didn't enjoy a minute of it. Like many things us "old folks" cope with, the "new" is more expensive and more painful than the old way. I also had to set the clock on the telephone answering machine after the electricity was off for a while this afternoon. It wasn't as simple as "just turning a nob". Fortunately, my golf game was acceptable today.
Monday, March 26, 2012
The 44th Annual Kiwanis Ag Recognition Banquet was held this evening in conjunction with the inductions into the Seward County Hall of Agricultural Achievement. It was held at the Ag Pavilion with over 400 in attendance. It was a full evening from the Wine & Cheese social hour with music by the Concordia Jazz Band, the excellent prime rib dinner, the FFA update by Jack Brodrick, Scholarships presented by the Seward County Ag Society, the induction of K.C.Fouts and the Aegerter family into the Hall, to the recognition of the Medow Family Farms as the Kiwanis Outstanding Farm Family of the Year. It was an outstanding event held in outstanding weather. We had a high of 84 with strong south winds and it felt more like May than March. We sat near Dr. Winter (long time local veterinarian) who said, "There are more good people at this event than you ever see elsewhere".
Sunday, March 25, 2012
Saturday, March 24, 2012
This is the Dogwood tree in full bloom in the back yard of our Ridge Road house back in the early '70's, It was taken out our upstairs west windows. While we have dogwood here in Nebraska, it isn't the flowering type that we enjoyed in Virginia. With global warming maybe someday it will be possible. I do have an Azalea bush that has survived it's second winter. (If you want to call what we had this year a winter). The Magnolias, Bradford Pears and other flowering trees are in full bloom here a couple weeks earlier than normal. I worked out in the backyard for about an hour after coming in from the golf course and am thankful that our yard is small. I am writing this while out on the deck. We have come down off our 80 degree temperature this afternoon but it is still very comfortable. (You may recognize Glenn Lovin and the girls in their back yard.)
Friday, March 23, 2012
We participated in the Nebraska Hall of Agricultural Achievement annual Banquet this evening down at the East Campus Union. Dr. Allen G. Blezek and Dr. Roger W. Mandigo were the Honorees. Seven new members were accepted into the Hall. I have known Dr. Blezek for the past 25 years going back to when I was involved in his UN-L Leadership Development program( LEAD). I had not known Dr. Mandigo who was recognized for his research and development in the meat industry. He developed the McDonald "McRib" product. Cheryl Stubbendieck was the only one of the seven new members that I knew. Doug Brand from Seward, was inducted into the Hall a year ago. He and wife Gale sat at our table along with Dayle Williamson and Chancellor Martin Massingale. Jack Maddux sat at an adjoining table but joined Martin and Dayle for the picture. Dayle was my boss during my Nebraska Natural Resources Commission Days and I worked closely with all 3 of them in those days as well as with the Soil & Water Conservation Society. This annual event is always a great opportunity to meet with old friends.
Thursday, March 22, 2012
We washed the white sidewalls of our old '92 Buick this afternoon. Then set up the tripod and took this picture. I'm also going to add the picture that was taken 20 years ago when we brought it home as a new car from Rolfsmeier Motors. The similarity of the two pictures is remarkable. I suspect that Carolyn took the earlier picture which was easier than my having to set the camera and then run to stand next to Elaine. I must admit it took more than one try. There is something about a picture being taken without anyone near the camera that often results in a questioning expression on the face of the people being photographed. A thin cloud cover when the picture was taken this afternoon seems to have changed the coloring.
A closer look at both the car and the people might reveal more change during the 20 years that what shows in these pictures. I had radical prostate surgery shortly after we got the car but we have both enjoyed very good health during the time period. The car has been the best we have ever owned. I have never had to add oil between 3,000 mile changes during it's 153,000 miles. Nor have I ever applied any car wax other than utilizing the polish that is available at our local car wash. I can't imagine that a '92 Buick LaSabre will ever gain in value like the '57 Chevys' and other classics. But, if this car were stored for the next 20 years, it would take very little to get it restored to "new" condition.
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Here are some of the Bluegrass cassette tapes that were in one of the boxes I bought for a dollar down at the auction last Saturday. We have listened to several of them and are all in good shape. They remind me of the music we listened to on our car radio as we drove through eastern Kentucky and West Virginia on our way back to Virginia in early 1948. We packaged up 4 other Bluegrass tapes this morning and sent them back to son Jon, I hope he enjoys them. I don't know how much longer equipment will exist for playing cassette tapes. We kept one of our old TV's recently and put it in the basement primarily for playing our old VCR tapes. We made several some years ago when we used our camcorder to record events. We even bought the full set of Ken Burns baseball tapes and have only watched 2 or 3 of them. It must have been 15 years ago that we bought them and at that time, told Elaine that I would watch them when I got old. I interpreted that to mean that I was no longer able to play golf. I may be approaching that time and the rainy weather has kept me off the course for the past 3 days, but I'm not there yet.
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Tom Bassett, an Antique appraiser from Lincoln, NE was one of the attractions at the recent Seward Spring Show. He is used widely for appraising items in estates and gifts to charitable organizations. He accepted items that people brought in to the Seward Show and it had some similarity to the Antique Road Show on TV. I took my Sulfide Marble down and was thrilled when he said it probably had a retail value of 75 to 80 dollars. A friend had earlier given me an estimate of 35 to 40. I came home and put it on eBay for $35.00 and while there were over 20 "looks" and several watchers, there was not a single bid. The bidding closed on Saturday so I relisted it for another week. It was bad enough that Duke got beat in the first round as did our Nebraska girls but then to not get a bid on my marble, made for an unpleasant weekend. But on the bright side, I did shoot my age playing golf Sunday in 25mph winds.
Monday, March 19, 2012
Sunday, March 18, 2012
There were two auctions in Seward yesterday. Cornwell's had a Farm Toy Tractor and Truck sale at the new Heritage Hall. They were set up for internet bidding and sold several in that manner the short time I attended. I went on over to the 4-H building where Schweitzer's had a large estate sale. I didn't stay very long since we had a 11:00 o'clock tee time. When I got back home, Elaine and I went down where Carolyn was excited about her winning bids. I ended up with two purchases, each of which I got for a $1.00. One was a box containing some 20+ casssette tapes. The other purchase was a box of books including the 319 page Life Magazine publication covering their "First Fifty Years". I spent considerable time with it last evening and could remember when the things happened on nearly every page. I did this while listening to some of my newly acquired tapes. They included songs of Floyd Cramer, Andre Rieu, Kris Kristofferson, The Three Irish Tenors, etc. It's interesting how the selling price changes on items at sales of this nature. The Toy Tractors would have sold higher 10-15 years ago. Cassette tapes and most books are not much more than "give away". It's well to continue to keep "stuff" that has meaning to each of us, but don't expect it to have high value on the estate sale.
Saturday, March 17, 2012
I'm not sure how "Irish" I am but on St. Patrick's Day, I qualify. My Great-Grandparents on my Mothers side came to the United States from Ireland back in the mid-nineteenth century, settled in Illinois, fought with the Union army, and came to Seward following the Civil war. Christopher Turner and Matilda Robinson were married here in Seward County on October 13, 1878. He was born in "The North of Ireland" and she in Tyrone. At the time of their wedding Christopher was 45 and Matilda a young lass of 21. My Grandmother was the eldest of their 8 children, all born in a little house in Seward within 3 blocks of where we live. Though Christopher died long before I was born, I have distinct memories of Great-Grandmother Turner. I was 5 years old at the time she died but remember going out to the farm a short distance south of Seward where they lived. Elaine has done a yeoman's job of genealogy of my ancestors by building on what my Mother had done, but we really have so little in comparison to what might have been. My "first hand" stories from Great Uncles came by being a kid listening when the family would be together for funerals. There was very little information written down. One of the stories my Great Uncles told was of their Father (Christopher) telling them how much better the land was here in Seward County than in Illinois where he had lived. The problem seemed to be with swampy soil. It was in an area which where tile drainage was later installed. It is now some of the most productive agriculture land in the country. I hope kids today will make a special effort to visit with their elders and learn as much as they can from them . Some day they will really appreciated it. And, we "oldsters" should write down as much data and as many family stories as we can for the use of those future generations. Now I'm going to get me a drink of Irish Cream , and listen to some Irish Music.
Friday, March 16, 2012
Vivian was only 18 months older than me, but believe she "looked after" me from the day I was born until she passed away so suddenly on March 15, 2008 at the age of 84. In fact, her influence is still very prevalent in many of the lives that she touched. . The number of people that told me of the positive influence she had on their lives was overwhelming at the time of her passing. When she started teaching school the fall after we graduated from Garland High School, the small monthly check was used for family expenses. Her car was "our" car and when 5 of us fellows visited Yellowstone National Park, we drove her car. But we were pretty good to her too. How else would she have been able to go to dances up at Dwight where she met Eddy had it not been for Don and I taking her along. Being a school teacher was the ideal profession for Vivian. "Being in Charge" came very easy for her. You can almost see that showing through on this picture even at the age of 5. We all miss her and appreciate what she did for each of us.
Thursday, March 15, 2012
This is a Google map of the area where we saw the Mountain Lion yesterday. I have confirmed with some of the people that live in the area that they have been spotted as well as having evidence of their presence. Garland sets on the divide between the glaciated area to the east and the loess plains to the west. It is apparent even in the picture of where the land is nearly level in the field north of town and very hilly to the east. The divide is actually right in the middle of town where water divides with some flowing to the west into the Big Blue River, the Kansas River and into the Missouri River near Kansas City. That which flows east goes to Middle Creek, Salt Creek, the Platte River and into the Missouri River at Plattsmouth, NE. Much of the Seward County land in the glaciated area has been reseeded to Native Grasses under the USDA Conservation Reserve program. It has provided ideal wildlife habitat and is most attractive to people in Lincoln, some 20 miles away, as country home sites. One exceptional home that we checked on recently pays nearly $1,000. /mo. for real estate tax. The land is better suited for that than raising corn and the wildlife, including Mountain Lions, adds to the "glamour" for some people.
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
The Kitones sang at the Senior Center this noon for the March Birthday Dinner so I didn't get to meet my guys for their 12:30 tee time. It was such a beautiful day that when I got home, suggested to Elaine that we go "out to the hills" for a car ride. Recently a "Castle" appearing house has been advertised for sale a few miles NE of Garland that I wanted to see. (It cost over a million dollars to build 10 years ago). This is country that I grew up in and have worked on most of the farms during my early SCS days. On the way to the Castle, we drove up a "new dead end road" a mile east of Garland that leads to the center of 4 sections of land without any other roads in the area. There have been a couple houses build near the end of the road in very isolated areas. As we drove up the road we noticed what appeared to be a large dog near a watering hole. As we got closer and watched it move across the field, it appeared to be a Mountain Lion. It's coloring, tail, size and the way it ran, convinced up that it was. One of the "farmers" in this isolated area raises Lamas. We wondered if that could have been an attraction to this wild creature. After continuing our most enjoyable ride that included visiting the old Oak Grove Cemetery, driving past both my and Elaine's childhood farms, stopping to visit old friends who were planting garden, we got home to find Daffodils blooming at our front door.
Monday, March 12, 2012
Last night 60 Minutes had a segment on KHAN Academy. I had never heard of it before but it was started by a young Wall Street Hedge Fund manager. Sal has 3 degrees from MIT and an MBA from Harvard. His first efforts at developing educational programs were for the benefit of his own children. It has caught the interest of Bill Gates leading to an Academy development team that is educating the world via the Internet. It can be accessed at, <htttp://www.khanacademy.org> without any charge or even registering. I have czeched out the math, banking, and art areas and am most impressed. I haven't began to seek out all of what it offers but have already leaned some things about banking that I didn't know after 20 years on the local Bank's Board of Directors. The material is presented in a very understandable manner and makes you feel like you have a personal tutor. We sometimes worry about the younger generation but when you see what a young team of brilliant people are doing to "educate the world" it's most heartening. Google KHAN Academy and read about it, even before you access the website. You will be amazed. http://www.khanacademy.org/
Sunday, March 11, 2012
Whorls are among the top 5 most recognized Irish symbols along with such things as the Shamrock, Harps,Trinity Knots and Claddagh Symbols. Here is a picture and description of an item I put on eBay today as an Irish Symbol of Life.
Whorls These curving circles seem to go on endlessly, spiraling into themselves. For the Irish, the whorl or spiral is a powerful symbol of life everlasting. Each turn of the circle reveals the passage through birth, death, and spiritual rebirth. Within the curved lines of each circular pattern, milestones can be marked and honored.
Saturday, March 10, 2012
Elaine and I went to the Seward Home Show this morning down at the Ag Pavilion. Tom Basset, an Antique appraiser from Lincoln was on the program. He not only made some very interesting comments but also gave his opinion of the retail value of items that people brought down. Elaine took a little hand mirror that was made in Denmark and I took my Sulfide marble. We were pleased at the value he placed on them. We walked past most of the booths but were tempted by cake samples to stop at "Tasteful Indulgence". Kitty specializes in cakes and had made a first anniversary cake for our granddaughter Julie and husband John. It so happened that she had a picture of the cake that showed the little "figurine topping" that had been used on their wedding cake. Elaine was pleased to tell her that the little "figurine couple" was first used on our wedding cake when we were married here in Seward back in 1949. Elaine had kept it among her souvenirs over the years and many miles of moves. Kitty was most impressed and took this picture. I was equally impressed with my sample of her white cake.
Friday, March 9, 2012
Elaine took this picture in March of 1967. That was the spring that I completed my BA degree from GWU. Verlon was in the 11th grade. Tim a sophomore, Carolyn in the 9th grade and Jon in the 7th. We were in the front yard of our Ridge Road house. "Heloise" who took over the column from her mother, was in Tim's class and lived just up the hill from the houses shown. We lived there for 11 years and it was a great neighborhood. Gunston Jr. High was just a block away that had tennis courts and a large playground. It also had a big parking lot where the kids learned to drive the VW Bug. Jon had a paper route that he maintained for several years and Verlon and Tim also carried papers for a while. We had a shopping center a couple blocks away and in many ways, an ideal location. We were about 2 miles south of the Pentagon. The biggest problem was the City Buses rolling down the hill and hitting their brakes as they passed our house causing it to shake like an earthquake. I wish I could have spent more family time while we lived there and not so much time at my job, studying my college courses, being in class, and traveling.
Thursday, March 8, 2012
I wrote recently about our visit back east in 1948 that also included Richmond, VA. As we drove down Monument Avenue, we were deeply impressed by all the Civil War statues. We had no idea of the "code" that tells the fate of the rider by the position of the horse. On a Sunday afternoon soon after we got home, brother Don got on Ole Betsy, coaxed her up on top of a 5' high, fresh cob pile, and I took their picture. It certainly wasn't to show any disrespect for those Southern soldiers but rather an example of a couple farm boys entertaining themselves in a creative manner. Don "grew-up" on a pony and has always been a good horseman. We raised Ole Betsy from one of our mares and though she was a "plow-horse", was also good to ride. You will notice the blinders on the bridle which was just part of her "working harness". As I recall, Don had more difficulty getting her down off the shifting cobs than he had getting her up. It was a sad day when she was traded away and replaced by a tractor.
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Our Seward HS Girls basketball team is still basking in the glory of having won their 101st consecutive game and 4 straight Class B State Championships. The weekly Seward paper came out today with a special section devoted to their story. But as this picture demonstrates, Seward girls have been playing basketball for a long time. The "uniforms" were a bit different in 1910 than those worn today and I'm sure their game was as much different as the uniforms. My Mother would not have been in SHS until a few years later and I don't recall her ever mentioning a girls basketball team. She had 6 brothers and told many stories of playing baseball. In fact, she told of teaching me to catch a ball when I was so young that I don't even remember when I couldn't do it.
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
With afternoon temperatures approaching 70 degrees we got out to the golf course. It was my first time out since late January and while the 20mph winds didn't add to the beauty of the day, it sure beat sitting at the computer. One of the reasons for the picture is that tomorrow is Charlie's birthday when he will catch up with my big number of years. Dale is the "young guy" in the foursome and provides a challenge to match his drives. I mentioned our foursome and will have to include an additional picture to show Eldy. He is probably the best golfer of our group. He and I played baseball on the same Garland, NE town team back in the '50's. It's great to be able to play golf at this age and I did shoot half my age today over the 9 holes of our course. Now tonight we have a City Council meeting but the agenda doesn't appear to have any "crowd gathering" items
I had forgotten how to set my camera for "time delay" or else we could have all been on one picture. I did get it figured out after getting home and this time "wrote it down". Eldy was leaving after we played to see Darin Erstad coach the Nebraska Husker baseball team to a win over Kansas State in Lincoln. They have now won 7 of their last 8 games after losing some earlier. Some years ago, during a break in a Soil Conservation meeting, I said something about having played baseball when I was young. One of the other fellows in our small group spoke up and said his son in law was a baseball player. I ask him who he played with and he said, "The Anaheim Angles - he is Darin Erstad". I didn't even tell him that I played with Garland in the Blue Valley League.
Monday, March 5, 2012
Little did I realize back in January, 1948 when we stopped to take a picture of the Jefferson Memorial, that years later, I would take this route past it for 18 years. My brother Don, Bub, Ed, Don A. and I drove my '41 Chevy back to Quantico, VA to get the Plymouth parked behind my car. Don A's brother was an Officer in the Marine Corps and his giving the car to his younger brother provided us "farm boys" an opportunity for a fantastic trip. We saw a professional basketball game and spent a day seeing the sights of Washington, D.C. We went down town early where a cab driver offered to show us around. For a modest fee, he took all 5 of us in his cab. He would drop us off and be back to pick us up at an appointed time. He knew just about how long it would take us at each stop. We must have stopped 8-10 times during the course of the day. He gave us a running commentary while driving and pointed out things for us to see at each stop as he dropped us off. It was amazing how much we were able to see in about 8 hours. By the
time we moved back to the D.C. area 14 years later things had changed considerably. And, they continue to change. We were back 2 years ago last summer for a family reunion, to celebrate a wedding anniversary, and go to a baseball game. There were nearly 60 years between my first visit and the last. I don't know which changed the most-the city or me. Without evaluating my change, I can say that our Nation's Capitol is a Beautiful City. The new buildings, the new memorials, and the transportation system are all fantastic. But how lucky we were to see it when it was a sleepy little southern city.
Sunday, March 4, 2012
Happy Birthday Tim
Saturday, March 3, 2012
The Seward HS girls did it. They won their 101st. consecutive bb game and the State Class B Crown. It wasn't easy. Beatrice put up a good fight. Again, Seward had difficulty getting the ball to go down and trailed 10-11 at the end of the first quarter. They had been down 9-3 but finally got into a rhythm. They took the lead 21-18 at the half, led throughout the remainder of the game to win 46-35. 6'2" junior, Zadina led Seward's scoring with 15 points including a couple critical 3's. Tvrdy, the Coach's daughter, Nebraska recruit and a 5'10" junior scored 13. Katie Hughes, a senior scored 7 and little Beth Bohuslavsky had 11 points. The picture is of Coach Tvrdy and Beth. It must be some kind of record that she has started every game in her HS career and won all of them including 4 State Championships. It's been a great run. The State HS girls record is 111 consecutive wins. The victories could be more difficult next year without Beth, Katie, Taylor, and Kallie but we have a good nucleus on which to build.
Friday, March 2, 2012
Thursday, March 1, 2012
Today is the 145th birthday for the State of Nebraska. this is an image of our State's flag which features the state seal. The seal’s design is as follows: On the eastern part, a steamboat is ascending the Missouri River. The mechanic arts are represented by a smith with hammer and anvil. Agriculture is represented by a settler’s cabin, sheaves of wheat and stalks of growing corn. In the background, a train is heading toward the Rocky Mountains, which are in view in the west. In the top of the circle is the state motto: “Equality Before the Law.” There was no Equality in Indianapolis this afternoon as the Nebraska girls beat the Northwestern team 88-56 in the first round of the Big 10 tournament. We led early 41-10 and never looked back.