Friday, February 28, 2014

Retired Soil Conservationists

We received our email version of the Association of Retired Soil Conservation Employees newsletter this morning. It is published 6 times/year and I went through all 28 pages which contained information on retirees from most of the states. The picture of the North Carolina group includes several people with whom I worked and consider good friends. Having spent much of my career in Personnel work, I had an opportunity to know many people. During my early retirement years with the Nebraska Natural Resources Commission I maintained a close relationship with the Agency and participated in National meetings of the Soil and Water Conservation Society as well as the National Association of Conservation Districts. While Executive VP for the SWCS I had a close daily relationship with people in the Agency and was always invited to attend their annual meetings. I have been a member of the Retirees Association since I retired from the SCS and served as their President some years ago. So the newsletter is of particular interest to me. As I looked at the above picture, stories came to mind of relationships with Rex Tracy, Cecil Settle, Harold Lile, John Garrett, Coy Garrett, Horace Smith, Jim Canterberry and Dr. Cook. I may have know some of the others but don't remember. While the newsletter often brings word of some friend passing on, it also refreshes many happy memories. Our Lincoln retirees get together monthly and have special Dinner Meetings each spring and fall which we attend. There is something about people who have had a career conserving our Nation's Soil and Water Natural Resources that unites us in a Common Bond. 

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Summer Sausage

We bought our weeks supply of groceries yesterday at Pac n Sav. Wednesday is Senior Citizen's day with a 5% discount on non sale items. While the discount is why we shop on Wednesdays, our choices are largely influenced by what's on sale. The sour dough bread was such an item yesterday. While Braeburn apples may be our favorite, we picked  up 6 Red Delicious at 98cents/lb. Other sale items included canned Apricots, Blue Plums, Peaches, Tomato sauce, etc. I also picked up Smoked Brats, Honey Ham lunch meat, and Hamburger all on sale. But it was in the meat department where we had a "family discussion". Johnsonville Summer Sausage is Elaine's favorite, and she had used the last of her supply. While we can often get it on sale, yesterday it was full price, $10.27.  I had the Honey Ham which she has used occasionally for our frequent sandwich lunches but it isn't Summer Sausage. After our discussion, I went back and picked it up. The "burden" of having lived through the drought and depression is not easy to shake off. Our total bill was $71.10 with $53.09 of it being "non sale" items on which we got the 5% discount. Our receipt shows that we saved $12.39 on the sale items and got credit for the $2.65 on the 5% discount. When we got home and Elaine started slicing her Summer Sausage, I realized we had done the "right thing" in buying it, even if it wasn't on sale. 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Big Smiles

What a Happy Time. The boys had a little sister and we had our "little girl". I hope the people who see the "Elaine Album" that I assembling will get as much pleasure from it as I am in putting it together.  Carolyn was born in August and Elaine had her 23rd birthday in September. We were very fortunate in being close to Elaine's parents as well as mine, which helped us in more ways than I can remember. My salary as a GS-5 would be laughed at today, but we both did some "extra" work that helped. Elaine not only did a great job with the kids but also with the cooking, washing, ironing, and in managing our checkbook (which she still does). I probably helped her put up the Christmas tree. 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Elaine & Children

Some years ago, I put together a DVD with 100 pictures of my "youth" up to the time of getting married. Today I started shifting pictures to a file to do something similar for Elaine. I'm thinking of carrying hers up to the time we moved back to Washington, D.C. It will make a great album. It is interesting to speculate on what may be the best way to preserve such a group of pictures. Putting them on a DVD is  simple, inexpensive and hopefully will be able to be "viewed" in future years. I have also put some of our pictures on "Flash Drives" and have "Auxiliary memory" that collects stuff from the PC. If all else fails, maybe the "hard copy" will still be available. We have black and white pictures over 100 years old that are still in very good shape.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Brothers and a Sister

This has been one of our favorite family pictures. It doesn't include Jon since he didn't come along until later in the year that this was taken. Elaine had sewn the boys outfits and Grandpa  Flowerday had cut their hair. Our 17" black & white TV is to the left of the picture and the circular dial telephone is on Elaine's Singer Sewing machine. We had bought a new car about a year earlier and had built a bathroom on to our house. I was doing some part-time sales work in addition to my Soil Conservation Service job. Our folks both helped us out  with garden produce, chickens, eggs and meat when they butchered so we got along pretty well.  Conditions have changed considerably since our kids were this size, but I don't know how much they have really improved.  I believe these kids had a pretty good childhood and we certainly enjoyed them. 

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Belize-Professor Gubanyi

We enjoyed Dr. Joseph Gubanyi's presentation this afternoon on Belize. Professor Gubanyi, who teaches Biology at Concordia University in Seward, has made 14 trips to Belize, many of them leading a class of students. Belize is a unique Central American country that was British Honduras when many of us studied geography. The country is largely rain forest, is about the area of Massachusetts and has a population under 400,000. A range of mountains on the country's western boundary and an extensive surface level Coral Reif  off the country's eastern shore have served to "protect" it from the outside. Though English is the official language, a high percentage of the various ethic groups are multi-linguistic. The rain forest and coral reif with the vegetation, fish, and wildlife they support, provide an excellent "laboratory" for a Biology professor and his students. Professor Gubanyi says his students spend a semester studying the country ahead of going on the "study" tour. It would appear to be an excellent learning experience that stimulates and contributes to their wealth of knowledge. I have heard the Professor make presentations to the Kiwanis Club over the years and have a bit of envy for his students. 

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Dale's Knee Operation and Rehabilitation

Elaine's brother Dale had a knee replacement several years ago and recently underwent "repair" surgery on it at Immanuel Hospital in Omaha. He came back to Lincoln after a couple days to the Tabatha Rehabilitation facility. We went down to see him this afternoon and found him in good spirits and anxious to get on with the therapy, and back out in the country as an Agricultural Consultant. Dale and Elaine were close together in age and have continued the close brother-sister relationship over the years. Dale told of all the strange dreams he has had during his rehabilitation and many of them involved things he and "Sister" did as kids growing up on the farm. Dale is located in a new wing at Tabatha and we were not sure how to get to his room. As we were getting out of our car we noticed a lady getting out of a car that came into the lot soon after we did. As the the lady headed for a side door, I told Elaine we would just follow her. As we got closer, we recognized that she was Dale's wife Marlene so we had no trouble getting through the hallways and elevator to his room. It appears to be an excellent facility, and Dale is very pleased with his treatment and care. Marlene and I just listened as Elaine and Dale rehashed some old times. I believe it was good therapy for both of them. We stopped at the Super Saver at Falllbrook on the way home to get some donuts and peanut clusters to eat on the way home. An enthusiastic phone call from son Jon and a copy of son Tim's community column in the mail when we got home added to a Great Day.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Chuck Hassebrook, candidate for Governor of Nebraska

We jointed a group of people at the "Olde Glory Theater" in Seward this noon for lunch with Nebraska Gubernatorial candidate Chuck Hassebrook. While there are several running for Governor as Republicans, Chuck is the only  Democrat. Nebraska is well-known as a "Red" state but it has also elected 3 Democratic Governors during recent years. The Nebraska Unicameral, non-partisan State legislature has been very effective with Senators working across party lines for the good of the State.  This has contributed to people crossing party lines and voting for the person instead of the party. Chuck brings the experience of having been raised on a Nebraska farm, graduated from UN-L, worked with the Center for Rural Affairs for over 30 years and has served as a UN-L Regent for 16 years. He has been Director of the CFRA for some 17 years which has given him an opportunity to work with people across the State. We became acquainted with Chuck over 30 years ago. I served on the Center's Advisory Committee and their Board of Directors for many years. One of Chuck's greatest attributes is his ability to work with people of various perspectives and has a large group of supporters from the middle ground of political persuasion which many people consider represents "Common Sense". 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Seward Masonic Lodge

The Seward Masonic Lodge owns one of the prominent buildings around the City Square. The Lodge leases the two first floor "store fronts" to businesses and utilizes the second floor for Lodge activities. The Seward Eastern Star Chapter also used the second story facility until a few years ago when they merged with the Milford Chapter. The building is located at the junction of Nebraska #15 and #34 where many people observe the painting and poetry on the side of the building. The poem was written by William Kloefkorn,  Nebraska poet Laurette and the painting by Reinhold Marxhausen. The building with it's attractive "eye catcher" is one of Seward's treasures. We had an excellent spaghetti & meatball supper with wives this evening prior to our Lodge meeting. It is so easy for those of us who enjoy the facility today along with the rent that comes in from the businesses, to take it for granted, and not give the necessary credit and appreciation to those that had the foresite to make it all possible 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Judas Goats

Tom joined our Koffee Klatch a few weeks back and has "broadened" our range of discussion topics.  He has some background of South Omaha and I've told him of my buddy Vern and I spending a couple months down there one winter when we were young guys by working at the Swift & Co. packing house. This morning we talked about the Judas Goat of which we were both familiar. Trying to herd sheep is like herding cats, but they will follow a Goat anywhere. I have a distinct memory of seeing s sight similar to the picture. The Swift plant had a Goat that would lead sheep to the slaughter house. While Vern and I worked in the Freezer Department, as farm boys we often took time during our lunch break to "tour" the whole plant. By walking like we knew where we were going, we "visited" every department. While discussing Judas Goats this morning, I told the group of my having been "raised" on Goats' milk. I was unable to digest Mother's or cow's milk as a baby. The Dr. recommended Goats' milk so Dad spent $60.00 buying a Nanny that had recently had Kids. It worked out well and I weighed 25 pounds by the time I was 6 months old. We appreciate having Tom in our group for the new "stories" or "perspective" that he brings but his being there gives us an excuse for telling stories the others may have already herd. 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Cardinal Staking His Territory

This Cardinal welcomed us to a beautiful day today that saw the temperature climb to 69 degrees. It hadn't been this warm in Lincoln since October and only missed our record for this day by 1 degree. Elaine and I even went for a walk to enjoy the day. The Cardinal is beautiful but there is also a story connected with the rock on which he is sitting. We were in the Black Hills of South Dakota some years ago where the Crazy Horse Monument is under construction. This rock is one that had been blasted as a part of the "carving' of the monument out of the stone mountain. It also serves the practical purpose of stabilizing the plastic bird bath from the Nebraska winds. It still gets knocked over occasionally but we don't know for sure how it happens. We have had Opossum, Racoons, Dogs and Cats in the back yard than may have been the culprits.The base of the bird bath covers the lid of the box that encases the mechanism for our underground lawn sprinklers. We anticipate the Cardinal and his mate to again spent the summer with us and raise a family again this year. 

Monday, February 17, 2014

Kiwanis-All about Kids

Here is Wess Robotham and son Gavin at the Kiwanis meeting this noon. Wess and his wife are both members and frequently bring little Gavin along with them to meetings. Wess is President-elect and chaired the meeting today. He is also involved with the Kiwanis Circle K clubs at the District level (Nebraska-Iowa) and got us involved today in a "mission" project. This was instead of having the normal program with a speaker. It involved combining two thin, lap sized blankets, by laying one on top the other, cutting 3/4" strips 2 inches deep all around the blanket and tieing the strips together. It was necessary to rearrange the tables with two pushed together to facilitate the process. The Monday Holiday meetings are always a bit different but they are still better attended than when we switch to Tuesday when their is a Monday Holiday. We had around 40 there today and it was amazing how so many "old guys" got in to tieing knots. 

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Sadie, Blocks & Gadgets

We went to early Church this morning and the Owens family came to visit before lunch. It was the first time that I have heard Sadie say, "Grandma". She was "busy" every minute they were here. Despite her Dad's efforts to get her to play with blocks, she was most interested in knocking them down. He was able to get her to stack a few of them up but it was only for the fun of knocking them over. Most of the things she was most interested in were the things she couldn't "play with". She knows what turns the TV on and which button to push to make it happen. My camera is one of her favorite things to play with and any efforts to control what she can do with it are met with very "audible" resistance. As I told her parents, it's a good thing she hasn't learned any profanity, but she was able to make her case without it. It isn't really fair to expect her to understand what she can and can't do once she has a hold of these electronic gadgets. We need to keep them "out of sight" and spend more time with her playing with blocks, Fievel, dolls, etc. I probably deserved the scolding she gave me even without swearing.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Roses & Status Symbols

Elaine is pleased with the beautiful bouquet of Roses that she received for Valentine's Day. No, I didn't get them for her but they came from the direction of our Great-Granddaughter. Sadie is real proud of herself now that she can say Grandma just like we say it. Maw-ma worked too but she recognized the difference. 
I continue to work on new challenges. My latest  is on an Ipad Air. I think it will keep me busy for some time trying to get it all figured out. I did make some progress today and am making a list of questions to ask my "coach" at the next opportunity. At our last 1st Impressions meeting, 3 of the young fellows across our big square table all had their Ipads set up in front of them. Hopefully by next Month's meeting I can set mine up in front of me (even if I don't need to use it). Even Old Men enjoy some Status symbols.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Saint Valentine

Valentine was a Priest in Rome at the time of Claudius and was put to death around 270 AD. He was later made a Saint and we have recognized February 14 as a day of expressing love and called it St. Valentine's Day ever since.  I found the day being one in which Peace and Harmony seemed to prevail. We had a good 1st Impressions meeting this morning, a quick coffee with the "boys" and a trip to Lincoln where Elaine and I both saw Dr. Mausolf. Our eye checkups were good. We went to Olive Garden for lunch and then did some shopping for Elaine at Dillard's where she took advantage of their sales. Elaine had baked her special white coconut cake which we had for dessert after supper. It was a good Valentine's Day. Now we are enjoying a NET 1 program on Nebraska's "Wildcat Hills". We had the pleasure of visiting them a few years ago when we were out there for a Nebraska Soil & Water Conservation Society meeting. We had more contact with others today than normal and all were very pleasant. If St. Valentine was able to do this for us, we are most indebted. However, I'm reminded of the old story about a Realtor showing a home to clients and being asked if it was a friendly neighborhood. He asked what their old neighborhood was like and heard it was a very friendly one. He then told them they would also find the new neighborhood equally friendly. 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Seward National Guard Building

This is the way the Seward National Guard Building looked this afternoon as we drove past on our way down to  Pac n Sav to buy groceries. A press conference was held in Seward recently where it was announced that some changes would be taking place. Beginning next month, the armory, which has served as the Nebraska Army National Guards primary training center for the Seward-based Army Guard Soldiers since 1956, will transition from a readiness center to the home of the Nebraska  National Guards new State Museum. The transition is expected to take several years. The Guards current museum has been a historic building which has been a part of the State Fair Grounds in Lincoln. Since the State Fair moved to Grand Island and the Innovative Campus of the University is being constructed on the site, it is timely to make the move. It also fits well with Seward being the State's Fourth of July City. Members of the Guards Detachment 2, 165th Quartermaster, now located in Seward, will be moving to their new facility at the Mead Training Site in March. This move will allow the unit's Soldiers, who are responsible for rigging parachutes for personnel and cargo drops, to be located much closer to the current "drop" zones near the Mead Training Site. 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Video Camera

We bought a Sony Video Camera recorder at Best Buy back in May of 1996. It utilized a cassette film cartridge that enabled 2 hours of filming. Connections were readily available for playing the film back on a TV screen. We have not filmed anything with the camera for the past several years, but I decided to list and organize what we have recorded. We got some excellent pictures on a European 10 Country tour that we took in '97. And, of our 50th Wedding Anniversary Reception but  have only filled 16 cassettes. A couple years ago I bought a conversion kit that supposedly would enable me to edit and convert the material to a DVD on my PC. I ran into problems with it and after some problems with the computer, put it on the shelf. I have  pulled it back out and am planning to give it another try. My first step is to get my tapes in order and then I'll see what happens. This afternoon Elaine pulled the Picture Albums she put together on our 10 Country Tour, and I must admit they are a more practical way of preserving memories than the "moving picture" version. We do have some very nice pictures of Carolyn's little dog "Jack" doing his tricks. It shouldn't take too much knowledge to conclude that it's best to take "moving pictures" of objects in motion and "still" pictures of things that are not moving. But, "We grow so soon old, and so late smart"

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Grandma Carolyn and Sadie

Grandma Carolyn and Sadie came to visit this morning. Sadie is 18 months old now and continues to learn new words. She likes to eat Rice Krispies with a spoon and to move them from one container to another. She does a remarkedly good job of it. I went off to coffee while they were still here but Sadie cried when they left because she didn't want to leave. That made Elaine's day. I went to the Chamber of Commerce noon luncheon where Julie Wilhelm with the University of Nebraska spoke on obtaining Government Grants. I was also able to get the last of the pictures assigned to me for the Kiwanis Directory. Then in continuation of my efforts to keep my mind challenged, I pulled out our old camcorder and a tape of our 1997 Globus 10 Country tour of Europe. I hooked it up to our TV, and Elaine and I have enjoyed reliving one of our greatest trips. Carolyn and Julie went with us. Our timing couldn't have been better. It was the summer before Julie's Senior year in High School. We were young enough to enjoy all the rigors of travel and now we can set back and enjoy the pictures of earlier times.

Monday, February 10, 2014


PRAIRIE FIRE, The Progressive Voice of the Great Plains is published monthly in Lincoln, NE by Prairie Fire Enterprises, LLC. Don Nelson is Publisher of the 24 page, 17 by 11 inch paper. Nelson was Chief of Staff for Governor Bob Kerrey and served as the head of his Lincoln Office during Senator Kerrey's tenure. PRAIRIE FIRE, was launched in July 2007, and has developed into a respected readership of 85,000. The newspaper provides engaging, thoughtful and bipartisan discourse on public policy, culture, the environment and social issues. The paper is distributed by direct  mail to subscribers and is available for free pick-up at locations throughout Nebraska and the Great Plains.  We pick ours up at the Seward Library. The subscription price is $48.00/year. The January issue had opposing views on the "Nebraska" movie which were most interesting. The current issue has stories on the Sandhill & Whooping Cranes, Mountain Lions, efforts to keep Grassland in Grass, etc. Most of the issues have some of Norris Alfred's "sayings". Norris published the Polk Progress for many years, and we were subscribers as well as friends. I still have a box of clippings from the publication. We will send this issue of Prairie Fire to our oldest son in Richmond, VA, who is interested in coming out this spring for the Sandhills Crane migration and seeing at least part of the 500,000 of them that spend 3-weeks or so along the Platte River during their spring migration. 

Sunday, February 9, 2014

The Beatles on Ed Sullivan S

It's only appropriate to recognize the Beatles on this the 50th anniversary of their appearance on the Ed Sullivan show. Elaine and I went to a movie that evening and didn't see the show but we certainly soon heard about it. They played in D.C. a couple days later to a sold out crowd. Among my age group, there was more discussion about their hair than their music. What appeared revolutionary at the time is now quite commonplace. Elaine and I never picked up the enthusiasm for the Beatles that our kids did and millions of other people, I went through our old 45's, 78's, and an index that we have of all our LP records and couldn't find a single Beatles record. I know we had some at one time but they probably went along with the kids as they went off to college. But even without one of their records in the house, we still have great respect for the group and how they changed the world.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

February 8, 1932

This was taken shortly before we moved to the Vrana family farm on this date (February 8, 1932). I am the "sloppy looking" one with my overcoat unbuttoned and my aviator cap on crooked. Sister Vivian and little Donnie are well attired. Aunt Ethel, Uncle Ralph, and Aunt Dorothy may have been at our house to help pack for the move. We are standing on the cave which was between the house and the outhouse. I suspect Dad was standing on the path between the two to take the picture. The background includes the  Burlington Railroad  and the Seward County Fair Grounds. Mother and Dad bought this place on West Moffitt Street  a couple years after they were married in 1920.  It included a 4-room house on 6 city lots. They continued to own the place and rented it until Hughes Brothers  expanded production during WWII and bought the property. It is still very much a part of their storage area around the Plant which continues to expand.
Our move to the farm was very traumatic for most of us. Mother had to give up her electric appliances. Vivian and I had to adjust to Country School. It was a different life style but we made the adjustment, and it was the right move for all of us.(I think the right one was in 1935)

Friday, February 7, 2014

Olympics Opening Ceremonies

Elaine and I are doing some multi-tasking this evening as we watch the opening Olympic Ceremonies from Sochi, Russia. She is looking through cookbooks for Lasagna recipes. I am continuing to challenge myself in learning to use more of the technology that is available in my camera, and MacBook. This picture is the opening "shot" of a movie of Elaine telling of her difficulties in finding the recipes for which she is looking. I was able to edit the "production" but when I went to download it onto the blogpage, it seemed to take forever. Therefore, what you see is what you get and you can just imagine Elaine's frustration of not being able to find her recipes and my disgust for not being able to provide the vocals and moving pictures. Meanwhile, we are enjoying the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympics.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

DC-3 A Great Plane

This is what the Frontier DC-3 looked like prior to my first flight on a commercial airliner. It was in January of 1962 when I flew from Lincoln to Chicago where I changed planes and flew on to Washington, D.C. I was one of several Administrative Trainees that spent a week in the USDA headquarters office of the Soil Conservation Service. One of the major items discussed that week was the conversion of many of USDA's administrative programs to a centralized computer system located in New Orleans. It was a very revolutionary move and while it took a while to iron out the problems, it was certainly timely. USDA was out ahead of most of the Cabinet level agencies in getting their personnel and other records computerized.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The Beatles

  1. It will be 50 years ago this Sunday that the Beatles appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show on TV and we have never been the same. It wasn't only the "loud"  music but the long hair that took some of us parents a bit of time to accept. Our 4 kids were at a very impressible stage, and  Carolyn was "swept up" in the craze. They performed in Washington, D.C. two days after the Sullivan Show but it was a snowy work day and I just acknowledged their being in D.C. in my Diary. On October 3, 1964, I took a station wagon load of girls including Carolyn to Lynchburg, VA, for a Church Mission trip. The kids along with another carload from our Church met the group at the Presbyterian Church in Lynchburg and all of them visited an Orphanage. The Kids went to a movie that evening and slept with local families. I was taking classes at GWU and studied in the Church all afternoon. We all went to Sunday School and Church the next day and had a very formal communion service. We had box lunches and left for Arlington about 2:30. My carload was all girls, and they sang Beatles songs all the way home with a lot of "I love you Paul, John,...". It was an eventful trip and my real introduction to the impact of these kids from Liverpool, England. We got home about 7:00pm and I dictated papers to Elaine, and she typed on them 'til midnight. 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Daughters are Special

Here is an attractive Mother and Daughter that was taken more than just a few years ago and  they have matured into even more attractive ladies. These were interesting years when we lived within a few miles of the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. Fortunately, we were just a block away from Junior High where all 4 kids spent 3 years. They then had to ride the school bus to High School and then to college in Richmond,VA, Durham, NC, Boone, NC, and Blacksburg, VA. Elaine began working at the Pentagon as the kids got older and then come to the Forest Service in USDA where we could commute together. We did take advantage of the opportunity to come back to Nebraska as soon as I was able to draw an annuity from my years of Civil Service. It was a good decision to spend those years in D.C. and an even better decision to come back home to Nebraska. And, our daughter's decision to come back to Seward was even better.

Monday, February 3, 2014

China and the Great Wall

Eddy took this picture of Vivian, Elaine and I on the Great Wall of China in November 1992. It was a great Moostash Joe tour. We flew to Chicago and then over "the top" to Tokyo. After spending the night in Japan we flew on to Beijing, China. We stayed in 4-star American Hotels during the nearly 2 weeks that we were in China and always had an American Buffet Breakfast. Highlights of the trip included Tienanmen Square, the Forbidden City, the Great Wall, Beijing Zoo (Panda Bears), the Summer Palace, and then flew to Xian where we visited the Bell Tower on the City Wall and the Terra Cotta Warriors. Then flew to Shanghai where significant new construction, including a subway system was underway. We had a boat trip on the Grand Canal where traffic was very heavy and a train trip back to Shanghai. We also visited farms, schools, and a Jade Buda Temple. An amusing event occurred one evening when Elaine and I walked across the street from the Hotel to a store where I asked about a pair of Nike shoes. The "clerk" measured my size 13 foot and then left. I assumed he was getting a pair my size but instead came back with several other "clerks" to show them my Big Feet. They didn't carry any that large. It was a "once in a lifetime" trip, and I'm pleased that we were able to see as much of China as we did, when we did. Friends who have spent time in China every few years say that we would hardly recognize the Country today compared to when we were there.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Confirmation at Bee, NE Church, 1919

This picture was taken in the spring of 1919 in front of the Church in Bee, NE where my Grandparents and many relatives were members. My Dad is the tall young man with the hat at the top of the picture. His Dad (My Grandfather) is at the left edge of the picture in the third row. Grandmother is seated at the left end of the second row with a dark hat in front of Grandfather. The four young people sitting in the front row on either side of the preacher were the Confirmands and are all cousins. Though I don't believe anyone on the picture is still alive, I knew many of them. There is a certain amount of Dignity evident in the way these people are dressed and present themselves. And, most of them could speak Czech as well as English. (I have the names of the people on this picture and their relationship which can be made available to family members.)

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Time Marches On

When you are a 16 year old HS Graduating Senior you think of yourself as being much older and more mature than you really are. Likewise, as the years count up, there is a tendency to think of yourself as being younger than you are. We attended the funeral of a good friend this morning who drank coffee with our group for a number of years. He was a dedicated public servant, family man, and well respected in the community. His daughter read letters that 3 Granddaughters had written years ago about visiting their Granddad which was one of the nicest tributes or eulogies I have heard. It was a very impressive service. 
I spent much of the afternoon organizing my DVDs. I transferred my "2013 pictures & activities" on to a DVD as well as consolidating some of the information on others. It was through that process that I came across this "youthful" picture.
Our evening was occupied by watching the Duke-Syracuse basketball game at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, NY. Solaimon made a 3-point shot to tie the game as time ran out. Duke was handicapped with foul problems and played the OT with 2 key players on the bench and yet came so close. Syracuse won 91-89. The 35,200 in the Carrier Dome saw a great game. I went down and checked some history to find it was on November 11, 1989 that Jon and I saw part of a HS football game in the Carrier Dome. Jon was stationed in Syracuse at the time and was taking some graduate classes so he and I visited the campus and went into the Dome for a short while. I can check in my records to find "when I did things" but I can't turn back the clock to look 16 again (or even 70).