Tuesday, September 30, 2014

A Rainy End of September

We not only had a rainy fall day in Seward, but also are fortunate in having the Suhr-Lichty Insurance web site available to give us the details. It began raining this morning about 9:00am and continued until around 4:00pm when we had some sunshine. We are already well over our  average annual precipitation with 3 months to go. Much of that moisture has soaked in and the excess of plant use will recharge our Groundwater. Our Natural Resource Districts have done a good job  implementing regulations at a local level to control the withdrawals. Their record is an example of how much more acceptable regulations can be, if developed, implemented, and enforced locally. California could learn something about irrigation water management from Nebraska. We are unique with our NRD's and the Unicameral Legislature, but it has worked for the good of the State. You would think other states would catch on. But maybe that's what Colorado thinks about legalizing marijuana.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Signs of Progress-Concrete Being Poured

This was a beautiful day and ideal for pouring concrete. Here a crew of Kiwanis members are setting the base for the first State Flag for the Parade of Flags project. The base consist of a pipe set in concrete for the flag pole to slip into. There will be 50 State flags on either side of a walkway leading up to the U.S. Flag and Service flags. Several of the fellows shown working here also sing in the Kitones and reported at practice this evening that they got 19 bases set. They will be back at it again tomorrow and hopefully be able to finish the concrete work while the weather is nice. Don't be confused by the wheels of the cement truck up in the air.  
They drop down when the truck is fully loaded to
 meet weight limit regulations /tire. The next picture is of concrete being poured for the addition to the Seward Memorial Hospital. This is the base of the Physical Therapy Unit which will include a swimming pool. (See my September 6, 2014 blog page). They were also pouring concrete at the Jones Insurance Building on Main Street and have just finished pouring the parking lot and base for the new Dollar General store on South 6th St. New houses are being built in the new development  areas, and it's great to see Seward grow. We are fortunate to live here. 

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Nebraska Football Uniforms

Nebraska was most impressive in their 45-14 win over Illinois last night. Ameer Abdulla rushed for 208 yards and 3 TD's. The game was carried on BTN and started at 8:13 with over 91,000 in the stadium. I switched channels at every break to follow the KC Royals in their loss to the White Sox. I thoroughly enjoyed Nebraska's game but was somewhat chagrined by their uniforms. Fortunately, Tom Shatel, OWH sports writer, helped me out this morning. He commented "These 'replacement' uniforms make the Big Red look like blood clots, complete with ruby slippers".  The uniforms were "a brick red, from helmets to jerseys to pants to shiny shoes that glistened."
He mentioned that the numbers were  shiny, or as one press wag called it,"duct tape." We visited with our son Tim who announces HS games back in Columbus, IN and saw the game last night. He was very sensitive to the difficulty of reading such numbers. However, this seems to be the trend of the future. The days of the scarlet and cream are as outdated as the several pillars erected between Memorial Stadium and the old Coliseum. And, according to the legend, they haven't added to their number since 1937. 

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Celebration of Life

We attended the Service of Celebration for Myrna Marie Zillig this morning; the lady I wrote about in my September 22 posting. It was a beautiful service from every perspective: flowers, music, tributes, memories, prayers, scripture readings and message by her nephew, Rev. Rod Lyon. We have known Rod all his life and are most impressed with his ability to present a most meaningful message. As a Family Member, he was able to relate to Myrna in a very personal way and said that, "She died in the prime of her life". You have to have known her to appreciate the merit of that statement. Having grown up in the depression of the 1930's, She was frugal and always looking forward and cheering the life of others. It is always nostalgic to get back in the United Church of Christ here in Seward. It was there that Elaine and I were married, our 4 children were baptized, and we spent some of the happiest years of our lives.  We also enjoyed visiting with friends that we hadn't seen for some time,; there was a lot of reminiscing.
This afternoon we visited our Great Granddaughter who was with Carolyn, while Julie and John participated in the Plum Creek Children's Literacy program at Concordia. They brought home a couple books for Sadie and Julie read them to her. She had her second birthday last month and has learned something new every day. I visited with her on the phone today for the first time. She certainly keeps us looking and thinking about the future. She learned to hold up 2 fingers at the time of her 2nd birthday. Yesterday, she held up all 4 finders and told Carolyn she couldn't find her two, so she had to be reminded which 2 they were. Education starts early and hopefully, continues throughout our lifetime. 

Friday, September 26, 2014

Local Politics

My August 22, 2014, posting, "Conflict in River City" tells of a hearing to determine if Mayor Josh Eickmeier had cause to terminate the employment of City Administrator Brett Baker. The hearing followed conflict over the past several months between the City Administrator and City employees. The City Council sat as  the jury listening to the testimony of employees, legal counsel,  and others. While they made recommendations to hopefully alleviate the communication problems, they were unable to find cause to support termination. The Mayor was unopposed in his bid for reelection. But soon after the hearing was held, a former Mayor, Bob Elwell has filed as a write-in candidate for the position. The City Administrator's contract will expire the first of December and it is doubtful that the Mayor will renew it. (That may have had some impact on the City Council's decision. )
Mr. Elwell has indicated that he hasn't determined if he would support renewal of the contract. I served as a City Council member under both of these gentlemen as Mayors. They are each very capable. I was not pleased with Mayor Eickmeier's hiring of Baker as recommended by the League of Municipalities rather than involving the Council. But I  believe he has "learned his lesson". I see no way that the City employees and Baker can effectively continue to operate after the testimony at the hearing. I'm still deciding. 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

50 Foot Flag Pole Erected

This is a Google air view of the site for the Seward Kiwanis Parade of Flags Project. I used it on my October 26, 3013 blog page in announcing the project. Final plans were made, funds were raised and the project is taking shape. Nebraska #34 is labeled McKelvie since that is what it becomes as it goes straight east for a number of miles. The Seward Hiker-biker trail shows clearly as does the Historic Marker to the City's first settler, located in the in-out drive at the bottom of the picture. The Flag display is being constructed across the highway from the Marker and will run from the dark green line at the bottom-right corner of the picture, some 400' to the white spot. The "Parade of Flags" will feature a 50' pole for the U.S. Flag surrounded by 6 shorter Service flags.
The 50' pole was assembled by a group of Kiwanians this morning and put in place this afternoon with the assistance of a City boon truck and crew. While the U.S. and Service flags are the focal point, the "Parade" consist of all 50 State flags at regular intervals on either side of a sidewalk to the far end of the project. This display adds to our recognition as the "Official 4th of July City" and the home of the State National Guard Museum. The location at the eastern edge of town is ideal being adjacent to the "Trail" and the "Historic Marker". The Nebraska State Tree is a Cottonwood which is the species of the large tree behind the flag pole. A Great Project.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Seward Kiwanis Kitones

Our Kitones sang this noon at the Senior Center in Utica, NE. There were 17 of us including Paul Beck, Leader and Wes Skilton, accompanist. Several of us in the back row are hid by those in front of us on the picture but we were all heard. We enjoyed an excellent noon meal with the Utica folks; many of whom we knew. Pee Wee didn't get the message on the "uniform of the day" and dressed in our "formal attire". If we discounted a couple of our young members, I believe our average age would have nearly matched that of our audience. I hope they enjoyed our singing as much as we enjoyed doing it. No one enjoys it more than our Leader, Paul Beck. He is even developing some talent as a comedian. This was the 3rd time we sang during the past week which is most unusual. We sang this past Monday evening at the joint Installation Dinner for both our Kiwanis Club and the Helping Hands Club that meets in the evening here in Seward. Last Friday we sang in Lincoln at the Veterans Administration Recognition Dinner. It's all done on a volunteer basis as part of our community service and within the mission of Kiwanis. 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014


This is a picture Prince & Pat and me when I was about 10 years old. I used the picture on my April 6, 2011 blog entitled "Honyaks". I told of how my golfing buddy had used the term that morning in suggesting that if we hurried to tee off, we could get out ahead of the Honyaks that were getting ready. It was the first time in years that I had heard the term, but it bought back memories of my Dad using it frequently. I even suggested that Dad may have thought that I looked like a honyak, afraid that the horses were going to step on my bare toes. A comment on the blog at the time suggested the following definition:  An immigrant to the United States from east-central Europe; A rube or simpleton. 
The word came up this morning at coffee in discussing other terms that our Dad's and Grandfather's used that we don't hear anymore. As a society, we continue to evolve in our sensitivity to discriminatory language; which is good. Interestingly, I have posted some 1,350 pages since late 2010 and my April 6, 2011 on Honyaks has had 537 hits which leads all others. Prince William comes in second and "A unique tree" is 3rd. Social Media provides a whole new way of "learning" but I hope we don't lose the benefits of face-to-face communication.  

Monday, September 22, 2014


Myrna (Sieck) Zillig died yesterday at age 92. She was the widow of Mervin Zillig and a life long citizen of Seward County. She and Mervin leave behind a wonderful family of 5 children, their spouses Grandchildren and Great-Grandchildren. We have never regretted moving back to our hometown in Seward, NE after being gone for 22 years because of people like Myrna. She was a great lady who had the ability to make people feel better about themselves and everything around them. She was a farm girl who was raised on a farm homesteaded by her grandfather in the Pleasant Dale area. The farm where she and Mervin lived for many years was also homesteaded by his grandfather. This heritage may have contributed to both families commitment to the Stewardship of our Soil and Water Natural Resources. Her brother Harold Sieck was chairman of the Soil Conservation District Board when I started to work for the Soil Conservation Service and later a State Senator. Among the many organizations in which we shared membership after coming back was the Seward Grange. We enjoyed the monthly meetings but the highlight was our annual "field trip". It would involve a caravan of cars leaving early on Saturday morning for a destination 3 or 4 hours away. Arrangements would have been made ahead of time for a guide to explain the attractions at our destination as well as motel accommodations. An evening event was usually also scheduled. On Sunday morning we all went to a local church together, had our Sunday Dinner and headed for home. Mervin (Bud) and Myrna were always an important part of the leadership in making the arrangements and all the trips special. Thanks for the memories, Myrna.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Eleanor Roosevelt

We were probably among the few people in Nebraska that watched the 7th and final episode of "The Roosevelt's" last night instead of the first half of the Nebraska-Miami football game. The Ken Burns Roosevelt series was shown throughout the week from 7:00-9:00 pm on NET 2 and from 9:00-11:00 on NET 1. We did see the second half of the game and were pleased to see Nebraska win in the very intense "atmosphere". The first half of the Roosevelt's last night included FDR's  reelection to a 4th term, his meeting with Churchill and Stalin at Yalta, and his death at the "Little White House" in Georgia. The 2nd half of the program was primarily on Eleanor. While she was aware of Franklin's affair with her social secretary Lucy Mercer, early in his Presidency, she was told at the time of his death about the renewal of that relationship during his later years. And, of how her own daughter Anne had been a part of the scheme to keep her (Eleanor) in the dark about it. It was a devastating blow to her but she persevered, was appointed to the United Nations and left a legacy of concern for others, that established her place in History.  We have visited the site at Hyde Park where she and Franklin are buried. My sister Vivian who taught Social Studies in Jr. High was a long time dedicated Democrat who would have loved the entire Ken Burns "Roosevelt" series and especially the way Eleanor's ability and accomplishments were presented.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Worldwide Internet

A Bloomberg piece in this morning's Lincoln Journal Star, caught my eye with the headline of "Russia considers cutting off worldwide Internet to its citizens". The attached world map shows by intensity of green color,, the number of daily "hits" on my blog. The map is a couple days old but very typical of the number of hits from Russia. There are occasional hits from many other countries that don't show on this map. My blog was never intended to be of International  interest but merely a way of communicating with family, friends and a personal record of activities. When I first saw the number of hits from Russia, I assumed that it related to people learning the English language and how an ordinary American expresses himself.  I must admit to taking some pride in thinking that I may be contributing to someone's ability to communicate in English and hope, if that is the reason, it can continue. The article did say in part: "Russia, on the brink of recession after U.S. and European Union sanctions, provoked by the worst geopolitical rift since the Cold War over Ukraine, has been tightening control of the Internet this year. Putin, a former KGB colonel whose centralized power since he became president in 2000, has called the Internet a creation of U.S. spy agencies."

Friday, September 19, 2014

National POW/MIA Recognition Day

Our Seward Kiwanis Kitones sang this morning at the Lincoln, NE Regional Office for the National POW/MIA Recognition Day. Nebraska Secretary of State John Gale gave the Keynote address. It was a most impressive event which included a number of former POW's and MIA's family members. John Gale's messge included a saying that was attributed to Abraham Lincoln. It seemed that he always respected people who were proud to tell pelple where they were from, because their hometown would be proud of them.  He also spoke of Bernie Neider with whom he had made a PBS program that has been used in Nebrska schools for students to learn apprecciation for what members of our armed forces went through during WWII. The audience of about 100 joined us in singing 'God Bless America". After "the Colors" were retired, we all enjoyed a light lunch.
The Lincoln  VA Regional Office posted the following facebook entry this morning: 
"Today is National POW/MIA Recognition Day, and for this week's tribute, we ask that you "express the solemn promise of a country and its people to our service members who have not returned home and their families: You are not forgotten."

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Our September Field Trip

Elaine and I made our annual "pilgrimage" to the country this afternoon. As part of Elaine's birthday celebration, we visit the farmstead and drive past the farm where she was raised and where her folks continued to live for several years. We had all 4 kids when she would go out and work with her Mother and Aunt in canning green beans, etc. All that remains of the farmstead is shown on the picture. Soybeans are growing in what was once a driveway, lawn, and corral. The old cement cave and house foundations have long since been dozed over near the road . I took the liberty of picking up a small piece of concrete that had worked it's way in to the bean field.
It is only 5 1/2 miles east from Elaine's home farm to where I grew up. We were pleased to see that the little house was occupied that had replaced our old farm house. I visited with the lady and daughter who bought the place recently after it setting idle for some time. They had come from North Carolina and felt much more at home out where there were hills and creeks. The large Black Walnut tree in the foreground was already a good sized tree when I was a boy. I remember of Dad hanging a lantern in it when we had a party. We were impressed with the quality of the maturing crops and the large acreage of Soy Beans. Among many other items of Nature, we observed two Turkey Vultures salvaging  Opossum and  Raccoon carcases along the side of the road. Nature is beautiful this time of year.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Roosevelts

We will be watching Ken Burns, "Intimate History" of THE ROOSEVELTS again tonight on PBS. This will be the 4th in the series of 7 episodes. We have thoroughly enjoyed the first three. With only an elementary knowledge of Theodore, the early episodes increased my knowledge of him considerably. I am much more familiar with Franklin and Eleanor. One of my earliest memories are of hearing my Mother and Dad talking at the kitchen table about the possibilities of another Civil War if President Hoover was re-elected. A few years ago, I wrote a 30 page paper on, "Memories of My Presidents"-"Their Times, our Times, Their Election & Their Inauguration". We moved to the Vrana Family Farm in the early spring of '32 before RDR was elected that fall as President. My folks had great admiration for President Roosevelt and you could hear a "pin drop" in our house when he gave his "fireside chats". He and his programs were major factors in my "growing up" and helping our family through the drought and depression years of the '30's. I could walk to the spot today where I stood when I heard of his death. His appreciation of our Nation's Natural Resources  and his involvement with Hugh Hammond Bennett, led to the establishment of the USDA Soil Conservation Service where I spent my 32-year federal career. We have had the opportunity to visit Hyde Park on 2 occasions as well as the Little White House at Warm Springs, Georgia, where he died. We also visited the Roosevelt Library at Hyde Park where the hand written draft of his message to the Nation following the Japaneses attack on Pearl Harbor, was displayed. He had crossed out the word "forever" and inserted "infamy" and said "December 7, 1941 a day that will live in infamy".

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Sustainable Use of Natural Resources

After writing in my blog yesterday about the Soil and Water Conservation Society, I decided that our files include material  there is little reason to keep. I spent about 4 hours today going through those files. It was most enjoyable. We did dispose of a significant amount but kept some selected items. How could I dispose of a hand written note from former Nebraska Governor Bob Crosby who sent this to me back in 1991 when I announced my retirement from SWCS. I saw literally hundreds of names and refreshed many memories of people that I had interacted with during my "working years". There was a lot of "overlap" with the employees of the Soil Conservation Service (SCS/NRCS), the members of the Soil and Water Conservation Society (SWCS) and even the Nebraska Natural Resources Commission (NRC). My review of the files was a reminder that many of the people I worked with, are no longer with us, but what a tremendous contribution they made to the conservation and sustainable use of our natural resources. The SCS was established in 1935 and the SWCS in 1945. I had the privilege of working with some of the very first people involved with these organizations. Just as my generation stood on the shoulders of those that had gone on before, the very capable cadre of those involved today, have a very firm foundation on which to continue the pursuit of Sustainable Use of Our Natural Resources. 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Jim Gulliford, Executive Director SWCS

My September/November issue of the "Journal of Soil and Water Conservation" came in the mail today. Jim Gulliford, Executive Director of the Soil and Water Conservation Society (pictured), reports of the Societies recent 69th Annual Meeting in the Chicago area. The Theme of the Meeting was: "Making Waves in Conservation: Our Life on Land and Its Impacts on Water". Jim reports on a very successful meeting. Technical workshops, symposia, oral presentations and posters provided an opportunity to learn from and connect with university, agency and private sector researchers. Doug Garrison, NRCS Resource Conservationist stationed here in Seward, received a Commendation Award for his leadership for the Nebraska Chapter, Society Newsletter. Without counting, I'm estimating that I have participated in at least 25 of those 69 annual meetings. It was at the 1989 meeting in Edmonton, Canada, that I was selected to fill the position that Gulliford now occupies. Jim's ability and experience is ideal for serving as Executive Director of the Society. While looking at the Journal that  came in the mail today, I checked the Societies Web Site and found an opportunity to attain the Journals on-line that have been published during the Societies existence. For several years I  donated my copies to Concordia University but retained all those published during the years I was Executive Director. 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Melanie Benjamin in Seward

Melanie Benjamin, author of "The Aviator's Wife" was at the Seward Memorial Library this afternoon to discuss  her Lindbergh book which was a "Seward Reads" this summer. I wrote my June 28th  blog on my reaction soon after reading the book and indicated intent to withhold "judgement" until having an opportunity to discuss it with the Author. I knew she was scheduled to come to Seward and today was the day. The audience consisted of about 60 women and 5 men since the book' focus is on Anne Morrow Lindbergh. After an energetic presentation in which she indicated: "Facts are for historians but emotions are for historic novelist": she took questions and comments. I had the opportunity to ask her reaction to the dilemma that some of our most respected national leaders, Roosevelt, Lincoln, Washington all had indiscretions that were never brought to light and whether our learning about Lindbergh was good for society and the country. She agreed that had the  "public" known what we now know, they would probably never have been elected. She also commented that we will never know what leadership we may have lost more recently because of "everything being out". However, she also indicated that society is evolving in their acceptance of indiscretions. We have made significant progress during the past 50 years toward sexual equality and non discrimination in general, but are we ready to accept as "heroes" those who have outstanding ability in one area but have admitted to indiscretions. Should Pete Rose be accepted into the Baseball Hall of Fame?? She autographed a copy of my June 28th, 2014, blog page and confirmed my recognition of our changing morals.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

A New Chrysanthemum

Our temperature was in the low 30's this morning and the rooftops were covered with frost. The sun came out early so it didn't last long but some folks had their tomatoes covered. I made a decision before breakfast on my day's activity. The Francis Baker estate auction started at 9:30 at their home which is only about 4 blocks from where we live. I looked through the on-line Schweitzer Auctioneer's sale bill last night  where many interesting things were listed. I have made it a habit of buying something like a pocket knife, etc. at old friends estate auction for a "keepsake" from them, but with the weather so chilly and the auction being held in their yard,  I decided to not go. The fact that the lawn needed to be mowed later in the day was also a factor in my decision. We did enjoy visits by both Carolyn and Julie today, and Elaine decided to make me same ham and bean soup for Sunday. We had the beans but went down to the grocery store and got some "Ham Hocks" to go in the soup. We also picked up this yellow Chrysanthemum, which I planted in front of  our front entryway Barberry hedge. We have others growing there but had a blank space where it filled in. I never have the courage to cut our existing ones back so they will bloom like this new one. Maybe next year I will get up the courage. I am satisfied that I made the right decision to spend over 2 hours working out in the yard rather than going to the auction. 

Friday, September 12, 2014

Jean Vrana

Jean Vrana's funeral was held today in Hastings, NE this afternoon with Rev. Dr. Lee R. Wigert officiating. Burial was in the Parkview Cemetery in Hastings. Jean was having some health problems at the time of Cousin Phil's funeral last March. She and Phil are pictured here at a "cousins" reunion held in Lincoln back in 2005. They are standing near the right end next to Gleason. Jean and Phil were married on May 30, 1951. She worked for the Nebraska Department of Labor/Unemployment Division for 30 years retiring in June of 1998. Phil worked for Farmers National Company for a number of years in Kansas, Iowa, Columbus, NE and Hastings where he had his own Farm Management Co. 
Jean is survived by sons and daughters-in-law Steve & Marilyn Vrana, Aurora, NE; Dan & Mary Vrana, Gilbert, AZ; and daughters and son-in-laws Jan & Matt Dwyer, Hastings, NE; Sue & Terry Colhour, Lincoln, NE. There are 12 Grandchildren and 6 Great-Grandchildren. Phil and Jean were great people and leave a wonderful family. There were several of us Vrana cousins who were within a rather narrow age range. We enjoyed playing together as kids and still have our regular cousins reunion. This quilt was a product at such a get-to-gather back in 2005. Muffy was the leader in working with several of us in making what is a family heirloom. Many of the blocks have old family pictures that were transferred to the quilt material. We miss Jean, Phil and the several others who have passed on since the time of the quilts origin, but celebrate there lives and the blessings they brought to all of us. 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Patriots Day 2014

The Seward Volunteer Fire Department honored the fallen New Your City Fireman on Patriots Day with this flag display in the Civic Center Parking Lot today. It made a very impressive sight for anyone traveling on Highway 15 running north-south through town as well as for all of us locals. By this time next year the Parade of Flags will be completed along Highway #34 which runs east-west through town. That display will feature a large U.S. Flag on a 50' pole surrounded by 6 smaller poles with flags from the five branches of military service and the Prisoner of War/Missing in Action flag. This display will be located at the eastern edge of town across the highway from a State of Nebraska Historical Marker recognizing the county's first settler. The display is adjacent to Plum Creek Hiking-Biking Trail. A hard surfaced walkway will be extended from the Trail to the Flag focal point and then extended for more than another 300' with the 50 State Flags displayed  along the way. It will serve as a Welcome to visitors coming from Lincoln and the east to visit our recognized 4th of July City and the location of the new Nebraska National Guard Museum. The concrete base for the large U.S. Flag has already been poured and commitments have been made for the purchase and maintenance of all of the Flags for this Kiwanis project. The Club has been involved in selling and installing flag poles  as a project dating back a couple years before 9-11. To date they have installed over 700 Flags and Flag Poles in Seward and the surrounding counties.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Fallbrook Subdivision of Lincoln

Elaine and I met my Brother Don and wife Gladys for lunch this noon down at the Toast Deli- Coffee Bar in the Fallbrook area of Lincoln. Don and Gladys had not visited the new Cattle National Bank and Trust facility in the Fallbrook subdivision so Laura gave us a tour. We also drove through the residential area which is most impressive. The Prairie Revival style of architecture is most prevalent which adds to the neighborhoods attractiveness. I especially like the paved alleys with garages in back of the houses. That  enables attractive front yards and porches that are reminiscent of the 1920's and '30's. We were also impressed by the number of people employed in the area judging by the cars parked at the Ameritas, Family Health Center, YMCA, Concordia University facility, etc. Super Saver is a big draw to the area being located right off highway #34. The whole subdivision is one that will play a major role in the City of Lincoln's future development. It is certainly off to a good start as a planned community and not expanding as so many cities do according to the desires of individual developers. If we were to move to Lincoln in the near future, this is where I would want to live. I think that will be the case for many others. 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Nebraska Politics

The big news in Nebraska today was the announcement that Lt. Governor Lavon Heidemann had been issued a restraining order involving a dispute with his sister on the management of family land. He also was the running mate as Lt. Governor with Gubernatorial candidate Pete Ricketts. This morning he resigned as Lt. Governor and also withdrew from the November ticket with Ricketts. Early this afternoon Ricketts presented Mike Foley as his new running mate. Secretary of State John Gale is reviewing regulations to determine if or how Foley's name may appear on the November ballot. It was noted earlier that the only way a running mate's name could be changed after September 1st was in the case of their death. Gale is to announce his decision tomorrow. Foley has an excellent reputation serving as State Auditor for the past 8 years and in the Unicameral prior to that. He was one of the leading candidates for Governor but beat out by Ricketts. It is rather ironic that Governor Heinemann appointed Heidemann to the Lt. Governor position following the resignation of Rick Sheehy for misuse of State equipment. Sheehy was also appointed by Heinemann following Governor Mike Johann's appointment as Secretary of Agriculture and Heinemann moving up from the Lt. Governor position. No word on an appointment by Heinemann to fill the remaining 3 months as Lt. Governor. I would recommend that he appoint his wife, she wouldn't embarrass him. Weather warnings over the State and the beginning of Husker Harvest Days in Grand Island couldn't compete with political news today and we haven't heard what Chuck Hassebrook, the Democratic candidate of Governor, has to say about it.  

Monday, September 8, 2014

Golfing Books

Last week I wrote about one of my humorous little golf books which I had never read until later that evening. I then scanned, listed them with their original price, and took this picture. In going through them, I even found a Christmas Card from Elaine in presenting me with the "Kiss" book. The text book used in the Carl Everts Concordia University beginning golf course that got me started in the game is included with my class notes. Nebraska Golf Courses is another book that lists and tells about all the courses in the State. It was less than 20 years ago that I took up the game by taking Carl's course but it was a great source of enjoyment, fellowship and exercise during the years that I played regularly. During 2012 I played a total of 217, 9-hole rounds. Now that I haven't renewed my golfing membership and play only on special occasions, I'm ready to reduce my inventory of golfing material. I'm considering a Seward Swap event or a modified "garage sale".  Parting with old books and old golf clubs is almost like losing old friends, but I know it needs to be done. 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Garland HS Basketball Team 1945-'46

This picture is of the Garland High School Basketball team in 1946. Ila and Ron Deinert stopped by this afternoon with this and a few others which we helped identify. Ila's Dad was Carl Bock who coached the team. I have sent a copy of it to my brother Don who is seated second from the right but haven't heard from him. We have most of them identified but expect he will know them all. Don and #10 setting next to him, Don Hartmann were the only two in the Senior Class that year. Hartmann went on through Concordia Teachers College and had a successful teaching career. My brother farmed, went to school to become a successful auctioneer. The older I get, the more I question  the meaning of "education". As important as formal classroom education may be, it continues throughout life and the opportunities for learning limited only by our energy and curiosity. I doubt that having only 2 in their graduating class had much effect on the very successful lives of the two Donald's.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Progress and Questions

Work continues at Seward's Memorial Health Care Hospital. The addition will house the physical therapy unit as well as other features. It will include a "swimming pool" at the lower level which is being dug as shown. Hartmann Construction is doing the dirt work as they have on many projects over the past 50 years. As frequently happens, they are able to pair an excavation project like this one with one that requires additional fill dirt. This dirt is being hauled a few blocks to the site of the new Dollar General building where it is being utilized to raise the ground level of what was the Big Blue River channel
some years ago. It had been filled with various rubble over the years after the channel was changed. The area with the rubble under the surface will become parking lot and the building will be built over the area where this clean dirt is being placed to form an excellent base. We are looking forward to both of these new Seward buildings along with an attractive Insurance Building that is being completed. It is being build on a lot where the most popular Gas Station was located years ago. You have to wonder what our downtown "square" will be like after another 50 years. 

Friday, September 5, 2014

Socks on a Special Quilt

Elaine was mending one of my favorite pair of socks recently without realizing how many I had "stashed away".  I must admit to not being really aware of the number either. It has been taken for granted that their will be clean socks in the drawer that I haven't needed to think about those in a chest-of-drawers. With large feet it hasn't always been easy to buy good fitting socks at a reasonable price. That fact, and my "penny-pinching" has led me to buy bargains when I saw them. Some of them came in "bundles" from discount stores so there are 19 pairs that have never been opened or tags removed. I counted another 8 pair that have not been in the "regular rotation" of another 7 or 8 pair. They are all tucked back in the dresser but much closer to being moved up into the rotation. The bedspread the socks are laid out on may be of more interest to some than the socks. It is one that Granddaughter Julie had designed and was produced by Martha Stewart when she worked in New York City a few years ago. Our daughter Carolyn ordered it for us as a gift which we continue to enjoy. I can envision a "Plugger" cartoon saying that a Plugger always appreciates gifts and never passes up a bargain even if he never wears it.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Peperomia Plant with Flower

Elaine had a Happy Birthday yesterday and she continues to have a "special gift" which is shown in this picture. It is of a Peperomia plant which she has had setting on our dining room table for several years. It is in a perfect spot where it gets bright light from a south window but out of direct sunlight. Elaine was given a "slip" from a plant she had commented on some 25 years ago. She brought it home, rooted, and planted it in a small pot. She has repotted it some time ago. It has an interesting characteristic of sending out "tentacles" which twist together to support their vertical growth which provides the plants relatively slow growth. The plant requires very little care with only infrequent watering. The first time we saw a flower on the plant was at the time of my birthday over a year ago and now it is blooming for Elaine's. We enjoy it even though we don't know a lot about it, especially the flower. 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Birthday Lady

We celebrated Elaine's birthday today by participating in the monthly birthday dinner at the Senior Center this noon and by being taken to the Seward Country Club this evening. Carolyn and Ben picked us up after we took this picture at our front entry way. We were also joined at the SCC with Julie, John and Sadie. The food was excellent in both places with some of it coming home with us this evening for tomorrow. Elaine received several birthday calls including one from her brother Dale and all three boys called after we got home from the Country Club. We also got a box of Russell Stover candy to add to the celebration. Alex Gordon hit a HR for the Royals with a runner on base for a 2-0 lead over the Rangers in the 7th inning. It all adds up to a Happier Birthday than what some of us may appear in the picture. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Golf- Reading about It.

During my later years with the Soil Conservation Service, I had the opportunity to counsel several potential retirees on the decision they were contemplating. One of my "stories" was about my
Town Team baseball days where we would set around a case of beer after the ballgame was over and replay the game. I would tell them that once they retired, the "ballgame" they had been playing would be over and they could set around and talk about it or take up a new game. I am now at the point of having given up golf (other than an occasional round) and am setting around and talking (and reading) about it. I have a rather extensive golf book library including the one pictured which I'm reading. It is a humorous little book of words and paintings selected by Helen Exley and published by Exley Publications in Great Britain and Exley Giftbooks in the USA simultaneously in 1995. I had never read the book before now and find it quite enjoyable with its English humor. I might even finish it tonight and check out another one tomorrow. 

Monday, September 1, 2014

Labor Day

Labor Day has been a memorable holiday for us over the years. It has involved putting up prairie hay, State Fair, visiting the Black Hills, celebrating Elaine's birthday, playing golf, etc. However, it would be difficult to top what we did on Labor Day 5 years ago. Julie was working for Martha Stewart in NY City and had a nice apartment. Carolyn and I had flown back to visit her and had seen the Mets beat the Cubs in Citi field on Sunday. The next day was Labor Day and in the morning we walked over to Ft. Tryon Park which is a high point in the City. We made the subway connections and were at Yankee Stadium by 11:30. The Museum area was closed but Carolyn's persuasion got us in. It was most interesting. We had good seats to see C.C. Sabathia and the Yankees beat the Rays 4-1 with Hughes getting the win and Mariano Rivera his 39th save. We walked past the old stadium on the way to the subway station. Carolyn and I flew home the next day but it was a GREAT Labor Day and wonderful trip. Today involved the garage door opener breaking a critical part as I raised the door to drive over and visit Charley in the Hospital. Since there was nothing open in Seward because of the holiday, we drove down to Lincoln and got the part along with a few other things. I was able to get it back together, the cars in the garage and the doors down by 4:00pm. I mixed a couple drinks, watched the Ricketts/Hassebrook Governor candidate debate and am enjoying the Royals leading the Rangers 4-0. Not a bad Labor Day after all, but hardly compares with the "bucket list cross-off day" 5 years ago.