Thursday, April 30, 2015

Col. Gerald Meyer- The Nebraska National Guard Museum

We went down to the Senior Center at 1:00pm  today to hear Col. Jerry Meyer speak on the development of the Nebraska National Guard Museum. It will be in the old Armory that was built in 1956 here in Seward. The new Museum will replace the little 1913 building that was near the south entry to the State Fair Grounds in Lincoln. Jerry has been in the Guard for 32 years, developed the Higgins Boat Display in Columbus, been deployed to Afghanistan, and has traveled to  observe  36 Nat'l Guard State Museums. He says this will be one of the best. In addition to funds raised locally, some 3 million dollars were 
made available by Congress last fall and another 3 million is expected. The contractor doing the design is from Atlanta and has worked for the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C. It will include many interactive features to depict joining the Guard and beginning basic training. There will also be a depiction of the Hedge Rows encountered by WWII soldiers in combat with the Nazis as the allies fought their way to St. Lo. It will be particularly meaningful to Elaine since she lost a cousin in that battle. In addition to a crew working on the inside, concrete was being poured today for the parking lot. 

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Chicago O’Hare Airport

Since returning from our baseball trip to Miami, I have been updating my “Baseball Parks Visited” book during my spare time. It is a labor of love and enables me to really assimilate the rapidly evolving events that occurred during those 3 days. One such event involved the change of planes in Chicago from the American plane that brought us from Miami to the United Terminal and plane that took me to Lincoln, NE. Our incoming American plane unloaded in Terminal 3 (shown in black) and my United plane boarded in Terminal 1 (shown in blue). I don’t know the scale of this drawing but can attest to the  significant distance between the two gates. Tim had thoughtfully planned to follow me and the young lady providing my transportation to my boarding area at United. When she pointed out to him that his American flight on to Indianapolis was loading in the “G” concourse, he turned off and trusted her to get me to where I needed to go. I had no concept of where we were headed but after many blocks of travel, up and down elevators, tram rides we got to the United Terminal. There I was subjected to the most thorough X-ray securing check and “shake down” that I’ve ever experienced.  We finally got to the  Lincoln boarding area where I gave her an additional tip beyond what Tim had done. She has no idea how much help she was to me and also to Tim since he would not have been able to make his flight had he gone the whole way with us. God Bless Her and others who make it possible for some of us to travel. 

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Happy Days

We got up to Hughes' today where Sadie was working in her kitchen.  She had dirty dishes to wash that required a lot of soap and water that ended up in her sand pile. Her arm strength amazes me the way she can pick up a big pitcher with 3 quarts of water in it and pour it into a dishpan. I think it’s an “in-born” trait of females that they don’t want anyone distracting them when they are working in their kitchen. Ben and Carolyn’s back yard has evolved considerably over the years but has become a very comfortable area for their gardening, playground for Sadie and relaxing area for all concerned. The Hammock has considerable appeal but I haven’t attempted to utilize it. 
One of the back yard features is the work train that passes through a tunnel running under the “mountain” at the top of the picture. Sadie is able to operate it and it's just another one of the many things that makes coming to Grandma and Grandpa's house special. It was a beautiful day for all of us; the  Lilac are blooming with sunshine and temperatures in the low 70’s. It’s seems that going on a trip like I did recently, helps one realize how enjoyable the very commonplace things and people are that we tend to take for granted here at home. I even enjoyed Kitone practice more last night than usual. 

Monday, April 27, 2015

Educational Kiwanis Program

Sylvana Airan, Assistant Director of Business Contracts and Student Services in the Housing Department at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, was our speaker at Kiwanis today. She is from Pakistan where her father was a civil engineer and her mother a High School Principal. She was raised a Christian in an English speaking home and came to USA and Lincoln, NE in 1978 to attend college where she received her BA. She spoke of her native country, is shown holding a Cricket bat and showed other artifacts. In addition to her position and being part of the Lincoln Speakers Bureau, she is the director of the Passion play at a local church in Lincoln, which involves about 200 people with live animals and special effects. She also serves on the board for Back to the Bible. She quoted from the Koran and the commitment of Muslims to it’s teaching though few can read it since it is written in Arabic. It was a most enlightening presentation.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Great Trip-Great Time

I took this picture of the centerfield scoreboard at the Marlin’s park during the 6th inning of the game on Friday evening.  The amount of information included would almost keep an announcer talking. I set the camera on a solid base to use the telescopic lens which helps the stability.  I got through all our papers and mail this morning and processed pictures this afternoon after going to an Alaska program at the Library. It was put on by the John Hughes’ and Gary Rolfs’. Rolfs’  lived there for 11 years and Hughes had gone on an inside passage tour this past summer.
Processing the pictures gave me an opportunity to re-live the whole trip after a good night’s sleep in our old bed. I probably enjoyed it as much today as while we were there. (Except for the couple pictures in the plane with the Ohio State guy setting in front of me). Tim and Tony enjoyed the Bobblehead Museum with its hundreds of baseball players. They had a computer where selected players could be located. Many of them were bobbling at all times. I sold all the ones we had on eBay. I don’t know how their value has held up but has probably been better than the tractors and cars that I’ve collected. The Great Memories of the trip will far out last any others. Thanks!!!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

The Miami Marlins New Baseball Park

We did it. Son Tim, his Son Tony and I saw the Florida Marlins beat the Washington Nationals 3-2 last night in the new Marlin’s Park in Miami. I can again say that I have seen games in all 30 of the current Major League Baseball Parks. I could make that statement again after going to New York in 2009 to see the Yankees and Mets  new  Stadiums but got “cancelled” in ’14 when the Marlins opened at their new Park. It has been referred to as the Crown Jewel of the parks and I agree. It was a great game as well. It was interesting to see the clocks that are used this year for the first time to speed up the game. They opened the roof and had fireworks after the game last night with a display that out-did our Seward (Nebraska's 4th of July City) usual display.

Friday, April 24, 2015


Elaine snapped this picture of me and the kids back in the ’60’s when we were on a Sunday afternoon sightseeing trip back in the Washington, D.C. area.  There are stories behind every picture and decisions that lead up to those stories. The decision we made for me to participate in an “Administrative Trainee” program of the USDA Soil Conservation Service is what led to this picture. Elaine and I made the decision with very little thought in comparison to its impact. Much of it was based on faith and what “seemed right” at the time. It was an opportunity to advance in my job or be content in a comfortable lower level position. We never know "what might have been” but taking advantage of going into the program, moving to the Washington, D.C. area, completing my college education and advancing into the Civil Service, Senior Executive Service, certainly has “paid off” financially for Elaine and I. We will never know what effect it had on the lives of our children. They had already adapted very well to the move from Seward to Lincoln and actually did very well in adapting to school and life in Arlington, VA. The oldest boy went off to college in Richmond and after interludes in Massachusetts and Nebraska, still calls Richmond home. The second boy came back to Nebraska for his first year of college and decided it wasn’t for him and graduated from Duke. After a stint with the Social Security Administration, he graduated from Indiana University School of Law and he and his family are in Columbus, IN. Our daughter graduated from Appalachian State University in North Carolina at Boone, worked there and got married before coming back to Nebraska. Our youngest son  went to Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA, married, has worked as a USDA Soil Scientist in several states and has been back in Washington for nearly 20 years. There is no way that young people can predict the effect of early decisions but must rely of best judgment and faith. And it never hurts to talk it over with parents because they, too, will be affected by the decision. 

Thursday, April 23, 2015

ART vs Grafetti

My blog page of Friday, April 10, 2015 was, “ART by any other Name”. It was about Eric Ringler (HOTTEA) who was in town as a guest of Concordia University and the Jones National Bank and Trust. He typically works with yarn to create installations that co-exist with a space non-destructively and brings attention to forgotten spaces. That is not necessarily the case for the art that he and some of the Concordia students produced on the fire escape at the east entrance of the Seward County Court House. My enthusiasm for the project was heightened after going to Concordia’s web site at and seeing more information on Ringler’s background. I’ve now had an opportunity to see the finished project and am most impressed. The various colors and shades are most pleasing to view as they transition from color to color. I suspect he is familiar with ROY G BIV, the acronym for the colors of the Rainbow: Red, Orange, .... I have no idea how long it may last. The “strings” are pulled taunt and tied very securely. I don’t know the extent that snow or ice may need to be cleaned off the steps nor the problem with the strings, but that is the only “down side” that I can think of as a possible problem. I Think It Looks Great. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Tim’s Short Visit

We are taking Tim out to Sadie’s house for supper this evening. Julie has a special Menu planned that everyone will enjoy. This has been a good day of visiting and of my taking Tim along to meet with the regular coffee group. They got started asking him about his work of representing individuals in attempting to obtain disability Social Security benefits and the session extended beyond its normal time. I probably learned more about his work by hearing him explain it to the group than what we ever get in casual conversation. He attempted to tell them about his sports announcing but didn’t generate any interest in the subject. He had told me earlier of receiving a little plaque in recognition of his announcing the Columbus North HS Girls basketball games after they became State Champions this year. 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Tim’s visit

Elaine got checked in for her first therapy session today and it was at the same time as mine so Carolyn and Sadie went down to meet Tim’s plane at the Lincoln Airport. They were already out on the deck when we got home and joined them for a good “catch-up” visit. Tim hadn’t had a chance to get anything to eat so they were enjoying Runzas and potato chips. Elaine had baked a Cherry pie this morning so a small piece of that added to the lunch. Sadie is a good eater and seemed to enjoy the pie crust more than the cherries. It was good to get a first hand report from Tim on all of his family. While we talk on the phone frequently, it isn’t like “face-to-face”. They were able to stop by and see Julie and Jack on their way home from the airport. This was the first time Tim had an opportunity to see Jack. Tim and their son Tony, were here last July when we had a Vrana family reunion at Syracuse, NE. Though we miss Laura not being along with Tim, we hope to see her and the whole family later this summer. I remember as my folks got older, there were times that they appreciated me stopping by alone and the same was true of Elaine’s folks. There was a time when we didn’t subscribe to the Sunday newspaper that gave us a weekly excuse to stop by for a much more important reason-- just to visit. I wish all of our boys were close enough to do just that. But we continue to be so thankful that our Daughter and family are close by. 

Monday, April 20, 2015

Boy Scouts of America

Jason Anderson and Luke Stege-Tompsett with the Cornhusker Council of the Boy Scouts of America presented the program at Kiwanis today. The Cornhusker Council consist of 16 Counties in the south eastern corner of Nebraska. Luke is new to the Council staff and talked about the process of becoming an Eagle Scout which only 1 of 100 achieve. He named many prominent men who were Eagle Scouts including several of our recent Presidents, one of our members and Luke himself. Jason has been on staff for 16 years and spoke highly of the program in Seward during those years. A new program is one called “Big Idea” which was carried out at Pioneer Park last year where some 750 Boy Scouts planted 3,000 trees in one day. He also spoke of the Duane Daake Memorial Trap Shoot & Sporting Clays Invitational event coming up at the Oak Creek Sporting Club near Brainard, NE on Saturday, June 6, 2015. Proceeds from this tournament will benefit the Scouting programs of southeast Nebraska that serve 4,815 youth and fund a College Scholarship in honor of Duane Daake.  Mr. Daake from Utica, NE who was active in Seward County and Council Scouting programs, died on November 11, 2014. 

Sunday, April 19, 2015

HUDL with Headquarters in Lincoln, NE

I picked up this information on Hudl from Wikipedia and the picture from Hudl’s web site. It sounds like a great place to work for people who have an interest in athletics.

 "Hudl is a product and service of Agile Sports Technologies, Inc. - a Lincoln, Nebraska based company providing tools for coaches and athletes to review game footage to improve team play. Their initial product line served college and professional football teams; today the company provides video services to high school football teams as well as other sports including soccerbasketballvolleyball and lacrosse.Founded in 2006,[1] the company is based in Lincoln's historic Haymarket District. Initially the company sourced talent primarily from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, including the Jeffrey S. Raikes School; today the company has employees across a number of states in America.
In August 2013, according to Inc. Magazine, Hudl was the 149th fastest growing private company in the United States, and the fastest-growing private company in Nebraska.[2] Hudl was the fastest-growing private company in Nebraska again in 2014.[3] By 2015, Hudl grew to 230 employees across four offices, as they took on their first round of institutional funding in April with $72.5 million fromAccel Partners.[4]

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Baseball, Seed Corn and other Caps

Sadie may think this looks like 3 worms on Great Grandad’s office rug. Closer examination will reveal that it’s part of my collection of caps. These 68 are in addition to those in our closet and cars. I’m sure there are over 75 altogether. I pulled the box off the shelf this afternoon in which these are stored, looking to see how many major league baseball teams  for which I have a cap. There are several from the Soil and Water Conservation Society, from Kiwanis, Golf, Seed corn, etc. I have no idea of how many of these that were paid for but my guess is maybe 10-12. King Ranch, Harvard, Washington Redskins, Pebble Beach  Golf Course are some of them.
This second picture may give a clue as to why I wanted a baseball cap. For some years I was able to say that I’d seen games in all 30 of the major league parks. Then Miami built a new stadium a couple years ago that put me out-of-date. I have hopes of again getting current though it is a moving target. I have been to 20 something parks that are no longer in use. Ironically, the first major league game I saw was in Wrigley Field in Chicago where the Cubs hosted the Cardinals. That was in 1948 and that park is still in use. On that same trip we say Joe DiMaggio and the NY Yankees play the White Sox in old Cominisky park.  I  have seen games in 3 parks in St. Louis going back to seeing the NY Mets play the Cardinals in 1962. It was the Mets first year, and we saw the 2nd game they played at the beginning of the season. 

Friday, April 17, 2015

Jack’s Scrapbook

I visited with Gary (Bud) Armstrong a few weeks ago at Jack Armstrong’s funeral about a scrap book that Jack’s sister had kept for a number of years. She had started it many years ago to keep newspaper clippings of Jack’s athletic articles. As time went on, Gerry expanded her interest to a variety of topics involving people from the Garland area. Most of the clippings were put in the book back in the late 40’s, 50’s and 60’s. Jack showed us the scrapbooks several years ago and even loaned it to us at one time for a few days.  When I asked Bud what might happen to the scrapbook, he asked if we wanted it. He said they had looked at it and didn’t know any of the people so saw little value in it. I suggested that it might have a place in the Seward County Historical Society Museum or even in the old Garland Bank that is being restored to hold some local memorabilia. This morning he came by to drop it off and visit. I haven’t spent much time in it today but after just a couple of pages, came across this clipping of Brother Don and Gladys’ wedding. It is a  bit yellow with age but thought maybe some of their family would enjoy seeing it. Who doesn’t enjoy looking at a beautiful bride! In fact, even on those first few pages I came across stories on some of my old girlfriends. We also came across the write-up on one of Elaine’s cousins wedding which took place in the fall of ’62 only to realize that we had moved back to the Washington area by then which accounted for our not remembering it.  

Thursday, April 16, 2015

NRCS/SCS Retirees Dinner

A group of the Lincoln area NRCS/SCS retirees got together this evening to eat and visit in the gazebo room at the Perkins restaurant at 48th and “O”. Shown here is Jim Harner, Jim Culver, Gus Dornbusch and Tony Vrana. The empty chair was Elaine’s who took the picture. The Annual Spring Banquet has been a major event for this group for many years but the number interested and available to attend such an event has been in constant decline. When the number available for the customary night this year was only 26, it was decided to have this casual event. While some of the Lincoln folks get together for breakfast on a monthly basis, the annual event was great for us. 
Here is another of the tables with Roger Hammer, Norm Helzer, Linda Helzer, Chris Chapman. We can thank Norm for picking up the ball and lining up this place when it appeared that the event may have to be cancelled. There is something about getting together with people that you worked with when you were younger that   turns your mental  clock back to those days. We were a very close knit agency that were committed to the conservation of our Natural Resources. Most of us thought of our work as a calling more than as a job. While times and jobs change, those of us who provided assistance rather than enforcement, were most fortunate. 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

John Deere “A” on Rubber

This is a toy model of a John Deere “A” that was introduced by the company in 1934. It was the industries first row-crop tractor with truly adjustable rear wheel width. The JD “A” eventually became the most popular tractor in the company’s history. We had a 1944 “A” that had been “streamlined” from the earlier model. The steering column was enclosed with a grill which was one of the major changes. Elaine’s Dad had one of these original “A’s” that is shown here with Dale and her on the tractor pulling a binder cutting wheat. 
Elaine thinks that she may have taken lunch out to her Dad and Dale and doesn’t believe she was involved with either the tractor or binder. Their ’40 Chevy is shown just in front of the tractor. Her Dad apparently took the picture after they had lunch.  She did run the JD “D” when it was used to pull the binder but not this rubber-tired “A”. Elaine also drove the Ford tractor that her folks had and went out and helped with harvest after we were married. This next picture not only shows her helping with harvest but a bit pregnant.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Spring is Here

Many people recognize the first day of spring as shown on the calender, others may think of the date that we spring forward with our clocks but to us, today was it. This was the day that we switched the snow blower and lawnmower’s position in our garage. It’s not just as simple as that however, since we first syphon as much gas out of the snow blower tank as possible. Then we start it up and let it burn all the remaining gas out of the fuel line. We then make the switch of the two machines. I’m shown here finishing mowing the front yard and have already dumped the clippings onto the burlap bag to tote them to the compost pile in the back yard. After doing some part-time work with Nebraska Nurseries  years ago, I can’t do anything in the yard without a burlap bag. So with our yard machines switched around and my flannel shirts down in storage, Spring has Arrived at our Household.

Monday, April 13, 2015

CASA Wess Robotham

Wess Robotham, President of our Kiwanis Cub of Seward gave the program today on the CASA 
(Court Appointed Special Advocates) program which he heads up here in the area. Southeast Nebraska CASA recruits, trains and supports community volunteers who advocate for the best interest of abused and neglected children in the court system. The Nebraska Association is a network of 22 local programs serving over 1,400 children in 38 counties.  There are 951 community based programs nationally. The program dates back to 1972 when a Children's Court Judge in California saw the need for children in the court system to have an individual they could trust and rely on to look out for their best interest. Seward has had the program since 1996 and currently has 12 volunteer (advocates) listed on their web site. I have been familiar with the program here for some time and can vouch for it’s making a difference in the lives of distressed children. 

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Masters Golf Tournament at Augusta, Georgia

Here is Jordon Spieth about to make a birdie putt on #13 at the Masters on his way to win it by 4 strokes over Phil Mickelson and Justin Rose. His score of 14 under ties the 72 hole record set by Tiger Woods in the 1997 Master and he is also 2nd only to Woods as the youngest winner. Spieth was born on July 27, 1993, in Dallas, TX, and attended school there. He won the U.S. Junior Amateur ranking in 2009 and 2011 joining Tiger Woods as the only multiple winners . He played college golf for the Longhorns at the University of Texas and was a member of the 2011 Walker Cup. He helped his team win the NCAA championship and was Big 12 Freshman of the year and a first-team All-American. He turned pro during his sophomore year and before his 20th birthday, won the John Deere Classic in a three-way sudden-death playoff. He became the fourth youngest PGA Tour Winner and the first teenager in 82 years. Last year in the Masters, he shared the 54-hole lead with Bubba Watson. During the final round, Spieth led by two strokes but Watson retook the lead and never relinquished it. Spieth finished in a tie for second with Jonal Blixt. This year he was the leader from day one and set many records along the way. He is a likable fellow who will be a great champion but it’s still good to see the old timers like Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods do well. 

Saturday, April 11, 2015

’53 Chevy 5-window Pickup

Among the model trucks, tractors and cars that I have been working on is this 1953 Chevy 5 window pickup. This die cast model with plastic parts was made by the MIRA company under agreement with General Motors. It has workable steering, with opening doors, hood and tail gate. It brings back memories of a ’49, 3/4 ton Chevy pickup with the corner windows that I bought soon after we moved back to Nebraska and were living at the farm. It’s engine had been rebuilt but nothing had been done to the body. In fact it’s box had been scraped. It would have taken very little to have restored the body but the inside of the cab would have been a challenge. With farming and working for the Nebraska Natural Resources Commission, I had all the challenges I needed and never got anything done to it. We ended up selling it on our farm sale about 7 years after buying it. I probably have had more enjoyment “playing” with this ’53” Chevy model than I ever had from the ’49, and it didn’t cost me as much. This little 1:18 model would make someone a great gift for Father’s Day. 

Friday, April 10, 2015

ART by any other Name

Eric Ringer (HOTTEA) is in town as a guest of Concordia University and the Jones National Bank and Trust. He typically works with yarn to create installations that co-exist with a space non-destructively and brings attention to neglected and forgotten spaces. That is not necessarily the case  for the art he has planned to produce here on the east side of the County Courthouse. Some preliminary work was begun this afternoon. HOTTEA’s Emmy award winning video can be viewed at to get more information on Ringer’s background and the story on some of his projects. I’m sure it will attract a crowd tomorrow to see what may evolve. We discussed a topic at the First Impressions committee meeting which has some connection to this project. It involves the storefront appearance where the local CASA office is located. When the former J.C.Penny store closed and the letters from their sign were removed, the unfaded paint under the letters left a very tacky appearance. It could be repainted and covered in just a few minutes with a couple quarts of paint. However, our committee has been working on this for over a year without success. Sometimes the more difficult things are accomplished quicker than the easy ones. 

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Appomattox Court House

Our son Jon has been involved with Civil War history for many years back in Burke, Virginia where he and his family live on the outskirts of Washington, D.C. Here is what he posted today on Facebook:  "150 years ago, today, the Army of Northern Virginia was surrendered at Appomattox Court House. Today, the Artillery received their pardons. Tomorrow, the Cavalry received their pardons. The day after tomorrow, the Infantry received their pardons. And then the long journey home began. Many, if not most, returned to their homes, only to find the home and property wasted and worn. Some, way too many, returned to find their home abandoned, with too many graves in the family burial ground, new since the soldier left home to go off to war.

Today is a day of a cornucopia of emotions. But it makes one very proud to be an American is that, when there was a real potential for this country to fall into guerrilla warfare, General Lee instructed his men to go home and be good American citizens. God Bless America."

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

My Mercedes-Benz

This is my model 1966 Mercedes-Benz 280SE. I have had it for a number of years but only took it out of the box recently to take some pictures and “play” with it. This is a Special Edition made by Maisto International, Inc. with a 1993 copyright. It was actually “Made in Thailand”. It does appear to be very well made. The detail is amazing. I have heard it said that taking such models out of their box will lower their value but after having this set on the shelf for many years, I decided to take a chance on actually getting my fingerprints on it. It was back in about the year this car came out that I was in a car pool in the Washington, D.C. area with a fellow whose brother-in-law was the east coast representative for Mercedes-Benz. It was through his enthusiasm that I decided one day I would have one. It has never come to pass, but I came close a few months ago when a Kiwanis friend had a used one for sale. I checked it out and found it was a “far cry” from this model. It was actually much smaller than my old Buick so didn’t even test drive it. There are many things that we wished for at one time, that we were either able to get or realize that we didn’t want them any more. That is true of more things than we are willing to admit. 

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

NCAA Basketball Bracket 2015

We have been Duke basketball fans since our 2nd son was in college down there many years ago. He kept some statistics for the team so was very much involved. I remember going to a game up at College Park when Duke played Maryland and his taking his statistics into the dressing room at the half with the players and coaches. He and some of his buddies still get down to see a game in Cameron just about every year. Though he and his family live in Columbus, Indiana, he was unable to attend the final four in Indianapolis this year. It’s a long story but involves a daughter in college in Atlanta. We did get to visit with him this evening and was very pleased with the results. I had Duke picked to get to the final against Kentucky but didn’t make a selection for the winner. I missed all 4 of the “play in” winners but had 25 of the 32 in the first round; 10 of 16 in the sweet 16; 5 of 8 in the elite 8; 3 of 4 in the final 4  with only 1 of 2 in the final. It figures out to around 70% which was a passing grade when I was in school. It was a great finish to a good year.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Turkey Vultures & Income Tax

We met with our  Tax Consultant this afternoon in his office which is a couple block south of our downtown water tower. We had things pretty well prepared and as he worked his way through our information, I was able to watch the Turkey Vultures circling around and roosting on the water tower. Ken commented that they had just returned within the past few days. There are a couple other towers around town where they are know to roost. As homely as the Vultures' head is, they are beautiful to watch glide and ride the air currents to maintain their altitude without “flapping” their wings. They do an excellent job of cleaning up the dead squirrels, rabbits and other creatures that  have been run over, or whatever.  They are a species that has become commonplace here in the Seward area that were not knowen to exist here 50 years ago. I did think there was some irony in being able to look out the window and watch the Vultures circle the area as our income tax was being computed. 

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Easter Sunday in Seward

We attended an impressive Church Service this morning and after lunch, continued my project of getting pictures of all the trucks and cars in my collection. This is a 1948 Ford F-1 and the trucks we had when I began with the USDA Soil Conservation Service. The Government trucks didn’t have white sidewalls and this model didn’t have the emblem on the door. I copied the old door symbols and attached it. We also had an instrument box and survey rod racks.
We were up at Carolyn and Ben’s for Easter supper which included an excellent dessert. We also toured the back yard to see the growth that is taking place in the Hot Bed, Peas an inch high, the compost pile “cooking”, the Rain Barrel set up and the Railroad Tracks in place. It’s easy to understand why Sadie is always excited about all the things she has to “work” with back there. We also got up 5th street a couple blocks from their house to get this picture of a Japanese Magnolia in full bloom. It is in the yard where my folks spent their retirement years. I had planted it for them about 30 years 
ago at a location north of the driveway. We continue to be grateful for the young couple who bought the place after the folks and had it moved to its present location when they added a parking area to the driveway. To complete our day, we had a problem with the Time - Warner HD box for our TV reception. We haven’t had to call our friend Aaron with T-W for some time and were unable to find his phone number. Fortunately, I pressed buttons, switched some wires, and got our service back. As we watched Duke win last night, we commented on our great reception. We hope it continues tomorrow.  

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Seward Cleanup Day 2015

One of the features of the Seward  Chamber of Commerce "Cleanup Day" was “Paper Shredding” at the Cattle National Bank and Trust parking lot. Sharon was the one directing the steady flow of traffic to the large collection tubs than were then dumped into the shredders. In addition to the collection of Appliances, Electronic devices, Used Oil and Batteries; Household Hazardous Waste was also collected at the City of Seward Wastewater Plant Parking Lot.  One of our Churches also provides appliance pickup for Senior Citizens. The Fehlhafer company from Utica brought down equipment to greatly facilitate the handling of appliances and other metal material. The event is made possible through grants, the work of many volunteers, and the leadership of Scott Willet. The Community says “Thanks for Providing the Service”. 

Friday, April 3, 2015

Seward Memorial Health Care Systems

Construction continues by the Sampson Company on the Seward Memorial Hospital. We are very fortunate in having the facility that we have and what it will become. It is already one of Seward’s major businesses. It was fortunate when the SMHCS acquired the whole block immediately across Columbia Avenue to the west that is being utilized for employee and customer parking. Land was also added behind the facility years ago that is utilized for the Heliport. We live within a couple blocks of the facility and hear the frequent 
Helicopter trips. We are fortunate in being only 25 miles from Lincoln which enables many specialist to have regular schedules for providing their services to local patients. I am developing greater respect for the Physical Therapy Unit which I have started visiting. I have a half hour schedule on Tuesdays and Fridays. Elaine and I also made a tour of our yard this afternoon to enjoy some of the spring flowers and check-out some of the shrubs. The Lilac leaves have really “popped out” with the rain and warm weather. We do have some Yews, shrubs and grass that we will be watching for life. 

Thursday, April 2, 2015

John D. “Jack” Armstrong 1924-2015

We attended Jack Armstrong’s funeral today at the Lincoln Memorial Funeral Home in Lincoln. There were a large number of relatives and friends in attendance for the service conducted by Pastor Ray Norris. We had an opportunity to visit with David (Bud) and his wife Vela with whom we shared some memories. I don’t believe there was anyone there who had known Jack for as long as I have. My first memory goes back to an incident in 1935 when Jack’s mother and he came to our farm where his Dad was operating the steam engine on the Wagenknecht thrashing run at our farm. This picture was taken a couple years ago in Garland with the old Armstrong garage and filling station shown in the background. During the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s the garage was one of the busiest places in town. Jack “grew-up” working with his Dad, Cliff, Art Hans and others as auto mechanics. It was only natural that he would extend that knowledge as an automotive instructor at Southeast Community College. And, as a small engine repair mechanic in his retirement years. It was very appropriate to have a couple small wrenches in his pocket for his last rites. 

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

John D. “Jack” Armstrong

My longtime friend and HS Classmate, Jack Armstrong died Monday, his funeral will be in Lincoln tomorrow. This picture was taken a year ago when I went up to the Greene House for his 90th birthday. We took him to the Garland High School Alumni reunion last June and had a great time. However,  during the fall, he suffered a stroke which necessitated his move to the Crestview Care Center in Milford. Jack served in the Army during WWII and an additional 35 years in the Nebraska National Guard. Jack was truly “an All American Boy” as depicted in a radio program when we were kids. He had exceptional athletic ability, automotive mechanic knowledge and natural leadership skills. His obituary in this morning’s Lincoln Journal Star makes reference to his “First Sargent” voice and his passion for sports and his family. He leaves us with many Happy Memories of a life well lived. My further references to Jack may be viewed by entering his name in to top, left corner, little box on my blog page.