Friday, August 18, 2017

Fish in Bee

The agenda today included Verlon using a Power Washer from Sack Lumber to wash our deck. It cleaned up nicely. He also did some back yard trimming as I did. In fact I did more yard work today then any one time this summer. Verlon got the last of the "rolls" down from the rafters in the storage area which we enjoyed sorting; some to recycle, others to yard sale and a few to garbage. I went through more old work files and was pleased to find some pictures of my long time SCS boss when he was a young man as a CCC camp leader. This evening we went up to Lou & MaryAnn's for fish supper. We didn't get there till after 5:30 and were fortunate in getting a table near the entrance. We have never seen as many customers as what were there this evening. We must have waited for over 30 minutes for our food but the fish was excellent and the helping seemed larger than normal. We estimate there were as many as 200 people involved during the time we were there. It's not only a great meal but also an interesting experience.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Bringing in New and Hauling out Old

Carolyn was doing some work with drapes up at our Brookdale unit when our new living room chairs were delivered from Slumberland. We got up to try them out right away and decided we liked them. Elaine and Carolyn had bought them and I am well pleased with their choice. They fit well and I like the height at which we sit.  They will be moved around a bit as we bring in lamp table, and a narrow mahogany desk to the left of my chair. We are anticipating having a TV on the wall across the room. Some of the plans may change as additional furniture gets moved in. We  took up some of my jackets to a closet  and Elaine always has things to take along. We try to never go up without taking along something that we don't need here during the next couple weeks.
We used Verlon's height and strength in bringing down some boxes off the top shelf in our storage area. Most of which had been there since the shelves were built nearly 35 years ago. One box contained several of my GW university notebooks. The paper pictured is of an "Analysis of Management appraisal Methods" which was a 5-person MBA project in 1968. It involved collecting data from many Government Agencies and Private Industrial Companies. These are all in bags out in the trunk of the car headed for the recycle center. We took Verlon out to dinner this evening for his birthday and felt we had done a good days work.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Home Maintenance

Son Verlon was able to get the garage door railing support repaired this afternoon. While there are many additional items on his work agenda, this was at the top of the priorities. The thin, vertical, angle iron support from the railing to the base support at the ceiling broke last winter and I got it "wired up" to let us get by. He was able to get a heavier grade of material at the local lumber yard and got both this south railing support and the north one for the north door properly repaired. We also got up to Brookdale and measured the size of the garage. It is a single stall, 21' 6" by 11' 5" in a building of about 10 such garages.  Our car should fit in nicely with room for a certain amount of storage. It has a remote garage door opener for the locked door. Knowing the storage capacity of the garage will help us in determining just what we will be able to take with us. This is going to be a definite "down-size" after all the space we have had in this house with the finished lower level and a big finished, double garage. We are happy that Verlon will be able to spend his birthday with us tomorrow. It always brings back a lot of Happy Memories when we remember of the birth of our First Born.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Verlon Arrived

We welcomed son Verlon in from Richmond, VA this afternoon. Ben picked him up at the Lincoln airport after his flight from Chicago on United had been delayed for about an hour and a half. We had a good chicken/potato salad, Pumpkin Pie supper and then went up to Brookdale to show him the place. We then drove up into the Waverly Rd. area to see the new housing. We have many home maintenance items awaiting him during his brief stay but nothing will stand in the way of his observing the eclipse next Monday (unless it's the weather). We will also have an opportunity to celebrate his birthday with him during the visit.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Kiwanis Kitones in 1996

My Kiwanis file has been reduced from about 2 feet to 4 inches. It went back to when I joined the Lincoln Center Club in 1986 and included current material. In the fall of '89, I took a job in Ankeny, IA and dropped the Lincoln Club Membership. We returned home and I joined the Kiwanis Club of Seward in the Spring of 1992 and continue to be an active member.  
Kiwanis has been a significant part of my life during these nearly 30 years. The Lincoln Club had well over 100 members and included many of the "movers & shakers" of the City. The Seward Club has also grown to flirt with membership of 100. Our current membership includes a good representation of people from throughout the community with great representation from Concordia University. 
The Kitones were a definite factor in my decision to join the Seward Club. I bought my Jacket and sang with the group after having only been to a couple weekly practice sessions. Dr. Harry Giesselmann led the group with his wife Lois serving as accompanist. One of my Highlights in Kiwanis was singing with the Kitones at the Kiwanis International Meeting in 1996 in Salt Lake City. The picture above is of the Kitones at that time.  Our leader, Harry was a friend of the Assistant Director of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. They arraigned for us to set-in at the Choir practice session and had reserved seats for us at the Sunday Morning telecast.  
Elaine and I drove out early and were able to visit several National Parks in southern Utah including: Arches, Natural Bridges, Bryce Canyon, Zion as well as the glen Canyon Dam and Lake Powell ahead of the Meeting. Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. was a luncheon speaker and I was able to have a personal conversation with him about environmental matters. We spent some time with Don and Jackie Armstrong who were living in Salt Lake City at the time. All-in-all it was a wonderful experience.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

The Next Chapter

We spent some time up in our unit at Brookdale with Carolyn this afternoon. She and Ben are doing a great job of doing things to pave the way for our September 1 move. She has worked with curtains, drapes, shower curtains, kitchen utensils, etc. Ben has put up the old baseball picture in the walk-in shower bathroom. The picture has the added value as the last purchase I made at an Auction being called by Brother Don. Ben has helped Carolyn with several things, and has put up a bird feeder next to the patio and hauled up my "custom made" Rocking Chair to see how it looks in the living room. They had already taken the small table and chairs from our Deck up to the patio and have added a potted Chrysanthemum to it. Elaine has also been packing up little things that they have taken up.
We visited with Carl Everts, a fellow Kiwanian and my former golf instructor, as we were leaving. He and Helen have moved in very recently and was very encouraging to us, with his very favorable assessment of the place. This sort of downsizing move is not easy though we know it's appropriate. The work Carolyn and Ben have done to make it a very hospitable place along with their optimism and encouragement from many, helps. We know we will have to learn new routines but in general, life will be much easier for both of us, especially Elaine. I already take it pretty easy since not mowing the lawn nor doing any yard work. But Elaine has been doing all the house work including planning and cooking 3 meals a day and all that goes with "keeping house".

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Accordion Jamboree at the County Fair

We got down to the Ag Pavilion this afternoon for the Accordion Jamboree. We haven't missed it in the last several years at the County Fair. The fair crowd was overflowing but we lucked into a parking spot near the Pavilion door. After taking a load to the Recycle Center early this morning, we drove down through the fair grounds and even then there was a lot going on. We were pleased to see Leonard Nemitz back in the group with his base horn and singing voice. He is in the back row and doesn't show nor does the drummer and guitar player. Our friend here in Seward, Franklin Hronik is center front. Jean (Sousek) Rath led the group. Elaine is shown visiting with her afterward. Her 92 year old Dad still plays with the group and told me he learned the words to all the songs first and then learned to play them by "ear".

Friday, August 11, 2017

Happy Birthday Carolyn

While I wished Carolyn a Happy Birthday earlier today, I also want to acknowledge wishing the happiness to extend throughout the year. One of her Happy times during this past year was when she showed us her new Subaru.  She was so happy with it, she almost had me convinced to get one. The Seward County Fair was going on at the time Carolyn was born.   I had won a prize for my beard, so was late getting to the Hospital.  I had no idea when Dr. Carr walked past me in the waiting room and matter of factly and without even slowing down, said, "you have a little girl", did realize the impact she continues to have on me.  Sons are important in helping to carry on the family name, etc but I have said every old man needs to have a daughter living near him. This is not to take anything away from having a good wife living with him, but acknowledges the need for someone younger to see things in a more realistic light, than what old folks are sometimes inclined to do. 

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Elaine's Recognition at SWCS Annual Meeting

I got through our files of the Soil and Water Conservation Society Annual Meetings today. It was as though I spent the afternoon visiting with old friends. While I have a significant quantity of material to go to the recycle center on Saturday morning, we will still have our book of Highlights, Pictures, and my Journals to rely on for information. Here is a picture of Elaine who received a Commendation Award at the August, 1995 Annual Meeting of the Society in Des Moines, IA. She was "cited in recognition of 45 years as a strong advocate of SWCS, of spouses taking an active role in the technical aspects of Society activities, and for her positive influence to many young people entering the field of conservation. She volunteered more than 1500 hours of highly effective and efficient time helping the Society headquarters fulfill responsibilities". The volunteer work at the Society Headquarters was during the time I served as Executive-Vice President from 1989 through '91. Pictured here are Dayle Williamson, Paul Johnson, Elaine and I. Elaine proudly reminds me that the framed certificate is prominently displayed in my Den Room.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

ARSCSE Officers in 2000 at St. Louis

Our continuing "cleaning out" took me to the files of the Soil and Water Conservation Society. (SWCS)  With overlapping membership, the Association of Retired SCS/NRCS (ARSCSE) former employees typically have their annual meeting in conjunction with SWCS. I came across this picture in the file of the July 8-12, 2000 meeting in St. Louis, MO of the two organizations. It includes: (Front Row l-r)Mel Cohee, Michael Schendel, Linc Gallagher and Bill Brune. (top row) Tony Vrana, Mike Nethery, Ted Ifft, Bob Halstead, Tom Pointer,Neil Bogner and Owen Lee. Bob Halstead was President for a 2-year term, I was Pres. elect, Bill Brune immediate past Pres., and Neil Bogner Secretary-Treas. I wonder if anyone seeing this blog page will know or have known any of these fellows. I could write a story about each of them  but Mel Cohee's might be most interesting. He was truly among the first generation of SCS employees and held the record for having attended the most annual Society meetings the last I heard. I would appreciate your comments on this picture. Coming across things like this are what makes "cleaning out" interesting.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Sorting Continues

I dropped a pair of old SAS shoes in the Garbage Can late this afternoon after wearing them from the time I got up from my nap. I was completely satisfied to get rid of them after the test run. That was a small part of my afternoon in comparison to the old baseball programs that got boxed up with Tim's name on the box. Most of the programs have a scorecard filled in from the game that we saw. There were a couple envelopes of excess picture of stadiums and  beyond those utilized in my "Baseball Parks Visited" binder. There was even an envelope of duplicate pictures from Tim of our '93 trip which he and I made including Cooperstown. My only regret is that I didn't recognize what all of this baseball collection consisted of while Tim and Laura were here last week. The 40 pound box would have fit nicely in their Honda. Tim lost a lot of his old baseball memorabilia a few years ago in a house fire so I know this box will provide many happy memories when ever he gets it and he has time to look at it. I took time to look at the pictures and enjoyed every one of them. Old shoes are easy to dispose of but old baseball scorecards and memorabilia are more difficult.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Bluestem Fiber and Spectrum

Marv Taylor is shown here announcing at today's Kiwanis meeting that Barry Fisher will be moving on with Bluestem Fiber and will be replaced by Derek Dibbern. Derek will continue to represent Bluestem Fiber with their Corporate Membership. Marv also announced that their firm had sponsored a beautiful Drinking Fountain down at the Parade of Flags. There were some pictures taken with the 3 of them down at the site following the meeting. In our conversation  I mentioned having finished reading Senator Ben Sasse's book on "The Vanishing American Adult" in regard to a possible Kiwanis project. Derek spoke up and said that he had gone to High School in Fremont with the Senator and even as a HS student, he was very interested in politics. Even at that time, he indicated an intention of being President someday. I had the impression that Ben wasn't "one of the boys" in High School.
We have been limited to one television in our house since spectrum went totally digital on August 1st. The "box" that we got through Time Warner a couple years ago has enabled us to continue to receive TV programs. Spectrum has made one "box" available to customers at no charge for the first 12 months. Additional boxes are $4.99/mo. We ordered our one box which was delivered this morning.  It took me out to the extreme edge of  my ability, but after a phone call where all I needed to say was "activate", and told by the recorded voice that it would be activated in an hour; I was pleased to be able to see Ken Siemek give the local weather. 

Sunday, August 6, 2017


We helped Sadie celebrate her 5th birthday today. After blowing out the regular candles and our singing Happy Birthday, her Daddy lite a number 5 at the top of a wire, it flashed like a 4th of July Sparkler. It was a big hit but didn't last more than about 15-20 seconds. It was long enough to get some good pictures. She received several nice presents. The most outstanding one being a knit Mermaid "sock" that she can pull on with the top being a "blanket" with which to cover. 
Carolyn took us up to our unit in Brookdale where the painting is all done. Everything looks good. With the temperature in the low 70's, I wore my windbreaker and took along a hanger to leave it there, so could say that we were starting to move in. Elaine took up a few things too. Carolyn and Ben have already put together a new couch that was delivered there as well as setting up the Coffee Maker and a few other things. Our moving date is set for September 1 but that date is flexible. The more time that we spend up there, the more convinced we are that we will like it. We continue to be very favorably impressed with all of the staff and with all the people we have met there in addition to old friends.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Things are Shaping Up

It may be difficult to understand what I did this afternoon, (with our upcoming move) but it was to "shuffle" old magazines out and put newer ones in the rack.  We have utilized it for the past 25 years on the wall of our Family Room in our Lower Level.  Over the years, we have received many more than we really got read.  We have not subscribed to any new ones in the past couple years but felt it important to take several to keep up with whats going on, particularly, the Ag magazines where technology has brought about such rapid changes. Nebraska Life is a comparatively new magazine published here in-state and an excellent magazine with slick paper and many pictures. It like National Geographics are hard to "throw-away".  I believe we have taken National Geographic's more years than any others. While in HS, and for a few years after, I hardly ever missed an article in the Readers Digest but haven't seen one lately. 
Our Naked Ladies (Amaryllis Belladonna) are in full bloom at the edge of our deck. Mother had them after they retired and moved to town. That was where I saw them for the first time. Mother was a very pious person with a little Irish ornery streak and she always had a "twinkle" in her voice while showing off her "Naked Ladies". I don't think she ever knew their scientific name and when the Methodist Preacher came to call, they were "Surprise Lilies". They do pop up from bulbs early in the spring, producing long, narrow leaves which die-back in late June. Then, in late July, the bloom heads pop-up on 18 inch stems and they are in full bloom within a few days.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Celebrating Dad's 90th Birthday in 1986

 Dad's 90th birthday was celebrated over a 3-day period with the October 18th event in 1986 held out at our farm. Us 5 siblings sang "The Lost Cord" among other old favorites. The 42 people in attendance included Dad's brother Joe & Ruth, Mother's sisters Dorothy and Ethel with John. We made the VCR tape from which these pictures were taken this afternoon. While we were able to show part of one old tape at the recent reunion that Carolyn had moved to a DVD, we hope to make more and give them to family. It has been over 30 years since this tape and others were recorded and it is amazing how well they have aged. (We never did get very "professional" with our camcorder but it's interesting to get the sound and see the motion.)
Jerry skipped out of the singing as it "drug-on" and was replaced by little Julie who led us in singing Kum-by-Ya. We went on to have a Family picture taken which has been framed and on the wall for all these years by here is a picture from the tape. The next day, Sunday, the folks had an open house at their home here in Seward. Don and I served as greeters at their front door where over 100 people came to wish Dad a Happy Birthday, which he certainly had. 

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Out with the Old, In with the New

Our new Queen sized Spring and Mattress arrived today from Slumberland in Lincoln. While we expect to move it up to our new "digs" early next month, it seemed appropriate to have it delivered here. We have really enjoyed Tim and Laura being here this week. After the bed was made up, we all went up to Brookdale where most of the painting has been done in our unit. Carolyn was able to get my laptop connected to their Internet signal.   The mattress is higher than our old one so we are hoping we don't fall out of bed tonight. We will miss Tim at coffee tomorrow morning since they will be heading back to Indiana.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Kenneth L. Ferguson 10 18 24 - 7 30 17

We were shocked this evening to learn of the death of Kenneth Ferguson. He died on Sunday and a Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, August 5, 2017 at St. Paul Methodist Church in Lincoln. 
Kenny, Marion and daughters Kay and Dianne were our next door neighbors while we lived in Lincoln from 1958-'62.  We were close neighbors, and were more than that. I had know Marion from Sunday School when we were 5 & 6 years old and played basketball against Kenny in High School. Our daughter Carolyn was 5 years old when we moved to Lincoln and Dianne the same age. They were in school together and best friends for those 4 years. During the years we lived in Virginia, we kept our voting registration in Lincoln, partially so we could continue to vote for Kenny as Lancaster County Registrar of Deeds, a position he held for six four-year terms. They even came back to Arlington to visit us on one occasion.
After returning to Nebraska in 1980, we got together occasionally. Kenny had many friends out here in Seward and would come out for coffee. Carolyn and Dianne got to see each other once in a while. I remember going down to Crete where Dianne was involved in a piano concert at Doane College. 
While our lives took us in different directions, The 4 years as close friends and neighbors was a mighty significant chapter in our lives which we fondly recall. When going to east Lincoln, we frequently went past the old neighborhood near 66th and Hartley street and within the past few months, wondered how Kenny was getting along as we drove by. Why didn't we stop to visit visit??

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Family Visits

Janice, Larry and Benji stopped by yesterday as they were leaving town after the big family reunion at Mahoney that Janice has worked on for over the past year. In cleaning out things recently, Elaine came across a large crystal bowl that Jerry had won pitching pennies many years ago, and gave to Elaine. He was a teenager at the time and kept pitching pennies until he had one for Vivian and Gladys as well. It seemed to be a very appropriate time to pass it on to Janice who will appreciate it's having come from her late twin brother. They were heading for western Nebraska to visit some of Larry's family. 
We also got Maggie and Adam on their way this morning. We had never met Adam before but were very impressed with him. There were no votes taken on but he's accepted by acclimation.
I got Tim set up down in my office to watch Duke beat Michigan in the 1992 NCAA Basketball Finals. We had recorded in on  a VCR taken at the time in was played and it hadn't lost a bit of it's color. The game has changed considerably during the past 25 years. While Tim was watching basketball, I went through my 2 shelves of books on Baseball. I have already given Tim a 2-volume set on Joe DiMaggio who was my model as a Kid for getting hits in 56 straight games in 1941. I must have bought the books off a discount table several years ago because I would never have paid the suggest price.