Friday, October 29, 2010

Day Five - Gib GoSline

Gilbert (Gib) GoSline
1918-2010
Who can fathom the fates? As luck would have it, Janine's father, Gib GoSline died suddenly at home in Burgess on Sunday, September 19th. He lived a long colorful life and was uniquely original. The picture above of Jo and Gib was taken by me just three days before his death and although he was having some health problems, was still active and getting around well. Nancy and Janine have been friends since school days so it was good fortune we were here.
There were many stories swapped the next few evenings in Marvin's garage bar. Obituaries never capture the true life, how could it in two or three short paragraphs? Gib and his wife Josephine, or Jo, who is 90, were practically inseparable. He worked as a drummer in his very early years in places that were similar to back-door speakeasies. Jo was curious about what went on in those places and wanted to go in one. To protect her from such stuff, he quit. Now that is love. In a house they lived in across town he had an in-ground swimming pool put in. Around the pool and the adjoining sidewalk spelled out "Jo" if you could see it from the air. Now that is love. They were ball room dancers and went to all the places back in the old days. She was 15 when they met. Imagine living with someone for 75 years. They used to winter in St. Pete, he had a marina for quite a few years in Rock Island and was expert in tools, designing and making things, and making sure things worked perfectly. He was a man who had his family living close by, and in the case of Janine, Andrea, Richard and their girls, living in the same small community. Josephine is doing well but how do you fill that void after 75 years? Gib just about chased me out of town a few years ago. I was on my bike on a particularly hot summer day. I took off my shirt and had on a wife-beater so my tattoos were easily seen. I rode into town looking for either the Bartons or Thirtyacres for a beer in the bar. I couldn't find them so before leaving I thought I'd put a cigar in Richard's mailbox to let him know I was there. I had left one on Marvin's bar, too. As I was fiddling with the mailbox, Gib comes racing out the door in a kind of hopscotch fashion yelling "Hey, hey, hey" and then "What business do you have in town?" Can't really blame him, with the tats, the heat and my messing around with a mailbox, Gib was just protecting the area. As he got closer he recognized me and we had a nice chat. Speaking of that, he also has three cars: a Cadillac, an Imperial and Lincoln Continental. Like I said, he likes things that work well and there were no better American made cars.
Marvin returned from his fishing trip and Janine and family gathered to mourn the loss of great and fascinating man. Like Gib's dad said before he died, "Isn't it funny how the young ones come in and the old ones go out."

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Day Four

Frankly, the weather sucked during the days I had planned to ride so the next best thing was to sit at Tim's and drink beer and watch football. Although the Bears won, it did not dampen my spirits as Rod and Diane came over with their deer salami. I did see the McCutcheons and their new hound, Smokey. But I missed Christopher.


Rod brought deer salami. Mmm good stuff. Think I'll go shoot me one.


One picture just doesn't capture the essence of homegrown deer salami. It is like our Midwest morels, it is a unique taste all its own.




Tim and Diane discussing upcoming new city ordinances. Diane is a city father, err, mother. Well, anyway she is a lady of influence.


A cat out on a limb in BFE. No further comments necessary. This turned out to be my last visit to BFE this trip, as events would unfold in Burgess to alter somewhat the tenor of the trip.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Day Three

The wedding was a swanky affair at the Soangataha Country Club and it was all I could do to muster the courage to do swanky. Not having packed a suit I was under dressed. Chatted with Judge Bulkeley, an old neighbor and die-hard Cubs fan, and Kevin and Pam. Kevin was a former Mary Davis Home co-worker. Anyway the couple were radiant, the beer was free, and Nancy assisted me in finding a nice out-of-the-way corner where I could relax from all my social exuberance.



The newlyweds.


Best wishes for a long happy union. Miss Ashley was a neighbor and around Mackenzie's age.


Sister Mindi and Ashley.



Signing the legal documents. The preacher on the right. Were they laughing at one my funny stories? Uh, no.


Dave and Lisa Makeever. Dear friends, and charter Tiki night members from Chambers Street days. Yeah, Dave, its fun now, but wait for those bills to roll in.




Dave and Jeremy Main doing some singing and air guitar. That strange laugh in the background is from one of Jeremy's friends and may be the most demoniacal one I've ever heard.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Day Two

Got a message from Neighbor Tim that he was working at home on Friday (September 17)and would be able to take a ride in the afternoon. Nancy dropped me off at BFE where my bike is being stored, not cheaply I might add, and Tim and I headed out on what would be our only ride of the week.


Best view in BFE. Forget the towering views from the cliffs of BFE, or the majestic city skyline, or even the bustling commerce of business and traffic downtown: the best view from BFE is in the Recreation Center with the town's coldest beer.


We drove North up to Reynolds and had a cold one at Jeronimo's and then over to Sherrard to the Office. Haven't seen too many urinals with ice in it.


A little taste of home at the Office. Notice the palm trees painted on the wall and the sand toward the road. Everything a St. Peterite needs to feel at home.



We had saved a couple expensive cigars Carrie bought in North or South Carolina and brought them along. Nice weather, a couple Macanudos, a beer and peanuts made for a great afternoon.



The ride was nice and enjoyed being back in the saddle again. I am storing the Kawi up here for awhile: St. Pete isn't the best place for bike riding. I'll either ship it down at some point, leave it here in storage (don't worry Tim, I have a place that will store it long-term) or sell it.




Saturday night we went to Beer-Bellies in Aledo with Mark and Holly and had a great time. This is Nancy and her back up singer, Kathy, along with the music director working on a number. Credit should also go to Kris Salmon up on the stage singing pretty well.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Day One

Janine was gracious enough to take some time off to be with us so we decided to travel to Speer to check out Tanner's Orchard our first day home. But first I wanted breakfast so we checked out the Hospitality House in Victoria.



Drat! We missed breakfast by 15 minutes so had to settle for lunch. I had a tenderloin but it was the usual frozen variety that is thrown in a deep fat fryer. It was OK, but a nice "real" one would have been better.



Tanner's Cider Donuts

And a Dutch Apple Pie that is heading over to Aledo for Mark and Holly.

We also bought some pumpkin bars, turtle nut brownies, Caramel nut Apple pie and other cool things, too. Janine bough a couple of gourds and some Indian corn. Nice place and lots of diet-busting food. It is a rite of Fall for me and I hear tell I may get a package of donuts via US mail here soon.
Marvin is on a fishing trip to South Dakota, so Janine will handle the Burgess hosting duties till Sunday. Good first day.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Beautiful Illinois Sunset













Driving home after arriving in Peoria we saw a most beautiful sunset. We picked up our rental car and drove to BFE to have a beer and make some brief plans for riding with the NH Mild Ones.
By the way, our rental car is a Huyndai Accent. Never been around one before and we were impressed with this tight, nice riding little car with zero options. It drove great, got nice gas mileage and performed flawlessly all week.
My poor little camera has trouble distinguishing some colors and somehow didn't do this color show justice. But the flight was fun, the sunset was dazzling, the two beers we had at BFE were cold and the crisp Fall weather was uplifting. Its great to be home.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Week At Home

In mid September we flew home to Illinois for the wedding of Miss Ashley Pampel, a neighbor and friend from years when living on Chambers street. She is the daughter of Lisa and Dave Makeever and John Pampel. But first we had to get through security at the airport which was easy for me but somewhat more troublesome for Nancy.




Nancy getting scanned by Homeland Security. Apparently Nancy's reputation preceded her.



Take off. I don't worry much when flying anymore. I don't know if that's because I do it more than ever before or what, but I find it the best way to travel. By the way, we fly Allegiant non-stop to Peoria and bought our tickets for $19.99. Imagine flying round trip, 2 people for $80.00!








It's always good to return to Illinois, an opinion not shared by my travel companion (too cold). Once we land, a quick stop at Enterprise rental and on to Burgess with a brief stop at Neighbor Tim's for a beer or two. We will be staying with Marvin and Janine while back. Lots to do, with hopefully a good weekend for some bike riding.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Art Along the Pinellas Trail

The Pinellas Trail is the bike and walking path that runs close to where I live. "When completed this unique linear park will convert approximately 47 miles of unused railroad easement and other rights-of-way into a trail for runners, bicyclists, walkers, skaters, and other outdoor enthusiasts."

















The artwork is done by local groups but, as you can see, other graffiti 'artists' tend to deface the original art. Still, its a pretty neat idea and they should keep at this as the trail is well used by bikers joggers and walkers.







Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Fun Sport At The Beach







Quite a few people we have seen do this along the beach. Not sure what they call it but it's kind of a beach-based surfing. My observation is that it is a lot of work for very little payoff. Guess the waves aren't strong enough for surfing, so this is the next best thing. What would you call it? Sand surfing? Shore boarding? Anyway. these guys are enjoying the last days of really great warm Gulf water. Soon the water will get just a little bit cooler and by November, damn too cold to enter. There is, however, a small contingent of Northern transplants down here that make it a point to take a short exhilarating swim on Christmas. Much like our Polar Bear dips up north. Brave and hearty souls.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Labor Day Fun At The Beach

This weekend was beautiful. Rain pretty much stayed away and everyone gathered at Sunset Beach at 11:00 am. The pretty sunrise on Monday was a good omen.



The water was perfect and the beach wasn't too crowded. Everyone probably got burned on Saturday and Sunday.

Strange sights like this woman with a parrot or some such thing on her shoulder. Arrgh, matey.




Not all critters were alive and kicking, like this beached sting ray down the beach a ways.
Lots of boats out on the water today.




End of the day: sun setting, everyone tired and ready for a Floridian sandwich.


L to R: Kenzie, Brendan, Rachel, Mike and Sharon, Kenzie's guest from Galesburg.

Friday, October 15, 2010

In The Game

Everyone went to the Wagon Wheel flea market today (September 5) mentioned a couple of times in this blog. Nothing new except saw some snakes for sale and a thief caught trying to take something from a Vietnamese vendor. Boy, were they pissed.







Perhaps the most interesting thing is that I am apparently "in the game." Drew and Brendan purchased pellet air pistols. I decided I'd like one, too so I bought one. The game has few rules: hit a fellow gamer when least expecting it. Or, even when they expect it. These little pistols pack quite a little punch for $6.95. Drew has a welt under his ear and Brendan got one pretty darn close to his ear. When I said I wanted out I was told you can never get out once you are in. So now I'm jumpy as a whore in church. We are having a cookout at Drew's and all the players will be there. I'm bound to get shot several times and lack of weapon does not excuse you from the action.



Brendan and Drew buying their air pistols and ammo.


Brendan loading his weapon.

Brendan on guard from attack.



Drew fires and Brendan takes the shot.


Damn, and now I have to get involved in this stuff. Well, alright, Pilgrims, listen and listen tight. First son-of-a-bitch hits me below the belt is gonna get a good education from the 'Old Professor', got it?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

BFE Hayseed Takes a Boat Ride - Part 2

They dropped us off at Shell Island for a while. We just took our shoes off and strolled along the surf and sand looking for neat shells. I didn't find much, but others found neat dark sand dollars and some pretty shells.


To the right is a cordoned-off bird sanctuary.

Man, what it would be like to have something like this on a lazy day down here. Of course the old saying is the 2nd best day of your life is when you sell your boat. Maybe, but there's got to be some fun in between buying and selling.


.


You see a lot of these around the beaches. Its almost a standing kayak sort of thing. They make it look easy and tempting - bet it's not.




This section of the Intercoastal on either side is very shallow. Birds can hunt and stand doing it.




See that little speck in the middle?


Yup, that's some guy walking around out there. In some places its no more than 3 inches deep.


This is "The Real Thing" and makes me wonder what I'd name my boat. I remember seeing a trailored boat along I-74 years ago when I was cruising in one of my old cars named "Almost Satisfied." When I worked at the Mary at certain times I'd hear up in the front office "Break time!" Maybe that would make a nice name. But it might also be "Yo Quierro" which means "I need/want" in Spansih.







This poor video captures two dolphins early on then my camera couldn't find them again.