Thursday, May 31, 2012

Home Doggy Dog Week - OVCC And Herb's Tribute

My father was a long time member of the Oak View Cpountry Club in Aledo. Marj, my mother also used to play the organ at the bar when it was a tiki motif. She'd go up on Frid ay and Saturdays to play the current hits. Herb played golf whenever he could and we three boys played also. One of the the things
I wanted to do on my trip back home was to take pictures of a memorial bench dedicated to his memory after he died in 1997. So, Mark and I hopped on his cart and went out to the 7th tee-off area. Of course it was cold and wet.

Heading from the Clubhouse down through the 7th green.

This was one of my favorite holes: short, with a couple creeks to avoid, not to mention some of that sandy stuff.

The bench dedicated to Herb's memory.  Thanks to the OVCC for a very fine tribute to a great friend to many. 

This was the area that Herb had his heart attack.  He had just shanked a shot and went down.  He died a week later.   

The 7th hole tee off.  From here you can see the 6th hole in the center on the far hill.  OVCC' s longest hole and toughest.  I hated this one, and seldom did well.  The 6th hole goes from fence to fence and takes a week to complete.

7th tee off and green.  One of the ideas I had once was to do a coffee table for OVCC with shots of each hole, then intersperse it with stories from the old-timers, complete with pics and biographies.  Alas, never did, but it surely would be a losing proposition.  

6th hole green.

New hole pin flags that celebrate the 95th Anniversary of the Oak View Country Club.

A non-paying interloper.

Teed off from the 7th hole tee off and made it to the edge of the green.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Home Doggy Dog Week - Food and Other Random Pics from Home

Quesadilla Jalisco at Jalisco's in G-Burg.  This is the ONLY Mexican food I like, and I not only like it, I LOVE it.  I recommend this next time you are there.   

I already waxed romantic about Whitey's at South Park Mall.  It is decadent, diet-busting, and thick as fresh concrete.  But it is what you should have before you die, that way you know you have savored the best of this life.

Jerry's Pizza is the absolutely best pizza pie I have ever had, and I have been on a lifelong quest for the perfect pizza.  Until I find it, this will do just fine.  OK, Davis Bros is 2nd.

Nancy's sibs:  Patti, Nancy, Darryl, and Carolyn.

This is a truck that was parked outside the Best Western and provoked several stares from us.  According to Rick McCutcheon who works at Alexis Fire, he helped build this baby and it is a staple at various major events and Super Bowls.  It is a Satcom Rescue, which means it can pull signals from space.  It is privately owned and he travels wherever requested.  Apparently our wedding and reception was a big enough deal to bring him to town.  Either that or they wanted to be able to verify my presence on the dance floor.

One of the highlights of the trip back was seeing my sister-in-law, Patti, who has lived in Indianapolis for over a decade.  She and her daughter, Amy, were, as usual and expected, lots of fun to be around.  Always have been.  But don't mess with them.  This is something they have tucked in their purses and if you want to feel warm piss run down your leg, just look threatening around them and you'll get your wish.  This cheap but effective devise is a personal taser, and as you can see packs a wallop.  For $15.00-17.00 you can arm yourself and never feel scared again.  AND, it makes a lot more sense than that stupid concealed gun law, nobody dies.  

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Home Doggy Dog Week - Reception

Without commentary, these are some of the pictures taken at the reception. Again, my thanks to those who came, my apologies to those who wanted to.

Well, so it is possible to get me on a dance floor.  Anytime I can dance with someone this lovely  all you have to do is point out the floor, Hell I don't even need music. 

Carrie is a blur because she was movie' and jivin'.  

A couple shots of the BFE table.  That's Carrie (from left to right), Jen, Meghan, Rod and Diane.

Tim, Jen and Meghan

Rod and Diana

Tim and some kind of BFE sign.

This is Jake's tattoo. Either arm doesn't mean anything,  but put them together and you have, Yikes, something unique, harrowing and, no doubt, one-of-a-kind. 

Hey hippie, put that glass of hooch down!

Our dear old Grove friends, Tom and Ronda. 

Carol and Jeff Suto, Becky, Pat, Shelley, and Rose.

Richard and Mike.  Looks like a very important point I'm making.  Lord, I hope I wasn't overbearing.

Shawn and his date.  (Yeah, I forgot her name, dammit!!)  Sorry.

Carrie and Tim.

Another one of those BFE signs.  I get that one all the time. 

Burgess buddies, Andrea and Richard. 

Jake, Brendan and Grove Street friends, Lisa and Dave.

BFE again.

Bro Mark, Dorothy, Holly, Andrea and Richard. 

The Bride and Groom warming up the dance floor.

Bowing to the Power.

Christopher liking this girl...

...and this girl, too.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day

Today we have a kind of guest writer for Memorial Day.  I have spoken all too infrequently about my friend Jeff who has a blog of his own and I recommend you check it out at the address below.  Jeff and I worked together for several years at the Mary Davis Home.  He has since displayed friendship above and beyond and I treasure having him in my corner.

Jeff doesn't crank out five or more blog entries a week, like someone we know,  but when he does it is usually inciteful, sometimes hilarious, but always, and I mean always great reading about anything and everything.  He wrote this on May 21st and I found it extraordinarily beautiful and thought it would serve as a perfect Memorial Day essay. He has consented to having it used on EIB today, and thanks.  

Memorial Day started as Decoration Day to commemorate those who had fallen during the Civil War.  Since then it has come to remind us of our loved ones who have passed away.  My cousin Jan, who passed away 2 years ago this coming January used to prepare flowers for 36 graves of family members.  It would take her all day and covered a great many miles throughout West-Central Illinois.  

So, In closing, Happy Memorial Day.  Let a vet know how thankful you are for their service, and remember those who have made an impact in our lives, those who who have lent a hand, words of encouragement or advice, and those who remain in our hearts.  Thanks Jeff, for a great essay.


Yesterday Carol and I went to Knoxville Cemetary to place flowers on the graves of her father and a very dear friend of mine. Gerald Dugan Strom died in 1996 of a massive heart attack. It was an appropriate way for him to go if there is such a thing. He did everything in a massive way. He worked with those we called at the time "mentally retarded"I know the erm has fallen out of favor. Dugan didn't care what you called his clients, he cared about how they were treated. He was their tireless advocate. He loved them and respected them and they loved him back. Dugan and I spent two years riding in a car together from Galesburg to Macomb as commuter students attending Western Illinois University and graduated together in 1976. We took our own career paths but always stayed in touch. He moved to Glen Falls, New York in 1996 to be the CEO of a large residential program for developmentally disadvantaged adults. Sounded more politically correct didn't it? Our oldest son Jeremy was going to attend college in Providence, Rhode Island and Dugan asked us to stop by on the way. It was several hours out of the way and during the drive I wondered more than once if we should just skip it and head to Jeremy's school. We made that side trip in early September and I got to see my friend's new office, meet some of his staff and hear all the things he wanted to update and change. In early November he was dead. I'd come so close to not making that trip a few hours out of my way to see him. It taught me one valuable life lesson. If you love someone, tell them. If they are your friend and they need help, do what needs to be done. Don't think you will see them or talk to them later, it may not happen. We try to do as much as we can for our children and grandchildren. Why hoard money now so they can have it when we die? Why not share it with them now so we can enjoy it with them? Live in the moment and embrace whatever it gives you. Be the friend, neighbor, lover that you would want them to be toward you. Dugan's death could have made me bitter. I could have spent all these years complaining how unfair it was. His death changed my life. He made me a better person, a better man, gave me a push to live now, love now, be kind now.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Flashback Friday - Scenes From Another Wedding

The current Mrs. Blythe and I wed on a beautiful day in June.  The following reception pics were taken by someone other than myself, and can't remember who they were.  I will do the best I can to come up with the correct names and possibly relate a story or two about the day.  We were wed at the Seaton Presbyterian Church and then cocktails at home for our local friends.  After that we headed over to the Oak View Country Club for the reception. 

Sadly, all three ladies pictured are no longer with us.  Jan Guenther on the left, my Mother Marj and my Aunt Gladys on the right.  That's little Eddie, son of Eddie, grand son of Ed in the foreground.

The Aldermans (Alan and Sandy),  Susan and Terry Boone, and Randy and Tanny Storm 

The Medinas (Rose and Greg) and the Tappers (Marilyn and Alan)

John Seaton, Mary and Homer Rickey and Ila Mae Keilman

The deal is sealed, now time to relax.

No doubt explaining why I flubbed my lines.  All I remember is the nauseating feeling not able to repeat the Reverend's words back to him and that long pleading stare into each other's eyes.  Also, the flowers the current Mrs. Blythe.  Looked like they were in a hurricane, with the shaking going on.

May I present, Mr. and Mrs. Blythe, now let's eat!

Yeah, I wore socks.  I was somewhat known for not wearing socks back in those days.  Just didn't like em.  Sprayed my ankles black with spray paint until I was found out, then they issued a new policy at the Mary Davis Home.

Howdy everyone.  Boy do I wish I could escape.  But I see you guys have all the exits guarded.

Ah.  Ain't that sweet?  Just to the left of the current Mrs. Blythe in the background is my Wombie Mark snapping a picture.  

Times sure have changed, and for the better.  We shut down the Club and then winded around Mercer County in a drunken caravan finding bars open before going home at 2:00 am.  I remember several cars following us and having a grand old time.  Today such drinking and driving would be inexcusable, but in those days it was all part of the grand plan.  Likely that if we would have been pulled over a quick call to the local county sheriff would have exulted in a pass and possible escort home.    

There are more reception pictures and we'll get around to them at some point.  So stay tuned.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Home Doggy Dog Week - A Wedding Dance

The big event on Saturday is about to commence.  The groom's guys and the flower girls are awaiting the bride and her entourage.  When the girls left the building to enter through the doors you see at the far end of the hallway, the bride's veil flew off and became momentarily attached to the side of the church, a story up.  In a funny "Rest of the Story", after three weeks, the veil was finally found after having swirled in the wind and came to rest somewhere.  It was found in the bushes nearby and has been sent to the bride.  So, the bride had o veil but had a story to tell. 

The veil-less bride and groom exchange vows.

The Blythe family.

And now off to the Reception for beer,  just a couple, mind you, to calm the nerves. 

I'll mention this elsewhere but you can't find the kind of delicious white cake anywhere else but around Galesburg.  I don't know who made this cake but it must have had some Hy-Vee ingredients, because it is unique and very tasty.  Like I said, you can;t find a white cake that tastes like it anywhere.  I must send away for Hy-Vee white cake.

Cutting the cake at the reception.  Just for your information, I had gobs of it the following couple of days.

Thank God Rick and Meghan joined me in the father-daughter dance.  I sure hope I have that spelled right.  I was told once, that a person's name is all they really have, so don't make a mistake with it.

The lovely and beautiful Miss Amy.  

The father-daughter dance.  I insisted on having the DJ invite other fathers and daughters out after a short while in the spotlight.  There was a time when I didn't mind the spotlight, but times have changed and now I dread it.  Couldn't end fast enough, but my my, with such a beautiful partner, it could have gone on forever.

An interested onlooker.  She looks just like her Mother did twenty some years ago.  And I mean I-D-E-N-T-I-C-A-L.

Funny looking dancing going on here.  I am hoping most of it is alcohol-induced.  I'd hate to think this is what the young people are doing these days.

Lots more pictures and things coming up next week.  Again, I'd like to thank my friends who made the effort to join us on this special day.  I miss you all and someday, someday, Florida will just have to cough me up like a hairball and throw me back into the Midwest.