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Trip To Northlandia - Part 2

Here are some various other shots of my trip, in no order or importance. 


We met Phil and Jeannie at Pagano's Pizza one night.


The old homestead is looking a little rough these days.  There yard is cluttered, the back porch is without screening, and when I was there a deer was gutted and hanging from the old tree we all used to climb.  Note the severed head at the crook of the limb.  I know we only rent things while here on earth but the sight of our house was pretty jarring.  Even the tree is looking its age and rather tired.  



We didn't hunt growing up.  Don't recall any particular reason for not doing it and we weren't anti-hunting.  It was just something we didn't do.  I went pheasant hunting once in Iowa during college and enjoyed it, but as a rule we just weren't around it and isn't that something you pick up from your Dad?  When we lived there, and my folks built it, it always looked neat as a pin; the screens were always on the porch with plastic durin…

Tuesday Tidbits

1.  Down the road from me on Gandy Boulevard is a Wawa gas station that is convenient to stop at on my way back from Kenzie's or 4th Street in St. Pete.  Right next to this Wawa is Dimmit Motor Cars.  This place sells Roll-Royce's, McClaren's, Bentley's, Aston Martin's, Land Rover's and, yes, a cheap domestic car for the masses, the Cadillac.   
After gassing up I walked over and checked out a few of the cars in their lot.



These are McClarens.  I know zip about them except the price tags were around $325,000, give or take a few thousand.


This is a Roll-Royce Ghost.  This baby will set you back about $525,000.  They have a bunch of other Roll's, too on the lot, some are sporty convertibles.  Next time I'm over there when they are closed I'll take some more pictures.  That is nothing you want to do when they are open.  About the only thing I could afford on this lot is a jar of Grey Poupon.
2.  Last Thursday for Christmas I wore jeans and a sweater, altho…

The Party

The Oakview Country Club was rocking on November 8th for the Wombie's retirement party.  I went up without anyone knowing so that added a fun aspect to the festivities.  As a side note, since Mark's kids were in town from Kansas City I procured a room at the Blue Spruce motel, formerly the Ho Hum when I was in high school.  
Attendance was tough to gauge but estimates from the Club dining room staff said there were about 100 people to help Mark ease into lazyhood.  


Mark explaining water tables and convoluted  T's to his long suffering wife, Holly.  


Jerry Anderson on the left, Jeanne, my sister-in-law, and Marta, Jerry's friend.   


Dave Olson taking the swig on the left and my brother Phil on the right.


A poor cell phone picture at the height of the festivities. 



High School classmates: Jerry Bigham, Carla Murphy, Roger's wife, Roger Murphy, and Dave Cooper.



Guests were asked to bring food for the Mercer County food pantry.  It was a wonderful idea by Holly and as evidenc…

Flashback Friday

I was just going through a treasure trove of old pictures that I found that belonged to me while at Mark's place.  Among them were these pictures of we three boys at home on Christmas Eve, 1972.  
Things of note:
Marj believed in big trees.  In earlier times she flocked them with a DIY spray.  These were beautiful trees, usually decked out in blue lights and balls but very little else.  Minimal splendor.The fireplace was still operational but seldom used.  It would be a few years after that they would convert it to gas, take away those louvered gates and use it regularly.  Man, that fire would heat the whole room in nothing flat.    One of the traditions was to have shrimp cocktail for something to munch on before the big meal.  It is a tradition I have tried to carry on.    Another tradition of sorts was my arrival in subsequent Christmases' as early as possible.  I'd leave G-Burg with everyone asleep and head over to Seaton where Marj would fix a breakfast of French toast an…

The Loneliness of Depots

You've seen "It's A Wonderful Life", yes?  The Christmas-themed 1946 Frank Capra movie starring Jimmy Stewart?  Everyone has seen it a million times, unless you are so young you only remember it from the "one showing per year" schedule it has now.
I am reminded of an exchange between Stewart's George Bailey and his loopy Uncle Billy.
George:  You know what the three most exciting sounds in the world are?
Uncle Billy:  Uh-huh.  Breakfast is served, lunch is served, dinner...
George:  No, no, no, no!  Anchor chains, plane engines and train whistles.
George Bailey dreams of seeing the world, but circumstances intervene, and he remain in Bedford Falls while others get to leave for far-flung places.

Old Galesburg Train Depot around 1968
While in Northlandia I accompanied Mark and Holly in taking his lovely daughter, Ashley, to the newer G-Burg train depot for her ride back to Kansas City.  I get the same feeling everytime I am in one of those places.  It started w…

Tuesday Tidbits

1.  Mamas don't let your babies grow up to dress like this.

This elfin little creature with the sartorial mishmash of crushed velvet and sequines was going into Target to do some shopping.  I remain aghast as some of the things I see down here.   



2.  Gophers from Savannah.


You want some heavenly shopping ideas?  Try Savannah's Candy Kitchen and go gopher hunting.  Santa came early to Bedlam.  Thanks Santa.   
3.  I was walking out of Publix grocery store last week and the Salvation Army bell ringer said to me, "Hey I just figured something out.  This is the only time of year I am a ding- (he had a bell in one hand and rang it)  aling (he then rang the bell in his other hand)."
I replied to him, "Oh, don't sell yourself short."
4.  Best Christmas song:  O Holy Night.
5.  Best Christmas snack: Puppy Chow.
6.  Best Christmas comedy movie:  National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.
7.  Best On-Going, Good Sport from a Governmental Agency:  NORAD, which tracks Sant…

City Retirement Party

I missed the Wombie's retirement party put on by the City at the VFW.  It was, by all accounts, a fine affair with many people attending, including his son (Aaron) and daughter 9Ashley) from Kansas City.  The organizers of the shindig had prepared a PowerPoint presentation with some pictures and I include just some of the pictures today.  Apparently there was one particular commentary from the MC during this show and since I wasn't there I can't comment, but it went something like this:

MC:  We know how Mark loves the Bears so we tried to call Jay Cutler.

Wombie:  What happened, did he drop the phone?   

That may be off quite a bit, but you get the idea.  And before you get any ideas that Mark actually does like the Bears, let me tell me dissuade you of that notion.  No Blythe, worth his or her salt likes the Bears.  I understand there are a couple in the family who think they do, but they don't and have yet to come to their senses.  

So without further commentary, here th…

Flashback Friday

This was something I did a long time ago.  By a long time ago I mean more accurately 25 years ago.  Looking at it now, I can attest that I was never a gifted painter, just a weekend warrior type - self taught with remarkably little talent.  I wonder what would have happened had I taken art in school;  if Dr. LaMore never had that mandatory class that swept me off my feet?   What do artists end up doing?   Starving?  
Twenty-five years ago I was probably as happy as I thought I could be:  secure job that I loved, married 7 years with 2 new kids that were neat as all get-out.   Home ownership, projects, lots of time off, wanting an old car, relative peace and few personal or emotional headaches.  But that was then. 
I kind of went through a phase when I was working on portraiture, but then decided I wasn't good enough so I gave it up and moved on.  For all of you who may have a portrait I did, please feel free to go down into the basement or up to the attic, grab the monstrosity and d…

FALL THREE

The third and final Series of Fall pictures.  These feature the old Wolf Covered Bridge near Maquon.  I like history and all that but a replica of a covered bridge doesn't do much for me.  It is a shame that the original was destroyed by fire, a victim of vandalism, but to erect a replica, and then not take care of it (the amount of graffiti is unbelievable),  is an attempt to hold onto something that no longer exists.  Still, it made for a nice shot.   






This must be a party area for kids.  This small grill and remnants of a cookout litter this overlook.  










As I was driving by I noticed this on a tree in a forested area.  It looks like a kind of growth or mushroomy thing.  Never seen it on a tree before.  Anyone know what it is?   



While the days were mostly overcast and mostly cold, I was still able to get some photo shooting in.  Funny how you miss things when you don't have them anymore.