Sunday, October 4, 2009
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
One of the frustrations with this disease was he could no longer sing. As the long day and night progressed yesterday the hospital chaplain, who is a family friend, brought in a CD player and we played favorite recordings of his non-stop. One was a recording he had done, another from a live concert he and his cousin did one year ago this month, one from his Uncle Ray who had taken him in when he was a teenager, and one of flute performances by my daughter. It was all very moving and difficult for us, but hopefully helped him as he moved on.
Well, he's singing today, and with a choir made up of many friends and family who have gone on before. Heaven can always use another bass.
Thursday, September 3, 2009
In June 2000 I saw a 1992 Chevrolet Cavalier on a Chevy dealers lot and fell in love. I had a 1985 Chevrolet Celebrity that was going to the shop for repairs for the last time under my care. I saw this car on the lot and told the salesman to look at the 1985 and tell me if he would take $1500 for her and $3500 additional for the red Cavalier. He liked the deal and we brought her home for the first time.
I can’t say that she hadn’t cost me a lot of money because she really did. But I was willing to keep her in running shape and spent what was necessary to do that. In June 2007 my grandson and I went to an Angels ball game which was sold out. They had fireworks that night and instead of being wise, we stayed for the fireworks. Then all 43,000 of us went to the parking lot and created another parking lot -- the 5 freeway. CalTrans decided to repave the freeway and took us down to 2 lanes going south. Came to a stop and stayed there. The car overheated but we didn’t have any choice but to stay with the car and hope it doesn’t burn up. I finally got the car home at 1:00 a.m. and the next day filled the radiator and drove the car to the dealer - about 4 miles.
The car overheated again and I left it for repairs. I believe I spent another $600 and they pronounced it well again. Didn’t ruin the engine and everything was fine now. I took it to Newport Beach for a luncheon with former co-workers at State Farm and on the way home it overheated again. Drove it directly to the dealers and this time they did $300 worth of work before they declared the engine is toast. A rebuilt one could be installed for $3,100. I said no and had it towed home where it sat in my garage for 14 months. After calling a friend of mine in the repair business, he had me tow it to his shop and after looking it over said I had blown the head gasket. A labor intensive job of $900 plus some other things I okayed. Total cost $1200.
This was the car that I used when I was alone like running errands and going golfing. Otherwise it sat in the garage. I am the only driver in the house with two cars so it came to the time to consider parting ways. Our granddaughter, Emily, is a Junior in Sonoma State University and needed a car. I wish I could have just said you can have it but I agreed with her dad for him to buy it for $1000 plus money in her account we saved up for her which came to roughly $1500 total.
Rick took the car back to my friend who has a car repair shop to check out if anything needs to be corrected before Emily takes possession. It did! New brakes and a new radiator and it is like new once again and ready for a Junior in college. I helped pay for the repairs from my “car repair savings account” so the car is a real bargain dollar wise.
On August 13th my friend had a new owner and I had a tear in my eye. Rick drove it up on August 22nd to Sonoma as his wife drove another car with Emily’s things packed away and a way for Rick and Anne to come home. I am very happy that the car stays in the family and that Emily will get some use out of it. She is excited and that makes her Papa happy. But it still is hard parting company. Here are some pictures of the changeover of owners.
Thursday, August 6, 2009
I never knew Whitey before but after meeting him he seemed like an old friend that I had known all my life. Whitey called me on Friday June 19th to tell me the article about Brenda and me was in the local paper, The Daily Standard, along with a picture of the two of us.
I had sent Whitey a cassette tape of me singing sacred and secular songs. He is active in the Celina area but grew up in a town five miles away called Coldwater. There is a group of people who get together on occasion for lunch and he was sharing the tape and newspaper article with a person he was giving a ride to the luncheon. She said “I know this fellow! He was in my 9th grade class and lived a block and a half from me! His grandfather used to come to our garage and talk to my dad who repaired lawnmowers.” (Grandpa ended up repairing lawnmowers).
In a few days I received a letter from Marcieta Edmiston Brookhart along with pages out of the 1949 Celina High yearbook which was called ANILEC (Celina spelled backwards). On the Freshman (9th grade) page was my last class I attended in Celina. She marked her picture and mine along with a fellow I had mentioned in the newspaper article named Paul Shiverdecker. Paul was a newspaper boy like me and I sold my Whizzer Motor Bike to Paul when I left Celina. She also sent the Junior (11th Grade) page which had my brother Ben and our mutual friend Helen Howell (Ben’s former girlfriend). Ben also left Celina in 1949 which broke the relationship. Helen married Karl Allmandinger. See the connection?
Her letter prompted me to call her and get some information on my classmates. She seemed to know a lot about this group and I asked her if she was on the reunion committee. YES! I sent her my autobiography and a couple of music items I recorded. She will have them on display along with the newspaper article at the October 11th reunion of the class of 1952.
Marcieta went picture by picture giving me what she knows of each person. It is surprising to me that many have already passed away. Some by accident. I asked about Jim Wagner. She told me that he is a retired Methodist pastor. Jim was a friend of those years and we haven’t had any contact in 60 years since I moved. She gave me his phone number and I called him. He is living in Galloway, Ohio. Dr. James Wagner was home and came to the phone. I mentioned who I was and he couldn’t recall by name our connection. I told him I didn’t call him ’Jim’ but ‘Red’. He laughed and said he did have red hair then. I also told him I took a picture of him and his very good friend Jackson Cole in 1948 next to Grand Lake with my box camera. He hasn’t thought of Jackson since those days as Jackson had moved away as I did. I sent a copy of the picture to him along with some music cassettes and CDs that I had made. Also sent the autobiography that I wrote on my life just to bring him up to date on me.
Dr. James K. Wagner has written a number of books on The Healing Ministry Of The Church published by Upper Room Ministries in Nashville, Tennessee. He was on staff there from 1984 to 1993. Something he specialized in doing in his churches. He sent me a couple of his books. Something I will treasure. He sent me a summary of his personal and work life that was prepared for the 50th Anniversary Reunion of his college graduation in 2006 (same year I celebrated my 50th Anniversary College Reunion). Jim has had an interesting life. It was nice to reconnect with him. We will keep in touch.
We met Whitey who knew Marcieta who remembered me and gave me Jim’s phone number and the beat goes on. Interesting how “Divine Appointments” happen, isn’t it? I am interested in whether or not there will be more contacts from the October 11, 2009 reunion where some of my things will be displayed. I’ll keep you posted.
My brother Ben - his Junior Class picture in 1949.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
On July 22, 2009, Ann and I will celebrate our 54th wedding anniversary. This is a special one as it followed our 53rd anniversary! They are all special!
Friday, July 17, 2009
When I was 9 years old I moved to Celina and soon was offered a paper route with The Daily Standard. I kept that job for 6 years leaving it 60 years ago in September of this year. I was 15 years of age then and moved to Kansas City to live with my Uncle Ray and Aunt Edith Moore. As mentioned earlier, Grandmother was failing in health and I needed another place to live for my last three years of high school.
Since I lived at my uncles and aunts parents home, they came back to see their parents as often as they could. Ray and Edith were there in August of 1949 along with their 18 month old daughter, Kathy, and wrote me a letter after they got home asking me to consider coming to their home to live. I still have that letter in my memory box. That was a big decision and one that had to be made quickly. Grandpa said the decision was mine. Whatever I decide was fine with him.
When I decided to take them up on the offer I had to resign from my paper route and turn it over to my substitute Bob Stein. Bob had subbed for me a number of times over the years and was familiar with the route. I don’t know how long he kept it. I also had to resign from my janitor job at the newspaper office. I asked Parker Snyder for a letter of recommendation and he gave me a nice one. I still have it in my memories. Leaving Celina and the newspaper was very hard for me. Practically all my memories were tied up in both of these places.
My paper route was 150 customers and I delivered six days a week. We didn’t have a Sunday paper then. To my surprise, they still do not issue a Sunday paper. I remember collecting each Saturday morning 20 cents for the week from each customer. Sometimes I would be paid $1 for 5 weeks and had to budget my money paying the bill each week. I took good care of my customers delivering their paper to the porch or behind the screen door in bad weather. Rarely got a missed paper call. In fact, I don’t recall one. Christmas was very good to me as many customers would give me extra money or a gift that a boy would enjoy having as a gift.
When this trip came up I knew I wanted to visit the newspaper office as they have built on twice to the original building. I wrote an email to the paper telling them who I was and that I was taking a trip back to my roots. I worked for Parker Snyder who was the owner publisher at that time. The newspaper was family owned. I didn’t know who would be in charge now but I asked them for a tour of the buildings for Brenda and myself and an interview with a reporter. I felt there was a story in our trip back there that they might want to publish. I received an email response from Frank Snyder who is Parker’s son and the current publisher. Frank has a sister and a brother also working at the office. I got to meet his sister but not his brother. Frank said his family would meet us with someone from the news staff. I made arrangements with them to come over around 8:00 a.m. on Monday June 15th which was our last day in Celina.
We arrive at the office at 8:15 a.m. and were graciously met by Frank Snyder and his sister. I brought my autobiography which had a picture of the The Daily Standard newsboys taken behind the original building. Also an article from Reminisce magazine that I submitted concerning the April 12, 1945 issue of The Daily Standard which was the only paper I kept during my 6 years as a carrier. This was the day that President Roosevelt died and Harry Truman became president. Someone in Celina read the magazine article and took it down to the paper in 2002. On the front page of February 8, 2002 issue of the paper there is a story about me and the article in Reminisce.
I also gave them a couple of music solo recordings that I made in recent years as a gift for their time.
Frank then took Brenda and me for a tour of the buildings. When we got to the old original part I was telling him what were in certain rooms at the time I was there. I could see them in my mind and he was impressed that I could remember so well. I told him about his dad’s office and the collection counter and the line-o-type machines on the next floor up. This was the area that I kept clean during my last year with the company. I earned 50 cents an hour doing that! The old press room is storage now and the line-o-type room holds the archives of the papers issued each year going back many years. We toured the new press room and a picture of that is below. I mentioned that the newspaper boys had a room where we prepared the papers for delivery and he showed us the room. On the outside wall I had taken a picture of four of my fellow carriers with my Ansco Box Camera.
I told Mr. Snyder that I was about to learn how to drive on the 1948 Studebaker pick up truck so I could deliver papers to nearby towns to carriers that would home deliver them. He said that is a job he did when he got started with the company. I moved before I could have that opportunity but his dad really wanted me to do it.
Frank turned me over to Betty Lawrence who is a reporter and has been with the newspaper for 41 years. She knew Parker very well and we talked about him. Parker liked me and kept giving me jobs. Betty spent a lot of time talking to me and taking notes. We went outside for pictures by their staff photographer. The article and picture appeared in the June 19, 2009 issue of the paper on page 3. If you would like a copy, just ask. I don’t have room here to write it out for you. Betty did a nice professional job with the story.
Brenda and I left after doing a video of remembrances outside the building. That was included in my DVD that Brenda and Scott did for me of the entire trip. We left about 10:15 a.m. and headed West to Indianapolis. We allowed plenty of time for the trip to the airport and found that we would be able to meet my brother Bob for lunch around Muncie. I called him and arranged for lunch at the Cracker Barrel in a town near Muncie. Bob, Mary Lou and their son, Bobby had lunch with Brenda and myself. One more time to get together. Since we didn’t do a video remembrance when we were with them on Friday evening and Saturday morning we took the time to do it after lunch. So they are included in the DVD as well.
After lunch it was on the road again for the airport. Turn in the rental car and check in for the flight to Dallas and on to Santa Ana. We had smooth flights coming and going. One reason on the way back was the pilot went between two large storms altering his normal route.
This concludes the stories of the trip. We had a wonderful time and something I will never forget. Thank you Brenda for the idea and flight plans. I made up the itinerary as to where we would go. We worked together very well.
Hope you enjoyed the trip. I did.
We woke up to this scene of sunrise over Grand Lake. This was taken from our room.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
When I emailed Karl Allmandinger that I was coming to Celina with my daughter, Brenda, he responded that he would be happy to be the driver for a tour of the city and allow us to take pictures of the various places we visited. So after church Sunday morning, we met with Karl and had lunch with him first at a place he likes to visit. Karl picked up the tab on this one. It was a buffet and had everything you’d want to try. Of course, we tried a lot of entries and was ready for an afternoon nap but had many places to visit first.
When I originally planned this trip I knew I wanted to have the family at home see us on the Celina Web Cam at the corner of Market and Main Streets. We did that when we arrived on Saturday afternoon but I had scheduled on my BLOG a 2:00 p.m. Ohio time Sunday appearance for family and friends. So first off would be the web cam appearance. Carl drove us there and people told me that they saw the car drive up and three people get out. Of course we were pretty small on the screen at home but Brenda, Karl and I waved to the camera while talking on the phone to home. Then someone on the phone at home suggested we cross the street and get closer to the camera to allow those watching a better view of the three of us. So we did. Both pictures taken off the internet by our son Rick are below.
Two of the three schools I attended from 1943 to 1949 were torn down and the land was used for other purposes. The schools were replaced and we were amazed at the beautiful schools that replaced all the buildings I once knew. A new K-4 Elementary School replaced The West Building which had 1-4 grades when I lived there. I attended 4th grade only at the West Building. It was a few blocks from the parsonage where I lived. The Celina Mutual Group Insurance Company now occupies the entire one block square where the West Building once occupied.
We drove to the location where East Building was located which had grades 5 and 6. That is now a church location. A new Intermediate School for 5-6 has been built at a different location. The Junior High (7,8,9) was located in the High School (10,11,12) building. We were two different schools located within the same building. A different principal for each school. I attended all three grades of Junior High before moving to Kansas City to finish high school. That building has been replace with a Middle School (7-8) and a new High School (9-12). The former High School building still exists but is used for school offices and a Head Start School. A picture of the old high school is below.
We next located the first house that I lived in which was the parsonage since grandpa was the pastor of the Nazarene Church. This was at the corner of Warren and Sugar. A brick building that was old when we lived there 1943 to 1946. I don’t believe that anyone lived there for many years as it appears to be in pretty bad shape outside. A closer look through the windows showed us that the building was being remodeled inside with walls being moved, new electrical unit on the back to supply the building, a small section of the original building taken out and a new part being built. Quite a remodel and I expect the wood on the outside of the house will be replaced in time. I think maybe a lawyer’s office will be there some day soon.
The second home was at 630 Brandon Avenue. I lived there from 1946 until I left in 1949. Grandpa had to buy another home since he retired from active preaching and was living in the parsonage that belonged to the church. This was another old house. Had only cold water to the kitchen, no bathroom (used a little house out back) but a large home on a large lot. One of the first things he did was to install a bathroom where the pantry was off the kitchen and get hot water. Our heating stove was in the dining/front room and used coal which had to be brought in from the garage a half city block away from the house. Good thing he had two grandsons to do that job! Before hot water and a bathroom with shower, the Saturday Night Bath ritual was done in the kitchen using hot water off the stove.
This home had a large upstairs section which was turned into a bedroom for Ben and I and a guest room. The rest of the upstairs was remodeled as an apartment that was rented out to help with expenses. Before that could be done a kitchen, bathroom, outside entrance with stairs had to be built. Grandpa was very handy in doing anything like that and did the work himself. In the pictures below of this house as we saw it in June shows the outside door on the second level but no stairs! They apparently rotted away and were removed. The door remains. Someone was living there at the time and I wanted to see if we could get in to see the house but nobody answered the door.
Both houses I lived in had a “front room or parlor” that wasn’t used in the winter. That room was closed off and the heat turned off in those rooms during the cold months to conserve heat and keep costs down. Of course, no homes at that time had air conditioning so all rooms were open for air ventilation during the summer.
On the same property grandpa built a small house for himself after I had left Celina. Grandmother had passed away the following year and he didn’t want to live in the big house much longer. That new home is sitting on ground that I used to mow. Right next to it at the alley is the original garage that I used to put my bike, motorbike and motor scooter. Ben also had a motor bike and his was kept there too. We didn’t use the garage for the car then. Grandpa had machine equipment in there. I was surprised to find the garage had survived all the years. Probably not for much longer.
After the tour of Celina, Karl took us back to his home and served us the biggest bowl of ice cream I’ve ever had! After that, we said our goodbyes as we were leaving Celina in the morning after our visit to The Daily Standard where I used to work as a news boy and janitor. That story coming up.
We went back to the West Bank Inn to get some rest and then over to an Italian place on the grounds for dinner. It was right across the highway from the Spillway which was new since I lived there. This keeps the water level and avoids floods. It was interesting to see the birds sitting on top of the spillway looking for fish that fell over. I thought they were fake but they flew away after a while. The birds were evenly spaced around the semi circle of the top of the spillway.
On our way back to the Inn I saw a cream colored old Buick convertible coming our way. It was Whitey! He wanted to show us his other Buick and knew we would be leaving in the morning. So we got another ride and some time to chat with Whitey.
We had a full and interesting day. One more day on this trip as tomorrow it is a quick stop with the newspaper office and then off to Indianapolis for our trip home.
Karl Allmandinger at home. I regret that I got only one picture of Karl. He was our tour guide for Sunday afternoon. I've known Karl since school days there.