Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Town & Country Manor Concert Videos To View

I wrote an article about a concert that I did for Town & Country Manor in Santa Ana, CA on September 7, 2008. You can read the story by clicking here.

A DVD has been produced by my daughter and son-in-law and videos are available on YouTube (done by my son Rick) for you to see and hear. One of them is listed here for you to view. The others are on my BLOG on the right hand column. Please feel free to share this information to those who you think would enjoy songs of yesteryear.

This video features two songs related in subject. That One Lost Sheep / The Ninety and Nine.

Let me know what you think in the comments section below.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Celina, Ohio -- My Home Town - Part 2

This posting is a continuation of the story concerning my home town. Enjoy!

Celina was a small town of about 5,000 people. It was next to a large lake called Grand Lake. That is, Celina called it Grand Lake. Ten miles away was Saint Marys and they called it Lake Saint Marys. You will find both names on maps to this day. The lake was 12 miles long and 3 miles wide. Lots of fish and we spend many evening catching our next days meal. Grandpa liked to fly fish - drag a line through the water and have fish grab it. Grandma enjoyed cork fishing -- just throw a line in and watch the cork. When it went under, you had a fish! We used to sit there and chat while waiting on the fish to act.

Grand Lake was our swimming hole during the summer and a place to ice skate during the winter. I had clamp on ice skates and we would skate at night to car lights shining on the ice. I remember a fellow with a Crosley car driving the ten miles to Saint Marys on the ice. Ohio was cold during the winter. I learned to swim there. Mainly by doing it. No one taught me.

We lived in three houses while I lived there from 1943 to 1949. The first one was on Sugar as I had mentioned before. I don’t remember the inside of the house. I have a picture of the outside with Uncle Gary in army uniform on the porch. The second house was at 230 West Warren Street and was a two story brick house. Had a half city block lot so there was some yard to mow. Houses back then had a “front room” that was closed off during the winter to save heating costs. Hardly ever used during the winter. Everything was open for summer including the doors as it was hot and no air conditioning. We slept next to an open door that had a screen to keep out the flies. We were in the Warren Street house until Grandpa retired from being the minister. Had to find a home of our own for the first time.

Grandpa bought a large lot that had a two story wood frame house covered with an imitation brick siding. The address was 630 Nickerson (later named Brandon) Avenue. The house had one cold water pipe to the kitchen -- no bathroom and no hot water. We had a path outside to the outhouse. Believe me, that was a cold trip during the winter. Fortunately, Grandpa built a bathroom off the kitchen using the pantry and extending it out for the shower. Added hot water heater and we were like normal people again. Prior to this we had to heat water on the kitchen stove for our Saturday night bath. Baths were taken in the kitchen.

Downstairs we had the kitchen, dining room, front room, bathroom, and master bedroom. Upstairs we had a guest room and one bedroom that Ben and I shared. The rest of the upstairs was turned into a small apartment with outside stairs. Grandpa was very good at building and did all the work himself. We rented that out to help with expenses. We had a number of fruit trees on the property and a grape arbor. A large portion of the land was farmed for food. So this land and the church land was farmed for everything but meat, eggs, and milk. Those we bought. We even grew our own popcorn!

The dining room was our social place. That was where the heating stove was that kept the house warm in the winter. We used coal that had to be brought in from the garage. Listening to the radio and playing a board game with Grandma was a highlight. A porch swing got a lot of attention during the warm evenings.

I’m a collector of things that don’t seem to be important to others but to me they mean something. Things of my past. I had a postage stamp collection in a book for that purpose and it is interesting to see the countries that no longer exist as that name. For instance - Ceylon. I stopped collecting stamps when I left Celina in 1949 and the book remains in the condition it was when I moved to Missouri.

I'm including a paragraph from Part 1 concerning the webcam:

Celina has a webcam at the corner of Main and Market showing the Mercer County Court House. You can check it as I do daily to see what is going on there. Here is how you can access it: , click on Community, then Celina, then webcam, and you can enlarge the picture for better viewing. With high speed internet, you can watch cars go by, people walking, see if it is raining, snowing, etc. Since it is my home town, I check it daily just to see what is going on. This corner is right down the street from The Daily Standard which is to the right of the picture. Check it out.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Celina, Ohio -- My Home Town - Part 1

As mentioned before, my grandfather was the pastor of the Nazarene church in Celina, Ohio, in 1943 when we moved there. The church provided a house (parsonage) for the pastor and the first one I can remember was on Sugar Street near the church. We could walk to the church from that home. I was nine years old at the time.

The church bought another parsonage at 230 West Warren Street which was on the corner of Warren and Sugar about a mile from the church. This house I remember very well. Ben and I shared a corner room on the second floor. Grandpa had a printing press in the back of the house where he printed the church bulletin each week.

I had 4 uncles in the army serving the United States of America during World War Two. I can remember a flag that was placed in the window with four stars on it representing each of the four uncles. Uncle Carlan served in Peru. Cecil made a career of the Army serving 20 years. He was in Europe and was involved in secret work for our government. Cecil met his wife, Francis, who was also in the service of our country. Dale served in Patten’s 3rd Army in Europe and related to me how he came upon an airfield where planes without propellers were there. Germany had the first jet aircraft but fortunately ran out of fuel for them keeping the jets on the ground. Dale met his wife, Leyla, in Paris, France. Uncle Gerald (Gary) served in Okinawa in communications.

During the war rubber was hard to come by for bike tires and Grandpa wanted us to have a bike. So he bought one (1) and Ben and I shared it. You can imagine how successful that was. It wasn’t long before I bought my own bike from money I earned on the paper route. I bought a Schwinn bike from my Uncle Carlan.

From 1943 to 1949, I had a paper route with The Daily Standard. This was a 6 day a week job as they didn’t publish a Sunday paper. I had about 150 customers and collected every Saturday for the week. I think it was 20 cents a week for the paper then. Sometimes people would give me a dollar and I would punch their card for 5 weeks. But I had to budget the money and pay for the papers every week even though they were paid up on my books. The paper route taught me a lot concerning finances. Christmastime was great as many would give me a tip or a gift for my service throughout the year. Because of the job, I was able to save money and buy things that I wanted without needing to ask for help.

Besides the bicycle, I bought a used Whizzer Motor Bike. I rode this motor bike all over Celina and the surrounding area getting 35 miles per hour and about 125 miles to the gallon. Pretty cheap transportation. When I left Celina, I sold the Whizzer to another news boy for $100. A reconditioned one in 2000 sold for about $5,000. Whizzer is back in business again and you can read about it here.

One day in 1949 I found a 1948 (P48) Powell motor scooter for sale -- one year old. They sold for $300 new and he wanted $50 for it. I told my grandpa and he thought it was a mistake but we went to see it. He asked the man what he wanted for it and he said $45. Grandpa said sold! I paid for this one myself as I had for the other modes of transportation. The P48 got about 50 miles to the gallon and could travel at 70 miles per hour. Had a 7 horsepower motor and was belt driven using a centrifugal clutch (no gears to shift). That motor scooter went with me to Kansas City in 1949 when I moved there.You can read about my teen modes of transportation here, here, and here.

While we are on the subject of transportation, I rode solo only once on a motorcycle - a 1937 Indian whose controls were opposite those of a Harley Davidson. This belonged to my Uncle Bob. We visited him at his home and he saw me admiring it. He asked if I wanted to ride the motorcycle. I had never been on one so he showed me the foot clutch, hand gear shift, speed control on the left handlebar and said have fun. Bob lived in the country so there was very little traffic. The Indian had a clutch that wouldn’t stay down when you came to a stop. That added a little excitement when you had to slow down and turn around. But I managed and found this to be a fun experience.

During my last year in Celina and at the newspaper, I served as janitor of the office after my paper route. The publisher and owner, Parker Snyder, paid me 50 cents an hour to do that job. Mr. Snyder was getting ready to have one of the employees teach me to drive the Studebaker pickup truck so I could take the papers to other cities. I moved before that could happen. Besides I was 15 at the time. Probably could get a license that limited me to the job.

In the six years I served as news boy I kept only one Daily Standard. That was April 12, 1945 Extra that we sold when President Franklin D. Roosevelt died and Harry S. Truman became president. Because of that paper, I was shown in one of the Reminisce magazines holding the paper with a short article about it. The story appeared on the front page of The Daily Standard as one of the subscribers to Reminisce lived in Celina and showed the article to the newspaper. So -- former Celina newspaper boy makes good!

In 1948 I decided to buy a box camera to record my adventures and friends. It was an Ansco Box Camera and my daughter currently has the original. I have one just like it that I found in an antique store in Oklahoma. The camera took eight (8) pictures to the roll and didn’t have a flash -- all pictures had to be taken in daylight outside. I took pictures of our home, my grandparents, brother who lived there and relatives who came to visit. I have a picture of Grandpa’s 1938 Hudson Terraplane, my Whizzer Motor Bike, Ben’s motor bike, a 1948 Tucker on tour that stopped in Celina, Uncle Gary’s 1937 Reo Coupe, and Uncle Cecil’s 1948 Frazer Sedan. I regret that I did not take a picture of my P48 Powell motor scooter.

I have pictures of a few friends, especially my best friend Tom Keifer. Tom and I were the same age and attended the same church. He lived a few blocks from me and we would go bike riding often together. We built a trailer that was attached to the back of my bike and there is a picture of that in my scrapbook. Tom was at the train station when I left Celina. After a few years, I lost track of Tom. He came to visit me in California in the early 1960’s and we lost contact after that. When my name appeared in the paper, his brother, Dick Keifer, called me to chat. He told me that Tom had passed away about 1989.

The church we attended was Celina Church of the Nazarene where my grandfather was the pastor. I took a picture of the church back then but the congregation has moved to another location which I have never seen. The building had a basement where all the Sunday School classes took place. Up stairs was the auditorium for services. There were approximately 125 who attended regularly. Some names that come to mind were Harlow Fetters (had the same birthday) and Bill Baer (led the music). Mr. Fetters bought a new 1946 Plymouth and I rode in it a few times. My first car was a 1947 Plymouth that I bought in 1954. The Keifer’s attended the church. Ralph Grapner was my age and attended.

Beside being the pastor, it fell to our family to mow the yard and remove the snow on Sundays when necessary. The church gave us a large plot of land surrounding the church building for farming. We grew a lot of our food there. Many hours were spent planting, hoeing, harvesting the food. You name it -- we grew it. Including sugar cane that was turned into molasses. We used to say we raised cane behind the church and got away with it!

When Grandpa retired as pastor, he continued to serve the church as janitor. So we spent a lot of time there taking care of the building and yard. They allowed us to continue to farm the grounds surrounding the church as well.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of this story.

Celina has a webcam at the corner of Main and Market showing the Mercer County Court House. You can check it as I do daily to see what is going on there. Here is how you can access it: , click on Community, then Celina, then webcam, and you can enlarge the picture for better viewing. With high speed internet, you can watch cars go by, people walking, see if it is raining, snowing, etc. Since it is my home town, I check it daily just to see what is going on. This corner is right down the street from The Daily Standard which is to the right of the picture. Check it out.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Where Do We Go From Here? Health Update.

On April 29th Ann and I, along with our driver, son Rick, had our long awaited appointment with the UCLA Medical Center specialists in lung diseases. After a review of the many test results they both came to the conclusion that I had a rare form of Ideopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis. It is so rare that they do not have anything that they can do for me at this time. Some forms of fibrosis can be treated with steroids but not this one. They said that my condition will not get better but they hope to be able to slow down the progress of the disease.

We had one pulmonary function test to share with the UCLA doctors. They want me to take one every three months and return to them with the results. They will review the results comparing the current one with previous ones. Our next appointment with UCLA Medical Center is June 24th. It will take a couple of these visits before they will consider any direction that might be of benefit to me.

The UCLA doctors said that I could resume playing golf. We talked to our regular doctor today and he said that I could -- as long as I rode in a cart, had someone else along with me, and took my portable oxygen system in case I would need it during the game. This is going to cut down my golf playing time. I can take a cart and have my oxygen system there but I can’t always have someone with me. Most of the time I play alone or join someone who happens to be there and ready to play at the same time. I used to have a regular golf partner but that stopped a couple of years ago. If I have someone and they are playing too, they can pay their own way. If I take someone along to drive the cart and keep and eye on me, I will have to pay double for the cart and pay their green fees as well. That is the rule. No one is allowed on the course unless they pay for playing even though they will not have clubs with them. As I stated, this will cut down on the number of times I can go out and enjoy a round of golf.

Ann and I have been taking walks at Santa Margarita Lake which is one mile around. I pull my portable oxygen system as it is on rollers. Ann is in her electric scooter. One time around each time. We have done three of these walks this week so far and will probably go out tomorrow.

We had many blood tests recently and have checked back with my hematologist yesterday because the results have varied. He checked them and said that everything is fine. Stress will cause the tests to vary and you know I have been under a lot of stress lately. So the blood is fine!
I am still coughing more than I want to and out of breath on occasion. As Ann has stated in her last update, “All in all, it is now up to God to determine his days.”

UPDATE: Our meeting with Jim Barnett at Mission Hospital Pulmonary Rehab went very well. He is the most upbeat person we've met in this struggle to get some answers to this health problem. He is a golfer - in fact a ranger at a local golf course and says that I could go out golfing without anyone with me as long as I use a cart and take the oxygen machine with me. He said that he has had some of the patients who are much worse off than me out on the golf course with him and they didn't have any problems. He feels that when I get into the June 22nd rehab group that I will be able to learn how to handle most situations and live a normal life. I like this guy!