Monday, May 28, 2012

Thank You to All Who Have Served

We live in the greatest country on the planet. Why is that? It's because of the freedoms we all have because we are citizens of the United States of America. Those freedoms weren't free. Many members of our armed forces gave the ultimate sacrifice. Many others were wounded, thus changing their lives forever. I cannot say "Thank You" too many times to those who have served.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Flashback Friday #187

Putting Faces With Names

Greeting, one and all. I'm excited about this Flashback Friday post because I've got some pictures to show you. Last Friday, I spent the day at my parent's helping them with various projects. During one of the projects, I came across a box of old pictures.The newest picture in the box is 30 years old. If you're like me, you like to drag out the picture album every once & awhile. Everybody seen in this post has been mentioned in previous Flashback Friday posts.

I'll start with my grandparents.I had a picture up on my first post about my maternal grandparents. Here's a better one. Can you see from this picture why Grandma really didn't like to ride in Grandpa's motorcycle sidecar?

Here is a picture of my paternal grandparents. They were the one's who started out farming in my home town until the accident. They then moved to Westerville and lived there unil they both passed. It's amazing how much my dad and aunt currently look like their parents.

This next picture is Dad at Christmas (1980, I believe). I told my wife that I thought he looked like Fred Flinstone in this picture.

Here are a few pictures of my Mom. Back then, she didn't mind getting her picture taken. Now,it's like pulling teeth.

If you've read my blog with any regularity, You know who Aunt Shelly & Uncle Phil are. Here is a picture of them with the first of their 14 children.

Here is a picture of my best friend, Bart, and me in 1982. If you follow this link, you'll see a current picture of us.See how clean cut I looked? Nothing like the next picture you will see.

This is a picture of me and Gattabout. This is also a Christmas 1980 picture. Gattabout had just gotten the tattoo on his right arm. This is how I looked during "The Dark Side" of my life. It's hard to believe, looking at this picture, that Gattabout once had hair to his waist before he went into the Army. Mine never grew long. It just bushed out. It still does.

I hope you've enjoyed looking at these pictures as much as I did.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Unusual Wedding Photos

I asked my wife if she had seen the article about the couple who had wedding pictures taken with tornadoes in the background. She hadn't. I thought perhaps you hadn't either. Check out this link for the full story.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Flashback Friday #186

She Did What?!?!

Hello to all my loyal reader and all of you who just happened to stumble upon my rantings.

When we last met, My neighbor had been carted off by the sheriff for cultivating marijuana and I had a large branch from one of the plants in my bedroom, thanks to another neighbor. What's a nice kid like me doing with weed? Mostly hiding it so I don't get into trouble, because I was an angel (just ask my Mom).

Before the branch had fully dried, Sneaky wanted to know if he could take it to a friend's house. She lived up the road & around the corner. She was good friends with Justa and he had bragged about what could be done if she was under chemical influence. Sneaky wanted to find out. I let him have it, along with two bottles of Little Kings that we had found in a ditch. I also loaned him some of my records.

Seeing that the Crook boys were notorious liars, in addition to taking anything that wasn't nailed down, I wasn't so sure that what Justa was bragging about truly happened. Even if Sneaky told me the same thing, I probably wouldn't have believed it either. If they told me my shirt was on fire, I'd have to take a look first.

Sneaky brought my records back (in retrospect, I find that quite amazing) and simply said that he and Donna had fun. That made me assume that nothing happened between them. Had it, Sneaky would have talked my leg off about it.

What I didn't know was that Donna wasn't a normal teen. She had some real problems. I didn't know her too well because she ran with a more wilder crowd than I did. She was also constantly in trouble with her parents. Perhaps it had something to do with having boys, booze & drugs in the house while they were at work.

About a week after Sneaky had gone to Donna's house, tragedy struck. About 3AM the neighborhood was awakened from sleep by the screaming of sirens racing by. Not only was it a fire engine, but also an emergency squad and the sheriff's cruiser. Turns out, Donna and her parents had gotten into a huge fight that night. After everyone went to bed, Donna got out of bed and set the house on fire!

Fortunately, her parents only suffered smoke inhalation and otherwise were unharmed. Donna was arrested. She was never seen here again. Rumor had it that she was placed under psychiatric care in a juvenile detention center. She was troubled before I ever had anything to do with her, but I still feel bad about contributing to her troubles.

Monday, May 14, 2012

A Fine Mother's Day Gift, Indeed!

Yesterday, was Mother's Day. I hope all of those who are mothers had a wonderful day. I heard a story about one mother who did not have a good time on Mother's Day.

In 1936, Bob Feller was pitching for the Cleveland Indians. It was Mother's Day, and his mother was in attendance at Comisky Park in Chicago (the Feller's were from Iowa). During that game, one of the White Sox batters, 3rd baseman Marv Owen, hit a foul ball off of Feller. The ball hit Mrs. Feller in the face.She spent the next two weeks in the hospital with cuts & bruises on her face along with two black eyes.

When she was discharged from the hospital, an apologetic Owen reported said to Feller "Gee, Bob, Now she looks as purty as you do".

Talk about adding insult to injury.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Flashback Friday #185

"Leaf " It Alone!

Welcome back to more of my ramblings. They say as you get older, you don't remember things exactly as they happened. That may be the case, but since you weren't there to refresh my memory, you'll just have to take what I give you as the truth.

As I recounted last week, near the beginning of my Sophomore year, I began my decent to the dark side. Another group that helped me along that wide, well travelled path was the Crook boys. From the time that Pauline Pershing moved away, I tried to make a bond of friendship with the Crooks. Justa was entirely way too cool to be my friend, but I got along OK with two of his younger brothers, Sneaky & Rotten Little (Crummy was a little heathen that I wanted NOTHING to do with).

After Pauline's family moved out, their landlord rented the house to one of his friends. It seemed that this friend of his had one ambition in life, to smoke pot. He always reeked of marijuana smoke and had cultivated quite a crop in his back yard (he said it was a flower garden).

Sneaky had hear Justa talking to his friends about pilfering small amounts of pot from the neighbors garden. If you pinched the leaf right near the stem, it would come off without leaving much of a mark. You really had to be looking closely to see that anything had been taken.

Be that as it may, one day, Sneaky & Rotten Little were up in my room listening to records. Sneaky turned to Rotten Little and said "Why don't you sneak next door and swipe some leaves from the neighbor's plants?" Rotten Little took off and was back in short order. What Sneaky saw in his hand about made his head spin. Rotten Little had broken off an entire branch from one of the larger plants. It left such a ragged tear on the side of the plant Stevie Wonder could have seen that someone been in the "flower garden".

When the neighbor came home and went out to "tend his garden", he saw that someone had taken liberty with his stash. He immediately went to the Crook house (where Justa & Crummy were the only ones home). When Justa answered the door, the neighbor threatened him and told him exactly what he would do to him or any of his brothers, if he every caught him in his patch. When The Crook parents got home from work, Justa told them about the neighbors threats. Pa Crook (who was crooked as a dog's hind leg himself) couldn't stand having anyone threaten his kids. He called the Sheriff. When the Sheriff arrived, the neighbor was arrested and his entire crop was harvested and taken away to be burned (with the exception of the branch that was now in my room drying). It was a good thing that my parents very rarely ever came up to my room.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Amazing Quarterback Video

I saw the most amazing video on Sports Illustrated the other night. This guy can do things with the football, that if I hadn't seen the video myself, I never would have believed. This video led the Buffalo Bills to recently offer him a free agent contract, seeing that nobody had drafted him after his college career was over.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Ok, Now Say It.

My wife was right. I was wrong. In today's mail, my final prize from the Diet Mt. Dew Fuel the Frenzy sweepstakes came. From the very moment that the mailman handed me the package, I knew what it was.
In unrelated news, today is our 26th Adoption Day. Happy thoughts go out to my daughters.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Flashback Friday #184

Come To The Dark Side

A warm welcome to all who have come this way via cyberspace. My title today is reminiscent of another space & time. Since this will post on May 4th (aka Star Wars Day) the title is appropriate. May the Fourth be with you.

As in the movie, life has a way of drawing you to the light or the darkness. This was the beginning of my Sophomore year in High School, and also the beginning of one of the darkest periods in my life. If I had known anything about "Goth", I probably would have gotten into it deep. Yeah, it really was that bad.

But what could I expect? During my Freshman year, I had gone to church a couple time with Doris. The Bible is quite emphatic about what will happen to someone who repents, but does nothing to fill the emptiness inside. Matthew 12:43-45 state:43: When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none.Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished.Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.

I promise you that passage rang true in my life.I was seeing/dating Kelly Stump, the girl I met at the skating rink.She wasn't the type of girl that you brought home to meet Momma. She couldn't have been any looser if she bathed in WD-40. She looked old enough to buy booze without someone asking for an ID, and she did that frequently. She was 17 going on 45. I'm surprised that we never had an accident with her drinking behind the wheel. I wasn't any better. I drank, but I didn't drive because I only had my permit. Looking back, I misjudged the timeline on Flashback Friday #150. It happened a little later than the time in the post. I hadn't yet turned 16, but it was just around the corner.

I can't blame all my troubles on Kelly. My taste in music grew harder and wilder. If you haven't noticed, many of the hard rock groups are into sex, drugs & witchcraft.The more I listened to it, the closer I gravitated to their vices. Experimentation in all of them happened. Like I said,it was a bad time in my life. After Flashback Friday #150, I stopped drinking, but anything else was fair game.

Fortunately, God saw fit to keep me alive through this time. He saw something in the trash that I had become. The ultimate in recycling. But I'm jumping WAY ahead of myself. I'll mention some of the highlights and some low lights in upcoming Flashback Friday posts.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Another Prize In The Mail

Recently, Diet Mt. Dew sponsored the Fuel The Frenzy sweepstakes. During every weekend of March Madness, the gave away a prize a minute. I was the recipient of not one, not two, but three of these prizes. The first was a $50 gift card to the ESPN store. The second came today.

It's a Nerf door/cubicle basketball set. I still have one prize left to receive. They've not told me what any of the prizes were. My wife thinks it will be a hat. I'm thinking it might be a hoodie. We'll find out when it gets here.