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Monday, October 30, 2006

Another String of the Everhart Clan

What do you call your sister's daughter's son? Grandnephew? Well let me introduce you to my grand nephew - Luke Williams.

In the center of the picture is my lovely sister - Judy Everhart Scarborough. She lives in Wilmington, Delaware. To her left is my niece - Dr. Sharon Williams - the new mother. And in the yellow blanket - that looks a lot like Drew's baby blanket - is Luke Williams.

Sharon is the latest doctor in the "Everhart-Scarborough-Williams" household. She recently received her doctorate from the University of Florida. Luke was her graduation gift. Why isn't that blanket orange?

Sunday, October 29, 2006


1. I have the right to a monthly social security check.
2. I have the right to be provided socialized medicine.
3. I have the right to pretend that this free ride comes out of the social security trust fund even though no such fund or money exists except in the minds of my politician friends.
4. I have the right to pretend that I paid for this even though I have received much much more than I paid.
5. I have the right to pretend that the government owes me and pays these costs even though taxpayers know that they are forced to pay.
6. I have the right to pretend that young workers owe me this free ride.
7. I have the right to have my government friends steal the money from young workers to provide me my free ride because young people owe me.
8. I have the right to prevent the young taxpayers from investing their social security taxes for their future because their tax money needs to be used to pay for my free ride.
9. I have the right to pretend that I am a responsible conservative even though I am a socialist who actually believes that I deserve my free ride.
10. I have more money now than I ever had and I plan to give it to the casinos rather than leave it to my kids.

Pottsville Republican Quoted This Webpage

Somebody must be reading this "crap" that I write. This morning Nancy and I were settled in front of the fireplace reading the Sunday morning papers. I had my laptop there reading the Florida State football stories and the hometown papers from "back north."

While reading the Pottsville Republican - my mouth dropped to see that they quoted a story about the Wenzel Bakery from my blog. I felt like Navin (Steve Martin) in the movie "The Jerk" finding his name in the telephone book for the first time. "With publicity like this - big things are going to happen to me."

The closing of Wenzel's Bakery will be one is one of the saddest rites of passage for Tamaqua.

Click on the word "Quoted" in the title to see the Pottsville Republican article.

One of Our Best Buddies Darrell Burke Turned 50 This Week

Saturday before the FSU game - we went to a surprise party to honor Dr. Darrell Burke. You may remember Darrell from previous stories about selling cars. Darrell is the guy with the 1956 Buick. He loves cars and loves coffee.

Darrell turned 50 and his family had a nice party to celebrate the half way mark.

The first picture shows Darrell being surrounded on the happy day by his family - notice Nancy on the right. The second picture shows Darrell blowing out the 50 candle - notice the FSU shirt.

The party was held at their next door neighbors' home - Jim and Judy King. The food was excellent including that homemade chocolate cake.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

FSU lost to UMD. We are now 4-4 - first time since 1976

The happiest of people .........

The happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything; They just make the most of everything that comes along their way. The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past; you can't go forward in life until you let go of your past failures and heartaches.

Friday, October 27, 2006

42 Inch Panasonic HDTV $1299 - Too Good to Be True?

Drew is always calling me with fantastic deals he finds on the net - I do not know how he finds them - but he is the king. Last year he bought a really nice Panasonic 42inch HDTV for $2400. I wanted one.

Yesterday - he wrote to say there was a grand opening deal at for the same TV for $1299. I went online and there is was. Fry's is a great company that I ordered from before, So I quickly called them and place the order. They sent me a purchase order.

An hour later I went to the web page and now it was priced at $1799. There was a mistake in pricing. I called back Fry's and they said they would honor the price and that it was back ordered. By the way - it also was no sales tax - free shipping.

I am taking bets on whether it will arrive or not.

Nov 15th - This TV did arrive and it is really nice.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Wenzel's Bakery Closing

A Tamaqua landmark is closing. I was brought up on Wenzel pies - cakes - buns - dougnuts. My grandmother would stop there almost daily keeping her walk-in pantry full of Wenzel's goodies. My favorites were - the creme puffs - creme dougnuts - apple tarts - pumpkin pies - cut out cookies - bear claws - chocolate cupcakes. Many times my grandmother would come home to me sitting on the pantry floor in a sugar overdose with glazed eyes. Oh yes - don't forget the sugared and glazed doughnuts.

Here is the rest of the story from Don Serfass -

Wenzel’s Bakery, 125 W. Broad St., Tamaqua, will close over Thanksgiving after 73 years of continuous operation.
The days are numbered for Tamaqua's popular baked goods.
Wenzel's Bakery, a family-operated business begun in Coaldale during the struggling days of the Depression, will close next month after a run of 73 years.
"It'll be sometime around Thanksgiving," says proprietor George Wenzel.
Wenzel, who'll turn 82 in April, feels the time has come to call it quits, and acknowledges that people's tastes are changing, even when it comes to dessert. He says the new generation just doesn't have a yearning or appreciation for chemical-free, home-baked pastries. They're more into fast food.
"Today's young people buy at McDonald's, Burger King or the supermarket bakeries...We make it fresh. We don't use preservatives," he points out.
As a result, mom-and-pop bakeries are closing doors.
Company founder George Wenzel passed away in 1968.
"Every week I get a notice of bakery equipment up for sale someplace," he says, recalling that small towns often had more than one family bakery.
"In Mahanoy City, there were five. Tamaqua mostly had bread bakers."
At one time, those bakeries served as training ground for young men trying to make a living during a bleak period in American history.
George's father, George Sr., was one of those.
"He couldn't get a job due to the Depression," recalls Wenzel. His father had gained valuable baking experience, having worked at many local bakeries, including Eames, Bobst's, Christ's and Saylor's.
In fact, George Sr. was serving as superintendent when Bobst's workers went on strike. But after that, the job market was tight. So, in 1933, to get by, Wenzel borrowed sugar and flour from the local grocery store and started baking treats at his 149 Moser Avenue home.
"In those days, people bought on tick," recalls George. He got his ingredients on tick at Sicanavage's."
The elder Wenzel eventually opened a store at Second and Ruddle streets, where business started to grow.
The family purchased an old Ford, removed the rear seat, and started making deliveries. The bakery served the entire area and the business involved all members of the Wenzel family, including children George, Elizabeth, William and Robert.
The operation moved to Tamaqua in 1941. At the time, young George juggled responsibilities, as did other family members. He was still playing football for Coaldale High School yet managed to help his father run the bakery during a time when business was bustling.
"Back then we sold pies wholesale to the grocery stores. Then, I lived in Tamaqua and played football for Coaldale. I was a 150-pound tackle," he says.
"Ask Dick Jones (former Tamaqua High coach) about it. He always threatened to report me to the PIAA for living in Tamaqua and playing football at Coaldale," says Wenzel with a smile.
The Wenzel enterprises grew to include a Nash automobile dealership, a skating rink and a dance hall, all located at one time or another at a large Center Street commercial complex.
George Sr., who went on to serve as superintendent of Coaldale State General Hospital, passed away in 1968.
George Jr., a U. S. Army WWII veteran, echoed his father's devotion to public service, serving on Tamaqua Borough Council for 24 years, including many years as president. He's also active with the Tamaqua Rotary Club.
The bakery business on East Broad Street suffered a substantial setback on October 13, 1981, when fire gutted the building. The operation re-opened next door at 125 East Broad Street, with baking handled at the Center Street location.
At its peak, the bakery grew to include locations in Pottsville, Mahanoy City, Lansford and Allentown.
Wenzel says homemade pies and cream-filled doughnuts seemed to be the top choices among customers over the years.
Of course, various family members contributed their expertise.
For instance, William, or "Bill," was skilled at baking bread, doughnuts and buns. Elizabeth and George wrapped and delivered. Robert took care of the accounting. But all of those responsibilities shifted as needed.
William passed away in 1986, followed by Elizabeth (Wenzel) Krepak this past June.
Elizabeth's daughter, Suzanne (Krepak) Krell, still works at the bakery.
"I've helped out since I was 12, mostly running the store, she says."
George's son, George III, sometimes contributes by decorating cakes. In total, the operation employs six.
Wenzel says he will likely sell the baking equipment at the Center Street building. Plans are being formulated for that location but Wenzel says he is not at liberty to discuss details at this time.
"But I can tell you that the building will be torn down."
The Broad Street store will not be sold. Wenzel says the retail space likely would become available for rent.
Asked what he will miss most about the baking business, Wenzel can sum it up in two words.
"The smell."

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Tallahassee - Water Temp 66 - Air Temp 66

Our first cold snap came down from the north last night - causing the heat pump to come on and the AC go off. We also got a good chance to use our new gas logs.

Last week - the water was 70 and the air was 86 - and Nancy was still doing her laps in the pool. I think she will be doing her laps the rest of the winter in the heated pool in the park down the street. They keep it 85 all year and put a dome over it on Thanksgiving.

Not much else doing here in Cracker Town. Florida A&M University (FAMU) is having their homecoming this weekend. The Famous Marching 100 will be in a homecoming parade this week. The Seminoles are licking their wounds and hoping to regroup for the University of Maryland this Saturday. Drew is flying down to Washington to go with Keith to the game. Steve - Keith's friend - holds a big tailgate party for the event.

I predict that FSU will bounce back and have a strong victory in College Park. Go Noles.

Nancy's Grant Makes The Times News

Read the story of Nancy Everhart's library grant in the Times News by clicking the above title.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Story About Legal Ticket Buying in Florida

Click on title for the full story

Musings of Trying to Get 7 Tickets Together in the Shade for the Boston College Game

We had lots of friends come by for the Boston College game. Matt Fredericks and Allison Collevechio drove all the way from Palm Beach after teaching a full day of school Friday - 6 hours of driving. Also our buddy Wayne's daughter and granddaughter flew down from North Carolina for the game - all nervous that Harry would not be able to get them tickets. So there were tons of pressure for Harry to land "7 seats together on the 50 yard line in the shade."

The weekend started nicely enough with FSU beating Wake Forest in volleyball on Friday night - 3-0. The gym was packed to the rafters for the nationally televised game. We were hoping this was some kind of good sign - unfortunately things went downhill from there.

On Saturday - Harry took the truck and the tent over to the stadium to stakeout their favorite parking spot only to find some fellow there with 7 chairs on "Harry's" spot. After a little convincing - Harry got the guy to move two of the chairs and Harry set up camp. Then Harry rode his bike home - feeling the "bad vibes" of the day beginning.

At 2PM - Wayne, daughter Cori, and granddaughter Alysha arrived at our house to take us all to the game. I could tell they were all skeptical of Harry's ability to get games tickets - the radio was touting the game as "sold out."

Upon arrival at the stadium - Nancy set up the tailgate party. Hot dogs were the main entre - but the hit of the day was Nancy's chocolate cupcakes decorated in FSU Garnet and Gold. The big deal around the stadium was that the Seminoles were wearing all black uniforms - somehow Nike conned everyone into thinking this somehow honored the Seminole Indians. Frankly - it honored the Nike cash registers because all the "sheep" insisted on wearing these stupid shirts. By the way - black shirts with garnet (maroon) numbers are impossible to read from 50 rows up in the bleachers - even in bright sunlight.

Harry and Matt took a quick exit from the party to go "bargain for tickets." Florida recently passed a new "scalping law" that allows people to openly sell their tickets for whatever the market would bear. This is a great law - because so many folks were selling extra tickets - it put the "real" scalpers out of business. Even 2 hours before game time - ticket prices were well below face value.

The ground rules were simple - Nancy insisted on being in the shade - and also wanted between the 30 yard lines - this was very limiting and Matt and I turned down lots of tickets that could be had for $5 to $10 because they weren't "in Nancy's parameters." Then - a young man offered me 2 seats exactly on the 50 in row 17 but on the sunny side of the field. He wanted $50 each - but I finally got him down to 2 for $30 total. I looked at Matt and he said "take them." So Matt and Allison were set - he put the tickets in his wallet. Just as Matt was ready to go back to the party - a fellow walked up and handed me a free ticket - I planned to use that one. I am glad Matt was there because no one would have believed me otherwise.

Now I needed 4 together for Nancy and Wayne's family. A kid about 12 years old walked up to me and offered 4 in section 9 - good seats but on the sunny side - I offered $10 each - as a safety valve - I looked over at his dad about 30 feet away - and he said okay. I bought the tickets for $10 each and figured I could safely get back to the party.

When I got back to the party - my lovely grateful wife Nancy - started whining about the seats being in the sun - this from a lady that dragged me kicking and screaming from Tamaqua, Pennsylvania to live my golden years in the sunshine so she would not have to dye her hair. Also Alysha attending her first FSU game ever - although I predict it will not be the last - noticed that the 4 tickets the kid sold me were not together - just in the same section. I was tricked by a 12 year old kid.

So back I went into the boiler room of "trading Seminole game tickets." I started by holding up 7 fingers and also 5 tickets - feeling very stupid. Folks started offering me all sorts of deals. They either pitied or trusted this old "grayhead" because they started buying and selling. I felt like I was on the New York Stock Exchange floor because I had buy and sell limits. I bought tickets for $10 and sold tickets for $25. When the smoke cleared - I had 5 seats on the shady side near the 50 in my hand - and I had more money in my wallet than I started with. I felt like Jesus with the 5 loaves of bread and 2 fishes. Back to the "tailgate" I strutted with my new found booty in hand.

The weather was perfect for a game - 75 - bright sunny - a little breeze. Matt and Allison sat in their sunny side tickets - roasted - and came back with sun burn and raccoon eyes. The rest of us enjoyed the breeze in the shade.

The game - Boston College won - the black uniforms sucked - and now FSU is 4-3 and worried about winning enough games to make a bowl game. FSU has lost 3 games by a total of 15 points - and you would think Bobby lied us into a war in Iraq and after 4 years and a "mission accomplished" sign we were losing over 100 soldiers a month. Such is life in Tallahassee.

To make matters worse - our second place volleyball team played Duke on Sunday and they beat us 3-0 on national TV. Harry got his first closeup on national televison and to make matters worse went home to find out our national number 3 ranked soccer team was beaten by the Blue Devils in Durham.

I guess it could be a lot worse. I could be in Iraq with Chuck searching out roadside bombs with my dog - but instead I am loafing around the house - unshaven - on a Monday morning - in sunny Florida - avoiding cleaning the bathroom - and whining to you on the internet.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Matt and Allison are on the Way to Visit

Matt and Allison just left Palm Beach at 6PM Friday night - 417 miles away. They expect to be here at midnight. It should be a fun weekend - especially if Florida State beats Boston College at Doak Campbell Stadium.

If FSU loses this game - they have no chance to win the ACC title because they would have 3 losses. Boston College has only one loss on a last second play at NCSU. The ACC champ automatically goes to a BCS bowl - usually the Orange Bowl.

Also tonight Wake Forest is here for volleyball - and Sunday Duke is here for volleyball. Duke is undefeated and leading the ACC.

Matt Fredericks and Allison Collevechio are two of my former Panther Valley students. They are both teachers in the public schools of Florida now - I am pretty proud of them.

Folks do not realize that you can drive 1000 miles to get from one end of Florida to the other.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Evolution of Dance

Click on title to see why 35,000,000 people can't be wrong.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Nancy's Niece and Sister

While visiting back home in Pennsylvania - Nancy got to see her niece - Dana - run in a cross country meet versus Panther Valley - the school where I taught. Dana is the daughter of Nancy's sister Lori.

I like to tease Dana by saying she looks just like Nancy did when I married her...........and she does.

Remember When My Computer Was Stolen in San Diego?

My friend Bob O'Lary sent this to me.

"I saw this in the Tallahassee police E-News report & wanted to pass it along. sounded familiar.

I WANT TO BUY MY CAR: Two suspected car thieves in San Diego, California, answered a phone call that they should not have. Police there say that the stolen car's rightful owner dialed the number of his own cell phone hours after the vehicle was stolen October 5. The person who answered the phone offered to sell the car back to its rightful owner and arranged to meet the man later that day. But instead, the victim called the cops, who sent undercover officers to the meeting. When a 23-year-old and a 17-year old girl came up to the detectives, the pair were arrested. The stolen vehicle's keys were found on one of the suspects, and police found the car parked just around the corner."

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Gasoline Prices Slide Right Before Election

Of course there is no relationship between the dramatic drop of the price of gasoline and the coming election. Bush nor his oil buddy the Saudi Prince just can't manipulate prices like that - and even if they could - smart American consumers would realize they were being duped - wouldn't they?

Here in Rhode Island and Massachusetts the price of a gallon of gasoline has dropped to $2.07. All summer it was near $3.00 - but all of a sudden Saudi Arabia chose to boost production causing the price to drop. No wonder Bush is always holding the Prince's hand when he comes to visit.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Syracuse China Highlight of Our Visit to Drew's House

On Tuesday and Wednesday - Nancy and I visited Drew and Robin's home in Syracuse. He also took us on a tour of his laboratories at the Upstate Medical School.

One of the highlights of the visit was a trip to Syracuse China. The factory has been there forever - they make beautiful fine china of all colors and patterns. Nancy loves to search the "odd lot" bins for interesting pieces at super low prices. Nancy and Drew found a set of china with a garnet and gold pattern on it. After finding 60 pieces of matching china - at prices too low to name here - they packed them in a box - ready for the flight back to Florida. I will just say that Nancy entered the factory with a 10 dollar bill and a copy of the 10 commandments - and didn't have to break either one :-)

The china will be used for many of Nancy's FSU sporting events.

The picture shows Nancy and Drew "bin diving" at the Syracuse China Factory.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Trip North to See the "Leaves" - Charlotte - Providence - Newport - Martha's Vineyard - Albany - Syracuse

Sunday we left Tallahassee for a trip north. It had 4 objectives - to visit Martha's Vineyard and Newport - to stay with Drew and Robin in Syracuse - to visit folks back home in Tamaqua PA - and finally to attend a conference in Providence RI.

We have already experienced different weather. When the plane landed in Charlotte NC - it was cold, wet, rainy, foggy. On the next leg - our plane landed in a sunny 70 degree Providence on a Sunday afternoon. We stopped in our hotel and then drove to the seaport town of Newport. We visited the docks and the beautiful summer mansions there.

On Monday morning we caught the fast ferry to Martha's Vineyard. It was the last ferry of the year from Newport. The locals said it was the nicest day of the year - sunny - 75 - breezy - and mild. The ferry took 1.5 hours to get there - and cost $70 a person round trip. When we got off the ferry in Oak Bluffs - we rented a Yamaha Zuma scooter and used it to circle the island. We stopped in Edgartown and a few other towns.

Martha's Vineyard has about 15,000 year round residents. During the summer this swells to about 75,000 residents usually with another 25,000 day trippers. Even though it was the last day of the season and the fast ferry - the place seemed crowded to me. There were lots of pretty cottages - but a visit to the local realty office showed the most sky high prices that I have ever seen. Quite frankly - I left Martha's Vineyard with the feeling that it was Key West - without the good weather, palm trees, and tropical flavor - but it did have a healthy dose of pretentiousness. Probably it is me and my attitude. I am sure it has some strong historic aura - and I am more aware of the history of Florida and the Keys.

It seems the main attraction is to visit Chappaquiddick and the place where Kennedy's car went off the bridge killing Mary Jo Kopechne. The ferry over to that island is less than 100 yards - and it can take about 3 cars at a time. The people on "Chappy" like to refer to Martha's Vineyard as "the mainland" and they call the real mainland - "America."

At 5:00PM - the last ferry was departing. We boarded quickly and slept most of the 1.5 hours back. Even though it tossed and turned a bit - Nancy slept will and did not review her lunch with me.

We departed the boat - got in our car and drove to Albany NY. We spent the night there at a Marriot that Nancy booked from the car using the addresses and phone numbers in our GPS. Our room was very nice - free internet - and we both zonked out at about 10PM. In the middle of the night - I heard a bonk - and a bunch of cranky words from the bathroom. Nancy slipped in the bathroom and bonked her forehead on the door knob. It raised a goose egg.

We got up about 9 AM - and drove to Drew and Robin's home in Syracuse. We are here now looking forward to our visit when they get home form work.

The rest of the trip will include a visit to Tamaqua and then back to Providence where Nancy will attend that conference.

We will return home Monday. Our house is being watched over by our neighbor Lee - head of the neighborhood watch.

Pictures - Nancy waiting for the ferry boat on Martha's Vineyard to take her back to the mainland - Nancy in front of America's first lending library in Newport.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Seminole Girls Beat North Carolina 3 - 0

Last night Nancy and I watched the FSU girls volleyball team beat the University of North Carolina in 3 straight games to take over second place in the Atlantic Coast Conference. About 1000 people - including the FSU band that had a week off because the football team has a bye this weekend - attended the match.

Tonight the team plays North Carolina State University here at 7PM. Presently - Duke is the conference leader with a 5- 0 record. Volleyball games have free admission.

Today at 11AM - the swimming and diving team plays Clemson here.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Darrell Burke - a HIT (Hospital Information Technology)

Darrell presented his research today to the FSU faculty about using information technology in the Florida Hospital Setting. About 40 faculty members postponed their weekend exodus to see Darrell's two o'clock presentation.

Darrell is better known for his 1956 Buick - his Toyota Avalon - and also his internet car sales.

Built a Dry Dock for the Paddle Boat - or is it Pedal Boat?

When Wayne and Shirley moved down from Wisconsin - they told me about a little paddle boat they had. They were going to leave it behind. Immediately I thought it would be perfect for our little lake - "golden pond." So I convinced Wayne to load it into the moving van - and the rest is history.

Shall we call it a pedal boat because you can pedal it or a paddle boat because it has a paddle wheel to propel it - either way it is a great lightweight highly-docile sportscar of a boat. It is very light - made completely of plastic - has 4 seats - and a cooler for drinks. It is very stable and surprisingly fast. The stickers says it can haul 5 people or 750 pounds - so in my case it is good for 3 people :-)

The dry dock is made of treated lumber - 4 x 4's and 2 x 4's. It keeps the boat 2 feet off the ground - away from the rain splashing and trailing vines. The tarp will keep the inside clean and keep the sweltering sun from rotting the plastic. The boat has never had it so good.

Click Here for Coach K Commcercial

Chuck Amato Video - Must See

Click on Chuck to see video.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

FSU Falls to Chuck Amato's Wolkpack - 24-20

No chance of a national title - No chance of an ACC title - No chance of a BCS bowl - a much better chance of the first losing season in 30 years. FSU is 3-2. Why do I think I saw this movie already in Pennsylvania? People all over town wanting the coach's son's head. No joy in Crackerville.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

You All Remember Ed Paperman

From the Times News -

Businessman Ed Paperman says Tamaqua is "definitely moving forward" and he's happy to be part of it. But he's also concerned about safety in the community.

In fact, safety worries prompted him to take action. He recently moved his family to Hometown after his wife expressed some fear about walking outside at night in their Mauch Chunk Street neighborhood. Paperman also decided to voice his concerns at a public meeting.

"This is only the second council meeting I've attended in my 60 years of life," he said at Tuesday's regular session at the Tamaqua Municipal Building.

"I no longer feel completely safe. I'm not knocking Chief Hartung and the police force. But they only have eight full-time police officers. In 1990, there were twelve," Paperman said.

Paperman commended the police and mayor, saying that Hartung "has done everything in his power."

Paperman is owner of We R Cigarettes, a business which traces roots back some 56 years to the days when his father, Jake Kaplan, first started serving the grocery needs of Tamaqua residents. Today, drugs are one of the main problems in the borough but other crimes have impacted his business, including stealing.

"Some have grabbed cigarettes and run. Now I'm getting hit with bad checks," he said, noting that one of his enterprises is a state-licensed check cashing business.

The local problems have not soured Paperman's view of his hometown, saying Tamaqua has been good to him.

"Tamaqua is my town," he said. "I want to remain in Tamaqua. Tamaqua is moving forward and I love it. But I'm a little worried about the future when it comes to my safety."

Chuck Shuck - Playing TAPS in the Desert

Dear friends and family,

About 2 hours ago, I sat through a memorial service for a 22 year young man named SPC Robert Webber. Even though I personally did not know this young soldier, I was once again reminded how precious life really is. A young soldier got up to speak about his Army "brother" and a lump sat in my throat the entire time because I realized that could be me speaking up there of one of my friends or worse yet, one of my soldiers. The song American soldier was also played at this service and if their is one song that truly shows what an American soldier is, that song is it. The traditional TAPS was played by a lone buglar and bagpipes followed. The final respect paid from one soldier to the soldier that gave his all is the salute. As I approached this soldiers weapon, boots, helmet and dogtags, and rendered the hand salute I had so many emotions going through me at once, but as I sit here know reminding eve rybody the cost of war, I know this young soldier left this world doing what we all love doing and doing something we wouldn't trade for any job in the world and that is serving the people of the United States of America. God Bless!

In other news from Iraq, the above pictures is from an obstacle course that some good friends built for our dogs. I painted because thats as crafy as I can get. As you can see the colors represent the Copperas Cove "BULLDAWGS" from back home in Texas. The weather here is really nice and we had a pretty good sandstorm last night. Please keep all soldiers in your nightly prayers and I know I email alot but this is what keeps me sane. I look forward to hearing from you all and say an extra prayers for SPC Webbers parents as he was an only child.

Chuck and Gabe

"On The Road Again" with the Vagabond Lovers

George and Joel Dawson - our neighbors - come home every now and then to cut the grass or go to Apple Club meetings. Then - off they go again.

In the last couple of months - they have been to Argentina - Antarctica - Peru - and Kentucky. Now today - I dropped them off at the airport for a trip to Colorado and New Mexico. They will be teaching at a workshop - then visiting friends - then going to a hot air balloon festival. After that they head to Louisville for the 50th anniversary of George's brother Joe.

While they are away - it is my job to house sit for them - take care of the van - and record their favorite TV shows. It is a tough job. They have an excellent house for a party.

Our Two Days in Disneyworld

Meeting Katherine Harris in the last weekend trip to Disney World before your one year pass runs out - $229

Buying the prettiest girl in the world a candy apple at the Farmer's Market in Disney/MGM Studios - $3

Guessing who "spewed junks" on the Space Mountain Ride at midnight - PRICELESS

Welcome to Dixie

You know you are in the Southland when you meet up with this little guy. We had stopped at a Sonny's barbecue on the way home from Gary's in Miami. Upon leaving the restaurant - this Armadillo was busy "grubbing" next to our love bug coated car - oblivious to us. Sonny's - armadillos - love bugs - palm trees - warm sand - I think the transformation from Coal Cracker to Florida Cracker is complete.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Matt Fredericks and Allison Collevecchio Visit Us in Miami South Beach

Matt Fredericks and Allison Collevecchio visited us on our trip to Miami last week. They were my students when I was a seventh grade teacher back in Pennsylvania. I am so proud to say they followed me into the profession of teaching. Matt teaches seventh grade math and Allison teaches second grade in Palm Beach County. They were a highlight of our trip to South Florida. Allison's mom - Gwynn - was one of my first students and also was a my fellow teacher at Panther Valley.

Our trip started last Wednesday when we drove to Orlando where Nancy met with candidates for her LEAD project. Then on Thursday we drove to Fort Lauderdale where Nancy met with another group of recruits. Nancy is recruiting 30 teachers to fill full scholarship positions in school library media.

At the end of the week - we spent 3 days with Gary Miller at his mansion in Plantation. Gary graduated from THS with me - and has retired from the clothing import business in NYC.

Finally - we spent Sunday and Monday in the Hilton in Walt Disney Village - they now call it Downtown Disney. Our yearly Disney pass is running out in 2 weeks - so we visited the Magic Kingdom - EPCOT - and Disney/MGM Studiios.

We drove home Monday evening - arriving home around 8:00 PM. The entire trip put 1250 miles on the car and millions of dead love bugs. Folks do not realize that one can put 1000 miles one way - by going from the west end of Florida to the south end.

Pictures - Allison and Matt - on South Beach.