Search This Blog

Sunday, June 30, 2013

On The Way Home From Pennsylvania Wedding Shower

Life on the highway in the back of a van on I-95 with the kids and grandkids on the way to Richmond.

We had a wonderful whirlwind weekend in Tamaqua at Liz's wedding shower.

Monday I fly home from Richmond to Tallahassee.

Next Saturday - we fly to London for the month of July - with a side trip to Paris and Normandy.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Everharts In Town For Wedding Shower

At 1 PM today - Lulu is having a wedding shower for Liz - Keith's fiancée. All of the Everharts will be in Tamaqua together for the first time ever.

Keith and Liz live and work in Washington DC.

The wedding is scheduled for late in August in Bedford Springs PA.

Harry's iPhone

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Watch Harry Wreck His Segway

The Segway has two very powerful electric motors and several gyros. You go forward by leaning forward - slow down and stop by leaning back. You have a tiller that controls left and right. It reminds me very much of flying a helicopter. Until you get used to it - the hardest thing to do is be perfectly still.  You must be very careful to not push the tiller too far left and right because it can get away from you. People have been known to twist and ankle or knee doing that

We were scheduled for a one hour lesson and ride - but the guy extended it to 2 hours. By the endof two hours - your legs are a little sore from all the standing and balancing. After about 20 minutes - you feel like an expert.

Segways cost $6000 new. They can do 12 MPH for about 22 miles. The lithium battery canbe charged fully about 1500 miles. A big part of the price is the battery.

We looked pretty dorky riding around with helmets on. About as dorky as women wearing those high high heels.

If I could get a deal on one I would buy it - and have Lulu ride the 2 miles to work everyday on it - with her books in a backpack.

Happy Fathers Day - A Segway Ride Through Richmond With Drew

Drew and Dad on their Segways in front of the Virginia Capitol.

Jack - Kate - Pop on the train ride at the Childrens Museum. Drew has an annual pass for this indoor playground and activity center. The kids had their lunch there that Drew prepared. 

They trained us to ride the Segways in this alley. The machines are very powerful and they can get away from you if you are not careful - ask me.

Along the James River is a pretty park that has lots of paved trails where we could open the Segways up. At 12 MPH - the governor kicks in - I imagine it could be hacked. Here is Drew doing a 360.

It is only 6 PM and I am ready for bed. 

I just spent a full day in Richmond with Drew and Family. It started simple enough with a hot breakfast of pancakes and bacon cooked on the kitchen grill. Next we went to the pool to watch Jack take his swimming lessons. 

After that it was a trip to the Childrens Museum to play - have lunch - and ride the train. 

What started out looking like a rainy overcast day at noon - got warm and bright by the time our Segway Tour was scheduled at 1 PM. Drew and I headed into downtown to ride my Fathers Day Present - a one hut lesson and tour on Segways.

A Segway is an awkward looking stand up two wheel scooter like transport. Segway are expensive - they cost about $6000 new. That is because it has computer and gyros to keep you balanced as you ride. First you get a 10 minute lesson that tells you how get on and off - go forward and back - stop and go - turn left and right - and spin around. Everything is controlled by you center of gravity. Turning is controlled by a tiller. 

Segways go up to 12 MPH for 22 miles on a battery change. A large part of the cost is the lithium battery. You get about 1500 charges on one battery. You plug it into a regular home outlet to charge it. 

It goes up and down hills with ease - handle cracks in the road and sidewalks. In Virginia - you need no driver license or license plate. 12 MPH feels like you are really flying - and you are compared to running. If you run a 4 minute mile - that is 15 MPH. When Lulu and I walk our 2 miles a day - we are walking about 3 MPH. 

Our one hour tour turned into 2 hours. We had a thorough lesson and tour. It was a nice day - and we covered several miles - many of them along the James River. I though it might be only me but - my legs got a little sore. There were about 10 in our group and near the end I hear others including Drew saying their legs were sore. 

After the tour at 3PM we had a late lunch at the Penny Lane Pub - replica British pub in downtown Richmond. 

After we got home - I sat on the sofa and started to nod off like an old man. I retreated to my guest room to write this story. I just realized I got this far without my daily bath. So here I go.

See Movie on Bobby Bowden Field

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Leaving Tallahassee 6:30 AM

I am flying to Richmond - then joining my family for a drive to Tamaqua. Lulu is in Syracuse and will drive to the TeePee Town today. We are gathering there for a shower to honor Liz - Keith's August bride.

We will return home July 1st in time to prepare for our July in London.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Lulu - My Lovely Bride of 42 Years Ago

The sun flowers represent a song we always sing - You Are My Sunshine. This picture was taken this morning.

42 years ago in a lovely little church in Finksburg Maryland - Lulu and I became man and wife. Lulu was 3 years old at the time - she will never admit to being older than 45. This scandal rocked the town. 

Today - she is spending our happy day in a dormitory room in Ernie Davis Hall at Syracuse University on business. I am in Florida prepping our brick home down the street for destruction. 

We will be together in Tamaqua PA this weekend for the wedding shower of Keith's fiancee Liz. The entire family is meeting back home for this event. 

No matter where we roam - Tamaqua will always be home. 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

We Spent the Weekend in Durham at the Miners' Union Gala

Originally posted in July 2012.
A colliery band and their banner.

Each colliery or patch down had its own banner.

Ever since we first saw the movie Billy Elliot - I wanted to see the coal regions of England. Some of both Lulu's and my ancestors came from here - and I wanted to compare their mining culture to the Anthracite Coal Regions of Pennsylvania back home.

Elvis's Birthplace - Tupelo Mississippi

Elvis's Birthplace - Shotgun House

I am always intrigued by Shotgun Houses. They supposedly originated in West Africa and came to America via Haiti. The style was brought to New Orleans by Creole slaves and immigrants. Simply - a shotgun house is a long narrow house sitting perpendicular to the street. The front door and back door were lined up so that if you fired a shotgun in the front door it could go out the back door without touching anything. They usually had rooms lined up - living room - bedroom - bathroom - kitchen. This particular one is built on concrete posts because it was cheaper to it that way than to pour a full foundation. 

The above house is the home in Tupelo Mississippi where Elvis was born. He spend the first 13 years of his life there before moving to Memphis. 

Sometimes  two homes are constructed under one roof and it is called it a double barrel shotgun house. 

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Supermoon Saturday - On June 22rd

This photo shows a "regular" moon  versus a  supermoon.

When you take moon pictures when it is close to the horizon - you can get some very dramatic shots. 

There will a Supermoon on Saturday night. The moon orbits the earth in an elliptical orbit. So sometimes it gets closer and farther away. About 3 or 4 times a year - we have a full moon when the moon is at perigee - or its closest distance to the earth. This makes the moon appear 15% bigger and 30% brighter.

There is a bridge south of town at Panacea where during a full moon you can see the moon and sun directly lined up with the bridge. Maybe I will go there tonight to take a few pictures. 

Friday, June 21, 2013

Tamaqua In A Rap Video

I am not a big fan of hip hop or rap music - but having my hometown of Tamaqua PA in the background made it worth a watch.

I Just Sold Some Teak Chairs on Craigslist

 Richard came all the way from Orlando to buy our teak dinette set.

Here I am helping Richard load the chairs into his truck.

All week I have been busy selling stuff from the old brick house. We are getting ready to tear it down to build our new home. Things are selling very fast - bringing good prices - but the most fun is meeting people and hearing their stories about life and fortune. 

I had a teak dining table with 6 chairs listed on Craigslist for $350. A guy called and drove all the way up from Orlando to buy it. It is about 5 hours of driving each way. He planned to get here at 1 PM but he pulled in at 3. He was so excited to look at the chairs. He was gushing over their quality. Then he said a couple strands were loose in the seats and he could only pay $340. Now since he drove 5 hours - there was no way he was going to walk away for $10. But he was a nice guy and I felt bad that he drove so far for a stupid dinette. I took the 17 - $20 bills. 

I helped him load the chairs into the truck. He had special padded bags of each chair. We stacked them gently. He said sometimes people mistake rosewood for teak and a set of rosewood chairs can go for $6000 after he finishes them. He assured me that mine were teak. 

He was about to pull out when I reminded him of the table. He said he did not want it! To me the table was the prettiest item - 8 and 1/2 feet long with the leaves in. He said the table was only worth $600 finished and he would have to pay about $500 to finish it right. He said I could re-sell it. Like having your cake and eating it too.

I bought the set from a graduating student 3 years ago. My 3 students had used it 3 years. It is the gift that keeps on giving. 

Anyone want to buy a teak dining table - 102 x 42 - with leaves in - $160.

Added on Sunday morning - The table sold quickly for $160. Very few items left - like those corner cabinets.

Lulu On her Way To Syracuse - Then Tamaqua

Lulu and her 27 year old Dodge 600 with 15,000 miles on it - yes 3 zeroes - at the busy Tallahassee Airport.

I just put Lulu on a plane to Syracuse. She will be doing a workshop there and staying in the dormitory. After that - she will drive to Tamaqua PA where she is hosting a wedding shower to honor her future daughter in law Liz - yes - Keith's fiancee.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

We Picked A Builder - Gary Shiver

Gary Shiver Construction will finish this home tomorrow. We plan to tour it then. It does not look anything like the home we plan to build. 

If we ever get the new house built - Gary Shiver is going to be the one to do it. He is just finishing this home on the corner of Ox Bottom Road and Ox Bow Road. It is a big home with a full basement - over 4500 square feet. Gary has been building homes for 35 years in the Tallahassee Area. His customers seem very satisfied. 

If things go right - we will tear town the brick house and prepare the site for the new home before July 1st. Then we will apply for permits while Lulu and I are in London for the month of July. The project will be "shovel ready" on August 1st. If everything goes right - and that is a big if - we should be in the home on November 1st. 

We will then prepare our home at 1607 Seminole Drive to sell. We are not in any rush. 

Gary still wields the hammer every day.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

United States - Whites Deaths Outnumber White Births For First Time - 63% Non-Hispanic White

From NY Times

More white people died in the United States last year than were born, a surprising slump coming more than a decade before the Census Bureau says that the ranks of white Americans will likely drop with every passing year.

Population estimates for 2012 released Thursday show what’s known as a natural decrease — a straightforward calculation of births minus deaths — of about 12,400 people among the nation’s 198 million non-Hispanic whites.

Although the percentage is small, several demographers said they are not aware of another time in U.S. history — not even during the Depression or wars — when there was such shrinkage among the dominant racial group. No other group showed a similar falloff.

The decrease was offset by 188,000 white immigrants, most from Canada and Germany but also from Russia and Saudi Arabia. And non-Hispanic whites remain the single largest group, making up 63 percent of the country.

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Indiana Sweeps The Noles - Goes To The World Series in Omaha

Lulu and Danny just got home from the baseball game. They are still squinting from a day outside. Danny was an Indiana University professor for 33 years. Now he is driving "Back Home Again In Indiana" after the Hoosiers swept the Noles - 2 games to zero. Danny wore his IU hat home - a very old IU hat.

I was hoping the series would have gone to 3 games for Danny to get his money's worth out of the long drive. Turns out that 2 games were enough.

Yesterday Danny Callison and I sat through a 4 and 1/2 hour game in the stinking hot heat of Tallahassee to watch the Hoosiers beat the Seminoles 10-9.

Today Lulu and Danny went to a must win game for the Seminoles. They had seats under cover just in case the sun or the rain was brutal - neither happened. The only downpour they got was the 11-6 drubbing Indiana laid on FSU. It started with a quick Hoosier lead 2-0 - then it shot up to 5 runs. But FSU had some life left in them as they tied it 5-5. But Indiana was a team of destiny - and they added 6 more runs and the score stood until the end 11-7. 

MiMi Enjoying Venice

Look who is in Venice - University of Alabama professor Dr Mimi Johnston. Yesterday she was in Rome - today Venice - who knows what is next. One of the neat things about Europe - by plane - train - or car - things are just a few hours apart. Mimi got her doctor's degree at FSU.

Our Neighbors - The McLemore's Are Devoted Seminole Baseball Fans

Scott - Mary-Sue - Bear

Scott - Mary-Sue and their son Bear at yesterday's Super Regional game. They can always be found in those seats. They are smart - they have seats in the shade and have a Big Ass Fan overhead. No really - that is the name of the fan company. The fans are about 20 feet in diameter.

A couple years ago - they moved 4 doors down the street from us. They home is directly across the street from our brick house.

In the picture - for today's game - Lulu and Danny's seats are at the same level but about 200 feet to the left.

The Noles lost a heart breaker yesterday 10-9. Indiana has a good team and it could be over as early as today. This is the first time a Big 10 team advanced this far in the NCAA baseball tournament. Each team had 10 hits and 3 errors.

Mimi The Gladiator With Fellow Professor Lori In Rome

When you get drunk in a Roman restaurant - you do not leave your helmet - shield - and sword behind. Some tourists will mug for the camera with them. I am more interested what was the drink with the long blue straw. 

Saturday, June 08, 2013

We Had Great Seats for the Hoosiers and Noles

Mike Martin Field in Dick Howser Stadium. There is something wrong with naming the field after the head coach. How do you flunk a nun?

The Noles lost 10-9. Indiana shot ahead 10-6 - then the Noles scored 3 in the last two innings. The winning run came to the plate - flied out - and it was over.

My friend Danny Callison is here for the games. He is a retired IU professor. He drove from Bloomington yesterday by himself - it took 14 hours. 

I told him I hope for 3 games for him because he drove so far. Now I hope there are 3 games for FSU to come back.

I got great seats for Lulu and Danny - the same section but 10 rows back. They are under the shade and a big fan. They will not roast. If there is a 3rd game - we will all go together. 

FSU at Noon Playing Indiana at FSU in NCAA Playoff

Today at noon. Super regional. I am going with Danny from IU.

Will be sitting behind home plate - row 7. Just a little to camera left.

MiMi Johnston Is At A Conference In Rome

Mimi Johnston at the Vatican

Dr Mimi Johnson is traveling the world spreading the word on library science. She was one of Lulu's best students and quickly landed a job as a professor at Kentucky. Now she is a professor at Alabama - but she enjoys packing and may someday break Lulu's record for library travels. She is Lulu's mini-me - that is why I call her Mimi. 

Her trip was slowed down with a few delays - and then her bags did not get there in time. She just sent this picture from the Vatican. I told her that guy was looking for a wife. I told her anyone who married him should not sign a pre-nup and the kingdom could be hers. 

Friday, June 07, 2013

Judge Scraps Pennsylvania Governor Corbett's Lawsuit Against The NCAA

HARRISBURG — A federal judge on Thursday threw out the Pennsylvania governor’s lawsuit against the NCAA over sanctions against Penn State related to Jerry Sandusky, calling his argument “a Hail Mary pass” that easily warranted dismissal.

U.S. Middle District Judge Yvette Kane’s decision puts an early end to the antitrust lawsuit Gov. Tom Corbett filed in January in which he sought to overturn a $60 million fine, a four-year bowl ban, scholarship limits and other penalties.

She said she could not “find any factual allegations supporting (Corbett’s) allegation of ‘concerted action’ that might nudge its conspiracy claim into ‘plausible’ territory.”

The NCAA said it was “exceedingly pleased” and hoped the ruling would help heal divisions caused by the Sandusky scandal. In an emailed statement from his office, Corbett expressed disappointment and said he was analyzing the ruling to determine options.

Interim Seminole Athletic Director - Vanessa Fuchs, 34, regarded as smart, driven

From the Tallahassee Democrat - 

Once Florida State supporters digested the news late Wednesday and Thursday that Randy Spetman had been removed as the university’s athletic director, many were left with one immediate question:
Who is Vanessa Fuchs, and why was she chosen to lead the Seminoles’ athletic department on an interim basis?

Thursday, June 06, 2013

1961 Ford Falcon - My Second Car - "Keep You Eyes On The Falcons Going By"

1960 Ford Falcon

1960 Mercury Comet

Tennessee Ernie Ford used to sing - "Keep You Eyes On The Falcons Going By" He was plugging one of the Ford best sellers. 

In the summer of 1967 - after one year at Kutztown State Teachers College - my 1956 VW was pretty much dead. It was May and I was pretty happy having 1/4 of my college education over. 

I convinced my Dad that I needed a car to take a summer job. I was hired at the Lamp Factory in Slatington which was about 25 miles from home. Dad was driving a light blue 1963 Ford Falcon wagon - so when we passed Kovich Chevrolet on Route 309 - another little Ford caught my eye. It was a 1961 Ford Falcon two door with $295 written on the windshield in white shoe polish. 

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

FSU Fires Athletic Director

Florida State Athletics Director Randy Spetman has been moved to an advisory role in the athletic department and Vanessa Fuchs has been named interim athletics director.

From the Democrat
FSU President Eric Barron made the announcement late Wednesday afternoon, and said he was beginning a national search for a new athletics director.

Neat New VW Camper At About $100,000

You can keep it in a regular garage.

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

The Lake Behind Our House

That is our backyard where my golf cart is. You can also see George's house 3 doors to the left.

Yesterday I went down to our lake front to cut the grass and weeds. The lake is about 100 yard from our house and about 30 feet lower in elevation.

A couple of weeks ago some guys that live across the street asked if they could fish in the lake/pond. Of course I said sure. I have been living here 9 years and have not cast a line in the water the whole time. Later - I saw the guys pretty excited. They got 11 hits in a half hour. We are not just talking sunnies here. They showed me a picture phone of a 15 inch large mouth bass!

They even left a small boat with an electric motor and battery. What the heck - no one was around - why not take a little boat ride?

It was pretty neat. The lake looks so quiet and peaceful. You would never think you were only 1 miles from the Capitol Building - right in the middle of a noisy town.

I had my camera with me - so I shot this video.

At the Red A is the Capitol Building - in the lower right corner is our pond. You can also see the construction of our new park just southeast of the Capitol.

My First Real Car Was A 1956 VW that Looked Similar To This

This 1978 VW is on Craigslist today - a guy wants $4500 for it. My first car was a 1956 VW that looked like this. I paid $100.

Today on Craigslist I saw this car. It is the closest look I can find to what my first car looked like. This is a 1978 VW. My first car was a 1956 VW convertible - this color of body and top. 

In 1966 - close to high school graduation - I bought a 1956 VW convertible for $100. It was 10 years old and in horrible shape. The 36 HP engine leaked so badly that I had to keep a piece of cardboard under it - and that was on the street - we didn't have a driveway or garage. It had a 4 speed transmission that had to be completely stopped to shift into low gear - that is the way they were then. It had no gas gauge - you had a lever to flip on the floor when you ran out of gasoline. That gave you maybe one gallon more to find a gas station. 

My VW had no heater - so in the winter I used to buy army surplus cans of "canned heat" and burned them on the back floor - that is the little bit of floor I had. Mine was rusted through so badly - I would run along as I drove. My friends used to use those floor holes as one of the first camper toilets. It had tiny 5 inch wide by 15 inch tall tires. The speedometer cable ran into the front left wheel to measure your speed. 

The floor was so rusted out - that I carried a roll of aluminum flashing - tin snips - and a pop riveter to make repairs. One time I was showing off at the local drive-in - the Napoli. I was going to do a "wheelie" imagine that with a 36 HP engine. VW batteries were under the back seat then. When I popped the clutch - after a whole bunch of noises - the battery fell thru the floor and out onto the street. As the crowd roared - I got out - re-installed the battery - started her up - and zoomed off - not to be seen again for a month. 

No one had invented reclining seats yet - but I had a solution. After a little seat hacksawing - and a couple of bolts - I could drop the passenger seat to make it into a level bed. It would go down with a thud. Sometimes going down the road - I would hit a bump - there would be a thud - and my passenger would be in the supine position. With that reclining seat - and the cans of "canned heat" - even during a heavy snow storm - my VW was ready for action at the Lakeside dances. All the cars would be covered with snow - except my bright green VW - people swore I had washed it during the driving snow - it shined so much - clean and dry.

Another neat thing - that car was so light - and the tires were so tall and skinny - and the engine was in the rear - it was an excellent snow car. I was able to get into the snow and ice ruts - take my hands off the steering wheel and the car would "steer itself" like on rails. 

One night 6 of us piled into it and went to NYC. We didn't start that way. A friend needed a ride to Palmerton. When we got to Palmerton - the sign said NYC was 80 miles. That seemed easy enough. It was 10 PM - traffic was light and Route 22 beckoned us. With 6 passengers - that is 6 HP per passenger - the car barely got up to 50 MPH. But as the clock struck midnight we crossed under the Hudson River in the Holland Tunnel. We were greeted by bums and panhandlers as we put up the tattered soft top for protection. The car had no heater - and we were not even aware that air conditioning existed - so it was a muggy New York August night with 6 sweating unbathed teenagers. We did not stay long - as we cruised up 9th Avenue. 

The VW was getting weaker and weaker as we went - due to an exhaust pipe break - the engine got louder and louder and seemed weaker and weaker. Around 5AM as the sun was slowly appearing in my rear view mirror - we limped up over the Blue Mountain on Route 309 in 2nd gear. If we made it to the top we could almost coast the last 10 miles back to Tamaqua. The Blue Mountain always reminded me of the mountain chain across the island where they found King Kong. On the north side was a strange forbidden land - the Coal Regions. No one ever got out of there alive. But the VW made it - at least for one night. 

It is funny how a stupid Craigslist car ad can jog all that out of this old brain. 

Since then I have bought and sold many cars - 

1965 Honda 50 cub red   $225/$150
1956 Volkswagen convertible green  $100/$0
1961 Ford Falcon blue    $250/$250
1960 MG-A Twin Cam roadster blue   $750/$900
1969 Volkswagen Beetle blue   $1849/$1200
1970 MG-B roadster yellow  $2600/$2300
1960 Mercury Comet wagon white $20/$0
1971 Chevrolet Vega panel truck white $2200/$1800
1961 Auston-Healey Sprite convertible orange  $100/$650
1972 Honda 600 sedan yellow $1525/$400

1964 Ford F100 pickup red $550/$375
1974 Ford Mustang coupe silver  $2400
1975 Auranthetic electric motor cycle $525
1977 Chevrolet Chevette  red $2700
1977 Scamp travel trailer white  $2400/$2200
1978 Thomas Chevrolet bus green  $10700/$11000
1978 Vespa Ciao moped red $700
1970 Coleman tent trailer green $400
1967 Chevrolet Camaro convertible yellow  $700/$1200
1978 Chevrolet Camaro blue $99 lease

1980 Renault LeCar red  $4000
1976 Cadillac Fleetwood blue  $900/$2200
1982 Chevrolet Chevette blue $4400
1975 VW Dune buggy red $1800/$1500
1981 Cadillac diesel brown $7100
1984 Suzuki Samurai red  $6000
1984 Small trailer K-Mart red  $200
1985 Subaru wagon silver $10700
1988 Trax moped red $800
1988 Plymouth Horizon blue  $9000

1981 Volkswagen van yellow  $2200/$2900
1990 Honda Accord black  $19000
1972 International school bus yellow  $1200/$0
1988 Dodge Shadow turbo red $6600
1993 Plymouth Voyager van green 
1980 Nissan pickup truck white
1997 Honda CRV black  $22000
1997 Honda Del Sol black $20000
1997 Trailer small covered gray  $1600/$1000
1988 Suzuki Samurai gray  $700/$2800

1986 Dodge 600 convertible white  $2700/$1500
2002 Mazda Miata green
1976 Dodge Coachmen camper orange  $1000/$1000
1972 Argosy camper brown
1989 Ford Coachmen camper red  $9000/$7000
1995 Chevrolet Coachmen camper blue $14000/$13000
2002 Tomos moped black
2002 Tomos moped blue
2001 Volkswagen Jetta blue  

2008 Harbor Freight trailer red    $200/$250
2004 Honda van silver   $13000/$9000
2007 Vespa LX150 scooter blue   $4400/
1986 Dodge 600ES convertible white  $4000 
2003 Carry-on Trailer black $250
1977 Scamp Travel Trailer white  $2400/$2000
1972 Taurus Terry Travel Trailer yellow $1800/$1200

2005 Yamaha Vino 125 maroon  $2600/$2300
2009 Honda Ruckus scooter black   $1300/$1900
1997 Toyota Tacoma truck maroon  $2000/$3500
2005 Vespa LX50 scooter black  $1500/$2200
1997 Ford Ranger truck white  $3500/$4100
1990 Mercedes diesel white    $2000/$4300
1997 Ford F150 truck maroon $5200/$6500
2008 Club Car Precedent Golf Cart maroon  $3000
2010 Honda SH150i Scooter maroon  $2200/$3500
2001 Ford F150 Truck silver  $4500/$6100
1963 Ford Falcon Ranchero blue   $2500/$5900
1994 Dodge Conversion Van $1200/$3400
1986 Honda Helix Scooter $1750
2008 Toyota Prius red  $18000

I had 69 - cars - scooters - campers - trailers - buses - trucks - golf carts. In 48 years that is almost 1.5 per year.  

Henry David Thoreau said - "The man is the richest whose pleasures are the cheapest." 

If a man can live on the seat of those cheap pleasures - he never has to work a day in his life.  I said that......that and marry a pretty college professor.

Monday, June 03, 2013

This Mover - Ducky Johnson - Has Expressed An Interest In the Seminole Drive Brick House

The Ducky Johnson Company has expressed an interest in the brick home at 1816 Seminole Drive.

I offered it to them for free - if they take it away.

Ducky is no longer alive - but the rest of the family still enjoys moving homes.

55 Years of Swimming at The Bungalow in Tamaqua PA

The Bungalow Bridge - where spring water ran into the pool. This must have been 1944 - because sister Gail is sitting on the left - my Mom holding onto her. The two ladies on the right are Kathryn "Everhart" Pisanick and Grace "Everhart" Schleicher - Dad's sisters. I am guessing Dad took this picture. This was 2 years after Grandfather Roy Everhart died - and no one knew anything about it. The other kids in the pictures are - cousins Bob Schleicher - Ruth Pisanick - and Kathleen Pisanick.

When I was a kid - a summer in Tamaqua PA was mainly spent at the Bungalow. That was the unofficial name of the community swimming pool. Folk lore had it that one time there was a real bungalow built there - but it was long gone before my first visit in 1948.

We were members of the Bethany Church and summer picnics were a way of life - this was before the Phillies were on television. One of my favorites was the penny hunt. They would dump a big pile of sawdust on the ground and mix in jars of pennies. We would dig for "hours" looking for the loot.

Originally the swimming pool was fed by a very cold spring from the mountain. It ran down a small aqueduct - under a small stone bridge build by the WPA government work force. Water temperature ranged from the low 60s to the low 70s. Just when it was getting warm on Sunday evening - they would drain the pool! They did not have a filter then - and on Monday morning they started filling it up again with frigid water.

Later during my college days - I had one of the best summer jobs in town. For 30 hours a week - I was a life guard - and enjoying the sights and sounds of the 60s. On one of the best days of my life - I met Lulu and her bikini. In the summer of 69 - I invited her to go to a rock festival being held in Bethel NY - something called Woodstock. Her Mom did not agree that it was the thing to do. So off I went in my new VW with two friends Bob from town - Bob Roland and Bob LeMasters.

Two years later - Lulu and I were married. The local bank had faith in us - and gave us the money to build a house on a hill across the street from the place we met. For 30 years - we walked hand in hand to the old swimming hole together. Lulu and our sons Drew and Keith all served as life guards at The Bungalow.

The pool is officially run by the town - but when we were kids - it was customary to "sleep out" in the park at night. As long as we stayed in the park - the police pretty well let us alone. And then there was Bungalow Bill - before the Beatles made the song. Billy Brooks slept almost the entire summer in the park in protest to his Dad having him work on the ice cream truck. Everybody spent a night or two with Bill. Bill went on to raise a family of 5 daughters - 5 of the nicest kids I taught at Panther Valley.

When John Morgan died - the inventor of thermal underwear - he left an endowment to care for the park. That money also built the beautiful concession stand by the pool and provided free admission to the residents for a few years.

Leo Schilling - our best neighbor - build a brick house in 1948 on our hill. From 1973 to 2003 - we could not have had a better neighbor. Son Lee still lives in that brick house.

Many of these pictures are from opening day this year - June 5th 2010. A few old pictures I found in my archives.

I wonder if the water is over 70 yet this year.

The most popular dive was the cannon ball.

CLick this picture to enlarge and see our brown house next to the Leo's green awning.

Next to the diving boards was the life guard chair where Lulu drew my attention.

In the 1950s - they drained the pool every Sunday night. We swam while it filled on Monday.

This must have been 1948 - because they are building Leo Schilling's house.

Note the Bungalow Bridge on the right. It is the same bridge that was in the first picture above. Click picture to enlarge to see our house in the hill next to the green awning.

In the 60s - there was no diving well - we would dive into 8 feet of water!

The John Morgan Foundation built the new concession stand. Note the Bungalow Bridge in front of the stand.
This is my Dad holding me at one of the Bethany Church picnics. It must have been 1950 - because I look about 2 years old. That would have made Dad 34 years old. He had already served 16 years in the Coaldale Number 8 Mine. 9 years later - the mine closed. Dad had 25 years in - he was out on the street - jobless - with lungs full of anthracite.

Sunday, June 02, 2013

Student Suspended For Writing An Essay Saying His Teacher Was Hot

Here come the thought police.

Charlie Watts - Rolling Stones Drummer - Is 72 Today

My favorite band growing up was The Rolling Stones. And among the extravagant members of that group was one plain looking drummer - Charlie Watts. He was born on June 2, 1941 in a pre-fab home in Wembley - England during the war. He went to art school - married his childhood sweetheart and is still married to her today - 47 years later.

He enjoys playing jazz more than roll and roll. He is one of the stable rocks on which the Rolling Stones were built. Charlie also breeds fine horses.

He is normally a very quiet guy - very little bravado - he likes to be in the background. He has been picked as one of the best dressed men in the world.

Once in the middle of the night - he was sleeping and lead singer called him up saying - where's my drummer? Watts got up - showered - shaved - got dressed and walked down to the studio to meet Jagger. When he entered the studio - he floored Jagger with one punch. He then said - Don't ever call me your drummer - you are MY singer.

I hate commas and quotation marks  :-)

The Rolling Stones fooled the world playing the role as the rebels of rock compared to the fluffy suited Beatles.  Mick Jagger the lead singer had a degree from the London School of Economics and kept the bad boy image of the band going for 50 years. No one is quite sure how guitarist Keith Richard is still standing.

This summer I plan to visit Charlie's boyhood home in Wembley. Maybe I will arrange a 5 stop tour of the original Rolling Stones' homes.

Saturday, June 01, 2013

This House Down The Street Went For $79000 At Auction Today

This rancher at the south end of Seminole Drive was auctioned off today.

We just had a public auction down the street about 1/2 mile south of our house. A brick ranch home sold for $79000. The home looks about 40 years old - and it looks like no improvements were made since. It had 3BRs and a 2 car garage. The roof looked okay. 

Some people in the neighborhood are shocked that it went so low. Of course it concerns them with the value of their own home. It concerns me because I am considering building a $400k home just 1/2 mile up the same street.