Search This Blog

Monday, May 30, 2016

The Ride Home From Tuskegee and Auburn Took Us Thru Columbus GA - And Down Route 27 Home

US Infantry Museum 
Chattahoochee River kayaking very popular
with dam water releases
Columbus GA sits on the Fall Line - therefore it became a very important industrial city during the Industrial Revolution. The city has about 200,000 people and is becoming a popular tourist destination. Just south of town is Fort Benning - where the USA trains its infantry. The fort pumps a lot of cash into the city.

Auburn University - Nice Campus - Football Factory - Kettle/Black/FSU

Auburn is second fiddle in Alabama - just
like FSU is second fiddle to the Gators.
Toomers Drug on College Avenue is local history
Their stadium sits right in the middle of campus
Sunday morning we visited Auburn University. Being the summer and Memorial Day Weekend and Sunday morning - the place was empty. Although it was already 90 - we walked around the campus to see what it was like at another football factory. Sadly - it seems that most major colleges have just become feeder schools to the NFL. Many people are making millions off these kids. The NFL Commissioner made $22 million this year - in a non-profit tax exempt business. 

Auburn has a beautiful campus - but right in the middle is a huge stadium that gets used maybe 6 times a year. The rest of the time students have to walk around it to get to classes. Auburn is in the "famous" SEC where everything is supposed to be bigger and better. I am not a big fan of making statues to the football gods - like Bobby Bowden - Joe Paterno - Paul Bryant - especially when they are living. But at Auburn they have statues of football players that only attended one year - and then left for the NFL. What is this all about?

In the South - they used to segregate public schools - black and white. When he law said they could not do that anymore - the whites just went to private schools and the blacks went to public schools. The money followed the white kids to the private schools. Auburn is surrounded by the greatest football talent in the nation in the Alabama/Georgia/Florida public schools. Auburn - Alabama - Florida State - Georgia - Clemson - all draw from this football feeder area. 

We had a light lunch at the Toomer Drug Store in downtown adjacent to the campus. They have ice cream and lemonade. Toomer was a football player - he graduated with a degree in pharmacy. He then opened the drug store right next to campus - it has become the mecca to visit when alumni return. The ice cream was good and the servings large. They used a whole quart for a double dip cone. You could watch them make lemonade from scratch - squeezing lemons - plenty of sugar - and ice water. 

Statue of Pat Sullivan - Heisman winner

John Heisman was coach here

Bo Jackson got some bronze

One year Cam Newton - Newton's dad
extorted money to get him to go
to Auburn. They did not even
let the Dad attend the championship
A new giant TV screen
Putting down new sod
The student who took this picture thought
it was father - daughter day
Toomer Drug Menu
Nice things to eat

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Tuskegee Institute - Booker T Washington - George Washington Carver - Tuskegee Airmen - The First Road Trip in Our New Van

Harry in WWII flight simulator
Gate to Tuskegee University
George Washington Carver Museum on Campus
Lulu and I bought a new Honda van - 2 weeks ago. We were excited to make our first road trip in it. So this morning at 7 AM - we packed a bag - filled a cooler - and took off for Tuskegee Alabama. We had heard so much about it in history and it was only 200 miles away.

Tuskegee is a town in the deep south heartland of Alabama. We did not see any of the Memorial Weekend traffic the news warned about. In many places - we were the only car in sight. The school and the airfield are both on the outskirts of town - about 4 miles apart. 

Booker T Washington was the founder and president of the Institute. Today the beautiful old campus is in remarkably beautiful shape. Being the holiday weekend - it was amazing how few people were on campus. We entered the main gate and found the George Washington Carver Museum. We had the place to ourselves - we enjoyed the well done displays. It is a wonderful walk back into history.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Florida State Beat Utah 6-2 - Trouble Follows Me Wherever I Go

This was our perch for the game

The "homer" was on the right side of that pole by 20 feet. 

Florida State Softball is playing Utah this weekend - best of 3 series. The winner goes to the World Series in Oklahoma City.

Usually we like to sit right behind home plate where I can call balls and strikes - and help the umpire. Today for some reason we chose to sit outside the fence in left field - never did that before. Usually the games are free - but when the NCAA is running the show they charge $5. So I thought we would enjoy a little knot-holing. 

The game started at 5 PM - that is my supper time. So we brought our plastic Adirondack porch chairs - and sat down on the sidewalk in left field above the action. Lulu packed a nice lunch - watermelon - cheese and crackers - soda - apple pie. 

It was a great night for a game - the grandstands were packed. FSU jumped out to a 3-1 lead. They play 7 innings - by the 6th inning I was almost through my supper. Two runners were on base for FSU. I had a diet coke in one hand and an apple pie in the other. Crack - a long fly ball was heading my way - obviously it was a foul ball - look where we were sitting. It keeps coming and coming and coming - surely it will not hit Lulu and I. I am not going to drop my apple pie to catch it. It hit the chair arm right between Lulu and I - the umpire signals home run. The place goes nuts.

They stopped the game for the argument. The ball was nowhere near the foul pole. We could have checked the ball for shoe polish. I could have caught it but I would have had to drop my apple pie. Utah was hosed. I pointed foul a few times - but who listens to a trailing spouse from Tamaqua PA. 

FSU won 6-2 - they play again tomorrow. If FSU wins it is over - if not - they play the rubber game tomorrow night. Lulu and I can't make those games - we are taking the van on a trip to Tuskegee Alabama. We will spend the night in a fancy hotel in Auburn. 

Here is some really good news. The national champs for the last 2 years have been the Florida Gators. They pounded us this year - they are a strong team. But they lost their series to Georgia - and will not win the World Series 3 times in a row. FSU has a chance. 

Baseball! Apple Pie! and Seminoles!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Tallahassee Bus Boycott - 60th Anniversary

Fred Lee - It's Been A Long Time Coming

It seems like it was just yesterday in the news - students being arrested for NOT sitting in the back of the bus. 60 years ago today - two girls from Florida A&M University refused to go to the back of the bus. They were arrested. This started a massive boycott that put the bus line out of business. Today - 90% of the bus drivers are black - and you can sit wherever you want. 

Monday, May 23, 2016

I Am Selling A 2015 Honda Fit - With Only 2900 Miles On It

2015 Honda Fit - 2900 Miles
My 85 year old friend and neighbor died - his wife asked me to sell his car. It is a wonderful 2015 Honda Fit LX with only 2900 miles on it. Yes - under 3000 miles. This car went right from the showroom to my friend's carport. He did not get to drive it much. This car is nicely equipped with a 130 horsepower engine that sips gasoline. The CVT automatic transmission helps deliver 41 miles per gallon. It is white with a black cloth interior. The rear seats folds flat to make a sleepable rear cargo area. The hatchback opens wide to take big cargo items. Some of the features are - power steering - theft system - 2 stage airbags - ABS brakes - brake assist - AM/FM/CD/MP3 radio - 5 inch color rear camera screen - bluetooth audio and telephone - air conditioning - power windows - power door locks - remote keys - cruise control - tile and telescoping wheel - power outlet - 15 inch wheels - all season tires - auto off headlights - LED brake lights - remote entry security system - hitch receiver - side curtain airbags. You will not find a nicer newer Honda Fit on Craigslist. They are very popular and very durable. Priced below NADA retail value. Call Harry at 766-1105. Asking $14,900. Come on over and take a test drive - you will be impressed.

Black Cloth Interior

5 Door Hatchback

Coal Region Ghost Towns

Winter in Tamaqua PA

An Action WNEP-16 investigation finds some communities in our region are fast becoming virtual ghost towns.

The proof comes from the 2010 U.S. Census which found in three area communities more than 25 percent of the homes and businesses sit vacant.
The three communities are in the heart of the coal region. All experienced population and employment losses in recent years that left hundreds of vacant houses and storefronts.
In Mahanoy City, Schuykill County, according to the U.S. Census, 26.3 percent of its homes sit vacant.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

We Saw The Fleetwood Mac Tribute Band Last Night At The Moon

The Moon was once and A&P Food Store.
We walk to events there
Lulu carries very few music CDs in her car - but you can usually find Rumours - one of the best selling albums of all time. Fleetwood Mac released it in 1978 and it has sold over 40 millions copies. We have one.

We like to walk up Seminole Drive past The Moon - a local night club. When the digital marquee outside blinked Rumours coming soon - Lulu marched up to the box office and bought 4 seats to the show. The tickets were $20 each and for that we got 2 hours of non-stop Fleetwood Mac music. We had a reserved elevated table so us old folks did not have to stand to see the action. It was a lot of fun - a pretty old crowd. Here are a couple videos I took of the action -

Josh and Melissa Gross are old music junkies too. We had supper at our house - and then drove our new van the half mile to The Moon. After the show it was easy to beat the Jazzy and walker crowd to the exit.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Fountainhead Motel - Miami Beach - Our Honeymoon

In June it will be 45 years since we spent our honeymoon at this motel in Miami Beach FL. It was right on the sand and it cost $8 a night.  We spent almost a month there until we decided to come back home and resume our lives. Today - it is torn down and a Trump Hotel is there. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

We Bought A New Honda Van

Our new 2016 Honda Odyssey EX-L Navi

Lulu loves convertibles 
It has been 20 years since we walked into Reading Honda and plunked down our money to buy a new 1997 Honda CRV and a 1997 Honda Del Sol. Our son just traded that CRV in on another CRV. For the last 20 years I have been buying and selling used cars on Craigslist. 

Yesterday we bought a 2016 Honda Odyssey EX-L Navi at Proctor Honda here in Tallahassee. We can't even remember the last time we traded a car in on a new car. 

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Disappointing Results On My DNA Test

Ever since I was little - my parents told me that most of my ancestors came from Germany and Wales. With names like Quick - Snyder - Everhart - Brouse- Shoemaker - Neifert in my background - it was pretty obvious that I was 75% German and 25% Welsh. but I always wanted to know for sure. 

My parents told me that all my ancestors came from Europe in the middle of the 1800s. This was easy to prove because all 4 of my grandparents were born in the USA - Pennsylvania - West Penn Township- and Mahanoy Township. They were all farmers - carpenters - or miners. 

For Christmas - Lulu gave me the DNA Test Kit. For $99 - you spit into a test tube and they analyze your DNA. After waiting a couple months - they finally posted my results to my online account. 

There were no surprises. Over 99% of my ancestors came from Europe. The disappointing thing is I expected a more details background - a country by country breakdown. You can see by the map above - it is pretty vague. 

I have not zeroed in on it yet - but if you wish - they will post your DNA on their network - and you have a chance to be connected to other people who have the same results - and indeed are related to you. 

Friday, May 13, 2016

A Very Nice Honda Van

Lulu and I have purchased the van just outside the door. I will write a more detailed story when we bring it home. It is a brand new 2016 Honda Odyssey EX-L Navi. We plan to use it for long distance traveling. Proctor Honda in Tallahassee has a reputation for great deals and excellent service. It is about 4 miles from our home. Yes - we know the 2017 Honda van will look somewhat different. 

Monday, May 09, 2016

My School Buddy - GARY MILLER - Needs A Kidney

Harry and Gary - two coal crackers many years later

We visited Gary at his home in Miami -
this was the club house not his home

226 - One of my best friend while going to North Ward - Tamaqua Junior High - and Tamaqua High School was Gary Miller. From 1954 to 1966 - when I looked around the classroom - Gary was there. 

Sunday, May 08, 2016

Mothers Day at Carabelle Beach

4 Hours on Carabelle Beach charge her battery every time.
Happy Mothers Day to All.

Seminoles Softball Beat Louisville 9-0

What a beautiful evening for a ball game. It was 78 and a clear blue sky. We watched the Seminoles beat Louisville 9-0. The Seminoles have already won the ACC regular season championship. Next comes the NCAA playoffs. They will probably end up in a buzz saw with the Gators - who have won the national championship  two years in a row. They seem even better this year. 

Happy Mothers Day From Tallahassee

Lulu loves holidays. Her day started out with a conference call from our two sons - Keith and Drew. Then she got a purse. Now we are driving to the beach - we will put up the tent and have lunch there. Valentines Day - Mothers Day - Anniversary - Birthday - Christmas. She just loves holidays. 

To me - Thanksgiving is the greatest holiday. I do not have to do anything but eat.

Thursday, May 05, 2016

Letter From California Governor to Florida Governor

I am not sure this letter is real or not - but if it is not - I would write it and send it to Governor Scott.

Old Ford For $50,000 At Cass Burch Chrysler in Quitman

See this Ford Roadster at Cass Burch
Chrysler in Quitman GA

Last week I went to Quitman GA to see the new Pacifica van. But in the showroom I stumbled across this beautiful old Ford Roadster. I did not ask much about it except the price - which is $50,000. 

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Yesterday I Checked Out The New 2017 Chrysler Pacifica in Quitman GA

Ramiro Tapia demonstrated the new van to me

What a perfect spring day it was to make the 60 mile trip to Quitman GA to see the new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica van. It was also nice to meet Ramiro Tapia - their senior sales consultant. 

Sunday, May 01, 2016

Berlin Motorcycle Museum

Berlin Motorcycle Museum

At of our guests left last Sunday - we had 4 days left for ourselves. On Monday - I went to the Berliner  Motorrad Museum - Motocycle Museum. I have always had a soft spot for motor scooters - a great cheap dependable form of transportation that is easy to park - and you just feel young riding one - with the winding your hair. My first "car" was a 1965 Honda 50 Cub - capable of going 45 MPH and getting 200 miles per gallon.