Thursday, December 31, 2009


Please Treat Us All Well

So now it's 2010! I've only got 13 more years to wait for my 100th birthday bash!

I have two BEST daughters. One of them has signed up to write a blog for NaBloPoMo every day in January and has told me about it, daring me without saying so, to do the same.

I was not inclined to commit myself to that but I can't let that one of the BEST outdo me so I'm going to give it a stab - even if I do get stabbed in the back before January closes down.

This past year was not exactly one of the BEST of my life since , like Geezerguy of another blog , I had another heart problem last May that required an expensive helicopter ride to a hospital 120 miles from home and subsequent insertion of a Pacemaker.

In mid=Summer a left hand pain was determined to be a tunnel problem, which I had (hopefully) fixed wth two injections of steroids.

And then there's my eyes, failing but stabilized at the moment, and in the last month the threat again of facial melanoma for which a biopsy was made just yesterday with results to be known next week.

But the BEST news is I'm still alive and kicking and nearly ready to get back to work of that ole house I've blogged about.

And there's another BEST news too. Lady B and I traded in our aging van on a new vehicle, a 2009 Toyota Matrix, the BEST buy we could find to suit our future travel needs.

And among the rest of the BEST news found on the last day of 2009, is that all of our relatives are in fairly good health starting off their new year.

So, everybody, HAPPY NEW YEAR and the BEST to you all the year.

- 30 -

In Case You Wanted to Know ...

. . . Here's The Latest Scoop

On October 25th I told ya'll about This Ole House and the work being done on it and ya'll are probably wondering why you haven't seen another blog about the progress.

Well, the reason is we are STILL working on the place, finding new problems as we go along and trying as fast as possible to fix 'em and at the same time do a bit of landscaping, tree trimming and outside painting (and SNOW in this place where SNOW seldom happens has not helped the situation).

So now you've got the latest scoop on the house.

Just in case you didn't know and might want to know, the United States Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services trappers have fished out six otters from a river somewhere near Lakewood up in Washington state and transported the kidnapped things to New Mexico.

They've done this four times before in the past two years I find from reading a story by Editor Dan Williams of the New Mexico Wildlife magazine.

By way of being fair about this, it wasn't a real kidnapping, of course, it's part of an effort to re-introduce otters to the upper Rio Grande. Prior to 1950 they were plentiful but began about that year to diminish and vanish from the state, the last documented otter seen being in 1950 in the Gila River.

This shipment of otters to New Mexico included four males, two of them nearly newborn, and two females.

It's hoped this group will help regain an otter population in the Taos area in the Rio Pueblo de Taos.

Later the USDA hopes to re-introduce river otters into the Gila in the western part of New Mexico.

So now you have the latest scoop on NewMexico's otter problems.

Reading the same magazine I learned something new about the state that I didn't know in the 31 years I've lived in New Mexico.

Numerous times I have been to Bottomless Lakes State Park (even before it was a state park)but I never saw what writer Marti Niman pictured along with her description of the park.

Somewhere in the wetlands which surround and make up this park east of the City of Roswell (famous for UFOs) is a tall natural stone lookout tower that appears in the picture to be perhaps 30 or 40 feet tall. Wonder if daughter Yarntangler ever saw it in her camping days there. (BTW way did ya'll ever hear about her tent and the wind one day there?)

Dear readers - I'm sorry I haven't blogged at you for a couple months but after being busy with that old house every day, I was too tired and lazy to do any writing but today I felt I must write because since it's the last hours of 2009, I had to wish ya -


- 30 -

Sunday, October 25, 2009

This Old House . . .

. . . Ain't What It Used to Be
. . . But It's Gettin' There

Back in 1985 the manufactured home -it was called a mobile home then -
that I bought and lived in was brand new but the years since have taken a toll on the place little by little.

Bob Vila on television explains by the week - or did for a while - how to renovate/fix/re-do "This Old House" but he never got to my place and told me how to fix my manufactured home.

A computer friend of mine up in New York owns a house in a town where I lived and worked , a two-story place once occupied by a baby/young girl named Susan B. Anthony, who later in life sprang into action to get women the right to vote in this country.

I like to say sometimes to new acquaintences that Susan B. Anthony was a neighbor of mine. Then I watch as a quizzical look comes upon my listener's face until I explain "many years ago and across town." (I'm not a native of that town).

Right now that birthplace home of Susan B. Anthony is being renovated into a museum. It's 191 years old, has been owned by a number of folks over the years and was facing probable demolition a few years ago when it slowly degeneratated, even to a point when a part of its roof fell in.

Cost a lot of moola to buy and then fix but soon the old homestead will be a treasure for Adams, Massachusetts, a tourist draw as a musuem reminding women of who lived there once and eventually made them part of the country - voters.

Well, back to my somewhat younger manufactured home. Once I vacated it for others quarters, the place became tenant-occupied. Without labeling ALL tenants as - what shall I say - undesirable, some are pretty sloppy and uncaring for the property of others.

Leasing with a set of rules to keep a place clean, have no pets, (they can soil and ruin a new carpet in weeks), fix things one breaks, maintain the lawn, pick up trash etc, seldom work.

Of course, age has an effect on the construction materials used in building the house. I have found - now 25 years after construction - that in 1984 or 1985. there was not much quality control, there were inferior materials used and even shoddy workmanshp.

So after putting out large amounts to fix collapsing floors, underpinning, exterior walls and installing some up-to-date equipment and carpeting
(still to be accomplished) , re-painting the whole place and cleaning up an acre, my 1985 property is nearly new-looking again.

The Anthony House museum has/is costing Carol Crossed (of Rochester, New York) a bundle, maybe 40 times my projects and her contribution to the memory of Susan B. Anthony has earned her the first and only "Woman of Achievement" award ever given by the Northern Berkshire (Massachusetts) Business and Professional Women organization to someone not from that county.

Congratulations Carol.

- 30 -

Monday, October 12, 2009

"They Didn't Believe Me . . .


Years ago, probably about 40 or so, when Gramma Shasta and Newsman, now Old Newsie, did a lot of camping and rockhounding in New England and Canada, we made a trip up through Maine into Nova Scotia for a couple of weeks.

That trip produced a newspaper column here in New Mexico in the 90s and just today in cleaning out a box of old writings which appeared in the local newspaper, I ran across the copy of the story of the Nova Scotia trip and decided there might be a few more people who yet might get a laugh out of it and so , as published back then, here it is.

It was a dark and dreary night quite a few years ago as we drove north through Maine heading for a couple of weeks of camping in Nova Scotia.

It was late and we were looking for a campsite for the night, much as we dreaded unpacking and pitching a tent in the deluging rain.

After miles of traveling without seeing much sign of habitation, we came
upon a solitary light at the approach to a bridge - a store - and decided to
stop and ask someone who most likely would know where to send us.

"Steve, go in and ask how to get to a campsite." Sleepy-eyed Steve (he was a nephew along for the vacation) answered "OK, Uncle Charlie" and climbed from the car.

In a few minutes he was back, fully awake and with an unbelievable yarn which made Uncle Charlie just a little peeved. "Uncle Charlie, the man said to drive to the middle of the bridge and take a right. "

"Now Steve, quit kidding, we're all tired and in no mood for jokes this time of the night."

"But Uncle Charlie, I'm not joking, that's what the man told me," said Steve. Uncle Charlie's impatience began to show. "Now listien , Steve, you go back into that store and get the right directions and no more jokes."

When Steve came back the dirctions were the same: "go to the middle of the bridge and take a right."

Uncle Charlie got out of the car, took Steve by the collar and marched into the store. They were greeted by three or four customers and the man behind the counter, all laughing heartily.

"Your boy is afraid he's going to get walloped for telling you to turn right tinto the river but he's not kidding you!" said the counterman.

With a grin he repeated the directions - "if you're looking for a campsite, go to the middle of the bridge and take a right, and by the way mister, all the other strangers in these parts get mad too."

After returning to the car Uncle Charlie announced he'd look for another place to get directions and then started over the bridge.

Just as he reached the middle, he spotted the sign - turn right here, free camping.

Gingerly, Uncle Charlie steered the car to the right, flicked on his bright lights and illuminated a road going downhill, down to an island in the middle of the river where flickering fires dotted campsite after campsite.

Laughter broke out from Gramma Shasta and Steve, then Yarntangler, CT and Scrabblebuff, and finally , Uncle Charlie.

Rapidly the family-sized tent was pitched and ditched against the rain by the kids with the help of a few other campers, all of whom listened solemnly to Steve's tale about the directions and then burst into howling laughter.

The next morning the urge to re-visit the man who gave the odd directions couldn't be resisted.

After serving everybody coffee and doughnuts the counterman carefully entered everyone's name and address into a well-filled memory book with the blaring title "Now They Believe."

As Old Newsie's family and guest Steve St. Jean piled into the car to continue a planned trip to Parrsboro, Nova Scotia, and a rendezvous with other New England campers, hearty laughter from the store seemed to follow them over the bridge.

Tonight as I write, I seem to hear those folks at the bridge still laughing and in Rhode Island, Steve, last heard of as a police officer at Brown University, regaling anybody listening with the tale of the campsite reached by taking a right off the middle of the bridge.

- 30 -

Friday, September 18, 2009

A Time For Parting . . .

. . . . . . . . It Came About Today

In 1981 the little blue car bought used from a long ago extinct auto dealership named Eddie Horn had about seven or eight thousand miles on the odometer.

This afternoon it registered about 40,000 miles give or take a hundred one way or another. For a 1979 Datsun 210, it sounds as if in its 30 years of existence, this little blue car had spent its life just going to church, the market and the movies and not very often at the latter activity.

Well, that little blue car actually had in effect circled the earth twenty times and was on its twenty-first trip around.

My little blue Datsun had traveled more than 500,000 miles, most of it in my possession - YES - a half million miles !

I say most of the mileage was while in my possession but discount that first seven or eight thousand, put on by a prior owner before my purchase, and theh discount a few thousand more traveled in it by Geezerguy and his lady, Yarntangler.

The latter two hauled and drove it around the western part of the country a couple years behind their motorhome, then returned it to me, claiming it was too sick to depend upon any longer.

Some local repairs and a good tuneup, added to their brand new alternator and a hundred bucks worth of tires, and this lttle blue baby was back in service for another year.

It did become sick again, however, and sat idle most of 2009, needing some extensive re-working once more.

In the meantime a more serviceable vehicle came my way quite by surprise and inexpensively, as a gift from my local son and hiis wife. A couple months later a decision was reluctantly made to put the little blue car out of its misery.

This afternoon I kissed my baby goodbye and watched a junk dealer load it onto his truck and haul it away after I had retrieved my still-registered veterans number plate from the rear. On Monday I will cancel the car's insurance.

On second thought, knowing the car is going to a crusher with the insurance still intact, could I claim the car as a total loss and collect its value - just for the memories?

- 30 -

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Heard Of A Glass Eye? . . .

. . . Now How About a Glass Knee?

Just read a blog by one of Lady B's granddaughters. She wriites "Heart of a Mom" every once in a while and it'usually something humorous. This one is about "little things"" and it is somewhat based on a familiar poem by an unknown writer.

Let's start with the poem called "House Rules"

If you drop it, pick it up. If you sleep on it, make it up. If you wear it, hang it up. If you spill it, wipe it up. If you turn it on, turn it off. If you open it, close it.It it rings, answer it. If it whilnes, feed it. If it cries, love it.

Seems like Mom slpped on a cold puddle of water, which occurred earlier when someone dropped an ice cube which melted. She was carrying a load of hot dishes just out of the dishwasher and she slipped on her tush.

A dish shatered as she hit the floor. Glass imbedded itself in her leg and knee. She got the shards of glass out, wiped up the mess and forgot about it.

That was six weeks ago. Last weekend her knee began to hurt and looked infected. She went to her doctor.

Mom's blog from here on is so funny that I cannot get it all into the few paragraphs available in m this blog.

SO - for the rest of the story type in to read the rest of this hilarious yarn and make a friend at the same time.

Birth of "The Bay Stater"

It has been suggested to me that if some members of the American Amateur Press Association should happen upon this blog they might be interested in knowing how my little magazine got its start back in the late 1930s.

I need to find the first issue to find the date it first appeared. The paper was a three by five issue on yellow paper and was printed on a small Kelsey press of the same size. But finding that first issue may be a chore and you will have to be patient.

You see, stuff that dates back to the 1930s is stored in my barn . Finding stuff in my barn is the chore. Ask Scrabblebuff or Yarntangler or Lady B for their take on this matter. On second thought, don't do that.

Births usually take place about nine months after the - eh - thought - but this birth will probably not be premature. Stand by for developments.

By the way, if anybody reading this blog has an interest in writing or printing, go to the words American Amateur Press Association on the right side of my blog and under the AAPA seal, click and read about the organization. I'll be glad to sponsor you as a member or trial member.

The History Book

Several years ago a prominent historian back home, William F. Hanna, began researching the history of Taunton, Massachusetts, taking about ten years to finish his work and bring up to date a tome published about a hundred years ago.

I eagarly awaited the publication. The book finally hit the presses two summers ago. I bought it and waited months for its arrival.

It, "A History of Taunton Massachusetts" and the sudden onset of eye trouble reached my address nearly simultaneously.

My "reading" eyesight diminished rapidly and the print in the new history book grew smaller daily. I managed, after purchasing and trying a number of devices to assist me, to reach 171 pages of this 636 page volume before I quit trying to digest it.

Today Lady B has been doing some "straightenng up" in the house. She came across the book.

Without saying anything she placed it on my desk.

I took that as a hint that now that my sight has slightly improved through excellent treatment from Texas Retina Associates, in particular Dr. Michel Shami, I should try again.

There is a bookmark on page 172. Could it be an omen, telling me that God is waiting to get me through that book? The bookmark is headed "Amazing Grace, " showing the musical score and the words of this beloved hymn.

I need to stop now and give the book a try once more.

- 30 -

Sunday, September 13, 2009

A Story Of 9/11 . . .

. . . The Pentagon Part

Last Friday night Lady B and I spent hours watching the television special about the terrorist attack by plane at New York City.

A couple of hours into the documentary I began to think "wasn't there a plane attack in Washington, the nation's capital, and a passenger-caused abortion of an attack on the White House?"

Minutes later the documentary "remembered" the Pentagon attack but only with a five-second mention of that part of that terrible day's activity.

Lady B and I were on the road that day, en route to an army unit reunion in Pennsylvania. We weren't anywhere near the New York tragedy but we were heading into Washington, D. C.. and then to the long underwater tunnel from Maryland to southern New Jersey.

Early that morning we rose at our motel room near the Thomas Jefferson home, Monticello, in Virginia. When the Boston plane bearing so many people including Peter A. Gay, a friend I knew in Taunton, Massachusetts, struck one of the Twin Towers, we were touring Monticello, and were in the underground tunnel kitchen and winery supply section of the mansion.

A cell phone rang beside us and a man answered. "Say that again (daughter)" he yelled. She did and the man announced to anybody nearby listening "a plane just hit one of the Twin Towers in New York." He then told us his daughter was working in a building near the Twin Towers.

He then listened again to an agitated voice on the phone and then for everybody nearby to hear "Oh my God, another plane hit the other tower." He asked his daughter for more details but he found the phone was dead.

As we all stood silent and dumbfounded, he raced from the tunnel, probably en route to New York to find his daughter.

We finished our tour and started out to see the James Monroe house, second of four on a purchased ticket to four historical homes. Arriving there we found it closed and a note on the door saying all public places of history had been closed because of terrorist attacks on New York and Washington.

Lady B and I had planned to visit a nephew in Wildwood, New Jersey, taking in a brief Washington visit en route to a long tunnel from Maryland to southern New Jersey. While driving north toward Washington, we discussed our plans and decided that going under perhaps 18 or 20 miles of underwater tunnel might not be a good idea, given the threat of possible more terror attacks.

Listening to the car radio, we heard of the destruction in Washington and that all available police, fire and ambulance personnel and equipment from anywhere in the area was being called to the nation's capital.

As we rode to a planned cutoff to the northwest to take us into Pennsylvania, we began to be passed by emergency vehicles headed north from southern Virginia, obviously going up to stand by in stations already emptied by personnel gone to Washington.

Eventually we settled down in a motel and spent the rest of the afternoon and the evening watching television coverage of the New York and Pentagon tragedies.

At one point we had occasion to talk with the woman desk clerk whom we found crying. She told us she had been unable all day, and was still trying, to reach her daughter who was a desk clerk in a hotel that was between the Twin Towers.

We learned from the Friday night television documentary that there was a Marriott Hotel behind the towers, crushed when one of the towers collapsed on it. On the television show, a clerk was shown who survived the crushing ot the hotel.

This brought back our memory of the crying lady in the motel where we had stayed. Could this young lady have been that mother's daughter? We certainly hope she was the daughter.

Back in New Mexico, California, Washington state, Arizona, Texas and Tennessee our children were trying to find out where we were. When we finally called back to Hobbs, we were implored to return back west. "Don't you know what has happened? was the question. "You're in danger out there," we were told. But we assured all that we knew what happened, that we were no where near the problems and we were OK.

Our trip continued two days to the reunion. In every city and town we traversed, United States flags were displayed on miles of streets and highways and in front of homes. Hundreds of vehicles also flew flags.

About 20 World War II buddies attended the reunion and had a good time but it was a somber reunion that year of 2001.

- 30 -

Saturday, September 12, 2009

What's In A Name ? . . .

. . . A Sixty Year Old Memory

Searching a couple of days ago for the name of someone he once knew, a friend rattled off a bunch of them , trying to make one jog his memory.

Hutchins, Hamilton, Hunter, Hammond, Hamlin, Hamel, Hampton - that's it HAMPTON, he shouted as he then went along about his business and out of my earshot.

HAMEL ? I know that name I shouted out loud to myself, and then memory kicked in.
He was a doctor, wasn t he? YEAH! Dr. Fernand B. Hamel! He was my dentist back in the hometown of Taunton in the Bay State.

Dr. Hamel worked me over a few times trying to fix a couple of crooked teeth that I think an army dentist in England in World War II, Anthony S. Mussari of Pennsylvania , brought about inadvertantly while yanking a diseased molar.

As memory unfolds, Dr. Hamel discovered most of my 26 year-old teeth were soft and tending to decay and he recommended they all come out and a full set of falsies be constructed and inserted.

Since I'd been an army guy, treated by an army dentist, he recommended I check in with the Veterans Administration for some aid. Army dental work made me eligible for VA help.

The VA came through, financing the outage and the new construction, and atop that appointing Drl Hamel to do the job. He started by doping me up one afternoon and yanking four teeth and did it a s econd week, too.

But that second week turned sour about midnight on a very snowy night,- real snowy - like two feet deep. This was in New England, remember. Loretta, my wife at the time, now deceased, called Dr. Hamel, who lived on Jackson Stteet, the same as me.

He came to the house at once, took a look and called Dr. Charles E. Hoye Jr., my medical physician and cousin.

When he arrived and found me bleeding badly, they called the police department and had the paddy wagon sent up to my house on the corner of Bay and Jackson Streets. In those days the paddy wagon, in which the town drunks were taken to the hoosegow, was also the city ambulance, just so you know.

In long order (as opposed to short order because the snow was so deep) I arrived at Morton Hospial, hemmoraging from my mouth and desperately needing a blood transfusion.

There was no O-Negative blood in the hospital. When the local radio station went on the air that morning, there was a plea for that same blood type, a relaatively rare type. Some former soldiers and sailors who knew me quickly volunteered blood but for various reasons most were not eligible donors.

A Red Cross nurse set out to Boston to get O-Negative blood but the going was tough and the distance was about 50 miles, one way. Various police departments and snowplows helped get her to Boston and back but the whole trip took nearly 13 hours. Meanwhile, more army buddies ccame in one by one during all that ime and some were able to feed me blood.

But Dr. Hoye, standing at the foot of my hospital bed sometime during the morning, said to my
anxious wife, "he's going to die if she doesn't get here soon with more blood" at which point I, only half there, yelled at him "oh, no, that's not going to happen." (and now at 86 you know it didn't!)

I recovered rapidly when that Red Cross lady showed up just after my shouting match with the doctor. As I came around he said to Dr. Hamel, "while he's here in the hospital, let's finish getting the rest of the teeth out."

NOT ON YOUR LIFE, CHARLIE, came the rejoinder from Dr. Hamel - "send him over to the VA hospital." That they did . After five weeks in Davis Park Veterans Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island, where likewise leery dentists labored to build up my strength, the teeth extraction was finished.

How did they build up my strength? The way they did it was to me marvelous. Besides a regular meal three times a day, I was fed SIX to TEN egg custards for dessert every day. I still love egg custards .

Now to wind up the story about the Sixty Year Memory, Dr. Hamel was again assigned by the VA to fix me up with new teeth. It took a few months of fitting, correcting and adjusting but finally I had a full set of solid choppers.

I can't pin down an exact date but I first wore that new set in September and just about now.

The gist of this whole yarn is that I still have,wear and use that SAME SET of teeth and as of right now in 2009, they are celebrating a SIXTIETH ANNIVERSARY as part of me. The grand opening was in 1949.

- 30 -

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Friends Do Pass On

Here's Something About Two

Barney Bernard and Ted Kennedy passed away in the past few days. It's sad to hear of the passing of friends. Yes, both of them were friends of mine, both because of my involvement in the newspaper business.

Everybody knew Ted Kennedy and his brothers, President John F. Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy, a presidential candidate, both of whom were assassinated. Most would say "who's Barney Bernard?"

I am proud to say that, in a few ways, I was a friend of all three Kennedy brothers, although just temporarily, through my coverage of their various activities, including Ted's plane crash injury, during my news-papering in New England. I am sorry for the families of the remaining Kennedys.

Nobody reading this blog but for perhaps a few locals knew Barney. He was the general manager of the local newspaper when I moved to Hobbs from Truth or Consequences and we became friends at once, first for his genuine help to me as a new employee of his newspaper and next for his levity.

Explain levity. Fun, jokes, pranks, things Barney was full of, constantly.

Every time I would enter his office on some errand or with a question, he'd look up and exclaim "Got a joke for you!" Often I'd leave his office laughing loudly and forgetting why I had gone there.

Pranks popped up on occasion. My birthday was June 14 and his June 18.
One year I sent him a Happy Birthday card with a girlie picture, signing it, "Love, Edna."

Amazingly, he later tracked down the card sender to my newsroom desk.

The following year on June 14, a florist delivered to my desk a bouquet of roses and tumbleweeds.

There was a card attached reading "I ditched Barney. Can we get to know each other? Love, Edna."

Another staffer arrived at work one morning to find his desk, chair and his old Remington typewriter sitting on the sidewalk outside the building, and adorned with a sign saying "we had to make room for the new reporter we just hired."

During World War II Barney was a B-17 bomber pilot. I didn't know him then, of course, but after hearing a brief statement about him at his funeral service this week, I sort of wish I had because we'd have been jokesters together for an ensuing sixty years or so.

His pastor related that Barney was a pilot who flew from an airfield high on a hill about 40 miles west of London, England. That brought a thought to my mind. I was stationed in an army camp just below an airfield on a hill 40 miles west of London.

Barney retired in 1987 and joined an informal group of guys calling themselves The Old Farts Club, meeting about 9 in the morning on a bench inside the old Hobbs Post Office.

On occasion I'd walk in there to mail a package and the first thing I'd hear was "Hey, Charlie, come here, I've got a joke for you." Barney was 93 when he died rather suddenly last Saturday.

The Veterans' Honor Guard professionally folded the United States Flag which had covered his casket and presented it to his widow after a bugler played the mournful "Taps," honoring the airman who flew 16 bombing missions over Germany so many years ago.

Bless you, Barney.

- 30 -

Monday, August 24, 2009

Goo Gone Again

But, Oh, My Face

A few years ago a suspicious lump on the left side of my face was deemed by Dr. John something that Dr. Jon the dermatologist, should take a gander at and when he did, he sliced open a couple of inches of cheek and took out a mass of goo he called melanoma.

I was too young at the time, 69 or 70 I think, to realize that the goo was a deadly form of cancer. About 15 years ago I had another lump on the same side and I decided to have it investigated, along with a black spot on my left wrist under my thumb.

The cheek was opened up again and twice as much goo, melanoma, was removed. On the hand, Dr. Brent, dug out what he called squamous cell carcinoma. Dr. Jon had left town after that first operation.

So last Friday, because I had found a sudden growing lump on the right side of my aging face, Dr Brent cut out more goo that he called squamous cell carcinoma. After a half hour of lab testing, he came back and said it was a very aggressive and deep cancer and dug out another batch.

All gone now, he told me as he stitched me up and his nurses put a heavy and sticky bandage on me. Now Lady B. has removed the bandage and re-dressed the scar. I looked in a mirror and wow - I found that Dr. Brent had sliced down along by my ear for three and a half inches. It's a wonder my ear is still there.

Now I know many others have had similar operations to get rid of these skin cancers and what happened to me isn't that unusual but, heck, I had to have my moment in the limelight, hence the blog.

Now that left hand is bothering me again. Dr. Brent says there's no cancer there so Dr. John, my friendly physician since 1980, had me today undergoing a bone scan, X-ray exams and a conductivity test, to determine if I have maybe a carpel tunnel problem. Today's results can produce a whole new blog soon no doubt. That will probably be a Friday night topic.


What I thought was going to be an ongoing saga up there in Washington state, a batch of bees in the wall of Scrabblebuff's upstairs rest room, has fizzled.

Leolady has informed me that the buzzing bees in the wall turned out to be a batch of hornets which an exterminator has killed using a powerful insecticide sprayed into the wall through drilled holes.

Any returning hornets entering the nest in the next few days , the exterminator says, should die off quickly as they reach the insect goo left in the wall.

That goo also killed what had been a promising story.


Clancy, the Gourmet Wiener Dog, and author of the blog POSTCARDS FROM CLANCY , was rescued a few years ago by Yarntangler and Geezer Guy here in Hobbs, just as she (the dog) was about to be euthanized. She will feel pretty sad to learn the place where her humanoids found her has closed down.

The country's economy is to blame. This volunteer society, a "no kill" place where dogs and cats and a few other types of pets were housed until somebody adopted them, has lost most all of its funding, both voluntary and the $26,000 United Way supplied in prior years, because there just isn't the money to go around anymore.

One hundred twenty six animals were transferred to a newly-built city pound where adoption is being stressed but the facility is not a guaranteed "no kill" haven. Some of the animals went to temporary "foster" homes but that arrangement is as said "temporary."

What to do with growing animal populations - unwanted populations -
is a problem facing not only this community but cities and town and villages all over the country. Yes - what to do?

- 30 -

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Bees and Brakes,

Horses and Tomatoes,
And Other Stuff Too!

Out of Scrabblebuff's hometown in Washington state comes what is probably the BEGINNING of a humming saga.

This saga began yesterday afternoon with a call from SB wanting some advice."Daddy, who would you think would be responsible for removing a bee's nest from inside the walls of my house, the landlord or me?"

And then "and outside the house there's a big nest of either wasps or hornets," This part of the two-headed problem probably is easy to solve.

Those hornets or wasps OUTSIDE the house most likely are the responsibility of DRUMMER BOY (aka SB's hubby) who, armed with cans of 20-foot spray from a garden shop, should be able to murder most of the flying critters once they get into the nest for the night.

Now for the bees INSIDE the house and in the walls, which, incidentally, are preventing the use of an important part of the household - the upstairs rest room. That room is no longer a place for rest I hear.

My first answer and advice was " the landlord is responsible and you should call her." Good answer and advice says SB "but I've been trying to reach her on the phone but this is just about the time she is vacationing in Hawaii."

Scrabblebuff is a daughter with a lot of brains. (just try playing Scrabble with her!) She's canvassed the beekeepers of the area and found a friendly one with some advice.

He has opined that with the amount of activity seen in the rest room as described by SB, and the sounds she hears in the wall, that she probably has a fifty (50) pound honeycomb between the interior and exterior walls of the house and a population of 20,000 honey bees, give or take a few dozen.

"Could you remove them?" SB wanted to know. ""Oh, sure, was the answer but it would cost about $600 and that doesn't include the cost of opening the walls and then re-building them again." There's a problem.

I can't solve the problem but since the beekeeper said HONEYBEES, it would seem to me that if he removed 20,000 bees he would also be getting many pounds of HONEY, which , as a knowing businessman, he could sell at a handsome profit (honey is an expensive delicacy).

Scrabblebuff, if she hasn't already recalled, perhaps will soon remember that back in Pennsylvania and in many other parts of the country most beekeepers recover honey from unwanted places for folks just for the opportunity to make themselves a good living selling honey.

I haven't talked today with SB but hope she might figure this out and make a deal. Now ripping apart the house and re-building is another
conundrum. Stay tuned for more on this topic.


And when they do, what happens? Usually an accident - you bash the car into the rear of somebody else's car or truck, get a ticket from a cop for following too closely and/or driving with defective equipment.

But you are at home, just arriving in your driveway after work and easing into your carport. Our next-door lady neighbor stepped on the brake pedal the other day as she started into her carport.

In an instant, the carport was down and atop the car and the backyard cinder-block storage shed was spread helter-skelter all around . Nobody hurt. No tickets. Oh, yeah, no brakes either.


After weeks of waiting for her single tomato vine back of the house to provide her some red tomatoes, my DIL harvested two the other day.

Then she noticed the two horses in the next lot needed water in their trough just over the fence.

Garden hose in one hand, two tomatoes and a squash in the other, DIL commenced to pour water into the trough. Horse number one sidled up to her along the fence and with a sudden lunge, snagged and ate a red tomato.

Startled, DIL noted horse number two approaching and, trying to protect the squash she also had harvested, wasn't quick enough to prevent horse number one from sneaking his snout over the fence again and wolfing down the other red orb. And they say humming birds are attracted by red.

Well, the horse needed the water. One was hungry, too!


On Main Street in Jacksonville, the one in Florida, not Vermont, a man hurrying too fast was pulled over by a cop, according to Clarence and Millicent Powell, a couple of Jacksonville acquaintances.

"But officer," the man said, "I can explain." "Be quiet," the officer said, "I'm going to let you cool your heels in jail until the chief gets back."

"But officer I just wanted to say" and from the cop "And I said to keep quiet, you're going to jail."

Two hours or so later the cop looked in on his prisoner and said:

"Lucky for you the chief is at his daughter's wedding." He"ll be in a good mood when he comes back."

"Don't count on it," says the fellow in the cell, "I'm the groom."

- 30 -

Monday, August 17, 2009

Seen and Heard . . .

. . . And Other Stuff

Getting from there to here can sometime be frustrating when orange barrels spring up suddenly at intersections that were clear just a bit earlier when going from here to there.

Went to the pharmacy yesterday morning, waited a half hour for the prescription the pharmacist said would be ready in five minutes, then headed back home.

The exit from the parking lot was closed. Went to another exit. Also closed.

Followed a garbage truck through a back alley and reached a road, turned left and headed home. That didn't work. Orange barrels took over and I had to go seven blocks before finding a lane to take me toward home.

Success at last but another little hitch - this a funny one.

Suddenly a squirrel started across the street from my right. I stopped. Right behind the squirrel, coming at a fast pace, a black cat! Exciting. And now the climax. Streaking after the cat, a humongous black dog!

The chased and the chasees disappeared behind a house. Never did see the outcome. But it removed my thoughts of the orange barrel frustrations.

The other night Lady B and I went to bed early and were just about dozing off when an unusual event came about - a party!


Out in California, number one son sat down with some friends, inadvertently sitting on his cell phone. How no one knows but his cell phone suddenly rang Lady B's cell phone. in Hobbs, New Mexico. It was 10:14 p. m. New Mexico time, an unusual time for a call from that son.

I answered and heard my son's voice but got no communication from him. I heard his wife's voice and then numerous other voices. It sounded like a high-pitched and excited conversation, as if it could have been EMS people and maybe police shouting in an emergency situation. I was worried.

I at once was imagining there was a problem and I attempted to have someone hear me but there was no answer, just confusing background conversation.

I listened some more and then heard another voice laughing, a lady;s voice I recognized and then realized my son and his wife were at a party at a friend's house and deduced for myself what had happened.

The next day son number one verfified that was probably what had happened, a chance call from his butt.

Late in July Lady B's extended family held its bi-annual reunion in the Guadalupe Mountains of New Mexico and all attending, including this blogger, had a fine time.

The reunion was, however. not without its startling or amusing happenings. First was a nighttime excursion on a trail with Pinky, our pink little Chihuahua, who faltered when she and I heard another camper yell "Stop, don't come any further, I'm trapped by a rattler."

I summoned a few other male campers from a dorm, left the dog there, and headed to help. One of the braver guys killed the rattlesnake with a huge rock.

The same night one of the reunion members had to fend off three bats in his room. Next morning a mule deer attempted to crash the morning breakfast at the camp mess hall.

And finally in broad daylight, a skunk wandered around a vehicle a few feet away from me and then non-nonchalantly over my shoes on its way to nearby woods. Having experienced a sudden skunk appearance in the past, just freezing in place avoided any unpleasantness.

Lady B and I had two visitors yesterday afternoon. As is our daily custom, we make copies of the newspaper crossroad puzzles so we could each work it at the same time and, expecting our friends, this time we'd made four so we could all do the puzzle (take note Chris.)

We all got to work on them after dinner . As happened with Chris earlier this year, we had taken on a challenge. As we pencilled and erased our way through the puzzles, the other two sat back and watched.

We glanced at them and noted they weren't doing anything, looking, I thought, a little smug. Both had BALL POINT INK pens laying on the table, beside COMPLETED puzzles, just like Chris back in January! Lady B has a sister smart like that, too.

We may forget our crossword puzzle custom in the future whenever we have company in the house.

A friend of mine was recently discussing how his children had grown and gone their ways. Both a girl and a boy had gone through colleges and obtained their master's degrees.

Their second son had balked at college however, this friend said, and "just got into the plumbing trade."

He added "if it wasn't for him. me and the wife and the other two would be starving."

On a very hot (104*) day last week as I headed down home I saw a car with its hood up at the roadside beside a series of sprinklers soaking down newly- planted grass on the health walkway.

The registration plate was different and four little kids were outside under the spraying water!

I saw as I pulled up to a stop for possible assistance , that the car was from Pennsylvania and the vehicle had a car dealer symbol on the rear reading "Simpson Chevrolet, Morrisvile, Pa."

The driver approached and I asked if he needed help. He explained his air-conditioning unit had quit, the kids were very hot, he spotted the sprinklers and stopped to let the kids enjoy the spraying water.

As I directed him to a garage where he could get new freon , he explained the family was on vacation to Utah, coming from "a little town on the Delaware River."

"That must be Morrisville, like it says on the back of your car," I said and he replied, "No, it's Levittown."

So we had a brief conversation, me telling him I used to live and work there and he relating he and the family had moved there a year earlier from Cape Cod in Massachusetts

Sometimes it's a small world.

- 30 -

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A Busy Time

. . . Ain't That The Truth !

There are a lot of topics to be written about since the last blog posted here - but where to start?

I can say this as a warning - a slow start it will be - but the middle and the ending will be a blockbuster

Perhaps television commercials could be the opener. In the last blog I got off my chest, just after getting that Pacemaker on it, my detest of the loud and long "call now" blurbs on TV that make me lose track of programs I watch.

I find that except for ONE of my blog readers who dared to comment, everyone else must like to listen to the "call now" blurbs since I saw no support . So I'll forget that subject henceforth.

There's one story hard to put into words, since there are so many versions of what happens when one gets an abscess on a tooth and it festers for weeks and weeks.

I am awaiting a final outcome of that story because it is still in progress, although the ultimate goal of everything involved has come about - moving my sister from her ancestral home in Massachusetts to new digs between a couple of loving daughters in Oklahoma.

That move was heart-rending because it meant leaving the only place my baby sister had lived for almost a century - well, knock about 21 years off that comment.

A busy time? Oh yeah! This family managed in a few weeks to get involved in three heart related problems, the third of which is still ongoing. These add to earlier-year heart problems with CT and his Lady
BL more of the family.

First I fouled up Lady B's longed-for trip to Tennessee to visit one of her latest great-grandchildren by somehow churning up my blood pressure and nearly deep-sixing my heart rate, requiring a helicopter trip to the heart hospital and subsequent insertion of a Pacemaker.

Then merely days later Geezerguy in Tucson decides by way of a serious heart attack that my title of first in the family with a Pacemaker should be challenged and promptly acquires one himself.

Then he decides to go it a bit further and do an open heart surgery, a three way bypass. Yes, he did it and he's recovering quite nicely.

While at it, his doctors, however, restored my Pacemaker title - they took HIS out, saying that it was just a temporary fix while awaiting the big three.

And then comes that sister of mine - I'm going to dub her Lady RN in honor of her lifetime profession - who had a bad toothache that gradually got worse, then abscessed, because it's hard to get a dentist appointment fast enough.

Now Lady RN will probably get mad at me for telling you little secrets on her - the rest of the story (almost) - but I don't care, she can take it.

You've heard of plumbers who never fix leaks in their homes, carpenters who let their houses go to the dogs instead of doing some fixing, and so on?

Lady RN is a retired registered nurse. Nurses know how to take care of people - OTHER people.

Like the plumber and the carpenter, nurses, this one anyway, often neglect what they KNOW they should be doing - taking care of themselves.

Lady RN fell into a bad habit - forgetting to take medications.

So when this bad tooth thing took place, and she decided to something about it, she found out that forgetting to take a high blood pressure med caused her pressure to skyrocket. That in turn caused several postponements of the abscessed tooth removal.

In turn the worry about the high blood pressure and the increasing spread of infection from the tooth brought on some chest pains and other ailments.

Worried, a loving daughter, one of her four, flew in from Ohio to visit Lady RN, quickly and correctly assessed the problems and booted her mom's as - noo - her derriere into her car and hightailed her to Doctor Sarah's office.

Doctor Sarah made a quick exam, opted for an ambulance, not a car, and in less than two days little sister landed in three hospitals . A fourth was on the horizon, and now or eventually there'll be a fifth.

She was scheduled for the bypass. But first , in that fourth hospital, out with the tooth. That required 10 days before a bypass could be performed so she was sent to a rehab in her hometown.

Meantime another daughter and her husband flew in from Kansas to Boston - reinforcements in the campaign to move dear sister from her home where she lived alone, to Oklahoma to a spot between two OTHER daughters.

Medical consultations after the tooth problems determined the bypass, although definitly needed, could be put off a short while longer- the consultation NOT being unanimous.

Another daughter flew in from Oklahoma to Boston and to bolster the others on the scene. Within a day, Lady RN was whisked away in a black limousine to the airport and flown out of Massachusetts first class, dressed in a new gown, not hospital style, sporting a new hairdo, wearing her pearls, earrings, bright red lipstick and carrying a bouquet of red roses.

Now Oklahoma is home. Next week there'll be new exams and plans for that bypass to complete the transition from New England to the Midwest and from poor health to gitupngo.


- 30 -

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Call Now! - You Must Call Now!

Call Immediately - The Number's On The Bottom Of Your Screen - Call This Number This Minute -

You Must Call Right Now -Have Your Credit Card Ready - If You Call Within Five Minutes We Will Include Another For Half Price! - But Wait! - That's Not All! -

If You Are Among The First Hundred Callers In The Next Five Minutes, We'll Also Send You - Absolutely FREE (Except For Handling And Shipping Charges) Two More - Yes, Absolutely Free! CALL THIS NUMBER NOW!

Oh, By The Way, You Only Have A Small Window Of Time So You Must Call RIGHT NOW! Call This Number NOW!

Dear Readers - The other night I was watching a pretty good movie on TV, a murder trial, and just as the climax of the trial came, as the jury began to render its verdict, "we the jury find the defendant . . ."

Just as that climax was being uttered, as the word "defendant" was mentioned, a loud and blatant commercial broke in with a pitch for some product I can't even remember (because I was so mad). I was livid, vowing I'd never buy THAT product if my life depended on it.

Was the defendant guilty? Maybe I'll find out someday if TV ever re-runs that movie and if I can remember the movie's title.

Has this ever happened to you?

Well, that gripe is off my chest. It will probably happen again. It has happened so often I just had to make a blog out of it. So there you are.

Now calm down Old Newsie and think of something pleasant to write about. OK, let's think a bit . . .

It's the Independence Day weekend. The folks all around the city have been shooting off fireworks for three days and nights, having picnics, playing games and so on.

I hope during this weekend they have been reflecting on how good it is they are FREE to do all this, thanks to the thousands and thousands of men and women who have died providing them this freedom.

I hope that they have taken a little time to pray for those men and women who are STILL fighting somewhere in the world to keep that freedom alive.

And on another front I silently thank God for providing the skills to a team of doctors and nurses in Tucson who successfully performed open heart surgery and a three-way heart bypass on son-in-law Geezerguy two weeks ago today.

And while I am at it, I thank God for his guidance to doctors who a month ago put that Pacemaker in my chest, and for those who put Pacemakers in the chests of Dan and Margaret, Bennie Jean. Stuart and others in past years who have been similarly helped. We're getting to be members of a vast club, aren't we?

It's been two weeks since I've blogged, most of the time because I've been too lazy, tired also, to run this keyboard. I promise to do better - but don't depend on it.

= 30 -

Tuesday, June 23, 2009



I can be a little on the humorous side right about now after learning the seriousness of the past week is subsiding - although still needing our full attentions and prayers.

The "title" leading off this blog refers to an event last Saturday but first I must bring you up to date on the week's happenings - for those who don't already know the circumstances.

It was a serious matter and it has made me hesitate to write a blog about it but tonight I have the feeling it's OK to blog about it.

"Geezerguy" had a bad heart attack on Monday, June 15. Sage Words dropped in on him and Yarntangler at their campsite in Tucson , found him looking and feeling ill, and quickly decided his Dad needed to be hospitalized without much delay.

The usual entry test, blood work . X-rays and EKG ticketed Geezerguy to a hospital room in St. Joseph's Hospital. Tuesday morning's angiogram disclosed an 80 per cent main artery to heart blockage, another at 80 per cent and a third at 100 percent.

Medication provided a temporary stablization and open heart surgery for a three way bypass was scheduled for Monday, June 22.

On Saturday Geezerguy was transfeed to Tucson Heart Hospital where the bypass would take place. Then came an emergency and a surprise run to the operating room.

I did not get the full story of that emergency until today when
Yarntangler found the time and strength to put out an update on her husband after five sleepless days and nights.

This is the part that's not good and that happened Saturday. The systolic
level on the bllod pressure reading, the top figure, usually 120 at its normal best, dropped three times to ZERO - and Geezerguy went into a series of seizures. While Yarntangler's report doesn't say so, to me that means the bearded one doggone near bought it.

As said, he was rushed into the operating room. Surgeons went to work and did a balloon treatment, then inserted a Pacemaker which at this time is "temporary" but could become permanent. Then the bypass surgery was advanced a day to Sunday.

What a heck of a present for Father's Day! (See the end for a similar circumstance.)

All that brings me to the "Title" in my headline tonight. Shortly after awakeing Saturday after getting that Pacemaker, Geezerguy had this message for me , relayed by Yarntangler and Sage Words on the phone:

"Tell Old Newsie he's not the only one in the family with a Pacemaker" as he drifted back into dreamland.

Yep, this youngster stole my title after I'd had it only 14 days. By the way, my Pacemaker is working pretty good I think.

And here's the thing I wanted to say at the end of this blog. Some few years back my son CT remarked "what a heck of a birthday gift" when on that day, his birthday anniversary, I had a brain operation.

- 30 -

Friday, June 19, 2009

Quips And Stuff . . .

. . .Just Thinking Back

Well, everybody, it's a couple weeks since they put my re-charger under my left collarbone and I have had a few thoughts about the thing called a Pacemaker and the procedure.

They told me "this won't hurt much." That was probably right but they
put me out when they (the doctor and his crew) got started so I didn't feel it anyway.

They didn't tell me much about the aftermath except "you'll have some discomfort." They were right.

It wasn't that bad in the Lubbock Heart Hospital because they fed me pain pills every once in awhile. When I came home I took an over the counter pain relief for a few days and most of the discomfort has passed.

(And that word passed brings up another story, below, which will bring my "headline" QUIPS into being.)

But just a bit more about discomfort. They, at least three of them, instructed me not to raise my left arm over my shoulder for a month [I am obeying] and not to sleep with my arms in back of my head on the pillow [I am obeying].

The same three alternately told me not to drive "for about seven days, "for two weeks," and "for a month." I obeyed the first instruction and almost made the second. Forget about the month - I've already blown that one.

So I am driving but not without a bit of discomfort. It seems "they" in Lubbock put that Pacemaker in the same place on the left shoulder where the makers of Dodge and Ford vans have their seat belts passing over the left shoulder and chest.

Need I say anymore?


Now let's get to that word "passed" mentioned above. It brings back a story from Lubbock and from what they call the cath lab, where doctors and crews perform such procedures as angiograms, open heart surgeries and Pacemaker installations.

On the particular day of the Pacemaker procedure, they laid me out flat on a cold steel table but fortunately covered with a heated blanket, and covered me up with another heated blanket.

Next somebody inserted something into the IV tube in my arm that pretty quickly started to put me to sleep. You won't guess what happened next - but maybe you will. I'll tell you anyway.

I don't like to use the word F===== in a blog that sensitive people may be reading so I opt to say "passed gas." This is what happened:

While almost asleep I could feel that such an event was about to happen and I strained to restrain but restraining did not restain.

With a loud and resonating sound that gas went " pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, and finally whooosh and one more pop' that sounded like a grenade exploding.

Through quickly dimming eyes I glimpsed five or six wide open mouths, and then heard raucaus laughing as I delivered my final words before going to sleep - "Anybody get hurt?"


I have a sister back in Massachusetts who sometimes comes up with a forwarded joke on the Internet which she sends along with a little editing to make it family-oriented.

Here's an example and I hope my priestly cousin won't be offended at the use of his name.

It's entitled "A Very CLEAN Round Of Golf." and goes like this, as short as I can make it.

Monsignor Hoye was playing a round of golf down on Cape Cod with a parishioner. On the first hole he sliced into the rough and muttered half aloud - Hoover.

On the second hole Hoover came out again a bit louder as the orb splashed into a water hazard.

On the third hole it was a miracle when the ball bounced onto the green within six inches of the hole. "Praise Be To God" Monsignor Hoye exclaimed.

But when after carefully lining up his putt with the hole, the ball curved around the hole and went awry. "HOOVER"

The monsignor's parishioner-opponent by this time was more than curious and he asked "why do you say Hoover?

The reply: "It's the biggest dam I know!"


Today after a funeral service for a congregation member, I happened to encounter the funeral director with whom I am familiar through association as an American Legion chaplain a few years ago when I officiated at two graveside services for a veteran.

Patting me on the back he asked the usual question "how are you doing these days?"

I told him "I'm doing pretty good now, just been re-charged with a Pacemaker and getting back into the swing of things again."

LONG pause - and then from the funeral director "Well, I guess we won't be seeing you for a while yet!"

I walked away laughing.

- 30 -

Saturday, June 13, 2009

An Update

Short and Sweet

As any of you who have been reading this blog know, I now have had my battery re-charged with a Paceaker installed June 1.

I seem to have more energy now but I am still hurting a bit at the incision the surgeon made to pocket the Paceaker.

This weekend Lady B and I are observing our birthdays and our wedding anniversary, a three-day event. We both send our thanks to those who have sent us cards, gifts and have telephoned or e-mailed us on the triple occasion.

Being quite busy both recovering from that Pacemaker procedure, the observances and few other things, I'll call it quits on this evening's blog and get back to you all a little later.

- 30 -

Monday, June 8, 2009

Short Trip Planning . . .

. . . With Common Sense Tips

As I get older I try to get smarter in several ways and today I want toexpound on at least a couple of my plans and my tips, which I hope some of you young'uns on the brink of getting old will consider, maybe even put into practice.

I will touch on, probably not in order, saving gasoline, avoiding accidents, bargain shopping, making one trip do for three or four, shopping hints and trip mapping.

I'm not going to suggest I know it all in traveling but this is just what at 86 (in a few days) I have learned are smart things to do to keep me on the road to 87.

Let's start from the beginning - a list.

On a given day you run out of milk for your morning coffee.but that's all you need from the store. Look in the cupboard for packets of powdered creamer you probably took from the last restaurant you visited when the waitress handed you more than you neeeded.

Nex morning you had no sugar for your coffee. Mabe there's some Splenda or other stuff like that in the closet. Find and use it. It won't hurt even if you don't like the color.

Time to start the list. Write: Milk, sugar, maybe even coffee if you check the can of grounds. Keep up this program for a week, then go shopping.

By this time you might have to go to the bank, fill the car with gasoline, order medicine fromthe drug story, buy stamps at the post office or even mail a package.

Don't leavee the house yet. Go to the phone and order the medicine. Get your checkbook and write out the check for the drug store, minus the amount unless you know the cost in advance. Write another check to the postmaster for the stamps you intend to buy.. Making out these checks ahead of time will save you a few minutes at the counters writing checks.

Dig out your credit card ready for your gasoline purchase. Then think a bit to determine if you have any bils to pay right now and mail If so, sit down and write more checks, get the checks ready to mail, pout the envelopes in your pocketbook and take to the post office when you go to buy stamps.

Looking to the future you could, if you can afford to, buy twice the amount of stamps so you won't have to make another trip to that place and just mail your letters from your home post box

Look in the cupboard for some

Saturday, June 6, 2009

I Watched Our Planes . . .

. . . Roar From Crookham Common

This morning at 1:20 a.m. , 65 years ago, I woke to the sound of airplanes roaring on the airfield above our Hut Camp in Thatcham, England.

Rising along with the other guys in Hut 12, I went outside and watched
as plane after plane towing gliders filled with soldiers - including my Taunton friends Joe Cananzey, Bob Sullivan, Bill Garvin and Bobby Dumont , all paratroopers and all "temporary" neighbors - streaking away to the east, the general direction of France.

D-Day. We'd been expecting it. Weather had delayed it a couple times. We looked toward our kitchen hut. The cooks were busy. Breakfast so soon?

First Sergeant Brill strode over to us saying: "Dress in fatigues, eat quickly, check your weapons, you're heading for Southampton. Board the trucks at 0300."

By dawn we were at the port, loading supplies, including our Bailey Bridges, on a second round of supply ships following the already-gone shiploads of combat troops - probably including Lady B's Jack - all heading for the Normandy, Omaha and Utah beaches on France's Coast, a couple hours across the English Channel.

We took a brief break from loading as an officer shouted "Tenshun," and then "line up." Minutes later a tall figure with stars on his shoulders walked the line in the fog of the morning, saying to each soldier, "thanks for helping, God bless us all" - General Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Later we all heard on the radio a solemn announcement by Sir Winston Churchill that the war to liberate Europe and save the world had commenced.

Then followed General Eisenhower's "Order of the Day":

"Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force!

"You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months.

"The eyes of the world are upon you. The hope and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you. In company with our brave allies and brothers-in-arms on other Fronts, you will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world."

The order went on, ending with:

"Good luck. And let us beseech the blessing of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking."

You can reflect on the subsequent years of conflict today, tomorrow and remember those who died trying to resolve it all - and then pray again that world conflict still existing will someday cease forever.

- 30 -

Friday, June 5, 2009

What's Happening . . .

. . .To Religion These Days?
. . . And Other Stuff

I read just this morning a couple disturbing items that suggest to me that this government of ours has gone too far again - something like what happened back in the early 1930s that led up to such furor in Europe.

Young'uns won't remember what I'm talking about and probably won't have absorbed what they may or should have read in history of events of the last century which eliminated religion (and lives) for a lot of folks in Europe.

I have only these two items to cite at this time but there are numerous other incidents in the past where government, big and little, is getting too much involved in religion.

But here's what's happening:

In San Diego, a pastor and his wife were holding the traditional Wednesday evening Bible study with a few friends in their own home when a city official visited and announced they were holding an illegal religious ceremony against the law.

A citation was issued that required the pastor to cease and desist in the prayer meetings or apply for a permit for a "major religious event", a permit which would cost thousands of dollars.

In Phoenix, a church official was served with a notice that the church bells which rang every hour for 12 hours a day were in violation of that city's noise ordinance, would have to be toned down and rung only on Sundays and spiritual holidays.

No fair! This is a contradiction of our constitional right of freedom to practice religion, no matter which kind, in my mind.

Government regulation of religion led to many abuses in Europe and elsewhere and yes, even to the Holocaust which some governments are now denying ever happened.

When government begins to talk such regulation in my city, your city or town, or your state, it wil be time THEN to protest and halt any movement to control religion.

There - that's off my chest for now - I need the chest room for my new Pacemaker.

Other stuff:


Ya'll know I spent a few days in the hospital last week and early this week so here's a bit of humor from Room 316:

Nurses, the doctors, blood drawers, the food servers, the EKG people and the X-ray technicians with their big machines, all had trouble keeping the wide door from swinging shut on them as they tried to drag their equipment into my room.

There was no stop device to keep the door open or any electrical device to handle the situation. We, CT and I and others, asked everybody we saw what was the secret to keeping the door ajar. Nobody knew.

Came Delia one afternoon to empty wastebaskets and mop the floor. As she was entering we quickly asked the secret and simultaneously learned the secret as she held the door, reached for a small vanity-like table, and saying "this," rolled the table a few inches against the door.

Secret revealed. She should have been the hospital engineer.


The Heart Hospital in Lubbock spreads all over the place, a one story facility. But Ricardo, my discharge nurse, says there's plans to expand the hospital, building a second floor. He and I and Delia are of the same opinion - don't build a second floor~build more rooms on all this land but just one floor. (Attention doctor-owned hospital officials).

Why? Cost for one thing. Have to have elevators. Elevators are expernsive, don't always work right, cost a lot to service . "Engineer" Delia would say visitors would get lost, nurses and attendants would have to waste time giving directions, food servers would have to take elevators which don't always work or are full of visitors and some visitors get sick riding elevators and can't climb stairs either.

Two floors doctors? No way!


This is a joke in a way. For many years I have been inviting my friends far and near to my 100th birthday bash, place to be announced. It's only a few years down the line now ya know.

Of course, there's always the chance I might not be there for the bash and as a joke sometime ago I wrote a newspaper ad for use if something did happen before the bash date. (That would be on a Flag Day).

Last week things did get a bit scary and it sounded like the ad could be used any day but after that treatment in The Heart Hospital, I forgot about the ad - until the day after I got home and discovered it laying on my desk in full view. It reads (and remember this was to be a joke):


I regret to inform all those whom I have invited to my 100th birthday bash that I have reluctantly cancelled the event due to an unforeseen circumstance - my passing on ___(date)_____. Signed, Charlie Hoye


I plan now to write brief postcard notes to several folks at the aforementioned hospital to thank them for their services, tender loving care, etc.

There's Cindy, the admitting nurse, Henry, who made me comfortable the first night and then in succession, Carla, Vanessa, Susan, LaTeisha, Christiana, Laura, Jane, Thomas, Nadine and those who came in the dark but whose names I did not get. And of course, Delia, Dr. Walter ("Chuck")Brogan, his sidekick, Jim Jenkins, and the guys in the cath lab who tended to me while I was unaware.

Betcha didn't think I could remember all those names, eh?

- 30 -

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Well, That's Over . . .

> > > Wonder What's Next?

Hey everybody, this is June 4 and I've missed getting a start on the June challenge but I need the rest anyway. Maybe I'll try again in July.

This could be my blog for today but hefore I close it off, let's just briefly review the week since I began to feel not right.

CVT and CC got me to the local hosppital. Local doc there put me on helicopter to The Heart Hospial in Lubbock Texas. Heart rate,normal is 60 was down at 30.

Lots o tests at THH Saturday and Sunday. A Pacemaker inserted Monday. It failed Tuesday morning. Was redone that afternoon. Was discharged Wedesday.

Now home hurting like Yarntanglers most recent toothache but Aleve seems to be cutting pain, Nor-Lea Hospital nurse dropped in thiis am to redo dressing, left more dressings for Laby B to take over.

Mayb I'll get back on here ina day on two.

So now that's today blog and since my eyes aren't working too good today, you do the corrections if any are necessary.

- 30 -

Sunday, May 31, 2009

31 Days - Phew!

This has been a very challenging month but I've enjoyed most of it. It was good to have my memory jogged to remember sweet old times with my Mother and Dad, Sister, Brother, my kids and grandkids, old friends and most of all my sweet ladies, Loretta and Lady B.

This past few days have been the most challenging and have involved everything from blogs to helicopters, worried kids to smiling nurses, lots of phone calls (the things you have to do to get your grand kids to call!) and my sweet wife, Lady B. here by my side.

Now it looks like I'm going to finally become an actual part of the technological era I've been avoiding for years - tomorrow I'll get a pacemaker. Then in a few days I'll have a whole bunch of new stories for all of you.

But today I earned my NaBloPoMo badge and Life is Still Sweet!

Old Newsie


Saturday, May 30, 2009

An Old Sweet Song- Perfect For Today

Heart of My Heart

I sometimes wish I was a kid again,
Down in the old neighborhood.
Just to be with Charlie,
With little Joe and Pete,
Boy, we had a quartet that
Was mighty hard to beat!
I'd love to stand down by that cellar door,
Just to hear that quartet sing once more:

"Heart of my heart"
I love that melody.
"Heart of my heart"
Brings back a memory.
When we were kids
On the corner of the street,
We were rough and ready guys,
But oh, how we could harmonize!

"Heart of my heart"
Meant friends were dearer then.
Too bad we had to part.
I know a tear would glisten
If only I could listen
To the gang that sang
"Heart of my heart."

For some reason this sweet song about hearts has been in my head all day. I don't know how to put the music to it but I'm sure most of you remember how it goes. By the way, since I'm Charlie, I usually say "just to be with Eddie..."


Old Newsie

Friday, May 29, 2009

Early One Today

I am nearly at the end of May and the May challenge.

Just to continue my record, I'll call this my Friday blog for the reason I am still a bit under the weather and might not have a topic tonight.

See you tomorrow.

- 30 -

Thursday, May 28, 2009

One Of Those Days

For years I've been taking bunches of pills for bunches of assorted ailments and for years I have been having a SWEET batch of results - everything has been going well.

But today after all this time something has gone wrong and CT and CC have noticed and have taken some action to make sure things go well with me.

When CC dropped in to see me with some goodies she brought for me to snack on, she noticed a difference even to say I looked DRUNK!

Me who's never imbibed DRUNK? (Well maybe one New Year's Eve but that's another story).

Got out the blood pressure machine and it turned out I'd developed a real low pressure.. No need to worry - much anyway.

Phoned the trusty doctor and his SWEET nurse listened to symptoms and decided quickly that, even after several years of a particular blood pressure medicine, the dose now appeared too high.

An adjustment is being made effective with tomorrow morning's dose and things should straighten out soon.

But I'm too tired to think about a blog topic for tonight so let this be the blog.

Besides CT has announced he's spending the night to be sure things are OK with me and I know they will be because he's just "suggested" bedtime and it's still early. He's a SWEET son but sometimes pretty bossy.

Goodnight all.

- 30 -

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Our Governor And . . .

. . . Our President

A few months ago President Barrack Obama seemed about to appoint New Mexico's Governor Bill Richardson to his cabinet as secretary of state or some other important cabinet assignment.

The governor eventually withdrew his name from any consideraion when an investigation began into some financial dealings in which the governor may, accusers say, be involved.

Mr. Richardson did not want to get into a federal post with any investigations pending so that the new president's administraion would not start off under any clouds.

But in Roswell (you've heard of that place - UFO landing spot in 1947) last week, President Obama, there on a state visit and already aware of problems brewing in North Korea with testing of missles, sought out the governor for some advice.

Governor Richardson as a former foreign ambassador has had much expererience in dealing with officials in North Korea and thus it would seem, he is the one who might best brief the White House in the current situtation.

The situation seems quite serious in that North Korea says it is now ready to use its missles on South Korea AND on United States Navy vessels.

The threat does not seem IDLE, like an issue of training. it breeds the thought of some mighty big trouble if not WAR.

Seeking out Governor Richardson advice seems to send a message - maybe just to me - that the President secretly wishes he could have engineered Mr. Richardson into his caabinet..

The TV news tonight did not have any story on what the governor may have advised the President but it is to be assumed Mr. Obama has whatever he heard under consideration.

Watch your newspapers and the television news. You may see more about the advice from New Mexico in the near future.

That's all for tonight everybody since I have visitors in the house and do not wish to ignore them because they are SWEET visitors, especially the young 'un, SWEET Mason from Arizona.

- 30 -

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Back in 1944, my SWEET and only girlfriend wanted to back me up as a soldier by doing her part as well and so she enlisted in the WAVES, the United States Navy program for women.

I was not aware of her desire to be a servicewoman and was not made aware of her actions until the matter was initiated, done and then undone.
I never knew the exact details but the gist of the whole business was that
she signed up for a hitch with the Navy, was assigned to the WAVES as she desired, and was sworn in as a WAVE in Boston.

When it came time to put on a uniform, she was measured and re-measured and then once more after being told to make herself taller than the measurements seemed to indicate.

The WAVES required its members to be at least five feet tall. Even standing on her toes, Loretta's hopes were dashed when she only measured four feet, eleven inches. She was told she had to be five feet and that there was no unifom that would fit her at 4/ll.

Didn't they have anybody who could do alterations, stretch a uniform an inch taller.? All the other parts of her fit I was told but in any case, she was handed a discharge.

I needed to make this explanation after making note in yesterday's Memorial Day blog that during the cemetery services we decorated Loretta's burial site with a United States Flag "even if she did have only one day in the Navy."

We considered her a veteran nevertheless because of her intention and action.

L oretta did the next best thing and became a war effort machinist after a liittle training .

For the duration then, she manufactured, with other machinists of course, hundrds of thousands of machine gun shells for the GIs reading for battle with the enemies in Europe and the Pacfic Ocean area, working in a factory converted from jewelry findings to manufacture of munitions.

When the war was over in 1945, Loretta went back to making jewelry findings and high school class rings, a trade which helped her in her later business of selling rocks, minerals, jewelry and jewelry findings.

She was a SWEET lady.

- 30 -

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Wedding Anniversary

On Memorial Day

By coincidence the day for remembering our deceased veterans and decorating their resting places falls today on the 63rd anniversary of my wedding to the short and now deceased woman that Grampa Reilly dubbed "Lil Bit" when he first met her way back in 1943.

Like Hilly and Lone Duck did a few days ago in New York state, I visited Prairie Haven Cemetery on Mother's Day for the same purpose, cleaning up the resting place and cutting the grass.

There wasn't much to do. Because we've had no rain for months, no grass has grown. Because we have had high winds, any trash and the dead flowers had blown away.

Lil Bit was Loretta, a SWEET loving wife and the mother of CT, DP, Scrabblebuff, Yarntangler and Joey, who didn't live long enough - just a day - to get himself a nickname.

It was May 25, 1946 in Attleboro, Massachusetts, that Loretta Ida Ducharme added the surname Hoye. We left Attleboro and headed for Canada on our honeymoon, so much in a hurry that we forgot to take with us the huge package of eatables including fried chicken that our parents had so carefully and SWEETLY packed for us as the recepton ended.

We toured Montreal and made our way back into Massachusets through Maine. taking up residence in my birthplace home, sans the printing press that had stood at the foot of my bed (see an April blog describing that piece).

We had a SWEET life, and five SWEET children and were headed for a 50th anniversary when five heart attacks in 1990 and 1991 called a halt to our marriage of nearly 45 years, on February 5, 1991. May "Lil Bit" rest in peace.

This morning at the annual Memorial Day services in Veterans Cove at Prarie Haven Cemetery, I with CT planted an United States flag beside her nearby monument, honoring Loretta as a veteran even if she did have only one day in the U. S. Navy as a WAVE, her service cut short because the USN deemed her "too short" at four feet, eleven inches.

We hope you have paid tribute to your veterans or will before the day is done.

- 30 -

Sunday Morning

It's an odd time to be up and around - just after midnight - but Pinky just woke me from a deep sleep.

She seemed like she was talking to someone and it sounded like "Where are you?" Pinky was wandering the house, room to room it sounded like and with a purpose in mind.

After two and a half days of missing Lady B, who's on a vacation trip to visit SWEET grandchildren and SWEET great-grandchildren as far away as Fort Worth, Texas, and Johnson City in Tennessee, it seems Pinky is on a mission to find her.

Her search is over now for the time being and she's settled down again to sleep but leaving me wide-awake, trying to garner thoughts for a Sunday blog, albeit an real early blog.

The most immediate thought is to report that after the events of Friday night and Saturday, Yarntangler called yesterday afternoon just before five and informed my answerig machine that the foursome who had been trying to come to Hobbs for a Memorial Day weekend visit was reluctantly back in Tucson safely.

The four had transmission trouble with Geezerguy's Jeep just an hour into their trip and when a hoped for quick repair in Benson, Arizona, dragged along too far, they decided it was futile to continue to Hobbs only to have to leave back to Tucson after just a few hours of visiting.

Sage Words and Chica, both of the United States Air Force, had just so much time and had to be back on post for Tuesday morning, hence the decision to abort the trip - certainly wouldn't want the AF roll call to turn up AWOLs.

With time on my hands, no Lady B here and my intended visitors there, I turned to helping CT at his place up north. He was babysitting SWEET Angel, a nephew, while doing some woodworking in his barn.

For a while, getting Angel (a SWEET young litle fellow) to fill trash bags with some material I raked up around the barn kept him out of CT's hair for a bit .

When the storm clouds rolled in with a bit of rain, SWEET Angel and CT were chased into the house to watch cartoon movies on the boob tube. The rain and approaching darkness sent me packing back home (I don't drive in the dark anymore).

I've checked my e-mail now, (nobody wrote) and read the latest news (nothing exciting) and am getting tired again I'll get back to sleep now so's I will be up again in a few hours in time for morning church.

- 30 -

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Murphy's Law and . . .

. . . Cumberland' s Law

Is there a difference between those two laws?

Guess not. Murphy's says "Everything that can go wrong will go wrong."

There's another that says "Nothing is an inevitable as a mistake whose time has come." I will substitute here "break-down" for "mistake", with the explanation to follow further down.

Ralph's Law say" It is a mistake to allow any mechanical object to REALIZE that you are in a HURRY."

And then there's CUMBERLAND'S Law, which contains a lot more words than all the other laws.

I. E. -

(1) -Windshields must break on a regular schedule.

(2) - Motorhome heaters must quit on coldest nights.

(3) - Propane tanks must go empty in the middle of cooking a meal.

(4) - Motor home roofs must periodically peel off.

(5) - Vehicle (any) tires must wear out when wallets are thinest.

(6) - Well-laid plans must alway s have a (nasty) loophole.

Now to explain:

Yarnangler and Geezer, Chica and Sage Words planned a Memorial Day triip from Tucson to Hobbs to begin at 4 p. m. on Friday.

At 7 p. m . Yarnangler, on the cell phone with a lousy connection, let it be known that because of a problem (unexplained) the foursome was just getting started from Tucson.

About 7:30 p. m. Sage Words and Geezer got on the cell phone and anounced the Jeep's transmission was acting up - giving them some type of a problem- and that they were in a rest area awaiting a tow truck to pick them up and haul them to a garage for a looksee evaluation and hopefully a quick get-on-the-road-again fix.

That didn't happen. About 9 p. m. Yarntangler crisply said to Old Newsie: "Go to bed. I'll call you in a bit if we get on the road again. If not we'll go to a motel and phone again in the morning."

Morning came. No call. Saturday noon came.. No call.

So I cell-phoned Yarntangler, got Geezer, who said a mechanic was just then looking over the Jeep to see what is wrong. Once something was determined, maybe in a half hour, he'd call back.

Geezer indicated the group was in Benson, west of Willcox, Arizona, (probably in the hills of Texas Canyon, home of the legendary Cochise and location of Cochise's Hangout).

The gang was still about eight hours away from Hobbs. They are still planning on the trip UNLESS . .

Unless what? Who the heck knows? Well. now it's one o'clock and Geezer hasn't called back. To me, this does not sound hopeful but I'll keep on praying and hoping. I think I better phone Lady B and the other families down by Fort Worh to add in their prayers too. I did.

This blog is being prepared at 1:30 p. m. Saturday. Please stand by for further details.

Here we go, good news and bad news says Yarntangler.

Bad news first

"We can't make it there. The mechanic found the trouble, a broken line from transmission to radiator (to keep transmission fluid cool) but we are in a very small garage with no parts to fix us and if ordered would not be in until late today and fix tomorrow so there's no way we could make it there, have time to visit, and get back."

Rosy says: "It's simple to fix but not a guarantee to go more than back to Tucson. We will put a temporary patch over the hole and clamp it into place, a temporary fix that should get us back to the house."

[Rosy probably could have fixed this on the spot with a little gum and some duct tape if she'd had it - she's an Air Force gal].

I've fixed mufflers on several cars many times with tin cans and radiator clamps. [Comon sense - to quote Lady B].

The Good news: "It's not as bad as we thought, no new transmission needed. When Noel first noticed the problem as we drove into a rest stop (probably the one in Texas Canyon half way to Willcox) he stopped right away and that prevented the transmission from overheating and quitting.)"

Rosy says: "Maybe we can think of Fourth of July and I WILL RENT A GOOD VAN TO BE SURE WE GET THERE."

And that folks, as Paul Harvey would say, is the rest of the story.

Everybody have a good night's sleep now, go to your church on Sunday and thank God for being merciful to the travelers.

And don't forget to pray for the safety of all our servicepeople - and on Memorial Day, remember all those who made sure I could write this blog today and you could read it.

- 30 -

Friday, May 22, 2009

Sweet Is The Word

. . . For An Advance Birthday Present

YES ! It's three weeks away yet but CT and College Cook have pulled off a big surprse for me. BIG I said, didja hear?

My little old 1979 Datsun has been languishing away for a few months in CT's back yard, awaiting a needed engine repair for which certain parts for that ancient car were hard to come by.

College Cook and CT knew I was getting antsy for some wheels so I wouldn't be dirtying up the family Dodge van all the time with my yard tools, etc., when I needed to travel up north to do some property maintainance work.

So what did they do that I consider so SWEET? They bought me a Ford van of my own for my birthday!

Now don't get the idea they are rich enough to just up and spend a bunch of money on a new vehicle for me. They just found a bargain at the right time .

Seems like the outfit that feeds all the University of the Southwest students and faculty and for which College Cook is a manager, had a van that wasn't being used anymore.

It was for sale for at least a year but wasn't drawing any buyers. It was displayed on the university's parking lot and the campus police probably were tired of seeing it there parked as if on a sales lot with its for sale sign.
With no buyers in sight and a "suggestion" to move it out, it was offered to College Cook for $100. "Hey, a bargain", she exclaims and then "I'll take it."

What a SWEET birthday gift! And I can use it, too. Now, everybody pray that the DMV will renew my driver's license again next month. If only I don't have to read down to line six again - they're sticklers on how well drivers see.

For driving, I'm OK, it's just close reading I have trouble with these days, a sign that I am begining to start to think about getting old.

So all I need when I visit the DMV next month is to remember to SWEET-talk the clerk I guess, and hope she'll be SWEET to me.

But back to the birthday gift - wasn't that SWEET of my son and his wife?

You bet, real SWEET.

- 30 -

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Blog Us Down . . .

. . . That Rain, Yarntangler

I jusst woke from my nap when the phone rang, missed the call and ( since I was up now) sat at the computer to check blogs.

First up is Yarntangler with a whale of an idea for tonight's blog , SWEET, SWEET rain. Unlike Yarntangler in Tucson who has been rainless for a month , we here some 600 miles east, haven't had any really countable rain since last Summer.

So it's pouring in Tucson. Wonderful. Now as I listen to the TV weatherman, I hear that he's going to have it raining here maybe by midnight, since it's already deluging in Deming and Las Cruces and the thunder is booming in the Sacramento Mountains.

I don't really like saying this but I hope our traveling friends Jeanie, Charlie, both of Tucson, and his brother Ron of Branson, Missouri, are tooling along right now in their two cars and hauling that SWEET rain with them. They're due in a few hours from now.

Another SWEET thought is that tomorrow night, Sage Words and his SWEET Chica should be arriving here for a Memorial Day weekend visit.

And speaking of Memorial Day, I hope you are all thinking of those
white stones in the hundreds and thousands of cemeteries in our country and remembering that under those white stones are men who gave their lives so you could travel around visitng this coming weekend.

- 30 -


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Brooklyn, New York

A Trip In The Old Ford

Don't ask when the trip was please.

All I can tell you is that Daddy and I made a one day trip sometime in the last century in an old Ford, the kind that looked like a box with an engine out front.

I guess I can give a couple hints now that I've had a few minutes nap in front of the screen. I was about 10 years old I think. And it was during the depression years when a lot of folks were scrounging around for a little extra cash even if they were working and that included my father.

Brooklyn. Not far away now that there's four lane highways and a speed limit of maybe 70 or more. Back when we made the trip it was on Route 6, a two lane road not very wide and bumpy as well. We had to leave home in the dark, long before the sun got up and it was dark when we got back home.

What a trip and I don't remember if it really did any good in the long run for Daddy who was just trying to bring in a bit more moola anyway he could to keep us all well fed and clothed.

How Daddy got into the business that took us to Brooklyn is unknown to me or un-remembered if I ever knew but it had to do with candy and that's my SWEET topic for tonight's blog.

Whatever time of the century that was, it was one when candy was cheap ==- or nearly cheap - a nickel a bar for Hershey, Baby Ruth, Snickers, Mars and some other names I knew then but aren't around anymore these days.

Those SWEETS were sold everywhere but also in candy machines and that's where Daddy and I came in. He had made a deal I guess with somebody to get some candy machines which he could fill with SWEET bars of enjoyment . He must have had a deal, too, to get candy wholesale.

He'd hang them up in the railroad station, the bus station, the downtown rest room, the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars halls and the beano parlor where hungry folks could get a snack.

He even had one in the newspaper office where the first Mr. Reed could buy a quick pickmeup.(That would be William H. Reed, father of William R. Reed for whom I worked in the late '40s and early '50s.)

Anyway, this one special day, Daddy and I took off to Providence and then down through Connecticut and into New York, arriving at the George Washington Bridge.

That bridge is quite high and underneath it, at least then, were stores, houses and warehouses. We got to one of the warehouses and saw a guy about the candy machines who first said "you got the money?"

Daddy said yes, he had the money and the guy said to give it to him. Daddy gave him some. The guy counted it and said that it was not all he was supposed to get.

Daddy said put the machines in the car and then I'll give you the rest. The fellow didn't want to do that but Daddy showed him the money and then put it back in his pocket.

The car was soon crammed with candy machines, each one about three feet by one by one foot. Back seat, floor, trunk and running boards, where they were strapped down. Daddy paid and we started again for home. Rained all the way. The roof leaked a bit but nobody got wet.

What happened after that I don't know. Later I saw the machines in lots of places around town and often I helped Daddy fill them up with candy bars, At least once a week I probably swiped a SWEET Hershey bar but Daddy knew and didn't ever say much.

How long the candy business lasted with Daddy I don't remember. The next sideline business - at least another sideline, there might have been others after the candy machines - was selling neckties.

Probably my helping to sell candy bars and neckties is what got me into selling raffle tickets on lampshades a few years later.

- 30 -