Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Disturbing News . . .

. . . At First Glance

When I switched into the e-mail mode on my computer this morning after reading a couple of newspaper articles I was greeted with a subject line which, if I were a bank president, might have struck an omious note.

"The Mockorange Lane Gang Rides Again", I read - with visions of Jesse James and his cohorts or some other notoriuous bunch riding into town with a no-good-intent riding ahead of them.

But, Old Newsie, just relax. It seems like that new e-mail feature Facebook
(at least new to me) had led to daughter Yarntangler's finding two more of the girls with whom she as a kid played with back in Pennsylvania, residents of the same street on which this blogger's family resided.

Note I said two MORE girls. A few years back I'd already located for Yarntangler one other chum from Mockorange, so now the "gang" is four but three are non-bloggers - Gail, Sue and Rita, the latter being the gal found sometime ago, who in 1959 was Yarntangler's companion on a family trip to Yellowstone National Park.

While those are now found, I can think of a few more to be sought, Renee, Sandy and Barbara, by name and two other neighbors whose names do not come to mind.

Yarntangler's message to headquarters here says (probably) this is the start of reviving a gang of youngsters who were neighbors 50 years ago, the female side of the gang.

Now what about the male side? There's a good possibility this Facebook program will find others once these gals start tracking them down - seems like women have that knack (one I once knew did it after going to great lengths including the state department).

Some of the male teens they'll be looking for include such names as Richard. Andy, Rick and Greg. Unfortunately Greg, who became a lawyer, is deceased I was told a few years ago. Two other male "gang" members are Terry and Denis, who are already located.

Levittown in Pennsylvania, just north of Philadelphia, was in the 1950s a brand new post-World War II city of 17,311 homes, a place carved out of five townships and villages, mostly farmland. You bought a home there for $10,000 - yep, that's right, $10,000.

Teenagers who grew there now are scattered all over the United States I assume, maybe even round the world , having moved on to colleges after their high school days, and thence to jobs wherever they could find them.

This "gang," girls and boys thoroughly enjoyed a large swimming pool located a few blocks from Mockorange Lane (the pool in which I lost my false teeth one day) and some of them at least learned their ice skating techniques in a frozen-over drainage ditch along the base of the home section in which we resided in, Magnolia Hill.

Facebook folks and eventually this blogger, will have a lot of nostalgia to talk over once they get together online and maybe, if as already been suggested, they get together in person for a reunion.

- 30 -

Friday, February 19, 2010

"Down" Internet". . .

. . . Breaks February Streak

I tried hard yesterday, Thursday, to keep up my TIE blog streak but alas, the service that sends this out to you failed - an outage they call it.

Visiting son DP called repair service and from somewhere in Georgia , after lots of qestions and answers, was told the company would send a DSL man late Friday [today] to my house with some new equipment because testing showed I might have an internal problem as well as a possible area outage.

So much for last night's blog and a TIE badge for the month. Oh, well . . .

But while enjoying a pancake breakfast early this morning that DSL man showed up with boxes of equipmemt, some wire and his trusty line tester.

After working at least an hour or so, during which I graciously served him coffee, [didn'nt want a plate of pancakes] he felt he had found an interior problem, a missing line filter probably, as well as rather low speed in the DSL system serving my house and declared all's well.

Besides much testing he installed a new modem which includes a router and declared we were now wireless, which translates into wi-fi I understand.

Well, skip that "understand" since I really don't understand much about this whole system except some of the things I need to know to use it.

Thank goodness I took the precaution a few years back of buying into the phone company's whole house wiring program for a not too bad monthly charge; it covers repairs like this.

So OK, got to work on checking e-mail, newspapers and current news and then a blog and guess what? No Internet again. With the help of visiting son DP, we checked every connection and possible other problem and finally had to call the provider again.

This time we got a very apologetic young lady on the line announcing that the company was working diligently to repair a widespread outage and that it was guaranteed to be fixed by 2:30 am Saturday and we would be notified by phone.

Uh - 2:30 a. m. ? DP, when you hear the phone ring, you get it, OK?

We got a welcome surprise late this afternoon, however, when we tried to fire up the Internet just on a hunch and dawgone, it worked. Now I am trying to get a blog done early enough to get it out by midnight with something in wordage that might be a TIE.

Why don't I leave it right there since I've already got the word TIE in there three times and in the headline also - and for that matter, in this sentence too?

- 30 -

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Kids, Lollypops . . .

. . .And a New Zealand Lady

It has taken a long stretch of my memory to come up with tonight's blog, in an effort to create another TIE story but it has come about.

This could be a short blog but I'll do my best to create a few paragraphs at least so you'll have something interesting to read.

Fast forward backwards (can I say that lady book editor?) to a time of strife in Europe, World War II. I was stationed in England with the Corps of Engineers, United States Army, and in the small hamlet of Thatcham, today a thriving place.

At a supply depot, numerous GIs, myself included, got from their moms and sweethearts back in the United States what today would be called CARE packages. These GIs quickly joined the ranks of sharers. They shared with little English kids.

Now fast forward to about three or four years ago and imagine using your computer browser at random trying to make connections with someone you knew in England.

That was me, seeking to just send a thank you message to a family that took me in as a lonely soldier, fed me, made me comfortable evenings in their home listening to the BBC and oft-times shortwave radio news from the states.

Browsing didn't turn up much until I messaged a newspaper in Newbury, near Thatcham, telling the editor I was searching for a certain family. He personally was no help other than running a brief story about the family I sought.

Weeks went by before a certain lady recognized from the newspaper item the family I was seeking. She evidently communicated with a sister living in New Zealand and they compared notes.

Suddenly from New Zealand came an-e-mail from a lady with a clue to that family which in the '40s hosted this lonely GI. Now I had a TIE - the past and the present.

But that is not the end of it. Between the lady there and the sister in New Zealand (and I hope I have my facts correct despite a little failing of memory) I was informed the old folks of the family were long gone but their was a daughter who recalled my name.

When the sister in England contacted that daughter there came a terse reply that she wanted nothing to do with the American soldier. Now, lest that raises your eyebrows a bit, let me quickly point out there was no reason for that response.

So that was that but the e-mail correspondence between this blogger and the New Zealand lady, who's about 15 years younger than me, turned up a new TIE.

Fast forward backwards again - to that army depot in Thatcham and the GIs with care packages from home. Pretty much daily during breaks, which English mothers and their tykes had timed well, several children would gather outside the gates of G-45 and GIs would feed them goodies, lollypops being a favorite

Among the small crowd of little ones was a four-year-old girl who would ride up Station Road in her pedal car. I remembered the pedal car. Not particularly the girl. Probably fed candy to the kid numerous times.

Fast forward now to the present. From New Zealand, e-mails from the lady there were frequent, with memories of England being predominent.

And then one e-mail struck a new TIE.

The New Zealander said she remembered riding her little pedal car up the road to the depot and she often got lollypops and candy from the American soldiers.

What a discovery! This American, long back home and that Britisher now in New Zealand, had met again.

Amazing what one learns from this round-the-world communication technology.

This charming lady in New Zealand and I still exchange e-mails but not much news from England any more, mostly comparisons of our "golden years," our aches, pains, sicknesses, eyes and ears problems, accidents and so on.

- 30 -

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A Two-Brother TIE

. . . Brings Joy to Both

About five-thirty this afternoon as we arrived back in Hobbs following a trip to the Lubbock International Airport. a TIE came about when CT of Hobbs and DP of Saratoga, California met again for the first time in quite a few years.

DP and CT are our sons. DP arrived at the airport just at the moment we drove into the termial, his Southwest Airlines jet passing over our Toyota Matrix low enough to drop him off on the car's roof.

Yes - Toyota Matrix. And yes, it WAS one of those affected by the recall. And yes, we've had it fixed already. Thanks for your concern.

As I waited for him at the baggage area on the right, he came in and got his baggage from the turntable at the left, went out to the curb, found Lady B and her car, loaded his luggage and then came back in to find me.

En route back to Lubbock, a nearly two hour trip, we had great conversation except Lady B was the only one hearing anything
DP had to say.

Seems like hearing aid trouble has a definite liking for me. You will recall I lost one from my right ear in the jacuzzi where it cooked in hot water five days or so.

That one was the one which controls the volume in the left ear so it was obvious I had a problem.

Then after finding it and drying it, it spasmodically worked until I lost the one from my left ear.

This second loss was not a catastrophe but an annoyance, since the right ear aid gave some hearing. The left ear aid got tangler in the maze of computer, printer, scanner and lighting wiring in the back of the computer desk.

Found it three days later after most of the house was moved about in a search. Then I found both aids did not any longer work together so to the factory they went for a re- do, fortunately at no cost because the warranty is still in effect.

So to have some kind of hearing I resurrected one of the older set I had and it worked - until we got to the airport today.

It failed and no amount of anguish would make it work and me hear. So for me in a psassenger seat, we had a fine, quiet ride to Hobbs.

Minutes ago I found among an old assortment of batteries one to fit this old left ear aid and now I can hear again and I am in the computer room with no one talking to me, both being intigued by the olympics on tv.

But back to the TIE. After a few moments, both sons expressed the need for relaxation and a nap and parted, planning to get together again later in the week after CT gets in his long days with the road department.

But there is some good news today - I sold that house we've been working on so long. We've got two brothers TIED up today and a house sale TIED up to boot.

More about the boys later probably and more about the house as well. I'm too tired to TIE myself into any more wordage tonight. Good night and sleep tight.

PS - wasn't it a nice TIE job I did last night on Susan B. Anthony and yours truly, completly forgetting the word TIE altogeher?

- 30 -

Monday, February 15, 2010

Honoring A Neighbor . . .

. . . Born 190 Years Ago

Yesterday, Sunday, in Adams, Massachusetts, the birthplace home of the founder of the Women's Suffrage Movement in the late 1800s, and a leading figure in the adoption of the 19thAmendment, giving women the right to vote, became the Susan B. Anthony Birthplace Museum.

For many years in my various writings I have often, jokingly, referred to that eminant lady as "my neighbor" but it is obvious that when she was born on February 15, 1820, we weren't neighbors.

For the time we each lived in Adams, long years apart, we merely shared Adams as "neighbors," she a native and me an itinerent worker there in the 60s and 70s.

From her home one could see mine across the valley and town and I could see her place from mine, both homes being situated on hills at nearly the same height, thus "neighbors."

Carol Crossed of Rochester, New York, president of Democrats for Life of America, an anti-abortion organization, said a member of Feminists For Life of America, an anti-abortion and feminists organization, will live in the house as director and manager of the museum.

That member is Sally Winn, an advocate for women and children who was
vice president of Feminsts for Life in Washington, D. C., and who was present Sunday with Ms.Crossed to dedicate the museum.

Eugene Michalenko, president of the Adams Historical Society, had for nearly 30 years, been advocating preservation of the Anthony birthplace as an attraction to Adams for tourists and history buffs.

Ms. Crossed bought the house for $164,000 in 2006 at an auction, after a previous couple had owned the house several years with the intention of doing something similar to the new museum but without achieving success.

During the dedication ceremony, a distant relative of Susan B. Anthony, Eric Anthony and his wife, Patricia, entertained the attendees with violin music.

By chance, the dedication the day before her birthday also happened to be the 90th anniversary of the Women's Suffrage Act, the passage of the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote, the amendment which Ms. Anthony did not live to see. She died March 13, 1906.

The subsequent home of Susan B. Anthony is in Rochester, New York, coincidently Ms. Crossed' residence , and also is a city memorial. The entire Anthony family once of Adams, including Susan, is buried in a small hillside burial plot in Rochester, a site this blogger has visited and photographed.

The family includes Susan's father, Daniel. I mention this because most literature on the Anthony family, most all but Susan being Quakers, doesn't mention that he, too, was born in Adams in a house called "The Old Hive," which may NOT be the house of Susan's birth."

This makes me wonder if he was shunned by the Quakers because in a store he ran , according to other literature I have read, he sold liquor, a no-no with Quakers.

There's much more to be said and read of Susan B. Anthony than just her efforts that helped pass the 19th Amendment.

If any readers happen to find Adams, Massachusetts , [in the northwest part of the state] while traveling, a visit to the new museum will enlighten you. The museum is at 67 East Road.

A book on the lady and her life's efforts," Susan B. Anthony," by Alma Lutz, MAY be found in your local library.

A booklet, "Susan B. Anthony Birthplace As It Is Today," published in connection with the first day of issue in Adams of a six-cent Women's Suffrage postage stamp August 23, 1970 MAY [repeat - MAY] be available at the museum.

This, tonight, is my way of honoring "my neighbor."

- 30 -

Sunday, February 14, 2010

How Many Words . . .

. . . Come From TIE?

This will be an experiment, perhaps very brief, but it's an idea, drawing from common sense and then from a dictionary and a few other book sources.

Take this month's theme word TIE and turn the word into as many OTHER words as possible.

Here goes and this may turn into a short blog.


It - rather obvious

Ti - a Polynesian plant

Ie - what a teacher or storyteller might say in illustrating a point; also a legal term

Ite - suffix for numerous words

Ei - part of the Old McDonald farm song

That's all my brain comes up with. Now it's your turn in the comment box down below.

The dictionary and other book sources didn't help!

Told ya'll this would be a short blog!

Go ahead now, show me up.

- 30 -

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Chip Seal, Rip Rap . . .

. . . Versus Slurry Seal

Chester Trczinski was working one very hot Summer morning years ago at the edge of curvy hillside Lime Street in Adams, Massachusetts, when I was out scouting with my Speed Graphic for some scenic pictures for the newspaper.

Chet and a road department crew had laced the edge of the curve with heavy rocks, set in place very carefully like a stone wall except forming a vee type trough and were pouring thin steaming hot oil over the rocks, letting it seep in between the cracks of the rock construction.

As a still young newspaperman, I was learning the secrets of old timers who labored in the hills building streets and roads that outlasted the harsh elements of a New England winter, the oldtime farmers' secrets of building dry walls of stone without mortar, and other ancient construction secrets.

I am going to try to TIE together the connection between the chip seal and slurry seal methods which is the topic of this blog. Bear with me.

Now don't think the spelling of Chet's last name is wrong; believe me, it is OK. He was a Polish decendant with a trade handed down from his great-grandfather, a trade Chet, now deceased, has passed along to some of the young whippersnappers who today, now as oldtimers, probably staff that road department.

"What are you doing on this curve with all the rocks and the oil?" I asked Chet, the road department superintendent, and immediately got an explanation of the building of roads in Poland.

The rocks, he said, used in the fashion I was seeing, comprise what is known as riprap, still used today in the Army Corps of Engineers in dam-building and river control.

The hot oil is slurry, Chet explained. "We heat it up real hot and pour it into the cracks between the stones and when it drys we add some more all over the rocks and then when it rains, or snow melts, the runoff goes downhill without eating away the edge of the curve."

Fast forward now 50 years to Hobbs.

One very hot August day outside my home here in Hobbs when the local street department was renewing the road past my place, I talked with one of the crew.

Using a big tank truck with many steel nozzles leading from the tank, the crew was spreading thick hot oil along the street. Then behind the tank truck came dump trucks loaded with small stones, backing up as the stones cascaded onto the hot thick oil. A street roller followed the trucks, pressing the stones into the oil.

Notice I keep saying hot thick oil whereas in Adams I just referred to the oil as thin hot oil. Up there on Lime Street the oil was very thin but still very hot and Chester Trczinski called it slurry sealing.

In Adams in the 1960s they didn't use a big tank truck for anything in road building. The oil was heated in a small square oven-type contraption on wheels, pulled behind a rickity dump truck.

The oil was heated by a fire of oak wood under the oven. When small stones were used to finish the slurry sealing job, or surface roads, it was done by hefty men pushing wheelbarrows, and heavy rollers made of steel drums filled with cement to anchor the stones in the oil.

"So this is slurry sealing to TIE the little stones together, right?" I commented, gaining a quick "naw, this is chip seal; what's slurry seal mean?"

Now I became, I think, not as the Irishman I am, but as a teacher with a Polish background, explaining what Chet long ago had taught me about how to TIE road work together.

Somehow, though, I think the guy I was talking to probably knew what the procedure was and was tolerating my "old geezer " knowledge just to please me.

Be it chip sealing in Hobbs or slurry sealing in Adams, the result is pretty much the same, good pavement that lasts a long time. And that's my construction instruction for tonight.

- 30 -

Friday, February 12, 2010

Snow In Florida ? . . .

. . . That's Unheard Of !

Is that so?

Those northern retirees who years ago fled their snowy homes in those various states usually belted with bad weather this time of the year were surprisingly made aware this morning of their TIES with New England they gazed out windows and saw -- S N O W !

Many native Floridians, as well as those in southern Texas, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Georgia, had never seen snow unless it was on television but now they know what the northerners were subjected to every Winter before they fled south.

Granted, the state got only three or four inches but the storm threw the unsuspecting officialdom into a tizzy - - what do we do without snowplows, studded tires, snowblowers and snow shovels?

We hear via TV that schools and businesses were closed and the panhandle was paralyzed, while the northerners living there and the snowbird tourists laughed at the officials' inability to cope with what the New Englanders say was "just a drop in the bucket."

New Mexico of course didn't escape the snow but anybody from up north realizes this state always gets some snow. Read an Internet story just an hour ago that relates every state in our 50-star union, except Hawaii, was today either covered in snow, was experiencing falling snow, or was having a dusting of the white stuff.

My trusty hand-powered snow plow - yes a plow like those used on streets, but much smaller, was put into use yesterday morning when we got three inches during the early morning hours. Teachers heading to the nearby school gaped at me as I effortlessly cleared my front walk so I could get to my newspaper box for the daily NEWS SUN.

That plow, a $14 bargain, was bought and used in the 1960s in Levittown, Pennsylvania, traveled to and was used in North Adams, Massachusetts, and moved with us to Truth or Consequenes and then Hobbs, New Mexico.

In TorC, it was used NOT for snow but for SAND, during construction of a flat area to park our RV in an expansive yard where a spot had to be carved out of a sandy hillside. That $14 item is still at the ready, although its tires and a chain need replacing and the yellow paint needs renewing.

I have found it amusing in these first few days of February having to figure out ways to TIE things together. Memories have been jolted by that one word.

And right now it's time to TIE on the feedbag and quell my hunger.

- 30 -

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Women And Food . . .

. . . Do TIE Together

Perhaps it is a strange topic that I pursue tonight but I think those two things, women and food, do TIE themselves together in a way.

I am in the process of downsizing a garage full of boxes of printouts of e-mail messages now years old. I printed and saved them for some purpose.
I am trying to figure out that purpose.

It may have been for a book idea, maybe for historical and/or genealogical purposes, or to pass along later to others studying history or for their hobby collections, or even for story-telling!

In any case, as I said in a 2001 e-mail to somebody, (and have been repeating yearly ever since) I am downsizing all this paper in storage. I imagine I may repeat that statement again in 2020.

But back to food and women and how those subjects TIE together. This blog starts with a piece of paper saved from 2001 outlining what Yarntangler was doing in her spare time, BMH.

She wrote in an e-mail that she had laboriously listed from an atlas, using pen, pencil and schoolbook-lined paper, the identity of every town in the United States with a food-related name.

The list is somewhere in her archives, awaiting a planned use that yet has not come to fruition. Mustard for instance was one of the towns in her collection, and another was strawberry. Perhaps she meant to find Bread and make a sandwich of bread, mustard and strawberry jelly.

The other part of this blog's title, women, came about in another started but unfinished list of towns of the country with women's names. Making that list probably would have consumed lots of time as well.

She would start off, no doubt, with Ann and go through the alphabet to Zenna. Then I surmise, she would accomplish her TIE of the two subjects. as she puts Ann to work on fixing a Grape jelly sandwich for Geerzerguy to take to work in Eunice if he didn't get too hungry en route and devour it in Ruth.

Well, it's about half past seven here tonight. We had three inches of snow this morning but I didn't have to plow or shovel any and it's all gone tonight, after a bit of melting weather this afternoon.

I guess I've worked up my" TIE" for this evening's challenge. I 'spect I'll be with you again Friday night.

PS- BMH = before motor home

- 30 -

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Emotions Blossom . . .

. . . After Sea Journey

On a foggy, damp night in July, 1943, a few thousand soldiers asleep in crowded three and four-tiered high bunks of a troop ship were awakened by a series of bumps not long before midnight.

Earlier this entourage had been ordered to sleep in uniform that night with duffle bags at the ready. A sharp voice over the ship's loudspeakers explained the bumps - " we have docked." It became obvious the bumps wre not anticipated explosions but just the sounds of the ship hitting a mooring.

Emotions exploded as the soldiers cheered, men hugging each other whether they knew each other or not, exclaiming "they didn't get us, we're still OK." One could feel a tug of relief, knowing their Lord had brought them safely to Scotland.

It was a time when prayer was free, when men of all religons, expressed their TIES publicly to whatever diety they embraced, thanking GOD under whatever name for caring for them and keeping them safe.

I was one of the shipmates that night thanking my GOD for saving us all from the terrible fate that might have claimed us if a German U-boat had managed to torpedo our troopship during the ten days or so it followed our zig-zagging vessel across the north Atlantic Ocean from New York .

It was not long before dis-embarking began but before the orders came to leave the ship, Scottish welcomers swarmed aboard. GIs began yelling into the night "girls, girls, look at 'em, girls!"

By the dozens, Scottish lasses boarded the ship armed with tea cakes, and drinks for the soldiers. The ship's captain blared the announcement "no touching the girls, just take what they hand you and say thank you" but the announcement was lost in the frenzy of hugging and kissing that commenced.

The welcome party soon was over as town police escorted the girls from the ship. A few soldiers managed to learn the identities of their gift-givers and at least two that I know of maintained TIES that resulted in marriages after World War II.

The first land the soldiers saw after a perilous sea trip was the beautiful hills of Grennock, Scotland, as the early dawn light exposed the view when
the long troop train pulled away from the station en route south to England. About half the number of GIs left the ship that night, the rest bound for Africa.

Various units of men were dropped off in villages along the way in the following two days. This soldier was dropped off with two hundred others in Thatcham, in the county of Berkshire in southern England, home for the next three years.

Sometime later we learned that the troopship that carried us to Scotland, had continued its journey to Northern Africa with the remaining soliders aboard but never reached the destination - the U-boat had caught up with it. We prayed again for having been saved.

- 30 -

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Happy Birthday . . . .

. . . Little Sister

Margery dear, you've been wanting to be 79 for a whole year now and at 7 a. m. New England time today, you finally made it.

I'm glad we had that happy birthday conversation earlier today. It was really funny catching up with the happenings of that February 9th so long ago - Mother "breaking her leg" at 5 in the morning on the front walk and being rushed off to the hospital.

Our devious father sent us older boys back to bed with that explanation but never did tell us why she was out on the front walk so early in the morning and in her nightgown, too.

And then after a few days you came home in Mother's arms and Paul took a good look and said "that's not a turtle you told me I'd get. I'm not ever going to that hospital, they send you home with babies." But Paul eventually got to love you anyway even if you weren't a turtle.

Kids nowadays don't have to be fibbed to when there's a baby on the horizon - they know about the coming blessed event sometimes even before the mother does because kids these days learn things years ahead of when we oldsters did.

So now, how do I TIE this story together with anything else in this February challenge month? Think I can't? Listen up.

While I was working as a beginning reporter in the late 40s last century, I had occasion to wrie a story that TIES in with births - and here's a true story:

One afternoon a city policeman was assigned to find a man at work on an electrical job in the north part of the city.

He cruised around until he found the lineman atop a pole and asked him to come down, he needed to talk with him.

But the lineman said it would have to wait he was busy. The officer insisted but so did the lineman, yelling down "just tell me what you want, I'm busy."
So the polieman had to give him the message atop the pole and he yelled ":you're wanted at the hospital, your wife just had a baby."

The busy lineman flustered furiously in astonishment and promptly came down to the ground - but he didn't climb down, he fell from the top of the pole!

I came about writing the story when I got wind of the happening the next day and visited the new mother, her baby, and her husband - in the same hospital room!

Why did the lineman get so flustered that he fell? He didn't know his wife was going to have a baby.

AND neither did the Mrs. - she had been taken to the hsopital that morning because she had, she told her doctor, stomach cramps and never knew she was in a family way!

The baby and mother were fine. Here's where we TIE this story and my little sister's birth day together - HE had the broken leg that Margery's mommy didn't have!

- 30 -

Monday, February 8, 2010

Marriage Intentions . . .

. . . Abound in Newspaper

Whenever a longer then usual list of marriage intentions, supplied by the county clerk, appear in the records section of the newspaper, any newspaper, the list is a harbinger of weddings to come, either on New Year's Eve day or Saint Valentine's Day.

Once it was that in May, plans for a June wedding made themselves known in such public records domains but in my estimation June has lost its distinction as the most-wedding month. I am not sure which month might now have that title.

But what I do believe right about now is that there is a much-talked-about need for a New Year's Eve hitch and that discussion comes about on the heels of a DEPRESSION.

Yes, depression, because you know, despite what some are saying, we are in a depression.

I have heard of numerous couples who opted for that end-of-the-year wedding because of the thought that "we get married before New Year's, we can deduct a lot of money on our joint income tax return."

But the traditional day for a wedding is holding its own - Saint Valentine's Day, so I say to those planning to say "I do" on February 14, just a half dozen days away, go for it, TIE the knot.

You can always get the extra deduction next year, maybe even two if you hurry - AFTER THE WEDDING!

- 30 -

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Well, It Happened . . .

A Two-Way TIE

Came the end of January, I had a decision to make, NaBloPoMo again for February or give in to all those folks trying to convince me to do Facebook.

I made the decision and went with the February theme of TIES but tonight, with a personal visit from a Facebok devotee, I have, I guess, been literally forced into the Facebook age.

A two-way tie between Facebook and NaBloPoMo.

So I will have to TIE the two together somehow and make the best of it. Already, however, there appears to be a problem - I may spend too much time de-cyphering instructions on Facebook and answering queries or requests to be friends and thus miss the midnight deadline.

Anyway, I've just canceled out Facebook for tonight in order to get into this blog and now, dear friends, we pause while I find tonight's topic.

End of pause. Let's see how this idea develops.

The Saints of New Orleans and the Colts of Indianapolis tossed around, kicked and ran the football for a couple of hours in the Superbowl in Miami and nearly before the half time show, the teams came within one point of a TIE at 17-16 with the Colts leading.

However, during the halftime, the Lord evidently breathed new life into his Saints and they managed to build the score to 31.

Meanwhile our house guests, CT and his lady whom I haven't TIED a moniker to as yet, managed a TIE by downing equal amounts of soda and coffee before heading out into the fog to drive home to North Hobbs

- 30 -

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Scup and Tony . . .

Were Both Pugilists

Back a long number of years ago I read of a ring battle between two
heavyweights, one of whom was named Tony Hoye. This fight resulted in a knockout and a title for Tony.

In more recent times and in my hometown of Taunton, another fighter emerged and won, if my memory is correct, several titles. He was "Scup" Hoye.

I am sure Lady Nanaland, now in Oklahoma, knew more of him that I do because I'd moved from New England when he was active.

The thought had occurred to me, as an amateur genealogist, whether I someday could TIE Scup in Taunton and Tony in London together and thus fill in a bit more of the family genealogy.

During the past 35 or 40 years of family tracing, I have had a lot of fun filling in our history but I have run out of both sources and ambition to do more and hope someone else in the family plans on carrying on with as many TIES as can be found .

Much of the fun I've had was in browsing through numerous cemeteries in Canada, checking headstones to find members of my deceased wife's ancestral family. Imagine an Irishman trying to decipher the French inscriptions - it took patience and a book of French spellings.

Checking the records and searching cemeteries has become important for a huge chunk of the United States population. Have fun doing it and one day future generations will thank you for the knowledge you pass down that will TIE them to the past.

And maybe you'll find the link that will TIE Scup and Tony together for the Hoye family!

- 30 -

Friday, February 5, 2010

It Is Time Now . . .

To Play The Game

Tonight I may have made a bit of an error by soaking in the jacuzzi an hour and a half beyond the time my partner got out and got on her computer for an early start at solitaire.

We both enjoy playing the game, both of us with computers and with a zest for winning. Tonight, with a head start, Lady B will be hard to beat, as usual and the best I can hope for is a TIE. She's already up two on me.

If I can make a TIE, it will be only the second time in months that we came out even. but here I go . . .

But first a few tidbits from a couple of years-old email printouts which you might enjoy and or use.

What do bullet proof vests, laser printers, windshield wipers and fire escapes have in common?
All invented by women.

What is the state where the highest percentage of all people walk to work?

What is the shortest sentence in the English language?
"I am."

How difficult is it to take all the cat hair from clothing such as a bathrobe?
Crunch up a sheet of Bounce and rub it around and it magically will collect the cat hair. [I need to try it for dog hair.]

Martha Stewart asks if you know how to stop the shells of eggs from cracking while hardboiling the eggs?
The answer is add a pinch of salt to the hot water before immersing the eggs.

Martha also wonders if you know how to determine if an egg is fresh. Do you?
Answer: Put the egg in a pan of cool, salted water. If it sinks, it's fresh. If it floats, throw it away.

What happens most in the month of December?
Conception. [ I didn't know that!]

Gracie Allen [remember her?] advised the way to determine when a roast of beef is properly roasted is to put a small roast and a big roast in the oven together. When the small one burns, the big one is done.

Now that I've passed on all that intelligence, I'll get to work on the TIE -
or maybe it could be a beat.

- 30 -

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Can't Leave Behind . . .

Places Once Lived

Some folks easily forget forever the places they once lived in, the birthplace, the first work place, later residences when married or exploring as a possible new place to live.

But there are others who never forget places where they are TIED to in one way or another. I am one of those folks and to boot, probably have some memento packed away in a box somewhere to remind me of the place once a residence or visited.

In nearly 87 years, where have I lived to which I have TIES I have been wondering these last few days? Mentally thinking about the places I have lived, worked in, or visited brings up a lot of memories.

The first of course is where I was born, up there in New England, a 370 year old city, Taunton, Masachusetts . Next came Thatcham, England, during World War II and then back to Taunton.

Then in succession I've lived in Morrisville and Levittown, Pennsylvania, North Adams, Massachusetts, Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, Seminole, Texas and finally right here in Hobbs, New Mexico.

Where do I have TIES? Quite naturally, the birthplace, holds a number one TIE because I still have a few relatives there and a lot of memories of childhood days.

I am well TIED to our 10 year residence in Levittown where the kids did a lot of their growing up and next to our 17 years up there in Adams where they all finished out their high school days and two daughters married.

Workwise, I still feel a little TIED to friends I worked with in newspapers in all of the mentioned places, some of whom I still hear from on occasion, and the friends I made in those places, church folks, business men and women, the restaurant owners and the politicians, etc.

I am so TIED to a couple of the places I worked that for years after leaving I subscribed to those newspapers and now follow them on the Internet, particularly the birthplace newspaper so I can see by reading the obituaries whom I have out-lived thus far.

And now I feel lovingly TIED to a lovely wife, Lady B , to my children, grandchildren and their spouses iving afar from me a. to a son and his wife, my neighbors here in Hobbs, and lastly, probably the last location of my life, Hobbs, since I've already paid for the cemetery plot next to my deceased loved wife, Gramma Shasta.

- 30 -

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Even Dear Abby . . .

. . . Is Blogging TIES!

I opened this morning's newspaper and lo - there was Dear Abby in the process of blogging, her daily column being on family TIES . Not a column like we bloggers would be writing, however; just a concidental blurb concerning disrupted family groups.

But that's not the topic of this blog tonight, it's the family of the United States Army.

This morning at five, although asleep, I celebrated the 67th aniversary of my entry into the army in World War II. That entity even then had discovered I had weak eyes and turned me down as a draftee about three weeks before on the basis I could not see well enough to be a soldier.

But on the 3rd of February in 1943, after having protested the earlier army decision, I became an enlisted man as compared to a draftee, although my status was still draftee officially.

That morning with dozens of other guys, I entrained to Boston where in short order I was a soldier, was de-frocked, de-haired by a less than cautious barber, and then paraded naked through a convention hall - even in front of grinning nurses - to visit a series of doctors to be pronounced fit to stand in front of an enemy's guns in some far off land to help America be free.

Enough flag-waving. This is where the TIES topic comes into play. It was in Boston that I and the many others with me that day in Beantown became family.

Shipped off to Camp Devens on another train, arriving about midnight and just in time to get stacks of unpeeled potatoes ready for morning breakfast - actually de-nuding them of their skins for hours, we guys then became guys wih TIES that would last several years - and for some much longer.

There you have it - tonight's essay on TIES,

- 30 -

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Beano Hall . . .

. . . TIE Man's Headqarters

Upstairs over the now non-existant Strand Theater one night many years ago I watched my dad open a number of boxes in a back room.

Earlier I'd seen John Maguire, the parcel post man from the post office, carry about a dozen big boxes up the side stairs to the Beano hall and wondered what was happening.

So I went up to the hall and asked Dad what he was doing with all those boxes. He told me they were all full of TIES and showed me a few, blue ones, orange ones, black and white ones, all colors and some with pictures on them.

Dad told me that I was going to be a salesman and I was going to sell TIES along with him. When I asked why, Dad told me that because the economy (I forgot what he called it then) was getting bad, he decided that he had to do a little more to earn money than just working in the post office.

Dad decided people could afford TIES which were very popular about that time and were not expensive and he ordered a few hundred to try selling them.

And then he decided maybe I could help him sell the TIES by going to a lot of my friends and asking them to buy a tie. He gave me about 50 to start and said they cost fifty cents and we would sell them for a dollar each.

If you think I made a mistake in my headline when I wrote BEANO and you thought I meant Bingo, - no, I meant Beano. That was the original word of the game of bingo. When a person played, he or she was using beans to cover squares when numbers were called and when the time was right, he or she yelled BEANO. Nowadays you use ink daubers and yell lBINGO.

Back to my story about the TIES. I got to work right away and the first man I saw without a TIE around his neck was my first customer. I asked him why he didn't have one on and he said because he didn't have one.

Si I handed him one and said now you have a tie and it's only one dollar ---and twenty five cents. He was so surprised he bought the TIE. There was a man with him who decided he ought to have a TIE also.

He picked up a green one and a blue one and asked which would look best on him and I said either one would look good and he could buy both for two dollars and twenty five cents. He did.

A few hours later, after I sold all fifty I had with me, I gave Dad all the money and he said it was more than I should have.

I told him that I sold the TIES for a dallar and a quarter instead of a dollar and also gave some bargains for buying one than one TIE. Dad gave me some of the extra money as "commission."

We sold TIES for a long time and Dad later said "that's why we have meat for dinner more often." and he told me then that a lot of people were doing extra things to have money to feed their families because "we are in a depression."

That back room over the Strand Theater was for a long time the place where TIES were delivered and people called it the TIE man's Headquarters.

- 30 -

Monday, February 1, 2010


. . . To The Decision

Oh, shoot. Might as well do this TIES thing in NaBloPoMo. Wrote down last night the clues I might work on and came up with about a half month's supply.

So I might as well tell you about my early experience with TIES, selling them for a buck apiece with my father all over Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

But the clock says only ten minutes to write, proof and publish before February 1 is done.

For this reason, the TIES tale will be continued Tuesday night.

Thanks to Yarntangler my decision came suddenly as I checked to see if she had written a blog -and it was hilarious. I just had to try to keep up with her - a matter of family TIES you know.

- 30 -