Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Jefferson Strawberry Festival

Hey Gang!
Jefferson Village, Ohio is only a scant 45 miles from my home base in Wickliffe but it seems so much farther. That is not to be taken in a negative way. I mean it as a positive. 45 miles ain’t much but it really did seem like I traveled much further. Things are so much more laid back, at ease and should I say safe in Jefferson compared to the city. I been to Jefferson enough times I even wrote about their Christmas Parade and depot but never spent time just hanging around and getting to know people. It’s a nice place.

I decided to leave at 3 am Saturday instead of trying to wake at 8 so I could arrive by 10 to set up for the Jefferson Strawberry Festival. I got in town around 4:30 went to the police station where it just so happened a cop was in the lot by his car. I asked him where I could park for the night and he said pull back there under the trees. So that’s where I parked for two nights.

The Strawberry Festival is small but they are working on it to improve attendance and the amount of vendors.

The head of the Depot is Jean and Jim Dutton. What terrific people. I don’t think Jean would mind me telling you her age, she is 90. When you see all she has to take care of at the festival and in between she plays the piano her energy is just amazing. And her husband Jim is right alongside her bouncing around greeting people, making sure the vendors are OK and parking cars. I loved their hospitality.

Sunday there was a car show. Instead of parking with the other cars Jim wanted to park the Go-Go Bus closer to the entrance to attract people driving by. There were some really classy cars there so I was honored to park where he wanted me to.

Saturday was successful for book sales, Sunday lacked but it may have been the heat that knocked the attendance down a bit.
All in all what a great time, making new friends is always fun and selling books on top of that made it very successful.

Thanks again Jean & Jim and for the rest of you, go visit the depot, its a throwback in time and Jean and Jim can tell you the story how it all came to be.

. Gotta Go-Go!!

Friday, May 25, 2018

Three vets and my tour

OK four weeks or so later I am writing about my Sunday. I guess daily blogs should be kept up daily unlike mine where there are week long gaps between stories and then those stores are days or weeks late.

Anyway Sunday April the 22nd I was beyond wiped out. So much to do as always but I was drained. What it called for was a jump in the car for a drive. Not a long one just a drive. Ashtabula is where I headed for spaghetti. Italian + Sunday = pasta of some sort.

The place I had in mind was Tony’s Dog house on Lake Ave. As the name suggests it serves hot dogs and other quick fare. But on the weekends Romano, the owner, makes pasta with homemade sauce. Just wonderful. Ruth not wanting pasta made me go across the street to Lakeway Italian Restaurant in Ashtabula that serves mostly homemade food. It’s been there for years, though this would be my first time going there.

 I asked the waitress about the history of the place and other questions. She said you want to know anything about this area, see that gentleman over there, his name is Glenn, just ask him. So that’s what I did. I approached Glenn, asked a few questions and he took me around the restaurant explaining the old pictures of Ashtabula. We exchanged emails with plans to get together in the near future.

After my pizza I still went across the street to Tony’s Dog House for their pasta special. I couldn’t pass it up.

Anyway here is Glenn’s background which I don’t think he would mind at all. It is some resume and why I was wanted to meet up with him again.

To give you some of my background, I have been a baker working in a bakery, set up farm equipment for my father when he sold and serviced J. I. Case farm equipment, served four years in the Air Force maintaining radio ranges, marker beacons, Tacan, and insturment landing systems.
After discharge, worked in molded fiber casting for a short time, then moved on to Davidson Development Electronics, making chassis, wiring many different kinds of specialty equipment.
I have worked as a control operator making Titanium dioxide for about 32 years, and worked in their storeroom putting away parts, issuing parts, and maintaining inventory for about 5 years.
I have volunteered at the Ashtabula Maritime Museum for about 5 or 6 years and was an assistant director for about 2 of those years.
Now, have been with D-DAY, OHIO going to 6th year helping to maintain and operate one of their 2 Higgins landing craft and helping in Conneaut's D-DAY Museum.
My hobbies are woodworking and genealogy.

Let’s fast forward….
Yesterday Thursday May 25th I met with Glenn. Driving up from Hermitage, Pa to join us was Vince and his friend Tim. All three served in the military during the Vietnam years. Sometimes I know when to just sit back and listen; this was one of those times. There was a lot of reminiscing amongst them coupled with their knowledge I was just taking it all in. What a great meeting.

Bringing home a Korean War vet

The food at Lakeway was terrific, hey homemade cavatelli with meatball, wow, had to throw in another food commercial.

Now a couple of Careyism’s.
I am not sure the order if it was my friend John giving me two WWII era cots or if I met Glenn first who told me he was involved with the D Day reenactment and the D Day museum in Conneaut, Ohio. Regardless it doesn't really matter which came first it was back to back. I mean what is the chance of getting your hands on old army cots then meeting someone involved with a WWII museum?Again this happened back to back.

So I brought the cots along with me to the meeting so I could donate them to the museum Glenn is involved with. He said I am not sure if the cots will fit in my car. I replied just tell me where you want the cots and I can deliver. Glenn suggested let’s try the museum, it’s closed today but maybe we will get lucky and someone will be there if not we can leave the cots at my sons.
I told Glenn leave your car and I will drive. I was glad Glenn agreed to come along in my vehicle. I was given a tour of the harbor, given an up-close look at a Higgen’s boat and on top of that when we arrived at the museum the chairman was there. I was able to donate the cots, have my picture taken and just hang out. What a great experience.

Well enough of my rambling, look at the photos and watch the videos for the rest of the story.
Thank you Glenn for a terrific afternoon!

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Mike and Donna's Wedding Ceremony

Hey Gang!
One of the captions for a photo in my newest book "Cruising Across America" is never pass an opportunity to expand your horizons.  So when I was asked to officiate and come up with the words for a civil ceremony I didn't pass it up. I was nervous but excited to be asked.

They requested that it would be short and concise. These are the words I came up with, though I did ad lib freely when I spoke it.

Friends of Mike and Donna thank you for coming.

When I was asked to do this I said without hesitation "Sure, Mike has always been a gentleman to me and Donna, well we always kid each other and have fun, I enjoy being around her."

Because of reasons that preclude Mike and Donna from legally getting married we are gathered here to witness this civil ceremony which was put together by Jamie.

But does a lack of a government issued license make Mike and Donna's union or marriage any less binding? No not at all.

In the Garden of Eden when God put together the first couple, Adam and Eve, God didn't tell them to go to city hall for a license. God just introduced them and said "Here is your mate"!

And after 14 years of Mike and Donna being together I think we can all agree that God put this couple together.

Not only that but a promise to God has way more merit than one made to the government.

Mike before the vows would you like to say anything to Donna?

Donna before the vows would you like to say anything to Mike?

We will now say your vows.

Michael do you take Donna to be your wife?
Do you promise to love, honor, cherish, continue to be her mate and companion?

Donna do you take Michael to be your husband?
Do you promise to love, honor, cherish, continue to be his mate and companion?

Mike ready to put the ring on Donna? I Mike take Donna to have and to hold, to love and cherish from this day forward until death do us part.

Donna ready to put the ring on Mike?
I Donna take Mike to have and to hold, to love and cherish from this day forward until death do us part.

As God is our witness and everyone who attended - Mike and Donna you are now husband and wife!

As I wrote above I was nervous thinking about doing it but once it was completed I felt great partaking in such a memorable event.

After the cake it was time to head outside so the couple could release their balloons. I told Ruth beforehand to sneak off and buy some bird seeds to toss at the couple. Today it is no longer in vogue to toss rice, releasing balloons to me is just not the same, bird seed is much closer to tradition. Too be honest, I am not sure if this is something I seen before or something that just jumped into mind.

One of the things I like to do when I am charge of events or asked to participate is watch how people react. I have been told, sometimes people think I still act somewhat immature. They don't get it. I enjoy life. Maybe this was instilled in me by my parents, by God or maybe both. Age has no bearing on having fun. Regardless I opened the bag of seeds while still in the restaurant not thinking. I told everyone to grab a handful. We had seeds falling everywhere. Walking out I asked the patrons not with us if they wanted any birdseed. Blank stares was the only reply I got.

Once outside we started tossing the seeds at each other. That's when I took a step back and watched. People who are normally way more reserved were at first hesitant then they got into the act. I marveled at how fun and silly everyone was acting. I said hey do you know we are tossing more seeds at each other than the couple? It was a great natural high, just a lot of fun with the energy lingering until we left.

Question: I've wondered since I've only been to white weddings in the past where white rice was thrown, but what about at black weddings, do they throw brown rice? Just wondering, don't throw bricks at me, bird seeds will do.

Gotta Go-Go!

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Walmartians and the brazen theft gone bad

Timing, what timing, seems like I have been blessed with timing even though I run late all the time, I have the uncanny ability to be at the right place or wrong place at the right time.

For instance today after work at about 3 am I went to the communist store (Walmart) in Eastlake for some junk food - a jar of honey, loaf of potato bread and organic apple cider vinegar (just kiddin' there folks).

I asked the lady who was playing watchman over the scan n go to help me out. I told her "I hate these self-checkouts, one time I noticed when I got home that I got free milk, for some reason it didn’t scan, so what happens if this should occur again, who is going to believe it happened by accident if someone should stop me"?

So after the worker checked me out, um I mean the items, we noticed a woman with a cart half-filled proceed to exit the store. The worker yelled "Hey, stop, excuse me, lady, STOP"!

The zombie like Walmartian kept on briskly walking the cart right out the door into the parking lot. She didn’t panic, no look up to see who was yelling at her, just a steady brisk pace out the door.

I followed the worker to the parking lot and said loudly “This ticks me off, man does this make me mad.” The worker put her hands on her hips and just stared then said "I can’t even call the cops because my cell phone is inside.” I said "Here use mine.” After figuring out how to use an older flip phone, Melissa the worker, reached the Eastlake police.

She gave a play by play of what the Walmartian was doing. The zombie like thief kept on going with the cart to the opposite side of the parking lot when suddenly out of nowhere a car zoomed up, doors flew open, stolen goods thrown in, and in the back seat plopped the free loader.

The getaway vehicle took off but within seconds three patrol cars chased it down. On my way out I drove past the cart which still had some goods in to so I returned and told Melissa. 

I went home the same way as the mad dashers and the boys in blue went. Sure enough the car was swarmed with the law.

So it infuriates me, really infuriates me.
1. These no gooders could eventually cause a store to close or alter their hours because of these kinds of heists.
2. It causes increases in prices
3. It could cause our stores in America to turn into third world fortresses with armed guards checking you as you enter and leave a store.

Here I am so concerned I may walk out unintentionally with a gallon of free milk but there are those who are now so brazen they don't even hide what they are stealing or doing.
I would love to throw the book at these scum and if I had my book in hand I would have.

Gotta Go-Go!

Sunday, December 10, 2017

The Cleveland Browns gave to me

How many renditions of the Twelve Day of Christmas are there? I know I must have written at least 6.  Well here is another.
Not the best but had fun writing it.

It was the first game of the season and the Cleveland Browns gave to me
A 21 to 18 loss - to Pittsburgh

It was the second game of the season and the Cleveland Browns gave to me
A beating from the ole Browns and a loss

It was the third game of the season and the Cleveland Browns gave to me
A 15 road game losing streak and a loss

It was the fourth game of the season and the Cleveland Browns gave to me
Sole possession of last place and a loss

It was the fifth game of the season and the Cleveland Browns gave to me
2 missed field goals, 3 bloody turnovers and a loss

It was the sixth game of the season and the Cleveland Browns gave to me
Another brutal beating and a loss

It was the seventh game of the season and the Cleveland Browns gave to me
A Joe Thomas injury, Kizer getting benched and a loss

It was the eighth game of the season and the Cleveland Browns gave to me
A game in faraway England so I wouldn’t see them lose and a loss

It was the ninth game of the season and the Cleveland Browns gave to me
A losing record for the 10th consecutive season and a loss

It was the tenth game of the season and the Cleveland Browns gave to me
2 interceptions, 2 Kizer fumbles; 5 lousy turnovers and a loss

It was the eleventh game of the season and the Cleveland Browns gave to me
Elimination from the play offs and a loss

It was the twelfth game of the season and the Cleveland Browns gave to me
The worst 28 game start ever and a loss

It was the thirteenth game of the season and the Cleveland Browns gave to me
A refund on my season tickets, an apology from the commissioner and a loss

It was the fourteenth game of the season and the Cleveland Browns gave to me
An autograph from Bill Belichick a Tom Brady jersey and a loss

It was the fifteenth game of the season and the Cleveland Browns gave to me
Who cares, what’s a Brown anyway and a loss

It was the last game of the season the Cleveland Browns better lose
I want to see the only 0-16 parade and a loss

Carey On...

Friday, December 8, 2017

Christmas Day Trips 2017

Thank you to everyone who attended the Christmas Day Trips I planned to Amish Country (Wayne and Holmes County) the last two weekends.

I should not be so boo hiss of the changes I have seen through the years with seldom if ever an improvement from how things were. I need to enjoy these places now as is because for those who attend these trips there are some who have never experienced these areas before so to them it’s new and refreshing.
But dang blasted I miss yesteryear when my parents traveled down to these parts many years before made in China stickers were found on any goods.

Lehman’s Hardware is one such place that was turned into a tourist trap. The store still has nice merchandise with some unique items but prices are quite high with those dreaded made in China labels on many things.
Even the snack bar when I inquired if the eggs were real the answer was well they are pre-scrambled which is the only way we serve them.
We opted to go elsewhere to eat.

Enough of that, let’s talk about the good. Well except for poor Walt, he got sick. While he rested and recovered which he did miraculously the rest of us enjoyed a museum, found food which the museum recommended and enjoyed a cow auction.

The museum was the Kidron Community Historical Society located in the village of Kidron in Wayne County next to Lehman’s Hardware. It was free, friendly people manning it and quite a bit to look at. They will even do a free genealogy which does no good if you are of any ancestry other than Swiss.

The recommended restaurant next door was in a basement of a grocery store/shoe store called Kidron Town & Country which I believe was also the name of the restaurant.
Now this is a real throwback place, nothing fancy but good food with affordable prices.
Walking back to our vehicles we stopped in the Kidron Auction billed as Ohio’s oldest livestock market. If the restaurant is a throwback then this is a double throwback. Only Cassie, Danni and I went in. The all-male Amish crowd with a few young ones all turned and looked at us.

The building is all wood and shaped like a mini arena that is kind of steep with the back half squared off with a door for the livestock to come out and another door for them to exit. The auctioneer is set up over the little pen with someone in the pit directing the cows out with a whip to keep them moving so you can see if they are lively or not; very interesting experience.

From there we ventured to Guggisberg Cheese for what else but cheese.

Then it was onto Berlin for their Nativity Parade which I won’t write about. You can either scroll through my blog as I wrote about it before or wait for my second book which includes a write up about it or do an online search.

For the second Saturday it was a small group. I was about to cancel when Walt called and said hey me and Dani are coming. So it was off to Zoar. I like larger group outings but when there are only a few you can go so much faster and see more things. So it’s a trade off.

We arrived in Zoar a bit late but I still saw things I didn’t in previous trips and Dani and Walt loved it. I like this festival/Christmas event.
Again I won’t write about because I have blogged about this in the past.

After Zoar it was onto Walnut Creek for their Christmas event Journey into Bethlehem.
Now this was fun.
They have a route mapped out for you where you follow the path of Christ’s birth. The scenes are set up in different locations inside of stores and hotels with the last stop at a farm called The Farm at Walnut Creek. I was there this past summer.
It is something to see Amish folk with their accent dressed up like the 3 wise men and biblical characters.

The last stop after the manger scene is a horse drawn wagon ride to a large house where they had open house. Snacks and drinks were served and they allowed you to tour the house.

Jeff told me about this event and at the entrance to the manger scene we ran into him. So that was nice.

Not many pictures were taken. Amish frown on having their photos snapped so I took what I could. Or were they Mennonites?
All of these events are small town America, hokey, simple and fun. Different and laid back.

Gotta Go-Go!

Monday, October 2, 2017

Ark Encounter, the Great Eclipse, Falls and More Part 7

Hey Gang,
some photos, for the whole store get a copy of "Cruising Across America"!

. Gotta GoGo!