Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Its so quiet!

Hey Gang,

Wow is it quiet, where is everyone? People are always popping in on me. Especially during the Christmas season I usually hear from old friends and acquaintances. But lately no one, not even emails, well a few of you are still emailing. I got a card from Ed in WV, Lisa in Erie, and Connie from NC who said she is not online much anymore and recently bought a house. But I wonder what happened to the rest, like Mark in Indiana, Brenda from NC, Margaret, Michelle from the Philippines, Lisa in Alabama to name a few.
Maybe my rants and mood swings got to everyone, maybe its the economy and the direction our country has taken that has everyone stressed, maybe everyone is taking a break or people have just moved on. Maybe I should take this quiet and just blog and have people follow me over there. Who knows.
You have heard me say this before, its hard to write when little comes across my screen, that and I have been staying home a whole lot more.

I ran into Walt and his youngest daughter Danny at the mall the other day. Danny reminded me that this year don't use regular socks, use socks like Santa brings. Every year I like to bring Walt's kids a gift and a Christmas stocking filled with little trinkets and candy. Last year instead of the typical fuzzy red Christmas stocking I bought regular mens socks. Hey its not the socks - its what's in the socks that count.

One person I have heard from is Tri from Indonesia. She IM'd the other day. Haven't heard from her in some time. She is quite an inspiration. How many of you would do this for a sister? Tri's dad passed away years ago and her Mother took off and left Tri and her sister alone. Tri raised her sister. This year the sister will being going to college and Tri said she will have to find another job to help pay for the schooling and even though she is feeling down she needs to remain strong for her sister.
So would you do that for a sibling, especially one of age?

I want so bad to scream and kick everyone who is in charge of this country, past and present. Ruth and I had planned months ago and worked diligently for her to come here for a Christmas visit. I changed my schedule, saved up money to help with her airfare, planned with my sister so Ruth could stay there. Ruth and I were on the computer for HOURS researching on what to do. I stayed up way past my bedtime, not getting to bed till 7 am. Ruth paid the passport fee, got a security check, paid for the visa, scheduled her appointment with the US embassy. Ruth lives in the southern part of the Philippines and had to fly north to Manilla for the meeting. She arrived in Manilla a day early to make sure she wouldn't miss the appointment, arrived at the US Embassy on time at 8 am, waited four hours in line for a one minute interview just for them to tell her she is denied. I am so fuming mad!
Walt reminded me of a video clip I sent out of Lou Dobbs. The clip was about Lou's anger towards amnesty and rights for illegals. He said if you are trying to get to this country legally, get to the back of the line suckers! And thats exactly how I feel. There is NO reason for someone as Ruth to be denied. Her dad was a minister, NO record of any kind, she has worked at the same school since 1994 and has been that schools principal since 2005. Its twisted.

I will close with....
This time of year there are many of us alone and feeling the emptiness of the season. So if you know of someone alone, an elderly person, someone disabled, our troops over seas or even if its a long forgotten friend, get in touch with that person. It will do a world of good for your soul as well as the other person.

Gotta GoGo!!

I sent this same request out last year. If you have a Christmas memory you would like to share please email and I will include it in the next writing.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

good news, encouraging words and a prayer request

Hey Gang,
Some good news here. Last week I got a bit of a surprise.
I was behind on my taxes for the last half of the year 2008. I just did not have the money. The IRS kept sending me notices with interest and a fine being added to the amount owed. There was nothing I could do, there were NO extra funds available. I managed to save up $340.00 of the $595 I owed the last few months and was going to mail that in but I decided to wait until I had the full amount saved.
Well last week I received a certified letter from the IRS demanding that I contact them before further actions are taken. So I called them to make arrangements. I asked the agent is there anyway to get this reduced? He said let me take a look, give me a few minutes. He returned and said "Because of your excellent credit, past history of timely payments and never missing one, we will reduce it to $332.95." He was probably shocked as I am sure not many IRS agents get thanked but boy did I thank him and wish him a merry Christmas. I immediately mailed in the $340.00 I saved.
Things are starting to change for the better. I have 2 great tenants now, business has slightly picked up even though this month its down again and I only have 2 more outstanding debts left from my nephew. If Euclid will allow me to run my own affairs without interfering I will survive this mess.
I thank all of you for your prayers, encouragement, and those who pitched in financially to right my ship and a special thank you to Walt.

Encouraging Words
During this recession/depression one scripture I keep in mind is Proverbs 10:3
(NIV):The LORD does not let the righteous go hungry but he thwarts the craving of the wicked.

I was discussing this scripture with a friend who's business is also sluggish and income is lacking. I said God never promised us a Cadillac but he did say we wouldn't go hungry.

Sign of the times
I received a Christmas card from Ed in West Virginia. He usually writes a long message not this year. All Ed wrote was:
Hi Carey, Merry Christmas - I'm OK & still working.
Just a sign of the times.

A prayer request from Shirl in Kentucky
Carey, will you send out a prayer request for my daughter Patty ... she is having financial problems and needs to find work ...
Thanks Pal
I just did Shirl. Share this with Patty it may encourage her.

Gotta GoGo

Sunday, December 6, 2009

A Careyism - photos of the dead mall, Euclid Square Mall

Hey Gang,
I don't know what else to call it a Careyism, a coincidence but these things always always
happen to me. Maybe I should play the lottery.
Yesterday my niece Crystal sent me a You Tube clip titled Euclid Square Mall (the dead
mall). I sent it to some of you. The clip is very eery. A mall that was once so alive filled with
shoppers, so vibrant with trend setting shops, elegant fountains, mall shows and now it is
mostly abandoned with the surrounding stores also boarded up.
Well Friday I was looking for an auction to attend to pick up some gifts for the holidays.
The auction I had in mind was Hamilton's of Ashtabula because they sell newer merchandise
from buyouts of stores. I did an online search and the first listing that came up for
Hamilton's was an auction being held right here in Euclid at, yes you guessed it,
Euclid Square Mall.
I brought along my camera in hopes that I could snap some photos. I am glad I did.
The mall is virtually shut down. Dillards outlet that once was Dillards and before that was
Higbees, an upscale department store exclusive to Cleveland till the
late 80's
('s) was one of two anchor stores for Euclid Square
Mall, is still in business along with eleven churches. Thats it besides the auction that
opened six months ago.
Such a strange feeling to be inside a place that I use to hang out as a teenager now
all desolate and quiet. Maybe the 11 churches can start a revival.
Gotta GoGo!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Thanksgiving and reverse speech

Hey Gang,
This is how we spent our Thanksgiving evening, playing with reverse speech.
Reverse Speech
After Thanksgiving dinner, discussing life and playing a few games my sister wanted me to show our brother on the computer the clip of President Obama and the speech reversal of him saying Satan. The clip used the program Audacity to reverse the speech. After watching our Godless leader my other sister Candi said we have that program, never knew what it was for. She quickly brought the program up and spoke into the mic "By Jesus's stripes we are healed....."
Before I go further let me quickly give you some background into my sisters family. My brother in law has MS and him and my nieces have other serious health issues.
Well when my sister Candi reversed what she said I heard it immediately over the TV and the noise in the room. Her words backwards said "Sickness as usual". I was stunned but didn't say anything in hopes I was wrong. Everyone got quiet she played it again and we ALL heard it.
Mom tried a few sentences and nothing. I said Mom you need to speak from the heart. So I said say what you always tell me, Carey did you eat yet? I could be in the shower, it could be after a meal, I could be sleeping and Mom is always asking Carey did you eat yet. Well guess what it said backwards? START TO EAT YOU IDIOT!!! We laughed so hard, it was great.
So then Dad spoke into the mic. He said how much he loves us and what and how much we mean to him. Played backwards it said We love you!
No joking, we all heard it.
Mom tried it again and said this time Pezza Di Face (sp?) why are you always doing stupid things? In reverse, we heard the word Nazi and Tony. The significance? My mom always calls Dad, jokingly, Hitler and my Dads fathers name was.... Tony!
I could explain how and why this works but thats for another email. Just remember we are spiritual beings.
Gotta GoGo!!

for those who want to look at the links again of the backwards speech:

Some Careyism's for you

Hey Gang,
Hope everyones Thanksgiving was wonderful. I have more important things to write about but someone said haven't received anything from you in awhile so taking a break to send you these Careyism's.

Home Church
Wednesday the 18th Dov invited me to the house church he attends. Its a small gathering, up to about 10 people. Dov had asked me to attend before but I was always busy. This time I was available so accepted the invite. At this home church they start their bible/prayer service with supper. We were already seated and eating when another member, Stan, arrived. He looked at me and said "Are you the politician"? I was surprised to say the least. I wasn't sure how he knew.
After supper we gathered in the living room. Stan started it off. He said that since they started this home church he has been keeping track of the people they have been praying for. He brought along his note book and a print out sheet for everyone to take home of the prayer requests. He read the requests out loud and lo and behold my name was on the list. I asked do they do this all the time? Stan said no it was something that was on my heart. What timing that the day I decide to attend I get to hear my name mentioned and meet strangers who were praying for me. I was so encouraged and blessed by it. I must add, it was Dov who had asked for prayers for me. Thanks Dov.

The Filipino and the Philippines
As everyone knows I have been in touch with Ruth from the Philippines for sometime now. She is trying to come for a visit. My sister Cindi is a nurse and works with several doctors who are Filipino's. These doctors are hosting a benefit at the Marriot in Beachwood on Dece. 12th to help the Philippines. Cindi received 4 tickets to attend and asked me if I wanted to go. I thought it was just a neat coincidence talking to someone from the Philippines and then being invited to a fund raiser for the Philippines.

Gotta GoGo!!

Friday, November 27, 2009

A Hey Gang HAPPY Thanksgiving

Hey Gang,
Our Hey Gang tradition goes on, missed a few years since I started this way back in about 2002 and usually its a bit late in sending it out so you may get part 2 for the late responses. Regardless here is 2009's Hey Gang Thanksgiving Thank List. Does that sound right? Maybe have to work on it.
Thanks Family and Friends for support and keeping up with my ups and downs.

Ruth A. from the Philippines writes:
God's financial provision on time and friends, guidance, strength in work, good health.

Shirl in Ky is thankful for:
I have so many I could write a book but my relationship with God that's my most one and thankful for my family, thankful for all the blessings God has bestowed on me

Nick in Florida writes: that my relationship with god has blessed me to the point i am at the right places at the right time doing the right thing.

I am thankful for God's saving grace. I also am so very thankful that God protects our family from harm, and has blessed us with good health. We are also blessed with good friends and family.
Be blessed,

I'm thankful for my family, health, & all this food we are about to consume.
Also for the freedoms we have, to write this email anyway I see fit, & to own firearms to protect all of are freedoms. Thank you NRA!!!
Thank you Lord for our brave men & women fighting to keep us safe & free!!! John in Maine

I am thankful for today, my favorite day of the year.
I am thankful for all my family that I will make holiday with today.
I am thankful for the good health that my family has been blessed with.
I am thankful for all the blessings I have been received of. Vince in Pa.

I am thankful for friends like you. :o) Happy Thanksgiving Carey!!! Happy Thanksgiving to your family too!

Yes I am thankful for many things. Here is a partial list:
a) I am thankful to be alive after my bout with h1n1 flu
b) I am thankful I am getting an advanced education making me a better person and voter.
c) I am thankful for all the positive work success and things that happened with Cutco.
d) I am thankful that the people finally passed a casino issue in Ohio.
e) I am thankful for the positive people in my life such as you and James Taylor.
f) I am thankful that I have an ability to help others when they need it.
g) I am thankful that I have goals and visions to strive for.

I know there can be more to add to it, but like I said this is a quick list. I do hope you and your family have a very happy Thanksgiving.
Joe U.

for the fact i'm still here to see my grand kids and family and friends. especially crazy people like you to keep me going. have a great holiday carey. dave in andover

The New Boy in my Household / Jim's New Girlfriend / A wife, place to live, my Job, & Salvation! Rich A.


My four boys are together for Thanksgiving again, and last night while they were on the floor playing cards and laughing like fools, tears came to my eyes. I am thankful for my wonderful sons and for their father who helped shape them into the fine young men they are.

I am also thankful for all the very good people who got us through the loss of our daughter this year. Friends multiply our joy and divide our sorrow.

Blessings on your day,
- Dawn Slike

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

its been awhile

Hey Gang?
Yes, I know its been awhile. And lately my responding has been even slower than usual, had a nasty virus in my comp which I'm almost positive I have rid myself of.
The past week or so quite a few friends have reappeared. Megan emailed and said she is on vacation in Fenton, Michigan, a little below Flint, and said give a call so we can get caught up.
Gary IM'd me with some sad news. His brother Bill has had two strokes and a heart attack, he is only 41.
Gwen has been emailing more as of late, she is back in St. Louis.
We had Uncle Akky's 60th B'day at Pettis Pizza. Have you ever seen an Italian Birthday Cake? Well look at the photo. Hey I planned it where else do you think I would of taken him, a polish restaurant. Besides candles in a kielbasa just wouldn't look right.
Went to the Coast to Coast meeting last night. A medium was the guest speaker. She said one very profound thing. She said soon its going to get cold, and its going to stay that way for the next three months so get your snow shovels ready and be prepared. I replied yes, we call that winter. I told you it was profound.
They also talked about this Shaman which brought to mind the story of the Shaman who hated to be hugged. In fact they warned you when you talk to him Please don't squeeze the Shaman!
I received a letter from a Bob H. in Marietta, Ga.. Back in 2001 he had bought an item from me on eBay. He had mailed back the refund check I sent him for an over charge on the shipping. The amount is not that great but he apologized for not cashing it and said you were honest enough to mail a refund that it should be back in your hands. At that time he had several deaths in the family. Yes there is still honest caring people in this world, thank you Bob! Now I can finally solve the mystery of why my check book never balanced all these years.
At the health care forum I attended a few weeks ago I met a fine Italian gentleman named Joseph De Rubertis. He is 88 years old and served in WWII. His passion for this country is still strong and would put many a young men to shame.
I will just share with you the first couple of sentences of the letter he mailed me. It reads:
.... I am not fond of what is going on in Washington. Our country is in bad shape and it is up to us to fight back. HELLO OUT THERE!!! This is from someone who is 88! Rise up people or forever lose your freedom! Anyone who is interested in reading Joe's letter please let me know I will make a copy for you, I am sure he would not mind as long as I omit his contact info. Its something you should read, especially the vets on my list. I am very impressed with Joe's writing. I salute you Joe!
Rich and Suzanne had their baby last month. A boy named David Rueben, 7 pounds - 11 ounces. They have already taken him on two trips. Last weekend they were in NY City and then New Hampshire.
Went to Walt's small Halloween party. Mostly family though I did dress. I think my costume should of won a major award, well at least honorable mention.
Emily has asked for prayers as she has a job interview today and desperately needs it.
Friends let know who wants to stay on the prayer request list. People have come and gone in the last year. Many of us are tied up with trying to make ends meet. The mood hasn't been as jovial. For the new comers, friends and acquaintances send me prayer requests and I pass them on. Let me know who wants to stay.
Enjoy the photo's.

Gotta GoGo!!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Bridge Project

Hey Gang,
A quick postingl with some photos from a few weekends ago of the Bridge Project. I want to thank Sharon for posting this event on the GoGo Board. This is an event everyone should see at least once.
The Bridge Project is held on the lower level of the Detroit/Superior bridge in downtown Cleveland. This is where the old trolley cars use to run. I was so completely amazed at how much space is below ground. I never knew that Cleveland at one time had a subway, at least parts of it were underground.
Dad remembers it vaguely as a kid. My grandfather never had a car and they would take the trolley to the zoo and to get around Cleveland. Dad said it would be scary going over the bridge as they would sit near the back and were able to look down through the grating at the river way below.
What I completely don't understand is the lameness of Cleveland. They are trying to come up with all kinds of ways for mass transit and the push today is for electric vehicles, well why don't they just refurbish the old street car lines? I just don't get it, the structure is already in place.
You really need to experience this event. Its very hard to describe. Just walking around looking at the massiveness and details of the pillars and work is something to behold. The condition and the eeriness reminded me of the Mansfield Reformatory. The craftsmanship of years ago is such a lost art, never again to be duplicated.
Something else got my attention that to me strikes down the theory of the earth being millions of years old. Hanging from the roof of the lower level were stalactites. They were about 15 inches or so long. Now if they could grow that long in a relatively short period of time, think of how fast they could grow underground with the right conditions.
As for the art, entertainment and oddball displays it was completely eclectic. There were a couple of stages set up for bands, one band was conventional, the other was pots and pans. There was a small stage set up for plays. A few sitting rooms that you can't quite explain the inspiration for their design. A Dj playing rave music. Beer, hot dog and food stands. Weird old movies playing from projectors being shown on the walls. Just very odd and so amusing the different styles of entertainment. One person had a neat novel idea. He set up a microphone and video camera and if you told a joke he would give you a nickel. It was to promote his website service. Here is the link:
See if you can find me telling two of my Carey originals. If you can't spot me I will tell
the number.
The atmosphere was almost Goth in feel because of the lighting and condition, sort of like those futuristic movies where everything is destroyed and people are making the most what they have. Just a very fun and entertaining evening that broke the monotony of the norm.
Why Cleveland didn't promote this more is beyond me. Make plans for next year and attend it, you won't be disappointed.

Gotta GoGo!!

Monday, September 28, 2009

As one season ends......

Hey Gang,
Ahhh yes.... the unmistakeable joy of being a Cleveland sports fan. While one highly successful season ends - another one is under way, in case you haven't guessed I am being facetious.
Wednesday Walt had extra tickets to see the Indians play. Wonder why he had extra's? He won them at the Painesville Speedway raffle. I asked you sure it wasn't a booby prize? To make matters worse, he won two sets of tickets. Well I couldn't let Walt sit alone watching the pathetic tribe so I went along.
Gosh was the place empty. We guesstimated ohhhhh maybe 8,000, MAYBE. It was funny, everyone we asked didn't pay for their tickets. This couple behind us said their place of employment had 100 tickets for the employees but they still were left with 75.
The fans who did not attend missed out because the Indians didn't disappoint, they put on another stellar performance losing the game only by a few runs, 11 to 3. Very close.
If you aren't from Cleveland you don't understand the game plan. Its called the 5 year plan. Every 5 years they trade all their good players and rebuild. And then they tell us BOY just wait in 5 years this teem will be good and then they trade all the good players away and on and on it goes.
I still think its a debt Cleveland owes to organized crime. OK we let you win in '48 and let you get close in the 90's but you still owe us your good players - Capeesh?
I mean it was weird, who were these new guys? I saw only one name I recognized, Hafner, now why didn't they ship him out? Simple, he fits in with the scheme of things, non productive.
If that wasn't bad enough watching this horrible rendition of the movie Major league as we were leaving they gave me a schedule for next year. I asked the guy you mean they are coming back, how insulting?
And so it goes but lets not lose heart, we still have the Browns, and if all goes well, we may win a game.
As that old over used saying goes, Go Tribe and take the Browns with you but please do it soon we could use that stadium for a good flea market.

Gotta GoGo!!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Mansfield Reformatory - Church

Hey Gang,
This segment is about religion and the churches in the reformatory, yes churches, it had two.
The reformatory was grandly and elegantly built in the belief it would help sway the incarcerated back to the straight and narrow. In the early years it was mostly Protestant so it had only one church. As the years went by and the beliefs of the incoming inmates changed another church was added, a Catholic church.
The Protestant church is ONE HUGE ROOM! In fact, it could stand alone as church. It has a HIGH ceiling and at one time had a balcony. If I heard correctly for the choir. Time as taken its toll on it. Very little is left. A few pews and a few panels of stained glass windows showing the way of the cross. It must of been a sight to see in the early years. Later on it was converted for other purposes, one was a game room. Its amazing how religion played a part in trying to reform the prisoners and then years later as the prisoners became more hardened church was abandoned in favor of games.
The Catholic church is much smaller and not much remains of when it was a church so its hard to tell what it was like.
A Chaplain was also always on duty for counseling, not sure though if this continued up until the prison's closing.
Even though church and religion was not as promoted as in the beginning you can still find in many of the cells religious reading material, bibles, booklets and books that were left behind.
The other thing you find a lot of in the cells is cigarette packs.
And if you put them together you know what you get, don't you? Well you get a Holy Smoke!
Enjoy the photos.

Gotta GoGo!!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Mansfield Scene Two

Hey Gang,
So everyone is wanting to know if we seen any ghosts. Should I jump ahead and tell you? I guess I should. Nope. OK I know its kind of anti-climatic now but the rest still makes good reading. Well you know what? In a way we did see a ghostly figure.
Our tour guide gave us a very brief tour of the house just enough for us to understand the lay out. In the rooms she did take us she would give a short talk of what the room was used for and what went on in it.
We went to the shower room where the guide insists a ghost that she named Mr. Anderson appears and answers questions. She was giving a demonstration of how to use divining rods to locate ghosts and spirits. Not sure how it's exactly done as I watched intently her fingers and did not see her roll them to move the rod. My friend Emerson in Southern Ohio insists he can locate water using a diving rod.
Anyway she asked Mr. Anderson are you in the room? The one rod swung to her left. She asked him a few questions and he didn't answer. Then she said if you hold them over most people's heads the rods will move. So she held it over Jeff's head and the rods crossed. Well right when she did it a lady snapped a photo. Its in this photo over Jeff's head you can see a figure. I asked the lady please email it to me, unfortunately she hasn't yet. BUT we all seen it. Wonder how this makes Jeff feel?
Now about those showers. This is gross. The men were allowed one shower every Saturday and only had one minute to take it. Thats punishment enough. Then I asked what did they use for toilets in the early years? Each cell had a pot and the last man in the cell at night had to empty it in the morning. Can you imagine 1,300 prisoners in a place with no air, very very cramped cells and a 60 second shower once a week?
Then can you imagine each cell with a full pot? Do you know what the place must of smelled like? OH MY!!!!
If there is a ghost from the early years lurking around his name would have to be

Gotta GoGo!!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Mansfield Opening Scene

Hey Gang,
After a wonderful stroll through the grounds of Kingwood enjoying Gods beauty and then a delightful supper in Block House park reminiscing we made our way to the Mansfield Reformatory. We got directions that were a bit wrong so asked someone else. I also asked this other person is there a store before the prison. He said look for Longview Ave.. We continued on our way and BAM! there was the reformatory. It was just an awesome eery sight. It sits alone and is so HUGE and GOTHIC looking it sent chills up us. We couldn't believe that we were going to tour it and in the dark. What made it even spookier is that it's right next to the new prison. I didn't know this at the time but I took a photo of the new penitentiary. Later on our guide told us it is a state law you CAN NOT TAKE ANY PHOTOS OF THE NEW PRISON, they will fine you and confiscate your camera - WHOOPS to late!
We got to the reformatory a bit to early so continued our search for Longview Ave and a store. We drove a few miles and realized this was heading us way out of Mansfield so turned around. We ended up back where we asked for directions and the name of that short street was - Longview Ave.. That screwball toyed with us. We eventually found a store. On the way back we were running late so asked for directions instead of possibly getting lost. This lady we asked was so polite and helpful she said follow me and took us right to the Mansfield Reformatory drive and then gave us directions how to head home. Thanks again lady whoever you are.
The crowd for this event was about 45. Some were giggling as we were anticipating what lys beyond the huge doors. Others had all kinds of equipment. Some in black, some dressed in military boots and pants. We had to sign a waiver. I took my turn and of course being as serious as I am read CONDITIONS: I wrote, warm and slightly humid, SELF CONDITIONS: I wrote again warm and slightly humid. The lady looked at me as if I was whacked. Well she didn't explain what they meant by conditions.
Now this is the honest truth, I don't fabricate things or lie plus there was my sister, Jeff and the crowd to verify this.
We lined up for the presentation given by Sherry the Ghost Hunter and just as she said OK everyone gather around, a bat flew out of the entrance to the place and disappeared! YES! My sister kept asking I want to know where the bat went? I'm telling you a better opening script couldn't of been written. WHERE DID THAT BAT GO????
To be continued....
Gotta GoGo!!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

How was the Mansfield trip?

Hey Gang,
How was the Mansfield trip? Thanks, glad you asked.
I thought the mysterious ailment of the GoGo Bus was an omen of things to come, but it wasn't. We were suppose to take it but the charging system went haywire. The last time I drove the Bus about 3 weeks ago it ran like new. I noticed the interior lights wouldn't come on, I thought I left the radio playing. To make a long story short, both batteries were completely drained and the alternator is shot. This will be the third time the alternator has been fixed in about 4 months. Somewhere there is a gremlin in the system. BUT how does all 3 go bad sitting???
Besides the last minute switcharoo of which car to take everything went perfectly well. Mansfield is only about 95 miles from my place. I missed the exit so took the second one a few miles down but it actually helped because it put us on the correct route for Kingwood Gardens. We stopped at a little coffee shop/burger joint once in town for coffee and directions. I asked for ice in my cup and the lady said you want rice in your coffee? OK had to add that as it made us and the patrons in the place laugh. My inner compass worked again as we were on the right road and less then 4 miles from the gardens. Who needs GPS?
My memory did not serve me as well though as Kingwood was much different then the scant memories I had. About the only thing I remember is the greenhouse and all the flowers. Dad would of been disappointed. Dad told me when he first brought us there it was meticulously manicured, not a blade of grass out of place. Then a few years later we went again and it wasn't as cared for. Don't get me wrong, the gardens are far from shabby or neglected, just not at the high level of maintenance my Dad recalls.
But taking into consideration that the gardens and mansion is still free and all the work done on the grounds is all volunteer paid for by donations and membership, its amazing. If you get the chance you need to see it now because they are already having to cut certain things and it might not be long before an admittance fee is charged.
Kingwood Center is a 47 acre display garden and the mansion is 22,000 sq. ft.. They only have the first and second floor open but its worth a visit. Mr. King was President and Chairman of the Board for Ohio Brass Co..
After the garden tour we found the park Dad took us to. My memory failed again as I remember the park being out in the middle of no where, a forest like park. Nope, its right in the city, its called the Block House Park. The condition of it is very run down, sad! Todays generation takes little pride and use of parks is just not as popular. The monument honoring Johnny Appleseed is still there but like the rest of the park its worn.
The block house is also a little different then what I remember. I thought it was more log cabin like. On one family outing Grandpa came along and read the bible to us sitting on a picnic table in the shade of the house. It was neat to go back and see it.
Most of Mansfield seemed blighted. Factory, after building, after house is shut down, for sale or boarded. Its like this all over America. SAD! At one time Mansfield must of had a lot of money. The architect of the buildings and the homes are incredible. A lot of them are Victorian style with spires. I like to go back and take more photos.
OH you wanted to know about the prison stay! Sorry, next email.

Gotta GoGo!!

Friday, September 4, 2009

What are you doing this Labor Da

Hey Gang,
This Saturday my sister Cindi, Jeff M. and I will be in Mansfield, Ohio touring the Mansfield Reformatory. If I heard correctly we will be locked in from 7 pm to 5 am.
It should be a thrill. Besides the historical significance and the obvious spookiness of being in a old run down prison the place is supposedly very haunted. We're allowed to bring any device we want, tape and video recorders and ghost hunting
apparatuses of any kind.
The best part is:
You will be given a rules and regulations speech, followed by 1 ½ hour guided tour. After the tour, the lights will be turned off and your will be on your own until 5am.
OH MY!! This should be a real hoot!!!!
You may of seen this prison as many films were made here. The most famous movies were "Air Force One" and "The Shawshank Redemption". It also made the Travel Channel's "101 Things to Do Before You Die" & "Scariest Places on Earth"!
A few years back if you remember I spent a night in a haunted factory in Canton, Ohio. I had a chillingly fun time. I only knew one person on the tour so I did my own thing and wandered off alone. And yes I did pick up orbs and a weird image of a mans face in one photo and in another a skull on a brick wall. This was in a factory so who knows what tales or tails I will bring back this time in an old musty dudgeon like prison where brutality was common.
Click on this link to learn more:

We are leaving early for Mansfield to check out the area before our prison stay. I want to visit Kingswood Gardens. When I was a kid the folks took us on a day trip to Mansfield to see the place. I thought since we will be there why not for memories sake see it again. I was surprised to find Kingswood is still open and the self guided tours are still free!! BUT check out their home page for a real sign of the times:
This recession, mini depression is no joke? Its affecting everyone and everything. Hopefully it will survive.

Another place in Mansfield the parents brought us was a park that supposedly Johnny Appleseed visited. He lived in the area at one time and planting his famous apple seeds. I couldn't find anything on line about this park so it will be interesting to see if I can find it.
Sunday if we are back in time I will join my other sister and the family at her cookout. And then on Monday will end the long weekend at the Great Geauga Fair. It is the oldest fair in Ohio.
Here is the link for that:

In all it should be a fun and exciting weekend, from flowers, apple seeds and prison. Sounds very patriotic don't it?

Gotta GoGo!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Chupacabra Caught?

What should be an exciting story is actually quite sad. The use of poisons to kill rodents
instead kills an unknown and possibly close to extinction animal.
Thats why I use live traps.
A companion story to this is while in Texas I bought The Eagle, a Forth Worth newspaper.
In it is an article about the Lake Worth Monster which was supposedly seen by quite a
few people. It was described as goat-man like. Google it if you don't believe me.
I know I have seen my share of the weird and bizzare so anything is possible.

Gotta GoGo!!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Finally a story from Texas. The stranger in our hotel room

Hey Gang,
Instead of writing a play by play of the Texas trip I think I will just pick random people and events as they come to me. Today I will start with the stranger we had stay in our motel room.

The Dark Stranger
Even though I was running extremely low on sleep, my habits of going to bed late kept me wide awake. While Jimmy snored and Walt unwound watching TV I went for a long walk. I was on a quest to find a late night milk shake or float that I failed to find earlier. We stayed at the Super 8 which is on the edge of town, one of the last structures before leaving Somerville. The whole main street of this mini city is about 2 1/2 miles long, maybe. I just about walked the whole strip. My first stop was Mama’s Kitchen.
I entered and asked if they had floats. The waitress said no. I said well do you have Sprite? Yes. Do you have ice cream? Yes. Do you think you can add a couple of lumps of ice cream to my Sprite? She replied sit down I will take care of you. A few minutes later she comes back to tell me they were out of ice cream. Either they were or my recipe was a bit hard to follow. So off I went to continue my search.
I walked to a convenience store on the opposite end of town, about the only thing left open. I spied the soda fountain and said to myself if I can't find a float I will build my own. So I grabbed the 32 ouncer and walked around looking for a small container of ice cream. I found an ice cream cup and asked how much. The clerk said they are on sale 2 for a dollar. Bought both and plopped them in my Sprite with the help of the worker who lent me scissors to pry the ice cream out of the cup. He said OH I see what you are doing. What a deal, a float for a $1.99.
The temp had cooled down to 88, just an occasional car passing by, no sounds except crickets - a dog barking, very peaceful, I was enjoying life.
I got to the corner of 8th and Rt 36 where the Somerville Museum is located. It was here the dark stranger crossed my path. Actually, it pounced out of the shrubs and immediately attached itself to my leg. I was startled and almost dropped my float. It was a black cat! I stepped back not knowing if the thing was rabid. It wouldn't leave me alone so I scooped out a little ice cream. The cat starting eating and I took off. I got about 15 feet when it caught up with me. It was doing a figure 8 around my legs making sure I didn't get away.
Again I dropped some ice cream. And again the cat stopped to lick it up only to hurry and catch up with me. HMMMM! I tried having a talk with it, OK listen you need to go. It didn't work. Then I started feeling sorry, the poor critter was so skinny. So then I said alright I have a pork chop back at the motel follow me and it did.
We got to the motel and came up with a game plan, through the back door but we still have to sort of sneak past the front desk as we were staying on the first floor.
It was just like in the movies. I opened the door, OK ready lets go. We ran through the hall, at the entrance for the front desk I waved hold it, I went through first, the lady looked at me but never looked down as the cat passed. I fumbled with the card to open the door. Nervously I got it open, shooed the cat in, shut the door. Brilliant, it worked. Now how to explain this to Walt.....

So what did Walt say? Nothing other than OH a cat! I grabbed my leftovers I was saving and sat down to feed our guest. It kept pulling the pork chop out of my hand as I was breaking it up into smaller pieces. The poor little thing was starved. It wasn't that old of a cat, maybe under a year old. It jumped from bed to bed and made itself at home, very well mannered. How sad someone abandoned it.
In the morning the rest of the pork chop bone was gnawed to nothing, didn't know cats chew on bones, didn't know they knew how to get into styrofoam containers either. And the good news was no poop was found so we were safe.
When Jimmy woke he sat straight up and said there's a cat!! Walt was teasing him and said what cat? Right there! Walt asked me do you see a cat I don't.
We didn't know what to do with it so I told Jimmy hurry and let it out the back door before the cleaning lady gets here. If the cat is still there when we leave I will take it.
Fortunately we parked next to a couple who was just leaving the motel. They were adjusting the boat they were towing. The cat jumped in the boat and was rolling around playing. Walt went up to the couple and explained it was a stray and said if you want it take it. The cat wasn't there when we left so I assume the couple took it. I was almost hoping it was.
Another stranger came and went and another lasting memory. Oh well thats life on the road

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Pemberville Free Fair

Hey Gang,
Just got back from the Pemberville Free Fair. There was a lot to do around town but I wanted something a little more relaxing and laid back because I still have a bit of jet lag from last weekends trip to Texas. OK I can't lie, that plus the fact that is was free did help sway me into going.
Pemberville is a small town. It has one gas station, a short main street, a couple of churches, and neatly maintained older houses. It is about 100 miles from Cleveland but after the 1,400 mile odyssey to Texas this was like a short stroll in the park. I read about this fair in an Ohio festivals brochure. The 64 year old fair is billed as one of the last free fairs in Ohio. I was curious if it was included in the brochure because its a decent fair or because it was free or both.
I found out it is not your typical fair. It is small and has little in the way of the usual fair offerings which is surprising being in the middle of farm country. But it was free, did I mention that already? Seriously though, it really is a nice family event.
Today was the last day so a lot of the booths had packed up including some of the animals. Jeff and I did get to see 1 sheep, 3 hens, 3 rabbits and the quilt display in the school gymnasium. I enjoyed looking at the old parquet floor and how it was urethaned as much as looking at the quilts. We then went to a small building where the produce and baked goodies were judged. I was surprised to find a male carrot, didn't know they came in sexes. I included a photo of it so you'll understand why it had to be a male.
Across from the carrots were the zucchinis. They were huge! I was lucky to be standing there because a lady who was gathering her vegetables grabbed a large zucchini she had entered. The way she was holding it I just had to ask how heavy is it? She let me hold it and I estimated it to be about 7 pounds. OK I lied again, the minute I got home I weighed it - whoops I'm getting to far ahead. We talked briefly about what she does with them. She makes zucchini bread, pie, casseroles and other dishes.
After the produce and baked goods display we went into another building that had photos, misc. items and floral displays. And guess who we bumped into? The lady with the zucchini. She saw her friends and asked if they wanted her zucchini. When they said no she offered it to me. She must of saw my eyes light up. I said of course I would take it. Then she asked how about cucumbers? Sure. Tomatoes? Of course! What about 2 pumpkins? Absolutely.
Jeff and I hurried to the car to drop off the vegetables so we could meet her back at the produce display to grab the pumpkins. Her name was Sandy. She didn't want anything in return but I still gave her a GoGo Handy Pack Bag.
Sandy if you're out there, thanks again!!!! You made my day!!!!
Free fair, free tomatoes, free zucchini, free pumpkins, free cucumbers, OH and free parking. Life is good.

Gotta GoGo!!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Hey Gang,
Continuing on.......
Another memorable time that won't be forgotten any time soon was the night out with Walt and his family at the Painesville (Ohio) Speedway. I am not much into racing. Its fun the first couple of races but then I get bored. But Walt kept telling me about this special race that I just had to attend. What kind of race.... hold on I am getting to it.
The Painesville Speedway is a small oval track, 1/5 of a mile, so the action is quick. Everything keeps changing but this lil speedway is a constant, from its size, closeness of the wooden stands to the track, enthusiasm from the crowd which holds a lot of families, its a real throwback. It has been in continuous operation since the early 50’s!
So what kind of race was it? A Figure 8 race. For those who don't know or who never witnessed such an event the cars speed through the track in a figure 8 and yes crashes can and do happen. They even water the track some to slow the speeds of the cars down. Even then on such a small track there is plenty of near misses and an occasional WIPE OUT! Its the most exciting feature of the night. But there was more to this figure 8 race then just cars. What was it?
The figure 8 trailer pull. YES you read it correctly. All the cars had to be pulling something. Some cars were a disappointment with what they were hauling behind them and got booed. One had nothing more than just a little trailer towing a small lawn tractor and a lawn chair. Others came towing a car behind. The funniest to me was the pop up trailer being pulled, it was fully erected with the canvas sides blowing and swaying. But the best were the 3 travel trailers. One was a full size trailer, maybe at least a 20 foot job. That was a sight to see.
Walt laughed through the whole race. It was hilarious some of the set ups. And then one wreck after another. One wreck was so bad the trailer flipped the car over. You couldn't see much in the melee from all the smoke, just a tangled mess. One word kept coming to me - carnage. They kept having to stop the race to clear the mess. Out came the front end loader, pushed the debris aside and off the cars & trailers went again.
The most incredible thing about it the entire race was the full size trailer. It made it through 3/4 of the race untouched. All the other vehicles were driving on blown tires or dragging mangled metal. Not the full size trailer, it still looked as good as when it started. And then BAM, it got nailed and exploded into pieces. But wait, whats that? Its still going.. The top was gone, all four sides blown away, but the platform and the toilet was still sitting erect and the car trailer hookup was still driving. How funny.
Unfortunately there was no winner.. During the last clear out of the track the sky let loose a biblical monsoon that ended the night. To bad, I was hoping the large trailer was going to win it all, oh well.
OKKKKKKKK enjoy the photos. Two days till the Texas take off. I think I can finish this. One more installment, I think?

Gotta GoGo!!