Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 the rest of the Story

Yesterday I spent most of the effort on our trip around the USA  in 2013, since it was a highlight and probably our last effort of a real long RV trip.  I have to keep in mind my travel partner is gaining some age. Winking smile
Luke 2013b
So we are still basking in family fun with our sons and the rest of the family.  I kid everyone about scheduling their lives around ours, but we know they have their own plans. LUKE VEGAS our youngest Grandson graduated from High School and entered College.
This year we saw a romance bloom and come to fruition in a beautiful wedding.  We gladly accepted Megan into our family as a full member.  What a joy she is with that lovely smile.  We enjoyed seeing her family again.
final coverfinally love
This was the year of my most successful book so far, ‘Finally Love’. Thanks in part to Bonnie Knox as a great friend and proof reader.
scans GITMO 018
(Me, Pam,jason (Gillian’s feet) & Kim and they left Gitmo)
No year goes by without some negatives. We learned of the passing of a good friend from GITMO. Kim Farr, the only Ivy League Grad (Princeton) I have ever known personally. Fair winds and following seas my friend. C.H. Matthews (early pastor & Missionary) is still in critical condition but good spirits, from a stroke.
Oh and there is Vickie (Niece) who did so much to arrange a very successful benefit for Megan Helms, she endured a surgery that was successful.  Surgery seems to be prominent now a days. Dan up in Lancaster, PA got two new knees, and doing well. Doug, Don & Evelyn’s son,  who happened to share a first grade with our son Jack jr., is  recovering from a successful major surgery. Don & Evelyn’s motor home is beside us here in Florida and they are home for the surgery and Christmas. Our prayers for those in need of them.
Flavous and Virginia 003
Also had the distinct pleasure of having dinner with Flavius and Virginia friends from our USAF days. They were a joy to be around and reminisce. We discussed and thought about our mutual friends, Fred, Frances, George, Donna, and the Matthews.
Conrad folks at the party22
We had a special treat, joining the Conrad group twice in one year. It is also a thrill here in Florida to see Wayne and Juanita Carter, also a former pastor.
Home and Stella 064Home and Stella 068
I am sure I have missed something in this full year. We all have those special times.  We have enjoyed all of our family, but Sherece, being the only Granddaughter, is the  mother of the youngest of our group  Stella, are special.
Woodshed and family 017
To TOP a year’s special sundae, with a cherry, one of our favorite people, Jennifer A. (the nurse who wears the button that says, “I am the mean Nurse”, which ain’t true BTW), has agreed to become our Granddaughter. Stephen has asked her to marry him and she said yes ( as I reported earlier). We love this couple and wish them the best FOREVER!
 Last but not the least of our family is Sister Shirl.  She has been my biggest supporter as a writer and traveler.  She and I are the only remaining siblings of the Rev & Mrs. B F Darnell. She helped launch the new book "Forever Love" at the Garibaldi Fest and gave me fodder for the BLOG from her work at the Historical House.  Me 'n U babe.
We are expecting wonderful things from you 2014, and I am sure you will not disappoint us.
I say this in all humility, God has been better to us than anyone.
Nite shipslog
PS:Closing out a good year, and like ‘ MA’, http://onyama.blogspot.com/
opening another book. Blank ready to write.
Friend Louis, told me of seeing a new ‘57 Ford in ‘57. and the excitement it caused.  There was a time that New Cars were the highlight of a year:
Another Bath tub, the ‘41 Ford

Monday, December 30, 2013

WOW what a year 2013 was….

So, how did 2013 treat you?

We are very happy, it treated us well. WE enjoyed our last trip around the USA. Including a family reunion out in the state of Utah with some wonderful folk. Grandsons and our beautiful Great granddaughter Elsie Mae. We got to meet the love of Ben’s life, Ashley. Carol, JJ’s first wife and her mom & Dad Dick & Joan.


(Always a thanks to Carol for this shot of the family)

Sidenote..Dick and Joan are RV’ers also. She just e-mailed me a few days ago they are down in Yuma for the winter. I wouldn’t mind being there.


(Buddy &  DI)


(Henry, Rose, Howard and I (I look like I have a stove pipe on)

I had a chance to see my childhood friend Buddy and his lovely Di in New Mexico, and visit with cousins Howard and Henry in Las Vegas.


Hey we even got to share a few minutes with sweet Lucy, Joe, and the Spunky one, in Nebraska.(I’ll probably regret using that sweet word, Surprised smileWinking smile) Oh we saw some beautiful country, we saw more of Indiana and Ohio than we have in the past.

We spent some time with Sherry’s brother Johnny and his beautiful daughter Candy up in Ypsilanti.

From Buchanan to YPSI 035mICHIGAN lastday 008

We got to see our good friends Fred & Frances and George & Donna. Even had a little time with a 2nd Cousin as we delivered a package from Las Vegas to Western NC.

Brannen get together 018BILOXI REUNION 035

Its been fun here in bloggerville, I don’t think I have made anyone ‘permanently’ mad at me. Oh hey, We had a great trip with out sons, jack Jr and Mark. We all did get to have a few minutes with Paula and John down south of San Antonio. She is another joy to be around. Just like you would think from her writing.


(Paula and John)

The River Walk in San Antonio is always a joy. I was glad to show the boys the Alamo. A week before we enjoyed an afternoon in the French Quarter and sharing some bei·gnet (ben-yey; French be-nye) and STRONG coffee with our sons.

San Antonio and RIVERWALK 023San Antonio and RIVERWALK 037 - Copy

First day in NAWLINS 014

After a summer like that we still vow to enjoy our family, what money we have will be used to support our lifestyle and allow us to spend more ‘Quality Time’ with the family. I have said this before, but it is probably true this time. that is probably our last trip around the USA.

Right now I am thinking about a family cruise after we have some time to put the money aside.

We are both in our mid 70’s and still able to get around I don’t want to wait too long. Here is hoping 2014 will even exceed the wonderful times of 2013.

Thanks for stopping by the log.

Nite Shipslog

PS:  There comes a time that you must look at life logically. I don’t care how good the health, age will do you in, so I am trying to out fox age and do everything before he puts me in the ground or in the rocking chair.


The Bath tub auto design (1940-50)



For a few years someone(?) decided cars should look like upside down bathtubs.


Sunday, December 29, 2013

Another Lost Post Where is it. The name is I worked for a Crook….

Read the entry previous.  No comments here because I am lost too!
(Where is Jack’s Blog announcement)

Ok, there it is below, Thanks!

I worked for a crook


(Photos from the web not related to the subject)

One of my many Smilejobs was working for a friend at a service station at an interstate exit. I wasn’t there a day until I realized I was working for a crook. He treated me fair, I was working for minimum wage and happy to get the job. I watched the man cheat customer after customer.


Once I was pumping gas, and I noticed the tail light was out. I mentioned it to the driver and he said check it out. I pulled the bulb it took less than a minute. I could see the filaments were good so I cleaned the base on my jeans and put the bulb in and it came on. I charged the man for the gas and told him I had cleaned the contacts and his tail light was ok.

The owner fussed, you could have sold him a bulb and put the old one back in. I am here to make money. I told him the man did not need a new bulb and it had cost nothing to fix it.


I joined the Navy and was in Great Lakes and Sherry was going to drive up for a week end. I asked her to take  it to my former boss and make sure the car was in good shape. He sold her 4 tires, and several other things. I knew they were not needed. I thought at least he would not cheat my family, but he did. He was an equal opportunity crook. He failed in every business he tried.


Knowing that, I have always been leery on the interstate. Once Sherry and I were towing a trailer to visit Key West, where I was to be stationed. On the interstate the car started acting up, losing power. I stopped at a service station and the owner said he couldn’t fix it but a guy at the next exit could. I pulled in (knowing what I knew) the mechanic listened to my story. picked up a couple things and started to the car. “Hey man, what is this going to cost?”


“Not much,” and he just ignored me. He got under the hood played around a little with the gas lines and said “Now try it.”  It started and idled well.

You won’t have any more problems with that,come on inside.”

He charged me about $3. “It was just the fuel filter, I put you a new one on.”  The car ran perfect from then on. It renewed my faith in people.

Another time while stationed in Missouri, I was told I needed a new engine. Sherry was taking piano lessons at the time, and the teacher’s husband was a mechanic. So I took my shaking, missing,backfiring Rambler to his small shop. I told him what the Rambler Dealership had said. He was under the hood. “Hand me the 3/8 wrench off the bench!”

In less that 10 seconds the engine smoothed out. “It was just a couple loose intake manifold bolts, it’s okay now. No charge.”  I gave him $10 he had just saved me $800.00.

Everyone is not a con-man, there are some nice folks in this world…

Nite Shipslog


It is like a breath of fresh air to be treated fairly.


In the 1940’s someone decided an upside down Bathtub design was great.


Another upside down Bathtub. 1947 Packard


The convertible Bathtub. 1948

Saturday, December 28, 2013

What the heck does a retiree do?

To be honest I need something to do. Sitting around reading or playing shuffle-board is not my cup of tea.  I have worked with my hands most of my productive life.  I like that.  I don’t have to get paid, if it is something I can do, I just want to do it.


You know what I do now? I will stay up playing on this computer until midnight (11:45 now) to 3 am. If I am writing I feel like I am accomplishing something.  Right now I have a Travel or RV’ing book in the oven but I cannot get thrilled about writing it. I cannot get it in any order and it will need a lot of correcting because it does not ‘yank my chain’.


(Remember girl’s bikes? built like that because of dresses. Now old men ride them because they can’t get their legs over the seat like they used to)

Way in the back of my mind there is a continuation of the book, ‘Finally Love’. I enjoyed writing that book and I can hardly wait for a sequel or what ever to that one. I liked the characters and I like fiction. Then I ask myself, why? Is it for myself? I laughed just now, it certainly isn’t for profit.  It is a hobby.


(WE old folk sometimes, just dream)

I’m smiling because my first love is building, my brand new ‘General Contractor’s License’ just arrived in our last mail call. I haven’t built in years. As a matter of fact, I can’t remember the last house I built (I am getting old). I keep paying the fees and renewing the license, I think in the back of my mind if I give them up, I am through.

scan1987-88 066

(Shirl once hired me to add a second floor to their house. We tore the roof off and added it before the rain came. The rain came just as we were finishing the roof, fond memory, This is grandsons Ben and Corey, and Shirl on the exposed stairs to the addition.)

We do have one more building lot, it is a couple hundred miles from our stomping grounds. I took it in a trade. It is near Sunset Beach, NC. I am thinking Sherry and I could go there and build something one summer, when we get this hiking out of our blood. HA!


I am just typing, it is late, time to get in bed with the most beautiful woman in the world. Ahhh you guys eat your hearts out!

Nite Shipslog

PS:I resist getting old, but I know I am. I watched these sneaky little mini wrinkles accumulate on Mama & Daddy. I dreaded to see them start on me. Skin just hanging down for no reason, etc.  Hey, I used to have tight skin. Surprised smile



1982 Dodge Aries, to be truthful, it hurts to think this is an antique!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Con Men

Not the right title, but I did not want to say BS Artists in the title.
It has taken me many years to realize that the ‘mouth’ is not what gets the job done. I think my daddy described it as “some folks talk a good game.”
(I know nothing about this book, I just picked it because of the title)

In every profession there is the quiet person, who never rings their own bell, or toots their own horn, they just DO THE JOB. Then there is the guy/gal who will tell you in a minute they are the best for the task. I have found out that there is a good possibility that the person who talks a good game cannot always play well.
In the building industry I saw both sorts. I had a Heating A/C man for awhile who was good at installation. He was good and if all was well when he hit the switch, I could count on the system running without a hitch for a long time.
Once one of his units gave out, (just out of warranty). I called him to come look at it, I knew I would pay for the call. He came and after a couple hours he announced I needed a new unit, cost about $2,000.  I told him I would think about it and paid for his time. 
This amount of money, called for a second opinion by someone I could trust, so I called an old friend whom I no longer used (mutual agreement), he came over and after about ten minutes, he said. I can fix it for $70, as good as new.  He told me all it needed was a good cleaning, he showed the core fins that do the cooling and they were stopped up with cat hair.
He said I haven’t looked inside the house, but I bet if you look, you will find you do not have a filter, or the one you have is caved in allowing unfiltered air to pass.  He was right, the one inside was caked with cat hair also and had caved in. I bought a case of filters and informed the renter she needed to change the filter monthly, as stated in her rental agreement.
Why this story? Every profession is the same, just because the person is educated or trained in a field does not mean they are good at it.  That also includes the trades: auto mech, plumbers, electricians, dry cleaners, doctors, tree surgeons, nurses, teachers, jockeys, handy men, builders, ditch diggers  and professors.2
We neophytes need some way to check the ability and history of the folks we pay our hard earned money to.  I do not always check.  My A/C man was good at installation and He was not a crook, he was just terrible at trouble shooting. There is a big difference.
Some people are confident they can do the job, and can’t.
Some people are confident they can do the job and CAN!
Nite Shipslog
A great personality sure helps in bedside manner, but it does not get the job done. Conversely,  some folks can back up their words with action.
Then there are the few who are out and out crooks.
I love this car. I have it listed as a ‘31 Boat tail (?)