Monday, December 31, 2012

Farmer’s & Family make life long friends

His name is Kenneth Conrad.

Hers was Eileen Pinder.(now Conrad)

Kenneth,  a paratrooper from WWII, met his olive skinned beauty,who had English roots, via the Islands, in Florida. Married her and took her from the comforts she knew in Florida to rolling hills of North Central Missouri. Where, at a farmhouse, with a well and outhouse, they raised a beautiful family of six girls and four boys. All beautiful, good looking AND TOUGH.

We were invited to a Birthday party Sunday in Okeechobee, it was for Harry, the eldest, his 65th.  Wow, I remember Harry when he was a teenager. A big growing farm boy.

Conrad Harry Conrad the man

The boys, Harry, Kenny, Robert and David Luke, all men in anyone’s book, all successful in life and assets to the USA.

The Girls, all beauties, Glenda, Juanelle, Irma, Mary, Lil and Vickie, true ladies and also successful in their chosen careers.

In 1960, I was fortunate to get orders to a small radar site just outside Kirksville, MO, as a computer repairman. We had one son about 2, and met these folk in church, at Moberly, MO. Many Sundays we were invited out to the farm for dinner, we fell in love with them all.

Funny, when I thought I was a preacher, we went back to pastor that little church  and added more cement to a relationship.

Sherry and I have always been in love, and pretty demonstrative I guess. The kids thought of us as the kissing couple. LOL. We did kiss a lot, still do! I would bet we kiss 2 out of 4 times we pass in this motor home. LOL That girl is a good kisser.(It is also hard to control that girl’s hands!)

Anyway, Kenneth was true to his German heritage, the man could make  anything work. He worked a full time job at H.B. Chance and farmed forty (?) acres. He helped his neighbors constantly.

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(One of our stops in the mid 1990’s)

Anytime thru Missouri, we stop to see them. Florida is still home for Eileen, so we see them at least once a year when they come down. After moving to Florida we met some of the extended family, one especially Aunt Irma Lee. Also a wonderful lady, she treated Eileen's children as her own. Sewing beautiful clothes every year as they grew.

Conrad Eileen DavidLuke

(Eileen & her baby, David Luke)

Conrad Glenda and Nee

(Glenda with Aunt Irma Lee (Aunt Nee))

The children dote over their Mom and Irma Lee. In their youth the two were well known singers until Kenneth broke up the singers. But still, now in their 80’s & 90’s their voices are good. The children inherited mom’s talent and Kenneth’s work ethic.

I did not know the Birthday boy, one of my heroes, was a singer. But  we were treated to a duet by Harry and Vickie.(no pic)

Conrad David jua EileenConrad Eileen singing

This whole bunch Sings, When Eileen sang in our church, her talent and dedication was such as to send chills, she could have sang in Carnegie Hall, she was that good. Glenda says Vickie sings like her mom but with more range.(wow)

Conrad folks at the party22Conrad Vickie C BD party

The boys in construction, the girls professional, finances, medical, administrative and Vickie, she is a Jet Mechanic here in Orlando at the Airport.

David Luke a specialty cabinet maker/carpenter and Glenda, late of the financial and care giving world; are here in Florida.  The rest still in and around the Show-Me state.

I confess to stealing the photos from Holly, David Luke's sweet wife. WE are getting old. I DIDN’T TAKE THE CAMERA AND SHERRY LEFT BOTH PHONES AT HOME,(yep we are getting there).


(This is Bailey, David Luke's daughter (a few years ago) we missed her at the party, she was off baby sitting, she is a lady now.)

Thanks for stopping by the log.

Nite Shipslog


Kenneth could not come to Florida. He is a victim of that terrible disease, Alzheimer's. I sure missed him.



The corvair. we owned one of these. I loved it, It drove great but it sure loved to leak oil!!!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Eat what is on your plate

Most of my life when I went to the table, my mama cooked and dished the food out to each person’s plate. If there was anything left it was either in a pot on the stove, or in a bowl on the table. It was there if you wanted seconds.


BUT there was an understood rule, YOU FIRST EAT WHAT IS ON YOUR PLATE. No eatee? Then a little lecture of kids hungry in Africa and other parts of the world. (I never said it, but I did wonder how we could get our left overs to them?)

Now to my gripe of the day. Waste of food. We just returned from a cruise. If you have been on a cruise ship, you know the one thing available in abundance, is FOOD. Meats, veggies of all kinds and Fruit galore. Ice cream and Pizza for the taking.

However, I noticed families load trays,  take it to a table near us and leave half (or more) on their trays, such waste. They knew of course that it was all included in their fare.  No matter, it is still wasteful.

Today we did the most ignorant thing, we decided to find a waffle house. I made the mistake of asking our NEW GPS. Yep, right down town on US192 in the middle of Disney traffic on Saturday, not smart at all. Sadly there was no Waffle House where the GPS said, so then to Dennys. As I was standing in line, nosey me, looked over the barrier as a family left the table.

One plate of MY CHOICE of breakfast. Two eggs sunny side up, an order of has browns and toast, untouched. A full glass of chocolate milk and one of Orange juice. A huge half eaten breakfast sandwich and a glass of milk. I am one cheap skate, that would have went into a carry out. Unlike the ship, each order of that food was paid for by someone’s hard earned money.

Yeah, I know, none of my business. but that is both wasteful of money and food.

My gripe for the day.

Nite Shipslog


The following is still true today:

****A penny saved, is a penny earned. (Sure I still pick a penny up off the street).

****Waste not, want not.

****Always   put something back for a rainy day.

****Yes, it is true, someone is starving and would love to have our ‘horn of plenty’.

++++He who kisses and runs away, lives to KISS another day. ( Surprised smile wait wrong post!)


1956 Marlin

AMC Marlin, not my style and the wrong car for the time I think.

I never rode in one.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Pay attention, there will be a test later..

and the little piggie said

From the web:  “pay attention, there will be a test!”

Some folk can catch the perfect moment. Every once in awhile I am lucky enough to have the camera, but most of the time it is like Lucy at her Christmas party, have the camera but forget to use it.

I have to laugh at my friend Don’s story about Yellowstone, he was holding a movie camera and not using it as an Elk walks just about over a man. Don said, “I was standing there saying that ‘Elk is going to get him’, over and over and never raised the camera.”

BUT HERE ARE SOME GREAT shots someone else got:


Potty training at its best!awkiss apig


I have been lucky a few times, YEAH these are the cutest grandkids:

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Reece                             Ben

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Carol & Ben            Sherry, Ben & Snowy

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Corey & Scruffy


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Jack(Eldest son) & the Twins Steve & Josh

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Two of my favorites of Matt

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Uncle Hisure and Aunt Aggie and Luke

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                          Josh & Steve

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Youngest Grandson Luke with Sherry then his dad.

Yeah our Grandkids day.

I have lost a lot of Pictures to Picasa. When you delete them there, they are deleted on your hard drive. Doesn’t seem fair.

Thanks for coming this way,

Nite Shipslog


They grow up fast, don’t they. That youngest one, Luke graduated High School this year.



The Studebaker one of the cars before its time.

Probably a 1951 Starlight Coupe. I wouldn’t mind having one.

Friday, December 28, 2012

There were a few stressful days

I remember my dad’s words, “A man’s word is his bond.” I have always tried to keep my word. I remember Hiawatha, not the Indian Maiden, but a customer. She asked me to be at her house at one o’clock. That day for some reason my truck was running hot. I knew better, I had a bag-phone, I could have called her and she would have understood, but I wanted to keep my word. So I pushed the truck and the engine froze up as I pulled into her drive. I kept the appointment and got the job, but damaged my engine.

I was in my 40’s when I started building. After the closing on my fourth house and the buyer had left the office, the attorney said, “Your closings are always simple. There is never a construction loan, no bank note to pay off, no material bills to pay, how do you finance your company?

Puzzled, I said, “I borrow from friends and pay them a straight 10%.”

“Where is the paperwork?”

“There is no paperwork, it is done on a handshake.”

“WHAT? You borrow $30-$50,000 on a handshake? You cannot do that!”

“Sure I can, they know I have a note in my safe telling Sherry who I owe, and she will pay them if I die, my word is my bond.”

Using a lot of legal stuff, he convinced me to change my ways, so I did until I retired.

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(I have no idea why my truck is parked like this or what the occasion was)

I remember after I retired, I was driving my love, an old 1953 Chevy p/u and it decided to quit on me. I jumped out, raised the hood. Quickly started looking for the trouble, then all of a sudden it hit me, “What is the hurry? Where are you going? Relax boy, you are retired.”

To anyone driving by on Rozzel’s Ferry Road, they would have thought I was crazy. I couldn’t help myself I started laughing and couldn’t stop.

I found the loose coil wire, plugged it back in, then drove on toward the Stock Yard Grill and done something I don’t remember ever doing before that, I stopped and had a cup of coffee by myself and relaxed.

Retirement was Okay!

Nite Shipslog


At times, we go too fast to enjoy life.



I know you would love to drive this 1951 Hornet around, I sure would.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Have we become a nation of idiots?

A news paper published the names addresses of gun permit owners in some New York cities. When I saw it I thought, WHAT? Are honest gun owners now considered like child molesters?


How many law enforcement officials were listed? How many single mom’s who want to protect their home? How many honest folk who have ‘always’ owned a gun and registered it because the law required it?

I learned on Jimmy’s Journal, that in retaliation an attorney listed all the addresses and phone numbers of the journalists. Now He/they know what it feels like to be ‘naked’ in public.

Do we need to further polarize our country? I may be wrong, we have always been separated by race, wealth and social status. We have always had the homeless and the ultra rich. But in my memory it has never been so obvious. Now someone is persistent in separating the gun owners and the non owners.

I saw a ‘not so funny cartoon’ on Louis’s journal. About a call to ‘protect our children’, with a picture in the background of a child being crushed by the national debt. There are many ways to protect our future.

Oh, I wanted to apologize to all about last nights comments, Honest I was sober. I was on Sherry’s Laptop until after 2am trying to find the problem with the internet. I was reading and commenting and losing it. This system was on for 60 seconds then off for 5 minutes.

4G modem


(RV/Truckers antenna & the amplifier)

We use a Verizon wireless modem. I have added a Wilson Cell antenna and amplifier along with a Cradlepoint router (Each one has a danged password, that I have somewhere),  we are in remote areas many times and need all the help we can get..  It seems we are back on line. After last night I realized how dependent we are on the internet.  Amazing how we take technology for granted.

I am also back in my schedule. Writing in the late evenings. The book is coming along nicely I am at a part I truly enjoy writing. I know the ending now, and am anxious to put it together. Sherry still hasn’t read a word of it. She is sticking to her guns: I’ll read it once it is a BOOK!  LOL

Thanks for coming by the log.

Nite Shipslog


Everyone wants a New Cadillac for the price of a used VW, you can make the offer, but that doesn’t mean the seller will accept.


                         1954 Skylark


Dumb kid. I was a barefooted kid, in the Buick showroom late 1953. Looking at one just like this. I thought it was the prettiest car I had ever seen. I was sliding my hands over the RR tail light chrome and cut my finger on a bad chrome job. WOW, I didn’t know I could have had my dad sue the pants off the Buick company, Shucks, I coulda been a rich kid.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

I Remember the day after From Christmas Past

I imagine everyone goes thru the period of a let down after the highs of Christmas at some time or another. But there was a period of our lives, after my FIRST retirement, that Sherry and I really began to live, the day after.

A little back ground. You that know about sisters, know most of them are FAMILY TIGHT, close or how ever you say it in your neck of the woods. Well the Harris girls were no exceptions. Elmer married Lennie, became the first a Son in law. Then Sonny married Collette and lastly little old me was lucky enough to get Sherry, the baby girl.

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(The THREE, Lennie, Sherry and Colette)

Each one of us learned immediately that we had married not a girl, but a family of girls. I soon learned  what that it was actually a pleasure.

I loved the sisters, Lennie tough as nails inwardly and outwardly. Colette outwardly, beautiful but very fragile. Inwardly she was as tough as Lennie. My Sherry was a combination of both, to me the best of both worlds, tough and beautiful.

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Colette & Sonny at The Alamo, San Antonio, near Paula

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(Colette, Sonny (me at back with the movie camera) Leaving the Set of Dallas, before JR got shot!)

Sherry and I were known as the travelers. So after retirement we moved back to the hometown area, and trips started. Great family times from Thanksgiving to Christmas. But the day after Christmas we rented a van large enough for the three couples. the girls would decide where we wanted to go, and off we went. New Orleans, San Antonio, Key West, Cape Canaveral, the Grand old Opry and  Graceland (Colette was in love with Elvis).

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(The girls with an astronaut)

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(Me, Colette, Sonny and Lennie Leaving the Shuttle)

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(Me stealing a kiss from Lennie at a motel above Miami)

Other Trips were to Canada with Lennie and Elmer where I taught Youth Camp for a week. We took separate trips to Nova Scotia with each couple.  Across country and all over the USA with  Collette and Sonny.

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Sonny & Colette at ‘My Old Kentucky Home’

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(Elmer and Lennie at Frankenmuth, MI)

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(As we drove past Niagara Falls one year, I believe this is the Canadian side)

I found it great married to a family of sisters, and wow, how I miss Lennie and Colette. They were so alive and so much fun. Our jokes,  escapades and trips could fill a book. Aren’t memories great. so today, the day after  Christmas, I still get a high thinking of wonderful people, SISTERS.

We still have Elmer, in his 80’s not in great health but he still lives alone in a house they asked me to build. I no longer have my buddy Sonny, but he too fills this day with great memories.

I refuse a get down anymore, Christmas is a wonderful time, but everyday I am allowed to walk has gotta be GOOD!

Thanks for coming this way.

Nite Shipslog


It is both what you had and what you have, that makes life wonderful.



I could be wrong, but to me it was 1955 when the car companies debuted the unique paint jobs. Before this there were the daring two tones, top and bottom.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Presents

jc higgins 1950

(This is a ‘50 Higgins, mine was a ‘36 Indian could find no picture, but it looked like this)

It is strange how life had emerged or morphed for Sherry and I. We both remember the early childhood anticipation of Christmas. Even the early marriage of the ‘surprise gifts’ for each other.  Then of course the children and the great Christmas surprises.

But now, comfortable in our own shells, we seldom exchange gifts.  God has blessed us and we seldom want (or have room) for anything else. So we are very happy with the physical presents, This morning it was a loving appreciation of her glow and a wonderful KISS as I held her very close, while still in our ‘sleepsack’.

(Sleepsack: something like a queensize sleeping bag with sheets held inside with velcro, also makes the bed easy to make up)

It is amazing how those kisses get sweeter every year. That girl is one great ‘kisser’. Back when we dated in my ‘48 Chevy, very little traffic on the roads,  this sweet thing, turned around facing back and  lay across the front seat, hugged my neck and kissed me as I drove, I remember one kiss that lasted over five miles!  I was also a very good driver back then.Surprised smile

The one Christmas gift that stands out in my mind was in 1945, my present was a used Indian make, 20” bike. I could not have been happier if it had been a brand new Gold JC Higgins or Road Master bike. That worn out little bike was my first chance at freedom to travel.

At six & seven years old, I rode that little bike all over Burlington, NC. Now moms & dads would be considered negligent, but then life was much simpler and safer.

Every Christmas since 1946 I have thought of how dad stretched to buy me that old bike. God Bless his memory and ability to know what would thrill a little boy.

Nite Shipslog


It is never the value, but the purpose and meaning of a gift.



This is the car in which Sherry ‘taught’ me to kiss.