Thursday, December 31, 2020

THE Year 2020, remembering life; the UGLY and the GOOD.

 Autos of beauty

 What a difference 81 years make: 1939 and 2020 Chevy convertibles.

(Posting early to pack up the computer.)

For today, I welcome 2021, 2020 is hindsight:

Statements some of you have heard and cringe:

“I envy you, you can eat anything you want and not gain a pound!”

“You have a great life, never a problem!”

Right now I am looking back over our life, and overall it has been great.

Like a lot of families we have had some good and ugly things happen in our lives. Drugs and alcohol have been the cause of most. I want to say here, if drugs have not touched your family you are SOOOO blessed. Divorce is another. YES we remember them, some vividly. We remember praying. Crying privately and together for wayward sons. I remember especially standing at a sink once, washing dishes, crying and saying, “I can fix just about anything, but I cannot fix a son.” I also remember Wondering, “How much of this is my fault? I still cannot know.”

My dad & mom were perfect. They never had an education, they wanted to see me graduate High School. Being real……., they tried but yet they could not prevent their ‘wayward’ son from being a dropout, leaving home and joining the USMC.

Don’t get upset, age is talking here. I know I am old, only a few years left in life at best. Age doesn’t always bring wisdom. Now being REAL overall, we have had a great life. OH YES….And Those wayward sons,? now men!

Mark and his kids on our family cruise

Jack Jr and his 4 boys the last time we got them together in Utah

The oldest Jack Jr. is a genius. Probably an IQ higher than mine. He has opened and managed two or three offices for the courier service he works for. Presently he is 62 years old and owns two homes. Now he is just happy to drive as a courier and be his own boss. As a single parent he has raised 4 good, sharp sons and proud of them all.

That younger, a wild one, became the best employee I ever had. He became a contractor himself and built bigger and better homes than his dad. He still owns two homes also. He has three smart, hardworking kids, two sons and a sweet daughter.

Both boys have had bumps in their own lives, but have handled them and overall they too are proud.

Lemme tell you I always had HOPE for a good ending, but there were times I thought I would be visiting them in prison or burying them early.

Hey, I am coasting toward the finish line proud of my sons and also our wonderful talented grands and Great grands…..

As the year 2020 ends and I prepare to become 82 years OLD. I know we prayed necessarily for a lot of years over the boys. We worried too much. WE even turned to ALANON for a year or so. But as I approach 82 I am breathing easier, have a wonderful life and looking to make 83. ;-)

Sorry to bore you with history, but the past is past and life is good. WELCOME 2021!!!!!


PS: I would still prefer the 1939 convertible if I had a choice. ;-)

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Time for a vacation ;-)

 Memorable Automobiles oThe Past:

1908 Cupell 8 HP

For Today...

Yep, time for a vacation. We are heading for Orlando for a couple weeks. We’re hitting the Thousand Trails Park there. It is a great park to walk and watch nature. No we won’t be trying Disney, Universal, Lego Land nor Alligator World.

The last thing we visited in Orlando was interesting. It is called ‘The Holy Land Experience.’  It was very interesting having featured areas and Character actors as some famous Biblical Heroes. Of course it is Christian oriented and well attended. A few Novembers ago the boys came down along with BIL Sonny and took Sherry there for her birthday.

A couple years in a row we met Dallas and Marian at Thousand Trails in the winter. That was always a treat.

OH YEAH, we will also head for an additional two weeks of vacation to the Wildwood area again to see Evelyn & Don of Belmont and Donna & JIm of the Lenoir area of NC.

Hopefully Friend Buddy and wife DI can find time to show their new home near Beverly Hills. NO, not the one where the Hill Billy’s live, the Beverly Hills of Florida.

Buddy is featured in most of my books. WE were teenagers together for a couple years.

This winter-land is good when you get to see friends and visit. Some can talk of old times but then some of us are just OLD all the times.


PS As you read this we will be getting the coach ready to roll.

Our first Orange juice from our tree. It was delicious
My OJ was switched to the Lucky Dill cup saved from one of our carry outs. LOL This was red Grapefruit juice also very good.

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

I’m Upset

 Memorable Automobiles of England:


Above is the Morgan, the only car I know that has a wooden frame, each one made by hand.

Below is the Rolls Royce, at one time the best and most expensive car in the world.

Now my thought for Today...

Have you ever missed an obvious trivia question?  I have to say this one floored me.

The question, obvious to the most casual observer:

There is a well know landmark in the city of London. It is called Big Ben. It is a:

1.       Bell

2.       Tower

3.       Bridge

4.       Clock

Now since you already know this one I will ask a question that was asked on some quiz show when someone needed to win:

Who is buried in Grants Tomb?  The person would yell Grant, and win $10 or something.

Courtesy of the USN I got to travel to London. I took a train (my first train ever) from Spit Head Landing to London downtown. Where I saw signs everywhere, “JOBS…Work for the Underground!” To me that meant get a job as a crook. But no, it was one advertising for jobs with what I knew as the Subway.

I walked the streets, rode a double decker bus, saw Piccadilly Circus and got to witness the changing of the guard.  I also walked down by London Bridge and took a picture of Big Ben. You remember the song by Roger Miller:

England swings like a pendulum do
Bobbies on bicycles, two by two
Westminster Abbey, the tower of Big Ben
The rosy-red cheeks of the little children


Okay back to the Trivia question. Me’n 90% of the responders said: CLOCK of course. HA! It ain’t the clock, it is the BELL according to the trivia question lady.

Funny how we take things we think, to be fact.


PS Question: Did you know that the ACTUAL London Bridge is in The USA?

London Bridge is a bridge in Lake Havasu City, Arizona. It was built in the 1830s and formerly  in London, removed. and transported to the United States to construct the present bridge in Lake Havasu .

Monday, December 28, 2020

That down feeling?

  Memorable Automobiles from The Past:

 1985 Buick Riviera (Hard to believe this is an antique)

Now my thought for Today...

I can remember in my early life the high, up and thrill of Christmas morning and the season leading up to it. It was all VERY BIG!


But then as the new wore off the new toy and there were no more Christmas carols being sung; things ‘fell’ back into a regular routine, I can remember being ‘sortadown.’

As years past and I grew up. I learned that I had what many people desired, an appreciation for what I HAD. Very seldom have we bought something just because we wanted it, but did not need it. Only once in my life do I remember getting ‘car fever’. Against my sweetheart’s better judgement I traded our perfectly good car for a 1968 ‘almost new’ Chevrolet Malibu hard top. I learned a lot on that trade. It was a good car but it was a 2 door. The one I traded was a 4 door car which made perfect sense since we had two children.

Now even later in life I realize how blessed I am. WE have had the down times, but over our entire 80+ years OVERALL the good has overshadowed the bad. Of course the bumps were tough but love and gratitude made them easier to ride out.

WE KNOW life has been good for us. GOD has blessed us. Just as I am typing some of this entry; THE sweet Marian, from Pennsylvania called to ‘say come on up for some homemade pumpkin pie.’ LOL! YEP, life is good. She and Dallas are well. There is a lot of good on this internet. LOL There is a ‘sweet’ feeling to know that friends and family read here.


PS:  Thanks to everyone who reads this stuff. It makes an old man feel good.

Sunday, December 27, 2020

Sayings and typewriting

 Autos of beauty

 From the Studebaker Museum South Bend, IN

For today:

The sundown of your life.

The evening of your life

Quiet as a mouse

The FALL of your life

Deader than a Door nail.

Dumb as a bell…. (I have felt that one up close and personal before!)

Once in my life I had to write lesson plans. I made the mistake once of using Roman numerals. When I got up into the teens and twenties I was lost. That was several pages, and then there were no word processors. You that used the typewriter at work know what it is to retype page after page. I never made that mistake again. (Word processors are great, huh?

Did you know the zero is the only numeral not represented in Roman numerals? (Just learned that from Evelyn).

Do they teach typing in schools today?

I wonder how many words kids can type with their thumbs, they are pretty danged fast.

Typing. My dad typed his sermon outlines with two fingers. He was proud when he got a typewriter with a red and black ribbon. Then he could type in red and black.

I saw a clip once of Andy Rooney typing, I think he used two fingers. In the early years many newspaper editors/writers were pretty fast with two fingers.

Just curious, were typewriters ‘born’ with home keys. Do kids know there are home keys? I just took note that my key board still indicates the start of home keys. I learned to type with two hands on my own, and I still look at the keys. My mind never locked itself to the home keys. I wander off of them sometime.


PS: About rooting. The jar to which I added honey looked like this yesterday

Like this today, it was wilted.

OUCH! I changed the water and hope they brighten back up!
So much for my online hints, shoulda waited on Don's advice. :-O

Saturday, December 26, 2020


 Memorable Automobiles from The Past:

 1956 Studebaker SkyHawk

Now, for today:

Not Rooting for the Belmont Raiders, Braves, Cowboys or Dolphins, BUT rooting plants.

When we moved in this trailer there were some citrus trees and a several bushes. Sherry let me know the names of some. One was a Bradford Pear tree, that doesn’t grow pears (makes no sense to me!). And a couple Hibiscus.  (I remembered them after she said that because my brother Junior had some giant hibiscus and the 3 year old twins called the ‘High Biscuits’.

Ok, then there was a couple small ones just little blue flowers on. At the corner was a 4 foot plant, leafy. Not an eye sore, just a nice plant.

BUT wow as we stayed here the top leaves turned RED, my girl was excited. “Honey this is a poinsettia!” We were very excited. We noted down the street one trailer had them along the side. A couple days ago I mentioned to Sherry I would ask Friend Don (of Don & Evelyn) how to ‘root’ some cuttings. The things must be hearty, it reached near 32 here the night before.

One of those many stems is what broke off. I had at least 10 flowers on it.

Low and behold after that wind storm passed two nights ago I walked out on the patio and one branch of the poinsettia had broken off.

I cut each little limb and I am trying to root them. I read where some honey would help. So I have two bunches of stems I am trying to root. One bunch I have fed a little honey.

It happened before I had a chance to ask Don. But I read that I need to change the water every few days. So I am going to have to figure a way to haul them in the motor home.

What do you think, do you root? (I never have)..


Friday, December 25, 2020


  Memorable Automobiles from The Past:


The 1904 Sunbeam

Now my thought for Today...

Integrity: the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness.

A word some people in today’s world- have forgotten. I was raised in a home that exemplified that word. I have known many people with integrity.

I was a pallbearer for Sonny Helms, my best friend and my BIL. Looking around at the other guys about to carry sonny to that hole in the ground, I said to all of them, “Boys, if you ever told something in confidence to this man, that secret is in this box.” They all nodded in agreement.  It is strange how you get attached to someone. There is not a day goes by I do not think of him and miss him.

I was raised in a world where your word was your bond. A handshake was as good as or better than a notarized agreement with witnesses.

I had an attorney once who was SHOCKED to learn that my business was financed on handshakes. On handshakes I had borrowed thousands of dollars to finance homes being built.


We require a paper trail in today’s world.

I learned I had to actual start making that paper trail. It was a sad day for me.

Some people learn the hard way that ‘information’ is a valuable commodity. A politician can tell a ‘friend’ in confidence something that could ruin his life, if it was ever exposed. The politician learns too late the information was sold to his opponents or a newspaper.

But despite the lack of integrity in many areas, there are still good people in this world today. As a whole I think we all TRY to do what is right. We may see things different than our neighbor, but we would NEVER intentionally injure them.

There have been some ‘small shady’ things in my very early life, Since becoming an adult, I would hate to be thought of as a person of NO integrity.


Determination, there is hope for our future my friends.

PS:  I hope you know it is only 364 days until Christmas. Strange that much of our lives center around Christmas, but it should be methinks.

At times we want the other guys job,

 Automobiles of importance:


The Hydrogen car, I am not sure anyone is working on this any more. I think this is the BEST shot as saving our resources. The car that runs on water!

Now for today, ever want someone else's job?..

A few times I have allowed myself to get stressed. At those times I wanted to move so far back in the hills they would have to pipe in sunshine (A saying I have heard).

My son Mark was a builder bigger houses different from his dad, steeper roofs and a lot of roof lines. NOT my cup a tea. But at times he would be frustrated and he would say, “I want one of those Stop and Go jobs.  You know the guys who work each end of road construction and turns that sign to go and stop when he is told to. That is all he is responsible for.”

Most of us when getting in a bind, maybe a little behind, etc have wished for that job of sweeping the floor. Or working in the candy factory.

I think that is normal, but over the years some of us learn to roll with the punches and others of us, do not. Sometimes we feel like the famous scene in ‘I Love Lucy’, where she is working at a candy factory on an assembly line and could not keep up.


I hope you all are having a great Christmas season. Let’s not get stressed. Just remember the reason for the season. His Birth:


“For unto you is born a Savior”

The ‘Wise Men were not at the Manger in Bethlehem. They came much later. It doesn’t bother me when they are depicted at the manger to worship, because they did come a great distance to worship.  It is possible they started following a star the day he was born.

Merry Christmas to everyone who has time to read this. Relax, love and appreciate the time.


PS: Don't you love the smell of baking? Sherry baked a Raw Apple Cake and a pone of cornbread for her dressing. Enough for me to have cornbread and milk for dinner.  Whoopee!

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Last night I had a sweet dream, Home for the Holidays

  Memorable Automobile from The Past:

 An older Pontiac:

These are Dallas & Marian's first two kids, We remember Peggy, she was born while stationed at Camp Geiger, NC That might be Dal Jr with her. Dal had an older Pontiac in 56 of course.

Now for today..

Remember the many dreams you cannot remember? (Is that contradictory?) LOL

I was never a Fan of music. I do remember a base library just after joining the USN, I was missing my Sherry. For something to do I visited it and put on some head phones. They were playing some piano classics, Beethoven etc.The closest I had been to that was... ‘Roll over Beethoven and tell Tchaikovsky the news!’ ;-) Chuck Berry

I remember thinking I could listen to this forever. BUT I never did it again. My dream was keyed to the song by Perry Como, “ Home for the Holidays”. It must be OUR classic, because we sing one line when we see a Pennsylvania tag. It Is is:

“I met a man who lives in Tennessee and he was headed for Pennsylvania and some homemade Pumpkin Pie! From Pennsylvania folks are traveling down .... etc.." And then we talk of our oldest military friends, Dallas and Marian. They Are Pennsylvanians and that girl can cook. LOL

Funny how people can be anything in a dream. My son Jack Jr was a Highway patrolman. He spotted an old 50s Pontiac stuck in the snow in NC, with a Tennessee tag. He ran it before checking the passengers. It was registered to a Robert Dallas Fletcher, Red Lion, PA. (Anything can be done in a dream, a TN tag with a PA address!)

He then found an OLDER couple hugging to stay warm. “Mr Fletcher?”

“Yes son, how did you know?”

“ I ran the plates sir, you two need to get in the backseat of my cruiser, then we can talk.”

In the cruiser, “What are you doing on the road?”

(singing) “Headed for Pennsylvania and some homemade Pumpkin Pie!”

“OK, I am taking you to a place where you might can get some pumpkin pie!”

The Fletchers were leery, it was a long drive and out in the country, “Where are you taking us?”

“AHHH you will see in a minute as he drove up to a Motor home.”

They knocked on the door, and there was Sherry opening the door and screaming, “Marian? How did you get here?” They pointed to a patrol car leaving. I ran out and hugged Dallas. In the dream I had not seen him since 1956. (But in reality we  stay in contact.)

In the dream we explained that our sons had heard their names since they were born. The name FLETCHER was engraved in their memory.

In the dream Son Mark towed their old Pontiac to his body shop and completely restored it. (pretty good in one night) LOL

Jack and Mark drove the Pontiac thru the snow to the MHome and we waved as Marian & Dallas headed for PA, we were all singing that song, "There is no place like Home for the Holidays!!!!"

I cannot recall remembering that much and more of a dream. It was so pleasant. WE did not get to see the Fletchers last year and just received a card saying they would not be in Florida this year. WE will miss them.


PS: Of we 4, Marian is the kid. She is only 80 now. Dallas? older than dirt! LOL

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Beaches, Coast lines and salt water.

 Dune Buggies:

(Buggy pics from the net)

Now, for today:

I enjoy seeing beaches. That vast expanse of water still amazes me. Some of the most beautiful and assessable coast lines are on our East Coast, facing the Atlantic Ocean. There are constant nice waves if you enjoy salt water with some excitement. Searching what is brought in by waves adds to the excitement. That type coast line reaches from Jersey to Miami. Sand Dollars are a big catch here.  These are not great surfing waves, but fun.

The Florida Keys have beautiful coast lines but not the nice solid sand of the more northern beaches. The beaches in Key West, we found, were rough, shelly and some coral.

When we traveled to New England we saw nice beaches, and some beautiful rough shore lines UNLIKE Daytona. Daytona! That is one beach I remember as a young guy. It was the first beach I remember you could drive a car right on the beach.

The west coast of the USA has some beautiful beaches, however much of the shore line is rough.  BUT in many places there are some big surfing waves. Lot of movies 50-60s about ‘Surfing USA’.

I was pleasantly surprised that the Great lakes have some pretty beaches, but not the waves you find at the oceans. BUT again, being the largest freshwater lakes in the world they are mind boggling. My mind compared the great Lakes beaches to the Gulf of Mexico shore lines.

The Mediterranean Sea is a mixture of rough and smooth beaches. The French Riviera is probably the Med’s most known and visited beaches. Again no consistent ‘big’ waves as an ocean.

Hawaii’s beaches are beautiful, some areas are picturesquely rough. WE watched surfing there. Definitely the surfer’s paradise. We saw some of those Wave tunnels surfers would get in and enjoy a great time.

Cuba has nice small beaches scattered among a rough coast line on the south side. Snorkeling there and the Keys is beautiful.

We used to enjoy the salt water, I think it is good for you. I do love to see the ocean, but I have learned I had rather be on a ship and enjoy the smell, beauty and vastness of the SEAS. I even enjoy it when it is angry and rough. The roughest water was 50-70 ft waves in the North Atlantic. I loved it. (Of course our ship was huge, way over the length of a football field) It was beautiful to see those waves come over the bow and wash the decks.



Lisa is our token beach girl here in bloggersville. She plans to move that direction one day.