A huge thank you to the superstars and made the Family History project possible!!!!!!


Me from the Cruise Ship. Hot, I remember being hot. I miss hot. It is freaking cold right now.

I would like to take a moment this morning and play back an old theme. I would like to thank the three primary scanners that led the Family History scanning project. I have completed two distinct books already for the family history project (Volume 1 and Volume 2) and shared those with my family. Without the scanners there would be no project. So while I am remembering warm I am always warmly remembering the three great people that stepped up and delivered results!

Luke, Nick and Jakki thank you, there would be no family history project without the three of you. Your contribution, effort and dedication made the project possible and I thank you!  Someday the value of the project will become apparent and you will look back fondly at doing that and making the digital memories for everyone!

For those of you interested – I’ve lost 30 pounds since this picture. Being back in the tropics kicked in my old dietary habits and I was actually able to lose weight on a cruise ship. I also lost the goatee for the first time in many years and am now working on a 1/2 no shave November beard (I started the beard on November 15). Again though, thank you to the three superstar kids that gave their time and effort in making the family history project successful. I have now published more than 1200 pictures of family moments added with memories and wanderings of mine.

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Back to Carousel 4 and the streets of Europe. I love the cobble stone streets in some European cities. They (cobblestones) were around long before the cars that ride on them now. Sometimes the streets the cars are on were added long after the car was invented.

Sometimes the streets are so narrow they only have room for one car going one way. Except then in Italy where no matter how narrow there is always room for two cars, you just have to use the magic car narrowing device (the horn) and shout a lot. If you shout a lot you expel air from the car making the car effectively thinner and you can squeeze past the other drivers in the street that is too narrow for one car but now has two!

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The mix of old and new houses also intrigues me. We lived for awhile in the Cincinnati neighborhood of Western Hills. It was an old neighborhood clustered around a large park (with a pool) and a church. The church had bells that shook our house, they were loud and really close.

Most of the houses around us were built in the 1930’s as was our house. It was 60 years old by the time we moved in. Nothing like the 200, 300, and 400 year old homes in Europe. But for us that was an old home. Perspective is everything!


Family Historian…

Images of Europe and a visit to the Beanie Institute!

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I have a lot of pictures of things like this. Something US while traveling overseas. It just makes you, for the moment feel like you are home or at least a piece of home is there with you. When I was in Kuala Lumpor we decided one night (the Aussie’s I was with and myself) to go to the Hard Rock Café. Just to feel a little closer to home. It was by far the worst meal I had ever had. All of us were up all night because of that meal. So thereafter we stayed with Malaysian food.

I guess you have to be careful when you are away from home and are wistful and need a reminder of home.

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A great visual demonstration of the impact of Kharst Topography. Its all over Indiana.    This one is somewhere in France. Kharst Topography is where the cave ceiling collapses and creates a sink hole. Dad loved geology as much as he did botany. He and I spent hours looking for fossils in the creek near our house and near lake Monroe. He would wander to the huge cuts that had been made in the bedrock to put roads in and we would search there. We found many wonderful fossils over the years. Dad would often know what they were right away or we would go find a book and look them up. Back in the days before the internet hunting fossils was a great way to spend a Saturday.

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The Beanie Institute. This image from  before Jakki was born but The Bean and Beanie was a nickname she had for a long time. I wonder if this is the institute that studies how beanies stay on people’s heads in heavy wind?

Dad’s sense of humor was often present in the pictures he took. Things he found funny that he snapped and then stuck in a Carousel or a box, no one else seeing the humor.

I don’t think he cared, as long as he thought it was funny!


Family Historian…

Images of Paris from the 1980’s

I suspect this is a side gate to the UNESCO building in in Paris. This is 20 years before 9/11 and the recent Paris bombings so there is security but you can see the security carousel 050

isn’t as tight as it would be now. I had the reality of traveling a lot during the period right before and right after 9/11. I can honestly say the world changed that day. People didn’t move through airports with the joy of traveling. They moved through airports to get away from the pain of security. Standing in lines became the minimum. We also traveled to Thailand during the initial Sky Jacking period so security was lighter then than it would be in the mid-70’s.

Not that I am complaining. It just changes the way people travel forever. Things that you could once simply say “oh well” weren’t the case anymore. So it’s a nice memory to see the open security gates of the 1980’s.

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The UNESCO building in Paris. UNESCO, or the United National Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization focuses on helping countries achieve their cultural, educational and scientific goals. Focused on education and building the infrastructure a country needs to help its citizens. It is a citizen service organization.

It was really cool that dad worked for them in the years right after the founding of the Peace Corps. Although knowing how much dad loved John Kennedy I suspect it was inevitable that he would be a part of the great movement that JFK started. Making the world a better place and making education better for everyone was dad’s dream.

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I should flip this image so its legible. The sign wasn’t reversed in the original image just during the scanning of the slide.

When we were in Paris in 1972 we loved the warm milk and croissants every day for breakfast. For lunch we would have hard cheese and a beget. I have to say that was my least favorite meal. I don’t much like cheese in any form. I did love the warm beget that we would get from the bakery near the hotel.

That (1972) was the longest time I spent in Paris (2 weeks). I’ve been back three times beyond that but never again stayed that long.


Family Historian

Dad’s trip to Moscow and Paris???

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I suspect that dad had a blast here. He loved snow. It never really bothered him. Partially because when I was old enough shoveling the driveway was my problem. I hate snow. I hate shoveling the driveway. I hate mowing to, its why I don’t make my kids mow without me. I hate the process and the concept, so I help them.

It is a normal progression of life. You think your parents did it wrong so as a parent you do it differently. But in the end the result is the same. Your kids grow up and have children and they go the other way, having their kids do everything. So in the end it is a vicarious cycle.

Dad said the best part of the trip to Moscow was the bread and cheese. He said it was cold the whole time but he loved the bread and cheese. Figures, dad could eat cheese 24 by 7.

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So this is either the grand canal in Moscow or it is transitioned to Paris. The reason for this transition  The next picture appears to be the Eiffel Tower so I suspect this may be the River Seine.

It was hard on mom when dad was gone. She ended up being wholly responsible for everything. Dad was gone for a month or more without being able to come home. There were a few trips when he was gone for a month plus and the airmail letters arrived only a couple of days before he actually got home.

One time we went up to get our new dog (Frosty) and picked dad up at O’Hare airport. Frosty was a Great Pyrenees and in the end she was crazy. Had we not been so excited to see dad we would have noticed the warning signs of her crazy before we picked him up. As it was we didn’t notice the crazy for a couple of years. Anyway, we wandered up to Southern Wisconsin where the breeder was, and then down to Chicago to get dad.

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This appears to be the Eiffel Tower in the fog. A really cool picture. I am still sad about the events of Paris. The pain is fresh and raw. It reminded me of 9/11 and all the other horrible events of the past few years.

This is a glorious picture, taken in the time before all these horrible events. Perhaps we can pull the good feelings forward.

My memories of Paris are funny. I remember arriving the very first time in 197excited to be going to the tomb of Napoleon. I had read about the American and French Revolutions in school so going to where they second occurred was exciting. We had been to Washington DC the summer before we headed off to Thailand and on the way to Thailand we touched down at UNESCO HQ, located near the Eiffel Tower in Paris France. We stayed in a French Hotel not a big chain hotel and it was an amazing experience. Poor mom had to go to the places I was dying to go to so her memories may be of running around Paris. My memories were of making history real!


Family Historian…

Here is a moment, here is place. Your heart never has to stay here.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!!! Today at our house for the second time in the last four years I am not making the Thanksgiving Dinner and this time Lukas is making the meal all by himself. carousel 020

This picture taken most likely (36 pictures in a roll) in or near Moscow. Snow is on the ground. there was snow in the previous confirmed Moscow pictures. I am not sure what Dad was trying to capture with this image. It is really pretty but without a clear or known landmark it is hard to know what it was supposed to be. When I was 14 I was so jealous of dad. He got to travel for work, he went to Pakistan, Moscow, Saudi Arabia and back to Thailand. He was in Papua New Guinea and Australia. I really wanted to do that. Then later in my career I got to travel like that and I found the pain and loneliness that you get when you are away from your family in another world. Yes it is fun to travel, but it is more fun to travel with your family.

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So you see families everywhere when you are traveling alone. It is as if the country where you are suddenly declared being single against the law (expect for visitors) and everyone was married with children. I would see them and take pictures of the family I missed. Dad did that a number of times over the years as well. This family walking in the snow somewhere near Moscow Russia. Back to quote the song in the USSR.

Once I knew that loneliness that feeling of doing the right thing (making money and a career to help your family) but the sheer loneliness of being along I understood a lot of what dad went through. He was trying to do the right thing. He did do the right thing.

Here is a moment in time. It is where you are physically at any moment. But your heart is home. Even when carousel 029you are 12,000 miles away eating prime rib in a catered affair and your family is huddled around the fire place in the dead of winter eating fish sticks. Don’t call them and tell them you are eating prime rib. You never tell them that when they are eating fish sticks. It doesn’t ever end if you do. You can be away and still be home. I learned that when I was traveling. Unlike dad though, I could call home once a day. There were trips when I had 700 or 800 dollar phone bills but I wasn’t alone the entire trip.

There was a period though when I was gone every day for weeks on end. That had a tremendous wear and tear on me and on the kids. I suspect that time became the phone conversation time. I talked to the kids every day then. Now I am home almost every night (traveled 4 times in the last four years). The only extended trips I’ve had were North Carolina twice (with the family) and Hawaii (also with the family). If you ask me I miss being overseas but I don’t miss being alone.

On this Thanksgiving I am thankful for my family. I am thankful for the time I got to spend with my father. I am thankful for my grandparents. I am thankful for all the time I’ve spent with my mother. I am thankful for my two wonderful sisters and their families. I am thankful for my children.

Happy Thanksgiving 2015!


Family Historian

Dad’s pictures from Moscow. From when going to Moscow was a big deal!

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Dad loved to take pictures of the unique and different. This church caught his eye. I suspect it is in one of three places. We will find out more as we unveil more pictures from this Carousel.

People would spend their lives on these buildings. Their entire lives. What today takes 3-4 years was a career when this Church was built. It could take you 20 years to finish something like this. There are massive churches (on in New York City) that have never truly been finished.

There are temples and churches that when you walk into the building you are hushed not by anything other than the majesty of the building itself. Notre Dame in Paris is such a building. Every time I go into that building I am awed by what was created. I’ve been four times in my life (11 years old, and then 3 more times in my 30’s and 40’s). It is the most amazing building in Paris other than the Arc and the Eiffel Tower.

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Dad was in Moscow (when it was still the USSR). He was followed he said by KGB agents the entire time he was there. I think he was there for an NSTA event. It would have been the mid- late 80’s right before the great transition.

This is of Moscow and so is the other image. Dad was there about a week and showed us these slides once at Christmas. It is one of two places in the world dad went that I didn’t also go. Moscow and Papua New Guinea are the two places (He has been everywhere I have been so I have some catching up to do!). So bleak and dreamy this image of Moscow, yet I want more than anything to go!

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That would appear to be dad there in the right corner of the picture. Don’t know what everyone is looking at. I would be more worried about the canon behind everyone firing. That bad boy would probably be pretty loud when it went off.

Anyway that might be dad.

Dad traveled a lot he loved traveling. It made him happy to see the world to know that people were similar all around the world. I know he loved Thailand more than anything. I remember him after he retired from Indiana University. He wasn’t happy about being forced to retire. I saw him two years later on my way home from Malaysia teaching in Thailand. He was alive and so happy.  Dad loved to teach.


family historian…

Pictures of the past, sometimes there aren’t any stories :-)

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Picture of all of us (except dad he took the picture) somewhere in Thailand. Lynne is in front. Mom is hidden by Barb who is in her arms and I am on the bench looking down at something below.

Since none of my friends were there it was probably on a family outing somewhere near Bangkok. The where escapes me. I jumped up and looked in a lot of places while in Thailand.

Happy times make good memories. I remember this moment, but most likely because I have seen it since leaving Bangkok. Dad used to have slide shows from time to time showing off the many pictures he had put in the Carousels.

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Every culture in the world has a way homes are aligned, schools are nestled into places and what people want to see. I know over the years as I have seen 100’s of homes that some things people have in their homes are things I wish I had. When I was younger I met someone in Seattle that had the best home theater I had ever seen. While I don’t want the huge speakers he had adorning his walls (I prefer the smaller electronic speakers) I did want a home theater. One that you could relax in and enjoy watching movies or sporting events.

There are other things over the years I’ve enjoyed in homes. My one thing from Thailand is a house on stilts. I love going to the beach and being in arouse on Stilts. I don’t know why that particular thing stuck with me but it did.

carousel 078These are the last pictures of Carousel 2, which is the 3rd Carousel I’ve shared. Tomorrow we move on to Carousel 3, full of who knows what. There are a few Carousels that have names (Thailand 1, Thailand 2) and for the most part the slides will be from the period 1970 to about 1990. I am not sure dad ever made a Carousel of pictures taken after 1990. There are a couple of vacations that I am I hoping to find some slides of as we wander through the 70’s. I would love to see pictures of Estes Park Colorado and pictures of Beaver Island Michigan.

This last slide of Carousel 2, shows a typical Thai River house of the 1970’s era. They are now long gone, houses like this. Mostly because the next flood that happened pushed them down river.


Family Historian

There are 10 faces of people you will never remember…

carousel 060Steep roofs let the rain wash away from the house. Stilts keep the river below you, not around you. Teak lasts forever. A beautiful Thai house. Traditional in construction. A family lived here. Of course that family is not the same now as it was at the time of the epicure.

By family in the case of this home, it would be different than we often have in the US. Where a family in the US may have two, three or more homes here the family had one home. They would live under the same roof. They took care of their parents and grandparents all living together and taking care of each other. It is a more communal view of what family is than what we have in the US today.

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Another picture, like the house above that has no story. There is no name for this person. There is no history of the last 40 years for this person. What she dreamed of being, what she wanted to be. What she became. I am a doctor. I am a teacher. I changed the world. I was an astronaut and looked upon the great blackness of space and found peace within myself. I became a great leader. I became a mother. No story other than what I could imagine. A wonderful picture of a person in a moment of time. Lost forever now in the history of what once was. A moment captured that has no connection to now, only to then. I wonder who she is.

There a few photos like this. But they have to be shared.

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A school with children in Uniforms. This isn’t Bangkok Patana school (BPS) our uniforms were green squares and far more hideous. But you get the concept. Every child the same. No rodomont to make them unique. We were members of the school.

I learned about Rugby (I loved it) at BPS. I learned how bad I was at Soccer compared to people that had played it their whole lives. I  played Ping Pong and made it to the second round of the school tournament before I was annihilated by a student two years younger than me. I got a participation plague for finishing 3rd in the Butterfly at the school swim meet. I was introduced to the Lord of The Rings.


Remembering Bangkok

One missing smile, memories of the past and a missing plant.

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Dad loved taking pictures of children and normally they would smile and laugh. Dad could be quite funny. For some reason this young girl wasn’t impressed by dad’s comedy.

It is a wonderful picture though. It is one of the many he took that as I find them I wonder about the person all the years later. What is this young lady doing? Is she a doctor? A lawyer? Leader of the regional government? A picture now more than 40 years old filled with potential and possible. As I look at these I am amazed by how good a photographer dad was. I am also struck with wondering, what became of the young girl in the picture?

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The river gives and takes. For thousands of years people lived along the river. Over time the houses evolved. You can see it in the background on stilts. That way your stuff wasn’t washed away when the river decided to exceed its limits.

In 1972 when you got out of Bangkok this was the traditional homes you would see. That is different now, Thailand has a vibrant and growing economy and actually exports food to the rest of Southeast Asia. When I went back in 2004 I half expected to see this world still there, but it is not as wide spread now as it was then. I suppose if you get well away from Bangkok there are still people living as they have for the past 500 years. But near Bangkok now is modern.

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My father by love was a biologist. He knew the Latin names of all the plants, and used to torture us by reciting Latin names as we hiked (at his request) into the wilderness. This image however is interesting. First I have no freaking clue what this image is. I don’t know if it is up-side-down or down-side-up. I don’t even know if it is supposed to be on its side or perhaps inverse.

It is of a plant. Dad loved to take pictures of plants. It is an interesting plant but I have no idea what it is.

I am sure there was a story that went with this. But the story is lost to me now. I looked at this picture in all four rotations and if I wasn’t following a set of rules I wouldn’t have posted this one. (every fifth picture of the Carousel). So here it is. Anyone know what this is? I am hoping it is not pictures of Opium pods or something that I shouldn’t have posted (like a human consuming Venus flytrap). So if you know comment or send me an email!


plant historian

A city, an Orchard (Grove) and might Water Buffalo!

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A view of Bangkok. Buildings in the tropics are different than what I was used to. We lived in Chicago and then Bloomington Indiana. Houses there are designed to keep the cool  in and the cold out. In the tropics buildings tend to be more open. While it is certainly warmer on most days in Bangkok than it is in Bloomington Indiana. it is also more likely to have a good breeze. When we were there in 1972 and later in 2004 and 2005 for the most part people didn’t run their air conditioners all day, only at night. So the open design of the buildings let the breeze in. Long porches were the norm in Bangkok. It was a big change in building style but I loved the difference!

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The fruit on the tree was called “Rambutan” I suspect that is not the way its spelled. The little cutie in the picture is my little sister. Actually both of my sisters are much younger than I am. But this is mom and dad’s last kid. Based on me I would have thought I would be the last kid, but they kept trying for better kids and got lucky twice! The fruit was in an orchard and we wandered through the orchard picking and eating the fruit fresh. You peel the red covering off and eat the fruit inside. I think we ate quite a  few that day as we wandered through the grove.

This grove or orchard was outside of Bangkok (we took many trips outside the city while we were in Thailand) I just couldn’t tell you where it was.

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In the Teak forests Elephants are used to help move harvested Teak logs to the river to float down to the mills. In the cities Elephants help build buildings and roads. But in the rice paddies Elephants are too big to be of great use. Water Buffalo are the beasts of burden in the rice paddies.

You can see the farmer there off to the right watching the water buffalo carefully. They were valuable for the farmer as they helped with planting, managing and harvesting the rice. Thai rice is so amazing. It is without a doubt the best rice on earth. Like Thai pineapple I miss that taste and have since 1972!


Family Historian