Wander project back in the day…

Albums 5The first time I ever flew on an airplane was on an old prop plane in the late 1960’s. We flew to Billy Mitchell Field in Milwaukee Wisconsin. It was my sister Lynne, myself and my mother going up to visit my grandparents in Wisconsin from Indiana. I think we flew out of Indianapolis Indiana, but I am not completely sure about that fact.

Albums 014My next big travel moment (that I remember) was taking the train up to Wisconsin. Again leaving Bloomington on the mighty Monon Railway. I do not recall the exact date, but the Mighty Monon discontinued service (passenger) to Bloomington a couple of years after our trip. The railway just stopped carrying passengers and began only carrying coal from the fields in Southern Indiana to Indianapolis to generate power for Indiana’s big city.

Albums 019We drove that route as well many times. I spent a month or more most summers in Cambridge Wisconsin. When I was young, I remember driving up for Thanksgiving. I got sick the day we drove up and was running a fever by the time we arrived, so we turned around and headed home. We had turkey TV dinners at home in Indiana. As a child, I was sick often and mom, as a nurse was always worried it would develop into pneumonia.

Those are my happy memories of travel in days past.


Family Historian


Australia, and memories of dad traveling…

carousel 060When dad traveled back in the day he would be gone for 4 or more weeks at a time. In places that sounded fun but you never knew. He would write us letters and I can say I missed him. I find I miss him now as well. But now its more hearing his voice or one of his smart aleck comments that I miss the most. I miss the sound of “Joe’s Bar and Grill” when he would answer the phone. I do that now, when Barb calls home and I know it is her I will answer the phone with some strange greeting like “International Festival of the Arts have you given?” Looking inward and being honest with myself I suspect I was a tough kid for my dad to understand sometimes. I know that because I find the same thing is true with my own children. I love them more than anything on earth. They are the greatest addition to my life without doubt. But sometimes I don’t understand them.

I think that is the hardest job a parent has. When the time comes to let go of your babies and let them be adults. Let them make mistakes, ones that you can see coming from 100 miles away. This isn’t going to work. You know it isn’t going to work but you have to let them stumble and fall. They are a part of you and some part of you that will carry on long after you are gone. But they are also independent humans that have to make decisions and fall down. The one time I fell so hard that well there are many who rightfully never get up when they fall that hard, dad was there (and so was mom). They helped me pick up the pieces and pull myself together. I could have gone to a very dark place, feeling sorry for myself and walling off the world. But mom and dad kept me out in the open and I will never forget that.  They helped me past myself.

carousel 065That is in the end what parents do. We keep the fires lit. We are there when our children fall. But most importantly sometimes we have to watch even knowing they will fall. But you have to let other humans fall sometimes. The ultimate trust is not always saving the day. The ultimate trust sometimes is letting the other person fail, even if it hurts a little.

Back to Australia a few more times. One of the fun things about dad traveling was he always came home with recipe ideas. New foods to try to make at home. He introduced us to foods from around the world (and around the US). From Buffalo Wings to a Rueben dad was always finding new foods that were both fun and tasty. His descriptions of the food he tried were always fun. It made the transition to Thailand easier. Knowing dad would try all the food I was always game. A few times I ended up with something that was too spicy, but I struggled through. By the end the first month it wasn’t too spicy anymore!

IMGA0730We end with an image taken from the Sydney Harbor on the tour. I was using the video camera to take video and stills. I actually ran out of battery before the 2 hour tour was done. It was an amazing mix of history and tour.

I love Australia.

It is a place I have on my bucket list to visit again. That and seeing the recreation of the Shire built in New Zealand. That is another place I really want to see. The rest of my bucket list I’ve actually had an opportunity to see. So that is it! One trip to New Zealand with a stop in Australia. I would like to spend more time around and in the Great Barrier Reef and of course as I said in New Zealand visit the Shire used for the movies. As a LOTR’s fan boy I feel like I have to do that before I die. Its one of those complete life fantasies things.


Family Historian…

Carousel 5 transitions from Thailand to Indiana…

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It is universal. Diving into the pile of leaves collected. Regardless of season and of who collected the leaves. It is about jumping in and playing.

You could see these kids anywhere in the world. Europe, Asia, Pacifica, Africa or America just a head peaking above the leaves and a smile. Its about the innocence that is childhood. The ready to greet the world with a smile attitude.

Raking leaves and lawn mowing were never high on my list. Its why I would rather take 10 minutes and mow the leaves up rather than two hours raking them!

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Mom and Lynne walking. I suspect this is post Bangkok (Lynne is getting tall!). My gut says this is either near lake Superior or this is the Indiana Dunes State Park. Honestly it looks more like the Indiana Dunes to me but I could just possibly be wrong.

Mom was always there for us. You could talk to mom about anything. She would always listen and give good advice. So did dad, but it took me a few years to realize that. Mom was the one you could approach when we were young. You could start the conversation with her and finish it with both of them if you needed more input. It was a wonderful love story the two of them to grow up with.

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There was a time in the 1920’s and before when Indiana Limestone was the preferred building material. The Empire State building was built with Indiana Limestone. But the industry died in the 1930’s. It caused wide spread unemployment in Southern Indiana and started the Indiana brain drain (which is sadly still happening). Dad loved going to and around the quarries. There were many. Some by the time I was little were just holes in the ground. They still pulled Indiana Limestone from the ground. But not by the processes they used in the 20’s and 30’s of the last century. It was a tough industry then. A lot of people died to get one piece of stone out of the ground and prepared for shipping. 15-20 workers died every year in the heyday of Indiana Limestone.

I have a lot of quarry stories but since my mother reads this, and doesn’t know a lot of the quarry stories I will keep that to myself for now.


Family Historian

Carousel 5 scattered places, scattered memories…

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I love the car. Convertible Mustang a gorgeous car. Convertibles are always fun. Sometimes as you drive along the road there is no better feeling than the wind in your air. The same is true while boating or while walking so convertibles extend one of my favorite things. We’ve owned a convertible for the past 5 years, and before that had one in Cincinnati Ohio for 4 years. Although I only drove the one in Cincinnati when it was my turn (twice in four years) it was fun. We have two convertibles in the garage now, a Smart for Two and a Mini-Cooper. The Mini-Cooper remains one of my personal favorite cars ever owned. It drives amazing even on snow.

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This looks to be from further out in the Gulf of Siam looking back at another boat and the shore of Thailand but I am not completely sure on the location. In fact I am not even sure it is Thailand. I don’t remember a western style beach front like what we see in this picture. I may have just let the memory slip away. Who knows. It could also be somewhere I was never, so effectively while I am guessing, I don’t know for sure. How is that for a long winded I don’t know.

You can see in the lower right corner the edges of the slide. Another thing that happens over time with slides is the decay and slip a bit in their mounts. Your scanning crew has to catch stuff like that early in the process. Smile

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As a small child I was terrified of storms like this. The noise, the lightening and thunder all scared me. One night dad sat on the edge of my bed as I was scared, trying to sleep. He told me it was only giants bowling and the loud thunder was a gutter ball. I never believed the story for a second, but I did know I was safe because dad was there.

It is that feeling of safety that parents give their children, that ability to reach for the stars knowing if you fall your parents will catch you. The one time I fell hard my parents were there. They caught me, and made sure I could stand back up on my own. I did right away, because they were there. I truly hit the ground and it hurt for a long time, but I learned and in the end was much better having fallen than I could have ever been without my fall.


Family Historian

Images of Buddha and a visit from mom!!!!!!!!!!!

We had the pleasure of mom visiting us from Indiana this past weekend. That is always a fun time and of course it was this time as well. We went to see the movie “Love the Coopers” on Sunday. It is a very funny movie combining all the elements I really like in that type of movie. Good story, a little sadness, and some goofball moments. It is good to see John Goodman back out and acting again.

So a huge thank you to mom for traveling 1/2 way across the country on an Eastward bound journey.

Now back to the fruits of the family history project. Today only two slides still working on Carousel 1, with is 125 slides.

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Dad loved taking pictures of Buddhist Wat’s and other places of celebration. He was fascinated by the culture and the religion. Spirit houses and everything entranced him. We have many pictures to prove the point.

For me, at the time, 1972 it opened my eyes to a different world. I saw places where people had gone for thousands of years to share and commune. There was a peaceful quiet there.

When we lived in Thailand we heard the Geckos. There is a legend that if you hear the Gecko sound their voice 7 times you will be blessed. I never heard one go for more than three so I guess I am not as blessed as I could have been.

There are many memories these pictures drag up. Of learning to be different at time in my life when I was already beginning to feel different from my parents. Like all pre-teens I had begun to become an individual. Add to that now I wasn’t in the majority, everywhere I went I was actually in the minority.

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The serene beautify of the mix is amazing. Buddha reflecting on the world around him and the commerce of the small harbor as people scurried about for their day.

I find peace in this image.

I wonder if that is why dad took it. That he found peace here. I know he was a different person in Thailand.The Adjan was always smiling and always moving about. I wonder if he found peace in the spirit that Buddha represents. It is a great picture showing a moment in time of what Bangkok was.


Family Historian

One place I know, two places I do not. But I KNOW ALL THE PEOPLE!!!!!!


Bubbies on the chair. There are a few pictures of the boys on that red chair. Mostly as they got a little older. This one is from our house on Willow Cover in Cincinnati Ohio. That was a house we designed and had built for us. I do miss that house at times.

We had a recliner all the way back to our house on Shafer Avenue in Cincinnati. We moved to having sectionals in Cincinnati. We still have a recliner but it is pretty beaten up. I had a blue massage recliner for many years. It was Jake’s favorite place to sit and watch Shining Time Station. She would extend the recliner leg out and sit on that watching the show. I had to be sitting on the chair, and wasn’t allowed to not be on the chair. She did at least allow me to read.

unsorted048I love to take pictures of people taking pictures. I think I get that from my father but there aren’t that many pictures of him taking pictures of people taking pictures of him. But when dad started taking pictures not as many people had cell phones, point and shoot and other cameras. That is mom holding the Video Camera. From back in the days when a video camera was a hearty endeavor.

I should ask mom what happened to all her old VHS tapes. May want to convert them to digital now. Image taken on one of our many expeditions but it doesn’t look like mom and dad’s house. Maybe cottages at Lake Ripley?


Starting in front is Jakki. Then you have Mom and my sister Barbara seated on the couch and Becca reclining on the recliner. I recognize the place as somewhere I have been but I couldn’t tell you where it was or is.

The sad reality of photographs you don’t quite recall. You know the place. you know the moment. But you can’t for the life of you remember the what and the where. I know the who. I recognize the faces. But the where escapes me. Perhaps this is Lynne’s house in Greenwood? It might be that.


memory challenged

Blog 13 of a 13 day trip–and I have a couple more to go. More blogs than days….

I took quite a few of the sunrise over Paradise Bay pictures. This one is actually pretty good, not professional quality but doesn’t look like well one of the P8110383ones I usually take. Of course sunrise in suburban Maryland doesn’t quite have this view.  They can be nice sitting on the deck with a cup of coffee. But for this one I was sitting on the deck with a cup of coffee as well. There are a number of places in the world that capture your eye like Hawaii does.

London is magnificent. Going there you quickly discover that the world really is built around three major cities and London is one of them. New York and Tokyo round out my top three. I have been to New York the most but it is still the most amazing city. I find new things to wonder and wander about. Plus I have a dear friend that lives there and it is always nice to go hang out with him and his wife. Tokyo is the one I have been to the least but have enjoyed every visit to the city.

Then there is the quiet reality of going to someplace in Hawaii and getting lost. We did many of the tourist things like a Luau and the North Shore. But we also just enjoyed a return to the tropics.


Time lapse of maybe 5-10 minutes. I was working on my blog so I can’t be sure how much time exactly. It is virtually the same picture although a little to the left of the first one. You can see the muddy mess that was our part of the bay. Not a lot of swimming happening there. At low tide the mud flat was roughly 30 feet off shore. On the other side of the peninsula we were on, there was a huge sand bar that was visible at low tide and just under the water at high tide. Well it wasn’t visible as in above the water but you could see the sand clearly and it stretched well out from the shore. We used to play in sandbars at Pataya all the time.

The beaches I was used to as a kid before Bangkok were what my grandfather built and what was built at Fairfax Beach Lake Monroe Indiana. I did get to go to a number of beaches on Lake Superior and Lake Michigan before Bangkok but the water was cold. Bangkok was truly my first experience with the ocean warm and the sand hot and a beach that was white and pristine. I remember body surfing for hours in the water. Catching waves an slamming into the shore. Over and over I remember it was a lot of fun.


Probably another 5 minutes and showing the mud flat a little further. On the right side of the picture is the mud flat at low tide. The left side of the picture is across the bay. Not all beaches are sand. Not all sand is white. We did go to a black sand beach as well, that was really cool.

A good friend of mine emailed me yesterday and said “You’ve written more blogs with Hawaii pictures than days you spent in Hawaii.” Very true. I will wander away from Hawaii blogs in a couple of days. I am still at this point basking in the glow that was Hawaii.

A piece of me lives on the water. When I am on, near or in water that piece is whole. The rest of the time it is looking for water. Swimming pools are nice, but they don’t scratch that itch. I need the rivers and lakes of the Midwest or the Ocean and bays of the east or west coast. I am a water baby.

Funny because when I was really little the only way they could get me to take a nap was put me on Grandpa;’s speedboat and run around Lake Ripley.


Water Baby…

300 pictures of getting ready to take 300 pictures of kids on a couch…

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Apparently at various times the time out couch had a dress code. In this one Lynne and I must have done something horrible as we were forced to wear dress clothes and then placed on the time-out couch. There were a lot of photos of Lynne and I sitting on this couch. I am actually teasing my mother about it being the Time-Out couch. I suspect this was where they plopped us before we went somewhere and dad snapped pictures of us.

Just like every unfinished roll of film he had for years he took pictures of quilts. People are funny that way, or at least people were funny back in the day. You saved the photos in the roll you were taking until the very end. Then you couldn’t wait to see how the photos you took turned out so you snapped a couple of pictures you never would have taken but. The but in that case being you wanted to finish that roll and see the pictures.

So you snapped kids on a couch. Or you snapped images of quilts. Perhaps now that the digital world has replaced the analog camera world that practice stops. Or because in the end the cost is lower for taking the pictures instead it becomes worse. You take the picture of the couch, and dressing the kids for the couch and placing the kids on the couch. All because in the end you can. You no longer have to wait to see if it was a good picture so perhaps instead of the 1 or 2 images of Lynne and I on the couch there would be 300. Each one just a tad different than the last.

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As a youngster I climbed everything. My poor mother would say “don’t climb that” and then when she wasn’t looking I was climbing it or sitting like that on top the rocks. Dad would laugh, but never where mom could see him which of course encouraged and empowered me.

Everywhere we went I would climb. Everywhere mom would react. I became so used to that. One day when we were in Thailand mom didn’t say don’t climb that. I stopped climbing and asked her “aren’t you going to tell me not to climb this mom? She looked at me and shrugged. “no. Your going to climb anyway.” She never said it again. I didn’t stop climbing stuff but I did kind of miss her saying that.

The Green number 12 Jersey was because I was in my Joe Willy Namath phase. I loved watching pro football and my favorite team was the Bears. My grandfather had told me on Thanksgiving day when I was five years old that I would be a Bears fan the rest of my life. I was then and I am now. But I loved the brash quality that was Joe Namath. He had the talent to back up what he said and he was willing to say it. As a kid watching those early super bowls Joe Willy was the player we all wanted to be. I never had the arm to chuck it as far as Joe Willy could but I practices in the park being accurate with my throws and trying to look like Namath when I threw the ball.

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Another Jet’s jersey picture. And my little sister. This is in the backyard of Sherwood Oaks. We had added the fence around the back yard the summer before. Then dad had to add another fence around his garden patch. Phoebe had no problem going into the garden patch and eating the ripe vegetables that she liked. I suspect she though it was very kind of dad to got ahead and have food available for her snacking whenever the mood hit her.

Phoebe once at two bags of green apples. She ended up with a belly ache. Instead of chiding her Lynne and I sat there rubbing her belly. Dad was mad. He loved apples. He didn’t realize Phoebe loved apples as well. That was the first time the smart dog outsmarted one of the humans and ended up with the food. There were many more times that would happen.

Back to Dunstan Drive, dad was already experimenting with some of the new ideas in gardening. You can see the guides he had built there on the left. He painted them brown (don’t ask me why we later painted the Barn and the Garage Brown at the farm). Without a doubt dad grew amazing tomatoes. Phoebe loved them for sure.

So we had the fence in the fence to protect dad’s veggies.


Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow.

Do you remember the days or weeks spent on the Time Out couch? I don’t… :-)

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We were young once and we had dreams. This was probably across the street from our house in the vacant lot. We were going to build a massive underground fort, here we are examining the fortifications and considering where to put the battlements. I was probably told to watch my little sister and she tagged along, or she may have just tagged along who knows by this time.

The great fort ended up being a hole we dug. Indiana has a limestone bedrock system that is 3-4 feet below the top soil in most places. By the time we had enough hole to reach the bedrock we were ready to quit. We ended up filling the hole back in and abandoning this particular fort.

We did try a more extensive project a few years later in the not yet started front part of Sherwood Oaks. That fort was a little larger. But we were a little older and the allure of enemies we could only chase in our minds began to fade. That second fort was abandoned as well.

I did however manage to rock the leather trim jacket. Few can pull off that look and as you can see from this picture I was at that time one of the few.

This is after we moved to Sherwood Oaks so around 1968 give or take.

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Our pop-up camper. We got that in the late 1960’s. Lynne is standing by mom, and they are cooking or preparing something. Our old sedan is there just at the right edge of the picture. That old car had horrible heat and no air conditioning. So it was hot in the summer and freezing in the winter. One year for either Christmas or Thanksgiving I remember mom driving us to Cambridge. Dad wasn’t with us, I suspect he was finishing up his thesis or something he may have come up later by train. Anyway we rode all the way with the back seat of that car filled with blankets it was so cold.

The biggest camping trip we took with the pop up camper was Paradise Michigan but I do recall a few other shorter trips. This was not dad’s idea of camping so my guess is the camper was a compromise with mom. The sweater mom is wearing is dad’s green sweater. I have so many memories of that sweater.

Finally based on the earlier picture you can see that I with my considerable woodsman skills was manning the fire. Even at the tender age I was then I was asked to play with fire. Luckily I was happy to say yes. I love the smell of a wood fire to this day.

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I keep seeing these pictures – there are probably 30 or 40 of them. Us in different outfits and sitting together on the couch. I realized this morning this was actually the time out couch and Lynne and I were in timeout. It has to be why would anyone take 30 pictures of two people sitting on the couch.

This had to be mom’s time out model. Sit us on the couch and then for later use when we had dates or finances visiting show the pictures of the two naughty children in time out. Based on the number of pictures and the wear on the couch cushions I suspect we were in time out a lot.

I wonder what we did this time. We are both looking off in the distance there so I wonder if perhaps we were admiring some crayon artwork on the walls or possibly a kitchen with everything rearranged? Definitely look like two kids that are heavily involved in something. I bet she put us there on the timeout couch waiting for an admission of guilt. In the end I suspect that never came.

(It’s my memory mom)


Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow

Who we become is shaped by those who guided us when we were young. Thank you.

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There is nothing else to be said but thanks dad.







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I love music. I learned to play guitar, piano and trumpet as I was growing up. I sang in choirs. I can’t say my voice is anywhere as good as either my daughters or my niece Megan but its ok. I loved that guitar though. Christmas day most like 1970ish. I still own a guitar today, and while I don’t play anywhere near as well as I would like I do try to improve. I love music because I grew up in a house where music was played. There were only 5 channels of TV when I was little and for the most part you could only watch 4. Later on we got cable and added WGN but when we were really little there were only two stations. I got my own radio when I was 8 years old. I loved that radio (it was my link to Armed Forces radio out of Vietnam while we lived in Thailand.

Mom tells me I am my own person and my love of water comes from being me. I will postulate instead that my love of water comes from the people I grew up with who loved water and music. I love both for many different reasons. I love boats and boating because of my grandfather Johnston and my father. Dad loved canoes (I have two) and Grandpa loved power boats (I had one for many years). Mom loves the beach. She would take us to the beach in Indiana all the time (Fairfax on Lake Monroe). It was the highlight of the summer, mom piling all of us into the old Mercury station wagon. When mom drove we used the air conditioning. When dad drove we enjoyed conditioned air (what happens when air goes through the open window of a car). Mom took us to that beach at Lake Monroe a number of times every summer. It was a thousand times the size of the beach Grandpa built at Lake Albums 693Ripley but it was never as good as Lake Ripley. I learned to swim there at Fairfax beach.  So in the end my love of water comes from the people I grew up with. My love of music though, that comes from my mom and dad. Dad used to sing in the car as he was driving (one song, over and over for 100’s of miles). Mom used to listen to Peter, Paul and Mary and other music of the 1960’s. We used to sing songs in the car all the time. Well mom, Lynne, Barb and I would sing songs. Dad would sing as well. “Detour there’s a muddy road ahead. Detour.” Over and over again. All it took to get that song out of his head was a detour sign. He did also sing songs he learned from his father at times. Mostly songs about world war I. “Oh we won’t come back till its over over there. Over there. Over there. The Yanks are coming. The Yanks are coming. And we won’t be back till its over over there.” Over and over and over. The two songs. I can honestly still hear them in my head. Every single car trip of more than 30 minutes had those two songs sung by dad.

Let’s end with when you live in the land of quilts you make do.


Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow.