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…