Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Travel Plans

As some of you know, Elyn and I have applied for retirement visas to live in Spain and the other EU countries. Well, the visas have come through and we will be leaving for Madrid this Saturday (December 27). Because our Santa Fe house hasn't sold yet, we will need to return here early in February to take care of local business. I will post about our progress on my other blog (Having Fun Until I Die), which is a hot link on the margin of this blog.

Bon Voyage

Monday, December 22, 2008


After checking in every day, wondering what new "memories" would appear, I realized that we are so busy preparing for "The Christmas Day," that "memories" have taken a back seat. That is all well and good. For, 'tis the season to be "preparing, caring and sharing!"

"Waiting" for that guy in the red suit is still "new," not only for our kids, grandkids, kids we know, some we don't know and yes, for all the rest of us" kids!

Take away the "magic moments" of Christmas and you take away our very "being!" You take away the "now!" that happens with the beginning of each day! Yes, there was the past, but that is past. Yes, there is a future, but that is in the future. Now, this very moment, is the time for us to nourish and nurture who we are! To nurture and love those near and dear to us. It is the time to give, whether it be a gift, a smile, a letter, a card.... a touch! It is the time to share, to care, and yes, "to give our very best!" to others! And, my dear friends, don't forget yourselves!

And so, I send this "CV Memories" Christmas Card" to all of you who have made this year, this NOW, one of the most important parts of my life! You gave cause to realize what a great feeling it was to give something to someone, to something, else! Because, in the giving, there was the ultimate reward, the "receiving!" "Because" of what happenend this year, I am a better person. You made me so. Just know that "the stones you throw into the "C.V. Memory" pond, creates many ripples!" And, with those ripples, you continue to bring us "memories" that will never end!

Merry Christmas to ALL OF YOU! I have never been more proud to be a "BRONCO!"

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A Lemert Sleigh Ride

Once upon a time, my good friend, Bernard Lemert, invited me out to his house for an overnight. I had never been in the country much. But, Bernard was one of my best friends, so I thought it was a good idea to see what the country was about! Well, it started with a breakfast, the likes I had never seen! We had steak! Biscuits! Gravy! Sweet milk! And, the preserves that were available to put on those biscuits was nothing short of "sweetness from heaven!" After breakfast, Bernard asked me if I would like to take a sled ride. "Sure, I said!" We went outside where Bernard's brother, Lee, was sitting on a horse, with a sled tied behind! "Get on," Lee said! So, we did! I want to tell you that I have never been on a ride such as this! Down through the country we flew, snow flying in every direction, and the sled following those same directions! I remember trees flying by, accompanied by clods of dirt kicked up by the awesome mount upon which Lee was pearched, and hoping that this ride would never end! Well, regrettably, it did! Bernard and I got off the sled, bespectacled by dirt, snow and a wonderment that will last forever! I have heard of the Nantucket (sp?) Sleigh Rides, but let me tell you, none could have equalled that wonderful ride through the Lemert Woods!

Anxious to hear about your "once upon a times!"

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Here we are, at Christmas Time!

Yes, here we are! Isn't it great to be here! To say, "we are!" Isn't it great to be able to remember the Christmas Programs at the Methodist Church?

Remember when a team of men went to Lookout Mountain, cut down a cedar tree, placed it in the "room" next to the sancturary, decorating it like only at "Lookout Mountain Tree" could look!

I remember seeing it as a HUGH TREE, resplendent in ornaments, tinsel, stars, and what seemed like an endless stream of Christmas lights, that illuminded all the church! Let me tell you, that N.Y. City, Radio City and all, did not hold a "candle" to what was before us! So many had given so much! Trees had been cut. Trees had been decorated! And, the best was yet to come! Singing! Santa! All came into play! I remember trying to remember what Joseph said in a little playlet that was performed! I remember seeing Baby Jesus, lying in a bed, in a manger, and seeing His mother, Mary, caring and adoring him! Whoever played Mary was Mary, indeed! Her face radiated the meaning of Christmas as never before portrayed! I watched. I wondered. To this this day, I watch. I still wonder. Yet, when I heard Shirley Brown's son, (name?), play "Silent Night," with a country inflection that only you and I know, did I know, that Christ was the King! That moment, that musical memory has stuck in my mind for all these years.

May Christmas, in all it's glory, stick in you mind...not only this year but for all the years to come!

P.S. If someone should ask you, "Are you special?" Say, "Yes, because many years ago, in a little town named Cedar Vale, you found what Christmas was all about!

Sunday, December 14, 2008


As there are several blog participates and readers of the class of 55’ and others that attended CV high in the 50’s, I thought there might be some interest in an update on Jack and a story about him being responsible for my first skiing endeavor.
In the late 60’s, Jack was managing a nursing home in Arkansas City. He and wife Donna lived across the street from a couple named Ron and Dixie. They became good friends. Ron was an insurance adjuster and had a co-worker named Don. Ron and Don had snow skied a few times and thought they were down hill experts. They talked Jack into going with them and after one time he also became a down hill expert.
I was living in Wichita and the next time they went, Jack talked me into going with them, so I could also become a down hill expert, just like them. They picked me up after I got off work at 5 o’clock and we headed to Colorado, in a VW bug. Four guys, luggage and skis, cozy, but cheap. (Actually we did this several times) Driving all night, sleeping as best we could in the bug and in the ski operation parking lot at 9 o’clock, waiting for the lifts to open. I rented my ski equipment and in those days long skis were in vogue……. twice a long as I was tall. Totally impossible for me to maneuver. They took me to the beginners slope, showed me how to get a hold of the rope tow, up the beginners slope, trying to keep both ski’s going the same direction. Showed how to snow plow down the slope. I mostly was on my butt.
We did this twice and the second time they said to try and end up at the chair lift. They went to great detail on how to get on the chair lift, ski’s straight, bend knees and sit down on chair and let the chair lift me off the snow. With some difficulty I did manage to get onto the chair and up this great, high mountain we went. I rode with Jack and the scenery was terrific. I was awestricken by the beauty. Now… they went to get detail on how to get on the lift, but no one mentioned on how to get off. All of a sudden there is this big mound of snow and the chairs are going around this big wheel and heading back down the slope. Jack slipped out of the chair and skied away and I’m trying to get those 10-foot things attached to my feet pointing in the same direction. Anyway the chair starts going around this big wheel with me still on the chair…. and 5-6 foot above the snow. The operator stopped the lift and I jumped. Fortunately no bones were broken and the guys were doubled over laughing.
After they gained their composure, I was informed of the next great challenge. Getting down this 12,000 ft. mountain that was straight down. I thought it was the end of the world and certainly I would never live to tell about it. I was down more than I was up and when finally arriving at the bottom of the slope, I looked more like the abominable snow man than a down hill expert. And……. skiing is supposed to be fun.

We skied two days, when the lifts closed a 4 0’clock, we headed back to Kansas. Getting home at 2-3 o’clock in the morning, a couple hours of sleep, getting up and being at work at 8 o’clock. Oh…… to be young again and able to do such nonsense. For a few years we would go out to ski 3-4 times a year. I did master the chair lift and while we never became down hill experts, we became skilled enough to get down most slopes ….and skiing became a lot, lot more fun. We even became a little more affluent and graduated out of the VW bug .

All good things must come to an end and with wives, family, work and age, it became more difficult for us to get together. However, even after moving to California Ron and I would meet in Colorado once or twice a year.

Now back to Jack. Nancy and I went to CV the last of October to visit our mothers before heading to Arizona for the winter. We made arrangements for Ron, Don, Jack and I, with wives to meet in Wichita. It had been 25 years or so since we were all together. We spent two nights and one day together. The ladies went to the mall shopping and we guys sat in an alcove of the hotel lobby from 10 o’clock in the morning until 4 that afternoon. We had a great time reminiscing and telling stories that had been forgotten over the years. Of course my first ski trip and chair lift experience was brought up a few times and each time it changed, to the point that I must I’ve been 50-60 feet in the air and they had to send a crane up the slope to get me off. Jack had some good stories about growing up in CV and the name Dick Williams came up frequently, but I’ll let Dick tell those stories.
Jack and Donna live on some acreage close to Bonner Springs, KS, where they have lived for the last 30-40 years. They have two daughters; one lives in KC area, the other in Minnesota and has two children. Jack and Donna moved to Bonner Springs to build and run a nursing home. As it ended up Jack became more involved in the national nursing home association and Donna ran the nursing home. Jack become very involved in raising, training and racing thorough bred racehorses. I can guarantee you that he can tell you more about racehorses than you ever want to know. Presently Donna has retired from the nursing home and Jack has limited his involvement in racehorses.
Last winter Jack had a long and painful bout with internal shingles. He said he has never experienced any thing so painful and at times to the point of being unbearable. He lost 40 pounds and still occasionally has light attacks. There is a vaccine available now and he advises every one to get the shots and not go through what he did.
We talked about Gary W’s blog and the readers and participates. I gave Jack the web site address and hopefully he will become a reader and participate.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Box Suppers

Just wondering if anyone remembers "box suppers?" Seems as though we had a few a CVHS! I remember Bernard, Lemert that is, and me bidding on a couple of boxes. One belonged to a certain Thayce Townsend. Another belonged to a certain Grace Harp. We did our bidding and when the bidding was done, we WON! Let me tell you, KFC did not hold a candle to what was inside those boxes! Such wonderful food! Such delightful company! I can still see the boxes, the wrapping, the ribbon, and all that was within! Needless to say, it was a unforgettable night!

And yet, I remember another "box supper!" It was at a little brick school, east of town. Can't remember the name! Was it Rock Creek School? Help! Anyway, I was there, at a certain box supper. And, there was this certain girl. Her name was Joanne Drennen, and she had blond hair that surrounded her face, and in all of Chautauqua County, she was an angel! Well, the bidding started. A guy named Frank Carter was the auctioneer and he started calling out the numbers! I had my little leather coin pouch at the ready! When Joanne's box came up for the bidding, I was ready! Little did I know that the bidding was going far beyond what I had in my little coin pouch! I finally motioned to Frank that I had spent all I had to spend! When what to my amazement he motioned, "keep on bidding!" So, I did! The bidding reached heights I could have never imagined! I motioned to Frank, I was " all done!" Frank would have none of it! He kept "nodding" in my direction until the final bid was bid....and it was mine!!!!!! I must add that Frank Carter was my hero then, and still is to this day! I could have lept for joy but knowing that any "affection" on my part might affect the "maker of the box," I kept very still. The box was given to me. Joanne soon appeared! I must tell you, when I saw that beautiful face, my appetite fell from 100 to 0! Somehow, we made it out to some car. We ate the wonderful food. I suppose we exchanged a few words! It all seemed so unreal to me. Joanne Drennan was sitting next to me, and me, a man of many words, seemed suddenly "speechless!" I remember it so well. I can't help but think that when the roll is called up yonder, there just has to be a box supper up there somewhere! And, I hope to see Thayce, Grace and Joanne!!!! :)

P.S. Tell me, do you remember any "box suppers?"