Saturday, September 25, 2010

Kris's Birthday

My family had two birthdays this week. Son-in-law, Keith Droz became a year older on the twenty-fourth and my step-son, Kris had his birthday of the twenty-second. Kris is twenty-eight this year. All of the kids are hardly kids anymore.

Keith and Tricia are in Japan right now so even talking to them is different. I did send a birthday greeting card and got him a gift certificate to Amazon. That always seems to be a hit.

We had a party for Kris. The picture shows part of the people who came. Andy Erdman was there as was Chris Johnson. John and Nancy came out and my mother-in-law, Lorraine Hayes was there too.

Sue had a very nice meal which she made while she was cleaning up storm damage in the yard. She is amazing.

Everyone had a very nice time.
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Monday, September 13, 2010


My wife, Sue, just went to her sister, Mary Anderson's, house for a visit. From right to left, this picture has Sue, Nancy, Leanne or Lee, Mary. I always look better in their pictures. All I have to do is stand in the back.

1964 Class Reunion in 2010

Last Saturday, September 11, 2010, my high school graduating class had its forty-sixth year reunion at my house at 7040 Sheridan Road, Millington, Michigan. We were really pleased with the turn out. I took a good number of photos that you can see at the link. The party started at about 1pm and continued until about 9 pm. Thirteen class members were there. We agreed to have a party next year on the second saturday that would be September 10, 2011. It will be held at 7040 Sheridan Road, Millington, Michigan 48746 where it was this year.

Linda Welsh McRoy, sister, told about Sue Ann Burns loosing her husband this past year to carbon monoxide. Some of us had heard about that at the time but others were not aware of it. Lee Preston told how he had lost is wife a couple of months ago. That was news to some of us. I didn't know that even though I live close.

Everyone really wanted to talk and be brought up-to-date with each other so the time really flew. Spouses did a good job mixing and being a part of the festivities too. I met Steve Ulrich's wife for the first time. Steve told how he had gone to a farm sale on the other side of the state. He bought an Oliver tractor at that sale and arranged to pick it up a few weeks later. The time passed and he came with a friend to pick up his purchase. The tractor would not start. Finally, they decided to try ether to get it going. None was on site. Steve saw the woman of the house drive in so he asked her if she had any ether on the farm. "No" she said " I had the sale when I lost my husband and now all that is gone". On the way to get that can of ether, Steve had his first conversation with his wife. It had been close though because when they returned, Steve's friend had that tractor running. It had started just after Steve left to get the ether. Some things just seem to be met to happen.

Bill McCorkle always surprises everyone because of his height. Billy was under five feet when we graduated. He was small. Now, he is about 5'6" and is involved in prison ministries. He does quite a bit of public speaking and added to the fun of the day.

Dave and Debbie Sebert Cobb where there. I enjoyed talking to both of them. Dave had been on the school board in Millington. Debbi and I talked about how things were in high school in the 1960's and how many social changes there have been. She lives in Millington now and knows Uncle Richard Hauger. She had her own story to tell on him.

Janet Taylor Lucias and her husband John were there too. Janet told about her seventeen grandchildren and about how she had helped with her son's bike store. John and Bill McCorkle had so stories to tell about the night John broke Billy in on a job at Buick.

Larry Ill and his wife spoke of their experiences. Larry is working for Bader Bros. in Birch Run right now. Normally, he has been working out of Saginaw. His wife is a teacher. I enjoyed talking to her about the conservative/liberal split in the country now and how it is essential that we learn to listen to different points of view.

Ed LeBean and wife were present too. His sister, Priscilla lives right up the road so I see members of his family on various social occasions.

Marth Crump Jensen was a real hit with my wife Sue. They are both nurses. Sue told me that Martha is living up north of West Branch but gets to Millington to visit her daughter. Martha did work with me at Flint Truck Assembly for a time. I was an industrial engineer and she worked in the medical department.

My sister, Linda Welsh McRoy, the always faithful one, drove over from her home in Caledonia, Michigan. Linda is a retired teacher who taught in the Kentwood(Grand Rapids) School System. She is now in realty and is my chief running buddy on trips all over the place that she usually dreams up.

Sharon Walker Beemer (did I come close on the spelling) came too. We shared conversation on how things have changed over our lifetimes and how things were in Millington high in the 60's

Sandy Harding Honsinger got a chance to see the garage I have been talking about on Facebook for the last year. Sandy was a music teacher at John Glenn in Bay City and still is very involved with music. She has a surprising ability in wood working that you can see if you go to her Facebook page. Sue and I were both glad that she came. Sandy has a cousin named Sandi Pavlawk who is a good friend from the Bay County Historical Museum where I volunteer, make friends, talk, and really enjoy myself. Finding Sandy, our classmate's, Bay City connections was a surprise to me.

Bette Sebert Chambal has been a real worker on these reunions. She brought the meat dishes to this one. (I loved the food by the way). Bette lost Ken Chambal, our classmate, several years ago. Ken was a bright spot in everybody's day. I was really sorry when we lost him. Betty is also the person I know the longest in our class , outside of sister Linda that is. Bette's family had parties with their relatives and neighbors when I was four or five and since one of Bette's aunts, Ernestine Kerns was a friend we often went to these parties.

All these folks worked really well to make the reunion a success. I really enjoyed it and I think that was the general feeling.
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Thursday, September 9, 2010

That Job I Thought I'd Never Finish Got Done

May garage has been finished and in use for about a year now, but I made the big mistake of not finishing just a few pieces of siding on the dormers. There was a reason for this problem. While putting the siding on over the window was no problem for anyone with a ladder, the pieces on the sides of the dormers were a different animal. You had to get on the roof to do them.

Now, this roof is a 6 12 pitch. That means that for every 12 inches you go forward you will find yourself 6 inches higher. Roofers can stick like glue to these structures but overweight, sixty-four year olds seem to slide right down the roof. That had been my previous experience soooo, little progress was made until.. I made this quick attachment for my loader.

This thing started out as a set of forks to plant the crimson maple tree. It worked great. The forks were on both sides of the earth ball and the three rings I installed to the forks and the bucket centered the ball perfectly. I simply drove over the hole with this contraption and lowered the bucket. The twelve foot tree was seated perfectly.

These forks moved around a little though. That is a discomforting feeling when seated on the edge of a roof fifteen ft above the ground. I added some braces and locked the structure to the metal bucket and I was good to go.

It only took about three hours to get the siding tools out again and finish these annoying little loose ends. Now, the job is done. I need something else to side.

As for the attachment to the bucket. It is going to be used as loader forks to pick up downed limbs this morning.
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Thursday, September 2, 2010

Books for My Class Arrived

The mail was kind to me today.  I got my copy of Custer Victorious.  This book will be the basis for my talk on the first years of Custer's career. 

He had just graduated from West Point when the Civil War began.  Custer was a genius or very lucky in the Civil War.  He was in tens of battles and survived without a serious injury'

Gregory J. W. Urwin, the author of this book, says that he has come to know the role politics played in the careers of officers in the Army of the Potomac. 

Urwin praises The Union Cavalry in the Civil War by Stephen Z, Starr as the seminal book on the topic.  Starr said:
Next to Sheridan in credit for the accomplishments of the [Federal ] cavalry in the Appomattox Campaign stood Geroge Custer.

I am looking forward to reading Custer Victorious.
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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

One Hot Day

Ford Fairlane 2-Door 1955Image via Wikipedia

I never got to notice much of the heat yesterday because Corby and I had a job to do.  We got up at 2:30am to drive to Indianapolis to take care of some business there.

I remembered when Dad got the 1955 Ford Fairlane. It was his first new car. He paid $70 per month for three years on it. It was also the first car we had that could stand 70mph all day long.

In May of 1955, we took this car to Vermillion, SD to see my grandmother, Anna Crane. Dad went about 600 miles in one day. Yesterday, Corby and I split the driving and went 680 miles in my 2009 Chevy truck. It just didn't take the same amount of time on the expressway that Dad had to spend on US 2 going to grandma's.

This trip did take most of the day though. I didn't do much else. Today, I was off to a good start. I got the first floor boards in on the deck. About 1pm I took a break because of the heat.

I'm getting to be like my Dad's Father. I don't do that well in very hot direct sunlight. I had a plan to go back out when the shade moved over the deck in a few hours but by the time a few hours had passed, we were in the midst of a real downpour.

Inside, I got to work on my Medicare package. I am sixty-five on October 5 so I get government health care. My doctor says it is better than what I've had so great. The problem is that I have to change some things with GM. I think we will end up having Sue and Candice on St. Mary's Insurance. I think I will get my supplimental insurance there too.

When that task was done, I went to work on Custer in the Civil War. I have a presentation on Oct. 6 at the Civil War Round Table in Saginaw at the Bateman-Fish Library. I have to have a finished hour and one half presentation done by then. That puts me focusing on the Civil War more than I have in my recent Custer efforts.

In the midst of all this, the storm knocked the web out. It seems to be back now so we'll get back to the Civil War.

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