Category Archives: family

They Did It Again, Gerry

Our late son-in-law Gerry loved the Giants, and his loving wife game him this helmet after the 2007 Superbowl. I think all the players who participated signed it, but I’m not absolutely sure. If there’s a place the spirit goes, I hope Gerry is looking down tonight, after his Giants’ victory in the 2012 Superbowl, again defeating the Patriots. I don’t really have a favorite team, but I pull for the Giants in Gerry’s memory.


To My Mother

We stopped in Washington, D.C., on our trip south this year, and stayed at the historic Willard Hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue (yup, right close to the White House). Every President since 1850 has stayed in the hotel or attended some function there. We spent the one full day we had tramping around the monuments (until we were exhausted, we ended up taking a cab back to our lodging). The picture above is of the Women in Military Service for America Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery. I had never visited the cemetery before, let alone the Women’s Memorial. This was an emotional day for me, not just because it’s Arlington, and because I’m a veteran, but because my mother served in the Waves in WWII, my father was also in the Navy then, and they met while serving in Norfolk. Mom traveled to Washington/Arlington for the dedication of the Women’s Memorial, and was very moved by it. I still have some of the memorabilia she received then. I might say more about visiting Arlington another day, but today I’m particularly thinking of my mother.

She was a farm girl from Illinois, the oldest of eight children. She actually had to run away from home, and board with a family and look after their kids, just to go to high school. Her father didn’t believe much in education, particularly of women. I remember him as a gruff man. He had served in the Navy in WWI. She was very shy, and had difficulty making friends. I try to picture her in Norfolk, this young woman who was to become the mother of six children (five are surviving), and to be twice a widow. I vaguely recall that someone fixed her up with my father-to-be. I know nothing of their dating and courtship days.

There was a particular picture of my mom I was going to post today, but I couldn’t locate it, but I did get a picture I was unaware of from my brother, showing my parents together as a young couple. Tomorrow would have been my mother’s 90th birthday. I was going to hold this post for then, but I’m thinking about all this now, so here it is.

My brother David’s ashes were scattered here, in Jubilee College State Park, just west of Peoria, Illinois. Rest easy little brother. He was not a religious man, but this beautiful peaceful park is a fitting place for his ashes. The photo is the best one I think I’ve done in the park.

Jubilee College State Park is an Illinois state park located 6 miles west of Peoria, Illinois. It contains Jubilee College State Historic Site, a frontier Illinois college active from 1840 to 1862.
Jubilee College, and the frontier community that supported it, was founded in 1839 by Episcopal bishop Philander Chase. Earlier in his career Chase had founded Kenyon College in Ohio.
This was one of the earliest educational enterprises in Illinois. After the Bishop’s death, the college closed in 1862. In 1933 the college and grounds, then consisting of 93 acres (38 ha), were presented to the state of Illinois. The site has since been expanded to 3,200 acres (1,295 ha) and includes the original Chase residence and church.

Philander Chase was the uncle and caretaker of Salmon P. Chase, future Chief Justice of the United States.


Another shot from the Universal outing yesterday by the Chili and Twoblueday families.


Honeydukes at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Universal Orlando.

So we went to Universal with the Chili clan. We got to the park about 8:00AM or so, as it opened an hour early. By the time we got to the Harry Potter section it was already a two hour wait for the ride in Hogwarts. So we got in line. Then the ride decided not to work. Hmmm. We wandered around a bit, including visiting the candy store and a couple other things. When we wandered out of Potter, their was a line just to get in. If you’ve been to Universal, you know about how insane this is. A line to wait in to get in other lines to wait in, the main one of which was not going anywhere at all. We did other Universal stuff, of course, and eventually, after lunch at Margaritaville, left Islands of Adventure to go to the original park, which I think is Universal Studios, where Mr. Chili and Bluemoon rode the scary new coaster. The rest of us did the E.T. ride, then rejoined the daring coaster riders for Men In Black. Dinner at Cheesecake Factory ended the outing (well, a bit of a traffic backup on I-4 after dinner really did it).

Have I ever mentioned that the Chilis are some of the dearest people to us in the whole wide wicked world?

Another shot from Honeydukes:

Hogwarts Express

At the World of Harry Potter exhibit at Universal Orlando.

Universal was not all that crowded the day I shot this, except for the Harry Potter part, where one could barely move. I patiently waited until there were no people in my way for this scene. We (my Honey, and my brother, whose generally used handle is “Poncho”) didn’t ride the virtual ride, it was just too crowded. We did try butter beer, which was a sweetish glop that we had to wait in line for. Glop, yes, but I actually liked it.

Took bro’ to the airport yesterday. He has become such a big part of my life these last years, which is great but I think of the “lost years.” Oh, well, no going back.


Off to the Caribbean!

Florida Sunset

We are off on a cruise, the four of us (me, my Honey, Babycakes, and Daughter). I’ll take lots of pictures, and post some up on our return.

Everyone have a nice week.