Tag Archives: Family

Easter at Nana’s House

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This is Nana, the world’s great MIL. We had Easter dinner at her house this year.

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And this is Nana’s daughter, my wife.

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And Logan, the kid, the big kid.

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We had quite the spread. You can tell we are really heavy drinkers.

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And after dinner, while everybody else is working I am snooping around. These are Heather’s cowboy boots from she was just a toddler. Her grandfather had a ranch you see. No matter, if you live in Oklahoma you have cowboy boots even if you hardly know what a horse looks like. Next the boots is a photo of our son Logan on a horse.

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And this is Nana’s mother’s Easter hat. Nana wouldn’t model it for me. When I was a kid, all the women had Easter hats, and gloves, and white shoes. The little girls had little muffs and me and my brother Bob had bow ties.

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Yep that’s us, rocking the bow ties. Better than muffs but still torture. In case you were wondering, I’m the good looking guy.

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Back to Nana’s mother. These are her Iris’s that Nana transplanted from the family home in western Oklahoma. I love these flowers.

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And this is Nana’s father’s saddle and hat. I love this old family stuff.

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And here is our family photograph. We hope you had a great Easter with family and friends because we sure did.

Somebody is Having a Birthday!

Heather with cake and Birthday Angel

She is holding the Birthday Angel!

Yep, Heather is having a birthday.

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She doesn’t stand still too long, she is often on the go and usually ahead of me.

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Oh what does she have up her sleeve now?

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I try to keep her and mother separated to minimize the mischief.

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Oh, yeah, and she can cook too.

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She flies high

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And can sneak in under the radar!

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Happy Birthday Heather, I love you!! Have a great day!!

My Life in the Service by Matthew Maloney

My Life in the Service

My Life in the Service is the story of my Uncle Matt, a pharmacist from Idaho who served his country in the Army during World War II. He kept a diary during that time and the book is a transcription of his diary. I did some of it, my Dad did the rest and the husband of my cousin in California made it into a book (and I think that he did a great job). I think I first started transcribing the book in middle 1980’s and the book just came out in print just recentlly.

Matthew Maloney at Chateau d'lf

Most of the entries were very brief and reflected a life in the Army of hurry up and wait, endless inspections, the waxing an waning of military discipline. He was a pharmacist, not an infantryman so he dispensed medicine and was always in the rear echelon. Still he sailed on a troop ship (the USS Susan B. Anthony which sunk by a mine in the English Channel during the invasion of Normany – no lives were lost) from New York to Algiers in 1943 and then while on land experienced air raids. (Nowhere in the book does he describe his life being in danger).

He spent time not only in north Africa but Italy and France. He seemed like he had a lot of free time. He and his buddies were always catching rides to go visit cities and see the sites. He tried to climb up Pompei but it was erupting and raining down hot stones on him and he retreated. He visited Naples, Rome, and various cities in France. He ate great dinners, drank a lot of beer, went to dances and the opera.

He took a lot of pictures, many of which are in the book. He took pictures of his buddies, German and Italian prisoners, the Eiffel Tower, cathedrals, mountains, meadows, and anything else that piqued his interest. Film was hard to get in wartime so he used a lot of paper film and developed it himself. His curiosity about the world and his desire to sample as much of it as he could comes through in the book. His diary started when he went in the Army and ended when he got out, a period of July 7, 1942 to September 8,1945.

I remember Matt as one of the world’s great guys. He was a lifelong bachelor and was a partner in a pharmacy in Jackson, Wyoming from the 1940’s to his death in mid 1970’s. If you were a visitor to Jackson during this period you probably went to his store. It was Jackson Drug Company, right on the square in downtown. He lived in an apartment upstairs, right down the hall from the local draft board. Our family visited him quite a bit back then, back before the Jackson became a home for the beautiful people.

The local paper, the Tulsa World, has been featuring once a week or so survivors of the war and telling their stories. It has been a favorite part of the paper for me, reading the stories of these young men and women who entered the war with an attitude that they had a job to do. Uncle Matt’s experience reads similarly. A reflection of a different time in our country when attitudes were different.

Weekend Recap – Picture Taking

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Hey, can I have two posts for a weekend? No, well I’m going to do it anyway. During our family get together I brought my “good” camera and just snapped away. Everybody was pretty tolerant of me doing that.

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I like taking photos of buildings, and the woods, and trails, rivers, and the Gulf of Mexico and the sky and strange things that you see here and there.

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But really people are my favorite subject. People are infinitely fascinating to me although nobody would ever call me a “people person.”

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I sometimes think you can read a person’s story in their face, especially the eyes. The eyes reveal a lot of character.

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And it is fun, especially when people will play along with you.

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How about you, do you like taking photos of people?

Labor Day Weekend

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Well I didn’t get any labor done this weekend. The yard needs mowed, the bills need paid, and a few other things need attending but we took it easy. We spent a lot of time at Nana’s house with relatives both in town and out of town. We all got a little sunburned but we had a good time. It’s great to reconnect with people and see what is happening with them. Plus I get to take lots of photos and use my bag of special effects on them if they irritate me.

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Me and the kid went on a little hike in the north Woods section of Oxley Nature Center. A beautiful area and I have only seen two other people on those trails in all the years I’ve been hiking them.

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The view from the back of the pack

Monday morning I ran a fairly small 5K put on a by a local church, the Run to the Son 5K. A great event that I loved more because I finished 3rd in my age group and got a medal (out of six if you must know).

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It was a Baptist Church that put it on and I violated my oath to never run in anything but beer runs. I’ve amended the rule to include great pancakes instead of beer. Flexibility is my middle name.

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Stranded in Winnemucca

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I’m guessing that this is the Golden Gate Bridge.

Way, way back in the middle of the 1960’s when our family was living in Price, Utah the parents took us kids and drove over to Winnemucca, Nevada and deposited us kids in the care of our Aunt Mary. The parents continued on to San Francisco to attend the wedding of my Uncle Glenn and Aunt Pat. Winnemucca was quite a place. Out in the middle of the desert but we were kids and we had a good time. I mean, we lived in a desert.

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The images are kind of washed out but left to right this is my grandmother, my aunt Delores, and my Mother. I love the scarves and the handbags, and how my grandmother has her sweater buttoned at her neck.

So when they came to pick up up it sounded like quite a party went on. Mom and Dad went to a topless place for lunch and Mom was telling about how the ladies had tassels and they could make them tassels go round and round and a few of the more skilled ladies could make their tassels go in opposite directions.

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Knowing Dad, he was probably interested in that Navy warship approaching the bridge.

So anyways ole Dad had a camera. A very nice one at that he has given to me. And back then you know film was expensive, and processing was expensive. So taking a photo was a very calculated thing. You were making an investment at the same time as you were taking a photo.

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I struck it rich with this. My folks told me that they drove the old family Buick LeSabre through the tree with the hole and that they took a picture!! Well I never saw the picture until now. My mother is driving the car and my dad my the photo. So thank you for sharing this photo with me.

So anyway these photos you are looking at have never seen the light of day until now. My sister Ellen saved a ton of dad’s slides for me when she was getting the house ready. I love scanning old slides. I love analog photos, warts and all.

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Old dad was a Forest Ranger (or maybe it is like the Marines) and he loved taking pictures of forests and trees.

I love looking at old photographs. It is like buried treasure for me.

And by the way, my uncle Glenn and aunt Pat are still married and doing fine.

Dad Gets a New Home

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I have been flying lately up to and back from Idaho Falls, Idaho where my Dad lives.

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I’ve been going through the Denver Airport, which is huge and has limitless opportunity for people watching.

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It also has the best airport pub in the country, The New Belgium Hub. It was pretty empty last time I was there.

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The Idaho Falls Airport is kind of small by comparison. 

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My dad called my sister and said that he was ready to change his living arrangements. We all went up in early July and looked around and found him a place.  My sister and her husband took over from there and got him moved and his house ready to sell. So he has moved from his house of over thirty three years with the beautiful shady back yard to a very nice place in the same town where people are checking on him and life is quite a bit easier. 

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And he is doing very well. And still has a shady place to sit.

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Thanks to my sister Ellen and world’s greatest brother-in-law, Irv. (Shown here with their grandson Mr. Beans)

We’re Back

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We are back from vacation. We had a fun packed week sandwiched in between two gust busting drives. It was all worth it though to get sand in between our toes in Orange Beach, Alabama. Home of very friendly people, crappy beer, never ending country rock music, smoking, great uncrowded beautiful beaches, and horrendous traffic jams.

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We found some Pokemon also. I amused at all the butthurt people who have such firm opinions on a subject they know nothing about. It’s fun. Well, its fun for a while and then it gets tough. Which will eventually be fun.

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We paddled up and down a beautiful slow moving river. I have to tell you that the GOP Convention, Munich, and who picked for the GOP ticket was pretty far from our mind. It has been years since we have looked at a newspaper, or watched television while on vacation and this was another trip where none of that happened. Plus after years of facebook, I just now learned about “hiding” posts. All the this GOP and Democratic crapola has just disappeared from my feed (both sides are equally guilty in my opinion). I have unliked the pages of Oklahoma’s congressional idiots and the anti-Idiot pages both. I’m watching lots of cat videos on fb now. DON’T YOU DARE JUDGE ME!!

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Heather and the kid went parasailing. I found a geocache, and cozied up at the marina’s tiki bar with a couple beers and my book. 

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Tell you what I realized on our trip. We have a big, beautiful, country and most of it is empty!! Miles and miles of tall trees, geometric crops, and beautiful pastures and prairie. There are more cows than people out there. I love it.

How are you doing?

Driving Lessons, Tourists, and a Rant

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The kid is starting formal driving lessons next week. He has never been behind the wheel before so we went to our local community college parking lot and he sat in the driver’s seat and we went through all the controls and knobs and all that. Then he started the car, put it in drive and we idled through a few loops. I had forgotten how hard the steering thing was to learn, going into and out of a turn. He did great! The best thing was that he had a million questions. I like it when I’m teaching somebody something and they ask questions. It shows me that they have the want to’s. You can’t give people the want to’s I have found out.

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So what do you think? Would this be a good first car for Logan?

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In other news, Heather had a weak moment and let me go grocery shopping for her. I like taking action shots of her. She is always on the move so basically that is all that I have, is action shots. She is not much of sitter.

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Well, I’d been whining about not being able to go to the pool and we went over to Nana’s house and hung out. She has a very nice and inviting pool and back yard. It was getting late afternoon and and I loved the light.

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Saturday morning I went on a run on the Arkansas River close to the Creek Tribe Casino. They are building a big huge Margaritaville hotel, bar, and restaurant. They are putting part of it in the river.  We have lots of tribal casinos here in Oklahoma. My gambling budget the last several years has been, let me see, approximately zero.  If I want to flush money down the toilet I can do that at home.

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On Friday there were several tour groups downtown. Tulsa is getting more and more recognition for the art deco architecture. Plus there has been an explosion of new hotels, restaurants, and night clubs the last several years and there are lots and lots of housing options. I think that is all a good thing. We just got through electing a new hipster, progressive mayor. He did a great job as a city counselor. I’m hopeful that Tulsa and Oklahoma will start backing out of the economic dead end and false promises of the tea baggers who have pretty much destroyed our education system in their quest to make Oklahoma “A shining beacon of liberty” as my idiot state senator puts it. (Unfortunately, he got re-elected).

Anyways, that is that, sorry for the rant.

What is new with you?