December 25, 2004 8:24
AM 17.5 at Slatington E.S. is
and 16 degrees in
the bus stop "Merry Christmas"
to all! It is a
day today. It is cold though. I haven't been out yet. We
walk a bit later. First we finished wrapping the last of the Christmas
presents and then took them up to Mike and
presents and sat and had a
conversation with them. They are mighty good neighbors to have next
door. You can't beat a museum, a cemetery and the best Italian cook in
the world for neighbors. Jean's lasagna is without peer!!
Last evening we
were over at
Tommy Davies for
a buffet supper. I stuffed myself with shrimp. It was a lot of fun and
we all sat about afterwards and watched the fire in the fireplace. I
a good boy and only had two highballs. I am a wino, not a "haaard"
man. [ Boston pronunciation ]
Once a year Tommy
has a roaring good
fire. I took
some pictures as usual. I attempted some movies that were very
disappointing.The lighting was insufficient!!
Ashman and Queen
something happens that makes all of Queen's
cookie baking work seem very worthwhile. We delivered a plate of
cookies to a very dear friend. She is a widow who lost her
few years ago and also
has some serious medical problems. She is a happy person and a
good egg. She is one of Queen's swimming pals who also attends
water aerobic classes in August at PMPA. We thought she
some of Queen's
handiwork. So we drove to her house and I found no one at home, but I
was able to wedge the plate of cookies into her mail slot.
Later Queen phoned
to tell her
that they were
the mail slot. She thanked Queen. In a few minutes she called back
virtually in tears. We had made her day. This is what Christmas is all
about. We have been helped by so many really nice folks and we
do appreciate it. This is but a small part of the joy of being alive!
Life is good!!
26, 2004 7:22 AM 15.9
E.S. and 14.4 in the bus stop I
shall be heading out with my 8 o'clock coffee
really wasn't bad outside sitting at the lower park bench. However it
too cold for Queen to walk as yet. We will go later!!
and then a bit later
Snow is supposed to be on the way. I was
Rumsfeld on the news
the other day. This time his visit was not a setup by a
when he secretly flew into Iraq
to visit with the troops over Christmas.
Rumsfeld "Everything we do
is harder because of television stations like Al-Jazeera and Al-Arabia
and the constant negative approach. You don't hear about the schools
that are open, and the hospitals that are open, and the clinics that
are open, and the fact that the stock market is open and the Iraqi
currency is steady and the fact that there have been something like
140,000 refugees coming from other countries back into this country.
They're voting with their feet because they believe this is a country
of the future. You don't read about that. You read about every single
negative thing that anyone can find to report.
talking to a group
of congressmen and senators the other day, and there were a couple of
them who had negative things to say and they were in the press in five
minutes. There were 15 or 20 that had positive things to say about
what's going on in Iraq and they couldn't get on television. Television
just said we're not interested. That's just -- sorry. So it is, I
guess, what's news has to be bad news."
is so bad. It is as though they want this operation to fail so they can
say I told you so or worse. None of them realize that this is every bit
as much a war as WW I or WW II. The methods are unconventional but they
can be deadly, as was 9/11. They don't realize the import of
what they are doing. To me it is nauseating!
saw this on one of
week I got an
e-mail from Steve Jensen about a point of interest in this area. The
Berksy Railroad terminating at Slatington and going back to Reading, Pa.
I recall you mentioning having traveled
Berksy to Emerald. I've been trying to learn about the Slate
Heritage Trail that's supposed to run on the Lehigh Valley Railroad's
branch line to Slatedale that ran partway on the Berksy's right-of-way
and then forked onto its own track between Emerald and
I just found the attached LVRR timetable for the Slatedale
So I was wondering whether you ever saw or even rode on this obscure
I have not
forgotten you, but I have been as busy as a one armed paperhanger with
the itch. No, I never personally rode the "Berksy"
recall it very well when we had to meet someone to
picked up from the Black Diamond or one
of the other Lehigh Valley Railroad passenger trains at
Slatington. It was often there at the station waiting to make
points towards Reading. It stopped at every village along the way. I am
not sure if it was still operating in the 1950s. I seem to remember
seeing it on our early days in the television repair business travels.
am not sure about that.
I recall it was a gasoline
combination engine, baggage car and sometimes a passenger
was still in operation for quite awhile. I am going to put this on the
web page and hope we can get something started in the way of a
There was a similar gasoline powered
operating on the Hazleton Branch of the Lehigh Valley railroad. I
recall it well because my brother Dick and I were installing a rooftop
antenna on the Lehighton Moose building. It had a nice flat roof and it
overlooked the Lehigh Valley station directly below. When it pulled in
one could really hear it up there. It was very similar to the Berksy
was in all probability an EMC engine much like these
rail car below is one made by Brill. This one was on the Lehigh and New
Berksy was similar to these.Here is another good
one from Helen Tucker.
Budd car at
the Lehighton Station
go for a walk
this morning after
it warmed up a bit. It was good getting out. As we neared home we met
Nan Campton and her dog.
Of course Butternut was up on the
front porch taking great
Queen's petting another dog! Ha!
I got this one from Lee Bollinger!!
Golly, wouldn't you like to know
yours, or your neighbor's driver's license?
no farther. http://www.license.shorturl.com/
This is probably the
funniest date story ever, first date or
This was on the
"Tonight Show" with Jay Leno. Jay went into the
audience to find the most embarrassing first date that a woman ever
had. The winner described her worst first date experience. There is
absolutely no question as to why her tale took the prize!
She said it was
midwinter... snowing and quite cold...and the guy had
taken her skiing to Lake Arrowhead. It was a day trip (no
overnight). They were strangers, after all, and truly had
met before. The outing was fun but relatively uneventful
they were headed home late that afternoon. They were driving back down
the mountain, when she gradually began to realize that she should not
have had that extra latte. They were about an hour away from
anywhere with a rest room and in the middle of nowhere! Her companion
suggested she try to hold it, which she did for a while.
because of the heavy snow and slow going, there came a
point where she told him that he had better stop and let her pee beside
the road, or it would be in the front seat of his car. They stopped and
she quickly crawled out beside the car, yanked her pants down and
started. Unfortunately, in the deep snow she didn't have good footing,
so she let her butt rest against the rear fender to steady
herself. Her companion stood on the side of the car watching
traffic and indeed was a real gentleman and refrained from peeking. All
she could think about was the relief she felt despite the rather
embarrassing nature of the situation. Upon finishing however,
soon became aware of another sensation.
As she bent to
pull up her pants, the young lady discovered her
buttocks were firmly glued against the car's fender. Thoughts of
tongues frozen to pump handles immediately came to mind as she
attempted to disengage her flesh from the icy metal. It was quickly
apparent that she had a brand new problem due to the extreme
cold. Horrified by her plight and yet aware of the humor she
answered her date's concerns about "what is taking so long" with a
reply that indeed, she was "freezing her butt off and in need of some
He came around
the car as she tried to cover herself with her sweater
and then, as she looked imploringly into his eyes, he burst out
laughing. She too, got the giggles and when they finally managed to
compose themselves, they assessed her dilemma. Obviously, as hysterical
as the situation was, they also were faced with a real problem. Both
agreed it would take something hot to free her chilly cheeks from the
grip of the icy metal! Thinking about what had gotten her
the predicament in the first place, both quickly realized that there
was only one way to get her free. So, as she looked the other way, her
first-time date proceeded to unzip his pants and pee her butt off the
As for the
Tonight Show... she took the prize hands down... or perhaps
that should be "pants down." And you thought your first date
comment - - - - This gives a whole new meaning to being
came back from
turning on the heat and plugging in the fridge at
the Elliston residence on Lafayette Avenue. They will be here
tomorrow. Now at least they won't freeze.They keep the
at 55 deg when no one is there. It would be a bit
it takes a while for the furniture and
other fixtures to warm up.
Tonight for supper
Queen had some of the
turkey leftovers. They were very good and there is nothing
Monday, December 27, 2004 7:08 AM
15.5 at Slatington E.S. and 18.2 in
the bus stop
It is white outside
this morning. I must say though that some very nice person swept our
walks this morning. I strongly suspect neighbor Mike since tracks in
snow point in that direction!!!
Golly, but it looks cold
and desolate out there!!
However I saw this piece of metal
there in the
frozen to the ground. I picked it up and put it along the
back porch. I figured I knew where it belonged. It was part of a
chimney cap. Sure enough!! So I put
in a call to Mauch Chunk Chimney Sweeps. They installed all the chimney
caps in the first place. This is the third time it has blown
the chimney. As I see it, it probably behaves like an airplane
When the wind blows across it's domed top, it in all likelihood creates lift, and off she goes!! The other two
trips may not
have helped it. I
doubt if it flys any better!! One of the other times it was
on the sidewalk narrowly missing a parked car.
This morning my
weight was 195 and the
was 136. I will have to go downtown soon. I must go to the Post Office
and a few other places.
I am back from my
trip downtown. Man it
is cold! I
stopped at Dr. Nicholson's to deliver the paper and found that
were closed for the week. Then it was on to the Post Office. I met
Tommy Ziegenfus in there. He is a retired lineman from the
Palmerton Telephone Company. From there I went to IGA and got some
for dinner tonight.
Of course I
had to stop in at
the Times News.
Sharon was the only one there. All the rest are either on vacation or
otherwise out. She got a phone call early this morning for a
fire. It must have been the one I saw the "West End" fire
truck going to a bit after 7 AM.
it was a smoky
house fire up on
Straup's Dairy Road. She said the home was up on a hill and it was
windy and bitter cold. She showed me her picture and smoke was pouring
out of the place. It was the same picture they had in the Times News
tonight. The wind did not help a bit.The poor girl was still
trying to warm up. I told her it looks as though she is the Times
News today!! She
hoped it would be quiet for
the rest of the
day!!I also told her
that when I was in the
Post Office I
saw a young lady in front of me that from my angle looked
like her. I almost tapped her on the shoulder to say, " Hi, Sharon".
she turned around and she sure wasn't Sharon.
Tonight I am making oyster stew. It turned out very well.
This evening he
stopped by for
a visit. It is good to see them. We planned out the menu for the
forthcoming New Years Eve meal as we all sat about chatting.
is almost our treetop ornament!! "Dufas" didn't get all of the top!!
I got this from Bob Green:
person who has stopped growing at both ends and is now growing in the
place where women curl up and dye.
who is fed up with people.
only animals you eat before they are born And after they are dead.
body that keeps minutes and wastes hours.
with the juice squeezed out.
who is usually me-deep in conversation.
money in half without damaging the paper.
insect that makes you like flies better.
with a sunburn.
you tell to one person at a time.
bunch of bones with the person scraped off.
pain that drives you to extraction.
of the greatest labor saving devices of today.
honest opinion openly expressed.
other people have.
have character lines.
it be the best ever
December 28, 2004 7:10 AM 12
deg at Slatington E.S. and 11deg in the bus stopIt is cold this
morning as I am about to
with my coffee, camera, and dog.
<Later> Boy but it is
there! Fortunately there is no wind or else it would be brutal. I find
it hard to believe that we have not had a shovel able snow this winter
so far. I hope it stays that way.
the Church belfry and our top-less chimney cap looked like a
winter picture this morning.
almost full moon as seen this morning in the north western sky
This is a site
for all you home handy
persons. It is
from "This Old House". It looks quite informative.
We decided to go to Lehighton this morning. Queen
wanted a few things. After we got back we went into IGA and then
stopped by to see Linda and
Sharon, the Palmerton contingent of the Times News this week. They seem
to be holding up quite well. The we walked to Rite-Aid where I
picked up a prescription for my glucose test
it was home for lunch.
While we were in
IGA they had some very
legs on sale as well as white meat tenders. Tonight Queen is making
chicken soup. I prepared the rest of the chicken for the
vacuum sealer. That thing is well worth the money. Things
long time frozen that way.
Queen had me try
on my clothes for
tomorrow. I had
to pass her inspection! George,
Andy, and I are going to Walter Guyer's memorial service. It is to be
held at 11:30 am at Christ Church, Short Hills, N.J.
out a series of maps
so we can find
the Church. Thank God for my relatives who now drive me to places when
As Alfie Davies
used to say, "Don't get
old". Not too
many years ago this trip would have been no sweat to me. Now,
One thing that
me about Walter.
man of 90 he still got around to the places he wanted and
to go. It is
incongruous that it certainly wasn't his driving that killed him but a
driving accident of someone else. We still can't reconcile ourselves
to his death!!
I got this from
Everything I need
to know, I learned from Noah's Ark.
miss the boat.
Remember that we are
all in the same boat.
ahead. It wasn't
raining when Noah built the Ark.
fit. When you're
60 years old, someone may ask you to do something really big.
critics; just get on with the job that needs to be done.
your future on
travel in pairs.
Speed isn't always an
advantage. The snails were on board with the cheetahs.
Remember, the Ark was
built by amateurs; the Titanic by professionals.
matter the storm,
when you are with God, there's always a rainbow waiting.
walk in and out
of your life......but FRIENDS leave footprints in your heart
29, 2004 7 AM
degrees at Slatington E.S. and 26deg in the bus stop I shall be leaving for my trip about 9 AM. More
<Later> I have returned. We had a very good trip. My
chauffeurs were superb. We got to the Church about 11 am. I was
surprised to see snow still on the ground over there.The temperatures
were not all that cold but it was brisk.
Church Short Hills,
In spite of the sad occasion it was really wonderful seeing so
many of my late sister's New Jersey family. I really enjoyed seeing and
speaking with them. The last time I was in that Church was in August a
couple of years back for Dot's memorial service. It was mighty hot at
In speaking with
my nephew Dr. David
explained the bizarre circumstances of Walter's death. Apparently he
had been to the dentist in Montclair N.J. and was walking back to his
car when a student driver with her instructor rounded a
and somehow lost control of her vehicle. She was not driving fast,
however, she apparently struck a parking
sign which came down on the back of Walter's head like a knife blade
causing massive trauma from which he never regained consciousness.
I am really glad George
was able to take me to the Memorial service. Those things are
always difficult. I
used to think funerals, wakes, and memorial services a painful
imposition on those attending but
now I think they are necessary to really make closure for each us in
our own minds. When the Rector places the dirt on the urn that is darn
final. Ashes to ashes and dust to dust. I
guess we all have our time and as our family doctor, Dr.
told us "When the man upstairs calls your name, that is it!!"
The service was much like my sister Dorothy's
memorial service. The family spoke most of the
of the grandchildren spoke about their Granddad. It was serious but
filled with good humor and wonderful memories that they all shared with
us. In addition, Jim Farney, who was Walter's nephew spoke about
their long association and friendship. It was a very good eulogy and
well presented. Dick's wife, Kitsy, spoke for Dick who had a cold.
Kitsy is a marvel of bubbling over
is a wonderful person who has a talent for making friends and for
organizing things that need to be done. She very efficiently operates
her own travel agency. I suspect Dick did
not trust his voice to hold out.
Dr. David also
presented a loving story of his Dad. It was wonderful. It
was very well don, heart felt and very comforting. Everyone
acquitted themselves very well.
As they were proceeding down the aisle in
processional, Dr. David Guyer's wife, Leslie pulled
me aside to go along to the burial service in the courtyard. This is
same place where my sister Dorothy's commitment to the earth
done. In that place the burial prayers are said and the Rector
had one of the
youngest of the children go with him about 20 feet away where the
youngster gave a massive bell three tolls for Walter.That was well
the trip. He got a good send off!! No dry eyes there!!
December 30, 2004 7:13 AM
33.8 at Slatington E.S. and 33.9 in the bus stop
Blood glucose was 127 and the
weight was 195
this morning. It is a murky day this morning. I shall be heading out
with my 8 O'clock coffee to sit and rearrange my
thoughts particularly after yesterday's events.
This morning I was dragging our large
garbage bag to
the alley and noticed that our neighbor above us, Frank Gula,
his car parked at the end of his driveway. He was taking his garbage
from the car to the alley. However what really struck me
was the severe limp he had. He used his car three times to
all down there. As I was struggling with ours I remarked to him about
it being "Hell to get old." He agreed with me. I never noticed
problem with him as severe as he had today. When I told Queen about it
she mentioned that we should count our
Oy Vey! That damn beagle's nose gets
more trouble. We went for a short walk and left him on the porch. I
forgot that I had left a new bag of Purina One there for his
future meals. Well the future was this morning. When we got back he
had the bag torn open and had very generously helped himself!
Walter's service was not somber but
of his life. As well as I knew him I learned facets of his life that I
never heard previously. It was well worth the trip. During the service
there was a
prayer for the woman who caused the accident. That was very fitting.
be a tormented soul.
As we were leaving the church for the
lunch at the
Club in Summit, a man said to me "Hello Bob!!" It was Alfred Stevens
of the readers of these pages. He recognized me right away. Golly the
price of fame!! Ha!! Alfred is a
interesting friendly man who has a marvelous sense of humor. I
met him many years ago and did not recall him at all. I liked him as
soon as I met him. In fact that was true of others I met there also.
Alfred too is learning computers. More power to him. As you readers
know I am a strong advocate of computers.
is the Christmas tree at the Beacon Hill ClubI had the chance to speak
with Dr. David's
wife Leslie at length. She too is one of those folks that one just
instantly likes. Leslie was the first to
be able to get
to the hospital after Walter's accident. She said the doctors told her
that Walter had the
internal organs of a man in his 60's and was in remarkable physical
condition for a man of 90 years.
I would like to add one note. To those
of you I saw
yesterday that I told would have their pictures in this page I
am acceding to the wishes of my partners, my spell checker Queen and
web master George, who thought that personal pictures would be an
invasion of your privacy. They are correct.
This morning Queen and I went food
shopping. We went
to Aldi, Giant, and home to IGA. As we we leaving the Giant parking
lot, I saw son George's car there also. I stopped at Radio Shack to get
new 9 volt batteries for all the smoke detectors for the new year.
December 31, 2004 7:27 AM 37.2
at Slatington E.S. and 37.7 in the bus stop
This morning on the last day of 2004 my
glucose was 124 and my weight 195. Showers are predicted for today. As
soon as the coffee is ready I shall be headed for one of the park
benchs. If at all possible to do they make a wonderful spot to get
head on straight first thing in the morning. Somehow the picture below
sort of makes me think. The dawn's early light with Timmy DeSousa's
night light still on and the tombstones in the foreground are a
reminder of our own mortality.
There is always a beginning and an end to everything. Someho, I still
expect a phone call from Walter to find something for him on the
computer or a question as to how to accomplish some task. I will really
I saw the Clarence
Heydt's walking down Columbia Avenue however they didn't see me up on
the upper park bench this morning.
Then after Queen got up we went for our
mile walk. While it was not a beautiful sunny day however it was a
nice morning for us to walk. It is going to be a busy day today.
George and Andy will come up to help us
some excess furniture. We have furniture here from two homes and it is
just too much. They will help move stuff out of here. This is a long
needed thing that we are at least starting to do.
They were up this morning and they
really did a great job of getting Queen and I on the right track.
I got an e-mail from
Steve Jensen once again. I
shall insert it here for your perusal.
In case anyone
would like to see what it looks like inside the
renovated Mooneys Variety Store at 2nd & Delaware, I am
the attached, showing the general layout which features a long corridor
providing access to the suites. Vinny's Nail Salon occupies
first. The next two are still vacant and the third houses
Block, though no one was in at the time I took the photo.
According to the sign, they're only in on Tuesdays. Was this
all the way you remember it from years gone by?
Here are his