A Celebration of Life

Ten months ago we wrote of the passing of our old friend Walt.  He wanted a basic cremation without ceremony.  That sounded simple enough.  Well, it did until the funeral home delivered a walnut box of cremains.  Now what?   Julie, his second –ex and lifetime best friend had asked Walt about that.  He offered […]

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Wolfgang, Alma, and Will

  Kat and I recently became grandparents!  Our son Bret and Alli adopted newborn Will just a few weeks ago.  Yes they are currently overwhelmed, but so are all new parents.  Kat told Bret “It’s way too soon to feel tired: you’re going to be tired for the next 20 or so years, and it’s […]

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Rollin’ Coal

(Not much goin’ on in Campbellsville, KY. Blogging gets slow this time every year. Perdoneme, por favor.) I’m an old guy. My life is a calm existence oblivious to popular culture. To this day I don’t understand what makes the Kardashians newsworthy, why kids buy and wear torn up jeans, or why anyone watched The […]

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Gettysburg, Part 2

My forebears were – and I remain – Confederate sympathizers.  But in recent years I’ve come to realize that the world has become a better place courtesy of the Union’s victory.  And although I remain stunned by the courage of the men in gray, I have come to equally respect the spine of the Bluecoats. […]

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Gettysburg, Part 1

Years ago we spent a lovely weekend in the Doubleday Inn, named for a Union general present here who also is credited as the inventor of baseball.  At the Inn we enjoyed a wine and cheese gathering with a Gettysburg historian and learned much, courtesy of the Inn.  The next day we did the battlefield’s […]

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Our Third Grand Canyon

We have seen The Grand Canyon, the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, and now the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania.  That last one is known as Pine Creek Gorge to all but those who market Penn tourism.  Penn’s Grand is not too far from the Tioga-Hammond Lakes CoE campground where we spent several days in mid-August.  There […]

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What Did You Do During the Eclipse?

Kat and I are enjoying a mild Pennsylvania summer.  For most of the past two weeks we have camped at Penn Wood Airstream Campground near Clarion.  It’s a quiet, lovely setting amid a meadow with a clear creek running alongside.  They have full hookups, good wifi, showers and a laundry that’s only one greenback (no […]

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Watkins Glen, NY

Kat is a waterfall aficionado (still working on my Spanish for Costa Rica) and there are some fine ones in and near Watkins Glen State Park.  We pulled our campsite to Romulus, NY and Sampson State Park on the banks of Seneca, deepest of the Finger Lakes.  From there it is but a 45 minute […]

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Lyons, NY

Lyons, NY is about 60 miles north of Ithaca, and since we were that close I really wanted to see the town.  My old buddy and former employer Bob has returned to his hometown to do what his father and grandfather did:  operate The Ohmann Theatre.  Kat and I had planned to catch a film […]

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Ithaca

After Reach Knolls Campground we moved northwest to Newport, ME and Sebasticook Lake.  It offers water, electricity, and a dump station with sites near the banks of a huge freshwater lake.  It is not a good campground, but they offer ice cream cones in bowls surrounded by side ice cream for $1.75.  They didn’t have […]

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Best Campground in Downeast Maine

Last week we completed two happy weeks of Oceanfront Camping at Reach Knolls just outside Brooklin, Maine.  Al & Pat of TwoBikes fame read its highly favorable Campendium reviews and passed the tip on to us. And this title: It’s the double-truth, Ruth. It has everything you need — 30 amps, clean hose water on […]

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Far From the Madding Crowd*

Kat and I visited Acadia National Park in September, 1996.  We were struck by the harsh beauty of water crashing upon rock, mountains capped by the green of thick forests, and we enjoyed many an overlook.  The Park now offers a free shuttle service on account of vehicular overcrowding.  You don’t see much from a […]

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Down East Maine Seafood

Our last post promised word on the outcome of Lori’s semi-frightening recipe for steamed lobsters.  We followed her instructions in spirit and almost to the letter.  Live lobstahs go for $6.75 a pound here, which gave us the courage to try cooking them The Mainer Way, which goes like this. “Walk down to the beach […]

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July 4th with Al and Pat

Kat and I came to Maine to be cool in July, and so far, so good.  Days rarely hit 80, and nights routinely find the mid 50’s.  There are firs, beeches, and wild flowers everywhere.  Oh, the seafood is so good … it shall have its own post.  Suffice it to say, I think the […]

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Fine Food and Pennsylvania CoE Campgrounds

We found two excellent Corps of Engineers campgrounds in northern PA, each site with power and water, and some at both with full hook-ups.  Prices are a reasonable $17 to $18 if you have America the Beautiful; but twice that if you don’t.   Tionesta Lakes is located just outside the northwest PA town of […]

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Shenandoah and the Appalachian Trail

(This blog has been published out of order:  late by about ten days.  We have had poor internet service, and despite my advancing years, I can still lose a data file as well as I ever did on somebody’s payroll.  The pictures mostly did not come out because I took them.) Old Shenandoah’s Big Meadows […]

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The Afterlife of a Small Town

I first came to Oil City, PA as a new employee of a Fortune 1000 company headquartered there.  You may remember Quaker State; it had a NASCAR entry that tended to trail billowing black smoke while coasting to a race-ending stop somewhere on the infield, and its final ads featured that snarling red-headed guy with […]

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Art, Real Estate, and Water

On our way north we passed through another of our old corporate home towns, and there interred Pink’s ashes next to the graves of Samantha and Nike, our earlier great Springer Spaniels.  We have listed our home and dropped in to see how its cleanup and repair work is going.  I thought the place looked […]

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Deerlick Creek Campground

Our ten month work assignment ended Wednesday.  Walt’s home is fixed up and ready to sell, and Amazon is signifying they will need no workcampers until October.  I wanted to see the leaves change colors in New England, and with a bit of luck, now we will.   After a semi-tough 200 mile pull we […]

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Washington D.C., 1993

Once upon a time Kat and I raised a family.  Most of our vacations involved tent camping, but we did make a Christmas season odyssey to a Holiday Inn on Franklin Square in D.C.  I like to think that my writing has found its voice, yet every time I read something from 20 to 30 […]

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Tattoos

Long ago I wanted bicep tattoos in the worst way.  Worst because I was eight and my mother would not hear of it.  I wanted the globe and anchor of the U.S. Marines on one, and Popeye the Sailor Man on the other.  Varie simply said, “Well, it’s not sanitary, and you might regret your […]

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Magic

We haven’t posted in a long time, nearly two months.   Haven’t felt like it, partly because we have been worn out physically and emotionally from cleaning out and fixing up Walt’s home for sale.  We completed the preparation for sale work today.  And tonight a serious, beautiful rain is falling on our Airstream.  The President […]

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Uncle Walt

Our kids never knew their grandfathers – both gone too soon – but Uncle Walt played that role perfectly.  He rode with us for most of our one week grand tour of Texas colleges in Bret’s junior year, and was the only non-parent at Stephanie’s first ballet performance.  He showed up one Christmas with a […]

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Education and Football

The hearings for and against Betsy DeVos, soon and inevitably to be Secretary of Education, bring to mind my own special education inside the public school system.   Betsy has never worked a day in public education, has never allowed any of her kids to attend public school, and yet is supremely confident that she knows […]

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Women’s March

The Saturday after inauguration day Kat participated in her first act of political protest.  She and 600 others paraded around the State Capitol of Mississippi.  I had serious misgivings – we’re in the old south and the police (never mind the local rednecks), aren’t known for their tolerance of any kind of protest – but […]

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It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll!

Retirement is not all easy money and cheap, superb, healthcare.  Some of us don’t sleep so well.  I have frequent bad dreams that for the most part have little to do with my life, actual or imaginary.  Last night I woke up twice with dreams so real it was necessary to take walks around the […]

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Hey Perce! Buy me a Coke!

Long, long ago in a dead town far, far away, three brothers grew up in a good place in the sticks.  That would be Mooringsport, LA, stuck up there in the extreme northwest corner of that poor state.  Mom taught school.  Dad ran construction crews that built neighborhood shopping centers, small office buildings, doing an […]

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Dead Poets with Richard McCluggage

In my ill-spent youth I had the great fortune to attend a consolidated high school whose football was abysmal, the basketball first rate, whose choir and marching band were both capable of turning sour milk into brie.   Although playing the Sam or Will linebacker spot would have been my preference, I must admit to being […]

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Things Better Left Unsaid

I ran into old friend Jool last week.  We were checking in on another old friend who is under the weather.  She brought a few amusements for herself … librarians read, a lot, so she brought books.  For me and the patient, she brought a puzzle called Scramble Squares.   The game is a simple […]

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Making Maker’s Mark

Long ago Kat and I worked in a busy French Quarter bar.  We sold a lot of premium-priced bourbons.  Jack Daniel’s was big, Crown Royal was the chart-topper (it’s actually a Canadian whiskey), but those were the choices of the poseurs and nouveau riche.  The cognoscenti ordered Maker’s Mark.  Maker’s distillery is in Loretto, KY, […]

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Postscripts to The Sun Came Up

Now and then I wonder why I bother to write.  There are so many who tell better tales, who assemble more descriptive or perceptive word combinations, and in general fly where I at my best ride a bicycle.  Here is a much sunnier version of my post-election lament.   HRC backers will enjoy this, and it […]

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The Sun Came Up

Gloria Steinem characterized this election as “a referendum on the future, but the future is coming anyway”.  Kat and I gave up in despair and went to bed around 1:00 a.m. hoping to sleep about four years.  Wednesday broke clear and our roses were still in bloom.  With our first frost forecast tonight I’ll harvest […]

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Hoboes and Gypsies

I grew up in a Louisiana village alongside the Kansas City Southern tracks.  There were a dozen homes nearer the tracks, but they were built alongside the lake, below a newcomer’s line of sight.  The KCS ran two passenger/mail trains through Mooringsport daily, but most of the rail traffic was freight. This was 15 years […]

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Time Travel and the Creation Museum

Last week Tom Ashbrook’s On Point* devoted a fascinating hour to Time Travel with guest James Gleick.  You think you know what time is, until you really think about it.  A good way to define it is “man’s measurement of eternity”.   Somebody else declared “Time is nature’s way of keeping everything from all happening at […]

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One Sad Day

Sunday past was one to forget, and here I am writing about it.  That morning the alarm squawked at 5:15.  Kat works Sundays, and after I fixed her coffee, breakfast, and a lunch to go, she done went and there was nobody to share my blues.  I was still hurting from LSU’s football loss on […]

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An Evening in New Orleans

The other day I had business in the Crescent City, settled it early, and went by the Bon Ton Café at 401 Magazine to pass rush hour and enjoy a fine meal.  I craved crawfish etouffee in the worst way but knew I’d order their lovely redfish with crab and green onion topping.  Crawfish season […]

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It’s About to Get Real

Kat and I don’t see much television.  We do Netflix.  I enjoyed The Wire.  Kat hated Breaking Bad so bad we didn’t last to Episode 5, and we both loved Person of Interest, and later, Justified.  The last one takes place in Harlan County, KY, and stars the guy who was the sheriff in Deadwood, […]

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Things to Do In Campbellsville

Kat’s current work schedule is four days a week, leaving three to fill.  The first day off is for rest, the second calls for local amusement, and the third is to prepare for the coming week.  After three seasons here we have seen all the surrounding fairs and festivals, and with Saturday and Sunday now […]

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Signs, Campgrounds, Dogs and Football

Amazon leases five Kentucky RV parks for seasonal occupancy by its Camperforce.  Four camps compete on amenities, things such as a lake view, partial shade, reliable WiFi, firepits and tables, and one even operates a full-service bar.  The one-way commute from them ranges from 7 to 15 miles.   These parks have to be fun to […]

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Facebook

  This may shock some of our loyal readers but it’s true:  we look at our site stats.   WordPress keeps track of our visitors, of where they come from, and of the posts that interest them.  I write and Kat works a camera because we need a better record of where we went and what […]

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A Bittersweet Tale

We hear lots of life stories on the road without even prying.  People love to talk.  The Kat is a fine conversationalist and I’m a decent listener.   Other full-timers are particularly interesting, and we all have a story of how we found this life, or why we packed in real jobs for a life of […]

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A Strange Race

I’ve been a political junkie since the ’68 Democratic Convention in Chicago.  We had been in Vietnam over four years at that point with KIA already over 25,000 with no end in sight.  The solution (followed seven years later) was to declare victory and get out.  Thousands of young protesters came to Chicago to make […]

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Our Old Kentucky Home

Once again we have returned to Kentucky for a spell of hard work and financial rehab.   The air conditioning is now fully functional across the street at Amazon, which with all these sunny, 90 degree days, has likely already saved jobs, maybe even a life.  (Amazon caught some terrible press in another state a few […]

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Conventions

Caution:  This is a rant.  And it comes with no new pictures.   We don’t get to watch much television on the road, but miraculously we had PBS/NPR coverage of both Presidential conventions and followed every minute of each.  We always watch both conventions if only to see how grim life might become should worse […]

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Indiana

The Hoosier State is one of three in the lower 48 we had never visited.  It lies directly between Holland, MI and Campbellsville, KY, and along with the arrival of the summer’s hottest week, we set a course to traverse the state from north to south.  Principal cities along the way are South Bend, Kokomo, […]

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A Day at the Beach

  In celebration of Kat’s birthday (she’s got that insurance now) we went on a field trip to the sugar white beaches of Muskegon.  The water is Lake Michigan, and while its coldness and lack of salinity means you won’t see porpoises, you will relish the ten degree drop in air temperature.  On most summer […]

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Up in Michigan, Part II

A major heat wave is coming but so far it’s been comfortable here. Our site has afternoon shade, and the hot days feature enough humidity for our air conditioner to efficiently kick the heat out of the ‘Stream.  Kat and I have continued our food tour of Michigan, first with locally made bratwurst, and then […]

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Up in Michigan, Part I

Television is something of a delicacy for most full-timers.  It’s been there all our lives, but it feels stupid to have these wonderful backyards while watching Vanna light up tiles.   Besides there is something off-putting about signing a long-term contract with a satellite provider at cable rates while making a substantial investment in equipment.  Instead, […]

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Illinois

We don’t have enough time to see the best of Illinois, which is almost certainly Chicago, and we probably never will.  As much as I would love to see the Field Museum of Art, and eat in some of their famous Jewish, Polish, German, and Italian diners, I lack the courage to pull a trailer […]

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Iowa

Our trek to cross Iowa began in Omaha.  Corn grows everywhere in Iowa, and much of it is already over six feet tall without yet developing ears or tassels.  The crop looks to be huge this year, meaning poor prices for the farmers, but good prices in a couple of years for American carnivores.   […]

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