As The Rooster Crows

A Trip to the Nutmeg State

Last week the Mrs. and I headed to Connecticut for a visit to our son’s home in Tolland. His family is involved in a supporting role with CLCC, The Creative Living Community of Connecticut. On Saturday evening we would attend CLCC’s 5th Annual Farm to Table Dinner at Arrigoni Winery. 1297 Portland-Cobalt Rd, Portland, CT 06480  This is the 5th dinner and the first we’ve been able to attend.

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Norwich Patch photo

 

The festivities begin with a welcome glass of wine, music, and appetizers. Under the big tent on the vineyard’s open grounds, guests will enjoy locally sourced foods, live music, a six-course dinner, and wine served throughout the night! Dessert and a silent auction will complete the evening. The Mrs. has been making Quilts for the event every year. Were I an Arteest of one sort or another I’d make something also. All I can do is write about the event.

It was a great evening, the weather cooperated, and over a hundred guests helped support a group of people who do so much for the Developmentally Disabled. We also got to socialize with our son’s extended Connecticut family. Thanks Dave and Jan for riding along with us. (Son’s in-laws)

I’m guessing wine was the theme for this trip. We made a stop on the way up and purchased wine in good old no-tax Delaware. “Shh,” the Tax Police might be listening. Then on Friday night last, it was the Cassidy Hill Winery with music the feature for two hours by “Take 2.”

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It was a trip down memory lane with these two men. The crowd was appreciative, the wine was favorable to the palate and the evening couldn’t have been more pleasurable.  Should you ever see them on an upcoming activity billing somewhere, they are worth a visit., especially if you can enjoy them with fine wine.

On their Facebook page, “Take-2” explains their selves like this:

Rick and I have been performing musicians for over four decades. We have done everything from solo work, performing with other collaborations such as “The Tomglen Band”, “Seventh Dawn”, “Big Party”, and “Impressions of Sound” as well as session work with groups such as “Turkey Foot” and “Still Kickin’ & The Big City Horns”. Our latest Hartford based classic rock group is called “In The Groove” and we are still active and performing in CT/MA venues. In 2015, Rick approached me to collaborate on a duo project focusing in the area of classic rock acoustic artists as well as some select contemporary performers. Take 2 was formed.

Take 2 focuses on many of the more acoustic artists of the Classic Rock era including James Taylor, Van Morrison, Cat Stevens, Harry Chapin and Jim Croce. Through their melody and lyrics, these songs were the “stories” that we grew up to and all know and love. That’s not to say classic rock is the only genre that Take 2 plays. We also include contemporary artists such as Zac Brown, Jack Johnson, Jason Mraz, and some select country material. Take 2 prides itself on musical diversity to bring something for everyone in every performance.

While most of our performances are in public venues through CT and Western MA, we also love to play private events. From casual picnics and club events to weddings and other formal occasions, Take 2 blends music and energy to bring every party to life.

We want to thank you all so much for your support and we look forward to seeing you at our shows…       Rick & Glenn

Where in the world is JB

Son-In-Law Jeff is currently on a trip for Dept. of State to Indonesia. Apparently, from his Facebook pictures, it’s not all work and no play. He’ll be off to Aucland, New Zealand after this stop. Jeff and work partner Matt never go anywhere that there isn’t some fish story of one type or another.

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The crew with their catch.

 

Sam and Zed, “The Crazy Davies,”  are at Maxwell, AFB in Montgomery attending Squadron Officer’s School and Aunt Rachael is tending the four wee ones. “God Bless that girl!” Granny, Mary Agnes, and G, Kathryn  are counting the days till they fly off in “Big Bird’ to meet the family in Germany to help in the transition from Stateside assignment to Foreign assignment. Thanks for your service young’ns.

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The Crazys traveling with Aunt Abby. No Mini Cooper for this crew.

 

While in Connecticut my Brother-in-law John entertained us with a cookout. . My brother Richard (Rick), his friend Tina came from Rhode Island, and John’s grandson Tim and girlfriend Lauren came from western Connecticut with their Rhodesian Ridgeback Luna in tow.  As always when you live a great distance away, there was much to catch up on. We look forward to them coming south for a visit prior to it being too cold to hit the beach.

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Tim & Luna

 

So, I’m thinking the Rooster has crowed enough, don’t want to bore y’all. Someone once said, “Brevity, Brevity, Brevity.” It’s an Element of Style” thingy.

“Be sincere, Be brief, Be seated.”
Franklin D. Roosevelt

elderly couple

Don’t forget to check on the elderly.

 

Off They Go

 

cv687WCAS6GQRKfL10bS+wThey arrived on the 3’rd with all their stuff and were gone on the 8’th. Who you might ask, the “USAF Family Davies,” granddaughter and hubby, 4 great grandchildren and all the joy and happiness they bring on their visit.

They arrived in time to decorate a float and ride in the Allen, MD Fourth of July parade. They ate Grandmom (G) and Grandpop (Pappy) out of house and home. Lady Liberty of the Yellow Lab variety has been pulled, prodded, sent fetching, and loved for 5 continuous days. She has responded by eating all dropped food items well befor the 30 second rule could take hold. Weight Watchers has a new client.

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They got to go on a boat ride, swim in Uncle Greg’s pool and G & Pappy’s blow up pool next to the fish pond and watch the frogs. They fished Miss Sue’s pond for the big one with Pappy and Abby.

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Abby helps get the BIG ONE off the hook for Dax.

They were loved by all who came by to wish them safe journey as they head to Germany by way of Michigan and Alabama.

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Aunt Rachael got a warm up exercise for her upcoming stint of six weeks of being a Nanny while Mom and Dad attend Squadron Officer’s School at Maxwell AFB, Montgomery, AL.

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Mama Sam & Nanny Rachael

Once the school is completed it will be off on Big Bird to cross the pond to Germany. So, God Speed my children, Granny and G shall be there to greet you and spoil you and help get you settled. I’m sure you’ll have many visitations over the next few years, I plan to be one of those visiting.

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Just a part of the Rooster’s Clan.

L to R – Pappy, Abby, Zed & Dax, Mia & G, Sam, Rooster & Wife, Ana & the All American Girl ZOE.

elderly couple

Don’t forget to check on the elderly.

The Grands and Greats take to the Road

Many of you are already aware that granddaughter Samantha, Captain, USAF, and husband Zed, Captain, USAF are relocating from OKC, Oklahoma to Geilenkirchen, Germany. For those who did not know this, now you do.

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Photo from: idiotsbooks.com

 

So, to further enlighten you on their upcoming adventure and cross-country journey, I share with you Sam’s most recent blog. Should their schedule hold true, we might even have them on a float in the famous “Allen, MD Fourth of July Parade.” If you’re close by, the parade is an enjoyable experience with a picnic at the end.

Season 1: American Road Trip

by c12samb

Sung to the tune of Little Einsteins

We’re going on a trip in our big blue rocket truck

Zooming down the road, Davies Family

Climb aboard, get ready to explore

There’s so much to see, Davies Family

We’re going on a vacation, start the countdown

5, 4, 3, 2, 1

Everyone to the truck, rev it up now

RRRRRRRRR

We’re going on a trip in our big blue rocket truck

Zooming down the road, Davies Family

Climb aboard, get ready to explore

There’s so much to see, Davies Family

Come on, let’s go, Davies Family

Can’t wait to see you, Davies Family

Yeah!

On this season follow the Davies Family as we leave Tinker AFB in our rear view and head out on a 3 week family vacation. Follow us as we go from Oklahoma City to Vernal, UT to Frenchglen, OR, to Boise, ID, to Oklahoma City, OK, to Allen, MD, to Bay City, MI, to Montgomery, AL. You’ll get an inside look at the chaos of traveling as a family of six from sea to shining sea.

Enjoy!

-S

c12samb | June 26, 2018 at 10:04 pm | Categories: Uncategorized | URL: https://wp.me/p7p01n-3y
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Minimizing

For the past few years we have been minimizing. I’m guessing Mary Agnes much more so than me, there are just some things that I will not part with. At least once a month I’ll get the question “got anything for Halo.” Halo Ministries is a local organization that takes in any and all things one would part with and then sells them in their Thrift Store. They also run a shelter for men and women and have a soup kitchen. It’s a nice Ministry that does good things.

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Halo photo by WMDT

Just last week I got the notice a trip to Halo was planned. I found a few old ties and belts that I was willing to part with and off they went with the weeks donations. “That’s all, I was asked.” I’ve been told we are trying to make things easier for the kids once we’re gone. We are only going to Delaware tomorrow I said. I got that look that said you know what I mean. Ouch!

So a few days ago we made the 50 mile day trip to Delaware to visit Sarah the sister in-law who has been going through one of those hiccups in life for the past six months. We dropped Ben the dog off at the Pet Palace boarding kennel the night prior and would pick him up on the return.

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Pet Palace photo

We would pick up Sarah around 10:00 and head off to the outlets. No sales tax in Delaware, great outlets. We go to “That Store,” called Christmas Tree Shops in other states, and I drop the girls off. I stay in the car, catch up with my Journal writing, check email, etc. I’ll go inside at Harbor Freight, Cabela’s & Bass Pro, but that’s about it.

Forty minutes later Mary Agnes comes out the door pushing a cart just loaded with bags. She pops the back hatch and transfers the bags. “Where’s Sarah” I ask, “still shopping” she says as she closes the hatch and returns to the store. After a total of fifty-five minutes they reappear with cart #2 and off load once again. It’s only a Subaru I say, not a Penske Rental. I get that look from both of them.

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Pinterest photo

Now where I ask, after the load transfer takes place. To the grocery store, we will buy the makings for lunch and visit sister in-law Barbara and husband Mike and make lunch for us all. A loaf of bread, Egg and Chicken Salad, Grandma Utz potato chips and some ice tea are bought and paid for and we are off to Barbara’s. I shall not even mention how I’m given directions by Sarah to get out of the parking lot maze. Suffice it to say a GPS she is not.

We have a nice lunch, learn about an upcoming trip to Alaska, one of those boat and train adventures and say our goodbyes and are off ninety minutes later. We will drop Sarah and her packages her house and head for our every six-week stop at the Big Box store. In this Case it’s BJ’s.

At this stop we only purchase what is needed. With some rearranging I find room for all we’ve needed to purchase as well as those items from that first cart full of bags. So I ask the question. “I thought we were minimizing.” Once again, THAT LOOK. It seems these are mostly items for others which makes it a bit easier.

We beat a good summer rain storm home and stay dry while off loading. I pick the dog up from the kennel, take him for a good run in a field as he rids himself of 22 hours of incarceration. Once back in the car he is a happy 20 month old 65 pound Standard Poodle. We feed the dog, open a cold bottle of nice wine, retreat to the porch and do what we do best – solve all the problems of the world.

It’s been a good day, and I didn’t have to get rid of a thing. Oh, and the stuff in the bags. It turns out they are patriotic decorations, paper plates, cups and the like for the Forth of July parade and picnic. The Oklahoma Grands and Greats will be in prior their stop in Alabama and ultimate flight in August to their new home in Geilenkirchen, Germany.

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Coming soon on a calendar near you.

The Disgrace that is the NFL

Last year, midway through the NFL season I cancelled my NFL package on Directv. I must admit I did watch the playoffs and the Super Bowl, my life long beloved Philadelphia Eagles were there at the end. I’m 75 years old and my years of following this team and it’s locker room of players was just missing something, even after they won the big game.

A few of the first idols I had way way back in the day were Pete Retzlaff, Chuck Bednarak and Tom Brookshire. Unless your ancient like me or a life long eagles fan the names mean nothing to you. I dare say they would be appalled at what occurs on the football field sidelines today.

You see, I come from a military family. Both my father and step-father served in WWII, I spent 6 years in the Marine Corps and a few more in the National Guard during the Viet Nam War. My eldest daughter served in the Air Force and Navy and retired as a Major in the Air Force. Her husband is former Air Force. My son served in the Marine Corps during the First Gulf War. My eldest granddaughter and her husband are both USAFA graduates and Captains in the Air Force today. Our family has nieces and nephews on active duty and in ROTC in College.

And: We have all taken a knee, after running our ass off to stay in shape so when we are called to we can protect that flag and what it stands for. Pathetically there are NFL players who take their knee for some other purpose. In the short time I have left on this earth, the NFL will never be the same.

Last night my wife lost a sister in-law to cancer. The father of her children was Navy as was his brother, her son is active duty Air Force, a grandson was Air Force and another Navy. Bunny, we’re thinking of you and all the family.

I could go on with cousins, friends and neighbors who have served and you could watch the changing of the guard at Arlington to further add to this story. The real changing of the guard is on the sidelines of a football game performed by the NFL, and it is a disgrace.

 

I share with you, Colonel Jeffery A Powers letter to the NFL.

 

 

Mr. Smith Gets a Ticket

Related imageAs many of you are aware, I’m an old retired Trooper from the state of Connecticut. At one time in the late 70’s I was assigned to the Traffic Division, our duties involved the enforcement of Motor Vehicle Laws on the highways of the state. We were mostly assigned to the limited access roads in the state such as Interstate highways, Parkways and the like. On some days we concentrated on Commercial Vehicle Enforcement, mostly trucks, tractor trailers and buses. Other days were spent doing radar enforcement of speed limits. We worked out of marked cruisers as well as many different undercover cars and trucks.

On this day that I’m writing about, we were doing speed enforcement on Route 2, which runs NW to SE from East Hartford, CT to the CT/RI line near Westerly, RI. My partner on this day was Dave Gibbs and he was the Radar Operator. I was the Trooper pulling over the speeding motorist in a marked cruiser and issuing the Traffic Citation to the motorist operating the vehicle.
We were working in the town of Glastonbury, set up in the NW travel lane, Trooper Gibbs was on the left shoulder of the divided highway in an unmarked nondescript car with hood up that looked like a disabled vehicle. After clocking a vehicle he could visual see them as they rounded a curve toward my location on the right shoulder. He would call out via radio the description of the vehicle to me, such as “ Red Ford, left lane, rounding the bend now, 84 MPH. The posted speed limit on this stretch of road was 55 MPH.

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To further paint a picture of this specific event I must add one thing. At the top of this long hill where we were working, almost a mile to the S/E was a crossover for official use only. At the time of this specific stop there happened to be a Trooper in a marked cruiser sitting in the crossover eating lunch and doing paperwork. This Trooper was not assigned to the Traffic Division, he was on routine patrol from the Colchester Barracks, Troop K. The acknowledgement of his location was all over the CB radio waves which we also monitored. “ Breaker – Breaker 1-9, Smoky in the cross over top of the hill by mile marker such and such.”

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Fiveprime photo

Dave calls out the speed and description of the offending vehicle. I exit my marked 1978 Ford Crown Victoria, point to the offending vehicle approaching me and motion for the driver to pull over, which he does. As is common practice I say something to the likes of “ Good morning sir, I pulled you over for speeding, you were clocked on radar at 84 MPH in a 55 MPH zone. I would then ask for the operators driver’s license and registration.
I must take a moment to talk about glove compartments and center consoles. It never ceased to amaze me the disorganization of these compartments. Many twelve-year-old vehicles would have each and every registration that was ever issued as well as insurance papers dating back to the crusades. Old sandwiches, jars of oozing peanut butter, dripping lipstick, (summer only) and everything imaginable or unimaginablecould be found in some compartments. A road Trooper has seen it all at one time or another.

The operator in this case, Mr Smith, says, “Oh No, I knew that car was there, it was all over the CB radio and I was doing exactly 55 miles per hour when I passed him.”  I question him as to where this was and he tells me it was at the crossover a mile or so back and described the maroon Ford of the Troop K officer eating his lunch at this location. We did some checking up after the stop, knowing this one was going to court, I documented this information with the i’s dotted and the T’s crossed.
Without going into a whole lot of detail with Mr. Smith I explained to him this was not the officer who clocked him on radar. As was always my custom, I, yes Sir and no Sir’d him to death during the encounter as he arrogantly berated myself, the State of Connecticut and the Connecticut State Police as nothing but revenue collectors. I was informed he was from New York and he would see me in court. Of course I was still awaiting the extraction of the registration from the glove compartment. Eventually this document was located and presented to me and a citation for speeding was issued. Mr Smith would drive off while still berating me, my department and the State of Connecticut.
As is the custom and protocol in a speeding ticket, I filled in the explanation of this stop in the appropriate location on my copy of the ticket which would then go to the court. In this case should it go to court, it would be in the town of Manchester. It is the operator’s prerogative to mail in the fine or appear in court to contest the citation.
BINGO, about six weeks later Trooper Gibbs and me are summoned to court in Manchester for State of Connecticut vs. Mr Smith. On the day of the trial Trooper Gibbs would testify first that he was the Radar Operator and was in a 1976 Plymouth Satellite, 2 door, silver, parked on the side of the road at a specific location with the hood raised and for all intent and purposes that car looked like a disabled vehicle. He stated he clocked the offending vehicle at 84 MPH in a posted 55 MPH zone and that the radar was calibrated and checked according to law and department procedures. There was no rebuttal by the accused, Mr. Smith.
I would testify next. I was asked if I recognized the accused Mr. Smith. In this case I certainly did and pointed to him sitting alone at a table to my front. Knowing he was innocent, Mr. Smith would represent himself. I then proceeded, using my notes on the citation and additional notes in my field notebook to paint a vivid picture of the entire incident in great detail which included his glove compartment contents. States Attorney Arnold Markle said in a class I once took, “Document, Document, Document, if it’s not written down, it never happened.” I never did forget that one class, and I always documented. Even today I document and keep a daily journal.
After my testimony Mr. Smith was sworn in and began testifying in his own behalf. He would mention the Trooper eating lunch at the crossover, the chit-chat on the CB radio and the fact he never saw Trooper Gibbs car. “Of course he didn’t, he was going 84 MPH.”
He went on to describe me and the fact I belittled him and was nothing but a revenue collector. He stated that the Trooper always used the words “yes sir, no sir” and when stating he would see me in court the Trooper said, “That is your right sir and have a good day”.
The Judge, after a long pause, asked Mr. Smith, “ and what was belittling about the way the Trooper spoke to you? Mr. Smith said, “I just knew he didn’t mean it when he said all those yes sirs and no sirs”.
The Judge would pound his gavel once, say the word “Guilty” and set the fine, court cost, and direct Mr. Smith where to pay the clerk.
“Troopers, your dismissed.”

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Pinterest photo

It pays to document! Thank you sir for a day of overtime, my family appreciated the extra income.
Should you find yourself down in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia outside of Roanoke and happen by the Virginia Mountain Winery, stop in and say hello to retired Trooper Gibbs. Make sure you tell him,  The Rooster sent you.

 

Editors note: Mr Smith is not the name of the operator of the offending vehicle in this case. All events are to the best of this writers recollection and I thank David Gibbs for being my wing man for a number of years while assigned together. Cheers Dave and thanks for looking over the rough of this one stop of many in our careers.

elderly couple

Don’t forget to check on the elderly.

 

A Trip to Starkville

May 1st would find herself and me busy getting ready for our trip to Mississippi. While I was busy checking off items on my Honey-Do list, herself would spend the day at the beach. Well, not really at the beach but in close proximity. Her sister has had a rough go of it the past few months, and ever the care giver, me wife has been making the weekly trips to attend doctor and treatment visits. It’s all good though, treatments going well and me and Ben, me dog, get a day’s breather from the “have you done this yet.” I’m sure some of you’ve have been there.

I get my trash run in, and check off all the other listed needs. Me love brings a nice premade meal from Harris Teeter home for dinner. We watch Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy, I watch a few innings of the Yankees and Red Sox and then off to bed. Not really a fan of either, for me it’s the Washington Nationals.

Our trip south for granddaughter Abby’s graduation in Psych from Mississippi State would put us on the road for three days. We arise bright and early, first off though, it’s do all the wash, take the dog and cat to the kennel and vacuum the house. We can never leave the house in a condition that is not worthy for a showing by a Real Estate agent, God Forbid. Of course there is also one more bag of trash to drop off on the way out.

Day one will take us just over four hours down the road, to Rocky Mount, NC. We always start our southern journeys down the Delmarva Peninsula, cross the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel and head west out Route 58 to Emporia, VA. I could never go south via the insanity of greater Washington, DC. Our trip like the day was grand with several stops along the way for gas, food and the occasional leg stretching at rest areas. A small Ice Cream at McDonald’s would become routine each afternoon on this trip.

Just as a side note, Abby’s Mom, Dad and cousin Rachael were also heading south to Mississippi via a stop in Charleston, SC on day one. They had never been to Charleston and thought, why not. However unlike us leaving at noon, they were up and moving at 0300. Oh to be young again.

We check in to a Double Tree, freshen up and head up the road to an Outback for dinner. Back in the room we relax and chat about the toilet, yes the toilet. For all the niceness of this facility, we have the toilet from hell, or I should say from an airport. As the plunger drops in it’s reservoir of water, a high-pitch whine and squeal like an aircraft jet engine build to a high-pitched crescendo that will wake the dead when I take my 2 AM trek for relief. Noise abatement shall not be possible in this facility.

Despite the 2AM noise issue, we sleep well, breakfast in the hotel and we are on the road heading for Conyers Georgia for night number two by 0900. We are not in a big hurry. Conyers is just to the east of Atlanta and I had found on Yelp that there was an Irish Tavern in the town. We like Irish pubs and taverns. At home it’s the Irish Penney in Salisbury, MD at least once a month.

On this day we will follow I-95 south to Florence, SC. We do an exercise stop at the SC rest area. With our leg cramps gone and feeling refreshed we charge on heading up I-20 towards Columbia, SC. Enough we say of President Eisenhower’s Interstate System. We exit the Interstate and find old US Route 1. It’s backroads to at least Augusta, Ga, home of the Masters Golf Tournament.

We arrive in Conyers, GA, our nights stay for day two. We select Conyers so we can avoid going around or through Atlanta during rush hour. It will also give us a short ride our next day traveling to Starkville, MS. I must also admit to locating the Celtic Tavern, we tend to favor Irish Pubs when can find them while traveling about the country.

After checking in to our hotel we head to the Celtic Tavern in quaint old downtown Conyers. Check out: http://www.conyersga.com/visitors/attractions/filming-in-conyers

Conyers’ has been transformed into the French Quarter of New Orleans for filming of the popular series, “The Originals.”

We ate well, Fish and Chips for me and Shepard’s Pie for the Madam. After dinner and a few innings of a ball game on TV it was Good Night Irene for both of us. We highly recommend the Celtic tavern if you ever find yourself in Conyers.

We also met two nice folks while at the tavern, Albert and Nadine Chapar. Albert was snapping photos in the tavern for wife Nadine who own’s Solia digital media. soliamedia.com Turns out Albert is the principal of the Chapar Firm, LLC www.chaperlaw.com Never hurts to know a lawyer when traveling out-of-town. As it was learned, Albert grew up in Bridgeport, CT and his mother became the mayor of Bridgeport in 1989, one year after I retired from the Connecticut State Police. Yes, it is a small world. It never ceases to amaze me the connections with people we have with just a little introduction and conversation. Albert and Nadine, thanks for taking a moment of your time for some idle chit-chat. The Celtic Tavern Web Site is Nadine’s creation.

Day three would find us on I-20 heading west to Starkville, MS for our granddaughter Abigail’s graduation from Mississippi State University the next day. Our big stop, rest and a meal would be at Panera Bread outside Birmingham, AL. This is a site for great dining and shopping should you find yourself in the Birmingham area: https://thesummitbirmingham.com/

Mid day we would arrive in Starkville and spend three grand nights at the Chester Hotel. http://www.historichotelchester.com/

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The hotel was one of Abby’s employers while living and studying in Starkville.

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The Beer Garden was a great venue to close out each day’s events. It is presently being renovated and will reopen the first week of August. If you should find yourself in the Starkville area and in need of a room, check out: http://www.historichotelchester.com/

Up early on Friday 4 May we head into the traffic bound for the Humphry Coloseum and the graduation of our granddaughter Abby.

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I made it through without vertigo taking over, thank you Lord.

 

We were so proud of our Psych graduate, you rock Abby!

 

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Granny, Pop and the graduate, and she did it in four years.

Abby is back home now going through the application and job interview process with tenacity. It should not be long and this young lady is starting her Psyc career, paying taxes and her student loan. Welcome to the real world kiddo.

As an end note, congratulations to all those Washington Capitols fans who have waited so long.

elderly couple

Don’t forget to check on the elderly.