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Growing up Methodist

Audubon, NJ United Methodist Church

I grew up during those youthful years until, I’m guessing age fourteen, a Methodist. At one point I even sang in the choir, I still look back and chuckle at this.

My biological parents separated when I was two and divorced by the time I was about five. Both my parents lived in the same town and I was shared back and forth for a number of years prior to age eight or nine when my father moved from South Jersey (Exit 3 of the Turnpike area) to Connecticut. Everybody in Jersey lives off an exit of one highway or another. At one time I lived off Exit 4 of the Garden State Parkway. One of the best years of my youth was spent in Wildwood Crest, more stories for an other day. My mother and I would live for a number of years after the separation with my great grandparents in a second floor apartment.

Living next door was the man my mother would ultimately marry when I turned ten years old. That man lived with his mother and father and they were Methodist. Oh were they Methodist. Ultimately my newly wed mother would have two daughters and they were raised Methodist also. One sister sang and directed their choir for a time.

Every Sunday until age fourteen it would be,  get on the church bus and go off to Sunday School. Sometimes, especially when I was in the choir, I would do church also and there was always a coffee and, after the service. No playing football on Sunday, no card playing ever and a whole bunch of rules I thought, “Really?” Did I mention no Alcohol or smoking either.

I can remember getting 35 cents for the collection when the dish was passed. I also remember getting off the bus on occasion in my teens, going in one door of the multi purpose room and out the other and playing hooky more than once. My mother has passed away so I’ll not be damned for telling that story. My self and a neighbor friend would go to a local corner store, buy a soda and candy and head to a local vacant lot where the Catholics were always playing a football game. They mostly went to church on Saturday evening. It was difficult explaining the grass stains at times. I’m sure I’ll atone for these transgressions at a later date.

I would rebel around age fourteen or fifteen, start going to a Lutheran church, my paternal side of the family’s house of worship and ultimately become a Catholic when I married my wife over fifty years ago. I went through that educational process while I was in the Marine Corps. I remain a Catholic to this day.

Today in our little village on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, the Methodists prevail. Our Methodist Women’s group are always cooking up a storm, feeding this group or that, having Teas and just plain bringing comfort food to the people of the village. God bless those Methodists.

Allen Asbury Methodist Church

My wife and I recently took a trip to Connecticut to visit our son and his family and my step-sister and her husband. We spent 20 years as next door neighbors to my step-sister. We lived in a tight-knit community on a Cul De Sac and had a great batch of neighbors.

We got to see one of those neighbors while at my sisters. Her name is Judy, a life long Methodist and her husband Stan is a retired Methodist minister. I asked he if she had ever heard Garrison Keillor’s Public Radio piece on Methodist’s. She said no she hadn’t so I located it on the internet and read it to all in attendance.

I feel it is a classic and would like to share it with you now.

We make fun of Methodists for their blandness, their excessive calm, their fear of giving offense, their lack of speed, and also for their secret fondness for macaroni and cheese.

But nobody sings like them. If you were to ask an audience in New York City, a relatively Methodist-less place, to sing along on the chorus of “Michael Row the Boat Ashore,” they will look daggers at you as if you had asked them to strip to their underwear. But if you do this among Methodists, they’d smile and row that boat ashore and up on the beach! And down the road!

Many Methodists are bred from childhood to sing in four-part harmony, a talent that comes from sitting on the lap of someone singing alto or tenor or bass and hearing the harmonic intervals by putting your little head against that person’s rib cage.

It’s natural for Methodists to sing in harmony. We are too modest to be soloists, too worldly to sing in unison. When you’re singing in the key of C and you slide into the A7th and D7th chords, all two hundred of you, it’s an emotionally fulfilling moment. By our joining in harmony, we somehow promise that we will not forsake each other.

I do believe this: People, these Methodists, who love to sing in four-part harmony are the sort of people you can call up when you’re in deep distress.

*If you’re dying, they will comfort you.

*If you are lonely, they’ll talk to you.

*And if you are hungry, they’ll give you tuna salad.

*Methodists believe in prayer, but would practically die if asked to pray out loud.

*Methodists like to sing, except when confronted with a new hymn or a hymn with more than four stanzas.

*Methodists believe their pastors will visit them in the hospital, even if they don’t notify them that they are there.

*Methodists usually follow the official liturgy and will feel it is their away of suffering for their sins.

*Methodists believe in miracles and even expect miracles, especially during their stewardship visitation programs or when passing the plate.

*Methodists think that the Bible forbids them from crossing the aisle while passing the peace.

*Methodists drink coffee as if it were the Third Sacrament.

*Methodists feel guilty for not staying to clean up after their own wedding reception in the Fellowship Hall.

*Methodists are willing to pay up to one dollar for a meal at the church.

*Methodists still serve Jell-O in the proper liturgical color of the season and think that peas in a tuna casserole adds too much color.

*Methodists believe that it is OK to poke fun at themselves and never take themselves too seriously.

And finally,

+ You know you are a Methodist when: it’s 100 degrees, with 90% humidity, and you still have coffee after the service.

+ You hear something funny during the sermon and smile as loudly as you  can.

+ Donuts are a line item in the church budget, just like coffee.

+ When you watch a Star Wars movie and they say, “May the Force be with you,” and you respond, “and also with you.”

+ And lastly, it takes ten minutes to say good-bye!

Lake Wobegon is a fictional town in the U.S. state of Minnesota, said to have been the boyhood home of Garrison Keillor, who reports the News from Lake Wobegon on the radio show A Prairie Home Companion. Its location is believed to be north of St. Cloud and is claimed to be the town of Holdingford.

Thanks for stopping by.

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Community Health Needs Assesment


nurse thumbs up

As a lot of you know, our daughter Kathryn Fiddler has recently returned to the Eastern Shore from Baltimore to Peninsula Regional Medical Center here in Salisbury, MD. Kathryn is the Executive Director of Population Health and a 2015 graduate of Salisbury State University’s Doctor of Nursing Practice program.

Along with Chris Hall,  Vice President Strategy and Business Development/Chief Business Officer at Peninsula Regional Medical Center  and Henry Nyce, Manager of Planning and Business your assistance is needed to complete their Community Health Needs Assessment, especially if you are from Somerset, Wicomico or Worcester counties. Should you be from somewhere else fill in the designated space.

This assessment is ten (10) questions long, no great burden here. Please take a minute or two to help identify the needs and expectations in this important assessment.

Thank you,  The Rooster

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From  Roger A. Follebout, Jr.
Community Relations Director
Peninsula Regional Medical Center

Good Morning All – HUGE favor here!

Regularly, Peninsula Regional Medical Center engages our community in a Community Health Needs Assessment.  Peninsula Regional’s commitment to community health is an essential part of our mission. We have a proud 119 year history of investing in community health programs and partnering with other organizations to identify and address the most urgent health needs in the communities we serve.

We strive to ensure patients have exceptional and equal access to high-quality care while addressing identified child, teen and family health needs in the community.  Through a community health assessment, we are gaining a better view of the health needs and strengths on the Delmarva Peninsula. In partnership with families, public health, healthcare providers and community-based organizations, we are using what we learn to collaboratively address the most urgent needs.  We’re seeking community input on perceived barriers to health, what people believe are the most important health issues, where care is most needed, and more.

Peninsula Regional has created a very short Survey Monkey survey to gain community input on what we can do to improve access to healthcare and provide our friends and neighbors the best possible healthcare experience.

I would appreciate it if you could share the link, below, with your readers, viewers, listeners, social media friends and chamber members, and ask them to please help us in our mission to Improve the Health of the Communities We Serve.

We also invite each of you to participate, as well.  The more people we can engage, the better the results.  We will share those in the not too distant future once the survey concludes.

Thanks a bunch!

Roger A. Follebout, Jr.
Community Relations Director
Peninsula Regional Medical Center
410-543-7142 (office)/410-543-7144 (fax)/443-783-6410 (cell)
Salisbury, Maryland 21801
2015 PRMC Hospital Email Signature Line

Who’s doing what?

So here it is, 26 April and the currents of air are converging on Oklahoma City, OK. That’s like smack dab in the middle of the US of A. So what does that mean you ask. It means unstable air, thunder storms and possible Tornados. Warm moist air from the Gulf of Mexico travels north and Cold dry air drops down from Canada and the Rockies. Think Ali vs. Frazer, Mayweather vs. Pacquiao. “Let the Rumble begin.”

This concerns me because my granddaughter (Sam) and her three children are in OKC at this very moment. She and her husband are soon the be Captains in the Air Force and are stationed at Tinker, AFB. My granddaughter’s husband is deployed to Alaska right now for a few weeks. He did make room in their storm shelter prior to leaving. They have a very secure safe room. These rooms are common place in the center of the country.

The kid’s safe room is similar to this and located in their garage.

Just last week, Pappy, think Eljefe or Jeff the Embassy guy, was out there bonding with the grandkids and changing diapers, think three just one a few months over three. Mid week “G” would fly out for four days and help Pappy with the Huggies. They had a great visit, I’m sure they spoiled the kids in the short time there, it’s what grandparents do.

Pappy is in Canberra, Australia at the moment. I put him on the shuttle to BWI yesterday afternoon. For those who don’t know Jeff works for the Department of State doing what it is he does for them. From one trip to the next, you never know where he may be. Some gigs are good, some are the “Arm Pits” of the world. Except for the jet lag, this is one of the better stops.

US Embassy, Canberra

I’m including some pics of my OKC great grandkids. A picture of my faithful companion Maggie under her favorite tree on walk up the road. Also I’m including the Weather warning for OKC. Be safe kids, “Hunker Down” as Jim Cantore of the Weather Channel says. You’re Air Force strong Sam, you’ll be fine.

On another front, our daughter Sarah who peddles Sea Food about the country if in Maine today and sent us the below photo. Ah yes, spring in New England, don’t miss it a bit.


The girls.


“G” and the boy.



That’s “G,” second from the left selling Population Health on local TV this evening.  Delmarva Proud.

Did you vote today Maryland? 

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A Share from my Great Nephew


So I have this Great Nephew, Marshall Palmer, who is related through marriage. Marshall  is a walker for cancer. He lost his dad to this scourge of our Earth five years ago. At the same time I lost a friend of twenty three years. Chris Palmer was Marshall’s dad and my friend.

Relay for Life has been a fundraising venue on the Eastern Shore for years. Chris Palmer with his and extended family marched for many years to help raise funds for Cancer research. Today Marshall continues that history through new efforts from afar. Marshall now lives in suburban Chicago with an even bigger extended family. A new step-father, siblings and all the extensions associated with them.

So my thought is this.  I have close to 300 friends on Facebook, a bunch on Twitter and God knows how many visitors to The Rooster Blog.  Perhaps we could get a donation or two out of some of you. If everyone gave a BUCK to Teamraiserworkshop, how cool would that be?

We are all touched in some way, family, friends, associates and neighbors who have or had cancer. If you can help Marshall out with a donation, please go to the site below.

The Rooster thanks you.



The Reason I Walk by Marshall Palmer

Marshall and his dad.

It’s been almost 5 year since my Dad died. Sometimes it seems like so long ago, and sometimes it feels like it was last month. It’s weird. For those of you who don’t know me and know my story, cancer took my dad from me. Throughout his life, my dad battled three kinds of cancer, non-hodgkins lymphoma, micro-eperdermoid carcinoma (cancer of the salivary gland), and finally melanoma. During his final battle with cancer, my dad spent his years in clinical trials before his melanoma became too serious that nothing could slow it down anymore. Although he is not with us anymore there are parts of my dad that he has left behind to create his Legacy of Fighters. Throughout my entire life we have always been fundraising to find a cure for cancer. Whether it was participating in Relay for Life, our annual Valentines fundraiser Romance for a Cure, or our Cancer Makes me Crabby fundraiser, we were determined to beat the beast, and still are to this day.

While we were doing our part to find a cure, my dad was doing his own. Not only did he participate in fundraising, over the years, my dad spent his life trying to help doctors find a cure for cancer. When his Melanoma had spread to his lungs and in all other organs, he participated in a clinical trial. After a month, he came out of that trial with no more melanoma in his lungs, they had found a cure. Although it did not cure the rest of his melanoma, that trial had found a cure for Lung Cancer patients such as Football Coach Jeff Renihan of Graceville, Florida. One day my mom got a letter saying that this man had been fighting lung cancer and when he heard of the trial my dad was in, he knew he needed to be a part of it. After a lot of pushing and begging they got him in the trial and after that day, Coach Renihan was cancer free.

I have realized that the superheroes in the movies that stop a meteor from crashing into the earth or the ones that stop an alien invasion aren’t the ones that truly matter – its the ones that give their lives to finding a cure and helping those who are battling cancer. Although my dad is not here anymore, his legacy lives on and we will not stop until cancer is no more! This year to give back, I am fundraising for the Wellness House, along with my new siblings, to help those battling cancer. Their mom, MJ, who also battled cancer, was not only a participant at the Wellness House but also a strong supporter. The Wellness House gives support to those battling cancer, along with their families. As I walk in memory of my Dad this year, please join me in making the lives of survivors better, and continuing to search for cures. Cancer just can’t win this battle. As my family always said Beat the Beast, it’s who we are, it’s what we do.


Bubbles and bows:



I just wanted to share my good friend’s blog with everyone. You have some history behind you my friend. Thanks for sharing George.

poor georgie’s almanack

As a young show business press agent in Chicago around 1960 I promoted an interesting “B List” of world-renowned performers visiting The Windy City. Bernstein, Belafonte and a bunch of others.

Last night’s powerful performance at Strathmore Music Center of “Porgy and Bess” brought back memories of John W. Bubbles. He was Sportin’ Life in the original Broadway production of the Gershwin classic opera.

Bubbles had appeared in Chicago on a bill with Judy Garland and the comic Alan King. I was hired late in the game, after it already was clear the show’s run would be standing-room-only.

Irv Kupcinet, the leading local gossip columnist, invited me to a private dinner at the Chez Paree nightclub, a couple days before the show opened. About ten of us sat around a table and listened to a clearly disturbed Garland swearing up a storm. That was a bit uncomfortable, but even more unsettling were the futile attempts by her husband, Sidney Luft, to calm her down. I didn’t want to get involved in that. But, I needed someone to promote, because I was being paid to do press agentry.

King was equally obnoxious. He didn’t need me and I not only didn’t need him, I didn’t want to be around him. He seemed to be mean and disdainful of everyone but himself.

Bubbles, meanwhile, came across as quiet, introspective and a genuinely warm human being. I only knew about him as a famous vaudeville performer where he partnered with a fellow who’s nickname was “Buck.” Their act was “Buck and Bubbles.” The name had intrigued me as much as another star team on the Negro Vaudeville Circuit, “Butterbeans and Susie.”

I arranged for Studs Terkel to interview Bubbles in a small WFMT radio studio. Terkel, probably the best interviewer ever, didn’t dwell on the obvious, like how Bubbles had taught Fred Astaire to tap dance.

Terkel zeroed in on Bubbles’ climb to stardom in Jim Crow America. Jim Crow was a popular 19th-century minstrel song and dance that negatively stereotyped African Americans It was performed by White men in blackface makeup. The mythical Jim Crow morphed into shorthand for a system of government-sanctioned wide-spread racial oppression and segregation, which fully captured Bubbles wildly successful career. Yet, successful as his career was, during most of it, he couldn’t walk into millions of front or side doors,or stay at most hotels, because of his skin color.

Studs delicately brought out the pain, suffering, and sorrow of Bubbles’ journey to greatness. Several poignant sounds of silence spoke volumes, as the three of us around the table and the sound engineer in a cramped “booth” behind a large glass window, gathered our thoughts and quietly reflected upon the discomfort pent up in Bubbles’ story. It was a story of simultaneously living the American dream and the American nightmare.

The temperature in the room began to heat up.

And suddenly I noticed. The four of us. Suspended in a tiny time capsule. In a soundproofed safe high above the hustle and bustle of “The Second City.” And each of us with tears in our eyes.

All of this flashed before me last night. A night with little if any silence and a totally different experience. Not at all like Studs’ studio. Not even like sitting near the orchestra pit during the early 1950’s revival of Porgy, where I was a teenaged usher in Chicago’s cavernous, classic, Civic Opera House.

As the lights dimmed, in the sleek and nearly perfectly-tuned modern Strathmore Music Hall, just 15 minutes from our apartment door, Susan and I focused on the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s pleasing full, fluid sound. It was a sharp contrast to what I remembered as an equally pleasing, but brassy, Broadway-born Porgy pit orchestra.

But, the voices. Oh, those voices. Behind the orchestra in the loft, were the 60-or-so members of the highly acclaimed choir from Morgan State University a historically black college. In front, performing in an imaginary Catfish Row, were the lead performers. Some professional opera singers, some students. They deservedly took their standing ovation bows. And I thought.

Oh those voices. Oh, those emotions. Oh, those memories.

George Kroloff's photo.
George Kroloff's photo.

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Elder Abuse


My wife has gone crazy today. She is “D” Nesting. That is tearing apart the kitchen, gathering items, many with historical significance, and putting them in boxes. These boxes I am told will later be transported to the local homeless shelter. If they’re homeless, where will they put them I ask?

As I’m putting this together, I’m glancing at the TV, The Golf Channel with the Masters on is in front of me over the fireplace. I glance outside and it’s snowing. April 9, 2016 on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, just 26 miles north of the Virginia line and it’s snowing?  Really all you Global Warming Scientists? This Curmudgeon is just not convinced. Not to mention that damn Ground Hog out in Punxsutawney, Pa who lied to us. I must remind myself to watch Bill Murray in Ground Hog Day again soon.


Our Oklahoma Rooster as the snow falls.

Getting back to the “D” Nesting. When this woman is on a penchant to do something, it’s clear the deck, storm approaching. I sit in my easy chair at the far reaches of our great room. Since our home is a cottage of sorts the room’s really not that great. It’s just the greatest distance from the bucket of cleaning solution and the crazy woman and her ladder.

I’ve raised concerns over a cup that dates back to the 60’s. It’s been up here since 2004, it’s going. I’ve started texting my children to save me and my nostalgic things.

(Me)    “She (your mother) is on a rampage. Cleaning cabinets, throwing out glass ware with historical value. She is CRAZY, save me.”

(Daughter #2)       “Oh Dear.”

(Me)    “Someone please call Adult Protective Services. If ever there was a God, rescue this poor brokenhearted man from this insane woman.” There must be a law against this somewhere.

(Daughter #2”)        “Poor Poppy!!! She should exhaust herself soon.”

(Son)    “Could she be expecting?”

(Wife)    Laughs out loud when I tell her that one, she’s 72 you know.

(Daughter #1)     To my son says, “ Be careful, she’s got a large box labeled to CT, and I think Dad is going in it.”

I’m thinking, “Accept the fate that stirs if front of you, for this too shall pass.”

Since my recent  heart surgery, I’m captured here with this woman who I’ve shared my life with for the past 50 years. I guess if I want lunch and my other basic needs met, I’ll just grin and accept the loss of some old remembrances. It’s the same thing for the cloths closet. “Not worn in the past year, out it goes.” What will we have left to leave to our children? Will we share a 51st anniversary?

Have a great day, thanks for stopping by.

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Why Philadelphia Is the One U.S. City You Need to Visit in 2016


I grew up on the other side of the Delaware River from Philadelphia many years ago. It has always been a neat city to visit with much to do.After reading Smarter Travel today, I just had to share their article.

Growing up, various school trips took us to the Franklin Institute, the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, the Betsy Ross House, and Independence Hall .

These were but a few places of interest for the young mind growing up so close to our first capitol. And who can forget that first Saturday in December when the Army – Navy football game takes place most years in Philly. I’ve been to games as a youth and adult and the games never tire and always bring about that Proud to be an American feeling. Go Navy, Beat Army. I was a Marine you know.

So my friends, take a few minutes and glance at what the Travel Smarter staff has to say. If your on the East Coast traveling this year, take a day or two and check out Philadelphia. Before you leave the area cross the bridge to the New Jersey side of the Delaware river and check out the Battleship New Jersey and tell them the Rooster sent you.

by , SmarterTravel Staff – April 5, 2016

It’s not often that an entire city is recognized by UNESCO as a heritage destination. In fact, until recently, it had never occurred in the U.S.

UNESCO spends most of its time highlighting historic sites like Angkor Wat in Vietnam and the Acropolis in Athens, Greece. But the organization looked stateside last fall to honor America’s first official World Heritage City—Philadelphia.

In late 2015, the City of Brotherly Love joined a list of about 250 other World Heritage Cities, including Paris, Vienna, Macao, Cairo, Jerusalem, and Istanbul. But that wasn’t the first time it was recognized that year—modern pilgrims flocked to Philadelphia when Pope Francis visited in August. This is shaping up to be a big year for Philadelphia as well: Lonely Planet ranked it the best U.S. city to visit in 2016, and in July it will shine as the host of the Democratic National Convention.

There’s no question about it—Philly is having a moment.

This newly achieved top status may come as a surprise to those who have largely considered Philadelphia a no-frills, working-class hub with a reputation for its cheese steaks and sports fans. But the reality of the newly bestowed recognition is that Philadelphia, “The Cradle of Liberty,” is one of the most historic cities in the 240-years-young United States, and is rivaled only by Boston when it comes to its patriotic ancestry credentials.

But what exactly gives Philadelphia an edge over every other bustling American metropolis? A lot, as it turns out.

Unique Outdoor Events

(Photo: Visit Philly)

Philadelphia was founded in 1682 by Quaker and philosopher William Penn, who envisioned the city as a town filled with green spaces and laid out five massive “Publick Squares.” Penn’s vision is still intact today as the city manages to maintain 10,000 acres of urban parks perfect for outdoor festivals and events.

This spring, for the first time in the Northeastern U.S., Philly’s historic Franklin Square will be taken over by 25 enormous paper and light sculptures for a Chinese Lantern Festival. The festival structures will be up between April 22 and June 12, and will include a three-story pagoda, massive paper flower displays, and an enormous traditional Chinese dragon, all filled with synchronized LED lights.

Rich History

Brush up on Philly’s UNESCO-worthy history at Independence National Historical Park and One Liberty Observation Deck.

At Independence Park you’ll walk by what historians presume to be the site of the country’s first White House (a modest structure then called the President’s House), plus stand alongside the Liberty Bell, which rang out following the Declaration of Independence’s signing in 1776. This urban national park and the Liberty Bell are free to visit, and are steps from Independence Hall—where the Declaration and U.S. Constitution were debated and adopted.

The newly opened observation deck at One Liberty Place offers a more modern history lesson. With the help of 360-degree views and interactive digital texts, you’ll be able to read the stories behind the hundreds of sites seen from the 57th floor. From South Philly cheesesteak spots to museums and landmarks along the Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers, select the sites you want to learn about and take your opportunity to snap photos from a birds-eye view.

RELATED: 10 Irresistible World Heritage Cities

Thriving Arts

This year’s Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts (PIFA) will include more than 60 performances—including international performance artists and acrobats, interactive light and sculpture installations, musical acts, comedy performances—and the city’s largest street fair. The events will span across the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts’ outdoor campus from April 8 to the 23rd.

But the art doesn’t end with the festival. From Picasso and Pop Art exhibitions at the Barnes Foundation and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, respectively, to outdoor marvels like the Philadelphia Magic Gardens and colorful and intricate street murals, there’s something for the artist in everyone around every corner, year-round.

A Food Scene Worth Sampling

If the only Philly food you know of is cheesesteaks, it’s time to see the city’s culinary happenings for yourself. Sure, the simplicity of a greasy cheesesteak on South Street is a must-taste—but 9th Street’s fresh Italian street market, tantalizing confections at Shane’s in Old City, and funky cheese boards with perfect wine pairings at Talula’s Garden in Washington Square tell more of the story of this city’s booming food scene..

To eat and drink like a local, take a food or beer tour with Urban Adventures Philadelphia. Each of its small tour groups are assigned a seasoned local to guide you through (and educate you about) whatever you’re craving, from beer in microbreweries and bottle shops to small bites from the Italian Market and street food vendors.

RELATED: The New Food and Drink Capital of the World Will Surprise You

Abundant National Parks

(Photo: Thinkstock/iStock)

Philadelphia is arguably the best urban place to celebrate the centennial of the National Parks Service.

Downtown there’s the home of the Liberty Bell—Independence National Historical Park. And just 30 minutes from the city center, Valley Forge National Historical Park welcomes tourists and local picnickers alike. It’s worth a solo adventure on foot or formal trolley tour with the family.

Contrary to popular belief, the 3500 acres of greenery at Valley Forge never saw a battle. It served as the Continental Army’s encampment during the Revolutionary War. Visitors shouldn’t miss nearby Washington Memorial Chapel, which serves as a long-standing monument to General Washington and his servicemen. It’s unique among tourist-frequented churches and cathedrals, as its stained glass and icons depict somber soldiers and the American founding fathers rather than religious figures.

Serious Affordability … For Now

Considering it’s one of the biggest cities in the U.S., Philadelphia’s cost of living is remarkably low—but that may not last long. The new tourism boom is already hinting at pricier hotel rates. When the Pope visited the city in 2015, many hotels seized the opportunity to raise rates, and if they’re willing to up charge people who were making a pilgrimage, they’ll definitely raise prices for tourists once the demand can support it.

But for now the cost is still low, with most hotels offering rates under $150 per night. Paired with free attractions and restaurants priced far below those in New York, Boston, and San Francisco, it’s still easy to find great value in Philadelphia

Hidden Attractions

There’s no shortage of sites to see in Philly, especially in places you’d least expect. Get off the beaten path in spots like historic Elfreth’s Alley. Philadelphia’s answer to Boston’s Beacon Hill, the tiny, cobblestone neighborhood has a dark backstory involving a hanged revolutionary soldier. Even those who don’t know the tale will likely stop for a photo op in front of the eerie colonial-era alley of homes.

Or head to the Eastern State Penitentiary for a peek at the retired stone prison that housed notorious inmates like Al Capone. Capone’s cell has been restored to look as it did when he resided there—complete with antique decor and oil paintings. Surprising art installations also make this prison an unlikely museum.

So after centuries out of the spotlight, it seems it’s Philly’s time to shine again. And it’s ready.

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My First Road Trip

Three weeks post op today my friends.

Yesterday I had a follow-up with the CV Surgeon who performed my Cardiac Bypass. Both he and one of the P.A.s as well as a nurse checked my wounds. I look and feel like what it might be like to have survived a knife fight. I’m not sure if I won or lost. Were I the winner, I would hate to see the loser were this a knife fight.

nurse thumbs up

I got congratulated by the nurse for doing a fine job eliminating my tape residue which has stuck all over my mid section. While in the hospital numerous drains, monitor wires and lung tubes were beneath these bandages. Not to mention the slice running the entire length of my ribs. Through daily use of Alcohol, nail polish remover,  Kerosene, and numerous other potions that would remove the sticky gooey tape, I had done a yeoman’s job apparently. They were impressed.


The surgeon stated he was happy with my progress and was giving me my walking papers, so to speak. Any further follow up would be monitored by my Cardiologist. In addition to saying thank you to the surgeon I got one giant piece of good news. You see, it was this man who had the power to let me drive once again, a privilege I lost three weeks ago. Free at last, free at last, thank God almighty, I’m free at last. Damn, I forgot to ask if I got an extended warranty with this cutting. If I get another sixteen years I’ll be quite happy.

I left that appointment feeling like a new person, one hurdle on the road to recovery completed. Next would be the Cardiology consult later this week. Early next month I will begin Cardiovascular & Pulmonary Rehabilitation and Prevention. That’s a physical fitness and education program run by the hospital for those who have one type of cardiac event or other. It would not be a new experience for me.

This will be my fourth trip through the program. I had Bypass surgery sixteen years ago, a Stent and pace maker implanted which all got me back into this wonderful program. Once again it is time for the pain and suffering to begin. I’m looking forward to getting started. After that program it will be going back to the MAC Center and my old workout routines. I was doing Stretch/ROM & Flexibility, and chair yoga. I’m sure it will be like starting anew.

So, this morning I would take my first trip alone behind the wheel of my Ford Escape. A 2000 model with 239,000 miles I might add. Yes, I like to get my monies worth. My trusty Pick up truck, a 1992 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 with 143,000 miles is still running and very serviceable for our needs. Vehicle number three at my disposal is a 2012 Subaru Forester with 84,000 miles. A great car in the mountains with the paddle shift feature, I might add. No mountains today on the Eastern Shore, thus the Escape.


Our dog, Maggie, a standard Poodle would need a ride to the groomers for a Spa session today and I would drive her. Here I am 73 years old and feeling like a kid getting behind the wheel once again. My wife would first take Maggie on her mile and a half walk to the local yacht club for her morning exercise and business elimination run.


It’s 0730, I pick up Maggie from the little woman and we are off on our thirty minute drive to the spa, well, almost. You see we here on Maryland’s Eastern Shore were greeted with a bit of snow this morning and the temperature was 33 F. Really Mr. Meteorologist, I’m scraping snow off the windshield and warming the car prior to departing. Average high for April 5, 60F. Global warming???

I remembered all the basics of driving, seat belt on, in park, foot on brake, turn key, engine starts. Maggie in the rear sitting expectantly for her first ride with her old traveling companion, Most everywhere I go she goes, we’re a pair.

The first few miles through rural country is uneventful. I approach a major north south route on which I must enter to connect to the Bypass, (sounds familiar). Once I’ve crossed to the center medium I start looking to the right to enter the high speed lane of a two lane highway. As I’m twisting in the seat to observe safe passage, the seatbelt restrains me and irritates my chest. Oh yes, they had to spread those 24 ribs once again didn’t they?

Each intersection further into the trip would bring about the same discomfort. My right Scapula, that’s the bone that connects the Humorous (Not),  with the Clavicle has hurt like hell at times since the surgery. My neck a victim of two extensive surgeries was beginning to cause issues also. Just sitting in the drivers upright position was causing discomfort. Perhaps asking for this privilege was a bit premature. Tough it out Rooster, don’t be a wimp.

I would drop off Maggie with her stylist and make the return trip home in considerable more pain than when I left. I was also quite tuckered out. It was time for a couple of Tylenol, no drugs have entered this system since my discharge. I never took anything for pain this morning, a mistake.


What I have learned from this bit of freedom is that I’m not ready to drive to Connecticut just yet. All things slow and in due time. Now I await the call to pick up Maggie.

“Honey, would you mind picking up Maggie?” I’ll stay home and let Simon in, (Cat).

Have a great day all and thanks for stopping by.

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It’s Sunday 3 April, 2016

For the past two weeks I’ve been trying to get something put together for the Blog. I’m not sure what’s going on exactly with the thought process, nothing seems to come together. Perhaps the drugs the Anesthesiologist used during my surgery scrambled things a bit.

I’ve mentioned our friend’s the O’Leary’s in posts gone by. Big news out of their household, their oldest daughter has become engaged. I got a text today that all the relatives will be coming over from Ireland and England for the event. No date as yet, but you can guarantee it will be a party. Our two daughters were married within four months of each other some years ago. Two great parties there let me tell you. Just have to get the date and the plans can start for the O’Leary party.

I spent part of the morning catching up with a few of my fellow bloggers I follow., critical,,,, and several others. It’s always good to catch up on my reading, especially with the hope that some creative juices might be stimulated.

My friend at recently purchased a new camera and went off about town trying it out. Several photo’s of his stood out. He’s the provider of the message board quotes at the tube in London from time to time.

The first that caught my eye was this picture taken at a Barber Shop. Must speak with a few of my Brit friends and get a feel how they view our political process.


The second was’s_Brewery


Thanks for the fodder for this posting my friend.

Anne Mehrling ,down in Ashville, NC posted that she made her #200 post. You have me by a few Anne. Between my former Blogspot site and this one on WordPress this will be post #196Congratulations Anne. Anne’s husband John and I have equal appreciation for radio news. New friendships obtained through the written word in the BlogWorld.

Our oldest daughter and her husband came by this morning to “check on the elderly.” That’s what she calls her texts, calls and drop bys. Seeing as how the wife was making home made bread to go along with the Ham & Split Pee soup, they will be back for dinner.

Our youngest daughter will be attending the Supplemental Nutrition Assistant Program (SNAP), also. I can smell the bread cooking and it’s inviting aroma wafting into the living room as I write.

Photo on 4-3-16 at 5.04 PM

The finished product.

In less that two hours the Uconn woman basketball team will be taking on Oregon State out in Indianapolis in their quest for another national title, #11 if they do it. We are true Blue Uconn fans and shall be watching while having soup and bread.

Las night was Casino night at the Yacht Club, a yearly fund raising event for our Volunteer Fire Company took place. The wife and I usually run a Black Jack table for the event, this year we took the night off. I’m just not into a night of card dealing yet and midnight is not a time I’m awake the past few weeks. I’ll be back at the table next year though. It was my first missed event since they started some years ago.

My rehab from surgery is progressing nicely. I’m doing my exercises at home as directed and all is looking good. I just need to build up the energy level a bit. I have a follow-up with the surgeon this week and shall learn just how this new warranty will work. I’m pretty sure I got the extended warranty.

Finally I’d like to include another Blog I follow This post was about

The Shooting of a President: March 30, 1981

Years after this event I would find myself employed by Jim and Sarah Brady as a driver and Aide for a number of years. Mr. Brady was forever jovial and made all of our trips entertaining. These were proud moments in my past that I will always cherish.

I’ve deposited 2,000 plus words to this Blog, thanks to all my friends who contributed and stirred my senses. Have a great week one and all and thanks for stopping by.

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