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Just today, It’s Monday the first day in February in the year 2021, I read a fellow blogger’s Blog. She started her blog by writing the following. My blogger friends, do you find you often blog in your mind, but never quite get it to the keyboard state?
Well, let me tell you, I do this all the time. Earlier today my wife finished a quilt and I had the task of taking that quilt to the women who will put it on a Long Arm and finish it for her. We have no Long Arm but we do have a Quilting frame. The Mrs. has made many a quilt on that frame over the years.
I recently saw a Bernina Long Arm machine listed for $20,499.00. Our quilting frame purchased over 20 years ago was $360.00.
Rambling thoughts herein lie. Just wanted to impart a bit of the wonderful work my wife does and the machines that can finish those works of art off.
So, I’m driving on the Bypass with this quilt, it’s cold outside, more snow on the way. What, you had snow you ask. Yes, here on the Eastern Shore of Maryland we got several inches yesterday. The first measurable snow in 706 days. It is reported that we shall get more tonight. I should write about that I thought. I’ll start with ‘HEADLINE, NO SNOW IN 706 DAYS.” That will attract an audience I think to myself.
I’m listening to the radio, Oldies channel, https://kool1043.com if your ever traveling in or around Salisbury, MD and enjoy the oldies. They give you little tidbits such as: This Day in Music History – 1962 – Warner Bros. Records signed Peter, Paul & Mary. 1966 – The Bobby Fuller Four’s “I Fought The Law” was released. 1969 – The “Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour” debuted on CBS-TV. 1972 – David Bowie performed as “Ziggy Stardust” for the first time. 1972 – Smokey Robinson left The Miracles. 1979 – Emerson, Lake […] etc. I’m sure you get the point so I’ll get back to my point. I was putting out a Blog in my head.
On November 9, 1965 the United States had a Black Out affecting all of the state of New York and parts of seven neighboring states. chaos prevailed, 800,000 people were stranded in the NY subways. Thousands more were stuck in elevators and trains. Just setting the scene here folks.
This writer was a young Marine Sergeant assigned at the time to USNAD Earle, NJ, a Naval ammunition Depot. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naval_Weapons_Station_Earle
I’m in the Guard Bunker at that facility, I have fellow Marines under my command out on posts, some fixed, some mobile, some in vehicles on roaming patrols. One fixed post on that November evening held a Marine in a Tower overlooking all the bunkers under our watchful eyes that held some powerful ordinance.
I have the radio on, “You’ve got that Loving Feeling,” by the Righteous Brothers is playing and the young Marine in that tower radio’s down to me, “Hey Sarge, NY City has disappeared. Yep, here I am driving the bypass 02/01/21 and I’m back in the moment. It was then that I said, I’ve got to write that in a Blog. Thanks Chrissie, you’ve inspired me.
Then, at precisely 5:21 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, everything went black.
It was Nov. 9, 1965. And suddenly, from Pennsylvania to southern Canada, through parts of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island and northern New England, right up into Ontario, more than 30 million North Americans were without power.
It was the Great Northeast Blackout.
Many people were swept up with the fear that the Russians had attacked and the U.S. was in the throes of World War III. Others felt it was a realistic version of the classic “War of the Worlds,” with alien beings to blame for the widespread power outage upon their arrival on earth.
The hubbub was caused, ironically enough, by a faulty relay estimated by one source as “probably a two-dollar piece of machinery” at the mammoth Niagara-Mohawk Power Plant in upstate New York. Such a minute wrinkle made it sound all the more like H.G. Wells’ fictional “War,” an example of the tiniest of things creating the biggest nuisance.
In New York City, some 800,000 people were stranded in underground subways, while thousands more were trapped for the duration in elevators. Johnny Carson, in his “Tonight Show” monologue, quipped that in nine months, all over the East Coast, mothers would be giving birth and wistfully naming their sons Otis.
For the record, during the week of Aug. 9-15 of 1966 – nine months later – a total of 14 births were registered at Henry Heywood Memorial Hospital.
While many areas – including New York City – were without power for several days, the Greater Gardner area experienced a grand total of two hours and 57 minutes in the dark.
As the blackout hit, emergency generators were pressed into action and continued well past the hour when all power was restored to the area. As the lights went out, on came the candles, kerosene lamps and flashlights.
The very next day would be the 190’th Birthday of the Marine Corps.
Blogging is a great way to pass time during this the Covid Pandemic, there’s plenty of space between me and my readers. Now I’ve written that Blog I thought about and I’ve shared with you a moment in time during the life of The Rooster. Be safe my friends. Oh yes, thanks Chrissie for giving me the impetus to write this. Fall softly, save those knees. It only took me 11 more days to get this out. By the way, when we awoke this morning, 4 inches of snow.
Recently while sitting at our dining area table, my wife and I were reminiscing about our years of growing up. As you get older, you tend to reflect back a lot to days gone by. I call them: Do you remember moments. We are both in our 70s and have a lot of years we can reflect on.
To set the stage a bit, my parents were married during the early days of WW 2, I appeared shortly there after. By 1946 they had separated. Fortunately for me, they were both from the same town on the Jersey side of Philadelphia. Ferry boats were still in use back then, transporting folks over the Delaware River. I would get to see my father every week as well as my fraternal grandparents. There were not a lot of large gatherings at their dinner table. The table was in the kitchen up against a wall and made of metal. Two meals each week never varied. Friday nights was always Oyster Stew or fish, (Yuk.) Saturday meals were always Hot Dogs and Baked Beans, (Toot-Toot.)
My parents were young when married. When the war started, my father was already in the Army. He spent time in the Philippines, and I’m thinking once he came home, the glowing flame of a youthful romance was no longer there. Neither parent ever spoke of negatives about the other. I was fortunate that I was equally shared and held accountable for my actions by both, neither parent would ever put down the other.
My mother and I would share a second-floor apartment in the home of my maternal Great-grandparents. My father would move back into the same bedroom he was raised in with his parents. We were separated by railroad tracks and less than a mile. I would spend a lot of time at both homes. Also, one block away was my maternal grandparents and an aunt. I was loved, spoiled, and watched over by caring relatives.
My wife grew up less than an hour away in Wilmington, Delaware, 36 miles as the crow flies. She was #4 of 5 children whose parents stayed together forever. She had three older brothers and a younger sister. Most of her family’s relatives were in NE Pennsylvania; the family would spend a lot of time visiting that neck of the woods. In her life also, the Dining Room Table would be the gathering place in Wilmington as well as Freeland, PA. Neighbors would constantly drop in at the Wilmington location. My wife remembers one family in particular that timed their visit at dinner time, quite frequently in fact. Not wanting to be rude, they were always invited to stay, and they did. Yes sir E. Bob, “back in the day,” I like to say.
There were not a whole lot of electronic diversions back in the late 40s, early 50s. TV was just getting going and we didn’t have one. I do remember going next door to see Howdy Doody at 5:00 pm. That show came on the air in 1947 and ran until 1960. The folks who allowed me to watch the show would ultimately be the parents of my step-father when my mother remarried. On occasion, I would carry my dinner over with me and watch the show at the dining room table. Looking back, this was a strange place to have a TV by today’s standards. I might add that this home was a strict Methodist facility. Once my mother married their son, Methodist standards took hold. No card playing or sports or rowdiness on Sundays, ever.
Here’s a look back at Granny W’s old-time dining table . This was the table at my maternal grandmother’s home. This home was a Lutheran home. That dining room table would host holiday meals for many years as well as other celebratory events. I can remember having to sit around and listen to whatever it was old people talked about back then. I vividly recall the Truman – Dewey presidential race being discussed. That was November 3,1948, and I was not yet six years of age. Truman won in an upset, by the way. All the newspapers reported Dewey the winner. Yep folks there was even fake news at the time. Many a card game, money on the table, cigar smoke in the air was the norm during a lot of get gatherings.
That Granny “W” could cook, and the aroma of the evening meal would hit you in the face the minute you walked into the house. She had a big part in raising me. Her dining room table was quite large. It had substantial sculpted legs with Gargoyles or something similer on them. Over the table was a chandelier encircled with gold-threaded fringe. Our children still remember being scolded for flicking that fringe. So I’m thinking, does that mean children were always on the fringe while the adults conversed?
The atmosphere at this table was much more jovial than the Methodist table. Many Aunts and Uncles would be in attendance. My grandmother would always have some Mogen David wine in the cupboard. For the men, it was Schmidt’s of Philadelphia beer. What a contrast between the two tables. I’m thinking about the difference between Lutherans and Methodists. I’m sure that’s politically incorrect in this day and age. I’ll call this the happy table and the other the stuffy table.
I would spend many hours at this table listening, trying to picture places and events that were talked about. When I was sent off to bed, I would listen to more stories at the keyhole in the door. Often talk would center around my great-grandfather, and the time he traveled with a Wild West show in the early 1900s. He was a Gun-Smith and kept the show’s weapons functioning. I could really close my eyes and place myself in those days of old. High-O-Siver, away! My grandmothers brother was often in attendance and would tell stories about his life as an Engineer on the Pennsylvania Railroad. I often would dream of riding the rails in the Caboose.
Yes, back in the day there were many things other than electronics to keep a boys mind imagining. I sure did like playing Cowboys and Indians. Thanks to that dining room table, I could place myself in the moment.
Semper Fi theRooster
Wow is all I can say, these times they are a changing. “Hey, don’t get too close.” Those words led me to think, it might be a good time to live in a cloistered society, or perhaps on an island in the middle of the Ocean. Son-in-law Jeff had that island experience during the month of February, while working in Koror, in The Republic of Palau at the American Embassy. While checking on the Covid-19 whereabouts yesterday, I learned there was not one case of the disease in Palau.
For the here and now Grannie and the Rooster are practicing self isolation, washing our hands and not touching our face. Daughter Sarah has been getting our necessaries while she’s out shopping. Today we received facial tissue, paper towels, green beans, and diced potatoes. A bottle of Cab and Chardonnay from the wine isle capped off the shopping list. Perhaps a toast at dinner time and thank you Lord that we are Corona free.
We visited a short time on the porch with Sarah, well separated mind you, but not for long. A temperature of 43f and blustery winds drove our visitor from the other side of the river away rather quickly. Thank you our middle child.
Should you be interested to learn a little about this island nation of Palau, check out the Embassy fact sheet @: https://pw.usembassy.gov/our-relationship/policy-history/
Tristan da Cunha
Courtesy of Wiki, should you want real isolation try, Tristan da Cunha (/ˌtrɪstən də ˈkuːn(j)ə/), colloquially Tristan, is a remote group of volcanic islands in the south Atlantic Ocean which includes Gough Island. It is the most remote inhabited archipelago in the world, lying approximately 1,511 miles (2,432 km) off the coast of Cape Town in South Africa, 1,343 miles (2,161 km) from Saint Helena and 2,166 miles (3,486 km) off the coast of the Falkland Islands.
The territory consists of the inhabited island, Tristan da Cunha, which has a diameter of roughly 11 kilometres (6.8 mi) and an area of 98 square kilometres (38 sq mi), and the wildlife reserves of Gough Island and Inaccessible Island and the smaller, uninhabited Nightingale Islands. As of October 2018, the main island has 250 permanent inhabitants who all carry British Overseas Territories citizenship. The other islands are uninhabited, except for the personnel of a weather station on Gough Island.
Tristan da Cunha is a British Overseas Territory with its own constitution. There is no airstrip of any kind on the main island, meaning that the only way of travelling in and out of Tristan is by boat, a six-day trip from South Africa.
Cloistered Men and Women of the Catholic Faith.
Enclosed religious orders of the Christian churches have solemn vows with a strict separation from the affairs of the external world. The term cloistered is synonymous with enclosed. In the Catholic Church enclosure is regulated by the code of canon law, either the Latin code or the Oriental code, and also by subsidiary legislation. It is practised with a variety of customs according to the nature and charism of the community in question. (Wiki)
Have you ever thought of the cloistered world of a nun. Could this be another safe venue in our world? https://www.tipsonlifeandlove.com/self-help/going-inside-the-secret-world-of-cloistered-nuns
Life in the Netherlands
Sam, Zed, Mia, Ana, Dax, and Zoe
32 days 🎶into the unknown🎶
Positives – Zoe is potty trained, Dax has learned to ride a bike without training wheels, Zoe has learned how to ride a Strider bike.
Activities – Leprechaun trap, snow globes, virtual playdates, calming bottles, aquariums, bike rides, and invented numerous games on the trampoline (this one has been all Zed, and the kids love it)
Challenges – Still don’t know what I’m doing for dinner every night, have given barely any thought to my Master’s assignments, learning how my kids learn best, coordinating Zed and my work schedules, making sure we don’t miss school assignments for Mia and Ana, entertaining 4 very active kids who require social interaction from people their age
Grandson David in NY, NY
Stuck in a 4th floor walk-up in Lower Manhattan. The Rooster shall expond on this isolated lad in the next post. Hang in there David, down in lower Manhattan.
Connecticut Entertainment at son Matt’s house.
For some reason or an other when I saw the flower, I reflected back to 1967 and a song from that era sung by Scott McKenzie: https://youtu.be/bch1_Ep5M1s
How many of you readers were around with this 24 year old Marine at that time? “Welcome Home,” to all who know the meaning!
Scott left this world back in 2012 at the age of 73.
Sam’s post from Facebook yesterday
We’ve officially been here for 2 full days…all 4 kids are enrolled in school and medical, We have 1 of our 2 vehicles, have a German cell phone number, have 3 additional IDs, have a Rations Card, toured 1 house, and I have had my first funny international encounter.
Italian – “Hello I’m Grandpa”
Me – “Hello”
Italian – “You’re going to die”
Italian – points to the car behind me that is trying to back up!
What is a Ration Card, you might ask.
Because of host nation tax laws, some items are rationed in the Commissaries and Exchanges. Gasoline is a big one. Other rationed items include cigarettes, distilled liquor, and coffee. You will be issued a ration card. You will need your ID card to obtain the ration card and must present the ration card and ID card anytime you buy a rationed item. Separate cards are issued for each adult family member authorized privileges and should be more than adequate for your needs. DO NOT abuse the privilege. Using your ration card to purchase items for someone not authorized privileges, except as a bona fide gift, is a violation of both military regulations and host nation tax laws. A result of abuse may be loss of privileges, fines, and disciplinary action.
Gasoline is VERY expensive on the economy. The NATO Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) allows the sale of fuel to authorized members of the NATO forces free of local country taxes, on a controlled basis. When your register your vehicle, you will receive a certificate which conveys your gasoline allowance and is used as your ration document for gasoline.
Geilenkirchen today From: https://www.geilenkirchen.de/en/home/
I had the opportunity to FaceTime with the girls from Geilenkirchen today. We ended the call at 3:00 PM/9:00 their time. This lovely bottle of wine immediately popped into view. Other than no elevator and forty steps to climb to their suite, they seem quite content. It’s a one-mile walk to the temporary home of Sam, Zed and family, all uphill says Mary Agnes. The temp here on the Eastern Shore at the time was 93F, 60F for the girls at the sidewalk cafe of their hotel. I wish we could have some of that cool over the next few days.
Traveling about by train or bus seems to be a non-issue for the girls. Great maps at all the stations and aboard the transport mode, easy to figure out says my lady. The girls looked at one home today for Sam and Family, quite large, with a lot of stairs, OSHA might have to rule that one out says Granny. With the Netherlands also right on the doorstep of the base, either country could be an option for a residence.
Kathryn just happened to catch a glimpse of one of the base planes as it was flying overhead. The below Banner is the base where the two young USAF Captains will be working. If you pull up the base web page, there is a plethora of information for you to digest should you be interested.
Down in Austin, TX
Rachael says it’s hot and dry. She got to have lunch with her friend Jenna, Ray says it’s nice having so many options for food, dining out, and grocery shopping. With a population of 950,715, I’m sure there are more choices. Her old home of Salisbury, MD only had 30,343, quite a contrast there.
As for Me
Last night our good friends the Wojciechowski’s took pity on the old man home alone. I got to have one of my favorite meats, Lamb. Mary Agnes is not a lover of Lamb. She is not fond of the smell either. In the days of her late mother’s visits to Connecticut when that was our home, I cooked Lamb outside. M.A.’s mother loved Lamb also. Being the fantastic son-in-law that I was, I almost always cooked Lamb for the two of us, always on the grill of course.
The wife disliked that meat so much, she would only reference Lamb, referring to the words in the Agnus Dei:
Agnus Dei (liturgy)
In the Mass of the Roman Rite and also in the Eucharist of the Anglican Communion, the Lutheran Church, and the Western Rite of the Orthodox Church the Agnus Dei is the invocation to the Lamb of God sung or recited during the fraction of the Host.
Now, I did say Grace last night, thanking the Lord for this fine meal of Lamb, Polish flat noodles, coleslaw, and carrots. Desert was a delicious Cheese Cake. Before dinner we sat on the banks of the Wicomico River and I was treated to a chilled glass of Pinot Grigio. No more beautiful evening could be had by man. I’m sorry you missed it, my dear, just in case you read this.
Hey, since I’m putting it all out on the table, so to speak, she could not stand Linguine and Clams either. Should you run into any of our children, you can ask them about that meal. We were fortunate when the kids were growing up to have her work evenings on Thursdays. Guess what we ate, Yes Sir E Bob. When Nurse Mary walked in from work just as Ed McMahon was shouting “Herrrre’s Johnny, she would turn up her nose and utter those all familiar words, “You had Linguine and Clams, didn’t you.” I think she could smell it when she pulled into the driveway.
Chuck and Jan, if you’re reading this, thanks for a great meal.
Abby is coming over for dinner, I’d best get the water boiling and say good night and finish this later.
Dinner with Abby was great. Had some leftovers and now she has lunch to take to work in the morning. Today she worked in Laurel, DE at a Family Practice, tomorrow she returns to the Neurological practice. Abby locked the chickens up for me while I cleaned up after dinner. Jeff returns home from DC tomorrow, and I’ll fire up the grill, do a few steaks, and we will eat some good Maryland sweet corn.
It’s time to wrap this up for the day, peace my friends, many thanks for stopping by.