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T Shirt Contest

Our trip north has ended and we are back home after XXXX number of miles. How many miles did you put on that Subaru of yours you might ask. Well, thats why we’re having a contest and the winner will receive a Maryland Flag “T” Shirt.


Six years ago my brother in-law Bobby and I made a cross country trip together to Colorado, we were delivering a car to my granddaughter at the Air Force Academy. I blogged our trip through the Ohio River Valley, the bread belt of Illinois and Kansas and up to the Rockies of Colorado. We had a T Shirt contest for that adventure as well. Our winner was Della Baird of Wilmington, NC and her photo in her winning T Shirt was posted on a later blog.  Uncle Bobby is no longer with us, but whenever we go on a trip his spirit for adventure lives.

So, here we go.

You must email the Rooster @ no later than midnight on September 30, 2016 with your guess on the # of miles driven on our trip through, CT, RI, MA, NH, ME, NB, PEI, NS and back. The person who comes the closest without going over the actual total mileage is the winner.

The Itinerary

Departed Eden/Allen, MD, 21822  on 21 August and drove to Vernon then Tolland, CT. We hung out in CT for six days taking a few side trips to Mystic, CT,  Westerly, RI for one and to our daily walking path in Vernon and breakfast there a few times also. We went to Stafford Springs, CT for my State Police Troop “C” reunion also.

Back on the road 28 August we would leave Tolland and head to Bangor, ME. We pretty much drove a direct route to Portland, ME and then the all back roads to Bangor began. We tried to stay parallel to I-95 but we got off the beaten path more than once.

After a nice evening in Bangor, ME we headed out to cross the Canadian border on 29 August at the Calais/St. Stephen crossing and drive to Moncton, NB for the evening.  Rt 1 was our road for that trip. We drove around some to see the tide change and have dinner while in Moncton.

On August 30th we arose well rested and after a great breakfast we were off to the home of Lucy Maude Montgomery, the Author of “Anne of Green Gables.” Garmin got us there directly. Now you must do a bit of detective work and locate the site. After some time at Lucy’s homestead we headed to Charlottetown and our hotel. Oops, the rooms not ready. To kill some time we would drive to Brackley Beach and have some great fish and chips. After much it was back to Charlottetown and the hotel right down town.

We arose on the 31st and after some walking about town we drove semi directly to the ferry located at Wood Islands where we would cross to Nova Scotia and the city of Halifax. We would drive directly to Halifax via Garmin and park our car for two days in the garage of the Residence Inn. Our feet would be our transportation for this stop.

We would hop back into the car once again on 2 September and drive via Garmin to Saint John, NB. We did take a side trip to Fundy National Park along the way. More figuring for you readers out there. Once again our feet and a Trolly tour were our transportation while in Saint John for two days.

On Sunday 4 September we departed Saint John, made the border crossing at ST Stephen/Calais once again and followed Garmin’s direction to Bucksport, Me. Once checked into the Bucksport Motor Inn, highly recommend it by the way, we were off on a drive along Route 1 south to Bayside, Belfast and the Young’s Lobster Pound. If ever in Belfast try it out, you will not be sorry, provided you like Lobster that is.


Labor day, September 5 we headed south to Portland, Maine, we ignored Garmin once again and motored along Route 1 south. We saw old haunts along the way, Lincolnville and it’s ferry to Islesboro where we ventured with family for a beachside picnic many years ago. Going through the town of Bath you pass the Bath Iron Works, a neat view as you cross the Kennebec river.

We made a stop in Camden, a must if you ever travel Route 1. Slow down people, get off the Interstate. Entering Camden I had an “Epiphany.”  “Wallack” I shouted out as my wife glared at me like I was some crazy man. Ever since heading south from the border I had been trying to remember someone’s name.  I’d gone through the alphabet over and over. Have you ever done that? I knew his first name was Mark and when he retired from the CT State Police he had moved to Maine. I had known this man dating back to 1981 when he first applied to the department for a Troopers position. I was working in the Selection Unit back then.

So I remember a name, the man possibly living in Camden from a contact I had back some ten years ago about him retiring to Camden, ME. No address, no phone number and no internet to go searching. “Dang” says I to myself as I ease into a parking spot right in downtown Camden. The little lady want’s to walk the shops, “$$$,” visit the waterfront and just take a nostalgic stroll, we’ve been here numerous times over the past 51 years.

She sees an eclectic souvenir shop and enters. I stroll ahead totally oblivious to her disappearing act which is commonplace. Many times I’m thankful she has her phone with her, “where are you I ask?” On this occasion I recover from the alone feeling quickly and trace her back to the said store. I mean I was a Detective, right?

The Mrs. searches the shelves for something to take to Oklahoma to the great grandkids in October and I think, this place must have a phone book. I borrow the book, peruse the “W’s” list of names and no Mark Wallack, “damn” I mutter to myself. No luck I say to the store owner. “Who are you looking for,” he asks. I explain who, and the connection going back thirty-five years ago. “Mach” he exclaims, “I know Mach.” You see, there are no “R’s” in the Maine vocabulary. The man goes into a lengthy explanation of how he knows him and how much a part of the community he is. I get a phone number and address from him, he lives just one mile out of town. We’re out of the store, $58.95 later, and we head up the street to see an old friend.

We find the house, an adorable Cape on a lake, kayak with fishing rod rigged to the side, (every man’s retirement dream) just waiting at the dock. A feisty Aussie Mini Collie, (could be something else, but that’s close enough) is greeting us on the porch. I find out later the dog’s name is Frisbee.  I knock, Mach answers, we recognize each other after all these years and it’s Man Hug Time.


We pass an hour’s plus of time, take a few remembrance photos and say good-by. I shall MACH this epiphany in my journal. It was great seeing you old friend.

We continue south, stop and get a Subway, grinder in hand, New England for Hero, Sub, Italian Sandwich, or what ever. We have ourselves a roadside lunch stop in Rockport and continue south to Freeport, home of L. L. Bean. You can not go through Freeport without stopping at the store, I think it’s a law or something. I have my picture taken in front of the customary boot, spend a few dollars and we’re off again.


We will spend the night in Portland, take a side trip to Windham to have dinner with old friends, Gilbert’s Chowder House was the venue for this last taste test. This time a Bread Bowl of Fish Chowder.  Great to see you Shirley and Ray. Shirley and my sister Donna were best of friends, having first met as student nurses back in 1963. Shirley was part of the family at my sisters bedside when she died on July 1st. Thank you Shirley for all you have meant for so many years. The few, the proud, the Pie Maker. Too short a visit, we will make it longer next time. Back to the hotel on Mall Road in Portland for a good nights sleep prior to leaving for Tolland, CT the next AM.


Herself on the left  with good friends Shirley and Ray

Garmin would be happy with us on Tuesday, September 6. No U-turns were suggested as we cruised the speedy interstates the entire way. We did continue past Tolland to Vernon Pizza for a great Grinder, Capiccola for me, Pastrami for herself.

We lay over one night with the son and family, say good-night and are out the door by 0500 the next morning. Our last day on the road was an easy one, Garmin is not needed at all, I drove this route for the first time 57 years ago. I’ve varied the route countless times, often going far out of the way just to do something different. I’ll keep Garmin on in case a detour is needed at some point but not for directions.

Here you go, last bit of mileage to calculate, Tolland, CT via I-84 to I-684 Brewster, NY to I-287, to Garden State Parkway in NJ. NJ Turnpike, cross into Delaware ( She wore a Yellow Ribbon by the way) Rt. 1 south to Dover, DE to Rt.13 to 21810.

OK you readers out there, get calculating, googling or what ever. Make your best guess and submit it by September 30, 2016 by 2400 hours to

If you win and want the shirt, please state size and your mailing address. I shall not flood you with junk mail, only a “T” shirt.

Just a little FYI, we got four new hens last night, 15 weeks old and our first egg this afternoon. Six hens now and one very happy Rooster named Casper. The girls are Mary, Hillary, Donna, Linda, Bobbie and Marie. Hillary by the way is a liar. Always spending time in the layer box, squawking like she just laid an egg and no egg to be found. Liar, Liar, pants on fire.

Thanks for stopping by. Plenty of links for you this time, enjoy. We have now traveled every mile of and touched touched both ends of  U.S. Route 1.  Can you say Xylophone?

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ORF Gathering at Troop “C”

old troop c

Now a Senior Center in Stafford Springs, CT, this aged old building was my first assignment as a trooper  with the CT State Police 43 years ago. Back in the day it was known as “Troop C.” It was here on 27 August that an ORF gathering took place. ( Old Retired Farts)

We had a mother hen who kept us up to date with our reports and kept us out of trouble. Her name was Anne Fitzgerald. Anne is well into her 80’s and brought us back together under her motherly umbrella for a final Swan Song for her, so she said. She let us know this was her last official act. Anne, thank you for all you’ve done for me and many others through the years. It was a wonderful event and I thank you.

I brought my wife along on this venture. She was a real Trooper, just smiled and hung in there as war stories were told amonst old comrads. Thank you my dear for being a part of my evening, you rock.

new troop C

The following article from the “Hartford Courant” will give you a background on “Troop C.” This is the new and improved home for the troop.

Troop C Barracks Leaving Stafford This Weekend

March 17, 1995|By SANDY LOUEY; Courant Staff Writer

STAFFORD — After 72 years of housing cops and crooks, the state police barracks on Route 190 will close this weekend.

The Troop C barracks is moving to new quarters in Tolland.

The troopers and other employees will bid goodbye to a cramped 1920s-era two-story building. Sunday will find them working in a state-of-the-art facility with nearly double the space.

“Hopefully, things will happen very smoothly,” said state police spokesman Sgt. Dale Hourigan.

A moving company will start transporting equipment and other items Saturday morning and everything is scheduled to be done by Sunday afternoon, he said. During the two days Troop C is in transition, the old and new building will be staffed.

“We’re not going to upset or diminish our capability to respond,” Hourigan said.

By 4 p.m. Sunday, the Stafford barracks will be empty, Hourigan said.

Residents and officials in Stafford said they will miss having the barracks so close.

“It’s a nice, secure feeling to have a barracks full of troopers,” said Peter Gibbs, who was walking along Main Street.

“We’re losing some good neighbors,” said Michael Robinson, president of the Stafford Chamber of Commerce. “We wish them well.”

Citizens say they’re not worried about how the barracks’ move will affect the policing in town, mainly, because the town set up a resident trooper program in anticipation of the move.

A state resident trooper, Dan Herman, two full-time constables, and nine part-time constables patrol the town.

Robinson said they are a visible presence in town.

“I see them all the time,” he said.

Dock Sellers, who was a former borough warden during a time in which the borough had its own police department, said most residents won’t even notice the change.

“Most people in Stafford have never driven to the barracks and have no reason to,” he said.

All the policing is done on the roads, anyway, he said.

“They don’t have to walk,” he said.

Built in 1923, the Stafford barracks was constructed of stone and clapboard.

At one time, the troopers were required to live, eat, and sleep at the barracks. That practice ended in the late 1960s.

The building won’t be abandoned for long if town officials have their way.

As a result of a 1989 special act of the state legislature, the barracks and the three acres would be transferred to Stafford.

Plans are to turn the building into a community center. Part of the old barracks would be a center for senior citizens, while another area of the building would used for a youth center, First Selectman John Julian said.

Senior citizens now gather at the Golden Age Club, while teenagers in town usually hang out on Main Street.

The plans depend on whether the town receives a federal grant, Julian said. The town applied for a federal Small Cities Grant. The town is eligible for $500,000.

The new phone number for the Tolland barracks is 870-9500 or 1-800-318-7632.


The badge I took into retirement with me. Proud to have served and to have been part of the “Thin Blue Line.”



Two old friends, Charlie Vanderscoff and Sterling MacPherson. Your back was always covered with these two around.

TBL Blessed_

On Sunday morning we head north to Maine and on to PEI, Canada. Lots going on back home also that I’ll attempt to get into print. Once again, thanks for stopping by to take a gander at my chicken scratch.

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A Tribute to a Hero

Some of you may know I retired from the CT State Police some 28 years ago. We get frequent updates of this, that, and other things from time to time via email and our Alumni News Letter. Thanks to the Internet you can still feel a part of your past and keep track of who’s doing what and the various things going on. Our CT State Police Alumni Association does a wonderful job.

I did not know Darrell D Stark but obviously there was a true American hero living in close proximity to my first posting, Troop “C” Stafford Springs. Troop “C” has moved from Stafford Springs to Tolland, CT a more central location in the geographical responsibility area. The troop even has their own Face Book page.


Troop C, Stafford Springs, CT (Now a Sr. Ctr.)



Troop C, Tolland, CT

On the first Monday of each month all OF’s, ( Old Farts) get together at a local eating establishment, tell war stories and catch up on what each is doing as well as who’s not doing well. This American Hero was a guest and speaker at one of Troop “Cs” breakfast sessions.

I received this today and just wanted to pass it along. It’s short, a wonderful read and a person, “The Donald,” would dispute being a hero.

I’ve included a few links that look back on the history of where Darrell’s mis-adventures took him for those who may be interested. I’m sure many of us, me included, have no clue as to some of this history. We all owe it to ourselves, to know from whence we came. I remember an old quote from John F. Kennedy; “We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea – whether it is to sail or to watch it – we are going back from whence we came.” Thank you to Darrell and all the men and women of World War II, Where might we be now?

Semper Fi.”

Stark, Darrell D

Stark, Darrell D.

Darrell D Stark, 92, of Stafford Springs, CT, husband to the love of his life for 69 years, the late Julia (Ridzon) Stark, passed away on Wednesday, February 17, 2016 at Evergreen Health Care Center surrounded by his loving family.

He was born in Ardmore, OK, son of the late Frank H. and Gladys (Pollard) Stark. He left his loving family in Oklahoma at 16 to work in the Civilian Conservation camp in Montrose, CO. He enlisted at 18 in the United States Army and was a very proud member of the 31st infantry. He surrendered in Bataan, Philippines on April 9, 1942, and saw the horrors of the death march. He spent time in the Cabanatuan and Davao Penal Colony and Bilibid prison, and then spent 62 days on the Hellship Canadian Inventor and arrived in Moji, Japan in September or October of 1944. He worked in a factory in Yokkaichi, Japan for three or four months until the factory was destroyed by an earthquake. He then went to Toyama and was liberated there in August 1945.

After returning to the United States, he was hit by a car and that is when he met the love of his life working at the military hospital. Darrell was a Purple Heart and Bronze Star recipient. He retired as a corrections officer from the State of Connecticut. Darrell was a member of the Strazza, Tonoli-Emhoff Post No. 26 American Legion, V.F.W. Post No. 9990 of Stafford, and the Italian Benefit Society. He spent a lifetime trying to help those who suffered from PTSD, talking to veterans at the VA or veterans at the prison, they all had the same thing in common and all handled it differently. He loved to be on the go and if one of his children was not able to take him to lunch or out and about he would say “that’s ok, I’ll call Dave or Fred”. Thank you Dave Walsh and Fred Bird, he loved you both like family. He also had adventures with Hope Frassinelli every Friday since his beloved Mimi passed away. We cannot forget the reporter that came to interview with him and found a new family and new projects that he would give her to do, Amber Wakley, thank you.

He is survived by his three children, Darrell W. “Butch” Stark and his wife Dolores, Darlene Dion and her husband Edward, and Judy Gilbert and her husband Ronald; nine grandchildren, Jennifer, Amy, Cynthia, Eddie, Chris, Michael, Peter, Nancy, and Stephanie; 15 great grandchildren; two brothers, Donald “Bud” Stark and his wife Reta, and Gerald “Ed” Stark and his wife Ruby; two brothers-in-law, Edward Ridzon and Daniel Ridzon and his wife Pat; very special friends, Dick and Shirley Hills; and several nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by three sisters and two brothers.

His funeral service will be held on Monday, February 22, 2016 at 10 A.M. at Introvigne Funeral Home, Inc., 51 East Main St., Stafford Springs, CT. Burial with Military Honors will follow in South Cemetery, Tolland, CT. Calling hours are on Sunday from 1-4 P.M. at the funeral home. Memorial donations may be made to the Stafford Youth Center, 3 Buckley Highway, Stafford Springs, CT 06076, American Legion Post No. 26, 10 Monson Rd., Stafford Springs, CT 06076, or please show an act of kindness towards a veteran.

For online condolences or directions, please visit:

Editor, Darrell was an honored guest at the Troop C monthly breakfast.  The above photo was taken at the May 2015 breakfast when he spoke of his war time experiences.  He was a true hero of the greatest generation.  May he rest in peace.  kb

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