Sunday, October 31, 2010

Auburn v Ole Miss: The 8-0 Game

Saturday, October 30 was a beautiful sunny day with temperatures in the low 70's.  Still in Auburn at Chewacla State Park, we planned another outside game watching, an evening campfire, a hotdog lunch and a beef stew dinner.  What a day!   Auburn plays Ole Miss tonight in Oxford. On campus, a fall festival is underway with costume contests, pumplin carvings and game watchings, I'm sure. We are quite comfortable right here on our campsite, thank you very much.

Our football game day began with the UT loss to Georgia.  The game had been fairly close through the fourth quarter, but didn't hold up for the Vols.  It's been a terrible year for them.

The Auburn / Ole Miss game started at 6 p.m.  Our campfire was already underway and the sun was setting. The temperature was dropping.  The game was good, especially through the first half.  Auburn scored several unanswered touchdowns in the second half and won the game by 20 points: 51 to 31.

All college football is talking about Cam Newton, Auburn's quarterback phenom.  My concern is that such praise and godly status placed upon this youngster will certainly cause trouble for him.  In researching his background today, I learned he was arrested and charged with the theft of a high-priced laptop computer during 2005 when he was at the University of Florida.  Tsk-tsk. 

In light of this, I won't be asking Santa Claus to bring me Cam Newton pajamas this year.  War Eagle.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Back to Eclectic

Monroe called to tell us he had some old pictures to show us so we took another drive over to Eclectic.  We met his lovely wife, who made us feel right at home and we ended up staying for several hours and learning just what an interesting life they have had.  And both are still going strong! He even rides a motorscooter!

Doris, Monroe and Wayne
To our surprise he had several pictures of Wayne's Mom and one studio photograph of her that we'd never seen.  It would have been taken when she was about 16. It was the picture of her that Monroe had with him while he was serving in WWII.

Monroe also told us about a "real life" event that occured in the home at 180 Main Street (the home of the wedding) in which a robber was shot and killed by the resident, a banker, who was being held hostage during a bank robbery. 
We finally left Eclectic around 4:30 with a stack of pictures and writings Monroe had given us.  It was a very good thing to get to visit someone who knew family members.

On the way out of town, I snapped a photograph of this huge metal pig that's mounted outside a barbque restaurant.  I think the restaurant was out of business, but I just couldn't get over this huge pig who had to be at least 30' tall...

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Eclectic: A Peek Into The Past

Wayne's dear sweet Mother lived, with her family, for several years, in Elmore County, Alabama. As a matter of fact, she graduated from high school there.  Neither of us had ever visited Eclectic, so we made a day of it today, armed with what little information we'd gathered about the family's time in the area.
Eclectic appears to be "lost in time"...
A visit to the local library proved to be a very good idea as we met a most impressive library staff who eagerly helped us by locating an Eclectic "old timer" for assistance in finding the information we wanted. 

Betty, an unknown volunteer and Andy, the town historian.
  A tall, straight, spry, nice looking gentleman arrived in a few minutes to help. He was nearly 90 years old but certainly didn't seem so.  Did he remember Barbara? Of course he remembered her! She was his first serious girlfriend! His name is Monroe and he is a charming man with a very sharp mind and a steel-trap memory. He knew her whole family, including aunts and uncles.

Monroe doesn't really use that walking stick. 
It just drops all over the place and I found myself picking it up all the time.

Betty, Monroe and Wayne
Monroe told us his romance with Barbara wained when he left for military service. He was several years older than Barbara and had met H.M. too but didn't know him well.  Monroe did not know Barbara had passed away. 

The pale yellow single story building just behind the traffic lights
 is the bank building where Granddaddy worked.

The first Eclectic home.

The Methodist Church

Elmore County High School

Where Barbara and H.M. married
180 Main Street

Sunday, October 24, 2010

2010 Tiger Bowl

Saturday, October 23rd brought the two remaining undefeated SEC football teams into the Lovliest Village on the Plains. That's Auburn for those who don't know.

On Friday we drove over to our usual parking space to see the zoo.  We've renamed the Fish Biodiversity Lab field "Camp Chaos" as it was a fitting descriptive name. In that field there were as many LSU fans as are Auburn fans.  Those LSU fans are dedicated and follow their team with ferocity.  We knew already as we remember the 2008 game. 
A sampling of the sites in the camping field that we call "Camp Chaos"

There'se been very little rain in this area and the fields are dry and dusty.  Because of the intense dust and unseasonably high 80 degree temperatures, we opted to stay put in our Chewacla State Park campsite. We do, after all, live in our motorhome, and prefer that it not get overly dusty inside.  Here at the park we enjoy all day shade, water, electric and sewer. The camp's roadways are paved so there's virtually no dust here.
Wayne "warming up" with the Navy / Notre Dame game early in the day.

We prepared jambalaya and red beans for dinner and watched the whole game from our patio on the outside tv.

Can't sit down.  Too excited.
The game was another good one ending with the elimination of LSU from the "undefeated" list. War Eagle! 

Friday, October 22, 2010

Got It At The Army Surplus Store!

Leaving Fort Benning, we stopped at the Commando Military Supply store Tom knew about.  We spent an hour looking through all the neat stuff they sell to soldiers and  soldier "wanna-be's" -- Wayne bought himself a new ARMY shirt and some new bumper stickers. 
That's DJ walking to the car. 

Tom (background) gives his approval, "Yes, it's a perfect fit." 
But Wayne won't spend $80.
He will buy it later somewhere else. I know him.

Fort Benning: Touring the Parachute Jump Training Areas

Well we would not complete our tour of Ft. Benning without almost getting into trouble.  When the museum closed we rode around to the parachute jump towers. Tom had trained here in 1968 and knew just where to go.  DJ and I anxiously awaited opportunities to use our cameras. She's a more avid photographer than me but had forgotten to bring her best camera and was relegated to using an older model.  Nevertheless, we had our windows down and our finger on the shutter button -- looking for photo ops. It didn't take long...

It's okay to take a picture of an obsolete airplane

It's not okay to take close up pictures of the soldiers.

It's also "not okay" to take a picture of the parachute training exercises. There were no signs saying so. 
But that Officer said absolutely "no" with his arms waving while he spoke.

But it's hard to stop us once we get started.  So we just took pictures from the car window.
This was a real thrill for me to see.

You can't throw us out... We're leaving!
Jump tower up close.

Fort Benning and the Infantry Museum

We loaded up on Wednesday morning and went to Fort Benning with Tom and DJ.  Losing an hour going into Georgia (Eastern time), we arrived with only one hour before closing time so we didn't get to see everything in the museum. We made the most of our short time and hope to get back again to finish the exhibits.

The new museum was dedicated in June 2009
by "then great American" and former Joint Chief of Staff, Colin Powell

The last 100 yards belong to the US Army Infantry

Never forget our Prisoners of War
and our Missing In Action Veterans

The exhibits were authentic and inspiring

Each displayed "soldier" was created from
the cast of a real Infantry soldier who trained at Ft Benning. 

Wayne is reading about "Becoming An Officer" in Officer Candidate School.
He's much too old to enlist and begin his Army career again, don't you think?

Parade grounds

Medal of Honor

DJ has participated (jumping, no less) in a military setting. 
She's pointing to a tiny soldier seen in the picture of the jump towers.
I think she's wanting to go again...


DJ and Tom Visit Us in Auburn

Two friends we made while at Shady Oaks in Orland, Maine, Tom and DJ, drove up from the Gulf Coast to visit us at Chewacla State Park in Auburn for a few days.  It's always good to cross paths with people we meet along the way. 
To our surprise, they brought everything needed to cook breakfast the next morning.  Tom makes genuine "hoe-cake", hot country sausage and fresh eggs. What a treat! We threw cholesterol caution to the wind on this morning...

Two eggs fried in those sausage drippings, please...
The camera tells it all, Wayne.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Falling In Love... At This Age!

Those who know Wayne and me know that we just don't have animals. Cats or dogs. No real reason except that we've just been so long without and never felt the need.

Well... that was then and this is now. I have found myself drawn to certain small dogs lately. Over the weekend, I fell in love with a little white dog. Found out she was a Maltese. I want one and have almost convinced Wayne that we "need" one. I'm all over the internet looking but am hesitant to pay big $$ for a pet There's one for adoption that interests me a great deal. She's four years old and has just had cataract surgery.

Who wouldn't love this dog?
I completed an application online. Yes, refererences are required and approval is needed to adopted a dog!

I'll be posting developments as they occur..

The Week At Chewacla State Park

Auburn requests all tailgaters depart the university property on Sunday following the game on Saturday so we loaded the coach and moved to nearby Chewacla State Park midday.  Half of the parks campsites are on a reservation system (years in advance, of course) and the rest are on "first come" basis. We were assigned site #25 and settled in around noon.  In a few minutes, an older fellow, wearing an Auburn shirt, but not a smile, came to our door.  Wayne gave him the usual "War Eagle" greeting but didn't get one in return. Seems the campground attendant assigned this site to both of us.  I know the man was upset by the way he spoke and he was with a group of other folks all in this immediate area.  We would have moved if we had been asked to do so, but we were not so we didn't.  Several other of the group have spoken to us, but I have a feeling of being "unwelcome" in their midst.  Oh well,  you don't think I care do you?   Nodda chance.

Auburn v Arkansas Weekend

We left Nashville on Wednesday and spent the night in Calera at SunCoast RV, made our way south from there and arrived in Auburn by 2 p.m. where we set up camp in the usual place at the Fish Biodiversity Lab field.  The spot was not a good one as afternoon sunlight came in on the television set. Saturday's game against Arkansas was to be at 2:30 so it would be difficult to see it on our set. Fortunately we met a nearby group who invited us to join them for game watching.

Several years ago we gave up most stadium game watching as we don't like being in crowds.  Day games are either too hot or cold and night games make us stay up too late getting back from the stadium.

On Saturday, as planned for several months, my dear highschool friend, Marilyn and her husband, Gene, joined us for gameday.  They rode the shuttle from near the tailgating field to the stadium. I think they had a good time. 

Naturally one of us would be talking.... or was I eating?

Wayne and Marilyn look over the old 1972 Glomerata.
Marilyn still swoons over Pat Sullivan and Terry Beasley.
Gene is a patient and loving guy.  He just let her rant on and on...

Got their "game faces" on.
Waaaarrrr Eagle!

Goin' South

From the DC area, we made our way south in time to take care of a few chores and going on to Auburn. The ride through the Shenandoah Valley was nice and the volitle weather provided some really nice late afternoon sunlight scenery.  The photos here just don't do justice to the view.
Beautiful skies welcomed us back to the south.

Wayne is due for blood work and a visit to the doctor, who has been watching the cholesterol level for a while. There's even been talk of taking medication...  The walks we take in the evening along with the improved diet (and reduced pizza) might be paying off as the cholesterol level is down and so is his weight. No talk of medications this time. That's good.

Our next chore was to have the satellite people install the upgrade to our system that will allow easier location of the Directv signal when we're traveling. We'll take the coach to Cullum Maxey for a few repairs too, including the ice maker and the tow plate we broke when turning around at the wrong entry to Wheel-In Campground at Indiana, Pennsylvania and having the inverter checked and possibly repaired.  There is a short list of other, smaller repairs we ask about...

We stayed two nights at Two Rivers Campground on Music Valley Drive.  When they filled for the weekend (we were day-at-a-time) we moved up to Yogi Bear's Jellystone Campground where we got a better site and a better rate.

The whole Cullum Maxey experience was a bad one and we left Nashville a full week later with nothing repaired except the tow plate. Our bill was over $300 -- we mark through them as a repair location.  Fortunately we did manage to take care of several other projects while we were there.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

People We See Along the Way

I'll be right up front in my admission that I'm not much of a clothes horse in my old age.  Certainly I don't care to dress like I did during my working life.  Cotton knit is comfortable and easy to keep too. 

But some of the people we see are wearing clothes that just "beg" to be photographed.  I try to be discreet in taking pictures so sometimes they don't come out too well.  

Here are some of what we've seen...
In Quebec City. 
In Washington, DC

Washington D.C., Arlington Cemetery and War Memorials

The return from Annapolis took us into Washington DC where there were still more monuments for us to find and photograph.  Driving and parking in our nations capitol is not for the faint of heart -- but we are persistent. 

Sometimes I wonder how we got around before the days of GPS -- we located our intended destinations and flew around, parking where we could, eating in the car and walking the sites quickly so we could see everything on our list.

Being in Washington reminded me how much I dislike large cities.  They're good for young people, but the older I get, the more I like small towns. 

Here's what we saw...
Wayne saw President Grant ... more dead generals.

Me in front of the capitol building --
yes, it's cold

At the Lincoln Memorial. 
No, we did not walk up all those steps to see Mr. Lincoln in that chair.

I was eating when Wayne took this one of me along the Mall corridor. 
Notice all the trash everywhere. The protesters are trashy, I suppose.
The Jefferson Memorial is getting a repair
From "political wonderland" we drove across the Potomac River to see Arlington National Cemetery. We saw the changing of the guard at the Tomb of  The Unknown Soldier.  We also saw the graves of  John, Robert and Ted Kennedy, Joe Louis (the boxer), Military hero, Audie Murphy, the Mast of The Maine, Monuments to the Astronauts of the Challenger and the Columbia Space Shuttles, and others. 

Guarding the Tomb of The Unknown Soldier

Mast of the Maine

Grave of Audie Murphy

Tombstone of Heavyweight Champion, Joe Louis

Monuments to Astronauts who died in service

John F. Kennedy grave
Grave of Robert Kennedy

Grave of Ted Kennedy. 
Arlington, home of General Robert E. Lee, is in the background.
The farm was taken by the federal government, at the insistence of General Meigs,
after the end of the Civil War. A mere $92 in taxes were owed to the new government.
The land was made into a national cemetery so it could never be repurchased by the Lee family.
Confederate dead were not allowed to be buried here.

Later we saw the memorials to the Korean and Vietnam war dead.  This was particularly special to us both.
The Korean War Memorial -- eerie.
They look like ghosts in the photograph.

The Vietnam War Memorial
Bub at the Vietnam Wall.
This was our first time to see the wall.

The Vietnam War Wall is in the background.
The Vietnam War Memorial statues to his left.

Old Glory