The pictures below show my family, myself and Grandpa all exploring our new area. We drove through Scott County Park and walked around Walnut Grove Pioneer Village. Good times. A pleasant way to spend a couple hours.


The remaining pictures show the various buildings and things you can see there if you decide to visit. Relaxing and fun. The whole family will enjoy themselves. Even the teenagers depending on their mood.

Lastly, this shows what can be found inside the various structures.



No Home, New State, New Memories

I haven’t posted in a long time. So I will give a quick recap of where we are in life. I quit my old job and took a leap of faith not having another one to go to. It was a little scary. We couldn’t find anything in Chicagoland so we ended up in Iowa.

My career has gone like this, thin films to chocolate and then back to thin films.

We now live in Iowa. A little town north of Davenport.

It is a nice change of pace from Chicagoland.

That will be all for now.

Keep on keeping on. One day at a time.


I haven’t posted anything to my blog in a long time. I need to change that. I will restart my posting by just this quick post. As in previous years I will post a top list for 2016. Hopefully later this week I will post some more.

  • Getting to experience Disney World with my family.
  • Learning from Yale during my commute to work. Two highlights were courses on global population and epidemic history in Europe. Learning some Ben Graham investment strategies was nice too.
  • Spending time at home and around Plainfield, examples are drinking copious amounts of coffee, visiting the the dog park, catching toads and fishing some of the ponds around here.
  • Learning that my family is there to support me when the going gets rough and that we can really cut back on our budget when we need to.
  • Watching TV shows with wife and two oldest. Walking Dead and Lost.
  • Giving Colton, Chase and Cody haircuts. Discovering Aldi’s.
  • Changing out the alternator on the Honda for $72.
  • Being able to spend more time with Christen.
  • Getting enough sleep after leaving work in September.
  • Splitting wood and prepping fireplace.
  • I haven’t forgotten which day of the week it is in many years. Yet in the last four months I have forgotten a few times.

Happy New Year. Happy posting!

Tonight I am posting more pictures of my brother Jimmy.  He loved the outdoors, he loved hunting and fishing.  The two fishing pictures were taken of him up in Wyoming at Lake Seminoe.  This is a large lake with hardly anyone that ever uses it.  At least that is the way it was back in the 1980s.  There were several trips where Dad and Jimmy drove up there to hunt, fish and explore.  In the 1980s, you could stay up there for several days in your camp and not see a single person.

One time Dad and Jimmy went up to go hunting for coyote.  They found a spot to hunt in the middle of the night.  They did their rabbit calls and an owl swooped down on them and scared them really bad.  LOL, they didn’t get any coyotes that trip but they did get a good story to tell us when they got back home.

This is also the place where Dad took his 14 sticks of dynamite.  Not a single soul for miles and miles to hear the blasts.  Dad would also take Jimmy and his other teenage buddies up there to shoot, fish and raft.  At one point they found an eagle nest while rafting along with a bank of the river that had a lot of quartz.  The downside of this place is that the wind blows much of the day for most of the year.  Even with the wind, Dad loved it.

The last two pictures show me standing with Jimmy in the mountains up above Glenwood Springs, Colorado.  We were hunting deer.  Mostly we hunted on either side up above Glenwood Canyon.  The Flat Tops are beautiful any time of year but in the fall they are just breath taking.  At the time these pictures were taken Jimmy had the orange Bronco.  He had an 8,000 lb winch on it and even in the snow and the mud there wasn’t a trail we couldn’t try.  As long as we could see a nice tree within 100 yards of the trail we knew we had a back up way to get ourselves back to civilization.  During the days we would hunt above Glenwood and at night we would stay at the condo my dad owned in west Glenwood.  I was 14 when we would go up hunting.  These were good trips with my dad and brother.  Later on we started having large groups of people go up hunting and we would stay at a camp with a large tent my dad had.  These were great trips as well but not the same as the trips with just the three of us.  Those were the best.

It would be good for me to go over these posts a second time and do some editing just to make the reading easier.  For now though, it is what it is.  I just want to preserve my memories for me to look back upon long down the road.  Or for others that might want to know what our lives were like.

Until next time, keep on keeping on.

The pictures below show my brother and sister and their friend Kevin.  This was taken at our house in Morrison.  I’m not sure I was around when this picture was taken.  I was born when my brother was 10 and my sister was 7.

Looking at these old pictures brings back a lot of memories.  Our chain link fence was and wooden fence had been installed.  The wooden fence looks brand new.  My first memories of that fence it had aged some and didn’t have the “new wood” look.  That fence was installed because the legal system threatened to throw my mom in jail because the family dog, Rags, was causing mischief in the neighborhood.  At that time it was probably a big expense for my parents.

The cul-de-sac is behind them along with the park we got to play in all growing up.  Back when this picture was taken, there was a small stream that flowed through the park.  There were trout in the stream.  They weren’t large, maybe 8 inches long.  Dad really liked the fact that there were trout in the stream just behind his house.

I’ll get back to the pictures and finish up this post.  I’m guessing these were taken in 1975.  Jimmy certainly has a 1970s era hairdo.  Jimmy and Kevin were good friends all the way through their teenage years.  Since we were so close to the Rockies they used to ride their bikes over to the hogback.  They had a fort there that they hung out at.  Kevin ended up in the military and spent a lot of time overseas in Korea.  I remember him coming back to visit my brother once when he was 20 years old.  Then I think they finally parted ways.  They also took advantage of the snow we got along the Front Range and did quite a bit of inner-tubing off the hills.  I am sure they had their fair share of mischief that only the two of them ever knew about as well.

That will be all for tonight.  Keep on keeping on folks.


The following pictures are copies of photographs I gave to my nephews Luke and Cole.  Jimmy passed away back in 2008 and Luke and Cole recently visited us here in Chicago.  The pictures below are the ones I gave to them that had to do with Jimmy and motorcycles.  Motocross was his passion when he was a teen.

The picture of all three of us was taken up above Central City, Colorado.  When I was young we would always go up there to ride motorcycles, shoot guns, have campfires etc.  It was fun.  This was back in the 1980s.  So this was well before the gambling came in.  The bike I was riding with the number 2 on the front was a Honda MR 50.  I believe it was a 1972.  This was not only the bike I learned on but it was also Jimmy’s bike when he was younger.  Kelly was riding her bike with no helmet because she didn’t want to mess her hair up.  Luckily, she didn’t get her that day because I am pretty sure that is also the day she crashed and the ligaments in her knee were torn.  Jimmy was riding the Suzuki.  This was before Jimmy started racing.  I’m guessing I was 7 or 8 which dates this picture around 1983 or 1984.

The picture that shows Jimmy leaning on the bike with the 113 plate crossed out was taken in Benkelman, Nebraska.  He was racing his first and only enduro.  He taped up his bike so that it was less likely to get send and water into it while he raced through all the streams and mud holes.  I believe the race was four laps with each lap being 25 miles.  During the last lap Jimmy folks working the race and keeping track of who was leading showed that Jimmy was in first place.  He was racing through trees, not knowing he was leading the race, when his throttle stuck wide open.  He ended up crashing really badly while jumping off his bike.  He landed in a bunch of tree stumps.  His lower back was injured and he was out of commission for a few weeks.  The folks keeping track of the race were waiting for Jimmy to cross the finish line but he never made it.  There were hundreds of people in the race including a nationally ranked guy that traveled the circuit named Fritz Cadillac.

The picture of him standing next to the table with the cake was the party my mom held for him when he graduated from Bear Creek high school.  The cake featured several items that showcased his interests during high school.  His senior picture is on the table and there are also some of his racing trophies behind the cake.  This picture was taken in the kitchen of my parent’s house in Morrison.

The picture of him standing next to the bike with the yellow plates that read 113 was taken in Morrison, Colorado on the back porch of my parent’s house.  The yellow plate with black writing showed that he was an amateur in the Colorado racing circuit.  The classes, according to skill, were novice, then amateur followed by pro.  Later the year this picture was taken Jimmy turned pro.

Jimmy dressed all in red sitting on the bike with the black plate and white numbers listed 344 show him in his first year of racing.  He was a novice in this picture.  It was taken at one of the several tracks in the Colorado circuit.  He was great at getting holeshots.  In fact, his first race ever was at the Trinidad track and he got the holeshot that day in one of the heats.

When you walked into my mom and dad’s house the first thing you would see was Jimmy’s trophies.  Jimmy’s racing skills were my father’s pride and joy.  For several years, the trophies were on display.  Jimmy and Dad spent virtually 100% of their free time on his racing career.

The last picture was taken in the same room as the trophies.  Jimmy is showing his racing shirt.  The brace on his left hand was almost certainly there due to some racing injury he had.

In closing, I always enjoyed riding motorcycles when I was younger.  The older I got the more I grew out of them.  Now I have no desire for myself nor my children to ever ride any bikes.  Perhaps this is because I saw my brother injured so terribly on so many different occasions.  In fact, the last time I was on a bike was with Jimmy and his friend Dave Newell somewhere outside of Denver.  That day Jimmy rendered himself unconscious, broke his back and also ripped his bottom lip away from his jaw bone down to the bottom of his chin.  I was one of the first people to get to him that day after the crash.  He had dried brown grass stuck to his face and he was more or less convulsing.  Lucky for him, he wasn’t paralyzed.  That was summer of 1991 and well after his racing career.  He stopped riding for a long time but wasn’t finished completely.  When he was in his 30s he bought a bike had one more surgery and three more hospital stays.  Boy, saying all that, I can see why I have no desire to ride.

Until next time.


Colton Turns 2 Today

My little boy Colton turned two today.  Poor guy isn’t having the greatest birthday though.  He is getting his molars.  Maybe he is battling something else as well like a cold or ear ache.  Not sure.  He is feeling bad enough that we are alternating ibuprofen and Tylenol.

It is difficult to believe he has already been around two years.  It also means I’ve had my new job for two years.  It is strange how a few months after you have a baby you can’t imagine them not being part of your family and it also feels like they’ve been part of the family forever.

We will give him his gifts later today.  He and I ditched church since he was not feeling well.  I bet he’ll really like his gifts.

I’m in a posting mood today so I’m going to follow up with a quick post about my brother Jimmy.

Sisters visiting Denver

Here are a few miscellaneous pictures from my mom’s slide collection.  The woman wearing the black coat is my mother’s sister.  She came out to Denver.  In the photos you can see Red Rocks Amphitheatre as is was in the late 1960s.  In some of the pictures she is standing up on Lookout Mountain with Golden, Colorado in the background along with North and South Table Mountain.  Priscilla stayed with my mom and dad in Denver and then went to work for the telephone company.  The guy in the picture, don’t know his name, was a guy she dated until she became a born again Christian.

The younger girl in the pictures, holding Jimmy, is Jamie.  Another one of my mom’s sisters.  They are standing outside 1229 Quivas St.  This is where they lived in Denver, Colorado at that point in time.

Jimmy’s First Birthday

The pictures below show my brother’s first birthday.  The pictures show his cake, the gifts he got and what his house was like when he turned one.  The older woman in green sitting in the rocking chair is Dad’s biological mother, Eunice.  Dad thought of Hattie Tennessee, who died when he was a teenager, as his real mother.  But he did have Eunice around some when they lived in Denver.

The rocking chair that Eunice is sitting in was the chair that Clark and Ann bought for Mom when Jimmy was born.  If I remember correctly she kept that for several years and even rocked me in it.

The coffee table that Jimmy’s cake is sitting on was made by my father.  Dad was always so practical and handy.  In the very first picture you can see Jimmy holding the MEN AT WORK sign and Mom’s wedding rings in the background.  Mom remembered that Jimmy really loved his little 4-wheeled bike.  Not too surprising given how well Jimmy took to bicycles and motorcycles.

When Jimmy turned one Mom got a job out in Cherry Creek.  They found themselves a babysitter and checked her out as well as they could back then but after two days of Jimmy being there he came home with bruises on his butt and the back of his legs.  Mom confronted the sitter and asked what happened and she said he might have fallen down the stairs.  Needless to say she got fired.  Years after the fact, Jimmy mentioned to me that Dad told Jimmy a couple times that he paid the sitter and her husband a visit and “rearranged” their furniture for them.  Knowing my dad’s temper that probably wasn’t too fun for them.

The next sitter they found was a good one, her name was Loraine.  She had four or five kids of her own and Jimmy really enjoyed staying with her during the day.  In addition to her own kids she watched a couple others besides just Jimmy.

You can see Jimmy playing in the cake.  Close to 40 years later I remember Jimmy letting his kids play in their one year old cakes.  Jimmy thought the messier his kids got with their first birthday cake the better.  🙂

Until next time,