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A Nazi War Momento 

16 Aug

The USCGC Eagle, formerly Horst Wessel, a 295 ft barque is used as a training vessel.  It was once a part of Adolph Hitler’s fleet and used by him personally (not singlehanded sailing).  It is a war reparation seized by the U.S. at the end of World War II.  It still has the Nazi Eagle as the maidenhead….though Americans see it now as an American eagle.  

Given current events where monuments and statues are being destroyed perhaps this symbol of Nazi Germany and Adolph Hitler should be sunk or placed in a shipyard forgotten.  No the barge Eagle is a fitting reminder of the past that Nazism was defeated by the U.S intervention into WWII.  

Horst Wessel under sails in 1936


General Robert E. Lee’s Portrait 

16 Aug

Dear Lee County Commissioner Manning,
The portrait of General Robert E. Lee is a part of Lee County’s history and should not be removed. ISIS, Hitler and other removed statues they didn’t agree with to change history to their liking. If we change the portrait or change our County’s name have we become a nation that changes our history? What will be next? Remove Martin Luther King Blvd? John F. Kennedy, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson? Perhaps the World War II monument offends Germans it should be taken down, the Korean War plaque offends Koreans it should be removed or the Vietnam Wall offends Vietnamese it should be torn down. To be sure, slavery, bigotry and hate have no place in our nation but if we forget our past or change our history we are thus doomed to repeat it.
Thank you,

Old Florida

21 May

For several years I have driven down a back road just off the main highway.  The road is the back way to the church where the weekly farmers market is held.  It’s where I go to get my vegetables.  On this road is several “old Florida homes”.  Old as built in the late 1800’s.  One has held a special attention for me. The house is abondoned, boarded shut and posted “No Tresspassing”.

I stopped this week and trespassed to take pictures.  The house is sound, albeit peeling paint. The barn or garage however….. looks like it will fall any moment.

Upon closer inspection of the barn, I found the inside with some new bracing.

The house was built by Henry Hall in 1906. He owned about 5 acres around the house.  Henry moved to Estero from Cairo, Georgia with his parents Jack and Susie Hall to work on the Seaborn Railroad.  It is said that Henry came to Estero from Cairo in a covered wagon.  He married Julia Soto and lived happily in this house which was next to his parents yellow house….no longer standing.

I walked around back and found the back porch covered with palm trees and vines.  Hidden is shed which was open and contained the water heater.

I wonder if Henry were to visit his home today what would he say?

Visit to the September 11 Museum 

2 Jan

While we were in New Jersey for Christmas J and I took the family to Ground Zero and the September 11 Museum.  It is something that we have been wanting to do but never seem to get there when we were in New Jersey.  

We had 11 o’clock tickets for the museum, so the day started with a car ride to Staten Island  going over the Goethals Bridge.  Once on the island, we drove to the terminal and searched and searched for a parking place.  The ferry is free but the parking is a fortune!

We avoided the Interior of the ferry and decided to sit outside and enjoy the sites. In spite of being cold.

The Hudson River is busy with seaports on either side so there is a lot of boat traffic.

The bridge in the background is the Verrazano Bridge.

Of course you know her.  Once we docked it was a short walk using Google Maps to the site of Ground Zero.  

The reflecting pools mark the footprint of the buildings.

The new Freedom Tower.

This is a girder that was once a part of the facade on the 93rd floor.

This was the  pillar used by workers to mark there remembrances.

My father was a fireman who drove the tiller of a hook and ladder truck, so I felt an affection for this ladder truck.

After touring the museum we looked for a place to have lunch. Nearby is Bill’s Burgers.

Eric checking his email or Facebook or reading my blog.

Max and Justin

We noted, being from Florida, how heightened the security was in New York City.  Boarding the ferry there were bomb sniffing dogs, armed (carrying assault weapons) police and on the riding home we noticed the Coast Guard escort.  I saw the Coast Guard boat in the morning but I didn’t know it was an escort until we saw the returning ferry.   Notice the manned 50 cal on the bow of the boat. 9/11 has changed our world.

Year in the Rear View – second 6 months 

1 Jan

The year is winding down, the ball will drop soon and  tomorrow the resolutions kick in.  Here is a look back starting in July.  If you missed the first half go here Year in the Rear View – the First 6 Months.


J and I traveled to NJ with my employers car and met their daughter in North Jersey.  She drove the car on to Maine.  J and I stayed in NJ for July 4th.

I ran the Firecracker 4 Miler in Cranford

I pick this so you can’t see the time.  I’m slow!

The shirt worn AFTER the race.

Back home in June, a boat ride with our neighbors to Flippers for brunch…

a boat ride with Cris, J and…

Tony to the Green Flash on Captiva.


July is J’s birthday….

So Tony ant I rented a sailboat for the day.

J enjoying the sail.

A relaxed helmsman.


It was a quiet month, just watching the flowers grow.

taking early morning runs to beat the heat

and watching the new grass on the golf course grow.

J and I took a boat ride…

the eagle landed in our yard,

and Iggy made a brief two day visit.

Barbara and Bill came for a boat ride and lunch at Rum Runners.


J and I flew to NJ spent 2 days there and then drove to Maine to be with Anne and Dick, then drive their car to Florida by way of NJ.

We flew JetBlue to Newark…

We stayed with Katy, Eric, Max, and Justin (KEMJ) and went to a church carnival.,

We walked our Granddog Eva,

and saw Max and Justin’s first day of school. Then it was off for a 7 hour trip to Maine.

Anne and Dick are in Owl’s Head, ME near Rockland.

We went to the dahlia farm..

enjoyed the view from their porch, and

had dinner with Pam and Hank and enjoyed their homemade booze.

Went to a farmers market and then off on the 7 hour ride to KEMJ’s.

While we were at KEMJ’s their block had a block party.  The local firefighters showed up,

they were looking for recruits.

Too much food was consumed.

We went to lunch with Aunt Flossie and Uncle Hippy

The next day it was off on the two day drive to Florida.

Tony has joined a sailing timeshare, getting to use a Hunter 37 7 times a month.  He invited us on the first sail, perhaps because J and I know how to sail..

J and I enjoying margaritas on the sail.

Of course the highlight of the month was the Donald Trump rally.

J, me and 18,000 of our closest friends stood in the rain for 4 hours to see Mr. Trump.

Make America Great Again.

I also worked 3 days a week for Dick and Anne which meant getting my run in early and enjoying the sunrise.

Dick at Santibel Causeway Park.


On a October Friday. It’s we went for an evening sail with Tony and Cris…no wind just kinda drifting.

After sailing we grilled skirt steak and had some wine.

No one wanted to leave.

The farmers market is now at Koresean Park.

J and I had dinner with Barbara and Bill at their club, Worthington Country Club.

A handsome couple.

While it wasn’t cool, we did light the fireplace.

We removed the plants and palm on the garage side replacing everything with new.

Looks good!

We ended the month with another sail.  This time there was some wind!

Of course I cooked, Apple pizza.

and the Halloween favorite, Soup in a Pumpkin.


November was not a good month while it started great…

We went to a Veteran’s Day service in our community.

Our hibiscus are still blooming and

it was cool enough we were able to have breakfast on the lanai.

I had a bike accident going over my handlebars at 20 mph…

It required a hospital visit…

and some pain.  You don’t know how bad I felt!

We also made Grand Mariner.


December was a very busy month, 

We decorated for Christmas,

Cecilia, Anne and Dick came to dinner,

went to Epcot,

toured the world,

There’s that handsome couple again,

and we went to the Magic Kingdom..

It was á great couple of days celebrating my birthday.

we stirred the Grand Maniner

I went to the Encore Men’s Christmas Party,

That couple again, going to the Estero Encore Christmas Party,

We went on the Punta Gorda Christmas Lights boat ride…

Just some of the homes in Punta Gorda..

Our palms in the front got their hurricane cut..

We finally bottled and tasted the Grand Mariner….

Of course we celebrated Advent. Then Dec.22 we flew to NJ.

Christmas Eve we went to Barbara and Dick’s for their family get together.

Some of us were tired.

Santa came.

Even the big kids got something to smile about.

Max made a cheese board.

Katy fixed a wonderful meal…

On the 26th we had lunch with Pam and Hank

On the 27th we went to NYC, the September 11 Museum via the Staten Island Ferry

On the 29thJ was under the weather but I went to see my family..

Josh and Joel

Amy and Andy


Then on the 30th it was lunch with Aunt Flossie and Uncle Hippy at Manny’s.

It was time to leave on the 31st….I needed a rest.

We went to the United Club Lounge to wait for our plane and have some New Year’s Eve bubbly.

Finally we are home again.  We both brought back colds, we don’t get colds in Florida.  It was 27* when we left New Jersey and it was 78* when we landed.

That’s the year in the rear view.  I hope you enjoyed it, if you did please leave a comment.  If you don’t I’ll know You didn’t make it this far.

Visit to the 9/11 Museum

28 Dec

We are in New Jersey visiting family for the holidays.  While we are here we usually do one fun thing other than visit family. This year’s fun trip,was to the 9/11 Museum at Ground Zero.

The day start d with a boat ride, the Staten Island Ferry.  Did you know it is FRRE to ride the ferry?

Can you tell that the people from Florida are cold?  Along the way we saw the Statue of Liberty.

We forget that the Hudson River is an active harbor filled with ships waiting to unload/load.

Once we docked at the ferry terminal it was a mile walk to the memorial.  I had purchased tickets to the Museum for everyone and I’m glad that I did buy them ahead as it saved standing in line in the light rain.

What can I say about the Museum?  It was moving and awesome.

The famous  stairway that people used to escape.

The column that workers posted items.

One of the damaged fire trucks.

A piece of the facade.

After the Museum we looked at the reflecting pools.

After the pools it was time to eat.  We walked to Bill’s Burgers and Bar.

Then it was a walk back to the Ferry.

It was on the way back we noticed the Coast Guard escort with a man manning the 50 cal on the bow.

Eric working on the way home.
All in all I would highly recommend visiting the Museum.  They have tried hard to memorize the people that died that aweful day.

Today’s First

15 Dec

This week has been a week of firsts.  First on Tuesday was my first ride in my bike since my accident. It was with a little hesitation that I rode.  After all, going over the handlebars at 20 mph is somewhat of a traumatic event.  The wounds have healed, I have some neck and back pain but perhaps there are still some mental scars.

I did, immediately, test myself the front brakes.  I practiced applying the front brake appropriately.  Then it was just an easy ride of 12 miles around my community.

The second first of this week was playing golf.  Since I retired this month I decided I had time to play golf.  I never felt I had to play with work and training but now I have time so I joined a men’s Wednesday group.

Since I have trouble sleeping with the pain in my neck and back, I thought I would having trouble playing golf.  While I didn’t score well I hit the ball well, after the first hole.

Today was the next first of the week, I ran for the first time since my accident.  My back was my major concern especially since I didn’t sleep well last night. I ran just easy and put in some walking.  My back did give me a few twinges and niggles along the way.

I did an easy 5 miles with negative splits.  So that made me wonder if it was Folly to consider doing the Naples Half Marathon.  I have done this race every year for 15 years with the exception of last year when it was canceled due to a severe storm and 5 years ago when Missey Moose pulled me wrenching my knee.  It is my favorite race through the poor section of Naples, it is amazing how these people can live in these poor $5 to $50 million homes.

So what do you think? Can I get into shape to do the race a month?



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