Paying It Forward with Kindness

Yesterday (Sunday) I worked my shift at the Cinemark 10.  I witnessed something I thought was so …….AWESOME……It was later in the afternoon, and a manager came across on the walky , that a disabled lady was in the parking lot and had locked her keys in her car, can we help her.  The message back was, not really because company policy.  As we all know most large corporations or company’s are always strict on rules to protect themselves from law suits.  It is understandable as some people are so sue happy these days.  It has become a strange world of opportunity for some people to make a buck at the expense of someone else.

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The manager then went outside to the car, and I seen the lady standing by her car.  He called the police station….No, no help their.  They couldn’t do anything.  Shame isn’t it….He asked one of the girls who was bilingual to come out and help translate as the lady was Spanish.  Then he called a locksmith.   The locksmith wanted $45 to come.  She only had $20, so he wouldn’t help either.  Now keep in mind it is upper 90’s and I found out her walker was also locked in the car.  The poor lady was leaning against the car.

Finally a miracle happened.  A guy in a pickup had pulled up to just buy popcorn at the theater and go home.  He had a long rod and stuck in down in the door and unlocked it.  He must have been her Angel sent by God at the perfect time.  Another manager had went out.  They called into Concession and said to give the man whatever he ordered free for a Thank You.  He walked out with a bagful…..Next they walked with the lady.  She was pushing her walker slowly.  She looked so hot and tired.  But she had the biggest smile on her face.  They walked her into the theater and gave her a free showing of  47 Meters Down, which was what she had come to see.

I want to commend the Managers and Crew at Cinemark.  Even though company policy dictated they couldn’t physically help with opening the door, they stayed with her and helped her find a way to open it.  Then they did what they could to show appreciation to the man that had helped her and gave her a movie that helped her end her day in a positive way.  She looked so happy as they were bringing her in.   What on earth would have happened if they hadn’t been their for her.  She couldn’t walk without her walker that was locked in the car and it was miserable hot.  I know she was eternally grateful.  These are wonderful stories in life that we all need to hear.

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Lessons to learn that we can ……….”PAY IT FORWARD”……

You never know in life when you may need someone’s help.  We can’t always PAY IT BACK.  Sometimes the situation doesn’t allow it, but we can always Pay Forward What a Wonderful world we would live in if everyone would do that.  

I have also see a few acts of Kindness that so surprised me.  Several times in the Box Office, I’ve had people come forward to the person buying a ticket.  They couldn’t find enough money.  They would come forward and give the person a dollar or two.  What ever it took for the ticket.  It was done with sincerity also.  Not that they were trying to hurry up the people, but they gave because they wanted to help.

Now also yesterday, I had a man come up to buy a ticket.  We are a discount theater.  We do not show 1st run movies.  They are all second run movies that have already made the circuit of the big theaters.  Therefore our most expensive ticket on a weekend is $2.92 for regular and $4.33 for 3-D.   On Sunday the single ticket is $2.17.  He asked me twice……..”How Much”????  He couldn’t believe it….”$2.17″????  He said “at that price, buy all these people in line a ticket”.    I had to call him back….I said “Sir, I can’t do that, here is your change.  You have to decide what you want to do with your money”.  He then paid for the next 3 people in line.  He walked away saying he couldn’t believe how cheap the tickets were.  Of course the people in line were amazed also at his generosity.  These are the kind of people who make this world a better place.   They put smiles on peoples faces.

Since we worked Adventureland last summer, I still stay in contact with several FB sites.  On one of them was a story posted from the Des Moines Iowa paper.  It was a mom who had wrote in to tell the story of an Adventureland employee  who had befriended her son.  Her son had a handicap of some sort and they were boarding a roller coaster.  Usually she said people talk to her, when they were addressing her son.  She was commending the employee cause he directly talked to her son as he adjusted his bar.  He made eye contact and treated him as a person.  It lite up his face and she was so happy to see him treated as normal.   She felt so strongly that she wrote an article to the local paper.   What a wonderful feeling for a mother to have her child treated as a normal person.

It is amazing that in the space of 30 seconds of contact, you can make a difference.  Just a few words, a smile……You could change someone’s day.  I decided to try that approach also.  Even though sometimes I only have 10 seconds,  that short time can be made fun, with a few words and smile.  One day a lady came with her daughter.  She looked unhappy.  She bought her ticket, and her daughter said.  “Ok mom, don’t be crying in the show,….You’ve been crying all day”.…..I felt so sad and awkward for her.   You can only imagine what problems she could be facing at home.  So you never know what is going on at home or in other peoples life.  If its only a smile you can give and a cheery “HELLO”, It might help make a difference.  I think we’ve all been their at one time or another if were honest with ourselves.

We also see many people with Mental Handicaps of different stages.  One girl comes with her mom, and is probably late teens.  A very sweet girl who has Downs and is very reserved.  The one day she came dressed in a very pretty sun dress.  I complimented her on her dress.  She brightened up and said “Thank You”…..Several others adults come who have to hold hands to stay together or they might wander off.  All it takes is a smile and a wave, and they are on ……Cloud Nine…..I make a practice of waving to them as they go in and if I am their, as they leave later.  You cannot believe how excited they are to wave back.  They wave all the way to the street.  They all need that interaction with the world around them.  They have feelings also.  Yes they are different but they want to be treated as …..People…..

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Their is so much anger anymore in the news.  FB is even full of it anymore.  These are some story’s I wanted to share to show the positives in life.   We all need and want to Pay Back when we can.  Sometimes its impossible.

We always should Pay Forward when we can.  The World would be Much Happier……And So Would Your Soul……

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

at that price buy all these people in line a ticket…..

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First Day of School / Emp. of The Month….

So here it is already, August 16th and the first day of school for the grandkids….I can’t believe they are starting so soon.  The summer is flying by.  When I was a kid in Toluca, we didn’t start until just before Labor Day Toluca had one celebration a year.  It was the Labor Day Celebration Carnival rides, games, yummy food, and of course the Parade.  Now that was the ultimate time of the year.  The suspense and excitement would build all summer.  We all couldn’t wait for it to come.  But it always seemed like school started on Wed. or Thur.   You would see the trucks come in all week bringing the rides and foods. The carnival started on Friday and lasted till Monday.  They set it up down town on the streets.    I hated that we had to go to school several days, and the teachers even gave us homework….How could they be so mean to us…..lol….All weekend it was an exciting time.   The town was full of people, the rides were running and kids screaming in delight.  We walked up and down the carnival midway and looked at all the games and the food.  I would have to spend my money wisely, because my mom only gave me so much.  When it was gone, it was gone.  The food was Awesome, Corn Dogs, Lemonade Shake Ups, and Cotton Candy.  Then we had the Parade on Monday.  Floats representing all of Toluca and surrounding areas, business and church’s,  and of course always the politicians riding in fancy new convertibles…..Just waving their hands at everyone….Everyone couldn’t wait for the Marching Bands from through out the area.  In high school, I was in FHA.  We always made a float.  We earned points for doing things so we could go on a trip at the end of the school year.  We used chicken wire to mold our design on a hayrack.  Then we were supplied with tissue paper to stuff in the holes.  They don’t do it that way anymore.  Finally the parade would be over, the carnival would shut down early cause they had to pack up and have the streets open by Tuesday morning.  I lived about a block from town, and that whole nite you could hear them hammering and noises of tearing down.  Tue. morning was school.  Downtown was bustling with the usual traffic again.  Sometimes the streets still needed to be swept, sometimes it was done.  Some of the rides might be parked somewhere all packed up in their trucks, but most were gone.  Everything was back in order…..Another year was gone………..Then, time to get back to serious school time….yuck…

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The grandkids are growing fast.  This year Cassidy is in 8th grade.  She is living with her dad going to school in Spring Valley.  The 3 little ones are all in Putnam County Primary.  Miley is in 3rd grade, and Austin is in 1st.  They are Tina and Eds kids.  They live in Granville where the Primary School is.  It contains Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd.  FB_IMG_1502996214751Here is Carly.  She is in Kindergarten this year.  Her first year of all day school.  Carly and Cassidy are Tammy’s kids.  Tammy lives in McNabb.  She is a RN so she must have been working and Tina took all 3 kids to school the first day.

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This is Carlys 2nd day.  She has curly wild hair.  It is hard to control unless in a ponytail or pigtail.   She is a cutie pie.

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And of course we must have the bus pictures.  I believe the driver is good friend Kathy.  She has been driving for so many years.  Maybe even when the kids were in school.  She loves her job and her kids.  The perfect person you want for a bus driver.  Her sister Mary Jane drives also and has for many years.  Now that Kathy’s husband retired from Cat., he drives also…….It really takes special people to do this job. This is what Tammy was doing before she became a nurse.  She loved her job and all her bus driving friends.  Rich also drove part time for many years…..They asked me,  …..NO WAY….  no patience.

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The other day, I found out some news.  I was voted Employee of the Month…..Wow…now that’s another first in my life.  I was so surprised.  I received a $50 gift card and my name on a plaque.  I want to THANK THE AWESOME MANAGERS, for voting for me.  They are a GREAT BUNCH.  This is sure a morale booster.  

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I am probably the oldest employee here.  Since school will be starting soon, the Box Office will close outside during the week.  Tickets will be sold at the Concession Counter.  I only work Box Office.  So I decided to add more hours during the week, I would try UsherNow how hard can that be!!!  …..Cleaning out the theaters after each show….Stand at Podium, Greet, take tickets and direct them to the right theater.  So Ok.

Last Saturday was training …..2-10….8 hrs…..  IT WAS AWFUL…..Now keep in mind, we are Cinemark 10…..So each show is shown 3 to 4 times a day…..so 10 theaters x 4 showings?????  40 cleanings……On my shift it would be 31 of those…..”PEOPLE ARE PIGS”….They leave their popcorn bags and buckets.  Its spilled all over the floor.  Soda cups everywhere.  Candy wrappers…..3 D glasses and wrappers.  They sneak in Soda in bottles, and candy.  They go get booster seats and leave them in the theater when they leave.  First you go through and pick up big items.  Then with the dust pan and broom you sweep up all the rows.  You only have 5 to 10 minutes and sometimes not even that.  Other theaters are leaving out.  People sit in their seats till the last credits are run.  Everything is timed.  You only have so much time and everything starts over.  It has to be ready for seating for the next show.  The bathrooms have to be checked every hour.  That means clean sink area.  Check and fill soaps, toilet paper in each stall.  Flush if needed and sweep up the floor of all the toilet paper that everyone drops…..”Do they do that at Home?????”…..I bet not.  Next it is also your responsibility to keep the lobby clean.  The popcorn buckets are filled to the max and you can watch them spill as they walk….Its like a trail….Keep the lobby swept and use the push vac on the carpet in the hallways…..It constantly has popcorn spilled on it.  Now about 3 hours in to your shift, your big garbage bins are filled.  So what ever theater is empty, go out the back exit door and empty your garbage.  Just hope its a close theater to the dumpster…..It sure wasn’t last Saturday….The farthest one possible….lol….Now do you still have free time????  Oh yes, so now take your big garbage cans to behind the Concession stand.  Their is a sink area to clean the cans.  Put on your gloves….Put disinfectant soap and water in the barrels….bend down into them and scrub with a sponge with a scratch pad on one side.  The girl who was showing me was down on her hands and knees with her body inside…..OMG…I Tried….Rinse….scrub again and Dry them…….

Now if your closing usher, these are your duties….Go upstairs to the offices and break room.  Take out garbage, vacuum the break room, sweep the stairs….It has a stairs, landing and another set of stairs….Then get the mop and bucket and mop all the stairway……Ohhhhh, I was so sore and stiff.  My knees were shaking and feet down to my toes hurt.  I was suppose to do this myself on Monday.  It was going to be really slow but still….That is a lot of activity.  I went home and told Rich….I can’t do this…I’m to old.…lol…I fully was going to go ahead and work Monday, but I got up Sunday and decided….NO WAY….I Don’t Have Too…So I talked to the GM and he totally understood.  I had to go in and find someone to replace me…..No Problem…On the bottom of my paper for reasoning to not do my shift, I wrote……”TOO OLD”…..They laughed….I Now have a new respect for Ushers.  You kids have so much energy and you work circles around me….But I will say,….in all of this, these kids are so nice.  They do great training and they are very kind.  They knew I was tired, so 2 of the kids let me stand at the Podium for the last part of the evening.   They make it all look so EASY….

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Our Memories of “DEXTER”….The Beloved Pet of Tina, Ed, Miley and Austin

 

 

The evening of August 9, 2017 will forever be a sad day for Austin, Miley, Tina and Ed.  Dex crossed over the Rainbow Bridge that evening.  He was doing what he loves to do.  Enjoying the outdoors and running.  Dexter seen a rabbit and ran across the street in front of a truck.17862656_10209129687744901_6366619141592536283_n

Fortunately Tina and Ed were home.  Ed quickly scooped him up and put him in the truck and drove to McNabb to Dex’s  Vetinarian.  Unfortunately he passed before Allison arrived.  It was a night that they will never forget. The kids, Tina and Ed loved Dexter so much in his short life.  The rest of us all thought that Tina thought of him as her third born child and Austin’s and Mileys brother.  He had 2 1/2 wonderful years of unconditional love by a family that cherished him.  He gave so much love back.  He did a lot of traveling also.  He went to Arizona, Florida, and went on many fishing trips to Wisconsin with the family and Grandpa Dolder He had a very full Happy Life.  So much sadness.  So I want to tell the story of Dexter’s life and how he came to live with his family who loved him.

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So to begin this story I must tell you about Tina.  She has never been an animal lover.  When we had pets she couldn’t understand why we treated them so special.  You know like your children.  She never wanted any pets or any creepy crawlers in her house.  She was just particular.  I remember one day she called me.  I had given her a live foliage plant for Mothers Day.  Several months went by and she seen a bug of some sort on it.  She said, if I wanted the plant to come and get it cause it wasn’t going to be in her house.…..lol….That was just the way she was.  She refused to have an animal because of the hair.  Time went on and Beth, Eds sister had German Shepard’s.  She started to realize that Austin would say he needed to go kiss his brother goodbye when they visited.  So, after some thought Tina decided to look into buying a dog.  Now of course this required research to find a dog that doesn’t shed.   She decided on a Golden Doodle.  She found Windmere Kennels in Saint Charles Michigan.  They had a litter for her to choose from.

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This was the first pictures of Dexter from the Kennel.  Dex was born November 30, 2014.  Tina and the family brought him home Jan 23 2015.

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This is the first pictures of him traveling in his car seat….lol…He was such a little guy.

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Here is the kids playing with him the first days of  his new home.  He quickly learned to love his family and especially his kids.  I think he felt like one of them.  They would play and play till he got tired and had to take a nap.

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This sofa became a favorite of Dexter’s to take a nap.  He looks so small here.

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Then he learned what snow was.  He loved to go out and play in the snow.  He would try to eat the snow flakes as they fell.  Last winter he had fun playing with Aunt Beth and the kids and Mars…..

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Finally time to meet his groomer.  As you see Dexs’ ‘hair was very curly and close.  It grew fast around his eyes, but it didn’t shed.

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He had the most Beautiful dark eyes……You could read his thoughts almost…..

So his grooming days began.  He met Shaina, his groomer.  Tina said he would spend his day in the Spa, getting a bath, clipped, brushed, probably toenails trimmed….just pampered….And he loved it…Every time he came home, Shaina put a new bandana on him.  He looked so cute.   921_1502458645905.jpeg

His favorite toy was Ali the Alligator.  I believe before he was done, he had went through 2 Alis.  He would chew them up and throw them around.  Of course the kids got involved also playing tug of war.  Soon he learned to chew things….lol…loved clothes in the laundry room or bedroom.  Soon gates went up.  Laundry room,  Play room, and Living room.  He was isolated to the Kitchen tile floor unless he was with his family.  Mileys room was off the kitchen, so if her door was open, he would go in and steal her little plastic toys.  Dex was pure puppy.  With everyone being gone all day to school and work, he learned very quickly to potty train himself.  Then Tina told me she had taught him to ring the Christmas bells on the door to go outside…..

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Really,  I wouldn’t have believed it if I didn’t see it.  He would run up and ring them and wait to go outside.  But of course he also learned that it was a way to just go out and play when he wanted too….Yes he was smart.  One day I got to thinkingWhere did Dex sleep.  So I asked Tina He sleeps in bed with us.  She had tried to keep him in the kennel on the floor, but he would cry.  So she put the whole kennel on the bed with them.  So now we have Tina, Ed, Miley, Austin and the Kennel with Dexter in it…..Thank Goodness it is a king size bed I don’t think he ever left, just the Kennel did.  lol……..   Tina made sure he enjoyed all the holidays with the kids.918_1502458717129.jpeg913_1502458742002.jpeg

First was Valentines Day, then St. Patrick’s DayEaster came and Dex even met the Easter Bunny.

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Yes, Dex had stole the heart of Tina.  Tina had fallen in love with this little furry puppy.  He had the best life.  Everything a puppy needed as well as so much love from his mom and dad and kids.  We use to laugh and wonder….If their was a fire,….Who would she save first…..Dexter? or the Kids? ….17952843_10209180584137279_8964095378149513719_n

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He had so much fun helping the kids look for Easter Eggs….lol….He also enjoyed Aunt Beth and his cousins Mars and Schultzy.  Schultzy has also since crossed over the Rainbow Bridge. ……… I bet their playing together right now.  Remembering their families…….17904146_10209180593017501_4739250048408324317_n

Just look at all this good stuff.  Believe me, Dexter would try to steal and eat it too.  He would grab things, and you would chase him around the living room.  He always moved faster than you.  He would get down on his front paws and tease you and run.  Finally he learned that if he stole something to eat, just go behind the sofa and nobody sees you.  He had a stash back their.  So Tina had to try to wall that off from him.  He was definitely a child.  My first time I met Dexter was when we came back from Texas.  He knew no strangers.  He loved everyone.  We brought back a Piñata and had a party in the side yard in McNabb.

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Aunt Beth came and MarsTina teased both of them with Spider-Man.

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Then we hung Spider-Man  up in the tree.  She tried to get him to hit it…..Nope none of that….Tina asked me to babysit for him, as they were going to Dakotas for Mileys Gymnastics meet.  They would be gone a week.  So I spent the nights their so Dex had someone to be with.  I knew Tina had put in a camera in the living room pointed at the kitchen to be able to watch Dex while she was at work.  So one evening I’m watching tv and all of a sudden I hear…..”Deeeexter…..Deeeexter”……What was that????…..Then that evil laugh….lol….The camera also has a microphone too.  She was watching…..Dex picked up his head and looked.  He knew it was his mom.   Then some time that week, he was playing in the living room and I fell asleep.  I woke up to this:

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Ohhh No…I’m in trouble cause I’m not watching him…..I stuffed everything back in and that little smarty pants kept nosing underneath and pulling out the stuffing.  Then, another nite, I’m playing ball with him.   He loved to play fetch.  I would throw into the kitchen, he would go get it and bring it back.  A great game until;   I threw to high and took out one of the light globes on the fan.  Now what to do…….Confess?  or try to buy one and replace it.  but…..It was a straight shot from the camera lens.  She could be watching as I did it…..So finally decided, confession was the only way out.   Yes, I was a bad babysitter.  Tina said when she told Miley, Miley said……”What, Why is grandma throwing in the house.  No throwing in the house”…….So we got through that.  But Dex was fine…..I believe that was the summer Tina and Ed took a quick trip to Arizona to help her friend Nikki move to Lake Havasu Arizona.  14095708_10207304214549212_3840827665641782041_nTina and Ed and copilot Dexter made the trip….Dex loved to travel.  He was so good in the truck or in the car.  He loved his Dad.  14980839_10207890682570546_6508290405288426168_nHe also took a trip to Florida.   Tina, Miley, Austin and Dexter went with Tammy, Cassidy and Carly to Florida for a week.  The purpose was to visit Gertie, who was our landlord/neighbor when the girls were born.  Gertie was very close to the girls.

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So another road trip.  Dexter got to play at Ft. Meyers beach in Florida.  So he has done a lot of traveling in his short days.  He also spent many family fishing trips in Birchwood Wisconsin on the lake.  Grandpa Dolder plans fishing trips their 3 to 4 times a year.  He comes from Wyoming and the Dolder family gets together for a week.

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Dexter loved it up their.  He loved the boat. He loved fishing with his dad and kids.

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As you see he was so loved by  Austin and Miley.  He had so much freedom in Wisconsin to run and had a great time with all the family.  He always loved the ride.

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He loved spending time with Grandpa Dolder and his cousin,  Rea.  She is Ed’s sisters youngest daughter.  Grandpa Dan wrote on FB and mentioned some fun times he remembered with Dex.   One day Rea and Miley was getting dressed.  Miley had her swim suit on.  She put one leg in her shorts and Dex grabbed the other leg…It was a tug of war.  Miley started yelling “Help Help” and laughing the whole time.  Grandpa Dan videoed it.  He said it was so funny.  You never knew what Dex would think up next.  Austin would play at night with the flashlight.  Dex would try to catch the beam of light….He would flash it all over with Dex chasing it.  Grandpa Dan videoed that also……Grandpa Dan said….”Great Memories

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Christmas is always big in the Dolder house.   Tina starts with the Advent Calendar.  Everyday, the kids would get a little bag of goodies….even Dex….Tina said he knew exactly what it meant.

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Now Birthday…..Dex and Austins birthdays were close together, so they had a little party together.

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This is Dex’s first Birthday Party….and here is his second birthday…..I don’t think he really liked his hat….lol…

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On Mileys birthday, she decided she wanted a birthday cake that looked like Dexter.  So Tina had someone make it and cupcakes.   It looked just like him….It looked so realistic.

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He also celebrated Halloween …..Tina always took so many pictures….lol…

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He also had pictures taken with his kids first days of school….This last picture is this year past school year.  Miley was going into 2nd and Austin Kindergarten.  Tina told me anytime I babysat and took the kids to school, Dex had to go to..  He wanted to take them to school too…..You can see what Dexter meant to the Family…..He was practically another kid.

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One day this spring Dex got sick.  Tina called the Vet, but she said to just give him a few days.  She didn’t want to leave him home, so her boss let her bring Dexter to the Circuit Clerks Office at the Court House.  He layed on the blanket and slept all day like a good boy.  He did get better, he just had an upset tummy.

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This year he was even the Team Mascot at Mileys Softball Team….He had so many friends.  All the kids loved him.

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On Tina’s Birthday, she received balloons from Ed and the Kids….This year when we were back we had the Piñata at Granville park.

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Austin also graduated from Kindergarten this year, so Tina had a party for him at Fish n Fun.

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They all posed on the Merry Go Round….This would be the last time we saw Dex as we left for Texas after that.  Here’s some favorites of Dexter and Ed…..

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Hers some Favorites of Dexter and Tina…..

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This one is so precious.  It shows how Dexter had grown in the 2 years.  The kids all sitting in the back seat.  Ed had just bought a different truck this summer.  One of the factors was to have a front seat that would seat 3…..That way their was a seat for Dexter.

A few more of Dexter and Austin and Miley….

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He was so Loved…..He is already So Missed…..He had a Wonderful Life even though it was short.  He didn’t suffer long before he left and crossed the Rainbow Bridge.  We all like to believe he is running free now in Doggy Heaven…….

20708431_10210175494169408_5913852293613089044_n……We All Love You Dex……

Back In Harlingen For a Month…

Wow, hard to believe we’ve been back for over a month already.  Back to the everyday life.  So what is that…..

Rich is working on the rental trailers.  When people move out, their is always repairs or updates to be done.  He just finished replacing a floor and drawer area in the bottom of a closet that had rotted.  Now he is working in another that had a water leak in the kitchen.  New plywood and flooring, and also the counter top was so bad, that he is now building a new counter top.  He bought a sheet of laminate from Home Depot and had to cut around it and then glue both sides and glue it down.  It is a process but a huge money savings process on a counter that is an odd size.  In this picture, he had just cut it to size.  He will then take it off, glue the bottom of the laminate, and the top of the base of the counter.  He will then put the dowel rods on top of the base on the glue surface as in the picture.   Then he will lay the glued laminate down on top the dowels. Then starting on one end of the counter, he will take out the dowels one at a time, pressing down the laminate to the counter making sure their are no air bubbles.  Then he will cut a strip and do the edge the same way.  After dry he will use a router on the edge to cut it to a smooth finished edge.

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I am back at the theater, Cinemark 10.  I only work the outside box office.  During the school months the Box Office is only used on weekends.  Otherwise the tickets are sold at the Concession Stand.  I have been getting an average of 20 hrs a week give or take a few.  But the business has lessened during the week because school is beginning soon.  Starting next week during the week the tickets will again be sold at the Concession Stand.  Now I will only be getting weekend hrs.  But that ok, it is still something.  My week days will again be free.  It has been interesting in this job.  I have again met many nice customers.  I enjoy the joking that can be in 30 seconds of contact as you sell a ticket.  Some people are so spontaneous.  But then their are others.  I have been chewed out in Spanish on the Phone.   Box Office is also the switch board per say of the theater.  I answered one day and the man spoke in Spanish.  I said, “Sir I’m sorry I don’t speak Spanish”.  Now usually they change to English at this point.  Did this Guy????…..No….His voice raised and he again ranted in Spanish.  I again repeated  ”I don’t speak Spanish”  I would get a Spanish speaking person on the line.  Well, his voice raised HIGHER and LOUDER…..I can only imagine what he was saying.  So I got a manager and guess what…..He Hung Up…..lol  Oh Well…..        Another lady called one day.  Now keep in mind we have 10 theaters playing 10 or more movies.  She asked me what movies we were playing, what times, and what time did each end.  Now each movie also plays an average of 4 times a day…..Do I have time for that with customers at the window????  Nope…..Tried to be nice, but she was rather abrupt and finally hung up….Everything is online you know….About a half hour later she called again and asked about 1 specific movie.   So much easier to answer that.   Another time nobody was at the window and a customer called.  As I was answering her question, a lady and her husband came to the window and started to order their tickets.  I held up my finger saying, 1 minute please.  She stormed through the theater doors.  I was done with the call and she came out.  I apologized to her and said I was taking to a customer…..She said rather blatantly and rudely,…..”Well, I Am A Customer Too”…..He husband muttered something to her and she said, “Well never mind, Just give me my tickets“.  But most people are very nice.  I have a couple who come at least once a week.  He usually brings several pages of jokes to read.  Also a very odd old man who wears a big straw hat.  He has turned out to be the most pleasant man to talk too.  So many people come regularly because of our prices.  You see we are a discount or second run theater.  Therefore our prices are cheap.  Week ends are the most expensive….$2.79 a ticket.  Tue and Thur….$2.17 a ticket.  Monday….Groups of 3 or more $1.30….Seniors….$1.68……Wed. Discount day for all …. $1.41 for all……Most people are happy about the prices.  But you have no idea, how many people complain….”What, I thought you were the Dollar Theater” …….Go to the big citys…Check their prices…lol20170726_125930

Temperature has been running around 100 degrees.  My Box Office has A/C of course.  The other day it started raining, and it came down in sheets….It was beautiful…The temperature fell.  My windows were fogging up and it became hard to see.  I realized finally, I was getting really cold….Now that’s a new concept…Cold….I went and checked my thermostat and it was set at 61 degrees….Wow…No wonder, so I set it back at 70.  All in all it has been another experience to add to my list. It’s the first time I’ve ever handled a register.  It’s touch screen.  Once you learn it, it’s really easy.  All the employees are really nice.  Of course their mostly kids.  Some will be going off to college soon and some back to high school.

While we were in Illinois, Richs’ shed was delivered.  He needed a shed to put in his tools.  So he ordered a shed from Sam’s Club.

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So this was a shed that came in 3 million pieces, with pages of directions and pictures….OMG….so that mess is suppose to make a shed,……and it was so hot….So you work in the morning for awhile and then at nite.  I almost passed out one day, well I felt like it….lol….Finally a week later with several other guys helping he got it done.20170707_150420

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He now has a place for his tools.  We have a washer and dryer inside.  He built 2 work benches, so now he is set.20170616_194014

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Ive finally been spending time at the Pool.  The pool is around 88 degrees.  So so nice.  This is the view as you lay on your back sunning in the pool.  The gorgeous Palm Trees..…They just blow in the wind.  It still doesn’t seem possible that this is my life now.  I can do this everyday if I choose too.  I still think of the people at Advantage where I worked.  They are doing the same ole drag day in and day out…..Their is hope out their….Just takes time……My message again is “SAVE YOUR MONEY….PUT IT IN THE 401K”….After a nice dip in the pool and floating on a noodle,  lol, now time for the Spa/Hot Tub.  Ohhhh just feel those jets pound on the sore muscles.  This is the Life.      Last week we went to South Padre Island.20170716_145340

We drove to Access 6, which is free parking and entrance.  Rich had our chairs and walked up the ramp and down to the beautiful sand beach.  We found our spots in front of the Life Guard.  It was a beautiful day.  Even though it was near 100 in town, it was a wonderful cool and breezy temperature at the beach.

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This was the gorgeous view down the beach towards all the hotels and Beach Clubs.  Many people were out but it wasn’t crowded.  The water was so nice.  Wasn’t cold at all.  You could just step right in.  I walked out till it was up past my waist.  The power of the waves felt so good as they pulled you back to shore and then back out.  When it got to be hard to stand, I decided to go back and sit and just enjoy the sun. 20170728_151000

So many Sea Gulls were their.  They were watching all the picnickers and waiting for free handouts.  Sometimes they just congregated in groups and faced the Gulf and just stood their.  They were fun to watch.  We just sat their and listened to the pounding of the waves….coming in….going out…over and over.  The sounds of the Sea Gulls, and the kids and family’s on the beach.  Laughing and Playing.  Finally time to leave.

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Behind us the Beach Patrol had stopped and was visiting with the Lady Life Guard.  Now we were hungry.

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So we headed to everyone’s favorite…..Louie’s Backyard.  Well lets say one of everyone’s favorites.  Their are so many all the way up and down the beach on both sides of the island.  Louie’s is on the Bayside.  They offer fine dinning, cocktails and entertainment every nite of the week.  They offer an All-You-Can-Eat Seafood and Prime Rib Buffet in the Dinning Room, drinks and snacks on the patios by the Bay or an abbreviated Menu in the Sports Bar.  That was were we went.  They had home made Potato chips on the bar, and the Special of the nite was Barbequed Ribs.  Ohhhh Yes….That’s what we got….They were fall off the bone good, with lots of gooey sweet barbeque sauce….Yummm…..So, the end of another day….We could have stayed for entertainment on the outside patio deck on the bay but,  we were SO FULL….Time to go home.  So Ill close with a picture of a beautiful Plumeria that is growing in our Memorial Garden.

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It as started from another plant in the park.  All you do is cut off the stalk in a long piece and it will root.  Some many have been started.  This Plumeria was planted last Nov. So it hasn’t even been there a year yet.  We have a wonderful gardener in the park that has started it from a cutting and tends to it regularly.  Roberta is such a talented lady. 

She can make anything grow.

 

Part 2…..The Beautiful LBJ Ranch

The front lawn of the Beautiful LBJ Ranch…..Home of our 36th President of the United States…..

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In Part 1, we had finished walking around the front of the house and pool and toured part of the first floor of the Ranch.  Now we are back outside walking around the back.

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Around the back corner was an area of concrete 12” pavers.  As the Presidents guests came to visit, he would have them cast a square and sign it.  The are all arranged in an area around a patio.  This particular one was signed by John Glenn in 1962, our astronaut.

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At the back of the house was a large driveway area and parking.  You can see how the house has been added on to through the years.  Now as we looked to the right, here is the Secret Service Command Post.  The Secret Service maintained a presence with the Johnson Family for 46 years, beginning  when he became vice president in 1961.  When he became President in 1963, the Secret Service maintained a 24 hour protection for the family.

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After the Presidents death in 1973, a Security detail still remained with Lady Bird until her death on July 11, 2007…..Making her the longest protected First Lady in the Twentieth Century.  This building is closed right now.  Funds are being raised to replace a new foundation and then restore the building so it can be opened to the public.

After reading this, It gave me some food for thought.  The cost of the Secret Service protection is huge considering the years they serve the President and family.  I do realize it is necessary and deserved even after leaving office for the President and First Lady.  Our presidents are getting younger.  President Obama has many years left.  But now look at President Trump and his wife Melania.  He is 70, but she is only 47.  Just think of the cost it will entail in the future years.  Even if Trump dies before her, she is young.  She is used to a jet set life style.  She is use to traveling and living to the fullest.  She will not be living out on a ranch or small town area.  Melania will always have the best.  The only way she will loose Secret Service coverage is if she would remarry in the future.   I am not trying to bring politics into this, but it is just some food for thought…….Lots of Money….

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Behind the Secret Service Command Post is a series of dark green buildings.  This was the Command Center.  With in 4 weeks of President Johnson taking the oath for the Presidency in November 1963, after President Kennedys assassination, the LBJ Ranch had enough equipment for a small city:  microwave towers providing 120 channels to Austin, two-way radios, teleprinters, cryptographic machines, and an extensive telephone system with 100 lines.  These buildings housed the switchboard and a 50 kilowatt emergency generator.

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The President was said to be on the phone 18 hrs. a day.  You can see the TV antenna in the back yard rise above the house and the little picture in the upper right is the switchboard in 1965.  Lady Bird remembered it as “the bane of my life….aesthetically”…..This picture is from 1965 and I noticed the 2 new bedrooms and the pool have not been added yet.  Next we came to a glass enclosure containing 2 cars.  We had passed these on our way into the house to begin our tour.

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These were the cars of Lady Bird Johnson,  2 Lincoln Continentals.  It was rather hard to take a good photo because of the glare on the glass.  We went to another building called The Klein Shop.  It used to be the maintenance building for the ranch.  Now it is the museum for LBJ’s car collection.

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This is Lyndon and Lady Bird crossing the Pedernales River on the dam in 1959.  This is a 1934 Phaeton, featuring a V8 Lincoln Zephyr engine.  He added a Rifle rack, Wet Bar with Water Faucet, and steel plating underneath to prevent damage.  He took his guests hunting on the ranch to escape the stress of politics.

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These are 1967 and 1968 Lincoln Continental Convertibles.   They featured Suicide doors, Power Windows, Power Door Locks, AM-FM Radio, 8-track Tape Player, and VHF Radio.  He always purchased them from an Austin Dealer, Roy ButlerMr. Butler always made sure Mr. Johnson always had the first new Convertible in Central Texas each year, always white with a tan leather interior.  He loved to ride guests around telling his story’s.

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This is a 1962 Amphicar.  Manufactured in West Germany.  This was the only mass produced civilian amphibious automobile.  3,878 were built between 1961 and 1968.  Color choices were,  Beach White, Fjord Green, Regatta Red, or Lagoon Blue.  He would love to take guests around and pretend his breaks went out when approaching the river or a lake.  Then he would just glide right in and shock them….lol…In this picture, Lady Bird is on the front of the boat with a cup in her hand, and LBJ is driving his car.

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This was a 1915 Fire Truck Type 12 American La France restored.  It is a beautiful peace.  It was gifted to him on Nov. 1964 by the people of Brady Texas.  It was also used for many years as a tour vehicle on the ranch.

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President Johnson used Cushman golfcarts to bring his guest from the airstrip to the house.  In this picture Senator McGovern had just flew in to seek advice and support on the 1972 Presidential campaign.  On the back is Sargeant Shriver and Lady Bird listening, and of course their dog Yuki.  The tour at the house was now done.  We walked back past the Airplane Hanger/Visitor Center and headed for our little pickup.

 

It was really bittersweet to leave.  I could have hung around their all day just relaxing and exploring by the river.  Sitting up by the house under the oak trees.  Just imagining the hustle and bustle , or all the barbeques and guests that had walked these grounds.  We would now be heading east on the taxi strip past the entrance to the runway, to the road that we came in on.  On the way we spotted a cute Jack Rabbit.

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I had to really zoom this picture as we were much farther away.  He got scared and ran for the fence.

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Then he ran across the road into the tall grass, not to be seen again.  This picture looks almost fake, but it is real, but zoomed in.  He was moving really fast.  Finally we were on the ranch road that ran along the banks of the Pedernales River.  We again we driving through the overhang of the beautiful Oak trees.  We passed the home on the left that was Lyndon Johnsons Grandfather, Sam Ealy Johnson Sr.  Little farther down the road on the right side along the banks of the River was the Johnson Family Cemetery.

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Most of the people buried in the cemetery are related to Lyndon Johnson. His great grandmother, Priscilla Bunton, was the first person buried here. She passed away on April 28, 1905, during a violent storm, and her family was unable to cross the flooding river to lay her next to her husband in the Stonewall Community Cemetery. The family chose a grove of live oak trees on property belonging to Lyndon Johnson’s grandfather for Mrs. Bunton’s burial site. Her gravestone is the white Georgia marble marker with the lamb on top. In 1937, LBJ’s father, Sam Ealy Johnson, Jr., was buried in the cemetery. Sam Johnson had been a state legislator who was much admired for his work.  In 1946, Frank Seaward, a rock mason from Stonewall, built the wall enclosing the cemetery. The wall was constructed to give identity to the cemetery, as well as to minimize the harmful effects of Pedernales River flooding. Repairs were made on the wall after major floods in 1952 and 1959.

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The most prominent gravestone in the cemetery is the gray one with the Martin name on it. Frank and Clarence Martin were President Johnson’s aunt and uncle. The President bought the ranch from Frank Martin in 1951. President Johnson’s gravestone is the tallest marker in the main row. To the right are his mother, Rebekah; his father, Sam Ealy, Jr.; and his paternal grandparents, Sam Ealy Sr. and Eliza. To the left of the President is where Mrs. Lyndon B. Johnson is laid to rest. The remaining headstones belong to the President’s brother, Sam, and his three sisters, Rebekah, Josepha and Lucia. Rebekah’s husband, Oscar Bobbitt, is also buried in the main row as well as Lucia’s husband, Birge Alexander.

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The President’s Funeral
President Johnson’s body lay in state at the LBJ Library in Austin, and then in state in the Capitol Rotunda in Washington, D.C. President Johnson’s funeral at the LBJ Ranch took place on the cold and rainy day of January 25, 1973. He once told Mrs. Johnson, “When I die I don’t just want our friends who can come in their private planes. I want the men in their pickup trucks and the women whose slips hang down below their dresses to be welcome, too….” Hundreds of people attended the funeral, which was conducted by Reverend Billy Graham.

While living at the Texas White House, President Johnson loved to visit the cemetery. He said, “I come down here almost every evening when I’m at home. It’s always quiet and peaceful here under the shade of these beautiful oak trees

This is such a beautiful cemetery.  It is peaceful, and so serene.  I can see why he loved it here.  I’m sure he spent many hours thinking about family, his childhood, and about this being his finally resting place also.  I’m sure he contemplated many of his decisions of the country as he sat under these oak trees.  How ironic that just across the road and down a short ways was the home that LBJ was born in.

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The original home was torn down in the 1930’s.  President and Mrs. Johnson had it reconstructed in 1964 as a guest house.  It was never intended to be an actually copy of the original, but it is close.  The original home was built in 1889 by Johnson grandfather, Sam Ealy Johnson Sr.  Lyndon’s parents moved here after their marriage in 1907.  Lyndon lived her for 5 years before moving into Johnson City.  We drove further down the road to the last building by the main gate.  This is the a Junction School House the Lyndon attended at the age of 4.

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This school was built in 1910 to serve the rural inhabitants of Gillespie County.  It did just that for 37 years, teaching the 3 R’s.   Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic.

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Lyndon attended this school in 1912.  Their were about 40 students, girls on 1 side and boys on the other.  This was the beginning of his education that would guide him in his passion as a teacher, and eventually become President of the United States.  He eventually signed over 60 educational bills into law, more than any other president.  He even came back to this school house for the ceremony to sign one very important bill.   Sitting at a picnic table on the lawn of the Junction School with Miss Katie Deadrich (his first teacher) at his side, President Johnson signed the Elementary and Secondary Education Act on April 11, 1965.26-esea-1965-bill-signing-lyndon-johnson-kate-deadrich-loney-bw-600

We were finally done with the tour and headed back to Johnson City.  We had just enough time to stop for dinner at a fabulous Barbeque restaurant.  Excellent.  Back to the Motor Home, pulled in the slides and away we went……1 PM….right on schedule…..We had thought about goint to Austin….but….It was time to head for Harlingen….Enough Play…..Time to get back to a Normal Life style….lol….One thing I didn’t touch on was Lady Bird….

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Now remember back at his Boy Hood Home in Johnson City we were told, the Johnsons married smart women, educated and with money.  His mother was very educated and was a teacher.  So this is a little about our First Lady.

Lady Bird was born:   Claudia Alta “Lady Bird” Johnson (née Taylor; December 22, 1912 – July 11, 2007)  She was named after her mothers brother Claud.  Her nursemaid Alice Tittle said she was as “purty as a Lady Bird.”  The nickname stuck for the rest of her life.  Her father and siblings called her Lady, and Lyndon called her Bird.  She even used Lady Bird on her marriage certificate.  She was a well-educated for a woman of her era, she proved a capable manager and a shrewd investor. After marrying Lyndon B. Johnson in 1934 when he was a political hopeful in Austin, Texas, she used a modest inheritance to bankroll his congressional campaign, and then ran his office while he served in the Navy. She bought a radio station, followed by a TV station, which generated revenues making them millionaires. As First Lady, she broke new ground by interacting directly with Congress, employing her own press secretary, and making a solo electioneering tour.

After being introduced to Lyndon by a friend, 0n their first date, Lyndon proposed. Lady Bird did not want to rush into marriage, but he was persistent and did not want to wait. Ten weeks later, Lady Bird accepted his proposal.  The couple married on November 17, 1934, at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in San Antonio, Texas.

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Unfortunately Lady Bird had 3 miscarriages, but finally  they had two daughters together: Lynda Bird (born in 1944) and Luci Baines (born in 1947).   Lyndon and Lady Bird and their two daughters all shared the initials LBJ. The daughters lived in the White House during their teenage years, under close scrutiny of the media.
Both daughters married. Lynda Bird married Charles S. Robb, who was later elected as Governor of Virginia and U.S. Senator. Luci Baines married Pat Nugent and, later, Ian Turpin. Lady Bird had seven grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren at the time of her death.12ladybird-2-600

Lady Bird Johnson was a lifelong advocate for beautifying the nation’s cities and highways (“Where flowers bloom, so does hope”). The Highway Beautification Act was informally known as Lady Bird’s Bill. She received the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest U.S. civilian honors.  Her love for flowers is apparent at the ranch.  Their were acres of wildflowers growing in their natural state.  In closing of this blog, I came across a picture that I will never forget, nor will the people who lived through the era of the 60s’.  I still remember that weekend of the assassination.   President Kennedy was assassinated on Friday.  That afternoon the Presidents body was loaded on Air Force One and this picture was taken before they left Dallas.  It was on tv and all the new media.  ………A Moment in History…..Vice-President-Lyndon-B-Johnson-is-sworn-into-the-office-of-the-Presidency-aboard-Air-Force-One-hours-after-the-assassination-of-Presi

When President Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, President Johnson was sworn into office aboard Air Force One in Dallas before they took off.  Mrs. Johnson was by his side as well as Mrs. Jackie Kennedy, the Presidents now widow.  Mrs. Kennedy still had her pink suit on, blood spattered from her husbands blood.  She never changed it till morning.  They wanted her to change clothes, but she said “No, let them see what they have done”.  President Johnson finished out this term and was elected to one more term of 4 years.  He then declined to run again, knowing his health was not good.

He was a Great Man, Lady Bird was a Great First Lady….They made a Wonderful Couple.  The built a Wonderful Life and a Legacy to Last an Eternity….

 

 

 

Part 1…..The Beautiful LBJ Ranch

 

THE HOME OF OUR 36TH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES….LYNDON BAINES JOHNSON…..

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The next morning after we had visited Lyndon Baines Johnson’s Boy Hood Home, we got up early.  We were going to head 14 miles west of Johnson City to the LBJ State Park, the home of the LBJ Ranch also known as the Western White house while President Lyndon Johnson was in office, from 1963-1969.

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When we checked in the day before, the manager said we could see it in plenty of time in the morning and she would let us check out at 1pm instead of 12.  So we were up early so we could be their by 9 am.  We arrived and went to the Visitors Center and obtained a free park pass.  You can buy a CD Guided Tour tape, but we didn’t purchase it.  They had many very nice souvenirs of course.   So we headed to the Ranch.  We found out the Ranch House guided tours were on the hour.  Tickets are sold at the Airplane Hanger.

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We proceeded along the road.  We followed the road on the south side of the Pedernales River all the way to the edge of the property on the east side.  We crossed the little bridge on the river and made a left and entered the LBJ Ranch.

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We wanted to be at the hanger before 10 so we passed the School House, his Birthplace Home, the family Cemetery where LBJ and Lady Bird are buried and other family homes knowing we could see them on the way out.   We followed the Pedernales River now heading back west towards the Ranch that sat on the shore facing the beautiful river.

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The trees on the drive were so beautiful.  Big old oak trees.  Along the way we also passed many cattle.  They were roaming free.  The homes had fences around them so the cows wouldn’t go up to the houses.  lol.

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The LBJ Ranch is still a working ranch and these are descendents of his original herd.  This little baby just stood their and looked at us.

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Now this one found a way to itch his back.  He was moving back and forth rubbing on the tree branches with his eyes closed.  He must have been in heaven.  lol.  We made it almost to the house and the gate was closed.  We had to make a right turn and headed north.  Now what we didn’t realize was, that their was a airstrip on the ranch.  President Johnson would fly in on a jet.  So we had to go north around the far end of the runway to come back to the house.  It was full of pasture land, all fenced and kept in perfect shape.  after we looped around the end, we came upon the Cattle Show Barn.

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Their were several very nice buildings and many pens to separate the cattle.  We could have stopped but we had to keep going to make the 10 am House tour.  We followed beside the runway all the way to the ranch.   And their it was.  …..Amazing….. in front of us was the “Air Force One and a Half”, as President Johnson called it.

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This is a Lockheed JetStar VC-140.  It had a crew of 3, 2 pilots and 1 stewardess.  Its maximum speed as 605 mph, Cruising Speed, 520 mph, Range, 2,200 miles, with a service ceiling of 45,000 ft.  In 1953 Lyndon Johnson constructed a 3,000 ft. grass landing strip as he was spending a lot of time working in Washington.  By the time he became president a series of improvements had resulted in a 6,300 asphalt air strip.  But when he became president the airstrip wouldn’t support the weight of the Boeing 707, the “Air Force One”.  He would fly into San Antonio or Austin and use this plane to fly to the Ranch.  It made it much easier for him to take his work home.

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It looks so small inside but he really liked this plane.  This plane holds so many memories of so many dignitaries of the world.

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President Johnson looking out the window with his dog on one of his trips.

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We parked in the taxi way as it approached the hanger.  The original hanger is now the Museum/ticket office and the starting place for the tour.  This building held so many items of history.

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This is a favorite photo.  This was a large canvas of President and Lady Bird Johnson in the Museum.  They also had many recorded phone calls that you could listen to during his administration.  It was so interesting to listen to his speech, his choice of words, and Texan accent.  We purchased our tickets and our tour started.  Our Guide was a lady very well versed in the history of the Johnson Family.  She told the story with warmth and knowledge.  She took us out the back door and up the side of the house.  Through a gate and their we were.

 

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We were at the side of the Ranch House or Western White House.  This house has been built on many times during the years.  It was originally owned by his Aunt and Uncle.  He lived down the lane and later in town, but would come out and spend time on the ranch learning  and working the ranch.  In 1951, his Aunt and Uncle extended an offer to  him to buy the ranch.  Of Course he did.  He Loved this Ranch.  He had such wonderful memories as a child here and of the Perdenales River as it ran past the front of the ranch.  He spent many hours playing in the river.  Memories of his childhood were so near and dear to his heart.

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Our guide told us during his presidency, Johnson would hold many staff and other meetings here.  In nice weather they would sit in the grove of Oak trees down by the River.  After their work was done for the day, he would hold his famous barbeques.  If it was very large it would all be catered in and they would eat under the Oaks by the river.  Many famous politicians from the US and abroad would attend.  Most all of them arriving in his plane or by helicopter.  He spent 20 percent of his presidency here.  So as we went to the house, our guide told us we could not take pictures of the inside.  After Lady Bird died, the house was restored to the era of when he was president.  Lyndon Johnson died of a heart attack at age 64 on January 22, 1973.  Now Lady Bird didn’t pass until Jul 11, 2007 (age 94).   She live here as well as in Austin, and spent much of her time with her daughters.  She had saved all the furnishings and historical items so that the history could be preserved.  The house was then restored by the  National Park Service and opened for the Public.  The first room that we went in was the West addition that was were the Presidents Western White House office was.  The inside pictures I will display were taken from the internet.

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In this room was 4 desks.  This was  President Lyndon Baines Johnsons official desk.  Across from him was the desk of his Ranch Manager.  Their was also 2 other desks in their that were from his Washington crew.  One I believe was for his Press Secretary Pierre Salinger.  On the wall facing him was 3 tvs that were always tuned to the 3 major networks.  Now our guide said, “Just Imagine.  All 3 tvs going, 72 phone lines that came into the house ringing, and cigar smoke filtering through the air.  lol.”  Yes, never a dull moment in that house.

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Here is his recliner that has the Presidential Seal on the headrest.  His pillow reads “This is my ranch and I do as I dam please”……We went outside, the next part of the house we could not go in.  It was the original part that his Aunt and Uncle lived in.  We then walked around the front passing some huge Oaks and past the front of the house that was seen so many times during his presidency.

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I remember pictures of upstairs porch with that criss cross railing.  Here is President Johnson, Lady Bird and the 2 girls, Luci Baines and Lynda Bird.

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On the east side of the house, 2 bedrooms had been added on.  Presidents in the front and Lady Bird’s on the back side.  Also a Pool was added.  President Johnson could now just go out his bedroom door to the pool.  The pool is still being perfectly maintained today.

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We passed this piece of concrete that was on the approach to the front door.  It as added when LBJ bought the ranch in Aug 1952.  We then entered the side door and went down a long hallway passing all the room till we entered the living room.  Now all these inside pictures I have again taken from the internet.

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The Living Room had one of the stairways going upstairs.  We unfortunately couldn’t go up.  Lady Bird Johnson called this room “Grand Central Station”, as their were doors in all the walls leading to different parts of the house.  It was always hustle and bustle.

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Interiors of the Lyndon Baines Johnson Ranch also known as the Texas White House in Stonewall, Texas on Tuesday, January 31, 2012. (Austin American-Statesman/Rodolfo Gonzalez)

We were then taken into the kitchen.  It had an Industrial frig as well as industrial stove.  Many large meals were cooked here.  The guide said, that after Lyndon died, his girls remodeled the kitchen for their mother.  The yellow counter that you can see in the corner was replaced with modern counter.  After she died it was all restored to original yellow.  We never seen the Dinning Room, but we heard it was under construction.  We went back down the hall way seeing all the rooms we had passed on the way in.  We seen closets full of their clothes, bathrooms, and a sitting room.  The Sitting Room was once the Master Bedroom, but Lady Bird got tired of waking up in the middle of the night and finding by the Presidents side several members of his staff talking with the President.  So Therefore, that is why the 2 bedrooms were added on.  Lady Birds was very large.  She had a fireplace with a seating area, large windows to look outside at her flowers and a full wall enclosed curio cabinet for her special keepsakes.  A beautiful room of comfortable peace and serenity.

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Across the hall was the Presidents room.  He had a regular hospital light above the headboard.  Of course his 3 tvs were installed, and you can see his table for his Chiropractor treatments.  The guide said his Chiropractor was still living in Johnson City and she was always picking his brain for stories.  Every nite he would get an hour treatment.  He was suppose to be relaxing but he was always on the phone or talking with someone in the room.  After he left the presidency, they returned to the ranch to return to a normal life style if possible.  Lyndon Baines Johnson died at his ranch at 4:39 p.m. on January 22, 1973 at age 64, from a third myocardial infarction (heart attack).

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Johnson was napping in his ranch bedroom when he suffered his last massive coronary, called his beloved Secret Service agent Mike Howard and fell to the floor, almost instantly dead. It was exactly two days after the presidential term he would have served, had he run again in 1968, and almost the same moment that his successor, Richard Nixon, declared a peace in Vietnam that had eluded LBJ and would not last.
After Johnson’s first heart attack in 1955, doctors had told him that if he ever started smoking again, he would kill himself. But almost as soon as he left the presidency, he resumed fierce chain smoking, overeating, and, sometimes, overdrinking. Some of his aides privately muttered that the boss was committing slow motion suicide. But when one of his horrified daughters begged him to stop the cigarettes, Johnson shook his head and exclaimed, “No, I’ve raised you girls, I’ve been president, and now it’s my time!”   I also read that he was laying in bed and called his Agents that he was having massive chest pains.  The Agents found him in bed still with the phone in his hand.  But whether he was in bed or on the floor, he passed in his bedroom at his Beloved Ranch that he loved so much.  He had a life time of memories.  He was born on this land, his spent his childhood learning ranching, playing in the beautiful Perdenales River, later purchasing the property and making and developing it as his own.  He married Lady Bird and raised 2 daughters here.  Then becoming the 36th President of the United States and making this the Western White House So many important decisions were made during his presidency in this house and out under the Oak trees down by the river……..So Much to be Proud of……

Their is so much more that will be in Part 2.  Secret Service Command Post, Communications Center,  Their car collection, Birthplace home, School house and above all The Family Cemetery.  We left the house and seen so much more.  This has been such an inspiring tour so far,  learning so much about our president that I never knew.  We take so much for granted as a child.  We need to appreciate what we have as an adult and learn about our Beautiful Country we have and the Men who Have Made it Great.

……Stay Tuned for Part 2…..

But this is my Most Favorite Picture of the Day…..Rich on “Air force One” and a Half…..

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Boyhood Home of Lyndon B. Johnson, Johnson City Texas

Texas Hill Country is so beautiful.  After traveling mostly in eastern and southern Texas, this was such a gorgeous area.  Full of Beautiful scenery.

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It is the area where the desert meets the high plains and plateaus.  It can feel the harshness of the summer heat and drought, and also the winter storms, the cold and the snowstorms.  It is also the home of the beautiful wildflowers in season, most famous is the Bluebonnets.  This is the area our 36th president (1963-1969) Lyndon B. Johnson was born in and grew up in.  He loved and cherished it all his life.  We finally arrived in Johnson City (named after his ancestors) on Tue afternoon.  We found a reasonable campground right in town.  We had just enough time to find his Boyhood home.  The Lyndon B Johnson Historical Park is divided into 2 pieces.  His boyhood home and other exhibits in town and 14 miles west is the LBJ Ranch, the family home for over a century, his home and also the Western White House during his presidency.

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We decided to find his Boyhood home.  In town we could have seen many things such as history of Hill Country, restored structures of towns past, photos and movies of LBJ and Lady Bird, but it was so so hot, we decided to just see his Childhood Home.

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We was able to park right out front.  it is situated on a city block, comprised of 1 3/4 acres.  It is surrounded by a white picket fence.  Lyndon moved here in 1913 at the age of 5 and lived here for the next 24 years.  He moved from the farm as they called it then, west of town 14 miles, along with his parents and 2 sisters.  His dad, Sam Ealy Johnson Jr. paid $2,925 for the house.  It was called a Folk Victorian house built in 1903 by W. C. Russell, the Sheriff of Blanco Co.  

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As we approached the house the Park Ranger was swinging on the porch.   It turns out we were the only ones for a tour.  It was really causal and the Ranger did an excellent job.

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As we entered the house, this was the first room.  This was the office of Lyndon’s dadSam Ealy Johnson was a State Legislator for 12 years.  This house was originally very small.  It as constructed with a “dog run” or “dog trot”.  The main room is separated from the sleeping quarters by a breezeway that is covered.  It makes for more cool breezes.  It cools and circulates the air when the windows are open.  This room was the breezeway at one time until it was enclosed as a room.

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Off to the side was a bedroom.  This was the Girls Bedroom.  Eventually the Johnsons had 2 more children, a girl and a boy.  They raised 2 boys and 3 daughters in this house.

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We crossed back through the office to the Dinning room.  This was the center room for the house.  Now with time, a room was added on each side of the house off this dinning room.  Therefore, there’s  a door on each wall to a connecting room.  Also they added porches to each corner of the house.  It was surprising to feel how comfortable the temperature was inside the house.  Because of the porches shading the house and the open windows, their was a nice air flow even on 90 degree days.

floorThe back Sleeping porch and porch to the Tub room were screened in.  This also made 2 more doors in the Dining Room.

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This is the kitchen which was quite cheerful.  Because of its location, it didn’t heat up the house in the summer and had plenty of cross draft from the windows.

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One the other side of the Dinning Room was the Parents Bedroom.  Their bedroom was facing the front of the house and they also had a porch.  It was covered but not screened enclosed.

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This was the door to their porch.  They sure made beautiful wooden screen door back then.  Love the detail.  Notice the worn threshold?…..Years of the Johnson family walking and running out the door.

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The next room off the parents bedroom was…..of course the boys…..The parents had to keep a close watch over them…lol…also since this was the farthest room from the dinning room and the fireplace, they had a stove for the winter.  It is hard to see, but Rich spied a bucket under the bed.  …..Now we all know what that was used for….

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Off the boys room was a room they called ….The Tub Room….I believe this was pretty elegant and modern in that era.  Love the picture above the tub.

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This is the screened in porch between the Tub Room and the Dinning Room.   So beautiful isn’t it.  And this design allows the girls to use the Tub Room without going through the parents and boys rooms.  Really quite an amazing design.  Finally, back to the Dinning Room.

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To front of the house was 1 last room, The Parlor.  This was a rather formal room.  Lyndon’s mom was Rebekah Baines, one of the few college educated women in the area.  Education was her passion.  In this room she taught Elocution lessons (public speaking) and Debating techniques to the neighborhood children.  I asked the Ranger more about her.  He said, just remember, the Johnson men seemed to know how to marry women with money….lol….She came from money.  For her first years of marriage and during Lyndon’s first young years, they lived out at the farm, surrounded by other family members as it was owned by an Aunt and Uncle of Lyndon’s.  Life out their was much harder.  So that was when Sam moved the family in town to the more modern home.  She was so much happier to be able to live a more comfortable lifestyle, raise her family and be able to still teach.  I also asked about the authenticity of the furniture etc.  The ranger said it has been restored to 1920s era.  The only authentic pieces of the Johnsons are most of the things in the Parlor.  The furniture is original.   Most everything else in other rooms are replications.

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We walked out the back door to the beautiful yard.  It was full of beautiful Oak trees.  You can see the water system they had rigged up, and in the distance at the end of the path was a small barn for livestock.

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The windmill through the trees….It was a beautiful blue sky day.

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This picture was taken from near the barn looking to the back of the house.  You can see a small shed that I think was used for butchering and smoking meats.

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This is the back of the house.  The kitchen is in the middle, Sleeping porch in the right and the porch connecting the Tub Room on the left.   During the years after the Johnsons lived their, it had been altered and changed quite a bit.  It was given to the National Park Service and with the help of historians, architects, carpenters, stonemasons, and many local business people the restoration was completed.  It was opened in 1973 after 3 years of construction to restore its originality.

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This was an amazing tour to see where this little boy grow up to be the man he became…..

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…..The 36th President of the United States of America….

One can surely see where he received his roots.  His father was a State Legislator.  He helped his dad campaign for re-election and sat in on legislative sessions.  His mother was well educated and taught him public speaking and debating.  His life was formed as a child to succeed in life, to serve the people of the United States.   He was an Amazing Man.   

After we left their, we were hungry, so we scouted around town.  It is a town loaded with little antique shops and stores.  You can only imagine through the years since he was president, the amount of visitors they have had in this town.  All over the country and also the world.  I’m sure many world leaders or representatives and families have shopped in this town on the way to the Ranch.  We found a cute little restaurant that had its own winery inside.  Prices were a little steep, but we had the BEST CHICKEN FRIED STEAK ever.  It as awesome.  Finally back to the Motorhome.

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Tomorrow we would head out to the LBJ Ranch …14 miles west

…..IT WAS MAGNIFICENT….

 

 

 

 

Oklahoma State Capital Tour and Steak and Shake

We were making a small vacation of this delay in Oklahoma City, waiting for the Motor Home to go into the shop.  We had added taking a tour of the State Capital to our list.  Last year we toured the Iowa Capital in Des Moines and was so impressed.  It seems that all Capital buildings are open for either a guided tour or self guided.  We checked out GPS on the phone and found out it was near.  So off we went in search of the State Capital of Oklahoma.  Of course traffic these days around capitals seems to be one way with circular drives around the whole complex.  So if you miss your turnoff, around you go again.  So finally we parked right in front.  After asking questions we were told to park in the designated spots of the House and Senate.  Of course they were out of session.  That seems to be the norm.

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On the approach it also looked very stately with a Dome.  But it was not gold gilded like Iowa State Capital.  We found out later Oklahoma’s capitol was designed 95 years ago to have a dome, but the money ran out and the work was not resumed until 2001. So for all those years.  The building was just flat, looking very stately but no dome.

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On the top if you look close is an Indian. The Guardian,” his body facing east in an Indian tradition and his face looking south, is 17 feet high but the entire structure, including a spear thrust into the ground at his feet, is 22 feet tall.  “The Guardian” is supposed to reflect Oklahoma’s heritage as the former Indian Territory. Nearly 40 Indian tribes call Oklahoma home, more than any other state.    Upon walking up to the building we realized that we came at the time of a major restoration, inside and out.  Scaffolding was covering a big portion of a wing.  We had boarded walkway to guide us to the entrance which was in the lower level.  Upon entering, of course we went through security and then on to the Visitor Center.  Their was a bunch of high school age kids and their teacher waiting for a tour.  We entered the very nice gift shop and visited with the very nice lady.  We had the option to tour our self or go with the group.  We decided to go with the kids as we might learn more.  A few minutes later our guide came and off we went.  Down the hall and up the stairs, turn, more stairs…..lol….Around the corner and look what we found.

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This is a 9ft.  bronze replica of the statue on guard at the top of the Dome.  On we went with the kids.

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We came to a Beautiful Grand staircase.  We kept going until we came to the rotunda featuring the State Seal.

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It was situated right under the dome.  You could look up through the circular openings in the floors, all the way to the top of the dome.

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It was magnificent.  At the very top is the State Seal and if you look closely you can see different levels that have railings around them.

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We walked up another floor, and looked down at the State Seal.  So impressive with all the granite everywhere.

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Now as we were trailing the kids, the tour guide said, “Don’t you have any questions?…Did you bring your pens and notebooks?”……Of course,  No Response.  They were just their to do the tour and have a fun day out….Notice the railings in the rotunda are all beautiful marble swirled.

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The stair railings were also all marble and wrought iron.  On we went.  The one thing we were disappointed in, was all the paintings or anything decorative and art items had been removed for remodeling.  So the walls were very plain.  But they were remodeling, so that was to be expected.

Oklahoma capitalThis  is what the rotunda looks like with some of the art and paintings on display.  Next we went to the Hall of the Governors.

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This room holds the sculptures of all the Oklahoma State Govenors.

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This painting is my favorite.  It is called “Flight of Spirit”.  The artist is Mike Larsen, who is of Chickasaw decent.  It is just beautiful.

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Here is another painting, depicting the history of Oklahoma.  The colors are so beautiful and vibrant.  Above is a stain glass curved window that lets light in

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Next we went to the Supreme Court.  It doesn’t look quite at large as I thought it would be but it was interesting.  Our guide gave us some good facts that I already forgot….lol…Guess I should have brought my pen and paper.

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‘Then on to the Senate.  The kids all sat at desks of the Senators as the tour guide talked.  You notice the balcony area,  it is open to the public to watch proceedings.  Some of it is glassed of so the noises of the news reporters cameras clicking are not heard.

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Out in the hall we came across another beautiful mural depicting the history of the oil industry.

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Now we entered the House of Representatives.  This time we were at the back of the room.  As you can see the balcony areas wrap all around the room.  If you look close, on the wall are the old fashion black bladed fans that are original and still can be used today.  The ceilings in both houses are stained glass.  At one time, they had been closed and sealed up to  make A/C more economical.  In the last decade, they decided to restore them to original.  They are beautiful.  At this time, it was the end of the guided tour.  We left the group and wandered a little our selves.  We finally left after about an hour and a half.

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Located on more than 100 acres in NE Oklahoma City, the Oklahoma State Capitol is the only capitol in the world surrounded by working oil wells. One is even named Petunia #1, because it was drilled in the middle of a flower bed.   In researching, I found several interesting pictures from the past.

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This one shows the many oil rigs around the capital.  It also shows the capital before the dome was added.  71225-004-CE0ECD1FAnother picture with all the oil rigs.  The capitol building is directly atop the Oklahoma City Oil Field.

Finally we headed back home.  We had 2 more days to enjoy.  I had wanted to go to Oklahoma City Myriad Botanical Gardens & Crystal Bridge.  It would have been so much walking, so we passed on that.  It was really hot so we just enjoyed the a/c, and did caught up on laundry.  We did so some shopping and found a Steak and Shake.

 

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Steak and Shake design of today

 

Now for those of you who don’t know, Steak and Shake started in Normal Illinois in 1934.  I grew up not far from their.  I thought it was only a local or Illinois chain.  They have the best Steak burgers, Chili, Chili Mac, and Chili 3 ways and skinny fries.  They are also famous for their old fashioned shakes…..

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When I was a teenager, they were drive in restaurants.  They offered curb service with carhops or eat in.  We would go to Peoria and cruise Main St.  Drive in and around Steak and Shake and back out again down Main. 

 

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Steak and Shake of the 50’s and 60’s

 

That’s what everyone did with cool cars.  A place for the guys and the girls to met…lol….Now I have found out they are in over 31 states and International.  They are only offer eat-in or drive-through now.  When Peru Illinois first built theirs, Tina was just 16.  She applied and got her first job their.  She just received her license and drove to Normal to get her training.  She did that several weeks.  I was a little leery but she did well.  She worked their for quite awhile.  They are open 24 hours, so she put in some very late nights.  I can’t believe I let her work till 2 am sometimes.  I wonder if that is even legal today.  So long story short, we went in and had a wonderful dinner.  I had my regular, Frisco Melt with fries covered with cheese.  It is 2 Steak burgers with American and Swiss cheese on buttery Sourdough bread, grilled to perfection with their Sweet and Tangy sauce inside.  Rich had a Triple burger and fries.  Mmmmm Mmm…good food.

We had a nice relaxing time at the campground.  We noticed it was so windy their.  Every day it just blew.  Also right by the office was a huge concrete storm shelter.  Oklahoma has so many tornadoes, they have to be prepared.  I was also planning on going swimming in their indoor pool, but the nite before some little kid made a deposit in the pool…..lol….The manager had to clean and drain it.  So much for that.  Finally Monday morning, we were told to be at the Rush Truck Shop at 8 am.  We drove about a mile and entered the yard and got in line.   Well the 8 am appointment ended up 1 pm.  We finally got in and were out by 2:30.  All that waiting for an hour and a half of service.  Oh Well, finally on the road again and heading south.  Next stop Johnson City Texas.  We have always wanted to tour the LBJ Ranch.   For those of you who are young,  LBJ stands for Lyndon Baines Johnson, our 36th President of the United States.  I was surprised how many do not know that.  Even the kids and grandkids had no idea.  I guess that shows our age.  We lived that chapter of history when President John F Kennedy was assassinated and Lyndon Baines Johnson was sworn into office on Air Force One.  We crossed into Texas finally and spent the nite at a campground.  On Tue. we drove on to Johnson City and found another campground.  On the way we had entered Hill Country.  It is the most beautiful area of Texas.

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The trees and landscape were so green.  The road wound up and down and around hills.  Some place you seen what looked like small mountains in the distance.  Such a beautiful area.  After we checked in, we started our touring of LBJs life in Johnson City and the Ranch west of town.   Next Blog……LBJs Boyhood Home and LBJs Ranch on the Perdernales River. Also known as the Western White House during his Presidency 

 

 

Oklahoma City National Memorial

We left McNabb on a Monday.  We went to Galesburg and visited my brother and sister in law.  We stopped and bought KFC and brought it their home and visited.  We then proceeded through Iowa, and down to Missouri and visited our friends Cici and Larry in Excelsior Springs.  We had a really nice visit and took off heading south.  We discovered late afternoon we had a power steering leak about 100 miles out of Oklahoma City.  We slept at a Rest Area, in the morning we unhooked the pickup and drove to the nearest truck stop and bought some to put in.  We headed into Oklahoma City and after several phone calls and stops we finally got an appointment for the following Monday….This was Wednesday……So many shops didn’t work on power steering, and another didn’t have tall enough bays.  We could have kept looking, but we decided to make a little vacation out of it.  We found a campground near by and settled in.  We had lots of nice shade, a picnic table, and near all the shopping and sites to see.  We decided to go see the Oklahoma City National Memorial.  We have seen it twice before but it never gets old.  The first time was when it was just being built back around 2000.  It was only in the very early stages and the reflecting pond and grassy areas was nothing but red red clay.  We seen it completed years later but never went into the museum.  So this was a must this time.

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On the Morning of  April 19, 1995 a truck-bomb exploded outside the Alfred P Murrah Building in down town Oklahoma City, left 168 people dead and destroyed one-third of the building. The blast destroyed or damaged 324 other buildings within a 16-block radius, shattered glass in 258 nearby buildings, and destroyed or burned 86 car.  At that moment of 9:02, it changed the lives of many in Oklahoma City and through out the nation and world also.  Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols constructed a homemade bomb concealed in a rental truck.   McVeigh motivated by his dislike for the U.S. federal government and angry about its handling of the Ruby Ridge incident in 1992 and the Waco siege in 1993, McVeigh timed his attack to coincide with the second anniversary of the deadly fire that ended the siege at the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas.  Ironically McVeigh was stopped for no license plate only 90 minutes after the bomb went off.  He was arrested for illegal weapons possession.  With in several days forensic evidence quickly linked McVeigh and Nichols to the attack; Nichols was arrested, and both were charged.  They were both tried and convicted in 1997. McVeigh was executed by lethal injection on June 11, 2001, and Nichols was sentenced to life in prison in 2004.  These are just the highlights of the story.  It is a very heart wrenching story, but again, another story we must never forget.  Plans were made for this memorial to commemorate all the victims of this needless tragedy and those who survived and changed their lives forever.  This is something that all must see if ever going through Oklahoma City.  It is very easy to get to.  So this is what you will see…….

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Upon walking up to the gate, you will see the original chain link fence constructed to keep everyone out as the debris was cleaned up.  In this fence everyone started bringing flowers, mementos, stuffed animals and remembrances of the victims.  It was stuffed full.  The items are periodically removed and catalogued……and as you see it continues today…..

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This was one that drew my attention…..Chase Dalton Smith 3, and his brother, Colten Wade Smith 2.  They were the only children of their parents.  They were dropped off at the Day Care Center on the second floor.  They were both killed along with a total of 19 children in the Day Care which was at the front of the building.  Their were 4 infant cribs in front of the windows with the youngest being 6 months.  The oldest in the Day Care was 5.  3 teachers also lost their lives.

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This is the gate or wall as you walk up and enter the Memorial. This was actually a street before that went in front of the Alfred P Murrah Building.

20170608_152213This Beautiful Reflecting Pond is what you see as you go through the door way.  As you look around, it is such a feeling of powerful tranquility.  Everything you see has a meaning.  The pond was the original street where the Ryder truck was parked and detonated.  Above the wall behind me at the top is etched “9:01”. 

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On the other wall at the end of the pond above the opening is etched “9:03”.  They represent the calm before, and the moment the healing began.  9:02 was the moment of terror and murder.

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As you look to the right, You see all the beautiful glass chairs.  Their are 168 chairs with 19 of them being of small size for the children.  They are arranged on top of where the Murrah building stood in 9 rows to commemorate the nine stories of the building.  Each chair corresponds to the floor each person worked on or was visiting.  The Day Care was on the Second Floor.

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Here I found Chase and Colten’s chairs.  To see this it definitely tugs at the core of your heart.  Why can anyone do such a thing.   Kill innocent children.

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At nite these chairs are all lite up.  This site of open 24 hours a day for people to enter onto sacred ground for quite reflection.  Each chair has a persons name on it and people will leave flowers or memorials to different ones.

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One the other side of the pond is a large building that withstood the bombing.  It was the former Journal Record Building.  Right in front is the only tree that with stood the blast.  It is a 40 foot tall Elm tree that was located across from the parking lot of the Murrah Building.  The bomb scorched the tree badly. It left glass and shrapnel stuck in its bark.  A hood from one of the cars that blew up was found burning in the crown of the tree.  It is now called the Survivors Tree.  Owners of landscape nurseries, arborists, urban foresters and expert horticulturists from across the state and country have come together to work and preserve this piece of history.  Every year seeds are collected and given to the Nurseries.  They plant the seeds and distribute the resulting saplings each year on the anniversary of the bombing. Today, thousands of Survivor Trees are growing in public and private places all over the United States.

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After we walked up to the Survivors Tree,  we went on to the front of the actual Memorial Museum. 

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This was the Journal Records building at the time of the bombing.  All the windows were blown out but it structurally withstood the blast.  In the front you will see many tiles designed by children all over the United States.  They carefully chose and installed these tiles in the front.  The rest of the tiles have been carefully saved for the future.  On the walkway is some chalk board areas that were installed for the children to draw or write messages.  Up on entering and purchasing your ticket, they have you take the elevator to the 4th floor.  You then work your way down.  Their are so many items and information saved.  Many recordings of survivors, emergency responders, and news people.  The one that really stood out was a room that we entered and we all took a seat.  Across from us was a wall of windows that were solid.  We thought we were going to see a movie.  In this room was the City Water Dept. holding a hearing about an issue.  It was recorded and started promptly at 9am.  As you sat their those 2 minutes seemed an eternity as the hearing progressed.  Nothing happened in the window screen area.  All of a sudden, the bomb went off.  It was huge and massive.  You could hear the chaos, the screaming and the running of the people. 

In that instant of the bomb, the window screens before us lite up with the pictures of the 168 people who were killed in the bombing. 

It was a moment of shock.  It was hard to comprehend the immensity of it all.  This is the only recording of the actual bombing.  Finally we walked out of the room and walked on.  So many displays.

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This showed a door that had been blown and some other debris.

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This picture is of the men’s bathroom that was walled off with windows so we can see in.  You can see the men’s urinals on the wall and the plumbing.   Such Violent forces.

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We finally moved down to the floors where they talked about the investigation.  These were automobile parts found blown up.  The wheel hub actually belonged to the Ryder truck that Timothy McVeigh had rented.  Because of it and another piece they were able to check serial numbers and immediately find out that the truck had been rented to McVeigh.  It didn’t take much for them to put the pieces together.  He had been stopped because he didn’t have a license on his car.

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This was his car,  1977 Mercury Marquis, that he had just bought as his had broken down.  He was stopped just 90 minutes after the bombing.  The Oklahoma State Policeman found he had a gun.

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He was then arrested for Illegal Weapons Possession.   The Authorities put it all together in 3 days and found him still in jail on this unrelated charge.  He was never remorseful of what he had done.  McVeigh was executed by lethal injection at 7:14 a.m. on June 11, 2001, at the U.S. Federal Penitentiary in Terre Haute, Indiana.  Terry Nichols was given Life in prison in 2004.  Their was 2 other accomplices, Michael and Lori Fortier testified against McVeigh and Nichols; Michael was sentenced to 12 years in prison for failing to warn the United States government, and Lori received immunity from prosecution in exchange for her testimony.  Finally we walked out the door.  It was definitely a heart wrenching experience to think that anyone could do such a terrorist attack, especially an American.  How could anyone kill all those innocent children.  Oklahoma City will forever be changed as they honor all the victims and all the people that has helped with the healing process.  They have all been made stronger.  It is hard to believe it has been 22 years already.  And they still come and leave mementos in the fence…..So if your ever in the area,   Please take the time to visit…….

After that we went to the stockyards to a steakhouse restaurant.  We weren’t really impressed….lol…So home we went…..Another adventure was planned for the next day….

Oklahoma State Capital Tour.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Grandkids…..

This year Austin graduated KindergartenHe was really excited.

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They held the graduation in the High School Auditorium.  This was his teacher.  After the ceremony, they went to Spring Valley to the Gold Mine Restaurant that Aunt Connie works at.

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They held a little party for him.  His little Jar is cute.  Tina rolled up $1 bills and tied them like a Diploma.  Put his picture inside and a Graduation Hat on top….Great Idea for any occasion.  We weren’t able to attend it so Tina held a small Party at “Fish and Fun”.  Its a little recreation area with a fishing lake and pool area with 3 different sizes pool.  The lake is lined with houses,  house trailers and camping trailers.  It is only several miles outside McNabb and is Membership only.

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Aunt Beth brought a cake and all the kids went swimming.   I bought him the pump container to fill water balloons.  They all had a good time with that.  Finally got a group picture of them all.

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This was hard.  Cameron didn’t want to cooperate….lol…and then theirs Dexter…

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Austin and Miley have both been involved in Sports this summer.  Miley will be in 3rd grade next year.  She is growing but Austin is growing faster.  Soon, if not already Austin will pass her by.

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Miley has also been involved with the Cheerleaders this year.  They did a performance at a High School game at half time.  She is so tiny and petite, and has been involved in gymnastics since she was 3.  So she can do lots of great moves.

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Here’s the whole family, including Tina, Ed and of course Dexter.  They stopped in Wisconsin Dells on their way up to Wisconsin for their annual fishing trip with Grandpa Dan Dolder. 

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Next we have little Carly.  She was 5 this year.   She is such a “Princess” and she’s so smart.

FB_IMG_1497792040882 She will enter Kindergarten this fall.  This photo is at PreSchool.

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Now this is one of my favorite pictures of her…Her hair is all natural curly and is very hard to control….Pigtails or pony tails are best..

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Her she is sticking her head out of her Mamas new car.  Tammy is in Love…..lol…..with her car….

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Next is her Big Sissy Cassidy….She is 13 this year….Now an “OFFICIAL Teenager”Cassidy went to live with her dad this year.  He lives nearby, and now she’s getting to know her other family which is a good thing.  She spends lots more time with her Grandma and Grandpa.

She comes out to her moms house a lot.  Probably almost every weekend.  So their all working it out.  It’s nice for all of them.  Teen years are tough.  Cassidy will enter 8th grade this fall….Almost High School….

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This is a favorite picture….

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Now for their Big Brother Cameron….He just had his“19th Birthday this month.  We are so proud of him.  This past year he has achieved so much.  Last year in the early spring, he dropped out of High School.  He was so far behind, he would have had to take summer classes, if not another year.  He has struggled all of high school.  He said he was going to get his GED.  We were all skeptical, but he made us all believers.  He enrolled at the Junior College.  He had to take the courses that would build his knowledge in all academic areas up to a certain level, so he could enroll in the GED Class.  He completed them and enrolled in the GED classes.  He finished in Nov and received his GED.  Then, with the help of Uncle Scott, he enrolled in CDL classes at the college and completed them in Feb this year.  Finding a job has been hard as he is only 19 and most company’s wont insure him until he is 21.  But he has found a job with the help of Aunt Tina with AG View FS Fertilizer Company.  He is doing so good and is well liked by the company and all the employees.  As you see the family has been behind him, but only because he has showed so much drive and initiative to complete his studies.  He found his goal to complete the GED and he pushed himself to succeed.  He now gets up everyday on his own, anxious to go to work.  Sometimes he leaves as early as  5:30, and works till 8.  But it is the busy season.  He has come so far this year.

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Scott and Brandy also had a big celebration in their family this year.  Brandy’s daughter Staci, has now graduated also and received her BSN in Nursing.  She will soon be taking the “BIG TEST” to obtain her license and then pick her job to begin her career.  In the mean time, she is helping out at the bar.

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One more photo is my niece Ashley’s little girl, Vivian.  She is Richs sister Connie’s Daughter.  Last year just before we left for AdventureLand, Connie held her Baby Shower.  Little Vivian is growing like a weed and is almost 1……And Guess What…….Vivian will be joined by a new little baby sister or brother this fall.  Exciting news…  The family is growing….

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This is a photo of Scott and Brandy’s Billboard for the bar….”ONE PAW’Z PUB”…..It is located on Rt. 89 at the corner of Main Street into McNabb.   Rather IMPRESSIVE isn’t it.