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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

POST 1441; OCTOBER 28, 2014; WEST HAMLIN, WEST VIRGINIA

I have again failed in my desire to blog at least each week while wintering over in West Virginia.  SAM and ME are still with DALLAS in HURRICANE, some 30 miles West of the city of CHARLESTON on Interstate 64.

Most of our time is spent with DALLAS preparing his lawns and garden for the coming winter.

Must admit, however, that I have found ample time - on an almost daily basis, for with my  "girl" friend and dance partner, SALLY... attending dance classes, going to local evening dances, and practicing.  I had forgotten what emotions are present with a beautiful partner in your arms.  One may ask, ...but, can she dance?   During a recent dance in the city of MILTON, one friend exclaimed..."We have not seen dancing like THAT since High School days ."  I must agree.  For a couple of near Centurians, SALLY and I do OK.

I continue meeting new friends.  Have taken to attend a local  church, of which many are closely scattered among the back country West Virginia hills.  MY church serves a half dozen families living along the MUD RIVER, some 10 miles South of the city of MILTON ... and half way to the town of HAMLIN.  A "homey" group of members are led by local residents, including Sons of SALLY.

The hills of this part of West Virginia are ablaze with COLOR.  Two days ago, I was treated by SUZIE, SALLY's Daughter, to a tour by 4-wheeler side by side all terrain vehicle, into the high country of BUFFALO MOUNTAIN  RIDGE, dead-ending the many HOLLERS (narrow Valleys) reaching in all directions some 1,000 feet below.  As would be expected, the view from up there is breath taking

I regret I have no photos to upload at the moment.  Oh, I have taken lots of lovely pics, but yesterday as I was preparing to create this blog update in the living room of SALLY's modest home, I misplaced the CAMERA to COMPUTER electrical connecting cord.  Must find it - perhaps under the couch - or order a new one from PANASONIC.

 Set out on this walk to SAVE $$ to return to PORTLAND, Maine to retrieve and repair SPIA's Rear-Main Oil Leak.   Have a growing nest egg saved.  Am considering traveling by Bus to fetch SPIA.  With cautious administration of engine oil, should be able to drive to HURRICANE, West Virginia, repair her here, and have local transport in the event (somewhat likely) we remain in West Virginia longer than the planned Winter of 2014 - 2015 ... pleasing at least one lovely lady..

My health remains excellent.  Having a caring hand to hold is proving to be a psychological treasure.




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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

POST 1440; OCTOBER 14, 2014; HURRICANE, WEST VIRGIIA


Some three weeks have passed since my arrival at the home of DALLAS in Hurricane, West Virginia.  Dallas has often expressed his pleasure of my presence, including me in his daily comings and goings, including Friday and Saturday night dances, Tuesday and Saturday Church activities, lunch at the Senior Center each weekday, and visits to friends and relatives.

Have been asked to accompany SALLY - a dance partner - to be her partner each Monday evening to learn Ballroom dancing and has asked me to help her learn the Charleston (Dance), which is somewhat new to me.

Have been asked often if I will stay the Winter in Hurricane.  A series of severe storms have passed through, including dropping snow in some of the higher mountain passes leading East to the State of Virginia.  Looks more and more that I should winter over.

For the past two weeks, have invested five or more hours daily helping Dallas with his home and property maintenance...about one acre and two homes surrounded by extensive grass and gardens.  Very much enjoy  manual labor, and have the grounds looking spiffy manicured nearly 95 percent complete.

Yesterday I , for the first time, drove his riding lawn mower.  Drove it into a drainage ditch, becoming high centered on a buried steel drainage pipe, becoming firmly stuck.  To get unstuck, the pickup truck was used to pull it out.  To properly align the mower, I manually picked up one end and moved the machine about 5 feet out of the ditch.  Was surprised I could lift and move it.  Today, found I strained a tendon  from my hip down my left leg.  Spent the morning manually raking fallen leaves and dead grass.  Seems the injury is minimal as I walked to the  grocery store with little difficulty.




Please say HELLO to SCOTT JACKSON and BRIAN BOOTHE, local Barbers.  $10.00 got me a haircut, only to have my $$ returned after sharing walking stories fo the next hour or so.





Local art applied to a roadside Mail Box.




MURAL painted on a downtown Hurricane building.




Please say HELLO to Mr. HULL, trying out SAM after Senior Center Lunch.

* * * * * * * * * *

Have beecome lax with updating this Blog.  In truth there is much near by to investigate and write about.  Having no transportation - except for SAM, it would take the better part of a day to reach such places.  Should I decide to remain the Winter, am considering purchasing a car, which would cost something under $1,000.00 - less than half the cost to repair SPIA.

We shall see.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

POST 1439; OCTOBER 02, 2014; HURRICANE, WEST VIRGINIA


The three days recently  past have treated me to several longish forays into the low mountains - high hills - of West Virginia, connected by endless roadways - sometimes no more than narrow trails accepting one way traffic.  Yet, each flat spot...each narrow "Hollow"... accommodating a single track seemingly having been traveled just hours before by a wagon of two hundred years ago.

"Homes" popped out of the roadside brush...some no more than a lean-too of rough hewn timbers sagging under the weight of inattention for who knows how man years; next door, magnificent homes with lovingly attended properties stand in apparent denial of not so fortunate neighbors.


Like muffins in a baking tin, 1,000 foot hills radiate out from wherever one might find ones self, separated by narrow steep valleys struggling to keep the hills from joining together - mazes intent on confusing the not so wary visitors to this hidden home land of Hill Billies.
Where towns recently stood...home to isolated mountain folk... stand not even a foundation to suggest someone once lived here.





DALLAS' Sidekick, BUDDY...has taken to my lap a bit of the time.



Each roadway curve brings to life shadow and color of breath taking vistas





















Around the next bend is often found yet another family or neighborhood cemetery...




...hidden deep in the hollows between hills reaching out to touch it's  neighbor.




Carefully tended for nearly a half century after the departure of the last nearby LOVEJOY home, DALLAS' Family Cemetery is a sparkling testament to the dedication by generations 0f LOVEJOYS.




DALLAS strolling through HIS Cemetery...yes, DALLAS carries Title to this land .




In death, LOVEJOY family members command the best of West Virginia views.





Track leading up the hill appears to have not changed much during the past many years.




Adjacent to LOVEJOY homestead lies LINCOLN COUNTY MUD RIVER Recreation Lake...boating, swimming and picnicking a stone throw away.



...  not to mention great BASS fishing.




































Home of the Grandfather of FLORA, DALLAS' Sister In Law, who was caretaker for her Grandfather ADKINS until his passing.





,,,a frontal view ...




Grandfather ADKINS' Cemetery.




ADKINS Cemetery Reception Area.









Continuing deep into the West Virginia Western Mountains, DALLAS' guided his 2011 HONDA some 150 miles, visiting the area some 50 miles South and West of the city of CHARLESTON, City.















"HOLLOWs" actually do exist...



















DALLAS and ME




Please say HELLO to DALLAS, SARA, NICKEA, SLENA, and DARRELL (BUTCH) LOVEJOY.

Living only 15 miles from HURRICANE, DALLAS and I have visited their home a number of times.




Headstone of ELIZABETH, Wife of DALLAS for 41 years.

* * * * * * * * * *

Have enjoyed tagging along with DALLAS activities in and around HURRICANE.  Cold weather is arriving this weekend.  Must make decision to continue to enjoy the hospitality of DALLAS - he has made it clear I am welcome to stay in his home - or cross into North Carolina for the Winter.

















Monday, September 29, 2014

POST 1438; SEPTEMBER 29, 2014; HURRICANE, WEST VIRGINIA


One week SAM and ME have been house guests of DALLAS LOVEJOY in the city of HURRICANE, West Virginia.  I have had the pleasure to work with DALLAS manicuring his and his (recently deceased) Wife's home gardens and lawns, including adjacent West Virginia DOT (Department of Transportation) property - part of Interstate I-64. 

DALLAS has a daily routine, which includes eating lunch at the Senior Center and evening dinner at the local ARBY's ( which restaurant has hands down the best quality and nurishing menu of any Fast Food competitors.

DALLAS has included me in visits with local family, Church events, and two local dances...Western Style.  Our taste in TV options, however, is a bit apart.





Route 60 traveling through the local city of NITRO...at one time after World War I, perhaps the largest gun-powder manufacturing plant in the world.  Putting NITRO in an historical setting, it could be compared to the Japanese City of KOKURA...KOKURA was the PRIMARY Target of BOCKSCAR, the B-29 which instead Atom Bombed NAGASAKI during World War II.  During the KOREAN WAR, I spent considerable time in both KOKURA (Japan's primary munitions manufacturing location) and NAGASAKI.  Two days ago, DALLAS and I received a guided tour of NITRO's Museum of World War I and World War II activities centered in and around NITRO. 



US Army Air Force GLIDER used to land BEHIND German D-Day defended Beaches.  A friend of DALLAS, JAMES STANDARD, was on board this Glider on D-Day and later also landing in Holland.









NITRO as it looked in the year 1918.





NITRO City Water Pipes were constructed from WOOD.  No longer in use, the pipeS remain buryed and are maintained by the local Water District.



World War I NURSE in uniform.










D-DAY Invasion Beaches.  America was assigned UTAH and OMAHA Beaches.

The glider of JAMES STANDARD landed to the East (behind German Defenses) of the French city of STE. MARIE DU MONT ...and, his landing was BEFORE the Allies set foot on the beaches.  JAMES, today 96 years old, was tasked to set up communications in advance of the actual fighting.  JAMES also landed in a glider in HOLLAND before arriving in the Boot of Italy, leading the way to NAPLES, Italy and Northward.



Please say HELLO to JAMES STANDARD...a true American hero.  JAMES told me he wants to  return to Europe to revisit those places for which he played such an important part.




JAMES' actual glider,,,having come to a stop by running into a French Apple Tree.





JAMES and the NITRO Museum Curator.  Thank you for the time with DALLAS and ME.



101st AIRBORNE during World War II.  JAMES is standing a bit left of center on the top row.




GERMAN EAGLE atop the SWASTIKA



A famous World War II Poster depicting ROSIE THE RIVETER...builders of American War Planes.  Historical Note...my Mother, LEONA PEARL (Brockman) MAYNARD worked from 1941 through 1945 at the Seattle BOEING Aircraft Plant, building the famous B-17 FLYING FORTRESS.

In 1942, I, 7 years old, visited Mother's workplace, admiring B-17 Number 500,,,painted with thousands of worker's names on the fuselage.  Mother's name was next to the starboard Side Gunner's position...yes, I stood admiring the airplane, got separated, strolled around for a while, fascinated, before walking to Grandma (MOM) Brockman's home in ALLENTOWN some miles South of the Boeing Plant.





DALLAS introducing me to many of his friends at the first of two Western Daces.



Please say HELLO to DALLAS and his Sister In Law, FLORA LOVEJOY...with whom I did a few turns around the dance floor.





Please say HELLO to the VOCALIST of the Western Dance Band.









Home of "BUTCH", DALLAS' Cousin.




Viewing local wild Deer from the front porch of BUTCH.



Please say HELLO to BUTCH...taking aim with his powerful CROSS BOW,  With his Prosthetic Leg, BUTCH does all manner of things - alone - keeping his property in pristine condition...

* * * * * * * * * *

I have settled in nicely here in the home of DALLAS in the city of HURRICANE, West Virginia.  It will be doubly difficult to say Good Bye when that moment arrives.