2021 Mid-Eastern Road Trip Part 7

20 Oct

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

Day 7 – 7/18/2021

This morning I headed north out of Syracuse on SR-370 about 5 miles to visit the Salt Museum located on the Onondaga Lake in Liverpool, NY.  Salt: that common ingredient that flavors our world, and that most of us can’t do without.  It all started in 1788 when Asa Danforth and Comfort Tayler came to Onondaga County New York, and with the help of the Native Onondagas, erected the first salt works.   The museum has an assortment of exhibits and artifacts used in the early 1800s to mine and process salt.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

Next it was north 30 miles on I-81 to visit the H. Lee White Maritime Museum located at the Oswego Historic Maritime District in Oswego, NY.  The museum is situated in the 1925 former grain elevator freight house and has a variety of rare marine artifacts dating from the 16th century.  The museum also includes the WWII Tugboat LT-5 and the 1927 Darrick Boat #8.  This museum also maintains the old Oswego West Pierhead Lighthouse built in 1934, to replace the original 1880 light.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

Before leaving Oswego, it was only a short drive to checkout the Oswego Speedway.  Known as the “Steel Palace” this track is the “Home of the Supermodifieds” open-wheel racecars.  There was nothing going on at the speedway, so I just found SR-104 and headed west.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

It was some 30 miles west on SR-104 to where I had planned to visit the Chimney Bluffs State Park in Wolcott, NY.  Time was against me, and I knew I wouldn’t be able to see all the places on my list today, so I skipped this park.  I continued west on SR-104 another 35 miles to where I tried to visit the Schutt’s Apple Mill in Webster, NY but they were closed.  So, it was just 15 miles west to Rochester, NY where I visited the George Eastman Museum.  This museum is located in the 1905 George Eastman House (I’d call 35,000 sq. ft. a mansion) and is said to be the world’s oldest museum dedicated to photography open to the public.    

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

I passed up the Charlotte Genesse Lighthouse and continued west another 45 miles on SR-31/31A to visit the Medina Railroad Museum located in the 1905 NYCRR Freight Depot in Medina, NY.  The museum displays antique railroad artifacts and restored rolling stock, and normally provides steam train tours throughout the year.  The museum also has a large model train layout for all to enjoy.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

It was another 35 miles west on SR-31 to where I had planned to visit the Niagara Falls Wax Museum and the Observation Tower.  But arriving in Niagara Falls, I found the entire area absolutely mobbed with tourists.  I gave up any idea of trying to visiting the museum and tower (that was a real disappointment) and headed for the Niagara Aerospace Museum a few miles east.  This museum located adjacent to the Niagara Falls International Airport has a small collection of rare historic aircraft and replicas dating from the 1950s.  Most of these exhibits and memorabilia represent the historical influence of the Bell Aircraft Company and the Curtiss-Wright Aircraft Corporation on this area dating from the 1920s.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

Now it was only a few miles south on SR-265, along the Niagara River, to where I visited the Herschell Carrousel Factory Museum located in North Tonawanda, NY.  This museum is housed in the original 1910 factory complex and displays wood carrousels and other rare artifacts representing the many products this company manufactured from 1833 to 1955.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

Before leaving the North Tonawanda area I drove a few blocks south to check out the National Railway Historical Museum.  This small museum is the Niagara Frontier Chapter of the NRHS and is located in the original 1922 Eire Railroad Freight Depot.  The museum displays railroad artifacts dating from early 1900s and several pieces of restored rolling stock.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

Now I headed south 20 miles on I-195, along the Niagara River to visit The Steel Plant Museum of Western NY located on Lake Erie in the Heritage Discovery Center in Buffalo, NY (known as one of the “Rust Belt Cities”).   The museum was closed, but their website informs me the museum displays artifacts and memorabilia related to the history of the western New York steel industry dating from the early 1800s.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

It was only a short drive south on US-62 to find my motel for the night in South Buffalo.  After I got checked in and carried my things into my room, I warmed up my leftover Baked Lasagna, from the Basil Leaf Italian Ristorante and enjoyed that great meal again.  Yummmm!  

Photo Credit: https://www.thebasilleafrestaurant.com/

—–To Be Continued—–

Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 64 years in Titusville, Florida. He was born and raised in the Southwest, did a tour of duty with the U.S. Navy, attended Northrop University in Southern California and ended up working on America’s Manned Space Program for 35 years. He currently is retired and spends most of his time building and flying R/C model airplanes, traveling, writing blogs about his travels for Word Press and supporting his wife’s hobbies with framing, editing and marketing.  He also volunteers with a local church Car Care Ministry and as a tour guide at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum there in Titusville.  Bill has two wonderful children, two outstanding grandchildren, and a loving sister and her husband, all of whom also live in Central Florida, so he and DiVoran are rewarded by having family close to spend lots of quality time with.

One of Bill’s favorite Scriptures is:  John 10:10

Covid Impressions from our Road Trip

19 Oct

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

September 24th my husband and I set off on a three-week road trip. Due to my husband’s health challenges we chose to do a fairly short trip in miles,  over an extended time period.

 I will be writing about the places in we visited in future blogs. Today is just about Covid and it’s effects on travel. 

We began our trip in Western North Carolina and our first overnight was in neighboring Alabama. According to news reports Alabama had a low vaccination rate and high Covid numbers. Our small town was enduring a rise in Covid numbers and although not mandatory many were wearing masks when out in the community. To my surprise only a handful of the Alabamians that we saw seemed to feel masks were needed. We chose to take our meals in local restaurants when possible, and they seemed to have adequate and cheerful staff.

After Alabama we moved on to northern Mississippi, very close to Memphis, Tennessee. Once again, low mask use but unlike Alabama, finding restaurants that were staffed well was a challenge. One evening we tried two national chain restaurants. One had an hour wait due to lack of staff, the other wasn’t allowed to seat diners unless the hostess cleared all of the tables first. No one was busing tables. Kind of gross actually. We said no thanks and moved on. Another restaurant was drive through only. After three tries we found a local restaurant that was open, staffed, clean and the smoked beef brisket was delicious. Most disturbing, in the chain restaurants, I sensed a feeling of dark heaviness.

We traveled further west to Arkansas. We like to stop at McDonalds on road trips as they usually have clean restrooms but several of them were drive through only, although their bathrooms were open.( Travel tip-chainstore pharmacies tend to have adequate restrooms as well)   Once we arrived at our VRBO in Arkansas we set out to explore the town. We found an excellent BBQ restaurant where one orders at the counter and the food is brought to your table in disposable  containers. When finished, the diner throws containers, cups etc into the garbage. The food was good and the atmosphere was cheerful. Masks were worn but not in great numbers. We drove through a high tourist area and there were a lot of people exploring historic sites and checking out shops.

Our next destination was in north central Arkansas. When we arrived at our rented time-share the road was blocked due to the communitie’s October Fest. We spent a week exploring the area and except for one crafter, no one seemed concerned about Covid. Shops and restaurants were open. Staffing was not optimal but it was adequate.

The first legs of our road trip were fairly short due to my husband being the driver and tiring easily. A week into the journey our daughter and a friend flew into Arkansas to share our trip. Fortunately our daughter was able to help my husband with the driving as we traveled to Franklin, Tennessee to tour an historic home from the Civil War era.

Masks were not required. After leaving the historic home we had planned to indulge in Krispy Kreme( Husband’s vice) doughnuts and coffee. Sadly the indoor seating was closed and a limited variety was available in the drive through. We made the best of it by finding a shady place to park and enjoy our treat. Then it was on to Kentucky, our final leg of the trip.

During our McDonald’s stops we found it interesting that most that allowed inside dining had disabled the self ordering kiosks to prevent the spread of Covid. Imagine our surprise when a McDonald’s in Kentucky asked customers to use the kiosks to prevent spread. We visited The Ark Encounter and The Creation Museum and masks were worn by around 25% of the people. The Ark philosophy was for guests to respect individual decisions.  We found restaurants open and staffed.

Now that I have talked about masks and restaurants, I want to mention hotels. Consistently the hotels appeared to be understaffed with the front desk clerk working on folding towels and managing the breakfast room. I’m not sure how they didn’t lose their minds. More than once we saw housekeeping trying to clean rooms with a small child in tow. 

If you are pondering a road trip, I would encourage you to do it. Life has to go on. Take the precautions that will make you feel secure and safe. We wiped down our rooms with alcohol  wipes and used hand sanitizer obsessively.

Take your spirit of adventure. Some places will delight but others may be different, but isn’t different part of the adventure?  We usually opt for free outdoor activities over crowded  indoor ones. That made it easier to manage our expectations.  Find joy in being with people you love. Build memories to savor.

River Dawn

18 Oct

My Take

DiVoran Lites

River Dawn                                    

By Dora Jane Bedell Bowers

God is Love; God is light,

He protects us through the night. 

He turns morn to birds in flight,

To restore a lovely sight. 

When the morning sun begins,

Then the sound of violins

And the joy of mandolins

God forgiving all our sins

Now the day has just begun

Birds make circles one by one

Underneath a morning sun

Flying birds forever-fun

Silently the morning flight,

Follows from the windy night

First, the Pelican’s delight

Scooping fish, oh, what a sight.

How slowly moves the morning air

As the golden sun shines fair

And Holy Spirit always there

He is here and everywhere

Swirling clouds and sunny blaze

Making headwinds to amaze

Needing glasses to appraise

Like the sun, so go the days

Watching now as pictures dawn

Beneath a tree, a resting fawn

When the darkness comes withdrawn 

I’m ready for another yawn

Sea Gulls float on salty-sea

Blackbirds fill the sky to flee

Flying birds all comfort be

Wing-ed joy entrancing me

Now the dawn has changed its mind

Clouds oppress, the light is blind,

Colors muted, birds are still,

Back to bed, don’t catch a chill. 

Random Memories of Germany, Let’s Eat Part 2

17 Oct

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

I guess what I’m about to write about includes food, so the “Let’s Eat” is still a good title.  You see, I didn’t grow up drinking wine or beer or any hard alcoholic drinks, even with my meals.  So I have never “acquired” the taste for any of it.

And, as a matter of fact, when I was teaching aerobics, I was appalled at the horrible sweat odor oozing from the pours of women who had been drinking beer.  Blech!  That would NOT have encouraged me to drink beer in any form!  So I haven’t.

I must admit, that I have tried – many times – to accompany my evening meal with a glass of wine.  And I just can’t do it.  The taste turns me off.  When I have mentioned this to friends, the usual response is “oh, you just haven’t found the right wine yet!”  And so, when we were in Heidelberg, by invitation I went to a “wine tasting party” in an apartment near where we lived.  After sampling several different wines, I finally found a wine that I thought I could enjoy, and so purchased a bottle to take home with me.  Days later, when I opened the bottle to enjoy with my meal – I found that, once again, it turned me off.  So that bottle of wine was used later in my cooking.

Credit Pixabay

And that brings me to another topic of wine.  Many years ago I was given the recipe for making French Onion Soup.  A friend had made it for a meal, and I was quite taken with it.  Her husband had been a soldier in Vietnam, and had eaten French Onion Soup in a restaurant in Saigon.  He told her it was the best French Onion Soup he had even eaten!  And he had her try every recipe for it that she could find, and then tweak it until it tasted like what he had tasted in Saigon.  This was the recipe I was given.

Credit Google Search and Sharon Uzell-Meek

Well, that recipe called for “cooking sherry.”  Being a good non-drinking Baptist girl, I thought that I should use the “cooking sherry” instead of regular sherry.  When I tried it, I found it to be quite distasteful!  And as someone once told me – “If it isn’t good enough to drink, it isn’t good enough to cook with!”  And I have to agree. 

So from that point on, I have been cooking with regular wine.  The alcohol is burned off by the heat, and the flavor is left in the food.  I find it enhances the flavor of the food deliciously. 

And I still don’t like the taste of wine!

Judy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years .

  Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing. Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.

After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins as well as a great-grandson. She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

Random Memories of Germany-Let’s Eat!

3 Oct

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

I had never really eaten any type of “international” food as I was growing up, just what was around Albuquerque.  You know – pizza, Mexican food, Chinese.  But I don’t remember there being a German restaurant in Albuquerque – at least one I knew about.

So I didn’t really have any kind of frame of reference for what to expect in the way of food when we got to Germany in 1967.  I am most happy to report that my experience with German food was off the charts!  It was wonderful – or as I used to compliment the server – “Ausgezeichnet” (outstanding!!).  That always got a chuckle from the server – whether it was my pronunciation or what the word means, I’m not sure.  But I like to think it left a good impression.

And let me make this statement right now:   we NEVER had a bad meal in any German restaurant – no matter where it was.  It could have been in the town where we were living at the time – or it could have been along the roadside where we would stop as we were traveling.  It was ALL good!

Our first experience was in the hotel where we were to stay for about a week when we first arrived in Wiesbaden – the American Arms Hotel.  We ate many of our meals there and were pleased.  Our military sponsors took us out to eat that first evening, and it was at the zum Keller in Wiesbaden.  I had my first taste of schnitzel there, as well as the wonderful salad they make (you know – cucumbers and onions in a vinegar sauce on butter lettuce…yummm!), and the French fries (pomme frites).  Wow…my mouth is watering just remembering!

Credit Google search

Credit Pixabay

In later years, when we returned for Fred’s second tour of duty in Germany, we found a wonderful restaurant, called Grimmingers, that was just down the street from our apartment.  They had the most wonderful schnitzel there – and we each had our favorite.  Fred always wanted the Jägerschnitzel (hunter’s schnitzel). 

Credit Google search and Quick German Recipes

Our daughters both loved the Rahmschnitzel (topped with a cream sauce). 

Credit Google search and German Culture

Unfortunately, I can’t remember the exact name of my favorite schnitzel, and it’s possible that it was a house speciality.  It was the usual schnitzel with a couple of stalks of Spargle (white asparagus) on top, and covered with a cream sauce.  Delicious!  Also unfortunately, our daughter, Karen, told us following a visit to Heidelberg in recent years, that the restaurant is no longer there – it is now a bank!  Shucks!

In a previous musing, I mentioned that we had a favorite Gasthause, the Schwartzeradler (Black Eagle) where we always stopped on our way to Rothenburg.

Credit Google Search and swartzer_adler_rothenberg.com

It was in a very small village, right on the road we drove on.  I believe we always got their schnitzel there, rather than trying to eat somewhere within the walled city of Rothenburg.  Our girls didn’t understand that, until we told them that the “local” restaurant had to have good food, or it wouldn’t survive, while the restaurants within cities that attracted tourists didn’t – the tourists probably wouldn’t return, so it didn’t really matter how good the food was.  It was an eatery that was well attended by the local population.  If the locals didn’t like the food, they wouldn’t return – and this one was well-established.

I have nothing but good memories of food in Germany.  It’s one of the things I miss the most about living there.  We are grateful God allowed us that time in our lives – and the memories that accompany it.

Judy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years .

  Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing. Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.

After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins as well as a great-grandson. She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

2021 Mid-Eastern Road Trip Part 6

29 Sep

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

Day 6 – 7/17/2021

Leaving Harrisburg this morning I headed northeast 35 miles on I-81 to visit the Golden Age Air Museum located in Bethel, PA.  This museum consists of three hangers and displays 14 beautifully restored, and flyable, antique airplanes dating from 1916 to 1990, plus a dozen more planes on static display.

Photo credit:Bill Lites

Now it was another 35 miles northeast on I-81 to where I visited the Mid-America Air Museum located adjacent to the Reading Regional Airport in Reading, PA.  This museum displays over 100 aircraft, many of which are flyable.  I was looking forward to visiting this museum as they are in the process of restoring a very rare Northrop P-61B (42-39445) Black Widow night fighter to flight status.  Since i attended Northrop University, the P-61 has been one of my favorite WWII airplanes.  I am hoping to see the miracle of one of these famous airplanes back in the air again in my lifetime, and it looks like MAAM is the outfit to make that happen.

Photo credit:Bill Lites

From the Reading Regional Airport, it was only a few miles to the Reading Area Firefighters Museum.  Located on the site of the original 1854 Reading fire house, this museum’s collection of firefighting equipment and memorabilia dates from the early 1800s. 

Now I took US-222 out of Reading about 15 miles northeast to visit the Kutztown History Museum located in the 1892 school building in downtown Kutztown, PA.  This museum displays local artifacts and memorabilia related to the history of Kutztown and the surrounding Berks County area dating from as early as 1799.

Photo credit: Bill Lites

From Kutztown I continued on US-222 another 30 miles northeast to visit the America on Wheels Museum located in Allentown, PA.  This museum is situated in a renovated 1887 building and is laid out with three main galleries where some 75 beautifully restored antique cars, trucks, motorcycles, and bicycles are on display.  Their Hubcap Café (restored 1950s soda fountain) is part of the museum’s decor and open to the public for snacks and beverages.

Photo credit: Bill Lites

While I was in Allentown, it was only a few blocks to where I could visit the RB Classic Car Collection.  This facility is owned and operated by brothers, Al and Alex Ruozzi, who have dedicated their lives to buying, restoring, selling, and servicing Classic Cars from every era.  Currently their inventory includes vehicles from the 1930s to 1960s,

Photo credit: Bill Lites

I had planned to visit the Mack Truck Historical Museum there in Allentown, and replace my worn-out ‘Mack’ baseball cap, but they were closed.  That was a Bummer!  So, I just headed north out of Allentown on I-475 about 75 miles to visit the Steamtown National Historic Site located in Scranton, PA.  This 62-acre site is the former Scranton railroad yards and displays restored steam & diesel driven trains in the 1902 Roundhouse and on the central turntable.  The History Museum displays other artifacts and memorabilia related to the history of the Scranton Yards “Where the Great Roads Meet.”

Photo credit: Bill Lites

Sharing the parking lot with the Steamtown National Historic Site is the Electric City Trolley Museum, which is a collection of 20+ restored electric trolleys, used in the Scranton and the Lackawanna County  area, dating from 1899 to 1941.  The John Oliver model train set inside  the museum is amazing.

Photo credit: Bill Lites

Leaving Scranton, I headed north 50 miles on I-81 with a stop, just over the border, at the Visitors Center in Kirkwood, NY.  The drive thru the Pocono Mountains was beautiful and you can see the remnants of those mountains in the background of the picture below.

Photo credit: Bill Lites

Then it was another 50 miles north on I-81 to where I visited the Cortland NY Living Center located in Cortland, NY.  This complex includes the Brockway Truck Collection, the Homeville Museum, and the Tractors of Yesteryear collection.  The artifacts and memorabilia included in each of these collections is the history of Cortland County New York from Civil War days to the present.

Now I continued 35 miles north on I-81 to visit the Erie Canal Museum located in Syracuse, NY.  This museum is housed in the 1850 Syracuse Weighlock Building that served as the weighlock toll building for boats using the Erie Canal from 1850 to 1883 when boat tolls were no longer required.

Now it was time to find the motel there in Syracuse and get checked in.  After I got settled in my motel room, I went in search of something good to eat.  I ended up at the Basil Leaf Italian Ristorante, where I enjoyed their Baked Lasagna with warm Italian bread.  Delightful!

—–To Be Continued—-

Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 64 years in Titusville, Florida. He was born and raised in the Southwest, did a tour of duty with the U.S. Navy, attended Northrop University in Southern California and ended up working on America’s Manned Space Program for 35 years. He currently is retired and spends most of his time building and flying R/C model airplanes, traveling, writing blogs about his travels for Word Press and supporting his wife’s hobbies with framing, editing and marketing.  He also volunteers with a local church Car Care Ministry and as a tour guide at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum there in Titusville.  Bill has two wonderful children, two outstanding grandchildren, and a loving sister and her husband, all of whom also live in Central Florida, so he and DiVoran are rewarded by having family close to spend lots of quality time with.

One of Bill’s favorite Scriptures is:  John 10:10

Living Being

27 Sep

My Take

DiVoran Lites

Photo credit Pixabay

Early morning on the porch.

Steaming coffee in blue Corelle.

Tiny black ant scurrying over the table cloth

Squash or don’t squash.

I look up again. 

He has made it over a white paper.

He hesitates, wiggling feelers to measure 

The step-down. 

Without thinking, I squash. 

Oh, no, my heart cries.

So quick. 

He’s gone.

A kindred sentient being. 

Who would have rather lived on. 

There will be mourning back at 

The anthill. And who will do his job?

1 Peter 3:8

Finally, all of you should agree and have concern and love for each other. You should also be kind and humble. 

DiVoran has been writing for most of her life. Her first attempt at a story was when she was seven years old and her mother got a new typewriter. DiVoran got to use it and when her dad saw her writing he asked what she was writing about. DiVoran answered that she was writing the story of her life. Her dad’s only comment was, “Well, it’s going to be a very short story.” After most of a lifetime of writing and helping other writers, DiVoran finally launched her own dream which was to write a novel of her own. She now has her Florida Springs trilogy and her novel, a Christian Western Romance, Go West available on Amazon. When speaking about her road to publication, she gives thanks to the Lord for all the people who helped her grow and learn.  She says, “I could never have done it by myself, but when I got going everything fell beautifully into place, and I was glad I had started on my dream.”

Random Memories of Germany, Trips to Italy-Part 6

26 Sep

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

For the last of my memories of trips to Italy, I would like to tell you about when we stopped at Trieste.

Trieste is located in the northern part of Italy that has been dominated by many different nations throughout its history:  Austria/Hungary, Italian (Roman), France (three times during the Napoleonic Wars), Germany (with Mussolini as head) during WW2, Yugoslavia.  It was finally officially annexed to Italy in 1954.  The border questions with Yugoslavia and the status of the ethnic minorities (Slovenes in Italy and Italians in Yugoslavia)  were settled definitely in 1975 with the treaty of Osimo.  (Please see Wikipedia for more information)

Trieste is a natural port on the Adriatic, and is nearly surrounded by Slovenia.  Here is a picture that Fred’s father took while stationed in Trieste following WW2.  Don’t know the name of the Navy Cruiser, but it is a U.S. ship, and it is in the port of Trieste. 

 Another picture says it was possibly bringing Omar Bradley to visit.  Sorry, no picture of Bradley.

Fred’s parents lived for a while in this building in Trieste following WW2, 

on what he calls the “mezzanine” – it was the level under the “arches” – but not the ground level.  Between the ground floor and the second floor.  And here is our picture of that same building.

Here is a picture that Fred’s dad took of the living room of the apartment in the mezzanine, in July 1948. 

 And also in 1948 is a picture of Fred, his sister Emily, and their mother in front of the Fontana dei Tritoni in Trieste. 

One of Fred’s fondest memories of Trieste (and why he wanted to show it to me) was the Miramare Castle.  The Castle was used by the U.S. military as an Officer’s Club following WW2 (the British assigned to Trieste could use the O’Club as well).  Fred says they would attend church on Sundays, then go to Miramare Castle for lunch.  That was not the case when we visited in 1970 – we didn’t enter the Castle, as I remember.  But we toured the gardens, and they were beautiful.

1948

1970

1970 – some of the gardens, Miramare Castle – Judy by statue

Fred said he would take a G.I. bus to Miramare Castle and essentially spent all day swimming.  Here is a picture of his family – probably him and his siblings and parents – in the water. 

And here is a picture of that same spot that we took on our 1970 trip.

He said the beach was pretty rocky, so some sand was brought in to make a sandy beach. 

Another view of the beach

 Also, a “platform” or float was built on top of some large empty drums, where one could sit and sun, or dive off into the water.

Fred remembers walking to the docks when he lived in Trieste – it was only a few blocks to the docks from where they lived.  He would go there and watch the ships come and go. 

It was a lovely time of remembrance for Fred as we toured that city.  And an interesting city, as well.

A street in Trieste-1948

~~~~~~~~~~And so ends our trips to Italy~~~~~~~~~~

Judy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years .

  Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing. Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.

After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins as well as a great-grandson. She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

2021 Mid-Eastern Road Trip Part 5B

22 Sep

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

Day 5 – 7/16/2021 (Continued)

My next stop today was about 45 miles northeast on I-81 to visit the George Washington Office Museum located in Winchester, VA.  This small museum is situated in the 18thcentury log and stone building that Washington used as his office while performing survey work in the Frederick County area from September 1755 to December 1756.  This same office was used by Washington to command the Virginia Regiment during the French & Indian War (1754-1763).

Photo credit: Bill Lites

I was surprisingly to find that the Stonewall Jackson’s Headquarters Museum was just a few blocks away, there in Winchester.  This museum is located in the house built by William Fuller in 1854 and was used by General “Stonewall” Jackson as his Civil War headquarters during the winter of 1861 – 1862.    The museum displays many of Jackson’s personal items as well as other family artifacts and memorabilia.

Photo credit: Bill Lites

It was only 20 miles northeast on I-81, and across the border, to where I wanted to visit the Bunker Hill Train Club located on the outskirts of Bunker Hill, WV but they were closed.  That was a bummer as I was looking forward to seeing their model train layouts.  So, I kept going another 10 miles up I-81 to visit the Martinsburg Roundhouse, but they were also closed. Another Bummer for me. 

Photo credit: Bill Lites
Photo credit: Bill Lites

Continuing northeast another 25 miles on I-81 I crossed another border and visited the Hagerstown Aviation Museum located adjacent to the Hagerstown Regional Airport in Hagerstown, MD.  This museum is situated in the former Fairchild Flight Test Hanger (built in 1943) and focuses mainly on the history of the Fairchild Aircraft Company, while displaying some 15+ restored rare and antique aircraft dating from 1928. 

Photo Credit: https://www.hagerstownaviationmuseum.org/

While I was in Hagerstown, I also visited the Hagerstown Roundhouse & Railroad Museum located in the City Park Train Hub.  This museum displays a restored 1919 steam locomotive (#202) and rolling stock as well as other railroad artifacts and memorabilia dating from the early 1900s.

Photo credit: Bill Lites

Now I headed north 25 miles on I-81, across the border, to visit The Old Jail Museum located in Chambersburg, PA.  This museum is housed in the original Franklin County jail which was built in 1818.  The jail served Franklin county for 152 years before being closed in 1970.  Many famous criminals, such as “Lewis the Robber” and “Captain John Cook,” among others, were housed in this jail over the years.

Photo credit: Bill Lites

Leaving Chambersburg, it was only 15 miles northeast on US-11 to where I visited the Cumberland Valley Railroad Museum located at the Shippensburg Station in Shippensburg, PA.  This small museum is housed in a restored 1956 Penn Central boxcar, there at the station, and tells the history of the Cumberland Valley Rail Trail (CVRT) and its influence on the local area, from its beginning, over the years.

Photo credit: Bill Lites

I got back on I-81 for another 20 miles northeast to where I visited the U.S. Army Heritage & Education Center located in Carlisle, PA.  This facility was designed to provide educational training and historical materials related to the history of the U.S. Army from its inception, during the Revolutionary War, to the present.

Photo credit: Bill Lites

Now I headed northeast another 25 miles on I-81 to visit the Pennsylvania National Fire Museum located in Harrisburg, PA.  This museum is located in the restored 1899 former Raily Hose Company No. 10 building and displays a unique collection of antique firefighting equipment including an 1804 Juniata hand-drawn engine, plus horse-drawn, and motorized fire engines and much more.

Photo Credit: https://www.facebook.com/Pennsylvania-National-Fire-Museum-114611048582302/

By now it was time to find the motel there in Harrisburg.  After I got checked in and got settled in my room, I relaxed and warmed up my leftover El Cazador Chili Verde from last night.  Ymmmmm!

Photo Credit: http://elcazadortaqueria.com/menu.php?cat=19&item=46&loc=5

—–To Be Continued—–

Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 64 years in Titusville, Florida. He was born and raised in the Southwest, did a tour of duty with the U.S. Navy, attended Northrop University in Southern California and ended up working on America’s Manned Space Program for 35 years. He currently is retired and spends most of his time building and flying R/C model airplanes, traveling, writing blogs about his travels for Word Press and supporting his wife’s hobbies with framing, editing and marketing.  He also volunteers with a local church Car Care Ministry and as a tour guide at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum there in Titusville.  Bill has two wonderful children, two outstanding grandchildren, and a loving sister and her husband, all of whom also live in Central Florida, so he and DiVoran are rewarded by having family close to spend lots of quality time with.

One of Bill’s favorite Scriptures is:  John 10:10

Letters from Mother 17

20 Sep

My Take

DiVoran Lites

September 22, 1983

To answer your letter of 9-15-83, my goodness, that’s quite a while ago. Yes, we will probably buy one of those genealogy books. Ruth says I should send our pictures even though they should have been sent sooner.

It’s so good to be home. Everything was where I left it, and the house was clean. Even though the yard was good, it wasn’t great like Dad keeps it.

Yes, we had a good time as we all did last year when you came for the summer. I loved the printing and the church circle in the ladies homes, going to church in town, and visiting with my sister Judy who came for a week. She enjoyed it too. My friend Pauline who comes every year with her husband, came later, which made less strain of too many people to look after. Pauline likes to go off the island on Saturdays and buy children’s clothes at garage sales to take home to the children at an orphanage. 

 Ol Jake was here, but he brought his brother this year, and they cooked for themselves, so we didn’t have to feed anybody else.  When you were here, you asked your Dad if you could go out on the boat with him, and he said no because he didn’t want his daughter to hear Jake’s constant, colorful language.

Smithy’s wife doesn’t can food as so many on the island do, so she has more time for things she likes to do, such as her Avon cosmetic door-to-door business. I remember that you asked if you could go into the little house trailer full of products to look around. That was fun and got you a bit of alone time. 

My brother Smithy seems quite strong. Dad was the only one who suffered. He felt put-upon to do things, such as cleaning out the campground’s sewer system, especially when we paid rent. Also, Dad couldn’t catch crabs or fish because he didn’t have the 15 horsepower motor for the boat. It made him crabby too. 

Yes, the summer flew by. I was so glad to be happy after the emotional struggle I had about going. Some people love to travel, and some people are happier at home. I was ready to head for home by the time the summer was over.

I didn’t finish the big picture I’d been working on with my teacher. I guess I’ll have to finish alone. I’m a big girl now.

We’ve been using our A.C. some. The weather is sultry again. I’m getting embarrassed wearing my one pair of cotton shorts that I usually wear only in the house. I never wore them before, and now I’m 55 years old, too old, I think, but they sure do wear them in Florida. 

I guess your friend Marian is right; worrying about rejection just slows us down. 

Love you, your stationery, and your philosophical preachments. 

Mom

DiVoran has been writing for most of her life. Her first attempt at a story was when she was seven years old and her mother got a new typewriter. DiVoran got to use it and when her dad saw her writing he asked what she was writing about. DiVoran answered that she was writing the story of her life. Her dad’s only comment was, “Well, it’s going to be a very short story.” After most of a lifetime of writing and helping other writers, DiVoran finally launched her own dream which was to write a novel of her own. She now has her Florida Springs trilogy and her novel, a Christian Western Romance, Go West available on Amazon. When speaking about her road to publication, she gives thanks to the Lord for all the people who helped her grow and learn.  She says, “I could never have done it by myself, but when I got going everything fell beautifully into place, and I was glad I had started on my dream.”

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