A Most Amazing Call

I received a call from a neighbor who had heard recently a podcast about the 100th anniversary of the First World War. The recording was made by the BBC in 1960 and featured America’s entry in the War in 1918. Among those who were interviewed was my father who was wounded twice in the First War and also fought in the Pacific in the Second World War.

None of the family recalled that he had made the broadcast and of course we were amazed and deeply moved to hear his voice describing the battle of Chateau Thierry and Belleau Wood. He was wounded twice in that war. My father died in 1978 on Memorial weekend before he could spend the Holiday in Clove Valley.

Postcard at the top of Joseph “Black Jack” Pershing (Centre – R), the US Army General who led the American Expeditionary Force in World War I, being welcomed in Boulogne, northern France, by French General Peltier .

Click on the below link to hear the story.

BBC 1960


Old Story Worth Retelling

A good definition of optimism:

“The medieval fable of the criminal hauled before the king to plead for his life and successfully does so by promising if the king spared his life for a year, he could teach the king’s horse to sing.

When the criminal got back to his cell, his cellmate scoffed at him: you could never teach his horse to sing if you had a lifetime. And the man said ‘No matter. I have a year now I didn’t have before. And a lot of things can happen in a year. The king might die. The horse might die. I might die. And who knows? Maybe the horse will sing.’ “

Spring Update From Clove Valley

It looks like we will have the biggest apple and peach crop in memory. The trees are loaded. Now here’s something strange. We lost both bee colonies and in spite of virtually no honey bees the trees somehow got pollinated and look very strong. There was a lot of Spring rain but no very cold weather and when the blossoms were out there were some very windy days. I suspect that had something to do with it.

The bees died in spite of having a lot of over winter honey and in fact there is still quite a bit of honey in the frames. I am getting new bees this week so will start again but after almost 40 years of beekeeping I may pack it in if these bees dont make it next winter.

It don’t think it is colony collapse as that seems to affect the migratory bees. It is probably varroa mites which this past year were very invasive and the drought may have weakened the bees. Anyway if I get honey this year I will bring it over to Dover Plains and have another beekeeper extract it, too much work and too much mess.

apples spring 2017

peaches 2017

A Real Rhubarb

I think it was Red Barber who invented the expression “rhubarb” for a real baseball donneybrook. The boys of Summer would be proud of this dustup. Jacques Barzun said:

Whoever wants to know the heart and mind of America had better learn baseball, the rules and realities of the game — and do it by watching first some high school or small-town teams.

I’m going back soon to watch a Hudson Valley Renegades game over in Fishkill. Feel free to join me.

Stand Back Here Comes Inflation

lobster prices.jpg

We were planning to go to the rocky coast of Maine this summer but the below article has us rethinking our plans.

On the other hand the below comment is from my nephew a professor at the University of Maine:

“This article is *such* garbage. The lobster shack they interview – Red’s in Wiscassett – is the biggest tourist trap in the state.  They’re starting the season with $26 lobster rolls because they can!  Up here, eating at McLaughlin’s by the big oil tanks, a roll won’t cross $10 this summer (I don’t think).  Nobody would go if they charged $20.  But I bet they’re near $30 down in Acadia/Bar Harbor.  Sheesh.”

I kind of like the idea of eating near the oil tanks.


Huevos Rancheros

Reno Nevada breakfast a few weeks ago. I can still taste it. Buddy Hackett said the fire went out in his chest when he joined the Army because he no longer had to eat his mother’s cooking. Today I can tell that the huevos rancheros is still my not too silent traveling partner.

Black bean puree, corn tortilla, 2 eggs over medium, ranchero sauce, pico de gallo, cheddar, avocado.

huevos rancheros

Nordstrom’s Dirt Jeans $400

The end is near. When the world actually pays $400 for blue jeans that are caked in dirt I think I may finally be in the chips.

They are not interested in other people’s jeans and of course the dirt must be placed in a fashionable way but I bet Nordstroms may be in greater finanical trouble than the fools who would buy them.

I did notice that for $425 they give free shipping.



Get Away From It All

One of the most remote places on the planet is Scarborough Reef. It is an outcropping in the China Seas and is considered among the rarest places to visit on the Earth. There is a radio expedition that is going there this year and the long video gives you some insight. It is also a disputed area between the Phillipines and China relating to fishing rights, not a place to enjoy sun and fun.