Banner photo of Larry Eugene Meredith, Ronald Tipton and Patrick Flynn, 2017.

The good times are memories
In the drinking of elder men...

-- Larry E.
Time II

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

25 Questions gotten from a Friend Who Took it From a Friend and...

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Now Ronald Tipton, pictured with me, posted these 25 questions that he borrowed from Jon in Tennessee, and I don't know if Jon in Tennessee grabbed them elsewhere or not, but I am going to take them from them both and answer them for myself, and if you wish to do the same, have at it. I am including some comments on Ron's comments, so if you wonder why I seem to sometimes appearing to talk to a third person, that is why. Like the map thing in the first question answered.






1. Have you ever had chicken pox?

Yes, when I was in kindergarten I bought the clucking pox. Are mumps and chicken pox the same thing, Ron? No they are not, but I did have mumps as well, but only on one side.

2. Have you ever shopped in Home Depot?

Yes, I have and have many times. Just recently n fact to buy trimmer replacement spools.
 
3. Have you ever spied on your neighbors?


Not usually, except when new ones move in and like everybody else, we want to see what they may be like. I've spied, I guess you could say, on the parade of contractors that showed up at their place over the last year.

Once upon a time, when I was young, there was a young woman who undressed all the time with the shade up. Her bedroom was directly across from my writing room, and yes, I would pause and with my little eye I would spy what ever she was displaying. 

4. Have you ever ridden in a limo?
Yes. It was when I was Project Manager at Wilmington Trust and we were considering buying new sorters from IBM. IBM flew me and a couple others on a private jet (only way to fly) to Charlotte to see their sorters in operation at a bank there. They picked up up on the tarmac in a limo to take us from plane to bank.

5. Have you ever had a pet fish?

Off and on over the years growing up. Mainly goldfish, but also some other kind we kept in a aquarium. Some of the goldfish I had won at carnivals tossing a ping pong ball into a bowl of them.

6. Have you ever lied about your age?

No. Never had a reason. I'm not ashamed of my age now and never did in the past.
 
7. Have you ever fired a gun?

I have fired rifles, shotgun and pistols, but not since I left my teen years behind. I was a pretty good shot, but never liked hunting, just shooting tin cans off of stumps type of thing. Like most farm boys where I lived, I owned my own rifle, a 16 shot bolt-action .22. Carried it is the back of my Ford sometimes. Some guys even took their weapons to the school; I don't think  ever did, just my knives.


 
8. Have you ever been ice skating?


Oh yes, many a boyhood winter my friend Richard and a couple others would go out on the frozen lakes near home and skate. Did moonlight skating on a pond off Rt. 100 with my girlfriends, too. Very romantic. The pond had a little island in the middle and we'd build a fire upon it. I could skate backward, do figure 8s all kinds of such tricks. As an adult my wife and friends and I would go to the ice rinks. In fact, my wife was once in an ice show as a dancing Christmas Tree.

 


9. Have you ever played golf?

Started with miniature golf, then chip 'n' putt courses by high school. I think Ronald must have been to the chip 'n' putt outside of West Chester. Seems I went there a lot with my friends and girlfriends as a teenager. Maybe he just forgot the place. 

I took up regular golf in the 1970s, playing a couple courses over in New Jersey, including the Golf Farm. I played a lot of rounds with my friend, Victor (left). A woman tried to pick me up at the Golf Far one time, "My husband's away on business..." I didn't take her up on it. I never cheated on my wife even when opportunities arose.

10. Have you ever hidden on Halloween because you had no candy for trick or treaters?

After our kids had grown, yes we did. We just couldn't afford it. People used to haul kids in from nearby apartment complexes. We would turn out all the lights and keep the TV low.

As a child in Downingtown I use to hide a lot from a gang of older kids on the next block who went about stealing we younger kids candy.

11. Have you ever made a prank call?

I and Ronald and Stuart engaged is some of this as boys, you know calling the tobacco shop and asking if they had Prince Albert in cans or calling people at random to ask if their refrigerator was running. Childish behavior. I hate prank calls today and like, Ron, those idiots on radio who think it is funny to make them.

12. Have you ever gotten a tattoo?

No, but once upon a time I wanted one. Only thing is, I hate needles. Almost all my current friends have tattoos, men and women, but a lot of them were Bikers.

13. Have you ever had a massage?

Yes. I was in physical therapy a couple years ago and the lady massaged my back and neck every time I went. It felt good when it was over, but boy it could hurt when she got those thumbs deep into my muscles.


14. Have you ever locked your keys in the car?

Several times. I actually started carrying a spare key in my wallet. I haven't done it in recent years. Worse was once when I went golfing with Victor. I dropped my keys in the trunk when I got my clubs out. This was in New Jersey and I had to call my dad over in Pennsylvania to come over with my spare.

15. Have you ever ridden a horse?

Yes.


16. Have you ever been to the circus?

Several times. I was to the Ringing Brothers show a couple of times in Philadelphia, to Clyde Beatty's Circus when it played Coatesville and Hunts Brothers at Downingtown. Stuart  Meisel and I visited the fair grounds when they were setting up the circus. We snuck into the ten-in-one test (sideshow, freak show) and we met the lady sword swallower, who showed us how it was done.

17. Have you ever been to Europe?

Nope. Only other country I've been to was Canada.

18. Have you ever built a fire?

Of course I did. I was a Boy Scout and you had to be able to build a fire. Did several. Also burned leaves in the yard, which back then was allowed. One of my chores was to burn the trash every night in a 55 gallon barrel we had. I use to play games with those fires.

19. Have you ever been skydiving?

No, don't make me laugh. I am afraid of heights. My daughter Noelle did when she
trained at the Army Special Service School at Fort Bragg. She was airborne.

20. Have you ever bought something at a garage sale?

Sometimes. Never been my thing, even though my mother was big on yard sales. She sneakily sold a lot of my stuff at them. I was not happy to discover she sold all my electric trains.


21. Have you ever walked in on someone having sex?

Yes, when I was around 11 I walked in on my parents. I was looking for my mother for some reason, calling her and getting no answer. I went about the house and upstairs I noticed her bedroom door was shut. I called, again no answer, so I just opened the door and walked in. Oh, my! My mother began screaming and my dad yelled at me to get out. Scared me to death. I didn't know what was going on. Back in those days no one told kids anything. I thought my dad was hurting my mother. Never got any explanation, was just told never to enter their room without knocking. I was very upset by it.  Many, many years later, my eldest, Laurel, about the same age, walked in on my wife and I. No yelling, no screaming, we just pulled a blanket over us and asked what she wanted. She left and don't think she was upset. Kind of killed the mood though.

In the mid-1980s we took the kids to Brandywine Creek State Park occasionally. One time coming back to our car there were some young people, college age, with the car parked next to ours. As we got there we saw a guy and gal having sex in the front seat. I don't know if the kids ever noticed, but as we got in our car a park ranger on a horse came riding up to these people. We left while he was talking to them.
22. Have you ever faked an injury to get out of something?

Not yet.

23. Have you ever been to a nude beach?

In the first half of my life I wanted to go visit a nudist colony. Never did, although

there was at least one in New Jersey. Never stumbled upon any nude beaches, but given some of the bathing suit worn today it almost is like one.

24. Have you ever received a speeding ticket?

No. In the mid-1960s my wife and I were coming home from my parents. We were going through Valley Forge Park in our 1966 VW Beetle about 2:30 AM. Only ones on the road. Suddenly a cop came up and pulled us over. He said we were speeding, like really speeding. I'm sure I wasn't. Not sure the VW would do the speed he claimed. He walked back to his patrol car as if to check my license, but then he got in his car, drove around me and took off down the road. A few weeks later we saw in the news that a rogue cop had been arrested for the murder of a rabbi and his wife late at night in Valley Forge Park. Turned out the rabbi had a beard and was driving a Beetle. Cop thought they were Hippies and he hated Hippies, so he shot them. I have always felt I was lucky because we were kind of Hippies in those days.

25. Have you ever run a marathon?

I'm a walker, not a runner. I've always hated to run. When I joined my high school track team, the coach
tries us out on all events. I was the fastest running a mile, so he wanted me to do the distant races. But I knew if I became a miler all I would be doing all the time was running. I choose the wight events, because those guys did the least running. I became a shot-putter and discus thrower.

If you want copy these questions and answer them.







Sunday, May 6, 2018

Chopped Off Fingers, Jagged Arm Bones and Writer in Demand Again.

I was still in Deposit Services when this happened. We had a dog at that time. I came home from work one day in 1992 and my three children bounded about me at once each saying, "We're getting a dog."

"We are?"

"Yes, mommy said we're getting a dog."

This was a total surprise. We had some cats, Christine, Tigger and Annie, a group which would grow, but no dog. I had grown up with dogs always around, but my wife never had a dog. And she complained often about the backing of a neighbor's pooch. But she came out and said it was true, she thought the kids should have a dog.

I xhanged and was hustled out the door sown to the shelter on A Street in Wilmington, The Humane Association. We ambled through the kennels and there was this little yellow lab puppy. How did a yellow lab puppy end up in a shelter. His name was Tucker and we adopted him.

My wife had promised she would care for the beast, take him on walk, whatever. You know how that worked out. He was very energetic and she did walk him, but as he grew she came home one day and said she couldn't handle him. From then on I became the dog walker.

He was a very good dog, very smart. In one day he was housebroke. Even on his walks he would not squat and leave any pile behind. I never had to carry plastic bags and a scoop. He would go nowhere but our backyard. The bad part of this is when on a walk, if he had to go, he would race for home dragging me along.

One Saturday morning I took him out for a walk, as usual, but this proved unusual. Somehow the handle on the storm/screen door cut into my left index finger as we left. As was typical, Tucker took off, but my finger was hung on the door. Blood was flowing. I mangered to pull Tucker back and inside the house, but the damage was done. There was a deep cut three quarters of a way around the meatier part of my finger. I looked at it and wondered, "What is this white stuff?"

The white stuff was the bone. The flesh of my finger had been pulled around a quarter inch up on the bone and the flesh was bunch up near above the knuckle. I pushed the flesh back down over my exposed bone realizing if that bone had broken most of my finger would have been lsying out on the stoop.

I went looking though the hall closet for a bandage, but we didn't have any, so I drove to an ACME Market that was about a mile from us then. It isn't there anymore. Total Wine, where my son works, is in the building now. In the first aid row I picked up some gauze and adhesive tape. I had a paper towel wrapped about my bloody finger. At the checkin, the lady before me, who said she was a nurse, was concerned. She said I should go to the emergency ward and get it stitched.

I hadn't the time. I had promised the kids I would take them to Longwood Gardens that day to see these giant insect statues that were on temporary display. I went home, wrapped some guaze about the wound and then the adhesive tape. At Longwood, Darryl said I was bleeding. I had brought the stuff with me, so I rewrapped my finger as we walked.

The gauze was a bad idea. The next morning the guaze was all semi-healed in the wound and I had to pull it out, thus opening everything up again. What to do? I got the cardboard roll from some toilet paper and cut it down to finger size. Taped a lid on one end and then taped this over my finger to protect it. It was amazing how many times I bumped that finger over the next few weeks.

I could remove my shield and look down into the wound and see things moving inside. I think it was the nerves and flesh and all healing. It took about a month before I could discard the cardboard sleeve. By that time it had healed over, except for the scar. The finger became super sensitive then. If I ran my fingertip along my jaw, my whiskers felt large and like a wire brush. Everything I touched was magnified. I wondered if this feeling would ever go away. It eventually did. I've never been able to bend that finger down to my palm ever since. Oddly, I got arthritis in my right hand some years later and I can't ben that finger either. It was like it was impersonating the injured left.

In 1995 my middle child, Noelle, was in middle school at Talley. I get a phone call about mid-morning one day. The lady introduced herself as the school nurse.

"Just be calm," she said, "there is nothing to get upset about..."

Now you know when someone starts this way that there is something to be upset about.

"Your Daughter, Noelle, broke her arm in gym. We called an ambulance and sent her to Christiana Hospital."

I left work, got Lois and we went to the hospital. Noelle was in the Truama Area. We were led back to her, where a doctor was working on her arm. He had given her a shot of morphine. Noelle was sitting calmly on the cot watching everything the doctor did. She didn't cry or even go ow. She was stoic. In those years she wanted to be a surgeon. She had a collection of operations on VCH tapes that she would watch.

They then took her right out to an operation room. She had a three hour operation to piece back her

arm. She had broken both the radius and the ulna a few inches below the elbow. The ends of the breaks and pieced out her skin, so this was a compound fracture. They had been doing fitness tests in the gym. One consisted of running from one wall to another the length of the room. Noelle apparently pushed against the wall to stop and her one forearm snapped. The gym teacher was across the room and said she clearly heard the snap, it was very loud. Noelle had then walked out to the nurses office on her own, holding her arm, and saying to the nurse, "I think I have a problem here." They then called the ambulance.

This caused me some hassles later. I had a good health coverage on the family, but it did have networks. The ambulance company the school called was not apporved by Blue Cross/Blue Shield and I received a ridiculously high bill of several hundred dollars from the particular company. I finally got a write-off because I argued I didn't call them, the school did. This injury in Junior High almost interfered with her joining the Army later. The photo was taken on a trip we took to Gettysburg, the cast was off by then, but a brace was still taped on her left arm for a good while longer.

1995 might have been a rough year medically, but it did get me writing professionally again. The internet was still fairly new to the public. A popular use in those years was Chat Rooms. They were bad in the beginning. You choose Chat Rooms to enter based on interests. I was in some Christian Chat Rooms and eventually talked about writing. A contact I made in the room was with a Repertoire Theater Group in Florida and they contacted me about writing a play for them.

I write a play called, "Leslie in the Lyons' Den". It was a modern day take on "Daniel in the Lion's
Den". It dealt with a character named Leslie (a name I chose because the part could be played by a male or female actor) who worked in a business office. Leslie was then faced with being asked to do things that were not right by the tyrannical boss, Mr. Lyons. Leslie was faced with her Christianity morals verses holding on to her job and also facing ridicule. The troupe was called "Hearts of Tampa" and they added my play to there repertoire.

In 1996, I was also asked my to write a Radio Ad for their host organization to promote their group, which I also did. It was called "Hotlong". I had done a couple radio ads back in the 1960's for the Knight Corporation that published the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News.

It was probably good I returned to writing in 1995, because it came just before the big change in my job situation.



HEARTS OF TAMPA BAY RADIO PROMO

by
Larry Eugene Meredith



Lawyer: (Very rapidly, somewhat monotone) The Heart of Tampa Bay is a Christian networking organization meeting every third Tuesday at the Colony Motel with guest speakers.  Options include job networking.  This is a promotion of Christian ideals in the work place. Not a member of the FDIC.

Announcer: Whoa, there.  What was that?

Lawyer: I'm your lawyer and that was your legal disclosure.

Announcer: Legal disclosure?  We're not a bank or auto dealer. We're a Christian Networking Organization that gets together to job network and discuss ways to promote Christian Ideals in the workplace.

We are called the Heart of Tampa Bay and meet every third Tuesday of the month at the Colony Hotel...Do you know where that is?

Lawyer: Ah...no.

Announcer: We meet every third Tuesday at the Colony Hotel at (fill in address.) where we have a guest speaker and our discussions.

Lawyer: So, if I am interested in networking from a Christian perspective I should contact The Heart of Tampa Bay?

Announcer: Yes, (give information telephone number if there is one).

Announcer: (Rapidly, somewhat monotone.)  The Heart of Tampa Bay is a Christian networking organization meeting every third Tuesday at the Colony Motel.  Lawyers are welcome.

Lawyer: What was that?






Monday, March 26, 2018

Picking Up The Leftover Pieces

I left off posting about my life back in October of 2017. That post was titled, "An End to Something". I didn't mean to make it sound so final. It was the end of several things, but certainly not the end of me.

Much changed, but some things continued.

We were still doing family things and the kids had continued in their own pursuits. However, they were little kids anymore, so changes were coming there as well.

In 1996, I moved up to  Manager of Darryl's Little League team. We were still the Phillies, defending our league championship from the year before and Darryl was leading again in most offensive and defensive statistics. We repeated as League Champions again, but finished second in the playoffs.

It was Darryl's last year in true Little League. He was too old for the 8 to 12 year olds and he moved up to the Junior
League, playing for a team sponsored by Wilmington Trust.
He was named to the All Star Team again and played in the outfield. It was his next to last year of organized ball. He was tired of the grind after more than a half-dozen seasons.

It was my last years as a manager. I had managed one more year in the minors without Darryl on the team.  The next year I went over as a bench couch in the Junior League on his team, but I wasn't enjoying it either. I was struggling with my eyesight and it scared me to shag balls in the outfield. I could no longer pick up the flight path.

Noelle was doing a lot of art by now.  She had paintings selected two years in a row for displaying in the Young Brandywine Artist exhibits.

She also had joined SADD (Students against Drunk Driving). Noelle is the girl with her back against the Drunk Jack o'Lantern in this photo.

She was in Honors Classes and in 1997 she would be an exchange student living with a family in Torgua, East Germany.

We had that families daughter here staying with us. Her name was Katja Noch. She gave us interesting perspectives, having grown up mostly under Communist rule. Her parent's careers had
been dictated by the regime. For instance, her mother had been an English teacher forced to become a Russian teacher.  The photo on the right is of Katja while she was here with us.

She and Noelle kept in touch for a number of years, but the last I heard of Katja she was working for the United Nations.








Darryl, meanwhile had joined the ROTC at his high school, Mt. Pleasant. He is pictured on the left.
Laurel was continuing to ride at gateway Stables and participate in horse shows, where she won a
number of First Place ribbons. In school she was involved with the music programs and playing parts in shows.  She was a member of the Green Knights Chorus, who competed in a festival in Florida, and won. They also got to tour and appear in the Epcot Center. (Laurel is in the top row on the extreme left.)

Laurel was also in Honors Classes.

She graduated in 1996. Mt. Pleasant was being renovated that year, so her classes were held in the former Claymont High School. The kids were not happy about this, they wanted to graduate at Mount Pleasant. The kids called it Claymount..










If the family was seeing some changes, where I felt them the most was at work.