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Ben Sauter, a character, in his own words

Journal, 1977 to 2010 -
Weather, farm, family, letters to the editor, etc.


This journal is beginning Jan. 29, 1977 because of the unusual weather & times we are going through.

Sat. Jan. 29, 1977

It was close to 0 degrees today, got up to the low 20's. We are having the coldest winter most anyone can remember. Jan. 17th was the coldest day of the century, -5°. The ground has been covered with snow since the first of December. Tomorrow will be the fourth consecutive Sunday for sledding. We go back at the Diamond Ridge golf course. It is really good. Last Sunday it was so slick on the hill, it was tough walking back up hill. Real nice ice skating there, too. We are facing a very serious energy crisis due to the severe weather. The Gas & Electric Co. is going to shut off gas to restaurants so that home owners will have more gas. This will put a lot of people out of work. The [Chesapeake] Bay has been frozen for some time and some ships have had a hard time getting through. President Carter came in at a most difficult time. Most of the vegetables froze in Florida so that is a disaster area. Down on the Eastern Shore the watermen can't work on account of the frozen conditions. So they have been declared eligible for gov't assistance, like unemployment and food stamps retroactive. We have been having a classic TV show on every night this week. It's called "Roots". It's about a Black who traced his heritage back to Africa. This has to be the best thing I ever saw on T.V. But it sure aint gonna help race relations.

Sun. Jan. 30, 1977

We have just heard about an iceberg in the Chesapeake Bay about 100 ft. long and 10-20 ft. high. No one has ever heard of an iceberg in the bay. I went to the Imperial Palace Restaurant tonight and their gas was cut off. They were trying to cook on Hibachis with charcoal briquets. I felt sorry for them cause they need a lot of heat real fast to get the cooking done. I get my hog food up there. It was too cold to go sledding today. Roots finished up tonight. What a show.

Feb. 2, 1977

This afternoon Jane and I drove to the other side of the Bay Bridge so we could see the ice and all. There was a ship moving up toward Balto. The ice in the channel was broken up a little. On the Eastern Shore side some kids were ice skating. In spite of the extreme cold ducks were swimming at Sandy Point. Don't ask me why it wasn't froze there. Up in Buffalo snow is getting close to the tops of the telephone poles. TV showed some ranch houses almost covered. 15 ft of snow has fallen so far this winter in Buffalo.

Feb 11

We had 2 unusually warm days and much of the snow melted. There was an earthquake in Wilmington, Delaware yesterday. A young man at Princeton drew up plans for an atomic bomb. The government grabbed them cause some of the Arabs were trying to get 'em. We had pump trouble up on the farm. It needed new leathers. We hauled water from here to the farm till it was repaired. While the pump was broken, the line down to the stable froze up. It probably won't thaw out until spring.

March 2

Today I went down to the Chadwick A&P to pick up pig food, not realizing Bagel [our Beagle] was in the truck. At supper, Jane asked where Bagel was and I said I didn't know. But we figured I had left him somewhere so I went out looking for him at the Bagel Shop and A&P. Couldn't find him. Came home and made some phone calls. Jeanne, next door, had seen him at 5:30 down Chadwick but he wouldn't get in her car. I went back down there and asked the fellows at the gas station. One boy saw him at 8:30 P.M. Left word with the cops. Then I drove around real slowly giving his whistle out the window. Still didn't find him. We went to bed and along about 2:15, Jane and I were awake and worrying about Bagel and that we would have to get up very early before traffic and try to find him. Just then we heard his squeak at the back door. He had found his way home. He was tired and thirsty.

March 3

Bagel went out in the neighborhood long before supper and did not come home 'til about 7 P.M. And he was limping. He either got shot in the left front paw or some dog put a big tooth in there. But it's in a good place where he can lick it easily.

March 4

Bagel rested lots today but he still was able to jump up in the truck.

We went to Mrs. Sill's funeral today at 1 P.M. She was an old time neighbor for about 35 years. She had a heart attack and died a few days later in the hospital after seeming to be coming along O.K. The preacher who is new in the neighborhood didn't know Mrs. Sill very well. He read a poem by Longfellow. Can you imagine a bible with about 600 pages and an audience, some of whom hadn't been in church since they were christened, and he doesn't tell the salvation message? If someone dies who loves the Lord, a funeral should be a service of praise. Read something from Paul's letter to the Romans about being joint heirs with Christ. Tell them about these bodies that don't last and about the glorified bodies that Christ's followers will get.

We have new neighbors in Gilmans house and they've been there since last fall. Their house got burglarized about 5 or 6 weeks ago. Mr. Helwig had 7 rifles hanging on the wall. They were taken along with wedding rings and piggy bank money. So called up here thinking we could shed some light on the subject. I told Mr. Helwig that if he just thought who had been in the house like visiting his kids, he'd know who did it. Sure enough, we heard that the stepfather of one of the boys that stole the stuff turned the son in. But they didn't get any time. In fact, it wasn't even entered in the record of one boy cause they claimed he was clean. We got a lovely criminal justice system in the country.

March 6

We had dinner at Hilda's [Pop's sister] this afternoon. Then we played confusion rummy. About 4 o'clock we got a call from Jean's sister-in-law next door saying Bagel was shot. We rushed home and Bagel was in the shrubbery scared and shaking. He had a real bad cut right on his back. Horrible, but not as bad as we expected. Jane took him to the vet's on Tuesday and he said it would be all right without stitches. But it is a horrible stinking sight.

March 20

We all went over to see Steve and Donna's new house that they just bought a couple of days ago. It sure is something else. It's a lot like this house here in that it seems to be about the same age. They will move in about June 1.

Donald has a summer job in Puerto Rico. On the biggest telescope in the world. Bagel is getting better. He wears a coat to cover his wound.

I didn't feed the hogs at lunch time and tonight they had the place torn apart. They can bust up stuff fastern a carpenter can build it.

The apartments for the aged [just down Clays Lane] are really rolling now. Clays Lane is not going to be able to handle the traffic in its present width. Sewer is going from Windsor Blvd. up to Rolwin [Rd.] to Windsor Mill.

Nov. 20, 1977 (written later before I forget)

On this fine sunny Sunday the ABC (Arlington Baptist Church) apartments were dedicated right after church. Everybody walked back after the preaching service. Pastor Bissett and the men who worked on the building were on a second floor balcony for the occasion with mikes. Always looking for a bit of humor, we get it. This old lady who lives right above the balcony where Pastor Bissett was, heard all of the commotion and she came out on her balcony and looked over the edge. She was in her night clothes and had not seen this huge crowd of a thousand people standing on the parking lot in her intenseness to see what was going on on the balcony below. Then she slowly raised her eyes and saw all these people on the parking lot in front of her. Her eyes got as big as saucers and she clutched her clothes around her and scooted back in her apartment. The crowd hoo haa-ed. Then they broke ground for a nursing home which will be connected to the apartments by an overhead ramp.

Jan. 5, 1978

We started the new year with people sick all over the place. I aint been real sick yet, but New Years Eve, I hit the sack at 9:30. And got up the next morning feeling good. This didn't make me any points with Mother Jane [Pop's term of endearment for Mom]. Debbie was home from California for Christmas. She went back before New Years. We look forward to a good year cause last year was plenty rough. I could probably think of something else to write, but Timmy from next door is waiting to lose a few games of Caroms. He really likes to play this game.

Jan. 20, 1978

We have about 4 snows piled up outside. Driving is really tough, but the Volkswagen sure has helped out. We broke a trail with it this morning so Donald could get the Chevy through and get to work. This is a big snow year. Nell (Bernice's sister-in-law) moved in the ABC apartments about 10 days ago. Diane thinks the apts. should be called the XYZ apartments. They're for old folks, get it?

The snow storms have all the airports closed to the north. State Police advise people not to travel.

Bagel has a bone tumor on his face and he won't be around much longer. Never thought I would outlive him.

Susan and Ron & Eliz. visited us this week. They stayed over night one night. They attended a big meeting at Towson Valley church. Eliz. is the tiniest little thing to be running around. She comes up to the bottom of the kitchen table. Has to be carrying something all the time. She doesn't monkey around with anything more than a couple of minutes at a time. She got into some furniture polish upstairs that Jane had in a jar and dumped it on the floor. Jane got it up pretty good, though.

We play a lot of cards and games nowadays. We have a game called Confusion Rummy that Asbury & Rachel Smith taught us. Boggle is my game. Had an eight letter word last night. [Hmmm, it wasn't recorded in the box top.] In practice that is. [Ah so.]

Debby was home from California for Christmas. She has a tough row to hoe in that there fashion biz. Forgot to say that Eliz fell out of the high chair and got a clunk on the head. She won't stay still very long.

Our Christmas tree is still up. Donald put so much tinsel on it we couldn't appreciate the beautiful blue spruce underneath so Jane removed 99% of the tinsel. Now it looks good. [I think it was 99.9%. In its "before" state, people actually gasped when they first saw that tree. I had a friend take some photos of that masterpiece--and they didn't come out!]

We're eating some good beef which we raised. So are a lot of other people we sold some to.

They made the last Volks Bug in Germany today and put it in a museum. Too bad.

Feb. 2 1978

The snow has changed to sleek ice around here and plenty slippery. Then we got an inch of powdery snow on top today. This helps to make ice extra slippery. Out in the Midwest they're having the worst winter they ever had. Ohio has it bad. One guy was snowbound in his tractor trailer, covered up for six days. But he heard people overhead and banged on the roof and they dug him out. He's in good shape. Esskay paid me 48 cents for hogs Monday. I believe they're up on account of the snow out in the midwest. Farmers can't get hogs to market. Boy, today I had the best news I've heard since yesterday. I got news that my entry in the funny caption contest won first prize. This is in Swine Line, a tiny magazine of the Md. Pork Producers Assoc. They sent a check for $5.00. If I could fatten hogs like I can write captions, I'd have the world by the rear end.

Feb. 8, 1978

We had a big blizzard on the 6 & 7th. It will be known as the Blizzard of '78. Up to the north of New York City it is being called the worst on record. Out here on Rolling Rd., it blew across the field and into the road so the snow plows have piled it as high as they can. So they had a front end loader work on it awhile yesterday afternoon. But it aint wide enough for 2 cars on the curve. Johnny Jessen just tore up his new truck right there this morning. He hit a state cop car. The road to the farm is clear as can be because of the corn stalks standing in the field. They make an excellent snow fence.

Hilder [sister Hilda] came home from work yesterday in a 4 wheel drive Jeep. Traffic was stopped on Rolling Rd. so they came across the field from Clays Lane. Lardy [sister Lorraine] and I were watching and like to die laughing at that little vehicle coming across the field like nothing. Donald had to park at Heraldry Square and walk home [if you call hoisting yourself over 6 foot snow drifts and sliding down the other side walking.] Then we took the Volks and went after the car after supper.

March 1 1978

A few nights ago little Norvil Schisler skidded on the icy road out here at the southern of the farm and wrapped his car around a telephone pole. How he lived through that I don't know. The car has a round hole in the middle where the pole was. They flew him to U. of Md. Shock Trauma in a helicopter. He's doing all right though. In fact I talked to him on the phone up at Charlotte's [Norvil's mother].

Feb. set a record for coldness around here. And snow around all the time. We gonna get more tonight.

I purchased 3 heifers a week ago and counted on them eating up a whole lot of bagels, bread and dough. But they won't look at 'em. So today I had a whole lot of bagels and corn ground up and they ate it up good. Tricky!

March 8 1978

We got that snow, 6 inches of it. Then the next day it started to blow so we got drifts. Today we got about 3 or 4 inches more. Charlotte took us in to visit Norvil today. He looks good but thin. It was the 1st time I ever saw someone with steel pins through their legs. Norvil has 6 pins in the left leg with traction on there somehow to pull the broken bones in line. This winter aint giving up easily.

Timmy [Cavey] across the road set a bunch of traps down in the woods. The next morning he came running up where I was cleaning pig pens and said we caught a turkey. It was a buzzard. We turned it loose and it flew up in a tree and sat there all day. The next day he checked the traps and someone had stolen them all. He's a tough luck kid.

March 15 1978

We received about 4-6 inches more snow today. However all the other snow was about gone due to some warm days and rain. It was snowing hard this morning and all of a sudden there was a huge flash of lightning and a clap of thunder. We had Bagel put to sleep the day before yesterday and buried him in the back yard near the fence. Tommy and Timmy offered us a real nice little beagle yesterday. So tonight I brought him over cause Jane wanted to see him. He was very shy in the house because he was used to being outside. He sniffed around a lot and tinkled on the living room rug. Tomorrow we are going to D.C. with Tom & Diane to take a tour with Susan & Ron.

The surveyor sent a plat of the Frederick Co. property and we were surprised to find we have 3.4 acres. We bought it as 2 acres + or -. Too bad it aint a little flatter and not so rocky.

March 24, 1978

This is Good Friday. Today I finally got the last of the field corn picked. It was under snow for a long time and was still in good condition. We have now had our new pup since Sunday afternoon. He is a fine looking dog with the tri-colored face and his legs are white with a lot of brown and black and just like velvet. He is so introverted and shy and won't come to us all the time. Some people say he must have been treated badly before. The farmers almanac is calling for more snow. I got a lot of trees trimmed up at Janes tree farm this week.

That trip to D.C. was interesting in the Smithsonian Air Museum and money printing place. But we walked for miles and were quite tired.

Nov. 7, 1978

Hold your breath! I picked and ate four ears of silver queen for lunch today! That has to be a record. Lardy and I planted some silver queen real late and we have had the most beautiful fall weather for the last 7 weeks, you wouldn't believe it. So we've been eating corn for 2 or 3 weeks. It is delicious. We've had frost 6 or 8 times but it hasn't killed much. Like I picked tomatoes today too. And english walnuts, the best we ever had. See we haven't had 1/8 inch of rain in the last 6 or 8 weeks. So the nuts were ready to eat soon as they fell off the trees, not bitter at all. I wouldn't have et all of that corn for lunch but Mother Jane wasn't here to get her share. Also the wind has been real calm!

Almost forgot, today is election day. Hughes vs. Beall for governor. Yesterday it was 76° -- a record.

Nov. 11, 1978

There was a black snake outside the stable door tonight. Is this unusual for this time of year? Beetle [the new beagle] was curious but he didn't get too close. It was about 3-3 1/2 ft. long.

Nell is now in the hospital, very weak. Jane has a job working for her on Wednesdays. On her second day (Wed.) they went back to see Nell's dog Suzy. Nell collapsed back there, but Mother Jane was able to get her to the hospital. She hasn't been eating enough. And who knows if she takes her medicine.

The weather continues to be beautiful and dry, the nicest fall I have ever seen. There still are a few ears of corn to be picked. I picked a few tomatoes today and that's something.

Nov. 15 1978

We had 6 ears of corn, little nubs for lunch. It was delicious. Never picked corn this late before. We got a little rain today. It is the first measurable rain we've had for 2 months. It has been just like spring. Still no killing frost.

Nov. 16 1978

More silver queen for lunch. How's that fer a birthday surprise. I found a whole lot of latex paint leftovers and mixed em all together. There was purple, yellow, white, blue, green and it turned out orange. I started painting the stable with it.

Nov 21, 1978

I should've written this yesterday. But I found this huge cherry tomato bush out in the pasture between the barn and the row houses. There are a bunch of telephone poles and a couple years ago the cattle were fed fodder and hay on these. This left the soil there very rich and all these hog weeds grew in a big circle. Well a couple of sows and their pigs have been foraging around during all this nice weather and they knocked the big weeds down and I looked over there yesterday and saw this red what I thought was a piece of plastic so I went over to pick it up and here was this huge tomato plant or plants loaded with cherry tomatoes and it looked like a Christmas decoration up close. So I showed it to Hilda when she got home from work. She picked a gallon of tomatoes. We also had silver queen for lunch yesterday. Each time sets a record for us. We had 6 ears Saturday for lunch. They are very small but good. They do better in dry weather late because rain tends to enter the ears and decay them. We had frost night before last and it would have been chilly in the morning but we haven't had any wind for months and that makes the weather even more pleasant.

Beetle got away from me on Saturday afternoon at 4:30 at the Bagel Shop on Liberty Rd. We searched for him lots but did not find him till Sunday afternoon at 2:30. He was right where he was last seen on Saturday. He came out on the short end of a fight and is still getting his strength back. Beetle likes to play with the little pigs on the farm. That's something to see.

Nov. 25 1978

We had about 5 ears of silver queen for lunch. Donald & Karen & Jane & I. It was very good. That's got to be a record. And that is the end because it is getting cold.

Nov. 27, 1978

We woke up to several inches of heavy icy snow this morning. The first.

Dec 4, 1978

Today's temperature set a modern record. It was 71 degrees. But Chicago, where Ann Bogat [niece, Hilda's daughter] is, the wind chill index is -20 deg. Blizzard and all. Sat. Dec 2, I went down to the aged home construction site and laid blocks. They have been asking for volunteers for Saturday mornings. It was a very nice day. The latest national scare is a gasoline shortage. Shell is rationing its gas to its stations. We started the fireplace yesterday so we won't be burning much oil.


Jan. 18, 1979

I better get some of this information about Md.'s governor down before I don't believe it myself. As we know Gov. Mandell was convicted in Federal Court on all kind of mail fraud, etc. Well the other day about a week ago, a higher court struck down the verdict. So he's still had 5 or 6 days left in his term. He said he wasn't in a great hurry to resume the governorship from Acting Gov. Lee. But the next day he did so anyway. He just rescinded a letter of 10 months ago. Then the day before yesterday he let Gov. Lee be governor again for a 1/2 hr or so, so that Gov. Lee could swear in a lady judge he had appointed while acting gov. Then Gov. Mandell took over again. Yesterday, our new governor, Hughes, was sworn in. Mandel was not invited to the ceremonies. Hughes says that he is going to try to give us more honesty in govment. Now today we hear that the prosecutors are asking the higher court to reconsider their decision. But they never change.

I've been getting some puns published in the Evening Sun Pun Contest. 1 one day and 3 another day. I expect one more tomorrow which is the last day of contest. 12 were interred.

Pun contest: little Shaefer.
(This little Schaefer will grow up into Governor Schaefer,
whom you will meet again 8 and 1/2 years further down.)

Pun contest: shot tower and Poe house.
(Ben Valben is Pop going through his Les Miserables phase. Must've been on tv that year.)

Today is cold, windy & icy. The winds are so hard it's scary. The fireplace hasn't gone out for a month at least and we are really running some wood through it. Tom [son-in-law] and I purchased a chain saw from Timmy for $75. But my back is feeling too bad to try to start it. But we could use the wood. Anything to cut down on the use of fuel.

Jane & I visited Nell this afternoon up at the nursing home in Randallstown. She's doing better, but has a cold.

This is the time of year for Boggle & Scrabble and cards. I had the good fortune of winning 3 games of Scrabble in a row. I rarely win. One time I used all 7 letters plus an existing S to form FRAGMENTS or something [it was PIGMENTS] but it gave me a triple word plus 50 bonus. Last night Tom and Don had back to back 7 letter words. [Tom, THEORIES; me, STEAMED. Duly recorded right there on the Scrabble box bottom.]

We have more good candy around here. The A&P reorganized their stores and threw it away by the bushels.

Tues. night Jan. 30 1979

In searching fer pig food today, I came upon a dumpster loaded with about 1000 lb. of raisins. All in 30 lb. cartons. Looks like the Bagel Shop got some worms in their raisins and had to throw them away. The odd part is that raisins are so scarce right now and are worth $2.75 a lb in the stores.

Sunday we had some ideal snow for making snowmen. So we decided to make a huge one. We did, 10 ft tall. Tom stood on a step ladder to top it off. It looked huge even from Rolling Rd. But it fell apart Monday not due to thawing because we expected it to be up for weeks. But it looked like it split apart at the base. We'll have pictures of it.

Monday we went to Sues & Rons & Eliz. Another little feller will be here real soon.

Feb. 4 1979

Sunday night. I should have noted that Susan & Ron had a boy born on Feb 1. 10# 2 oz.

Feb. 5 1979

We went to see the new grandson. Ron & Suz opened up the sofa bed and rested cause they were so tired. I went to sleep on the sofa and Jane played with Elizabeth. Mathew is so plump. Ron says he looks just like him when he was a baby.

Feb. 7

We have our largest snow of the year today. All public school systems in Md. were closed. No one remembers anything like this before. The snow is real light and dry. It came from the southeast which is odd. If it starts to blow we got trouble.

Feb 12, 1979

Monday night. We are having some of the coldest weather ever seen around here. Saturday, if it had been blowing, it would have been the roughest weather I have ever seen. Records were set Saturday and Sunday around 0. It has really been snowing today. This is on top of the last snow which hasn't melted a drop (flake). The Volkswagen is just about scraping bottom now. About 12 inches out there now and piling up. Last Friday Jane & I hauled the bookshelves to Springfield Va. They are for Ron's offices. (2) 7' high x 5'5" wide (2) 40" x 7' high backed up with paneling, beautiful. I was scart to death that they wouldn't go in the building because of the size, but they went in beautiful. The truck was a smooth running piece of machinery on the trip. But cold on account of no heater. Yeah, Beetle went, too. We had em all set up and on the way to Susan's before 12.

I almost forgot, Saturday morning our largest gilt must be 500 lb. was having pigs when I got up there. She had 9 but 2 were born dead and 1 died the next night. I had to really close up the stable tight cause it was freezing in there. Then I heated up buckets of water and brought them in and made 'em a low nest shelter and tonight they seem quite cozy and growing too.

Feb. 14, 1979

2 below zero at the airport, another record. Thank goodness no wind or we would be in trouble. We went to Susans & Rons today.

There is big trouble in Iran where we get 5% of our oil. They haven't produced oil for 6 weeks and the U.S. is going to be feeling it soon.

Feb 19, 1979

Monday morning. Last night we received another foot of snow on top of the others. I just came back from walking up to feed the hogs. The snow was up past my knees all the way making walking very difficult. The snow was very close to the top of the bottom stable doors so I just opened the top door and took a giant step for swinekind and entered thusly. It is the most snow I have ever seen and still coming hard and blowing. Mrs. Lehmann [mother-in-law] was telling Jane on the phone this morning that she has never seen anything like this. However the temperature has risen to 22° which is quite a difference from the -2° of Saturday and Sunday.

We have not had an oil delivery since Jan. 9 and the oil gauge has been less than 1/8 tank for some time. Jane keeps calling the company but no results. See a new company bought Exxon and they claim Exxon sold 'em a whole lot of trucks which were shot. Tom & Diane have the same company and they were ready to run out Friday. So Tom & I gathered up a whole lot of buckets I been having up on the farm with snaps on tops and we hauled 61 gallons of oil for them Saturday. We bought it from Royal Oil Co. where a friend (Jim) runs the place. He has plenty of oil and he let us have it for 45.9 cent per gallon and home delivery is $.54. Jim is a hay and corn customer of mine and is also Ruth Lehmann's [sister-in-law] brother in law.

We keep the thermo on 55 except right before we went to bed last night we set her up to 65° for 10 minutes. It was so cold yesterday we had our hands full maintaining 64° in the living room. Jane set 2 card tables in there yesterday and that's where we ate lunch.

In order to get extra heat from the fireplace, we placed a fan at the bottom duct to blow more warm air out the top and today we removed the louvers so that air can flow more freely. The best we have been able to do is 67° or 68° on a wall thermometer hanging on the south wall of the living room. It is unbelievable how much wood can go through that fireplace. The maximum heat is when there are red coals all over the basket. I aint complaining because anybody without a fireplace is in real trouble. This is the coldest Feb. on record for 80 years so far.

After hauling oil for Tom & Diane Saturday, they decided to come down and help us cut some logs for the fireplace. So Tom and I carefully read the instructions for the chain saw which we bought from Timmy for $75. Sure enough it started right up, so we went down in Kelbel's woods and cut down 2 dead trees and sawed 'em up and hauled 'em home. Jane got so cold that she had to sit in the truck. I was using the chain saw which is hard work and I was quite warm. The chain came off so we quit.

Last night was our 32nd anniversary so we went up to White Coffee Pot Jr. and got a fish sandwich and then went to the Randallstown Convalescent Center to visit Nelle. Nelle is a sister-in-law of my my late sister Bernice. Jane does her laundry and is her most constant visitor and I visit often too. We listen to Pastor Bissett on the radio coming from ABC [Arlington Baptist Church]. Nelle is a former resident of the aged apartments here on Clays Lane. She does not know her apartment has been closed for a month or so. Nor does she know that her dog is no longer back Kelbel's kennels. We think she has been declared incompetent by Dr. Phil, her nephew. Nelle has really made a recovery since she left the hospital. She doesn't say nearly as many unbelievable things as when she was our neighbor. All this is due to her getting proper medicine because while she was alone no one knew when she took med. or not. Her legs are no longer swollen. No one from the apartments shows any interest in Nelle except Mrs. Ray who went with us one night to visit her. And Mrs. Long sent a card.

I refinished an old trunk which I bought a couple of years ago for 2 or 3 $. It was in the basement of a house in town that was being sold at auction. I went in early to see the house. No one could find how to light the cellar lights. So I went out and got a flashlight from the truck and looked all around. That's when I saw the trunk and made a deal with Mrs. Raines who was executrix. Also found a little match box holder on the wall and have it on the kitchen wall now. The trunk turned out beautiful. I would liked to have bought other stuff but the auctioneer hollered for everyone out so they could start the sale.

Jane & Donald just came back from walking out to Rolling Rd. Beetle went too and he got out of the tracks in back of them once and he was floundering around in the unbroken snow trying to get back to them when all at once he just tunneled under the snow to them. [Get it? He disappeared behind us, and then popped up through fresh snow beside us!] Think I'll go put some bagels and donuts on the fireplace pot for lunch.

Monday Night Feb. 19, 1979

Latest word is that the snow was 20-21 inches and a record for snowfall in 24 hours. We shoveled our driveway this afternoon. Also we have broken the record for most snow in Feb., 40 some inches.

Tuesday Night Feb 20, 1979

We got our Evening Sun today and on the front page is a picture of the Evening Sun of the 19th which was never printed. The publisher realized that the paper could never be delivered so he didn't roll the presses. No one can remember this happening before.

The police of Baltimore were so hampered by the snow that looters took over lots of the city last night and the night before. There is a curfew tonite and last night. Over 300 looters have been arrested.

The temperature was nice today and some snow melted and it all compressed a little.

So many people are running our of oil and food that they are flashing emergency numbers on T.V.

Monday Night Feb. 26, 1979

Susan & Ron brought the new Grandson Mathew over today. He was sleeping on the sofa and Jane and Diane and I were looking at him and all of a sudden a little finger on the end of an arm shot through between us and hit the little feller square in the mouth. It was Elizabeth. Mathew just squinched up a little and stayed asleep.

The snow has melted so fast with a whole lot of rain that there was a lot of flooding around here. Schools started 1 hr late and this was the 1st day back in a week at least. I forgot to write that we got oil Tuesday nite. The tank took 235 gallons. I didn't know it held that much.

March 27 1979

Bubble-blowing farmer.
Bubble-blowin' gentleman farmer
(red check by Mom)

Aug 21, 1979

One week ago today, we had such cold weather, it was setting records around here. I aint complaining cause at least it aint the hot dog days we usually associate with Aug. We had 2 blankets on one night. If the corn up on the farm makes hard ears it will be a miracle. Corn needs hot nights. Tom's ball team down at Emmarts Church won a championship game tonight. This should bring one heck of a change in the weather. We had a couple of pigs that grew so well. They were born July 14 and one weighed 35 lb. and the other a couple lbs. less. So we put em in the Volks and took em to a big hog finishing farm this afternoon. $30 each. Bryan was in front with Beetle and Jane was in the back with the pigs. They fretted a little at first but settled down right good. Mother Jane got a bite or 2 and looked a trifle dirty.

October 10, 1979

Nobody's gonna believe this. But today we had a lot of snow fall. It rained all night and we heard on the news while lying in bed that there was some snow. We looked out and sure enough there was a little snow on the roofs (real wet). Then it started to snow real hard until lunch time. There was an inch at the most around here but much more farther north and west. Cars coming down Rolling Rd. at 8 A.M. had lots of snow on them. This was the first time I have ever seen snow laying on blades of corn which are deep green, still. The corn on the farm was planted June 10-15 which is very late and the weather lately has not matured it. It is hardly fired at the bottom of the stalks. Carlton Stem has the whole place in corn. I came out of the stable this morning about 10 A.M. and there was a fox down in back of the barn. It was snowing hard and he heard the door shut so he moved off and then another fox appeared right near the first. That's the first time I have ever seen 2 foxes traveling at the same time.

The national news just said that the snow was over most of the east coast. It was the earliest snow ever in some areas. It was up to 1 ft deep. In D.C. it was the earliest snow in this century. By the way, we have been getting the heaviest rains we've ever had around here lately. We could get frost tonight. Bad news for that corn.

The Orioles open the World Series tonight. It was rained out last night. The outfield is pure slop. They play Pittsburgh.

Dec. 13, 1979

We have just finished the finest, warmest, sunniest 10 days or so that anybody ever saw in December. Rain stopped it last night and now it is getting cold. Plenty of broken records in this hemisphere.

Gold and silver are the talk of the world. Ads in the paper offer to buy yours. I have been thinking about going prospecting but haven't gotten started yet. Really ought to find out what raw gold looks like.

June 30, 1980

Yesterday afternoon at 4:15 a storm came through here that was pretty close to being a tornado. The rain was horizontal. And the wind lifted rain out the rain gutter on the back garage and turned it into a vapor. I called Mother Jane to come out the cellar where she had taken refuge and look at that which we had never seen afore. Then the storm went to town and blew trees across houses and tore up the Baltimore zoo. And turned a crane over at the Dundalk Marine Terminal. This sort of thing happened in Maryland about 30+ years ago near noon one Sunday. A fierce wind came up on a clear hot day and went through here and then down to the Dundalk Marine Terminal and upset a big container crane only this time 2 men were killed while working on it. Then the wind turned up the East Coast and tore things up there. We needed that rain yesterday bad. But rain that comes down horizontal don't add up like a regular rain storm. In fact the ground looks dry today.

July 24 1980

We picked 2 ears of silver queen today and gave em to Hilda and Anne [Hilda's daughter]. Hil called to say how good it was. This is the earliest I ever had silver queen. The extreme hot spell has ended about 4 days ago. The record breaking heat wave was over the South and up to New York. Hundreds have died from the heat which in Texas was 112° for days and days.

Mt. St. Helens erupted again yesterday or the day before I should say.

The dry weather is hurting the corn crop. Kelbel's looks bad, but ours looks fair. Kelbel's ground is probably wearing out.

We now have aluminum siding on the dormer windows and are painting the rest of the house.

Nov. 16, 1980

We woke up to our first snow this morning. Just about 1/2 inch. Then it warmed up and melted right away. The Godfather rated 2 parts this year. One on Friday and one on Sunday.

Dec. 1 1980

We had a record setting 68° today. Beautiful.

Dec. 2, 1980

Today we had 64° and it was really nice until 5 P.M. Then we had a few drops of rain and the wind started to blow with hurricane force and getting cold.

Dec. 3, 1980

The wind is fierce and has caused a lot of damage. No rain about 35°. The first time I ever saw a traffic light almost flip over completely. The bottom lights had disappeared entirely. This was at Security and Belmont Ave. I forgot to note this, but Sunday a hot air balloon floated across and landed near Hebbville.

Dec. 8 1980

We have been getting the prettiest weather anyone could imagine. 74° today. We even let the fireplace go out. We chopped a bunch of leaves with the Gravely. They will make pig bedding.

Dec. 25, 1980 Christmas Day

Just listening to Channel 11 and the weatherman said we had a record low of 10° today, wind chill factor -46°. But it was nice and bright. Though there is some sickness in the family, we had a very nice celebration. Lots of singing carols and trading gifts. Ralph had my name and I got sweet smelling liquids and soap. He claims he wasn't trying to tell me anything. He also threw in a huge box of Almond Joys left over from last Christmas. I had Mike's [nephew] name and he received a nice family tree. Poor ole Nelle died yesterday morning at 10 A.M. We missed visiting Nelle Saturday night because there is so much virus around that T.V. was asking people to stay away from nursing homes. So one week we missed seeing her and she died. She should go into Readers Digest as the most unforgettable character I've met. Nelle lived in a world partially real, partially fantasy. She was the intellectual type; taught school, was postmistress, sold Avon cosmetics, had a diction & acting school years ago. Hilda was a pupil of Nelle's. I had the honor of teaching her to cook corn a year or 2 ago. She didn't realize that corn didn't need to be boiled all afternoon. Practical things were not her thing.

We are getting ready to go up to Diane & Tom's for our annual Christmas party and exchange. I hate to think of hauling so much stuff around. Then tomorrow night over to Steven & Donna's for supper with the Bosleys.

Mar 16 1981

Letter to the editor: My wife James.
re: Mother Jane
Letter to the Evening Sun (Monday, Mar 16 1981)

Friday, June 26, 1981

Yesterday at 6-7 P.M. we had the worst storm ever to come through here. Some say it was a twister with hail or hale. It looks like something that you see in the movies. The old hay barrack blew over. And several large trees around the farm house, one shed roof and minor damage that we find as we go along. Hideys lost a barn roof which blew over a larger barn roof and slammed into the house, breaking all the windows on the west side and this let the rain blow in to ruin furniture and T.V. The corn on the farm had been doing exteremely well, about over knee high. The storm broke much of that off and the hale shredded the blades on the rest. But I believe a lot of that corn is going to survive. Electric poles were down on Rolling Rd. along the farm and other places so electricity was off for a while. They do an excellent job of restoring service around here. This hale was odd in that it was not round. About the size of a quarter but flat. Some seemed like several pieces frozen together. The nursing home was flooded again. Seems there is a major error in water drainage around the building. Water was over shoe tops in at least one room. Not to get off the subject, but the inmates and staff of the Nursing Home had a picnic on our lawn Tuesday at noon. Must've been about 90 people. Jane and I ate with them. They seemed to really enjoy the occasion. The lawn this year is extra pretty in that we have had much rain lately. Still we are way behind our yearly quota.

April 6, 1982

We are now in the middle of what will be known as the April Blizzard of '82. We didn't have any accumulation of snow here but up north farther it was something else. The baseball season was supposed to open in some northern cities but that's out for a while. Orioles opened yesterday in cool sunny weather. The winds around here are unbelievable. A tractor trailer which was hauling containerized stuff at Rolling & Clays Lane had its cargo blown off the trailer. It's going to be about 20° tomorrow morning which will be a record. Records are being set all over the place. The Concorde could not land at N.Y. so it came into BWI. Some people have stuff planted in the garden. At 5 P.M. ice had already formed on water in barrels, etc.

July 23, 1982

We had our first ears of silver queen corn today. Could this have been an early record. It came from Hilder's garden up in Owings Mill. We planted it about the middle of April in excellent weather.

Sat. July 31, 1982

Hilda had her stand open on the front lawn for the first time this year. A bit earlier than other years. She had silver queen off 2 plantings. It brought 20 cents an ear or $2.25 per dozen. This is a record. Jane's relatives had earlier corn. Ralph's yellow corn had the best taste of the very early. The early white was lousy. The yellow and white (cream and sugar) was good. By the way, hogs brought 62 cents from Esskay. This is about twice what they brought about 2 years ago. Everyone is thinking hogs that have the facilities. I have approx. 82 head at the moment.

Oct. 18 1982

I am making this entry because of 2 most unusual events. This morning we had a very heavy frost and ice. This is unusual in that as a rule we have 2 light frosts before the heavy frost. Usually a couple of weeks apart. On top of this the grape vines are hanging full of nice sweet blue grapes. Whoever heard of that. Where were the bees that usually sting the grapes and spoil them. Also the temperature was a new record low of 30 at the airport. It had to be colder than that around here cause the ice I picked up was 1/16 of an inch thick.

Dec. 6, 1982

I should be kicked for not writing sooner. We have had the warmest spell of late Nov.-Dec. weather imaginable. Records were set the last few days, like 75° yesterday. Going outside in short sleeves. Some trying to get a sun tan.

Dec. 12, 1982

We woke up this morning (Sunday) to a big snow about 7 inches with some drifts. It sure put an abrupt stop to everything. It did not melt much today and the roads are not clear except the main highways. Jane had just cut some of the high spots of grass on the lawn a few days ago. Church was really empty today although they had done a good job on the parking lots. I ate a few grapes off our vine here in Dec. about 5 or 6 days ago. They were wilted but tasted good.

Feb. 11, 1983

We awakened this morning to several inches of snow and coming down hard. Norman Lewis on 11 told us all about this storm well in advance. Now at 7:00 tonight we have about 2 ft. of snow. This storm started in the South and is called the worst storm in 43 years coming from that direction. It is the deepest snow I've ever seen but not the worst snow storm in that a car goes down Rolling Rd. every once in a while. When we have seen the road clogged to everything but bulldozers. A most unusual thing was thunder and lightning around 11 o'clock to 3 this afternoon during heavy snowfall. This we have heard before [see March 15 1978]. Norm has said the snow will stop around 9 tonight. We'll see. We did not try to go out today with any vehicles and it looks like we won't get out for several days. If the winds start from the west, we will have a blizzard like never seen before.

Feb. 14, 1983

We now have dug out both car and truck. Tom & Diane and Jane & I drove around this afternoon (Sunday) to Steve's & Donna's. A snow plow isn't any good there [Lochearn], so all the neighbors dig the street out. Then we went up Hilda's. She wasn't home, but her car ain't going nowhere for a while. She needs a bulldozer badly. Churches were called off today and a whole lot of cancellations for tomorrow are to be announced on T.V. tonight.

April 17th 1983

Sunday Night - I'm scared to write this for fear no one will believe it, but we had snow mixed in the rain this afternoon at 5:30. It is cold like maybe ice tomorrow morning. Suppose we don't get a growing season this year. Not that I want to plant anything but sure like to eat the stuff some other sucker raises. We had the rainiest March on record and have gotten several semi-floods out of the East in 12 days. By the way we have 2 little turkeys in a box here in the house. I have 4 turkey hens and one gobbler. At this time they have laid 85 eggs. Kelbel's bantam hen sat on 4 eggs and hatched out 2. They have had some narrow escapes from death due to getting very chilled. Their being alive is a miracle.

April 19, 1983

Yow Wee is it cold around here. A big snow storm missed us but they got it to the south and north of us. This April 19th is considered the coldest 4/19 ever over the largest area of the U.S. It's been snowing here since 4 P.M. It's 7 now but the snow is horizontal, it's so windy. I don't think the snow will accumulate because it's such a tiny bit blowing around.

April 20, 1983

To err is human but why do I have to be so human. Sure enough, the ground was covered this morning. It was pretty with the dark green grass shining through the inch of snow.

June 16, 1983, Thursday - The Evening Sun

Letter to editor - Getting Smart.
Letter to the Editor -
a rhetorical question, I think.

August 10, 1983

We are having the dryest summer I've ever seen. Like 6-7 weeks with no measurable rain. The field corn is not going to make ears in some parts of the fields. Yellow clean to the top blades. All this before a rain we had a week ago which helped. Frederick County has applied for designation as a disaster area. Silver Queen doesn't taste quite as good as usual. Hilda's garden is good because she waters it. A farmer being interviewed on T.V. said there will not be a bushel of corn to shell in all Frederick County.

August 13, 1983

Resurrection Acres, our new cemetery on Clays Lane had its first burial yesterday. A man named Peterson, 43 yrs. old. We visited the gravesite in the late afternoon and lots of other people came to see this. Most unusual.

Dec. 13, 1983

We are having a gloomy rainy but fairly warm day. I would be digging trees except for the weather. We are selling white pines for Christmas with roots $30. But one customer bought 32 for a line planting and I have to plant them, that's $40.

Alive Christmas 
...or maybe that's going a little too fir.
The Randallstown Times got a kick out of Pop's billboard.
("Christmas Around Baltimore County", Wednesday, Dec 25 1974)

We are now out of the pig business since Sept. 13, 1983. And life is quite different. If it were not for the cat of Edith's in the cellar and Beetle, we would have no dependents at all.

Susan & Ron have bought a big house over in Fairfax County. We have been over twice and they will move in Dec. 17. We stayed over night last Wed and Thurs and did some partitioning and paneling in the basement. This house will be so suitable for them in that they like to entertain large groups. The weather has been very nice so far this season. In fact some flowers at the back door have not frozen. We had our oil tank filled in warm weather when we caught a sale at 93 cent @ gal. So we heat the house in the morning if it's cold enough and then coast through with the fireplace. After all these years we learn that the fireplace does much better if the ducts are all blocked off while the fireplace is burning. All this cold air sucks up through them and I guess this is caused by the draft of the chimney. I was just preparing a little gift for my recipient for Christmas. It involved a piece of wood that needed staining. So I took a black walnut that the husk was wet and half rotten and rubbed it on it. What a fine walnut stain it made.

Dec. 14 1983

Today set a record of 60°. Wasn't that nice. The ground is absolutely saturated. I dug 2 trees today but quit when the third ball broke.

Dec. 27, 1983

It finally got up to 32° today after several days of 0+- with wind chills to 45 below zero. Records have been broken for several days.

Jan 13 1984

Letter to the editor: the drunk driver problem.
The drunk driver "problem"
Letter to the Evening Sun (Friday, Jan 13 1984)

[Hey, if you read it in the paper, it must be so!]

Nov. 1, 1984

This has been the warmest Oct. ever known. It is the most delightful fall imaginable. So stretched out. Lots of leaves have fallen and yet there are still many green leaves still on the trees. The fields are in soy beans and they just managed to get ripe due to a late planting after rye and barley. This is the day that Arlington Baptist Nursing center changes hands. It becomes St. Lukes Nursing Center. It will now accept Medicaid which ABC would not and that is the factor No. 1 which sunk ABC. Too little cash flow. I have been making a few little wooden knick knacks on a lathe which was a gift of John & Ruthie Kelbel. An old cedar fence post became a perfect piece for turning. We sent a little snuff jar to Debbie in California.

Dec 6 1984

Letter to the editor: Stupid and irresponsible tv advertising.
Stupid and irresponsible tv advertising
Letter to the Evening Sun (Thursday, Dec 6 1984)

Dec. 29, 1984

Today set records for warmest day in Dec. in 70 or so cities in the U.S. 80° in Balto. City. People going around sleeveless. There was a nice breeze today. Usually we think of a breeze giving a cooling effect but these breezes felt just like air from a heat duct. Warmer outside than in. I installed a large acorn, turned from a section of telephone pole, on our mailbox post. The mail box had to be side mounted to let the post receive the acorn. It was warm enough to apply polyurethane. By the way, a large cedar fence post yielded 6 large fruit bowls and 1 medium bowl.

Jan. 22, 1985

We are going through a very cold spell. Temperatures below 0 and wind chill -45. It will be known as one of the century's coldest spells. Florida has lost a lot of oranges. They can be used for juice if it warms quickly. About 17° in N. Florida.

January 25, 1985 8 P.M.

We are having the severest snow, blow and thunder and lightning storm I have ever seen. I went out to get wood for the fireplace and got soaked in that fraction of a minute. The snow is coming horizontal. It is very wet and looking into it toward the west it looks like a gray haze. Suz & Ron were here with the kids (4) and right after supper, I went out for wood and there was a layer of snow. This is very bright lightning.

Feb. 23, 1985

We have been enjoying a week of bright, beautiful weather. Just like Spring, 79° in Baltimore same as Florida. This broke a record of 78°, 110 yrs ago.

Feb. 24, 1985

Today was just wonderful. Just the right temp. Just like spring. We don't know the official temp, but a lady in church said it was 80°. We played some Jokarta [Jokari] over at Barre National parking lot. Norvil, Steve and Don played. The baby Danny [Danielle, Steven and Donna's daughter] is doing good, the picture of health.

Feb. 28, 1985

That was an 84° day Sunday or Monday. That was a record for the 110 yrs. of record keeping. Today, as the sun was setting a huge flock of starlings went over heading south. I've never seen anything like it. They came over flying high and just as far as I could see them in each direction north and south. The first big bulge tapered to about 30 ft wide and then even thinner. This happened about 5:50 P.M. Why haven't I ever seen this before. We've often seen birds circle and land but these were going straight and I'd say the flock was 2 to 3 miles long. I wish someone else had been with me in the backyard when they passed over. This weather is perfect. At times it is warmer outside than in. We keep a fire in the fireplace. We have burned barrels of sticks and tree trimmings today. They burn hot and fast and the house feels nice. Tonight it is supposed to go down to 20° but it will have to drop a lot.

April 9, 1985

What a day this has been. We awoke to the most beautiful snow that had fallen during the night. 3/8 of an inch on everything. The green fields shone through the snow making a lovely pastel green. All the oaks had a layer on all the limbs. These trees had no leaves yet. And the pines which are 6' plus were lovely, too. At 7:00 A.M. we headed for Chalkers [Mom's sister's family] to go to the Woodsboro auction. At this time the sun was bright and it looked like it would turn into a nice warm day. Not so. As we neared Woodsboro the snow started in earnest. We had breakfast and then went to the sale. I wouldn't get out of the car because of no rainwear and I didn't want to get soaked. The others got out for a few minutes. They came back to the car and Ralph decided to head home, but we had only gotten 1/4 mile and it looked like it was stopping so we went back and stayed 'til 11:15, the end of the sale. We started home and the snow started again, a wildly driven snow. When we got home it was clear and the snow here had melted. But in a few minutes, here comes a wildly driven snow shower which only lasted a couple minutes. The term snow shower is new but describes it well since the snow is wet and does not pile up.

April 10, 1985

Temperature around here set record lows of 28° last night.

April 22, 1985

Yesterday set a record temp around here -- 98°. It was most unusual in that there are no leaves formed on the oak trees to give shade and prevent the sun from scorching through. So a bunch of Aloe Vera plants were sunburned in the garage window. Just 2 weeks ago we had that snowy day.

May 1

Today set a record temp at BWI 88°-89°. Very dry weather, but nice for everyone but those who grow stuff. Planted Hilda's garden Saturday in nice dry soil. 4/27/85

Jul 19 1985 [Pop thought air shows and their occasional crashes were stupid.]

Letter to the editor: Blue Angels air shows.
Blue Angels air shows "not thrilling"
Letter to the Evening Sun (Friday, Jul 19 1985)

Sept 18, 1985

Should have written about 10 days ago we were in the midst of a heat wave. Schools closed early, etc. Then about 5 days ago it got chilly at night and people put the heat on. I have been spending some time at Rose & Pat's [in-laws], building a shop 18x20 for Pat. Their new home is being built. We did a lot of crabbing. Lots of small crabs. We were keeping one out of 5. The seaweed is starting to come back and one afternoon I was walking along the shore with a net and had 10 crabs in it when I hit the spot close to the road and walked back on the road. 1 softy and 2 peelers and 7 hard crabs, not bad.

This is the year of grapes apples and acorns. Everyone with an apple tree has apples. The grapes are all gone already. That heat wave knocked them out. The taste was extra hood and the ground was blue from over ripe grapes falling. The winesap tree has its best crop in 10 years or more. Mother Lehmann gets operated on this afternoon to have a pin put lengthwise in the bone that broke a few days ago as she was lifting her leg into bed. Donna has returned to work right after Labor Day, but has decided to call it quits as of yesterday. So she can be with Danny. She will work until or into Oct. Danny stayed with Jane yesterday again and was very good.

Dec 1

The flowers at the back door froze last night. Wild geraniums and aloe vera in pots.

Dec. 3

Danny's first birthday. She can say Pop Pop (that's Mr. Bosley.) We had a delightful fall this year. None of that cold wet weather until just 8 or 10 days ago.

Dec. 7.

A late entry: Yesterday Dec. 6, we woke up to an inch and a half of wet snow. It had begun to snow at 7:30 the night before. Things sure looked beautiful with that snow hanging on them. Last evening the Bossoms (6) came over for supper and then to go shopping. When Sus and Ron came home about 10:30, Ron flopped exhausted and said how tired he was. I said, Well Jesus probably appreciates it. And he said: Appreciates what? And I said: All you're doing to celebrate his birthday. [Son-in-law Ron is a preacher.]

Jan. 31, 1986

The nation had the official mourning program for the 7 passengers aboard the ill-fated space flight [Challenger] that blew up just 70 or so seconds after blastoff. I'm not sure if the vehicle was out of sight of the people watching on shore. But the camera kept focusing on the parents, etc., of the travelers. It was so sad. But worse that they had to show these people at a time like that. Such a fine bunch of individuals to be killed at once. One lady would have been the first public school teacher in space. Her little girl didn't want her to go, only to stay home with her.

June 6 1986

Mathew learned to ride a two wheeler today. A 16 inch bike that can be folded in two to put in car trunks. I think he learned because Jane told him that bike didn't go along easily enough and he should take a 20 inch bike. He said no, that was the bike he wanted to ride. He got to going along pretty good and I always ran beside him and he said, "Are your hands holding me?" I said no, here's my hands and held them in front of him.

June 13

Last evening we got the first measurable rain we have had in 10 or 12 weeks. It was so strange to see the rain. All the lawns had turned brown.

Nov. 16 1986

My 60th birthday today and don't feel a day over 59. Yesterday we got our first snow flurry and if you were not watching at that moment about 10:45 A.M., you would have missed it. Danielle will be 2 yrs. old Dec. 3, and can already carry on a conversation. Sentences of 5 or 6 words are not unusual for her. She has a nice strong voice, too. She has now become friendly with Jane. The other grandchildren did so sooner.

Nov. 29, 1986

We baby sat for Danny yesterday from 5 P.M. to midnite. Steve & Donna went to a wedding. Jane told me to go in the kitchen and get any dessert I wanted. So I brought a blueberry pie in to the living room and started to eat the amount I wanted right out of the pie pan. Danny was in the high chair still finishing her main course and she said, "Don't eat it all." And she aint quite 2.

Later in the evening she would say: Let's go see Mommy. But she didn't cry, just seemed very concerned.

January 15, 1987

Today's high temp was 63° at BWI. Must be a record. We have had a real nice winter so far. Praise the Lord.

Oct 8 1987

Letter to the editor: lawn chemicals.
re: Lawn chemicals
Letter to the Evening Sun (Wednesday, Oct 8 1987)

[This letter spurred Maryland's Governor Schaefer to write Pop personally, saying that he "could not agree more," that the University of Maryland just completed a study saying the same thing, and that he will be launching an official effort to "show all Marylanders how they can individually help the bay." Simply unbelievable, a letter to the editor actually having a small effect! I could've sworn they served as nothing more than funny papers for our peerless leaders.]

Don Schaefer.
Governor Don Schaefer

Dec 9 1987

Letter to the editor: Tree-hater's ways.
Tree-hater's ways
Letter to the Evening Sun (Wednesday, Dec 9 1987)

[Hey, Pop, what "public servant" would be willing to face our meat-grinder election system? That's only for the most power-crazed and money-hungry among us.]

Feb. 1, 1989

It was 73° today, a record. It beat last year's Feb. 1 which had the previous record. Even bugs and flies were flying around outside. It was bright and sunny. I was working at Ruth & John's [Kelbel] house. This has been a great January. Up in Alaska, it's been 60° below 0. Some thermometers couldn't record it.

May 3, 1989

I have the privilege of a private display of my cedar woodcraft art in the Randallstown Library at Liberty near Old Court. There are 30 pieces in a glass enclosed table all locked up and heavily insured. It will last 1 month. P.T.L.

Cedar fence post Liberty Bell.
Cedar fence post Liberty Bell hovering in my kitchen.
Crack not shown, and wofully under-insured.

I am old enough to retire but I have ambivalent feelings about retiring. It sounds dull or boring. Hope I never retire.

June 4, 1989

Stuff is home from the library. Also the stuff I had in the Catonsville Community College art show also is back. That was for a week or so. (Seniors)

July 5, 1989

Today we picked our first early girl tomato. The plant was a gift from Louise & Ed [Klohr] and they said we would have a tomato by July 4th. It will be quite a while before another ripens. we also had 10 string beans off 1 stalk which came up by itself. And we have been enjoying the tasty squash blossoms. Eating those which will never make squash. Jane is 62 today but can't get S.S. We are having a delightfully rainy spring and summer. The compost garden looks like a jungle.

Oct 18 1989

Letter to the editor: Baltimore reading.
Baltimore: the city that reads...
Letter to the Evening Sun (Wednesday, Oct 18 1989)

Nov. 2, 1989

Just came in from picking about the last of a fine compost garden. There were limas, enough for 2 meals, about a peck of green tomatoes, wrapped them in newspaper, a couple tiny squash with blooms, and 2 strange looking cukes. And a couple string beans to throw in with something else while cooking. The greenery of the garden is like mid season. In fact the tomatoes have put out vigorous new growth in the last 3 weeks. The salsify is beautiful and looks like it could grow forever if it stayed warm. And we had this for lunch (first full meal). Taking the largest which were 5/8 inch in diameter, I fried them after coating with cracker crumbs. They were delicious and the oyster taste was there. We have picked about all the limas up at Hilda's. Just a few pods left that were too thin to pick. We thank the Lord for a fine harvest and season.

For the record, bush limas got up to 7 ft high. Up at Hilda's, pole limas ran up 11 ft, came down 2 1/2 ft. and ran horizontal 9 ft. That's a long bean vine. The tall bush limas had to be tied up because they have no gripper shoots to support themselves. Maybe next year we'll plant a bean which is supposed to have 6 beans in a pod. We had 2 this year with 5 and I mean that's a handful of beans out of 1 pod. Also maybe we can plant more than 18. Hilda really likes them, but we couldn't let her divide em up because we wouldn't have gotten many. Learned that the hard way. We hope the salsify doesn't freeze. It takes a long season and deep loose soil. Even the compost was a bit tight.

Jan. 14, 1990

You aren't going to believe this: We had an earthquake here yesterday at 4:30 in the afternoon. I was watching "This Old House" on TV and heard this strange noise and shaking. The house was shaking for 10-20 seconds and I ran outside cause I thought a tree had fallen on the house or garage. Not that, Praise the Lord. I told Jane, I believe that was an earthquake. And it was confirmed on the 6 o'clock news or before on the radio. 2.5 on the Richter scale and the epicenter, 15 mi. from downtown Balto. to the west between Randallstown and Ellicott City which is right where we are.

We are also glad to report that one of our tomatoes lasted to Jan. 1 in the cellar covered with newspaper. We would have had more left, but Susan used lots of our tomato supply in storage.

Feb. 2, 1990

We have just come though the nicest, warmest Jan. after a snow covered cold December. It was so warm yesterday afternoon, that a little snake wandered out on the garage apron. It was about 15 inches long. I took it over into the field. Today is really warm too. In fact, we are not even keeping the fire going in the fireplace at supper time.

Oct. 29, 1990

Today was sort of a milestone around here. We passed the $100 sale mark of tomato sales. These tomatoes came from 5 original plants, early boy, I think. None of them got great big. Most were the size of 3 in a pack in the stores or a little bigger. They brought 50 cents for 3 or 50 cents for 4 real little at our self service stand.

Also I'd like to tell about the tornado which passed through Reisterstown 2 weeks ago. It tore roofs and walls off of huge apartments and private homes too. We went to see the destruction one afternoon. It could be seen from the rear of Chartley Shopping Center. Police were not letting anyone near.

Nov. 16, 1990

What a day for a birthday day this was. A beautiful sunny 77° day. Set a record. We now have a fine 4 lane Rolling Road from Clays Lane south. We can ride bikes from Clays Lane to Kay's [sister] on sidewalks. Mother Jane put out the tomato self-serve stand and sold $3.50 worth. This brings our total sales to $109.61.


Jan 22 1991. [Although it virtually never came up in his conversation, Pop was anti-war to the marrow of his bones. For instance, he painted a huge sign which said, "NO MORE KILLING OUR BOYS AND GIRLS IN IRAQ" and put it up beside heavily-traveled Rolling Road. He wouldn't even want to hear historical war stories, Civil War or anything else. One time he groaned and said, "I think what we should do is ban any mention of war for a year."]

Letter to the editor: gulf war.
War craziness
Letter to the Evening Sun (Tuesday, Jan 22 1991)

Feb. 4, 1991

We just ate our last home grown tomato for lunch. How did those little fellows get ripe? I don't know, because they were picked green, green. The wall of the tomato was very thin. We are having such sunny nice weather that it's more like spring. 64° so far today and rising. That's a record. A tree and stump dump up on Dogwood Rd. is on fire. The smoke is hanging around here and there, but our house here has missed it. But the valley down Clays Lane has had it bad. Soc. Security sent the workers home before lunch. It doesn't smell good, but I could stand it all right.

Letter to the editor: burning stump dump.
The fires of Mt. Stump Dump
Letter to the Evening Sun (Monday, Feb 25 1991)

I forgot to enter it: but I spent the first 10 days of '91 in the hospital with gastro-intestinal problems, heart and urine, too.

Nov. 17, 1991

Having just turned 65 yesterday, this is the 1st day of the second half of my life. Sure hope it ain't as long as the first half.

I spent the last week of my pre-retirement work days building things in Ruth Kelbel's ceramic store which is in her house. Ruth took pictures so it can be documented.

The Evening Sun published a letter of mine concerning euthanasia and doctor's not being for it unless the client paid for it on the way into the office.

Letter to editor: euthanasia.
The problem with euthanasia
Letter to the Evening Sun (Wednesday, Nov 13 1991)

Jan 13 1992

Letter to the editor: drug business.
re: Outsourcing
Letter to the Evening Sun (Monday, Jan 13 1992)

Feb 24 1992

USPS food drive letter.
re: Mailmen collecting canned goods for the hungry
Letter to the Evening Sun (Monday, Feb 24 1992)

Saturday March 13 1993

Wowee, we are having what is being touted as the worst snow storm (blizzard) of the century on the East Coast. At noon there is about 7 or 8 inches out there. It's blowing from the north NE which is unusual in that we usually get west winds. I've never seen a storm that closed all the shopping centers, but this one did. And this storm is clean from Alabama to New England. Everyone is supposed to stay home except hospital workers who are calling for 4WD vehicles. Bryan [grandson] has volunteered his jeep's services.

The governor (Schaefer) has declared a state of emergency and ordered the State Guard out to get roads open. This was at 6 P.M. All roads west of Frederick are closed. Pennsylvania has stopped all interstate highway traffic.

July 29, 1993

Today we held a little ceremony as the door of the elf house was opened for the first time. Susan, Ron and children attended. The children were invited to enter when the door was opened. But when they looked up and saw all the snake skins hanging there, they wouldn't go in. But with a bit of cleaning, they had fun going in. We dug out the woods earth on the bottom, which was more than 1 large wheelbarrow full and this meant the floor was much lower now. So I could get in also. Donna took pics of various ones looking out. One pic shows Danielle, Stephen & Marianna looking out.


Jan. 20

Boy O Boy, we have ice and snow like no one living around here has ever seen. Last night we got 2 inches of snow on top of all this ice. I went out taking pictures and fell down which is unusual for me. But I walked over in the field to get a shot of the row of pines with snow on em and I hit a spot where the water drains down though the field, didn't know there was glare ice under the snow. And my feet went up in the air. I curled up sort of so my noggin wouldn't hit so hard, but my rear broke right through the ice. My right wrist got the worst of it. But it isn't swelling yet, probably just cracked a secondary bone. Everything is shut down around here and has been for a long time. The trees look like a Currier & Ives painting. It is nice and calm and bright today. Temps have been below zero. Salt isn't working well on the roads. But friction wears tracks in the ice on main roads. Clays Lane is all ice and very rough but no getting stuck because the surface is so hard and rough. I took care of Carl's sidewalk this morning.

15 days ago Channel 13 came out to do a piece on the elf house and it was shown on the evening news at 6:45. So we are getting lots of comments from friends about that. Most wanting to know how I got in there. Maryland, Big George (Bauman) was the section it was in. Channel 13 had seen it in the Sun papers in Dan Rodrick's column [Evening Sun, Dec 8 1993].

Hebbville's elf house.
Hebbville's elf house
(and biggest elf)

This morning I am going to Edith Euler's funeral at Emmart's. Edith's mother and my father were cousins, I think, not knowing much about my ancestry. Edith's maiden name was Ritter. About the nicest bunch of people anyone could imagine. This leaves Lucille as the only surviving child of Cousin Annie Ritter and Truman Ritter. The home place was on Dogwood Rd. 2/10 of a mi. from Rolling (west). And Edith & Carville had spent the last 20 years of their life in a fine house on Dogwood about 2/10 of a mi. from Old Court (south). These people (deeply religious) could smile through the most difficult circumstances. Wilson was the boy of Annie & Truman's. We praise the Lord for people like this.

Feb. 11, 1994

Boy O Boy, they are calling this the Horrible Winter of '94. We haven't seen the ground this year. One ice storm follows another; about 5 in a row. And one is starting right now. Kids haven't gone to school since I don't know when.

Nov. 22, 1994

I just visited Ruth & Bub Farley and Ruth [sister] was out picking lima beans. She had 2/3 of a half bushel and they were beautiful. She was only picking fully filled beans and there were lots of pods left on. We have never seen anything like it. The lima leaves had been mostly frozen.

Jan. 13, 1995

Friday 13th set a record for warmth 71°, the old record 66°. What a day, what a bunch of days. The first wood put on one of the new houses (Ryland Homes). [These houses were the farm's last "crop".] The third house in from Clays Lane, which will be Windsor Blvd. I think it is Heather Rd.

Oct. 12, 1995

This is a day of rejoicing! I harvested 3 English walnuts off the little tree here at the SW corner of the house. These are the first nuts that ever matured on this 40 year old tree. I saved these 3 from the squirrels by putting cages around them. They are hanging in the garage to dry further. They look so hard as though a hammer will be needed to break them. Also hanging in the garage are some lima bean seeds from a plant in the compost that we picked very few off of but are trying to turn them into seed beans for next year. Kay & Rudy gave me the seed bean.

Oct. 15

We sold the 148th dollars worth of tomatoes on the SS [self service] stand today. I picked limas over at the Sweitzer garden this afternoon for supper. This has been my chore most of the summer; pick limas and corn right before supper. We had the last corn 2 nights ago, but the lima patch is beautiful and billowing with new growth. There has not been a bean beetle all year. Praise the Lord. We also had smooth kale for supper. I believe kale to be a health food, so we'll try to eat it often. Our best friend Mrs. Marilyn Sweitzer died about 1 month ago, so who knows if we will have a garden there next year? We have eaten more S. Queen this year than ever. We only missed a couple days between patches once it started. We spend a lot of time at estate auctions and find it profitable to buy alum., copper, brass junk to resell to salvage co. Silver plate goes cheap and it is either brass or pewter underneath and is salable. I have a car trunk full now. Hope to recycle tomorrow.

Nov. 5, 1995

We had ice last night. I don't mean a little frost. So I went over to the Sweitzer garden and picked what I thought was all the limas. They had ice inside the pods. I got more limas than we could eat for supper. What a patch!

Nov. 6, 1995

Went over to the S. garden to pick some kale for supper. While there, I looked for more limas and sure enough, found a big pile, 2 handfuls which we had for supper.

How I'd like to talk about the lima vine in the compost pile. This seed from Kay & Rudy is of the line which our forefathers brought from Germany. The seeds must be saved from year to year. So we only ate a few of these beans and the squirrels ate some until I trapped 8 of them. Our problem was getting the pods to dry up. A few did and we picked them, about 36, a couple weeks ago. Today I picked the last 97 pods and shelled 'em and put em in the sun to dry. But some were so green we ate 'em. So we will see if these beans which froze on the vine can be dried and sprout for next year's seed. We'll try 'em out before next spring. Now about the first ones I picked, they hang in an onion bag in the garage. All these pods from one seed. The problem is: where do I have a garden next year.

January 17th 1997

We ate the last of the '96 tomatoes that grew in our garden. We thank the Lord for the blessing of a nice little garden right here on our property. The tomatoes were so robust at time of frost and we picked a lot of the green ones to ripen on the ping pong table. We have had a very desirable mild winter up until 3 weeks ago when it got quite cold and some snow, but hardly enough to plow. We have had the pleasure of a huge hawk coming down a couple times to eat the crows feed; old bread and meat and fish. Also on Christmas day 3 buzzards came down to help the crows eat their good. One time the buzzards came down but they did not seem to like the lunch meat which the crows were eating, so they left after a few bites. These big birds are something to see up close. Also interesting is the interaction of the buzzards with the crows. Now when there was much meat, the crows ate right with the buzzards within a foot or 2, but when the buzzard turned around toward the crows, the crows had to back off. Then one day the crows left their food suddenly. And this huge hawk came down and the crows left. But another time, it looked like the same hawk was eating with a few crows about 8-10 ft away. Mother Jane found a nice pair of binoculars for watching the hawk. It is tan on the back, mottled a little with white, and white underneath. The hawk ate on a piece of fish one Sunday morning for about 20 minutes straight.

This year we only saved one english walnut out of 17 on the tree. We trapped so many squirrels, that we lulled ourselves into thinking that all were gone and the walnuts were safe. But as I looked over at the tree one day, it looked rather bare of nuts and I discovered that the woods squirrels had come and taken most of them off. So I put cages on them and was successful on one. Still haven't eaten it yet.

Let me tell you about our Christmas tree. Some years ago a deer had bucked into one of the blue spruce in the tree patch. So all the lower limbs were destroyed. So I clipped all the damaged limbs off so it had no limbs for the first 3 feet. The tree looked not so good, but we worked with it for years, shaping it up. And the last year we tied the lower branches up in order to give it a shape more like a conventional Christmas tree. So after all those years, it became our Christmas tree for 1996. And it was beautiful. We left it untrimmed the first week and also Jane untrimmed it for the last week, still looking good. We took it out yesterday and it's on the lawn now, still with good color. We still have the receipt from when we bought those seedlings from Mussers in Indiana, Pennsylvania.

Debbie called from Florida a couple nights ago. She had a car accident and didn't get hurt and the car is being fixed.

The Subock place is being developed. We will no longer be able to see the old farm house from our house because a huge house is being built between. The new houses have to be built up high in order to get sewer drainage so this makes them look extra big. There will be 28 houses on that property and they seem to be well built and attractive. So are the ones on our farm. Very attractive, big, a lot of angles, gables. Just a very nice looking batch of houses and they sold rather quickly.

Jan. 18, 1998

We ate our last garden tomato today, Sunday. We cut it up in little pieces so everyone got a piece. (Tasted bad.) This is not to say that we have been supplied with our own tomatoes, not so.

Feb. 2, 1998

We are expecting a nor'easter coming in a couple of days. So far we have had the mildest January ever. The storms have been rain with plenty of snow down South. But this time there is cold air coming to meet the wet coming from the South.

Feb. 10, 1998

We have been painting the living room; not orange this time - Old Gold. In preparing the room, removing pictures etc., I handed Jane a Coo-Coo Clock which hadn't run for 15 years and I dropped it. I thought she had it but she didn't. It broke the bird off the top, but Jane glued it back on. Well, we wanted it hung in another place and when we hung it, it started to run and is doing well. We are well supplied with clocks in the living room: the coo coo, the mantle, the old chimer from Ralph's antique shop, and the tower clock on the piano. I painted the dining room, picked out what seemed a light green. But not so. It will wake you up in the morning or anytime. But pretty.

March 3, 1998

Boy O Boy, we entered March with Jonquils and Daffodils blooming their heads off. And Crocuses too. Nobody had ever seen anything like this. So warm that the weather men use phrases like the year without a winter, the year winter passed up by. But today, we woke to a covering of snow and it's coming down fast. Maybe my snow fence will find out what its job is.

Aug 2, 1998

We had our first (early for us) pole limas for supper. They all came from 1 giant plant which was planted away from the others. It went up 8' then east 6' and west 6'. The others are in the compost garden and are doing well. Every thing is doing well. Squash, tomatoes, blackberries, peppers. We started selling tomatoes a couple days ago. We are on our own with Blackberries. Because the Hidey farm has been turned to chips and dust. There are no signs that anyone ever lived there except and electric line running through. Not a leaf or blade of grass is left, just bulldozers digging deep gullies in a farm that laid as pretty as anyone could want. But builders have to put in huge drainage ponds and huge cement pipes.

Nov. 27, 1998

We poured the concrete floor in the new storage show-house which was built in June by the carpentry camp students. The same students Brandon [great-grandson] and Stephen helped with the cement work.

Nov. 29, 1998

Sunday Morn: I took my bike and rode through the former Hidey farm. I took Lord Baltimore Drive to the end and then through to Dogwood Rd., over packed dirt, of course. Then West to Rolling, south on Rolling and had a snack out of the Super Fresh smorgasbord (dumpster). Then returned north on Rolling and saw cousin Douglas Sauter at Emmarts church. He called me over and Kay & Doug and I talked for a few minutes. I think it was between services.

Retro: We had Thanksgiving dinner at Louise's & Ed's again; 39 present. We played scrabble, bumper pool and air hockey.

Dec. 5, 1998

Global warming has surely manifested itself lately. It has been like April, 70°+. No complaints and very very little rain. Just 1 beautiful day after another. If it hadn't been for a few heavy frosts, limas and tomatoes would still be growing. In fact, Jane found a green tomato under the oak leaves and she will try to get it ripe. On the news, it said some are having a hard time getting in the Christmas spirit.

Five days ago, someone threw an explosive device at our southwest living room window; blew the heck out of windows and screen. It went off like a cannon just 8 ft away from where we were eating supper. 6:25 P.M. It was scary. Jane ran down the cellar to see if the furnace blew up. The curtain (shade) kept the glass from blowing way into the room. But we asked the Lord to calm us down and He did.

Jan. 3, 2000

Well here we are. We passed into the new millennium without any problems. Many people were so afraid, even Christians. They stocked up water, food, bought generators by the thousand. And we hear that they can't be returned. The supposed problem was concerning the computers that were not made to go to 2000. Or rather had to be reprogrammed to do so. The weather since before Christmas until today has been unbelievably beautiful and warm. Like today it was short sleeve weather like 70°. Some people didn't bother to light their outside lights tonight. It just seemed so unlike Christmas. This has been the 3rd straight year for very warm weather this time of year. I put up the snow fence today. A 4 1/2 ft orange plastic fence. This is the third year for our snowfence and it ain't stopped a flake yet. But that's fine.

1999 was a very dry year. Weeks without rain. People were urged to take the bath water and use it to flush the toilet. Baltimore tapped into the Susquehanna River to subsidize the local supply. The drought is really not over because the reservoirs are not up to proper levels. This situation will probably get worse as the population continues to explode. Most people don't give a hoot about water conservation. They think: Look as long as I can pay my water bill, I'm going to use it. Water running down the gutter from watering lawns, for instance. Countryfied people are used to conserving water, so they make out much better.


It is the late part of August and we have had the most delightful summer we have ever seen. Cool, lots of rain, pleasant. We recently have central air [AC] put in, but have only used it 3 days. Two men were killed while pouring concrete on a new building on Rolling Rd. They removed the braces on the high 8 inch wall and the wind came up and blew 100 feet of wall over. This was on Melvin Schisler's former farm. There have been records set in August for the coolest night. We need a cover each night. I am feeling so good, I feel like applying for a gravy job somewhere.

January 1st 2001

Happy new year. Just wanted to tell about Steven seeing this strange animal on his lawn and again on his street. Danny and a neighbor saw it too. Steven went to the computer and punched in coyote and that's what it is!!

We had 2 home grown tomatoes at Christmas and one left for New Years. Tomatoes were good this year. This year we lighted the blue spruce out at the mail box instead of the upright yew at the house; looked good.

Nov. 12, 2001

Tomato crop was good this year. We even sold some yesterday. Ada Wilhoit is having a surprise birthday party. Ada had expressed a desire for me to make her an egg in the nest. But I never did. So for her 85th I made her one. Out of a wild cherry tree that had died and fell over down in the woods. I sawed it up for firewood and noticed that it had a firm center so I turned a couple of pieces out of it. It turned good in the lathe.

Egg in the nest.
Egg In The Nest

I have now used cedar, oak, chestnut, apple, walnut and locust and wild cherry in the lathe. Apple worked best and chestnut was the toughest to work with.

We haven't had any rain for seven weeks plus.

Dec. 17, 2001

Would you believe they were cutting lawns over here at the industrial park. The lawns are beautifully green and well cared for.

January 6, 2002

We are getting our first snow of the season. We were hoping that this would be our 1st snowless winter.

January 28, 2002

It was 66° today - no record.

July 7, 2002

We awoke to an overcast day. But something was different. The sun was blotted out by this haze and there was no moisture. Later in the day we found out that all this haze was smoke from Canadian forest fires 700 miles away. We haven't had any measurable rain since I don't know when. Lawns are crisp and corn which had such a good start is really drying up.

Sharon [daughter] called from Unalaska and said they are having 19 hours of sunlight now.


Mon. Feb. 17

We have the deepest snow we have ever seen. It snowed Sat. night 'til Monday. So far the winds have not gotten up to 30 mph so it can't be called a blizzard. When it starts to blow, that's when we'll have trouble. I can't see us getting out for a week unless some heavy equipment comes along. There was on car on Clays Lane today, it was backing out. It must have gotten to where it was impassable. The snow has crushed lots of buildings including the Round House Railroad Museum.

July 27, 2003

We had the distinct honor of a filling station opening in the 2700 Block of N. Rolling Rd. Right where Morgan Schisler lived. Close to the end of Hidey's lane. And also partly on Melvin Schisler's farm. There is also a convenience store with a Subway Shop and ice cream section.

Nov. 3, 2003

It was 81° today. Everyone is talking about this unbelievably beautiful weather we have been having. We now own a leaf mulcher and bagger mounted on a 15 h.p. Sears. The leaves are falling fast and are not blowing because of no wind. It looks like this machine can do the job. Gonna be a lot of bags of leaves.

Aug. 7, 2004

This is going to be the third straight night of temps in the 50's and the days are delightful. We even close windows when we go to bed. Sometimes pull up the spread.

Aug. 31, 2004

We have had the nicest August in history. Not many hot hot days.

Jan. 12, '05

We are having the nicest mildest January ever. But a Klondike cold air mass is going to be here soon. Some brave souls are in short sleeves. Not me. Must get over the fact that George W. won the election. People didn't vote for him. They voted against Kerry. How could anyone vote for Bush, the lying war lord. He thought he was going to parade down the streets of Baghdad, but the only ones that came out to greet the Americans were the wanna be thieves and robbers and looters who were allowed to do what they wanted.

May 27 2005

Letter to the editor: slots.
The economic cure-all
Letter to the Evening Sun (Friday, May 27 2005)

Nov. 16, 06

My birthday. My second time over the hill. Deb called from Florida about 4:15 P.M. I described the weather to her: a rainy, windy day, not cold, but the wind bringing the rain horizontal. Well about 20 of 5, Debbie's card ran out so there were no bye byes. I proceeded to get ready to go out for supper. Here the rain suddenly stopped. The sun going down came out brilliantly. I mean bright. I drove out Windsor Blvd and when I got to Rolling, here is this perfect rainbow. Complete, no flaws. I just had to thank The Lord for letting me see his artwork.

Jan. 4, 2007

What a day. Just like spring. I just came back from Mars [grocery store]. Needed some rolled oats. I didn't wear a jacket, it was so nice. 8:30 P.M. The crocuses and the cherry trees are blooming in D.C. Global warming is coming [faster?] than predicted a few years ago. In Canada above the Arctic circle, a huge chunk of ice broke off. 41 miles square. It floated a little ways and hit some other ice and froze to that. What happens when spring thaw comes could be bad, if it breaks away and floats into the commercial lanes.

I got 48 one lb. fruit cakes and they are delicious. Been having a nice time giving them out. Guess where I got them.

Jan 7. 07

The furnace has not run for days. I think of how many people in Baltimore would have died if we were having extremely cold weather; street people and those who have not paid all their oil and electric bills.

July 20. 07

I have to say that this has been the most pleasant July ever. One or two days in the 90s. Breezy and nice right now and every night no AC yet. But we are in a serious drought and Md. is asking the Feds for money for farmers who aren't going to be harvesting crops.

Nov. 4, 2008

Election day! And the most exciting election ever seen. We could end up with a pretty girl for V.P. and with her partner (McCain) so old with bad health problems, we could have a lady Pres. But they don't have a chance against Obama. Who would? Here's a brown man, nice appearance, slim, most eloquent speaker ever. But he picked an oddball to run with him (Biden). There is nothing on TV but this and at 9:30 P.M., they are just about giving it to Obama. I saw a polling place this morning that had at least 1000 standing outside. Biggest turnout ever. I was in the hospital today having my heart put back in rhythm.

Dec 21, 2009

We have a record snow out there now. I've been inside 3 days and it hasn't melted an 1/8 of an inch. I did open the garage door to throw bread to the birds. Everything stopped except the Ravens who started playing at 4:15 instead of 2 PM. They had about 700 people cleaning the stadium.

Feb. about 9

We have snow out there like I've never seen. A record! about 27-32 inches. Everything has stopped. I'll be shoveling snow for days. I went out at midnight last night to make a track to Clays Lane and almost didn't get back in the garage with the car.



And last, but not least, and by all rights should have been first, but placed last so as not to run the risk of sending huge portions of the population running off screaming right at the beginning, the masterpiece that cemented Pop's reputation from right out of the starting gate for all times:

Letter to the editor: 
Valentine's Day.
Letter to the Evening Sun (Feb 10 1963)


Valentine photo.


Contact Ben's fifth kid: send an email; view guestbook; sign guestbook.
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