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Saturday, August 30, 2014

Fall is Near -- Some Fell Last Week

Of course, what else could be the BIG news of the week other than -- QUAKE! Both Gail and I were abruptly awakened in the early morning hours last Sunday and we both said:  "Earthquake" and I listened for sirens or other signs of imminent danger and then went back to sleep . . .

The above shows just a sample of the destruction and there are hundreds of red-tagged structures. Fortunately there does not seem to be any fatalities relating to this event.

This is the largest California earthquake since Loma Prieta in 1989 which was 6.9 compared to this one, 6.0.
I was fortunate enough to miss Loma Prieta as I was visiting my son in Germany at that time.

We look at this quake and immediately think about the possibilities here in Healdsburg of such a quake -- from time to time we do feel small quakes as they hit locally.

There is no mistaking the feel of your house shaking for what seems like "forever". The "wake-up" call sent by these quakes are soon forgotten to some extent and we continue our everyday lives hoping NOT to experience additional events . . .

We received calls from concerned relatives the next day and as we had slept soundly after being awakened we had not seen the news about Napa and were surprised to see all that happened.

Dates Next Week

There are a ton of birthdays next week, though some of them represent just the month as I did not know the exact day:

There are also many wedding anniversaries including Marilee & Bill, my sister and husband. So we wish all the very best on these dates!

Now, Even More Back to School

Last week I posted a couple of "back to school" mementos and I have four additional ones this week -- all courtesy of and their "School Yearbooks -- 1880-2012" collection:

Top left is Gail's mom from her senior picture at Bremerton High School in 1937. Top right is Marv Hiles in 1951 pictured in the Lions Township High Orchestra photo. Bottom right is Marilee Hiles singing in the Hinsdale Township High's Chorus in 1954. And lastly -- me -- in 1963 at PCC, Foreign Language Council.

I will continue to seek other yearbook photos from Ancestry and post them. I know that there are a lot more to discover and they are adding books all the time. Maybe I should donate my old yearbooks to them . . .

Now What is on Our Nightstand . . .

Actually we still are finishing up (one more night) reading "Taking the Lead" by Derek Hough. His book has been very upbeat and a pleasure to read. I am sure that he will write follow up books as he is still a young man -- and we look forward to them.

But our next read is sitting next to Derek's book and we'll probably start tonight:

This book was finished being written this year and has great reviews. John Wayne of course was a legend for our generation and we look forward to reading this book.

One thing I remember from my days living in Orange County -- besides the "John Wayne Airport" -- I remember seeing his yacht in Newport Beach -- the "Wild Goose".  What makes this so interesting to me is that the ship was a Navy Minesweeper, used in WWII and then converted to a personal yacht.

My younger brother served in the Navy during Vietnam on the USS Gallant, a minesweeper that had a complement of about 70 - 80 sailors. I believe that the "Wild Goose" and the USS Gallant were similar.

Speaking of Reading . . .

I have always enjoyed reading and usually I read some before going to sleep every night and I have done this since childhood.  For whatever reason just yesterday I was reminded of a night almost exactly 53 years ago this Sunday night -- September 1, 1961.

I was still living in Hinsdale, Illinois and on this particular evening I was reading while on our "jealousie" porch which has the kind of louvered windows that allows for a lot of air to be let in. This night was the afterglow of a stormy day and the air was fresh.

While reading in the wee hours (around 2 am) I heard a horrendous crash off in the not-too-far distance. Since we lived about a mile from a major Interstate (Route 83) I quickly assumed that it was a major truck accident.  When more and more sirens began to wail, I got up to see about investigating:

It turned out far worse than I imagined -- at the time it was one of the worst single-plane disasters in the U.S.

My older brother, who happened to be visiting at the time got up also and we ventured out a couple of miles to the scene of the above crash. We were fairly early onto the site and of course the fires and the smells were unforgettable.

We walked a bit out of curiosity along with others until we were sickened by what we saw. Even today, 53 years later I can "see" the images in my mind's eye.

The plane pictured above looks small compared to current models and of course it was "prop-job" not a jet. But it was large plane for it's day and after the investigation was concluded it was determined that the cause of the crash most likely was a missing bolt . . . 78 folks lost their lives in the crash -- no survivors.

Find-A-Grave has created a virtual cemetery for many of those folks at a site there for TWA Flight 529.

Current Sports Viewing

We still are watching the Giants play baseball, but now mostly if there is NO football game. Next week the regular season NFL games begin and we are anxious to watch.  It is amazing the difference in watching a pre-season game and a regular season game:

Above you can see the schedule for Week #1. We'll be recording several of the games to view. This week during the last pre-season games we watched both the Forty-Niner's and the Raider's games even though they were being shown at the same time live -- thank goodness for the DVR.

And I have to say that the Raider's first-time quarterback, Derek Carr was impressive to watch even though I have a hard time getting "into" a Raider game . . .

After the Niner's had a two and two pre-season, we hope that they can move forward with a winning style -- it makes it sooo much more fun to watch.

And, Lastly

It is hard to believe that 242 days have already gone by in 2014 with 123 remaining. And it is hard to believe that we are in a major holiday weekend:

However you celebrate -- have a great day! It is Saturday and that means burgers tonight!

See you all in a few!

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