Riggins with little brother Charlie and little sister Sadie.


Sunday, October 31, 2010

Sunday Notes.

After the train ride yesterday, that is a tough act to follow. I to say even as much as I like trains  having the company of a nine year old on her first train ride is an experience in the joys of life, just watching the wonder in her eyes as she got a tour of the steam engine from the engineer and had her picture taken with him reminded me of when the train engineers of my childhood were my heroes. It was truly an enjoyable experience, I had to laugh she had brought with her one of those disposable camera’s I guess with 24 exposures, Before we left the station she only had six shots left, so I told her if she was careful she could take some pictures with my Canon, When we got home I had 126 shots of which I knew 3/4ths of them would not be keepers, but I put them all on a DVD so she could give it to her Mom & Dad as a present. It was really a great day for both of us, and to say she enjoyed it would be an understatement. Thank God for kids they sure do make some of life's days really great.

Today was really another dreary dull, cold day, I hope the kid’s dress warm when they are out looking for treat’s tonight. Wendy says she usually gets about a dozen or two kids each Halloween. At home we rarely get any as it was always so rural. Even with the houses built up now we don’t get many, just a few that know Adam.

Not much to report for today I hope we get a nice sunny day here soon. Wendy is going to invite the Ferrin’s over on Friday night and I will make a couple of homemade pizza’s. The trouble is finding the right cheese’s they don’t sell the stuff I use in MO here in PA. even though there are dozens of pizza shops.

Hope everyone had a great weekend , Rigg’s I miss all you guys and can’t wait to see ya. be safe out there. Sam & Donna.

Saturday, Notes.

Well it’s finally Saturday and it looks like a cold cloudy day like yesterday, but that won’t make the train ride any less fun, Michelle came over at 12:00am and we headed into town for the Steamtown Station, We were both so excited, just the sounds and smells are enough to take you back in years.


              Our coach number 580 awaits us.


CN Steam engine is waiting to take us to Moscow PA.


             Michelle with the brave engineer.




                  Inside coach number 580.

At 01:00 pm sharp we left the Steamtown Station for the climb up the 1 1/2 % grade to Moscow. Boy that CN engine earned it’s pay and worked hard to pull  the 6 passenger cars in it’s train up the continuous hill, We went through Nay Aug tunnel and then passed Sam’s Grandmother’s house where his Cousin Sam Genett lives now.


                         Station Sign.

Steantraintrip10-30-10m                         Sam’s Grandmother’s house.

    As the train climbed southeast out of Scranton the area is heavily wooded now but we passed the Elmhurst Reservoir which supplies water to the Scranton/ Dunmore area.


Steantraintrip10-30-10an Steantraintrip10-30-10am

                         Elmhurst Reservoir.

The Roaring Brook creek runs along side of and crosses under the tracks the switches sides several times on the way to Moscow.


                       Roaring Brook Creek.

 Then we arrived in Moscow where the the engine runs around the train on a siding and couples to the rear to pull us back to Scranton.


             Old Moscow Freight House.


Blowing out the water from the cylinders at Moscow.


Engine prepares to run around the train at Moscow.


               Engine couples onto rear of train.

While we were at Moscow, they had a hot dog roast and sold souvenirs, Michelle got an engineers cap, and I bought myself a tee-shirt.

I noticed this plate riveted to the back wheel assembly of the Steam engine,  even though it was made in Canada for the CN. The rear truck cradle was made in St Louis MO. of all places. A little bit of home away from home.


                Rear engine truck.

Just to show it was a cold day here in Scranton I took this shot of the steam escaping from the steam heat pipe between the cars, That is how they used to heat passenger cars with steam radiators near the floor. Our car was toasty warm like Grandma’s old parlor used to be.


               Steam heat connections.

I will say this, Steamtown runs a class act, the equipment appears to be meticulously maintained even though the coaches were built for the Lackawanna Railroad as commuter coaches in the 1920-30’s they have been completely rebuilt including roller bearing axles and all the heaters and bathrooms were spotless and operational.The engine a CN Mikado 2-8-2 performed great pulling this heavy train uphill all the way and sounding like a true champion. This train is fairly heavy for that sixe of locomotive and the grade is tough but there were no slips or stalls.

We both thoroughly enjoyed our ride and would recommend it for anyone visiting the Scranton area between April and Nov.

After we got back I had an invitation to supper as Cousin Sam’s house, I had seen him watching the train go by and he and his wife Miriam provided a great Rigatoni Dinner after which we sat and enjoyed a couple of cocktails, and caught up on Grandkid’s and family. Cousin Sam is very handy in home building and has transformed my Grandmothers 40 era house into a showplace, it is really beautiful, but I forgot to bring my camera so I will have to use that as an excuse to get invited back again. I wish Donna would have been with me because I know she would have truly enjoyed the evening with family.

That’s about it I was late getting this posted due to my full day yesterday. so be safe out there. Sam & Donna.

Friday, October 29, 2010


Another cold cloudy typical fall day here in Scranton,the temps stayed in the 40’s so far today and no sign of any sunshine.I had to take a few items to the storage shed to make room for Wendy’s wheelchair, the Doctor decided this was the best way to keep her foot elevated and still allow her some time out of bed, so I took her desk chair ad some other items to put away and make some room for her to maneuver around her desk. She was able to sit and do some computer work at her desktop for about an hour today and she said she didn’t feel uncomfortable.

Michelle came over after school as her Mom & Dad were both working so she helped Wendy shred paper, and vacuum. She is now playing Wii so that will keep her busy until her parents et home.

Tomorrow is the Steam Train trip and both of us are excited.

I had to laugh when I read my comments from yesterday, me fitting into my uniforms from 40 years ago would be a dream. I do have  nomex  flight suit that I will give to my Grandson as a keepsake, I also have my flight boots, amazingly they are still in good shape.

Jim & Ellie JUSTTRAVELIN asked how I got my knowledge of trains, I guess by growing up in a railroad family and having my Granddad and Uncles take me to the rail yards with them as a boy & teenager, Then when I retired from the PD before I took the Chief’s job in Lake Sherwood, I worked about 2 years for the Union Pacific RR Police. I have also enjoyed model railroading all my life. But don’t forget there are guys out there Like Don from K AND D IN THE RV who spent his working life and just retired from Canadian National RR. who could really give us the inside story about the railroads, there dangers, and just fun stories.

That’s about it for today, Tomorrow there will be the smell of hot oil and coal smoke in the air. Be safe out there. Sam & Donna.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Thursday Thoughts.

Up and at em, coffee at 05:30am, looks like a nice sunny day with temps in the 60’s today, Had to make a quick dash to the store for something I forgot the other day. As I was coming home on S. Blaklee St in Dunmore PA. I noticed something that is new to me. As you are going west just before you cross the Dunmore/ Scranton city line the street makes a Y and one side goes to Wheeler Ave and the other side goes to Clay Ave. I guess the City of Dunmore really wants you to stay because look what is facing you as you come to the Y in the road.


             The Dunmore Tank Memorial.

Usually you see these memorials at Legion Post’s or VFW Halls but this sits right out by the road and is nicely maintained and the grounds are clean.

Has a few minutes and went down by Steamtown to see if anything was shaking. Saturday is our Steam train ride. Saw a neat little trailer on the parking lot.


                              Streamlined Trailer.

Nobody was around it but it had Conn. license so maybe they are heading south.

The mystery has been solved I got a call through to my old Navy buddy and he said he was trying to get a hold of me and that the old blog page was the only information he had, I had to cut the call short because he was at a conference, but he said he will be getting back with me and maybe either see me in Scranton or MO. depending on when he heads home. It was nice to touch down after over 40 years. He was surprised I was able to track him down so quickly and I told him I just handled it like a homicide investigation, the only difference was, if someone was messing with me I was going to kill them.

Not much else going on in Scranton, We are fine and the cats are relieved not to have the little one fighting with them all the time, harmony has been restored. Be safe out there. Sam & donna.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wednesday Musings.

Up early I think I am making good progress tracking my Navy buddy down found out he lived in Conn. and then moved to Colorado, His wife’s name is Bonnie, also I went through the Scranton Tribunes, archive and found his Mother’s obit. Through this I tracked down a sister, who is living two blocks away from us, I had a very nice talk on the phone with her and she said her brother is in Florida on a trip but she was kind enough to give me his cell number so last night I called and left him a message , haven’t received a return call yet, but I am a lot closer to closing this investigation then yesterday.

Today my sister, had another Doctor’s visit, he said she is doing fine and next week they will take out the stitches and go from there. she may get the cast off and go to the boot for 6 weeks.

By the time we got home from the Doctor’s it was 4:45PM so I threw a frozen Lasagna in the micro for a quick supper. Boy that’s easy.

Tonight being Wednesday, my bride will be going right to the restaurant from the truck company. What a long day, Hey Rigg’s give Mom a big kiss when she gets' home. And try to be a good boy and let her get some rest, you can sleep right outside our room on your rug where you normally do.

Hope all of you guys that are either traveling or getting ready to, have a good day. Be safe out there. Sam & Donna.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tuesday Thoughts.

Up and at em early, filled the house with smell of hot fresh coffee, even the three cats come running because they know now that I am in charge of keeping the food and water bowls full.

I got another comment from my Navy buddy and I am now thinking it is a legitimate attempt to contact me. As you know the first was a humorous request for weapons and money, but this one is full of thing’s that again only someone with a combined knowledge of Scranton and the Navy. Would have, Barry & I went to high school together, Also I did some investigating on my own and a search of his name brings up a reference to that Aug 5th blog post with his name in it. I think he is trying to find an e-mail contact with me and hasn’t found out how to get to my blog home page with the about us that has my e-mail address, I believe he may be living in Conn. but I’m not sure. I know he has a brother in Scranton so I may try to get a hold of him and see if I can contact that way. Anyway for those of you as curious as I am here it is.

US NAVY SEAWOLF has left a new comment on your post "Thursday Notes":
Three things a good Scranton HC-2 sailor always did.
Didn't grab the hook, let it ground itself first.
Had a sudsy drink at the Airship Tavern.
Had a couple Coney Island wieners when in town, and maybe some Turnabe's pizza.
How do I get your e-mail address?


The first reference would be about the static electricity that the rotating rotor blades would build up and if you were fool enough to grab the metal hook and cable of the hoist even with gloves  you would get a big surprise, all helicopter crewman learned of this first hand and never repeated it again. Funny the hoist operator in the helicopter never had to worry about it, but pity the ground man or someone on a ship that you were delivering something to, it was hilarious to watch from above.

The Airship Tavern was an old bar dating back to when the Navy had Blimps and Dirigibles it was located conveniently right out side the gate of the Lakehurst NJ Naval Air Station and was a local squadron hangout, along with Weaver’s Tavern in downtown Lakehurst. 

The Coney Island Texas Weiner Shop, and Turnabe’s Pizza, were local hangouts for the kid’s of Scranton.

Again whoever is sending these comments has an inside knowledge of the squadron I was assigned to, and my hometown. I am secretly hoping it is Barry as I have not heard from him since I left the Navy over 40 years ago.

Also I never shied away from a good investigation and this is starting to peak my interest.

Not much else going on maybe the mystery will be solved soon, and another case closed.

Be safe out there. Sam & Donna.

Rigg’s Dad knows your trying to be good, all your Furry buddies out here in blog land are rooting for you and hope you get your Dad home soon.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Monday Notes,

Before I do anything else I want to welcome two more new follower's, Ron Stacey, & Froggi. I hope you enjoy our blog, even while I am temporarily in Scranton PA taking care of my sister, instead of home in Dardenne Prairie MO. drooling over the thought of getting out full time in our 5th wheel. I couldn’t find if you have your own blogs so if you do let us know. So we can take a look, Let us know what you think about our adventures.
Up at 05:30AM, had my coffee, then got a pleasant surprise, Rigg’s had sent me an e-mail, I’ll share it with you.
Hi, Dad it’s me Riggins.  Haven’t seen you for awhile so I thought I’d catch you up ….I’ve been a real good boy.
Now the remote wasn’t  really my fault.  Samantha’s son Chris was watching TV and paying absolutely no attention to me.
So I had to get his attention and show how fast I am.  So as he pointed it at the TV I ran like the wind and snatched it
Right out of this hands….Ha Ha. The look on his face was so funny, he didn’t know what happened.  Then instead of just giving me a treat to get it back he started yelling at me and chasing me all around.  Well sorry to say the remote got a little damaged, but just a little, tape will keep the batteries in and I don’t think a couple of those parts were really necessary. But I had to hold on to it didn’t I? After  all I was being chased and yelled at.
And you know how strong I am….not my fault the BBQ grill got in my way when I saw that rabbit.  It really slowed me down and I didn’t get the rabbit, but I drug the grill about 100 feet. See I am strong.  Boy did Andy say some bad words when he had to bring it back to the patio.  Don’t know how it got tangled in my lead the 2nd or 3rd time.   But I am having fun playing with the parts that broke off.  It was old anyway , right?
And I really wasn’t going to run off last weekend, but you see Andy and Samantha were carrying stuff to her car.  Then Chris and Nikki were going to leave too, well you know how small Nikki is, I just pushed her aside and out I went….I wanted to go too! Then Chris started chasing me…well isn’t that the game, so I ran and ran.  Made mistake of running towards Andy, oops, that didn’t go So well.
See I’ve been pretty good…I’ll try to be better tomorrow, honest.
Sounds like Rigg’s is his old self, I can just picture him pulling the BBQ grill across the yard, remember it has a 30 lb bottle of propane attached to it. He sure is strong.
                         Rigg’s and his BBQ Pit.
Had to take the little grey cat JC to the shelter this morning, for my sister. This is the one my niece Barbara brought home had been hit by the car. Wendy took it to the Vet and got it patched up and then got it caught up on all it’s shot’s, and decided to keep it, well JC is just not working out, it is a constant battle as she is not social at all with the other three, she fights with the other two females and Noah the male uses her as a sparing partner so she is constantly hiding. with Wendy confined to bed she will get up on the bed when Wendy is resting and scratch and bite at her for no reason. Needless to say this added to the decision to find another home for this young creature. The girl at the shelter said having all the shots is a plus so maybe they will be able to adopt it out.
Michelle, my neighbor girl came by for a visit last night, I had to run for a couple of sandwich’s at the Hoagie Shoppe so she asked if she could go, I had her make sure with her Mom first and then off we went. She loves my big diesel truck. maybe she should have been a boy. She was the clear victor on he Wii games again.
She likes the one where you are on the platform over the water and you fight with what looks like punji sticks, until one of you is forced off the platform into the drink. I must look like a prune I have spent so much time in the water.
Looks like they are enjoying a nice day back home, sunny and a high of 83 degrees, here in Scranton we have an 80% chance of thunderstorms and a high of 66 degrees.
Hope the rain holds off so I can grill some burgers outside, today.
That’s about it for today, be safe out there. Sam & Donna.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sunday shorts.

Sunday is supposed to be a day of rest and that is was here in Scranton. I was up at 05:30AM and had the coffee going and then about 08:00Am I went up to St Catherine's Cemetery to visit my Brother Rick’s grave, I took a big cup of coffee with me and had a good visit and promised to do what I could looking after his daughter, Barbara. she is struggling at 18 with the loss of her dad and I just have to find a way to point her in the right direction.

After that I spent the day waiting to see if the neighbor Earl would be able to help me with putting the summer lawn furniture down in Wendy’s basement it is a lot easier to have someone to hand the stuff through the small door into the basement. It is not a full size door so it takes some maneuvering. He was busy so that will have to wait till later in the week.

Not much else going on, Judy in answer to your question about Rigg’s surgery, Donna cancelled his appointment due to something coming up at the last minute in MO. She says now she would rather wait till I get back so there is someone there 24-7 when he comes home with the stitches in. Looks like I will be continuing with the nurses duties only with a different patient.

Got a kind of funny but weird comment yesterday to the post I made on Aug.5th where I had some pictures from the Navy, one of which showed a fellow flier named Barry Waluda, I will post it here and see what you think, there is no e-mail to follow up on it and the blog it came from appears to be a fake. Although it possesses the same sense of humor and can-do spirit these guys had 40 years ago, here it is.

USNAVY SEAWOLF has left a new comment on your post "Thursday Notes":
Sam, Barry Waluda needs your help, ASAP. His survival depends on you sending money, guns, and lawyers to Branson, Missouri no later than 6-12 November, 2010. In lieu of the above, one highly experienced US Navy HC-2 rescue swimmer, and support team, can make this rescue happen. We need support when needed, where needed, night or day, cold or warm, something you are are experienced in. Crypto response on your site acceptable.(end of comment)

It is strange however prior to coming to HC-2 Barry was attached to HAL-3 that used the Seawolves as their squadron insignia and not many people would know that. I would love to know he is alive and well. I guess I will just have to wait and see if anything else follows, or chalk it up to someone's sense of humor. What do you think.


I hope the weekend went great for everyone out there, Be safe out there.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Saturday Notes.

Started the day with coffee, did some laundry and then about 10:00 AM went down to Steamtown NP. With my golden pass it is free to get in instead of six dollars. Took some more train pictures, the steam train was getting ready to leave so I got it’s picture, I went in the roundhouse and saw that they have separated the CP engine from it’s tender prior to starting work on it, that was pretty interesting. saw the big drawbar that holds it all together instead of a regular coupler. Steamtown10-23-10b

Backing over to the depot to pick up it’s passenger’s.


Drawbar and stoker housing that brings coal from the tender to the firebox on the locomotive.

I wanted to go up to Moscow PA about 10 miles away and get a shot of the train pulling the grade as it passed the Moscow Station. When I got up there I saw a guy waiting and asked if the train had been there, he said I had just missed it and that it was flying when it went by, Oh well..


                       Too late, No train.


Moscow Station, We will be stopping here next Saturday on our ride.

Got back to the house and Wendy said the pharmacy had messed up on yesterdays prescriptions and they had the right ones ready now, so it was back over to the CVS drug store. I guess there’s no quality control anyplace anymore, Then when I pulled up the guy in the window said they can’t take prescriptions back, I said well then get your store manager over here because it was your mistake and my sister called prior to me coming over and were not going to pay for your mistake and then throw the old pills away. He said oh, well okay, I was just doing what I was told. So from that point on it went smooth even got $1.10 cash back.

I read Rick’s blog RICK & PAULETTES RV TRAVELS today about his spilling of his coffee on his computer desk Friday morning, I have to be really careful with my temporary work station.


Yep the kitchen table, notice the proximity of the coffee and Plain donuts.

This table is about half the size of the one at home and the kitchen is about a third of ours, but the house is over one hundred years older.

Rigg’s I saw Blizzard today and gave him a pet for you, he was out in the yard for awhile. Hope your being good.

Nothing much else, I will be visiting my brother Ricks grave tomorrow morning by myself, just want to spend some time alone with him. Everyone be safe out there, and hug the ones you love. Sam & Donna…

Friday, October 22, 2010


Was up at 05:30AM had the coffee going and fired up the laptop for my morning round of blogging, Wendy got up around 07:00am and I got her a cup of coffee. Then some breakfast. Today was cool but sunny, it was 33degrees when I got up and it is only going to reach 45 degrees. By contrast the bustling Dardenne Prairie area had a low of 54 and was supposed to reach 77 degrees this afternoon. That’s still short sleeve weather. I had to wear a flannel shirt to run a couple errands and without a jacket it was still cold. I will be making a Walmart run before to long for a quilted vest.

Got out for yet another prescription this morning and then stopped at the Bank and picked up some clothes at the cleaners for Wendy. I told her where I live the cleaners would go out of business, nobody sends jeans and t-shirts to the cleaners. I remember I had some suits years ago that had to go but those days are over.

Took the camera with me but didn’t see anything that caught my eye, except maybe the young Police Woman in her 20’s that was giving some guy a ticket and I figured that wouldn’t be a good idea.

Did I tell you my sister had cat’s, yeah, 4 of them, one is a little grey female kitten that my niece found that had been hit by a car a month ago, it is back to health, but is scared of it’s own shadow and stays away from us, then two other black female cats That will sit next to me but don’t want to have much in the way of attention, then there is Noah, the only male, he is part Siamese and is quite a bit  larger that the others. He has taken a liking to me and allows pets and scratches and will follow me and rub against me for attention, he also is waiting for me at my bedroom door in the morning and follows me to the kitchen so I will fill the food bowl, shows he has some smarts anyway.

Not being a cat person I am used to Rigg’s constant attention and wanting to play and be with you all the time. It looks like cats just don’t do that. Wendy says Noah must like men because he pays little attention to even her and has never let anyone else pet him. I said see that just proves what Mom always said, Sam is different. When people would ask her about her kids she would say I have 3 boys, 1 girl and Sam..

Hey Rigg’s don’t worry, No Way is Noah coming back with me, and I’m still the doggie guy I always was. You even smell better, and they can’t come anywhere close to the big licks you give..

Being it’s Friday Wendy asked me if it was going to be pizza night tonight, I said yeah I will make a big square pizza for supper tonight.

Adam when Grandpa gets back we are going to have a Pizza Street night just like before.

That’s about it for today, I’m about set in a routine now, maybe this weekend I will take a ride and photograph the countries largest railroad viaduct.

Be safe out there. Sam & Donna.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Thursday thoughts.

Today it was colder, had my coffee, and then later in the morning made a quick run to the grocery store for a couple of items for supper, Wendy & I will have Polish sausage with a Vegetable and Macaroni & Cheese tonight. Last night was a tovar night with Rigatoni’s from the other night. Got the news from our friend’s  Paul & Helen, Paul & Helens at Home. that they only have 3 of the 9 pups left and they are being adopted this weekend. Paul & Helen are Jodie & Coco's parents and live in Fla. Thank God for people like the Tempesta’s who open their hearts and their homes to pups that have been abandoned, in this case the Mom too. I know this is a lot of work, but when the call comes out again, they will do it all over. Jodie & Coco have their own blog and they stay in touch with Rigg’s , Annie, Whiskey, Tucker, Katie,  Max, Mortormouse, Checkers, Molly & Rylie, and all the other furry kids out here.

My neighbor Michelle came over last night for a visit , she is such a big help, she grabbed the vacuum cleaner and did the rug. She is really excited about the train ride, but so am I. I guess that’s the nine year old coming out in me.

Not much to report today, Got most of my nurse duties done except for making supper so I will say See Ya for another day. Be safe out there.. Sam & Donna.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Wednesday Musings.

Up early for coffee, I had the truck down to the body shop for an 08:30AM appointment, they said it would take about an hour and a half, so I walked about a block down the street to the Glider Diner, got a paper out of the machine, and went in for breakfast. This place has been around forever, It is one of those stainless steel art deco diners that were all the rage in the 50’s and 60’s. I wish I would have brought my camera but since the truck was being worked on I left it home. Breakfast was good, all the coffee you could drink and I ordered French Toast, The bill came to a total of $4,49 almost 60’s prices still.

At 11:00Am I got Wendy’s car and took her for her first Doctor’s appointment since the surgery, I guess you can say we got good news and bad news, the good new for Wendy is her foot is healing as expected and she doesn’t show any signs of infection, the bad news is she will have the cast for 4 weeks, but she will not be able to put any weight on it for 6-8 weeks and right now he wants it to be elevated except for meals. I did the math and it looks like my stay in PA. will not be over until a few days before Christmas if I am lucky. I was hoping to be home maybe around Thanksgiving weekend but that’s not going to happen now. Oh well I guess I can plan on snow and old man winter again, I don’t have my buddy John Deere here with his plow either so I will be reacquainting myself with Mr. Snow Shovel when it snows. Hey Andy put the plow on John for me and you can do some plowing and make some change after our drive is plowed.

I see our friend’s Kevin & Ruth, & Dennis & Donna, & Al &Kelly will all be leaving for the south country soon. We will be thinking of you sitting where it’s nice and warm. I have to make a prescription run to the drug store and fill the truck with diesel, be safe out there. Sam & Donna..

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tuesday Thoughts

Started with my morning coffee and what do you know about 06;30Am Wendy came dragging in unable to ignore the smell of fresh brewed coffee any more, I admit I had the brewer set on “ Heavy Stun”. Maybe by the time I leave she will be an early riser and not a city girl anymore.

Went down to Steam town and made my reservation for my Sat Oct 30th Steam train ride, when I called over the weekend they had over a hundred seats open when I arrived at 09:00AM they had less than 20 left. Maybe because it is the last steam powered trip of the season, the Ranger said they have been taking reservations from all over the east coast. Michelle and I were lucky I didn’t wait another day. I also got half price because of my NPS Senior card, what a deal. He also stamped my NPS Passport, That marks the start of our NPS travels although we have been to several others before we didn’t know about the passports.

I will share an e-mail I got from Donna this morning with you.

One of my good buddies just informed me that a popular St Louis news anchorwoman Virginia Kerr just had her baby boy.

And she named him RIGGINS.......I knew he was famous in certain circles..but didn’t know he was that well known,

well maybe she read our blog and loved the name.

is that not the funniest thing....

Donna Weibel

Account Specialist

Jacobson Companies

Nationwide Logistics Div

7140 North Broadway

St. Louis, Mo 63147

Ph: 314-592-2057

Fx: 314-592-2082

E: Donna.Weibel@jacobsonco.com

"Can Do Logistics"


           My two Best Buddies, I miss you guys.

It was a cloudy and cool day but even though it’s 56 degrees I am going to grill some burgers outside for our supper tonight, I guess I am thinking of Rick & Paulette RICK & PAULETTES RV TRAVELS camping in their new 5th wheel for the first time. Hope they are having a great week.

Slow day here in Scranton , I will see you all tomorrow. As the old Sarge used to say”Just be careful out there” Sam & Donna.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Monday Notes.

I started my day as usual, with coffee, and read my blogs, the smell of hot coffee must have been just too much for Sis to take, as I was surprised by her inching into the the kitchen on her walker, she is progressing well getting out of bed yesterday to come in the kitchen for a meal, and she also spent a little while at her desk working on her PC, she does book work for a construction company and didn’t want to get to far behind. Although she is not allowed to put any weight what so ever on her foot or twist it, she can hold it up and move very slowly in the walker. Of course her medication limits her time before  she is tired and needs a nap. My nurse duties are pretty easy just act like a drill sergeant and make sure she has her water and medication, and prepare meals and bring them to her if she wants them in bed, of course I have to empty the potty, and just be around so she doesn’t attempt to much to soon or in case of a fall.

I do have a couple of pictures I took from an overlook on PA Rt. 307 looking down at the city of Scranton, the top one an overview, and the bottom a short telephoto of the same scene showing the Railroad Station, now a fancy hotel and the downtown area.



                               Scranton PA.

We had a visitor the other night, Michelle, Wendy’s next door neighbor came over to see how she was after her hospital stay, Michelle is the same age as Adam (9) she is a wiz at the Wii game getting 1000 points in no time, don’t ask about my score. She asked if while I was in Scranton I wanted to be her Grandpa Sam, How could I decline an offer like that, so I asked her if she would like to attend a pizza baking class and she said yes, so I told her to call her Mom and get permission and then when she had the pizza baked they could come over and feast on it. Of course they said yes so in the kitchen we went. Michelle did the work while I gave the lessons.

IMG_5223Michelle Fuller10-17-10a

                     Michelle at start of class.

IMG_5223Michelle Fuller10-17-10b

                Michelle’s Graduation Picture.

Of course the pizza turned out great and the next morning I gave her a Certificate of Merit for successfully completing the course, she said it was going on her dresser in her room.Maybe she’ll go easier on me next time we play Wii.

In two weeks I plan on asking her to go on the steam train ride with me so I’m not lonesome. Her Mom & Dad have already said it is okay and they said she will be thrilled. Kid’s are neat aren’t they.

Hey Rigg’s I talked to Adam on the phone and he said he is being good and doing his homework like he should, I hope your being good for Mom too.

Oh yes, a little progress report, Neighbor Earl ( Michell’s Dad) and his brother-law came over and between the three of us and some wire testing we got the furnace working, it has a bad valve , but we were able to get it bypassed and now it will last until it is replaced, it does buy us some time to arrange to get the funds for replacing it. but we now have heat here in the old house.

Not much else for today. A couple of my blogger friends are leaving soon for the southland and warmer weather. I hope someday to follow them. Be safe out there, Sam & Donna.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Sunday, A tragic reminder.

At 05:30am, in Scranton PA, 04:30am in my hometown of Dardenne Prairie, I poured my coffee and fired up my laptop to see what the latest blogs were. As usual Rick, of Rick & Paulette was first up and I couldn’t believe what I was reading, On Saturday two of our fellow bloggers and well liked members of the bloggers family, were tragically killed by a driver intent on committing suicide, Bruce & Margie Mallin,Bruceandmargiesfulltimejourney  With tears in my eyes I read the account Rick had posted and their daughter Stephanie's entry in their blog informing us of their loss. Margie was an almost daily commenter on our blog, she was always complementary, inspiring, and helpful. Her last comment was Friday:

“We had a place by where we used to live in Calif. that made square pizzas. They were really good. What was left of your pizza looked good, too. Have a nice weekend.”

By Margie M. on TGIF on 10/15/10

The day before:

“It's good to read that Wendy came through the surgery well. Hopefully, the next 3 weeks will pass quickly for her and you and she'll be back on that foot in no time. Take care, Sam!”

By Margie M. on Thursday, thoughts. on 10/15/10

Just examples of the caring and wonderful people they were.

I always enjoyed hearing about the Granddaughters Mackenzie and Zoey, My hearts goes out to them, to lose such precious moments with both their Grandparents is hard to even think about. I hope Margie was able to get the scrapbooks she talked about near completed.

For all of us this is not only the loss of a great pair of human beings, but a reminder that life is short and unpredictable , every time you leave your loved ones tell them of your love and give them a hug.

Margie, I’ll sure Take Care, like you said, and Thank you for caring so much for us and all of our families, We will surely miss you both…. Sam & Donna.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Saturday Blurb.

Got up had my coffee and then at 08:00am I wnet over to the hospital with a big mug if coffee for Wendy, When I got there she said she did better in therapy yesterday than the first day and she said she would probably be able to go home today, I noticed  the IV’s were gone so I took that as a good sign. About 09:30AM the nurse came in and told her the doctor had called and said she could go home, so I walked back to the house and got Wendy’s car because she wouldn’t be able to climb up into my truck. We got her home at about 10:30am and by the time she was laying in her hospital bed she was tired, so I told her I would run to the pharmacy to fill the prescriptions she brought home and get some things she needed at the grocery store, I told her I would take my time so she could get a nap. Good thing I did as the store was packed and I spent about a half hour just waiting in line to check out, I’m spoiled by the 24 hour stores at home where I can go at 06:00am when they are almost empty.

Called Donna after I got Wendy home and she let me talk to Rigg’s, she said he was confused at hearing my voice and not seeing Dad anywhere. I wish it had been a Skype call where I could have seen his reaction. Maybe I’ll try that next week.

Also got  to talk to Adam last night and he said he had a good week at school and he is counting the Fridays till Grandpa comes home, I told him that the first Friday I am home I will be picking him up in Warrenton and he will be spending the weekend at Grandpa’s.

Wendy said to thank everyone for their concern and that she is doing fine, after I got back from the store she even came into the kitchen on her walker while I was making her  lunch. I was surprised, but she didn’t seem to be having any difficulty so I didn’t say anything. Like Nurse Cratchett would have..

That’s it for today it is getting cold here in PA. tomorrow I will look at the furnace and if I can’t get it started I will have to call for help. Be safe out there. Sam & Donna.

Friday, October 15, 2010


I got up to a cold overcast day, no rain it was about 40 degrees but it didn’t get to 51 today. About 08:30am I walked over to the hospital with a big mug of coffee for my Sister ,I stayed until she had therapy scheduled at 10;00am and then came home, she called after therapy and said they decided they wanted her to stay at least one more night, I figured that out yesterday when I talked to the nurse. so I told her not to be in a hurry to get home, I know she is worried about her cats but I told her they are being fed and watered, and after all cats are just like dogs with an attitude so don’t worry.

Hey niece Tammy, I forgot to tell you the Ferri’s pizza in Dunmore PA closed so the only one left is the original in Taylor PA. Since I hadn’t ordered a store bought PA pizza since I got here (one week). Last night I asked barb what she was doing for supper and she said nothing, so I said I would spring for pizza’s, she said her Dad had started bringing home pizza just like Ferri’s from another place called Brownies. So that’s where we got it, it looked and tasted exactly like Ferri’s, Hope there aren’t any pizza copyright laws. Here’s the picture you wanted, good thing I remembered you asked for it as it was almost history by that time.


A genuine square PA. pizza, 12 slices to a box.

This afternoon I went back to the hospital to take Wendy her laptop, and a robe. Then when I got home an old high school buddy Pete Badyrka came by the house, We had a nice visit over coffee.

Tonight since I am alone I will be finishing the doggie bags from the restaurant the other night, no cooking or mess.

Hey Rigg’s, I hope you are being a good boy for Mom and Andy, If I get a good report I will be bringing you a surprise from PA. You too Adam. I know you are being good.

For my Canadian friends, Rick, Al, and Don who retired from CNRR here are a couple more pictures from Steam town.






This is a working roundhouse and right now they have a Cp G3 Pacific engine, and a CN S1b Mikado that are used in excursion service, These engines were used by the railroads into the 60’s and then went to Steam town, they have been restored like new. They also have about 10 other steam locomotives being restored at a slow pace. It takes a minimum of 2-5 years to bring one back to life and lots of money.

That’s it for today. Be safe out there. Sam & Donna…

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Thursday, thoughts.

Took my sister to the hospital at 08:30am, she was scheduled for surgery at 10:30am, she said it was supposed to take about 4 hours and since we live a block from the hospital she wanted my to go home and wait and when she was done she would have the nurse call me, I must say I was a little worried but at 03:00PM my cell rang and was the nurse who said Wendy was our of surgery and had done really well, she was going to a room and she gave me the number and then she would be staying at least one night. So I will give them a chance to get her to her room and then go over and see how she is doing and if she needs anything else.

I had a question as to the nature of Wendy’s surgery and I guess in all the excitement I never posted anything, she had to have the bones in her ankle and foot reconstructed. Since birth she has had a condition where her bones are not formed right and weak, about 5 years ago she had one side done, and now the other had bothered her to the point the Doctor said it was time to do the other. She will have to keep that foot and ankle immobile for at least 3 weeks and then they will take the cast off and put her in a boot and she will start therapy, that is why she will be confined to bed for this time. I will probably have to stay until she gets to the point in therapy where she can get around the house some.

I thank you all for your prayers and concern, and I hope this will pass as soon as possible and she will be back on her feet.

Last night Wendy & I met our friends the Ferron’s at Carabas Restaurant in Dunmore PA. It is and old fashioned Italian Restaurant and had great food.


               Wendy, Sam, Rich & Barbara.


       My niece Barbara & girlfriend Belinda

My niece Barbara & a girlfriend Belinda arrived after Barb got off work and joined us.

I even sampled a PA favorite Yoenglings Lager on tap, not bad a little strong for a High Life Light guy, but I only had one.

Guess that’s it for today, Be safe out there, Sam & Donna.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Wednesday Musings

It was 33degrees here in Scranton when I got up at 05:30am, I looked at my blog and it was 63 degrees in Dardenne Prairie MO. The high will be 63 in Scranton and low 70’s in MO. Did I mention I found out the furnace isn’t working, Wendy said they had a repair guy out last winter and he got it going,but said it was on it’s last legs, looks like something else to attend to before the hard freezes start. Boy living in a 100plus year old house has it’s drawbacks.

Got Wendy’s hospital bed delivered and setup, then I had to make a grocery run, last night we dropped her car off to have some needed repairs while she is laid up and can’t drive.

Tomorrow morning she is scheduled to check in at the hospital at 08:30am, depending on how the surgery goes she may come home Friday. then she will be bedridden for 3 to 4 weeks. So I officially put on my  nurse’s cap Friday.

Took the truck to a body shop for an estimate, and they said it would only take a few hours once they got the bumper, so I won’t be without it for long.

Tonight is our dinner date with my old friend’s Rick and Barb Ferron, I will try for a picture.

Not much all going on it was another sunny day again.

Oh, before I forget I have continued to sign off with Sam & Donna and I think there are a few bloggers that think Donna was able to make the trip to Scranton with me, I wish that was true, but she is still working full time so my soul mate and I are separated physically, but her spirit is sitting right here next to me when I type these posts, and after all she is the brains of the outfit, so forgive me if I continue what I have always done.

Be safe out there. Sam & Donna.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Tuesday thoughts.

Up at 05:30am had my coffee and did some blog reading,Then I had to plan my day, it was still overcast and grey so I decided I would do some home repair. My parent’s house is more than 100 years old so the basement has stone walls, no concrete or cinder blocks back then over the years it has developed some leaks and after really heavy rains, like last night you get some water in spots, not much but enough that my Dad had installed a couple of floor drains which drain it off. When it was converted to a duplex from a one family house, after my Dad died My Mom and Brother Rick had one side and my sister Wendy had the other, A wooden partition wall was put up down the center to give each side separate storage  and in case one side or the other was ever rented out. There is a wooden door made out of 2x4 and 2x6 boards in the middle, the wall has 4x4 post going from the ceiling to the floor and the wall is made of lengths of 2x6 boards. When I got there the dampness had caused the door to be  difficult to open and some of the  boards the nails were loose. So this morning I took my trusty 24 volt drill, and a bag of 3 inch dry wall screws and went to work tightening all the loose boards, I then found the post on the hinge end of the door was rotted on the bottom so I had to cut a wooden shim about and inch high and hammer it under the post so the door would raise and the post would be supportive again. Now when I go over to the other side to get my shower, (old houses have add on showers and Dad put one in the basement when he was remodeling bathrooms.) I can open and close the door without it sticking.

That took care of my morning and then after lunch I decided to take a ride down to Steamtown again. When I was a teen over 45 years ago I was a member of the Scranton Model Railroad Club. At that time they had the top floor (4th) of the Lackawanna Railroad Storehouse which the railroad allowed them to use rent free for there train layout. This is now part of Steamtown, One of the Employees is a member of the Historical Society I belong to, although I had never met him, I thought if I meet him maybe he would have access to that building and I could take a look at a part of my youth of almost 50 years ago, so with high hopes I asked a Park Ranger if Pat MaGuire was still working for them, he said yes and would I like to see him, so he escorted me over to Pat’s office which happens to be in the 1st floor of the very same storehouse. I met Pat, and told him of my wish, Pat said no problem, now bear in mind this building dates to the late 1800’s and they have gutted most of the interior for eventual restoration. Also it takes a lot more effort to climb four floors worth of steps than I remember it used to. But it was worth it a lot of memories were brought back, they still had the walk in vault where the railroad kept blueprints & papers in long drawers, which later were perfect for storing model trains. Here are a couple of pictures.dl&wstoresbuilding4thfloor10-12-10b

Inside vault,This had a heavy metal door like a bank vault, still attached. When we looked at the tags on the drawers some still had HO or O guage for what size trains were in them.


                     Old Blueprint Table.


One of two train rooms we had this side held HO trains and the other side of a partition was identical in size and held O guage. Lots of room and lots of trains.


This is a view of what was our coffee room the building in the background was the diesel shop, and now houses Steamtowns shops.

I told Pat when I left Scranton I had every intention of coming back and staying in the club, I had even left several of my HO models in my drawer. Well life being what it is I married and never came back to live in Scranton and when we visited the models were forgotten and also the Club moved out when the railroad no longer wanted to heat the building so that was it. I know those models found good homes though.

That’s about it for now I am going to make my sister a pizza tonight for supper, she wants to try my recipe. Be safe out there, like my niece Tammy says. “The future isn’t what it used to be”. Sam & Donna.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Monday notes. CRASH!!

Another sunny nice day this morning, had my coffee,Did some little handyman stuff, my sisters toilet needed a new handle installed and adjusted so the flapper valve would close. Then the shower and toilet in the basement on my nieces side both needed work and I got them fixed, just stuff that most ladies don’t have the experience to do, and there is no man around to help.Plus my niece has very limited funds so major expenses have to be deferred. This afternoon I went to get groceries for the week at a nearby supermarket, I parked at the back of the lot so my truck would be less likely to be damaged. When I came out and went to open the tailgate to put the groceries away I saw that someone had hit and bent the right side of the back bumper in. While I was saying “oh heck ,Oh darn. A man walked up and I asked if he saw who did this , He said  when he was walking out of the store he saw a big black SUV backing up and stop suddenly and then an elderly lady got out and walked to the back and then got in the SUV and drove away. He did say he couldn’t actually see the back of the truck because other parked cars were blocking view. But when he saw the woman drive away  he figured that's what happened. I went home and called the Scranton Police and a nice young officer came out and took a leaving the scene of an accident report, and then I called my insurance man once I had the Incident number. My agent said that all the damage would be covered with a $100 dollar deductible and that since I would be in Scranton for over a month they would have an adjuster come out and he could recommend where to have it fixed, he also said a rental car would be supplied while the truck is in the shop so I won’t have to use my sisters car.

It still irks me that for not even being in the truck when it was damaged by someone who criminal enough to not wait and report it. It will cost me $100 dollars have my truck look the way I like to keep it looking.

A big ‘Oh well”

Here is something a little brighter, I took a couple of fall shots when we were going to the cemetery yesterday.





We had a nice spaghetti dinner with my niece and one of her girlfriends over. Right at supper time a big thunder storm came through causing some flooding and minor damage a few blocks away. We escaped the wrath of nature.

Not much else going on. but tomorrow some family friends invited my sister and I to dinner so we will be meeting them, I will have to remember the camera. They are Rich & Barb Ferron and they have been family friends forever, about 15 years ago they came out to MO. for a visit with their youngest daughter who was a young teenage at the time we took them to the Admiral Show boat, before it was a Casino, had Dinner on the evening cruise on the Mississippi, and then did some Ballroom dancing, they had a brass band and for the daughter it was the time of a lifetime, she still reminds us of the good time she had.

That’s it for today, Keep your nose wet Rigg’s, Dad is thinking of you. Be safe out there. Sam & Donna.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Sunday Notes

I am up early again and have the coffee, my sister Wendy who is not the country boy early riser, says I am spoiling her, that she loves waking up to the smell of coffee, I am indulging myself in an east coast pleasure, With coffee each morning I have two small Tastee-Kake Butterscotch Krumpets, they are real small and won’t hurt my sugar intake. When we were kids my Mother tasted one and then duplicated the taste of the icing, which to me is what makes them special. Alas her secret recipe died with her, I wonder if Donna could do that, she is a better baker than Mom was.
I do have one thing that is going to take awhile to get used to. I know it has been 10 months since we lost my brother Rick, I can’t hardly believe a tough guy like me could still be in the grieving process and not moving on with life. But I find myself in a very awkward position, everywhere I go here in Scranton & Dunmore people will look at me, especially relatives and say, Oh my God you look just like Rick, You guys should have been twins. I find my self choking up and being very sensitive to this. First of all I already have a twin brother, who won’t even talk to me. From our teen years we were diametric opposites, I used to call him Serious Bill, as a teen, I guess as opposed to my Full of hell, have a good time, damn the torpedoes full speed ahead attitude, that I still have. Rick was much the same way and he loved cars & trucks like I did so naturally we were very close. I feel sorry now for the many trips to PA with Donna over the years where she stayed home with Mom while Rick and I dashed out to hang at the garage or with his friends, I know she expected it, but she was like a service widow on some of those trips, Thanks for putting up with it Hon, It meant a lot to Rick & I.
On a positive note on my way home from my cousin Sam’s house, I made a stop to see someone I hadn’t seen in 45 years.When I was a freshman, sophomore and junior in high school I went steady with a girl named Elaine Hoffman. They lived on the opposite end of Myrtle street from my Grandmother Genett. Elaine & I met in Band class. During the end of our junior year, out of the blue her Dad & Mom decided for whatever reason we were too serious and ended the relationship. I left the Scranton area when I went into the Navy and in all my trips I never saw her again. Well yesterday as I drove down the street I saw the house had a sign on the front that said Hoffman, I saw a lady working in the front yard so I thought what the heck, so I stopped the truck, I walked over and even after all these years I knew in my heart who it was. I said Elaine, and she looked up with a who the hell are you look, I said” do you know who I am,” and she said no, I smiled and said think back about 45 years, Does the name Sam ring a bell, then it was like a light bulb being lit, she said I can’t believe it Sam Weibel, I said yes, after hugs she said oh I’m so sorry I didn’t recognize you, I said well I'm not the skinny young guy you knew, I’m and old retired guy now, Being the lady she is she said no you are a lot more handsome now than when we were kids, we sat on the front porch and she wanted to know how life went and I told her about my pretty bride Donna and the four boys, and  of having great jobs all my life from the Navy until now. I even turned down a beer, And she said surely you still drink beer and I said oh yes, but usually at home and always after 5, ( Miller time) she laughed and said well you had enough as a teenager to last a lifetime. Alas Elaine never married and has no children. She said both her parents are now deceased and she thought her Dad regretted breaking us up later in life because he said I had been quite the hero in my Navy days, and the talk of the bar at times. I told her I was no hero but I loved flying and it was a great job for a young man, the same with police work. I finally said I had to get home to see Wendy and maybe I would stop again and talk before going home to MO I must say it was nice to see her, but I felt bad that she hadn’t drawn a better hand of cards in life as I am sure she would have made a great mom.
When I was driving back to Wendy’s I thought how lucky I was that God had given me the life I have had so far. I Thank Him each day for allowing me to have the time I have with my family.
My sister and I will be taking a drive today to the cemetery to visit my Dad & Moms  graves and also Ricks. Then maybe I can deal with this grief problem.
Hey Donna, give Andy & Rigg’s a hug and get one back from me. Maybe even let Rigg’s give you a good face lick like he does me. It might make him feel better. We send our love from PA.
Everyone be safe out there. Sam & Donna.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Saturday in Scranton.

Was up to another really nice sunny but cool day here in Scranton, after coffee I sat around and then about 09:00AM I told my sister I was going for a ride, I had heard that the new railroad that is running on the old Lackawanna Railroad has built a diesel shop in South Scranton so I Google mapped and followed the tracks and found it, of course there was a locked gate across the entrance way , which I can’t blame the, for, railroads are very safety and liability conscious today. But by looking at Google I saw a big warehouse looking complex with a parking lot across from it so I headed there, This small railroad takes diesel locomotives from the 50’s made by Alco who is no longer in business and rebuilds and restores them to beautiful condition, Of course parts are harder to come by so they have a bone yard where several carcasses are being stripped to keep the fleet going, I was able to take a bunch of pictures and I’ll show a couple here.



These are examples of the diesels that have been restored ad pull freight now.




These are supplying parts for the fleet.


These were waiting to take a freight east out of Scranton.

After I left there I went back home for lunch and I heard the Steam town Excursion train getting radio permission to go east to Moscow PA, the engine number given for the train was CN3254, which I knew was a Canadian Nation steam engine, Got your attention, Al & Rick, so I jumped in the truck and drove to my cousin Sam Genett’s who lives right next to the tracks in the house my Genett Grandparents lived.



Look at the little guy, not a bit afraid, and this baby was making noise and working hard climbing a grade.


Look at the great condition this locomotive is in, you could almost eat off that tender deck.


        My cousin’s Sam & Miriam Genett.

After the train went by Sam wouldn’t let me leave until we had a cocktail in the backyard and I got to play with their Grandkids, 1 boy and 2 girls. My Sister and I are going out tonight for a couple hours, so I said one was enough and I would see ya tonight.

I appreciate the comments I have received on making this trip, I think a couple of bloggers think my bride Donna is with me, I wish that was so but She, the trailer, and Rigg’s are waiting in Dardenne Prairie until I get back. Donna is still working two jobs since right now that is what provides both our medical insurance, as soon as we can figure a way the house will be sold and we will be on the road, sometimes your plans get postponed for awhile as many of you before us know.

Also Judy asked what the Everhart Museum was, On the east side of Scranton is a large park called Nay Aug Park, It is an Native American name.Years ago it had the largest manmade swimming pool in the US. an amusement park, and the Everhart Museum of Natural History. The park itself is a shell of its former self, the large pool was filled in and three small pools occupy the area now, so much for progress. The Museum is still in good shape and contains exhibits of animal life native to the PA area, and art work including Native American examples. They also have changing art displays. They area surrounding the Museum which is a large building used to have two large reflecting pools in front and the whole area was a bunch of gardens with roses and all kinds of flowers during the summer time. All this is gone I guess the victim of budgets cuts and no money.Basically besides the Museum the Park has little use other than a place to walk you dog. It’s a shame, I grew up there and had many great summers there.

Well that’s about it I can’t believe the day went by so fast, Hey be safe out there. Sam & Donna..

PS Daddy misses you Rigg’s……..