Thursday, November 16, 2017

Gus' Sept.-Oct. Travels

In September I went to St. Louis for high school and Flynn Park reunions on Labor Day week-end. I took the "scenic route" and avoided interstate highways as much as possible. Usually I just blast right through and would have driven to St. Louis (770 miles) in one day. On that trip, however, I took three days and saw beautiful parts of the country I would have missed on the superslab.  I also took advantage of CouchSurfing.com and met two wonderful families who opened their homes to me.

Have you read Blue Highways, by William Least Heat-Moon. He left Columbia, Mo. in an old van (early 1980s, I think) and traveled throughout the country. He could drive from U. City to Chesterfield and write ten chapters about all the people he met and things he saw. Blue highways are the old blue-lined highways on maps; two-lane roads, country roads. It's a book to read slowly and enjoy.

Then I drove to Woodstock, Ill. to visit Joey (now 29) for a couple of days and then over to the Wilbur Wright Birthplace & Museum northeast of Millville, Ind. (Hagerstown is its mailing address but is seven miles away.) I even considered moving there! I tried to get the Board of Directors to hire me as Executive Director, so I could "save" the place before they run it into the ground. The Board is composed of nice people, but who are mostly ignorant (meaning "unaware") of the proper ways to run a not-for-profit organization. I think I had too many "big-city" ideas for them, even though I considered them simple, required procedures to stay out of hot water with the Indiana Secretary of State, IRS, County Health Dept., Bank, etc.

Since I was a volunteer, I decided I could be anything I wanted. After I found a flight simulator in a closed-up room, I dusted it off and got it working. Then I invited all museum visitors to "go flying". I never knew that my flying experience (300 hours, 40 years ago!) would come in so handy.
CFI business card.jpg
I got back to Columbia, S.C. on Oct. 30, did laundry and am ready to leave again!

Granddaughter Abbie finished high school (S.C. Governor's School) and has started at Johns Hopkins U. Grandson Josh is a senior at The Citadel in Charleston, S.C. He is now considering training in military intelligence (I know - an oxymoron) and may go to Aberdeen, Md. after graduation. He is in the Army Reserve and apparently, per the terms of his 3-year scholarship, cannot go into the Regular Army. Stephanie is doing fine with her clinical therapy practice and has a growing component of equine-assisted therapy. Several years ago I sent her a copy of It's Not About the Horse, by Wyatt Webb. After reading it, she added the equine-assisted therapy to her practice. 

I stopped at Jim's on the way home and also enjoyed a nice dinner with Russell and his family. Jim told me about a great book. Joshua Slocum's book, Sailing Alone Around the World. It's about his round-the-world, solo sailing voyage in 1895-97. I really enjoyed it. What a deal for 99ยข!!!

Monday, May 29, 2017

High School Graduation Day 2017

On Saturday, May 27, Gus's granddaughter, Abbie Grace Bowman, 18,
graduated from the South Carolina Governor's School for Science and Mathematics, in Hartsville, S.C.

About a week before, I was in Hartsville to hear Abbie's presentation of her senior research project: "Using C. elegans to model the effects of Cystic Fibrosis."

I heard every word she said. I wish I could say that I understood at least some of it!

Abbie will enter Johns Hopkins University this fall.

I'm very proud of her.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Gus Meets the Hangin' Judge


One of my favorite stories from high school days when I had a part-time job working for Joe Fischer Sinclair at his station on Lindbergh Road. Joe sent me to Waynesville, Mo., about 120 miles southwest of St. Louis, to pick up a car and tow it back.

I'm still laughing, sixty years later!!!

The Good Ol' Days

Years (many years!) ago, when I was a kid on Warder Avenue in University City, we (the whole Philpott family) were all seated around the dining room table one evening, We heard the back gate open and close, then the back door opened and closed.

Our neighbor from two doors up the street, Harry Gershenson, then about 7-8, came through the kitchen, walked through the dining room and the living room, and headed for the front door.

Dad said, 'Where are you going, Harry?"

"Oh, just taking a short cut," he said.

That was over 65 years ago, and I'm still chuckling.

I'll be in St. Louis in September, and I'm planning to call Harry. He may still own the house up the street, which he was using as his law office the last time we talked.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Birthday Ribs

:Lost Count"
Looks like I forgot to post a picture of this year's birthday celebration in Columbia, S.C. Dinner was with my daughter, Stephanie, and her husband, Paul.

I really wanted ribs, and that's what we had. And they were good.

The candles were sent to me by a Chicago friend with a good sense of humor! You'll notice no flames - I'm saving them for future years.

This was my 78th birthday, and I'm feeling great.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

February Visit with Clellie

Gus (78), Clel (86), Jim (75)
My younger brother, Jim and I visited our sister, Clellie, in Arcadia, Florida, in mid-February.

Jim lives in Parkersburg, W.Va., and he drove to Columbia, S.C. to pick me up. Together we drove to Arcadia the next day and arrived at Tim and Pat Backer's. We visited with Clellie on Friday and Saturday and headed back north on Sunday.

After Sunday night here in Columbia, Jim headed on to Parkersburg.

Clellie successfully sold her home at Arcadia Village and she did a great job of letting go of many years of accumulated "stuff".

Clellie is surrounded by many familiar items in her spacious room at Arcadia Oaks. At her fingertips are her computer, cell phone, sewing machines (plural !). She loves going out for meals.

Her sons, Tim and Tod, live in Arcadia. Joan is in Bartow. Kim is in Lighthouse Point. David Shore is in Venice, Fla. Sandy is in Reisterstown, Md.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Pop and Granddaughter - Same birthday

Today is the 116th anniversary of Pop's birth in Clifton Forge, Virginia. He left us too soon - back in 1962 at age 61.

Pop was Frank Roosevelt Philpott. I mean, Frank R. Philpott. He'd never tell anyone what the "R" for, because people would say, "For Franklin?" No, of course not. FDR was only 18 years old when Pop was born. The "R" was for Teddy Roosevelt (1858-1919), the 26th President of the United States (1901-1909).

One of Teddy Roosevelt's quotes on Wikipedia.com is "In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing."

Clifton Forge is an old railroad town in the mountains of western Virginia. It's west of Lexington, Va. and north of Roanoke.

How many of you have been to the town (or city) of your parents' birth? Have you tried to imagine what it was like for them in their childhood?

In 1992 I visited Clifton Forge and went to the railroad museum to look at photographs of Clifton Force c. 1900.

One of my favorite memories is Pop's story about working as a part-time night dispatcher for the railroad. Apparently, a troop train came through and he was told to send it down a siding and tell them to stay there until they were told to go back on the main line. He did. And then he went home. I guess he didn't tell the next dispatcher about it. As I recall his story, Pop said a soldier hoofed it up the tracks to the station about three days later and asked when they could continue their trip!!!

Today is another birthday in our family line.

My granddaughter, Abbie Grace Bowman (Stephanie's daughter) is 18 today. Happy Birthday, Abbie.

She is a high school senior at the South Carolina Governor's School for Science and Mathematics, in Hartsville, South Carolina. She is in the midst of choosing between Johns Hopkins University and Washington University.