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Archive for August, 2012

OLD BEDFORD VILLAGE

  Traveling south on Route 220 I saw the big green and white distance sign. I clearly saw Bedford 17. Slight anxiety could be felt within me.  I continued on! Shortly, I saw the Exit 10 sign! If the Dodge Caliber can make it past this exit all would be well, I remember thinking.

Young soldier!

I breathed a slight sigh of relief after I went a few extra miles south. I MADE IT! Most of you readers are, probably thinking what is this idiot writing and why!

They wanted me to hold the target!

A year ago, I was heading in the early hours to the Old Bedford Village  for a Civil War event known as  “MEET THE GENERALS”. After I went past the Bedford 17 miles and prior to the Exit 10 sign I stopped in the wooded area for some business. Upon returning to the car, and turning the key, I was amazed that the dash had so many-colored lights! The car wouldn’t start. Eventually, I managed to get the car started periodically and after going right at Exit 10 the problems continued until I flagged down a state trooper for assistance. I didn’t make the event. The car’s computer system failed with only around 24,000 miles.

After the wedding.

Jim Butler-camp cook

This has been a joke between my friend, Robert “Slim” Bowser and myself since. He was one of the reasons I was making the trip. He requested I show my painting, “THE WHEATFIELD-WHIRLPOOL OF DEATH” at the event. Slim is president of the Company D, 62nd Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry 5th Corps group of living historians. (www.62ndpvi.wordpress.com) I am honored and proud to be a honorary member with the group.

I arrived early at the village and unloaded about 7 paintings to display. I spent much time with many friends of the 62nd group. We had lots of laughs and lots of friendly harassment! A great bunch of people indeed! 

My friend, Jim Butler, after much harassment, made an excellent breakfast of bacon and eggs! (I ate 4 eggs!) Jim later in the evening made a turkey; beans; potatoes and sweet potato pie over the fire and using dutch ovens. Other long-time friends and a few newer friends included Joe Rupp; Den Butler; Judy Butler; Marylou Rupp; Sue Carson; Jim Johnson,; Cindy McShane and others. A few young-uns are with the group too.

K.P. duty

Some events of the day were a firing demonstration and the Meet the Generals event. I attended a Civil war era wedding. This ceremony was a reaffirmation of a couple’s marriage. Of course, this was done in Civil War era clothing and style. Many officers lined up outside of the old church with sabers arched over the couple as they exited the church. A small reception was open to the public afterwards.  too.                                                                                                                                                              

The Old Bedford Village, for those who have never heard of the site consists of original log cabins and homes. Many are log cabins transferred to the site and erected again as a, hopefully, permanent display as to how our ancestors lived. The cabin I was at with my display was built in 1790. (Type in Old Bedford Village for a list of events and such for a learning experience.)

I have included some photos  to see just a few of the log cabins found here .

                                                                                        

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SHOOTING!

  Thursday found my step father, Bob and I heading to the Cherry Run Gun, Rod and Reel Club for some rifle shooting. The firearms of the day were two .22 rifles; my Remington 30:06 and a Thompson center flintlock.

We shot at the fifty yard range with the  .22 rifles and, also, at the 25 yard range. At fifty yards I was placing the shots within a two-inch circle and at the lesser yardage, the shots were all within one inch.  The high-caliber rifle did well at both fifty and 100 yards.

Bob shot his flintlock, as did I twice. There is more work to do on this rifle. I wasn’t satisfied with the fifty yard shots.

Robert “Dan’l Boone” Miller

Cousin, Donnie popped in for some light-hearted  harassment. A form of harassment we all enjoy. He was going to cut the club’s grass.

Earlier in the week I went for a walk along the Bunker Hill Road and circled through some woodlots. Here I was blessed to watch at a close range two fawns and their mother. I find observing these beautiful animals at close distances always a joy.

The Bunker Hill Road brings back a good memory for me. When I first heard of Bunker Hill in Armstrong County, Pennsylvania, I immediately though of theRevolutionary War battle site. I remember asking my dad if this was, indeed, the site. He told me the answer and I have always remembered that!

I parked at the local WTYM Radio station, owned by a friend. I wanted to look the site over. I am to play music there on September 8th. Currently, I will playing with three bands including backing JoAnne Cash. She is Johnny cash’s sister. This may be interesting. She supplied a CD with some songs she is to do. I knew of only one song the rest were original songs , I believe written and performed by her on the CD.                                                                                                                                                 

A View from Bunker Hill Road

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Silvery water spots on milkweed leaf.

This walk wasn’t a planned excursion in any sense. This walk came to be because of an instance that happened in the pre-dawn hours. I guess I should explain. I had Susie out for a nature call when, suddenly and without warning, a severe coughing and choking event overcame me.  These spells are not unheard of in regards to my health, but they are not usually this bad. I actually dropped to the yard and had a burning discomfort to my arms and legs. I am assuming this is because of a lack of oxygen. I have had these sensations before too, but usually after a difficult sneeze.

Catbird

I remember securing Susie’s leash for fear if I passed out she would be wondering towards the road since she is blind. In a couple of minutes the event was over except for a slight burning in my right arm and extreme fatigue. I went to my “man cave” to recoup. To use a saying of my dads; this “knocked the wind out of my sail”!

Ironweed

I laid down and awoke about 7:15 and gave Susie her insulin. I felt weak, but I decided to go for a walk and get some fresh air…hence, Nicholson Run. I parked and forced myself to walk the road  parallel to the small stream. I literally mean that I forced myself for physically I was tired. Eventually, I received a second wind and the walk became more enjoyable.

Joe-Pye

The road is about 3 miles in length, so I am guessing so I walked approximately 6 miles,  give or take. The later summer flowers are in abundance. I found lots of woodland sunflowers blooming with their brilliant yellow petals. Also, the yellow-colored, green-headed coneflower could be viewed. The deep purple of ironweed contrasted the yellows, as well as, the pinkish joe-pye. I have joe-pye at my home reaching over 8 feet in height. As one would expect, the bees and butterflies were prevalent.

  Birds were common today around the flowers. I saw goldfinches; catbirds and various other species. I saw 4 deer in total. One was a doe with fawns.

Nicholson Run isn’t a very big stream. A local sportsman’s club stock trout in it for a youth fishing day. The vegetation is thick along the borders so for most of the walk the stream was unseen. I did, however, notice a few small beaver dams. I had watched beavers on this stream many years ago when the mammal was first making a strong comeback in the area.

green-headed coneflower

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A Visit With Randy

Randy Tost and I have become friends. The issue that brought us together initially was my art. He really likes my art and I appreciate this very much. The “art thing” soon had us realizing we had much more in common. We enjoy anything concerning nature. We, both, enjoy hunting. Randy has invited  me to visit his home and property.  We have enjoyed some breakfasts together at local restaurants on a few occasions. I consider him a fine and genuine person.                                                                                                                                                                                                               

We walked across the hollow to view the famous deer stand where many hunts yielded success over the years. Randy was shocked to see some tree damage from recent storms. A large limb from the oak the tree stand was attached had broken off and missed the stand only to hit an ash tree next to the stand. The big ash had broken and two of the main trunks were now on the ground.The big oak limb had then fallen close enough to push on the ladder, but not do any damage. WOW! Talk about luck!                                                                                                                                                                                               

   This morning we, also, set out for some hiking, thoughts of future art projects, checking on wildflower growths, bird boxes… I had given Randy some wildflower startings from my “crop” and some bird boxes earlier this year. Surprisingly, the flowers faired rather well since this summer had  been very hot and dry.  The remaining of the morning we talked hunting; my frequent snake bites; Ned Smith art; (one of the greatest wildlife painters) health issues….Four hours just flew by!

We talked about the losses of our loved ones too. Randy had lost, both his wife, Susie and his mother-in-law in 2000. You can still see the sadness whenever he talks of these wonderful women. I do the same anytime I discuss my father for more than a minute. The emotions and love are still present. He passed away in 1999. This is another bond we share!

Time went very quickly  and the noon hour was minutes from being on us and I was on my way back home with promises of visiting again. I was happy to see my wife and pets too.

    I was blessed to see a couple of deer and 15 turkey vultures drying in the morning sun from an ancient and long-dead tree.

Turkey Vultures

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