Friday, January 30, 2015


First off
let me say that
yesterday's post concerning
UNCLE  BOB  FELDBAUER
had more than
DOUBLE
the views we get for this blog on any regular day.
Yet another tribute to an amazing man.
And to think he did it all by simply being who he was,
simply and quietly.
Might well be a lesson there somewhere.

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And speaking of lessons, my Dad used to say,
" Sad day when you don't learn something."
This meant of course that if you were open to it, 
every day could be a new discovery of some valuable nugget of life.
Indeed.

This week my life has been like

Not only did more knowledge come my way from attending Uncle Bob's Celebration of Life, 
but some things occurred this week shook me a bit.
[ More than usual ]

They involve people / friends {?}
Neither person is aware of the other.
No connection what-so-ever.

The first happened early in the week & this individual is totally unaware of what s/he did.
Or in this case, didn't do.
But.  It.  Spoke.  Volumes.
T'was a shame actually, what happened that didn't happen.
Could have been a great chance at an olive branch.
Instead,,,,branch broken.

The second happened later in the week and was somewhat the shocker of the two.
I had [mistakenly apparently] assumed I "knew" this individual, at least somewhat
only to discover that there was/is a rather large part of them that I knew not at all.

   Both in their own way seem to be based on insecurity, so I should not, ultimately, take great offense at the things that happened or ... didn't happen.  I am  thankful  that I kept my eyes open and my mouth shut though [ thank you Michael ! ]  as I really wanted to say something (at least in one of the above cases) and that would not have been a good thing.

Be that as it may,
[ the above are cause for more pondering - like the doorknob, right Uncle Bob ? ]
there were FAR more
WONDERFUL  DISCOVERIES / HAPPENINGS
this week.

A check
[ yes that would be money ]
that neither of us saw coming
[ t'wasn't huge - but like finding folded money in a coat pocket! ]
that kind of put a lilt in our step.

A dear 'O friend
that I was somewhat concerned about
 [ she has had severe medical problems in the past ]
and hadn't seen on Facebook in a week or so
turned out to be
A-OK
Thank You Jesus!

And the best of all:
Relationships that have been in dire need of mending
are on the mend.
Finally.
This one has brought MJ & I to tears more than once this week.
[ I tend to let tears happen.    MJ = rarely.   But this turn of events did it. ]
[ They are good tears - tears of  hearts that are healing ]
God is good all the time ~~~ all the time God is good.
Amen

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
And It's
FLASHBACK  FRIDAY
I grabbed the photo album from
1992
so here are just a few pic from that year.
I apologize that the ones of
BELMONT  CENTRAL SCHOOL  BAND
at the
Allegany County Fair
[ Dated as:  July 20, 1992 ]
are so blurred.
Nothing I can do about it now!
[ Remember you can click on any pic to enlarge it ]





The next set of pictures have a story behind them that I need to tell.
MJ & I had just started back at
St. Mary's R.C. Church
as church musicians
[ after a 15 year hiatus imposed by Fr. Roy Ronald ]
and had been there a few months at the time of the following event on
SUNDAY EVENING   10-11-1992
MJ's oldest sister Mary Jo had invited us up to the McNinch "camp" on Farr Road
for a bonfire with her, Casey, Pat Presutti and Zach.
APPARENTLY
Zach had  never  seen  MJ & I  outside  of St. Mary's choir loft.
When we drove up & Zach saw us he went
" Zachariah berserk "
[ as  ONLY  Zach can do ]
because the music guys had been let out of the choir loft AND the  church !
When we walked in I asked Patty what the heck was the matter with Zach
and she could hardly stop laughing.
She told us Zach was literally beside himself because he thought
we just  stayed at  the church.
The fact that we had been "released" was beyond him.
Perhaps he thought we wouldn't go back
or
now we were "normal people" just like everyone else.
[ Rarely have  we  been accused of that ! ]
Whatever it was, it took a while for little Zach to calm down.
Perhaps that is why he and Casey took the boat out on the pond.
I doubt we shall  EVER  forget Zachariah's reaction that night.
And look where he is today!

ZACH & CASEY 
out on the pond soon after we arrived!


MJ and MJ


 CASEY JAMES  and  MARY JO


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Okay
I'm outta here
[ for now ]

THANKING YOU FOR YOUR TIME THIS TIME TILL NEXT TIME


KEEP  A  SONG
IN
YOUR  HEART!


*******
**************
*********************


Thursday, January 29, 2015

T'is another somewhat chilly day in western New York
nestled amongst the hills of the county Allegany.

This too shall pass.

This morning's blog post is dedicated to
Michael's
[ and many other's ]
UNCLE  BOB  FELDBAUER

[ I may post more later but Uncle Bob deserves his own blog post ]


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The more seasoned I become, the more I  truly  appreciate people's "stories".
Each and every one of our lives have a story to tell.
You are who you are because of all you've gone through, not in spite of it.
I. LOVE. THE. STORIES.

Yesterday we attended the
Celebration of Life Service
for Michael's Uncle Bob



 It was one of the most joyous "funeral" Services we have ever attended.

Now keep in mind that MJ & I have been to a lot of these, mostly as the music providers,
sometimes as not. I would estimate that since the early 1970's we have been the musicians at or attended easily 300 funerals and probably much more than that.  So I do not make the above statement about yesterday's Service being one of the best, easily.  

   Pastor Tim Middleton, former pastor of the United Methodist Chruch of Angelica was the main celebrant.  Pastor Tim has an easy going manner & led us through the Service with elegance and grace.  Prelude & Postlude music was by Paula Mighells, regular organist/pianist for that church and she played wonderfully.  Special music was provided by Monk Rowe [adult] nephew of Aunt Doris [Uncle Bob's beloved ( surviving) wife] and Monk's brother Michael provided one of the eulogies.  The military honors at the end of the Service [ Navy ] brought tears to the eye for sure.  However, it was the Time of Remembrance by Rodger Talbot that was unbelievably touching in ways to numerous to count.  He is a pastor [ Methodist ] himself and grew up around Fillmore, NY.  [ He is married to a Feldbauer, Jackie, daughter of Uncle Jerome & Aunt Helen, both of whom are deceased ].  Rodger has known of the Bob and Doris Feldbauer nearly is whole life.  He had grown up with Jeff Feldbauer [ son of Uncle Bob & Aunt Doris ], was minister when Jeff married his wife Sue,,,and later was minister at Jeff's funeral.  [ One of the very few times that Rodger's eyes filled with tears was when he mentioned Jeff's passing.  Even those of the strongest faith have their moments.

   Roger Talbot used the scripture from St. John about Nathaniel asking " Can anything good thing come out of Nazareth" ... [ referring to our Lord before Nathaniel had met Him ] and used the analogy of Allegany County being rather like poor Nazareth ... how  many  times do we have to say " 70 miles south of Buffalo" to even begin to get some folks to realize where we are from ?  How many times have we heard the laughs & giggles that we must all be hicks or hillbillies back here in the "sticks"? Rodger used that scripture and spoke with us [ with us, not to us ] about Uncle Bob & his quite life of faith, family and friends.  It was HOW Roger did this that was spellbinding.  By the time this man was done speaking I truly wanted to befriend him so that I could pass away and he could speak at my funeral. He was  that  good.  [ Sidenote:  After Roger was done, he was followed by Michael Rowe, whose opening statement went something like this " I may be remembered mainly as 'that guy who spoke after Rodger Talbot' "  T'was not easy following Rodger, but Michael has his own memories to share and they also were wonder-filled.]

   Kate Feldbauer Handy [ Mike's youngest sister ] already mentioned on Facebook these next couple of items but they are worth repeating.  A couple of things that Roger said yesterday remain with us still and frankly shall remain for quite some time:

1.]  In doing anything you are showing the world how you do everything.

and Rodger ended his remarks with the following antidote

2.] In typing up his notes for the Service, every time he typed the word "Feldbauer" the computer would underscore the word [ as it just did for me as I typed it here ].  Finally Rodger thought to himself, well what word WOULD they recommend in place of " Feldbauer" ?  So he tapped the the word and got the following reply:  " No  replacement  found."  

[ What a way to end one's tribute ! ]

   Now you may be wondering about the "joyous" part of all this.  It was in the laughter from the remarks about Uncle Bob and in Feldbauer's in general.  [ I am being ever so careful here.  I love living].  The story that got to me was about Uncle Bob "studying" a doorknob for two months before he could tackle fixing it.  I wanted to scream " So it IS in their genes ! "  as Michael is exactly like that... E-X-A-C-T-L-Y.   [ See last night's post on why we sometimes argue.  I am "Okay, let's do this. Let's go!  Come on.  What are we waiting for ? " and MJ is more like " Now, settle down. Measure thrice, cut once....s-l-o-w and steady gets the job done Gregory."  ]  There was far more laughter at yesterday's Service for Uncle Bob than at ten other similar type Service's combined.  It was simply amAzing.  Uncle Bob must have been pleased, for I am sure he was there in spirit.

  As we headed to the church hall for the dinner afterwards, I nearly lost track of MJ and I am used to speaking out " Feldbauer ! " and he always turns around to find me.  Thank God I didn't do that yesterday as there were certainly a flock of Feldbauer's present. [ And blessed we all were to be among such esteemed company too ! ]   Various things I noticed yesterday, perhaps of no importance other than to me.

* Everyone is getting so much more "seasoned".   I turned to Mary Jo [ MJ's oldest sister ] and said at one point " WE are slowly or not so slowly, becoming the older generation Mary Jo." To which she [rather typically ] replied.  " I do not like to think about that."   She then went on to talk along the same lines as regards Casey  really  not wanting to discuss her/Jim getting more seasoned, life/death etc. 

* Even the deepest of wounds can be healed by God Love. 

* Aunt Doris Feldbauer is always, and I mean a-l-w-a-y-s a lady in the best sense of that word.  She is caring, compassionate, elegant, kind, loving and gracious beyond words.  Such has been the case since I first met her decades ago.  Such remains the case today.

* Miracles happen every day.

* Living to be into your 90's does not mean that all your friends will have passed before you and there will be no one to attend your funeral.  The church was  packed  yesterday for Uncle Bob Celebration of Life Service.

*  More seasoned people definitely shrink.  Perhaps I just need to keep on "seasoning" !

*  Uncle Bob & Aunt Doris are such a great example of lives well lived.  Simple and quiet, realizing where their real strength lies.  What an example they have provided.

* Niece Grace Handy [ Kate's beautiful daughter ] is growing up w-a-a-a-y too fast.  I looked at her yesterday and thought to myself: " I can  easily  remember your mother at that age. Gosh I'm o, I mean seasoned."

* Jimmy Feldbauer is too thin.  I offered to "share the wealth" with him.  He is such a good person.  I have never, ever, EVER heard one single solitary bad word about him.  E-v-e-r.

* Jim McNinch cleans up good.  I told him so post Service.  He relied "That's what a quick trip through the car wash can do for ya ! "  O he of the golden tongued .

* Yesterday was also [another] reminder of brief our lifespan is.  We are not guaranteed ninety years or any amount of years.  We need to appreciate every single, solitary day of our lives.  Period.  No excuses.

I will close this blog post dedicated to Uncle Bob as follows:

" Each departed friend 
is a magnet that attracts us to the next world."
[ Jean Paul Richter ]

and as 
Rodger Talbot shared with when looking up the word "Feldbauer"

" No  replacement found "

Indeed.


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KEEP  A  SONG
IN
YOUR  HEART!


*******
**************
*********************

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

THIS OLD HOUSE


A few hours ago
[ although it seems like much more than that ]
I gave you a slight hint about what this date's
BLOG  POSTING
would be about.
CONGRATS to DOTTIE GRAHAM 
for recognizing the vocal group 
in the this morning's video as
ERNIE HASS & SIGNATURE SOUND
AND
A
BIG HIGH FIVE
to
DAVID J. MAYO
for his
guesstimate
that we were either movin' or a dyin'
[ I paraphrased a bit there, but that sure made me laugh Dave ! ]

SO
"JUSTIN CASE"
YOU'RE ASKING
HERE
T'IS

When we first moved to our current residence towards the end of 1980, we had quite a bit of work to do to this place, mainly cosmetic, but still quite a bit of work.  All went amazingly well until around 1992 when I became Director of Music for [ the parish formally known as ] St. Mary's here in Belmont.  Now that was by no means a bad thing, we loved practically ever minute of the work & dedication it took to bring that group to where it was when we were fired by Father Dennis Mancusso in September of 2004.  [[ See blog post dated Friday, SEPTEMBER 19th, 2014 for full details of that firing.]]  During that time we also established The Camelot Choraleers, a vocal & theater group that existed for well over a decade also.  [[ Technically still exists I guess ? ]]  At any rate, during all this time from roughtly 1992 ( or shortly thereafter ) until, well now actually, we have not paid as much attention to " this ol' house'  " as we should have.  And it shows.  Big time.  Once we were fired from St. Mary's, the Choraleers took our attention, as well as The Belmont Betterment Association, and for quite a few years Michael and I tended the grounds [ front ] at Belmont Central School; mowing, trimming, raking, etc.  Since we were rather particular about that lawn, we always did it by hand, no riding mower did we ever use. [[  It was MJ & I who first tackled that yard after it had long turned into a hay field = literally.  MJ went ahead of me with a hand held scythe or whatever it's called.  I would follow with a push mower set as high as it would go.  We did a 3 - 4 foot swath v-e-r-y slowly, then moved on to the next 3-4 foot swath. Took us two HOT summer days, before that front lawn looked the way it should look, or close there to.  You would not believe the items we found in that lawn.  Since the grass was so high, the kids / teens used it for drinking spots AND in some places it was apparent that more than drinking had occurred.   At least in some instances condoms were used, thank God... because they were also left behind.  And this might be expected between the old part of the school and the new part of the school as that area provides a little alcove.  However, must have been some thrill seekers because one of the fave spots was underneath the flowering tree [crab ?] right out front, over to the left as you are about to walk in the front doors of the school.  Beer bottles, hard liquor bottles, condom wrappers, used condoms,, and some other things I will not write about on this blog.  Geeeeesh..... at any rate.]]  We were busy, what seemed like, all the time. We also mowed the lawns at St. Philip's for a while until a regular person could be found to do so.   So even post-firing from St. Mary's we were VERY busy.  Hence, we reached the point of saying: "Enough!".  We stepped away from BBA [ we were both on the Board at the time ], the Choraleers slowly wound down and the only real outside activity we had other than church was the GVCS Drama productions. As you well know, we  just  stepped away from those last November.   
    Now the difficult part ot admit.  How house has suffered - big time.  We have MUCH that needs to be done here and hardly know where to start.  Well actually we DO know where to start as the bathroom is in desperate need to repair.  DESPERATE need.  Some folks say " Hire it done, much less aggravation."  Of course it is, but then there's the money to be considered.  We are highly blessed in so many areas, but are trying with every fiber of our being to prepare for MJ's retirement in a very few years = we are watching our pennies.  There are things we need to pay off pre-retirement, that is our primary focus right now.
   So why am I sharing this with y'all ?  NOT for sympathy I assure you, but rather so [1] If some of you are wondering why you haven't been asked up here for a while (read years) it's because we feel our place isn't "entertaining ready" at all as of late and more importantly [2] to ask for your prayers / well wishes when we DO begin to tackle these much needed improvements.  We  sometimes  work well together on  some  projects ,,,,, SOMEtimes.   But the closest we ever came to killing one another was years ago [ shortly after we moved here ] when we attempted to wallpaper the kitchen.  O. Dear. God.  The yelling.  The sarcasm.  The angst.  The threats.  Turst me when I tell you:  It. Was. NOT. Pretty.   But something has to be done.  We have been lax for too long.  SEE BELOW:


This is how we feel about our house currently:





TRUST ME
WHEN I TELL YOU
THAT
HAD
IT
MUCH
BETTER

So that's the story of OUR
"THIS OL' HOUSE"

We are not about to tackle the bathroom until the weather is at least above freezing,
but I will keep you posted.
If for no other reason than if you  don't  hear from us for any extended period of time,
you can come and check to make sure there has been no blood shed !


I'm outta here
[ for now ]

THANKING YOU FOR YOUR TIME THIS TIME TILL NEXT TIME


KEEP  A  SONG
IN
YOUR  HEART!


**************
*********************
****************************

To All Those who commented on Facebook
concerning yesterday's post on the possibility of a
" GAY  GENE "


I am in a bit of a rush this morning
so will post just this much 
and
"Lord willin' and the creek don't rise"
I'll be posting more later today.

I will give you a hint though,
of where 
think
the rest of today's blog post is heading:
Here t'is:


I'm outta here
[ for now  ~  hope to meet again real soon ]

TO
BE
CONTINUED
[ Lord willin' ]


KEEP  A  SONG
IN
YOUR  HEART!

*************************************************
*****************************************************
****************************************************************

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

HERE  in the NORTHEAST
it's a
COLD
DAY
YOU   MIGHT   ASK.



TIME FOR A
TO  PERHAPS  HEAT  THINGS  UP  A  BIT


Some gay folks wish for a gay gene to be found to hush up the religious folks.
Some religious folks claim that a gay gene will never be found so the gay folks need to hush up.

Neither one of the above opinions would be solved by the finding of such a gene.

The finding of a gay gene, if it exists, would only change the argument, not solve it.


   For decades MJ & I have been asked how we feel on this subject, for obvious reasons.  Our answer has evolved over the years but one aspect of the same has never changed:  It would only change the argument, not totally negate it.  
   It is difficult to discuss this topic with those sans a faith basis of any kind.  I write that not to be rude, but just to attempt to be truthful.  I  fully  realize that you need not be a practicing "anything" to hold an opinion on this topic, but for those of us of faith in God, that faith  does  change everything. That being stated, this blog and today's forum is open to all, so speak forth.  But keep in mind that we of faith are not "narrow minded" or "brainwashed" or "dependent on the 'fake crutch' of religion". Respect us as we respect you also.   [ Yes I am also aware that even people of various faiths differ on the gay topic, even those under the same generic banner, such as "Christian" differ on this topic. Trust me I know... I KNOW .]

Now, here is how some folks approach this issue of the gay gene:

and


They feel that such a gene does not exist because homosexuality is a sin.
Period.
I respect that opinion.
[ You may not but I do.]
For a moment though, let's say that such a gene is found.
Conclusively and without doubt, said gay gene is found & documented.
What then?
Just for a moment, imagine yourself as, let us say, a fundamentalist Christian.
Perhaps the first reaction would be like it is to "climate change"
Deny, deny, deny.
But for sake of argument, let's say that said proof of the gay gene is undeniable.
Then what?

Continue through with this for a moment please.
You are a fundamentalist Christian couple, 
living your life as best you can according to what you firmly believe are God's commands.
You are expecting your first child,
your Doctor recommends numerous tests & you have them.
You are going to deliver
[ if all goes well for the next few months ]
a healthy, little baby boy.
A baby boy with the gay gene.
What do you do?

You certainly don't believe in abortion.
You would not abort your child if he were going to be born with Down's Syndrome.
Abortion is wrong.
Period.
[ I respect that opinion.]
But homosexuality is a sin.
Period.
Are you going to "let go and let God" take care of things?
Wait until the child is born & do every thing in your power to make him
" a man's man" ?

[ Don't even  try  to think that tired old phrase through ! ]
[[ Another phrase that is SO not thought through:  " He sure is all boy." ]]
( WHAT ?...As opposed to his cousin Sam, who's only 3/4's boy or ??? )

As soon as he nears puberty, become very strict about his heterosexuality,
perhaps sending him to some Christian camp to make sure he's "normal" ?
What DO you DO
as a God fearing fundamentalist Christian ?


I was listening to NPR yesterday morning in the bathroom as I was getting around for the day and they had a news segment, [not on the gay gene, but] on some test that women can have now in place of amniocentesis that is much less expensive.  The challenge with the cheaper test is that it can sometimes show  possible  abnormalities with the fetus / baby that could be clarified through the amniocentesis test, but  some  women were simply opting to not have the amnio test, they aborted the fetus/baby rather than to make sure the first test was correct in its assumption.  This led me to wonder about the gay gene, if it were ever discovered.  

What would people do, even non-Christians, 
if their baby in the womb were discovered to have the gay gene ? 

Would abortions increase if said gene existed ?

Would some folks be questioned
[ perhaps even by the " Country Club Set" ]
for permitting their gay child to be born
as opposed to aborting & trying again for a
" normal child" ?


What do YOU think the consequences might be
if an undeniable
" gay gene "
were discovered ?

I would remind you that all the regular
" KEEP  A  SONG  IN  YOUR  HEART "
guidelines apply.
Let us all seek to be awarded the
"Plays Well With Others"
sticker
by being respectful at all times,
even if we might severely disagree with one another,
ok-AAAAAAA-y ?

As always I am chomping at the bit
to read your responses.


I'm outta here.
[ for now ]

THANKING YOU FOR YOUR TIME THIS TIME TILL NEXT TIME


KEEP  A  SONG
IN
YOUR  HEART!


************
***********************
************************************


















Monday, January 26, 2015

GOOD MONDAY MORNING PEEPS!

Let's hop right to it, shall we ?

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 
Today, for reasons that totally escape me, if indeed I ever knew a reason for it to begin with
we are going to photographicly [ apparently that's not a word at all] concentrate on
THE YEAR  
1979
[ sans Christmas time as I already posted some pics from that period in a previous post ]
So I opened up 
our photo album from
1979
and here are some of the pic therein:
{ T'is interesting to me to see who/what was a part of our life in any given year.]

 Michael and myself
around the time of his birthday
Top pic just us
bottom pic with nieces Jennifer & Jessica Lewis


Dinner
 Celebration Dinner we gave for Mary Jo's 17th Birthday.
Isn't she lovely?
Still is.


 At the table:
[ L - R ]
Brian Guinnip - Mary Jo - Rick Jordan
Michael - Uncle Howard Guinnip - Auntie Fran Guinnip - Tiger


 Auntie Fran - Uncle Howard - Brian - Tiger - Mary Jo - Rick - Michael



Random "Table Game Night" with Tiger.
[ Oh how humble he never was when he won, which was often.]



 JULY 1st, 1979
Letchworth State Park with Michael's siblings
[ We changed clothes after this pic of him and I ]


 MJ forefront 
with Yog and Tiger in background.



 The one and only Mark "hairy face" Feldbauer
[ He was with someone that is but a memory now, so she was clipped out apparently, from this pic.]


 Top to bottom
Martin Jerome - Rick - Mary Jo - unknown - Mark Joseph & Michael James



Nieces
Lisa Diane Lewis
and her twin sisters
" The  J's"
[ Lisa you look so much like your Mom here ! ]



 Tiger's Birthday
Early September 1979



 The moment he got the jeans he changed pants immediately.
He had "dressed up" to suit me - - - but that quickly ended!



A surprise visit from "Weesie"
DIANE  CHILSON
Mid - late September 1979




 Jennifer - Lisa - Jessica 
LEWIS



Apparently we got a different used vehicle in late 1979.
I have no idea "what" it is beside a car.
In fact Tiger used to get so upset when anyone would ask me what kind of vehicle we drove
and I'd reply 
"Brown with a tan top".
Well that made more sense to me than what people refer to as a
"running board"
on a truck.
Just how many people have YOU seen jogging/running on that
"Step Up-On"
as I call them?





 Random MJ pics ~ Late 1979




And soon it was time to say
FAREWELL
to
1979
 Followed by

But that, as they say,
is a story for another day.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 
I'm outta here
[ for now ]

THANKING YOU FOR YOUR TIME THIS TIME TILL NEXT TIME


KEEP  A  SONG
IN
YOUR  HEART!


*********************
****************************
************************************




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