Friday, August 15, 2008

Nana Jin

She spoiled me rotten
and kissed me lots
and took me here and there
Dime stores
Ice cream cones
and movie shows
with all her love to share.

Whether she was hotter than ackafartus
or colder than Billy B. Damned
She would flash that smile
and crack a joke
as only a Nana Jin can.

She lived her days
with the heart of a child
harmless as a dove
The gift she gave
I'll treasure the most...
She taught me how to love.

Some are born
for fame and fortune
Some to lose or win
but Jinny Weber was born to laugh
and love as Nana Jin.

Five foot two
Eyes of Blue
Has anybody seen my gal...

Monday, August 11, 2008

Make a memory today...

One of my favorite places on earth is Starved Rock above the Illinois River. Recently I was driving near the park and realized I hadn't climbed the rock in twenty years and decided to take advantage of the opportunity. It seemed taller and took a little longer to reach the top than I remembered, but as you can from the picture, it was worth the effort.
The island you see was the sight of a battle which takes place in my new book Wa-ba-shik-ki.
I'm glad I took time out to climb the the top of the "mountain". As I grow older I become aware of the lost opportunities to make new memories and have vowed to live my life to the fullest. Life is a gift. We should all celebrate every breath we take.
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Sunday, August 10, 2008

A Little Gallows Humor

As you all know Betsey Reed was the first and last woman ever to be hung in the state of Illinois.
The last man to be hung was the notorious southern Illinois gangster, Charlie Birger.
Ol' Charlie got away with murder several times, but, on this occasion he wasn't so lucky. He was tried for the murder of Joe Adam, mayor of West City Illinois. He turned himself in without a fight, but soon regretted the decision as he was tried in Benton in Franklin County. (It was a county he didn't control.)
If you look at the picture above, you can guess what the outcome of the trial was. Thousands of people turned out for the hanging. It was the second largest public gathering in southern Illinois history.
The largest gathering was... The Hanging of Betsey Reed.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

The reason I find gray hairs on my head

I found this picture of my son Ben, which was taken five years ago. This was the beginning of his artistic impressionism period which he has failed to outgrow as of this writing.

I have always tried to be supportive of Ben as he finds ways to creatively express himself.

Using his hair as a canvas manages to add more gray to my canvas.

When you see Ben... remind him how handsome he is when he accidentally dyes his hair his natural color.

If he doesn't stop...It could be "Grecian Formula" time for me.

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Words to live by...

In a hundred years... who'll give a damn?

John Berry Farmer (Poppy John) circa 1967

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Grandfather of the Year

Recently I had the privilege of hosting my 18 month old granddaughter, Luca for ten days. After several hours of wearing Grandpa Rick out I found out she liked riding around in the back of my jeep with the top down. This was the only way I could get any rest during the daylight hours.

This is a photo of Luca at 55mph somewhere in beautiful Honey Creek Township.

500 miles and we never left the county...

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Saturday, August 2, 2008

Jay's Boat

A picture paints a thousand words... This is my nephew Jay sailing his skiff that he built with his own two hands near his home on the barrier islands in North Carolina. Jay has matured into an outstanding young man and has made his Uncle Rick proud.
I only hope to get the chance to sail with him some day.
Semper Fi Jay,
Uncle Rick

Friday, August 1, 2008

The Hanging of Betsey Reed
By Rick Kelsheimer

A book review by Tom Frew

In mid January the author dropped by the SCHS and presented us with a copy of his book and our esteemed President asked me to read and comment on it, so here is my review.
First of all this is a historically accurate book, and chronicles the events leading up to the trial and hanging of Elizabeth Reed in Lawrenceville, Ill on the 23rd of May, 1845, for the poisoning of her husband. She was the only woman publicly hanged in Ill. And all the events took place within just a few miles of where we now live.
The author takes literary license to make the story real! As with other historical novels before him he puts the reader into the life and times of the characters. Mr. Kelsheimer has invented several of the people, who populate his book, but only one is of any consequence and that is the narrator of the story. I found the character of Nathan Crockett so real, that I wanted to look him up and see what became of him. All of the locations are like old friends to most of us, from Merom and Hutsonville to Palestine where most of the story takes place. You feel like you are walking along the same roads with these people of the 1840s, stumbling over the same rocks. You can see in your mind the events, and as I did, you must make up your own mind as to the guilt or innocence of Betsey Reed. All in all I truly enjoyed this book and hope to reed Rick’s next book soon