Archive for the ‘Ohio’ Category

Our Aunt Pat

Thursday, May 19th, 2016

pat

Very few of you will remember Brother’s wife, Pat Gill (now Moon).

Maybe George and Barbara will but since Brother and Pat divorced in 1970, there are few memories.

Pat is the mother of three of our cousins, Debbie Denmark, Jim Gill and Mindy Smith all who live in the Akron, Ohio area.

Pat is brilliant, was the Controller at her father’s company, had a beautiful singing voice, and Brother and Pat on the dance floor were a sight to behold…Fred and Ginger would have been proud!

She was a single mom who raised three children and earned her Accounting degree by going to night school after a long day of work.

She enjoyed her bourbon…first Ancient Ancient Age and then Maker’s Mark.

After retiring early, she moved to Puerto Vallarta Mexico and spent about 10 years there before moving back to Ohio to be with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

She loves her cats and would fly them to Houston for veterinary care when she lived in Puerto Vallarta…yes, she really did!

Pat celebrated her 77th birthday on May 13th and is extremely thankful to be able to celebrate that birthday.

After 77 years of excellent health (not counting the brain aneurysm when she was in her early 20’s…yes she survived a brain aneurysm!), she had a major stroke on September 10th, 2015.

Sure the years of smoking, the daily 5:00 adult beverage and age had something to do with it, but the stroke just came out of the blue.

Her son Jim recalls speaking to her on his daily 5:15 call on his way home from work…all was normal.

At 8:30 that night, he was called by his sister Debbie to get to the hospital quickly because mom just had a major stroke and the outlook was grim.

It was grim but after months of recovery, Pat is now walking, talking, etc.

No longer smoking and no longer enjoying her bourbon, she eats oatmeal every day.

There was no better Euchre partner…with Pat on your team, you were going to win.

Pat was also a Master Bridge player. If you have ever tried to learn bridge, you realize it’s a game for really, really smart people…she was really, really smart.

She loved her daily Jumble, her daily crossword puzzle and always had a stack of ‘puzzle’ books – very difficult puzzle books.

Pat wasn’t a huge sports fan but believe it or not, she loves Tiger Woods.

One of her greatest memories was being within feet of Tiger as he practiced on the third green at The Bridgestone at Firestone Country Club in Akron.

She was also a phenomenal cook…she made the best Caesar Salad with homemade croutons…no one comes close.

Another one of her greatest memories was meeting Michael Symon at his Lola restaurant in Cleveland.

Not just meeting him, but speaking with him as he knelt down beside her to speak with her and then autograph her menu.

Pat was rarely at a loss for words but that was one of those rare occasions.

She will never be the lady she was prior to September 10th, but she is alive, she celebrated her 77th birthday and there are three children who still call her mom.

-James Gill

Ten Years After

Friday, February 12th, 2016

rememberwhen
It is (‘nt) funny how time flies. How it seems like yesterday I was sitting on top of a building in an office on the outskirts of Times Square NYC and with my down time I began playing around with web graphics.

This playing around and experimenting evolved into a family web site. I was fascinated by how things work on this thing The World Wide Web. I got books, I googled things. At the time there was a free web site hosting on Yahoo called GeoCities. GeoCities had become the laughing stock of the internet. It was just hilariously awful. Before I had begun “Family Ties” I wandered around GeoCities and saw some really bad amateur web design. Everybody and their friends wanted a web page. But I swore mine would be different.
vision
Ok yeah, I tried to be different and hope that I had achieved a little sophistication in what had become a very complicated family web site. I had fun and I learned. I had many problems that I figured out on my own. The page builder that Yahoo provided was horrible. Although I was impressed with their “layer” technology it was the beginning of a nightmare when it came to editing. The real issue was that web technology was growing by the speed of sound almost daily.
There became different codes and languages and software. I spent days learning Flash and trying to create animation. Today Flash is almost obsolete in web development. You have to go to school. Thanks to my many years in the printing business I was able to impersonate some form of design. When I did prepress for all these famous and not so famous designers, I tore apart their work to see how it was constructed digitally and I learned ALOT. I worked with many prepress guys and gals that just saw what we did as work. I saw the ART. I saw the colors and textures. I was inspired and I appreciated good design. I remember getting some artwork by a big design firm in New York to do a wall mural in a Barnes and Noble in Clifton NJ. I opened this thing up on my Mac and it was a hundred layer perfectly orchestrated Photoshop design. I grabbed the girl scanning things on the work station behind me and said, “Will you LOOK at that!?”
“Yeah. nice. Right. Ok. Is it lunch yet?”
And I spent my entire lunch discovering the layers of this wonderful artwork.

So it is the ten year anniversary of Family Ties. I still struggle with it. It has been flattened down to a much meeker version. I never have time for it anymore. I have lost my desire for it. It is like an old girlfriend that I was once very much in love with. Now I don’t know who she is anymore and I don’t care. Yet, I still come here, for the most part .. to blog. To vent. To express.

Because it is the ten year anniversary I want to bring some of the old stuff back. The good and the bad. The “Remember When” page was good. Here it is for you:
REMEMBER WHEN?
I used to think it was something that could always be added on to.

Brooke Marie Cordray and Blame The Gun

Thursday, August 13th, 2015

The Riddle Road Market World Turtle Day Party - published on YouTube in May 2015 by pinballpoolshark

lost clips II (always look up)

Wednesday, June 24th, 2015

Forever loved by all

Friday, September 26th, 2014

The day we said goodbye to Glenn started as a sunny day like the day before, but slowly turned into a complete washout. The family was drained from Glenns impoverishment and his goodbye was limited to a small memorial service and a rent-a-priest in the funeral home. I don’t believe his cremation even took place so there was an empty urn at the front of the room. Does any of this really matter when you pass away? Glenn had not been “the same” in many years, yet we were there to say goodbye to the spirit of Glenn that we loved and remembered. So on this rainy day two sisters cleaned out Glenns small space where he lived. Fifty one years of living had come down to a few bags of “stuff” Mostly his state supplied medication, some hand made notes and phone numbers, his cloths and razor blades. That’s it. Fifty one years and it took an hour to put away his physical presence on this planet. Like I said in an earlier post Glenn wrote many letters. He was a very talented self-taught artist. During the clean up of his meager worldly possessions, sister Bonnie found a letter from him to her. The last letter/poem that brother Glenn wrote can be viewed below.

Click here

Click here

Glenn left behind more important things, some great memories, two beautiful children, a granddaughter and another on the way. The journey to Brendas grave was started as just an idea as something to do before the service. Traveling to Ohio was a good enough reason to take advantage of going to her grave. Brenda had passed away six years earlier and her body was in an unmarked grave in Middletown Ohio. What we thought would be a forty minuet drive turned into a much longer long twisting journey in the pouring rain hills and back roads of southern Ohio. I had missed Brendas funeral so it became special for me that I get there. Thank you Bonnie and Paul for making that possible. Also the girls persistence that a marker be put on Brendas grave after six lonely years is a blessing.
So after all that driving by Paul we only stood there in the poring rain for a few minutes but there it was. A beautiful and humble stone in honor of our wonderful sister Brenda. It was so powerful for me to see it. I am grateful to all the sisters that pushed it and for the entire family for making this happen. The angel on her stone is even a reference to her favorite song by Sarah Mclachlan’s “Angel” and the sunflower is her favorite flower.
Located in Woodside Cemetery, Middletown Ohio.

Located in Woodside Cemetery, Middletown Ohio.

from our Brooke 10/18/13

Friday, October 18th, 2013
Really missing my mom lately. Found this of her saying goodbye on my first day of school. She was the greatest most amazing mom and person God sent to this earth. I just wish he hadn't taken her away so quickly..

Really missing my mom lately. Found this of her saying goodbye on my first day of school. She was the greatest most amazing mom and person God sent to this earth. I just wish he hadn’t taken her away so quickly..

A Night at the Circus

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

Route 76, Somewhere in Pennsylvania, daybreak.


Let’s walk into the dark fields of uncut grass. Into the heart of America, the midwest laughter and red white and blue explosions in the sky. Feeling the immediate sowing of a yellow hook moon in my heart. Another journal into the depths of space. The ending of the pain from my headaches….( a blood pressure concern)
I’m in the wrong century again, damn it! I miss the sepia skies and the angles singing. The black and white streets, crowds of busy people and the gaslights glow.

Dark pub and a lost soul from the future.

This is where I met him many years ago. A disco in the seventies. The drinking age was still eighteen. We were deadheads drinking shots, dressed like slobs and making fun of the music. The women were beautiful with big hair and attitudes. Annoyed at the hippies laughing in the dark corner. I had too much, as usual and it always seemed to hit me earlier then the other guys. I was never meant to be a drinker. I threw up all the time and I had diarrhea. Other guys could just drink, pound them down and play quarters for 24 hours straight and get up and walk a straight line home. (at the moment I am writing this, I am experiencing a severe case of Déjà vu) Now this crazy looking guy from across the bar is staring at me and I feel a vomit coming on so I ease over towards the bathroom and this guy is suddenly waiting there. I ignore him as I feel for the mens room in this dark hallway….I mean really dark….”Hey listen…..hey…hey George.”
So who the fuck is that and how do they know my name. The room is spinning. The music is thumping “Funky Town” by Lipps I think, I could almost taste the vomit…”Hey George” he giggles. He is right next to me. Suddenly I feel better. I feel better than better. I feel great. I am sober, I think. This guy is staring at me in the dark with this big smile.
“Hey George” he half whispers.. “I know you. I’m from the future.”

It's not easy being green

This really happened to me. A disco in 1979. A strange dude that told me about cell phones, 9/11, the Giants winning a Super Bowl in seven years, financial hardships, computers taking over, marriage, divorce, winning the lottery, drugs, drinking, sex, death, miracle cures, war, typhoons, tornados, tsunami’s, torture…
Hey you freak what are you saying. What are you putting in my mind. What the fuck is a cell phone? What kind of crazy pants are you wearing….disco boy….fag….leave me alone. Oh my head hurts from you. Get out of my life. Get out of my mind!!! Now forever making cameo appearances in my freaking dreams. Do you believe me?

409 Downing Street Westfield New Jersey


Dad’s Root beer
Our dads home when he was growing up. His teen age years. Meeting mom. Having dinner with Geraldine his sister and William his brother. His mom and “Pop” sitting in the living room waiting for him to go through that front door again and join the marine’s….or get married….or help Pop out at the store on East Broad street….not too far away. Westfield was a different place then, but it hasn’t changed much since. The biggest disappointment most recently is that they tore down “The Leader Store” They still have real live cops directing traffic during peak hours. The Westfield Sewing Center, our Grandfathers and then our dads place of business is long gone. People don’t sew their own dresses, curtains or make crafts anymore. Everyone is too busy on the cell phone or watching reality TV on the tube. We are all in front of mini-monitors, TV, computer or phone…taking commands and giving them. One of the things my dad passed on to me was growing tomatoes. It is an art to grow them…actually an easy art. Tomatoes are very hardy plants and even a seed from a tomato on a sandwich can fall in the crack of the sidewalk and if you let it grow, YOU WILL harvest a tomato or two. The weather here has been absolutely gorgeous. It has been the Summer of dreams….long days, hot skies, cold oceans, simmering spaghetti sauce, ribs and tomato plants wilting in the endless ninety degree days.
There are few gifts greater than offering your friend your home to stay. The other night we lay by the windowsill telling stories of our days, current and past. The Summer had been so hot, we were worried about the flowers. But as the darkness grew in the fading day a cool breeze had reached on the window sill. A small rumble of thunder. A flash of lightening and finally ……..rain. We listened, watched and talked. I am very grateful for that moment of time. To be protected from the storm but to be so close to it. To be able to listen to someone and have someone listen to me. To be able to smell the rain. To be able to call something “home” is a great gift. To have the blessings to share a meal with the one you love. To sit on the back deck and watch the day slowly turn into night. The candle on the wooden table splashes yellow puddles on your face. These are the moments of that you live for. The quiet unnoticed ones. I wouldn’t have them if it wasn’t for you. Thank you.

A night at the circus


A moment of time forever etched digitally on a blog deep in space. Perhaps not for eternity but it is there only because I thought it was worth digging in my pocket for my camera. We were cutting through some woods towards a wooden roller coaster. The yellow spot lights giving off an eire glow. Party balloons abandoned. My kids way ahead of me because I was keeping company with my stupid camera. Somewhere in south Ohio, July 4, 2011, the United States of America. Earth.

On the road with ‘Becca

Sunday, September 19th, 2010

The death of Lima Beans

Friday, May 14th, 2010


Some upcoming New Jersey Road Trips:
Brooke will be in NJ June-18th thru 21st.
Becca will be in NJ August -14th – 21st

My sponsor called me up
“Where the fuck have you been asshole?”
“I love you too”
“No really, this ain’t no fucking game!”
“I never said it was…I just…I’ve been busy.”
“BULLSHIT”
*click*

Gil Mercado, 25, Paterson New Jersey comes home

The war rages on and do we really notice? Unless we have somebody over there, what does it matter? Did we win or did we lose? President Obama cleared away an old Bush law saying photos of coffins from the war were banned. So welcome home Gil Mercado! Paterson is probably one of the toughest places to live in New Jersey. It is a war zone of drugs, guns, corruption slums and sleaze. Gil was probably thinking, “Hey, what do I have to lose. I’ll join the Marines to get the hell out of this God-forsaken hell hole of a New Jersey city life. 25 is too young, my God to die for any cause.

If I lived in my car, I would be home by now.

NORTH JERSEY: My new existence? It’s pretty new to me anyway. I was born and raised in central NJ, married and had kids in south NJ (Da Shore) and somehow came back to central NJ then migrated to north NJ. New Jersey has always been broken up into three parts. They are all extremely different from each other. My experience in north NJ has been so far incredible. It is truly the melting pot OF THE WORLD Never have I seen so many different ethnic communities blended together so finely. Northern New Jersey was the site of some of the earliest European settlements in what would become the United States of America. The Industrial Revolution in America started by the founding of the northern New Jersey town of Paterson. PATERSON NJ is an amazing city. Driving through main street on any Saturday afternoon is an open-air market experience that rivals only Disney World on it’s best day. If you speak about Paterson NJ to most people they cringe at the homicide and car theft rate and will tell you that they wouldn’t be caught DEAD there! This past week marked the EIGHT YEAR anniversary of moms death. May 1st. Her mothers name was May. Has it really been that long already? Beverly will be gone TEN YEARS this August. Brenda two years. Is it official yet? Do you think that Becca has any memories of her mother at all? To me that is a tragedy that I can never comprehend. But at least she had some time with her and Brenda had known her for a short while anyway. It was only 100 years ago that it was a crap shot that the mother, child or both survived the birth process. Giving birth was just a risky medical procedure and it truly was a miracle if everything went smooth. Not everyone may know it but mom had a miscarriage in between Beverly and me.

Annual death rate per 1000 total births from maternal mortality in America (1850-1970)

In New York City there is a bar with sawdust on the floor and everything is large and made of oak.

(212) 473-9148 - 15 E 7th St, New York, NY

They serve salami sliced on a cutting board, mustard, ham sandwiches and beer. Nothing else. It is a famous bar with tons of history and bursting at the seams with character. I never cried at moms funeral. I don’t know why. I really thought I should have been balling my eyes out but I didn’t. This isn’t hard for me to say and the past is the past. Besides trying to get me back into an even keel of fellowship and meetings, my sponsor told me to get my head out of the past. (or maybe he said to get my head out of my ass, I’m not sure).

DEATH is a very hard thing to figure out. Throughout the world, death and the rituals that surround it are steeped in taboos. Death is celebrated, embraced and feared. It is the only thing that scientist here on earth or any other planet will ever NEVER totally figure out. It is that great mystery that creates such grief and or wonder. What is our connection with the other side? The third dimension of puffy white clouds, serenity and potatoe chips on the couch. Nobody could imagine heaven or hell, although allot of people claim that we are living hell here on earth. What could possibly suck the life out of something so young, so small, so cute? All the tears and grief for this little doggy and I have filled seven suitcases with guilt that I never cried at my mothers funeral (or my dads) yet, when I experienced the loss of a friend that I had known for a short time, I cried for months……and the loss wasn’t even death!!! It was just a goodbye. So what does this say about me as a human? Do I remember Mom? Of course I do. I was just thinking the other day, how she loved to cook Lima beans as a vegetable. They were almost like eating wax. So I mixed them all up in my mashed potatoes and smooshed them and guzzled them down with my grape Hawaiian Punch and yet today I miss them. Nobody cooks lima beans anymore. No restaurants. No place. No where. No body. They shouldn’t even grow them anymore. I miss lima beans (Phaseolus lunatus) but I don’t miss mom.

Everybody is always “going”:
Where are you “going”? How is it “going?” I’m “going…” Let’s get “going”
In the news: The sole survivor of a plane crash is a 9 year old Dutch boy. 103 people died including his mother, father and older brother. Thankfully, he doesn’t remember the crash. He hasn’t been told yet that he lost his family. He only said this:
“I don’t know how I got here. I just want to get going…”

There was an episode of the Little Rascals when the gang built a “fire engine” out of wood and raced it down a very steep street. Stymie was driving the back and Spanky was driving the front. The fire engine was so long that as they were going down the steep hill, the “fire engine” bent in half. Eventually the back of the “fire engine” caught up with the front of the engine. At this point Spanky the front driver yelled over to Stymie the back driver:
“Hey Stymie, where ya going????”
and Stymie replied,
“I don’t know, but I’m on MY WAY !”
That pretty much sums up life for me.

WHERE DO DOGS GO when they die? Damn it, I wish I knew! Actually, where does everything, everybody, every animal goes when they die?? It is that they just GO, that HURTS u so much. It is so final….so “never again” that the tragedy of it sometimes takes months or even NEVER to heal.

I stood by your bed last night, I came to have a peep.
I could see that you were crying, you found it hard to sleep.
I whined to you softly as you brushed away a tear,
“It’s me, I haven’t left you, I’m well, I’m fine, I’m here.”
I was close to you at breakfast, I watched you pour the milk
You were thinking of the many times your hands reached down to me.
I was with you at my grave today, you tend it with such care.
I want to re-assure you, that I’m not lying there.
I walked with you towards the house as you fumbled for your key.
I gently put my paw on you, I smiled and said, “It’s me.”
You looked so very tired, and sank into a chair
I tried so hard to let you know that I was standing there.
“”It’s possible for me to be so near you every day
To say to you with certainty, “I never went away.””
You sat there very quietly, then smiled; I think you knew…
In the stillness of that evening, I was very close to you.
The day is over… I smile and watch you yawning
And say “good-night, God bless, I’ll see you in the morning.”
And when the time is right for you to cross the brief divide,
I’ll rush across to greet you and we’ll stand, side by side.
I have so many things to show you, there is so much for you to see.
Be patient, live your journey out… then come home to be with me.
~Author Unknown~

Goodnight. Sleep tight.

“Parting is all we know of heaven, and all we need of hell”?

James Fredrick Gill answers “The Twenty Questions”

Monday, February 8th, 2010

Jim has always been very athletic and competitive.

Jim has always been very athletic and competitive.


Remember the 20 questions? They were devised by Ann Hartman 4 years ago and everyone answered them except Gregory. Well here is Big Jims go at it:
What is your memory of Mom/ Aunt Joan?
Sitting at the table on Whitman Street smoking a cigarette!

2. What are three words that other people use to describe you?
Big, happy, intelligent

3. Who was better Elvis or the Beetles?
Elvis…Beetles…Elvis…Beetles…
It should have been between The Rolling Stones or The Who!

4. What is your favorite song and why?
Anything Van Halen (with David Lee Roth) or off Boston’s first album; vintage ELO as well.
I know that doesn’t answer your question…I guess Desperado by The Eagles…but I really don’t have a favorite song.

5. What is your favorite movie? Can list up to three titles.
Shawshank Redemption and Godfather 1

6. What are you afraid of?
Heights.

7. Do you have any pets?
Cats and a dog

8. Do you wear glasses dentures or a hearing aide?
Glasses only if I want to see the TV, where I am driving at night or anything from a distance!

9.What is the most embarrassing thing that has ever occurred to you?
Pulling the wrong way in junior high; the play went left and I went right…the only one ON FILM that went right!

10. What is the funniest thing that ever happened to you?
They would have to do with flatulence!

11.What color is your bedroom?
Lavender but it’s Tammy’s bedroom, not mine!

12. Which room do you eat dinner in?
Living room.

13. What is your favorite meal?
A hardy Breakfast.

14. What do you do for a living?
Recruit professionals for manufacturing, engineering, accounting and human resource positions.

15. What do you wish you did for a living?
Early in life? To play quarterback or catcher for a professional team.
Now that I have grown up? A teacher and coach for a middle school.

16. What is your favorite subject in school? Do you still like it?
Math first; English second.
Love them both today!

17. Do you know how to drive a stick-shift automobile?
Yes!

18. What is your favorite candy bar?
Snickers!

19. Do you bite your nails?
Used to; don’t now!

21. What is your favorite cereal?
Captain Crunch Reese’s flavored.

22. What is your favorite cereal as a kid?
Don’t know that I had one…Frosted Flakes?

23. What is your nickname?
Now? Don’t really have one…see below.

24. What was your childhood nickname?
Bluegill!

25.What is something we didn’t ask but would like others to know?
In 1978 I spent 33 days in Europe as a People-to-People Student Ambassador.
We visited communist Russia, Belgium, Germany, France, England, Holland, Denmark, and Sweden – great time!

26. Which sibling would you like to get to know better?
I would have liked to have known all of you better.
I know my sisters very well.

27. What shoe size do you wear?
11 ½ – 12

28. How was growing up in a large family better than a smaller family?
When we visited? I always had a ‘brother’ to play football with!

29. What is your proudest accomplishment?
Running a ½ marathon; raising 2 kids, making it on my own; surviving whatever life has thrown at me!

30. What would you like to change about yourself? Why?
Nothing now.
Growing up…I would have liked to have been 4-6 inches taller and more dedicated as an athlete.

31. What is your favorite childhood memory?
Traveling to Grandma’s house (my Mom’s Mom) for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

32. If money were no object where would you like to go?
Travel everywhere. Visit all stadiums throughout the U.S.

33. What is your favorite book?
Anything by James Patterson.

34. How did you meet your spouse/companion/best friend?
On E-Harmony!

35. What is the one thing you would like to do in your life before you die?
Retire and do whatever the hell I want, whenever the hell I want to and not have any worries!

36. End this with a quote:
Be happy and don’t take life too seriously.