Archive for July, 2009

Family Talents


Art comes in all flavors. Gary shows us his wood crafting skills at work. If you have ever been to his home there are many projects by him, old and new, (my favorites are the outdoor bird cages) and his wife Ann also has an amazing flair for creativity. Some of it is on Family Ties, some of it I need photos of. Would also love to see some more of Elizabeths work.

Jeffrey Gill project for his interactive media class‏.

Jeffrey Gill project for his interactive media class‏.


Jim Gills son Jeffrey did this digital piece of work that I can really appreciate. Looking for more to come this way.

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Four Days with Golden Bear or 512 kilometers to Gananogue !

Burned by the beach. Humiliated by reality. Gasping for air. Rescued by a friend. Lake Minnewaska in all it’s splendor. My journey took me here. My expenses: $15.00 gas money. My harvest: Three nights sleep on a real bed. A full body tan. (lol) Lots of pure and healthy vitamin E. Much needed spiritual meditation, peace, reunited with Golden Bear, a wonderful woman who lives in a cabin here. Her life is Mother Earth, hiking, nature classes, rock climbing, discovering new friends and her AMAZING love for animals. She is an onion with endless layers.

Twas in another lifetime, one of toil and blood
When blackness was a virtue and the road was full of mud
I came in from the wilderness, a creature void of form.
“Come in,” she said,
“I’ll give you shelter from the storm.”

A peek into a town, New Paltz, New York, off Interstate 87. A small college town, smothered with antiques shops, art, crafts, colorful shops and amazing food. At the foot of the Catskill mountains, crisscrossed by streams and rivers. Anytime they name the shops after Grateful Dead songs, you know that you are in a peace-loving space.
I have extended my streak of NO TV to almost SEVEN WEEKS. My mind is seeing things differently. Less complicated. Feeling textures, tasting food smelling life. Real life.
Golden Bear’s generosity extended to wonderful dinners. Most notably “Mexicali Blue” had the TASTIEST Fish Burritos. She bought Tuna and Salmon and one was better than the other.
Our last night was an adventure in Thai Food that almost outdid Mexicali Blue. Lemongrass is the only spot in the area serving Thai. If you like Thai, you will LOVE the Lemongrass.The spices, table by the street, sauces, and conversation were a meal that I would never forget.

Another place worth mentioning was “The Muddy Cup” coffee shop. Not your typical free wifi, college student, hippy loving hangout. Filled with pillows and old couches, the front stage was empty the days we were there but looking the bookings looked awesome.
Golden Bear glowed by the firepit at night. Unfortunately we were scared inside by a screeching sound, half animal, half human perhaps but one of the scariest things I have EVER heard in the woods. It echoed against the mountains and the next day when I tried to describe it to the natives of the land…..they were puzzled.
In the Movie It’s A Wonderful Life, George Bailey finds himself alone on a bridge, thinking that; “I am worth more dead, then alive.” The rest of the movie is history.
It’s only freakin’ MONEY people. There are far better things in life. If you are on an honest trail, God will provide.

New Paltz New York. Only 500 K to Gananogue. 712 K to Toronto !!

New Paltz New York. Only 500 K to Gananogue. 712 K to Toronto !!

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a birth of a new day

5:50 am Spring Lake NJ

5:50 am Spring Lake NJ


My boys have spent the last week at a friends house down the “Shore”, pool, beach and water park. So I went to pick them up and instead of fighting traffic Saturday morning, I zoomed into the darkness and slept on the beach in Spring Lake. The “Irish Rivera”, my old home for three years.
I will not exaggerate to say that sleeping on the beach behind the turned over lifeguard chair was a “spiritual experience” last night. Looking up into the crystal clear blackness was a million stars. The waves were high and rough. Off into the north east from many miles away, I could see the incrediable flashing and rumbling of a far away thunderstorm. I woke up from many dreams in my snuggy warm sleepingbag. A little alone. A little scared, but what I really couldn’t believe how FREEZING cold it was. The whole mechanics of HOW a good sleeping bag really works just amazed me. My own body heat was keeping me from being a big chicken and running back to the car.
I SURVIVED the icy night. I watched the sun come up in slow motion. A new day, like a new baby, coming out of the water, oblong at first, almost distorted, was just so amazing to me how the sky changed so many red hues.
Then the “morning people” came. Dog walkers, surfers, ocean khakis, and fishermen. I talked with some that came over to me, still nestled in my “camp”.
People do care. I felt that way when I read some of the comments when I came home from the beach. I miss everyone. I am so proud of Bonnie. I wanna hug Paul. Kiss Grant and Greg. Dance for Bernadette and Barb and go boating on a strange lake somewhere in south Florida.

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BONNIE and PAUL are having a Boy

For Paul is a veteran of this whole “baby” thing and having boys is nothing new for him, it’s just another day at the races for him. This will be number 12 of “Our Children” unless of corse there are some court ordered DNA tests that number could easily double.
Bonnie we are there for you. What are your special cravings? How will this new baby be named? If anybody has any suggestions, post them here.
My name suggestion is: Wolfgang Paul Axelson.

COMING IN AUGUST FAMILY TIES
The complete reunion photos from Bernadette, Bonnie, Jim, Mindy and Krystal
PHOTOS from Becca, Brooke and Bernadettes NEW JERSEY TRIP
UPDATED PAGES: Brooke. The Twins.
NEW PAGES: Working on a Dedication to our sisters Beverly and Brenda.
Working on a new PLACES and EVENTS page. (these may take sometime)
MORE ART coming soon.

Please, please please, as usual always feel free to write me and give me a BLOG POST with or without photos. I will post it ASAP. ANY suggestions, requests, ideas, artwork is always welcome.
I would really love to do more with Jim, Deb and Mindy and their children, have them answer the 20 questions. Create pages for them. We are and always have been ONE family.
peace George

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Why I love dogs….

This is Bernadette, Larry and families Yorkie, Bell. He is very cute but has absolutely nothing to do with this post.

This is Bernadette, Larry and families Yorkie, Bell. He is very cute but has absolutely nothing to do with this post.

If your house was on fire and you were asleep on the couch with your cat and dog on the floor. Who would save your life?
On Family Ties Website I have my most embarrassing moment listed as: “I could write a book.” But this story of TWO dogs is really my most embarrassing moment(s)
I used to pick up a blind guy named Bernie (changed the name to protect his annominity) and take him to AA meetings with me. He was around my age back then, which was 40. He lost his sight at age 17 to diabetes. Because he remembers so well, what it was like to see, he was a very bitter man. Sometimes I had a really tough time dealing with Bernie.
He had a big beautiful seeing-eye dog. A pure German Shepherd named Rascal (changed the name to protect his annominity). After many months of traveling with Bernie and Rascal I realized that maybe Bernie was gay. I decided that he was MOST defiantly gay when he told me one evening after a meeting that he loved me.
“Consider that a great compliment George.” he said
“Ummmm yeah. Uh why?”
“Because I have no idea what you look like (I never let him feel my face yet). I love you because I have been listening to you for the past three months in this car and at meetings”
“Oh, gee. Thanks Bernie but I’m not gay.”
“I know”

ONE VERY RAINY night I picked up Bernie and in a complete downpour was rushing to get Bernie and Rascal in my car. Bernie always sat up front and Rascal took up the whole back seat.
In my haste, I slammed the door prematurely before Rascal was completely in the back seat. I slammed the door on his tail.
Never have I heard such a horrible yelp and never have I ever felt so bad.
Bernie was beside himself with anger for what I had done.
So, all the way to the meeting in the pouring rain, I had to listen to Bernies harsh angry words and “Oh, poor Rascal buddy, it’s going to be ok.”
Because Rascal was still in pain and crying in the back seat.
JUST THEN as I was filled with great guilt and distraction—on the road in front of me—-ANOTHER DOG, a loose dog had wandered onto the street and I HIT HIS HEAD!
THUMP
Like an uppercut. I walloped the poor dog good. I didn’t kill him because he ran away.
“What the hell was that?” screamed Bernie
“Did you see that? Did you see that? Oh my God, did you see that?”
“No, I didn’t see that. I’m fucking blind!”
“I hit a dog! Holy crap, I hit a dog right in the jaw!”
“What do you have against dogs all of sudden you Bastard!!!!”

This was the last time I ever gave Bernie and Rascal a ride. Even though I still saw him at meetings, I don’t think he was in love with me anymore.

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Hands across the water….(water)

In every conceivable manner, the family is link to our past, bridge to our future. -Alex Haley

In every conceivable manner, the family is link to our past, bridge to our future. -Alex Haley


I believe more than anything that the closeness of our mother Joan to her only Brother, Fred was the amazing gift that they had left us. It wasn’t just a weekend get-together, or a quick holiday but when the Gills came over it was for THE SUMMER. It is those long hot innocent Summers of childhood. It is the memories of ALL the senses (like I spoke about in my last post 1969) that come back. The overly chlorinated pool, Uncle Brothers overly buttered and salted popcorn. Listening to Paul McCartneys “Hands Across the Water” and all of us singing in union.
I have recollections of many people I have met, friends, coworkers, casual conversation…and they have shared with me; “Oh I don’t talk to my sister anymore.” or “I have no need to to see my family.” or “Screw my dad, he’s a jerk.” One day you will wake up and realize how short this journey of life is.
Maybe I am over emotional and way too deep (as I have been told) but when I was on the phone with my cousin Jim last week, I cannot express the feelings that came over me to hear his voice again. To hear him as a father and a husband AND a Grandfather! He wasn’t just my cousin quarterbacking our touch football team down for a score on Whitman street.
And when we finally had to hang up, I told him something I never told him before. “I love you” and it came from the depths of my heart and soul.

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1969

Was a hot Summer. A long Summer. I remember being in Dads Westfield Sewing Center when one of his teenage girl workers begged him to go home early so that she could get ready to leave for Woodstock.
I remember the whole hype and build-up on Tv and the newspapers to finally watch man land on the moon. I became so obsessed with that, collecting the photos (Life magazine was always the best) and buying the model of the Apollo 11. I spent endless hours putting it together, the glue and paint my first very young “high” (damn that stuff was strong back then)
I remember Glenn climbing the black railing on our front porch and falling. He broke his arm right in front of me. I thought that was strange because I didn’t hear anything “snap”
And the Mets, ahhhh, my first season as a fan. The magical Mets captivated me and Jim McSherry. We went up to his fathers room to watch every night game on WOR channel 9. Their miraculous climb to first place. When they made it to the World Series, the nuns stopped class and rolled in a TV so that we could watch a day game.
When you are living an era in your life, it can take many years later to look back on it and realize how special it was. All you can remember is the romance, the innocence, the smiles, and the music. I mean sometimes I just hear an old song and I am back there! Transported to that time, surrounded by all those old people in your life, and it is very powerful.
Who would know, 40 years later….the Summer of 1969; after Woodstock,
Man on the Moon, Miracle Mets, Dads Fabric store,
Student Jan Palach sets himself on fire in Prague’s Wenceslas Square to protest the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, Vietnam War: U.S. President Richard Nixon declares the Nixon Doctrine, stating that the United States now expects its Asian allies to take care of their own military defense. This starts the “Vietnamization” of the war.
The Manson Family kills Leno and Rosemary LaBianca, wealthy Los Angeles businesspeople.
The Brady Bunch premieres on ABC and Monty Python soon follows in the BBC and the first Sesame Street a few months after that. Wal-Mart incorporates as Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. The Altamont Free Concert is held at the Altamont Speedway in northern California. Hosted by the Rolling Stones, it is an attempt at a “Woodstock West” and is best known for the uproar of violence that occurred. It is viewed by many as the “end of the sixties.”

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The first of many; Gill-a-mania

Our cousin has outdone us again, he is a Grandfather; Kaylynn Marie Hilton

Our cousin has outdone us again, he is a Grandfather; Kaylynn Marie Hilton

Trish, Jims daughter !

Trish, Jims daughter !

This kid is HUGE; Jim Gills son; Jeffrey

This kid is HUGE; Jim Gills son; Jeffrey

Bernadette and Bonnie traveled to Cleveland today to meet up with our cousins. I started getting photos over my phone at noon. The first one was Cleveland Stadium where Jim just HAD to mention, it was where the Browns beat the Giants recently.

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someday doesn’t come soon enough


I have been working entirely too much (what else is new) & haven’t had time to do a thing I like to do. No painting, sewing, smashing things…. oh wait! I did smash my husband’s head not too long ago. Does that count? lol
Elizabeth goes back to school soon & I haven’t even had a chance to hang out with her, take her to a concert, teach her something. Matty leaves soo & we STILL haven’t had time to fly the kites I bought. Someday doesn’t come soon enough. Love you!!!! Miss you more! Gary has the boat running….. ready to go tubing & eat shrimp sandwiches on the shore?
Ann Hartman

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The Gills are home !

Mmmmmmmm.........

Mmmmmmmm.........

Thanks to modern technology (Facebook) we have located our long lost family!! This is very exciting to be finally be with them again. They all have grown children like us and have many stories to tell. I am a little embarrassed that there are so FEW photos of them on this website.. especially their father Fredrick “Brother” Gill who was nothing short of our “father” after dad died.
So now is the time to flood the web site with the GILLS. I have missed my best childhood buddy cousin James Gill very much. I have his phone number but am a little afraid to use it. It has been a long 15 or so years.

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