Notre Dame du Lac   1 comment

Friends from the east coast were here and asked for a tour of the Notre Dame university campus.  They, naturally, were impressed with all of the sports facilities, but were most impressed with the cathedral.  They had no idea what the interior might hold and were surprised by what they found.  Below are a few shots that highlight some of the wonder of the place……..



This is the famous “Golden Dome”.  It is not the cathedral as many think,

but the administration building for the campus, beautiful, nonetheless…..


Inside the cathedral, this is the main altar with its beautiful

multifaceted tabernacle.


This is the ceiling of one of the small side chapels.


A fresco above the altar of another side chapel.

(there are several small chapels aside from the

main body of the building).


The Pieta in a nave near the main altar


The old altar which is now used only for

small, special ceremonies.


The ceiling above the old altar.


The ceiling above the cathedral’s main altar.


“The Grotto”…, this is a copy of the famed grotto at Lourdes,

France.  While not as well known as the original, tens of thousands

of visitors come here every year.  On a quiet day, it’s a very peaceful place.



And this is the Complaint Department at

Notre Dame……, if you dare !!!





A Trip to the Zoo   Leave a comment



Last weekend I took a trip to the zoo.  Not your usual zoo with giraffes, elephants, bears, and such, although this one had its share of cats.  In it there were Flying Tigers, Hellcats, Tomcats, Wildcats, and a few other interesting animals such as Mallards, Camels, Cobras, a Gypsy Moth, and a Warhawk. I tried to get pictures of them but some were a bit shy and hid in the darker shadows.  It was a lot of fun though.  Naturally, all of the above are names of different aircraft and can be seen at the Air Zoo in, where else, Kalamazoo, Michigan.  Below are some of the better shots I was able to get.




Himself in a mini WWII Corsair (flyable)


A WWI Fokker D7 (Think “Red Baron)


A Sopwith Camel (in restoration) (Think Snoopy)


Himself in the cockpit of an F106 Delta Dart


Inside the cockpit of the F106


Suzanne Upjohn Parrish

This is a picture of a dear friend who permitted me the honor of

helping prepare her flight planning, weather briefing, and flight

assistance for many years.  The Air Zoo was the culmination of

a dream for her and her husband.  They, for years, when it was

affordable, collected many of the aircraft in the Air Zoo, (and flew

many of them).  She made her last flight into the azure heavens

in 2010 at the tender age of 87, and will always be fondly

remembered. Below is a picture of Sue in “the office” – her pink

P40N Warhawk. 

Sue in her famous pink P-40N Warhawk

Click on picture for a larger image



Himself with an F104 Starfighter


Soviet Mig15


SR71 Blackbird


And finally, the one that started it all…

The Wright Flyer.


There were so many more pictures, but I didn’t want to totally bore anyone.  I guess you might get the idea…, I loved aviation…, any and all parts of it.  I loved the freedom of the air – flight !!!








Posted July 18, 2016 by PapaBear in Experiences, History, Memories, Personal, Photo, Prose, Uncategorized

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This is a small piece I wrote a few years ago and the evening tonight reminded me of it very much.



The Quiet of Evening

Day has squandered its quotient of heat
Its energy finally spent
Time is come for its endless hustle
Time is come for its endless hustle
To now, at long last, relent…
To the quiet of evening
The soft hush of twilight
With the hint of a breeze
And a romantic, sweet tease
Welcomes the night…
With the softness of evening
‘Cross a dark velvet blanket
Spread the jewels of the night
In the vault of the heavens
Moon and stars shining bright…
In the quiet of evening.





Posted July 6, 2016 by PapaBear in Uncategorized

~ ~ Boredom ~ ~   1 comment



Trying to think of something witty…, or intelligent to write about tonight but, it seems, the muse has deserted me.  She’s been gone for quite some time now, as is evident from my lack of any new posts of any consequence at all.  It’s been a busy Spring and beginning of Summer, but that’s really not a good excuse…, or reason.  I just haven’t had the ambition to sit down and compose anything.  Started a couple of watercolors but they’re sitting on a table in the sunroom…, unfinished.



Seem to have come down with some type of malaise that keeps me in a rut of doing things that I have t0 do and avoiding things that I normally want to do.

Oh, well, real summertime is upon us and the warmth and sunshine will soon be driving me off to an old fishing hole, or maybe a museum…., or just maybe a spot in the shade with a good book…….., maybe !!!  Right now, writing just seems to much work.



Good Night Everybody !






Tonight   2 comments



The night was calm and quiet

Except for an occasional cricket, or cicada

The evening sky was crystal clear

Venus stood high in the heavens

Peering at the sliver of a pale moon

Slowly bringing itself above the horizon

She seemed to smirk at the sliver of a crescent

As if to say…, “Is that all you’ve got ???

I smiled as I watched the other stars appear

One by one enjoying the celestial contest.

Needless to say, tonight was a beautiful night.




Posted June 8, 2016 by PapaBear in Personal, Prose

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Nowheresville   3 comments




To preclude any questions…..

Yes !  I did fall off the face of the earth for a while…,

at least it felt that way.  I don’t think I’ve had a more

busy Spring, and now the start of what appears to be

an even busier Summer.  Won’t go into the lurid details

but, suffice to say, I haven’t had much time for the things

I enjoy doing. 

Ya know, falling off the face of the earth isn’t bad, It’s the

nowheresville landing at the end of the fall that’s painful !!!


I think I may be approaching full recovery mode now,

unless someone else gets sick, some unforeseen event

happens to the house, or ………


June promises to be another wild time it seems.

Will have my brother-in-law with a friend here

for a week for a sports camp at Notre Dame, and

when they leave, grandkids will be here for a week

of Grandparents Camp while their parents are off

enjoying themselves.  Then, maybe, a period of peace

and quiet before the annual pilgrimage to New Jersey

to invade the homes of In-Laws and friends for a short

while.  Oh, my, I forgot, another trip to the east coast

for my spouse’s 55th HS reunion.  It never ends !!!!!


So, from the bottom of the pit where I fell, wishes for happiness to all

and a very big apology for being so out of touch for so long. :)




Posted June 1, 2016 by PapaBear in Personal, Prose

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~ Once Upon a Time…….   2 comments



………and it all began with a question.  

 It had been a long day and I was tired to begin with, but I had promised to take some friends to the Buena Vista Hotel where there was a beauty pageant being held.  They gave me a ticket and I accompanied them to the show.  I was seated apart from them, about seven rows back from the stage.  All of the contestants were pretty…, all but one, and as far as I was concerned, she was just the most beautiful girl there that night.

GMB 2a

  I couldn’t take my eyes from her.  It must have been pretty obvious, because after a while, as she walked across the stage, she looked at me and smiled.  I teased myself into thinking that such a beautiful girl could be possibly interested in me.  Nah !  I was dreaming again. 

After a while I found myself tired of the whole evening and, despite that unbelievably beautiful creature, I was leaving.  I went up to the piano bar and told the pianist that if the guys were looking for me I would be out on the beach.  I stopped at the bar and grabbed a coke, went across the walkway and down to the car where I deposited my shoes, and then headed for the beach.  I’d started to walk up the beach toward fishing piers which were one of my favorite places to sit, rest, and contemplate life and then is when it came…….

“Hey, G.I., would y’all mind if I walk with you?”

This is where it all began.  I turned and was face-to-face with that incredibly beautiful girl from the contest.  My first reaction was total confusion and disbelief as I thought she should still be back there in the contest.  My second thoughts were: Wow ! She’s even more beautiful than I first thought !

“I don’t mind if you don’t mind walking with a complete stranger, ….but aren’t you supposed to be in that contest at the hotel, Gayle?”

“Uhh, you know my name ?”

“Yeah, it was in the program with your picture.”

“Oh, well then that makes us even, Paul.”

Now it was my turn to be surprised and I gave her a sideways glance.

“They told me at the bar when I asked about you.”

As the evening continued, we walked out on the pier and sat at the end, dangling our legs over the water.  Conversation wound itself around Mississippi, Indiana, school, the Air Force, friends, and such other safe topics as we slowly began to become acquainted.  She was sweet and easy to be with and spoke with a soft, slow southern accent that totally bewitched me.  I didn’t want her to stop talking. 

The evening ended with a slow walk back up the beach and across to her car.  She gave me her phone number.  I was at a loss to give her mine as it was a pay phone in the squadron orderly room.  She understood. 

Rather than a kiss good night, (I thought that would be much too forward), I took her hand and kissed it, asking if we could meet again.  She told me that could be a definite possibility and I should call her soon. 

 Well, that’s how it all started, fifty-three years ago tonight, on a soft southern evening when a young man’s mind turned to springtime and flowers, and romance. 

Ahh….!  The memories are still sweet …………………..









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