Archive for the ‘History’ Category

Prelude to St. Patrick’s Day   4 comments




Many sites will tell you that the little trefoil known as the shamrock was once known as “seamróg“, pronounced “Seamroy”, meaning “little clover”. They also mention the fact that it is a very common clover that grows heartily in Ireland.

Many agree that the ancient Druids honored it as a sacred plant. The Druids believed the shamrock had the power to avert evil spirits. Some people still believe the shamrock has mystical, even prophetic, powers. It is said that the leaves of shamrocks turn upright whenever a storm is coming.

According to Lady Wilde, the shamrock “enlightens the brain and makes one see and know the truth“.

The ancient Irish Celts also revered the shamrock because it has three leaves, and they considered “3” to be a sacred number. The ancient Celtic Druids believed many numbers held mystical powers.

The three leaves shaped like hearts were associated with the Triple Goddess of Celtic mythology, otherwise known as the “Three Morgans”. The Triple Goddess represented the Triple Mothers, the hearts of the ancient Celtic tribes.

This Celtic tradition of honoring “3’s” continued in Ireland for millennia.


May the worst o’ yer problems

Be a peaceful sleep,

And sweet dreams.







~~ Broken ~~   2 comments




Where did it all go wrong

We lost the words and forgot the song

How could we be so sadly mistaken

About all the rules we’d been breakin’

Never thinking about the day

When we’d have to face and pay

The price for all the mistakes we made

For what we did, and what we said

Foolishly we sit and cry

For all the wonderful past gone by

We were so proud of our progress

Never to realize that we’d regressed

Now there’s little else to do

But face the day and start anew


Just trying to understand how all of the governmental systems of this great country

have become so irreparably broken.


G’nite Everybody !!!

Posted November 9, 2016 by PapaBear in Experiences, History, Poetry

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~~ R ‘n’ R ~~   5 comments





 Before the trip had even begun, the butterfly bush started to blossom and

the swallowtails arrived by the dozen to avail themselves of the pollen and

nectar, then came the Red Admirals, and the Browns, soon to be followed

by a blue-black butterfly that I’d never seen before…, or maybe forgot about,

(I do that sometimes).  Soon, then, it was time to be on the road…, Ohio,

Pennsylvania, a little tip of New York, and down the turnpike to south Jersey.


On the way, we stayed in Bedford, a historic little town in central Pennsylvania that is loaded with

history, beautiful old buildings and homes, and loads of tradition.  On a Saturday evening could find

only one restaurant open and it was at a Bed and Breakfast nearly 5 miles from town.  Everyone in

Bedford had rolled up the streets and went to bed with the chickens.  I think that may have been the traditional part.  The B&B was a rustic old inn that

has been in use since the 1750s.

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Jean Bonnet Tavern and Giftshop


These are some of the historic homes and buildings in Bedford that date back to the 1700s.



Espy house was Washington’s headquarters during the Whiskey Rebellion.




The building above almost looks like it should be in the

French Quarter in New Orleans (the pic is from a post card from the shop there)



And then it was on to New Jersey.  I thought Pennsylvania would never end.  We continued on to the south Jersey Shore and set up housekeeping with in-laws for a week at the shore with wonderful sunny skies and warm (not hot) temperatures.  It was great


 This was the view from the deck of brother-in-law’s home.  The canal leads out to the Atlantic.

Fishing here was not so good because of a silted and muddy bottom and boat traffic.



After a day of rest and relaxation, and pizza and mussels, it was time to go touring.  This is an actual working

paddleboat that goes from the Barnegat River dock out the inlet to the Atlantic on a 2.5 hour tour, offering views of

wildlife, (mostly gulls and herons) and beautiful homes that have been built along the river – some are quite

old and some are very contemporary.

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During the cruise we had a nice seafood lunch and drinks, (well everybody else had drinks, I restricted

myself to my usual iced tea).  All in all, it was a nice, relaxing day.


During the week we took a side trip to north Jersey to see a 9/11 memorial park and while somewhat small,

it offered some meaningful insights to that sad event.

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Lest we forget !


Back at Barnegat Bay I surrendered to the temptation of some shore fishing on the bay.  Caught some Sole and

Bluefish which augmented dinner for the evening.


While I was there I encountered a “Rock Garden” which proved

somewhat interesting…….





……and on, and on, and on.  There were hundreds of them !!!


Finally it was time to head for home….., ugghhh !


Back home, arrival was greated by even more butterflies…..

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And so went the little sojourn of the PapaBear, while at home the Lily Cat waited…..


It’s time to settle down to some more serious writing.  I’ve been avoiding

it for quite a while.  Being serious is work ya know…., and work is another

of those “four letter” words I Itry to avoid.  🙂


I’m feeling a little bit Goofy tonight.  Could you tell ?



G’nite Everybody !





Posted September 8, 2016 by PapaBear in Experiences, History, Humor, Photo, Prose, Uncategorized

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~~ Wasps ~~   1 comment


This one is for all the ladies/girls out there.  A bit of  the lifetime of a wonderful, gracious, serious, and very funny lady who, for a short period of my life (during my career associated with aviation), privileged me with her friendship.  She along with all the other WASPS and 99’s are the stuff of legend for women in aviation.  Hope you find it interesting…….


Remembering an Aviation Legend


Suzanne Upjohn DeLano Parish died Thursday morning, May 13, 2010 at Smoke Tree Ranch in Palm Springs, California at the age of 87. Born in New York City on November 13, 1922, she was the daughter of Dorothy Upjohn DeLano Dalton and H. Allan DeLano, and the granddaughter of W. E. Upjohn. Suzanne was a well-known aviator who recently was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal for her service in the Women Airforce Service Pilots during World War II. She was Co-Founder and Vice Chairwoman of the Kalamazoo Aviation History Museum (Air Zoo). She was also a member of the Michigan Aviation Hall of Fame and the Experimental Aircraft Association Hall of Fame. Suzanne was an accomplished pilot and performed aerobatics at air shows around the country. Suzanne was also an expert equestrian, talented actress and generous benefactor. She loved her family and embodied a zest for life, a passion for flying, a flair for cooking and a candid sense of humor. Suzanne’s mother and father, sister, Barbara, and brother, William preceded her in death. She is survived by five children, Barbara E. Parish of Grand Junction, Colorado; Katharine P. Miller of Richland, Michigan; P. William Parish of San Francisco, California; Preston L. Parish of East Jordan, Michigan; and David C. Parish of Seattle, Washington; 14 grandchildren, and four great grandchildren. A memorial service and reception for family and friends will be held at 4:00 PM on Saturday, June 19, 2010 at the Air Zoo. .



Sue’s Story

Had it not been for a fractured ankle, Sue might never have discovered flying. An avid and accomplished horsewoman at only 18, she was sidelined by a riding mishap. The doctor’s orders: no riding for six weeks.

Sue was an avid equestrian at a young age

Sue chafed under the constraints. Her mother finally suggested that her cousin might be able to arrange flying lessons as an entertaining sideline until she was back in the saddle.

Sue’s instructor was Irving Woodhams, who had a pilot’s license issued in 1926 and signed by Orville Wright. Teacher and student first met in mid-1941 at the Austin Lake airstrip, south of Kalamazoo. That first flight was the beginning of a lifelong passion for this remarkable granddaughter of Dr. William Erastus Upjohn, the founder and former president of the Upjohn Company (now part of Pfizer).

Fortunately for Sue, her family moved to a home near Phoenix, Ariz., at the end of 1941. That meant her flying and ground school lessons could continue under better conditions than a Michigan winter would allow.

Photo courtesy of Texas Woman's University

At the age of 21, she became a member of the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP), an organization of female pilots formed to combat the shortage of pilots during World War II. Sue and the WASP paved the way for women in aviation, as they were the first women in history to fly American military aircraft. In 1944, she graduated in the WASP 44-W-6 class.

After graduation, she was shipped to the Army Airforce Instrument Instruction School in Bryan, Texas. While there, she flew the AT-6, the most advanced training craft of the day, with combat pilots who were brought back to the U.S. to learn new instrument flying techniques. In this capacity, she test flew repaired planes to make sure they were safe enough for highly trained (and prized) male pilots. As a WASP, she also served as a break-in pilot for new airplanes to make sure they were operating correctly.

Photo courtesy of Texas Woman's University

While the WASP were ready and willing for combat duty, they never entered hostile airspace. After the war, the WASP were disbanded. Sue wrote to every aviation company she knew of in search of a job as a pilot. She even approached her uncle, Donald Gilmore, then president of the Upjohn Company, for a job as a pilot. However, at that time, female pilots weren’t accepted in the aviation industry.

After marrying then-husband Preston “Pete” Parish, a former member of the Marine Air Corps, and starting a family, the couple began to collect airplanes. It was becoming clear that this airborne couple had a passion for flight, and they were looking for a way to share their enthusiasm about World War II planes with others who also enjoyed these historic flying machines.

Sue had a passion for aviation

Their chance came with a challenge from a friend: Start a museum, and he would donate his Grumman Bearcat. In short, they did, he did, and the rest is Air Zoo history!

During her lifetime, Sue logged more than 7,000 flying hours-quite the accomplishment for a nonprofessional female pilot in the male-dominated aviation industry. One of her favorite planes was a pink Curtiss P-40N Warhawk-an aircraft that she frequently flew in air shows around the U.S. That plane now hangs in the Air Zoo’s lobby.

When Sue fell off of that horse in 1941, she was studying to be a veterinarian. Think how different her world, and ours, would’ve been if she had not taken that tumble.


Click below to see more photos of Sue Parish.


Sue as a child
Sue was an avid equestrian
nurse th
Sue became interested in aviation at a young age
As soon as she turned 21, Sue applied to the WASP and was accepted
Pete Parish and Sue jumping horses
Sue in her famous pink P-40N Warhawk
Sue's P-40N Warhawk now hangs in the Air Zoo's lobby

Notre Dame du Lac   2 comments

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   1 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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~ Joeux Noel ~   Leave a comment


 ~ Pere Noel ~

(Traditions of France)

Father Christmas or Santa Claus is known as ‘Pere Noel’ in France. According to French Christmas legends, Pere Noel or Papa Noel gives presents to children who behave well throughout the year. He is accompanied by Pere Fouettard, his dark alter ego cohort, who informs Pere Noel as to which children have been good and which ones behaved badly during the year. Pere Noel is portrayed as an old man, dressed in the traditional red and white attire. He travels around the world on his donkey or on his sleigh pulled by reindeers and stops at houses to leave presents for good children. The French fill shoes and logs with treats for Pere Noel’s donkey or reindeers on Christmas Eve. They do this to please Pere Noel so that he may leave gifts for them. French traditions include preparation of the Christmas log cake, burning of the Yule log till New Year’s Day and enactment of nativity scenes.


Joyeuses fêtes à tous !