Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category

Moving Books Into my New Home Office

December 14, 2012 Leave a comment

Moving Books Into my New Home Office

All inspections are done on the home addition. Another coat on the hardwood floors and boom.

Categories: Personal

Concrete Work Progress (Day 3)

October 26, 2012 Leave a comment

Our addition is going well now. It has been a very long haul and is at least a month behind due to weather delays. We are starting to get excited about getting the rest of it completed.

Concrete and Driveway Progress 2012-10-25

Concrete and Driveway Progress 2012-10-25

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April 2012 St. Louis Trip

April 13, 2012 Leave a comment

We had a great time in St. Louis the last two weeks. It was a trip to see my sweetheart’s family and attend the wedding of one of her nephews. On Thursday, we visited her oldest nephew and other family members which we rarely get to visit. Ms. Hunt had made quilts for the current toddler as well as one that isn’t born yet. We had a great time with her brother, niece, and the rest of the family.
We were invited to the rehearsal party at the bride’s parents which was at a house southwest of St. Louis in the country. The house was perched on a steep slope and backed up to a wonderful distant view of forest. The food and company was great fun and we are very pleased to have been invited.
The wedding was a delight. It was set in an ancient cemetery in the Northern part of St. Louis. There was an elegant chapel (Hotchkiss Chapel) that turned out to be a perfect location. After the ceremony, we all drove to the party at the Schlafly Tap Room near our hotel in downtown St. Louis. This was great fun with lots of great beer and dancing to fun music. Ms. Hunt and I danced to several songs including on Elvis Presley song. Everyone had a great time.

Hotchkiss Chapel in the Bellefontaine Cemetery St. Louis, MO

Hotchkiss Chapel in the Bellefontaine Cemetery St. Louis, MO

On Sunday, we attended an Easter egg hunt and the ritual dyeing of actual eggs at another nephew’s house. It was great to visit with family and reestablish bonds. The drive to and from St. Louis from Raleigh was tiring, but we are glad we made it. Good luck to the very happy couple on their future.
Drury Inn at Union Station
One very nice part of our stay in St. Louis was the choice in hotels. We had booked the Drury Inn at Union Station due to it being two blocks from the reception site. We didn’t know it at the time, but this was a very nice choice. The inn is in a restored building from 1909 which had been in disrepair and then restored to be a hotel. It had originally been built to house railroad people since it was just across the street from Union Station (now an entertainment venue.) It had a lot of old photos, scale railroad cars in cases, and great character. It also had all the normal amenities you would find in modern hotels. The free breakfast was very welcome and the 5:30 happy hours were excellent. You could make a meal out of the nibbles and we did. The only downer was the free beer was Bud Light which I consider swill, but it was free.
Interior of Drury Inn at Union Station in St. Louis

Interior of Drury Inn at Union Station in St. Louis

There is no question that we would consider staying at the hotel again when we visit. The only downside is that it is about 20 minutes from family, but it is near the things we like to do like the St. Louis Art Museum and the Missouri Botanical Garden. Of course, being near the tap room doesn’t hurt.

Categories: Personal, Travel

My High School Football Legacy of Clarence Stasavich

February 28, 2012 Leave a comment

I played high school football in western North Carolina near the small town of Hickory, North Carolina. It isn’t so small any more and it is not as back woods as it was in my youth. Instead of the mill town feel, it has a more metropolitan feel. But the town I remember in my youth didn’t even have a pizza parlor until I left for college.

My father always wanted me to be an athlete so I played a good many sports when I was young. He wanted me to get a scholarship for college in football or something. Unfortunately, my talents lay elsewhere. I wasn’t exactly first stringer material and only got in the game a few times from the time I was a freshman until my junior year. (I finally realized as a senior that I could quit since I really wanted to write on the school paper more than play sports.)

While I was playing, I ended up playing center on offense and interior lineman or linebacker on defense. I played on the second string. Since we were in the foothills of North Carolina, there were a number of high schools with coaches who had been taught under Clarence Stasavich of Lenoir-Rhyne College. This meant they played single-wing offense which was taught by Coach Stasavich religiously. (No pun intended as LR is a Lutheran college.)

Playing single-wing is something that I will never forget. It is an intricate dance by the offensive team that is a thing of beauty when done well. Blocking, faking, laterals, feighting, and all are done with beautiful precision. I loved going to LR games to watch them as they were some of the best. Others such as Appalachian State and East Carolina played it, but never to the precision of LR in the good years.

As center, you had to long snap every play to one of three different backs depending on the play called. Once snapped, the linemen would do elaborate cross blocking and pulling which meshed with the dance that the blocking back and the fullback performed with the wing back. All this movement was choreographed in a way that defenses had to be very good or they would be left behind in a confused state. There were times when our second string group would score on the first string defense since we got good at running the offense. The only thing that comes close today is the wishbone offense in the different ways that you can run.

The demise of the single wing came fairly quickly as I remember. People just weren’t able to sustain the high level of talent needed to run it. It is hard to keep a cohesive unit together and it is very hard to coach. Defenses also evolved into more than the five man front that was played at the time. Stasavich was a master though and I will never forget watching his LR teams on Saturday nights with my Dad. I’ll also never forget playing the little bit of it in those three short years.