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Imagine, you were born and once lived happily in a Levittown community on Long Island.

Your home town of Roslyn Heights was a Levitt built community….this pic is of a Levittown that was built further away from NYC out on the Island than your home, but it was the same type of community.

You didn’t mind the winters and made piles (ahahah) of dough out of shoveling snow as a kid.

This was my life as I grew up.  Here is a picture of South Park, Roslyn Heights and the house I lived in. Back in the 1950’s we got Nor’easters (snow storms) that blanketed the homes and streets and, thank God, stopped school!

But during college, maybe before, something snapped inside of me and I wanted wide open spaces….I wanted the wild, the untamed, the jungle or was it the wild west? Okay, I really wanted to see, Where the Boys Are*, in Fort Lauderdale and be one of those guys the gals were after. That worked out well and Florida became just that sort of jungle I was after.

I had no idea how Florida, land of melting sun, would attach itself to my soul but it did.

Now, I’ve lived here since ,errr,,, 1972ish?

I’ve had a wonderful time in the surf—I love to surf waves.

This is me catching a good ride.

My wife and I had a rabbit who lived out back in Micanopy in his cage. One morning we awoke to look out and find a bob cat on top of his cage…..that started me thinking….(Don’t go out at night to pee…..)

Apparently, I’m not the only one to have found nature at my door step here in Northern Florida

Heck, I knew I loved this place of wonder, a place of untamed nature.

But I never lost my eye for the power of that nature as well… We landed on the moon, but maybe we don’t control gators?

It’s okay to count on fences to a certain degree…

So there’s a beauty and danger to Florida none of us Floridians should forget.

How about a night dip in the pool?

And then, only twice, I saw in person and close up by mistake, a Great Horned Owl…They can fly up to 40 MPH and have been known to pick up and kill 60 pound pets!! Our dog, I suspect, was attacked twice by one in our fenced in backyard—where he never goes at night anymore.

 

This is a shot tripped by a night camera….

I was running in the woods about thirty years ago when I saw a beast of a bird…it seemed to stand more than three feet tall and when he took off his wing span was about five feet! Just wow. I once saw another Great Horned Owl as I drove down Rochelle Road outside of Micanopy. The bird took off before I reached him and traveled over the road for about one tenth of a mile right before our car. That bird’s wing span seemed to almost reach from side to side of a double lane road–no joke. It was as if we were seeing a dinosaur.

I’ve fished the swamps for over ten years in my younger (err risky?) days….and there’s a beauty to a swamp—not a McDonald’s or Starbucks to be seen.

But always, there are gators. How many gators?

( Those eyes all belong to gators.)

This is the Alachua Sink in Alachua County, Florida. It’s about  one mile from our home. And this shot, by John Moran got him nation wide PR. His photos have appeared in National Geographic, Life, Time, Smithsonian, the New York Times Magazine and on the cover of the National Audubon Society Field Guide to Florida. Dale and I were lucky enough to canoe down the Suwanee River with John, a time I’ll never forget for many reasons but one of them was having a wart hog pushing against my head from the other side of our tent as I slept at night as he rooted for food.

So, I’ve rooted here in Florida. I love the ocean, always have. And, I love to grow food as my father from Iowa taught me to do. Of course, we have a garden as any Floridian with the space should.

At six months , Shadow, didn’t know he wasn’t me, or human, exactly, and he helped me weed…I miss that help now.

You might be able to see, but at one year old, Shadow figured he should eat green beans right off the plant as we did as we picked them! He stopped eating green beans at about age two.

Once, I was drying herbs out in the front yard in foil sheets when a cop came by, stopped, and walked my way with a grin and his hand on his gun…I smiled and said hello… He looked down at my tins of herbs and said, “What do you have here?”.. “I’m drying herbs!” He wasn’t convinced so I walked him over to the garden and showed him the plants….”Well, I thought I had you busted for pot!”

I can’t blame him….but I didn’t add that I might have learned the entire process by growing and drying pot in my twenties:-)

So, we grow pineapples, too….

Mounds of oranges and grapefruit, too.

It’s all good. This city slicker found a home in the Northern Florida woodland, and I love it.

Heck, the tomatoes came in like a champ this year; Dale canned many.

From Levittown to the wilds of Northern Florida, I’m good. I don’t miss the hustle up north, the quicker pace of life or the traffic. No, I’m good with the gators, bob cat, owls and other critters. The sky here is open to see, and the ocean wind still washes the peninsula by four or five each afternoon. Gainesville is just 60 milers north of the Sub Tropical line. We live in a jungle of 24/7 year round growing just about. The birds love it, and so do I.

Cheers– thanks for visiting.

Hope to hear from you soon!

Franque23

*https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0054469/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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(Click the pic for larger view)

Have you ever noticed the Jimmy Durante* size nose on the front of your dog’s snout?

That dog nose has it all over your nose; a dog can smell perfume from two miles away!

But what has this to do with Lake Bonaparte dog days? Well, it’s true I’ve bragged plenty about the time three years ago when my dog, Shadow, leaped 28 feet off our dock for a ball!

This is the moment; a twenty-eight foot leap that we measured.

But I think this year Shadow took being a dog at the lake to a whole new level. Actually, it’s scary. I mean he turned my four grandsons into dogs with a simple flick of his tail.

I’ve got them just where I want them….Shadow.

The next thing I knew, the boys were crawling around inside and out as if they were dogs! They were rolling around on the lawn, on all fours, barking and pointing like a bird dog…(Shadow, as a  Catahoula Leopard dog, is 1/4 blue tick hound).

I’ll teach them my pointing tail trick...What happened to their tails, anyway?

I’m hoping they omitted the butt sniffing thingy dogs do—not sure, I mean these are boys!

Shadow is about 100% of the time guarding us, or is he keeping us in place?

Does Shadow imagine he’s going to church?!?!

Who’s the real captain of this boat?

I’ve got them reading…..

Okay, timeout for a hug…..

Wait, Isaiah’s got it! Time to hug AND read!!! Shadow, the Great.

It can be tiring training four boys to be dogs.

 

Okay, this is my, ‘They are really screwed up,’ tail…..Shadow.

There’s this magic allure that emanates from dogs even when they’re drooling for your hot dog. Shadow is our dog, but sometimes I really have to wonder. Heck, he’s got me scratching his belly night and day and holding doors open for him whenever he wants. I panic if his water bowl gets low and I’ve about sold my soul for all natural dog treats and food.

You are now under my power…like forever, dude. Shadow

I only carry your socks in my mouth because you think it’s cute.

Guess how many times I’ve absolutely decided that this time, THIS TIME, I was going to drive away on an errand without him and then changed my mind?

Nope, your guess was waaay off…Start thinking about the figures in America’s National debt and you’re getting close.

Orange you gonna take me? Dude, I’m going with you, now get the keys…

Sure, I sleep in some days…when Shadow lets me. Who can sleep with a cold nose on your cheek? Unfortunately, I thought it was funny the first time I didn’t budge from bed once awake and Shadow hiked up on the bed to trample my face. Now, I’ve got two choices in the morning—either I lie comatose in bed without opening an eye, keeping my breathing pattern sleep-like while daring not wiggling a toe the slightest bit OR I get face-dog-paw trampled until I get up.

I’m not gonna admit to being in the rain while walking Shadow or waiting for him to come back home. I know that person looked a lot like me, your honor, but it’s a case of mistaken dog food, no, I mean identity.(Am I low on dog food?)

I do think dogs love to stick their heads out a moving car window for the rush or air, but they also are taking in an entire universe of smells as we speed along.  The book, Nubs,** is one of many amazing true stories about dogs who traveled unreal distances to reunite with their loved people—dogs have a uncanny sense about direction and life in general.

Of course, there’s more…..

“Interactions between people and dogs can be beneficial for both species. Increases in β-endorphin (beta-endorphin), oxytocin and dopamine—neurochemicals associated with positive feelings and bonding—have been observed in both dogs and people after enjoyable interactions like petting,”https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/is-the-gaze-from-those-big-puppy-eyes-the-look-of-your-doggie-s-love/

Maybe one more doggie fact for those lake lovers who follow their dogs around…

“Accordingly, behavioral studies of dog cognition have revealed similarities of dog behavioral traits to humans. Dogs have been found to engage in gaze following similarly to human babies , exhibit selective imitation  similarly to human infants, (Dogs)….observe photos of faces roughly similarly to human adults and to link photos of objects to objects themselves .

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3641087/

This last finding in bold is why we have Shadow’s picture on a magnet on the refrigerator at his eye level…I thought this picture made him happy when I first put it up and now I know it does.

There’s no place like the lake for Bonaparte dogs, so I guess ‘us people’ followed?

Cheers

Franque23

*Jimmy Durante

*

How do you like me, now?

Bonus picture of us building the dock about 10 years ago…Sherman cool dock in background

**https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6557929-nubs


It’s impossible to miss the beauty. It was more than the three day drive up to the lake that split my head open as I looked at the lake during our first moment getting there. The colors of the lake displayed a vibrancy seldom seen in any urban center or sprawl. The  sky paled above the lake’s deepest blue waters; the green landscape never appeared so inviting. The warming earth beneath my felt felt like home.

Every day, no, every hour up at the lake shakes out a different tone as the breeze rustles the trees. Each day features an ongoing exchange of wind and water that forces waves near and far to rise and fall or, at other times, and mostly at morning or night, flattens the lake’s surface to the look of a mirror. This is when reflections take the lake’s tapestry over and commands attention to every watery detail so neatly bound to the look of the shore.

Image may contain: cloud, sky, outdoor, water and nature

Thanks to Susan  for this picture…

A crane lazily cuts across the sky; a school of nipping brown trout dot our bay’s surface water as a darkened circle that moves left to right. A hawk whistles from above and turns my head up where I see the white wispy clouds streaming from the west are gaining size. The shoreline cedars blast scent and contrast to the whitest black and grey birch. The humming bird wings by to dot the, “Oh My!”

Aptly put, Lake Bonaparte is an onslaught of beauty to behold for the jumping young, strapping aged or the resting old. The lake is always game for the viewing. The sun-twinkled waters or rain laden storms that move across the lake spark the imagination and ignite an internal yearning to be closer to the nature of our life. The peace of the place seems all so easy to attain but so far away, and all at once. Do a cannon ball on that thought. I don’t care who you are—a cannon ball into the lake will do you good; it’ll put a smile upon your face.

We’re facing the sunset…taken her down. a nightly ritual.

This shot seemed to burn the camera lens!

Sometimes, I just have to laugh. How could I be so lucky to be at Lake Bonaparte? How could all of us who abide by these shores be so fortunate? Life is a weave and there’s a spin to it, a stitch of fate that sets us where we are. I’m so glad this thread is part of my life. For almost seventy years now via my parent’s or my own footfalls I’ve made it here.  There’s so much to be thankful for, right? There’s so much to take in.

This has to be one of my favorite shots of Bonaparte…and I don’t remember if I clipped this off another’s posting or not? Forget.

I love the light in the clouds above.

From a few years back….

There are endless postcards of Lake Bonaparte to send, right? And all of them are kept safe inside—there’s a comfort to this, trust me.

cheers

Franque23


*

A very blue wave.

A couple of thoughts to light up the season.

  1. It’s no secret Republicans took a whippin’ in the 2018 mid-terms. The House of Representatives flipped blue by a large margin and likewise Republicans lost State representatives seats across the country. This was much more than a ,’standard,’ mid-term correction vote. This vote was a cry heard loud and clear by both party’s. Republicans were able to hold Texas, slip by Florida and out-right cheat to win Georgia, but over all, the party took a slogging at the polls.

What appeals to me most is this blue wave came about via standard rich donors as well as grass root donations. The tide is more than turning blue, the presence of foreign donations via secret PACS may be washing away, and gerrymandering will be re-whittled in many states. I’d say new people running for office—so many women—(Right? :-))along with Pelosi’s help kept most races on point: on healthcare concerns, medicare and social security.  But there’s still a lot of fog surrounding these issues and how best to drive them home in 2020.

2) The charge for climate change is well meaning but poorly framed for those hoping to gain a political leg up in 2020. It’s a discussion that can’t be won by scientifically based facts or mouth foaming, delusional thinking. Nope, the world has spun too many times for any of us to prove warming trends that spell disaster are part of natural course within the World’s environmental history or not.

Nope, arguing over climate change is exactly what Trump wants his opponents to do.

If you like Trump, argue climate change.

If you hope Trump falls into an oil slick laden with Red Tide, argue pollution.

In fact, if you want to win in 2020 steer clear of climate change. Instead, ask voters to raise their hands if they want toxic drinking water? Do they want to swim in oil slick oceans? Let’s count the hands. Do people want to bathe in fracking industrial waste or not? Let’s hear ye! These are issues Trump’s policies fail to address, worse, they add to the pollution of our living environment.  The beauty of focusing on pollution instead of harping about climate change is that IF we  get control over pollution we will actually be doing all Mankind can do to stem climate change. No, controlling pollution may not solve climate change, but attacking and ending pollution is the best we can do about it. Point: sidestep climate change in 2020.( Put a small boat in your backyard instead.)

Now, a prayer. I pray for wisdom we haven’t seen when dealing with the marching South Americans. Some politicians are starting to ask why we are sending soldiers when we could have been sending help? Yes, the policies of Trump on this issue are plain wrong. If you see a problem coming there may be another way to solve it other than fighting it.

We need more Zen in our leadership.

America, BTW, is huge and loaded with tons of money and power.  America can and should have mobilized a huge peace force sort of coalition to march on down to our boarder via govt. funded fare to build housing for these people who flee for their lives and march to the U.S. If you’re getting checks from the U.S. for not working, I say you’re on the planes. We’re going to use as many U.S. products as possible to build communities where these people can stay until entirely vetted, politically and health wise.  Bingo American industries of every sort—you just struck it rich by a huge government demand for every commodity you produce! They need food? Bingo, mid-west farmers! Your load of customers just arrived and our tax dollars will buy your food and ship it to where it’s needed.

But where will the money come from to support a Hoover Dam type project to turn an unused place into a living space? It’s called tax dollars—you know the ones our government wastes every day in about every way.

Idea! We could start finding the money needed to house these immigrants by dropping 50% less bombs around the world every day.  If we did stop our morbid need to bomb the world, our government coffers would be raining money instead of death and destruction.

Think about it: imagine. The U.S. actually accepts a large immigrant population wisely, securely, without shooting or jailing a single kid! America shows what must be done to support and help our migrating populations the world over!!! How neat it would be for America to become world leaders, the ones who saved the world once again!

There it is: thoughts and prayers done right, without guns but with brain power, might, will, huge amounts of money and a willing workforce. There it is: a booming economy led by successful life giving policy. There would be wrinkles to iron out, but this should have been our focus, not walls, closed boarders and an army.

The up and coming new lot of Democratic politicians understand that thinking straight is easy to do. Here’s five examples of women who schooled together, stuck together and all won seats in Colorado  state Legislature in 2018.  This article is quite a read; a map to political success and strength.

https://people.com/politics/five-female-friends-state-senate-colorado-won/

Cheers

Franque23….Om

  • Please note…this ocean shot is from that ,’sh*t hole,’ country, Mexico.

Ah cranberries! Life is too short! Soon, I’ll be rollin’ out of here so I butter have fun before it’s gravy time. Eventually, I’ll be nothing but soggy leftovers wattling my way to de-boned. Life isn’t a piece of cake no matter how it’s sliced.  But can I have seconds?

On second thought….

The more years pass, the more I look like a Thanksgiving turkey.

I’ve grown a turkey neck and a nice plump belly along with a nibble, gobble face. Gizzards! Life is moving at break-neck speed. I’m still walkin’, but maybe without my head! (My dad used to talk about seeing chickens and turkeys run around after their heads got chopped off!)

If I’m not gobbling while stuffin’ my face, I’m wobbling on ancient toes—the ones attached to what my wife used to call,’perfect feet.’ Please pass the bunion; I’ll have another: two just isn’t enough.

Ever see a turkey’s knees? Never mind, just look at mine in beach shots for a quick overview. Turkeys like me are essentially bald but they have feathers. Me? I have a feather duster.

Racing to the bathroom is when I strut my stuff.

 

And about that famous roasted turkey smell as it wafts through the house. Here’s the yin-yang of this turkey-talk: if only a whiff of me smelled that good after doing garden work!

Nope, my flowering youth has been turned upside down and slowly roasted in the sun by years looking for scratch.  My young self has been basted and tented; my clock has been cleaned but for a smidgen of a second left before that big timer in the sky goes off. But, is there pie in the sky? Yep, soon I’ll be car-soul-rolled and placed into a container to be stored until moldy.

Wait! I’d like more seasoning! Another sprig of a spring with more summering would do nicely.

Cheers-I hope you had a good one!

Franque23

 


Pumpernickel was the most foreign thing around the neighborhood back in my childhood days. A salted Frito was the a vanguard chip and guacamole remained a word hard to pronounce or spell. Now? That long ago time resides on the far side of a poorly mark rut in the road of life.

Certainly, I grew up in a part of America awash in feel good innocence. Then, it was a time of hope for those who lived under the disappearing shadow of World War II. We were the champions of the free world; the winners.

Grandpa was proud of his four boys who all fought in WW II (Dad is second from left.)

Flash: think no computers, no cordless phones of any kind, no internet, no chat, no what’s up, no what’s anything but for phones in phone booths or in homes that featured a brand new item: a tube TV  with about 3 to 13 channels. Now, I wonder what we all did all day?

Morality was a given…

Every kid knew to cross their fingers if they were going to lie; every guy knew girls were not only softer than boys, but annoyingly smarter as well. Still, none of us perceived a battle of the sexes or a societal wrong that had to be righted. Heck no, elementary school years were filled with just people—guys I palled around with and girls I was thinking about getting to know.

Things started to change in Junior High. (1960ish). The fall out of line and get hung out to dry clicks appeared. Guys and gals mostly formed into three groups: the hoods, the sport rats and the way smart what’s up with that group.

Now, the hoods were bad people because some of them smoked cigarettes and they often wore black shirts. (Really not kidding, and I could almost add, they chewed gum in school) The sport rats, the group I belonged to, never smoked cigarettes and we wore saddle shoes.

Clearly, these huge differences were cause for great concern and animosity. Oddly this huge division between the Hoods and Sport Rats meant the gals had to decide which group to belong to and those lines once drawn rarely, if ever, changed through High School. I once ,’hit it off,’ with a gal from the hoods in history class and we became fast buddies. But, when I suggested a soda, she told me, terrified, “Oh no, I could never do that. My group would go nuts. Plus, you don’t know what I do.” So, I realized she smoked cigarettes….sad.

It was an innocent time compared to the likes of today.

Of course, I was young, free to smell the dandelions as I ran across our neighbors’ yard. I was free to imagine that near about everything America stood for and did was good and right. I was free of a bombardment of contraptions that now give us real-time access to things that are happening beyond our sight!

Please, if you are semi-young, like under 40, Imagine this: there was no news until the six o’clock T.V. broadcast; there was no minute-by-minute news of your friends, no daily breaking political sirens. Even the stock market could rally or crash without a peep until evening. Every thing, every day, was on hold until evening. People went to work without worry or care about daily events until nighttime, until they’d gone home and had a cocktail, a smoke or rest.

In many ways, the multitasking, tied to your smart phone generation is cursed with too much information.

Call me old fashion? Maybe try hiking or camping and leaving, God forbid, your smart phone at home. There’s a world waiting for you to discover, one I grew up in, a world of be here now without interruption from things you can’t change anyway.  There’s a world of freedom waiting for you but for one thing: you can’t put that smart phone down.

If the world today were to sculpt a representative statue of Mankind it wouldn’t be, The Thinker.

No, it would be a person looking down at their smart phone or taking a, ‘Selfie.’

The interactions that sooo many studies show are healthy for us—the eye contact, the smiles, the greetings—are now lost to bent heads looking at smart phones…

No, I’m not old fashion: I’m right. Put your phone down for at least one day per week and see how many eyes look your way. The worlds’ presence will once again be yours to see, and it is amazing.

Franque23 dares you to do it…

Simply amazing.

 


My wife recently told  a news story on T.V. to “Go Fund Yourself.” It broke me out in fits of laughter….as my wife often does. She’s smart, a wit-full companion that keeps me thinkin’. Thing is, my first editor of everything you’ve ever read from me is also sharp, and more helpful than you know…. Barbara sent me this tonight,, and I thought in our time of strife it might do us all good to take a look at the,’Will  to Survive’. It’s in all of us, to fight for existence, and that we shall prevail…just look at the trees: they lead the way.

Enjoy, and thanks again to Barbara for the link.

Peace, Franque23

Trees have been around for about 370 million years, and as you can see from these incredible pictures, there’s a good reason why they’ve survived for so long.  Whether they’re growing in the middle of gale-force winds, on the tops of rocky platforms, inside concrete tunnels, or even growing out of each other, trees know how to survive in places that few living organisms can, which explains why the planet is host to around 3 trillion adult trees that cover an estimated 30% of the earth’s land.  Considering that plants produce the vast majority of the oxygen that we breathe, we should all think ourselves very fortunate that trees are as resilient as they are.  We wouldn’t even be here if they weren’t.

#1  A Place Of Enchantment
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#2  This Palm Tree Fell Over And Curved Right Back Up
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#3  This Tree Fell Over And Grew 4 More Trees Out Of Itself
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#4  The Only Tree That Survived The Tsunami In Japan Between 70,000 Trees. Now Protected And Restored.
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#5  Tree Of Life – Olympic National Park, Washington
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#6   A Tree’s Root Spill Over The Sidewalk
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#7   Nature FTW
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#8   A Tree Growing Through Speed Limit Sign
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#9  This Tree That Refuses To Die
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#10  This Tree Still Has Its Leaves Because Of The Light Shining On It
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#11  Life Finds A Way
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#12  Tree Roots Extend Across A Gap To The Mainland For Nutrients
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#13  Life Finds A Way
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#14  Ta Promh Temple In Cambodia
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#15  Striving
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#16  Someone Hung His Skates On A Small Tree When He Was Younger. He Forgot He Had Left Them There And Found Them Years Later

#17  A Tree Growing On Another Tree
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#18 This Tree Is Growing Out Of Another Tree
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#19 This Tree Grew Out Of The Stump Of A Dead Tree And Then The Stump Rotted Away
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#20 A Tree Grows From Third Floor Window
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#21 Life Finds A Way
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#22 I Spent Ages Staring At This Tree Before Taking This Pic. I Hope You Find It As Fascinating As I Did
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#23 This Floating Island That Grew At The End Of A Partially Sunken Tree
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#24 This Wooden Chair My Parents Bought Started Sprouting Leaves
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#25 The Old Piano Tree
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#27 One Tree On My Street Refused To Accept Winter
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#28 My Sister’s Tree Is Eating Her Fence
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#29 This Tree Growing Through A Fence
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#30 Life,Uh… Finds A Way
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I’ve always loved seeing movie footage of the past. It makes this short film below that more special in that I was born and raised just outside of The Big Apple and considered it my stompin’ grounds during my High School days.

More, I’ve had a couple of odd coincidencedinks in life that revolve around my early years spent in New York City. I’d often spent time in  New York City, The Village,  roaming the walk down shops after munching on a seventy-five cent pizza slice. By far, the Leather shops were my favorite to visit. I was immediately attracted to the smell of finished leather goods, their shine, polished to deep warm browns or beige and tan colors.  One shop owner in particular was a bit more out going than most, and that was wrapped by a quick sense of humor all tied together by tremendous wit. His name was, Byan. He stood tall with penetrating dark eyes that glowed above the flash of  his smile. Our conversations were never long but they played in my head usually throughout the following days. Mysterious, that was the word for this fellow.

Fast forward eight or so years and I’m attending a bluegrass festival in Hog Town Creek, just outside Gainesville, Florida. I was singing lead for an agent at that time, traveling to gigs with one of the three bands he managed. I’m thinking my pay was about a flat 75 dollars per week. The music drew me to the festival and there the smell of leather goods at a nearby booth attracted my attention. Sure enough, it was, Byan, running a leather stand. It turned out his parents owned a ranch nearby and he’d left NYC to return to his family’s home. He wanted to learn how to play guitar and I was intrigued with leather work… We traded skills and I ended up being a leather worker running three shops for the next 14 years.

Of course, there’s more. I got to know my wife of 38 years while  learning the leather trade from, Byan. We made items for the local leather shops in Gainesville—there were about four of them in town. I often worked on sewing leather hats of all shapes and sizes. A few years later found my wife and I working into all hours of the night sewing wallets and visors as we started our first leather business. It was years later when all of this came to circle.

Thirty years later, my wife and I visited Denton, England, along with her Brother and his wife. It was there that my wife’s family were once hatters. It turns out they started in Denton and finally made it to New York City and I suspect made ,’a killing,’ as they say in retail. Why? Well just look at what everyone is wearing in the film below. Wow. The story of my wife’s ,’Hatters,’ family is also amazing, but that’s for another time.

Enjoy this glimpse into another era; a time gone by.

One more thing: the air seems much more polluted in this film than it appears to be in New York City now. Maybe too much,’Clean,’ coal back then?

Franque23


( added pictures below post…send me your pictures on FB=gerald franquemont)

My cousin’s wife says it all for dog lovers the world over. That post of her’s is included below.

But first, I’ve my own, ‘Shadow,’ a Catahoula Leopard who is my constant companion.

Shadow enjoys the flowers.

From my  parent’s dog, Socks, to our family dogs over the years, I’ve rarely lived without having a dog making home life better.

Socks lived about 18 years.

Man’s best friend: you can’t say it any better.

Orion is one of my favorite, ‘Reading Dogs,’ at the library.

Our part Basenji, Toby, used to prance as he walked so we called him, ‘Toby-Toes.’

Cheers, and a big thanks to Jessica for posting this wonderful piece. Sob; sighs and I understand. There’s nothing like a dog’s ability to love us back.  Here’s Jessica’s post, and just wow.

Jessica with her dog, Pedro.

Jessica Franquemont posted:

“My Buddy Pedro:

Your butt wiggle going down the stairs,
Your gentle bite when taking a treat,
Your wandering security walk along the fence line, 
Your short sunbathing nap by the water fountain followed by a good roll in the red bark to scratch your back with happy doggie snorting & all,
Your old man delay, non-threatening beagle bark, & “swagger run,” when hearing Ellie bark before you at a possible thief/burglar/food thief/mail carrier/neighbor/pizza guy/cat/other dog/kid,
My first time sadness upon seeing an empty Chipotle burrito wrapper on the floor without my left over ½ burrito realizing you are taller than Ellie & can counter surf,
Your first time with me in the pet store when you stole a bone shaped treat off the bottom shelf, tried to eat it, & I had to do a pity purchase with the cashier,
Your sleeping on the couch with your face between the pillows,
Finding your head sticking out of my poofy pink Halloween tutu I left on my bed,
Your gentle mouth hold of a whole loaf of bread/pack of tortillas (& all things carbs) off the “no dog shelf” trying to saunter away,
Your slight pushiness after anyone sat down to proudly lay your 32 pounds in their lap & slip your beagle nose under their hand to prompt neck scratchies for a very long time then get up abruptly when said scratching stops,
Your & Ellie’s patient waiting under messy Talia’s dinner chair for any slight semblance of a crumb,
Your love of TP from any bathroom to your crate with one continuous very long stream of toilet paper,
Your binge on Beth’s Scentsy samples that were only the food scented ones,
You & Tyler’s love for each other,
You being my literal shadow & never letting me be in a room alone.
You lived 12 years & 117 days & we got to re-home you with us for 3 years 250 days. We are a more loving family because of you. Last Thursday a huge chunk of my heart had to say goodbye to you & since then I’ve been devastated & lonely without my short shadow following me. I know by having a loving pet, we as humans pay a price for having to make “that decision.” But the animal lover in me would never have left you alone in your last minutes of your wonderful life. Knowing you had just a little more time & getting to rest my nose one last time on top the bridge of your nose is worth all the heartache. I love & miss you my Pedro Buddy.”

It always come down to this: the love shared with a dog during their short lifetime is worth the pain of the loss no matter how long that lasts…

Cheers!

Franque23 loves dogs.

Here’s a link to a previous glob I wrote in, 2009, about a dog’s spirit.

https://franque23.wordpress.com/2009/08/26/red-dog-forever/

047 (2)Shadow smiling.

43084590_10215968635224417_5309031580214231040_nFrank Lamont

43003389_10216374788097893_7445415606792224768_n Andrew Faint’s , Bo , with his son.

42972010_10158267141797925_1194024646572244992_n

relatives Virginia Murphy Rotteveel…sleep tight.

10981825_10205764348932987_2147238761169876219_n (1)My ‘Shadow’ writer…

42946595_10216374792378000_3421119692406784000_nAndrew Faint’s, Frankie…

42394586_10212823266916730_1289372529701421056_n

Shakespear, in OR recovery, Wendy Schneider…..

43162264_498227143990749_1360976575192891392_n

Yes, this is a hedgehog pet with, Spooky.  They live together. Part of ,Juut Von Franquemont’s group.

 

 

 

 


Long before Elvis knew he’d be a star

Or, when Chuck Berry showed the world how to play guitar on Johnny Be Good…

Yes! Even before John Wayne saved the West…

The Morgamont genes were already in motion.

Simply…Two households, both not alike in dignity,
One in fair Iowa, where we lay our scene, and then to the lake,
From ancient grudge of dogs. Socks and Specks, break to new mutiny,
Where pirate blood makes Royal hands unclean.
From forth the fatal loins of these two friends
A slew of star-cross’d cousins take each other’s beers;
Whole misadventured piteous throws in the lake
Do with their new sign bury their parents’ strife. (As if…)*

So long ago, before their division, they stood in the same row, but without a boat between them.

My dad(far right) and his sister, Virginia,(middle) had grown from among the flowers in my Grandma’s garden.

So near the Dutch Elm lined streets of Des Moines, Iowa.

And as to my father, neither he nor his dad and brother’s knew before the war what fate lay ahead for their lives and their children’s frolics. The sun shone on every face.

(My Dad, Max, is the oldest next to his dad…before WW 11)

Soon, the brothers split into different war divisions to fight for America. New uniforms were put on, new bonds were made and the flower of family grew beneath the struggle of separation.

My dad stood strong.

His sister, Virginia, met a soldier.

And during the war, the new families met at Grandma Franque’s house in Iowa, or where they could.

My mom helps at the table in Des Moines while my sister, Sharon, seems quite happy!

Here is some very early evidence of the merge to come between the Morgan pirates and Royal Franquemonts!

The die was cast, as my Uncle Mo, Aunt Virginia, and the Roland and John Franquemont group conspire to create history. My grandparents stand helpless to stop it.

My Uncle John and Aunt Donna were too happy to notice how the drift of time was tumbling..

Only the very young, Robin and myself, crying as we were so aware, foresaw the coming, Franquemont, Morgan, Morgamont was near..

Bill and Buzz Franquemont stood in shock while Jim and Joe planned their escape on bikes…

Alas, those Morgans grew a cute bunch. Robin with his Bow tie and Joe with a look that could sell any car he’d driven into the river. Claudia a looker from the start and Ginny realizing she had her hands full.

Yep, in the end, I’ve come to love each and every last one of them—and I’ve met some in far off places…like the two wearing super funny hats…

.

As it turns out, what the Morgan pirates steal best is the theft of the heart.  So back in the day, I guess the grandparents, the parents, they all knew what they were doing and they could not have laid the bonds between our stars stronger.

Maybe the night sky at Lake Bonaparte whispered the truth loud enough so we could hear.

And to think, they’re always there…

Yes, I think Lake Bonaparte can help show the light.**

 

From the old to the new. The lines will continue to grow together, and never apart.

 

On a night to remember Dave Morgan…

(around 1956)..(I’m the sexy kid in the Speedo)

We’ve come together many times at Lake Bonaparte. And of the last two times….

 

(2014)

(2018)

The full moon came over the Morgamont Dock for the first time. (July, 2018)

(Franquemont camp and dock is on the right—the Morgamont deck  is just above)

Cheers

Franque23

  • Read more Shakespeare
  • **Yes, these are actually night sky shots taken at Lake Bonaparte…Thanks for them, Ross Franquemont.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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