To Us
(22 Oct) !!

"Crotty News" Postings for: October 2006 !

BOO !!

    October already! Lots of great happenings this month ! Halloween at the end of the month. My birthday (63 years young) on the 2nd. Our 44th Anniversary on the 22nd. Kristen King's birthday on the 3rd. Don Smith's birthday on the 4th. Joe King's birthday on the 6th. Sue Smith's on the 8th. Tim Wright's on the 9th (my cousin Marie's husband). Allen Wedge & Grandaughter Jessica Zuback's birthday on the 11th. The 11th is also Claude & Deanna Bourque's (Nova Scotia) anniversary! Linda Pacheco (Hawaii/Alaska) on the 12th! Taka Mori on the 20th! Fred MacDonald on the 21st. Rene & Jay's anniversary on the 23rd. Pat Bunnell, Sue Peterson and Claude Bourque's birthday all on the 25th! Charlie Bunnel on the 27th and Steve Fields on the 28th! Whew! Now ... if I left you out it means I don't have that information, so send it to me!

    01-03 Oct - We're still in San Antonio, Texas, enjoying the last few days of our trip (see our September news and photos, as well as the October photo menu) !! We made some "last stops" to celebrate my birthday and savor the Tex-Mex food, such as Cha Cha's restaurant on Bandera Rd, a place that saved Robert Jones and me from starvation late one night after arriving at our hotel from the airport (another TDY to San Antonio). What absolute luck! The night clerk recommended the place and it was outstanding. We've returned for at least one meal every trip to San Antonio since then. Of course we also made a last (birthday) visit to the Riverwalk! My "birthday cake" was two crispy tacos (beef) with jalapenos, an enchilada, a chalupa, mexican rice and refried beans. Ole! I'll get busy and post some more pictures so you can all see how young and good looking I still am !

    03 Oct - Penny & Chuck drive us to the airport for our 2:40PM flight. We always try to find flights that are not "early morning", so we were able to take our time. Hated to leave such good friends but we'll be back!!
Thanks for everything guys!

The trip back was uneventful, although the plane left San Antonio an hour late because it got held up in some other city. Fortunately when we make reservations for flights I always try to give us a two hour layover if we don't get direct flights. If every flight is on time, then we just have more leisure time in the airport, which we don't mind! If the flights are late, as they usually are, then we don't panic about missing our connection. We arrived at Raleigh-Durham Airport, NC, around 8PM. Nice, easy-to-get-around airport. Tom Peterson showed up at the baggage claim just as we arrived and Sue pulled up in the car after making the airport road circuit (three airplanes arrived all at once and the police kept traffic moving). Then it was back to their home in northern NC (Lake Gaston) for the evening. Sure am glad they offered to keep us for the night ;-) The late drive back to Myrtle Beach would have been a "killer" since we were exhausted. Next day we made the leisurely trip back home with all our bags and purchases intact, arriving home just after 6PM. We noticed lots of motorcycles heading to Myrtle Beach and it turns out that it's time for the "Fall Rally", so we'll be hearing loud mufflers everywhere for the next week! At least the Fall crowd is a bit older than the attendees of the Spring Rally, so there won't be as much showing off and other such macho crap.

    04 Oct - Called our architect, Tom Lee, who confirmed that the plans for our addition had indeed been forwarded to Charles Knipper's office (brother of Freddie Knipper; from our San Vito, Italy tour). They, in turn, confirmed that they had been given to the engineer but that she had just had a baby so she's a bit behind. No problem! We're not in a hurry. We want to sell the condo and have money in our hands before we commit to a builder.

    Dale is already back to volunteering for the Red Cross. Doing a "Chilifest 06" on the 14th and something called Belk Charity days on the 28th (Belk's is a big department store chain). As long as she doesn't have to lift things she's okay (broken wrist still mending). She's also started back at the Red Cross office, answering phones and inputting information to a special data base.

    05 Oct - Dale broke her wrist four weeks ago and only today has been able to take off the cast. Now she has to start "rehabilitation" to ensure that her wrist is supple enough to do the normal, daily things we all can do before we break a wrist. We received an e-mail from the daughter of Nino Esposito (the brother of Tony Esposito, our old italian friend). Katia wants to come to the USA, so next summer we will host her here in Myrtle Beach. She wasn't even born when we left Italy back in 1980, but she is a college student at a university in Naples and she studies foreign languages -- with a major in Japanese. (Tracey speaks fluent Japanese too). I spent today mowing the lawn and watering 3/4 of my plants. Will finish up tomorrow, and then start my Fall pruning/weeding/general garden cleanup. My back yard is showing evidence of a mole invasion. I'll have to get busy and kill the little critters. My garden is still producing tomatoes and hot peppers, and many flowers are still blooming all over the place. It's still warm here (80s!) and finally the summertime muggyness has disappeared. Our neighbor from across the street came over this afternoon to say that he was amazed that my "mums" are blooming like crazy (huge mounds and very colorful). Apparently theirs have bloomed and gone already. Miraclegrow - that's what it is! I keep telling everyone ....

    06-09 Oct - Been taking it easy, editing all the pictures I took over the past few weeks. I've sent some to the San Vito Reunion members, family and of course to the Petersons and the Crowells. Now I have to edit them for uploading to the San Vito web site (the Lafamiglia site hosted on The weather turned cold but is expected to seesaw back to nice and warm days and cool nights for at least the next few weeks. I found a nice hotel for us to stay at in Massachusetts the end of next month when we come up (22-26 Nov) for my 45th High School reunion at the Danversport Yacht Club. It's the Holiday Inn on U.S. 1 North in Peabody, right across from Suntaug Lake. We then plan to leave Peabody on the morning of the 26th and drive to Kittery, ME to visit with Dale's Uncle Bob. Then it's off to Meredith, NH to see Hilda and Russ Dahl right on Lake Winnepesaukee. We'll be staying a few days with Dale's cousin Alice & Charlie Peterson in Freedom, NH, and maybe take a few side trips to Franconia and other touristy places. At that time of year we might even have snow and it certainly won't be warm, but it's been so long since we've been there it'll be pleasurable just to be there. Hope it doesn't snow us in though;-)

    09-10 Oct - I'm still editing pictures for uploading to our website. Dale went for her first hand therapy session today and was pleased with the results. They have all sorts of exercises and "contraptions" (box of hot sand blowing on her arm/wrist) to make it feel better. Looks like Paul & Dot are going to be home for Thanksgiving this year (for some reason we thought they would be out of town), so they've invited us for dinner. We'll see Mike & Pei and Ricky and Courtney there too. Great!

    11 Oct - Tom Peterson sent us digital shots of his driveway, newly-paved yesterday. I remember how happy we were when we finally got our Woodbine driveway paved. It makes a huge difference in how nice your property looks. We've been getting a bit of rain, but mostly just cool weather. Chuck is laying patio pavers in the front of their house and doing all the work himself. It really looks good! He's using my little red truck to haul coquina to use as a solid base before laying the pavers. When I get the truck back I'll take down a few more trees in the back yard, finish cutting out the brush and saplings, and remove decades of leaves and pine needles that piled up. Dale's at the Red Cross office today (also yesterday). Received an e-mail from former neighbors and friends from across the street. They just moved in to Corte Bella, "Beautiful Court" in Sun City West, Phoenix, Arizona. Their daughter and grandkids live there so it's a good move for them, but I suspect that they really miss this place.

    12 Oct - Rene has told us that she is expecting again and it will be a girl!! Due date is 06 March 2007! Unfortunately Jay will miss the birth. He's being assigned to Qatar and leaves just after Thanksgiving. He'll be due back early June. Also heard from Tracey's friends, Kristinn Hjálmarsson and Jóna Rósa Stefánsdóttir from Reykjavik, Iceland. Since Dale and I are planning on a trip to England and Italy next year, it would be nice if we could find an airline that makes an economical stopover in Reykjavik so we could see the sights with friends who live there ! Speaking of Tracey (and Alana), my birthday present was a nice jar of instant Kona Coffee. I didn't even know they made instant coffee. Mmmmm! Good! Of course they also doctored up a birthday card to make sure I knew how old and decayed my body is becoming! Well they're getting punished: Hawaii Trade Winds disappeared and the islands are encased in "vog" and muggy weather! Don't mess with the Big Kahuna (me) !!

    13 Oct - Karen and Chuck went on another tour of the T.I.G.E.R.S. compound here in Socastee and they took some wonderful pictures (the animals looked good too). Karen will be uploading the pictures to their site soon. When she tells you that they are available you really gotta see them! Especially the ones with Karen and the monkey, and Chuck with the elephant's trunk!!! Dale had 2 physical therapy sessions this week, On monday the therapist used heat on her arm before she worked her over. On wednesday she put her arm in a sleeve which was inside a machine that moved heated sand granules around while she did hand exercises. Very interesting. After that she had Dale play with some coins she had put on the table. Dale had to pick up a coin using her index finger and thumb, slide it down her thumb into her palm and then pick up 10 more and hold them in her hand. Then she had to slide one coin at a time down her finger with her thumb and put the coin into a money slot - like a piggy bank. Dale also started back at The Red Cross office (on the old Myrtle Beach AFB) on her old schedule, tuesday and thursday. The guy who does deployments and fire victims' paperwork asked her to help him out entering info into the computer. The office is always busy. Tomorrow she will sell tickets for a chili fest bakeoff at Broadway at the Beach, a real nice shopping area. Oh yea, she says, "I checked out the conference room floor - where I broke my wrist. It looks very very good."

    15 Oct - Dale turned on the TV at about 1:30 PM and heard that an earthquake had hit Hawaii about 20 minutes before, at 7:07AM( in Hawaii). She immediately called Tracey on her cell phone and Tracey answered. Tracey said that Dale's call was the first one to get through to her from outside the island. She said that all the tourists in Waikiki were gathering outside their hotels, but that they were standing right under all those high-rise buildings and she couldn't understand why they didn't get farther away in case there might be some damage to the buildings. Everyone was looking at the situation as if it was big party. She didn't get power back until late that night. It was "candles, scrabble and BBQ".

    16 Oct - I get an e-mail from Honolulu's Star Bulletin newspaper every day, so that I keep up on Hawaii's news. Some interesting photos in the next morning's edition. Take a look: (Copy to your browser and change the date to see other day's news).

    18 Oct - Tracey says that she is going to add some gold jewelry to her web site (, so if anyone wants to buy gold hawaiian jewelry, take a look! I spent the afternoon digging up and then pulling down trees in our back yard (with help from my little red truck and a strong, yellow tow cable). I am making room for a new garage in the future, plus want to "open up" the area to sunshine so the bushes close to the property lines will fill out. It was in the 80s today and supposed to be the same tomorrow. The nice weather won't last forever, so I'm doing what I can.

    19-21 Oct Pulled down more trees and saplings in our back yard (in the woods). Cleaned out the undergrowth too. Now the place looks neat, the sun is reaching my bushes (better/thicker growth) and I can actually drive my truck around without having to move it back and forth in a narrow area. I still have lots more to clear out but it looks like a million bucks already!

    22 Oct - A Day of Infamy! Barry & Dale married 44 years ago today! A week later the Diocese bulldozed the church and made it into a parking lot (they loved us ;-) That same day the famous spy, Col. Oleg Penkovsky, was arrested in the Soviet Union (read the book: "The Penkovsky Papers"). That evening President Kennedy came on national TV to announce what became known as the Cuban Missile Crisis. Dale and I "missed" that particular broadcast. We were busy ;-) The next day we were on our way to Niagara Falls, Canada, for a blustery winter Honeymoon, when Dale had a dental emergency and we had to stop overnight at a motel on the Electronics Parkway, Syracuse, NY. Arriving in Niagara Falls, Canada on the 24th, we immediately started sightseeing -- Under the Horsehoe Falls, the aerial tram over the Gorge, the elevated walkway along the river (Gorge), etc. It was still beautiful even though we had to dress warmly. We took a ride to the top of what was then called the Seagram Tower and got to see the American Falls and the Horseshoe Falls from a couple hundred feet in the air. Gorgeous! On the 24th or 25th President Kennedy was back on TV and every Canadian (and American tourist) had their faces glued to the set. The USA had just detonated a hydrogen bomb on Johnston Island, to impress the Soviets with our nuclear capabilities. Now the Russian missiles in Cuba were being rushed to operational status. Armageddon was here. We were on the brink of nuclear war. All military were ordered to report to their home bases; all leaves were cancelled. Dale and I packed up and drove from Niagara Falls to Kelly AFB, TX. Put up for the night at the main base visiting quarters, I woke up at 4:00AM to the roar of hundreds of vehicles, and men yelling and screaming. I tore open the shades and saw pickups and cars bounding over the low concrete parking space boundaries, burning rubber and they raced away. I figured we had only a few minutes to live, so I went back to bed where Dale was still asleep, pulled the comforter under my chin and ... waited for the mushroom cloud. Nothing. Bleary-eyed when I awoke the next morning, I found out that the 4:00AM mob scene was just the regular early-shift change at Kelly AFB!

    22-24 Oct Been taking it easy for the past several days, playing on the computer and converting more VHS tapes to DVDs, etc. I have to go into the local Waccamaw Hospital on Thursday, the 25th, to undergo a colonoscopy because some previous tests came back "positive". The doctor made me starve for several days so that I'd be all nice and cleaned out when he goes in for a look-see ;-) Anyway, I am so hungry that I told Dale that she better not get too close or I'll bite her!

    25 Oct - Got up early and made it to the Waccamaw Hospital by 7:30AM for my 8:15AM appointment. Of course everything was running late, and it turns out that they want you there early so they can fill out all the paperwork and make sure your insurance is going to pay for everything (less our deductible). Somewhere close to 10:30AM they brought Dale and me to a staging area with a screened-in room. Very nice/private. The nurses were wonderful! They made sure that I had plenty of blankets to keep warm, and when I was moved to the operating room they answered every question immediately, moved an oxygen line away from my throat (I'm a "gagger"), let me move my arm to a more comfortable position, and did everything they could to keep me calm and comfortable. The operating room was cozy instead of a huge, cold, steely open space. One minute I was staring at my hand as they inserted the IV with the drugs, and the "next" I was back in the room where I started. (The drugs they use are fantastic)! I never even saw (or felt ;-) the doctor, but I have an appointment with him next monday, at which time he'll tell me the results. After leaving the hospital around noontime, I wanted a nice hamburger but these sadists made me stay on the liquid diet for one more day!

    26 Oct - Today I took advantage of the warm weather and did a LOT of yard work that I had on my list. I mowed and edged the lawn; used my power blower to clean all the leaves, grass clippings and dirt off the walkways and street; fixed an old gasoline-powered weedwacker that hadn't worked for two years (and used it to cut the grass in between hedges where my lawn tractor can't go); and trimmed all my bushes with my hedgehog. I also took apart our propane gas-log fireplace insert to see why it wouldn't work. I cleaned it out with a can of compressed air, put it back together and re-inserted it in the fireplace. When I lit it, I checked for leaks. Good thing, since at least two of the connectors had propane leaking from them! All is OK now, so now we can have a fire on cold nights.

    In the afternoon I pounded a 2 1/2 inch diameter PVC pipe about three feet more into the ground. Now I'm down about 32 feet but still have not hit the water table, and I've hit a hard layer of clay. I think that I'll discontinue this until the Springtime. I'm doing all this so that I can have my own water source (well) for my lawn and garden sprinkler/irrigation system. I first pounded a ten foot length down to about a foot off the ground, then I attached another ten foot length and got on top of an eight foot foot ladder and start pounding the top of that pipe. Every so often I stop pounding and I insert a one inch diameter PVC pipe inside the larger PVC pipe, and lower it to the bottom. I have a water hose attached to this pipe and it acts as a "water drill". I let the water run for a while and it brings up the dirt and sand from the bottom of the hole. Then I pull it out and start pounding again. It was so hot and muggy during the summer that I decided to leave the job until it got cooler. I had about nine feet of pipe sticking straight up in the air for the whole summer (it's behind my garden so it wasn't an eyesore or something the neighbors would notice or complain about).

    27 Oct - Had not heard from our old friend Tony Thorn in England for over a year so I asked Steve Graham if he still lived in Cheltenham. Steve looked him up in the phone book and I gave him a call today. Great to talk to him again and look forward to hoisting a few at the local pubs when we visit next May-June! Dale spent the afternoon and evening (3-8PM+) as a Red Cross vounteer, manning a table set up in Belk's department Store at Myrtle Beach's newest shopping mall. She sold $5 coupons that gave customer's a 20% discount. Several people came back to tell her that they had saved a couple hundred dollars on their purchases, so it was a good deal for everyone.

    28 Oct - Big Halloween party tonight at Myrtle Beach's "Broadway At The Beach" complex of restaurants, night clubs, stores, theaters, amusements, etc. They hold a Halloween party every year, hosted by "Mixon Dixon" a locally famous "DJ" (and friend of Karen & Chuck). If you come in a costume you can win $2500 for 1st prize, $1500 for 2nd or $1000 for 3rd. Lots of people dress up in really unusual costumes. It's held in the nightclub area of Broadway-at-the-Beach, a New Orleans-style area with lots of live music in each of the clubs.

    29 Oct - Drove up to Red Springs, North Carolina today to see Debbie Wedge and the kids. Debbie, Elizabeth (16) and David (13) moved there from Vermont in June-July this last summer. Johnny (21) decided to stay in Vermont but Allen (19) just moved down this last month. He's working at a local restaurant. Just last night they had a big fire so he doesn't know when they'll open up again. They live in a big old white house that reminds us of our home town (Malden, Massachusetts). It takes about two hours to drive there (113 miles) so we can visit easily.

    30 Oct - The doctor says that I'm fine. No cancer. Must do this again one year from now to make sure, then every 2-3 years after that. On the other hand, from now on I can't eat nuts or popcorn (and he gave me a printed diet I have to follow)! Ratz!

    31 Oct - HALLOWEEN! Dale was at the Red Cross office today for her regular volunteer duty and she came home with a witch's hat with attached, long grey-haiured wig. Bought it for $1.50 -- the local stores have all Halloween stuff on sale. She'll frighten all the little kiddies at the door tonight!

Love,     &nbs;       Regards,
Dad & Mom     &nbs;       Barry & Dale