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14 August 2014

A Nice Weekend and a Pleasant Week So Far

I was out and about the metro area last weekend with Meetup group activities. On Saturday late afternoon (9 August), I was at a house in the Central West End for a house party with the Making Friends Around the World group. It was a going-away party for one of the interns, a person from China, and it was nice seeing some people I know from previous meetups of this group and a few new people. It was a nice time.

The next afternoon found me at Shaw Park in Clayton with the STL Food Lovers group. It was the last of the summer's Food Truck Sunday events at the park. About 12 food trucks were present and I bought food from three of them: Holy Crepe, 2 Girls 4 Wheels, and Sia's Italian Ice. The food was tasty and it was nice to enjoy the various cuisine. After the formal part of this meetup in the park, many of us in the group headed to Jilly's Ice Cream Bar in University City for ice cream. This was a very fine time to spend with other like-minded people.

Earlier on that Sunday afternoon, I worked to polish an article I look to submit to the Missouri Aviation Historical Society's newsletter. I will tell more once the article is completed and ready for publication, but I can tell you now it should be something I will be most proud of presenting.

Work has been going well this week. The weather has been a bit cooler and less humid than normal for this time of year, which is most appreciated.

Late last night, my brother Rick came into town for a few days. He's helping my Mom out with some business related to my Dad's recent passing. After dinner tonight, we three visited my Dad's niche at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery. It was the first time I have been to his final resting place.

Today, I had lunch with a friend, Linda Taylor-Gallup, at Rich & Charlie's in Mehlville. It was our first in-person meeting--we have been Facebook friends for some months now--and we had a very pleasant get-together. Linda and I got to know each other better over a very nice lunch.

Later.

07 August 2014

Into August 2014

I was to have co-hosted Writer's Block on Naturally Autistic ANCA Radio last Saturday (2 August), but the show was cancelled for this month, due to more pressing matters that the host had to attend to that week. I will be unable to co-host next month, due to the IPMS/Gateway show that day.

Work has been going well. Plenty busy most mornings, and towards the end of the days, but midday lulls allowed my colleagues and I to rest a bit and get caught up on housekeeping chores. We welcomed a new management trainee (MT) this past Monday, and said goodbye to another one on Tuesday. (The latter MT is transferring to the airport location.)

Before going into work last Tuesday (5 August), I cast my ballot in the primary election. Voter turnout was light--I was the seventh voter in that polling place--and it did not take me long to vote. I was quite happy with most of the results, although some of the state ballot issues that I opposed did pass.

After work on Tuesday, I ran the IPMS/St. Louis meeting at Mark Twain Hobby Center in St. Charles. We had a nice turnout of seven people--three of them, there for the first time, were the son, grandson, and son-in-law of one of our members. It was a brief meeting and several of us then browsed in the shop for a bit before going home.

A rather quiet off day today. It was raining most of the day and into tonight, so I stayed home to catch up on some business. That included getting the listing for the IPMS/Gateway Show on 6 Sept. posted onto a couple of online events calendars. Hopefully that will help get a few more people to our show, along with other efforts, such as posting show flyers in area hobby shops.

Later.

31 July 2014

Moving Forward As July Ends

My mother, my brothers, and I are doing fine two weeks after my father's passing. We are moving ahead in our lives, just as my father would want us to do, and living as best as we can is the best way to honor my father's life. My thanks for everyone who has expressed their condolences to me and to others in my family. Your words of comfort were most appreciated.

Work has been going well. I worked all day last Friday (25 July), last Saturday morning, and the first three days of this week. I'm doing my best to keep things moving forward for the branch.

Sunday afternoon (27 July), I went to St. Louis Downtown Airport in Cahokia to see three World War II US military aircraft on display. They were a P-51 Mustang fighter and two heavy bombers: a B-17 Flying Fortress and a B-24 Liberator. They are owned by the Collings Foundation and they offered rides in these aircraft for $450. That was too rich for my blood (as much as I would have loved to do so), so I paid just $15 for self-guided tours of these aircraft. I saw them when they were in St. Louis a few years ago, but enjoyed seeing them again up close. I took plenty of photos of these three warbirds, including a selfie of me about to enter the B-17.

After work this past Tuesday (29 July), I joined with three IPMS/Gateway colleagues at the Cliff Cave Branch of the St. Louis County Library in Oakville. There, we put models into the lobby display case, which I reserved for the club earlier this year. Our display--which includes an unassembled model kit, a recent copy of the club newsletter, and flyers for the club and our show in September--will run until the end of August. Feel free to check it out if you're in that area in the next few weeks.

Off work today, I took care of some personal business. This morning, I got the oil changed on my Corolla. Later in the morning, I got my hair cut at Great Clips. It sure needed the trim. I also got my laundry done and cleaned out my email inbox.

Tonight, I was in the Benton Park neighborhood of St. Louis with 11 others in the Ethnic Restaurant Fans Meetup group. We had dinner at Yemanja Brasil Restaurante, a Brazilian restaurant which I had not been to before. We all had a great time there, with such good food. I had Feijoda de Ogum, a dish of black beans, beef, rice, collard greens and orange slices that is considered Brazil's national dish. This was washed down with water and Capipirnha, the Brazilian national cocktail of crushed limes, sugar and cachaca (spirit distilled from sugar cane). I definitely recommend Yemanja, 200 Missouri Avenue, 63118. Their website is: http://www.brazildining.com.

Later.


24 July 2014

Harold R. Delaney is Dead, But Not Forgotten

Things have been real for me and my family since my father, Harold R. Delaney, died one week ago today. I pulled a full day at work last Friday, never complaining. My colleagues offered their condolences, which were most welcome. I kept on moving in life, knowing that would take my mind off my father's passing and that my father would have wanted me to keep going in life.

I went to Smalls Tea and Coffee in south St. Louis last Saturday morning (19 July) for a gathering of the Saint Louis Singles Group: Ages 40+ Meetup. There were two others with me in the place, a small establishments I had never been to before, but that was the point. It was a quiet get-together, an opportunity for me to really enjoy conversing with others without all the background noise. We had a nice time with this and I plan to attend another such Meetup next month. Also on the weekend, I did a bit of shopping at CRM Hobbies, and delivered flyers for the IPMS/Gateway show in September to two other hobby shops.

My brothers and their wives started coming to town on Monday (21 July) to be with my mother and I. I kept with my schedule of events, including work and the IPMS/Gateway business meeting Tuesday night at the Jefferson Barracks Heritage Foundation building in south St. Louis County.

The next morning (23 July), the family assembled at Lord Funeral Home near Sylvan Springs Park for the trip to nearby Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery. My mother, three brothers and their wives, my cousin Bertice Brown and her husband Ed, and our friend Cindy Strohm were joined by Rev. Emma Dobson, the pastor at Calvary Presbyterian Church. After a short motorcade into the cemetery, we arrived at the shelter where the interment ceremony would take place. The container with my father's ashes was placed on a table, with a folded American flag and a challenge coin placed nearby. We sat in two rows of benches facing the table, and Rev. Dobson conducted a short service of prayer. Then, a nearby rifle squad of three men fired three volleys in salute, followed by the playing of "Taps." Two soldiers unfolded, then refolded the American flag, and one of them presented the flag and the challenge coin to my mother, as he said, "On behalf of the President of the United States, the United States Army, and a grateful nation." We each placed a red rose beside the remains to conclude this service and we then drove home. My father's ashes will be placed in a nook at the cemetery.

That afternoon, there was a standing-room-only crowd in the sanctuary of Calvary Presbyterian Church for the celebration of my father's life. Rev. Dobson led the service, which included the singing of two hymns my father liked a lot, "Just A Closer Walk With Thee" and "Pass It On." Attendees were invited to share memories of my father, and I told of how much my father wanted me to stay positive and not think I had disappointed him in life. I also read three stanzas of "Amazing Grace" to the audience. After the service, there was a reception in nearby Lewis Fellowship Hall. I met a number of people I had not seen in years, and my family was most heartened by how much they regarded my father in life and how they well remembered him now. (I got Wednesday off from work for these events; I told my boss that I only needed this one day off, with the next day being my day off and I would be back to work on Friday.)

My brothers and sisters-in-law all departed for their respective homes last night, except for Brian, who flew out today. Mom and I took him to the airport, then we stopped at Denny's for lunch on the way home.

I am holding up very well under these circumstances, and so is my mother. We will need some time to get fully adjusted to life without my father, but I am confident we will do well in the years to come. Thank you to everyone who has expressed their condolences to me and my family. Your kind words are most welcome.

Before I go, I've attached a photo taken of my father in 1991, when he completed his time as Calvary's Clerk of the Session (the elder who serves as recording secretary for the parish in a Presbyterian congregation), along with a photo of the American flag and challenge coin my mother received at yesterday's service.

Later.

20 July 2014

Final Arrangements for Harold R. Delaney

Thanks to all of you who have expressed to me their condolences on the death of my father, Harold Delaney, this past Thursday. They are most welcome.

The final arrangements have been made for my father, and I am sharing those with you now. They come from the obituary of him that appears in today's edition of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Here's the link to the online version: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/stltoday/obituary.aspx?n=harold-r-delaney&pid=171789989&fhid=16836

His remains will be cremated and interred in a private ceremony Wednesday morning (23 July) at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery in St. Louis. There will be no visitation nor funeral; instead, there will be a celebration of his life on Wednesday at 1:00 pm at Calvary Presbyterian Church in Mehlville, which will be followed by refreshments and fellowship. The family requests no flowers to bent; however, you may made donations in his memory to: Calvary Presbyterian Church, 3400 Lemay Ferry Road, St. Louis, MO 63125; AT&T Pioneers/JB Museum Fund, 4410 Gemini Drive, St. Louis, MO 63128; or, to a charity of choice.

Later.

17 July 2014

Losing My Father, After Some Happy Days for Me

Today, my father, Harold R. Delaney, died peacefully at home in his bed. He was 90 years old and had been suffering from lung cancer in recent weeks. No more suffering now. My mother Joan, my brother Doug, and I were beside his bed when my father breathed his last. After a hospice nurse came by a little while later to confirm his passing, his body was taken away. Final arrangements are pending.

I was the first of Harold and Joan's four sons. Throughout my life so far, I have had many ups and downs (mostly downs), but my father never expressed disappointment in me and told me so. He was very well liked and respected by family, neighbors, friends, co-workers, and associates. Harold served in World War II as a radio technician in the US Army Air Forces, and worked for 41 years with Southwestern Bell Telephone Company in St. Louis. He was active in our church, Calvary Presbyterian, including serving several years as Clerk of the Session. He was also involved with the Telephone Pioneers of America and in the Cub and Boy Scouts when my brothers and I were there.

My mother is really keeping a firm control of herself--in good part because his death was expected--and Doug and I are also keeping an even keel. My other two brothers, Rick and Brian, should be here in a few days for the memorial service. I'll report on that in my next post.

My father's passing came after what has been a good past few days for me. Last Saturday midday (12 July), I was at St. Louis Outlet Mall in Hazelwood, Missouri for a meeting of the Singles Over 50 Meetup group. About eight of us were there, and we had lunch and shopped at several stores there. I bought a couple of small flags at Flag World, and browsed at Books-A-Million. It was pretty good. On the way home, I stopped by the recently opened Half Price Books store in Chesterfield, Mo., where I browsed the stacks and bought a couple of books.

That night found me at the Chase Park Plaza Hotel in St. Louis' Central West End. Cafe Eau at the Chase hosted a art and cocktail party, in which local artist Ted Collier displayed his latest work, "Waves." It was nice to see the paintings displayed on the cafe's walls, and several of them were sold by the time I arrived there. (Collier donated $25 percent of the art sales proceeds to St. Louis Children's Hospital, a few blocks south of the Chase.) I stayed around for about an hour before leaving.

The next day (13 July) had me at Amsterdam Tavern in south St. Louis to join other soccer fans to watch the FIFA World Cup Final on television. Arriving about two hours before match time, I had time to have a couple of beers and to take in the atmosphere with about 200 other fans--mostly supporting Germany, but there were some Argentinian fans there. Most fans came home happy, as Germany defeated Argentina 1-0 in extra time for their fourth world championship. It was an exciting game, mostly clean, and I was happy about that. Overall, I would say this FIFA World Cup was the best I've ever witnessed, and I've been following this tournament since 1982.

Back to work Monday--frantic Monday, of course--and it's been going well. I can't complain about the weather, with high temperatures near 80 degrees F (27 degrees C). Right after work Tuesday night (15 July), I was at Calvary Presbyterian Church for the monthly IPMS/Gateway meeting. This month had our annual Slam Fest, where members had two hours to assemble and finish a model kit, which would then be judged in a popularity contest. I honored by employer by building a small (1:1200 scale) kit of the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CV-6) from World War II. I had the kit assembled, painted and decaled with about 20 minutes to spare. It was one of three kits completed in that time frame to be judged in the contest, by a vote of meeting attendees. My model came in second, to a very nicely done car model, and I received two $5 gift certificates from CRM Hobbies as my prize. It was real neat, and I showed the Enterprise model off to my dad, who liked it.

In closing this post, I have attached a photo of Doug, Harold and myself taken on Christmas Day (25 December) 1999 at home. RIP, Dad.

Later.

12 July 2014

Work, Networking, and the World Cup is Almost Over

Been a bit busy late this week with this and that at home, so I haven't written you a bit sooner. Anyway, here's my latest post. Work at the car rental firm has been going well. We were closed last Friday (4 July) for Independence Day, but I worked the next morning at the branch. It was rather busy with customers getting vehicles to rent out for the holiday weekend. Monday (7 July) was rather hectic as customers were returning vehicles from the weekend. Also, it was very hot, with heat indices topping 100 degrees F (38 degrees C). Fortunately, I stayed inside as much as possible and drank plenty of water. Last Wednesday (8 July), after delivering a vehicle to one of our satellite branches, I ran into a former colleague, who was there getting work done on her vehicle. We chatted a bit before I had to get back to business, but it was great seeing her.

On my off day Thursday (10 July), I edited some short articles for the upcoming issue of Naturally Autistic magazine. Most were short pieces that didn't take much time to do at all. That magazine comes out this fall; more info at www.naturallyautistic.com.

Also on Thursday, I went to the Barrett on Washington in midtown St. Louis for a creatives networking event. It was rather nice to go. I did see a few people I worked for while temping at a staffing agency (which hosted this event) and got them up to date with myself. I also chatted with a few others to let them know I'm keeping my eyes out for career opportunities in editing and PR. We'll see how it goes from there.

The FIFA World Cup ends tomorrow (Sunday) and it's been a fabulous tournament so far. Plenty of action and surprises. As much as like Lionel Messi and Argentina, I think Germany will be too strong and will win the Final. I went to a watch party on 4 July for the Brazil-Colombia quarterfinal at Amsterdam Tavern in south St. Louis. Big crowd on hand, with many Colombian supporters and some Brazilian fans. Those rooting for Brazil ended up happier after their country won, although Neymar Jr.'s injury late in the match made it a Pyrrhic victory.

This week also marked get-togethers with two high school classmates I have not seen in some time. Last Sunday, my friend Tim Popp and I met. He lives in Oklahoma City and is in town on business. Tim and I met at the bar at Rich and Charlie's restaurant in Mehlville as we got caught up on things. Thursday afternoon, I saw Michael Anderson, who I had not seen since high school. We met at the St. Louis Bread Co. near South County Center. Michael lives near Columbus, Ohio, where he just retired on disability from a federal job. He's doing pretty good, considering, and we had a good time catching up on things in our lives.

I'm off to a singles meetup at midday today in Hazelwood, Mo., and plan to attend an art exhibition tonight. More on all that in my next post.

Later.