Saturday, July 21, 2012

News Update

Twenty years ago yesterday the Virginia Railway Express (VRE) made its first run from Fredericksburg, VA to Washington DC – I was on the first train, to my part-time retirement position at American Ordnance Technology (AOT) at Crystal City, VA, and I have a certificate to prove it – as if anyone cares! Forty-nine years ago yesterday the Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA) was founded. Yesterday good friend Nancy Elizabeth Bobb passed away peacefully in her sleep at 81 and a massacre took place in Aurora, CO! Our thoughts and prayers are with Nancy’s family and the families of those killed in Aurora, as well as with those who were wounded and their families.
Several other good friends passed on recently at ages younger than I, and as I said in my note to RVFEST 2012 attendees, it seems to have taken the wind out of my sails! (See That is my excuse for not writing this earlier!
It has been nearly two months since I published news that, upon review, provided most of the future news covering the past two months! Our trip to Boston by train was uneventful – just long! Alec Vassar Johnson’s Amesbury High School graduation 1 June was very nice. Alec’s excellent high school performance earned him full-tuition for four years of college and he was awarded a $500 scholarship that he did not know he was to receive. He plans to attend the Lowell campus of the University of Massachusetts in the fall where his lady friend Alexa finished her freshman year this spring. After the graduation ceremony, the graduates were taken to dinner by bus to a Renaissance Fair and then to a roller derby to spend the rest of the night. They did not know where they were going when they boarded the buses! Chuck and Charli met Alec at the roller derby early the next morning for his flight with Chuck to International Falls, MN and our fishing trip. Alec was one tired puppy that day!
The fishing trip went well. I caught 60 Walleye and Northern Pike fish and released most of them. I fished with Richard, Chuck and Frank Johnson, Dan Moose (Frank’s son-in-law) and Dave Leanio (Darren Johnson’s father-in-law – Darren is Richard’s son). When Dave and I were fishing in the rain, a humming bird buzzed us! The day I was to fish with Alec, it rained and he was too tired to fish that afternoon! Alec caught 89 fish on this, his first ever fishing trip! It was my ninth fishing trip! Chuck caught 188 fish (see! The total catch for the week was 1274 fish! I believe we had four fabulous meals of Walleye, perhaps five with the Walleye eggs we had for breakfast one morning. Darren, Jeromy (another son-in-law of Franks) and Alec deserve much credit for filleting, breading and cooking the fish (probably near a hundred as we were each allowed to keep and eat two fish a day).
Tuesday 12 June, Jean and I escorted granddaughter Sara Kristine Johnson to Fredericksburg by train. Thursday 14 June, we departed to Goshen, IN and RVFEST 2012 rall (17-24 June). We celebrated our 60th Wedding Anniversary with good friends Laura and Randy Turley and Nadine and Bucky Van Horn at the Amish Acres Dinner Theater, Nappanee, IN. Bucky and Nadine treated us to the delicious dinner and the fabulous State Fair performance in the Round Barn. Laura and Randy treated us to the dinner wine. It was a wonderful evening. One of the young actors was from Fredericksburg, VA. Sara, Kathryn Marie Durham and her parents, Neena and Duane, met us at Goshen 17 June for the rally. Kathryn had a dance recital Saturday evening 16 June before she and her parents could depart with Sara for Goshen. We hosted the rally with co-hosts Richard and Virginia Raikes. Two other co-hosts could not attend the rally because her step-father died at 88. The rally was attended by some 85 people in 41 RVs. It was a success – see the RVFEST blogspot. 
We departed Goshen on 18 June and arrived home 19 June after spending the night at the Spring Valley Campground, Cambridge, OH.  While home, we visited doctors! Jean had a carotid artery test and an appointment with her gastroenterology doctor. We both had appointments with our general practitioner in July and Jean saw her dentist.
Tuesday 17 July, daughter Neena Potteiger Durham and granddaughter Elizabeth Ann left early morning by bus from Charlottesville, VA to New Orleans, LA to join some 43,000 other Lutheran teens and escorts to perform social work. They return to Charlottesville early morning 23 June – I will pick them up. 
I saw Dr. Sandra Johnson, my glaucoma doctor, yesterday in Charlottesville and pretty much decided that I would have cataract surgery on my left eye in September. Hopefully this will improve my vision and lower the pressure in that eye.
We leave by RV 24 July for Amesbury, MA with Neena and Kathryn. Alec will be 18 July 25th and his parents are hosting a Graduation/Birthday party for him 28 July. Neena returns home by air 2 August and we depart with Sara and Kathryn by RV 3 August to join Sara's parents and family for the Yonkers Rod and Gun Club 1000-acre camp just over the Mass/New York border to spend the week with Johnson family members. Chuck, Charli and family will travel to the camp as well that day. We’ll depart there either 10 or 11 August and find our way home again with Kathryn.
Except for Jean’s colonoscopy 23 August, the month of August appears to be uneventful! Friday 14 September we travel to Lickdale, PA by RV for three nights. I will attend the Hershey, PA RV show Show and Sunday we will attend the Penbrook Junion High School reunion. The 1st through 10th grade school existed from 1903 to 1957 when county-wide school consolidation took place. Jean and I both attended the school. Monday 17 August we will go to the Artillery Ridge Campground, Gettysburg, PA for four nights. We plan to visit friends and some of the sights in the area, bringing back memories of our stay in Gettysburg from August 1956 to June 1959. Good health, safe travels and love to all, Les and Jean

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