Thursday, February 09, 2017

A Busy Weekend

It was a busy weekend this past Saturday & Sunday. Saturday we celebrated our grandson Jack's first birthday and Sunday was dinner at Frantone's Pizza in Cerritos. Andrew was headed back to Seattle, Washington the following day. It was good having him home. It just goes by so fast.

Jack's Birthday Party
February 4, 2017

Jack's First Birthday Party!
Josh, Jack and Savannah

Jack's First Birthday Party!
The Birthday Boy - Jack

Jack's First Birthday Party!
Me, Jack and Jeri
Jack's First Birthday Party!

Jack's First Birthday Party!
Maddie, Meranda, Jack and Mariah

Jack's First Birthday Party!
Trevor, Sidney, Mariah, Maddie and Lori with me in the back photo bombing

Frantone's Pizza and Spaghetti Villa
February 5, 2017

At Frantone's
La Familia De La O

At Frantone's
Andrew, me and Jeri

At Frantone's
Happy Jack

At Frantone's
All of us

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving 2016

Family and Friends, today we eat and for that I am Thankful!!
I want you to know that I love my country, as imperfect as it is. I am eternally Thankful to be an American. I am Thankful that we live in a country where good men and women can agree to disagree.
I am thankful for all the men and women across the country and across the world serving in the military. I pray for their comfort and safe return. I am Thankful that I raised a son that thought enough of his country to serve it.
I am Thankful too for all the men and women in Law Enforcement. I believe the bulk of these men and women to be good decent people. I am praying for their everyday safety.
I have the peaceful warriors of Standing Rock in my mind today also. Keep them safe as they are opposed by Law Enforcement Officers who find themselves on the wrong side of the law and history.
I am Thankful to have been raised by my parents who took the time to teach my sister, brother and me, right from wrong. I am Thankful that my mother is still with us.
I am Thankful for my wife and all my children and grandchildren. They complete my life.
I am Thankful to have had many, many years of employment with McDonnell Douglas and Boeing. I am Thankful that God gave me the patience to stay the course. I am Thankful for my retirement!
I am Thankful for the many friends in my life. They too complete my life. I am Thankful for true friends and I am Thankful that I can be your friend.
I am Thankful for all the dogs that I have had in my life.They were my friends too.
I am Thankful that my wife and daughters will all be cooking their hearts out today for their family.
I am Thankful for all that God has given me!
Now, "Let's get ready to rumble!!

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

The American Flag

This is the American Flag. it does not represent the Republican Party, neither does it represent the Democratic Party, nor any particular race, ethnicity or special interest group. This flag represents America. Be proud! Today more than ever do not forget to vote.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Braised Short Ribs, Potatoes and Onions

Braised Short Ribs, Potatoes and Onion

Today's lunch of meaty beef short ribs cooked long and slow with a Mirepoix, chicken stock, onion and potatoes (forgot the carrots). It was absolutely delicious! 

Thursday, October 06, 2016

Classic Photos: Heading to the Movies

These photos are from either late 1978 or early 1979. We were headed out to the Whittier Theater on Whittier Blvd I don't remember what we saw that day but you could still see two movies. You got your moneys worth back then.

The first photo is with Jeri, and Meranda in front of the house on Newlin Ave. In the second photo Jeri, with DeeDee, Lori and Meranda, crossing Gretna Ave. The Whittier Theater was across the street.
The house on Newlin was razed in 1987 and replaced with apartments. The Whittier Theater was semi destroyed by the 1987 Whittier earthquake. There was a strong attempt to save it but eventually the city won out and the city finished the job started by the earthquake. There is a Walgreen's on that corner now. The parking lot in the second photo was cleared and homes were built. Nothing stays the same.



The Whittier Theater (above and below) before and after the October 1, 1987 Earthquake.

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

The Guitar


My father and I, along with his old Martin guitar. I believe this photo was taken circa 1978-1979.

My Son, This Old Guitar and Bittersweet Memories

 I grew up in the Rock and Roll era, listening to the music of the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, the Who, Creedence Clearwater, Ten Years After, Santana and all the other bands that summed up the greatest era of Rock and Roll, and perhaps music itself, than any other era. Along with that I loved those oldies, the Blues,Soul, R & B and Country & Western.

Having said that, there are no other songs from that time or any other artist, than John Denver, that can evoke a deep emotional longing for those days when my father was still alive, my mother was young and healthy and all was well with my sister, brother and me. It was a good time. We were still a family. We were still intact.

When I hear a song like “Country Roads” (My favorite by Denver) or Sunshine on my Shoulders” my mind and memories go back in time I want to reach back in time and hold all those people that were a part of my life back then. Sometimes I mourn what was. Bittersweet memories. I am not ashamed to say that I am sometimes moved to tears. But as the saying goes, “We can't go home again”.

It's hard for me to find anyone to admit they liked John Denver back in the day and I don't know why. I always enjoyed his music. The emotional response came later in my life as the past became a long ago and far away memory.

Denver's song “This Old Guitar”, in particular, while I always enjoyed listening to it, has become somewhat personal as well. Despite the fact that it has completely skipped over me, music is in the DNA of our family. My father and some of my uncles and aunts were musicians and singers, so was my grandfather and his brothers and the generation before them.

On my mother's side my uncle Richard played the guitar and he sang. My aunt Margaret could belt out a tune at a moments notice.

My son Andrew is a musician; a guitarist, a singer and a songwriter, plying his trade in Seattle, Washington. He is carrying on that grand old family tradition. It's in his DNA.

All that brings me to my real point of this story. About twenty-five years ago, due to my own carelessness and no one else, I lost my father's guitar. While, there are worse things in life than losing your father's guitar, it was still a traumatic loss for me. It was something he held dear and loved. Losing his guitar was like losing a piece of my father.

My grief was compounded when a few years later, while in his early teens, my son began to play the guitar. The guitar and the music he loved has become his life's passion. There is not a single day that goes by that I do not wish I could give my son his grandfather's guitar. “This Old Guitar” brings all that to mind.

I find some consolation in knowing that my father Andrew, lost his own father's guitar. I now understand his loss, and I have no doubt he understands mine. The guitar I lost was the guitar he bought to replace the one he lost. And the beat goes on.