Wednesday, December 31, 1986

1986 Buffalo, Cleveland, and Syracuse (12/25-31/1986)

Thursday, December 25, 1986
After Christmas with Kyle and Erich, we stopped back at home to pick up some forgotten items. Then headed up RI-146/MA-146 to the Mass Turnpike. Got off at the next to last exit to go into the town of Lee and buy a Megabucks ticket!
It was generally foggy and gray with on and off rain. Some of the fog in valleys was picturesque. Once in New York, Kent spotted deer grazing up on a cliff. Also saw hawks. Made a pit stop near Schenectady. Gas mileage has not been good, only 27 mpg, but the average mph has been 70!
It was 15:30 when we got gas on Bailey Avenue in Buffalo. Drove up to the UB Medical School to check out the buildings sheathed in R-Wall. Kent didn’t like the retrofit, but liked the newer portions, only to figure out they were of concrete! Arrived at my parents’ house to find all the siblings were off driving around, since we weren’t expected until 18:00. Exchanged gifts then had a big turkey dinner at 19:00 with ten people around the table. Grandma was also there. After dinner the others went to the Festival of Lights.

Friday, December 26, 1986
Had Kuechle for breakfast, then went to take photos of the University of  Buffalo School of Medicine
UB School of Medicine (KSS)
before driving to Cleveland, via US-33 to I-90, paying $1.65 for the NY Thruway. Got off I-90 after Cleveland to drive along the lake through affluent Lakewood (some with 2- or 3-story Christmas trees!) into Rocky River. Kent found his way to his parents’ house and we arrived at 13:00. Even though we got such a late start, they weren’t expecting us until even later! We had lunch of turkey sandwiches and mock turtle soup (ground beef with ketchup and vinegar, and lemon juice). Mike was there, and about 15:30 we left in the Stumpes’ new Dodge Ram Granada van to pick up Ryan from the airport. The van plushly seated seven people with a removable table, and a mini-TV/radio hung from the ceiling. Ryan arrived at 16:15 from Denver and we were there at the gate to greet him. Back at the house there was a gift exchange, then dinner of the layered turkey casserole and a fruit gelatin salad.

Saturday, December 27, 1986
We were sleeping on the fold-out couch in the den, so made it up before breakfast. Mike, Kent, and I drove down to the Cleveland Museum of Art, which has free admission. We did not check our coats, and mine is such a good insulator, I am comfortable no matter the temperature. We didn’t know where to start, so went up the stairs and just followed our noses. In doing so, we apparently followed the exact reverse of a carefully laid out chronological sequence of Western Art!
Cleveland Museum of Art map
Started in Modern Art, recognizing names like Jennifer Bartlett and the 3-D street art that Mike knew. A special exhibit on Paper and its Different Form. The flying cranes, wispy white strands from a “banner,” was interesting. Jackson Pollack, Willem de Kooning, and “Stag at Sharkey’s” by George Bellow with stark boxers. A roomful of Picasso, a more extensive collection than in Boston! There were also ceramics and furniture, as is included in all “fine” arts. We went from Post-Impressionism to Impressionism, 19th century art to 18th century works grouped according to country. Saw Faberge eggs, one in a box with Cyrillic letters. Baroque (including a Caravaggio) was situated around a wonderfully green garden, but our interest was waning. Entered the Armor Court with Spanish paintings and tapestries, then Kent led us directly downstairs past the Still Life exhibit across from the cafeteria to the gift shop. Decided to then see the photography exhibit done by a 20”x24” Polaroid Land camera. Amusing photos featuring a Weimaraner dog as an elephant, etc. (by William Wegman). Went to the Oriental galleries to peruse the Figure Painting exhibit, before leaving.
Drove up Euclid Avenue to get lunch at Popeye’s. At E 36th and Euclid we saw an R-Wall building. Continued through Public Square with all the Christmas decorations (Care Bears, Care of American Greetings, etc.). Saw the new Sohio Building (1985) and the Higbee’s department store from “A Christmas Story.” We turned up Superior Avenue to pass the Arcade. Parked nearby and Mike decided to join Ryan and the grandparents at the Playhouse to see the “The Nutcracker” at 14:00. Kent and I went to the Arcade that is five stories with bigger and finer shops than the pretty ritzy Providence Arcade. A giant Christmas tree filled the center.
We returned to the car to begin the business portion of the trip. Took I-90 to I-271 to Mayfield Heights to see a jewelry store with R-Wall in black.
img Jewelers (KSS)
(NB: img Jewelers on 7/26/2015)
Drove down Richmond Rd in Warrensville Heights to find a service corporation building with R-Wall.
Service Sales building (KSS)
(NB: now an empty building that appears
to have lost its right half, 7/26/2015)
Over to Warrensville Center Rd past Thistledown Racetrack to find the Brentwood Hospital with some R-Wall.
Brentwood Hospital (KSS)
(NB: Now part of South Pointe Hospital
and the Cleveland Clinic, 7/26/2015)
We got on I-480 and drove to its end, followed OH-17 to US-42/Pearl Road. Drove down to Middleburg Heights to see the OMNI Fitness Center with R-Wall.
OMNI Fitness Center (KSS)
Now Cleveland Fitness Club (10/25/2018)
We got on I-71 to drive north to Rocky River and stopped at Beachcliff shopping center built in an old movie theater complex; pretty ritzy here, too! Across the street was a hardware store and Kent bought a manual can opener for his mom who was complaining about cutting her finger because the electric can opener doesn’t cut all the way. We returned to Kent’s parents’ house, and the rest of the Stumpes arrived soon after. We tried out some computer programs on Kent’s dad’s new Tandy 1000. Dinner of grilled swordfish and potatoes baked in the microwave.

Sunday, December 28, 1986
Up at 5:00 and left at 5:45. Kent’s parents were up to say goodbye. Kent drove to the airport and dropped himself off to fly to RI. I then drove I-71 to I-90 back to Buffalo. The very dark gray sky slowly lightened to a middling dark gray sky. A Jaguar passed me, and I later saw him with a NY state trooper. Arrived at 9:30 and went to 10:30 Mass with Grandma. When Dad was ready to go to 12:00 Mass, he couldn’t find Mommy. We heard she went shopping, so I walked with Daddy to Wilson Farms, but no Mommy. Dad continued to church, and I went home to get more info. Maybe Mommy went to Central Park? I got the car and drove down Main Street, and saw her a block before Amherst. Picked her up and took her to church, and the groceries home.
After a steak dinner we watched my slides, then slides of our family from 20 years ago!

Monday, December 29, 1986
Went to the Erie County Motor Vehicle Bureau when they opened at 9:00 to renew my driver’s license, then to get a replacement auto registration for my replacement windshield. Home in time to say goodbye to Grandma who was being driven back to Brooklyn by Phil and David. Left after lunch at 13:00 to head towards Rochester. Took Exit 45 off I-90 to I-490 west. Then the second exit to Bushnell’s Basin on NY-96 where I turned right at the light. Drove through the village of Pittsford and made a left onto Thornell Rd. drove a couple miles and atop a hill I turned left on Mill Valley Rd. Took the first left on Lake Locarno Dr that ran straight into Chipmunk Trail. The second house on the right was #5 that belonged to Karen K’s sister. I met her sister Gen and the new baby, and then Karen and I left to head to Syracuse, soon arriving at Kathy C’s house. We exchanged gifts, then drove to Pizza Hut where Karen treated us to dinner. Worked a couple jigsaw puzzles before midnight.

Tuesday, December 30, 1986
Sampled Kathy’s delicious coffee cake, and left at 8:30 when Kathy and I drove Karen back to Pittsford. Met Karen’s parents and watched the two nieces, Joanna and Jessica for a bit. After saying goodbye to Karen, Kathy and I went back to NY-96 and followed that to Eastview Mall to look for clothes and boots for Kathy. We then hopped on the Thruway for a short distance and got off for the Montezuma Wildlife Refuge. We took the one-way auto route and saw lots and lots of ducks and geese out on the water. We also spotted three great blue herons, but otherwise not much to see.
Otter ice breakage
The water level was very high and some trees were uprooted in the flooded areas. Saw several hawks perched in the trees. We saw a couple cars going the wrong way on our road, and we talked about these people who were going the wrong way with knowing smiles on their faces. But shortly we found out why! The road was blocked for dike repair, so we, too, had to turn around and go the wrong way to exit the refuge!
Drove down NY-414 to US-20 to Auburn, home of the State Correctional Facility. Had a quick lunch at Burger King, then continued to Skaneateles, a very picturesque town on the shore of the Finger Lake with the same name. We made our way to Otisco Lake and followed the west shoreline down and around the bottom of the finger and along a country road past antique and gift shops. Kathy knew of a great shop called Cat’s Whiskers, but it was closed. We continued up the eastern shore of Otisco Lake and saw several streams running down the steep hillside. Arrived at some falls that would have been picturesque if it hadn’t been such a gray day. We saw the lake was divided by a causeway, and that the lake was frozen north of the causeway and not on the south.  Headed north and stopped at a huge mall in Camillus. Back at Kathy’s we ordered Chinese food for dinner.

Wednesday, December 31, 1986
After more of Kathy’s coffee cake, I left at 8:30 to drive back to RI. The Thruway was crawling with state troopers. There had been a powdering of snow in Cleveland, and none in Buffalo or Syracuse. Now there was snow in Albany and in RI! Arrived home at 13:45, and Kent came home from work at 14:30. Kent made a vermicelli frutta del mare for dinner, and we watched videos until the new year arrived.

Thursday, December 25, 1986

1986 Christmas (12/23-25/1986)

Tuesday, December 23, 1986
Christmas tree
Living room
Erich decorating Christmas cookies
Kyle decorating Christmas cookies
Kyle and Erich

Wednesday, December 24, 1986
Kyle and Erich opening gifts at River Avenue

Thursday, December 25, 1986
We got up at 6:30, and at 6:45 Mary Jane called to say Kyle and Erich were up. We hurried over through the pouring rain. Again, the boys did well by Santa, et al. 
Erich reacts to a gift of socks
The boys needed heavy hints to notice the Apple Macintosh computer Mary Jane and Barney had gotten. I was given some plastic placemats. Juice and coffee, with cranberry bread before taking off about 7:40!

Friday, November 28, 1986

1986 Thanksgiving (11/27-28/1986)

Friday, November 28, 1986
Kent’s parents arrived Wednesday evening to spend Thanksgiving Day with us.
Kent carving the turkey
Turkey centerpiece courtesy of Kent's mom
Kyle pets the turkey (photo by Ada)
Erich pets the turkey (photo by Ada)
Today Kent's parents went to Fall River, MA to go shopping on their own. After a turkey & rice soup lunch, we decided to take Walk and Ramble of RI #33 Harborview Trail. Drove up I-195 and turned off after crossing Washington Bridge into East Providence, heading towards Veteran’s Memorial Parkway. Suddenly saw the Mauran Avenue we needed, and followed it to the end, turning left on Pier Rd. At its end was Bold Point Park, a tiny park with wood chip and gravel road, bicycle path signs, picnic benches, and a boat ramp.
We walked back across the railroad tracks and began to follow them along the harbor.
Harborview Trail view at the start
of the I-195 bridge over the Seekonk River
We had a scavenger hunt list, and the first item was quickly found: a railroad spike. We were also looking for a pillow on the railroad bed! Didn’t find one. However, we did find a comb, toothbrush, mattress, rug, and underpants!
Railroad signal
We passed the oil tanks, and much of the walk was uninteresting.
View of oil tanks and the Providence skyline
There wasn’t much harbor traffic. Later we did see one tug, and a cargo ship high in the water across the way. We saw several seagulls, but none of the other wildlife: rabbits, doves, killdeer (a small bird with an imitative cry). After about a mile we saw the cranes for unloading at the port farther along the other side. We did find wild plant seeds, many of which stuck to us. We came to an isolated high concrete wall with a gravel road up the other side. Kyle and Erich were now moaning, so we turned around. Climbed the hill to Veteran’s Memorial Parkway and walked along that. We wanted to climb back down to the railroad bed a couple times, but the kids said, “No way!” Finally convinced them to climb down so that we could go back to the car. We drove along the Parkway to Bullock’s Point to see the carousel and only saw the boarded up building. We took Forbes Avenue to Seekonk, MA to the Susse Chalet, but the Stumpes weren’t there. Kent took the boys to play basketball while I did laundry. Kent’s parents arrived at 15:30, and the boys came later. We ordered fish and chips, and clamcakes from Carrie’s for dinner. Then mostly playing with the computer.

Friday, October 31, 1986

1986 Halloween (10/31/1986)

Friday, October 31, 1986
At 17:45 went to Modena Avenue to see the Mummy (Kyle) and Ninja (Erich).
Erich, Ben, and Kyle
Kyle as the Mummy
Erich as a Ninja

Thursday, October 23, 1986

1986 Skiing? in NH (10/21-23/1986)

Friday, November 21, 1986
I found out I had a 15:13 appointment at Allstate in Lincoln and hurried home, as Kent had wanted to leave for NH at 16:00. We were only tying the skis on the roof at that time, and Donna P came later to drop off the condo keys and give us her turkey to take. We left about 16:40 and it got dark as we headed up I-95. Took I-495 to avoid most (but not all) Boston traffic. It snowed more the farther north we went, and sometimes the wind got gusty. At the 100-mile marker in NH, we knew Exit 32 was next. Drove through Lincoln and found the Clearbrook section of Loon Mountain Village. The condo was up on a hill, and we had to walk through 6” of snow to the front door. Things warmed up quickly as we put the lasagna in the oven and unpacked. After dinner it was almost time for bed.

Saturday, November 22, 1986
After a breakfast of scrapple and eggs with petite croissants, we shoveled the front walk. Kent found P boots and skis that fit him, and we got in the car to drive over to Loon Mountain. Found a parking spot at the foot of the bunny hill. Some guy asked if we were here for lessons. Nope! We had learned lessons would cost $15/person for two hours. We trekked up the hill and I had my own boots and skis to don. We had some used boots and kids’ skis for Kyle and Erich. I tried to give them a couple pointers, but they were just anxious to head downhill! Without great success. Kyle seemed to have the basic idea, and Erich managed if coached through step by step. Kent wanted to try the rope tow, but the kids couldn’t get the hang of it. Frustration levels were high, so we quit to go back to the condo for a chicken pot pie lunch.
Decided to try a couple prep activities that I do with kids with disabilities, and the boys didn’t seem to have the flexibility to stand up from the ground with the skis on. We tried snowplowing down the side yard of the condo, but it was just too narrow.
Kyle and Tamiko (KSS)
We got in the car and went to look for a slope. Drove towards Lincoln and took a right turn at the Common Man restaurant. Another right brought us to the Lincoln-Woodstock Recreation Area with a ski slope and an inoperative ski lift. No one was around, so the kids tried skiing, which wasn’t easy on the icy crust of the snow. Kent practiced skiing as the kids sledded, and everyone was happy, I think.
Kent and Erich sled down, as Kyle heads up
Erich, Kent, and Kyle on the hill
Kyle on skis
Kent on skis
We left about 16:00 to return to the condo and build a fire in the fireplace. Roasted some chestnuts and a couple really exploded! Had dinner of roasted chicken, potato wedges, and steamed broccoli. Played music cassettes in the background as we played Po-Ke-No. Had pumpkin pie and whipped cream for dessert. The Celtics were on TV.

Sunday, November 23, 1986
After breakfast we cleaned up, then headed to the Recreation Area again. The crusty snow made learning to ski too difficult. Saw a couple boys snow/ice surfing on boards that attached to their feet. Kyle and Erich decided just to go sledding. A man was there teaching his kid to shoot a BB gun, and he said the slope and tow would open on December 6th.
We returned to the condo to snack and do the final clean-up. Packed the car and closed up the condo, making sure to turn off the hot water heater, close the flue, set the thermostat at 50 degrees, and close the blinds. Final potty break and we locked up, leaving at 13:15, ahead of schedule. Drove on clear roads, and stopped in Lawrence, MA for a late Burger King lunch. They had several dining rooms and two drive-up windows. Got home about 17:00, and took the kids to their mom’s.

Saturday, October 18, 1986

1986 Bill Walton (10/18/1986)

Saturday, October 18, 1986
Took the meat from the rest of the crabs from Christopher’s Deli yesterday. We had eaten only 6 of 14. You pulled off all the legs and used the nutcracker to get meat out of the upper and lower parts of the fore-claws, and the upper parts of the other legs. You took a mallet to the area that looks like a tail tucked under the body, pulled that up and lift the top shell. What was left you broke in half and scraped out all the guts, before digging out the meat. A lot of work, but fun.
After lunch we went to Roger Williams Park Zoo by 13:00 to meet Erich’s Tiger Cub Pack. After walking through the zoo, leaving out the tapir corner, we left at 14:30 and went straight to Uno Pizzeria in Warwick. Bill Walton of the Boston Celtics was there signing autographs. We joined the slow-moving line, and finally reached Bill Walton sitting at a table. We took his picture and he gave us autographs on Uno menus.
Bill Walton, Erich, and Kyle
Autographed menu
Back at home we made apple pie and baked apples, and Kent made tacos for dinner. We all sat down to watch the first World Series game of the Red Sox vs the NY Mets. One by one we fell asleep. But they won!

Sunday, October 12, 1986

1986 Osamequin Bird Sanctuary (10/11/1986)

Saturday, October 11, 1986
Kent’s parents arrived yesterday and had to stay with us, since the hotels were booked for Parents weekend at all the colleges. This morning Kent took Kyle to a Cub Scouts clean-up at 9:00. Afterwards they came to pick up the rest of us to go watch soccer practice. After lunch Kent’s parents were able to check into the Susse Chalet in Seekonk, MA.
We went to Osamequin Bird Sanctuary in Barrington, RI.
(Erich), Ada, Bert, Kyle, and Kent
Lots of grasshoppers and big fuzzy black and red-orange caterpillars (Pyrrharctia Isabella/Woolly Bear caterpillars).
Erich shows Kyle the Woolly Bear caterpillar (photo by Ada)
Saw bayberry bushes, interesting trees, stagnant ponds, and picked over pine cones.
Bayberry bushes
Thick underbrush
Kyle spotted a rabbit and a chipmunk.
We drove through Barrington, seeing a funny car that looked like a mini-rocketship, with two people in a cockpit. We went out on Rumstick Point. Nice properties! Went to Colt State Park where lots of people were flying kites. There was an Irish setter that kept jumping into the water to swim, then he’d come out and shake himself, and dash at us for fun.
Bert, Ada, Erich, Irish setter, unknown, and Kyle
He kept us entertained for a while. Drove home via the Susse Chalet to get the Stumpes’ car, to bake an apple pie and have homemade Cincinnati Chili.

Sunday, October 12, 1986
When the boys and I returned from Mass, Kent’s parents were at the house for a big breakfast.
Kyle and Erich "masquerading (photo by Ada)
We went to Kyle and Erich’s soccer game, where they finally scored, with the help of the opposition! Tied 2-2.
Kyle and Erich in soccer uniforms (photo by Ada)
After lunch, Kent’s mom started trimming plants, which got everyone doing chores. Kent and the boys washed his car. Then there was the Red Sox playoff game vs the Angels.
Erich and Kyle play a game with Grandma
Erich working (photo by Ada)
Kyle setting the table (photo by Ada)
After a ham dinner, Kent’s parents left to ready for their drive back to Cleveland tomorrow.
Kyle and Erich ready for bed (photo by Ada)