Sunday, February 7, 2010

Did I Tell You ‘Bout… The Day I Stopped the State Trooper

One day, some of the McDonald’s supervisors and managers had just left for a meeting in Northern Virginia, when one of the managers called the office. He just realized his store manager had taken the freezer keys with him. They couldn’t get into the freezer to get meat, fries and other needed items for lunch.

Dad decided, since they had only been gone a little while, he’d try to head up I-95, to see if he could catch them. He was speeding up I-95, when a State trooper came down the ramp onto the interstate; he apparently was sitting up there with radar and was going to stop Dad for speeding (he thinks he was going 75 - 80 mph). The trooper quickly caught up to him and was tailgating him when Dad looked in the mirror and, with his thumb, motioned the trooper to the side of the road. Dad told him about the dilemma of trying to catch up to the managers and asked him to radio ahead. The trooper said he couldn’t do that if there was no reason to stop them. Then, the trooper got in his car and headed up the road. Dad proceeded northbound on I-95, behind him. The trooper sped ahead and was soon out of sight. Dad really appreciated shortly seeing the trooper having pulled someone else on the side of the road…which Dad interpreted as “full speed ahead”. He soon caught up with the managers and signaled them over, got the keys and rushed back to Richmond. Freezer open, supplies out in time for lunch... Once again, the day was saved!!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Camp Reynolds

My dad (Papa) often talks about Camp Reynolds at Transfer, PA. During World War II, the Army came into the area and forced people from their homes and farms in order to establish a camp used for preparing troops to ship out overseas. Many of the neighbors had to sell out and move to other areas. Papa's family moved to the area called Delaware Grove, where they bought a farm which his parents owned until the mid-1970s. (The house on this farm was very old and was reportedly used by the Underground Railroad to hide slaves many years before.)

On Route 18 in Transfer, Papa's family, his Grandfather Love and Uncle Paul Love all had houses side by side. After the Army came in and forced them out, they moved Grandfather Love's house across the road and put the main gate to the camp in its place. Papa's house was taken by the Commander of the base as his residence. It was a very nice house - Papa's father was a good carpenter and had built it well.

Camp Reynolds was built in 1942 and closed in 1945. Papa thinks that it covered about 1,000 acres. Over one million men passed through its gates during that time. The soldiers were trained there and sent to the "European Theater of Operations" to fight in the war.

While the camp was under construction, Papa, who was 15 years old, worked at a sandwich shop about a half mile from his house towards Greenville. The "sandwich shop" was on a neighbor's front porch. The construction workers came there to buy sandwiches, drinks, etc. for their lunches. The neighbor also had one gas pump, so folks could buy gas there, too.

On one trip back to this area after his family had moved, Papa and his friends took a road that goes through a covered bridge. They came to the bridge as American soldiers were marching down the road. The troops parted and Papa drove right down the middle between two rows of soldiers!

The most interesting part of Papa's Camp Reynolds story is when he tells of one visit he and his buddies made to the base in his 1936 Ford convertible. They entered through a back gate - no one tried to stop them, although he doesn't think that they were supposed to be there. They came around a corner and stopped. Right in front of them was a large group of German POWs being marched to the mess hall! They just sat there in the car and watched the enemy soldiers pass by.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Interacting with the Big Wigs

Presentation of 1,776 trees from Richmond McDonald's CoOp to Governor Mills E. Godwin, Jr in 1976. This was part of the National Tree Program.

Pretty much says it all

Nice article from the local McDonald's franchisee newsletter.

This was the "Puppy Love" - a 42 foot, wood hull boat used to tour the Chesapeake. Trips included Delaware Bay, Annapolis, the Sassafrass River, down the Inter-Coastal Waterway and various Yacht clubs around Virginia and Maryland. Excursions also included going out into the Atlantic as well to explore more of the East Coast.
The boat was housed many years at Pointer's Marina and Windmill Point. Memories include going through the locks on the Inter-Coastal Waterway and "The Cut", a measure of captainship near Wrightsville Beach.

Friday, May 15, 2009

2200 pound dog

A short post- last night we were sitting around and Papa was telling stories. Lots of stories about growing up on the farm, dogs helping to herd the cows, horse stories and even a little bull- no, literally. He mentioned going to the fair and taking his bull- a 2200 pound bull. He led him by the nose and took him to the fair.

Time came for a parade at the fair and he set off to lead his bull in the parade. Other bulls were groaning at it (not sure that is the right term but for me it best describes the sound being made to relay the story). His dad said "Are you sure you want to bring that bull in the parade?". Papa replied that he did and set off with the bull.

The funny statement of it all was when he said about the bull "he was just like a dog". Sure, a dog that weighed a ton! I am sure there are more details to this story but here is the place holder to add to it.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Close Call

Most of the stories from Papa have been told and retold so that we have come to know them. This provides a chance to pick out some new detail each time and add to the experience. But, not so long ago he told one that I don't recall. I am not sure I have it completely right, since I have only heard it once, but here is how it goes.

Papa was on the farm milking a cow when a gentleman (banker perhaps?) who was well dressed stopped by. He came to the barn and held a conversation while Papa continued about his chores. The well dressed man happened to lean against the wall while talking. The wall behind the cow.

Now as the story goes, and the lesson is learned, you shouldn't stand behind a cow very long. It seems that during the milking the cow built up some gas and let one fly- literally. A discharge shot out of the hind end of the cow and splattered on the wall just next to the well dressed man.

Papa's statement, "He got lucky".