Thursday, August 25, 2022


I previously posted about a song I wrote entitled I Want To Dance.  You might want to click here to see the lyrics, the chords, and some nice pictures that go along with lyrics.   At one gathering of some musician  friends, we played the song and I thought "This would be quite pretty with a small group including guitar, bass, mandolin and fiddle.  Well, dreams do come true!  This year I attended Colorado Roots Camp as a real camper rather than an RMMC volunteer as I had done for a dozen years.  One of the things that campers are encouraged to do is to perform a song on Student Concert Night, on the last evening of Camp.  This gives one the whole week to get nervous!  However, the professionals who are the instructors during the week are quite willing to help out, so I recruited Rolly Brown on guitar, Matt Weiner on bass, Keith Yoder on Mandolin, and Katie Glassman on fiddle.  And being such accomplished pros, we went over the song for about five minutes and they had it down - which is obvious in the video.  I was the only one who screwed up a bit!!  Many thanks to Michael Shainline for this video.  [I'm not sure why the embed doesn't seem to work....]

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Thursday, December 30, 2021


Goodwill Outlet Store | Goodwill North Central Texas 

Not too long ago, Rhonda "discovered" the Goodwill Outlet Centers, fondly referred to as "The Bins."  As you can see above, stuff is indeed loaded into blue bins on rollers.  The bins are the last stop for items donated to Goodwill but did not sell in a regular Goodwill Store.  Because Goodwill gets so many donations, I believe that some of the things that end up in the bins never go to a store but rather go directly to the bins.  If you looked at the link above, you will note that whatever you find is sold by the pound.  Most amazingly to me is that there are three Outlet Centers in Denver that are open 8 to 8 six days a week and 9 to 6 on Sunday - and - a new row of bins is rolled out every 15 to 30 minutes!  There are two main sections of bins, one for clothes and the other for miscellaneous stuff, and I do mean miscellaneous!!  After the bins are picked over, the next stop for all of the stuff is either a recycling center or a landfill.

The first point about the bins is that it is a very sad commentary on consumerism in our society.  While some of the stuff is worthy of being pitched, there is so much stuff that clearly has utility.  Indeed, we have seen many things that are brand new with their original labels and price tags.  It would take way too long to list all of the various stuff that ends up at the bins, and sadly a lot of useful stuff gets rolled away.

The second point about the bins is that most of the "shoppers" are resellers who are there many hours per week.  We have chatted with a few of these denizens of the bins, and they generally have specific things that they are looking for.  Most resell on eBay or Poshmark, but some have flea market booths or consign with resale shops.  For Rhonda and me, it is pretty much a scavenger hunt!  And a good Mennonite one at that since it's $1.49 a pound!!  Much of what we get is for family and friends, but we do find some nice resale items, such as Longaberger Baskets and high-end sports equipment.  I keep my eye out for the latter because Play It Again Sports and the Boulder Sports Recycler are good places for sales.  Here is a great tutorial for how to shop at the bins - and one point that I would add from our perspective, don't try to compete with the "pros" who make a beeline for specific items - the shoe grabbers are the worst!!!  We generally wait for the initial madness of the dash to a new set of bins settles down, and then proceed to dig through - heaven knows that there is plenty to dig through!  And there can be some interesting findings at the bottom of the bins - I once found a Walmart gift card that had $25 on it!

We have kept for ourselves, kids and grand-kids a variety of very nice shoes, boots, jackets, clothes, tools, kitchenware, and crafting materials, as well as bought some things for gifts and for resale.  Examples of sports resale items - Flylow, Volcom, Spyder, Gorsuch, Northface, Columbia, Fossil and Obermeyer jackets, Eddie Bauer clothes, Smith sunglasses and goggles, Pearl Izumi jackets, Burton outerwear and snowboard bags, Merrill and Sorel shoes, Riedell Emerald skates, Orvis fishing gear, and so on.  Bottom line is that we are keeping a few worthwhile items from being trashed, and come out a bit ahead with the resales!

Tuesday, November 16, 2021



W. Hettler | Obituary | Goshen News

W. Hettler | Obituary | Mineral Wells Index 
And My Favorite, Although Coach Looks A Tad Serious!
 A View From Planet Boulder: THE GREATEST GAME IN THE WORLD - PART 1


Wilmer James [Jim] Hettler

Jim died at 1:15 a.m. Wednesday, November 10, 2021, at his home in Goshen.

He was born June 14, 1929 in Whiteford, Michigan. His parents were William Lavern and Annabelle (Holmes) Hettler.

He lived the first six years of his life in Whiteford before moving to Fort Wayne, Indiana. He graduated from South Side High School in 1947 before enrolling at Ball State Teachers College in Muncie.

After graduation, he served in the U.S. Army during the Korean Conflict. He was assigned to the Medical Corp. and served as a Physical Reconditioning Technician involved in the treatment of the returning wounded. He served at Brooke Army Medical Hospital in San Antonio, Texas, at Percy Jones Army Hospital in Battle Creek, Michigan and at Camp Pickett Army Hospital in Blackstone, Virginia.

After his service, he spent 33 years in Public Education in Michigan and Indiana, primarily in the New Paris/Fairfield School System. He was a Secondary Teacher, Coach and School Administrator during this time.

He retired in 1986 and spent the rest of his life in the Goshen, Indiana community. He married Ruth Rae Bowen, in Bowling Green, Ohio, on April 3, 1955.

He is survived by three children, Ronald James (Robin) Hettler, Lubbock, Texas; Celia Anne (Douglas) Holte, Sheboygan, Wisconsin and Amy Lynn (Thomas) Yoder, Elkhart. Ruth and Jim were blessed with 15 grandchildren; 35 great-grandchildren; sister, Edith Marsh, Sarasota, Florida; brother-in-law, Dale Nelson, Chula Vista, California and sister-in-law, Celia Ribas, New Jersey.

Preceding him in death are his parents; wife, Ruth and brothers, Merle & LaVern.

A gathering will be 2-4 & 6-8 p.m. (EST) Friday, November 19, 2021, at Rieth Rohrer Ehret Funeral Home, 311 S. Main St., Goshen. Services will be at Grace Bible Baptist Church, New Paris (the old high school/elementary school) on Saturday, November 20, with military honors beginning at 11 a.m.
Burial will follow at New Paris Cemetery at a later date.

Memorial donations may be directed to the Fairfield Alumni Association or Goshen Hospital Hospice.

Saturday, November 13, 2021



Clair E. Miller, swimming pool builder [classmate and life-long friend]

After a long, hard struggle with Parkinson's Disease and Parkinson's-related dementia (caused by exposure to Agent Orange in Vietnam), Clair E. Miller passed away Friday, Sept. 17, 2021, at Harbor Healthcare in Lewes. 

Born in Lancaster, Pa., July 15, 1946, to the late Alvin E. and Esther (Hertzler) Miller, Clair spent his early years in Millwood near Gap, Pa. After the family moved in 1960 to Port Allegany, Pa., he decided to finish high school at Central Christian High School, Kidron, Ohio, where he graduated in 1964. 

Clair attended Goshen College (Goshen, Ind). He left school due to a four-story fall while working on building the Coudersport (Pa.) Hospital. He was in a body cast for six months. He lost his college deferment and was drafted into the Army. He served in the infantry from 1967-69. Clair was stationed in Vietnam in 1969. The experience marked him physically and emotionally for the rest of his life. 

After Clair's discharge from the Army, he returned to the Lancaster area. On Nov. 27, 1970, Clair married Denise Smallwood of Christiana, Pa. They celebrated 50 years of marriage last November. She survives him, along with their son, Christopher, daughter-in-law Laurie Butcher, and grandson Sebastian. 

Clair is also survived by his brother, Gene (Takoma Park, Md.), sister-in-law Jane Godfrey, and nephew, Jacob; his sister, Marianne Miller Noble (Lancaster, Pa.), brother-in-law Howard Noble, niece Jessica (Terrence Haynes), nephews Taylor, Tanner and Christian (Maya Zegarra) and their son William. 

Upon Clair’s return to Lancaster he began a career in building and maintaining swimming pools. He owned and operated Miller Pool Service/Sunray Pools in Lancaster along with his wife, Denise, until his disability forced him into retirement. After their retirement; they moved to Scottsdale, Ariz., for nine years. They moved to Wilmington in 2011. 

Clair's many loves were his family, the Phillies, boating on the Chesapeake, traveling, a great story, a glass of fine wine and a good cigar. He also loved serving his community. During a company Christmas party - Christmas was his favorite holiday - he said it didn't really feel like Christmas. He established a Christmas fund to which his staff contributed $1 or $2 per week. The first year of operation, the Miller Pool Service Christmas Fund provided complete Christmas dinner boxes for 50 families. Over 10 years, the program grew to where it provided Christmas meals for some 600 families. Clair's family thanks the staff of Miller Pool Service for their years of devotion to growing Miller Pool Service/SunRay Pools into the successful business it became. 

Clair's family wishes to extend heartfelt thanks to his devoted brother vet, Tom Tully, who faithfully stood with Clair through his last days. They also wish to send thanks to the staff of Harbor Healthcare, especially Beth Seeds who was always there with guidance, love and support; Michelle Kupfer Gosnell (aka "Florida") for her love and devotion; and to Nichole Jackson, Donna White,  Lauren Hahn, Karin Morengo, and Justine Awori.for their steadfast care and love. 

Contributions in Clair's memory may be made to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research,, or by mail to: Donation Processing, Michael J. Fox Foundation, P.O. Box 5014, Hagerstown, MD

Monday, September 20, 2021


Eagles announce the 2020 Hotel California tour | Louder

We had purchased tickets to the Eagles concert pre-COVID, but like many things, the concert was put on hold. Over a year later, it was rescheduled, and we debated "Should we go, or should we sell our tickets?" Since the Ball Arena has a very sensible entry policy [proof of vaccination or a negative test], we decided to attend.  We arrived about an hour before start time, thinking that there might be long lines for the COVID checks, but were pleasantly surprised that the whole entry process was very organized and ran smoothly.

Once inside, we had to chuckle at some of the attendees.  There were many folks sporting their Eagles Tour shirts from bygone days, including a pair of cane-toting-T-shirt-wearing elderly ladies making their way to their seats.  Our seats were straight out from the stage in the first section of tiered seating - better than being on the flat floor IMHO.

The concert started just a few minutes after the scheduled time, and it was pretty much as I expected from a big name, big band, big show - and it was great!  Pretty much straight-forward music that reproduced the original recordings.  My opinion is that one of the hallmarks of a good band is that they sound as good or even better live than on studio recordings.  And the Eagles have it.

The first set was Hotel California, and the second set was "every other song that we know" as Don Henley put it.  The September 16 playlist can be found here, and one of the great things about this playlist site is that you are able to click on the song to hear it.

As the opening number Hotel California got rolling, I could ID Henley on drums, Joe Walsh on guitar and Timothy Schmit on bass.  And I thought "Dang, that fellow on the left sounds really great and looks a lot like Vince Gill" - and it was!  The other main members included Steuart Smith, Deacon Frey [the late Glenn Frey's son], and Scott Crago.  Smith played a fair amount of lead, and he and Walsh were incredible on the Hotel California duo at the end.  Deacon Frey did several lead vocals, and Crago took over on drums when Henley did some lead vocals as shown above.  The picture also shows the Denver Orchestra playing along with the band.

For me, the highlight was Gill. I think that he is one of the most talented singer/songwriters of today. And as one reviewer put it "Vince Gill might not be the first guy you'd have thought of as a replacement for Glenn Frey in the Eagles, but wow, is he a good fit. The country icon soars as he takes over lead vocals on the Eagles' classic hit "New Kid in Town" on their new live album." He did several other leads, and he fits right in with the Eagles' incredible harmonies.

Generally speaking, big venue shows are not my preference, but this one was certainly worth it. Here is one of the videos of the Ball Arena concert that can be found on YouTube - note that at the end of Deacon Frey's song, there is a picture of Glenn holding Deacon when he was a very young boy.