Author Archives: helderweb

father of 3 sons, with 3 grandkids…. retired and travelling as much as I can.

Losing Rik

ALBANY Richard John Mosley, 42, died on Tuesday, August 28, 2018.

He was born on September 11, 1975 in Albany to Robert John and the late Donna Lynn Mosley Simpson.

Rik graduated from Berne-Knox-Westerlo CSD in 1993 and attended SUNY Morrisville. He was employed by Community CARE Physicians. He was always a techno wiz and lived his life with zest and great enthusiasm.

He is survived by his father Robert J. Simpson of Knox; his son, Ronan “Skout” Mosley of Knox; his brothers, Jordan F. Simpson of Knox and Zachary E. Simpson; and brother-in-law John Kraigenow, both of Albany; his aunt, Andrea Jeffers of Albany; his uncle, Stuart Mosley of Knox; his nieces, Abigail and Alissa Simpson of Knox, whom he was adored by; and many cousins.

He also leaves his uncles John W. Simpson and William B. Simpson and his aunts Joanne Cedilotte and Mary Regina Smith.

His entire family will miss him. He was predeceased by his infant daughter, Nova P. Simpson; and his uncle, Specialist Fourth Class Richard J. Mosley.

Calling hours will be held on Saturday, September 1, from 2-4 p.m. at Fredendall Funeral Home, 199 Main St., Altamont. A funeral service to follow at 4 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to

your favorite charity.


On the day after the wake and funeral…..

So nice to see these messages from people we know and people we have never met.

My son Rik was all of these things and more. His mother and I were always so proud of him. He was a lovely human.

My thanks to all of his friends and family who came to the wake and funeral. We were so proud of Rik’s son Ronan who made a little speech in front of everybody. We all will surround Ronan with our family love to honor Rik.

Our hearts are broken but we go on together.

Will always love you Rik…


Love you always my brother… Until we meet again-Jordo

September 1, 2018

To Rik’s Family,

While I don’t know you… I knew Rik from working with him. He and I spoke many times about his life and sorrows and mine. I always felt that Rik had so much to give…love, crazy jokes and empathy.

I will miss him and would like to extend my deep and sincere condolences for the loss of your son, brother and friend. He will not be forgotten.



Love Vicky

Vicky Fleming

August 30, 2018 | Schenectady, NY


Jordan and family my thoughts & prayer to all the family and friends on riks passing if i can do anything let me know

dawn dezago


Rik-

I am, and shall always be, your friend. I will miss the theoretical physics discussions and our friendly banter. You are part of the family I chose. Be at peace, Rik. You made an impact on my life and you will be missed.

MCP


I was, and am completely devasted to hear of Riks passing, I loved him as if he were my own,I will miss him forever and always and then some…I consider myself very blessed to have know Rik, I send my sincere condolences to all of his family during their deepest time of sorrow…Rest now Rik…God has you…xoxoxoxox…..


Kristinawoodmansee posted a condolence
Friday, August 31, 2018

My condolences to Riks family, Rik was a good man. I will miss him dearly


Arlene Brouillette posted a condolence

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Kim told me about the passing of Rik. I am so saddened to hear of your loss. He has such a lovely smile in this picture and I loved his laugh……may he find peace in being reunited with his mother and Nova and may you find Peace as you focus on the positive memories. Love and prayers.

.

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Cape Cod Summer 2018

19th year at Maurices Campground in Wellfleet, Mass….CAPE COD.

Started out with both girls, then Abby went home and spent most of the summer with Alissa. At the end of summer Abby came out again for a few weeks.

Alissa and her new Indian boots

Another Dairy Queen moment

Late summer pudding tweat for Alissa, Jack and Abby

Full house at the end of summer

Remember When… first posted during the run for the Iraq War. things have not got better

nice

REMEMBER WHEN



REMEMBER WHEN you displayed your flag on the front porch on the 4th of July, and you didn’t have to worry about whether it would be misinterpreted as support for a corrupt president and his administration?

REMEMBER WHEN ‘Support the Troops’ meant equipping our military with everything necessary for battle, instead of just being a catchy phrase that looked good on a bumper-sticker?

REMEMBER WHEN your tax dollars paid for things like improved education and social programs, instead of making Halliburton shareholders millionaires?

REMEMBER WHEN you watched movies about WWII, and it was the enemy who tortured captured American soldiers, instead of American soldiers torturing the people they’d allegedly ‘liberated’?

REMEMBER WHEN you heard something on the TV news or read something in a newspaper, and you didn’t have to go to the internet to find out just how much of it was fact, and how much of it was ‘spin’?

REMEMBER WHEN a politician was caught with his hand in the cookie jar and he resigned in disgrace, instead of excusing his own behaviour by claiming that his political opponents were equally as guilty of wrongdoing?

REMEMBER WHEN ‘Made in the USA’ labels on products were the norm, and not a total oddity?

REMEMBER WHEN you hitchhiked through Europe as a teenager, and you DIDN’T have to replace the American flag on your knapsack with a Canadian flag in order to be a welcomed guest in a foreign country?

REMEMBER WHEN organized crime figures had to make phone calls from the corner phone booth, because they were the only people who had to worry about wire-taps?

REMEMBER WHEN telling a fellow politician on the floor of the House to ‘go f*ck himself’ was considered behaviour unbecoming an elected official, instead of being accepted as the way a Vice President behaves himself?

REMEMBER WHEN you could pretty well count on the fact that if the president said it, it was based on sound intelligence and was probably true?

REMEMBER WHEN you could rely on your elected representatives to put your interests ahead of the corporations that filled their campaign coffers, or the lobbyists who gave them great basketball tickets?

REMEMBER WHEN you didn’t even KNOW what religion the people you voted for were, because it didn’t really matter? Remember when you didn’t know what party your neighbour belonged to, because that didn’t really matter either?

REMEMBER WHEN the pension you’d worked for your whole life wasn’t in danger of being wiped out by corrupt CEOs, assisted by respected accounting firms that made that corruption almost impossible to detect?

REMEMBER WHEN you could brag that as an American, you were guaranteed things like free speech and due process of law, without checking the nightly news to see whether those rights were still in effect?

REMEMBER WHEN the president upheld the law of the land, instead of coming up with ‘legal loopholes’ to support the idea that he’s above the law?

REMEMBER WHEN you could say, “I’m a proud American,” without qualifying it with a list of all of the things your government is doing that you’re not exactly proud of?

REMEMBER WHEN you actually thought that the people in charge of running your country were smarter than you were?

REMEMBER WHEN your parents worked all their lives to ensure you a better life, instead of worrying about how bad the life they’d be leaving their children might be?

REMEMBER WHEN the importance of clean drinking water and breathable air were unquestionable mandates, and not some crazy hippie agenda to be weighed against corporate profits?

REMEMBER WHEN questioning your government’s policies was seen as ‘participating in the process’, and not ‘giving aid and comfort to the enemy’?

REMEMBER WHEN the ‘enemy’ was a country or military force that posed a threat to American democracy, and not a nation of innocent civilians who whose destruction was dismissible as ‘collateral damage’?

REMEMBER WHEN your country went to war based on facts beforehand, instead of constantly-changing suppositions after-the-fact?

REMEMBER WHEN ‘patriotism’ was judged by your words and actions, and not by whether you were a member of the party currently in power?

REMEMBER WHEN the ‘American Dream’ was attainable through diligence and hard work, and not the luck of the ‘outsourcing’ draw?

REMEMBER WHEN the election of a president was considered the result of democracy in action, and not the result of Diebold executives doing the job they were expected to do?

REMEMBER WHEN you sang ‘God Bless America’ as a kid, and never thought you’d grow up to wonder if, in view of your country’s actions, asking God’s blessing was asking a bit too much?

I REMEMBER WHEN … and I wonder if these ideas will become ancient history by the time those of us old enough to recall them are dead and gone.

A little ride in the rain

Took the girls for a ride… We went to Warner’s Lake and down the Letter S to Stewarts. I got the girls some candy and then we went over to the visitor’s center at Thatcher Park. I was really impressed by this place. It must have cost plenty and I wonder if the State paid the whole thing, I hope not. Here is a couple of pixs to took of the girls.

Sweet Alissa is my favorite

Beautiful Abigail is my favorite

My beautiful Aunt Donna

Rowland, Madonna M. LATHAM

Madonna Rowland

Madonna M. “Donna” Rowland, 77, of Latham Ridge Road died on Monday, May 21, 2018, at her residence after a three-month illness.

Born in Albany, Donna was the daughter of the late John W. and Mary A. Emmott Mulligan; and wife of the late Donald J. Rowland. Donna was raised and educated in Albany and she was a graduate of the Academy of the Holy Names. Donna had resided in Latham for the past 52 years and prior to Don’s passing she had been a homemaker and stay at home mom. After the sudden loss of Don, Donna started a career at the N.Y.S. Dept. of Motor Vehicles with a clerk position. She had retired the first time in 2006 and then returned on a part time basis two days a week, retiring a second time in February of this year.

Donna took care of her own home until her illness, she was a Yankees fan and enjoyed traveling with her daughter to Cape Cod and Florida. Donna was a longtime communicant of Our Lady of Assumption Church in Latham. Survivors include her children, Donald J. (Dee) Rowland Jr. and Douglas J. Rowland both of Latham, and Deborah M. Rowland of Clifton Park; a sister Irene O’Toole of Utica; her grandchildren, Suzanne (Mark) Fenzel) Rowland, Stephanie (Chris) Dobert, Kelly L. and Gregory Rowland. Donna was the sister of the late Mary Simpson.

The Rowland family wishes to thank Beth from the Community Hospice for her compassion and care during Donna’s illness.

Funeral, 10 a.m. Wednesday, May 30, in Our Lady of Assumption Church, 498 Watervliet Shaker Road, Latham, followed by an interment service in the St. Agnes Mausoleum. Relatives and friends are invited and may call from 4-8 p.m. at the Bowen & Parker Bros. Funeral Home, 97 Old Loudon Road, Latham on Tuesday, May 29.

The family request donations in memory of Madonna M. Rowland may be made to the Transitional Services Assoc., 127 Union St., Saratoga Springs, NY, 12866 or the Community Hospice c/o St. Peters Hospital Foundation, 310 S. Manning Blvd. Albany, NY, 12208. Arrangements by the Perry-Komdat Funeral Chapel Inc. Averill Park. Visit perrykomdat.com for directions and a private guestbook.


May 29, 2018

So sad hearing this, My condolences to the Family. SIP my Friend

May 28, 2018

Donna, You were like a big sister to me. We always had such a great time together. You were the best cake decorator ever. I loved your big smile, kindness and personality. I was your little flower girl and was honored to me in your wedding. I loved the last 2 1/2 hours we spent together covering so many things. I told you that I heard heaven was a great place and that my Mom was going to greet you and you smiled. I am sure she was there to meet you and is showing you around. Love and Kisses. I will miss you very much. Until we meet again….. Love Jeannie
May 28, 2018

Mr Rowland My sincerest sympathies

May 28, 2018

I’m so very sorry for your loss! You are in our thoughts & Prayers

May 28, 2018

Rest in Peace. Mom, Dad and Don will be happy to see you. I am pretty sure that heaven has a beautiful in ground pool waiting for all of you to get be with each other. I will miss your laugh and kindness pie lady.

May 27, 2018

Lacrimosa dies Ilka, qua resurget ex Fabiola indicandus homo reus. Huic ergo parce. Deus Pie Jesu Domine, Dona did requiem. Amen.

May 27, 2018

Madonna, the sweetest smile with a kind word at every meeting. I am better for having met you many years ago at DMV. I am saddened by this news. I know that as surely as I draw my next breath, our Father in heaven has prepared a place in his kingdom for you. My condolences to your family, may peace come to them in the quiet of their homes.

May 27, 2018

Donna, I will miss you. You were like a breath of sunshine. I will keep you in my prayers. Love, Irene

May 27, 2018

My beautiful Aunt Donna…always like a big sister to the Simpson children. When I think of her I think of the class she always showed her entire life. Will never forget her taking us around town in her convertible. Her laugh will stay with us. To all of the Rowlands, we were all lucky to have one of the Mulligan girls to be our mother. Love, hard work and the importance of a close family is something we all were so lucky to have. It is true, when you lose your mom it hurts so much, but with time all of the good times and the things your mom taught you will soothe the pain.
With love from your favorite nephew Robert. (that was our little joke)
May 27, 2018

So sorry to hear of Donna’s passing. She was a dear friend when we both worked in the legal bureau at DMV. My sincere condolences to all.


Rowland Family

Donna and sister Mary at Cape Cod

Donna and Zachary dance at his wedding

John W. Mulligan and his 3 daughters

Donna and Donald Rowland

My very young Aunt Donna…always joy in her face…how beautiful


comments can be sent to

helderweb2000@gmail.com

try again

3 months in Latin America

by Robert John Simpson

First…….the history lesson

Right after school, I spent a year on the road – my backpack and guitar and the world… 21 years old and I knew it all. I first hitched a ride out to California and back to New York. That was easy. I then went through Europe and across Asia to India. This was the big thing I did as a young man. When I got back home from my trip I worked as a laborer, helping build the Capital District Psychiatric Center.. (A building which would play some role in my life at a later date). I had my money saved up to travel to South America, had the maps up on the wall and I was just about set to take off before winter hit upstate New York.

Something happened which delayed my trip for awhile… I got a call for a State job interview, this is just what I wanted/my parents wanted for me… I stayed in the same place for 30 years, I raised my three sons, dealt with my wife’s ever serious illnesses etc…. So in October 2009 I was ready to get back on the road again. This time I was 60 years old, and not 21, but after all my experiences, a much stronger and I think a better man.

The first place I wanted to see was the town of Ierapetra, Crete. I spent several months there before going across, Turkey, Iran, Afganistan and Pakistan to India. The City of Ierapetra is the southern most city in Europe. I remember singing, drinking, trying to score there… There were about 30 young people staying there from Europe, Canada and the USA. We sang Beatle songs and danced to Greek music. I made friends with Antonio, a blind Greek who played the mandolin. I can still remember hugging him for the last time and promising to come back to Crete.

After 40 years, I got to see a much larger version of Ierapetra. They built massive concrete structures and I could not even find the street where “our” tavern was where we sang, drank and danced. I got out of there in 2 miserable days. When I was waiting for my bus out of town I went to a tavern for a quick coffee. I told the people there, in my primitive Greek, that I had been in their town 40 years ago and played my guitar with Antonio. Their faces lit up and told me they remember him. One guy went out and came back with a large picture of Antonio with his mandolin. I was too late to see my old friend, but I felt I made good on my promise to return….

I had one month on the Greek Islands – October… the weather was perfect, the students were back in school and plenty of fish, wine and salads for me. Next I went up to a very cold Serbia, on a train to Belgrade to visit my friend Marco and his family, then to Romania to visit my friends in Timisoura and Iasc. I then hitched a ride down to Bucherest and flew to Istanbul. That city has really grown over the years. I enjoyed going back to the places I had been to before. This time I bought a 7 day bus tour of inner Turkey. I got to visit Capadoicia, Pulmukuli, Kudusa and Gillipoli. I had a great time and being part of a tour was much better than just wondering around by myself.

So the point is, I had 2 great months on the road in Europe and Turkey and I really liked it. Back to the original point of all of this.

My trip to Latin America was postponed by 40 years. In December, 2009 I bought a round trip ticket down to Rio. I just picked a date to leave in the middle of February. A 3 month trip should be long enough to see what was going on down there. My plan was to go up the coast of Brazil and get to the mouth of the Amazon. I think the idea of a boat ride across Brazil might have been the major objective of this trip.

so back to the story.


……flying into Rio

International flying is starting to get to be a normal thing for me. I flew down to Rio and found myself on a bus to the Ipanema beach. Constantly looking for that statue of Jesus with his arms spread out… I did find my hostel and was amazed that it was right next to the place where the Girl from Ipanema was written. It seems like all the tourists who go to Rio have seen the movie “City of God”. This file is about all the violence and poverty associated with the favelas, the slums on the hills where the poor people live. So I tried to not look like a tourist..but it was difficult, i had my winter white skin look. I was surprised to see a sign at the hostel that mentioned the last Carnival parade to be held the next day. I really thought that I was getting to Rio too late to see any of the festivities. So on Saturday nite I got on the subway and found the sombredromo, the stadium where the parade is held. Parade is really not the right word for what this is. It starts at 9pm and goes onto the next morning at 7am. I was lucky enough to sit next to a family who had a daughter who spoke great English. After awhile I was drinking beer and starting to move my body to the music… The parade groups all had a fantastic drum corps who made the place rock…. after all these months i am still dancing to that beat (just move our shoulders, the body will follow). I hung out until about 6 am and I was just to sleepy to make it through the whole deal. I got a subway back to the hostel and slept for a few hours.

I was lucky enough to pick the right time when the Rio finals were being held. With 100,000 other football fans, I got to see the Rio final the next day. That was the second live soccer game I have been to and it was so amazing. I had to stand on my chair throughout the whole game just to see the field. I was always thinking…”what did I do to deserve the luck of getting to Carnival and the football finals”… but there I was in Rio.

Of course I had to go see Christ up on the hill and look down at Rio…. I visited the famous tile steps in St. Theresa Favela and got a real good sunburn on the Ipanema Beach, listening to live Bossa Nova music.

After a week of Rio I took the bus to the Rotaviara (pronounced Ho dough V aria). I took a 3 hour bus trip up to Buzios on the coast. I had reservations at the Buzios Beach Hostel for 3 nites. It turned into 2 weeks and I really did not want to leave. This hostel is run by Stephen from Ireland/Australia and his assistant, Adrian from Ireland. What a great team. There were people from Chile, Argentina, the UK and Austria there, and me the only USA person. The place was right down the street from the Geriba Beach… Now I never go in the ocean, but this place was so nice, and the water was so warm I went in every day.

.

Buzios, Brazil, the 3 UK girls, the guys and girl from Chile and Adrian and Stephen who ran the hostel

so then i went to Ouro Preto, a college town on hills. Very pleasant place to stop for a few days. This picture was taken from my hostel where i was the only visitor. I forgot just how beautiful this part of Brazil is… look at that church..the mountains. I was in such a hurry I did not always get to appreciate where I was.

Ouro Preto, a college town on hills. Very pleasant place to stop for a few days. This picture was taken from my hostel where i was the only visitor. I forgot just how beautiful this part of Brazil is… look at that church..the mountains. I was in such a hurry I did not always get to appreciate where I was.

then off to Brasilia, the capitol of Brazil. I wanted to see the buildings designed by Oscar Neimeyer, who designed building in Albany, NY. The capitol was not built for tourists but I got to see the government buildings. Then I flew to Belem the place where the Amazon flows into the Atlantic Ocean. I got to buy a ticket for a boatride to Manaus. This was a slow boat where everybody sleeps in a hammock on the top deck. From Manaus we got another boat to the border of Columbia, Peru and Brazil, Then a jet boat to Iquitos, Peru.

There was a group of us..An American girl from Romania, An Irish girl, and a guy from Paris. from Iquitos we took a jet to Pucallpa. After 2 weeks of boat, jet and bus travel we were still in the Amazon. We split up and I went with the Romanian by bus to Huanuco. We finally got to Huaraz. Of all the worst, terrible and dangerous bus rides I took in 60 countries, the bus trips over the Peru mountains was THE WORST. Have you ever seen the videos were the buses fall off the roads and fall down into the valleys? Well we were close but I am still here.

So down to Lima then a 26 hour bus ride to Cusco. A very nice place and a beautiful town square, filled with people who come down from the hills to sell their stuff. We took a bus and a train to Agua Caliente at the foot of Machu Pichu, spent the night and then a day up there. Once in a life time opportunity to see such a beautiful place. Then to Puno, a boat trip to Lake Titicaca, down to Arequipa which is in the middle of several semo-active volcanos.

A side trip to the Colca Canyon to see the Condors….here is a video….

https://youtu.be/JJc17e66dGI

Then a jet trip from Arequipa to Santiago.. nice to see the west coast of Chile from the air. I visited my Chile friends, went over the Andes to Mendoza, enjoyed the Malbec wine, got to see Iguazu Waterfalls, the biggest and the best in the World. Back to Rio and flew home. This trip took 4 months and I got a great taste of South America.

Pictures to save

Rest Seekers in East Berne…good food, good job and now long gone.

Rik and Jordan washed dishes there

Lake Titicaca, Peru, Bolivia

this was a Walt Disney re-creation of the old day, the poor people were acting the part and had TVs in the huts. I did stay overnight with a local family on one of the islands. That was very real, but the high attitude really made me sick. Nice experience but not all that pleasant.

A day at Machu Pichu, Peru… never thought I would make it here, but I did.

Woodstock plus 25 years… Donna back with family

Lahore Pakistan.. 1972 I was on my way to India. Wearing my Mexican Shirt…

Getting a well at my new land in Knox, NY… that FORD LTD was just a terrible car

Great Day of fishing on White Birch Pond

We were a great family

The 7 Simpsons

Zachary, Jordan and Rik on the logs

My second world trip

3 months in Latin America, and other travel

by Robert John Simpson

First…….the history lesson

Right after school, I spent a year on the road – my backpack and guitar and the world… I first hitched a ride out to California and back to New York. That was easy. I then went through Europe and across Asia to India. This was the big thing I did as a young man. When I got back home from my trip I worked as a laborer, helping build the Capital District Psychiatric Center.. (A building which would play some role in my life at a later date). I had my money saved up to travel to South America, had the maps up on the wall and I was just about set to take off before winter hit upstate New York.

to see more about my trip to India see here

https://helderweb.wordpress.com/page/2/

Something happened which delayed my trip for awhile… I got a call for a State job interview, this is just what I wanted/my parents wanted for me… I stayed in the same place for 30 years, I raised my three sons, dealt with my wife’s ever serious illnesses etc…. So in October 2009 I was ready to get back on the road again. This time I was 60 years old, and not 21, but after all my experiences, a much stronger and I think a better man.

The first place I wanted to see was Ierapetra, Crete. I spent several months there in 1971 before going across, Turkey, Iran, Afganistan and Pakistan to India. The City of Ierapetra is the southern most city in Europe. I remember singing, drinking, trying to score there… About 30 young people were staying there from Europe, Canada and the USA. We sang Beatle songs and danced to Greek music. I made friends with Antonio, a blind Greek who played the mandolin. I can still remember hugging him for the last time and promising to come back to Crete.

After 40 years, I got to see a much larger version of Ierapetra. They built massive concrete structures and I could not even find the street where “our” tavern was where we sang, drank and danced. I got out of there in 2 miserable days. When I was waiting for my bus out of town I went to a tavern for a quick coffee. I told the people there, in my primitive Greek, that I had been in their town 40 years ago and played my guitar with Antonio. Their faces lit up and told me they remember him. One guy went out and came back with a large picture of Antonio with his mandolin. I was too late to see my old friend, but I felt I made good on my promise to return….

I had one month on the Greek Islands – October… the weather was perfect, the students were back in school and plenty of fish, wine and salads for me. Next I went up to a very cold Serbia, on a train to Belgrade to visit my friend Marco and his family, then to Romania to visit my friends in Timisoura and Iasc. I then hitched a ride down to Bucherest and flew to Istanbul. That city has really grown over the years. I enjoyed going back to the places I had been to before. This time I bought a 7 day bus tour of inner Turkey. I got to visit Capadoicia, Pulmukuli, Kudusa and Gillipoli. I had a great time and being part of a tour was much better than just wondering around by myself.

So the point is, I had 2 great months on the road in Europe and Turkey and I really liked it. Back to the original point of all of this.

My trip to Latin America was postponed by 40 years. In December, 2009 I bought a round trip ticket down to Rio. I just picked a date to leave in the middle of February. A 3 month trip should be long enough to see what was going on down there. My plan was to go up the coast of Brazil and get to the mouth of the Amazon. I think the idea of a boat ride across Brazil might have been the major objective of this trip.

so back to the story.

…..flying into Rio

International flying is starting to get to be a normal thing for me. I flew down to Rio and found myself on a bus to the Ipanema beach. Constantly looking for that statue of Jesus with his arms spread out… I did find my hostel and was amazed that it was right next to the place where the Girl from Ipanema was written. It seems like all the tourists who go to Rio have seen the movie “City of God”. This film is about all the violence and poverty associated with the favelas, the slums on the hills where the poor people live.

So I tried to not look like a tourist..but it was difficult, i had my winter white skin look. I was surprised to see a sign at the hostel that mentioned the last Carnival parade to be held the next day. I really thought that I was getting to Rio too late to see any of the festivities. So on Saturday nite I got on the subway and found the sombredromo, the stadium where the parade is held. Parade is really not the right word for what this is. It starts at

9pm and goes onto the next morning at 7am. I was lucky enough to sit next to a family who had a daughter who spoke great English. After awhile I was drinking beer and starting to move my body to the music… The parade groups all had a fantastic drum corps who made the place rock…. after all these months i am still dancing to that beat (just move our shoulders, the body will follow). I hung out until about 6 am and I was just to sleepy to make it through the whole deal. I got a subway back to the hostel and slept for a few hours.

I was lucky enough to pick the right time when the Rio finals were being held. With 100,000 other football fans, I got to see the Rio final the next day. That was the second live soccer game I have been to and it was so amazing. I had to stand on my chair throughout the whole game just to see the field. I was always thinking…”what did I do to deserve the luck of getting to Carnival and the football finals”… but there I was in Rio.

Of course I had to go see Christ up on the hill and look down at Rio…. I visited the famous tile steps in St. Theresa Favela and got a real good sunburn on the Ipanema Beach, listening to live Bossa Nova music.

After a week of Rio I took the bus to the Rotaviara (pronounced Ho dough V aria). I took a 3 hour bus trip up to Buzios on the coast. I had reservations at the Buzios Beach Hostel for 3 nites. It turned into 2 weeks and I really did not want to leave. This hostel is run by Stephen from Ireland/Australia and his assistant, Adrian from Ireland. What a great team. There were people from Chile, Argentina, the UK and Austria there, and me the only USA person. The place was right down the street from the Geriba Beach… Now I never go in the ocean, but this place was so nice, and the water was so warm I went in every day.

The next place I went to was Ouro Preto (Black Gold). I enjoyed this small college town. The hills were too much for me.

After a week of buses I did make it to Brasilia, the Capital of Brazil. I wanted to see the buildings there designed by the same guy who designed the capitol buildings in Albany. I then flew up to Belem and took a 6 day trip on the Amazon to Manaus. Then a boat trip to the Peru, Columbia and Brazil Border. Peru buses were something to forget. Just one terrible close call after another. eventually I got to Lima and then a 24 hour bus ride to Cuzios.

to be continued….

Griff at 96

I have been fortunate to have visited Thailand 4 times. I never went to the south of Bangkok where all the tourists were going to party. Full moon was not for me as I was over 60. I went up to Chiang Mai way up in the north. This was the old capital of Siam and I always felt comfortable up there. The old city was square and is surrounded by a moat and there are still some of the walls standing. I stayed at a cheap hotel called the White House. It is near the Thai Pai gate. The rooms were $15/night. Not a great hotel, but clean and in a good location.

In 2014 during my last visit I met an incredible woman. Her name was Griff.

She has spent 3 months here in Chiang Mai and after staying at 3 other hotels/hostels was now staying at my hotel. Griff is from northern Prestatyn, Wales and an amazing life force at 96 years old. She was there on her own and is a well seasoned traveler. We started to have our breakfasts together at the UN Irish Pub and Crusty Loaf Pub. The pub is a couple blocks away from our hotel but worth the extra distance. They make their own bread there.

My role was to make sure no motorbike or taxi ran over Griff on our way to and from the Pub. She can really move when she has room. I told her to slow down a couple of times. The pub is on a busy street so I hold her hand as we cross the road.

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Let me describe the way she orders her breakfast…(spoken in a crisp Welsh miltary-precise manner) I do not need the menu… I want tea with ‘boiling’ water…2 hard boiled eggs…peeled and do not cook them as long as yesterday….1 piece of whole wheat bread lightly toasted, some butter and some honey and no jelly…it really is not jelly nor jam.
The waitress is use to the breakfast orders and they all love her. We usually arrived at the pub’s courtyard at 8:50 am. Our talks go on and on, most of the time past noon and a couple of times past 1 pm. We eventually had German and UK people showing up just to be in her presence.

Our talks were amazing…she has been everywhere. She told me about the military. She worked at a radar base in Belgium when the country was still occupied. She was stationed in Ghana and she went out looking for snakes and birds. She was an excellent horse women. She later was stationed in the UK Sector of post war Germany.

At first she told me the internet was stupid but I think I changed her mind. She asked me to find a 1944 BBC production of Under Milkwood as narrated by Richard Burton. This was written by a famous Welsh man. Dylan Thomas. I found the program on Youtube and we listened to most of it at the Wat Chiang Man Temple. She did not like that Youtube only gave you 10 minute bits at a time. I have a couple hours of audio recording of her and eventually will post it.

She told me about an Australian poem she memorized when she was 6. And now 90 years later she still knows the whole thing. Bannerman of the Dandennong is a long poem and she can still recite it. I found it on the web and read it as she recited it.

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Griff with her German admirers

We both left from Bangkok on the same day for Europe.

I recorded several hours of our talks and will try to post them here.

Winter 2017-2018

A long easy winter… We had our driveway plowed once and our wood supply held up pretty good. Looking forward to the Spring and moving around outside. Rik came back and is living in the very cold porch. Jordan is taking care of the transportation needs of the family. We need a bigger car to move the girls around. The little ECHO Toyota is going on 200,000 miles and only has 2 doors.

Yesterday we had a sad day remembering my wife Donna. She had her 60th birthday but missed it. Going on 4 years since she took off to GOD KNOWS WHERE. Zachary and Rik visited Donna’s grave and left some flowers. I know Donna would be very proud of her sons and grandkids. They are all enjoying life and doing positive things.

Abby continues to take horseback lessons at the Van Etten Farm. She Uncle Zachary bought her some riding pants, riding boats and a nice helmut. She is getting to be a very good horse woman. Alissa turns 8 this summer and she wants to learn how to ride horses too. Abby is getting to be a little techno wiz. She is using her art talent to make some nice youtube videos. Here are some of her latest sketches..

And here is Ronan. He somes over on Sundays and plays with his cousins.

Ronan is the same age as Alissa, his eyes are not that red

Jeff Ingleston, one of Jordan’s childhood friends has been doing some work around my house. He put blinds up in each window, and we have plenty of windows. He has painted and fixed things. Abby just did a sketch of Jeff and here it is..

Alissa is attached to her Apple Tablet. She has done well in 2nd grade. I think the tablet really helped her learn to read. I wanted to get someting captured to keep my blog going. My travel blog is here and sometime I need to keep it separated from the family stuff.

Just got a Samsung chrome book which is also a tablet. I think I am losing it to the girls. We all use it. Now I have to figure out how to publish this.

Most of my computer time is spent on TWITTER. I am mad at FACEBOOK and drastically curtailed its use.

rjs

Knox, NY

Feb 20, 2018