Friday, June 30, 2006

Ryan and I are going on a camping trip this weekend. Is anyone else doing anything special for the holiday? We will be back home by the 4th of July, and plan on fireworks and a bon fire at home that night. We'll see if Mother Nautre cooperates with us weather-wise. Keep your fingers crossed for me.....

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Another one of those days

Well, today was what I would call one of my Mom's "bad days." I didn't see her for long, but the short time I was there visiting was enough to know that she's not doing well today.

I could tell as soon as I walked in that she wasn't thinking straight today. The look in her eyes gives her away every time. She doesn't have to say a word as long as I can see hers eyes. They speak for themselves. She had that wild look that she gets sometimes. I thought to myself "OK, lets see what the issue is today." Normally, there is one thing that she is really focused on, such as the war, the government, or her doctors. Today it was Central State Hospital.

I had gone into the bathroom to change into my work clothes, and when I came out, she was standing in front of the door waiting for me. It startled me at first, opening the door and having her breathing in my face. She said to me....If I ever have to go back to Central State, you claw my eyes out, and if YOU ever have to go to Central State, I'll claw YOUR eyes out.

I've learned the hard way over the years not to try to reason with her. It's my natural instinct to want to explain why her thinking isn't on track. But that's a useless approach. Instead, today, I just responded with "Well, Mom, Central State has been closed for a long time and neihter one of us will ever be there." She seemed somewhat satisfied with my answer, but she was still watching me with untrusting eyes as I gathered my purse and clothes together. I could feel her eyes on my back the whole time. It's strange to have an uncomfortable feeling in the home of my own mother, but sometimes, she's very unpredictalbe. She has been known to hit me with anything she can get her hands on, or slap me in the face for trying to reason with her....yeah, that's what I mean by "learning the hard way."

Anyway, I'm hoping that this will just be one of those short spells, but only time will tell. We're supposed to spend the day together tomorrow, so at least I'll be around most of the day if she doesn't get any better. Sometimes I hate leaving her alone because I never know what to expect from her. Will does a great job most of the time, but he has his own issues as well.

Mom did trigger my interest in the whole story with Central State. If you're not familiar with the hospital, it was one of the state's largest long-term mental facilities for nearly one hundred fifty years until it was closed downin 1994 due to accusations from patients of neglect and mistreatment.

I saw for myself the neglect and mistreatment of many patients when I used to visit Mom there. It was no surprise to see patients lating in the hallway in their own feces, vomit, or anything else they could get their hands on. It was common to see patients fighting outside with one another, or eating dirt and grass as they wandered the grounds. it was a very scary place in so many ways. I can't imagine having spent several years of my life in that environment. I'm sure Mom endured more than I'll ever know at that facility. Some of the matters regarding my mom are rather personal, and my mom would probably not want me to share many details with anyone, but from the little I do know, I wouldn't be surprised if that place turned sane people insane on a regular basis.

There are several articles I have found on the web about Central State. Most of them are about the supposed hauntings there. Some are about a graveyard that was found on the grounds that is believed to hold the remains of several former Central State patients. I have yet to find any information on the accusations that were brought to the state's attention. I would really like to know more of the details. There is a medical museum there now in the old pathology building. I have thought about visiting the museum a few times, but I'm not sure I want to go back to that place. It was such a huge relief when Mom got moved to Logansport in 1994. I never felt uncomfortable there. I NEVER made a trip to Central State alone. Even after I could drive, I always wanted someone with me. Logansport was never like that though. And, luckily, Mom has done so well for the last eight years, that I haven't had to consider visitng another mental hospital. I can only pray that Mom is home for the long haul this time.

Here are a few of the website I found interesting. Let me know if any of you find anything while reading that might tell me more about the accusations that were made.

There are a couple pictures of the hospital above. The aerial view was taken in the 1920's. The other photo is recent. The grounds have been sold and are to be renovated sometime in the future.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Jerry Berry

Here's my little "JERRY BERRY" basking in the sun....just thought it was kind of a cool picture.

Have you noticed that I finally figured out how to put my own pictures on here finally??

I'm still struggling with downloading my pictures to a disc. My options are limited here at work. I'll get it all figured out someday, or better yet, i'll just take my camera to CVS and ask them to do it!!!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Welcome Delilah Jane!!!!

Ryan....the most wonderful man in the world....came to me last week and said take this money and drive to Martinsville. There's a puppy waiting for you...

So here you go...

This is the Newest addition to the family...

WE LOVE HER!!!!!!!!!

Maggie's rose bush

My neighbor and good friend Cindy planted this rose bush in the back yard to remember Maggie Mae. Just thought I'd share.

That dang fly jumped in just at the right time....

Sunday, June 11, 2006

This one's for Billy Preston

This is a song that helps me in times of loss....this is for Billy Preston this time...

Another Good Man Gone~ Dave Katz

Reluctant hero of the family,
His life played out like a tragedy.
A music man was all he claimed to be.

A flash of brilliance like a shooting star,
Etched in your mind for as long as you are.
Give him five minutes and you can feel the music in his heart.

Bringing joy to everyone,
Taking pride in the work that he'd done.

But I never thought that he'd be gone,
I was hopin' there'd be just one more song.
Another man, another good man gone.
Another man, another good man gone.

Singing melodies that warm my cold.
Never fittin' in to a typical mold.
Takin' me back to the days of old.

Telling tales of life and places he'd been,
A prophet of sorts to his following kin.
Visit him once and you knew you'd be back, over and over
and over and over again.

You know we had a lot of fun.
All in all it was a hell of a run.
Remember how we laughed and how we cried.
Fifty three years till his heart grew tired.
But he left his mark just like a brand in iron.

Sometimes I can still hear the music play.
A warm wind blowin' all the clouds away,
Lettin' the sun shine bright in the sky on a cold dark winter day.
No one stays forever young.
Nothing's for sure but the rising of the sun.

RIP Billy Preston

This is a photo of Billy with what Ryan would call his "afro power" and George Harrison when they were invited to meet President Ford.

Billy Preston "The Fifth Beatle" passed away june 6, 2006 at the age of 59.

The great singer-songwriter and performer Billy Preston, the real "Fifth Beatle" has died after a long illness as a result of malignant hypertension that resulted in kidney failure and other complications. As a result of a medical insult he'd been in a deep coma since last November 21st, but was still struggling to recover. He died at Shea Scottsdale Hospital in Scottsdale, Arizona where he'd lived for the last couple of years.

Billy was called the Fifth Beatle because he played keyboards on Let it Be, The White Album and Abbey Road. He also played on the Rolling Stones's hit song Miss You, and often played with Eric Clapton. He also did the organ work on Sly & the Family Stone's greatest hits.

Preston's own hits included "Nothing from Nothing," "Will it Go Round in Circles," and "You Are So Beautiful," which Joe Cocker turned into an international hit. Preston was actually mentored by Ray Charles, and acts like Little Richard, Mahalia Jackson, and James Cleveland had a huge impact on him at a young age. In the early 60s, Billy went to Europe with Little Richard who was playing in Hamburg.

The Beatles were the opening act and as the story goes he was the one who made sure they got fed. His friendship with them lasted through the 1960s and he was the first act signed to Apple Records thanks to George Harrison. The resulting album is called "That's the Way God Planned It." In 1971, Preston played in "The Concert for Bangla Desh." Last year, in one of his final appearances, he performed at a renuion in Los Angeles for the release of the Bangla Desh DVD with Ringo and Harrison's son Dhani on guitar.

More recently, Billy can be heard on the latest albums by Neil Diamond and Red Hot Chili Peppers. He's also featured on the Starbucks soul album "Believe to My Soul" featuring Mavis Staples and Ann Peebles.I had the good fortune to know Billy the last few years, and saw him perform--as chronicled in this column--last August at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Connecticut and last October at the Atlantis in the Bahamas. He was one of those spectacular performers who put everything into his show even though he had no working kidneys by then and was receiving dialysis. He was a warm, wonderful human being with a mile wide smile. He was also a genius musician, the likes of whom we will not see again.

Rest in peace, Billy. You deserve it.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Maggie Mae Gallo 1992-2006

Maggie Mae Gallo 1992-2006

Maggie Mae Gallo, born in Kokomo , in 1992, passed away at approximately 12:25 P.M. Tuesday June 6th, 2006 at her home in West Middleton.

Maggie was the beloved pet and daughter of Ryan Chaplin and Allison Gallo, who survive.

Maggie came to join the Gallo family in 1999 where she met her soul mate Jerry R. Gallo, who also survives.

Maggie was a timid but loving gal. She enjoyed spending time in her bed licking Jerry's ears. She also enjoyed as occasional walk to the United Methodist Church in West Middleton, as well as walks in the park. Maggie had a deep appreciation for cheese, and would often dance on her hind legs for an extra piece. She especially enjoyed chasing the rotweiler's at the nieghbors house.

Also surviving are her three sons: Sampson Harris, Simon Depalma, and Jerry Junior (J.J.) Depalma, all of Kokomo. He is also survived by a brother: Franklin Gallo, of West Middleton. Also surviving are her grandparents Will and helga Snyder and Dan and Janet Chaplin all of Kokomo. She also had several aunts and uncles: Clinton Walker, Cindy Taylor, Michael Guimont, and many many others.

Maggie enjoyed a full life and was a perfect companion for Jerry and Franklin.

Services have already been held in Maggie's back yard Tuesday afternoon.

We all pray she is at peace.
I miss you my little sweet pea Maggie Mae!!!
Stink-mouth.....Fatty girl......
We all love you!!!!!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Old folks do the darndest things.........

Well, I made it back safely from Hookahville, but I'll need a little more time to write about for now, you'll have to settle for this little story.....

So, my friend Wes and I are standing across the street from the hospital taking a break, and we see this car slow way down in the parking lot. It made us a little uncomfortable....the three people in the car were just staring at us with blank looks on their faces.

Next, the car backs up, and stops again. This has probably been a good two or three minutes at this point. We're wondering "what the heck are these people doing?" We see the man in the driver's seat waving his hand around wildly, and the next thing see is a little old woman getting out of the back seat. At this point, we're wondering if we should go offer some help.....this looks very strange......

So, this poor little old lady walks to the front of the car and bends over touching the temporary rubber speed bump that was placed in our parking lot to slow down all the crazy Kokomo drivers that detoured through our parking lot during the road construction on Berkley. She grabs the end of it and tries to pick it up stating loudly enough for us to hear across the street that it is too heavy for her. I'm thinking..."are you serious? Did this woman just try to move that speedbump?!?"

Then, the man in the front leans out the window and says "get the other end....and just go back and forth with it." So, just as she was told, the old woman takes one end at a time, about an inch at a time, and gets the whole freakin' speedbump out of the way. Mind you, it's not like these folks were driving some fancy car that they wouldn't want to jar around with a speedbump...I have no idea what the purpose of all her efforts was, but she hopped back in the car, and off they went.

Of course, being the person that I am, and kind of liking to make it known when I'm irritated, I ran across the street before they pulled away and violently fought the speedbump until it was back in place (it was heavy even for my buff little yoga arms...I felt really bad for the old lady). I really wish they would've poked their little grey heads out and said something to me....I was ready to rumble with the old guy. Not just for being stupid enough to want to move this thing, but especially for having this meek little old lady do the dirty work for him.

I still have no idea what the purpose of the move was other than to get under my skin......and by golly, it worked!! I'm still irritated by their stupidity.................

RIP Ram Rod

I made it back from Hookahville safely, and have a few stories to tell, but for now, I'd like to pay a little respect to a cherished member of the Grateful Dead family who was recently lost to a battle with lung cancer.

I would have posted this sooner, but lack of free time at work has kept me from the blog world for several days now.

On May 17, 2006, Lawrence Shurtliff, better known as Ram Rod, passed away. He was one of the best known stage hands the Dead ever had the pleasure to travel with. He was well known throughout the Dead family for his devotion and love for music and the band.

I ran into this somewhere:"

It began for the Dead when they needed a truck driver. Early in December 1967, the grapevine brought to 710 Ashbury St. a manwho introduced himself as Larry and said, I hear you're looking for agood man.

Truer words were never spoken.His name was Lawrence Shurtliff. He'd been born in Montana and raisedin eastern Oregon, where one of his best friends had an older brother who had fallen in with low company Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters. In 1966 he became a Prankster, and one fine day when the Pranksters needed a leader to help do some work, he jokingly announced that he was Ramon Rodriguez Rodriguez, famous Mexican Guide.

As Ram Rod, he became the heart and soul of the touringGrateful Dead for the next 28 years. He was a man of consummatedignity, honor, and good judgment. In the earliest days, as the entirestage threatened to melt, he was the guy the band depended on to keep things together. And later, if there was an argument, he was the mediator who reminded them of the right values. He was the balance wheel, the gyroscope that kept the wildest circus in human history upright and moving forward. At the end, even in pain, he was the soul of graciousness.

Ram Rod died, May 17, 2006, of lung cancer.

He leaves behind his family, his wife Frances, his sonRudson, and his son by an earlier marriage, Strider, and all the greater Grateful Dead family. Few men were ever more beloved by those who knew him.

May the four winds blow him safely home.

I pray he is at Peace............