56 years ago today…

Do you remember where you were? I was in high school, having just come back from lunch and getting ready for my next class. A classmate walked into the room with a girl and he said to me, Jon, didn’t Kennedy just get shot?” I thought he was just pulling a prank on her and said, “Yes”. Just a minute or so later they made the announcement that the president had indeed been assassinated in Dallas Texas.

A look back at the JFK assassination


It doesn’t suck!

One of my good friends lost his niece yesterday due to a motorcycle accident a few days earlier. She was returning to St. Louis from a trip to South Dakota and the accident occurred very close to home. I didn’t know her personally but I was reading all the condolence messages and thoughts and prayers on her Facebook page. She obviously was a very inspirational person. I came across this, which was her very last post on Facebook the day before her accident. It’s very powerful when you think about it.


Jonco’s True Bits – The Iceman Cometh…

One of my earliest memories is from when I was a young boy and we lived in a three room apartment on the second floor of a row of flats.  We were poor, or most certainly a lower income family, but my brother and I didn’t realize that.  We lived on our father’s income as a laborer working at a factory that made asbestos shingles.  

We didn’t have a refrigerator at the time but we had an ice box. 

An ice box, as I recall, was a mostly wooden cabinet that had some metal shelves and tin interior that we kept our milk and a perishable foods in.

Ours wasn’t nearly as nice as the one shown here. It had a large boxed area in it that had room for one giant block of ice.  A couple of times a week the iceman came and replenished our ice box with a new 25  pound block of ice.

My most vivid memory is of that iceman draping a piece of burlap, the kind that large sacks of potatoes used to come in, over his shoulder and then using a giant pair of tongs to grasp the large block of ice and then throw it over his shoulder.  He would then climb the stairs to our little second floor apartment.  I remember so vividly sitting on the stairs and the iceman had to either step over or walk around me as he maneuvered his way up the steep steps.  I recall seeing large drops of water dripping form the ever melting block of ice he had flung over his shoulder.   I would run my fingers or toy cars through the drops and could feel the coldness of the water.  

The iceman would collect his small fee and be on his way to his next stop only to return again in a few days.  I don’t ever remember him saying anything to me nor do I remember what he looked like but I think I’ll always remember those cold drops of melted ice on just about every one of the steps up to our home.


After the Rain

I haven’t flown the drone lately so I got it out twice today to capture upcoming rain storms but both times it started to rain by the time I was ready to fly. So I waited until after the second rain and flew for a short while mostly to get some shots of the landscaping in the back yard.

I took it out after dusk when the landscape lights came on but it was mostly too dark to see on the video so I just shot some evening sky at the end of the video.


Happy Birthday, Dad!

My dad would have turned 107 years old today if he were still alive.  He was born On March 16, 1912 in Quilin MO.  He married my mom in 1935 when she was 14 years old and he was 23. They were married 55 years when he died in 1990 at the age of 78. 

 This is my favorite picture of him.  I took it at their farm sometime after he retired after having a heart attack in 1973.  He’s standing on a small bridge that we built over a culvert to gain access to their property. 

The old red barn is the only thing left on that property these days and it’s in pretty bad shape. It hasn’t had any maintenance in about 40 years. But it has outlasted all the other buildings.  Here’s some drone footage I took of the barn and the property a few years back.


Friends to the end

I have a life-long friend who died last night.  He had a couple of strokes and had been in a nursing home since mid-October. Last Friday he was taken to the hospital with pneumonia and an infection and it appeared his organs were shutting down. At the hospital, he was put on hospice care and was sedated.  On Tuesday evening he was taken back to the nursing home where he died about ten minutes after arriving.

His name is Mickey. He turned 73 in January. He’ll never see 74.

I feel the need to tell some stories about my friendship with Mickey.  We did a lot of stuff we weren’t supposed to do as teenagers and I probably won’t write about some of them here. You know… the statute of limitations stuff and all.

Read moreFriends to the end