Recently Read Books

  • A Delicate Truth- John Le Carre (fiction)
  • Perfect - Rachel Joyce (Fiction)
  • The Expats - Chris Pavone (Fiction)
  • An Event in Autumn - Henning Mankel (Fiction)
  • Winter in Madrid - C.J.Sansom (Fiction)
  • The Brothers - John Foster Dulles and Allen Dulles - non-fiction
  • LIfe Among Giants - Bill Roorbach (Novel)
  • Empty Mansions - Bill Dedman (non-fiction)
  • Woodrow Wilson (non fiction)
  • Lawrence in Arabia (Non-Fiction)
  • In Sunlight and In Shadow by Mark Helpren (Fiction)
  • Lesson in French - Hilary Reyl (fiction)
  • Unbroken- Laura Hillenbrand (Non-Fiction)
  • Venice, A New History- Thomas Madden - (Non- Fiction)
  • Life is a Gift - Tony Bennett Autobiography
  • The First Counsell - Brad Meltzer (Fiction)
  • Destiny of the Republic - President James Garfield non-fiction by Candice Millard
  • The Last Lion (volume III)- William Manchester and Paul Reid (non-fiction, Winston Churchill)
  • Yellowstone Autumn -W.D. Wetherell (non-fiction about turning 55 and fishing in Yellowstone)
  • Everybody was Young- (non-fiction Paris in the 1920's)
  • Scorpion - (non fiction US Supreme Court)
  • Supreme Power - Jeff Shesol (non-fiction)
  • Zero day by David Baldacci ( I read all of Baldacci's Books)
  • Northwest Angle - William Kent Krueger (fiction - I have read 5 or 6 books by this author)
  • Camelot's Court-Insider the Kennedy Whitehouse- Robert Dallek
  • Childe Hassam -Impressionist (a beautiful book of his paintings)

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Black & White Photos the 1950"s

I like the 1950's  and I like black and white photos.  Here are a few photos I found on the internet.  They are different cities and were taken by different photographers, but they each capture a feeling of the 1950's, a simpler time.



Everyone's Mom

Central Park

Suzy Parker


I have to throw in at least one girlie photo

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Berkely Square- London

One of my favorite cities is London.  I have been there five or 6 times.  I would go back again in a heartbeat if I have a chance to do so.  What is it I like so much about London? 
the architecture
the history (from Roman times to current times)
the museums
the Brooks Arcade
South Audley Street
Regent Street
the Berkeley Hotel
the Dorchester Hotel
Hatchards Book Store
Fortnum and Mason store
 the Inns of Court especially Lincolns Inn
 the parks and squares

There are many other things I like about London but those listed above are some of my favorites.  One of my favorite squares is Berkeley Square in Mayfair.  A small urban oasis of green grass and mature trees. A place to sit and watch people, watch birds, have a cup of coffee and just take it easy in London.

 I found the following description on the internet:

Berkeley Square is a town square in the West End of London in the City of Westminster, originally laid out in the mid 18th century by architect William Kent. It is named after the noble Gloucestershire family of the same name whose London home, Berkeley House, which had stood nearby until 1733 and which had served as their London residence when they were away from their ancestral Gloucestershire home Berkeley Castle.

At the southern end of the garden is the Lady of Sumaria (Water Carrier) statue by Alexander Munro, a Pre-Raphaelite sculptor, made in 1858.

The surrounding London Plane trees are among the oldest in central London, planted in 1789.


If you go to London find a vacant bench in Berkely Square.  Watch the people passing by and think about people sitting there for over 200 years.

The Lovely Sharon

The Lovely Sharon. Nothing else need be said.

Monday, September 23, 2013

University of Utah v. BYU - Football

Date:  September 21, 2013

Place: LaVell Edwards Stadium- Provo Utah - BYU Campus

What:  College Football Game

Who:  University of Utah v. BYU

Result:  Utah 20 - BYU 13.


Monday, September 16, 2013

In Sunlight and In Shadow

I just finished a novel entitled In Sunlight and In Shadow by Mark Helpren.  This is a terrific Novel about post World War II New York.  Here is a blurb from a  review:

Entrancing in its lyricism, In Sunlight and in Shadow so powerfully draws you into New York at the dawn of the modern age that, as in a vivid dream, you will not want to leave. In 1946, Harry Copeland has returned after fighting in the 82nd Airborne from North Africa all the way to the Elbe. Reluctantly assuming the direction of the family fine leather goods manufacture, he finds his life unsatisfactory and on hold – until he is “accidentally” united with Catherine Thomas Hale, the woman for whom he has been waiting all his life, although the forces behind his patience have never been revealed to him. A young actress, singer, and heiress, she has been waiting for him, even if she has known this only in flashes that do not come clear to her until the end of the narrative, and that have not prevented her engagement to a much older man who has been taking advantage of her since childhood.

The meeting of Catherine and Harry, their courtship, and their intense love, play out on the stage of New York awakening at mid-century – in the deep worlds of the theater, industry, and high finance, and during the collision of aristocratic New York society with the formidable wave of second-generation, fully assimilated Jews. Though after being broken in the war Harry wants nothing but peace, family, and love, organized crime carries on its extortions as always, even in a city now full of the kind of men who stormed the Point du Hoc and the Siegfried Line. This becomes his moral and physical struggle. While Catherine’s is of a different nature, it is just as consequential, and the courage required of her is perhaps even greater.

For another good review read:

I thought the book was a good story written in a prose that made me read some of the passages over and over again, just to appreciate the way the words were put together.  Reading the book is like reading poetry. Read the following passages slowly:

Early on a Monday, the restaurant was nearly empty. As they waited to be escorted to the terrace, it was the first time they had been to­gether in a small, quiet room. Until then, it had been in the open air, or the automat, which was noisy and busy, with a forty-foot ceiling and whirling fans. Here it was almost silent, the air still. Standing next to Catherine, Harry breathed in. Catherine often smelled like a good department store: new cloth, expensive perfume, fresh air, and, when she carried a purse, fine leather. And when at times, which he would come to know, she would have a gin and tonic, the scent of juniper coming from her lips was far more intoxicating than the alcohol. He wondered if women understood that their apparently insignificant at­tributes often have a power greater than that of armies. It was what he had meant when he had said that the war had been fought for her. Like the atom, which in its internal bonds contains the essence of matter and energy, in her glance, the sparkle of her eye, the grasp of her hand, the elasticity of her hair in motion, the way she stands, the blush of her cheek, sweep of her shoulder, tone of her voice, and snap of her locket, a woman is the spur and essence of existence.

In the very early morning when the sun was trapped by the stubby buildings across the river in Long Island City, it sent out weak rays to scout the gaps between the tenements, and these rays would leap the river and hit the bottles, their dim light making the room glow in preternatural brown, bringing up the colors so gently that they showed even finer than the blazes of color that would follow.

Its a long book but well worth the commitment.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Football Season is Here.

Lovely Sharon and I were going to play golf with friend Terry at 1:00. last Saturday.  Midmorning Terry called and explained that she had a granddaughter commitment come up and would be unable to play.  The Lovely Sharon and I decided that rather than play as a twosome on a business Saturday, we would just hang out at home.  She stayed upstairs doing stuff.  I am not certain what she was doing but it was just stuff.  I stayed down in the Bud Cave and watched the University of Utah game and parts of several other games.  I loved it.

Sunday, we were supposed to play golf at 10:00 a.m. with some friends but we awakened to a rainstorm that was still going at 10:00 and for a couple of hours thereafter. So what did I do?  I watched three NFL games- the morning game, the afternoon game and the evening game.  They were all good games.

I usually don’t watch that many football games on a Sunday or for that matter, that many football games on weekend but what the heck, I loved it.  I gorged on football.  I was a “couch potato” in the total sense of those words.

I don’t suppose I will do the same next weekend but I hope to watch the University of Utah Home Coming game against Oregon State.


Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Adirondack Chair

When I was boy, my grandparents lived next door to our house.  I spent a considerable amount of time at my grandparents’ house and in their yard.  One of my favorite things about their yard was several wooden Adirondack chairs they had on the back patio.  I don’t know whether my grandfather had made these chairs or purchased them.  I know they were heavy, solid and were on their patio for as long as I can remember. I remember that he repainted them most every year

It seems as though I have seen quite a few Adirondack chairs this summer and the Lovely Sharon and I have actually talked about Adirondack chairs.  I started to wonder about the history of the Adirondack chair and I found the following history of the Adirondack chair on the Orvis website:

A Quest for the Ultimate Lawn Chair

Our story begins in 1903 with a gentleman by the name of Thomas Lee. Lee had a beautiful summer place up in Westport, NY right on Lake Champlain, but he also had a bit of a problem. It wasn’t the house, or the view of the lake; the problem was that he didn’t have one decent piece of outdoor furniture. Now, as we all know, standing up while viewing a summer sunset is nice, but watching that sunset while comfortably seated with a cocktail at hand is always nicer. So Lee set out to build his family the ultimate lawn chair. But he didn’t want to make just any old chair. This chair needed to be comfortable and durable, have as solid surface to rest a glass, and above all, be sturdy when placed on the sloping terrain of the Adirondack region. Lee tried out several different designs and, using his family members as “test sitters,” eventually settled on a chair constructed from eleven pieces of wood all cut from one single plank. It was a low-slung, spacious design with a high back and extra-wide armrests for that all-important summer beverage.

Now, things would have been just fine for the Lee family if the story ended here. They were comfortable, they were relaxed, and most importantly, they were off the ground. It was summer and life was good. But things were about to get interesting.

One fine afternoon that summer, as Lee was relaxing by the lake in one of his new chairs, his good friend and hunting buddy Harry Bunnell stopped by to chat. Bunnell, who was a carpenter by trade, took an immediate liking to Lee’s new chair design. As the two men talked, Bunnell suggested he could build Lee’s chairs at his wood shop in the off-season. Bunnell could make a few extra dollars during those cold Adirondack winters; Lee’s chairs would get sold. It was a win-win. “Why not?” thought Lee. Bunnell was a stand-up guy, trustworthy, and above all, he was a friend. So Lee lent the plans to Bunnell and, with nothing more than a handshake and a smile to seal the deal, Bunnell set to work cranking out Lee’s chairs. That winter, Bunnell toiled away, building Lee’s chairs out of hemlock or basswood and staining them in green or medium dark brown. As soon as the Westport residents saw the new chairs, they snapped them up. Bunnell realized he had a huge seller on his hands and had to act fast. In early April of 1904 (and without asking for Lee’s permission) Bunnell filed for a patent (No. 794,777) on “his” new chair design naming it the Westport Plank Chair.

We’re not sure how this affected his relationship with Lee, but we can guess Bunnell no longer stopped by to chat with his old hunting buddy. Harry Bunnell manufactured the Westport Plank Chair for the next twenty years putting his signature on each one. Today, original signed Bunnell chairs are extremely sought after, and can fetch thousands at auction. 

Obviously I have no life if I am researching the history of Adirondack chairs. But I like their look, I like to sit in them and they bring back memories of my boyhood.

I did not take any of the following photos:

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

A View from the Shore Lodge

My last blog entry was about the Whitetail Golf Club in McCall, Idaho.  Whenever we play the golf course we stay in the beautiful Shore Lodge. Here is a picture of the Lodge I found on the internet:

The rooms at the Shore Lodge have balconies overlooking Payette Lake.  Here are some photos I have taken from my Shore Lodge balcony over the years:

Monday, September 2, 2013

The Shore Lodge - The Whitetail Golf Club

The Lovely Sharon and I just got back from a week long golf trip to Idaho.  The primary reason for the golf trip was to play in the 9th Annual Payette Cup Couples' golf tournament at Whitetail Golf Club in McCall, Idaho.  The first Payette Cup Tournament was held in 2005 and the Lovely Sharon and I participated in the first tournament.  We played in the first six tournaments and then we missed the last two. When we received the invitation for this year's tournament we immediately signed up to play.

McCall, Idaho is some 100 miles north of Boise, Idaho. McCall sits on the shore of beautiful Payette Lake, a blue water glacial lake. The Whitetail Golf Course, an Andy North designed course, is one of the top five courses I have ever played.  I have played somewhere around 20 rounds on the course.  Although the course has always been in wonderful condition, this year, the course was in immaculate shape.

The Whitetail Golf Club is owned by Joe Scott, a grandson of Joe Albertson, the founder of Albertson’s grocery store.  In addition to the golf club, Mr. Scott owns the Shore Lodge, a beautiful inn on the shore of Payette Lake.  The Shore Lodge has been an Idaho Institution since 1948.  We love the Shore Lodge and have many fun evenings with old friends and new friends during the golf tournament.  Over the years we have encouraged various friends to play in the tournament.  The first year, 2005, we did not know anyone in the field but we soon became friends with a number of players including Whitetail members Kevin and Cathy.  The second year we brought three Salt Lake couples with us. The third year we brought 17 couples, the fourth year 14 couples and the fifth year 15 couples.  This year Palm Desert friends David and Wesley played in the tournament with us. 

We checked into the Shore Lodge last Wednesday afternoon and had four wonderful nights, parties, great lunches and three rounds of beautiful golf. Over the years I have taken hundreds of photos of the Whitetail golf club, here are a few from this year:

Ladies Tee Box 6th hole

 11th Hole

From the 12th Tee

Looking back at the 12 hole tee box

Looking at the Club house from the 15th green

The Lovely Sharon teeing off on the par five 15th hole

The Club house from the 10th fairway

The beautiful serpentine lake

John checking the yardage

The beautiful 11th hole

The second hole from the ladies tee

David on the Tee

Wesley on the Tee

Here is a photo from 2010
Whitetail is a great golf course.  Its beautiful, its playable and its interesting.  If you stay at the Shore Lodge, you can play White Tail. I highly recommend it.
My next post will be photos taken from our room's balcony at the Shore Lodge.