Friday, January 28, 2011

A Loving Tribute To My Dearest Friends For Their 50 TH Wedding Anniversary

Fifty years ago on February 4, 1961 my Brother Butch Lichliter married the beautiful Bernadine Curci.Ok before you start thinking I thought you didn't have any brothers or sisters let me clarify, actually Butch my dearest friend is the Brother I never had. I actually know a lot of real brothers who haven't had the great relation ship Butch and I have had. Other than friendly arguments about sports or trivial things I can't ever recall a time when we have actually been mad at each other, or had a serious disagreement. I wonder how many people that have known each other as long as we have can say that. Wow did we have great times. His Mom became like a second Mom to me and my Mom was the same for him as we were always doing things together.

I moved from West Virginia to Maryland in 1953 when I was 13 years old. I started to school at Ellicott City Junior High, didn't know a soul when I started there. Little did I realize that when the country boy from the mountains of West Virginia met Butch from the hills of Ellicott City it was going to influence my life in so many ways.

Butch met this beautiful girl from Dorsey at Vernon's Roller Rink .I was so happy for him and little did I know that him meeting Bernadine was going to have such a profound difference in my life also.

As I said Butch was my best friend and after him and Bernadine had dated a few times he asked me if I would like to go on a double date with Bernadine's best friend Louise Creamer. Bernadine and Louise were as close as friends as Butch and I. The fun that Butch and I always had was nothing compared to the great times the four of us had. Louise, who later became known affectingly as Bubba and I were married in 1959 and when Butch and Bernadine were married in 1961 it was almost like two brothers had married two sisters. That's how close we all were. It started a life long relationship that still goes on today, it was and is still is just like one big extended family. The Jackson's and the Lichliter's, Even though we left Maryland in 1973 our relationship is just as if we just lived around the corner from each other all these years.

We have been through a lot together over these many years, the good and the bad times. Both families have suffered some very sad times over the years. Both families have lost beloved family members. Some major health problems have occurred. But we have shared these times together always being there for each other as much as we can.

By living so far apart we have missed out on some things we would liked to have done together, but we have been there each other through most of the major milestones in our lives, the marriages, the anniversary's, even the birth of one of your grand children, I'll never forget that night for sure. Sadly we have been there for each other through to many deaths in our families also. Butch's Mom, My Mom, Nana, Bernadine's Mom, Bubba, Ron, Tony, numerous other family members on each side. If I tried to cover all of the great memories we have shared you would to live another 50 years to read them all. LOL So many memories, so much fun, so much laughter, I just can't list them all, my fiftieth birthday when all your kids and their spouses showed up for my surprise party, and just as recent as this past September when Joan gave me a wonderful party for my 70 TH birthday and she said Joe I am busy in the kitchen could you get the door and when I opened the door there stood my best friends in the whole world, Bernadine & Butch, a great day was made even greater.

I have never regretted moving to Florida but there are some things I wish I had not missed by leaving Maryland, I cherish the relationship I have had with Sandy, Susan, Sharon, & Shelly and their spouses but I never got to know your Grand children the way I would have liked, but the old saying is we just can't have every thing we would like in life.

I just want to thank you guys for being such an important part of my life especially during Bubba'a health problems and of course her death. Also all the support you have shown me since Martha's stroke.

Even with the sad things that have happened to me through my 70 years in hindsight my life has been wonderful. It has taken me a long time to realize just how lucky I have been and how God has looked out for me.

He needed another Angel in heaven so he called Bubba home to be with him but he guided me to meet and marry another Angel, my Dear Wife Joan.

Speaking of Joan when we were coming to meet you guys for the first time as a couple Joan was a nervous wreck about how it was going to go as she knew how much you loved Bubba. She was then and still is now so grateful that you have accepted her the way you have, she fits right in with all of us and has come to love you guys dearly.

Just a few more thoughts before I wrap this up:

May your anniversary be as happy as you are special,

May your smile be as big as your heart,

May your spring time be filled with friends and flowers,

May your days be beautiful expressions of your spirit,

The special bond you two share has beautifully touched so many lives,

A love like yours is something to celebrate every day not just on special days,

You are one very special couple and two very special friends,

The days and years can go by so fast but memories are made to last,

Always remember the good times and continue to have more great times to remember,

If we could choose for you the kind of day you deserve it would be a day as sunny as your smile, as generous as your heart, and as wonderful as you are.

Forever Friends

We've shared the kind of friendship

that grows deeper through the years

We've seen the ups, we know the downs

We've shared the smiles and the tears.

And through it all I've learned one thing

that there could never be

dearer friend's in all the world

than the ones you are to me.

It has always been hard for men to tell another man they love them. Back in the days when myself, Butch, and our dearly departed friend Jimmy would consume a little alcohol at a party or a wedding, etc., after we would get a little snockered we would tell each other I love you man, one time on our arrival at one of those affairs I said to Butch and Jimmy I have not had any thing to drink yet and before I do I want to tell you guys I love you. I think I embarrassed them, guess what Butch I have not had any thing to drink, I am totally sober and I want to tell you and the world I LOVE YOU.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Papa's Tribute To Carter For His Sixth Birthday

 Wow, in going back over some of my old postings on my BLOG wow is a word I realized I have used a lot in talking about Carter.

 February 1, 2005 Carter was born, I was there about a half hour after his birth and the very first time I held him I felt like a grandfather. His Mommy and Daddy asked me what I wanted to be called, I said I don't want to be called Grandpa, I would rather be called Papa, so I became Papa to a little guy who made a drastic change in my life.

 I have so many great moments to remember since his birth but one I will never forget happened one time when a lot of the family was meeting at the Cheesecake Factory for dinner. I was outside waiting for Carter to come with his Mom and Dad. He had not been walking very long. I was on one side of the street and he was on the other, when the traffic cleared he pulled loose from his Mommy and came running across the street yelling Papa, Papa, and jumped into my arms, with tears running down my cheek I looked up and said now I know for sure there is a God. That also assured me I was a Papa for sure.

 Before Carter started pre-school and now kindergarten he used to go to work with me on my part time job. He had just started to walk and was still in diapers. He enjoyed being with Papa and the people in my office and along my route each day just fell in love with him. They would ask him, is this your Grandpa and he would say no, that's my Papa. LOL

 I picked him up from school one afternoon and his teacher said when he came into class that morning the first thing he said to her was my Papa is picking me up today. I can't tell you how good that made me feel.

 Joan told me one day, Joe you do realize as he gets older his priorities are going to change and we won't be as important to him as we are now. I told her I do realize that but before that happens I want to have enough memories saved up to last me the rest of my life.

Every time he calls me Papa it still is such a beautiful word coming from him. He knows I am his Papa but he also thinks I am just a big over grown kid that wants to have fun with him. When we are together and doing our thing he always seems to have a lot of fun, but I think Papa is having just as much or maybe even more fun than him LOL

 I told Joan I enjoy any time I am with him but I said I especially enjoy the one on one times when it is just him and I. I told her that probably sounds selfish but we just have so much fun when we are together.

 I told Carter I hope you never get to big or to old to give your old Papa and hug and a kiss. LOL

Cuddling with Papa New Years Eve
I could write a book about what having Carter in my life has meant to me. For those of you who have received the hundreds of pictures of him I have sent you over the years, read all the praises I have written about him on my BLOG, in my E-Mails, in my conversations with you about him bear with me I am really going to wrap this up. LOL

 I have loved going to his T-Ball games, his soccer games, and his basketball games. I get very emotional when I have attended his Christmas Pageants, his graduation from kindergarten, etc.

In other words what I am trying to say is he has been such a blessing in my life, he has brought me so much happiness it is hard to put it in words.

He is such a good kid, so polite, so caring, so helpful, always smiling, and so out going. He loves playing the role of Big Brother, and is a big help for his Mommy with Griffin.

He has had such great guidance from Barb, Brett, Susan, and Bill his other grandparents, from his loving Nana, and hopefully from Papa.

Carter, your Papa loves you so much, remain the same wonderful kid you are today and your future will be unlimited. Papa hopes to be around a long time o share some of it with you.

Just a few of the hundreds of pictures we have of him at different stages of his young life.

HAPPY 6 TH birthday Carter.

 Guideposts Magazine asked for pictures to celebrate their Fourth Of July edition, out of the whole country they picked only 5 pictures and Carter's was one of them,

 With Rachel Ray

 When Barb was pregnant with Griffin she said Joe I know you have so much love in your heart for Carter do you think you will have room in there to love Griffin. The answer is for sure, lucky for me he has bonded really well with me also.

Ok That's All Folks

Sunday, January 16, 2011

People Who Love People Are The Luckiest People In The World

For Christmas this year Joan and I decided we were not going to exchange gifts with each other this Christmas. We said we would just get each other a few things for our stockings. Now the question for me what was I going to get her. Joan's favorite singer is Barbara Streisand, since I doubt if she will ever get the chance to see her in concert after seeing ads in the paper and commercials on television I decided to get tickets to a show at the Kravis Center and a few other things for her stocking.

Bob Lappin & The Palm Beach Pops
        Proudly Present
The Streisand Songbook
Featuring Gloria Loring

Showcasing singer and actress Gloria Loring the concert features the music of one of the greatest living legends, Barbara Streisand. Many know Gloria as Liz Chandler in the daytime drama, Days Of Our Lives and her # 1 pop hit Friends and Lovers. Dan Heckman of the Los Angeles Times exclaims Gloria Loring is one of the most pure musical talents in mainstream pop today. Gloria joins Bob Lappin and The Palm Beach Pops to bring to life the timeless songs, The Way We Were, People Who Love People, Somewhere, and other memorable Streisand tunes as well as music from Hello Dolly, Funny Girl, and Yentl.

Well of course it was not like seeing Barbara Streisand but it was a great show. Bob Lappin and the Palm Beach Pops have been around here for 19 years but we had never seen them perform, they are wonderful, after they did their part and an intermission Miss Gloria Loring came on to do the Barbara Streisand Songbook and she also was wonderful, she sang most of Barbara's great hits and did a fantastic job.

As so often is the case certain songs start my mind to thinking and one of the great songs People Who Love People did just that.

The Lyrics:

People who need people,

Are the luckiest people in the world

We're children, needing other children

And yet letting a grown-up pride

Hide all the need inside

Acting more like children than children

Lovers are very special people

They're the luckiest people in the world

With one person one very special person

A feeling deep in your soul

Says you were half now you're whole

No more hunger and thirst

But first be a person who needs people

People who need people

Are the luckiest people in the world

With one person one very special person

No more hunger and thirst

But first be a person who needs people
The link to see the song performed.

People who need people really are very lucky people. Joan and I are both people loving people, we love and appreciate our family and friends so much. Just one case in point Joan had to go in the hospital Christmas Eve and was there 6 days. I let every one know what was going on. Joan has done so much and helped people so much over the years and when they found out what was going on they really responded, phone calls, visits, cards, it was wonderful. Being in the hospital any time is no fun but through the holidays makes it even worse. Well the people came through and what a great thing it was to have so many people respond it kept her spirits up. P/S although she is back to work and feeling much better they are still showing their concern.

I find people that say they don't need people in most cases to be very lonely and sad people.

 Love and thanks to all.