Saturday, November 24, 2012

Old Farmsteads of NY

(Old horse barn abandoned)
Western New York is farm country and the country side is filled with family farms, many abandoned to foreclosure sitting  empty and alone looking sad. Another reminder of the failing economy and the prosperous life they once had. Here is a collection of old farm pictures I took while driving through the countryside.
This once abandoned homestead has been brought back to life and is once again a beautiful home.  Years ago this house sat empty, over run with weeds and brambles.  This shows what a little TLC can do.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Reflections of Saigon

                      (Picture was taken Sept 1967 upon my arrival)

The following is a poem that I wrote about Saigon for my book "Poems of a forgotten war" hope you enjoy it.


When I first saw this place we formed a bond

The streets of this city were a sight to behold
I wandered the markets, tasted the food
I walked her streets and felt so bold

This lovely,lovely unspoiled city
To a young soldier, she seemed so pretty
The smells of food could lift my mood
She would one day be in ruins, such a pity

As a young soldier I loved her
I went to her bars and walked her streets
I watched her people, living and happy
I walked her streets, for my senses, such a treat

From shop to shop I used to hop
You could buy food and silk suits
Girls on the corner wanting your companionship
To look at them you'd not always see their hardship

The girls so tempting and calling
I wonder how many soldiers virtue went falling
Come hither, they'd say
Be my companion for just this day................

This book is a story of war told in the form of poems, check it out today on

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Holidays are here

The holidays are upon us once again. As you plan your fancy trips, cruises and dinners take time out to think of the ones less fortunate than you.
The homeless ones who have nothing at all except life itself, living on the streets or in a car wondering what the next day will bring.

The hungry children that don't think of a Christmas toy or gifts, but all they want is something to eat to give them the strength to see another day.
The children of war who have nothing at all, no home, no family no one at all.

So as these holidays come around take some time to spread some love and lend a helping hand. Take some time to serve up a meal at the local food kitchen.

Make someone else happy this holiday season...

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Being a boy in the country

I was raised in the country on North River Road in W. Lafayette,Indiana. North river road ran north out of Lafayette along the Wabash river so we were river rats as we were always playing down by the river learning how to swim and fish and all the other great activities that rural life had to offer.
We always loved it when our cousins came to visit as we would play on the swings and participate in fun games in the yard. After dark we would play hide and seek and catch lightning bugs.
On rainy days my brothers and I would sit in the house reading books,watching cartoons, eating cracker jacks.
Laundry day was always fun as I got to help my mom hang out the laundry and I got to help carry the clothes out for her.
When I was big enough my dad taught me how to shoot a gun and taught me how to go hunting with him.
After turning 16 I decided to join the military I was sent to Fort Leonard Wood, MO. for basic training and eventually was sent to Vietnam for two years.

After I was released from active duty and came back to the states I joined the Army Reserves and eventually became a Drill Instructor being promoted to 1st Sergeant just before I retired in 1996.
 My military duties took me all over the world allowing me to serve in Okinawa,Japan,Vietnam,Guam and Thailand. I also served in the states at Ft Leonard Wood,MO,Ft Jackson S. Carolina,Ft Meade,MD, Ft Dix,NJ,Ft Indian Town Gap,PA, Ft Benjaman Harrison,IN, Red River Army Depot,TX,Toeele Army Depot in Utah
I later took up writing and published my memoirs in 2010 and have since published three other poetry books and a children's book. I am now working on another poetry book about Vietnam.

Snowflake and the Holidays

We want to tell you about a little Snowflake for the upcoming Christmas holiday.  Especially for all the kids and grandchildren on your buying list.

Snowflake is an endearing story about a very small, very scared little kitten we found in our backyard.  She was on her last leg, hungry and anything could have easily had her for dinner the night we picked her up and brought her inside.  

We have loved her ever since and would not trade her for the world now.  She can be sweet, she can be naughty and yet always lovable and looking so innocent when she does something we find naughty.  She is smart and sometimes outsmarts her owners, in fact she does quite often.

But most important, this is a wonderful lesson, in storybook form with great pictures.  A story that teaches a lesson in a fun way about why animals should never abandoned.  A story about love and many warm days filled with entertainment and compassion.  Snowflake always lets us know she is happy with us, sometimes jumping on Steve's lap and giving him a big kiss on the face. 

We think this will make a wonderful and affordable gift for any deserving child on your list. Would make a great stocking stuffer.
Order your copy today from 

Thank you,

Steve and Roberta (Authors) 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Crook Farm and Schoolhouse

On a recent drive through PA, we stopped at the Crook Farm in Bradford,PA and took the following pictures of the old homestead.

The Crook Farm, a National Heritage Site, stands where it was constructed in 1847 in a beautiful rural setting located at Seaward Avenue Extension, Bradford, PA.
You will enjoy a walk back in time as you tour the 19th century restored farm house, barn, one-room schoolhouse, herb garden, tool house, train depot and outbuildings.

Birkett Mills

The Birkett Mills was established in 1797 and has been in continual operation ever since. It is the worlds largest manufacture of Buckwheat  products . It is located on Main street in the village of Penn Yan,NY.

Monday, November 5, 2012

The Knox house, Coudersport,PA

Vintage picture
(Click picture to enlarge)

This old Italian  Villa style home was owned by F.W. Knox who was a prominent businessman in Coudersport and President of the Coudersport & Port Allegany Railroad. Mr Know was born in 1824 and died in 1884.

                               Picture from the 1970's
                                (Click to enlarge picture)
Many years later the house was turned into a bar and hotel called the "Old Hickory" and was open for over thirty years before falling vacant again. It is said that famous Prohibition Agent Elliot Ness used to hang out here.
                          Vintage picture from the 1990's
The house was boarded up and left to the elements.
                          (Click picture to enlarge)
This picture was taken by me in the summer of 2009 on one of our trips and was used as the backdrop for one of our books....

Sunday, November 4, 2012

The William Goff house 1830

                        (Click picture to enlarge)
This old house was built in 1830 by William Goff near what is now the town of Howard,NY. Mr Goff was born in 1780 and settled here around 1802, behind this house in 1812 he built a brick kiln and mill on on the creek that is now called Goff's creek. The house and grounds is now a museum and pottery shop open during the summer months for all to enjoy.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

If houses could talk

                        (Click picture to enlarge)

There is something about old houses that fascinate me. Driving through the country of NY I came upon this old house along the road in the town of Franklinville,NY.
If old houses could talk think of the stores they could tell. An old chair on the porch where mom used to set, the toys in the yard where the kids once played, the old abandoned cars that once took them to town.  

Now abandoned for whatever reason.  What a shame to see once loved and cared for homes left to the elements.  Now fading into the ground.  So many people in need of housing yet all across America, once good, usable houses sitting to rot.  It's too bad there isn't a way to somehow fix them all up and help families in need enjoy them.  Recent statistics show that now, in America, the abandoned homes outnumber the number of homeless people.  

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The old house on Seneca Lake

Sitting on the hill overlooking Seneca Lake in the town of Dresden,NY. is this beautiful old home.
                       (Click image for larger picture)
This old house was built in 1830 by Christopher Willis and has sit many,many years vacant. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1994. Although it is privately owned it still sits all alone. It is still filled with belongings of the ones who lived there such a long time ago. Some say it is haunted with spirits of the past. Such a shame to see it sit and rot to the ground.................

Old Schools

The age of modern times and new schools have left these old schools to sit abandoned falling down and boarded up as a reminder of the times past

With communities trying to save taxpayer money, schools merge and yet, somehow, the taxes still increase.  But now residents of towns have to pay for the new buildings.

Larger class rooms make it more difficult for those students needing extra help.  Was the old way bad?  Probably not, as many of us who grew up in smaller, more personal, schools will tell you, we still feel we were given a much better education.  We will miss you, old schools!

The following pictures I took on some of my travels across the state.

#1 This one was taken in the town of Salamanca,NY.

                         (click on picture to enlarge)

#2 This one was taken in the town of Bradford,PA.
                         (Click on picture to enlarge)

My old high school,KLONDIKE HIGH,  W. Lafayette,Indiana

                            (Click on picture to enlarge)