Category Archives: Family

25th Season of “THE” FFL!

Our family is into our 25th season of Fantasy Football! It’s really my brother Al’s deal, and I truly believe there can be no better fantasy league than ours because of him. We started as a literal cut and paste league, with his unbelievable reports sent out by snail mail! Al would gather scores on the fly watching as many TV’s as he could at the same time. He would then get the rest of the scores from the newspaper on Mondays and Tuesdays (after the Sunday and Monday night games). We couldn’t live without a subscription to the USA Today! We upgraded technologies with the times, adding fax, email, and finally a web-based program. Over 25 years, many of our lives have changed. A few people have come and gone from our league, though we still boast 7 of the original 12 franchises. That says a lot! Some people have moved out of town, so our old draft-day get-togethers aren’t what they used to be. Likewise our end-of-season festivities. But we all remain tight. We have seen some of our players grow up, get married, have children, and very sadly a death of one of these children just a few months ago. I will play this season with thoughts of Devon Gray, and his parents John and Jane. I can’t conceive of a greater loss. I wish them happy memories, in the midst of the loss and pain. (My eyes well up as I write this.) We consider ourselves a Fantasy Football Family, and we all lost one of our own. I am grateful to have known Devon, even if just for little bits of time, a couple of times a year. I will always remember him as a really cool kid.

THE FFL 2013

Family Time and… The Savannah National Wildlife Refuge

Gail and I enjoyed a nice trip to Savannah. We went there primarily to be with two of my daughters, my son-in-law Mike, and my grandson Max. We had a really nice time! :D

And of course, on our way home Gail and I stopped at the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge. It is a southern lowland marsh habitat. There was no way we could pass it up: the entrance was right on the road in and out of Savannah! Here are a few pix. How many birds can you name? I think the names will show if you hover the cursor on the picture.

Now let’s see if you were paying attention. What are these?


And finally, a non-bird pic.

We were just going to stop for a few minutes, but spent 2.5 hours there. The city of Savannah, GA is a very interesting place, of course. But this wildlife refuge would be worth a trip all by itself! Glad we stopped! :D

Max, me, and a few birds

We are up in Toledo visiting Max. Well, okay, I’m also visiting his mother/my daughter and son-in-law, and my own parents, and I saw my son and another daughter in Dayton on our way up here, and Gail is seeing some of her family, but this trip (and this run-on sentence) is really all about Max!

Isn’t he CUTE!! :-)

And, of course, we made a little time to look for birds. Here are a few of our pix.

Your basic White-throated Sparrow:

A couple of friendly White-breasted Nuthatches who came down off the tree to walk around our feet. I thought one might actually crawl up my leg!

A beautiful Tufted Titmouse:

A manic, stealthy Blue-gray Gnatcatcher:

And a little band of Blue Jays. The picture is a bit blurry, but I like the fanned out tail in flight.

Max has now gone out backyard birding with me twice. Here is a panorama of his backyard.

And here he is in his birding stroller. Well, that’s what I call it, anyway. Great times! :-)



Little Max Changes Everything!

Suddenly everything is different, in a most wonderful way! This tiny little package turned me into a grandfather, and my children into parents, aunts or uncle. It changed my parents into great-grandparents. This package of joy has been named Maxwell Thomas Mahon, or Max. He brings joy, hope and dreams. We welcome him with open arms into our loving family! :-)

Mint 50 year old Marlin 101 Bolt Action .22 Rifle

During our early March trip to Toledo to visit family, my father and I had a chance to talk about the new hobby that Gail and I have been enjoying. He was surprised we have been shooting guns. I think he enjoyed hearing about our experiences and what we have learned. And then it was his turn to surprise me! He told me that he had purchased a rifle and a shot gun many years ago. He had always kept them (successfully!) hidden from his three boys while we were growing up. I asked him whatever happened to the rifles, and he said he still had them! I was shocked! I remember him talking about guns on a very rare occasion, and mostly it was about removing bullets from people in the operating room. He was a general surgeon and attended to many Friday and Saturday night “specials.” Those seem to be the favorite days for people to shoot each other. But I never saw him involved in shooting sports in any way, shape or form.

He asked if I wanted to see the rifles and I said, “Sure!”. He went up into the attic and came down with a rusty old shotgun, and with a .22 caliber, single shot, bolt action rifle that looked like it was brand new. And that’s because it was as good as new. He told me the rifle had never been shot! He even showed me a little box of bullets that he bought at the same time as the rifle, with all of the bullets still inside. He bought these things in 1962, fifty years ago!

The best part? My dad offered me the rifles, and I eagerly accepted his generosity! :D

The .22 rifle has the words “J.C. Higgins Model 41″ on the barrel. I have since found out that this was a rifle made by Marlin Firearms, a North Carolina company. Marlin rebranded the rifles as “J.C. Higgins” exclusively for Sears. The little box of .22 Long ammunition also was in a Sears box.

I wrote Marlin and was able to get a users manual for the rifle. Though he can’t remember, I was able to find out that my father probably paid about $19 for the rifle in 1962. It is now worth about $125 – $150. I learned from various gun blogs and sites that this was a rifle many kids got from their fathers as their first rifle, to learn about shooting. It is reportedly easy to shoot and remarkably accurate.

So I brought it home and dropped it off at ProShots Range for a cleaning and inspection. The guys at the range had a good little time with it. They said it was in perfect operating condition. I think they were a little jealous. ;-)

I have had a chance to shoot the little rifle, and it is indeed very accurate. More than that, it is really fun to shoot! Since it is a .22, there is essentially no kick. It is very quiet. The single shot bolt action is actually fun to work/play with. And the very best part, I know the rifle will always remind me of my father. What a treasure! :D