Saturday, October 31, 2015

54th Class Reunion – DeVeaux School (NY)

The Internet can be a very helpful tool!  Over the last year or so a significant number of DeVeaux School’s Class of 1961 have ‘found’ each other.  These renewed contacts led to discussions of a reunion…54 plus years after graduating!

The top photo shows the main classroom buildings which also included the chapel, dining area, kitchen and library.  The first part of this structure was completed in 1857 with the last part being completed in 1894.  The second photo shows the dormitory where many of us boarders lived… The 51 acre property, with most of the buildings gone, is now owned by the New York State Office of Parks Recreation and Historic Preservation and it has been renamed as “DeVeaux Woods State Park”.

A little history… The property near Niagara River’s whirlpool was originally deeded in the mid-1850s as “The DeVeaux College for Orphans and Destitute Children” by Judge Samuel DeVeaux and operated by the Episcopal Diocese of Western New York. 

DeVeaux’s vision was to create a preeminent institution of learning which would train young men in academics, trade professions and to give them an education that did not neglect religious training.  For nearly 80 years course work included mandatory military training with cadets dressed in uniforms in the tradition of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York.  Happily (for me at least), the last day of military influence on campus came on Founder’s Day in 1950 when the uniforms were replaced by coats and ties.  I joined DeVeaux in the fall of 1957 as a freshman.

This is the Junior Class photo for DeVeaux School’s Class of 1961.  Only individual photos were taken in our senior year so this is the only group photo showing all of the 1961 grads who attended our reunion.  There were 31 of us in the Junior Class photo but our Senior Class totaled 27 graduates.   

Can you spot these 9 members of DeVeaux School’s Class of 1961 in their Junior Class photo above?  ‘Only’ 55+ years have flown by since the group photo was taken… Some of us are recognizable but for others (like me) too much time has passed.  I don’t even recognize me!

From the left: Jere Krieg, Ed Fairchild, Tim Southwick, Bill Dunn, Jon Woolverton, Don Alderman, Dave (Thomson) Myers, Gary Scott and Tom Reid…

Nine out of 27 represents a pretty significant level of attendance given those who have passed on, those with family/health issues and grads that we couldn’t locate.  In addition to the 2 members of the group who live in East Tennessee, attendees came to this gathering from Arizona, California Delaware, Kentucky, Michigan, Texas and Ontario Canada.

A key factor in the success of those of us attending this soiree are the women that put up with us and keep us on the straight and narrow path!  The ladies mingled and got along extremely well… The only thing that they had in common was the fact that their miscreant husbands had gone to the same school together. (Of course, they also have had to train us…and with some of us, that project is ongoing!)

Bottom row: Cheryl and Bill; Sue and Jon; Don and Rhonda; Linda and Ed.  Second row: Laurie and me; Julie and Jere; Nancy and Tim; Belinda and Gary; Margie and Tom.  Julie, Jere, Laurie and I sponsored the opening night’s event.

Our opening night event on a Thursday night in mid-October was a reception and buffet at Julie and Jere’s home.  The guys spent a lot of time catching up and telling ‘war stories’ from our shenanigans back at DeVeaux and the ladies just got acquainted with each other…

The first night’s main event other than eating some good food, drinking and telling stories was when each of the classmates took the stage and told their personal stories…post DeVeaux until the present.  This was Tom telling us about his life over the previous 54 years.

One of the highlights the next day was a pontoon boat ride on Tellico Lake.  Jere recruited a couple of his long time buddies from the area to make this event happen…on a beautiful sunshine filled fall day!  This boat had 9 passengers including the captain…

Our pontoon boat had 11 passengers including our captain…and that is part of the reason that our boat ride was a bit different than the one experienced by our compatriots in the other boat.

Yikes!  With Bill blocking the vision of our captain on the right side of the boat and me blocking his view on the left…and 11 of us on board…the captain couldn’t see an oncoming wake and we nosed right down into it!  Nancy and Margie took the brunt of the wave!  Troopers that they are and wet though they were they took the semi-disaster in good humor.  We continued on! 

Almost all 6 passengers in the front got wet to some degree.  In addition to Nancy and Margie, Cheryl got quite wet.  All 3 ladies purses took a ‘bath’!  I thought that they’d never get all of the water out!  Nothing like a little excitement for us to remember for future gatherings… (Sorry ladies!)

Much of our time was spent socializing over drinks and food.   We frequented local establishments for lunch and dinner on Friday and Saturday.  This is the Tanasi Golf Clubhouse and Grill in Loudon Tennessee where we had dinner on Friday.

At one point or another, everyone stopped by our home to sit back and relax.  Linda, Laurie and Belinda spent some quality time together getting to know each other…

While the ladies were downstairs chatting, Ed, Gary, Bill, Cheryl and I were upstairs in the bonus room watching an American League championship game in support of Jon and Sue who are from Canada. (It was the Toronto Blue Jays vs. the Kansas City Royals.  Don was the lone Royals fan in the room and he picked the winner… (Sorry Jon and Sue!)

Note: I was rooting for the Blue Jays in the American League and the Chicago Cubs in the National League.  Never bet on my choices for any championship event! 

On Saturday, the group drove on over to Oak Ridge Tennessee to visit a American Automobile Club “Gem” attraction, the American Museum of Science and Energy.  This museum was designed to teach both children and adults about energy, especially nuclear power.  The major focus of this facility is to document the role Oak Ridge played in the Manhattan Project with the development of the nuclear bomb and the role it played in ending WWII.  Everyone learned something new and this visit was well received by our visitors from out of town.

The American Museum of Science and Energy is located at 300 South Tulane in Oak Ridge.  Phone: 865-576-3200.  The museum’s website can be found at

Following our edification and exploration at the museum, we headed over to the Riverside Grill in Oak Ridge for more food and conversation.  No…we hadn’t run out of things to talk about!  As a matter of fact, we probably solved a world crisis or two…

Our final event for our reunion was a dinner in the Blue Heron Restaurant at Tellico Village’s Yacht Club in Loudon Tennessee.  Unfortunately dinner was at 7 PM so it was too dark to enjoy the normally beautiful view of Tellico Lake from the restaurant.

And so our 54th Class Reunion came to an end… Everyone had caught up on their classmates lives and several of us probably gained a couple of pounds after all the food we consumed.  The group’s consensus was that this had been a great event…a very satisfying renewal of friendships…and that we should do it again in about 2 years!

Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…

Thanks for stopping by for a visit with DeVeaux School’s Class of 1961!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave   

Friday, October 30, 2015

Chicago Themed Sports Bar in East Tennessee!

We’d seen a couple of comments on a new Chicago themed sports bar that had opened in nearby Maryville Tennessee.  To be honest, the feedback was mixed. 

But then our friends Lynn and George, both of whom…like us…had lived in Chicago suggested that we get together and have dinner at this new establishment…

This is Windy City Grille.  I read that a couple other dining establishments had occupied this building before Windy City took over.  We must have driven past the building and its former tenant’s dozens of times without taking notice. 

When we arrived, parking was more than tight!  Cars were parked on an unpaved lot in the back but we actually got'hung up' trying to exit that area, once we saw that it was full.  My passengers had to get out so I could re-enter the main paved lot…where I got lucky and a car had just pulled out and I got the parking spot!

It was just before 7 PM on a Friday night.  Windy City Grille was very busy but there were a couple of open tables…the reason for my newly found parking space…and we were seated right away.  There are TVs everywhere!  The noise level wasn’t a problem even with the big crowd.  As you can see, the interior design matches the exterior design…industrial chic! 

Some of the appetizers and sandwiches were named after landmarks or terminology familiar to those who have lived in Chicago.  For example, there are Cominsky Chips, Grant Park Nachos…and this offering, an order of Wrigley Wreckers. ($6.50) This consisted of homemade potato chips with bacon, ranch dressing and melted Queso cheese.  All four of us enjoyed this appetizer!

Windy City Grille has a good selection of beer as well as a modest wine selection.  The boys ordered the $2.00 draft beer specials to start.  The second beer…after happy hour ended at 7 PM…was $3.00.  The ladies both ordered the Ménage a Trois red wine. ($8.00 each)

We liked both appetizers but this one was Laurie and my favorite!  It’s the Cheesy Buffalo Chicken Dip with pulled chicken in buffalo sauce with Queso Blanco cheese.  It was served with these corn tortilla chips.  I personally could have eaten an order of this by myself!  It was very good!

You might ask the question…why would someone open a Chicago themed sports bar in Maryville Tennessee?  The answer is two-fold.  First, both of the owners are from the Chicago area.  Secondly, as proved by our presence, many Chicagoans have relocated or retired to the Knoxville metropolitan area.  The owners looked at that fact as a business opportunity! 

After sharing those appetizers, George and Lynn decided to split an Italian Combo…Italian Beef and Sausage with peppers, onions, melted mozzarella and, au jus and a side of giardeniera. ($9.50) They were very happy with their choice.  The waitress split the order for them...

Other than the parking situation, the only other issue we encountered at Windy City Grille was the sides that accompany the sandwiches.  Customers have 2 choices without an up charge.  The homemade chips and French Fries… A related problem was that it was just a little after 7 PM on a Friday and they were out of the homemade potato chips.
I don’t mind an up charge…but if one was trying to avoid any further fried food or carbs with dinner…your only choice was a side salad.  I can’t remember being in a sit down burger/sandwich shop that doesn’t have coleslaw as an option.  This wasn’t a big deal but it would be an easy fix.

But I digress…

My problem with French fries is that I avoid them but when I pay for a side, I feel 'obligated' to eat what is set in front of me!  I didn’t leave one fry on my plate…the first I’ve had in months… FYI, in my opinion they were better than average French fries.
Now about that burger… I had to choose between Da’ Burger, a Halas Burger or Mrs. O’Leary’s Burger.  I went with Mrs. O’Leary! ($9.50) As per the menu description, “It burns the house down!”  It’s an 8 oz. Angus burger smothered in jack cheese and topped with jalapenos, lettuce, tomato, pickles and Windy City’s “Chicago Fire Sauce”…with a pickle spear on the side.  It was cooked medium rare as requested and everything blended together for a very nice burger experience.  To me, the ‘heat’ was nice/adequate but it certainly didn’t set me on fire…

After sharing those appetizers, Laurie decided that a Chicago Style Hot Dog was the perfect amount of food for her.  I can always spot a Chicago Style Hot Dog… You can’t ever see the hot dog with all the stuff that true Chicagoans pile on their sandwiches!  Ingredients include mustard, onions, relish, tomato, pickles, sport peppers…and the key ingredient…a dash of celery salt…all on a poppy seed bun.  Laurie was a very happy camper! 

I would like to note that she has better self-control than I do.  She ate a few French fries and really liked them…but she stopped eating them.  Then after I’d purloined a couple of them, she had the waitress take them away before I could scarf the rest of them down!

Our waitress, Lindsey, was very nice and attentive…helping us with any questions and checking back regularly.  The food at Windy City Grille is a cut above the typical sports bar cuisine.  We will return!  This restaurant is located at 2641 TN Hwy. 33 (US Hwy. 411) in Maryville TN.  Phone: 865-724-2508.  I couldn’t find a website, but Windy City Grille is on Facebook at

Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Diner – Madisonville Tennessee

Laurie and I are always looking for a good breakfast in a local restaurant… The problem is that most of the restaurants in the Knoxville vicinity serve only OK or average morning fare…

So, when we saw several positive dining recommendations on a local Facebook site we set out to determine if the upbeat comments were really the kind of good news we were hoping for!

This is The Diner in Madisonville Tennessee.  This restaurant has had several owners/operators in the 6+ years that we’ve lived in the area.  However, this was the first time that we’d heard or seen positive vibes about the food being dished out at this location…

The interior of The Diner is plain and straightforward.  The dining area is spacious and the area was clean.  Our waitress was efficient and pleasant too.  The Diner is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner…

This was my ‘light’ breakfast… Two eggs over easy cooked just right, 2 nice size and flavorful sausage patties and biscuits with sausage gravy.  The biscuits were nice and the sausage gravy had a bit of a bite (heat) to it although it was a little light on the sausage in the gravy.  Still, it was very good!  My breakfast was a winner!

Laurie ordered her standard breakfast…2 eggs over easy, bacon (4 strips), hashbrowns and sourdough toast.  The waitress asked Laurie if she wanted to have her toast buttered. (There was also butter on the table) The eggs were perfect, the bacon was above average in quantity and quality and the hash browns were plentiful and very good too!  Another winner!

The prices were more than reasonable…as low as we’ve seen anywhere when you consider what we were served.  Our breakfast including 2 coffees added on, (99 cents each), came to only $13.50 before tax and tip! 

We’d heard that dinner at The Diner is really tasty too…with similar pricing.  A couple of days later after a round of golf, we decided to give it a try.

Laurie went for the French Beef Dip Sandwich. ($7.95) For her side she chose the baked apples.  The sandwich was large and she gave it a thumbs up.  The grilled onions that came with it were excellent and she liked the apples too!

I ordered the Fried Catfish Dinner. ($8.00) I couldn't believe how much food I got for the money!  The 2 large catfish fillets were lightly breaded and delicious.  The broccoli side dish was steamed perfectly and I liked their coleslaw as well.  I'm not a big hush puppy connoisseur but they were good too... Plus, I had some more of that 99 cent coffee!

After 2 great experiences, we know that we’ll be back for many more meals! Another plus is that breakfast is served anytime of the day! The Diner is located at 4263 US Hwy. 411 in Madisonville Tennessee.  Phone: 423-442-9994.  I could not locate a website for this restaurant…

Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

Monday, October 26, 2015

Finally Made it Home to East Tennessee

To those who read and/or follow this blog, I’ll bet that you thought that our May/June trip to visit family and friends in Paducah Kentucky, St. Louis Missouri, Kansas City Missouri and Omaha Nebraska would never end!

Well good news!  This is the last posting that features that trip along the back roads and byways of the Midwest…

This is the former Pennsylvania Railroad passenger depot in Madison Indiana.  This beautiful as well and uniquely designed depot was built in 1894.  Now it serves as the Jefferson County Historical Society’s Museum.  To learn more about the Historical Society and this museum, you can go to

If you haven’t visited Madison Indiana down on the Ohio River, and you like historic old towns as well as dining and shopping, this is a town you should go out of your way to visit!  The town’s population is just over 12,000 and it’s the County Seat for Jefferson County.  Over 55,000 people live within 15 miles of Madison and it isn’t very far from Louisville Kentucky.  

Most of Madison's downtown area has been designated as the largest contiguous National Historic Landmark in the United States.  One hundred and thirty three (133) blocks of the downtown area is included in the Madison Historic Landmark District.
To view and learn about some of the historic buildings in the Historic Landmark District, go to


·       The Madison Hydroplane (powerboat) Regatta is held here on the Ohio River every July.  It draws up to 100,000 spectators.

·       A couple of movies have been filmed in Madison.  One was “Some Came Running” with Frank Sinatra, Shirley MacLaine and Dean Martin.  The second was “Madison” with Bruce Dern.  The latter film was about the hydroplane races. 

This is the former combination freight and passenger Louisville and Nashville Railroad depot in Eminence Kentucky.  It’s now being used as the town’s municipal building. 

Eminence was incorporated in 1851.  Eminence, which means “high place”, is the highest point along the railroad between Louisville and Lexington at 900 feet above the sea level.  The town is located in Henry County.  The county was once a focal point for several railroads and it boasted 7 depots.  This is the only one still standing… Today, there isn’t any rail traffic of any kind anywhere in the county.


·       Eminence was the first town in equine centric Kentucky that had an annual combination sale of saddle and harness horses.

·       Eminence is the only "wet" city in Henry County.  The rest of the county does not allow the sale of alcohol.

·       The town hosts The Highland Renaissance Festival, which runs from May through July.  In September it is also the site of an annual Celtic Fest.

This was our final stretch of 2-lane highway as we neared our home in East Tennessee.  It was a beautiful day and we could see the Smoky Mountains off in the distance…

We were welcomed home by some of the locals, a number of whom had missed us only because the bird feeder hadn’t been in place for their dining convenience!  The doe didn’t mind one way or the other because she just keeps on munching on whatever takes her fancy whether we’re home or not!

Our owner and master of the house, J.D., was very glad to see us as well!  He demanded to know where we'd been all this time and insisted on several of his favorite treats before he was mollified and his unhappiness was sidetracked...

In August, we witnessed the ‘blue moon’ phenomenon. Two full moons in the same month only happens “once in a blue moon”.  This phrase has nothing to do with the actual color of the moon although a literal "blue moon" (the moon appearing with a tinge of blue) may occur in certain atmospheric conditions such as when there are volcanic eruptions or when exceptionally large fires leave particles in the atmosphere.  To learn more about the ‘blue moon’ and the origin of this terminology, go to  Laurie captured this image after we drove around looking for a good vantage point away from the lights of civilization…

Just click on any of the photos if you’d like to enlarge them…

Thanks for stopping by for a visit…and for sticking with me as I recounted our early summer road trip!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

Friday, October 23, 2015

Headed South through Indiana

Our Missouri/Kansas/Nebraska trip in June was coming to the end and this was the beginning of our last day on the road.  We still had quite a bit of ground to cover before we actually got home and we limited our exploratory side trips although we did stick to the 2 lane highways for the most part.

To make better time I had planned to take I-65 south from Indianapolis to the intersection with Indiana Hwy. 46 at Columbus Indiana.  However a major highway construction project forced us to take US Hwy. 31 south.  It slowed us down a bit but the detour did ‘force us’ by a couple additional historic sites…

This massive structure is the Johnson County Courthouse in Franklin Indiana.  Apparently size does matter!  Johnson County was established in 1822.  Franklin, now actually part of the Indianapolis metropolitan area, was platted in 1823 and it was named after Benjamin Franklin.  This ‘wedding cake’ of a courthouse was built in 1882 and it is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.   

Next we discovered the former Franklin Indiana railroad depot which was across the tracks from a small park and an old wooden bay window style caboose.  This combination depot was built back in 1909 by the Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis Railway.  It was moved from its original location to this spot adjacent to the old Pennsylvania Railroad tracks.   The depot is now the home of Franklin’s Chamber of Commerce…

As we headed on down Indiana Hwy. 46 toward Madison Indiana and the bridge across the Ohio River, we rolled through North Vernon in Jennings County.  I decided that we’d try to find the old railroad depot.  

As it turned out, the depot was right next to downtown North Vernon and the area was crisscrossed with railroad tracks.  I’d only seen one other depot situated in a ‘diamond’ like this one and it was in South Carolina.   This brick depot was built ca. 1888 by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad.  The tracks are now part of the CSX system…


·       Hannah Milhous Nixon, mother of President Richard M. Nixon was from Jennings County Indiana.

·       Reportedly, the first railroad west of the Allegheny Mountains was the Madison to Vernon Railroad which was built in 1838.  The line was extended to Indianapolis in the 1840s.

Just click on any of the photos if you’d like to enlarge them…

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave 

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Dinner at a Supper Club!

On our return trip to our home in East Tennessee, we stayed overnight in Danville Illinois… Danville was a good intermediate stop on our route with inexpensive lodging so once I’d decided to stop there my next mission was to find somewhere to have dinner.

My research turned up a true dive…a popular local joint named Moon Glo Bar and Grill.  Note the sliver of the illuminated moon on top of the restaurant.  I was thankful that we had a GPS system in our car as getting to Moon Glo from our hotel involved several local 2-lane country roads. 

The atmosphere inside Moon-Glo is just like one of those old time supper clubs that you could find on the outskirts of many Midwestern towns in the 1950's and 1960's.  You can still find places like this here and there in northern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.   The ceilings are low…the windows are few and the wood bar and trim plus signs and miscellaneous “stuff” everywhere provide the atmosphere. 

Yes… Much like other joints of the same genre, Moon Glo even has these coin operated games for its patrons
Phil Adams owns Moon Glo Bar and Grill.  Phil’s dad bought the place in 1962 and he took over for him about 20 years later. At the time of our visit, Moon Glo had been in the family for 53 years!
The story goes that the first owner of this establishment was a guy named Willet.  He was Dick Van Dyke's father-in-law.  (Dick Van Dyke grew up in Danville and married Marjorie Willett in 1948.  The couple raised 4 children, but they were divorced in the 1980s) Marjorie’s dad was also a bit notorious as he’d supposedly spent time in prison for killing a guy.  When he got out, he couldn't own a bar because he couldn't get a liquor license because he was a convicted felon.  So, he put everything into the name of the gal he was living with.  Technically Phil bought Moon Glo from her. 

The menu at Moon Glo is pretty straight-forward…short and to the point!  You can grill your own steaks or they’ll grill them for you.

Old signs on the walls give customers a good idea just how long this place has been in business.  Examples include: Hot Chili 35 Cents; Fish Fry every Friday 50 Cents with slaw and French Fries, and; Price of Premium Beer will increase on February 1 from 35 Cents to 40 Cents.

Laurie went with the Pan Fried boneless Chicken Breasts with Texas toast and a baked potato.  There was plenty of food and it was a cut above average.

I had a Catfish Dinner…and that catfish filet was huge!  It was very good! 
The steaks at Moon Glo Bar and Grill get a lot of positive comments on line.  The “Moonburger” with or without cheese actually gets a lot of rave reviews.  We both love a good burger so maybe that’s what we’ll have the next time we come through the area. 

Service was friendly with lots of casual banter.  The restaurant could use a little sprucing up but we did enjoy our meal and our visit.  Moon Glo Bar and Grill is located at 3124 Perrysville Road in Danville, Illinois.  Phone: 217-442-9519.  I couldn’t find a website for this restaurant but there are many reviews and comments on Trip Advisor, Zomato, Yelp and Yahoo.

Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…

Thanks for stopping by and experiencing an old time dinner club!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave