D-Day +70 Years

Today, June 6th, 2014, marks the 70th anniversary of the D-Day Invasion of Normandy, France. There have been many commemorations and festivities to mark this occasion, and all have undoubtedly included reverence to General Dwight D. Eisenhower.

DDE (because typing Eisenhower repeatedly is just asking for typos!) would later go on to become the 34th President of the United States, but before the wars and the Oval Office, he was just a small town boy. His boyhood home is in Abilene, Kansas…and that’s just about 45 miles from where I live! His Presidential Library is there, as well as his final resting place, and the museum always has interesting exhibits, both traveling and permanent. The link below is for the Library’s homepage, where much of my research came from!


DDE, known by the nickname of “Ike”, was born October 14th, 1890 in Denison, Texas.  In 1892, his family moved to Abilene, Kansas.  Ike was a good student, especially interested in history, and his mother would sometimes lock his school books up until he finished his neglected chores!  He was also talented at sports, particularly baseball and football, but he also boxed, fished, hunted, trapped, camped, and liked to play poker. Abilene schools were integrated…”but when some of his football teammates refused to line up opposite a visiting African American player, Eisenhower volunteered for the position, and shook the player’s hand after the game. As a boy from the wrong side of Abilene’s class-dividing tracks, Ike knew the minimizing indecencies of prejudice all too well.”

Ike graduated from Abilene High School in 1909 and worked for 2 years at a local Creamery, 7 days a week, 6pm-6am.  In June of 1911, he entered The United States Military Academy, West Point, New York. 4 years later, in 1915, he graduated West Point , a Second Lieutenant. In 1916 he married his wife Mamie, and they had 2 children, losing one at 4 years old to Scarlet Fever. Ike went on to his amazing military career, and after retiring in 1952, ran for President that same year.

Following 2 terms, from 1953 to 1961, he was returned to active duty in the Army, by a law signed by new President John F. Kennedy. Once again a 5-star General, he kept an office at Gettysburg College and lived on a farm near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania until his death on March 28th, 1969. Dwight David Eisenhower made one final visit to Abilene, Kansas on April 2nd, 1969…to be buried in the “Place of Meditation” at the Eisenhower Center and Presidential Library. He is laid to rest alongside his wife Mamie (1979) and his first son, Doud.

The link below is for the entire Chronology of Ike’s life, including all of his military postings.


library The Eisenhower Presidential Library

museum The Eisenhower Presidential Museum

home The Boyhood Home

chapel The Chapel/Place of Meditation


“The proudest thing I can claim is that I am from Abilene.” -Dwight D. Eisenhower, reflecting on his life.



Baseball Bear!

Hello all…long time, no blog! But I’m here today to share my baseball adventure with you! A few weeks ago, my people took me to my very first baseball game. They’ve been to games before, but this was my first and while it wasn’t terribly exciting (our team won 1-0), it was still full of neat sights that I’m going to share! Our ‘local’ team (although they are 3 hours away from us and technically belong to Missouri) is the Kansas City Royals. Kansas City sits on a river/state border, and the team (along with NFL team the Chiefs) is on the Missouri side…but we Kansans still cheer them on!

It was an evening game, but my boy Paul had to work that Saturday, so we met all the family at the stadium during the 2nd Inning. Of course, seats are not meant for big people, and we had about 6 big people in what should have been about 4 seats, so we went and explored during the uneventful game. Along with food and souvenir stands, there is a nice museum behind the Jumbo-tron. That’s where many of my photos came from!

20140517_182516   20140517_185417

20140517_205442   20140517_205101

The giant scoreboard, as seen from the drive into the parking lot, and from the shopping places beneath/behind it! Sometimes, they shoot off fireworks from behind it! But not this time, alas.

20140517_193720       20140517_192815

In 1985, the Royals won the World Series…but since then, not so much! The other claim to fame is that in 2012, they hosted the All-Star Game!

20140517_014036   20140517_193636   20140517_193446

My girl made me a catcher’s mitt, it was kind of ugly but I appreciated her effort. Maybe next time it will be Golden, like these lovely Golden Glove awards! And maybe a bit bigger…definitely gonna need a bigger mitt!

20140517_193556    20140517_193549

This paw-some statue was made out of baseballs stuck together, and the people behind me got yelled at by the guards for even trying to touch it…good thing they didn’t notice me!

20140517_193357    20140517_193324

There was a model of Kaufman Stadium, and this cool Statue of Liberty…who knew she was a Royals fan?!?

20140517_192243     20140517_194155

We had to hit up the souvenir stand, and while my people wouldn’t get me the giant foam finger, they DID get me a pin for my travel vest…naturally!

20140517_195648     20140517_192055     20140517_201212

By the 7th Inning, it was dinner time! We had some paw-some BBQ, followed by the biggest Ice Cream Cone ever! And we watched the game the whole time!

20140517_192436    20140517_201454

The Kansas City Royals won, 1-0, off an early 2nd Inning run…but the Baltimore Orioles gave us a good, last minute scare, with the bases loaded and their very last batter up! But he struck out, thankfully! We watched the end from behind the fountains…you can see them below the Jumbo-trons in the first pictures!


That night we stayed with Grandma and Grandpa in Topeka, it’s on the way home from Kansas City. I taught some of my furiends there to play catch, and left them my mitt and ball so they could practice for my next visit!