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Last Revised 25 Nov 2014

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L-R: Marvin Howard, Emelio Martinez, and Carol George

It was a bit of a chilly day for early November, but we had a fairly good turnout for lunch, almost a dozen! It was nice to see Emelio Martinez back after a long absence.

L-R: Marvin Howard, Emelio Martinez, and Carol George

More pictures here.

Be sure and come join in the fun on the 13th of each month or the following Monday if the 13th falls on a holiday or weekend. We meet  at Abuelo's on US 75 in Plano around about 11:30 a.m.! Next luncheon will be Monday 15 December 2014.

It's a tough life, but someone has to do it, and it might as well be us! While my Collins-Rockwell-Alcatel friends were getting ready to go to our monthly luncheon, Angie and I were relaxing on the top deck of the Viking Lif at the junction of the Inn and Danube rivers in Passau, Germany.

A few pictures from the trip are posted here on Flickr, and more will be posted shortly.

It's a tough life, but someone has to do it!

Thistle and "Snow on the Prairie" in the fields around Lake Lavon

View of of a very low Lake Lavon from near Brockdale Park Equestrian Trailhead. The purple of the thistle and the white "Snow on the Prairie" made the hills beautiful on the first really cool day of Fall!

Since we don't own a horse, we were riding Shank's Mare on the Trinity Equestrian trail. This trail is maintained by the Trinity Trail Preservation Association, http://www.trinitytrailriders.org. It's open to both horses and hikers (no bikes) at no charge. The chiggers are free too!

As you probably already know, Angie and I took another cruise back in April-May, this time to the UK. I've finally managed to get all the pictures posted, and you can see them all here, separated into the various places we visited.

Here we're having dinner on the Ruby Princess with old friends Marion and ShueFong Dilley.

 

 

 

L-R: Marion and ShueFong DIlley, Angie and Jim Harrison

Sam Reed holds a congratulatory coffee mug after officially becoming an engineer

Samuel is now an Engineer!

Congratulations to cousin Samuel Reed on both graduating in June and on passing his FE. Expect to see great things from him.

(By the way, way back in my day the expression was "Last week I couldn't even spell ENGUHNEAR, and now I are one!")

Goodness gracious, Mike Lewis even showed up at the Rockwell-Collins Retirees meeting! It's been a long time since I last saw Mike. I caught him along with Jim and Connie Wallner and Everett Turvey for a picture.

More pictures here.

Interior of restored Mission San Jose in Fremont, CA

While visiting in California, we took one afternoon off hiking and visited the beautifully restored Mission San Jose in Fremont. It was still decorated for Christmas and quite inviting. The museum attached to the Mission church is also quite interesting.

Angie and I spent three weeks over the holidays with her sister and family in Fremont, California. While there we took every opportunity to go hiking in the regional parks, usually in the hills around Fremont. And as you may be able to see from the cap, I also got in a trip to my favorite spot, Muir Woods.

There are more pictures on my Flickr photostream.

Admiring the view in the hills near Fremont, CA

An icy overcoat

We got treated to an early cold spell complete with sleet and freezing rain. It kept the DFW and all of North Texas shut down for quite a while. This is what the front yard looked like the morning after.

There are lots more pictures of the ice storm on my Flickr photostream. 

We got up to Paris, TN where we met up Alice McCutcheon and Carol Mannon. Carol presented me with a "genuine Fidel cap" she picked up on her recent trip to Cuba. We decided to do our visiting while we enjoyed a trip up to Grand Rivers, KY and Patti's 1880s Settlement. Angie and I decided to share one of their famous 2" thick broiled pork chops. We ate all we could, brought more than half of it back home, and it made a couple more meals too!

On the way back I decided to go through the "Land Between the Lakes" National Recreational area which has some beautiful scenery, twisty roads, and an infamous sign!

All in all, we had a great time.

L-R: Alice McCutcheon, Carol Mannon, Angie Harrison, Jim Harrison

Natalee Reed, Jim Harrison, and Mrs. Catherine Thomas

The next stop was in Dyer where we visited with family and lots of old friends. As one of the good old Dyer High School teachers, Mrs. Catherine Thomas, was celebrating her 99th birthday, my cousin Natalee and I went by to wish her a happy birthday and drop off a card.

Next stop after Huntsville was Clarksville, TN where we planned to visit with ShaoLee McReynolds. She and Angie worked together in the early 1970s in Taiwan. ShaoLee ran in a surprise on us when she invited Judy Foley whom neither of us had seen since those days! Until we heard her voice, neither of us realized who she was!

Here's a picture from 1970 with Judy on the far left and Angie second from right.

Judy Foley, Angie Harrison, and ShaoLee McReynolds

Adam and Raewyn McCombs, Pam and Karsten Lowe, Laura and Ben Lowe

We made a "Journey to the East" last month (July 2013) to attend the wedding of Pam and Karsten Lowe in Huntsville, AL. Karsten is the son of one of my college buddies, Ben Lowe and his wife Laura. We had a grand old time getting reacquainted with all the family including the kids, the siblings, the in-laws, etc.

Here the newly married couple, Pam and Karsten pose with Karsten's sister Raewyn and her husband Adam McCombs, and with parents Laura and Ben Lowe.

Jim and Connie Wallner invited us to join them in a trip down to Ennis to see the Bluebonnets. We had a great time at the festival browsing the crafts and eating all the goodies. After that we went out to check out the Bluebonnets. Although not a particularly good year due to the drought, we found plenty to ooh and ahh over on a near perfect early spring day in Texas.

Apparently it's either a law or a requirement written into the state Constitution that all Texas parents have to take the babies in particular, and the children in general, out for a photograph in a Bluebonnet patch this time of year. Just to be on the safe side we got Jim and Connie to take our pictures too!

There are lots more pictures here on flickr.

Us kids in a Bluebonnet patch!

Elizabeth McCormick featured speaker

The program at the Rockwell Collins Retiree meeting this time was given by Elizabeth McCormick, Blackhawk Helicopter Pilot, author, and motivational speaker. She certainly had some interesting stories to relate.

More Pictures here

We had a little excitement around here Wednesday night, 19 December 2012, when a windstorm blew our neighbor's chinaberry tree down and onto my Suburban in our driveway. Luckily the major damage seems to be a bent rail on the top luggage rack. Those suburbans are tough! I guess this will just be one more "battle scar" for Black Beauty!

With the help of neighbors and Victor Gonzalez we got it all cleaned up, sawed up, and put out for city pick up in 2-3 hours thursday morning. The only traces left now are sawdust!

Lots more pictures here.

A windstorm blew our neighbor's chinaberry tree onto my suburban!

Angie with the guest of honor at Olivia Tong's party

We were invited to join family and friends celebrating the newest Tong arrival, Olivia, daughter of Ben and Felicia Tong, born Sept 18 2012. We had a great time at the party, and got to see lots of old friends, "our kids" and their kids!

Lots more pictures here.

For the first time since 2008, we were in town and able to make the State Fair. It was really nice to get back to the fair and visit all the usual attractions plus a few new ones. However, if the prices keep going up I'm going to have to get a bank loan to afford to go next time!

Lots more pictures on Flickr.

Little did we realize that this would be the last time we'd see Big Tex in the present incarnation. We look forward to seeing his return from the flames next year.

Howdy Folks!

Bobby Joe Wedding Party

We were happy to be invited to attend and celebrate the wedding of Bobby and May Joe. Their invitation forgot to mention that it was early evening in downtown Dallas on Texas-OU weekend, but we managed to make it and had a great time!

We decided that the first of March was such a beautiful, warm day that it merited another visit to the Dallas Arboretum. Young lovers were enjoying it also! (This statue always reminds me of a similar sculpture I saw in a park in Lima, Peru!)

Lots more pictures including the Chihuly glass exhibition here on flickr.

Another Early trip to the Arboretum

Jenny, Lynn, Lucy, and Angie together again!

January also brought a visit from the Dilleys that had been long promised and oft postponed. We really had a grand old time while they were here, and we all took advantage of a warm sunshiny January day to visit the Dallas Arboretum, tour the Degoyer mansion, and pig out on some good country cooking at Barbec's.

L-R: Marion Dilley, ShuFong Dilley, Angie Harrison.

Well guess who should wander in from China to say howdy in January! Ed Nance was back for his annual Chinese New Year visit & business trip. We took the boy down to Spring Creek BBQ and fed him some ribs so he'd feel at home.

L-R: George Huling, Marvin Howard, Allegra Burnworth, Mike Crye, Jim Rushing

Jenny, Lynn, Lucy, and Angie together again!

Together again! Before we left Taiwan to fly back home we managed to get a group of old friends and relatives together for a good, long catching up visit. Here are the four amigos, Jenny, Lynn, Lucy, and Angie together again for the first time in a long, long while.

It surely was good to see everyone again.

While in Hong Kong we got to meet old friends and neighbors Ed and Nenette Nance. This was snapped by a helpful fellow in the lobby of the Marco Polo Hong Kong hotel where we met. Ed located a nice dim sum restaurant just down the street, and we spent several hours catching up on what's been going on while having some good food.

Angie and I on the Great Wall of China

This year (2011), Angie and I took a slow boat to China! And yes we got to see the Great Wall. Angie made it up to that third watch tower you can see, but I stopped about a 100 feet below. Seems like I'm not 18 any more!

Actually we boarded the Diamond Princess in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada and cruised until we reached Singapore. Between Vancouver and Singapore we visited Ketchican, Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay, College Fjord, and Whittier Alaska, Muroran and Nagasaki Japan, Vladivostok Russia, Busan South Korea, Qingdao, Dalian, Tianjin and Shanghai China, Hong Kong, Nha Trang and Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) Vietnam, and Bangkok Thailand. After Singapore we flew to Taiwan and spent a couple of weeks with Angie's family and also got to visit with long time friends there.

I've already put a few pictures up on Flickr, and, as I get the time I will complete the set. Check by Flickr now and then if you'd care to see them.

Missed the monthly Alcatel luncheon in May as I traveled back to my home town of Dyer, Tennessee to attend the 50th reunion of my high school graduating class.

A few of us got together the night before the reunion to enjoy a meal at the "Toot & Tell It" and catch up on old times.

L-R: John Bonds, Patsy Flowers Johnstone, Jim Harrison, Reba and Tommy Finch, and John Taylor. Pam Taylor was nice enough to snap this picture with my camera.

More pictures are here.

 

Crawfish maniacs!

We dropped by the HBA hosted crawfish party in Craig's Ranch on April 28th, 2011 and who should we meet up with but Richard and Vernetta Fletcher.

From the looks of things, I believe the ladies should be well fed! Angie and Vernetta Fletcher chow down while Richard was dispatched for liquid refreshments.

Behind the camera the Zydeco Stingrays from McKinney are providing some good foot stompin' cajun music to go along with the food.

More pictures here.

2010:

I've had a good excuse for not keeping this website up to date the past couple of months. I've been off boat riding with not just one, not two, but three lovely ladies!

Accompanied by two of Angie's sisters we made a 28 day cruise of the Mediterranean starting in Barcelona and visiting Monaco, France, Italy, Greece, Turkey, and Portugal before terminating in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

Here we are on one of the few formal nights when they convinced me to get all gussied up just to go to dinner.

L-R: LiHsiang Huang, HsuWhey Chu,  Jim Harrison, and Angie Harrison,

I'll get busy and post more pictures as soon as I can and put a link to them here.

Angie and Jim Harrison at the Toranga Zoo with Sydney in the background

Angie and I took an extended vacation in November-December 2009, flying into Sydney Australia where we spent 6 days enjoying the sights. Then we boarded the Star Princess cruise ship for a trip through the Polynesian  islands and on up to Hawaii with a final destination of Los Angeles.

In Los Angeles we were hosted by Mike and Amy McKenna. We had a great time visiting, eating, seeing the sights, eating, etc. From there we drove up the Pacific Coast Highway making brief stops at Santa Barbara, Solvang, Moro Bay, and Big Sur. We then spent a week or so with Angie's sister and family where we celebrated Thanksgiving. We also got in some tourist stops in Northern California before returning home.

A few of the pictures have already been posted to the web, and I'm still working hard to get more posted. As I do, they will show up here on flickr.

We were happy to be invited to a special birthday party for Dot Parten, one of Angie's co-workers for many years. Here's a bunch of the old friends together for a picture at the party.

Back row: Dot Parten, Jody Riley, Connie Thomas.

Front row: Pat May, Angie Harrison

More pictures here!


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by James W. Harrison. All rights reserved.