Again, I've spent a majority of my time working on the things for the Halloween party. I'm nearly done with the bathroom (FINALLY), and will be starting the final stages of the "torture chamber" this weekend. Last weekend, our friends who handed us the party this year came for dinner and brought 5 boxes of their decorations/props to use. I gotta say, I was like a kid in a candy store digging through all that. A lot we could use, and some we can't or just won't. C'mon...I have a guy in a woodchipper and a real wooden 7 foot coffin, I'm NOT using those silly smiley face pumpkins or cute little grinning ghosts. That would be my equivelant of turning off my Slayer cd, putting in The Carpenters, getting a minivan, wearing sandals and taking up golf..................................NOT GONNA HAPPEN!!!! lol. Today we went to the big Halloween store and decided to go ahead and spend the $15 on a timer for the fog machine that our friends let us borrow. That thing works great, but it has a switch that has to be pressed every time you want fog. This timer lets me set how often it goes off, and for how long it fogs. I hooked it up and of course HAD to give it a test run. See the pics below and you'll see it gives a whole new eerie look to the "graveyard". I want to build a "chiller" for it, so the fog lays on the ground rather than rise, but that's going to depend upon spare time and materials I have on hand. (the liquid sprays across heated coils to make the fog, so it's hot, lighter than air and rises. A chiller cools the fog after the coils and it lays low to the ground) I'm sure I have pipe fittings to use, but it's made from a cooler and I really don't want to cut holes in one. (I know I know, I really don't need SEVEN coolers lol)
Normally at this time of year, we go on "haunted" walks or tours, but this year we have decided not to, since they're $20-$40 each trip, plus gas and usually food on the way home. Instead we have decided to take up our own sort-of similar hobby and just visit old local cemetaries during the day. The artwork is sometimes fascinating. The history of some is incredible. The stories of some are strong, and some very sad. In the past week or so, we've visited six local cemetaries, and taken LOTS of pictures. Our plan is to open another blog, but we'll work on that after Halloween. So far we've seen GIANT monuments, tiny unmarked stones, old ones back to the early 1800's, and today found not only 5 WWI vets, but a Revolutionary War vet, my grandfather, (died when my dad was 3) and my great grandparents. (maybe a kinda creepy side note-I found my grandfathers grave today, 10-21-09 and he was buried on 10-21-41!) I know this may seem like an odd hobby to a lot of people, but during these "haunted" walks, we've both been more fascinated with the stones and history than with the actual ghost stories. I'll post more as we progress in this, and eventually post a link when we open a blog and/or a website.
I still keep somewhat in touch with an old girlfriend from long ago. We dated from when I was about 22 till around age 27. We broke up really rough, but it's been years. I have since apologised for what I did to her, and we remain friends. Her parents were wonderful people, and were always quite fond of me. Last year she told me her dad was sick, and I made it a point to go visit them. Yea....15 years or so after I dumped their daughter for who was not only my first wife, but her best friend, they welcomed me into their house with open arms. That short "hi how are ya" visit ended up being over 3 hours. I left happy to know that they still thought highly of me, and left planning to visit them again soon. Well...that visit didn't happen. She called me last week to know that he was in the hospital, and I planned to visit within a day or 2. She called yet again on Monday, crying and telling me that the doctors gave him days to live. I planned on going first thing the next morning, but she called me at 9:30 that night, telling me that he was gone. I felt awful for her and her mother, and sad that I didn't get that last chance to talk and shake his hand. I went to their house last night, and during what turned out to be a 4 hour visit, they asked me to be a pallbearer. I'm somewhat shocked about being asked, but I'm also honored. The funeral will be this Friday, and a military one since he was a WW2 Navy veteran. Sadly, the forecast calls for heavy rain, but lets hope that will change. I know it's a strange situation, and strange for me to write about here, but I can't help it, I really liked that guy. He was one of those nearly rare people that was always in a good mood, always smiling, and always joking. He was a bit of a drinker on occasion, but he was a funny drunk. No, let me correct that, he was a hilarious drunk. One night (I'm chuckling even as I type this) he came home drunk from the VFW with a case of butter. Yes you read that right, a CASE of butter...somewhere around 40 of those 4 packs of sweet cream butter...hahahaha. Turns out that one of the guys at the bar was a dairy driver and ran out of beer money. He went to his route truck and returned with a case of butter, offering it to the first person to give him $20 for beer. Well.....yea.....he bought the butter and came home with it, smiling like he had just made the best purchase of his life. Needless to say, his wife was NOT all to happy that A-he came home drunk, B-he spent $20 on something foolish, and C-she hated butter. Yep......he slept on the couch for a few nights, lol. Adrian "Sonny" Marko, I'll really miss you.