Papas World -when I was young – growing up Eldred

My childhood was spent in the early years

on the side yard – backyard

and some close neighborhood yards.

There were Four apple trees

spaced out in those yards.

Two were crab apples

And two the most tasty Yellow Apples!


The crab apples were good for throwing –

many a train box car I pitched them at.

But those Yellow apples –

Just to sit down and eat – and gather for my Mom

to make one of her apple pies!

There were honey bees all over the ones on the ground.

And both trees stood side by side in a neighbors yard.

Behind old Mr. Dennings house ( might have been Dennis)

And the other in the Winsor’s back yard.

We played kick the can in those backyards –

four plus yards in total.

This was on North main street in Eldred Pa.

The railroad track bordered the one side-

The other side had the houses then the sidewalk and the main street!

We played early morning to dusk –

we had a lot of kids from North Main Street.

Both sides of the street.

Anyone time there would be 7 to 15 kids.

Both boys and girls.

We had a two story farm barn in our back yard.

My brother and his friends made a basketball court upstairs.

Just one basket – or might have been two?

But it had wood planks for the floor.

My dad has fish heads nailed to the front

from all the Pike and Walleye he caught in Canada.

We ran about all the time

I really do not remember anyone watching us like we do today with kids.

We hit the house to eat and then we were outside.

Winter and Summer.

I can remembering gathering corn silk

and putting it into a pipe

There was a window on that second floor of that old barn

And I would try to light it – it was not dry! LOL

Once I got my bike
then I was at the park all day!

I never realy got into smoking until I was maybe 22!

And then – I did not inhale!

It was a staus thing I think –

The guys I worked second shift with smoked and chewed!

I only would smoke at work and a little bit at home.

And a pack would last me a couple days!

I quit when we got married – I think I was 32!

I would walk those tracks downtown and to the swinging bridge.

It was on the other side of the tracks just beyond

The Whitehawk Beef Company’

It spanned a small creek – Barden Brook – that flowed into the river.

It was held up by steel cables

and we would get on it and start jumping up and down

It would bounce and then you sort of caused it to sway

back and forth.

Hence we called it the Swinging Bridge.

This is but a short part of my childhood

one I think back to.

One that has a lot of great memories and people.

Sherry and Tom

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Papa’s World – BOOK CLUB and a place to read

It was FIVE years ago that I attended my first BOOK CLUB –

Only because the moderator was my wife !


My reading material is fiction – detective – sci – fi –

Sports page – front page – and local news –

I had no idea what they read –

But for five years –

I have expanded my horizons !


I have read books I never heard about –

nor would I EVER pick up to read !


Out of all that we have read – my favorite author

and I have read all his books except one –


A author from SWEDEN !

IMAGINE THAT as I am married to a third generation removed SWEDE !


These books – I find are mostly not fiction and deal with real life –

Except his !

A MAN CALLED OVE – BEARTOWN – and many more are excellent fiction.

He has a way of spinning a dozen characters

that he could write a entire book on each one !

( and some he has )


Reading has been my go to all my life –

In fact my Freshman year of H.S. –

” IVANHOE” saved my passing English class that year !

I am a terrible speller –

When I was in second grade –

the county decided that memory –

was the best way to spell –

instead of the traditional way –

Well that lasted a couple years

and then they went back

But I never learned the proper way !

And I suspect – a lot of us in that age frame are the same way !

I believe

Jon Meacham – ” THE SOUL OF AMERICA “

A tough read – in depth –

I found myself rereading pages and pages –

Just to understand –

But I will tell you all –

It hit home –

it is about what is going on now

It is what has happened for 300 plus years


You have to have a sense of humor


By Jose Antonio Vargas

This book described the happenings of RIGHT NOW !

As does the book REFUGEE –

how History repeats itself –

1939 – Jewish – 1994 – Cuban and 2019 Syria –


Pick up these books –

read them –

understand –

Much as IVANHOE did for me all those years ago.


We live today as a result of struggles from our history

Find a quiet place – a place of peace –


For that is what makes us knowledgeable

Five plus years ago –

I picked up a book that I would of never picked up




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Papa’s World – James & Dolly’s – MONTPELIER



Those words were spoken by the man –

who framed the Constitution –

And was the Architect of ” THE BILL of RIGHTS ” !

James Madison – President – of the United States –

And perhaps the most famous first lady that ever lived – Dolly Madison.

James and Dolly Madison
As she called him.

We celebrated our belated anniversary –

by taking a day trip to Orange Va.

Where a few miles outside of town –

sits the estate of MONTPELIER –

Still on its original 2600 acres granted by the King of England.

First Lady Dolly Madison –

actually knew and talked to the first 13 Presidents

Having met Lincoln when he was a young man in the crowd !

She performed the duties of FIRST LADY for 16 years –

Eight with her husband and eight with Jefferson as he was a widower.


Built at the beginning of the 1800 ‘s – and later added on to –

with drawings by James good friend Thomas Jefferson –

It is truly one of the best preserved homes of the early presidents.

I have visited Washington’s –


and Jackson’s homes –

along with Lee’s home in Arlington

And this home in my opinion – is the best preserved.

Almost 95 % of the furnishings have been returned or obtained –

After James death and in the 1840’s –

Dolly sold almost everything and moved to Washington D.C.

They still are receiving pieces – one or two per month –

THOUSANDS of items were sold and now are back at the mansion.

Table and tea set

This table and tea set were used daily by Dolly and James –

I find it remarkable that they have found almost all of it !

The house itself – the floors do not make any noise when you walk

Nor is there a musty smell –

When in the basement – you look up at the flooring

So well preserved !

This bed is in a interactive room – you actually can lay down on it !

All the bricks were made on site –

there is a list of materials James bought from Jefferson

who had them made.


Sitting at his desk in the upstairs room –

James Madison wrote ” THE BILL of RIGHTS “

While daily for hours using this view out the window to inspire him.

The grounds are just awesome

The woods around the estate are

and have been preserved for over 220 years

One of the biggest tracts of OLD GROWTH anywhere –

With miles and miles of walking trails.

Reconstruction of the buildings is on going

Many of the buildings have been researched and erected as they once were.

A view of the slave quarters with Montpelier in the back ground

Even though he wrote the Bill of Rights –

He never freed his slaves –

A blemish on his life.

Paul Jennings book
Paul Jennings was his personal servant
Very emotional

It is a shame that our fore fathers –

who crafted our great nation

Could not or would not – make all equal.

Although he left no descendants –

they had no children –

I find it ironic – that to this day –

The masters have passed beyond –

Yet the enslaved descendants –

Still survive and return –

To honor their forbearers

To the place they served.


The gardens – walled in – offer a respite – a place to rest in the shade.

The Garden
Sherry – was afraid of the bees !
Steps back to the gate
Sherry and Tom

A quiet place to relax in the shade –

You can just imagine – the guests – children – walking through here.

The trees are old and huge –

The level “GREEN” where parties and dances were held.

The back of the house from “THE GREEN”

The back of the house – where many dances – parties – were held.

The yard completely level

Lush and green.

To the front and cemetery

Back to the front and down the hill –

sits the family plot with over 100 burials

Back in those days – no grave stones existed.

It was all done from memory –

The first to be buried was his grand father

around 1724 !

He was poisoned by his slaves

One was hanged – two were flogged with 25 lashes.

In the mid 1800’s – after the death of Dolly –

she was brought back and laid to rest by her husband

Markers were then put in

and through research

The graves were marked

Some – they do not know

View from the front

I hope you like my little trip in words and pictures –

It has been on our bucket list for twenty years now

Tom & Sherry

Our anniversary gift to each other –

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Welcome to PAPA’S WORLD


Orange Va.

Papas World – come laugh with me!

I find a lot of funny sayings – pictures – quotes

that make me smile –

a lot I do not post because they are political

even though they go both ways

being a straight down the middle independant

I find them funny – and I really do not care

what party they are in!

In today’s World

Today – everyone has their phone out –

I very seldom have mine out – only when I am alone

By myself with no one around!

In fact – I have been known to forget it

and leave it home!

I study people as they are doing whatever they are doing

with their phone!


I have never done crossfit in my life!

I have no idea what it consists of.

I really am not a exercise guy

But I do walk

when it is not freezing outside!


As I have written before

I got o bed early

and I get up early

so if you call or text me on the phone

that I really do not use

I will not see it until 5 am.the next morning!



When you get older – you will find it!

Although – all through my life

I loved vegetables

Boiled dinners

cukes – tomato’s – beans –


Could be me also!

Going shopping – I push the cart –

I lag behind –

I sneak things in unseen! LOL

Yep -that is me!

I hope today I brought just a little smile!

A feel better day!

A day made better by laughing!


Thank you for reading Papa’s World



Papas World – company asked – How do you know what to write about?

It’s like this!
You make something out of nothing!
The story is there – you just have to see it
in your mind!

We had company and were talking and I was asked

“How do you know what to blog about” ?

“I do not know I answered”!

I just see something and I write!

I did not PLAN to write this blog this morning

But – I have a ability to ” SEE” stories in everything I see!

” How often do you write(blog) ?

“EVERYDAY” I replied!

I try to bring humor
I try to find balance
and I try to look at life

Another conversation we had –

” You go to bed at 8 to 8:30 pm.” ?


Well – I get tired and find when that happens

If I go to bed – I fall asleep right away.

If I push past it – then I am awake until 1 or 2 AM.

And – I still will wake up before 5 am.

And then – I feel terrible the rest of the day!

That could be my wife
but not me
I am blessed with
a great memory
and I find to have that memory
is to be consistent in whatever I do!

Now – I told our company –

one other thing I do – is I never use a alarm clock!

I do not need one – I have what I call

a internal clock –

If I need to get up at say 3:45 am.

I just wake up!

Or if you tell me you want up at a certain time

I will wake you up!

I do not know how this is –

or how it works –

But it is me – and I know it not to be normal!

Smiling – laughing
seeing funny things
jogs my memory!

Today – I came downstairs at 4:35 am.

I had gotten up at 12:30 am. Bathroom break!

Could not fall asleep

So I came down and looked at my emails

Looked at my stats on my blogs.

Saw what was on face book

And then I went back to bed at 1:30 am.

And fell a sleep again.

I had gotten 7 plus hours of sleep

and I was ready to go!

While posting on face book
I came across this
and then it came into
my mind to write this blog!

My wife Sherry understands me –

not the who – what or why I am me!

But she accepts it – she is opposite –

and that is why it works!

I learned a long time ago
Just see the other side
might not agree
but it is safer!

She is all the time asking me



But – be that what it is – she takes care of all things$$$$!

She takes care of everything that deals with bills –

I – on the other hand – clean – mow the lawn

Do the repairs I know how to do


She can make almost anything
but requires a book to follow
Not me – I just plow ahead
and from memory and feel
put it together

This works for both of us –

we know our boundries

we know each other well

She is my health coach

She has taken so many classes

done the research

and attending so many health fairs

She is why I am still alive today!

I did not marry a rich women!

I married a women Rich in thought

word and deed

A women rich in history

No – I did not know what I was going to write about

when I got out of bed this morning

But I do know that all of a sudden it comes!

This is but one more blog

One that when I go – will be left behind

that is my legacy – my memory – my BLOG for the day!

Thank you for reading Papa’s World

Where friends meet the family!

Papa’s World – The wonders of the KINZUA BRIDGE

Hundreds of years ago – this was the land of the Seneca ‘ s –

One of the five nations in Western Pa. and New York State.

And in this land – was a river and mountains and a valley –

The river – the Allegany – the mountains the same –

and the valley – ” THE KINZUA ” !


Both Sherry and myself

were born and raised in this beautiful part of Penna. and NYS .

Her in a little hamlet called Mount Jewett –

a SWEDISH founded community on top of the mountains –

And me – in the river valley in a little town called Eldred.

Both situated within the boundaries of the Allegany mountains

and what the Indian nation called ” KINZUA ” !

Land of the Senaca’s THE KINZUA VALLEY

Back in the late 1800’s – a way to bring coal to a place to store and sell –

You had to go up and down in these mountains –

A long hard trip –

So – a solution was to build a bridge – spanning this valley –

And to ship the coal by RAIL !

Thus was born ” THE KINZUA BRIDGE ” !

What is left of the bridge

At the time of construction ( I think in record time of months )

It became one of the WONDERS OF THE WORLD –

At its highest point – over 300 feet straight down –

and almost a half mile long !

Disaster struck – a TORNADO

The bridge was used for years and years –

undergoing a complete renovation in the years to follow to strengthen it –

As the trains became larger – heavy – and loaded with coal.

Then – it was deemed the end of transporting the coal era –

And became somewhat of a tourist attraction –

A look down from the bridge

The bridge – became a ride across –

with a steam locomotive carrying passengers .

After years of this – it was deemed unsafe –

But the locals still walked across it

and many rode snowmobiles across it

( Sherry’s father rode across countless times on a snowmobile )

Today – a historical site

About 12 to 15 years ago – disaster struck –

they had just begun restoring the old bridge-

It was going to be safe once again –

They were done for the day –


Conditions became perfect for Mother Nature !

The winds increased in the valley –

And a TORNADO ( rare ) formed –

The bridge went down – half of it !

One half left

In the years that followed – it was deemed as both historical

and a State Park – with a multi million dollar museum –

and bus loads of tourist all year around.

Glass floor installed

You can now walk out on it to the platform

and peer straight down through a reinforced GLASS FLOOR –

300 feet straight down – not for me –

There is a bench before you walk out –

That is my seat until all come back !

The entrance to the visitor center & Museum

The Visitor center and museum – gives a detail history of the construction

and a timeline and pictures of the destruction from the Tornado.

Along with interviews of eye witness ‘s and rescues !

The old rail road grade

The OLD RAIL ROAD GRADE has been resurfaced

and made into miles of walking and hiking trails

through the top of the valley.

Also known as the ” KINZUA DAM “

Several miles away – part of the valley was made into a dam –

No houses are allowed as it is one half state property –

And the other half belongs to the SENACA INDIAN NATION.

The marina on the KINZUA RESERVOIR

Boating and water sports and fishing is allowed – must purchase a license.

Miles and miles of shoreline in both NYS & Pa.

The area is beautiful – full of wild life –

much as it was hundreds of years ago.

The Senaca Nation owns and runs the Casino –

And the reservation encompasses much of the land in both states.


In the little town of Ludlow Pa. –

Is the site of the OLMSTEAD MANOR –

Built in the early 1900’s –

We have stayed here many times –

It still has the old phones – that you would blow into –

And the names of all the family who lived here-

With the number of the phone and which room they resided in !

There is a one lane bowling alley in the top floor !

Buck – Cindy – Sherry – Tom

All our friends are from the area – and we go home –

The Bridge is a must stop to see destination.

I hope you liked the blog and a little bit of information –

On the Allegany foothills and the KINZUA VALLEY & BRIDGE !

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Sherry & Tom

Papa’s World – Grand daughters came to visit

We picked them up on Saturday afternoon – at their house –

Their parents were leaving early the next morning –

To take their oldest daughter to college –

They would not be back until early evening on Tuesday –

Good morning – welcome to Papa’s World.

We had the girls stay with us for three days – and it was a pleasure.

Oh – and we also had Sarah’s ( with a “H” ) she says –


Our three oldest grand daughters
Maddy & Ella holding Sarah

Finny will be coming to live with us for a week when they go on vacation !

Sarah – is the youngest at 13 while Ella will be 16 next month.

Sarah – our dancer – actor

Never a cross word – extremely funny – giggling and laughing –

Sarah can be a hand full – but she is so outgoing –

And she is sprouting right up there – Ella is already as tall as Maddy –

And I think Sarah will be taller than either one.

Ella is within a inch and half of Sherry – who is 5′ 9 ” !

Ella on this board that you wiggle back and forth and it moves forward

We took them everywhere

and they also spent a lot of time with their cousins

They constantly – the both of them – went up and down

and around the house on some type of board.

Sarah on her board

I would of been upside down in a second on these things !

Ella and Sarah

We went to the pool yesterday afternoon –

and they almost had it to themselves !

Packed up and waiting

Sadly – it all came to a end last night as they waited for their ride home.

People ask why we don’t move to a warmer climate –

Two of the reasons were here this weekend.

The house is quiet now – no laughter – no giggling –

No noise going up and down the street

I gaze at their beds where they slept –

And think just how fortunate we are –

Sherry and Finny

In a couple weeks – Finny will be coming back

But I miss them already –

Little ( tiny) Ella
Sarah growing up

Looking forward to the next time –

Two young ladies – laughing –

Made these grand parents happy for the weekend.

Tom and Sherry

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