Where Did 36 Years Go?

September 27, 1975, I pulled out my company two-way radio and announced the arrival of Matthew Louis Steinhoff. The next stop was to apply a bumper sticker I had custom made.

Newspaper announcement

In keeping with the newspaper theme, a couple of the gals in the Art Department put together this front page mockup. (Don’t try to read the stories. They pulled random real copy out of the paper to fill the space.)

Time flies when you’re having family

The photo gallery will show how quickly time passes. We survived swim meets (he was Rookie of the Year when he was five); photo contests, Scouts, high school and his move to Orlando to work for The Orlando Sentinel (and his move back to Palm Beach Gardens). Along the way, he met and married Sarah, one of the two best daughter-in-laws any parents could hope for. (Son Adam snagged Carly, the other keeper).

Matt and Sarah have their own Tiger Scout now, seven-year-old Malcolm, and Adam and Carly have started their family with Graham, who was born in February.

How do you pick through 36 years of photos?

Wife Lila looked at my photo picks and kept saying, “You missed that one. You have one with your Dad, but not your Mother. You left out …. How about….?”

My only answer was, “This ain’t his last birthday.” Scores of photos come to mind, but I went with some new ones I discovered this week going through old slide trays. Mixed in are some oldies that are favorites (or, to be honest, were easy for me to find.)

Wish Matt a Happy Birthday

Here’s a quick overview of Matthew Louis Steinhoff. Click on any photo to make it larger, then click on the left or right side to move through the gallery. Don’t worry. We’ll add to the collection next BDay. I’ll be sure to have one of Mother in that batch.



Kentucky Rest Area and Tired Biker

Right outside Nashville, I hit a torrential rainstorm that lasted about 10 miles. I was glad that it waited until the outskirts of town instead of adding poor vision and hydroplaning to city traffic. By the time I got to the Tennessee / Kentucky line, I was feeling a little sleepy, so I pulled into the Welcome to Kentucky rest area near Ft. Campbell for a 22-minute nap. ( I set the alarm on my Droid for 25 minutes; it usually takes me about three minutes to fall asleep.)

It’s a nice stop with clean restrooms and friendly people working in it. I’ve shot it in all seasons and it’s pretty no matter what time of year. I KNOW I have some spring and fall pix, but couldn’t find them.

Winds were gusting

The winds weren’t as bad as the ones that nearly blew me off the road south of Atlanta, but they were gusty enough to keep you on your toes. I was glad I had the nap so I was sharp.

Ran across tired biker

Cutting across 146 east of Anna, I saw a cyclist pushing his bike up a steep hill. When I got closer, I could tell he was a tourist by the BOB trailer and the stuff he was carrying. I pulled over at the top of the hill to shoot his picture and see if he needed help. This is a stretch of road I wouldn’t like to ride: traffic is fairly light, but it’s fast, there are no shoulders, some of the hills are steep and it was the time of day when windshield glare could hide a rider.

We introduced ourselves – he was David “Laughin Wolf” Edwards – and I asked where he was headed. “You mean tonight or at the end? I’m headed home to Washington State, but I was hoping to make Cape Girardeau tonight. The way things are going, I’m going to be lucky to make it to Anna.”

“I don’t want to hurt your feelings by asking, but do you want to throw your bike on the rack? I’m headed to Cape.” His legs hurt more than his feelings, so he quickly stripped off his gear and piled it into the van. His next stop was St. Louis and the KATY Trail, so I suggested he take Rt. W, go through Altenburg, Frohna and then drop to to the Mississippi River flats to Chester.

Free-camping to save money

When we got to Cape, I asked where he wanted to be dropped off.  He said that bad weather and flooding had caused him to spend all his lodging budget by May, so he was free-camping on the side of the road to save money. He defined “free-camping” as finding any place he could spread out a ground cloth and sleeping bag. Cemeteries and church yards were good places, he said. He tries to be gone before anyone even knows he’s been there.

Almost all of the places that I thought might work have been victims of development. We stopped at Jones Heritage Farms on Rt. W where a very nice woman called the owner to see if he could camp there, but he was turned down. “Maybe if he had called in advance…”

I finally left him off near the bridge over Cape LaCroix Creek on Rt. W, where he unrolled his sleeping bag onto some soft grass.

He called me this morning to say that he had stopped at Heritage Farms on his way out of town, got permission from the owner to camp on the grounds and had planned to take a rest day and listen to a band at the place Friday night.


L.O.S.T. Ate My Homework

I KNOW, I promised photos from down inside the caverns in the quarry, but I had a chance to go to on the Lake Okeechobee Scenic Trail (L.O.S.T.) tonight to see gators, great blue herons, osprey, little snakes and all kinds of wading birds. It was either that or edit photos that were already 35 years old. I figure you can wait another day.

We’ve had so little rain this year that we’ve moved into the “exceptional drought” category. What you see as grass in this photo should be water at this time of the year.

Sample of quarry cavern photos

Here’s an example of one of the photos taken inside one of the caverns before they were collapsed. More to come if the L.O.S.T. doesn’t call my name again.

David’s Christmas Bike

While looking through some old converted 8mm home movies, I ran across this snippet of Brother David getting his first bicycle. The best part is watching him polish the fingerprints off the fender at the end.

Tech note: Brother Mark moved the old 8mm movies to VHS tapes. I used an ION Audio VCR 2 PC USB VHS Video to Computer Converter to copy them to a digital file. They’ve lost something in all the gyrations (and they weren’t all that great to begin with), but they still bring back a lot of memories for me.

Bikes were part of our life

By the summer, he was riding his bike to ball games. (After pumping up the front tire.)