"There are places I'll remember all my life"....
This section will bring you on a tour of the many places I love.
Places that I can never really truly leave for any length of time. The places where some part of me still remains.
Growing up in New Orleans left me with a love
of fine food, good music and an appreciation for preserving the beautiful things in life. Just strolling through the French
Quarter takes you to a different period in history. Your senses are filled with the sounds and smells of New Orleans. As you
pass by the jazz clubs your senses are stimulated as you feel yourself being carried away by the lingering melodies abounding.
Then you catch a brief wiff from a restaurant in the area as a horse carriage passes by you to the rythem of "clippity clop,
clippity clop". All the pleasant sights and sounds of an era not forgotten enhance your senses. There's no mistake about it,
you know you are in New Orleans, a one of a kind, no place like it in the world "city that care forgot." As you get ready
to leave, you're saddened, because you don't know when you'll be able to return.
The west has always intriqued me for it's vast open
spaces and for that sense of being in a western film you get when you start exploring. The freedom you feel under your feet
is amazing when you start exploring the wild and open spaces of the west.
New England, much like New Orleans has a unique atmosphere
and history unlike anywhere else. There is no mistake about it when you are there. You are in a place unlike all others. With
it's history and it's tiny fishing villages New England is a special place. From the Freedom Trail in Boston to Cape Cod and
beyond, New England is without a doubt one of my very favorite places.
"My Personal Album"
Hiking the north rim of the Grand Canyon in
winter was an awesome experience. We avoided the crowds and had great views of the snow-laden ground all around us. This was
also a chance for me to show off my fancy hiking boots. What do you think?
Beatles fan that I am I had to get a shot next
to John Lennon's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. It's right in front of Capitol Records in the heart of Hollywood....Imagine
This was a backpacking trip I made to the Sierras
in California. We camped at 11,000 feet with year-round glaciers within view. The area was so beautiful it looked like they
had gardeners in every week to manicure the scenery. Almost within a rock's throw is Mount Whitney, which is the highest point
in the continental states. The weather changes quite frequently at that altitude and a storm passed right by us from out of
the blue. What a wonderful trip!
This photo was taken years ago while on a trip
to New Orleans to see the World's Fair. I was visiting friends at the time this was taken. I felt this picture was a good
candidate to be put thru the photo program to be "tweeked". Actually, this is an example of one of my wilder moments. I'm
actually quite tame....in some respects!
This is a shot from a recent trip to Smoky
Mountain National Park in October 2000. A huge snow storm had just come thru the area and the road into the park was closed.
Hoping to get a chance to visit the park sometime during the day, we hung out on the Cherokee Indian Reservation on the way
into the park. When we heard it was a go and that the roads were open we made a dash to the crest and enjoyed the park with
very few people there. The moral of this story is..."Impatient boys sometimes miss dessert".
I just woke up....don't look! OK, now that
you've seen what I look like in the morning and you're still here I guess that's a good sign. This was taken on a houseboating
trip at Lake Powell. Ten of us got together and rented a houseboat for 3 days and explored as many neat little coves and trails
as we could find. My first cup of coffee in the morning always puts a smile on my face!
Here I am at Mount Wilson standing in a pile
of snow with really cold feet. Some people that were snow-tubing that day had asked me if I wanted to try it. I had really
good insurance at the time so I gave it a try. Well, I didn't get air-lifted or anything exciting like that, but I did make
it into a big ditch. How did I find the ditch so easily you say?...I don't know to this day. This shot was taken after the
great snow-tubing experiment....I was OK!
This shot was taken on a stop-over at Monument
Valley while on the way to Lake Powell. I saw an Indian (this is no joke) riding by me on a horse. I asked him if he would
let me get a picture on his horse. He agreed, but said it would cost 50 cents. Well, I thought that was a great deal in today's
economy so I took him up on the offer. He even took the picture. Not a bad picture for 50 cents!
Here's a shot of me sitting on the rock in
deep meditation and pondering over how to get down. I know I couldn't prove it because I'm kinda' way far away in this shot,
but take my word for it. Although not a good closeup I felt it showed the true scale of things better. When you're amidst
such massive rock you really get an idea of how small you are compared to nature, and also how much it would really hurt for
one of those rocks to fall on you!
"In Loving Memory...A True Story"
I wanted to share an experience I had this weekend as
a reminder to all of you that life not only does not end at death, but that there is a world on the other side far greater
than we could imagine. Please consider this a tribute to my Mom and Dad, as well as a gift to all of you.
Thursday night May 24th my Dad passed away after 93
long, wonderful years. After getting the news I immediately packed and wondered how I would deal with this and the anniversary
of my Mom's death coming up this weekend. Knowing that my Dad was always there for me I asked him for help in getting through
this. I wanted to visit the shared living facility where my Dad had spent the last three years of his life to thank them for
all they had done and how much they all meant to my Dad. I was informed by one of the nurses, with tears in her
eyes, that my Dad had thanked them all on the way out to the hospital that Thursday morning. It appears that not only did
my Dad tell everyone goodbye before leaving, but had told everyone at dinner the night before that he had talked to my Mom
the night before and she told him that it had been far too long since they had been together and that it was time for them
to be together, again. He told everyone at dinner the night before that he was not only ready for it, but was looking forward
to it. He said that my Mom had tried to prepare him for his passing and said that everything would be fine. When my Dad left
for the hospital the next morning he knew it would be the last time he would have to endure the aches and pains of a 93 year
old body. He was in good spirits and seemed to be so at ease about everything as he left the facility for the last time. He
said Mary (my Mom) had prepared him for this and he was looking forward to it.
The morning of the funeral, while waiting for my niece
to arrive, I stepped out of the motel room into the parking lot. I stood there in the parking lot, early morning, birds chirping
all around me. In an instant, like a bolt of lightning, and from a force outside my own I was touched by something more real
than vision, or sound, or touch can describe. From a force outside my own and a presence more knowing than me I was given
a very brief feeling of what it was like for my Dad. Like my Dad's spirit passing through my heart I had a brief sensation
of heaven. It was over-powering, over-welming, and nearly knocked me to my knees it was so intense and came from out of nowhere.
In a form of communication greater than words, I was told, "This is what it's like." For a fleeting moment every cell in my
body danced, every worry erased, every question ever asked was answered. It was a place so familiar, yet I don't remember
being there. I can only describe it as unsurpassable peace and happiness. It was the lost child finding the parent, the loved
one found, it was returning home without ever remembering leaving. It felt so familiar and the feeling was so intense that
it was beyond peace and happiness. It was the natural state of being that we have all forgotten. It was a state of conscienseness
that erased all negative. It was a state of being where everything made sense, everything was just, everything was beyond
any experience capable on earth. It was beyond words, or senses, or taste or smell. It was the place we all come from and
all go back in time. It was home.
I immediately turned and walked back into the motel
room. My friend standing on the other side of the door, looking at me, asked "What just happened to you?" As I tried to explain
an unexplainable event, I settled for, "I just had a spiritual experience I can't describe." I could only describe it as the
most peace I have ever felt in my life.
Later that day, after the funeral, and being the only
four people left in the parking lot, my niece, her husband, myself, and my friend were about to get into our cars to say goodbye
when two butterflies of the same color, the same size flew into view and circled us all, before coming back together, again,
and flying off into the distance.
As I sit here and write this, on the 14th anniversary
of my Mom's death, I know they are together once again, as we all shall be.
Feel free to share this with as many people as you like.
People need to know that there is indeed much more to life than what we can see, or explain. There are greater forces than
ourselves who are watching after us all.
"Happy Father's Day Dad...Tell Mom I love her!"
--Michael S. Newell 5 /27 /01
"My Favorite Qoutes"
may come and friends may go.
Friends may "peter-out" you know.
Here's to friends through thick and thin.
"Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just
-- Will Rogers
"What are the three words guaranteed to humiliate men everywhere?
Hold my purse.'"
"Be careful with that, you'll poke an
"The political machine works because it is
a united minority acting against a divided majority."
-- Will Durant
"Try not to become a man of success,
rather, try to become a man of value."
"Our scientific power has outrun our
We have guided missiles and misguided men."
-- Martin Luther King Jr
"I know not with what weapons World War III
will be fought,
but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones."
A little education
goes a long way
in a city of ignorance"
"Sex with love is the greatest thing in life."
"But sex without love-that's not bad
"I live by this credo: Have a little laugh at life and look around
you for happiness instead of sadness. Laughter has always brought me out of unhappy situations. Even in your darkest moment,
you usually can find something to laugh about if you try hard enough."
- Red Skelton -