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Unusual Hole-in-One

The fifth hole was only 110 yards away, so Leo Fiyalko chose a five-iron for the shot. Having played golf for 60 years, he was familiar with the game, but because of his advancing age, he required assistance each time he played. Someone helped him line up the shot, he swung, struck accurately and soundly, and into the distance the ball disappeared.

His friend, Jean Gehring could see better than could Leo, and he thought the ball landed on the green. When they arrived there, he could not locate the ball…until he looked in the cup. Leo Fiyalko had hit a hole-in-one…the first of his career. Interesting thing: Leo is 92 years old and is totally blind!

Whoops and shouts erupted. Later, his friends at the Cove Cave Country Club in Florida presented him with a plaque to commemorate his feat.

Picture and information from

Hey, you golfers who are reading here. Ever got a hole-in-one? Know what your chances are? According to this site…



What are the odds of getting a hole-in-one?


Next time you tee up that ball on a par 3 with dreams of putting it in the hole you might want to consider your chances before doing so.The odds of getting a hole-in-one are debatable, but we came to the conclusion that they are about 1 in 10,000.

Of course, the lower your handicap, the better your chances, and if you’re a typical duffer they can go up significantly to 1 in 40,000.

Dreaming of doing it twice in the same round? It’ll take you about 9 million rounds on average before you do so.

Happy whacking.

Now, figure that you’re 92 years old…and blind. Odds, anyone?


My devotional blog is here.

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He’s Gone Green, He Has, Poor Santa!

Santa Claus cyclists dressed in green

Five men dressed in green Santa Claus costumes, on behalf of The Climate Group, promote energy-saving appliances to help combat climate change.

From BBC News

Bring him back! I demand a chuckling, roly-poly red-suited Santa with his magic sleigh and all the fat reindeer and Rudolph with his energy-squandering flashing red nose.


My devotional blog is here. 

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Five-year-old, Tre Merritt, Kills A Bear

Perhaps most of us agree this is a good use for a gun, except that wasn’t Tre in great danger as, with a tiny gun, he shot this lumbering bear. (I’m not even sure what a youth rifle is.) Quite extraordinary that a child this size and age could shoot and kill a bear, would you not agree? But then, the little fella is from Arkansas which bumps against Missouri, my home state, and we’re known to be tough and enduring, we are, we midwestern mountaineers. 🙂

From KATV Spirit of Arkansas

Dewitt – An Arkansas County boy killed a black bear Sunday weighing more than 400 pounds.

(Tre Merritt, Five-year-old Hunter) “I was up in the stand and I seen the bear. It came from the thicket and it was beside the road and I shot it.”

Tre Merritt’s grandfather was in the stand with him at the time. He says Tre did it all by himself.

(Mike Merritt, Tre’s Grandfather) “He came in about 40 to 50 yards, and when he got in the open. I whistled at him and he stopped and I said, ‘Shoot Tre.’”

And that’s just what Tre did–he fired his youth rifle.

(Mike Merritt) “I said, ‘Tre, you missed the bear.’ He said, ‘Paw-paw I squeezed the trigger and I didn’t close my eyes. I killed him.”’

The bear turned out to be 445 pounds–twelve-times the size of Tre. Mike Merritt said tears rolled down his cheeks when he found out his grandson killed the enormous bear.

(Mike Merritt) “His 10th great-grandfather was Davie Crockett. And Davie supposedly killed him a bear when he was three. And Tre is five and really killed a bear. I really doubt if Davie killed one when he was three.”

Tre’s dad says he started teaching his son to shoot when he was just 2 ½ years old. Last year, Tre killed three deer.

The family plans to get a life-sized mount of the bear, but they’re not sure right now where they’ll put it.

So, if anywhere around the world you feel threatened by a bear, call on one of us midwestern toughies. On second thought, just call on Tre and I’ll go ahead and hold down things here on my blog. But I’ll be cheering in the background. Actually its quite fair, for I don’t believe I am in a direct–or indirect for that matter–line with Davy Crockett…and Tre is. What a brave and talented little man he is.


My devotional blog is here.

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The Best Paper Airplane in the World

One of the things that happens when we are in Crestline and our small grandchildren are visiting is that they fold and fly numerous paper airplanes. They know where the good-on-one-side stack of paper is kept beneath the printer and that they may take as much of it as they wish. Our house is built with a balcony and a railing that makes a perfect place to fly these planes. They dip and zoom, sometimes even landing in one of the living room chandelier bowls. I think a few days ago I heard Pappy telling one of them about the fire danger of such a landing spot. Anyway, by the time the youngsters are ready to go home, there is a paper fleet of airplanes scattered around the house–sometimes in hangers–usually not. 😦

(All the parents of my grandchildren are excellent about cleaning up and putting away toys at the end of the visit. That for sure is a blessing.)

I think my grandchildren are going to love these instructions I have found, for from my observations, their planes are not cutting-edge, nor world-class paper planes. Seem rather ordinary to me, and quite subjectBuild the best paper airplane in the world. to crash.

By: Michael O’Reilly

During the summer of 1950, on the outskirts of Harrisburg Pennsylvania U.S.A., my sister’s boyfriend “Skip” was sitting on the glider on the front porch of our house. He said to me – “Hey Mike… bring me a sheet of paper.” I answered why? and he responded with his make believe impatience “Just bring it!” I obeyed and he said that he was going to build the best paper airplane in the world. I was eight years old at the time and my meager knowledge of paper airplanes was the traditional flying wedge that spiraled into tight loops and fell head first to the ground.

When he started folding the paper, I knew this was something different, something special. He never explained how he did it but every move, every fold, every detail was burned into my memory. After he finished, we walked the porch handrail and he gently tossed it horizontally towards the street. It glided like no paper airplane I have ever seen before, it was acting like a REAL airplane. It gently curved into the slight breeze and began to rise vertically without moving forward. The craft then began to lower as if it were a helicopter and gently came to rest on the asphalt below.

Over the years, I have shown many eight year old children this paper plane. I don’t know if they will remember but I hope they pass the knowledge on.

What makes this paper airplane so special?


Assembly instructions
Printer friendly instructions
How to fly it

I can hear it now–some of you men will want to check this out and see if indeed a superior paper airplane is created. I suppose it’s okay, even if you don’t have any grandkids, but you must promise to give a report of your success–or 😦 failure.


My devotional blog is here.

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With a Broken Leg, She Crawls Over the Finish Line

Claire Markwardt is my kind of woman, full of stamina, passion,  and (excuse me, please) just plain guts! During a race, she broke her leg, fell to the ground, tried to stand up, fell again, and full of grit, passion and gumption crawled over the finish line.

The full story and a video of her crossing the finish line here.

It was as she was running the last cross country race of her high school career that, mid-race, she broke her leg.

“I was fine until about 200 meters away and then it started to hurt and then it cracked a couple times,” Markwardt said.  She tried to get up, but her leg broke again.

“I knew I really couldn’t stay there and I didn’t wanna let my team down and I had gone that far, so there wasn’t really a point in laying there,” the senior at Berkshire High School told the station.

My kind of woman! You go, Claire.


My devotional blog is here. 

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Durango Vacation Journal Part 14

Thursday was our last full day of vacation in Durango, and around 10:30 Berl and Lavelta and Jerry and I were off to Silverton where we would meet up with Sue and Wes and Susan and Stan. Smedley’s Coffee Shop was the first stop in Silverton, although I didn’t have another cup. I’m not fond of forming a ladies lounge behind trees or wide bushes, so I’ve made it a habit to keep the liquids at a minimum when we’re to be out on the trails. Jerry brought out a cinnamon roll with his coffee and I shared a couple of nibbles. I thought we were ready to leave, but Sue wanted to go into one of the shops and buy a tee shirt that read, I Survived Black Bear. I don’t blame her. I’d wear one too. While they shopped and Jerry finished up the roll, I took pictures—all within one side of a block. This picture of a blue window in an aging brick building may be one of my all-time favorites.


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The trail—Araastatus–was judged to be a 4, and is the most difficult we’ve traveled yet. It ended at the Mayflower Mine. Sue and Susan began digging around among the relics and I soon joined them, for they said it was okay here. The county or the state is wanting this debris cleared out, but I wish they wouldn’t do that, but instead would just leave the historic mines in place. Berl found an old light socket I could have, pitched it out, but when I was at the top I could not find it. I brought out six rusted springs—couple inches long that were fastened onto a bed frame I “discovered.”

A couple of gentlemen, tourists from Illinois, had joined us at the mine and were poking around as were we. One quite elderly man told us: “I found this place a few days ago and wanted my buddy to see it.” They had ridden 4-wheel ATVs to the top.

Exploring over, chairs and snacks were brought out, then it was time to head back. In my estimation, downhill is the scariest part of wilderness 4-wheeling. But we made it without a hitch, though one place required such a tight turn, that with our long wheel base, Jerry had to back up to make it. I got out to be sure he didn’t back too far.

Last year on one of these trails a family went over the side, killing them all. The story is that the dad thought he had the car in reverse, but instead drove forward. We had been told this story and I saw Jerry deliberately staring at the gear shift. Reverse! Yes!

The other six went on to another mining trail, and Jerry and I headed to Animas Forks. We took the lower trail that runs along the Animas River, and it was so beautiful. I know my sweet camera has captured some lovely scenes, but nothing really compares to actually being in such places. The human eye is far superior to the finest glass in any caliber camera. The live scene is enhanced by the trickling sound of small water and the roar of a major fall, and birds who sing and flit about and floating butterflies and bees who buzz. The scent of flower and weed and of animal and of history and of the moment meld into a vision which cannot be captured.


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Animas Forks is an intriguing mining place in which several buildings still stand. I walked into one of the houses and took pictures from its window openings. As I always do in these settings, I tried to image the families who lived here, who worked so hard, who mined and reared families, who planned and focused and dreamed. And somewhere in the vast jaws of eternity they still exist…, awaiting the judgment of God.

We were all to meet back in Silverton, so after a while in Animas we headed back. Just as we approached Silverton, a Jeep pulled from a side road, and we fell in place behind the vehicle.

“I think that’s Berl,” Jerry said.

In the silver Jeep, Berl said. “I think that’s Jerry.

Sure enough, we had encountered the others at the precise moment that enabled us to take our place in the 4-Jeep parade. “It’s a miracle,” we proclaimed later. “A modern day miracle!” we spoofed.

We left the others and with Berl and Lavelta went to Black Bear Cafe for dinner. I didn’t notice the sign, but Jerry did, and it read CLOSED for certain hours. But the door was open and the waitress said, “Sit anywhere you’d like.” We ordered drinks, but no one brought menus. Then another waitress came with a clipboard saying, “Sign here. It’s $3.00 a person and put a dollar each in the middle of the table for a tip.”

We must have looked puzzled, for she added. “This is Senior night.” Seems each Thursday night the restaurant serves a low-cost meal to any senior. There were 20-30 people in the cafe when we were there. “During the winter about 10 come for the meal,” she told us.

“Does the restaurant provide the food?” I asked.

“Yes,” she said, “and the State helps out.”

Seems it started many years ago, when in Silverton there was only one or two places open during the winter months. The year-round population is now around 500, but still only a few of the businesses remain open 12 months a year.

For $4.00 each we were served a tasty meal: Delicious split pea soup, roast brisket, mashed potatoes and gravy, corn, a loaf of warm bread and lots of butter. The dessert was passed helter-skelter. I drew apple pie. Can’t remember ever tasting better. Jerry’s apple pie had a few berries mixed in. Lavelta was served cheese cake, and Berl had a piece of apple pie with a three-berry mixture stirred in. It was a fine meal. It was the LAST SUPPER of our Durango vacation.


My devotional blog is here.

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Durango Vacation Journal Part 9

DSC_0004, originally uploaded by Shirley Buxton.

On our way to church yesterday, as we crossed the bridge, I spied several people floating down the Animas River and wished we had time to stop for a picture. We didn’t, but on the way home, again there were several people visible on the river, and of course we stopped then. The Animas is a beautiful river that runs rapidly through the middle of Durango. There are signs in several places pointing to a river walk, and I believe I read somewhere the walk consists of a paved trail that extends five miles. I want to walk part of that before we leave.

Anyway, yesterday I stood on the bridge and watched the floaters as they developed from specks in the distance to recognizable persons who approached the bridge where I stood, then floated under me and emerged on the other side. One group of young people were friendly and started yelling hi and waving, so of course, I yelled back and snapped lots of pictures. They were so vibrant, I called, “I write a blog and you’ll be on the internet tomorrow.”


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That seemed to please them, and just before they disappeared under the bridge one of them called, “What’s the name of the blog?”

“Shirley Buxton,” I answered. I doubt if they remember my name, but just in case, if any of you are reading here, please tell us so. That surely looked to be fun yesterday, and when Jerry and I got back in the car, I said, “I’d love to do that.” I’ve checked it out and there are a couple of options as far as floating the river is concerned.

Not far from our RV park is the Durango Soaring Club where they tow Sailplanes aloft, then release them to silently glide back to the landing field. As we were passing the field yesterday, there was one taking off, so we pulled in and watched. We didn’t stay long enough for the glider to return, but did watch as the tow plane landed.

While Jerry talked to the people about the particulars of the flights, I wandered around and took pictures. Contiguous to the flight field is old farm equipment and a garden.


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The spectacular sky began to darken and there came a feeling of rain as we entered the car and drove to the RV park. We visited with the Stevenson’s under their awning for a while, then rain squalls began in earnest, lasted for awhile and lifted. Jerry grilled our dinner outside, finishing up the task in sprinkling rain.


My devotional blog is here.


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Danger by Gun Drawing

Sometimes I think we have gone stark, raving mad. Our judges do sloppy work that lets loose admitted pedophiles to walk the streets, Nicole Richie spends little more than one hour in jail for a DUI charge, major league caps blatantly featuring colors and symbols for some of America’s deadliest street gangs are being sold in stores, and then school officials suspend a little boy for drawing a gun.

EDIT: 8/24/7 2:00 pm PDT To further emphasize the dichotomy of these events, is the breaking news that the pedophile Jack McClellan just arrived for court in Los Angeles–naked. Yet, this perverted man, who has said if it weren’t against the law, he would have sex with a 3-year old, continues to roam around, while a child is suspended for drawing a picture of a gun.

MESA, Ariz., Aug. 23, 2007

drawing of gun by 13-year-old student which led to suspensionThis drawing by the 13-year-old son of Paula Mosteller led his school to suspend him for five days. (KPHO)

Ray Parker
The Arizona Republic
Aug. 23, 2007 12:00 AM

After an eighth-grader was suspended for drawing a picture of a gun on an assignment paper, angry parents are questioning whether the Chandler Unified School District went too far with its zero-tolerance policy.

The Payne Junior High eighth-grader, along with another student, was suspended Monday for five days for the drawing. Parents Paula and Ben Mosteller were able to get the suspension reduced to three days after meeting with school officials.

The uproar over the drawing, which the student turned in with a school assignment and contended was just a doodle, cuts to the question of what constitutes a “threat.”

Read it all here.

It is close to impossible to disconnect boys from an attraction to guns. When I was a child I lived in the city of Springfield, Mo. and my little brother wandered around the neighborhood with a BB gun. Seems a bit dangerous now, as I think about it, for it was a highly populated area, but I don’t recall there ever to be any problems with such activity. Anyway, I remember his coming in and frequently telling my mom, “I almost got a bird. Think I hit his tail feathers.”

When our two older sons came of the age when most little boys have toy guns, I recall being ambivalent about the subject. While we certainly did not want to encourage violence in our sons, we knew if they didn’t have cap guns or water pistols, they would still tear around the yards, and with their fingers point and shoot as they played out what seemed to be harmless games of “cowboys and indians.” I believe that when children of my era, and possibly of my children’s young years, played these games, they really didn’t envision actually shooting an indian person or a cowboy person. I may be wrong…really would like to hear from young men who played these games…or young women, if as a girl you played such games. I can’t recall being involved in “gun” battles, myself.

On a BBC site this morning, I came across an interesting article about WWII board games produced in England. The games are quite rare and are being auctioned off. You might want to take a look.


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Sure, She’s Blind. Sure, She Hit a Hole-In-One.

Golf Digest say the chances of an amateur ever hitting a hole-in-one are 12,750 to 1. Yet, here is this astounding woman, blind, yet, for 26 years, defying unthinkable odds, and with her driver smacking that golf ball directly into the cup…with one stroke.

EHIGHTON, Pa. — Sheila Drummond didn’t need to see her hole-in-one. She heard it.

Drummond, blinded by diabetes 26 years ago, experienced the highlight of her golfing career Sunday, recording an ace on the 144-yard, par-3 fourth hole at Mahoning Valley Country Club.

Playing with her husband and coach, Keith, and two friends in a steady rain, the 53-year-old Drummond hit a driver on the hole. The shot cleared a water hazard, flew between traps and landed on the green, where it hit the flagstick before dropping into the hole.

“They were saying, ‘It’s a great shot,’ and then I heard it hit the pin,” Drummond said.

“For a hole-in-one, you have to hit it onto the green, so it’s a little bit of skill and a lot of luck.”

entire story is here.

What a truly admirable woman. No whining, no excuses. I express to her my esteem and sincere congratulations.


My devotional blog is here.

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This Year in Santa Maria

DSC_0031, originally uploaded by Shirley Buxton.

“Some Jews had been able to find their first taste of true equality by immigration to America; however, most Jews in nineteenth-century Europe remained locked into a repetitious cycle of anguish. They looked, as they always had, to a return to Palestine. This longing had never left their daily prayer and was reemphasized in the yearly Yom Kippur greeting, “Next year in Jerusalem.” Leon Uris in The Haj

When many years ago, I first heard of this Yom Kippur greeting, Next year in Jerusalem, I was struck by the poignancy of the statement. It is especially touching because of the understanding that, according to the Bible, Jesus, their anticipated Messiah had already come. Sadly, His people failed to recognize Him.

Inherent in God’s people is an almost overwhelming desire to be together, to congregate, to chant prayers, to worship side-by-side, to muster forces; all-in-all to recount and to celebrate the victories of our eternal King. While I am Jewish only in the Spirit, I strongly relate to the connection the Jews have to return to their own land, and their annual words of hope spoken to their friends and kin, Next year in Jerusalem.

Each year the Western District of our church organization has a camp meeting in the city of Santa Maria, CA. Read here and here concerning the meeting of 2006. (If you want to read more about 2006, just check the posts before and after those I have linked.) Tonight will be the first service of 2007, but already the fair grounds are filled with rigs of all sorts–from very expensive Prevosts to humble tents. It’s CAMP MEETING TIME!

Last Wednesday, Jerry and I arranged our rig for traveling, pulled out of our space at DJ’s RV in Lake Havasu and drove to San Bernardino, where we parked our Country Coach motor home in front of Rebecca’s house. Trees hang low over her curbs, and just as Jerry was about to park, we heard a loud snap from the ceiling area of our rig. Later I found a broken horn lying in the gutter. A branch too low and too big had snagged on the roof-mounted horn, and had broken it off. A sad and costly thing. Couple of hundred dollars, probably.

It was hot in San Bernardino, and Rebecca had gone to a funeral, so after waiting for a bit, we decided to head on up to Crestline where we would spend the night. At 40th and Waterman, which is where we start the rapid climb into the mountains, it was 101 degrees. When we had accomplished the mere 15 mile drive to our home, our car thermometer showed 84 degrees. It was heavenly.

Not long after being in our house, our neighbor Nancy called and invited us over for dinner, which invitation we gladly accepted. She had remembered my birthday, and for dessert we had scrumptious cake. This was birthday cake number 2.

Rebecca’s son, Nathaniel, was at Junior Camp at Camp Seeley, which is about 5 miles from our home, and since he and Rebecca would be riding with us to camp meeting, on our way down Thursday morning, Jerry and I drove over and picked him up. At Rebecca’s, we discussed meals and snacks for the upcoming days, and while she finished loading her things into our motor home, I went to Stater’s and bought groceries.

“Look, Mom, I made you a birthday cake.” She showed me the dark chocolate cake, all prepared for traveling. Birthday cake number 3!

We had planned to spend the night in Ventura at a place called Rincon which is operated by the County, and is a stunning area where RVs park right along the ocean. They take no reservations, however, and we could not find a spot, so we motored on to Santa Maria, checked in, and claimed our spot.


Nathaniel brought a tent, along with plans for his cousins Gentry and Chloe, to spend each night there with him, once the cousins arrive on Wednesday. What Nathaniel did not bring were the tent stakes, (not stakes–the rods that hold up the canvas. Don’t know what they’re called. :() so for Rebecca it was off to try to buy some. The sales person had assured her the parts would fit, and after hours of trying to assemble the contrary things, they were found to be the wrong size. Off again, finally having to buy a new tent.


Nathaniel considers the procedure…

Nathaniel had also brought along a new battery-powered scooter, and much to his dismay, at fully charge mode, it would only last about 20 minutes. Back to the store, and despite a new charger, the next morning, the same situation was evident. Back to the store. New scooter, which Nathaniel and his friends assembled. It’s a blasting, fast one, and they roam all over the fair grounds here.


…finally, Nathaniel (and his friends) have it finished.

It’s great to be have been here a few days early. We visit, stroll around, shop, and occasionally catch a snooze.