Hot Stove #78 – Back in the U.S.S.R. – Seeking My Roots


Rita and I have just returned from Eastern Europe. The primary purpose of our journey was to visit the homeland of my grandparents – to breathe the air of my ancestors. My fraternal grandparents (Shalton, as Americanized) were from a village near Vilnius, Lithuania, and my maternal grandparents (Lukomski) were from a village near Lviv, Ukraine. They came to the states in 1907 and 1911. They didn’t speak English and had no money or special skills. Just dreamers with a willingness to work hard and become patriotic Americans. They are my heroes.

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Larry and Diana’s Excellent Virtual Adventure to Prague – July, 2015


Long term planning does not always work out. Diana and Larry Brewer have long had Prague on their bucket list and the four of us scheduled a trip for July.  Di took ill at the wrong time, and so she and Larry are working through trip cancellation insurance issues.  The good news is that Di is on the road to recovery and the four of us plan to attend our fifth consecutive Telluride Film Festival over Labor Day Weekend. This assumes Rita’s ears un-pop by then (those long flights over the ocean).

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Woody and Jane’s Excellent Adventure to London and Paris – June, 2010

For many years, Rita and I have tried to persuade Woody and Jane to travel outside the United States.  Woody argued that they had already done so twice:  to Windsor across the border from Detroit and to Tijuana.  As Woody’s friends all know, he likes to keep his feet on the ground (even when one has a medical boot), and so flights, cruises and high places are not his favorites.  We were thinking he and Jane should cross an ocean, and they took the initial step last year by getting their first passports. Rita and I had been to London and Paris a few times, and we thought these cities would be the best for Woody and Jane to get a taste for international travel.  To our pleasant surprise, they agreed to go.

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Petra – March 13-15, 2009



Rita and I condensed several hundred pictures from two digital cameras into this Snapfish album of 92 photos. Some are included in the narrative below.

Some background:

Petra is located in present day Jordan and may be best known as the place where Indiana Jones (in his “Last Crusade”) and his father (played by Sean Connery) ride horseback through a narrow gorge which opens into a dramatic view of the rose-colored Treasury carved into the mountainside. Our personal interest in the trip came more from several friends who had visited and encouraged us to go.

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