Monday, August 30, 2010

From piano to glass

Today was Monday, and like most Mondays Gail and I practiced duets. In two weeks time, we will perform at Restoration.

In the afternoon, we went to Rogers Glass Co. and paid for the pane of glass which they had replaced in the frame we left there last week. It took some doing, but we got the pane back in the door.

I received a call from the religion editor of the Tulsa World. He is working on a story about a billboard which will be erected along the Broken Arrow Expressway on September 8. The billboard is being paid for largely by the FFRF of Madison, Wisconsin.

This evening, I worked on the September calendar for HAT, TAM, and FFRF. We have nine events scheduled for September. I will send out the calendar on September 1.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Recent happenings

This morning I went to church. I got there about a quarter to 11:00. Mary was already there and had the church unlocked. I went in and sat down at the piano and began playing. People were slow about getting there this morning.

The service got started about 10 minutes past the hour. There were five of us there when the service began. Steve Nunn walked in about 20 minutes past the hour. I had loaned him my copy of Queen Jane's Version of the Bible, which he had brought back for me. Joy and Mary sang a duet of "Dream" (Dream a little dream of me). They sang a cappella since I had no music to read. After the service, we talked a bit about future services.

The topic of today's service was dreams. This is a topic which is of interest to Mary. Her talk was interesting. Following the service, we talked a bit about the subject.

I learned Saturday at the FFRF Tulsa meeting that Randy will be gone on September 11, the day we are scheduled for Secular Singers. Randy is such a key singer in our group that I am tempted to call off the September rehearsal and instead organizer a trip to Diamond, Missouri (about 10 miles south of Joplin) to take part in the activities there. That Saturday is Prairie Day at the George Washington Carver National Monument. All the activities that day are free. There will be Ozark storytellers, musicians, prairie exhibits, and African-American storytellers. It is just ten miles south of Interstate 44. I have driven past there several times, but have never taken the time to visit the Monument.

As the pianist today at church, I played a couple of hymns, plus the opening and closing music. After the service, I came home and ate a sandwich for lunch. At 3;30 pm I was at the Price's for drumming. Last week we did not meet. Joe and Lou were at a drumming workshop in Dallas. They talked about their experience there for about 15 minutes and then we started drumming.

In the evening, we went to the new Family Life Center of the Methodist Church. There was a large crowd there tonight. It probably numbered in the 200s. The dinner was a potluck.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Events of today

We went grocery shopping this morning. That killed two hours, maybe a little more. At least it has cooled off a bit.

We went to Springfield on Wednesday morning, spent the night there, and returned to Sand Springs on Thursday. We drove all the way back without making a single stop. While there, I borrowed several pictures from my sister Paula as well as more pictures from Mother. I will be posting them to my blog in the weeks to come.

We are looking forward to Skepticon 3 this November. There will be several speakers at this convention, including James Randi, Dan Barker, Rebecca Watson, and D. J. Grothe. We really enjoyed the convention last year and look forward to another one this year. The event has grown in popularity. There are already 700 people registered for the convention. The event has been moved from the MSU campus to the Expo Center to accommodate the larger crowds.

Ayla is spending the night with us tonight. We will take her home tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Broken glass

Last Monday as we were going out into the back yard, I noticed that we had a pane of broken glass. It was from our back storm door. It was about 18" x 33" in size, roughly. We had just had the back yard mowed and weed eated. I'm guessing that was the source of the breakage.

Yesterday, we took the frame to Rogers Glass to get the glass replaced. They did not have that kind of glass in stock, so it will be a couple of days before the piece is ready to pick up.

On the way back home we stopped at Taco Mayo and got something to eat for dinner.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

On deathbed conversions

Many famous skeptics have had stories told about their so-called deathbed conversions: Ingersoll, Paine, Voltaire, Darwin, Hume, and others. And why not? The victims of those "who bear false witness" are no longer around to defend their life's work.

Those who were with Ingersoll as he died do not recount his deathbed conversion experience. It is only someone who was not there who tells the story.

Watch the following video, please:

Long shadows

These four pictures were taken in Nettleton, MS in April 1949.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Is this your light meter?

Processed in Birmingham, AL on Sept. 6, 1949.

My hands are full

This photo was processed on September 6, 1949 in Birmingham, AL.

Ingersoll quotation

The post card above is one of a series produced by HAT several years ago. We have a different post office box now. It is now 571127.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Some tomatoes are red

Finally I have some red tomatoes, but this is not a good year for tomatoes, at least not in my garden. We pulled few and ate them in the past few days. I am in now from watering my garden.

This day began with me going to Church of the Restoration. There were eight people there today. there were Larry, Mary, Faith, Brandon, Betty, Rosemary, Edna and myself. Edna is the pianist. She will be gone next week, and I will take her place at the piano. The sermon today was read by Betty Morrow, who occasionally reads sermons written by the late Suzanne Meyer.

After church was over, I hurried over to the Fontana Center about 30 minutes away for the Tulsa Atheist Meetup. There were 25 people there for this gathering. I took notes which I will type up and post on the Tulsa Atheist Rendezvous blog later on when I have time. This meeting was over a little past 3 pm. Not having had any lunch, I went to a nearby Wendy's for a serving of chili and a small chocolate Frosty. Although I was charged for a small Frosty, I was given a large one. I take it as God smiling on me for my service in taking notes at the TAM.

We watched a little news but then hurried over to the St. Andrew Lutheran Church to be entertained by a group called Salt Creek. Salt Creek is a six-member string band. the instruments I saw there includes a guitar, a dobro, a mandolin, a bass violin, a harmonica, and maybe one or two others. Some players would switch from one instrument to another. It was an hour and a half show with a 15-minute intermission. What's more, there was no admission charge. They did not even ask for money. They all have day jobs, and do the band thing as a hobby. At one point, someone asked if they knew the song, "Yellowbird." They picked around for about 15 seconds and then played the piece.

Don't let that baby fall, Mama.

View from above

This photo was taken on February 17, 1949.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Late night post

I had a busy day today and am ready for bed. We had a HAT meeting. Anyone interested in reading about the meeting should go to: You can read my report there.

Following the meeting, Marilyn said she had something for me out in her car. We went to her car and she retrieved from a bag a mug with a painting of Noah's Ark. She said she was giving it to me because of a poem I read recently titled "Noah" by Philip Appleman.

Ayla is spending the night with us tonight. She and Nanna will be going to church tomorrow morning. I will be going to my church and later helping Barbara move her books to her new living quarters.

I had no time to post pictures tonight. Maybe tomorrow.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Being steadied on the mattress

Another picture taken on February 17, 1949.

Ready to catch me

Here I am taking some early steps. Behind me is my father ready to catch me in case I fell.


On a mattress on the front porch. February 17, 1949.

Out of the buggy

This photo was taken in the front yard of our first house in Nettleton in 1948.

My father and me

This photo is from 1948 when I was 5½ months old.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

George Luther Nerren and myself

Here I am being held by my grandfather, 1948.

Held up

Here I am being held up by my mother, c. 1948-49.

In the front yard, Nettleton, MS.

Taken in March, 1949.

In a trot

February 1949. In the background is a truck load of cotton waiting to be run through the cotton gin.

On the run

Nettleton, MS, 1949.

In a stroller

Feb. 17, 1949. Note the design of the stroller.

In the sandbox

Sometime in 1949 at Nettleton, MS.

On the beach

Here I am on the beach, uh, make that the sandbox. This photo was taken in Nettleton, MS.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Cooler day

It was a cooler day today. I'm glad for the relief from the heat.

On the way over to pick up Ayla, we stopped at State Farm and turned in our certificates we earned by sitting through a class on defensive driving last week.

After picking up Ayla, we went to McDonald's where we bought her a Happy Meal. The main attraction at McDonald's is the indoor playground.

I watered my tomatoes tonight after the sun went down.

I made a trip to the library to turn in a few DVDs. There was nothing there for me to pick up today.

That's about it for today, folks.

In a trot, February 1949.

Notice the cotton gin in the background. What a hairdo!? This photo was taken at our first house in Nettleton.

With Mother

February 17, 1949.

First steps?

February 17, 1949.

Up and walking

There is no date on this photo.

New shoes

Undated photo of myself.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Events of the day

We slept late this morning. When I arose, it was raining. We got a good rain today - a little over an inch. No need to water the garden today. The best part of my garden is the cucumbers. We have harvested six cucumbers thus far, and there are another six on the vines soon to be ready to pull. My pepper plant yielded one puny pepper, and then something got hold of it and overnight the leaves were gone.

The tomato plants this year are a disappointment. We have many green tomatoes, but they have been slow to ripen. All in all, I think it would have been better to sit out this year of gardening. No more frogs have sprung from my topsy turvy, and I have found no more tomato horn worms on my tomato plants.

We went grocery shopping this afternoon. We had plans to attend a jazz concert at the Gilcrease Museam this evening. We were delayed by the resurfacing work being done on Highway 97. It looked to me as if the highway was in good shape, but this seems to be the season for road work. A perfectly good road is being torn up and resurfaced, causing delays for the motoring public. We found ourselves in a slow moving single lane of traffic that moved at a snail's pace. By the time we got to the museum, we were informed that there was standing room only at the event. Considering the recent trouble I have had with my back, we decided to leave.

When we got back to Sand Springs (about seven miles away), we stopped at Lin Cuisine, a Chinese Restaurant on Charles Page Blvd. We each ordered a meal. So large are the servings that we should have ordered just one meal. The portions of our two meals we could not eat in the restaurant we brought home in a take out container. That will be our lunch tomorrow.

We watched a DVD I checked out from the library. It was a National Geographic program about volcanoes in Hawaii.

Undated photo with Mother

Here I am sometime in 1948 being held by Mother.

Undated photo of my mother

This is a photo of my mother taken in Akron, Ohio sometime prior to May 1946.

At two months

Here I am being held by John Edwards ("Daddy Ed") of Nettleton, MS in May 1948.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Monday activities

The day began with Gail coming over at 10:00 for our weekly piano duet practice. For the next two hours we were focused on playing several of our duets.

After Gail left, we made barbecue sandwiches. After eating, we drove over to South Pointe Chevrolet for an oil change. South Pointe is located near Memorial and 91st St. Getting there is easy. Go south on highway 97 to the Creek Turnpike. Take the Creek Turnpike and exit on to Memorial. Turn left and you are there. It beats driving through Tulsa to get there. It is next door to the old Saturn dealership. I read my Kindle while waiting for our car to be serviced. I started reading Don't Know Much About Literature by Kenneth C. Davis. After reading a few pages, I was informed that my car was ready.

We watched a DVD this evening. It was The Messenger starring Woody Harrelson. It was a so so movie.

I will try to get back to posting pictures from my past tomorrow.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

My Sunday

Today J went with me to Church of the Restoration. I was part of the program this morning. We are examining extra-biblical materials. Last Sunday, the congregation viewed "Banned from the Bible," a DVD of a program originally aired on the History channel. You can see parts of it on YouTube, for those interested.

The focus of today's portion of the DVD was the first chapter of Genesis. We watched a few minutes of the DVD and then Joy read the first chapter of Genesis from the King James Version. I followed with the same passage from the Queen Jane's Version.

Next Vanessa spoke about the two different versions of the creation story found in Genesis. Then I read a passage from The Woman's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets by Barbara G. Walker about Lilith. According to legend, Lilith was Adam's first mate. Both Adam and Lilith were created from dust, and Lilith insisted on equality with Adam. God exiles Lilith and makes a new mate for Adam using one of Adam's ribs as a starting point. Eve, being made from Adams' rib, is willingly subservient to Adam. We all regard Adam, Eve, and Lilith as part of the Hebrew mythology.

The Greeks had their mythology. So did the Romans, the Norse, and many other cultures. It would be odd if the Hebrews did not have theirs.

After church was over (around 12:30), we went to the Delta Cafe for lunch. We had a coupon which allowed both of us to eat there for $14.10. Getting around in Tulsa nowadays is a real chore. There is road construction about everywhere you go.

When we got home, I took a nap. J woke me up in time to go to drumming. There were four of us there today. Joel was late getting there due to road construction. I told the Prices about Ayla's interest in drumming. They said it would be OK to bring her sometime to watch as we drummed.

I have been trying to brush up on my knowledge of the Russian language. I have checked out a lot of material from the Tulsa Library. One of the items I have checked out to me is "Stories from Around the World," a DVD with five stories. Each story is told in both English and Russian. The dialogue is displayed on screen as it is spoken. I find it very useful. I might purchase the DVD from Amazon, where it sells for $15.

I did not post any pictures today, but I still have a handful of photos to go before I run out.

The weather today was not as hot as it has been. It is 5 to 10 degrees cooler than is has been. I'm ready for the fall weather.

I checked my garden today. I saw no more tomato horn worms. The tomato plants are all tall and leafy; however, they have produced little fruit.

Yesterday, I kicked the seventh frog out of my topsy turvy container. I got a stool and opened the lid and looked inside but saw no more frogs. We have harvested about six cherry-size tomatoes from the plant so far.

Yesterday, Friday the thirteenth, J and I met with the Poetry Group at Border's. We listened to David M. talk about the poetry of James Whitcomb Riley. David was a native of Indiana, the state where Riley lived. Next month we will read poetry written by Billy Collins

Before that we made a trip to Restoration to talk with Vanessa about Sunday's program. We also went to Staple's to redeem a $30 voucher for recycled ink cartridges. I still have a 5-ream box of paper I got with the last voucher which I have not yet opened.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Mother and child

Jean Nerren and Danny Nerren

In high chair

Here I am at 5½ months.

Nettleton, July 1949

It was hot. No need for a lot of clothes. July 1949.

In Nettleton, 1948

Father and Son.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Four generations

This photo was taken c. 1948-49. I am the babe in arms. Holding me is my father, Paul James Nerren. Next to him is his father George Luther Nerren. On the right is my great grandfather Erasmus Lafayette Nerren, who died in 1950.

On a pallet

Sometime in 1949.


December 1949.


December 1949.

Strolling along

December 1949

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Update on my garden

Tonight I found another frog when I poured water into my topsy turvy planter. What is this, frog number six? J thinks it's the same frog who returns to his familiar environ each night. Tonight I took the frog over by the fence and released him there. Will he travel back to his "home"? I will see if he is around tomorrow.

I was looking at the plants in the back yard along the fence. I noticed something that gave me a start: Tomato Horn Worms. I found three on one plant. I pulled them off the plant and dropped them into a cup of soapy water. The other plants appeared free of the worms. I had a cucumber which was ready and brought it in the house.

My back has been doing better. I don't know if the improvement is due to getting the third steroid injection, or if I am getting over the pain.

I went to the library and picked up several books on the Russian language which I had requested. Next we went to McDonald's and let Luke play on the equipment there. Then we took him home.

In the wagon

December 1949.


December 1949.

Anybody here know how to drive this thing?

July 1950.

Three cousins

Here I am with two of my cousins. I am on the left; next to me is Don Nerren; next to Don is Bobby Hallford, son of the Rev. R. L. Hallford. Rev. Hallford was a Baptist preacher and about as conservative and fundamentalist as they come. While Don and I were dressed appropriately for the weather, poor Bobby had to wear long pants.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Planning for this Sunday

This afternoon I went over to my church to work on the program for this coming Sunday. I met with Joy and Vanessa. From now through the end of the year, each third Sunday the program will be based upon something from the video which was shown last Sunday. I missed the video last Sunday and will probably go to the church to view it tomorrow afternoon. This makes two services each month which I will play a part in planning.

The program this Sunday will focus on Lilith, Adams (supposed) first wife. We will be reading relevant verses from various scriptures. More later as this story develops.

Again this evening as I went out to water my plants I found a frog staring at me from the top of the topsy turvy tomato plant container. That makes the fifth frog this season. J thinks it may be the same frog which returns to the container each night.

Finally, among the plants along the fence, I saw one plant with a tomato starting to turn red. The plants are all tall and bushy.

Farmer Dan

Look at those cuffs. A lot of room for growth there.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

An "Ideas for Consideration" card

There are now more than six billion people on the planet. At the time this book was published, the number was five billion.

Who left that car door open?

September 1949

July 1950

In Nettleton, MS.

Black and white oxfords

April 1950

The Nerren men

Seated in the swing (from L to R) are Paul Nerren, Danny Nerren, George Nerren, Jr., Don Nerren, George Nerren, Sr. Standing in back is Floyd Nerren.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Hot day activities

The heat continues in Oklahoma. Even inside the house with AC, you can tell it is hot outside.

The first thing we did today was go to the BNSF office for the retirement party for Carol. Carol worked in the superintendent's office for a number of years. Today was her last day before retirement. There were many people there today for her last day. I was able to see many of my friends which I have not seen in many years. There were people who retired at various times in the 90s and the 00s. One clerk I had worked with for several years but who left the company back around 1990 was there. In all there must have been 50 people there which I know but had not seen since I retired.

I returned home and took a nap before Gail came over at 3:00 pm. We went over several of our piano duets. Our next performance date is September 12 at Restoration.

I wish my topsy turvy plant could grow tomatoes as well as it grows frogs. Today the fourth frog exited the topsy turvy. The plant has produced a few (three) cherry tomatoes. When I bought the plant it was supposed to produce Roma tomatoes. Was it mislabeled? My other tomato plants have a lot of green tomatoes on them. The only benefit of the hot weather is that my lawn has dried out and will not need cutting anytime soon.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

A day at the Methodist Church

Today is my 34th wedding anniversery. It was also Sunday. Today I went to the Methodist Church where Jan attends and is a member.

I got a call this morning that informed me that Carlton Pearson would be preaching at All Souls. The plan was to hear Pearson and then go to Restoration (those of us who are members there) to discuss the sermon. Although I missed the sermon, most likely it will be uploaded to YouTube where anyone with a computer can see and hear it.

Pearson, for those of you unfamiliar with him, was a leader of a large non-denomination, charismatic congregation. Pearson made a move to universalism, but most of his congregation did not follow. I guess it is hard giving up hell. According to Pearson, God is too good to torture anyone. Most of his congregation did not agree with him and left the church. He was left with barely ten percent of his former numbers. The loss of members meant the loss of income. Soon the congregation was unable to make the mortgage payment on the property. Pearson lost his church.

The story was featured on the TV program "This American Life." I heard Pearson preach a few months back when his congregation (what remained of it) was "adopted" by All Souls Unitarian Church of Tulsa. The last I heard, there were two services at All Souls on Sunday morning -- a traditional (if there is such a thing) Unitarian service, and a Charismatic service with a lot of "soul." Pearson puts on a good show. I enjoy hearing him speak. The congregation has a great choir. The congregation was formerly called "Higher Dimensions." Now it is "New Dimensions."

Well I got off my telling about the Methodist Church today. The congregation now uses projection screens instead of hymnals. The message today related to giving as the congregation is now involved in building a new facility. The Family Life Center (on the south side of the river) is complete and is used from time to time. Services are still being held in the sanctuary north of the river. Tonight, after we took Luke and Ayla home, we ate at the Rib Crib and then went to the Family Life Center for watermelon.

Friday, August 06, 2010

The happy family

Taken in March of 1952, this picture shows my mother, my sister Paula, and myself.

With tennis racquet

This picture was taken in August 1950.

I thought this crew was to shine at 6 am.

This photo processed by Lollar's of Birmingham on Aug 19, 1950.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Placeholder replaced

Some of you may be wondering what happened to my blog from last Thursday. I was asked to remove it by my spouse. She objected to some of its content. Rather than eliminate it entirely, I substituted some letters to keep it in place. That is why you saw placeholders instead of the former content. Some of you may have seen the original blog, but I suspect most of you saw only the placeholder.

Let me review in a shorter fashion the events of last Thursday. We (J, Luke, and myself) went to the Promenade Mall and walked the 5 K volkswalk there. We also ate at the Food Court while there. On the way home we stopped at Saied's Music Store.

I could say a lot more about this outing, but I had best leave it there.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Grandmother, c. 1915.

The young woman with the "X" on her chest, Cecil Maize, is my paternal grandmother.