Father’s Day 2017, national holiday to honor fathers

father's dayFather’s Day, the celebration recognizing father’s originated in Spokane, Washington in 1910. A daughter asked her pastor to honor her father in a sermon in June. It did not catch on until the 1930s when different commercial entities recognized the opportunity to sell products targeted as gifts for fathers of Father’s Day.

It was inadequate to gain the day recognition as a national holiday. Although Mother’s Day was declared a national holiday in 1914, Father’s Day languished as a celebration. After multiple attempts over the years to have it declared a holiday, President Richard Nixon signed the law making it a national holidays in 1972.

Father’s Day with a Dad in the Navy

I don’t remember many years my Father and I celebrated Father’s Day together. He made the U. S. Navy a career and spent most of the year gone. I never learned why the decision to locate us in Illinois while he did his tours of duty at sea and shore far from us. It was always a treat when he took leave, sometimes 30 days in a year, at home. When he deployed, he sent many letters and gifts from exotic places such as Thailand, Japan, Singapore, and others I can’t remember. We sent him letters and cards to let him know how much we missed him. We signed every letter with love.

my father

My Father Francis Leo Knott

Dad at Great Lakes

In the early 1960s, Dad was transferred to Great Lake, Illinois just a three to three and half hour drive away. He came home the standard 30 days a year plus at least a weekend every month. His presence this often gave me contradictory feelings. As the oldest, I was the man of the house except for those 30 days. Dad relieved me of that responsibility year round since he came home often enough to influence events throughout the year. Thinking back, I resented the demotion. His tour at Great Lakes lasted three years before he received orders to the USS Kearsarge (CV33).

1966 – 2002

I joined the Navy in 1966. Either join the Navy or let the Army draft me. I spent boot camp in San Diego, California. I spent a few days with my Father there visiting him on the Kearsarge. He gave me a tour of the ship. I transferred to Treasure Island, California for school and transferred to Great Lakes for his last assignment before retiring. He and I were rarely home together even after he retired in 1970. Things turned around with me have 30 days or less with him at home.  Things changed after I retired in 1992. My wife and I and two children settled in Maryland. I long drive enabled us to spend many holidays. These short visits brought us closer together than any of the longer 30 day leaves ever did. I lost him on Thanksgiving Day, November 28, 2002.

My Father-in-Law

I met my Father-in-Law in 1973. My wife and I had dated a few times before she introduced us. To say he intimidated me is an understatement. I was 160 pounds on a spindly 6-foot frame. He was an imposing man, big framed, confident, and well versed with firearms. The later I learned when he talked of the shooting events he had won.

my father-in-law

My Father-in-Law, James Alexander Cameron, Jr

He exuded confidence while I shivered in his presence the first few times we spoke. In time, I became comfortable in his presence and enjoyed the conversations we had. But I remember the first time he called me a “Damned Yankee” shook my timbers. He appeared angry but wasn’t. I thought he was angry that I, from Illinois, and a sailor dated his daughter. In time, it became an inside joke we shared until he passed in 2007.

Father’s Day today

My Father and my Father-in-Law were men I spent far less time with than I now wish I had. They left indelible imprints on my life. Men of integrity who honored their commitment to family and country. This holiday was created to honor men such as them.

To the millions of fathers, may you have a wonderful and memorable Father’s Day!

Let us not forget women who are, both, mother and father to those in their lives.

mothers on father's day

Do you have a favorite memory of your father? Tell me using the comments form.
















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Pennsylvania Dutchman Bowling Tournament


Have your ever competed in a bowling tournament where you wished it had been one game less or one game more. The Dutchman was one where I wished for one less game.

The Dutchman is held in two different Pennsylvania locations. The singles-doubles competition is held in Palmyra at the aptly named Palmyra Bowl. The team event is held at Clearview Lanes, Mount Joy. Singles and Doubles are three game events while the team event is four games for a ten game tournament.

I bowled the singles and doubles on Saturday. Singles was first and I had a respectable 649 for three games. We changed lanes and I had a, still acceptable, 604. My entering average for the tournament is 198. I was over average for both events. I was happy with the day.

The team event was early Sunday. I started slowly and by the end of game three had worked up to a 606 total. If the tournament had ended then, I would have had a nice 1859 for 9 games, 209 average.


But the tournament didn’t end and my last game was a disaster. A missed spare, three splits and no doubles resulted in a 149 game for a 755 team event. I had 2008 for the event’s ten games. The 200 average was over my entering average but, just one more game, dropped it by 9 pins.

Many tournaments I have wished for more games to give me an opportunity to improve my score. This tournament I wished for one less game. Have your done either, wanted one less or one more?




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Am I a Writer?

I am a writer

I am not a writer if what many writing blog sites tell me is true. I would agree if I didn’t know better.

The blogs tell me that a “real writer” writes every day or they suffer withdrawal. Writing is an addiction that must be fed constantly; writers never take vacations or very short one and they are unhappy the entire time, and writers are on the verge of divorce as they devote more time to craft than to their significant other. None of these are absolutes, but some bloggers make it sound that way.

Waiting for the next bowler up

I enjoy other things besides writing. I am not addicted to writing my novel, blogs, or social media posts. There are other important things in my life. Bowling ten pins with several friends in a men’s league are one of them. We have bowled together over twenty-five years in the same league. My wife and I have bowled since 1985 in a mixed league. Our partners sometimes change but she and I  remain partners as long as we are in the league. *She has put up with me since 1974.*

This year I added soccer coaching to my weeknight activities. Only one night during fall and winter but two nights in the spring. *My wife has not asked for a divorce yet.* Three seasons of the year I have one night a week free!

I claim to be a writer without reservation. I write a little most days but it is not the obsession that some articles claim it must be to be a writer. I already mentioned my wife is not ready to divorce me yet because of my writing.  We are taking a vacation that will be at least 14 days in July. I won’t be unhappy and will not suffer withdrawal.

With all of my activities which occupy my time, how can I claim to be a writer? It is because I have a three novel concept for with two written and in revision. K.M. Weiland’s software will help me outline the third. *I pantsered the first two and I am paying for it as I revise while editing them.* Sometimes I write (edit) after bowling; sometimes sitting in front of the television in a recliner across from my wife;  sometimes after soccer practice; but mostly on the weekends. Until I retire, my weekdays will be filled by a full-time job.

What brought this post into mind? I was commenting on a writing blog I had not written this day because I spent the day on our pontoon boat. We set out for a quick spin with my son on the South River and ended up out for about four hours. We set out for a quiet area west of the Riva Bridge, back to pick up a jacket because the sun went into hiding and the wind worsened. Collected the jackets and out again to a cove across from the marina. We met several other boats there and tied up together after setting our anchor. Kids in the water on rafts, drinks shared, snacks for those who had them. The sun came out and I enjoyed sunbathing. As the song says “Who said anything about skiin’? Floatin’ is all I wanna do.” It was two hours of floatin’. The only writing the entire day was in the comment I made.

Just floatin’

The large of it, I am enjoying the FALL OF MY LIFE. I write to tell my stories. I work to get ready for retirement the end of this year or mid-year next. I bowl because I enjoy the camaraderie and challenge. Soccer coaching taxes my aging body but the boys try to keep me young.

Am I a writer? Yes, I am but more than just a writer. I am a father, grandfather, spouse, bowler, coach, and writer. *Some people say I am other things but I discount their assessment since I can’t share in mixed company.* Can you define yourself as more than just a writer? Tell me.







Posted in bowling, Fall of my life, my novel, soccer | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

How do you find Beta Readers

beta reader

Courtesy Dogue De Bordeau

I have been revising of my work-in-progress. I am 30% through it and I wonder if it is time to consider finding beta readers. My concern is I haven’t been at this very long and things the pros take for granted, I question or struggle with.

Where do you find beta readers? Rather, where does a strong introvert find beta readers? I am in a critique group and had several submissions critiqued. I found the comments useful for the material submitted. None of the comments gave me their thoughts how it fit in the plot, did the scene move the book forward, or such. Reality, I didn’t expect that because the only practical critique was thoughts on writing technique, sentence structure, word choice, and such. In return, I provided similar reviews of other member’s snippets. I couldn’t address plot, character development, etc. either from the 2000-3000 words I critiqued.

They are what I need from the person or persons willing to dedicate time reading my writing. How do I find this (these) person(s)? Could I trust a volunteer a family member to be objective in their assessment? Advertising on one of the social media sites might bring volunteer(s), I suppose. How do I evaluate them?

How do I know they understand my genre? Or would provide constructive evaluation of plot, character development, scene development, etc. How do I evaluate if their assessment?

Questions and few answers. Blogs I read suggest social media friends. Great idea but it seems those I have for “friends” are “romance” authors or fantasy authors so embarrassingly successful that I wouldn’t think of approaching them to read my drivel. Other blogs warn to take care in selecting beta readers. I forget the reasons but suspect warning that bad feedback can be hard on my …

beta readers

Here I am without a finished work worrying about getting someone to read it. Now, after writing this, I wonder if I am putting the proverbial cart before the horse.  Am I?

What are your thoughts on beta readers? How did you find yours? What genre do you write?



Posted in Fall of my life, my novel | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

South River Seahawks Lacrosse

srya seahawks lacrosseMy son, DJ, has coached the South River Seahawks lacrosse team for several years.

He played on the Anne Arundel Junior College team that won the college’s first national championship title. He followed with two years playing for the Loyola Greyhounds. His mother and I watched him in many games locally and followed him to games at Syracuse, Brown University, and Notre Dame to name a few. He played club lacrosse after college before settling on coaching the Seahawks.

The Seahawks have developed into a quality team that enjoys a good measure of success. They played in two county leagues last year and lost only one game. They won both league championship tournaments. Their success followed them to a win in a LAX tournament held in Baltimore.

The team competed this year in two leagues and today vied for the championship of one. They won the semifinal game but lost in a nail-biter, 6-5. Tomorrow is the semifinal and finals for the second league.

Seahawks lacrosse and Leo

Leo #3

Leo taking a pass

Leo taking a pass

One of the Seahawk stars is *of course* my grandson. He plays long-pole defense and is proficient at the position. Over the years, he is all of 12, he has played attack and middie but settled on defense as his preference. He likes the long-pole over the short lacrosse stick. His grandparents think he is very good.

Not to slight his fellow players, they contribute equally to the team’s success. Most of them have played together for several years and work well together. They are a team that is fun to watch, on and off the turf.

I encourage you to take in a Seahawks’ game if you are near Annapolis, Maryland during the lacrosse season. You will not be disappointed.









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Pipeline Soccer Club Spring Tryouts

pipeline 2008 gold

Pipeline 2008 Gold

It is the time of year when Pipeline Soccer Club (PSC) conducts its tryouts. Over the next two weeks, players will compete for places on teams that will play this fall. I have several interests in this year’s tryouts.

Many of the boys I help coach, Pipeline 2008 Gold, will attend tryouts the week after next. They will demonstrate their skills in front of several coaches. The coaches are looking for players to fill vacancies on their teams. In the days following tryouts, offers will be given to boys who met a coach’s expectations. Some of the boys may not receive an offer. There are often more boys trying out than openings on teams.


Three of my grandchildren will try out. Elizabeth plays for Pipeline 2007 Red girls’ team. She plays half of most games as the goalkeeper and most of the other half on the pitch as a wing or forward, though she has played defender. She excels at every position. *This is an unbiased grandfather’s evaluation.* She plays better when challenged.

soccer ball

Bradley plays for the Pipeline 2008 Gold team. He plays goalkeeper and field in each game. He has potential that needs the right coach. That has been an issue this year, he has played on two different teams and had three different coaches. Stability in training methods and clear expectations are something he needs to improve. I look forward to seeing Bradley training under a coach who desires to bring out the best in his players. That coach will be pleasantly surprised.

Autumn does not play for Pipeline. She has played recreational soccer one year and futsal one year. She is a 2010 and attending her first tryout. Autumn has played goalkeeper *what is there about my grandchildren and goalkeeper*. Her ball handling skills need improvement. But then most seven-year-olds do. She follows directions well and any coach will find her a pleasure to train.

As an assistant coach, I have no say in who receives offers or to what level team. I know the capabilities of the boys I train and have watched Elizabeth and Bradley in enough games to know theirs. I look forward to learning whether the coaches view of them match mine.



Posted in Fall of my life, soccer | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Pipeline at the 20th Annual Old Line State Classic

pipeline soccer club logoThe Pipeline 2008 Boys Gold team competed in the 20th Annual Old Line State Classic in Jarrettsville, Maryland, 29-30 April 17. This was the first tournament of the year for this team.

The first game was against TOWSON UNITED(HAMPTON). The boys had a slow start. Towson won 4-2. The first goal was one of the better goals I have seen recently. The ball was thrown in from about twenty yards out. The receiving player took the ball in the air and punched it over his and our defensive players. The Pipeline goalie didn’t see the ball until it passed him. Pipeline scored a long goal to even the score. It was a high shot the goalie missed. Pipeline managed one more score while Towson made three more.

Game two was against BARRENS BULLETS.  This game ended with Pipeline winning 2-1. Pipeline scored off a deflection with seconds to go. The boys’ play improved; they earned the good result. During the game, they set up several shot opportunities that went wide of goal, the goalie saved or went over the goal. Pipeline 1-1-0 after two.

Pipeline at play

Game three was early Sunday against PASADENA SC UNITED.  Pipeline had multiple scoring opportunities that Pasadena goalie stopped or the defense stymied. Pasadena’s played very well and the final reflected it. Pasadena 6, Pipeline 1. Pipeline 1-2-0 at this point.

Game four was against AFC HEROS. Pipeline played this team in the fall and lost by double digits. This game against a team that embarrassed them just a few months ago showed how much the boys had improved. The final of 2-2 was a good result. Pipeline finished the tournament 1-2-1.

Pipeline spring tryouts for boys are the last week of May. These tryouts may result in a change in team lineup.  Regardless, it is always a pleasure coaching this group of young men.




Posted in Fall of my life, soccer | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments