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Jun 23 12 9:32 AM

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Who out there remembers the joys of DIAGRAMING SENTENCES?  The simple ones were a piece-of-cake: subject/verb/object with little slanted lines for prepositions and clauses.  Compound sentences were much more difficult, some approaching the mystery of the Trinity.  The good nuns at St Vincent's were keen on teaching us this exercise--endlessly!  I remember everything they 'beat' into me,  and only mention this because of a recent essay in the NYT that pointed out what can happen when diagraming is done poorly.  The Supreme Court, a branch of government I once held in high esteem (no longer), spends much of its time trying to figure out what the Founding Fathers meant with their "weasel clauses."  Even back then, our politicians were building in 'loopholes'.  Had our nuns been around then, their ruler in hand, there would have been a lot less  ambiguity.  Turns out, there was value in learning how to properly diagram your thoughts...but don't push me on the value of algebra. 

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#2 [url]

Jun 25 12 6:59 AM

I remember when I started CD, and in freshman English class, occasionally a student would ask, to the dismay of the teacher, how a certain sentence, containing the days lesson, would be diagrammed. Basically he said, diagramming wasn't important. I don't know if it was or wasn't important, but I do know that besides penmanship, the Palmer method, proper English was drilled into our heads, something I am personally thankful for.

John Fleming Florida's favorite uncle Uncle Johnny

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#3 [url]

Jun 27 12 8:06 AM

John...where is the segment for Object?  That's it young man! I've had it with your nonsense. You stay after and write on the board, one hundred times, " I must not forget the object". What are you laughing at Mr. Kehan? Now, you can stay with him and clean the blackboards!

John Payne

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#5 [url]

Jun 27 12 11:05 AM

Our two Floridians, John P. and John F.  are starting to infringe on some precious, paranoid memories of mine.  You know, like all those endearing titles the nuns gave us back in the day for being such "good little boys/girls."  At one time I was convinced "they" (Nuns) had a list in the convent, approved from the Mount, listing all the acceptable put-downs.  I say this because "they" always seemed to use common ones, such as John F. reference to Picky, Picky. Who out there hadn't been accused of being a "Bold one"; "A little Devil"; "Hopeless"; "Will never amount to anything"; "You're just like your brother, Bernie."  That one hurt!  Some explanation needed here:  My brother Bernie set the standard for the two of us that followed him @ St Vincent's, and it was not good!  He was a "Bad One."  When I showed up in the wake of his destruction, it seemed I was dressed in a cardboard sandwich board.  On the front it said "Hi, I'm Bernie's little brother."  While on the back it might just as well have said "Kick Me, Sister!" "That ruler doesn't hurt at all."  You can't imagine the cross I had to bear in order to re-establish the family name.  I would often come home and tell Mom: "I don't think the nuns like me..."  Years later while visiting the good sisters, "they" would always ask: "...and how is dear Bernie?"   I'll bet others out there were called even worse.  Feel free to share your favorites.. 


Kevin Mc Kernan

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#8 [url]

Jun 27 12 1:20 PM

John P.-
        You and the other Floridian, John Fleming, are rather eclectic in that you have posted on many topics-sentence structure in English,the nuns,and your views on Floridian Communities-especially "The Villages". I find it interesting that the three of you graduated from Catholic Institutions in 1962-North&CD. You knew Brother Ken who graduated from The Prep in 1962 and now that he is approaching 69, he wants to spend time in Florida. He is not reserved like me and he has more of the Irish-disposition than The Teutonic one. He has owned a few bar and restaurants in Pennsylvania and Delaware.  Ken likes to hang out in restaurants with decent food,fair prices,good beer,and fine wine. I would surmise that near The Villages there would be a few restaurants that would meet that criteria.Ken knows that The Villages are a distance from The ocean and would like to be near  some pools with nice scenery. Ken would not be opposed to talking to some young-grand mothers at the pool and to consume a few beverages to prevent de-hydration. Ken does not like to drink and drive. Are there roads for bikes and golf-carts. After the pool,are there venues for happy-hours so that Ken can tell the grandmothers about Germantown and his adventures on the highway of life. Like you, John Fleming and Kevin McKernan, Ken was never boring-multi-demensional if you will. Ken's mother was a librarian and he is a voracious reader but he has not hung up his cue-stick. He would like to be near a venue with some excellent pool-establishments. Ken is not a hustler but likes to drink for nothing-shooting pool for fun is like kissing your sister. Ken would not be afraid of the alligators in Florida but would not want to be around sharks if you get my drift. Ken would like a Fox Pool-hall-Fair and balanced. John! One thing about The Villages being a distance from water, One does not have to fear alligators and I remember how mean and ugly and ugly they looked in the swamps and bayous at night. Incidentally, I was disappointed that none of your classmates from SFA made The Last Mass-it was a great turn-out. You won't be going to AC but keep up The AC in sunny Florida.                 Ken's Brother- JBS

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#10 [url]

Jun 27 12 6:14 PM


You can tell your brother, to pack his bags, and as Jim Dooley used to say, in the old Northeast Airlines commercials....”Come on down.” Be assured, that I think “The Villages” would be the perfect place for him to find his little piece of Paradise. The Villages have a virtual plethora of dining and drinking establishments of every genre. I am sure that he would find more then a couple that would meet his criteria. I would like to point out that The Villages is not rest home for seniors, au contraire! It was specifically designed to for the “active” senior. Check out this link:

Recently on one of our visits, we went to one of the many restaurants in one of the town squares for trivia night. Let me just say, the ambiance and atmosphere would rival any Germantown/Philly bar for fun! I might even be so bold to suggest that the atmosphere is even better, since most are retired, and out of the rat race, and are finally able to just enjoy life. I might add that the competition was quite fierce, you almost need a helmet to participate! They set things up to have groups compete with others. Naturally I was with the Philadelphia group. Although we didn't win, we were close to the top. The restaurant, which was really a sports bar, played to a packed crowd, in fact there was SRO. The food was very good, and reasonably priced. I should also mention that the “party atmosphere” permeated around the whole town square.

The Villages have an overabundance of pools. Most are the type you would expect to find in a luxury resort in the Caribbean or Mexico. Some are for 55+ only, for those that want to spend some peaceful casual time poolside.

Yes The Villages have roads for golf carts and bikes. Most if not all areas of The Villages are easily accessible by golf cart. Most times residents use their golf carts instead of their cars. On the subject of drinking and driving, I think the rules regarding cars, also apply to golf carts.

I think Ken will find more then an ample supply of “grand-mothers” more then able and willing to want to make his friendship. Most of them have one big requirement for male companionship, and that is, that the man is breathing.......and not really that hard! A few years ago, there was a major scandal revolving around the sexual activity in The Villages! It seems there was major outbreak of STD's! This was attributed to the introduction and use of Viagra. I think in recent times, while the activity is still going on, the cases of STD's has greatly declined. He will find that the socializing of members of the opposite sex, isn't that much different then in days gone by. Instead of meeting at the malt shop, the ladies like to meet at the local bars, especially at happy hour. I have been privy to some exchanges between some of the females concerning their dating. I was allowed because I am married, and my wife was with me, so they felt safe to open up. Again I will state that there is stiff competition for eligible men. This is due to mainly that, statistics, show that women outlive men.

Alligators are highly overrated in their danger. Let me first state that a rule of thumb in Florida, especially Central Florida going south, if there is water there is an alligator. Just a few hours ago, during my walk with my wife, we saw a couple of them in the nearby ponds. They just stare you down. They weren't that big, maybe 4-5 feet. The fact of the matter is that they are afraid of humans, and in most cases will not attack. The exception might be this month, since its the mating season. I think you can understand, how an alligator could be aggravated when they were trying to mate.

The best thing for him to do, is to come on down and take a tour of The Villages. I think they offer free or discount lodging to perspective buyers. I think, with all you have told me about him, he would really like it there. Tell him that the Eagles are playing the Bucs, in Tampa, on December 9th. We are going to the Ft Lauderdale area, this weekend to see the Phils play the Miami Marlins, in their new stadium. I mention this, in the event he has a thirst to see the home town teams. Of course they aren't that close, as in Philly, but he can make them weekend trips to visit the other areas of Florida, most notably South Beach on Miami Beach, where he can gaze at the nubile young women, working to acquire a semi all over tan, while he imbibes on his favorite adult beverage.

Going to the movies at The Villages

John Fleming Florida's favorite uncle Uncle Johnny

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#11 [url]

Jun 27 12 6:21 PM

Appears to have everything Ken that would make him happy.

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Margarita Republic is a full service Caribbean style Grill & Bar located in the heart of The Villages, FL. We specialize in fresh food and good times. Our entertainment is surpassed by none in the villages, with Karaoke, NTN Trivia, Texas Hold'em, Live Calypso, Darts, and Billiards. Our happy hour is the longest and our drinks the strongest. We are not just a place to eat, we are a place to meet.

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John Fleming Florida's favorite uncle Uncle Johnny

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#13 [url]

Jun 27 12 9:05 PM

John Fleming,
                      You and The Red Baron, John Fleming, should run an advertising- agency to promote tourism in Florida.  You covered a lot of bases with a lot of information and the inside stories. Brother Ken will be happy that you and John Payne are married since both of you with your Irish-charm could knock him out of the box. Ken likes shooting fish in the barrel and playing them pool. You mentioned that Viagra is prolifically used in Florida and was the cause of medical problems-shocking. Ken is approaching  69 and he was never a hockey-player so he would not be concerned about The Blue Bill since 3 pucks would not be on his radar-sign since being Jesuit-educated, he would want to have a meaningful relationship and connect with a lady on a rational-level. Ken would be worried about drinking and driving but you got my attention with the older crowd in Florida and what they pass on-not just gossip. I see that there is a lot of activity in The Villlages   and life is not boring and senior-ladies are not always snoring. Ken likes Porto Rico and The Porto Rican Culture and in Philly, he even likes to shoot pool in PR bars in North Philly. You talked about Miami and I spent time in South Beach and that was too much of the fast-lane for me. I applaud you for great commentary on Florida and The Villages. You are a Floridan now but I hope that you have not given up on The Phillies. Chase just came back and hit a homer in a losing cause to The Pirates. I also hope Ryan and Doc come back soon. Joe D'Agostino,Bor,and Baggs will be happy-they are old baseball-guys from G-town. I wonder if they liked your blog on Florida because they are Jersey-Shore guys. Did you know John Payne since you both graduated in 1962-you could start a Germantown Club in Florida. One of these days,when our ships come in and we are not at the air port- The Schmitt Brothers can sail to Florida and rent a car and drive to central-Florida for a little party but not too hardy.       JBS

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#14 [url]

Jun 27 12 9:19 PM

John Fleming,
                       In my last post, I mentioned The Red Baron who was German. The Red Baron in my post, would would be an Irishman from The Villages-John Payne. Back in the day, when I observed John Payne shooting hoops he was endowed with red-hair. I am a reserved guy and I do not want to piss off a former marine. John P. was a Happy Hollower and they know how to nut[bust] people. I have rounded 3rd and I just came from the gym-so I hope that you give me  a pass- I know that you don't mess around.                           JBS

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#15 [url]

Jun 28 12 3:23 AM

The Germantown blog seems to have turned a corner! Now this is what a good blog should be: intelligent bangor riddled with humor. I hope this tone can continue and more participate. As a child in Germantown, our big conquest was to be able to sled all the way down the red brick hill from the top. What an accomplishment! With the pool at the bottom and your adrenaline already off the charts, you had to choose to roll off your sled, or take that 3' drop into the pool at the end of your ride. I think my adrenaline is still a little too high for my own good because of those adventures. Does anyone know if the red brick hill was there when the Hollow was a quarry, or was it installed when the quarry was converted to a playground ? Hollow Girl

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#16 [url]

Jun 28 12 8:33 AM


Not knowing Ken, nor his spiritual background, let me just say, that he will find the women of The Villages, much more liberal, and shall we say, open minded, in the area of erotica. This is not to say, that they aren't interested in meaningful relationships. Relationships that offer them a proper companion and escort to nights on the town, make that early nights, are also desirable. Since they have reached an age in their life, when nature has allowed them to partake of the forbidden fruit, without any guilt or worry, most like to participate. I would use the TV show, “The Golden Girls”, as a point of reference. This is not to say that they are all Blanche Devereauxs, but if you remember , at one time or another all the girls did participate, even Dorothy's aged mother Sophia with César Romero no less!

Having been born and raised in Philadelphia, and lived there for over 60 years, its hard, no make that impossible to be anything but a Phillies or Eagles fan. In fact I am in the final “boarding stages” as I type, of making our annual journey to Miami to see the Phils play the Marlins in their new stadium. I already have my tickets in hand, via the Internet. Quite amazing, that I was able to pick out my section and seats on line! We have come a long way, since I last plunked down my 75 cents at Connie Mack Stadium, for general admission. I will have confess, I was secretly rooting for the Rays in the last series, last week. The way I see it, the Phils are done for the year, but the Rays have a good shot at the playoffs. I might also add that I will be going to the Eagles game on December 9th , when they come into Tampa. I saw them the last time they came here, with that heartbreaker, they lost in the last 2-3 seconds, with a 61 yd field goal.

I did not know Joe Payne, since I went to CD. I would strongly suggest that the Schmitt Brothers, make that journey to Florida, sooner then later! I don't know when the last time or if you were ever here, but I think you would find it a true Paradise. Better then Philly? You be the judge. I would say better then the present day Philly, but it does lack the traditions of the Philly we all remember and grew up in.

I think I hear my bride calling. I think she should have the car all loaded by now. I can assume my role as pilot and have us head down 1-75 to Alligator Alley and finally the skyline of Miami Beach.