Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Ken Neeley, friend, family man, teacher gone at 47

If the name Ken Neeley doesn't ring a bell certainly his business will.  He was the owner of KD Outdoors on M-59 in Waterford.
Last week Neeley died suddenly. He was just 47 and leaves behind his wife Rhonda, sons Jonathon and Benjamin and a host of nieces, nephews and grandchildren.
Today, Sept. 23, Neeley was eulogized at Lakecrest Baptist church in Waterford. The parking lot was full of vehicle and the church packed with those that had done business or fished with Neeley, or otherwise were the recipient of his advice and teaching.
"If you wanted to know where the fish were blighting and what the bait and color were all you had to do was stop in KD and Ken would give you the answer. He was in touch with Lake St. Clair and what was going on there anytime," Bill McElroy creator of Scales N' Tales cartoons said.
His longtime fishing companions John "Mini" Maniaci, Virginia residents Scott Hammer and Carlos Hathcock along with McElroy were in attendance at today's memorial.
Read this Sunday's Oakland Press for more on Ken Neeley.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Fall is one of my favorite seasons

The one thing bad about fall is what comes after it. That Old Man winter that likes to hang on long after it should have left.
Fall is a season that comes along with lots of activities. Snooze and you'll miss them while you stand outside with a snow shovel in your hand.
Fall signals a time to get ready for a big change ahead. Get those outside chores done before the snow flies.
Gardens need turning, weeds plucked and some pruning can take place. Unless you plan on fishing, get your boat winterized and covered.
Fishing in the fall gives you another season to figure out. And you won't be rushed because most people have put away fishing stuff for hunting gear.
Grouse, woodcock-later pheasants-now squirrels and soon rabbits will be ready to be hunted. Bow hunters are plunking arrows into back yard targets. Firearms hunters are at the range getting zeroed in.
Then there are those luscious fall colors to enjoy on the way to your favorite cider mill. Don't forget a cinnamon donut!
Get outside and enjoy the fall. Soon enough, we'll be cooped up waiting for the spring thaw.

Photo from DNR of fall colors in a state forest.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

9-11, an important date to remember

It's hard to believe 13 years ago commercial airplanes carrying hundreds of passengers were intentionally flown into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and crashing outside of Washington, D.C.
Significant life changing events are painful to remember, but often remind us of what we were doing when we first learned of these tragedies.
Fresh out of the Navy, I was bowling with a friend in Hollywood, California. After our game we walked outside to a different world.
There were absolutely no sounds. People were walking as if they were in shock and indeed some were. Stores that sold TVs with displays in storefront windows were lined up with pedestrians watching the events unfold about President Kennedy.
Early reports indicated he had been wounded, some said he hadn't been shot, then later, the news that he had died was broadcast.
No one around us could believe such a thing had happened. After all, this is America. That doesn't happen here.
On 9-11 I was fishing for perch on a calm Lake St. Clair near the area known as the dumping grounds. The sky was sunny and blue.
All of a sudden it felt like the world stood still. There were no planes flying overhead nor were there any other boats near us. A couple of helicopters probably from Selfridge flew over then it was quiet again.
We headed into shore, tied the boat up and left for home. My car radio was tuned to WOMC. When it came on, I was already nearly out of the parking lot when I heard an unfamiliar voice say "America is under attack. Two commercial airliners have intentionally been flown into the twin towers of the World Trade Center.
The news about the remaining two aircraft wasn't broadcast at that time. The streets were quiet during the drive home. People driving looked stunned.
Today, reading and watching the news, those events come back as if they happened yesterday. The slogan, "Never Forget" applies to all of these tragic events.
9-11 has changed life in America forever.