Tuesday, October 8, 2013


Tarpon Springs Dive

Childhood dreams become a reality when there is no one left to tell you "No".
As a child I used to watch Captain Nemo and the crew of the Nautilus and dream of walking on the bottom of the ocean.

Captain Nemo (in Latin Nobody), also known as Prince Dakkar, is a fictional character invented by the French science fiction author Jules Verne. Nemo appears in two of Verne's novels, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (1870) and The Mysterious Island (1874), and makes a cameo appearance in Verne's play Journey Through the Impossible (1882).
Nemo, one of the most famous antiheroes in fiction, is a mysterious figure. The son of an Indian Raja, he is a scientific genius who roams the depths of the sea in his submarine, the Nautilus, which was built on a deserted island. Nemo tries to project a stern, controlled confidence, but he is driven by a thirst for vengeance and a hatred of imperialism (particularly the British Empire). He is also wracked by remorse over the deaths of his crew members and even by the deaths of enemy sailors.Now there is no one to tell me "No" and so I go.

 The suit is a total of 172 pounds of rubber and brass with lead weights to take you down.  Suited up and with a couple of minutes of instruction on how to bleed air out, with a valve in the helmet that you activate with your head, it is over the side.
 Going down the ladder was not to hard.  I was to find that climbing back on board was a bit more difficult.
 I actually made two short dives and walked a bit on the bottom.  The visibility was very poor as we had a strong ebb tide at the time.  At last I was able to say "I did that".
 I did find a mermaid (my grand daughter Aubrey) so the trip was worth it.
 It was not to exciting for those on the surface, but for me it was awesome.
 Captain George is an old Greek sponge diver from the old country and we be came acquainted several years ago as I visited Tarpon Springs, Florida often.  We had talked about the idea of me making a hard hat dive and after my return from Africa this year decided that September would be the best time.  I have come to consider Captain George a personal friend and because of our "old mens respect" he allowed me to follow this dream of  mine. 
Afterward we discussed what I had learned from this experience and agreed that at another time I would be able to repeat it in deeper water and for a longer dive.  I really like this man.  The stories he has to tell would make an exciting book and the willingness to trust and respect another man's dreams and help make them reality is uncommon in this day.
Having worked up an appetite, my crew and I retired to a local Greek restaurant and enjoyed authentic Greek cuisine.  Thanks to my son Shane, his wife Noelle and daughter Aubrey for their support and encouragement.


Sunday, August 11, 2013


It has been a long time since I have embraced a dream that projects into the future.  This is one.

A couple of months ago I visited my oldest son, Shawne, at his home in Knoxville, TN.  On my way back to Florida I wanted to go by way of Gatlinburg, TN.  The last time I was there was 1959 and I made a sentimental journey to relive some memories of that time.  Traveling South on route 321 I came across a trout stream close to the road and stopped to make a short video of it and a building by the side of the road.  
The building was for sale and not being in a position to purchase I paid it little mind.  Last week I returned to Knoxville to purchase a pickup truck from my son and while there I took a day trip back to what had become a dream for me.  

When I got back into my vehicle I looked at my GPS and discovered that I was at route 321 and HUFF road.  Was this some kind of sign?

I have lived in a twenty-two foot class C motor home (1995 Serro Scotty) for the past four years and was convenienced that I had no desire to put down roots.  That was changing.

Exactly nineteen miles North of Gatlinburg on a two lane black top highway was a place that I would be willing to tie myself to the ground.

This is the Grist Mill I have fallen in love with.

 The front porch welcomes you with a homey old time atmosphere reminiscent of a time long past in most of America.
 Stepping back and taking a deep breath I allowed myself to picture living in a another time.  A time when the values America was built on were common.  What would I do here.
I called the number on the for sale sign and spoke with Sarah. Her and her husband own the Grist Mill and several other property s  and she spoke with me for a half hour.  She was born near Lancaster PA the 14th of October two years before my 10 Oct 1944 birth.  She is a Christian.  As we talked I felt a bond developing that  gave me hope that maybe God had directed me here for a reason
She told me that the second floor was fully furnished including electric fireplace and hot tub.  The first floor recreation room with pool table.
The out building to the right was currently used for storage but would make a great woodworking shop for another of my "dreams".  I have always liked working wood and have several items that could be placed in local tourist shops but also sold online.  See how fast dreams grow. . . .
I would continue the Grist Mill theme and offer Coffe and pastry, pies, etc. FREE for veterans (active duty or former) with the option of their contributing if they wanted.  This would give me an opportunity to meet people that I could identify with and at the same time give back to my band of brothers. Dream keeps getting bigger.
 The back porch is insulated from any traffic noise from the road and offers plenty of places to kick back and relax.
 Set for minute on this swing and look at . .

this view.  What a marvelous way to start or end any day.

Hope this short video actually posts as it features the trout stream that promises many hours of fishing and breakfast, lunch and diner.  Dream keeps getting bigger.

Since I am not in a position to get VA financing at this time our conversation ended with my proposing a year long lease option to buy while I repair my credit score.  Now the whole thing is in God's hands while I work on my end of it.

Here is a link to Allen and Sarah Law's Cabins where you  can see more of this dream of mine


Praise Report: I am now the proud owner of a 2009 Silverado 4X4 pick up (me and Chrysler Credit) due to the efforts of my son Shawne (number ONE salesman at East Tennessee Dodge in Crossville, TN.  Thanks Shawne.