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A Good Birthday Afternoon in Princeton and Allentown, NJ

The Old Man at the Record Exchange

So my wife and I spent this afternoon in Princeton and Allentown, NJ. First, I went to the Princeton Record Exchange to get whatever I could find for my birthday, we then visited Labyrinth Books on Nassau Avenue, on the way home we went to the cemetery at the Allentown Presbyterian Church and we ended the night with dinner at Bung’s. It was a nice birthday afternoon!  Oh, while I was in the Princeton Record Exchange, my wife was wandering around a very big cemetery about a block away!

Here’s my favorite tombstone that she took a picture of today, taken at the Presbyterian Church Cemetery in Allentown

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A Happy Birthday to All who Share My Birthday !

Some Music for My Birthday from Albert Collins

Ok so today is my birthday, the 64th that I’ve celebrated! It seems like only yesterday my mother was writing in my baby book….October 1, 1952, Eddie’s first birthday, October 1, 1953, Eddie’s second birthday…. such a great writer she was…left me with so many written memories!

Here’s a picture from my first birthday party – (from l to r adults Uncle Ott, Aunt Polly, Nana Karn, Aunt Jean?, my dad (great shirt!) Uncle Kenny and Grandpop Karn. l to r kids – me, cousins Jimmy and Marti)

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A Good Run to Prepare to Run for Team Willpower!

So after Tuesday’s positive run, I was ready to go again today! I figured I would run my 4.2 mile run that has a couple of minor climbs. I took off and told myself that after pushing it a little more than usual on Tuesday, I should take it a little slower today, but then I made the first mile in 9:32 and that thought went out the window. I held that pace throughout the rest of the run, and ended with time of 40:24. The fastest time over that course since, well, maybe last year! The good thing is that my legs still feel good and I’m ready to go again!

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Mom’s Funeral – It was a Beautiful (and Sorrowful) Day

Brother John,Mom, Grandmother Elva

Yesterday, we had the private funeral for my mother, and it was a beautiful day. I think that  the day went about as well as it could have. In the morning I called the funeral director to go over some last-minute arrangements, like would he have flowers, could I put something in the casket, etc. He said that he was going to call me in a few minutes to see if I wanted to come by and see my mom. Originally, I was not going to do that, but I decided that I would and maybe it would help later. So Kathy and I went over and it was the best move I could have made. He had done a wonderful job and she looked so much better than the last time I saw her. My cousin Donna also went to see her and I hope it helped her get through the day. The service was short and sweet, which is the way I think mom would have wanted it. The only people I invited outside of the family, were Bob Johnson and his wife Lynda. Bob and the Johnson family were about as close to me as family, two of his younger brothers Tom and Andy were like my big brothers. We were constantly either playing football, baseball or basketball together. His youngest brother Richard was like a younger brother, I remember my mom babysitting when he was an infant! After the service we went to Pat’s for lunch, my children, and Bob and Lynda and had a wonderful time reminiscing and while I had said to them how I felt about Bob’s family being an extension of mine, she said that Bob felt the same way about my parents. It was about as good a day as I could have hoped for, and of course I thank my rock, my wife, for making it that way!! I love you, Kathleen and all my children!

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In Memory of My Mother Helen Ray Ashton (1928-2012)

So last night my mother passed away, she was 84 years old. She was born June 12, 1928 to John and Elva Regars Ashton. She had two brothers, James “Jimmy” was killed in WWII at the age of 19, and the other, John passed away in 1990, that same year her nephew Jim, John’s son passed away. She married my father Edward Karn in 1947 and I came along in 1951. In 1956 her father died at the age of 58 and her mother passed in 1971. In 1984 my father had a heart attack and passed at the age of 60. Through the years, her devotion to the Beverly Presbyterian Church kept her going, she was a Sunday School teacher for many years and then superintendent of the Sunday School. She was also an Elder and a Deacon and just about anything else she could be. After my father died, she worked at the Joy’s Hallmark in the Burlington Center for several years and at Easy Pour Coffee service in Burlington. After my father passed, my Uncle Kenny and his wife Flo moved in with her and they were a trip, my Uncle passed in 2003 and then my Aunt died unexpetedly in 2006. At the time Flo was taking care of my mom, after she died, Mom went to live at Riverview Estates in Riverton, where she has spent the her last years. I can’t say enough good things about the home and what they did for her, they were terrific from the top down!

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Elizabeth goes to Ireland – June – July 2012!

So my daughter has worked hard in school to get were she is now. And where is she now? Standing on some rocks on the Irish coast, making her mother cry! Why is her mother crying because Mom wants to be there so badly! Anyway my daughter, Elizabeth will be entering her senior year at The College of William and Mary this fall, but for four weeks this summer she will be studying Irish film and literature in two classes in Ireland!

The main reason that my wife longs to go to Ireland so much is that her roots go deep in Ireland. Her great-grandfather James Corbett Browne was born in 1864 in county Down and she has traced the Browne line  back to Samuel born in 1787 in Hilltown in County Down!

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Into the Night with The Big Easy Express (again) and Old Crow Medicine Show!

So as we were entering the Annenberg Center last Thursday night to see the documentary The Big Easy Express, my wife was trying to gauge the crowd. Something just didn’t seem right and that was all explained when the young woman who was taking the tickets looked at my ticket and said “Sir these tickets are for NEXT WEEK!” Turning to my wife I saw a confused look on her face, she had not double checked the date and just had remember it was a Thursday night in mid to late April! Anyway tonight is the night and we will be leaving shortly to go see the film. At least this time, we know where the parking garage is! Here’s hat I wrote the first time around.

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William and Mary Parent’s Weekend Goes To Washington

Tom Russell

So this weekend is Parents Weekend at The College of William and Mary, but daughter Elizabeth decided that it would be a better idea to go to Washington DC. Why you ask, see the Braves are playing the Nationals. So today we are going to the game, arriving early so she can get some autographs on the ball that she got from Eddie Perez at the last Nationals-Braves game we went to! Hopefully, any rain will hold off. Tomorrow if it’s nice we may trek to Mount Vernon. But the best part is that Tom Russell will be at Jammin’ Java Vienna, Virginia tomorrow night!

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A Trip to the Colbert Report

I  know that posts have been sparse here the last couple of days that’s because both days started at 7 AM and ended late. On Tuesday my daughter Elizabeth, ever the one to figure things out and pull me and her mother out of our stay at home comfort modes, got to tickets to The Colbert Report! Luckily, her brother Peter, who went with her the previous week to The Daily Show, had to work so Dad got to go!

It was a good time but a long day! We drove and it’s really the first time I’ve driven in the city. I was surprised how easy it was!  Up 10th Avenue to 54th and the studio was right there. We arrived at about 3:30 to be assured that we would get in, as a result we were numbers 16 and 17. They let us into the room outside of the studio around 5:50 and then into the studio about an hour later. We were surprised at how small the set was! The warm up comedian came on around 7:10 and was very funny – at one point he did point out that Elizabeth and I were father and daughter and that I was another “Cool Dad” one of two or three that were there with their daughters! Colbert came out, “out of character” (they stressed several times before the show “you do know it’s a character, right!) at 7:30 or so and answered questions from the audience. I didn’t know he was such a fan of Lord of the Rings and his big news was that Peter Jackson invited him to the set of The Hobbit and he is going at the end of August!

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From Graduation to Williamsburg and back!

So one of these weeks my life is gong to get back into its normal rut, unfortunately this was not the weekend! The weekend started with a full day of graduation festivities for son Andrew, who graduated from Rowan University!! Congratulations Andrew! These festivities were followed by a surprise birthday party Friday night for the daughter of a friend of my wife. Next came a trip to Williamsburg, VA to pick up daughter Elizabeth’s stuff at William & Mary on Saturday! Fun was added to the trip when I went out to move the car and discovered a nail embedded in the flat tire. Of coarse,  this was AFTER moving her microwave, refrigerator and several boxes down from her room on the third floor (in a building with no elevator),  over three dorms and up to the fourth floor storage area, in a building which had an elevator!  Subsequently, we went to Target to get a can of Fix-a-Flat, because trying to jacking Andrew car on a semi- un-level surface taught me that, that does not work and since there were no even remotely  level surfaces in the immediate vicinity of the car Fix-a-Flat was my best bet!! Anyway I was able to get the tire fixed just before the torrential  downpour and we were able to go eat! After eating, we got to load the car, again carrying her stuff down from the third floor. Oh, did I mention that while going up and down stairs it feels that someone’s sticking a knife in my knee!!!  We did, however,  manage to get everything in the car and get back to the motel. So this morning I took the car to Walmart to get the tire fixed. The nail was too close to the sidewall to patch the tire,  so I had to get a new tire. The clerk said that the tire was $ 67.00. When she rang it up  final she said that the total was $ 147.00 plus! Looking at the bill I could see that there were two charges for the tire. After questioning the clerk about the bill, she said I had to speak with the guy in the shop. He said, that yes there were two charges for the tire and I had to go to Customer Service to get a refund!

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