Grandpa’s Memories

Young Kenny’s Shoe Saga

CHAPTER ONE THE SAGA OF THE ANTI-NIKE FOR LIFE A little brother’s dream trip to Burlington In the winter of 1956 or thereabouts, when I was in the first grade, my family went on a shopping trip to Burlington, Colorado. It was a big city to me, full of wondrous things, and I was extremely …

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Herman Santala’s Passing

In the wee hours of a chilly autumn morning, our Mama (Helen Santala Pickens) woke up my brother Kenny and me, where we were sleeping together upstairs in the old farmhouse north of Flagler, Colorado. Mama told us that our Grandpa, her father Herman Santala, was very ill and that our Daddy (William Charles Pickens) …

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The Hugo Municipal Pool

Hugo’s little-known Tornado

I was being pelted by sand the size of BB pellets, thousands of them hitting me at once. Mommy screamed at me to get into the car, it’s a tornado…

picture of an old crank telephone.

Telephones in my life, and how they have changed.

My first telephone call: When I was really young, I remember that going into town to call my grandmother in Kansas was a very special adventure. I don’t remember what particular occasion was tied to my first memory of this, perhaps our trip to Kansas for Christmas. We didn’t have a phone at the farm in those days so when we needed talk to someone by telephone, we would have to make the long 14 mile trip into the small town of Flagler, Colorado.

A recent picture of the old chicken house.

The Old Chicken House & Things South

As far back as I could remember, the chicken house was just an old, ugly building that no one could see. For the usual visitors to the farm, it was hidden from view by the house and by the trees around it, and, of course, by the well house and the barn. And the chicken house smelled to high heaven!…

The Old Bunkhouse

The old bunkhouse on our farm was a house that had been moved from one of the country schools near our farm. I think the teachers had lived in this house while teaching at the country school. There were two rooms in the house, probably for two teachers at the school, so that the students …

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The Pickens Barn

The old barn on our farm had an interesting story. When I was in the fifth grade my teacher, Mr. Dorsey, told me that he had grown up on a homestead (a farm still held by the family of the first settlers) four miles south of our house. He said that long before my family …

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USO Party

Marilyn and Gary’s Courtship

By Marilyn and Gary Pickens Arriving in the Bay Area Marilyn’s version: As a background to this story, I was living in San Francisco almost by accident. The Vietnam War had been going on for several years when I had applied for the job of U.S.O. Mobile Units secretary in San Francisco. It was May …

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The Old Well House

The well house had originally been a barn at one of the rural schools north of us, before it was moved and re-purposed. As I will explain, it eventually enclosed a new water storage tank that was supplied by a new well and windmill that Daddy put in after he moved to the farm from …

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Bike Ride with Julian

On Friday, July 31st, I joined my daughter’s English friend Julian on a great bike ride through the countryside south and west of Stuttgart, Germany. It truly was a beautiful ride; within minutes of leaving his house in the village of Vaihingen we were riding through lush green farmlands and forests, quite beautiful to my …

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Sunday’s Bike Ride

Today Daniel and I rode twenty-eight miles north along Parmer Lane. What a great ride–the temperature was in the mid seventies, with almost no wind. We started from the Avery Ranch subdivision shortly after seven AM and we rode for about two hours, only stopping at stop lights and when we turned around to head …

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Hot Ride at the Veloway

Daniel, Stan and I rode about nineteen miles at the Veloway this evening and it was hot! The hottest ride of the season, about one hundred degrees Fahrenheit at the start, according to Motionbased. Here is the Motionbased report:

Monday Night’s Trail Run

Daniel and I ran at Bull Creek Greenbelt this evening. We started at a new location in a small parking lot at the intersection of Spicewood Springs Road and Old Spicewood Springs Road. The trail was beautiful. We took a single track trail up along the tops of the cliffs. Occasionally we could get a …

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Dad’s Day Du Race Report

Today I came in first in my age group (60+). Yippee! My very first Du and to be able to pull this off. Yippee! Guess all my running and biking has trained me better than I thought. Now I need to start planning and training for bigger and better duathlons. This one was a small …

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Thursday’s Run

This evening I ran three and three quarters miles. It wasn’t as hot nor as windy as the night before, but it was still pretty warm: about ninety-three degrees. I ran to the south end of the Highland Mall parking lot, then ran along Guadalupe Street to T.A. Brown Park, and returned home. I was …

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Trail Run at Bull Creek Park

This evening Daniel and I decided to run at Bull Creek District Park. It is a little further from work than the Barton Creek Greenbelt, where we usually run, but I have heard so much about the trail that I still wanted to do it. The Hill Country Trail Runners used to have a Sunday …

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Sunday’s Ride

This morning I went out for a bike ride to the river and back. I wanted to explore new routes to downtown for several reasons: 1) I want to be able to get down to the river to run early in the morning. I really don’t want to drive a vehicle down to the river …

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Thursday’s Run

I ran two and a half miles this evening using the new route. It was hot and windy; not quite as windy as the previous few days but still windy. For some reason Motionbased is down so I can not upload my run. I will do it later. Finally at 10 PM I was able …

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4.5 Mile Run Near Home

This evening I ran four and a half miles near home. I choose a new route because I was wanting to put in near five miles and passing the house would be boring plus there would be a temptation to stop each time I passed. So on map my run I plotted out a longer …

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Five Mile Run

This evening I ran five miles on the Hike and Bike trail around Lady Bird Lake. I was prepared for a hot slog similar to last week, but about a mile into the run the wind came up and it started raining lightly which cooled the air down and made running a whole lot more …

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Bicycle Ride at Veloway

Thursday evening, after work, I went to the Veloway with James for a moderately paced eighteen mile bike ride. It was hot with a strong wind out of the southeast which was particularly noticeable just before the sharp little hill about two miles around the course. Here is the Motionbased record:

Thursday’s Long Run

I did a long run this evening. Running from Mo-Pac to I-35 along Town Lake Trail. It took about one and a half hours at an average speed of about five mile per hour. My heart rate was a little higher than I would have liked at 129, it was thirty two minutes in the …

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Monday Nights Trail Run

This evening Daniel and I went the Barton Creek Greenbelt for a four and a half mile run. It was a really good run, the clouds looked heavy like it could start raining at any point, and we felt a few drops at the start, but it never did. The two main things that happened …

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Thursday’s Run

I ran a slow five miles on Lady Bird Lake this evening. I ran from the Mopac bridge to to the Congress avenue bridge on the south side of the lake. Then doubled back to the Pfluger Bridge and crossed to the north side of the lake. Over the next month or so I will …

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ASH Dash Race Report

Today I ran the ASH Dash 5K race. The ASH (Austin State Hospital) volunteers sponsor the race; they are an organization whose purpose is to improve the quality of life of the children and adults who are patients at the Hospital. The race was on the grounds of the State Hospital, which was established in …

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Wednesday’s Intervals

I ran intervals this evening; I was planning to do three intervals of one mile each at six and a half MPH, but in reality what I did was more like this: Interval one = 1 mile at six and a half MPH. Interval two = .6 mile at six and a half MPH. For …

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ARC Thursday Evening Run

I ran this evening with the ARC Thursday Evening running group. We met at 6:15 PM at the rock under the Mopac bridge. There were about 8 runners, including Jack, Bill, Josh and Troy (the leader). The group was a whole lot faster than I remembered from last year; perhaps it was a different group. …

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Wednesdays Interval Run

I ran intervals again tonight. I used the Advanced Training option called “Wed Interval” that I created several weeks ago and refined last week. There are some modifications that need to be made: I need to add press lap button to the start of the first 12 minute run. I currently have it set to …

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The First ACA Hosted Ride.

Today I attended the first ACA Hosted Ride Program, hosted by Sarah F. Most of the group seemed to be folks who had participated in a triathlon last year, and they were just getting together again. It was a friendly group, even to me as a newcomer and outsider. (One participant ran in a 5K …

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