The Man I’d Like to be.

Fred Dunn-101

The Man I’d Like to be.

Almost everyone wants to be a “carefree” cowboy. I’m no exception, but have certain particulars which must be included. The prime object is a large ranch – almost a small national park is more like it. To satisfy my personal whim, the breeding of purebred Herefords would be my specialty. Lastly a friendly and specially trained dog and a fine string of horses would have to be in my possession.

A ranch of several thousand acres pleases my fancies only if it contains sufficient acreage for pasture land, the raising of grain and hay, and a forest to provide superb hunting and fishing facilities. My ranch would be situated either in the Midwest or bordering the leeward side of the Rockies. Mile upon mile of wooden rail fence would border and criscross my acres. Line shacks would be built for the men supervising the cattle. For convenience sake, markers would be implanted at intervals stating the distance to the “home corral” and from the nearest line shack. Although vast, my ranch would possess many conveniences, both in the home and on the “work bench”, but not to the extent of extreme moder(n)ization.

White-faced cattle would dot the pasture lands. Herefords have become my choice because of their beauty and beef value. These cattle are hardy and grow swiftly to a marketable age. The barn area would find the best of Hereford cows and bulls. Experiments would be performed to make them more hardy and disease resistant. Possibly I would have my own packing plant for processing my yearlings and other cattle that I would purchase for beef. Furtherance of the Hereford breeding in all parts of the country would be aided by my strain. This breed of cattle still offers a challenge for their betterment.

I would own the finest “cow ponies” in the United States with price no barrier. I would supply my hands with two horses each and provide excellent saddle horses for those wishing to visit my establishment. A good dog, probably a shepherd or border collie, would have to be mine. He would have to be trained for driving cattle and police work. I insist on a well trained dog because riding the range alone, one wants more company th(a)n his horse. The dog is also invaluable in locating and restoring stray cows to the herd, as well as bringing experimental stock into the barn.

How many men wish they could own their own ranch outfitted with all their personal fancies? Yes, I would like to be a top breeder of Hereford cattle – on my own ranch, but presently it is still a dream. Someday, I may reach the goal of the man I’d like to be.


{From an English-101 paper. Junior year @ Cardinal McCloskey Memorial High School, Albany, NY, when I was 16 years old. Not sure if date on paper is 4/5 or 1/5/1960. Printed here as written. Corrections made are in parentheses. One missed misspelled word, and one not capitalized, escaped notice. Scored 26; don't remember what that translates to.}

Freddie J. Dunn


This one is a bit different than the previous one. Some years ago, our youngest daughter and I were visiting Charleston, SC. After strolling around a bit and having lunch we decided to take a carriage ride around Old Town Charleston. I recalled seeing a young lady on a street corner a couple of blocks back, that was selling tickets for the ride. After a customer paid for the tickets, she would radio up to the starting point, to save seats for the new customers.

We walked back along the main street, and as we crossed the side street by the ticket seller, I noticed 3 ladies starting to cross the main street, heading for the same corner. This is the background or set-up for the story.

I asked the ticket lady the price, and that we’d like two tickets. She gave me the information. As she spoke, I noticed that her accent didn’t sound quite Southern. “You’re not from down here, are you,” I commented. She replied, “No, I’m from Boston”.

By this time the three ladies are right there with us. One lady chirps, “My dear, I’m from Boston, too”. Now, I’m not a linguist, but I do recognize some accents and or dialects. Looking at the lady, I comment, “You’re not originally from Boston, though. Where was home?” “No place you ever heard of,” she replies.

“Try me. You never know,” I come back. I don’t remember the progression, but somehow we got to New York. Quiz determined it was not New York city, but upstate. Every time during this entire conversation, her answer was “No.” And when I asked where, she came back with “No place you ever heard of.”

I don’t really know why I was so persistent, other than there was something about her speech, and no one seemed to be disturbed by my/our stubbornness. Anyway, I worked my way upstate to my stomping grounds of the Albany area. I got to the Guilderland area, and received a “Yes” followed by the now expected, “No place you ever heard of.” when I inquired, “Where in Guilderland?”

Narrowing it down to Westmere, I then asked what road; and finally got a response of Johnson Road. Those of you who know the area, know that Johnson Road runs for a couple of miles or so, and then turns into Normanskill Rd. Anyway, I took a long shot – “Do you know the ‘K…..’s?” A split second of silence, and a look like she had just won a millon dollars, and was going to faint. “Oh my goddd! My next door neighbors.”

You think this is quirky? Wait until you see Part 3!!!!


For many years, I’ve told our kids, that the farther you go from home, the greater the chances of meeting someone you know, or someone who knows someone you know.

I’ll start with a couple of simple instances that I can remember. In the early 1970s we were camping in Ogunuit, ME. While we didn’t know them, the ladies tenting a couple of sites from us, were teachers at the local school in our town, Elsmere Elementary School.

Many years ago, my sister and her husband were on their way home from a vacation in Florida. They stopped for breakfast in a large restaurant in Williamsburg, VA. Lo and behold, who did they spot across the room, but our Cousin Walt and his family, from Unionville, NY, who were on their way to Florida.

A few years ago, our military daughter was stationed in Hawaii. About a week after arriving there, there was a gathering where she met all/most of the members of the squadron that she was assigned to. That night, my wife got a call from her asking who “X” was. No one that my wife had ever met, but she did knew who he was. “X” was my wife’s cousin. Connection – his Grandfather was my wife’s uncle. His grandfather was also my wife’s Godfather!

I told our daughter that it was pretty cool that she had to travel 5600 miles to meet her cousin who lived 30 miles away in Pittsfield, MA .

Here’s one that some of you can probably relate to. 7 or 8 years ago, one of my sisters and I were visiting one of my daughters in Alexandria, VA. One afternoon, she and I took a bike ride along the GW Parkway up to Reagan Airport. On the way back, we took a break and sat on a bench along the trail. A young fellow who was jogging, went past us. He suddenly stopped and came back. Looking at me, he asked, “Are you from Delmar, NY?”

“Yes”, I answered. “How’d you know”?

“I recognized the Bethlehem Rail Trail hat you’re wearing”.

We chatted a bit, and I found out that his mom had been our town supervisor. I knew her from her position, and because we rode the same city bus when we were in (different)high schools.

Think I’ll stop for now. These were kinda boring and everyday. Keep your eyes open for Part 2 and Part 3. One will be about an incident in Charleston, NC, and the other about something that spanned 40 years plus.

Happy New Year – 2019

Wow! It’s been over two years since I posted here.

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No real reason. Just haven’t. Hopefully, this year I’ll get back in the swing(read: Yap, yap, yap.) of it, rather than being addicted to Face Book. Besides, I’ve had several people encourage me to return to writing. We’ll see.

Earlier in the fall, I installed an old, yes, OLD, fence in front of the house. You see, the new neighbors around the corner from us decided to replace the 10-15 year old 3′ picket fence with a solid one. The fence had been pulled out and laid on the ground for a couple of weeks, or so. Never saw anyone around as I drove by.

Just happened to be the right day that I drove past! The old picket fence was on a trailer, and the installer of the new fence was standing next to it; not protecting it; just taking a break. I asked him what he was going to do with the old fence. “Take it to the landfill in the morning.” he answered.

“Can I have it?”, I asked. “Come back and take it.” “How about, since it’s already on your trailer, and you have to go by my house anyway, would you stop at my house on your way out?” “Sure, it’ll save me a trip.”

Over the next few weeks, I pressure washed it(it’s vinyl) and sorted the sections out. Some were like-new perfect. Others had a picket or two broken, and other sections had been shortened to fit or for gates. There were just enough perfect ones to fit across the lawn in front of the house. The other sections I plan to put at the back of the lot, because of the steep drop off there. It’ll be far enough back that the damaged pickets won’t be readily visible from the road.

Other than the tip I gave the installer for dropping it off, my other expenses were some screws and a new larger sized corner post & cap, and a couple of brackets that hold the sections to the posts.

In my younger days, I’d helped install a lot of paige and barbed wire livestock fence. So, in conclusion, when someone asks me who installed the fence, I have a ready answer that eliminates any further questions.
The answer?……..”I did. I’m related to Sir Lancelot. He taught me a lot about fencing

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Preserve BEFORE It’s Sold

Found this in my FB Memories. Kind of ironic that the Newell Farm is now under the shovel, two years, almost to the day that I wrote this.

Why can’t people think ahead, and do something about the land and/or building (think about the church in Waterviliet that PC bought, or the house in Defreetsville where Target/Home Depot is, etc etc),BEFORE, it is sold and developed.

There’s a 125 acre plot adjacent to a parcel that I mentioned in my “Views” post that is up for sale. It was last actively farmed about 30-35 years ago.

Who, in the surrounding neighborhoods, is going to step forward and purchase it for non-development purposes, BEFORE it’s sold to a developer? Or will they wait until it’s sold, and then WHINE, “Why”?

Before some one jumps on me, I have no problem with a land owner selling their property. After all, it is theirs, and they’re free to do what they want to do with it, under permitted options. After all, they own it, and have paid taxes on it.

It’s the people that whine and cry after land is sold, rather than purchasing it themselves, or organizing their neighbors and friends, to pool their resources, to purchase it.

Why not form a neighborhood organization to purchase the land, and let it become passed down to future generations as a perk to owning a house in a particular neighborhood?

It’s kind of like Camp Woodstock in East Berne, NY. Many years ago when the corporation that owned it, deemed it unprofitable, and wanted to sell it, the lot owners, who owned their individual camp sites, stepped forward and bought the rest of the property from the corporation, Now, besides owning their individual private camp site, they also own a share in the entire campgrounds, for which they pay an annual fee, to cover associated expenses of the Association. And they have land, a pond, a pool and buildings that they can use and enjoy.


015.JPG 2We’re been enjoying a mild winter, here in the Albany area, this year. Above normal temperature. Below normal precipitation.

Not bad, or is it.

We do need at least normal precipitation to keep our ground water levels up. Otherwise, wells will go dry. Lakes, streams, ponds, rivers and wetlands will be below normal. And with that, changes in the ecology.

Warm temperatures when plants need a rest. What’s going to happen to the plants that started to bud in December? What’s going to happen to the fruit crop in the Northeast? The berry crop? The Maple sap yield?

How about the fall planted flower bulbs that need to freeze, or at least get close to it, in order to bloom in the Spring.

Along with that, there are crops that prefer to be blanketed in snow – insulated from the cold.

Global warming? Well, the early explorers of the New World IMG_4120would have liked the conditions of “today”, so they could have found the Northwest Passage, or sailed the now unfrozen northern water routes across the Artic to connect Eurasia.

IMG_4123And yes, I realize that our regional, actually continental, weather is also affected by wind and water currents in the Pacific Ocean.

Anyway, these are just my random thoughts about what the effect of our so far mild winter will have on us in the coming year.



Back around 2005, I started hauling auto parts out of a Chrysler plant downstate. One night during a friendly conversations with one of the employees there, he asked me what kind of car I drove. I replied, “A Honda Element.” He retaliated that I should be driving a US made vehicle, not a “foreign” one, thereby supporting the US worker and economy.

He was a bit surprised when I told him that although the profit from my Honda probably went to Japan, the US worker and economy actually benefited from it, because it WAS manufactured here in the USA by US workers. Granted 12% of the parts were imported from Japan and England, but the remaining 88% were made here. Not only that, I continued, but the last Chevy and Ford products that I purchased, were made in Canada. AND the last two Chrysler vehicles that I bought were made in Mexico or Canada.

So much for Buy US. Five vehicles made on the continent of North America, but only the “foreign” one was made in the United States!

This memory was triggered by a post on Face Book today about a former US bakery that was purchased by a Canadian bakery, and is now owned by a Mexican bakery. Locals here will recognize the name Freihofer’s

Among the comments to a post it was shared to:

SevenTown HoundSevenTown Hound I didn’t check the above post out. I doubt Thomas produced very much of their product in Mexico for the US market. However – Thomas is only one of the brands – Click the sidebox on the left to see some other brands – that were acquired a few years ago by Bimbo Bakeries of Mexico in 2008, from George Weston Limited a Canadian company which owned many baking facilities in the US.
Bimbo, like Nestles, Ahold, Delhaize, Trader Joe’s, Aldi, and more foreign conglomerates control a vast amount of the food industriy in the US.
And while I think it’s a US owned company, I’m not sure, look who sorta controls the US dairy industry –
I’m very concerned over the future of food in this country, when you consider the relatively few, and ever increasing in size, US & foreign corporations that control our food supply.
I’m just a dummy who reads labels on food/grocery products to see the source/ownership. Besides, for several years I trucked in/for the grocery/food industry. Ever stop to think who manufactures “your” brands?
Bring Back American Jobs And Buy Products Made In The USA The Thomas’ at my local supermarket were all labeled Mexico when this going on.
SevenTown HoundSevenTown Hound I would guess that you live in the Southwest, where Bimbo already had a strong distribution field before they acquired the Thomas brand. By no means am I defending Bimbo.


When the kids were younger, we camped in Maine many summers. As we’ve aged, despite loving the outdoors, we’ve taken to staying in more modern accommodations when we travel.

This past week, we headed back to New Hampshire to a quaint Bed and Breakfast where we have stayed several times before. Knowing the owners, Craig and Eileen, is why I think we got the special family discount rate.

Anyway, it’s time to show you why this B&B in Portsmouth is so enticing.


Located in the somewhat White Mountains of New Hampshire.

Located in the somewhat White Mountains of New Hampshire.


Fortunately, we just missed an avalanche.

Fortunately, we just missed an avalanche.

A zip line on the premises.

A zip line on the premises.

Able to walk to nearby Alpine skiing.

Able to walk to nearby Alpine skiing.

Always a place to take a nap, or just lay back and enjoy the views.

Always a place to take a nap, or just lay back and enjoy the views.

Fast competent service by a well trained staff.

Fast competent service, by a well trained staff, taking Grandma’s order.

Breakfast is always ready whenever you roll out of bed.

Breakfast is always ready whenever you roll out of bed.