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2004

                 




Hello Everyone, here is my update from 2004. It was a year of upheaval, to say the least.
With a new job in a new state, in a new part of the country, a new car and a new apartment, there is a lot to tell you about.

First, let me lead off with a picture of me with my new "glasses". I have recently been diagnosed with prespiopia, which is deterioration of my vision. This happens to men starting about 40 years old, so I've noticed a difficulty in reading over the last year or two.



Beginning in January, 2004, while still living in Florida and working for Marriott, I took separate trips to St Augustine and Marco Island, I know
I've been there previously, but once you've been to either, you'll understand my need to go back!



Then in March, I was anxious again for the Bay Hill PGA golf tournament to once again visit Orlando. As Tiger Woods went for his 5th straight title (he failed), I was so happy to see Ben Curtis from Kent State University play well for the 2nd year in a row. Through my contacts at the hotel, I was able to attain tickets to pre-rounds as well as each round of the tournament. On the final pre-round day of play on Wednesday, I took a lot of pictures (since cameras are NOT allowed during the tournament, only during pre-rounds). I was able to get some good pictures of Tiger Woods as well as Sergio Garcia and even a good one of John Daly.
Then during the tournament, my friend Sean visited me from Cleveland, and we followed threesome around for entire round. This threesome included Ben Curtis of Kent State, Stuart Appleby (got hot and ended up leading the tournament for a while on Saturday) and J.L. Lewis. Following Ben Curtis was fun, got to speak with a lot of his "entourage" who follow him around at all the tournaments (people from his home course, Mill Creek, in Ostrander, Ohio).



While Sean was still in town, we attended a Spring Training game at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland. Tigers .vs. Yankees. This game was very fun to attend, even though the Tigers got crushed (as they always seem to do against the Damn Yankees). The worst part was an inside-the-park Grand Slam by Bubba Crosby of the Yankees. Inside-the-park Grand Slam? Give me a break, grand slams are rare, inside-the-park HR are rare, but inside-the-park Grand Slams only occur about once every 25 years or so.



June, 2004 was a very busy month for me. Took some time off work to go up to Michigan for my neice's high school graduation. Erin graduated from Plymouth Canton High School and chose to attend Eastern Michigan University beginning in Fall of 2004. Attending graduation was fun and it was actually the first time I've ever seen all the graduates actually throw their caps into the air at the end!

Since I was in the area, I also arranged a couple of days to go down to Cleveland to visit my friends, including Sean. First, Sean and I had dinner at Shula's Steak House. The next day, Sean and I attended a Cleveland Indians game. Then, on the 3rd day, a bunch of us went to Cedar Point, biggest ride park in the World, which is right outside of Cleveland.



After my trip to Cleveland, I returned to Orlando and my life with Marriott. However, June was an historic month. I made a run for a new position that Marriott created in the area, however, I didn't get the position. So, I decided to take an offer from McDonald's in Oregon to return to management with them. But, before my move date of 7/06/04, I had one last visit from my best friend Pamela, her daughter Megan, and her husband Gary. They stayed at my hotel for 9 days and left town just before I did for my long drive home to Oregon. We were able to spend a day together at Disney's Animal Kingdom on June 30, this was fun because I had never been to that park in my two years in Orlando, and I had always heard good things.



Before I could begin my cross-country trek to Oregon in the big moving van, I first had to finish my career with Marriott and say goodbye to everyone at the Marriott Village on my last day of July 2, 2004. My last day was a very lazy day for me as I spent most of the day just going around the complex saying goodbye and shooting the breeze, trading addresses and phone numbers. Here are some pictures from my last day with Marriott. Anxious to return to Oregon to be near my friends there as well as my family, my mother in Corvallis, my twin brother in Clackamas, and lots of cousins and friends, I started making arrangements to move. However, since my Buick Regal was now reaching 100,000 miles, and I didn't want to license and tag this car in yet ANOTHER state (MI, OH, FL), and also not wanting to pay the value of the car to move it cross country, I decided to sell the Regal and buy a new car after I reached Oregon.



The drive to Oregon was interesting to say the least. I drove most of the way by myself, but my friend Ron flew to Denver to meet me and help me drive the last 1 1/2 days. That was fun, driving by myself was not great, but having someone to talk with and do some of the driving was a real "kick".

After arriving in Oregon, I had lots of help unpacking. My friends Ron and Aaron came to help, plus my twin brother Bruce. We (they) had the truck unpacked in about 25 minutes, it was pretty amazing. My new apartment is really great, my friend Pamela found a nice 2 bedroom apartment for me. So I gain 1 bedroom and pay $100 less than Orlando rent on a one-bedroom apartment. SCORE!!! After unpacking, I drove down to my Mom's house in Corvallis to stay a couple of days and search car dealerships for a new car. I ended up with a new 2004 Chevrolet Impala, Silver with Grey interior. Nice car, my 1st CD player ever! Here are some pictures of my "silver bullet".



So I spent all of July and most of August getting acclimated to life back in Oregon, working hard, and getting to know the area, as well as golfing as much as possible. My friends Ron and Aaron are relentless in their pursuit of the perfect golf game.

Then toward the end of August, it was time to take a couple of days off again for my birthday and the Oregon State Fair, which is held here in Salem, about 2 miles from my apartment. Took another trip to Corvallis for my birthday. My mom had a big "to-do" for my twin brother and me, since this is the first time we have lived in the same place since 1981. My mom is very excited about this! My twin brother's boys (twins plus Matthew) also attended. Here are some pictures from the 2004 B&B BB (Bruce & Bill Birthday Bash).



Here are some pictures from the Oregon State Fair. I spent one whole day at the fair, saw a local girl from Tualatin, OR, she sings just like J. Lo, and she's only 17! Her name is Jenna Rae, spoke with her afterward, she is real nice and she might make it if she gets the right management. Then that first night, it was Sawyer Brown in concert. I have never seen them live in 20 years, but it was a fantastic show. My brother Bruce also came down to Salem for this show. The second day, I only attended the concert in the evening. Tracy Byrd, another country singer who I have never seen. But, I have all his CD's, so this was also a great show, especially his remake of the 70's classic "WILDFIRE". Both concerts had the same opening act, another popular local girl. She is only 14, she is from Albany (near Corvallis, about 25 miles south of Salem). She already has a record deal with Warner Brothers (other artists on the Warner Brothers' Label) and has an album coming out in November, 2004.  Her name is Alexis(Official WB site for Alexis).



Next came a trip up to Seattle to catch up with a buddy of mine from the Navy. He was another of the cooks on my submarine, the USS Louisville. We haven't spoken in 10 years. However, he found me on the internet through Classmates.com and contacted me. When we found out we only lived 3 hours apart, we decided to get together for a Seattle Mariners game. We decided on a game against Boston. Boston had been playing really well, scoring lots of runs, BUT Seattle (Gil Meche) shut them out 2-0. Ironically, as I write this page, I am watching the last game of the 2004 World Series, Boston is up 3-0 and leading in game #4. Figures I would see them lose and they would win the World Series for the first time in 86 years! Sorry, I don't have any pictures from this time with Tim and his wife JoJo.



Finally, I have also started bowling again. I joined a bowling league in September, bought a new ball and shoes. My average suffered as I got to know the bowling ball and the shoes (and my "mechanics"). Started at about 149, but now I'm up to 172 as of this writing.



Well, thanks for visiting my home page again. A few less pictures than last year, but still, it was a very busy year, lots of changes.

I'm looking forward to 2005, as I anticipate my 25 year high school reunion. Also, my twin nephews graduate high school in 2005 as well. And, if all goes according to plan, Ron/Aaron and I will be playing Pebble Beach in Fall of 2005. Then perhaps a trip to Europe in 2006.

Until we speak soon, I wish you and yours the most happiness and love this holiday season and please keep in touch. But to everyone, all the best and please write soon!

xoxoxoxo
Bill