The Adventures of Spoke & Spark .. Twenty Five Years
Later .. (has it really been that long?)
When we last left our boys, they had
departed that quaint hamlet of Mee-Too-Chain, ran into a magical 2x4 (literally) , and a host of other things on their way
to find some wizard, somewhere out in Tulsa… It seems that years have been less than kind and some the named cast of
characters and some of followers are no longer with us.
As for the “author” (with
apologies to L. Frank Baum) .. I have followed a twisted road (with a landmine or two), as opposed to one of Yellow Bricks.
Career-wise, I retired (not my choice) from the Securities Industry Association as the guy responsible for technology. They
merged with another firm and did not need two such people; made me an offer I would have been a fool to turn down, and for
once, I was not a fool. My time at SIA was marked by being directly across the street from the World Trade Center towers
and being there when they came down.
Subsequent to being active in Jaycees/JCI
and Hugh O’Brian, I took up hot air ballooning, first as a crewmember and ultimately as a commercial pilot/instructor.
Enjoyed participating as crew/pilot with the Forbes balloons as well as the Brooks and Dunn balloon. Joined the Great Eastern
Balloon Association, a drinking organization with a flying problem. That led to joining the Greater Kensington String Band
(as a roadie). The link was a ballooning friend who recruited me while I was “under the weather”. GK is a drinking
organization with a music problem. Those that know string band understand, those that don’t might check www.gksb.com.
I now actively sail (well, try to sail) a 30” sloop on the Chesapeake, and am a member of Columbia Sailing Association
– a drinking organization with a sailing problem. Hmmm – starting to see a trend here?
On a familial note, Laura (daughter)
& hubby Tom, presented the first grandchild, Mason, last February. A beautiful, happy baby. Sharon and I went our separate
ways about 10 years ago.
Several year ago, I met and married
Diane, another commercial balloon pilot and (former) special ed teacher. About 4 years ago she retired from teaching and
we acquired an exotic bird store (www.vallebirds.com). We are currently living in Vineland. No Jaycees, but Perry Barse
just finished his 2nd term as mayor – and still get suits from Omar the Tent Maker – might introduce him to Jared
Had the pleasure of being hosted by
Marty & Carol Tuohy on our recent visit to St. Thomas. Had a marvelous time and I am sure they could conduct a tour of
the island blindfolded.
As with many my age, I have too little
hair, too much stomach, spend too much time and money with those that practice voodoo (doctors). What shekels they don’t
get, (that the government missed) seems to find it’s way into the boat.
Some blasts (thoughts) from the past
– how many where you there for?:
* John Marinelli’s election
in Atlantic City – hotels at pre-casino pricing – and we wore suits!
* The caravan to Nashville – and Sunday breakfast
in Roanoke – cook and serve yourself
* Muppet pins in San Antonio – first time –
how cool were they – we could trade for Hawaii!
* Painting Dr. Billy’s Medicine wagon in San
* The Jersey Devil costume in the Phoenix Parade of
* Frank Reilly replacing Ray Hallock – presidential
election – at the last minute
* She Devil pins – ‘nuff said (She’s
not here this year)
* Wake of Peter the Great – Phoenix – on
the street in what you sleep in – really!
* The Last Supper – Bob Mack’s convention
– thank you Jesse and the River Rats
As for Spoke & Spark .. they’re
still out there – somewhere … trying to figure out how to get music out of a Tom-Tom ….and still looking
for the wizard .. if you see them .. maybe some help with directions would be appreciated.
Regards to all
firstname.lastname@example.org (kindly don’t add me to
your joke lists)
Dang, it was a real disappointment not to attend
the Summer Social (Aug 2008), but a family commitment just could not be broken. I saw the photos – talk about “shock
and awe”. I didn’t know Yul Bryner was Puerto Rican, and Dick Thomas looked like a clone of Kenny Rogers! Whoever
took the pics must be an expert with using wide angle lenses. To have that kind of turnout certainly reflects the hard work
anyone and everyone put forth to make it happen. Hats off and “kudos” to you all!
After loosing touch for several years, we finally
connected with the Novak’s. Eileen and I were itching to go to Florida this year, but when we spoke with Kenny and
Lucy in June, the temptation to pack and visit was immediate (to hell with the hot weather!). We spent four days at their
new home in Davenport, traveled all over the area, then spent four days at Disney, screwed up our equilibrium daring to take
on the wild ride attractions, then wrapped up our getaway visiting the Yawnicks in Jupiter, near West Palm Beach for another
four days. Fair warning, watch out with Jerry, he makes a mean margarita! Jerry and Vicki really showed us the town, and
we enjoyed the pool and oh, that beach!
Eileen’s daughter Tanya was married three years
ago – no grand-kids yet, just grand-puppies and grand-cats. We both stay very active at our parish, having served on
numerous committees and commissions, and also serve at the diocesan level (fun trying to teach “church people”
the Jaycees way!). Eileen is an executive assistant/coordinator at Sanofi-Aventis (big pharma), and I’m a program integrity
assurance auditor at Solix, Inc.(we administer federal and state assistance programs for education and health care). We enjoy
traveling, especially taking extended weekend getaway trips and staying at B&B’s. We’re not rich (don’t
need to be), but we are comfortable.
I don’t long for the “good old days”,
else those moments would not be so special. What I do miss is the camaraderie, and if we can’t meet face to face, well
then a few lines of “Hello” and “What New?” is the next best thing.
1978: joined Greater Morristown Area Jaycees chapter (Dick
McCormick recruited me at second base during a softball game); held every local office position
1984: local chapter president (ranked #6 in Parade of
States) – and everyone laughed when I said at the beginning of the year we’d make top five at year-end
Honored as chapter’s Jaycee of the Year
1981: “Six Pack” District Director (#3 in Parade
of Districts); got chapters no one ever heard from to come out of the woodwork
1984: Received New Jersey Statesman (#56)
1986: Regional Director-The Great Northwest (#1 RD); most
fun time ever!
1987: State Editor (Jersey Jaycee) – revamped the
editorial format and the publication received national recognition
1987: Received JCI Senatorship #41191; held every Senate
office position (except President)
1988: Individual Development Vice President (elected);
with a super team was able to revamp and revitalize the entire portfolio and boost in-chapter and Assembly participation
1989: Individual Development Vice President (appointed)
1990: Initiated a partnership between NJ Jaycees and Children’s
1991: Received US Ambassadorship (#2681)
Most Memorable/Enjoyable/Funniest Moments:
Farewell Address as IDVP (1988); standing “O”
and people were running up to the podium!
Year-End Regional Director Meeting (Shelby as MC –
Presenting a Statesman to a member of the Annandale Jaycees
National Convention (Indianapolis, 1985)
Presenting Senatorships (except for one)
The Marcal Trip (only 20 minutes away)
The White Castle Delivery (125 burgers, and one order of
fries for Billy Herman)
Sleeping in “The Crib”
A-wards, Assemblies (Playboy Club and Wildwood), Hospitalities,
Chapter Visitations, Senate Socials
How I Met My Bride (Shelby ordered me to include this classic):
Eileen had just joined the Manville Jaycees, who were helping
out at the Tour of Somerville, Memorial Day, 1990. I was about to pack it in after working at concession stands all day,
when another volunteer persuaded me to stop over to Bucky’s for a wrap-up party. Reluctantly, I decided to go. So,
I walk into the restaurant, and I see Ross James at one of the tables. I go over and began chattering away while standing
directly behind a young lady sitting in front of me at the table. After a few minutes of motor-mouthing, she turns to me,
displays this lovely smile that would make you melt and she says to me “Why don’t you just sit down right here,
you’re aggravating me!” I took one look at her and I was gone! Next thing you know we chatted for about two
hours until closing time. She eventually told me she was going to divorce court the next day, and she was living at her parent’s
home along with her 10 year old daughter, Tanya. I decided not to push the issue, told Eileen I would call her and maybe
we could go out on a dinner date. Then came a clap of thunder that shook the building (that had to be a signal!) and looked
outside and saw a freaking typhoon in progress. I walked Eileen to her car then asked for her phone number. With no pen,
she wrote the number on a napkin using an eye-liner and she gave it to me. I quickly placed the napkin in my pocket. When
I arrived home, I pulled the napkin out which by now was damp and only the last four digits were barely legible. A few days
later I started punching away on the phone just hoping I had the right numbers. Luckily Manville is not a big town so there
weren’t too many three-digit prefix numbers to try dialing. As miracles would have it, on the third try I got Eileen.
The rest is history. Of course everyone went nuts when word got around that I was finally dating someone. I remember the
Christmas party at Dick & Joan Thomas’ home when Eileen and I snuck out for some air on the back deck. We turned
and saw Hector’s face with bulging eyes pressed against the patio window and motioning to me “Did you pop the
question?” When I told him no, he performed his town crier rendition of “Not yet!” I never took such ribbing
like I did that night and it continued for months until I finally proposed to Eileen.
Hard to believe we’ll be celebrating our 16th
anniversary this month (Yes, Shelby I still feel good!).
Best regards, in the Jaycee Spirit,
Bobby B #41191
Shelby, Memories fade but
I'll try anyway.
I joined the Asbury Park (later Ocean Township) Jaycees
in 1968. Served in several local offices and became chapter president in 1970. During that time, Christmas tree sales was
our big fund raiser and we worked on many community service projects. The NJ Jaycees sponsored the Giants/Eagles preseason
game each year at Princeton and that was a fun project.
I served as State VP representing Ocean County in 72-73.
We had a great year in chapter growth and I was named outstanding SVP.
In 73-74, I was US Director for Monmouth and Ocean Counties
and also directed the states environmental portfolio. OUr chapters in Mon/Ocean again had record growth and were very sucessful
in their communities. The US Jaycees at that time had money available for environmental grants and I was successful in getting
several thousand dollars for NJ chapters. I received my senatorship, 16283 at state convention that year.
In 74-75 I was state chairman for Camp Jaycee. Fund raising
was our main task and we were very successful in getting the final funding required to set up the camp.
I served as state secretary in 75-76 . Serving as state
secretary for President Dick Indiveri was a real honor. I was also vice president of the NJ senate.
During 76-77, I was president of the NJ Senate. Besides
adding a number of new senators, and hosting outstanding socials at all assemblies, we were very active in supporting our
local Jaycee chapters. During that year, I also moved to Mount Olive and joined the Mount Olive Jaycees. They were a very
small chapter at that time but by the time we moved to Louisiana in 1978, they had become a much larger and more active chapter.
During my years as a Jaycee, I attended all state assemblies
and conventions, and 3 national conventions. I worked actively on Jim Jeffries campaigns for State President, and was chairman
of Frank McDonough's presidential campaign committee. During Frank's year as state president I served as his special advisor
and was a member of the state executive committee. During my last year in New Jersey, I was chairman of New Jersey's national
senate convention held in Atlantic City. Unfortunately, we moved to Louisiana 4 months before the convention and could not
My years in the Jaycees and Senate were fantastic and I
know helped develop me personally which directly led to the career opportunities I had during the rest of my life. We were
able to attend several senate functions after we left NJ, but unfortunately over the years have not been able to do so much
to our dismay. We miss all the Jaycees and senators we worked with for so many years.
Sorry for being so wordy, but even old memories started
to return. Dave
Current data on Dave:
Shelby, Good hearing from you. It's been a lot longer
than 15 years, closer to 30 since we moved from Mt. Olive to Louisiana. We do occasionally hear from some senators or key
women and keep up with what is happening in NJ. We also check out the senate web site on occasion. We have been getting
some mail but not much. I was reading the latest issue of the Mentors yesterday and looking at some pictures Janet Indiveri
sent to us and recalling the good old days in the Jaycees and Senate. We moved to Arkansas 18 months ago to Hot Springs Village,
between Little Rock and Hot Springs. It is mainly a retirement community, only 500 kids among 8500 residents with 9 championship
golf courses, many lakes and other recreational and community activities. We are busier now that before we retired, but doing
things we want and like to do.
Our address is 13 Elcano Drive, Hot Springs Village Ar.
71909. Pass along to any of the old crowd. We would love to see some of them and show them around a truly beautiful state.