Shirley and I love to travel. We have been to England on a tour, where we found people to be very welcoming and cordial. We made three trips to Israel together, and I have been to Israel another seven times. On all of these trips I served as a host, taking groups as a part of a tour with a travel company. We have found Israel to be one of the safest places you can visit, that in spite of what we see on television. The people in Israel, both Jews and Palestinians, want the same things we want. They want to buy a home, have a car, have a television, and educate their children. There are people on both sides who cause a lot of problems for everyone. Taking care of their tourists, however, is in everyone’s best interest. I have done several programs about this, and would be willing to share what I have learned about that part of the world.
We also traveled to New England twice by automobile in order to see the country. We intended to go all the way to Maine, but both times could not leave Cape Cod. When we visited Plymouth we told several people there that we are the Pilgrims. No one was impressed. We also traveled by automobile up through the mid-west.
A visit to Costa Rica was with a church group. We worked on a church building there. I then went back two other times without Shirley. Then I went to Venezuela on a similar trip. I had been to Costa Rica and Puerto Rico in the early nineties with church groups. On that trip to Costa Rica we stopped for a couple days in Nicaragua, which I found to be the poorest, most heartbreaking place I have ever been.
Like so many people these days we have been on a couple of cruises, and have enjoyed them very much.
Florida is one of our favorite places. On one trip we drove down the east coast and came back up the west coast, covering most of the state. We spend as much time as we can in Panama City. We have a house just up the road from there in Lynn Haven on the North Bay.
I have been an avid baseball fan and a dedicated, born again New York Yankee fan since the age of 12. I follow the Atlanta Braves closely, am a Braves fan and supporter, but my ultimate allegiance is to the Yankees. At one time I could recite every hitting record year by year dating back to the year 1900. I read every book about Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, and Mickey Mantle that I could get my hands on. I saw Mickey Mantle play in Savannah, and actually shook a hand that shook his hand.
From an early age I was interested in reading, especially biographies. For the last fifteen years I have read mainly novels and books on the Civil War, World War I and World War II.
I have been playing golf for a long time, but I have never quite gotten the hang of it, simply because I do not play enough. I once shot an 82, and on one occasion came within eight inches of a hole in one. These days a 95 is a good day for me.
I have also been trying to become a good Florida fisherman. I have learned a lot about fishing down in Panama City. Some of things I have learned are that it takes a lot of good luck, a ton of patience, some skill, and a sprinkling of good religion to be a fisherman. But I enjoy sitting on the pier, on a bridge, or wading in the water for hours and hours. Fishing is the thing. Catching is another thing altogether.