“Tomorrow is TOM ALDRICH – Birthday”

            “Happy Birthday…Tommy…”


Tommy Aldrich, sitting in the center,  dressed in all black – is about to have his BIRTHDAY –  just after our  big move to FLORIDA!

Sitting  left,  and pointing to  “Donald Aldrich, who is  not in this photo”  –  is uncle,  Al Aldrich –  who is  brother to my husband, Lee Sr.,  –    Lee is taking this picture, so I decided to crowd in – holding  little Lee, Jr.,  in my left arm – and leaning in toward Tommy and Aunt Thelma , wife  of  UNCLE AL,  – just so we can have some memory of our get-together and moving to Fort Lauderdale.

One of the things that TOMMY wanted  for his BIRTHDAY, was a  DOG –  as his very own pet.  And, since Al and Thelma have been living in Florida  – for a while  and wanted us to also move to Florida, to help them ,  in the Restaurant Business –  well  – here we are and this is where Thelma was  of a great help to TOMMY  –  in finding just the right kind of  a dog.

Thelma had a real love for DOGS – and knew where to take TOMMY, so that he  could select just the right dog. I can not remember the DOG’s NAME, but  – as I do remember the DOG must have had some training, as Tommy was able to get the DOG to obey him and do as he was being trained.  Tommy’s LOVE for DOGS, lasted all  of his LIFE – as he enter the ARMY K-9 Corp. –  and even later was always working with DOGS and  helping to train DOGS for those that wanted a good and an  obedient DOG.

Some where in all of  the photos that I have, there is a photo of his DOG and  one of the baby CHICKS , that I got for the boys for an “EASTER ”  Surprise one year. It was one of the rarest of  things , that, when I put the food out for the DOG and CHICK, they were able to eat from the same dish, without a fight, and not trying to kill the other.   Just one of those amazing things, that you just do not see happen every day.  So we will see, if that PHOTO shows up???



P.S. the PHOTO is also posted of the Dog and Chick eating together – check it out!

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“Lee, You’re Always on my mind”

When it comes to  the HOLIDAYS starting – I am guessing that if you are like me – there is always someone very special to you – and NOW they are no longer here on EARTH – but,  they are always on my mind!

Lee was in real pain following a couple of surgeries he had to have – and while still recuperating in the Hospital before Christmas – they decided that Lee, would be able to go home for Christmas and that maybe he would be better. That was not the case at all. They just wanted to clear out the rooms at the Hospital – and in Lee’s case,  to be at home,  while I was at work during the day  – was so wrong – his situation required  care around the clock – but – for me being so much younger back then – how was I to know what they were doing?

This is a prize PHOTO,  that I have of my husband, Lee Aldrich, Sr. and the story is found elsewhere –  and everyone thought that Lee was terrific – not just me!

So,  this morning,  when  I was talking to my son, Lee Jr.,  and just before ending the telephone conversation – Lee said, I’ve always got you on my mind!” Just that fast , my reply was, “That is a song, isn’t it?” “Yes,  it is by  – “Willie Nelson” – he always sang it best!”  So there was nothing  else that I could think of – but to find that music and our good friend “Willie” singing it – so I have it attached – just so everyone can sing it  to those –  that at this time of  the year – – “Loved ONES”   that are gone – – but are still remembered  everyday – especially when the Holidays  start – There is no way to forget  your “LOVED ONES!”



And for those  – that still think – that “Elvis” is “KING” – we can listen to his version – and  – fall in LOVE all over again!



“LOVE and Blessings” to all our extra special “LOVED ONES” we  will – – never ever  – – forget you!    D.V.

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“Getting Ready for Next THURSDAY”

 “Let me be the first to wish you, Happy Thanksgiving!”

T-Day 001

“Is this Turkey  ‘large’  enough?” Al Aldrich brings  “HOME” the biggest  Turkey for the family celebration! 

The stores are very busy  – right  NOW – everyone is trying to get the best and biggest “TURKEY” – and so many do not really know what they are looking for – as this “Thanksgiving DATE” is celebrated only once a year. 

People that have never been in charge of all of the necessary preparations – walk around in the stores like “Zombies” – just have no idea what to look for – what to buy – no idea how many are coming to their house for the big meal – and, I’ll bet that they even  forgot to find out,   about what some guests can eat and  or can not eat – and what some may like – and would  be willing to bring to the “DINNER” table – a favorite  and extra special dish – and  or maybe a NEW Dessert!

Everyone  is expecting the biggest of  “Turkeys” on the table and most would like “Pumpkin Pie” and of course the “Cranberry” in a sauce or relish or some of the newer ways to  be prepared  – but a for sure must,  “Mashed potatoes and “GOOD” gravy”  – as no matter what else there is – everyone has  always remember from their earliest of days on this Earth – they were offered “Mashed Potatoes and Gravy”  and it is the  ‘memories’  – that make this a  most necessary part of any terrific meal!

“Everyone likes to see that “TURKEY” all nicely baked and on that special “Turkey  Platter”  just sitting on the Dining room  table  – so that in seeing and smelling – the juices are  all ready to put a nice fork-full into the month – and just start to remember all of those “good-old-days” when the FAMILY first prepared this best of all meals – to be enjoyed by FAMILY and FRIENDS – – and just being able to go back for seconds and thirds – as the more you receive – – the more there is to remember – forever!

Just have to start this “Holiday WEEKEND” with something very good  to see – and start remembering – exactly what I need to do – get that pad and pencil working on the list of guests  – who likes what the most –  – and just start getting all  of the pots and pans  – and the whole ‘nine yards of stuff’   – out and ready – just have to do this up right – as we all LOVE Memories,  with  lots of nice  “Thank Yous” – – with a little voice saying – – “Let’s all do this up the  same way – next year!”

“We wish all of our Family and  Friends  – near and far,  a very  blessed  and joyful  time  in this year’s  celebration  with more  memories  to make this  a  FUN and Happy Thanksgiving time!

“Thanks be to the All Mighty Yahweh – the one and only that gives us the best of Family and Friends – to be able to celebrate   with and then   end  the celebrating  giving THANKS –  for all of  our many BLESSINGS!”       D.V.

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“DeAndreis Prom Memory”

“DeAndreis Prom Memory”

“Memories are made of this”   –  those words just came to mind –  just thinking back all those years ago – as I had  just heard from a friend,  that there was a write up – – about  the “DeAndreis High School”  in the last week or two in the “Saint Louis Review”  and, since I do not receive the “Review” have no idea what their memory is – – that,  they are publishing, NOW!

So, remembering  that –  I have a “PHOTO” and it is so good, just have to post it,  TODAY – in case someone needs to see what  they  were  missing,  if they did not attend the “DeAndreis High School, in the 1950’s!”

Stamped  in gold on the above  PHOTO…”DeAndreis  Junior Prom- 1957″ and of course no names on the back of this PHOTO – but that is a very young,  “MR. Wonderful, himself” my little brother, “Tom McClarren”  third, from the left, the “one” with his arms  held  behind.  Looks like a perfect “Military stance”.

Since this is a “PROM  NIGHT” – just thought I would  post some music to start off the dancing – even as old as we are TODAY – we can still dance and continue on with good memories to last  us, for ever more!


“Do you remember your PROM NIGHT – and do you still have old PHOTOS?”      D.V.

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“Picnics are always FUN Days”



“WELL… this is the last of the St. Vincent Home PICNIC PHOTOS… that is  of  the email…from JAIME…”   so if there are more… let’s get them sent to me  – – that is while the PICNIC …is still fresh and we can all remember…what we did and where we were???

Now that I found this PHOTO will have to add another that was taken  – just  so we can all see,  how exciting it was that  wonderful day,  to have so much FUN!

“THE FUN – that we can  have at a PICNIC!”      That does look like a nice size plate of FOOD – – but…  that was  just for show –  there was no way for me to eat all of that – in  just one sitting – – had to take it with me for later. The memory is that we all had so much FUN – – which means,  that we could  and or for sure, do it again – could be that next year  – there would be room on the calendar – for  another big  “old time”   memory –  PICNIC!




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Sometimes, when you are listening to a piece of MUSIC – – You almost feel that the  “ONE” that you are thinking of – is thinking of you, too! It just has to be the words – that are being sung – in such a way that almost reminds you of so many wonderful things,  that you did enjoy – with the LOVE  of your LIFE –  and is right  NOW, there with you.    The  memory  bank of yesterday  starts to bring to mind memories that will never ever be forgotten, and they travel with you – when ever you feel in the mood!


This song , “Just the way YOU are”  is one of those songs,  that I really enjoy – as I recall – just as if it were yesterday – – and LEE, my husband was right here – alive as he was – and we were dong all the same things – in the same old ways!

This Photo could be early 1960’s and we were opening this new  “Snack Bar”  in Fort Lauderdale, Florida – – and were having as much FUN as two little kids – enjoying the work and spending all of our time together – never ever dreaming that there would be an end to our DREAM.  

One very important memory – the inscription Lee put inside my Wedding Ring – “LOVE Forever Lee and Ellen” – and when you say something like that – – that is what you mean – and it is never ever forgotten. Memories go with you – here and forever into the next  realm – and I am so glad that we made such a  terrific choice –  “I don’t see you anymore” – but,  I do know that you are always here – just so many reminders – that keep me in LOVE with YOU –  forever! 

“All the good times and all the bad times – I still take you – – just the way you are”  – I just LOVE the words in this song – they were written just for you  and me – a memory that will last forever!

“Our Creator gave to me – the very best of  gifts  – when HE gave you  to me, and for as long as was possible – which is forever… for me!”    D.V.

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