1937 Buick Special

Me and Olivia

Me and Olivia
Click On The Picture For MOTAA Web Site

Me and "The Hell Bitch"

Me and "The Hell Bitch"
My 50th birthday gift to myself a 2004 Harley she is named after Captain Call's horse on Lonesome Dove.

I Want This Bike!

I Want This Bike!
Me On A 1942 Harley

My Favorite TV Show

The Location Of My Visitors!

Search This Blog For Schelley's Favorite Subjects

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Friday, December 9, 2011

A Lesson In Life

Our friends the Iverson's in Sturgis sent this email to me!  I wish all teachers would do this. 

He was in the first third grade class I taught at Saint
Mary's School in Morris, Minnesota. All 34 of my students were
dear to me, but Mark Eklund was one in a million. Very neat in
appearance, he had that happy-to-be-alive attitude that made even
his occasional mischievousness delightful.

Mark talked incessantly. I had to remind him again and again that
talking without permission was not acceptable. What impressed
me so much, though, was his sincere response every time I had
to correct him for misbehaving. "Thank you for correcting me,
Sister!" I didn't know what to make of it at first, but before long
I became accustomed to hearing it many times a day.

One morning my patience was growing thin when Mark talked
once too often, and then I made a novice teacher's mistake. I
looked at Mark and said, "If you say one more word, I am going
to tape your mouth shut!" It wasn't ten seconds later when Chuck
blurted out, "Mark is talking again." I hadn't asked any of the
students to help me watch Mark, but since I had stated the
punishment in front of the class, I had to act on it. I remember the
scene as if it had occurred this morning. I walked to my desk, very
deliberately opened my drawer and took out a roll of masking tape.
Without saying a word, I proceeded to Mark's desk, tore off two
pieces of tape and made a big X with them over his mouth. I then
returned to the front of the room. As I glanced at Mark to see how
he was doing, he winked at me. That did it! I started laughing. The
class cheered as I walked back to Mark's desk, removed the tape,
and shrugged my shoulders. His first words were, "Thank you for
correcting me, Sister."

At the end of the year, I was asked to teach junior-high math. The
years flew by, and before I knew it, Mark was in my classroom
again. He was more handsome than ever and just as polite. Since he
had to listen carefully to my instruction in the "new math," he did
not talk as much in ninth grade as he had in third. One Friday, things
just didn't feel right. We had worked hard on a new concept all
week, and I sensed that the students were frowning, frustrated with
themselves and edgy with one another. I had to stop this crankiness
before it got out of hand. So I asked them to list the names of the
other students in the room on two sheets of paper, leaving a space
between each name. Then I told them to think of the nicest thing they
could say about each of their classmates and write it down. It took
the remainder of the class period to finish the assignment, and as the
students left the room, each one handed me the papers. Charlie smiled.
Mark said, "Thank you for teaching me, Sister. Have a good weekend."
That Saturday, I wrote down the name of each student on a separate
sheet of paper, and I listed what everyone else had said about that individual.

On Monday, I gave each student his or her list. Before long, the entire
class was smiling. "Really?" I heard whispered. "I never knew that meant
anything to anyone!" "I didn't know others liked me so much." No one
ever mentioned those papers in class again. I never knew if they
discussed them after class or with their parents, but it didn't matter.
The exercise had accomplished its purpose. The students were happy
with themselves and one another again.

That group of students moved on. Several years later, after I returned
from vacation, my parents met me at the airport. As we were driving
home, Mother asked me the usual questions about the trip, the weather,
my experiences in general. There was a lull in the conversation. Mother
gave Dad a sideways glance and simply said, "Dad?" My father cleared
his throat as he usually did before saying something important.

"The Eklunds called last night," he began. "Really?" I said. "I haven't
heard from them in years. I wonder how Mark is." Dad responded
quietly. "Mark was killed in Vietnam," he said. "The funeral is tomorrow,
and his parents would like it if you could attend." To this day I can still
point to the exact spot on I-494 where Dad told me about Mark.

I had never seen a serviceman in a military coffin before. Mark looked
so handsome, so mature. All I could think at that moment was, "Mark,
I would give all the masking tape in the world if only you would talk to
me." The church was packed with Mark's friends. Chuck's sister sang
"The Battle Hymn of the Republic." Why did it have to rain on the day
of the funeral? It was difficult enough at the graveside. The pastor said
the usual prayers, and the bugler played taps. One by one those who
loved Mark took a last walk by the coffin and sprinkled it with holy
water. I was the last one to bless the coffin. As I stood there, one of the
soldiers who acted as pallbearer came up to me. "Were you Mark's math
teacher?" he asked. I nodded as I continued to stare at the coffin. "Mark
talked about you a lot," he said.

After the funeral, most of Mark's former classmates headed to Chuck's
farmhouse for lunch. Mark's mother and father were there, obviously
waiting for me. "We want to show you something," his father said, taking
a wallet out of his pocket. "They found this on Mark when he was killed.
We thought you might recognize it." Opening the billfold, he carefully
removed two worn pieces of notebook paper that had obviously been
taped, folded and refolded many times. I knew without looking that the
papers were the ones on which I had listed all the good things each of
Mark's classmates had said about him. "Thank you so much for doing
that," Mark's mother said. "As you can see, Mark treasured it." Mark's
classmates started to gather around us. Charlie smiled rather sheepishly
and said, "I still have my list. I keep it in the top drawer of my desk at
home." Chuck's wife said, "Chuck asked me to put his in our wedding
album." "I have mine too," Marilyn said. "It's in my diary." Then Vicki,
another classmate, reached into her pocketbook, took out her wallet
and showed her worn and frazzled list to the group. "I carry this with me
at all times," Vicki said without batting an eyelash. "I think we all saved
our lists." That's when I finally sat down and cried. I cried for Mark and
for all his friends who would never see him again.

The density of people in society is so thick that we forget that life will
end one day. And we don't know when that one day will be. So please,
tell the people you love and care for that they are special and important.
Tell them, before it is too late.

Be ALL you can be!!
Have an incredible day!!


Friday, October 21, 2011

Part of my “Bucket List” is Complete

A Honeymoon To Remember

Years ago I wrote a story for the “The Minute Magazine” about a dream vacation.  This year I used the excuse of a Honeymoon to make many of those dreams happen!  I think the only part of it that didn’t happen was visiting the Walton’s Museum in West Virginia.  But the rest was perfect and the man I was with (my husband) made it even better! The fact that I did it on a Harley and not in a 37 Buick or a Model A was ok too! 

When Danny and I got married in April everybody asked us if we were going on a cruise, or Vegas, or some of those other normal honeymoon trips.  We would smile and say we are going to the “Andy Griffith Mayberry Days Festival” in Mount Airy, North Carolina in September!  Yes we got a few looks but most folks were very envious of our plans.  We had talked about doing this for a long time so a honeymoon was the perfect time to go!

We arrived in Maggie Valley first with another dream come true (our toy hauler)…our adventure was about to begin with this purchase from our good friends Debbie and Barry.   It still had that new smell and we were thrilled to get it…I was more thrilled for sure.  In fact it brought tears to my eyes.  Our RV Park was beautiful and I am afraid we are spoiled now for other RV parks that may be in our future. 

We headed to “Wheels Through Time” Motorcycle Museum next in Maggie Valley.  Dale Walksler is the owner and collector of everything old motorcycle! I had met him during the Cannonball Run in 2010.  To say this was a highlight of the trip is a BIG understatement!  We had a blast and were in Harley Heaven.  Dale is great and he rode me in a vintage 1920s Harley with a sidecar! (Another bucket list item checked off.)  This is the most amazing collection we had ever seen and it all runs and Dale will crank it and take off on it.   We spent a good part of our day just amazed at the amount of stuff inside this museum. 

The next day of course we headed out to Mount Airy! I just can’t even describe the feelings we had when we arrived.  On Thursday there weren’t many folks in town yet so we got to walk around and really look the town over good.  It was nice being able to do that before the crowds rolled in! And boy did they roll in over the next few days.  On Friday we got up early to head to the Snappy Lunch to eat breakfast.  That was our first encounter with a look-alike from the show... Briscoe Darling was up early too.  Then Mayberry Squad Cars started to appear on the streets.  It was raining but not too hard and we made the best of it and bought a big umbrella.  Everyone in town was so nice and all had stories to share. 

We then headed down to Wally’s Service Station to take a squad car tour.  This was perfect and our driver even sounded a lot like Barney Fife.  We got to drive by Andy’s childhood home (they rent it out like a B&B now).  We saw a large granite yard and other points of interest.  But riding in an old squad car was a big part of the fun.  Next to Wally’s is a recreation of the Jail and we made a few pictures inside. 

We headed back to Snappy for our Pork Chop Samich.  It was great and Floyd the Barber was inside and decided to give Danny a little trim.  The rain stopped while we were eating lunch so we did some more site-seeing.  We toured the Andy Griffith museum, lots of history inside the museum on the show and Andy in general.  We watched a TAGS Rerun Watchers contest and these folks are good. We only got one question correct. (What was the color of the saddle on Opie’s imaginary horse Blackie?  Silver)  these folks were serious about their trivia. 

We had tickets Friday night to see Doug Dillard (Darling) it was our first show for the weekend. We enjoyed seeing all the look alikes and the old cast members that took part in the show.  One was Charlene (Maggie Peterson), she sang a few of the songs like Salty Dog and some others she sang on TAGS.

Saturday morning was the BIG day! Parade day was the happening day. The town was packed with folks…lots and lots of folks.  The best thing about it was that we all had the love of TAGS in common and people would just come up to you and start talking about certain episodes.  It was perfect!  The parade was PERFECT too! We loved it. The old cast members and the impersonators made it so special.  David Browning (Barney) makes this festival SPECIAL for everyone.  I think he IS Barney… we were just thrilled to meet him.

We toured the local museum and they really have a NICE one!  Learned a lot of moonshine history.  We ate at a really nice place across the street, went in a few wineries and purchase a few souvenir bottles.  We looked at the famous Siamese twin exhibit.  We just sat and people watched this was a great place to just sit and relax and take it all in. 

We had tickets for Colonel Tim’s Talent Time Show on Saturday night and boy were we in for some treats!  This show lasted about 3 hours…so we got our money’s worth.  It is the Grand Finale of the festival and everyone participates that has anything to do with the festival.  It was a perfect ending to a great weekend and WE LOVED IT ALL! (check one off the list)

On to the Biltmore Next! What can you say expect we know why they call it the Biltmore…They Built More House than Anyone Would Need!  It was so amazing. We spent all day touring the estate. (One more check off on the list)

Now for some riding on the Harley! First on the Blue Ridge Parkway! All I can say was AMAZING!  This is the perfect place for a Harley! We LOVED it and the weather was PERFECT!  The next day was through the Smoky Mountain National Park.  Again it was gorgeous riding.  Cades Cove was the only thing not motorcycle friendly.  I even saw a baby bear hanging over my head.  We saw lots and lots of turkey crossing the road.  The leaves were turning and the weather was wonderful.  We saw so much and had a wonderful few days of riding.  I can’t imagine seeing these places any other way than on the back of a Harley.  It wouldn’t be the same in a car. (2 checks on the list)

On our last day we traveled by truck to a part of the Smoky Mt. Park to see Elk!  This was a big treat for Danny.  We sat behind a 100 year old barn and listened to them bugle before we ever saw them.  We got some great pictures and were able to get pretty close to them. 

All I can say was this was the most relaxing and best trip that we have ever been on!  We had the best of time and made lots of wonderful memories.  And isn’t that what life is all about making beautiful memories with the ones you love!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Wedding Announcement

Photography by Jeff Scott Photography Minden, La.

Mrs. Schelley Mignon Brown Francis & Mr. Charles Daniel (Danny) Francis joyfully announce their recent marriage on Saturday, the twenty-third of April, 2011. The double ring ceremony and reception were held at 2 o’clock the Saturday before Easter at Pine Hills Country Club in Minden. The bride is the daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Nolen Brown of Minden and the groom is the son of Mr. & Mrs. Charles Francis of Haughton.

The bride was escorted down the aisle by her mother, with the groom’s brother, Dean Francis, serving as best man. Miss Aubrie Stahl, niece of the bride, served as maid of honor, while Miss Shelby Francis, daughter of the groom served as bridesmaid.

The Victorian styled wedding and biker themed reception was a reflection of the couple’s hobbies of motorcycle riding and vintage cars. The bride wore an Edwardian style ivory lace dress with an ivory feather fascinator in her hair complimented with vintage style ivory Victorian boots, while the groom’s attire was a Victorian cutaway tux with pinstripe pants and grey ascot. In keeping with the tradition of something old, the bride wore a wedding gift of a family heirloom ( Schelley’s great grandmother’s gold locket that dated back to the 1800s), presented by her cousin, Mrs. Debra Heard Brown..

The wedding ceremony was performed by a longtime friend of the couple, Mr. Joe Hunter (Brother Hunter). A reading of 1 Corinthians by cousin of the bride, Kerri Couch, was followed by a song written and sung by niece and maid of honor, Aubrie Stahl with cousin, Kelli Couch, singing “The Lord’s Prayer”. A “Salt Ceremony” was performed with a personal reading written by the bride and read by Mrs. Kerri Couch with longtime friends, Barbara Lebel and William Vaughan, participating and serving as witnesses for the signing of the marriage license. The couple ended their ceremony and began the reception to the song “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” with wedding guest participation.

The reception centerpiece was a four tier blush pink wedding cake adorned with pink and white sugar dogwood blossoms with bands of sugared pearls around each tier and a brown monogramed F in the center. The groom’s cake was a reflection of Danny and Schelley’s love of their Harleys. This three tiered groom’s cake in Harley-Davidson colors resembled a motorcycle tire with flames, complete with the bride and groom’s names at the top in the shape of the Harley logo. For a touch of fun, Easter Peeps with fondant helmets were added around one layer with the words “chick magnet” over their heads. This look was completed with a couple on a motorcycle cake topper. The bride and groom’s motorcycles were also a part of the wedding and used as part of the wedding d├ęcor. A special wedding toast was given by Mr. Carleton Prothro and a special song was sung by Mr. Pat Harper during the reception. In keeping with the day, a long distance award was given to longtime friend of the couple, Donna Rindskopf, who had traveled from California for the wedding. The couple exited the reception under a shower of heart shaped rice and stepped into an antique convertible Ford, while family and friends wished them a life filled with love and happiness.

A family fish fry later in the evening, catered by Jimmy Hall and Party Express Catering, was a chance for nearly seventy family members to relax and end a perfect day. A honeymoon is planned for September to the “Wheels Through Time Motorcycle Museum” in Maggie Valley, North Carolina, Mayberry Days in Mt. Airy North, Carolina and the Biltmore Estate.

The bride is the director of the Dorcheat Historical Association Musuem in Minden. The groom is a Signal Supervisor for KCS Railroad. The couple will make their home in Sibley, La.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Why We Love Each Other

Why We Love Each Other
Being from a small town you grow up always knowing people. We have crossed paths time after time for many years. We have been through good time and terrible times. When we first started seeing each other the song "God Blessed The Broken Road" by Rascal Flatts had just come out. That song seemed to be meant for us. After many years together and some heartaches we realized that we were much better together than apart. We are best friends, we love the same things. Nothing thrills us more than old cars and motorcycles. We enjoy the same kinds of food, music and vacation ideas. We like old T.V. shows and watch Andy Griffith over and over. About the only thing we don't see eye to eye on is the remote control for the T.V.

We both love the wind in our face while riding a Harley. I think this is something we will be doing until we turn 100! Danny loves to hunt and I love to cook it! When we are apart we miss each other, we enjoy each others company.

We became engaged on Christmas Eve of 2010 and on January 2, 2011 Danny suffered a mild heartattack (Danny said it is only mild if you didn't have it) we have some life changes ahead with diet, exercise and medication. We know that life isn't easy but we also know that life is too short to waste. So we try to make the most of what we have and live it to the fullest. We are grateful for our families and our many friends and our community for standing beside us. It is these people that have gotten us to the point we are today. We are so thankful for the love that we have recieved from all of you!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Wedding Ahead!

When you find the person you want to spend forever with forever can't begin soon enough!