Busier Than A One Legged Man in a Butt-Kicking Contest

Remember When:

Swimming Pools Used to Have Diving Boards?

A baby’s car seat was Mom or Dad’s lap?

It was OK to Ride in the Back of a Pickup Truck or on the Tailgate?

You could buy a house for less than it cost to buy a car today? 


A month or so ago, my friend Gene Carly and I were in Washington, DC for some meetings with our Congressional delegation. Gene has been my travelling buddy for a couple of years now and we were in Union Station. Gene started talking to me about how I was always meeting famous people and we started talking about all of the famous people I have met over the years. No sooner had we started listing the people when Gene tapped me on the arm and said, “Look!” There in living color was….. SEE THE PICTURE!


 That’s right – The next president of the United States – Senator John McCain! He was very nice and cordial and gracious. What can I say? Just in the right place at the right time.

Some time ago I promised that I would share some photos of my adventure in Virginia’s Shenendoah Valley. Instead of taking the new highway, my friend and I took Highway 11, the old Valley Turnpike which was the main road for well over 200 years. Sections of the old pike are still visible and it is pretty cool to stand on those sections and imagine who traversed those roads or what happened there. Now for some photos:

The McLean house in Appomatox, VA. In the parlor of this house, Robert E. Lee surrended to US Grant, a bad choice in retrospect!


The Valley Turnpike (original) where such luminaries as George Washington, Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee, et. al. used.

Me sitting by the grave of a Confederate soldier killed during the battle of Cedar Creek. He was severely wounded and his brother brought him to the Stickley House (next photo) and asked the Stickleys if his brother could die on their porch. The brother died and he was buried close to the house at the site in this picture. The brother promised to come back and dig up his brother and bring him home for burial, but he never did. Perhaps 35 years later, one of the Stickley sisters was at a Confederate soldiers reunion in Richmond and ran into a man who told her a story about his brother dying at Cedar Creek and how he was never able to come back for him. You guessed it…all those  years later, the man came back to the Valley and put a marker on his brother’s grave and all because he and Miss Stickley (she never married) met all those years later!!


The Stickley  house in Stasburg, Va. It was built in the 1840’s and served as a hospital during the battle of Cedar Creek. A family of free blacks lived in the upper floor and it was spared from burning by a benevolent Union officer. Itsn’t it lovely?


What is the story with this door you ask? Well, look at the next photo. This is a beautiful old home on the main drag in New Market, VA which is a colonial town. An interesting story indeed.

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7 Comments on “Busier Than A One Legged Man in a Butt-Kicking Contest”

  1. Mike Hardy Says:

    Hey Mike,

    Once again a marvelous post. You told me about meeting McCain, but now the picture is there to prove it. Maybe you could convince him to choose the right running mate. Keep up the good work.

  2. Shirley Tong Says:

    Mike: It is such fun and so enjoyable to read of ;your exciting experiences as you travel, moreso because of the way you express yourself; you’re awesome and so fun to listen to! Thanks for sharing your blog with us. You must have a magic touch or magnet, meeting Kinkade and John McCain!! We count it a huge blessing to have you and Rhonda and family for our friends! Warmest Aloha, Shirley and Norm

  3. Troy Says:

    Great site Mike! Being in the right place at the right time with our next President of the USA! Great pictures of Va. Thank you for sharing.

  4. Jenn Says:

    You didn’t tell me you met Sen. McCain! That is awesome. You do have a knack for running into famous people. I love your glamour shot on the fence there! hehe. Post some pictures of your Hilton Head Trip for us too! We can’t wait to see you in less than a month!

  5. Jennie Says:

    What a neat trip! Was that this year? When Rod and I can afford to do the ‘civil war’ tour, I hope you and Rhonda will come and be our guide!

  6. Jeannie Rawlins Says:

    It was fun reading your blog. Great picture of you and McCain. I REALLY hope he is the next President. Look forward to reading more of your thoughts in your next post.
    Say hello to everyone for us. I would love to stop in and visit next time we are in Utah. We made a very quick stop there before taking Kristen to BYUI in Sept. but we weren’t able to spend much time there. Our door is ALWAYS open if you are in our neck of the woods. Austin can be a great place to visit!

  7. deseretkid Says:


    You are absolutely free to use the picture of Butler Greenwood Plantation. Enjoy. Take care

    Mike Vanchiere in Utah

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