Extraordinary Stories

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Monday, November 30, 2015

The "Bacardi Disappointment" Story

Tickets to travel to the Bacardi Plant on the Water ferry.
It was an ordinary day.  Tempera- ture was in the mid-90's with high humidity as we stepped from the taxi onto the property of Bacardi Rum Factory at 888 Bay View Industrial Park, San Juan, Puerto Rico.  We left our resort and traveled via taxi to Old San Juan where we departed the taxi at Pier 2 along the docks of the city.  
Bacardi Rum factory entrance.
Took the ferry, which cost 25 cents for seniors, to the dock on the other side of the bay and met another taxi that took us to the factory.  We headed to the outdoor waiting area where we paid our historical tour fee and got a couple of souvenir glasses.  Then we stood in line to have the glasses filled with a rum concoction of our choice.  
Hector mixing our Puerto Rican Sunset.
I chose the Puerto Rican Sunset which has a combination of crushed orange, ice, shot of white rum and Grenadine for coloring.  Really looked like a sunset and put us in the mood for our tour of the factory.  Our tour, which was in English, was called shortly and we hopped on board a tram that took us to the entrance of what we found to be the tour building.  Inside we were given a brief story about sugar cane and it's use in the rum.  Our guide, Benjamin, gave us the story of the beginnings of the Bacardi Rum factory in Cuba and how it eventually became part of the island of Puerto Rico.  All throughout the information session we were told that no photographs can be taken of anything that we will see.  
Entrance to the tour.
OK with me since I realize that production secrets are not to be shared.  One of the questions asked by a member of out tour group was why the bat was the symbol of Bacardi Rum.  
Our tour guide Benjamin.
Well, it seems that the bat had always been a symbol of good fortune, good health, family unity and fortune, so when Dona Amalia Bacardi spotted fruit bats in the family's distillery in 1862, she insisted it be used as their symbol.  It was also said that because of rampant illiteracy in the 19th century, when the company was founded, any product would require an eye-catching, memorial graphic logo for it to become identifiable and for it to sell.  Today it remains on the bottle, helping the family survive whatever fate throws at it.  The 150-year history of the company is etched against the backdrop of war, earthquakes, epidemic disease, U.S. Prohibition, the Cuban Revolution and illegal confiscation of the company's Cuban assets.  
Interior of the tour location showing the famous Bacardi bat.
The factory that we are part of right how is allegedly the most productive of all the company's factories.  The current chairman of the company is a fifth-generation family member, Facundo L. Bacardi.  OK, now back to the tour.  After watching a short, but interesting and informative movie, which I was not allowed to photograph,  
This document is the original Bacardi Trademark contract.
we entered a very dark room which was a simulation factory to show the procedure that the sugar cane went through in order to become rum.  At this point I said to my wife, "Is this it??  We paid $8 each for a drink, a movie and to see this?"  Boy was I disappointed.  
Sampling of Bacardi rums and the drinks that can be made.
Wasn't too many years ago that we visited the Cruzan Rum factory in St. Croix and got to walk on the catwalks above the brewing rum as well as see the actual bottling and packaging of the products.  Now that was a neat tour and well worth the price.  After we left the simulated factory we made a visit to a bar where Benjamin talked about the products that are sold by Bacardi.  
The bar showing the products which Benjamin is demonstrating.
Last stop was at the gift shop where you could buy the products as well as T-shirts and over Bacardi souvenirs.  My two souvenir glasses I got upon entry were enough for me.  As I departed for the ride back to the parking lot on the tram, I decided that I will stick with the Cruzan Rum instead of the Bacardi Rum, since I know for sure how it is made.  I must admit that I maybe have purchased a total of one or two bottles of rum in my lifetime so I'm sure Bacardi will weather the storm once again.  It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy. 

The famous logo. 
My wife enjoying her Puerto Rican Sunset.
Main entrance to the factory.
The bat symbol is found everywhere in the factory tour building. 
The company has installed two large wind turbines to help power their plant. 

Sunday, November 29, 2015

The "#1 In Death" Story

Entrance to the Greenwood Cemetery in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
It was an ordinary day.  Just entered the historic stone-gated entrance to the Greenwood Cemetery which is directly off of South Queen St. to the south of Lancaster City.  The cemetery was chartered on September 4, 1895, being designed by Mr. D.M. Rothenberger and built by Kaufman and Kraemer contractors.  The cemetery is beautiful, if a cemetery can be so, with plenty of trees and shrubs and sprawling green lawns.  
Stevens Section of the cemetery.
I wound my way past signs that designated sections of the cemetery such as the Buchanan, Fulton and General Reynolds sections which were named after famous Americans who resided in the city of Lancaster, PA or in it's neighboring areas.  My mission today it to take a photo of the very first public crematorium in the United States.  It was built before the cemetery was chartered, having been built in 1884.  
Cement vaults stacked at one part of the cemetery.
The very first crema- torium was a private one built eight years earlier by Dr. Julius LeMoyne in North Franklin Township, Washington County, PA.  Dr. Lemoyne's first cremation required four hours, but took close to 48 hours to pre-heat and cool down the crematorium.  Lancaster's crematorium was established by surgeon Miles L. Davis who later founded other crematoria in larger northern cities.  In case you aren't quite sure what happens in a crematorium, a machine known as a cremator, which is a furnace, is used to burn a dead body to reduce it to ashes.  
The Crematorium at the Greenwood Cemetery.  The windows
are boarded shut showing it is no longer in use.  This was the
first public crematorium in the United States.
They are generally found in funeral homes, chapels, cemeteries or in stand-along facilities.  A facility which houses the actual crematory unit is referred to as a crematorim.  The Lancaster Crematorium is a one-story, brick building in the Gothic Revival style which measures 48 feet by 32 feet and has a pitched gable roof.  It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.  It no longer is in use today as you can see by my photo.  
Stones show the date this building was erected.
I'm sure at first it was very hard for people to accept cremation, but today close to 40% of Americans are cremated while in Japan nearly 99% of their residents are cremated.  Countries with very large populations and little land area find it necessary to cremate rather then burying their dead.  Today as I maneuvered the hills throughout the cemetery searching for the crematorium, I found peace and quiet with every turn I made. Many memorials geared toward the military as well as famous Lancastrians dot the landscape.  I finally got my photographs and left through the same stone gate.  It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy.  

Saturday, November 28, 2015

The "It's All About The Hunt" Story

The tintype of Bill the Kid playing croquet with his outlaw gang,
The Regulators.  The black dots are said to be sweat from
the photographer who was taking the photo and the dark
marks on the corners are said to be his fingerprints.
It was an ordinary day.  Just turned off the TV after watching the National Geographic documen- tary dealing with evidence that a second photograph of Billy the Kid exists.  Pretty neat show, narrated by Kevin Costner, that talks about a gentleman who paid $2 for a four-by-five-inch tintype, also known as a ferrotype, as well as two other photographs, at an antique shop in Fresno, California in 2010 and spent the next five years of his and his wife's lives trying to authenticate the historical and physical validity of the tintype.  
Randy Guijarro and his wife Linda as seen on the
National Geographic documentary.
Randy Guijarro may have one of the best deals ever made if his $2 find actually brings more than any other photograph in history.  The tintype was found in a "box of junk" he found at Fulton's Folly Antique Collective in Fresno, CA and after offering the only money in his pocket, which was accepted by the seller, he walked out a rich man.  About a week after his purchase he picked up the tintype, checked out the composition of the scene, examined it under a microscope and instantly recognized the notorious bandit.  
The only other known photograph, also
a tintype, of Billy the Kid. 
He called for his wife, who shares the same hobbies of her husband, and who found other members of the gang among the other faces in the tintype.  Those who have read this blog for some time probably realize that I am a big fan of photograph, having taught high school film photography and having a collection of Daguerrotypes, Ambrotypes and Tintypes of which Mr. Guijarro's prize find is the latter.  The documentary tells of his discovery which may possibly be only the second authenticated photograph of the outlaw Billy the Kid, whose name was Henry McCarty, but was also known as William Bonney.  The tintype shows Billy and his gang, The Regulators, playing a game of croquet.  Billy is leaning on a mallet in the tintype.  Billy the Kid is synonymous with the Wild West.  He hailed from New York, but led a rather brief life as a career outlaw in the west, allegedly killing 21 men before the sheriff of Lincoln County, New Mexico, Pat Garrett, gunned him down at the age of 22 in 1881.  
Randy, with an  enlargement of the tintype, compares the
photo to the surrounding area as he tries to find the location
where the photo was taken.  From National Geographic.
Randy and his wife Linda both spent the best part of the past five years, as well as the majority of their life savings, tracking down everything imaginable that would lead to the verification of the tintype they held.  They tracked down an authority on tintype photography who documented the metal in their tintype was from the 1870-1875 time frame.  
Superimposing Randy's tintype over the area that was deter-
mined to be the exact location where the picture was taken.
Another authority verified through facial recognition technology the fact that the faces in the photo were Billy and his gang, and another investigator told them about the recent introduction of croquet to the west and was able to determine the exact height of the figure in the tintype based on the length of the croquet mallet he was leaning upon.  A private investigator from Lincoln County, New Mexico was hired to help find the exact location of the photo.  After all the parts of the puzzle fell in place, and after nearly five years, Randy and Linda took the tintype, along with all their research and documentation, to Kagin's Inc, a California-based numismatic firm who eventually, after their own investigation, insured the tintype for $5 Million.  
Some of my collection.  These are both Daguerrotypes.
As of October 18th of this year Randy is negotiating a private sale of the tintype for the $5 Million.  If he sells it at that price, it will be one of the highest prices ever paid for a single photograph.  My only regret after viewing the documentary and reading numerous online stories about the discovery of the tintype ..... I wish that during all the years of my collecting of old time photographs I had been lucky enough to make a find as Randy did.  It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy.

Friday, November 27, 2015

The "Red Rose Coin of the Year" Story

It was an ordinary day.  Just received photos of the new Lancaster Red Rose Coin Club medal that is created yearly to bring attention to one of Lancaster, Pennsylvania's historical landmarks or a person, group or establishment that played an important part to the history of the city and it's residents.  
One side of the coin showing the logo of the Red Rose Coin Club.
I have posted stories in the past, such as a story about Robert Fulton and his steamboat and James Buchanan and his home at Wheatland, while displaying the coins from the Red Rose Coin Club that show images of these places or people.  A few years ago I was introduced to these coins when a good friend, Dale, showed me his entire collection that began with the 1966 edition.  Dale has recently moved from the area so I contacted another coin club member, Charlie, who supplied me with photos and a brief story of this year's coin.  
This side of the coin features the Police Badge of Lancaster, PA.
The new coin is a special medal honoring the 150th anniversary of the Lancaster City Bureau of Police.  One side of the coin features the familiar rose logo, symbol of Lancaster, Pennsyl-vania, while the reverse side shows the badge of the police department.  It was back in September 8 of 1865 that Lancaster Mayor George Sanderson appointed 21 night policemen to suppress lawlessness in the city.  It was said that that evening was the quietest evening the city had enjoyed in a long time.  A make-shift jail was set up in Fulton Hall on North Prince Street.  Fulton Hall would eventually become the Fulton Opera House.  In 1874 a two-story police station was built at 27 E. Grant Street and then in 1911 two Harley Davidson motorcycles were purchased for street patrol.  
This is the traffic section of the Lancaster City Police in
1925 which shows the two Harley Davidson motorcycles
they had.  The photo was taken in front of the station
located in the first block of East Grant Street.
Five years later two Cadillac chassis were purchased with one made into the first patrol car while the other was made into an ambulance.  In 1955 the police force was moved into a new building at 39 East Chestnut Street and in 2003 moved one more time to another new building at 39 West Chestnut Street.  All of these stations are within two city blocks of each other.   The Lancaster Police Department was also the first in the state to use chemical testing to determine intoxication.  They also were noted for beginning a juvenile section, mounted horse patrol, bicycle patrol and K-9 section.  Today the Lancaster City Bureau of Police has close to 150 officers who patrol a city of diverse cultures.  The new coin, or medal, which honors the police department is made of both bronze and silver and can be purchased at charlie.rohrer@cenveo.com.  It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy. 

Thursday, November 26, 2015

The "Calming the Seas" Story

Calming the Seas at dusk on Isla Verde Beach.
It was an ordinary day.  Sitting at a table on the sand at the Intercon- tinental Resort's "Ciao Mediter- ranean Cafe" watching this gentleman go through his routine in front of us on the beach which looks something like yoga or Tai Chi.  This is the third evening we have eaten at the cafe and every evening the gentleman has arrived and proceeded to go through his routine while wearing a bathing suit and a swim cap.  We watched in fascination as he spread his legs and proceeded to wave his arms in different sequences for maybe two or three minutes before he walked another 20 yards to the left or right and did the same thing again.  I asked our waiter about him and was told that he has been doing the same routine for over twenty years every evening of the year.  "So why does he do it?" I asked.  Seems he does it to calm the seas to prevent bad weather from harming the Isla Verde Beach where we are staying.  He has talked with very few people on his journey up and down the mile long beach, but is said to be very intelligent when he does converse.  "And, does it work?" I also asked.  Seems they haven't had a really bad storm over the 20 odd years that he has been doing his routine.  Hey, take a look at the photo and see how calm the sea is in front of us.  That is the Atlantic Ocean you are viewing.  Waves are usually very generous on beaches along the Atlantic.  It was another extraordinary day in the life of ordinary guy. 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The "Extraordinary Lancaster" Story

Local NBC station WGAL was one of many who broadcast
daylong updates as to how much money was raised.
It was an ordinary day.  And, Lancaster County reached deep into their pockets and donated an astrono- mical amount of money in this year's Extraordinary Give which was hosted by the Lancaster County Community Foundation.  Friday evening, November 20th saw many Lancastrians gather to celebrate in center square of downtown Lancaster.  The Griest Buildiing, one of Lancaster's tallest buildings in center square was lit with a variety of colors in the windows. The light show was orchestrated to celebrate the occasion and was put together by Atomic Lighting which provided the gear and by Meteor Tower which handled the engineering and the design.  The idea was to create a beacon of light that would draw people into the city and bring attention to the fundraising drive.  For years Lancaster's residents gave to the United Way.  I can remember year after year the school district where I taught would deduct a gift of your choice from your paycheck, if you cared to give.  
The Griest Building is aglow with light to celebrate.
That yearly fundraiser was successful year after year, but didn't seem to be able to meet the demands of all the needy non-profits in the area, so along came the Extra- ordinary Give in 2012.  Organizations, all non-profit, could register and participate in The Extraordinary Give.  The organizations  would try to solicit gifts and donations which would go to their group while all groups registered would divide the monetary amount that was given to the general Extraordinary Gift account.  The first year $1.6 Million was raised.  As you can see, giving in Lancaster County is part of our fabric, our soul, our DNA if you will.  The following year the amount rose to $3.2 Million.  Wow!!  Than last year the community gave an astounding $4.4 Million.  
Poster for the Extraordinary give.
This year there were 367 participating organizations who asked for gifts from the community.  The organizations were broken down into groups such as: Education, Environment, Animal Related, Health Care, Housing, Human Services, Senior Living, Food/Agriculture/- Nutrition, Arts/Culture/Humanities and Youth Development.  During the 24 hour period of the 2015 Extraordinary Give, people of the community could make donations in person at the organizations or go online to make a contribution.  Carol and I began a few years ago to donate to the SPCA which is located to the south of Lancaster City.  We went online during the 20th and donated to the SPCA, which in turn returned a "Thank You" by email to us.  Well, this year there were 40,203 gifts which totaled $6,134,244.78.  How about that!!  Our community is alive and well and those that were able to give, did so in a big way.  It certainly was an Extraordinary Give!!  It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The "Haydn Zug: Entrepreneur and Womanizer" Story

The corner of State and Main Streets in East Petersburg, PA.
This was home of Haydn Zug's Restaurant since 1925.
It was an ordinary day.  Standing near the corner of State and Main in the small town of East Petersburg, Pennsyl- vania taking a photo of Haydn Zug's Restaurant.  The restaurant is now for sale, but for years it was the most popular restaurant in East Petersburg.  Mr. Zug, the owner/operator of the restaurant which bore his name, first opened a general store and tavern/hotel in the same town in 1895.  In 1925 he moved the operation to the corner of State and Main and ran the place until his death in 1969.  In recent years business had diminished resulting in the building being offered for sale.  
The restaurant sign still hangs outside
the restaurant even though it no longer
operates as a eatery.
But, that certainly doesn't reflect on the quirky character who ran the business for years.  Haydn and wife Eva, who died in 1972, had two daughters who died in childhood and are buried in nearby Mennonite Church Cemetery near the site of their father's grave.  Now, I guess I should tell you that I just had to make a visit to the cemetery where Haydn and his daughters are buried to take a photograph of his tombstone which is somewhat different than any other in the graveyard.  While all the other stones are facing either east or west, Haydn Zug's monument stands catty-corner to all the rest, diagonally across two plots.  Haydn had this done by design to prevent his still living wife from being buried next to him for eternity.  His reason was: "She wouldn't sleep beside me while we were living.  She's not going to lay beside me when I'm dead."  Eva, who died three years later, is buried in Lancaster, PA's Greenwood Cemetery.  
Tombstone of Haydn Zug in Mennonite Church Cemetery,
East Petersburg, Pennsylvania.
Now there was a reason for Eva's behavior.  It all had to do with Haydn being a womanizer.  It was well-known in the little town of East Petersburg that Zug enjoyed the company of other women.  He would meet women in his bar and eventually drive them around in his Cadillac.  Not a good idea with a wife at home.  Haydn was an entrepreneur who not only ran his restaurant, but owned two farms, operated a miniature golf course and had the first drive-in movie theatre in Lancaster County.  A patron of his restaurant recalled seeing Haydn take the glass cover off the cheese display and pull out a knife, cut a slice and wipe the knife on his pants so to clean it for the next customer.   And now, in death, Haydn Zug lays diagonally in the straight rows of tombstones, keeping watch to make sure his wife doesn't sneak up on him.  It was another extraoridnary day in the life of an ordinary guy.   

Monday, November 23, 2015

The "A Diamond On The Course" Story

Miss In Gee Chun who won the U.S. Woman's Open in Lancaster, PA.
It was an ordinary day.  Just read the news that South Korea's In Gee Chun, the winner of the U.S. Women's Open in golf which was held this past July at the nearby Lancaster Country Club in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, granted a request from Jody Kegel, on behalf of the Swim and Swing for Cancer fundraiser in Lancaster County.  The request was for for a single autographed golf flag to be auctioned to help with the cancer fundraiser that is through the Lancaster General Health Foundation, but when the package arrived Jody found three autographed flags, a signed photograph of Miss Chun and a donation of $10,000.  Now that's a class act!  Jody Kegel said, "My body trembled and I cried.  I kept counting zeroes.  I was speechless."  The 21 year-old Miss Chun sent a note saying that it was a wonderful experience coming to Lancaster and feel part of the community during the open an the real champions are the cancer patients.  Miss Chun's coach called the gift a small donation and that Chun wished she could have done more.  Miss Chun won $810,000 in the Open and became the largest sponsor of this year's Swim and Swing for Cancer fundraiser.  The program recognized it by making a diamond sponsor category and identifying Miss Chun as "a diamond on the course."  Miss Chun grew up poor in South Korea which makes her donation something very special.  Jody Kegel reported that the first flag signed by Miss Chun will remain with the Country Club where it will probably be placed with the photograph while the second flag sold for several hundred dollars and the third flag will probably be auctioned off at a later date.  This year's fundraiser topped the $38,000 raised late year, mainly because of the doantion from In Gee Chun.  What an amazing roll model Miss Chun has become in both the golf community and the community of Lancaster, Pennsylvania.  It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

The "Rollin' Along With Mabel" Story

Mabel Murray, educator extraordinaire.
It was an ordinary day.   Carol and I were having lunch with Jerry and Just Sue when the subject came back to, as usual, "remember when."  Tough for Carol to participate at times since many of the "remember when" discussions usually head towards the old high school memories department and since Jerry, Just Sue and myself graduated together in the same high school class, Carol has no memories at all of what the three of us did in high school.  Well, today the "remember when" moment was about one of our teachers when we were in high school.  Woman by the name of Mrs. Murray who was chairman of the English Department for years and when Jerry and I both returned to teaching in the same high school from where we graduated, she was still there teaching and heading the department.  I was the only one who had Mrs. Murray as a teacher in high school.  As a senior I had her during the last period of the day for English.  By that time I was all thought out and barely made it through her class.  I guess you already know that if you have been reading my prose for the past six years.  I remember her as a very strict teacher who loved writing and literature.  Neither were favorites of mine so I guess the "C" I got in her class was a blessing.  A few years after Jerry and I began teaching, Mrs. Murray (notice how I still can't call her by her last name) announced her retirement.  I never did get to know her as a colleague, since I feared she would remember how poor I did in class and would be embarrassed all over again.  Jerry and I got to talking about her parting faculty meeting and how she livened up the multi-tiered meeting room with her retirement speech.  She was introduced and called to the enclosed lectern where she pulled something from her bag she carried all the time and prepared for her comments.  As she began her final speech to the faculty she pulled out a roll of toilet paper which she had written her speech upon and began to fill the room with laughter and constant applause.  What a woman!  As she read from the roll of toilet paper she let it continue to unroll in front of the lectern until the entire roll had dropped in front of the lectern.  It was at that point that I realized how foolish I had been in not getting to know her better as a colleague. What a wonderful teacher she was during her stay at Manheim Township High School.  She departed to the applause of the entire faculty.  It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy. 

Saturday, November 21, 2015

The "Family Vacation" Story

Fortune hunters Steve and LDub.  I got him the shirt, but 
after he told me it was a Fred's Tavern shirt he was wearing
when he fell off a roof while being a chimney sweep, I told 
him to find a different home for it after he took it off.
It was an ordinary day.  Roaming the beach at 94th Street in Stone Harbor searching for gold.  Yep!  My brother Steve and I have become treasure hunters on the nearly empty beach.  The last few years he and his wife Kathy have rented a house in Stone Harbor, New Jersey during the month of September and have invited my wife Carol and I to join he and Kathy.  The week is meant for his family vacation and he is thoughtful enough to ask his brother and sister-in-law to join his family.  As we were growing up in the early 1950's, mom and dad rented houses in the Chesapeake Bay community known as Crystal Beach.  Steve and I always enjoyed our summer vacations together, but as we grew older we tended not to spend as much time together since we were five years apart and had different friends and different interests.  Now that we are both older and no longer have our mom and dad, we have grown closer once again.  Our families share most holidays together and Steve now has graciously invited Carol and I to join he and Kathy and his family during their yearly week at the beach in the fall.  We have begun to share stories of our youth and the good times we spent on vacations as children.  Steve loves to go out of his way to make the family vacations fun and entertaining.  This year he purchased two
My beach fortune.
 metal detectors, hoping his grand- children would enjoy them when they arrived for a few days.  But, he thought he and I should try them out before they arrived.  Headed to the beach with the headsets covering our ears and the units turned to high to try and find treasure buried deep in the sand.  After about ten minutes of finding nothing I felt it best to "plant" something to make it more interesting.  Took a new penny from my pocket and tramped it into the sand, hoping I would remember where it was located.  As Steve and I were searching the same locale, I heard the unit alert me to a find and dug deep into the sand, producing the shiny penny.  Steve was ecstatic!  Made him try even harder.  After about a half hour of searching I was able to find a lid of a bottle, a metal candy wrapper, a hook and screweye, a piece of aluminum foil folded over and a small tube of Abreva which is a cold sore medication.  Steve found a few bottle caps, but not much else.  We still enjoyed the time together, but realized we weren't going to become rich from our exploration.  Didn't matter since we were getting to once again spend time together.  As we age it seems more important to rekindle the bonds we once enjoyed as we traveled through childhood and adolescence and how better to do that then by the good ole' family vacation.  Works for us!  It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy.

Friday, November 20, 2015

The "Carol's Homemade Applesauce" Story

It was an ordinary day.  Smelling that same smell that I wrote about just about two years ago to the day.  Emanating from the kitchen where my dear wife is busy once again making one of her favorites .... homemade applesauce.  I wrote two years ago about the benefits of eating applesauce so I could justify my obsession with the puree that I enjoy with most every meal, but also mentioned that I preferred the applesauce purchased at the grocery store rather than my wife's homemade applesauce due to it's tart flavor.  After many told me I was "nuts," I gave her homemade treat another try and have begun to develop a liking for it.  The last couple of times she has made it I mentioned to her that I should write a story to share with readers who might want to make it for themselves.  Well, today she gathered all the essential ingredients together and said, "Go get your camera if you expect to document how I make this stuff."  The easiest way to show you how she makes her treat is by photographs.  She did mention that I should tell everyone that her applesauce is made from a recipe that comes from Brent Newsom that is published in a cookbook by Ina Garten.  No matter whose recipe it may be or in what book it may be found, it is very good as well as good for you!  So, follow along with my visuals and give it a try if you care.  It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy.

Peel, core and quarter:  3 pounds of Granny Smith apples (6 to 8 apples) and 3 pounds of sweet red apples such as Macoun, McIntosh, or Winesap (6 to 8 apples).  Carol used McIntosh today, but has used a variety of red sweet apples in the past.
Zest of 2 large navel oranges.
Zest of 1 lemon.
Juice of 2 large navel oranges.
Juice of 1 lemon.
1/2 cup of light brown sugar.
1/4 pound unsalted butter.
2 Teaspoons of ground cinnamon.
1/2 Teaspoon ground allspice.
All ingredients in a deep Dutch Oven or similar pan and place in the oven.
Bake for 1 1/2 hours @ 350 degrees, or until all the apples are soft.
The smell will be heavenly as the finished result will look like this.
Mix with a whisk until smooth.
Serve warm or at room temperature.  I must admit that I like mine cooled.