Monday, June 14, 2010


As I mentioned before, we had a big Drexler reunion in Runnemede just a couple weeks ago. It was so fun and beyond memorable for all of us. But, the one thing that was most fun was to see dad with his brother Carl and his sister Judi. His other sister Debbie wasn't able to make it.

Here are all 4 of them with their mom (my grandma) back in the early 50s. 1951 perhaps?

Here they are in 2000 when my grandpa died.

And here they are in 2010, as we got ready to eat at the Diner. We ate at that diner every single day when we visited my grandpa - after grandma died. And, even before Grandma died and was too sick to cook for all of us, they'd take us up there for dinner, so it holds a special place in all our hearts. So many stories have been shared over the years about his brother and sisters. And, even though they haven't all been together since that picture in 2000 was taken, they love each other and so enjoyed being together again. That weekend was definitely a time of celebration - the celebration of Mt Calvary church as much as it was a celebration of family. A time of reminiscing and laughter and joy. :-)

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Been So Long... Time for a Story!

It's been such a long time since I posted here! I don't really know why I haven't. Just haven't taken the time to chat with my dad about blog stuff, I guess. I hope to do better in the coming weeks/months, but don't be surprised if long hiatises are taken again.

We were just in his hometown of Runnemede, NJ and he shared many stories with us. I hope to share them here. First though, I took a video outside of his school where he talked about one of his pasttimes, playing ball by himself.

Sunday, November 1, 2009


A month or so ago, I was talking to my dad about some of the people that were in their church growing up and one of the men he mentioned was Mr. Bowers - Bob Bowers' uncle. He was a dear, sweet man who literally built the church and the parsonage as well. He was also the person who formed the first fire station in Runnemede. He really was a special man. But, the thing dad remembers was the love he had for his wife. He was older when his beloved wife died, he was heartbroken. He always spoke with such love to her when she was alive and after she passed, he would always cry when speaking of her. Their love was so great. Something about that just touched me and I wanted to share that here on the blog. My grandpa, though not a demonstrative man, loved my grandma that way too. I remember after she passed, dad spoke to him about marrying again and my grandpa insisted that she was the only person he would ever love. I don't doubt that people love like that now, but there seems to be something special about the way people loved back then. So much emphasis is put on the physical today that sometimes they miss out on the soulful connection. Mr. Bowers obviously had that with his wife and my grandpa had that with my grandma. A love that not even 50 yrs and death could diminish. The pictures above are from when they were courting, I believe, and then in their later years. Next time I talk to dad, I'll have him share the story of how they met and all that and share that here with you.

Sunday, October 25, 2009


I spoke a little while ago about dad growing up during the Cold War. And, because they lived on the east coast, they had regular air raid drills. They are fairly similar to our tornado drills out here in the midwest. The sirens would blare for a good solid minute and the kid would shuffle out in the hallways where you would cover your head and crouch down against the wall. That way if they were being attacked, they would hopefully be out of the way of shattering glass and debris. The difference between air raid drills and tornado drills are that it wasn't just for school children. Everyone in town was expected to comply with these drills. So, if he was at home, he had to go into their tiny and I mean TINY, little hallway between the two bedrooms and do the same thing. Knowing personally how small that hallway was, I can't imagine getting 6 people in there for these drills! Anyway, if it was dark outside when these drills went off, the lights in the house had to be shut off. During the day, the blinds would be closed. And, no one was allowed outside during these drills. If someone was found outside, they could be ticketed. If they didn't turn off the lights or close the blinds, they could get a ticket as well. Times were scary back then and the USSR was their enemy. And, these drills were used as a way to get the americans prepared for attack.
(The picture above is not a picture of my dad or anyone he knew. It's just a picture from the early 50s of a classroom of children during a nuclear air raid drill.)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


When my dad was a teenager, there was an orchestra in their church. It calls it an orchestra because they had violinists. :-) It was made up of youth kids and it consisted of:

His sister Judi - violin
Kathy Kinders - violin
Dad - trumpet
Bob Bowers - trumpet
Stanley Lentz - clarinet
David Manduka - clarinet
Jane Lentz - flute
Jean Manduka - piano

He said they would play and it would never fail that he and Bob Bowers would start laughing and next thing he'd know the notes would come out a bit stilted, because of their giggles. He said anytime he sat next to Bob, whether it was in the orchestra or just on a pew for service, they would start laughing. He said he was surprisingly immature in those days. Shocking, I know.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Christmas Programs

Every year at Christmas, the kids would put on a Christmas program. In the sanctuary, in the pulpit area, there were thick curtains. And, behind those curtains was a set of doors. For the program, the doors were opened and the kids would do their performance to the joy and adoration of their parents and the other members of the congregation. They would practice for weeks - every Saturday and Sunday afternoon for 4-5 weeks. But they never seemed to get it until the day of the actual performance, when it would miraculously go off without a hitch. They would say their verse, "...which is Christ the LORD." VERY LOUDLY! Well, at least dad said it really loudly. I don't know that at that age, he really understood the whole "indoor voice" thing. Neither does my son though, so it might be genetic. ;-) He said he would see his mom in the audience, mouthing the words along with him. The Christmas program was something they all looked forward to every year.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


When dad was a kid, there were old pews in the sanctuary. Not like the ones I knew of when I would go there. These were old wooden ones that had splinters and would occasionally grab the back of their pants. Dad didn't like that. But, in the very back of the sanctuary, behind the back pew, were 2 chairs. Normally a pair of brothers - Addison and Kelly Brookfield - would sit there. They walked a very long distance to church each morning and sometimes Sunday night as well. They walked from Garden Terrace, which was pretty far away. Well, those nights they didn't show up, dad and his brother Carl would take those seats. Debbie and Judi would be sitting with their friends, while they sat in those chairs in the back. Since they weren't sitting with their mom, they would get a little noisy. Grandpa would be in the middle of his sermon and say, "Rose, do something." so those boys would quiet down. Let's just say it didn't work very often...or for very long. ;-)