Saturday, July 01, 2006

Storm over Peoria, IL

CRW_1798 Originally uploaded by wbryan.

An early morning storm plowed through Peoria Illinois June 22, 2006. It was a powerful fast moving storm. It caused very little damage but was spectacular to watch. We (at my downtown location) got about an inch of rain in 30 to 35 minutes. The official amount (at Peoria Airport) was much less.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

British Virgin Islands, Roadtown, Tortola

British Virgin Islands, Roadtown, Tortola
Originally uploaded by wbryan.

Another stop on my first cruise.

Click on the picture and it will take you to the Flickr site where the complete trip in pictures is located.

Nassau, Bahama

Originally uploaded by wbryan.

The last stop of the cruise. It was a very interesting 7-day cruise. I look forward to doing an Alaskan cruise this year or next.

Click on the picture and it will take you to the Flickr site where the complete trip in pictures is located.

My ship, the M/S Zuiderdam

My ship, the M/S Zuiderdam
Originally uploaded by wbryan.

This was the ship I traveled on for my very first cruise in January. Click on the picture and it will take you to the Flickr site where the complete trip in pictures is located.

St. Thomas, Virgin Islands

St. Thomas
Originally uploaded by wbryan.

This was the first stop on my cruise.

Click on the picture and it will take you to the Flickr site where the complete trip in pictures is located.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Leaving British Virgin Islands, Roadtown, Tortola

British Virgin Islands, Roadtown, Tortola
Originally uploaded by wbryan.

In January 2006 I took my first ever cruise. Being a nut for weather and cloud pictures I was blessed with some great sunsets. This is one of them.

I have posted many of my cruise photos on my FLICKR site. Feel free to look around.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Ashley & John Wed

0775 Originally uploaded by wbryan.

Ashley Ruth Bryan and Amn. John F. Netzel IV married on December 31,2005 in Pekin, Illinois at Faith Baptist Church. See more photos by clicking on the picture or copy and paste the web address below. This will take you to the Flickr site.

Monday, May 23, 2005

I-74 Upgrade

The I-74 upgrade is still in progress. I-74 through Peoria is NOW OPEN (mostly). They opened the vast majority of I-74 on time with a little work left to do. They had to remove the entire Peoria end of the bridge due to abnormal wear-and-tear. They claim it will reopen on time anyway, September or October 2005 I believe. Drive carefully!! Posted by Hello

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

I Make Cardboard Boxes

After my wife, Patsy, passed away in May 2003, I needed something to do. I looked into various volunteering jobs but found most of the places in need of help were too demanding for my freedom.

My neighbor told me of a place near me that manufactured cardboard boxes. Like most of us, I had never given any thought at all to where these boxes actually come from. They always seemed to be laying around, maybe not the exact size I needed but some I could make use of. So, I gave them a call and stopped by. I wasn't really looking for a "job" but more something to do.

Well, this "cardboard box making place" turned out to be just what I was looking for. It was a small 2-man operation that needed on-and-off part-time help, so I joined up with them.

In a small operation the cardboard box you see everywhere begins with a sheet of cardboard similar to a sheet of plywood, somewhere about 50 inches by 91 inches. The size depends on what you want to make.

First step is to cut the cardboard to the proper width. They use a standard table saw for the first step. Usually you can get two or three box "blanks" out of a sheet, but that varies a lot.

Next step is to use a "Box Machine" to cut the blank cardboard with slots and creases so it can then be folded into the shape of a box.

Finally, the ready blank is manually folded and run through a glue machine. When the glue is good and dry, you have a box. We bundle them into batches of 20 or 25 and they are ready for you to buy so that your move will go off without a hitch or the "stuff" you want to store in the basement will stay together or the package you need to mail to Aunt Millie will get there in one piece.

Oh, yes, the BIG GUYS have all this automatic machinery that they use. By the time they get it all set up and tested they have wasted more cardboard that we use in a day. But, we can't make your order for 600 or 1000 boxes and they can.

We have our 'nitch' and make a place for you to get that few boxes you need and we can make a box for you in just about any reasonable size you need.

So remember the next time you need a few good boxes there is probably a place in your town like the place I work at in Peoria Illinois. I work part time forThe Box Manufacturing Company in Peoria.


Friday, February 18, 2005

This is my life.

  • 1954 Life as I know it began when I graduated from Limestone Community High School located in Bartonville, Illinois. I was a part of the very first graduating class.
  • 1954 My first full time job was at the Burchett Portrait Studios in downtown Peoria. I started mixing chemicals for film developing (you do remember film?), learned film lab jobs, was taught some portrait skills, went on to shooting weddings and portraits and ended up doing all sorts of film related jobs.
  • 1955 I met Patsy Louise Swise working at the East Peoria Steak-n-Shake, as a "curbie". Pat waited on me much of the time and we began ‘running around’ together.
  • 1957 After three years of shooting free lance jobs for the Peoria Journal and WEEK-TV and working for Burchett Studios, I was hired at WEEK-TV as a full time news photographer, my life’s ambition.
  • 1958 Pat and I were married at Grace Presbyterian Church in Peoria.
  • 1959 Our first child, James Edward, was born. Late in 1959 I moved from WEEK-TV to WMBD-TV when they first went on the air, again as a news photographer.
  • 1960 Gerald Wayne was born in Peoria
  • 1961 I was hired by KYW-TV, Westinghouse Broadcasting in Cleveland, Ohio, a major step up for my career.
  • 1961 Michael Leroy was born in Peoria, Il.
  • 1962 Patricia Carol was born in Cleveland, Ohio.
  • 1965 September, KYW was taken over by NBC as an owned and operated network station and was renamed WKYC-TV. As an NBC O&O we began shooting news stories for the various network news broadcasts. I remained here until 1990, one of three network news crews until about 1985.
  • 1968 William Jay was born in Cleveland, Ohio.
  • 1990 I ran for the elected position of Secretary-Treasurer of NABET (National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians), the International Union I had to join under NBC. When I won this full time job, I "retired" from NBC on December 1, 1990.
  • 1990-1998 I was re-elected as the Secy-Treas for NABET-CWA, the old NABET as we merged with the CWA (Communications Workers of America). In 1998 I did not run for a third term and spent the next two year at various jobs within the union.
  • 2000 I "retired" from NABET-CWA in September of 2000. In July of that year, Pat and I moved back to Peoria where it all began.
  • 2001 Pat was diagnosed with cancer. Treatments began immediately.
  • 2002 Pat’s cancer continued to run up and down, sometimes getting better then getting worse. Pat always seemed to be having "the time of her life" as she enjoyed every minute of life when she was able.
  • 2003 The cancer was found to have traveled to Pat’s brain as a large tumor early in 2003. Pat had held up really good from the diagnosis up to the brain invasion. Patsy Louise (Swise) Bryan passed away on May 21, 2003 in the early hours, at home, as she had hoped. Life changed drastically on this date.
  • 2003 Current life has moved on. It’s lonely without my partner and friend after 45 years of marriage. But with the family I still have, our five kids, all the grandkids, my brother and sister, Pat’s very large family and the many friends, the loneliness has taken a back seat. I still, and always will, miss Patsy but as they say -

  • Life Goes On - and I’ll go on with it.
  • Good Bye Patsy. We all love and miss you!!

Feel free to check out our site at