Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Family News

Cody Allison, left and Brittanie Gooch Allison
Kelly Neal Gooch passed this along about her children: Brittanie Gooch and Cody Allison married April 7, and Brittanie now is 10 weeks pregnant. Justin Gooch and Paige Green will marry Aug. 26. Both children just purchased new homes. Congratulations to all you guys.


Tracy Eckard finished OCS last year, and she now is a lieutenant in the Air Force. She and her daughter, Eva, moved to the D.C. area, and she works at Fort Belvoir.

Shane Neal during his promotion ceremony
Shane Neal recently earned the rank of E8 Senior Chief in Navy.


Eric Doerr
just joined the Marines a few months back.


Tas Sipowski
Tas Sipowski just finished up his golf season at Marshall University. Averaged 77.14 (4th best on team) with a low round of 71 at the FAU Spring Break Classic... Scored a hole-in-one during the first round of the 2012 C-USA Championships... Shot a low round of 71 at the FAU Spring Break Classic.


Steve Hesson joined the Matchbox family in the D.C. area and runs the Rockville, Md., location. Here is he talking about Mother's Day and the restaurant's Readers' Choice award.


Mark Neal and Ty Neal continue to expand their restaurant empire. New Matchbox, DC-3 and Ted's Bulletin locations are coming together as we speak. Also, Ty was quoted in a recent story about food trends for 2012.


I found this about Gregg Neal and his preeminent rating as an attorney.


 Jeff Neal talks to Go magazine about life out of the country.


And I continue to write. I write about golf on this website, and if anyone can help me out and subscribe. The more subscribers, the more comments, the more hits - all that helps my readership, exposure and chances to sell more stories to magazines. Please.


I think that's all for now. Please, if anyone has anything they'd like to brag about, send me an email. Remember, it's not bragging if it's fact.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The family

Golf Reunion

First, I'm trying to put together a golf-only trip for some of the family who might want a little mini-reunion. I've sent out emails to most of the golfers in the family, but if I missed anyone, it's OK. You're definitely welcome. The trip would start at the Greenbrier in West Virginia and end at Pinehurst. A few of the early comments indicate I might have added too many courses in between, so in the end it will pared down. Email me if you have questions or are interested in joining us.

Family Tree

Next, I joined for a free trial just to mess around and see if I could add to our tree. I did come up with interesting items. Basically, I found family trees on the site with documents to back up their research. I tied in our side of the family with trees already in place. I'm not in a position to join because I'm not going to have the time to devote to it right now, so it would be a waste. What I can do with the free trial is build a tree and download it - without any documentation. But I'll have the names when I go back and research for documentation. Anyway, if you remember the information Gary passed out at the reunion, it takes us back to the late 1700s. I found a few discrepancies, and I traced the Neal name back even further. Here are some highlights (I'm putting this is relation to me to make it easier):

  • My great-great-great-great grandfather, William Neal, married his uncle's granddaughter Emilia Mildred Neal, (second cousin).
  • My 8th great grandfather arrived in the New World in 1635. Capt. James Neal was an agent of Lord Baltimore, governor of Maryland, who granted him land to build Wallaston Manor in Charles County, Md.
  • In 1100, a man named Nigel Eley in England fathered a son with his mistress, Ramsbury Neil. In those days, the son of an unmarried couple often took the mother's name and added a Fitz to the beginning. Their son was Richard FitzNeale, who died in 1198 - my 22nd great grandfather. He later became the king's treasurer under Henry II.
  • Ramsbury Neil's father was Henry I, King of England. She apparently was one of many illegitimate children he had. So that makes King Henry my 24th great grandfather, which would make his father - William the Conquerer - my 25th great grandfather.
  • Branching out from one of the women who married into the Neal clan, the tree takes us back to Goaspatric Northumberland, my 26th great grandfather, who led an uprising against William the Conquerer. He was defeated and sent into exile.
  • Also branching out from one of the women who married into the Neal clan, the tree also takes us back to Malcolm II, King of Scotland, who died in 1034. He was my 29th great grandfather.
  • Another branch takes us to Edgar the Peaceful; his father, Edmund the Magnificent; his father, Edward the Elder; and his father, Alfred the Great, all kings of England before 1000. These are my 30th, 31st, 32nd and 33rd great grandfathers, respectively.
  • Aiden the Treacherous, King of Scotland (532-606), was my 42nd great grandfather. 
With the trial membership, I don't have access to all documents, but I have been able to see some of them. The research has been done before me so I have little reason to doubt any of this, but I can't back it up with anything right now. But it is fun to look at.

Like I said, I'm downloading a tree with names if anyone is interested. If anyone is doing some research, this could help. And if you are, let me know.

Hope all is well. I'm looking for news. I know there's some out there. I've got a few stories I want to post in the near future, including some relocations, some school news and some recent trips.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Mountain climber

I know some people have been asking about this so I decided to post some pictures of Gary's recent adventures on top of some mountains.

He says he's having fun making it to the summits of Mount Massive and Mount Elbert, both in Colorado; Mount Whitney in California; and Mount Rainier in Washington. And he's still hiking the Appalachian Trail in sections.

But all of that has been just a prelude to his next climb. He and Julie are heading to Africa next week, and while Julie is on safari with her Dad, Gary will be climbing Kilimanjaro. More pictures to come.

Oh, and while they're in Africa, I'll be in Europe on a three-country tour of Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey. I'll try to go to the Asia side of Istanbul so I can say I've been in three continents. I'll post pictures after that, as well.

So, if anyone has any big trips or big news - or even little trips or little news - send me a note. It's fun to keep up with everything.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

2011 Bill Neal Art Award

Photographer Michelle Tricca was awarded the first Bill Neal award for public art. This story and video show that Bill's memory will live on, and he'll continue to touch the lives of not only his friends and family, but many people he never even met.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Hi guys

I wanted to let everyone know that Tracy graduated from the U.S. Air Force Office Training School last month. She now is a lieutenant, but she said you don't have to salute her or call her sir. Ma'am would work, though.

Also, here is a post from Facebook about a program that helps troops repay college loans.

The Leave No Veteran Behind organization was featured again in the media where a donor (Wal-Mart!) paid the educational debt of a servicemember (see video link). While I was away at OTS, I was chosen and enrolled in their program! Here's the link to my bio on their website:

Also, if anyone has any news, please let me know.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Vote now

OK, I know it's been awhile since I posted anything. And I know lots of great stuff has been happening with all of us lately. That makes me slack. I would say that I'll try to do better, but unless I follow through, that's just big talk.

I received an email this morning, and I wanted to make sure everyone had a chance to help out.

Few honors hold the same esteem as the respected RAMMY awards for the DC metropolitan area restaurant industry. What started in 2004 with a few celebrated categories has grown to be one of the industry’s annual highlights, with 15 award categories-- 4 of which will be chosen by the public.

From Thursday, April 28 through May 11, 2011, the public will decide the following awards:
Best Neighborhood Gathering Place, Voter’s Favorite Restaurant, Hottest Restaurant Bar Scene and Power Spot of the Year.

Ted’s BULLETIN is honored to have received a nomination for Bes
t Neighborhood Gathering Place and is truly doubly excited for this opportunity to bring a RAMMY home to the Hill!

The public can go online at or simply pick up a Washington City Paper to cast their vote.
Thanks so much for your support!

I voted. It only takes a minute.

Anyone with big news, let me know.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sad news

I wanted to get some good news up about golfing in Florida, visiting Disney World and other family news.

But tonight, I have some sad news to report.

Connie's son, Keith, died last week. Living up to its name as the "silent killer," pancreatic cancer took him at 38. There was no indication that he was even sick until a couple of days before he died.

Mom and I went to the service in Lafayette, Ind. It was a mixture of sadness, fond memories and a little humor sprinkled in. One of Keith's friends read a poem; a couple of Connie's friends spoke; and Connie talked about her boy with the big heart.

But what teared me up the most was when she talked about coming home the day Keith died. They were locking up the house, turning off all the lights and getting ready to go upstairs for bed when Neal went behind her and turned on all the outside lights.

"What are you doing?" Connie asked.

"I want to make sure Keith can find his way home," Neal said.

If you have their e-mail, phone number or address, they could probably use a little comfort. Or leave a message here for them. And maybe a prayer or two would be good. I know I've been praying for God to ease their pain.

Here are a couple of links to the obituary - one in the Chattanooga paper where Keith grew up and the other in the Lafayette paper.