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Calamity
August 4, 2010, 1:25pm Report to Moderator

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Location: Oreland, PA
Lisa, Gary, Carrie Ann, Bobby, Carol, Moonshine, Patrick and the rest of you Georgia "peeps":

The hospitality, grace, friendship, consideration and all such things that you showed all of us, especially Al, those days we were there will always be remembered and appreciated beyond words.

You are all wonderful people who were there for Papa Joe, Carol and their family, are still there for Carol, and provided such caring support up here consistently these past weeks through your prayers, cards, the booklet, texts, and calls.  

We love you all too and I thank you with all my heart!  


In Memory of Daddy, Uncle Roy, Uncle Earl, Uncle Stan, Stretch, Al, Joe, Jake, Steve, Eddie & Kat
In honor of Capt. Walter Sigafoos and ADJ3 Paul Moser - still missing

"Perhaps they are not stars, but rather openings in Heaven where the love of our lost ones pours through and shines down upon us to let us know they are at peace."  Author unknown
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Moonshine
August 4, 2010, 1:35pm Report to Moderator

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Posts: 2,018
Location: Kingston Georgia
Al was so disappointed when the buyer backed out of the house-I remember telling him things happen for a reason. The eulogy I read above really hit it. All of us in Georgia will be forever grateful for Al's friendship and him traveling down here to be with us as we said goodbye to PaPa Joe.


Riding in Honor of
Clyde Holsclaw-USS Hornet WWII


Riding in memory of
Army Sgt. Howard Kelly "H.K." Edwards...My Pop and Hero
121st Infantry

PaPa Joe Blasingame-MAKE IT BIG!

Al "Bluesman" Philo

SSgt Norman Hampton Currin
101st Airborne Ranger

"Cherish your freedom and guard it with honor and respect,
for it carries the blood of those that gave it to you"
                  Author Unknown

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SNAP
August 4, 2010, 1:51pm Report to Moderator

Command Sergeant Major
Posts: 374
Location: Acworth, GA
Jane, thank you for the ride report. It was our honor to have spent time with Al when he was here. He was a blessed man to have you as his friend. We, thank you with all our heart.

Look forward to seeing ya'll again........


"SNAP"
770-527-3358
Acworth, GA
"You ain't having fun unless you just a little scared"
Butch Hooper
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Moonshine
August 4, 2010, 2:46pm Report to Moderator

Senior Member
Posts: 2,018
Location: Kingston Georgia
[He was a blessed man to have you as his friend. We, thank you with all our heart.

Look forward to seeing ya'll again........[/quote]

Well said Snap-we love you lady!


Riding in Honor of
Clyde Holsclaw-USS Hornet WWII


Riding in memory of
Army Sgt. Howard Kelly "H.K." Edwards...My Pop and Hero
121st Infantry

PaPa Joe Blasingame-MAKE IT BIG!

Al "Bluesman" Philo

SSgt Norman Hampton Currin
101st Airborne Ranger

"Cherish your freedom and guard it with honor and respect,
for it carries the blood of those that gave it to you"
                  Author Unknown

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Calamity
August 4, 2010, 3:14pm Report to Moderator

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Al had many friends and we were blessed to call him friend.
While I appreciate the kind words, I am one of many!  Mike and Kim were instrumental in the arrangements and many others were there to help.

I'll accept the wishes to see you again though!  



In Memory of Daddy, Uncle Roy, Uncle Earl, Uncle Stan, Stretch, Al, Joe, Jake, Steve, Eddie & Kat
In honor of Capt. Walter Sigafoos and ADJ3 Paul Moser - still missing

"Perhaps they are not stars, but rather openings in Heaven where the love of our lost ones pours through and shines down upon us to let us know they are at peace."  Author unknown
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Carrie Ann
August 6, 2010, 10:01pm Report to Moderator

First Sergeant
Posts: 149
I'm deeply touched by the "Ride Report" and the show of support.  Jane "Thank You" for putting it all down.  You expressed it well through words, through love, and such emotion.  It helps those of us who could not attend in person to feel as though we were there.  It is plain to see that Al was loved so much.  He is smiling down upon all of us. You all honored him well!

The pictures and Snort are an added bonus.  

Never will Al be forgotten!!!!  I'm thankful for the time we had with him here in Georgia.  
God Bless Al and those who's lives he touched.
Love,
Carrie Ann
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Calamity
August 10, 2010, 11:24pm Report to Moderator

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I have heard questions regarding some things in regards to Al's funeral.  Since they have come from more than one source, I will address them here so there are no misunderstandings, especially since I hold responsibility.

Flag line - those who stood the line did so because they believed Al deserved it as the patriot and champion of the Issue and our troops.  He never went anywhere without a flag - they flew on his house, his bike, he had decals on his truck and trailer, patches on his vests.

Saluting - those who did, chose to due to the way they respected Al.

Taps - Aside from other facts, Gunny is a stickler for what is right.  For those who did not see, he walked up to Al, snapped to attention and rendered Al the slow respectful salute.  He is the one who gave the order to the bugler to render Taps.  If Gunny was not ok with Taps, it would not have happened.

"Fist of solidarity" - Many of you never met Stretch Smaltz; he was a man like no other and googling might give you a bit of insight.  Aside from the POW-MIA Issue, an example is when the Amish children were murdered; overnight he organized a ride and raised thousands of dollars for that Community. His funeral was so many miles long, that our 24 hour news station reported on it in their traffic report.   From the time Lee Greenwood cut that song, it was sung at many events with Stretch leading the participants standing as we did at the cemetery.  If you remember at the Birthday Bash when Al sung it, he tried to get y'all to do that - it is respect and tradition and Al would not have had it any other way.

I didn't want to name names or organizations, since I figured I'd leave somebody out, but I think I need to try.  I again want to thank all for their show of respect for our Warriors' Watch brother and friend; we remember that we shared him with Sundance (his band), FotF, Abate, etc.  The assistance and generosity of our sister organization, Friends of the Forgotten North East Wing, was invaluable.  Kim (member of WW and FotF) is working hard on a headstone for Al; FotF NEW will spearhead and hold the funding as they are incorporated and have a treasury.  Participants in the funeral came from Rolling Thunder, the two Angel organizations in the Scranton area who share welcome home/send off responsibilities, HoG, Blue Comet MC, Al's former school. I thank all RCs who took the initiative to set up rally points and help get all there.  The pallbearers represented Al's band, WW and FotF.  The organizations chosen for donations: the musical scholarship (windshield decal money will go there) is being handled by Sundance; the bank account is set up.  The National Alliance of Families - look it up if you don't know.  These represented the two strongest interests in Al's life.

Snort is settled in his new home with Ashley and Patrick.  He's loving his new canine friends and family.

If I missed anyone, please let me know.  If anyone has any further question about anything, please feel free to ask me directly - sure beats guessing, assuming, whispering down the lane, and misunderstanding.  You may ask publically or privately.




In Memory of Daddy, Uncle Roy, Uncle Earl, Uncle Stan, Stretch, Al, Joe, Jake, Steve, Eddie & Kat
In honor of Capt. Walter Sigafoos and ADJ3 Paul Moser - still missing

"Perhaps they are not stars, but rather openings in Heaven where the love of our lost ones pours through and shines down upon us to let us know they are at peace."  Author unknown
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shooter
August 11, 2010, 11:15am Report to Moderator

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Location: NE Philly Fox Chase
Jane,
One does not have to have been in the Military to be a True Patriot. Al was a True American Patriot by all that it represents.
He lived his life that way and was treated as any Patriot should be in the end.
There are many politicians that never served.
Nuff said!


"If You Don't Stand For Something, You'll Fall For Anything".

http://www.streetshooter.us

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FUNGI
August 11, 2010, 11:41am Report to Moderator

Be Happy Laugh Often!
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Posts: 2,848
Location: Bucks County,   PA.
Quoted from shooter
Jane,
One does not have to have been in the Military to be a True Patriot. Al was a True American Patriot by all that it represents.
He lived his life that way and was treated as any Patriot should be in the end.
There are many politicians that never served.
Nuff said!


I agree with Don.  Who was Nuff?


If your not having FUN it's your own fault
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REDBEARD
August 11, 2010, 1:20pm Report to Moderator

WWR Coordinator
New Jersey
Posts: 3,296
Location: NEW JERSEY


As i just said in an email... and it pretty much sums up how I do feel ...

You can tell a true PATRIOT buy the uniform they often wear, NO MATTER if the uniforn was issued by the United States... Or at your local Leather Shop.

In my time of doing the Warriors Watch Missions...I have stood shoulder to shoulder with THE MOST Patriotic People I have ever met..... I DIDNT SAY "SOME of the most Patriotic".. I said "THE MOST".  And guess what, Lots of them purchased their uniforms at the Local Biker Shop.
I am surrounded by brothers and sisters who get what Patrotism is about....
Al, was indeed one of those individuals.... It was an Honor to know Him... To See how he stood for what was good and right in this Great Country... and to know that NOW HE is serving in the highest of High Military.  

Again... Rest in Peace Bluesman

God Bless
RedBeard


http://www.operationyellowribbonsouthjersey.org http://www.goldstarmoms.com
http://www.aheros-welcome.org http://www.njrunforthefallen.org

"For those who have fought for it , FREEDOM has a flavor the protected will never know"

US NAVY
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FUNGI
August 11, 2010, 3:35pm Report to Moderator

Be Happy Laugh Often!
Senior Member
Posts: 2,848
Location: Bucks County,   PA.
Well said Red.


If your not having FUN it's your own fault
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0Fatboy1
August 11, 2010, 3:51pm Report to Moderator

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Posts: 1,673
Location: Ridley Park, Pa.
I agree with Fungi "WELL SAID" Red, and thanks.


My responsibility, our responsibility as lucky Americans, is to try to give back to this country as much as it has given us, as we continue our American journey together.

Colin Powell
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Bobby
August 11, 2010, 11:27pm Report to Moderator

Mission Complete
Senior Member
Posts: 695
Location: Marietta GA
Thank you Jane for all of the clarity you bring to Al's service to his country, and to all of the people and organizations that meant so much to him.  He was a true and dedicated Patriot to the very last.  He surely deserved every salute, every unfurled flag, every tear, every song and every smile that was offered by his friends and brothers at his memorial service.  I am very sorry I couldn't be there to show my respect and admiration in person.  But I do thank all of you for the words and pictures to help us bridge the gap.

God bless the Bluesman......


Bobby Byrne
Marietta GA

Proud parents of
Sgt. Justin A. Schultz, USMC
OIF 08/06 - 05/07

Riding in honor of my dad,
Lt. Cmdr. Charlie Byrne, USN
WWII Vet

"The will of God will never take you
where the Grace of God will not protect you."
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Moonshine
August 12, 2010, 6:57am Report to Moderator

Senior Member
Posts: 2,018
Location: Kingston Georgia
Miss you Al-rest in peace.


Riding in Honor of
Clyde Holsclaw-USS Hornet WWII


Riding in memory of
Army Sgt. Howard Kelly "H.K." Edwards...My Pop and Hero
121st Infantry

PaPa Joe Blasingame-MAKE IT BIG!

Al "Bluesman" Philo

SSgt Norman Hampton Currin
101st Airborne Ranger

"Cherish your freedom and guard it with honor and respect,
for it carries the blood of those that gave it to you"
                  Author Unknown

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Calamity
August 20, 2010, 1:17pm Report to Moderator

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WORDS FROM AL'S CO-WORKER AT THE SCHOOL


I'm sorry I didn't know he was prepared to say something; we all should've been able to hear this.

Good Afternoon. My name is Jim Wilson and I have been the vocal music teacher at Schuylkill Elementary School in Phoenixville for 29 years; that’s one less year than Al taught instrumental music at the same school. Al and I worked together in the same hallway as musical partners and friends for 17 years. I’m hoping in that my relationship with Al was at a different time and in different circumstances that my perspective on his life will be unique. When Al retired from teaching public school in 1998 I gave him a spoken tribute including a song and it lasted over an hour. I could go on and on about Al Philo, but I certainly won’t do that today.
I’d like to just briefly talk about three aspects of Al; Al the teacher, Al the humorist and Al the musician.
“Al the Teacher” was an amazing guy. When I arrived at Schuylkill in 1981, public schools didn’t have all these mentoring programs that teachers have to go through today. It was just “you’re the teacher, here’s your room, the kids will be here tomorrow, GO!” I was lucky though, because I HAD a mentoring program. It was Al Philo! Al had been teaching 13 years and he gave me the valuable stuff that you don’t learn anywhere but on the job; how to handle certain parents, which teachers you could trust, how to handle our principal, and of course, how to effectively deal with kids. When The Friends of the Forgotten visited our school for our Veterans Day ceremony it was always quite an event, but it always became the most meaningful when Al got the mic, and commanded the attention and interest of 700 six-twelve year olds. He knew just what to say and how to say it. Our principal has plans to honor Al’s memory at our school’s Veterans’ Day ceremony this coming November.
We all know that when Al was passionate about something, he was PASSIONATE! This is obvious to anyone associated with the POW MIA cause. I remember his passion for model airplanes which he used to build and fly in Valley Forge Park, and then what started out, I think, as a closet passion for motorcycles came out in full force. You may or may not know that in the late ‘80’s or early ‘90’s Al had a bout with vertigo. His balance was really so awful that he would walk down the hallway as close to the wall as possible to avoid falling. I saw him fall “right out of the blue” in the middle of the cafeteria one day! So Al comes up and tells me that he’s thinking of getting a motorcycle. I said “Al, for a guy who’s having trouble just standing up and walking, do you think a bike is really that good an idea?” He responded “Jim, I’m improving, and I think I can handle it; just
don’t tell my mom”. He started with a small bike, (I think it was a Honda) before getting what he really wanted!
“Al the Humorist”. While Al could be passionate, his sense of humor was something to be reckoned with. It’s always that “quiet kid” you have to watch out for. My cousin who was in Al’s class at school from first grade all the way through high school referred to him as “goodie two shoes Alan”. This might be because she was a behavior problem and he wasn’t, but either way, I thought “are we talking about the same guy?” Whenever something would go wrong within the teaching staff at school, or better yet, in the upper administration, people would, as in all workplaces, sit around and complain about it; often loudly! Al would not. He would quietly sit and listen, but if you watched his eyes, you could see that everything was going in and being processed. You all know that look I’m talking about! Within a day or two those of us on staff would get a memo in our mailboxes face down authored by one of two pen names; either Auf Weit or Clare S. Mudd. Auf Weit (pronounced “off white”) came from a time when there were many changes being made in the district by administration with no consultation of the teachers whatsoever. When the teachers’ union gave a list of questions regarding these decisions to the superintendent, he responded by sending out a series of “white papers” or papers simply describing the program or decision in question. It could have been about the social studies curriculum, how to handle behavior problems or, I suppose just about anything. Al countered by providing us with a series of “off white papers” dealing with similar subjects but with the “Al Philo twist. Clare S. Mudd was the fictitious name of the superintendent of the Happy Valley School District. Happy Valley was Phoenixville in disguise and there were several characters that directly reflected us and situations that reflected ours. The names were all changed, but you knew he was talking about. My favorite character was a boy named Chester Ferguson who continually repeated the third grade. He was in third grade so long that eventually he rode his Harley to school. The things that Al wrote were so “on the mark” about the goings on at work and so very, very funny, that I would run to my room, read them, and the tears would just roll down my face. Now many of the staff knew who the true author of these treatises was, but some people had no idea at all that it was Al. He had an incredible command of the English language, and was a really good writer. No pomp and circumstance, just understated humor and intelligence. (One only has to read his recipe for “Bluesman’s Chili” which does tell you how to make the chili, but revolves around drinking a case of beer in the process.)
“Al the Musician” I knew quite well, and while I think I enjoyed “Al the Humorist” the most, we were both hired to make music and his passion to do that drove much of what went on at Schuylkill during our years together. Al graduated from West Chester State College in 1968 with a Bachelors’ degree in music education and took the job at Schuylkill the same year. He was a tuba major! I heard him play the tuba and he was good! I saw the picture at the condolences site of him playing the accordion. I never knew, but if I had, I would have requested a performance on that as well. We all knew Al best for his guitar playing. I remember his playing with the “Country Sensations Band”, later to become “Sundance” and you could tell that that’s where “Al the Musician” was happiest. He used to say “Jim, I could never be a keyboardist like you, it’s just too restricting”; when I’m bending strings while I play guitar, some nights I want to bend a little, others I want to bend that sucker up until it almost breaks!” You can’t do that on a keyboard! He appreciated all kinds of music, and was a big fan of Les Paul and Spike Jones.
One time a local radio station was sponsoring a “call in/write in” contest where the listener was supposed to vote for “the best guitar solo of all time”. I got to thinking about that and had some thoughts, but my best thought was “I wonder what Al thinks?” So when I got to school I asked him his opinion. He sat there stoically for a very short time, and as I was expecting something by one of the accepted guitar giants, he said, I believe it is in a song from the band Blues Image called “Ride Captain, Ride”. He said his reason was that “each note is right where it belongs, and no note lasts any longer than it needs to last”. Now as musicians we have all sorts of ways to describe what we play or hear, but doesn’t that statement just strip right down to the basics of what music is? “Each note is right where it belongs, and no note lasts any longer than it needs to last”. In its simplicity, it’s brilliant. Understated Al. While reminiscing this past week, I Youtubed “Ride Captain, Ride” and found only one site where you can actually see the band playing it. It smacks in all ways of 1970 which is the year it was released, and I believe it was a “one hit wonder”. I love the solo which not only plays by itself but also accompanies the vocal part. I was saying to my wife last week that I believe the solo musically describes Al, and she said “do you think it’s because of its understated, elegant nature?” Of course I think it is! Furthermore, I think the lyrics are most appropriate. If you’ll indulge me, I’d like to read them.
Seventy-three men sailed up from the San Francisco Bay
Rolled off of their ship, and here’s what they had to say
“We’re callin’ everyone to ride along to another shore
We can laugh our lives away and be free once more”
But no one heard them callin’, no one came at all
‘Cause they were too busy watchin’ those old raindrops fall
As a storm was blowin’ out on the peaceful sea
Seventy-three men sailed off to history
Ride, Captain ride upon your mystery ship
Be amazed at the friends you have here on your trip
Ride captain ride upon your mystery ship
On your way to a world that others might have missed
Ride, Captain Ride
Ride, Bluesman Ride
Ride, Alan Ride
And ride, he did.
Godspeed Bluesman.
Thank you for listening to what I’ve had to say. At whatever time we knew Al, his qualities showed through to us, and because of knowing him, we remain forever changed


In Memory of Daddy, Uncle Roy, Uncle Earl, Uncle Stan, Stretch, Al, Joe, Jake, Steve, Eddie & Kat
In honor of Capt. Walter Sigafoos and ADJ3 Paul Moser - still missing

"Perhaps they are not stars, but rather openings in Heaven where the love of our lost ones pours through and shines down upon us to let us know they are at peace."  Author unknown
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