Larry & Joyce Wedding Photos May 6, 1967


My younger brother, Lawrence John Reilly Jr., was married to Joyce E. Gillich on May 6, 1967.  Barely more than two years later, Larry was one of 74 sailors lost in the sinking of the USS Frank E. Evans (DD-754).

Joyce & Larry

Joyce & Larry

I was still at West Point at the time, a month shy of graduation, so was not able to attend the wedding.  My brother Gerald Thomas Reilly, youngest of the three boys in the family, was Larry’s Best Man.

Jerry & Larry

Jerry & Larry

You may now kiss the bride!

Larry & Joyce Share First Kiss as Husband & Wife

Larry & Joyce Share First Kiss as Husband & Wife

My parents, Lawrence John Reilly Sr. and Marion Thomas Reilly, were in attendance at the wedding and happy to pose with the bride & groom.

Dad Joyce Larry Mom

Dad Joyce Larry Mom

And then they were off on their honeymoon.

Joyce & Larry

Joyce & Larry

In their two short years of marriage, Larry completed one deployment to Vietnam and was on his second when the Evans was sunk.  He was not yet 21 years old when killed and barely had a chance to know his son, Lawrence John Reilly III, who was just 13 months old at the time.

I have one photo of four generations of Lawrence Reillys (my grandfather’s name was Lawrence Ambrose Reilly):

Grandpa Pop & Larry with Larry III

Grandpa Pop & Larry with Larry III


For more on the sinking of the Evans, see my earlier blog post here:

Mt. Tamalpais & Muir Woods Railway 117th Anniversary


Today (Sunday, August 18, 2013) is the 117th Anniversary of the founding of the Mt. Tamalpais & Muir Woods Railway, which wound its way up the slopes of Mt. Tamalpais in Marin County, California.  The Mt. Tam railroad, often referred to as “The Crookedest Railroad in the World”, had 266 curves over its 8.19 mile distance!  The railroad operated until the summer of 1930, then shut down and the tracks were torn up.

Parts of the old route in downtown Mill Valley, and the nearby residential neighborhoods, were built over and partially paved to create Fern Canyon Road and upper Summit Avenue.  What is left of the railroad grade is now a fire road and was one of my favorite places to run in the 1980’s and 1990’s.  I ran part or all of it with most of my running partners in those days, including sons Doug & Matt, Eric Nygren, Tom Hurst and Toby George.  On one occasion, my friend and running partner from the Orange County DA’s office, Doug Woodsmall, visited Mill Valley and we ran the full length of the railroad grade from bottom to top and back.








For more information on the Mt. Tamalpais & Muir Woods Railway, see this Wikipedia article:

And for an interesting short documentary about the railroad produced in 1976 for the Marin County American Bicentennial Commission, see this YouTube video:

And here for additional video footage of the railroad from the Marin County Free Library:

Wheel of Fortune “Wheelmobile” Event at Jackson Rancheria


Candy & I went to the Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort yesterday (Saturday, August 17, 2013) for this event, in the hopes that I would be selected for an audition to be a contest on Wheel of Fortune.

The event was held in the casino’s convention hall, which holds just over 1000 people. They did three shows, during each of which names were selected at random from among applications placed in a big drum. They picked names in groups of five, for a total of about 50 during each show. So, about a 5% chance of being selected for an audition. Each group, after being interviewed, played one “speed up” round puzzle.

The show’s “Pat Sajak” was a high energy guy named Marty and they had a substitute “Vanna White” named Morgan. I was not selected during the first show, so back in line for the second. While waiting in line, the woman in front of me asked me to take her picture in front of the Wheelmobile, which I did. In return, she took mine, too, and promised to send it to me. She ended up being one of the people selected during the show, but I was not … again … so back in line for the third show.

This time, however, mine was the third slip picked in the first group of the show, so I got my audition! Marty kept telling us that energy and enthusiasm (not my best personality characteristics) were important in the selection process, so I decided I needed to do something different than the other contestants. Therefore, when it was my turn to be interviewed, I walked over and gave Marty a big hug. He laughed and called it a “bro hug”.

He then asked me to introduce myself, to which I replied with something like:

“My name is Jim Reilly. I am a trial attorney and I have a fiancee, four kids, a dog, four cats and ten granddogs.”

In response to his question about what I like to do in my free time, said:

“I collect casino chips, play online strategy football and root for the California Golden Bears. Go Bears!”

We then did our puzzle, which was a “place” and looked like this:

____ / ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ / ____ ____ ____

The first two players guessed G and N, filling in the last two letters of the middle word in reverse order. I guessed A, hoping to get something besides the first letter, but didn’t. After several misses (including mine of M), the next guess was T, which filled the 3rd and 4th spaces of the second word. Then the fifth player guessed O, the 2nd and 3rd letters of the last word, and correctly solved the puzzle:


All of the auditions will be reviewed by the show’s producers and those selected for final auditions will be notified in two to three months. So, now, we’ll just have to wait & see.

After the Wheel show, Candy & I had dinner at the casino’s buffet, then I played poker while she played the slot machines (of which this huge casino has 1600). I played $1-2 No Limit Hold ‘Em for about four hours and won $267! So, all in all, a pretty good day.

Wheel of Fortune Wheelmobile at Jackson Rancheria 1


The Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort Facebook page is here: