Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Tuesday Tidbits

While back in Northlandia we received news of the passing of Wendell Dillavou.  Wendell was 94 years old and a resident of Aledo.  So why is old Wendell being featured on EIB today?  I have talked before about Uncle Ed, my time on his farm and his side jobs of baling hay and shelling corn for a few area farmers.  

Wendell was one of the farmers we worked with, along with Bub Greer and his sons Tobe, Jim and Butch, Jim Orth, and Howard Shike.  Wendell is the last of old guard.  Only ones left besides me are Bub's kids Tobe and Butch. Nice guy, I saw Wendell at Antique Days car show last year and again when I attended church with Mark and Holly this past year.   

Outside the funeral home for visitation and funeral was one of his antique John Deere tractors with an American flag flying proudly.   

This is a picture of the breakfast hour at Doug's Town & Country restaurant.  I suspect it is like many all across the country where farmers, businessmen and friends gather to discuss everything.  While in Northlandia I used to go over to McDonald's to scab their Wi-Fi to get the morning news and work on my fantasy teams and people gather over there, too.  It is a time-honored ritual of small town.  They may do it in big cities, too, but the small town version is quainter.  

Doug's is also home to the best Biscuits and Gravy anywhere.  I don't know what he does, but the gravy I'm sure is the usual packaged or canned variety and the biscuits are frozen, not homemade, but together that are the best. 

Watching the pre-game NFL shows reminded me of the trend DOA which seems prevalent today.  DOA? Dumbing of America.  These adult men, some past Social Security age, sit around and giggle and grab-ass like 14 year olds junior high boys ogling breast bumps.   I have nothing against fun or breast bumps - it is their inanity I have a problem with.  At one point they even mentioned, amid great hilarity, some kind of support group for Michael Strahan's haircut.  Their blather is embarrassing; once you get to the games you get decent analysis, but its a long slog getting there if you are glued to the tube.

For those who can't go too long without a Norah Update: 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Pat's Hummingbird

Right outside her new sunroom, Pat has a hummingbird feeder.  I noticed this lady-bird spending a few seconds sipping then moving on.  I'm no ornithologist, but if I were I'd say she had a circuit that she plied.  Sure enough in about 15 minutes she returned, and repeated her activity. 

You may be asking how I know she is a female.  Easy enough, Pat told me she was.  Apparently the males are brighter and more colorful than the ladies.     

It was really pretty easy to get this guy.  I just put the camera on the tripod, edged it close to the sliding glass door in Pat's sunroom and just waited for her to make her circuit back to the feeder. 

I take no particular credit for these shots.   A really good photographer would have lowered the exposure time to the point where you would not have noticed the blurred wings.  But I am not a really good photographer so you get what you can and hope for improvement down the road. 

Hummingbirds are in that rare class of animal where everyone likes them, kind of like koalas and pandas. They are a unique and fun bird to watch and capture on film.  Pat is lucky to have a wonderful place to view and admire them.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Flashback Friday

Today's post concerns a tombstone found at Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah when we visited the Sutors last May.  This is posted on the same day Mr. Sutor has written about the same subject on his blog Bodine-DILLIGAF.  So, when done here wander over to his blog and read his.   Jeff is a far better writer than me, so I'm sure you will enjoy his entry immensely.  The link to his blog is listed on the right side of this page. 

Theodore Prendergast only lived seven years but he has made an impression on folks for generations.  Amongst the thousands (5,800 interments in the old section) of graves and stones at Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah, most with ornate Victorian imagery,  sits a heartbreaking angel holding and pointing to a written stone which reads, "Papa's Sweetheart".  Underneath sits a carved rolled paper which says "Our Darling Boy."  And underneath it all the usual birth and death dates: February 25, 1992 - May 9, 1909. 

Unlike some of the famous and notable burials at Bonaventure, I wasn't able to find anything about Teddy and his life, family or unfortunate passing at a young age.   Perhaps that as it should be.  His life and time was linked with his parents and particularly, it would seem with his father.  His life was not linked to us, the strangers passing by who stop, stare, and then shuffle on to the next eye-catching stone edifice.  We will never know the story that played out when it came to making arrangements for the stone.  Why was Teddy special to Papa rather than Momma, or both?  Was Momma already gone?  If there were graves for his folks, I didn't see them.  How did Teddy die? 

The only thing readily evident to us is why Papa so loved him.  We all know how that happens, don't we.  The first smile, the first time he uttered "Papa", and the first time one of them grabbed for the other's hand.  The joking, the hugs, the puffed chest of a proud father exhibiting his boy in public.  Love isn't a cascade, it' a trickle of small happenings that grow on the heart until there is nothing else that heart can beat for.  It is an inexpressible longing when absent, and a security when they are together.

Teddy probably wasn't anything other than any other kid.  Thinking only of today, that's what he ended up with.  Very little tomorrows, just today.  And for those few days, he seemed to have spent them winning his father's heart, so much that Papa had it carved in stone for posterity, "Papa's Sweetheart."

I think Teddy serves as a kind of beacon, an  unknown son, if you will, for the bond between Spring and Offspring and the totally monumental shift in their lives when they lose each other.  Teddy and his parents' anguish has been silent and assuaged for over a hundred years, but that stone, that plea from Papa that this boy was special to him continues to point to some universal truths.

  • Love never dies.  The generals and idiots who would kill us, separate us and end our time together may win the day, but people's love for each other lasts for eternity.   
  • Love has a price.  When a child is born a parent doubles their happiness as well as their sorrow .If you are lucky enough to have more happiness than sorrow, then you are rich.
  • Love is the only real commodity worth hoarding.  Everything else is just glittery bauble.  
Teddy is my child and yours.  Papa is every father who felt the pangs of letting go.  The separation and the indestructible bond.  This place, this stone,  this grave marks for us all that we are and all that we have.  It's a memorial to ourselves and our ultimate fate.  
Teddy and Papa only had seven years, but you have a lifetime; tell your children and loved ones how you feel.  Don't be embarrassed, its OK, real men express their feelings freely and without reservation.  That lonely stone that sits atop Theodore Prendergast, age 7, is as timely today as it was when it was carved 105 years ago.  It doesn't whisper among the moss and stately oaks in this city of the dead, it shouts.  It screams to us all.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Second Barge

Remember the post of September 3rd?  It was a barge coming up the river and ended up being a twofer.  Right behind it was another barge.  I stuck around and took some more pictures before heading back to Aledo and to bed.     

This is the Joseph Patrick Eckstein, a towboat in the Marquette Transportation Company based out of Paducah.  The JP Eckstein was built in 1978 and is 140 feet long.  

Peeking into the wheelhouse we see the Captain or pilot conversing with another crew member.  To the captain's/pilot's immediate left is a computer aiding with the mapping and navigation.  If I were a younger fellow, I'd apply and do the river thing which is working 28 days with 28 days off.    

I knew a guy from Seaton who worked on the river barges.  You know?  The more I think about it, the more it sounds like a great job.  I think I will apply.  I'll let you know what I find out.   

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Galva Freedom Fest Car Show - Part 2

I used to do a lot of car shows when I was a resident in Northlandia.  I found them relaxing and a great way to show off what is called in some quarters "rolling art".   I had some pretty great cars back then and coming home with a trophy wasn't unusual.  When I moved to Florida I moved the cars and we can debate some other time how wise that decision was.  Nowadays after having purchased a pristine and rare Dodge 880 whenever I am in Northlandia I try to catch a show.  Last year I was able to go to the Railroad Days Car Show in G-Burg and this year I had the opportunity to attend Galva's show after Miss Frump was released front the hospital.  She is no trophy-getter, and 4 door's are generally considered bottom-feeders, but I like having something no one else has, so I bought the Frump and hope to add another at some point before I cash in my chips.  

Having said all that, it was fun to get back in the show scene if only for a day.  JC joined me with her Pontiac Fiero so I had good company for the day, which, sometimes can drag if you don't have things to do to keep you occupied.  

Good company, a visit from S-I-L Patti, lots of neat cars and a lunch special that was pretty decent and you have the makings of a fun day.  No, neither one of us got a trophy, but if you lower your expectations, then walking away empty handed doesn't hurt so much.  

Here, then, are some pictures of some of the cars on display.  

Great park setting with lots of room for everyone.  

There's the Frump sitting regally next to a 66 Ford Galaxie and a 62 Chevy Impala.

This was a trophy winning Buick.  

A really nice 67 Plymouth Fury.  I had one of these back in high school.  It was a 4-door, however.

I haven't the foggiest idea what this monstrosity is.  It is some kind of freak car changed to drag thingie.  Horrible.  But certainly garnered a lot of attention.  And why not, kind of like walking around with your dick out.  

An over-presented new car that has been featured in some movie, complete with references to passages from the Bible.  I'm rendered mute.

A Viper.

A 1956 Messerschmitt.

A non-stock, customized and bastardized 1942 Ford.

I have no idea what this is.  A customized dune buggy?  Can you tell I like stock/factory cars rather than garage re-do's?  I wouldn't be caught dead in this thing, and I'd rather take a bus to the beach than this.

Buy a new truck, paint some stuff on it, put a flag on it and take it to a car show.  And probably win something.  Ugh.

Just like a novelty song like the Monster Mash, this is a car show novelty:  a hearse with a casket cooler being towed.  There are shows exclusively for vehicles of this type.  I think a hearse is fine to show if it is stock, they are unique; but doing it this way cheapens it, I think.  I'm in the minority on my views, since this was a well attended entry, but for me, dignity is sacrificed when you turn a regal car into a circus attraction. 

Oh Lord.  I saw something like this hanging on my ceiling once.

Always popular 'Vettes.

Food at these things are always quite good if limited.  Pork burgers, brats or hot dogs are usually the choices and always, always good.  Today for about six bucks you got the sandwich, some coleslaw, a bag of chips and a soda.  Plus, any proceeds goes to next year's car show costs.

Well, great.  It was a fun day and now I have several other old car options to choose from in the next couple of weeks.  The apex will be the Bushnell Car Show on the 23rd.  It is a good one because they have actual judging and judging sheets.  I'm interested in seeing how the Frump does in that setting, rather than the "participant" judging that seems so skewed toward flashy red muscle car types.  

Finally, there is nothing quite like driving down the road in something 50 years old that most people have never seen before.  It's heady to get those stares.  It was fun to be back and doing what I spent a lot of time doing back in the day.