Monday, June 30, 2008

And These Are My Cars

The top picture is Baby, my '62 Plymouth that not only has an interesting and famous history in Detroit circles, but has quite a story with my having it in the first place. The lower picture is my '67 Chrysler Newport, or as we call it around here, Moneypit. And thanks Drew for enjoying the car show pics.

The history of the Plymouth is still, after all these years quite entertaining. Just before actual production was to begin a Plymouth executive overheard at a cocktail party that Chevy was producing a small more compact car. Misunderstanding the information, he then rushed to other execs on Monday morning claiming Chevy was downsizing for '62. Keep in mind all of the dyes had been cast, the long hours of designing a car has been 2 years in the making.

Well, when the president of Chrysler got wind of this he scrapped the previous design for Plymouth (and Dodge) and began to shorten the wheelbase. From what i understand, factories went around the clock for a couple of weeks re-engineering a small, shorter Plymouth.

This is the original version of the Plymouth before downsizing.
When the car was finished and the line was rolled out to dealerships, a collective shriek occurred at the short dumpy car. Many dealerships in fact quit Plymouth, and sales were one of the worst ever for the company. The Chrysler president claimed the car looked like a "plucked chicken".
And what about that Chevy rumor. The Chevy man was speaking not about downsizing all Chevys but rather introducing the Chevy II, a smaller more compact car.

And More Still

Wild color for this Mopar. Club members 56 Dodge Royal Lancer. Didn't Roy Rader have something like this?

This picture doesn't do justice to this Buick Riviera
The Mayberry Sheriff's department was there.
One of the retro Challengers.

More Railroad Days

This is the "Smart" Car, super small, super green car distributed by Mercedes.
I'm not a Mustang fan but this was a beautiful and immaculate '65. This is a roadster put together by a local Christian group. They take as many parts as possible from Midway Auto parts (junk yard), clean, refurbish, paint and voile! a cool car. They do this every year, sell for profit, take proceeeds to do another car and give to charity anything left over.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Railroad Days Car Show

Before heading to Galesburg to help man the Western Illinois Antique Auto Club car show I stopped in to the firestation for breakfast. Biscuits and gravy, eggs and sausage along with coffee and orange juice is a great way to start the day. I actually hate helping my Club do this car show because few members have any particular assignments. There is a guy at the entrance who determines class, and there are people along the route to usher them down the sidewalk, but after that there isn't a lot of real help parking, and that is what is really needed. I have told the president of the Club that there should be at least two members parking in each of the 5 quadrants (I know, the math there stinks). Actually there are 4 quadrants in the park itself, but we also use the extensive parking lot to the south of the courthouse. It turns out to be a real cluster, in fact last year the accouncer at the show had to ask, over the loudspeaker) for members to help park. Nobody likes to park so other members just congregate around their buddies and yak leaving most of the parking to two or three people.

The Oldies Section, and I'm not just talking about the cars.

Crowded Class

Camaros and Vettes

A local magician attempting to get the members to help park. Sadly he soon disappeared.

I see this car all the time and have always liked it, for two reasons. Its a hot Plymouth and younger sister to my 62.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Contest Winner

Will the anonymous individual who said the Florida region around Tarpon Springs was depicted in the photo from the plane please send me their address so I can send them a certificate for DQ. After looking at the map it is close enough for a win. We're going with that one.

New T-Shirt Causes Stir

We have been receiving a newsletter put out by Brendan's home base at Ft. Campbell since his first deployment. The volunteer representatives to help with the deployed soldiers families made a T-shirt a couple of years ago that Nancy saw at the welcoming home ceremony. In the newsletter of a couple of months ago they had an order blank and I bought a T for myself, Nancy, Mackenzie and Drew. Last night I wore it for the first time to Crappy's North (forced to go by neighbor Tim against my will) and it seemed to be quite a hit. One person even offered to give me $5.00 if I wear it next Thursday to Dick Blick on casual Thursday. Several females considerably younger than myself even pointed and then had a glassy look on their faces, to which I will not attempt to interpret. Anyway here is a front and back picture of the shirt.



Friday, June 27, 2008

Why Guys Shouldn't Be Advise Columnists

Dear Walter:

I hope you can help me here. The other day I set off for work leaving my husband in the house watching the TV as usual. I hadn't gone more than a mile down the road when my engine conked out and the car shuddered to a halt.

I walked back home to get my husband's help. When I got home I couldn't believe my eyes. He was in the bedroom with a neighbor lady making mad passionate love to her. I am 32, my husband is 34 and we have been married for twelve years. When I confronted him, he tried to make out that he went into the back yard and heard a lady scream, had come to her rescue but found her unconscious.

He'd carried the woman back to our house, laid her in bed, and began CPR. When she awoke she immediately began thanking him and kissing him and he was attempting to break free when I came back. But when I asked him why neither of them had any clothes on, he broke down and admitted that he'd been having an affair for the past six months. I told him to stop or I would leave him.
He was let go from his job six months ago and he says he has been feeling increasingly depressed and worthless. I love him very much, but ever since I gave him the ultimatum he has become increasingly distant. I don't feel I can get through to him anymore. Can you please help?Sincerely,

Mrs. Sheila Usk

Dear Sheila: A car stalling after being driven a short distance can be caused by a variety of faults with the engine. Start by checking that there is no debris in the fuel line. If it is clear, check the jubilee clips holding the vacuum pipes onto the inlet manifold.
If none of these approaches solves the problem, it could be that the fuel pump itself is faulty, causing low delivery pressure to the carburetor float chamber.I hope this helps,


Thursday, June 26, 2008


Specialist Blythe requested no face pictures, but did say this would be OK.

Specialist Blythe is stationed at Camp Oryan (looks odd but is the correct spelling, I am told) a small garrison of 125 101st Airborne soldiers not too far from Camp Anaconda. Both camps are close to Balak and not terribly far from Baghdad. He is coming home in October-November, he is not sure and both Nancy and I will be at Ft. Campbell when his plane arrives.
For those who do not know, the welcoming home ceremony is one of the most emotional experiences I have had, and is precisely what the Army wants. Now imagine families from all over: wives, girlfriends, husbands, brothers, mothers and dads, you name it converging in an area to their soldier return. They take you by bus after a security review, to a large hangar with bleachers on either side. Hanging from the rafters are giant pennants of various divisions or squadrons within the larger company. You walk in and USO volunteers offer you a doughnut, coffee, juice or chips and then you find a place to sit.
Periodically a chipper fellow will go up to a podium microphone and announce that the plane is now 40 minutes from landing and that elicits loud whoop from the crowd. A little time passes and then someone in the back puts on the patriotic Lee Greenwood song, God Bless the USA"...and I swear there isn't a dry eye in the building. Big, old, lumbering men attempting to stifle back a tear (oh, that's right, that was me!). As the songs proceed, and all are of the patriotic type, we still have that chipper PR guy bounding onto the stage to tell us that our soldiers are now only 15 minutes away, and will we please exit the building to go to the viewing bleachers just outside the hangar. I'm telling you we haven't even begun to peak yet.
After we find ourselves outside, we then people watch. Looking at all these far-flung different individuals from all across the country with only one thing in common between us...the tear-inducing expectation of seeing our soldier and finally being able to shake loose the fear that has hovered over all of us for 12 months (this time 15). Our PR guy approaches the mic and informs us that our soldiers are now in sight and if we look over to the right we can see the landing lights of that wonderful, gorgeous bird. And there it is, inhale for a breath or is it to stop a tear, the plane comes in and lands amid shouts of joy, and love and all those days and nights we had to be brave and endure the newscasts and scenes of carnage.
Then a kind of hush, out of exhaustion or maybe just wondering how much our psyches can handle. The plane comes to a stop in front of the viewing bleachers but is still a long ways off.
Next, stair ramp glides in front of a door and the door opens. But no, they won't let us have them yet. A color guard bearing the Screaming Eagles standard and the American flag march smartly to either side of the latest heroes to arrive on home soil. And then, there they are. Full gear uniforms, helmets, and travel bag they come stepping down the stairs and the crowd yells noon stop and many simply applaud. How many was it 200 or 300 off the plane and like a line of ants walk over to the right of the viewing stands out of sight. The funny thing was, I spotted Specialist Blythe right away, with that loping gait and sure enough when the helmet came off, there he was. Takes your breath away.
Now the PR guy tells us to re-enter the hangar and off we go. Everyone back in and the crowd is loud with anticipation and people relating their stories and feelings and anything just to be talking and trying to be normal. When we return we now have a marching live band to play music for us. And then, the PR guy approaches the mic and as we crane our necks to hear he yells, "Ladies and Gentlemen, your Screaming Eagles!" and I swear the tears start up again as the entire left side of the hangar opens and the soldiers march in smart rows toward the dais. And now the screaming multitudes cannot be silenced as the Army drives us to a point of feverish fervor that borders on the criminal.
After a few remarks from the dignitaries and chaplain the ceremony is over. They still get him till a later time, but we have 15 minutes to hug, bless, squeeze, and brush the tears away.

Here are some pics of that ceremony.

Ugly Dog Contest - Part II

Daughter Kenzie had this to say about Gus, the ugly, ugly dog who won this years Ugly Dog Contest, one again proving it is a small world.

"These people actually live in St Pete. The mother came to me three days ago to help her find an outfit to wear to "The Morning Show!!" How awesome.... her ugly doggy is making them all famous. Do you think Stinky could ever do the same??


Well, I'm not sure who stinky is but she better not be making fun of my buddy Bishop.

I Miss My Bike

Copy and Paste in your search engine.

Cute Joke

The boss wondered why one of his most valued employees was absent but
had not phoned in sick one day. Needing to have an urgent problem with
one of the main computers resolved, he dialed the employee's home
phone number and was greeted with a child's whisper. " Hello ? "

"Is your daddy home?" he asked.

" Yes ," whispered the small voice.
May I talk with him?"

The child whispered, " No ."

Surprised and wanting to talk with an adult, the boss asked, "Is your
Mommy there?" " Yes ."

"May I talk with her?" Again the small voice whispered, " No ."

Hoping there was somebody with whom he could leave a message, the boss
asked, "Is anybody else there?"

" Yes ," whispered the child, " a policeman. "

Wondering what a cop would be doing at his employee's home, the boss
asked, "May I speak with the policeman?"

" No, he's busy, " whispered the child.

"Busy doing what?"

"Talking to Daddy and Mommy and the Fireman ," came the whispered

Growing more worried as he heard a loud noise in the background, the
boss asked, "What is that noise?"

" A helicopter " answered the whispering voice.

"What is going on there?" demanded the boss, now truly apprehensive.
Again, whispering, the child answered, " The search team just landed
a helicopter ."

Alarmed, concerned and a little frustrated the boss asked, "What are
they searching for?"

Still whispering, the young voice replied with a muffled giggle... "
ME ."

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Ultimate for Cubs Fans

Here is a website for our obnoxious Cubs fans to be eternally linked to their team. Be sure to check out the "Eternal Image" link on the left for a neat looking urn.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

More Seaton Sesquicentennial

Mike, Ivan Ewing, and twin Mark

There were rows of old tractors lined against both sides of Main street, and some people selling what looked like yard-sale stuff. What was somewhat amazing was the lack of food vendors. Evidently there was a breakfast but nothing offered for mid-day, and the cafe was closed.

The parade was manned by the tractors, a few old cars, various little people and their dogs, two fire trucks, two politicians, and one horse. In one of the old cars were the two oldest (most seasoned) Seaton residents, Ruth Harlan and Cap Fair. Saw Dave Olson, Ida Steepleton, and here is a picture of Mark and I with Ivan Ewing who was a fellow conspirator when we were younger and living in Seaton.
One of the stories we told was one time we came across some road kill down by the school. We found a Seaton Bank check, made out to "Sponge", aka John Seaton, owner of the bank who "soaked" up money, and hoisted the badger, with check in paw, up the bank flagpole. Guess it was an interesting thing the nest day when Gary Greer, bank worker, brought the badger down. No word on if the check was cashed.
The second story involved Ivan, Mark and I having obtained some great M-80 firecrackers. Now, back in those days, a single M-80 was something like a fifth of a stick of dynamite. Anyway, that's what we thought. Ben Board was building a house right next to us and didn't particularly like kids, so we fashioned time-release detonations. Late one summer night we put cigarettes minus the filter to the fuse of these babies and put them on some eaves and guttering of the house. I believe we did 4. Once lit we had approximately 6-7 minutes before they went off, plenty of time for Mark and I to get in bed, and Ivan went up to the school to see the show. As Ivan related, he waited and finally saw a couple of flashes then the loud booms. Mark and I lay as quiet as possible in bed with the covers over our heads. Then silence. A couple of dogs barking, but no more booms, until a bit later and then again, Boom-Boom! We heard Herb ( our dad, jump out of bed go down the hallway, and then return, opens our bedroom door, slowly closes it and we heard him telling mom, "Thank God its not our boys."

Seaton Sesquicentennial

Saturday was the 125th birthday party for Seaton, my hometown. My brother Mark called and wondered if I'd like to join he and his wife Holly. I didn't really want to but he had asked me to go to Menard's to get him a couple of flag swags, and i wanted to get them to him so I went. It ended up being a fairly OK time because after the parade I went up with Mark and Holly to Aledo to the Club for a beer or two.


The picture in the contest showing a lake area is not Tarpon Springs Florida. Nice try. I'll give you a clue however: we had been flying for some time before I took that picture, so it is definitely north of Florida. I'm thinking Tennessee or north Georgia. Keep checking, however, a free DQ is on the line!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Ugliest Dog Contest Winner

Hey. did you see the pooch who recently won the ugliest dog contest. He is a one-eyed, three-legged hairless mutt that is from Tampa Florida. Here is that winner, boy what a dog! Hey Nancy, how would you like to take that for a walk around the apartment complex?

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Subscribing To This Blog

Two people have said to me that they have not received an email for update. This blog doesn't work that way. If you are interested in this, and I can't really understand why, bookmark the site, or put it as a shortcut on your screen. I try to add something everyday or so, but I won't email when I have done so.
Now, if you scroll clear down to the bottom of the page, you will see a "subscribe to posts" or something like that. If you want an email message on the updates, I think you follow those instructions.
Now get back to your atlas and figure out where that lake is!

Last Pictures of Florida Trip

These are pictures taken from seat 12 A, Allegiant flight 826 last Sunday on my home from St. Petersburg Florida. The first three are after take off and are scenes of the Tampa area. The fourth picture is unknown, but with that distinctive lake area it would be fun to see where that is. OK, class, your assignment is to find out where that area is, and report back in the "comment" section. First person to come up with it wins a prize!! The last one is of a nice cloud formation.

And finally, I thought this picture was really cool. It is the shadow of the plane on a cloud bank, and oddly, is encircled by a rainbow. Click on the picture to enlarge.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Shhh, Don't Tell Momma

Nancy and I had breakfast at Gayle's Restaurant. It was kind of like those little boxcar diners you see in the movies. Right across the street was this adult bookstore. Love the name.

Knox County Academy Reunion

Last night I had the opportunity to see my former KCA friends at Perkins. It was nice to see Gay (Boss) and her great family, Bob, and Matt and his wife and new kid. We have all moved on from those days and except for Bob, I believe we are all gone from KCA. As principal Gay was a driving force in creating an environment that was conducive to learning but also demanded acceptable behavior. Gay's always upbeat friendly demeanor set the tone daily for her staff. A true joy to work for.

Bob was always willing to help anywhere and anytime and sitting in on his classes I became a student again. An absolute pleasure to be with, Bob was unflappable in the face of truly horrendous behavior. Thrown into the breach whenever needed Bob was our staff "go-to-guy".

Matt's classes were, in my opinion, a model of what alternative education should be. Always measured, always in control, always mindful of the "best interests" of the student, Matt's affection for his students and his profession was evidenced each day.

Outstanding people in a tough setting and tough kids. Too bad there were other elements of administrative ignorance and foolish incompetence which made our work increasingly difficult.

For you guys, some scenes from days gone by at KCA.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

My New Friend Bishop

Meet Bishop. He is a long-eared, long-nosed, short-eared 16 month old German Shepherd. He is playful, obedient and strong. I am generally a one-dog person but I have to admit my liking Bishop a whole lot.
Bishop likes walks, spending time in his kennel, destroying chew toys and hanging with his friends. Give it up for Bishop!

You Guessed It! More Florida.

Kenzie and Drew taking a break from looking at T-Shirts and all that god-awful tourist junk.
Drew is a Personal Trainer, Cubs fan and daddy to Bishop.
On the last night we went to Cody's, a pretty cool restaurant with a section outside. Here Kenze and Drew are scratching lotto tickets while waiting for the food. Drew was the big winner of the night.