Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Best $100 Part Two: Me and Michael

Santa cruising in Galesburg...
...with an occasional stop to smell the flowers.


A DQ treat.

Inn Keepers for a cookie.

Grooming a patient (but annoyed) Missy.

Waiting for the 4:15 at the train station.

Mugging for the camera.


Driving the boat at Littlejohn.

Ridin on the Kawi.

Proud gramps.

They were very merry Christmases.

What a time we had.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Best $100 I Ever Spent

First Day

Back when I had another family living us in Galesburg, I was smitten by a young 2 1/2 year old kid. My son had fallen head over heels in love with a girl in Florida and she had a young boy from a previous relationship. He gave them a bus ticket and they came to live with us for a few months. Her wee one was named Michael and we ended up spending long hours with each other exploring parks, taking rides, and trying to pick up "chicks" in my old cars. We were pretty much inseparable (thus my email address: two.mikes@hotmail.com). A year or so went by and the son enlisted in the Army. Eventually they left to live in Clarksville, Tennessee for a while. Before one of their trips back up to see us I went to Kewanee to buy one of those kid like toys that run on a battery. After a brief bit of apprehensive fright, Michael soon learned how to run it and our visits were never the same. He learned the beauty of powered mobility, and I was the one to come up with new places to go. The miles we put on that machine. I soon learned that the battery had a limited run time. The model was a Chinese-made Yamaha ATV, and with a great deal of skepticism I called to order a new back-up battery thinking I'd end up in India or Bangladesh. Imagine my surprise when I got a great southern-accented lady who was very nice and understandable. She said she would be happy to send a battery and, no sir, you don't need to pay for it. What? Sure enough, in a bout a week 2 new batteries arrived FREE giving us a about 4-5 hours of run time. Later, I would make another call for new tires. Yes, he put enough miles on that he wore the plastic clean through. And guess what? New tires arrived and once again, they were free. Amazing company. In this day of poor customer service this Chinese based firm provided free parts.

We travelled all over Galesburg, and I mean all over. He plied main street like a hooker, even getting an occasional freebie when he would stop a shop owner and begin conversing with them like they were lifelong friends. And I was the guy who followed and helped get the thing over railroad tracks and bad sidewalks and loose gravel. Our favorite spots were anywhere a train might run by, main street, the Cottage hospital underpass, DQ, Inn Keepers for a cookie and milk, but the place we always went to was the train depot. In heat or freezing cold we'd always find time to "saddle-up" and head down the road.


And like the old song, Puff the Magic Dragon, "...dragons live forever, but not so little boys..." Michael left for Canada and after much sadness, I donated the Yamaha to Marvin and Janine in Burgess to help entertain their ever growing herd of grandkids. Last month I went over to see them and there along the wall was the maker of dreams machine. I had to hear it one more time. I hate being being sentimental.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Most Beautiful Car Ever Made?

Combing through the old car want ads and found this gorgeous 1965 Pontiac Bonneville. Always had a fondness for this car since we had one when Mark and I were kids. Big, black and nice lines. We didn't have the convertible but this one would be a nice addition to anyone's garage.

My Dad liked big cars and and I can remember Mark and I taking one of the cars, maybe this one, out for a short joyride thinking we'd be safe since the folks were gone. In Seaton there was a road heading west to Keithsburg, pretty straight and back in those days in good shape. We went out about a mile or two then turned around and flew, I mean flew back into Seaton. It had a push button for the trunk release and we pretended it was a braking device. We screamed back toward town then popped the trunk to simulate a spoiler/chute and there at the stop sign when you get in were the folks in the company truck. Ooops. We must have been going 75/80 and that was after we had braked some distance. We didn't drive again for a while. Mark was always getting me into trouble.

This is a picture of a Grand Prix that is presently for sale on the web. It would be the more affordable than the above convertible and close to the Bonnie we had. I'd love for someone to get this for me for Christmas, or maybe Labor Day.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Fake Or Real?

Holly and Gay sent this to me a couple days ago and it is amazing, if it's real. A couple of things have me wondering, but especially the last shot. Where was he going? The window is closed. Anyway, it is still fascinating and the strength to do would be amazing. I'm thinking of doing one for the older set: leaping outta bed a couple times to go to the bathroom perhaps, or jauntily removing myself from the recliner.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Ride For A Squealer

The Pioneer Club in Kewanee.
The outside beer garden.

The famous "Squealer"

Tim took Tuesday off (July 20) after a long trip to Missouri over the weekend so we decided to travel to Kewanee and have lunch. The Pioneer Club downtown has a neat beer garden area and great food. One of the items is a "Squealer" which is a barbecued pulled beef sandwich. Mmm. Good stuff. The picture doesn't do it justice. After lunch we took off down 78 to West Jersey, across to Williamsfield, Dahinda, Henderson, back up to Woodhull and back to BFE. It was a good ride in areas and roads I'd never travelled before, which is always fun.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Trip Home From Miss Effie's

I tried to get some experimental video on the way home from our Aledo ice cream trip. Nothing special here; no deer doing cartwheels or raccoons playing chicken. Just me fumbling with the camera taping our ride home. It was a nice night and riding is about to come to an end for me. I just wanted to record it so I can play it back when I'm bikeless and baking in Florida.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Return To Miss Effie's

Let's go!
"Objects in the rear view mirror may be closer than you think."

Parking at Miss Effie's.

Great hand-dipped ice cream parlor.

Decisions, decisions.

"I'll have one of each."

Wednesday (July 21) was a scorcher so we left BFE to find some coolness. We came up with an ice cream run to Aledo to Miss Effie's. We went a few weeks ago and more than one of us went back for seconds, but this time we showed some restraint.
It was nice to have Christopher and his niece join us. Just about the time I have to leave BFE, he rejoins the group after spending time in Pontiac. His transfer to Henry Hill has been processed and he has moved back to BFE. Sorry I'll miss some rides with him.

On the way back I spotted a deer in the bean field and pointed it out to the others. Tim drove up next to me and said, "Good eye, Deer Leader." Ah yes!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Odds and Ends

Tim and I enjoying a good cigar.

Picture of the new sign in front of the Mary Davis Home. Kind of funny: they have been complaining of dwindling funding but they have the money to cut down one of the majestic old pine trees and put up a sign. Look on the building to the right and see what worked for signage for 30 years.

20 minute stop during road construction between Aledo and Viola. 20 minutes? Geez.

Look at the size on this bug at the CC in BFE.

Another picture of the lake at Izaak Walton Conservation Club in Peoria.

If you go to Davis Brothers' pizza in Creve Coeur and ask for a pitcher, you'll end up with this. Looks to me like 2 beers in that. Great pizza, lousy pitchers.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Preemption/Keithsburg Cemetery

My bike needed an oil change so I took it to Hammer's in Preemption on Friday morning (July 16th) I thought he opened at 8:00 but I was early (opened at 9:00) so I had time to kill, so I started up the road and came across this cemetery. Sorry, I didn't get any entrance pics but did find a couple interesting stones.

This young man, who died at 33, loved his Harley. On both sides of the stone are references to make and particular style of bike. Makes you wonder in a hundred years what someone will think as they stroll through and notice this one.

Don liked his cars.

This fellow had an interesting inscription under his wedding date. Now that is an odd thing to write about a marriage or wife. Hmmm.

I had the day to do whatever so I went to Aledo for an Orange Freeze at the Tastee Freeze and decided to head on over to Keithsburg to see the river and hopefully a barge.

No barges were coming through but the river was high and swirling. It's easy to see why swimmers get in trouble. The video shows some of that undercurrent.

As kids our parents brought us often to Keithsburg to see the river, and to go to the local Tastee Freeze. In those days the town was rather thriving: Cannon Bronze manufacturing company, a grocery store, and 4 or 5 restaurant/bars. Today it looks tired and worn out.

This is the "famous" train stone for an engineer at the Keithsburg cemetery. We kids always had to spot it on our way in and out of town. In the same place there is a tall crucifixion statue that local lore had said that if you were near it when the sun went down you'd end up dying, or some such silliness. This train stone actually made the news a few years back when it was stolen and found later in a local creek.

This is a prize winning stone very close to the gravesite of Jerry Tharp, who was killed in Iraq a few years ago. I did not take a picture of it. It seemed unnecessarily large and out of place.
When we were in our college years and would come home one of our hangouts was at Blackies, now Tweety's in Keithsburg. Good food, fun customers and pretty close to home. Blackie owned the place with his wife Helen and we had a lot of fun there. We would bring friends from college down and they seemed to like the place, too. Blackie was hard of hearing and when they sold out and had their last week there, the folks and Mark and I went down for a last beer and meal. Someone asked if he was "getting any" and he responded with a remark about his sore toe: "Oh, it's oozing some but I can get around." Before my long drives back to Colorado for graduate school I'd stop by and say "bye" and he always gave me a carton of cigs. Not particularly known for his generosity, I always thought this was a very kind thing to do.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Horny Man Arrested In Oklahoma

Horny Man In Assault Bust

Cops: Oklahoman nabbed after trying to run down his landlord

JULY 14--Meet Jesse Thornhill. The Tulsa man was arrested early today after he allegedly tried to run down his landlord with a car. Following his arrest for assault with a dangerous weapon, Thornhill, 28, was booked into the Tulsa County jail, where the below booking photo was snapped. Yes, Thornhill has horns. The jarring cosmetic, um, improvement is noted thusly in the "personal oddities" section of a Tulsa Police Department report: "Horns, neck tattoos, implant earrings on head." According to cops, the landlord was in the street when Thornhill "attempted to strike her with his vehicle but missed" due to her "jumping out of the vehicle's path." Thornhill was released this morning after posting $10,000 bond in connection with the felony rap. (3 pages)

Gotcha, didn't I Patti?