Tuesday, January 31, 2012

TooFer Tuesday


My best high school buddy was "Fast Eddie" Ed Johnson.  He had the best car, in my opinion,  a neat looking 62 Chevy.  Of course all the farmer boys had the newest hottest cars, but Eddie had the classic of all classics.  We cruised all over Mercer and Rock Island Counties in that car, drank some beer in that car and smoked some cigarettes in that car, too.  I went to my first tittie show with Ed at the Mounds in Davenport.  Back then the normal high school after school activity was "scooping the loop" around Aledo and when available, heading out to the back roads with a six-pack, or up the the Cities.  We did a lot of cruising, usually taking his wheels, because I was into the time-sharing thing with the Wombie, and using my grampa's would undercut my leverage with the folks for one of my own.  Naturally, the regularity of the cruises depended on our respective girlfriend status.  It was a lot of fun and the talks we had were like lots of guy chats in HS, I suppose.  But it forms a bond that truly lasts a lifetime.  

Like what happens in life, we graduated and moved on; I went on to college in Iowa, and Ed went to Civil Engineering school in Morrison, and we went on with our lives.   I ended up in Galesburg working for my County and Ed ended up in Peoria working for his.  He'd stop by occasionally and I went to Peoria once or twice  myself.  By all accounts, Ed became something of a recluse, I couldn't get him to a class reunion, not that I was a steady attendee myself.  He had kids and worked like we all do.  The last time I saw Ed was when his mother, Margaurite, passed away a few years ago.   Then I lost his number.  

Ed lived out at Sugar Grove during HS,  and had the sweetest mom.  When I'd stop by I'd sit and chat for awhile and Eddie was always ready to get going.  She'd still be chatting while we were pulling out.  There was a propeller hanging on the wall that belonged to his Dad who was a flier, and, who consequently died from a crash.  Anyway, Dad had a garage in Sugar Grove. 

Fast forward to last August and the wonders of the internet.  I finally found his number and called to catch up.   Remarkably, one of his kids lives in Wesley Chapel, about 30 minutes away.  He has an old truck which is pictured below. 

Ed sits for his grand kid, H.,  and is retired from the County now.  We still have a couple of things in common.  In one of our recent talks Ed told me the story behind the picture below.  There was a giant junk yard north of Aledo with thousands of old cars, and trucks and other pieces of iron.  It no longer exists, but every time we'd head up to the cities you'd go by this acreage and all those vehicles sure made you want to just wander around.  But because of litigation worries and other reasons, the owners never let people go explore.  

But Ed wanted something from a truck like his Dad had at the garage.  He asked for permission from the younger Henderson but he said no, bit after some pleading Ed got the older Henderson to say yes.  So off he goes into the biggest yard in West-Central Illinois and looks for a truck, any truck, like he remembers his Dad having.  And you know what?  Yep, you guessed it.  He stumbled on the real truck his Dad had, complete with side paint and was able to take the entire driver's side door.  He had it restored, and repainted just like how his Dad had it.  Is that a cool story or what?

This picture is Ed's grandson, H., and the restored original door of his Dad' truck.  Included are some pictures of the old place in Sugar Grove.  Really great idea, and luck played a huge role.  Imagine the sentimental value of that old door.  Remarkable story and well done.

Anyway, I've got Ed's number again, and when I return to God's Country (or visit) one of my first stops will be to see my old buddy Ed again.   

City Rivalries

They had a series of small comparison articles regarding Tampa and St. Pete in the paper recently.  I likes this one best of all. 

"Tampa?  Tampa has strip joints and traffic jams.  Tampa is hardscrabble ports and organized crime.  Tampa's raucous and gauche. 

St. Pete?  St. Pete's languid like an early bird special.  St. Pete's old folks biding time until the white light and the fade to black.  St. Pete wishes it could have such fun. 

Tampa likes its sports, heehaw, rah-rah, while St. Pete likes the arts.  You can walk in St. Pete.  Good luck in Tampa.  In St. Pete, business means tourists; in Tampa, business means business.  Tampa can have the roller coasters.  St. Pete's got the sunsets.

Pinellas County seceded from Hillborough County in 1912.  That's a century of across-the-bay barbs.  Wrote the Tampa Morning Tribune
when Pinellas broke away: "Hillsborough, of course, hates to lose its beautiful child..."  You can almost feel the pat on the head.  They fought over the airport.  They fought over the interstate.  They fought over USF (University of South Florida).  They fought over the baseball team. They still do.  The Howard Frankland is a long 3 miles.

The sibling rivalry here is an aquatic version of an age-old tale.  Geography matters.  Topography matters.  Barriers to travel and civil exchange that once were more formidable  seek into a place's chromosomal character and persist even after onerous boat rides become relatively quick commutes.  After stuff is no longer even true.  But newcomers learn fast.  Our physical bridges are beautiful, but they do only so much, which at times feels like self-parody, like self-fulfilling prophecy." 

Michael Kruse on the difference between Tampa Bay and St. Petersburg published in the Tampa Bay Times January 1, 2012.  

Why I don't do Tampa.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Mugshot Monday

This guy looks like he should be in junior high.  Youngest looking kid I've seen on this list but is that a tear drop tat or just a birthmark?  Booking info said he was 21 and arrested for smoking pot.

This guy is 77 and solicited a prostitute.  Shouldn't he be home on the front porch whittling?

According to his personal info, this man is 72.  Looks waaaay younger than that.  Perhaps homelessness, eating out of dumpsters, and wandering aimless all day is the fountain of youth. 

Scored 2350 on his SAT's.

Nice "red-hawk".  Whoa, is that a giant spider on his neck?

This here folks is Calvin Coolidge Cox, 44, and has decided to decorate his forehead with a tat.  Can't read it it, but that is certainly an "in-your-face" thing to do.  Been seeing a lot more face tats recently.  And who names their kid after Calvin Coolidge?

Hmmm.  Ginger kid?


Joevante Diangel Johnson
One of these days I'll just post some of the names I see on this site.

Besides drug paraphernalia and violation of probation,  this guy got busted for fishing for undersized lobster.

Here we go again.  (Arrested for prostitution)

His grill be gleamin'.


Sunday, January 29, 2012

Where I Live

I think I've mentioned before that I reside in Shawshank. Actually it's called West Shore Village nestled right next to Clam Bayou in the South part of St. Petersburg. And that is up against Gulfport. Google it and et a map its pretty easy to locate. Only a few blocks from the Interstate so easy to head North up to Mackenzie or Brendan's and South to the Skyway and get out of the city.

So, having attempted to install my phone on the bike so I could take videos of rides (all for you, loyal readers) I have taken one of where I live. Enjoy the ride, but beware of the gators, the 19 mph limit, walkers, joggers, swimmers and Betty, whose claim to fame shall remain secret (actually I spilled the beans on Betty a few months ago) a little longer.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Random Pics of Stuff

First frost of the year in St. Pete.  My back yard with the frost on the ground and steam rising from the heated pool.

This guy was walking around the Wagon Wheel flea Market wearing his pants under his ass cheeks so he could let all of us see his purtty baby blue underwear.  Lord, some people.
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Another picture from the flea market.  This man's Man Card was taken earlier for selling goddamn doilies.  Geez, man, how embarrassing. 

The break area at Dick Blick in Galesburg, by Sherry Godsil.

The snow coming down in Sherry Godsil's driveway during January's first big snow.  I need that!!

Sherry Godsil, a friend from Blick in G-Burg is undertaking a photographic project.  She is snapping one picture a day for all of 2012 and putting it on Facebook.  While I'm not a big fan of that site I do check it regularly and look forward to her pictures.  Her pictures are the two above.   It's gonna be a fun year watching what she can do.  

Miss Norah wearing a hat at Target.  Remember, I swore off Wal-Mart.  It's been about 3 1/2 months and still haven't given them a red penny.  And I don't miss it.  At All!! 

Went with Kenzie to dentist so I could take care of Norah, and this guy and girlfriend/wife came in shortly after I did.  They had a preemie kid who was only a month old.  I looked over at one time and took this shot of him with his hand over his face either in pain, or realizing his path in life with a newborn.  Seemed like he simply couldn't bear life anymore. 
Sad picture.  And no, no one is spared if I have a camera around.  The blog is always hungry.

The Christmas decoration on Brendan's and Rachel's porch.  A lighted head-swinging dinosaur.  Yeah, me too, I don't get the connection either.

Is that Norah behind those shades?

We went to Clearwater to a small deli over there with a long Italian name.  We heard they had frozen Davis Bros. pizzas.  Davis Bros. pizza has two locations in Peoria and we went a couple years ago and it was great.  Thin crust, not overloaded with a bunch of stuff; simple and old school.  Picked up 4, had 2, and they are great!!  Second best pizza in America.

Sign as you are leaving St. Pete Animal Shelter.  Yes, I'm looking for a new friend. Missy has been gone almost three years.  Imagine that.  It is quite difficult to find one, however.  There are pounds but there is a preponderance of Pit Bulls and/or Pit mixes.  If I had to guess I'd say 80% of all available adoptions are Pit Bulls.  Then you have to navigate the rent/own conundrum.  Shawshank may or may not allow renters to get dogs, and if they do, they can't be anymore than 30 lbs.  Then there is the rescue agencies that require home visits.  Blah, blah, blah.  Not at all like up North where you go into a shelter, pick one out and off you go.  Chances of actually getting one here, maybe 30%.  May have to put it on the back burner for now. 

Friday, January 27, 2012

New Posts On Weekends!

Check the blog for posts on weekends until I decide not to. Again, just too dang many posts in the queue and need to get caught up.

Flashback Friday - Random Pictures

My mother, Marj, when she was a college coed.  Apparently not above showing a little leg to her boyfriend who has joined the Navy. 

When Seaton won the Mercer County Church League Championship, Marj painted a sign we nailed to a phone pole.  Sadly, I had a bunch of pictures of us celebrating our victory, but I seem to have lost them.  Players on that team were Ivan Ewing, Jeff Benson,  

Making milkshakes, a habit impossible for me to "shake".  Looks like a batch of ice cream in the blender, the tub in front of her, a can of chocolate syrup, milkshake powder and on her leg a jug of milk.

Me and Michael in front of a firetruck we rode in while at a Seaton Pancake breakfast.  

Michael looking cool in his shades.  Looks like we are heading to Lake Littlejohn.

Michael again in my 65 Ford Galaxie convertible.

Marj and Magic in Mark's little MG he had in college.  Looks like they are about to take a ride.

The only picture I have of Seaton Presbyterian Church, a place that played such a big role in small-town Seaton.  I was just there, having accompanied Mark and Holly to church on the Sunday I was back in December.  By the way, Mark and I were Accolytes during church back when we were kids going to church, forcefully I might add.    

Marj in the kitchen that was a hub for the family.

The sign hanging on the pole that Marj painted in the picture above.  I'm not sure what the sign said, but something like "Welcome to Seaton, Home of the Champion Seaton Wolves Church Softball Team".

Marj as a little girl with people I sadly have forgotten.  Grandparents or Aunt and Uncle.  Damn.  People shouldn't be forgotten.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Weekend Visitors - Vinoy Park Part 2

We are back at the Vinoy and it seems like forever since we stopped here last. The grandkids are here along with Drew and Norah.

The sea brings in all type of "stuff" along the mucky area between beach and Bay. 

This is a deceased horseshoe crab.

Golf ball.

Seabirds are a constant along the beach.  Looking for food and garbage from humans they congregate on shoals until a kid goes over and shoes them momentarily. 

Michael playing volleyball with Drew.  Michael is at the lower left and looks to have just served.

Alhanna wading into the Bay and enjoying the birds.

Norah is in good hands. 

This is Michael insinuating himself into a baseball game between a father and son, and he gets to bat.  What a future for this kid.

Soon to be destroyed Pier, the inverted pyramid landmark of St. Pete.

Meanwhile, back at Shawshank, after a nice day at the Vinoy, its time to hit the pool.  here, Drew is water boarding Michael, as Alhanna moves in to help.

The pool is one of the nice features at Shawshank.  

Always well maintained and never crowded.

Alhanna and Michael

It was a good day, the Vinoy is always fun, and when it's not fun at least it is picturesque and relaxing.  The kids loved the pool and all-in-all one of those good family days.