Monday, June 26, 2017

Scenes Of Northlandia

Northlandia in Black and White, And Some Color

This may be my favorite.  This is a small hillside cemetery just east of New Windsor and west of Alpha.   An old wrought iron gate opening is all that is left of what must have been like iron all around this acreage.  The symbolism and irony is striking.  

This is Emerald City's library, in day and nighttime.  (Thirst for knowledge nevers sleeps.)  It was built in 1915 by a Carnegie grant. The Andrew Carnegie Foundation built 1,628 free public libraries in the U.S.  Grant monies were usually around $10,000 to cities and villages across the country.  Towns had to prove they wanted one, and had to provide the land for the structure.   A surprising number still exist - many have been remodeled but many have not.  Having been inside this one, my guess is this is the original layout.  Aledo is lucky to have it.  

This is the old Northside school.  They bussed us Seaton kids over to this Junior High when I was a kid.  Now it is empty.  I recall getting my first "D" from Mr. Stroud.  I was devastated.  Mr. Lotz was a cool teacher during my junior high days.  He remains in my head because he once said that in war you should not follow any rules.  In war survival is paramount.  Last time I saw him I was driving out of Geneseo after a car show.  A car came up next to me in the left turn lane.  He honked his horn.  He was wearing a jaunty beret and saluted.   

In my Emerald City early morning walks I came across something you see in movies but never see in real life.  A tire hanging from a tree limb.  This iPhone picture looks like a painting.

I accompany the Wombie on his early morning water jobs to Seaton and Joy.  The above two pics are from Joy.  Main Street America has been decimated.

The above three pics are from New Windsor.  I was driving through one time heading to either BFE or G-Burg and saw these worthy subjects.

This final pic is an old barn with a nice cupola I spotted near G-Burg.   I'm liking black and white more often.

That's it for today.  More coming soon.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Flashback Friday

Its funny.  My parents, Marj and Herb, have been gone 22 and 19 years, respectively.  And yet I see them often.  In my dreams.  I can't say that I have vivid ones, nor do I remember them every morning.  But every so often it would seem I awake with dreams so real that it takes a few seconds to shake the memory away and bring me to my senses.  Just the other day I awoke to having done something admirable, downright sacrificial for a guy I despised at the Mary where I used to work.  Its nice to know I can be a nice guy -- in another dimension.

Today's Flashback is a photo of my folks.  Herb has his suit jacket and tie in his hands with the car keys.  Must have been to some formal function, but I can't imagine where.   In looking at the picture I don't even know where they are.  At first I thought it was the front yard of the Seaton homestead, but we didn't have a little tree there and looks like there are sidewalks, and we didn't have those either.  Mysteries.  Maybe some help from the bros.

Marj was a classy dresser when she went out.  She was classy casually when home, too.  Mad Men classy.  Everything was coordinated and matched, or accented each other.  She had bad hips.  Before I got married I'd go home on one of my days off and she sent me into stores to get her stuff.   At times I'd go into Catherine's to take something back or pick up she'd ordered out of the catalog.  There was a fabric store in G-Burg she'd send me in to get skeins of yarn.  It wasn't one of my more pleasant jobs.  She'd say, for example, go in and bring out various gray colored yarn so she could see for herself which one she needed for her knitting projects.  I'd go in and ask if I could slip outside to show her what I had.  They always let me.  There could often be several trips in and out to complete the deal. She also took advantage of me by sending me into grocery stores with her lists.  My compensation was the ability to pick something up for myself.  Not always fun stuff but looking back, I'd love to be her runner one more time.   

We lose people throughout our lives.  You lose something more when you lose a parent.  Beside a loved one, you also lose a kind of anchor to your world.  As a kid with parents, there is always that layer of safety and security.  A kind of back-up if and when things go wrong.  When you lose them you are on your own.   That void is never filled.  Can't be.  

Its been long enough the sting of their absence is gone but every so often my mind wanders and teases me with the prospect of calling home to suddenly realize its no longer possible.  But the longing remains.  309-586-5251.  I suspect if I live another 20 years the same thoughts will bubble up from who knows where.  And I reckon in those dreams I'll see them again and we'll talk of things that need mending or to tell a joke.  To visit again and swap stories.  Maybe to get some yarn or groceries.  Such are the dreams of orphans.  

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Alpha Car Show - Part 2

Readers who don't give two hoots (or even one) for old cars will be disappointed that, once again, we are featuring a post from the Alpha Car show on May 6th.  

Between talking with Ed and walking with Neighbor Tim, I took some pics of things that caught my eye.  The real hit was my t-shirt, however.  Santa brought me one that has "Just One More Car.  I Promise." on the front with two crossed fingers on the back.  I got no fewer that 5 comments on my apparel and 2 on my car.   

I'm not all that big on pre '50's cars but I liked this layout on the front of this old Plymouth.  I have no idea if this is original but having two large chrome horns taking up space on the front seems excessive but aggressive, too.  See that amber light on the lower right?  That certainly is a newer add-on,  so the originality of this car is really in question.

Hood ornaments used to mean something symbolically for the auto.  They began as very fancy items that meant to display grace, speed or artistry.  Today they don't even exist, but once, they were works of art.  Check some out on Ebay today and you'll have to pay up to a thousand or more for the fancier ones.  For a short while, Pontiac even had one that lit up when you turned the headlights on.  

Stylized Plymouth grill insignia.

American Motors grill insignia.

Classic triangular Chevy truck speedometer and dash. 

This old 40's Ford wanted to tell all your neighbors that you had a V-8 engine under the hood.   

One of the old car show circuit regulars Chuck Anderson and his rumble seated Ford.   It's about the only one around anymore.  The car is beginning to need some maintenance but I think Chuck is just going to ride it out.   See the rear window rolls down?  When asked what it was like to ride in a rumbler. he stated, "Windy."

A nice old original 56 Chevy truck but I don't remember any of them having wide whites.

My passion remains with 60s cars.  You could tell what they were from a mile away.  In fact, the Wombie and I as kids would turn backwards in the rear seat and guess what style the car was behind us.  We were usually right.  Nothing else on the road looked like a Buick, or Studebaker, or Pontiac.

A nice original.  If you don't believe it just read the windshield.

Another once of those farm workhorse pick-ups with wide whitewall tires.  Of course, the Fleetside was a classier looking truck, so I suppose it is possible.

I had a long chat with the owner of this 1951 Mercury.  He went to extraordinary lengths to keep his car original and it was a very, very nice car.  I liked this one a lot.  

Our final car of the day is this 1974 American Motors Javelin SST, perhaps the best looking AMC vehicle ever designed by them.  Those fender bulges, the sleek front reminiscent of the early Camaros.  This is likely as close to classic muscle poor AMC ever got - even when they were still alive we all knew their stuff was junk.  Yeah, I had a Pacer, but it was  junk, too.  It was so junky it was destroyed by a cow.  But that's a story for another day.  

There would be another car show in a couple weeks and you'll be lucky enough to learn all about that day, too, but only if you come back to this site.  

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Pictures I Wish I Had Taken

Another series of photos I have found on the internet that I wish I had taken.  They have been ripped off shamelessly and my staff legal team wants me to tell you that I did not take these and that credit should be given to those who did, whoever they are.


Some of these have been pumped up with Photoshop, but they are still quite nice and often step over into the field of art rather than photos.  Always, always have your camera or cellphone with you.    

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Tuesday Tidbits

I saw this recently somewhere on the wide world webs.  This is called ball lightening.  Consider my balls impressed.  


Nice to hear Harry Chapin's Cats In the Cradle used for a new Ameritrade commercial.  It is a sweet collage of parents with a new born, parents with other aged kids throughout.  Vignettes of baby-pampering, cuddling, fishing, baseball and all that nice stuff.  Nice slow ballad.  Good ad.  What folks may not remember is that song turns darkly sad and tragic at the end.


"Let me tell you.  I'm a really smart guy."  March 17, 2011

"Sorry losers and haters.  My I.Q. is one of the highest - and you all know it!"  May 8. 2013

"It's, like, super genius stuff."

"Look, if I were a liberal Democrat, people would say I was the super genius of all time.  Of all time."  


Best American comedian ever.  W.C. Fields is close, tho.


Adventures In Babysitting

The cartoon above imitated reality this past week.  I took my two clients to the Waterboard pool and shortly after the below video Alfred smacked me with that damn snorkel. It drew blood and Norah was sort of panicked.  I'm tough, tho, and decided the water was a better time-killer than the apartment.

Norah, being the kind heart she is, decided that playtime was over and that we needed to get back home to tend to my bloody nose.  I told her I was fine and that playtime was the main objective, not my welfare.  It is that type of sacrifice that separates my daycare from others.    

Not all is sweetness and light.  Alfred is sometimes on edge and when me or my staff do not immediately take care of her needs she is willing to debase herself to call attention to what she wants.  All in a day's work, folks.   

Life is hard.  Cope.


Remember a few weeks ago I wrote about a fantasy of finding something really neat and cool and rare in a barn somewhere?  Came across this picture of an early Corvette, stashed in a shed.  Now this is what I'm talking about.   I would literally piss myself if I found something like this is Northlandia.  And then how I'd approach the owner of the barn.


Strange But True:  getting yelled at by a woman at Wal-Mart in her car as we are in pedestrian walkway.  She thought we shot out in front of her.  She was going to fast and apparently didn't want to slow down for us.n Geez, Wal-Mart shoppers.  Double Geez, Wal-mart.  


I gained 7 lbs. in Northlandia.  Lost three of them already.


The Met's season is over.  That's the bad news.  The good news is that my fantasy baseball team, the Fighting Flamingoes is in first and ahead now by 27 games.  It's a rout!  Go Pink! 


Navigating the water sprinkler systems.  On Sundays and Mondays I walk around the city block instead of going to the gym in the early morning hours.  Most places water their lawns or businesses at that time.  Places I have to be careful are Largo Police and Municipal Building area, the Hampton Inn,  the Madison Apartments and here, at Waterboard.  


My Three Fathers

Jason, Phillip and Courtney, enjoying Father's Day at Phil's place in Port Byron.


Five Guys

This is mostly for those of you not familiar with the burger chain Five Guys.  I hadn't heard of them until I was exiled to Kitschland.  Great burgers and fries - but bring your extra credit card.  This was my Father's Day gift.  


On my walk I took a picture of Missouri and East Bay intersection.  One of the busiest around here.   This shows you how early I'm out walking.   This was at 3:40 am yesterday morning.


Also on my walk I pass by a car mechanic.  This sweet '85 Oldsmobile Toronado Caliente was parked out in front.  Beautiful example of an otherwise uninspired mid-80's Detroit.

That's all for today.