Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Fire Burns My Home Town

This is my Home Town as I saw it last.  This photo is older, but the look is about the same.  There is only one business street in town.  For at least 35 of the years that I lived there, we were a one stop light town.
This is the street the parades march down, where the Homecoming Court waves and the Shriner's drive their little cars.


I got a phone call from Daughter # 2 last night about 10:30pm,  saying Daughter # 3 was on Face Book, along with her 400 closest friends, and people were chatting about our Home Town being on fire.  Soon the pictures started appearing.

This is the little town with only 500 high school students.  This is where you go to the one grocery store and the check out ladies know your name.  Where I lived for 40 some years. 

From reports, the fire started in this upstairs apartment over a new Mexican restaurant.

It then moved to both sides and got the local bar and the florist shop.

                                             And continued to burn on into the night. 

I am  continually amazed at communications. Here I am 1000 miles from there, able to see what is happening in real time.  So three businesses are gone and I'm not sure how much damage went beyond that.  The walls are all connected so I'm sure there is much damage by smoke and heat to others.  3 businesses are half the block. 

What a heartbreaking sight for a small town already hurting from today's economy.  I will update as I hear more.  My sister is gong out there to day to check on our father.  I asked her to send me pictures.

Update : This is from the alley in back.  I'm anxious and frightened, to see it from the street view.

Right now I'm thinking Johnny "Cougar" Mellencamp.... Small Town .. is fitting.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Car Travel in the 1960s

I had a memory jolt the other day about car travel with my parents in the late 1950s into the 1960s.

I'm driving here in 1957.  I have a lot of pictures of myself with my sister but none with the pesky little brother with us.. Believe me, he was there.

My grandparents all lived in the boot heel of Missouri so in July, when General Motors stopped the lines for "change over" to the next model, we would all pile in the car to head south for a visit.  I remember, in my younger years, 8,9 or 10, I would trade comic books with neighbors so I would have reading material.  Archie and Veronica, Superman, Nancy, or Donald Duck.  

My father built a wooden platform that fit over the hump in the back floorboard so someone (usually me) could sleep on it, with another child on the seat, ( my sister) and little brother in the back window.  Can you believe that?  That just screams trouble waiting to happen.  As we got older,  Dad would arrange the suitcases in the floorboard to act as a support so he could put a crib mattress in the back seat and we could lay down on it for the whole trip.  My brother could still fit in the back window, I guess.  I am horrified that we made a 700 mile, one way drive, that way.  Year after year. 

Mom and Dad always left Michigan in the afternoon so us kids would sleep though the night and they could drive straight through without bathroom trip interruptions.  I have to think it was also in part because there was no air conditioning and we were headed south with the windows down and the hot wind whipping in all around.  There were also no expressways.  The route was through towns and around big cities.  I remember drifting in and out of sleep to the radio playing Marty Robbin's El Paso and later Johnny Cash's  Ring of Fire.   I could hear the semis zooming by and the soft conversation between my parents of which road to take next or "did we just miss out turn?"

By morning we were dragging into Kennett, Mo road weary but over joyed to see our grandparents for that once a year visit.  Once there, it was time for  cat fish and hush puppies, chicken and dumplings, blackberry cobbler and home made bread.   (I can't eat catfish today..... I know it tastes good.  They just look creepy.)  But, the little girl in me remembers all of it with fondness.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Final Story of a Beautiful Lady

In the last post we were getting ready to go up the staircase of that beautiful old home on Walloon Lake, Michigan.  There was pristine dust on the stairs. No one has been there in years.  I was so excited.  My head was a whirl with ideas of how to bring her back to life.  There were no other sounds but our footsteps as we climbed.

The window at the top of the stairs visible from the front entry. You can just see the newel post where you make the turn to go up to second floor.

On our way up.  The first bedroom was at the top of the stairs.  On that side of the hall, there were 3 total.  On the other side, there was one bedroom and a 4th that had been turned into a bathroom.

                                The pink room with the brass bed and an ornate carved mirror.

Dressing table and a marble topped table.

A secretary over flowing with books.   The first piece of furniture I ever bought was a secretary similar to this one.  I was 20 years old, in 1970, and it was $75.00.  I put in in layaway and it took me a few months to pay for it. 

The Blue bedroom holds a beautiful  sleigh bed and ice cream chairs.

In the far right hand corner you can barely see a sink.  All the bedrooms had these tucked away in corners. This is where I ran out of film.  All the room were packed with antiques, old wicker for the porch, junk and boxes.

  One year turned into another and every time we went up to Walloon Lake to visit, I was anxious to see "my" old house.  From the first time I saw her, in 1981,  I loved her.  I believe it was about 1988 or 89 that I took these pictures.  In the mid to late 1990s, Terry's dad, Grandpa, told us that Mr Hass had died.  I wondered what would happen to her now.  A couple of more years go by.  Then, one day when Terry was talking Michigan "Go Blue" sports with his Dad, Grandpa says, " Oh, tell Kathy that they held an auction at the Hass house.  Everything in it was pulled out and sat all over the yard."      What!!!!  Are you kidding me.  This happened and I wasn't told about it!!   I  had just wanted a piece of it. 

More years go by. No "For Sale" signs go up. 

One day, after the turn of the century, Terry gets another call from Grandpa.  "Tell Kathy her house burned.  It's all gone.  They cleared the lot."

Gone.......Just gone......

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Story of a Lady Part II

I felt like a child being let into Santa's workshop when Mr. Hass turned the key and opened the front door of  the old house on Walloon Lake.

I can't tell you how many times I had stood at that window with my hands cupped to the side of my head, nose pressed against the glass, trying to see inside.  Directly across from the door, as we entered was this.

You can begin to see the "stuff" that was in there.  I remember reaching out and touching that banister like it was a mirage.  That staircase is such a beauty.

This fireplace was in, what I call parlor # 1, to the left of the stairway.  Mr. Hass told me he remembered, as a boy,  his mother buying the tapestry over the mantle from a traveling vendor.  If the house was built in 1907, I guess that may be in 19 teens to 1920 ish.

On the left side of the stairs,, was  parlor # 1, the kitchen, which had been gutted, and this dining room. 
I was in awe.  I wanted to go through boxes and touch things.   I was mesmerized by the ceiling.

I don't know what the salmon colored squares are.  I couldn't get that close.  There was so much stuff between me and them, but that woodwork was beautiful.  All I could think was it needs to be oiled and polished and loved.

To the right of the staircase was parlor # 2.

There was so much junk stored among the treasures that I doubt the family even knew what was there.

Next time we will go up that wonderful staircase and see what lies between the front stairs....

and the back stairs.

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Story of a Lady

Once upon a time...

That's how I felt the first time I saw this house, sitting on the curve, and across the street from Walloon Lake, in northern Michigan, very close to Petoskey.  It is blurry... It's not your eyes.  Terry and I were married in January 1982 so the first sighting was the summer before.


It was empty.  Kind of forlorn, but looked like it could be saved.  The roof looked good. New even.

To the right of the house lived the elderly son of the last resident.  He was in his 70s at that time. 

 My Father-in-law, who was born in 1930,  remembered as a boy, during the Depression , the family that lived here,  would have a Christmas party for the children of the town and serve cookies and hot cocoa.  During that time and in the 1980's, there wasn't much of a town there.  A general store, a marina and  a very nice restaurant at the Walloon Lake Inn.   Walloon Lake was and is a "summer home"  location. A majority of them are owned by people from Chicago area or Ohio. 

At the turn of the 20th century, there was a big hotel on the lake and in 1898, Ernest Hemingway's family bought 4 lake front lots (about 1 acre)  and built Windemere, their vacation home which is still there.

Grandpa told me how long it had been vacant, but that was in the 80's and I've forgotten exactly, but I think since the 1960s.  There was a feud between the son, next door, and the sister in lower Michigan, on who would inherit this beauty.  So it sat. And sat. And sat.

We had to pass by it every time we left Walloon for Petoskey, in one direction, or Boyne City in the other.  I would look at it and my heart would actually ache at the the waste of such a beautiful old lady just sitting there sitting and waiting  for life.

I could just see her restored to the glory she deserved, owned by people  ( me, preferably!) that loved her and turned into a Bed and Breakfast.  But she wasn't for sale and she was on a lake meaning even in this state, who knows what the price would be.  Never the less, she haunted me.

One summer day, like many others, I parked the car and walked around,  peaking in windows and taking pictures.  Mr. Hass, from next door saw me and walked over.  I introduced myself.   Terry's family had lived on the lake for generations as well. 

Great Grandpa had owned the original farm that Terry's Dad had grown up on and where his Uncle still lives.   The Farm had stretched for acres right down to the lake until the year that the crops weren't so great and Great Grandpa couldn't farm the land on the lake because it was too rocky, so he sold it to pay the land taxes.  Sold it for a couple of hundred dollars.  We all know what lake property goes for now. So Terry grew up across the street from the lake.

So Mr. Hass, knowing I was not an "outsider" went back home and returned with this in one hand

and a key in the other.  He asked if I would like to go inside.  Would I?  Holy crap!  I asked if I could take pictures and he said, "Sure."  I was in heaven.  I learned this beauty was built in 1907.

Next time we get to open that front door and see what treasures she was hiding from me.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Who the Heck Are They?

Most Saturday mornings Terry and I go to a flea market in  Newport, N.C., that is close to where we live.   For the past 2 to 3 weeks I have seen the same guy with "antique" glass cases full of stuff out of a table in the bright  and hot sun.  I had glanced in the cases and noticed a couple of old photos.  With this being the third week and them being in the sun, I was concerned the bright light and the heat would ruin these pictures. 

Obviously they are not loved or appreciated and I don't know a thing about them.  There are no names or dates  on them.  No way to begin looking for their missing relatives like one of my favorite blogs Forgotten Old Photos.   (She's in my list but I don't know how to add her here. Terry.... help!)

Photo # 1

I believe this is on tin.  It is about this actual size and is black on the back.  No information at all.   I'm kind of surprised her hair is worn down and not in an up do.

Photo # 2

Again, there are no names, nothing written on the back.  Engraved ever so faintly at the bottom of the border is Linebeck and under that is Winston, N.C. 

I did find:     William E. Lineback, wife Grace, owner "The Gift Shop", residence Jarvis
Court Piedmont Ave, West End, Winston, NC.

 Lineback & Edwards Photography 103 1/2 West 4th St Winston,NC.

 This listing was from 1913 Winston-Salem City Directory.  That doesn't tell us anything about this pretty lady and I seriously doubt there's a way to find out anything.  

I guess I should put them in an envelope that says " I have no idea who these people are but they are not relatives" so my daughters are not wondering, down the road,  "Who the heck are they?"  We have enough pictures of relatives we don't know to add these into the mix.

Friday, June 17, 2011

The ABCs and 123s of a Boomer

In writing one blog I started thinking about all of these letters and numbers of my youth.
So little said so much.  It's the abbreviated jargon of a generation.

2 and a  1/4  ( 225)   and 425                                         JFK,   RFK,   LBJ,  DMZ,  4F, 1A,  MLK,

GTO     409      WWII                                                   ELO,   REO,   FHA,   FFA,  FTA, and FNA

10-4     and    45s and 33 & 1/3s                                    CCR,   ELP    and now   9/11

Remind me if I've forgotten any.  I'm sure I have.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Some Spirits Can't be Contained

I don't say too much about my daughters.  I try to respect their privacy.  They didn't sign up to have a Mom tell their stories for them.  I have to smile right there because it was common for my mother to tell things to people about my sister and I, not so much my brother, that we didn't know.  Sometimes she didn't even know the people!  So I try not to do that.

I will share a bit about Daughter # 3 because, in some ways, she is just like me and in one very special way she is not.  That girl is the most adventuresome young lady I know. I was not all.   Right now she is 26,  working and sharing a townhouse with Daughter #2  and #2's boyfriend. 

When she was barely 20, she had tried college and found it was not for her, but didn't really know what she wanted in life.  There were no jobs in Michigan so she got on the computer, job hunting in other states.  For me, that was very scary.  For her, exciting.  In a few days, I mean under a week, she had applied and been hired to work at a resort (Signal Mountain Lodge) in the Grand Teton National Park, near Jackson, Wyoming. 

They hire about 180 employees just for the April - October season.Then they close to the public.   The employees live in dorms, eat in the EDR (employee dining room) and work.  She was hired as a hostess.  There are 2 restaurants and a bar.

Airfare was outrageous.  Over $500.00 one way.  So, she took the train.  I think it was two days, but it might have been three.  She was scared and excited and on her way to Hogwarts, she said.  So we took her to the train station and waited until we saw her board to leave.   Her Dad shed more than one tear when he hugged her goodbye. 

                                      ( A Jackson Hole Google photo.... Thank you Google)

She worked at various jobs, always getting promotions to something better, for 4 years. One season she was hired in the Human Resources Department that works year around so she was was one of about 15 that stay through the winter.  600 inches of snow to shovel is a lot.  ( Once they did hire a guy from Louisiana to come be a shoveler. Think about that culture shock.)

This was the view of Jackson Lake from her office.   We were able to go out once together and one time Terry drove out in the winter with her after Christmas and flew home.

Some of the cottages are very rustic like this one.... which I will admit would be a little too roughing it for me.  Others, like the one we had,  are more modern.

Being in a National Park, the animals all roam free.  People, these are wild creatures. Get in your cars. 

We saw Elk, bear, moose and bison along with pronghorns crossing the roads, on the sides of the roads, and walking down the middle of the road.

Dan showing Terry how to pan for gold.

She still swears it is the best place ever to work.  Most of the employees float from one resort to another with the seasons.  There are boyfriend/girlfriend couples and singles like herself.  There are retired couples and people of all ages.  Her last season out she had a roommate that was my age. 

The staff are treated to theme parties, cookouts, camping, and the use of all the resort facilities.  She went in a young woman without a mission and came out an adult with goals. 

I highly recommend it as a parent that was a little afraid of  her daughter venturing out on her own.  I live in a Marine town.  I know our young people are doing far more dangerous things and God bless them .  ( Welcome home from Afghanistan to my nephew Adam.)  
This was another way to grow up for a girl that wanted to stretch her wings.

Dixie Chicks "Wide Open Spaces"  is my ringtone for her.......

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

1970 What Were You Doing?

Terry and I have just started planning a road trip for this fall.  We will drive down to Charleston and then on to Savannah for a few days.  When we lived in South Carolina we made the Charleston visit a few times and I always loved it.  That was in the early 1990s.  I'm sure I'll still love it.  Terry has been to Savannah once on a business trip but for me, never.  So, when I think Georgia, I don't think peaches, I think Brook Benton.

I love this song.  From 1970 here is Brook Benton.

Gas was 36 cents a gallon but the median household income was about $9,000.  Unemployment was 3.5%,  and The Beatles break up.  The big movies were Love Story  and  Mash.  On this date in 1970,  The Long and Winding Road by the Beatles was number one on the charts.  Vietnam, Nixon, Apollo 13, Woodstock, and Kent State were all a part of 1970.  

No wonder a rainy night in Georgia sounded like such a good thing.

I was living in my parent's home, in Michigan,  working and trying to figure out where and how I fit in all of that.  It took a few more years, in the 70s but I finally did.

Where were you?  What were you doing?

Monday, June 13, 2011

I MIss My Gardens

It's been almost 5 years since we sold our house in the country and have been trying to get used to condo living.  It's good for Terry not to have to mow the 2 acres and I spent much of my evenings ( after work) making sure everything was watered.  I had 7 garden areas ( 1 koi pond, 1 vegetable garden, 1 herb garden and 4 flower areas.) not to mention all the planters on the deck, in front of the garage, etc. 

So I will share a few of my memories.

There is a tiny, little kitty face under that love seat.   She's now about 13 pounds.  I saw the love seat on the side of the road for trash pick up and had terry go back with the truck to get it for me.

                             The pond was only about 5' x 4', at the biggest odd shaped area. 

                                      This is Queenie watching the fish until I bothered her.

See what 5 years will do.  The boys are 10 and 9 next month.  We never did know why my little guy  was crying.   Probably because Pa was holding his brother and not him.  They called the sunflowers "Jurassic Park".  It's a good memory, even with the tears.

We had our daughter's wedding reception in the back yard under a big white tent.   There were Graduation Open Houses and holiday gatherings galore.  So glad we did it when we could.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

When We Were Young

I've had a blog block the last few days.  My husband has to do my scanning for me because even when I write down the 47 steps to scan photos, something always happens to mess me up.

So I thought I would go this route.

I am a Kenny Chesney fan.  He and Jimmy Buffet are my summer music.  I think most of us can relate to his (Kenny's) song "Young".   My adult daughters talk about their high school experiences and wonder "what was I thinking?"   Like daughter # 3 telling me she couldn't call home when she was going to be out later than planned because her friends were Amish and didn't have a phone.  I didn't believe it either.

So I'll sing along with this one.  We all have stories to share and some only with others that were involved.  It's gone too fast for me and for my girls.  My middle daughter just got a  10 year class reunion announcement. She's not sure she wants to go.   I think she should.

Discounting the raging hormones and the angst, it's a fun place to visit for a short time.  If we could go back with all we know, I for one, would have one or two conversations end differently.  Most of it I wouldn't change.  I have heard it said that a teenager makes many life choices for the adult they will become.  We made those choices because ...we were young.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Things I Never Get Tired Of

1.  I hate commercials.  I think most people do.  They are at least 10  volume decimals higher than regular programing.  I don't know why they think they have to scream at us. One that I don't mind is the Dodge Ram truck commercials with Sam Elliot doing the voice over.  I confess, Sam could read the phone book and I would be there from A to Z. 

2.  Long gone are the "Like A Rock", Bob Seger, Chevy truck commercials.  You trust Bob Seger, right?  He didn't yell.  Just play the song.  Simple. To the point.

3.  About once a year I read "The Great Gatsby".   I don't doubt it is wrapped up in my memories with Robert Redford.  In my head, Jay Gatsby's voice is always Robert Redford.   It's a short book of a time long gone,  that I would have loved to observe like Nick Carraway.

4.  Motown..... What can I say.  I grew up 90 minutes from Detroit in the Motown glory days.

5.  Yankee Candles
6.  Top Gun    and   Sleepless in Seatle      These I never grow tired of.

What are favorites?  What do you never grow tired of?

Friday, June 3, 2011

John Edwards Indicted

I get emails of CNN updates.  I wish FOX did that.  Maybe they do.  (They do, I just signed up for that too.)  So this morning I read that this may happen and then I got the email that it did.  I was immediately reminded of this song:

The situation made me smile.  If you touch the stove you will learn that the stove is hot.

Per CNN: 
Former Sen. John Edwards was indicted today. A grand jury has been investigating whether money given to support Edwards’ mistress, Rielle Hunter, by benefactors of Edwards should have been considered campaign donations.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Random Thoughts

Once again these are the things that happen that make me go "hmmmmm?"

1.  On Memorial day Terry switched the TV over to catch the end of the Indy car race.  I was anxious to see  to see how the drivers that I knew,  were doing.  I always check the girl power Danica Patrick.  I then have to see where "Dancing With the Stars "winner  and three time Indy 500 winner, Helio Castroneves  is running.  Then there is last year's winner and Ashley Judd's husband, Dario Franchitti.  All of that went out the window when I saw this:

Then in searching Google ( Thank you Google) for a photo of this, I found this:

Dollar General also has a Nascar sponsorship.  How many off brand batteries do they need to sell to make the $$ these sponsorships cost?  I'm not against it.  I just had not thought of them being in the Tide or Penzoil caliber. 

2.  Another random thought is the "Hooters restaurant in my neighboring town closed. Businesses come and go in this economy but keep in mind, that "Hooters" is about 14 miles from a Marine base that is home to approximately 7,500 active Marines.  If they can't make a go of a "Hooters" here, there is no hope for the rest of them.

3.  I mailed 3 paperback books to my sister last week.  They were wrapped in paper and taped with packing tape,  like the Hope Diamond was in there. (It was sent to the Smithsonian via  Postal mail on Nov. 8, 1958.)  It was also stamped "Media".  

I get my books by hunting garage sales and flea markets and then take them to the resale book store to trade for the ones I really want.  So, I have very little money involved in them.  I then read and pass along the good ones to my sister or my daughters. 

Yesterday my sister called me and said, " I just got something in the mail you sent me."  "Yes you did.", I was happy to confirm.  But then she explained all she got was the wrapper stuck in a plastic bag with a note from the post office saying it arrived in her town like this and that sometimes things happen.  No......"things" don't just happen.  I've gotten a magazine with the cover torn. Ok. , I've also gotten mail wrinkled like it went through the conveyor belt. That packing tape is strong stuff.

 So, someone got some good summer reading.  Now I am on the hunt for those books again. Wish me luck.

Have you run into anything that has made you go "Hmmmmm?"
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