March 23, 2013
I went yesterday to visit the Alameda County Archive and Museum. The Old Guard Tower has been relocated and rebuilt, but not restored. Unfortunately, none of the original materials were saved. It is newly painted, bright and true to the original colors and basic design and, of course, the vast difference between the old and the new guard tower on the grounds is stark. The new one has electricity, heat, a telephone and its own toilet. The old was considered an “outdoor” assignment.
Every time I visit the archive, I find something new. This picture was taken in 1913 of a deputy who worked for Alameda County along with his gun and badge. The acquisition was brought to the archive but the information about this gentleman’s service has yet to be researched and printed up. We wondered whether the hounds were used to aid the department in any way? Click on the picture to make it larger.
Another new acquisition was a set of kilts. The department has a pipe band. They play at funerals and parades for the department. Years ago, underwater rescue, any aerial pictures taken for the department, the mounted posse, spotting planes during WWII, search and rescue, were auxiliary activities done by volunteers. The pipe band falls into that category.
Another acquisition is this newspaper story of the Mayor of Sunol, a dog named Bosco. Sunol is a sleepy little town between Niles and Pleasanton in the Niles Canyon. Bosco is no longer living, but his reputation lives on at the archive. Bosco’s story reminds me of my blog from La Conner, WA. called “Dirty Biter”, a similar town dog honored with a statue on the Main St.
Retired deputy Pat Higgins Jr. came to visit. His father retired from the department as well.
Jim Knudsen with Al Ianarelli and Bill Rhodes, came to tell us his Uncle, Gene Davidson is the oldest living Deputy Sheriff from the department and will be feted at his 100th birthday later this month. We have a manuscript of his remembrances of service from the early days with some amazing stories of bootlegging, wide open gambling, prostitution, and frontier justice.
In the afternoon, we had a first time visitor to the archive, retired Deputy Glenn Moon. He is recovering from a bike accident and decided to come for a visit. He is now on my list to interview for the archive.
We have quite a collection of inmate weapons, tatoo devices, drug paraphernalia and now, with this acquisition, lock picks. The ingenuity of an inmate intent on making something from whatever he can find, is ever fascinating. The tines of a leaf rake, a couple of them still show the green paint, used to open locks. I wish I had a set.
February 22, 2013
We are parked next to the American Legion in Lake Arthur, Louisiana, waiting for good weather. The patrons here told us we have to stay through Thursday, because they cook jambalaya for everyone for lunch. The cooks arrived about nine. Flys was cutting cabbage for the coleslaw.
Norman was taking a break while Mark cut up the pork meat.
Most of the fat comes off, but not all of it. Then it is set to brown.
When it is almost browned, the sausage is added and it gets stirred some more.
In another pot, fresh crowder peas cook. And still another pot holds rice.
Sally added water and seasoning and took her turn stirring.
Norman gave it his approval and Sally began loading styrofoam trays with the free lunch for everyone in the bar.
We bought a round of beers for the cooks and others did the same. Julia, the bartender is very able and practically runs, she is so busy.
The patrons here depend on the friendships they’ve developed. It is their social life and joy to get together, drink and eat. The bar always has peanuts, pork rinds, or something to nibble on. Beer here is lite and only comes in 10 oz cans. The man standing closest to Jim, is Shannoo. He owns the LA Bar downtown. Everyone has dictated that we HAVE to go to the LA Bar and after we had lunch and a beer, we did.
It is in an old historic building and according to some of the pipeliners, it is well-known outside Louisiana.
It is one of those places that has jokes and stuff and a big horned deer head hanging on the walls; dollar bills pinned to the ceiling, and 75-year-old whiskey. Shannon, doing bartender duty, is the owner’s wife. Her husband is also named Shannon, so he removed the n, added an o, and goes by Shannoo.
We were told the LA Bar serves the very best bloody mary money can buy. It was different, spicy and delicious with a green bean, carrot stick and okra pickle, an olive and lemon slice.
When the previous owner died, the bar was closed for four years. The locals are appreciative that this young couple in their thirties rescued their famous icon. Shannon told me some of these bottles are 75 years old and have never been opened. They are no longer for sale.
I enjoyed taking pictures of humorous signs.
Some are as old as that whiskey.
This one is barely readable. It looks like politicians were just as popular 75 years ago as they are today. Politicians and drunks not permitted on premises.
We walked toward the boardwalk at the lake. A beautiful oak greeted us at the end of Main St. Then the winds and rain suddenly started up again, and we had to abandon our walk.
We read for most of the day. Then back in the American Legion bar for a nightcap. Mark and Marlene were back as well. Mark will take us out to net catfish in his boat this morning if the weather isn’t too wet and too windy. Everyone seems to like everyone in this community. You never hear them grumble and complain about their neighbors. Fine salt of the earth people who know how to have fun. Tonight there will be a dance with a DJ.
January 17, 2013
Yesterday, the sun shined brightly and we soaked it up. Jim worked on the mal functioning auto lock on the passenger side door of the Bronco. I washed a couple of rugs and hung them out to drain and dry in the sun. It felt good to move about and feel the sun on our faces.
We did the laundry and bought home-made tamales from Rosa’s on the way home. Delicious late lunch. We sort of melted into the cushions and read the rest of the day and just snacked for dinner. On the way home I saw a sign for a frame shop, Hall Of Frames. I’m often impressed by the clever names people choose for their businesses. I don’t always get the picture, but I indulge in clever signs whenever I get a chance.
This sign is in old town Gallup, NM, outside of a business near a park. I once had a small retail store and I understand this completely.
You don’t see one of these very often. It is part of General Patton’s Museum in California where they tested tanks and other war equipment at one time.
Others are just fun. (The blur is my fault.)
.In Tombstone Arizona where the waiters and waitresses wear guns, unloaded, I’m sure. The customers are not allowed to wear guns.
An ad on a T-shirt.
Stapled to a power pole in Bisbee, Arizona.
A cookbook for sale in a motorcycle museum.
This curious statement on a business window in Harlingen, Texas, intrigued me. Driving by it a second time, I found out the new business going in will be a bike shop. Can’t reason it out. Obviously something I don’t know about bikes and bikers.
Well, this one is easy to understand. It is posted at my Italian neighbor’s house, and she is a hoot.
January 14, 2013
We drove to Corpus Christi early enough in the day to find our parking spot and take a cruise downtown and visit an Art Gallery I wanted to see. Jim turned right instead of left and we saw an Eagles Club that wasn’t on Google Earth. We pulled in to say hello and found one of the friendliest guys you’d ever want to meet. And, funny, too.
His name is Larry Mills and we let him entertain us for the rest of the day. He is from Michigan, my home state, but he’s become a Texan since moving here in 1982.
He manages the Eagles Hall, here, and showed us around, though it was closed and we were the only ones in the place. It has a wooden dance floor. As a former square dancer, I nearly drooled.
A great hall, a great guy. We decided to alter our plans a stay a couple more days.
But, since we stayed in, I was remembering two signs I saw the day we were in the Brownsville museum. Both kind of surprised me.
This one is an old-time Mexican saying since the revolutionary days. With our intrusive policies, it still holds true.
And this one was an excerpt from a priest’s prayer just before a voyage. Cheerful, bugger wasn’t he? They should have fired him as their priest or burned him at stake, or whatever they did to people in 1596 when he wasn’t doing his job well.
Being on the road as much as we are, we see signs of all types and they kind of amuse or boggle the brain or leave you wondering what they meant. Like this one. From the road you cannot read the small print on the bottom as you can (barely) in this cropped photo I took while driving by.
This is the newspaper delivery guy’s sense of humor. Whoever takes the last paper is greeted with this message. The rack is located in Palm Desert, CA, a well-known vacation spot.
The door is metal and the temperature in Palm Desert gets into triple digits, and yes, the door was hot. You’d think, they’d install a wooden door, now wouldn’t you? We were wintering there and the temperature was in the high seventies.
This drive by photo needs no explanation. I knew immediately the sign maker was talking about Congress. Pathetic, isn’t it?
Another little choice bit of wisdom. Hey, we roadies aren’t waiting in line either. It’s a great lifestyle. Life is short. Come join us. Retire early, hit the road. Enjoy life, not stuff.
November 13, 2012
I have to turn myself over to the talents of a surgeon and will be absent from this blog for awhile. So, thought I’d leave you with a laugh.
CIGARETTE: A pinch of tobacco rolled in paper with fire at one end and a fool at the other!
MARRIAGE: It’s an agreement wherein a man loses his bachelor’s degree & a woman gains her master’s
LECTURE: An art of transmitting Information from the notes of the lecturer to the notes of students without passing through the minds of either
CONFERENCE: The confusion of one man multiplied by the number present
COMPROMISE: The art of dividing a cake in such a way that everybody believes he got the biggest piece
TEARS: The hydraulic force by which masculine will power is defeated by feminine water-power!
CONFERENCE ROOM: A place where everybody talks, nobody listens and everybody disagrees later on
ECSTASY: A feeling when you feel you are going to feel a feeling you have never felt before
CLASSIC: A book which people praise, but never read SMILE: A curve that can set a lot of things straight!
OFFICE: A place where you can relax after your strenuous home life YAWN: The only time when some married men ever get to open their mouth
EXPERIENCE: The name men give to their Mistakes DIPLOMAT: A person who tells you to go to hell in such a way that you actually look forward to the trip
OPTIMIST: A person who while falling fromEIFFEL TOWER says in midway “SEE I AM NOT INJURED YET!”
MISER: A person who lives poor so that he can die RICH! FATHER: A banker provided by nature
BOSS: Someone who is early when you are late and late when you are early
POLITICIAN: One who shakes your hand before elections and your Confidence Later
DOCTOR: A person who kills your ills by pills, and kills you by his bills!
October 14, 2012
It is a mad campaign swirling around us and it is hard not to get caught up in the whirlwind. Speaking of mad, I recently read that people who study serial killers have made credible comparisons to people who run for office. They share many of the same traits. How many times have we heard someone say, “Ya gotta be crazy to run for President.” I am chuckling, folks, but then Hitler, Saddam Hussein, and other monsters pop into my head. I’ll be glad when the election is over and we can all get back to some semblance of normal life, whatever that is.
I find it unbelievable that a man can get elected to public office and claim slavery is a blessing in disguise. “The following link is too funny/scary not to pass on.”
August 30, 2012
I had occasion to visit my Public TV Access Group’s bookkeeper and she is a collector of pigs. I’m not sure what the fascination for pigs is, but, here they are:
Maybe it’s a reminder of the political pigs feeding at the public trough. Oh, that was ugly. It’s just a pig teapot.
Eileen’s pigs are mostly decorative knickknacks. Just cute little critters.
The site is having a problem and providing me with this miniscule font. So, pictures seem better than words. Besides, I was awfully wordy yesterday about the contention, I mean the convention.
This pig is straight forward and sweet. When we arrange our collections, do we make sure they are all turned the same way? Facing right? Or left? Hmm!
Most of Eileen’s pigs were facing right.
When placed against on a table with other things, left facing was necessary to see the character.
The room, table and walls configured for the one above to be arranged facing left.
And this bold Harley Rider is multi-dimensional and faces forward. Not that any of this matters, but if you decorate your office with your collection, they have to look appealing.
They are cute and most knickknack collections have cute appeal. And, I always appreciate other people’s collections being a collectiholic myself.
My daughter-in-law collects non-political elephants and the form and function elephants can take goes way beyond knickknacks and is fascinating. Always the object turned art.
But, this one was my favorite. It has a message with just the right touch of truth and humor. Oh, boy!
July 31, 2012
This little doe comes to visit me each morning. She seems to know when I have the camera aimed at her and hides from me. My yard is Certified Wildlife Habitat, and between Karen and I, we’ve seen every animal except a possum and a bear come to drink water. Cougars, bobcats, foxes, skunks, raccoons, squirrels, coyotes, dogs, cats, birds. Even bats and lizards. This low water year, the water in my pond, and other vessels, needs to be replenished every other day, which Karen does.
I’m coming at my subject a bit sideways, here, but Jim brought this beautiful hammock all the way from Central America. It has hung between a couple of trees for the last two summers and a squirrel came down the tree and chewed part of the threads. Sorry, Jim. I was pretty amazed at that. She chewed some of the support strings as well. I don’t blame the squirrel. I’m sure she is nest-building. Red tail hawks decimated my squirrel population a while back and this one has moved in to begin a new generation.
I’m always bragging about Murphys being such a nice place to live, with its beautiful park with a creek running through it. But, San Andreas has a beautiful Turner Park too, with multiple entrances and areas to enjoy because it runs along a small creek. I met friends yesterday, with whom I worked at the Calaveras Enterprise in the 1980′s and was reminded of the wholesome community we share. Dedicated park volunteers were blowing debris and picking up stuff people leave behind when I got there. How cool is that?
This cute elephant bridge leads to a playground for the kids. Part of why this is such a great place to live is the huge body of volunteerism that makes places like this possible for everyone.
Sue Walker has a new last name since we met at this same spot last year. I was surprised my friends knew about my accident on May 27th. We spent an hour playing catch-up while we ate our bag lunch.
We manage our visit in an hour since Deborah Mullen comes from work during her lunch time. I heard that our former editor, Sandy Lema died while I was on the road, and I forgot to ask them if that was correct?
That hour went by way too fast! I’m going to make an effort to get home earlier next year to attend the main event. We grabbed one of the friendly park volunteers to take our picture before we parted.
This is a group photo of Enterprise staffers from Reunion 2011.
After leaving the park, I had some blood work done and then went to the beauty shop to get my hair cut. I reminded Sue, who was cutting my hair, that the purpose of a beauty salon is make people beautiful.
I thought she did a pretty good job, don’t you?
Then I stopped in Angels Camp to visit my friend Linda Foster. She is painting her house and needs help deciding what color to choose.
The picture doesn’t show all of her possible choices. But, I think it was more than nine. Decisions, decisions. And you know? She didn’t even notice my beautiful new look? The older we get, the harder it is to get beautiful.
May 13, 2012
Since I refuse to shop at Wal-Mart, Jim went to pick up some items he wanted while I stayed in the Motor Home. He was wearing shorts and a T-shirt, the sun was shining , and then…it started to pour. He raced through the parking lot to the Bronco with water swirling around him. He inadvertently left his fanny pack unzipped, and when he got back to the Bronco, his money was gone. He retraced his steps and found it floating in a puddle.
I never thought I’d see the day he would launder money, but here is the proof! Drenched to the skin, it took 24 hours to dry his shoes.
We drove to Casa Blanca, where we will visit a pueblo on top of a plateau today, Mother’s Day. Settled into the Dancing Eagle Casino, owned by the Laguna Indians, is a comfortable place to stay.
Their food is very fresh and delicious. A vast menu, reasonable prices. Nice.
I admired this clever map of the United States done in license plate pieces. It seemed impossible to me, but the artist managed to get tiny Delaware and Rhode Island pieces on this map. If you enlarge it, you can see the full name of almost every state.
We meet a lot of full-time RVers on the road, but not many that live on their bicycles. This guy was doing the best he could in a bad economy. Well rigged out; he had a sign, a money box for donations, a flag, a tent, blankets, a neon vest so he can be easily seen, and a duct taped sign. Hey, you gotta do whatcha gotta do.
To all the mother’s in my life, and those I don’t know, may you have a Happy Mother’s Day! Remember, The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world. Well, William Ross Wallace could be wrong about that, hmmm!
He has his food prepared for him. He can eat whenever he wants.
His meals are provided at no cost to him.
He visits the Dr. once a year for his checkup, and again during the year if any medical needs arise.
For this he pays nothing, and nothing is required of him.
He lives in a nice neighborhood in a house that is much larger than he needs, but he is not required to do any upkeep.
If he makes a mess, someone else cleans it up.
He has his choice of luxurious places to sleep.
He receives these accommodations absolutely free.
He is living like a King, and has absolutely no expenses whatsoever.
All of his costs are picked up by others who go out and earn a living every day.
I was just thinking about all this, and suddenly it hit me like a brick in the head……. My dog is a member of Congress!