Posts Tagged With: churches

Douglas, Arizona (Five blogs for the price of one!) (GA40)

Mary is no longer available for RV traveling, but we remain good friends.
Because we have 4,000+ postings, I’ve invited her to continue posting entries on this blog.
I’m currently in my 22nd year of full-time RVing and my lifestyle is changing, For more info click Here

The motorhome is parked at Thousand Trails Soledad Canyon RV Resort at Acton, California. I’m expecting to depart here March 27th.

 

 

Since my RVing life is changing (see above), I’m starting to re-visit previously visited places. So rather than constantly re-blogging past entries, I’ve decided to do something different.

 

 

In 2012-2013, Mary and I did a 682 day, 12,679 miles in the motorhome and 8,000 miles in the Bronco, circumnavigation of the United States, which I called The Great Adventure. I called it so because other than my oldest granddaughter’s high school graduation in June in Connecticut, I didn’t know where we would be going or when we would be there!

 

 

So, unless I do something really different and unusual warranting a new blog entry, I’ll be posting entries from that trip.

 

 

 

This entry was posted March 5, 2012…

 

 

 

 

 

Our motorhome home is still parked at Belle Starr’s Silverado Ranch…13 miles west of Douglas, Arizona.

 

 

Yesterday was a busy  day for us. So today you get five Blog entries for the price of one!

 

 

Blog #1 – John Slaughter Ranch

 

 

Have you ever wondered what it was like to be a cattle baron in Arizona in the late 1800’s? We did…so we went to find out.

 

 

To  read all about the Slaughter Ranch, click this link…
http://www.slaughterranch.com

 

 

First we drove the 13 miles to Douglas, Arizona. Then we continued on this dirt road for another 16 miles. Since we were so close to the Mexico Border…we saw a  Border Patrol vehicle about every one mile along the way…

 

 

 

 

 

As always you may left click upon an image to see an enlarged view and then click once again to see an even larger view…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s a Google Earth image of the ranch house area where we visited.The Mexican Border is only 600 feet away…

 

 

 

 

 

Here are five other photos. Whenever you can see a brown-poled fence…that’s the Mexico Border…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To see the other 43 photos that I took, click this link…
https://picasaweb.google.com/110455945462646142273/JohnSlaughterRanch

 

 

We spent a very enjoyable 2.5 hours wandering the grounds.

 

 

Then we once again drove the 16 dusty miles back to Douglas, Arizona for…

 

 

 

Blog #2 – The Gadsden Hotel

 

 

To read about the Gadsden Hotel, click this link…
http://thegadsdenhotel.com/history/

 

 

Here are some photos that I took…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To see the other 22 photos that I took, click this link…
https://picasaweb.google.com/110455945462646142273/TheGadsdenHotelDouglasArizona

 

 

We spent an enjoyable hour wandering the hotel and eating lunch in their fancy dining room.

 

 

Then a few blocks away to

 

 

 

Blog #3 – It’s The Only Place In The World That You Will See this!

 

 

At least according to the visitors brochure for Douglas, Arizona. Church Square is the only block in the World that has a church on each corner! Here’s a Google Earth view…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

E is for Episcopalian……

 

 

 

 

 

B is for Baptist…

 

 

 

 

 

M is for Methodist…

 

 

 

 

 

P is for Presbyterian…

 

 

It’s always fun to see a one in the world thing!

 

 

Then a few blocks to…

 

 

 

Blog #4 – The Big Disappointment…

 

 

In 2004, at the end on my 16,000+ mile RV trip through Mexico and Central America…we re-entered the United States at Douglas, Arizona. We went to the local Safeway to shop for groceries and quite by accident parked under the Safeway sign which we took as a blessing that we had managed such a long journey without any major mishaps and returned safely to the United States. We asked a passing woman to take our photo…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since we plan to depart Douglas tomorrow morning…I thought it would be fun to park our current motorhome under the Safeway sign and take a similar photo. But surprise…the sign and Safeway are gone! Something that was not there in 2004, across the street,  A WalMart SuperCemter, has apparently run them out of business. So much for nostalgia!.

 

 

Here’s an interesting aside. The way the crow flies…presumably in a straight line…it’s a little more than 2,500 miles to Portebello, Panama…the furthest southern point reached during our journey. By road the most direct route…add about another 1,000 miles. Here’s a Google Earth image to give you some perspective…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then just five blocks away to…

 

 

 

Blog #5 – Agua Prienta, Sonora, Mexico...

 

 

Mary wanted to add to her list of border crossings into Mexico. So we walked across the border and down a few blocks of the main drag and we were back in the United States in 25 minutes. Not much going on a Sunday afternoon in this rather lackluster border town. Here are some photos that I took…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another full and fun day in the RVing lifestyle!

 

 

 

TWO FOR THE PRICE OF ONE! MARY WROTE A MANY GREAT BLOGS…SO WHENEVER SHE PUBLISHED A BLOG POSTING THE SAME DAY THAT I DID…YOU WILL BE ABLE TO READ HER BLOG BY CLICKING THE BELOW LINK! DO IT NOW…!!!

https://otrwjam.wordpress.com/2012/03/05/john-slaughter/

 

 

 

I HOPE YOU ENJOYED THE PHOTOS.

 Yesterday was cloudy with a shower and 62 degrees. Forecast for today is cloudy with a shower and 59 degrees.

Enjoying nice weather is another joy in the life of a full-time RVer!

The red dot on the below map shows my approximate location in the State of California. You may double left-click the map to make it larger…

Enjoying 65-75 degree temperatures with low humidity most of the year is a primary joy in the RVing lifestyle!

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving”…Albert Einstein

2

My current travel rig is a 2006 Fleetwood 26′ Class A Motorhome and a towed 1986 Ford Bronco II, Eddie Bauer Model. This photo was taken in the desert at Slab City near Niland, California…

DSC040481b

On October 27, 2012, I created a two-minute video titled America The Beautiful. The music America The Beautiful is by Christopher W. French. The photos, which I randomly selected, are from the states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Tennessee, Washington and West Virginia (not shown in that order)…are mine. Yup, That’s me standing in front of the Post Office in Luckenbach, Texas…Y’all!

Click this link to start the video. Make sure you have your speakers turned on and go to full screen asap.
http://youtu.be/FfZUzEB4rM8

If you would like to see my YouTube videos, click this link… http://www.youtube.com/user/JimJ1579/videos

There are more than 700 photo albums in my Picasa Web Albums File. To gain access, you simply have to click this link… https://get.google.com/albumarchive/110455945462646142273?source=pwa

If you have not checked out my Ramblin Man’s Photos Blog, you can do so by clicking this link…http://ramblinmanphotos.wordpress.com/

For more information about my books, click this link:
http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/panamaorbust

All original works copyrighted – Jim Jaillet -2017

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Central America Trip #76

Mary is no longer available for RV traveling, but we remain good friends.
Because we have 4,000+ postings, I’ve invited her to continue posting entries on this blog.

The motorhome is parked at Thousand Trails RV Resort in Palm Desert, California.

Recently I’ve been running blogs about my 2004 Central America trip. While here, I’m intending to continue those postings while also alternating with this area blogs.

Today, I’m taking you back to my…

2004 Central America trip…

This trip ended up being 343 days and 16,000+ miles through the back-country of Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama. 11 rigs started the trip, within a week we broke into three smaller groups for ease of traveling. Only myself and one other rig went the full, pre-planned route. All the others dropped out for various reasons. All returned safely to the United States. I’m planning to show these photos, more or less, 10 a day, whenever I’m not doing something else deserving a blog entry. FINALLY, it must be remembered these photos are prior to my switching to digital in 2006. The films were developed during our trip and the lack of quality control sometimes is plainly evident.

 

Today…Mexico (north-bound) #1…

 

Leaving Guatemala, I immediately felt a “sudden release of tension” that I did not realize was there. I suspect it was of a subconscious sort of thing, associated with all the readings and things I had heard about the “dangers” of Central America. When I crossed into Mexico, I felt I had “returned home” and felt completely at ease. I was now feeling the “rush” of having looked “potential danger” in the eye and returning safely. The feeling seemed to coincide with one of my favorite sayings of life; The sweetest fruit is at the end of the branch.” In other words, if you want to experience the best life has to offer, you must be willing to take some risks.

Our first stop in Mexico was at Comitan. It’s an attractive, clean city with a population of about 105,000 and sits at about the 5,000 foot elevation…

 

As always you may left click upon an image to see an enlarged view and then click once again to see an even larger view…

 

 

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There are lots of churches in Mexico…

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We then drove on to the city of San Cristobal De Las Casas, population about 117,000 and elevation of 6,750 feet. Our guidebook said “It is one of the prettiest cities in Mexico.” I usually do not care for cities all that much, but I had to admit the San Cristobal De Las Casas, was the most beautiful and cleanest city we had seen on our entire trip. There were none of those black smoke-belching diesel buses here, and the air was refreshingly clean and cool…

#790

 

 

We climbed up these stairs to…

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another church…

#792

 

 

Local women socialize at the central plaza…

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It was the cleanest city of our entire trip so far…

#794

 

 

Where we got to see the flying nun…

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Here’s my trip website link…http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/panamaorbust

I hope you enjoyed the photos.

 Yesterday was sunny and 87 degrees. Forecast for today is sunny and 89 degrees. Too danged hot!

Enjoying nice weather is another joy in the life of a full-time RVer!

The red dot on the below map shows my approximate location in the State of California. You may double left-click the map to make it larger…

 

united-states-mapPalm Desert

 

Enjoying 65-75 degree temperatures with low humidity most of the year is a primary joy in the RVing lifestyle!

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving”…Albert Einstein

2

My current travel rig is a 2006 Fleetwood 26′ Class A Motorhome and a towed 1986 Ford Bronco II, Eddie Bauer Model. This photo was taken in the desert at Slab City near Niland, California…

DSC040481b

On October 27, 2012, I created a two-minute video titled America The Beautiful. The music America The Beautiful is by Christopher W. French. The photos, which I randomly selected, are from the states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Tennessee, Washington and West Virginia (not shown in that order)…are mine. Yup, That’s me standing in front of the Post Office in Luckenbach, Texas…Y’all!

Click this link to start the video. Make sure you have your speakers turned on and go to full screen asap.
http://youtu.be/FfZUzEB4rM8

If you would like to see my YouTube videos, click this link… http://www.youtube.com/user/JimJ1579/videos

There are more than 600 photo albums in my Picasa Web Albums File. To gain access, you simply have to click this link… https://picasaweb.google.com/jimjrver

If you have not checked out my Ramblin Man’s Photos Blog, you can do so by clicking this link…http://ramblinmanphotos.wordpress.com/

For more information about my books, click this link:
http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/panamaorbust

All original works copyrighted – Jim Jaillet -2016

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

ESCANABA, MICHIGAN MEANDERING.

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Touring the town where I had my first date, my first kiss, and attended both grammar and Jr. High Schools was a nostalgic trek for me. The people who live in this house were not at home to speak to. My sister and I and three brothers all slept in one big bedroom upstairs in this two bedroom one bath house. A porch once ran the width of the front. I amazed myself at how many memories came floating back just seeing the place. If you’ve never done a trip like this, I’d recommend it.

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Two houses away still lived Mrs. Clifford Jensen. Her husband Clifford and his sister Julie were very young,  Bob and Nancy, both deceased, were close to my age.  She kind of filled me in on changes in the neighborhood over the years. Too many friends gone. DSC08499 (Copy)

From that house I attended St. Patricks Catholic Church, a beautiful old cathedral style church of which there are many in Escanaba. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get inside, it was boarded up, trees are growing out of the bell tower and it had been hit by lightening  a week ago. The building is for sale.  I sang in the choir here, two masses most Sundays.  I talked to the nuns about joining the convent and when  my father fund out he whisked us out of Escanaba to nearby Danforth  to get me away from that Parrish with these words:  “No daughter of mine is going to make a decision like that at age 11.”

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When we returned to Escanaba, we lived in this duplex which also had a front porch shared by both parties. Mrs. Niderost, our landlady lived in the right half. This house had a full basement.  Here I got my first kiss at age 13 from a boy named Bob Morin. (I still attended St. Patricks Church, but the subject of  a novitiate never came up again.) This house is only half a block from Lake Michigan and a neighbor facing the water would let us swim off his dock and taught me to water ski.

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On my one and only date, we went to a Sunday matinée at this now closed theater in town. .

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After the “show”, no one said movie, we went to Saykillys Sweet Shop for a tin roof sundae. My visit to Sakilly’s saddened me. The counter was removed three years ago. The booths you can barely discern at the left side of the room, long gone. The juke box, gone, but the only constant in life is change, so I shouldn’t have been surprised.  Sakillys still makes home made candy and a sells gifts,  much expanded from those many years ago.  I moved to California in 1954, shortly after my first date, and I thought the world would end.

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Mrs. Sakilly weighing candy. She is long gone, as is her sister, Angela Kabasic. Angela and Pete owned and ran Kabasics store where we shopped for penny candy and groceries as kids. In those days we had credit at the store. Mom would send us for a pound of sugar or something and we’d say “put it on the bill.” No question. Everyone knew who you were.

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The store is much expanded, modernized, and still run by a family member, George Kabasic.  It at one time had a counter running the full width of the store. You walked up to the counter and Pete would go get what was on your list one item at a time. Talk about sloooow! It amazes me how they could wrest a living from the place. Kabasic was a butcher and he had good meat and they still have fresh meat in a case at the back of the store which is now twice as long as it once was. Necco wafers, bird bubblers, walnettos, candy cigarettes. dots…a nickel went a long way.

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Downtown, the Ludington Hotel was considered the “Ritz”. It had bellmen. They were dressed in red uniforms similar to the little guy  who “called for Philip Morris” in the cigarette ads.  I remember wishing I could go into the hotel just to see what a hotel was like, it was so beautiful. It is on the State Historical Register, but it has lost its luster. Now, renting apartments and only a few rooms are rented out as a hotel, with a downsized dining room and bar. It was closed so I never did get my peek except through the door and a window.

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Another place that fascinated me was Just Ask…

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Gust Asp. Gus and I think his wife’s name was Dena, no longer own the business. I knew it was a cigar shop, or men’s shop. I never went inside. This time I did. It is a liquor store, fast food sandwiches, meat, cigs and all sorts of “stuff”. I shopped my babysitting dollars at Kresges  and Woolworths.  Woolworths had neumatic tubes that took your money to the cash handlers visible  upstairs. Then the neumatic tube delivered your receipt and change to the clerk downstairs bagging your purchase. Both stores were gone and the signage covered over.  (I made Jim take me back right after the sun set to capture this picture of the sign flashing its dual message.)

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We went looking for the schools I attended. Escanaba Jr. High, expanded on the back side was still there. Escanaba High School the one we knew, no longer exists. My sister graduated from it. My Grammar School, likewise, completely gone.

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A jut of land on Little Bay de Noc uses a crib light to warn boats and ships away from danger. It took over for the Sand Point Light House in 1939.

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The Sand Point Lighthouse has been refurbished and is now a museum with fully furnished living quarters. The most fascinating thing about it is the light keeper, Mr. John Terry, died the day before he was supposed to go to work in 1868. His wife, Mary Terry took over and lit the light until 1886 when she died in a mysterious fire. This complex included the lighthouse, a rescue boathouse on rails that could be pulled to the nearby water for rescue operations; a coast guard memorial, and a wonderfully done museum and archives in a separate building, all for the family price of $5. I got a line on people I knew, (one of the docents was my older sisters age) and a newspaper picture of Pete Dube, an olympic skating trainer. He died in 1963. My dad took us out to Little Bay de Noc to see Pete Dube Skate across the bay and back when he was in his seventies.

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We stopped for a beer at the Eagles Club. A brewpub on the street was closed.

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There are many historical buildings in this town and the Elks Club is one of them, imprinted on the building, 1925. It has a 6 lane bowling alley upstairs according to some folks at the Eagles Club. (The Elks Club wasn’t open.) We are on picture rationing, so I’ll be doing a part two on Escanaba, tomorrow.

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CLARKSBURG, WEST VIRGINIA

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We arrived in Clarksburg, W. Virginia, a busy city with lots of hilly areas and one way streets- no streets made for a wide bodied motor home. We had two other options, The Elks and the Eagles. We never did find them but the VFW appeared to have a huge parking area. When Jim pulled between the narrow yellow stanchions to enter their lot, I held my breath. The Commander happened to be sitting on the porch. He told me later he was sure he wouldn’t be able to get that rig in.  The VFW parking lot is miniscule.  But, it was Saturday and you can see us parked in a bank’s lot that runs right next to the VFW building. The commander assured us we would be okay for the weekend. DSC06326 (Copy)

This old cannon has an interesting history, as does the post. Here they accept “Guest Members”, the first time we’d heard the term.  We had lunch at the VFW, a gulllinos  sandwich for me. I always like to try a local specialty and it was stir fried hot peppers and onion with melted cheese, and a beef patty onTexas toast, which turned out to be the first sour dough bread I’ve had since I left California. I asked her to substitute a chicken breast for the beef patty and she did. I don’t know where they got the name, but the sandwich was excellent.

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The forecast was rain. While it was still overcast, we took a walk around a four block area and just took some pictures. This lovely church with the bells, we heard play music at 5:00 while we were reading.

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Other lovely churches with stained glass windows. No longer open like the refuges of the 1950’s where you could walk into any church. They were always open 24 hours a day.

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Would have liked to have a look inside.

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Built in 1863. The plaque says, The Lord Is In His Temple.

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You can get a sense of the beautiful glass.

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And old town;  there was a cemetery that looked interesting as we came into town.  Stopping with the rig is not always an option.

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An old empty theater, a broken window,  looking sadly uncared for.

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A beauty of a building that looks worth saving. A woman I spoke to on the street, when I asked her what there is to do in Clarksburg replied, “Walmart went in a few miles down the road and sucked the life out of this city. So many local shops closed, it is not a place you want to live anymore.” I was stunned to hear that condemnation for a city of this size.  The population is 16,798 from the 2010 census.

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There are some signs of degradation, closed up buildings, for rent signs on storefronts.

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Graffiti.

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This is not the kind of beauty shop I would choose.

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You don’t hear or see much about the International Order of Odd Fellows. The historic sign has been retained. The building now houses a couple of shops on the ground level.

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Fire escapes up the side of an old building, a rare sight for westerners along with the narrow streets and alleys.DSC06368 (Copy)

We made it back to the motor home just before the rain started. It cooled off and we spent the rest of the day reading and relaxing.

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The City has beautiful buildings, and cities have been known to reinvent themselves. I’m sure Clarksburg will survive to see another economic upturn. I wish we could have spent another day here to look it over, but it was nice to have a day of relaxation, too.

 

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A SKILLED CRAFTSMAN, NOLAN BARRAS

Nolan Baras, 86 years old

Meet Nolan Barras, a skilled wood worker, carver, model builder, stained glass artist, painter, furniture maker, clock maker and probably other crafts I know nothing about. He is uniquely talented to be capable of such varied work and all of it self-taught.

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He was just putting the finishing touches on his current project. All of the horses move up and down on their posts. When finished it will have a motor to make it go around and play music.

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Here he holds a beautiful wood burning he did.

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He has about ten of these carriages, fully assembled and  waiting to be painted.

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It all started with this clock. He built it from scratch when he was a young man. He saw a picture of an expensive clock and he thought, I can do that.

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Both sides of the clock are hand tooled leather. He got married, had children, worked and never did another wood working project for 30 years. “I always liked doing that clock and I finally got time to play with wood.”

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There are clocks all over his house.

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He must have had 100 clocks in his house and workshop. Anyplace you could put one.

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And if you are going to build clocks, why not a lighted cathedral with figures that travel around a track and go in and out the door.

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You can see that pendulum is moving. Luckily, he doesn’t have to hand wind any of these model clocks, they have a battery. Nolan sends for the kit, but all of that filigree work is carved  by him and he has the right equipment to do it. Then he assembles them, sands and paints them.

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And, if you are going to make a lighted chandelier?  Why not five of them?  There were two already cut and assembled on the floor just waiting for their bulbs and electrical connections.

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The clocks were a dominate theme, but this man’s talent amazed us.

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He had hundred’s of crosses, of every size available,  already machine tooled. Why so many, asked Jim?  He said, “I gotta have something to do and this is what I like to do.”  He is 86 years old, and we saw no television in his house. He reminds me of older people who give you the secret of their longevity when you ask.  “Just keep a doin'”, is the usual answer.

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He builds dioramas and hand carves and paints all the figures like this Cajun band.

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Or this brawling, rip-roaring western bar scene.

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Did I mention that he paints?  There isn’t enough wall space so he built rows of screens from which to hang them. DSC03938 (Copy)

Every nook and cranny of his house is filled with artwork of one kind or another. The carnival horse on the left is an example of his stained glass work. He did small cathedral kits made from paper. He said he had more trouble assembling paper creased churches than the wooden ones.

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Then there are the doll houses with his hand carved furnishings. This one must be five feet long.

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The center of this room is filled with buildings. The glass figure of a “female”  butterfly is more of his stained glass work.

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Some of the buildings are small; many are lighted.

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In some years past he skillfully hand carved and built a credenza. This is the top piece with his initial.

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He no longer has room for big projects. At one time he and his wife had a store where he sold his carvings, but it has been closed for many years, and his wife died six years ago.

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He hand carves pictures on beautiful woods and shellacs them.

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Some of his hand carved pieces are painted and framed like this bowl of flowers. The flower petals are 1/2 and inch thick. Very unique.

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With all the ends and pieces of wood, he carves little figures like these. He has them by the box full. He has two places that sell his work. “They sell a little.” he says.

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When there is no room on the wall, the paintings sit on the floor and lean against something.

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And, if you build clocks you collect clocks, too. He had several old clocks and then this Rube Goldberg type clock. He’ll probably figure out how to build one  some day. He is so multi-talented and skilled. It was a pleasure to meet him and he enjoyed showing us his work. Jim marveled at his eyesight, that he can still see well enough to use fine power tools and sharp carving knives. I’m so glad I got to meet Nolan Barras.

 

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A SIXTH BORDER CROSSING

After visiting the Slaughter Ranch, Jim wanted to visit the small town of Douglas for several reasons. First, because when he returned from Panama in 2004 with his friend Bud Kuball, they exited Mexico with their motor homes at this portal. Back in the United States after 343 days.

It was late in the day when we crossed into the town of Agua Prienta. It was closing down and  not very exciting compared to the others I’ve visited, but I enjoyed the idea of a sixth border crossing, especially this one that had meaning to Jim. Each crossing has something unique.

In enjoyed the series of  ten tile mosaic figures decorating the walls of the portal.

It was a brief stop and back to Douglas a town that never had a major fire and now has 335 buildings on the Historic Register.

One of the old grand hotels still in use is The Gadsden with its sweeping staircase, dark wood, marble columns and mirrored dining room.

We had lunch and wandered around admiring the hotel and later the town.

The beautiful ceiling and chandelier.

Huge stained glass windows.

It’s kind of fun to step back into yesteryear and think the Slaughters must have come here for dinners with friends.

Douglas also has four churches on one block, each taking a corner. This is supposedly the only place in the world where that happens. First there is the Episcopalian Church above.

The Baptist Church.

Presbyterian.

And the Methodist.

The Catholic Church of The Immaculate Conception dated 1907  is on the next block over and visible from the Presbyterian Church. One can conclude that Douglas is a very devout community.

We walked around the older part of town and saw some of the historic old buildings with their fancy facades and charm.

The VFW we visited a couple of days ago was haunted.  Tombstone Cemetery had several  wrongful deaths. Many people were hanged in this part of the country.

The Gadsden Hotel is haunted.  Hmmm!  We must be getting close to meeting a ghost.

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