Monday, May 31, 2010
Robert Service wrote extensively about the men who fought on the Western Front in the Great War, and he was well qualified, having served there as an ambulance driver from 1914 to 1916. I always think of this passage from "Ballads Of A Bohemian" on Memorial Day:
"Silence and solitude! How good the peace of it all seems! Around me the grasses weave a pattern, and half hide the hundreds of little wooden crosses. Here is one with a single name:
Who was Aubrey I wonder? Then another:
To Our Beloved Comrade.
Then one which has attached to it, in the cheapest of little frames, the crude water-color daub of a child, three purple flowers standing in a yellow vase. Below it, painfully printed, I read:
To My Darling Papa -- Thy Little Odette.
And beyond the crosses many fresh graves have been dug. With hungry open mouths they wait. Even now I can hear the guns that are going to feed them. Soon there will be more crosses, and more and more. Then they will cease, and wives and mothers will come here to weep.
Ah! Peace so precious must be bought with blood and tears. Let us honor and bless the men who pay, and envy them the manner of their dying; for not all the jeweled orders on the breasts of the living can vie in glory with the little wooden cross the humblest of these has won. . . . "
Sunday, May 30, 2010
Saturday, May 29, 2010
"You may fire when ready, Gridley."
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Arthur Fields recorded My Buddy on the Cameo label in November of 1922. This song was introduced by Al Jolson in the same year, and it is pretty well believed that it was written for Great War veterans who lost their buddies in France. If you get a chance to watch the silent film, "The Big Parade," you will hear this song in the sound track added to the movie.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
The saw did not sell, and they finally marked it down another $50, so I grabbed it on my last visit. It came equipped with a 20" sprocket nose bar and 3/8" chain. One of the features that makes this model appealing is that it has a compression release. It is easier to crank than my well broken in 346XP, and the larger cylinder produces plenty of torque for bore cutting oaks and hickories.
Monday, May 24, 2010
Sunday, May 23, 2010
Saturday, May 22, 2010
Friday, May 21, 2010
We tried the "Wabash Blues" on the flip side of this record first, but it was worn so badly it wasn't worth sharing. "Tuck Me To Sleep In My Old 'Tucky Home" is a nice Fox Trot that you all can enjoy dancing to, and it is very familiar to me because I used to have this song on a piano roll.
Thursday, May 20, 2010
We are scraping the bottom of the barrel of raw videos I shot last year. This cute little number was running last July at Boonville, Indiana. I need to check the show schedules and figure out where we want to go this year to see some "new" engines.
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
The top two photos show a couple of the students practicing on the bore post so they will be able to bore a tree when making a hinge.
They punched a lot of holes in the practice post.
Monday, May 17, 2010
Sunday, May 16, 2010
24052 posted this obscure recording of the Original Dixieland Jazz Band performing "Some of These Days" on the OKEH label in 1923. This is a rare treat, and of course it calls for a second version by the Red Hot Mama, who was the first interpreter of this great song. (Courtesy of ASACurator)
Saturday, May 15, 2010
This photo is a publicity shot the Midwest Central used in the mid-1960's.
Number 6 underwent a complete restoration in 1987, and I took this mug-shot of her the day she returned to service during the Labor Day weekend show that year.
Friday, May 14, 2010
for a range trip. The May e-Postal contest is on, so print out some targets and take family and friends out to shoot this weekend. The contest this month is hosted by Danno over at Sand Castle Scrolls. Click for the link to his rules and target.
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Names of geographic features around the country are sometimes hard to figure out, and if we only knew, some of them have amusing stories behind them. While checking out the topo map for a fire I was going to in Eastern Kentucky(Long,Long Time Ago), one of the other guys spoke up that the map was wrong. He said the creek we were going to was Hurricane Branch, not Harkin, as the USGS map showed. That was easy enough to figure out. The mountain accent of the locals made Hurricane sound like Harkin to the surveyors who did the field work. (The hollow next to was named 'Hard' on the map, but it should have been 'Howard.') It was probably named Hurricane because a 'Toad Strangler' hit an early settler there. The stream you see above is Dry Fork, and I don't think it has ever been dry in all the years I have been in Southern Illinois. Much of it is downright swampy, with lacustrine deposits alongside that soak up water during wet weather, and seep it back into the stream during droughts. Anyhow, this is how it looked Wednesday morning.
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Monday, May 10, 2010
Sunday, May 9, 2010
["Once, at Dobodura, a little tip of land in New Guinea, I was doing a show for fourteen or fifteen hundred kids gathered down at on end of the airfield where the crews could be handy to their planes if trouble started dropping from the sky.
It had been a long show, for those kids were simply starved for some fun. Every time I got ready to stop, they'd scream and applaud and make me go on. I'd just about reached the end, but they kept shouting.
"Listen, you guys," I said, "that's all I know."
"Give us more, Joe," they roared.
We argued like this awhile, and then there was a little slit of silence in the noise, as sometimes happens, and way back on the edge of the crowd a youngster shouted: "Hey, Joe, tell us some dirty stories."
You could have heard a pin drop, and not a big pin either. The kids looked at me, every one of 'em. I could feel 'em wondering what I was going to do. I stood there a minute, not quite knowing myself how to turn it off. And then I just forgot I was a comedian. I said to them, just the way I'd have said it to my own sons: "Listen, you kids. I've been on the stage since I was ten years old. I've told all kinds of jokes to all kinds of people. I've been in little flea-bitten vaudeville theatres and in big first-class houses. I've been in movies, I've made 65 pictures in my life-and there's one thing I've been proud about. In all that time I've never had to stoop to a dirty story to get a laugh."
They were quiet and they looked a little guilty, the way kids do when somebody speaks out loud about something like this.
"I know some dirty stories," I went on. "I've heard plenty of 'em in my time. I could tell them to you fellows if I wanted to. But I made a rule a long time ago that I'd never tell a story that I wouldn't want my mother to hear me telling."
Then the applause came. Not just a trickle of it but the biggest, noisest gale of hand clapping I've ever heard anywhere. It went on and on."]
Joe received hundreds of letters about this performance. He heard from parents, chaplains, officers, and soldiers who thanked him for what he did for those kids on New Guinea.
I had never heard this song until I found it on Pax41's YouTube channel. How have I missed this delightful song all my life?! "Kissed right in public, although it was rude....Maybe we're loony for acting so spoony!" How could anyone not be charmed by this song? Thanks for sharing this treasure, Pax!
Henry Burr and Helen Clark recorded "Kiss Me Again" on April 22, 1914.
Saturday, May 8, 2010
Friday, May 7, 2010
Danno over Sand Castle Scrolls is hosting Mr. Completely's May contest, and it is a fun challenge for the whole family. Click the target to see the rules and download the dartboard. Remember, Cheaper Than Dirt is awarding a $50 gift certificate to one of the participants each month this year, and you get bragging rights for entering. Take the wife, take the kids, invite a friend, and go to the range!
Thursday, May 6, 2010
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Monday, May 3, 2010
Sunday, May 2, 2010
If you have been following Second Amendment news in Iowa you know that Governor Culver recently signed legislation which will allow Iowans to obtain concealed carry permits. Bea has been following the progress of this legislation, and communicating with the Governor's office and her legislators. Saturday she celebrated this victory for law abiding citizens by shopping for a pistol to use when she is licensed to carry. We made a shopping list of various pistols to examine, and Mom looked at a bunch of them. Scheel's in Coralville had the new Walther PK380's in stock, and she knew as soon as she held it that this was the gun for her. Above you can see Cody guiding her through the paperwork. We also looked at holsters and purchased sufficient ammo to try out her new hardware. During our afternoon trip to the range just west of Washington, Mom ran seventy rounds through the little Walther with zero malfunctions. The sights are right on from the factory, so it is ready to report for duty. Mom now needs to go to a class and apply for her permit.