A Landing a Day

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Max, ND (with bonus north shore of Lake Superior coverage)

Posted by graywacke on September 21, 2018

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much a once-a-week blog), I use an app that provides a random latitude and longitude that puts me somewhere in the continental United States (the lower 48).  I call this “landing.”

I keep track of the watersheds I land in, as well as the town or towns I land near.  I do some internet research to hopefully find something of interest about my landing location. 

To find out more about A Landing A Day (like who “Dan” is) please see “About Landing” above.  To check out some relatively recent changes in how I do things, check out “About Landing (Revisited).”

Landing number 2415; A Landing A Day blog post number 848.

Dan:  Today’s lat/long (47o 44.714’N, 101o 39.269’W) puts me in Cen-NW North Dakota:

My local landing shows a VP* of small towns:

*Veritable Plethora

I checked’em all out, and they’re all pretty much hookless.  Anyway, here’s my streams-only map:

You can see that I landed in the watershed of good ol’ Stream Perennial; on to the Middle Branch Douglas Creek, on to Douglas Creek Bay (which I assume used to contain Douglas Creek, before the reservoir was built); on to Lake Sakagawea, which is the dammed-up Missouri River (431st hit. 

Of course, Mighty Mo’ heads to the Mighty Mississip (937th hit).

I’ve got decent Google Earth (GE) Street View coverage:

And here’s what the Orange Dude sees:

I moved him down the road a wee bit so I could look across a lake at my landing:

And I was able to get a look at the Middle Branch Douglas Creek:

Here’s the upstream view:

And the downstream:

Like I said above, the VP of towns are nothing much for me to talk about.  Even my titular Max.  From Wiki, about the name:

The Soo Line came from the south and would have east and west branches at a junction to be named “Junction” or “Junction City”. However, people started calling it Max’s Post Office, after Max Freitag, eldest son of Paul Freitag. Paul Freitag was a local farmer and the first postmaster. Max asked people he met at the junction if they were coming to “his” post office to pick up their mail. The name, truncated to simply Max, stuck (in habit, if not officially). When the town was later moved two miles west to the present townsite, the name was changed officially to Max.

The town has a cool website, with a series of pictures that change.  Here are my two favorites:

And then, here’s their hook:  “Live Life to the Max:”

That’s all folks! So what else do I have? Well, as at least some of you know, the way I pick my random lat/long location is using a website where I must first designate a large rectangle that encompasses the entire Lower 48.  So, the rectangle also encompasses portions of the Atlantic & Pacific Oceans, the Gulf of Mexico, Mexico and Canada.  Of course, I throw out these “landings.” 

I had quite the string of these bogus landings (for today’s landing), including two Atlantic Oceans, one Mexico, one Canada, and one Lake Superior.  The Lake Superior landing caught my eye, so I saved it.  Here ‘tis:

And a closer look:

I “landed” just off the coast of the Black Bay Peninsula, although not labeled here.  Here’s a much closer look:

Looking at GE, here’s a shot of most of the Black Bay Peninsula, which appears to be totally, completed undeveloped.  No roads, no buildings, no nothing:

Here’s the little island I landed near:

I forget exactly how I figured out the name of the peninsula, but anyway, here’s some of what Wiki has to say about it:

Black Bay Peninsula is a volcanic peninsula in Northwestern Ontario, Canada, located on the North Shore of Lake Superior.  It is located on the southeast side of Black Bay and consists of over 300 flood basalt lava flows.

I then found this 1970 document:

Of course, it’s all about geology, but I found this description of “natural resources” of the peninsula to be interesting:

The animals most commonly seen in the area were birds, of which sea gulls and other water fowl were the most evident. In the early part of the field season numerous sea gulls were observed on small rocky islands, but by the middle of the summer the eggs were all hatched and the nests were abandoned.

A great variety of ducks are common. Other birds observed include great blue heron, sparrow hawk, partridge, crow, cedar waxwing, and rubythroated hummingbird.

Moose were seen in great numbers throughout the summer. Other animals observed include otter, porcupine, ferret, beaver, rabbit, chipmunk, and a variety of squirrels.

Although bears were not observed, signs of their presence in the area were common.

Much of the area has been logged over, and most of this appears to have been done just after World War II. The only areas which do not seem to have been logged are the islands, except Edward Island, and the areas of a more rugged topography underlain by intrusive rocks.

Although there’s no discussion of cultural resources, the authors did say that their access to the entire peninsula was by boat only.

So, I did a quick GE tour of the peninsula, and found nothing man-made with the exception of a very long dirt road (actually better than 30 miles long):

Here’s a close-up of the road’s terminus:

And an even closer view:

Here’s a very cool oblique view was we can really see what we’re looking at:

Also – see the light dot at the very end of the road?  Let’s take a closer look:

Vehhhhhry interesting.  It appears to be a small building, about 30’ x 15.’  So, someone spent a considerable amount of money to construct a road that leads to a little building located near an outcrop of rock. 

Well, as mentioned earlier, I found a report on the geology, so let’s see what I can find out about the outcrop.  Here’s a geologic map.  I’ve labeled an “interesting feature” (the purple geologic unit) that’s located near the end of the road:

And a close-up near the end of the road and the outcrop:

The black line (a fault) that cuts across the purple bedrock feature appears to be the end of the cliff structure shown above.  The green unit are the basalt flows that make up much of the peninsula:

The purple unit is an igneous intrusive, a type of rock known as diabase:

I know diabase.  In the winter (when the leaves are gone), I can see a diabase ridge about a mile behind my house. It’s a tough rock, which is why it’s a ridge former, both behind my house and up there in Canada.  We have diabase quarries nearby; the rock is sold as quarry stone of different sizes; for example, 2” used in construction as a coarse fill material.

Bottom line.  It makes no sense to build a 30-mile road to a diabase outcrop.  But then I noticed something else:

See the cut-outs along the road?  Let’s take a closer look at one of them:

There are many of these low gray structures (or whatever they are) along the road, like maybe 50 or so. They all appear very similar – typically two gray rectangles.   In some places, there are many of these cut-outs along the road:

I went out to where the dirt road joins up with civilization, and yes, there was GE Street View coverage.  Here’s the end of the road:

The sign at the end of the road says (and I quote):  “This area was tree planted in 1990 as part of Buchanan Forest Products commitment to growing the future forest.  Our entire future is these planted trees.”

Their entire future didn’t last long.  In 2009, the company went bankrupt, letting go of over 1,000 workers . . .

While the dirt road could have been a logging road (at least in part) I don’t think the logging company has anything to do with the fundamental mysteries surrounding this road:  the building at the end of it, or the strange gray structures.

Enough!  I’m done!  You’re probably done, as well!  I have nothing more to offer, no clever theory as to what’s going on . . .

This is an example of what happens when I can’t find a hook.

Let’s head back to ND and put a wrap on this post.  I’ll close with this GE shot of Lake Sakajawea by Pegi Sheets:

That’ll do it . . .

KS

Greg

 

© 2018 A Landing A Day

 

 

 

 

 

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Mayo (and Branford), Florida

Posted by graywacke on September 14, 2018

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much a once-a-week blog), I use an app that provides a random latitude and longitude that puts me somewhere in the continental United States (the lower 48).  I call this “landing.”

I keep track of the watersheds I land in, as well as the town or towns I land near.  I do some internet research to hopefully find something of interest about my landing location. 

To find out more about A Landing A Day (like who “Dan” is) please see “About Landing” above.  To check out some relatively recent changes in how I do things, check out “About Landing (Revisited).”

Landing number 2414; A Landing A Day blog post number 847.

Dan:  Today’s lat/long (30o 9.731’N, 83o 2.458’W) puts me either 1) in the E-Cen FL panhandle or 2) in N-Cen FL:

My local landing map, highlights both my titular Mayo and my watershed river:

(You don’t see Branford; it’s to the southeast just off the map.  At the end of the post, I’ll explain its mysterious parenthetical position in the post title.)

No need for a streams-only map.  I landed in the Suwannee River watershed (6th hit).  The Suwanee heads south from here, discharging to the Gulf of Mexico.

Here’s where I put the Google Earth (GE) Orange Dude to get a look at my landing:

And here’s what he sees:

There’s one reasonably local bridge over the Suwanee:

And here’s the view:

I’ll follow up with this GE photo of the bridge by Jeffrey Barth:

Before spreading Mayo on this post, I’ll stay with the Suwanee for a bit.  From Wiki:

This river is the subject of the Stephen Foster song “Old Folks at Home” (aka “Way Down Upon the Swanee River).

[When I was a kid, this was one of those generally-familiar songs that “everyone” knew.  I’d call it an iconic American Folk song.]

Foster had composed most of the lyrics but was struggling to name the river of the opening line, and asked his brother to suggest one.

The first suggestion was “Yazoo” (a river in Mississippi), which despite fitting the melody perfectly, was rejected by Foster. The second suggestion was “Pee Dee” (in South Carolina), to which Foster reportedly said, “Oh pshaw! I won’t have that.”

His brother then consulted an atlas and called out “Suwannee!” Foster said, “That’s it, exactly!” Adding it to the lyrics, he purposely misspelled it as “Swanee” to fit the melody.

Foster himself never saw the Suwannee—or even visited Florida—but the popularity of the song stimulated tourism to Florida, to see the river.

Written in the first person from the perspective of an African slave (at a time when slavery was legal in the south), the song’s theme is the despair of a slave sold to another plantation, thus being diverted from his family, a practice which was seen as a special hardship and one of the major points against slavery at the time.   Foster himself supported the North during the American Civil War and supported abolition of slavery.

The word, “darkies,” used in Foster’s lyrics, has often been amended, for example, “brothers” was sung in place of “darkies” at the dedication of the new Florida state capitol building in 1978.

“Old Folks at Home” has been the official state song of Florida since 1935.

Here’s the song, as sung by Paul Robeson (full lyrics are below, of which he sings only part):

 

Way down upon the Swanee River
Far, far away
That’s where my heart is turning ever
That’s where the old folks stay
All up and down the whole creation
Sadly I roam
Still longing for the old plantation
And for the old folks at home

All the world is sad and dreary everywhere I roam
Oh Lordy, how my heart grows weary
Far from the old folks at home

All ’round the little farm I wandered
When I was young
Then many happy days I squandered
Many the songs I sung
When I was playing with my brother
Happy was I
Oh, take me to my kind old mother
There let me live and die

All the world is sad and dreary everywhere I roam
Oh Lordy, how my heart grows weary
Far from the old folks at home

One little hut among the bushes
One that I love
Still sadly to my mem’ry rushes
No matter where I rove
When shall I see the bees a humming
All ’round the comb
When shall I hear the banjo strumming
Down by my good old home

All the world is sad and dreary everywhere I roam
Oh Lordy, how my heart grows weary
Far from the old folks at home

A few items to discuss:  First, while I have long been generally familiar with the song (especially, the first line), I wasn’t aware that it was the lament of a slave separated from his family.

Secondly:  This is the Florida state song?  Since 1935?  It seems peculiar that a song of slave lament should be a state song . . .

Thirdly:  Paul Robeson.  Quite the interesting fellow.  From Wiki:

Paul Leroy Robeson (1898 – 1976) was an American bass baritone concert artist, stage and film actor and All-American college football player who became famous both for his cultural accomplishments and for his political activism. Educated at Rutgers College and Columbia University, he became active in the Civil Rights Movement and other social justice campaigns. His sympathies for the Soviet Union and for communism, and his criticism of the United States government and its foreign policies, caused him to be blacklisted during the McCarthy era.

In 1915, Robeson won an academic scholarship to Rutgers College, where he was twice named a consensus All-American and was the class valedictorian. Almost 80 years later, he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. He received a law degree from Columbia Law School, while playing in the National Football League (NFL).

Between 1925 and 1961, Robeson recorded and released some 276 songs, spanning many styles, including Americana, popular standards, classical music, European folk songs, political songs, poetry and spoken excerpts from plays.

During World War II Robeson supported the American and Allied war efforts. However, his history of supporting civil rights causes and pro-Soviet policies brought scrutiny from the FBI. After the war ended, Robeson was investigated during the age of McCarthyism. Due to his decision not to recant his public advocacy, he was denied a passport by the U.S. State Department, and his income, consequently, plummeted.

He moved to Harlem and published a periodical critical of United States policies. His right to travel was eventually restored as a result of a 1958 Supreme Court decision. In the early 1960s he retired and lived the remaining years of his life privately in Philadelphia.

So, I can’t resist. I live 20 minutes outside of Princeton, and have long been aware that there’s a street called Paul Robeson Place.  But check out this map:

OK, so I’m heading east on Hodge Road.  Hodge Road turns into Paul Robeson Place, which then turns into Wiggins Street, which then turns into Hamilton Avenue.

But wait.  There’s more:

Hamilton Avenue turns into Rollingmead Street which turns into Littlebrook Road which turns into Tyson Lane.

Unbelievable.  GPS directions from the west side of Princeton over to the east side will sound very complicated when actually they’d be very simple if this street had but one name (or take Nassau Street (Rt 27) . . . .

Geez.  I guess it’s time for some Mayo.  Well, the town was named after Confederate Colonel James Mayo.  Straightforward enough, I guess.  But hot off the presses!

The NY Times/Associated Press:

USA Today:

Inc.:

Evidently, for $25,000, Kraft convinced Mayo to temporarily change its name to Miracle Whip, telling residents this is a legal, permanent change.  Of course, it isn’t.  The idea is that Kraft would do interviews with the locals who thought the name change was real, using the clips for commercials or whatever.

Even Google Maps got into the game:

Some pics:

Moving right along.  The whole area around my landing is “karst,” a geologic term meaning that the landscape is dominated by limestone features such as caves, sinkholes and underground streams.  Here are scuba divers at a water-filled sinkhole (GE shot by Peter Lapin):

As promised much earlier, it’s time to explain Branford’s parenthetical appearance in the post title.  Just last night, I was talking on the phone with my youngest son Jordan (who’s 30).  He and his S.O. Laura just returned from a road trip and he was telling me about it. 

They went to Charleston SC, then Savannah GA, then Branford FL.  I interrupted, excitedly telling Jordan that I just landed there!  After exchanging expressions like “no way,” “you’ve got to be kidding me,” and “what are the odds?” Jordan explained that the trip to Branford had one purpose:  visiting Bob’s River Place.  (For this landing, of course I checked out Branford, but somehow missed Bob’s.)

Jordan explained that Bob’s is an old-fashioned swimming hole right on the banks of the Suwanee, that’s amazingly fun.  Platforms for high diving/jumping, water slides and rope swings, with an anything-goes atmosphere.  Here’s a video:

 

I’ll close with this GE shot of another water-filled sinkhole, by Matt Fish)

That’ll do it . . .

KS

Greg

 

© 2018 A Landing A Day

 

 

 

 

 

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Grygla, Minnesota

Posted by graywacke on September 1, 2018

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much a once-a-week blog), I use an app that provides a random latitude and longitude that puts me somewhere in the continental United States (the lower 48).  I call this “landing.”

I keep track of the watersheds I land in, as well as the town or towns I land near.  I do some internet research to hopefully find something of interest about my landing location. 

To find out more about A Landing A Day (like who “Dan” is) please see “About Landing” above.  To check out some relatively recent changes in how I do things, check out “About Landing (Revisited).”

Landing number 2413; A Landing A Day blog post number 847.

Dan:  So, today’s lat/long (48o 19.121’N, 95o 10.128’W) puts me in NW Minnesota:

(I initially called it North Central, but then realized the locals consider themselves to live in NW MN.)

Here’s my local landing map, showing a VP* of small towns:

*Veritable Plethora

Here’s my very local streams-only map

This map doesn’t really tell me anything about where a drop of water that falls on my landing ends up, but it does show peculiar, obviously-manmade drainage channels.  More about these in a bit.

Using the Google Earth elevation tool, I figured out that my drainage in fact heads south towards Upper Red Lake.  So here’s the larger picture of my watersheds:

As you can see, that drop of water I was talking about makes its way from Upper Red Lake to Lower Red Lake to the Red Lake River (10th hit); on to the Red River (49th hit).  Although not shown, the Red makes its way to the Nelson (67th hit), and eventually to Hudson Bay.

So I landed way out in the boonies, far from any road that could conceivably have GE Street View coverage.  But I could get a look at Upper Red Lake:

And here’s what the Orange Dude sees:

I then had the OD head west to see where the Red Lake River exits Lower Red Lake.  Looking upstream towards the lake:

And looking downstream (west):

So, what about Grygla (pop 200, pronounced GRIGG-leh)?  Well, here’s what the town website had to say about the name:

The Postal Department sent out an inspector from Washington, D.C., to check out the community.  The inspector’s name was Count Gryglavitch. Because no one could agree on a name for the town, the inspector signed his own name to the request, and “Grygla” became the name of the town.

Now, wait a second.  The town fathers let some phony Count get away with that?  Oh, well . . .

Here’s a 1904 shot of Main Street:

And a shot of Main Street 8 years later:

But hey.  The “city” has a robust website:

Moving right along . . .

Returning to GE, let’s take a look at the ill-defined landscape near my landing:

You can clearly see the manmade rectilinear drainageways, and what appears to be vague blotchy vegetation.

Zooming back to see the bigger picture around the lakes:

What a peculiar looking landscape.  I turned on the photo layer, and found this picture not far east of my landing:

So, Sam Smith posted a picture of the Red Lake Peatland Scientific and Natural Area.  It looks like I landed in a peat wetland (or bog).  Of course, I Googled “Minnesota Peat,”  which sounds like the name of a legendary lumberjack.

So, what is peat?  Well, it is the accumulation of dead plant matter in a low-lying, relatively flat wet area where the water chemistry is such that plant-eating bacteria don’t thrive, and the dead plant matter doesn’t decay.  In Minnesota, the peat deposits are typically some 10s of feet thick, and began forming after the glaciers left the area, about 8,000 years ago.

As part of the “mining” process, the bog has to be partially dewatered, so a network of drainage channels are dug so that the water flows away and the water level lowers.  That’s what all of those drainageways are all about.

I found a 2004 Minnesota Public Radio article entitled “Peat Could Be Minnesota’s Newest Cash Crop.”

Here’s the caption of the photo:

Huge machines are used to vacuum peat from a drained wetland in northern Minnesota. Only thin layers of peat are harvested each year, so companies often spend decades removing peat from the same small plot. Horticultural peat mining is a $10 million dollar industry in Minnesota. But some say it could be a lot more. Researchers are developing high value uses for the resource. (Photo courtesy Berger Peat Moss, Inc.)

And then, from the article:

Northern Minnesota has nearly seven million acres of peatlands. That’s more than any other state except Alaska. Peat is the decayed remains of plants that accumulate over centuries in wetlands. Most people think of peat as the black, mossy stuff home gardeners use to help their plants grow. But researchers in Minnesota say peat is much more than that. They’ve discovered other uses for peat that could be worth millions.

The article goes on to explore other potential uses of peat (including plant food chemicals and wax), but concludes that the economic drivers and environmental concerns have yet to be fully addressed.

Look back at the GE shot of the lakes.  See that dark triangular feature just south of my landing?  What the heck is that?  Here’s a closer view:

So, I found an article about Minnesota Peat that included this:

Hey!  That dark triangle is actually numbered.  Let’s see . . .

It’s the “Western Water Track,” which is a “watertrack fen.”   A fen is just another word for a swamp or bog, so maybe the water flows a little more quickly through a watertrack fen.  Whatever . . .

I’ll close with a couple of GE photos.  First this, by Skylar Wolf, taken in the peat bog just west of my landing:

We might be looking along one of those drainageways.  Anyway, I’ll close with this sunset shot, taken on the east shore of Upper Red Lake (by Torry Miller):

 

That’ll do it . . .

KS

Greg

 

© 2018 A Landing A Day

 

 

 

 

 

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Staten Island, New York

Posted by graywacke on August 20, 2018

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much a once-a-week blog), I use an app that provides a random latitude and longitude that puts me somewhere in the continental United States (the lower 48).  I call this “landing.”

I keep track of the watersheds I land in, as well as the town or towns I land near.  I do some internet research to hopefully find something of interest about my landing location. 

To find out more about A Landing A Day (like who “Dan” is) please see “About Landing” above.  To check out some relatively recent changes in how I do things, check out “About Landing (Revisited).”

Landing number 2412; A Landing A Day blog post number 846.

Dan:  After “landing” once in the Gulf of Mexico, twice in Mexico, and once in Canada, I finally hit lower 48 paydirt.  So, today’s lat/long (40o 32.734’N, 74o 110589’W) puts me in far southern New York:

Oh my.  We must take a closer look:

While not obvious to a non-local, I landed on Staten Island, one of the five NY boroughs.  Having a dot on the map labeled “Staten Island” doesn’t make any sense.  Anyway, let’s zoom way in:

Usually, I land in a farm field, a desert, or a mountain wilderness.  Not today.  Today I landed just off Jefferson Blvd.

Google Earth (GE) is calling me.  Here we go:

And (of course) there’s Street View coverage on Jefferson Blvd.  Here’s what the Orange Dude sees:

So, the house on the right is 254 Rensselaer Ave (considered to front on the side road off of Jefferson); the house on the left is 292 Jefferson Blvd.  I doubt they will ever be aware of the great honor bestowed upon them in this blog!  Maybe I should drop a quick note to “Resident” at both addresses, and give them heads up. . .

Drainage (as you might suspect) is a little vague.  But using the GE tool, I figured out that it is highly likely that runoff from my landing goes into sewers that eventually dump into Fresh Kills.

I found a Wiki map that has the appropriate waterways labeled.  Although my landing is off the map to the south, I’m assuming that my drainage ends up on Richmond Creek:

Here’s a map showing the waterways that surround Staten Island:

And another, a little further out, showing Staten Island’s hydrologic relationship with the greater NY City area:

Like I said early, I assume that my drainage ends up in Richmond Creek; on to the Fresh Kills; on to the Arthur Kill, which (based on the tides, I suspect) ends up in either Lower or on to Newark Bay/Kill Van Kull/Upper New York Bay; and on, of course, to the Atlantic Ocean.

I put the Orange Dude on a bridge over the Fresh Kills.  Looking upstream:

Looking downstream:

Wow.  One would never guess that these pictures are taken in New York City!

So what are all of these Kills?  I’ll start with Fresh Kills, from Wiki:

Fresh Kills (from the Middle Dutch word kille, meaning “riverbed” or “water channel”) is a stream and freshwater estuary in the western portion of the New York City borough of Staten Island. It is the site of the Fresh Kills Landfill, formerly New York City’s principal landfill.

And Arthur Kill:

The name Arthur Kill is an Anglicization of the Dutch achter kill meaning back channel, which would refer to its location “behind” Staten Island.  The name has its roots in the early 17th century during the Dutch colonial era when the region was part of New Netherland.

And Kill Van Kull:

Kill Van Kull translates as “channel from the ridge.”  The ridge referred to is the long peninsula of higher ground between Newark Bay and the Hudson River, that ends at Bayonne, just across the Kill Van Kull from Staten Island.

Ironic, isn’t it, that the world’s largest landfill should be called “Fresh?”

From Wiki:

The Fresh Kills Landfill was a landfill covering 2,200 acres (3.4 sq mi) in Staten Island. The name comes from the landfill’s location along the banks of the Fresh Kills estuary.

The landfill was opened in 1948 and by 1955 it became the largest landfill in the world and remained so until its closure in 2001. At the peak of its operation, in 1986, Fresh Kills received 29,000 tons of residential waste per day. From 1991 until its closing it was the only landfill to receive New York City’s residential waste. It consists of four mounds which range in height from 90 to approximately 225 feet and hold approximately 150 million tons of solid waste.

Here’s a GE Street View shot of the largest “cell,” taken from Rt 440:

FYI, I’ve driven this road many times . . .

Back to Wiki:

Originally, the land where the landfill was located was a salt marsh in which there were tidal wetlands, forests, and freshwater wetlands.

Samuel Kearing, who had served as sanitation commissioner under Mayor John V. Lindsay, remembered in 1970 his first visit to the Fresh Kills project:

  It had a certain nightmare quality. … I can still recall looking down on the operation from a control tower and thinking that Fresh Kills, like Jamaica Bay, had for thousands of years been a magnificent, teeming, literally life-enhancing tidal marsh. And in just twenty-five years, it was gone, buried under millions of tons of New York City’s refuse.

After the September 11, 2001 attacks, Fresh Kills was temporarily re-opened to be used as a sorting ground for roughly one third of the rubble from Ground Zero. More than 1,600 personal effects were retrieved during this time. About 1.6 million tons of material obtained from Ground Zero was taken to the landfill for sorting.

Thousands of detectives and forensic evidence specialists worked for over 1.7 million hours at Fresh Kills Landfill to try to recover remnants of the people killed in the attacks. A final count of 4,257 human remains were recovered, but only 300 people were identified from these remains.

A memorial is being built to honor those who were not able to be identified from the debris.  The remaining debris was buried in a 40-acre portion of the landfill.  It is highly likely that this debris still contains fragmentary human remains.

The Fresh Kills site is to be transformed into reclaimed wetlands, recreational facilities and landscaped public parkland, the largest expansion of the New York City parks since the development of the chain of parks in the Bronx during the 1890s.

Freshkills Park will be three times the size of Central Park. It will consist of a variety of public spaces and facilities for a multitude of activity types. The site is large enough to support many sports and programs including nature trails, horseback riding, mountain biking, community events, outdoor dining, sports fields and canoeing/kayaking.

Although the park is not scheduled for completion until 2037, the Parks Department reported that in 2010-11 two hundred different species of wildlife had been seen in the former landfill. These included red-winged blackbirds, American goldfinches, red-tailed hawks, American kestrels, osprey, ring-necked pheasants, tree swallows, turkey vultures, and northern snapping turtles.

OK, OK.  This all sounds wonderful.  But I wonder how many species were present before the work on the park began?  I’m no expert, but it seems to me that blackbirds, finches, red-tailed hawks, swallows, osprey, turkey vultures and snapping turtles are all pretty much run-of-the-mill species, likely present near the old landfill. 

Don’t get me wrong.  I think it’s wonderful that a huge park is being created where the landfill is.  And I have no doubt that wildlife will be much more robust.  But let’s not throw out some loose language to make us all excited . . .

Just to show you how beautiful the area can be, I’ll close with this GE photo by Roland Pott of what is now known as Fresh Kills Park:

That’ll do it . . .

KS

Greg

 

© 2018 A Landing A Day

 

 

 

 

 

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Saratoga, Wyoming

Posted by graywacke on August 13, 2018

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much a once-a-week blog), I use an app that provides a random latitude and longitude that puts me somewhere in the continental United States (the lower 48).  I call this “landing.”

I keep track of the watersheds I land in, as well as the town or towns I land near.  I do some internet research to hopefully find something of interest about my landing location. 

To find out more about A Landing A Day (like who “Dan” is) please see “About Landing” above.  To check out some relatively recent changes in how I do things, check out “About Landing (Revisited).”

Landing number 2411; A Landing A Day blog post number 845.

Dan:  Let me start off with an apology.  A Landing A Day has turned into A Landing A Week (mostly because of the extra effort I put into each post).  But my life got a little complicated (mostly having to do with granddaughters), and this post took two weeks.  Oh, well . . .

So, today’s lat/long (41o 21.688’N, 107o 11.729’W) puts me in south central Wyoming:

Here’s very local landing map, showing I landed way out in the boonies:

My streams-only map shows that I landed in the watershed of good ol’ Stream Perennial, on to the N Fk Savery Ck:

Let’s use Google Earth (GE) to get a look at Good Ol’ Stream Perennial:

Anyway, zooming back just a little, you’ll be shocked to learn that the N Fk Savery Ck discharges to Savery Ck:

 

Zooming way back, we can see that the Savery makes its way to the Little Snake River (first hit ever!); on to the Yampa (only the second hit!); on to the Green (35th hit):

Zooming even further back:  the Green flows south through Utah and ends up discharging to the Colorado R (184th hit) in southern Utah.

As one might expect, GE Street View ain’t no where close – so I won’t bother trying to look at my landing.  My first look at the Savery Creek is about 25 miles away from my landing:

And here’s what the Orange Dude sees:

I know, I know.  The picture’s crooked.  Blame the GoogleMobile driver.

I moved to OD to the end of the bridge, to see if there was a “Savery Creek” sign.  There wasn’t.  But this is what he did see:

Oh my!  A two-lane road with a 65 mph speed limit?  We’re not in NJ!

So, my closest town was Saratoga (pop 1700).  Wiki (nor any other sites) had much to say about history, like where the name came from.  Here’s a screen shot from the TravelWyoming website:

For my hook, I had to settle on two native sons of Saratoga.  From Wiki (under Notable Residents):

  • New Yorker Magazine cartoonist and cover artist Garrett Price (1895-1979) lived in Saratoga as a boy.
  • American commercial illustrator and portrait artist C. C. Beall (1892-1970) was born in Saratoga.

From Wiki, about C.C.:

Cecil Calvert (C. C.) Beall was an American commercial illustrator and portrait artist. He did watercolor art and drawings for magazines and comic books. Beall designed promotion posters for the U.S. government for war loan drives and propaganda.

Here’s his most famous work, part of a War Bond campaign:

And a cover for Collier’s Magazine:

An ad with a sultry coffee drinker:

Back to Wiki:

Beall (a government employee at the time) was an eyewitness to the 1945 official Japanese surrender on the U.S.S. Missouri.  He painted General MacArthur at the event; his work later became the official portrait.

Here’s his painting:

Moving along to Garrett Price, whose career is all about the New Yorker Magazine.  Here’s a sampling of Garrett Price New Yorker covers:

Amazing that two pretty famous artists who lived at the same time both had ties to teeny little Saratoga.

I’ll close with my favorite Garrett Price New Yorker cover:

That’ll do it . . .

KS

Greg

 

© 2018 A Landing A Day

 

 

 

 

 

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Port St. Lucie, Florida

Posted by graywacke on July 27, 2018

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much a once-a-week blog), I use an app that provides a random latitude and longitude that puts me somewhere in the continental United States (the lower 48).  I call this “landing.”

I keep track of the watersheds I land in, as well as the town or towns I land near.  I do some internet research to hopefully find something of interest about my landing location. 

To find out more about A Landing A Day (like who “Dan” is) please see “About Landing” above.  To check out some relatively recent changes in how I do things, check out “About Landing (Revisited).”

Landing number 2410; A Landing A Day blog post number 844.

Dan:  Today’s lat/long (27o 20.252’N, 80o 19.682’W) puts me on Florida’s east coast:

Here’s my very local landing map, showing I landed right on Brazilian Circle:

And a little less local landing map:

And a regional map:

Here’s my streams-only map:

So.  I landed in the watershed of the N Fk of the St. Lucie R (2nd hit); on to the St. Lucie (2nd hit).

Here’s a Google Earth (GE) shot to show how incredibly urbanized area around Port St. Lucie:

Of course, I wanted the Orange Dude to have a look at my landing:

As you can see, I landed in a condo complex of some sort.  I am extremely sorry that the GoogleMobile didn’t venture into the complex!  Anyway, here’s what he sees:

OK, so I landed in “St. Lucie Oaks.”  A quick search shows that it’s an apartment complex, with apartments as low as $1050/mo!  Here’s a promotional video:

 

 

As my regulars might know, I’m not enthralled with johnny-come-lately communities filled with suburbanites & retirees. So, basically, I have nothing to say about Port St. Lucie.

Strangely, Wiki (nor anyone else) has anything to say about the name origin.  But there is a Saint Lucy (Santa Lucia in Spanish) that likely morphed into Saint Lucie.  I mean, really, there’s a a Saint Lucia island in the Caribbean.  Oh my!  I spent a week there . . .

So, Wiki says this about the origin of the island’s name:

Saint Lucia was named after Saint Lucy of Syracuse by the French, who were the island’s first European settlers. It is the only country in the world named after a woman.

The only country in the world named after a woman!!!!!!!  Oh my!!

So, who was St. Lucy?  From Wiki:

Lucia of Syracuse (283–304), was a Christian martyr. She is venerated as a saint by the Roman Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, and Orthodox Churches. She is one of eight women along with the Blessed Virgin Mary who are commemorated by name in the Canon of the Mass. Her feast day, known as Saint Lucy’s Day, is celebrated in the West on 13 December.

There must be a back story here . . .

Here’s a Catholic church video about good ol’ Lucy:

 

Obviously, I have very little to say about Port St. Lucie.  So, now (as promised in previous ALADus Obscurus pronouncements), here’s a little old fashioned ALAD statistical analysis.

First, a quick review about my obsession with whether a state is Over Subscribed (OS) or Under Subscribed (US).  A quick review:  based on the area of each state and the number of landings, one would expect a certain proportional number of landings in each state.  For example, Texas is about 9% of the area of the lower 48.  So, of course, I would expect that about 9% of my landings would be in Texas.

My spreadsheet makes a similar calculation for every state, so I know for each landing if a given state is OS (has more than expected landings) or US (has less than expected landings).

Today’s landing is landing 2410.  That’s right.  I’ve landed 2410 times.  Now to be fair, I didn’t start blogging until landing 1583.  Before that I landed every day, but did it for my own edification.  Sometime after landing 1500, I started emailing my neighbor Dan about my daily landings, and I started doing the kind of research that launched my blog (with Dan’s help).

But then, at landing 2215, I received an email from my son Jordan, saying thusly:

Your lat longs are random, which is of course a fair way to do it, but there might be a flaw with it. Latitude is fine, as the distance between parallel lines is always the same. However the distance between lines of longitude varies based on latitude and the lines are not parallel.

Look at your most OS state, Montana and compare it with your most US state, Texas.  The distance between W 100 and W 110 is significantly less near Montana than it is near Texas, meaning that your landings are bound to be more dense up north and less dense down south.

Ouch.  So, I came up with an accurate way of coming up with a random lat/long, using a website called “GeoMidpoint,” which, amazingly enough, has a function to select a random lat/long, bounded by N&S lats and E&W longs.

Since the beginning, I have had my spreadsheet calculate a “Score,” which is a measure of how “out of whack” I am with the perfect world where the number of landings in each state would be proportional to the area of each state.  And oh, by the way, if I were to do a million landings, it is inevitable that I would be damn close to such proportionality.

One of the reasons my son Jordan was suspicious about the supposed randomness of my landings is the fact that my Score wasn’t acting like it was asymptotic to zero; rather, it seemed to be leveling off at an arbitrary 150 or so. 

Here’s my Score graph for all 2410 landings:

See what I mean about leveling off at 150?

So anyway, I’m now keeping track of two Scores.  My ongoing original Score that includes all 2410 landings and my new revised Score. 

Here’s a portion of my spreadsheet that calculates my new revised Score (since I changed how I select my random lat/longs 194 landings ago):

You can see that I’ve landed 194 times since I made that change and that my current Score is 356.  The negative numbers show Under Subscribed states; corresponding positive numbers are for Over Subscribed states. The more “out of whack” each state is, the higher the number.  So right now, WV is the most OS state and IL is the most US state.

I won’t go into any detail about how I come up with the numbers; check out “About Landing” for such a discussion. 

Because I can (and because I’m such a nerd), I’ve been having the spreadsheet compare the Scores for the very first 194 landings with the Scores of my most recent 194 landings.

Because I’m now being truly random and back in the day, I wasn’t, I expected my new Score to move more quickly towards zero than my old Score.  Well, it takes a graph to see what’s going on:

Strangely, for nearly all of the 194 landings, my new Score has been staying higher than my old.  Not at all what I expected, but then again, the Landing God acts in strange ways.  But you can see that the Scores have finally converged.  Let’s take a closer look, zooming in at the tail end of the graph:

As I expected (knew?), my more random landings would end up with a Score that is lower than my less random landing Score, because now, I truly am heading towards zero, not some stupid number like 150.

Phew.  I’ll revisit this topic again at some time in the future, but don’t worry, it’ll probably be in a couple of years . . .

Anyway, back to Florida . . .

I’ll close with this GE shot by Jorge Silva of some sort of prehistoric reptilian creature hanging out in the North Fork of the St. Lucie River:

That’ll do it . . .

KS

Greg

 

© 2018 A Landing A Day

 

 

 

 

 

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Ingomar, Montana

Posted by graywacke on July 19, 2018

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much a once-a-week blog), I use an app that provides a random latitude and longitude that puts me somewhere in the continental United States (the lower 48).  I call this “landing.”

I keep track of the watersheds I land in, as well as the town or towns I land near.  I do some internet research to hopefully find something of interest about my landing location. 

To find out more about A Landing A Day (like who “Dan” is) please see “About Landing” above.  To check out some relatively recent changes in how I do things, check out “About Landing (Revisited).”

Landing number 2409; A Landing A Day blog post number 843.

boxDan:  Today’s lat/long (46o 50.736’N, 107o 7.788’W) puts me in central-east Montana:

landing 1

Here’s my local landing map:

landing 2

And my streams-only map:

landing 3a

Whoops.  One might think that I landed in the Froze To Death Creek watershed.  Well, I didn’t, so I better zip on over to Google Earth:

ge sv creek map

You can follow the drainage south from my landing, and see that a road with Street View coverage crosses the drainageway.  Well, here’s what the Orange Dude sees:

ge sv creek 1

So, rather than the Froze to Death Creek (which is further west), I landed in the watershed of Big Porcupine Creek.  Here’s a better view of the creek itself:

ge sv creek 2

Now that that’s cleared up, we can look back up at my streams-only map and see that the Big Porcupine Creek discharges to the Yellowstone River (57th hit).  Zooming back:

landing 3b

The Yellowstone discharges directly to the Missouri (430th hit); on, of course, to the MM (936th hit).

So what about Ingomar?  Well, Wiki has very little to say.  It was founded in 1908 as a railroad town, but by 1920 the town was in decline.  “The railroad through the area was abandoned in 1980, and only a handful of people remain in Ingomar today.”

And I featured Ingomar?  What was I thinking?  I could have featured Sumatra (see local landing map).  Wiki has nothing to say about Sumatra, but I could have featured the Indonesian island of the same name.  But no, I featured Ingomar.  Let’s take a GE look at the town:

ge ingomar 1

And there’s Street View coverage leading up to (but not in) Ingomar:

ge ingomar 2

Here’s the view approaching the town:

ge ingomar 3

And the entry plaza (my term):

ge ingomar 4

Right across the street from the plaza is this landmark building:

ge ingomar 5

Wow.  There it is.  Not much.  But it does have a saloon/restaurant, known as the Jersey Lilly.  Being a Jersey guy myself, I thought maybe there was a New Jersey connection here.  Well, there’s actually a website for the Jersey Lilly in Ingomar, and I lifted some information: 

87377af0146687de2f3a4fe54dfcba83

The Jersey Lilly building was completed as a bank in 1914. This would be lngomar’s first brick building.  About that time, the town had 46 businesses and was known as the sheep shearing capital of the world at one time.

In 1933, Clyde Easterday established the Oasis Bar in the bank building. The cherry wood back bar that is currently in the Jersey Lilly was one of two that were transported from St. Louis up the Missouri and Yellowstone rivers to Forsyth in the early 1900s. It remained in “quarantine” in Forsyth until prohibition was over in 1933, then was installed at the Jersey Lilly. The back bar was transported to Ingomar in the back of a Model T pickup causing the “scratches” that you can see to this day in the mirror frame.

In 1948, Bob Seward came to own the Oasis Bar. The Seward Family, who were originally from Texas, didn’t want their bar to have a common bar name so they decided they would name their bar The Jersey Lilly. This name was taken from the story of Judge Roy Bean from Langtry, Texas.

Judge Roy Bean was an eccentric saloon keeper and Justice of the Peace, who called himself “The Law West of the Pecos.” He was quite taken with the British actress Lilly Langtry.  [A coincidence that he lived in Langtry, Texas?  Maybe, maybe not.]  Lilly’s nickname was Jersey Lilly due to the fact that she was from the Channel Island of Jersey in the United Kingdom.

Judge Roy Bean often boasted of his acquaintance with Lilly Langtry when in reality he never did meet her. He built a wooden saloon/courthouse and named it The Jersey Lilly in hopes that one day she would come to see him.  She never did, although she visited the establishment a year after his death.

A 1990s PBS series, “Backroads of Montana” actually had a feature on Ingomar and the Jersey Lilly.  Skip ahead to the 19:45 mark to check out Ingomar:

 

Here’s a more recent video, featuring the current owner, Boots Kope, who owns the bar with June Nygren:

 

Just a few words about Lilly Langtry (from Wiki):

220px-Lillie_langtryEmilie Charlotte Langtry (1853 – 1929), known as Lillie (or Lily or Lilly) Langtry and nicknamed “The Jersey Lilly”, was a British-American socialite, actress and producer.

She was born on the island of Jersey and upon marrying she moved to London in 1876. Her looks and personality attracted interest, commentary, and invitations from artists and society hostesses, and she was celebrated as a young woman of great beauty and charm.

By 1881, she had become an actress and starred in many plays in the UK and the United States, eventually running her own stage production company. In later life, she performed “dramatic sketches” in vaudeville. She was also known for her relationships with noblemen, including the Prince of Wales, the Earl of Shrewsbury, and Prince Louis of Battenberg. She was the subject of widespread public and media interest.

I’ll close with shot from TheWeedRoute.com (about the abandoned Chicago Milwaukee St. Paul and Pacific railroad) showing the tracks outside of Ingomar:

flickr

That’ll do it . . .

KS

Greg

 

© 2018 A Landing A Day

 

 

 

 

 

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Ennis and Gallatin Gateway, Montana

Posted by graywacke on July 10, 2018

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much a once-a-week blog), I use an app that provides a random latitude and longitude that puts me somewhere in the continental United States (the lower 48).  I call this “landing.”

I keep track of the watersheds I land in, as well as the town or towns I land near.  I do some internet research to hopefully find something of interest about my landing location. 

To find out more about A Landing A Day (like who “Dan” is) please see “About Landing” above.  To check out some relatively recent changes in how I do things, check out “About Landing (Revisited).”

Landing number 2408; A Landing A Day blog post number 842.

Dan:  Today’s lat/long (45o 25.314’N, 111o 34.478’W) puts me in southwest Montana:

Here’s my local landing map:

As you can see, this landing is very close to a previous landing (just three landings ago):

My streams-only map shows that I landed in the watershed of Jordan Creek, which flows into Ennis Lake.  Ennis Lake is a dammed-up portion of the Madison River (4th hit).

Zooming back:

You can see that the Madison joins the Jefferson and the Gallatin (at Three Rivers MT) to form the Missouri (429th hit).  The MM (935th hit) graciously accepts the Missouri’s contribution.

I’m truly out in the boonies, and therefore have no Google Earth (GE) Street View shot of my landing.  But here’s an oblique GE shot to put my landing appropriately in the local landscape:

Of course, I do have a GE Street View shot of the Madison:

And here’s what the Orange Dude sees:

The town of Gallatin Gateway caught my eye, just due to its name.  Wiki has essentially nothing to say about Gallatin Gateway, but with a little (very little) research, I learned that there are towns with the name of Gallatin in MO, TN, NY and TX (besides MT) and there are counties with the name of Gallatin in IL, KY and MT. 

Montana is big on Gallatin, as besides a town and a county, it also is home to a Gallatin Airport (in Bozeman), the Gallatin River, the Gallatin Range, Gallatin Peak (see local landing map), the Gallatin Petrified Forest and the Gallatin National Forest.

Four US ships have been named Gallatin, along with two colleges and one high school (and school district).

As far as I can see, every Gallatin-named entity was named after one Albert Gallatin.

Who was Albert Gallatin?  And why is he so big in Montana?  About the Montana connection:  Lewis and Clark were fans of Albert Gallatin, and named the Gallatin River (which as shown above, joins with the Madison and Jefferson to form the Missouri). 

I found a write-up in Discovering Lewis & Clark (lewis-clark.og) about Monsieur Gallatin:

Albert Gallatin (1761-1849) was born in Geneva, Switzerland, into a cultured aristocratic family led by physicians, statesmen and soldiers, one of whom commanded a battalion at the battle of Yorktown. He emigrated to the United States in 1780, at the age of 19, and under the terms of the Articles of Confederation of 1781, gained legal citizenship after nine years of residency, meanwhile teaching French at Harvard University.

[Like I said, Monsieur Gallatin.]

In the tradition of his august family background, Albert was drawn to public life, soon transcending politics to become one of the most influential statesmen in American history.

[Then why have I never heard of him?]

Consistent with his station and the spirit of his time, he was a savant—a diplomat, financier, peacemaker, scientist, geographer, lover of nature, and above all a visionary with unswerving faith in the ultimate wisdom of a people wielding the instruments of democracy.

[Ex-cuuuuuse me!]

Throughout his sixty-year-long career he worked sedulously in behalf of free public education, universal suffrage, and the abolition of slavery.

[Very cool dude!]

Despite powerful and sometimes vicious opposition from the Federalists, Gallatin was a key figure in the implementation of Jefferson’s unprecedented design for a new and growing republic. As Jefferson’s Secretary of the Treasury, he engineered the financial details of the Louisiana Purchase (without increasing taxes), then resolved the constitutional issues that complicated the transaction.

[Wow.  He figured out how to buy some real estate without raising taxes!]

He even helped plan the Lewis and Clark Expedition. In March of 1803, for instance, he asked Nicholas King to prepare a new map of western North America incorporating the main features of nine of the most recent maps by other explorers.

At the age of seventy he wrote a monumental treatise describing the characteristics, territories, and languages of all known Native American tribes, including those of Mexico and Central America.

[He appears to be one of those rare leaders who appreciated what was being destroyed before his very eyes . . . ]

For all that, soon after his death in 1848 his name faded from popular history, and he became “America’s forgotten statesman.”

Although I don’t have anything to say about the town of Ennis (pop 838), it is the largest town around, and I thought I’d make it titular with some photos.  Here’s a shot of downtown:

From Maverick Brokers, here’s a shot of the Madison near Ennis:

And yet another, from Wedding Spot.com:

And Ennis Lake, from New View travel blog:

I’ll close with this Wiki shot of the Madison in Ennis:

That’ll do it . . .

KS

Greg

 

© 2018 A Landing A Day

 

 

 

 

 

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Lake Charles, Louisiana

Posted by graywacke on July 3, 2018

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much a once-a-week blog), I use an app that provides a random latitude and longitude that puts me somewhere in the continental United States (the lower 48).  I call this “landing.”

I keep track of the watersheds I land in, as well as the town or towns I land near.  I do some internet research to hopefully find something of interest about my landing location. 

To find out more about A Landing A Day (like who “Dan” is) please see “About Landing” above.  To check out some relatively recent changes in how I do things, check out “About Landing (Revisited).”

Landing number 2407; A Landing A Day blog post number 841.

Dan:  Today’s lat/long (30o 18.985’N, 93o 1.146’W) puts me in southwest Louisiana:

Here’s my local landing map:

And a closer look at my titular Lake Charles (both the lake and the city):

My streams-only map shows that I landed in the watershed of Bayou Arceneaux:

A quick note about bayous.  Some are quite small, and are deemed (by yours truly) as creek-equivalent, while others are quite large and are deemed river-equivalent.  The Bayou Anceneaux (which I deemed a creek) makes its way to the Bayou Serpent (which I deemed a river).  This was my first hit for the Bayou Serpent!

As you can see, the Bayou Serpent slithers its way to the Calcasieu River (4th hit).

I zoomed back to show how the Calcasieu eventually discharges to the Gulf:

I have a decent Google Earth (GE) Street View look at my landing:

And here’s what the Orange Dude sees:

I sent the OD just a few hundreds yards north to get a look at the Bayou Arceneaux:

And here ‘tis:

See what I mean about it being creek-equivalent?

So.  I took a quick (and admittedly half-hearted) look at the little towns near my landing.  But I immediately knew, that absent an amazing hook with one of these towns, that I would feature Lake Charles.  Why, you might ask . . .

Well, there’s a man from Lake Charles (who, along with his wife and others) who I know personally.  Here’s the story:

Back in the early 2000s, Jody and I had a string of years where we went to the New Orleans Jazz Fest.  For those of you who have no clue, the Jazz Fest is a huge event, attracting many 10s of thousands of people to the N.O. fairgrounds.  Typically, the festival happens the last weekend in April (three days) and the first weekend in May (four days). 

The Jazz Fest features all sorts of music, performed simultaneously on ten (+/-) stages.  There’s jazz, gospel, rock n’ roll, Cajun and Zydeco music.  Light on folk; zero on classical.

We have a number of dear friends in New Orleans – Susan & Kelly, (parents); Rachael & Joel (kids, now adults).  Susan and Jody go way back to hippie days in San Francisco in the early 70s.  So, back in the late 90s – early 00s – we’d stay with Susan (who, at the time, lived within easy walking distance from the Jazz Fest). 

So, one year, we brought my son Jordan (age 13-14) to experience Jazz Fest.  Jordan and I were wandering around, looking for a stage to hang out and listen to music.  We walked near the Fais Do-Do* stage, which features Cajun and Zydeco music. 

* “Fais Do Do” means Cajun dance party.

Even from a distance, we heard some bad-ass bass guitar, warming up.  Slap bass, really funky.  I said to Jordan:  “we gotta check this out.”

So, the band getting ready to play was “Sean Ardoin and Zydekool.”  I had no clue who they were, or what they would do, but I knew they had a great bass player.

Well.  Sean came out, and he immediately had the crowd in the palm of his hand.  He was bigger than life, had a great voice, was full of energy (and, he had a great bass player).  His music was funky rock ‘n roll, anchored by Sean on the accordion.  I loved it, loved it, loved it.

When I hooked up with Jody and our friends at the end of the day, I said “Sean Ardoin and Zydekool” was far and away my favorite act.

More about his [former] bass player – Trip Wamsley – in a bit.  Here’s a picture of Sean at the Jazz Fest.  That’s his nephew Trey Ardoin (who we also got to know) with him.

The next year, Susan had some other house guests who also wanted to go to Jazz Fest.  They were limited to just one of the two weekends.  So, we took the other weekend.  With some trepidation, I went on line to check out the various acts for the two weekends. 

And, yes!  Sean Ardoin and Zydekool was playing the weekend that we’d be there.

Of course, we (Jody and other family members in addition to Jordan) went to see Sean at the Fais Do Do stage.  He was opposite Bonnie Raitt – ouch – but we had no doubt who’d we see.

He was great once again.  After the show, Jody suggested that we hang around and try to meet Sean.  Jody (ever the connector) led the way, and we connected.

Sean (more or less):  “I’ll be playing at Tipatina’s (in New Orleans) in just a few weeks.”

Jody chimed in (more or less): “that’s Greg’s birthday.  Greg –  wanna come back to New Orleans?  We’ll call it your birthday present.”

So, back we came, and our connection with Sean was further cemented when after the show, Sean mentioned he’d be at a music festival in Rhode Island that summer – the Rhythm and Roots festival in Charlestown.  Surely, we’d be able to come up at hang out a while.

So, up we went (from our home in NJ).  Suddenly, Jody was the unofficial band photographer, and we found ourselves hawking Zydekool t-shirts.  Our discussions went to the next time we’d see them, and Jody mentioned that she was thinking about a celebratory dance party, marking the 10th anniversary of her company, Hill Environmental Group.

Yes, the band was going to be up in the Northeast in October, and yes, they’d be delighted to play at our party.  The party, held at a historic unfurnished barn up near Princeton, was a smashing success.

And then Sean said something like, “in a couple months, we’re going to Rio de Janeiro to play at a music festival (the Jambalaya Jazz Fest) that features local bands from Rio, and bands from Louisiana.  Y’all want to join us?”

You’ll never guess what happened . . .

A quick Rio story – we were met at the airport by one of the organizers of the festival who was driving the band (and we, the “band parents”) to our hotel (on Copa Cabana beach).  We asked him how he was publicizing the festival, and he pulled out the front page of the entertainment section of El Globo, one of the local newspapers.  And there was a great photo of Sean at the New Orleans Jazz Fest, taken by none other than Jody!  We got instant street cred!

Obviously, we became friends with Sean and his wife Vanessa.  In the coming years, the band stayed at our house for all of their Northeast trips; we spent Mardi Gras in Lake Charles with Sean & Vanessa (including Zydekool playing at the Port Arthur TX Mardi Gras celebration).  That visit included the famous Ardoin family Mardi Gras dance party, where they invite 1,500 of their closest friends.  Sean & Vanessa have visited us in NJ (sans Zydekool).

We (mainly Jody and her brother Skip) put together beach party in the Bahamas (on the out island of Eleuthera) to raise money for school computers, with Sean as the headliner.

Sean calls Jody “Big Sis,” and Jody (of course) calls Sean “Lil Bro.”

So before jumping into some Sean videos, how about his erstwhile bass player Trip Wamsley (who was with Sean for several years back in the day).

Here’s a Trip Wamsley interview, with some interspersed bass solo.  He’s selling GK amplifiers, but he talks about himself and his music.  Note he’s playing a fretless bass . . .  

 

Here’s a piece Sean did for WXPN (Philadelphia!), where he talks about the roots of Zydeco music:

 

Here’s one of my favorites that I heard back in the day at Jazz Fest – “Mama.”  The song starts out a little slow (for a minute or so, but then he picks it up).  Pay attention to the accordion:

 

Here’s “Around the World.”  Talk about street cred!  You must pay close attention to the words at about the 1:47 mark!!!!

 

Wow.  You gotta listen to Sean doing Adelle’s “Hello.”

 

OK.  One more.  This is great:   a cover of Pharrell’s “Happy,” with great scenes of Lake Charles:

 

I’ll close with this GE shot by pmjparty, of a lake just south of Lake Charles:

That’ll do it . . .

KS

Greg

 

© 2018 A Landing A Day

 

 

 

 

 

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Rockport, Gregory and Lamar Texas

Posted by graywacke on June 22, 2018

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much a once-a-week blog), I use an app that provides a random latitude and longitude that puts me somewhere in the continental United States (the lower 48).  I call this “landing.”

I keep track of the watersheds I land in, as well as the town or towns I land near.  I do some internet research to hopefully find something of interest about my landing location. 

To find out more about A Landing A Day (like who “Dan” is) please see “About Landing” above.  To check out some relatively recent changes in how I do things, check out “About Landing (Revisited).”

Landing number 2406; A Landing A Day blog post number 840.

Dan:  Today’s lat/long (28o 1.824’N, 97o 8.295’W) puts me in south Texas, right along the Gulf:

My local landing map:

I’m going to jump right to Google Earth (GE) for my “watershed” analysis.  Here’s a local shot, showing that I landed in Port Bay:

From Port Bay, the water makes its way to Copano Bay, and then to Aransas Bay:

Most likely, water from my landing makes it out to the Gulf via Aransas Pass, the inlet located near Port Aransas:

So of course, I checked out GE Street View (looking for a view across the water at my landing); here’s the closest the Orange Dude could get with a water view:

Here’s what he sees:

With better lighting, you’d be able to get a much clearer view of the bay, I’m sure.

I found a much closer spot for a Street View look, but I couldn’t see the water from here:

But while there, I noticed the sign for the Bay Creek Club:

When I checked out the club, I was appalled to see that the place was in ruins:

My first thought was:  “Hurricane damage?”

The date on the aerial photography was August 29, 2017.  I thought about Hurricane Harvey, and found this on Wiki:

After becoming a hurricane on August 24, Harvey continued to quickly strengthen over the next day, ultimately reaching peak intensity as a Category 4 hurricane. Around 10:00 pm on August 25, the hurricane made landfall at peak intensity on San Jose Island, just east of Rockport, with winds of 130 mph and an atmospheric pressure of 937 mbar. Harvey became the first major hurricane to make landfall in the United States since Wilma in 2005.

Oh my!  That’s it!  The photo was taken just four days after the hurricane made landfall “just east of Rockport.”

Here’s a NWS Hurricane Harvey storm track:

We all remember how Harvey hung around just offshore for day after day after day, causing incredible flooding.

Here’s a satellite photo taken just before landfall:

Key Allegro is a fancy schmancy neighborhood just east of Rockport:

Key Allegro took quite a hit.  Here are a couple of GE shots showing a very small sample of the damage here:

I’ll head west to my namesake town of Gregory.  I found this, from TexasEscapes.com:

Gregory high school is where country music legend Don Williams (1939 – 2017) went to school. Williams was raised in nearby Portland and sings about his childhood there in the song Good ol’ Boys Like Me.”  The smell of cape jasmine through the window screen. I can still hear the soft southern winds in the live oak trees.”

As my regulars probably know, I’m not a big country music fan, but Don is more folk-country, and he has a great voice.  Here he is, singing “Good ol’ Boys Like Me.”

 

Notice the line about “the soft southern winds in the live oak trees.”  Well, speaking of live oak trees, let’s head over to Lamar, home of “The Big Tree,” a very large, very old live oak:

From Wiki:

The Texas Forest Service estimates the Big Tree (a live oak tree) to be over 1,000 years old, while other recent estimates place it nearer to 2,000 years old. Also known as Bishop Oak and Lamar Oak, the Big Tree is a charter member (#16) of the Live Oak Society.  The “Big Tree” is possibly the oldest live oak in the world. It possesses a circumference of over 35 feet and is more than 45 feet tall, while the crown’s spread is 90 feet.

I took a screen shot video of a sweeping panoramic view of the tree, posted on GE G. Donald Bane.  Click HERE to get a great view of the tree.

Here’s some more about the tree from Chron.com, an article by Andrew Dansby:

“I’ve been aware of that tree all my life,” said John Porter Jackson, whose great-great grandparents arrived in Rockport from Virginia by train in 1888. “I remember as a kid in preschool going up there. Obviously, the tree predates all of us, so for those of us who grew up around here, it’s a part of who we are.”

By “up there,” he meant Lamar. “The Lamar Peninsula,” he said, “is a different world.”

Jackson paused. “Some people here call them Lamartians.” The corners of his mouth crooked into a tentative smile. Jackson suggested two worlds on each side of the Lyndon B. Johnson Causeway, which links the Lamar Peninsula to Fulton and Rockport. “That’s a nine-minute run,” he said. “That may not seem like much to you in Houston, but here, a Lamartian would think about it before making that trip to the Walmart.”

I’ll close with this GE shot by Josh Keng, taken from Goose Island State Park, near the Big Tree:

That’ll do it . . .

KS

Greg

 

© 2018 A Landing A Day

 

 

 

 

 

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