A Landing a Day

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Archive for October, 2010

Allen, Oklahoma

Posted by graywacke on October 31, 2010

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (then every-other-day blog and now a one-to-three-times a week blog), I have my computer select 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 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 and what the various numbers and abbreviations mean), please see “About Landing,” (and “Abbreviations” and “Cryptic Numbers”) above.

Dan –  This is getting ugly.  I’m all the way to 0/6 thanks to this landing in . . . OK; 53/44; 2/10; 3; 157.0.

It has been a while since I looked at my Score.  As regular readers know, my Score is the last number in the string of numbers above (i.e., 157.0).  For reasons too complicated to explain here, this Score will inexorably decrease as time goes on.  (See “About Landing” for details).  Anyway, I’ve made 150 a benchmark; a goal of mine.  Check out this graph (where each dot represents the Score for a landing):


This is painful for me.  Although I know that the 140’s are inevitable, I wonder if I’m going to live to see it . . .

Moving right along – here’s my landing map, showing my proximity to a plethora of small towns:


Although closest to Allen, you can see Sasakwa, Gerty, Atwood & Calvin.  Here’s a broader view:


Here’s my GE shot, showing that I landed in a mixed agricultural/wooded area, not far from the mighty Canadian R.:


Obviously, I landed in the watershed of the Canadian R (38th hit); on to the Arkansas (106th hit); to the MM (760th hit).  Here’s a StreetView shot of the Canadian, taken from a road that’s just off my landing map to the west (Rt 37):

I’m closest to Allen.  From Wiki:

The town was founded in 1883 by a group of settlers who had arrived in Choctaw Nation, Indian Territory in 1882 from Gainesville, Texas.  They first settled in Cold Springs, northwest of the present townsite, where other settlers soon joined them. The first log cabin was built in Allen in 1883, and this building was used as both a school and church. The town was named after Allen McCall, the son of deputy United States marshal William McCall.

The Missouri, Oklahoma, and Gulf Railway built a line through the area in 1909, although it bypassed Allen, by a half-mile.

[Doh!  I’m sure the locals hated it when that happened!]

Allen became a boomtown in 1913, when an oil well was drilled west of the town. The population rose from 645 in 1910 to 1,389 in 1930, but dropped to 907 in 1970.

Here’s a shot of beautiful downtown Allen:

Here’s a shot of the towns people gathered in front of the Allen school back in 1896:

I have to apologize about my dearth of landings.  Life (work, actually) has been a little crazy.  Even tho I would normally add something additional to this post, I think I’ll cut it short so I can move on to another landing (likely an OSer, right?).  Anyway, I’ll close with this shot of the Sasakwa City Hall:


That’ll do it. . .

KS

Greg

© 2010 A Landing A Day

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Prairie View, Kansas

Posted by graywacke on October 20, 2010

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (then every-other-day blog and now a one-to-three-times a week blog), I have my computer select 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 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 and what the various numbers and abbreviations mean), please see “About Landing,” (and “Abbreviations” and “Cryptic Numbers”) above.

Dan –  Wastin’ away again in OSer-land . . . KS; 56/52; 3/10; 2; 156.6.  Here’s my landing map:


Today’s landing is the eastern-most.  The other nearby landing was back in January 2009.  Not surprisingly, that’s for my “Almena, Kansas” post.

I landed in the Crooked Creek watershed (my 11th “Crooked” watershed, my 9th “Crooked Creek”); on to Beaver Creek (34th “Beaver” watershed, my 25th “Beaver Creek”); on to the N Fk of the Solomon River (2nd hit); on to the Solomon R (6th hit); on to the Smoky Hill R (17th hit); on to the Kansas R (56th hit); on to the Missouri (357th hit); on to the MM (759th hit).  Phew . . . .

Here’s a broader view:


Here’s my GE shot, showing a totally-predictable agricultural scene:


Here’s a StreetView shot, looking south.  My landing is about a mile down this little road, on the right:


Here’s the “Welcome to Prairie View” sign, from the town’s website:


From www.skyways.org (a service of the State Library of Kansas):

In May of 1873, the Robert and Daniel W. Thomas families arrived in the yet unnamed “Prairie View” area. They left Missouri early in the year to get “to wherever they were going” in order to plant crops.

[I love the above quote –  I wonder where the author got it  . . .]

The Dan Thomas family at that time consisted of 4 children, so they had a stove in their covered wagon. Robert Thomas had 6 children, so there was no room for a stove, therefore, cold nights were miserable.

[Wonderful detail – likely from the same source]

Arriving in this area, the wagon boxes were placed on the ground and claims registered. The first two permanent families had arrived.

A 1906 paper accounts this story about one of the first days. “ The only thing that dispelled the feeling of homesickness that was crawling over our friend Tuck (Dan) Thomas of Prairie View, the second day after he reached Phillips County, was his good luck in downing a fine buffalo with his six-shooter and then having to ride it a few hundred yards before finishing it with his jack-knife.”

[Another great piece of local color!]

Work on dugouts waited until sod was broken and the crops were planted. Both families spent the first and possibly the second winter in a dugout.

After some slow growth, the town got its first Post Office in 1879.  The first school was built in 1881:

I’ll close with this Panaramio sunrise shot, looking east (duh) on Route 36 just north of my landing:


That’ll do it. . .

KS

Greg

© 2010 A Landing A Day

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Willcox, Arizona

Posted by graywacke on October 16, 2010

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (then every-other-day blog and now a one-to-three-times a week blog), I have my computer select 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 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 and what the various numbers and abbreviations mean), please see “About Landing,” (and “Abbreviations” and “Cryptic Numbers”) above.

Dan –  Man.  I can’t win for losin’, with my fourth OSer in a row . . . AZ; 80/72; 4/10; 1; 156.1.  Here’s my landing map, showing two landings.  The southern one, closest to Willcox was from August 2007.  Obviously, the northern one is today’s:


Here’s a broader view:


Here’s my GE shot, showing a lovely desertscape:


As might be anticipated for such a dehydrated scene, water that falls on my landing doesn’t make it very far.  My watershed entry is “Sacaton Wash; Internal.”  I Googled “Sacaton Wash” and, amazingly, it is mentioned at least in passing on some fishing websites.  I couldn’t find any info or any pictures though.

On Google Earth, I did find this lovely picture (looking north I believe), taken from a spot just a mile north of my landing:


Here’s a broader, GE view looking north:


About Willcox, from Wiki:

Willcox is a city in Cochise County, Arizona. According to 2006 Census Bureau estimates, the population of the city is 3,769.

Originally known as ‘Maley,’ the town was founded in 1880 as a whistlestop on the Southern Pacific Railroad.  It was renamed in honor of a visit by General Orlando B. Willcox in 1889 (Willcox was a General in the Civil War).  In the early 20th century, Willcox had the distinction of being a national leader in cattle production. Agriculture remains important to the local economy.

Willcox is also known as the birthplace of Rex Allen, known as “The Arizona Cowboy,” who wrote and recorded many songs, starred in several westerns during the early 1950s and in the syndicated television series Frontier Doctor (1958-1959).

Rex Allen, eh?  From Wiki:

Rex Elvie Allen (1920 –  1999) was an American film actor, singer and songwriter who is particularly known as the narrator in many Disney nature and Western film productions. For contributions to the recording industry, Rex Allen was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

One of Allen’s most successful singles was “Don’t Go Near the Indians”, which reached the top 5 of Billboard magazine’s Hot Country Singles chart in November 1962. It features The Merry Melody Singers.

Click here for a YouTube version of the song.  Here are the lyrics, which tell quite the story:

Son, don’t go near the Indians
Please stay away
Son, don’t go near the Indians
Please do what I say

Since I was just a little boy
I liked to roam the hills
And to hear wild stories
About the Indians
Was my biggest thrill

I’d shout and yell
And holler like them
I wore moccasins on my feet

And I’d make believe
I was under a teepee
Every time I went to sleep

My hair was jet black
And I was twenty-one
Lots of pretty girls around

But the paleface maidens
Didn’t thrill me none
Around my Cochise County hometown

(CHORUS)

One day I went to the reservation
And there by a shallow creek
Was a beautiful Indian
A-fetching water
And I just had to speak

She smiled at me then quickly left
But the next day she returned
And it wasn’t very long
Til I told her how
The love in my heart burned

(CHORUS)

I told my daddy I’d found a girl
Who meant the world to me
And tomorrow I’d ask the Indian chief
For the hand of Nova Lee

Dad’s trembling lips spoke softly
As he told me of my life
Twas then he said I could never take
This maiden for my wife

(Spoken)
Son, the white man and Indian
Were fighting when you were born
And a brave called Yellow Sun
Scalped my little boy
So I stole you to get even
For what he’d done

Though you’re a
Full-blooded Indian, son
I love you as much as my
Own little feller that’s dead
And, son, Nova Lee is your sister
And that’s why I’ve always said

(CHORUS)

Here’s a picture of the Rex Allen Museum in Willcox:


And this cool picture of a statue of Rex at the museum (by Rhonda Reddick, posted on RoadsideAmerica.com):


Providing a link to YouTube like I did for Rex reminded me that I recently posted a YouTube video.  I’m actually kind of proud of this rendition of a song I wrote and performed.  Click here to check out my video.

I’ll close with this sunset over the desert outside of Willcox:


That’ll do it. . .

KS

Greg

© 2010 A Landing A Day

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Redbird, Wyoming (as well as Igloo and Edgemont SD)

Posted by graywacke on October 8, 2010

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (then every-other-day blog and now a one-to-three-times a week blog), I have my computer select 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 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 and what the various numbers and abbreviations mean), please see “About Landing,” (and “Abbreviations” and “Cryptic Numbers”) above.

Dan –  Here we go again, with my third OSer in a row . . . WY; 69/62; 5/10; 8; 155.7.  Here’s my landing map, showing my proximity to Redbird:


Redbird ain’t much;  let me step back a little, showing my proximity to the WY/SD state line, and a couple of towns in SD (Igloo and Edgemont):


Here’s an even broader view:


I landed in the watershed of the Antelope Creek.  This was my 8th “Antelope” watershed, putting Antelope of my list of Common Watershed names.  FYI, I’ve had 7 Antelope Creeks, and one Antelope Draw.  Anyway, the Antelope flows to the Old Woman Creek, on to Lance Ck; on the Cheyenne R (17th hit); on to Missouri (356th hit); on to the MM (758th hit).

Here’s my GE shot, an arid, apparently desolate landscape:


It looks like the road that runs NW-SE just south of my landing is right on a ridge line.  It sure looks like a watershed boundary, eh?  It’s not a spectacular watershed boundary (it just separates an “unnamed tributary” of Antelope Ck (to the north) from the Antelope Ck itself (to the south).

I’m so out in the boonies, there are no StreetView shots (or GE Panaramio shots) anywhere nearby.  Redbird (inspite of its cool name) is totally GD.  A ways downstream of my landing, I did find this StreetView shot from a bridge over the Old Woman Creek:


Although it’s not my preference, I must wander across the state line, to check out Igloo and Edgemont SD.

Igloo has it’s own website, which is loaded with history, anecdotes and stories about the Black Hills Ordnance Depot.  It turns out that the Depot is (or was) in fact, Igloo.  Click here to check out this website.  Here’s just a little history:

For twenty-five years (1942 – 1967) hundreds of people worked and lived at the Black Hills Ordnance Depot (BHOD), a government installation in southwestern South Dakota.  The isolated location led to the creation of a community named Igloo on the grounds of the depot. Here, employees established homes and raised families; children attended school and grew to adulthood.

The BHOD included various buildings, a railroad system, and other features including particular structures for the storage of ordanance. These structures were named igloos. Shaped like the dwellings associated with Eskimos, they were made of reinforced concrete covered with earth. They were built with arched sides and a semi-circular roof, nearly half the structure was underground. The design insured that any explosion would be directed upward, not outward.  A total of 802 igloos, laid out in nine blocks adjacent to the railroad, were built.

At 4:00 P.M. on June 30, 1967, the flag at the Black Hills Army Depot came down for the last time. No ceremony marked the end of the facility’s twenty-five-year service to the country. Silence began to descend on the lonely prairie site which once echoed with the sounds of ball games, dance music, school bells, and people talking as they worked.

Here’s a picture of some of the residential structures still there today.  (I think all of the igloos are gone).


So, I’ll move over the Edgemont.  The town’s website has an absolutely lovely photo page.  I’ll close with these shots.  (Click here to see them all).

(Hey Spagets:  Here’s a rainbow for you)

I’ll close with a sunrise followed by a sunset:

 

That’ll do it. . .

KS

Greg

© 2010 A Landing A Day

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Baltimore, Maryland

Posted by graywacke on October 2, 2010

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (then every-other-day blog and now a two-or-three-times a week blog), I have my computer select 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 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 and what the various numbers and abbreviations mean), please see “About Landing,” (and “Abbreviations” and “Cryptic Numbers”) above.

Dan –  Here’s one of those fairly rare events:  a truly urban landing; in . . . MD; 10/8; 5/10; 7; 155.2.  Here’s my landing map:


Here’s a slightly expanded view, showing my proximity to Baltimore:


Here’s a broader view:


I landed in the watershed of the Miller Run; on to a new river, the Patapsco (1084th hit); on to the Baltimore Harbor, which, of course is really part of the Chesapeake.

Here’s my GE shot, showing that I landed just behind a large block of commercial (retail) businesses:


Here’s a Google Map shot, that identifies some of the businesses:


With great excitement, I noted that I had StreetView coverage for the very street upon which I landed.  Here’s the shot.  X marks my landing!!


So, with no offense meant to Catonsville (which the town I actually landed in), I couldn’t really find much of particular interest.  Same for Ellicott City (a nearby suburb).  So, since this is the closest I’ve ever come to Baltimore, I figured I’d check it out.  Well, as might be expected, there’s an overwhelming amount of information available.  Wiki has an extremely lengthy list of famous people from Baltimore.  I quickly perused it, and made the following list of people that appeared the most interesting to me:

Spiro Agnew 0.460237
“Mama” Cass Elliot 0.247091
Billie Holiday 0.044878
Thurgood Marshall 0.527864
Jim McKay 0.386081
Ogden Nash 0.836343
Nancy Pelosi 0.662990
Michael Phelps 0.919400
Edgar Alan Poe 0.647203
Cal Ripken 0.358889
Brooks Robinson 0.133177
Frank Robinson 0.514194
Babe Ruth 0.432967
Pat Sajak 0.650789
Upton Sinclair 0.818133
Gertrude Stein 0.580128
Anne Tyler 0.473361
Johnny Unitas 0.472776
Oprah Winfrey 0.118419
Frank Zappa 0.942754

Given the “random” theme of this blog, I thought I’d have my computer randomly chose two of the above people for a little research.  The numbers next to the names are in fact, random numbers generated by my computer.  Before I generated them, I decided that I’d feature the people with the highest and the lowest random numbers.  And the winners are . . . Billie Holiday and Frank Zappa!

Billie had a tough time of it.  From Biography.com, about Billie (I shortened the article) :

Born Eleanora Fagan in 1915, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Some sources say Baltimore).  One of the most influential jazz singers of all time, Billie Holiday had a thriving career for many years before her battles with substance abuse got the better of her.

Holiday spent much of her childhood in Baltimore, Maryland. Her mother, Sadie, was only a teenager when she had her. Her father is widely believed to be Clarence Holiday, who eventually became a successful jazz musician, playing with the likes of Fletcher Henderson.

In her difficult early life, Holiday found solace in music, singing along to the records of Bessie Smith and Louis Armstrong. She followed her mother who had moved to New York City in the late 1920s and worked in a house of prostitution in Harlem for a time. Around 1930, Holiday began singing in local clubs and renamed herself “Billie” after the film star Billie Dove.

At the age of 18, Holiday was discovered by producer John Hammond while she was performing in a Harlem jazz club. Hammond was instrumental in getting Holiday recording work with an up-and-coming clarinetist and bandleader Benny Goodman.

She married James Monroe in 1941. Already known to drink, Holiday picked up her new husband’s habit of smoking opium. The marriage didn’t last, but Holiday’s problems with substance abuse continued. (They later divorced.)

That same year, Holiday had a hit with “God Bless the Child.” She later signed with Decca Records in 1944 and scored an R&B hit the next year with “Lover Man.” Her boyfriend at the time was trumpeter Joe Guy, and with him she started using heroin. After the death of her mother in October 1945, Holiday began drinking more heavily and escalated her drug use to ease her grief.

She appeared with her idol Louis Armstrong in the 1947 film New Orleans, albeit playing the role of a maid. Unfortunately, Holiday’s drug use caused her a great professional setback that same year. She was arrested and convicted for narcotics possession in 1947. Sentenced to one year and a day of jail time, Holiday went to a federal rehabilitation facility in Alderston, West Virginia.

While her hard living was taking a toll on her voice, Holiday continued to tour and record in the 1950s. In 1954, Holiday had a hugely successful tour of Europe.

Her autobiography, Lady Sings the Blues (1956), was written in collaboration by William Dufty. Some of the material included, however, must be taken with a grain of salt. Holiday was in rough shape when she worked with Dufty on the project, and she claimed to have never read the book after it was finished.

Around this time, Holiday became involved with Louis McKay. The two were arrested for narcotics in 1956, and they married in Mexico the following year. Like many other men in her life, McKay used Holiday’s name and money to advance himself.

After years of lackluster performances, she gave her final performance in New York City on May 25, 1959. Not long after this event, Holiday was admitted to the hospital for heart and liver problems. She was so addicted to heroin that she was even arrested for possession while in the hospital. On July 17, 1959, Holiday died from alcohol- and drug-related complications.

More than 3,000 people turned out to say good-bye to Lady Day at her funeral held in St. Paul the Apostle Roman Catholic Church on July 21, 1959. A who’s who of the jazz world attended the solemn occasion.

Her autobiography was made into the 1972 film Lady Sings the Blues with famed singer Diana Ross playing the part of Holiday, which helped renew interest in Holiday’s recordings. In 2000, Billie Holiday was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with Diana Ross handling the honors.

Here’s a picture of Billie:

So what about Frank?  From Wiki:

Frank Vincent Zappa (1940 – 1993) was an American composer, electric guitarist, record producer, and film director. In a career spanning more than 30 years, Zappa wrote rock, jazz, electronic and orchestral works. He also directed feature-length films and music videos, and designed album covers. Zappa produced almost all of the more than 60 albums he released with the band Mothers of Invention and as a solo artist.

Frank Zappa was born in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1940. The family moved often during Zappa’s childhood because his father, a chemist and mathematician, had various jobs in the US defense industry. After a brief time in Florida in the mid-1940s, the family returned to Maryland, where Zappa’s father worked at the Edgewood Arsenal chemical warfare facility at the Aberdeen Proving Ground. Due to their home’s proximity to the arsenal, which stored mustard gas, gas masks were kept in the house in case of an accident.  This had a profound effect on the young Zappa: references to germs, germ warfare and other aspects of the defense industry occur throughout his work.[5]

During his childhood Zappa was often sick, suffering from asthma, earaches and sinus problems. A doctor treated the latter by inserting a pellet of radium into each of Zappa’s nostrils; little was known at the time about the potential dangers of being subjected to even small amounts of therapeutic radiation.  Nasal imagery and references appear both in his music, lyrics and album covers.

Many of Zappa’s childhood diseases may have arisen from exposure to mustard gas; furthermore, his health worsened when he lived in the Baltimore area.  In 1952, his family relocated to California mainly because of Zappa’s health.

While in his teens, he acquired a taste for percussion-based avant-garde composers such as Edgard Varèse and 1950s rhythm and blues music. He began writing classical music in high school, while at the same time playing drums in rhythm and blues bands—he later switched to electric guitar. He was a self-taught composer and performer, and his diverse musical influences led him to create music that was often impossible to categorize.

His 1966 debut album with the Mothers of Invention, Freak Out!, combined songs in conventional rock and roll format with collective improvisations and studio-generated sound collages. His later albums shared this eclectic and experimental approach, irrespective of whether the fundamental format was one of rock, jazz or classical. He wrote the lyrics to all his songs, which—often humorously—reflected his iconoclastic view of established social and political processes, structures and movements. He was a strident critic of mainstream education and organized religion, and a forthright and passionate advocate for freedom of speech, autodidacticism and the abolition of censorship.

Zappa was a highly productive and prolific artist and he gained widespread critical acclaim. Many of his albums are considered essential in rock and jazz history. He is regarded as one of the most original guitarists and composers of his time. He also remains a major influence on musicians and composers. He had some commercial success, particularly in Europe, and for most of his career was able to work as an independent artist. Zappa was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995 and received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1997.

In 1967 Zappa married Adelaide Gail Sloatman, with whom he remained until his death from prostate cancer in 1993. They had four children: Moon Unit, Dweezil, Ahmet Emuukha Rodan and Diva Thin Muffin Pigeen.

Most of Zappa’s projects came to a halt in 1990, when he was diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer. The disease had been developing unnoticed for ten years and was considered inoperable.  After his diagnosis, Zappa devoted most of his energy to modern orchestral synclavier (a sophisticated music synthesize) works. In 1993 he completed Civilization, Phaze III shortly before his death. It was a major synclavier work which he had begun in the 1980s.

Frank Zappa died in 1993 in his home surrounded by his wife and children. At a private ceremony the following day, Zappa was interred in an unmarked grave at the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Westwood, Los Angeles.  On Monday, December 6 his family publicly announced that “Composer Frank Zappa left for his final tour just before 6:00 pm on Saturday”.

Here are several shots of Frank, showing that he had more than one “look:”


That’ll do it. . .

KS

Greg

© 2010 A Landing A Day

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