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Archive for December, 2016

Granite and Larchwood, Iowa

Posted by graywacke on December 27, 2016

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much a once-every-four-or-five days 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) please see “About Landing” above.  To check out some recent changes in how I do things, check out “About Landing (Revisited).”

Landing number 2316; A Landing A Day blog post number 747.

untitledDan:  Today’s lat/long (43o 26.229’N, 96o 34.897’W) puts me in far northwest Iowa:

landing-1

My local landing shows two highlights:  one of my titular towns (where’s Granite?) and something called “Gutchie Manitou State Monument Park.”  Without going into any detail, I will say right now that “Gutchie” is a typo.  It’s actually “Gitchie,” as in “by the shores of Gitche Gumee.”  More later.  Anyway, here ‘tis:

landing-2

My streams-only map is very simple:

landing-3

This was my 6th landing in the Big Sioux watershed (my latest was only 6 landings ago); on to the Missouri (417th hit); and, of course, to the MM (904th).

It’s time for that fan-favorite, my Google Earth (GE) spaceflight to extreme NW Iowa.  Click HERE, enjoy the trip, and hit your back button.

I managed to get the Orange Dude to within about three quarters of a mile from my landing:

ge-sv-landing-map

And here’s what he sees:

ge-sv-landing

A Street View-enabled bridge over the Big Sioux is quite close:

ge-sv-river-map

And the OD sees this lovely view:

ge-sv-river

Before I go to all things Gitchie (aka Gitche), here’s a GE shot showing a particular Panoramio shot as well as the “town” of Granite:

ge1

In the above shot, my cursor was on a particular Panoramio photo, which is how I discovered the existence of “Good Earth State Park,” and the more mysterious “Blood Run.”

Blood Run is a stream in Iowa about 2 miles north of my landing (that of course discharges to the Big Sioux).  According to Wiki, the stream is named for the red soil (and presumably the red clay that is suspended in the stream, turning it red).  “Run” is a midwestern term for a small stream.

But more importantly, Blood Run is the name of an archaeological site that spans the Big Sioux in the vicinity of the Run.  From Wiki:

The Blood Run Site was continuously populated for 8,500 years, and contains earthwork structures built by the Oneota Culture and occupied by descendant tribes.

Now, wait a second, take a deep breath and think about 8,500 years of continuous occupation.  Here in the U.S., anything that’s 200 years old is mighty old to us.  In Europe, 1000 years is old, 2000 years (Roman) is ancient.  In Egypt, we can go back 5,000 years.  So, 8,500 years is nothing to sneeze at. 

Figuring 20 years/generation, that’s 425 generations of Indians who lived there!

Back to Wiki:

Although declared a National Historic Landmark in 1970, its integrity is endangered by gravel quarrying and looting.  The site was substantially looted and areas wholly destroyed by settlers and looters through the late 1930s and by subsequent generations of collectors. A possible snake mound rivaling the Serpent Mound in Ohio was used for railroad fill.

Blood Run was mapped in the early 18th century by French explorers and about 480 mounds existed and a population of 10,000 Native people was documented.  In the late 19th century, 176 mounds were still visible. Today 78 mounds still exist, mostly burial.

And prior to the early 18th century census, there might have been 100,000 people living here before small pox swept through.  And then after the census?  Likely down to a 1,000 thanks to disease and war.  OK, so I made up the numbers, but they’re probably not that far off . . .

Anyway, the Blood Run Site is currently protected by two State Parks:  Good Earth in SD, and Gitchie Manitou in Iowa.

When I was meandering around GE, I happened to notice a peculiar bit of dead-end-out-in-the-middle-of-nowhere Street View coverage over by Good Earth Park.  So I sent the Orange Dude over to check it out:

ge-sv-good-earth-map

It’s little more than a mowed path in a field:

ge-sv-good-earth

And then I stumbled on a young couple, apparently out for a walk (although it looks like the gentleman may be doing something on his handheld device):

ge-sv-good-earth-2

I scrolled (strolled?) past the couple, and was amazed that they seemed oblivious to the GoogleCamMobile.  I made a quick video, which you can access HERE.

I mean, really!  If I were standing out in the middle of a field, and a car came by with a peculiar attachment sticking up out of the roof, I’d at least pay attention.  If I realized it was a GoogleCamMobile, I’d be jumping up and down waving.  But then, I’m a dork. . .

Amazing, isn’t it, that the GoogleCamMobile driver actually shot a Street View video here?

An excellent photographer (Mike Oistad) took quite the series of photos in the park.  They’re not of particular archealogical interest, so I’ll save ‘em for the end of the post.

You may have noted the town of Granite in my GE shot from a ways back.  It’s just a couple of miles north of my landing.  Here’s a GE close-up:

ge-granite

The hot spot in Granite is Ed & Ruth Hansen’s General Store.  Here’ a Pano shot by SShultz:

pano-sshult-ed-and-ruth-hansens-general-store

I like the landscaping (the little tree out front).  In a few decades, it’ll be a little more impressive.

So what about the name Granite?  Well, I’m not intimately familiar with Iowa bedrock geology, but I really didn’t expect granite to be anywhere around here.  Just to double check, I took a look at an Iowa geologic map (Wiki, Bill Whittaker):

1024px-iowabedrock

Granite is typically very old rock, since it is magma that cools very slowly far down in the earth’s crust, and then takes a long time before it’s uplifted and exposed (typically hundreds of millions, if not billions of years).  Well, way up in the northwest corner of Iowa, note that it says “Precambrian.”  This is a catch-all term for any rocks older than about 600 million years.  (All of the other rocks in Iowa are younger.)

With a little more research, I discovered that the bedrock in the far northwestern corner of Iowa is known as the Sioux Quartzite, which is a layered, pink and whitish rock commonly used as a building stone in the general area.

Generically speaking, a quartzite is a quartz-rich metamorphic rock (typically an ancient sandstone that got squished and melted through the eons).  Geologically speaking, it’s not a granite at all, but lay people often call “granite” anything that isn’t a limestone, sandstone, shale or marble – i.e., any igneous rock or any metamorphic rock that looks igneous.

Just go shopping for “granite” counter tops and you’ll see what I mean!

Anyway, I found this picture in a July 2013 SouthDakotaMagazine.com article by Christian Begeman, where he extols the beauty of Sioux Quartzite (the picture shows the banks of the Big Sioux River):

christian-begeman-big-sioux-dells-2013-5

The Gitchie Manitou State Preserve is located in the NW Iowa outcrop area of the Sioux Quartzite and has its own Wiki page:

Gitchie Manitou is a small (91 acre) nature preserve in Lyon County, in the extreme northwestern corner of Iowa just northwest of Granite, Iowa, or just southeast of Sioux Falls, South Dakota. This natural prairie preserve is noted for its ancient Native American burial mounds and Precambrian Sioux Quartzite outcroppings, which are about 1.6 billion years old.  The smooth, pink-colored bedrock is the oldest exposed rock in the state.

The parcel was formally dedicated as a geological, archaeological, historical, and biological preserve in 1969. The preserve was named for the creator spirit in Anishinaabe Indian tradition, Gichi-Manidoo (literally “Great Spirit” or “Great Force of Nature”).

Given that Lake Superior is known as Gitche Gumee, it’s pretty obvious that gitche = gitchie = great.

Not only did Mike Oistad take pictures of the Good Earth State Park, he also took pictures at Gitchie Manitou.  Here are some of his classy Panoramio shots:

WE INTERRUPT OUR REGULAR BLOGGING FOR THIS BREAKING NEWS STORY!!!  AT APPROXIMATELY NOON ON DECEMBER 6, 2016, I WAS UNABLE TO DOWNLOAD GOOGLE EARTH PANORAMIO PHOTOS!  AND YES – GOOGLE EARTH HAS SHUT DOWN PANORAMIO!!!  THE ICONS REMAIN ON THE MAP, BUT WHEN YOU CLICK ON ONE, ALL YOU SEE IS A BLANK SPACE WHERE THE PICTURE SHOULD BE.

THIS IS TRAGIC NEWS!  COUNTLESS BLOGGERS (ESPECIALLY ONE GREG HILL OF A LANDING A DAY FAME) HAVE RELIED ON PANORAMIO PHOTOS FOR YEARS AND YEARS, HUNDREDS OF POSTS, AND THOUSANDS OF PANORAMIO PHOTOS.

Here’s a screen shot I took after searching this subject on today’s (Dec 6) Google News:

ge-panoramio-shut-down-google-news

However, with some finesse, I was able to do a Google search for Panoramio photos by Mike Oistad (not through Google Earth) and was able to download many of his wonderful shots of my landing vicinity.  However, a warning popped up letting me know that Panoramio was shutting down, so this was a temporary work around. 

His photos are great, and I’ll present a veritable Oistad feast to close out this post.

My other titular town actually appeared on my local landing map:  Larchwood.  It’s pretty much hookless, but Wiki did have this to say:

Larchwood (pop 866) was founded about 1872 by Illinois land developers Jesse Fell and Charles Holder.

.Fell was a close friend of Abraham Lincoln, and persuaded Lincoln to write his famous autography.  He also persuaded Lincoln to challenge his presidential opponent, Stephen A. Douglas to what would become the historically famous series of debates.  He was nationally known for his love of trees.

In the summer of 1869 Fell traveled to northwestern Iowa and selected a tract of about forty sections, more than 25,000 acres of land. Fell wrote, “I have never beheld such a large body of surpassingly beautiful prairie as is here to be found. There is absolutely no waste of land, and scarce a quarter of a section not affording an admirable building site.”

Holder then entered the land. Larchwood was established at the center of their holdings. Fell frequently visited the site and in May 0f 1873 personally supervised the planting of some 100,000 saplings and tree cuttings.

Fell’s not a bad looking guy (Wiki photo):

jessefell

Under “Notable People” from Larchwood is Cheri Blauwet.  From Wiki:

Cheri Blauwet (born May 15, 1980) is an American wheelchair racer. She has competed at the Olympic and Paralympic level in events ranging from the 100 meters to the marathon.

Blauwet grew up in Larchwood, Iowa, in a farming family.  She began racing in high school, when she was recruited by her school’s track and field coach. She later attended the University of Arizona, where she was a member of the school’s wheelchair racing team

She graduated magna cum laude with a degree in molecular biology. She attended Stanford University School of Medicine and completed her residency including being chief resident in physical medicine and rehabilitation at Harvard Medical School. She is currently a Fellow in Sports Medicine at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC).

She competed in her first marathon in Japan in 2002, and two weeks later won the New York City race, her second marathon.  She then went on to win the New York City Marathon twice (2002, 2003), the Boston Marathon twice (2004, 2005), and the Los Angeles Marathon four times (2003, 2004, 2005, and 2008).

Wow.  Another smart jock!  (I say “another” because I recently wrote about former Major League Baseball catcher Johnny Bench, who was valedictorian of his Binger, Oklahoma high school class).

Here’s a shot of Dr. Blauwet (from BU.edu – Boston University):

Blauwet, Cheri MD

And another – a Reuters photo of her defending her Boston Marathon title in 2005:

Defending Boston Marathon women's wheelchair champion Cheri Blauwet of the United States crosses the finish line to win the 109th Boston Marathon in a time of one hour, forty-seven minutes and forty-five seconds in Boston, Massachusetts April 18, 2005. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Defending Boston Marathon women’s wheelchair champion Cheri Blauwet of the United States crosses the finish line to win the 109th Boston Marathon in a time of one hour, forty-seven minutes and forty-five seconds in Boston, Massachusetts April 18, 2005. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

And here’s a very cool PBS.org video of Cheri talking about . . . Cheri:

 

It’s time for closing GE Pano shots (and I really mean closing). Yes.  This may be the last GE pano shots posted on this blog.  I went a little overboard, but thanks to Mike Oistad, these are good ‘uns.  I’ll start in Good Earth State Park, South Dakota:

pano-mike-oistad1-good-earth

pano-mike-oistad2-good-earth

pano-mike-oistad4-good-earth

pano-mike-oistad5-good-earth

pano-mike-oistad6-good-earth

pano-mike-oistad7-good-earth

pano-mike-oistad8-good-earth

And I’ll close with some from Gitchie Monitou State Preserve in Iowa, starting with an old house constructed of Sioux Quartzite (and followed by more traditional scenic shots):

pano-mike-oistad-gitchie-2

Note that interior decoration for the above was provided by FRED.

pano-mike-oistad-gitchie-3

pano-mike-oistad-gitchie-1

That’ll do it . . .

KS

Greg

 

© 2016 A Landing A Day

 

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Reidsville, North Carolina

Posted by graywacke on December 22, 2016

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much a once-every-four-or-five days 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) please see “About Landing” above.  To check out some recent changes in how I do things, check out “About Landing (Revisited).”

Landing number 2315; A Landing A Day blog post number 746.

untitledDan:  Today’s lat/long (36o 15.953’N, 79o 41.338’W) puts me in North Central North Carolina:

landing-1

And my local landing map:

landing-2

My streams-only map shows that I landed very close to and obviously in the watershed of the Haw River (3rd hit), on to the Cape Fear (12th hit):

landing-3

Without further ado, click HERE to access my Google Earth (GE) space flight in to N-Cen NC.

I have decent GE Street View coverage of my landing:

 ge-sv-landing-map

And here’s what the Orange Dude sees:

 ge-sv-landing

And I’m not too far from Street View coverage of the Haw River:

 ge-sv-haw-map

And here ‘tis:

ge-sv-haw

Reidsville is pretty much hookless (as are some other small towns just outside my local landing map).  The only thing that caught my eye is in the “Notable People” list:  one Tony Rice, bluegrass musician.  I had never heard of him, but his name was clickable, so I clicked (and clicked and clicked).

He is a true bluegrass music legend, both as an acoustic guitar player and a singer.  Although he was born a few miles north in Danville VA, he has long resided in Reidsville (and still does, I believe).

He has had serious health issues and can no longer sing, and can rarely play the guitar.  From a 2014 NY Times Magazine article by Sandra Beasley (NY Times photo by Jeremy M. Lang):ny-times-pic

Rice’s warm, slightly nasal baritone has been silenced for nearly two decades by muscle-tension dysphonia, a disorder that contracts muscles around the vocal cords, interrupting speech and strangling pitch. Rice attributes the throat spasms partly to the strain of singing for years above his natural range — though he does not deny that the stress of life on the road has played its part as well. The last time he recalls singing in public was the 1994 Gettysburg Bluegrass Festival. “Guys, this is it,” he said midset. “I have to shut it down.”

Just to give you an idea of how revered this guy is, here’s a piece by John Lawless who writes for Bluegrass Today:

In bluegrass music circles, no question is asked more consistently that some variation of, “What’s going on with Tony Rice?”

Followers of his music reacted with immediate generosity in 2013 when an appeal went out for financial support when he was unable to perform, and reaction to his stirring speech (in his natural voice) when inducted into the IBMA’s Bluegrass Hall of Fame in September of that year demonstrated the hold Rice has on the imagination and heart of the bluegrass community.

Pretty much everyone in our world has at least wondered one or twice how Tony was doing with both his speech therapy and the arm and hand problems that were preventing him from playing the guitar. The notoriously private Rice clan hasn’t been offering much information.

But fortunately, the Greensboro, NC News & Record’s Dawn DeCwikiel-Kane caught up with Tony when he was in Eden over the weekend to accept a Lifetime Achievement Award at the annual Charlie Poole Music Festival.

She asked the question that has had all of bluegrass buzzing this past two years…

Rice said he aims to return to performing, but he isn’t sure when.

“My father had a saying, ‘When you don’t know what to do, don’t do anything,’ ” he said.

“So many of my jazz heroes, they reached that point where they had to take a few years off,” he added. “Their bodies were worn out from the road and so much work. … When I read that other musical heroes were having to do the same thing in their life, having to take a long hiatus for various reasons, then I don’t feel so bad.

“But I am not going to go back out into the public eye until I can be the musician that I was, where I left off or better,” Rice said. “I have been blessed with a very devout audience all these years, and I am certainly not going to let anybody down. I am not going to risk going out there and performing in front of people again until I can entertain them in a way that takes away from them the rigors and the dust, the bumps in the road of everyday life.”

So… still no definitive answer, but a very hopeful sign for those of us who miss seeing Tony Rice on the stage where he was meant to appear.

Of course, I need a few You Tube videos.  I’ll start out with a fairly young Tony, accompanying himself, singing Church Street Blues.  Note that you get a good view of his picking style.  Although it sounds like finger picking, he’s just using a flat pick.

 

Here come Nine Pound Hammer by the Tony Rice All Star Jam.  Wow.  All these guys are incredible!

 

And now Freeborn Man, also by the Tony Rice All Star Jam (at the same gig), but this time also featuring Bela Fleck, famed (and 16-time Grammy winner) banjo player.

 

Time to put a wrap on this here flat-pickin’ post.  I found this GE Panoramio shot by Steve “Country Traveler” Tysinger, taken about 2 miles NE of my landing:

pano-steve-country-traveler-tysinger

This looked instantly familiar to me, because of some old silos located about 800 miles SSE of this landing.  Say what?  (You may ask).  Well, here’s where 800 miles SSE of this landing puts me:

silos-on-eleuthera

As those of you who know me are well aware, my wife Jody and her brother Skip built a beach house on Eleuthera.  Not surprisingly, I’ve been there many, many times.  I absolutely love our house and love spending time on Eleuthera. 

Anyway, countless times I’ve driven on the stretch of Queen’s Highway between Gregory Town and Hatchet Bay (our house is just north of Gregory Town and Hatchet Bay is further south).  Queen’s highway is the N-S road that is Eleuthera’s major road (and it doesn’t even have a center stripe).

 Here’s what one sees (GE Pano shot by Kodac Gibson):

pano-kodac-gibson

And here’s another nearby shot, by arnopg:

pano-arnopg

This part of Eleuthera was a thriving agricultural area back in the day, but hasn’t been active for a long time.  Some folks say the silos stored cattle food, while others are more vague . . .

And just for the heck of it, here’s a gratuitous shot of the beach where our house is (by yours truly).  The island is Gaulding Cay.

our-beach-same-rough-day

And on the same day as the above (and less than hour earlier), here’s a shot on the east (ocean) side of the island, less than half a mile away (same photo credit):

dsc01253

And, also by the same excellent photographer (several years later):

rainbow-gc-1

If you’re curious about our house (which we rent out), it’s called The Cay House.  Go to TheCayHouse.com to check it out.

Enough, already.  Back to North Carolina, I’ll close with this lovely Pano shot by Timothy Watkins, about 5 miles north of my landing:

pano-timothy-watkins-5-miles-n

That’ll do it . . .

KS

Greg

 

© 2016 A Landing A Day

 

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Cogar, Oklahoma (Revisited)

Posted by graywacke on December 19, 2016

Dan – My most recent post included a visit to Cogar, Oklahoma.  As you’ll see, I feel like I need a quick return visit.

I’ll repeat the Cogar portion of that post here:

The smallest of the towns (it doesn’t really exist any more) is Cogar. It’s claim to fame (and I mean only claim to fame) is that a scene from the movie Rain Man was shot there.

rain_man_poster

More specifically, the scene involved a phone call from a phone booth in front of:

pano-fireboat895

(Pano shot by Fireboat895).  My guess is that they imported a phone booth for the shot.

Wiki on Rain Man:

It tells the story of an abrasive and selfish young wheeler-dealer, Charlie Babbitt (Tom Cruise), who discovers that his estranged father has died and bequeathed all of his multimillion-dollar estate to his other son, Raymond (Dustin Hoffman), an autistic savant, of whose existence Charlie was unaware.

Leaving Wiki, and grossly simplifying/paraphrasing:

Charlie & Raymond meet in Cincinnati (where Raymond is in a mental institution), and the two embark on a road trip to Los Angeles, so Charlie can finish importing four Lamborghinis (no way Raymond would fly).

Through many twists and turns, the story line evolves to where Charlie learns to appreciate (love?) his crazy little brother.

I’m pretty sure I saw the movie back in the day, but it seems to be worth another shot.  And now, of course, I’d be anxious to see Cogar . . .

Back to now.  Well, just last night, my wife Jody and I watched Rain Man.  While she remembers watching it back in the day (late 1988, early 1989), I most definitely had never seen it.

We watched it on the DVR, and I was able to get a few screen shots.  First, here’s their car (the 1949 Buick which Charlie & Raymond’s father left to Charlie) in front of the old Cogar store:

img_1265-002

Notice the phone booth?  I speculated that it was brought in for the movie shot, but now I’m not so sure.  After all, this was 1988!

I think that Raymond and Charlie are in the phone booth together in the above shot, but here’s a close-up, from a scene just a minute later:

img_1266

Raymond (as always) is very nervous.  He is nervous about how small the phone booth is, and he’s also worried that the Judge Wapner show (which he never misses) will be on TV soon.

We both really enjoyed the movie, and even watched the credits (which one tends to do more often after truly enjoying the movie).  While the credits were rolling, I noticed this:

img_1267

Routes 152 and 37 are Oklahoma Routes 152 and 37.  I think the lower left sign is also for Route 37, but heading off in another direction.  Why am I interested in this (you may ask) and how do I know it’s Oklahoma?  Well, check out this Street Atlas map:

cogar-route-signs

You can see that Cogar is at the intersection of Routes 152 and 37!   I’m sure the road sign is right in Cogar, and I suspect that it’s for drivers headed east on 152 where they have a choice of going straight on 152/37, or turning left on 37.  Is this cool or what!?!

I bet precious few (if any) of the millions upon millions of Rain Man viewers had a clue about this road sign that shows up only when the credits are running.  But you, ALAD Nation, are now in on an awesome little secret!

That’ll do it . . .

KS

Greg

© 2016 A Landing A Day

 

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Binger, Hinton, Cogar and Lookeba, Oklahoma

Posted by graywacke on December 17, 2016

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much a once-every-four-or-five days 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) please see “About Landing” above.  To check out some recent changes in how I do things, check out “About Landing (Revisited).”

Landing number 2314; A Landing A Day blog post number 744.

whateverDan:  Today’s lat/long (35o 24.551’N, 98o 13.675’W) puts me in Central-East Oklahoma:

landing-1

My local landing map shows my titular towns:

landing-2

My close-in streams-only map:

landing-3a

I’d call it inconclusive.  I either landed directly in the watershed of the Canadian River, or in the Buggy Creek watershed.  Hmmm.  Looks like I need Google Earth (GE) to figure out the details. 

So, without further ado, here’s my GE space flight into W-Cen OK.  Click HERE, enjoy the trip, then hit your back button.

I’m not sure if you were able to pick out the subtleties of the watersheds, but here’s a static GE shot that tells the story:

ge-1

So, in fact, I landed in the watershed of Buggy Creek.  I’ll zoom out a little to confirm that Buggy Creek ends up in the Canadian:

landing-3b

Which it does (my 46th hit for the Canadian).  Zooming way back:

landing-3c

The Canadian discharges in the Arkansas (124th hit), on to the MM (903rd hit).

So I have four (count ‘em) four towns to talk about.  Don’t get too excited, they ain’t much for hooks.

I’ll start with Binger (pop 672), which has a single hook, as indicated by this shot by Christopher Wheeler on pbase.com:

51176400-bingeroklahoma

Well looky there.  Binger is the home of Johnny Bench – often called baseball’s greatest catcher ever.  From Wiki:

Bench played baseball and basketball and was class valedictorian [a smart jock, eh? good for him!] at Binger High School in Binger, Oklahoma.  He is one-eight Choctaw [I assume one of his grandparents was half Choctaw].

His father told him that the fastest route to becoming a major leaguer was as a catcher. Bench was drafted 36th overall by the Cincinnati Reds in the second round of the 1965 amateur draft.

After a couple of years in the minors, he went on to become an All-Star and eventual Hall of Fame baseball player, an integral part of the “Big Red Machine” that went to the playoffs numerous times and the World Series four times (winning two).

Here’s a shot of Bench in his prime – at the 1972 All Star game in Atlanta (from Getty Images):

ATLANTA, GA - JULY 25: Jonny Bench #5 of the Cincinnati Reds and National League All-Stars in action against the American League All-Stars during Major League Baseball All-Star game July 25, 1972 at Atlanta Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia. The National League won the game 4-3. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Jonny Bench

And here’s a 2006 shot from Wiki (by Raphael Amado Deras):

bench_johnny

Time to move up to Hinton (pop 3,200). It’s pretty much hookless, except for a lovely park located just south of town (GE Pano shot by Tim3Jones):

pano-tim3jones-2

Staying with Tim3Jones, here’s a shot of one of the rock formations:

pano-tim3jones

And a couple by Marlebu:

pano-marelbu

pano-marelbu2

The smallest of the towns (it doesn’t really exist any more) is Cogar. It’s claim to fame (and I mean only claim to fame) is that a scene from the movie Rain Man was shot there.

rain_man_poster

More specifically, the scene involved a phone call from a phone booth in front of:

pano-fireboat895

(Pano shot by Fireboat895).  My guess is that they imported a phone booth for the shot.

Wiki on Rain Man:

It tells the story of an abrasive and selfish young wheeler-dealer, Charlie Babbitt (Tom Cruise), who discovers that his estranged father has died and bequeathed all of his multimillion-dollar estate to his other son, Raymond (Dustin Hoffman), an autistic savant, of whose existence Charlie was unaware.

Leaving Wiki, and grossly simplifying/paraphrasing:

Charlie & Raymond meet in Cincinnati (where Raymond is in a mental institution), and the two embark on a road trip to Los Angeles, so Charlie can finish importing four Lamborghinis (no way Raymond would fly).

Through many twists and turns, the story line evolves to where Charlie learns to appreciate (love?) his crazy little brother.

I’m pretty sure I saw the movie back in the day, but it seems to be worth another shot.  And now, of course, I’d be anxious to see Cogar . . .

One more titular town, and that would be Lookeba.  From Wiki:

Lookeba (pop 166) is a town in Caddo County, Oklahoma.  The name is a composite of the names of three founding fathers: Lowe, Kelley and Baker.

For regular readers, my next comment is entirely expected: Why Lookeba, and not Lokeba?  And yes, I like Lokeba better . . .

But the real Lookeba hook is for the birds.  From KFOR.com (out of Oklahoma City):

LOOKEBA, OKLAHOMA — The house sits on a hilltop in Caddo County.  Sonny House lives here with hundreds of tiny guests.

“They’re coming and going all the time,” he says. “You look out the window sometimes and they’re just going up and down.”

His father fed them when he lived on the property.  The Houses have always provided a home for hummingbirds.  Sonny carries on the tradition of playing gentle host.

Every once in a while his guests arrive in great numbers.

“There’s at least 150,” he guesses.

“I figured it up. They drink at least 92 ounces of sugar water a day.”

He doesn’t know why they cluster.  Sonny just sits back and enjoys the show, as Ruby Throats and Black Chins battle for aerial position.

He doesn’t feel like he can leave when the hummingbird count is this high.  He stays busy refilling bottles of nectar.

“Yeah,” he agrees. “You can’t take off and go to Houston. You have to be here at least once a day.”

“But hey:  I get my money’s worth.”

There’s a great video of Sonny House’s hummingbirds, but for some reason, I couldn’t embed it.  So, simply click HERE, and watch!

I’ll close with this Pano shot taken about 4 miles NW of my landing by GeoJerrod:

pano-geojerrod

That’ll do it . . .

KS

Greg

 

© 2016 A Landing A Day

 

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Sweet Home, Oregon

Posted by graywacke on December 12, 2016

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much a once-every-four-or-five days 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) please see “About Landing” above.  To check out some recent changes in how I do things, check out “About Landing (Revisited).”

Landing number 2313; A Landing A Day blog post number 743.

whateverDan:  Today’s lat/long (44o 30.230’N, 122o 12.419’W) puts me in northwestern Oregon:

landing-1

My local map shows I’m out in the middle of nowhere:

landing-2

My streams-only map shows that I landed in the watershed of Jude Creek, on to the Middle Santiam River (1st hit ever!):

landing-3a

And as you can see, the Middle Santiam discharges to the South Santiam (2rd hit).  Zooming back:

landing-3b

The South Santiam makes its way to the Santiam (3rd hit); which in turn discharges in the Willamette (14th hit). 

“Remember, class, how we pronounce Willamette?  Repeat after me:  will-AH-met.”

The will-AH-met flows through Portland just before discharging to the Columbia (164th hit).

“And class, can anybody tell me what comes next in this A Landing A Day post?  In the back – is that you, Sam – yes, Sam?” 

Sam:  “Next comes my favorite part – the Google Earth (GE) spaceflight!”

“Very good, Sam.  So class, click HERE and enjoy the trip!  Don’t forget to hit your back button . . .”

Staying with GE (and ditching the class), here’s a shot showing my landing, the Middle Santiam valley, and Mount Jefferson (about 23 miles NE of my landing):

ge1

Speaking of the Middle Santiam, here’s a GE Panoramio shot of the River, just a mile east of my landing (by Thomas Gilg):

pano-thomas-gilg

And speaking of Thomas Gilg, he took some pictures about 2 miles east of my landing, on Pyramid Creek.  “Bridge half to nowhere,” eh?  Sounds interesting.

ge2-bridge-to-nowhere

Here’s his picture taken from the half bridge to nowhere, looking down Pyramid Creek towards the Middle Santiam:

pano-thomas-gilg-2

And here’s the end of the bridge that abruptly truncates halfway across the stream:

pano-thomas-gilg-3

Moving right along – I looked for GE SV coverage of my rivers, but couldn’t find much.  The best I could do was a bridge over the South Santiam about 10 miles southwest of my landing:

ge-sv-covered-bridge-map

When I zoomed in for a closer look, this is what I saw:

ge-3-covered-bridge

Could that be a covered bridge?  I’ll have the Orange Dude (OD) take a closer look:

ge-sv-covered-bridge-1

It is!  It is a covered bridge!  Here’s the OD’s view from within:

ge-sv-covered-bridge-2

And here’s what the OD sees when looking upstream:

ge-sv-covered-bridge-3

With a little research, I found out that this is the “Short Covered Bridge,” which was built in 1945 and is on the National Registry of Historic Places.  Of course, I was curious about the “Long Covered Bridge,” but discovered that the bridge was named after Gordon Short, a long-time area resident.

So, I guess its time to take a look at Sweet Home (all other towns were hookless).

From the Sweet Home town website:

Settlers first arrived in the Sweet Home Valley in 1851. Early settlers shared the valley with the friendly Santiam band of the Kalapuyan Indian Tribe. The Indians occupied this part of Eastern Linn County until 1921 when Indian Lize, the last remaining member of the Kalapuyan tribe, died.

I did a little research on the Kalapuyans.  BWM*, they numbered perhaps 15,000, and were reduced to less than 600 by European diseases.

*Before White Men

Of course, I checked out Sweet Home on Wiki.  I noticed that there was a writer listed under “Notable People,” one Howard Bergerson.  His name was clickable, so, of course, I clicked.  Here’s the intro on Wiki:

Howard William Bergerson (1922 – February 2011) was an American writer and poet, noted for his mastery of palindromes and other forms of wordplay.

howard_w-_bergerson_2007The article includes this photo by Merlia McLaughlin.  Continuing:

By 1961, Bergerson’s interests had shifted to wordplay and constrained writing. He became fascinated with palindromes and set out to write a coherent, full-length palindromic poem. The result, the 1034-letter “Edna Waterfall”, was for some time listed by the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest palindrome in English.

His 1973 book Palindromes and Anagrams was influential among wordplay enthusiasts, and has been hailed by critics as a “sine qua non for all serious logologists” and the greatest ever book on palindromes.  He is often cited as one of the greatest palindromists of all time.

(Logology = the field of recreational linguistics.)

I’m going to present Edna Waterfall in its entirety.  This is an incredibly long and complex palindrome.  I spent quite some time doing the following:

  • finding the exact middle of the palindrome, which is a key location (it’s marked below with an *) and
  • using color coding, I identified some frontwards location (after the midpoint) and the corresponding backwards locations (before the midpoint) of particular lines that caught my fancy.  I tended to stay in the middle of the poem, because it’s easier to start there and work outward.

Anyway, here goes:

Edna Waterfall
A PALINDROME
HOWARD W. BERGERSON
Sweet Home, Oregon

Deliver no evil, avid diva I saw die.
Render an unsung aria for erotogenic id.
O never egg Alec Naif, fairer Edna Waterfall,
A nonassimilative, volatile reef-dweller-apparelless brag!
Natasha I saw die, render an unsung aria.
For Edna Waterfall-a liar-familiar feuds live:
Dastard Ogre and Edna!
Pupils, one tacit song or poem-or didos deft.
Celestial lives (Ida rapt as Naomi)
Laud smegma, alas-keep never a frondlet on.
So did no solo snoop malign
Irised sad eyen. Oh dewed yen-
Oh tressed May noon, hello! Tacit songs rev!
Love’s barge of assent carts base tarts,
A cerise deb abed, unreined flesh.
Sin-a viand-Edna sees and Edna has,
Or bust fossettes, or red*der rosettes.           (* is the exact middle of the poem)
Soft sub-rosa hand Edna sees,
And, Edna, I vanish-self-denier!
Nude babe, desire castrates abstractness,          (my favorite line!)
A foe grabs Evolver’s Gnostic Atoll, eh? No!
On, yam, (dessert-honeydewed), honeyed as desiring!
I lampoon solos on didos. Not eld nor far
(Even peek! “Salaam, gems dual,” I moan)
Sat Paradise Villa, its elect fed.
So did Romeo prognosticate no slipup,
And Edna, ergo, drats a devil’s due:
“Frail! I’m a frail all a·fret, a-wander!
“0 fair Agnus nun, a red Nereid was I.
“Ah Satan, garb’s seller,
“Apparel (lewd fee) relit a love vital I miss anon.
“All a·fret, a wanderer I affiance”
Lagger even odic-in ego ‘torero’.
“Fair Agnus nun, a red Nereid was I.
“Avid diva, live on reviled.”

Phew. 

I’ll take this opportunity to post my all-time favorite Weird Al video.  If you haven’t seen this before, trust me:  it’s great (and it’s apropos):

And just in case you don’t know the Bob Dylan video that Weird Al parodied, here ’tis (and you’ll see how uncannily precise Weird Al was):

Time for some GE Pano shots.  Here’s a shot of some intrepid winter hikers, taken by GSMick about 5 miles southeast of my landing (and looking towards Mount Jefferson):

pano-gsmick

Here’s a mountain meadow (about 8 miles southeast) by Bill Shaffer (the distinctive vegetation is bear grass):

pano-bill-shaffer

I’ll close with this a lovely fall shot (about 6.5 miles east) by Will Abbott:

pano-will-abbott-6-5-mi-east

That’ll do it . . .

KS

Greg

 

© 2016 A Landing A Day

 

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

Culpeper (and nearby Civil War battle sites), Virginia

Posted by graywacke on December 7, 2016

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much a once-every-four-or-five days 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) please see “About Landing” above.  To check out some recent changes in how I do things, check out “About Landing (Revisited).”

Landing number 2312; A Landing A Day blog post number 742.

untitledDan:  Today’s lat/long (38o 21.555’N, 77o 56.758’W) puts me in north central Virginia:

landing-1

My local landing map shows a VP* of small towns:

landing-2

*veritable plethora

My streams-only map shows that I landed very close to the Rapidan River, and obviously in the Rapidan River watershed (1st hit ever!):

landing-3

As you can see, the Rapidan discharges to the Rappahannock (2nd hit), on to the Chesapeake Bay.

It’s time for my Google Earth (GE) spaceflight on in to North Central Virginia.  Click HERE, enjoy the trip, and hit your back button.

There’s decent Street View coverage of my landing:

ge-sv-landing-map

Although he’s close, the Orange Dude (OD) can’t quite see the precise landing location:

ge-sv-landing

I sent the OD a little ways upstream to get a look at the Rapidan:

ge-sv-rapidan-map

Here’s what the he sees:

ge-sv-rapidan

I like the name “Rapidan,” so had to learn a little more.  From Wiki:

The name is a combination of the word “rapid” with the name of Queen Anne of England. Originally, it was known as the Rapid Ann River.

Well, I think it should have been the Rapid Anne River – I mean, really – if you’re going to name the river after a queen, get her name right.  And incidentally, I’d vote for the Rapid Anne (or Ann) over the Rapidan . . .

And here’s another bit from Wiki:

The Rapidan River was the scene of severe fighting in the American Civil War, and historic sites such as Chancellorsville and the Battle of the Wilderness are nearby.

I’ll get to some Civil War content in a bit, but first, a personal story about Culpeper.

I worked for the USEPA Region III in Philadelphia for a couple of years, more-or-less centered on 1985.   (VA, along with DE, PA and WV make up Region III).  I worked in the Superfund program, as part of the “Enforcement” group.  Our job was to get “Responsible Parties” (i.e., industries that caused the pollution) to step up and do the investigations and clean-ups.  I was strictly a technical guy, providing support to the site managers.

I still remember a trip to Culpeper to visit a Superfund site.  The site was a wood treatment facility.  (Some nasty chemicals, both organic and inorganic, are used to pressure-treat lumber).  I remember practically nothing about the trip.  Anyway, I Googled Superfund Culpeper to see what was going on some 30 years later.

The EPA has a Culpeper website:

superfund

The website tells me that the Culpeper Wood Preservers site used arsenic and chromium compounds to treat the wood, and spills / leaks of these compounds ended up contaminating the soils and groundwater.  The site became a Superfund site on June 10, 1986 (towards the end of my stint at EPA).

The site investigation (taking samples to determine the extent of soil and groundwater contamination) is yet to be completed!  And the clean-up plan for the site has also not been completed!

Two things:  Most site investigations can be completed within 5 years, 10 years at the outside.  And after that, it doesn’t take much time to develop a clean-up plan (Feasibility Study in Superfund parlance).  This obviously speaks to the bureaucracy and inefficiency of the federal Superfund program.  Way more money is spent on attorneys than on actual clean-ups.

Secondly:  In my not-so-humble opinion, there is no reason that this site became a Superfund site in the first place!  From what I can gather, no off-site water wells have been contaminated; in fact, the groundwater contamination hasn’t left the site (and very likely never will).  Most, if not all, of the soil contamination was cleaned up in 1983 before the site went Superfund.

In other words, this site, in the environmental world of contaminated sites, is no big deal!  Superfund sites should be the worst of the worst, with extreme risks to either the public or the environment.  (I had nothing to do with the selection of Superfund sites.)   If this is a Superfund Site, there should be thousands of Superfund sites in NJ alone!

Don’t get me wrong:  I’m not saying that the Culpeper Site shouldn’t be investigated and cleaned-up / controlled (it should).  But let the State of Virginia take care of it!  It’ll be less expensive and way more efficient (and the public / environment will be protected).

FYI, there are some 1,300 Superfund Sites.  I’ll bet that at least half of these should be left to the states . . .

I’ll get off my soap box (which, as regular readers know, I’m practically never on).

Moving on to a topic more typically ALAD-like:  As mentioned above, two very significant Civil War battles were fought near my landing:  Chancellorsville and the Wilderness. 

Here’s a GE shot showing Wilderness (one of the VP of small towns shown on my local landing map), along with Chancellorsville (the battle site) and the Battle of the Wilderness site:

ge-battle-of-the-wilderness

The stories of these battles are complex and way too lengthy for a simple ALAD post.  Chancellorsville is known as a high point for the Confederacy, and is considered perhaps the greatest of Confederate victories, won in spite of the fact that Robert E. Lee’s troops were outnumbered 2 to 1 by the Union Army led by General Hooker. 

But it was a costly victory for the Confederacy, as Stonewall Jackson lost his life here.  He was wounded at the battle (by friendly fire); his arm was amputated, and then he died of pneumonia a week later.  So, how about a brief Stonewall feature?  Here’s a Wiki picture of the General:

stonewall_jackson_by_routzahn_1862

From Son of the South.net, this about how he got his nickname:

robinson-house

HERE “STONEWALL” JACKSON WON HIS NAME

Robinson House, Bull Run.—”Stonewall” Jackson won his name near this house early in the afternoon of July 21, 1861 at the First Battle of Bull Run. Meeting Confederate General Barnard Bee’s retreating troops, Jackson advanced with a battery to the ridge behind the Robinson House and held the position until Bee’s troops had rallied in his rear. General Bee  said to a colleague:  “Look at Jackson standing there like a stone wall.”  Bee was killed soon thereafter just as the Confederate troops took the upper hand.

When General Lee heard about the amputation of Stonewall’s arm, he lamented, “”He has lost his left arm, but I have lost my right.”  History doesn’t record what he said when he learned Stonewall had died.

As I always do, I looked at various GE Panoramio shots in the vicinity of my landing.  I came across this:

ge-stonewalls-arm

And yes, the Pano shot showed a gravestone.  But here’s a better shot of the gravestone, from Bucknell.edu:

stonewallsarm-web

Really?  I quickly Googled “grave Stonewall Jackson’s arm,” and found an NPR story:  “The Curious Fate of Stonewall Jackson’s Arm,” by Ramona Martinez (heard on Morning Edition in June of 2012).  Here are some excerpts:

[After the amputation], Jackson’s arm was about to be tossed on the pile of limbs outside the medical tents — until his military chaplain decided to save it.

Park Ranger Chuck Young tells a group of visitors: “Remembering that Jackson was the rock star of 1863 — everybody knew who Stonewall was, and to have his arm just simply thrown on the scrap pile with the other arms, Military Chaplain Rev. Lacy couldn’t let that happen.”

So the arm was buried in a private cemetery at Ellwood Manor, not far from the field hospital where it was amputated. Soon after, Jackson died of pneumonia, and his body was sent to his family in Lexington, Va.

But, Young says, Jackson’s arm was never reunited with the rest of his remains.

“When Mrs. Jackson ass informed that the arm was amputated and given a full Christian burial,” Young says, “they asked her if she wanted it exhumed and buried with the general. She declined, not wishing to disturb a Christian burial.”

In 1903, one of Jackson’s staff officers set up a granite stone in the small cemetery. It’s unclear if the stone marks the exact location of the arm, or if it indicates that the burial happened somewhere in the area.

Just a little more about Stonewall.  About his military prowess, From Wiki:

Military historians consider Jackson to be one of the most gifted tactical commanders in U.S. history.  His Valley Campaign and his envelopment of the Union Army’s right wing at Chancellorsville are studied worldwide, even today, as examples of innovative and bold leadership.

About his character and his ambivalent feelings towards slavery (Wiki):

In Lexington [VA, where he lived and worked before the war], Jackson was revered by many of the African Americans, both slaves and free blacks. In 1855, he was instrumental in the organization of Sunday School classes for blacks at the Presbyterian Church. His second wife, Mary Anna Jackson, taught with Jackson, as “he preferred that my labors should be given to the colored children, believing that it was more important and useful to put the strong hand of the Gospel under the ignorant African race, to lift them up.”

The pastor, Dr. William Spottswood White, described the relationship between Jackson and his Sunday afternoon students: “In their religious instruction he succeeded wonderfully. His discipline was systematic and firm, but very kind. … His servants reverenced and loved him, as they would have done a brother or father. … He was emphatically the black man’s friend.”

Jackson’s family owned six slaves in the late 1850s. After the Civil War began he appears to have hired out or sold his slaves. Mary Anna Jackson, in her 1895 memoir, said, “our servants … without the firm guidance and restraint of their master, the excitement of the times proved so demoralizing to them that he deemed it best for me to provide them with good homes among the permanent residents.”  James Robertson wrote about Jackson’s view on slavery:

Jackson neither apologized for nor spoke in favor of the practice of slavery. He probably opposed the institution. Yet in his mind the Creator had sanctioned slavery, and man had no moral right to challenge its existence. The good Christian slaveholder was one who treated his servants fairly and humanely at all times.

“The Creator had sanctioned slavery,” eh?  I don’t know the bible very well (in spite of the fact that my father was a Presbyterian minister), but a little research, and I came across this, from religion.blogs.cnn.com:

How the Bible was used to justify slavery, abolitionism

By John Blake, CNN

(CNN) – How did churchgoing, Bible-worshiping Christians justify holding slaves? It’s a question I’ve long had as a Civil War buff.

Henry Brinton, a pastor at Fairfax Presbyterian Church in Virginia, writes that the Bible was used a weapon by both the North and the South.

Slaveholders justified the practice by citing the Bible, Brinton says.

Ephesians 6:5 – They asked who could question the Word of God when it said, “slaves, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling”

Epistle of Paul to Titus 2:9 – “tell slaves to be submissive to their masters and to give satisfaction in every respect”

All I can say is that Paul was, as all of us are, a product of their time. . .

Wow.  First I’m on a soap box criticizing the Superfund program, and then I’m quoting controversial Bible verses.  What is this blog coming to?  Fear not, dear readers.  I will continue my custom of avoiding trips into contentious waters . . .

On that note, I’ll go to the safe harbor of a GE Panoramio shot. This is a lovely one, taken by T. K. Ogden, about 3 miles east of my landing:

pano-tkogden-3-miles-east

That’ll do it . . .

KS

Greg

 

© 2016 A Landing A Day

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Guntersville, Alabama

Posted by graywacke on December 1, 2016

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much a once-every-four-or-five days 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) please see “About Landing” above.  To check out some recent changes in how I do things, check out “About Landing (Revisited).”

Landing number 2311; A Landing A Day blog post number 741.

untitledDan:  Today’s lat/long (34o 15.787’N, 86o 13.457’W) puts me in NE Alabama:

landing-1

You can see that I practically landed in Albertville, and not far from Guntersville:

landing-2b

My streams-only map shows that I landed in the watershed of the East Fk of Drum Ck; on to Drum Ck; on to Short Ck:

landing-3a

Zooming back some:

landing-3b

You can see that Short Creek discharges in Guntersville Lake, which is the dammed-up Tennessee River (31st hit).

Zooming back further, you can see that the Tennessee heads out of Alabama, into (of course) Tennessee and then Kentucky before discharging into the Ohio R (141st hit).  The Ohio of course discharges to the MM (902nd hit):

landing-3c

It’s time for my Google Earth (GE) spaceflight to NE AL.  Click HERE, enjoy the trip, then hit your back button.

Notice anything on your way in?  Like that this was the first yellow push-pin in Alabama?  In case you missed it:

ge-2

A couple of near misses, but it is amazing that this was Alabama’s first.  This particular Google Earth rendition shows all of my landings since January 2013 – landing 1976 to landing 2311, or a total of 336 landings.  Amazing.  I would challenge anyone to throw 335 darts at a map of the lower 48 and never hit Alabama!  OK, OK – you gotta use a small map so that you couldn’t aim at any specific area!

Here’s what 336 push-pins in the lower 48 look like:

ge1

So how long has it been since I landed in Alabama (one might ask).  The answer is landing 1749, or 563 landings ago!  So forget about 336 darts!  Try 563!

In fact, since I began blogging (landing 1538), I’ve only landed in Alabama twice.  That’s two out of 741 landings.  Amazing.

Bear with me while I do a little math.  The area of Alabama is 52,423 square miles and that of the lower 48 is 3,061,636 sq mi.  So, what percentage is that?  Doing the math:  52,423/3,061,636 = 0.017, or 1.7%  So, 1.7% of 741 landings is 12 and I should have authored 12 or 13 posts about Alabama, but instead, today’s post is only my third.

My last Alabama landing (#1749) was in the town of Phil Campbell.  The town was named after a railroad guy by the name of (you guessed it) Phil Campbell.  Here’s a little Wiki from that post:

In June 1995 the writer Phil Campbell organized, held and wrote about a convention of people who shared their name with the town of Phil Campbell, Alabama. Twenty-two Phil Campbells and one Phyllis Campbell, hailing from all over America, gathered in Phil Campbell.

OK, my connection to Phil Campbell is a little weak for this post, but I’m in charge and I want to revisit Phil Campbell (and Phil Campbell)!  Anyway, here are some bullet points that tell the Phil Campbell/ALAD story:

  • Phil is a writer, author of the book “Zioncheck for President,” a non-fiction account of him as campaign manager for a young man seeking a Seattle City Council seat. This is a funky, counterculture David vs. Goliath story (and of course our heroes are on the David side).
  • After my post about Phil Campbell (where I discussed Phil’s book), he happened upon my post and commented thusly:
    • Yes! Absolutely you should read Zioncheck for President. It’s a great book! And then see the film, after Jake Gyllenhaal’s father Stephen Gyllenhaal is done adapting it to the big screen. Also, you should read the novel I’m now finishing about Memphis, whenever it gets published.  Seriously, Thank you for the random mention. What an interesting blog. Think I’ll check out some of the other posts.
  • Phil and I corresponded a little; I read the book and posted that I heartily recommend it. By the way, the movie (“Grassroots”) came out in 2012, and I must admit that I haven’t seen it.  Sorry about that, Phil.
  • My wife and Phil became friends on Facebook. My son Ben (who lives in Brooklyn) and Phil (who also lives in Brooklyn) became Facebook friends.
  • I was talking to Ben a few months ago and he said that he saw Phil on the street, but he didn’t talk to him. Ben!?!?

So in 2011, a devastating tornado roared through Phil Campbell.  Tragically, 26 people were killed.  I came across an Alabama News Center article that begins by discussing the Phil Campbell/Phil Campbell connection:

Fast-forward to 2011. The 100th anniversary of Phil Campbell, Alabama, is coming up and Brooklyn Phil, as he has come to be known, decides to pull the stunt again, this time having the advantage of Facebook and the Internet to spread the word exponentially farther and wider. As the invitations to “The International Phil Campbell Convention in Phil Campbell, Alabama, for the 100th Anniversary of Phil Campbell Alabama” are about to go out, though, a deadly EF5 tornado rips through the state, devastating the town and killing 26 people.

Here’s Phil’s “call to action,” as posted on the same website:

 

So Phil Campbell got all of the Phil Campbells together in Phil Campbell for a relief effort.  There’s a cool t New York Times story about what happened.  You MUST read this story.  Click on the big T, below.

After that long detour, it’s time to get back to business. Here’s a shot of Albertville, showing that I landed in a field just west of town:

ge-1

And yes, there is excellent GE Street View coverage along the road that leads to a condo complex:

ge-sv-landing-map

And here’s what the Orange Dude sees:

ge-sv-landing

Very close by, we get a look at the East Fork of Drum Creek:

ge-sv-e-fk-map

And here ‘tis:

ge-sv-e-fk

Well to the northwest, just this side of Guntersville Lake, Drum Creek winds its way through a wooded valley.  Here’s a GE SV shot looking down the road towards the bridge . . .

ge-sv-drum-ck-approach

 . . . and here’s the view from the bridge:

ge-sv-drum-ck

So.  Of course, I carefully checked out Albertville.  And it is absolutely, positively:

aa-hookless

So what about Guntersville?  Well, under Notable People, I found the following:

  • Marx Edgeworth Lazarus, American individualist anarchist, and
  • Pat Upton, former lead singer and songwriter with Spiral Starecase

Not under “Notable People,” but in the “History” section is mention of the fact that 50s – 60s rocker Ricky Nelson’s fatal plane ride took off from Guntersville.

I’ll start with Marx Edgeworth Lazarus, American “Individualist Anarchist.”  Wiki let me know that other IAs include Ralph Waldo Emerson (hey!  I wrote about him just a few posts ago!) and Henry David Thoreau (Hey! I wrote about him just a few posts ago!)  From Wiki:

American individualist anarchism stresses the isolation of the individual—his right to his own tools, his mind, his body, and to the products of his labor.

In other words, the government should keep the heck out.  Here’s a quote from Mr. Lazarus (Wiki):

“Every vote for a governing office is an instrument for enslaving me.”

He was against the institution of marriage (as sanctioned by the government), thinking instead that every relationship should be based solely on love.  He also wrote about homeopathic medicine and non-traditional Christianity, in many ways a precursor to “New Age” spirituality.

Moving right along to Pat Upton and the Spiral Starecase.  These guys (with Pat as their lead singer and main man) were a one-hit wonder, with 1969’s “More Today Than Yesterday.”  Two things:  1) I clearly remember the song, and 2) I had no idea they spelled “Starecase” the way they did.

Here’s an excerpt from his bio on AllMusic.com:

After the demise of his band the Spiral Starecase, lead vocalist and guitarist Pat Upton returned back to his hometown of Guntersville, Alabama and took stock. After a downtime period, he eased himself back into it, doing session work and finally landing a permanent job as a backup vocalist in Rick Nelson’s Stone Canyon Band.

He stayed with Rick for several years (he can be heard on Nelson’s Playing to Win album) until home and hearth beckoned again, opening up a local nightclub in Guntersville.  His club was the last place Nelson worked before flying out that night to his fiery death in a plane crash in 1985.

Pat Upton remains active, writing and recording new material and performing when he damn well feels like it.

Here’s a You Tube of the band playing (and lip syncing) their greatest (and one and only) hit:

 

Wow.  1969 seems so long ago . . .

You no doubt noticed that in Pat’s bio there was another reference to Ricky Nelson’s fatal plane crash. (OK, Ricky was known as Rick later in his career.)  But anyway, I did a full feature of Ricky Nelson (including his fatal plane crash) in an earlier post.  Can you guess why?

And the answer is:  I landed near DeKalb, Texas back in April 2013.  Ricky’s plane crashed in DeKalb, Texas.  So . . . I’ve landed where he took off, and I’ve landed where he crashed.

Let me start with a shot of a young Ricky Nelson (from his website):

from-the-rickynelsonwebsite

Most of the Ricky Nelson portion of that post concerned the song “Garden Party,” far and away my favorite Ricky Nelson song. Here’s Ricky from the Garden Party era:

dek-ricky

Here’s a You Tube video of Garden Party (with the words).  I’ll follow up with an analysis of the words from my DeKalb post.

 

Most references are obvious – Yoko and her walrus (John Lennon), Johnny B. Goode and playin’ guitar like ringing a bell (Chuck Berry), and his own songs,  “Mary Lou” and “She Belonged to Me.”  The reference to “honky tonk” is explained by Wiki:

On October 15, 1971, a Rock ‘n Roll Revival concert was given at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

Nelson came on stage dressed in the then-current fashion, wearing bell-bottoms and a purple velvet shirt, with his hair hanging down to his shoulders. He started playing his older songs “Hello Mary Lou” and “She Belongs to Me”, but then he played The Rolling Stones‘ “Country Honk” (a country version of their hit song “Honky Tonk Women“) and the crowd began to boo. While some reports say that the booing was caused by police action in the back of the audience, Nelson took it personally and left the stage.  [Official ALAD verdict:  Ricky was way too sensitive – the booing was about police action.]  He watched the rest of the concert backstage and did not reappear on stage for the finale.

The most mysterious reference involves “Mr. Hughes hid in Dylan’s shoes.”  From Wiki:

One more reference in the lyrics pertains to a particularly mysterious and legendary audience member: “Mr. Hughes hid in Dylan’s shoes, wearing his disguise”.  The Mr. Hughes in question was not Howard Hughes, as is widely believed, but ex-Beatle George Harrison, who was a next-door neighbor and good friend of Nelson’s. Harrison used “Hughes” as his traveling alias, and “hid in Dylan’s shoes” most likely refers to an album of Bob Dylan covers that Harrison was planning but never recorded.

It’s time for at least one (maybe two) GE Pano shots.  OK – two.  First, here’s one by Kudzupatch of one of my watershed streams, Short Creek:

pano-kudzupatch

I’ll close with a sunset over Lake Guntersville, by Tim Haynes:

pano-tim-haynes

That’ll do it . . .

KS

Greg

 

© 2016 A Landing A Day

 

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