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Archive for June, 2019

Mt. Vernon, Indiana

Posted by graywacke on June 23, 2019

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 2448; A Landing A Day blog post number 884.

Dan:  Before getting down to ALAD business, I’d like to say how much I enjoyed seeing you and Anya at your sister’s wedding.  I didn’t do too badly as officiant, eh?  And as I mentioned to you, I’ve been incredibly busy at work, thus explaining my much-longer-than-usual time between posts.  So . . .

Today’s lat/long (N33o 12.424’, W107o 36.585’) puts me in SW Indiana:


My local landing map shows that Mount Vernon is pretty much the only game in town:


My streams-only map shows that I practically landed in the Cypress Slough, on to the Ohio River (152nd hit).

It goes without saying that all rainfall landing on my landing (that doesn’t evaporate) of course, ends up in the MM (949th hit).

Moving over to Google Earth (GE), you can see that I have pretty decent Street View coverage of my landing.  It looks like the GoogleMobile was headed south on some little road, when the driver realized that he was actually on a driveway that went only to someone’s farm:

Here’s what the Orange Dude sees.

The OD, who has been working for me for years and knows well what to look for, took initiative and found that he could take a look at Cypress Slough:

And here’s what he sees:

The OD needed a little help to find the Ohio River crossing with Street View:

But he was excited to see a tug pushing a string of barges upstream:

A little bit of searching my earlier ALAD posts resulted in this discovery:

Oh my!  I landed just a little over a half mile from a previous landing!  Of course, I checked out landing 1962 – you can, too, by searching for “Mt. Vernon,” where you’ll find my August 2011 post.  In that post (which, of course, is very interesting), I featured Diamond Island, and included this quote:  “In the late eighteenth century, it was a hideout for river pirates, most notably, Samuel Mason and his gang as well as the notorious serial killers, the Harpe Brothers.”

I’m sure you’ll want to learn about the island’s nefarious past . . .

Before moving on to Mt. Vernon, I noticed that there aren’t many bridges over the Ohio River in the vicinity of my landing.  I went to Google Maps, to see what kind of trip was necessary to drive to the Kentucky side of the river, just across from my landing.  Well, here ‘tis:

And then, if heading downstream to cross the Ohio was your cup of tea, here’s the drive:

Now to Mt. Vernon.  This time around, I’m featuring a native son and a native daughter from Mt. Vernon.  Ladies first.

From Wiki, under “Notable People:”

Anna Byford Leonard (1843–?), reformer

Two things.  How is that we know when she born, but not when she died?  Also, she was a “reformer.”  What did she reform?

Her name was Wiki-clickable, so off I went:

Anna Byford Leonard (July 31, 1843 – ) [still unknown death date] was an American reformer, who was the first woman who was appointed sanitary inspector. She also served as president of the Woman’s Canning and Preserving Company.

[Sanitary inspector?  Sounds like a local political job.  I wonder where?  Continuing:]

Anna Byford was born in Mount Vernon, Indiana, July 31, 1843.

In 1889, Leonard was appointed sanitary inspector, being the first woman who ever held that position, and was enabled to carry out many of the needed reforms.

[Same question.  Also, what “needed reforms?”  Continuing:]

It was through her instrumentality, aided by the other five women on the force, that the eight-hour law was enforced, providing that children under fourteen years of age should not work more than eight hours a day. That was enforced in all dry-goods stores.

[Sounds good, but maybe peculiar for a “sanitary inspector.”  Funny that the 8-hr work day was enforced in all dry goods stores.  Tough luck if the kids worked anywhere else!  Continuing:]

Through her endeavors seats were placed in the stores and factories, and the employers were instructed that the girls were to be allowed to sit when not occupied with their duties. She was enabled to accomplish this through the fact that the physicians and women of Chicago were ready to sustain her, and the other fact that her position as a sanitary inspector of the health department made her an officer of the police force, thus giving her authority for any work she found necessary to do.

[Ah, finally!  Now we know she was the Sanitary Inspector for the City of Chicago . . .]

As a result of this eight-hour law, schools were established in some of the stores from 8 to 10 am, giving the younger children, who would spend that time on the street, two hours of solid schooling.

[They started working at 10?  Whatever . . .]

In 1891, Leonard was made president of the Woman’s Canning and Preserving Company, which, after one short year from its organization, she left with a 4-story factory, with a working capital of $40,000.

[And I’m sure she treated her employees well!]

Leonard was an artist of ability, having studied abroad and traveled extensively.  She was a Theosophist.

Theosophist?  From Wiki:

Theosophy is an esoteric religious movement established in the United States during the late nineteenth century. It was founded largely by the Russian émigrée Helena Blavatsky and draws its beliefs predominantly from Blavatsky’s writings.

[Their logo is off to the right.  Don’t worry, that’ not a swastika – it’s backwards.]

As taught by Blavatsky, Theosophy teaches that there is an ancient and secretive brotherhood of spiritual adepts known as Mahatmas, who—although found across the world—are centered in Tibet.

These Masters are believed to have cultivated great wisdom and seemingly-supernatural powers, and Theosophists believe that it was they who initiated the modern Theosophical movement through disseminating their teachings via Blavatsky.

They believe that these Masters are attempting to revive knowledge of an ancient religion once found across the world and which will again come to eclipse the existing world religions.

Theosophical groups do not refer to their system as a “religion”.  As stated in their logo, “There is no religion higher than truth.”  Theosophy preaches the existence of a single, divine Absolute.  Theosophy teaches that the purpose of human life is spiritual emancipation and claims that the human soul undergoes reincarnation upon bodily death according to a process of karma. It promotes values of universal brotherhood and social improvement.

Membership of the Theosophical Society reached its highest peak in 1928, when it had 45,000 members.  It sounds very Buddhist . . .

So, I spent an inordinate amount of internet time trying to find the date (and cause) of Anna Byford Leonard’s death.  Strangely, no obituary, no luck.

Back to Wiki Notable People:

Frederick Charles Leonard (1896-1960), astronomer.

How about that, another Leonard!  I wonder if he’s related in some way to Anna, although “Leonard” is her married name and Mr. Leonard was from Chicago . . .

From Wiki:

Frederick Charles Leonard was an American astronomer. As a faculty member at UCLA, he conducted extensive research on double stars and meteorites, largely shaping the university’s Department of Astronomy.

Leonard was born in Mount Vernon, Indiana in 1896 and moved with his family to Chicago in about 1900.  From the age of eight, he showed great interest in the stars and by early adolescence had become an active amateur astronomer. In 1909 (at age 13) he attended the annual meeting of the Astronomical and Astrophysical Society of America. The same year, he organized the Society for Practical Astronomy (SPA),[6] a national amateur organization.

Leonard was a prolific writer and by the age of 14 had attracted the attention of numerous publishers.  He authored a year-long series of articles titled “Mr. Leonard’s Star Colors” in a popular international science magazine of the time – The English Mechanic and World of Science.

Quite the precocious kid!

So anyway, he researched double stars, which were unknown in the early part of the 20th century, and also studied meteorites, founding the Meteoritical Society (still active today, with over 1,000 worldwide members).  The Society awards an annual Leonard Medal, named in his honor.

Perhaps more interestingly, he was one of the first astronomers to hypothesize the existence of the Kuiper belt.  The Kuiper Belt includes far flung (beyond Neptune) solar system objects including Pluto, other rocky planetoids and a gazillion comets.  From Wiki:

In 1930, soon after Pluto’s discovery by Clyde Tombaugh, Leonard pondered whether it was “not likely that in Pluto there has come to light the first of a series of ultra-Neptunian bodies, the remaining members of which still await discovery but which are destined eventually to be detected”.

As I wrap this up, I must say that I had a tough time finding a decent scenery photo on GE.  As much as I hate to cross state lines, that’s just what I did, finding this picture by Travel KY, posted just across the Ohio River:

That’ll do it . . .




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Chloride and Truth or Consequences, New Mexico

Posted by graywacke on June 9, 2019

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 2447; A Landing A Day blog post number 883.

Dan:  Today’s lat/long (N33o 12.424’, W107o 36.585’) puts me in SW New Mexico:

My local landing map shows that I landed out in the boonies, but not terribly far from many teeny towns, and one slightly-larger town (T or C):

I’m not going to bother with my usual streams-only StreetAtlas map, because it gave me precious little information.  So, off to Google Earth (GE).

I’ll start with a very local oblique look at my landing:

And then zooming quite a ways back, I’ve identified my local streams as follows:

I used the GE hydrographic feature so that Icould  figure out I landed in the North Fork Palomas Creek watershed; on to Palomas Ck.  Zooming back, you can see that the Palomas discharges to the Rio Grande (52nd hit):

I sent the Orange Dude to a road that crossed the Palomas just before it discharges to the Rio Grande:

Here’s what the OD sees looking upstream:

And downstream:

Speaking of downstream, I had the OD head down the Rio Grande some number of miles before he could get a good look.  Here ‘tis:

As is my wont, I checked out all of the little towns north and east of my landing.  They are all nearly defunct mining towns, with only Chloride having a significant internet presence.  From Wiki:

Chloride had its start in 1881 as a mining community when chlorargyrite (silver chloride) ore was discovered along the streambanks.  A post office was established at Chloride in 1881 and remained in operation until 1956.

And this, from WesternMiningHistory.com:

Beginning as a tent city in 1880 when silver was found in the canyons and mountains to the west, Chloride soon grew to 3,000 souls, mostly hard working, hard drinking, hard rock miners.

Chloride in 1884

A robust boom town, Chloride had all the required establishments: nine saloons, two general merchandise stores, butcher shops, hotel, boarding houses, an assay office, blacksmith shop, drug store, law office, livery stable, Chinese laundry, ladies millinery store, a photography studio, a candy store, and of course, a red light district, but no church.

I found a couple of videos.  First this, a quick travelogue:


And this more substantial video from NM True TV that features an interview with the gentleman who keeps the ghost town more-or-less alive:


It’s time to tell the Truth or accept the Consequences.  From Wiki:

In 1916, the town was incorporated as Hot Springs, due to the presence of numerous flowing hot springs nearby. It became the Sierra County seat in 1937.  By the late 1930s, Hot Springs was filled with 40 different natural hot springs spas– one spa for every 75 residents at the time.

The city changed its name to “Truth or Consequences”, the title of a popular NBC Radio program. In March 1950, Ralph Edwards, the host of the radio quiz show Truth or Consequences, announced that he would air the program on its 10th anniversary from the first town that renamed itself after the show.

Hot Springs got in touch with the show, and committed to the name change.  The town officially changed its name on March 31, 1950, and the 10th anniversary program was broadcast from there the following evening.

In the early 50s, the radio program migrated to television, with Ralph Edwards continuing as host. Here’s what Wiki has to say about the show’s premise:

On the show, contestants received roughly two seconds to answer a trivia question correctly (usually an off-the-wall question that no one would be able to answer correctly, or a bad joke).  If (as nearly always happened) the contestant could not complete the “Truth” portion, there would be “Consequences,” usually a zany and embarrassing stunt.  Ralph was ready to extend the question to two or three parts in the rare time that a contestant could actually answer correctly.

On December 31, 1957, Ralph stepped down as host and handed the baton to Bob Barker.  This was Barker’s first game show hosting gig.  He is best known as the host of “The Price is Right” for 35 years (from 1972 to 2007).

If you have the time (and are so inclined), here’s a video of the entire 12/31/57 show that started out with Ralph Edwards and ended up with Bob Barker.  It’s really a time capsule . . .


I’ll close with this lovely shot of the Rio Grande near Truth or Consequences by Harish Makundon:

That’ll do it . . .




© 2019 A Landing A Day

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Ferriday, Louisiana

Posted by graywacke on June 3, 2019

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 2446; A Landing A Day blog post number 882.

Dan:  Today’s lat/long (N31o 28.689’, W91o 47.643’) puts me in east central Louisiana:

My local landing map shows my proximity to numerous small towns; none of which are titular:

Zooming back, here’s my slightly-less-local landing map, which does, in fact, show the titular Ferriday:

I’m going to zoom back a little further to show you how close I landed to my latest Libuse & Kolin landing:

This is my 66th double (i.e., the same state two landings in a row); the second for Louisiana.

Here’s a very local streams-only map:

You can see that I landed adjacent to Black River Lake (which is an oxbow lake, or cut-off-meander lake, associated with a previous Black River stream channel).  I’m not sure of the exact route, but I’m sure that runoff from my landing location eventually ends up in the Black (15th hit).

Zooming way back, you can see that the Black flows to the Red (66th hit), through the “Area of Hydraulic Uncertainty” (discussed in my most recent previous post) on to either the Atchafalaya (my choice, 73rd hit), or to the Mississippi. 

Moving on to Google Earth – here’s a shot showing that the two ends of Black River Lake have been engineered:

You can see where I asked the Orange Dude to set up (a little less than a mile from my landing).  Here’s what he sees:

I asked the OD (politely) if he wouldn’t mind going about 10 miles upstream to Jonesville to get a look at the Black River.  Somewhat reluctantly, he agreed.  Here’s what he saw:

Of course, I checked out all of the (mostly teeny) towns you can see on my local landing map.  The only one that caught my eye was Ferriday.

From LouisianaTravel.com:

Along the Mississippi River in Ferriday, Louisiana, lies the Delta Music Museum and Hall of Fame.

At the museum’s entrance, sculptures of Ferriday’s three most famous (and infamous) first cousins—Jerry Lee Lewis, Mickey Gilley and Jimmy Swaggart greet visitors.

Jerry Lee Lewis, known as “The Killer” for his piano-pounding rockabilly music, became a national celebrity in the mid-1950s. With no formal training, he started playing piano at age 9 by listening to the radio and sneaking into Haney’s Big House, the famous Delta blues juke joint. Lewis earned multiple gold records and GRAMMY® Awards and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986. The 1989 film Great Balls of Fire profiled his life. In 2009 he performed at Madison Square Garden for the Hall of Fame’s 25th anniversary concert.

Mickey Gilley earned his country stardom with dozens of Top 40 hits. Mickey left town as a teenager and found success in the Houston area where he opened Gilley’s nightclub in 1971. He had a string of country hits including Room Full of Roses and Stand By Me, which he sang in the movie Urban Cowboy —filmed in part at his bar. The bar was so successful that it was extended to hold 6,000 customers, nearly twice the population of Ferriday. Now in his seventies, he entertains in Branson, Mo., occasionally making visits to Ferriday.

Jimmy Swaggart began as a gospel musician before becoming one of the most recognized television evangelists in the country. He has recorded 50 albums and sold an estimated 13 million copies worldwide. He preaches weekly on a national radio show with television stations carrying his revivals.

Did you notice the parenthetical “and infamous” inserted into the intro? And then, there’s nothing “infamous” about the descriptions of the three native sons.  Well, I can’t let that go, but first, a little YouTube action.

Jerry Lee Lewis had two huge hits back in the 50s:  A Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On, and Great Balls of Fire.

First this from the Steve Allen Show:


And then this, when he was quite a bit older:


And I’m a sucker for this stuff:


And how about Jerry Lee’s cousin, Mickey Gilley?  Well, he’s also quite the piano player (it must be in the genes!):

Jimmy Swaggart (yes, another cousin!) is actually a pretty good piano player, but is best known (of course) as a tele-evangelist.  I can’t do Jimmy on YouTube.  I find him . . . um . . . unwatchable.

To check out the darker side of Jerry Lee Lewis, I’m headed right back to YouTube.  This is a little long (about 10 minutes), but worth the view:


As far as I can tell, Mickey Gilley doesn’t have a dark side (at least a public dark side).  Way to go, Mickey! But Jimmy Swaggart?  Check out this actual Dallas TV news story about Jimmy, after he got busted about an affair with a  . . um . . . a lady of the evening:


Oh, and three years later, he did it again . . .

I know I’m going against ALAD doctrine about not discussing religion (although I’m not discussing religion.  I’m just discussing Jimmy Swaggart).  If I have Jimmy Swaggart fans who are regular ALAD readers (and I just lost them), oh, well . . .

So, there’s a 2012 book:  “Unconquered: The Saga of Cousins Jerry Lee Lewis, Jimmy Swaggart, and Mickey Gilley” by J.D. Davis.  Here’s what Amazon has to say about the book:

Three cousins, inseparably bonded through music. Each became a star; their story would become a legend. J. D. Davis’s enthralling new biography of famous cousins Jerry Lee Lewis, Jimmy Swaggart, and Mickey Gilley, born within a twelve-month span in small-town Louisiana during the Great Depression, draws from exhaustive research and personal connections with friends and family.

Davis recreates the irresistible and life-changing power of music that surrounded the cousins as boys and shaped their engagingly distinct paths to fame. With three personal journeys set alongside important landmarks in pop-culture history, Davis presents a unique tale of American music centered on the trials, tribulations, and achievements of three men who remain truly Unconquered.

ALAD editorial:  The fact that three cousins from a very small Louisiana town were all:

  • Musically talented
  • Extremely creative
  • Ego driven to be out in front people and adored
  • Incredibly successful

is simply amazing!

Time for some local GE photos. First this, by Jeff Lowen:

And this, by CW Baker:

I’ll close with this, by Charles Klock:

That’ll do it . . .




© 2019 A Landing A Day

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