Friday, August 31, 2012

I was in Bemidji, Minnesota, for at least a day in June 1951

Mom's note on the back side of the postcard.

My cousin, Roger Nyquist, wrote the following note on the back of this "snap".

Please return.
Isn't Paul cute-looking?
Would cut off the head.

Obviously, Mom never returned the photo to Roger.  And, yeah, I was a cutie back then, although you can barely see Dad and me standing next to Paul Bunyan's right boot.

In this second photo, I assume Roger is playing the organ at Messiah Lutheran Church, in Auburn, Washington, where Dad served as pastor from 1943 to 1952.  Roger was a month away from his 17th  birthday at the time.

Aerial View of Miami Beach, with Miami in the Background (Postcard Series)


August 31, 1991

I wake up once during the night. A flash of lightning and the muffled sound of thunder grab my attention. Before I know it, though, I fall back asleep. When I get out of bed for breakfast, I feel that the heat wave is here for at least another day since the room temperature has cooled down only slightly during the night. I look out the window and am surprised to see that the neighbor’s driveway is wet. Obviously, it has rained, but I didn’t hear a drop.

Breakfast is casual, after which there is an hour of free time before the mall opens. The boys need shoes so The Shoe Outlet, located next to the Cinemas, is our first stop. Grandma buys Andy a $35 pair of Reeboks. It takes two more steps before we find something for Eddie. I find a selection of postcards at CVS. Otherwise, I’m simply along to enjoy the company of my family. JoAnna finds a couple of cute outfits for Eddie at K-Mart. With Eddie getting fussy whenever the stroller is not in motion, I push him back out to the mall and find a place where I can sit down and roll Eddie to sleep. While waiting for the others to rejoin us, I scan the growing crowd of shoppers for familiar faces. Yesterday when JoAnna and I took our walk downtown, I’m sure I spotted Kay Schaffer talking to a man who looked to be our age, standing at the intersection of Liberty & 2nd. It appears to be the same person who favored tight skirts in high school. She looks as though she’s retained her teenage body shape. Kay always had a mature appearance, at least from the waist down, filled out in all the right places. Her outfit 23 years after high school graduation is very summery: a floral print dress that stops three or four inches above the knees. Her thighs would probably register a 6 or 6.5 on the thin-to-fat scale. And, after all these year, Kay is still hitting the peroxide bottle. From a cursory glance – although with all this description, JoAnna would question just how cursory – Kay looks very good, at least ten years younger than her age.

Every time I go to the Warren Mall, I expect to run into someone I know. After all, I figure, I lived in the town continuously from 1957 to 1968 and have been a regular visitor ever since. Only once have I encountered a familiar face, and that was during the weekend of my 20-year high school reunion. The odds were definitely stacked in my favor. And the person I saw? Tim Nuhfer, my 7th-grade locker mate and the person who always sat behind me in home room during junior high school. During this most recent visit to the mall, I searched very baby-boomer face for a flash from the past. Let’s see, 420 people in my graduating class alone, hundreds more from other classes whose faces were once so familiar. Are we all scattered far and wide? Do fewer of us have a reason for visiting Warren anymore? Are the rest of us just not shopping today?

After lunch, JoAnna and I, with Eddie in the harness, take a walk to the high school and back. It’s a trip down memory lane that I have wanted to make for years. Just haven’t made time for it. We walk the length of East Fifth Avenue to the beginning of the snake path, take the obligatory short cut, then solemnly circle the building. The once panoramic view of Warren is now almost completely obscured by a wall of trees that line the hillside. The sprawling white-brick, smoky-glassed structure has changed not at all. On the outer walls of the gymnasium are the 30-year-old letters:


I recall the lonely summer of 1963 when practically all I did was isolate myself in my bedroom to listen to the radio and study the charts in the latest issue of Billboard, and a casual remark made by my best friend and my former girlfriend hinting at a shared secret about the letters “ARIC”. Perhaps this is my oldest memory attached to the high school.

We first walk along the sides of the high school that were and remain most foreign to me: the band room,, the choir room, the long row of shop and automotive classrooms. There is an entrance to the school here that I recall using only once, during the last weeks of my senior year, when Mike and Dody and I slept in his parents’ trailer on Sunday night and went to school without the benefit of a change of clothes or a bath. Once inside the building, our first stop was the rest room, where I probably would have killed for a drop or two of shampoo. At this time in my life, I was very meticulous about my hair, methodically washing it twice every morning, combing it into place, then sitting under Mom’s bubble-top hairdryer until it was completely dry. This missed day of routine hygiene made me feel very self-conscious about my appearance.

At the back of the school grounds, we walk up the four flights of stairs to an open area that had not been cleared when I was in high school. A softball field is located here, the diamond almost completely overgrown with weeds. It appears to be an area not even used during the school year. As we walk toward the backstop, the view of Warren opens up to us. Although the temperature is cooler than yesterday, the air is still a bit hazy. It’s not a picture-perfect panorama, and the view is still not as expansive as it used to be years ago. I remind myself to review my slides for memory-lane reproductions.

As we walk past the two classroom wings, I think back to 10th grade Health, when I spend a good portion of this boring required course staring out the windows and watching other students pass back and forth along the sidewalk on which we are now walking. I could have satisfied this requirement by attending summer school right after the end of ninth grade, a de rigueur activity for A-track students, but I just couldn’t tolerate the idea of cutting into my summer vacation. Maybe we have another one of my early acts of rebellion here, not doing something expected of one with my academic status. Instead, and this is definitely on the plus side, I was assigned to a class comprised of a rather diverse group of outcasts. Senior bleach-blond heartthrob Bob Nelson. (No relation.) The girl who sat in front of me was a small-framed, large-busted, wanton underachiever who possessed the thinnest set of lips I’ve ever seen (and still was able to use her lipstick to maximum effect.) She teased her dark brown hair heavenward and wore tight dresses that threatened to cut off her circulation if she moved the wrong way. We talked; we became acquaintances, and if I hadn’t been in the class, I would have never interacted with someone so far removed from the student types that I was tracked with.

I wish I could remember some other names and faces. If I still had my high school yearbooks, I’d have a means to refire some of the memory cells buried deep in my subconscious.

Walking past the cafeteria, I am drawn up to a window like a piece of metal to a magnet. I peer inside and am amazed to find the tables and chairs set up just as they were in 1968. Funny thing. I can recall a feeling approaching terror at the beginning of the second semester of tenth grade when I suddenly realized that a change in lunch groups meant I no longer had anyone to sit with. Similarly, I can recall the camaraderie of the elite senior boys’ table (even though my unofficially assigned seat was at the low-status end of the cluster of three tables. But what about junior year? I can conjure up the dimmest of images, barely able to make out the forms of Mike, Mardi, and Tina. Do I also see Renee and Joan? Seems like there may have been a very happy, harmonious, and close lunch group at that time. If only I had at least transcribed all those yearbook messages. Another funny thing. Mom repeatedly lamented the loss of her high school yearbook. Now I can carry on that tune for her.

Before beginning our descent, we take a look into the exhibition area, the scene of many a high school dance as well as study halls. As with the cafeteria, this area of the school provides a tingling sense of déjà vu. The desks are arranged in the same formation, and the white and blue and gray floor tiles look as though they’ve held up well during the past 23 years. I want to be able to explore the school’s interior on this quiet day on the hill, but I make no effort to discover an inadvertently unlocked door.

We return to Grandma and Grandpa’s house via Fifth, Prospect, Division, Buchanan, and Third. Eleven years’ worth of tree growth has obscured all but a peephole of the view of Warren from the heights of Division and Prospect Streets. Again I think about all those great slides waiting to be enlarged and framed.

Unlike last year’s visit, this time around I make a sincere effort to contact old friends and arrange a reunion. Much to my delight, Renee is out at the cottage this weekend. After numerous phone calls, a Sunday get-together is tentatively scheduled. Mardi, Barb, Renee, and I will be able to catch up on the new and relive the old.

As usual, Mom seems to spend most of her time during our visits to Warren either preparing a meal or cleaning up after one. This visit is no different. No one bothers to offer her any assistance, and I get the feeling that’s the way she prefers it. She takes great pleasure in waiting on her family when we’re all together. If she can prepare daily microwave specials for Dale, she certainly isn’t going to complain about lavishing attention on her two previous grandsons and their wonderful parents. After all, she must worship the ground that JoAnna walks on considering all the changes that have taken place in my life since we met seven years ago. Her oldest son is married, very serious about and successful at his career (as evidenced by the WLA Librarian of the Year award), and has produced two wonderful children that are the envy of every grandparent.

After supper and some couchin’ time on the porch, JoAnna and I go out with Larry and Kim to see Hot Shots, a mildly funny spoof of Top Gun. From the review I read in the New York Times, I’m expecting more of a laugh riot, but the relentless zaniness in this setting starts to wear thin. I chuckle frequently but never cut loose with a full-throttle belly laugh, the minimal expectation I have for any movie with the Abrahams or Zucker name associated with it.

Larry drives us back to the house directly. Neither he nor Kim suggests that we go out for a drink somewhere. From the conversation we have in the car, it sounds as though Larry is eager to return home to watch The Howard Stern Show. We miss an opportunity to talk about Mom and Dad’s reluctance to travel to Wisconsin via any mode of transportation. JoAnna and I are attempting to lay the groundwork for a Christmas gathering with the Nelsons and Swansons, and it appears we have a major project of convincing on our hands.

We snuggle in bed for awhile. Both boys are asleep. JoAnna asks me for a kiss – a real kiss, not just a goodnight peck. I caress her lips gently, teasingly and before long our mouths have melted together in a simultaneous display of unbridled passion just like in the bodice-rippers. We have to be quiet, though, no heedless tearing off of undergarments. JoAnna’s initial suggestion is a relatively innocent one: high-school style making out, I am unable to restrain my hands from an exploratory mission of JoAnna’s body. My right hand slips into panties and luxuriates in the feel or her soft, furry pubic area. I stroke the area around her clitoris, occasionally inserting a finger or two into her vagina to get a better grip on her increasingly moist pleasure zone. I bring her to a rousing, writhing, though silent orgasm. Now it’s my turn to be stroked. JoAnna grasps my expectantly erect penis and skillfully returns the favor. I explode all over the bedsheets. Tonight we prove that mutual masturbation is as satisfying as intercourse.

Esterbrook Foundtain Pens: For All Types of Writing

From a 1950 issue of National Geographic

Company history.

August 30, 1991

I retake the wheel somewhere not too far east of Toledo. I feel rested but wonder how long that will last. I order a cup of coffee at the roadside McDonald’s and have to wait a couple of minutes until I have it in hand. The male counter clerk appears to be the stereotypical brother from another planet. He must be on the third shift exclusively.

The Doors-Jefferson Airplane-Buffalo Springfield tape makes wonderful company, so good that I don’t even attempt to make conversation with Barb, who’s still in the passenger’s front seat. By the end of the second hour of my second shift at the wheel, I’m craving another cup of coffee as well as some hint of daylight. The latter’s arrival provides me with a barely noticeable second wind. When I exit off Interstate 80 at Barkleyville (State Route 8 in Pennsylvania) I’m desperate for sleep. JoAnna then takes the wheel at the approach to my favorite leg of this long trip: U.S. 62 from Franklin to Warren. I nod out momentarily but spend the last 30 miles of the drive with Eddie in my lap. We pull into Grandma and Grandpa’s driveway at 9 a.m. Great time. JoAnna had told them to expect us around noon.

After unpacking the van, I attempt to round up the necessary energy for a walk downtown. Postcards on which to write down observations of this trip are foremost on my mind. It quickly becomes obvious, though, that I’m not going to make it through the morning, let alone the day, without a nap. JoAnna’s already upstairs in the guest room with the boys by the time I sack out on the couch in the living room, the TV tuned to the Weather Channel. Before dozing off, I want to know how much longer this unwanted heat wave is going to be around.

When I wake up, someone has changed the channel to coverage of the U.S. Open tennis tournament in Forest Hills. Michael Stich and Malivai Washington are in the fifth set of their match. Stich has the perfect tennis frame, but Malivai looks as though he took a wrong turn on the way to Giants Stadium. He looks to have 200 pounds of body packed into a 150-pound frame.

After lunch I walk out onto the front porch and am greeted by a blast of hot air. In spite of the heat, I’m ready to walk downtown, as the mental notes I’ve made about the visit to Warren so far start to pile up inside my brain. While the boys nap, JoAnna and I walk together. I’m content to go at a leisurely pace, but JoAnna strides along as if she is in training for a walkathon fundraiser for our kids’ education. We walked across the Third Avenue bridge, then turn left onto Water Street as the shade is more plentiful in that direction. As usual, we admire the houses on Second Avenue, especially on the odd-numbered side of the street. The red brick house with the glassed-in front porch on the southwest corner of Second and East causes an indistinct memory bell to ring inside my head. What is it about this house, I can no longer recall, except for the fact that its architecture has always intrigued me. There’s also something about a phone number: 723-6262. And watching some older girl whom I had a crush on walk into this house. In 1962? My number does seem to be imprinted here.

Walking past Market Street School, I imagine how this corner site looked when the old high school was still standing. I recall the one time when I walked inside, when Mom was taking a driver’s ed course, and how entranced the interior of the building made me feel, the dark woodwork and the high ceilings, the frosted glass sections of some of the doors, the rows of gray lockers facing each other along the hallway. When the building was being razed – it must have been during the spring or fall of 1961 – I made regular trips on my bicycle to view the destruction. I felt the spirit of so many memories flow into me and experiencing feelings that an eleven year old could barely comprehend.

The rumors of Janick’s bankruptcy that Mom relayed to us in one of her chatty letters earlier this year have proven to be more than the latest news from the beauty parlor. Although the display windows are artfully plastered with large signs trumpeting “unbelievable” sale prices, other much smaller hand-written signs are found at the two entrances to the store. They say, very simply, “CLOSED”. Mom and Dad report their merchandise is too upscale for the majority of Warren consumers. Their prognosis would seem to point to a marketing blunder. Barb Lucia will tell me that the Bostjanicks, especially Linda, don’t know how to run a department store, a case of management ineptitude. Whatever the causes of Janick’s demise – and from an outsider’s viewpoint, I’d really be surprised to learn that the store reopened on a permanent basis – I think downtown Warren has seen the last of this type of retail establishment. A stagnant community like this can support two business districts. The Warren Mall, anchored by K-Mart, Penney’s, and the Bon Ton, is part of an irreversible trend in retailing. Downtown Warren, with its inconvenient parking, aging structures, and lack of a magnet seems to be headed for the precipitous decline that it luckily avoided when the Warren Mall first opened more than ten years ago.

Our prime reason for walking downtown is to buy disposable diapers, which is our reason for stopping at CVS. As I walk to the back of the store to a postcard display, I heard my wife call out my name. The cashier has run up and total and JoAnna has left her purse at the house. We also stop at the newsstand but there’s not even a Wall Street Journal to buy. In the mood for a cool drink, we stop at the Savoy and savor the air-conditioned air. We settle for milk shakes after being informed that the pop is flat due to some mechanical malfunction of a refrigeration unit. The shakes are delicious: cool, thick, and refreshing, although an ice-cold cake would have been a better match for an oppressively hot and humid day.

Back at the house, I sack out on one of Mom and Dad’s new recliners. I doze off for about an hour before supper. Mom prepares a light meal: cold cuts, potato salad, a plate of sliced vegetables. Afterwards, Andy and I walk to the “schoolyard”. That’s how we always referred to it. During those endless grade-school summer vacations, we played uncountable innings of waffle ball there. Except for the chain-link fence which prevented easy access, it was our back yard, especially since the house at 4 East Third Avenue has no back yard to speak of.

Andy amazes me with his strength on the monkey bars. Not even two months ago, the last time I walked him to Neshotah Park in Two Rivers, he wasn’t able to keep a tight grip as he moved from bar to bar. A couple of girls more than twice Andy’s age are barely able to maintain a 5-second hang time. Once I notice that Dale has returned home, I attempt to cut short our visit. Naturally, Andy isn’t immediately agreeable to my suggestion, but I remain persistent.

As we walk back to Grandma and Grandpa’s house, I give Jefferson School a thorough visual inspection. First of all, I neglected to mention earlier that the old schoolyard is almost completely covered with asphalt. Very little green remains. A chain-link fence now divides the play and parking areas. The building itself looks dirty; the red brick now showing nearly forty years of accumulated dirt and soot. At best, Jefferson has never been more than an example of utilitarian architecture, but now the school looks like it would be at home in a deteriorating inner-city neighborhood. The grounds are unkempt. Tall weeds have spiked through and now tower over evergreen hedges in need of a trim. One of the panes of rectangular glass in what was Miss Flowers’ fourth-grade classroom needs to be replaced. A rickety message board, nothing more than an eyesore, has been erected on the front lawn bout as far away from the main entrance as possible. It makes me wants to contact my sixth-grade class members to request donations for an improvement fund. Most would probably respond, if at all, to let the school board take care of it.

When Andy and I return to the house, we join the others on the front porch. Such a pleasant place to while away the time. Both JoAnna and I would like our next house to have this amenity, as well as a deck, at least two large full bathrooms, a two-car garage, four bedrooms, central air, separate dining room. I’m sure the list could fill up the rest of this postcard if I put my mind to it.

As 10 o’clock, my old bedroom is almost too hot for sleeping. The ceiling fan provides only minimal relief. Nevertheless, both Andy and Eddie are sleeping peacefully. JoAnna goes to bed first. I spend some quiet time in the upstairs TV room, where I nod out on the couch long before 11. I wake up at 11:30, initially unsure of where I am, then join the rest of my family in the guest bedroom.

August 29, 1991 (Part 2)

We leave Middleton on schedule, each item of the list on my desk having been checked off. I worry about how the plants are going to look once we return from our trip to Pennsylvania, it’s been so hot and dry and the Weather Channel promises no sure relief.

I drive to West Allis where we spend a couple of hours at Jeannette Bell’s surprise 50th birthday party. It’s held at the Southern Plantation, a giant-sized bungalow that used to house the play area for Allis-Chalmers executive types. I could have been a real bear at this celebratory event, grousing about how we could have gotten an earlier start on our road trip, spent more time with my folks, blah blah blah ad nauseum. The boys keep me busy, but I realize how much being here means to JoAnna. Actually, I have a great time, watching Andy and Eddie move and groove on the dance floor. Yes, even Eddie. I let him roam around and he heads for the parquet flooring. He crawls for five or six feet, rests on his butt, and then moves his body up and down in time to the music. Maybe it’s just the proud papa talking, but it certainly appears as though he’s got the beat. I laugh until my eyes well up with tears. He’s such a cutie. Andy takes more of a thrashing approach to dancing, running around and dashing across the floor, engaging in innocent horseplay with one of Jeannette’s grandsons.

When JoAnna tells me she’s ready to leave, I excuse myself to go to the bathroom. As usual, my bowels are rumbling and I’m hoping that a quick and hard evacuation will clear out the demons. The first push is not thorough so I spend the next ten minutes grunting my way to an acceptable level of inner contentment. Attached to the door of the stall is a watercolor reproduction of a 10-year-old boy wading in the ocean, his swimming trunks down to his knees. He’s a soft, wide-bottomed young lad. I wonder whose decision it was to place this poster here. The obviously gay maitre d’, a middle-aged man who lisped his way through an announcement of Jeannette’s imminent arrival?

Except for a visit to the ladies’ room, Barb spends the two hours in West Allis in the van, although we find her outside s we approach the parking lot. As we were piling out of the van, she expressed concern for the piece of luggage I had secured to the rack on the top of the van. JoAnna is the only one who feels it will remain in place. As I start to undo one of the bungee cords, Barb says she will stay in the van and read. Barb, it’s going to be hot in there and the light won’t be sufficient, I think to respond but don’t verbalize. Even though there is nothing in the suitcase of hers, I’m sure her intention is to stand watch.

Along the short stretch of 80th Street we drive to get back to the Interstate, there is no place to stop to buy a cup of coffee. At a few minutes past 9 o’clock, though, I feel that I must have a few hours of watchful wakefulness in reserve. The remaining miles of Wisconsin, through Racine and Kenosha counties, pass by quickly. My Motown Pick Hits tape actually makes this driving a pleasure. Once we hit Illinois, though conditions change. Rain starts to fall and suddenly the lines on the road surface disappear. The inky night soaks up the headlight beams. The rainfall is so variable that I’m constantly adjusting the windshield wiper control. At one heart-stopping point through Chicago’s northern suburbs, the intense spray of water created by the truck I am passing reduces visibility to zero. For a very long three or four seconds, I am driving blind. In the rear-view mirror, I see a rigid Barb. She must be sharing every agony of the road with me. It’s not until the weather clears and the road is dry that she relaxes and curls up into a sleeping position. Everyone else has been asleep all along, but what is it with Barb? Doesn’t she trust my driving? Does she want to see the crash coming so she can brake herself? I think she’s just being Barb, the inexplicable, Barb, the inscrutable.

I drive as far as the first rest area east of South Bend. I have experienced frequent short circuits of the brain. At one point, I feel as though I’m hallucinating. I could have sworn I saw a large animal in a crouched position along the roadside, just waiting to dart into the van’s path.

My primary concern about giving up the wheel is that my replacement driver, in this case, JoAnna, will be more tired and disoriented that I am. She assures me that she’s fit to drive. I stretch out as much as the middle seat will allow me to do and actually sleep for at least an hour. I’m comforted by the fact that Barb is keeping JoAnna company. Their occasional conversation and the consistent sound of the road lull me to sleep. Andy has been out like a light – except when he moved from the front to the back of the van – since before Chicago. Eddie, though, needs an occasional comforting touch but fortunately, his interruptions of my middle-of-the-night naptime are few.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Aerial View of St. Petersburg, Florida (Postcard Series)

There's even a Mirror Lake Branch of the St. Petersburg Public Library System.

All delicious...all genuine Hormel Ham

1951 National Geographic advertisement

Modern-day tips from Hormel

August 29, 1991

I drive to Wisconsin Dells to attend the Educators Section program being held there.  Ten of us show up, and I'm the only one without a UW at the beginning of my work location.  I stay for just the morning session, needing to return to Middleton to clear the decks for vacation.   I buy some snacks for the road trip, getting enough food for a caravan of travelers and start to pack the van once I get home.  We leave at 5:30 as scheduled.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Capehart TV with the Alliterative Polatron Picture Perfection

From the March 1950 issue of National Geographic

Telephone history page needs lotsa photos.

Mark Croft and Band @ the Middleton Good Neighbor Fest

One of the songs they performed.  They also played stunning arrangements of two Bill Withers' tunes -- "Use Me" and "Ain't No Sunshine".

You'll want to catch this group in action.

August 28, 1991

I spend all morning and the very early part of the afternoon at a Dynix vendor demonstration.  Susan, the presenter, "appreciates" all questions, but I do not appreciate her rambling, out-of-focus style.  When I leave the Madison Public Library, I feel as though I have wasted four hours of my time.

I'm able to get some work done during the afternoon.  The board report and budget proposal draft have to be ready for mailing tomorrow.

While Barb and JoAnna and Eddie attend a Chuck Chvala fundraiser in Monona, I stay at home with a recalcitrant Andy -- although he's fine when I get home -- and start to pack for the Warren trip.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Main Street in Greeneville, Tennessee (Postcard Series)

Main Street Greeneville photographed by Albert Bierstadt?

Not all is sweetness, light, and sunny excess in Greeneville.

I wear false teeth and I use Polident

From the December 1950 of National Geographic

By 1964, Polident contained "active oxygen"!

August 27, 1991

Staff meeting at 8. We have only routine business to discuss. In fact, we're done at quarter to nine, which gives the circ desk staff opportunity to start their meeting earlier.  I work a split day -- taping tunes, watering the garden, doing a couple loads laundry -- in between.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

64 Sciences meet at SINCLAIR (with an appearance by Dino)

From the March 1950 National Geographic

In the Dino era.

Warren Area High School Class of 1970 Officers: A 3/5s Neighborly Group

From the 1970 Warren Dragon yearbooks (highlights added)

The Segals and Prodromous were next-door neighbors on Redwood Street, and the Spanglers lived around the corner, halfway up the hill on Division between Redwood and Prospect.

Other Warren posts:
Along the Allegheny River.  (12/22/2011)
Autumn in Warren County, 1960.  (10/31/2011)
View from Washington Park.  (4/25/2011)
The Path.  (2/11/2011)
Beaty Junior High School Again.  (2/11/2011)
Beaty Junior High School.  (2/11/2011)
The muddy Conewango Creek with Beaty obscured by trees.  (2/11/2011)
Then and Not Quite Now:  Jefferson Elementary School.  (1/20/2011)
First Presbyterian Church.  (1/10/2011)
By special request:  The Beaty homes and 11 Wilson Street.  (10/8/2010)
A beautiful day for a trip to the Kinzua Dam.  (8/7/2010)
Warren High School, 1897-1961.   (1/9/2010)
Warren Area High School exhibition hall circa 1962.  (1/8/2010)
Warren Area High School aerial view.  (1/7/2010)
Warren Area High School from the beginning (1/6/2010)
Liberty Street.  (5/16/2009)
Hail to thee Beaty Junior High School.  (5/16/2009)
Landmark analogy:  Warren County Courthouse.  (5/16/2009)
"A real drug store".  (5/14/2009)
The William Brown-Yerg House.  (5/14/2009)

August 26, 1991

I manage to finish the budget draft even though I have to off-desk time. With Chris off and Sheila training 2 new pages, I end up spending a fair amount of time at the circ desk.

Monday evening continues to be uneventful.  I clean the kitchen and watch TV, actually staying in the bedroom to watch Northern Exposure.

The heat wave continues, so we let the boys sleep in our room.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Middleton Good Neighbor Fest 2012

After spending four hours serving up brats at the Kiwanis tent, JoAnna and I enjoyed the music of The Eugene Smiles Project at the Capital Brewery Tent, where I enjoyed 2 32-ounce mugs of Oktoberfest.  (JoAnna drove us home.)

A beautiful half moon added to the pleasant atmosphere.

A sample of the band's music, from a 2011 appearance in Dubuque, Iowa.

August 25, 1991

JoAnna and I attend the mayor's breakfast, a routine affair.  She introduces me to Francis Huntley-Cooper, mayor of  Fitchburg, the city without a library.  I manage to miss most of the Good Neighbor Fest parade.  I take Eddie along, but after a half hour of fire engines and fat thighs, I'm more than happy to leave.

After company leaves, I tend to some household chores.  JoAnna fixes meatballs, and we eat dinner on the patio.  It's too hot in the house.  Otherwise, I give the kids a bath and veg out.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Main Street in Charlottesville, Virginia (Postcard Series)

The herky-jerky camera work and breathy, off-the-cuff narration is annoying, but the video gives you a sense of this area.  After a visit here in 2005, I imagined how great it would be if State Street in Madison, Wisconsin, were completely traffic-free.

Southern Railway System: They grow fast in the SOUTH

From National Geographic (1950)

And wither on the vine in the Northeast.

August 24, 1991

We go to Farmers' Market in the morning, I work in the afternoon and then meet up with the others at Good Neighbor Fest, but not before I stop at home first and change.  

JoAnna is relieved to see me.  I take the kids to the midway area, and she joins her folks at the bingo tent.  Just as I'm ready to chow down, she announces that it's time to go home.  After the Packer game and the kids are in bed, the adult play cards -- Western poker.   But not late.

August 23, 1991

Since I'm working tomorrow and business at the library is slow, I depart early, about midafternoon.  This change of schedule gives me some extra time to tidy up the house and do some taping.  I stop at Middleton Floral and buy a plant for Barb, my peace offering to her.  She mentions that she'd like to go shopping so I offer her the use of the car.  Later in the day, Andy and I go grocery shopping.  JoAnna's folks and Angela arrive shortly after 9.  JoAnna and I sleep in our old bedroom on the fold-out couch.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

August 22, 1991

When I get to the library, the sprinkler guy is already there.  Fortunately, Mark is also there and was able to let him into the library to do the inspection.  I punch *1234 on the security system keypad as soon as I walk in the door and the 09 code disappears immediately.

I work until 10, when I decide to take a few hours off.  I stop by the mall to look for a cassette that has "Chapel of Love" on it.  I end up spending $28 on 4 tapes.

At home, I juggle four or five things at once:  laundry, taping, preparing a macaroni salad, watering the plants.   Again I pick up Andy at daycare.

While grilling hamburgers, I get into a heated discussion with Barb about -- oh, just about everything that bothers me about her.  It's an ugly and unnecessary scene, but for some reason I just have to release some steam.

August 21, 1991

After a telephone conversation with Tom Ullsvik, I am walking on air, I can barely contain my elation.  Tom has no problem with the automation capital expenditure.  He feels the support of the Finance Committee is there.  He also asks about decision items, so I give him a preview of the library's 1992 budget proposal and even throw in a few justifications here and there.  His comment, "You have a great story to tell" stays with me all day.  John Westbury and I meet with Liz Erpenbach in the afternoon and she, too, is supportive.

I pick up Andy and then rush back to the library to spend my second evening in a row at the reference desk.  Once I'm home and in bed, I have trouble falling asleep.  The phone jars me awake at 2:20.  A security system malfunction.  I'm lucky to remember to put on a pair of pants before I leave.  Still half-asleep, I attempt to clear the 09 code, to no avail.  I lay in bed awake for most of the rest of the night.

Monday, August 20, 2012

August 20, 1991

Debuted at #88 on the Billboard Hot 100 for the week ending August 1, 1964. 

JoAnna has an early meeting so I drive Andy to daycare.  On the return trip, I stop at Original Pancake House for breakfast.

Your order, please.

The corned beef hash.

I have the morning off.

While waiting for the carpet man to measure the rooms, I resume my taping of 1964.

A busy afternoon doesn't allow me the opportunity to work on the budget or capital expenditures drafts.  Sheila, Chris, Liz, and I manage to squeeze in an hour's worth of Area Leaders time.  I review our phone options.  Liz requests that the library close from 9-5 on October 16 so that staff may attend the Awards luncheon.  I swallow my emotion, but for the rest of the afternoon, I wonder how I'm going to get through my acceptance remarks without blubbering.

I pick up Andy and then grab some chow before returning to the library for my evening stint.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Main Street in Forest City , North Carolina (Postcard Series)

The Ultimate Guide to Asheville

August 19, 1991

I'm not quite as excited about getting to work as I have been on past Mondays. Today I enjoy lounging in bed with my two boys. Daddiness is such a great pastime.

The big news is the coup in the Soviet Union. Everyone fears the resumption of the cold war except the armsmakers.

JoAnna prepares spaghetti for supper. Otherwise, it's a lazy, tubin' kind of evening.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

This Photo Makes Me Thirsty for Beer

August 18, 1991

The day starts off on a bad note. Preacher Paul accuses his wife of having below average housekeeping skills, this in response to her comment about how dusty the living room is. Now we know where Andy gets his morning grumpiness. For the rest of the morning and into the early afternoon, we both tackle a variety of tasks. After cleaning our bedroom, I move outdoors, mowing the lawn, staking the tomato plants more securely. JoAnna makes a great chicken dinner, and we all sit down at the dining table to eat, a rarity nowadays. Andy has no table manners and part of the reason why is [end]

Friday, August 17, 2012

Marian Beckwith Huck, Warren High School Class of 1943

 The Dragon.  Volume XXXVI.  1943.

 The Dragon.  Volume XXXVI.  1943.

August 17, 1991

There's not much time for chores this morning.  We have tickets for the Bills-Packers game at Camp Randall Stadium and Larry and Martha are hosting a tailgate party.   Parking is a breeze; Larry saves a place in his garage.  During the game, Andy stretches my patience to the limit.  I take him to the bathroom three times before halftime, to the concession stand twice.  I hope he'll want to walk around the playing field during the 4th quarter but he doesn't take to the idea.  We delay our departure home until 45 minutes after the game but still experience gridlock.  JoAnna is tired after a busy week so she takes a nap as soon as we get home.  I take Andy grocery shopping with me.  JoAnna settles on soup for supper, but I'm hungry for something more substantial so I grill some beef ribs and potatoes and steam some broccoli. 

Miller's Motor Court near Alexandria, Virginia (Postcard Series)

Considering how much Alexandria has grown since Miller's Motor Court was built, 3 miles south of a city about one-quarter the size it is today, I suspect that this little slice of traveler's paradise has long been paved over.