Thursday, October 23, 2014


TURKEY VULTURES
Thinking about lunch

Grandson Dane harvested his first whitetail deer ever, a nine point buck, while hunting from a stand in my woods last evening.  He did it with his modern compound bow.  Hunters field dress their deer and leave the offal in the woods much to the delight of these birds.

They come from miles around on such occasions and will leave their wooded dinner plates completely free of any evidence of the harvest.

Years ago I stumbled on a deer carcase in the woods where we then lived.  It evidently was wounded and escaped being located by the hunter, or, it could have been the victim of being hit by a car, or, died of natural causes even.

Just days later there was absolutely no evidence of the deer's remains.  No hide, no bones, nothing!

It's not something city-folks often ponder but the carrion eaters provide a very necessary service indeed.

Dane's deer was immediately on the way to a  processor where it was butchered and packaged for many future meals.   





Tuesday, October 14, 2014


GERIATRIC MUSINGS--

Hello...again.

I launched this blog with that word of greeting (Hello) on January 15, 2007.  Today's humble offering is 1,375 pieces later.

But, I was getting tired.
 
That spans about 400 weeks so 1,375 pieces over that period averages about 3 1/2 stories per week.

The last piece that ran was September 13th and it rolled through production quite effortlessly. 

However, the tank was empty and, after all, I am retired.  I had no stories pending and nothing on the horizon.  In fact, it had gotten to be a struggle to find stories.

So I took a vacation...and waited for the next story or photo to come along.  That did not happen until Sunday, October 12th when I was moved to do the above 1st Frost of the Season photo.

Yes, life was as busy as usual but it was with things I had written about many times earlier.  No new slant to boost a story into production.
  
Meanwhile, some prostrate cancer showed up.  Nothing that was likely to kill me but it needed attention.  I had radium pellets installed in late July and my stamina has been in the dumpster ever since.  Not fun but certainly better than the alternative.

That's no excuse either.  It just happened to happen.

As a consequence to all of the above--and the brief, restful interlude--I think I have found my blog scheduling niche.  Rather than punishing my way to a story or more each week, I am going to cruise along and see what appears naturally.

I like to think it may be quality rather than quantity.

So, please tolerate a more casual publishing schedule.

I certainly will be grateful for your patience.



Oh.  Almost forgot to explain the top photo.  That's my driveway looking West as the rising sun, behind me, clears the East woods and splashes its autumnal palate through the trees.  The light color stripes to the far left are the limestone tracks of my driveway.  The next one to the right is *Gasp* frost.  That's me, right, being amused by the little sign I found on my lap after snoozing in the recovery room.  Photo by son Craig.


Ironically, it was me hauling Craig home from the ER just a few days ago after he tried to bulldoze a new road through some local woods with his VW bus.  The ER folks patched him up and sent him on his way.  The vehicle coroner may be in the bus's future.  It's looking a little like failed steering could have been the culprit. 

Saturday, September 13, 2014


PICTURE POTPOURRI--


















Geocaching takes us to some extraordinary places like this one Sue is enjoying near a geocache called Jonathan's Gully at an abandoned quarry on the north end of Kelly's Island.  Of the two major US touristy islands in Lake Erie, Kelley's is by far the most tranquil.  We spent a very enjoyable day there after Labor Day with the crowds gone until next season.



















If you are noticing extremely vibrant colors in this photo--your eyes are okay.  Feeling a little whimsical while processing pictures in Photoshop sometimes has this effect on me.  This snappy color is largely the result of pushing saturation far above normal.  I spent a day before our Kelley's Island outing bicycling and geocaching the trail between Norwalk and Monroeville.  For this photo I am standing on an overlook created by the local Kiwanis group.

















Sue Corbin, a square dancing friend of ours from Marion, OH, was inquiring about cell phone cameras at a recent wedding we had attended.  Later I was moved to try this hand-held available light photo with my Galaxy S3 phone.  It's hardly photo contest quality but is a fairly remarkable sample of the camera's capability under far less than normal shooting conditions.

















Finally, Sue's grand daughter Mackenna Curtis-Collins glides around a hair-pin turn on the Ashland cross-country course while an exuberant grandma (behind her left shoulder) cheers her on.  Mackenna placed second in this recent race behind a teammate, already has helped hoist herself and her team into state rankings--all this and she is early in her sophomore year of high school.

There!  Geocaching, hiking, biking, square dancing, cross country race spectating, a little fussing with photography and the wedding of William and Amy Tenover all wrapped into our schedule of late summer activities.  Mercy!



  



 

Saturday, September 6, 2014


THE MALABAR INN--
Very Disappointing!

Sue had never been to this acclaimed eating establishment so we decided to make that our stop for celebrating her birthday dinner in late August.

We will not make that mistake again.

It's 1850s, historical ambiance is marvelously restored into two modest sized dining rooms with an "L" shaped perimeter deck for outside dining under the not so adequate cover of table umbrellas.

Sue ordered a small salad ($5) with an entree of pasta in an Alfredo sauce and shrimp (about $20).  It was advertised with a bacon garnish which she asked to be withheld.  Our classy waiter assured her that would be done.

Seemingly in keeping with my hypothesis that "Mediocrity is today's standard of excellence,"  her meal with its not so generous (size or quantity of shrimp), arrived with a liberal garnishment of bacon.

Back it went for another try.

Meanwhile my beef filet ($27) was ordered, sans salad, cooked medium.  A warm, pink center, the waiter assured me.  It arrived as a very generous cut of meat but had absolutely no evidence of pink--anywhere.  Ditto for the juice like that of a steak cooked correctly.

It was a tender cut of meat but the flavor went the same place the cook hid the pink.

Naturally, waiting for her corrected meal left us eating in shifts, hardly conducive to our celebratory mood.  I chose not to send my steak back, having already lost any confidence my second steak would arrive any better than the first one.

We passed when the waiter did the obligatory advertisement for their dessert.  We already had touched the stove twice with both her meal and mine and didn't want to make that mistake a third time.











  




Sunday, August 31, 2014


MANSFIELD'S METAMORPHOSIS--
My Old Junior High School; another Poof!


You are looking at the remains (above) of my old, John Simpson Junior High School.  Demolition debris and the smoke stack from the old powerhouse are all that remain.  This view is looking straight East toward Bowman St., along West 4th St.


Here the view is looking generally Northwest through the 4th and Bowman intersection.  I entered Simpson in 1954 from the W. 5th St., grade school--the old one.  A new W 5th St., grade school was constructed while I attended the old one.  The new one still stands but no longer serves as a grade school.

Let me try to recap this:  I started grade school in the "old" W. 5th St., building in the mid 1940s.  Grade school was 6 years in those days.

They finished construction on the new building right next door when I was about half way done with the old one.  We moved into the new one while I was in the 5th grade and they tore the old one down.

From there it was on to Simpson, one block south for most of my junior high school experience.  My family moved to the Madison area (a suburb of Mansfield) when I was in the 9th grade and I tagged along.

I started in the old Madison high school and finished in that same building shortly after a sparkling new addition was done.

Now that I think about it I haven't the foggiest idea where city kids now go to either grade school or junior high. 

Madison kids tend to wind up now out there on Grace St, finishing up via what is now known as a middle school and a high school, of course.

Trying to figure out their grade school alignment today makes my head hurt.


Sunday, August 24, 2014


MANSFIELD'S METAMORPHOSIS--
My Old Madison High School--POOF!


The building from which I was graduated (1958) sat near the base of the Ashland Road hill (background above) from sometime in the early 1900s.  It served its last years as a middle school and was demolished this past Spring.

My classmates will remember there was a new gymnasium and lots of classrooms added to that building while we were there.  They would have been on the left above.  The old football field remains--out of the above photo on the right.

That's the new middle school below.  It is located just east of the corner of McElroy Rd., and Grace St.  Notice the masonary archway in front of the new building.  That was severed from our old high school entrance and installed here as a nice historical portal for the new schoolhouse.

The current high school, of course, is located on Esley Lane; a view of which is being blocked in the lower photo.

Last winter, the students left our old building for their Christmas break and reported back to school in their new building; a pretty nice Christmas present.




Saturday, August 16, 2014


MANSFIELD'S METAMORPHOSIS--

Tappan


On a sullen and stormy day a giant track-hoe gnaws at the remains of the once vibrant Tappan Company as seen above looking south from the intersection of Orange and Newman St's., on Mansfield's north side.

Tappan had its modest beginnings in 1881 when W. J. Tappan formed the Ohio Valley Co., in Bellaire, OH, and manufactured cast iron stoves.  From there Tappan often sold his stoves from the back of a wagon while traveling the Ohio countryside.

A fire destroyed that facility and, needing a better market area, Tappan moved his small company to Mansfield and renamed his business the Eclipse Stove Company.  By 1920 the business was growing and selling stoves in surrounding states.

In Illinois Tappan encountered another "Eclipse Stove Company" and renamed his company The Tappan Stove Company.

Throughout the remainder of the 20th Century Tappan became known for its innovative products.  They introduced the first porcelain stove with an insulated oven in the 1930's.

During World War II the company manufactured a stove with wheels so the military could better feed the troops with the mobile unit.

The company enjoyed its greatest growth in the 1950's with the development of the microwave oven.  Tappan's 1955 microwave was just 24 inches wide and retailed for $1,200.

AB Electrolux, a European manufacturing business, purchased Tappan in 1979.  In 1986 they went on to purchase White Consolidated Industries which manufactured Frigidaire, White-Westinghouse, Gibson and Kelvinator products.

Combined with Tappan the new firm became known as WCI Major Appliance Group.

In 1991 they simply became known as the Frigidaire Company which, headquarted in Dublin, OH, continues to manufacture Tappan stoves.

___________________________
Ref: Ohio History Central  Click!