Saturday, May 10, 2014

Rock Around the Clock

Bill Haley and the Comets - click to enlarge
  On May 10, 1955 the record Rock Around The Clock by Bill Haley and the Comets was released, and Rock and Roll came of age.  The group had been around for a few years but it was this record which "changed" music for a whole generation, my generation.
  Early in 1959, February or March, while I was in a Navy school in Oklahoma Bill Haley and the Comets came to entertain us - free!  What a group and what a good time we had with their music.  Here's the original:

And here is what got me to Oklahoma and in the Navy.
Vintage recruiting poster - click to enlarge
the ship is USS Constitution IX-9 in Boston

Friday, May 9, 2014

Home on The Range

Time lapse of stars over the Home on the range
Photo: Bob Rader and Beccy Tanner, The Wichita Eagle
  In 1872 Brewster Higley built this cabin in Kansas, he loved his little home just as much as he loved Kansas.  He later penned the words in his poem "Home on the range".  Set to music is now serves as the State Song of Kansas.  The pretty little song is sung around the world now made popular by Gene Autry and other film cowboys.
  Back along I illustrated each verse on paper with ink and included the drawings with the lyrics on a 3 foot square of paper board and posted it outside my office at Brewer City Hall as part of a "let's do some art" thing.  I have a liking for the little song too, hear it here as sung by Gene Autry:

You can finds the lyrics by searching "Home on the range, lyrics"

The cabin in 2014
Photo: Beccy Tanner, The Wichita Eagle

Thursday, May 8, 2014

With apologies to Highly Questionable

  First about the title: Highly Questionable is an almost every weekday show on ESPN, and it's one of my favorites.  Now about the story today: It's highly questionable.

  Back in the mid-1960's while visiting the home of a married couple in Navy Housing in Yokohama, Japan, I was introduced to children's books by Dr. Seuss.  One of the titles was "The Cat in the Hat".
I have never figured out how in hell a cat wrote a book.  I am determined to find out how a cat can do such things, so I have tried getting a cat to even, just read to me.  No luck.  Yet.  And, by the way, I wouldn't box with a cat.  Really.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Maine food hits the road

Maine food in Atlanta - click to enlarge
Photo: Portland Press Herald
  A growing number of food trucks, operated by Maine cooks and chefs, are hitting the road in the nations big cities.  The trucks cost less to start up than a restaurant so the appeal to people who want to start their own business.  People who have been to Maine enjoy the food, or people who just want to try it.
  Most of these trucks center on lobster but sell a variety of seafood, or seafood products like chowders.
See the full story:
Los Angeles and a crowd is drawn - click to enlarge
Photo: Portland Press Herald
In business in Phoenix - click to enlarge
Photo: Portland Press Herald

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The "Tool Man" of Liberty retires.

Skip Black in his shop Liberty Tools - click to enlarge
Photo: Gregory Rec Portland Press Herald
  Liberty Tools is a landmark Maine business.  The owner Skip Black is the owner, the picker who buys the tools, and the sales guy too, a very busy man.  Mr. Black has also decided it's time to retire, so he is selling out his stock.  The stock comes from yard sales, auctions, estate sales, a family selling out or some other places.
  Every morning before the business opens there are cars lined up in front of the building in this small town, and people just waiting to get in and look for a needed tool, or just browse.  Skip also has a good sense of humor with drawers labeled "nuclear waste" or RLT for Rusty Little Things, that sort of thing that lightens the place.
  Read more and view the video here:
Small stock in drawers
Photo: Gregory Rec, Portland Press Herald

A customer browses the stock
Photo: Gregory Rec, Portland Press Herald

Monday, May 5, 2014

Camp Lawton - digging for answers

The Memorial
  Located in Millen, Georgia Camp Lawton was a Confederate Prison Camp for captured Union soldiers.  The camp was built to reduce over-crowding and violence at Andersonville.  It occupied 42 acres nearly adjacent to Andersonville. 
  Opened in 1864 Lawton was used only briefly by 10,000 prisoners, of which about 3000 died, mostly of starvation.   The men killed and ate rats, and boiled grass in water to prevent survey.  The conditions were horrible.
  Students  at Georgia Southern University are now digging through layers of history at the site, now occupied by a State Park and Fish Hatchery.  The students finds many objects like buttons and coins, along with the other things that made up living in such a place.
  Please visit  
for more information, it's an interesting read.
A two tine fork used by prisoners.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

The Lombard Log Hauler

A Lombard on display in New Hampshire - click to enlarge
  Alvin O. Lombard built his first Log Hauler in 1901 at his tool shop in Waterville, Maine.  The steam powered tracked machine resembled at "saddlebag locomotive".  The track mechanism was used to build Army tanks in World War One.
  The purpose of this machine was to pull loads of logs out of the woods to rivers for rafting the logs downstream to the mills; or to railheads.
  Later in the 1920's and 1930's Lombard built "tow machines" with internal combustion engines which were less powerful than his steam machines. (example below)
  Go to  for more information.
A Lombard with internal combustion engine - click to enlarge