Thursday, May 31, 2012

Searching for Janis…

janis contact sheet01

janis contact sheet02

Most of the negative strips in these two contact sheets have gone astray and the search is on for the Lost Janis Joplin Images.

A transparency scanner and Photoshop CS5.1 make it possible to rescue images that just couldn’t be printed well in a darkroom. For me, at least. I was never patient enough to get really good at printmaking.

A close inspection of the film tells me I was shooting bulk-loaded Tri-X that night.

Janis at Indiana Beach–Aug. 14, 1968


I shot this photo when Janis Joplin and Big Brother & the Holding Co. played Indiana Beach, north of Monticello, Ind., on Aug. 14, 1968.

According to the contact sheet, I shot nearly 50 black & white images, but I can only lay my hands on about a dozen. I suspect I still have them, somewhere in a shoebox full of negs. I obviously need to track them down and make some more scans.

Little Big Agnes


Packing for rallies and camping adventures just got a helluva lot easier with the arrival yesterday afternoon of my Big Agnes Q-Core air mattress.

Only 10” long, it takes up an insignificant amount of space compared with the 25” wide Thermarest. That frees up more cubic inches in the waterproof bag that holds my tent, sleeping bag and air mattress, lashed to the luggage rack of my bike – space that could let me carry an extra jacket or whatever else makes sense at the time.

And a special thanks to whichever member of the Indianapolis BMW Club who mentioned that REI was having a big sale that ends on the 31st. The sale discount saved me $28.06.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Got guns? Want to keep them? Watch this.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has already signed the U.S. Small Arms Treaty that abrogates our Constitutional right to keep and bear arms.

The only thing that stands between us and the U.N. confiscating all of our firearms is the fact that treaties have to be ratified by the U.S. Senate.

Watch this chilling video and, if you want to do something about it, contact your Senators and let them know we want no part of the treaty and the U.N.

Mike’s Barber Shop


I call this “Mike’s Barber Shop” because that’s what it says on the front window.

Mike’s shop was on the north side of Broad Ripple Avenue between College Avenue and Guilford Avenue on the northside of Indianapolis.

I shot this sometime in the 1970s. The only other thing I know about the photo is that – according to the clock in the mirror – it was about 5:23 p.m. I think it was winter, and therefore dark outside, hence the absence of reflections in the glass.

Our State Fair is a great State Fair…


I was in charge of Indiana State Fair coverage for The Indianapolis News from 1975 through 1985.

One of our staff photographers – might have been Tim Halcomb or maybe Jim Young – got this shot of me and colleague David Rohn on the Midway sometime around 1975 or 1976.

Judging from the shadows, it was late afternoon, since we’re walking west.

Happy Birthday, Lisa!


Our beautiful, amazing, talented (add superlatives here) granddaughter Lisa is 8 years old today.

We hope to host her and as many of her parents as possible here in July.

Until then, Happy Birthday, Lisa!

Testing the waters in May, 1967

be in 01

Four hippie wannabes at an early Be-In at Dunn Meadow on the Indiana University Bloomington Campus.

It was the spring of 1967 and interesting things were in the air. I shot the photo with my Minolta Hi-Matic 7 – my first 35mm camera. The ensemble includes (from left) my longtime Delphi friend Ed Cook, Judy Deeds, Jim White, and a guy whose name I don’t recall.

Whitey was the only one that I know for sure went full-bore into the hippie scene. He and another friend went to San Francisco for the 1967 Summer of Love and never really came back. A math major who graduated from Indiana State University with a 4.0 GPA, Whitey threw it all away for a bohemian lifestyle. The last time I heard of him, he was homeless, living on the beach in Fort Myers, Fla.

Ed, a Wabash College grad and a Sigma Chi, had a career as a pilot in the Air Force and flew 747s for UPS before retiring for good to southern Indiana.

Judy went to California, but I never heard what became of her.

I got married, raised two sons and had a career in newspapers.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Meridian Street, 44 years ago


Here’s a telephoto shot of North Meridian Street in Indianapolis from the steps of the Soldiers and Sailors Monument in September, 1968.

That’s the old Federal Building on the right. On the left is the Meridian Garage and the Indiana Bell Building. The west side of the street looks nothing like this now.

You can click on the picture to see it larger.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Ahhh, the ‘60s


Here’s my ATO fraternity brother Bill Broadstreet pretending to have a psychedelic experience in 1967.

I shot a color slide of a piece of fabric a friend had, then projected it on whoever was handy. This night, Bill Broadstreet was handy. He went on to be a music teacher in the Indianapolis Public Schools system. He died in the 1990s.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Indy 500 flyover

2012 indy flyover
I always get choked up at the National Anthem and the flyover.
This year it was a pair of WWII-era P-51 Mustangs, an A-10 Warthog and an F-16. Just found this photo taken from one of the Mustangs.
The F-16 pilot must have been throttled way back to keep pace with the two propeller-driven fighters.
The P-51 has "invasion stripes," a paint scheme used by U.S. fighters in Europe from D-Day until the end of the war to minimize losses from friendly fire.

Gannett Benefits Center tries to lie their way out of their March fuck-up

gannettsecondform You may recall that I blogged on March 29 about a fatally flawed effort by the Gannett Benefits Center to update retiree insurance beneficiary information. They sent a flyer with a form that omitted any place for the retiree’s name. Anyone who completed one ended up sending in the name of their beneficiary with no way to know whose beneficiary it is. Smart, huh?
I threw it away, as did hundreds of others, when I realized it was useless. I figured they’d try again and, sure enough, the second letter appeared in my mailbox yesterday.
Rather than admit their moronic blunder, they tried to pretend there was no mistake.
Here’s what they wrote (italics are mine):
Recently, you were solicited to provide Gannett with updated beneficiary information. If' you’ve already responded to that letter we sent in March, please take a moment to call the Gannett Benefits Center at xxx-xxx-xxxx to confirm we have your beneficiary information.
This letter serves as your second chance to provide us your updated beneficiary information if you haven’t previously completed this task. Please fill out the simple tear-off form below and return it in the enclosed envelope on or before June 8, 2012.
“Confirm?” No, that’s just a way to get the info from the dopes who didn’t realize the first form wasn’t worth filling out. “Second chance” my ass. This is the first real chance. Why not just say you fucked up and get on with it, rather than try to lie to us?
Yes, I filled out this form and will mail it Tuesday.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Scanning old slides


I’ve been struggling for the last few weeks to get my computer back to the level of functionality that I had before the hard drive crash on April 30. Today’s challenge is my Nikon Coolscan IV transparency scanner.

Nikon orphaned it when Windows 7 came out, but I had a software fix that had it working before the crash. I tried to replicate the fix and, so far, haven’t been successful.

The only way I can make it work is to use the XP virtual machine mode in Windows 7 Premium. Microsoft recognized that people had a lot of software that wouldn’t make the jump to Win7 when they upgraded from XP, so they created a feature replicating an XP operating system within Win7. But it’s absurdly laborious to make a scan and move it from the virtual machine to Photoshop CS5 on the regular machine.

Here are a couple of scans of long lost images of my son Sean when he was just starting on his musical career. The top photo is Sean performing on the auditorium stage at Orchard Country Day School in Indianapolis where he went from second through eighth grades.


And here he is with his first electric guitar – an Ibanez copy of a Gibson Les Paul. I always loved the look of that guitar and Sean quickly learned to do great things with it.


Later: I emailed these two photos to Sean and got this email in return:

I see the ESP is in full effect.

Yesterday afternoon, I was telling Ruth about South Pacific and how there's a show within the show, and how we performed SP at Orchard and I played "Blackbird" in my first-ever public performance.

The next morning, this photo was in my inbox.

Thank you Obi-Wan Marshall Flora.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Several kinds of stupid

Here’s a photo I shot at a gas station in downstate Illinois on the Labor Day holiday weekend of 1988. BMW rider/friend Rich Nathan and I were on our way home from a ride to the Ozarks.
Their mom is smoking a cigarette next to a gas pump, but that’s hardly the worst of the kids’ worries.
These fraternal twins – assuming their parents didn’t kill them through negligence or stupidity – would be in their mid-20s today.
Just a reminder to my fellow motorcyclists on the eve of the Memorial Day holiday weekend (no, it’s not the “Memorial Weekend”) to wear all of your gear and make sure your passengers do too. Also, never let a kid ride on the gas tank. Think about what happens if you have to make a panic stop – you either launch the kid off the front of the bike or grab the kid and compromise your ability to brake.
In short, don’t be a moron.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

File this under “Obscure teen fashions of the 1960s”


I was rooting through a box the other day when I came across the Tiki God that I thought was way cool back in my sophomore year in high school (1960-61).

It was something I found in a magazine that looked exotic and evoked a vague Polynesian vibe.

tiki01It’s a crudely carved 2½” tall wooden image with green glass eyes and a leather thong for wearing around the neck.

I suspect most of my classmates just wrote it off as more evidence of my eccentric nature. Nobody made a big deal about it and I don’t recall any other Tiki Gods popping up in my school to make me a serious trend-setter. Nope. It was just me and my stupid Tiki God.

Here’s a photo from the 1961 yearbook, the Oracle, showing me wearing it and leering at Miss Stiles, a student Latin teacher. I was also wearing my favorite ultra-fashionable shawl collar sweater that day. I really liked shawl collar sweaters. I hope they come back into fashion for men someday.

The girl in the white blouse sitting in front of me is Sharon Hensley, my girlfriend at the time. If she had an opinion about my Tiki God, I don’t recall her ever expressing it.

But she did dump me in the spring of 1961, so maybe the Tiki God was the problem after all. I’ll have to ask her at our 50-year class reunion next year.

Wanting less drama and more fun

We’re almost out of dog food, so I’ve driven in to town for a Panera breakfast while I wait for the pet food store to open.panera distort
My MyPanera membership earned me a free oatmeal, so I only spent $2.05 for two cups of coffee (more if I want).
This seems to be the season for drama – drama at work, drama in the lives of friends and neighbors. I’m very tired of drama and will be very happy when the dust settles, assuming that will ever happen.
This is a picture of me not liking the drama that swirls around me.
On a more positive note, my German Polizei motorcycle jacket was an enormous fashion hit at the European Riders Rally last weekend at Burkesville, Ky. Got several compliments and gave the URL to a couple of guys, including one who said he’s been waiting for more than a year for a buddy in Germany to send him one of those jackets.
I was comfortable most of the time, but the temperatures in the 90s on the ride home Sunday had me longing for one of my mesh jackets.
qcorepackedMy new Browning cold weather sleeping bag arrived on Monday, in plenty of time for the BMW RA rally in Copper Mountain, Colo. next month. The problem is that I’m not all that keen on freezing my ass off getting in and out of the bag and waiting for the day to warm every morning. Also,  the bag takes up a lot of space in my waterproof “camping stuff” bag, which will necessitate replacing my Thermarest air mattress with a Big Agnes Q-Core air mattress.
I saw the Q-Core last weekend and was astounded to see that it packs down into a bag (5”x10”) about one-fourth the size of the Thermarest. And guys who use it say it beats Thermarest for comfort. It definitely looks like the way to go if I’m going to continue camping at rallies and elsewhere. And, since the Q-Core isn’t self-inflating like Thermarest, I’ll want the tiny Microburst inflator from that runs on a pair of AAA batteries and can blow up a Q-Core about 25 times on a pair of batteries.
Last summer, I stocked up on riding gear. Looks like it will be camping gear this summer.
In the meantime, I’ve decided to skip the RA rally.

Two days later: I ordered the Q-Core from REI, where they're having a big sale through the end of the month. The bill came to $139.95, but after my discount it was $111.89. I joined REI nearly 40 years ago when I was in my backpacking phase. I haven't bought anything from them for maybe 10 years when I visited their Portland, Ore., store with my son Sean. I'm happy to say they still have my membership number on file. The Q-Core is expected to arrive next Wednesday.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Lisa’s latest

lisa painting72

The latest watercolor from our granddaughter Lisa in Las Vegas. She’ll be 8 years old on the 30th. I printed it and put it on the refrigerator door.

One more for the motorcycle rally pin collection


I pre-registered for last year’s BMW Motorcycle Owners of America national rally at Bloomsburg, Pa., but had to skip it when Maria developed serious back problems. (I count myself lucky, since those who went had to suffer through a murderous heat wave.)

But not going to the rally meant I wasn’t there to claim my patch and pin. I’m not all that keen on patches, but I really wanted the pin for my collection.

I contacted the MOA earlier this month to see if I could buy one and Rhonda Glasgow of the MOA Country Store said she’d send me one gratis – well, almost gratis, since I already paid for it with my registration. It was waiting in my post office box when I returned from the European Riders Rally on Sunday.

Thanks, Rhonda!

Autographed photo of the day


And here’s one for Maria – Dick VanDyke found on Ebay.

Monday, May 21, 2012

My weekend

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI didn’t post over the weekend (the autographed photo of the day was a robo-post timed to publish on Saturday morning) because I was in a Wifi/Sprint Data Service black hole in southeastern Kentucky.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt was my first time at the European Riders Rally, sponsored for the past 14 years by the BMW Motorcycle Club of Nashville (Tenn.) at Burkesville, Ky.

Besides being in a techno vacuum, Burkesville is in a dry county, which necessitates rides 14 miles south to a beer-selling convenience store just across the state line in Tennessee.

Burkesville is a little shy of 400 road miles from here. I left at 8:15 a.m. Friday and arrived about 3 p.m., startled to discover I was still in the Central Time Zone.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe ended up with about 35 members of the Indianapolis BMW Club present which earned us the top club attendance award for the third consecutive years. Peggy Rose Garrison won the Long Distance Female Rider award.

I had Friday night dinner and Saturday morning breakfast at a café on Veterans Street that had great food at ridiculously low prices.

My grilled tenderloin sandwich with a mountain of home fries Friday evening was $5.50. Breakfast was 2 eggs over easy, a big sausage patty and two pieces of toast for only $3.25.

Since our rally fee ($40 in advance, $45 at the gate) included Saturday lunch and dinner, I ended up spending $16 and change on food for the entire trip. It OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAalso included a rally pin and a very nice long-sleeved t-shirt emblazoned with the rally logo. The only glitch was the misspelling of Burkesville on the rally pin. They got it right on the shirt.

(It’s not the first rally pin screw-up I’ve seen. The BMW MOA rally pin from 2006 put the rally in “Burilngton” Vermont.)

We were sitting around shooting the breeze before lunch Saturday when I asked if anyone had any thoughts about my ABS warning light flashing when I start my bike in the morning, then staying off if I re-start the engine a few miles later.

The consensus was that it was an early warning sign of a dying battery not having enough power to boot up the ABS circuitry until it had been charged from riding.

I called the service department of Bloodworth BMW Motorcycles in Nashville and Dave Bloodworth agreed that was the most likely cause. If I could get to their service department by 3 p.m., they could install a new battery for me, he said.

So I threw on my gear and hit the road. My Garmin Zumo GPS estimated my time of arrival at 2:44 p.m. as I rolled out of the rally grounds. But Garmin had no way of knowing about a funeral procession and miles and miles of yard sales around Lafayette, Tenn. And just as I closed in on the dealership, it started to rain.

I arrived at 3:10 p.m. and asked if I was totally screwed. I was not and they were happy to take my $247 for the battery, labor and (showing my gratitude – a shop t-shirt) before they closed at 4 p.m.

The ride back was equally hellish with some rain and a couple of miles-long construction backups. I arrived back at Burkesville about 7:10 p.m., exhausted and severely dehydrated – more dehydrated than I knew.

The Nashville Club ladies were cleaning up from the steak dinner, but found me a plastic knife and fork and set me up with a big steak and a serving of peach cobbler.

I’d stopped at the state line beer store and bought a six-pack of Busch beer, so I had libations for the evening. I drank three beers and then donated the rest, crawling off to bed about 9:30 p.m.

Nature failed to call me during the night and I awoke, drank three cups of coffee and packed without feeling the need to whiz. I also had a serious muscle cramp in my left thigh as I packed my Thermarest air mattress and my nearly 40-year-old North Face down sleeping bag crouched in my tent. I forced the restroom issue just to be safe before I hit the road. That is serious dehydration.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI was vexed to notice that my ABS warning light issue was still present when I fired the engine Sunday morning. I gassed at a convenience store on the downtown Burkesville square and headed out of town about 7:30 a.m., pausing a few miles south of town to photograph a barn with quilting graphic over the open door. I did a restart of the engine about 20 miles later and the ABS light went out and stayed out.

Wary of I-40 construction, I took state and U.S. highways down to Nashville and the interstate, logging 42 mpg on the first tank of gas. I stopped at a McDonald’s in Lafayette, Tenn. for a parfait-and-coffee breakfast and to do a quick blog entry. But my netbook had crashed, telling me it couldn’t find the config.sys file. (When I got home and consulted my computer mentor Tim Balough, we concluded the best fix was to wipe the SSD and reinstall Windows XP.)

I was home by 3 p.m., took a shower, had a bite to eat and hung my dew-soaked tent up to dry in the garage.

I had taken a Walmart folding chair that I bought at the 2010 Falling Leaf Rally, having finally learned that it’s damned uncomfortable not having a chair at a rally and not wanting to invest in the oh-so-stylish $139 Kermit Chair. I can buy a $19.99 Walmart chair at each of the next seven rallies and still be ahead of the game.

My Walmart chair, however, made it hard to see in my mirrors when lashed on top of my waterproof bag holding tent, sleeping bag and air mattress.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASo I left it standing forlornly next to the fire pit along with a couple of blue chairs which I’m sure were eventually packed and schlepped home. It’s my gift to Burkesville in gratitude for their hospitality.

Autographed photo of the day

currie nancy

Here’s another Ebay find – a photo of Astronaut Nancy Currie autographed “to John.”

Currie, 53, is a veteran of four Space Shuttle missions, most recently in March, 2002.

Nice fox, Jack


Jack desperately wants someone to play tug-of-war with him and the Friendly Fox.

Pete absolutely will not condescend to play that game with him, probably because he outweighs Pete by a considerable margin.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Autographed photo of the day


Here’s another Ebay find – an autographed photo of the comedic genius Tim Conway.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Autographed photo of the day

mathersIt’s not inscribed “to John” but I couldn’t pass up a chance for an autographed photo of Jerry Mathers as The Beaver from the late-‘50s, early-‘60s sitcom “Leave it to Beaver.”

I keep running into people who had horrific childhoods, scarred by alcohol, abuse and divorce. Mine was almost as idyllic as The Beaver’s childhood.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

That’s my son

I Google my sons’ names from time to time to see how famous they are. I found this entry at the McKenzie Worldwide site, with a charming shout-out, the odd typo notwithstanding:


Sean Flora

Audio Specialist
Years of experience: 17
Sean Flora, who has more than 17 years experience as an audio professional, grew up in a family where music was highly valued. While his father didn’t play himself, he sean mckenziewas one of the greatest appreciators of music Iíve meant,î Sean says. It was from this world that he dedicated himself to a career producing excellent quality sound for just about any place recorded sound is needed. Sean oversees the audio production and editing for client podcasts and e-media projects for McKenzie Worldwide.
Sean started out his career at White Horse and has created audio productions for Nike, Freightliner (now Daimler Trucks North America) and Weiden+Kennedy, among other clients. He has produced, engineered and hosted live radio programs and produced sound design for full-length films. He has also worked in the music industry in a wide variety of musical genres. In other areas of sound work, he directed voice talents, edited and recorded literature textbooks in English and Spanish for public school students in grades six through 12.
Sean has a bachelorís degree in audio engineering from Indiana University. He also plays guitar, bass and some organ and piano when heís not perfecting the audio of clientsí sound productions.
Sean can be contacted

Dog gone

From the public bulletin board in the Brookland, Ark., post office. The area code for the phone number is 870.
I have no idea what “used for medical purposes” means, but the pup looks a little worried in the photo.
Dunno about the color, either. Maybe he's a Blue Dog Democrat.

Autographed photo of the day


I found this autographed photo of Steve Allen on Ebay.

He was the first host of the Tonight Show when it debuted on Sept. 27, 1954. He died in October, 2000 of injuries suffered in a traffic accident.

  • Songs for Sale (1950–1952)
  • What's My Line? (regular panelist, 1953–1954; frequent guest panelist 1954-1967)
  • Jukebox Jury (1953)
  • Talent Patrol (1953–1955)
  • The Steve Allen Show (1956–61)
  • The Tonight Show (1954–1957, NBC)
  • The Steve Allen Westinghouse Show (1962–1968)
  • I've Got a Secret (1964–1967, 1972–1973)
  • The Steve Allen Show (Filmways production, 1968–1969)
  • Match Game (panelist, 1974)
  • Meeting of Minds (1977–1981, PBS)
  • Steve Allen Comedy Hour (1980–1981)
  • The Start of Something Big (1985–1986)
  • Space Ghost Coast to Coast (1997, one episode, Guest)
  • Homicide: Life On The Street (1998): Steve and wife Jayne Meadows appeared as guests (January 16, 1998).

More than 14,000, including:

  • "Theme from Picnic"
  • "This Could Be the Start of Something Big"
  • "Pretend You Don't See Her, My Heart"
  • "The Gravy Waltz"
  • "The Saturday Evening Post"
  • "Impossible"
  • "Cool Yule"
Comedic Discography
  • "Man in the Street" (1963) (Signature 1004)
  • "Funny Fone Calls" (1963) (Dot 3472, re-issued as Casablanca 811-366-1-ML)
  • "More Funny Fone Calls" (1963) (Dot 3517, re-issued as Casablanca 811-367-1-ML)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Andy Adams, cowboy author and fellow Hoosier

I was looking for a reference book on cattle brands this morning when directed me to a book called “Cattle Brands” by Andy Adams.
Andy-AdamsRather than an encyclopedia of brands, the book is a collection of short stories that I can barely put down to write a blogpost.
Adams, is turns out, was born in Whitley County, Indiana near Columbia City, in 1859. He left home as a teenager and worked briefly at a lumber camp just down the road from us at Newport, Ark. before striking out for the West and life as a cowboy.
He took up writing at the age of 43 and his best-known work is “Log of a Cowboy,” which chronicles a five-month drive of more than 3,000 head of cattle from Brownsville, Texas to Montana in 1882 and has been called the most authentic account of an old West cattle drive ever written.
Adams died in 1935 and is buried in Colorado Springs, Colo.
I was struck by the rich imagery and directness of his prose and was delighted to see his stuff is now in the public domain and is a free Kindle download from Here’s an excerpt from “Log of a Cowboy.”

The old trail crossed the river about a mile above the present town of Dodge City, Kansas, so when we changed horses at noon, the first and second guards caught up their top horses, ransacked their war bags, and donned their best toggery. We crossed the river about one o'clock in order to give the boys a good holiday, the stage of water making the river easily fordable. McCann, after dinner was over, drove down on the south side for the benefit of a bridge which spanned the river opposite the town. It was the first bridge he had been able to take advantage of in over a thousand miles of travel, and to-day he spurned the cattle ford as though he had never crossed at one. Once safely over the river, and with the understanding that the herd would camp for the night about six miles north on Duck Creek, six of our men quit us and rode for the town in a long gallop. Before the rig left us in the morning, McNulta, who was thoroughly familiar with Dodge, and an older man than Lovell, in a friendly and fatherly spirit, seeing that many of us were youngsters, had given us an earnest talk and plenty of good advice.
"I've been in Dodge every summer since '77," said the old cowman, "and I can give you boys some points. Dodge is one town where the average bad man of the West not only finds his equal, but finds himself badly handicapped. The buffalo hunters and range men have protested against the iron rule of Dodge's peace officers, and nearly every protest has cost human life. Don't ever get the impression that you can ride your horses into a saloon, or shoot out the lights in Dodge; it may go somewhere else, but it don't go there. So I want to warn you to behave yourselves. You can wear your six-shooters into town, but you'd better leave them at the first place you stop, hotel, livery, or business house. And when you leave town, call for your pistols, but don't ride out shooting; omit that. Most cowboys think it's an infringement on their rights to give up shooting in town, and if it is, it stands, for your six-shooters are no match for Winchesters and buckshot; and Dodge's officers are as game a set of men as ever faced danger."
Nearly a generation has passed since McNulta, the Texan cattle drover, gave our outfit this advice one June morning on the Mulberry, and in setting down this record, I have only to scan the roster of the peace officials of Dodge City to admit its correctness. Among the names that graced the official roster, during the brief span of the trail days, were the brothers Ed, Jim, and "Bat" Masterson, Wyatt Earp, Jack Bridges, "Doc" Holliday, Charles Bassett, William Tillman, "Shotgun" Collins, Joshua Webb, Mayor A.B. Webster, and "Mysterious" Dave Mather. The puppets of no romance ever written can compare with these officers in fearlessness. And let it be understood, there were plenty to protest against their rule; almost daily during the range season some equally fearless individual defied them.
"Throw up your hands and surrender," said an officer to a Texas cowboy, who had spurred an excitable horse until it was rearing and plunging in the street, leveling meanwhile a double-barreled shotgun at the horseman.
"Not to you, you white-livered s---- of a b----," was the instant reply, accompanied by a shot.
The officer staggered back mortally wounded, but recovered himself, and the next instant the cowboy reeled from his saddle, a load of buckshot through his breast.
After the boys left us for town, the remainder of us, belonging to the third and fourth guard, grazed the cattle forward leisurely during the afternoon. Through cattle herds were in sight both up and down the river on either side, and on crossing the Mulberry the day before, we learned that several herds were holding out as far south as that stream, while McNulta had reported over forty herds as having already passed northward on the trail. Dodge was the meeting point for buyers from every quarter. Often herds would sell at Dodge whose destination for delivery was beyond the Yellowstone in Montana. Herds frequently changed owners when the buyer never saw the cattle. A yearling was a yearling and a two year old was a two year old, and the seller's word, that they were "as good or better than the string I sold you last year," was sufficient. Cattle were classified as northern, central, and southern animals, and, except in case of severe drouth in the preceding years, were pretty nearly uniform in size throughout each section. The prairie section of the State left its indelible imprint on the cattle bred in the open country, while the coast, as well as the piney woods and black-jack sections, did the same, thus making classification easy.
McCann overtook us early in the evening, and, being an obliging fellow, was induced by Forrest to stand the first guard with Honeyman so as to make up the proper number of watches, though with only two men on guard at a time, for it was hardly possible that any of the others would return before daybreak. There was much to be seen in Dodge, and as losing a night's sleep on duty was considered nothing, in hilarious recreation sleep would be entirely forgotten. McCann had not forgotten us, but had smuggled out a quart bottle to cut the alkali in our drinking water. But a quart amongst eight of us was not dangerous, so the night passed without incident, though we felt a growing impatience to get into town. As we expected, about sunrise the next morning our men off on holiday rode into camp, having never closed an eye during the entire night. They brought word from Flood that the herd would only graze over to Saw Log Creek that day, so as to let the remainder of us have a day and night in town. Lovell would only advance half a month's wages--twenty-five dollars--to the man. It was ample for any personal needs, though we had nearly three months' wages due, and no one protested, for the old man was generally right in his decisions. According to their report the boys had had a hog-killing time, old man Don having been out with them all night.

Autographed photo of the day

moore clayton

This autographed photo of Clayton Moore as the Lone Ranger, aboard Silver, is yet another Ebay find. Moore died in 1999 at the age of 85. His given name was Jack Carlton Moore and he was born in Chicago.

Wikipedia says:

Moore became a circus acrobat by age 8 and appeared at the Century of Progress exposition in Chicago in 1934 with a trapeze act.

As a young man, Moore worked successfully as a John Robert Powers model. Moving to Hollywood in the late 1930s, he worked as a stunt man and bit player between modeling jobs. According to his autobiography, around 1940 Hollywood producer Edward Small persuaded him to adopt the stage name "Clayton" Moore. He was an occasional player in B westerns and the lead in four Republic Studio cliffhangers, and two for Columbia. Moore served in the U.S. Army Air Forces during World War II and made training films (Target--Invisible, etc.) with the First Motion Picture Unit.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Autographed photo of the day


This photo of a much younger Martha Stewart is another Ebay find.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Changing to the new Facebook format


I finally surrendered today to Facebook’s pressure to change my page to the new format, which features a thematic cover photo.

I chose this shot from June 1, 2007, when I was invited to ride along with Gov. Mitch Daniels and Department of Correction Commissioner J. David Donahue on a leg of their roundabout journey from Indianapolis to Terre Haute.

We rendezvoused at the Wabash College Fieldhouse and Maria recorded the event photographically. Pictured are (from left) the two Indiana State Police escorts, Gov. Daniels, Donahue and me.

You can read the whole story here.

Autographed photo of the day


Here’s another Ebay find – Alan Young and Mr. Ed, the talking horse.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Gone too soon


Lauri is on her way home to Indiana.

We stopped in Walnut Ridge yesterday afternoon on the way home from Marshall’s Dry Goods in Batesville to show her the metal sculpture commemorating the Beatles’ whirlwind visit to Walnut Ridge.

Here’s the explanation from the Encyclopedia of Arkansas:

On September 18, 1964, the group finished a concert at Memorial Coliseum in Dallas, Texas, and immediately boarded a plane owned and operated by Reed Pigman. (Pigman owned American Flyers Airlines out of Dallas. The Beatles chartered one of Pigman’s planes during the 1964 tour.) Pigman owned a ranch in Alton, Missouri, that would serve as a getaway before the group’s final U.S. concert of the year, which would be in New York. Before traveling to Alton, the Beatles made a brief stop in Walnut Ridge. The Walnut Ridge airport provided the ideal spot for the group to change planes before heading to Missouri. The runway was built as a training facility during World War II and could handle large aircraft. Also, the Beatles could avoid the crush of screaming fans by landing at a secluded airport at the edge of a small town.

Autographed photo of the day

moore mt

Another Ebay find – a younger Mary Tyler Moore.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Road trip!


BATESVILLE, Ark. – We’re in Batesville this afternoon. Maria is introducing Lauri to the fabulous fabric selection at Marshall’s Dry Goods while I relax with a Coke Zero and Wifi at Hardees.

We checked in at the ASU Farmers Market before hitting the road for Batesville about 10 a.m. We were in rain most of the way and made Josie’s Steakhouse on the east bank of the scenic White River our first stop for a quick lunch before the ladies moved on to Marshall’s. Maria’s been trying to get Lauri to Marshall’s ever since we discovered it. I’m curious to see how much fabric we’ll end up with in the back of the Lexus.

Jack Flash strikes again


Jack is eight months old and still growing like a weed. He’s significantly bigger than Pete, but he’s still just a big puppy.

Unless he is closely supervised (i.e. controlled) he dashes around the house looking for something to steal, then he romps joyously inviting us to chase him.

He made a foray into the bedroom this morning where he grabbed one of Maria’s shirts and yoga pants. Then he fled onto the back porch and then through the dog door into the back yard where he dashed around for several minutes before he decided to surrender his prizes.


Designer at work


Lauri and Maria explored some web site design possibilities last night.

Then we introduced her to the first two episodes of Grimm.

Autographed photo of the day


This is my oldest autographed photo, obtained 57 years ago when I was in the fifth grade and a devoted member of Captain Midnight’s Secret Squadron.

And, no, I don’t think Captain Midnight (played by Richard Webb on the Saturday morning TV series) really signed it.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Lauri’s here!


Our friend Lauri rolled in about 4 p.m. from Indiana for a long weekend visit. What fun!

And the dogs love her too.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Not a ghost town

newalmasign I was reading my new issue of the BMW RA magazine last evening, specifically a piece about all of the great mountain passes we can ride when we go to the RA rally next month, when I got stopped dead in my tracks.
The passage about Hoosier Pass informs us that you can ride south over Hoosier Pass to visit “the ghost town of Alma.”
The author obviously hasn't been to Alma, which had an estimated population of 1,314 in 2010, along with a couple of bars, lots of shops, a liquor store, and at least one marijuana dispensary. Some ghost town.

In this morning’s mail

6munich brews

I threw out an opening bid of 99 cents last week on this half-liter stein celebrating six major breweries of Munich. Nobody else wanted it, so I got it for $8 and change with shipping.

Now to fill it…