A tragedy and the car show

August 20, 2017

We’re going to show you some of the cars that were at the VVA
Car Cruise-In but before we do we have to mention something that
happened 107 years ago on this date. Bear with us and we’ll get
to the cars.

The Great Fire of 1910 occurred when hurricane force winds
prodded hundreds of small fires into blazing infernos. When
all was said and done 3 million acres were burnt in Washington,
northern Idaho, and western Montana. Two towns in Idaho and
five in Montana were completely destroyed in the fire before
a cold front brought in a steady rain. There were 87 fatalities,
mostly firefighters.

And now some pictures from the car show. You can click on any
picture to get a better look.

There were many more cars, but this should give you an idea
of the show. And now I hear leftover pizza and a coffee pot
calling my name.
Enjoy our Sunday as that means some of us rejoin the rat race
tomorrow.
Comments are always welcome.


Did you know?

August 7, 2017

The two firefighters who lost their lives recently were part of
a Hotshot crew. The crews have 20 firefighters and there are
only about 107 Hotshot crews in the country. They must pass
demanding physical tests followed by mental training. If they
pass the pack test, walking about three miles with a 45 pound
pack on in 45 minutes or less, they move on to more tests.

The crews are on call 24/7 and don’t know where they’re going
when called or how long they’ll be there. They are often dropped
into rugged, remote terrain and then fight the fires with what
they carried in with them.

Those who fight wildfires often refer to a measurement called
chains. A chain is 66 feet long and one of these crews can cut
several chains per hour in a fire line. When they finish for the
day and return to camp about all they want is a hot meal, a
shower, and a place to lay down and get some sleep.

Before 1930 there were no professional wildland firefighters
and people were hired as-needed without any training. The
Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), began in 1930 and ran until
around 1942. The CCC utilized workers for fire suppression and
thus became the first crews trained to fight wildfires.

The first organized hotshot crews grew out that and some of the
first crews were the Del Rosa and Los Padres Hotshots in 1946 or
perhaps the Del Rosa and El Cariso Hotshots in 1947.

Much respect and a hand salute goes out to all those who fight
these fires, the support groups on site, and everyone who lends
a hand when things get hot. You do not get enough recognition
for the sacrifices you make.

To learn more about one of the recent fallen firefighters, go
to the memorial blog.

For more information on Interagency Hotshot Crews to their
official website.

Enjoy our Monday. That means all evidence of the county fair
will soon be gone and the fairgrounds will move on to other
events. And I might have a pizza.
Comments are always welcome.


The cold before the heat

July 19, 2017

Alarmists keep telling us this climate change thing is real
and a deviation of 1 degree over a decade is going to kill us
all if we don’t throw money at them to fix it. No sale. We’ve
been there, done that, and had the t-shirt.

You may remember a recent post about the summer of 1936 and
that it was preceded by the drought and a terrible winter. It
was the hottest summer in the recorded history of weather and
is still the record to beat when it gets hot here in Iowa.

But before surviving the heat that summer people here in Iowa,
and other states, had to get through one of the coldest,
snowiest winters on record.

The winter of 1935-1936 was the coldest in 117 years in Iowa
with temps below zero for 15 days and an average temp for the
entire winter of 12.6 degrees. Snowfall set an all time record
that year with 42.9 inches of white fluffy love from above.
Blizzards hit often and losses along with snow removal costs
ran into millions of dollars.

Unlike today, schools didn’t close. With the temperatures at
29 below zero a school bus got stuck in a snow drift, so it
was pulled out and made it to school. One young school girl
walked three miles to school, and here in Davenport there was a
milk shortage as our town was snowed in and the farmers
couldn’t make it through.

Our state also saw hundreds of cases of frostbite and the
coal mines couldn’t keep up with the demand for coal to heat
homes. The worst blizzard of the winter hit on February 6,
1936 when the cold killed 22 people while the snow drifts
reached 20 feet and the wind blew continuously at 30-40 mph.

Drifts ended up higher than the telephone poles, and road
plows were abandoned where they got stuck. Dad said groups
of farmers would get out and shovel enough so the town
doctor could house calls.

Then after that bad winter came the hottest summer in our
states history. Having been through a few hot summers myself I
asked Dad what it was like to live through something like that
and he smiled then said ‘we survived’.

Enjoy your Wednesday. We’re half way to weekend.
Comments are always welcome.


Chatting with antique farmer

July 12, 2017

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Talking to Dad yesterday I think we both had a great time. He
was more talkative than usual and we covered a lot of ground.
Everything from one Iowa farmer losing his crop to weather
earlier this week due to storms, to how it’s getting crazy
trying to remember all the different sexes we now have.

We talked of two-cylinder John Deere tractors, some tree limbs
that were hanging in his back yard, and the summer of 1936. In
Iowa that year the temperature stayed above 102 degrees from
the 3rd of July to the 17th, when it dropped to 99 and then
went back up again.

The heat came after a drought that was the dust bowl and on
the heels of record cold and snowfall over the winter. Some
were predicting the end of the world while others strived to
survive. In those days before air-conditioning became popular,
many slept on their porches as the house was just too hot.

Grandpa always said tractors were a fad and horses couldn’t be
worked in the heat because they don’t sweat and would have
dropped over dead. So any work that involved the horses was
done at night. When Grandpa left the farm for the last time in
the early 1970s he still told anyone who would listen that the
tractor was a fad that wouldn’t stand the test of time.

Sometimes I see him standing there with his bib overalls,
matching hat, and brown work boots pulling a hanky out of a
pocket and blowing his nose before starting to talk of the
many fine points of a good work horse.

When it was time to go I noticed Dad was smiling and after I
walked to the car I caught sight of some smiling idiot in the
rear view mirror. It was a great day.

Enjoy our Wednesday.
Comments are always welcome.


Going to be great

April 20, 2017

As the sun went down on another beautiful day in Iowa I hoped
people around the world could view it. So if you didn’t get a
chance to see one where you’re at, we’ll share ours.

Many things happened in our history on this day, April 20th,
which is the 110th day of the year. And that means only 255
more days until 2018. Here are a few of the things that
happened on this date.

In 1826, Major Gordon Long was the first non-Muslim to enter
Timbuktu.

In 1836 the United States Congress passed an act that created
the Wisconsin Territory.

The Civil Rights Act of 1871 became law.

On this date in 1902 Marie and Pierre Curie isolated the
radioactive element radium chloride.

1914 saw 19 men, women, and children killed in the Ludlow
Massacre during a coal miners strike in Colorado.

In 1946 the League of Nations dissolves and gives most of its
power to the United Nations.

And in 1972, Apollo 16 lands on the moon. The mission
commander was John Young.

Adolf Hitler was born on this date in 1889 and Bram Stoker
died on this date in 1912.

If you’re in a mood to party here are some holidays to
celebrate today.

Today is: Lima Bean Respect Day, National Cheddar Fries Day,
National High Five Day, National Pineapple Upside-down Cake
Day, National Pot Smokers Day, and National Look Alike Day to
name a few.

For these reasons, and because I didn’t see my name in the
obituaries, it’s going to be a great day. Enjoy our Thursday.
Comments are always welcome.


Just a thought

April 6, 2017

Today is the 96th day of the year meaning we’ll be adding a
year on forms in just 269 days. Time flies when we’re having fun.
And what a day our Thursday is, did you know…

On this date in 1808, John Jacob Astor incorporated the
American Fur Company and it would allow him to become America’s
first millionaire.

In 1862, on this date the Battle of Shiloh began.

On April 6, 1909, Robert Peary and Matthew Henson reached the
North Pole.

And on this very date in 1917, the United States declared war
on Germany.

Today is a day we celebrate New Beer’s Eve. Never heard of it
you say? It’s the night preceding the day beer became legal
again after Prohibition.

This is the day Merle Haggard was born in 1937 and the day he
died in 2016 at age 79.

There are many more things that happened in our past yet today
is also a day we’re the oldest we’ve ever been. If we woke up
breathing we’re ahead of the game. That’s certainly something
to celebrate. So enjoy our Thursday. We can’t control the
weather but we can learn how to enjoy it.

Now I’m going to watch my talk show on the radio, take a few
pictures, and enjoy the day before I snuggle up with a pizza
later.
Comments are always welcome.


Amazing hoax

February 21, 2017

hard

On this date in 1948 the town of Manning, Iowa, had a prank
pulled on Main Street that was amazingly stupid. It was
witnessed by 3 people and did result in 5 arrests. Manning was
a town with 1800 residents in Carroll County.

On a quiet Sunday evening the only people on the sidewalk of
Main Street were Ralph Geith and Bud Hargens. The lone car
driving by when the prank went down was driven by Hubert Lamp.

Out of nowhere a man came running down the sidewalk on the
opposite side of the street chased by 2 other men. At a
distance the three witnesses guessed to be 20 feet one the
guys chasing the first fired a shotgun at the runner 3 times.

The “victim” fell to the street and lay still. Right about
then two other males in 1947 Mercury raced out of a nearby
alley and loaded the “victim” into the car and roared away.
The license plates on the Merc were hidden. Of course the
witnesses were shocked.

The very next afternoon, Sheriff Thomas J. Finegan announced
the arrest of 5 high school boys, who were 16 years old, at a
nearby high school. Turns out the kids were just looking to
put some excitement in a dull Sunday afternoon.

On March 11th, 1948, all five pleaded guilty to concealing
license plates, paid a $50 fine, and swore they would never
do it again. We don’t know if Justice of the Peace Hilda Osten
believed them or not.

And that is the amazingly stupid prank that happened on this
date all those years ago. Come to think of it, I haven’t heard of
any copycat pranks so perhaps the boys kept their word. Enjoy
the day as tomorrow we’re halfway to the weekend.
Comments are always welcome.