Friday, November 30, 2007

Vigilant Hose Company No. 1

This is the Vigilant Hose Company No. 1 of Shippensburg, PA. Organized in February of 1843 they are the oldest active fire department in Shippensburg. With the installation of water lines in the borough the Vigilants re-chartered as the Vigilant Hose Company No. 1 in 1899. In 1932 rural fire service began and M. Garfield Barbour was elected the first rural Fire Chief. A position he held until 1958. The Viggies currently respond to an average of 700 calls per year

The first picture is the current station, built in 1927, it was known as the Municipal Building, sharing it's space with the Borough offices and the Police station. The Borough moved out in 1965 and the Police moved out in 1994. The addition to the west (left) was added by the members in 1969. The Vigilants are currently making plans to build a new station, due to the fact that we have run out of room. The engines barely fit through the doorways and storage and maintenance areas are almost nonexistent.
The second photo is the last fleet picture taken in 2003. In April of last year we replaced Engine 252 with a 2005 E-one pumper.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Mending Fences

Looks like my Honey-Do list has started for next year already.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

America's Lumber Company (PG XXXVI)

When does 36 equal 84? When Painted Gentleman number 36 is a barn advertisement for 84 Lumber. This old weathered barn sits on the north side of Route 283 just west of Route 772 in Lancaster County near Mount Joy, PA.

84 Lumber was founded in 1956 and have 450 locations nationwide. According to their website they are, "the nations leading privately held building materials and services supplier to professional contractors". Their headquarters in located in, are you ready for this, Eighty Four, PA. That's 30 miles south of Pittsburgh in Washington County, near Route 519 and Interstate 70.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Rainy Days and Mondays

Yesterday was a test to anyone who had plans on being outside all day. Well, we got wet, very wet. We did see a few deer, but with the fog and not many other hunters in the woods deer movement was limited. We did see a turkey, also. Today's forecast is for breezy and forties, so we'll give it another try. Wednesday is to be really nice out and this Saturday is to be a good day. There's still plenty of time.
This picture by the way was taken very near to this picture, just 3 weeks ago.

Monday, November 26, 2007

You Talkin' To Me?

This morning is the opening day of deer season here in Pennsylvania. These pictures are of something I DON'T want to see. My son and I will be in the woods before daylight, hoping as we get closer to where we want to be that no unexpected flashlights shine, telling us to keep moving. The Monday after Thanksgiving has always been an unwritten and unofficial holiday. Most schools are not open and most businesses know they will be taking a hit on manpower for the next couple of weeks but mostly Monday and Tuesday. Every year since 1976, except for 3 of the years I was away, I have sat watching the sunrise through the trees. Not always in the same place, not always in the same county but for the most part with my Dad and Brother nearby. Lately these mornings have included my daughter or son and nephew. Some years end early some end empty handed. Oh well, that's why they call it hunting not killing. It's good to be a hunter. Someone once said "Hunt with your kids and you won't have to hunt for your kids."

Sunday, November 25, 2007

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like ...

Christmas. Welcome to Fireday-Sunday. Yeah, I know I missed it Friday but I was waiting for this picture. Yesterday was Decoration Day at the firehouse. This is my firehouse, the Vigilant Hose Company #1 in Shippensburg, PA. Since, seemingly, the beginning of time the Vigilants have been big on Christmas. The town tree was planted in front of the Municipal building in the early thirties. That tree stood until 2001 when the tree's health was in a quick decline and had to be removed, but by Thanksgiving a new tree had been planted and it continues to be lit up for the town. Shippensburg has for the past ten or more years held Dicken's Days, a holiday celebration, kicked off by a parade which ends at the firehouse. The Mayor will say some words, Scrooge gives a "Bah-Humbug", Tiny Tim wishes "God bless us, everyone" and then Santa Claus will order the tree lights be lit for everyone. The VHC, in lights, has been around since at least 1940, but had been missing since the seventies, until it returned in 2005. Now if we can just keep them all lit for five weeks.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Antietam Battlefield, Sharpesburg, MD

The last of my Antietam Battlefield pictures for now. First is Burnside's Bridge. Defended by 450 - 500 Georgians from the wooded bluff (were the picture is taken from) General Ambrose Burnside's 12,000 men tried for three hours to cross this bridge over the Antietam Creek. The bridge today, looks much like it did on September 17, 1862.
The second picture is the sunken road. A marker nearby tells that CSA Colonel John B. Gordon told General Lee that, "These men are going to stay here, General, till the sun goes down or victory is won." Years later he wrote "Alas! Many of the brave fellows are there now". The marker continues "In this road there lay so many dead rebels that they formed a line which one might have walked upon as far as I could see. They lay just as they had been killed apparently amid the blood which was soaking the earth." The sunken road is often called Blood Lane.

The confederate defeat at Antietam stalled the British and French's acceptance of the south as an independent Confederacy and allowed the opportunity for President Lincoln to issue the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863.

Friday, November 23, 2007

It's That Time of Year, Again

It is time for Christmas pictures. We took the kids up to Kings Gap yesterday to take some pictures to send out with the cards. Of course, it was beautiful Wednesday, Thursday morning was great, after lunch on our way up to the mansion (see pictures 1 & 2) it clouded up, it got windy and then it rained. Just great. Til we got there, though, it had let up and soon, except for the wind, it got rather pleasant. We took some picture in front of the mansion, some out on the veranda and then some down the mountain at the Pine Plantation. It is a cool log house (see picture 3), part of a tree farm (see picture 4), there was actually weeds growing on the porch roof. The kids were full of themselves and at times, it seemed, I needed a lasso to get them settled down. Of the 30 or so pictures I took of them I think I got a keeper or two. (Check out this site for more info on Kings Gap)

Oh, I also found this guy. Not something you would expect to see on Thanksgiving day. I tugged on his tail and he was definitely moving a little slow.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Say, A Little Prayer

Thanksgiving and I don't have any turkey pictures. No big piles of food. Maybe a football picture or two. But what do I post? A bug. A little tiny praying mantis sitting on my daughter's finger. Have a good day, don't eat too much, kick back and watch some football.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Quarter Parking (PG XXXV)

Painted Gentleman 35 is hidden on a back street in downtown Lancaster, PA. (Lank-ist-er, very good) The sign reads "REAR OF BRENNEMAN BUILDING" "PARKING 25c to 6PM" "35c to 12PM" "50c ALL NIGHT". I probably should have checked this place out before I hit a meter at 25c for 20 minutes. The rear of the Brennemen Building puts you on Cherry Street half a block off of Orange Street.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Where the West Lives

Today's post is just golden, I mean, Golden, Colorado. But this post will not include Golden's biggest export, Coors beer. Instead I have included a picture of the famous arch spanning Main Street. I actually hit the "walk" button, waited for the light to change, walked out and took this picture, then walked back. Once again causing my family to act like they didn't know who the tourist was. The second picture is of South Table Mountain. The picture below is the grave of William F. Cody, that's right, Buffalo Bill is buried on Lookout Mountain just west of Golden. From Lookout Mountain you can see downtown Denver, my first trip here it was so foggy you could barely see the tombstone, much less Golden. Lookout Mountain also home of the Buffalo Bill Museum.

Monday, November 19, 2007

The Road from Nowhere

This setup here, I found at a strip mall in Concordville, PA. You just know the contractor who put in this sign, stop bar and the the big painted letters S-T-O-P, was laughing his butt off at the idiot at the planning commission who insisted this had to be there. I guess, in case a rabbit comes running out of that brushy swamp. At least the commissioner can sleep at night knowing he/she has done their part to save lives and uphold a standard of living.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Reflections Again

Yes, this is the same picture I use a couple weeks ago in this post. But I learned a new trick and this was the perfect picture to try it out on. Now, I just have to resist the urge to do it to every picture.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

A Walk in Downtown Lancaster

Lancaster, Pa., the epicenter of Amish country tourism. First of all let us learn how to properly pronounce it. Say it with me, Lank'-Ist-er, (accent on Lank) not Lan-Cast-er, this ain't Burt's town. I was actually out working one day and a car from jersey pulled up and asked where the Amish were (of course he said A-Mish not Ah-Mish), I sent him east bound on the Turnpike. OK enough of that, this post has nothing to do with the Amish, maybe another day.

These pictures are all from within a two block radius of the square, 1) King Street, 2) Grant Street and 3) the steps to the Courthouse.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Scene's from Fire Expo 2006

Today's fireday Friday pictures are just some random shots from Fire Expo in Harrisburg, PA, on May 20, 2006.

The End is Near

The fall colors are fading to brown quickly now. Soon the trees will be bare. The work of raking and gathering is here. I still need to rake, weed whack and get that last mowing in before the snow really flies. The flurries last Friday was, hopefully, just a precursor to what we can expect for the winter, but some days it seem that summer doesn't want to let go. Top picture today was taken two weeks ago in the South Mountain along the Ridge Road at, obviously, the Franklin County and Cumberland County line. Picture two was taken out at my brothers place, I hate these things. And picture three is a water hole in the woods behind my in-laws.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

100 Years of Western Hospitality (PG XXXIV)

The Meeker Hotel and Cafe' in beautiful downtown Meeker, Colorado, is this week's Painted Gentleman. A lovely and historic building built in 1886, it was once base camp for some of Teddy Roosevelt's famous western hunting trips. The lobby is filled with world class typical and non-typical mule deer and elk mounts along side bits and pieces of Meeker's wild past. There are pictures of some of the local Ute Indian chiefs, such as Colorow and Ouray, pictures of some bad fellows who tried to rob the town bank (it was there last attempt) and other pictures of old Meeker. My family stayed here in 2003 (top picture) and Mom & Dad stayed here in 2005 (second picture). I was shocked and amazed at the same time when , in 2005, I saw it had been painted blue. It just wasn't the same , but I like it. The beds are old and seem to just swallow you after a long day. Some rooms are nothing more than a bed, with shared facilities down the hall. The Cafe' is another place that is a must, especially for breakfast. If nothing else just stop by a walk around the lobby, you won't be disappointed.

ps. I don't believe it, but I missed the fact that yesterday was post number 200.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Barn Across the Creek

Ramp's Covered bridge in Hopewell Township, outside of Newburg, PA, isn't really a barn, but it is the last covered bridge in Cumberland County. Built in 1870 (or 1882, depends on where you look) it is a Burr Arch Truss Construction structure built across the Conodoguinet Creek and, since 1980, is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
You can, as I did, still drive through this. Experience the wooden deck with the plank tire tracks. I looked around inside until I heard a car coming, so quickly I had to figure out which way he was coming so I knew which end to bail out of. It was cool, the older gentleman rolled down his window and we chatted briefly about the nice weather then he drove on and I went about my exploring. As old and obviously historic this bridge is, in the past few years, some idiot tried to drive a truck, too big for the bridge, through it and someone else tried to set it on fire.
Legend says that the reason they covered the bridges and painted them red was so cattle would cross the water thinking they were going into a barn.

Monday, November 12, 2007

A Walk in the Woods

I drove out to meet with my brother this morning and while waiting for him I could hear turkeys clucking and yelping. I grabbed my camera and went to investigate. I never did find them , I think maybe someone nearby was raising them in a pen, as I got closer I could hear voices. But I did find these to fellas. The woodpecker kept flitting from tree to tree, landing in the shade or behind a limb. I finally took this shot before he got too far away.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Thank You

I know I have mentioned it before, but I am a veteran. U. S. Air Force, 1983 - 1987. The Cold War. My brother-in-law is a Marine Corps, Beirut Veteran. My Dad, U. S. Navy, Cuba. I've heard the stories and I've seen the picture my Uncles had of Korea, and the South Pacific in World War 2. My Great Grandfather went down with his Merchant Marine ship when it was hit by a German U-Boat in 1942. And as far back as the Civil War, living in South Central Pennsylvania, it is hard not to have your own family blood spilled. The Confederate Army camped just over the hill, not a half mile from where I'm sitting right now, in the days leading up to the battle in Gettysburg. My Great Great Grandmother's Brother was wounded in an ambush while he sat at his campfire, my son is named for him. Another Great Great Grandfather saw fighting in the Wilderness and and was wounded in Cold Harbor, his medals sit in a case beside my bed. There are others - friends, uncles, cousins, Grandfathers and Great Uncles, there will undoubtedly be more. Who should you thank today?