Friday, February 29, 2008

Happy Leap Day

Yes, a frog on Leap Day, I'm going for the cheap laugh. A chuckle, at least? O.K. how about a grin? Alright, please except my apologies, then. The good news is it'll be four more years 'til I can do it again.

This frog was found along a mountain stream several summers ago. And, I confess, my daughter took it. But she did win a blue ribbon at the fair for this (unaltered) picture.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Winter Wonderland

I took a ride through the mountains on Sunday. I didn't take as many pictures as I thought I would, considering how beautiful everything was, including the weather. The problem was the snow covered roads didn't allow many places to pull over to take shots. I did stop in the middle of the road a couple times. I'm also glad I didn't run into anyone else, passing would have been even more difficult. Thank goodness someone else had gone before me, at least three places someone had chainsawed trees that had fallen over the road. No wildlife, though. Thank you PA Game Commission.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Miss Ruby Lee (PG XLIX)

More mermaids, I know. These, again, are on Chincoteague Island at the T-Shirt Factory on Main Street straight across the street from the light coming into town at the drawbridge. This collage of merpeople is brought to the world "Dedicated to Miss Ruby Lee... She enhanced the joy... All across this little Island" designed by Egret Moon Artworks... with a little help from friends.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


It warmed up into the 40's today. Before you know it it'll be time to start thinking about the beach. I'll be up before daylight, gathering shells and taking more sunrise pictures.

What are little girls made of? Sugar and spice and everything nice, that's what little girls are made of.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Big Ben

Ben Franklin , as he stands atop the Franklin County Courthouse (in PA), is 8' tall, weighs 25o pounds and is made of pine. Well he used to, at least. This statute was placed on the dome of the new courthouse building in 1865 when it was rebuilt. It was rebuilt after the burning of Chambersburg on July 30, 1864 by Confederate General John McCauland, on orders of General Jubal Early, when the citizens didn't take seriously the demands for $100,000 in gold or half a mill in Union cash. And Ben stood watch over his namesake county until 1991 when he came down got an extreme makeover, cloned himself in fiberglass and sent the new and improved Ben back up to the perch above Memorial Square (Lightning rod in hand) while the original Ben went into retirement across the street in the Heritage Center.
While I'm at it I'm posting the stitched "Illusion" from last week. And for more on the Ben Franklin Statue go here.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Tracks in the Snow

Another day custom made for black and white. Truth is the color version is all but black and white. Yes, Mom, I looked both ways before snapping this one.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Tree Mail

In Redstone, Colorado, beyond the coke ovens, up Coal Creek and overlooking Mr. Osgood‘s mansion you can find these. Along the trails and scattered among the bear clawed aspen are messages or maybe just mountain graffiti. There were a lot of them, some made unreadable by the healing of the trees. Some were legible and even some others, like the second picture, that appears to be a love letter. Who wrote them? Explorers, loggers, hunters, who knows? The trees sure aren’t telling. These picture are from a 1992 hunting trip.

Friday, February 22, 2008

All My Rowdy Friends

The pig is not yet in the ground, what's left of the beer is on ice and all my rowdy friends were out that night. This was a pig roast for a fundraiser for our fire department. Always a great time, until the pigs are in and the fire goes out, then everyone vacates. But a good time was had by all.
As a side note, my department, the Vigilant Hose Co. #1 in Shippensburg, PA. was first organized February 22, 1843, 165 years, wow.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Disappearing Act

No, I'm not going to start posting full moon pictures every month but last night was a total eclipse of the moon. So todays post, just like a billion other bloggers today, is some snapshots of said eclipse. The second picture was taken, left to right top 9:04, 9:09 and 9:17, bottom row 9:24, 9:39 and 9:58, eastern time, of course. I wasn't too sure it would be visible tonight, we got an inch or so of snow this afternoon and evening, but he clouds broke open to a clear night. And a clear night with snow on the ground made it quite cold to be outside. Check out the last picture. I hope you can see it. to the bottom left is Saturn (I think) and in the upper right is the star Regulus. USA Today had a story here. (p.s. Post #300.)
"There is no dark side of the moon really. Matter of fact it's all dark." Pink Floyd, Eclipse, 1973

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Time keeps on ticking, ticking, ticking into the future... I found this one in Carlisle, PA, just south of Pomfret Street between Hanover and Pitt Streets. The clock caught my eye before the words did.
Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day, You fritter and waste the hours in an off hand way... I don't know anything about this building or Hartzell's. This may have just been a storage building for them.
Can you teach me about tomorrow, And all the pain and sorrow, Running free, cause tomorrows just another day, And I don't believe in time... There doesn't seem to be evidence that this clock ever really worked or kept time.
Who knows where we shall meet again, If ever, But time, Keeps flowing like a river (on and on), To the sea, to the sea, Till it's gone forever.
(Musical shout-outs to Mr. Miller, Mr. Floyd, Mr. Hootie and Mr. Parsons.)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


The Grubstake was a convenience store on Main Street in Chincoteague, VA. It was a place you could stop by and get anything you may have forgotten to bring from home like milk, Old Bay seasoning for your crabs or beer. I guess there are other places to go and get your necessities because the Grubstake is closed. Been closed since 2006. Maybe someone else will move in here, 'till then you'll have to find stuff elsewhere.

Monday, February 18, 2008

The Planet of Presidents

For Presidents Day I found a couple pics from a long time ago. The year, 1985, home on leave before heading overseas. The place, Washington, DC. The crew, my brother, my best friend and me. Just looking for something to do we made a run to DC to see the Vietnam Memorial that had recently opened and then check out the Smithsonian Museum of American History. I no longer remember the details, time will do this to a young man. It is this reason why I take pictures. It is my way of recording my life for later reference. Or maybe I knew I'd need fodder for this world wide internet blog thingy. That's it, I was just ahead of my time. Yea, that's the ticket.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Franklin County Courthouse Illusion

This post is not about the Franklin County courthouse, it's about an idea, a vision. I was in Chambersburg, PA today and took a few pictures. I walked to the square to take some shots of the statue on top of the courthouse, and I did. Then I got the idea of taking a picture of the courthouse building itself. The problem: the big zoom was on the camera and I was standing across the street, so I took a series of pictures. That's when the idea hit me, I could stitch the shots together to made a sort-of vertical panorama. No, no, even better why don't I just stack the pictures on the site and let your minds eye stitch them together. Good luck.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Pikes Peak or Bust

These words originated during the great western expansion and gold rush of 1859. On my second family vacation these words came to life again. There are three ways to get to Pikes Peak, hike (that ain't gonna happen), drive (this, I was told, would have been done without the wife) or take the train out of Manitou Springs. ALL ABOARD! The Pikes Peak Cog Railway takes you on a historic narrated trip up to the top. You can see the ecosystems change as you ascend through and beyond treeline. Wildlife on our trip was limited to marmots but these are the Rockies and anything is possible. Once at the top you have about 45 minutes to soak it in. Trust me, at 14,110 feet above sea level 45 minutes is long enough. My first impression was that this place looks like the moon, barren. You can see Colorado Springs from here along with the vast beauty that is the Rocky Mountains. Buy your souvenirs take your picture as proof you were here and head back down. The Conductor explained the safety devices used to get the train down such a steep grade safely. They are equipped with a three stage braking system, first there is the hydraulic brakes, used to keep the train on a steady pace and if they fail then there is the manual brakes. In the severe chance the manual brakes failed then they relied on the springs to stop the decent. Manitou Springs... Colorado Springs...
Check out the website.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Play Ball

In celebration of Baseball and the fact that pitchers and catchers reported to Spring Training yesterday, I dug up this picture. In preparation for a Greyhound baseball game at Shippensburg High School Tanker 52 from the Vigilant Hose Company stopped by one day last spring to wet down the infield. Just another one of the little things that a fire department in a small town does.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Let it Snow

Winter is holding up its end of the deal this year. It snowed again yesterday although it was followed by lots of rain. Rain is supposed to be for the spring, let's get this straightened out. Winter = cold and snow. Spring = green and rain. We've seen a little of both the cold and snow this week. If all the rain we've gotten this winter were to be snow, we'd be up to our wazoo in snow.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Keep Your Gun Oiled (PG XLVII)

This is where I'd rather be, Eagle, Colorado. Apart from this area of Colorado becoming suburban California. Eagle, so far, hasn't suffered too bad sitting on the edge of this mass expansion. Although, I hate to admit, Vail and Aspen's urban crawl will catch up and ruin this place. Eagle has already seen the loss of some of its connection to the old west. In 2000 while out hunting we ate at Jackie's Old West, a place you looked forwards to when you came out of the high country. In 2003, while on vacation, I looked from I-70 and didn't see Jackie's, what I saw was Wendy's, and God knows we needed another one of those. Disgraceful. Next it'll be the Brush Creek Saloon, that'll mean no more Fat Tire Ale and Chicken with green chilies. And THAT would be unacceptable.
This is the Eagle Pharmacy and it is as the front says "The Everything Store". This sits on Broadway at the intersection of 3rd Street. And it has everything, souvenirs, medication, boots, jewelry and hunting licenses. And the latest gossip. The sign changes from time to time and it's always a definite destination to stop by. Lets hope that the big corporate pharmacy retailers don't steal this one.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

To Think That I Saw It Under Mulberry Street

Yes, I'm under another bridge but this time (actually the same day as the pictures under State Street) it is the old Mulberry Street Bridge crossing Cameron Street in Harrisburg, PA.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Doorway to Heaven

Some more shots from last weekend in Waynesboro, PA. Again this is the old St. Paul's Reformed Church on South Potomac Street, built in 1902. It is now apartments and for sale. Owning an old building such as this must be tough. The wide-open spaces weren't exactly made for economical heating and cooling. All the electric would have to have been retrofitted. What it needs is someone who has the patience and finances to attend to it. Maybe an organization such as the Historical Society or another church could use it for social purposes. Or maybe a restaurant, similar to the Church Brew Works in Pittsburgh, would offer this landmark new life. Anything would be better than allowing this decay and abuse. I guess it all comes down to money.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Night Services 4

Well, in reality this was taken on the afternoon of August 20, 1986 from inside Notre Dame, not the one with the Fighting Leprechaun but the one with the hunchback. Yes, the one in Paris, France. I took a three days bus tour of the city early in my second year in Germany and my final year in the Air Force. We also went to Versailles and the Louvre (pre-Pei's glass pyramid), I didn't go to the Eiffel Tower though, something I now regret. As I recall it was another ticket that this poor Airman just couldn't afford. That afternoon I walked around town, shared a beer with some locals in a park, ate some street food and got a kick watching the Algerian street venders scatter at he first sight of the Police. Regardless of what I did or didn't do in Paris I'm glad I went. In Paris, as in other European cities, it makes an American humble to the word old. One or two hundred years is nothing, buildings and cities that were three, four even five hundred years old were typical. But they lacked that wild unpredictable quality of us American. I don't know whether that's good or not.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Five More Weeks

Call me old fashioned but it's winter and if it's gonna be winter let it snow and let it be cold. I'm not too old to remember that when I was a kid in the winter I didn't hibernate, I was outside. Me, my buddy and our Lightning Guiders were in the field up behind our houses. Soap up the runners, build a ramp at the bottom of the hill and hope the honeysuckle vines on the old fence stopped you before you went into the woods and ended up in the crick (that's the redneck word for stream). Now I'm not old enough to remember the walk to and from school in waist deep snow, uphill both ways. But I do remember snow days. And back then the schools didn't call for these until we had enough snow to actually warrant calling off. Heck, these idiots-in-change now are shutting schools down because it's forecasted to snow.

So, Punxy Phil and the Inner Circle say we gotta wait five more weeks. Big deal. And until it is spring let it snow and quit ruining my winter.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Marion Fire Company, old station

This is the old station for the Marion Volunteer Fire Company in Marion, PA. Marion runs as Franklin County Company 8 from their new station across Route 11 from this building. Company 8 consists of 2 engines, an engine-tanker, a rescue squad, a brush truck and 2 ambulances. The old stationhouse sits on Colorado Street and from the looks of things I don't think anything is currently happening there. On their website they refer to themselves as the "Swamp Foxes", this is a reference to the town's namesake Lt. Col. Francis Marion, a Revolutionary War leader who is considered one of the fathers of modern guerrilla warfare, and is credited in the lineage of the U. S. Army Rangers. That's where he got his nickname "The Swamp Fox".

Thursday, February 07, 2008


This is Coaldale, Pa. I took this picture at Easter time in 1987. Less than a week out of the Air Force, my family and I were on our annual trip to my Grandmother's. We went more often than just at Easter time but we rarely missed an Easter Sunday in Coaldale. Coaldale is small town in the mountains of Schuykill County, a place that seemed to be visited more than lived in. Not a lot of young people most of those left to find jobs and raise families elsewhere. There was never much to do when we would go there, so we would walk. Explore. As a kid I knew where the movie theater was (the Angela), the supermarket and where most of the Mom & Pop candy stores were. Even into the nineties it was like stepping back in time. This place, more than anywhere, was a town of pride, pride in who you are and pride in where you came from. The Lithuanians, the Russians, the Slovaks, the Irish and the Italians each lent their flavor to this place and made it unique. Being Slovak, Easter meant kielbasa, and not just any keilbasa, you had to go to a certain place and get their keilbasa. And sirok, made with eggs, milk and pepper, I always called it Easter Cheese and paska, the Easter bread. And pierogies (potato filled pasta) and halupkies (stuffed cabbage) and haluski (noodles with cabbage and potatoes), man am I hungry now. It's been years since I last visited and my kids haven't been there since they were small, I really should make another trip up, maybe this Easter.
As a side note, I always post between 9 and 11 at night for the next day, if you didn't know that already. So, technically it is still February 6th.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Carl's Drug Store (PG XLVI)

What is it about drugs store? This is the third drug store I've featured on our regular Wednesday program we like to call Painted Gentleman. There was Perduzzi's and then there was Althouse's, now it's Carl's time to shine. Actually I have another drug store I need to scan, we'll cover that later. And look, Carl's is a two-sided gentleman, there hasn't been many of them. The Rexall Store is now E.L.M. Department Store on South Baltimore Street (Route 16) in Greencastle, PA. We should also, while we're here, thank Mr. Reynold's for these wonder signs, yes, if you look close enough you can see he signed them.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008


This is the drawbridge leading onto Chincoteague Island. They are, as we speak, building a new causeway over onto the island that will allow vehicles to make a straighter shot to the beach. No more hauling your boat through downtown. I'm not sure if the new causeway will include a drawbridge or not, but it sure will suck not to see this one anymore. I tried to get some sunset picture that included the draw but overcast skies eliminated sunset.

I took this at Christmas time and liked the way it turned out, except for the post.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Late Night

This picture is one of me screwing around with the timer at night. I went to Gods Acre Cemetery in downtown Shippensburg, PA. From the plaque on the gate post "1738-1926 Dedicated to Patriots and Pioneers who sleep in this Gods Acre"
This is also an unexpected self-portrait. Oops.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

The Road to Ruin

St Paul's Reformed Church, built in 1902, on South Potomac Street in Waynesboro, PA is on that road to ruin. Privately owned for more than 15 years and divided into apartments, it is again for sale. I would love to see this large window lit up, but that would never happen. Through the holes that have been broken in it you can see that there is wallboard behind some of it and, sadly, if you look at the bottom left corner you can see where they broke it out to exhaust the clothes dryer. It's a wonder that the owner didn't sell the window, one this large and with this kind of details would bring thousands you'd think. What a shame. Stupid is as stupid does.