Travel Theme: Twist

From Ailsa at Where’s my backpack? comes this week’s theme.  Here’s my twist on this theme!

 

Twisted Pine

Twisted Pine

 

2014-06-14 Quilt_Fotor

 

2014-01-05 Tree_Fotor

 

Selenite

Selenite

 

Silver Springs State Park, Florida

Entrance

It had been probably been about 35 years or so since I had visited Silver Springs. I had some really pleasant memories about the place. The scenery, the animals, the glass bottom boats and everything that went with it. So, when we decided to go there a couple of weekends ago, I was really excited and looking forward to it. You know that old adage about how you can never go home again (because things always change and it’s never the way you remember)?  Well, it’s true. I’m afraid I was really disappointed. Don’t get me wrong. The scenery is still pretty. But the animals are gone. Apparently, the company that used to operate the park, sold it to the State of Florida. Unbeknownst to us, the State took over the operation of the park on October 1, 2013. Based on our visit, it’s my guess that the park must have gotten really run down and the State hasn’t had an opportunity to renew it. But I did take lots of photos and decided to share. I’m not trying to discourage anyone from going. I probably would have liked it more if I didn’t have my memory reference from years ago.

We went on a Thursday to avoid the crowds. Well, it certainly worked. The place was practically deserted. I think I saw more park employees than I did attendees. We got there right around lunch time and decided to go ahead and eat in the park. The only shop that was open was one restaurant so we opted for that. We went and bought our tickets for the boat ride. I asked them if they had any brochures and was told they were in the process of being printed. So I asked him if they had any old leftovers and he said they did not keep them. Bummer. So, after buying our tickets we then went back to the restaurant and had lunch. The food was good. And there certainly wasn’t a wait. We were the only four people in the place. I didn’t have to worry about angling my camera around to avoid people because there weren’t any! After lunch, we took a short stroll along one of the paths.

Shops

Paths Paths2 Paths3

We then took a ride on one of the glass bottom boats. They were so old and the glass and acrylic was scratched and made it difficult for photos.  Below are some of the pictures I took of critters along the shoreline as the boat passed. There were a few birds, a gator and lots of turtles.

Loading Dock Glass Bottom Boat Birds Birds2 Birds3 Gator Turtles Turtles3 Glass Bottom Boat2

The boat ride was a lot shorter than I remembered. My sister-in-law remembered seeing monkeys in the trees and our guide said they used to also have what they called a jungle cruise. I didn’t remember that but I did remember the animals they no longer had. Our boat was piloted by Captain Roosevelt. Turns out he had been working at Silver Springs for 57 years! Can you imagine that?Capt. Roosevelt

I took a few photos through the glass bottom. One of the things I was looking for was where they had the statues and stuff that was used in the filming of some episodes of Sea Hunt and I Spy. A lot of you probably wouldn’t even remember those old TV shows from the 60’s. When I saw the statues in the 70’s, I’m sure I remembered seeing more of them and you could actually tell what they were and they still had color on them. Oh, well. I’ll let you see if you can pick out the picture with the statues. The picture with the log is cypress. I learned that as long as that cypress log was underwater it would never rot. Wonder if I’ll ever be able to use that knowledge for anything!

Underwater Underwater2 Underwater3 Underwater4 Underwater5 Underwater6

I took a few more pictures of various things in the park. A cabbage palm, a bronze statue of Chief Osceola, and some signs for your reading pleasure!

Cabbage Palm Chief Osceola Steamboats First People Florida's Springs

In spite of my personal disappointment with the park, all in all it was a good day with family. And that’s really all that matters!

A Word A Week Challenge: Distant

Coming in a bit late this week with this but I thought it might be fun. I’ve been spending my week training for my new home-based job and trying to do some genealogy research and writing for a new entry.

Sue’s challenge this week is Distant. Please check out her blog A Word in Your Ear to learn more.

These are from a trip we made to Temple Square of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City, Utah in 2009. The pictures were taken with my old iPhone 3Gs and are unedited other than size. The photos were taken from the 26th floor of the Church Office Building.

TEMPLE SQUARE

TEMPLE SQUARE

CAPITOL BUILDING

CAPITOL BUILDING

Finale – Yellowstone National Park 1931-32

If you’re just joining us here, please feel free to visit the previous posts leading up to this finale. For the beginning of the story, click here to open Riding the Rails During the Great Depression, click here  to open Dad’s Tour of the West Coast During the Great Depression, click here to open Yellowstone National Park 1931-32, and click here to open Yellowstone National Park 1931-32 Continued. Each link will open in a new tab.

The cards were made by Haynes Picture Shops, Inc., 341 Selby Ave., St. Paul, Minn. and Yellowstone Park, Wyoming.

Click on each Today for additional information. Please enjoy the cards!

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Bears of Yellowstone Park depend largely upon the hotels and lodges for sustenance during the summer season. Although bears boldly invade civilized areas to procure their food, they are far from tame. They should not be fed “by hand”, nor should they be molested.

Today: Bears may be seen in Yellowstone March through November. Yellowstone is one of the only areas south of Canada that still has large grizzly bear populations. In 2007, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that the Greater Yellowstone Area grizzly bear population segment had recovered sufficient numbers and distribution to be removed from the threatened-species list. In 2009, the delisting ruling was overturned and the population was returned to the threatened-species list; management continues under the 2006 revision of the recovery plan. Grizzly bears are usually seen in the open areas. Look for black bears along the edges of trees in the Lamar and Hayden valleys, or among the trees near Mammoth and Tower.

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Elk Stalled in Snow, Hayden Valley, Yellowstone Park. The latest official estimate of the number of elk, (Wapiti), in the park is given at nearly 20,000. Elk are seen throughout the park at all seasons.

Today: National attention has been focused on Yellowstone’s northern elk winter range since the early 1930s. Scientists and managers then believed that grazing and drought in the early part of the century had reduced the range’s carrying capacity, and that twice as many elk were on the range in 1932 as existed in 1914. From 1935 to 1968, elk, pronghorn, and bison numbers were artificially controlled by shooting or trapping and removal by park rangers. Then in the 1960s, based on new studies that suggested ungulate populations could possibly be self-regulating, elk reductions were discontinued in the park. The belief that elk grazing was damaging to northern range vegetation and that grazing accelerates erosion, although not supported by research data and analysis, has continued to the present. Studies of the northern elk winter range began in the 1960s and revealed no clear evidence of range overuse (Houston 1982). More recent studies conclude that sagebrush grasslands of Yellowstone’s northern winter range are not overgrazed (Singer and Bishop 1990). In fact, plant production was enhanced by ungulate grazing in all but drought years. Protein content of grasses, yearly growth of big sagebrush, and seedling establishment of sagebrush were all enhanced by ungulate grazing. Neither reduction in root biomass nor an increase in dead bunchgrass clumps was observed. However, many questions remain concerning the condition of riparian zones and associated shrubby vegetation; the park hopes to conduct additional studies on aspen and willows and their relationship to ungulates on the northern range.

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Obsidian Cliff, Yellowstone Park, is on the Mammoth-Norris road, 12.3 miles from Mammoth Hot Springs. This volcanic glass brought Indians to the region in the early days for arrowhead material as the pipestone country of Minnesota attracted Indians to its quarries.

TodayObsidian Cliff, 11 miles south of Mammoth Hot Springs, is at the northern end of Beaver Lake in Yellowstone National Park. The cliff forms the eastern wall of a narrow cut in plateau country. At an elevation of nearly 7,400 feet above sea level, the cliff extends for a half mile, rising from 150 to 200 feet above Obsidian Creek and falling gradually away to the north. The upper half is a vertical face of rock; the lower half is composed of loose and broken rocks forming a talus slope. The cliff is the remainder of a flow of lava that erupted onto the earth’s surface and then poured down the plateau.

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Mount Sheridan, elevation 10,250 feet, overlooks Yellowstone Lake which is the largest lake at its elevation, 7,730 feet, on the North American continent. It has a shoreline one hundred miles long.

Today: With a surface area of 132 square miles, Yellowstone Lake is the largest lake at high elevation (i.e., more than 7,000 ft.) in North America. It is a natural lake, situated at 7,733 ft. above sea level. It is roughly 20 miles long and 14 miles wide with 141 miles of shoreline. It is frozen nearly half the year. It freezes in late December or early January and thaws in late May or early June.

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Old Faithful Geyser, Yellowstone Park, as depicted in this picture is one of the typical mid-day eruptions when there is sufficient breeze to waft away from the 150-ft. water column its envelope of steam. These displays occur summer and winter at intervals varying from 65 to 80 minutes.

Today: Old Faithful erupts more frequently than any of the other big geysers, although it is not the largest or most regular geyser in the park. Its average interval between eruptions varies from 60 – 110 minutes. An eruption lasts 1 1/2 to 5 minutes, expels 3,700 – 8,400 gallons (14,000 – 32,000 liters) of boiling water, and reaches heights of 106 – 184 feet (30 – 55m). It was named for its consistent performance by members of the Washburn Expedition in 1870. Although its average interval has lengthened through the years (due to earthquakes and vandalism), Old Faithful is still as spectacular and predictable as it was a century ago.

:008 (2)

(Another view) Old Faithful Geyser, 150 Ft., Yellowstone Park, is not the highest geyser, but it is by far the favorite one. Its eruptions occurring every hour last about four minutes.

TodaySoon, a towering column of water will surge out of the earth as Old Faithful continues its unbroken series of eruptions. Eruptions occur an average of 17 times per day, every day. Because of changes in circulation that resulted from the 1959 Hebgen Lake and 1983 Borah Peak earthquakes, as well as other local and smaller earthquakes, the average interval between eruptions has been lengthening during the last several decades. In the past, Old Faithful displayed two eruptive modes: short duration eruptions followed by a short interval, and a long duration eruption followed by a long interval. However, after a local earthquake in 1998, Old Faithful’s eruptions are more often of the long duration, long interval type.

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Kepler Cascade, Firehole River, Yellowstone Park, is seen shortly after leaving Old Faithful. It is 1.7 miles from Old Faithful, where platforms have been constructed to the edge of the canyon.

Today: This three-tiered cascade drops over 50 feet as the Firehole River flows North. The Kepler Cascades were actually named in 1881 for the 12 year old son of Wyoming’s territorial governor, Kepler Hoyt, who toured the park with his father, Governor John Hoyt.

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Norris Geyser Basin, Yellowstone Park, is most remarkable. Some of its waters deposit brightly colored arsenic minerals — orpiment and realgar, others yellow sulphur and black sulphur globules. Its steam vents are the hottest in the entire region.

Today: Norris Geyser Basin is one of the hottest and most dynamic of Yellowstone’s hydrothermal areas. Many hot springs and fumaroles have temperatures above the boiling point (200°F) here. Water fluctuations and seismic activity often change features.
It’s hard to imagine a setting more volatile than Norris. It is part of one of the world’s largest active volcanoes. And it sits on the intersection of three major faults. One runs from the north; another runs from the west. These two faults intersect with a ring fracture from the Yellowstone Caldera eruption 640,000 years ago. These conditions helped to create this dynamic geyser basin.

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Excelsior Geyser, Yellowstone Park, was at one time the largest geyser known. Its eruptions were 300 feet high, and the width of the water column was equally great. The eruptions were so tremendous that the crater was blown out at one side and it ceased to play in 1890.

TodayExcelsior Geyser, located in Yellowstone’s Midway Geyser Basin, is considered the largest geyser in the world, though now effectively dormant. During its last major eruptions in the 1880s, Excelsior frequently reached a height of 300 feet, creating the dramatic display shown in this early Haynes divided-back postcard. It is believed that the violent eruptions of that period may have caused damage to the sinter lining, allowing gas leakage, and resulting in reduced thermal energy. The only observed eruption since that early time was in 1985 when Excelsior erupted for two days, reaching a height of between 20 and 80 feet. As a hot spring, it discharges more than 4050 gallons of water per minute. Its large deep crater and brilliant blue appearance allow it to remain one of Yellowstone’s popular thermal attractions.  (Source: Carl Schreier, A Field Guide to Yellowstone’s Geysers, Hot Springs and Fumaroles)

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Giant Geyser, Yellowstone Park, is the greatest geyser in the world today in point of height and duration of eruption. It plays 250 feet high for a few moments in the earlier part of each display,and continues for an hour and a half at lesser heights. Its intervals of quiet between eruptions vary from six to fourteen days.

Today: Giant Geyser truly lives up to its name. It is currently the second tallest geyser in the world, only Steamboat Geyser located in Yellowstone’s Norris Geyser Basin is taller. An eruption of Giant can reach 250 feet, last over an hour and put out an estimated one million gallons of water. For comparison, a large Old Faithful eruption reaches about 150 feet, lasts less than 5 minutes (the biggest part lasts less than one minute) and puts out around 10,000 gallons of water. 

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Giant Geyser Cone, Upper Geyser Basin, Yellowstone Park, is the orifice of the highest geyser in the park. It plays 250 feet high at varying intervals — 100 feet higher than Old Faithful Geyser. Its cone with one side gone is today just the same as when it was first discovered.

Today: Giant Geyser was dormant for many years after the energy shift in 1955. Since then, it has slowly become active again. During 1997, its eruptions occurred every 3 – 10 days. This spectacular geyser’s eruptions last about an hour and can reach heights of 180 – 250 feet (55 – 76m). During eruptions small geysers nearby may also erupt.

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Beehive Geyser, 200 Feet, Yellowstone Park, although seldom in eruption is one of the most striking geysers in the park. It plays out of its nozzle-like opening like a giant fire hose with a great roar. Eruptions last 15 minutes.

Today: Beehive Geyser is magnificent. Eruptions usually occur twice each day with displays lasting 4 – 5 minutes. During an eruption, the narrow cone acts like a nozzle, projecting the water column to heights of 130 – 190 ft (40 – 55m). 

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Castle Geyser, 75 Ft., Upper Basin, Yellowstone Park, has one of the most prominent geyser cones in the park, indicative of great antiquity as the geyserite, a silicious deposit, forms extremely slow.

Today: Castle Geyser has the largest cone and may be the oldest of all geysers in the basin. Its eruption pattern has changed considerably throughout its recorded history. Castle is currently erupting about every 10 – 12 hours. A water eruption frequently reaches 90 feet (27m) and lasts about 20 minutes. The water phase is followed by a noisy steam phase lasting 30 – 40 minutes.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this nostalgic Yellowstone tour!

Dad’s Tour of the West Coast During the Great Depression

Back in January 2013, I made my first ever blog entry entitled Riding the Rails During the Great Depression. It was primarily excerpts from a short travel diary my father kept in 1931, during the depression, when he and a number of his buddies rode the rails from Ashland, KY to Washington State. If you have an interest in checking out the first part, you can click on the italicized title above and you should be taken there for a quick review. In this diary, he makes references to pictures taken with his camera. I’m afraid I don’t have any of those which is a major disappointment.

When I last left off, the train had entered Portland, Oregon and he was talking about how beautiful everything was.

I checked my things at the Y and caught a street car over to Vancouver. I met Mr. and Mrs. James and also got a square meal. I came back over to Portland that afternoon and ate at the Y then I got a room in the Byron Hotel. I signed up for a week.

I don’t know who Mr. and Mrs. James were. Probably family of some friends back in Ashland who were being hospitable to the out-of-towner. I read a little about the YMCA in Portland during that time period. The little bit I read, it seems that the Y didn’t have such a good reputation at that time and maybe that’s why he moved on to the Hotel.

Portland YMCA

Portland YMCA

Hotel Byron

We took in the sights that nite and then got a good nite’s sleep. Six of us went to the Baptist Church the next morning to Sunday school.

That evening Mr. O’Neal from Medford hunted us up and took Tussey, Elsworth, and myself for a ride. We also played a round of Golf.

The Oregon O’Neals were related to an O’Neal family in Ashland that Dad and his friends knew and they had agreed to host them. I never knew that Dad had ever had any interest in golf, let alone that he played the game when he was young.

Sunday nite was spent taking in the sights again.

Monday was also spent in seeing the sights and we left Portland at 6:00 o’clock Monday p.m. headed south.

We ate a swell supper in Salem (the State capital). That nite we stayed in a tourist cabin. We were on the road again at 5:00 headed for a little place called Detroit. The fellow told us that he would have plenty of work for us if we would wait 10 days. We didn’t want to wait. Left at Mill City a Mr. Allen showed us through a big lumber mill, it sure was a big one too. I believe I’d rather work in the steel mill.

As I read through his diary and noted references to little bits and pieces of information, it seems that his trip out West was not just a “vacation” and to see the sights. It is becoming more apparent to me that he and his buddies went West looking for work. Perhaps the only kind of work available during the depression in Kentucky and the surrounding area might have been at one of the steel mills. I can’t imagine how hard that kind of work would have been. It sounds like he maybe checked out the steel mills before heading West and the lumber mills were giving him a new perspective!

Mill City was on the Santiam River. I snapped a couple of pictures of the river. 

Santiam River

Santiam River

Our next stop was at a lumber camp on Lost Creek a branch of the Williamette[sic] about 100 miles from Mill City. I got a few pictures of the logs there.

Mill operations on Lost Creek, tributary to Middle Fork Willamette River

Mill operations on Lost Creek, tributary to Middle Fork Willamette River

I wish I had the pictures he had taken…

We then came back to Eugene. The site of the Univ. of Ore. I stayed that nite at a ranch at Creswell, 12 miles from Eugene. We shot the bow & arrow and I accidently won it. I hit the bullseye out of my first 6 shots.

The next morning we went to a construction camp on the Williamette[sic] River, about 80 miles from the Camp. I snapped a few pictures there too.

That afternoon we played a game of Golf in Eugene then we saw the Univ. of Ore. Beat the Univ. of Idaho 17 to 0 in a baseball game. 

Oregon State College 1931

Oregon 1931

Mr. O’Neal asked us if we wanted the car to go to the dance that night. Of course we did so we shaved, washed and cleaned up and were off. I had to talk a long time before he would let us in free.

They don’t dance like we do back home so we didn’t have much fun. I tried to dance with some dame that said her name was Sybil Cornutt but it was a flop. After the dance we passed them walking down the street. They were plenty willing to take a ride and so were we. And did we have fun. We arrived home at 3 bells.

Dame? He said dame? It must have been the times. Maybe they got that from all the movies or gangster quotes like from Al Capone! You know, the Al Capone they couldn’t find listed in the phone directory when their train stopped in Chicago! Anyway, I was curious about this Sybil Cornutt. Other than Dad’s buddies, it was the only name he wrote. So, curious cat that I am, I did some Googling. I had hoped to find a picture or something to make her come more to life. I did find her on a couple of genealogy sites and suffice it to say that Sybil Cornutt was born in Oregon on September 16, 1910.  Same year Dad was born! It fits.

After a 3 hour rest we were on the road to Medford. We picked up Paul Vaughan and Chas. Ball, 2 of the gang. They said they were going to Tulsa, Okla.

Sam and I stayed that nite at Mr. O’Neal’s in Medford and again we got the car.

The next day we took a trip to the Ore. Caves, 4500 ft upon a mountain. It sure was a beautiful trip.

Oregon Caves NPS.gov

Cliff Nature Trail to Oregon Caves
NPS.gov

Cliff Nature Trail2 - NPS.gov

View from Cliff Nature Trail
NPS.gov

Sam and I went to a show to-nite. We saw Joe E. Brown in “Maybe It’s Love” and it sure was good.

Maybe It's Love 1930 Source: Wikepedia

Maybe It’s Love 1930
Source: Wikepedia

This morning, Sat. May 2, we were up bright and early and off for a trip to Crater Lake. The sun is shining bright in the Valley, but there’s clouds around the top of the mts. As we go up the Mt. we run into rain and it begins to get cooler. As we continue to climb, we hit patches of snow and then nothing but snow. As we near the top of the Mt. where the lake is, the rain turns into snow and it sure is cold. There is about 10 ft. of snow on top of the Mt. and the lake sure is beautiful. It’s cloudy though and I’m afraid my pictures won’t be very good. The lake is about 20 miles across but it doesn’t look 2.

Crater Lake and Wizard Island NPS.com

Crater Lake and Wizard Island
NPS.com

As we come back down the Mt. the snow turns to rain and then into sunshine and back into warm weather again. It hasn’t even rained a drop in the Valley.

Sun. morning we took a fishing trip up in the Canyons of the Rogue River. I turned out to be a poor fisherman but I did hold my own with the rifle.

I wonder what he meant by a “poor fisherman”? Because, as he got older and was looking forward to retirement (before he lost his health), he used to always say he wanted to spend his retirement fishing. So, maybe he just meant that he was a poor fisherman that day because he didn’t catch anything.

Rogue National Wild and Scenic River BLM.com

Rogue National Wild and Scenic River
BLM.com

We had ice cream and cake for supper.

Mmm, sounds like my kind of eatin’!!

This morning, Mon. 4th, I walked about a mile to a gasoline station to see about a job but I was too late. He had just hired a fellow.

Well at 2 o’clock this afternoon I took a notion I wanted to go to Santa Barbara, Calif. So I shipped 2 shirts, my bathing suit and some toilet articles on ahead and lit out with only my camera.

My first ride was with a fellow in a Star Coupe. He said he was going 75 miles down the trail. I only rode 13 with him cause I didn’t like his looks. I got out in a place called Ashland. They had the State Normal School there and plenty of fun women. My next ride was in a Paige Coupe for about 200 miles to a place called Redding, it is in Calif. It is so damn hot here that I’m about to croak.

1929 Graham  Paige Coupe

1929 Graham Paige Coupe

1926 Star Coupe

1926 Star Coupe

The bed is clean but as hard as a rock. So good nite until tomorrow.

Well, that’s the end of Dad’s writings about his trip. Sigh… It’s not the end of his trip, though. I do know he had an uncle living in Santa Barbara. I have bits and pieces of information from here and there about his summer in the West. I thought at first this was just a trip to the west coast to do some sightseeing and then return home again. Suffice it to say, I’ve been surprised. I haven’t calculated how much time was spent but with travel and various jobs, it was definitely months! So I’ve got my work cut out to try and put it all together. So, on that note, in my Dad’s words, good nite until tomorrow (the next time)!

Letter to Polly

Polly Ann Burgess Arthur

Polly Ann Burgess Arthur

Polly Ann Burgess Arthur is my paternal grandmother. The transcribed letter below is from her sister-in-law, Elizabeth Miller Arthur, written on November 21, 1910, while in London, England. Elizabeth and her husband, Luther Arthur (brother to Polly’s husband, Benjamin Baxter Arthur), were on a cruise from America to England to Cape Town, South Africa, to Australia. I have been unable to determine to date whether this trip was for business or pleasure or both.

Elizabeth makes reference in the letter to J.P. (John Preston) and wondering what he thinks of his little brother. At the time Elizabeth was writing, she did not know that Polly had given birth to a second son. She tells Polly that Lou says if it’s a boy he wants it named after him. Little did they know, he had already been named Luther Paul (my father) and so Lou (Luther) got his wish. What no one knew at the time was that Polly would pass away in 1912 of pulmonary consumption at the tender age of 24.

Letter from Elizabeth

Nov. 21, 1910

Dear Pollie, No doubt you are wondering where we are at by this time. We are also wondering where you all are and how everything is. I certainly hope all is well with you. Lou says if it is a boy you must name it after him. I don’t know where to address this but will send it to Pa Arthur’s and they can forward it to you wherever that is.

We have been here for three weeks and don’t leave until the 15th of Dec. on the “Medic” of the White Star Line. And then we are due in Sidney the 5th of February so we will be nearly seven weeks on the water from here. We like the sea very much. Lou said he didn’t care if we ever landed. We were seven days getting here. Lou was not sea-sick at all but I was sick the 5th day out. It was very rough. The “Arabic” would nearly turn over on her side and the waves sweep over the deck. Nearly everybody was sick that day. But it is a grand night to be out at sea and we had a fine time.

The “Arabic” has a five piece orchestra of its own and there was an opera troupe on board so we had all kinds of music and singing. Some of it was as fine as I had ever heard too. The meals were fine.

We came from Liverpool to London by rail and so got to see quite a great deal of the country. It is lovely. Far ahead of the U.S.A. but I hate to say it. We don’t like London very well, though, of course, there is plenty to see here and all that but it has rained nearly every day since we got here and when it don’t rain there is a fog that you can’t see across the street. I said the other day if it looked that way in the U.S. we would think the world was coming to an end. We have been taking in everything and have seen some wonderful sights. Last week was Lord Mayor’s day here and there was a parade about two hours long and the Royal carriage with the King himself was in it. We were real close to him and so had a good chance of seeing what a real king was like! Which is very much like any other man only he looks pretty well fed and well dressed. I will try to tell you about it some day.

Everything seems to be about the same price as the U.S. that is to take it all around. Clothes are some cheaper. But little things that you can buy at the 5 & 10 cents store you would have to pay fifty cents for here and markets are about the same only some fruits are much cheaper. Postal cards are 2 cents each and poor ones at that. You can get the best in N.Y. ten for 5 cents.

Now you can write me at once and tell me all and where you are and what Bro. Ben is doing. And how everybody is at Pa Arthur’s, and how J.P. is and what he thinks of his little brother and please don’t forget. Write anything for Lou as he’s been wondering if Ben is in war yet and if it’s a boy ever since we left. So write as soon as you get this and address it with ink to Mrs. Luther Arthur, S.S. “Medic”, c/o Messrs. W. Anderson and Co., Cape Town, South Africa.

I am enclosing a postal of the “Arabic” the ship we came over on. One each for you, Jennie and Helen from London. They are not good ones but the best ones I have to send at present. Will try to send some better ones later. I hope this finds you all well and happy and to hear from you soon. Lou looks well, also myself.

We stop at Cape Town and will get your letter then if you write at once. I guess that is all for this time. With love to all. Elizabeth

Everybody here speaks very highly of Australia. I can’t hardly wait until we get there.

The SS Arabic was an ocean liner which entered service in 1903 for the White Star Line. She was sunk on 19 August 1915 by the German submarine U-24, 50 mi (80 km) south of Kinsale. Her sinking caused a diplomatic incident.

The SS Arabic was an ocean liner which entered service in 1903 for the White Star Line. She was sunk on 19 August 1915 by the German submarine U-24, 50 mi (80 km) south of Kinsale. Her sinking caused a diplomatic incident.

SS Medic was a steamship built by Harland and Wolff in Belfast for the White Star Line in 1899. Medic was one of five "Jubilee Class"ocean liners built specifically to service the Liverpool-Cape Town-Sydney route.

SS Medic was a steamship built by Harland and Wolff in Belfast for the White Star Line in 1899. Medic was one of five “Jubilee Class”ocean liners built specifically to service the Liverpool-Cape Town-Sydney route.

St. Augustine’s Oldest House – Then and Now

Oldest House

Back in the early 50’s my parents used to vacation annually in Florida. I was browsing through an old suitcase filled with photos. I ran across a picture taken outside St. Augustine’s oldest surviving Spanish colonial dwelling. A little history lesson. This house is one of the best-documented and most studied houses. The site of the oldest house has been continuously occupied since the early 1600’s. photo on photoThe first house was a crude building of logs and boards. This was replaced by a building made of coquina stone, which is a native shell stone. This is found across the bay on  Anastasia Island. The original walls of the ancient house now form part of today’s “Oldest House”. Gonzalez y Hernandez, an artilleryman from the fort, lived in the house. Church records show that one of his children died in the house in 1727. Later, when St Augustine was taken by the British, Major Peavett lived in the house until he died and then his wife (who remarried) stayed on in the house. Her second husband was a gambler and because of his  debts the house had to be sold in 1790. It was bought by a Spaniard Alvarez and he and his family lived in it for almost 100 years. From 1882 the house had several owners before it was bought for the St Augustine Historical Society in 1918. Since 1893 visitors have toured the house to see evidence of the Spanish, British and American occupations of St. Augustine and to learn how the residents lived. In 1970 the U.S. Department of the Interior designated the house a National Historic Landmark.

St. Augustine isn’t that far from where I live. Last week, my hubby and I drove up there for an afternoon. I wish we would have had more time and money. There’s a load of fun things to do there. After all, it’s touted as the Nation’s Oldest City! There are so many quaint shops in the old downtown district. There are museums galore and tours of the old buildings and architecture. There are ghosts and gravestones. There’s the Castillo de San Marcos Fort to visit. There’s a lighthouse. Not to mention the beaches. My goodness, it’s a tourist’s mecca! It’s definitely a place I will be returning to.

Oldest House - 01 21 13 BWMom

Now, to the point! My main purpose in driving up to St. Augustine last week was so hubby could take a picture of me standing in front of the Oldest House in the same spot as Mom. On the left is an early 1950’s photo featuring my Mom. On the right, is the picture of me standing in the same exact location where my mother stood SIXTY YEARS before! You can see the difference in the house in the photos. I couldn’t stand against the wall where she was standing because of the tourist signs they put in front. If you look closely at the house in the old photo, you can see that there was a second floor addition which extended over the arch (look at the “Oldest House” sign and you can see). The lady at the museum told me that when it was renovated in the mid-1950’s, they removed that section to put it back to the way it was in Colonial times. Apparently, at one point (she didn’t give the time period), the lady that lived there had the very first automobile in St. Augustine. They enclosed the area and the arch was the doorway to the garage. The second story was her husband’s office. Personally, I liked it better in the 1950’s photo.

 

Cafe2We finished up our excursion and had a late lunch at the Café Alcazar in the basement of the Lightner Museum. The Café used to be a huge indoor swimming pool in the basement of the old Alcazar Hotel. Click here for interesting pictures and history of the Museum. The Café’s hours are short – 11:00 am to 3:00 pm – but the service is excellent, the food is superb and the cost is very reasonable. You can see the pool in the old photo. What a time that must have been. The Café entrance we used was on the side of the Museum building and went directly into the Café. The color photo is the one I took showing the Café when we were there. There are little antique shops around the sides of the Café. It’s all very quaint. 2332100-The_Pool_in_the_Lightner_Museum_Saint_Augustine

Cafe Alcazar pool

Riding the Rails During the Great Depression

From Ashland, KY to Portland, OR - 1931

From Ashland, KY to Portland, OR – 1931

In 1931, at the age of 20, my Dad and 7 of his friends left their homes in Kentucky and headed West on the rails during the Great Depression. Dad kept a little diary of the trip in a small notebook written in pencil.

Following are a few excerpts from his travel diary (written in blue italics) with some of my own comments inserted in regular text:

The date is Wednesday, April 22, 1931.  It’s raining and snowing.  I have a one-way ticket to Portland, Ore. We catch train No. 1 bound for Cincinnati and bid Ashland goodbye at 8:55 a.m. There are eight of us. All nice fellows to be sure. Their names are Charles E. Ball, Bennet Tussey, Sam Elsworth and myself of Ashland. Paul A. Vaughan of Ironton, O. Charles R. “Buzz” Waldron of Russell, Ky. Kenneth Ames of Catlettsburg, Ky. And Louis E. Hannon of Maysville, Ky.

Wouldn’t it be just so much fun to travel across country by rail. To be able to see this country without all of the hustle and bustle of “hurry up and get there”. I just did a curiousity search on Amtrack for today’s fares from Ashland, KY to Portland, OR.  Looks like for a reserved coach seat the price  ranges from $326 to $440 one way.  Quite a difference in cost from the 30’s………

We are stopped by a C&O agent in Cinn. who tells us that we can’t take the Big 4 train out of there on the ticket. We slip around and ask the Conductor of the Big 4 and he says it’s all right so that saves us 24 hours delay but loses $150.00 for the C&O. We leave Cinn. at 1:00 p.m. and arrive in Chicago at 7:45 p.m. 

Chicago in the 30’s! My, but that conjures up a lot of images. Of course, all my images are from history books and old movies. I think of Jimmy Cagney, Edward G. Robinson and Humphrey Bogart.  Dad’s next entry just made me laugh. Although if I landed in Chicago in the 30’s, I probably would have done the exact same thing………

After eating a big supper we try to find Al Capone’s name in the telephone book but don’t have any luck though.

A penny? Just a penny? Sheesh, the government now wants to eliminate them altogether………

A few minutes later a drunk wants to borrow a penny from us. It isn’t long till he is kicked out by the cop in the Depot.

Well, we’re on the Portland Rose at last. It leaves at 10:15 just 2 ½ hours after we arrive. We all stretch out in the seat and prepare for a night’s rest. We can’t afford a sleeper.

We cross the Miss. River just after midnite. I wake up in Ames, Iowa Thursday morning just at daylight. The next town of any importance was Omaha, Neb. We arrived there at 9:45 a.m.

We only have 20 minutes to find a restaurant. We don’t have any too much time either for the train is ready to go when we get back.  It’s snowing pretty hard but it isn’t sticking. 10:05 and we leave Omaha.

We pass through a town called Columbus but it isn’t in Ohio.  It happens to be in Nebraska.

I’ve seen this same scene in some of the old black and white movies I watch. I can picture it all so easily………

Well, the big time is now starting, all 8 of us are in the smoker. Buzz is playing a French harp and we are all singing. We’re getting a big hand from the passengers out in the coach.

We pass on through North Platte, Julesburg, Sidney and Cheyenne at 8:25. It seems that we went into Colorado at Julesburg and right back out again. Everything is white with snow and we can see plenty of jackrabbits and pheasants.

We travel on through Laramie, Rawling and Green River but it isn’t a drink. I had to consult my timetable cause I was asleep. At 6:00 we’re just coming into Kemmerer. We leave Wyoming and enter Idaho at Pegram. We don’t stop though. The train stops 5 minutes at Montpelier and 10 minutes at Pocatello. We stop a minute at Boise, the capital of Idaho, and I get a snapshot of the Depot and the mountains. We get another picture at Nampa.

I’ve never been to the Pacific Northwest. I’m sure it was magnificent then because it’s still beautiful now………

We got into Oregon in Nyssa and right back out again. We’re on the Snake River. We stop at Huntington, Oregon and change our watch for the 2nd time since we left home. We pass through the Columbia River Gorge and follow the river on into Portland. It sure was beautiful. We passed waterfalls, one that fell 600 feet. Cliffs that rise 500 and 600 feet straight into the air. Every once in a while I can see the highway about halfway up the mountain. It is just too beautiful for words. We arrived in Portland at 7:45 Saturday morning. 

Seems to be the cry of the times………

One of the boys made a wise one.  He said that we couldn’t get lost because we wasn’t goin anyplace. 

So there is the first part of the trip. I remember a train ride I had as a child in the 50’s. That’s another story for another time!

Statistics indicate that during the Great Depression approximately 250,000 teenagers (out of about four million jobless) were riding the rails. 

In 1932, Southern Pacific agents ejected 683,457 trespassers from the company’s trains. The price of trespassing on the rails was high: The Interstate Commerce Commission recorded 5,962 trespassers killed and injured in the first 10 months of 1932. See PBS.ORG for more information on Riding the Rails during The Great Depression.