Archives For Historic Sites

Group Pictures…

July 20, 2013

Bedford Picture Merge3

For some unknown reason I have always been fascinated by group pictures such as shown in my revised header above and a larger copy here. I love looking at each individual face and trying to imagine their life story.  In studying local history such as from the picture above I have come to understand just how hard previous generations have it compared to ours. It makes me appreciate all that I have today.

We must remember that our grandparents, or maybe great grandparent, often time worked a twelve-hour day six days a week to just put bread on the table for their family. I suspect that many in the picture above due to working around limestone came down with emphysema and other such lung related problems.  Many, like their coal miner brethren, likely died of lung cancer.  There is still a very strong limestone industry just south of where I live. But I am sure that their employer now takes the necessary precautions to prevent such dangerous environments that those in this picture faced.

I am not much of a collector as such.  I do have a few “Simplify” signs strewn around my study that I have been collecting for a decade or so.  I am now on the lookout for pictures like the above.  I take digital copies where I can but I would really like to gather some of the old originals. I have had that opportunity in the past but sadly didn’t take advantage of it.

For some reason I look at group pictures and have a sense of empathy for all those who posed in front of a camera many years ago. I think that is one of the reasons I have such a passion for local histories.  During the past twelve years my wife and I have made at least one annual trek to various cities within a day or two driving distance. We spend much of our time there studying its history. I have collected many books and such and I will soon be presenting in a new blog. For those who might be interested I will be  giving you more info about this new project soon.

In order to appreciate what we have today we must understand how those who have lived before us helped shape our present world.

On The Road Again…..

July 13, 2012

Mesa Verde National Park

Yes, starting today my wife and I are on the road again. This time we will be traveling by car to the great State of Colorado. The majority of our time will be spent at Mesa Verde National Park so expect many photos in the next few weeks. We will be staying at the park lodge for six days of R&R, casual exploring and photographing nature. Although they don’t, on purpose, provide any television they do have wi-fi in the lodge, but not the rooms, so I can send the daily posts as always.

We will also likely see some first hand forest fire damage which I will try report that. After leaving Mesa Verde we will travel a little further west to Monument Valley and then back to Denver for a day or two. My wife says I won’t last the six days laying back at Mesa Verde but I think otherwise. At least I hope otherwise. We will find that out together I guess.

So, starting tomorrow expect the special on-the-road reports of our experiences….

Today started at 5:00am. We left so early that we missed breakfast at the hotel but did make it to the White House before 8:00am as dictated by the security people there. They seem to be much more serious about their job than when I was there forty-seven years ago. :) We were only allowed to go through some of the rooms on the first floor but did manage to see everything between the East Room and the West Room. Was it worth getting up so early? I am not sure yet; I guess so….

After the White House today was Memorial Day. No, I don’t mean like that one at the end of May but the one where we spent the day touring the Washington memorials.  We managed to see just about all of them. I am including some pictures here.  The new ones were the Korea and World War II memorials for me.

We visited the Vietnam memorial. I had been there before but had not been able to find the name of a good friend from college who was killed almost upon arrival there in late 1969.  He left behind a new bride and a son who was born about seven months after his death! I didn’t think actually touching his name on that wall would affect me as it did. I was very choked up for a little while there. It just brought back a rush of memories.

Tomorrow we will visit Arlington Cemetery. That is a very somber place as it should be. I just get upset to see all the young lives that were extinguished because of all our wars.  It seems like we have been battling different countries for my entire life. When will we ever get over our rush to war?

One change that is kind of depressing is that the reflection pool in the mall is now dry and full of various kinds of construction equipment. I’m not sure all they have planned for it but I don’t think there will be much of it left when they are done. There is still a lot of construction going on all over the city.

When we weren’t walking around memorials we  were cruising around almost every street in the city at least twice. We couldn’t get close to the Capital as too much construction going on. Since I have been there twice before that was not important to me this time but I think some were upset about that.

I guess before I close for the night I need to do another evaluation of the tour bus vacation. It was good in some ways and not so good in others. I sure would have liked to spend more time in some of the places we briefly passed today. We closed the day with a visit to the Pentagon City shopping mall. I could have done without that completely.  Maybe the best way to do this touring of such a loaded city as DC is to take a one day tour and then spend another day or two on your own to visit the places that peak your interest?

Tomorrow we spend most of the day in museums. Since they are all very close together we are on a “pick-your-own” museum. That is something I have to do as soon as I sign off here. I have a couple of destinations in mind but maybe one or two others will come to mind.

More on that tomorrow.

It was a very interesting day today. We spent the first part of it at Father Flannigan’s Boys Home and then went to the Spirit of Nebraska Wilderness Project in the downtown area.

It is nice to see that the Boys Town is still a thriving mission and that they have been welcoming girls for over thirty years. The story of the place was quite inspiring and the history center did a good job of relaying how it has changed over the years. One thing that hasn’t changed is their dedication to wayward kids. They currently have over 200 there now.  Here are a few pictures.

The Wilderness Project is made up of bronze bigger then life statues of wagons, buffaloes, and geese spread out over a six block area.

Of course we had dinner in the Market District again; Mexican this time at Trini’s. It was good as usual. Yvonne and I both carry pedometers now and discovered that over the past three days we have walked over 17 miles!  Not bad for two old people I guess.  We are back in our hotel in time to get the evening milk and cookies and then veg out for a few hour before calling it a day.

It has been a very nice three days in Omaha; it will rank in the top three places we have visited on our April vacations of the last 26 years.  One surprise about the city is how windy it has been since we have been here. It seems that it blows between twenty and thirty mph almost all the daylight hours.  I don’t know if that is typical or not? I know they get a lot of fronts moving through this area but the wind was a surprise.

We will get a good rest and then it is another road day tomorrow heading for St. Louis and the 25,000 picture puzzle store.