I had a lousy day. Nothing big or bad. Just a lousy day. And so I don’t feel like writing anything. Although I was perked up by a call from my dad, who was in a fine mood, and put my own mood into perspective, given the travails he related. He took the bus that serves The Home where his wife is stored; it drives around Fargo and gives the inmates something to look at, although he says they just look at the floor. When he realized that the driver thought he was one of the inmates as well, he played it up, demanding to be taken to Chicago. WHY ISN’T THIS BUS GOING TO CHICAGO.

I asked if he’d driven his motorcycle; heck yes, took it out on the highway for a couple hours. Drives it to the station every day if the weather’s nice, and the weather’s been fine. Which is good because he’s also been driving truck all over North Dakota. They’re down a driver, and it’s hard to get a new hire because everyone’s going off to the Oil Fields - and even if they’re still in town they want Oil Field wages, because that’s what they could get if they just moseyed West. So he’s driving a transport full of aviation fuel, or avgas as I’ve known it as long as I’ve been aware of what he does for a living. He said he had to present ID at one of the stops, and the guy looked at his driver’s license, and no doubt checked the YOB, since the fellow behind the wheel was surely one of the more . . . advanced drivers he’d seen. And indeed, if you’re working at an aviation supply depot, and a truck pulls up with a load of flammable material, you don’t expect the driver to be 88.

“You’re a tough old bastard,” he said, admiringly. I told my dad that was funny, but only one applied.

A brief thing to tie together Monday through Friday: Were these actors from Peyton Place Episode #100 also on Star Trek, or, Failing That, Some Other Form of Science Fiction?

No. In case you're wondering, yes: EVERYONE appeared on Peyton Place. Except for William Shatner.



Saw this ad, and knew I had to see what the town was like today. It’s for Johnson-Evinrude, two names familiar to anyone who ever yanked the rope to start an outboard.

Except here they’re selling lawn mowers. How Johnson and Evinrude got together, and how Lawn-Boy ended up in Minnesota decades later, is a tale for the ages! Well, no. Except it would probably take ages to tell and put everyone to sleep.

What of Lamar, today?

“Yes, dammit, I want a door on the second floor. One of these days someone’s going to build a second level of streets on top of the old one, and I want to be able to get the walk-in traffic on that level too.”

I don’t know why, but something about this makes me think it was retrofitted to include a gas station; that would explain the overhang, and the pole that seems like a good place to hang a brand sign.


“Painting” is not the same as “renovating.”

It’s pulled in two directions - there’s the building itself, given two hues to distinguish the separate storefronts, and the awning - SHINGLES NATURALLY OF COURSE SHINGLES that extends the building to the next one, which isn’t the same structure. And it has a facade that obliterates the windows in its own special way. But it’s a landmark, in a way; folks would be said if those three dots went away.


The building on the right sees nothing and knows enough to keep its mouth shut:

I’m starting to realize that the entire point of this feature is to document the obliteration of second-floor windows. See above. And below:

The windows above the plate-glass were also painted over. Why? Who ever said “man, let’s make this place 14% darker and watch business go through the roof”? In many cases the glass was colored, and laid unusual hues on the floor as the sun made its progress.


Another building split in two against its will:

- the right side shows how open the ground floor was, and the left side renovations reduced the effect to create the show windows. The pillars are covered up, but only half, so you know they’re there and feel bad for them because they’re trapped. The brick on the left side I can’t possibly explain. You might suspect it’s the remainder of something that fell down, but it spread to the facade of the building’s second floor, like a particularly well-behaved fungus.


I suspect this was a theater:

Imagine where the posters went. Where the ticket booth was. Not hard.

I suspect this is a theater, too. Just a hunch.

Small town life in the 30s, from the movie theater’s website:

On October 25, 1934 the Plaza Theater opened, a full week ahead of schedule. Over 50 Western Union telegrams came from all over the country congratulating Simmons on his new theater, including such stars as Clark Gable, Barbra Stanwyck, Mae West, Al Jolsen and Joan Crawford. Representatives from every major movie studio were among the 500 people who were at the opening. The night started at 7:15 with an hour long concert by the Lamar band, followed by short speeches by Arthur Aull, Thomas Martin, Larry Larsen and Tom Edwards. The night’s entertainment continued with a vaudeville act from Carthage and wrapped up with the motion picture Student Tour.

After the movie patrons were invited to a dedicatory dance at Memorial Hall next door.

A happy memory for many for years, I’ll bet, even though the movie doesn’t sound like much to recall.


Finally: Open for over half a century; closed in 2008. Google caught it before it came down.

It deserved a story, and it got one.



Tumblr around noonish or so - see you then!


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