There’s something to be said for driving down the highway on an early Spring night and hearing a song from a group you listened to in college - and it’s a new song. And it’s great! Straight ahead without indulgence, energy undimmed by the decades, the singer sounding as good as he did in 1977. Yes, there’s something to be said for that; wish I could say it. Didn’t happen.

Had to go to Spotify to find it. I’m sure it was somewhere on one of the Sirius XM channels, but again, you’re at the mercy of their playlists. If I’d had my phone hooked up or CarPlay enabled I would have been able to request the song by voice . . . but I didn’t know it existed until I saw a comment on a message board, so I was dependent on someone else to let me know it existed.

The lesson here, the bottom line: this stuff just doesn’t matter like it used to. Or I’d know about it. Back in college and my 30s, I knew when stuff was coming out. Now I remember a band I used to like, check Spotify, and see they’ve released 2 albums to celebrate their 37th year as a band, or the founding member’s 63rd birthday. But still they rock, and that’s the other lesson.

Nearly everyone I liked in my late 20s is still making music. It’s like my dad buying fresh Dorsey in the 1980s.

I did a story on cast-off photographs, and how they're sad. I also provided a taxonomy for the genre; it's here at the Strib, if you wish. While I was picking up some examples, I came across a new collection of slides.

Poor slides. It's so much work to bring them back to life, and they're usually just travel pictures anyway. But I took some shots of bygone people's experiences, and as is our wont, here they are again.

Explain this.

It's not a water tower. It's certainly not a useful park structure in which one may take shelter from the rain.

From the same bin:

Something says "Civil Defense Can Be Fun!" about that one. And of course, it isn't; the lurking fear of annihilation informs your every move.

I've decided this is an instructional slide for a dental presentation. She's throwinbg away some sort of waste. The office does not seem overly encumbered with the usual machinery, though.

Perhaps she's a mental hygienist, and has just flossed out some bad thoughts, which she places in the psychic incinerator.

"1966, about to leave for Europe," it says. They stamped out a lot of guys who looked like that in '66.

You can see the suitcase at the bottom - and the strange tantalizing sight of the backyard grass in the porch light. I wonder where they went? There are a batch of brochures at H&G from 60s European trips, and they're rarely very interesting. If they are, I bought them. You'll see them some day.

The writing says: "Julia."

Perhaps someone was wrapping her up to give her away as a present, and she made a break for it.

This was fun:

Based on the color of the bus, I concluded it was San Francisco. (Also the letters SF on the side. Well, mostly the letters SF.)

But where is it? The key is the white building in the middle; once you figure that out, you find streets that meet at an angle, and Bob's your uncle. The problem is also the white building, because there's nothing in SF that has that broad white stripe in the middle.

That's because it doesn't have one.


Two ends of the spectrum - one was a child during the war, the other all grown up.

Girls just want to have fun! Cliched artists just want to have a small crust of bread, so they can paint.

Note to Jeanine: do you want America to send the wrist watch air mail, or is First Class enough?




Last week I finished the Main Streets entry with this line:

There's really quite a lot more - I could have done another episode. As it turns out, I did. There was another folder of Watertown Grabs, so let's get to it.

God, don't you hate it when you have the middle seat on a plane and two people of generous proportions are on either side?

Don't worry, you'l see it eventually.

The middle building is quite a piece of work for small Midwestern town. From the Watertown Chamber of Commerce:

This building was erected by Theodore Racek in about 1867 and redecorated in the 1890s with a lovely art nouveau sea motif around the top of the building’s facade. It was for many years the site of the W.D. Sproesser Company, dealers in jewelry and musical instruments.

As of the Google's last pas through town, the store has closed.

You know, I think it might be one building. Just a suspicion.

The renovation of Sandra D's is nicer than it looks. The bottom floor was covered with tiles of varying hues. Can't say the paint and the sign improve things, though. But that bay window next door forgives anything the Sandra portion did.

This is interesting. No really, it is:

If I had to bet money, I'd go for a late 30s / early 40s job that punched in that oculus, and added the overhang you see by the utility pole. It's rounded in a way that suggests pre-war style. The little brick accents would work for that period, too. What was it? A hot new cafe downtown? Places like that often went in on the side streets.

"Why does everyone keep calling us up and asking if we sell suppositories?

It almost looks as if the turret just appeared one day, hanging in the air, and they built something around it to make it look normal.

Not the most overwhelming, town-proud marquee.


Much more impressive when it was the Classic. But it's still open, and the locals kicked in to convert the projection room to digital. Long may it entertain the fine folk of Watertown.

By the time you got to the door you'd be out the back:

Take a look at the first story, which protrudes, adn the second, which proves that it doesn't. It's as if space is being distorted in ways you can't quite grasp.

Next door, a civilized way to illuminate the stairway upstairs:

Throws off the proportions, but at least it was something different.

A tiny embassy from the Rational Gleaming Future the Thirties foretold:

Inside, a message for the people of the past:

Beats the old tired Anarchy logo, doesn't it.

Because no one was so good that they didn't deserve some Brutalism:

Ugly heavy concrete overhang: all the vogue for a while. Well, cleanse your palate . . .

. . . with this.


Says the townwebsite:

Built in the late 1800’s, this building is one of the few in downtown Watertown to have had little or no changes to its facade. It housed at one time the printing offices of the Watertown Weltburger, the city’s German-language newspaper, and the Watertown Grain Co., where farmers would come and bring their famous “stuffed geese” to market.

Does any of that seem right?

There's really quite a lot here. Have a look around - here's your brochure.

Give Watertown my regards.


Remember, there's the Old Photos story here, if you wish. See you around!


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