It’s a column night and I’ve nothing in the tank. I hate that. I always come up with something - it’s not an option not to have something - but my brain is just cold soup lately, and no idea seems to have any zest. Well, good thing I’ve plenty of stuff here for you today. I’d hate to disappoint everyone all at once.

The good news: the Diner is back, because the microphone issue is fixed. The fancy Blue microphone failed. I got a USB mike as a holdover and it had no way to hear myself when I spoke. Yes, I tried that. Oh, that? Heck, I should’ve tried that! I TRIED THAT. It was too disconcerting to hear myself through muffled headphones (it was a headphone / mike combo) so I just gave up until I sorted it out.

It is now sorted out.


Diner 2018 E13.





I spent a lot of time these days looking at old newspapers, searching for stories and ads. I've learned that it's best to take a contemplative, zen approach - do not search for something in particular. Let the thing come to you.

I stopped on this page because the headlines were interesting - BROUGHT HIM LOW. WILL BEN SPEAK? OUT A WINDOW.

This was the one that drew me in. Anyone who's studied famous serial killers or read "Devil in the White City" knows this guy.

Who can ever know, but if I had to say, I'd suspect Holmes was not one of those blood-maddened Jack the Ripper types. Killing just didn't bother him at all, and it was a means to an end: money.

Now, the intersting part. Holmes' horoscope spelled doom for all who had swam into his orbit.

Perhaps that was a warning: fix the damned wire. Or it was proof of astrological predictions!

Yes, brain fever. No one gets brain fever anymore.

He still uses a cane! Holmes' evil miasma cannot be dispelled!



"He was a delegate to the Republican National Conventions in 1892 and 1924.

He was elected to Congress as a Republican in 1912, and served until his death at his summer home in Islip, NY.

Oh. By the way, "never been beaten in any kind of (political) fight"?

He was an unsuccessful candidate for District Attorney of Philadelphia in 1877.

Oh. In conclusion:

They had years in which to quake.

On New Year's Eve 1909, Hedgepeth, who had been pardoned for informing on Holmes,  was shot and killed by police officer Edward Jaburek during a holdup at a Chicago saloon

On March 7, 1914, the Chicago Tribune reported that, with the death of Quinlan, the former caretaker of the Castle, "the mysteries of Holmes' Castle" would remain unexplained. Quinlan had committed suicide by taking strychnine. His body was found in his bedroom with a note that read, "I couldn't sleep."  Quinlan's surviving relatives claimed that he had been "haunted" for several months and was suffering from hallucinations.

Took him a while, and the years must have been hard.



Is there an Iowa, Nevada? If so, you’d think they’d be natural sister cities. It’s pronounced NehVAYda, of course. Named after the mountains. Almost 7,000 souls, and just a few miles from Ames. I think that’s all you need to know.

“Some days I wish we had another architectural firm in town. I swear old man Williams just sells everyone the same durned plan.”

Classic main street, though; a wall like that gives definition to a place.

Your basic Buckaroo Revival here. The city has a downtown historic district, which is smart marketing, and helps me decrypt the name: Padellford Block. 1893.

Historical stuff:

The Padeilford Block is a fine example of a Late Victorian Italianate Style commercial building. This building was constructed in ca.1893 after E.M. and L.H. Padellford acquired the parcel. The building was first used as retail shop space for a bakery, restaurant, and grocery on the first floor and a barbershop in the basement.

It’s as if the windows died and went to heaven.


Well, two of them.

The Beiknap Block, 1901.

A place of national significance? Possibly, yes. Same source as before:

When the building was constructed in 1901, S.A. Beiknap operated a furniture and carpet store here along with an undertaking business. Beiknap appears to have owned the new building only briefly. Over the next several decades parts of the building housed a restaurant, grocery store, billiards hall, cinema, and offices. During the 1920s and 1930s the R. H. Donnelley Corporation took out a long- term lease for space in the former Beiknap Block. T

he Donnelley Corporation’s roots in Nevada stretched back to shortly after World War I when Lester Martin and Donald Fowler organized a mailing list service known as the M&F Mailing System business, The business compiled and sold mailing lists such as automobile owners to interested advertisers. The company grew quickly and in 1921 David L. Harrington, Martin’s brother-in-law, joined the business as a partner.

The following year Martin and Harrington sold M & F Mailing System to the Reuben H. Donnelley Corporation, a sales, printing and direct mail company specializi ng in the publication of telephone directories. Both Martin and Harrington assumed executive positions at the Donnelley Corporation.

I've heard of them. Which means nothing, but I have.

Is this a theater? Yes.

Why is there another building hovering over its shoulder?

The J. Ray Block. You can call it J, or you can call it Ray


But you don’t have to call it better than it was before they covered up the big, attractive windows that gave light to the street


Here’s a building designed entirely to let anal-retentive types know they’re not welcome.



Except . . . it doesn’t look like that. Here’s the odd thing. Going back to get a better grab, I can’t find that original view. There were three passes - 2009, 2011, 2013. I can’t find that view.

Trust me, it lined up.


Are you starting to note that the town has a remarkable number of asymmetrical structures?

And does it look as if the building had been rehabbed because the town had been recolonized by hobbits?

E. B. Patton put his name on the building, but it was known for decades as the Ambrose store; it had aneight-decade run.

  Let's do a close up and give Mr. Patton his due.


At the Clone Stamp Bank, We Welcome Your Business


At the Clone Stamp Bank, We Welcome Your Business

More asymmetry. That’s one building.

f that wasn’t a bank, I’ll be hornswaggled. Checking . . .

Of course it was.

I’m starting to lose my mind.


I can’t find this shot anywhere else. It's like the visit was erased from Google somehow, or they entered an alternate dimension. Anyway, when the Journal went daily, Nevada was the smallest town in the state to have a daily paper.

A beautiful facade . . .

. . . once.


Good Lord, it looks as if they’re wearing Hannibal Lecter masks


Finally: sun-baked art.

My inability to find those shots is unnerving. I’m outta here.
One last look at the past . . .


And the street today.



That'll do, I hope. See you hither and yon.


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