Guy could get a whole career out of that idea, but around here we call it March. We’re expecting ten inches of snow this weekend. It will be heavy and wet, the worst type. The wailing and lamentations are so bad - by which I mean the stoic folk blinked twice and maybe went into a closet and winced for a moment - but we forget, every year, that March is the snowiest month.

GET OUT OF THERE, you say. GO.


If I wished, it could be done - sell the house, move to Florida, live cheaply, be retired. AKA, hell. Even if it’s AZ. It’s hell. Don’t want to retire, have no intention of retiring. The concept is absurd. The prospect of getting another columnist job in a city where I’d like to live is equally absurd.

Let’s just say there are times when I hate the fact that I love it here.

At some point you end up where you want to stay, and it’s a wonderful thing. You’re not a dog tied to a stake, you’re planted, grounded, finally home. It wasn’t until we moved here that I ever felt as if the moving was done. Now there are times when I see the place empty as the day we moved in, ready to be handed over to someone else, because I’m going - and I can’t find a reason that would happen that feels in the least bit comforting. But leave I will, and it’s either a matter of doing so in a state perpendicular to the floor, or parallel to it.

SO MUCH HAPPINESS! Jeez. Okay. Sorry. Looking at the Beckett wiki linked above I found something so ridiculous I got the best laugh of the day.


Someone has decided to illustrate Beckett quotes on the side of the page. Most of them are gnomic and baffling, as was his wont - like some obvious truth blurted out, except you wonder if you mistook the surprise for truth, and then it all fades and you're left with a shrug: eh, if you say so.

But this . . . it's just perfectly wrong. Irons hiss.



What have we today in the Department of Misc.? Which is completely different than Friday Detritus, you know.

We have sci-fi pulp covers! But not just random stuff without context. They're all from PLANET STORIES, the very name of which said Sci-Fi adventure, because PLANETS!

It's 1939. Norrrrrtonnnnnn! To the moon! Then, Venus!

Norton the Earthman may have been a recurring character. The pulps abounded with these interchangeable fellows.

This reminds you that guys in helmets with ray guns have been around for a very long time.

1941, and the book has taken a hard turn back to "barely dressed maidens strapped to boards while rays are administered" cliche.

Are those imps fighting for the Japanese?

1944: Again with the hordes of disgusting creatures. The Hubba factor has increased exponentially.

Ten years later, the genre has gotten much more sophisticated. And bumped up the Hubba Factor again.

Now, my favorite. Also from 1954 - abeit the New Zealand edition - we have the Bagpiper of Death:

Whatever this depicts, it's not The Sound of Thunder - a story latered referenced by many other works. Including the Simpsons.

Remember this feature? We never met Bela Lanan himself. We never will.

This was a daily feature, with the solution on Saturday. We'll do it the way they did it then - one entry per day, with the expectation that you'll be following the story.

Every day, with the solution on Friday.









The second-most populous city in the southeastern region of Kansas," as wikipedia puts it. Ten thousand five hundred souls. And then there's this:

"Parsons is the home of Dwayne's Photo, which became the last processor of K-14 Kodachrome film in the world and was the location of the final frame taken on the final roll of Kodachrome film produced. Parsons is featured prominently in the plot of the 2018 Netflix movie Kodachrome about a man who takes a road trip to develop a roll of Kodachrome film." It's not downtown, so it won't show up here. Parsons was nailed by a tornado in 2000; let's see what survived.

The picture above is the picture below.

Time has not given us the trade-up we expected. In fact we seem to have come out of the deal rather poorly.

Some days I tell myself “I should really come up with a picture that sums up the town the way a local might feel.”

Maybe I did.

Interesting little coat of arms:


And the original windows up there on the second floor, which isn't a second floor.

OUMB, becalmed in the concrete sea:



“Boss, there’s a mob headin’ up the street, looking for their money! What should I do?”


“We got any stone left over from the facade construction? We do? Start stacking it in the door, as fast as you can!”

If Caesar was like Howard Hughes and had lots of bungalows where he stashed his mistresses:

OUMB, pt 2


Good Lord, it’s a veritable convention of OUMBs:


Clock towers in the 80s never had the effect the architects might have intended, or hoped.

MORE Obligatory Ugly Modern Banks:


This one looks like it was subjected to a hydraulic press.

Ghost building scars, and we can presume the building went down after the paint job.



The sign says “Opportunity.”

Winsome little rehab - they had planters. That must have been nice. A ladies’ shop of some sort, I’d bet.


It’s nice that it still stands, and it would be nicer if it wasn’t painted, but . . .



. . . lining the bottom with oversized Kraft Caramels doesn’t seem like a bright idea.

I’ve been remiss in giving you more context.



As you see, nice contiguous blocks of buildings.


The angle parking always makes you feel like you're in a good true small town.



Decades later, people know what those cutouts means.

Not all blocks have aged well.



That’s wrecked, but it looks as if it could be sandblasted clean. Knock out some bricks to open up the windows, and it won’t look like it’s wearing an Eraserhead wig on top.

Next door:


Handsome old building, but the rehabbed storefront makes it look as if you could sweep a leg and knock it down.


This one drives me crazy. The bottom left door should belong to the window on the upper right.



You could do a lot for the street with some pressed-metal pieces. I wonder how many remain, and how many have lost their precise appearance due to a century of overpainting.


Some styles, when matched with the wrong stone, just look like a skin disorder:


It’s was a Carnegie library, and I haven’t seen any others in that style.

If you look closely, you can see the old windows.


What's the building? Why did they do that? Let's go around the corner.




It's a Masonic Temple. That’s one way of letting non-members realize they’ll never know what goes on inside.

I love this more than you will ever know.

It’s so FORTHRIGHT and logical and pre-Modernism modernism. The stone is the perfect touch.

What do you think the building might be?

Or rather, what was it?

This is just beautiful, no? I think so. It is now, of course, senior living, since the fate of many in a small town is to end up living in the big hotel they passed as a child, wondering what grown-up things went on in there.

Where’s the movie theater, you ask? There were four downtown, once.

All demolished.

That will have to do; enjoy some restaurants, and I'll see you tomorrow. Friday!




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