I went to the Fair today. More on that tomorrow.

Advance sneak peak: nothing happened. Well, I did my show, and had a fine time, but like last week, everything felt like going-through-the-motions except for the performance itself. That will not, however, keep us from having a Bleat today; few things ever do.

Last week I decided that it was highly, very, utterly, and completely unlikely I would ever digitize all the 78s. I don't like the music - all early blues - and the classical disks are a pain, because it takes about 900 of them to hold a movement. I called a local record store to see if they took 78s, and they pointed me to a store that handles nothing but.

Ah hah! Called up and said, all proud and special for being the owner of some rare remnants of the Hart Collection, "I'm sure you've heard of the Hart Collection."

"I have about half of it," he said.

Well, let's take a few records to the shop and see if he'd like to buy anything.


Uh. Hmm.

Lots of 78s. It's a festival of label art, if you're interested in that sort of thing, and I am:


Whose voice is on the disk? What sole remaining record of his breath resides in the grooves?

There's a name you get accustomed to seeing if you collect old songs. Vernon Dalhart, I mean.

The difference between then and now: back then you had to buy it, take it home, put it on the platter, wind up the machine and situate the needle.

Now: it took me less than ten seconds to find it and play it.

Can't find this one online.

It was a cool store, with many old players in various states of repair, including a monster machine that automatically played 20+ records, although of course not simultaneously HA HA, and cost about 30K in modern money.

And I learned what my collection is worth!


It's often the case with old stuff. People think it must be worth something, because it's old, but there's the matter of the market, and there isn't much.

"Ah, but do you have the 'Gildersleeve Reads Children's Stories' album?" I said.

"Volume one or two?" he replied.

Sigh. Time to give the lot to the Goodwll.









This is for all you Stranger Things fans!

Really! Winona Rider was born near here, and named for the city. About 27.5K souls, with the state's second-oldest newspaper, as we saw on Tuesday. let's see what the downtown looks like.

I’m curious about the order in which these were constructed. From the style, the building on the corner looks the oldest, which makes the rest of the block look as if people were just getting depressed about the town’s prospects.

Here’s the most depressing bar rehab I’ve ever seen.

The brick suggests it was done in two stages, too. GAH THE LIGHT GETS IN, MAKE IT STOP

Bob, already walled off half the front


(Months later) Okay, we did the rest of the front. Happy?



Definitely an addition built to serve the main building; you can tell by the string course and the window styles. The paint just underscores the matter.

A hotel, believe it or not. Doesn’t look like one.

Remember the ad from Tuesday? The tall streamlined hostel? Looks nothing like it.



Now? It’s . . . senior housing!

You’d know what it was without the sign.

Phone buildings = no windows.

Well you can come in here or you can come in there but you don’t have to come in over there

Now it looks like the sign of a prosperous town, eh?

Then again

Can’t explain the upstairs, unless they were thinking “Munchkin Senior Housing”

There’s just no explanation for the one on the right, unless the guy’s son loved sci-fi books and thought he’d make it look like something from the year 3054 AD


Into every town a little OUMB must fall:


It's like the building is playing Twister.

Half-assed lower-floor rehab, but otherwise nice:


This downtown is shaping up nicely, no? Hardly anything remarkable, but good quality building stock, well-maintained.


Mr. Slade’s handiwork, or at least what he paid others to do, is still there proclaiming his name. Two decades into its third century, in a way.

I include this one only because it’s obvious it had some 1920s Roman gravity, needlessly stripped away.


It’s that new hit comedy team, Shingles and Points


Let’s go back to that building we saw in the first picture: quite the eclectic, individualistic structure.



I like it. Nothing else like it anywhere, I’d guess - and it seems to have a meeting hall in the back. Must I google? Okay

Ah! I was wrong. It was a department store. Doesn't look a bit like a department store.

Two brothers with different personalities, yoked by a common ground-floor facade.

All in all . . .


. . . a nice collection, well-preserved, and reasonably free of ruination. Guess that’s all the town has, unless we turn to our right . . .




Yes, it's famed.

The Winona bank was unusual for its time and place. In the prosperous river town where Victorian commercial blocks prevailed, the bank's cube-like geometry was arrestingly different. Botanically inspired (and decidedly nonclassical) terracotta ornamentation crept across its façades. Stained glass, generally reserved for religious structures, was used liberally in expansive windows and a sky lit ceiling, transforming daylight into a multi-hued glow. 


Obligatory modern attempt to build an annex that implies the original design without trying to match it exactly and suffer by comparison?



Obligatory modern attempt to build an annex that apes the original design and suffers by comparison? CHECK AND CHECK

Then again, right across the street . . .


Let’s just say it’s ripe for renovation!

There’s more - enjoy at your leisure, and give my regards to Winona.

That'll do - see you tomorrow.





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