Here's a good subject for Mr. & Mrs. America to discuss

I don’t know, because the cannon doesn’t fire anymore and they can’t face the implications?

Are those shotgun shells?

I found this cover online, as you might expect; I don’t have a huge library of old magazines. I have a lot, but thre are so many. The only reason I bring it up? The model. The notations for the cover listed an actor as the model.

Go on. Try. Answer below, before the ad, after the Free Paris Museum.

The office tree is up, but something is missing: all the chairs.

There used to be chairs and small tables. You think: removed because there’s going to be an event? But there are no events. Removed because VARIANTS? It’s possible. They don’t want people to sit close together. Or maybe not.

Every day you run into something that's different - most often something that's a diminunition, a slight loss - and you add covid to the list of possible reasons.Huh, that sandwich shop closed: covid. Hmm, no one's bothering to remove the grafitti? Covid. I wonder how long it will take to stop doing that. Especially when so many little things have diminished because of it.

Fine day, though. December came in warm. I had a dream of snowblowing last night, though, and woke thinking:

I have to make sure it works. Wait a minute, I have to put it together. Hold on a gul-durned second, I have to find the parts for the handle I put somewhere, in a plastic bag. Where?

It has to be an intuitive spot. Right now my brain is coming up with two possibilities: the utility drawer in the laundry room, and the old plastic fishing tackle container in the garage. Note: I never fished, seriously. I bought the box and a couple of rodsinreels - that's the word, right? - to take Daughter, who was then Gnat, to a park to fish. We had fun. Didn't catch anything, but we sat on the stone wall that ran around the lake and cast and talked and had a fine little time. Of course, she remembers nothing. I remember it each time I see the tackle box.

I also remember going to the doctor the next day to have a boil lawsoned, but for some reason that does not come to mind when I see the tackle box.

Flash forward two weeks.

Wife: why are you shoveling when we have a snowblower?

Me: You know, I think they used a topical anesthetic. Must have; I remember no pain. Anyway, the parts weren't there. I'm still looking.

Somewhere in January I order the parts from Toro, but they're backordered until November. Because covid.

I wonder why my brain came up with those locations. Perhaps it just made something up because it didn't expect to be asked, and reached for a plausible answer, hoping it was right - and if not, it'll come up with something else. When you get mad at yourself for not remembering, you're really angry at your brain, which should be better at this. It's your job. I remember where I put my keys today; why can't you remember where I put these items last year? I mean, that's how it seems. I remember where I put my keys. My brain can't remember where it put the snowmobile parts.

When the brain serves up an old fact or name or quote, that's all me!

"Surprised Nymph."  Anonyme , Peintre/ Boucher, François , Auteur du modèle. I'm not quite sure how this works. They don't know who did it, but say that Boucher is the "author of the model."

Some river dude has popped up to tell her she has a hanging booger:

She doesn't seem particularly alarmed.

She seems to be weighing all the options here, with cool reserve.

It's in the Petit Palais. Oh, to know what conversations took place under this one.

The answer: according to the page where I got the cover, the model  . . . was Joseph Cotton.








The Illinois city is bigger. Much bigger. Over one hundred thousand in Illinois. Here? Six hundred and fifty.

There’s a lot here, really. Really!

First of all, this station. It bears no clue to indicate its original affiliation, but we can expect it was a standard (sorry) two-bay / showroom / crappers ‘round the side model. The pumps might give us a hint, since they appear to be original. Don’t know if they still work.

Then there’s the old truck, something for the duffers to enjoy. Give it a little nod as you go past.

I think I snipped this because I thought there’d been a gas station in there somewhere . . .

. . . but now I’m wondering about the area with the rails. Grease pit? A place to dump things that would be carried away and sorted by gnomes?

“Honey, I don’t know what that means.”

“It’s a play on words!”

“But I don’t know what that means.”

Perhaps the proprietess was named Misty.


I’m not surprised by the Buckaroo Revival - and this is the full Buckaroo - but by the name. Skogmo was part of Gamble-Skogmo, a variety chain with its HQ in Minneapolis.

Turns out there are local Skogmos, so.

Sometimes they turn it into a park, a flower garden, a war memorial.

And sometimes it’s just ah, to hell with it.

The old sign, without its words . . .

Looks like a tomahawk inexpertly buried in someone’s skull. NO THE OTHER END

You can imagine a knot of angry farmers, standing around with balled fists, wishing that fool banker would come out and explain things

Perhaps it was sold. Perhaps they moved to a nicer building.

It’s the front-door from a 60s suburban house that really sets it apart.


Ah, a sign of past prosperity. We all know what this was, right?

And how do we know? Because of the color scheme that was evident in this chain and HoJo and the World’s Fair of ’39. It was a familiar combination that spoke to the age, and  - thanks to HoJO and Rexall - lasted longer than most.

UMB, early 70s edition.


Don’t laugh. These places are important. It doesn’t look like much, but those buildings were ubiquitious in the 60s and early 70s, probably because they were cheap.

They don’t do a lot for the street, though.

On the other hand, that’s almost modern art.


“Ssshhh! They’ll hear us, and then they’ll knock on the door, and then we’ll have to do something! Just crouch down under the desk.”

Those streetlights were quite the municipal investment, and a strong statement for the continued importance of Main Street.

Now I really, really want to know what goes on downstairs.

Was it a separate business? Seems so. It seems like a needlessly obvious way to make people wonder about your basement.

Like I said, Cheap.

No need to replace that M. Everyone knows what it is.

One can assume the parking lot was rarely full, so this wasn’t a problem.

Finally: A Nearer-My-God-to-Mies mid-century church, with the “steeple” disengaged and rotated, the facade stripped of anything that would draw the eye or raise the spirit except the cross. Which, I grant, is a lot, but you know what I mean.

It’s still better than corrugated steel.

  Now time to check in! Motels await.





blog comments powered by Disqus