We’re saying goodbye tomorrow to a sofa we’ve had for 22 years. It doesn’t look that bad. The leather is scratched, thanks to the dogs, but it’s comfortable. It is rarely used, because it’s in the sun porch, except by the dog and the occasional visitor. It will be replaced by another sofa that will be rarely used.

I will miss it. For one thing, it’s just part of the furniture, literally, and I like it. Strange as it seems, it all goes back to a poster I saw for a museum exhibit when I was living in DC and paid a visit home. The exhibit was Minnesota 1900, I think, and it had a picture of an arts-and-crafts chair. It said everything: the sturdy rational life of this civilization up in the North, with a sense of practical and yet slightly revolutionary beauty. I knew when I came home our house would be Mission, and it was. The sofa was part of a set of items that didn’t quite fit in the house, but would end up fitting perfectly at Jasperwood.

Also, memories. Early afternoon pre-nap playing with Daughter in the sun porch, old dog nosing around to see if he could participate. The small, safe, simple mood of a winter afternoon spent at home with your child. All outside clean and white; all inside warm and happy.

Ah, jeez.

ANYWAY so I emptied the drawers, because the end tables are going as well. Coasters. So many coasters. Timers for the lights - four of them, bought over the years to set the lights for automatic duty, programmed with care when we went away so someone would think we were home. Now useless because I have them controlled by the home automation system. A box of pine incense to give the house the Christmas smell. (Too piney; watered the eyes, but it made me think of the Christmases past, and that’ll lay you low for a moment if you have a heart.) More coasters, these being ones we won on a trivia contest on a cruise, and I don’t know when I’ll ever do that again.

There were books on the end table bottom shelf I’d forgotten about. Set there for the usual reason: oh someone might want to kill some time, and cast about for a big thick book, the product of someone’s years of work and study, and leaf through it for a few minutes before called for dinner. One of them was a compendium of Sunday newspaper Superman strips, which I bought to supplement my library of old graphic arts. I wonder where it will end up.

I’ll put the furniture out on the boulevard and it will be gone in a day.

I haven’t seen the new sofa but I hear it’s nice.



  A shoe company put out these quizzes for their celebrity-mad customers. They're real tough! Put on your thinking caps again, and prepare to frown or bite a pencil to indicate thought.

Polly Travers! No, Patty Traviata! Close

Wikipedia: "Patricia Travers (December 5, 1927 – February 9, 2010) was an American violin child prodigy and actress who withdrew from public performances at age 23. She lived in Clifton, New Jersey, her entire life."

Never married, and lived in her childhood home until her mother died.

Hey, it's Mrip! Right? Has to be Mrip!

He made the transition from child star to working adult actor, but never became a star. Worked a lot, though. Reading his bio knocked me out, because I had never put this together.

Trek-double: He was Melakon in Patterns of Force, and Dr. Hippy Tumorears in The Way ot Eden.

This can't be Digger O'Dell:

The curse of the child radio actor:

One of the few who had a career beyond youthful radio days:

Tommy Cook (born July 5, 1930) is an American producer, screenwriter and actor. He came up with the story for the 1977 disaster film Rollercoaster, starring George Segal.

Cook also voiced Augie Anderson and Biff on Hanna-Barbera's animated series The Funky Phantom and Jabberjaw.

Two of the worst shows ever. A Minnesota lad, and still with us.

Candace Bergen's dad, of course.

Her last movie appearance was 1989; before that, 1966. "In the 60's, she appeared on various episodic television shows, then enjoyed a mini-career as the "ghost singer" for various female movie stars in movie musicals."

That concludes our test of your Ankle IQ.

No ankles were actually shown.








Again, a town that seems too big for its population. Only 4,500 souls - and that's the most it's ever had. The Birthplace of Truman, as you might have surmised. And Ray Kroc! No. The McDonald's brothers! No. The guy who commissioned the mural owned the local McD. And that's his father's old gas station.


Hey, kids! How many triangles can you find in the picture?

That’s stately, but the more you look at it, it’s like two guards protecting a smaller, but still potent, king.

What a mess

But interesting. The brick on the top of the building on the left is different than the GO AWAY bunker-brick on the bottom; the 19th century building on the right has its cornice info removed, and a 1950s thin sandstone modernization.

Interesting! Still a mess

You like a building that comes in both strawberry and licorice flavors:

They shaved the crennelations off the top on the right, and the Buckaroo Revival awning takes away half the building like a croupier’s wand.


I wonder if Dot's still around.

It’s as if the DRUGS building lost a third to some interdimensional portal.

“Ol’ man Maberry never did let on what h e did upstairs, but some say he built machines that talked to outerspace, and the whole buildin’ was like a receiver-transmitter thing."

The bank’s upper floors seems to suggest the heavy-lidded eyes of doubtful bankers:

Ahhh, who needs all that rentable space anyhow


  "Block" is usually a word used to describe the building; I wonder if Ida M. Block put up the Ida M. Block.


They really weren’t sticklers for balance, were they

“Just put a consistent cornice up and mark it in three eq url sections, and that’ll fix everything.”

Almost worked.

Some hard lives going on up there.


“It’s based on a drawing we found in Mabarry’s place, after he disappeared. The writin’ called it the Visitor.”

This is the most hungover building I’ve ever seen. This is like the Harry Dean Stanton as an old man of buildings.


Sometimes a sign just calmly, sedately, marks the passage of time with studied indifference.



O Slightly less UMB

“I’m thinking people are more interested in the name of the theater than what’s playing.”

A 1934 structure. Cinematreasures:

Closed in 1986 when a fire at a clothing store next door forced the theatre to shut down. With no funds available and condemation inevitable, a group of local citizens and business owners stepped forward to head a committee to save this historic theatre. After 10 years+ of negotiating and fund raising, the Plaza Theatre reopened on November 5, 1998. Still a single screen, with original hand painted murals on canvas tapestries hanging on side walls.

The aerial view shows a merry time:

Why are we here? You may recall the Clippings note about the Mayor Ted Cook went to see? Arthur Aull.

That'll do, I hope; see you around.




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