Thursday, February 25, 2010

We can explain this,..officer.

This time of year,it's not unusual to see columns of smoke rising hither and yon all over the county,what with folks clearing their fields in preparation for Spring planting.
But,when The Partner and I noticed white billows wafting from the woods along hi-way 70,we thought it would be prudent to investigate...Maybe some transient had left a campfire unattended,you see.

We pulled over to the side of the road,grabbed our shovels,and headed some 200 yards across the glen to the edge of the woods.
We were both surprised to discover that someone had been burning a pile of leaves,in a cemetery that neither of us knew existed!

The sign read,'Private Cemetery..Keep out',..but as everyone knows,it's okay to trespass if part of the fence was already down when you got there.
There were only about a half dozen markers,with dates reaching back to the birth of General Rob B. Moore in 1790...I assumed from the dates that Rob had probably been a General during the Civil War,but a Google search proved fruitless.
Perhaps he served in some kind of supply-line capacity,far removed from the battlefield glory his contemporaries were garnering,but I just don't know.

Even in broad daylight,there was a Gothic atmosphere surrounding this obscure corner of God's little acre..

Turns out,this sylvan setting had been the site of the original County Seat,back in the day.
(Would you classify that sentence as alliteration,or illiteration?).

I was snapping pics when The Partner called out,'Hey Sling..check this out!..Looks like there's been grave robbers here and,..'

..We both looked at each other in that way people do,when light suddenly,and simultaneously dawns on wandering fools.
I mean,'s Igor and Renfield,standing in the middle of long hallowed ground,..brandishing shovels!

Too bad the local constabulary didn't show up right about then.
That would have been perfect..


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Mr. Morse and John Q...

It's probably evident from many of my posts,that I have a real love of history,and especially for the history of wherever I happen to find myself living at the time.

The Partner,who has lived right here in O-Town for sixty years,has proven to be a valuable resource when it comes to enhancing my appreciation for the color and flavor of the area.

During a recent conversation at his kitchen table,he asked me if I would like to take a look at some documents he'd retrieved from an old house he was remodeling over 30 years ago,most of which were over 100 years old!..Count me in!
He brought out a ragged shoe box,and set it on the table for me to peruse at my leisure.

It soon became apparent that I was looking at pretty much all of the paperwork that several generations of the family Morse sought to keep secure.
There were deeds to several pieces of property in Kansas..A lovely stock certificate from 1906.. well as an invoice for carpeting from 'Thos. Bicknell..Undertaker and dealer in Furniture and Carpets' (Don't you just love the entrepreneurial spirit),dated July,1894.

I loved this letter from a debtor to Mr. Morse in 1903..
'Dear Sir..I have delayed writing to you thinking each week would put money in my hands to pay your note,but so far it has not been so..I had a good crop of oranges,but prices realized were very low,and it seemed impossible to meet it..If you can let it go another year,I shall surely give it early attention,and pay it in full'.

I was enjoying my little voyeuristic look into this life past,however mundane,when I unfolded this!
'The United States of America..To all to whom these Presents shall come,Greeting'..Lord he'p me,that kind of talk makes me a little wet.
I did a quick search for the date..April 1st,1825!

Apparently,Grand Patriarch Morse had purchased some public land in 'The Detroit Michigan Territory' from the U.S. government.
Reading on,the document proceeded to lay out the specific boundaries,that the purchase price had been paid in full...Like that.

Then I came to the line which read,'In testimony thereof,I,..John Quincy Adams'...HOLY CRAP!
And there it was,in the lower right corner,in his own hand.

I have no doubts about it's provenance,given the wealth of the Morse family documentation contained in that unassuming shoe box.
Still,..I lickity-split on over to the interweaves to do a little research.
I found three samples of this very sort of transaction,the best of which,dated 1828,is pictured below,and offered up for sale at $1350.00.

I tried really hard to convince The Partner that this should be preserved in a more suitable fashion,but for reasons that are unfathomable to me,he wasn't very receptive to the idea.
So for now,a lovely and historic piece of Americana lies dormant,in a shoe box,in a closet in O-Town..


Sunday, February 14, 2010

A Graffiti Tour of the City of Angels..

The best I could do,was to take the images my Grand daughter took on a brilliantly conceived field trip to the belly of the beast,and offer them up for your enjoyment.
..Follows,a collaborative effort.

Props go out to;..

Photos: Tyler Anne,(excluding the ones in which she appears)..and Jessica Ann.

Concept: Jessica Ann,..who understands the value of the experience.

Photographic equipment supplied by: Johnny..

Editor: Sling.

Music: 'A Stor Mo Croi', William Coulter.

Labels: ,

Thursday, February 11, 2010

If you want,we can dump the kids off at school on the way..

Joe the Boss- 'I need you guys to go to Gridley,and pick up a load of refrigerators to dump off at Holbrook's Appliance Store in O-Town'.

On the road..

Sling- 'Loading and unloading is gonna be a bitch'.

The Partner- 'Loading them will be,but Joe said to just dump them off'.

Sling- 'I don't think that's what he meant..Don't we have to arrange them nicely somehow?'

The Partner- 'Nope..Joe said it's all arranged'.

Sling- 'Okay fine'.

..At Holbrooks.

The Partner- 'We brought y'all a load of refrigerators from Housing Authority..Where d'ya want 'em?'

Holbrooks Guy- 'Uhh..Oh yeah..Just dump 'em over there'.

Did I mention,we have an actual dump truck?..

Holbrooks Guy was totally cool,..and even laughed about it!.
By the time we arrived with our second load,he had three of his crew out there with hand trucks to help properly unload them.

It's Thursday,..and this was the most fun I had all week,in Sling's Domain.


Monday, February 08, 2010

And the winner is!..

The competition was fierce during yesterday's Superbowl.
The players were all at the top of their game,and a few surprise moves kept me on the edge of my seat.
But, the end,..the best commercial won,and Betty White walked away with this year's Superbowl Commercial MVP!

Betty is,in my opinion,a National Treasure!

Remember her classic line to the Sheriff in 'Lake Placid'?..
'If I had a dick,..I'd tell ya to suck it!'

..That's a classy broad right there.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Break time..

Even though my trusty camera is always strapped to my hip at work,I miss a lot of good shots because I'm too busy, know,..working.
So,until and unless I can re-negotiate my contract to allow me to drop my shovel or chainsaw at a moment's notice,I'm mostly relegated to taking pictures during break times. Nothing especially notable about the following ,..but they caught my eye during some lulls in the action..

..I got the real sense that The Partner and I were occupying this disgruntled tenant's parking space.

Fortunately,we did some extensive tree pruning at all our facilities before the 50-60 mile an hour winds struck a few weeks ago,so there was minimal damage for us to clean up in the aftermath.
Some of our neighbors weren't as lucky!

There were scores of fallen trees all over O-Town,none of which belonged to us.

They call this a Blue-Jay in this part of the world.
They're not as resplendent as the crested jays I'm accustomed to,but they can kvetch just as loud..

Sometimes we'll take lunch at The Partner's house when were working in his neck o' the woods.
This orchard,across the street from his house,was locked in ice just a few weeks ago.
Since then,it has been carpeted in brightly flowered wild mustard..I really like the contrast here!
This particular orchard has generated an ongoing argument between the partner and I..

'What kind of trees are they?',.I inquire

'They're Prune trees'..

'You mean Plum trees?'

'No..They grow Prunes'

I guess those are raisin vines growing along my back yard fence..

Still,..I gotta love the guy.
He generously kicked me down an entire case of red wine that had survived one of his gun club get togethers,made up of equal parts Cabernet Sauvignon,Merlot,Zinfandel,and Pinot Noir!

Have a terrific weekend kids!..