A former coworker of mine engages in what he calls “desktop cleaning” from time to time where he digs out stuff that has been held hostage by dust bunnies.
Just because I’ve been slacking off for a couple of years doesn’t mean that I’ve gone completely dormant. I’ve still been shooting stuff that catches my eye, I just haven’t gone to the extra step of publishing it. Unfortunately, some of that stuff is no longer timely, so it may never escape the dust bunnies.
An ageless tree
This guy, though, is ageless. I was getting ready to pull out of the parking lot at Wib’s BBQ in Jackson last year when I saw an old dead tree that had been invisible until then. I knocked off several frames before this bird was kind enough to fly over. (Click on the photo to make it larger.)
The tree may have blown down by now, for all I know. I’ve been back to Wib’s many times since, but I’ve never noticed it more than that once.
In case you doubt my Wib’s obsession
In case you doubt my addiction to Wib’s, here are a few posts I’ve done over the years.
If I have to go to St. Louis, I usually take 1-55 northbound because I probably have to do something time-sensitive, like picking up or dropping someone off at the airport. I don’t mind, because it’s a pretty stretch of road, much nicer than most pieces of the Super Slab that have an “I” as their first name.
When I made the trip in May of 2019, the Mississippi River was misbehaving. A few weeks earlier, there was a sign just north of St. Mary that warned the road was underwater. I knew a dodge that would take me around the low lands, so I ignored the Road Closed sign in Ste. Gen.
Valle Spring Cemetery
The river had come up a few feet by the time I made this trip.
The water was over the road well north of my cutoff, so I had to backtrack to pick up Missouri M in Ste. Genevieve. That turned out to be a good thing, because it took me past the Valle Spring Cemetery (also known as Calvary Cemetery).
The beautiful grounds, home to about 6,000 permanent residents, was a place I’d like to explore more some day.
A peaceful resting place
I don’t think you can find anything greener or more peaceful than the lane that runs through the graveyard.
The Quarrytown RoadGamble
Just beyond the cemetery was Quarrytown Road that took off to the south. I gambled that it might stay on high ground to below St. Mary.
I always like driving through the rolling hills between Cape and Altenburg, but I think this road was even more scenic.
I just like it
When I started to get back in the van after shooting the vista, this old post caught my eye. I can never explain why I’m stopped by some things.
This ain’t great art, but I like all the shades of green and the idea that some farmer tacked a fence to this old tree no telling how many decades ago.
Sometimes you just have to believe the signs
When I got to the intersection of Quarrytown Road and Hwy 61, I found that it was time to turn around. The Mississippi River had other plans for me.
The road back was pretty enough that I didn’t mind seeing it from the other direction. I ended up taking I-55 most of the way back to Cape.
I believe that life is about journeys, not destinations. If Hwy 61 hadn’t been under water, I would never have discovered the cemetery nor Quarrytown Road. That made it a good day.
Warriorette Shari’s friend Barb Goza Chambers flew in from California to see her Mother, Betty Goza, in January. They always like to go on a ramble when she hits town.
Betty in Walmart last year
I don’t pay much attention to people in stores, so I was surprised when Betty waylaid me in the Jackson Walmart last December. If I had been looking up, I’d have recognized that big smile anywhere.,
They decided they wanted to see the Big Oak Tree State Park, in Mississippi county. I’m pretty sure the soles of my shoes melted the last time I was there because the earth’s crust was still cooling.
I shudder when I think of big trees
The Missourian printed a picture of a big tree and wondered if it had set a state record.
Well, before long, we were flooded with people who claimed THEIR tree was a record-breaker, too. Guess who got to drive all over hell’s half-acre taking tree pictures and picking ticks off his young body. The only solace I could take while scratching chigger bites was that each tree was worth five bucks and mileage.
The only thing worse than trees was when the paper made the mistake of running a photo of a couple guys holding up a big snake in front of the newspaper’s front doors. Not long after that, we were given a “No more snake pictures” edict because the huge reptiles were freaking out passersby and the advertising staff.
Barb and I decided to head out on a boardwalk to hunt for the promised big trees. We should have read the display at the head of the walk before we took off.
The sign would have told us that five of the 12 champion trees were like this specimen of the former 17’7″ Quercus macrocarpa that fell in 2009.
The day was a bit chilly for the jacket I grabbed, so we didn’t do the full walk. On the plus side, we didn’t encounter any mosquitoes.
The best part of the trip
The best part of the trip was the journey back to what passed as civilization (New Madrid). We took some small roads that let us parallel the Mississippi River where we could see the chutes, islands and oxbows it makes.
New Madrid was a welcome sight because all that meandering left my van breathing fumes, something I didn’t share with my passengers.
I got this email from Number Three Steinhoff Brother Mark Tuesday: “I was wondering if you ever went back and photographed Perkins Shoe Tree to see if first, the pole was still there and second, if the shoes were there?”
Steinhoff Family Shoes
He was referring to a utility pole I discovered in 2010 when heading out to shoot aerials with Ernie Chiles. When the Tulsa Clan came to Cape to visit Mother, Mark assembled their shoes, created special red tags, and took them to Perkins to start a family tradition.
Mark wants to be the oldest brother
If it had been any reader other than Brother Mark, I would have assumed it was idle curiosity. With him, I suspect more nefarious motives.
See, he’s always wanted to be the oldest brother. Since that didn’t happen in the natural order of things, he’s been trying to gain the title by attrition. In other words, he’s trying to kill off his two older brothers.
In 2000, we went on a bike ride around Cape. We were going down a long, steep hill with a nasty curve at the bottom when he started pushing me to the edge of the road, kind of like a collie herding a sheep.
I had no choice but bail out into a ditch, making a taco out of my wheel. When the Steinhoffs convened in St. Louis to celebrate Christmas, I presented him with my wheel and a plaque attesting to his evildoing. I wanted a record of his past in case he tried again.
Wanted me to break quarantine
I could only assume that he wanted me to leave the safety of my self-quarantine on Kingsway Drive so he could count on my high-risk status to move him up a notch in the Brother Universe.
I accepted his challenge. The top photo shows that the pole and the shoes still exist.
This closeup shows some shoes with the metal tags still in them, but the red paint has faded. In a few places, the tags are still embedded in the pole, but the shoes have gone AWOL.
Shoes tired of hanging around
It looks like some shoes have gotten tired of hanging around.
Not Welcome to Perkins
This isn’t exactly a Welcome to Perkins message, but I can understand its meaning.
In for a penny, in for a pound
Since I was already out and about, I made a quick run through Advance to see if I could pick up some great chips and salsa at El Mexicano. They were dark, so I’m afraid they were closed.
I DID see this cool sign on the door of the Advance Elementary School (along with one that said that all Advance R-4 School District facilities are closed until further notice. A man who saw me at the door said they were closed for the rest of the school year, and hoped they might open again by August).
Mrs. Tanner, Mrs. Theresa, Mrs. Christina and Mr. Jones wanted pupils to know “We really miss you!”
“P.S.,” it continued, “I used the ‘smelly” markers. NO you cannot smell them through the window (smiley face).”
There are some bright spots around
I pulled off on the side of a gravel road somewhere between Advance and Leopold to take a look at this field of yellow.
If you don’t hear from me, it’s because Brother Mark’s plot to move up in the Brother Universe was successful.