My Office Heirlooms

KLS office 08-24-2008_0830I was talking with a former newspaper colleague tonight – Foodie and Road Warriorette Jan. I was having one of our favorite discussions about food.

“If there is a stick of salami in a Ziploc bag and it feels sort of sticky-slimy when you pick it up, and the exposed end is kind of gray, and the insides have the same kind of gray extending as much as a quarter inch toward the middle, do you think it’s OK to eat if I trim out the heart of it?”

“It probably WON’T kill you”

There was a silence, a long sigh, and a “Well, it probably WON’T kill you, but you could have an unpleasant day tomorrow if you eat it.” Deep down in her heart, I think she really DID want me to eat it.

Anyway, that got me thinking about my old office. It’s hard to believe I’ve been retired since about this time in 2008. Before I packed everything up, I shot some pictures to remind me of what it looked like.

The “In Case of Emergency Break Glass fire alarm” (with broken glass) came from a yard sale. The “Matt and Sarah got married and all I got was this lousy cup” came from their wedding. “I Don’t Do Perky” came from Nancy Allen, one of my help desk people. I’m not sure why she thought it was an appropriate gift for me.

A lump of coal

LVS ashtray_0825The dark object on the left side of Dad’s dragline ashtray is a lump of coal photo lab tech Mary Ann Bates gave me for Christmas. There’s probably some kind of message there, too, but I never could figure it out.

The Potashnick sticker came from a yard sale.

The BS grinder

KLS office 08-24-2008_0826I’m not sure where I got the wooden object with the crank handle.

Lon Danielson, the general manager came into my office while I was on the phone one afternoon. While he was waiting for me to wrap up the call, he started looking at my heirlooms.

“What’s this?” he asked after I put the phone down, picking up the object and idly turning the crank.

“It’s a BS grinder,” I replied.

I noticed that every time he came into my office after that, he would pick up my BS grinder and start cranking it. There was probably a message there, too.

You’ll recognize the Indian head from a story I did about slot machines and gambling raids.

“You’ve got to show me”

KLS signs_0836I had little patience with vendors who wasted my time. When a new one came in, I’d point to my bulletin board to set the ground rules.

Click on the photos to make them larger. By the way, you can see more shots of my office and hidden areas that only techie types could get into if you follow the tour of the Hula Parrot.


Albany Art Park

Albany GA Art Park 05-15-2014All of my Road Warriorettes – Jan, Shari, Anne and Curator Jessica – have different sleep patterns than I do. I’m up until the wee hours of the morning doing blog posts after driving all day. They’re snug in their beds snoring the night away, then they get up early and traipse down to the motel’s free breakfast. I sleep until 9:32, check my email and get rolling just before check-out time. Actually, Shari was the strangest of the batch: she doesn’t come to life until she fills her tank with Starbucks coffee. I’d set the GPS for the nearest Starbucks and leave her a set of keys, hoping she wouldn’t leave me stranded in some backwater town.

Because Anne and Jessica had the early breakfast this morning, they weren’t overly hungry. My hunger alarm was clanging loudly by the time we got to the first town of any size, Albany, Georgia. We had set a goal of avoiding chain joints and had been doing well so far. The first candidate looked a little tea roomy for my taste, so Curator Jessica was dispatched to see if it had tablecloths and/or candles.

I don’t remember if she said it had hanging ferns or not, but we elected to drive around the block to see what else was downtown. When we made the turn, the Albany Artpark on Pine jumped out at us.

At first glance, it was hard to tell if the front windows were painted, if we were looking at reflections or if the colorful images were inside. I put my hunger alarm on snooze.

Fascinating urban art

Albany GA Art Park 05-15-2014What we discovered was one of the most innovative uses of an old building I had ever seen. A local organization bought a neglected building, razed the upper floor to make it open to the sky, and beefed up the exterior walls. It became a huge open-air art gallery.

There was such a 3-dimensional feeling to the graffiti art and the surrounding walls that it was hard to tell what was art and what was reality.

We were a day early

Albany GA Art Park 05-15-2014The stuff we saw was, for the most part, the equivalent of finger exercises. A formal paint-off was held the day after we were there. News accounts I saw online showed some remarkable work. It’s sort of like the annual chalk street paintings held in Lake Worth, Florida.

Opportunities for other towns

Albany GA Art Park 05-15-2014Every place I’ve lived has more than its share of decaying buildings in its downtown areas. I’d love to see art parks like this pop up all over. It’s a great outlet for artists, and the images are fun to look at.

While we were walking around, we visited Ray Charles Plaza, the subject of yesterday’s blog post. We found a great local restaurant on the way of town. It had great food at a reasonable price, served without table cloths, candles or hanging ferns.

Art Park photo gallery

Click on any photo to make it larger, then use your arrow keys to move through the gallery.

A Change of Seasons

Old Man's Cave 05-11-2014Friend Anne, who flew into Columbus Sunday to roadtrip to Florida with Curator Jessica got a completely different view of Old Man’s Cave than Foodie Jan did in February 2013.

February vs May

Old Man's Cave 01-24-2013I told both Jan and Anne that one of the nice things about the park was that the gorge has enough twists and turns that you feel like you are alone even when other people are in the park. That statement certainly was true when the temperature was about 24 degrees.

That doesn’t apply to Mother’s Day Sunday after a cold winter, we found. The park hosted the biggest crowd I had ever seen there, and the noise levels were proportional to its size. There was lots of kid hollering and squealing going on all around us.

Still, I don’t begrudge them their fun. From what I saw, it was Mother’s Day they’ll remembered.

No crowds at Pencil Sharpener Museum

Paul A Johnson Pencil Sharpener Museum 01-24-2013We didn’t have to fight with the crowds at the Paul A. Johnson Pencil Sharpener Museum. I think Anne was impressed.

Glenn Yarbrough 1968

Glenn Yarbrough concert Ohio University 03-02-1968You may have noticed I had a varied group of road warriors traveling with me last year. One of the things that makes for a successful trip (meaning that the same number of people arrive at the destination as left) is working out the Rules of the Road before you take off.

Friends Jan and Anne were bike riding partners, so we had plenty of time to work out the kinks of our relationships while pedaling down the road. Friend Shari was my first high school girlfriend (which didn’t end well), and we hadn’t spoken in close to four decades, so I had to learn that she doesn’t become close to human until after her first cup of Starbucks coffee, she needs frequent smoke breaks and she gets up about the time I’m normally going to bed. We were stopping often for her to check out antique shops, so the smoke breaks weren’t an issue, and I’d leave her my car keys so she could get her Starbucks fix before I even thought about waking up.

Curator Jessica from Athens, Ohio, was a going to be a challenge. She was half my age (OK, more than half my age, but who is counting) to start off, so I was afraid we would have generational issues. We managed to compromise on a waking and sleeping schedule, types of eating establishments (she wasn’t picky) and where we would stay (no place that rented by the hour or where bodies had been found in a room recently). The only place where we hit a speed bump was when we got to talking about music play lists.

“No Glenn Yarbrough,” she insisted

Glenn Yarbrough concert Ohio University 03-02-1968I’m not really a Yarbrough fan – in fact, I get Glenn Yarbrough and Gordon Lightfoot mixed up, probably because of the G-names – but I wasn’t going to concede all that easy. “Miz Jessica, Ma’am, you’ve read my blog. You know that Baby the Rain Must Fall, Glenn’s biggest hit, was how I met Wife Lila. Surely you wouldn’t make me cut that from the playlist, would you?”

She would. Yarbrough was a non-negotiable with her. She also wasn’t big on C.W. McCall, but she WOULD let me play the home brew Cars & Trucks mix tape that was a Steinhoff family trip staple.

So, when I was editing some of my Ohio film, I was surprised to run into Glenn Yarbrough in concert at Ohio University on March 2, 1968.

Jessica, this are for you.

He is as bland as his music

Glenn Yarbrough concert Ohio University 03-02-1968While I was editing the film, I cranked up some Yarbrough music. Sorry, Glenn, I had to dump you after about the third song. You make Gordon Lightfoot sound exciting. On top of that, the photos are dull, too. I’m only including a bunch of them in case some reader was one of the folks who bought some of his nearly four dozen solo albums. He also sang on almost two dozen albums with the Limeliters. SOMEBODY must have liked him.

I’m sticking in some shots of the guys in his band just in case they became famous on their own later.

Glenn Yarbrough photo gallery

Click on any image to make it larger, then use your arrow keys to move through the gallery.