Last Generation Poster

Preparing for full moon at Tower Rock 07-22-2013I’ve been busy editing videos all day for my The Last Generation presentation at the 2014 Immigration History Conference at the Lutheran Heritage Center and Museum in Altenburg on Saturday.

The project to interview men and women in East Perry county who spoke German as their primary language growing up started about two years ago, but, just like with my high school term papers, I’ve pushed the deadline about as far as you can push.

That’s why all you are going to get today is a copy of the poster to promote the project. I’ve made a lot of changes to the video I mentioned back in March, but it’ll give you an idea of what I’ve been working on.

(If that cloud photo looks familiar, it’s because I published it on a post about trying to shoot the full moon coming up over Tower Rock.

Click on the photo to make it larger if you want to count the birds. Hint: if you only get seven, you missed one.

Perryville Pumpkin Farm

Perryville Pumpkin Farm 10-01-2014Bob Campbell did a story on the Perryville Pumpkin Farm in the September 28, 2014, Missourian. When Friend Shari and I wrapped up our business at the Altenburg Lutheran Heritage Center and Museum, I suggested we head up the road to take a look at it.

I had never seen so many different colors, shapes and varieties of pumpkins and squash. They aren’t ALL orange and round, children. Bob’s story said the farm raises 146 varieties of pumpkins. There are some that have long necks like swans; others are covered with “warts” and look like brains.

Rides, mazes and more

Perryville Pumpkin Farm 10-01-2014We got there late in the afternoon, so we didn’t take advantage of a lot of the things the farm had to offer like rides out to the fields, the one-mile corn maze, the pumpkin slingshot or Sophia the simulated cow. I couldn’t even convince Shari that it would be fun for her to crawl through the straw tunnel while I photographed her head sticking out from time to time.

We bought some small items

Perryville Pumpkin Farm 10-01-2014We both bought some small, colorful pumpkins and squashes to take back to our mothers. It’s little things like that that keep you listed in the will (sorry Brothers David and Mark).

Shari was kitty-captivated

Perryville Pumpkin Farm 10-01-2014

Shari, who is owned by two cats, fell in love with this kitten. Mom Meckler said they were overstocked on kittens, noted how Shari was “the only one the cat would allow to pick her up,” and brought out a cardboard box for her to take it home to St. Louis. I tried to guilt her into taking it, but she called that evening to say she was going to have to pass this time, and to find the critter a good home.

Curator Jessica saw this photo and said she wants the black and white cat. She’s coming to Cape in November, so maybe it’ll find its way back to Ohio.

Pumpkins in the semi-wild

Perryville Pumpkin Farm 10-01-2014One of the farm’s pumpkin patches bumps up against the Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery. It’s a bit disconcerting to look in one direction and see hundreds of pumpkins, then look over your shoulder to see hundreds of tombstones.

How to get there

Here is the Perryville Pumpkin Farm’s website. They are open 7 days a week, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., from September 1 through October 31.

If you want to make a Perry County day of it, stop by the Altenburg museum for the new exhibit, Revision: Recovery, Repair, and Transformation by artist, Kurt Mueller of Minneapolis. Mueller is the fifth generation descendant of the 1839 German-Lutheran immigration to Perry County, MO This extraordinary exhibit consists of sculptures, paintworks, and assemblages including detailed narratives of the artist’s journey.

The opening reception is Saturday, October 4, from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. It is free and open to the public. The exhibit will be shown from October 4 through November 7, 2014. If the exhibit is half as impressive as its catalog, it’s going to be worth a scenic drive to see.

 

Tower Rock Overlook

Tower Rock 04-18-2014I’ve shot Tower Rock from about every angle except underwater (and I came close once to doing that when Brother Mark and I walked over there). I’ve been on the top of it, flown over it and have seen it from both the Missouri and Illinois sides.This is the view from the parking are where most folks see it.

The one place I HADN’T seen it from was the overlook.

In the summer and fall, the leaves are too thick to see anything and in the winter, I’m not crazy about a long, cold walk.

Overlook hangs out over hill

Tower Rock 04-18-2014On April 18, though, I didn’t have any excuses. The day was cool enough that I wouldn’t overheat, the sky was blue and there was no rain around. I drove across the railroad tracks (Stop, Look and Listen) and went up the road a couple hundred yards until I came to a wide spot that looked like the start of the trail.

Mother suggested I take a couple of deep swigs of water before heading up the hill. She said she’d stand by to dial 9-1-1 if I keeled over. I told her not to bother. There’s no signal down there.

The climb is moderately steep in some places, but it flattens out toward the top. You’ll definitely feel a burn in your thighs if you aren’t used to exercise. When you get close to the top, you look at the tiny platform hanging out over space and feel a little twinge of concern, but closer examination shows that it’s solidly built and in good condition.

Didn’t use polarizing filter

Tower Rock 04-18-2014Photo geek stuff: I keep Hoya circular polarizing filters on my lenses all the time. I find that being able to kill reflections improves many photos, even indoors. It also protects the front element of my lens from scratches.

Most folks think of them useful only to make skies darker, but that’s not the case. When I was rotating the filter to get the best result here, though, I quickly saw that the reflection of The Rock in the river added to the photo, so I kept as much of it as I could. It was a lot less interesting picture with the reflection knocked out.

Higher than The Rock

Tower Rock 04-18-2014Overlook is the right word. You are clearly higher than Tower Rock. If you are going to see it, better hurry, I think the trees will have too many leaves for a clear view before long.

Booms for river spill

River activity near Wittenberg 04-18-2014While we were in Altenburg, we heard scuttlebutt that a barge with fuel of some kind had run aground on a sandbar north of Wittenberg and that equipment was being staged at the boat ramp there. We saw about a dozen vehicles and two trailers of orange flotation booms in the parking lot, but there was nobody around to talk with.

Some of the trucks and trailers had “SWS Environmental Service” on their sides.

I called my friends at The Missourian with the tip, but told them I didn’t see much photo opportunity there, and I wasn’t even sure it was worth a story. I haven’t seen anything in the news, so either they couldn’t find out anything or it really wasn’t worth covering.

I didn’t offer up a photo because the last time I went in with a spot news photo I was told they don’t pay even a token amount for submitted photos these days.

Wonder if this was it?

River activity near Wittenberg 04-18-2014On the way from Tower Rock, we could see some activity close to the shore north of Wittenberg. We could tell that it wasn’t a string of barges. I heard traffic on the marine radio about trying to make fast some lines, but they were afraid they were going to foul. The action was too far away to see clearly, plus I was getting hungry.

Click on the photos to make them larger.

If you are interested in my small picture book, Tower Rock “A Demon that Devours Travelers”, stop by the Lutheran Heritage Center and Museum in Altenburg for a copy.

 

 

Easter Decorations

Mary Steinhof Easter decorations 04-18-2014One of the problems / advantages of retirement is that you don’t have to know what day of the week it is. I shot these Easter decorations in Mother’s living room before we embarked on a ramble. Some of them, like the clear plastic tree with the ornaments on it, have been around since I was a kid.

We were bouncing down a road in rural Perry County when I asked, in all innocence, “Do you know what day it is?”

“It’s 2:32,” she replied.

“No, I know what TIME it is. I want to know if today is Saturday.”

One of us is “ready for the home”

Mary Steinhof Easter decorations 04-18-2014

Brother Mark and I keep telling Mother that she’s close to being “ready for the home,” but the glance she gave me clearly indicated that she was pretty sure either I was testing her or I was the one who was ready for the home.

We got to Altenburg and saw our museum buddy, Gerard Fiehler, out mowing his lawn, so I pulled into the driveway and said, “You look like you could use a break. Why don’t you get off that thing and let Mother finish the job for you?”

He said he had read how she was death on dandelions, but he wasn’t ready to turn his mower over to someone with her reputation for hot rodding.

“Do you know what day this is?”

Mary Steinhof Easter decorations 04-18-2014During a lull in the conversation, Mother leaned over me and asked him, “Do you know what day this is?”

He hesitated like he was looking at a mental calendar. “Not the date, but the DAY. What day of the week is it?” I filled in.

Now, he was SURE it was a trick question. “It’s Friday,” he answered, hesitantly.

Mother gave me a smug smile

“I could have sworn it was Saturday and I had this really timely post ready to go up on Easter,” I said.

So, that’s why you are getting this gallery of Mother’s living room Easter decorations on Saturday instead of Sunday. Click on any photo to make it larger, then use your arrow keys to move through the gallery.