Last Generation Sneak Peek

Edgar Dreyer - 11-13-2013I mentioned my Last Generation project on March 26. I’ve been working like crazy to get a video presentation done so I can talk with a SEMO historical preservation about shooting regional history (or something like that. I usually don’t know what I’m going to talk about until I get in front of a group).

I finally got it whipped into passable shape this afternoon. Some of the transitions between clips are a little rougher than what I like, but I think the stories Dorothy, Edgar and Myrtle are more important than the technical stuff.

Shooting video is a whole different ballgame than shooting stills, even if you have been shooting picture stories for years. For one thing, the audio is as important, if not MORE important than the images. The best segment of the three was with Edgar Dryer (shown above when he was 8 or 10). He was 78 last fall when I photographed him. I couldn’t have asked for better natural lighting. He was also the first person I used a wireless mike on. That made a world of difference.

The biggest challenge was getting all the audio levels to match when you are shooting different subjects in different places. Watching tutorials and reading the manuals to figure out how to do it was mega-nap-inducing. I got the levels within acceptable levels, but I’m sure someone who knows what he or she is doing could have saved me hours of work.

The Last Generation video

I hope you enjoy the video. I have at least another dozen Perry County folks to work on before the Perry County Lutheran Historical Society’s Third Biennial Immigration History Conference in Altenburg October 23-25.

By the way, if you want to enlarge the video, hover your mouse over the bottom right-hand side of the vido screen. You’ll see a square box that says Full Screen. That will make the video fill your monitor screen. Press ESC to get it back to normal size.

Hubble Creek on the Rise

Children play in Hubble Creek in Jackson's City ParkI’ve written before about how Dennis Scivally Park and Hubble Creek in Jackson’s City Park were my go-to places for wild art. I still can’t resist going back there anytime there has been a heavy rain so I can see the water cascade over the low water crossing.

These youngsters are “down at the creek” in the 1960s.

Video of mini-flood


News of torrential rain in Southeast Missouri and a news brief that the city of Jackson is collecting old Christmas trees to combat bank erosion along the creek jogged my memory that I had shot some video in the park on Halloween 2013 after a heavy rain. I’m sure the water was a lot higher during the recent downpours, but this is the best I can do.

Like the video I did on the Bollinger County artesian well, listening to the water is worth 1:17 of your life.

Don’t forget the Amazon Prime promo

Amazon is offering a free 30-day Amazon Prime trial December 26, 2013, through January 10, 2014. It’ll give you free two-day shipping, free online access to 41,000 movies and TV shows and some other cool stuff. Here’s the post I made with more details about Amazon Prime.

I like the service well enough that I pay $79 a year for it. You can cancel after 1 day, a week or 29 days. I have to confess a selfish interest: I get a bounty for everybody who signs up for the trial, even if they bail without subscribing after the 30 days. It’s a win for both of us.

Marble Hill Artesian Well

Artesian Well on 34 west of Marble Hill 11-07-2013A trip to or from Cape Lewallen wouldn’t have been complete without a stop outside Marble Hill to fill up canteens and water jugs from an artesian well on the south side of Missouri Hwy 34. (Click on the photos to make them larger.)

Been on my bucket list

Artesian Well on 34 west of Marble Hill 11-07-2013Getting down to see if the spring was still flowing has been on my bucket (bad pun) list for a couple of years, so Mother and I took off to Bollinger County to see if we could find it. We headed west on Missouri Hwy 34 and thought it was near Woodland School, but we couldn’t spot it. There was a lot of road work going on, so we were afraid they might have “improved” it like, I think, Cape County is going to do to the spring off Bloomfield Road.

After driving four or five miles, we headed back toward town. There, just before the school, just like we remembered from the old days, was a nice paved parking spot right at the artesian well.

Listen to the sound of the water

I produced a short video showing where the spring is located and what it’s like. To be honest, I think the audio of the rushing water is better than the pictures. It’s worth 1:07 of your life.

Road to be dedicated December 17

Artesian Well on 34 west of Marble Hill 11-07-2013The pull-off gives you plenty of room to get off the road and would easily hold half a dozen cars parked side-by-side

The Missourian had a story that there will be a ribbon cutting December 17, 2013, to mark the completion of a project to add shoulders and curve corrections along that stretch of road.

What’s the history of the spring?

Artesian Well on 34 west of Marble Hill 11-07-2013I didn’t think it would be hard to find out when the well was drilled, how deep it is, how long it’s been flowing, etc., but I struck out. I figured if anybody would know, it would be Missourian blogger James Baughn who wrote about it in 2008. James is a pretty thorough guy, so surely it’ll be in his story.

He must have run into the same problem: about the only fact he had other than a Wikipedia definition of an artesian aquifer was that it was a test drill for oil and mineral exploration.

Cold and sweet

Artesian Well on 34 west of Marble Hill 11-07-2013When I went back down to Marble Hill to shoot the flags for Veterans Day, I made sure to bring along half a dozen gallon jugs to fill with the pure spring water for Mother to use in her coffee maker.

While researching this, I ran across a 1907 United States Geological publication called Underground Waters of Missouri – Their Geology and Utilization. It listed just about every source of water in Missouri and some of the surrounding states. This well, unfortunately, wasn’t one of them.

The section dealing with mineral waters, including Excelsior Springs, was particularly interesting. “When the the intelligent practitioner reads that a certain water is positively curative in an imposing list of diseases set forth in divers pages of testimonials from renovated statesmen, restored clergymen, and rejuvenated old ladies, and then learns from the analysis that it contains 2 or 3 grains of lime salts to the gallon, with the remaining ingredients required perhaps a third or fourth decimal point to express, he can hardly be blamed for tossing the circular into his wastebasket, with an objurgation upon quacks generally, and mineral springs quacks in particular,” Dr. Cook wrote.

OK, maybe mineral waters DO help

Artesian Well on 34 west of Marble Hill 11-07-2013Then, he conceded there COULD be some benefits: “There is no doubt that much benefit is derived from most of the health resorts connected with mineral springs or wells; and while a great deal of it is undoubtedly psychic, some is unquestionable due to the use of the waters. People who are broken down from overwork or who are troubled with many incipient diseases find at these resorts rest, which they perhaps can not get elsewhere; a change of air; a new environment; distractions from trouble; and they use, both internally and externally, perhaps a much larger amount of water than has been their custom at home; these, together with faith in the curative qualities in the water (since every wise physician recognizes faith as a helpful element in cure), form a stimulus to nature in the restoration of normal action to the functions of the body.

Just for the record, the spring waters not captured in canteens and gallon jugs, run into Crooked Creek.

 

 

 

 

Altenburg Christmas Trees

Altenburg Museum Dressing for Christmas TreeI was busy shooting photos for my Last Generation project in Perry County, so I didn’t have much time to hang around the Altenburg Lutheran Heritage Center and Museum while they were putting up this year’s Christmas Tree Exhibit. In fact, the only shot I could find was of Dorothy Weinhold perched on a ladder putting the finishing touches on her tree.

[Drat! I just discovered that the Dorothy photo is on a harddrive buried in the back of the van. Sorry, Dorothy, I don’t have any way to get to it. I’ll have to sub a photo from an earlier year.]

Director Carla Jordan posted on the Heritage Center’s website, “The museum will be open every day from 10am-4pm this season (except Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Years Day.)  We will be open until 8pm every Thursday evening in December, and until 9pm on Dec. 19th & 20th for the Christmas Country Church Tour. Admission is always free.”

Warren Schmidt Video

Fortunately, Warren Schmidt my favorite right-wing curmudgeon and executive board president, transformed a bunch of still photos into an impressive video so you can sample the flavor of the exhibit.

Past exhibits

Travel update

OU War Memorial 11-27-2013If you saw Wednesday’s Athens Winter Storm Video, you might figure out why I decided to stay another day in Ohio. The West Virginia DOT website showed most of the route through the mountains as clear, but there were a few patches that were marked as slush and a couple that said “severe.”

Iffy road conditions and a gazillion cars heading for grandma’s and already late didn’t sound like fun. I’d rather drive when the roads are clear and everybody is holed up with football, parades and turkey.

I slept late, then went up to the library to research the protest movement in the late 60s and early 70s for an exhibit I’m doing in the spring. There’s a pretty good chance I’ve spent more time in the OU library in the past two days than I ever did when I was a student.

I was scurrying to get back to my car before the parking meter ran out when I spotted the iconic War Memorial statue warming his back in the last rays of the afternoon sun. He must have needed it: there’s still a patch of snow on his shoulder.

I should be Florida-bound Thursday. I hope there will be some turkey left when I pull into the driveway.