Would You Like Ice with That?

Ice – Kingsway Dr 02-25-2022

Weather forecasts for SE Missouri had something for everyone in a week’s time. We had warm temps, single-digit temps, 4 inches of rain, thundersleet, freezing rain and snow.

There were reports of trees down and power outages scattered all around, but 1618 Kingsway dodged a big bullet (so far). Trees and bushes got a beautiful decoration of ice, but wind that could have caused serious problems didn’t materialize.

Frozen flag

Ice – Kingsway Dr 02-25-2022

When I looked out the front window the night the rain was freezing, I was surprised to see my American flag looking like it had been starched, then ironed flat. It was frozen into a solid sheet.

By the next morning, it was still mostly frozen, but there had been enough wind to create cracks in the coating.

The only casualty (so far)

Ice – Kingsway Dr 02-25-2022

I did a quick walkaround and saw a few small branches down, but this bent-over bush with the split trunk may have been the only fatality.

Still, though, the temps will be below freezing for another day, so there may be other trees and bushes that’ll crack under the continued strain.

Green covered with ice

Ice – Kingsway Dr 02-25-2022

Some grass and mosses were turning green under the warmer than usual winter, but they got a serious shock when they were covered with sleet, snow and ice.

I was surprised to see half a dozen robins wading in my front yard the day when the rain was coming down the hardest.

I ordered a generator

I bought a 3000-watt generator after Hurricane Hugo in 1989. It sat in my backyard shed unused except for annual test firings until the 2004 hurricane season when three storms passed over us, leaving us without power for multiple days.

After the first storm of the series, I ordered a 7,500-watt generator and added a kit that would allow it to run on gasoline, propane or natural gas. I also put a tap on our electrical service panel that would let me power most of the house.

Florida hurricane supplies

We keep all our hurricane supplies in a shed in the back yard. They include aluminum panels to go over the doors and windows, the generator, spare oil and filters, mounting hardware, and tarps (up to and including 30-footers). 

Here’s a link to more detailed disaster planning that might be helpful even if you aren’t in the tropics.

We’ve been through the drill enough times that we can have the house battened down in an afternoon, with the help of Matt and Grandson Malcolm.

The smaller Hugo generator went to Son Matt, who used it at his house.

He rewired his house and bought a bigger generator, which made the old one surplus again. I reclaimed it and have it parked under my basement stairs in Cape “just in case.”

I had the electrical panel in Cape house upgraded from a four-fuse 60-amp box to a modern service panel. That started me thinking about a generator big enough to feed the whole house, if I was careful to balance my load.

Tri-fuel generators are hard to find

I dithered for months, but the ice storm caused me to pull the trigger. Once capable of running on gas, propane and natural gas are hard to find. I’m going to have to drive to Marion to pick one up the first week of March.

Even if it sits silent for as long as the Hugo generator did, it’s worth the comfort of knowing its there. (I think I paid $300 for the 3,000-watt unit. Three hundred bucks spread out over about 10 years was painless.)

Pretty ice photos

You can take a tour of my yard by clicking on any image to make it larger, then use the arrow keys to move through the gallery.

My old high school teacher and pilot used to repeat the old adage, “There are old pilots, and there are bold pilots; there aren’t any old, bold pilots.”

I spent a lot of time in the ink-slinging business being a bold photographer, but now that I have achieved the status of an old photographer, I’m not quite as bold. Not too many years ago, I roamed Cape shooting weather photos. This gallery was all taken without backing the van out of the driveway.

Here are some links to weather pictures and stories when I was younger and bolder.

 

 

 

 

You Can’t Get to Cape

I was living in Florida when I bought a reproduction of a 1926 Rand McNally road atlas to try to plot out my trip back to Cape Girardeau.

I noted to Dad in a letter that “i got this new-fangled book from the AAA people, but they didn’t allow as how it was possible to get from fla. to mo., so they wouldn’t even give me a triptik.

[Editor’s note: It was my style to type informal communications on cheap newspaper copy paper and in all lowercase. My theory was that it signaled to the recipient not to expect clean spelling and grammar.]

Wait until the bridge is built

aaa suggested waiting a few more years until they get the bridge built across the river at cape-what-ever-it-is. they said there’s a ferry there, but it ain’t to be counted on.

Why don’t you just wave from Illinois?

aaa pointed out that you have to go all the way to either memphis or st. louis to drive across the river and, confidentially, they said it don’t look much different on the west side of the river than the east.

maybe we could just stand on opposite sides of the river and wave, they suggested.

 

Dad’s Boat in the Basement

1944 LV Steinhoff classified advertising

Every family has stories that may or may not be true. Dad often told a story about pulling his toy wagon full of sheet music for the woman who accompanied the silent movies at the Broadway theater.

We all dismissed that as his version of walking 12 miles to school in waist-deep snow (uphill both ways.)

Eventually, Mother sent me the obit of the woman who HAD played music at the silent movies. I guess he wasn’t just funnin’ us with his tale.

Dad and the basement boat

I don’t ever recall Dad mention the boat he built in the basement at Themis Street before discovering he couldn’t get it through the door. That strikes me as a story no man would tell on himself.

I was never able to determine if the tale was true, and all the folks I could ask are no long with us.

Then, I ran across a couple of Missourian classified ads from 1944. The one at the top of the page was to sell a new, 12-foot row boat; table top model radio, $25; electric jig saw, $10; and one 4 and one 6 cylinder magneto.

Maybe he HAD gotten the boat out of the basement, and maybe that’s why he was also able to sell the jig saw.

Bicycles for sale

1944 LV Steinhoff classified advertising

About the same time, he was trying to sell two pre-war bicycles, like new. (And the boat.)

Mother with bikes

Mary Welch Steinhoff holds her bike and one belonging to L.V. Steinhoff in front of the garage in Advance, MO. They rode the bikes from Cape Girardeau to Advance shortly after they were married.

Decades later, she still talked about how their legs cramped up from the 36-mile ride.

The first year I started serious biking, I did the 72-mile round trip in their memory. I had quite a bit of long-distance cycling under my saddle by then – including at least one 100-mile day, so I fared better than they did.

Another bike photo

Mary Steinhoff and LV Steinhoff w Roy E Welch in background – Rolla MO 1942

Here’s Dad on a bike. Mother’s dad, Roy Welch, is looking through the screen door in the background.

I think that Advance ride dampened their enthusiasm for long two-wheeled expeditions.

 

 

 

1965 Ford Galaxie 500/LTD

I ran across a bunch of 4×5 negatives, some of which were in really bad shape, showing the 1965 Ford Galaxie 500/LTD and noting that Ford Groves had been around for half a century.

I don’t have any idea who the women models are. Check out the old TV on the left.

Who are these women?

Here’s a better look at the young women. I wonder if they were hired talent or friends, relatives or employees of Ford Groves.

It looks like the film might have slipped out of the groove when it was being developed, resulting in all the funky stuff looking like it’s trying to eat the Ford.

If I had turned it in as a class project when I was a Fine Arts student at Ohio University, I would have come up with a fancy, high-faluting caption brimming with Deep Meanings. 

This guy must be important

He looks important: he’s got on a suit, wingtip shoes and a steely countenance.

I’m sure one of you will be able to identify him.

Obligatory mug shot of Galaxie

Spell check keeps trying to change the word to Galaxy, but the name on the side of the car and the sign says Galaxie. Ford should know, right?

Wikipedia provided this information about the 1965 model:

“The 1965 Galaxie was an all-new design, featuring vertically stacked dual headlights. The cars were taller and bulkier than the previous year’s. The new top-of-the-line designation was the Galaxie 500 LTD and Galaxie 500 XL. The LTD and the XL trim package were accessory upgrades from the base Galaxie model. Engine choices were the same as 1964, except for an all-new 240 cu in (3.9 L) six-cylinder engine replacing the 1950s-era 223 “Mileage-Maker” six and the 352 was now equipped with dual exhausts and a four-barrel carburetor.

“Suspension on the 1965 models was redesigned. Replacing the former leaf-spring rear suspension was a new three-link system, with coil springs. Interiors featured a new instrument panel, as well as two-way key vehicle access: the introduction of two keys was for valet parking, where the rounded head key would only open the trunk or locked glove compartment, while the squared head key would only unlock the doors and the ignition.”

Car salesmen pitching the Ford Maverick

This ad shot is so cheesy I finally grew to appreciate it. It was for The Athens Messenger in 1969. You can see more Maverick ad photos here.

I tried everything I could do to get out of shooting advertising photos.

Part of it was because some advertisers thought that since they hired you to to take their ad picture, they could also try to dictate what you could shoot in a news situation.