Heartland Materials Aerial

Aerials - Fruitland - Jackson 08-13-2014When I’m northbound on I-55 just south of Fruitland, I can’t keep from swiveling my neck to see how much bigger the hole on the east side of the road has grown.

Ernie Chiles and I did a flyover on August 13, 2014, to get a good look at it. The building with the blue roof in Saxony Lutheran High School.

A closer look

Aerials - Fruitland - Jackson 08-13-2014Here’s a view from the northwest looking southeast. I-55 is on the right.

I’ve done quite a few quarry stories. Here are some of them (including at least one where I misidentified the Fruitland quarries).


Parking Downtown and at Casino

Aerial Isle Cape Girardeau Casino 08-13-2014You wouldn’t have had to fight for parking at noon-thirty on Wednesday August 13 when Ernie Chiles and I flew over the Isle Cape Girardeau Casino.

I didn’t look at it under a magnifying glass, but I DID blow it up a bit on the screen to let me count about 244 cars, two buses and what might be an RV in the parking lots. (Click on the photos to make them larger.)

Here are some earlier posts about the casino and shoe factory area.

Downtown parking

Aerial Downtown Cape 08-13-2014I looked at a series of frames that showed the downtown shopping area parking lots from the city lot south of Independence to the two lots north of Broadway, plus Water Street and east of Spanish Street. The photos were taken on the same pass, just minutes before the Casino photo. I counted about 210 vehicles ion the downtown shopping district.

[I cheated a bit. Because of the angle, I couldn’t see cars parked on the east side of Main, so I doubled the number of cars parked on the west side, assuming that the same number of parking spaces were occupied on that side.]

(Sorry for the cloud shadows at the top left. I tried get Ernie to lasso them and drag them out of the way, but he said that kind of thing was out of his pay grade.

It would be interesting to know how many of the cars in both locations were owned by employees rather than customers.

Other downtown aerials

White Castle Is History

Ernie Chiles at Painton Airport 08-13-2014Ernie Chiles and I went flying Wednesday. It’s amazing how his Cessna 150 keeps getting smaller and smaller every year. I don’t remember that much togetherness when we started going up together when I was in high school. He flies out of a grass strip airport down in Painton (if you have to ask, you wouldn’t know where it is even if I told you). His plane was born the year I graduated from Central.


While Ernie was prepping the plane – I think that means he counts the wings, checks to see if the oil is black enough and makes sure there is more gas than water in the fuel tanks – I wandered around looking at stuff in the hangar. Next to the door, there was a wooden hinged sign. It read, “IN CASE OF FIRE, RAISE THIS COVER.”

I knew I shouldn’t do it, but, finally, I just had to raise the cover. Yep, I should have left it alone.

Ernie Chiles at Painton Airport 08-13-2014He greased it in

Taking off from Painton Airport 08-13-2014After taking off, we made a pass by Cairo to see the Muddy Mississippi pushing the Ohio River back upstream, then flew over Thebes to see the courthouse on the hill and the railroad bridge. We did a quick scan of Cape’s riverfront, shot some fresh quarry photos in Fruitland and headed back to base.

Now, I’m not exactly sure how old Ernie is, but I’m pretty sure he’s now as old as the dirt he taught me about in Earth Science class at Central. I like to fly at 1,000 feet (or lower), the legal minimum over populated areas, but Ernie, being an old and conservative pilot, never likes to give away altitude without an argument, so we generally hang out at about 1,500 feet. He believes in the pilot’s adage that “There ain’t nothin’ as useless as altitude above you, runway behind you or fuel on the ground in the truck.”

On final, I asked Ernie to let me know when I should start screaming. “I don’t want to start too early and be all out of screams when I really need one, but I also don’t want to wait too long and perish before I get the last one out.”

Well, as it turned out, he greased it in so smoothly that I couldn’t tell when the wheels touched the grass. I could tell that even HE was pleased, although he says any landing you can walk away from is perfectly acceptable. That leaves me with a wonderfully crafted scream all bottled up unused.

So what’s with the White Castle?

White Castle demolition 08-13-2014Just as we were finishing up a couple of BBQ sandwiches in celebration of cheating death one more time, Mother called to ask if we had landed yet. She was stranded at the Dollar Tree and needed her battery jumped. If I was available, she wouldn’t call AAA.

On the way there, I passed what used to be the White Castle at the corner of William and Siemers Drive. When I opened up The Missourian on my laptop, I saw that Laura Simon had beaten me to the scene. Here is a story about the May 13, 2014, fire.