There’s a closet in the basement that contains some clothes dating back to just past the middle of the last century. (Sure sounds old when you put it that way.)
When you open the door, you see an assortment of neckties. I recognize some of those – and, no, I’m not going to tell you which ones – once adorned my neck. Most of them are fakes.
Cops wear “breakaway” ties so that the bad guys can’t grab them by the necktie and strangle them. Of course, it’s MY contention that strangulation is the primary goal of the necktie.
Knots known to sailors and serial killers
I was a Boy Scout who earned the Pioneering Merit Badge. Not only could I tie every required knot, I enjoyed playing around with ones known only to sailors and serial killers. The only knot that I’ve never been able to master is a necktie.
Even though I got to cover Queen Elizabethbecause I was the only guy on the staff with a suit, I’ve had to depend on fakes and Wife Lila to drape respectability around my neck.
My family has two instructions for the day when there will be “two at my head, two at my feet and two to carry me when I die:”
Not in a necktie.
Not in Florida.
Obligatory Isaac report
We came through Tropical Storm Isaac in pretty good shape. The rains pretty much moved on by early evening, but Son Adam, who lives west of town in a rural area got between 10 and 15 inches of rain. His house is on a high pad about three feet above the water, but he has huge Koi (“ornamental varieties of domesticated common carp”) swimming in his front yard. I warned him that alligators have been know to use those as bait, so I wouldn’t get close to them.
Our Comcast Internet connection is still down, so this is going to be a short post tonight.
Whether or not to allow bow hunting for deer inside Cape’s city limits has been a big controversy for the past year. Reader Steven McKeown sent me a couple hundred family photos a few months ago; I spotted these three photos of backyard bow and arrow practice. They appear to be after targets, not wild game.
If you click on the photo to make it larger, you can see some interesting objects. First off, look at the shadow of the clothes line in the lower right of the frame. Check out the large silver bell above the target
Looks like a backyard garden
Steven’s family was active in Scouting, particularly Troop 2. He didn’t provide me any info with the photos, so I hope he or someone else will chime in with IDs.
I see a metal trash burner on the left, above the target. Were the stakes sticking up behind the man part of a backyard garden?
A cool day?
Looks like it might have been a bit chilly. The trees have lost all their leaves and both boys are in their winter long-sleeve uniforms. The man and woman are sort of scrunched up like their cold. The woman’s neckerchief is blowing in the wind. There’s metal fencing around the small tree behind the woman, probably to keep rabbits or other animals from nibbling on it.
The Boy Scout is from Troop 2, but I can’t see the Cub’s Pack insignia. It looks like it starts with a 5. I had forgotten that Scout pants had a button on them so you could fold it down for easy access or button it up high for security.
It’s Scout Week, so it’s an appropriate time to dredge these up. Some of these photos are of are men and boys I recognize being in Trinity Lutheran School’s Boy Scout Troop 8. The negative sleeve said they were taken at the 1963 Pre-Camporee. I can’t quite place where the event was held. Maybe someone else can clue me in.
I recognize a few of the boys. Two who were my age were Joe Snell and Ronald Dost.
Stan Snell, Harry Ruesler , Ralph Haman
Three of the adult leaders were Stan Snell, Harry Ruesler and Ralph Haman.
Loading them up
Dad (L.V. Steinhoff), left, loads up a batch of boys into his pickup. Clarence Schade is on the right.
A double exposure
Something was wrong with this photo. A closer look disclosed that it was a double exposure: two photos taken on the same frame of film. That’s pretty tough to do with most cameras because you cock the shutter for the next photo when you advance the film. About the only only way you can do it by accident is to load the film in the camera twice. (There’s another way, but you REALLY have to want to do it.)
It dawned on me, then, that in 1963 I was still using a Kodak Pony 135 camera. I had to go searching for a manual on line to refresh my memory. As soon as I saw it, it all came flooding back.
It was designed for folks who didn’t know much about photography, but it still required you to set your shutter speed, aperture and distance. On top of that, you had to remember to cock the shutter by pushing down on a lever on the front of the lens. After you had taken the photo, you had to turn a knob on the top of the camera to advance the film. If you forgot to do that and just cocked the shutter, you could take a double exposure like this one.
Almost every kid in Cape had a crack at radio and / or TV fame. I can remember going to the KFVS radio studio to sit on Santa’s lap and to tell him (and the whole world as I knew it) what I wanted for Christmas.
There was a local radio quiz show called Know Your City Quiz that would ask questions about Cape’s history. I’d sit there with my second-grade-level picture history book frantically rooting for the answer to such questions as, “When did Cape get its first fire engine.” The book had all kinds of stuff about some guy named Washington crossing some river in the middle of the winter, but not important stuff like Cape’s first fire engine. (What was that guy doing standing up in the boat, anyway? Even I knew enough not to do THAT.)
My TV debut
I think my TV debut might have been during Scout Week in the eighth grade or my freshman year. Boy Scout Troop 8 was supposed to have someone tap out “Scouting is fun” in Morse code, but the guy who was supposed to do it backed out at the last minute for some reason or other. I could send like a demon (but couldn’t receive worth two cents), so I was sent in as a sub.
Dad set up the family’s 8mm camera to record the moment off the Zenith television in the basement. For what it’s worth, he had a guy working for him who could read code who pronounced my transmission flawless. I’m not sure who the Scout was looking in awe over my shoulder.
The whole escapade ended with future debate partner John Mueller being interviewed. I’m sure he said something about how important being able to send Morse code would be in an emergency. Unspoken was the fact that my buzzer couldn’t be heard on the far side of the room and that the little light on the key was a tiny flashlight bulb. I guess it was OK for close emergencies.
Switched to different uniforms
A couple of years later, John and I traded in our Scout uniforms for suits and ties to be undefeated members of the Central High School Debate Team.
Here’s a bunch of us getting ready to wreak havoc on the teams from the smaller schools in the area. That’s John on the right. I’m to his left. I see, in no particular order, Mike Daniels, Rick Meinz, Andy Scully, Shari Stiver, Vicky Roth, Jim Reynolds, Becky McGinty and Bill Wilson, among others whose names are lost in the fog of years.
We didn’t make it as the Three Counts
I’ve run this before, but some pictures deserve to be resurrected from time to time. John, Rick Meinz and I got dragooned into dressing up like this for a church play at Trinity Lutheran Church.
Someone Higher Up (well, not THAT higher up) cut my best line, “We’re the Three Counts: Count de Bills, Count de Checks and Count de Change.” I lost enthusiasm for my part after that. Heck of a note when the only line you can remember from a role is the one they wouldn’t let you deliver.
That’s not really MY National Guard uniform
I made about as good a soldier as I did a Lutheran Reverend and donned the uniform just about as long.
I wanted to do a story on the local National Gurard contingent going to summer camp. The Higher Ups (does this sound familiar) wouldn’t let a civilian ride in the convoy, so an enterprising Master Sergeant said, “I’ve got it all worked out. Come on by and get fitted for a uniform. You’ll look like everybody else. Nobody’ll know.”