Jackson High School

I was over at the Jackson Cemetery looking for grave markers for Find A Grave, a website that runs requests for photos of stones for people doing genealogical work and the like. When I got to the west end, I noticed that Jackson High School was a lot bigger than it was when I worked at The Jackson Pioneer.

Science / Mathematics Building

I was encouraged to see a building devoted to science and mathematics. A newly-built high school in town that shall be nameless seems to have plenty of facilities for athletics, including a new football field, but the emphasis didn’t appear to be on academics.

Old building looks well-maintained

I know I must have been in the building lots of times when working for The Pioneer, but I can’t picture what the inside looks like.

Jackson’s stadium a federal stimulus program

Jackson High School’s football stadium was one of the WPA’s projects designed to put people back to work during the Depression. It was built in 1938. It’s amazing how many Cape County buildings were built under those stimulus projects. They might have been make-work jobs, but they’ve provided a lot of value to the community over the last three-quarters of a century. Jackson’s swimming pool, also built in 1938, was another WPA program.

Acres of parking lots

Here’s a view of the school from the west showing acres of parking. Contrast that with the aerial photos of the school I took in the 1960s.

Jackson High School Photo Gallery

Click on any photo to make it larger, then click on the left or right side to move through the gallery.

Jackson High School Aerials

I was doing some grave searching in the Jackson Cemetery the other day when I noticed how much had been added on to the Jackson High School across the street. I’ll have current photos soon, but here are some aerials of the area I shot in the mid to late-1960s. You can click on any image to make it larger.

This frame is looking to the north.Hubble Creek is on the left, the County Courthouse and downtown is at top right. Jackson Cemetery on on the lower right. I see people lined up on the football sidelines, so something must be going on. There are also people on the playing field at the bottom right.

Looking east

This photo is taken from the west, looking east. Highway 61 is on the right. The County Courthouse is center left, and the Hwy 25 – 61 intersection is at top right. There’s a junk yard at the bottom right. (I guess it would be called a salvage yard these days.)

Looking southwest

West Jefferson Street is to the right of the stadium. Hubble Creek runs diagonally across the top of the frame, passing by the junk yard and under Hwy 61. Almost all of the area to the left of the stadium has been turned into parking these days. The houses in front of the high school have also been converted to parking. [Personal rant: the next time you complain about the cost of bicycle facilities, ask yourself what it costs to pave over acres of ground for parking lots.]

View to the south

The final view is looking to the south. Hubble Creek is on the right and Hwy 62 runs across the frame at the top. The footbridge across Hubble Creek has been replaced by an extension of West Jefferson if I’m reading Google Maps correctly.

The last time I flew over Jackson, I took lots of photos of downtown and the courthouse, but didn’t think to make a pass over the high school. I’ll be running photos of it from the ground in the next day or so. It’s amazing how it’s grown.



How to Repel Flies (Maybe)

Mother and I were cruising around Jackson scoping out yard sales and looking for something for me to shoot. Out on 34 west of town, we saw a sign on a small BBQ stand that said Fresh Strawberry Pie. We pulled in to sample it  The joint doesn’t have a name out front, but Google Maps show it as Cook’s Bar-B-Q & Catering at 1931 West Jackson Blvd.

Right next to the order window was a note that said not to compare them with the guys at the north end of town. That would be Wib’s, a Steinhoff favorite for five generations. They implied that Cook’s actually puts meat on their sandwiches and that they are cheaper. Well, a challenge like that has to be checked out.

On the plus side, the sandwiches DID have a fair amount of meat on them and they were cheaper than Wib’s. On the con side, at least for me, the pork was shredded, not sliced, and it was “wet.” It had more the taste and feel of a Sloppy Joe than what I would call a good barbecue sandwich. The sauce was nowhere as good as Wib’s and the meat wasn’t as tasty as Hamburger Express in Cape. Barbecue is a highly personal choice, so some folks may prefer it.

The strawberry pie, on the other hand was excellent. Good crust and made with fresh strawberries.

Why are those bags of water hanging there?

But, that’s not the reason I’m writing this. When we looked up, we saw a Ziploc plastic bag, obviously freshly filled with water hanging over our heads. Inside the bag were several pennies. The bags were tacked to the overhang with heavy upholstery tacks. When our server slid open the screen-covered window to hand us our order, I said, “I bet I’m not the first person to ask this, but what’s with the plastic bags of water?”

Not wanting to engage in a lengthy conversation, she said, “It’s for the flies,” closing the window before I could observe, “Must be working, then. ‘Cause there’s plenty of them.”

While we were sitting at the outdoor table eating our pie and shooing off the occasional fly, a fellow walked by who elaborated on the bags. “They’re supposed to keep the flies away. It’s got something to do with the way the fly’s eyes work.”

When I mentioned that there still seemed to be a lot of the winged creatures flying around, he said that he had just put the bags up. The one over our heads was the first one to go up, he explained, and he said he could already see an improvement on our end of the seating area. I was going to take his word for it.

Mother was intrigued by the idea

Mother kept coming up with all of the places she could put up the bags and wondering if shiny pennies would work better than run-of-the-mill pocket pennies. Should you put them over the door to keep the flies out or do you put them on the inside to run them away? If you did both, would the ones entering and the ones exiting have head-on collisions, killing them all? Weighing all of the possibilities kept her occupied the rest of the afternoon.

I did a quick Google search and found that one of my favorite debunking sites, Snopes, had addressed this issue and found it —WHAT?!?!?—“Undetermined. ” You’ll have to read their conclusions for yourself. It’ll be good practice for you to know how to find them to check out your own hoax questions.

I should have shot them the first time

Anyway, after kicking myself for not taking a picture of the magic bags, Mother and I saddled up the pony and drove back over to Jackson. After standing around for several minutes waiting for someone to open the magic screened serving window so I could tell them what I was doing, I got tired of waiting, shot my photos and left. I didn’t REALLY need another piece of that strawberry pie. I DID ask another customer if she had heard of the concept and she said, “My mother has them hanging in her garage.”

We ended up at Mario’s Pasta House where our lasagna was good as always, served promptly by friendly and attentive wait staff. (I started to type “weight staff,” thinking, obviously, of the size of the portions.)

Alien Roundup

I wasn’t exactly sure what was supposed to happen Saturday night. Was there going to be earthquake? Zombie invasion? People headed to heaven?

At any rate, I decided to hedge my bets and not do a blog post before heading out for a bicycle ride on Lake Okeechobee with three friends. I mean, why work if you’re not sure anybody is going to be around to see it in the morning.

When we got back to town around 1 a.m., it was obvious that I still had readers left and that I was going to have to post something.

Is this a zombie capture?

I have no idea what’s going on in this photo except that three guys with beards, two of them sporting stars that say “Deputy” have captured a clean-shaven guy who looks and dresses nothing like them.

It must be an alien or zombie roundup of some kind. They are obviously capturing anyone who doesn’t fit in with their community.

Feels like Jackson

The buildings in the background feel like Jackson, but I’m open to other ideas.

Since most of the towns, churches and institutions in the area were founded at about the same time, we had lots of centennial, sesquicentennial, wanna-be-enial celebrations. Some of them required men to grow beards or other facial hair or buy a badge that exempted them. This looks like one of those events. Does Brothers of the Brush sound familiar?