Rain Brings Rain Lilies

Rain Lillies 07-22-2014I’ve had my share of rain (computer problems) this week, but Matt called early in the morning to say that my computer had copied over essential files and that it had been running all night without crashing. I picked it up and started packing the van.

Just goes to show that if you can put up with a little rain, you’re liable to find your yard is packed with rain lilies when the sun comes out. (If you are a flower fan, click on the photo to make it larger.)

Headed back to Cape Wednesday

Rough draft of Smelterville book by Ken Steinhoff 07-17-2014I’m trying to make it back in town in time for Smelterville’s Vine Street Reunion. I had really hoped to have a video presentation containing the interviews I had done with folks over the past few years, but the hard drive crash cost me too many days.

I will have copies of the latest edition of Smelterville: Community of Love available. Any that are left over after the reunion will be available at Annie Laurie’s Antique Shop at Broadway and Frederick in Cape Girardeau. The price is $20.

Here’s a sneak peek at some of the new pages before some of the typos were fixed and some design elements changed.

My RAID Failed

Graham-Elliot Steinhoff 07-17-2014_6554Things were starting to come together for my trip back home. I wrapped up the final revision of the Smelterville book, got a haircut, the van got an oil change and new rear shocks, we went out to say goodbye to Grandsons Graham and Elliot, and I made a lot of progress pulling together a video this morning. I even worked in a well-deserved nap after all that activity.

Then, I looked down at the corner of my computer screen and saw an unusual scary-looking alert message. I think this email to Computer Geek Sons Matt and Adam will tell you more than you ever wanted to know about my travails. Bottom Line: I’m out of business until the Geeks parachute in.


Computert guts 07-18-2014_6567Got an alert this afternoon that my RAID 1 array had gone critical. That’s my boot drive.

I confirmed that my overnight backup had run and copied a few files I knew had changed over to the Drobo. Then I created an Acronis boot disk.

I loaded up the AMD RAID utility and confirmed that it WAS RAID 1 that was sick. My RAID 5 data drives were fine.

I went to Best Buy and picked up a new drive, just in case.

I told the utility to rebuild the mirror. It would crank awhile, then the computer would reboot.

I pulled what I thought was the drive attached to Port 2, which I thought was the bad drive, then I booted up the computer. It booted fine (much faster than usual, in fact).

There’s no joy in Steinhoffville

I went into the utility and confirmed that the drive in Port 2 was gone.

I put the new drive in, and got an error message telling me to tell it where it should boot from.

I tried Ctrl-F, Esc and F8 to get to a window that would let me do that, but no joy.

I pulled the new drive. Same result. I put the old drive back in. Same result.

I put the Acronis boot disk in the drive. It booted up with a bunch of data dumps and got me to a screen asking if I wanted to recover my computer. Rather than take a chance on screwing something up, I turned off the machine and typed this message.

Matt is getting up a 4 a.m. to ride 130 miles, so I don’t think he’s going to be of much help on Saturday. I’m getting ready to leave town, so I need to get fixed as quickly as possible. Am I overlooking something simple?

Remember the big Amazon button

Buy From Amazon.com to Support Ken SteinhoffClick on the big red Amazon button when you order stuff online. That helps me keep feeding hard drives into my computer and it doesn’t add anything to your cost.


Smelterville Rough Draft

Rough draft of Smelterville book by Ken Steinhoff 07-17-2014Here are the first 15 pages of this year’s updated Smelterville Book. I’ve added some new photos and some interview snippets. I had hoped to revise the whole book, but I’ve run out of time.

These are draft pages. I have to have some folks look them over for typos (you are welcome to tell me if you spot anything that needs changing), then it goes to Son Matt for technical tweaking.

As you might notice, I’ve changed the title. This one picks up a quote from Clinton Wren calling the area “A community of love.”

Photo gallery

Click on any photo to make it larger, then use your arrow keys to move through the gallery. Again, these are working proofs at this point. I’ll have copies of the book at the Vine Street Reunion at the end of the month.

Eugene Beckett’s Smelterville Treasures

Eugene Austin Beckett MapI hinted yesterday that I many have to cut back on blog posts while I rush to finish an update to my Smelterville stuff before the Vine Street Reunion July 25-27 and put together a workshop in Athens, Ohio, in August.

I’ve spent most of the past week editing video interviews. Today I waded through emails and comments from people who talked about Smelterville. That’s where I stumbled across a treasure trove of information. Just about this time last year, I got an email from Eugene Beckett. He said he had some photos of the area in the ’30s, ’40s and ’50s, plus a map that he had put together showing many of the landmarks. I asked if he could send me the info.

Consigned to the Future Basket

When it arrived, I looked at it hurriedly and put it in my Future Basket. Well, today, I took a closer look and was floored by what he had sent.

It dovetailed directly with my workshop topic. He did everything I’m going to encourage the participants to do

  • 1. Make or collect the photographs
  • 2. Document when they were taken
  • 3. Write a description of what they show.

(Basically all the stuff I wish I had done for the past half century)

He went the extra step of producing the map of an area that doesn’t exist today.

Legend for map

1   –  City Pump. The only water between the railroad and the river.
2   –  Funny Ferrell’ Store
3   –  Ben Cannon’s Church
4   –  Old foundation of the Lead Smelter plant
5   –  Central Packing Co.
6   –  Fish Market
7   –  River Navigating Light
8   –  Blue Hole Garden Barbecue (the old Blue Hole Garden was at the bottom of toll-gate hill where they build the new hwy.)
9   –  Standard Oil Service Station
10 –  Federal Material Co. Office
11  – Kelley’s Store
12  – Sandy Beach.
13  – John Deiteker’s Store
14  – Lane’s Market
15  – Railroad switch house
16  – Booker T’s scrap yard

I told Curator Jessica that she needs to find a Eugene who has done that kind of documentation in the scores of old coal towns in SE Ohio that are ghost towns or merely memories. The goal of our workshop is to encourage people to go out today to start the documentation that will be invaluable in 30 or 50 years. I’m just beginning to realize what a resource my files are, and I’d like to encourage others to produce similar collections.

Living in Houck Woods during flood

Sarah Addie Bequette Houck Wood escaping flood in 1940s courtesy Eugene Beckett_11aOne of Eugene’s photos is of his grandmother, Sarah Addie Bequette in a tent village in the Houck Woods up Tollgate Hill where Smelterville residents fled Mississippi River floodwaters. I’m going to guess this was the Flood of 1943. I had read accounts of that, but here is an actual photograph of one of those refugees. Eugene also wrote an extensive biography of Mrs. Bequette.

Here’s why his detective work and captions are so important: if you look at the photo without the background, you might think she’s on a camping trip or that there’s a tent revival set up in the background. Filling in that detail about the flood places it in historical context.

Thanks to Eugene for sharing his family documentation.

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