Radio Daze

Joan Ryan submitted this poem in a comment, but I thought I’d “raise” it into the evanescent present. I have fond memories of peering into the back of a radio and seeing that mysterious orange cathode glow.

Radio Daze


Inside appeared a magic city

With glass high rises. Very pretty.

A futuristic cool fantasy view.

When one high tower tube grew dark,

No light, no power, not a spark,

You had a perfect plan for what to do.

Pull out the tube and take it down

To a repair shop in the town.

They would replace the bulb with one brand new.


It’s 2010, Surprise! Surprise!

We’ve all become transistorized.

Small radio in 55? Who knew?

Now you would need a microscope

And microchips,

You’d be a dope

Attempting a repair today. Oh pooh!

Till you’re instructed by the Gods

In fixing puters and Ipods

And radios, you’re more than likely through.

Unless you know how to replace

A circuit board in some weird space

It’s best to give it up and buy anew.



Filed under Joan

173 responses to “Radio Daze

  1. Joan

    Thanks Larry. It’s really nice to be elevated. (grin)

    Since this poem is completely off topic…I need to ‘splain it.

    It was inspired by Darrell’s memory of radio days and the comment was supposed to be posted after his comment in the Slinky section . Sadly, it was late at night and I plopped it into the wrong topic section. I’d claim that it slinked over there but I doubt anyone would buy that. (grin)

  2. Virginia

    Joan, I would believe your poem “slinked” or is that slunk over. Tee hee! I related to the poem, because I’ve had to wade through tubes and wires and chips for years. My husband rebuilt all sorts of radios and TVs as a hobby and because friends asked for help. Now as your poem suggests, unless a component goes out that can readily be identified by meter, the electric gadget (or VCR) becomes part of the hazardous landfill problem.

  3. Joan

    Virginia, I think you and my late mother in law would have had much to talk about. My husband’s little brother started out as a ham radio fan, and she ended up at her house with an antennae that looked like the Eiffel Tower to me, and a shop full of old radios and TV’s for repair. Later in life he took to retrofitting antique radios with more modern innards for people who fancied the outsides but could not get parts for the insides. As for the landfill? I think Kathleen thought her place WAS the landfill. (grin).

  4. Virginia

    I know another back yard with an antenna that looks like the Eiffel Tower. One of our trees crashed through its predecessor, a four element beam. Luckily some years ago we had a basement flood (that sort of goes along with Larry’s other topic) that made most of the parts, old radios and STUFF unusable. Now we can walk in the basement without fearing something will topple off a shelf and smash us.

  5. Darrell

    So Slinkdom has relocated to Radio Daze?

  6. Time and blog posts march on… it seems most commenters gravitate towards the post “at the top”, although there have been exceptions in the past.

  7. Darrell

    Does anyone out there still have any favorite old radio programs?

  8. Joan

    Darrell…you go first on the Radio programs…maybe it will jog my feeble brain cells. I remember kid’s programs after school… Superman? Also when we went to grandmother’s house on Sunday’s we stayed (seemingly forever) when I was a kid and listened to I think Jack Benny . Can’t remember much else. I probably fell asleep.

  9. Darrell

    Okay . . .
    -Space Patrol,
    -Clyde Beattey
    -Hall of Fantasy
    -Jack Benny
    -Mr Keane, Tracer of Lost Persons
    -Have Gun, Will Travel
    -Big John and Sparky
    -Let’s Pretend,
    -Music from Studio X,
    -Ralph Lewis’ music program from WTAD,
    as starters

  10. Virginia

    Darrell, Did you forget Bobby Benson and the B Bar B Riders? Or were you too sophisticated a child for this favorite of mine in about 2nd grade.

  11. joan

    Sky King, (corny..I thought…On KING! On you husky!!) Suspense, Gunsmoke…I forgot that was radio at first, Superman, I thought ‘Have Gun’ was just T.V. but I loved it, “A soldier of fortune is a man calllllled Paladin.” He was kind of the first dirty Harry. (grin) I never much liked “Let’s Pretend’ but I listened to it at my friend’s house and I remember the melody of the opener. Ohhh i remember one I loved. …. ‘The Shadow’ Who knows what evil LURKS in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows….muhahahahaha’. I vaguely recall Mr. Kean…just not much about the show but the intro.

    Music? I have no clue what station any of it was on…just particular songs. Back in the day..a lot of the hits sifted down from broadway shows. I did not know that. Just that they were hits. Then, years later when they made movies out of the shows I was always astounded to realize where they came from originally.

  12. joan

    Was Bobby Benson a kid cowboy, Virginia? I wonder if some of these were only on Sat. and some others only on weekdays. I know I’d listen to Superman after school and be terrified he’d be done in by Kryptonite. (grin)
    I think what we could imagine was infinitely scarier than a lot of the stuff I see on the tube nowadays.

  13. Virginia

    Joan, Bobby Benson was a kid cowboy the cowhands called “Little Boss.” It was on weekday afternoons. Wasn’t “King” Sargent Preston’s dog in “Sargent Preston of the Royal Mounties?” I loved that show but had forgotten about it.
    I also listened to “Let’s Pretend,” sponsored by Cream of Wheat. The jingle is now running through my mind (Thank you so much). I was outside playing as much as possible so my listening was on rainy or very cold days.

  14. Joan

    I may have listened to Bobby Benson, but Superman was my fellow. (grin)

    Yes! Ooopps! You are right ! King was Preston’s dog. He’d say ‘On King…ON you Husky!’ and the dog would say ‘woof!’. That, as far as I can remember was the dog’s total vocab. I don’t recall any howling or growling or anything dramatic that King actually did.

    “Sky King” was another show..Brian says. Had someone named Penny in it and the plane was called the Songbird.

    I guess I rarely saw the Sat. radio shows because on Sat I too was outside but I do recall that one time I spent the night with my next door neighbor and she had it on in the kitchen. Also I was sick one time when they did “Green Mansions” That’s all I remember except for that ubiquitious song…..Arrrghhh . I’m sorry. At least you can comfort yourself with the fact that I am equally infected with it. “For allll the family’s breatfast…youu can’t beat Cream of Wheeeeaaat. (grin)

    Cream of Wheat is so good to eat.
    Yes, we have it every day.
    We sing this song; it will make us strong.
    And it makes us shout HOORAY.
    It’s good for growing babies.
    And grown-ups too to eat.
    For all the family’s breakfast,
    You can’t beat Cream of Wheat!

    And now after all these years, we find out Oatmeal is actually the best for us. Tooo late. I’m hooked on Cream O Wheat.

  15. Joan

    To Larry: A new poem:

    Computer Daze

    Nine days, but who is counting?
    (Well of course you know I am.)
    I keep thinking we will see you
    Have you now gone on the lam?

    I had thought your situation
    Now improved beyond belief
    Would result in many postings
    Since you finally had relief…

    From the former stressful people
    And were housed by Doug and friend.
    But I never would have guessed
    What things would look like at this end.

    Every day I am quite hopeful
    There will be some new blog post
    But the same old poem by me
    Keeps re-appearing like a ghost.

    Is it cause there’s not much drama
    In your nice bucolic place?
    When floodless do things seem to drag
    At tortoise plodding pace?

    Well then now, what are you reading?
    Have you been on some excursions?
    Have you met some brand new people
    Or developed new aversions?

    Have you found a plant or weedlike thing
    With pictures of the source?
    That’s assuming that your camera
    Is now working well, of course.

    If you ventured back into the hood
    To check your place or shop
    Hope you had no more encounters
    With a perp or with a cop.

    Touch down! Touch up your blog
    And give your fans a real big kick.
    If I have to read my poem again
    I’m going to be sick.

  16. Darrell

    Yes, I remember Bobby7 Benson and the “B bar B Ranch” in the Big Bend Coiuntry of Texas . . . with Tex Mason, Windy Wales, Harka, et al.. BTW, I just cfhecked and Windy was played by Don Knotts decades before Barney Fife. There was also a music from a Mutual Broadcasting program that I listened to at this time too and I believe it was hosted by Mert Copeland (?).
    Also Sky King . . . but I really wincered where and how he got those armed aircraft, including the Jet (Flying Arrow??) with a 20mm cannon!!!.

    Also, recall Clyde Beatty from the same general time?? . . . I learned a bit from that one!

  17. Virginia

    I had forgotten the names of the characters in Bobby Benson. I’m surprised to hear Don Knotts played Windy Wales, but now that you’ev identified him, I can recall the voice, say “Aw-w, Little Boss.” Clyde Beatty was also good, but only on Saturday mornings, I think? I could see the circus in my head.

  18. Darrell

    Virginia, (and all other Radio Daze fans) . . . I read up on the B Bar B . . . Don Knotts was still only in his mid-20’s but Wendy was supposed to be a much older guy.. Do you remember the episode when the feral camel showed up on the ranch? I think it was called ‘The Monster of the Mesa”?

    I think Clyde Beatty was on during the week on at around 5 PM. Some episodes were set in the circus of course, but I still recall the ones that were set in places like the Ituri Forest (sp?) . . . or even in the Himalayas : “The Snow Leopard of Tibet”. But these were mostly hokum (as I realized at the time) . At one stage, Clyde came into possession of a “Weatherby Magnum” rifle that he praised as the living end (or should that be dying end??).. And a few months later ads for Weatherbys started popping (popping??) up in the outdoor magazines. I wanted one so badly I could taste it . . . BUT was a bit young (it was ca 1952) and impoverished (they began at about 300 dollars a pop (!) even then. Eventually I’d work for a Weatherby dealership, so I got my fill of them then . . . as in overloaded (get it?). However, I still go gaa gaa over snow leopards.

  19. Joan

    I don’t remember these, for some reason, but if I had an MP3 player, I could get samples. Here is what looks like the whole series, Darrell.

  20. Joan

    OK..Here is Superman… Super podcasts… Wickipedia has a short history and then on the right is a photo, and below that it says podcast: stream from archive org. This brings up the whole series after you designate how you want it streamed. My Widow’s media play brought the whole thing up..

    Start here: Here’s the wikipedia link which will get you there.

    I kind of think that there may be a lot of others old radio programs like this.
    Right now I am listening to Superman even as I write this. Poor Kent is getting chewed out by his editor as usual. Metropolis must be close to New York, cause the accents sound very east coast. (grin)

  21. Joan

    This is just a riot!! Clark Kent has a rather high voice…then when he morphs into Superman his voice drops about 3 octaves. I wonder if they were two different actors or one with a wide voice range.

  22. Darrell

    Are we still doing Radio Daze??

  23. Joan

    I don’t see why not, Darrell…if anything has not been covered… We could also go on to early TV days. Saw a PBS documentary about this and how many hosts of radio shows went on to T.V. I remember Jack Benny translated well. As for the radio cereals…Guiding Light went on until this year. And adventure programs… I forget what. . I guess Gunsmoke. Superman. etc. Bobby Benson? …not so much. (grin)

    The most impressive thing about the Radio shows, was that they were live. (I think) and the most impressive thing to about the early TV shows was that they were live. At least the variety shows, and talk shows were. Not much room for bloopers, but certainly more suspense.

    There was a story about a local cowboy hosted kid show where the host would ask the kids if they had anything to say. I think they featured birthday kids. Am not sure of the scenario as we did not live in St. Louis at the time. But supposed the kid said “Hello Mom, Hello Dad, and Here’s to you Herbie’, thereby flicking the bird to the unfortunate Herbie. I’ll have to ask Brian, native of St. Louis, the particulars when he gets home..unless I can find it on Wikipedia. Somehow the name Buffalo Bob sounds familiar.

  24. Darrell

    For 50’s TV: Have Gun Will Travel, Dragnet, Science Fiction Theatre (with Truman Bradley).
    I don’t think Bobby Bemson made it to TV however.

    The cowboy host? Was this in St Louis? In Hannibal on KHQA, there was Cactus Jim, exhorting us to be “clean livin’ cowpokes” in the name of Prarie Farms Dairy. As for Cactus Jim, there was an urban legend that he suffered a nervious breakdown on the set, but I’d be skeptical of that.

    Recall Ralph Lewis doing the dumb commercials for Dandee Bread and the re-cycled Dragnet episodes now called “Badge 714”? Lewis was quite an enlightened man, according to my Mom – he did a late night radio music program that I tried to listen to in the mid-to-late ’50’s.

  25. Joan

    Brian says it was Texas Bruce, and he said it was local to St. Louis. I have no idea what kids’ show it was.

    I loved Dragnet! We were constantly doing Jack Webb saying “Just the facts, Mam. Just give me the facts.”…and humming the theme. Dum de dum dum… Dum de dum dum duuuuuhhh. (Well, it lost a lot in the translation, but you will remember it.) Harry Morgan,Jack’s sidekick, played Col. Sherman Potter, in Mash. Strangely enough Sherman’s ‘fictional’ hometown was Hannibal, MO. Just gets weirder and weirder doesn’t it? I’m sure there were tourists running around Hannibal trying to find his home. (grin)

    As for the music… Wasn’t allow up for late-night…but I’ll take your word for it about the radio show. Grandpa’s house, build in the mid 1800’s had doors between the bedrooms, and you can hear through a door a lot better than a wall. Soooo no radio programs after dark could be snuck through the antennae ears of my Mom..

  26. Joan

    To All Riverside Ramblers:
    Larry had a bike accident a few days back and suffered some broken ribs. He’s presently recouping at his friend Dale’s house. Get well soon, Larry! Have Dale prop you up to his computer. It will help. (grin)

  27. Darrell

    Any news now on Larry??

    Also, Joan, Harry Morgan wasn’t Joe Friday’d partner until the ’67 revival. Prior to that it was Ben Alexander, I believe. There was yet another earlier partner who died.

  28. Joan

    Nothing new on Larry. I thought he’d update the blog after the e-mail but apparently he’s more under the weather than I thought.

    OH.. You know.. About Dragnet. I do remember a much more bland guy who was his sidekick..and was surprised that Brian remembered Harry Morgan. That ‘splains it. There are evidently two sides to every kick. Or three even, if one fellow died. Geesh! How do you remember all this? .

  29. Darrell

    Joan . . when you do find any news on Larry let us know.
    Dragnet? Ben Alexander was a large somewhat rotund gent who always wore a fedora style hat; in one episode he was gunned down, but recovered. At the time, I thoght they were going to get rid of him too . . I was a shocked kid. How do I remember this trivial stuff? Maybe it’s because my Mom told me this stuff . . she was a bit of a tv fan in her time and akways read the articles in TV Guide I checked the Movie Database last night and it seems that partner #1 didn’t actually die (unlike the sergeant in Hill Street Blues). . . . so he must have dropped out and they could have written a demise in the sript?
    Jack Webb also did a series of personal favorites in the intervening years between Dragnet in ca 51-52 and the later ’60’s. One was “Noah’s Ark “about a vet years before James Harriott. Anpother was about a DA. Another was “Adam 12”. BUT my absolute was “True” . . or was it “GE’s True” . . whatever. It was a series of pre4sumed ‘true’ styories from the annals of True Magazine. One I recall – in almost toto – was “A One Mile Shot to Kill”, about an episode in the Civil War when a Union sharpshooter shoots a Confederate general at over one mile away, saving the day for the Union troops on the other side. Later on (as in 2009) I learned that the incident likely never took place, but it was a white knuckler in its day (I’ll check the True broadcast date later).

  30. Joan

    I will let everyone know when I know something…which could be a long time, knowing Larry. I have yet to receive an answer to my ‘what happened to the bike?” How’re you doin now? reply.

    What a cool Mom, Darrell . The background stuff is sometimes more interesting than the shows.

    Fascinating story about the civil war. I guess if we’d had Google back then we’d have known that it was perhaps inflated somewhat. I just looked up Civil War weaponry and the average rifle only shot 500 yards and if you really wanted to hit something accurately it would be 200 yards. I am fascinated by the awful carnage of that war..which was because of the guns which caused such damage that amputation was almost certain.

  31. Darrell

    Just hope Larry’s reasonably okay and not off in some corner suffering stoically.

    Civil war and Google? Google may have spread as much misinformation as it can today. As always, it’s rthe writer – not the medium – that makes the difference. You were referring to a new weapon at the time: the rifle musket. It could reach 500 yards easily and been lethal in lobbing fire up to perhaps 1200 yards. The traditional (for several centuries) musket was smooth bored (like a shotgun) and used a loose fittibg round ball that in effect bouned down the barrel when fired.. It’s amaximum effective range was under 100 yards . . .do wou recall the “small battle” in “Barry Lyndon”? . . . a good depiction of musketry.. If you get hit, you were just unlucky, rather than the victim of an aimed shot. But when the rifle-musket come on line in the mid-1850’s, the effective range is incresed tenfold . . and tradintioanl military commandes were simply not prepared in their minds for a weapon that could be fired by an individual soldier and had that much aimed range. In addition, there was the long rage “picket rifles” that were civilkian target rifles that could reach for hundreds of yards and often had telescopic sights which made them even deadlier . . eclipsing anything the professional military could even dream up.

    As for medical science, the Civil War was one of the last major conflicts prior to the establishment of the germ theory. So the advance of one technology while another counter technology languished produced the horror of the conflict.

  32. Joan

    Larry’s definitely not going to a doctor. He made that clear. Said he’d broken ribs before and there was nothing to do but wait it out.

    Guns… Ummm ok. But would any of these weapons shoot one mile and pick someone off?

    No, I don’t recall Barry Lyndon…but you know, I”m not a guy either so I”d likely not recall a battle in great detail anyway.

    As for the carnage…..I got that from “The Civil War” epoch by Ken Burns. Something about what the new weapon would do to bones as compared to the older ones. Pretty bad at any range . There was a particularly graphic section showing the pile of limbs on one side as the ‘surgeons’ sawed away on the other. If they survived the shock it was still miracle anyone lived considering the septic conditions .

  33. Darrell

    Larry . . how about a faith healer? At least an x-ray maybe to make sure there are no jagged edges inside?

    Joan . . . Guns (actually you mean small arms) at a mile ca 1864? Yes. Ten years later a buffalo hunter named Billy Dixon took a Comanche medicine man off his horse at about that distance. See the Adobe Walls Fight on the Cimarron. As for “guns” as in artillerypieces . . absolutely. Rifled fied guns probably were bigger killers than small arms, even in the Civil War. If you are interested in Civil War armaments, a very good (and interesting) book came out back in the early 60’s I believe, called Civil War Guns by Bill Edwards (mad as a hatter but brilliant writer) . . . his lines tend to stick in the mind.

  34. Joan

    Evidently it was not just the gun but the bullet that wrought such havoc:
    Not sure about the spelling of that bullet. Some sources had 2 n’s.

    “The slow-moving Minie bullet used during the American Civil War caused catastophic injuries. The two minie bullets, for example, that struck John Bell Hood’s leg at Chickamauga destroyed 5 inches of his upper thigh bone. This left surgeons no choice but to amputate shattered limbs. Hood’s leg was removed only 4 and 1/2 inches away from his body. Hip amputations, like Hood’s, had mortality rates of around 83%. The closer to the body the amputation was done, the more the increase in the wound being mortal. An upper arm amputation, as was done on Stonewall Jackson or General Oliver O. Howard (who lost his arm at Fair Oaks in 1862) had a mortality rate of about 24%.”

  35. Darrell

    Minie is correct – just add an accent over the ‘e’. Minie’ was a French Army officer who designed the most successful style of the type of lead hollow based conical rifle projectiles in the 1850’s. All were approximately .58 caliber (over 1/2 inch) in diameter. Their velocity was a bit slower than standard velocity .22 long rifle ammunition. They were dirty because they were lubed in varous fats and carried in verdigris lined leather boxes in normally hot humid climates . . so the Minies were a plethora of potential pathogens. In going down the barrel during firing they also picked up greasy black residues in the barrel with their typical “cleaning groove’ . . . and the velocity was so low that the pathpogens usually survived the barrel heat. As for an appreciation of pathogens, probably only a few dozen men on the planet in 1861-5 had an inkling about what was going on with bacterial infections.
    By 1867 or so, metallic cartridges came into their own, but the sanitation of the new slightly smaller bullets (about .45 caliber) wasn’t much better. Not until the 1890’s did smokeless powder, along with copper alloy jacketed bullets, came along and noticably decreased the infectiveness of bullet wounds. HOWEVER, velocities now jumped to 2000 ft per second or higher (supersonic) and effective ranges jumped to higher levels . . and rifle fire became even deadlier. At risk of blowing my own bugle, check my article on firearms of the Boer War (1899-1902) in the old 1987 edition of the Guns and Ammo Annual on the effect the first “modern” arms had when they arrived on the scene.

  36. Joan

    Darn, Darrell! How can we check your article when it’s not on line? That’s so carrot on a stick!

    Anyway thanx so much for the most fascinating bullet bios. I love the verdigris lined boxes. Geesh! like jewelry. (grin) None of the articles I skimmed about these bullets even touched on the dirty bullets themselves..only the spreading on impact factor and general unsanitary conditions of the ‘surgery’.

    You aren’t kidding…they didn’t know about pathogens. I remember reading a bio about Seimelwiez pioneering disinfectants in the early 1800’s in a maternity hospital, in order to avoid ‘child bed fever’… He was roundly ignored and Pasteur much later took up the idea, while still not knowing a thing about germs.

    My grandfather was born in 1862. Two years later he almost died of typhoid and his father and 4 year old brother did die of it. . They had no idea that polluted water caused it. It is totally amazing the advancements we have made in science, medicine, (and most certainly fire power) since then.

  37. Darrell

    For all Ray Bradbury fans out there . . .

    I regret the loss of Joan’s great-uncle . . .

    Pathogens in early 1860’s . . they knew about germs BUT they hadn’t learned how to tell the benign from the real pathogens. This was the real challenge. Within a few years they’d discover Gram staining, fulchisin (sp?) etc, and started to classify bacteria. And learned what countermeasures to take against them.

  38. Joan

    Here’s an on-line copy of April Witch which you asked if I”d read. Now I have.

  39. Darrell

    Joan will check out April Witch when I have some time. I re-read it a couple decades back but it seemed to lack the sparkle it had in 1959. Maybe I should try again? At the time it was a welcome change from the sci fi stuff I packed down by the pound . . and a revelation in the magic of language instead of the visual picture.

    RE medicine again. Medical science’s advance has been a rather recent thing as I pointed out to my students when I presented Western Civ 2 at the City College. By 1860 almost every branch (except say nuclear physics) was well under way . . . but medical science was in freeze frame ca 1760. Indeed someone remarhed that one might have been better off in the care of a good Roman physician than an American ‘sawbones’? But between ca 1870 and 1914, medicine took off. But the period ca 1844 to 1905 was argueably the greatest rush in technology that the world has seen – before, or since?

  40. Joan

    Yeah, Darrell, I’ve noticed lots of things don’t sparkle so much in retrospect as they did when we were young. (Grin)

    I just revisited the site of the story, and noticed there is an arrow to push, so of course, I did. I was treated to some rather nice fairy music to go with the narrative Sadly, it didn’t say what the music was. Sounded like guitars, and violins and a harp, though. Either someone has a terrifically versatile synthesizer or it’s an orchestra. It’s in a minor key by and large and sounds like it might be Middle Eastern. Give it a try and see if you might recognize it.

    In re the medicine show…I had some fun yesterday following the history of pathogens on line. I’ll have to root around to see if I can find the two links but it was really revealing and very informative. Medical knowledge like the Industrial Revolution seems to have taken a quantum leap from the dark ages to many many discoveries in a (seeming) 50 year period.

  41. Darrell

    I think we ran off the track . . . it supposed to be a discussion of old radio (and TV too?) programs . . so I’ll try to stear to them. But in the meantime, to finish off the Civil War, two vids that give a better example what things would have looked and sounded like better that Hollywood or reinactments: a Whitworth rifled field gun: Remember this could reach some 2800 yards (about the distance fro St Mary’s Pharmacy to the waterfront Marina . . or Nipper Park . . and have the accuracy to hit an automobile sized object.

    The other is a 13 inch raulroad mortar: The sound it makes after the air burst is the “incoming” sound following behind the projectile. Turn up the volume . . and ask yourself what sort of post traumatic stress this couls have produced?

  42. Darrell

    Anyone remember a series call the Hall of Fantasy in the early ’50’s?

  43. Joan

    I don’t know what a field gun is..but that line was a cannon demo. I liked this link better. After you get through the other inventions it goes on to the development of the Whitworth rifle.. If you can get over the overstuffed voice of the self important’s fun.

    As far as comment topics… I think we can wander as far afield as we want. Might as well.. as nobody else seems to be joining in and not being the administrator of this blog we can’t post a new topic.. I can run out of radio shows I’ve seen very easily…I can’t run out of curiosity about Civil War.. or the mid 19th Century in particular.

  44. Darrell

    Joan, the Whitworth piece was interesting but was a bit warped. I don’t know if Whitworth was the bitter man depicted . . AND his main claim to fame was his artillery piece (as in the vid I sent earlier). The Whitworth would have been WhitWorthless as a military arm for general issue. The Minie/Enfield systems were far more effective in the hands of soldiers . . . the bitter truth is that a typical enlsted/drafted military type will probably make a mess out of the higher levels of high tech – it just isn’t their forte’. Recall the experience with the new M16 in ‘Nam when troops in the field were handed a weapon they were unprepared to care for or operate? Or even Civil War soldiers who weren’t up to care and feeding of repeating rifle designs, or even had trouble with the muzzle loading issue arms by loading and reloading, and reloading without remembering to fire? And in my family, there is a tale of my Mom’s tribally regestered cousin who was assigned the dubious task of training the “other Indians” . . .well, to make the story short, IF they saw no immediate need for a piece of equipment, they’d simply walk off and abandon it. The cousin was still reelin’with the feelin’ years later. As for a Whitworth it had to be kept immaculately clean . . . as in having the barrel flushed out and wiped dry after each shot . . otherwise the hexagonal oblong bullet would lodge in the barrel with potentially dangerous results for the shooter. No army anywhere was happy with Whitworth cannons or small arms (except in the hands of special and highly savvy operators). As for Rorkes Drift (1879), the lines mentioned about the Whitworth making a difference were pure hokum: the Royal Army had long since adopted breech loading rifles that would have eclipsed anything Whitworth had produced in the 1850’s. Also, the day before Rorkes Drift, at Isandhwana (sp). almost 1500 British troops with repeating rifles were wiped out by spear packin’ Zulus . . . but the reasons why for that are a whole different discussion.

    As for Whitworth rifles, perhaps I ended up with a job because of one. A gent who became my boss eventually told me I just had to see a double barreled Whitworth he had at his shop . . for it was carved out of a single billet of steel . . . a near-impossible feat of machining. Finally I piled in my car and drove to LA (from Hannibal) to see the wonderous work of Whitworth weaponry. That ,in turn, impressed him so much I was eventually offered a job because of my pilgrimage and my veneration of the Whitworth holy relic.

    Okay, enough for tonight.

  45. Darrell

    Well, not quite all for tonight . . . Joan, do you recall when I was asking Larry to go to Riverside Cemetery to take photos of the tombstone of a Confederate soldier named Ruffner who was killed at the fight at Appomattox Court House at the very end of the war? Anyway, the Army of Nothern Virginia was retreating from the Petersburg and Richmond areas. Now Petersburg was pounded by a considerable number of these same 13″ mortars. So imagine having to live with sounds like that plus the destruction . . . and then starting a scary retreat for western Virginia . . . and then to come under repeated cavalry attacks that were devestating . . . and for Ruffner, only to die at the place the war ended.

    And, BTW, if I recall correctly, the Union cavalry commander whose efforts might well have caused Ruffner;s death was George Armstrong Custer. It puts a dissolving tombstone (near the large Levering monument) in Riverside a whole new perspective???

  46. Joan

    That is fascinating personal history, Darrell…not to mention the history of that rifle. (“Whitworthless”..Very funny! ). I must confess that due to either time constrains or a short attention span or both I did not get to the end of the video. I just stopped at the hexagonal rifle barrel. The pompous narrator might have had something to do with it.

    I don’t recall Larry’s photographing that tombstone. I thought I’d captured all his photos but there is a missing section somewhere in the middle that may never be seen again. (Short pause here for ‘back up your stuff on something besides your computer).

    My eldest took actual non-digital photos of Riverside back in the pre-digital age…with some Confederate tombstones included. I scanned a few of the arty ones to disk…but the chances of catching that particular tombstone are not good. Did you say that Larry did actually photograph it?

    That story of your ancestor is so sad. Nothing more horrible than a soldier getting killed during the last days of a war. When Brian had his R&R in Hawaii, there was a chaplain and a Rabbi there at the Honolulu Airport incoming area to be there for the wives in case any soldiers had not made it. Brian of course was probably the second to last person off the plane. I nearly had a heart attack waiting for him.

    Again thanx for the history lesson and the personal story. I think my youngest, who is a nascent hunter person would be interested in your stories.

  47. Darrell

    Joan, I don’t think Larry photoed the gravestone . . I just suggested it to him in case he needed material for a new blog entry with photos. Also, Ruffner wasn’t my ancestor . . . we were all on the otherside. My gt-g-fateher died in 1862 while with the 84th Illinois. Confederate gunned down the first husband of my gt-gt-G-ma in front of her and her 2 small daughters . . . there was no good reason for it save politics and tense nerves.

    I have photos of the Ruffner stone dating back to the 60’s and others taken last year,. The weathering has been significant. in the intervening years.

    As for the video, it seemed like one more example of the perpetually smug “discovering” faux stupidity and smugness in folks of the past that the commentator just inherently dislikes? Quite like the news media of recent years I suppose??? Arm yourself with even a dash of knowledge and it’s easy to see through both.

  48. Joan

    Hmmm . Well, I’ll try to stay armed with a dash of knowledge, Darrell. (grin) I wish the news media of the present would follow suit, however. I’d even be satisfied with even dash of the truth, when it comes to Fox news. But I digress, as usual.

    In re..gravestones. I don’t think a lot of them were marble back in the day. The ones I saw at Mt. Olivette in the ‘unmowed’ (aka non pepetual care) section dated around 1835 were quite worn. Also quite sad, as many whole families were wiped out at the same time. Perhaps cholera. Do you think that limestone would weather that much? You are most certainly the expert in limestone. Even marble stains something awful. My father’s gravestone was stained brown by either leaves or iron oxide, and could not be bleached out. Very frustrating and sad.

    BTW I finally heard a smidge from Larry. His ribs are still sore, but he’s been employed to do some work for his friend in…( can’t recall if it’s Louisiana or New London ,both of which are near Hannibal..) and is living in that area now close to the job. The bike is ok..but not for traveling long distances. Hope he has time to blog soon. We miss you, Larry.

  49. Virginia

    Darrell and Joan,

    I’ve just finished reading your combined fascinating history lesson. I have little to add on the topic except on weathering of grave stones. Limestone weathers very quickly. Most Civil War limestone markers have no well-defined writing if they are in a rainy climate. Marble is just a little better, but best of all are the granites and gneisses -igneous rocks.

    If you visit Kansas City, take some time to visit Union Cemetary located in mid-town. It is a lovely, peaceful place that has a few graves from the early 1900’s, but mostly during the Civil War years. Some Chinese laborers were buried there with only wooded markers. The markers of course are gone. Most soldiers had limestone grave markers so the writing is relatively obscure. Officers had very nice granite or gneiss markers. So you can recognize it, gneiss is called wavy granite by monument makers. If you do visit the cemetary, stop at the little building near the gate to pick up a folder with a brief history and the layout of the cemetary.

    I’m glad to hear Larry is up. Broken ribs can be very painful according to my daughter-in-law who had two from a car crash. He probably doesn’t feel much like bending over a keyboard.

  50. Joan

    Thank you, Virginia,

    That KC cemetery you describe sounds like a fascinating historical place to visit…. (But just to visit.. What’s that old bromide? A nice place to visit but I wouldn’t want to live there? )

    I’m glad you explained the stones used yesterday and today. Turns out I was wrong on the gravestones in the family plot. They are not marble…but are all polished granite headstones and Dad’s was just one unfortunate enough to acquire rust stains. It’s evidently one of the worst stains to remove, because the usual household bleaches etc. didn’t work at all for me, and it turns out that I should not have used them either. . However, should anyone else be as compulsive as I, here are some suggested remedies.

    YYou are right about the ribs. I only had bruised ribs after a fall years ago and it was bad enough. I feel for poor Larry and your daughter-in-law. Ouch!

  51. Joan

    Ooops! The infamous ‘now you see it, now you don’t’ comment plague seems to have hit this blog. Last night I thanked Virginia for the information about the KC cemetery and posted a couple of recipes for scrubbing iron oxide stains from a tombstone, and the comment was up there with links when I went to bed. This A.M. nuttin. I’ll wait a bit to see if it comes back, but I have a bad feeling that if Larry is not accessing the board to free it, that it’s stuck in cemetery spam bin. (sighhh)

  52. Joan

    OK… Now I think there are ghosts in my puter.! It’s baaaak! Unless the next time I’s noooot. (grin)

  53. Joan

    I have reposted the links…just to see if it’s the links that keep getting the previous post blitzed.

  54. Darrell

    RE Civil War markers . . . my gt-g-dad’s marble military marker in Nashville (from 1863?) is badly eroded. His name can be made out but the other data is hard to see. If the Cemetery didn’rt have records, it would be hard to learn much at all. With my gt-gt–g-gad Bliven in Burton (IL) his stone is almost as badly eroded; crumbling into s sandy texture, along with lichen growing in the rock itself. I checked today and I have the Ruffner stone from Riverside Cemetery in my digital photo pile. I could try to send it if the site would permit it, which I doubt..
    Also, today I reviewed this blog session and discovered that we ran off the track by discussing old radio and TV shows, and I mentioned Jack Webb’s “True” . . and an episode from 1962 called “One Mile Shot to Kill” . . . I looked up the info that exists on the not-so-true True story, if anyone’s interested? A good example how a story can get started and have the media take it up and relay the error . . a la the bogus Bush “military records” that was picked up by CBS . . . and ended up snookering the wishfully wanting-to-believe Dan Rather among others. Anyway the True story was an example of fiction being morphed into “history”.

  55. Joan

    Oh I think we have a lot more recent examples of fiction being morphed into ‘history’ Darrell…Thanks to Rush Limbaugh and his ilk currently an uncomfortably large number of Americans believe Obama is Muslim. But I aim to avoid the present and stick to safe topics from the past. Politics would inevitably evolve into a squabble which is a war that nobody wins on blog.

    Speaking of having misspoken.. I think my Dad’s headstone is actually polished granite instead of marble. I wouldn’t want marble to be taken for granite. Either way, however they are apt to stain and there are many remedies able to be Googled. I give up on links which are somewhere in limbo at present. (sigh) .

    I have just no idea how to upload a pic to comments. (sob!) Hey! You could attach the gravestone pic to an e-mail to Virginia who could then forward it on to me. This would preserve your anonymity in perpetuity, as you seem to desire, (grin) and I’d still get to see the picture.

    I am not really worried about running off the track, since I’ve pretty much exhausted my little remembered repertoire of old radio/tv programs. In addition I’ve learned a lot about Civil war armaments.

  56. Virginia

    Joan, I don’t see your comment to me. Are the ghosts at it again? Here is a link to Union Cemetary via the Historical Society. I was a bit chagrined to find the name had nothing to do with the Civil War but was a union between Westport and Kansas City. There is a nice little photo section that shows weathering of limestone gravestones, an explanation covering the wooden markers, and a walking trail of military graves. Enjoy.

  57. Joan

    This is a fascinating cemetery link, Virginia, so I guess links are not the problem with my post. Yes, it was addressed to you, and it not only disappeared again, but it reappeared (to me) when I posted a the second time with the links…and then disappeared when I tried to bring it up later by clicking on the blog. Waaah!
    At any rate, I’ve given up on the links to how to scrub rust off tombstones as they seem to irritate the ghost of this blog, and I just advise anyone to google it, as I did. The remedies are not all alike.
    There are things about your KC cemetery that are familiar. One is a prominent date Many of the dates on the ancient -unmowed section of Mt. Olivete that I saw, were the same as the cholera epidemic dates in KC. I wonder if it was all over Missouri..or that was a year when floods brought disease.
    I’m going to look some more at your link..but I wanted to get this up before it disappears.

  58. Joan

    Oh yikes. Now both comments are back. I’m getting dizzy. The original comment is number 50 August 31 at ll:46 P.M.

  59. Joan

    Now the posts are gone again! They were both back..just 30 minutes ago. The original and the follow up repeat. They are not that great that I have to worry about them..but I’m starting to question my sanity. (grin) I even tried to access Riverside Rambles by Googling it in the event that my link was bad. I can’t even get it on it directs to the old domain which is no more.
    Sooo I’m bidding goodbye to these comments and hoping the problem will not come up again with others.

  60. Joan

    Here’s a copy of the ghost post which re-appears to me right after I post each new complaint. (grin) Trying one more time…just for the heck of it. I cut and pasted it.

    August 31, 2010 at 11:36 pm

    Thank you, Virginia,

    That KC cemetery you describe sounds like a fascinating historical place to visit…. (But just to visit.. What’s that old bromide? A nice place to visit but I wouldn’t want to live there? )

    I’m glad you explained the stones used yesterday and today. Turns out I was wrong on the gravestones in the family plot. They are not marble…but are all polished granite headstones and Dad’s was just one unfortunate enough to acquire rust stains. It’s evidently one of the worst stains to remove, because the usual household bleaches etc. didn’t work at all for me, and it turns out that I should not have used them either. . However, should anyone else be as compulsive as I, here are some suggested remedies.

    You are right about the ribs. I only had bruised ribs after a fall years ago and it was bad enough. I feel for poor Larry and your daughter-in-law. Ouch!

  61. Virginia

    I think it’s pretty funny that the topic has turned to cemetaries and varieties of monuments attended by ghostly posts that appear and disappear as any self-respecting apparition should.

  62. Joan

    I tried one last time by cutting and pasting what I’d already posted. It was comment 50 on my personal ghostly blog. It did not take either. There is something there is that does not like that recipe for tombstone cleaning. (ooooeeeeoooo) I think some links have perhaps been marked as dangerous and won’t load automatically without Larry’s prior approval. I truly don’t know what it is about this that is so subversive..tho.

    Now if past experience is any indicator…I should post this and the other posts will magically appear…following which…they will magically disappear. They also reorder the posts …so one minute I’ll have maybe 62 posts and when I pull it up’s back to 59. (sighhh)

  63. Virginia

    Joan, The following link indicates the cholera epidemic in Missouri was spread by travelers. The gold rush to California excelerated the spread of the disease. Travelers usually paused in Independence or Westport/Kansas City to stock up on supplies. That likely spread cholera to the KC area.

  64. Joan

    (and mixed metaphors)

    I really am about to scream
    We’re stuck at 60 and 16
    16 back at the Fireball post
    And 60, here, where there’s the most

    Apparently we need new blood
    To keep from flailing in the mud
    Are those who’ve manned the comment chat
    Too tired of being lone at bat?

    Although we have here one vast space
    It seems we’re running here in place
    I know! It’s time for Penstemon
    To break his fast and get back on

    Though all of us are loyal here
    We need new fuel to persevere
    So SOS right now for Larry
    We need some new ideas to parry

    Oops! If this one uploads all right
    The 60 count goes out of sight.
    Well, I don’t care. This poem is done.
    I am not doing 61.

  65. Darrell

    Let’s try for 62. OR we could all transfer to the earlier “Machines of Antiquity” entry; if so I’ll nominate the Antikythera Device?

  66. joan

    Darrell, since I was not able to whine Larry back to the blog with my poem, I guess we might as well stay here and see if we can do another world’s record in comments. We now have Virginia to help us this time. Hmmm machines. Well, I don’t think anyone but me was all that fascinated with that wild ball typewriter..It turned out to be rather a foul ball as an invention, but I loved the way it looked. I looked up your Antikytheria device in Wikipedia. Now I have to remind you that I am very mathematically challenged, so I would not have known about this thingy at any rate. Still…am sure glad we have the present day calculators or I’d not be able to function.

    It might be fun to look up early inventions… They seem to have managed to improve on everything else nowadays…but the mousetrap. (grin)

    I’d be interested in exploring why there was such a burst of inventiveness during this time. What sparked the Industrial revolution..etc. Who might be the most important catalyst or were there many at the same time. Did the world get more brain food in the early-mid 1800’s? Was it more prominent in the USA because everyone was assumed to be on equal footing when it came to inventions? It’s a whole era of history that I have either forgotten or never got in the beginning. When I was reading Mark Twain, a Life, I was amazed at the changes Twain saw from the time he was a boy to the time he died. The US went from horse to the machine age, to the automobile to the train, all in his lifetime. Wonder what his (finally) uncensored autobiography will be about.

  67. Darrell

    Joan, regarding the changes that occurred in MarkTwain’s life . . . I used to use this as an example when I was teaching Western Civ 2 at the college. What I did was transpose myself back exactly one century with a new birthdate of 1843 (and project lifespan to the present, and start listing sceintific and technological changes only . . but if political and societal changes are added in, it becomes more profound: the establidhment of the pathogen theory as an explanation of infectious disease, the Bessemer/Kelley Process, near-instantaneous communication planet wide, photography, Darwin, modern chemistry with most elements identified, nuclear physics, X-rays, Einstein and relativity, the mathmatical discovery of Neptune, nitro-based explosives, the aircraft, the Zepplin, the machine gun, the gas turbine, the Diesel, mass electrification, the true recovery of the ancient past, and (this year) the visiting of ‘the last place on earth’ . . the south pole.

    The IBM ball? A great piece of tech . . but it was a pale follow-up of the much earlier device that broke Twain financially in the 1890’s: the Paige typesetting machine.

    Math challenged? Then transcend your culture. As for calculators, they date to the Babbage computers of the 1820’s . . but are electronic rather than mechanical.

    America and brain food?? Probably not. A lot of things, America didn’t design . . however America had a habit of grabbing the ball and running with it. One explanation was the lack of manpower in America in the 19th century vis-a-vis Europe. In short, labor saving devices were a necessity. One difference that visiters to the North and the old South noted was the prevalence of machinery in the north.

    Content of Mark’s autobiog at last?? Probably about raging ego and insipid sex?

    Obama as a muslim? Probably his own fault. After all, it was Obama who referred to “my Muslem faith” in a George Stephanopoulos interview. Your Rush indictment (and of his many ilk) didn’t ring true, so I did a quick check of the Rush site last week. Result: no references to Obama as a Muslim . . indeed he placed the chill on several callers who suggested it. However, today I was listening to the “Rush Week in Review” broadcast and again I heard him pooh-pooh a caller who suggested it. However, he did say he’d now list the tape of the Stephanopoulos interview on his website for folks to listen to. Don’t be so quick to villify those with whom you disagree . . or worse, only think you disagree.

  68. Virginia

    Help! Larry!! We’re about to deteriorate into a discussion of politics. And you know it will come to fisticuffs. I would much rather think about walking by a quiet stream (We could contribute Hannibal stream pictures if you’re fresh out). Or fish with fish stories- we’ll make ’em up. that’s legal with fish stories. Or perhaps we could discuss the apparent increase in bees with the revival of clover in lawns and diversity of roadside flowers rather than close-cut grass.

    Perhaps you could set us straight by disussing and directing us to a Hannibal Courier Post online article and asking for comments. Anything! Anything but politics before mayhem consumes us.

  69. Joan

    “Don’t be so quick to vilify those with whom you disagree .” Like maybe me, Darrell? I fail to see how ” transcending my culture’ will help my faltering math skills at this point in my life. I am aware of Babbage. They named a computer store after him. I’m also very much aware of Twain’s ill-fated investment in the typesetter, since it almost ruined him. I was not aware of your Antikytheria device/artifact, but whether I transcended my culture or not, I doubt very much if I’d have come across it.

    Rush uses innuendo to plant doubt. He’s much too slick to come right out and say things so obviously disprovable. He is, however a master of ‘vilifying’ people with whom he disagrees. I’m not going to waste anymore time with it, because it would do no good. You will believe what you will, as will I. This is why religion and politics comments are pretty much death to a blog.

    I can handle gentle discourse and back and forth bantering pretty well. I bow to and admire your superior knowledge of most things historical . I must either rely on what I remember, or resort to wikipedia. There is, however a point at which a topic becomes ‘right fighting’. Each party feels that his is right, and the other person, by default, is wrong, and ’tis but a short drop into name-calling. (I am both amused and amazed at how fast this happens in blog comments on news articles) Nobody wins. Stalemate. . Sooo Since Larry will not mediate, I will call upon the words he used to cool down the global warming scuffle.” We should just agree to disagree and move on.”

    Virginia! The bees are back?? What great news! Do you think they have overcome whatever unknown pathogen was killing them? I saw so very few bees in the last couple of years, it was a wonder anything grew in my backyard.

    As for the C. Post. I just got two links sent to me by a friend. The city, or lazy workers… am not sure which, are dumping waste in the flood plane. People are objecting. I’ll see if I can find the links. Another nano-news clip is a little more heart-warming. A guy had his bike stolen while in a local park.. I think Nipper. . It was found in those caves Larry explores by another individual and returned. That is heart-warming.

  70. Joan

    Tried to upload the links…They would not upload. Sorry. Just check out the paper on-line. The stories don’t move off-line for quite awhile.

  71. I’m back for a short time — how pleasant and informative it is to read this long sequence of comments. Thanks, everyone!

  72. Joan

    Darrell, I just received your fabulous pictures from Riverside Cemetery from Virginia. Have forwarded them on to Larry in e-mail attachments in hopes he can get them up on the blog. I love this stuff!! Now the problem is, that he can only get to a computer occasionally, so it may take some time, but they aren’t going anywhere. (grin) It will be well worth the wait if it all works out. You could post some descriptions to match.. or just put something in comments…or maybe just write Larry directly in e-mail so he can do a real post to go with. I know this sounds disorganized..cause it is.. but we have to work this way until he gets his own puter or gets settled somewhere permanently ‘wired’. (grin)

    At any rate..whatever works out, thanks so much! I love these things! The large, flat, ‘classic’ old time granite stones are just like the 1835/45 stones I saw in the very unmowed and untended section of Mt. Olivette. Good to see Riverside treats their clients better than Mt. Olivette.

    I took the liberty of cutting and pasting your comments about the Ruffner stone and e-mailing that on to Larry in case he wants to feature that one..which would be immanently featurable.

  73. Darrell

    (A quick reply before I run off to watch Hannity . . Tony Blair interview tonite.)

    You’re welcome pn the Riverside pics. I believe the Ruffner stone is “marble” because it is slowly dissolving. Frankly I havent checked on the other 3 sides of the stione for names, but there must be other family members. I checked on the “Ruffner Family Website”, and have wondered if they might have any info.? To my knowledge they may have been a rather important Hannibal family, but had disappeared by ther time I appeared on the scene.

    Civil War Hannibal must have been quite a place. There are some sites I can post that deal with it . . especially the politics, and the resulting passions, and the consequences. I can post these if anyone’s interested?

    I don’t know about Mt Olivet . . . some parts are maintained while others have a tencency to go to hell. Back in 1980, I visited the cemetery to find the Clemens family plots. I was on a Twain Kick in hose days, you see. Well . . . I had to ask to finf]d the location and that wasn’t easy. When I gound them, they were overgrown ; I used a pocket knife to cut the weeds and vines away from Mrs. Clemens marker. I think I did a bit of clearing on Orion’s grave too . . . but it was a sad scene really. But its my undertanding that the gravesites are more carefully maintained today now that Hannibal has taken up the Mark Twain Business big time?

  74. Joan

    (Well, Darrel,l as long as you keep your political statements safely bracketed in parenths, I guess the blog is safe. I’m myself am taking time off from reading the New York Times, in order to post. )

    There are two organizations. Friends of Historic Hannibal AKA “FOHH”, and Marion County Historical Society (MCHS), and I can’t remember which one meets yearly and tends to graveyards…but yes. They even do the Old Baptist Cemetery which has some older Twain family graves. Of course they are mining the tourist thing for all it’s worth, so they may well have a permanent fund now for the Twain graves in Mt. Olivete. That was nice of you to tidy up. If that was back before gas powered weed whackers, .it was doubly nice.
    There was some story of their re-doing “Injun Joe’s” headstone while mis-spelling his last name of Douglas. It’s not spelled the same way as Fredrick’s.

    I love both the historical and pictorial aspects of old graveyards and you did a great job on both in those pics. I had pegged the big flat stone as the only Ruffner one, but is there a 4-sided one also? Noticed one in the first two pics. That flat one, although badly eroded, still has fairly clear inscriptions. Must have had a good carver.

    Currently no news from Larry. My e-mail in-box is silent as..uh.. the grave. I have hopes of a resurrection eventually. He has the will but not the means to blog right away.

  75. Joan

    Ok! I just reviewed my pictures and upped the contrast and the light factors in Picasa. Now I realize that what I thought was a flat stone, is, in fact, a close-up of one side of the 4 sided monument with the Ruffner name on it. It probably was marble originally. Pretty impressive. So that explains it. Yay!

    To those people not yet privy to these pictures. The stone in question is a tall 4 sided vertical monument on a square base. On top, where you’d usually see an angel or an urn or maybe a cross.. is what looks like a little gabled roof . Visualize four gabled dormer windows each facing out. Without the windows . Again, 4 sides to the roof, affording each side of the tomb equal treatment with a gable. I’ve seen tombstones in pictures of European countries which have little roofs over them..possibly made of wood. Maybe metal. Can’t remember. But they serve to protect the stone. This is an interesting variation on that theme. Thanks again, Darrell. .

  76. Darrell

    The Ruffner Stone (cont): it is a square oblisk-ish monument. At the top is a book (Bible?) sandwiched between the body of the stone and a “pyramid”-like cap. Some tombstones have emulated pyramids; I recall seeing the Cestius (sp?) pyramid in Rome in 1970 . . one of the first monumemts encountered on the way in from DaVinci Airport. There is quite a leeway in stones, esp in America it seems. I’d have to look but I think a cresset lamp motif sometimes appears on stones . . I saw one in rural eastern Kansas a while back. That has stirred thoughts I’ll comment on later, if there’s any interest.

  77. Joan

    Hmm so those 4 things that look like gables to me were actually four ends of 4 upended books spine side up. Well now. Coulda fooled me. And they did.
    At any rate, it’s a fine looking monument and unusual.
    I guess a true oblisk is really a 4 sided pillar which is narrower at the top than the bottom and is topped with a pyramid. There are a number of these shapes in most of the (few) graveyards I’ve seen, but the Victorians seemed to favor topping them with urns and crosses and statues. I like this one much better.

    And yes..there’s interest from me and I’m sure Virginia and if Larry ever gets back on board I’m sure he’ll contribute. After all, we got a whole bunch of great graveyard pics from Larry’s blog. I didn’t even know there was an old Baptist graveyard until Larry’s photos.

  78. Darrell

    No, just one book, cryptically sandwiched between 2 stones . . . a “cleft in the rock”? However, I don’t really know if Ruffner is actually buried there or this is just a cenotaph. It would have been hard to ship a body from Virginia to Hannibal in 1865 in warming weather; he may actually be buried there. Also, that no unit is mentioned .

  79. Joan

    Well, I must be looking at the wrong monument. The photograph which has 3 gravestones in it has a tall almost oblique pillar topped by what looks like a bell shape and has these gable things radiating out of the middle of the bell shape. There are at least two pointy gable type things facing us and I thought mirror images of same on the other side. I’ve never seen anything quite like it, but it was nice. Oh well..nothing like actually being there to know what one is seeing. Beats my trying to figure out a 3 dimensional monument from a two dimensional pic. (grin)

    So then a cenotaph is just like a memorial? The bigger James Hornback stone of Mom’s kin in Hydesburg Cemetery was made much later, and had the names of all buried there, even though there were only two remaining (badly weathered) stones of Jame’ s younger children. Does that qualify as a cenotaph? I’d never seen that done before.

  80. Joan

    P.S. Back to 1800’s bullets. I was reading “The Great Train Robbery” a couple of days ago and they mentioned an entire war between the Brits and India was ignited by the fact that the factory bullets for the Enfield rifle were greased with animal fat as preservative. The bullets supposedly had to be bitten to release the powder. The Indian Sepoys believed that cow or pig fat was used, and cows were sacred and pig’s meat was forbidden. Sporadic rebellions took place and by the time the English issued new orders that factory greased bullets were to be issued only to British troops, leaving the Indian troops to grease their own with vegetable oil, it was too late. By May 1857 war had broken out.

  81. Darrell

    The Sepoy Mutiny. Cora Crawford told of this at HHS; the new paper cartridges for the M-1853 Enfield were coated in a waterproof compound. Rascally rebels began a rumor among muslim sepoys (native troops) that the cartridges were smeared with pig fat. And among Hindu sepoys that it was beef tallow. The cartridge had to have its end bitten off before it was rammed down the barrel . . and both groups were outraged. Cora C left off with that. But years later I learned that it was a complete lie: the cartridges were covered with a mixture of mineral oil/paraffin and bee’s wax. Also the mutiny was being stirred up by reactionary rajahs who saw their ancient perogatives being eroded away by the reforms that were being imposed on the place. Also, the mutiny was against the British East India Company in its dominion across north central India . . . in other areas, controlled by the Crown, all remained quiet. When it was over Company abuses came to light, so its charters were lifted and its territories turned over to the Crown and the BRITISH Army. The business was bad . . with atrocities committed by the rebels . . and gruesome revenge by the Brits. All was quiet after that until the post WW2 years. Cool heads both Indian and British realized at the time the whole business was a sham: animal fat would have quickly turned into a rancid mess because of the sub-Continent heat. The Mutiny later proved to be a boon for Hollywood: recall Eroll Flynn and Charge of the Light Brigade; Tyrone Power in King of the Khyber Rifles. It is also prologue to the TV series The Far Pavillions. I also recall a favorite TV series of 1956 called the 77th Bengal Lancers that made reference back to the Mutiny at times..

    The Enfield rifle would be imported into the US and Confederacy in huge quantities, 1861-5. It was called ‘the second rifle of the Union”. It was also manufactured in the US by various contractors. I have reason to believe my gt-g-father’s unit was issued 1853s. In the early ’70’s a series of absolutely gorgeous replica 1853s was imported from Parker Hale in England. Time and again I almost bought one but didn’t. Now there is another imported by Euro-Arms, made in Italy, but it lacks the lovely beauty of the Parker Hales. Parker Hale also manufactured a beautiful replica Whitworth rifle as well . . again, I wanted one, dithered and missed out (the story of my life).

  82. Darrell

    A cenotaph is a memorial to be dead, but without an actual burial below. (Sigh) my Uncle John’s grave stone in Grandview is a cenotaph. His ship , the Mary Luckenbach, was vaporized by a German aerial torpedo (off Bear Island ), dropped by a Junkers JU-88, operating out of the Norwegian base at Bodo.

  83. Joan

    Wow, Darrell! Thanks for the great history lesson. The book I read by Crichton still had the mythical version of the Sepoy rebellion…but then Crichton’s books always have a thin of non existent line between myth and reality.

    What little I recall about history of India was gleaned from watching “Jewel in the Crown” and later ‘Ghandi’..which is to say, not much.

    What I know about old guns was from looking at Granpa’s double barrelled shotgun and shooting Dad’s rifle at a paper plate nailed to a tree. We were forbidden to shoot beer cans in the Mississippi because the bullets were said to richocet and might hit passing motorists.

    What I know about present day guns is from inheriting a cheap rifle and from looking at a WW2 Russian army firearm that Chris bought from the net. The Russian gun has bullets that totally dwarf the 22’s the little squirrel rifle takes. As of yet, Chris has bagged neither squirrels nor Germans, but he still has some hope with the squirrels. Chris absconded with my rifle and bought a scope for it. He thinks it is now his. My view is that it is mine, which has been upgraded with a scope. (Grin)

    What I know about pistols is a little more interesting but not much. When my bro and I were kids, we knew that the top drawer of Dad’s dresser held a strange revolver with a long hexagonal barrel. The outside was hexagonal…I don’t know about the bore. He also had a ‘Ruger’ which was a knock-off of the German Luger automatic. It always sounded like I had a speech impediment when I described it. (grin) He also had a pair of brass knuckles which were so large that we could barely get our teeny kid fingers in the holes. He claimed he got it off a ‘crook’ and we believed him ‘cause he was the prosecuting attorney and it was feasable..but who knows. Al Capone didn’t really frequent Hannibal and Dad loved to tease us. As for the antique looking pistol, the crook would have to be older than Jesse James for him to have ‘taken it off’ him.

    But back to bidness. It’s on to the net to examine the joys of the Enfield rifle. It must be a fine machine for you to admire it so much. I see Civil war weapons on Antiques Roadshow. I wonder how many of these could be Enfields.

  84. Darrell

    The Enfields are common CW relics. There used to be one hanging in the windoew of an antique store on N. Main for some years as I recall. In the movie, “Glory” the 54th Masachusetts is issueed Enfields. IRONICALLY, as I understand it, the tooling for the Enfield factory was built by the Robbins and Lawrence firm in Windsor, VY. In its day, Robbins and Lawrence was the worlds foremost hight ech manufacturing works. It’s coming out party occurred at the 1851 Crystal Palace Expo in London. The Brits were so ikmpressed by L&R machine tools that they in effect ordered an arsenal from the firm in the little Vermont town. Today the original building houses the Precision Museum, one of the most interesting places I visited in New England.

    Is the octagonal barreled revolver a percussion arm?

    The Ruger is a “Standard Auto” . . made from about 1949 to the present.

    The brass “Knucks”? They were illegal in many states . . donno about Missouri.

  85. Joan

    Haven’t seen the octagonal pistol for years and don’t know what a percussion arm is. It was a revolver with a hammer. The pistol was just an ugly revolver with a long hexagonal barrel. I looked up hexagonal pistols on Google, but could not find anything quite like it. It surely was not as antique as the ones I viewed.

    I posted a couple of links to photos of Enfield’s same time I did the previous post and of course this morning they were not there. I’m guessing that this program pretty much automatically puts anything with a link into the ‘delay until administrator comes back’ bin. At least I had the sense this time to put them in a separate post. .

    Is the Precision Museum dedicated totally to guns or to other machines?

    Well, the fact that the knuckles were illegal in MO leads some credence to Dad’s story that they took it off a guy and kept it. Sort of like the teacher who doesn’t give the bad kid back his toy he shouldn’t have brought to school. Come to think of it..I believe the Cnty Sheriff’s office was in the Ct. House where Dad had his he might have given them to Dad.

  86. Joan

    P.S. I just found an old hardback of Ray Bradbury short stories in a bunch of books. Will get to it eventually after I read my library books. However…my latent brain cells ignited for a brief moment and I remembered that my cousin Edie Hornback Mee Hull’s first husband, Kirk Mee was an actor/director person at a college on the West Coast and I thought, a friend of Bradbury. I wrote Edie ..and she said that Kirk produced his Dandelion Wine for the college… along with a ‘real’ (according to Edie) professional actor as the lead. She said that Bradbury and Kirk became friends and he got a credit in on of his books. She can’t remember the name of the book but I think I saw it in paperback years ago. Sadly our own paperback collection is largely gone. What mildew from the basement did not accomplish.. bad newsprint did. Still.. there might be a short story of Dandelion Wine out there with a credit to Kirk Mee.

  87. Darrell

    I noticed that Mr. Mee died some years back . . sad for Edie.

    One of my ex-colleagues worked at an LA bookstore after WW2 and Bradbury was one of the customers. They struck up an acquaintance.

    The Precision Museum is exacrly that . . full of beautiful mid-19th century machine tools that are an art form.

    As for the mystery revolver, try looking for “Colt Model 1851 Navy” . . good place to start.

  88. Joan

    Thank you on behalf of my cousin Edie. She has beautiful children and grandchildren…so Kirk’s memory (and possibly brilliance) are preserved. She is happily remarried and living in California. BTW I think she went to the same HHS reunion as Virginia.

    Thanks also for the gun clue. Darrell! Amazing that you could get that from my fuzzy description. I think that pistol is pretty close, but I do not remember whether or not the bullet chamber was smooth like that. Dad was in the Navy, but I very much doubt that he took that gun off of a WWII soldier. (Grin)

    Heard from Larry who thought he’d be near a computer on Wed. in order to post. But it does not look like he made it. (Sniffle) I hate when that happens. It’s like waiting for the Great Pumpkin to appear. But just like Linus, I still believe.

  89. Darrell

    Joan . . . belated condolences are all I can do for Edie.

    Hopefully Larry will re-appear in his normal form . . or in a re-issued body like Dr Who.

    The revolver? If it had an hexagonal barrel profile it may have been a British Webley Mk VI, etc. A Swiss Model 1882 allso has a polygonal profile, as I recall. Other than that or some 19th century “suicide special” (the proper name until the ill-informed press concocted the name “Saturday Night Special”) made by Iver Johnson or Harrington-Richardson is about all I can come up with without more info.

  90. Joan

    Ahh Dr. Who. Some of those reincarnations turned out better than others. I was weaned on Tom Baker, the first non-geriatric Who, and grew very fond of him until he regenerated into a younger more clueless fellow.

    I loved that series, and Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Universe, and Red Dwarf. Wonder what happened to those. Cable had a re-emergence of Dr. Who (with very new Whos) which my son taped. Not bad, but I missed seeing the old guys. There is a lot of that going on in my life now. (grin)

    I wish I could give you more info on the pistol but I have not seen it since kidhood. If it’s one my brother ‘liberated’ I could ask him. The navy pistol you pre-mentioned seems the closest. I just don’t remember the smooth faced barrell..

  91. Darrell

    Dr Who and Tom Baker . . . Baker was in Nicholas and Alexandra (as Rasputin). Thre are a number of film clips on Youtube. My favorite is the scene when he first meets “Nicky” and “Sandy . . . he made a great “starets”.

    The pesky revolver (cont). Actually I don’t think it had an hexadonal barrel . . most likely an octagonal barrel insttead. An octagon is a natural forging; a hexagon isn’t. At first, I was going to suggest that the old revolver might have been a Russian model 1895 Nagant, but I jarred my own memory and and recalled Nagant’s did NOT have octagonal barrels. BTW, I thing Rasputin was shot with a Nagant . and I think that’s what is shown in Nicholas and Alexandra. Small world?

  92. Joan

    Yup small world and an example of almost an infinite loop in thinking/writing. (grin)

    You are probably right. There is no way I can remember if there were 8 sides or 6 to that thing.. Oh well. I just do not recall that this particular revolver had the grace of design of a true antique..well as in Civil War. Just that the barrel was really long compared to modern ones.

    I’ll make my usual probably futile effort to contact my bro and see if he either has it or remembers it if he sold it. In this day and age he could photograph it and send me the digital. In addition his daughter and my niece Amy does professional photography. Do you think this will help? Noooo. But then, if I can believe Larry will come back to the blog then I can believe Roger will reply to an e-mail inside of 6 months. (grin)

    I don’t recall the two females you named…if indeed that is what they are and not aliens. I do recall a knife weilding girl called Leila that was a total riot. She kept trying to knock off people and he had to restrain her. I am willing to be these episodes appear on line sooner or later.

    Gee! Haven’t thought of Nicholas and Alexadra for years. Is he all bearded up in this one?

  93. Joan

    Hmmm. Small world and an example of almost an infinite loop in thinking/writing. (grin)

    You are probably right. There is no way I can remember if there were 8 sides or 6 to that thing.. Oh well. I just do not recall that this particular revolver had the grace of design of a true antique..well as in Civil War. Just that the barrel was really long compared to modern ones.

    I’ll make my usual probably futile effort to contact my bro and see if he either has it or remembers it if he sold it. In this day and age he could photograph it and send me the digital. In addition his daughter and my niece Amy does professional photography. Do you think this will help? Noooo. But then, if I can believe Larry will come back to the blog then I can believe Roger will reply to an e-mail inside of 6 months. (grin)

    I don’t recall the two females you named…if indeed that is what they are and not aliens. I do recall a knife weilding girl called Leila that was a total riot. She kept trying to knock off people and he had to restrain her. I am willing to be these episodes appear on line sooner or later.

    Gee! Haven’t thought of Nicholas and Alexadra for years. Is he all bearded up in this one?

  94. Darrell

    Two she-beings? Who? Nicky = Czar Nicholas II and Sandy = Alexandra, the Czarina. Anyway, Tome Baker disd a good rendition of the starets (holy man) Gregori Rasputin. I might post a film clip?

    I take it then the revolver is not a Civil War era item . . . some 19th century items , including firearms, can be quite aesthetically pleasing. My favorite for looks is the Colt Model 1860 revolver, especially with the “fluted” cylinder. Graceful of line, and excellence of handling . . . ha, I still might consider one as a weapon of choice if I were obliged to have a shootout in a dark room or alley. However, 1860’s DO NOT have hexagonal barrels . . . just sweepung lines.

  95. Joan

    Roger says that the barrel was octagonal, not hexagonal and that Dad, realizing his sneaky kid resourcefulness plugged the barrel with some lead solder and took off the firing pin. He does not know where it went. I would advise him to look in his son’s stuff next time he visits him in Colorado…but I don’t think he really cares that much.

    I sent him a photo of the Navy model and am hoping he’ll get back to me some time before Xmas as to whether it looks familiar. that was an episode of Dr. Who and not a separate movie just starring Baker. I wonder if it is on-line somewhere.

  96. Darrell

    You know, I’m about to switch to “A Machine of Antiquity” and discuss the Antikythera Device or the Shroud of Torino, or our old ’48 Ford.. Or 19th century astronomical instruments, or . . . ?

  97. Joan

    Have at it Darrell. I know about as much about your old 48 Ford as I do about guns…which is next to nothing. I’ve enjoyed the journey and at least I got my brother to e-mail. (grin)

    Shroud of Torino? Sounds more like a bad day at the races than a religious object.

  98. Joan

    BTW Here’s what my brother said after I sent him the Navy model photo.

    “No, it was old but not a cap and ball. It shot 22 cartridges. It was a cheap gun that dad got when he was prosecuting atty from the court house vault. He also got some brass knuckles.”

    So, Darrell, I guess we will never know. Interesting that it shot the same cartridge as a rifle. Do most revolvers?

  99. Joan

    At 99 comments on Larry’s blog wall
    There’s something I’m starting to fear
    I feel Darrell’s interest beginning to pall
    At that 98th comment right here on the wall

  100. Darrell

    The identity? Yes we can know; the manufacturer’s name will be on it somplace, probably on the barrel. If it is European, it will also have proof marks.

    Rifle and pistol cartridges? Yes, 22 long rifle can be found in both revolvers, pistols and rifles. In the 19th century, rifles such as the famous Winchester model 1873 was chambered for revolver cartridges such as the .44-40, .38-40, .32-20, etc. This was done as an expedient in an environment when ammunition may be in limited supply. Otherwise, rifle and revolver cartridges were quite different, the former being much more powerful.. By the time the 1890’s rolled around, the differences became even mare pronounced as smokeless nitro-powders became more available. The modern era had arrived; most cartridges in use today were already in use, or nearly so. Almost all firearms today are a century old in their design and operation.

  101. joan

    Sadly, I can’t get the markings off of a gun which neither I nor apparently my bro can locate anymore. It will forever be a mystery , I’m afraid unless it mysteriously appears years later. I have a hunch my mother sold things because there was little of my Dad’s stuff left except his tools in the basement, and Roger took all those except the sander, which I hid. .

    I did not recall this gun had a holster, although I believe the Ruger did. Now if Roger claims my Dad neutered the gun to keep him from getting bullets and blowing his head off then he should know more about this gun by far, but does he does not remember either. After all…he too was a kid.

  102. Darrell

    Joan, don’t fret the gun. What about Dr. Who? Old TV. Radio. BTW, did you say the Waddell TV business was owned by friends of yours?

  103. Joan

    That must have been Virginia. I don’t recall the Waddell TV business.

    I don’t remember that much about Dr. Who except it’s innocence, somehow. It was almost a children’s TV program with big people playing the parts. was fascinating and I watched it with my kids and that was nice. I loved the Daleks…exterminate! exterminate!. They looked like pepper shakers or early incarnations of R2D2. Then there were those alienish creatures who looked like their costumes were made up of dryer vents. There was just the right combination of fantasy and tongue -in-cheek self deprecation that I was hooked. I did not like it when Tom Baker was replaced…but I continued to watch it.
    The sets intrigued me. A lot of them looked like they filmed on site and the sites were basements of industrial buildings. With the exception of the inside of the Tardis.. there was not a lot of flash. Nothing like the special effects of the current space epochs. Most of the fun was trying to figure out what they made the futuristic items out of.

    We have pretty much mined what I remember about radio..which is much less that you. The name of the show which featured a funny fellow with dreadlocks, an uppity and obnoxious hologram guy, a cat which had been morphed (almost) into a human, and a TV screen with talking head, which served as the 4th member of the crew was my next fav. You’d think I could remember the name cause I can sing the entire theme song. But noooo.

  104. Joan

    Well, I forgot about the magic of the net. I just googled the first 3 lines of the theme song “It’s cold outside..No kind of atmosphere”. and up came not only the theme but also the name of the series. It was Red Dwarf. About Lister, a guy who is stranded on a space ship originally with nobody but a hologram, a computer image of the ship’s robot intelligence, and a ‘person’ who’s descended from the ships cat. The aforesaid bitchy hologram guy and the exuberant, but not always helpful cat that has been transmogrified into a human are hilarious. Cat, who, in my opinion has borrowed some moves from Chuck Berry ,just does cat things. He frequently gets distracted by shiny objects and goes off task. One of the scenes I very vaguely remember was Cat’s co-opting Lister’s cigarette packages because he liked the tinfoil. An argument insues in which the cat cries out in protest when Lister want’s his ciggies back… “Those are MY shiny things!” This has since become a staple saying in our household when anything gets ‘borrowed’ by anybody around here. (Grin).

    Now all this is going to be crashingly boring to you if you’ve never watched the series. Someone posts ‘It’s cold king of atmosphere” from the song and was assaulted by non Dwarf fans telling him what an idiot he was..and how could it be cold if there were no atmosphere. (grin)

  105. Darrell

    Joan, if you like Tom Baker, recall his role s Rasputin in Nicholas and Alexandra:

    Rasputin (Tom Baker)

    I never got to see Red Dwarf . . . BUT I recall a complete read od Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy that was broadcast on the Pacifica Station out of Berkeley in the late ’70’s. I drove from LA to Fresno and listened all the way . . what a rip!

  106. Joan this converstion is going nowhere because the Drwarf series has already been aired years ago.

    How about watching PBS’s new “God in America” series. If you missed it you can catch last night’s on-line. That was the first 2 hours. Tonight are the next two, and Wed, the last. I recall we had some discussion about religion in America awhile back but this covers it from the Conquistadors on up.

    I’m interested in your take. Since neither of us, as far as I know, can be counted among the really devout, (grin) I thought this might be a safe topic . It’s an historical view of religion in America…and we both like history, I think. Just as long as it’s not revisionist.

  107. Darrell

    Joan, I’m confused (something easily done) I sent message 106 with Red Dwarf comments and Dr Who too and weblinks for you. . BUT today it was gone! Now I see it’s back . . so . .

    I didn’t watch religion in America because I was uncertain about the source. BUT I did watch the PBS Nova program on restoring the Parthenon . . and THAT was informative. And the worship of the Virgin Lady Athena Parthenos isn’t “American religion”.

  108. Darrell

    Joan, I’m confused (something easily done) I sent message 106 with Red Dwarf comments and Dr Who too and weblinks for you. . BUT today it was gone! Now I see it’s back . . so . .

    I didn’t watch religion in America because I was uncertain about the source. BUT I did watch the PBS Nova program on restoring the Parthenon . . and THAT was informative. And the worship of the Virgin Lady Athena Parthenos isn’t “American religion”.

  109. Joan

    Ok Darrell..Here’s the thing. There is just no message about the Tardis that appears here. It’s another one of those deals where you will see it on your side whenever you post another message…just as all those tombstone posts I made which reappeared when I posted a new message but disappeared the next day. They go into some limbo state where Larry, as administrator is supposed to check them for viral stuff and finally set them free. Since he is not currently keeper of his own blog…then this is not happening and won’t until he gets back here. Hey! If the message had links I’d try it again without the links because the blog sometimes tends to see those as advertising spam and just blocks them.

    PBS wise. in re God in America….I don’t quite know what you mean about” where it’s coming from”… It’s a joint project of PBS and Frontline. It tries to be fairly matter of fact…but the narrators are nearly all professors of religion. or rabbis and their like. It’s still well worth a look-see. You can sit home and boo at will if it irritates you. We did some small booing. (grin)

    The entire series is on the PBS web site and can be watched for free and at your leisure. It was very very good . There were some big omissions…and I wish they’d made it an 8 or 10 hour series and put them in. They barely touched on the Mormons..and New England Twain’s buddy Henry Ward Beecher…and I’d have liked to have seen the Salem witch trials.. .. Amy Semple (can’t spell it) McPherson.. and lastly something about the great huge influx of Televangelists. Perhaps that was too vomit producing for them to go there. . Still by and large there was not a dull moment.

    Can’t wait to hit some Atheist websites and see what they think. There is never a dull moment on those either. (grin)

    That Parthenon thingy they showed right before the God in America series was neat..but it’s a repeat which will be shown again I’m sure in about 6 months if it doesn’t come up somewhere else this week. They bounce programs back and forth between our PBS channel 9 and the other two affiliates….of channel 9.

  110. Joan

    P.S. I found a number of snippets from Red Dwarf which were really fun. I just went to the video section of Google and Googled it. Now I can’t get the durned song out of my mind.

  111. Darrell

    RE The unviewable message? That explains it, though I can view it now as I type.

    RE Perspective and PBS. Bith the network and Frontline can be quite partisan. As far as the “narrators”, I don’t know where they are coming from either – and being “professors of religion” could mean almost anything . . with no liplock on truth, only on “perspective”. Unfortunately, one would have to watch the thing to determine what may be going on and whether there might be an agenda in the mix. Anymore, I don’t have patience for the predictable partisan probabilities. BUT I might catch it sometime. Or get the high spots on the PBS website. And boo? Who? You?

    The omissions? Well, Beecher the Preacher had a few moments of glory . . I mean infamy . . .BUT was he important to the overall flow of religion in America? He did manage to rile the pro-slavery people of Kansas by hes New England Emmigrant Society, but more so so the loads of “Beechers Bibles” he tried to smuggle in to the territory; these were Model 1852 and 1853 slant-breech Sharps rifles in cases marked “bibles” . This gave a real reason to go nuts to borderline psychopaths like Missouri democrat senator David Atchison, contribute to the bloodshed in Bleeding Kansas, and gave people like a John Brown a reason to carry out his merry pranks. Mark Twain spoke of Beecher but not all that favorably as I recall (Twain did write about Beechers sister Harriet in her dotage – wandering their neighborhood in Hartford, Conn.) Twain’s main hold on Christianity was through his family minister Joe Twitchell. Anyhoo, Beecher was not a watershed figure in American religion in my opinion . . his sister Harriet was far more siginificant, I feel.

    As for the Mormans, well . . . that could be an example of editorial bias? Can’t say without watching. And what about the Shakers? I ended up giving them more time in my US History surveys than most of their contemporaries . . . why? Just turned out that way I suppose?

    The Salem trials? Maybe they weren’t about religion at all. Most of the sources I used in putting togewther US History 1 felt that the trials were due to economic rivalry than deviltry. And morecently . . and far more disturbingly . . . a hypothesis was advance that it was due to hallucigenic molds. And that WAS scary.

    “Vomit producing” on producers????? Are you implying there may have been an agenda after all?? Jeezus . . I thought this was unbiased PBS and Frontline?? Now that I think about it, I used Frontline to beat up on a teaching colleague in California . . . but that’s another (funny to me) story.

    Atheists? They may like it . . I would.

    The Parthenon “thingy” was fascinating. I’d see it before. Watched it again. And would watch it several time more. This was reality . . . expanding of knowledge and insight . . not the mental mincings of an academic who needs to get a life and lose some theses. From an emotional standpoint, it was something supra-real to stand in its inner precincts, shielding from the hot morning sun, smelling the stones become warm, while in the background the traffic roared softly below. I stared up past the roofless lintels into a soft blue sky, and wondered “why?” and “how?”. I stood there for hours. The “thingy” answered some of these in its way . . . not so sure about American religions though.

    Actually I wish PBS would repeat more; they program like it was 1967 or somethin’. Miss it in the set timeslot and you’re out of luck.

  112. Joan

    If you are still interested in getting that elusive post about the Red Dwarf to come up. Cut and paste it into your next message and delete all links. I’m willing to bet it will work. That is..unless it’s all links. (grin)

    As far as the God in America series.. about which you said “Unfortunately, one would have to watch the thing to determine what may be going on and whether there might be an agenda in the mix.” Aye, there’s the rub, Darrell.

    Well, in a way this message reminds me of the kid who wouldn’t ever try spinach cause he was afraid he wouldn’t like it.(grin) What if I’d denied myself the pleasure of the Parthenon show because I was afraid of some sort of a secret pagan/Greek ‘agenda’ which would poison my mind. History is usually history, unless it’s in Russian or Texas (or maybe Iranian) schoolbooks. I’t what they leave out that is worrisome. Their agenda I assume was to show what part religion played and has played in our history. If, after viewing it, you are bored cause you knew it already, that’s fine. You are, after all, a teacher of history. Then you can tell me what they screwed up. But you certainly don’t have to fear an agenda. You don’t impress me as brain washable in any degree. If you don’t like it say so. Their agenda is a probably too concise history of religion in America because they think it’s interesting and most people don’t have a clue. My agenda was to see if I could stay awake. I was pleasantly surprised that not only I, who avoid ‘old time religion’ like the plague, but Brian, who has had totally enough of ‘extreme Catholicism’ to the point where he cringes both enjoyed the show. Sooo. If you think you’ll be bored. Fine. I can see that if you know it all, already, but I doubt you will be harmed by any agenda .

    The show is on the web at the PBS website. are not out of luck at all if you missed it in the T.V. time slot. They will have other airings on T.V. eventually probably in 6 months . But web-wise it’s great cause you can watch it hour at a time whenever you have the time, and then make your judgment about whether or not it is partisan. Naturally it is not going to be highly critical of religion. After all they get a whopping big bunch of their pledge drive money from ‘religious’ people…but as a real doubting Joanus I thought it was pretty fair. The omissions were what they were. Not enough time to cover all of they already did 6 or 8 hours on the Mormons a few years whatever.

    PBS did a segment on Atheism awhile back that I enjoyed very much. I was surprised they were brave enough to put it on here in super Catholic St. Louis where they depend greatly on contributions. I imagine they got flak and I have not seen it repeated but there is always Netflix.

    I truly wish I knew what kind of liberal bias a thing on religions in America would have…since religion is by and large the least liberal and slowest to change as any movement..but if it’s going to slip us back into the great divide..I’m not going to stir that pot.

    You are right. My bad. It was Twitchell and not Beecher although they lived in the same subdivision as Harriett, and entertained back and forth as I recall. Bear in mind..that ‘as I recall’ is subject to change without notification. (grin)

    I did enjoy the Parthenon piece…but because of art history I’ve already had a bigger dollop of that than religion in America, and I didn’t get to go there as did you.

    I had a few bones to pick from God in America, I had a hard time swallowing the statement that both the North and South felt that they were fighting almost a holy war based on what part of the bible they espoused. In that 5 hour Am History course we took as freshman at MU, we were inundated with the various ‘reasons’ given for the civil war, and economics came out on top of the pile as far as I am concerned. People will rationalize a lot of evil if they think it is necessary to their survival.

  113. Joan

    Hmmm Why is it I get the distinct impression that you are trying to start another liberal vs conservative kefluffle? (grin) During the Civil War the Democrats were the conservatives and the Repubs were the bad bad liberals.

    As for ‘bias’ I get so exhausted by the constant accusations about everything on PBS ..I mean EVERYTHING… Sesame Street even, having some sort of evil purpose. Remember when the muppet-like character from a British program was said to be a homosexual because he/she/it carried a bag? OMG Tinkiwinki is gay! Well, he is purple! So he has to be, right?

    In re my previous statement I feel televangelists are vomit producing if their main aim is to enrich their coffers by promising that God will favor those who give to their programs. They are shameless.

    Yeah, Missouri has a horribly bloody Civil War history. Religion didn’t have a whole lot to do with it here, for sure. My own great grandmother, in the one letter that was preserved by her, had very bad things to say about Lincoln. Even more so after she was thrust on hard times after the Civil war. And they were just basically farmers..not plantation owners.

  114. Darrell

    Starting a kefuffle? Not really . . just a desire/passion to separate the groovy from the goofy perhaps?

  115. Joan

    Which is hard to do when you haven’t seen whether the PBS production in question is either one. There were some aspects of ‘old time religion’ that were goofy…but not all that groovy.

  116. Joan

    Oh god, just what we needed: More religion in America!

    Cut and paste the above line in your Google browser, Darrell. It is a title and it should bring you to this article on the FFRR blog about the God in America series. I know putting the link up will not work to do anything but bury this post. This is a pithy discussion of the aforesaid series. Since you are not going to be Mr. Pithy on this one, I must be content with this. (grin)

  117. Darrell

    Joan . . RE Civil War party alignments? I don’t really concur. In VERY brief terms, the Republicans were, from the first, defenders of individual liberty; this is what led them to demand an end to the expansion of the role of slavety. The secessionist Democrats were advocates of an aggressive new world order. Lincoln articulated this on a couple of occassions that come to mind.

    As for the PBS criticism being “constant” I can’t figure out what you are talking about. I am unfamiliar with the situation you describe, so maybe it’s overblown?
    Also, the vomit rhetoric about TV religious personalties is overblown too. Just because someone appears in TV to gain support (with or without teleprompter) shouldn’t provoke such rage.

    I regret -and empahize with – the situation of your family in the post War years. My gt-g-father died as a result of the war, and my maternal gt-g-mother saw her unarmed (first) husband gunned down by Rebel partisans.

    You seem to be saying in a nutshell that old time religion in America was bad. However to me Catholicism is “old time religion”. The Judeo-Christian experience in America is an import. So if bad in America, that means it was/is bad everywhere else too? More religion in America??? Probably a good idea. Secularism left unchecked tends to end up as a big open air looney bin . . . it must be challenged in the name of fairness . . . and sanity.

  118. Joan

    Curious as to why you would say you did not know what I was talking about about the criticism of the right against PBS and in particular funding it, I went on line. My conclusion, sadly, is that you were either being disingenuous or pulling my leg.

    I just visited Ricochet…a conservative website in which Rush’s bro Dave is a columnist. They were discussing why they should fund NPR (via National Endowment for the Arts) with their precious tax dollars when, I quote from one of the commenters “nearly every show is a lecture on endangered species, habitat destruction, “climate disruption” or evil corporations. Otherwise, the shows are in praise of Darwinism, cloning, stem cells or some other progressive cause célebréit “ (He did not mention children’s TV, religion, world news, British TV series, crafts, architecture, archeology, astronomy, anthropology, science, travelogues, art, music of all kinds, Opera which I could never see any other way and fun old movies on Sunday Night which I could see some other way. . I’m certainly I’ve left out many. Probably Lawrence Welk, which I have tried to forget.)

    I then proceeded to read 50 plus related comments peppered with the dreaded L word along with the newer ‘progressive’ pejorative. They proceeded to shed public TV and NPR into nanobits, along with suggestions that PBS/NPR nature and history and cooking stuff are already repeated on cable anyway. There were further suggestions that if we obviously troglodyte seniors and/or the poor couldn’t afford cable or a computer we could go to the library or use Netflix for our Ken Burn’s specials. (!) We can’t afford Netflix..but nice try. At any rate, before I curled completely into fetal position, whimpering and sucking my thumb, I finally found this one, tiny gem of contention in comments.
    “From the personal journal of Edtoildunord:

    Well, this is the day the scales fell from my eyes. I’ve always considered myself a conservative.

    And I found this great online community at Ricochet and I thought we were all on the same page and then there was this thread about NPR and I just happened to mildly suggest that perhaps there was some virtue in taxpayers contributing just a tiny, tiny amount so indigent seniors could have access to programming more uplifting than Judge Judy.

    Bam! They were all over me with these hateful comments about how crippled seniors ought to crawl to the library or content themselves with reading Pennysaver.

    I realize now….I’m not one of them! This is a real Road to Damascus moment.

    I’m growing a beard….”


  119. Darrell

    Joan, thank you. I rest my case.

  120. Joan

    No. I rest my case. (mine is in parenths) You have not even stated yours. Unless you are the above quoted Edtoildunord. In which case, you have my grudging admiration and maybe a nascent beard.

  121. Virginia

    Oh good. A peaceful moment. You two are way out of my league when it comes to heated in-depth discussion. I hope you both had time to enjoy this beautiful fall day. Joan, have the leaves turned red in the Riverside Rambles area? What about your area, Darrell? They were just beginning last weekend when we were in Hannibal. Everything was still very green for the fall event.

    Do you remember Halloween so cold in Hannibal/Quincy we had to wear coats to trick-or-treat? There was even snow in the air on a few years. Other years were warmer though.

  122. Joan

    Hi Virginia. I don’t like any kind of heated discussions…but they just seem to warm up when Darrel is involved. (grin) To be frank, if they stopped funding PBS and our Channel 9, I’d go totally squirrelly. That channel has activated interest in science, biology, archeology, geology, astronomy, and parts of history I never learned in school. It’s a life-line. Also..there is no teacher grading me (except Darrell )

    Leaves are just starting to turn here. So far not very dramatic, but as I recall they always get fancy in November. My little red oak just dropped it’s leaves dead on the ground without turning red. The drought and heat got to a lot of the smaller trees. In Hannibal, on Center Street we had maple trees which would turn pretty colors. On our street here..the trees are mostly Sweetgums. They are unpredictable. Sometimes yellow..sometimes orange..sometimes red-orange. Or all of the above at the same time.

    Today here in St. Louis, people were raking leaves in shorts..Yeah..I do indeed remember in Hannibal being totally ticked off that my Halloween costume, such as it was, was nearly always covered by a winter coat. It was also a habit in our neighborhood for kids to start trick or treating about a week or so before Halloween. We just kept a bowl of candy by the front door. Safer than trying to get wax or soap off the windows. (grin)

    In re Larry. His band played for the Fall Folk Life? crafts festival for two days. He is to move into an apartment maybe the first of Nov. He may buy a used computer from his buddy, and I guess we will see him when we see him. I’d prefer to leave his more dramatic adventures for him to tell and hope he eventually gets here to do so. Until then we will have to keep the faith and keep this spot warm, I guess. (but hopefully not heated).

  123. Virginia


    I saw a band or possiblly two at the Folk Life Festival and wondered if Larry was playing with one. The music added a very happy atmosphere to the festival. The streets were crowded. We noticed a lot of people were shopping the Main Street stores on Friday so I hope Hannibal profited from the good time they provided for everyone.

    Your love affair with educational TV is called life-long learning in education jargon. I also enjoy the programming, though it’s always good to hear comments from those of you who have traveled, taught, or studied different things. The early pictures Larry posted of odd pieces of junk along a trail in Hannibal or pictures of varieties of wild plants drew me to this blog as one of those places that make us check a book or the Internet for additional facts.

    Thanks for the leaf reports. I wish we were seeing the same here.

  124. Darrell

    I was always a low grade/no grade grader, so no worries.

  125. Joan

    Darrell I have no idea what that means, although somehow I’m feeling it was not a compliment. I was not a low grade student, although I did suffer through some low grade teachers.

    Does this have something to do with dropping the lowest score for a compiled numerical grade? I have heard my kid or maybe my husband speak of this.

  126. Darrell

    October 31, late at night . . . happy All Saints Day . . and Reformation Day too, I think! Did I forget anything else? Joan, you said something to the effect that I was the only one grading you (actually I wasn’t). So to make you feel better I noted that as an instructor I tended to be an easy grader, so you needn’t fear. AND I have no quarrel with much programing on PBS, esp. the British productions. Just chill out and put that channel selector down.

  127. Joan

    Sorry..I am permanently fused to my channel selector, but I usually skip from PBS 1 to PBS 3 and land on CBS in the evenings for fun.
    Am hankering for a new subject. How about books? Any favorites? Currently reading Ed McBain’s detective thrillers. Last month was Michael Crichton (sp?) but I lost interest when we got to the gorilla book. Just my luck that I finally find time to read these guys and they are both dead.

    In season… Yesterday the Post featured the 3 best horror books (they thought) ever made…and I’m all “YEAH!! Lead me to em! “ First one turned out to be Bram Stoker’s “Dracula.” Second one was Shirley Jackson’s “The Haunting of Hill House” and the 3rd one, which actually WAS new, was based on what ghostly horrors Heathcliff, of “Wuthering…(and howling) Heights” might have experienced as a child. Hmmmm. Well, I’ve read the first two and the new one will probably not come to a library near us until the second coming…so. pooh! I thought King’s Pet Cemetery was a very scary book. Note: All movies based on any of the above, except perhaps Dracula, did not scare me.

    I await your input. Ooooeeeeoooo…..


    P.S. I’m not sure about the Reformation but isn’t it All Saints Day today? Otherwise last night would not have been All Hallow’s Eve formerly known as Hallow een ..”een” being short for evening…if you lived in the British Isles and had an accent.

  128. Darrell

    Books? I haven’t had the opportunity to read for pleasure in some decades . . . I lost that at MU and had to cram and cram.

    Horror flicks? The House on Haunted Hill has to be a classic . . . and because the “other” remains unseen, it becomes doubly scary. Brom Stoker’s Dracula? Donno – also there is a rather solid thesis that the book was an anti-semitic rant. Ever since I heard of this in ca. 1968 I haven’t been able to drum up much enthusiasm in the whole vampire genre.

    Is the “owwweeeeoooo” thing from Wizard of Oz? Now that was scary too.

    Hallowed Eve? Day of the Dead? That seems to have roused the ire of some evangelicals.

  129. Joan

    Boy! I hear you there! They made us read 12 books for American History. I don’t think I touched any reading material deeper than a birdbath for a looong time after I got out of school. Still, that’s really such a shame, Darrell that you have so little spare time. You should allow that fine mind of yours some relaxation time. My only escape from the travails of reality bad stuff is readying about make believe bad stuff..hopefully where the good guys win. Brian, who loves to read, has not had time either, lately. He spends all xtra time with lesson plans and grading papers. He now chills with ballgames.

    I never saw House on Haunted Hill. I heard Vincent Price was in St. Louis while making it. There is some story of his visiting the art museum in maybe a dark suit with a cape. He may have gotten a special tour but he apparently scared the dickens out of one of the night guards.

    I did see the “Haunting of Hill House” ..the first one with Julie Harris and it was pretty scary. Also because you never see the ghost. The second movie they made about that was just dreadful. Did you happen to see “Six Sense” with Bruce Willis? It was pretty terrifying. “I see dead people ” has become a classic quote. That one is often on TV around this time of year.

    What have the Evangelical’s got against Day of the Dead? It’s a Mexican Catholic thing here in the states. Personally I totally don’t relate to the sugar skulls or the picnicking on relative’s graves..but to each his own .

    Now I have a friend whose daughter does not allow her kids to celebrate All Hallow’s Eve. aka Halloween. They consider it Satanic. That would indicate she belongs to an evangelical church woudn’t it?

    Speaking of All Saints Day which is Nov 1. At one time we belonged to Holy Communion Episcopal church here in St. Louis. They decided since Halloween was the next day that they would let the kid’s dress as their favorite saint should they even know what that was. I had Dave rigged out as St. Christopher and I believe Chris was too young for an outfit. At any rate they decided the kids could join the processional into church wearing their saints outfits. Chris, was in the kindergarten class or nursery and due to his propensity to take off running was carred on the hip of the teacher. Now the processional candle is a big huge candle on a stick that is held by the alter boy and used to light the ones on or near the altar. Chris was right up-front next to the candle, I started hearing this pffff! pffff! sound. He was attempting to blow out the processional candle. The only candles he was familiar with were birthday candles..and… well, you get the picture. He finally succeeded. Next year when we actually took him trick or treating, he went at the pumpkin’s candles on front porches. (grin)

    Hey! You know I never thought of it but I guess ooooeeeooo did come from Wizard of Oz. Hated that movie and the flying monkeys . (shudder) I did like Toto.

  130. Virginia

    I thought Sixth Sense was a little chilling and sad, but intriguing. As for picnicing in the cemetary with relatives who have passed on, this is also a Buddhist custom. When we visited the catacombs in Syracusa, Sicily a few years ago I was surprised to hear the guide say the early Christians also followed the custom of gathering in the family tomb to share a meal.

  131. joan

    Hi Virginia,

    I guess sharing a meal is the penultimate family activity (or was before TV) so this makes pretty good sense. Still seems a little sad and macabre to those of us who do not practice it. I am amazed, however by the skeleton candy, cookies,etc. sold (and made) on the Day of the Dead.

    Deborah, of Ephemeral Chaos blog has just finished a knitting and knick knack swap of DODead items. Many she made herself. She was at one time the ‘caller’ for the contra dance crew that Larry played for, is a prolific and adventurous knitter, and features her work on her blog. She is also a Civil War reinactor and a history teach here in St. Louis. I believe she teaches in college. I have wandered around the blogs quite a bit since Larry abandoned us…but I will never learn to knit that well.

    Back to the point,. Had no idea Buddists did this meal and didn’t know about the early Christians. Of course if they had to hide and practice their religion in catacombs I guess this would be a natural thing for them. I’m thinking many primitive tribes who practiced ancestor worship would also ‘include’ their dead relatives in meals. Maybe I should google the subject.

    “Remains” seem to be very important to a goodly number of people who do not rest well until the bodies of their loved ones who may have died in wars overseas are returned.

    .Thanks for the information.

  132. joan

    PS. just read where picnicking in the cemetery was a Victorian custom and there is an article called Dancing on Graves which tells of a more recent revival of the custom. A person story and of course I can’t link it directly or this will go into the spam catcher. You can google the title

  133. Virginia

    Joan, I have almost no time to blog, but I’ll try to check out the knitting on the chaos blog. I admire good knitting though am not one who can do a good job of it.

    As you suggested I googled Dancing on Graves and found most of it a bit distasteful. The family who had a party together to comfort a child seemed to have the right idea. Rather than sweep a painful situation under the rug they chose to share and include the late relative. I hope the folks practicing the “new craze” as the article puts it are respectful of the other graves. There are enough hurt feelings in the world today.

  134. Joan

    Sorry, Virginia. The article I wanted to link and couldn’t I can’t even find again. . I came to it through the back door from another one on Victorian customs of picnicking in the graveyard next to their loved ones’ place of burial. I just skimmed it at the time and meant to come back. Oh well.
    Speaking of raising the dead, I think we lost Darrell. (grin)

  135. Darrell

    Back again . . just when you thought it was safe. Will try to recall and answer . . .

    Evangelicals and Halloween? Some don’t like it for its pagan aspects . . . also for the threat aspect too (i.e “Gimme a treat or else . . .”) probably. But many gr5oups could get off on Halloween as well, not just Ev.s.

    As for dressing up like saints . . . what about the New Orleans NFL team??

    As for the flying monkeys, they were tame compared to “Night of the Living Dead” stuff that goes round all over the place now. Maybe that’s the sort of thing the religious groups should get riled about? Ditto for vampires, et al.

  136. Joan

    What! No warm chuckles over my tiny kid blowing out the big processional candle? (grin)

    Sorry about New Orleans but we are from St. Louis now. . Looking back I think Dave was Darth Vader for Halloween. A quick addition of an tunic with a coat of arms and a paper crown did the trick..along with a sword.

    Chris was St. Christopher on one of these. We reused the Jawa outfit for his monk-like robes and stuck a huge rag doll on his back that was almost as big as he was.
    Agreed on the flying monkey’s being tame, but it was frightening enough when you are a little child watching what is supposed to be a little kid movie. I was scared to death watching ” Abbot and Costello meet Frankenstein” though, so don’t go by me.

    As for dawn of the dead etc. I don’t think it’s the scary stuff that the evangelicals have a problem with because many of them have ‘hell houses’ that they build to show kids why it’s better to be a Christian than to burn. Sooo you may be right about their feeling is it a pagan celebration. My personal feeling is that they fear it’s more Satanic than religious and don’t want their little tiny kids introduced to it. I dunno. My friend’s daughter belongs to one of those offshoot churches about which I know zit.

    Well it’s halfway till Thanksgiving so we can stop talking about the dead and start talking about dead turkeys.

    Speaking of meals…I just watched a mouth-watering PBS thing on re-creating an elaborate Victorian dinner for the rich. Great balls of fire! (or stoves of fire). No wonder they employed battalions of cooks and servants. The meals took 2 hours and some 10 courses. No wonder Queen Victoria was fat. (grin) Anyway…yawn… looking at all that food has made me sleepy. zzzzzzzzzzz (Or maybe it’s just reading my post. )

    OH!~ I forgot. Someone sent me an article about Roberta Hagood. She just celebrated her 100th birthday. Also found out from various peeps that her sister Goldena Howard wrote history books of Marion County and Ralls and her other sister married Alan Eicheberger and got interested in archeology. WHICH brings us full circle to the indian skeleton, Smokey Joe atop Camp Oki Tipi. ooooeeeeooo

  137. Darrell

    I just received a bit of painful news: my old place of employment on Market St, the Kelley/Hannibal/Cornelius Pharmacy building has been razed by the powers that be.. You know . . . like Troy.

    As fo scary stuff being objectionable to Evangelicals/Pentacostalists, my Mom was neither but she was death on the walking dead and basically said this wasn’t the way God had designed the universe. Anyone who was a true christian would completely avoid such stuff. She also had it in for horror comic books. Maybe she viewed the whole business as a slur upon thge dead? In time I came to feel the same way . . . especially after the day my Dad died.

  138. Joan

    I don’t think it’s the scary stuff the evangelicals are worried about. (see above on Hell Houses) but the fact that they believe Halloween is Satanic.
    My mother would not allow me to read horror comic books and when I found a friend who had some I was almost scared out of my wits just looking at hers.

    The building in the wedge…I can’t place it. Was it the first one that was wedge shaped? They have shown it in the process of being torn down but not what it looked like before. The problem was that the rear wall collapsed and they had to do a hurry up job of demolition, watering down the asbestos as they hit it with the steam shovel.

    I know how you feel. In Brentwood, the main school in which I taught art was razed quite a while back to make room for big houses. The apartments we lived in when were were first married in were razed to make room for widening the highway. To top that off, In Hannibal, Larry mentioned that they guy Kent who is buying his building is trying to raze my grandfather’s and our old house on Center Street so he’ll have more room for parking. He lives next door. Evidently even tho it’s in the historical district, it can still be demolished. Double bummer.

  139. Virginia

    Joan, I hate to see the old buildings razed if they can be restored. A tasteless replacement or another parking lot removes the beauty of what was once a thriving historic town.

    I’m sorry the drug store was razed, Darrell. It was my view from the plate glass window of Hull’s Dress Shop where I worked during high school. Hull’s is gone also. Market Street was a thriving business district for the surrounding neighborhoods of the 1950s.

  140. Darrell

    Market Street? Mom told me when she came to Hannibal in 1927, the Wedge was alive, thriving and a blaze of light. Apparently the lights of downtown Hannibal would start to leave off as you came up Broadway in the earlier 20th century – then you’d crest the rise at 12 th St, and there the Wedge would be, with its lights. But it was largely abandoned or shabby by the 50’s. . . and now it has been razed.

    The Pharmacy may have been a vestage of that that I can still recall. You could see it even from where we lived at 2433 Market. But now it’s gone for good.

  141. Joan

    I have a suggestion. My son put Google Earth on the computer, which I am assuming is a free download since we don’t do pay anything. I clicked on it this evening and just by typing in our address, it zoomed into a pristine 3d version of our Brentwood house, including a car parked in the driveway. Worked fine for our old house on Center Street also. Now this was a photo taken in the spring, which I could tell from the redbud trees and other foliage. So you could still type in the now demolished building on the wedge and see its appearance before the fall.

    • Darrell

      Thes would be satellite views, I take it? The Streetview only does the major thoroughfares in Hannibal.

      I did take some pics of the building a few months back, but it was dreary looking. I was in it about a year earlier, when the Huntin’ Hut was still going; that was a downer too. The owner had let the once spic and span place turn into a schlock pile. Also his big mouth didn’t help much either.

  142. Joan

    On the other hand…. I just googled Larry’s building and it’s the exact same picture that was on the regular google maps about a year back… because the exact same black car/truck was next to it. Who knows if the photos were taken in spring or fall. Just because our house pic was updated does not mean they get to every corner of the earth. Oh well.

    • Darrell

      I don’t know how often they update. Some places look like older aerial photos. Our house in Alaska was barely visible the last time I checked.

  143. Joan

    Well, I have had a fun time locating things on Google Earth or Satellite Google or whatever incarnation it takes. We were able to find your old stomping grounds that way and that yellow steam shovel on the hill from looking at Larry’s pictures. I miss those a lot.
    Speaking of old stomping grounds and local hills, our family just saw ” Winter’s Bone”, winner of the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. We stumbled upon it since our first choices were out at the local Redbox and we got lucky. I started my usual ..”oh here comes another film made somewhere else and supposedly from Missouri…” and my son said..”It really looks like Southeast MO.”. where he has friends…and he was right. I have edited his pics over the years from his January vacations and there was something really familiar about these barren woods. Turns out the whole film was made in Taney and Christian Co. Mo, around Branson.
    I would have found it fascinating for the photography alone but the plot was enough to keep my always restless 3 guys riveted (with one break for pumpkin pie) . Be interested in what you think of it. Best dollar we have spent in a long while. I liked the bluegrass background music also. They used a whole bunch of locals in this movie which made it even more fun to watch.

  144. Darrell

    Good for Missouri movies. But tonight on TCM, there’s an almosy unknown Italian film I used to recommend to my students::” Burn ” with Marlon Brando in one of his best roles. Catch it if you can.

  145. Darrell

    Almost forgot, re the trctor . . . I was by there some time back. I checked the old cat out, with the idea of firing it up . . but time and parts removers had taken a toll. I can still remember it rumbling by the lab in ’67, shaking the bedrock and everything else

  146. 146 comments! I’m back on the net for a while this weekend, and as soon as I read the newer comments here I’ll be posting a piece about how I spent Thanksgiving Day. I hope that within a week or so I’ll be able to post more frequently. I may actually have electricity, water, and net access by then! Will wonders never cease…

  147. Joan

    To Larry…welcome back. Yay! More up there in the comments on your latest newest fire post.
    To Darrell… That looks like a great movie with Brando, but I must wait until it’s shown on TV or maybe have Dave find it on Netflix.
    BTW Larry’s return has loosed the fateful bonds of the spam bin and let me see some of the stuff you posted which got caught in the web. Now…Tom Baker as Rasputin! Awesome! I would never never have recognized him in that role. He looks young and handsome and very Rasputinish. Thanks so much for the video and the info. links . Now on to the second video……

  148. Joan

    Wow! I just saw the second video comprised of photos of Nicholas and Alexandria and their children. How beautiful and how dreadfully sad. I always thought of that as long long ago but I was struck by the fact that I have photos of my grandmother Hornback in dresses almost identical to those Alex. was wearing. They must have been about the same age when they were married. Even her hat was similar. Actually my grandmother was actually more beautiful. Less you doubt it..remember her granddaughter Edie Hornback back in high school. Strong resemblance. Thanks Darrell!

  149. Darrell

    Joan, glad the vids came through at last. Tom Baker made a perfect Rasputin; utterly appealing but with more than a trace of madness and even danger.

    As for the Russian Revolution (1917) my Mom was 10 and my Dad was in the process of getting drafted. Um, they hadn’t met yet, so this wasn’t pedophilia.
    Dad had a nunber of tales from the era.

    Did Edie look like her grandmother?

    As for “Burn” (English title) it’s about a revoultion on a French Caribbean island ca 1820 that the British highjack for their own purposes. The black guy who is one of the stars was not an actor . . he was a local spotted and placed in the role by the director. Brando, as a British agent, is a lovable, ruthless monster.

  150. Darrell

    Oops I sent a response last night, but now it seems to have disappeared.

  151. Joan

    Darrell, I actually read the response which was about your teaching history and recommending those above two movies …and more really good stuff..and I didn’t get around to answering it. I can’t imagine where it went unless it had some kind of link in it to detour it to the spam bin. Maybe when Larry gets back on board there will be a miraculous reappearance.
    I recall your mentioning Turkey, and I was going to respond that I had just viewed a snippet of a travelogue from Turkey which explained the ‘modernized’ government since they kicked out one of their occupiers. The name escapes me but one particular leader was responsible for Turkey’s modernization . There was a public building (or memorial) dedicated to him.

  152. Joan

    I also responded somewhere about Edie looking like her father who looked like my grandmother. That also seems to have gone with the window. Bummer!

  153. Joan

    Mystery maybe solved, Darrell. My lost comments are up there under the boxcar post not down here. So is your comment. So they didn’t get spammed..they just wandered. (grin)

  154. Darrell

    You may be referring to Mustafa Kemal Ataturk (d.1938), the founder of modern Turkey. When I was at Hannibal High, I wrote a theme/essay/whatever on him after seeing a CBS “20th Century” program on him. The “kicking out occupiers” is a strange way of putting it: Turkey and Greece fought a horrific war in 1921-2 when Greece tried to get back areas that had belonged to them since the bronze age and protect the large Greek Anatolian population living there, but their initially brilliant campaign broke down and Ataturk led a counter-offensive. Eventually the Greek army was routed and the Greek speeaking population was ethnically cleansed. As “Turkey” being Turkish, they (Turks) had only been in the area since the latter middle ages . . and had established an often brutal, sometimes genecidal, relogious and political order.
    Ataturk, progressive that he was, saw that much of the country’s problem stemmed from the utterly reactioary nature of Islam, and tried to all but erradicate it from the scene by a series of modernizing reform, often brutal. For decades after his death, Ataturks’s system held, but in the 1990’s creeping re-islamization began to work it’s way into the scene. Today the place it run by an islamist govt that garners about 30 % of the vote but controls about 60% of the legislative seats. Relations between Turkey and the US have gone into a one-sided decline. And the once amicable relationship with with Israel has become all but psycho-antisemitic. The future doesn’t look good. I wonder what will become of the p0lace and the people who value modernity over pre-medievalism?

  155. Joan

    Wow! Quite a history lesson, Darrell. And sad. The ” kicking out occupiers” was my bad memory of the show, as I recalled there was a struggle but did not remember against whom since it was brushed over ..
    The tepid travelogue that I viewed was hardly a window into the actuality of present day Turkey, and it may have been a relatively old travelogue. They were more into the best place to buy oriental rugs,and to assure tourists that they were Westernized enough for them to feel comfortable there..
    The story seems to mirror Iran’s situation a little. What modernity they had achieved under the despotic Shaw’s rule was pretty much wiped out with the religious fundamentalism of the returning Komeni. (sp.?)
    As for Turkey, about all I remember was their great uncomfortableness with Iraq’s Kurds who were close to their borders.
    It’s amazing that different people’s ideas of the perfect path to God always seems to result in plans to wipe out people who have other ideas about that path. Of course it’s really mainly about power and the land isn’t it.

  156. Darrell

    On a website today there was a furious roasting of the Turkish ambassador by an Austrian member of parliament, listing their recent autrocities that are like something out of the Taliban playbook. Mainly the beheading of a christian bishop and a rise in mainings and honor killings of women. When I was there in 1969-70, there was an honor killing of a neice by 2 uncles; the secular government (then) was set to throw the book at the uncles. But that belongs to the past now. Or maybe I should say that the future now belongs to the past . . and the past may well be the future.

    As for the path to heaven being washed by blood, that is largely an islamic specialty. An example, in India , Christians, Jews and Hindus coexisted for centuries, but when the muslems came to town things got nasty. A Hindu acquaintance from Kerala State had a litany of civilization-destroying events perpetrated by the Moslems . . . but there was no such rage against anyone else. As for Turkey, sadly it seems that to share a border with the Turks is to utterly hate them . . and they respond in kind.

  157. I became interested in Turkey when my son Tyler and his wife Anne visited the country some years ago — the trip was under the auspices of some sort of cultural exchange program between Turkey and Germany.

    Then somehow I heard about the translated novels of Orhan Pamuk and proceeded to read two of them. Pamuk’s novels could be considered Turkish magical realism. I enjoyed them, as my mind tends to follow surrealistic pathways anyway, and I began to follow the blindered and short-sighted condemnation of Pamuk by theocratic factions of the Turkish government.

    Pamuk’s descriptions of life in Istanbul and environs are first-rate.

  158. Darrell

    Larry, interesting you discovered Orhan Pamuk. I’ve never read any of his books but have been following his career: here is this modernist author at odds with both secular and theocratic Turkey. It is illegal to criticize “Turkishness” in Turkey, but Pamuk did/does just that.
    When I was on a Turkish Radio and Television tour bus chugging across Anatolia a few years back, my guide Suna was reading Pamuk’s latest. She was a real fan and felt he was an iconclast/hero. Turkey os a place laced with presumptions and when these are called out, folks tend to get a bit agitated.

  159. Joan

    Darrell since you have mined my minimal knowledge about Turkey, I guess I can change subjects. Today on the NPR blog/channel I found this article about the AK 47 and directily beneath that is another more lengthy one about the birth of the machine gun. Excerpted from a newish book. Neat!
    Do you remember back in the maybe 50s when they used to call machine guns ack ack guns? Was that from gangster movies..?

  160. Darrell

    Joan, were’re still not at the exhaustion stage yet on movies and radio daze, or even close.

    As for “assault” weapons weapons, I could probably still write a book on the topic although I don’t know who’d buy in time for Christmas. If we did it here, we’d probably go for 200 or so entries. The NPR piece wasn’t too informative, except for the part about the 19th century on Gatling and the attempt on the life of Louis Philippe (ironic that the King should be mentioned in the Radio Daze context – for one of my favorite radio shows in the early to mid 50’s was ‘The Count of Monte Christo’ . . and Louis Philippe was on of the regulars of the cast).

    First, the term “ak ak” was probably a reference to anti-aircraft guns . . acronymed as AAC , Anti Air Craft) . . prounounced ‘ak”. Usually between 20 and 40mm and placed on free turning and azimuthing mounts. I think the term is British (like ‘Dum-dum’) in origin and dates to WW2.

    Basically the “assault” rifle is a loose translation of the German term “sturmgevhr” (sp) . . and dates from the dilemma the German Army met on the Eastern Front in WW2, when faced with human wave assaults by the Red Army. Basically it was a lighter, cheaper, shorter weapon that fired a less-powerful-than-normal cartridge, while retaining the same bullet diameter as the standard infantry 7.92X57 round.. However, Hitler allegedly hated the assault rifle approach and tried to stop its development on more than one occasion. It was to be a defensive weapon only. The use of “assault” was endemic within the Germanic world, none of this namby-pamby hypocritical “defense” word usage. Hitler supposedly favored arms that used the full power round and saw reduced power weapon as decadent. STILL, the two German assault rifle systems that were produced befor the end of the war were highly effective against the Reds. In fact the Soviets were so impressed that they produced their own assault rifle systems (the SKS and AK 47) and cartridge (7.62×39) . . . eventually all but abandoning full power weapons for their infantry, except in machine guns and sniper weapons where the more powerful round completely outclassed the paltry 7.62×39 “assault” round.

  161. Darrell

    Also, keep in mind the term “machine gun” refers to something that is mounted on a tripod or a vehicle. Weapons such a the Thompson Model 1921, etc., etc. were called “sub-machine guns” becaused they used only low powered pistol raonds. By WW2 they were out of date but most countries still used them due to the logistic and mind-set limits imposed by war. Once WW2 was over, it was mostly a case of “bye-bye submachine guns” in the worlds major armies. The new assault rifle concept (to replace the submachine guns) was still very slow in being born due to innate military conservatism . . .and timidity.

  162. Darrell

    Re-posting this because I don’t know if it “took” . . .

    Also, keep in mind the term “machine gun” refers to something that is mounted on a tripod or a vehicle. Weapons such a the Thompson Model 1921, etc., etc. were called “sub-machine guns” becaused they used only low powered pistol raonds. By WW2 they were out of date but most countries still used them due to the logistic and mind-set limits imposed by war. Once WW2 was over, it was mostly a case of “bye-bye submachine guns” in the worlds major armies. The new assault rifle concept (to replace the submachine guns) was still very slow in being born due to innate military conservatism . . .and timidity

  163. Darrell

    Joan . . . back yet again: As for the AK’s fearsome reputation amomg the uninitiated, a Crustyy Old Guy (serious gun type) . . . a more a Meb than a Jay, but he did have his cordial moments from time to time . . . once dismissed the AK as ‘the most overrated small arm in the world” . . and proceded to tell why. His arguements were spot on and filled with good sense.

  164. I don’t know, Darrell… I’ve talked with several Vietnam vets who retain quite a respect for the AK-47. To me it’s the Model T of the assault rifle world — reliable, easy to maintain, and easy to duplicate or repair in the field.

    I remember some years ago seeing a photo of an open-air workshop in one of the highland tribal regions of Pakistan. A turbaned mechanic was intently working at a crude treadle lathe, assiduously turning out components for an AK-47 knock-off. That was an amazing sight, a village craftsman duplicating a gun which originated in a far-off Soviet-era factory.

  165. Darrell

    True, the AK is easy to maintain, etc. However, it has bad sights, a clumsy magazine, handles horribly and is generally inaccurate. According to a gun designer friend of mine, it was actually designed to be used in vehicles, not really in the field. The same guy told me that the AKs do well in dusty conditions because of the cover/safety/selector on the side that doubles as a dust cover. Anotyer weapon that did well under similar cxircumstances was the US M-14 because it was so easy to wipre the dirt out of it.

    The tribal gunsmiths have turned out a variety of weapons over the years . . starting with the British Enfield Model 1853, and continuing through the .303 Lee Enfields. The AK’s would be much easier to make than a Lee Enfield, but I wonder how necessary it is to make one by laboriously filing it out of steel because so many millions of the guns have been follded onto the world market?

  166. Darrell

    I meant “flooded” onto the world market.

  167. Joan

    All I have to contribute to this, is something I may have already posted. My son worked as a ‘rug flipper’ as one of his summer jobs. It was around 1990. I was shown a rug by the owner/ manager of the carpet shop which was tribal and from Afghanistan . There were little guns woven into the pattern. As I recall they were on tripods. Have no idea what gun but I’m betting Russian.

  168. Darrell

    This was a raher common rug motif in the 1980’s when the Soviets occupied the place. There were tanks, choppers, etc all over them.

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