The Lope: October 2005

Monday, October 31, 2005


Some of you have asked what ever became of the vampire jackalope and if he is just Ace in disguise. No, I don't think he is. I admit I don't know all of Ace's late night adventures (though I can surmise by lipstick-stained clothes and the scent of perfume as he drags in at 5 in the morning) but Ace is often seen in daylight, so I assume he has no vampiric tendencies.

As to the specific properties of the vampire 'lope, I can only speculate based on legends and Bram Stoker's "Dracula", and its popular adaptations:
According to Stoker, a vampire can control the the owl...

....the bat...

...the rodent...

...the wolf...

"He can also control the meaner things of life"

All photos were taken utilizing exhibits from the Kansas State Fair.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

In Reverence to Autumn

The sun shines through a leaf in Joplin, MO, Tuesday afternoon.

The crescent moon, not to be outdone in color, rises about 2AM Wednesday, over Wichita, KS.

Ace cavorts in Big Spring Park, Neosho, MO.

Remember when you were a kid and you walked closer to the ground? You probably noticed nature's little compositions, like this one, more often.

Steps in Big Spring Park, Neosho, MO.

Its days numbered, a bluebottle fly has a few last chances to show off its metallic hues.

You can have a lot of fun observing a single leaf...

...or a zillion of them.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Its Halloween season, you need gourds

All pics taken at Polks Market in Medora, KS.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

"Mountain Lying Down"

The view from highway 64, which goes north from I-40 to the Grand Canyon, is quite scenic in and of itself.

This was day four of a three-week trip, August 2. We had left La Posada in Winslow, AZ a few hours previously.

Of course, the road to the Grand Canyon has a few tourist traps, but at least Flintstones Bedrock City has a bit of pop culture appeal.

As we neared the Grand Canyon National Park, there was a refreshing site: snow in the trees. This was August, remember. We probably should have pulled over to shoot it but we were concerned about getting to the canyon in time to see a little sunshine, as storms had loomed all around us this day.

As you near the canyon, anticipation built up by countless images, be they from TV or old prints and photographs, you see it...

The cars...lots of them...way more than there are spaces for. We found a place to park beside a nearby road.

I really love to watch people when they see the Grand Canyon for the first time.

The rock, the light and the fact that blue light rays don't travel well through moisture concoct to show the canyon in colors of vivid red.

Down in the shadows there live cool blues and greens. Actually, some of this blue is due to smog. The fact is that the canyon is not as clearly seen as when I was a kid.

Sometimes I swear it looks two-dimensional - like a Hollywood matte painting.

A cloud retreats, and the sun sculpts the more distant details. Isn't it amazing how, even at such distances, two human eyes just inches apart perceive this staggering range of depth? By the way, the Grand Canyon is 277 miles long, 18 miles wide, and 6,000 feet deep.

I envy the early explorers, Native American, European - all of them. I cannot imagine what it was like to not know what lay ahead and emerge from the forest into this breath-taking sight.

The Paiute indians call it Kaibab, meaning "Mountain Lying down." Explorer John Wesley Powell dubbed it the "Grand Canyon" in 1872.

Ace wears a Native American-ish symbol from one of the area tourist traps. Maybe someone can write and tell us if its halfway accurate.

Many tribes have passed through here - paleo-hunters 11,000 years ago and hunter-gatherers from about 3000 to 1000 years ago. In about a.d. 500, a culture known as the ancestral Puebloan (Anasazi) came here and lived peacefully alongside another tribe, the the Cohonina people.

That ended in the late 1200s, when a prolonged drought and possible internal conflict and overpopulation caused the ancestral Puebloans and the Cohinina to leave the canyon. The ancestral Puebloans moved south and among their decendents were the Hopi.

A new hunter-gatherer tribe, the Cerbat, moved into the canyon in the 1300s. Their descendants make up the Hualapai and Havasupai tribes, who occupy reservations in the western canyon today. At the same time, Southern Paiutes, bands of hunter-gatherers voyaged to the canyon's north rim.

The last Native Americans to arrive were the Navajo, who moved to the canyon from the northwest around a.d. 1400. They were highly adaptable and dominated the region. After centuries of occasional conflict with other tribes, as well as clashes with Spanish, Mexican, and Anglo arrivals, the Navajo are now the largest, strongest Native American tribe in the United States. Their reservation abuts the eastern section of the Canyon.

Its always fun to meet people when on the road; Michael from New Bedford MA and Kristen from Providence RI pose with Ace.

I've been attracted to clouds these past few months...saw this one right as we turned to go down the road to the point called Desert View.

The Watchtower was commisioned in 1930 by the Fred Harvey Company as a rest stop and gift shop at a place along the canyon's south rim called Desert View. To design it, they hired renowned southwestern architect, Mary Colter. If you've been reading this blog, you may recognize the name as the same woman who designed La Posada. Unfortunately, we arrived a few minutes after it closed so I did not get to see the Hopi-inspired murals inside.

The texture of the tower makes it look much older. Colter hand-picked all of the stones and places weathered sides toward the outside to enhance an ancient appearance.

A geological feature near Desert View.

The sun has gone, swallowed by the storm so as to give us no sunset. It starts to rain and the warmth of the light fades, leaving blurry shades of blue and green.

The rain stops, and the almost monochromatic canyon serves as a setting for the silver ribbon of the Colorado River.

I start to resent the storm, but here, more than most places, it is clear that nature is the master...and the storm has a gift I can have if I am quick enough, so I put away the digital and take out a 35mm camera I've used for 20 years because the 35mm is faster. I'm looking through good old trusty glass again for the first time in awhile; it feels good.

I am patient. I wait, focussed and reverent, and the storm gives a gift better than the sunset it took.

I actually whisper "thank you" under my breath though I don't know why. I exhale and my body deflates a little; I walk away from Desert View, very satisfied.

We went south to Williams and arrived at Rod's steakhouse just in time for a dinner sitting, then we sought lodging...didn't stay here, loved the sign.

We didn't stay here either but the sign was cool. It seems many southwestern towns have an El Rancho motel, but it was never a chain.

We settled at the Gateway Motel on Route 66 in Williams for the night. It wasn't bad; it wasn't great. It was adequate...

...and it had a cool sign.

Why insert a dull picture of a room, you ask? Because some of the emails I've received about previous entries in this blog have asked about the room conditions at motels I've shot.

This cat on a windowsill is about the last thing I saw that night. I've always said cats are evil; I offer this in evidence. I made sure I included this since its actually a week before Halloween when I finally got around to posting this entry.

The next morning, August 3, I shot a pic of a Grand Canyon Railway diesels just across Rt 66 from the Gateway Motel.

Before we left town, we took a look at the Grand Canyon Railway's steam engine getting ready to take another load of tourists to the canyon. I'd never seen their steam engine before, but I'd caught their classic Alco diesels on previous visits.

Then, we were off west with the goal of reaching Rialto, CA by nightfall.

Leaving La Posada

Its been awhile since I've blogged anything from the three-week trip we took in August. One of the happy consequences of leading a busy life is that things keep happening in the present tense while you try to edit the pictures you took last week...which becomes last month...which becomes last season, etc. So, I am fitting these in as I can, between current events.

We awoke on August 2, the 4th day of our Joplin to LA trip, at La Posada in Winslow, AZ and our goal for the day was to see the Grand Canyon and then stop at some point beyond it on our trip west to LA. Ace and I had been to La Posada, a restored 1929 Harvey House on May 18 and May 28, as well as just the night before.

Our two new travel companions had never been there and were quite impressed.

La Posada was designed by renowned southwestern architect Mary Colter.

It was the only project for which Colter was able to design or select everything - structures, landscape, furniture, maids uniforms, dinner china and of course, building materials like this tile.

In the late 1920's, concrete cinder blocks, like these from an orangerie/hallway, were a new material and she was eager to exploit their possibilities.

Most of the original furniture at La Posada was auctioned in 1959 when the hotel closed to become a Santa Fe office. This dresser was purchased back sometime after its restoration began in 1997.

The ceiling fixtures are original.

Colter's buildings have been described as "historical theater" because she wanted to educate visitors about the culture of the southwest through her work. She carefully chose historic and regionally specific building types.

Then it gets more interesting: Like J.R.R. Tolkein building an imaginary history for Middle-Earth, Colter imagined a history for La Posada. Here it is, quoted from their website (pics are mine):

"In the 19th Century, the region around Winslow was settled by Basque ranchers from Northern Spain. For La Posada's 'history' Colter wanted a grand hacienda, the sort of home that might have been built if there had been a timber and cattle baron for Northern Arizona. The home would be large and rambling with many additions as the family grew and the business prospered..."

"...There would be a heavy influence of Mexico and Spain - the family roots..."

"...There would be patron saints and hacienda gardens. It would be enormous - eventually growing to 72,000 square feet in the main house alone; the home of a fabulously wealthy and cultured Spanish Don..."

"...Colter designed the central part of the hacienda as if built in 1869, with major additions to east and west during the next 60 years. And then, the story goes, in 1929 the family sold the place to Fred Harvey for 'conversion' to a hotel. It's all a fantasy of course - the hotel was built in 1929..."

This is a replacement Madonna for one that originally hung in this spot.

This is also a real railfan's hotel. Guests can sit in chairs at the end of this walk and even be served food from the restaurant as they watch trains on the Burlington Northern Santa Fe double main line.

I seem to be infatuated with the juxtaposition of the old statue with the trains.

The building on the left, also designed by Colter, is still in use as an Amtrak station.

Colter used many Native American motifs in her work, such as the wavy lines on the train station doors.

Here are views from the other side of the doors.

I once read that, over decades, glass runs very slowly like a liquid, resulting in the ripples we see in old window panes. I don't know if that is true, but I love the effect.

Back in La Posada's dining room, The Turquoise Room, we admired the placemats. They do sell them, but I think the price was something like $50 each.

Breakfast - To my surprise, I've had some feedback from people who really liked seeing the food from different places along Rt 66; apparently this blog is being cited as a source of travel info by some of the people we've visited along the way. We're very, here's your breakfast.

Someone else's breakfast - if Ace finds your breakfast more interesting than his, he'll have some.

This architecture student was studying the works of Colter; she was on her way to the Painted Desert and asked about motels in Holbrook. I recommended the Wigwam Motel, of course.

We finally tore ourselves away from La Posada. This mural is on a building across from the Winslow, AZ post office.

I particularly like this part, portraying a classic streamlined passenger locomotive. These are the locomotives I grew up admiring and photographing, not the boxy diesels that roam the tracks now...but, hey, you take what you can get.

There is some nice signage on Route 66 just across from La Posada.

"On October 8, 2004, fire destroyed the historic JC Penny/Rasco building. The east wall of the structure served as a backdrop for the "Standin on a Corner" Park mural. Because of safety concerns, no one has been allowed access to the park. We look foreward to a resolution to this unfortunate closure." The sign gives this website for more info:

In case you missed the 1970's, "standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona.." is a line from the Eagles song, Take it Easy. Winslow was quite happy to gain some tourism from that and the current state of the park does not stop merchants from piping the song on an endless loop out into the streets.

West of Winslow - another dust devil; I love those things.

The entire drive was scenic. I believe this was near Flagstaff on Interstate 40.

The weather was iffy that day; it always seemed to be storming around us, but we lucked out and didn't have to drive in any heavy rain. And what would a trip through the southwest be without a few beautiful storms to watch?

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Autumnal twilight on MO Route 66

Saturday night, Ace Jackalope rescued this innocent Missouri girl from a dweeb pirate.

In gratitude, the young lady took Ace on a road trip from Springfield to Joplin MO.

Here is a fabulous vintage sign on Glenstone in Springfield.

Lunch was had at Lamberts, "The Home of the Throwed Rolls." Ace caught one with his antlers.

Ace is more successful at lunch dates than the average guy.

A young lady working the register at Lamberts commented that Ace was "one cute bunny with antlers."

They drove Springfield to Joplin on Route 66. Here, the setting sun glints off a closed store in Halltown, MO.

A woman on a horse follows a ribbon of 66 into the sunset.

The full moon rises over 66, west of Halltown, MO.

There is a meditative quality in night driving. This is Rt 66 somewhere west of Halltown and east of Carthage.

How fitting that one would see a cemetary in the headlights during Halloween season. This is near Carterville, MO on Route 66.

Monday afternoon found Ace in Joplin, MO, scouting for autumn tree photos.

He wasn't the only one enjoying the trees.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Renaissance lope

Ace stopped by the 6th Annual Fall Great Plains Renaissance Festival at Sedgwick County Park in Wichita, KS, last Sunday, October 9.

"I think that I shall never see..."

"...a poem lovely..."

" a tree."

This isn't the kind of tree Joyce Kilmer (1886–1918) had in mind, but the lines of his poem "Trees" are fitting.

Vendors, performers and enthusiasts usually dress the part for renaissance festivals.

Costumes are often drawn more from fantasy than history, but the variety of attire usually merges pretty well.

There was a play area for the kids.

And local members of the Society for Creative Anacronism (SCA) had their fun too.

How much does roaming cost from the renaissance?

Ace apparently likes to be scratched behind the ears.

A silent, but pretty mime.

Back-lit parasols are fun.

Amira's Dance Productions held a belly dancing demonstration.

Fairie wings seem to be popular this year for all ages.

I thought this woman's profile looked like an Alphonse Mucha poster.

Henna tatoos were popular.

Some of the artwork that was offered for sale.

I seem to run into a lot of Scotsmen lately.

Ace is being fitted for a suit of chain maille.

Like many renfests, this one ended with a procession.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Svensk Hyllningsfest

This is the last of three posts on Lindsborg, KS; this one covers Svensk Hyllningsfest, 2005 on October 8. Svensk Hyllningsfest is a Swedish heritage festival held every two years.

As with any ethnic festival, suitable attire is fun.

The Lindsborg Swedish Folk Dancers, a very dedicated group of high school students, was a main attraction of the festival.

Costumes are part of the show.

Each summer, the group does at least one out-of-town performance and every four years, they go to Sweden.

The members usually apply to join the group in 6th grade, and are asked to make a commitment to the group until high school graduation.

In this dance, the one man has the rest of the dancers - all women - reach through their legs to hold the hand of the dancers in front and behind.

I think he likes this.

This one involved one man at a time getting shoved out of the circle.

Competition among the men, often involving shoving and mock-fighting, was part of some of other dances, also. I had no idea folk dancing could be so violent.

This one was kind of Three Stoogey.

Spontaneous playfulness is more fun to see than an organized event.

A nice little moment in the random observation of the human family.

There were two craft tents which featured wares from all sorts of artists. Here, wood turner Melody Hall explains her techniques to a small group of costumed children.

Ever the yule-junkie, Ace contemplates the richness of the wood in some of Hall's ornaments.

A couple of local businesses rented these for getting about town. I think they were called quadrocycles or quadcycles.

Hey, I found a way to sneak a moving train into this entry. Its only N-guage, not that you could tell at a glance.

The train was on a layout brought by the MacTrax Model Railroad Club of McPherson to the old depot at The McPherson County Old Mill Park.

"Night of the Lepus", Swedish-style. Only true bad sci-fi film afficianados will get that.

Jan Turner, wife of Lindsborg photographer Jim Turner, was kind enough to show her traditional costume, parts of which belonged to her husband's grandmother. My thanks to the Turners for offering the use of their very appropriate backdrop.

Ace has a thing for artistic women, so he made the acquaintance of local artist Lee Becker, who was holding down the fort at The Small World Gallery on Main Street.

Becker decorated two of the fiberglass Dala horses displayed in Lindsborg. This is one of them; it is called Dalahippus Lindsborgensis. Being a paleontology buff, I was particularly attracted to it.

Ester Jaderborg, co-owner of Swedish Crafts, filled us in on Lindsborg history as well as the history of Dala horses. One of the concerns residents have is whether Lindsborg will keep its Swedish flavor as the "old Swedes" pass away.

We stopped into The Cookery for a traditional meal. I can't say I'm a fan of the pickled herring, but it was one of those things you try in order to immerse yourself in the feel of a culture. I've never had Swedish meatballs in a more appropriate place, and they were delicious.

The street dance started at 9PM. I had imagined something involving costumes but thats not the way it was. Oh well, I suppose if you've been wearing less-than-comfy attire all day for the festival, you really wanna let your hair down at night.

Most of the pics on this blog since July 30 have been taken with a relatively cheap point and shoot digital with some manual over-rides, but I hadn't tried slow shutter speed plus flash with this camera yet.

Of course, straight flash is good too. I'm still getting the hang of the delay on this camera. Being a dyed in the wool 35mm photographer, I am not used to digital delay and figured the dance would be good practice.

We might be back in Lindsborg on October 29. President Mikhail Gorbachev, former leader of the Soviet Union, will be there to help kick off the year long Chess for Peace initiative. Not bad for a town of 3,200, huh?

There'll be a chess parade, a scholastic chess tournament, a match between former World Chess Champions Susan Polgar and Anatoly Karpov, and a keynote address by President Gorbachev at Bethany College. Hmm...a photo of one of the architects of the end of the cold war with Ace Jackalope...ya think?

Sunday, October 09, 2005

McPherson County Old Mill Museum

Ace, having become a Dalalope, speculates that jackalopes may have sailed to the U.S. from Sweden.

The ship is called the Lutfisk; a local told me that lutfisk (I've also seen it listed as "lutfish") were "nasty, salted fish" that were kept as ship provisions. One result of a google search found that lutfisk are cod soaked in lye with a white sauce and hard boiled eggs inside. Other recipes I found were no more appealing to my palate. I had a more romantic notion of life on the high seas before I hit the enter key *that* particular time.

The Lutfish model ship is kept in the Swedish Pavilion at the McPherson County Old Mill Museum, at the South end of Lindsborg.

The Swedish Pavilion was prefabricated in Sweden as a Swedish exhibit building for the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis and was designed by Ferdinand Boberg, one of Sweden’s premier architects at the turn of the last century.

After the fair, it was moved to Bethany College in Lindsborg as an art and music classroom. In 1969 it was moved to its current location at the McPherson County Old Mill Museum. In 1974 the building was entered onto the National Register of Historic Places.

This photo shows an early 20th century gymnastics class in the pavilion. Oh, baby!

In 1976, King Carl Gustav XVI of Sweden rededicated the pavilion while on a visit to Lindsborg.

He hears not his masters voice, but once upon a time this was a music room.

The museum contains a number of other buildings. The Lindsborg Union Pacific depot was used from 1880 to 1974 and was moved here afterward. Behind it resides Santa Fe steam locomotive #735.

The row of buildings to the left comprises the Heritage Center and contains business exhibits, a livery stable, farm machinery, storage and a variety of transportation methods.

A really neat old advertising sign hangs within.

I loved the light on this wall; I'm not crazy about the shape into which I cropped the picture but there was a modern electrical outlet and a circuit breaker box to the right of the chairs.

The star of the McPherson County Old Mill Museum is the Smoky Valley Roller Mill, built in 1898 and also on the National Register of Historic Places. It was in operation until the 1950's and was restored to full working condition in 1981. It is now operated one day each year, the first Saturday in May.

There is some nice stone work on the grounds.

The four floors of the mill are filled with beautiful, intricately interconnected antique machinery.

But it was the quality of the woodwork that really got me; I wonder if such a combination of technology and craftsmanship could be summoned today?

The hardwood floors are rich in texture.

I killed about 30 minutes waiting for the sun to hit this wheel.

Wouldn't this make a great set for a retro-Victorian horror movie?

I can hear Colin Clive now: "Its Alive!, Its Alive!"

The hours of the museum, as of this writing, are Monday-Saturday, 9AM - 5PM, Sunday 1-5PM. Admission was $2 per adult when I was there.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Valkommen, Dalalope

Some readers have expressed a desire for "more lope, less other stuff." Well, here is a tale of Ace in a foreign land...well, almost foreign.."foreign-ish", one might say. By the way, "valkommen" means welcome, so valkommen to the first of three posts on Lindsborg.

That Lindsborg, KS is nicknamed "Little Sweden, U.S.A." is appropriate. I am told that King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden once remarked that Lindsborg was more Swedish than Sweden. They certainly do have the decor.

Lindsborg is chock-full of Dala horses. They are painted on the signage, printed on the banners and are the main souvenir in the stores. In very recent years, fiberglass horses painted by local artists have multiplied in the streets in the manner of the fiberglass cows used in many US cities.

If you are not from central Kansas or Sweden you might well ask: "What *is* a Dala horse?" I've read varying accounts of the origin of these decorated wooden horses but the general story is that the Dala horse originated in central Sweden in the 18th century when wood scraps were carved into horses. Sometime in the 19th century, the horses were painted orange due to the availability of copper pigment from copper mines, and decorated with flower-patterned saddles called "kurbits". This assortment is at a store called Swedish Crafts.

Over time, pigs and chickens were also carved, and other colors, particularly blue, black, white and natural wood, were available. These are also at Swedish Crafts.

And these are at Hemslojd, a store that imports Dala horses and makes Dala horse signs.

Tourism is hungry work, so breakfast is in order. Small town independent cafes often furnish nice visuals; this is The Cookery.

The owner collects colored aluminum coffee pots.

Ace considers what disguise he'll use to observe life in Lindsborg. This is his first attempt - a shirt with a Sweedish flag sticker. It won't quite do, though.

Of course, the answer to Ace's question of disguise is obvious. Dala horses are everywhere; nobody will notice one more. Yes, have yourself painted as a Dala amimal and they'll never know you are not just part of the landscape. For this task he choses the artists of Hemslojd. Ace is a dedicated litle infiltrator, so he sheds his fur and begins the process.

As Ace's undercoat dries, he regards a line of the signs Hemslojd makes for sale.

He isn't the only thing drying.

Virtually the entire ceiling of the workshop has been signed by visitors. One particular tile holds illustrations from two Disney artists, one Time Magazine illustrator and a Dala horse from a Swedish craftsman.

Folk artist Shirley Malm applies the finishing touches.

While Ace dried, I took a stroll around town. You know you are in Lindsborg when there is a pile of viking helmets in the toy store window. This is Main Steet Toys.

I didn't think it could ever happen: a Dollar General sign that I like. The chain is about the worst at proliferating backlit plastic rectangular banality, but this one is different. Doubtless it was once something else, but at least they didn't take it down and put up their standard sign.

I've gotta love a town that has a public mural in honor of architects - not war heros or dead presidents - architects. Can Utopia be far behind?

The timing of our arrival in Lindsborg is advantageous; in the next few days the town will celebrate Svensk Hyllningsfest (translation: "honoring Sweden"), a city festival held every two years. Here, a band - high school, I presume - passes in front of Hemslojd.

Ace has dried now, and is eager to test how well he will blend into the town. Yep, perfect camoflage - nothing unusual here.

Lindsborg high school students practice for a Svensk Hyllningsfest performance as Ace takes his first stroll as a Dalalope.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Googie Treasure in Pratt, KS

Donald's Servateria has been in business in Pratt, Kansas, since approximately 1952. Recently, the restaurant sold to Jim and Sue Byers, who tell me they bought it to keep it from going out of business. I applauded their decision by having breakfast and lunch there. They tell me they may change the name of the business, and therefore, modify the sign. I sincerely hope they leave this classic the way it is.

The sign is a nice example of "googie" - the name given to a style of architecture and signage popular in the 1950's and 60's. The name comes from the now-defunct Googie diner in Los Angeles, where this futuristic style once predominated.
One of the characteristics of googie was an optimistic embracing of the atomic age; this is evident in the atom-like neon pieces atop the sign. The sparkle-like shape seen next to "servateria" on the sign was also a common motif. The differently shaped letters, their arrangements and their colors also contribute to the retro look of this sign.

Inside, Donalds does not look like a mid-20th century business, in fact, the (unfortunately) painted-over velvet wallpaper makes it look somewhat older. Collector's plates have been part of the decor for decades. I just love the look of these small town restaurants.

The Formica company's "Skylark" pattern, commonly called "boomerang formica" was the ubiquitous counter top of the 50's and 60's. A small patch by the cash register hints of previous, more classic decor. Its about the only thing inside that goes with the sign outside. Boomerang, amoeba and kidney shapes were often used in googie roof lines (all early Denny's had these) and signs. UPDATE (12-21-2005): The Formica company is now making the boomerang pattern again.

I love the term, "Servateria"; its an early term for buffet, and I find it both nostalgic and futuristic. Donald's has a menu in addition to the buffet. The food was pretty decent but the hours are limited - Donald's closes at 2PM. The new owners tell me the place will be open nights soon. UPDATE (12-21-05): Don's is now open 6AM-9PM Tue-Sun.

Pratt Community College, built about 1966, has a few googie touches like this roof line...

...and the top of this dome.

This country flavored mural contrasts the amoeba shapes in the wall.

Even these shell chairs speak of a 1960's birth, particularly the fiberglass one at right.

I'm sure the motel currently called Budget Inn once had a cooler name and sign. It does, however, still have these ornamental column shapes.

Aside from googie influences, Pratt also has some other nice bits of architecture. For instance, the Barron Theater.

Across the street, it looks as if the Pratt Tribune was once a theater, also.

I'd never seen this font used by Santa Fe; it looks rather art nouveau to me. The Pratt railroad station is now a Federal Express depot.

The J.C. Penny building now hosts a consignment shop.

The Ayers-Calbeck Mortuary has a cool old sign but I wasn't keen to go in and look around.

I bet J.C. Foods used to be a Safeway grocery store.

The Lesh sign isn't bad.

I feel ripped-off; my town only has one water tower.

Many thanks to Della, who tipped me off that I needed to come down to Pratt for a look at Donald's.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Welcome, October.

The weather grows more autumnal, but there is still fun to be had outside.

Always a supporter of the arts, Ace attended the Bethel College Fall Festival in North Newton, KS, Saturday. The event was well run and well attended, despite the rain which plaqued it in the afternoon.

The rain did not stop artists from selling their wares. Here are the before and after (sunshine and rain) pics of Ace's most frequent female companion.

You could tell when someone had been in a chair in the rain.

Members of the Bethel College Students for Social Change made organic apple cider.

Performers included the City of McPherson Pipe Band.

Butterflies enjoyed the native wildflower gardens on the campus.

Look at the eyes...scarier than Mothra.

There are a few nice touches of 1960's architecture on campus, as seen in these windows.

Sunday, the Dillon Nature Center in Hutchinson, KS, lived up to its name by providing plenty of nature in the way of water snakes and lots of flowers and insect life.

A biologist friend of mine tells me these are autumn olive; they sure are pretty.

New England aster is a favorite flower of bees.