The Lope: July 2009

Friday, July 17, 2009

40 Year Anniversary of Apollo 11

In flickering black and white, and with really bad audio, the future was beaming into living rooms across the world 40 years ago as Apollo 11 blasted its way towards "one small step."

Well, we thought it was the future, anyway. I don't know about you, but I'm still waiting for my ticket on the Pan Am Space Clipper. To a nine year-old boy playing with his Major Matt Mason astronaut toys in the attic insulation (because it looked like the moon up there), it was a wondrous time. How many of you still remember all those broadcasts with the regular "beep...beep...beep"?

The moon - or at least artifacts of our visit to it - are never more than a few blocks away here in Hutchinson, Kansas. We paid a visit to it a couple years ago for the 38th anniversary of the first manned moon landing in a salute we call Walking in Distant Footprints.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Happy Independence Day 2009!

Happy 4th of July! Nothing beats celebrating American independence by supporting the Chinese economy, so we're heading out tonight to see the Hutchfest fireworks in Hutchinson, Kansas. Here are a few of last year's aerial bursts.

Like any good American, Ace Jackalope also likes to set fire to fuse. See the proof in Ah, That Smell and Blowin' Up Stuff, which also features the huge Centerville, Ohio, 4th of July parade.

Of course, the great American roadside is not untouched by the spirit of independence, as shown by this fiberglass Uncle Sam in Terra Haute, Indiana.

There, you'll also see one of the roadside gods showing his support for the good ole' U S of A.

Last year we showed that while we are generally friendly toward all creatures great and small, plastic piggies receive no quarter. If you have some time to waste, or just like to see cheap things blown up, see Peril of the Pyrotechnic Pig and Bride of Pyrotechnic Pig. Because we're slightly addled by the fireworks around us, we plan to continue this year with "Son of Pyrotechnic Pig."

Later this weekend, we'll have some photos of Astronaut Joe Engle's visit to Hutchinson as the Grand Marshall of the 2009 Patriots Parade.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Hutchinson Kansas Patriots Parade is Tomorrow

The Hutchinson Kansas Patriots Parade is Tomorrow, Saturday the 4th of July at 10AM. I took a bunch of pictures last year and thought now would be a good time to run them. Strike up the band...

A good Main Street parade gives you a chance to observe a hoard of contemporary people, older vehicles and even older buildings all tossed onto your retinas. Since the time I shot these photos during last year's parade, I've gathered information on some of the buildings, via the Hutchinson Public Library.

The covered wagon advertised the Pretty Prairie Rodeo.

A horse crosses tracks of an iron horse.

This is a group of three nice (unsullied by aluminum fronts) buildings on the south end of the west side of Main Street near 3rd Street. Like many small towns, Hutchinson has stretches of great old buildings broken up by places where metal facades were added in past attempts to modernize.

The first of these three buildings with relatively intact facades is 307 North Main, built before 1900, probably in 1889 or shortly thereafter. It has housed a shoemaker, a barber and a news stand which went back to at least 1914 and continued through a number of sales and moves to become Crossroads Bookstore, which only ceased business a few years ago. The building was extensively remodeled in the mid 1970s.

Dr. George Von Leonard had an office upstairs in 309 from 1919 to 1951. One of Leonard's specialties was "private diseases of both sexes" and his home further up Main Street was sometimes called "the house that clap built."

311 North Main housed Samuel Mason, confectioner, in 1909, and has held a couple restaurants and a book store.

A cool-looking vintage Chevy passed the NE corner of 3rd and Main streets. The building that currently houses Sunset Pawn was built in 1889.

A group of cars passes the NW corner of 4th and Main.

A 1962 Nash Metropolitan passes the neon sign for Johnson Music on the east side of Main street between 4th and 5th.

The Reno County Democrats march past the Union Labor Temple on the SW corner of 5th and Main Streets, which was built as a Carnegie Library in 1903-4.

Across 5th street to the north, is the Landmark, currently an apartment building.

The building which now houses the Landmark apartments was built as the Stamey Hotel in 1922. The Stamey Hotel had a coffee shop, but it's long gone.


The building which now houses the Tower Apartments was built in 1954 as the Baker Hotel. Before its construction, some Easterners referred to the Baker as the "Outback Hilton", skeptical that such a project could be built in Hutchinson. Advertisements for the Baker stated that it had "circulating ice water" in all of its 175 rooms. (source: The Fair City, Pat Mitchell). The neon sign has not been lit in many years.

For other glimpses of Hutchinson's downtown, see 2008 Cinco de Mayo festival, December 2007 ice storm and 2007 Holiday Parade.