Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Midway Memories: Hank

Henry or Hank.  Last name Johnson.  Over six feet tall, stocky build he was a big man with grey hair, sparkly blue green eyes, tan always tan complexion…he looked like he lived in Florida all the time.  I am certain he was quite handsome in earlier years.  Hank had teeth but he didn’t like them, they hurt his mouth so he didn’t wear them and would give you a gummy grin just to show off.  He had a raspy voice that was very distinctive.

Hank was friendly, he could talk to anyone. I met Hank in 1968 and the last time I saw him was about 1978.

I think Hank started out on the Scrambler but then the Boss moved him to the Octopus.

Octopus wheel and Mery Go Round Unknown year in 1950s

Hank was out on the road all summer and he worked for the Salvation Army in The Cities in the winter.  He must have had a room someplace there.

What we don’t know…for sure.  Was he born in 1922?  Did he die in 1983 and is he buried at Fort Snelling National Cemetery?  We think he had a wife at one time, he was most likely divorced…we think he had a daughter. He was the right age to have been in WWII, but like so many that returned he didn’t talk of it.

Somewhere in Nebraska Hank found himself in the company of a very lonely elderly woman.  They wound up going to the city park.  One thing led to another. Things got a little amorous.  They were BOTH arrested.  He spent one night in jail and was out the next morning.  Hank being the friendly character he was…won the Cops over. The Cops came to visit him at the fairgrounds to give him a bad time about his tryst in the park.  The next year when we got into the Fairgrounds, Hank was taking a nap in the cab of his truck…the Cop pulled up.  The Cop asked Far Guy “Is Hank with you this year?”  Hank shouted from the truck cab “Tell him he can kiss my bare butt!”

We invited Hank to Far Guy’s going away party…the party we had late in December in 1972 before Far Guy went into the Air Force.  Hank came up from The Cities on the bus.  We had a winter storm and roads were impassable.  Hank had to bunk in with Far Guy’s parents for one night.  Boy was Far Guy’s Mom mad…but she said “He was nice and clean, talked civil and even wore a white shirt.” Hank was a hit at the party, perhaps even the life of the party.

Music was just becoming a big thing out on the Midway and the Trabant had a tape that played over and over.   Joy to the World (CCR)….was NOT Hanks’s favorite. We would sing… Jeremiah was a bullfrog was a good friend of mine… just to irritate Hank.  If you picked that song from a Jukebox he would mumble to himself shake his head and go outside.

Sometimes I wish I could go back and ask the right or more questions, but that wasn’t the way things were out on the road.  You never pryed in other peoples business or asked too many questions.  Some people talked more than others and some people remain a bit of a mystery.

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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Rain and an Afghan

It rained. It began in the middle of the night.  It rained just like in the Summer, complete with thunder.  The rest of the snow came off the covered entry…swoosh..waking me and an old hard of hearing dog. It rained

See the bare nekkid snow stick?  The snow on the bottom of the photo is snow that came off the steel roof.

Marlu asked about my afghan.  It is a colorful work of art. ( A mindless pattern that I can work whilst watching TV or listening to an Audio Book.) Years ago I used to make granny squares and then stitch them all together with needle and yarn.  Some people are really smart and now there is a join as you go granny square technique.  (JAYG) You only have one tail to hide. ( Providing that you worked your beginning tail in from the start!) Here is a link to a gal that can explain it stitch by stitch!

Join as you go afghan

It is a great way to use up leftover yarn…but then you want more color in it so you go to town and buy more yarn.   This one may look a bit wonky in some spots…I hope that it straightenes out when washed, also some yarn is a fat 4 ply and some a skinny 4 ply. What do you expect from cheap old dimestore yarn.

I had this crochet project stuffed away for the Summer and Fall and just brought it out after finishing the Christmas Cards.  I am not sure how big it will be, someday it may be finished or not.

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Monday, November 28, 2016

Visitor and an Audio Book

We had company, Alaska Guy was here for a visit and spent an evening with us.  Always good to see him and hear his stories.  He was telling us about scattering ashes out of an airplane and how they improvised a water jug and a tube to disperse it out of the airplane.  He said that many people up in Alaska are choosing cremation.   He and his sister have a plot near ours over at the cemetery.  He and Far Guy compared notes on their hips and other ailments. We also talked about area history…he remembers a man with a popcorn trailer being right across the road from the store in Ponsford.  His parents would never let him get any popcorn because the guy lived in that trailer!  I don’t recall it at all…but he is a year older than I am.

I finished the Audio Book A Man Called Ove.  I got out the afghan I am working on and crocheted while listening.  I give the book at least 5 out of 5 stars.  We both enjoyed it. We don’t usually listen to Audio Books…maybe we should listen to a few more.  Whoever read this one did an excellent job.


Greenery for sale in town

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Sunday, November 27, 2016

Tree in town

The tree that sits in the middle of Main Street in town every year has taken it’s rightful place.  It came from a farmstead just about 5 miles west of our home.  From a farm family with kids and dogs, a barn and cows to milk a long time ago.
Christmas Tree in town
Now it has a star on top and is decorated with red and green ornaments. 
Tree in town on main st
The Downtown Business Association has a tree lighting ceremony on the Friday night after Thanksgiving,   We have never been there for the lighting, but hear it is a nice gathering.

One night I may take my tripod to town and see if I can get a photo of the tree at night.  Usually once we are home for the night we stay in…old farts ya know.

I know that we should shop more in downtown but they have nothing we need.  One tourist trap after another, some open and some closed for the winter.  I went into Ben Franklin but they didn’t have the paper I needed.  I would have bought it there if it had been available.  Far Guy walked down the street to another store and it was closed.  So much for small town shopping. I bought some boxes at the UPS store! 
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Saturday, November 26, 2016

Christmas Cards

Well Thanksgiving is over so now we can think about Christmas.  Notice I said just “think” no shopping is planned. 

I finished assembling the cards….finally.  It took a long time. But what else did I have to do on these long winter evenings?   I didn’t use as many paper scraps as I thought I would.  Let’s just say the paper stash is still real healthy.


The cards have all their mailing and return addresses, they still need stamps and a Christmas Letter.


We have the paper for the letter, let me tell you that was hard to find this year.  We finally ended up at a printing place. We had our choice of three log cabins…sunset, trees or snow.   Several drafts of the letter have been completed but nothing is final yet.

We send out just about 110 cards every Christmas.  Many of our friends do not have computers so we keep in touch through snail mail.  During the month of December our mailbox has one or more cards a day.  We like getting mail, and in order to get mail you have to send some!

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Friday, November 25, 2016

Thanksgiving 2016

We started out our Thanksgiving Day early with a long drive (124 miles).  It was foggy but the roads were good.

While Far Guy helped make lefsa, Adam and I played Othello and then he explained his Geometry Homework to me.  Some of it came back…slowly!   Adam doesn’t like the game Othello.  It was a “no devices” kind of day.  Adam took a nap after dinner.

The boys are all great help with preparation and clean up!  They are learning good life skills.  Noah helped me put together the fruit salad…Granny Smith Apples, Snickers Candy Bars and Cool Whip what is not to like!

Pear Cider Punch

A pear mulled cider punch

Table is set

The tables were set for 15 guests out in the four season porch.  There were four children under the age of five.  You see those balloons at the end of the room, that was for a nerf gun turkey shoot!  There was also a pie in the face game that had children screaming with delight when the adults got cool whip on their faces.  Other guests were Andy’s parents, Andy’s sister and two children and Andy’s brother and wife and two children.


Not your traditional drumsticks…but I heard they were really yummy!

The menu: A relish tray with pickles, green and black olives, cranberry sauce, smoked turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, corn, green bean casserole, homemade buns, perogies, spaetzle, apple salad and pumpkin bread.

There was also pie, pumpkin and what looked to be apple.  We had a long drive back home and were too full for pie!

We are listening to an audio book “A Man called Ove.”  Far Guy has already finished it, and I am trying to catch up so we can discuss it!  He is patient while I listen to it in the car, he says he doesn’t mind it the second time around.


Fresh lefsa

The 15 year old cat with more than nine lives is looking old and tired.  He has a chair that he uses to get to his food dish.  I was sitting in “his” chair, he sat at my feet and meowed…so I moved out of “his” chair and let him jump up and then I sat back down again.  I took his picture and then scratched his chin for him. He was not purring very much yesterday.



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Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!

It seems like only yesterday that we had Thanksgiving and now here we are at another one…where does time go anyway?  Time stands still for no man or woman.

Cons headers-p0042 (2)

This is a favorite photo of mine, I took it one very cold day with almost perfect light a few years ago.

Happy Thanksgiving, may your day be full of family, sunshine and laughter!Blog Signature

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Midway Memories : Lemonade and Cherry Pie

I have a vintage aluminum drink mixer, it is two parts…if you put lemon juice, lemon slices, sugar, ice and some water in the bottom part…slap on the top and shake away you can make a tall glass of real good lemonade.  Far Guy and I like lemonade made that way.  It transports us back to Nebraska…Central City or maybe St. Paul where it is hot in August and the only thing that will quench your parched throat is lemonade and lots of it!  Those are the days when you are thankful to work in the diggers right next to the Fresh Squeezed Lemonade Stand.

A few weeks ago we happened to have lunch at Perkins on a day when they gave us each a free slice of pie.  I chose Cherry and Far Guy chose Lemon Meringue…we took them home in a box.  One evening I shared my slice of Cherry …I said “Reminds me so much of the church stand under the grandstand in Central City.”  Far Guy said “Exactly.”  It is great to share something that brings back those memories so long ago. 

School started early in Nebraska back in the early 1970’s. The show would open at 4 PM after the kids were out of school and after the day started to cool off.  We would sleep late those days and then wander out to the Merry Go Round and if we were hungry we would head to the Church Food Stand and have a late lunch…with Cherry Pie!  Often times we would break out some cards and play cards on their oil cloth covered tables. Too soon it would be time to go back to work.

Family Fun Shows 

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Tuesday, November 22, 2016

What isn’t snow is ice

We ventured to town for “supplies” every parking lot and most of the streets in town are icy.  It is the season of cars in the ditch and broken hips.  Many cars have been in accidents too…their fenders are sagging or their tail lights are uncovered.

Today we are to get more snow and possibly rain.  I will take the snow anyday before the rain. Uffda…Far Guy says he is tired of the winter already.

We have been keeping busy.  The other day we attacked upstairs for a complete dusting and move the furniture cleaning.  My “area” up there is not neat enough to dust yet, but I will get around to it soon.

I have “stuff” to list on ebay and packages to be mailed…makes a bit of a mess. 

Sunset colors on toad Lake

Sunset colors on Toad Lake.

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Monday, November 21, 2016

Snow Garden

My solar lights are almost covered with snow.  I brushed the tops off.

Snow Garden

Last week it looked like this.

Garden November 13

And like this at night.

Light Garden

The snow settled even more yesterday.  The Blue Jays visited our yard along with a few Juncos.

One good thing about the snow…the skunks should be in their dens.  So Chance can go out at night by himself…mostly he likes to eat snow.   His outside water dish was recycled, he will get a new one in the spring.  He has plenty of water in the house…but he prefers the snow.

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Sunday, November 20, 2016

Sunshine after the snow!

The storm named Argo brought the snow in from the North and the East.  We usually don’t get snow from that direction usually it is North or North West or West or South West.

Snow from North and East

The squirrels were pests today, they were hungry.

Squirrel pain in the neck

Chance got a squirrel by the tail today but he let it go…pretty exciting for an old dog.  Old dogs can run faster through the snow than fat squirrels.

We shoveled, then we shoveled some more.  I did some shovel leaning.  Finally we got the walk done, in front of the garage doors, the patio and a path for Chance to go to the woods.  The snow was very heavy…very wet and full of moisture. The walk melted quickly once the snow was removed.


I hit the feeders with the broom until the snow was gone.  I am sure the birds figured I had gone mad.  When Far Guy took the feeders to be filled, the Chickadees put up quite a protest.

Our side roads are pretty good, but any road with shade is rutty and icy.  It will take a few days for the roads to get better.  I don’t know if this snow will stay, part of it may melt, it will certainly shrink in height.  I cannot imagine that it would all melt.  We will see.

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Saturday, November 19, 2016

First Snow Report

Well we got snow and it is white.  It was a heavy wet snow.


Friday morning, the snow continued to pile up throughout the day.

I went out just before dark to take a few more photos.


I ventured through the snow to  sweep off the snowstick.  It says about seven inches but the wind was blowing the snow around…so I will guess we got about nine inches.  The snow was above my snow boots…uffda that was a chilly reminder that I should have shoved my pants legs in my socks.IMG_7994

Birds visited the feeders throughout the day. A few geographically challenged Finches, and our usual Chickadees, Grossbeaks and Woodpeckers.


This poor tree is broken.


The sunset was pink through the snow filled trees.

Far Guy shoveled a path for Chance and my other baby brother plowed our driveway.

There is time enough to do the shoveling today, we have no plans to go anyplace, it is probably just as well I imagine the roads are a tad icy.  We are thankful that we were able to escape power outages, many were not so lucky.

The weather channel named this storm Argo.

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Friday, November 18, 2016


Have you see the new way to cook a turkey?  You cut out the backbone with a kitchen shears and splay it out on a rack that is above a baking pan. Rub a bunch of butter inside between the skin and the meat. Cook it for an hour and a half.  It is called a spatchcocked turkey…maybe I am watching The Food Network too much.  It is supposed to be a real juicy turkey.

Run for your lives!!!

Run for your lives

Wild Turkeys

Tomorrow I might have a snow report.  The weather people have gone nuts…12–15 inches, 2-4 inches, 6-12 inches…they are all over the place with their predictions.  I have one prediction it will be colder and somewhat white.

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Thursday, November 17, 2016


The weather is changing.  We may have a winter storm one day soon…possibly Friday maybe today we will see how it plays out.  It could melt…the first snow hardly ever stays…the third one usually stays for the entire winter.

I might need more than Crocs with socks soon.

Probably time to get out my snowboots and some mittens and a shovel.

I changed the flag.  If it storms I will bake some pumpkin bread!

Thanksgiving Flag

We have enjoyed the last few days of sunshine.  We took our afternoon walk in a few local cemeteries.


One cemetery was just full of these fungi.  They must have blown their tops!

I guess we are ready for winter, the bird bath will go away today along with the watering can.  Ready or not here comes winter.  We knew it had to happen sooner or later.

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Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Midway Memories: Arbuckle

Have you ever met a guy that was a chick magnet?  I did, however I couldn’t quite understand it,  he was engaged and married to many women.  He seemed to marry one after another, I wondered sometimes if he bothered to divorce any of them.

He was the Foreman on the Merry Go Round.  Sometimes called a Jinny/Jenny but we never called it that.  When Paul came out he was Arbuckles second man.   Arbuckle needed all the help he could get as he had a drinking problem.  I am not quite sure why the boss kept him around.
Arbuckle and Paul about 1967
Bobby Arbuckle and Paul, Paul is stretching no doubt he just woke up, he has an ever present Billboard in his back pocket.
This photo was probably taken about 1967.
B Arbuckle
Bean pole skinny ladies man.
One of his “wives” in Southern Minnesota got mad at him and stabbed him.  The ambulance was called, she refused to get him from the hospital, so he hitchhiked to another of his former “wives” about 30 miles away.  She gave him a ride part way to meet up with the show, he didn’t have enough money for a motel room but he had enough to get drunk and knew he would get put in jail. ( This town had a real decent jail with good food.) Sure enough he got drunk and ended up in jail until the show made it into town and the boss bailed him out.

I met many of his “wives” and a few of his fiancees…he would bring them around to show off the ring he just bought for them…we used to say they were five and dime rings but it didn’t make a difference to the girls.  I just shook my head. The one “wife” I got to know seemed pretty normal to me…her name might have been Elaine..she was blonde and very pretty.

He used to let our oldest daughter ride the Merry Go Round all afternoon.  She and Bobby were good friends.
Here is Bobby helping get our granddaughter Savannah on a horse in Barnesville Minnesota in 1997.

In later years Bobby would be known as “Rodeo Bob” I am not sure how he got that name.  When he died they put one of the horses backwards on the Merry Go Round. We used to have a photo of it…but it was on Far Guy’s computer that crashed and was lost.
Bob Arbuckle Headstone (2)
In Memory of Rodeo Bob
Robert Romaine Arbuckle
Oct 1 1933
May 22 2001
From the people of Merriam’s Midway Shows
Bobby died of some kind of cancer he was 67 years old.
If there was an obit, I wonder how many wives were listed?
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Tuesday, November 15, 2016


It was clear most of the day yesterday until moonrise…no Supermoon photos for me. Beautiful clouds at sunset

Chance and I went for a ride whilst Far Guy had a nap. Down at the corner we sat waiting to see if the clouds would part for the moon…no such luck.  I had to be content with the lesser clouds to the south.  Sunset really happens fast now a days. 




This is what it looked like through the many trees at home before we left.  Cotton Candy colored skies! 

The “S” word has been mentioned toward the end of the week.  We will see…perhaps it will be liquid instead of frozen.

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