Back in the middle 50’s when I was growing up in Hamburg, PA the area here that you see did not look anything like it does now. This place is deceiving to the eye.
To the left of this Image is the Hamburg Swimming Pool & out of the picture. The Pool is one place that I spent many summer days while my Mother was working to support us. The parking lot that is shown was, back then, just a large dump where battery casing’s from Price Battery were dumped just to get rid of them. There were piles of casings that I used to play on. l never ever thought of the danger that might have been hidden here because of battery acid. Probably didn’t care, either. There were no buildings or picnic area’s either. Nothing but bare grass, weeds, and old junk.
Since then more than 60 yrs. have passed. it’s now a nice parking area, but the ground hides the past. I would assume that this area was cleaned up before putting asphalt down. Or did they? Did they just cover over what was there? I don’t know. The only way to find out is inquire about it or dig somewhere and find out what’s there. I had to shoot this picture before the weather starting changing.
This is something else that is now a common sight in and around my area. Bike Trails were people can run, bike, or walk a trail alongside the river that is to the left. Some of these trails can stretch for miles. They are a nice added feature. This one extends further up more than 2 miles and is now part of the old Union Canal Towpath. It was getting ready to rain!
The bicycle riding trails around here have been showing these new “Bicycle Service Stations” where you can stop and fill your tires with air, hang you bike on, and some tools that you might need. It’s a very nice addition for trail riders. There is no charge for air or to use the tools. All free.
While waiting for my Wife to get her treatment on her legs, I decided to take a short run over to what used to be the mighty Berkshire Knitting Mill complex. There have been many changes here over the years since the Knitting Mills went out of business. Now, this huge building that once made underwear, and many other different types of hosiery for ladies is now a branch of the Reading Hospital named Tower Health. All of the other buildings in this big complex have now been changed to either one business or another. There are 6 different buildings. One of them is now a Deluxe Apartment building.
Leaving the Tower Health building, I ventured over to the Reading Public Museum grounds to see what’s new. Nothing really different. Just thought I’d share the one bridge that cross’s the creek. The weather was cloudy and threatened rain at any time.
The Museum has many different types of flowers scattered around the area. This is just one of them I noticed that was colorful.
Another thing that is located in the area is Sculpture. There are a number of different types that artists have made and put on display. This one is named Stainless Steel. When we had those huge rains last year, this sculpture was washed way down stream about a mile away. It was recovered and remounted on it’s stand. I’m not really a big fan of Modern Sculpture, so I stood here trying to figure out what the artist is trying to show. To me, it’s just some Stainless Steel welded together. For what? Guess that beauty is only in the eyes of the beholder.
Located on Main & Washington St. in Boyertown, PA is this old Opera House that was built by G. Rhoads in 1885 for the purpose of having Plays & Opera on the 2nd Floor of the building. A National Bank occupied the 1st floor. Most people have passed this old building many times, including me, without really being aware of a horrid tragedy that happened here back in 1908. I have passed by this place a number of times, and never, ever knew anything about it. It looks just like any other older building in Boyertown, but looks here are deceiving.
On the evening of January 13th, 1908 a Play & Opera was scheduled to perform on the 2nd Floor. Many, many people came here to see the performance from around the area. The place was packed with people. Back in the day, lighting was done with kerosene lamps, and a jug/bucket was kept near-by to keep the fuel filled so lights would not go out. At sometime during the 3rd Act, someone knocked over one of the jugs of kerosene onto a light and it ignited into a fire. Most everything then was built of wood, and the fire spread fast. There was only 1 entrance & exit back then. People were screaming and climbing over each other to get out. Boyertown had only 1 Fire Company with just 1 Fire Truck & a small Police Force consisting of 2 Officers.
The response of the Fire Company was very slow back in the day. Water pressure was very weak for the fire hoses. The fire spread so fast that people were burned alive and were stacked 2 – 3 deep near the door. Most of them were trampled to death & burned where they fell. It took until 3 in the morning until the fire was declared out. Some of the bodies could not be identified, because of being burned so badly. A total of 171 people lost their lives on that horrible night.
You can’t even tell that something like that happened here. There are no objects or burn marks to show anything. The Fire Escapes were removed because they did nothing to help.
The horrific fire on that evening prompted the many Fire Codes you see in place today, so something like this never happens again. The people that could not be identified are buried in a mass grave at the entrance to the town of Boyertown.
One of the things I do, on occasion, is grab my camera gear and take a drive around the many back country roads that are in/around my area. There are so many of them. So many that I can get lost on them, and really not sure where I am. A portion of the roads I’ve known from before, but there are also many that I’ve never been on. This is part of the fun of it. You can never really know what’s up around that next hill or bend in the road.
So, yesterday was one of those days. Driving the back road I happen to come up on a big field that had so many junk looking tractors that I just had to pull over and stop to see what’s there. It had my interest that here was a photographers dream with all these old tractors just sitting there.
The 1st thing I had to do was find the Land owner and ask him/her if I could walk around and shoot some of the many farm tractors that were there. I found the owner outside working on a tractor and asked permission. My wish was granted. He even showed me where the best/old ones were.
There were so many of them I had a hard time choosing which ones were the best for photography. There were many of the same name. International Harvester, John Deer, Massey Ferguson, & Ford.
Now this is the old Barn where I was told the tractors are repaired as best they can be. The place is a mess, as you can see.
I’m sorry that my Post is not quite right, but there is a reason. I had to start using this new format which I don’t like at all! Can’t seem to get used to it. Wish I could change back to what was before.
Greetings all! This Post was made before about the Dreibelbis Station Covered Bridge that is located about a 1/2 hr. drive away for me in a town named Lenhartsville, PA. The difference with this post is that this Bridge has been repaired & made to look much better than it was before. The image above is what it used to look like before the restoration.
Here now, is the restored bridge after months of work. During the years of 1834 – 1885 there were 45 different Covered Bridges built in the area. This is just one of them, plus the ones I posted about before. Dreibelbis Station Bridge is 172 feet long & weighs just over 100,000 lbs. She looks darn good!
Here’s another look at the bridge from a different angle. As you can see there has been new Red siding installed, a new roof, and new stone supports. The small problem I had was that I could not walk inside the bridge yet. I was still blocked off for any traffic. Guess it’s not quite ready yet.
This is about all I could show of the supports in the Bridge. Notice the old way of securing the beams together with 1″ Dowel Pins.
This is the clearance to enter the Bridge. Traffic is not yet allowed, but cars can cross over when it opens. Also, notice the “Hex sign” at the top which I had posted about before. I don’t know what this one means. They all have a special meaning from the PA Dutch.
Here’s another look. During the heavy rain, we had a few weeks ago from that Tropical Storm that came our way, the water rose up very, very close to the Bridge! That would have not been good! All that work might have been washed away! The few homes in the background are part of Dreibelbis Station. Just where that name came from, I don’t know.
Taken from the Internet, this is a picture of the bridge from long ago.
Here is how they lifted the Burr Arch Truss Bridge before/after it’s restoration. Wish I could have seen this being done! I knew nothing about it, until later on after the work was just about complete. The Farmhouse in the background belongs to a friend of mine. This is how I found out.
Well, this should be the last Post on Covered Bridges around here for a while. Thanks for stopping by.
This is just another Image of the Covered Bridges in my area. Out of the picture to the left is the old Flour Mill that still stands after more than 200 yrs. Covered Bridges here in the area are very well kept in repair all the time. They are important structures from our past.
Pictured here is the old Eplers 1-room schoolhouse that was built in 1847. This school was originally at another location not very far away in Bern Twp. It also was scheduled to be destroyed by a wrecking ball, until some residents fought to have it preserved for History. After many months of meetings with those who wanted to destroy it, it was picked up and moved to this location at the Berks County Heritage Center. It must have been a very delicate move as not to crack any of the structure. As shown, it is not quite done sitting on its new foundation. This was a good thing to do and that preserves History for all to see.
Just a very short walk away from the old school is the Wertz Covered Bridge that has been here for many years. It was repaired & painted to keep its original look.
A look inside the Covered Bridge. No cars are allowed to cross this. Just people walking & bicycles. What the “white” spots are for I have no knowledge.
With all the torrential rain we’ve had from that tropical storm, the old Union Canal still holds water. It’s almost like the Canal Barges could travel here again. The Mule Towpath is shown to the left.
This is a bit of a re-post from before, but with a much better Image of the Fleetwood Auto Body Plant where the Cadillac Fleetwood got it’s name. Fleetwood, PA is my ole’ hometown and where I went to High School.
The Plant was formed in 1909. Fleetwood Auto bodies were made here until 1931 when the process was moved to Detroit. Even though it was re-located the Cadillac kept its name. Right next to it where you see the nice parking lot, was the Fleetwood Tannery where leather was tanned & processed for many years. However, back in 1981 the Tannery caught fire and burned to the ground. It was one heck of a big fire because of all the chemicals that were in the plant. It just could not be saved. There must have been 10 fire engines trying to put out the roaring fire. Nothing is left of it now. Just a nice parking lot where something used to be.
Just another view of the old Plant.
I did not take these images, but they are one beautiful looking cars from the day’s of long ago.
This is what remains of the old Frey 1-room School House. This old 1-room school was in use when I was in High Scool back in the early 60’s. Grades from 1 – 8 were taught here by a Mr. Gehert, a teacher I’ve never known. Just how old this school is I really don’t know, but it’s been here at this spot for as long as I can remember. The front area shown used to be the play yard, but now it’s full of weeds. I remember this play yard being a dirt yard with 1 swing set and a see-saw. They are long gone now.
Using “Selective Color” this is the main entrance to the school. I wanted to take a peek at what was inside, but it was locked up. All I could do was look thru the glass window and just see a bunch of ole’ rusty junk piled in it. What I wanted to do is get some Images of the Pot Bellied Stove that is still there. I was sorry I couldn’t do that.
Still standing after many years is the Barn that is right next to the school. The Barn was used to house pigs, chickens, and horses in its day. I remember the barnyard critters being here long ago. I’m surprised that the Barn is still standing.
Just one of the 6 windows at the school. They are just rotting away. I have heard that there are no plans to save this old school. It will pass into History.
This is called a “Steam Lokie”. Used a lot at the ole’ #9 Coal Mine in Coaldale, PA to haul coal from the Mine to the Coal Breaker that was nearby. The Breaker is no longer there, but this is all that remains from when Coal was King in this area.
Remember the song by Tennessee Ernie Ford “Sixteen Tons?” “You load 16 Tons and what do you get? Another day older and deeper in debt.” This is a 1 Ton Coal Car that was loaded by Miners using just a pick & shovel. When full, it was pulled out of the Mine using Mules & Horses. It was dangerous, dirty, and back-breaking work!
The Mine here is no longer open to the public. I don’t know why or what happened here. This Mine was a living museum to see just how hard the Miners of long ago had to work to earn a paycheck.
“I am an Anthracite Miner. Come walk with me . . . today, tomorrow, and eternity.”
Located on the outskirts of Philadelphia along the Wissokicken Creek is the old Rittenhouse Paper Mill Town, also known as Paper Mill Run where paper was made in the early 1700’s.
This is what remains of the Creek that powered the Mill. I have no idea what the building is in the background. This area was not open to the public, so I could not walk around here.
One of the old homes that were built around 1702.
Another home built around the same time. These buildings are showing there age, but still, stand after 300 yrs.!
The Main House where the owner of the Mill lived. It is still in use to this day.
It was darn hot when I shot these images. I ran into a big problem while walking around here. I had to use the bathroom real bad. The problem was that there was none to be found! Not one public bathroom or Porta Pottie. I could not believe this. A public place like this had nothing! I finally found a place in a small Cafe, but there was nothing for the public to use! Only for the volunteers. I asked to use it, and my wish was granted! Thank goodness for that or I would have to use the wooded area nearby.
This is an image of my ole’ Destroyer that I served aboard for 3 yrs. that was stationed in Pearl Harbor. The picture was not taken by me. It was shot from another destroyer, the USS Strauss. I don’t know if I was aboard when this was taken. Could be.
Using my photo editing program, Luminar 4, I could enhance the image to make it look so much better than before. With the old picture, the sky was very dull and all the color was not very good. With Luminar 4 I could insert a much better sky and enhance the color of the sea & my ship. By the looks I think she is steaming at about 15 knots. Where we were going, I don’t know. I like this program quite alot. It’s well worth the money you pay for it. There are so many, many memories for me looking at this picture that are too numerous to tell about. I will always remember.
Thanks for stopping by and reading some of my blog. With this stupid virus thing running around and a “lockdown by the Governor of PA” to stay in your homes and not to go out unless it’s really necessary is getting to be kinda boring.
We are not going anywhere, so there is not that much to do here. The only thing that I do is “putter” around the house. This gives me a chance to do things that should be done such as clean up the yard outside of leaves from the Winter winds, pick up broken twigs from the tree, do some coloring, work on my wooden cut out of an anchor, and help with the wash. Clean out the car from Winters slop and keep it clean lookin’.
Life around my area is pretty much the same as it is anywhere else. Most people are staying at home and off the roads. Malls are shut down. WalMart is open for food and necessary items, but there are those who stock up on everything leaving the shelves bare. The Vendors can’t seem to keep up with the demand. There is really no reason to get nut’s over this. I think it will pass in time. People are going for walks and getting out, but not lots of them. I haven’t gone out on a “photo shoot” in quite a while. However, I will go out but avoid places that have crowds of people. I don’t think I’ll see that since most places are closed down.
I would like to travel down to Philadelphia to shoot Boat House Row and some other places in the City in B&W, but not sure about that yet. We shall see.
I happen to be paging thru some of my Images that I had forgotten about. I came across this one that I took last year at the Daniel Boone Homestead Festival.
I was just walking around and taking a look at what was there. Walked around the old Barn and found this Lady working with a Spinning Reel. She was fiddling around with it trying to either get it to work right or she was confused on what do do.
I stood there watching her along with other interested people. Put up the Pentax and zoomed in a bit. Just happened to catch this look on her face. I know I would have no idea on how those old Spinning Reels were used. It must have taken some knowledge to operate. The brushed wool she was using was down in a wooden box on the lower right of the Image. Watching how this worked, it seemed that with her left hand she had to twist the wool into long strands while spinning the wheel. I have no idea what that is in her right hand. This is what had to be done if you wanted something to wear during the Winter months.
Photographed on the 2nd floor of the old High School.
Last summer I made a drive over to my old High School to see if what I had been told about that my school was Haunted! I sort of did not believe it and that’s what I wanted to find out for sure.
My old HS was empty except for some administrative people that were there using one of the Classrooms as an Office. It has become the Administrative Building since it closed down and was going to be demolished in the near future. No one is there anymore.
I walked in and told the 2 nice Ladies who I was and what I was there for. I was told I could walk these hallowed halls as long as I had an escort with me. Why did I have to have that? It was for Insurance purposes. Ok. That’s fine with me.
While walking around in the Hallways that I remembered so well, I asked about whether this school was truly haunted like I was told. To my complete surprise, she said: “Yes, that it is.” She had witnessed some of the “strange” things for herself. She saw a “misty” form standing in the doorway at the back entrance of the school. It was there for just a few seconds and then gone! In the old Gym where Saturday night dances were held long ago and is now used as a collection area for hundreds of records, she & others have heard “voices” from nowhere! They have no idea where they come from, but can be heard! From who? From what? No explanation. They just don’t know.
Now, the above image is one that I shot while up on the 2nd Floor. I was told that the doors are always kept closed in case of a fire. When she comes in she finds them open! Who does this? Can’t be explained. Notice the long bench on the left? It moves from one place to another! One time it’s on the other wall. Another time it’s down the Hall against the wall! They never seem to know where it will be. No explanation. Also, notice the “exit” light at the end of the hall? It’s lit up! There is no electricity in this part of the building. No, it’s not a reflection. I used no flash here at all. During the daylight hours, strange noises are heard in the Halls for no reason.
Since my visit here, the old school has been demolished. There is nothing there now except an empty lot. Going to be used for a Park of some kind. I wonder if the haunting will continue in the empty lot?
For a number of weeks now, I have been thinking about starting a Journal about my past, what I think, and my opinions of what’s going on in this crazy world we live in.
I am a bit hesitant about doing this for the reason that I’ve never done this before. I have noticed that there are quite a number of different kinds of Journals out there. In fact, there are hundreds of them. My biggest problem is who would read it? Who would care? Would you take an interest in what I write? As some of you might have noticed, I have not really said much about my personnel Life. Most of it has been about places that I go to or have been Historical in nature with my camera. I always have been interested in doing this because I can show the History that is around me and my Photography that I enjoy doing.
If I start this, I will probably tell of my early life growing up and then keep going forward from what I remember. Even though I’m almost 73 yrs. old, my memory is still pretty good. I will label my entries as Journal Entry #1 and so on.
If you have any opinion on this, leave a comment. I would appreciate that.
About 1 week ago I happen to come across a new photo editing program called Luminar 4. I’ve been reading about it and it seemed to be much better than the Luminar 2018 program I had before. So, after some thought, I decided to upgrade to this newer program where it told me it could edit dull grey skies to a sky that is much more colorful with just one click. Really? Ok, let’s see what this can do.
This Image I had posted awhile back, but the sky was dull and washed out. I never really did like it. Using my new program, look at what it can do! I was astonished, to say the least. Much, much better than before. Since then I’ve done a few more.
The old St. Nickoles Coal Breaker that now no longer here. Torn down.
Heading to the Bahama Islands.
The mighty Bethlehem Steel Plant
Coal slag left over from the now gone Primrose Coal Breaker.
The abandoned Days Inn located in Schuylkill Haven, PA
Now, you can see just what a good sky can do to improve the look of your Image. I am impressed with this program. Glad I upgraded to the new one. My Images will look so much better now.
Looking East on old RT22 that used to be the only 2 lane road from Allentown to Harrisburg, PA back in 1952. In the day there was no Interstate 78. It was being built during that time. There have been a lot of improvements on this old road since then. No longer is it a cement 2 lane road.
Old RT22 used to have a number of gas stations & motels for travelers using it, but now most all of them are gone to History. At places along this road are still remnants of a gas station or motel that is no longer there. On the right side of this Image there was once a Texaco Gas Station I seem to recall. Nothing there anymore. Just an empty farmer’s field.
The road is still used pretty much, but not as much as years ago. I even use it here & there and remember what used to be.
Happy New Year to all my faithful followers! At the end of this year, I would like to take this time to THANK all of you for following me & my Posts. I have always appreciated your likes and comments.
Now then, I think that this is the 1st time I’ve posted an image of me and what I look like. This is who you talk to via my FB Posts. This was taken on Christmas morning while helping my Wife, Eileen cooks Christmas Dinner. She took this photo. Eileen does all the cooking of the food. I just help out when & where I can. Normally I stay out of the kitchen because I can’t cook what she can. I would be just in her way.
The Christmas Table in our Dining Room before all the food has been placed and all the relation has arrived. My phone camera does not do such a good job taking pictures. Sorry for the blur in it. The Chair Rail you see, I put in a number of years ago to match the Table, Chairs, & Hutch. The Hutch has a number of crystal glass, plates, and figurines that are old and worth a bit of money. My Mother had some of them from the 1950s. We keep them in there for display and to keep the dust off them. The rest were purchased by Eileen over the years passing. The Dining Room does not get used that much during the year. Just when we have other people coming over for dinner. The rest of the time it just sits there and gathers dust.
And for the 1st time, this is my Loving Wife, Eileen. Taken by me & my phone again. “Leenie” as she is called most of the time is 6 months younger than me. She was born & raised in the Coal Region that is north of here. I call her a “Coal Cracker” at times because people from that region are known by that name. She has 2 Sons, Galen & Brian from a previous marriage. Her late Husband passed away in 1990 from Cancer. In 1992 she met me. We have been together since then. Her oldest son, Galen, is a retired PA State Trooper and Brian is working as a Food Specialist here in Reading. Both of her sons are big boys! Galen is 6’5″ tall & Brian is just a bit shorter. She has nothing to worry about when they are around her! Growing up in the Coal Region, she didn’t have much because her father just could not afford a lot. She grew up poor but managed with what she had. Just one of the things she had to put up with was while in Minersville High School, she had no heat in her bedroom. It was so cold in there she had to get dressed for school in the bathroom. It was the only place up-stairs that had heat! There were many times that her father could not afford the Coal to heat the furnace. It was cold enough to see her breath in her room!
So, this year has not been bad for me, but for Eileen, it’s a different story. Eileen has been having problems with her knees for a long while. A lot of pain, discomfort, & limping around. She had to get shot’s in her knees to get rid of the pain. This would last about 3 months until she’d have to do it all over again. Finally, it was recommended by the Doctor to have her knee replaced with an artificial one. This would mean major surgery! So, on June 6th she went into the Reading Hospital to have this done.
She stayed in the hospital for 3 days to start the healing process. Then she came home. Now, trust me, this is no fun at all! She was in pain for about 2 weeks before there was some relief from the surgery. It was terrible at times. She could walk but not very well until the healing process got better. I was there to help her out as much as I could. Now, 6 months have gone by, and she’s doing much, much better. It was a long, tough process that I don’t want to go thru at all!
For the most part, our year so far has been pretty good. I’m still doing and above ground so far. We are not going anywhere for New Years at all. Staying home. New Years Day we are having 10 people over for Pork & Saurkrut as we have done for quite a while. It is said that having Pork & Saurkrut brings good luck? Not sure about that one.
Yesterday while over at the Reading Hospital waiting for my Wife to have a Stress Test done on her heart I didn’t have much to do but walk around and see what’s going on. While slowly walking the many areas of the huge Hospital, I happen to hear some Christmas carols being sung by a choir over in the next building. They sounded pretty good, so I thought I’d go over there and see what’s going on.
Found out that the Choir was from one of the High Schools around the area. The Choir was pretty much all young Ladies and 6 or 7 young men. They all looked to be in 8th or 9th Grade. They were singing Deck The Halls, Jingle Bells, Hark The Herold Angels Sing, and White Christmas, plus a few more. They had some good harmony and I enjoyed listening to the music for a while.
In the process of just standing around enjoying the music, I noticed Santa walking around with his bag of goodies. I thought he looked pretty good and was worth an Image being taken of him. When he came close to me, I asked him if he would mind me taking a shot of him. He said No, and stepped over in front of the tree for me. The above is the photo I took of him with my phone camera. I thanked him for his time, and he went along his merry way.
Found out that Santa visit’s the Children’s Area and goes into the Rooms to greet all the sick children who might not be home for Christmas. He gives them all a small gift from Santa himself. This is such a nice gesture for them all. Santa’s reindeer were not there, that I saw.
Hello there my blogging friends. How is your Holiday Season going so far?
For the past few days, I’ve been trying to learn how to place a different sky in my Images when the sky itself is blown out and not attractive at all. I found out by reading that this can be changed in Photoshop CC by doing a few steps that I could follow along with. There are video’s out there to learn from, but I’m not good at watching a video and then try to remember what was told to me. I found it’s much easier to print out the instructions and then read what it tells me as I follow along. Even with doing this, it takes me 3 or 4 times to get it fairly right. It takes practice.
A previous posted Image of a Historic Barn, but with some enhancement.
Using my Photoshop CC program this is the 1st Image that I tried to add a better sky since the one before had no color at all. There are 6 different steps that you have to do to add a different sky. I got the sky from the Internet that was free to download. It took me 3 times to get this sort of right. I say that because there are mistakes here that I made, but I learned from them.
Another Image I posted before, but with a different sky.
Again, I did a bit better, but it should have been done with not so many white spaces around the trees & buildings. It’s an improvement.
This is the 3rd one I’ve done of an old home from years ago.
With this one, the sky came out much better. I also made the stone on the house a bit more brown to show an “old look” There is so much more that can be done with Photoshop CC but it takes a lot of time to learn how.
Pictured above is what used to be my Toy Box that was hand made by my Grandfather & painted by my Grandmother in 1948, a year after I was born. I had no idea who did this back then since I was only a year old. The Pine Wood box stands about 2.5 feet high, 3 feet long, and about 2 feet wide. Everything was made with just a hand saw, jigsaw, a hammer, maybe some glue, and decorative studs. It has survived my banging around and was also used by my Daughter years ago. It shows the wear & tear from 73 yrs. The Lid to it is gone. I have no idea what happened to it. The Lid was the same color but had my nickname across the top in Silver letters.
There is also another one just like this one except it is painted blue with different kinds of figures painted on it. It was made by my Grandfather in the same way but was for my Cousin who was born in August 1947. My Cousin turned his into a box that displayed his stereo system. As far as I know, he still has it.
My Grandmother liked to paint on canvas too. I still have some of her paintings that have survived over the years. My Brother has more of them.
Don’t really remember if I had mentioned this before on an earlier post, but a few weeks ago I was asked by the Oley Heritage Foundation to take Images of Historic buildings around the Oley area. They must have liked my shot’s from viewing them from a friend of mine who told them about me. I am very grateful for this. Someone has noticed my work. So, with that in mind, I have been taking my camera gear “out there” to places that they have requested I shoot fresh Images for a book that will be published in January or February of next year. The last Images they had were taken sometime in 1993. I told them I can do better than what they have. I won’t be making any money from doing this, since the Foundation is a non-profit. I don’t care about getting paid. I just enjoy doing it as I always have.
Here is the Historic Kauffman Farm Homestead. Established by David Kauffman in 1726 it is a fine example of PA German buildings that are frequent to this area from long ago. The Main House in the background was built in 1763. The Farm buildings were added in 1834.
This is looking to the rear of the Farmstead. The Main house, Springhouse, and another building that I don’t know what was used for. Notice the Outhouse from years gone by when there were no toilets or running water in the home. Water had to be drawn from a Spring that is still there. Imagine going to the bathroom in that Outhouse in the rain, sleet, cold, snow, or hot weather? I can believe it must have been a challenge back then . . . especially in the middle of the night!
This is the Main Barn. It’s rather large, I must say. PA German barns are usually this big. Everything is padlocked so no one goes snooping around in it and possibility stealing or worse destroying History just for the fun of it!
Here I thought the Farmstead would look better in B&W.
From behind the stone wall.
Photographing History. Why the barn door was open, I don’t know. I ventured inside to take a look-see. Nothing in there to be of interest. Just old timbers, hay, and a very dirty floor. There are times when I look into places like this, that I don’t know what’s in there! You never know!
With the light fading by the minute, I elected to depart this old place, but only after I find a place to take a pee! When walking around taking Images, it doesn’t matter where I always seem to get this problem! So, with no one around here but me I didn’t have a problem finding a place. Also, while here, I noticed how very quiet it is. No noise at all. Just the sound of me walking thru the grass. I often thought what was it like here back then? Guess I’ll never know.
Out photographing old homes yesterday for the Oley Heritage Foundation, I find that homes like this are not seen so much anymore. It seems to be a design that has gone to History. This home is found along Main St. in Oley which has a number of places like this. While photographing these I always wonder who had this in the past? How long has it been here? Information is very hard to find about these. All I know is it was built sometime in the early 1800s. They must be well built because it stands to this day.
Here is another one. Who was here? What happened you never seem to know.
Photographing homes in Oley along Main St. is somewhat of a job to do. Most homes are located along a busy 2 lane road that runs thru the town. Traffic traveling up and down can be a problem. Even though I have pulled my car off to the side of the road as far as I safely can, and have my 4-way flashers on, and an added yellow rotating light on the roof, car’s speed by without care or slowing down. I always have to be cautious when doing this or get run over!
Another thing that I have to put up with is wires & telephone poles! I hate them being in my Images. You can’t seem to get away from them. I try and shoot the best possible composition, but still, get them in my Image. Then what I have to do is get rid of them using my Photoshop CC program. Thank goodness for that! It’s a bit time consuming since there are so many. Wish Oley would get rid of them somehow.
This one dates back to the 1800s but does not look it. It has been made over to look more modern. It looks good.
A few days ago I was asked by the Oley Heritage Foundation to take Images of Historic buildings on Main Street in Oley, Pa. to replace the Images they had with better quality photos. The ones they had were out of date and not anywhere near what I could do. I was given a list, via e-mail, of numbers that were the addresses of buildings. Since then I have been traveling back & forth to Oley taking the Images asked for. The above is what used to be the old Union Meeting House, but is now a Church. This dates back to the middle 1700s.
This is another Historic Home that has been here since the early 1800s. I like the porch supports. Things like this are very rare to see anymore.
This home was on the list of Historic Homes, but I don’t know why. It seems that at one time it looked a lot different than what it does now. If you look close you can still see the original foundation on the bottom.
The small town of Oley is just full of History. You just have to know where and what to look for.
Not but a half hr. drive away for me is the Nolde State Forest. I have known and driven by this place many times in the past, but have never taken the time to walk around here. I decided to go check it out during this Fall time of the year.
One of the picnic areas in Fall color.
On one of the many hiking trails.
Tried to capture the leaves falling. Didn’t work out well.
I must make a point to come here after we have a good snow this winter.
One of the really nice State Parks that are in Pennsylvania and is not a really far drive for me is Promised Land Park. It is located north of here and takes about 3 hrs. to drive there. I had been to this Park back in the early 70s when I used to go camping with my former Wife. I grabbed all the camera gear that I thought I might need, loaded the car and off I went.
However, there was a small problem when I left. The weather was not looking good at all! There were many dark windblown clouds and it was on the cold side. The wind made it feel colder than it actually was. While driving up there I was thinking that the weather would improve more, but to my disappointment it never did. I was not happy about this, but I have to deal with what Mother Nature gives me. I made the best of it.
Upon arriving at the Park, I was a bit confused about just where I was. It’s been so long since I’ve been there I had to stop at the Ranger Station to get a map of where I wanted to go. My memory is good, but some things escape me after time.
After stopping at the Ranger Station I used this Map to refresh my memory on where to go. This State Park is huge. There are so many things to do and see, but I didn’t have all that time. This Map only shows part of the Park. There is so much more! I drove the very narrow Park roads that I show in Black. It doesn’t look long, but it is. The maximum speed is 10 mph in the Park. The Rangers will stop you if caught speeding.
There are many, many Trails to follow. I didn’t have time to do that, even though I sort of wanted to if they were not real long. Camping is a big thing here and there are numerous places to camp. Too many to mention. Also, this is Black Bear country. Bears in the Park are common sight to see. I didn’t see any, maybe cause it’s close to the time for them to hibernate.
So, despite the windy cloudy weather I did manage to get in some shots of where I was. This is traveling along the Lake. The road is quite narrow.
Part of the Lake in Fall Color.
Taken from the car. I was headed down this road and thought this looked pretty nice.
Here is another one, but a much better color. It’s a bit blurry because of the wind but still turned out pretty good. I have always appreciated what Mother Nature shows us. It’s not here very long, so behold it while you can.
After driving around some more I was getting tired & worn out, so I headed home. It was a good 3.5 hr. drive back. By the time I turned into our driveway I was dog tired! Gathered my gear and sat in my comfortable chair for the rest of the evening.
It was a bit Misty & on the cool side here at the old Bernheart Dam. Weather & the Fall Season are upon us, but the color is not quite all there yet. It should be in full color in a week or so.
This old Dam has been here for longer than I remember. It used to be a good fishing place until a Battery Plant moved in close by. Now, the water here is no good. No fish, either. The only Wildlife here are the ducks & geese which don’t hang around very long.
The City of Reading is going to drain this Dam in the next 6 months. Where are they going to empty this water into? There is alot of it. Pump it out into a nearby stream? I don’t know, and I think the City does not know either. Guess that time will tell.
On one of the exceptional warm days last week, I wanted to go back to my ole’ hometown, Fleetwood PA, and photograph the old sledding hill/road that is still here to this day. The long sledding hill is on Popular Street in Fleetwood. The weather temp. was up close to 60 deg, and nice & sunny.
This is Popular Street in Fleetwood. Back in the early 60’s us kids used to use this long steep hill for some great sledding during the winter when it snowed. The road remains pretty much the same as it was long ago. Back then there was no driveway off to the right where my car is parked. The bridge is the same as it was but needs repair. There are 1 or 2 new homes that were built since then, but it’s mostly the same.
During my time here this part of the road was dirt. Was not paved back then. Us kids would start our sled run up at the top and sled all the way down to where the bridge is. It was some really good fast-running sledding. We could go like hell. While the sledding lasted and it didn’t melt away that much we had a ball all day long. Sledding down as far as we could go, get off the sled, and walk back up the hill to do it all over again, and again. There were times that we’d fall off the sled because of going so fast, but that didn’t bother us much.
Sooner or later, one of the people that lived here would spread some ashes on the hill and that would ruin everything. There were also times when a car would stop at the bottom, let us kids hang on to the rear bumper, and we’d get pulled up the hill! At that time we never thought of how dangerous this was to do, but it was a nice break from walking back up that hill again. I’m more than sure this crazy thing we did with a car is not done anymore.
In my memory, we had some really great times here. Maybe the younger generation still does what we did long ago.
Back in the year 1966 while I was serving in the US Navy, my Destroyer made a Port of Call to Subic Bay in the Philippine Islands. Now, keep in mind this is the very 1st time I have ever been here. I had no idea what this was or what was there.
When Liberty Call came, I & other shipmates left the ship & the Naval Base to see the town of Olongapo that was right next to the Base. I was seeing what life was like in a town that owed its existence to the US Navy. The town was really nothing but the main street that was all dirt and just loaded with bars & nightclubs. Lots of girls there that were for “pleasure”, but you had to pay for them.
In walking down the dirty street I happen to notice locals that had a bar-be-que with some sticks of meat on them like you see above. I stopped and looked at this. I thought they looked good because they smelled good. Thought that I’d buy one and see what it tasted like. I forget what the price was, but it was not expensive in American money.
Took a few bites out of this and thought that it was darn good, so I finished what was on the wooden stick and then caught up with my other buddies that had gone further down the street. I was asked what I was doing and I told them what I had eaten. A big mistake!
“You ate what?”, I was asked. I told them.
“That stuff is no damm good!” “You didn’t eat that shit?” Yes, that I did.
“You know what that was?” I was asked. “No, I don’t. What was it?” “That’s Monkey Meat or could be Dog Meat!!” It’s not real beef. Oh, crap! What did I just do?
I did not know what that stuff was. Just thought it looked & smelled good, so I got some. I learned a good lesson about getting food in a foreign country. Be careful about what you buy. It might not be what you think it is.
With the cold weather of Winter here there is not much for me to do outside because I’m not much of a cold-weather person. So with that in mind, I find something to do inside that keeps me interested. One of them I found out about is doing Diamond Dots.
It’s very close to doing a numbered painting, except that instead of using a paint you use very small Diamond Dots that are placed on a number or letter that corresponds with the dot color. These Dots are very small. Less than 1/16th wide and about 1/32nd high. You are given everything that you need to place the dots where they should be. The Kit contains a stylus, wax, dots of all colors, the canvas, and a small tray to place these little dots in.
This is what the canvas looks like. A very small portion of it. Notice the letters, numbers, & symbols. Dots are placed in these spaces with a small stylus.
It’s not as easy as it looks. It takes a bit of a steady hand to pick up the dot and place it on the canvas like is shown. The picture of the Sailing Ship is what the one I’m doing will look like when it’s done. This is going to take a lot of time. It’s told that it is a very relaxing thing to do, but I’m not so sure about that.
I have noticed on other WP sites that other writers have posted about their Christmas Memories, so I thought I’d join in. The pic above is truly me long ago when I attended grade school in Hamburg, PA. Sorry for the quality of the pic, but it’s a bit old.
Now, I have to go back to the time of Christmas for me. I can remember that every Christmas I always had a good memory of it. My father was never in the picture for me. He abandoned me & my Mother just after I was born. He didn’t care. So, my mother was left to raise me alone. My Grandparents were there for me, but it didn’t last long. They both passed away in the early ’50s
Like most other kids my age, I always looked forward to Christmas Eve & Christmas Day because I knew that Santa would be good to me. Santa would decorate the tree on Christmas Eve after I went to bed. When I would get up on Christmas Day, it was all decorated with lights & tinsel that was used in the day. My gifts from Santa were all arranged under the tree for me. My home had a fireplace and I would always look for Santa’s soot prints on the floor. I would also look to see if he ate the cookies and drank the milk that I left him. On Christmas morning I was never allowed to come downstairs until after 8:00 am. or I was chased back upstairs.
I didn’t get everything that I wanted from Santa. Most of it was clothes & shirts that I needed. I did get quite a few toys to play with. Firetrucks, dump trucks, play guns, & cars that were all made of steel from Tonka Toys. I even had a train set that would run around under the tree. I remember I wanted to see what made the train engine work, so I took it apart! I got yelled at for doing it. I was curious to see how it ran.
There was one Christmas Day that still sticks in my mind as special. My mother took me along shopping in downtown Reading at a store called Pomroys that is now long gone. Santa was always up on the 2nd floor where all the toys were. I was never afraid of Santa when I sat on his lap. Anyway, when we were leaving I saw a big huge metal aircraft carrier on little wheels. I thought it was really nice. I liked that! It had a flight deck & a few little planes with it. I wanted that, but Mom said it was too expensive.
Lo & behold on Christmas morning I came downstairs and saw that Carrier under the tree! WOW! How did Santa know I wanted that? I was so happy. I played with it, and other toys all day & more. Thank you, Santa!
Every Christmas I was always fortunate to get some nice things. It was never a lot, but it was always good. Santa brought me what Mom could afford In looking back, I can say I never ever had a bad Christmas. I will always remember those days.
In late September of 1965, I had raised my right hand and joined the US Navy. Ever since I was very young, the US Navy always had given me an interest in joining. So, at the age of 18, I did it.
One of the papers I had to fill out while stationed in the Philadelphia Naval Base was called “A Dream Sheet.” This was a paper that I was required to fill out on where I wanted to be stationed, and the 3 types of ships I would like to serve on. I remember putting down Pearl Harbor, Hawaii to be stationed in and a Destroyer, Carrier, and a Heavy Cruiser as my ships. To my complete surprise, I was granted Pearl Harbor and a Destroyer the USS Carpenter DD-825. For the 1st time in my life, I was about to go out on my own to see the world, like I wanted to. When I was notified that my orders had come in, I had 4 hours to pack my seabag and board a plane out of Philadelphia to Pearl Harbor.
I reported aboard my assigned ship and then started learning shipboard life aboard a Navy Destroyer. While doing all this I really did not pay much attention to where I was and what happened long ago until later on. I started thinking about all the history that was there. I decided that over time I would see for myself where and what was left after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor.
The pictures you see are not mine. Took them off the internet, but they do show where I was. I was here. I stood right there where you see the 2 sailors on the concrete pier. I also boarded a “shuttle boat” like you see here that came from Brovo piers over to Ford Island. As I stood there, I wondered what happened here back then. I could only imagine back then. The concrete piers from when the harbor was bombed were still there, and probably still are to thing day.
This is an old picture of the USS Shaw exploding. I stood at the dry dock where the Shaw was being repaired on that fateful day. Again, I tried to visualize in my mind what it must have been like back then. It’s hard to do. While there, you really can’t tell anything happened at this dry dock unless you knew from history.
I went aboard the Arizona Memorial about 3 times. I stood on the Memorial and saw all the names of Sailors that lost their lives on that day. I saw the oil that was still leaking from the Arizona to this day. I also saw for myself where the USS Helina was tied up alongside Brovo Piers. I did see the .50 cal. bullet holes on the buildings from the Japs strafing the area. I saw what remains of the USS Oklahoma on Ford Island. I went to see the Hanger where there are still bullet holes in the glass of the hanger bay. I stood and looked up at the red base tower that was there on that day. It looked the same as it did back then.
There are a number of things that most people don’t get to see, but I did. I still remember my time in Pearl Harbor and always will. To know that I walked and stood in places that I only knew from history, I will never forget.
There have been a number of times so far that I’ve gone to some Bike Trails that are around my area to ride and check out what’s there and what they look like. This is just one of the many, many bike trails that are around here. This Trail is the Ephrata-Warwick Trail and it follows the old train bed from many years ago. It’s all macadamed and very scenic to ride. It stretches thru the countryside of Amish Country for about 7 miles in one direction. If you ride the other way, it goes thru the town of Lititz that has nice little shops & stores for something to eat or drink.
Here at the Trail Head is a monument to Maj. Dick Winters who commanded the Band of Brothers during WWII. He was from this small town.
Here at the Trail Head is something I’ve never known or seen before. It’s a small shed that has bikes for rent by the hour. What you do is get a code sent to your phone to unlock the bike number. How much does it cost to rent one, I don’t know. I have my own bike.
While Eileen was having some lunch with her long time High School friends from Minersville, PA and I was not really interested in sitting and listening to the ladies talk of everything, I dropped Eileen off and headed out into the Coal Region wilds to see what color is there at this time of the year.
The weather was not all that good. It was cool, windy, cloudy, and was raining lightly. However, there are times when the wet weather can make for some good color images of the Fall Season.
This shot was taken looking South on RT209 that runs above Minersville. It was raining lightly, but Nature still had her best dress on. The wet road just added to the Image. It would have been much better if the sun was out, but can’t have everything.
Over the passing years, riding the many, many bicycle trails has become a favorite pastime for many of us that want to get some exercise & enjoy nature at the same time. I’m just one of them. Around my area, and not to mention, in almost every state there are so many bike trails you can ride for free.
Here I’m biking the Brentwood Trail that used to be train tracks that crossed over the Schuylkill River. This trail runs all the way down to Philadelphia and further. I can’t go that far! It was a beautiful sunny warm day to ride. Not hardly a cloud in the sky. However, not but about 6 hrs. later the weather turned awful with rain, wind, and fog. It was surprising that it did that. Glad I could enjoy it when I could.
Here the bike trail cross’s over another one. Which way do you want to go? I went straight.
Some parts of a trail are paved with macadam instead of hard clay & small stone. A very few have some artist painting on them. I think this is a nice job by whoever did this.
Here & there are plaques along the trails that give you some history of what used to be here. They also give the rider more information on where you are and the rules of riding a bike trail. This is a real nice addition along the trail. This one is at the Trail Head in Pottstown, PA. You can see how far the trail extends.
Here I am at the Brentwood Trail Head. For this pic, I had to use a tripod and set the camera on a 12 sec. timer. It didn’t come out right. I have the camera in the wrong place. Should have been on the right/left side. Going to try it again.
Hi there, fellow readers. Hope all of you are doing well & in good spirits.
For this post, I had to reach way back into my minds eye & memory. It comes from the early 60’s when I was a teenager around 13 yrs. old. It was a good time for me back then. I started to learn some responsibility delivering a morning paper in my ole’ town of Fleetwood, PA.
I really don’t quite remember just how I acquired the paper route, but my Mother thought it would be a great thing to take on to give me some money to spend and have to earn it, instead of being handed something. I was told that the morning paper’s would be delivered to a place named Bucks Hardware Store ( which is no longer there anymore ), and placed on the front steps all bundled up for delivery to about 40 customers along a route that I had to follow. Rain, snow, wind, or cold weather the papers would be there. My job was to put the papers in my bag and stop at each home that subscribed to it. Some customers wanted the paper in-between the front door, or placed in the mailbox so it didn’t get wet. I had to do all this on my bicycle that I rode from my home down into town, which was about 1 mile away. I had to ride there even though the weather was good or bad, cold or snow. The paper must get there! The papers were delivered around 3 o’clock in the morning. I had to get up before that hour and ride down there. Then come back home, go back to bed for a short time, then get back up, catch the school bus at around 8 a.m. and go to school.
I delivered the morning paper, named the Reading Times, each & every morning. Peddling this type of bicycle from one house to another in the rain, cold, snow, or wind. It didn’t matter. It took me about 2 hrs. to do all this. Back then the paper was a whole 15 cents per paper per day! The Company made 10 cents per paper. My profit was 5 cents per paper!
Back in those days milk was still delivered via the Milk Man driving a truck stopping at each place to place the milk in a metal box on the front porch of each home.
One cold morning while peddling up Franklin St. to my next stop, I noticed that the Milk Mans truck was parked at the spot where I always parked my bicycle. So, I just parked my bike right behind the truck and started delivering my papers. The next thing I heard was a “crunching sound”. Went out to the place where my bike was and found he had backed over my bike and bent the front wheel & frame! Oh Crap! The bike was not in good condition. Could not ride it. The Milk Man was up-set that he hit it and apologized for doing that. He could not see my bike behind the truck in his mirrors! Not really his fault. It was mine for parking my bike too close to the trucks back end. He told me that the Company would make good for what was done. So now I had to walk with my broken bike, deliver what I had to, and walk back home in the cold! I told my Mother & showed her what happened and she called the Reading Times about it. They did make good. I got a whole new, better bicycle than I had before!!
It took a few days to get my NEW bicycle from the Reading Times and in-between that time, Mom had to drive me around for my route. She was not happy getting up at 3 am! This bike was a great improvement from what I used to have. It had 2 speeds. My other one had only 1 speed. To change speeds, all I had to do was “back peddle” and it would change into a more smoother gear. To stop, it was the same as the other one. I loved it! I would say that I made out on this one!
I used this bike until I stopped the paper route, but still had it for quite some time. Don’t remember what happened to it as I got older, but it was a good bicycle.