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KILLING TIME

Former Berkshire Knitting Mill

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.

I think these are Dogwood.

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.

Thank you for stopping by.

Les

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NOTHING IS HERE

Located just outside of Duncott, PA stands this very old Coal Loading Station that was used for many years when Coal was King.

An old storage shed used long ago. For just what, I don’t know for sure.

What’s in there? I did not venture inside. You never know what you’ll run into!

Nothing is here anymore. Just abandoned ole’ buildings that will decay into History.

Thanks for stopping by.

Les

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RHOADS OPERA HOUSE

Rhoads Opera House as it stands today.

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.

This is the Opera House back in 1908. The Opera was on the 2nd Floor.

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.

After the fire.

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.

Looking at the Opera House from Washington St.

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 Plaque that honors the people who died here.

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.

Thanks for stopping by. It’s been a long Winter.

Les

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TRACTORS OF THE PAST

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.

Thanks for stopping by,

Les

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DREIBELBIS STATION COVERED BRIDGE REVISITED.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Taken from the Internet, this is a picture of the bridge from long ago.

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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.

Les

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EPLERS SCHOOL

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Thanks for stopping by.

Les

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MY HOME TOWN

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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.

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Just another view of the old Plant.

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This is the 1929 Cadillac Fleetwood Body made in Fleetwood.

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I did not take these images, but they are one beautiful looking cars from the day’s of long ago.

Thank you for reading.

Les

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SCHOOL DAYS

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Thanks for stopping here.

Les

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BACK INTO HISTORY

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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.

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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!

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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.”

 

Thank you.

Les

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MAKING PAPER

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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.

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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.

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One of the old homes that were built around 1702.

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Another home built around the same time.  These buildings are showing there age, but still, stand after 300 yrs.!

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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.

Thank you for stopping by.

Les

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LUMINAR 4

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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.

Till the next time.

Les

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NOT MUCH DOING HERE!

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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.

Stay Safe in this trying time.

Les

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SPINNING REEL

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Now, how does this thing work?

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.

Thanks for stopping by.

Les

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HAUNTED HALLWAY

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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?

Thanks for stopping by.

Les

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STARTING A JOURNAL?

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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.

Thanks for stopping by.

Les

 

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SOME NEW LOOKS

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.

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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.

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The old St. Nickoles Coal Breaker that now no longer here.  Torn down.

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Heading to the Bahama Islands.

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The mighty Bethlehem Steel Plant

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Coal slag left over from the now gone Primrose Coal Breaker.

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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.

Thanks for stopping by.

Les

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DOWN A OLD ROAD

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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.

Thanks for stopping by.

Les

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MY YEAR IN REVIEW

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Thanks for stopping by.

Les

 

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JOLLY OLE’ ST NICK

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Photographed at the Reading Hospital Cancer Unit

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.

Happy Holidays to all

Les

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I THINK I’M GETTING BETTER.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Happy Holidays to my Followers

Les

 

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MY OLD TOYBOX

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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.

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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.

Thanks for stopping by.

Have a nice Holiday Season

Les

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KAUFFMAN FARM RE-VISITED

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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

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Here I thought the Farmstead would look better in B&W.

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From behind the stone wall.

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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!

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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.

Thanks for stopping by.

Les

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MAIN STREET, OLEY

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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.

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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.

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This one dates back to the 1800s but does not look it.  It has been made over to look more modern.  It looks good.

Thanks for stopping by.

Les

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OLD HOMES

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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.

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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.

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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.

Thanks for stopping by.

Les

Featured

FALL IN THE NOLDE STATE FOREST

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.

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One of the picnic areas in Fall color.

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On one of the many hiking trails.

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Tried to capture the leaves falling.  Didn’t work out well.

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I must make a point to come here after we have a good snow this winter.

Thank you for viewing.

Les

 

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PROMISED LAND STATE PARK

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.

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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.

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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.

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Part of the Lake in Fall Color.

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Taken from the car.  I was headed down this road and thought this looked pretty nice.

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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.

Thanks for stopping by.

Les

 

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MISTY

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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.

Thanks for viewing.

Les

Featured

M60 TANK

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The M60 Main Battle Tank is a static display located in the small Town of Leesport, Pa.

Used during the Korean & Vietnam War’s this tank had a 105mm Main Gun.  It also had a 7.62cal. machine gun that was located on the top.  Also carried a few thousand rounds of machine gun ammunition.

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Photographed in B&W the M60 is slowly loosing the color it once had from sitting in all types of weather.  Would have liked to see the inside of this, but everything is locked up tight so no one enters.  The engine that powered this is still inside.

Thanks for viewing.

Les

OUT FOR THE RIDE

My new Giant Sedona bike at the Trailhead.

Since I have gotten a new bike to ride, I’ve been out there using it as much as my ole’ body will allow. I’m getting more & more used to it and how nice & smooth it works. I’m learning to use the 21 different speeds that it has and when to use them. The more I do the more I learn.

Yesterday was so darn nice, I took the bike up to my favorite place, the Bartrum Trail in Hamburg. I’ve mentioned the place before. It’s a nice flat trail that was once a railroad track. It goes on for about 8 miles one way. It was in the evening went I went there. Lot’s of other riders there, also. I took this picture after coming back. My “Track My Ride” app works good. Tells me how far I went, my speed, and how long I was on the trail. It shows a average speed of 6.0. Thought l was going faster than that. The fixtures on the handle bars are for mounting my camera, and the other is for my phone. They seem to work well, so far.

I posted this picture before of the old railroad bridge, but I went on way past this. Down the path about 3.5 more miles.

Thanks for stopping by.

Les

A NEW RIDE!

Mt. Fury 12 speed Roadmaster Bicycle

If you may remember a few Posts back, I had purchased the above bicycle for $75.00 on the Facebook Marketplace. I had taken the bike out for a ride a number of times, but soon started to realize that some things were not right for me with this. Over the times I rode it, I was finding out that it seemed too short for me & my long legs. It only had 26″ wheels. It did ride a bit on the rough side and the shifter did not shift gears smooth as should be. It was only a 12 speed, but I had thought that should be enough for me. I tended to wear out real easy. Started wondering just what might be wrong.

I started asking questions to some people that know more than I do about riding a bicycle. Found out it was too short for me. I should have something bigger that is made for tall people like me. The wheels should be no less than 27 inch or bigger. A shifter of 21 gears is much better than just 12. So, I started looking around for a better bicycle that would fit me better. I sure was in for a huge surprise!

I snooped around at most all the big store retailers like Walmart, Target, and even Dicks Sporting Goods. Walmart, and Target have bikes that will fit me, but they don’t have anyone to service them when in need of repair. They just sell the bike and that’s it! There people are not too knowledgeable on bicycles. Dicks Sporting Goods was much better. Their bikes are nice and they did have knowledgeable people there. The big thing that got me was the prices! WOW! they sure did change a lot! Found that if you want a decent riding bike, you have to pay for it. You buy cheap. That’s what you’ll get.

So, I had known about a Bike Shop located in Lancaster, PA that’s not far from my home. Went down there and took a look around. They sure did have a nice collection of bikes for sale. All different types. I wanted something that would fit me & was comfortable to ride. What I found was a bike called a Comfort bike built by the Giant Corp. Never knew that a company with that name built bikes. Well, I left and thought about all this for a few day’s. Decided to go back down there.

The Giant Sedona 21 speed Comfort bike.

In talking with the Salesperson, he suggested the bike you see above. I took it out for a spin around the building and liked it and how smooth it rode. It also fit me quite well. The only thing about it was the price. It was a bit hefty! After doing a few minutes of thought I decided to buy it. It looks just like this one. Same color & all. I had bought a bike from these people more than 30 yrs. ago and it lasted for a long time until the tires gave out and it sat around for a long period.

Now, all I have to do is learn to use it. Bicycles have changed so very much in the passing years. The brakes are much better, the gear shifters work so much smoother, and they are built much lighter than before depending on what you purchase. I’m going to go out and take advantage of the many bike trails that are around my area.

Thanks for stopping by.

Les

IN THE RAIN

1957 Chevrolet BelAir. With this Classic Car I liked the color that it was painted. The Owner did a nice job.
Another view of the BelAir.
A 1949 Ford. Made by the Ford Motor Company this Classic was supposed to be the new style for Ford. For some reason, it got a nickname of “Soap Box.” Not in agreement with the color.
Ford Fairlane. Not sure what year this one is, but it’s been restored nicely.

When I left to go see the cars that were on display at my ole’ Fleetwood Park, the sun was out and I thought it was going to be a nice sunny day. Nope. Didn’t turn out that way. Not too long after arriving here, the dark clouds starting coming in. Gone was the sun. Then it started to rain, as you can see in my Images. Was not happy. Neither were the Owners of restored ole’ cars. Grabbed my camera gear and went to wait out the rain under the food court that was there. While waiting on the rain, I noticed that some of the Owners of Classic Cars were starting to leave. They don’t want their cars to get all wet, and I don’t blame them. The light rain still kept coming.

In-between the rain drops, I noticed this calm scene at the Park which I know quite well from my teenage years. It has changed a bit, but not much. When it rains real heavy, the people’s yards to the left get flooded.

Thanks for stopping by.

Les

OLD ARMY BARRACKS

This past Saturday while I was being transported via school bus to the Reading Air Show, I happen to notice one of the old Army Barracks left over from WWII. I had known about these before, but totally forgot about them. In passing one of the old buildings my memory returned to what these were used for long ago during the War. Almost all of them are now gone to history, but a very few have survived the 70 some years.

This is just 1 of the 4 that are still surviving the years. Used as a POW barrack during the War to house German prisoners captured in 1945. This building has gone under a number of use’s after the war. Used as storage now, it once held a Machine Shop, Welding Shop, and other use’s that I don’t know about. It once had single apartment rooms where some families could live after the War. The single rooms were not very big at all and had no air-conditioning. Heat for the Winter was via stove in each room. There was also no garage door back then. That was added years later.

The same barracks in the distance, but this shows where another building once stood.

This is the only original door-way to a apartment that I found. Still has a lock on it. The Green door was once another entrance to another apartment.

Just another one of the old barracks that still are here. The door way to a apartment is still visible. Another barrack is off to the right of this Image.

This is the old building that sparked my memory while driving by it. Not much is left to tell what was once here, except the 1 door at the far end of the building that has 2 windows. The heat stack still is here, but falling apart. The Airport does not keep these buildings in repair at all.

It’s a shame that these old barracks are fading into history. There has been alot of things that happened here long ago, but I can find no information on them. I even asked around, but no one seems to know.

Thanks for stopping by.

Les

READING AIR SHOW

Every year around this time, the Reading Airport has had a Air Show, with the exception of 2020 because of the COVID virius that was going around. This year the Air Show returned drawing thousands of visitors to the area. I decided to make a short drive over there to see some of my favorite WWII aircraft. The airport is about 2 miles away from my home.

WWII Sherman Tank

The Air Show is not just for aircraft of WWII. There is a whole lot more here to see like the tanks, vehicles, weapons, what soldiers of WWII looked like in their Service uniforms of that time. When I went over here it was rather hot and sticky. It was a bit hard to walk around in the sun & heat. However, it was better to have than pouring rain or freezing cold weather. The Sherman Tank pictured above is the real thing. Not a replica. I sort of felt sorry for the fella sitting on top of the tank. He looked so hot just to sit there in the heat with the cotton uniform they wore back then.

The Navy Coursier

This is one of my favorite aircraft of WWII. This was a carrier based aircraft and was used much during the war. I think that this was the one that had folding wings to make it easy to store below decks. During the War the Japanese were very fearful of this aircraft because of what it could do. You can tell how hot it was by looking under the wings. People getting out of the hot sun.

The P51D Mustang.

This WWII aircraft is a great favorite of mine. I can only imagine what it’s like to fly in this plane. I’m told that it is a awesome thing to do. During the War this aircraft was given the name “Screaming Death” because of the noise it makes when diving straight down. I had watched and heard why these aircraft were given that nickname. It really does make a screaming sound. You can take a ride in this plane, but it will cost you a pretty penny to do so. For a 20 min. ride it’s $1200.00! No thanks. Too expensive for me. However, there were a lot of people that signed up for a ride.

This is one of the reasons the Coursair was so feared. (3) .50cal. machine guns on each wing.

Just a view of the line-up of aircraft on display and just some of the hundreds of people that came here for this once a year show.

Thanks for stopping by.

Les

RIDING TRAILS

My new/used bicycle

I might have posted this Image before, but right now it’s the only one that I have at the time. Over the past few days, I have been looking around the Internet to see what kind of riding trails are out there in my area. Geez! There are lots of them. So, what I do is load up the bike and go take a look at the trails that are out there. There are so many of them.

Yesterday was such a outstanding day, I went down to a Trail not far from here. Named the Gibraltar Bike Trail it was very nice, but a bit too “hilly” for me. Right now I can’t ride very far. My legs get too sore & stiff. Like I said the Trail was nice and very well kept. At the Trail Head there was even a place to rest, hang your bike to work on, a air filling station, and a map to show you were you are. Should have taken some pic’s of this, but I just forgot!

Engine Co. #7 New Rescue Truck

While down checking out the Riding Trail, I noticed there was a small “get together” at the park across the street. Decided to walk over and see what’s there. Was not a big thing. Just people getting together with some food stands, craft displays, some young Ladies performing cheer leading acts, and a display of the new Rescue Truck that was put into service last year. Since, I had been a volunteer with the EMS in our area for 13 yrs. and never paid for what I did, I walked over to see how much change there has been over the years after I stopped. There has been alot! Rescue equipment is more modern looking and the Driver is now paid for his time. I knew pretty much of all the equipment that was on the Truck and probably would still know how to use it. There are some people out there that just don’t realize how expensive this stuff is. The Rescue Truck shown is about $750,000. That does not include all the “tools” that are carried on it. So, when you see a Engine on display remember how much money it costs to run it.

The Front of Rescue #7.

Thanks for stopping by.

Les

DOING SOMETHING DIFFERENT

Roadmaster Mt. Fury 12-speed bicycle

Back about 30 yrs. ago, I had purchased a bicycle from one of the local dealers around here. It was not a fancy bike. Just a basic one that had 12 different gears to use. I liked it and used it a number of times just to ride around the city. I kept it in my apartment while not in use.

Well, since then I’ve gotten much older and the bicycle that I had slowly was neglected and it just sat around gathering dust & dirt. Since then it has been stored in the back yard shed and then put in the rear of the shed out in the pouring rain and what-ever Mother Nature thru at it. It just sat getting rusted. I tried to use it again awhile back, but the tires were rotted and would not hold air any longer. Decided to take it to a Bike repair shop and see what could be done with it. I was told to scrap it. Tires for the ole’ bike are not made anymore and the derailleur is not in good shape. It would cost more money to repair than what I paid for it 30 yrs. ago. So, it was scraped.

So, I still had the desire to start riding again, even at my older age to get some excersize that I should have. Went looking around at different types of bicycles that were available, but found that they were way to expensive for me. Didn’t want anything real fancy. Most of the good bikes would cost over $400.00 or more. Nope. Let’s see what else. I asked around and was told to look on Facebook Marketplace. There are some nice bikes for sale (used) at good prices. Ok. Let’s see.

After snooping around at all the different used bicycles for sale, I decided on this one that had a good price of only $75.00! I contacted the seller and took a look at it. It’s in great shape. A bit of rust on it, but that could be fixed. Had 12-speeds like before and it seem’d to fit my 6’5″ frame. I took it.

I took this picture just after I brought it home. I found in giving it a once over, it needed a few minor adjustments for me. The seat had to be raised a bit, tires needed air, and the handle bars had to be raised up more. The gears were a bit rusty, but I put some WD-40 on them, and it works just fine. Now, came a small problem. Since I have not ridden a bicycle in so many years, I found that riding this around the neighborhood, that my legs & me get darn tired real fast. I’m no spring chicken anymore! I have to be darn careful that I don’t fall over from a heart attack and I’m found dead. That would create a big problem.

On the Bartrum Rail to Trail.

So, here I am. Up at one of my favorite places to ride. This is the ole’ railroad bed that goes on for more than 5 miles. It’s pretty flat. No hills to climb. It’s a nice flat ride, but no matter how flat I still have to be careful until I get used to using the different gears for where or what I’m riding. The Historic plaque on the right tells what that bridge was used for long ago. I only rode about a 1/2 mile one way and then turned around. That was 1 mile total. That was enough for me right now. I’ll keep pedaling on a little at a time.

Thanks for stopping by.

Les

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