Fire Cloud...
An irregular marking on the exterior of Native American pottery: usually resulting from burning fuel coming in direct contact with the vessel during firing

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Stagger Lee shot Billy

Saint Louis, Missouri

Stagger Lee threw a seven and Billy swore he threw an eight

 It's about a four hour run up to Saint Louis. I book a $350 hotel room for $17.14 though It's right on the river next to The Arch.

Our first stop in Saint Louis is Pappy's Smokehouse. I chose this after studying Trip Advisor for two hours. We stand in line in a hallway for 25 minutes and then they let us in to stand in another line to place an order. The brisket is OK, but basically at the end of the day it's smoked beef and not the paradise of Earthly delights that I had anticipated..

Aside from Lindberg's Spirit of Saint Louis, the most interesting thing that happened in the 250-year history of Saint Louis was the result of a dispute over a hat."Stagger Lee" was Lee Shelton, an African-American pimp living in St. Louis, Missouri in the late 19th century. He was nicknamed "Stag Lee" or "Stack Lee". On Christmas night in 1895, Shelton and his acquaintance William "Billy" Lyons were drinking in the Bill Curtis Saloon. . Eventually, the two men got into a dispute.  Billy Lyons took Shelton's Stetson hat. Subsequently, Shelton shot Lyons, recovered his hat, and left. Lyons died of his injuries, and Shelton was charged, tried and convicted of the murder in 1897. He was pardoned in 1909, but returned to prison in 1911 for assault and robbery, and died in incarceration in 1912.

The Saint Louis History Museum is worth a visit. It was free except for the extensive Prohibition exhibit. Prohibition had a huge impact on Saint Louis because of the Anheuser-Busch breweries in the city.

We also take in the Museum of Contemporary Art. This art is made of broken 2x4s and drywall.

 We cruise though the Bellefontaine Cemetery after the art museum. Some of the horses in Saint Louis have painted toenails.

 The Arch....

 Mrs. Phred....

 Jefferson authorized the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. He paid France about $15 million dollars or 4 cents an acre for Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Minnesota, North and South Dakota, Louisiana and parts of Texas, New Mexico and Colorado.

One artist whose works were  on display in the Contempory Art Museum made her friends portraits from pieces of string.

On Friday night, we walked down Market Street from the Arch to the old Union Station. It has been turned into a big hotel and Mall. On our way we saw this building. A sign in front said that it was the Saint Louis City Hall.


Monday, 23 June 2014

Kilroy was here

Mountain Home, Arkansas

During WWII, this particular graffiti began to appear wherever the American G.I. advanced in Africa, Europe and the Pacific. Although it was not known originally where the phrase came from, one explanation was provided by James J. Kilroy, a New England shipyard welding inspector. According to Kilroy, The shipyard riveters at that time were paid by the rivet. At the end of the day they marked the last rivet installed with chalk. Less ethical workers might erase the chalk mark of the previous worker to be paid more. To counter this, Kilroy would write "Kilroy was here" on each chalk mark. These markings were subsequently discovered in many ships and landing craft when sealed compartments were accessed for maintenance. The inaccessible locations and ubiquitous frequency  of the markings lent an almost supernatural air to them, and soon the icon (borrowed from a 1938 British cartoon) and phrase was everywhere that the army went.

Our friends have invited us to stay in an extra house in they own in the woods in Mountain Home, Arkansas. It feels odd and a little confusing to be rambling around in a 3 bedroom, 2 bath home after nine years of living in a 300 square foot motor home.

 This weekend we went down to Conway to help their son-in-law Jason and daughter Caroline a little in the new home they bought. It has six acres and about 4,000 square feet of space with a pool and a tennis court. It was a sadly neglected short sale and another casualty of the great recession.  We worked on the kitchen rebuild and ate some good burgers, watermelon and key lime pie.

They are gutting the old kitchen, putting in a tile floor, new ceiling and lighting as well as installing new cabinets and appliances.

Like everything else, the tennis court is going to need a little work to bring it back.

The neighbors had called the pool "the black lagoon"...They pumped it out, scraped up a lot of black stuff with snow shovels and pressure-washed it...

I got to take about a six mile walk early Sunday went past the University of Arkansas School of Business...their mascot is the razor-back hog, I think...

I had my own graffiti during my travels in support of Vietnam in the Pacific Rim. It was on a rubber stamp and green ink pad that I carried in my flight suit....the stamp was meant to be said


 Perfect for restroom stalls in officer's latrines...Perhaps there is a god...if so, One still wonders how it would feel about the general human practice of making war in its name?

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Father's Day 2014

Yes...I son was born on this day exactly 45 years ago in Tallahassee...He's on a mission in Guatemala today with his four oldest children. The last time I saw him on Thursday  he was opening birthday presents early and his wife was trying to figure out how to pack 20 soccer balls into their luggage....

After Budapest, I replaced the tires and batteries on the RV but hooked up the batteries with the wrong polarity. That blew out the refrigerator, the electric RV steps and motherboard, the electric mirrors, the three video cameras and the gauges on the holding tanks. Also, now the slide rooms only work if we run the generator or connect to shore power...

You'd think that the year I spent in electronics school back in '64 might have helped...I was the top of the class....old and stupid? ...No...I've done stupid things like that all my life...

We're using the refrigerator like an ice box by adding 10 pounds of ice daily. My parent's had an ice box...the ice man brought 25 pounds every couple of days...he would knock on the door and I would yell, "Mom! The ice man cometh!".

Despite all that we decided to cruise on up to North Carolina and back to see the grandchildren. We swim, play Uno and practice tennis with them for a week.

Now we're back in Sarasota hoping to get our problems fixed...

Mrs. Phred put new cushions, carpets and blinds in the RV earlier this year. With the tires, batteries and repairs, maintenance costs are starting to get serious this year.... Maybe it's time for a house?