Category Archives: Dad

Graceland

Time to hit up the back log. These pictures are from Russell, Jesse, and I’s trip to Memphis to watch Iowa State stomp the Memphis Tigers in the Liberty Bowl.

I am a fan of Elvis. I get that from my Mom. From her I grew up listening to Elvis and Kenny Rogers. I love them both. I never quite inherited her love of The Beach Boys, but I do also enjoy them. From my Dad I got my love of old country. Johnny Paycheck and Tom T. Hall in particular. If you don’t love Tom T. Hall, you’re doing something wrong.

Before we left for Memphis I had done some research on places to visit. Graceland was number two on my list behind Beale Street. My research showed that an actual tour of Graceland can take over 3 hours. While I was willing to spend the small fortune it costs to tour Graceland, we just didn’t have that time.

However, I read that they open up the grounds of Graceland from 7:30 – 8:30 for people to pay their respects to Elvis’ grave, for free.

I convinced Jesse to wake up early and check this out with me. Russell wasn’t buying waking up early on his vacation. He stayed at his hotel.

Here are pictures from Graceland:


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When I was trying to figure out where in the back log to hit up, I was considering the trip to Mount Rushmore, March for Our Lives, or the flowers of Donna Jones. However, recently HBO has been playing a 4 hour documentary on Elvis called ELVIS PRESLEY: THE SEARCHER. I knew it was time to reveal my photos from Graceland

If you are a fan of Elvis, music, or history and have access to HBO or HBO GO, I can’t recommend it enough. I’ve learned quite a bit about Elvis and his musical influence. I think it is unfortunate that because of the way he dressed, the antics, the way he died, and the horrible movies, I think sometimes it gets lost what an extremely talented musician he was. Also, what a completely unique voice he had as an artist. I don’t mean that in the way that his physical voice was unique. I mean the way he expressed himself as an artist.

Can you imagine an artist in modern times that would record entire gospel albums at the height of this popularity? Some Christian artists will crossover, but they certainly never come back. I don’t know of an artist in modern times that could weave so many musical influences in to their own unique sound.

Could you imagine going to a modern rock concert and then BOOM! here is one from the hymnals!

Elvis Presley is the only royalty that I will ever recognize!

Any other Elvis fans out there? Let me know what your favorite Elvis song is in the comments section of this here blog!

I’ve decided when I start working on the party soundtrack for my birthday party in 2019, there will be a full hour of Elvis music.

Just Let Me Do What I Do Best; You’re Better Off Playing Russian Roulette

The world wasn’t ready for these alternates for last week’s WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE theme RUINS. Not sure the world is ready yet, but I can’t hold them back any longer:


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Most of these pictures were taken down at the Kate Shelley Museum in Moingona. For those of you from Minnesota, that is pronounced MON like the MON in MONtana. No MOYN like the MOINes in Des Moines. The Kate Shelley Museum is closed to the public while they try to raise money to fix it. However, considering the Historical Society’s current situation with the Eisenhower Birthplace, I can’t imagine it opening back up to the public at any point in the near future.

Sadly, even the outhouses (#outhousesofinstagram) are even closed. However, the trail to the Mill Creek Bridge seems to still be open.

The steps can be found near the intersection of US-30 and R18. Near there is where my Dad took his famous (if you ever went to the bathroom at 415 Greene Street) Mahaska Avenue Outhouse (#outhousesofinstagram) photo.

You CAN Call it a Comeback

I can officially announce now that I have unretired from “competing” in photography contests.

For the first time in a couple years I entered photos in the Iowa State Fair Photography Salon. I will have one photo displayed at the Iowa State Fair. Don’t ask me which one, because I don’t know and I’m not even sure I remember what I entered at this point. Seems like a long time ago.

However, I was inspired by Baby Got Rack competing in the barbecue contest at the Boone County Fair, I decided to enter some photos in the Open Class at that same fair. Here is what I entered:


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Ionized Gas

Boone County Fair - 2017
Peas Creek

Boone County Fair - 2017
Capra

Boone County Fair - 2017
Ledges Reflection

Boone County Fair - 2017
Cole School

Each image got a Blue Ribbon. It had been approximately 15 years since the last time I entered the Boone County Fair. Seemed like it was about time and I owe a debt of gratitude to Mike Vest for getting the pictures mounted so I had something to enter.

However, that isn’t all. Here is where it gets exciting! I’ve decided to keep all this participation momentum going and enter the Pufferbilly Days Contest for the first time in maybe at least 7 or 8 years.

I’m also going to bring back the way I used to pick my Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Photos. That means I’m not going to pick at all. I’m going to let 6 lucky Photography 139 fans pick the images.

At some point later this week, I’m going to publish the following photo on Instagram:



Picture of the 1385 taken by my Dad

When that photo gets posted, the first 6 people that leave a comment on that photo stating that they want to be a Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Selector, will get there wish and be just that. They will have access to about 50 images and the picture they pick, I will enter.

If I can’t find 6 people that want to be selectors, well we will fall through that bridge when we get to it.

Then I Wonder How Much I Can Spend

The final NATURE stop I made was to Lake Augstin. Here are those pictures:


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Our run in with a snapping turtle reminds me of a story from my childhood.

One day a snapping turtle showed up in the driveway of my first boyhood home. In my mind it was tied down, but I’m not sure how you would do that. I apparently got very close to the turtle because, well turtles, despite being cowards, are awesome. This lead to a generalized freakout by my Mom.

But where did the turtle come from?

My Dad was riding home from work with a co-worker named Buzz Lee when they saw a snapping turtle crossing the road. They stopped. Picked it up and threw it in the trunk of Buzz Lee’s car. Eventually the turtle went to my Great Uncle Harold who cooked him up and we ate him for supper one night. While that turtle ended up as food, he did get his revenge. While in the trunk of Buzz’s car he at a bunch of the wiring to the car’s taillights. Everything had to be replaced.

I salute that turtle for not going down without a fight!

About a Shotgun Wedding and a Stain on my Shirt

There were only a couple of PORTRAIT images that I took, but didn’t use for the WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE. Here they are:


PORTRAIT - LOSER

PORTRAIT - LOSER

Here is Christopher D. Bennett Quiz question:

QUESTION 2

I use Sony cameras because they bought out what was the Bennett family’s unofficial official camera brand, what was that brand?

ANSWER: Minolta

BONUS

What is the name of song and the artist that recorded it, about a snake that steals people’s root beer that was on my favorite 8 track that we used to listen to in the Slice of Life Dark Room?

ANSWER: Sneaky Snake & Tom T. Hall.

Christopher D. Bennett Quiz Results!

I have tabulated the results for the Christopher D. Bennett Quiz and we have a winner!




The WINNER with a score of 61 out of 120 points was Teresa Kahler. Some day soon a semi-fabulous prize will arrive in her mailbox.

I’ve been told the quiz was too tough. I didn’t thinks so. I could’ve got every question right. But I’ve heard your complaints. Next year’s quiz will be easier. Perhaps shorter. We’ll see. We all know that sometimes I like to bloviate.

But what were the answers?

For the next 20 entries, I will reveal the answer to 1 question and its bonus question.

QUESTION 1

At what annual Boone event were my parents at when my Mom started the birthing process of me?

ANSWER: The Hillbilly Auction

BONUS

What did my Dad initially want to name me?

ANSWER: Richard Milhous

Paisley Park

This last weekend I made a trip up with Nate and Laura to visit Bethany, Dae Hee, Nora, and Colleen. On Saturday night we made our way to Long Lake to eat at Primo. Dae Hee and I left early so we could swing by Paisley Park to see the Prince Memorial.

Below are some pictures.










































So part of the reason I went to Paisley Park is because it was history. It was like going to Graceland after Elvis died. However, it wasn’t the majority of the reason that I went.

I don’t normally get too caught up in celebrity deaths. It is usually a time when people flock to social media to overstate their “relationship” with the deceased celebrity.

However Prince’s death to have an effect on me. I can’t claim to be a huge fan of Prince’s music, although I did enjoy it. I also admired his musicality and he was without a doubt one of the foremost musical geniuses of the last 50 years. He produced an album a year for over a decade. There are rumors that he has well over a thousand unreleased songs that he has recorded and not released. On some of his biggest hits he played every instrument on the recording. Often recording the song in one day. Often recording more than one song in a day in this manner.

One of my favorite Prince stories is when he played the Super Bowl halftime show in the pouring rain. The producers of the halftime show were worried that he would want to pull out. When they called him and asked him about the rain he gave a great response.

“Can you make it rain harder?”

The rain didn’t stop until he played his final song of the night, Purple Rain. Despite this fact, he gave what was easily the best Super Bowl Halftime show in history. A show that will stand the test of time for its pure virtuosity alone.

I’ll miss Prince because one of my fondest memories of my childhood was my eldest sister Teresa’s friends infatuation with Prince (even though I think Teresa was more into Phil Collins). One even dressed like Prince and his license plates matched Prince’s from PURPLE RAIN. It is up there with listening to Casey Kasem’s Top 40 on family road trips. Or Dad telling Teresa that if she wanted to go Hall some Oates, he could take her to a farm.

Prince dying is like a piece of my childhood dying.

I may have to become an adult yet.

Slice of Life Vol. 186

A wide variety in this collection AND it officially finishes off another photo album!



I consider this to be the greatest picture of the Herricks ever taken!




On the back of this picture are the words: Teresa first me born. No clue what that means.




I have no clue who these people are, but I’m pretty sure they are awesome!




I wonder if this is a picture of when President McKinley visited Boone.





Up next, a whole new photo album.