Town Sign Project: Wright County

I need to start the day by wising Anders a happy birthday. Happy birthday Anders!


9 Emotions Project - Anders Runestad

PHOTO JOURNAL - PAGE 121 ALTERNATE

LOSER - BLACK & WHITE


I hope your birthday is as amazing as you want it to be!

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A few weeks back I loaded up into the car with my Mom and Teresa as they joined me as I went around and harvested the town signs in Wright County.

Here are some facts about Wright County:

+ Wright County is a county in the U.S. state of Iowa. As of the 2010 census, the population was 13,229.
+ The county seat is Clarion.
+ The county organization became effective in January 1851, and is believed to be named either after Silas Wright, a governor of New York, or Joseph Albert Wright, a governor of Indiana.

Here is a look at the Wright County Photo Map:


Wright County Photo Map
Boundaries approximate at best.

And with Wright County completed, this is the updated Photography 139 Conquest Map:


Town Sign Project -11 Counties
PURPLE=COMPLETED

11 counties completed. 11.1% of the state conquered.

Here are the Wright County Signs:


Eagle Grove, Iowa
Eagle Grove, Iowa
Eagle Grove – Chamber of Commerce – Summerfest – June 18-20
Population: 3,583

Clarion, Iowa
Clarion, Iowa
Clarion Welcomes you
Population – 2,850

Belmond, Iowa
Belmond, Iowa
Belmond Welcomes You!
Population: 2,376

Goldfield, Iowa
Goldfield, Iowa
Welcome to Goldfield
Population: 635

Dows, Iowa
Dows, Iowa
Welcome to Dows – A Friendly Community
Population: 538

Woolstock, Iowa
Woolstock, Iowa
Woolstock – “The Friendly Town” – Birthplace of George Reeves – Humanitarian, Veteran, Actor
Population: 168

Rowan, Iowa
Rowan, Iowa
Rowan
Population: 158

Galt, Iowa
Galt, Iowa
Welcome to Galt – The Little Town That Won’t Give Up!

Holmes, Iowa
Holmes, Iowa
Holmes
Unincorporated Community

Wright County only has 8 communities, but it has a solid set of signs top to bottom. There isn’t any that I think are terrible, with maybe the exception of Eagle Grove. Their sign is more of an advertisement for the town festival. Which is fine, but the sign doesn’t even welcome you to town.

Dows and Woolstock must have a healthy rivalry. A friendly rivalry though. Cause one is a “Friendly Community” and the other is a “Friendly Town”. I also really like Galt’s sign. It is a little surprising that a town of 32 has such a nice sign. There must be some money in that town. There probably is, because they murderize a lot of chickens in that town. No joke, 15 million chickens in that town. Also lots of salmonella in that town. But you probably don’t want to talk about having to recall 380 million eggs due to salmonella on your town sign. However, their can only be one Best in Show and it goes to:


Woolstock, Iowa
Wright County Best in Show – Woolstock, Iowa

We will discuss George Reeves when I publish the auxiliary images from this road trip. I can say though, thanks to Jodie Cue for the tip on Woolstock.

There are also a couple towns with alternate town signs:


Belmond, Iowa
Belmond – Alternate

Belmond, Iowa
Belmond – Alternate

Dows, Iowa
Dows – Alternate

Dows, Iowa
Dows – Alternate

Galt, Iowa
Galt – Back of Sign

Also, on the way back home to Boone, I discovered that Roland had updated their Gary Thompson sign:


Roland, Iowa
The Roland Rocket

Here is the current list of Best in Shows:


Moingona, Iowa
Best in Show – Boone County

Coon Rapids, Iowa
Best in Show – Carroll County

Ricketts, Iowa
Best in Show – Crawford County

Dexter, Iowa
Best in Show – Dallas County

Scranton, Iowa
Best in Show – Greene County

Stanhope, Iowa
Best in Show – Hamilton County

Haverhill, Iowa
Best in Show – Marshall County

Bondurant, Iowa
Best in Show – Polk County

Collins, Iowa
Best in Show – Story County

Badger, Iowa
Best in Show – Webster County

Woolstock, Iowa
Best in Show – Wright County

No change to the BENNETT TOWN SIGN POWER RANKINGS:


Scranton, Iowa
#10. Scranton

Ricketts, Iowa
#9. Ricketts

Liscomb, Iowa
#8. Liscomb

Dexter, Iowa
#7. Dexter

Templeton, Iowa
#6. Templeton

Haverhill, Iowa
#5. Haverhill

Farnhamville, Iowa #3 - East Side
#4. Farnhamville

Pilot Mound, Iowa
#3. Pilot Mound

Moingona, Iowa
#2. Moingona

Coon Rapids, Iowa
#1. Coon Rapids

The next county we will visit is Jasper County.

WPC – WEEK 280 – HOBBIES

HOBBIES! People seem to love them and it is no surprise that HOBBIES was the 69th theme in a row to crack double digit submissions! It did it easy as well. In fact, this might be the record for most submissions ever in one week. The problem is, I don’t know what the record is. I’ll have to do some research and get back to you, but if this isn’t the record, it has to be pretty close!

But you didn’t come here to listen to me talk all tommyrot about participation rates. You came to see the submissions!


WEEK 280 - HOBBIES - ANDY SHARP
Andy Sharp

WEEK 280 - HOBBIES - ANDY SHARP
Andy Sharp

WEEK 280 - HOBBIES - ANDY SHARP
Andy Sharp

WEEK 280 - HOBBIES - ANDY SHARP
Andy Sharp

WEEK 280 - HOBBIES - DAWN KRAUSE
Dawn Krause

WEEK 280 - HOBBIES - DAWN KRAUSE
Dawn Krause

WEEK 280 - HOBBIES - LINDA BENNETT
Linda Bennett

WEEK 280 - HOBBIES - LINDA BENNETT
Linda Bennett

WEEK 280 - HOBBIES - TAMARA PETERSON
Tamara Peterson

WEEK 280 - HOBBIES - MICHELLE HAUPT
Michelle Haupt

WEEK 280 - HOBBIES - CATHIE RALEY
Cathie Raley

WEEK 280 - HOBBIES - JOE DUFF
Joe Duff

WEEK 280 - HOBBIES - KIO DETTMAN
Kio Dettman

WEEK 280 - HOBBIES - KIO DETTMAN
Kio Dettman

WEEK 280 - HOBBIES - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT
Christopher D. Bennett

WEEK 280 - HOBBIES - KIO DETTMAN
Kio Dettman

WEEK 280 - HOBBIES - TERESA KAHLER
Teresa Kahler

WEEK 280 - HOBBIES - TERESA KAHLER
Teresa Kahler

WEEK 280 - HOBBIES - MICKY AUGUSTIN
Micky Augustin

WEEK 280 - HOBBIES - BECKY PARMELEE
Becky Parmelee

WEEK 280 - HOBBIES - BILL WENTWORTH
Bill Wentworth

WEEK 280 - HOBBIES - SHANNON BARDOLE-FOLEY
Shannon Bardole-Foley

WEEK 280 - HOBBIES - JEN ENSLEY-GORSHE
Jen Ensley-Gorshe

WEEK 280 - HOBBIES - MONICA HENNING
Monica Henning

WEEK 280 - HOBBIES - MONICA HENNING
Monica Henning

WEEK 280 - HOBBIES - CARLA STENSLAND
Carla Stensland

WEEK 280 - HOBBIES - CARLA STENSLAND
Carla Stensland

WEEK 280 - HOBBIES - CARLA STENSLAND
Carla Stensland

WEEK 280 - HOBBIES - CARLA STENSLAND
Carla Stensland

WEEK 280 - HOBBIES - JESSE HOWARD
Jesse Howard

But enough dwelling on the past. Time to look to the future. We are all interested in the future, for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives. And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future! This week’s theme:


WEEK 281 - BLACK
BLACK

BLACK! Another great them for Year 8 of THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE.

What defines a BLACK photo? Well, to be honest, the reason I selected BLACK as one of the themes this year is because I did not allow myself to use any of the Hall of Fame themes for Year 8. That meant no BLACK AND WHITE theme. So I split them up and this year there is a BLACK theme and a WHITE theme. That doesn’t mean that your submission has to be BLACK AND WHITE. I’m just taking you behind the curtain of my thought process.

While all that is very interesting to me and I’ll guess three other people, it doesn’t answer the question, what defines a BLACK photo? BLACK is the very darkest color. It is the absence of light. However, BLACK has many other definitions.

I don’t have a movie quote for you to meditate on this week, instead I have song lyrics from Johnny Cash:

Well, you wonder why I always dress in black
Why you never see bright colors on my back
And why does my appearance seem to have a somber tone
Well, there’s a reason for the things that I have on

I wear the black for the poor and the beaten down
Living in the hopeless, hungry side of town
I wear it for the prisoner who has long paid for his crime
But is there because he’s a victim of the time

I wear the black for those who’ve never read
Or listened to the words that Jesus said
About the road to happiness through love and charity
Why, you’d think He’s talking straight to you and me

Well, we’re doing mighty fine, I do suppose
In our streak of lightning cars and fancy clothes
But just so we’re reminded of the ones who are held back
Up front there ought to be a man in black

I wear it for the sick and lonely old
For the reckless ones whose bad trip left them cold
I wear the black in mourning for the lives that could have been
Each week we lose a hundred fine young men

And I wear it for the thousands who have died
Believing that the Lord was on their side
I wear it for another hundred thousand who have died
Believing that we all were on their side

Well, there’s things that never will be right I know
And things need changing everywhere you go
But ’til we start to make a move to make a few things right
You’ll never see me wear a suit of white

Ah, I’d love to wear a rainbow every day
And tell the world that everything’s okay
But I’ll try to carry off a little darkness on my back
‘Til things are brighter, I’m the Man In Black

Meditate on the words of the greatest country singer, while thinking about how to create your BLACK image.

Then send me you submission(s) by 11 AM next Monday. Remember, while I might consider you FAMILY, the picture has to be taken between 12:01 PM today and 11 AM next Monday. This isn’t a curate your photos project. This is a get your butt off the couch (unless you are taking your picture from the couch) and take pictures challenge.

You can send your images to either bennett@photography139.com OR you may text them to my Pixel 5.

That is all I got, so if the good Lord’s willin’ and the creek don’t rise, we will all be sharing our idea of BLACK in this place that is more purple than BLACK next Monday.

2010-06-14 & 2010-06-17

There weren’t actually a ton of pictures in either the folder 2010-06-14 or 2010-06-17, so I went ahead an combined them. Most are just taken around my yard, around the time that I was trying to tear the hedge out in my backyard. A terrible and long process. But so definitely worth it!


WEEL 23 - STRONG - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT

Nature's Amen - 2010

Nature's Amen - 2010

Nature's Amen - 2010

Nature's Amen - 2010

Nature's Amen - 2010

Holy Hollyhocks!

Holy Hollyhocks!

WEEK 23 - STRONG - ALTERNATE

By adding these pictures to the Photography 139 Gallery, I was able to restore the following historic “An Artist’s Notebook” entries to their original glory:

RWPE #23 – STRONG

Holy Hollyhocks!

RWPE Outtakes

Next Saturday’s walk down memory lane will involve flowers and cherries.

Loess Hills Road Trip

I’d like to just start with saying how completely impressed I was with Amanda Gorman, this nation’s first ever youth poet laureate and the poem she read at the inauguration on Wednesday. Wow! Goosebumps. I was one the people that rushed to Amazon and pre-ordered her book and made it the best selling book on Amazon. It doesn’t come out until September, so to tide myself over, I thought I would just put her inauguration poem down here, so I could find it and read it anytime I want:

THE HILL WE CLIMB

When day comes we ask ourselves,
where can we find light in this never-ending shade?
The loss we carry,
a sea we must wade
We’ve braved the belly of the beast
We’ve learned that quiet isn’t always peace
And the norms and notions
of what just is
Isn’t always just-ice
And yet the dawn is ours
before we knew it
Somehow we do it
Somehow we’ve weathered and witnessed
a nation that isn’t broken
but simply unfinished
We the successors of a country and a time
Where a skinny Black girl
descended from slaves and raised by a single mother
can dream of becoming president
only to find herself reciting for one
And yes we are far from polished
far from pristine
but that doesn’t mean we are
striving to form a union that is perfect
We are striving to forge a union with purpose
To compose a country committed to all cultures, colors, characters and
conditions of man
And so we lift our gazes not to what stands between us
but what stands before us
We close the divide because we know, to put our future first,
we must first put our differences aside
We lay down our arms
so we can reach out our arms
to one another
We seek harm to none and harmony for all
Let the globe, if nothing else, say this is true:
That even as we grieved, we grew
That even as we hurt, we hoped
That even as we tired, we tried
That we’ll forever be tied together, victorious
Not because we will never again know defeat
but because we will never again sow division
Scripture tells us to envision
that everyone shall sit under their own vine and fig tree
And no one shall make them afraid
If we’re to live up to our own time
Then victory won’t lie in the blade
But in all the bridges we’ve made
That is the promise to glade
The hill we climb
If only we dare
It’s because being American is more than a pride we inherit,
it’s the past we step into
and how we repair it
We’ve seen a force that would shatter our nation
rather than share it
Would destroy our country if it meant delaying democracy
And this effort very nearly succeeded
But while democracy can be periodically delayed
it can never be permanently defeated
In this truth
in this faith we trust
For while we have our eyes on the future
history has its eyes on us
This is the era of just redemption
We feared at its inception
We did not feel prepared to be the heirs
of such a terrifying hour
but within it we found the power
to author a new chapter
To offer hope and laughter to ourselves
So while once we asked,
how could we possibly prevail over catastrophe?
Now we assert
How could catastrophe possibly prevail over us?
We will not march back to what was
but move to what shall be
A country that is bruised but whole,
benevolent but bold,
fierce and free
We will not be turned around
or interrupted by intimidation
because we know our inaction and inertia
will be the inheritance of the next generation
Our blunders become their burdens
But one thing is certain:
If we merge mercy with might,
and might with right,
then love becomes our legacy
and change our children’s birthright
So let us leave behind a country
better than the one we were left with
Every breath from my bronze-pounded chest,
we will raise this wounded world into a wondrous one
We will rise from the gold-limbed hills of the west,
we will rise from the windswept northeast
where our forefathers first realized revolution
We will rise from the lake-rimmed cities of the midwestern states,
we will rise from the sunbaked south
We will rebuild, reconcile and recover
and every known nook of our nation and
every corner called our country,
our people diverse and beautiful will emerge,
battered and beautiful
When day comes we step out of the shade,
aflame and unafraid
The new dawn blooms as we free it
For there is always light,
if only we’re brave enough to see it
If only we’re brave enough to be it

Beautiful. Absolutely beautiful.

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Today I’m going to share what I would call auxiliary images from my road trip to the Loess Hills back in September. They are auxiliary because they were not taken at the Loess Hills and they also don’t fall into THE TOWN SIGNS PROJECT either. These are pictures I took on the way to the Loess Hills and on the way back.

I do want to start with a brief history lesson. It comes from a question I had to ask when I stopped at a historic marker on the trip. A historic marker honoring Merle Hay. I’m sure many of you have driven on Merle Hay’s road and shopped in his mall, but do you know who Merle Hay was?

I myself only knew that Merle Hay was a war hero of some kind, but I didn’t even know from what war and what he did. Take a look at this historic marker in the cemetery where he is buried:


Loess Hills Road Trip

When I saw this, I couldn’t figure out what was going on in the picture. So I researched it and while it is maybe obvious to some, I didn’t deduce that the guy carrying the fallen soldier was Uncle Sam. Carrying Merle Hay home.

So who was Merle Hay?

He was the first or one of the first Americans to die in WWI. Here is his story from the Wiki:

When the United States entered the First World War, Hay was young enough to avoid being drafted. With his father’s blessing, he voluntarily enlisted on May 9, 1917. He was among 8 men from Glidden who enlisted that day. They were first shipped to Fort Logan, Colorado, then to Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas. He was assigned to the 16th Infantry Regiment. On 26 June 1917, the regiment disembarked the troop ships in St. Nazaire, France, as part of the 1st Infantry Division. By November 1917, he was assigned to Company F along with Corporal James Bethel Gresham and Private Thomas Enright. They were posted in the trenches near the French village of Artois. In the early morning of 3 November 1917, the Imperial German Army attacked. After an hour of fighting, Hay, along with Corporal Gresham, and Private Enright were the first three casualties of the American Expeditionary Force.

Two days later, on 5 Nov 1917, Enright, Gresham, and Hay were buried near the battlefield where they had died. An inscription marked their graves: “Here lie the first soldiers of the illustrious Republic of the United States who fell on French soil for justice and liberty.” Their bodies were eventually returned to their families and reburied in the United States. Hay was then re-interred in July 1921 in West Lawn Cemetery in his home town of Glidden, Iowa. The West Lawn Cemetery was later renamed the Merle Hay Memorial Cemetery. An 8-foot monument commissioned by the Iowa Legislature marks his gravesite.

Remember that story, the next time you are driving down Merle Hay Road in Des Moines.

Here are the rest of the Loess Road Trip auxiliary photos:


Loess Hills Road Trip

Loess Hills Road Trip

Loess Hills Road Trip

Loess Hills Road Trip

Loess Hills Road Trip

Loess Hills Road Trip

Loess Hills Road Trip

Loess Hills Road Trip

Loess Hills Road Trip

Loess Hills Road Trip

Loess Hills Road Trip

Loess Hills Road Trip

Loess Hills Road Trip

Loess Hills Road Trip

Loess Hills Road Trip
I can’t figure out if this is brilliant, sacrilegious, brilliantly sacrilegious, or sacrilegiously brilliant. Hopefully there is a theologian out there that can assist me.

Loess Hills Road Trip

Loess Hills Road Trip

Loess Hills Road Trip

Loess Hills Road Trip

Loess Hills Road Trip

Loess Hills Road Trip

Loess Hills Road Trip

Loess Hills Road Trip

Loess Hills Road Trip

Loess Hills Road Trip

Loess Hills Road Trip

Loess Hills Road Trip

Loess Hills Road Trip

Loess Hills Road Trip

Loess Hills Road Trip

Loess Hills Road Trip

Loess Hills Road Trip

Loess Hills Road Trip
This sign confuses me so much. So very much.

Loess Hills Road Trip

Loess Hills Road Trip

Loess Hills Road Trip
I love this tiny mailbox so much. I want to bundle it up and take it home with me, but of course that is a federal crime.

Loess Hills Road Trip
Birthplace of Merle Hay – Now you know where he started and where he ended.

Loess Hills Road Trip

Loess Hills Road Trip

Loess Hills Road Trip

I wish I would have gotten better pictures of the ghost town that is Carrollton, but it was just pouring down rain when I rolled through there. But I’m sure I’ll get there again some day.

Here is another history fact for you:

The first American military casualty in WWII was also from Iowa. Robert M. Losey was born in Andrew, Iowa. He was killed in a German bombardment of Norway on April 21, 1940. If you are doing the math, that is well before the United States entered the war.

Also semi-interesting fact. Andrew, Iowa is in Jackson county. Jackson County is named after racist piece of trash Andrew Jackson. Andrew is also named after racist piece of trash Andrew Jackson. Double fail for that town.

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This is your reminder that this week’s THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE is HOBBIES:


WEEK 280 - HOBBIES
HOBBIES

HOBBIES can be all sorts of activities. Collecting things. Making things. Building things. Destroying things. So much, much more. Just remember the words of Norman Bates…

As you should know, the 1960 Alfred Hitchcock classic PSYCHO is tied for being my favorite movie of all-time. Think about the scene is PSYCHO where Marion Crane and Norman Bates are eating supper together in the backroom of the Bates Motel office, with all of the birds that Norman has stuffed.

INT. NORMAN’S PARLOR -(NIGHT)

In the darkened room, lit only by the light from the office spilling in, we see Norman placing the tray on a table. Mary comes to the doorway, pauses. Norman straightens up, goes to lamp, turns on the light.

Mary is startled by the room. Even in the dimness of one lamp, the strange, extraordinary nature of the room rushes
up at one. It is a room of birds. Stuffed birds, all over the room, on every available surface, one even clinging to
the old fashioned fringed shade of the lamp. The birds are of many varieties, beautiful, grand, horrible, preying. Mary
stares in awe and a certain fascinated horror.

CLOSE UP – THE VARIOUS BIRDS TWO SHOT – MARY AND NORMAN

NORMAN
Please sit down. On the sofa.

As Norman goes about spreading out the bread and ham and pouring the milk, we follow Mary across the room. She studies
the birds as she walks, briefly examines a bookcase stacked with books on the subject of “Taxidermy.”

CLOSE UP – THE BOOKS ON TAXIDERMY MED. CLOSE SHOT – MARY

She notices, too, the paintings on the wall; nudes, primarily, and many with a vaguely religious overtone.

Finally Mary reaches the sofa, sits down, looks at the spread.

MARY
You’re very… kind.

NORMAN
It’s all for you. I’m not hungry. Please go ahead.

Mary begins to eat, her attitude a bit tense. She takes up a small slice of ham, bites off a tiny bite, nibbles at it in the manner of one disturbed and preoccupied.

Norman gazes at her, at the tiny bite she has taken, smiles and then laughs.

NORMAN
You eat like a bird.

MARY
You’d know, of course.

NORMAN
Not really. I hear that expression, that one eats “like a bird,” is really
a falsie, I mean a falsity, because birds eat a tremendous lot.
(A pause, then explaining)
Oh, I don’t know anything about birds. My hobby is stuffing things…
taxidermy. And I guess I’d just rather stuff birds because… well, I hate
the look of beasts when they’re stuffed, foxes and chimps and all…
some people even stuff dogs and cats… but I can’t… I think only
birds look well stuffed because they’re rather… passive, to begin
with… most of them…

He trails off, his exuberance failing in the rushing return of his natural hesitancy and discomfort. Mary looks at him,
with some compression, smiles.

MARY
It’s a strange hobby. Curious, I mean.

NORMAN
Uncommon, too.

MARY
I imagine so.

NORMAN
It’s not as expensive as you’d think. Cheap, really. Needles, thread,
sawdust .. the chemicals are all that cost anything.
(He goes quiet, looks disturbed)

MARY
A man should have a hobby.

NORMAN
It’s more than a hobby… sometimes…
a hobby is supposed to pass the time, not fill it.

Happy photo harvesting!

Postcard Recreation Project – Mamie Doud Eisenhower Birthplace

Today we are going to focus on the birthplace of (for now) the most famous person to ever come from Boone. The former First Lady Mamie Doud Eisenhower. Her birthplace is one of only two birthplaces of First Ladies that have been made historic sites. The other is the birthplace of Abigail Adams. I don’t imagine there will be many more in the future, since most people are born in hospitals these days, but you never know.

I do want to mention that the controversy surrounding the birthplace from a few years ago is over. The people that wanted to sell the Birthplace and/or turn it into a bed & breakfast have all been fired or purged from the Boone Historical Society. It will open again, when the pandemic has subsided. That is all I wish to say about that sad chapter of this historic site’s history at this time.

Here is a little bit about Mamie Doud Eisenhower from the Boone County Historical Society’s website:

Mamie Geneva Doud, named, in part, after the popular song, Lovely Lake Geneva, was born November 14, 1896 at 718 Carroll Street in Boone, Iowa, the second of four daughters born to Elivera Mathilde Carlson and John Sheldon Doud. She grew up to become the wife of the 34th President of the United States, Dwight David Eisenhower.

When Mamie was nine months old, the Douds moved to Cedar Rapids, where John Doud became a buyer for the T. M. Sinclair Co. By 1905, after making a fortune in the meat-packing industry, John Doud—at age 36—partially retired and moved his family to Colorado, settling first in Pueblo, then in Colorado Springs, and finally in Denver. The Douds spent winter vacations at their second home in San Antonio, Texas.

In October 1915, soon after completing her education at the Wolcott School for Girls, a finishing school in Denver, Colorado, 18-year-old Mamie met 24-year-old Dwight David Eisenhower in San Antonio at the home of friends. Dwight, called “Ike”, was a newly-commissioned Second Lieutenant in the United States Army stationed at nearby Fort Sam Houston. Mutually enamored, the two young people dated and quickly became engaged—on Valentine’s Day—and were married on July 1, 1916 at the Doud home in Denver, when Mamie was 19 and Ike was 25.

The Eisenhowers entertained an unprecedented number of heads of state and leaders of foreign governments. As First Lady, Mamie was noted for her outgoing manner, her love of pretty clothes, jewelry, and her obvious pride in husband and home. She was named one of the twelve best-dressed women in the country by the New York Dress Institute every year that she was First Lady. The “Mamie Look” involved a full-skirted dress, charm bracelets, pearls, little hats, and bobbed, banged hair that was a modified version of the Dior’s postwar “New Look”. Her style included both high- and low-end items and she symbolized the ideal 1950s wife and mother.

Mamie never lost contact with her mother’s Boone family, the Carlsons. Throughout the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s, the Eisenhowers regularly visited Boone, especially during Ike’s presidency and after his retirement. Mamie was also quite active with her favorite charities, served on the boards of three colleges, and performed other civic duties.

After Ike’s death in 1969, Mamie continued to visit Boone, making her last trip in 1977, two years before her death. She suffered a stroke on September 25, 1979 and was rushed to Walter Reed Army Medical Center, where her husband had died a decade before. She remained in the hospital, and on October 31st, announced to her granddaughter, Mary Jean, that she would die the next day. She died in her sleep very early the morning of November 1,1979, at the age of 82. Mamie was buried beside her husband on the grounds of the Dwight David Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum in Abilene, Kansas.

Now that you know a little more about Mamie, here is some information about the Birthplace itself, also from the Boone County Historical Society website:

Built in the 1880s, Mamie’s birthplace received national attention on November 2, 1954 when the DeShon Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Boone, Iowa, placed a bronze marker on a stone in front of her home. After Mamie received the coveted Iowa Award in Boone in 1970 from Governor Robert D. Ray, local interest in preserving her birthplace grew, and a group of concerned Boone citizens formed the Boone Committee for Preservation of Historic Landmarks, Inc. (Trust Committee) to look into saving the house, and started raising funds for that purpose. This home was the only remaining Iowa birthplace of the wife of a U.S. President; Herbert Hoover’s wife’s birthplace in Waterloo, Iowa was torn down in 1926.

The birthplace had been purchased in 1962 by the adjacent First Baptist Church, for possible future expansion; renovations were then made so it could be a rental property. In 1974 the Church’s plans for an expansion were finalized, and the Church offered the house to the Trust Committee as a gift for preservation, provided it was moved from its original location. A formal acceptance ceremony involving several Boone civic leaders was held on March 17, 1975 in the parlor of the First Presbyterian Church in Boone. During the ceremony, the officers of the Trust Committee accepted the house as a gift from the First Baptist Church. The property across the street, where the home was to be moved, was gifted by Warren Kruck. The additions and renovations made previously to the house were removed and on September 15, 1975, Mamie’s Birthplace was moved across the street to the west, to 709 Carroll Street.

Restoration plans were drawn up by Iowa architect William J. Wagner of Des Moines, who was noted for his work in the preservation of historic Iowa homes and buildings. Five years of extensive restoration were done, including the restoration of a summer kitchen and carriage house. With Mamie’s aid, the Trust Committee arranged with the History Colorado Museum in Denver, Colorado for the loan of the original bedroom furniture from the home, used when Mamie was born. In addition, Mamie and her sister, Mrs. G. Gordon Moore of Washington, D.C., plus their uncle, Joel Carlson of Boone, donated many family heirlooms for the home, including a chair, Bible, piano, and settee owned by Mamie’s parents.

Miss Lois E. Dell of Des Moines chaired the committee that collected books for the library. Rugs, curtains, and wallpaper reflecting the 1890s period were found and purchased for the interior. Many organizations raised funds for, and contributed to, the restoration of the birthplace. The Iowa American Legion contributed $500 to the restoration and passed a resolution (see below) urging all Iowans to assist financially to the project. The Boone County American Legion and Auxiliary contributed a flag pole and flag. The Boone Women’s Club raised money for the landscaping. The two Boone Questors Clubs contributed substantially, and the Boone Soroptomist Club held a tour of homes project in the spring of 1977 to raise money.

Displays about the Eisenhowers can be found in the museum and reference library in the basement, including books, documents, photographs, and artifacts pertaining to the Doud and Eisenhower families, plus local history and information about the restoration project. The carriage house, erected in 1982, contains the Chrysler Windsor Sedan given to the Carlsons by the Eisenhowers in 1948, and Mamie’s 1962 Plymouth Valiant.

Mamie’s Birthplace was dedicated and opened for tours on June 22, 1980, with members of the Eisenhower family and Bob Hope attending. The home is one of only two First Ladies’ birthplaces in the United States to have been restored; the other is the birthplace of Abigail Adams in Massachusetts.

Before we get to the postcards, I want to share some of the pictures my Dad took of the dedication of the Mamie Doud Eisenhower birthplace. Unfortunately I scanned these almost 10 years ago and not with a very good resolution, but despite their size, they are fascinating:



Now that you know about the place, here are the postcards I recreated for the Mamie Eisenhower Birthplace:


Mamie Doud Eisenhower Birthplace Photo Postcard - Original
Mamie Doud Eisenhower Birthplace Photo Postcard – Original

Mamie Doud Eisenhower Birthplace Photo Postcard - Redux
Mamie Doud Eisenhower Birthplace Photo Postcard – Redux

Birthplace of Mamie Doud Eisenhower - Original
Birthplace of Mamie Doud Eisenhower – Original

Birthplace of Mamie Doud Eisenhower - Redux
Birthplace of Mamie Doud Eisenhower – Redux

Mamie Doud Eisenhower Birthplace - Modern Interpretation
Mamie Doud Eisenhower Birthplace – Modern Interpretation

One last story, looking at the pictures of the dedication of The Mamie Doud Eisenhower Birthplace I am reminded of a story Teresa recently told me about our Dad. Apparently way back in the day, they used to bring a small submarine to Don Williams Park and give submarine trips around the lake.

Dad really wanted to Teresa to go on this submarine trip, but she refused and he became angry at her. She went on to talk about how he always wanted her to shake hands with people that were at the dedication to the Mamie Doud Eisenhower Birthplace. Like Governor Ray and Bob Hope. When she didn’t want to do it, this also made him mad.

This is how I know I’m like my Dad in some ways. Just her telling me the story that she had a chance to take a submarine ride around Don Williams Lake and it turned it down started to make me angry. And how could you pass up a chance to shake hands with Bob Hope! But I digress.

The next set of postcards that will get mailed to your inbox will involve a look at Boone from up high!

Town Sign Project: Crawford County

A couple weeks back, on the same day that I harvested all the town signs I was missing for Carroll County, I continued west and also harvested all the signs I was missing in Crawford County. That ended up being less than I expected.

I didn’t find anything of real historical interest in Crawford County, so here are some facts about Crawford County:

+ Crawford County is a county located in the U.S. state of Iowa. As of the 2010 census, the population was 17,096. Its county seat is Denison. The county was named for William Harris Crawford, U.S. senator from Georgia and United States Secretary of the Treasury.
+ In January 1851, the Iowa Legislature authorized the creation of 50 additional counties in the state. Due to its lack of inhabitants, the designated Crawford County area was attached to Shelby County for purposes of revenue, taxation, and judicial matters.
+ In 1855 there were sufficient settlers, who petitioned for separation from Shelby. This was granted, and a county governing structure was established. The county as then designated did not include its present western townships.
+ In 1865, four eastern townships of Monona County were separated from that county and incorporated into Crawford County’s boundary.
+ After several adjustments and reorganizations, the present arrangement of Crawford County townships was completed in June 1872.

Here is the Crawford County Photo Map (borders, not remotely accurate):


Crawford County Photo Map
Crawford County Photo Map

And with Crawford County completed, this is the updated Photography 139 Conquest Map:


Town Sign Project - 10 Counties
PURPLE=COMPLETED

10 counties completed. 10.1% of the state conquered.

Here are the Crawford County signs:


Denison, Iowa
Denison, Iowa
City of Denison – “It’s a Wonderful Life”
Population: 8,298

Schlewswig, Iowa
Schleswig, Iowa
Schleswig – Est. 1899
Population: 882

Manilla, Iowa
Manilla, Iowa
Manilla
Population: 776

Dow City, Iowa
Dow City, Iowa
Dow City – Est.1869
Population: 510

Charter Oak, Iowa
Charter Oak, Iowa
Welcome to Charter Oak
Population – 502

Vail, Iowa
Vail, Iowa
Welcome to Vail – A small town with a BIG heart
Population: 436

Westside, Iowa
Westside, Iowa
Westside
Population: 299

Kiron, Iowa
Kiron, Iowa
Kiron – BLESSED WITH THE BEST
Population: 279

Deloit, Iowa
Deloit, Iowa
Welcome to DELOIT – Oldest Town In Crawford County
Population: 264

Ricketts, Iowa
Ricketts, IOwa
Ricketts – “Middle of Nowhere”
Population: 145

Arion, Iowa
Arion, Iowa
Welcome to Arion
Population: 108

Buck Grove, Iowa
Buck Grove, Iowa
Buck Grove
Population: 43

Aspinwall, Iowa
Aspinwall, Iowa
Aspinwall – Still A Little Slice of Paradise – Est. 1882
Population: 40

Boyer, Iowa
Boyer, Iowa
Boyer
Former City

Crawford County is not a hotbed of great signs, but at least almost all the signs are respectable. Last week, at least a couple people let me know that they thought that the Arcadia sign was very phallic. I’m sure the same people will feel the same way about the Dow City sign. Perhaps it is the worst in Crawford County. The Aspinwall sign is peculiar because they took all the time and energy to put a slogan on the sign, but they put it so small that a person would need to stop their car, get out their magnifying glass, and get up close to the sign to even figure out what it says.

I think Best in Show is pretty much a no-brainer. I do like the Denison sign because I love Donna Reed and I love IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE. Absolutely one of the greatest movies ever made. Period. Here is her bio from the Internet Movie Database:

Donna Reed was born in the midwestern town of Denison, Iowa, on January 27, 1921, as Donna Belle Mullenger. A small town – a population of less than 3,000 people – Denison was located by the Boyer River, and was the county seat of Crawford County. Donna grew up as a farm girl, much like many young girls in western Iowa, except for one thing – Donna was very beautiful. That wasn’t to say that others weren’t as pretty, it’s just that Donna’s beauty stood out from all the other local girls, so much so that she won a beauty contest in Denison. Upon graduation from high school Donna left for college in Los Angeles, in the hopes of eventually entering movies.

While at Los Angeles City College, she pursued her dream by participating in several college stage productions. In addition to the plays, she also won the title of Campus Queen. At one of those stage plays Donna was spotted by an MGM talent scout and was signed to a contract. Her first film was a minor role in MGM’s The Getaway (1941). That was followed by a small part in Babes on Broadway (1941), with Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland as a secretary. Afterwards, MGM began giving her better parts, in films such as The Bugle Sounds (1942), The Courtship of Andy Hardy (1942) and The Man from Down Under (1943). In 1944 she received second billing playing Carol Halliday in See Here, Private Hargrove (1944), a comedy about a reporter drafted into the army who eventually meets up with Donna’s character as a worker in the canteen. The following year Donna starred in The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945), her best role to date. It was a love story set in London in 1890. It got mixed critical reviews but did well at the box-office. Donna was now one of the leading ladies of Hollywood. In 1946 she starred in what is probably her best-known role, as the wife of James Stewart in the classic It’s a Wonderful Life (1946). This timeless story is a holiday staple to this day. The film also starred Lionel Barrymore and Thomas Mitchell. The next year Donna starred as Ann Daniels in Paramount’s Beyond Glory (1948) with Alan Ladd, which did well at the box-office. Her next role was the strongest she had had yet–Chicago Deadline (1949), again with Ladd. It was one of the best mystery dramas to come out of Hollywood in a long time, and did very well at the box office. As the 1940s faded out and the 1950s stormed in, Donna’s roles got bigger but were mainly of the wholesome, girl-next-door type. In 1953, however, she starred as the hostess Alma in the widely acclaimed From Here to Eternity (1953). She was so good in that film she was nominated for and won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, beating out such veterans as Thelma Ritter and Marjorie Rambeau. The film itself won for Best Picture and remains a classic to this day. Later that year Donna starred in The Caddy (1953), a comedy with Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin. Three years later she landed the role of Sacajawea in The Far Horizons (1955), the story of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, starring Charlton Heston and Fred MacMurray. After finishing The Whole Truth (1958), Donna began her own TV series (produced by her husband), The Donna Reed Show (1958), a hit that ran for eight years. She was so effective in the show that she was nominated for TV’s prestigious Emmy Award as Best Actress every year from 1959-1962. She was far more popular in TV than on the screen. After the run of the program, Donna took some time away from show business before coming back in a couple of made-for-TV movies (in 1974, she had made a feature called Yellow-Headed Summer (1974), but it was never released)

She did get the role of Ellie Ewing Farlow in the hit TV series Dallas (1978) during the 1984-85 season. It was to be her final public performance. On January 14, 1986, less than two weeks before her 65th birthday, she died of pancreatic cancer in Beverly Hills, California. Grover Asmus, her husband, created the Donna Reed Foundation for the Performing Arts in her hometown of Denison. The foundation helps others who desire a career in the arts. Donna never forgot her roots. She was still a farm girl at heart.

As much as I love Donna Reed and as much as I love IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE, it just isn’t that great of a sign.

Kiron has an okay sign. Deloit’s is okay. I really like Manilla’s sign as well. But Best in Show for Crawford County is very obvious:


Ricketts, Iowa
Crawford County Best in Show – Ricketts, Iowa

I took this picture in September of 2020. If you are wondering about the Ricketts Centennial 1999 part of the sign.

There were a couple of Crawford County towns that have town sign alternates, I need to share:


Denison, Iowa
Denison Alternate

Manilla, Iowa
Manilla Alternate

The Denison alternate reminds me of Kansas. It seems a popular thing to do in central Kanas to put the name of your town up on the side of hill. I also really dig the Manilla alternate. I actually really dug Manilla. It had a pretty cool aesthetic in its downtown area.

Here is the current list of Best in Shows:


Moingona, Iowa
Best in Show – Boone County

Coon Rapids, Iowa
Best in Show – Carroll County

Ricketts, Iowa
Best in Show – Crawford County

Dexter, Iowa
Best in Show – Dallas County

Scranton, Iowa
Best in Show – Greene County

Stanhope, Iowa
Best in Show – Hamilton County

Haverhill, Iowa
Best in Show – Marshall County

Bondurant, Iowa
Best in Show – Polk County

Collins, Iowa
Best in Show – Story County

Badger, Iowa
Best in Show – Webster County

Here is the updated BENNETT TOWN SIGN POWER RANKINGS:


Scranton, Iowa
#10. Scranton

Ricketts, Iowa
#9. Ricketts

Liscomb, Iowa
#8. Liscomb

Dexter, Iowa
#7. Dexter

Templeton, Iowa
#6. Templeton

Haverhill, Iowa
#5. Haverhill

Farnhamville, Iowa #3 - East Side
#4. Farnhamville

Pilot Mound, Iowa
#3. Pilot Mound

Moingona, Iowa
#2. Moingona

Coon Rapids, Iowa
#1. Coon Rapids

The next county we will visit is Wright County.

Post #4,000

August 9, 2006. That was the date where I first took keyboard in hand and began typing out the blog that I entitled “An Artist’s Notebook”. I entitled that first post “First Journal Entry”. The categories for that first post were “Blogging”, “Contests”, “Jay”, and “Sara”.

This is the first paragraph I posted:

So here is the first journal entry. I felt like having as pretentious sounding name as possible for my journal. I have a few goals about this journal. My main goal is just to actually write in it. My second goal is to be as truthful as possible towards my true thoughts and feelings. I have another journal on another website, but it is really just a collection of sarcastic statements and cheap jabs at open faced sandwiches. This journal is meant to be about what my achievements and failures are in the world of art. What projects I am working on and what I have accomplished and what I have failed to accomplish. What I am photographing and what I am thinking about entering in photo contests. What I am thinking about. It might not always make sense. It might just be things I need to write down because they strike me as poignant or inspirational. This is in a small way an online “idea box”.

Then it goes on to talk about how I attended the Iowa State Fair Photography Salon Reception with Sara to see what two pictures had been accepted for display that year. Then I would go on to talk about how Jay had talked me into entering the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest.

The last line of the entry was simply:

I don’t want to mail it in.

While I was actually referencing the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest, it is my hope that I also didn’t choose to “mail it in” as it pertains to “An Artist’s Notebook”.

It has been 5,276 days since that first post. 5,276 days to reach this day and the 4,000th post in this blog, or “online journal” like I sometimes call it when I don’t like calling it a blog. It is hard to believe I have made it this far, for this long.

It hasn’t been necessarily smooth sailing the whole time. My website has been through a couple different servers. I have been through a couple different hosts for the blog part of the website. I have been through 4 (I think) different image hosting options in those 5,275 days. That jumping around for image hosting solutions did cause the problem that images from my posts from the first few years of this website’s existence have had to be “restored” slowly over time. So far I have semi-successfully restored all the entries though June of 2010. Which means, I still have a full year’s worth of entries left to restore. Somewhere in 2011, was when I fully made the move to my current SmugMug image hosting solution. I have unfortunately lost a few images, probably forever, mostly old phone pictures, but those old posts are as complete as they will ever be.

When I hit these milestones, I like to publish a lot of fairly meaningless stats. This one will be no different. So, here are the “An Artist’s Notebook” categories that I have used the most often:

Top 10 An Artist’s Notebook Categories

#1. Black & White – 698 Entries

#2. Flowers – 693 Entries

#3. Animals – 620 Entries

#4. Jesse – 495 Entries

#5. Portrait – 472 Entries

#6. Shannon – 421 Entries

#7. Carla – 391 Entries

#8. WPC – Submissions – 381 Entries

#9. Teresa – 364 Entries

#10. Mom – 363 Entries

Top Ten An Artist’s Notebook People Categories

#1. Jesse – 495 Entries

#2. Shannon – 421 Entries

#3. Carla – 391 Entries

#4. Teresa – 364 Entries

#5. Mom – 363 Entries

#6. Jay – 320 Entries

#7. Derrick – 295 Entries

#8. Willy – 268 Entries

#9. Vest – 258 Entries

#10. Jen – 254 Entries

Top Ten Non-People An Artist’s Notebook Categories

#1. Black & White – 698 Entries

#2. Flowers – 693 Entries

#3. Animals – 620 Entries

#4. Portrait – 472 Entries

#5. WPC – Submissions – 381 Entries

#6. Nature – 349 Entries

#7. Macro – 332 Entries

#8. Photoshop – 327 Entries

#9. Road Trip – 326 Entries

#10. Art – 314 Entries

People often ask what is the best way to improve their Photography 139 Category Score. The easiest way is to submit pictures to THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE. But posing for and assisting me with photo project or photo adventures is also a very good way.

What people have a shot at cracking the Top Ten by the time we hit Post #5,000? Kim, Sara, Logan, and Micky all have a shot. But 1,000 posts is a long ways away. So anybody has a shot!

But what are the Ten Most Popular Photo Galleries in Photography 139 history? Unfortunately, I can’t answer that question. I can only process stats up to 365 days ago. However, I can tell you the Ten Most Popular Photo Galleries of the last 365 Days are.

Click on the image to peruse that gallery.

Top Ten Most Popular Photography 139 Galleries (by view) of the Last 365 Days


WEEK 209 - ARCHITECTURE - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT
#1. WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE – YEAR 7 – 57697 Views

Be True
#2. Christopher D. Bennett – 41080 Views

9 Emotions Project - Johnathan
#3. 9 Emotions Project – 36972 Views

Taylan Howard
#4. Taylan Howard – 2020 – 34075 Views

Girl in the Blue Skirt - 2016
#5. Daisies – 26800 Views

Morning in America
#6. Drone – 24659 Views

WEEK 274 - FACELESS PORTRAIT - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT
#7. Weekly Photo Challenge – HOF – 24603 Views

Be Aggressive!
#8. Family Happenings – 18,231 Views

Alexis Pregnant with Anela
#9. Alexis Pregnancy Photo Shoot – 2020 – 17057 Views

Black Lives Matter - Boone
#10. Black Lives Matter – Boone – 2020 – 16160 Views

The Ten Most Popular Photography 139 Images of the Last 365 Days (by Views)


Alexis Pregnant with Anela
#1. 7254 Views

Taylan Howard
#2. 3153 Views

2020 Birthday Party Invites
#3. 2460 Views (Photo by Logan Kahler)

Cousin Amy and Sam - 2009
#4. 2228 Views

Garrett Larson
#5. 2127 Views

Baier Family Photo Shoot - 2009
#6. 2111 Views

Camping World Bowl Road Trip - Day 3
#7. 1971 Views

2019  Computer Mine Holiday Card
#8. 1916 Views

The Most Tolerable Third Party
#9. 1891 Views

The Hero of Africa
#10. 1830 Views

Now the secret to the popularity of some of these images is that they are cover photos for albums, but shhhh… don’t tell anybody!

Another category of meaningless statistics, I’d like to share is what have been the most popular posts since the inception of “An Artist’s Notebook”. Although it might not be the most accurate way to judge such things, the only statistic I can use to judge this is “Comments” left on each post. That doesn’t mean emails or text messages or comments I received in person. These are comments that were left in the Comments section of each post.

Most Popular An Artist’s Notebook Entries (by Comments)

#1. The People’s Choice Round Two – 24 Comments

#2. Weekly Photo Challenge – Week 9 – Food – 22 Comments

#2. Weekly Photo Challenge – Week 43 – Sunrise/Sunset – 22 Comments

#4. Town Sign Project: Hamilton County – 21 Comments

#4. Town Sign Project: Dallas County – 21 Comments

#6. Postcard Recreation Project: Some Churches – 20 Comments

#6. Rodan139: Swede Valley Lutheran Church – 20 Comments

#8. Will History Blame Me… – 19 Comments

#9. Yo, Ya Just Get in that, You Get in that Head Space, Ya Know – 15 Comments

#9. You Can Call it a Comeback – 15 Comments

#9. Wild Goose Chase – 15 Comments

#9. Sorry Not Sorry – 15 Comments

One thing to note is that each “An Artist’s Notebook” entry has its Comments section close 30 days after being posted. Some of those still have a chance to grow, but most have been locked into place forever.

The last statistic I want to share before closing out Post #4,000 is kind of a loyalty score. To even be considered for this list, you first have to have a Photography 139 Email Subscription. The following is a statistic based on “loyalty” for lack of a better term to that service.

Top Five Most Loyal Photography 139 Subscribers

1. Michelle Haupt – 99%
2. Joe Duff – 97%
3. Shannon Bardole-Foley – 94%
4. Sara Lockner – 90%
5. Corey Faust – 89%

Thanks to everybody that has supported this adventure for 14 years, 5 months, and now 10 days!

WPC – WEEK 279 – COMMERCIAL

I need to start by noting that today is the day we honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.


Civil Rights Museum

I’d like to share a teaching on The Good Samaritan from the last speech that King ever gave as my small part of honoring his legacy today:

Let us develop a kind of dangerous unselfishness. One day a man came to Jesus, and he wanted to raise some questions about some vital matters of life. At points he wanted to trick Jesus, and show him that he knew a little more than Jesus knew and throw him off base…. Now that question could have easily ended up in a philosophical and theological debate. But Jesus immediately pulled that question from mid-air, and placed it on a dangerous curve between Jerusalem and Jericho. And he talked about a certain man, who fell among thieves. You remember that a Levite and a priest passed by on the other side.

They didn’t stop to help him. And finally a man of another race came by. He got down from his beast, decided not to be compassionate by proxy. But he got down with him, administered first aid, and helped the man in need. Jesus ended up saying, this was the good man, this was the great man, because he had the capacity to project the “I” into the “thou,” and to be concerned about his brother.

Now you know, we use our imagination a great deal to try to determine why the priest and the Levite didn’t stop. At times we say they were busy going to a church meeting, an ecclesiastical gathering, and they had to get on down to Jerusalem so they wouldn’t be late for their meeting. At other times we would speculate that there was a religious law that “One who was engaged in religious ceremonials was not to touch a human body twenty-four hours before the ceremony.” And every now and then we begin to wonder whether maybe they were not going down to Jerusalem — or down to Jericho, rather to organize a “Jericho Road Improvement Association.”

That’s a possibility. Maybe they felt that it was better to deal with the problem from the causal root, rather than to get bogged down with an individual effect.

But I’m going to tell you what my imagination tells me. It’s possible that those men were afraid. You see, the Jericho road is a dangerous road. I remember when Mrs. King and I were first in Jerusalem. We rented a car and drove from Jerusalem down to Jericho. And as soon as we got on that road, I said to my wife, “I can see why Jesus used this as the setting for his parable.” It’s a winding, meandering road. It’s really conducive for ambushing. You start out in Jerusalem, which is about 1200 miles — or rather 1200 feet above sea level. And by the time you get down to Jericho, fifteen or twenty minutes later, you’re about 2200 feet below sea level. That’s a dangerous road. In the days of Jesus it came to be known as the “Bloody Pass.”

And you know, it’s possible that the priest and the Levite looked over that man on the ground and wondered if the robbers were still around. Or it’s possible that they felt that the man on the ground was merely faking. And he was acting like he had been robbed and hurt, in order to seize them over there, lure them there for quick and easy seizure. And so the first question that the priest asked — the first question that the Levite asked was, “If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?” But then the Good Samaritan came by. And he reversed the question: “If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?”

That’s the question before you tonight. Not, “If I stop to help the sanitation workers, what will happen to my job. Not, “If I stop to help the sanitation workers what will happen to all of the hours that I usually spend in my office every day and every week as a pastor?” The question is not, “If I stop to help this man in need, what will happen to me?” The question is, “If I do not stop to help the sanitation workers, what will happen to them?”
That’s the question.

In a time where we have white supremacist terrorists threatening our country, we should all heed the widsom of Martin Luther King Jr. and we should all strive for his calling of dangerous unselfishness.

And to honor the fact that the pastor at Martin Luther King Jr.’s church was just elected to the United States Senate. While the white supremacists throw a big shadow in this country, it is just a shadow. There are more of us, than there are of them. The election of Raphael Warnock is proof of that.

+++++++

I do want to point out that last week, in the chaos that was my 11 AM hour, I missed Cathie’s submission for FAMILY. I have corrected that error and it has since been added to last Monday’s journal entry. I encourage you to go to the website to see it. My apologies Cathie!

I was actually worried that this is the theme that would break the streak. I figured COMMERCIAL would be a tough nut to crack for many people. But we did it! For the 68th week in a row, we hit double digits!

But you didn’t come there to listen to me talk all tommyrot about participation rates. You came to see the submissions:


WEEK 279 - COMMERCIAL - KIM BARKER
Kim Barker

WEEK 279 - COMMERCIAL - KIO DETTMAN
Kio Dettman

WEEK 279 - COMMERCIAL - TAMARA PETERSON
Tamara Peterson

WEEK 279 - COMMERCIAL - MICHELLE HAUPT
Michelle Haupt

WEEK 279 - COMMERCIAL - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT
Christopher D. Bennett

WEEK 279 - COMMERCIAL - CARLA STENSLAND
Carla Stensland

WEEK 279 - COMMERCIAL - KIO DETTMAN
Kio Dettman

WEEK 279 - COMMERCIAL - BECKY PARMELEE
Becky Parmelee

WEEK 279 - COMMERCIAL - CATHIE RALEY
Cathie Raley

WEEK 279 - COMMERCIAL - MICKY AUGUSTIN
Micky Augustin

WEEK 279 - COMMERCIAL - DAWN KRAUSE
Dawn Krause

WEEK 279 - COMMERCIAL - ANDY SHARP
Andy Sharp

WEEK 279 - COMMERCIAL - ANDY SHARP
Andy Sharp

WEEK 279 - COMMERCIAL - ANDY SHARP
Andy Sharp

WEEK 279 - COMMERCIAL - ANDY SHARP
Andy Sharp

WEEK 279 - COMMERCIAL - SHANNON BARDOLE-FOLEY
Shannon Bardole-Foley

But enough dwelling on the past. Time to look to the future. We are all interested in the future, for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives. And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future! This week’s theme:


WEEK 280 - HOBBIES
HOBBIES

HOBBIES! Another great theme for Year 8 of THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE.

What defines a HOBBIES photo? HOBBIES are activities done regularly in one’s leisure time for pleasure. What do you do in your leisure time, regularly, for pleasure? What do your friends or family do regularly in their leisure time for pleasure. Take a picture of somebody that is engaged in their leisure time pleasure. Or take a picture of an item that is used for leisure time pleasure. We aren’t here to judge what people do for leisure time pleasure. We are just here to photograph what give somebody leisure time pleasure.

As you should know, the 1960 Alfred Hitchcock classic PSYCHO is tied for being my favorite movie of all-time. Think about the scene is PSYCHO where Marion Crane and Norman Bates are eating supper together in the backroom of the Bates Motel office, with all of the birds that Norman has stuffed.

INT. NORMAN’S PARLOR -(NIGHT)

In the darkened room, lit only by the light from the office spilling in, we see Norman placing the tray on a table. Mary comes to the doorway, pauses. Norman straightens up, goes to lamp, turns on the light.

Mary is startled by the room. Even in the dimness of one lamp, the strange, extraordinary nature of the room rushes
up at one. It is a room of birds. Stuffed birds, all over the room, on every available surface, one even clinging to
the old fashioned fringed shade of the lamp. The birds are of many varieties, beautiful, grand, horrible, preying. Mary
stares in awe and a certain fascinated horror.

CLOSE UP – THE VARIOUS BIRDS TWO SHOT – MARY AND NORMAN

NORMAN
Please sit down. On the sofa.

As Norman goes about spreading out the bread and ham and pouring the milk, we follow Mary across the room. She studies
the birds as she walks, briefly examines a bookcase stacked with books on the subject of “Taxidermy.”

CLOSE UP – THE BOOKS ON TAXIDERMY MED. CLOSE SHOT – MARY

She notices, too, the paintings on the wall; nudes, primarily, and many with a vaguely religious overtone.

Finally Mary reaches the sofa, sits down, looks at the spread.

MARY
You’re very… kind.

NORMAN
It’s all for you. I’m not hungry.
Please go ahead.

Mary begins to eat, her attitude a bit tense. She takes up a small slice of ham, bites off a tiny bite, nibbles at it in the manner of one disturbed and preoccupied.

Norman gazes at her, at the tiny bite she has taken, smiles and then laughs.

NORMAN
You eat like a bird.

MARY
You’d know, of course.

NORMAN
Not really. I hear that expression,
that one eats “like a bird,” is really
a falsie, I mean a falsity, because
birds eat a tremendous lot.
(A pause, then
explaining)
Oh, I don’t know anything about birds.
My hobby is stuffing things…
taxidermy. And I guess I’d just rather
stuff birds because… well, I hate
the look of beasts when they’re
stuffed, foxes and chimps and all…
some people even stuff dogs and
cats… but I can’t… I think only
birds look well stuffed because
they’re rather… passive, to begin
with… most of them…

He trails off, his exuberance failing in the rushing return of his natural hesitancy and discomfort. Mary looks at him,
with some compression, smiles.

MARY
It’s a strange hobby. Curious, I
mean.

NORMAN
Uncommon, too.

MARY
I imagine so.

NORMAN
It’s not as expensive as you’d think.
Cheap, really. Needles, thread,
sawdust .. the chemicals are all
that cost anything.
(He goes quiet, looks
disturbed)

MARY
A man should have a hobby.

NORMAN
It’s more than a hobby… sometimes…
a hobby is supposed to pass the time,
not fill it.

When you are preparing to take your HOBBIES photo, meditate on an activity that passes the time, but doesn’t fill it.

Then send me you submission(s) by 11 AM next Monday. Remember, while I might consider you FAMILY, the picture has to be taken between 12:01 PM today and 11 AM next Monday. This isn’t a curate your photos project. This is a get your butt off the couch (unless you are taking your picture from the couch) and take pictures challenge.

You can send your images to either bennett@photography139.com OR you may text them to my Pixel 5.

That is all I got, so if the good Lord’s willin’ and the creek don’t rise, we will all be sharing our idea of HOBBIES in this place that passes the time next Monday.

Alexis Prego Uno

A couple months back I met Alexis at McFarland Park to take some pictures of her shortly before she gave birth to Anela. While 2020 was a cesspool of terrible, I did add two great-nieces to my family. In Anela and Dahlia. Here is the first collection of Alexis pregnancy pictures:


Alexis Pregnant with Anela

Alexis Pregnant with Anela

Alexis Pregnant with Anela

Alexis Pregnant with Anela

Alexis Pregnant with Anela

Alexis Pregnant with Anela

Alexis Pregnant with Anela

Alexis Pregnant with Anela

Alexis Pregnant with Anela

Alexis Pregnant with Anela

Alexis Pregnant with Anela

Alexis Pregnant with Anela

Alexis Pregnant with Anela

Alexis Pregnant with Anela

Alexis Pregnant with Anela

Alexis Pregnant with Anela

Alexis Pregnant with Anela

Alexis Pregnant with Anela

Alexis Pregnant with Anela

Alexis Pregnant with Anela

Alexis Pregnant with Anela

Alexis Pregnant with Anela

Alexis Pregnant with Anela

Alexis Pregnant with Anela

Alexis Pregnant with Anela

Alexis Pregnant with Anela

Alexis Pregnant with Anela

Alexis Pregnant with Anela

Alexis Pregnant with Anela

Alexis Pregnant with Anela

Alexis Pregnant with Anela

As always, with my luck with portraits, the lighting was brutal, but yet I feel still like we did some good work. There is more of pregnant Alexis on the way. Kupono and Kanoa will even show up eventually.