Category Archives: Dad

A Photo Journal – Henry Carroll – Page 68

The journey to taking the picture for Page 68 of THE PHOTO JOURNAL PROJECT is one that came completely out of nowhere. I certainly didn’t see it coming. I don’t think anybody saw it coming.

It all started when I got home from Youth Group a couple weeks back and saw a bunch of text messages on my phone from Logan. It had been a fascinating night at Youth Group. Pastor Doug came and talked to the youth about the multi-million dollar public relations disaster for the United Methodist Church that was the Saint Louis Conference.

If you aren’t Methodist or don’t follow the news, the Saint Louis Conference was a conference where a bunch of Methodists got together to decide what to do about homosexuality. Just like Jesus wanted. People getting together in big meetings, with a ton of parliamentary rules, to discuss a topic he wouldn’t care about.

He’d be like, “You guys do that. I’m just going to be over here loving people. You might want to think about joining me.”

I have no doubt that Jesus would be throwing all sorts of shade at the modern church. Not just the Methodist Church, but all the pedo-church down the street and the church across town that makes divorcees second class members and the church out in the country that spends a fortune on having a beautiful building but turns it back on the suffering widow and the starving child.

Borrowing from Carlos A. Rodriguez:

Here’s what Jesus did NOT say:

Welcome the stranger, if he has money.
Feed the hungry, who earned the food.
Love your neighbor, when it’s good for the economy.
Give water to the thirsty, once they pay their dues.

Rule. Don’t server.
Be first. Not last.
Take and keep taking.

OR

Borrowing from Barbara Brown Taylor:

The only clear line I draw these days is this: when my religion tries to come between me and m neighbor, I will choose my neighbor… Jesus never commanded me to love my religion.

Remember, 100% of the people you hate were created in God’s image.

There were basically two plans on the table. (That isn’t 100% accurate, but you don’t want to be here all day do you?) One plan was called the Traditional Plan and it was basically, “Hey we’re going to take a couple verses in Leviticus out of context and then forget about literally almost everything Jesus said and pretty much make that our thing. You cool with that? If you don’t agree and step out of line, we’re going to hit you with a bunch of punishments.”

This was put forward by the super conservative churches that our drawn to Christianity because they think it is a way they get to judge other people. Which I get, judging other people makes you feel really good about yourself without having to earn that feeling. It is almost like found money.

My understanding is that this super bigoted plan was put forth by these conservative churches with the intention that it would never pass. Then they could cry foul, take their ball and go home. Their ball being that they could break off from the rest of the Methodists and have their Klan lite meetings without anybody bothering them.

The other plan was the One Church Plan. It basically said, “Hey guys, we aren’t all going to agree on this one issue, but this whole Jesus thing is a whole lot bigger than one issue. So let’s let each church and Pastor do their own thing. If officiating gay weddings is your bag, we dig it, go do it. If it isn’t, that’s like super judgmental, but we won’t force it on you.”

Well, the Traditional Plan passed. So yeah. Sucks to be a Methodist.

But the news isn’t all bad. The Traditional Plan is super unconstitutional (because of a bunch of super boring technical financial issues) and has been sent to the Methodist Judicial Council where it will crash to the ground faster than a Boeing 737 Max 8.

Now the youths weren’t being super talkative. So I had all the people in the room that wear glasses stand on one side of the room and told them for the purpose of this exercise, what would they do if I told them that they were only allowed to come back to Youth Group if they gave up their glasses wearing lifestyle.

Many of them threw their glasses off. They said, they would be willing to cover up who they were to keep coming to Youth Group and that made sad. I dare say melancholy.

Now this exercise was I’m sure was subconsciously based on the C.S. Lewis quote:

“I believe in Christ, like I believe in the sun – not because I see it, but by it I can see everything else.”

But then something that will go on the list of my favorite things that I have ever seen with the youth group happened when two of the youths told me that what they would do if they were kicked out of Youth Group for living a practicing eye glass wearing lifestyle. They said that they would build a giant pair of glasses and put it on the church building.

They were being probably about 40% facetious and another 40% punk, but I thought: “My God! These kids have created the perfect metaphor for the situation we are in.”

Much of the rest of the night’s conversation surrounded the gender fluid and transsexual kids that they knew and ways that they can be their allies in what is probably the worst roughest part of life. High School.

The conversation lasted well past the time we are supposed to close up shop. I feel that is was a successful night.

When I got home it was then that I saw all the text messages from Logan. They were pictures of old doors. One had my Dad’s name and my Uncle David’s name on it. The other had artwork drawn on it, by my Dad. I had never seen these doors. I didn’t know they existed.

My Dad passed away two days before Christmas when I was nine years old. My Uncle David passed away before I was born. This artwork had to date back to the early 1960s.

Logan is the someday to be Pulitzer Prize winning editor of the Boone News Republican. For reasons that aren’t clear, but also aren’t important, his job landed him at Paradox. I think the best way to describe Paradox is that it is an art and antique and craft store. Yes, Boone has a ton of them. But Paradox is different. The kind of things they sell in there are strange. Maybe even a little twisted. Basically, not the type of thing you’d expect to see in Boone.

Somehow Logan got a tour of the entire building that Paradox owns. It used to be Ensley Photography Studio, but right now it is being rehabbed into something entirely different.

On the second floor of the building there is an old vaudeville stage. In this area, there is a door. On the window are the names Gerald D. Bennett and John D. Bennett. In a pile of doors off to the side is a door that is the work of Doc Bennett.

From talking to my Mom, Logan figured out that this building used to be apartments. My Dad lived there after divorcing his first wife. Uncle David lived there with his first wife. This was in the early 60s. They were still there almost 60 years later.

I told Logan that I needed to see these doors and to see if they would sell one of them to me. Logan went back and setup an appointment to get a tour again on that Saturday.

It was on this tour that I took the picture for Page 68 of the PHOTO JOURNAL PROJECT:


Photo Journal - Page 68
Page 68 – Let a window do all the talking.

Now the actual purpose of Page 68 in THE PHOTO JOURNAL PROJECT isn’t to find a window with artwork on it. It is actually to put a subject next to a window and take their picture lit by the light coming through the window.

However, when the wording is “Let a window do all the talking”, you better believe that I haven’t had a window talk to me like that window talked to me.

Here are a few other pictures I took of artwork, some of it kind of creepy, that I absolutely can’t believe are still there 60 years later:


Photo Journal - Page 68

Photo Journal - Page 68

Photo Journal - Page 68

Photo Journal - Page 68

After the tour I did inquire about buying the door from the husband and wife team that owns Paradox. They said, that they would have to think about it, but they thought that they would. I gave them one of my super fancy Photography 139 business cards so that they could contact me. I haven’t heard from them yet, so I may have to go back in and inquire again.

The next time we check into the PHOTO JOURNAL PROJECT, we will look at Page 90.

+++++++

This is your reminder that this week’s theme for the WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE is FAVORITE COLOR:


WEEK 187 - FAVORITE COLOR
FAVORITE COLOR

A FAVORITE COLOR photo is any photo that involves your FAVORITE COLOR.

Happy photo harvesting!

11-23-08 & 11-25-08

The grand majority of the pictures from this blog are from the folder 11-23-08, but there is one picture from the folder 11-25-08.

The pictures in the folder 11-23-08 are from when Sara, Jay, and I went to see Willy and his friend Kristy run in the Turkey Trot at Living History Farms.

The Turkey Trot is a cross country race ran in November when conditions are often quite cold and muddy and snowy or rainy.

I don’t think Willy has ran this race since then, which kind of disappoints me.

An observant person might be able to pick out Annie Buchmiller in these pictures:


Turkey Trot - 2008

Turkey Trot - 2008

Turkey Trot - 2008

Turkey Trot - 2008

Turkey Trot - 2008

Turkey Trot - 2008

Turkey Trot - 2008

Turkey Trot - 2008

Turkey Trot - 2008

Turkey Trot - 2008

Turkey Trot - 2008

Turkey Trot - 2008

Turkey Trot - 2008

Turkey Trot - 2008

Turkey Trot - 2008

Turkey Trot - 2008

Turkey Trot - 2008

Turkey Trot - 2008

Turkey Trot - 2008

Turkey Trot - 2008

Turkey Trot - 2008

Turkey Trot - 2008

Turkey Trot - 2008

Turkey Trot - 2008

Turkey Trot - 2008

Turkey Trot - 2008

Turkey Trot - 2008

Turkey Trot - 2008

Turkey Trot - 2008

Turkey Trot - 2008

Turkey Trot - 2008

Cribbage

The cribbage board was made by my Dad. To this day, I still don’t actually know how to play cribbage, however, by posting this picture back in the day, I got one of my favorite comments on a blog post:

Well, that’s a pretty cool design, but REAL cribbage only goes to 121 points… your board there goes to 133. Not a standard cribbage board but lots of points for originality!

Cheers,
Joe – Cribbaholics Unanimous: http://www.cribblog.blogspot.com

Thanks Joe! from Cribbaholics. I hope you are doing well to this day.

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:

The Turkey Trot

The Real Real

Next Saturday’s walk down memory lane will be a bit complicated, but it will involve a fundraiser at the Roland American Legion, some United Way Stuff, and hats.

Mill Creek Stone Bridge

As the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest polling was drawing closer, I felt that I should go out and take one more picture for the Hidden Boone County Treasures.

I knew I wanted to take a picture of the Mill Creek Stone Bridge. It is located near what was once The Kate Shelley Museum. I suppose that it probably still is The Kate Shelley Museum, but I can’t imagine a day in the future where it is open again.

The Boone Historical Society has become something of a town embarrassment I’m told. Which makes me sad because I grew up somewhat in its shadow. On one of the bookshelves (humble brag, I know how to read) in my bedroom I still have an extensive collection of Trail Tales from the 80s. A magazine put out by the Boone Historical Society. My Dad was a frequent contributor.

From what I know of the debacle, The Boone Historical Society recently decided to close down the Mamie Eisenhower Birthplace. The director had a whiz-bang plan of turning it into a bed & breakfast. Which if you’ve ever been inside the house, you would know is a pretty terrible idea.

This raised the dander of the former members of a separate historical society that used to run the Eisenhower Birthplace because they sold the house to the Boone Historical Society for a $1.

Apparently meetings got pretty heated. Enough so, and for no apparent reason, they started having armed guards at them. Whenever guns get involved, you know it has gotten stupid.

The city and the county started withholding their funding for the Historical Society.

The Historical Society then sent out some kind of pledge to its members asking them to pledge to “stop talk so much trash about us” in the social media world. I’m sure that worked really well for them. Because telling people to “stop talking about how bad we are at our jobs because it makes us look bad at our jobs” seems like a sound strategy. Seems like something Donnie Moscow would try to do. A pledge my Mom refused to sign.

It recently came to a head, where due to lack of funding, the Historical Society had to terminate its director, administrative assistant, and cleaning crew. They also announced that they will have to put the Eisenhower Birthplace on the market.

I don’t know what the future of the Boone County Historical Society holds, but I imagine a major re-direction is on the horizon. Hopefully maybe some day they will put some work into the Kate Shelley Museum.

So under that cloud, I sojourned out to Moingona to photograph one of the more interesting abandoned train bridges in Boone County. Here are some of those images:


Mill Creek Stone Bridge

Mill Creek Stone Bridge

Mill Creek Stone Bridge

Mill Creek Stone Bridge

Mill Creek Stone Bridge

Mill Creek Stone Bridge

Mill Creek Stone Bridge

Mill Creek Stone Bridge

Mill Creek Stone Bridge

Mill Creek Stone Bridge

Mill Creek Stone Bridge

Mill Creek Stone Bridge

Mill Creek Stone Bridge

Mill Creek Stone Bridge

Mill Creek Stone Bridge

Mill Creek Stone Bridge

Since we talkin’ trains. Reminder that Pufferbilly Days starts on the morrow. You can see the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest in the window of the KWBG building. 9th and Keeler.

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:


Graceland

Graceland

Graceland

Graceland

Graceland

Graceland

Graceland

Graceland

Graceland

Graceland

Graceland

Graceland

Graceland

Graceland

Graceland

Graceland

Graceland

Graceland

Graceland

Graceland

Graceland

Graceland

Graceland

Graceland

Graceland

Graceland

Graceland

Graceland

Graceland

Graceland

Graceland

Graceland

Graceland

Graceland

Graceland

Graceland

Graceland

Graceland

Graceland

Graceland

Graceland

Graceland

Graceland

Graceland

Graceland

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:


Alternate - Ruins

Alternate - Ruins

Alternate - Ruins

Alternate - Ruins

Alternate - Ruins

Alternate - Ruins

Alternate - Ruins

Alternate - Ruins

Alternate - Ruins

Alternate - Ruins

Alternate - Ruins

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:


Boone County Fair - 2017
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:


LOSER - NATURE

LOSER - NATURE

LOSER - NATURE

LOSER - NATURE

LOSER - NATURE

LOSER - NATURE

LOSER - NATURE

LOSER - NATURE

LOSER - NATURE

LOSER - NATURE

LOSER - NATURE

LOSER - NATURE

LOSER - NATURE

LOSER - NATURE

LOSER - NATURE

LOSER - NATURE

LOSER - NATURE

LOSER - NATURE

LOSER - NATURE

LOSER - NATURE

LOSER - NATURE

LOSER - NATURE

LOSER - NATURE

LOSER - NATURE

LOSER - NATURE

LOSER - NATURE

LOSER - NATURE

LOSER - NATURE

LOSER - NATURE

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.