Thursday, August 30, 2012

I have never...

 
 taken a picture with my telephone.

twittered or tweeted or whatever it’s called.

TM’ed via telephone.

found my way with a GPS.

had an fb account.

used an iPad, iPhone, or iAnything.

owned an iPig. Seriously, I saw one today. What the oink!?

downloaded or listened to music on an mp3.
 
walked through a big-box store with a Blue Tooth gadget in my ear.

ordered a Frappuccino or any other coffeeccino drink.

owned a Chevrolet vehicle. (I used this one once in a game of “I have never...” I was not believed, but it is true.)

sent an email that ends with “Sent from my Blackberry.”

bought anything promoted on an infomercial or a late night “But wait!” advert.

been happier about anything else.
 
What have you never done that "everyone else" seems to be doing?

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Riding the Toronado Again

 

The following is a re-posting of a vignette from the "Loonville" series which I shared over a period of several weeks in 2010.  Patience, please.  I may come up with something new eventually.  Meanwhile, I hope you enjoy my ride again.

Wilbur was the local auctioneer and real estate agent. One might say he had his finger on the pulse of the community. Well, except that he was using his fingers to count the money that flowed into his coffers. In short, he engaged in many enterprises.

Wilbur, known by all as "WT" always wore a white felt Stetson, always, winter and summer, spring and fall. Notwithstanding that he might be described as "portly" he dressed meticulously, was never wrinkled or spotted, and the wide ties he chose were first-cousin to the ascot.

In 1966, Oldsmobile Division of General Motors introduced a huge, heavy but sporty vehicle called "Toronado". This 5000 pound behemoth was powered by a 425 ci quadrijet carbed V-8. It was the first American-built front-wheel drive automobile produced since the demise of the Cord in 1937. WT was one of the first proud owners of a Toronado.

One sultry evening, humidity-laden air hanging heavily over the village as WT and I were standing at the curb following a Lions' meeting, I remarked that that was a beautiful wheel he was tooling around in these days. As he lovingly caressed a front fender, he went into a rhapsody of superlatives, praising his machine to the heavens. "Oh, man!" he said, "Get in; you gotta feel it." I got into the passenger seat, not really expecting to get the ride of my life. But I did. We had a seldom-used airport a mile west of town, fully equipped with a thousand-yard concrete runway. We were there in a minute and I was already semi-terrified. WT wheeled onto the runway and ripped off about a quarter mile, hit the brakes and spun a 180, hitting the accelerator again, we were seven seconds later in dead decelerating mode as he stood on the brake pedal to avoid flying through the fence onto the highway. Back down the runway at about 40, he spun the wheel to the left and shot onto the access apron. As he stopped he enthused, "Oh, man. How d'ya like that military turn?" Not so much, but I didn't say so.

© 2010 David W. Lacy

To read all the Loonville Vignette posts, click here, then scroll down to July 5 post.  This is the first in the series.  Scroll up the page sequentially to read all twenty clips.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Hyperthymesia and Little Notebooks

Mulling over ideas for a post, this popped into my consciousness:  What was I doing twenty years ago today?

As it happens, it is not outside the realm of possibility that I can answer the question, not because I have a memory like Marilu Henner, or the Poppy Montgomery character in "Unforgettable."  Nor is it because today commemorates a landmark event in history about which we all remark, "I remember exactly where I was when..."  JFK was shot, Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, or the Twin Towers fell, for example.  No, it is because for several of the years in my distant past I kept a journal, or more accurately a very abbreviated set of notations logging my activities,  necessarily very brief in nature, because I kept this log in a vest-pocket "Scully" day planner, a booklet a mere 2.75" x 4.375" in size, each pair of pages representing a week, one day on each quarter page with a monthly calendar in the remaining quarter page.

I went to the bureau drawer where these mostly-neglected booklets lie undisturbed most of the time.  I pulled out the one with "1992" embossed in modest gold numbers on the front cover and turned to August 27.  Are you ready for the excitement?  Here goes!

"27 Thursday  Fished briefly.  Rained all day.  Read mostly.  Bill Mauldin's The Brass Ring."
Not much, but it tells me more than you see.   "Fishing" tells me we were at our lake place, and "briefly" tells me I fished from the pier, not from the boat.  "Rained all day" evokes the sound of the rainfall on the screened porch roof, under which I was sitting as I "read mostly."  The notation of author's name and title tells me that I finished the book, for that is how I signalled completion.
"28 Friday Left Secrist 8:45- arr Tipton 10:25  Green beans!  Tomatoes!  Squash.  Picked. Canned applesauce, green beans.  Supper @ Shack.
 100 minutes to make the 85 mile drive.  Immediately into the garden to harvest produce, then to the kitchen for processing and canning.  Went out to Pizza Shack.  Probably had the salad bar, blue cheese dressing (this would have been before I figured out that that was what was giving me heartburn, not the spaghetti or pizza) and the spaghetti.

Without more quotes, we spent all day Saturday canning. Sunday went to church, played nine holes of golf, and had a visit from son and d.i.l with their five month-old daughter in the evening.  Monday mowed mother's yard and our yard, had a round of golf in which, highly unusual, my score was one stroke better than was the spouse's!  Made apple butter and finished Michener's The Novel.

You get the idea.  I have many of these booklets, covering several years, but I have not done this for a long time now.  Not living a life of "quiet desperation" either then or now.

It's a great life!  I just don't "recall" it as well as I once did.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Lord, Forgive Me

The clerk was a lady of fifty-something.  The item was seventeen dollars, plus tax at seven per cent.  While she used the calculator to figure the tax, I said, "Eighteen dollars and nineteen cents."  She finished her computation and said, "You're good."  Chuckling, I said, "I've done a lot of arithmetic."
Then I handed her a twenty dollar bill and twenty cents in coin.   I am not making this up.  She used the calculator to figure my change.

Had she been a girl of seventeen, or even a young woman in her twenties there would have been no surprise; but even fifty-year olds are young enough to have been raised in the totally-electronic-commit-nothing-to-memory age?  Guess so.  Oh, wait.  They have to remember how to punch the buttons on the machine, don't they?

I am trying to find a Sunday School lesson in here someplace, and as I prayerfully pondered the implications of this,  I arrived at this conclusion.

I am entirely too critical.  The woman was merely doing her job, and doing it, no doubt, within the framework of her training.  We completed the deal, I got my product and she got the company's   money.  So in what way was she lacking?  She was competent (able to work the machinery) and pleasant (she smiled as she handed me my penny and the two one dollar bills.)  If there is a fault here, and there is, it was not hers.

Jesus said, " Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.  This is the first and great commandment, and the second is like unto it.  Love thy neighbor as thyself."*

One cannot maintain a loving spirit toward his fellow-man if he harbors a critical spirit which picks at every little perceived short-coming.

Oh, Lord, forgive me for my critical attitude and teach me love and caring for others.  Make a change in me.  Amen

*Matthew 22:37-39

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Walter Crawford Kelly, Jr.

Very early in the life of String Too Short to Tie I posted this tribute to Walt Kelly as a part of the series "Philosophers I Admire.".  Today is the 99th anniversary of his birth.  So, slightly reworked, I present this again in his honor.

It was during my sophomore year of college that I was introduced to Walt Kelly by Pogo. Kelly quickly became one of my heroes. Why? 1) Kelly is the greatest artist that ever drew a comical strip; 2) He had the keenest and most incisive insight into the way the world works and; 3) if you didn't "get it" at once, it would creep up on you and slam you into the swampwater.

Pogo, of course, was the philosopher of the Okeefenokee, but without his foils, Albert, Churchy and Howland, his ruminations and observations could never have been delivered to a needy world.
These regulars were assisted by a huge cast of characters drawn from Kelly's fertile mind as the need arose. Even the bugs made significant contributions to our edification.

Probably the most famous Walt Kelly quote, as delivered by Pogo, is "We have met the enemy, and he is us." But there are quote-worthy snippets in most every presentation as the critters go about lampooning human behavior and lancing the sores on our society.

A ferocious feline tells Mouse, "It ain't that your majority is outnumbered, Mouse. You're just out-surrounded." or, Pogo again,

"Some is more equal than others, as is well known." or one of my personal favorites,

Pogo: "But how about if the one guy is right an' the 10,000 is wrong."

Though it is not the Christmas season, in honor of Mr. Kelly let us all join the Perloo Society in a verse of "Deck Us All With Boston Charlie" (to be sung to the tune of, well you know.)

Deck us all with Boston Charlie,

Walla Walla, Wash..an' Kalamazoo!

Nora's freezin' on the trolley,

Swaller dollar cauliflower

Alleygaroo!

Don't we know archaic barrel,

Lullaby Lilla Boy,

Louisville Lou.

Trolly Molly don't love Harold,

Boola boola Pensacoola

Hullabaloo!

Mr. Kelly quoted his father as having said, "Language is the worst means of communincation known to man. Pictures and good luck will get you anywhere."

WALT KELLY  August 25, 1913 – October 18, 1973 RIP

Friday, August 24, 2012

Ghost Signs

A couple of weeks ago I posted this picture in conjunction with my report on an outing which included a visit to Peru.  I had spotted this sign and had to stop to snap the picture.  I keep my eye peeled for these as they are becoming quite rare with the passing of time, the razing of buildings, and the painting over that comes with "updating."  Jim whose blog is "Down the Road"  commented on the photo and referred to this as a "ghost sign," a term I did not know.
 
 
This sign is in downtown Tipton, right at the intersection  of the two principal streets.  But you'd have to know where to look if you hoped to find it.  I took a photo of this wall probably twenty-five years ago.  The colors were much more vivid then, as I recall.  A few more years and it may no longer be legible.

Five years ago we were in Cripple Creek where I shot these signs.  This Pittsburgh Saloon-Baxter's Cigar sign is my favorite.

It is evident that I did not take sufficient efforts to get a good picture of the Owl sign.  I should have found someone who would have admitted me to a second floor opposite where I might actually have seen the sign. I mean the rest of it.

Quite obviously, cigars were a big deal in Cripple Creek back in the day!  The five-cent variety must have been quite popular.  Or the most affordable.

Which reminds me of Indiana's own one-time governor and later vice-president, Thomas Marshall, who said, "What this country needs is a good five-cent cigar."  Apparently none of these would have passed muster with Mr. Marshall.*

As recently as my own earlier adulthood, one could buy Swisher Sweets for a nickel.  I worked with a guy who used them.  I think they should not have passed muster with anyone, but there was a clientele.
 
*The comment was not original with Mr. Marshall, nor did he claim it to be.  It appeared in print as early as 1875.  Marshall may have picked it up from reading Kin Hubbard, of whom he was a fan, according to Jeffrey Graf, Indiana University Library.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Sunday Post on Tuesday


Sylvia and Chuck's church is just one mile down their Secondary Road.  So Sunday morning we went down that road and met a number of very friendly and interesting people.  One elderly lady (meaning someone of my age) revealed that she had a sister who lived in Marion.  I told her we had a daughter and a grandson in Marion.  Turns out her sister attends the same church the grandson and his wife attend.
Interesting conversation with the Pastor as we sipped coffee before the service.  Though he had never met him, he knew who my father was.  Pastor Mark's first charge was in Pennville, Indiana, a village where I had applied for a teaching job over fifty years ago, which is to say we shared some geography, for he had lived in Eaton, I in Muncie.  Well, at different times; Mark is a generation younger than I.

The Sunday School lesson revolved around the death of King Saul, a topic I had dealt with briefly on the blog this past winter.  Fascinating discussion.

Pastor Mark's sermon was titled "Heaven: A Gated Community."  He read John's description of heaven as recorded in the Revelation.  He pointed out that we are given very little about heaven by way of description.  He posed the question, Why are we given such sketchy information?  His answer was this, which I found interesting.  We are told so little lest we make an idol of heaven and worship it instead of focusing our worship on God.

Conclusion: Wherever God is is Heaven.  We are not concerned about the architecture of Heaven when we are in the presence of God!

Following the service, we had our farewell luncheon with our hosts at the local Chinese eatery.  Very tasty comestibles, followed by an easy and uneventful drive home.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Pallies' Palaver


 From three different points of the compass three bloggers drove certain distances to join the fourth member of this quartet in his beautiful corner of the world.
Our Blogfest began with a really great picnic in the park along with the members of Sylvia's ham radio club.  From the park we adjourned to the home of Chuck and Sylvia for much talk and a great good time!

David (vanilla), with BBBH, came from Perfect to the south, Joan (Sharkey) came from the shores of the Great Lake, and Lin with her husband, Joe, came from Weirdville in the west.  Chuck and his wife, Sylvia, hosted the event.

The four of us have been reading one another's blogs for about three years, but none of us had met in person.  Lin was the sparkplug who got the ball rolling, Chuck and Sylvia jumped right in with the invitation to their digs, and vanilla and Shark were just as excited as they about the prospects of meeting.  So it was.

And this begs the question, were these people anything like you had imagined from reading them?  In a word, yes.  Our visit together made it clear to me that these are real people who in no way misrepresent themselves via their blogging efforts.  They are every bit as interesting, and more so, as they are on the pages of the internet.

The fact that the spouses helped make this happen is a testimony to their devotion to their mates, and to their patience with the bloggy pastime they have chosen.

The disappointments were few but here they are.  Lin and Joe did not bring Em or Colin with them, nor did they bring Hobbes and Grace.  Om was unable to attend with Sharkey; and the hours flew by all too swiftly!

Notwithstanding that Chuck and Sylvia  had fenced their beautiful and abundantly productive garden, ostensibly to keep the deer away, the fence nevertheless did not keep my dear out.  She hopped the fence and immediately started raiding from the bounty!

It was a weekend long to be remembered and cherished.  Thanks to you all who made this a special time, and especially thanks to Chuck and Sylvia for their hospitality.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Camping, 21st Century Style

Probably if you are old enough to remember when "camping" meant getting away from it all you are in the same age range I'm in.  Over the years we traded our fire-building skills for gas grills.  We exchanged our tents and sleeping bags for RVs and the campgrounds installed electrical outlets.  Thus we take our microwaves and our television sets and our satellite dishes.

Much more recently, we have taken to taking our telephones because we take them everywhere.  Some of us remember when one of the principal joys of camping was to be disconnected from the workaday world we normally occupy.  Now we even take that with us.

I am amused at the old folk with whom we camp, for the first thing they do upon arrival at the campground is to open the phone to see how many, if any, bars they have.  Oh, the agony of  "no service!"  At Mississinewa where we most recently camped, the Verizon customers are all in a panic because they can't call Susie or Ned.  On more than one occasion I have loaned my AT&T phone to someone so they can call home.   To what depths have we fallen?  We don't even know the meaning of getting away, finding some solitude, or communing with nature.

And now we want our wifi connection so that we may continue to be connected to the interwebs.  Yes, I am one of those.  And in at least two of our state parks (there may be others) wifi access is available now.

Camping?  Why the heck don't we just stay home and save the lugging of all our possessions with us everywhere we go?  Well, it is the camaraderie with all those pacing around, pulling their hair because they can't make a phone call.

Got any bars?  (Did you ever watch a seventy-four year old man climb on top of his RV in hopes of getting that elusive or non-existent signal?)

Friday, August 17, 2012

CCF Meets at Mississinewa

 When I wrote that we were going to be disconnected from the world for a time, I did not realize that since our last visit the entire park at Mississinewa Recreation Area has been wired for wifi and thus I was able to make a couple of posts while we were there.
 
 It will not surprise you that we found plenty of time to partake of good food.  Early and often, as it is sometimes said of voting.

 I showed you yesterday a bit of our visit to the circus museum.  While we were in downtown Peru I saw this old ad on the side of a building.  I "collect" these, and they are becoming quite scarce as buildings are razed or walls are painted over.  You may be able to tell that this was originally a Mail Pouch ad which was painted over to advertise Jacob Opp's Saloon.

 
Along the Mississinewa River east of Peru there is a steep escarpment going down to the stream.  This area is called "Seven Pillars" for the river has carved pillars into the base of the cliff.  We did not go down to the bottom to look at it, but there is this break in the surface where one can look down to the river and see one of the pillars.  It is there just to the left of the greenery, not so impressive in the picture, but in 3-D it is quite interesting.  (That pillar is a long way down from where I was standing.)


This was how we spent Monday evening.  It rained all night, but cleared by five in the morning and the rest of the entire outing was beautiful.
BBBH refused to allow a little rain to dampen her enthusiasm for fireside fun.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Faded Glory


Many circuses had their own trains.

The elephant barn is now a museum.

There remain two elephants on the grounds.

The boys check out the ride.

The circus parade.

We drove five or six miles from the park to the site of the Circus Museum.  I am not now nor have I ever been a big fan of the circus.  But I was happy to go along with the youngsters for the ride.  Clearly much effort went into the collecting of artifacts and building the displays in this museum, but it is also clear that the popularity of the attraction has waned and little attention seems to be given to the facility.  We found three people and two elephants on the grounds.  There was an elderly gentleman in the office who was more than willing to take our admission fee.  He told us to drive on down, look around, stay away from the animals, and ask him anything when we finished our tour.  We followed the first three directions and skipped the fourth.  There were two men working around old junk, perhaps engaged in attempting to restore a wagon.  The interior of the facility was all ours.

In addition to posters, costumes, chariots and so much more, a large section was a circus model builders paradise.  A complete circus with parade, trains, bigtop and performers was underway in HO scale.  It was the most interesting feature of the place.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Foxy Loxy



We took a short drive with the youngsters, about which more later perhaps.  Along the way we observed two yearling deer grazing quite near the road, and a bit later we saw this little fellow.  We followed him along the way for a bit.  He stopped and stared at us, then turned and headed the other direction.  He did not seem unduly alarmed, but rather he seemed to be thinking, "Are you looking at me?"

Monday, August 13, 2012

Disconnected

We will not have internet access for a few days..  Usually when  such a thing occurs, I have several posts in queue for the duration.  That has not happened this time.  You may have noticed that the posting has been erratic recently.  This happens when the juices of creativity stop flowing. 

Maybe I will be rejuvenated by the days in nature's setting, or maybe not.  At any rate, I hope to be back. I hope to have something to write about.  Above all, I hope your days are filled with all the good things you desire and that you will be back here when I get back.


I snapped this picture of the little green guy sitting on a morning glory leaf.  I use this photo as wallpaper for the computers.  Heide asked if the critter has a name.  He doesn't.  What would one name a green grasshopper?

Saturday, August 11, 2012

In the Interest of Literature

The author signs a book for vanilla's granddaughter.

We have had a great week here at Chez Vanilla.  Verla and Elvin arrived Tuesday afternoon; the visiting and "catching up" began.  Wednesday morning we went to Marion for Sis's book signing.  The author and her husband reconnected with old friends, some of whom they had not seen in thirty years.  Of course, there were family members present as well, which gave the event a little of the reunion aura.

Following the event, fifteen of the family members had a leisurely lunch together before everyone departed for the respective homes.  Verla and Elvin returned to our place and stayed until Friday morning.

When, as is typical, a year or more passes between visits with one's siblings, a time together is a treasure.  But maybe, just maybe, we will see them again soon, because we are toying with the idea of a trip to Colorado.  But that is just a maybe.  We shall see.




Child of Desire, by Verla Lacy Powers, Tate Publishing Company.  Also available at Amazon in print or electronic format.




 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Another Wordless Wednesday

Jefferson at Independence
 Southwest corner
 Northwest corner
Northeast corner
Southeast corner

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Mid-summer. Really

August 7.  Today is the mid-point of the season, summer in the northern hemisphere, winter in the southern hemisphere.  I am guessing that the weather will be less severe in the second half of this summer than it was in the first part.  But I am a notoriously lousy prognosticator, so choose your prophets wisely.

I do know that yesterday, Monday, August 6, was one of the most pleasant days one could possibly hope for, weather wise.   BBBH and I rode the scooter around the countryside, simply drinking in the gorgeousness of the day.  Before returning home, we stopped at the supermarket so that Beautiful could pick up a few items in anticipation of visitors who will arrive tomorrow.  I sat outside on the salt bags watching people moving about their business.  It was not always a pretty sight.  Two women, old enough to know better exited the store in their raggedy Daisy Dukes (please stop that), one of them oinking like a sow at the fair, the other giggling uncontrollably at her pal's antics.

Two young men entered the store in their extremely grubby white tanks and filthy camos.  I, looking for the good, excuse this on the grounds that they may have been charged with the responsibility of picking up a few groceries on their way home from work.  I've been there myself.

Orange t-shirt, five foot five, one-ninety, gets the ramp out and lowers the power chair from the back of the van, wheels it around where Mrs Orange t-shirt, also five foot five, one-ninety, boards the chair and the pair enter the market.  They could have been twins, but probably not.

Cuteness in a filmy, summer print dress the hemline of which falls a full five inches above the knee exits the store on four-inch heels.  Nice outfit; but she is quite possibly twenty years past the wearing of it with any real grace.

But just who died and made me the Fashion Officer of the Day?  No one.  Leave the people alone.  I'll never tell them how silly they look.  But please know that the holes in my jeans are quite the fashion statement!




BULLETIN!

Meet the Author



Tomorrow, August 8,  my sister, Verla Lacy Powers, will be signing copies of her novel, Child of Desire, at Midwest Coffee Roasting Company Coffee House, 1621 West Spencer Avenue, Marion, Indiana, from Nine to Eleven in the morning.  That's Spencer Avenue at the Bypass in Marion.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Thank the Lord

The lightning flashed, the thunder crashed;
the rain poured upon the earth.
We are blessed!

And because the wind accompanied the rain, I have a yard full of twigs and branches to pick up.
That's okay; I'll trade a bit of labor for the sweet water.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Percy Bysshe Shelley

Ozymandias 

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed:
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Ozymandias*, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.  --Percy Bysshe Shelley

When I enrolled for my senior year of high school, my counsellor had my schedule all laid out for me.  I told her it was all good, but I was not taking senior English.  She said, "Yes, you are."  And I did.  Miss Lillian Bateman was my teacher.  I addressed her as "Miss Bateman," and she called me "Mr. Lacy, Able Seaman."  To this day, I don't know where that came from, and in truth I prefer not to think about it too much.  I remember a good bit that I learned in that class, from the memorization (required) of a segment of Chaucer's Prologue to The Canterbury Tales  (When that Aprille with his shoures soote, and so on.) to a sincere effort on Miss Bateman's part to teach us the art of writing.

Shelley was one of the "Romantic Poets" we looked at, and I remembered a few things from that study.  I  started this article by quoting "Ozymandias" because it is likely the only poem I remember.  Impressive it is, too, because the truth it contains has been verified in my subsequent studies of the history of the human condition.

Two things I remember about Shelley.  The first is that even as a teenager, it struck me that the man bore a most unlikely name.  "Percy," okay, I have actually met a couple of living people named Percy.  "Bysshe," I have no idea where that came from, and I have never attempted to disabuse myself of my ignorance; but what an odd combination of names with which to go through life.
The second thing I remember is that talented as the man was, he seemed to me to be a rather unsavory character, and he died much too young.

Percy Bysshe Shelley, 4 August 1792 – 8 July 1822

*Miss B took some pains to assure us that the name is pronounced in four syllables, otherwise the meter of the line is spoiled.  Also, I have heard the substitution of "upon" for "on" in the subsequent line, which also ruins the cadence.  The sonneteer knew what he was doing.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Centennial State

August 1, 1876, President Grant signed the Act which officially admitted Colorado to the Union as its thirty-eighth state.

The Colorado Territory was formed in 1861 When Kansas was officially admitted to the Union as a state.  Colorado Territory was created from pieces of the territories of Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico and Utah.  The original boundaries of the Territory are Colorado's boundaries today.  Colorado has no boundaries which are natural features; it is strictly defined by survey.

I am partial to Colorado,  because I am a native Coloradan, though I have not lived there in sixty years.  I was born in Prowers County in the southeastern part of the state.  So close, in fact, to the state line that I barely missed being born in Kansas!  Except for the first five years of my life, I grew up in Colorado, living in Canon City and Colorado Springs.  I graduated Colorado Springs High School, then deserted my native state to roam this vast country we call America.

For natural beauty and diverse scenery, Colorado cannot be topped.  Well, literally, one might say, for the highest point of elevation in the State is Mt. Elbert at 14,440 feet, one of 52 peaks that top 14,000 feet.  But it's lowest point on the High Plains is 3317 feet above sea level, higher than any point in 18 other states!

Colorado is the "Centennial State" for it was admitted 100 years after our Declaration of Independence.

As an eighth grader, I studied Colorado history which was required of all eighth graders.  I found it quite interesting, and I have to this day several books which deal with the history of the territory and the state.  Unrelated factoid: when I sought employment as a teacher in the State of Indiana, it seemed for a bit that my failure to have studied Indiana history was going to block me from the classroom, or I was going to have to take a college-level course to satisfy the requirement.  Some how, thank goodness, I obtained a "special dispensation" and though I have read a good bit of Indiana history over the years, I am one of very few people licensed to teach in Indiana who never officially studied the state history.