Thursday, January 31, 2008

Timbuctoo, Ca. A Gold Rush Town.

Many think Timbuctoo was just an old make believe place.

It was a real town of over 1000 people in the last half of the 19th century.

Located a little west of Grass Valley, Ca. on Hwy 20, it was a bustling mining town with it's share of saloons and brothels until the mining played out.

It had a Wells Fargo Office (see pictures) and I imagine much gold passed through it's heavy iron doors.

I was stationed at Beale Air Force Base which is a few miles west of Timbuctoo and met Madeline at her near by home town of Nevada City, Ca.

We went through Timbuctoo many times until I was discharged in Sept. 1955.

We took these pictures in Aug. 1955. The building was gone when we went through there a few years back.

The building is the Wells Fargo Bdlg and the sign is between the iron doors.

We are sitting on a bench in front of the bldg. Gosh, we were young then.

Monday, January 28, 2008

US Route 66 Remembered

NO...That isn't us in the picture....:-)

Memories Memories Memories
I remember in November 1956, Madeline and I along with our 5 month old first born daughter took our first trip on Route 66 to California. We had driven the northern route over the mountains from California after my discharge from the Army a year before. We decided to take the southern route this time since cold weather was approaching

We loaded everything we had into our 1951 ford, said our goodbyes, and hit the road.
We traveled through Mississippi, Louisiana. and the everlasting state of Texas until we met up with Route 66 in Amarillo.

All roads were two lane at that time and trucks in front of you were always slow, especially uphill. Passing was like Russian roulette at times.

We were so young at that time, that we didn't see the real beauty of what nature had to offer.
Our main objective was to get to her parents home in Northern California.

Instead of enjoying the small towns, we thought they were just slowing us down.
We saw the desert sights as waste lands without seeing their real beauty.

Some of the signs and billboards were entertaining and actually got our mouths to watering for that special treat only 192 miles ahead. Every few miles another sign, only 145 more miles etc.
We were usually disappointed when we arrived because nothing could be as great as the advertising that tempted us.

We lived in California a few years before moving back to Alabama.
We made that trip a few times, but with each trip more of Route 66 was displaced with the Interstate Highway.
The small towns were by-passed on the most part, and some died.

A few sections of the old route are still there and a few years back we traveled those we found.
Some groups have been preserving what they can of this unique roadway.

We are at an age now that we can truly love and respect the beauty of Mother Nature's work.

I would love to make one more trip and spend more time enjoying every mile and every sight.
If you haven't seen the southwest, especially New Mexico, Arizona and Utah, you haven't enjoyed America to the fullest.

ROUTE 66 Lyrics

Well if you ever plan to motor west

Just take my way that's the highway that's the best

Get your kicks on Route 66

Well it winds from Chicago to L.A.

More than 2000 miles all the way

Get your kicks on Route 66

Well goes from St. Louie down to Missouri

Oklahoma City looks oh so pretty

You'll see Amarillo and Gallup, New Mexico Flagstaff, Arizona

don't forget Winona Kingman, Barstow, San Bernadino

Would you get hip to this kindly tip

And go take that California trip

Get your kicks on Route 66

Well goes from St. Louie down to Missouri

Oklahoma city looks oh so pretty

You'll see Amarillo and Gallup, New Mexico Flagstaff, Arizona

don't forget Winona Kingman, Barstow, San Bernadino

Would you get hip to this kindly tip

And go take that California trip

Get your kicks on Route 66

Friday, January 18, 2008

Adam Won

As I predicted last year, when he came in second, our grandson Adam won this year's area IV District Spelling Bee today.
He had won his school spelling bee a while back.
Ten schools participated in today's event and he was still standing at the end.
He now advances to the Jefferson County Spelling Bee to be held in the near future.
He is busy studying for it and looking forward to the challenge.
Mamaw and Pawpaw are proud as usual of Adam and I'm sure he will do his best.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Reminiscing Again

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity . . .
Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities.

Those lines echo most of my first two decades of life.
Having been born during the depression and living through the Second world War, I saw the worst of times.
The wars end and the memorial fifties stand out in my mind as the best of times.
Every once in a while something triggers my memory of those years and it's as if they weren't that far in the past.
That trigger went off yesterday as I was exploring a link from a blog, (Wandering The Web) see link on left
It was about Birmingham's past called Birmingham Rebound.

I suppose you would have had to live in those days to truly appreciate the life we experienced.

Who could forget the Polar Bear Spinning Wheel in Wahouma? (See Picture above)

I remember the Theaters in downtown Birmingham as if it was still yesterday. We had the Capitol, Galax, Strand, Melba, Empire, Lyric, Ritz, and the greatest of all, the Alabama.

The kids had their choice for the huge sum of ten cents. The adults, over twelve, had to fork over 25 cents. Some of us stretched another year before we were forced to pay that extra 15 cents. Heck, that cost us a coke, popcorn, and a candy bar.

Every neighborhood and small town had their own theater and most of us went every Saturday and maybe one other day.

When we started dating, the theater was usually the choice of destination. They had ushers back then who watched out for any "hanky panky". No "smooching" was allowed or you would get the flashlight on you. Oh, those were the days.

Some of the old pictures on that site brought back vivid memories of what Birmingham used to be like. I remember the 5 & dime stores clustered around 19th street North. There were Newberrys. Silvers, Grants, Woolworth and Kress. You could Christmas shop for your entire family for a dollar or two.

It cost 7 cents to ride the streetcar to town and most transfers were free if you wanted to go to other places. I could ride the streetcar both ways, go in the Downtowner Restaurant and eat 2 hot dogs and a chocolate drink, go to a movie and buy a coke and pop corn all for 49 cents.

Where did the years go?...Karl...