Friday, September 30, 2011

USS North Carolina

Happy homecoming anniversary to the USS North Carolina (BB-55).

According to Wikipedia, there have been five ships in the US Navy by the name North Carolina.

FIRST USS NORTH CAROLINA was one of none ships-of-the-line authorized by Congress. A ship-of-the-line was the battleship of its day. Launched 1824 and served through to the end of the Civil War.

The ONLY CSS NORTH CAROLINA, Confederate, served in the Cape Fear River protecting Wilmington, NC. Not seaworthy and hull eaten by torpedo worms and sank at Southport, NC, 1964.

The SECOND USS NORTH CAROLINA was an armored Tennessee-class cruiser launched in 1908 and served in World War I.

The THIRD USS NORTH CAROLINA was started, but never finished. Scrapped because of the Washington Naval Treaty.


The FIFTH USS NORTH CAROLINA is the recently launched Virginia-class nuclear submarine.

A Quick History of USS North Carolinas. --DaCoot

Top Ten Board Games-- Part 5

Last one.


Began in 1860 as the Checkered Game of Life. Developed by board game pioneer Milton Bradley, originally played on a modified checkerboard and conveyed a moral message.

In 1959, game inventor Reuben Klamer redesigned it for the 100th anniversary of the Milton Bradley Company. The result was this game which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. I always thought Milton Bradley was from the 1930s-40s.

I played this a few times a lot of years ago.


Canadian journalists Scott Abbott and Chris Haney invented it in 1979 after discovering pieces missing from a Scrabble game they were playing.

The original "Genius" edition had players advancing on a wheel-shaped course by correctly answering randomly selected questions in six categories: arts and literature, entertainment, history, geography, science and nature and sports and leisure.

Today, there are many other editions of it, including a 25th anniversary edition in 2008. More than 90 million games sold in 17 languages in 26 countries.

I love my trivia games (NTN) but these questions are really hard and you don't get possible answers. The Jeopardy on a Board.

I Ought To Dig Some of Them Out and Play. --Cooter

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Why It takes So Long to Do These Blogs

And, I have four of them. Making a blog entry takes a considerable amount of time because I have to be looking at the keyboard and I use just two fingers. Then, there's the research for articles, editing and writing them down, then, the inevitable side trips. Then, with the Internet, there is a Wiki trip then search.

Here's an example of what happened yesterday.

A big new story is the discovery of the SS Gairsoppa off the Irish coast and the many tons of silver on board which is where I started. I put together the story of the ship, sunk by a U-boat in 1941, from several sources.

One of them had a link to an article about the truth of the sinking of the Titanic. That one proved interesting, and off I went. A British novelist claims that the ship sank because of a mix up in the engine room as to which way to turn after the iceberg was spotted. Her grandfather was the Second Officer on the ship and told her.

He survived the sinking and later was on the Oceanic when it sank. During World War I, he commanded the HMS Falcon which had a collision with a trawler and sank. Then, he commanded the HMS Garry when it rammed and sank the German U-boat 110. There is some confusion, but it appears the Garry sank after the ramming.

Then there was research on the Falcon and the Garry. Before the Titanic, he had also been on a ship that sank. Was Lightoller the Thomas O. Selfridge, Jr., of the 20th century?

Today, I spent an hour on the story of the Gairsoppa and its only survivor, Richard Ayers. Then there was a link which led to the discovery of the wrecks of two LCTs sunk during D-Day (one capsized and the other was rammed by a British battleship).

No wonder it takes so long to do these blogs.

That's Why. --DaCoot

Top Ten Board Games-- Part 4


Created by French filmmaker Albert Lamorissee in 1957, the war strategy game originally released as Conquest of the World. In 1959, Parker brothers published it in an English version.

Ip to six players amass armies on a political map of the world and attempt to capture territories from each other. Last one standing wins.

This was a particular favorite of mine, especially in high school and college where we had near all-night wars. It would go fast at first, but as soon as only three players remained it slowed down. No two "generals" wanted to go to war because the third would get too strong.

I was surprised that Stratego wasn't on the list. I liked this one even better than Risk.


Alfred Mosher Butts, an unemployed architect from Poughkeepsie, NY, invented the word game during the Great Depression, by combining chance with vocabulary skills used for crossword puzzles. More than 100 million games sold since introduced in 1949. They even have tournaments.

Never played it.

Loved Controlling Australia. Build Up Those Armies and No One Can get You. --Cooter

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Top Ten Board Games-- Part 3


Best-selling board game in history, began 1904 as The Landlord's Game, created by Elizabeth Magie, of Brentwood, Md., to illustrate the social injustices of slumlords and corporate monopolies.

Didn't gain much popularity until Great Depression. In the 1930s, Charles Darrow, an unemployed salesman in Germantown, Pa., modified the game, renamed it Monopoly and sold 5,000 copies to a Philadelphia department store.

Parker brothers bought the rights in 1935, more than 200 million sets sold in 103 countries in 37 languages.

I imagine one of those original games would be worth quite a bit. Parker Brothers did a great job getting it. We play NTN trivia games and they're always asking questions about it. It has been so long since any of us have played it, we have a hard time remembering the answers.


In 1962, John Spinello, an industrial design student at the University of Illinois, built an electric toy that allowed players to probe holes in a metal box with a metal rod. If a player touched the side of a hole, a loud bell sounded. It evolved into the 1965 game Operation in which players pluck 12 body parts and ailments from a patient. If a side is touched a buzzer goes on and Sam's red nose lights up.

Seen it but don't think I ever played it.

Oops. Buzz!! --Cooter

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Top Ten Board Games-- Part 2


Oldest board game in the world. It and its cousin chess, both originated in the Middle East during ancient times. Called draughts in England (in case you're ever asked a trivia question about it).

Two players with twelve pieces who jump over opponents' pieces. get "Crowned" or "Kinged" and then can go back.

My grandfather Norman was a North Carolina champion. I was fairly good at it. Only so-so at chess, though.


Originally called Cleudo, a murder-mystery game created by Englishman Anthony E. Pratt in the 1940s. Object to collect clues and deduce which of six characters--Col. Mustard, Miss Scarlett, Mrs. Peacock, Mrs. White, Professor Plum or the Rev, Green murdered Dr. Black with what weapon--candlestick, lead pipe, knife, revolver, rope or wrench-- and in what room'' Ballroom, billiard room, conservatory, dining room, hall, kitchen, library, lounge or study.

The first player to get all three wins.

I don't think I ever played it, but be careful of trivia question on NTN on this game.

To Cheat or Not to Cheat? --DaCoot

Top Ten Board Games-- Part 1

From the American Profile Magazine, by Stuart Englert.

A look at the origins and some interesting facts about the ten most popular board games of all time.


Naval warfare guessing game devised in the early 1900s by Clifford Von Wickler. By 1930, called Salvo and played with paper and pencils. Released by the Milton Bradley Co. as Broadsides, the Game of Naval Strategy in 1943 and name changed to Battleship in 1967 with plastic grid boards, ships and pegs.

Players arrange five ships: aircraft carrier, battleship, cruiser, destroyer and submarine on a lettered/numbered grid. First to sink the other's entire fleet wins.

Unless, of course, there is cheating going on and ship movement.

Played many, many games of this. Not admitting to any movement.


Eleanor Abbot created it in the 1940s, while recovering from polio in a San Diego hospital. Figured it would let young children with the disease entertain themselves.

More than 40 million have been sold since Milton Bradley Co. introduced the game in 1949. The original sold for $1.

Not sure, but I don't ever remember playing this game. And, if I had, I wouldn't admit to it.

Eight More to Come. --Cooter

Monday, September 26, 2011

Arrival of USS North Carolina at Wilmington

From the Aug. 30th Wilmington (NC) Star-News Back Then column by Scott Dunn.

From the Aug. 24, 1961, newspaper.

The official arrival of the USS North Carolina at Wilmington was to be delayed two days according to Battleship Commission Chairman Hugh Morton. The decision to delay was based on the towing and tidal schedule.

In addition, the warship would no longer make a stop at the Wilmington State Port dock as planned, but would instead proceed straight to her berthing area on September 18th.

The North Carolina was to cross the sandbar at the mouth of the Cape Fear River near dawn and then continue up the river and be in the new berth by 4:30 pm.

The entire 25 mile cruise on the river was to be on a rising tide and nine commercial tugs would be maneuvering the 729-foot long ship, the largest ever to enter a North Carolina harbor.

Coast Guard and Army tugs would be on hand for extra help if needed.

Save Our Ship, 1961. --DaCoot

Back Then: Raising Funds for the USS North Carolina

From the Sept. 20th Wilmington (NC) Star-News Back Then column.

From the September 12, 1961, paper.

Battleship Commission Chairman Hugh Morton announced that $235,5000 had been raised to date and that another $50,000 was still needed.

Of the amount raised, $205,000 had already been spent, mostly for land purchases and site preparation.

The Battleship's Coming Home. --Cooter

Saturday, September 24, 2011

USS North Carolina Is State 2011 Attraction of the Year

From the September 23rd WWAY 3 ABC News.

Seventy years after it went to World War II and fifty after it returned to its home state, the "Showboat," otherwise known as the USS North Carolina, has another honor to add to its list.

This time, it is the State of North Carolina 2011 Attraction of the Year.

This award "honors the North Carolina visitor attraction that exemplifies excellence, innovation and sets the standard for an exceptional visitor experience."

Past winners:
2010 Grandfather Mountain
2009 Chimney Rock Park
2008 Blue Ridge Parkway
2007 North Carolina Museum of Art

In addition, the 50th anniversary of the vessel's return to Wilmington will be observed this coming October 2nd.

For an Experience, Come to the Battleship. --Cooter

Friday, September 23, 2011

World War II Submariner Recalls Service

"Local man recalls time as World War II submarine officer" by Clark Mason in the Sept. 20th Cloverdale (Ca) Press-Democrat.

Bill Prigmore of Cloverdale turned 90 this week and recalled his service aboard the submarine USS Grouper during World War II.

In 1943, he was a junior grade lieutenant off the Japanese coast near the entrance to the naval station at Yokosuku when the Grouper encountered a five vessel convoy and attacked, getting credit for sinking three of them.

He watched as the ships sank and saw no survivors.

He had just graduated from the US Naval Academy and was "plotting officer." It was his job to trace the course and speed of enemy ships. He said, "Tankers were a prime target. They were supplying Japan with oil."

In 1941, the year before he joined the Grouper's crew, it had sunk the Japanese freighter Lisbon Maru. Later, they found out that the ship had been carrying British prisoners and over 800 of them died.


On several occasions, the submarine found itself the hunted. Prigmore remembered, "We were depth charged twice. It's something you never forget." The first indication of a depth charge is "a clicking noise." The explosion "felt like it was right next door."

During the conflict, Prigmore made five war patrols on the Grouper.

He remained in the Navy after the war and served during the Korean and Vietnam wars, retiring in 1966. He was executive officer on the submarine USS Green Fish and commander of the submarine USS Cobble.

The Greatest Generation. --Cooter

Another World War II Bomber Crew Found-- Part 4

From the Pacific 1995-2010 site.

The story of Jose L. Holguin, the "Naughty but Nice's" only survivor is interesting as well.

He was the only one able to bail out and suffered a broken jaw and a back injury when he landed. He crawled without food or medical attention for weeks until he was discovered by local villagers.

They were unable to treat his injuries and turned him over to the Japanese on July 17th. He received no treatment from them, but an infamous Japanese doctor did experiment on him. At one point, the doctor injected him with malaria to study the effects.

Holguin returned to the crash site in both 1981 and 1983.

One of the Greatest Generation. --DaCoot

A Trip Back to World War II

Weather permitting, I am planning on driving to Rockford, Illinois, about fifty miles west. Midway Village, on the north side, is having a World War II encampment with an estimated 800 re-enactors as well as tanks and vehicles on both Saturday and Sunday.

It costs $10 for adults and runs from 10 am to 5 pm.

Besides doing all the World War II entries in this blog, I am presently reading a boof about the kamikaze attack on the USS Bunker Hill.

This past week, I saw movies on the war on AMC: "Defiance," "U-571" and "Force 10 From Navaronne."

I Guess I'm Getting Hooked on That War. --Cooter

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Another World War II Bomber Crew Identified-- Part 3

The List of Honor to Be Buried at Arlington National Cemetery Today.

These four were the remains discovered in 2001.

WILLIAM J. SARSFIELD-- 1st Lt., pilot, Philadelphia
CHARLES E. TRIMINGHAN-- 2nd Lt., co-pilot, Salinas, Ca.
ROBERT L. CHRISTOPHERSON-- Tech Sgt., engineer, Blue Earth, Mn.
LEONARD GIONET-- Tech Sgt., radio, Shirley, Mass.

These remains were recovered in 1949

HERMAN H. KNOTT-- 2nd Lt., asst. bombardier, NY
FRANCIS G. PEATTIE-- 1st Lt., bombardier, Beacon, NY
HENRY GARCIA-- Staff Sgt., assistant engineer, Los Angeles, Ca.
ROBERT E. GRIEBEL-- Staff Sgt., asst. radio, Riverton, Wy.
PACE P. PAYNE-- Staff Sgt., gunner, Corsicana, Tx.

The only survivor of the crash was JOSE L. HOLGUIN-- 1st Lt., navigator, Los Angeles, California. He will not be buried with the rest of the crew. I was unable to find out where he was buried, buy imagine it was in Los Angeles.

Heroes, All.


Another World War II Bomber's Crew Identified-- Part 2

Former Lt. Jose A. Holguin, unfortunately, did not live to see his crew's identification and now internment together. He died of a heart attack in 1994 at age 73. It is a wonder that he survived the crash and imprisonment.

In 2001, a Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command group excavated the crash site and found the remains of the four missing crew members: Sarsfield, Trimingham, Christopherson and Gionet. Using DNA and dental records, the remains were identified.

The nine who died will be buried today, September 21st, at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors.

At the end of World War II, there were 79,000 US service personnel unaccounted for. Today, that number is down to 73,000. Still a lot, but I am happy to see effort is still being made to locate and identify their remains.

Heroes, All. --DaCoot

Another World War II Bomber Crew Identified-- Part 1

From the September 21st Boston Globe "US identifies remains of Mass. WWII soldier" by John M. Guilfoil.

Missing since a June 26, 1943, bombing raid, Army Air Forces Technical Sergeant Leonard A. Gionet, 30, was one of ten crewmen on a mission to attack Rabaul, Papua New Guinea, when his B-17E Flying Fortress nicknamed "Naughty but Nice" was damaged by anti-aircraft fire and then shot down by a Japanese fighter plane over New Britain Island.

Nine died. Only Lt. Jose L. Holguin, the plane's navigator, survived. He was captured and held prisoner until September 1945.

In 1949, locals led US military to the site of the plane crash and some of the remains were recovered, but the technology to identify them did not exist at the time.

They were buried in the "Unknown" section of the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu.

Holguin returned to the crash site in 1982 and 1983 to look for his fallen comrades. A piece of the plane's nose art was recovered and is now on display at the War Museum on Kokopo, Papua New Guinea.

With new available technology and information, the remains in Hawaii were exhumed and five of the crewmembers identified.

More to Come. --Cooter

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The USS North Carolina Comes Home

From the September 13th Wilmington (NC) Star-News Back Then column.

From September 6, 1961.

"I accept this magnificent battleship for the people of North Carolina to hold and enshrine as a lasting warning to those who would attack human liberties," Governor Terry Sanford.

He spoke these words as the USS North Carolina was transferred from the US Navy to the state it was named for.

The ceremony took place at the docks of the Naval Supply Center of the Atlantic Reserve Fleet at Bayonne, New Jersey, just across from New York City.

Welcome Back Pride of North Carolina Fifty Years Ago. --DaCoot

Bits 'O History: Il Duce's Clothes-- Hitler's Ghost

A couple of recent articles of World War II interest involving two of the Axis leaders.

1. IL DUCE'S CLOTHES-- Benito Mussolini's clothes are up for sale at an auction. They were in his suitcase when he was captured by partisans and executed in April 1945. Paul Moriconi, a Rochester doctor, died last year at age 87, and acquired it while he was a soldier back then.

They were auctioned this past Sunday and between $10,000 and $15,000 was expected.

3. HITLER'S GHOST-- Well, not actually his ghost, but memory of him. A British travel company is offering tours of places associated with the German World War II leader, including the "Berghof" and "Eagle's Nest" near Berchtesgaden, Germany. The tour is called a "Hitler Holiday."

Even today, flowers and candles mysteriously turn up on Hitler's birthday at the "Berghof." This complex was bombed during the war and destroyed after its capture. Very little remains and it is not marked.

"Eagle's Nest" or "Hitler's Tea House" on the top of a nearby mountain attracts thousands of visitors each year.

A Vacation I'm Not Sure I'd Take. --Cooter

Germany still has a problem in how to remember the former leader.

Monday, September 19, 2011

North Carolina in World War II

From the NC State Archives Blog.

North Carolina sent over 370,000 men and women into service during World War II. North Carolinians comprised the largest number in the Army.

One of them was my Uncle Delbert Hatch, who was in the 101st Airborne and at the Battle of the Bulge when most of his platoon were killed.

On the home front, tens of thousands worked in war industries. Others purchased war bonds and stamps and produced food for the effort.

The Greatest Generation.

Mom's Life-- Part 6


Daddy and other family members owned Wayne Tire Company on Center Street in downtown Goldsboro. In 1939, he became a Studebaker automobile dealer and set up a business on John Street. Later, he moved the business to North Wiliam Street.


World War II began on Sunday, December 7, 1941. Mother, Daddy and I were getting ready to put up Christmas decorations when we heard. We were in the Music Room when we heard President Franklin Roosevelt speak over the radio that the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and that the Unitedtates was at war!

I remember ration books, buying stamps and war bonds and having scrap drives.

A Lot of Experiences.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Doing My Local History Thing and Civil War Thing Today

The Fox Lake/Grant Township Historical Society meets today in Ingleside, IIllinois.

We meet in the old Grant Township Road building which has been turned into a small museum for the area, but mostly town.

Today's meeting will be a business one as well as presentations on area schools.

Afterwards, I will drive over to nearby Lake Villa for the annual Civil War Days encampment and battle, which runs today and tomorrow.

How's That for Some History in One Day? --Cooter

Friday, September 16, 2011

Mom's Life-- Part 4

Goldsboro High School is about a half a block from home, so I came home for lunch.

Some of my friends growing up:

Mary Rachel and Elizabeth Johnson who lived next door.
Jean Jenkins
Mimi Weil (had horses)
Elizabeth Handley (had horses)
Sarah Dewey Hunt
Ann Smithdeal
Elwina Miller
Jo Jackson
Gilda Dann


Summers, our family would go to the beach: Morehead, Carolina, etc., where we would rent a cottage. in 1942, we had a downstairs apartment with Uncle Bush and Aunt Julia Nash on the Northern Extension of Carolina Beach.

In 1946, Mother and Daddy bought a cottage on the Southern Extension of the beach. It was oceanfront and the wreck of the Civil War blockade-runner Beauregard was on the sandbar in front of it.

More to Come.

Mom's Life-- Part 3

I had a lot of cousins at Grantham--Daddy was one of 11 children. They would come for visits there and at Goldsboro.

My Aunt Julia and Uncle Bush Nash had three sons. They lived near Prince Street, named for my grandfather. We had fun playing, but they moved to different places and I would visit them. Rod, David and Jimmy were around for Christmas, also.


My school days were happy ones at Walnut Street School.

Grade and teacher.

Grade 1-- Miss Kornegay
Grade 2-- Miss Freeman
Grade 3-- Miss Cooper


Grade 4-- Miss Faison
Grade 5-- Miss Rudisill (she got married)
Frade 6-- Miss Owen
Grade 7-- Miss Judd and Mrs. Twiford
Grade 8--


Grade 9-- Miss Eliza Cox (she had taught Daddy)
Grade 10-- Miss Jones-Bidogy
Grade 11-- Miss Janie Ipock (Math 3 years), Clifton Britton (drama)
Grade 12-- Senorita Brooks (Spanish)

C.W. Twiford was principal.

More to Come.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Mom's Life-- Part 2

I had a happy childhood. Nora Stevens was my nurse and she enjoyed taking me to Herman Park, which is across the street, to show me off to the other people there.

Mother said her father, David Maybury Prince (who lived with them) enjoyed pushing me in my carriage. My dog, Boots, a white comrade collie, was my watch dog. One day I watched Boots go under the chairs on the front porch (lined up to keep her from leaving it), so I followed her over to the park.

Mother and Daddy enrolled me on the Cradle Roll Department at the First Baptist Church in downtown Goldsboro. I was active in the church and went to Sunday School, and Sunbeams and Girls Auxiliary. My teen years were enjoyable with Sunday night suppers.

A.J. Smith was the only pastor we had during my early years. he lived in the parsonage on Walnut Street.

Some of my memories of childhood were going to Grandmother and Grandfather Hood's home in Grantham on Sunday afternoons. Grandmother cooked the best battered chicken and fried pies on her wood stove. Billy and I would be invited to the dining room to eat.

More to Come.

Mom's Life: In Honor of Mom's 81st Birthday-- Part 1

My mother, Barbara Hatch, turned 81 yesterday. She has been after me to type up her memoirs for quite some time. I haven't because I need to learn how to use the word processor on this (if that is what you call it).

I could type it up here, though. My cousin's daughter says she will put it onto a computer, but until she does, here is the first part of what Mom wrote.

She started writing this in 2005.


I was born on a Sunday on September 14, 1930, at 504 North Jackson St. in Goldsboro, NC. Dr. Will Spicer delivered me. I weighed six pounds.

I was supposed to be born around the middle of October, but mother was having a difficult time having me.

My brother Billy, William Graham Hood, Jr., weighed 11 pounds and Mother, Minnie Gertrude Prince Hood, was a small woman (never weighed over 115 pounds).

My brother David McKinne Hood was born ______ and died in mother's arms on ______ of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

Daddy, William Graham Hood, Sr., was 35 when I was born, and was so glad to have a daughter, he paid the doctor twice what he asked and this was during the Great Depression.

More to Come.

Bits O' History: New Use-- Oktoberfest

Bits O' History-- New News About Old Stuff

1. NEW USE-- June 29th Chicago Tribune-- When the Dave Matthews concert ad caravan came to Chicago this past summer, it was held on the now vacated 589-acres that was the US Steel South Works site on Chicago's south lakefront.

It has been closed since 1992 and of the 160 buildings that once stood there, just one remains.

Good to see use made of it and hopefully it will be turned into some sort of park.

2. OKTOBERFEST-- In September actually. From September 3rd Chicago Tribune. OK, retailers keep pushing up the seasons. Halloween stuff started going up in August. But beer drinking and celebrating has been moved up as well, as in where it started to celebrate a royal wedding, Munich, Germany.

This because of weather concerns. It now starts September 17th. The first one was from October 12-17, 1810, in case you're wondering.

A group of us are hoping to go to the one in Munich in 2013. I want to drink one of those giant mugs (or several) and enjoy that oom-pah music and good German food.

Ein Prosit!! --Cooter

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Plenty of History on Trip

We've been on the road since the 6th and drove across Illinois, a real little part of Iowa by Keokuk, a whole lot of Missouri, and little bitty parts of Kansas and Oklahoma.

Saw Mickey Mantle's home town in Commerce, Oklahoma. The Marsh Bridge in Kansas. Tornado damage in Joplin. Boots Motel in Carthage, Missouri. Spent three nights at the Munger Moss Motel in Lebanon. These last two dating to the 1940s.

Also, we met two Route 66 characters, Dean Walker and Cowboy Don.

Ate at Lambert's Cafe and caught "Throwed Rolls" by Springfield, Missouri, and that great old Steak 'n Shake in the same town on the way back.

There were plenty of museums and a whole lot of Civil War related stuff.

The last three nights we have been in Springfield, Illinois. To say there is a lot of history here would be an understatement.

For more on trip see my RoadDog's Roadlog Blog or Down Da Road I Go Blog.

Deep in the Heart of History. --Cooter

Monday, September 12, 2011

Catching Some History on Route 66

Saturday and Sunday, we were on the Route 66 Association of Missouri's Motor Tour from Miami, Oklahoma, through that short stretch of Kansas and the state of Missouri east to the town of Bourbon, whose water towers have to be among the most photographed on the Mother Road or anywhere for that matter.

We stopped at historical museums in Baxter Springs, Kansas; Rolla, Missouri and Cuba, Missouri. Unfortunately, we didn't get to spend much time in any of them, but this was a first-time visit for us and we'll definitely be back.

The museum in Baxter Springs was especially impressive.

Along Route 66, we saw the old stuff, like the Munger Moss Motel in Lebanon and the Boots Motel in Carthage. And then, there were the new Route 66 places like Mr. C's, the Cave Restaurant, Tow Mater from the movie "Cars" and new addition "Big Red" from the same movie at the Four Women on the Road station in Galena, Kansas, and the Rosati Winery Museum and sampling room near Fanning. Of course, there is also the World's Largest Rocking Chair in Fanning as well.

Sure Enjoyed That Motor Tour. --Cooter


Check out my Down Da Road I Go Blog at an account of the event and what happened yesterday.

These ten years went by fast. Ten years ago today, I was in my classroom discussing yesterday's events with my students. This is what we also did Thursday and Friday. They were assigned a 500-word report to record their experiences yesterday.

Not Forgetting.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Remembering 9-11

Like Pearl Harbor and President Kennedy's assassination, the moon landing and the Cheallenger explosion, this day is permanently etched into our minds.

Everyone remembers where they were and what they were doing.

I was teaching school.

Never Forget.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Macomb's War of 1812 Connection

We visited Macomb, Illinois, earlier this week and spent the night there. This was the first time either Liz or myself had ever been to the town. Back when I was at college in 1970, I had the opportunity to go with my fraternity, Delta Sigma Phi, on a road trip to the Delta Sig chapter at Western Illinois University, but I had to work at food service that weekend so didn't get to go.

Both the city of Macomb and the county it is in are named for heroes of the War of 1812.

The city is named for General Alexander Macomb, ranking general in the US Army from 1829 to his death in 1841. He was one of the first officers to receive training at the newly instituted West Point. After that, he oversaw the construction of fortifications in Michigan, Mackinaw, Pairie du Chein (Wis) and Chicago.

His forces engaged the 10,531 British Army at the Battle of Plattsborough on September 11, 1814, and even though badly outnumbered (1,500 regular troops and a few militia) managed to win after some amazing tactical feats and the defeat of the British Navy at Lake Champlain.

The commander of the US Naval forces at that battle was Thomas McDonough, for whom the county Macomb serves as the seat of is located. He also participated in the First Barbary War.

It's a War of 1812 Thing. --Cooter

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Some History on the Missouri Trip

We're in Lebanon, Missouri right now. We arrived yesterday after a drive through Illinois, the southeastern tip of Iowa (Keokuk) northern part of Missouri and down the western part on US-65.

Macomb, Illinois, has two squares, one a park and one with the county courthouse. Plus Western Illinois University, a school that always gives out alma mater a hard time in sports. Those Fighting Leathernecks (a good Marine name) are tough.

By Carthage, Illinois, where Mormon founder Joseph Smith was killed (the jail is a museum), US-136 aligned with Il-110 for a ways. Above the 110 shield they had C-K-C letters. We thought that was from an old named-highway (before 1928) and probably stood for Carthage-Keokuk-and some other "C" town.

Last night on he internet, I learned that it stood for a new road that is called the Chicago-Kansas City Expressway, a proposed direct route between the two cities.

The reason part of Iowa sticks down into Missouri at the southeast corner is because that is where the Des Moines River joins the Mississippi.

Interesting History. --Cooter

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Where's the USS Iowa Headed?

From the July 19, 2010, Contra Costra Times by Donna Littlejohn.

The battleship USS Iowa's final destination is still up in the air. Will it go to Mare Island in northern California (by San Francisco) as pushed by the group Historic Ships Memorial at Pacific Square (HSMPS) or the Port of Los Angeles in southern California?

During the ship's World War II service, it ferried President Roosevelt across the Atlantic to meet with Churchill and Stalin. The Navy Inactive Ships Program oversees the donation of historical ships. Both San Pedro and Mare Island have ties to the navy.

In 1854, the navy's first Pacific Fleet was based at Mare Island. San Pedro and the Port of Los Angeles became the official battleship anchorage of the Pacific Fleet in 1919, until it was relocated to Pearl Harbor in 1940 (probably a bad move).

The 900-foot long ship has been in storage in Benincia near Vallejo, California.

According to a look today at the website of HSMPS, they ended up with the Iowa.

Actually, I would have liked to see them try to locate the USS Iowa in its namesake state.

Either Way, It's Great That the Ship Will Be Preserved. That Class of Battleship, Our Last Ones, Are the Most Impressive Warships Ever Built. --DaCoot

The Car Ferry Milwaukee

I'm still on the subject of that horrible storm season on the Great Lakes and particularly Lake Michigan back in 1929, taking place right when the economy was starting to tank thanks to the GRBs on Wall Street.

The Milwaukee was carrying 27 loaded rail cars between Milwaukee and Grand Haven. All 52 aboard died when it sank October 22, 1929.

The rail cars came loose in the storm and crashed through the sea gate.

Some life boats were launched. One with two bodies aboard was pulled in two days later. Another with bodies washed up near Holland, Michigan.

The wreck was discovered in 1972.

Think I'll Stay on Dry Land. --Cooter

Monday, September 5, 2011

The Freighter Senator and Steamer Wisconsin

The Senator was 410 feet long, 46 foot beam. Built in 1896 at the Detroit Drydock in Wynadotte, Minnesota.

The steamer Marquette plowed into its port side during a heavy fog, sinking it. Ten of 29 aboard died.

It was carrying 240 Nash automobiles.

Bound for Milwaukee, the Senator sank quickly.

It had also sank in the St. Mary's River in 1909.

Of interest, the steamer Wisconsin, which sank two days earlier, was also built at the same place as the Senator. It sank off Kenosha, Wisconsin with 18 of 76 aboard losing their lives.

The Lake Can be a Mighty Dangerous Place. --Cooter

Storms on the Great Lakes: 100 Lives Lost in 52 Days

The year 1929 was a particularly harsh one on Great Lakes shipping between September 9th and October 31st. One hundred lives were lost on four separate sinkings.

SEPTEMBER 9th-- The gravel freighter Andaste sank with 25 deaths.

OCTOBER 22nd-- The car ferry Milwaukee sank with a loss of 52.

OCTOBER 31st-- The freighter Senator sank with loss of 7.

OCTOBER 31st-- Steamer Wisconsin sank with loss of 16.

You hardly ever hear of major ships sinking in the Great Lakes anymore.

Again, Bad Time to Be Afloat. --DaCoot

Mother Nature's Wrath on Lake Michigan

Back on August 27th, I wrote about the Chicago Flashback about the October 30, 1929, Tribune front page about the great stock plunge. They had a reprint of the front page and another headline read "12 Lost, 60 Saved in Lake Wreck."

Shipwrecks have always been of interest to me, but the print was too small.

Fortunately, the Flashback page also had an article on the shipwreck along with two other front pages. The October 29, 1920 headline "Gale and Waves Bring Ruin" and Nov. 1st "Tell Horror of Ship Crash."

October and especially November, the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald and all, can be stormy on the Great Lakes.

As the financial tempest brewed, so did storms pounding the Great Lakes region. From Oct. 22nd to Oct. 23rd a gale lashed the shore, ripping up parts of Lake Shore Drive, demolishing concrete promenades on North Avenue and destroying lakefront parks and beaches.

Fifty-three mile an hour winds whipped monstrous waves which were even worse because Lake Michigan was at its highest water level since 1886. Oak Street Beach disappeared.

As news of the stock market collapse spread on Oct. 24th, there came reports that 52 people were feared dead when the car ferry Milwaukee sank. On Monday, Oct. 28th, the S.S. Wisconsin sank in heavy seas. Sixteen died and 60 were saved by heroic efforts by the Coast Guard.

On October 31st, a freighter heading for Chicago collided in heavy fog with the freighter Senator, sinking it with seven deaths.

Some Mighty Bad Times to Be Out on the Lake. --Cooter

Friday, September 2, 2011

More Drunkonyms

Thanks to Heidi Stevens from an earlier post today, I had to look up Benjamin Franklin's "The Drinker's Dictionary" and I found many more good ones. I'll give you some of them here.

By the way, the Tribune article had a picture of one of the great drinkers of all times, Barney from the Simpsons. And Homer is no slouch on the Buzz Beer either.

Piss'd in the Brook. (Did they use the "P" word back in the 1730s?)
His Head is full of Bees.

He sees the Bears (And believe me, as a Bears fan, sometimes that's the only way you can watch Rex or Jay play.)

Cherry Merry (I really like this one.)
A Cup too Much
Has Dipp'd his Bill

Wet both Eyes
Cock Ey'd (Another good one.)
He's Friskey

Booz'd the Gage
As Dizzy as a Goose

Half and Half

And from Poor Richard, "Nothing more like a Fool than a Drunken Man."

Old Ben Had a Good Sense of Humor. --DaCoot

Dead Page: Gilliagan and the Brady Bunch

SHERWOOD SCHWARTZ (Nov. 14, 1916-July 12, 2011)

American TV producer and writer for radio and TV.

After serving as a writer for the Bob Hope Show (1939-1942), Red Skelton Show (1956-1962) and Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet (1940s).

He was the creator of Gilligan's Island (1964-1967) and the Brady Bunch (1969-1974).

I was a big fan of the last two shows, right Little Buddy. "Marsha, Marsha, Marsha." Now just try to get the theme songs out of your head.

What Was the Name of the Boat? --Cooter


From the August 10th Chicago Tribune by Heidi Stevens.

What with all our debt problems these days, some folks are using drunken metaphors to illuminate us.

"We spend like drunken sailors. The debt deal is like curing a drunk with vodka.

Heidi Stevens wants the folks to use some more interesting ways to say drunk.

She suggests Founding Father Benjamin Franklin's "The Drinkers Dictionary" in which he used more than 200 synonyms for "drink."

It was first published Jan. 13, 1737, in the Pennsylvania Gazette. He broke it down alphabetically.

The Letter "A"

He is Addled.
He is casting up his Accounts.
He's Afflicted.
He's in his Airs.

The Letter "B"

He's Biggy.
Block and Block
Been at Barbadoes

Some others she likes:

Crump Footed
He's had a Thump over the Head with Sampson's Jawbone.
He's right before the Wind with all his Studding Sails out.

I like Staggerish myself. I've seen some Staggerish folks. Even been Staggerish myself back in the day, but not much anymore. The next day is too rough.

Hey, I Just Might Have to Check Franklin Out. --DaCoot

The End of Borders

By now, I suppose the last of the last Borders Book Stores are closed. The Big Box book retailer announced that they were closing their last 400 stores back in July.

I had just found a $25 gift certificate Liz had gotten me (when the McHenry Borders store was still open) and I now had to use it fast. We went to the Borders in Algonquin (or Lake-in-the-Hills) and it was chaos with all the people cashing in on the reduced prices (not much at the time, mostly 10% off).

Then, there were lines, which went fairly fast. I wouldn't have gone in, but again, I had to use up that gift card.

The 24,000 square foot McHenry Borders store closed in March and still sits empty. The sign is still there and I miss it whenever I drive by. I used to like going in there and previewing CDs and sitting down to look at books to make my selection.

These stores may have been Big-Box, but they also had the small bookstore feel in them. And, they were one of the few businesses who appreciate teachers. At least twice a year they had educators days with at least 25% off on most all items.

Of course, new technology killed the chain off as well as some mistakes taken by CEOs. And, we all know the CEOs left with lots and lots and lots of money. In the meantime, how many regular folks lost their jobs?

And, where were all those deal seekers when the stores could have used their business. What we have are carrion picking over the bones.

Sure Gonna Miss Them. --Cooter

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Ten More Ancient Alien Mysteries

From the July 28th List Universe.

What with the new "Cowboys & Aliens" movie coming out.

10. The Nazca Lines in Peru
9. Vimanas-- India-- Sanskrit stories about the flying machines from more than 2,000 years ago.

8. Pyramids of Giza
7. Teotihuacca, Mexico

6. Sumerians believed they were created by the Annunaki, extraterrestrials
5. Pascal's Sarcophagus-- Maya leader. A space ship appears to be on the top of his sarcophagus.

4. Mahabharata and Ramyana-- Ancient Indian epics about men in flying machines and nuclear-like explosions.
3. Puma Punku-- South American Bolivian Highlands. The massive scale of the buildings not possible without modern tools.

2. Aliens and the Third Reich-- how they got all the advanced technology. In 1939, their scientists invented a flying saucer-shaped aircraft.
1. Flower of Life--Found at the Temple of Osiris, Romania, Israel, China and many more places. Everything in the universe comes out of this pattern.

Of course, Listverse has pictures of each and more information.

They Came From Outer Space. --Cooter