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PAINTED BRIDGE

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Yesterday while out with my Crystal Ball, I happen to take more interest in the old bridge that I’ve been too many times in the past.  Since this bridge is no longer safe for traffic and has not been used in a long time, so it has become a place for some spray paint.

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I’ve seen Grafitte many times and thought that most of it is just a bunch of spray painted nonsense, but there are paintings out there such as this one that are done with the art of it in mind.

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I would have no idea!

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I had no clue what FUGAZI means, so I asked around.  Found out it was a band that played in Concert as places.  It reminded me of “Kilroy was Here” even though I’m to young to know Kilroy.  Was before my time.

Thank you.

Les

Featured

LENSATIC COMPASS

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Do you know how to read a Compass?  Do you know how to read a Lensatic Compass?  No, well I didn’t either, but I learned about it snooping around articles on the Internet.

I did know how to read a regular compass, but the Lensatic Compass was something that I was not sure on how this would work.  Even though it looks much more fancy than a regular compass it still works pretty much the same way, but with some added features.

As most of you may know the Compass will always point to the North Magnetic Field.  In the case above, it’s telling you that it’s pointing to NW.  If this is the way you want to go, turn and follow what it tells you.

The small little knob on the front is a sighting Lens that you can look thru and it will tell you how many degrees you are off NW sighting.  The Black Scale on the left will show you how much of a slope you are on.  Everything you see will fold up nicely into a compact carry case.

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This is the real thing that I purchased from ebay.  It took me a little time to get used to reading a Compass like this, but you get the hang of it after awhile.  The inclometer on the left shows that the Compass is leaning 19 deg.  I should be 0, meaning it’s level like it should be.  What the other smaller numbers mean on the outside of the Compass, I’m not sure of yet.  Also, a Compass does not work well around electronic componets or when it’s around metal.  This is why it’s off North a bit.

I’m sorta like a “Gadget Fella” that likes to have different new things, but within reason.  I can’t afford to go out and buy expensive gadgets.  I keep it to a minimum.

Thanks for stopping by

Les

Featured

SELECTIVE COLOR

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This is called Selective Color.  In the process of learning how to use a Crystal Ball for Photography, I learned by some trial & error, on how to color just part of the Image I have taken.  I tend to like doing this, even though their are different steps to do in Post processing.  The Image just does not come out like this.

Thanks for stopping by.

Les

Featured

SHOOTING WITH A CRYSTAL BALL

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I took my camera gear “out there” today, because the weather was just great.  I had my 3″ Crystal Lens Ball with me so decided to get some practice in using it with the camera.

I had to set up my Tripod, and attach my Pentax K10d with a Rokinon 14mm 2.5 Lens.  I also needed my Remote Shutter Trigger.  Since the 14mm Rokinon does not have a zoom feature to it, I had to move the Crystal Ball at different positions, find the best position, and focus on that.  Holding a Crystal Ball that is 3″ in Diameter, focus the camera, and then press the remote shutter takes a bit of practice to do.  Before this shot was taken, I did it 5 times before this to get it right.

Now, when you shoot this, the Image in the Crystal Ball is not like you see here.  It’s inverted.  It’s up-side down, because of lens refraction.  Then I have to put the Image into Photoshop CC and just rotate the part I want up-right.  I was not good at this, so again, I had to keep on trying until I got this correct.  This was the result.

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This one was taken before I learned how to rotate just the Crystal Ball and not the whole Image.

Featured

HISTORIC MINERSVILLE

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Greek Orthodox Church Spire in Minersville, PA.  Sometimes called an “Onion Spire.”

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Built in1920, this is the old Regar Building that was once a Dress Factory back in its day.  Now, vacant & empty, it wastes away into History.

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The old Parish School still in use today.

Thanks for stopping by.

Les

Featured

SOME HDR

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9th Hole at Golden Oaks Golf Club.

This Golf Course is very challenging for experienced & beginners to play.  It’s a long 18 hole course with 4 par 5 holes.  I have not played here because it’s a bit expensive to play 18 holes.  Price to play is around $70.00, but if you become a yearly member it’s much cheaper.  I can’t afford all this.  Wish I could.

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I call this “Over The Edge.”  Taken at our local water shed dam breast.

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Dam breast bridge.  Notice the froth from the water flowing over the dam.  From all the hot & humid weather we have been having, the water has a oder that smells like dead fish.

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A closer look.  For these Images, I took a spread of 3 shot’s and blended them into 1 HDR image using my Nikon D7000.  It was quite warm when I took these.  Temp. was around 96 degrees.

Thanks for viewing.

Les

Featured

BEAUTY OF NATURE

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Just a few of the flowers that I see while walking around with the camera.

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I usually have no clue what kind of flowers these are.

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There was a large plot of these.  This is just some of them.

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This is my ole’ play area when I was much younger.  It’s the Kerney where the Coal dirt was dumped many years ago from the river dredging.  It’s changing.  Found out that the Blue Mountain Wildlife Ass. is trying to make this into more of a Wildlife Sanctuary.   Getting rid of much Coal dirt as possible.  Don’t know much else about this, yet.

Thanks for stopping by.

Les

Featured

OUT THERE!

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Life here is pretty much back to normal now.  Eileen’s knee is doing much better now.  No longer do I have to stay around the house to help her in moving around.  She walks, goes up & down steps, and is doing the normal things around the house that was done before.  Her incision has healed quite well.  Soon you won’t be able to tell that she had knee surgery at all!

Now, I can go and come much as I did before.  Getting “out there” with my camera gear is back to normal.  Above is the old Union Canal Towpath in High Definition.  Using my Pentax K10d, I took 5 different shot’s.  Each one was 2 f/stops lower, then 1 normal, then 2 f/stops higher.  They were then blended together, that is always done with HD.

Now, I’m not so sure if I really need 5 different images like that.  I’m thinking that I could just use 3.  Would it be better that way or not.

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During the Summer months, the old Union Canal Lock get’s so very over-grown with trees, weeds, & alge in the water that it’s hard to tell what was once there.  The Winter is a better time.

Thanks for stopping by.

Les

 

Featured

GETTING MORE TIME.

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Now, that the Wife’s knee is healing better, I’m able to get “out there” more & more.  No longer does she need constant help to walk or do things around the house.  The 7″ incision in her right knee is looking better all the time.  By the end of this month she should be back walking like nothing happened.

The is a bit of sacrafice to be made when you have surgery like she did.  She will never be able to just get up and run.  Nor will she be able to bend down using her legs.  It is much better than having the pain & discomfort like before.  She still has to sit with her leg elevated with ice cubes in a plastic bag to keep down the swelling, even though alot of the edema is gone.

If anyone out there is going to have this type of surgery, I give you fair warning.  It’s no fun the 1st 2 weeks!  There will be much discomfort, but pain med’s will help out.  Pain med’s are not the cure all.  They just keep what was done under control.

Thanks for stopping by.

Les

Featured

SURGERY!

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Here I am.  The image was taken at the Grandaughters Graduation in West Virginia State University a few weeks ago.

Now, on to what’s been going on here.  On the morning of June 4th, my Wife had major knee surgery to replace her bad knee on her left leg.  She had been suffering from pain for just under a year.  Her joint was bone on bone.  Not good.  The surgery process went very good.  The Sergon did a great job.  He was so very pleasant & comforting to her.  After the surgery was done, she stayed in the Reading Hospital for 2 days after to recover.  The Nursing Staff had her up & walking not but an hour after surgery, if you can believe that!  She did very well.  However, that was because the drugs & medication did not quite wear off yet.  The painful time is yet to come.

Brought her Home here and had to help her in just about everything she tried to do.  The second day she was home, is a very painful time.  It was a very trying time for us both.  We were told that the 1st week will be nasty.  They were right.  Eileen had to take pain meds every 4 hours to keep the painful incision from hurting more than what it did.  Me, being her caregiver, had to help her keep ice on her knee to keep the swelling down.  Change the ice most every hour & a half.  It’s a lot of work.  She did not sleep well, nor did I for the 1st week.

The 2nd week started to get better.  Not quite as much pain, but it was still there.  She had to start some Rehab at Mountain Lake Rehab where certified people help her along the road to recovery.  Every other day, she had to go.  Her knee did get better & better, but it’s no picnic quite yet.  Learning to put weight on a leg & knee that had a major operation is no fun!  Learning to walk is another obstacle to overcome.

Now, into the 3rd week, it’s much, much better.  She can walk with a cane, but still needs attention so there is no falling!  Eileen can do much more now, and the incision is healing very nicely.  Very soon she will be up and walking just like she did before.  Like nothing happened.

It has been rough on us both.  I can’t really go anywhere for long periods of time.  About 2 hrs. is the max.  I’m more than sure that she does not want to go thru this again!  Me, either!

 

Thanks for reading.

Les

Featured

HISTORIC READING

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Since my Hometown of Reading, PA is a very Historic area they should have more of these placed around the City to show what once was there long ago.

There is a McDonalds Fast Food in it’s place off to the left of this Image.

Thanks for reading.

Les

Featured

RETURN TO BETHELHEM STEEL

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I tend to enjoy going back to this very historic area just because so much has happened here from years gone bye.  Bethelhem Steel was once the largest Steel producers on the East Coast.  However, due to corporate greed over time and compitation from foreign steel producers, the place just did not keep up with the changing market.  Years ago, the once mighty steel producer, stopped it’s production never to make steel again.  Today, the place is a Historic reminder of what used to be.  The buildings that are still standing retain the color from the blast furnace’s that once roared here.  Some of the buildings have been torn down, but many still stand.

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Here looking down one of the area’s, are buildings that still remain.  On the right is what used to be Machine Shop #2 where gun barrels for battleships were turned on huge lathe’s that are no longer there.  These lathe’s were so big that the operator could sit on the carriage while turning the barrel.  Would have loved to see that.  On the left is the Blower Room that once supplied air to the Mill.  In the distance is the Crane Repair Building where huge Cranes lifted gun barrels onto waiting flat bed cars.

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A Plaque showing the ships that were made from the Steel Plant.

Thanks for reading.

Les

Featured

BAD WEEK!

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Ever had one of those weeks when things go wrong and get expensive?  Well, last week was one of them for us.  Was not good.

The first one was while washing some dishes, we noticed that the Water in the sink was not getting very hot.  Did not think much of it, until I went down into the laundry room and noticed the water heater leaking water on the floor!  Not good.  Should not do that.  Called a good friend of ours and told him about it.  Was told that the heater might be going bad!  Crap!  Just what we need.  More expense.  Called UGI to come out and take a look.  No good!  Thought that the Pilot Light might be out.  Nope, it’s dead!  Here we go.  He gave us a quote on a new one.  His price was rather expensive, I thought.  Called around for other prices and found some people that were much cheaper!  They could come out that same day and install one!  Great.  Do it.  2 guy’s came here and had a new Water Heater installed in 2.5 hrs.  They were very good.  Thanks to them for a great job.

Then about 2 day’s later, my Wife noticed that the Toilet was not flushing right.  Oh No!  What’s wrong now?  I took a look at it and she was right.  It was flushing very slow, with hardly any water coming out.  Now what?  Thought that the holes under the lip of the bowl might be clogged with calcium from hard water, so I poked around in them.  Got some calcium out, but not anywhere near enough.  Still was not flushing right.  Checked the “innards” of the tank.  That was ok.  Pleanty of water coming in.  Not that.  It must be those water holes under the bowl lip.  Called a friend of mine who is a Plumber.  He told me to get a new one.  This one has had it!  It’s been there for over 30 yrs.  Damm.  Here we go again.  Ordered another Toilet from a business that was recommended to us.  It was here in 3 day’s.  It’s one of those “low flush” toilet’s that are out on the market now.  Plastic seat and it sits up higher.  Now, I have to install it.  Oh Boy.  More fun!

I’ve installed toilets before, but I’m afraid of that darn “seal” that goes around the pipe to the sewer.  You get one chance to set the toilet down on the seal!  If it does not seal right you start all over again with a new seal!  I hate that.  Well, I took my time on lifting the toilet on to the wax seal and did it in one try!  Whew!  Connected everything up and it worked real good!

Now, this one was the bad one.  A day or so later I was here on the Laptop and was making a Post on Facebook when all of a sudden the screen shut off and the Laptop shut off!!  Oh.  What’s this?  Tried to re-start.  Nothing.  Tired again.  Nothing.  Oh my!  Now what’s wrong?  Did not know.  Thought I’d let it sit over-night and see what happens.  Next day, still dead.  Now, I don’t know what to do, so I called Micro Air Computers and asked them.  I was told to bring it up to them.  They will take a look and see what’s wrong.  Well, found out next day that it’s dead!!!  No power.  Some of the important componats went bad after more than 8 yrs. of use.  Not worth the repair.  What else is going to go wrong!!

Ok, so I knew I had to get another one, but which one?  I use this System for Photography editing and other stuff.  Shopped around for a bit and decided on this HP Envy Notebook e360.  Has a much faster system than I had before, but not as much memory.  My other one had 750GB.  This one has only 256GB.  Should be enough for what I use it for.  This one has a HD Screen.  Nice.  So, now I had to recover the Programs that I paid for over time.  LightroomCC, PaintShop Pro, Picasa, AururaHD, and Aurura2019 I had to re-download.  I lost most everything else.  All my Images that I wanted to keep are gone!  Should have made a Disk of them.  This System run’s on Windows 10.  Getting used to it.  It’s different than Windows 8.1

That’s how last week went!  Not good.  Don’t think we can handle much more.  To say the least, I was not a happy camper at all!  My nerves were done.  All I can say is I hope that was the last of it, but who knows.

Thanks for reading,

Les

Featured

WEST VIRGINIA

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This past week-end Eileen & I took a trip to Morgantown, West Virginia to see her Grandaughter graduate from West Virginia State University.  WVS is a huge University and is spread out over a big area in Morgantown.  Morgantown is a Collage City.  It is very “hilly” cause it’s located in the hills of WV, but very nice.  Lot’s of places to eat, drink, and shop.  The above Image is of just some of the hills of WV on our way in the rain.  That’s what we had to put up with all week-end.  Rain, Rain, and more rain.  It got to be annoying at times.  It would stop, then start raining again.  We were putting up with it.

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On Saturday there was not much to do, so Eileens Grandaughter showed us the Coopers Rock Overlook.  Here is the walk-way to the overlook with it dripping rain.

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Looking down in the valley of pretty country.  I’ve been to WV before, but in a different area.  WV is a beautiful State with all the Mountains.  Have always liked the State.

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A Image of the 2 Grandmothers with Lexie and her Sister Hannah.  Lexie is the one that Graduated Suma Cum Loud.  Eileen is on the left.  I forgot what the “rope” means that is hanging on Lexie.  I do know it’s a award for something she did good in.

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Graduation Cermoney in the WVS Collisum.  They all sang John Denvers song “Country Roads.”

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The stupid rain stopped just long enough for me to shoot this Image in her gown with Hannah.

Featured

WATERFALLS

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Trying to photograph Waterfalls to get that “Silky Effect.”  I’m close here, but not quite what I wanted.

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Taken at the old Bernheart Dam.  Weather was just not good, but no rain.  This Dam has been here for many, many years.  During the Fall it does get some great Fall Foliage with reflections.

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The Pump House at the Dam.  It’s no longer used.  Just something from the past.

Thanks for stopping by.

Les

Featured

PHOTOSHOP CC

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Hello there to all my Followers.

For the past 6 months now, I’ve had the Software Photoshop CC.  In my opinion it’s a real nice photo editing software that will do so very much.  The problem I’ve been having with it is that I just don’t understand all the functions that it will do.  I have struggled with this program for a long time trying to use it the way it should be.  I have read and down-loaded many of the Tut’s that are offered via the Internet and I still have problems understanding.  The simple things I can do, but when it get’s more complicated I’m stuck.  I have tried many times to read what is told to me to do, but every time it comes out not as good as what they show me.

The Program also takes up a whole lot of memory when I use it.  I’ve found that the memory here on my Laptop is not big enough.  I seem to always get a warning that my memory here is too full and it can’t complete what I’m trying to do.  So, after much consideration I decided to get rid of it and not use it any longer.  No use using something that does not work well for me.  It’s now gone.  I will use Lightroom CC which I think is much easier to use.

About the Image above, it’s of the abandonded Day’s Inn that I’ve posted about before.  I have gotten word recently that the place caught fire and burned to the ground.  I thought this would happen.  I was told that the Engine Company’s took their good ole’ time responding and getting water on the structure.  I think that this was done because it’s not wanted in the area any longer.  I can understand that.  There were numbers of “unwanted” people living in there, so I think that the place was set on fire by arson.  I have not gotten up there yet to see what is left, but I will in the future.

 

Thanks for stopping by.

Les

Featured

ODDS & ENDS

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While crusin’ the Internet, I happen to come across this Image of my ole’ Destroyer, the USS Carpenter DD-825, that was taken in San Francisco Bay.  I was not aboard her at this time.  Was long gone.  Here she looks pretty good, because I’ve enhanced the Image a bit.

In Her later years, she was sold to the Turkish Navy, and re-named but I don’t know what.  She lasted for some years, and then was sold for scrap.  I have many memories of this ole’ “Tin Can.”  This was my Home for 2.5 yrs.  It’s where I got my “sea legs”.  Where for the 1st time at Sea, I was so sea sick that I could not even keep a cracker in my stomach!  I found out what a “sea bat” was.  Learned what it was like to get “fired upon” over in Nam.  Scared the crap out of me!  Much more.

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Ok.  A change of subject.  For the past few weeks I have taken a good interest on doing more of B&W photography.  I’m getting better with it using my Nikon D7000 camera and the software I have to enhance my Images.  I’ve been doing some reading on what settings work when doing B&W and so far they work well.  This one was taken out on the back roads in Hamburg, PA.  I’ve read to use a ISO of 100, a f/stop setting of f/8 at 1/100 of a sec.  Not bad.  I’ll keep going.

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This shot was taken at one of my favorite places I go from time to time.  This “pond” was never here years ago.  It has formed from a depression in the Coal scrap from rain, and snow over the years.  It’s getting some Lilly Pads, and I could hear the “peepers” making their usual song.  Strange how Nature changes the landscape.

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Here is another “muddy” depression that has formed.  The “peepers” are here also.  Too darn muddy to walk down there.  Notice the Coal piles that this place is made of.

That’s it.

Thanks for stopping by.

Les

Featured

STREETS OF HAMBURG

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Ah, yes.  Good ole’ 3rd St. in Hamburg, PA.

3rd St. in my ole’ hometown has not changed much in the passing years.  It’s still pretty much the same as it has been when I used to ride my bicycle on these very streets.  However, there are 3 different places than before.  Where you see the Cross Key’s Insurance building, a Candy Store used to be there.  Us kids could go in there and buy penny candy.  It’s gone now.

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Located right behind the Cross Keys Insurance is this parking lot.  On this spot, long ago, was something you just don’t see anymore  .  .  . and that was a Cobbler Shop.  It was just a little wooden building where shoes were repaired.  The Owner used to keep a cardboard box next to the door that had old discarded shoe heels that us kids could use for the game of Hop Scotch.  Made of rubber, these were great for playing that game.  The Owner never minded us coming in and search threw what he had thrown away.  Now, it’s long gone, but the memory is still here.

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Again, right next to the parking lot, is this ally that I used to use as a short cut to school.  It is still the same as it was.  Has not changed.  I still can see me riding my bicycle up this ally in my minds eye.

Thanks for stopping by.

Les

Featured

TRAILS

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On top of Skyline Drive that overlooks the City here, are a number of different types of Walking Trails that can be taken.  This is just one of them.  The sign before walking on the Trail said “Beware! Trail is Not For Beginners”.  “Walk At Your Own Risk!”

I’m not much of a Trail hiker at all.  Once in a while I might walk a Trail, but only if it looks easy and the Trail signs tell me what it is.  This one was not really one for me.  Even though it looks easy from the start, I don’t know what is ahead of me.  I don’t care to not know what is in store for me.  I don’t like going into something un-known.  It’s better to be safe than sorry.  Besides walking a hard trail with camera gear might not be good.  I elected to turn away.

Thanks for stopping by.

Les

 

 

 

 

 

 

Featured

SOME B&W

I’ve been shooting some Images in B&W, cause I seem to have found a better interest in it.  Before this, I’ve only used B&W for subjects that I consider on the old side.  I’ve found that B&W Images can be used for much more than that.

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All that remains of the Summit Hotel.  It was cloudy and the sky was not good, but B&W brought out some of it.

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Behind the old Fire Tower.

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Nothing fancy here.  Just showing how B&W can bring out the White clouds behind my home.  This one turned out nice and clear.

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The Light here in my Computer Room.

Featured

TOWER HOTEL

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Once located on top of Skyline Drive here in Reading, the Tower House was another popular attraction for the Reading area.  Built in1890, it stood just a short distance away from the Summit Hotel.  Here you can see the old Summit Hotel in the distance, with the Railroad that led up to them both.  The Tower Hotel was also destroyed by Arson fire on April 24, 1923.  What is strange about this is the Summit House was destroyed by fire just one day before!  I’m sure that Arsonists set fire to both of them, but why remains a mystery to this day.  They were never caught.

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Built on the old foundation of the Tower Hotel now stands the Mt. Penn Fire Tower that was built in 1932.  The Fire Tower was used as a look-out for mountain fires that surround the area.  The orginial road is still used to this day.

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The Fire Tower as it is today.  The City does not take much care of this structure any longer.  It used to be open to climb the steps to see the City of Reading, but now is closed because of being un-safe.  The lights on it don’t work anymore, and the Dome is falling apart.  The windows are broken and have never been replaced.  It’s used as a radio, cell phone transmitter at this time.

Again, it’s a sorry thing to see that so much History here in my City is going to waste.  As with much of the History here, it also will fall apart.

Thanks for reading.

Les

Featured

SUMMIT HOUSE

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The Summit House was once located at the top of Skyline Drive here in Reading, PA.  It was a popular place for people from the City to escape the busy streets of Reading for a week-end or just a few day’s.  The House had rooms, a bar, billard hall, dance hall, and many activities for young and old.  Today, there is not much left of the ole’ place.  On April 23, 1923 it was set on fire by a Arson that was never found.  Image shown was from a Postcard.

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What remains of the Stone steps that led up to the House.  Steps that lead to History.

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Another view of the old steps that still exist today.

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This was once a railroad bed that came right below the Summit House.  People could ride the Train up to the House, and take the steps that I showed above.  The rails & wooden ties have long been torn away.  It’s used as a Walking Trail now.

There is not very much to show of the old place.  The foundation of where it once stood is still there, but in poor condition.  The City of Reading does not take much care of this Historic spot.  It just waste’s away into History.

Thank you for stopping by.

Les

Featured

150-600mm LENS

For the 1st time in 2 day’s, I finially got the chance to take out the 150-600mm Tamron Lens that I had rented from Perfect Image in Lancaster.  The weather was real nice.  No wind, clouds, and it was not so cold as before.  Sun was out and getting warmer, so I took the Lens, Tripod, and Gimble Head over to the local Blue Marsh Dam just to see what this Lens will do.

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I mounted the Lens on the Tripod and also attached a Remote Shutter Release.  When I arrived at the Boat Launch area, there were quite a few boats in the water since it was such a nice day.  Thought it would be a good place to use the Big Lens.  Image above is one that I took having the Lens out to about 400mm.  It’s not all that bad.  I took some other shot’s but didn’t like them, so I deleted those.

So, to sort of make a long story short, I found that this Big Lens is not really for me.  Yes, it will photograph subjects a good distance away, but it’s also heavy to carry around.  It weighs a good 3 lbs.  It is also cumbersome.  It’s not a Lens to carry on a mounted Tripod from one place to another.  I think that it serves it’s purpose to stay in one spot most of the time.

Yes, this Lens would be good for Bird watching, and Wildlife capture from a distance away, but I don’t get into birds and wildlife all that much.  For those that do, it would be great.  For me, it would probably end up sitting around and not be used for the $800.00 you’d pay to own it.  So, what I’m going to do is return the Lens early and maybe get a rebate on a early return.  I’ll use what I have.

Thanks for stopping by.

Les

 

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MORE SNOW GEESE

For a long time now, I’ve been thinking of what it would be like to have a “Big Lens.”  You know, one of those Lens’s that are used for photographing wild life, birds and taking long shot’s.  Ones like a 150-600mm Lens that I see much of and other people using one.

I found out that I could rent one of these Lens’s at a reasonable cost down at Perfect Image in Lancaster, PA.  After some consideration on this, I decided to do it.  The cost for renting a big Lens like the 150-600mm is $70.00 for 7 day’s.  Not bad.  $10.00 a day is more than reasonable for me.  So, I took the drive to Perfect Image in Lancaster yesterday morning to rent one of these.  It takes about 40 min. to drive there, but it’s all open highway.

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This is the Lens that I rented.  It’s a Tamron 150-600mm V1 f/5-6.3 ASF Lens.  If your thinking that it’s big, it is!  It’s a bit heavy, also.  Weight is about 4 lbs.  When I picked it up I was surprised to see just how big it is, and find out that they are not light.  This kind of Lens is used with a Tripod and a Gimble Head.  So, after doing some light paper work, I headed out with my loaned Lens to see what it will do.  I have to remember that if I drop it, scratch it, or damage it in anyway  .  . .  I just bought a $800.00 Lens!  Must be darn careful!!

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I headed up to the Middle Creek Wildlife Refuge which was not too far away to try my Lens out.  I had with me a Tripod, but no Gimble Head so I just mounted the Lens on top of the Tripod without it.  Worked just fine.  This is the very first shot I took with the new Lens.  It’s nice and clear, as you see.  Some of the Snow Geese have left the area for their flight North to the Tundra in Alaska.  Their are not as many as before, but still are there.  Very soon all will be gone.

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Here they are doing what they do  . .  .  eat & rest.

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Here someone or something spooked them and they all took flight at once.  You can’t hear the roar of all the wings, but it’s a sound you don’t forget.

So far, even though, I didn’t get to use the Lens very much I love it.  I have it until next Wednesday, so I will be “out there” more in the near future.

Thanks for stopping by.

Les

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MIDDLE CREEK

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I made another trip down to Middle Creek a few days ago to see how many more Geese had arrived.  As always, it seems’d to be much fuller than before.  Snow Geese are always arriving for a stop-over until it’s time to leave.

The area that the Snow Geese are best observed is at a place called Willow Point where most of the thousands of birds hang out.  I’ve been here a number of times, and this time it was no exception.  People, hundreds of them, were all over the place.  I saw that it was so full that I decided to keep on driving by and try to find another location that was much more sparse of people.  I know that there is a back road around the Lake, so I thought I’d try there.

The road is dirt and was very muddy from the warmer weather we’ve been having.  It’s also full of “pot holes” that I had to keep avoiding to save my suspension.  I found a small parking area that only had 4 cars in it, so I drove in and parked my car.  Grabbed all my camera gear and started looking for the pathway down to the Lake.  I found it, but it was all snow covered and had other foot prints to show other’s were there.  Oh Well.  I’m not the only person that wants to get away from the crowd’s of people.

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You are looking at what kind of path I was greeted with.  Very narrow, darn slippery, wet, some ice, mud from the snow melt, tree limbs to step over, and worse yet it was slightly down-hill.  I thought I’m going to fall on my butt carrying my Tripod, Camera, and Lens!  That would not be good!  So, carefully, I made my way down to the water’s edge, set up the Tripod camera and Lens.  Being careful where I placed my feet cause everything was sloppy wet!

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So, having everything set up, I started looking thru the Lens for some nice shots of all the geese.  However, this time I was going to use my 640-800mm Lens for long shot’s that I figured I might have to use.  The above Image was taken with the Lens extended out to 600mm.  What I don’t like about it is that it’s blurry.  Could not seem to get a nice sharp Image with it.  I was also using my Gimble Head to support a long Lens such as this.  So far, in trying out this Lens, I’m not all that happy with it.

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See what I mean about being on the blurry side?  Here I tried to show just a portion of the thousands of Snow Geese that are all here.  The last report I got on just how many Geese are here it was over 140,000 birds so far!!  Now, how the Game Commission, comes up with that number I don’t know.  It sure is a lot!!

Now, after taking these Images, I had to stomp back up that darn trail again but this time it was up-hill!  I ran into the same trouble as before.  It’s about a 1/4 mile hike and by the time I got back to my car, I was exhausted!  To say the least.  Don’t think I’ll do this again for awhile.

Thanks for stopping by.

Les

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BEFORE IT MELTS AWAY

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Well, it looks like the month of March is coming in as a Lion, so far.  It snowed again last night.  This was the 3rd time this week-end.

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The 1st snow we got was on Friday evening.  That time it was just about 2 inches of white stuff.  The 2nd time was on Saturday evening that snow fell leaving just about 2 inches, again.

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Yesterday, it started snowing again.  This time it lasted most of the day and into the night.  I got up and was greeted by a Winter Wonder Land.  The snow was on the Wet side so that made it cling to most everything it fell on.  This type of snow makes for real pretty Landscape shots.  This one was taken from my back yard.  My Butterfly Bush in the foregound can’t take the weight as well as my Rocket Trees behind.  Everything is all dressed in White.

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Wanted to take a drive up to the local watershed, where I’ve been many times before, but the roads have not been plowed very well quite yet.  I thought it best not to venture out.  No need to damage the car.

I do enjoy it when Nature shows Her splendor.  It’s up to the beholder to take notice.  I do just that!  Always have.

Thanks for stopping by.

Les

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CITY OF READING

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Made a small drive up on Skyline Drive, that over looks the City, this morning before the weather started going bad to try using one of my “Long Lens”.

I was going to use my 480-800mm Lens, but found when I mounted to lens to my Tripod the screw broke that holds the Lens on the mount.  I was a bit disappointed on this, but had another Lens in stand-by.

Here with this Image, I used my Nikkor 18-200mm Lens to get close to the Court House in center city.  When I shot this using a Remote Trigger because the Lens was extended way out to 200mm.  The slightest shake would have made it blurry and I don’t want that.  It was a bit on the foggy side because bad weather was on the way.

I tend to like this one.  Came out better than I thought it would, even though it was cold and damp.  My hands were cold even to press the Remote!

Thank you for stopping by.

Les

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BUNG-HOLE

 Greetings to my NEW readers that I have aquired in the past few day’s.  I appreciate you following what I Post.  Thank you!

Now, on to something else.

In your many conversations with other people you know, have you ever heard the word “Bung-Hole”?  No, it’s not what you might think on the human body!

The word “Bung-Hole” comes from the day’s of Proabition way back in the 1920’s and 1930’s.  Back then beer was made and stored in wooden barrels that were hand made.  It was then used by illegal Rum-runners that would sell them to “speak easy’s” where ever it was needed.

After making a barrel to pour beer into, they had to have a “hole” to get the beer into.  A hole was bored into the barrel and beer was poured into the barrel.  Now, there had to be a plug to keep the beer from spilling out.  The plug was called a “Bung”.  Thus the name and how it came to be.

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How bout’ that!

Thanks for stopping by.

Les

Featured

WATCHING THE GEESE

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Yesterday, even though it was cold and a bit windy, I made a trip down to Middle Creek Wildlife Refuge to see the Snow Geese that stop by here every year.  There are truly thousands of them that migrate either North or South.  They usually arrive here in the middle of Feburary and stay here for a number of weeks, until it’s time to leave for where-ever they continue to fly to.  The fields & ponds are filled with them.  Many people come from everywhere to see this wonder of Nature.

A close up view!

This is just a sample of the all the Geese that are here.  A problem for me is that I never can tell who is Female and who is Male.  They know, and that’s all that counts.  To hear the sound of their wings when they get “spooked” taking flight all at the same time is quite a experience to hear.  It’s a “roar” that is hard to explain using words.

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This is the camera Lens that I use for long shot’s.  It’s a Vivitar 500mm Mirror Lens.  It’s mounted on my Pentax K100, but since then I’ve used my Pentax K10d more.  It’s a nice Lens, but takes some practice getting to learn how it works.  The focus for this is very “touchy”.  It’s hard to get a good focus with it.  When you install a 2x Doubler on, it brings the Lens to 1000mm!  That’s alot.  Then it’s harder to get good Images with it.  This is one reason I don’t use it that much.  I have to stay with this, cause I just can’t afford those big, huge Wildlife Lens’s.  They are quite expensive for me.

Thanks for stopping by.

Les

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READING A BOOK

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 I have a number of books.  Most of the books I have are on History, Photography, Instructional, and The Civil War.  But, there is a big problem that I seem to have.  That is I just can’t seem to sit down and read what I have!  I’ve had this problem for a long, long time.

Just why I have this, I have trouble explaining.  I can remember back in HS, when I was told to read a number of chapters in the book, but never really did.  I should have.  Would probably have gotten better grades.  Why do I still have the same problem?

I will go buy or order a book that has my interest.  I want to read about it and what the Author is trying to tell the reader.  I want to know what is being told, but I just don’t do it!  I have just received books I ordered named “The End of Detroit, The Story about the Purple Gang in Chicago, and The Story about Scarface and the Untouchables”  They have been sitting around for awhile now.  I’ve picked them up, read a few paragraphs, then put it down.

I’m finding that if the book does not hold my interest from the very start I’ll get bored with it!  Then later on, I’ll try again, but the same thing happens.  I’m told that reading a good book is very good for your brain and well being.  Is it?  Don’t know that.  Maybe what I should do is just force myself to start reading and hold yourself to it.  Read slowly and understand what the Author is telling you.  Maybe I just don’t have the patience to keep reading?  Not sure.

I’m going to keep trying.  With constant doing I just may get into more reading about what I want.  Maybe some of you out there have the same problem?  Leave me a comment, if you want.

 

Thanks for stopping by.

Les

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PACKARD AUTO PLANT

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Just recently I have gotten an interest in the Auto Industry that used to be one of the biggest Automotive Factors in the world in Dearborne, Michigan  This is what is left of the Packard Automotive Assembly Plant in Michigan, that used to manufacture luxury cars back in the early years of the 1900s

The PPackardAssembly Plant opened in 1903.  It is a 3,500,000 sq. ft. area that used the latest technology to assemble their cars.  Employing thousands of craftsman, and office workers it became one of the biggest employers in the city.

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This is just one of the many cars that were built there.  It’s the 1950 Packard Deluxe Model.  If you ever saw the movie “Raising Miss Daisy” this is one of the cars that were shown in the movie, but a different color.

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Above is the 1957 Packard Carribian, that also was built there.  In my personel opinion, this car was not bad looking, but back then it was expensive to buy.

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From it’s early day’s, the Packard Plant was slowly going down-hill.  I’m reading the one of the CEO’s bought out the Studerbaker business that used to make the Studerbaker Hawk that never did sell that good.  I’m reading that many mistakes were made during it’s operation, thus contributing to the down fall of the Packard.  Since it was opened for assembly in 1903, and then closed it’s doors in 1958.  This left thousands of workers out of a job, and helping to create Slum areas in Dearborne, Michigan  There were many other factors that helped.  Back then, Detroit, was known as the “Motor City” or “Mo Town” where a number of the Rock & Roll singers came from.  The Ronnetts, and the Supreme’s were just two of them.

I must take time to give credit to Abandoned America for their Images, because I’d never get to see this place for myself.  I would just love to walk around these famous buildings just to experience the History that is here.  I have read in reasearch that these old abandoned building’s harbor some bad things that you don’t want.  Wild dogs, drugs, homeless people, and some of the structers falling apart.  There have been some death’s here in the past.  I’m also reading that the Plant has been sold to some developer that wants to turn it into something, but preserve the past.  Other places like Flint, Michigan was another place were the Auto Industry fell apart.  I am currently reading the book “The End of Detroit” and how it lost it’s grip on the American Car Market.  Most people don’t realize just how close we came to loosing the Auto Industry!

If I have written some wrong information here, please correct me.  Had to Post this on memory.

Thanks for stopping by.

Les

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MAIN ST. IN READING, PA

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This is the Main St. in Reading, PA my home town.  Taken as a Snapshot from my Dash Cam that I bought a few weeks ago.  Here I will provide some more information on what this shows.

I have lived here, but on the outskirts, of the City most all my Life.  I was born not far from here in the Reading Hospital in March 1947.

Much of what you see here was not the City years ago.  It has changed much over the years that I remember.  The City was much better back then.  Starting with looking at the right side of the Image, most of the orginal stores are gone.  The City used to be just full of all kinds of different merchants that people would shop in.  Furniture stores, shoes, clothing shops, etc. are not here anymore.  Other business has taken their place.  The tall building on the right used to be a popular shopping place called Pomroyes.  I remember well my Mother taking me into Pomroyes many times in it’s past.  Over the years, it lost business and was not profitiable any longer.  It was torn down and the Wells Fargo building took it’s place.

There was no divider in the Center of the street.  Us teenagers used to Cruise Main St. on a Friday & Saturday night hoping to meet some new Ladies that were doing the same thing as us boys.  Called “Crusin’ back then, that’s long gone now.  No one does it anymore.  There used to be Trolley’s that ran up & down the Main St., but the last one ran in 1951.  The tracks are now torn up or paved over.

The Tall Building on the left was not there, either.  Before there were other small business’s there, but they are gone.  On the right again, the Woolworth Store is gone also.  It was a popular eating place.  It was well known for it’s “Soda Fountain” that many Woolworth Stores had thru the Country.  The “Crystal Restraunt” was another nice place to eat.  Well known for it’s good food, Mom would take me in there for lunch.  I had to eat all of what she ordered or I could not “go to the Toy Box” to pick out a Toy!  I did, even though I hated peas!  That too, is long gone.  In the 70’s, it caught fire and burned to the ground.  It never did return.

There is so much of the City that has changed that I can’t mention it all.  Now, the City is not known for what it was.  It’s full of drugs & crime in certain area’s.  I avoid the City when-ever possible.  Only go in there if I have to.  I’m truly sorry to see my City get like it is.

Thanks for stopping by.

Les

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NEW DASH CAM

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Last week, I decided to get myself, one of these Dash Cams that I’ve been reading so much about.  Went onto Ebay and checked out all the different types they have to buy.  I decided on this one.  It took a few day’s to receive it, but once it was here I was excited to see how good it works.

Its not hard to set up at all.  The little box to the left is a Rear Camera that you can place on your back windshield to record what is behind you.  I didn’t op to use this right now.  Maybe later on.

For the price this Dash Cam works real good.  You can do all kinds of things with it, besides just record where you go.  I also had to buy a a Microchip that was 8GB.  It’s just a little thing.  Had to get used to using it.  I was told that the bigger 64GB chips don’t work too well.  Get something smaller.  I did.  8GB should be big enough.

After recording a video, I have to down-load it to my Laptop and then Post it where I can.  I had to figure out just how to do that, since I’m not total computer understanding.  I also noticed that it takes awhile for the video to down-load.  The longer the video, the longer the time.  I just made another video I call “Skyline Drive”, but it’s pretty long.  About 40 min. worth.  Not sure yet if I’m going to Post it yet.

Thanks for reading.  I always appreciate comments.

Les

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HISTORIC HOMES IN READING, PA

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The City of Reading, PA where I live on the outskirts, is full of Historic Homes that date back to the 1800s.  This is just one of them.

This is the Wilhelm Mansion that was built in 1877 by Charles W. Wilhelm & his Wife, Sarah.  Mr. Wilhelm lived here from 1877-1936.  There is also a Carriage House in the back, that was added in 1890, which I could not get to.  The Mansion is built in the Gothic Style.  It’s located on Center Ave. in the Historic District of Reading.  Is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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This is just part of what is in the Mansion.  Not my Image.

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This is just one of the ornate ceilings in the Mansion.

When I took the Image outside, the Mansion was not open for visitor Tours during the Winter.  I would just love to see this Mansion inside, but not until Spring.

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This is the same place, but I’ve messed with it using Lightroom CC.  Sort of makes it look a bit “spooky”?

Thanks for visiting again.

Les

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SNOW SQUALL

Yesterday morning was turning out to be a nice looking day.  Sun was out, was not windy or cloudy.  So, I thought I’d go “out there’ even though it was on the cold side with my camera and see what I could find.

Had to stop over at the local Best Buy Store to see if I could purchase some earbuds with a microphone so I could install a narrative to video’s that I shoot.  When I got there, I noticed the sky was starting to turn cloudy.  Just my luck.  Went into the store, shopped around for something not expensive, but will work well.  Found what I wanted, paid for it, and left.

Going back outside, I saw it snowing!  What the heck!  From sunny to snow in about 20 minutes.  Thought that it was just a Snow Shower that would only last a few minutes.  It did, but the sky still did not look right.  Decided to head home and try another day.

It’s good I did.  No sooner than getting home, I saw the snow return.  This time it was snowing, and blowing worse than before.  Quick ran and got my Nikon and recorded what you see above.  This Snow Squall lasted about 20 minutes with no real accumlation.  It stopped as quick as it started.  Then the sun came back out!

Sometimes I think I just can’t win during Winter months!

Thanks for viewing.

Les

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THE STREETS OF READING, PA

I’ve been doing something different for the past few day’s.  I got the idea of purchasing one of those Dash Cams for the car to film where I go.  Made this video after dropping our taxes off to be done.  I’m hoping that it works right.  This is the very first time I’ve done this, so if it’s not right, I’ll try and repair.

I’ve tried to add some narritave to the video, but found that my old mic does not work with this newer laptop.  Guess that I have to get a new one sometime.

Reading, PA is where I have lived most all my Life.  I don’t live in the City, just on the outskirts of it.  I try and stay out of the City as much as possible, because it has changed so much over the passing years.  It’s not what it used to be at all!

In my younger years I remember the City as being a vibrant place with lot’s of stores to shop in.  It’s not that any longer.  Crime and Drugs have runined the City and have been for many years.  The once Historical District of the City is slowly falling apart.  Only the Homes that are more than 100 yrs. old are still being kept in repair, because it’s the Law in Reading.  My video goes right thru the Historic District.

The Dash Cam works real nice.  All I had to do is mount it on the inside front window, plug in power, and press the Record button.  Had to purchase a 32 G Micro Chip for the memory.  I take that out and down-load it to my laptop, then try and share it with you.  I think in the near future I will be doing more like this.

Oh yes.  To get this video on my Site, I had to up-grade my WordPress.  I hope that it was worth it.

Thank you for viewing and stopping by.

Les

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CUTE LITTLE TOWN

Once in a while, when I’m driving around in Coal Country looking for something, I come across a place that I had no idea was there.  The Coal Region area is filled with “little patch towns” that sprang up years ago from a Coal Mine that was close by.  Even though the Mine has been shut down for many years, some of the towns still exist to this day.

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Welcome to Phoenixville, PA.  Back when I was searching for the Primrose Colliery, I came down this road from the top of my Image, not really knowing where I’m going.  This is what I happen to find.

I drove thru here, and thought it a nice little town, so I turned around and parked the car.  This is exactly what I saw.

Little “Patch Towns” such as this seem to have a “quaint air” about them.  All the homes here were well kept and in good repair even though they have been here for years.  It has a small Church, which is just off to the right in my Image, a little Park, and a Engine Company with just 1 Fire Truck in it.  Up here, everyone knows everybody.  They probably help each other out when bad times may come to someone.  The also know when a “stranger” is around.  People in places like this, and many others will help out anyone who needs it.  They will give you information freely, if it is known what you are looking for.  People of the Coal Region will give you the shirt off their back, but never piss them off!

I had walked up the street and noticed some local residents in front of their Home.  I asked them about the Primrose Colliery and was told it’s just up the main road from where I came.  This is how I find out much about what I’m looking for.  All you have to do is ask.

 

Thanks for stopping by.

Les

 

 

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ABANDONDED DAYS INN

Traveling up & down RT61 North & South many times, I remember a Day’s Inn that sat just off the highway, but hard to see since it sorta sat in a small hallow off the highway.  I remember when this was being built, but never really paid much attention to it.  Just another place to stop for the night, so I didn’t think anything of it.

However, now I had noticed that the Days Inn was looking like a place not used anymore.  It was a mess, to say the least.  Thought I’d grab my camera gear and go take a look to see what happened.

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Welcome to the Days Inn in Schuylkill Haven or what is left of it.  Doing some research about this, I found out that 2 Brothers from India owned this thru the Day’s Inn franchise.  It was built by them back in 1985.  I’m told that it was a nice place to stay over night with clean well-kept rooms.  I don’t remember just how long it stayed in business, but over time it went down-hill because the Brothers got into something way over their heads.  They had no Management experience on how to run a Motel at all.  Realizing that it was failing the Brothers just up and left it!!  Now, it’s a falling apart scar on the land.

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Welcome!  We have lot’s of rooms open for your stay  .  .  .  .  If you dare!

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Over the years, the whole place has been stripped of anything that could be sold for profit, including copper wire & pipes.

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This is strange.  Why?

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Have a seat!  Rest your feet.

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While walking around this place, I was very aware of what might be in here that I don’t know about.  I was very alert to anything.  Places such as this is why a carry a .45 cal pistol.  Who knows what’s in here that might want to rob or do me harm?  I was told that during the Spring, Summer, and early Fall this place has “squatters” that live here.  Drugs are common.  However, during cold Winters there is usually nothing but an empty eyesore, because it’s just too cold.

Local people want the place torn down.  Engine Company’s respond here because of small fires that start for some reason.  They want it torn down, also.  Local gov’t does nothing about it.  Too expensive.  So it is just left to rot away.  Maybe in the near future, something will be done.

 

Thank You for Stopping by.

Les

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WILLOW LAKE

Back in the early 60’s, while I was still in High School, I was told about a place named Willow Lake that was up North of here in Schuylkill Haven.  This was about all I knew, so I had forgotten about it until one day last week when the Wife and I got into having a conversation about the Lake.

Eileen was born & raised in Minersville, a small Coal Mining town, that was not too far away.  Since she was in HS about the same time as me, she told me about this place that she & her friends went to a few times.  Willow Lake was a swimming pool where a whole lot of local people & teenagers went to swim, dance, and have a good time.  Every Saturday night a Band named The Jordon Brothers, played here.  Music from the 60’s were their specialty.  Everyone loved them.  The Lake not only had swimming & dancing, but it also had a Stand for Hot Dogs, FF, Hambergers, Soda,  and Candy for everyone.  Since, I was never able to go there, I had no idea about it except for what is told to me.

Now, let’s Fast Forward, to Present Time.

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This is a Image of Willow Lake from the 60’s.  It’s not my Image, because it does not exist any more.  Over the passing years, Willow Lake started to go down-hill for a reason that I don’t know.  Why this very popular place went under is anyone’s guess.  Over time, it just sat there, empty.  No one used it.  So the Owner decided to cover it over with dirt & back fill.  Now, very little remains unless you know where it was.  So, in our conversation, Eileen told me about where it used to be and it got me interested to see this once popular place from the past.

Ok, so I grabbed my camera gear, and went to the place she told me about.  It turned out that it was not as easy to find as I thought it would be.  More than 50 yrs. have passed since the place existed.  I had a heck of a time finding what was left.  I drove up to the location 2 times, but could find nothing!  Frustrated me!  So, I was determined to see this, so I went up for the 3rd time, looking around all over!  Finially, I found it with the help of some local people.

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Ah, yes.  Welcome to what used to be Willow Lake.  My trustee steed sit’s on History from the past.  Like I was told.  There’s not much here anymore.  Just a bunch of trees, grass, and scrub where a Pool used to be.

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What remains of the ole’ Bath House.

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The Door to the Mens Bathroom was open, so I took a look.

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Wash your hands?  The color of the Walls still remain.

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The Girls Bathroom is a mess!

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Here you can still see the black top.  Look at the other Image and you can see what it was used for.

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The outer edges of the Pool are still here.  The Blue color is ice from the cold.

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A closer look.

It has been more than 50 yrs. since this Pool was used.  Now, it has faded into History, like many other places.  While walking around here, I felt a total saddness for this place.  At one time it was full of people enjoying themselves on a warm summer day.  Now, there is nothing but a memory.  What a shame.

 

Thank you.

Les

 

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WALKING THRU THE PAST

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Since I do enjoy photographing sites that are up in the Historical Coal Region area, I decided to return to the Primrose/Lytle Colliery that was once here long ago.  When here the last time, I could only go so far for fear of falling into a Mine Shaft that might have been there, but not able to see since the years have passed.  You must be careful on just where you walk, at times.

So, on my return trip here, I wondered if there was another way into this place.  In my slow drive around on the Main road, I happen to notice a small parking area.  I pulled in, stopped the car, got out to take a look around.  I figured the parking lot was there for a reason, and sure enough I was right.  I noticed a path that led into the woods close by the Coal fields that I wanted to explore.  Again, I looked for “Private Property or Keep Out” signs, but found none that I could see.  The above Image shows what I have to walk thru, at times, to get to a site that I want.  It’s wet, dirty, full of Coal dirt, and trees that have fallen down.  It can get messy!  I have learned to wear boots that are made for this sort of thing.

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This is looking back behind what I walked thru.  The parking lot is up on the left of this Image.

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One big pile of Coal Dirt that has been eroded by weather.  Has probably been here for years.

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This is the old Weigh Station that was used to weigh Coal Trucks as they left the yard.

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A barren waste land of nothing but coal dirt/scrap.  It was cold here, and quite windy.  Tried to shoot a video with the camera, but it didn’t turn out very well.  Too much noise from the wind.  I deleted it.

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As I had stated before, area’s like this are used often for 4-wheelin’.

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Looking back to where I had been before.  Notice the cement wall that once was part of the Colliery.

So, that’s it.  I took some other Images, but I think I’ve posted enough.  This will be my final walk thru here.  I’ve seen pretty much of it.  I know what was here, but not the full story.  Only “Ghosts from the Past” will know.

Thank You.

Les

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PRESERVING HISTORY.

In my last Post about the Lytle Colliery, I had mentioned that I was having trouble finding this place.  Well, after 2 day’s of snooping around and asking questions and talking with other local people of the area, I finially found this elusive place off one of the main traveled roads in Minersville.  I found that I just did not go far enough up the road.  It was located on a 2 lane coal dirt covered road.  By the looks of it, you could hardly know that there was once a mighty, coal producing Colliery in the area, until you got closer to the property that it once stood on.

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After turning on to this 2 lane coal dirt covered road and driving in coal dirt that I was not sure if my car would make it, I came across this, as I was told it would be.  There were no “Private Property or Keep Out” signs, so I continued on.  Behind my car, the dirt road goes back about a half mile to the main road thru Primrose.  It was bumpy, full of holes, coal dirt, and soft ground that I was afraid of getting stuck in with the car that is not built for roads such as this.

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This is a “Tool Shed” that has been on this spot since 1902.  I’m surprised it was still standing.

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The only piece of Coal moving machinery left on the property.  Must have sat here for many years.  Don’t think it works anymore!

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This is the only large cement wall that is left over from the Colliery.

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This is looking down the “road” that leads to really nothing but piles of Coal Clum that is a left over from the Colliery.  That Black dirt is very soft.  If you choose to drive thru or walk in it, there is a real good chance you’ll sink in a bit far.  Not a good idea, unless you walk over to the left.

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Looking down from where the Colliery used to stand.

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More Coal waste, with the bleak landscape.

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Even though there is nothing here any longer, this is what remains of the Lytle/Primrose Coal Colliery that was in operation from 1890-1950 employing more than 300 miners and working all 3 shifts to supply the Nation with Coal.  The name Primrose comes from the Primrose Coal Vein that runs right under this land.  The other main part of the Colliery is on the top left where you see the tall attena.

Unfortantlly, there is a very sad note that goes along with this Image.  In the late afternoon of April 20, 1892, a near-by Coal Shaft that had filled with water over the years, broke thru another Vein and flooded a active Mine Shaft just when the shift change was happening, drowning 10 miners.  There is no Memorial around that I know of to give Tribute to these Miners who lost their Life.  Over the many years, when Coal was King, hundreds of Coal Miners lost their lives in these man made hell holes in the ground.

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Looks like a black Moon-scape to me.  I did not walk down thru all this.  This is what you see allot of around a old abandonded Coal Breaker or Colliery.  The buildings in the far foreground are part of Primrose.

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The left over Coal dirt that seems never to end makes the Country side so empty and not life giving to any wildlife that may be in the area.  Sadly, I don’t think their is any.

Thank You.

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LYTLE COLLIERY

As most of you already know, I love the Historical area of the Coal Region where so much History is still around, and some of it is gone but always remembered by those who know.

Just a few day’s ago, I had grabbed my camera gear, and headed back up to my favorite region looking for a specific area to try and find.  A long time friend of my Wife, who she has know since High School and has lived in Minersville all of her life, told her that there used to be a Colliery/Breaker up in a area called Primrose.  I knew about Primrose from before but just really never knew where it was located.

So, I packed up my camera gear and headed up to the region that she was talking about.  I sorta knew about where Primrose was, but not exactly sure.  Found out by calling my Wife’s good friend and asking her just where this place is.  Primrose is located just on the outskirts of Minersville on RT209 North.  Now, the reason I missed it was because you have to take a small road off the main one.  I never knew that.

I found Primrose. The little Town of Primrose was named after the Primrose Coal Vein that ran thru the area.  Upon arriving there I saw such a nice, quaint little Town nestled in a small valley.  It only had 10 or 12 very well kept white Homes that were all bunched together.  It was what you could call a “Coal Patch”.  I drove thru it hoping to catch someone outside so I could ask questions, but no one was around.  Drove down the dirt road as far as I could, but found nothing on where the Colliery used to be.  Turned around and came back the way I came in.  Frustrated that I did not find what I was looking for I left the area.  What I should have done is stopped and took a Image of this little “Patch” just to show you what it is.  So, anyway  . .  .  .

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After coming home with nothing to show, I searched the Internet for what may be there about the Primrose Colliery/Breaker.  This is what I could find.

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I know that this Colliery/Breaker is in the area that I looked for, but just can’t seem to find it.  I will be going back up there again in the near future and this time I’ll find it by asking around from those who may remember.

Thank You & Happy Holidays.

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COAL HOLE

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Photographed in the outskirts of Coaldale, PA is what remains of a Coal Hole that was used years ago to remove Coal that was fairly close to the ground surface.

Known also as a “Strippie Mine” Coal was dug out and shipped to a near-by Colliery for further process where shale and stone were removed from the Coal.  The Shale & Stone that was not wanted was then dumped near-by creating what is called a “Clum Pile.”  Thru out the Coal Region area there are many Clum Piles that still exist from all the different mines that were in the region.

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This is not my Image, but it shows just what a “Clum Pile” looks like.  Today, they are more used for 4 wheeling and play area’s.  Just outside of Tamaqua there are many of these.

Most of these “Holes” were quite deep.  Some of them were known to be over 100 ft. deep or more.  Miners back then sometimes left the machinery at the bottom of the Pit and then moved on to another dig.  Over the many passing years, the Strippie filled with Spring and rain water creating just a deep water filled hole in the ground.  The water in them is very cold.  During Winter months they freeze over and create a skating area, but don’t fall in!

My Wife was born & raised in the Coal area.  She can still remember going swimming in one of these during her HS years, because of no place else to go, and it was free.  No charge to swim here, but it can take your Life if not careful.  Coal machinery left over in these can be just hidden below the surface of the water!  Jump or dive in may have you encounter a un-wanted object that you don’t know is there.  There have been reports of this kind of death.

A good portion of these Holes are now gone.  Filled in with ground from other places, it then looks like nothing was ever there.  Only those who remember know.

Thank You.

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B&W to Color

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I know that I’ve posted a B&W Image before that was taken in Paris France sometime in 1944 just before my Mother & Father were married.  This is a color Image that I made using my Paint Shop Pro X9 Ultimate Program.

I tried to get the color of Army Uniforms as close to the real thing.  I didn’t know the color’s, so had to do some research on them.  This is about right.

Thank You.

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CLASS OF 1966

About 2 weeks ago, I was notified via text message that my Fleetwood Class of 1966 was having a small gathering at a local known restraunt.  I decided I’d go and see some Classmates that I’ve not seen in 5 yrs. or more.  Most all of our Class is now up to 70 yrs. of age.  The Committie that put this together decided to have a gathering now once a year, instead of every 5 yrs. like has been done before.  I think it’s a good idea.

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This Image was taken with my phone.  Not very good, but it just shows my Class together all catching up on what’s been happening with everyone.  We all have changed alot in the passing years.  Some of my Class could not make it and some Classmates are gone due to their passing.  So far, we have lost 5 members.

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Now, bear with me a bit.  Let’s go back in time to 1964.  This is a Image taken by my date’s Father before we went to a High School Dance on a Saturday night.  My Date is Carol.  I was scared to death to call her and ask her to go to the dance with me.  Remember.  Back in those day’s, to ask a girl out you would have to have her Home phone number.  Not a Cell Phone number.  There was no such thing back then.  You’d call and ask her to go, hoping she would and not say that she could not.  Back in those day’s it was a horrible feeling when she said “No Thank You.”  Of course, there was no text, either.  My Mother was our transportation to and from the dance.  My Mother asked me what color her dress was going to be.  I had no idea why she wanted to know that then.  Well, it was for a flower to match the color.  She ordered a flower called a Symbitium.  I didn’t know what they were then.  The Flower is on her left wrist not shown.

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Here we are again!  This time it’s 50+ years later.  Carol and I have always been in touch with each other ever since, but both of us went our seperate way’s.  I went off to join the US Navy and she went on to College to learn Music and become a Music teacher for 34 yrs.  Now, she’s married with 2 children that are all grown up.  Like me, Carol Retired from teaching and now traveling as much as she can.  I have always, always had a special place in my heart for this Lady.  She has never been forgotten.  Never will be.  I think that she is the one that got away.

Thank You.

 

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ON THIS VETERENS DAY

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Here I am!  This Image was taken in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii sometime not too long after I reported aboard my Destroyer in November of 1965.  The Image does not show that I’m half scared to death.  I’m right out of High School, in a strange place, have no idea where I’m going, or what is in store for me.  I’m like most others that can’t see what is in my future.  I had to learn fast.  I had to grow up quickly.  I always wanted to be in the US Navy to see the world.  I did just that.  I sailed all over the Pacific Ocean from Hawaii, Japan, Phillipense, Okinowa, Vietnam, Pago Pago, New Zeland and Austraila.  I came home a different person.  There was one thing that I was never told about after I enlisted and that was there was a War going on that I knew nothing about.  I found out!

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Here is my Destroyer that I was aboard for 3 yrs.  It was my Home.  This Image was taken as we entered Sydney, Austrailia coming off the gun line in Vietnam for 4 day’s of R&R.  The Opera House in the background was just being completed then.

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This is a Image that I took while on the Port Side.  We just got done taking on amunition, stores, and fuel from the USS Pontchatula, a supply ship.  The Carrier is the USS Ranger, I think.  Don’t quite remember.

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Here we are at the Floating Gardens in Hong Kong.  I’m on the far right with my NEW camera that I bought here.  I just made E-3 and we were all out celebrating.  The Floating Gardens were a outstanding place to see and eat in.  I could not read any Chineese, so we ordered what looked good!  We were given so much food that it was not all eaten!

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The Ribbons that I earned for my Dress Uniform which still hang in the closet draped in plastic.  From left to right is the Good Conduct Ribbon, the Vietnam Service Ribbon, with one Bronze Star, and the Vietnam Defense Ribbon.

Now, I just want to say that I’m not “tooting my own horn” here.  Just wanted to show what was part of my Life.  Being in the Navy during those years opened my eyes to many things in the world.  I’ve seen things that most people will never see.  Some of it was not good, while others were interesting and eye opening.  Coming home on leave in 1967, I had bottles, coke cans and was spit at in Travis AFB in California.  Just because I was a Vietnam Vet.  We we not cared about back then, like now.  People just did not care about what our Marines and our Armed Forces went thru.  No parades, no Welcome Home, no nothing!  Most all of us never knew that was going to happen.

After getting out of the Navy, I used to have some bad dreams about seeing Dead bodies of Vietcong in the water.  Their “Junk” was fired on by my Destroyer for carrying arms back and forth to North Vietnam.  There was not much left.  I won’t go into detail.  It was not pretty to see.

In closing, I would like to take time to say “THANK YOU” to all our other Veterens that are out there.  Some of you endured more than what I had to.

From a Grateful US Navy Vet.

Thank You.

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FALL IS LEAVING.

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The Fall Foliage is now starting to go into it’s final hoorah.  Color is not as bright as it has been a few days ago.  In a few days, Mother Nature will take it all away and make room for Old Man Winter.

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Color’s of Red, Green, and Yellow will slowly fall away and leave nothing but a bare tree.

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My old Play Ground has always had brilliant color as long as I can remember.  The Play Ground has changed over the passing years, but Nature always remains as it has for many years.

Again, heavy rain today will hasten the colorful leaves of Fall to drop off the trees.  We have had our share of rain all Summer long.  We just don’t need anymore.  It’s good that the temperatures are warm enough that it does not snow  .  .  .  yet!  If we continue to get more rain and the weather turns colder, it all will be snow!  Really don’t want that right now.

Thank you.