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It’s About TIme!

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Back in the early 1960s, there was a lot of interest in time capsules. Usually these were a big deal and there were World’s Fair time capsules, scientific-society time capsules, and, of course, home-made ones. I buried one, made of a big metal coffee can, in our backyard in 1961. That was the year JFK was inaugurated, and I thought it was the beginning of a brave new world.

Being nine years old at the time, I chose what was important to me for my gift to the people of the future. I remember stuffing a Superman comic book into the can, some toys, and a couple of silver dollars I had saved. It was fun imaging how impressed people of the year 2061 would be when they found it!

Of course, my brother and his troops could have dug it up a week after I buried it for all I knew. But it was something to have fun doing.

Fast-forward to today. Remember the post a couple of weeks ago where I identified the home we lived in 50 years ago? Well, I just sent them a letter telling them about the time capsule. Photos taken in 1961 show them where the thing was buried, and I told them if they found anything at all, they were welcome to it.

Whether or not they’ll find anything, or do more than simply toss the letter in the trash, I can’t say. If nothing else, they may get a kick out of seeing what their home looked like over 50 years ago. But if anything interesting turns up, I’ll share it here!!!

UPDATE:

As of the end of November, three and a half months after I sent the letter to the folks at our old address, the people there haven’t responded.

You Can Go Home Again, Thanks To Google Maps . . .

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Google Street Views is so cool! Thanks to it, I was able to find the house we lived in over 50 years ago, as seen in these two photos.

The photo on the left is from 1961, with my first-grade brother Jeff in the foreground. On the right is the Google street view, present day. The three-car garage has been modified to what looks like living space, but otherwise it looks much the same.

Leaving The Station With A Lunchbag In My Hand . . .

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For the train buffs out there, here’s a photo from 1961 showing our cub-scout pack bravely going off to camp.

Behind me (I’m the kid being scolded by his mom) is the Kansas City Southern’s “Southern Belle” passenger train, which provided service between New Orleans and Kansas City, and the Pullman car shown is the “Siloam Springs” double-bedroom sleeper.

My mom was the most nervous den mother the Scouts ever had! I’ll never forget her trying to teach our pack how to make a Play-Doh Thanksgiving scene. She finally wigged out when it came time to teach us how to make a covered bridge out of toothpicks.

My little friends and I were shocked when she grabbed the toothpicks and paste and threw them into the trash, saying “To Hell with it!” while lighting a cigarette. Those were the days!

What’s That Smell?

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I’m going to recycle some recent Facebook entries of mine to kick off this blog. It’s the eco-friendly thing to do!

If anyone wants to know what the weirdest, most pungent smell in the world is, my vote goes for a menhaden fish-processing plant, more commonly called a “pogie plant.” This one was on Highway 87 between Port Arthur and Sabine Pass, Texas, and owned by a friend of my dad’s, John Quinn.

My dad was fascinated by menhaden fish; he’d spot huge schools of them in the Gulf of Mexico from his plane, radio the fishing boats as to the location, and they’d pay him a percentage of the catch’s proceeds. That was called “fish spotting” and some pilots made a lot of money doing that!

A Texas marine biologist’s report from 1960 that I found on the web claimed that this plant, and one other in Texas, processed 60 MILLION pounds of menhaden in 1959. Holy mackerel, that’s a lot of fish!!!

The lettering on the front of the building cracks me up!

Photo from 1958 (I think!).

Here’s another photo of this plant. Aren’t the old vehicles fun to see? My dad’s car is the 1952 DeSoto Custom Club coupé which looks black in this photo, but was actually a very dark green. He loved that car and so did I. I’m guessing that bright-red object is either a gas pump or– and this is entirely possible– Dr Who is visiting Sabine Pass, Texas, for some reason.