A DIY Childhood
Halloween was a lot different back in the 1950s. For one thing folks used to give out a full size candy bar, not these 1/4 size treats you see today.
That’s not what I really remember though. What I remember most about Halloween was the planning. Planning on what to be. Talking over the ideas and options with your best friend on afternoons after school. Costumes were not purchased in those days but created. Rummaging around in the attic for some odd looking clothing or down in the basement painting cardboard and cutting out paper bags for instance. I wish I had a photograph of the year my friend and I made ourselves up as robots with tubular arms and legs of cardboard wrapped in tin foil and a cylindrical head with wire coils and springs. Sometimes it would take a mothers skill at the sewing machine. I can still picture my little sister in her bright orange gypsy skirt and blouse with zigzag bric a brac, a bright kerchief tied round her head. The point is it kept us busy for weeks ahead with thinking of ideas, planning, hunting around for props, designing, constructing, making mistakes and starting over, seeing your inspiration take form. The anticipation would build over the weeks not so much for the treats we could collect but to see the reaction on faces of neighbors and friends that special October evening well after dark. It was all a creative endeavor back then. The black construction paper bats we would cut out, the little ghosts made from scraps of cloth from an old pillow case, stuffing a shirt and trousers with Autumn leaves to make a mannikin. Carving a real jack-o-lantern.
Putting on a costume and adopting a different persona is and has always been fun. I just wonder if it has any meaning or lessons learned for children today when Mom takes them to the local Megalomart to choose a Chinese ready made outfit and plastic pumpkin to haul their loot. Maybe developing creative skills and building memories is old fashioned. Like I said Halloween was a lot different back in the 1950s. Consumerism wasn’t a life style then and living was more a hands on affair.
Happy Trails, Dohn
South Park City, Colorado 18- -
EXT. FRONT STREET – WEST, SOUTH PARK CITY – DAY, MORNING
Street is vacant. No people or dogs are seen anywhere. A faint breeze rustling aspen leaves is all that is heard and then the more distant sound of a blacksmiths hammer rhythmically striking an anvil. Continue reading
This gallery contains 11 photos.
Definition of Abstract Art from the Oxford Dictionary: art that does not attempt to represent external, recognizable reality but seeks to achieve its effect using shapes, forms, colors, and textures. I have been working on a photography project the past … Continue reading
The Butterfield Overland Mail Company ran a stage line of 2,800 miles in 1858 that could deliver mail from St. Louis, Missouri to San Francisco in 25 days,with twice a week departures. The responsibility and priority of the Butterfield line was mail delivery but adventurous passengers were accepted.
Night and day the stage rolled on at a pace from 5 to 12 miles an hour, across the vast Great Plains, jagged mountain passes, searing deserts, and quicksand rivers. The coach stopped only to change horses or let passengers gulp down a cup of coffee with their beans, bad bacon and hard biscuits. The passengers rode three abreast, with baggage on their laps and mail pouches beneath their feet. They traveled relentlessly and suffered from continual heat and choking dust in the summer and intense unrelenting cold or snow in the winter. Mark Twain, in typical wit, recounts such a stagecoach ride in Roughing It.
As bone jarring and formidable as the journey may have been, it was still the best and quickest way to not only California but all other developing areas in the west. Some advice offered to help the less experienced traveler was first published in the Omaha Herald newspaper, on October 3, 1877: “Keep in mind that a stagecoach trip in many instances could be a long journey, not necessarily to the next town down the line….. Don’t grease your hair, because travel is dusty. Don’t imagine for a moment that you are going on a picnic. Expect annoyances, discomfort, and some hardship….Don’t discuss politics or religion. Don’t point out where murders have been committed especially if there are any women passengers…….Procure your stimulants before starting, as “ranch” (Stage Depot) whiskey is not “nectar”!…..In very cold weather, abstain entirely from liquor when on the road, because you will freeze twice as quickly when under its influence. Don’t growl at the food received at the station: stage companies generally provide the best they can get…..In cold weather, don’t ride with tight-fitting boots, shoes, or gloves. When the driver asks you to get off and walk, do so without grumbling. he won’t request it unless absolutely necessary.”
The Colorado Rocky Mountains were formed about 80-55 million years ago…….then the first village was built, 1851.
The Rocky Mountains
13,000 years ago the eastern edge of the Rocky Mountains was a major migration route that contributed to the spread of Paleo-Indian peoples throughout the Americas. There is little reason why early people would have ventured far into the higher mountains as large and small game was abundant and easy to follow on the more temperate grassy plains. It was not until about 2,000 years before present that human habitation took hold in the Rockies. At that time Ute Indians ranged across the western Colorado Plateau and a few nomadic Ute bands hunted the southern mountain valleys. Except for occasional hunting trips the high Colorado mountains were never inhabited, ever, until just over two hundred years ago, around 1800. Continue reading
In the Heart of the Rocky Mountains.
click any image for hi-resolution
The Main Line has tight curves and a steep steady grade as it hugs the hillside ascending the Front Range. There are 17 tunnels in the first 30 miles the rails climbs from Denver to Pinecliff. In those places where a cliffside is particularly steep or there is just too much rock to remove for a cut, they drill and blast a hole under the mountain. Generally these tunnels aren’t very long and you can see daylight one side to the other. They are narrow though. Only a couple of feet clearance are above and either side of a locomotive.
I remember one time there was a terrible accident. There was an area where one side of the track had sunk lower than the other. As the train rolled over the uneven rails it set the cars behind rocking back and forth sideways. This was right at the mouth of one of those tunnels. About a dozen cars had passed swaying over the spot when one car tipped a bit more off center than the others and connected with the solid rock entrance to the tunnel. With six locomotives pulling up front on a downhill grade and fifty cars behind held back by an immovable mountain something had to give. It was one hell of a derailment. I can’t imagine the terrific screeching and bedlam of noise. Two cars were shredded and smashed, four others had flipped over. Inside the tunnel and out rail had been ripped loose, bent and twisted, wooden ties had been torn up and splintered, huge shards of steel had embedded themselves in solid rock. It took 10 or 12 hours to clear the wreckage, replace and tamp new ties and spike in new rail. No going home that day, you gotta do what you gotta do. The Main Line needs to be open what ever the cost, there are schedules to keep. But wait I get ahead of myself.
Eastbound coming into Rollinsville