Sled Riding On Pine Needles in the Summertime

Having a tinkerer for a Daddy was fun most times.  He liked junk and liked to make things out of junk.   Which is why I love junk I guess.

He made us things.

I can faintly remember a merry go round he put together for us when I was probably around four years old circa 1964.  My seat was an old tricycle mounted and my little brother’s was an old high chair or a baby walker.  I  can remember him pushing us on that go round one day until we were crying and about to puke.  Me looking over at my baby brother who was screaming and me screaming.

I am sure mostly fun times were had on that merry go round but you remember what you remember from when you were that age.

Flash forward to about 1973.  Now this is summertime fun.  No crying or puking going on.

We had some land.  Daddy had a bulldozer.

He had an old car that he had bought from a guy who was hard up for some cash one week.  It was a big blue boat of a car,  worth nothing but scrap money or to use as a demolition derby car.

Why not let the kids have it for some driving lessons?

Let’s see, I was 12 or 13 at the most.  That would make my brothers about 11 and 9.

Daddy made a racetrack (or that’s what we called it).  He bulldozed a dirt track around trees in the field and woods and packed it down.

Then he put a block of wood under the gas pedal (he wasn’t a stupid man) so we didn’t get to race.  We had something we sat on to raise us up so that we could see over the dashboard.   If I remember correctly Momma strapped a throw pillow over the steering wheel, her version of an airbag.   We had to wear a motorcycle helmet.  Safety first.

I was scared to drive.  Daddy rode with me the first round or two.  But then he talked me into going on my own.  Of course, my brothers were just about to pee their pants with the anticipation of their turn.  They were not scaredy cats like me.

We hit some trees.  It was thrilling to bounce back and  not be hurt.  It didn’t  matter if we hit a tree because that old car was not worth anything but fun.

I dreamed about it not too long ago.   That race track through the woods.

It was one of those rare fun afternoons with the entire family.   The kind you smile about when you remember them.

Like the day we all went sled riding on the pine needles in the summertime.

Our house was surrounded by stripper pits and steep spoil banks.  Huge giant pine trees grew on the banks and shed needles.  The slopes were deep with dead pine needles.

I don’t know how we discovered you could slide down the banks on a piece of cardboard but we did.  One of us probably slid on our butt, saw it was fun and grabbed a box to try out.  We were summertime sledding.

Being kids someone remembered our Christmas sleds.

We had all three gotten plastic sleds for Christmas.  The kind that rolled up.  Just a 3 foot long piece of blue plastic with a red handle on the end.  One of us ran home to get them.   curiosity got the better of  Daddy and Momma who had to check out where we were going with our plastic sleds in the summertime.   They followed out into the woods.

We were laughing and having so much fun that Momma and Daddy actually tried it and sledded with us.  Sledding in the summertime.

The best times are the time spent together.   Remember that carefree joy of being a kid.  Enjoy the summer!

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Barrett Memorial Library History Center

I am reposting this blog because the time is drawing near for the Library Board to make their decision concerning the empty Barrett Memorial LIbrary building.  Next Tuesday, October 8th the Board meets at 5:30 pm at the Petersburg Library Branch.  If they are going to keep this building standing and not tear it down, please let the Genealogical Society have a chance to make it work.  At least they have an opportunity to provide some income with their services.  If we give it to the County Commissioners it will  become one more building for the taxpayers to maintain with no source of income.  Then our records will go to the basements of several organizations in Indianapolis and not be available to the people of Pike County and the researchers coming to Pike County looking for their ancestors.   Genealogy is becoming more and more popular.  It would be a shame for Pike County to go in reverse instead of moving forward with the top notch Genealogical and Historical Societies they now have.

These are our Board Members.  Please send the library an email or give them a call showing your support of the project or stop in and sign the petition.  Also contact the Commissioners,  the County Council  and the School Board who appoint these members.

Donna Poehlin   Appointed by County Commissioners.

Phillip Elkins, Board President     Appointed by County Commissioners

Anisia Burkhart  Appointed by School Board

M. Frank Ropp   Appointed by County Commissioners

James Dickerson  Appointed by County Council

Sandra Ficklin  Appointed by School Board

Robin Whaley  Appointed by County Council.

Original Blog Post with contact information:

If you have been reading my blogs you will know there are two subjects near and dear to my heart, genealogy and history.

Keeping the old Barrett Memorial Library as a History Center combining the Historical Society and the Genealogical Society under one roof should be near and dear to all of us who care about the genealogy and history of Pike County.  The artifacts currently held and future donated artifacts to the Pike County Museum would also be displayed and available for viewing at this History Center.  I would be one of the first to volunteer my time to work there.

I just found out several weeks ago that this project was being brought forward again.  So I attended the Library Board Meeting last Tuesday to show my support.  I did not know this had been an ongoing subject the last few meetings and that the decision was nearly made to not go forward with the project.  Luckily for us, it was tabled until next month’s meeting on October the 8th at 5:30 pm.  These are my observations.

The only objection I thought the board had was  the cost or potential costs for the project.  They all seem to agree the history of Pike County was important.  A feasibility study had been done and it seemed to me that it was entirely possible for the library to fund the project.  Our library is in good financial shape.  Our new director is a recent IU grad and is doing many good things there that are bringing in patrons for new programs. The library is only moving forward, and that includes financially.   Although this wasn’t in the budget and the board is responsible for managing our money as taxpayers, as a taxpayer I can see no reason for the project not to go forward.

If we lose the history of our county, we can never get it back.

The Historical Society records and all of the artifacts housed in the dilapidated building that is the Pike County Museum would be donated to the library.  It is rarely open.  The Historical Society would then be under the library’s authority.  There would be set hours weekly for visiting, including a Saturday for out of town visitors.  If they are not donated to our County library, they will be donated to Indianapolis where they will be put in storage and unavailable to you as an individual to view.  You can ask to see them there and will be told they are unavailable to you.  The same goes for the courthouse record books that will be sent there.  Those books go back to the very early 1800s and will be unavailable to us.

Remember a few years ago the school researched and published a book “The Coal Miner’s Cry”?  What a great research tool and interesting reading that book has been.  I could see many class projects in the future if the records are available here in Pike County for the use of our Pike County citizens.  The kids could learn the skills of digitalizing records.  Write stories.  Do research.  Take the history and records away and that will never happen for our future generations.

I could go on all day.  Here is a link to the feasiblity study.    https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B-IG40uogJtucnp1bUxQcEkyVlk&usp=sharing

As you can see, it is doable.  Let’s open it for three years and see if it is financially stable.  If not, then we can always send the records and artifacts to be stored in Indianapolis.  We can always give the building to the county or city at that time.  We can always tear it down at that time.  It’s sat empty for a few years now and cost us more to keep it closed than it would have to open it as a History Center.  What would it harm to keep it a few more years to preserve history?  As a taxpayer, I say give it a chance.

If you know any of the library board members, you can express your support for the history center before next weeks meeting where they decide it’s fate. Phil Elkins, Donna Poehlin, Robin Whaley, Jim Dickerson, Anisia Burkhart, Sandra Ficklin, Frank Ropp.  

To show your support you can, send an email to soldenkamp@pikeco.lib.in.us or call 812 -354-6257 and it will be passed on.

You can even offer to donate artifacts you have and pledge financial donations.

Take this poll and the results will be passed on.  The poll is set up so that no one votes twice.

As always, you can comment below on my blog post.  I am looking forward to the future.  I hope you are too.

The current Pike County Library Mission Statement:  “The Pike County Library exists to provide information and services to people of all ages of Pike County for the purposes of recreational reading, education, reference, and the collection & preservation of history.”

Barrett Memorial Library History Center

I am reposting this blog because the time is drawing near for the Library Board to make their decision concerning the empty Barrett Memorial LIbrary building.  Next Tuesday, October 8th the Board meets at 5:30 pm at the Petersburg Library Branch.  If they are going to keep this building standing and not tear it down, please let the Genealogical Society have a chance to make it work.  At least they have an opportunity to provide some income with their services.  If we give it to the County Commissioners it will  become one more building for the taxpayers to maintain with no source of income.  Then our records will go to the basements of several organizations in Indianapolis and not be available to the people of Pike County and the researchers coming to Pike County looking for their ancestors.   Genealogy is becoming more and more popular.  It would be a shame for Pike County to go in reverse instead of moving forward with the top notch Genealogical and Historical Societies they now have.

These are our Board Members.  Please send the library an email or give them a call showing your support of the project or stop in and sign the petition.  Also contact the Commissioners,  the County Council  and the School Board who appoint these members.

Donna Poehlin   Appointed by County Commissioners.

Phillip Elkins, Board President     Appointed by School Board

Anisia Burkhart  Appointed by School Board

M. Frank Ropp   Appointed by County Commissioners

James Dickerson  Appointed by County Council

Sandra Ficklin  Appointed by School Board

Robin Whaley  Appointed by County Council.

I think  I have this right now.  I have read it different ways.

Original Blog Post with contact information:

If you have been reading my blogs you will know there are two subjects near and dear to my heart, genealogy and history.

Keeping the old Barrett Memorial Library as a History Center combining the Historical Society and the Genealogical Society under one roof should be near and dear to all of us who care about the genealogy and history of Pike County.  The artifacts currently held and future donated artifacts to the Pike County Museum would also be displayed and available for viewing at this History Center.  I would be one of the first to volunteer my time to work there.

I just found out several weeks ago that this project was being brought forward again.  So I attended the Library Board Meeting last Tuesday to show my support.  I did not know this had been an ongoing subject the last few meetings and that the decision was nearly made to not go forward with the project.  Luckily for us, it was tabled until next month’s meeting on October the 8th at 5:30 pm.  These are my observations.

The only objection I thought the board had was  the cost or potential costs for the project.  They all seem to agree the history of Pike County was important.  A feasibility study had been done and it seemed to me that it was entirely possible for the library to fund the project.  Our library is in good financial shape.  Our new director is a recent IU grad and is doing many good things there that are bringing in patrons for new programs. The library is only moving forward, and that includes financially.   Although this wasn’t in the budget and the board is responsible for managing our money as taxpayers, as a taxpayer I can see no reason for the project not to go forward.

If we lose the history of our county, we can never get it back.

The Historical Society records and all of the artifacts housed in the dilapidated building that is the Pike County Museum would be donated to the library.  It is rarely open.  The Historical Society would then be under the library’s authority.  There would be set hours weekly for visiting, including a Saturday for out of town visitors.  If they are not donated to our County library, they will be donated to Indianapolis where they will be put in storage and unavailable to you as an individual to view.  You can ask to see them there and will be told they are unavailable to you.  The same goes for the courthouse record books that will be sent there.  Those books go back to the very early 1800s and will be unavailable to us.

Remember a few years ago the school researched and published a book “The Coal Miner’s Cry”?  What a great research tool and interesting reading that book has been.  I could see many class projects in the future if the records are available here in Pike County for the use of our Pike County citizens.  The kids could learn the skills of digitalizing records.  Write stories.  Do research.  Take the history and records away and that will never happen for our future generations.

I could go on all day.  Here is a link to the feasiblity study.    https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B-IG40uogJtucnp1bUxQcEkyVlk&usp=sharing

As you can see, it is doable.  Let’s open it for three years and see if it is financially stable.  If not, then we can always send the records and artifacts to be stored in Indianapolis.  We can always give the building to the county or city at that time.  We can always tear it down at that time.  It’s sat empty for a few years now and cost us more to keep it closed than it would have to open it as a History Center.  What would it harm to keep it a few more years to preserve history?  As a taxpayer, I say give it a chance.

If you know any of the library board members, you can express your support for the history center before next weeks meeting where they decide it’s fate. Phil Elkins, Donna Poehlin, Robin Whaley, Jim Dickerson, Anisia Burkhart, Sandra Ficklin, Frank Ropp.  

To show your support you can, send an email to soldenkamp@pikeco.lib.in.us or call 812 -354-6257 and it will be passed on.

You can even offer to donate artifacts you have and pledge financial donations.

Take this poll and the results will be passed on.  The poll is set up so that no one votes twice.

As always, you can comment below on my blog post.  I am looking forward to the future.  I hope you are too.

The current Pike County Library Mission Statement:  “The Pike County Library exists to provide information and services to people of all ages of Pike County for the purposes of recreational reading, education, reference, and the collection & preservation of history.”

Mac’s Cafe on Main Street in Winslow

My grandma, Barbara Bolin Evans,  had fond memories of working at Mac’s Café.  She used to walk from Muren to Winslow into work. My Grandpa Evans always told the story about how when he first met her she was walking to work in the winter without a coat.  He said the first thing he did when they started dating was buy her a winter coat.

She was close to the Dedman and McCord families back then, who ran the cafe.  She remembered John David and Mary Jane Dedman Smith as children growing up there.  I asked John David to share a little history of the store with me.  John David Dedman runs the Winslow Eskimo website at www.jddedman.com.  He worked for years as a postal clerk in Winslow and has some good stories to share.

Mac's Cafe, Main Street Winslow, about 1956

Mac’s Cafe, Main Street Winslow, about 1956.  Where the bank parking lot is now.

“At one time back in the 50’s, there was a Marathon gas station on the corner just south of the restaurant and there was a big sign out front that said “Mac’s Café”.  Actually it was a tavern but they did have a fairly good food business, especially sandwiches.

The tavern burned in either 57 or 58 and was a total loss.   The building was owned by Harcourt Scales and was not re-built after the fire.   Someone had broken in to the tavern to steal things and torched it to cover up the break in.

Attached is a picture I had of the inside of the restaurant and I think it is dated 1952.   The lady to the far left is Sarah McCord, my grandmother and I am sure the waitress is Barbara, your grandmother.   I think the man drinking the beer could have been Pap Dorsey and the man sitting behind him reminds me of John Hunley.   I cannot think of the names of the lady and man sitting at the bar but they were frequent guests in there.

I have this picture up on my web site at http://www.jddedman.com.   The juke box is one of those old rare Seeberg record players, and then they had a bumper pool table.  Later they put in a shuffle board and a TV.   The kitchen was on the back left side and the door on the right was to men’s restroom, the ladies room was closer to the kitchen.   One time in the mid 40’s they had slot machines that sat around the restroom door and along the wall.   I remember on VE-D in 1945 after the end of the Japan war, I hit the jackpot on the 10 cent slot machine.  It was not long after that the slots were taken out, and buried as it was becoming illegal to have them.”

Mac's Cafe, 1952.

Mac’s Cafe, 1952.

I had shared this picture with my grandma and she agreed she was the waitress.  She remembered that old plaid dress.

“ After the tavern burnt, the John Russ Insurance Agency re-built it and had their insurance office there for several years.   John Russ, Herbert Russ and Basil Thompson worked there.   At one time, John let us use the back part of his office for amateur radio meetings which we held every month on a Monday night for a long time.   I was a licensed ham, as well as Basil, and Herb wanted to get a license but never did.   Ernie Hume and his wife and son did get a ham license. “

My grandma told me that she had a picture of Pearl and the store somewhere too.  We found it one day in a box in the old cupboard in her bedroom.  I shared it with John who told me about the picture.

The McCord at Mac's Cafe.

The McCord’s at Mac’s Cafe.

“The photo you sent me was of Pearl B. McCord and his wife, Sarah E. McCord.  They were the owners of Mac’s Café which was located at the location where the Citizens State Bank (German American) now sits.   Pearl was my mother’s father and at one time in the early 30’s was Postmaster at Winslow Post Office.   My actual grandmother – Audie, died when my mother was only 12 years old and Pearl married Sarah a few years later and they lived in the house down from you on Center Street where Jerry and Mary Jane lived for years..

I had lived in the same house from about 1958 until 1963 when I moved to Evansville, then Mary & Jerry moved in there.

My grandfather had a large roll top desk sitting where you see them in the picture and he did his book work there and it was where he could see the bar and kitchen.  After the fire, the only thing that was saved was the desk and I ended up with it myself.  I had to take off the roll-top as it was damaged too much, but the rest was okay and I used it for years while I was living in Winslow. “

Summertime Drive In Memories

Whenever you enter Winslow from the North side, you will see this old neon sign from the Sunset Drive In that formerly stood on Highway 41 in Evansville.  The screen is set up back in the distance.  It is summertime nostalgia for me.  I called it the Airport Drive In.

Moved north of Winslow:  the old Sunset Drive In

Moved north of Winslow: the old Sunset Drive In

I know there once was the intention of opening a drive in here.  Now it is an abandoned roadside attraction of a day gone by.  It could just as easily have been laying in a landfill somewhere.   I like that it is sitting there.  You may see old junk sitting in weeds, but I see childhood memories.

Growing up in the 1960’s, going to the drive in on the weekends was the thing to do with our family.  We went to Oakland City Drive In mostly.  But once in a while we would go to the Sunset Drive In, all the way to Evansville.  The entire experience was just a big treat.  For one thing, we rarely went to the city at night.   I still love a city at night.  The first thrilling thing for me was driving past the airport with all of it’s colored lights.  If a plane was taking off or landing, we kids would hang all over the top of each other to look out the window busting with sheer excitement.  We weren’t in seatbelts back then.  Remember hanging over the front seat and your dad yelling at you to quit hanging over the seat?  We would drive past Dad’s work, that big bustling Whirlpool factory was bigger than anything in Winslow.  Then we were there, pulling in past the glowing light of the Sunset Drive In sign.

The Sunset Drive In.  Evansville, Indiana http://www.courierpress.com/

The Sunset Drive In. Evansville, Indiana.   http://www.courierpress.com/

At the Oakland City Drive In we kids pretty much could run around by ourselves.  But here Momma was a little more cautious with that.  We still could go up and play on the playground that was under the big screen under her watchful eye.  Dusk would turn into darkness and the cartoons would start.   Woody Woodpecker was our cue to abandon the swings and seesaws up front and head back to the car. Sometimes we had to look twice because Dad would have moved the car if the speaker didn’t work.  We would make a trip to the bathroom, Momma taking me, Dad taking the boys.  Cars were so much bigger back then.   Momma would put pillows in the floorboard on either side of the hump, making the entire backseat a big bed for me and my two little brothers.  Usually we lay down after the cartoons.  Sometimes I would climb up in the back window….in those old big cars the back window had a ledge that was perfect for little girls to share with the nodding dog and look out at the stars overhead.  At Oakland City when I lay in the back window all I could see were stars, here there were planes flying over my head with their blinking lights to dream by.

Memories of family drives, city lights, concessions stand bathrooms, crackly speakers, mosquito coils hanging on the window, just getting a few sips out of one pop for the entire family to share, just getting a few bites out of one popcorn for the entire family to share, the smell of Dad’s cigarettes, seeing my parents sitting next to each other with Dad’s arm around Momma, jostling around with my little brothers as we lay down to sleep and a hot summer night somehow seem a whole lot sweeter than that click of a button for that movie in my living room.