June 29, 2014

The original Gage Park pool

This postcard is from 1944. The pool shown is at Topeka's Gage Park and it's long gone now, though there's an aquatic center elsewhere in the park.

The pool shown below was huge. I know this for two reasons: my father swam there as a child and he told me, and when the pool was paved over it became what is today the Topeka Zoo's large parking lot.

There was a fountain in this pool and it was very deep just a few feet from the edges. Unfortunately, my father saw a little boy drown here when he (Dad) was about seven. I imagine there were other drownings as well.

In the background you see the bathhouse. That building, though renovated, still stands and now functions as the Helen Hocker Theater.
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This is the zoo's parking lot today. The bathhouse is out of view on the far right side of the picture. You can sort of see, relative to the size of the cars, how big this parking lot is. I can hardly imagine this whole area being a swimming pool, even though I have a picture.
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This is the farthest south of the zoo parking lot and you see the bathhouse here.
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The front of the old bathhouse has been made over, of course, for the theater. But they did preserve the basic structure of the bathhouse.
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Here's an old home movie from YouTube!

June 26, 2014

Postcard from the boy!

He emails often but this is just too good not to share!

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from the top left above:
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June 20, 2014

Texts From The Dog

What a nightmare...a dog who knows how to text you at work! I know my Annie would be on the phone every minute of the day.

But October Jones has published a blog with texts from his bulldog; here are a few of my favorite laugh-out-loud texts. 

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Jones has also published two books of his dog's texts. They're available at Amazon, just click on either image below to check them out.
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June 17, 2014

House Portraits

Leisa Collins paints much more than houses, but I love these. Be sure to visit her website to see more!

Click these pics to view them much larger.

Colonial Revival in Oklahoma
Craftsman in California 

Tudor in Iowa

Victorian in Indiana

June 14, 2014

Amazon's Top 100 Books To Read

Silent Spring photo SilentSpring.jpg Me Talk Pretty One Day photo MeTalkPrettyOneDay.jpg The Catcher In The Rye photo CatcherInTheRye.jpg

Amazon.com has a "bucket list" of books called 100 Books To Read In A Lifetime. I'm pleased to find that I've read over half the books on the list; go check it for yourself and see what you want to read!

To Kill A Mockingbird photo ToKillAMockingbird.jpg The World According To Garp photo TheWorldAccordingToGarp.jpg Valley Of The Dolls photo ValleyOfTheDolls.jpg

June 12, 2014


My parents were frugal. I see that now, but I didn't know it then. I never had any sense that we were poor, because we weren't. But neither did I know that my parents had a dream: to move up and out of our neighborhood and out into the country into a brand-new house, which we eventually did. They're gone now and I can't ask, but I think they saved so carefully for what they wanted. In the turbulent sixties and early seventies, the city schools were a train wreck. Moving us out of the fray to rural schools (my high school was and is actually called Washburn Rural) meant the best for us all.

But back to childhood: eating out was not a very frequent thing for us. I know that Mom must've been tired some days when she worked all day and then came home and made supper, but she did it. And there were times when she didn't. That's when we got to go to McDonald's or the drive-in.

I note too that my folks weren't stupid enough to try to take us kids to "real" restaurants before we were ready. We might've driven them nuts when we went out to eat, but we weren't bothering anyone else.
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 photo OnTheWindow.jpg I love the image at the left because it shows the food and the full condiment bottles that everyone got and it also affords a look inside a car from back then. That dashboard brings back memories. At any rate, those baskets for your greasy hamburger and fries were so awesome. I know they've come back into fashion somewhat; they should never have gone out of style.

The main drive-in in Topeka, which still exists at one location, was Bobo's.

Everybody knew Bobo's! You pulled in, placed your order over the speaker and like magic a pretty girl brought it all on a tray to hang on the car window. When you were done, you gave a short blast on your car horn for the pretty girl to come back and get the tray and the money. The car horn thing feels a little crude to me now, but it was what you did.

The only thing I ever ate at Bobo's was a hamburger and fries with onion rings and a Coke. It's not that I was picky, it's that they didn't offer thirty choices. And they didn't offer to keep the pickles off your burger or to put extra ice in your Coke.

Bobo's is actually most famous for their apple pie, previously made (each and every one!) by the late Mrs. Bobo. You have a choice of a slice of cheese or a scoop of ice cream on top.

Bobo's is where I first had onion rings. For that alone, I'm in their debt. Everything else is just icing on th...ketchup on the fries!
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June 4, 2014

A fun little game

Relaxing with increasingly difficult levels...but never as ridiculously hard as TyperShark. This is AirTyper. Give it a try!

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June 1, 2014

Beat Up Creations

Angela Rossi says she uses recycled, abused, tossed-aside and forgotten items to create art...and she does! The thing is, I would not want these things on my walls. If I had to get up in the night to get a drink of water, and if the moon were in just the right position to lighten the wall, and if I saw one of these pictures...and especially if I weren't quite fully awake!...I can't be sure what would happen.

But I did want them on my blog, so that says something. To buy, visit Angela's Etsy site.

Meanwhile, here's a sampling:
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 photo Juliet.jpg  photo Maggie.jpg