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Archive for the ‘Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport’ Category

Following the January 17 surgery required to re-attach my upper quad tendons to my kneecaps,   I enjoyed more activity with more friendly, educated and lucid people than I’d experienced in my life. Along with visits from several friends and acquaintances, some of whom I’ve not seen since being discharged January 27, the medical and  housekeeping personnel at Memorial Medical Center  (MMC) were absolutely GOLD in their interfacing with me. I was blessed with several friends who rearranged my living room to that it would be my primary living space — close to the kitchen and front door with my bed relocated so I could watch TV from bed or chair, work at a nearby table, etc. Not knowing how long  it would be before  I could return to work at my employer, these friends and a few more had  packed my refrigerator and cupboards with an amazing array of food. By the evening of the 27th, there was more food in the house than there had been in any previous MONTH. (I am a man of modest means,) Another friend arranged to have a hot meal brought to the house by volunteer cooks/deliverers who visited every three or four days and almost always called before delivering to be sure their timing was good. Some friends volunteered/delivered food more than once: home-made chili, spaghetti sauce and more. For most of a month, it was a minor Eden (minus the Eve, dang it, but I never went naked for an entire day). Every other day for about a month I was visited by Visiting physical and occupational therapists from MMC who changed my dressings, took blood pressure, respiration and pulse. In late February, the staples, which had held me “together” along the incisions (59 on the right leg, 64 on the left) were removed by a nurse who came to my home at my surgeon’s direction. I was amazed by how clean everything looked.

The first “milestone” during what has evolved into a rather LOOOOOOOOOOONG recovery came with my first ride to my new “physician of record” at the county health clinic where we “charity” patients go. It was my first ride on Springfield’s minibus transportation service for disabled  people. I can go anywhere in town for $2.50 per ride to destination. That amounts to $5 per “there and back” round trip, but it is a wonderful arrangement; much more affordable than cabs.  Since that visit, I have returned to work part-time, typically five or six hours a day and 5 days a week. I’ve also returned to my AeroKnow Museum at the airport where I volunteer two or three morning every week (7:30 to 11 am) before riding another Access minibus to work and then home. Since Access does not operate on Sundays, it has been a real challenge to recruit friends who will drive me out at say 8:30 or 9 and come back to take me home about 5 or so. One friend has come through for me every week since I started Sundays at  the museum in late February, and I HOPE I can find another friend or two to share the burden. In the meantime, I am gradually spending more time working on museum tasks at home.  My next door neighbor has been a Godsend, taking me to the barber, grocer, office supply store and more. Again I WISH I knew more than one person, because sometimes my needs and the person’s schedule do not coincide. In the meantime, I’m happy to be blessed by the help at hand.

The one unexpected lesson of this process has been my outlook on life as influenced (with my permission) by my employer. I KNOW I’m lucky to be working at all and that’s why I’m still working there, but the deletable expletive BEFORE my fall is the same deletable expletive AFTER my fall only now I experience it with full-extension leg braces. Every day I work, the joy of life, drains from me like air from a tire going flat. Some evenings I wait an hour for the arrival of the Access minibus after we close, so since I’m the one who “locks up the store” I sit in a dark showroom and listen to the nearby grandfather clock chime every 15 minutes watching the sun go down and drag myself through my front door at 6:40 or so, This routine has nearly drained the creative incentive from me. I’ve not written a poem longer than four lines since I was sleeping at the hospital. This is the first Honey & Quinine I’ve posted in too darn long! I must rise above all this, and in these words we see the first step. I’ve decided my story is a story that should be shared with friends and innocent strangers. I am alive . . . . still.

I write, therefore I am!

Live long . . . . and proper.

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Since January, I have stopped being a poet so that I could pour my heart and soul into a major project at AeroKnow Museum. Most readers will laugh and then sigh as I explain the obsession has been the consolidation of less-than-whole page (8.5 x 11 inch) scraps of information into single-page amalgams of information. I finished the project last Thursday.

Last January I started pulling scraps from every file in the museum’s Research Room: — 15 file cabinets — filling 12 (case-of-reams-of-office-copy-paper-size) boxes with them, and then setting them aside in the Intake Room to be further processed through two of the three requisite tasks leading to the return of the information removed back to the Research Room. In the meantime, too much of the rest of my life as ceased to exist.

The task was time-consuming to be sure, but it was made easier, thanks to my almost completely walking away from good people in this community whom I have known and appreciated for years. Most of this walking away has occurred since last August when I  started coming to grips with the angst of my frail mortality as I approached my 65th birthday. I’ve attended far fewer poetry and visual arts events than I attended before launching AeroKnow Museum at the airport.

I have completely walked away from Vachel Lindsay Home State Historic Site. For almost three years, I had been inviting the site director — who, through her occupation connection to history might have (logically) enjoyed seeing it — to visit AeroKnow MUSEUM. Until August I invited her every time I attended an event at the Lindsay landmark. Until November, I had renewed my membership in the Vachel Lindsay Association and attended the annual meetings. Not any more. I have not walked away from my appreciation of Vachel Lindsay and his poetry. I will continue sharing my Vachel Lindsay program and reciting his poems for anyone who will have me. My profound disappointment with the  “Lindsay elite” would be harder if my treasured Lindsay scholar and friend Dennis had not taken his own life about a year ago as Vachel’s birthday approached. The positive outcome of all this is that I better understand what I believe Vachel was experiencing before he took his own life in early December 1931. Springfield killed the poet pretty deliberately and well. The people of my own hometown Springfield (“this, the city of my discontent” — Vachel Lindsay from his poem “Springfield Magical”) killed my friend Dennis pretty well. I will not allow myself the incapacity to live, an incapacity I have felt looming in their company. They will not kill me.

The last poem I wrote this year was inspired by a painting displayed at a gallery in October. I was delighted to have had the opportunity to write the poem “We Wander” and delighted to share it with an attentive audience, excellent people who delighted in hearing it — and other fine poems from poets inspired by other fine paintings. I WANT to be writing more poetry. People who read it, like it. So why the HELL have I not thrown myself into the pursuit of becoming the next Rod McKuen or Henry Gibson? Because I reap more direct reward from aviation and the few friends I have come to know from that on a daily basis than I have reaped from the SEVERAL (but not many) friends I have come to know, since about 1989 with my poetry and songwriting/performing. The  poetry connecting — now that I must work Saturdays for an employer whose last paycheck was given t me almost two months ago — comes once a month TOPS. Sometimes not even that. The aviation affirmation comes every day of my life.

Meanwhile, back at the airport, since last spring this year, at least two or three days a week, I arrive at the museum office between 5 (when the host business opens for the day) and 5:30 two or three times a week, and darn near every day but Sunday before 7. On Sunday, I sleep late and arrive by 9 without fail.  My consciousness is what I call “water seeking its own level.”

I am wrapped up in the web of what I call “syncopated sunshine” — a rhythm of life that is inconsistent and hard to swing to.

On days I shower, I roll out of bed at 4, and arrive at the museum at 5, sometimes a few minutes before, and eight of 10 times, the early arriver is already there at the occasional 4:55 and the building’s front door is unlocked. Other times, I am out of the sack at 4:30, teeth brushed, (no time for coffee) dressed and out to the museum by 5 or close to it.

In theory, I should be able to do this consistently by hitting the hay by 9, if not 8:30. I need no more sleep than six and a half hours’ worth. In reality, I am ALLOWING  the travails of my workplace to figuratively “tie one hand behind my back.”  I leave work at 5 — and go directly to the museum until 6:30 to avoid the rush hour traffic going home. I ALWAYS find something to work on. No big surprise there.  But, if I’ve had a really rotten day at work,  I go by to see if there is a Wall Street Journal I can have. The FBO that provides fuel and maintenance to local and transiting aircraft receives a State Journal-Register and three Wall Street Journals daily. Pilots and passengers departing the FBO after landing to refuel may take a WSJ to read about their airplanes in transit elsewhere. If there are any left when I arrive after work, the counter crew may approve me taking one or they may indicate a few more flights are scheduled for the evening, and all WSJs on hand need to stay until those flights have come and gone. THEN they will slide one under my office door.  WSJs are important to the museum because I read every issue I get and clip anything related to aviation so I can file it upstairs.

On a good night I’m home by 7, but if the day at work was better than typical, and my outlook is good, I will work at the museum until 8, sometimes until 9 and on really good days until 10. They close at 11 pm.

On a good night, I’m eating dinner by 7:15 and washing it down the hatch with cheap Burgundy. I am trying to drink more iced tea and less burgundy, but it’s not working out very well. Regardless, even with iced tea, I am exhausted from semi-combat at my employer. I am often asleep in my recliner by 7:40, and awaken most frequently around 11 when I turn off the lights and go bed, but even that isn’t easy. Late night radio before midnight totally stinks. Last night it was so bad, I listened to a “sports radio” station as my head hit the pillow, not because I’m a sports fan but because the only other two stations I can receive clearly in the bedroom are right-wing diatribe and financial advice (two separate radio stations). At least I’m not offended by sports radio.  Getting to sleep is easy. I don’t drink more wine when I wander in after the early evening “nap” because I’m already half asleep.

Getting back to sleep after AWAKENING at 2 am is the problem! It is pure, freaking purgatory. I DON’T want to get up and do something. What the hell is there to do in my house?  I have begun to work on AeroKnow tasks at home just to stay awake after dinner. Sometimes I delay dinner because I know I won’t go to sleep before I eat.  I REALLY want to confine museum work to the museum and my employer who doesn’t complain if he sees aviation material on my showroom desk because he knows my FIRST PRIORITY while I am there is MY EMPLOYER. That’s as it should be.  I am HAPPY to earn my pay  . . . whenever . . . he decides . . . . to pay me.

My home computer is an old laptop I purchased about two years ago with a small screen. I cannot work with the small screen, even with a full-size keyboard plugged into it. Sooooooo I am committing my resources to a new desktop computer for HOME this Christmas, but not before. In fact I will  go shopping for one AFTER Christmas because I expect prices to be lower then.

With the desktop computer at home I HOPE to sleep solidly for at least six consecutive  hours a night by not napping. If I’m tired after dinner with or without wine, I will to to the frikking bedroom after turning off the lights and the thermostat to 55. Then I will use the time from whenever the hell I do awaken to write poetry or songs or whatever, even AeroKnow Museum tasks.

The real hard part? Holding onto things until January. That will be the hard part.

Live long . . . . . and proper.

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For the past year I have stopped at my AeroKnow Museum, at the airport to work from 5:15 until sometimes 9 or 10 and always until 7 or 7:30. There was always something I could do, most of it enjoyable, all of it necessary. For a good part of this year I’ve limited my model airplane building to time spent twice a month at a local club meeting when I would put a few projects into a carrying box with essential tools, glue, paint and perhaps a brush or two. The anticipated outcome of my socializing twice a month has not been reciprocal as I anticipated it would be. To accomplish what needs to be done at the airport, I’m reduced my club meeting presence to once a month.  I’ve also opted out of most poetry activity, including the open mic gathering downtown next week.  I WILL BE playing and singing my folksongs at a gallery reception next Thursday, and I’ll have my poetry books for sale. I may even sell one.

THAT would be a first.

The circumstance at my employer continues to challenge. I ALLOW IT to suck my typically moderately more positive attitude dry.  Why?  When I leave this orb with no forwarding address, I do not intend to leave clinging to some hope to see my next breakfast. I will leave, content to have had more that one chance to make things work even though I’ve failed every time.  I will be resigned and glad to go. The time comes when one recognizes that passing woes are “temporary” to be sure, but sometimes they are symptomatic of a greater, permanent dynamic that will not change for the better.

So I hurried home last night. I didn’t even stop at the airport. Night comes sooner and visitors fewer after the sunshine sayonara.  I will not pollute my time there with bitterness.

The ready-to-eat  chef salad from Shop ‘N’ Save supermarket was excellent with the Kraft Catalina dressing, and I had two peanut butter and strawberry preserves sandwiches for dessert with a surprisingly moderate assistance down the hatch with my friend Carlo Rossi (Burgundy wine; not to be confused with Burgundy beer or Burgundy replacement auto parts). I enjoyed the vice president candidates’ debate and the Charlie Rose program that followed on PBS. I went to bed and was asleep in fewer than 10 minutes. I slept well and awoke about 5:50 this morning to return to the airport museum.

I am not an angry hummin’ bean.  But home — sans lady-love interest, sans domesticated animal, sans a model airplane, but with books to read, a guitar to play, a TV with something worth watching two or three nights a week on PBS (five if I include Charlie Rose. I’m usually in bed by 10 in recent months), I am more inclined to go there after “work.” I ask for no volunteers at home, so the absence of volunteers at home does not shame me.

Tonight, I will hurry home again.

Live long . . . . . . . . and proper.

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While looking for another poem/song lyric for practicing, I re-discovered the following poem I wrote about three years ago.  I was not yet 61. It was something of a memo to myself. All of this was a year before I was invited to set up things at the airport

Mandate 61
by Job Conger
written 11:42 pm, Friday, March 13, 2009

You’re getting old.
Make friends.

Many of that old gang you knew,
when you were young have died.
Your first love has forgotten your name
though hers you will never forget.

Time is no longer infinite.
Your tabula is no longer rasa.
You may die wearing the shoes
that are on your feet today.

People who really matter
are those you like and love at this moment.
Give them cause to delight in you,
reasons to remember.

You’re running out of second chances.
Make life; not woe.
There’s no more time to hate.
Avoid brainless fly catchers for sanity’s sake:
yours and theirs.

Offer nothing half-baked.
Don you now, comfortable apparel.
Wear purple if you can gain from it.
Go the extra mile
for those who matter.

You’re getting old.
Make friends.

— The poem was written just more than a year before I started moving my aviation history collection out to the airport. My life since the move and getting really serious about this project has become almost totally focused on the museum. If I had opportunities to play guitar and sing, I would make time for that; also for reciting Vachel Lindsay’s poems and the story of his life . . . and my own poetry. The opportunity to share creates the time to share; not the other way around. I have no time for “friends” now, and — I say with regret, I have no time to be a friend. I want to have more time to be a friend.

Here’s another poem . . .

What the Middle-Aged Guy Said
by Job Conger
written February 1, 2005

When I am old, I shall wear people.

People who fit me like a glove
I shall wear on my hand.
People I take to the dance,
I shall wear on my arm.
People I love,
I shall wear on my heart.

People whose lives do not harmonize with mine,
but who like me,
I shall wear . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . at arms’ length.

Those whose minds move
to the beat of the drummers
whose rhythms also inspire me,
I shall wear in sympatico syncopation.

Wonderful conversationalists
I shall wear on my ears.

Lovers and friends lost to the passing years
I shall wear in my memory,
ready, at the drop of a hat,
for me to pull them out
and recall the colors of their lives
to lovers and friends today

People whose physicality
is a beautiful symphony
I shall wear on my eyes.

People who live in perpetual solemnity
I will not bother to remove
from the hooked, triangular
wire apparati in my closet
from which they hang.

People who grate on my nerves
I shall wear thin.

Consenting women
for whom I feel rapturous affection
I shall wear on my lips as often as possible.

People who have turned my hope to anguish
one time too many
I will wear on the bottoms
of the soles
of my unpolished shoes.

When I am old, I shall wear people
as I wear them today and am worn in return.
If the reader things that “wearing people”
is a simple, idle, whimsy; a milkweed, a Whiffle ball
struck with a plastic  bat into the infield of philosophy,
that’s okay with me.

After all,
I was only putting you on.

— Yes, the woman’s poem about wearing purple inspired this, written in good humor, in hopes of generating a chuckle or two. The third of the four poems is a song lyric.  I’ve sung it twice. I will sing it again at Gallery II this coming Friday downtown. The final poem is also a song lyric I intend to sing Friday as well, I think, for the second time, but first. . . .

Thanks for your attention to any and all of the past 31 posts leading to my birthday Wednesday. I doubt that I’ve told you anything you don’t already know about LIFE — folks who like me are usually well set from the get go — but I believe I have given you a better idea of the person I am. And WHY?
Is it vanity? Yes. But I think it’s part of the human spirit to want to be known and remembered by others. If I have succeeded as I hope, you will remember me. And when I resume more occasional Honey & Quinine posts, you will read me again.

Balland of the Nearly Resolved
by Job Conger
written March 12, 2006

I’ve had me some sweethearts
Who said they thought me wise,
Traded love for some
Bountiful baskets of lies,
It was so mercantile, and I never knew why.
It seems I was born to be a lonely guy.

My delirious romances
They all ended in a huff.
I haven’t loved often,
Or even enough,
But I’m done with the fool’s game of wondering why.
It seems I was born to be a lonely guy.

(refrain)
There were no greater thrills, passions more fine
Than lusty tussles, lips sweeter than wine,
But those were yester-years’ joys. Now I contemplate
Life savoring different dreams as master of my fate.

Companion forever hopes,
Duets in the sun,
I had my chances,
And I blew every one.
I’m done will fooling myself. It’s folly to try.,
It seems I was born to be a lonely guy.

No more quilt and antique shopping.
There’s more room to stretch in bed.
I don’t have to pretend to like her friends;
I just have to pretend to lie my friends, instead.
I’ve not vacuumed my house since last Fourth of July.
It seems I was born to be a lonely guy.
— oh my —
It seems I was born to be a lonely guy.

. . .

September 5
by Job Conger
written October 1, 2006

One morning I awoke confused,
Turned suddenly 59 and mused:
Why had I survived so well and long?
Perhaps to write this poem/song.
I cursed my solitary mode:
Faint footprints down life’s rocky road
And ghostly visages of fall
So glad to see the coming fall!

(chorus)
There is no wisdom in replays
Of ancient dreams and loving ways.
I sigh too much for yesterdays
and do not laugh enough.

My hometown streets of misspent youth
Where I sought neither love nor truth
Are avenues of reveries
And hearty sunshine melodies.
Today, dark hues life’s canvass frames:
Stark, scathing strokes from lingering shames
And for what good? Brave hearts all know
You can’t repaint the status quo.

There is no wisdom in replays
Of ancient dreams and loving ways.
I sigh too much for yesterdays
and do not laugh enough.

Each day imprints an empty page.
We move the plot in peace or rage
With warm embrace or tart contempt —
The manicured and gross unkempt
And we who count down days to doom
With fading hopes mired in the gloom
Should celebrate each gifted dawn
An pledge anew to carry on!

There is no wisdom in replays
Of ancient dreams and loving ways.
I sigh too much for yesterdays
and do not laugh enough.

 

Live long . . . . . . . . . . . and proper.

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I procrastinate. Most of the work I do is done to avoid doing something else. Still procrastination pays dividends.  I used to often find  myself delaying attention to my lawn, often on nice cool days only to finally wheel out the lawnmower on the hottest day of the week . . . . and enjoy cutting the grass, not paying particular attention to the temperature! Same thing with journalism. I had two and a half weeks to produce my story about local food trucks for the September Springfield Business Journal. Absolutely critical (which is like saying “each and every”) to my stories are the photographs; interviews less so.  Just as I know I will cut the grass, I know I will write the assignment. There is never any doubt of this. Still I procrastinate and wallow, for days, in the self-imposed SHAME that I manufacture for myself from the process. By the time I must put words into play, I’m comfortable. The words come easily as apples from the low branches of a tree.

So it is, as well at the airport museum where I’ve been since 5:30 this morning. I’ve been on a “marathon,” on my feet filing away in the Research Room, fully focused for easily 11 of the 12.5 hours I will have been here when I leave at 6p. I had no breakfast, nor lunch, nor snack during this time  because I didn’t have a penny in my pocket, I”m running low on checks, I didn’t want to leave the museum to drive home where I have food, and equally importantly, I knew food would slow my pace, and today, I was pushing myself. I liked the challenge, and I knew I would have all the food I wanted later.  I was grateful for the coffee and water I’ve consumed during short breaks to check e-mail and Facebook — about every hour and a half.

Bombardier CRJ of United Express takes off from Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport, Springfield, Illinois, September 1, 2012.

So I’m going to head upstairs and close a door, turn off some lights and head home.

The day has been good to me, and I have been good to the day.

Live long . . . . . . . . . and proper.

Once, as I was filing I noticed a United Express Bombardier CRJ airliner taxiing to the end of a runway, realized it would be passing nearby as he rose from the runway, and was where I needed to bne for some decent pictures I posted on Fb within minutes.  That kind of diversion made a lot of the fatique disappear, and the afternoon has whizzed by.
I’m savoring, as I write these words, the contentment that comes from knowing when I have posted this installment of the “Approaching” blog and posted notice of it at Facebook, all I have to do is go upstairs and turn off the fan and lights and close one door to be done with the day.

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At 6:45 am when I arrived at my museum office, a realized how strange it was that I was looking forward to dinner. I wasn’t hungry, and as things would transpire, all I’d have between  last night about 9 and tonight about 7:30 would be a Payday candy bar from the pilot lounge vending machine. What I would be having for dinner was a “pleasant cloud” sailing serenely through my consciousness like a memory of Shari Lewis and Lamb Chop on Saturday morning TV at 9:30 and I’m eight years old. What do you suppose I was anticipating; steak? I haven’t brought intact beef into my home since the late 90s. Sausage? Yes. Chicken? Yes. Processed fish? Yes.) Is an apple pie waiting for me? If I could afford it, you bet. But no pie tonight.

I can’t wait to leave my airport office early tonight. Not because I am hungry. I am beyond hunger. Most of the time, food holds no particular allure for me. Several years ago, I ate no solid food for two weeks after saying goodbye to a beautiful woman who “itemed”  next to me socally and in the shower. I drank lots of water and probably some wine. But I was working very little and moping a LOT. Only the ripening of tomatoes in my backyard garden returned me to sanity. I would not let them rot, and I would not give them away.  Few things approach “food of the Gods” like fresh, sliced tomatoes between whole wheat bread spread liberally with Hellman’s Mayonnaise. To be honest, I knew that much more of my protracted POUT could do me more harm than good, and the tomatoes were a handy “rationale.” When I am busy and reasonably content, food is an option; not a requirement for up to 24 hours a stretch, and to a large degree I go along with it because I know I can always purchase food. If I could not purchase food, I’d be pretty miserable. I AM my married mother’s lucky son! But I can’t purchase steak and I wish I could eat more pie. And ice cream.

Tonight I will savor a Chef Salad packaged in plastic, that was prepared by and offered for sale from a refrigerated bin in the deli department of Shop ‘N Save on North Grand, just a slight diversion east en route home from the airport. I am looking forward to this salad more eagerly than anything I could bring home from that store. Why? Because I know I am doing something that will work well for my body and outlook seven days before I mark the BIG SIX FIVE.  It’s a nicely presented salad that will sate my appetite. Cost of the salad was just over $3.50 when I purchased three of them two days ago.

It’s a well-prepared meal with lots of adequates: shredded cheese. turkey, lettuce, half a hard-boiled egg. Every salad, including the store’s prepared sea food salad, turkey salad and chicken salad used to include two cherry tomatoes.

The ones I brought home have three cherry tomatoes. I’m not a “cherry tomato person.” I eschew cherry tomatoes. Last week I started placing the cherry tomatoes into am empty Jiff Extra Crunchy Peanut Butter jar. As the jar is filled with these I will empty the jars full into part of my back yard next to a hurricane fence, and it cherry tomatoes start to grow next spring, I will give them to everyone who wants them.

For past few months, I’ve been eating more and more of these salads, always with Kraft Catalina dressing. At the end of this week, I will have enjoyed three of them, gladly and gratefully. When I run out of Catalina, I”ll start exploring more dressing flavors: Ranch, Russian, Thousand Island and others. What is YOUR favorite salad dressing?

I am easing away from serious activity here at the museum after even just three hours at Stone Circus. My outlook, even after a good day there, is pretty tempered which is not to say “riddled with resignation,” though I concede the possibility.

Had a long day at the airport, from 6:45 until 1:45 before leaving for three hours at “le cirque de granite.” Before I did, I welcomed a couple a Cirrus SR-22 charter pilot and the pilot of a NetJets-operated Cessna Citation. The latter escorted me out to the parking ramp where I took a picture of his beautiful flying machine.  Here is the best of them . . . .

Cessna Citation X business jet

Live long . . . . . . . . and proper.

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donated 1942 newspapers from central Illinois

It’s been a productive day at my airport “home away from home.” This time last year, I wouldn’t even be awake at the time I arrived, even though by this time last year, I had moved in everything I “had” to move out here. A year ago, I didn’t feel the hand of “Destiny” on my shoulder, and this year I do  . . . . not a heavy hand, not a wussy hand, but a hand.

Probably 10 years ago I walked into the office of Illinois Times to pick up a paycheck for an article of mine they had published. On a table in the reception area I saw something of a “mishmash” of old newspapers, and I asked Brenda (her real name) about them. She explained an IT reader had discovered them as flooring contractors were removing the floor boarding in the house they were restoring. They had been there a long time, judging from the most recent date of 1961 on a Sunday funnies magazine supplement. Others dated back to early December 1942. The papers had been placed between what was then the structural joists (I think that’s the right term() and a new foundation material in a 1961 floor improvement project to even the level of the new floor throughout the room. The people who brought them to Illinois Times thought they might have historical value. That value was INSTANTLY apparent to me, and I could not believe my ears when I asked, “May I have them?” and Brenda happily assented.  Home they came!

Club Rio gave Springfield’s Lake Club serious competition

For years they remained in a corner of a large table in my home office after I gently examined each piece of paper. About five years ago, I took a more critical eye to reading each piece.  Any item of LOCAL value was set aside for future reference and separated by notes on new office paper that identified title and date of each series of saved articles. Local business advertising was saved along with important news of local people and Sunday newspaper comic strips. I knew I would preserve the “goods,” but the timing was bad. Three years years ago, to keep them away from direct sunlight I stowed them under my bed. About two months ago, with things gradually settling down at AeroKnow Museum at the airport, I brought them out to the “Processing Room” upstairs. Today, the 26th I began processing my treasure.

the original Rocky, perhaps, circa December 1942

Who remembers THIS strip? I sure don’t. I suspect it was a spin-off of the incredibly popular Alley Oop. I worked five straight hours on these, and I’m not 5 percent toward DONE with the project. There are many clips I’ve saved that are about local involvement in World War II, people who were participating, a young man Louis G. Bender, Mt. Pulaski’s first “casualty of the war” who died in a plane crash, a flight training accident at Foster Field, Texas. The aviation clips will be shared as time permits at my AeroKnow Museum blog.

The pictures shared in this post were taken with my Sony Cyber-shot digital camera. All clippings saved for future reference were scanned on a professional-quality scanner as shown in the first picture. They are preserved in a .jpg format that allows their enlargement and optimization of color. Some of the scans will be preserved as colorless black and white; others will be preserved as color images but edited heavily to maximize their legibility, readability.

It’s been a rewarding Sunday, including the time for this blog because it allows me to share an offer to readers. If YOU have newspapers from any central Illinois publisher before 1970 that you will consider sharing (loaning or donating) with me so that I can scan and save articles and photos of special interest, please respond to this post with a comment. Or call me — I’m in the Springfield phone book.

Today I have also started to move my local and state aviation files upstairs because I’m running out of room for them here next to the computer on the ground floor.  But that’s a story for another blog.

Have a terrific week, readers!

Live long . . . . . . . and proper.

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