family


9
Apr 18

Stuff from after the conference

We were in Nashville over a long weekend at a research conference. It was nice to see friends and do smart-people things. And we stayed with friends who happen to live by the conference location. So we’re going to need them to move around and follow this event around the region. They should do this to the detriment of their own social lives and careers so that they could have the pleasure of hosting us for three or four days each year, and enjoy barbecue and the like, and our delightful company.

So we’ll start sending them some brochures.

Anyway, some extra things I saw over the weekend.

Look! Up in the right corner!

That doesn’t look like a familiar Sears font. A commenter on Flickr notes:

Sears Department Store was located at the southeast corner of Church St and 8th Ave North (the building is still standing) … Remember that agriculture was, for a couple of centuries, The primary source of revenue in and around Nashville. Sears, like Montgomery Wards and others, sold farm supplies and equipment.

Just south on 8th, right behind the main store, was the farm and auto supply store … The “Ghost Sign” you photographed is located across 8th Ave North from where the farm and auto store once was and this sign once had an arrow that pointed across the street. Sears moved to their new brick bldg on Lafayette (Now the Nashville Rescue Mission) in the late 60’s. I suspect this sign was repainted in the 60s just prior to Sears moving, hence it has survived (sans arrow).

That comment is eight years old and, today, it is just a parking lot:

But you can see a picture here, it was a grand old 1930s art deco building. Sears, this Nashville history site tells me, stayed in the building until 1956. A Ben Franklin went in, and then a jewelry store. Eventually it became a building for state offices. That site, in 2014, said the building was still there, but its fate was nigh. And the Google Street view, from 2017, tells the tale:

They paved downtown shopping and put up a parking lot. But The Tennessean put together a photo gallery.

Hey, look, this is where my folks got married!

Union Station in Nashville, Tennessee.

Farmland when we got back on the road:

And I don’t know what these are for …

Some agricultural concern, no doubt.


8
Feb 18

A return to the books section

Today I’ll direct your attention to another part of the site. This area is devoted to my grandfather’s books. I never got to know the man, he died a few months after I was born. But he was one of those people that you only hear good things about. And, over the years, I’ve been given a few of his things. Including a lot of books. This is a lot of fun because, in his old text books, you see the man as a boy. If you click the link above you’ll see the books already uploaded to the site.

For the next few installments, I thought we might look at a few publications he had when he was a bit older, because the advertisements are always fun. And so here we have the November 1960 Reader’s Digest:

Click the cover and you’ll get four interesting pages out of that issue today. I figure there’s about a month’s worth of material we can check out. Also, check out the main section and you can see a classic literature book, some great science illustrations, some notes, newspaper clippings from his youth and more.

You remember the Manhattan gold heist in 2016. A guy just reached into an armored truck, grabbed a barrel and walked away. No one reacted. It was broad daylight, middle of the city and who he was and how it did it was a mystery, but for the ubiquitous security camera footage.

Well, that guy got caught and did a little time. And now he’s talking to the media, which makes it a story, which means we talked about it on the podcast. NBC correspondent Chris Pollone returned to the program to tell us all about it. It’s a great episode:

You can hear more episodes of the show and you can also subscribe to the syndicated versions on Google Play or Stitcher. And follow the show on Twitter: @BestStoryShow.

And some student work:

More on Instagram and check me out on Twitter as well.


18
Dec 17

A nice medium-run on old haunts

If you look way down this pedestrian lane, you’ll see The Yankee:

This is a mile-long bridge, and if it wasn’t for all of that chainlink, which is at times brings up feelings claustrophobic, and then absurdly pointless, it would feel meditative. It is a relatively new bridge. It’s only about 15 or so years old, already on its second name. It was originally the Patton Island Bridge, but now it is the more elegant, and historical, Singing River Bridge, which is the name the Yuchi tribe gave to the Tennessee River.

Most of the road traffic goes over this bridge, but it hasn’t always been that way, of course. Just a few miles away, there’s a dam.

This is a view from Wilson Dam, which was built between 1918-1924 and was later incorporated into the Tennessee Valley Authority:

It is a narrow, two-lane dam. It was always a bit intimidating when I was a kid. My mom and I would drive it, one of the last little bits of road on the two-hour trip to my grandparents. And she would tell me about how she learned how to drive on that dam, in the snow.

Well, I haven’t done that. But last summer I did ride my bike over the dam. And this weekend I ran over it. (On the sidewalk.)

It has less traffic now, because of the Singing River Bridge, but it is still narrow:

Here we are on the dam, midway through our run, still on the sidewalk:

The dam, named after President Woodrow Wilson, was put on the historic registry in 1966, and boasts the highest single lift lock east of the Rocky Mountains.

And here’s the Wilson Dam, once more, from the Singing River Bridge:

It was a seven-mile run, and it was fun, the weather was pleasant, and uncomfortable. I was beginning to think my shoes might be done. And after a three-mile run today, and checking the miles on this pair of Saucony, I decided it was official:

So, at 300 miles, on the nose, actually, I have to go shopping for new jogging shoes.

Elsewhere, there was plenty of family and visiting this weekend. Heading back out tomorrow for a few more days of work, and then more holidays.

More on Twitter and on Instagram.


23
Nov 17

Happy Thanksgiving

From us to you, have a safe and happy Thanksgiving weekend.

My uncle and aunt are hosting the big meal in their new house. We’ll spend the next few days bouncing around among the family.

Catch up with you next week. Don’t save any cranberry sauce on my account.

More on Twitter and Instagram.


20
Nov 17

And now, another installment of Storytime

The Yankee was out of town visiting with friends and family this weekend. It goes like this: her godparents have known her parents, individually for years. Her godfather and father grew up together. Her godmother and mother met in nursing school.

Now the two of them met at their friends’ wedding. They got married. Along came The Yankee and they became her godparents. The godparents had two daughters and The Yankee’s parents are their godparents. Now those young ladies are of course grown and have beautiful families of their own. They all got together this weekend.

The oldest of those kids was up for a story. So I found myself digging through, and passing along, photos last night.

Here are two now.

This first one is from the Cayman Islands. It was a graduation trip. We were off diving for a week and the locals helped us find a dolphin. He’d just turned up one day, they said, and was very social. They figured he might have been a part of a Central American dolphin venue, where customers likely interacted with him, but a hurricane had damaged where he lived and so he was back in the wild. But he enjoyed people. He didn’t like SCUBA divers, but he’d swim with you. And if you tried to out-swim him, he’d let you know who was boss.

But to swim with a dolphin, to pet and play with a dolphin in the wild, that was a terrific experience, just one small part of a great trip.

And here’s one of The Yankee and me:

It was one of our first family trips. My bunch went to Belize, where we did a lot of diving and horseback riding and exploring Mayan ruins. We didn’t see any dolphins this time, but I did get to catch a bunch of reef sharks by hand while SCUBA diving. (I’ll have to find those pictures.) That was another great trip. Even the snorkeling selfies were great.