On a SUMMER DAY…You Might Find a Fossil in a Campground

While camping in the backwoods of the Eastern Sierra Nevada, Rachel Hodgkiss spent time hunting for fossils. Hoping for a great discovery she was quite surprised by what she did find. This happened in 1967 and until now the family has kept the finding private.

Rachel slept on the floor of the tent and each night complained about something sticking her in the back. Each night her parents, used to Rachel's vivid imagination, would tell her to "Shut up and go to sleep!"

By the fourth morning Rachel, exhausted from no sleep for three nights, convinced her dad that there really was something sticking her in the back. So her dad moved the tent and Rachel began digging with a small wooden spoon that had come with some Neapolitan ice cream she'd bought at the camp store. It took her about an hour-and-a-half to uncover this amazing discovery.

You can imagine how surprised they were when SNL did a skit about the Coneheads in 1977.

Rachel Hodgkiss holding Conehead fossil outside family tent, August 1967.


On a SUMMER DAY…Ophelia Floats Downstream

Click on image to see it larger.

This image is much more recent than most that I post. It's from an album I bought at a flea market for a buck. This shot is the reason I bought it. Most of the shots are of teenagers going through their normal angst being goths, punks, and preppies. Overall pretty boring and I've avoided posting any of them because the teens are probably now in their 30s and don't need me exposing their youth. However, this photo is different. It's worth sharing, especially after Mike made mention of Ophelia in relationship to my last post.


On a SUMMER DAY…Betty Floats Into Dreamland

Believe me when I say this is the oddest and most interesting shot you'll ever see of Betty.

Click on image to see it larger.

Perhaps she was lying on the grass watching clouds roll by when she suddenly realized the earth was turning and she might fall off.

Available at Amazon:
Tattered and Lost: Cakes, Picnics, and Watermelon


On a SUMMER DAY…Main Street Might Be Empty

I'm thinking somewhere in the Midwest and it's HOT. Staying in the shadows is one way to survive until the hopefully cooling breeze of the evening.

Click on image to see it larger.

There's a vertical sign that can be seen in the enlarged image that has had a few of us stumped until Mike Brubaker came along to solve the puzzle.
I'm no expert in farming, but I do like Scrabble. The mystery sign is likely advertising "DeLaval Cream Separators", first patented in 1887. One of those useful devices that only dairy farmers pay attention to, while the rest of us wonder whether half-n-half is half good or half bad for our cholesterol.
To read about Gustav de Laval, the inventor of the DeLaval Cream Separator click here.

Thanks Mike!


On A SUMMER DAY…Eat and Get Gas

Summer is nearly gone and I don't feel as if it has made a dent in my brain. There have been very few moments that have jangled the neurons causing my memory folders to open.

Last night, following a day when the back deck registered 111 degrees in the shade, the crickets were nearly screaming. I will admit that for a brief moment I was back in D.C. at an outdoor amphitheater for a Danny Kaye show. I remember the sound of the crickets and the sky full of stars. Danny Kaye sat on the edge of the stage, shirtsleeves rolled up, smoking a cigarette. If you ever saw Danny Kaye in person you'd know how magical the shows were. That particular show is one of my summer memories.

Road trips are also a summer memory, but not this year. There just doesn't seem to be time anymore, especially as I look down the road and wonder how much time I have left. I need to stop looking at the ages of people in the obits.

I'd like to think this shot was taken on a summer vacation. A stop for gas at the Texaco and a bite to eat at the Shady Lawn Lunch Room. Seriously, look at the image larger and you'll see that is indeed the name of the restaurant. I'd give anything to step back in time to visit this roadside treasure.

Click on images to see them larger.

Now I'm not sure about that garage attendant. What is he holding in his hand? Puncture a tire while you're in getting something to eat and then sell you a new one? Not implausible. I've known of it happening at a garage in southern California around twenty-five years ago. These days it's hard to find anyone willing to do anything for you at a gas station. Well, except in Oregon where it's illegal for you to fill the tank yourself. Up there you still have to sit and wait for someone else to do it. A throwback to an easier time? Sort of, except most of the stations have only one person working the pumps which means you sit and wait. Drives me nuts because I know I could get out and do it myself and be on my way. That's the problem with today, everything has to be faster. We forget to enjoy the moments in between.

Available at Amazon:
Tattered and Lost: Cakes, Picnics, and Watermelon



While others liked to slowly meander down the river in a canoe…

Click on image to see it larger.

Edna preferred to poke sticks down an ant hole.

Available at Amazon:
Tattered and Lost: Cakes, Picnics, and Watermelon


Donald and Betty in ENGLAND IN 1949

It's always fun to go through another box of slides from Betty Schnabel's estate. Her father, Donald G. Schnabel, traveled a lot and took thousands of slides; sometimes Betty traveled with him. In this case it was to England in 1949.

These are all black and white slides. I'll admit to not knowing there ever was such a thing. Their quality is not particularly good, but they do give the feeling of stepping back in time, only four years after the war.

The theme for Sepia Saturday this week is hotels. Below I give you a hotel. This is the Welcombe Inn located near Stratford-upon-Avon. This shot certainly doesn't make the place look particularly interesting, but click on this link and you'll be impressed.

Click on images to see them larger.

Betty and Donald visited Shakespeare's home while in Stratford-upon-Avon. Two chatty ladies with a pram would have never imagined they'd one day be shown to people around the world.

And here we have some folks considering a tour of Shakespeare's home. Looks like one of them wants to first lean in and see if it's worth it.

Betty and Donald also visited Kenilworth Castle. The second shot is labeled "Stables Kenilworth Castle 1949." Personally I think I could live quite nicely in the stables.

The strange thing about all of Donald's slides is that his wife, Louise, never seems to be in any of them. She died in 1972. Occasionally there are shots of his son, Donald Jr, who died this past year. Betty traveled with her father on several trips. Now, since I only have slides from Betty's estate I have no way of knowing what photographs her brother had or what became of them. He lived in Florida, Betty in California. The family images are doomed to never be together.

So I'll leave you with Betty in Stratford-upon-Avon in 1949. I can't decide if that's a feather in a hat or some strands of hair blown straight up. It doesn't help to see the photo larger. You can decide for yourself. Betty does not appear to be enjoying herself.

To see more photos taken by Betty's father click on his or her name in the links below.