Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A New Friend . . . that I will never see again


The National Museum of Iraq holds some 170,000 cultural artifacts from Mesopotamian civilizations, including the Code of Hammurabi.

Short Story . . .

  On Monday, Barbara and I flew back to Denver after a wonderful Christmas with our children in AZ.  As we were getting on the train from Terminal B to the main concourse at Denver International, three airport policemen brought a middle-aged Chinese gentleman to the train door and asked if anyone was picking up baggage.  When I raised my hand, they passed off the Chinese man to me and said "make sure he gets off at the baggage return stop."

  It was quickly apparent that this gentleman spoke NO English and could not read any of the signs.  My Chinese is a little rusty . . . OK . . . I speak no Chinese at all, so using gestures and miming we brought this nicely dressed, middle-aged gentleman all the way to the baggage carousels.  Barbara went to get our bags, and I asked him for his boarding pass.  He showed me his ticked for Flight 770, and we found the right carrosel and waited.  About 15' later the bags started coming, but his did not show up.  For  the next 30' or so we worked with the United baggage personnel (who also spoke no Chinese) but they could not figure out where his bags were either.  Finally, I indicated I wanted to see all of his papers.   Oh No!  He was not supposed to be getting his bags; he was supposed to be changing to a plane for Houston!  The policemen had completely misunderstood the situation.  Now we were on the wrong side of security, he needed to get back to his gate, and I had no boarding pass to go through security with him.

  Among his papers was a phone number that I recognized as a Houston area code.  I called that number, and sure enough the lady on the other end spoke English and Chinese, and was expecting him.  Passing my cell phone back and forth for translation, I had her tell him what we would need to do, and she was going to be at the airport in Houston to meet him, as long as I could get him on the flight.

  To shorten the story, I met a number of seriously nice TSA people that night.  With their help and cooperation, my boarding pass from earlier in the day was re-stamped, and the man and I went through the security screening again (I always get patted down) with the agents being very courteous and helping me keep my Chinese partner in the right places, and made our way onto the train to terminal B and, with a stop at the men's room, finally to gate B-33 with about an hour to spare.  We communicated until I was sure he knew to board that flight around 7pm, and I had another gentleman waiting for the flight agree to make sure he did get on the plane.

  Before leaving, I gave him my card and cell phone number should he get stranded again.  He entered a long number in my cell phone, hit "call" and then "hang up".  He then pointed at himself, then at the phone number and said "Beijing!"  I guess I now have a contact if I get lost there.

  I waived goodbye and shook hands.  He shook my hand for a long time, then pulled me in for a long hug.  His eyes were a little moist.  That moment was far more reward than I expected or needed.  I was happy for him to be again on his way, and happy for me that I was some help in the process. 

  Some people have suggested that what elevates certain animals, notably humans, to a higher plane is an (evolved?) capacity for empathy, the ability to put one's self in others shoes so to speak.  I think this is at least partially culturally derived as evidenced in many religions and philosophies including universal moral codes that have been passed through generations for centuries, the Code of Hammurabi (~1700 BCE) being one of the oldest moral/legal codes recorded.

  Behavior based not on self-interest, but on needs of others can be observed occasionally in the animal world, and can be seen to be occasionally lacking in humans who have not yet learned the rewards of the golden rule.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

9 Reasons to Love Chicago


Chicago at night

For the 24th time in 25 years I attended the annual meeting of the Radiologic Society of North America , traditionally starting the Saturday after Thanksgiving in Chicago.  In recent years, Barbara and I look forward to this as an annual vacation in this great city, with Barbara doing research at the Newberry Library and other interesting explorations of art museums and other establishments while I attend the meeting.  The weather is often "iffy," but along with the Christmas decorations and lights there is a festive atmosphere to the city.  After the meeting ends on Thursday, we stay over to play and explore in the city together.

We usually skipped lunch and/or breakfast, and enjoyed a nice dinner in the evenings.  There were two restaurants we already knew well, but we had 7 new discoveries.  I just thought I would list our findings with short comments, for what it's worth.

Bistrot Zinc is an oxymoron; a moderately priced French Restaurant.  Very, very good however:  http://www.bistrotzinc.com/

Le Colonial is a Viet Vietnamese French (Colonial French) restaurant.  My partner Paul pointed this out as one of his favorites.  The dishes have a bit of kick, but excellent quality and preparation, and the service was top notch:  http://www.lecolonialchicago.com/

At The Tavern on Rush we arrived early and were seated next to the 2nd story glass wall overlooking the small park where Rush merges with State.  We both had the small fillet, and it was just about as good of a steak as we have ever eaten, anywhere:   http://www.tavernonrush.com/

A repeat, Shaw's Crab House, produced the best king crab legs Barbara has had since Alaska:  http://www.shawscrabhouse.com/

The unique experience of the trip was North Pond, a restaurant crafted from an old warming house at the edge of a pond in the Lincoln Park area, just east of the zoo.  You have to walk down a path from where the cab will have to drop you off.  http://www.northpondrestaurant.com/

Pane Caldo is a small Italian cafe on the two-block walk from the Newberry Library to Michigan Ave; about 2 blocks from Water Tower. We had the set three course lunch menu for $19; quite good.  We will go back for dinner at some point. http://www.pane-caldo.com/

James Burk's Primehouse is in the James Hotel, and is known for it's dry aged beef.  We had a very special dinner here with Barbara's cousin Steve and his wife Janet, who like me attends the RSNA as a triple boarded Internist/Nuke/Radiologist:.  http://www.jameshotels.com/Chicago-Hotel.aspx?name=The-James-Chicago&page=Primehouse-Bull-Story

The other repeat was our perennial fishouse favorite, Hugo's Frog Bar and Fish House. Contrary to one's first impression, it is not named for the amphibian whose legs are served there.  "Frog" was the nickname Hugo Ralli called his Grandfather, General Bruce Hay of Her Majesty's Imperial Forces:  http://www.hugosfrogbar.com/

Eggstasy, a new discovery for breakfast or brunch, is in the Oakbrook area if you are on your way into or out of downtown Chicago and you are very, very hungry.  It's just off the I-88 turnpike:  http://www.dailyherald.com/story/?id=284486

Thursday, November 26, 2009

CREEDE, COLORADO PART II

The Bachelor Loop

(Left click on any picture to enlarge it)

Above the town of Creede is a road, "The Bachelor Loop," following the old mining road along which there are many old mine remains, and starting at the canyon at the north end of town, seen as a notch in the rocks above.

I think the loop is about 18 miles long, unless you take some of the side roads requiring 4-wheel drive and high clearance.

As you enter the canyon you immediately come across substantial mine constructions.

Some of these are perched precariously on the steep sides, but have remained in place for the better part of a century.

These constructions, as the track to the tipple seen here, required lots and lots of wood . . .

. . . and big timbers. I am amazed to see in historic photos that there were some trees still standing in this area .

The mine shafts were built strong and deep, and some have been active until a few years ago. For a history of Creede from the Denver Post click here, and for a history of mining in the San Juans try HERE .

Midway through the trip we stopped for a spot of lunch.

The town of Bachelor, for which the loop is named, in the hills above Creede, had an exciting start, but a very brief life.

Not much left of Bachelor today, and not much left for this post. See you at another SW Colorado highlight on the next one.
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Sunday, November 22, 2009

CREEDE, COLORADO - PART I

Creede - Meadows, Mountains and Mines





In late August to early September we explored western and southern Colorado as an RV caravan with our good friends Bill and Dana. We travelled every few days, beginning in Glenwood Springs, working south to Durango, and back east across the state to Colorado Springs. The previous post about the headwaters of the Rio Grande was from this trip. Instead of posting a chronological series of "we were there, then here, then there" comments, I will extract some of the highlights of the trip, not necessarily in chronological order, and try to spare you from boredom by way of leaving a lot of our wanderings at the proverbial cutting room floor.



I first was introduced to Creede, CO by Joan and Mike Hansen, who had posted pictures of their visit (also in a motorhome) a year or two ago. Creede sits in the Weminuche Wilderness area at the entrance to a steep canyon and the junction of the East Willow and West Willow Creeks. On the north edge of town is the canyon with hundreds of mining ruins and artifacts, and to the south of town are the meadows along the Rio Grande.


As usual, left-click on a picture to enlarge it

The picture above is a view looking southwest from above Creede, which is the compact collection of buildings and streets in the mid-foreground. Beyond Creede is the Rio Grande and adjacent valley meadows. In 1890 Nicholas Creede discovered a high-grade silver vein on Willow Creek, a tributary of the Rio Grande, and founded the Holy Moses Mine, starting a series of boom and bust to the area. It is off all the major highways, but the attraction of the wilderness and beauty keeps people in and coming to the area.


Dana, Barbara and Bill standing about 30' from where we had setup our RVs. It was a very nice RV resort, but was closing for the winter about 2 weeks after our departure.


Same thing, with me in the picture for a change. In the background you can see the steep V-shaped canyon with Creede at its entrance. Many mines were established in or close to this canyon, and Creede was the center of support for the mines and miners.


Creede is NOT a big town, having a population of only 737 at last count. It is certainly not a town in decline though, with some reasonable stores that for the most part avoid the T-Shirt tackiness. People really live here, and the tourism tends to be younger people heading for the wilderness outdoor experience, and older ones interested in the local history, fishing and hiking, and the less extreme outdoor activities. The Bachelor Historic Loop (next blog post), an interesting drive through the local mining ruins and high mountain meadows starts at the entrance to the canyon at the north end of main street.



One of the more surprising findings in Creede is the Creede Repertory Theatre, a professional theatre company resident in Creede from May through September yearly. We made one performance there and thought it overall an excellent performance. The quality is consistent and good enough to draw enough people (from a considerable distance) to sustain it for the past 44 years. In fact, it has been so successful that construction is underway for an new, additional performing facility in town.



There is a B&B in the north end of town with this small garden adjacent to the cabin. The holes in the rock behind the garden are left from drilling contest periodically held among the miners during the Creede's heydays.

One of the most unexpected structures in Creede is a guest house built in the style of a Norwegian Stave Church. There is a very interesting story of how it came to be, but it's too long to tell here, so you will have to read the link.


Like other mining towns, Creede had it's share of notorious characters. The list included gambler Bob Ford, the killer of Jesse James. Ford himself was shot in the back by a disgruntled patron of his gambling hall, Ed O'Kelley. O'Kelley was tried and convicted for slaying Ford and put in jail, but shortly thereafter was pardoned, as many in Creede felt O'Kelley had done the town a service.


After Ford's death, Soapy Smith ran an extortion racket out of the Orleans Club. Smith had a cut of every gin joint, bawdy house and gambling casino in Creede. After the Silver Panic of 1893 slowed the economy of Creede to a crawl, Smith moved to the Klondike. His competitors in Skagway objected to him establishing the same type of business he ran in Creede. Smith was shot to death in 1898. (Barbara and I had visited his grave when we visited her brother in Skagway several years ago. This is another one of those "connections" I was talking about in the previous post.)


Today Creede survives as a tourist center, but it's remote location probably guarantees that it will never go the way of Telluride. If you're on a tour of Southwest Colorado, take some time to visit. Barbara and I will certainly be returning. It's off the beaten path, but well worth it.

For a history of Creede from the Denver Post click here,

My next post will be about the Bachelor Historic Loop in the mountain above Creede.


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Saturday, November 21, 2009

Connections


Eve Shpritser’s highly dimensional, geometric “Connections.”

I am fascinated when my readings in completely different sources that are seemingly unrelated touch closely on the same subject. For some reason I feel good when I see such "connections" in the world. The following is an example of what I am talking about.

There seems to be an endless variety of Christian religions in the world. One that came to my attention recently was the "Dunker" religion. The Dunkers, so called because they practiced "full" baptism by three full immersions, originated in Germany and for a while flourished in American. I was first put on to this by a few paragraphs in Benjamin Franklin's autobiography which I have been reading of late. I realized that this connected to another story I had read in a Mark Twain biography.

Benjamin Franklin spoke well of one of his Dunker acquaintances and his humility regarding the certainty (or actually of lack of it) in their doctrine:

"These embarrassments that the Quakers suffer'd from having establish'd and published it as one of their principles that no kind of war was lawful, and which, being once published, they could not afterwards, however they might change their minds, easily get rid of, reminds me of what I think a more prudent conduct in another sect among us, that of the Dunkers.
I was acquainted with one of its founders, Michael Welfare, soon after it appear'd. He complain'd to me that they were grievously calumniated by the zealots of other persuasions, and charg'd with abominable principles and practices, to which they were utter strangers. I told him this had always been the case with new sects, and that, to put a stop to such abuse, I imagin'd it might be well to publish the articles of their belief, and the rules of their discipline. He said that it had been propos'd among them, but not agreed to, for this reason:
"When we were first drawn together as a society," says he, "it had pleased God to enlighten our minds so far as to see that some doctrines, which we once esteemed truths, were errors; and that others, which we had esteemed errors, were real truths. From time to time He has been pleased to afford us farther light, and our principles have been improving, and our errors diminishing. Now we are not sure that we are arrived at the end of this progression, and at the perfection of spiritual or theological knowledge; and we fear that, if we should once print our confession of faith, we should feel ourselves as if bound and confin'd by it, and perhaps be unwilling to receive farther improvement, and our successors still more so, as conceiving what we their elders and founders had done, to be something sacred, never to be departed from."
This modesty in a sect is perhaps a singular instance in the history of mankind, every other sect supposing itself in possession of all truth, and that those who differ are so far in the wrong; like a man traveling in foggy weather, those at some distance before him on the road he sees wrapped up in the fog, as well as those behind him, and also the people in the fields on each side, but near him all appears clear, tho' in truth he is as much in the fog as any of them. "

The Dunkers were pacifist and also anti-slavery. They advocated for slave owners to free their slaves. In later years, John T. Lewis, a "free negro" and a Dunker, appears in the biography of Samuel Clemens.

In this event, Lewis was startled to see a carriage pulled by a runaway horse, erratically careening about the road with three very frightened women aboard. He pulled his wagon to the side of the road, just in time to leap from it onto the bridle of the spooked horse. He managed to successfully bring the horse and carriage to a complete stop, at which point he became acquainted with the occupants: Mrs. Charles Langdon, her daughter Julia, and a nurse. General Charles Langdon, the grateful husband, and Mrs. Langdon were the parents of Olivia L. Langdon who married Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) in 1870.

Lewis was thanked with large dollar gifts from General Landgon, and a personalized set of books from Samuel Clemens. He subsequently became the Langdon's personal coachman and thus frequently saw the Clemens.

"He (Lewis) and Clemens became very good friends. Later, when Clemens was writing his famous novel Huckleberry Finn, it was the warm and friendly personality of John T. Lewis which served to inspire the personality of Jim, the runaway slave and friend of Huck. “I have not known an honester man nor a more respect-worthy one” - Samuel Langhorne Clemens. "

There you go; Benjamin Franklin and Mark Twain - connected across a century by the respect of a Dunker acquaintance. I love it!


Monday, November 2, 2009

The Rio Bravo del Norte


(Click on picture to enlarge)

A RIVER IS LIKE A LIFE; IT HAS A BEGINNING AND AN END

My life, as it happens, began at the end. That is, at the end of the river - the Rio Grande. Any further south in Texas and I would be a Mexican (in Mexico this river is known as the Rio Bravo del Norte.) Later in my life, I was living several hundred miles upstream in El Paso. Finally, last September during a RV trip to Colorado I found the chance to visit the streams and lakes that form the headwaters of the Rio Grande . . . its beginning. I am getting older now, and more frequently wallowing in a bit of comfortable reflection on my years past and possible years future; it was one of those moments.

At these times I tend to go mellow. Sometimes I turn on music; The Parson's Project "Time" is my all time favorite music for melancholic (not to be confused with depressive) reflection. It is a good background for contemplating the Buddhist teachings on the impermanence of life. The Buddha used the river to teach that life is series of impermanent moments - i.e. moment by moment death and rebirth - and made the analogy of wading through a river; you can do it only once, because if you try to wade back across it's not the same river - the water you originally waded through has flowed on and now you are wading through new water. (By the way, I'm not Buddhist - I once thought I might be - I admire many of the teachings - but I'm really not.)

I could continue to enjoy this comfortable soliloquy and progress to considerations of the cosmos and what we really are ( think Dust in the wind by Kansas.) You may not want to go there though, so I will end the blog, pour a short single malt, and turn on Joni Mitchell's Woodstock rendition of "We are Stardust," the original "Hair" soundtrack, or perhaps Leonard Cohen's "Bird on the Wire" and thoroughly enjoy the depths of my melancholy.

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Friday, July 3, 2009

Grist for the Mill

- Per Usual, left-click on any picture for a larger version -
Links are shown in blue
In June we found a weekend that Matt and Rachael, as well as we two, were free, so we hopped on a United Flight from Denver. We took the light rail from the airport to downtown and walked 3 blocks to our hotel. In September, should one desire, you will be able to take the new light rail extension right to the hotel (Marriott Courtyard Downtown) which sits between downtown and the Pearl. Above we stand in the West Hills with "Big Pink" (Link) in the center of downtown Portland.
Sitting high in the West Hills is the Pittock Mansion, built by one of Portland's early entrepreneurs, Henry Pittock. Henry was born in England and came to the US as a child. He arrived in Portland penniless and began work for the Oregonian Newspaper. He later met his wife, Gerogiania, who had crossed the plains from Keokuk, Iowa. Henry aggressively entered the business world and rapidly became wealthy. They lived in relatively modest dwellings until, late in life, they built this spectacular home on 56 hilltop acres in the West Hills of Portland.
The main stairs


View of Portland from the Master Bedroom Porch. The grounds are part lawn, part rose garden, and part arboretum.
Earlier we had driven over the bridges to Washington State:

In the hills About 30' North of Portland is the Cedar Creek Grist Mill. Built in 1876 to serve primarily for flour making, it was subsequently a hydroturbine-powered machine shop supporting the logging industry and local farming. It has been restored and is maintained by a voluntary organization.


The building was initially constructed primarily to turn this two piece French grinding stone, quarried at La Ferte-sous-Jouarre near the town of Chalons in the Marne Valley in Northern France.


This brief video contains the sounds and shows some of the machinery of the mill in action. The power is produced by a James Leffel water turbine. This company has been making turbines since 1862. The speed/horsepower is varied by opening/closing the vanes of the turbine.
The turbine turns on a bearing made of Lignum Vitae wood (more than you ever wanted to know about this wood here.)

The original covered bridge at the mill site has been rebuilt.

The flume was originally only about 80' long, using a log dam to build the water pressure. The dam was taken out sometime back, and now the salmon run upstream yearly. A new flume was built as part of the restoration, beginning about 650 feet upstream from the mill. This allows a 17.5 foot head of water to stand above the turbine, which at peak power flows 600 cubic ft/min.


Inveterate historical travel is in the genes.

(By the way, The proverb “all is grist for the mill” means “everything can be made useful, or be a source of profit.” A miller ground whatever grain was brought to him, and charged a portion of the final product for the service. Therefore, all grain arriving at the mill represented income, regardless of its quality. The first recorded usage of the phrase was in the sixteenth century, but the term is probably much older.)
There are some minor variations, such as "all's grist that comes to my/his/her mill", meaning that the person in question can make something positive out of anything that comes along.




Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Stanley Still Steaming

- Left-click to enlarge a picture -
- Links are in blue -
One of the local landmarks here in Estes Park is the old Stanley Hotel, a sprawling white wooden structure that originally hosted well-off travelers to the Rocky Mountains and now is a choice place for weddings.
In 1903, F. O. Stanley came to Estes Park for his health. He suffered from tuberculosis and came West at his doctor's suggestion. The doctor arranged for the couple to stay in a cabin in Estes Park for the summer, and immediately they fell in love with the area and quickly Stanley's health began to dramatically improve. Impressed by the beauty of our valley and grateful for the improvement in his health, he decided to invest his money and his future here. In 1909, he opened the elegant Stanley Hotel, a classic hostelry exemplifying the golden age of touring.

Lacking familiarity with Estes Park however, you would more likely associate the name Stanley with the steam powered automobile built by the Stanley brothers, the "Stanley Steamer," (or perhaps the locally owned carpet cleaning business.)

In addition to 2 and 4 passenger cars, the Stanley brothers designed and built the Stanley Mountain Wagon to bring their well-heeled guest from the train depot in Loveland up the Big Thompson canyon to Estes Park. The tremendous torque generated by the steam engines made the 3,000 ft climb over winding roads with 12 passengers possible.
Though the steamer gave way to the internal combustion engine in the 20's, there are many that have been restored and still travel the roadways. There is an international Steam Car Club (Link.)
As part of the centennial celebration of the hotel (link), a number of Stanley Steamers made their way to Estes for a Rally this year, and we ran into a number of them around town this week. I grabbed a few photos with my cell phone camera. (I had to clean some of these up with photoshop; the cell phone lens was dirty, and the original pictures were quite hazy with no contrast.)
This man and his son are from near Des Moines. He commented that their club is not about owning a Steamer, but about driving one.

It seems that when driving a steam powered automobile, it is really a two-person job

The power is from kerosene, but the car is really a water hog, and needs frequent refilling.

Occasional repairs are needed . . . some mechanical talent is advised before heading out of town. You don't just jump in the car and start the engine and take off of course. It takes several minutes to pump up the pressure for the kerosene feeder, fire up the boiler, and wait for enough pressure to start the journey.

I have seen people deeply involved in hobbies that held no interest for me. This looked like a lot of fun however, and is one of those activities that the whole family can participate in. Should you not have $100-300K to buy a restored steamer, you could devote years of your life to restoring one as did the bloke on this wonderful little English video (link.)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

IT'S MOTHERS DAY

Vincent Van Gogh - Irises



Ona Floyd - Irises

(Left click to enlarge)

These irises are currently blooming next to our home in Cedar Rapids. They are part of the original family (the bulbs have been divided several times now) that Barbara transplanted from my mother's home in Waurika, OK many years ago. I am sure that they will become a part of our children's gardens, and perhaps beyond.


At any rate, I cannot see these in bloom without thinking of my mother, and that certainly qualifies those times as "Mothers Day", even if it does not say so on the calendar..

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Grant Wood Country

At O'Dark-Thirty this morning, I took Barbara to the airport for her flight to join her girl friends from Colorado and California in Las Vegas for a birthday party (at least that's the story!)
Having my wake-up coffee while looking over the paper, I saw that this afternoon there would be an "Art and Culture Tour" along the Grant Wood Highway Scenic Trail, with artisans showing their ware at their studios, galleries, etc. Sounded like a nice Sunday drive as the skys were clear and it wasn't going to be hot and muggy, so I took off in the car for Stone City, the western start of the Grant Wood Scenic Byway.

American Gothic not only made Grant Wood internationally famous (after the Mona Lisa, it's the most reproduced and parodied painting in the world,) but it also allowed Wood to bring wide recognition to Eastern Iowa. His art goes far beyond this painting, but he is forever linked with it. Here is an excellent Grant Wood website: Going Back to Iowa.

- As usual, left-click on any picture to enlarge it -

- Light Text is a link; left-click to follow -

It was spring, and the farmers in the hills of Eastern Iowa were preparing and planting their fields.


This is fairly rural country, spotted with innumerable family farms with their barns and silos, and scattered bits of history such as the Antioch Church, above, with the first headstone dated 1860.


Not far from the Antioch Church is the one room Antioch School. This is where Grant Wood attended first through fourth grade.


Stone City, a village of 200 residents on a good day, is named for the stone quarry, from which the stone for many buildings, large and small, has come. Several local buildings remain such as the church above and the tavern below. During the summers of 1932 and 1933, Grant Wood created the Stone City Colony and Art School. The Colony was headquartered in the large, limestone mansion of the Green Estate, overlooking Stone City. There was a lot of art produced by the attendees of this colony. Many of the artists became well known, at least in “art circles.”

The quarry is still quite active, and continues to supply "Indiana" limestone for commercial buildings as well as residential construction (This is a particularly nice example, inside and out.)


The old Stone City Tavern, on the Wapsipinicon river, is a weekend destination for Bikers stopping for a beer, families out for lunch, and senior citizens on a Sunday Drive. All three groups were there today.


In the later stages of the floods of '93, Barbara, her dad, and I had a bite and a beer on the lower deck, with the water pretty close to our feet.


Close to Stone City is the home of Sharon Burrows and her "A Glass Act" stained glass studio. This was the first (and only) studio I visited on the tour. Her stained glass is beautifully exhibited throughout her home.


Historic, large, and built with Stone City stone the Anamosa State Penitentiary is still an active prison in Iowa. Here is an interesting little website with the history of the ASP. There is a museum in the old cheese factory that is open for visiting 3 days a week.


Inside these stone walls, is a large open gallery of steel cells three tiers high. It is not as bucolic on the inside as it is on the outside.


The administration building, as the rest of the prison, was built with prisoner labor using the local stone.


Not far from town is the Anamosa State Penitentiary Cemetery; on a hill next to a quiet byway .


The headstones in the foreground are recent, and of marble. The older ones are concrete, but are holding up fairly well.


It is hard to contemplate the people who lived and died in the prison (one here at age 77 and the other at only 25), with no one to claim their remains for burial. Very sad thoughts.


Perhaps the most personally disturbing finding in this prison cemetery, particularly with the recent burial of Barbara's dad in Arlington, was this official US Military marker for a prisoner who was a veteran of WW II, but now is buried here on this somewhat forlorn hillside.


Another final resting place, a bit less depressing, is the municipal cemetery just West of Anamosa, with this Civil War Memorial near its entrance.

It is here that Grant Wood was burried after a full and exceptional life.
This closed the circle for my Sunday afternoon drive.
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