Cornfield Meet

Things collide here.

Geek at the truck show

A few non-work-related photos from my trip last week to the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville.

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I love amusement park skylines. This is part of Kentucky Kingdom, re-opening in May.

Next: Nerdworld and truckland collide:

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…and again:

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Western Star Trucks’ Optimus Prime, from the next Transformers movie.

March 31, 2014 Posted by | Film, geek, photos, science fiction | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

USAF, South Korea, 1971-72 – Part 2

I’ve scanned another couple pages’ worth of my dad’s pictures from Korea. (Click here for some background on this project and the first batch of photos.) Clicking on any of the images will take you to the full photoset and much larger versions of the pictures.

Dad’s standing on the right. The guy on the left is in several of dad’s photos.

As noted previously, I’d love any feedback, input or insight into the locations and situations captured in Dad’s pictures, so if you know someone who served in this area around this time – or even if you can translate some of the Korean signs in the photos – feel free to get in touch with me through the comments or by emailing booth(at)fieldsedge.com.

February 16, 2014 Posted by | 1970s, Family history, photos, Travel | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Northwest Ohio, 1972-73

My earliest memories trace an elliptical orbit around two places: Lima and Upper Sandusky, Ohio.

If you ask me where the first place is that I remember living, my mind goes to this house on North Main Street in Lima:

That picture’s from sometime in 1972-73. (Here’s what the house looked like in summer 2012.)

But I also have many memories of the farm and house in Upper Sandusky where my mom grew up, since we lived there while my dad was serving in Korea in 1971 and ’72. While I can remember several things about being there, I can’t say that I recall having a sense of home in those memories, the way I do about the house in Lima.

That’s me and my maternal grandfather, Reuben Schoenberger. Here’s another one:

The pieces I remember from the farm and the farmhouse are mostly sensory snapshots: The smell of dirt and wood and oil in the barn, and the pile of gravel behind it where I played; sitting on the metal cover to something in the yard (a well, maybe, or a cistern?); the place under the front porch where I crawled with the family dog, Alfie; the pattern on the kitchen floor; the yard and the long driveway tucked into the cornfields.

That’s me and my grandma Joan and Alfie. I can remember that tricycle seeming huge – it had a double-decker step on the back! and needing those block-and-band accessories to reach the pedals. (Those things had a long life: after I outgrew needing them on the tricycle, they went into the box of toy blocks that lasted through me and my brothers.)

Now let’s go back to Lima.

I seem to think this area was just off the kitchen, at the back of the house. I still remember exactly how that rug felt under my hands and knees, and beneath the wheels of my toys. The wooden toy box in the background? My grandpa made it, and I still have it. And I remember taking everything out of it and making a complete mess of the room so that I could sit in it.

This was my parents’ second car (according to the back of the picture). Again, I can remember the texture of the seats. At some point, the Bug developed a hole in the backseat floor, and I wasn’t allowed to ride there. I loved two things in particular about the car: riding with the top down, and pushing the button that made the windshield washers squirt. This latter activity was most fun when carried out unsupervised with my best friend, Alberto – he’s in the middle of the photo below:

Alberto and his family lived next door, and it seems like every interaction I remember between our families involved laughing. Also, I could eat his mom’s homemade tortillas by the dozen. Man, they were good.

Finally, a trio of seasonal pictures, starting with me and mom in winter:

Summer. (I don’t know who that guy is, but I loved that swinging pole thing, and I love the ’70s feel of this picture.)

And fall. Me and my trike and our dog, Punkin.

Punkin got lost for a couple days once. I think I remember dad saying he found her out in a field by some railroad tracks.

Larger versions of these pictures – and a couple others – are in this Flickr photoset.

February 11, 2014 Posted by | 1970s, Family history, Ohio, photos | , , , , | 2 Comments

USAF, South Korea, 1971-72 – Part 1

In addition to diving into my own memories of the early-to-mid 1970s, another project I’ve undertaken for this year is collecting my dad’s photos of his year in Korea, when he was serving in the U.S. Air Force, just a little more than four decades back.

This picture has never failed to make me smile.

Judging by Dad’s hair being parted on the wrong side and the reverse lettering on the guy’s uniform at right, it would appear this photo was flipped during developing.

There are several pages’ worth of these black-and-white pictures, unlabeled, collected in one of my mom’s earliest photo albums. I also seem to recall a box of color slides from Korea that used to be in our attic. I’ll have to ask about those and maybe look into getting them digitized. I figure I’ll post them a few pages at a time, publishing smaller images here, and linking to the collected Flickr set of larger versions. (Clicking on any of the photos will also take you to that set and the original 600 dpi scans.)

They’re a regular, everyday mix of scenic photos, posed pictures, and context-free slices of whatever life was going on at the moment.

All of these pictures were taken between July 1971 and August 1972, but not during February 1972, since Dad was home on leave then. Possible locations are near the USAF Osan Air Base and a radar site at Kojin, which seems to have been just south of the DMZ on the east coast, near a body of water named “Hwajinpo.”  (I have a baseball-style cap of Dad’s embroidered with “Kamp Kojin Korea” on the front, “Doc” along one side and “Commander USAF Hospital” on the back. Another cap I have says “USAF HOSP Osan ’71-’72″ on it.)

I welcome any feedback, input or insight into the locations and situations captured in Dad’s pictures, so if you know someone who served in this area around this time, feel free to get in touch with me through the comments or by emailing me at booth(at)fieldsedge.com.

Update 2/16/14: Part two of this project is now online.

January 25, 2014 Posted by | 1970s, Family history, photos, Travel | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dad and me and Mad

This may be my favorite picture of me and my dad:

I had placed this sometime around 1973, but thanks to the incredible archive at Doug Gilford’s Mad Cover Site, I’ve discovered it’s got to be at least early 1975 which would make me 4 years old. I’m reading the March issue, Dad’s got Super Special #14, and the December ’74 issue is there in the foreground.

I can remember that bedspread and its texture; and the feel and weight of those dark yellow plastic plates that appear to have some bologna sandwiches on them; and the brown plastic bowl, too.

It looks like I’ve got a kids’ book at lower right, but I’d bet I’ve set it aside in favor of Spy vs. Spy. 

October 29, 2013 Posted by | 1970s, Family history, Ohio, photos | , , , , | 1 Comment

This is Me in ’83 – Halloween

Have I mentioned that in 1983, I was really, really into reading my Dungeons & Dragons stuff? 

Inspired by that source material, I cobbled together my own fantasy adventurer’s costume for Halloween:

No parental assistance required: Sweat pants and a sweatshirt that looks like I removed the collar for that deep-V look that’s all the rage among dragon-slayers; cape from an old…bedspread, maybe? I can remember the material was heavy, but also kind of clingy and stretchy; tunic-vest-thing that I cut and stitched together myself out of some burlap-type cloth mom had around; and a belt that I probably wore every other day of the year, too.

The sword? A yardstick covered in aluminum foil, of course. Which means it stands to reason – as if it’s not completely clear already – that yes, I am in fact wearing a foil hat. (Technically, my helm was a white knit hat covered in foil. Still: FOIL HAT.)

And now that “foil” sounds funny, I’ll move on.

If I remember correctly, my fellow D&D wannabe Mike S. wore a pretty slick elf ranger costume he and his mom had made.

More than once, I think, Mike and I took advantage of the trick-or-treat scheduling differences between the village of Hartville itself – where he lived – and Lake Township: One usually scheduled it on Halloween proper, while the other set it on the closest preceding weekend night, or something like that, making it possible for us to hit both of our neighborhoods. I seem to think we also really liked going out in the early hours of trick-or-treat, dropping off our candy haul at home, and then going back out after dark to roam the neighborhood and try to scare the kids we knew.

Other bits and pieces nicely caught up in this photo: The Halloween decorations – store-bought and handmade alike – that my mom put out every year; the long-gone brick fireplace and wood paneling of our family room; the wooden set of coasters in their little boxy holder up there on the mantle (these go back practically to the beginning of my memory).

For all the dorkiness captured in this picture – of me, that is; nothing against our family decor - I remain oddly proud of this costume, since I made the whole thing myself.

Plus: Foil hat.

October 28, 2013 Posted by | 1980s, geek, Ohio, photos | , , , | 4 Comments

Late September Morning, Hartville, Ohio

These were preceded by an amazing sunrise that I couldn’t shoot because I was driving. This scene was right down the street, though, so when I got home, I walked back for some pictures. I really like the way the top shot and the panorama came out.

(Click on any photo to view a larger version in my Flickr photostream.)

September 29, 2013 Posted by | Ohio, photos | , , , , | 1 Comment

Brand-new Baby Birds

There’s yet another robin’s nest above our front porch light this year. Yesterday, there were four blue eggs in it. When I got back from my run this morning, I noticed a piece of blue shell on the concrete.

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I don’t think I’ve ever gotten a photo of hatchlings that I’m absolutely certain are less than a day old, or that includes the newbies side-by-side with unhatched eggs. (And it looks like #3 might be arriving soon, if I’m judging the chip on that egg correctly.) The picture’s a little blurry, but it’s difficult to shoot into the nest sight unseen, and I didn’t want to cause any more of a disturbance.

May 5, 2013 Posted by | Ohio, photos | , , , | Leave a comment

Backstage with Vader and Luke

Finding some odd stuff while cleaning and reorganizing my office. Here’s a newspaper archive photo of James Earl Jones and Mark Hamill:

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I love it: It feels genuine.

According to the caption information, it’s New York, September 1987, following a Broadway performance of Fences, which Jones was starring in at the time. (The caption also notes their roles in Star Wars, indicating that the saga connection might be what prompted Associated Press photographer Frankie Ziths to get the shot.)

January 3, 2013 Posted by | eighties, Film, geek, photos | , , , | 2 Comments

Beneath the Backyard

Looks like something Lovecraftian trying to dig its way out:

And now let’s check in with Giant Vintage Kenner Chewie on the weather conditions at 8:43 a.m. Dec. 30, 2012:

(For perspective, here’s Chewie’s initial placement on Dec. 26, and a snapshot from just about 24 hours ago.

December 30, 2012 Posted by | geek, Ohio, photos, Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

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