Posts

Molly Marine on Memorial Day

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A salute to the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice serving in the US Armed Forces. This year let's tip the hat to the ladies who served in the Marine Corps.    Molly Marine has the distinction of being the first statue of a service woman in uniform in the United States. Erected in 1943 in New Orleans, the original statue was used to encourage women to join the Marines during WWII. Artist Enrique Alferez created the monument from a composite of a few female Marine models. More information here. 2 full sized replicas were later made and stand at Quantico, VA and Parris Island, SC- training centers for women Marines.  Pictured above is a small replica that I found at the local antique store. It probably sat in some Marine recruiter's office for years before findings its way to Moorhead. Actress Bea Arthur, famous for the TV programs "Maude" and "Golden Girls,"  joined the Marines a few months before Molly appeared. Then known as Bernice Frankel, the…

Fargo Marathon nearly in sight

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As the Fargo Marathon for 2018 approaches, I will for the first time since its inauguration not be imbedded in the event as a volunteer. Due to loss of work circumstances back in March, I made the decision not to commit to volunteer when I had no idea where I would land. Not having landed a job yet I checked the volunteer sign up website last week only to find it was closed. So just speculation as to whether they already got their volunteer quota or not. I did not ask- they have better things to do this week than answer my questions. Despite it being scorching hot in the lead up to the main races, it looks like it might be near optimal conditions (overcast with lo:42 hi:62) with some sprinkles. Friday night for the 5k looks like there will be potential rain. Depends on when that system enters town should be pleasant if it rains after dark.
New this year is the Great American Mile. By the looks of it I would say it is marketing event- something to get those who like beer to run a litt…

Signs of Beer: Hamm's again

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When compared to the more elaborate scene-o-rama Hamm's signs, this one is plain simple. I saw this example at one of the local pawn shops. These simpler signs still have a bit of value because of the desirability of the Hamm's name. Also note that the crest is not an image but molded. My guess you can get one of these for between $50-150 depending on condition. I forgot how much the pawn shop was charging- my thought was $65.
This sign was probably made in the later period of the original Hamm's label- my guess 1970s or 1980s. It seems to have the styling of the Olympia years.
Hamm's started to lose traction as it attempted to go national in the 1960s. In 1970s the label was traded around to different brewers including Olympia. It is still brewed today, albeit mostly in the upper Midwest. I tried it once. It was okay but nothing distinctive to my poor tasting skill.
It is odd that a beer with such recognizable marketing diminished. Yet, that was sign of the times for…

We need a Granite City train show

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240 miles separates where I am at and the Twin Cities. Almost the same amount separates my home base and Winnipeg. For 70 less miles and reduce my drive time by 1.5 hours, I can get to St. Cloud, the Granite City. Once again I spent some time at the Granite City Train Show a few weeks ago. This train show has been going on for a while- maybe like 10 years- and it has been my go to show for buying model trains and railroad related items. Last spring they moved the show from the Armory to the River's Edge Convention Center in downtown St. Cloud. The convention center allowed much more space and a lot more parking. This spring the show was just a bit sparse. I noted quite a few vendors were not present. I overheard amongst the chatter that the Newport Club was having one of their sales the same day down in Woodbury. I have written about that one and attended last year. Woodbury is a large draw and Twin Cities based vendors may find it more attractive than lugging their wares up to S…

Lionel Stuff: Lumber Shed Revisited

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I acquired an assembled version of the Lionel lumber shed structure last year and blogged about it here. It is still ridiculous how much these are going for on the market. Do not get me wrong, it is a good model, but shelling out $20 - $30 dollars for one is extravagant. It just does not have much collectible value. Since it gets attached to the Lionel name some sellers assume it is something akin to precious metal. So it is ideal to find these outside the typical Lionel searches. I would think that if the Lionel name were not attached this would be just another mass produced plastic structure.

While at the October Fargo Toy and Train show I found the lumber shed in a modified form.


I am not entirely sure what scale the alteration was intended- I am guessing N since most of the other items around it were for N.

It certainly is a bit of a scale stretch to plausibly utilize the structure in the smaller scales. The work bench and the storage bin would have to be removed to give the stru…

The prairie's original alternative Thanksgiving pageant

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I was a DJ on KUMM in Morris, MN for 4 years plus a short summer gig in 2001. It is a college station that was very eclectic back in the day. I did news and hosted the Minnesota music show for number of years. It was a tremendous experience.
KUMM definitely camped around the alternative music trend of the early 90s. Still broadcasting alternative music on the prairie now at 700 watts (according to wiki) on the FM, KUMM also has extended its reach streaming on the internets. It appears they have automated a bit as I have yet to hear a live host on the stream today. Their website seems to be a bit stale. DJ list is current. Looks like preferred communications come via Facebook.
Being alternative as we were, a handful of other KUMM DJs and I decided to do a live radio drama based upon a Thanksgiving theme. Pretty alternative for 1994, huh? The details are sketchy, but I wrote up a script which seems to be a riff off the Charlie Brown specials. Then one night on somebody's time slot…

Is it really Thanksgiving, Charlie Brown?

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Peanuts is a popular comic strip in the states and possibly elsewhere, but I have no idea how well it is translated into other cultures. It is still syndicated in numerous newspapers although new strips have not come out since creator Charles Schulz died back in 2000. I would say most are unfamiliar with the comic strip and that seems like a contradiction of first line of this post. If you has a line up of cartoon characters, I am certain most would be able to identify Snoopy and Charlie Brown but would not be able to articulate their relationship or misadventures. For your reference:  Snoopy is a dog, but a dog with a wild imagination. Often he has imagined himself as a World War I flying ace in combat with the Red Baron. Other times he just acts more human than canine from playing baseball to riding a motorcycle.  Charlie Brown is Snoopy's owner. He is a kind hearted boy who struggles with self confidence despite being called upon to lead. His most famous predicament involves at…