Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Well I got word that I will be laid off from work for awhile after this Friday. So if you have considered donations to this site now would be a good time. Click the button to the right or below.

Monday, June 27, 2011

World's Largest Ball of Twine

What is a family summer road trip without seeing the world’s largest ball of twine? I personally haven’t but many people have. So many that it is a pop culture joke. It has appeared or been mentioned in many movies, TV shows and videos over the decades. From National Lampoon’s Vacation to the current TV show Supernatural. Actually Vacation mentions the world’s second largest ball of twine but you get what I mean. But which one are they talking about. You see there is more than one that claims to be the world’s largest. One is in Darwin, Minnesota. Francis Johnson started his in 1950 and worked on it four hours a day for 23 weeks. It is 12 feet in diameter and weighs 10,400 pounds.
Another is in Cawker City, Kansas and is shown above. Frank Stoeber wanted to beat Johnson’s ball and his eventually was at 11 feet in diameter when he died in 1974. It is housed in an open air building and the town holds a twine a thon every year to add to the ball. In 2006 the ball weighed 17,886 pounds and was 40 feet in circumference.
In Lake Nebagamon, Wisconsin James Fran Kotera started his ball of twine in 1979 and still working on it. He says his weighs 19,336 pounds and that at least makes it the world’s heaviest ball of twine. It is housed on JFK’s front lawn and he is working on a ball of string that he calls Junior.
The one in Brooks, Missouri has the best claim to the title as it has been certified by the Guinness Book of World Records. It was said that it was started by Texas millionaire J.C. Payne and is now owned by Ripley’s Believe it or not. Payne said he used a system of pulleys to build the ball himself in four years. It is 41 and a half feet in circumference.
That's it for this week. Hope to see you again next Monday.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Father's Day

Since yesterday was Father's Day I thought that you would be interested in the history of Father's Day. Some think that the holiday starte in Spokane, Washington. While that is where the holiday took off, it really has it's roots in Fairmont, West Virginia on July 5, 1908 when they held the first known Father's Day. It was started by a Mrs. Grace Golden Clayton. She did it to celebrate the lives of the men who died in a mining disaster in nearby Monongah, West Virginia several months ago. She shose the Sunday nearest to the birthday of her recently passed away Father. However, the day was overshadowed by other celebrations and events in the city and not officially registered by the city. It would not be celebrated again on that day.
Then in 1909 in Spokane, Washington Sonora Smart-Dodd, a woman raised by a single Father, wanted to honor her Dad the way Mother's Day did Mothers. With the help of local churches she was able to start her Father's Day the next year. From there the idea caught on.
The road to it becoming a national holiday was a long and hard road and dealt with by many of this countries Presidents. In 1913 a bill was introduced into Congress to make it a holiday. It wasn't till 1916 that President Woodrow Wilson would go to Spokane the speak at a Father's Day celebration. He wanted to make it official but Congress backed down fearing it would become too commercial. In 1924 President Coolidge said it should be a national holiday but didn't issue a national proclamation. In 1966 President Johnson did issue that proclamation to honor Fathers. It wasn't until 1972 when President Richard Nixon made it a national holiday. He declared that every third Sunday in June would be Father's Day.
I hope you all had a wonderful Father's Day and that you did your best to honor your Dad and/or you were touched by the honors bestowed on you by your family.

Monday, June 13, 2011

American Baseball

Today I want to tell you about my favorite sport. Baseball! Baseball is played throughout the world but when people think of it most of them associate it with America. For years when it started in the good old US of A it was played by amatures. But in order to win some owners started to paying their best players under the table. So they were really professionals but it was illegal the way they did it.
It was in 1869, the Cincinnati Red Stockings became America’s first professional baseball club. It was in 1871, the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players was established as the sport’s first “major league.” Five years later, a Chicago businessman, William Hulbert, started the National League of Professional Baseball Clubs.

It replaced the National Association, which he thought was mismanaged and corrupt. In the beginning it had eight original members: the Boston Red Stockings (now the Atlanta Braves), Chicago White Stockings (now the Chicago Cubs), Cincinnati Red Stockings (who are now known as the Cincinnati Reds), Hartford Dark Blues, Louisville Grays, Mutual of New York, Philadelphia Athletics and the St. Louis Brown Stockings.

In 1901, the the American League of Professional Baseball Clubs, was founded. Starting in 1903, the best team from each league began competing in the World Series. Below is a photo of the third gave of the 1903 World Series with the crowd on  the playing field before the game between the Boston Americans and the Pittsburgh Pirates.
 Various teams switched in and out of the National League over the years, but it remained an eight-team league until 1962, when the New York Mets and Houston Colt .45s (later renamed the Houston Astros) joined the league. In 1969, two more teams were added: the San Diego Padres and the Montreal Expos (now the Washington Nationals). Also that year, the league was split into an East and West division of six teams each. The Colorado Rockies and Florida Marlins became part of the National League in 1993, followed by the Arizona Diamondbacks in 1998. In 1994, the league was reorganized to include a Central division, along with the East and West groups.

In 1997, Major League Baseball introduced inter-league play, in which each NL team played a series of regular-season games against AL teams of the same division. (In 2002, the rules were changed to allow AL/NL teams from non-corresponding divisions to compete against each other.) However, one major difference between the two leagues remains: the American League’s 1973 adoption of the designated hitter rule allowed teams to substitute another hitter for the pitcher, who generally hit poorly, in the lineup. As a result, teams in the American League typically score more runs than those in the National League, making, some fans argue, for a more exciting game.

Between 1903 and 2007, AL teams were the winners in 61 of the 103 World Series played. The American League’s New York Yankees have won more World Series championships--26--than any other team in baseball.

Monday, June 6, 2011

June 6th The Drive In Theatre

I know that today is the anniversary of D-Day but I thought that we should celebrate something more enjoyable. On this day in American history, June 6th 1933, Richard Hollingshead opened the first drive-in theatre on Crescent Boulevard in Camden,NJ. His mother struggled to sit in comfort in normal theaters and he got the idea for an outdoor theatre where people could sit in comfort in their own car. He experimented with his own car in his own yard by stringing a sheet between two trees, a speaker behind the sheet and mounting a 1928 Kodak projector on the hood of his car. After he perfected it he got a patent for it in May of 1933. Less then a month later he opened Park-In Theaters, Inc. He charged 25 cents per car and 25 cents per person. His idea caught on.
By 1949 they were called Drive-In's and were popping up all over the country. Mostly they showed B movies but it was still a cheap family outing or date. The most popular time for them was from the 1950's to the mid 1960's. By the 1970's the economy was getting worse. Growth of the industry slowed as land was getting expensive and Drive In's needed large lots of land to have enough room for all cars to view the screen. By the 1980's with increased competition from Cable TV and home videos the end was near for Drive-In's. Many of them closed up. At the height of its popularity there were over 5,000 in the USA. Now there is barely 500. There was a brief period of interest in the Drive-in theatre in early 21st century with some old drive-in's getting more business or groups of people gather to show movies on the sides of buildings with people viewing from parking lots or side yards. It still continues to this day but so far hasn't gained enough strength to revive the industry.
The Drive-in became an American icon. For decades not a summer went by without a family or teenagers paying a visit to their local Drive-in.
Below is a screen capture of the Dixie Gardens Drive-In after it fell into disrepair. It was later tore down and replaced by office buildings.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Need Help

I hope someone can help me as I recently got a bill that I can't pay. I really hate asking here like this cause I feel like I am begging but if you like this site and want to donate anything please click on the Paypal link below. I have only delt with Paypal in cash in times past so I don't know what to do with credit cards or if I have to pay for anything if yo donate with credit cards but I will take what help I can right now.Thanks in advance.