Monday, October 31, 2011

Summer Camp

Today's picture shows a group of boys at Summer Camp. The picture is from the 1920's. The picture reminds me of one of the most important aspects of camping . . . eating. When I was in Boy Scouts during normal camp outs you cooked over a camp fire, but at Summer Camp, they had a mess hall and you got to eat in there. I remember it as being pretty good food.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Girls Swimming

Today's picture features a group of girls swimming. The picture was taken in 1925 at Arlington Beach. You can see the Washington Monument in the background. Yesterday's and todays pictures really remind me of summer camp. So do any of you all have fond (or otherwise) memories of summer camp? I went to summer camp with the Boy Scouts, and always thoroughly enjoyed it. I hope you will share your memories this week as we look at summer recreation from a bygone era.

Domestic Update:

Happy Orphans at the African Village of Mattaw

I have been really enjoying keeping up with the work of the Lovely Miss EAM. For those of you new to the blog, she is my daughter. She just got her RN degree, and thanks in large part to the generosity of the good people on this blog, she is presently serving as the village nurse at the Mattaw Orphan Village in Africa. She is also coordinating their efforts to actually build a small  medical clinic in the village.

To be honest with you though, I am finding myself extremely jealous of her. I was always the one with the most interesting travels and stories. Now, I fear she has surpassed me, and has become a true adventurer. Where she lives is pretty much the last outpost of civilization, and just to her north are the tribal regions and no-man lands of Africa. As she relays stories to me of what is happening in that part of the world, I become intrigued and would very much like to be a part of it.

So, Mrs. PJM and I have decided to take a little trip to Africa over Christmas to get a little taste of the adventure. Look forward to good times with the lovely Ms. EAM, and some wonderful African Cooking.

Saturday, October 29, 2011


Today's picture features a canoe rental stand in Arlington Beach park. The picture was taken in the 1920's. I have had lots of memorable times in canoes, and also some times I ended up tipping over. Any one else had any canoe adventures . . . please share them!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Old Busses

Today's picture comes to us from 1913. It shows two buses in New York City. I love how the buses really look more like motorized train cars. Not sure what part of New York the picture is taken in.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Sleeping in Bus Terminal

Today's picture was taken in 1943, and it shows a woman sleeping in a bus station in Chicago, Illinois. I have never slept in a bus station, but I have slept in airports. By airport standards, this couch looks very comfy. In airports you just have chairs, and have to scoot down in the chair far enough to rest your head on the backrest. Not comfortable at all. Have any of you slept in a bus station or airport?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Crowded Bus Terminal

Today's picture comes from 1943, and shows a crowded bus terminal. The picture was taken in Memphis, Tennessee. I like looking at all the individuals in the crowd.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Greyhound Bus

Today's picture shows a Greyhound Bus from 1938. I can remember riding the bus as a very small child. My parents would sometimes put me on the Greyhound to go visit my Aunt in San Angelo, which was 45 miles away. It was quiet an adventure to get to travel all by myself when I was that small. Now of course, the bus driver knew me, there were no stops between Eldorado and San Angelo, my Aunt was waiting for me at the Bus Station in Angelo, and the bus driver was watching out for me on the short trip up there . . . but at the time it felt like a real adventure.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Crowded Bus

I have been enjoying reading your Bus Memories the last few days. Most of the memories have been about school buses. I am sure some of you have ridden the Greyhound Buses. Maybe you can share some of those stories today.

This picture was taken in 1943. It shows a crowded bus. The bus was going from Memphis to Chattanooga. It looks like some people had to stand as the bus was too crowded for everyone to get a seat. Looks like the men were polite enough to allow the ladies to have the seats.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

School Bus

I certainly enjoyed all the comments and discussion yesterday. It appears that most of the memories are centered around School Buses. So, I will give you another picture of an old school bus, and hope your stories and memories continue again today.

I did not ride the bus to school, but was in band and other extracurricular activities, so went on lots of bus trips. I read one comment yesterday from recumbent conspiracy theorist reminiscing about kids sitting on the back of the bus so they could chew tobacco without the driver seeing. Where I went to school there was no rule against kids chewing tobacco on the bus, or if there were rules they were not enforced. So, on every trip you would have a number of students chewing or dipping on the bus. On one particularly long and hot trip, all the side windows on the bus were open and we were driving down the highway. The kid in the front seat was dipping Copenhagen the whole way. He finally reached the point that his spit cup was completely full. Not understanding the subtleties of wind dynamics in a bus at full speed going down the highway with the windows open, he simply stuck his cup out the window and dumped it. Any of you that have traveled much with the windows down know that whatever goes out the front seat window comes right back into the back seats. So, when he dumped his cup out the window, all the contents came back into the bus through the other windows and sprayed everyone behind him with the contents of his cup. It was only the driver who prevented this young man from being beaten to a bloody pulp that day. Luckily the driver was in front of the kid, and did not get sprayed. Otherwise I feel the young man would not have lived through that day. 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Old School Bus

A few weeks ago we had Train Week. Well, this week will be Bus Week. I wonder if people have as pleasant of memories riding on buses as trains? Hopefully we will find out this week. The picture above shows a school bus. It was taken in 1921 in West Virginia.

Most of my memories of school bus riding was not very pleasant. Long trips, uncomfortable seats, and getting home very late, and still having school  the next day.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Picking Coffee Beans

Today's picture shows coffee bean picking in Africa. The picture was taken in 1936 in Kenya. The woman is picking beans with her child on her back.

I enjoyed reading all the ways people enjoy their coffee yesterday in the comments.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Grinding Coffee

Good Thursday morning to you all. Coffee Week continues with this picture of two women grinding coffee by hand. The picture was taken in 1905 in Jerusalem. Wow, we take our automatic grinders for granted. This looks like a real chore.

I would be interested in learning more about your coffee drinking habits. I have one cup in the morning at home when I get up, and then I drink three or four more in the morning at work. I have one cup right after lunch, and that is it or I will not be able to sleep. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Moorish Coffee Shop

Today's picture shows a Moorish Coffee Shop. The picture was taken in 1899. The coffee shop was located in Algiers, Algeria. I found several pictures like this one, and the interesting thing is, I never saw anyone drinking coffee in the coffee shop. They seem more more interested in those big pipes. I don't know what they were smoking . . . tobacco or something worse?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Free Coffee

Today's picture was taken in 1908, and it shows free coffee being served to destitute men. The picture was taken at the Bowery Mission for the unemployed. Looks like a lot of steam coming off the coffee cups on the table, so I bet it was cold inside, and even colder outside.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Coffee Pickers

Today's picture shows people picking coffee beans. The picture is from the early 1900's, and it was taken in Brazil. I wonder how coffee is picked today . . . is it still picked by people on ladders with bags on their shoulders? 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Policeman Drinking Coffee

Today's picture was taken in 1920, and it shows a police office enjoying a nice cup of coffee on a snowy street. I am going to be honest with you and say that I really like coffee. I enjoy nice espressos and cappuccinos. I usually do not have the patience to froth milk for a cappuccino, so I make an espresso, but press enough water through that it makes a full cup of coffee. This comes out as a strong cup of coffee but without the bitterness of drip coffee. Plus you can make one cup at a time as you want it. While I enjoy coffee, my cut off time is 1:00 in that if I drink it after that I will not sleep.


Yes, we announced yesterday that we would suspend the Mystery Person Contest, which had been a dominant fixture on this site for years. It was something that I looked forward to each week, and want to thank you all for all the fun times. 

A couple of years ago a site came out called "Tin Eye". If you took a picture to that site and uploaded it, it would try and tell you whether that picture was somewhere on the internet or not. This was the first warning flag as far as technology giving an unfair advantage in the contest. Tin Eye did not have the entire internet indexed, and it was pretty easy to fool it, so for the last year or so I would make sure that Tin Eye could not solve the contest before posting it. Then more recently, Google added that capability to their image search engine. At first I could trick that tool by just manipulating the image a little in photoshop, but more recently it could identify almost any image, even if I manipulated it. So, the contest was becoming a burden, as you had to not only get an interesting picture, but then you had to make sure Google could not solve it. 

Nate Maas emerged as a Grand Master at the contest long before these tools were available, so there is no doubt that he in fact was true genius at this game. Here is the problem. If there were to emerge another player of the level of Nate, we would all just assume that he was using a tool like Google Image Search to cheat. It is a lot like photoshop. When we see a genuinely spectacular picture these days, we assume that it was enhanced in photoshop and not just spectacular photographic skills.

So, while the Mystery Person Contest will fade into the sunset, I will try to keep things interesting with lots of old pictures and good domestic updates. Hope you all will stay tuned in.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Coffee Week

I know that you are all expecting Mystery Person contest. Here is the deal. Technology has progressed to the point that the mystery person contest can be solved by just dragging and dropping the image onto Google Image Search. At first I avoided this by editing the picture somewhat, but now technology is such that just about any picture can be found even if it has been edited.

The mystery person contest was great fun for the last few years, but alas, has run its course. We tip our hat to Nate Maas, the greatest player to ever play the game.

Now, this week is going to be Coffee Week at OPOD. We start with this picture from 1942 of a grand Espresso machine in a New York coffee shop.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Rabbi and Radio

Today's picture was taken in Jerusalem in about 1935. The man in the picture is a Yemenite Rabbi. I am not sure what the significance of being "Yemenite" is . . . not sure if it indicates his particular type of Jewish faith, or if it is a cultural or racial term. Anyway, I find the picture intriguing.

I have very much enjoyed Radio Week, and hope you have to. Thank you for all the interesting comments.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Children's Hospital

Today's picture shows some children in the hospital. They are listening to a radio. The picture was taken in 1924. Impressive how stoutly built the radio looks. I think things were made of much higher quality in the old days than now.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Dog Listening to the Radio

Today's picture is from 1922, and it shows a woman listening to the radio with her dog. The woman apparently was a famous Russian who was driven out of Russia by the Bolshevist. Her name was Bernhardt, but am not sure what she was famous for.

I have enjoyed the comments of people remembering listening to old time radio with family and friends. Back in the day, there was one radio in the home, and people sat together around it. Today, everyone has an ipod like device, and isolates them from the rest of the world, and communication is through texting. Somewhere, something important has been lost in all this.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Father Coughlin

The popularity of the radio created a new generation of super star. The radio was able to reach much wider and enthusiastic audiences than stage performances or newspapers. The radio created superstars in entertainment, sports, and politics.

Notice that the couple above are listening to the radio and reading a copy of "Social Justice". This was the newspaper of a radical political and religious figure named Father Coughlin. He was a socialist antisemite who was sympathetic to Hitler and Mussolini. He came to prominence through his radio program. At the peak of his popularity he had over 30,000,0000 Americans tuning into his broadcast.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Bed Time Radio Program

Today's picture is from Pie Town, New Mexico, and was taken about 1940. The mother and daughter are pictured listening to a radio above the bed at bed time. This family was one of the few in the area to have a radio, so they had many evening visitors.

I enjoyed reading the comments yesterday as people reminisced about old times listening to the radio. When I was growing up we barely got any TV reception, but I had an old Short Wave radio that would pick up radio stations all over the world. It was a little tricky to tune, and you often had to slam your hand on the top of it to get it to work. There was a program from Holland that was in English that I liked to listen to on Sunday evening. The radio had vacuum tubes, and would really heat up if you had it on for a while. I don't know if they even make shortwave radios any more.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Welcome to Old Radio Week

Yes, yesterday's mystery person was  Guglielmo Marconi, who is generally remembered as the inventor of the radio and wireless communication. I say "generally remembered" as others could equally lay claim to that distinction. There were many people working on this at the same time, and the actual inventor could be disputed. Certainly Tesla played a large role, and the work in creating a working radio relied on the theoretical and practical work of innovators going back at least a hundred years.

Today's picture is from 1940, and shows a father and his daughter listening to an old radio. The picture was taken in California.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Old Train Station

We finish out the week with this picture of a train station in Gardiner, Montana. The picture was taken in 1905. This is a classic photograph, and looks like something straight out of a John Wayne movie. 

I am sorry to see train week come to an end, and I am sad that these magnificent old steam locomotives have pretty much faded into the past. Hopefully I will be able to take another ride on the Durango and Silvertaon or the Cumbres and Toltec one day soon.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Train Travel

Good Thursday Morning to you all. Today's picture is from 1910 and it shows Mount Washington Railway trains at a Depot in White Mountains, New Hampshire. I love clothing and style of the people of this time period.

After looking at the pictures this week, I have decided that something important has definitely been lost since we no longer travel by train powered by Live Steam. The best train I have been on is the Durango to Silverton Narrow Gauge. It is amazing. If you have never ridden it, you have to put it on your list of things to do. Here is a nice video of it. I love the sites and sounds of the old train, and when you are there in person, the smells.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Train Deopot

I realize that this is Train Week, and that this picture does not have a train in it. This is the train depot in Maricopa, Arizona. It is the Southern Pacific Station. While there is no train in the picture, we will say it is "implied". The reader can generate their own image of what the train looks like as it pulls into the station, and what the people will be doing. I really like the pictures of the old train stations.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Train Station

Good Tuesday Morning to you all. Locomotive Week continues today with this picture of a train pulling into the station at Sylvan Beach, New York. The picture was taken in about 1900. The picture really creates a wonderful scene. 

Monday, October 3, 2011

The General Haupt

Today's picture shows the steam locomotive ,"The General Haupt". The picture was taken in 1863 in front of the roundhouse at the Alexandria, Virginia train station. This is a lovely locomotive, and to me it is the classic steam locomotive. after this period they started getting bigger and more streamlined. I wonder if any of this specific look are still operating.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Steam Locomotive

Welcome to Steam Locomotive week here at OPOD. I was excited by the comments yesterday, as it appears we have some real railroad enthusiasts in our midst. Hopefully they will comment on the technicals of these trains. I will say that I pick the train pictures based on the locomotives I like.  I really like the classic looking ones from about the Civil War time frame. Big smoke stacks, big light on the front, big bell, open cab, and huge cattle guard. I will have to say that this one come close to the ideal in my mind. The picture was taken about 1890 near Queretaro, Mexico. If you click on the picture you can get a better look at it. I also like the picture because is looks like this is actually burning wood, and not coal. I like the passenger cars as well.


Handsome Jack and the flock of peacocks are doing great. I think I had kept you up to date this last summer on Lovie and Miss Kitty and their two nests of eggs. Lovie and Miss Kitty both decided to lay their eggs in the peacock palace. Each laid a nest of 4 eggs. Then when Miss Kitty stepped outside, Lovie stole her eggs and she then had a nest of 8 eggs. Miss Kitty was going to have none of that, so she sat on top of Lovie, who was on top of the eggs. Finally, they worked out something where they co-sat on the eggs. Each sitting side by side on top of the large nest. Well, then the eggs hatch and the girls split the babies four and four. Then the next day we notice Lovie has 5 and Miss Kitty has 3. The next day, Lovie tries to take another one, and a fight breaks out. It was not a little scuffle, but was one of those that was going to be a fight to the death, so we realized we had to split them apart. So we put Lovie in a pen with her five babies, and Miss Kitty in her pen her with 3 babies. A few days later one of Miss Kitty's babies escapes and wants in Lovies pen. So, then Lovie had 6 babies, and Miss Kitty had two. Then when we let them out of the pens when the babies got bigger, Miss Kitty roosted on top of the peacock palace with her two babies, and Lovie roosted on my little office with her six babies. After about a week we noticed one of Miss Kitties babies abandoned her and joined Lovie on the office. Now Miss Kitty is down to one baby. After about another week, that last baby abandoned her and started roosting with Lovie. At this point, Miss Kitty then goes over and joins that whole group on the office, and roosts with them, and once again assumes the role of co-mother of the flock. That lasted two nights, and then last night I noticed Lovie kicked Miss Kitty off the office. Lovie has now achieved her desire of having the whole flock of 8 babies. Poor Miss Kitty is roosting in the tree by herself.