...for another year...as usual, that which was a distant dot on the horizon has rushed upon us and is now once again a fading vision in the rear view mirror.
But that's ok...it was a good Christmas season and an enjoyable day...Scrooge saw the error of his ways...
...and embraced the best of Christmas...
Besides being visited by 3 ghosts, he also got to spend time with (part of) his family...
|O yeah, that's what I'm talking about...|
|#1 son Micah in the middle of Kyle (his son in law) and Tionna (his daugher)...|
|4 generations of first borns...|
...and even used the sunny, almost 60 degree weather to swat some whiffle golf balls with his hickories...
...and get a head start on de-decorating!
And while that last may not seem very Christmas-sy, Scrooge did still retain a sense of practicality in spite of his improved disposition.
|Karen's Krew...Alex and Sarah, Amy and Pete, Jon, Karen, your humble author...|
Hey, you wanna get up on the rooftop click-click-click, to take down the reindeer and Ol' St Nick when it's freezing outside?
Neither do I...I mean, did he...even though that sad task is usually more of a New Year's thing, the weirdly warm weather this year accelerated the schedule.
So that's my story...what's yours?
Hope your Christmas celebration was a good one this year.
On to New Year's...
Besides climbing on ladders and taking down decorations, I also took advantage of the gorgeous weather to drive Mr. T a few times...
Happy to report he's running very well and it was a pleasure as always to take him out for a spin...just wish I had a better place to let him stretch his legs a bit.
I've had some time off between the holidays, and to make up for Karen having to put up with me for almost a week and a half, I took her shopping to the mall and Tanger Outlet...
...and it was really quite enjoyable...warm fires and beautifully decorated...
...and the crowds / traffic weren't bad at all.
And the real bonus in all this?
Karen wanted to go to the mall again today but said, "You don't have to come with me this time...I wouldn't do that to you two days in a row..."
Whether that was for my benefit or hers, I'm not sure...but either way it works...
Karen and I took a guided tour of the Felt Mansion tonight...
What's that? you ask...well, pull up a chair and I'll spin you a yarn...
Built in Laketown Township, part of Holland, from 1925 to 1928, it was the summer cottage...
...you read that right...of inventor / industrialist Dorr Felt.
And what did he do that was so amazing he could afford a mansion as a summer cottage?
He invented the Comptometer in 1885...
...and what was that?
You're full of questions, aren't you?
It was the first manual / machine calculator that could do all 4 math functions - add, subtract, multiply and divide.
And while that may not seem like much today - one hundred thirty four years later! - it revolutionized bookkeeping back then and made its inventor - Mr. Dorr Felt - a very wealthy man.
And since Chicago in the summer during the industrial revolution...
...was a very hot and very unpleasant place to be, Mr. Felt and his family wanted to vacation from May until September in the "Midwest Riviera"...that part of Michigan from New Buffalo to Traverse City...and they found their perfect vacation spot near Saugatuck and the shores of Lake Michigan.
You should take the tour for more information about the brilliant Mr. Felt, but the short version is both he and his wife passed away within 2 years of the completion of their Lake Michigan getaway...by 1930 they were both gone.
That my friends is a pretty good working definition of tragic.
Their kids did keep their "cottage" until 1949 and then it went through several owners / changes, none of which did it any good.
But from its fallen estate in 2001, it's been / being restored now, and it is truly glorious...
Amazing what they did back in the 1920s...the master bedroom shower had 13 - count 'em - 13 shower heads and every room was elegance personified.
They even have their own ghosts there...or so they say...
In any event it's worth your time - and money: $20 per person unless you're 62 or older, then it's only $15 - to peruse this restored gem from the 1920's.
|...there's one now??|
Don't miss it while you can.
Saw a good movie from 1941...The Devil and Daniel Webster...
...starring Edward Arnold as the renowned orator and Senator from New Hampshire, Daniel Webster; Walter Huston as "Scratch" (the devil); and James Craig as Jabez Stone, the down on his luck farmer who makes a deal with the devil: 7 years of good luck and prosperity in exchange for his soul.
Based on the famous short story by Benet (you did have to read it sometime during your schooling, didn't you??) it's a very well acted and engaging drama / comedy.
The climactic scene of the trial is riveting.
There farmer Stone is to be judged by a jury of his American peers, with Justice Hathorne (played by H.B. Warner) presiding - he of the infamous Salem Witch trials where 25 innocents were hanged, pressed to death or died in jail.
His jury was no better, comprised of well known traitors and murderers - so Daniel Webster has his work cut out for him.
But the eloquent lawyer rises to the occasion, invoking memories in this jury of the damned of their halcyon days when they were free men...enjoying the beauty of the sunrise, the joy of self-determination and liberty, which had been paid for in blood by American heroes of old.
And the fiery Daniel Webster succeeds as the jury rips up the devil's contract, freeing Jabez Stone from his otherwise dreadful fate.
You'd think Ol' Scratch would be furious, but he's not...in fact he right away starts casting about for his next victim, and ends up looking directly into the audience to find one.
The movie is unashamedly patriotic and boldly devout, invoking both love of country and faith in Providence to which our nation turned in times of deep distress.
In today's world it would be labeled as so much hokum or else violently opposed for daring to take a stand on moral absolutes.
But we live in an age when reasonable thought has been replaced by rabid ideology, and civil discourse has been dismissed in favor of irrational screaming.
Do yourself a favor and watch this film...you'll see how Hollywood used to be in the Golden Age.
And that boys and girls brings us to the end of another excitin' rendition of the Atomic Monster Cafe.
Remember, don't try this at home...
...and results may vary. Shake well before using. Hold until cold; only you can prevent forest fires.
Don't touch any exposed wires and when you hear the nuclear attack alarm, get under your desk, put your head between your knees and kiss your keister goodbye.
later, mcm fans...
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