Saturday, September 26, 2020

We Just Discovered...

...our home has a name: Baysweep.

We also found out who the architect was:  Dean Bryant Vollendorf.

pretty sure he's the taller one

DBV was born in Sheboygan Wisconsin in 1929 and heavily influenced by Frank Lloyd Wright, whom he referred to as one of the premier icons of architecture in the 20th century.

Uncovering this info may not seem like that big a deal to most folks...I mean, a quick phone call to the township office would do the trick, right?

Well...that's what we thought back in 2017 when we bought the home...but the township clerk informed us our house plans were destroyed by a major roof leak years ago.

Me, incredulously: "You have no records of our house plans on file at all?  No blueprints?  No papers of any kind?"

She, indifferently: "Correct."

Me, indignantly: "But have you seen this home?  It's so unique, we'd really like to know its history!"

She, indolently: "Uh huh."

Me, defeated: "So now what?"

She, detached: "Have a nice day." <click>

So...stumbling onto this information that finally fills in the details about the pedigree of this unusual mid century modern home after three years of wandering down dead ends has been, well, exciting!

I know what you're thinking...all our hours of online research, phone calls and emails finally paid off, right?

Not quite.

Karen found the answer to our riddle exactly where you'd never expect it to be: online at the Aldi's "Aisle of Shame" group.
This, believe it or not, is a real thing and Karen is often online with literally tens of thousands of other folks from all around the country who buy home decor type items they find in the Aldi's "aisle of shame".

Why is it the aisle of shame?

It's tongue in cheek obviously, and was given that sobriquet because Aldi's built their reputation as a no frills grocery store.

Ergo, when people go there to save money on their grocery bill, but are spotted dilly dallying in an aisle devoted to <insert shocked gasp here> home decor items! - well, you get the idea.

When people find something they like in the AOS, they post pics of it in and around their homes.

For example, Karen recently posted this little collage of a cabinet and some stick on tiles she bought in the AOS:

In short order she had over 7,000 likes and 375 comments.

This is - how shall I describe it? - an active and enthusiastic bunch, bordering on a cult following.

So one fine day Karen spotted a posting by a nice lady named Heather from Missouri.

She was highlighting some cute Aldi's stuff sitting in her courtyard...a courtyard that looked suspiciously similar to ours:
Heather's courtyard...

...and ours

A few quick inquiries and helpful replies from Heather and we finally had the answers for which we'd been searching.

Since then Karen and Heather have been swapping pics and war stories about restoring our Vollendorf Baysweep homes...

"You had to replace the roof, too?  How about the floor to ceiling windows?  Oh yeah, big owee there..."

Let's face it, there's a certain kinship you feel with someone who's walking the same path you are.

Now stop it before I get all misty here.

We even discovered there's a "Friends of Vollendorf" FB group, centered on Mr. V's work.

From them we found out there are only 11 known Baysweep homes across these fruited plains, and between Heather's and ours, we account for 2 of them.

Anyway...that, class, is the definition of Serendipity.

Here's the best part of this week's hickory golf outing...

...glorious autumn colors punctuating my pleasant stroll through the countryside.

Here's the worst part of today's outing...

...that's my "new" (circa 1925) Driving Iron which performed admirably at first - I was striking my gutta perchas 140 yards much to my delight - but then for several holes it seemed like I was hitting solid drives but getting no distance.

Then on #8 I heard the loud crack as I teed off and, well, that cleared up the mystery.

It wasn't all bad news, however...

...I managed to bogey 7, 8 and 9 on my way out...

...due mostly to some decent work with my niblick...

...and almost competent putting with Calamity Jane.

I say "almost" because had it been actually competent I would have snagged two pars, but such was this round.

Hopefully I'll have a few more chances to tee it up before the snow flies.

Busy day at the farmer's market...

...with long lines to get in...

...but they moved along fairly quickly.

Once inside we noticed a distinct fall-ish flavor to much of the produce now...

...with lots of apples and pumpkins gracing the various booths.

Perfect autumn day to browse the market.

Random sightings...

not even in Holland...96th ave on the way back from golfing today

also on the way back from the links...a little fall color on the roadside

not sure it's coherent, but it does communicate their unhappiness

relaxing by the patio garden

And that my friends draws the curtains...

...on another excitin' installment of the Atomic Monster Cafe.

We trust you observed state mandates on social distancing and prescribed mask protocol...

...while you were visiting us today.

We'd hate to have to arrest and jail you for trying to live a normal life...

...but she will if she gets the chance.

later, mcm fans...

* Crass Commercialism Corner *

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Saturday, September 12, 2020

September 11, 2001...

...Never Forget.  

3,000 Americans were murdered in this terrorist attack and life in our country changed forever.

19 years later we are a very different society and most of those differences are not for the better.

Take time on this somber occasion to remember those who died and recommit yourself to the cause of freedom enshrined in our founding documents.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident...that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness."

            - Declaration of Independence, 1776

We must fight for our freedoms, and evil must not be allowed to overcome good.

Never Forget!   

There seems to be...
master of all he surveys

...a territorial dispute here.

I often sit in the command center to relax and enjoy the view...

...but my furry friend took exception recently as he scurried into position and proceeded to berate me for crowding him.

As Autumn rapidly pushes Summer off center stage, the squirrels are becoming much more active...trimming leaves in the treetops as they make nests and busying themselves with gathering acorns.

Apparently my presence disrupted whatever personal feng shui...
...Mr. Squirrel had going.

Hard to believe, but heating season seems to have arrived.  Several days and nights of cold, cloudy, wet weather...
...with outside temps in the mid 50's finally dropped our inside temps down into the low 60' I ran up the white flag of surrender and got the living room fireplace going...

...then the one in our bedroom...

...and finally the one in the bonus room.

It is supposed to return to the 70's with some sunshine in the not too distant future but's too early for this...

It's been 3 years since we moved in here, and many items have remained packed away in boxes and totes...but this past weekend I decided to dig out some of the vintage toys I've collected through the years and test them.
Top row are battery operated Marx toys from the 60's...left to right...2 versions of Mr. Mercury; the kingpin of the bunch, Frankenstein; Yeti (abominable snowman); and a third version of Mr. Mercury.

Each of them walk, bend at the waist and open / close / raise / lower their arms.

Yeti - just to the right of Franky - has the added bonus of "screaming" when he raises his arms over his head.

It's really an enchanting sound as Karen discovered.

"What the heck is that noise?" she called to me once I got Yeti working again.

To see him in action click here and scroll down.

The little King Kong is also a Marx toy from the 60's, but it's a windup.  He shuffles forward, beating his chest, opening his mouth and "growling".

Happy to report they all still work, though I did have to sand a few battery terminals and use a squirt or two of WD-40 in some gear boxes.

There are more packed away and I'll be unearthing and testing them over the next few weeks.

Why, you may wonder, does a grown man have a bunch of 50 and 60 year old toys hanging around?

I could plead a not so clever investment strategy, as some of the current prices on ebay are ridiculously high compared to their original selling price.

And this is a blog ostensibly devoted to all things mid century modern; toys from the baby boomer generation definitely fit that bill.

But the truth is probably closer to this fast and loose paraphrase of a Scripture verse:

"When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I bought all my toys back on ebay."

Luckily for you, a famous filmmaker did create a series or documentaries about a day in the life of a vintage toy...and one of them is presented here for your viewing pleasure...

Boys and their toys.

Ah hickory golf, how I love thee...

...or at the very least, like thee a lot.

Had a decent day on the links...

...for me, that is...and except for a snowman on 4...
3 to get near the green, 4-chip over the green, 5-chip onto the green, 3 putt...yep, that's a snowman (8)...

...I played right at double bogey golf through 6...

...but then finished a little better with bogey, bogey, par on 7, 8 and 9.

Felt pretty good about that as I walked back to my truck on this cool, crisp morning...

...where I was reminded by the apple tree shedding its fruit that Autumn is truly here.

A sure sign summer is in fact over...

"What am I looking at?" you ask?

Ah, it's what you're not looking at...the big blue tank is officially gone...

...and in this case, also kaput...liner / pool walls are shot so it's destined for the dumpster.

Bought it used and had it for 3 our use out of it.

Since we've just passed the 19th anniversary of the terrorists open declaration of war against the United States, I leave you with a somewhat irreverent but undeniably true sentiment expressed by the greatest United States General of WWII, and perhaps of the 20th Century...General George S. Patton:

later, mcm fans...

* Crass Commercialism Corner *

In the "so convenient you can't stand it" department, you can purchase my books here and on!

Get your paperback books here:

Get your ebooks here: