Oh No…Front Load Washer Broke, With Work Uniform Inside…..

Now this is a helpless situation.  Your work Uniform inside of a front load washer…..It is broken…..in the wash cycle….it won’t drain….you can see them through the glass door and the water is part way up on the door.  You have to be at work in 3 hours…..You stand and stare in the door….”Yes their they are!  Swimming in water, but you can’t get to them….What to do???  What to do????…..Womangivingupwithaleakingbrokenwashingmac

This was on a Friday morning, I decided to wash my Cinemark Uniform.  I should have done this during the week, but of course I kept putting it off.  So that morning I decided to wash it inside in my washer in the Motor Home.  We have a washer and dryer outside in the shed but it had started to rain.  I thought, well I only had a few things so I would throw them in the washer inside.20171003_091616

Our unit inside is a small washer dryer combo.  It washes a very small load and then it also turns into a dryer.  You just turn the dryer button and it dry’s.  It has been a life saver.  We have used it most of the time the past 3 years.  As long as you do small loads, it is fine.  When we were gate guarding, it was a savoir.  We were miles from town and we were on duty 24 hours a day.  At Adventureland, we were able to wash in the evening.  Our days off were ours to do as we pleased while others went to the laundromat.  So that morning I decided to put in my Cinemark Shirt and black pants, and a few other things.   After it washes and it goes into the spin cycle, it starts shaking as it spins.  You can feel the whole trailer shake.   Around 2pm I realized that the trailer never went into shake mode.  I went to look at the washer, and in the window I could see it full of water……OMG…..What is wrong!!!!!.  I kept turning the buttons to see if I could make it drain…..Nope….All it did was turn and agitate….I guess I had enough soap in their, cause every time I tried to make it drain, it just agitated and made more suds……Now what to do???   Its 2:30 by now.  I have to be at work at 5:30…..My clothes are locked in a washer with water and suds half way up the door.  I stared at the door and put things into perspective.  First thing of importance…..I need clothes for work….20171003_091918

We are issued 1 shirt and we buy our own black pants.  I guess I will have to wear my old black jeans that I got in trouble for at the beginning.  Were not allowed to wear jeans.  But that’s my only alternative.  Now during the time I have worked their which is approaching 6 months we have been issued 3 different shirts.  When their is a new movie coming out in the future, they sometimes give us new shirts to advertise the movie…..Hence, here is “Jumanji, Welcome to the Jungle”, which is coming out in December.  This one is in the washer.  So, I guess I will wear my last shirt which was “The Emoji Movie”, which came out in July.  Ok first problem solved.  I will have clothes for work, just not the proper ones.  Now the washer…….I decided for now, I would put it in spin cycle and shut it off.  Maybe it will do a slow drain!!!.  I can’t open the door as it is full of water and it will drown the motor home.  Ok, so off to work, worry about the washer tomorrow.

Next morning, I looked at the door.  Had the water went down any???    NO!!  Only the suds….lol…. Ok, let me check out if I put it in off position, will the door unlock. ….   Yep…I gently pushed the button and pulled the door and the water started leaking out.   I quickly closed the door shut.  Ok, that problem is solved, at least I know I can get into the washer now……lol…   Ok, that will be another day.  Time for work at 12 on Saturday.  So another long last look at my poor work clothes still swimming in water inside the washer.

Gremlins wreck a washing machine.

Gremlins wreck a washing machine.

Now its Sunday morning.  I have to be at work at 12 again.  I decided to open to door slowly and hold towels under the door and soak up the water that came out the door.  So that is what I did.  It took 3 large towels to soak up the water to the point I could open the door completely.   But its getting late.  Off to work I go for the last time this week….That night I came home and finally was able to take out the clothes.  Poor clothes have been soaking and swimming for 3 days….lol…They didn’t smell very good.  So out to the washer in the shed they went.  I used a glass to scoop most of the water out of the washer.  Now I have to figure out how to get all the water out of the tub……..

The next morning I looked it up on the internet to see if I could find some problem solving issues.  They said it could be the pump or it could also be the filter is plugged on the front.  Rich called, he is in Illinois working the harvest, which I will explain next blog.  I told him what had happened and he agreed it could be the filter is clogged.  I started to unscrew the filter and the water started pouring out…..I quickly screwed it in.   Now I know how to empty the tub, but how can I do that without getting water all over the floor…..Hmmmmm…..I got the bucket from the shed….a garbage bag, and masking tape.  I taped the bag in a U shape under the filter door. I put the bucket under the bag….Finally I opened the filter door and all the water drained down the bag into the bucket…..Presto, It worked beautifully.   The filter was dirty but not that dirty, so I don’t think that is the problem.  I ran the dryer to dry out the tub and put it all back together.  Its a problem for Rich……lol…..I did my part!!!  I rescued my clothes all by myself.   I have a feeling the dryer has bigger problems.  So that problem solved for now.   thNJSJ0P7I

But of course since Rich is up north, of course another problem has developed.  I’m outside grilling hamburgers by the side of the RV and I noticed that water was leaking out the hot water heater door.  It wasn’t pouring out but it was leaking like condensation can accumulate and drip.  It was actually causing quite a puddle on the concrete…..So immediately thoughts went through my head ……If I’m gone it could break and water would just be spewing out all over the patio.  It wouldn’t stop, cause the water would go from the outside faucet through the trailer out the water heater hole….Imagination really takes hold sometimes.  So every time I left, I would turn off the faucet outside.  Then I started turning off the faucet all night.  I put my robe on in the morning and went out and turned the water back on, and the heater, took my shower, washed dishes and then went out and turned off the water.  Then when Rich called, he said to look under the washer as that is the back side of the water heater.  Yes their was a water bypass.  So that is my life for now until he gets home.  I turn on the bypass in the morning and the water heater, wait 15 minutes, take my shower, wash dishes if I have any, and then turn off the heater and flip the bypass.  It works great.  I still have water all through the trailer.  The only time it leaks now is when the bypass is on.  So now I have broken 2 things for him to fix………….lol……..

Lesson Learned……Never Panic…..Take it step by step….Imagination takes hold, but theirs always a way to address the situation.  ……Step by Step….. Its not the end of the world…..lol….Laughing at your situation is    GOOD FOR YOUR SOUL!!!!

That’s what happens in an RV…..But that can Happen in Your Home also…..

 

Summer Update…..Where are We Going

This winter season has flown by so fast.  Its so hard to believe summer is coming again already.  We were so busy this winter.  We did so many things in the park, that I haven’t written about.  I will start filling them in later.  It seemed we were so busy that I never had the chance to write, always thinking of my next activities to get ready for in the park.  So now we are starting to get some down time.  As of April 1st the Workampers were done.  Everyone is leaving to go up north and back home.  It is like when you were a kid and summer camp was over.  Then you hope all your new friends will come back.  So many good memories are always made.  Now we are having our last dinners out,  our last happy hours,  and our last trips to Mexico with friends.

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Here is our last dinner at Texas Roadhouse.  First couple on the left are Ron and Theresa.  We met them at Adventureland last year.  Theresa works from her trailer on the internet.  They left for Yellowstone National Park on Thurs.  A few stops visiting their kids and Ron will be workamping at a store at the North Entrance.  What a fabulous opportunity,  except for the snow….lol….Just imagine you days off the explore Yellowstone for a whole summer…..Such Memories they will make….”Good Luck Guys”…. Glen and Kathy are next.  They live in Canada at a trailer park.  They will be leaving this weekend.  Of course Canada is colder, so their park actually closes down for the winter.  They don’t turn the water back on till May 1st due to freezing.  They are parking behind us, so it will be sad to see them go.  The last couple on the far right is Bud and Cathy.  They are also from Canada.  This is their first year in our park, but they’ve been down before.  They have also become good friends with us all.   Such fun they all are.  They just had 10 of us over last nite for Happy Hour and Supper.  They will be leaving in another week or two.  Canadians can only be out of their country for 6 months with out getting Visa’s and more formal papers.  They all have a date they must be across.  So for the last month the park has been emptying out.  Some pull their rigs, some leave them and tie them down for storage until fall and drive home, and some leaving everything, including their car and fly home.  Our park has a capacity of over 300 lots, that is RV and permanent Mobile units.  So if you figure 2 people to a trailer, we probably have around 500 here at its peak.  By the time everyone leaves their are around 100 permanent people….A Ghost Town?…..No, They LOVE it.  They say its a time of peace and relaxation….Time to go swimming and lay by the pool all summer day….

So the BIG QUESTION IS…..”WHAT ARE WE DOING THIS SUMMER”?????

We are staying here also.  Rich is working for the park doing trailer repairs and maintenance.  So many of the rental mobiles are in need of things.  New floors, and just a lot of general work.  They sit during the summer, and it takes a huge toll on them.

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My new part time summer job is working at the Cinema 10.  I’m in the Box Office on weekends.  It has A/C.   Now how nice is that.  We have 2 in town, and this one gets the second run movies, so they are also called the “CHEAP Theater”….lol….A daytime ticket is only around $2.  The other theater is Cinema 16, much larger and they also get all the first run movies.   So we can also go to the movies anytime we want.  So something new again.  I’ve never worked a theater before.  So because of this job and staying on for the summer and then still being here next winter,

……..WHAT DO I NEED……”MY OWN CAR”…..

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So here she is…..My 1997 Chevy Lumina with 101,000 miles on it…..She is in excellent shape and a one owner car.  One of the campers decided to give up his trip down from Battle Creek Michigan every year.  He is getting older and his wife died several years ago.  He sold his fifth-wheel, and we bought his car.  Rich let him keep it till he was ready to fly home.  Joe came by at 4am the other morning and picked up Rich.  They drove to the Airport which is only 2 miles and Joe flew home, and now we have a car…..It is sure nice to have my own again.  Also automatic windows and transmission….lol…The little ranger is all manual….”Living in Luxury” now…lol….So now we own …..2…1997 vehicles…..only 20 years behind.   lol.  So now…..The REST OF THE STORY…..

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We are coming home the end of May and first part of June.  We have a time schedule that we have to be back because of my little job at the theater.  We will be doing a short part time job.    We will be working Security at Chillicothe for the Summer Camp Music Festival at Three Sisters Park.  Because we still have our Texas Gate Guarding Security license,   we were able to get this job.  We attended this Festival several years back and we had such a blast.  We are people watchers and it was such a good time.

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The Summer Camp Music Festival is a multi-day music festival created by Jay Goldberg Events & Entertainment and held every year on Memorial Day Weekend at Three Sisters Park in Chillicothe, Illinois. The event normally attracts around 20,000 visitors, of which between 8,000 and 10,000 arrive before gates open.  It was listed as one of the top 40 music festivals in Rolling Stone Magazine in 2014  They offer over 100 different bands on 7 stages throughout the park.  The park consists of 400 acres of rolling hillsides full of grassy areas for parking, tent camping, amphitheater, Farmhouse, Chapel and authentic reproduction timber barn.  Acres of fields for festival events as well as shaded forest areas.   All the required elements for a Fabulous Music Festival. 

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When we were here before, it was so much fun to watch the activity.  All the “flower children”  from the 70’s, now grown up,  bringing their family’s and still wearing tie dye, funky clothes,  and having a blast dancing and doing what “all comes natural”…..lol….

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The entertainment is fabulous, the light shows are awesome.  I think the best part is just riding threw the camp sites and seeing all the people.   How they camp, dress,…..lol….and how they interact with everyone.  How much will we see as we are working?  I don’t know ….But just being their in the presence of it all will be enough.  After that visiting with all the kids and then back to Texas so I don’t loose my little job at the theater.   Then in September we hope to be back.  Rich will work the harvest, and I might only stay for a week or 2.   It all depends on the cat…..We want to drive up then in the car, and I would take the train back, but Its Kitty…..He is the problem….I guess time will figure that out…..We need a Kitty Care Person to babysit…

…….So That is Our Summer Plans…….

2 nd Annual Oktoberfest at Adventureland….Amazing

Finally, Oktoberfest arrived, the event we have been waiting for.  It was a long day but so much fun and amazing to watch what the Park had accomplished.  It was so professionally done.  It was a classy affair that had something for everyone.  It was affordable to anyone according to their wishes.  Or you could spend and drink and party to your hearts delight.

Oktoberfest was not something we knew about at first.  This is an affair separate from what the Workampers were expected to do to finish their season.  Last year which was the 1st, was much smaller, so this year the plans had grown and escalated to quite a large affair.  We kept hearing about the plans,  games would be open in 2 of the 3 areas, and many of the large rides would also be open.  It sounded exciting, so we decided to stay and work.  A number of other Workampers stayed also.  After last Sunday of working, which was the last day we had to stay to satisfy our bonus, many of the Workampers left the campground.  It was really a mass exit…..Then mid week all the weekenders started filling up the lots again, just for Oktoberfest.  By Friday we were quite full again….

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We knew they were putting new LED lighting on the Big Wheel.  Last Thursday, Rich looked out the window towards the park and he said, Look the Big Wheel lights are on.  We sat their and watched in delight, and then drove the golf cart to the parking lot.  I took pics and a video.  It was so beautiful.  The colors changed, moved in a wheel, moved in swirls…..It was so pretty.  They ran all evening till 10pm and again Friday nite.  Finally Saturday came.  We arrived at 10:15 am to turn in our uniforms for the year.  I was in Games again and was assigned Alpine which would be up by the main stage….This is just where I wanted to be.  Right in the middle of the action.  Now Rich was assigned to the Tilt a Whirl. He would be near the back of the park and probably wouldn’t see as much action.  This year they would be having 13 bands on 7 different stages through out the park at different times.  Wow.  It was a rather cool morning to start, so I wore jeans.  It was going to be a casual affair for us in Games as many of our rules were relaxed.  We could buy from the many food vendors in the park, and their were many (although Rich had to eat in the commissary, strange, it was a rule for Rides. ).  We were also allowed to take our phones.  Soooo pictures….YES…..So the gates opened at 11 am.

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Their just so happened to be 2 Iowa football games that afternoon, so things started slowly.  They had also brought in a big screen for the bands so they also played the football games for those interested.  Tickets were only $15 to enter, that also got you a mug with Samuel Adams Beer.  Very reasonable.  At break time I wandered the park and bought a sandwich and found some really cool things they were offering for fun to play.  No cost.

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Bean Bags on Main Street

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Connect Four….. King Size

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Huge Jenga……These were placed in a number of places through out the park.

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Ladder Ball

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This was really cool….It is a moustache Tetter Totter

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Beer Pong….Everyone was having so much fun.  They also added some other beer games that cost.

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Pumpkin Launch….Their was a small wooden boat in the water.  If you made it you got a fun trinket, Key chain or beads I believe.

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Keg Bowling…..lol…I think this is self explanatory….I believe all these games were $3 each….not to expensive…

How about Speed Beer….Shake up a can of beer and throw it…See how fast you can throw…..As the day progressed, more people came.  Finally I heard at 6pm the tickets booths outside were standing line, and the parking lot was getting full.  The last i heard our count was 7,000 people.  I was working the game Mr. Frog, which was near main stage.  All the bands were playing through the park at different times, but main stage was going to be playing last until 9:30 and then the ……Fireworks….Grand Finale…..The last band began…..The Spazmatics…..They were so good.   They played music of the 80’s….Fabulous sounds and High Energy music….It turns out, they are a “Chain Band” from Chicago.  That means their are many chains of the same band through out the US.  Listening to them and watching the Big Wheel lites behind them was just Magical.

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The people were having a blast, dancing and moving and singing to the music.  The crowds became so thick, I couldn’t hardly see the band anymore.   Lots of people were stopping to play Mr. Frog though.  I became very busy.

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This game is really a neat game that has been here for years.  You buy rubber frogs to launch in a launcher.

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You hit it with a mallet and try to land the frog in the white lily pad that is moving in circles in the water. So as you know, most people miss and the frog lands in the water.  So I have to pluck the frogs out…..lol…by the end of the evening I was soaked….You get 3 frogs for $3, 6 for $5 or 15 for $10.  People love this game.

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All through the park the big rides were running.  Rich said he had lines all night.  Nonstop.  The big rides were busy ..Monster, Tornado, Space Shot and the Storm SearchEveryone was having a blast, most of them walking around with a mug of beer in hand.  But was their any problems?  You would think that alcohol and all the rides wouldn’t mix.  I heard of a few problems but the police force were patrolling through the park all nite.  From my and Rich’s viewpoint, everyone was  well behaved.  They were laughing, singing, dancing….Being Happy…..Finally it was almost 9:30 and the band called last song.   Soon as the last chords were played the Fireworks began…..Beautiful  fireworks in the sky.   What a wonderful fitting finish to an Evening of Magic…..

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My Manager Devin……Really Good Guy…..

 

So the lights on the Big Wheel continued till 10 pm.   We packed up the games for the last time this season….Counted my frogs for inventory….lol…Put them in their plastic bin to be taken in the building….Said my goodbyes to the kids I worked with…..Little by little the people cleared out….Rich and I headed back to the employees area, turned in our last shirts we had on and left the building…..Got in our golf cart and headed to our campsite for the last time this year……Whewwww…..Finally, its over…..but its Bittersweet….We are ready to leave but, its also sad to leave…….Well weve been packing for several days, so Sunday we packed up what was left and left by 2 pm….Headed to Illinois….but ohhhh soooo Tired….Worked almost 12 hours Saturday…….Didn’t realize I was so tired…..

But What a Wonderful Day and Evening it Was…..Adventureland, you put on a Class Act….

 

Visiting Helen Ballard Before We Leave….

About a month ago we had found and visited an old friend of Richs.  Helen and Kenny  Ballard were old family friends from way back.  Kenny and Leo (Richs Dad) had met in the Navy.  I wrote a Blog about finding Helen awhile back.  Kenny had passed away around 1996.  Helen is now 92.  She is a wonderful spry lady with a fabulous mind and so much energy and memories.  We had promised we would be back before we left.  Monday, I called Helen  She said, “I wondered if you were still here.” She still remembered we had come.  So I asked,  What would be a good day this week to come visit.   She said,  “Not Tue.  I go up to New Virginia and quilt at the church all day.  Any other day is fine.”  lol.  So we arranged for Wed. at 11 am.  We would go for lunch.

20160901_142708.jpg  When we got their she was ready and waiting to go.  We took her little car as our little Ranger just doesn’t fit 3 adults very good.  We went to a restaurant in Osceola called “Family Table”.  …..Down Home Cooking…. They had a buffet for 7.99.   The food was so good.  We sat their for almost 2 hours visiting.  Her granddaughters husband had been in for dinner.  When we went to leave we found out he had picked up our tab.   It was so nice of him.   Thank You so much Brett.  Sure didn’t expect that.  We drove back to Helens.  I had brought all my blog books and we looked at them.  She was so excited to see them.  She has always wanted to write things done but never knew where to start.  I think as we get older, we realize the value of all the memories and information me have.  Once we are gone, so are they.     She wanted to show us the back 40, as she calls it.  Helen and Kenny had lived around 5 miles or more away from this property that she lives on now.  Kenny wanted to buy property to build and move to someday.  He found this property.  When Richs dad came to live here, Kenny had already bought this land but had no plans to move here yet. Up the hill in the back 40 he was building a dam to form a pond.  He wanted to make an area for fishing, camping, hunting and just a place where the whole family could come and enjoy and play together.  So these were things Leo seen back in the 80’s when his trailer was here.  Kenny did complete it.  They brought in a trailer  years after Leo left, and built on to it, and thus the “Trouse” was formed…..lol.. as her granddaughter Julie called it.  Well Kenny died in 1996, so he did enjoy it for awhile. So we got back in the car, Rich opened the locked gate and up the hill we went.

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It is such a beautiful green area.  This is all nestled up in the hill side so nobody would ever know its their.  So full of nature, and wildlife, but yet so well maintained.  At the top of the hill, this is what we seen.

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The Welcome Bear carved from wood, and the stone statue.  Now I asked Helen about the Stone piece.  I thought maybe they had made it or it meant something special.  It was given to her by her foster son who had gotten it from another family member.  They decided to put it up  here,  cause it needed a home.  It was just an interesting piece.  We followed the path across the dam.  It was so beautiful.  Now can you imagine sitting on that swing, watching the lake and wildlife, or yet watching you family have fun on the boats and swimming.   How many memories has Helen made here…..Amazing….What a Wonderful legacy Kenny and Helen have made for the family…It is something the family will cherish and hand down for generations. 

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They have so many family get togethers here.   Plenty of water activities for the kids.  It was freshly mowed….Picture Perfect…..

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Also had a kitchen area.  It is such a neat place to cook.  Bigger than home….lol…

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It had everything one would need. Several frigs and freezer, Sink, Counters, Work table, and Cook stove and fireplace,  It also had 2 big smokers.  Imagine all the family here in RVs or tents…..all sitting at the tables eating….Wonderful family fun…I walked back toward Helen and Rich and they were just talking.

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Mostly about  how Kenny had built all of this.  Her kids don’t let her mow anymore but she still takes care of maintenance.  She mentioned on the way up that she need to get a load of rock on the road.  She still takes care of all the needs.  She has quite a business head on her shoulders yet.  Finally we got back in the car, crossed the dam and back down the road.

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Again so beautiful.  It was a cool crisp day, with a slight breeze…maybe in the 60’s….a great day to be out and enjoying nature.   As you see, all of this ground is kept mowed….Helen use to mow but they don’t let her anymore….lol…Helens youngest daughter, Norma and her husband, bought some of this acreage and built a log home up the hill from her.  Norma makes sure it is all mowed.   I noticed there was a zero turn mower up at the lake.  But there’s acres of grass to keep mowed.  Now the funny story about Norma.  Helen and Kenny had a number of kids.  When their youngest, Charlotte was 20 and already had a child, guess who got pregnant….lol…Helen, and here came Norma….We finally had to go, but what a good time we had.  We promised Helen we would come again next year.  We have signed up at the Park again, so if all goes as planned we will be back.  We all enjoyed our visit.  We talked about so many things.  She is about the only one left who really remembers much about Richs dad.  We asked her how Kenny and Leo met.   They met in the service.  They served on the same boat,  USS Tutuila (ARG 4) around 1944-45….not really sure.

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It was an internal combustion repair ship.  It was constructed in 1943, by the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation.  It served in World War II, traveling in the South Pacific.

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Motto…..Eternal vigilance is the price of Freedom

 

It was decommissioned on December 7 1946. Later it was Commissioned again to serve in the Korean War and the Vietnam War.   Eventually it was sold to the Republic of China.  When Kenny and Leo both got out of the Navy, Leo spent time at Kenny and Helens house.  Leo met and married Rose, Richs mom.  They continued their friendship through the years.  When Richs mom passed, he was only 15.  He spent the first summer at Kenny and Helens house.  Her kids were about the same age.  They had chores, as they were all hard workers.  Kenny had a wrecker business, salvage yard, also farmed and had livestock.  So their was always much work to be done.  That was one of the things Helen and Rich talked about, his summer at the farm.  How did he endure it ….lol….He actually enjoyed it.  Another thing she showed us was a picture on canvas.  It was given to her by a family member.  I don’t remember the story, but she was so surprised and excited to show it.

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The original picture was taken in 1942 in DesMoines.  It was in an area called Capital Heights, which is now Altoona area.  Helen and Kenny had married sister and brother.  Helen and Kenny are on the left motorcycle and Helen’s brother George and Kenny’s sister are on the other.  Rich said they are both Harleys.  This was just a small snapshot and it was put on this large canvas.  It was bigger than an 11×14, and it turned out marvelous.  Helen said when she seen it, it took her back in time instantly.  She felt like a young girl at that moment of time.  As if she was their.  She had never felt like that before.  What a wonderful gift.  It was an awesome visit.  Now time to head back north to Adventureland…..Octoberfest….coming up….

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Helen and Kenny Ballard     1980’s?

“Luminaria” Fabulous

We came back from home and worked Adventureland last Saturday and Sunday.  Its almost over.  I think everybody is ready for it to be.  Wednesday, Rich was watching the news and they had a show going on downtown DesMoines at the Cowles Commons, DesMoines Performing Arts.  It was called a Luminaria.  This one is entitled “Arboria” by Architects-of-Air, Alan Parkinson of  Nottingham England.    Website:  Architects-of-Air.com

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“Arboria” is about a half a football field long when set up.

A Luminarium is a sculpture that people enter, to be immersed in radiant light and color.  Since 1992, the Architects-of-Air’s 22+ luminaria have enchanted over 2 million people in 41 countries around the world.  This is the only one touring in the US.  Their are others touring around the world.

The tickets were only $5, what a deal.  So I ordered them on line.  Thursday morning we woke up with rain.  It finally stopped around 10:30.  We arrived downtown about 10:45 and found a parking deck about a block away.  What we didn’t know was, the whole downtown is connected by sky walks.   How cool that was.

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We went from our parking garage straight to the sky walk.  We followed it across the street and through the building to the other side of the block.  Finally across the street in the sky walk and we were in the right building, took the escalator down and outside we went to the “Luminaria”

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Being we already had purchased tickets, we were able to go right in.  First thing we did was to take off our shoes and put them in the cubies.  The whole structure was made of vinyl plastic.  We had to stay on the plastic to enter.

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Finally we had a short speech from the Volunteer before we entered.  We were allowed to wander around at our own pace.  We could sit down or lay down if wished to enjoy the beauty and sounds.  Be careful of the walls and try to stay on the flat part of the walk as the edges start to lift up.  Parents, please keep your Children with you…….Yes Please……So in we went through the Air locks……….First Impression…………..”BREATHTAKING”……

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Each room or area has a dominate color.  The first room was green. ( There’s Rich )

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The ceiling was soooooo  beautiful.  It is entitled “Arboria” because of the influence of the geometric shapes and graphic representation of trees.

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On to the next room.  As you look around, you see round tunnels.   People at the other end just standing and staring.  Some even laying down……More color down the tunnels…

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You end up in the main room.  Words cannot even explain the feelings that you see.  You have been told that the tunnels are zippered on, and that every everything else was hand glued together.  All the different colors are glued by hand.  Then you look up………

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Whoaaaa…………The end of the stripes have a small blue dot.   This picture does not do the colors justice.  This main dome was 33 feet high.  As we stood their, we listened to the music.   It was so soothing and beautiful.  It was soft sounds of piano composition and wildlife sounds originated from the Ecuadorian Cloud Forest by musician Alice Eldridge.  It was as if time stood still.   You wanted to just stand their and look.  Your eyes wandered up….around….down…in circles….People just sat down or layed down to enjoy the experience.  Rich said he wanted to sit down also, but he was afraid he wouldn’t be able to get up……lol….getting old we are….lol…

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Traveling on, we took one of the tunnels, and we arrived in the blue room….In front of us a a beautiful blue tree trunk.  It rose up so gracefully to a beautiful ceiling.

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This dome was 26 feet high.  ( There’s Rich again )  As you walk, you almost feel unstable…..dream like….

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Around the edge of each room are little pockets.  A long slice of color is added.  They said these are little out of the way rooms that you can sit and just take this all in.

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They even let wheelchair and people with canes enter.  They wrap the wheels and protect the bottoms of canes.  I thought this was so amazing as I seen this man wander through the tunnels.  He was so amazed and thoroughly enjoying the atmosphere.  They told me they do like to bring the physically and mentally impaired people in on the slower days. It gives them a great calming effect.  I can’t even imagine how they must enjoy it.  It is out of the realm of anything they have ever imagined in their world.   As far as that goes, ours also. Their were a number of Volunteers inside that were helpful with info, and especially one that gave me all her time.  She loved her Volunteer time and was so enthusiastic to help and answer questions.

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This is the red room.  Again you can see the geometric influence on the ceiling.  As you walked around, you not only felt a little unstable, but I also felt like things were hazy….dreamy….It was just such an indescribable feeling….

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Now all this light you see is just natural light shinning through the plastic.  It was a dreary overcast day, but yet the inside was so bright and vibrant with color. I can’t imagine what it would be like on a sunny day.

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The inside was very comfortable in temperature.  It was air conditioned.  You didn’t hear the air blowing, but around the outside little pocket areas, you would find the air ducts and feel the air blowing in.

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We are blue lovers, so this is our favorite room.  We probably walked through the tunnels at least twice.  We stood in the rooms and the especially the big dome room for quite awhile, taking it all in.  The looks on peoples faces were amazing to see.  Some were laying on the floor with eyes closed, some eyes open just staring at the ceilings.  People were just looking and turning in amazement.  If i didn’t know better, I felt I had just visited HEAVEN. Could this be what it is like?   Finally Time to Go.   We went out side and sat by the Fountain….

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This reflecting pond was also a wading pond, open for the kids to walk through.  It also had some “Dancing Waters”.  lol.   We sat their for along time, just taking it all in.  Looking at the whole sculpture and seeing where we were.  The Big Dome Room….You can see the different colors, the Red Room and all the little pocket rooms around the edge.  I read that it takes around 4 hours to unpack and weight it down, and then only 30 minutes to blow it up.  Taking it down is fast, 90 minutes and ready to roll.  As we sat their, a volunteer who was just relieved was walking by.  We started talking about her job of Volunteering for the Civic Center and all the activities.  Such a Nice Lady.  Then she told us about a food court in the next building over.  We were sure hungry by now.  Back we went into the building and up the escalator to the sky walk.  We walked several blocks to the end and back just to see everything.  The Food Court Building was called the Kaleidoscope.  They had food and shops on 3 floors.  We choose loaded spuds…..

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Huge potatoes loaded with butter, sour cream, cheese, and bacon…….Hmmmmmm….Bill? Under $15 for 2 with drinks……Finally done and off we went to walk the sky walk again.   Now maybe we are behind the times, or we just came out of the corn fields, but this is magnificent.  You can park your car in the parking garage and walk the sky walk to work.  Where ever that may be.  The whole down town is connected.  Even the Civic Center, and all the Iowa Federal Court system.   In the center of it all is the Kaleidoscope Hub.  Walk to get your lunch and back to work.  Never go outside till you leave the parking garage.  We even seen a sign of a Condo for sale…..Open your door and your at work…..lol….Can’t imagine the price…..I looked at the signs for Sky Walk closing.   I found one that said the doors close from 2 am-6am.   You could go walking anytime, any weather.   Finally we walked back to our parking garage.  We left and drove around the city.  There is remodeling and building everywhere.  New buildings going up with new sky walks attached.  Old buildings being turned into Condos and Office space.   The city is growing and renovating.  Finally we headed back across the river to the east.  Directly across was the Iowa State Capital.  It stood proudly and stately on the hill with Court Street leading straight to it.  It reminded me of Pennsylvania Ave. in Washington DC.  The Iowa Capital has 5 domes total, with the fifth dome in the middle covered in Gold …….It was shinning Brilliantly in the sun.   We stopped and toured it also, but that will be the subject of the next blog.

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So much info to share….After that we hunted up an Rv Center and toured Motor Homes.   “We were trying to decide how to spend a half a million if we had it…..lol….”

Labor Day Over….A Week Home

Labor  Day weekend was the last big FLING at the park for the year.  We worked all 3 days.  I worked doubles being it was the only hours you can have now.  Saturday and Sunday was 10 am. – 10 pm.  It was a long day but the weather was beautiful.  The temperature was high 70’s and low 80’s. “A PERFECT WEEKEND.”   On Labor Day Monday, the park was open 10 am – 7 pm.  The park was full of people.  It was the last day of Adventureland Bay.  The water park will be closed for the season, but the Adventureland park it self will be open weekends till the end of September.  We were busy all day and evening.  It was sad on Saturday evening to look out and realize that we wouldn’t be seeing the lights of the “Monster” in the beautiful park anymore.  The sights and sounds of the park are just magical at nite.  The beautiful colors of the twirling rides, and the reflections of the buildings and lights in the lake by …..Dragon……

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We will be closing earlier now on weekends and it will still be light. We had decided to take off the following week end and head home for a week.  The one problem was the cat.  Kitty has never road in the pickup.  Also he had no place to stay.  Tammy said he could stay their as it was his house, but she has a big dog “Chaos” and a cat “Charlie”.   But that was what we decided to do.  The nite before we went to Dairy Queen and took him for his first ride.  Kitty was curious, but we thought that was all it was.  When Rich opened the door at Dairy Queen, Kitty ran out the door.   OMG.   I panicked, and ran for him.  He went up by the building and under the picnic tables.  He was near the drive-up but their was a railing up that intimidated him.  He could have went through it but he backed away.  Finally we cornered him under the picnic table.  The next day we took off for our 4 hour drive.

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I put his soft harness on.  He again was curious.  He was nervous and kept walking around.  Finally he settled down under Richs feet while he was driving.  Half way into the trip, we decided to stop at a rest stop.  I took him out and hooked up his leash.  I kept walking towards the bushes and fields.  It was really hot and he started panting.   Took him over to the water hydrant and he wanted no part of that.  lol  Finally took him back to the truck, tried to give him some water and he wouldn’t drink.   So we headed on down the road.  …….Poor Kitty…….

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He was so tired and exhausted.  I think he was actually dehydrated and exhausted by the time we got home.  I carried him in the house and he ran for the bedroom and went under the bed.  That was the end of him for several hours.  I got his food, water and litter pan all set up and we closed the door  so he could rest alone.  I stayed at Tammys and took her bedroom that night.  He climbed in bed and was much better by morning.  In the morning we were all in the living room and Chaos ran down the hallway.

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He is part Lab and Pit Bull.  I was worried about him hurting Kitty.  Tammy ran down the hall as the dog started running and barking.  She SCREAMED…..”Mom, come get Kitty, he just got TWICE THE SIZE that he was…..lol..lol…She was worried about the dog and she was afraid Kitty of sink his claws in her dog.   Well poor Kitty just set the dog straight…..He said,  “I am BOSS, this was my house first.  Stay away from me”…..It was really funny.  Later we let her cat up from the basement.

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His name is “Charlie”.  He is a beautiful Persian.  Now Charlie was curious and wanted to play, but soon found out, Kitty does NOT PLAY.   He is an OLD MAN.  They had a few scrapes but managed to be respectful.  I kept seeing Charlie staring at him around corners and across the room.  By the time we left, Kitty was walking fairly freely through the house.  I was really amazed.

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This is “Dexter”, Tina and Ed and the kids dog.  He is a Golden Doodle who is going on 2 years old.  He is a very loveable and active dog.  He is almost like another “son”  in the house.  lol.

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Now Brandy and Scott have 2 house cats.  Both came as strays.  The yellow is “Seymour”, and the gray is “Clyde”.  lol.   Seymour has finally become lovable, but Clyde really likes to hiss at you.  So these are all the animal cousins…..lol…..

One day, Tammy went to work and forgot some papers, so Carly and I went to Peoria.  We got to tour the Kindred Hospital and seen where her momma works.   Carly loved that.  Then we went to Steak and Shake.

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Tammy said she would know just what she wanted by the pictures and she did.  We had to sit by the window by the Illinois River.  I had gotten some stuffed animals at the park for the kids so we gathered them together to give them out.  Cassidy didn’t make it, as she had went to her friends.

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They had fun.  Carly is far left, Austin, and then Miley.  Around their necks, you can see a stuffed snake.  I got Cameron a huge snake.  He has wanted to buy a real Python in an aquarium for his room.  I told him if he ever did that, I wouldn’t go in the house again.  So “Here is your snake”…..lol…..The only one I allow.

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He is a hard one to get a nice picture, but I managed to get this one uptown.  He’s doing what he does best…..driving….lol…Rich had his own agenda of fixing things.   Theirs always things to fix when we go home.  He also goes through the garage putting tools and things BACK WHERE THEY BELONG….Hmmmmm….Now why is that…..I also got a Biker Bear for Scott for the Bar.

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He was so big.  I looked at him for a long time, hanging in one of the games.   Finally I bought him.

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He was so BIG, he had to sit in the passenger seat with Rich.  I sat in the back and held him up.

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So here he is in his new home.  “One Paw’z Pub”…..McNabb, Illinois.   He’s going to be nothing but a BARFLY….lol…That weekend was also “ONE PAW’Z PUB’s”Pre Harvest Hoe Down.  Scott and the local Car Club had the Main Street blocked off.  He had a Band staged on his flat bed truck trailer.  Around 70 cars showed up for the Car Show.   Some Beauty’s’  That will be the next blog.   We left to go back on Wed. so we could have 2 days off before the weekend.  Groceries were needed and laundry to do.   And ya know we don’t have to move fast anymore, so 2 days to rest up is Wonderful.   I went back to Tammy’s that morning as we have been staying at Scotts, and put Kitty’s harness on and carried him to the car.  He was such a trooper all the way home.  I think he now realized it was ok.  He slept, although his space was not to big, but he didn’t get upset or anything.  He was fine.  We were all glad to get home.  Kitty walked in just like he was glad to be home from his vacation.   So Poor Kitty at 16 is still learning new things.  He learned how to ride in a pick up.  He learned how to live in his old house for 8 days with a dog and cat that had invaded his house.

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This is his new thing to learn.   How to go outside in a pen and not wander.  Now this is a problem.  He doesn’t understand yet.  He walks in circles and thinks he should be out under the motorhome……Not a Good Place for Him……

 

 

OSHA’s Report on Adventureland Death

The other day we seen the OSHA Report on the death of an Adventureland worker last June.  If you remember, he was an Assist on the Raging River.  Their are 2 Assists and one Operator on this ride.  It is a water raft ride that is run by conveyors at the beginning and end to bring the raft out of the water to load and unload.  The conveyers are 10 ft. below from what I heard.  Their is a series of six different conveyors and buttons the operator has to work.  Each button is pushed manually when needed to move the rafts by conveyer up to the unload and load position.

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The operator is sitting above to have a view of the ride, and the assists.  The Assists unload and load each raft.  When they are done and have all riders in the raft and back in their positions, they give a thumbs up to the Operator.  Their are no safety switches or interlocking devices to secure the ride.  So when the accident happened, the raft prematurely lurched, and pushed the two Assists over.  One was caught by a bystander, the other was Steve Booher.  He fell the 10 feet to the conveyors and injured his head and arms.  Unfortunately, he never regained consciousness and died the following Sat.  We were never told about the accident, nor told when he passed away.  It was all found out by articles in the Des Moines Register.  I did witness the EMTS rushing him out or I wouldn’t have known either.  This man was a 68 year old retired postal employee form Oklahoma.  Steve and his wife came to Adventureland to enjoy their summer working in the park.  He only worked 1 week.  So much speculation has been made since then as to who was at fault.  Was it the Operator?   Was it the Park?   Was it the training procedures?   I believe it was a little bit of everything.  First of all, I don’t think from what I’ve witness as a whole, their training process is very good at all.  Secondly,  with all of these conveyors and buttons and an open conveyor 10 feet below, why would you depend on the 2 Assists to just give you a thumbs up to continue?   That is all that is done on a number of rides.  Some have an interlocking system that all parties have to push a switch to allow the ride to continue.  Many of them rely on simply a thumbs up from both Assists.  Now if you have 6 sets of conveyors to operate, isn’t it understandable an accident can happen?  We can all get careless sometimes.

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So this is the copy of the Iowa OSHA Citation and Notification of Penalty that was posted on the office door.  Bottom line…..Fine  $4,500……….Really..Thats All….That’s all a life is Worth?…..But at least if nothing else, it does directly fault the park.  I’m sure that opens up a huge lawsuit for the family.  I do think they deserve so much more.  Today, on 2 different Adventureland Facebook sites this was posted

It is an article by the Des Moines Register about the Citation.

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Adventureland Fined $4,500 After Worker’s Death           desmoinesregister.com

Federal regulators allege that Adventureland park broke Iowa law by failing to create a safe work environment for the 68-year-old man who died from injuries he sustained while working on the Raging River ride in June.

Iowa’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration fined the theme park $4,500 this month in the death of Steve Booher. The Altoona amusement park has 15 days to contest the agency’s findings.

One of Booher’s family members said the fine “seems a little light.”

“We’re talking about the loss of life,” said Tim Overlin, Booher’s nephew who lives in Des Moines.

The Raging River sends riders through rapids on large circular rafts. Booher was working at the ride June 7, helping riders get out of the rafts when the conveyor belt carrying the rafts began to move forward.

The movement caused him to fall from the loading platform onto the conveyor belt.

Booher injured his head and arms and was on life support at a Des Moines hospital for several days. He died June 11.

Jens Nissen, Iowa OSHA administrator, said the $4,500 fine was the maximum his agency could assess Adventureland for this type of violation. OSHA found no evidence that the theme park willfully violated worker safety protocols, which would have prompted a larger fine.

The ride is operated by a worker in a control tower above the platform. The disconnect between the operator and the workers below is the primary issue inspectors identified.

Iowa OSHA found that Adventureland should implement engineering controls that would prevent the conveyor belt from moving rafts while workers are still loading and unloading passengers.

That could include interlocked sensor devices or interlocked buttons “to ensure that ride assistants are positioned in a safe location before the boats are allowed to be advanced by the ride operator,” according to the agency’s citation.

Molly Vincent, a spokesperson for Adventureland, declined to answer any questions about the OSHA fine or the changes recommended by the agency.

Overlin said the ride should have automatic controls that stop it if a worker is in the path of the rafts. He also questioned the amusement park’s training requirements.

Booher had worked at Adventureland for six days. He and his wife were retirees from Oklahoma who planned to spend the summer living in their RV and working at the park.

The day he fell was the first he had worked on the Raging River ride.

The Raging River reopened the day after Booher’s incident.

A search of OSHA’s federal database found no previous violations for Adventureland. Nationwide, 10 workers were killed on the job at amusement parks between 2011 and 2014, the most recent years for which OSHA fatality data is available.

Amusement park rides, including the Raging River, are inspected annually by the Iowa Division of Labor. The Raging River was inspected on April 28 and then again on June 8, following Booher’s fall.

Both inspections determined that the ride was operating as designed, said James Bowry, manager of the division’s elevator, boiler and amusement ride bureau.

The ride will be inspected again after the park implements changes recommended by OSHA, he said. It is operating currently, the division said.

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Iowa Falls on the Iowa River

Its Wednesday and we decided to get up early today after 2 days of doing basically nothing and do something.  The park has scheduled some activities for us if we choose.  One of them was a boat trip north in Iowa Falls on the Iowa River in September.  We signed up, but was to late to pay.  The max amount allowed has already paid for the trip.  It includes bus trip, boat ride, and lunch after.  We are on the waiting list if someone cancels.  But that’s ok……We were slow so we lost out.   So we decided to drive up today and check it out.

Iowa Falls is a little over 60 miles north on Highway 65.  It was an overcast day, so that part was a little disappointing, but that’s ok.  We got to town around noon, and drove up and down the streets searching for the Chamber of Commerce.  It wasn’t so successful this time.  Finally we drove on the scenic drive and rounded a corner, and their it was

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…..The Boat Club……with the ………Scenic City Empress ……..docked in the waters of the beautiful scenic Iowa River.  This river winds through the center of Iowa Falls and we found at least 3 bridges within town to cross.  We parked and got out the check out the boat.  It holds at least 50 or more.   The bottom level is enclosed and has AC.  The top is an open deck.  Great for viewing on a nice day.  They also have concert charters which would be so much fun.  Generally they only do charters for groups or special events.  It has been refurbished by the Boat Club with the help of the towns people.  Their was only 1 car in the parking lot and she was in the office.  In we went for a visit.  She was very nice and helped us with information.  She said their was a possibility that she would talk to Gary from Adventureland about a second boat, but I don’t think that will happen.  Its too close to the date.  She had a map of the town and river.  We noticed a Swinging Bridge that you can walk and cross the river.  She also gave us some great info on restaurants for lunch.  We left and headed to the Swinging Bridge.

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This was taken from the edge of the river as we drove from the Boat Club.  You can also see the Falls.  This is not the real falls, they dried up years back we were told.  This is artificially made.

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We arrived and started to walk across.  We actually parked on the residential side and walked over to the side where it opened up into the park.  It was a very well constructed suspension bridge, originally constructed in 1897.  It has been rebuilt at least 2 times since.

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It didn’t really move much as we walked across.  We got to the other side and checked out the park and of course the restrooms…lol….heading back, I decided to walk off the sidewalk over to the trees and bushes.  I wanted to get this picture.  Its more of a side view.  In doing this I walked in weeds.  Well I spent the next 15 minutes picking off little sticky prickly things from my clothes.  lol  They weren’t the to painful ones as they were still young.  I’m sure on maturing they would have been sharp and very pointy.

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We walked back to the truck taking one last picture of the falls….This river has with time, worn its bed through the rocks to make these beautiful cliffs.  Time to find a restaurant. Back to town and found the one that was recommended.

wp-1472084664401.jpg  The Princess Café.

Upon walking in, we were so surprised.  It was not only a restaurant serving sandwiches and pizza, but an old fashioned Sweet Shop.

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This was our first view. This is a 25 ft. soda fountain made from the finest Italian marble.  It is thought to be the largest remaining soda fountain in the world.  On the back wall is 2 large slabs of matching granite.  Just amazing.  I turned around and their was the old fashioned Juke Box.

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It is an old Wurlitzer….I checked out the records.  Now this will take you back in time….Beach BoysSurfer Girl, Little Deuce Coupe, California Girls, Good VibrationsChuck BerryRoll Over Beethoven, MaybellineLittle RichardLong Tall Sally, Slippin and Slidden.  These were just a few I seen.

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We went to the back and they seated us.  It had all the old booths.  A row on each side of the store and the center row, side by side divided.  So impressive.  Beautiful woods with some carvings.

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The Menu

They had quite a few specials to choose from as well as a good menu.  We both chose sandwiches and also a small pizza to go.  The food was good.  We decided we needed to try a small piece of pizza while it was still fresh.  Ohhhhhh yum…..It was so good.  It was a thin crust, and ever so flaky and crisp.  Perfect, and not very greasy.  Definitely a Pizza I would order again.  I read in the menu a bit of the history.  Cousins originally from Greece opened the Princess in November of 1915.  A brother moved to town and bought the original Sweet Shop and the family members combined the businesses into one.  It became known as Princess Café and Sweet Shop.  Christmas morning 1934, the building burnt to the ground.  One year later it was rebuilt opening on July 1.  The cost to remodel was $30,000.  A whole lot of money during depression time.  The way it appears today is how it appeared back then.  Everything has been preserved for all these years.  The woodwork  is made of the finest domestic and imported woods.  The booths are African Mahogany.  The hard Terrazzo floors were poured by hand and then ground to a smooth surface.

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Notice the mirrors in each booth.  All original, now starting to loose their coating on the back side.  But it also makes them look so old, but yet so perfect.  These are the special carvings that you see on the booths.  The top wood trim is the same pattern carried through out the shop.  All the wood is so pristine and perfect.  No carvings from kids through the years.  When I was in school, we had a small soda shop.  We all constantly carved in the booth walls.  How did these booths and this whole shop survive all these years to be in perfect shape.   Just amazing.

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This is the other side of the soda fountain.  It was the Sweet Shop side.  It again has used all the same woods and designs.  It is now where they have the cash register, the souvenir  t-shirts, school information and memorabilia.

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As I was looking around at the old pictures on the wall, I came across this.  They are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, dated October 15, 1966.  This is well deserved. I also read their were other factors about the building that was important.  A special glass imported from Italy and the construction of the outside of the building.  It was a great representation of Deco Art.

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This is another view of the Soda Fountain.  As we were leaving, I did try to talk to the waitress about the building.  She said it was rumored that Disney was their once trying to buy the soda fountain, but she didn’t know if it was true.  Finally we left after we had filled our stomachs.  Well lets say stuffed…….It was another great day of adventure.  Finding gems to discover in small town America……I do believe as we travel the interstates this day and age, we fly by so many gems of history through out America.  It pays to stop at some of these towns.  Find the Chamber of Commerce or just drive around

……You just never know what you will find…….

The Days are Winding Down….

We are now in our last week of full time at Adventureland.  After this week the park will only be open weekends till the end of Sept.  So now we can say….”This is the last Monday….This is the last Tuesday….This is the last Wednesday…….”  The general feeling through out the park is the same.  Were all glad it is going to slow down.   Were all tired.  So I will give you a little up date on what has been going on.  Last week Rich was the Outlaw operator.

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It is one of the big roller coasters in the park.  It is an all wooden coaster, located in the Outlaw Gulch.

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This is the gulch area.  It has a western theme.

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This is Saw Mill Splash which is near the Outlaw.  It is a fun water ride that I would like to ride, but I think were running out of time.

We are only allowed in the park on weekdays free, so this is the last week.  Last Friday, which was our day off, we decided to take that opportunity to do some of the things in the park that we wanted to do.  Top on the list.  Buy one of those FABULOUS “Loaded Funnel Cakes” that walk by us all the time.

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Now picture this funnel cake….put a huge scoop of vanilla ice cream in the middle…fresh peaches and strawberries around it….drizzle chocolate and strawberry syrup on top….drizzle glaze over the whole thing….lastly dollops of whip cream over the tops…..All for $9.75..…I was going to take a picture before we dived in but forgot.  We sat down by the water on a picnic table and FEASTED…..MMmmmmm….it was so good….

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One of the rides I had wanted to ride was the Underground.  It is a rollercoaster ride in a cave.  It is the story about Bad Bob the bank robber who hid down in the cave with his stolen gold…..lol…

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This is where you line up 2 in each stall. When the doors open your car is right on the other side.  You can see the animated miner telling you the story of Bad Bob…..It was a fun ride of darkness, skeletons, a train light coming at you….lol

We then left the park and walked back to the golf cart…..Oh the luxury of having it…Instead of walking back to the Gulch area, we rode back on the company access road.  Rich bought some of his wonderful Kettle Corn.

They cook in a huge kettle outside.  So 2 more bags and we got back in our golf cart.

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On this access road, you get a view of the rollercoasters some never see.  This is the Tornado with the Storm Search in the background.  Another wooden rollercoaster.  It is all painted white with blue cars.  They also have a set of red cars they used at the beginning of the season.  Rich will be the Assist on the Tornado this week.

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On the drive up the road, we also stopped on the back road to see the loading zone for the Tornado.  The building on the right with lights on is the load, unload area.  They had just came down the track and rounded the corner.   See the blue blurrrrrrrrrrrr……That’s the cars…lol…

 

Here they are approaching the first and highest hill.  On the side is the employee access road and then the main road of town.  It was approaching nite so some of the pictures are sort of dark.  So that was our trip on Friday.  I was asked about a week ago to do an evening in rides.   So I said sure.  I went to the Rides desk and was given the Dragon Assist.     Another big roller coaster.

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Rich has been an Assist on this one also.  All the coasters take an operator and 2 Assists.  One on each side to load and unload and secure.  Now this was an eye opener for me.  You are constantly busy.  Every 90 seconds the cars are back to reload.  You have to be alert and make sure everyone is safe.  Have everyone in line and ready to go.  Make sure harness and seatbelts are secure.  Always on guard and alert.   The plus side is.  Rides people can bring a stool to sit one during that pause time.   So at break, I went and got one from the commissary.  You have no idea how sitting for 30 seconds at a time helps.  Doesn’t seem like much does it.

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Here is another picture of Dragon doing the loop de loop…..with the Tornado in the background.  Again rides I sure wont be doing.   I would loose supper…..I did enjoy that evening working in Rides and it gives me some thoughts on next year……You just Never Know……In Games we have just been rotating between the 3 areas as usual.   The one game most people love is Bingo….We have a Bingo Room in the Arcade building.  Of course Air Conditioned.   Usually have 2 people running it, one calling and one working the floor.  It is electronic digital bingo.  We have a blower that blows up the numbers and we call them and put them in the slot.  When pushed it turns the number on, on the display board.  They win points on their Arcade card.  Then they go shopping.  It is the place where adults will go when their kids are off running in the park.  They are hot and tired and need a break.  Or some people bring the little ones in, in their stroller so they can have a nap.  Many in wheelchairs or scooters who don’t do rides and just wait for family members to be done……Some can spend hours in their…That is the only AC Games for us.   But it is getting cooler now.  It is so much more fun when the weather is nice.  One of the friends I met here is Carolina (Catalina) like the Island,  and James. They are from Houston.

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Originally Carolina is from Brazil South America.  She is interesting and fun to talk to.  She left Brazil, went to Australia for 2 years and then back home.  Then she came to US and met James.  Not sure how long she has been here but they have been married for 5 years I believe.  The are full time RVers.  They decided it was time to leave.  This wasn’t the job for them.  They are on their way to California to do the Pumpkin Harvest and then sell Christmas trees in Dec. I wish them nothing but…. GOOD LUCK…..I will be following their adventures…… James also has a you-tube video channel…..Wanderlust Estate….He puts out videos of their travels…..I have also found at least 3 other people that have You-tube video channels.  They have all left.  Most of their complaints were, they didn’t like all the rules.  They didn’t like the pay.  Yes, we must have rules.  It is a place of employment of many.  The park has its hours to be open and manned.  We have a dress code.  We have to appear professional.  We can’t eat or relax in the park in uniform.  The one draw back is some of the manages are very young.  As in Games, they are High School age.  So rules are important to keep them in line.  The young managers do a good job, but sometimes don’t know quite how to treat the older people.  I have been fine with them.  They all treat me well.  I do feel respected, but I know their has been issues with others.  Games is an area where mainly kids are hired.  Even 14 and 15.  Some look like little kids, but rules must be strict for that age group, but does cause problems for the older people.  But life has its issues doesn’t it…..Can’t have everything our way…..As far as pay….We have free camping from April 1 – Oct 1…..Pay is $8.50 and hour….End of season Bonus if we stay….$400 to campsite plus .75 for every hour worked.   Now people on SSI already have money coming in.  It is good for us, but those who rely strictly on this to live, it is more of a problem.  Those are the people who are having a problem with this job.  They want and need more immediate compensation.   Their are many people going to the Sugar Beets in the Dakotas starting next month.   It is hard work, 12 hour shifts, all outside.  You will probably be handed a shovel your first year….lol…They say some can make up to $8,000 in several weeks.  Some go to the different Amazon plants.  Their is an Amazon Work Force that does workamping hiring.  You also get free camping of you get your reservation in early.  But it is all warehouse work for the Christmas Season.  You are released on Dec. 24th.  NOPE  Not for us either.   We don’t want to do warehouse work.

  ……….I LEFT THAT  FOREVER…….NEVER AGAIN……

So today is Wednesday…..Last Wed. of work…..YaHoooooooooo…..Ill leave you with an evening view of the

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Eastgate Friends & More Adventureland

We’ve had a break in the heat.  This past week it has cooled down to the 80’s.  So much nicer.  Makes your day at the park so much more enjoyable.  In fact last Tue. it rained all day, so they closed the park.  That does not happen very often.  One evening I worked in Alpine which is in front of the park.  I forgot my hat, so I went back in the morning to get it.  I went in through the employees entrance about a half hour before opening.  I retrieved my hat and decided to have a wonderful waffle cone made with Blue Bunny Ice creamThe Creamery faces the opening of the gates into the square.  The girl said it was something to witness the opening of the park from the inside, so I sat their and waited…..and watched….

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Our park characters came out to welcome everyone at the gates…..One of them is Bernie the St. Bernard……They each go to the 2 different gate openings.

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Finally it was 10 am….The gates on both sides of the carousel opened.  They were like a herd of cattle….Stampeding…..It was crazy they way they came in running as fast as they could to be the first…..lol….Not only the kids, the adults too….

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Here is the inside of the Creamery.  Very cheerful and bright….As I turned around to look through the doors, all the people came running from the 2 gates, converging on Main St..….For my own safety, I stayed inside until the “HERD” had passed…..Then I walked out with my wonderful Waffle cone filled with Chocolate Mint and Praline Pecans…..Mmmmmmm….so good…..

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On my way out another Park Greeter…..Glad he has a Cane……Long fall if he tripped….

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This week Rich has been the A-Train Engineer….The first picture is the station.  Now this was an extremely hot day.  That’s why the kids look so miserable…..lol… A friend of ours, Ron, asked his wife to come and take some pictures of Rich.  I was trying to figure out how to take these pictures as I can’t bring in my phone.   Theresa came in probably one of the hottest days.   She did an awesome job.  These pictures are so nice.  Thanks again Theresa.  Ron and Theresa will also be joining us at Eastgate this winter…..Can’t Wait….

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THE A-TRAIN     With Engineer Rich…..

This is my favorite picture.  The train makes a round trip about every 15 minutes…..It Choo-choos as it leaves and comes into the station, and also has the old time bells that clang as it comes in also….Really neat….Now for our day off on a Friday……….

A friend from Eastgate text me, Gail.   Gail and Dewey live near Kansas City.  They wanted to come up and have lunch….We were so excited to see them.   We met at Olive Garden on the west side of Des Moines.  It was easier for them as it was a direct shot from their house.

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We had such a wonderful visit with them.  We probably sat their for over 2 hours.  The waitress was very gracious.  Gail and Dewey were winter residents of Eastgate for over 17 years.  They both had other mates.  Gail’s husband passed a number of years back, and her and Dewey got together.     Such a wonderful Happy couple.   Rich played pool with Dewey.  He is a Pool Shark….lol…He is good and he believes in …..RULES……Don’t mess with him….Gail also plays pool.  The women have their own pool time at the hall.  Last February, they decided it was time to leave.  It was sad but times change.   Gail was missing out on her family as it grew.  They both wanted to leave in a car….not a Body Bag.   Sounds morbid doesn’t it.  But many do.

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This is their new adventure in life.  They are looking for that first house together.  In the mean time they are living with Gail’s daughter.  They  are such a Super Couple.  We miss them, but they are really enjoying life.  Thank You guys for taking the time to come and visit us…….  Happy Trails…….

Another thing I want to mention is our daughter Tina,  has a new Job.  She works at the Putnam County Court house in Illinois as the Deputy Probation Officer. 

2016-07-31-11.44.27.jpg.jpg  She has now moved over to the Circuit Clerks office.  She is now a Deputy Circuit Clerk. 

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This is her new office.  We think this is pretty exciting news.  Putnam County is the smallest county’s in Illinois.  It consists of 6 small towns.  In fact some are just villages.  It has 1 school district consisting of 1 high school in Granville, 1 junior high outside of McNabb, and 2 other elementary schools in Hennepin and Granville.  Lots of busing for the students, but it is a great county and school district to bring up your children.  All 3 kids ended up moving back to Putnam Co.  All the grandkids are attending school their.   Remember when you were a kid?  You couldn’t wait to graduate to leave and never come back…..lol….and then you grow up…..Common sense moves in….

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I’ll close this blog with a few more pictures of the “Monster”.   I never get tired of watching it.  As I work games in the County Fair area, I look up and see the Monster all day.   This was another picture taken by Theresa……..Yep….Not for me…

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Nite time….It is such a beautiful site at night……You hear the car flying over the rails…The people screaming at every turn….the lights are dazzling….Music in the distance….If you look close, in the center you will see the cars on the Sky Ride…..It goes from one end of the park to the other at tree top level.  That will help you understand the size of the “Monster”….It travels through the loops of the Monster.  It was purchased from the 1974 Worlds Fair in Spokane Washington.   Amazing isn’t it.   Many of these rides have such a wonderful history.

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This is another cool picture……The Storm Search looking through the loop of the Monster.  The Storm Search was added in 2014.   So only 3 weeks left of the park being open 7 days a week.  After the 3rd week in August, it will open only weekends……

Whewwww……Were going to make it after all…..I had my doubts for awhile……