Beltline Motel

Wednesday, September 28, 2016 0 No tags Permalink 0

Vintage Postcard – Beltline Motel – Grand Rapids

Beltline Motel

BELTLINE MOTEL INC.
171 28th Street S.E., Grand Rapids 8, Mich.
85 Modern Units on the South Beltline
Electric Heated – Ceramic Tile Baths – Indoor Pool – Finnish Sauna.
Next to the Comet Restaurant
Close to Downtown. Telephone Area 616-241-0151
Roy and Dorothy Gackler

Pub. by Leon Foster, 221 M. Fifth St., Blanchard, Mich.
Made by Dexter Press, Inc. West Nyack, New York
94294-B

This lovely vintage postcard is unused.

Roy Gackler and Dorothy Geib did not start out in the hotel business:

Gackler

Roy died in 1991 and Dorothy in 1995. They are buried at Lakeside Cemetery in Caledonia, MI.

For a little bit of recent history starting in the summer of 2012, follow this train on mlive. Reporter Matt Vande Bunte wrote “A 28th Street inn described as a hub of drug dealing and prostitution when it was shut down three years ago now might get torn down. Grand Rapids City Commission on Tuesday will be asked to contract for demolition of four buildings that make up the former Landmark Motel, 171 28th St. SE.” The motel was shut down in 2009 (mlive article here notes “the motel was responsible for more than 409 police reports between July 1, 2007, and Sept. 16, 2008 […] the 409 incidents included 33 aggravated assaults, four robberies, four sexual assaults, 21 simple assaults, 30 drug violations, 14 thefts from automobiles and 67 arrests for outstanding warrants, parole, probation and bond violations.” It appears they did add a second story on one of the buildings and the Google Street View image is now as such:

beltlinenow

The other buildings appear to have been torn down. A little digging shows the Beltline Motel – turned Landmark Motel – turned Pleasant Motel was built in 1966 and at one point included 109 rooms in “five buildings – One building is a three story interior corridor building, one building has two stories with outside corridors, the remaining buildings are single story buildings. There is a basement that runs throughout the property including from the main building.”

Like Michigan postcards? Check these out:

Lou Coomes

Sandstone Motel

Lone Pine Motel

The Final Chapter – Summer Reads 2016

Friday, September 23, 2016 0 No tags Permalink 0

Summer Reads 2016 Update

It is now officially autumn and I haven’t done a Summer Reads 2016 Update since Week 9. I finished The Light of the World: A Memoir by Elizabeth Alexander. While it was very good, it was also rather sad and is probably not everyone’s cup of tea. If you are interested in reading it and live in the continental United States, comment on this post and I will snail-mail it to you. I also read the third and final Miss Peregrine book:

Summer Reads 2016 Update

 

It was excellent. Loved the whole series. I do have Honeydew: Stories by Edith Pearlman sitting on my desk to read, and will get to it once I feel like taking a break on crocheting. This is, apparently, the Fall of Shawls for me. I’ve completed two now, and have started on a third.

Summer Reads 2016 list:

A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah

As Close to Us as Breathing: A Novel by Elizabeth Poliner

Hollow City: The Second Novel of Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

The Last Painting of Sara de Vos: A Novel by Dominic Smith

Honeydew: Stories by Edith Pearlman

A Manual for Cleaning Women: Selected Stories by Lucia Berlin

The Light of the World: A Memoir by Elizabeth Alexander

Bettyville: A Memoir by George Hodgman

10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works — A True Story by Dan Harris.

Lake Manor Mobile Home Park

Wednesday, September 14, 2016 0 No tags Permalink 0

Vintage Postcard – Lake Manor Mobile Home Park

lake manor mobile home park

Lake Manor Mobile Home Park
On the Indian River
Jensen Beach, Florida 33457

Joseph Back, 901 Aspen Rd. West Palm Beach, Fla. Phone: 683-1265
R22014

This lovely vintage postcard was mailed using a 15-cent Oliver Wendell Holmes stamp to Mr. & Mrs. Collier, 23 Pecan Dr., New Port Richey, Fla. 33552. It reads:

4-13-80
Dear Folks;
Thank you so much for the nice card. My luck is still holding out won $61.65 last Sat – $15 Thurs at Legion. Missed at Rio tho – Not ahead but it sure helps. See you both soon Safe trip God go with you Love Lillian

If you’re looking for a perfect little winter home, you’re in luck – the Lake Manor Mobile Home Park still stands, and they even have some places for sale and for rent. It’s on the intercoastal and it has its own pier. It looks like the majority of the places were dropped on their lots in the early 1970s. The community is 55+, which is a bonus if you enjoy eating dinner at 4:00pm. Here it is today, courtesy of Google Street View:

lakemanortoday

Honestly, it’s a nice looking little place. Here’s the street view with the park on the right and the pier on the left:

lakemanor2

Palm trees, blue skies, right across from the water. Very nice! The Treasure Coast area is interesting, with more than 100 mobile home parks along the intercoastal. The county has specifications on affordable housing, and those horrible ginormous-condo-developers haven’t seemed to move into the area — yet.

Summer of SUP

Tuesday, September 13, 2016 0 No tags Permalink 0

Stand Up Paddleboarding 2016

Summer 2016 was the summer of stand up paddleboarding. July 22 was the first day out and I only managed about 15 minutes, half of which was sitting in the water. Since that day, I have been out on three lakes, sometimes with friends.

Here is Lake Orion, with my cousin Angie, on July 30. Notice the rain? We came off the lake when it started to thunder.

sup1

Bob and I went to Jackson Hole Lake in Fort Custer.

sup4

Kirsten rented us paddleboards in South Haven and we did a very short stint on Lake Michigan before the storm rolled in. We even managed to get Mom out for a little sitting down.

sup3

I’ve been out 25 times total since July 22. Mostly I go to Goguac Lake mid-morning. Some days it’s sunny.

sup5

Some days I’m the only one on the whole lake.

sup6

Some days, the lake is calm like glass, and I can paddle nearly three miles in an hour.

sup7

Being out on the lake is like magic. Even when it’s too windy or there are too many jet skiers, I can drop anchor and just sit and watch the waves for a little.

sup9

This summer, I really feel like I reached out and grabbed life. SUP is great fun, and not bad exercise. It’s good alone, and even better with friends. If you think you don’t have balance, you can still SUP. After your first half hour or so, it’s really hard to fall off the board. I hope to continue through October 31 at least, when Willard Beach closes for the season.

sup8

It will probably take me until spring to get all of the sand out of my car.

sup2

If you’re looking to get into SUP, you should. If you want to get into it on a regular basis and are looking for equipment, here are some of my favorite things:

Ten Toes – The Weekender inflatable SUP
The Weekender fits in my Subaru Outback (it rides shotgun). It comes in a kit that includes everything you need to get started – a paddle, a pump, fins and a repair kit. If you order from the company instead of Amazon.com it’s free shipping and no taxes. I also got their backpack to put everything in and a leash. If you’re a beginner, you should always wear a leash so your board doesn’t get away from you. In the State of Michigan, you’re also required to wear a life vest.

Airhead SUP Anchor
Sometimes you want to take a break. Maybe you want to start out each session with a little meditation or relax a little at the end. Maybe you want to do yoga. To stop yourself from floating away, get this anchor.

O’Neill Superfreak Booties
Lakes can be full of nasty surprises. Often I see beer cans, fishing hooks, rusty pieces of metal, rotten dock posts. You should probably wear shoes, but you still want to feel your board. And in the summer, regular wetsuit booties can get too hot (I am suspecting I will enjoy using them in October, though). These O’Neill booties will let water in and drain it out again, and will help you stand on your board. You can get these on Amazon.com.

Rash Guards
You need UV protection. You need a hat, long sleeves and sunblock on your exposed parts. Rash guards, which are rated UV-50+ can be really expensive but totally worth it. You know who has cheap, well made rash guards that seem to fit normally? Land’s End. They often have some of them on sale as well. Also, when yours gets super-funky from the lake water? Soak in hot water and OxyClean for a few hours. Totally de-funks them.

Other Items
I have a cheap waterproof bag that holds my wallet, car keys and sunblock. I also have a waterproof case for my iPhone. Both are easily available for cheap on Amazon.com. I always have a couple of towels in the car – one to dry off the board and one to sit on. This summer I generally went out in a swimsuit with a rash guard and board shorts over it, but I’ve also gone out in yoga capris and a t-shirt. If you’re out for a long time, a bottle of water is nice to have, too.

Skiing is Fun

Tuesday, August 2, 2016 0 No tags Permalink 0

Vintage Postcard – Skiing is Fun

Skiing is Fun

Skiing is Fun in the Florida Sun

FK-13 –General Florida Scene from Kodachrome by Florida Cypress Gardens
Curteichcolor Reproductions from Kodachrome Original
9B-K48

This lovely vintage card is a gift from my friend Sandra’s family collection. Although it is not dated or postally used, the Curteichcolor dating has it produced in 1949. As you know, Cypress Gardens closed in 2009. Love those swim suits!

YouTube has a 1968 version of the show, which I’m including for your viewing pleasure:

Barefoot Skiing

Wednesday, July 27, 2016 0 No tags Permalink 0

Vintage Postcard – Barefoot Skiing at Cypress Gardens

Barefoot Skiing

Barefoot Skiing at Cypress Gardens
Dick Pope Jr., Men’s World Water Ski Champion, barefoot skiing at Cypress Gardens. This is a trick originated by this famous youngster. Barefoot skiing is part of the several daily water ski shows at Cypress Gardens.

Curteichcolor Reproduction from KodaChrome Original
IC-K208

This lovely vintage card is a gift from my friend Sandra’s family collection. Although this card isn’t dated or postally used, the Curteichcolor dating system places its production in 1951. From Wikipedia:

Richard Downing Pope Jr. (December 12, 1930 – November 8, 2007), better known as Dick Pope Jr., was a World Champion water skier and an important business leader in Central Florida. Pope was an important innovator in the sport of water skiing, including the development of barefoot skiing in 1947. He is the son of Dick Pope Sr., the founder of Cypress Gardens theme park.

Cypress Gardens closed in 2009.

2016 Summer Reads Week 9

2016 Summer Reads Week 9 Update

The past few days have been hot, hot, hot! I finished the second book in the series fo Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children, Hollow City. It was just as good as the first. And, on thinking on it, I’ve determined that the writing and the way the tale unfolds sort of reminds me of the My Father’s Dragon books by Ruth Stiles Gannett. I will be getting the third in the series, but probably won’t start it until after summer.

hollowcity

I’ve been working on another project as well.

iSUP

You may remember that I did an ill-fated land paddling thing summer of 2014. This new project is safer, if you don’t count drowning. I am wearing a life vest and a leash, and sticking to the shallows. I looked back on my notes from the land-attempt and found this “First, the balance thing. Try standing on one foot for more than sixty seconds. You might not enjoy it. Your foot might hurt. And your knee. And your shin. And your calf. At first, I could only do ten minutes and it was agony.” Um, yeah. Same thing on the water, although my first attempt was 15 minutes and involved suddenly sitting down on the lake bottom twice (I was only in up to my knees, so it was no big deal). Last time around I was getting better by the fourth time I did it. Loving it by the 11th. And unfortunately the whole thing finished up on #13.

Anyhow, I am reaching out and grabbing a firm hold on summer. Hope you are, too.

Summer Reads 2016 list:

A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah

As Close to Us as Breathing: A Novel by Elizabeth Poliner

Hollow City: The Second Novel of Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

The Last Painting of Sara de Vos: A Novel by Dominic Smith

Honeydew: Stories by Edith Pearlman

A Manual for Cleaning Women: Selected Stories by Lucia Berlin

The Light of the World: A Memoir by Elizabeth Alexander

Bettyville: A Memoir by George Hodgman

10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works — A True Story by Dan Harris.

Like Summer Reads? More here:

2016 Week Eight Update

2016 Week Five Update

2016 Week Four Update

2016 Week One Update

2015 Summer Reads Introduction

2014 Summer Reads Introduction

2016 Summer Reads Week 8

Friday, July 22, 2016 0 No tags Permalink 0

2016 Summer Reads Week 8 Update

summerreads2016

Holy cats, we are already on 2016 Summer Reads Week 8. Past the Fourth of July and into the dog days of summer. I was off work for a week (use it or lose it vacation time), and got a lot of reading done in addition to making pickles from the garden and other assorted projects.

2016 Summer Reads Week 6

As I mentioned in the last post, I went off-list and read 10% Happier by Dan Harris. It was a fantastic read. His story is interesting, and he makes the thought of regular meditation more reachable. He cites recent studies that show how regular meditation can change the brain and yield not only happiness but also health. Often, introductions to meditation make it seem too new-age or that it’s just as easy as sitting down and doing it. Dan Harris makes it seem possible in a real way. Loved this book, and am interested in reading his new book, too. Sending this one on to my sister, along with a previous read. Because 10 percent greater health and happiness? Of course I want to share it with her.

2016 Summer Reads Week 6

Next up on the reading list was the latest Dominic Smith book, The Last Painting of Sara De Vos. It is split between three timeframes – the 1600s when Sara De Vos was alive, the 1950s when Ellie Shipley was in her 20s and forged a painting, and in the year 2000, when everything comes home to roost. Now, you know I love when an author can really suck you in with words. Sometimes, you read and something conveys a point or an idea. Sometimes, you read and you are fully immersed in the author’s mind. Dominic Smith’s writing is like that: “Q is roughly Ellie’s age but of another time — a man of pressed handkerchiefs and pomade who smells of wood glue. He wears a navy dustcoat with his monogrammed initials above a pocket crammed with mechanical pencils.” And “It’s only a little after four but already nearing dusk. A heavy bank of clouds has formed in the west. Through the trees, Ellie watches as a sunburst streaks through and turns the harbor from slate to sapphire and back again.” Love it. Love. The story is interesting and the book is good. Well worth the read, and I think my Mom will like it, too.

Next up is the second in the Miss Peregrine books, Hollow City.

Summer Reads 2016 list:

A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah

As Close to Us as Breathing: A Novel by Elizabeth Poliner

Hollow City: The Second Novel of Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

The Last Painting of Sara de Vos: A Novel by Dominic Smith

Honeydew: Stories by Edith Pearlman

A Manual for Cleaning Women: Selected Stories by Lucia Berlin

The Light of the World: A Memoir by Elizabeth Alexander

Bettyville: A Memoir by George Hodgman

Added in Progress:

10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works — A True Story by Dan Harris.

Like Summer Reads? More here:

2016 Week Five Update

2016 Week Four Update

2016 Week One Update

2015 Summer Reads Introduction

2014 Summer Reads Introduction

Clearwater Causeway Sunset

Wednesday, July 13, 2016 0 No tags Permalink 0

Vintage Postcard – Clearwater Causeway Sunset

clearwater causeway sunset

One of Florida’s most spectacular sights — a sunset over Clearwater Bay. The light of Memorial Causeway leads from the mainland over the bay to Clearwater Beach in the distance.

Color photo by Ward Beckett – Clearwater, FLA.
C-3

This gorgeous vintage postcard is unused.

Holy cats, it’s another week of hot, hot, hot temperatures here in Michigan! I don’t recall a summer as dry as this. Honestly, though, I love it. I have some plans to reach out and snag a bit of the summer while it’s still here…stay tuned!

I’m loving this vintage postcard. In fact, wouldn’t it be nice to have it blown up to cover a wall in your bedroom? Awww yisss.

Love the Clearwater Causeway? Check these out:

Twilight on the Causeway

Daytime on the Causeway

Clearwater Beach

Clearwater Causeway Twilight

Thursday, July 7, 2016 0 No tags Permalink 0

Vintage Postcard – Clearwater Causeway Twilight

clearwater causeway twilight

Clearwater Beach at Twilight. Memorial Causeway, curving into this picture from the lower left corner, leads from the mainland across Clearwater Bay to one of Florida’s finest Gulf of Mexico beaches and vacation centers.
Photographed from  Horizon House by Ward Beckett.

Color Card by Ward Beckett, Clearwater, FLA.
C-22a

This gorgeous vintage card is unused.

It’s so humid and hot, I thought we could maybe use a cool ocean breeze. As you know, I’m a big fan of the Clearwater Memorial Causeway, and this card is no exception.

FYI, Horizon House, the place where this card image was taken, is located at 31 Island Way on Island Estates in Clearwater Florida. It was built in 1962.

Like the Clearwater area? More here:

Clearwater Causeway

Clearwater Beach

Sandalwood Motel