Thursday Doors… COOL!

I guess this is a “re-purposed” door, now serving as :

a) a billboard?

b) an advertising “hook”?

c) a public notice?

d) a cheap way to limit pedestrian traffic?


Thursday Doors is a weekly challenge for door-enlightened souls (even the cool and icy) in search of group-inclusiveness. It is the blog-child of Norm 2.0. Want to see more doors from around the globe? Go to his site HERE and click on the blue-rectangle-encased-frog…

Another case of… Water-Dooring!!

It is Thursday, and I am actually going to post my Thursday Doors on a Thursday this week! Awesome, right?!

The Background…. We launched The Mrs’s pontoon boat this week! I had to buy a new battery for it first, but everything else was ready to go (for the most part). So we took a nice putt-putt around our end of the lake, into a couple coves, and I snapped a few pictures of doors that are only visible from the water. Hence, Water-Dooring!

Log Boat Cabin – It’s a Two-fer!!


Cute, but has seen Better Days….
The Blue Heron House… See the visiting Goose (from Canada no less)?
A 4-fer?? or Quad-fer????

My Hilu ended up in the rip rap at this house the time I fell off and the Hilu sailed away all by herself…

We decided the white gourd thingies are also Purple Martin Houses…
These don’t count as doors, I assume…

Thursday Doors is a weekly challenge for door-enlightened souls (even if we are water-logged) in search of group-inclusiveness. It is the blog-child of Norm 2.0. Want to see more doors from around the globe? Go to his site HERE and click on the blue-rectangle-encased-frog…

ROUND??? Yes, really…!!!

It is ALL Tanja’s fault. Tanja blogs about her travels @ “the Red Phone Box Travels” .   In one of her posts, she asked if anyone would be interested in doing a Post Card Exchange. Like with REAL post cards. That require handwriting on and actually putting a real postage stamp on, and actually either putting them in a post box or dropping them off at a Post Office. I said I was interested immediately… I mean, how cool is that?  When I was a boy (as opposed to a chicken? or a goat? Oh wait, I would have been just a kid then….) Any way, as I was saying, when I was just a wee lad in grade school, I had a pen pal in South Korea. Then when I was in high school, I had a couple pen pals in Germany and Austria who I would write back and forth to in German, and they would write to me in English. So we could improve our foreign language skills. I loved having pen pals!

So to me, the post card pal is similar, except instead of working on improving language skills, I guess we are working on improving our world traveler skills!

I digressed…. So, I now have 4 Post Card Pals. 1 in the USA, 1 in Croatia, 1 in the UK, and 1 in New Zealand!!! And today I wrote them all my first post card, and headed out to the post office to purchase the appropriate postage and SEND THEM AROUND THE WORLD!!! 3 of my 4 required International postage of only $1.20. And it requires a SPECIAL stamp. and the SPECIAL stamp is…. like, WOW…. ROUND! A round stamp! I have never seen a round stamp! How can they even MAKE a round stamp? (okay, just kidding about that…) I commented to the Postal Dude, Dennis, about the uniqueness of the round stamp. He said, as far as he was aware, this was the first round US postage stamp… wow…

round stamp

OOOPS… Tanja, SPOILERS! I had wanted the round stamp to be as much a surprise for you as me…. Na schön.

So, what it comes down to, is if Tanja hadn’t started her Post Card Exchange, and if I hadn’t been so excited about it, and if I hadn’t followed through with my post card sending today, I probably would have never ever seen a round US postage stamp in my entire life. Glorious Serendipity!!!

Thursday Doors – Chatham Railway Station

Yikes…! It’s Saturday already, not Thursday? Blame it on retired-timekeeping…

This week I am featuring the doors of the old Railway Station located in Chatham, Illinois. Railroad construction and travel were becoming quite significant in the state of Illinois by the mid-19th century. Roads were dirt and became impassably muddy ruts during the rainy seasons of Spring and Autumn. Railroads provided reliable passage all year long. The original station was built in 1852 a short distance from the current station house, and the first passenger train passed through Chatham on September 9, 1852. The route was from Springfield to Alton. The original station house burned down in 1902, and the current one quickly went up that same year. This rail-line would eventually carry passengers and freight trains from Chicago to St. Louis and Kansas City. The station was finally closed in 1972. It was restored to its present condition in 1991. It serves now as the Chatham Railroad Museum.

Street side door
North end of the station and Time Capsule
Time Capsule
West (street) side – 3 doors!
1902 photo of rail-side station

In the early 1900’s, 12 daily passenger trains passed through Chatham, with 2 each direction stopping at this station a day.

Finally, I was able to get a couple pictures of the interior through the windows (the Museum is not open during the week).



Thursday Doors is a weekly challenge for door-enlightened souls (even the railroad loving kind) in search of group-inclusiveness. It is the blog-child of Norm 2.0. Want to see more doors from around the globe? Go to his site HERE and click on the blue-rectangle-encased-frog…

Want more info about the station?

This is a good source: Chatham Railroad History

A Record Dinner

The Mrs & I sat down to a light and healthy dinner about an hour & a half ago (healthy means I had to eat a yucky salad…). Somehow, our conversation turned to the very first record album I ever bought.*  It was what is now known as “a Vinyl”.  A 33 1/3 rpm two sided record by Gene Pitney, featuring the songs “She’s a Heartbreaker” and “Town Without Pity”. I was 13 years old. And for money, I washed the windows of a jewelry store in downtown Sterling, Illinois every Wednesday afternoon after school. I got paid $2! On top of my 25-cent weekly allowance, I was feeling pretty well-to-do for a 13-year-oldster! I saved my earnings for a month to buy the album because I L-O-V-E-D “Heartbreaker”! My Dad found Gene’s voice annoying, so I only played the album when he wasn’t home.


After dinner, I found a whole bunch of Gene’s songs on YouTube and played She’s a Heartbreaker, and Town Without Pity, and 24 Hours From Tulsa. Then I did a search to find out what/where Gene was up to these days. Sadly, I discovered he passed away on April 5, 2006 in Cardiff, Wales after performing at St. David’s Hall. Reportedly, his last song was “Town Without Pity”. He is buried in Somers Center Cemetery in Somers, Connecticut.

A nicely written overview of Gene’s life was in the The Telegraph, dated April 6, 2006:

Sixties star Gene Pitney found dead on hotel bed

by Hugh Davies

The following excerpt is from the article:

“…He walked to the front of the stage to shake the hands of fans and sign their books then strolled the 500 yards to his 7th floor suite at the Hilton hotel, where he lay down fully clothed on his bed to rest. He is believed to have suffered a heart attack…”


*I remember how the topic came up… We had a Michael Bublé cd playing, and one of the songs struck me as sounding very much like Town Without Pity! Ha!

Thursday Doors – Ironic

Last week while taking pictures for TD, I took a picture of the entry door of the first Illinois State Police Headquarters in Springfield, IL (the capital city of Illinois). I then drove about 5 blocks away to take pictures of the entry doors of the current ISP Headquarters. I walked all the way around the building (it covers an entire city block) taking pics of every door I saw. I had just taken my last photo and was going to walk back to my car when a service door for automobile entry opened and a State Trooper came out. In his best command voice, he said, “Is there something I can help you with?!” I grinned at him because I recognized him from my life B4, and when he recognized me we shook hands, hugged, slapped each other on the back and blah, blah, blah-ed… So instead of being dragged into an interrogation room on suspicion of terrorist activity, I got invited in and got to sit and bs for half an hour… Didn’t even have to show my Norm’s Thursday Doors Get-Out-Of-Jail-Free card!!

So this week’s door is a secured delivery entrance door to the “new” Illinois State Police Headquarters. It might surprise you, but a significant number of the employees in the building are sworn officers. With full police powers, authority, and responsibility.  The ironic part of all this is the signage on the door prohibiting firearms!!!


Thursday Doors is a weekly challenge for door-enlightened souls in search of group-inclusiveness. It is the blog-child of Norm 2.0. Want to see more doors from around the globe? Go to his site HERE and click on the blue-rectangle-encased-frog…

Happy Birthday McKinley Morganfield!!!

McKinley was born on April 4th, 1913… or 1914… or maybe 1915. Depends on what your source is: 1913 on his marriage certificate, musician’s union card, and his Social Security card application.  1914 according to the 1920 census list. 1915 if you refer to a 1955 interview in the Chicago Defender and his tombstone. McKinley claimed he was born in Rolling Fork, Mississippi. But he may actually have been born in nearby Jug’s Corner. His mother died shortly after his birth.  His grandmother, Della Grant, not only raised him, but gave him his lifelong nickname, “Muddy”. Waters was tacked on years later after young Muddy began playing his harmonica in public as a teen-ager.

Muddy Waters moved to Chicago, Illinois in 1943, where he changed the sound and the music not only of the Chicago Blues Scene, but world-wide. He is credited with  influencing rock-and-roll, jazz, country&western, r&b, and hip-hop.

Muddy was awarded 6 Grammys, 5 Blues Music Awards, has 4 songs listed in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame, inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, and was featured on a 29 cent US Postage Stamp in 1994.

Muddy passed away in his sleep on April 30, 1983 at his home in Westmont, Illinois. He is buried in Westvale Cemetery in Alsip, Illinois.