The Lope

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Goodbye Laurel Kane



Laurel Kane, Route 66 personality, informal tourism ambassador and curator of Afton Station in Afton, Oklahoma, died January 28 from the consequences of a fall. She was a fan of this blog and had her own quite amusing one. She paid me the complement of asking advice on photography questions a couple times.

Laurel ran Afton Station, an old DX station, as a visitor center and museum which displayed a number of artifacts from Buffalo Ranch, a bygone attraction of Route 66 and a favorite of my brother's and mine when we were kids.

In addition, her ex-husband has a Packard museum at Afton Station. Plans are for Afton Station to stay open.

Read more at Route 66 News and Red Fork Hippie.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

No more Hooker Service



Two things I learned or had reinforced today:

 1. Shoot that picture now, even under bad conditions, because stuff happens.

 2. Don't Google "Hooker Service."

The Route 66 structure at 231 W 7th in Joplin, which housed the defunct Roma Restaurant and a Chinese place before that, was demolished January 18, 2016, to make a parking lot. I didn't know that was coming but I shot the place on the 10th of this month so I have it for my records.

I say "demolished" but what I'm thinking is "put out of our misery," for the building was once a beautiful garage called Hooker Service before its (1980s, I think) makeover into faux Chinese fast food architecture and later revamping to make it look sort of Italian.

Thursday, January 07, 2016

President Bill Clinton at Pittsburg State University, November 23, 2015













Thursday, December 31, 2015

Star Trek U.S.S. Enterprise, 1981, Smithsonian Air and Space Museum



In light of the present restoration and planned re-exhibit of the eleven-foot studio filming model of Star Trek's U.S.S. Enterprise at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in 2016, I thought it time to share these scans of Ektachrome slides I shot of the model in the Summer of 1981.




This largest (about eleven feet) and main studio model of  the Enterprise was built in December of 1964, so is already 51 years old. A few years after the show wrapped, the model was donated to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in 1973 and went on display in 1974 after restoration, the major parts of which involved replacing the engine nacelle domes and deflector dish which had been lost.




Aside from the pre-display 1974 restoration, the model has been restored twice since these photos were taken, once in 1984 and again in 1991-92. The later restoration stirred much controversy, part of which stems from lines being inscribed on the formerly smooth underside of the saucer.




The top of the saucer has had the least restoration and is the closest to the appearance of the model when Star Trek was filmed. Even while the series was in production, alterations were made, the most noticeable being the domed bridge which was taller in the first pilot, "The Cage." The engine nacelle domes were also different, having once had spikes on them. This is a view with flash.




This is the same view as above, but without flash.




Only the starboard (right) side of the model was used for filming. The wiring that ran to the model's interior illumination protruded from the port side of the model and was taped down for exhibit purposes at the Smithsonian, as seen here. This slide (no flash) was very dark and has been lightened significantly here. The red is from reflected ambient light sources.





Flash was used in this shot. When I assembled my AMT model Enterprise in about 1973, I'd have loved to have access to photos like these.

There's an excellent accounting of the history of the model at Memory Alpha.

Friday, December 25, 2015

The Celtic Tenors - "O Holy Night"

Merry Christmas, all!





The Celtic Tenors and Kansas City's historic Folly Theater allowed me to record one Christmas song from my seat in the third row during the trio's December 12 show in order that I might have something special to present on The Lope on Christmas Day. I picked "O Holy Night." Thanks to James Nelson of the Celtic Tenors and Brittney McGinley of the Folly for clearing this.




Incidentally, "the Celtic Tenors Christmas" CD is right up there with Johnny Mathis' "Merry Christmas" album. (PR pic)




Christmas maven Patsy Terrell of Hutchinson, KS, poses with the trio.

See also Celtic Tenors Return to Kansas and Celtic Tenors perform Danny Boy.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Leon, Kansas, Christmas Lights, 2014 (probably 2015 too)



To motorists along Kansas hwy 400, the small town of Leon (pop 691) is where you slow to 50 mph or risk a ticket from the near-omnipresent cop car that awaits. Last Christmas season I decided to turn north on to their Main Street and was rewarded with a neat little downtown Yuletide scene.




Lights on agricultural equipment are not that unusual.




But the tree in the middle of the intersection, surrounded by hay bales and the town's only traffic light for a topper was pretty cool. There's also a star on the grain elevator in the distance.




A closer look at that tree topper is in order. The town of Scammon, KS, also has a tree in an intersection but does not position it with a traffic light topper.




Decorated hay bales lean against the front of the State Bank of Leon.




I'm not generally a fan of the cross as a Christmas decoration. It seems the wrong season and it's kind of skipping to the end of the book, but I did like the texture of the stone wall with jagged wood beams protruding.




The mass-produced municipal plastic lantern was a good touch. This is the same model used in Joplin, MO, but with different colors.

See Also:

Perennial Christmas Lights of Wichita, Kansas

Hutchinson, KS, Christmas Lights and Sights, 2015

Pittsburg, KS, Christmas Lights, 2015

Joplin, MO, Christmas Lights and Events, 2015

Christmas Lights of Webb City, Missouri - updated for 2015

Oronogo, MO, Christmas Lights, 2015

Carthage, MO, Christmas Lights, 2015

Perennial Christmas Lights of Wichita, Kansas


Lights on Texas St. (read below)

This not a 2015 guide, but all the sites listed here have very similar - in some cases identical - displays this year.



The huge Santa face with a waving Coleman lantern has been affixed to the Coleman plant during the Christmas season for many years. If anyone knows how long, exactly, please comment. It can best be seen best from I-135 northbound lanes or North Hydraulic, just south of E 37th St North.




This one changes every year, but is always cool. Dreux Schwaiger, 9912 W 18th St., creates a different transportation-themed display every Christmas season for the front yard of his house. In 2014 Santa had a helicopter with rotating blades.



This year he built Santa a flying saucer; it lights up but I was there in the wee hours of the morning. I'll try to go back and do it justice.




The giant Salvation Army kettle is a perennial decoration downtown on the north side of hwy 400/Kellogg.




Nearby are often some animated frame lights.




As far as neighborhoods, the "Candy Cane Lane" on Azure Circle and a and part of nearby N Cedar Park St is unbeatable. See the 2014 video above. I understand it's much the same in 2015.




The Grossman Family, Alan, Linda and son Mathew, pays homage to the film "A Christmas Story" with scenes from the movie on their lawn at 818 N Cedar Park St. If someone can confirm this display is still going in 2015, please comment.







A tour bus passes as "Flick" gets his tongue stuck on a pole.




Just down the street, a biblical scene plays out.








The folks who used to have this display on Lawrence Court have moved to 11603 W. Texas and put up the same fabulous display. The Lawrence Ct. location is shown above and below.



See Also:

Hutchinson, KS, Christmas Lights and Sights, 2015

Pittsburg, KS, Christmas Lights, 2015

Joplin, MO, Christmas Lights and Events, 2015

Christmas Lights of Webb City, Missouri - updated for 2015

Oronogo, MO, Christmas Lights, 2015

Carthage, MO, Christmas Lights, 2015

Monday, December 21, 2015

Oronogo, MO, Christmas Lights, 2015



Just outside Oronogo, Missouri, near the NW corner of Ivy Road and County Road 215, this house feels at once warm, yet isolated.




1790 Webbwood Drive has a locally well-known computerized light and music display.




The cool thing about this one is that you can vote for the next song from a menu by going to mfdc.miip.mobi on a mobile device.




This was the first place I saw a leg lamp used. They still use it.




This is the approach from the north.




This shot is from 2011, when the display honored victims of the Joplin tornado.

See Also:

Joplin, MO, Christmas Lights and Events, 2015

Christmas Lights of Webb City, Missouri - updated for 2015

Carthage, MO, Christmas Lights, 2015

Pittsburg, KS, Christmas Lights, 2015

Perennial Christmas Lights of Wichita, Kansas

Hutchinson, KS, Christmas Lights and Sights, 2015

Pittsburg, KS, Christmas Lights, 2015



Pittsburg has a luminaria on Christmas Eve along S. Olive St and Winwood Drive. It is scheduled to start at 6 p.m.




Many houses in this area are cleverly decorated.




A couple houses in 2014 had these zig-zags on the lawn. In 2014 three or four houses in the SW quadrant of the city had these. I'm informed it used to be more of a unified theme neighborhood.




"Welcome to Pittsburg" reads the banner outside Harry's Café on Broadway as a car pulls up.




I really like these over-the-street decorations and the resulting tunnel effect.




This was 2014. This year they've added illuminated clappers to the bells.




The front of the Hotel Stilwell looks fine with a wreath below the balcony where Susan B. Anthony, Theodore Roosevelt and William Jennings Bryan have all addressed the public.

See Also:

Joplin, MO, Christmas Lights and Events, 2015

Christmas Lights of Webb City, Missouri - updated for 2015

Oronogo, MO, Christmas Lights, 2015

Carthage, MO, Christmas Lights, 2015

Perennial Christmas Lights of Wichita, Kansas

Hutchinson, KS, Christmas Lights and Sights, 2015

St Paul Lutheran Church Christmas Display, Haven, KS



I shot this before dawn on the morning of December 23, 2014. The church displays the same scene this year (2015).