Trying to think of an image for this week's Sepia Saturday had me stumped. I'm sure I've got some bridge photos around here that I haven't shown before, but putting my finger on them was the problem. Instead I started thinking bridges, trains, and ships.

I give you some very old and blurred photos of the launching of the tanker ship Caltex Rotterdam taken by Donald G. Schnabel. It looks to have been a rather overcast dreary day. I'm sure Donald was there because he worked in the oil industry.

The ship was built in the Netherlands in 1956. I don't know what year it was launched, but Donald took a trip to Bahrain in 1957 and visited the BAPCO office. If you look at the first shot you'll see a logo of a red star in a circular field of white. You'll see the same logo in the shot taken outside the BAPCO office in Bahrain.

In October of 1975 the Caltex Rotterdam was dragged to Masan, South Korea. On December 12, 1975 demolition of the vessel was begun.

And here's a video a fellow made of old movies aboard Caltex tankers. WARNING: You might need to take dramamine before watching it.

If watching this you start thinking, "Geez, look at the waves coming over the deck! How low is this thing?" Take a look at this photo found here showing the Caltex Rotterdam loaded and sailing.

Now, if you really want to see a bridge after all of this click here to take a look at my July 22, 2011 post about the building of the Glen Canyon Bridge in Arizona. It was my Sepia Saturday post so long ago.



How fortuitous that Google reminded me that today, July 21st, is Marshall McLuhan's 106th birthday. I had forgotten about him. And then seeing this week's prompt on Sepia Saturday I was convinced it was a sure sign I was supposed to remember studying The Medium is the Massage my senior year in high school. I imagine somewhere in this house is an essay I wrote about the book or the "massage." I'd like to think that I "got it" back then and that I wrote some youthful words of wisdom. 

The message of McLuhan was not simple to grasp back then, but it sure is now. We are being inundated, massaged, by various mediums. As I watched a stupid woman staring at her cell phone walk out in front of me in the Target parking lot today I thought that maybe in honor of McLuhan I should just tap her with the bumper. I don't think she ever did notice me in my 3000 lbs of metal and glass.

We are consumers who are consumed by and with technology. The technology is almost impossible to keep up with, especially financially. Out with the old, in with the new. I'm actually not one of those types of consumer. I'm not interested in the latest and the greatest and what it purports to do for me. My toaster is from 1945 and it works just fine thank you very much. My computer is from 2010. But ay, there's the rub. I'm writing this on a computer to people I don't know and will probably never meet. I am part of the global village McLuhan spoke about. Doesn't make any difference if my toaster is from the time of World War II, my current reality is clearly part of today's medium.

All of this is to bring me around to this week's prompt which is of a family watching tv...on a yacht. Okay, I don't have anything that matches that and I'm betting few people do. But I do have people with the ubiquitous television. It was the television that for me McLuhan was talking about in the late '60s. TV was important. I watched Lee Harvey Oswald get shot one Sunday morning on television. I watched a South Vietnamese officer shoot a Viet Cong in the head on television. I watched Mick Jagger smirk on Ed Sullivan when he knew he'd run afoul of the censors. And what had been on tv was always the topic of discussion the next day at school. But who would have really imagined how totally consumed our lives would be by all of this? Doesn't make any difference if you watch NBC or HBO. You could avoid tv completely and still you're going to be aware of what is going on. The net will make sure of that and now to a lesser extent newspapers/magazines. It's hard to get away from it. The massaging of the message is always there.

So this little girl is staring at us while her younger sister is drawn to what is going on behind her on the tv. One is interacting with another human while the other is more interested in the message from behind.

And here we have the information furniture. Turn it on and a world comes to you.

You have to remember to edit what you hear and see, but I'm afraid that these days people have become too lazy to do much more than simply turn on their 75", 4k, 3x HDMI, Smart TV and absorb. Analytical thought has become suspicious and we're all the less wise because of that.

All of this is brought to you by the whack on the head I took in the shower yesterday.



I'll let the photos and the Iowa newspaper clippings tell the story. All I know is this man's name was Jim Saunders and he was a salesman for Dr. Bakers products. If you do a google search you'll find a lot of Dr. Bakers so it's hard to discern if the ones in the news clippings below are all about salesmen for the same company.

This is my selection for Sepia Saturday. Though not in sync with this week's prompt, I'm willing to bet there were plenty of sales reps nearby hoping to entice some of the fair attendees to sample their wares.

Either way, enjoy medicine the way it used to be. No insurance required. No cures guaranteed.

Click on images to see them larger.

Algona Courier, Sep. 27,1895

Quad City Times, Oct.11, 1879

Des Moines Register, May 22, 1887

Opinion Tribune, Dec. 10, 1896

Sioux Valley News, Feb. 6. 1902

Sioux Valley News, Sep. 7, 1905

Greene Recorder, April 1, 1908

Greene Recorder, Mar. 22, 1922



it's hot outside! I'm not kidding. It was 111.4 today. Time to find a puddle or a pond to sit in. Just sit. Do nothing. Just sit. Wait for the evening when it drops down to...85. Yup, it's going to be good sleeping tonight.

But it's a dry heat.

Click on images to see them larger.

Just getting into the swim with this week's Sepia Saturday. Someone hand me a cold one. A block of ice would do.


The SERIOUS FAMILIES little dancer

If you've been visiting this place the past few years you will be aware of the Serious Family consisting of a mother and three children. To see the other posts click on the word "serious" in the labels below.

Here I give you the lovely little daughter in some sort of costume. I'm guessing it was for a dance recital, but I'm open to other suggestions.

It was nice finding one of the children again.

Click on image to see it larger.