Wednesday, February 29, 2012


I love this picture of these Boomtown Diners. The picture was taken in Saint Louis, Oklahoma. The year was 1939. This is another picture worth zooming in on to see all the detail. 

Does anyone else wonder what happened to Roger, aka RTD, aka DADD? He used to post firth thing every morning, and we have not heard from him in a while. I wonder if he issued a comment embargo because of the new word verification. Any ideas?

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Junction Texas

Today's picture was taken at a Diner in Junction, Texas in 1940. I like the picture because it reminds me of the way things looked in the 1960's when I grew up. In particular, the cowboy hats worn by ranchers and cowboys. Much dressier, and not the movie image you have of cowboy hats. They are definitely Stetsons, just not made for movie Stetsons.

Sunday, February 26, 2012


This photograph shows the exterior of the Diner that we showed the interior of yesterday. From the sign, you can see it is the White Crystal Diner. To me, it is sort of sad how today everything looks the same. Strip mall after strip mall with the same old stores that look the same old way. Back in the day, each store, diner, or shop was a unique expression of the owner's personality, interests, or preferences. Hence, life was interesting, as you would never know what you might find. Today we have Walmart, McDonald's, and Starbucks. I really miss the old system of unique owner operated businesses. 

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Old Diner

Welcome to Diner Week here at OPOD. The diner was in Monmoth County, New Jersey. I don't know about you, but I can remember diners like this, and do miss them. While I am sure there are a few of these authentic diners around, sadly, most are gone. The hamburgers were unreal, and the soft drinks from the fountains were better than what we get today.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Oyster Bar

We wrap up Oyster week with this picture. All week we have seen pictures of catching, cleaning, and transporting oysters, and we wrap things up with this picture of an Oyster Bar. The picture was taken around 1900. I love the fancy dresses the women are wearing.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Oyster Barge Skipper

Today's picture was taken in 1911 in Mobile Bay. Pictured is the skipper of an Oyster Barge. This is a great picture. I really like pictures like this of people doing real work.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Oyster Dredgers

Today's picture shows two boys dredging for oysters. The picture was taken in 1911, in Mobile Bay. If you look carefully you can see the rake like cages on the bottom of the poles they are carrying.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Oyster Man

Today's picture is from 1938, and it shows an Oyster Man at the wheel of his boat. I really like pictures like this where you can see details in a person's face. I am sure this would have been an interesting man to sit and talk to.


Happy to report the Lovely Ms. EAM was well enough to be sent home from the hospital yesterday. She is still fighting the Malaria, but had made enough progress they let her go home.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Unloading Oysters

This is one of those pictures worth clicking on to take in all the interesting detail. It is from 1905, and shows an Oyster Barge being unloaded in Baltimore, Maryland. Wow, I like everything about this picture. I like how people dressed nicely, and acted cordially. As I mentioned before, all this "gangsta" dress and talk is disturbing to me. When did we all suddenly want to be thugs?


Have not heard from the lovely Ms. EAM since yesterday, but am still hopeful she will get out of hospital today. In the message yesterday I mentioned that while in the hospital, she had to fight off monkeys trying to get her food, which consisted of a big ball of Ugale. Some messaged me privately and indicated that perhaps the lovely Ms. EAM was hallucinating as a result of the malaria mediation, and that even in a third world hospital surely you would not have to fight with monkeys over your food. Well, here is a picture of the actual monkey in her actual room.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Oyster Boat

Today's picture was taken in 1911 and it shows an oyster boat. The men are using long sticks that have rake/cage like devices on the bottom, so they sort of scoop up the oysters on the bottom. I am not sure what the right term for gathering oysters . . . fishing does not sound right, they really are not "catching" them since they are not moving. So, maybe some one can tell me what the proper terminology is. The picture was taken near Bayou La Batre, Alabama.

Domestic Update:

Would appreciate your prayers for the lovely Ms. EAM. She has been in a hospital in Kitale for the last several days. I don't have the complete story, but a few days ago she got really sick really quickly. Some friends took her to the hospital, and it sounded like some combination of Typhoid Fever and Malaria. They got her on an IV, and I spoke to her briefly yesterday, and she said she was feeling better. The IV rehydrated her, and got the medicine she needed quickly. Now, it sounds like she is really fighting a tough type of Malaria, which did not respond to the first levels of treatment. I was able to talk to her for a few minutes this morning. She is still groggy, but said the medicines appear to be making her better.

In the brief conversation, it made me think about all the things we take for granted over here. She said she was lucky and was able to get a private bed. The norm for hospitals there is two people per twin size bed. Also, the hospital does not stock any supplies. It is the patients responsibility to supply all bandages, needles, medications, and other supplies. Luckily, she has a friend who is taking care of fetching whatever the doctor asks for. Then what is really hard to believe is that at meal time, baboons come through the hospital and take the patients food, which is a plate of plain Ugale. Those who are strong enough, or have friends in the room can chase the baboons off, those who can't lose their Ugale. 

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Oyster Industry

OK, this week we are going to be looking at the Oyster Industry, and we start with this picture from about 1912. It shows a young man, Henry, who works shucking oysters. He works before school, after school, and on the weekend to try and help support his family. This week we will be looking at all types of great pictures of the Oyster business from around 1900.

Now, I am hearing the growing grumbling about the new, harder word verifications for comments. Let me explain the dilemma I face. This blog gets about 10,000 visitors a day. That is big enough that it is the target of a large number of automated spammers. Many of these spammers have large operations targeting blogs with computer generated comments. Many of these comments include links to porn sites, illegal download sites, and nefarious casino and gambling operations. If I allow comments without word verification, a number of these comments would end up polluting the comments section each day. So, we are faced with three choices, none of which are very good.

1) I turn off word verification, but manually review and approve each comment before it appears on the site. I would not be able to review comments during the day, so the blog would have no comments show up during the day, and then they would all show up in the evening when I got home to review and approve them. With this choice, any interaction between you all would be removed, and when you checked the blog during the day, you would not be able to enjoy each others comments.

2) I turn off word verification, and allow comments to be posted without review. Unfortunately, with this option during the day spam messages like the ones described above would show up. Yes, I could delete them in the evening, but they would be there throughout the day. My top priority here is to maintain a family friendly site, so I simply can not consider this choice as it would have inappropriate material show up in the comments during the day. 

3) Choice three is the option we now have . . . comments appear without review, but word verification is required to post.

So, I wish I had a better solution but simply do not see it at this time.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Corn Husking

We wrap up our corn harvest week with this one last picture of a Corn Shucking. I have to admit I have enjoyed looking at all this corn this week. 

I was with some friends this week and the topic of Genetically Modified Corn came up. Of course, most people are against these genetically engineered strains. One guy actually works for one of the huge seed companies, and he said that the world was totally dependent on Genetically Engineered Corn, and if we suddenly had to go back to plain old fashioned corn seed, there would be massive and widespread famine. This is because not only do we eat corn, but the other things we eat (chickens, cows, pigs, etc) eat corn. That we have gone past the point of no return on these seeds. Sort of scary that we have gotten to this point.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Corn Harvest

All these corn shucking pictures this week have me really thinking about the corn dishes I like to eat. I have narrowed it down to my two favorites. I love cornbread. Here is the best cornbread recipe if you would like to try it. Now, as much as I love cornbread, I love grits even more. Here is the secret to making grits. First, use real grits, not quick grits. Make them according to the instructions on the package, but as they are about done, add about two tablespoons of butter and a half cup of cheddar cheese. Throw in some cooked bacon, chopped up, and a Green Chili chopped up. Now let the grits finish cooking and make sure the good stuff is all stirred in. Now pour the hot grits into a casserole dish, and put in the refrigerator. They will sort of solidify when they get cold. Let them sit in the refrigerator about a day, and then get them out, cut them into pieces about three inch square. Then take the squared and put them in the oven under the broiler. Cook them until there is a golden brown crust on the top, and the inside is hot. Now eat. Man, those are good.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


This picture gives us a little more detail on the finer points of corn shucking. It looks like he has a little peg in his hands, and grabs the corn husk between the peg and his thumb. I can see this would be easier if you were going to be doing this all day than using the thumb and the index finger. Perhaps someone who has done this for real could shed a little light on the topic.

Corn Shucks

This is Corn Shucking Week, so you are going to get more pictures like this one. This was taken in 1939 in North Carolina.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Shucking Corn

1939 must have been a bumper year for corn in North Carolina, because I have found lots of great corn shucking photographs, all with big piles of corn. It actually looks like these men are having a good time.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Picking Corn

Today's picture shows sharecroppers picking corn. The picture was taken in 1939 near Orange Country, North Carolina. I do not completely understand those pyramid shaped bundles of stalks you see in Corn fields. Why are the stalks gathered in bundles like that? Is that before or after they take the corn ears off?


Well, over time, the population of Chickie town has diminished, at least when it comes to hens. We are down to about 7 hens, and they are getting older and don't produce the number of eggs that they used to. So, we ordered more baby chickies. We ordered some Black Star chickens, and some Easter Layers. The Black Star lay lots of brown eggs and the eggs are big and beautiful. Also, the Black Star chickens are very tame and friendly. When you go out there, they like to run up and talk to you. The Easter Layers also are friendly and lay lots of big eggs. These chickens lay colored eggs. The eggs are pastel shades of blue, green, pink, aqua and so forth. So, we should have a nice mix of eggs and chickens soon.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Corn Shucking

Today's picture shows corn shucking time in North Carolina. The picture was taken in 1939 near Stem in Granville county. This picture was taken on a sharecroppers farm. Corn Shucking was a time of great celebration, and was usually accompanied by dances, feasts, and other festive get togethers. This tradition went all the way back to slavery, when the time slaves were allowed time for rest and celebration.

Friday, February 10, 2012


We wrap up Domestic Activities Week with this picture. The photo is from 1904, and it shows a woman napping at her table at the end of a busy day. Hope you all have a wonderful weekend, and get plenty of rest.

Thursday, February 9, 2012


Today's picture shows a woman shopping for groceries in the 1920's. Back when we shopped like this do you think we really dreamed of Super Walmarts? I think not. I really hate the huge super stores. The zombie-employees walking around the store are unhelpful. Its like you ask them a question, and they roll their eyes like you are inconveniencing them to be in the store. One day someone will figure out that customer service matters. Hire people who care, pay them fairly, train them, and then hold them accountable.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Doing Dishes

Domestic Activity Week continues here at OPOD with this picture of a woman doing dishes with her daughter. The picture was taken in 1942. Now most of us have dish washers, but sometimes I wonder how much time they save, given that some people think you need to pretty much wash the dishes before putting them in the dishwasher, and then of course the hassle of emptying it. I have noticed that women get mad if you put your plate in the sink instead of putting it in the dishwasher. They also get mad if you put it in the dishwasher if the dishwasher has clean dishes, even if you partition your dirty dishes to one segment of the machine. So, it appears that we men are often left in a no-win situation. Put it in the sink, get in trouble, put it in the dishwasher, get in trouble. The only solution I have found so far is to put the dirty dish in the very bottom of the trash can, and hope no one sees it.

Now Mrs. PJM is a dish washing machine. It doesn't matter where, it doesn't matter when, if there are dirty dishes around, she is going to find them and clean them. Case in point . . . this is a village in a remote area of Eastern Africa. We were not there 5 minutes and and Mrs. PJM found some dishes to do. 

Monday, February 6, 2012

Churning Butter

Domestic Activities Week continues here at OPOD with this picture of a woman churning butter. The picture was taken in 1897. Love the little kitten trying to get anything that splashes up. Now for the question . . . have any of you churned butter before? I have never used a butter churn, but you can buy whole cream in the grocery store. If you get some and shake the carton real good butter will start forming. At first it is like little flakes of butter falling out of the cream, but as you continue to shake, it starts forming a glob. I never got beyond pulling the glob out and showing I had made butter. I am not sure what you do with the liquid you have left after turning the cream into butter.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Washing Clothes

Domestic Activities week continues with this photograph of two girls washing clothes in wash tubs. I can not tell for sure, but it looks like they might not even have a wash board. The picture was taken in 1916 and the girls are 12 and 13 years old. The photo was taken in Nicholas County, Kentucky.

It is interesting, that in many parts of the world, laundry is still done this way. The lovely Ms. EAM has a girl that comes by twice a week to wash her laundry by hand. I felt bad seeing a young lady have to work like this, but Ms. EAM explained that the girl really needed the work to survive. Ms. EAM pays her generously by the local standards, and serves her a nice breakfast each day she comes by. Still, it is hard to imagine an area where labor is so cheap that no one would ever even consider purchasing a washing machine, because you could pay a person much cheaper than what a machine would cost to purchase and operate.

When you look at conditions like this, I continue to sit and scratch my head and try to figure out . . . how can we make things better in Africa? 

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Domestic Activities

Those of you hoping that "Cat Week" would follow "Dog Week" are going to be sorely disappointed. This is going to be Domestic Activities week. We will look at the toil of women over the years. We start with this picture from 1908 of a woman ironing. Actually, this was an advertisement for GE electric iron, which was a big improvement over the ones you heated on the cook stove.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Dogs Motoring

OK, I know I have used this picture before, but it is one of my all time favorite photos, so will use it again today. It shows a picture of a dog going for a ride in a car in 1910. It is funny to me how much dogs like to go in the car. I guess it has always been that way.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Native Americans with Dog

Today's picture shows some Native Americans, traveling with a dog. The picture was taken in 1908 I wonder at what point Native Americans kept dogs . . . does this go way back, or were dogs, like horses, introduced by the Spaniards.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Dogs Watching Over Woman

Today's picture was taken in 1903 and it shows three dogs watching over an ill woman. This is another pretty obvious staged scene from this era. I am not sure what point that they are trying to convey . . . maybe that dogs are loyal companions?