Sunday, October 28, 2007

A Confused "Uncle Joe"

Yesterday a friend and I went to breakfast at the State Road Country Kitchen Restaurant (see photo) located two miles from downtown La Crosse. While we were eating, an older man who reminded me of Uncle Joe (see photo, courtesy of Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia) from the 1960s TV sitcom “Petticoat Junction” sat down at the table next to us. When the waitress approached him, he held up the menu and said, “What’s going on? Your menu is totally different from the downtown Country Kitchen.”
To which the waitress replied, “I’m sorry but the downtown Country Kitchen closed some time ago and is now occupied by a different restaurant.”
“Well, I like their menu. Just give me a cup of coffee,” responded Uncle Joe in a grumpy tone.
He drank about two sips of his coffee and then left, presumably to head to the downtown restaurant which he thought was a Country Kitchen.
Today while out and about on my bike I snapped a photo of the old downtown Country Kitchen (which closed in April 2006), now known as King Street Kitchen which opened in May 2006. One would think Uncle Joe would have noticed the name/sign change which took place over a year ago. Guess that proves many people do not pay close attention to their everyday surroundings.
Plus I thought it was also odd that Unlce Joe would fret over a breakfast menu since eggs and hash-browns are pretty much the same everywhere. Go figure.

Friday, October 26, 2007

The Old Gage Place Soon To Be Razed

This house at 622 Sumner Street in La Crosse is slated for razing and will soon be a thing of the past, joining a long list of other bygone houses and buildings in the city. This photo shows the house’s original wood lap siding following removal of gray fiber panel siding which had adorned the house in more recent years. The house was located in an industrial section of town and faced a bulk fuel oil yard, hardly an attractive or desirable section of town. Out of curiosity I checked my collection of old city directories to see who lived in the house years ago and discovered that it was home to William and/or Mary Gage and their children from about 1900 to 1950. Using the La Crosse Public Library’s handy obituary index I was able to locate both William’s and Mary’s obits. According to William’s notice in the August 22, 1922, La Crosse Tribune, he died in this house at age 61 following a prolonged illness. He was born in Sauk County, Wisconsin, and settled on La Crosse’s North Side as a young man. He was an engineer in the Davidson Sawmill, was a millwright in the La Crosse Plow Works and also worked as an engineer at the La Crosse Rubber Mills. For many years he was also a fireman in both the volunteer company in North La Crosse and also in the paid department. He is buried in the family lot at the cemetery in Hustler, Wis. Following her husband’s death, Mary continued to live in the house (with some of their five children) until her death there at age 83 on January 28, 1950. Her obituary was very brief and said little about her life, other than that she was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Auxiliary.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Treasure Hunter

While eating lunch in La Crosse's Copeland Park I noticed this guy working over the playground area with a metal detector. I thought that was a little odd because most kids don't carry change and if they do it's usually only pennies or dimes. So is it worth one's time to search for small change on a playground? I don't think so but to each his own. I watched the guy for 30 minutes while eating my lunch and during that time his metal detector only beeped once . . . in some sand near a swing. The guy got down on his hands and knees with a trowel and dug up something small he put in his pocket. Was probably a penny. Yahoo!

Sign Play

I spotted this sign at a mattress store in La Crosse and enjoyed the little guy peeking over the top of the sign. But my first thought was "Shouldn't he be sleeping since the sign notes Quality Sleep?" Plus, the sign gives the impression he is in bed with a sheet or blanket pulled up to his face. So when I got home I used Photoshop to change the eyes on the guy and make it look like he's sleeping. Works for me.