First Light

Dawn - Chatham Harbor

Dawn – Chatham Harbor

Chatham Lighthouse

Chatham Lighthouse

Chatham Harbor is on the east coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, on the elbow where the land turns and extends due north.  This photo is about 20 minutes before sunrise.

Nearby is the Chatham Lighthouse.  Nothing special about it, really, but I was lucky to catch the moon over it.

I love the colors in these two shots.

Thought for the Day:  Lighthouses are more useful than churches.   Ben Franklin


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Clinton, NE

Clinton School

Clinton School

Clinton is another Nebraska town just barely hanging on.  This tiny but still incorporated town of 33 is located on US Highway 20 in Sheridan County in the northwestern part of the sandhills.

There were a few small grain elevators along the highway that looked like the only commercial business in town, but the town was shrouded with hopelessness.  I was too embarrassed for the few remaining residents to take any pictures of their dilapidated homes.

The school must have been a real source of pride at one time, notice the ornate brickwork, but now it’s merely a sidestep for the ceaseless wind that rolls across the prairie.

Thought for the Day:  Never deprive someone of hope, it might be all they have.                                                                                                                          H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

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Benkelman, NE

Dundy County Court House

Dundy County Court House

Benkelman, NE is in the southwest corner of the state, the county seat of Dundy County, and the largest town for miles around.

Benkelman, NE

Benkelman, NE

This was a destination for me on my photo safari to western Nebraska; a college roommate of mine was from here, studying hard to become a doctor.

The County Court House is rather impressive, otherwise, there is not much to see in Benkelman.   I uderstood why my roommate studied so hard.

Thought for the Day:  There is no telling how many miles you will have to run while chasing a dream.    Anonymous

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Friday Night Lights

Merriman HS football field

Merriman HS football field

It’s early October, the middle of the high school football season, and high school stadiums around the state are filled with fans on friday night.

Smaller schools, like those in western Nebraska, may not play in stadiums per se, but on all-purpose fields with movable bleachers that fill up quickly with faithful fans.

The popularity of the sport has outgrown many school budgets for seating, and innovative ways are found to accommodate the crowds, like bring your own lawn chair or sit on top of your car in the outfield.    In the case of Merriman, NE covered VIP seating was created with an old school bus mounted on posts.   Outstanding!

Thought for the Day:  If at first the idea is not absurd, then there will be no hope for it.                                                                                                                                  Albert Einstein

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Hello? Anybody there?

Max, NE

Max, NE

Traveling on US 34 in southwest Nebraska, I came upon this gas station.  I didn’t need gas, but I needed to take this picture.

I had just entered Dundy County from the east, headed for Benkelman, when I found myself in Max, an unincorporated town with no sign of ever being incorporated.

It was mid-morning on a weekday; this station is right on a former major artery of US traffic, prime time for business.  Not open, everything locked, no one around.  Except for the weeds growing around the gas pump, I’d think it was closed temporarily for a family emergency, like a funeral or something.  Nothing looked like it had been used for years; not the gas pump, air hose, pop machines or the 70’s style phone booth.  The structure was a long way from falling in on itself, but you had to wonder why it looked abandoned.  I wondered if I had stumbled on to some Hollywood set of a dry & dusty west-Texas grade-B movie.

Thought for the Day:  Life lived for tomorrow will always be one day away from being realized.   Leo Buscaglia

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Simpler Time

Pre-High Tech

Pre-High Tech

What did we call technological advances before we had the term, “high tech”?  I don’t recall.  I’ve lived long enough to see technological advances change my life in drastic ways. Nothing has ever stayed the same for very long, but time span between advances gets shorter all the time.

When the transistor replaced the vacuum tube, it seemed like it took years before “solid state” became the norm.  I was cool when I got a portable transistor radio for Christmas in the eighth grade, but it wasn’t considered high tech, just cool.  When cassette tapes replaced the bulky 8-tracks, it was revolutionary … but not high tech.

After that, everything became a blur:  remote control TV’s, PC’s, floppy discs, VCR’s, CD’s, DVR’s, DVD’s, hard drives, flash drives, HD, blue-tooth, WiFi, hand-held devices, the Cloud, etc.   Somewhere along the line the term “high tech” was coined.  But, between cool and high-tech, there were repair shops for “Advanced Technology” … or, was that just a simpler time.

Thought for the Day:  Life was so much simpler when Apple and Blackberry were just fruits.   Anonymous


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Cattle Brands

Sandhill Cattle Brands

Sandhill Cattle Brands

Branding cattle is still alive and well in western Nebraska.  Just outside the bank in Merriman, Nebraska, is a large sign that identifies all the brands used in the Nebraska Sand Hills in 1964.  Below each brand is the name of its owner.

I saw many of these brands during my wanderings through Cherry County, usually in the form of a large welded metal sculpture at the ranch’s entrance.  It’s a language all its own.

There weren’t any billboards in Merriman, no gas station signs, blinking neon “vacancy” signs, and no school signs.  No signs at all, really.  No handmade signs offering to take in laundry, no “eggs for sale” signs, and no “Keep Out” painted on an old tire hanging on a fence post.  Apparently, this sign of cattle brands provides everyone in Merriman with all the information they need.

Thought for the Day:  “School Colsed Until Further Notice”   Message on Elementary School Marquee


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