Mostly alone at the office today. I'm starting to think it's a permanent thing.

Ha, kidding. Of course it's a permanent thing. There are days it's really, really depressing. Making the coffee for no one. Walking past rows of empty desks. At least the TVs are on, and there are some people at the editorial hub, but Wednesday is always empty, because everyone did the Tuesday Showup.

Went to the grocery store afterwards, and I swear to God, half the customers were masked. Cloth, mostly. 

It's as if a vote was taken on the way the world was going to be, and people who showed up to the polls had ideas none of us could have ever predicted. Oh right no one goes to the office and we wear masks, good one. How about this, everyone walks on their hands and wears bike helmets at home all the time

Today's subsite that never made it online: it's actually stuff I got a few weeks ago. Books that will never be read again. You can’t throw them away, though. You can give them away, perhaps to a thrift store, and hope they find a good home. You fan the pages so they see light again for the first time in 70 years. You google them and find a few on Etsy or eBay.

Lives and portraits of our favorite authors.


  It was presented to Miss Ellen Gleason on Christmas of 1902, and I’m sure she was polite and thanked the giver.

Quite nice:

I’m a poet and I don’t know it. Longfellow

Gaze, students and lovers of the mother tongue and its melodious practitioners, upon his study, complete with a bust suitable for contemplation. That’s what you do with busts. You look at them, chin in hand, and contemplate.

For the Parlor, in the Cottage:

It’s this. A best seller. The tale of Bessy Conway, an Irish lass who came to America and faced . . . turpitude!

From the introduction:

IT seems to me that there is little need of a Preface for BESSY CONWAY. The object of the book is plain enough; so plain, indeed, that there is no possibility of any one's mistaking it for a better or a worse. It is simply an attempt to point out to Irish Girls in America – especially that numerous class whose lot it is to hire themselves out for work, the true and never-failing path to success in this world, and happiness in the next.

Perhaps in the vast extent of the civilized world, there is no class more exposed to evil influences than the Irish Catholic girls who earn a precarious living at service in America. To those who are even superficially acquainted with the workings of that chaotic mass which forms the population of our cities, of the awful depth of corruption weltering below the surface, and the utter forgetfulness of things spiritual, it is a matter of surprise that so many of the simple-hearted peasant girls of Ireland retain their home-virtues and follow the teachings of religion in these great Babylons of the west.

And so on, in that theme.

This one gives no clue on the cover:

Same author.


Mary Anne Sadlier (31 December 1820—5 April 1903) was an Irish author. Sadlier published roughly twenty-three novels and numerous stories. She wrote for Irish immigrants in both the United States and Canada, encouraging them to attend mass and retain the Catholic faith. In so doing, Sadlier also addressed the related themes of anti-Catholicism, the Irish Famine, emigration, and domestic work.

Pope Leo 13 gave her a blessing in 1902, so she died knowing she had that.

A card, tucked away between the pages.

If I hadn't fanned the pages for perhaps the last time, it would have been hidden away another 10 years, or more. Or never seen again.



And now, this year's Above-the Fold Kul-chah Feature, or ATFKF.

Elegant Couples Courting, Willem Pietersz Buytewech, c. 1616 - c. 1620.

Says the museum:

The seated woman tries to entice the young man by offering him rosebuds. He turns away from her, resting his hand on the head of his dog, his wise mentor. No harm will come to this young man. The other couple, however, choose wanton love; they leave the glove – a symbol of marriage – lying on the ground.

Wanton glovelessness!

No harm will come to this young man. Okay . . . why? He seems stunned and happy about all this.

I'd think the dog stood for fidelity. Meanwhile, these two are having a blast:

I'm curious about this. No, not the hat, which is quite something.

Windowshade puller, no doubt.









Population somewhere around 300 souls.


In 1871, a party of Seventh Day Baptists from Wisconsin explored Valley County for settlement sites. In May 1872, they established a community near what is now North Loup. A post office and general store were established in 1873. In 1877, the town of North Loup was formally organized. The name was taken from the North Loup River, in whose valley the village lies.

The village grew rapidly from about 1900 to 1920. By 1915, there were over 600 residents. Growth continued, albeit very slowly, in the 1920s; the maximum population of 643 was reached in 1930. After World War II, the population declined;

I love the way they link WWII, in case you're interested in exploring that obscure subject.

Small, but with remnants of pride. That little piece of ornament above the door is adorable.

I suppose that's one way of making a store room, but it does seem a bit disrespectful.


You know it was a standard small-town two story commercial block.

You can even see the slender old columns, preserved, so they can mock the renovation, or be mocked by it.


“I’m thinking the rehab should be . . . Wilford Brimley with an eyepatch.”

I don’t and can’t even


The Cornice Preservation League was strong in this town, but they couldn’t get the First Story Preservation League to do a thing. They just met for coffee and donuts and didn’t fight a single battle.

Seems doomed. It was.

Another view:

“I want the water to roll off and think it’s got a clear shot to the ground, and then bang, it hits the surprise roof.

How to use the symbolism inherent in the pitched roof to indicate where the office is:



The pumps still have hoses in the 2018 shot, so perhaps they still can sell you a gallon or two.

This old shot from Virtual Nebraska tells us it’s been here since the 30s.



Some big-city aspirations:


MWA = Modern Woodman of America. A fraternal org, and still around - as a financial advisory firm.

“Sorry, no loan. You look more like a South Loup Plains sort of fellow.”

OUMB in its cheapest form.

Another big office block - relatively speaking, for a town of 300.


Looks to me like it’s Clarence Babcock. An influential family in the region. Lots of Babcocks in the boneyard.

Not much rental income from the top floor, I’m guessing.


And that’s the small town of North Loup.







That'll do! Motels await.




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