Did you know it's possible to know exactly where I'm standing, just on what this picture provides? It's true! Just check the embedded EXIF info!

But seriously folks, it is possible. You can date the building by the floor, unless it's a renovation. You can find the building behind me in the reflection. You can find a structural detail that narrows it down.

Well, another non-vacation vacation day. Still went downtown to go to the gym. Felt odd walking around downtown without a backpack. Realized that the backpack somehow validates my reason for being down there, like a briefcase. All these strange totems of identity.

It feels like I'm practicing for retirement. Except I have no intention of retiring. Unless it, like greatness, is thrust upon me. At least greatness you can decline.

I finished snipping the Fargo 1950 newspaper - no, no, hold your applause and cries of joy; haven't even started the site yet, or figured out why I'm going it, aside from making Fargo seniors happy to see some old logos. But I did find two examples of the classic Fifties trope: the Penny-Pinching Scottish Lass!

HOOT MON is often inserted as a bit of Scottish astonishment. The scotland.com site says: “'Hoots mon' (is) an interjection usually meaning “Hey man!” 

You'll note that the lass above rolls her r's. Not so here with this cultural appropriator:

The "AYE" is important too, as we see from the Imperial 400 motel mascot.

I collect these for a future site which I may never get around to. If I get a Hoot-Mon, an AYE, and a rolled-R thrifty, my work here will be complete.

This made me laugh:


Back off on the uppers, Mom.


  How do we get from here . . .
  To there?

Your periodic reminder that 99.8% of all writers sink into the tar pits after a while, never recalled, never read. While examing the fine print of a 1928 English newspaper, I saw this:

Mr. Knittel had written a “queer and terrible” book. That’s intended as praise.

Swiss writer, born in India. Missionary parents. He was spurred to write by an encounter with Robert Hichens, according to his bio. And Hichens was . . .

Robert Hichens (Robert Smythe Hichens, 14 November 1864 – 20 July 1950) was an English journalist, novelist, music lyricist, short story writer, music critic and collaborated on successful plays. He is best remembered as a satirist of the "Naughty Nineties."

Since the Naughy Nineties has a link, I had to check.

The Gay Nineties is an American nostalgic term and a periodization of the history of the United States referring to the decade of the 1890s. It is known in the United Kingdom as the Naughty Nineties, and refers there to the decade of supposedly decadent art of Aubrey Beardsley, the witty plays and trial of Oscar Wilde, society scandals and the beginning of the suffragette movement.

Despite the term, part of the decade was marked by an economic crisis, which greatly worsened when the Panic of 1893 set off a widespread economic depression in the United States that lasted until 1897.

There you go: not particularly happy in the macro sense, at all. The Panic of 1893 was nasty. Yet our dominant image is a guy with a bowler and a bushy mustache and a garter belt on his sleeve right a unicycle.

Back to Hichens: perhaps his most famous story was

Tongues of Conscience (1900), a collection of five horror stories including "How Love Came to Professor Guildea" (this story is about a supernatural visitation and is thought by some to be Hichens's best fiction – it is frequently anthologised).

"How Love Came to Professor Guildea" was not initially well-received, with Frederic Taber Cooper calling the story "a hideous bit of morbidity” and Edmund Wilson dismissing the story as “trash”.

To reiterate my point about the fleetness of literary reputations, Mr. Cooper’s papers included correspondence with many literary figures of the day, including “Gertrude Franklin Horn Atherton, Paul Hervey Fox, Coulson Kernahan, Walter Learned, George Barr McCutcheon, Florence Guy Seabury, Louise Morgan Sill, and Ella Wheeler Wilcox.”

Back to the story:

Later reviews of the story were more positive; J. A. Cuddon called it "outstanding" and compared it with "The Horla" by Guy de Maupassant and "The Beckoning Fair One" by Oliver Onions. Brian Stableford described the story as an "authentic masterpiece of horror fiction", and Jason Colavito called it "possibly one of the greatest stories of its age”.

Well, I had to read it. Very much like "The Horla." I enjoyed it.

Back to Knittel. He would write ten more novels. Not read today, perhaps because. . .

After the beginning of World War II, he visited Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels and with an introduction by Hans Carossa became a member of the Europäische Schriftsteller-Vereinigung (European Writers' League).

After the war, Knittel

was denounced by his Swiss colleagues as a "Nazi Friend" (Nazifreund) and was expelled from the Schweizer Schriftsteller Verband.

On the other hand, this page says:

He was tarnished by suspicions of being a Nazi collaborator  – owing to his membership of Goebbels’ “European Writers’ Association” – despite the fact that there was never any evidence of alignment with the party, only of naivety at most.

With his writing, which made the whole world a stage, featured characters of all skin colours and constantly rebuked Europe for its sins against the Third World, Knittel is as far removed from the chauvinistic racial fanaticism of the Nazis as it is possible to be.  

Perhaps. But you don't have to be on board with everything to be sympathetic to the movement.

One interesting note:

In 1943 several friends of his daughter were sentenced to death for their participation in White Rose (Weiße Rose) - Willi Graf, Alexander Schmorell and Kurt Huber.

Well, there’s a lot there. Are we meant to infer that his daughter may have been friends of the White Rose group? And what was White Rose?

The White Rose was a non-violent, intellectual resistance group in Nazi Germany which was led by five students and one professor at the University of Munich: Willi Graf, Kurt Huber, Christoph Probst, Alexander Schmorell, Hans Scholl and Sophie Scholl. The group conducted an anonymous leaflet and graffiti campaign that called for active opposition to the Nazi regime. Their activities started in Munich on 27 June 1942; they ended with the arrest of the core group by the Gestapo on 18 February 1943.

  As you might expect. Sophie Scholl is remembered today, where Knittel is not. Wikipedia's page on the White Rose movement has a picture of the memorial, embedded in the bricks at a university in Germany.

Can we find it from space?

We can.











So many two-folder towns this year. Well, once again, we ask, having not looked at these since they were clipped, a lot of depressing stuff followed by more depressing stuff, or lots of interesting things that justifies a two week trip? Or both?

Well no

It’s a building without any sense of history at all. That’s quite rare. It takes some work to be this inscrutable and uninteresting.

Huh: I guess they agreed with me; bye bye

ARC what? Let’s see if we can get closer and make out more details

HEY You're blocking my view

Okay, let’s go back in time. Computer, enhance

Arc Hotel?


Historians thought the Arcade Hotel was long gone.

Built in 1890, Springdale's biggest hotel was torn down in 1944.

But workers recently demolished a building on Emma Avenue, uncovering a brick wall with two ghost signs that read Arcade Hotel -- one vertical and one horizontal.

It was the original east wall of the Arcade Hotel, said Marie Demeroukas, photo archivist and research librarian at Shiloh Museum of Ozark History in Springdale.

And here we have it.



Whew, that’s settled. Moving right along:

A tired and depressed old building, but still grateful to be a place to fly the flag.


Ah, that’s different! Nothing like fresh paint and tuck-pointing to perk a little guy up.

You do wish they’d give the same TLC to modernist structures, though.


You can’t expect every building to get the treatment, though.

Sometimes a town has a bad patch, and folks can’t get around to -


Okay, I’ll stop.

Nice little building that looked like it could be a small burger joint, in the White Tower / Castle genre.

It has a twin next door, and we know who built it:

  Mr. Price.

Well, I wonder how they spiffed this one up.

Well, that’s one way.

Sometimes you think a building is beyond any attempt to improve it . . .

And then you realize. . .

There isn't.

Okay, one more.

Still around? Razed? Improved? Tune in next week!


Now two ways to chip in!

That will suffice, I hope. Motels await.




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