What, is this already week #9 of this little semi-literary venture? Time does charge right along.
Our weather, however, remains the same. Heard on the radio (all I know is what I hear on the radio) today that we are now in “an exceptional” drought category, as determined by the National Weather Svc. “Exceptional” is the second highest category, in other words, next-to-worst. In this case, I’m not really looking to be Number One. A forecaster on KVGB’s Agri-Talk show today DID predict a cooler and wetter period for the Plains starting next week. Hope he’s right. We are in kind of a tough time right now.
Congratulations to our latest trivia winners. Details follow a little later.
First, I gotta tell you I’m in deep mourning for the passing of an institution in my old home town of Manitowoc, Wisconsin. Anheuser-Busch has announced the closing later this year of their malt plant in the city. ( I’ll give you a website to check out in a minute here.) This huge facility has been part of the city’s waterfront for I don’t know how many years, longer than I’ve been alive, that’s for sure. The plant processed grain for shipment to breweries all over the place. The grain was delivered to the plant by railcar for some years and also by ship. The ships would tie up in the Manitowoc River, unload their cargo into a river-side elevator, which would then send it on by underground conveyor belt to the malt plant several blocks away. From what I understand, the company has plenty of malting capacity elsewhere and just doesen’t need this one anymore. The closing will affect 13 employees and their families, too, of course. It surprised me that this huge outfit had only 13 people running it, but that is 2011 automation for you.
The malt plant had two very noticeable features to it, which even the casual visitor would pick up on quickly: whenever the wind was from the east off the lake, there would be a pleasant sweet smell drifting through the downtown area, especially during the summer months. It will be missed. I know it sounds a little strange to say you’ ll miss a smell, but so be it.
The other feature, aside from the sheer size of the plants silos and related buildings, was ‘the bottles’, a trio of 96-foot high Budweiser bottles painted on the side of the silos facing Washington street, one of Manitowoc’s ‘main drags’. I just knew there had to be pictures of that on the web, so here are two sites you can go to see some neat pictures of it: try either wisconsinosity.com (which also has some other Manitowoc shots) or flickriver.com. Jim Frazier’s shot on flickriver.com is particularly good.
The plant may be history soon, but I hope the company will leave the bottles in place. They are a much-loved landmark on the Lakeshore.
Two more trivia winners! Dot came up with the correct answer in the Great Bend ‘downtownia’ division. Dior’s was the name we were lookin’ for. Dior’s was a good quality women’s apparel store located just east of Wells’ Mens and Boys Wear, now Action Sports. And a special hello to Dot, if she was the ‘Dot’ who managed the store. Good to hear from you. “Dot’ and I were business neighbors, our store having been The Record Rack, which was in the space now occupied by Family Jewels and Silver, in what used to be called the Zarah Mall building.
Our music trivia winner is Mark Rosenberg, who beat out another contestant by just 5 hours on July 12. The answer was ‘Cadillac’. The question was : what kind of vehicle did the Rip Chords use to tow their race car to the track in a 60’s pop hit? The song, by the way, was “Hey Little Cobra”. And do you remember the two cars the Cobra beat? Stingray and Jag, of course. It all comes back now, huh? Car songs are great trivia because they have so much detail in ’em.
Okay, here’s a couple of new ones: In our ‘downtownia’ division, what store was located in the building on Broadway just east of the former Parrish Motors lot? Hmmm?
And for you music afficionados: What well-known American singer and musician played on a MAJOR 1962 hit and also gave John Lennon some musical tips during a British tour the same year?
Have a memorable week! Do your best rain dance.
Oh, and leave a comment or two below or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or comments. I’d really like to get a better idea of how many people I’m reaching with this, and you can help.