Weminuche Wilderness 2021 – Day 7 Goodbye Chicago Basin

July 29, 2022 § Leave a comment

Once the decision to NOT hike another 14er was made, that made today and easy choice. If you have read any of these posts, for example this, or this, then you know that the conductor on the Durango Silverton Historic Train told us that even though our purchased ticket was a one-way ticket from Needleton to Durango, “IF” we were out there when the train was headed north, we could in fact simply board the train and proceed North to Silverton where the train lays over for two entire hours, and then re-board for the trip back to Durango. So, we had a few options on the table. We could simply remain high in the Chicago Basin, and simply have relaxed all day long, doing nothing, except maybe some local exploring. Door #1. We could pack everything up and hike all the way to the train and get out 1 day early. Door #2. We could pack everything up and hike most of the way out, and find a beautiful site along the Animas River leaving only a half mile to take full advantage of the conductor’s offer. Door #3.

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Thursday Feb 24 – 5 P.M.1938

March 24, 2022 § Leave a comment

Jump ahead a few years, Elvin is travelling and he appears to be in Kansas City, Mo. Let’s see what he has to say.

Warning. Elvin uses two Ethnic slurs later in this letter. I didn’t write them out, but I think it is clear what he wrote, and though I could chalk it up to “Well, that is just how they talked in 1938”, it wasn’t right then, and it isn’t right now and I don’t want to provide any legitimacy to either of them. Prejudice is a learned behavior, and both Elvin and Vivian learned their prejudices from their parents and their peers.

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Letter from Vivian

January 27, 2022 § Leave a comment

My Dad’s family up and moved halfway across the country to La Crosse, Wisconsin from Cedar Grove. I am sure that was a big deal for my Nana, and it probably kept her busy for many months, and being the good correspondent that she was, she needed to let many people know what was going on. I found this in her thing that she put together and sent out dated July 21st, 1950. Now, you will notice in the text that they arrived in February, so 5 months have passed, and I am sure she was itching to get the news out. As you read you will notice the reference to the current events of the world, as Korea was just making the news that summer.

Note that I left everything pretty much as she wrote it. I tend to capitalize the seasons and such, but she did not. She also likes the hyphen to continue a thought but introduce a break. I haven’t seen that much, but you editors out there can enlighten me.

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Photo Cullen – Upper Montclair

January 25, 2022 § Leave a comment

The following appeared in a local paper (The Montclair Times) in reference to the rehabilitation of 574 Valley Road in Upper Montclair, NJ.

For years the big building at 574 Valley Road, Upper Montclair was a storehouse for a TV and Radio Co. and looked quite unattractive and neglected. In 1965, however, things began happening – the building underwent a metamorphosis under the skillful hand of Dereck Kipp, Upper Montclair architect. A good-looking back Plaza entrance was cut through with new stairways showing through glass walls and on both sides of the back entrance a pretty shop was made ready for occupancy. Up front on the Valley Road side an extension with great windows on three sides was built. The new owners must love light because other windows were cut in all over the building. A side door appeared which led to office space on the second floor. The ugly, non-descript outside color disappeared and the soft green with white trim which replaced it made the building an outstanding one. Photo Cullen, an excellent photographic center, had come to town!

The name of Cullen as a photography shop is an old one in Montclair. Originally started in Newark in 1882, the business was moved to Bloomfield Ave., in Montclair in 1920. Here it stayed under Mr. George Cullen, son of the original owner, until 1959 when Mr. Elvin Hallander purchased it from George Cullen. Mr. Hallander, who had been in the air-conditioning business all his life and was tired of the constant strain and moving about the country decided to follow his avocation-photography-in his home state. He was glad of the opportunity to buy the Cullen business.

In 1962 the Hallanders saw that the present Upper Montclair site was for sale and they purchased it but did not start making the aforementioned changes until 1965. In March, 1966 they moved in. It is known as The Hallander Building and houses The Record Rack, and The Book Corner as well as many business offices and their own shop.

The Photo Cullen shop is most attractive-lovely blue walls combined with walnut wood. Wall-to-wall carpeting, handsome cases and shelving, filled with cameras and other photographic supplies, make it an exciting store to visit. Mrs. Hallander tells me that they have a full line of equipment, most of which is neatly stored back of the scenes. Following the sad and untimely death of her husband, this fine lady is carrying the business on “as he wanted it”. She is President of the organization and her son is Vice-President. With the exception of their Manager all of their helpers are Upper Montclair people.

Mrs. Hallander is civic-minded and is especially interested in promoting Upper Montclair and its fine shops. She, the Hallander Building and Photo Cullen are an asset to our Town and we wish her well.

Pretty sure the author misunderstood my Grandmother when she gave some of the details. My Grandfather was an Engineering and Wharton Business graduate who oversaw his Father’s family business, Star Electric Motor company, Newark, and then Bloomfield before selling that business after his father died to help set up his mother for her final years. Besides supporting the war effort, my Grandfather oversaw the expansion of the business into the infrastructure side of the Dry Cleaning business where SEC manufactured equipment. His subsequent cancer is probably related to his work in this part of SEC’s business. He did work in Air-Conditioning moving to La Crosse Wisconsin to either lead, or be part of the leading team at Trane, an emerging name in that business, but left a few years later to lead another company in Anderson Indiana. The sale of Star did not go over well with the “Other” Hollanders here in North Jersey, hence the skedaddle off to Wisconsin, but by the mid fifties the realization that Elvin had done the “right” thing settled in and they wanted to get back to Jersey where their roots lay.

The Hallander Building Today from Valley Road.

The Hallander Building Today from the rear plaza.

Published Montclair Times

Number 60

February 10, 2020 § Leave a comment

As I write this, I am well into my 60th year, and here in America I will have completed my 60th in another month. In some cultures you are the age of the year you are living so currently I am 61, as in my 61st year. It doesn’t sound so smart at 61, but if you were just born, you wouldn’t say your baby is in its zeroth year. It is in its first year of life, so one. Seems simple enough.

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Number 59

November 29, 2018 § 3 Comments

I started this post, probably on my birthday when I turned 59. If not then, it was soon after, but I never developed much beyond the title. I am not even sure what I thought might be the content, but I suppose that with 60 looming only 365 days in the future, perhaps I thought there would be some insight into what 59 would be, and how I thought the lead-in to 60 would play out.

Today, it is late November, and well, 59 as played out a lot like all the years before it. Ha! I may have started 2018 healing from a fall late November 2017, and fairly inactive, which translates to lots of in calories, and not many out calories, but by the end of January I was at least doing spin class again. By the time my birthday rolled around, I finished a 10 class power spin training block of classes, and I spent 10 days in Thailand which included over 400 miles cycling. I don’t usually put that much mileage on the bike in New Jersey over the same time frame. That was special.

I moved from the power spin training to Mega Cycle spin training, and soon found myself on the roads of NJ again. I was still trying to shed weight, but I felt like an anchor, and that maybe, this year would be the year in which I would not be able to keep up with the weekday SFAC rides once they started. Those guys are all 6-10 years younger than me, and how much longer can I reasonably expect to keep hammering on Tuesdays and Thursdays? 

In addition to the SFAC group, there was an even younger group I associated with that was 20 years or more my junior. Some pretty strong youth, that I could hold wheels with, but put me out in front, and it wouldn’t be long before I was longing for the tail of pace line.

Tony was the first SFAC rider to meet me. Tom was busy with work and improving a newly acquired “downsized” in his living arrangements. Mike decided to start running more, and the Mayor wasn’t yet ready for the road, so it was me and the Wolf, and while I expected to be put on the rivet, I found I could hold, and lead. I began a series of Strava posts in which I may have “overly” praised Tony on our rides. They were fun.

I picked up an extra week of vacation this year, and using the tools of working either 10 hour days, or working 80 hours over 8 or 9 days, and taking a few Fridays off, I managed to get in some really nice early season long mileage, high elevation gain rides. I really lucked out on some of these rides as the weather looked dismal most of the week only to clear enough, or simply clear where I was, to make for a great day on the bike. I got to push some routes that I wanted others to do, as well as explore new options to existing routes. For example, I checked out an option to by-pass West Point. West Point is a great site to ride through, but getting there on Rt 9 isn’t my favorite. Another example is merging in roads from the NY Gran Fondo that allow us to get back into Harriman via an alternate route that doesn’t have us simply riding over the same route we have always ridden. That’s a win. On another ride we rode up the Jersey side of the Delaware out of the Water Gap, and returned on the Pennsylvania side. That was a completely awesome route, and I can’t wait to do it again.

Throughout most of the Summer the SFAC crowd was never at full steam. We were lucky enough to pick up a new guy in Adam Jones, a Welshman who lived in Rumson and worked at Goldman. A youngster, but not as young as he looks. I only rode once with Mike B all year, and Tom was out for a handful of rides. As said, he has a house project to go along with business travel, daughter tennis team, and his wife was suffering acute back issues. So it was mostly Tony and I and whoever else we could get to come out.

I made it out for some Saturday or Sunday Pronto rides, more than the previous year, but not as many as I had wished. On the home front I needed to support my own wife as she was diagnosed, yet again, with cancer. Treatment has been administered, and she is another wait and see mode.

In September I took my backpacking buddies on our fourth week long adventure in the wilderness known as The Eagle Cap Wilderness in NE Oregon. The Wallowa Mountains were a real eye opener to majestic beauty. Personally, I felt great the entire trip, though it did take a couple of days to get the legs acclimated, but after that, I could walk and walk. The cycling really shows itself when it comes to lung capacity and the ability to simply keep marching. My only physical issue was dry cracked feet, which I remedied using duct tape. It really is the wonder tape.

As I write this, I have been reasonably idle for some time. Not riding as much; haven’t been hiking in more than a month, and have been occupied with house chores. I did get a weekend backpacking trip in early this month in West Virginia, but that wasn’t enough to get me motivated to get back out there in the wee hours just yet.

As of this writing, I am still 59, and closing in on the last quarter of that cycle. Eventually I will get back on the bike, either riding the rollers, or I will get back to spin class. One way or the other, I plan on putting some miles in for another cycle around the sun.

Crash History

April 13, 2018 § Leave a comment

I fell off my bike again on Friday. This time the cause was an improperly seated tire, and comes only 4 1/2 months after the last time I fell. That was operator error, and I suppose this was as well, just a different kind of error. i have been very lucky throughout my life on the bike-accident rarely, if ever, falling off, even as people feel around me. Now rust I have had two incidents in less than half a year it makes think puff just what were all those incidents? « Read the rest of this entry »

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