Jul 21, 2020

Ray J's Truck

Craig I bet you wish you still had your Model A . This is my current toy. A 65 C10 that has power nothing. Love it ! 

Ray Justinic (66)


A fine machine, Ray. Love it. I posted the photo to EMPEHI.com

A photo of my Model A in1965. 
More about the car at http://modelahullinger.blogspot.com/

I anyone elses wants to share photos of their cars and other toys, send them to me at morganparkhigh@gmail.com and I will post them to:  EMPEHI.com

Jul 19, 2020

The Stockyards


The Union Stock Yard & Transit Co., or "The Yards," was the meatpacking district in Chicago for more than a century, starting in 1865. The district was operated by a group of railroad companies that acquired swampland and turned it into a centralized processing area. By the 1890s, the railroad money behind the Union Stockyards was Vanderbilt's money. The Union Stockyards operated in the New City community area for 106 years, helping Chicago become known as "hog butcher to the world," coined by poet Carl Sandburg, and the center of the American meatpacking industry for decades.

It was called "Union" because seven separate stockyards contributed the $1.5 million it took to build enough pens to house 100,000 hogs and 10,000 head of cattle. Priding itself as an "open, free, public market," the Stock Yards housed more than 1 billion animals in the 105 years it operated. This was significant because in its early years, the Stock Yards was merely a way station for cattle intended to be marketed as fresh meat. After being sold in Chicago, live cattle would be shipped by rail in boxcars to New York, Boston and other eastern cities. (They were shipped live because meat, once killed and dressed, spoiled easily.)

The stockyards became the focal point of the rise of some of the earliest international companies. These companies refined novel industrial innovations and influenced financial markets. Both the rise and fall of the district owe their fortunes to the evolution of transportation services and technology in America. The stockyards have become an integral part of the popular culture of Chicago's history.

From the end of the Civil War in 1865 until the end of the 1920s and peaking in 1924, more meat was processed in Chicago than in any other place in the world. Construction began in June 1865 with an opening on Christmas Day in 1865. The Yards closed at midnight on Friday, July 30, 1971, after several decades of decline during the decentralization of the meatpacking industry.

In 1906 Upton Sinclair published "The Jungle," (in PDF) which uncovering the horrid conditions in the stockyards around the beginning of the 20th century.

Click to read the full story:


A remnant of the Union Stock Yard Gate still arches over Exchange Avenue, next to the firefighters' memorial, and can be seen by those driving along Halsted Street. This limestone gate, marking the entrance to the stockyards, survives as one of the few relics of Chicago's heritage of livestock and meatpacking.

The steer-head over the central arch is thought to represent "Sherman," a prize-winning bull named after John B. Sherman, a founder of the Union Stock Yard and Transit Company. The Union Stock Yard Gate was designated a Chicago Landmark on February 24, 1972, and a National Historic Landmark on May 29, 1981.

The Ridge Historic District

The Ridge Historic District is a residential historic district in the Beverly and Morgan Park neighborhoods of ChicagoIllinois. As its name suggests, the district is centered on a ridge, making it one of the few areas of high ground in the generally flat city. Development in the district began in the late nineteenth century, as the Rock Island Line brought access to downtown jobs and several private schools opened in the area, and continued through the early twentieth century. Real estate atop the ridge was particularly sought after for its views and attracted wealthy residents, while the area's working-class population typically lived near the railroad stations. The district's houses exhibit a variety of popular architectural styles from its period of growth; its Prairie School architecture is especially noteworthy, including twelve designs by Walter Burley Griffin and multiple Frank Lloyd Wright works.[2]

The district was added to the National Register of Historic Places on May 28, 1976.[1]




Page Cover Slideshow

Ridge Historical Society
@RidgeHistoricalSociety · History Museum

Learn More

Lookout Point on 87th Street

In 1922, the Dewalt Mechlin Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution placed this marker in the woods along the north side of 87th Street to commemorate the Indian lore that earned the bluff the name “Lookout Point.” Photo by S. Smith. 

Note: I have been informed this plaque went missing 2-3 years ago.

Ridge Historical Society

Ridge Historical Society

The history of Dan Ryan Woods – Part 3: The Sherman Farm at Forest Hill
By Carol Flynn

John B. Sherman of the Union Stock Yard and Transit Company purchased the land that is now the Dan Ryan Woods in 1872 and used it as a livestock farm. Railroad tracks were laid to connect the stockyards and the farm. The farm was referred to as Sherman’s “laboratory.” 

Prize cattle and hogs were bred there or brought in for breeding. The cattle grazed on the farm’s meadows. Other parts of the farm were used for hay crops, and the section west of Western Ave. and north of 87th Street included an apple orchard.
Sherman won many awards for the size of his livestock. Prize animals were slaughtered, and cuts of meat given to his friends at Christmas and other times. Some of the more famous steers had their heads mounted for display at the stockyards.
Veterinary medicine experiments were also conducted there. In 1888, Sherman allowed some of his healthy cattle to be placed in a pen with cattle from Texas infected with “Texas fever” to see if the disease was contagious. All of Sherman’s cattle became infected. It later was determined the disease was caused by a parasite transferred by cattle ticks, which were eventually eradicated.
Sherman was described as a “venerable gentleman farmer” when at the farm on “a high ridge covered with oak and hickory trees.” He used the farm for social events. One newspaper in 1883 reported that the twelfth annual clam bake of the Union Stock Yard was held at the farm, with over 100 guests. At another time, he offered a night of dog-fighting and chicken-fighting for his guests.
There were a number of stories in the papers through the years about the farm. Wolves in transit to a menagerie escaped and were found in the woods at the Farm. Of course, wolves were once plentiful in the area but the settlers had hunted them all down a half century before. Other stories included a cow stolen from the farm, and the enormous hay crops produced in the fields there.
One curious story from 1902 involved John Andrews, 46, the manager of the farm. A calf had been attacked by a wild dog and developed rabies in 1898, four years before. While helping the calf, Andrews’ hand and arm were scratched. He showed no signs of being infected with rabies at the time, but he had “never been free from the dread that the disease might appear.” Now, four years later, he was bitten by a hog which gave him a “severe shock to his nervous system” and brought on the symptoms he had feared - “barking like a dog, snapping at his attendants, and fearing water.”
It was supposed this was acute hydrophobia, or rabies, that dated back to the incident four years earlier. After two weeks, his physicians pronounced him fully recovered. This was brought to the attention of the medical community as a rare survival from supposed rabies. [Note: Rabies, a viral disease, can actually have an incubation period of over six years. Inflammation of the brain can cause hallucinations and abnormal behavior. Once the symptoms begin, rabies is almost always fatal. If this really was rabies, and not a different illness or a psychosomatic illness, it was indeed a remarkable recovery.]

Another story was that in 1897, the mounted militia of the Illinois National Guard set up camp for several days and held maneuvers at 95th and Western. The ground used for drilling was a newly mown meadow of forty acres on the Sherman Farm. It was reported that the public – especially young ladies - enjoyed visiting the camp and watching the events.
Next installment: Murder comes to Sherman’s Farm

Thanks to Christine Leo who posted this on Facebook at:

Jul 18, 2020

The Cowboy

    The Cowboy 
    A short story you might enjoy

    The old man sat in the Adirondack chair, the sun softly lighting his lean and angular features. The smile glowed as brightly as the warm, Midwestern sun. He dozed fitfully, more content than his restless nature evinced. Life had been good, for the most part. He missed his wife at times like this. Her warmth, awakening to her nakedness snuggled behind him, breasts’ inviting his attention, curves guiding him to the secrets that her body had revealed over their forty years of intimacy. Even approaching the twilight of age, they had shared a sensual and emotional bond that even death had not been able to break.

    He had been many things in his life: professional cowboy, steelworker, sailor, corporate headhunter, boat builder, government bureaucrat, and now retiree. His years in the system had afforded him a comfortable pension and he was satisfied with the way life had turned out. Except for the emptiness, the void left by the absence of his life-long love.

    She had kept him grounded, soothed his aches, remonstrated him for the reckless lifestyle of his younger days, never understanding, but always accepting, his early choices.

    Thoughts turned to the varied experiences he had tasted of in his passage through this mortal coil, to use the Bard’s words. Cowboys had a code, an ethic, a way of seeing the world that was unique. Honor, integrity, truthfulness, a code that once ruled our great land but now was only reminiscent of old movies.

    The transition from cowboy to corporate lackey was hard. There was no code of honor, no brotherhood built upon mutual trust, no mutual respect, no shared purpose. Even though cowboys were intensely competitive, they would be in line to help you fix a broken cinch strap or lend you a pair of spurs or even a saddle or bareback rigging if yours had gotten misdirected by the airlines. Corporate environs, being what they are, were cutthroat places, without pity or remorse. And take no prisoners was not just an empty expression.

    The old man survived, thrived, even excelled without ever succumbing to the culture. He even gained a loyal following among his staff for his uncompromising support. He never left a teammate alone to face the consequences of any action. He had always been true to himself. He knew he would never fit in, so he just remained himself. An anachronism within a system that rewarded mediocrity and valued campaign work over job-related endeavors every time. His wife was his refuge, his safe harbor. He never complained. Cowboys never do. But she knew and always found a way to soothe the beast that was awakened by these demons.

    Cowboys are, by nature, solitary people. They didn’t share their troubles except with each other, were quick to celebrate their triumphs, eager to move on to the next adventure, but never in too much of a rush so as to miss the treats and pleasures that were present in the moment. The solitary nature of his personality often bothered his wife. He shared but never quite as candidly as he might. And there were always things he would never share. Not exactly secrets, just things that never needed exposure. But almost half a century of cohabitation, intimacy and familiarity had inured her against this flaw. She shared when he allowed it, commiserated at other times, and muddled through when neither of those worked.

    The cowboy way. It wasn’t just what you did, it was who you were. And would always be. Oddly, at that moment, one of his favorite songs rose from the CD player. Willie Nelson’s “Mommas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys” lilted across the weathered veranda, mellifluous in spite of Willie’s sometimes scratchy vocalizations. The CD was a composite of songs that meant something to him. Louis Armstrong’s “Autumn Leaves”, Asleep at Last singing “Everything She Does Is Magic” never failed to blur his vision with dewy moisture, Sinatra’s “My Way”, Buffet’s “Tin Cup Chalice”, more Nelson as he croaked out “Yesterday’s Wine”, Errol Garner stroking out “Satin Doll”. And a few others, including Melissa Etheridge belting out “The Angels”. He mused on the selections. He had compiled the playlist as a paean to play at his funeral. The lyrics from Melissa wandered through his thoughts. “All I want is a little piece of mind, but the angels won’t have it.” It continues. “I drink from the well but my soul is dry.” He fell in love with those lyrics the first time he had heard them. He thought of his late wife. “An angel flying too close to the ground”, to quote Willie Nelson again. His cheeks glistened with the teardrops now slowly descending from clouded eyes.

    His quarter of a century in the corporate world had earned him a comfortable life, at a steep price, but his soul, his memories, his cowboy ways, were permanently etched into his essence. He never, ever sold out. Life was a mélange of icy sherbets, crunchy nuts, sweet cherry syrup, and, too often, a spoon too short to reach the bottom of the slender, deep glass. The trick was figuring out how to get the remainders after you ran out of spoon. He had become fairly good at that. He thanked the corporate experience for that bit of knowledge. He quickly learned to bring his own spoon. Long, slender, able to dig deeply and polish off the tasty treat others were forced to leave. They never learned to bring their own spoon. And so never enjoyed the true joys of a well spent life.

    He smiled again, salty tears tingling the corners of his lips. He folded his hands, then unfolded them and caressed the smooth, naked form that had shimmered into his field of vision. He reached to stroke the all too familiar breasts and kiss the indented recess of that perfect navel. Then, as if on some cosmic cue, he slipped away, to join the angel that had, once more, flown too close to the ground.

    Tom Schildhouse


  • Marie Buti

    Well-written, nostalgic, romantic, enjoyable read. Reminds me a bit of a contemporary writer I like: John Irving

    Tom Schildhouse


    Tom Schildhouse

    It grew from a project of my writers group. I thought it gelled pretty well. All comments are always appreciated

    Bob Hennessy

    Very well done, Tom.
    You are just an old cowboy at heart.

    Sandra E Wright

    Beautifully done. Brought tears to my eyes.

    Craig Harlan Hullinger

    Nice story, Tom. Click the link to read another Tom Schildhouse Cowboy story.

  •  https://empehi.blogspot.com/2018/12/tom-schildhouse-jan-66-rodeo-bucking.html?q=schildhouse

Jul 14, 2020

Covid-19 Impacts


Even Barbie is letting herself go...COME-ON-MAN IS NOTHING SACRED?
So true onfortunately.
 Love these cookies...and they are fat free too!

Jul 4, 2020

4th of July - Independence Day

4th of July - Independence Day

Independence Day (colloquially the Fourth of July or July 4) is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the Declaration of Independence of the United States, on July 4, 1776. The Continental Congress declared that the thirteen American colonies were no longer subject (and subordinate) to the monarch of BritainKing George III, and were now united, free, and independent states.

Independence Day is associated with fireworksparadesbarbecuescarnivalsfairspicnicsconcertsbaseball gamesfamily reunionspolitical speeches, and ceremonies, in addition to various other public and private events celebrating the history, government, and traditions of the United States. Independence Day is the national day of the United States.

Happy 4th of July