Wednesday, November 30, 2011
ABC Wednesday: Trolleys, Trains, & Tree Tragedy!
I'll be the first to admit, the quality of this batch of photos ~ shot in low light without a tripod with my point-and-shoot Kodak EasyShare (someday I'll take time to teach myself how to use the manual settings, honest!) ~ isn't terrific. But what they lack in quality they make up for in quantity! :-) I had no trouble taking photos to share for this week's ABC Wednesday post, thanks mostly to Sheridan's 16th annual Christmas Stroll with its tinsel, trains and trolleys, on the day after Thanksgiving. So come stroll (and ride) along with me! But bundle up, for we had a vicious turn in our weather that afternoon with plummeting temperatures, wind gusts of over 50 mph, and even thundersnow! (All of which hit suddenly while we walked our dogs in the park. Good thing our house was close by!) But this is Wyoming weather and ya gotta be tough, so grab your hat and mittens and let's go do some merry-making!
Click on any photo for a larger version
During the Stroll, South Main Street is closed off to traffic, the businesses stay open late, there are contests, free hot food and beverages, lots of musical entertainment (indoors and out!), and wagon, trolley and miniature train rides. Here's a shot down Main Street, with the historic Wyo Theater's striking art deco marquis taking center stage (haha, get it?)...
The Wyo Theater opened in 1923 as the Lotus Theater.
Our cottage was built in 1920, so I can't help imagining
its original owners walking to the theater
to enjoy a vaudeville act when it was brand new.
Wonder what they'd think of it today!
Here comes the trolley!
And speaking of historic storefronts,
that's one of the nation's first JC Penney stores!
James Cash Penney opened his first store,
then called "Golden Rule," in Kemmerer, WY in 1902.
Sheridan's store followed not long after.
The Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) railroad is one of Sheridan's biggest employers, and we love hearing the trains from the cottage, rumbling and whistling their way through town. BNSF (then called Great Northern Railway, with its wonderful Rocky Mountain Goat logo) was also the main employer of my Italian immigrant family in Havre, MT (the county seat of Hill County, named for the Great Northern's president and builder, James J. Hill). Imagine sailing from the vineyards of Tuscany to Ellis Island and being sent to the northern Montana prairie to work in the roundhouse! But I digress tremendously ~ I just feel a connection to these trains. :-) So here's a closeup of the Stroll's miniature train, its freezing "engineer" and passengers...
Time for some musical entertainment. There was everything from string quartets to bell choirs, folk singers to brass bands, but I was most taken with this little ensemble of pipes and drums...
The drummer on the right is our realtor's dad.
Gotta love a tiny town! :-)
Let's give a listen (Penny, you'll especially enjoy this!)...
There were several young women with festively done-up tresses out promoting the local salon, Curl Up & Dye. This was the first one I saw, and so I asked her if I could take her photo - not realizing who she was. See the woman in the background to the right? That's Shonda, one of BW's UPS colleagues, talking to BW while I'm photographing Hairlights Girl. Turns out Hairlights Girl is Shonda's daughter, Brooke, whom I last saw when she was a newborn in a baby-carrier sixteen years ago!
Okay, well now that I feel totally ancient, let's move on to another young whippersnapper sporting a tinselly hairdo...
And now we'll return to the trolley, because it's a) my favorite part of the Stroll and b) a replica of something even older than I am. :-)
The two trolleys that ran that night
are motorized replicas of the electric trolleys
that transported Sheridan folks between 1911 and 1926.
(So maybe our original cottage dwellers
rode the trolley to the Wyo Theater!
Even though it's an easy walk. Tsk, tsk!)
Outside a fun store called Crazy Woman Trading Co.
(And no, that name has nothing to do with me!) ;-)
Wave ta-ta to the trolley till Memorial Day!
We toughed it out from 4:15 till 6:30, but were just too cold-soaked to hang around for the grand finale to this year's Stroll, the fireworks. So we watched (and photographed) them from our cottage windows...
I wasn't kidding about those terrible wind gusts. The next morning, when we let our dogs out to take care of business, Tess started growling and Willow started barking at something. Expecting to see a cat, loose dog, or someone lurking where someone had no business being, imagine our dismay at seeing that the dogs were reacting to a venerable old juniper tree a couple lots over from us that had been uprooted by the storm!
That building in the background is an old garage
where we're temporarily storing some of our stuff!
Glad the tree didn't land on it!
Trying to make lemonade out of this tree tragedy lemon, we trimmed some of the fragrant branches and are using them in our holiday decor. With our landlord's permission, I also put an ad on Freecycle for other to do the same, or cut up the trunk to take away for firewood. But so far I think the only taker has been our next door neighbor. Too bad!
Update: The tree was cut into large logs and taken by a wood carver. Apparently wood carvers love to work with juniper, so the beautiful tree will be turned into different things of beauty now. :-)
Care for another cup of T?
Visit this week's...
- INFERNO ~ Dan Brown
- MIDNIGHT IN THE GARDEN OF GOOD & EVIL ~ John Berendt
- MY NOTORIOUS LIFE: A NOVEL ~ Kate Manning
- ONE SUMMER: AMERICA, 1927 ~ Bill Bryson
- QUIET: THE POWER OF INTROVERTS IN A WORLD THAT CAN'T STOP TALKING ~ Susan Cain
- THE BEAUTIFUL CIGAR GIRL ~ Daniel Stashower
- THE DEVIL IN THE WHITE CITY ~ Erik Larson
- THE SHADOWS, KITH AND KIN ~ Joe R. Lansdale
- THE TIPPING POINT ~ Malcolm Gladwell
There is still strong in our society the belief
that animals and the natural world have value
only insofar as they can be converted into revenue.
That nature is a commodity.
And that the American dream is one of unlimited consumption.
There are many of us, on the other hand,
who believe that animals and the natural world
have value by virtue of being alive.
That Nature is a community to which we belong
and to which we owe our lives.
And that the deeper American dream is one of unlimited compassion.
~John Robbins, "The Food Revolution"