Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Ed's Travelogue: The Basilica and National Shrine of Mary Help of Christians at Holy Hill, Huburtus, Wisconsin July 1978

This was one of those quick trips that I was getting into towards my last days home before joining the Air Force. I guess what prompted me to go there was the recurring references to 'Holy Hill' my family would make. My mom's side of the family was Catholic and apprently they made several trips to Holy Hill. Below is photo of my mom's mom on the steps of Holy Hill in 1938 (yeah - that would be my grandma, but I never knew her as she passed before I was born). Soooo, one day I got the itch to see what Holy Hill looked like. I had just gotten my new Xd-11 camera and was trying things out. For some months I would take pictures using a series of colored filters or gels which fit into a frame which screwed onto the end of the lens. The photos below are the firat instances of those early 'artsy' attempts :-)  For more information you can visit their website at Enjoy! Opa Fritz

Marx Lunar Exploration Miniature Playset v3

While we're still on the subject of miniature space toys and playsets, I thought you'd like to see something I picked up some months back. It is yet another version of the Marx Lunar Exploration Miniature Playset. As with all these sets, the packaging is basically the same but the vehicles, figures, and terrain pieces differ. This set has only two figures and  what I call the 'double-bubble' Moon Grabber. Marx's full sized Moon Grabber series consisted of several different battery operated vehicles appropriately sized for 54mm figures. The vehicles in the smaller playsets were of course much simplified versions. Enjoy! Opa Fritz

Monday, August 10, 2020

Ed's Travelogue: The Mitchell Park Domes, Milwaukee, Wisconsin (1st pics with my new Minolta XD-11 SLR) July 1978

Today's post represents both a first and a last for me. Having gotten fed up with the quality of the photos from that Polaroid SX-70, I broke down and bought a Minolta XD-11 SLR. It was my first 'real' camera and was a bit daunting to me but I pushed ahead in the hopes that some good photos would come of it (I was right LOL). It was the first SLR to ever offer aperture priority and shutter priority all in one. I had been reading photo magazines prior to buying it so was at least aware of some of the terminolgy and those mags are what drove my decision to pick this particular camera.

The camera originally came with a standard 55mm lens which I soon replaced with this 35-80mm telephoto lens which remained my go-to lens.

The 'last' reference in the post refers to the last time I saw the featured Domes prior to leaving for the Air Force. They reside in Mitchell Park, just to the south of the 27th St. Viaduct in Milwaukee. I lived just to the north of that viaduct so it was a short drive. The Domes are officially called The Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory and were built in 1959. I only took a couple of pictures and apparently the sunken garden which appears in one of the photos is a hold over from a much earlier conservatory which resided on the spot. A good history of The Domes can be found on this website: 

The Origins Of Milwaukee’s Mitchell Park Domes

Enjoy! Opa Fritz

Triang SpaceX Pleasure Cruiser REDUX - Sideways (Left Facing) Packaging Variation

Triang packaged their SpaceX toys in a number of ways as Paul Vreede shows on his website SpaceX Central. This particular package, obtained recently, has the Pleasure Cruiser facing left while others faced either upwards (as I've previously blogged) or right. Enjoy! Opa Fritz

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Ed's Travelogue: 'Photinia' - The Ship That Made St. Francis Famous

It wasn't long after returning home from our southern tour that Milwaukee got hit with some firece weather. The Great Lakes are known for some really rough weather - if you recall the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald and the famous song of its demise. But this time that bad weather moved closer to shore and it was bad enough to ground the British cargo ship Photinia off the coast of St. Francis, just south of Milwaukee proper. The frightening story and harrowing rescue are recounted in the articles and photos below courtesy the Milwaukee Journal, David Moellendork, and Gary C. Wieczorkowski (all articles, brochures, photos in my collection). Enjoy!

We'll start with The Milwaukee Journal's coverage of the storm

Next we'll look at David T. Moellendorf's coverage and Gary C. Wieczorkowski's photos

Lastly, my feeble photos LOL


Triang SpaceX Tractor T-5 REDUX: Got A Real SpaceX version This Time - No Golden Astronaut Substitute

A couple of months back - June 6th to be exact - I posted the Golden Astronaut Terrain Tiger as a substitute for the the Triang SpaceX Tractor T-5 because at that time I didn't yet have an original T-5. I do now! Enjoy! Opa Fritz