Category Archives: ks

Huron Indian Cemetery, downtown Kansas City

I’ll readily confess my lack of enthusiasm when Jeanne, miles off in Missouri during one of our motor adventures of exploration, suggested we head in to Kansas City.    We’d had an interesting time, visited a 19th century school-church-cemetery, and Watkins Wool Mill museum.   We’d pulled into the urban hell surrounding the Jesse James Museum and farm, noted the $8 plus change fee for entry, and retreated as befits citizens who donealready seen and heard the endless yarns of the James-Younger gang.

But, there’s a nice book store, Prospero’s, we could visit if we wished, I figured.   And a Vietnamese restaurant I hungered for during the weeks I was across the street in the KU Hospital for the Not-Necessarily-Sane a few months ago as a consequence of a condition appropriately labelled, Guillam Beret Syndrome or something of that nature.

But Jeanne had cemeteries in mind.   Particularly the Huron Indian Cemetery sitting on prime development soil occupying an acre or so between the KC Police HQ and the KC Library.

 

Helena Conley – Floating Voice – Wyandotte National Burying Ground
“Cursed be the villain that molest their grave”
Eliza Burton Conley – departed this life May 28, 1946 – Attorney at Law – Only woman ever
admitted to the United States Supreme Court
http://www.kansastravel.org/kansascitykansas/huronindiancemetery.htm

Turns out there are somewhere between 700 and 1000 graves in that acre of ground.    It’s been fought over by two branches of the tribe, one wishing to sell for development, or for a casino, the other wanting to hold it sacred as a burial ground.    Salivating developers spent nearly a century hoping if it were vandalized enough, if enough stones were lost, broken, stolen, they could build their offices, bars, porn shops, or fast food joints where those 1000 bodies lie.

200 here, 500 over there, 700 that way, the acre is Grand Central Station of the dead. http://www.kansastravel.org/kansascitykansas/huronindiancemetery.htm

In service to their country
The William E. Connelley Survey of 1895-1896 indicates a large grave in
this area. By tradition, Union dead were buried in this part of the Huron Indian
Cemetery following the Battle of Westport, October 21-23, 1864. http://www.kansastravel.org/kansascitykansas/huronindiancemetery.htm

http://www.kansastrave
History of Wyandot
l.org/kansascitykansas/huronindiancemetery.htm

We didn’t go to Prospero’s, but we did have some great Vietnamese.    And we found a place I plan to return to sometime and sprinkle some tobacco around that acre of dead folks, just in case it matters.

But hell, that’s just me.

Old Jules

map

It’s no Disney World, but it still draws a lot of business

federal prison gated community

Hi readers.   Thanks for coming by.

A lot of you have probably never been to a federal prison, so I thought you might enjoy seeing one of our more famous local attractions.   A lot of people come here to see it and decide to stay a while.  It seems almost majestic to me, but of course I have a biased view, being a resident of the town.

People come from all over the country to see this place and hobnob with like minded residents.

Of course, there are five, or more prisons in this community [nobody seems sure] including one other federal one.   In addition to providing food and shelter for hundreds, maybe thousands of individuals, it’s a source of employment for multitudes.   In my coffee group meeting twice a month at the Council on Aging more than a fourth of the 20+ old guys who attend are retired from prison careers.    Interestingly, no long-time released inmates are part of the group.

Five gated communities in a single small urban environment might seem a lot for those accustomed to Santa Fe, Santa Barbara, or Tuscon.   But around here it feels just about right.    After all, there’d be no place for all those inmates to stay if we had fewer gated communities.

Old Jules

2018 Influenza epidemic seems somehow appropriate

1918 influenza pandemic

Over coffee this morning Johnny, across the hall, described the 2018 flue that is evidently stalking around scaring innocent people.   Johnny tells me it’s killing people like flies.   He said 1200 people died of it somewhere he couldn’t remember, either in a day or a week.   Or during the passage of some other length of time.

But the downside of not being able to believe anything the news media tells you is that you can’t believe anything the news media tells you.    And by extension, even though Johnny is my main source of news, he gets it off the television.   So I can’t trust the news he gives me.

But he did tell me some horror stories about entire families showing up at hospitals with this stuff and croaking right there under the noses of whole tribes of medicos.  Which, if true, might mean we actually are going to experience something more in tune with the 1918 pandemic than most of the later scares.   Cemeteries all over the US have lines of graves of people who were offed by that bull goose 1918 flu.

If you’re like me, you aren’t all that interested in coming down with the damned stuff.   Whether it’s just a little bitty pissant flu, or a great big Alpha-Male gorilla flu that expresses itself more forcefully.

Johnny also said they were telling people to avoid gatherings of people and think twice before sitting around a waiting room in a hospital or doctors office.

Well gee whiz.    I have appointments at the KC VA tomorrow over at Kansas City, MO.   I’ll bet there won’t be any people over there blowing flu virus around all over the rest of us, though.   I’ll bet everyone going over to that vet hospital will be suffering from broken legs and poor vision is the only reason they’re hanging around.

Yeah.     Bound to be no flu sneezers and coughers  over there in the halls, or in the cafeteria, or waiting rooms.

medical masks

Usually I don’t bother with those mask dispensers by the entryways and scattered here and there by the elevators and halls at VA medical centers.    But I’m thinking tomorrow I’ll just snag one of those as I come through the door, and step back outside to put it on.

Or better yet I’ll just trip over to the Leavenworth Emergency room a couple of blocks from here, snag a mask or two, and have it in my pocket tomorrow morning when I arrive.

Not that those things are going to filter out an influenza virus.    They won’t.   But they might confuse it enough so’s it goes and finds someone else to hex.

I’ve donealready had the required minimum of flu for this lifetime.

Thanks for the read.

Old Jules

What the heck is a ‘domiciliary?

These were the Domiciliary Buildings…. they we used from the 1880s until after the Vietnam War.    One of the guys I play chess with lived in one of them a few times back in the late 1970s    They were full back then.

There was a time when the Doms had residents from the Mexican War, the Civil War, the Spanish American War and World War 1.   They kept them separated by wards because they all thought their war was the ‘Big One’ and tended to try to injure one another over it.

Back then they fed everyone in a single building, had formations most days with everyone required to wear a uniform and turn out on the streets.   And they were kept busy repairing, landscaping, even digging clay for the bricks to build and repair the buildings on the campus.

The old house I live in was built in 1896 by these old guys, and it’s easy to see they weren’t carpenters.

Beginning January 1, 2018, they began some renovation on the old ‘dom’ buildings.    Some entrepreneur was given a 99 year lease on the buildings and they’ll have the interiors, currently death traps, torn out so’s the buildings can be rented out as apartments.

They’ve already done that to a few others not shown here, and the campus has around 200 residents living in the four buildings.  Maybe more.     When they’ve done the other thirteen old ‘dom’ buildings this place is going to be jam-packed again, but with all sorts of people I imagine.

Time hurries on.

Old Jules

Photos VA Chapel and Weston, MO house courtesy of Jeanne

These are photos posted after the first time I ever saw this place back in early 2014. Jeanne took most of the pictures and I just walked around amazed at the place. But back then I was still in the process of dying on her couch and didn’t have a lot of energy.

All in all it hasn’t changed much.    Just a bit more run down and crumbling.

Anyway, I sure as heck never dreamed a few years later I’d be living here. Old Jules

So Far From Heaven

IMG_2234 Possumly Jesse James, or a Younger or Dalton or someone else lived here, or visited here, or rode a horse by the place and gazed at it as he/she went by.

IMG_2237 !895 Chapel for VA Center at Fort Leavenworth in seriously bad repair. Protestant downstairs, Catholic further downstairs though the signs are somewhat misleading. No harm in a protestant attending Mass or a Catholic racking up some fire and brimstone occasionally, I reckons.

IMG_2245 Interesting stained glass work. Dunno whether it’s Catholic or the other one.

IMG_2238 Gargoyles are shared equally by Catholics and Protestants.

IMG_2239 The VA hospital environment surrounding this seems obliquely appropriate.

IMG_2240 The metalwork on those doors is probably symbolic of something, but everyone who once knew what it was is dead.

IMG_2243 This end of the building is in bad repair threatening collapse in places, but ain’t likely to get any better.

IMG_2249 Directly across the street from the chapel. It’s…

View original post 88 more words

A most motley crew – or a band of real-world ‘brothers’

The dugout 1

Comment: “Sounds like you live with a most motley crew.”

Old Jules | January 20, 2018 at 8:27 AM
I wouldn’t say that….. there are some lowlifes, as there are in every community in the world. And there are some good folks. We’re just a community of a few hundred men and women who span the extremes of human failures and flaws, and probably have as many virtues as you are likely to find in your own community. The main difference is that the people living here are on the absolute bottom of the socio-economic scale, and we are almost universally veterans. And the road to the bottom of the socio-economic scale naturally includes the spectrum of human behaviors that can carry a person there. Vehicles. Higher on the economic ladder people tend to hide their flaws and human failures better because they haven’t started the downward spiral yet. But here, alcoholics and druggies and thieves can all find their brothers in failure.

You have been following this blog a long time. You can easily go back on the pages, or your memory of my road getting here and see it was fairly innocent, probably also inevitable. I was a man who wasn’t doing what everyone else does to avoid getting where I am now. And when the heart attacks hit, I was either going to die on the street, or move closer to where I am now by accepting Jeanne’s offer to die on her couch.

And when I didn’t die I became officially, a ‘homeless vet’. Here I am surrounded by other ‘homeless veterans’. They’ve all got their own stories. And I’m going to tell some of them. But don’t get the idea they are all as you probably categorize people because they aren’t.

The guy across the hall from me has two bronze stars from Vietnam, 75 percent service connected disability, and spent 13 years in prison for drugs before he got out on appeal. And he’s a good man, a worthy person, and someone I’m glad I have for a neighbor. Guy upstairs has been to prison too, white collar crime, and is struggling to stay alive and pay the rent. Good neighbor, too. Life isn’t as simple as we tend to wish it were.

We’re just you, here, and everyone you know in your secret selves, or some other time of your lives.

1stcav2

Because our flaws, weaknesses and lousy choices are the only things we humans share voluntarily.    They’re the magnets, the star around which every ‘brotherhood’ of humans circle.

Old Jules

Heater doesn’t work? Prove it!

If you’re a company contracted to manage a bunch of old houses such as these you’re obviously going to want to squeeze every dollar you can out of it.   After all, you’re dealing with a bunch of old drunks, addicts, derelicts and other fallout from the mainstream human experience.    So one of the things you’ll do from the start is pretend all those complaints of failings in the buildings you contracted to maintain get ignored as long as possible.

During this cold spell I’m told there have been a rash of complaints of old sissie veterans who thought their central heating units ought to be working better.   Mostly they’re lying.    Just want something to complain about.  I know because last year when my heater didn’t heat the place the manager explained it to me.

So I went out and bought a radiator heater and a bottle-top propane heater and barely even attempt to use the central heat.     I try to keep the thermostat at 61 degrees.

thermostat jan 18 2018

radiator jan 18 2018

propane jan 18 2018

Sorry but the radiator just can’t keep up with Zero degrees F outdoors.    But anticipating the response to my maintenance request I applied the use of a tool I picked up on sale a while back.    It’s magic!   Somehow this little pistolie can read the surface temperature of all manner of objects from a distance, along with the ambient temperature.

In other words you can point it into your heat outlet vents and find out the temperature of the air coming out of there as it emerges!

thermo gun jan 18 2018

thermo gun 2 jan 18 2018

No room for arguments, evasions or excuses.

I’ve loaned this to the other guys in the building and they’ve all become believers.   And my own maintenance request is getting some respect in the proper quarters.

Heck, I’d loan it to some of the folks in the other buildings, too, but someone would trade it for a bottle of whiskey or some skag.

Thanks for the visit.

Old Jules

A little excitement here

It being colder than a well-diggers brass bra the past several days, we’re forced to entertain ourselves by watching carefully out the windows, reading [I’ll talk some about that], and watching movies.     The other tenants read somewhat less and watch tv, I reckons.     So when we meet down in the little ‘lobby’ that used to be a sort of lobby mornings we’re all full of news.

Such as, yesterday the deputies came past on the way to the corner house apartments, pulled in and stayed a while.    I donned my arctic gear and went out onto the porch to see who was getting busted.

Turned out they were moving out the girl-friend of a guy we call Bird Whistle.   I don’t know his real name.    He’s a scowling crackhead, old vet white hater who works over in the main hospital pushing patients around sometimes.    Beats hell out of this woman enough to have the cops out there frequently.      I’ve never seen her when her face wasn’t so full of bruises a person can’t tell how she might have looked once.

Anyway, she was a prostitute in town when she came across Bird Whistle and he brought her down here to live with him.    A few months ago she totaled his car, so they’ve been begging rides for smokes and whiskey, making nuisances of themselves.  I’d never talked to her until the day she flagged me down and offered me a BJ if I’d take her to the liquor store.    [I refused—grapevine has it she gives them for five bucks to anyone in the market.     Not worth it.].

We’d all puzzled over how he stayed out of jail, beating her up that way, and held his job at the hospital only showing up half the time and taking off anytime he could get some crack..

But I’ve digressed.

Those deputies went inside a while, and came back out with Rebecka [the name she goes by is Rebecka], all of them toting bags and pillowcases stuffed with what was probably her belongings.    The deputies got back in the car, but she ran back in and returned in a few minutes with more loot from the apartment.    And the lot of them, her and deputies drove away.

Well, they were no sooner gone than the other residents down there scurried out like a bunch of cockroaches and hurried away in all directions, afoot, or in whatever vehicles they had that would start.

Johnny and I hashed this out this morning.    We figure Bird Whistle beat hell out of her one too many times, and as soon as he was gone, she called the cops asking to be taken to a family violence shelter.    And she must have remarked while she was waiting for the deputies that she was going to spill the beans about all the other crap going on down there.

So everyone must have thought it was a good time to take a powder for a while.   No cars and no lights down there last night.     So maybe Rebecka had a nice night somewhere without any crack and not getting billy-hell beaten out of her.

We’re all thinking Bird might be in jail, but that might be too much to hope for around here.    We’ve had bets going for a long time whether someone would get killed before anyone did anything to stop all that crap.

So now the only woman likely to get beaten up by her man is Sandy, the next building over.    An old Army nurse who has a boyfriend named Daniel Northern who knocks her around enough to bring the cops and get restraining orders for a while.   But somehow love always wins out and before you know it he’s back.

Love conquers all.

Thanks for the visit.

Old Jules

Baby it’s cold outside. And inside is nothing to brag about.

 

jan 16 2018 zero

Hi readers.   Thanks for coming by for a read.

I think our ancestors would most likely consider us a passle of sissies.   These old houses have seen a lot of extended periods when the outside temps didn’t get up to freezing.    Bound to have.    And in those days they were relying on steam radiators, fireplaces,  and lots of blankets.

Well heck.    I think yesterday it got into the 20s F for the first time in over a week.   And if it’s going to get into the teens today there’s no sign of it.     The ‘central heat’ here, combined with my electric radiator heater are just about able to keep the indoor temp up to 61 degrees F.   That’s not the level of warmth I find inspires me to take a badly needed shower, to I tried using the Coleman 30,000 BTU tank-top heater to get things nearer a welcome taste of clean.

Nothing doing!    The carbon monoxide detector kicked in before it got up to 65 degrees F.

This wouldn’t have been a problem for my granddad living in his tarpaper shack out in the middle of nowhere in New Mexico.    He’d have been just trying to keep the 2.5 gallon galvanized bucket he kept by the door for drinking water and to dipper into a washbasin from freezing solid.     If he could manage that a bath could wait until spring.

But Walter E. Hudson  my old granddaddy, didn’t much like bathing anyway.   “Do it too often and you’ll wash off all that protection.”    I’m guessing the people who lived in this house probably subscribed to the same doctrine.

But I have it on good authority we’re looking at some serious global warming, coming soon.    So I’ll plan on a shower then.    And try to keep an adequate supply of clean underwear.

Thanks for the visit.

Old Jules

Celebrating MLK day by doing the laundry and trying to stay warm.

Hi readers.     Thanks for coming by for a read.

At 6 am the thermometer on my porch declared it was almost 20 degrees F.   And an hour later it dropped to around 10 degrees F.    So there you are.

I hope you are all having a merry little MLK day.    If you didn’t get all the presents you were wanting old MLK to bring, maybe the Valentine will give them to you, or the Easter Bunny.    Don’t give up hope.

So, it being a clear day full of sunshine I figured I’d go down to the laundromat to celebrate MLK.    Discovered sun or no sun, those sidewalks and parking lots are SLICK.  No, not slicker than greased owl droppings, but still slick enough to throw a man who was not sufficiently careful, or one who felt the need for a broken arm or hip.

But it was worth it.    I’m blessed with a load of clean laundry, all folded nicely, ready to go into the various hidey holes and drawer-like places here.    And while I was waiting for my dryer I stopped by Wendy’s for a Caesar salad.    Which I didn’t get one of because all their damned Romaine  lettuce was recalled.

So I had to settle for some other lousy salad that wasn’t worth the chewing it required.

But it was worth it anyway.    Because at the booth across from me I heard the most INTERESTING conversation!     It all began with a few remarks about MLK and the issue of whether racism in this country has improved since his time.   Mostly these folks figured it hasn’t.

But of course, they weren’t alive or adults to experience how it was when MLK was doing his work.   Everything seems to me to boil down to conjecture and personal experience.    Along with the manifestations of racism a person chooses to call by that title.

But I’ve digressed.    What struck me as most interesting was that the conversation drifted to something they were calling, ‘restitution’.     Evidently there’s either a plan in place, a program somewhere, or just a fond hope among a lot of people that we who are alive today are going to be compensated by someone sometime for bad things our ancestors experienced.

To me this sounds peachy, but somehow unlikely.    My personal ancestors, I know, experienced great hardships, deprivations, injustices and sometimes even rudeness.   I’ve always resented the fact nobody ever offered to pay me for all that stuff that happened to them.

But my impression listening to these people at Wendy’s was that they thought ‘restitution’ for things our ancestors suffered but we didn’t have to not only made sense, but was somewhere on an agenda and might happen.

Where do these ideas come from?     Is it because we’ve endured a system of inherited wealth and power all these generations after we ceased being aboriginals?   So if we can inherit wealth, we should also be compensated for the suffering dead people endured?

The world is a crazy place, and to me that definitely sounds like an idea not likely to come to pass, but stranger things have happened and still do.    After all, we do allow people to inherit power and wealth generation after generation.   Which probably would have sounded fairly crazy to aboriginals.

Thanks for the visit.

Old Jules