Sunday, February 28, 2010

Time Marches On

Time marches on.  When I looked at the calendar and saw it was the last day of February, that was the first thought that popped into my mind.

Turns out the card reflects that notion in more ways than one.

The obvious way:  there are images of melting watches/clocks on the card.

The symbolic way:  The painting is called "The Persistence of Memory" by Salvador Dali, and is considered his most famous. According to the text, "Many also consider that the melting watches were there to symbolize the irrelevance of time".  I don't know about irrelevance, as it is moving too fast to stop and notice relevance or irrelevance.

The historical way: Well, my history anyways.  The card was sent to me by my now husband, then boyfriend, to an American Express office in Rio de Janeiro in 1978.  My friend and I were traveling in Latin America that year, and the customary way to receive any mail was to have it sent to a couple of American Express offices along the route.  As we didn't have a time-based itinerary, our correspondents just had to guess when we might arrive at a certain city. It was in this way I learned my grandfather had died, when I went to pick up mail San Salvador, the first of our three mail stops.  In this case, the melting aspect of "persistence of memory" has occurred in my mind, as I can only remember the first (San Salvador) and last (Rio de Janeiro) mail stops.

The futuristic way:  It's a little over a month before I leave for Spain, and one of the places I hope to visit is the Dali Museum in Figueres, outside of Barcelona.  It looks absolutely amazing.

Time marches on.  Relevant or irrelevant, at least enjoy it while you have it

Saturday, February 27, 2010

An Alternative View of Winter Sports

Westward, Ho!  What a great name for a mini-chain of motels.  I think our family stayed in all of these sometime in the 60s.

More later......

(Later the next day...)

I know for sure we stayed in one in Palm Springs.  We always went there for our Easter vacations, but we also occassionally went there in the winter.  The weather could be very warm during the day, and freezing at night, but it was definitely (and continues to be) a wonderful winter playground.

And check out Las Vegas - not a single theme hotel/casino to be seen, and I'm pretty sure that view is of the Las Vegas strip.

None of these Westward Ho's still exist, although there are Westward Ho's in Bend, Oregon; West Yellowstone, Montana; and Clovis, New Mexico.  The Las Vegas Westward Ho closed in November 2005, the Palm Springs Westward Ho has been reborn as the Ace Hotel (which actually looks pretty good), and it's not clear whatever happened to the San Diego Westward Ho.

I can't think of another brand that used a rallying cry (Westward, ho!) as its name, with the possible exception of Yahoo!  Additional examples, readers?

Friday, February 26, 2010

Lake Tahoe

Couldn't let the series of winter sports venues continue without a shout out to our local winter sports haven, Lake Tahoe.

Lake Tahoe is home to multiple ski areas including Heavenly and Kirkwood near South Lake Tahoe, and North Star, Squaw Valley, Alpine Meadows, Tahoe Donner, and Mt. Rose near North Shore.  I've skied (if you can call it that) at Heavenly, Kirkwood, North Star, Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows.  Each has its own appeal - some are best for families, others are best for advanced skiers, others are favored by snow boarders over skiers.  Even if you don't ski or board, or prefer to visit Lake Tahoe during other seasons, it's a very cool place to go.

When I found these postcards, they brought up a host of memories.  One I sent to myself from a ski trip over a long weekend we took with three other families; one was sent from a family/business weekend (aka a boondoggle to which I got to bring my husband and kids). 

The trip we took with three families was one of those "memorable" weekends, for all the wrong reasons.  While we did have fun and of course the kids had a blast, the house we rented (sight unseen of course) had paper thins walls.  I recall a baby who cried all night one night, but worse my husband had either a stomach bug or food poisoning so the entire house listened to him retch all night long.  To say the least, it wasn't the most relaxing weekend, as no one got much sleep.

The boondoggle, on the other hand, was superb.  We rode on a luxury bus from San Francisco to Lake Tahoe and were ensconced in the Resort at Squaw Creek.  My kids were more used to staying in rental houses than resorts and  between the outdoor skating rink, the pinball/video arcade, the snack stocked mini bar, and the location, were quite impressed (they were probably 5 and 3 at the time).  At one point, one of them asked, "Can we live here?"  He had no concerns about the four of us in one room with two double beds, as long as he had unlimited access to all the features of the hotel.  The older of the two was able to take what were probably his first ski lessons, the younger spent some time in day care, and my husband and I got to ski at Squaw! 

P.S.  It's Postcard Friendship Friday - you know what to do.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Mt. Hood, Oregon

In the continuation of the winter sports theme, next up is Mt. Hood.  Not only is Mt. Hood a winter sports playground, it is also open for skiing year round. However, summer skiing is recommended primarily for advanced intermediate skiers and above.  That's certainly not me!

This card comes to me from the Mystery Sender, who as regular readers know has been sending me postcards almost every day, usually information filled and always signed "Peace", since early August.  (See first reference to Mystery Sender here.)  At times I think I know who the Mystery Sender is, but when I've posited he/she taunts me for being wrong.  And then he/she throws a curve ball, which may or may not be a clue.  The most recent "clue/curve ball" is that the Mystery Sender has lots of postcards from Mt. Hood (see message on postcard on the right above), with the foreshadowing:  "you'll see". 

Additionally, the Mystery Sender keeps asking me why I haven't mentioned "the banana".  I think "the banana" might have been lost in the mail, or else it's a metaphor I'm clueless to decipher!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Grand Tetons

Continuing on the theme of winter sports areas in the world, here we have the Grand Tetons, although this picture is taken in Grand Teton National Park in the summer rather than the winter.

The winter sports areas in the Grand Tetons include Jackson Hole, Snow King and Grand Targhee.  Jackson Hole and Snow King are in Wyoming; Grand Targhee is on the other side of the Tetons, outside of Driggs, Idaho (featured earlier in the blog as the home of The Spud Drive-In) but maybe just on the state line and still in Wyoming.   When we visited Driggs, Idaho our friends' family ran the Teton Tepee Lodge, and we helped bartend and serve for a wedding reception.   Our friends told us that sometimes it snows there as late as July and as early as September.  Doesn't make for a very long summer!

My mom sent me this postcard from her collection of a few she's saved over the years.  On it she writes that she remembers camping here in 1941, right before WWII began, and seeing moose in the meadows near the lakes.  I think it's a little too crowded for that now.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Cantons of Switzerland

All this Winter Olympic stuff got me thinking about the variety of winter sports places in the world.  I don't begin to claim that I've got postcards from all of them, but I did recently receive this one from Switzerland.

Not only does it show several winter sports areas, it also features the flags of the 26 cantons of Switzerland.  Of course I had to count, and in fact there are only 23 flags in the postcards above.

What gives with that?  Turn out six of the cantons - Unterwalden, Appenzell, and Basel - are "traditionally, but no longer officially, called 'half-cantons', reflecting a history of mutual association or partition."  Unterwalden is made up of Obwalden and Nibwalden, Appenzell of Appenzell Ausserrhoden and Appenzell Innerrhoden (Outer and Inner Rhodes), and Basel of Basel-Stadt and Basel Landschaft (Basel -city and -country).

When I was on business in Switzerland a few years back, I had dinner with a local colleague.  He served a traditional Swiss dish, Raclette, which is a melted cheese that you put on potatoes and/or other vegetables.  Delicious!  He also showed us his bomb shelter in their basement. Turns out every household in Switzerland is required to have a bomb shelter, and if a new house is built and you don't want to include a bomb shelter, you can contribute a fee toward a communal bomb shelter.  Most are used for storage, and no longer necessarily stocked with food and water, as originally required, but there are more bomb shelters in Switzerland per capita than any other country in the world.

From Widipedia:  Switzerland built an extensive network of fallout shelters (mainly through extra hardening of government buildings such as schools) of a scale to protect and feed the entire population for two years after a nuclear attack. This nation has the highest ratio of shelter space to national population of any country. All these shelters are capable of withstanding nuclear fallout and biological or chemical (NBC) attacks but the blast-proof requirement varies depending on the size of the building. The largest buildings usually have dedicated shelters tunneled into solid rock. Similar projects have been undertaken in Finland, which requires all buildings with area over 600 m² to have an NBC shelter, and Norway, which requires all buildings with an area over 1000 m² to have a shelter.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Goat Dairy

We visited some friends in Santa Rosa recently, and they collected these cards for me during a school field trip to the Redwood Hill Farm.  One of our friends has gone back to college and is studying sustainable food production and food science, having worked in consumer food products for years.  He was actually one of my first clients in packaged goods advertising - we made advertising for Hidden Valley Ranch Salad Dressing together.

The goat on the left is named Zimba, and she is one of the 300 humanely raised dairy goats at Redwood Hill Farm, the first Certified Humane goat dairy in the country.  I'm not always the biggest fan of goat cheese, but I tasted goat milk yogurt when we went to the Santa Rosa Farmers Market and it was really good.

You can read more about the goat farm and creamery here:

Saturday, February 20, 2010


A postcard from Belarus, from a Postcrossing participant, a student at the Minsk Linguistic State University.  She must be a really good student, as her written English is practically flawless. 

The Postcrossing Project continues to amaze me.  Just check out these stats:  in less than five years, almost 4,000,000 postcards have been sent around the world, each one making a little connection between individuals and cultures and languages.   When that little card arrives, which someone in a country somewhere has taken the time to select, write on and put in the mail, there's a quick moment of a very tangible connection to a real person living a real life, somewhere else.  I like that.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Rick Geary Postcard of Abraham Lincoln

A little late for President's Day, but this postcard just arrived in the mail yesterday.  My friend, Steve, has been cleaning out his office, and sending me the postcards he finds there.  I've received two packages so far.  (Thanks, Steve!)

Rick Geary is an artist who creates comic books, graphic novels and postcards, on top of being available for commercial/media illustrations.  I love his postcards, and now have a bunch in my collection. Several were posted a while back, which can be seen here.

P.S.  It's postcard friendship Friday, so head on down to check out other postcards.  There are always some pretty cool ones!

Thursday, February 18, 2010


I've put out a few requests for a postcard from the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, but in the meantime my last Atlanta Summer Olympics postcards will have to do.

Was it during the Atlanta Olympics that cycling started to become so big?  It seems the amount of riders has exploded in the last ten or so years, with expensive bikes, designer duds, and a direct drift to seriousness.

We used to ride  bikes a lot, BC (before children).  We'd throw the bikes on the back of the VW Rabbit, and head to Sonoma or Napa or Bodega Bay.  It was an incredible way to spend a Saturday or Sunday, either riding a relatively long route (I think our longest was about 40+ miles), or meandering from winery to picnic spot and back.  Now, the biking is called cycling and it seems a LOT more intense.

What is it with our culture where at some point with any new activity, a group breaks away and starts going all out, and the whole thing gets very intense?  Is it the sheer numbers of baby boomers, and the never ending desire to be faster, stronger, louder, longer?  To have the most expensive toys?  To be the first with the best, and use it better than anyone?  Is it looking for a way to displace energy that used to be focused on attempting to make the world a better place?  I suppose the sociologists have an answer, or perhaps the psychologists, but I certainly don't.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Athletics at the Olympics

Last night I watched some of the men's short program figure skating from the Olympics.  I love watching the combination of athleticism and artistry, and the mere ability to skate and leap and jump and twirl and spin amazes me.  Some of the final spins were so fast, their heads disappeared!  I don't know if there's anything like figure skating during the summer Olympics.  Perhaps diving is the closest, where there are points for difficulty and artistry and the contestants are required to perform certain moves.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Olympic Events

We went to the Summer Olympics in Los Angeles in 1984, just deciding to go for it relatively last minute, driving down to Los Angeles without a ticket in hand.  We ended up attending a track and field match in the Coliseum, the soccer bronze medal game in the Rose Bowl and watching the marathon (can't remember if it was men's or women's) from our friend's house in Venice Beach.  It was very exciting to be a part of it.  I had forgotten that most of the Soviet Bloc countries boycotted the Olympics that year, with the single exception of Romania.

I have one minor connection to a Winter Olympic event, and that is to luge racing.  No, I've never tried it, and have no plans to. 

However, I did play a German nurse in a student film about a luge racer.  The film, Bullethead, is "the story of an East German luge racer whose head is surgically streamlined to make him the world's most aerodynamic human."  It was shown in art houses all over Europe and my part, while very small, gets the only laugh in the entire 13 minutes.  One night, I fell asleep in front of the television and woke up to hear, "and next up, Bullethead, a film by David Munro".  There I was, on PBS!  I still remember my two lines, which were in German, and can perform them at will.  My great disappointment is that, on the IMDb site, I am not listed as a cast member.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Winter Olympics

Friday night, I caught the end of the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada.  The special effects were fantastic.  At one point, the floor appeared to turn into water, with whales pushing through it, spraying out of their blow holes. 

Until 1992, the Winter and Summer Olympics  were held in the same years.  (I did not remember this, or perhaps I never noticed.)  At that time, timing was changed so that each appears in alternating even years. 

I found this postcard I sent to myself from Atlanta in late 1995 when I went to surprise my sister for her 40th birthday.  The Atlanta Summer Olympics had not yet occurred but they were already being marketed heavily.   It felt to me that the Atlanta Games had just happened, but in fact there have been three other summer Olympics since that time:  Sydney in 2000, Athens in 2004 and Beijing in 2008.  I watched pieces of all of them, but it seems impossible that that much time has passed.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!

Two Valentine's Day poems, for your reading pleasure.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Valentine's Day, IV

Two more unusual Valentines from 1910.  They are embossed and appear to be colored after the embossing, in a free form sort of way.  I suppose there is a name for this type of technique, but in all the 100-year old Valentines I've seen posted in the last few days, I haven't seen anything like these.

My cousin made a comment on yesterday's post: "I remember Aunt Amanda telling me that in her day Valentines were sent, you know, a secret admirer."  Our aunt Amanda was over 100 years old when she died, and that was in the early 80s.  She was probably around 25 or 30 years old when these postcards were sent.

Has the concept of "secret admirer" disappeared?  It didn't have to be romantic admirer, as I recall, just secret.  Any thoughts?

Friday, February 12, 2010

Valentine's Day, III

This postcard is from 1910 or so, but in many ways it has a very modern feeling, almost like the graphics from the 1950s or 1960s. I had to enlarge it to figure out what was going on - it's Cupid as a blacksmith forging hearts, and the items that look like X's on the window sill must be tongs.

If you get the chance, enlarge it and take a look. It is incredibly 3-D, and Cupid's little cherubic body is beautifully sculpted/embossed.

Not only is it the Friday of a long weekend for many, today is Postcard Friendship Friday. Check out some of the other postcard blogs that are found there if you can!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Valentine's Day, II

Two more valentines from my friend's collection, neither dated nor used, and therefore without any identifying postmarks.  I assume they are from sometime between 1907 and 1912, as have been all the other cards in her collection.

The two figures, the matador valentine and the scotsman valentine, appear to be part of a series.  I wonder what the other swains in the series might have been?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Valentine's Day - 1909

101 years ago, Valentine's Day was an occasion to send greetings to one another.  In fact, the day was established in 496 AD, but "The holiday first became associated with romantic love in the circle of Chaucer in the High Middle Ages, when the tradition of courtly love flourished".

Today and for the next couple of days, A Plethora of Postcards will feature Valentines from my friend's collection of holiday postcards (postcards from her collection have been featured here, here, herehere, here, here, and here and elsewhere) with all cards being from around 1907-1912.  The one above is from 1909.

She and I cannot figure out what the heck is going on in this Valentine.  Has the woman captured Cupid, and stolen his tools because she wants him?  Does she want to use his tools in capturing the heart of someone else?   She appears to be taunting Cupid, who does not look happy at all.  Is this an early example of stalking type behavior? 

Anybody have any thoughts on an interpretation of this card, and what it might be communicating to the recipient?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


Cathy, the woman who cuts (okay, okay - and colors, too) my hair, has been traveling in Asia - Vietnam, Cambodia, and possibly Thailand.  She sent this postcard from Vietnam. 

It brings up an interesting coincidence for me:  my last name is "Doan", and I am your typical, old school American mongrel - Scotch, Irish, German, English.  But "Doan" is also a Vietnamese name (as is the name of the photographer of this photo), and I am pretty sure I don't have any Vietnamese in my background, no matter how far back you go. 

"Doan" in the Anglo-Saxon, derives from the Irish "Doane", and means low, rolling hills.  The first Doans came to the US in 1629, and it appears there were a group of Doans who were "robbers, felons, burglars and traitors".  Rapscallions, to say the least.

"Doan" in Vietnamese means "nice, elegant, united, friendly".  Not bad for a definition.  We had a friend who named his son "Eric" and one of his high school friends found a definition for Eric that meant "stinky hair".  That poor kid is probably referred to as "stinky hair" by his quasi-uncles to this day, and I think the mother is still not happy about this.

Not all language is derivative, and most likely there is no common ancestral name or term from which "Doan" in Vietnam and "Doan" in Ireland evolved.  There are only so many sounds humans are capable of making and sometimes, words just come out the same.

Monday, February 8, 2010


This must be a popular postcard design in Holland.  I received these two postcards within two days of each other, from two separate Postcrossing participants.  While the cards feature completely different pictures and slightly different placement of colors around the border, the design is virtually the same.

I always get  confused about the use of the term "Holland" versus "The Netherlands".  It turns out it's no wonder.  Officially, "Holland" refers to a region in the western part of The Netherlands, comprising of North Holland and South Holland.  However, these are only two of the twelve provinces of The Netherlands.  Accepted use, albeit informally, allows "Holland" to be used to refer to the entire country.  Add to that the use of the word "Dutch" to refer to all things Netherland, and it becomes a big mishmash of confusion for me.

In any case, I love the postcards I get from Postcrossing, and never know from where or with which images a card will arrive

Sunday, February 7, 2010

My First Super Bowl

In 1995, I was invited by Sports Illustrated Magazine to go to Super Bowl XXIX in Miami to see the San Francisco 49ers (my home team) play the San Diego Chargers.  It was the best business perk I ever had.

We were flown from San Francisco to Miami, and whisked to the Biltmore Hotel (seen here) in Coral Gables outside of Miami.  This Biltmore Hotel claimed to have the largest pool in the world, at least at that time, and the hotel itself became our playground for the next couple of days.  I can't imagine a better host than Sports Illustrated;  they held a variety of events, including a big dinner reception where there was a huge copper pan of paella the size of a satellite dish, well-known sports figures, writers from the magazine, and a bevy of magazine sales reps eager to entertain us.  At one point, a group of us decided we wanted to go into South Beach, and a small bus appeared to take us there.  It happened that a number of the advertisers who had been invited were couples with relatively young children, like us, who hadn't been away without the kids for a while.  We were all in the same mindset - "we're free", and behaved accordingly. 

But game day itself was the highlight.  We were loaded on busses to travel to the stadium, and we all wondered how bad the traffic would be.  For the three Sports Illustrated busses, no problem.  We had a police escort from the hotel to the stadium, which literally cleared a path for us on the freeway.  You could see people in the cars who had been pushed to the side looking at our busses, wondering, "Who's in there?"  At the stadium itself, there was a Sports Illustrated by invitation only hospitality tent, and when at last it was game time, we were taken to the Sports Illustrated luxury box, where we sat with the publisher, Tom Brady, and, during the third quarter, Mean Joe Green.  As icing on the cake, the 49ers won the game.

I still have a canvas bag and a couple of plastic cups from this outing.  The beach towels and the stadium seats they gave us, all emblazoned with the Super Bowl XXIX and Sports Illustrated logos, and some of the other tchotches have long since disappeared.  I attended one other Super Bowl in Phoenix, when the Dallas Cowboys played the Pittsburg Steelers.  I've been to the Final Four at the Superdome in New Orleans.  I've  attended World Series and NBA playoff games.  However, nothing will ever top this trip to the XXIX Super Bowl!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

The Super Bowl

Tomorrow is Super Bowl XLIV, featuring the Indianapolis Colts versus the New Orleans Saints.  Above, a postcard from each team's home town.

I am rooting for the New Orleans Saints, for three random reasons.  First, while I haven't been to Indianapolis, I have been to New Orleans and between the jazz and the food and the energy in the streets and the voodoo and cemetaries and Mardi Gras and and and - how can you not love the place?  Second, New Orleans is a city that could use something to celebrate, and while winning the NFC championship is a big deal in and of itself, the big one is the Big One.  Lastly, our friend from college was drafted out of UC Berkeley to be a running back for the Saints many years ago, and because of this I've always felt a certain fondness for the team.

Tomorrow - postcards from the first time I went to the Super Bowl.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Shambala Preserve

Tippi Hedren, of Alfred Hitchcock's Bird fame, founded a center called the Shambala Preserve, in the high dessert in Southern California.  It is home to almost 70 exotic felines, including the serval named "Ozzie" pictured above, as well as "lions, tigers, cougars, black and spotted leopards, servals, bobcats, Asian leopard cats, a jungle cat, a lynx, and one very magnificent liger".

I have a cat, Sunshine, who isn't exactly an exotic feline but she's a beautiful cat.  She is particularly devoted to me, and she and my husband do battle over who might get my attention.  My husband thinks the cat wins too often.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Galapagos Islands

I received this postcard in the mail yesterday, sent by my friend Carolyn, from the Galapagos Islands. 
Most school children learn that the Galapagos Islands were the inspiration for Charles Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection, although the natural selection part of said theory is often left out of the discussion.  What they might not learn is that there are 15 major and three minor islands comprising this equator-straddling volcanic archipelago.  Many of the islands were originally named by the bucaneer Ambrose Cowley after "some of his fellow pirates or after the English noblemen who helped his cause", but more recently were assigned Spanish names by the Ecuadorean government.  Many visitors, especially ecological researchers, continue to use the English names as those were the names used when Darwin visited.

The Galapagos is one of too many world heritage sites in danger of being both loved and exploited to death.  Interesting to read that there are 700 non-native species on the islands, introduced either intentionally or not, compared to 500 native species.  For example, "in 1959, fishermen introduced one male and two female goats to Pinta island; by 1973 the National Park service estimated the population of goats to be over 30,000 individuals."   Wow.  That's some population explosion!  Imagine what it does to the native plants and animals.

Althought it doesn't say, the picture on the postcard is most likely a Marine Iguana (as opposed to the Galapagos Land Iguana).  The Marine Iguanas are not found anywhere else on earth, and when Charles Darwin encountered them he described them as follows:  "The black Lava rocks on the beach are frequented by large (2-3 ft), disgusting clumsy Lizards. They are as black as the porous rocks over which they crawl & seek their prey from the Sea. I call them 'imps of darkness'. They assuredly well become the land they inhabit."  Pretty harsh description for an ocean-going, green algae eating lizard.  I think its picture is cute, in a reptilian sort of way.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The New Hotel Jefferson

They don't call bars and restaurants "The Rendezvous Room" or the "Club Continental" any more.  It's too bad, really.  These names have an air of elegant sophistication, or at least a little bit of intrigue about them. This is due in part to the fact that  I have always been partial to alliteration.  But it is also because there is no cynicism in these names; they weren't meant to be ironic.  The names were simply a sign of the times.

As the Mystery Sender writes, the the New Hotel Jefferson doesn't appear to exist any longer.  There are lots of "Jefferson" named places in St. Louis, but no New Jefferson Hotel.  It's a pity.  I would love to see a room that still looks like the Rendezvous Room, or make an appointment to rendezvous with someone there!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Lion House in Salt Lake City

I haven't posted a card from the Mystery Sender in way too long, so today, a card of the Lion House, home of Brigham Young, in Salt Lake City sent by my favorite postcard correspondent, the Mystery Sender.  My book club is reading The 19th Wife about a Mormon polygamous sect in Utah (where else?), so it seemed appropriate.

I love the difference in descriptions of the Lion House from the perspective of the Mormon Church (here) and Wikipedia (here).  The Mormon history describes the Lion House as Brigham Young's house where he housed his "very large family".  Wikipedia talks about his many wives and all their children.  It's all a matter of perspective, I suppose.

Monday, February 1, 2010


Indiana was one of the states for which I had no postcards.  A friend of mine has a sister who lives there, and she talked her sister into sending me the cards.  Still hoping for cards from North & South Dakota, West Virginia, Kansas, Vermont, and Nebraska.  Help!

So, what to say about Indiana?  To be honest, I can't find much.  Their nickname is the Hoosier state, although no one seems to know the origin of the term.   The Colts from Indianapolis are going to the Super Bowl this year - although I still think of them as the Baltimore Colts, even though they haven't played in Baltimore since 1984.  Perhaps we'll learn something about Indiana or Indianapolis during the pre-game warm up shows.

Here's something, in keeping with my on-going interest in dunes.  Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, stretching from Gary, Indiana to Michigan City, Indiana along the shores of Lake Michigan.  Doesn't sound like there are that many dunes, but it looks like an interesting place for a hike.

There are a number of movies set in Indiana, among them Hoosiers, North by Northwest, a League of Their Own, and The Fugitive.  Kurt Vonnegut and Theodore Dreiser are both from Indiana and last but not least, who could forget the words to the song, Gary, Indiana sung by both Robert Preston and Ron Howard in the film version of The Music Man:

Gary, Indiana, Gary Indiana, Gary, Indiana,
Let me say it once again.
Gary, Indiana, Gary, Indiana, Gary, Indiana,
That's the town that "knew me when."
If you'd like to have a logical explanation
How I happened on this elegant syncopation,
I will say without a moment of hesitation
There is just one place
That can light my face.
Gary, Indiana,
Gary Indiana,
Not Louisiana, Paris, France, New York, or Rome, but--
Gary, Indiana,
Gary, Indiana,
Gary Indiana,
My home sweet home.