Sunday, September 25, 2005

Search for the Missing Drinking Fountain

Would anyone like to help find a missing drinking fountain? Now I am not talking about just any drinking fountain, I am talking about the Starkweather Fountain. The founain was a gift to the City of Ypsilanti from Mary Ann Starkweather back in1889.

"The Fountain is a bronze structure, resting upon granite foundation, with an extreme height of 12 1/4 feet above the crub stone, the bronze work along being 11 3/4 feet high. An octragononal plinth 40 inches through, resting upon a base of the same form carries upon the north and south faces, drinking bowels for horses; upon the east and west faces, higher than those, smaller bowels with cup for people, and at the bottom faces, still smaller bowels for dogs. The bowels are fed by streams issuing from the months of griffin heads," reported the Ypsilantian of November 14, 1889.

At the top of the fountain, standing about five feet high was the graceful figure of Hebe, the Greek goddess of youth and cupbear to the gods.

The fountain was dismantled in April of 1932 and placed in storage. Then in 1933 the figure of Hebe was placed in what is now Waterworks Park. After that the fountain completely disappeared. It may ahve been scraped during World War II, and there is a story of someone selling it for their own profit. Then there is another story of city workers dumping the fountain into the Huron River.

So would anyone like to go search the bottom of the Huron River for the Fountain? The most likely place to start is the river by Waterworks Park. All we need is a good metal detector, and a boat to put it is,

Anyone care to take a look?

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

52 Presents to give yourself

A close friend of mine died suddenly on Monday, and I am still reeling from the news. I went through some papers i have on grief, and found this, which I wish to share with you.

52 Presents to give yourself

Walk instead of ride.
Give yourself a compliment
Keep a secret
Practice courage in one small way.
Warm a heart
Laugh at yourself
Enjoy silence
Walk to the nearest park.
Break a bad habit, if just for today.
Get to know the neighbor's dog or cat.
Hug someone.
Sing in the shower
List ten things you do well
Walk in the rain.
Pay a compliment.
Throw away something you don't like.
Watch a construction crew.
Waste a little time.
Curl up with some hot cocoa
Buy a ticket to a special event.
Return something you've borrowed
Think about droplets on rosebubs
Try to feel another person's hurt or joy.
Organize some small corner of your life.
pop popcorn
Turn off the TV and do something else.
Gather shells on the beach.
Feed the ducks
Pick up some travel brochures and dream
Smell one flower.
Sand a card to someone for no reason
Take an early morning walk.
Tell someone how much you appreciate him or her.
Look into the heart of a flower.
Look at old photos
Encourage a young person.
Follow an impulse
Visit someone close by.
Listen to the rain.
Acknowledge when you are wrong.
Volunteer time to something you care about.
Give yourself a present for under $1.
Eat breakfast with a friend.
Let someone do you a favor.
Reread a favorite book.
Allow yourself to make a mistake.
Watch the sun set.
Allow yourself to make another mistake.
Drop a quarter where some one will find it.
Surprise a child.
Plant a seed.
Watch the sun rise.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Alternative Transportation

With gas prices rising and no end in sight, it might be a good time to consider alternative means of transportation. There are, of course, the good old stand bys, walking, biking, and the bus; and there is, once again, discussion of a rail system in Southeast Michigan. Personally, I think we need to be a bit more imaginative, and consider still other ways to get around. For example, I think we should examine the practicability of bringing back the dog sled. The dog sled was in use in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan well into the 20th Century, and in some places may still be in use.

Now just sit back for aminute and think about it, as this is not as far fetched as it may seem. Think how nice it will be to wake up in the morning to the sound of cheerful barking dogs pulling sleds and people down the street. A dog team pulling a sled is a year round means of transportation; just replace the runners with wheels, and the sled is ready for the summer. A sled can carry a heavy load, depending on how many dogs are in the team. A person or two can ride on the sled, and only need to run behind the sled to keep from freezing to death.

There are a few problems that will need to be addressed, of course, such as the care and feeding of all of the dogs. Then there is the question of what to do with the wast product. Still, these questions can be dealt with in due course.

So let us consider the return of the dog team, as an alternative means of transportation. Then try and come up with a better idea. Have fun.