Monthly Archives: November 2022


Ruth was a little upset with me for 2 reasons after our visit to this car and plane museum in Hood River. First, I didn’t pay enough attention to its exhibit on female flyers, and then I failed to mention it during my first blog about this excellent museum. As a result, I decided to complete a 2nd essay on it today.

While there Ruth repeatedly asked me if had seen the exhibit about Amelia Earhart, which I had not paid attention to. Then I failed to pay enough heed to it after being directed to it. Amelia vanished on her global circumnavigation in 1937, and it’s still being talked about even though she was declared legally dead 2 years after disappearing. Then there are a host of other female pilots who have gained notoriety since then, some of whom Ruth knew or at least learned about in other museums about aviation. She appreciated the fact that this museum restores aircraft engines and keeps vintage airplanes flying. She and the other members of our family especially liked the big-wheel bicycles on display.

I was enamored by the electric cars, like the 1914 Detroit Electric vehicle that is on prominent display as are this museum’s impressive display of gliders. There are at least 20 of them in its collection. I was also interested in the first toilet on an airplane, the antique siren in the men’s room, and the fact that in 1904 there were more electric than gas cars in New York City and that most of the drivers in this city were women. License plates during this era when wagons were more common than cars were made of leather, and Oregon led in the production of them.

I was genuinely interested in the story about the Abernathy brothers too. They drove a Brush Runabout from New York City to Oklahoma City when one of them was only 9 years old. They drove a distance of more than 2,500 miles, and the Brush they chose, the only one still in existence, is on permanent display in this museum. They became so famous for this feat that a book was written about them.

There were several videos available to watch while we toured this museum. My favorite was about the aviation pioneer Wright Brothers, and the display about them also featured one of their wind tunnel designs and a bicycle like the one that they sold in their shop in Ohio.


ps All of the photos used on the first essay were from our photo library. The ones used today are of actual cars and planes in WAAAM.

Whidbey Island Attractions

In addition to the new Price Sculpture Forest on Whidbey Island, there is an older attraction worth seeing. Its a state park called Fort Casey. I had never heard of it until Ruth and I went there in 2022. I talked to a man at Price, and he told me about it. He mentioned that he used to make deliveries on Whidbey and he spoke of Fort Casey. It was once a very important military installation here, he told me, but it officially closed its last military function 70 years ago. However, its guns and batteries were left for tourists and locals to see. This is the only place on this island where such guns are visible. They are a remarkable sight.

Fort Casey was at one time an advanced military installation on Whidbey Island. It and 2 other distant forts were charged with guarding the harbor entrance to Puget Sound. All 3 are now state parks and contain batteries. This is an old French word for a grouping of artillery pieces, or it can mean the guns on a warship. Beginning in the 1890s, concrete and earth forts were built in 3 places in this area to aid in the defense of Seattle and Puget Sound. Many support buildings were also built that remain. Eventually new steel guns were mounted on clever disappearing carriages. Most of them have been removed except for the guns at Fort Casey. These guns were hard for the enemies, Germany and Japan, to see and understand.

Technological improvements in armaments had already made these forts obsolete by the 1920s. Airplanes took over area defense and warships were more accurate and could shoot farther. When Fort Casey completely ceased its military function it became a training center and then a state park. At 1451 acres. Fort Flagler on an inlet entrance to Marrowstone Island has also become a state park.

By 1945 they were all scrapped or recycled and all the guns were removed except for Fort Casey’s. Fort Casey has been a park now for almost 60 years. Since the experts expected night attacks, searchlights had been installed, and enemy ships had to pass through the beams. Five batteries remain to be seen at Casey with names like Kingsbury and Trevor. Fort Casey remains a 432 acre park at 200 Battery Way on Whidbey Island.

Ruth and I are even more familiar with the installation north of beautiful Port Townsend, WA called Fort Worden. We were there on the 4th of July once and had a fine time attending the patriotic ceremony still held. We have toured its visitor center, hiked its many trails, and have always intended to return and stay there in its cabins and military housing for a while. Two films have been made here: The Ring starred Naomi Watts and was made here in 2002 and the even older and more successful An Officer and a Gentleman was filmed in the 1980s. Winter is an especially good time to visit Fort Worden with Alexander’s Castle to explore, boating, beach walking, snowshoeing and dog sledding among the many activities to enjoy in addition to visits to Port Townsend. Expect rain.

These 3 forts once formed what was called The Triangle of Fire.



We took advantage of the Thanksgiving Holiday and visitors to go to Hood River, OR. While there we went to WAAAM and had a great time. WAAAM stands for Western Antique Aeorplane & Automobile Museum. It has been in Hood River as an attraction for 15 years. It is not downtown and a place you are likely to find on your own. In fact, it is 3 miles from Hood River’s downtown at 1600 Air Museum Road next to the airport. It’ s a sensational museum that makes a distinction between antique and classic. Currently on view are 147 cars and 200 airplanes.

I especially enjoyed seeing its most recent acquisition, a 1929 Trimotor Ford Aeroplane that was the first commercial flyer. Operated by Pan Am and TWA, it could carry between 13 and 15 passengers and had no toilet. It is definitely worth seeing. I also enjoyed the story about the 2 brothers under the age of 15 who drove an antique Brush auto, The Brush, the only vehicle of its kind to survive, is on display in this museum. Among its autos, I really enjoyed seeing a classic Avanti, a 1923 Locomobile, and a very early French Citroen in an odd color that brought back memories. All of the autos and aeroplanes are displayed in 2 side-by-side wings. I have never seen so many gliders in one place.

I enjoyed learning about early aviation practices. I have never learned so much about important pioneers like William Boeing and the Wright Brothers in one place. Born in Detroit, Boeing founded the Pacific Airplane Company that became the Boeing Company. After he added Pratt and Whitney and United Airlines to his stable, the federal government accused him of monopoly in 1934. A noted horse breeder and timber company developer, Boeing is said to have died of a heart attack at his yacht club on Puget Sound in Seattle where he and his wife had settled. He died on his yacht at the age of 74 and, of course, many suspected suicide. I also learned about aircraft practices before radio communication was possible including navigation beacon towers along rivers like The Columbia that served to keep airplanes in the air. I appreciated seeing airplanes with folding wings and any number of early autos like an antique Packard that still looked new after all these years. Most of the planes on display are kept airworthy and several of the cars are still driveable.

That this museum is in Hood River, OR is largely due to a man named Terry Brandt who used to visit family in this area and learned to love it. The first hanger opened with his donation of 42 airplanes, 24 cars, and 8 jeeps.

By all means take advantage of the items that make this attraction distinctive, like the video of the flight that Tom Murphy made from the rooftop of the Multnomah Hotel in Portland in 1995. A replica of the Curtiss Pusher he used hangs in the gift shop and the video in Hangar M2 is both tender and watchable.


Towns Named Dallas

There are 14 Towns named Dallas in America. Few of them are named after the city in Texas. In fact, only one town has been named after the Dallas in Texas that I know about.

The first Dallas in America is in Wisconsin. It’s a town of about 357 people in Barron County. It was named after a US Vice President, George Mifflin Dallas. He was the 11th Vice President who ended his term in 1849. It chief attraction is a pioneer village with 28 historic buildings. It’s on the map north of Eau Claire.

There is a Dallas in West Virginia. It’s an unincorporated community not too far from Wheeling and on most maps. It was named for an early settler and has a population of 425 people.

The main Dallas is the city in Texas. It was named either after the vice president or for Joseph Dallas, an early settler in the area. There is a village in Scotland named Dallas. Dallas is a big city with a population of 2.288 million.

The Dallas in Pennsylvania has 2,600 plus people living in it. It was named for Alexander J, Dallas. He was the 6th Secretary of the Treasury in the United States. It’s in Luzerne County in the northeastern part of the state.

The Dallas in Oregon has about 17,000 people living there. It’s west of Salem, Oregon’s capital. It was named for the former vice president George Mifflin, who must have been a dynamic VP.

Dallas, North Carolina has about 5.000 living in it. It was yet another town named for the Vice President.

The Dallas in Missouri is also a county and is near where Ruth once visited her grandparents near the town of Buffalo. It was named for a buffalo skull landmark erected in 1833 by Mark Reynolds, the first settler in Dallas.

There is a Dallas in Maine. It’s a minor town of less than 300 people. It began as a plantation that grew into a populated place.

The Dallas in Georgia is a large town of almost 12,000 people that was named for the Vice President, George Mifflin Dallas. It is almost a suburb of Atlanta.

There are 4 more Dallasses, but the most interesting to me is the small town in Colorado in mountainous Ouray County. It was named for a former Vice President named Dallas, George M. that is, the illustrious 18th century Vice President mentioned several times above. This town was once a stagecoach stop that completely went out of business long ago. It slowly went away when the town of Ridgeway happened.

The other 3 Dallasses are in Florida, Arkansas, and Alabama. Only the Dallas in Alabama is mapped by Rand McNally, but the other 2 surely exist as small towns. The Arkansas Dallas is in Polk County and the Florida Dallas is in Marion County. There is also a Dallas County in Arkansas, but the unincorporated town of Dallas isn’t in it. There is a Dallas Center in Iowa and a Dallas City in Illinois. They have a combined population of about 2,500 people and both are mapped. There are said to be 6 international Dallasses with one each in England and Canada.

So at least 6 of the towns named Dallas above were named for a former vice president of the United States who is not well known.


Washington Food Production

Washington State isn’t just about apples. Ruth and I drove through Quincy in Grant County to see about its cash crops, and apples are #1 there and accounting for 20% of food production. Apples are followed by some surprises. #2 in commodity importance is milk followed by potatoes and wheat. Both were surprises. I have noted potatoes growing everywhere in the mid-section of Washington, but I did not realize that Washington has become #2 in potato production among the states. Idaho is still #1, and #3 was also a surprise, North Dakota. However, potato growers in Washington have the highest yield per acre of this crop, beating even Idaho. I would have thought, furthermore, that Kansas is still #1 in wheat production. A lot of wheat is grown in the Palouse regions of Idaho and Washington. 230 agricultural products are now grown in Washington so this state is #2 in food production nationally. Only California produces more food.

Quincy has a population of only 7,300 and is a powerful food grower, Its biggest cash crops are alfalfa, apples, corn, potatoes, and wheat. Grant County, where Quincy is, has an overall population of more than 100,000 people, but Whitman County south of Spokane now produces more wheat than any other county in the United States, Kansas included. Washington is definitely coming on as an important food source. Ruth and I love to eat Washington asparagus every spring, but this has become a not so important crop over time because things change so rapidly.

I now understand why I saw a milk truck with a winking cow on it as we entered Quincy. We also saw field upon field in the Quincy region planted with potatoes with piles of apples boxes nearby. We noticed tasseling corn, but most of the wheat fields had been already stripped of wheat. Hay was under plastic wraps, however, and everywhere, Suddenly a hay truck passed us on the other side of Moses Lake. There were lots of new-looking motels on the outskirts of this central-Washington city that is bursting where I spotted an unharvested corn field next to what looked like a Mormon Temple. The city of Spokane, our destination, was only 104 miles away.

If we had been further south, we might be going through Umatilla, an Oregon town where we are used to buying melons. Further east we have often bought onions from roadsiders. These states are full of food vendors, and onions are Washington’s 10th most important crop. That can change, however, tomorrow.