Tuesday, July 29, 2014

1934 Auburn V-12 Saloon Phaeton -- July 29, 2014

We visited the Blackhawk Museum in June, 2013 to drool over their collection of classic autos.  I like the color and everything else about this 1934 Auburn V-12 Saloon Phaeton.  The original owners bought this 160 HP auto for $1,745 in 1934. 

Monday, July 28, 2014

Austria Declares War -- July 28, 2014

New York Tribune, July 29, 1914

100 years ago today, Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia (then often called Servia) and the First World War began.  Austria-Hungary had dithered for a month after its heir was assassinated:

This article is from the 29-July-1914 New York Tribune. 


Grey's Plan for London Peace Conference

Is Abandoned, While War Spirit

Fills Continental Capitals.


British Fleet Practically Prepared to Sail?Feverish

Military and Naval Activity Prevails in France and

Italy Also as Great Conflict Threatens.

[By Cable to The Tribune]
London, July 29 -- Dispatches from Vienna announce that offensive operations against Servia were begun immediately after the Austro-Hungarian declaration of war.
Austrian troops have crossed the frontier at Mitrovitza, the Servians being driven back.
Twenty thousand of the Temesvar army corps are concentrating near Semendria and are preparing pontoons for crossing the Danube, while another corps, concentrated opposite Belgrade, is laying a pontoon bridge to take the place of the railroad bridge blown up by the Servians on Monday.
Servian vessels with contraband of war have been seized by the Austrians in the Danube. General Morinovich, a Servian staff officer, was arrested yesterday at Marienbad while returning to Servia from Carlsbad, but, like General Putnik, was released.  From Russia comes news that military preparations are proceeding apace on all sides. Russia has already 80,000 men on the Austrian frontier, while more troops are being constantly hurried west and all the rolling stock of the railroads rushed to the frontier, the ordinary business of the country being paralyzed by the movements of troops and the disorganization of the railroad service.
Another Vienna report tells of sharp fighting along the River Drina, Servian volunteers attempting to cross the river being resolutely opposed by Austrian frontier troops. It was also reported that the Servians fired on their own river transports by mistake, killing and wounding a number of Servian soldiers.

German dispatches indicate that the Fatherland is ready on sea and land. The North Sea fleet has been mobilized and the mobilization of the army is in progress, if not already in large measure completed, but, as in the case of Austria, the German censorship is so rigid and so strictly enforced that very little definite news is coming through -- practically nothing as regards the military forces and only such diplomatic news as the government desires to have published.
A dispatch from Gumbinnen. Eastern Prussia, says Russia has occupied Wirballen. Russian Poland, with a force of engineers, cavalry, artillery and two regiments of infantry, while Russian guards have been placed along all roads on the frontier. 
The dispatch adds that a squadron of German Uhlans has advanced to Eydtkuhnen, on the Russian frontier.
Germany has made it clear in St. Petersburg that even the partial mobilization of the Russian army will be answered by the mobilization of the German army.

France is taking all necessary steps for an immediate mobilization. The French fleet is in active preparation and the railroads are concentrating their rolling stock for troop trains. Mobilization has not been ordered in France, but there have been many movements of troops near the frontier, and regiments manoeuvring in the open country have been sent back to quarters.
Italy has summoned three warships from the Clyde to the Mediterranean, and even Holland and Belgium are taking steps to guard their frontiers.

Great Britain has made no movement for the mobilization of her land forces, though conferences have been held between Lord Kitchener and Sir Edward Grey, but the fleet is practically ready to take the sea at any minute. All leave has been stopped and men and officers are held close to their ships.

In the meantime, the diplomatic efforts continue, but these have now narrowed to direct negotiations between St. Petersburg and Vienna, and Sir Edward Grey's plan for a conference has been abandoned.
Austria has declined Sir Edward Grey's offer of mediation between herself and Servia, saying that the matters in dispute are too vital for submission to any kind of arbitration tribunal and that full reparation must be exacted from Servia at whatever cost,
Germany's refusal of the invitation to the conference caused the abandonment of the idea. Germany takes the Austrian view that the dispute cannot be settled by arbitration.

Monday's optimism in Germany has given place to pessimism.  Paris regards the situation as extremely grave. Behind all its endeavors to And a reason for optimism, the fear bulks large that the Austrian invasion of Servia, even if confined to the occupation of Belgrade, will be followed by the immediate general mobilization of Russia. Such mobilization will put Europe in flames.
On all the bourses of Europe severe depression reigned.

News of the declaration of war reached this city at 6 p. m., and the first result thereof was an immediate heavy slump in the street trading in American stocks (Shorter's Court). Canadian Pacific was the centre of the storm and tumbled headlong to 170 though the closing price on the exchange was 176 1/2. The quotation dropped whole dollars at times, and the question, "What's the price now?" received answers quite unreliable, so swiftly shifting was the market. At 170 the trading steadied a little, but general uneasiness was still apparent.

Canadian Pacific's fall is regarded as the index of Continental apprehension over hostilities, and  also as showing the anxiety of New York. Nothing as sharp as this spectacular drop has been witnessed since 1907 in Shorter's Court. Occasionally other shares were mentioned, such as Steel, Southern Pacific, Union Pacific and Erie, all of which fell from 1 to 3 points. Half an hour before the closing of the street trading a slight rally, due to bear covering took place, but brokers, pale-faced and nerve-racked, sighed a sigh of relief when the final minute came.
The bulk of the selling on the regular market and in the street is still coming from the Continent, and with the Brussels. Vienna and Budapest bourses closed and only limited dealings being possible on the Paris Parquet, the brunt of foreign liquidation hit London hard.
A saving feature of the day was comparative steadiness of the gilt-edged list. There was no repetition of the previous day's sensational fluctuations in consols. The prices of consols went lower, but there appeared to be some substantial support, limiting the drop to half a point.

The monetary situation is considered very sound here, with gold coming to London from South America and the United States. Anxiety will prevail until Thursday, with the possibility of a rise in
the bank rate as a wise precautionary measure. Ugly rumors are afloat in financial circles over impending disasters here.
The manner of the day's developments provides food for reflection.  Germany's announcement of the rejection of the British scheme to bring four powers together in conference for medialion was accompanied with the explanation that her ally could not be expected to submit her acts to a European council as though she were one of the Balkan states. 

This pronouncement preceded the declaration of war by only two hours, thus giving an exhibition of the perfectly harmonious working of the partnership between the two nations which stood so firmly together through the Bosnian crisis of 1909.
The centre of interest has now shifted sharply to St. Petersburg, which holds the decision whether a European war which would probably rearrange the entire map of Europe is to break out. The nature and progress of the conversations now proceeding between Vienna and St. Petersburg are wrapped in the thickest mystery, but they are the last plank the neutral powers are clinging to in face of a storm which may wash all under.

Vienna, July 28. -- The text of the declaration of war, which was gazetted here late to-day, follows:
"The royal government of Servia not having replied in a satisfactory manner to the note remitted to it by the Austro-Hungarian minister in Belgrade on July 23, 1914, the imperial and royal government finds itself compelled to proceed to safeguard its rights and interests and to have recourse for this purpose to force of arms.

"Austria-Hungary considers itself, therefore, from this moment in a state of war with Servia.

"Minister Foreign Affairs of Austria-Hungary."

Sunday, July 27, 2014

History Park at Kelley Park -- Juyly 27, 2014

We had a rare Saturday with no family responsibilities, so we took a drive down to San Jose to visit the History Park at Kelley Park.  It was very hot out and there were not many visitors.  We were happy to learn that some of the buildings are climate controlled. 

We rode Fresno Traction Company Birney Safety Car 143, built in 1922 by the Saint Louis Car Company.  We visited the Trolley Barn and saw Central Railroad 7, an 1863 San Francisco horse car built in New York by John Stephenson and shipped around the Horn.  I had a nice chat with the docent about its operation. 

The gallery in the Pasetta House had an exhibit of photos by Shirlie Montgomery, a San Jose photographer who worked as a stringer for the Mercury News and the Examiner, and took many wrestling photos. 

We visited the Portuguese History Museum, which had many interesting items.  I did not know that most of the Portuguese in California came from the Azores or Madeira. 

We went to the Pacific Hotel and had ice cream and sodas at O'Brien's Ice Cream Parlor.  I explained about the operation of the light tower. 

Then we went to see a new exhibit which opened the night before, "Silicon Valley Bikes! Passion, Innovation & Politics Since 1880." Here is the Lefebvre Velocipede, built around 1842 by French immigrant Alexandre Lefebvre. It is considered to be one of the first bicycles with pedals. He brought it to San Francisco in 1861, and his family donated it to History San Jose about 60 years ago. Exhibits go all the way up to the present.
We walked around the grounds.  I took some photos of the firehouse, Empire Number One. 

Saturday, July 26, 2014

A Character Which This World-Renowned Actor Has Stamped With Undying Fame -- July 26, 2014

Moving Picture World, 01-April-1916

The first actor to become famous for playing Sherlock Holmes was American William Gillette.

Arthur Conan Doyle had killed Sherlock Holmes in 1893, but, needing money, was happy to let Gillette write a four act play, Sherlock Holmes, or The Strange Case of Miss Faulkner. In fact, Gillette had to write the play twice, because the first manuscript burned in the fire at Lucky Baldwin's Hotel and Theater at Powell and Market in San Francisco on 23-November-1898. Gillette played Holmes more than 1300 times, and his play was the basis for later films with John Barrymore and Basil Rathbone. The play also introduced a love interest for Holmes, Alice Faulkner.

Gillette played Holmes in a 1916 Essanay feature film, which is believed to be lost.  Many people felt Gillette was too old by the time the film was produced. 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

New Orleans -- Wednesday -- July 23, 2014

Wednesday we woke up a little later than usual.  After we got dressed and reviewed the contents of the room and our luggage, we took a walk down Royal Street to Café Beignet.  We sat outside in a garden next to the 1827 Bank of Louisiana Building, which is now a police station.  Coming from San Francisco where buildings older than 1906 are rare and buildings older than the 1850s are almost nonexistent, I loved seeing all the 18th and early 19th Century buildings in New Orleans.  I liked the Café du Monde's beignets better. 

I meant to take a photo of our room, but I never thought of doing it while the bed was made up.  Here is a photo of our view, looking towards Canal Street with Exchange Place in the foreground. 

We went downstairs about 10:30 to check out, then sat in the lobby for a while as it filled up with people from an organization called Tales of the Cocktail, a yearly festival "This New Orleans festival, in its 11th year, brings together the world’s top mixologists, bartenders, and chefs for five days full of cuisine, culture, and most importantly – cocktails." They appeared to be a lively bunch.

We outside to wait and found Royal Street jammed with trucks and buses, school buses from Thomas Built, the descendant of the company that built the Saint Charles Avenue streetcars.  We saw a car go by about 12:30, and then my wife got a call, which turned out to be from the driver.  He was over by the Walgreen's.  He gave us a nice ride to the airport. 

We had no trouble checking in and getting through the TSA area.  We went through the scanners in both San Francisco and New Orleans. 

We got to the gate in plenty of time and had lined up to board our 2:35 flight to LAX when the gate agent announced that we could not board because they did not have a pilot and copilot.  They were stuck on a flight that was late coming in.  This was interesting because the boards did not list any flights as being delayed. 

I suggested we eat lunch.  We went to a Subway which was staffed by some people who appeared to hate their jobs.  Then we sat down at the gate and waited. 

Then they told us to move to another gate with another airplane.  My wife heard a pilot berate the gate agent and ask why they had moved us from a gate with a good airplane.  This turned out to be because the airplane in the new gate had struck a bird on its way from Houston.  They were waiting for an email from Houston to get permission for a contract mechanic to look at the engine to see if the turbine blades had been damaged. 

Houston gave permission.  The contract mechanic came out, found that the turbine blades had been damaged, and the plane was not safe to fly. 

After a while, the gate agent announced that they were trying to find a new plane for us.  Later he announced that a plane was being sent from Houston and should be there about 5pm.  We were not happy. 

Then the gate agent said he was leaving for the day.  The lady at the desk was trying to help people rearrange connections.  Before the gate agent left, he said a supervisor was coming to help the lady at the desk. 

Another agent came to hand out $100 vouchers.  The problem is, to use them, we'd have to fly Southwest again. 

At one point the lady at the desk announced that she could help people going to Oakland and San Francisco right away.  We got in line.  Another lady joined her, but she was definitely not a supervisor.  We were in line for almost an hour.  They helped the Oakland people.  When someone asked about San Francisco people, the new woman told them to get back in line.  When we finally got to the front of the line, the original lady said she could reroute us through Phoenix.  She gave us new boarding passes and we went back to the original gate. 

We found that the Phoenix flight was very late.  I got in line to ask if we would miss the San Francisco flight.  The lady at that desk announced that San Francisco people shouldn't worry.  That flight was very late.  They would hold it if needed. 

We waited for the Phoenix flight.  The lady at the desk kept announcing that it would be later and later.  I walked by the other gate and found that the LAX flight had left.  We talked to another man who was trying to get to San Francisco so his wife could pick him up from Santa Clara.  Our boarding passes were for group C, which was the last to board, even though we had paid extra for priority boarding.   We were in group B for the flight from Phoenix to San Francisco.  The agent said she couldn't do anything about it and we should get a refund. 

My wife was crying when the flight left at 9pm.  We couldn't sit together, but at least we were in consecutive rows. 

The flight got to Phoenix after 11pm at gate C1.  The crew told us that the San Francisco flight was being held at C14.  We ran.  We got seats together on that flight. 

We got to San Francisco after 1am.  We were supposed to get there at 7:30pm, so we were 5 1/2 hours late. It took a long time for our luggage to come.  We didn't think it had made the transfer in Phoenix, so we were happy to see it.

The driver came pretty quickly and we walked into the house at 2am.  The cat was happy to see us. 

My wife's primary comments on the Southwest situation were that they gave us very little information and many of the staff did not seem to care.  Several people remarked that Southwest was having a system-wide meltdown, but I couldn't find anything about it on the internet or in the newspaper. 

Some thoughts for our next trip to New Orleans:
1.  Ride the Loyola streetcar line and the Canal Street branch to City Park.
2.  Don't fly Southwest.
3.  Take the combined Garden District walking tour and photography class.
4.  Don't fly Southwest.
5.  Take more photos of architectural details.
6.  Don't fly Southwest.
7.  Visit the World War II Museum.
8.  Don't fly Southwest.
9.  Find the chapel of Saint Expedite.  Praying for him to intercede on our behalf might have gotten us home sooner.
10.  Don't fly Southwest.

We loved New Orleans and would be happy to go again.  We were not happy with the ride home, which left us frustrated and exhausted.  I'm working on a letter to the president of Southwest Airlines. 

My day-by-day posts:

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

New Orleans -- Tuesday -- July 22, 2014

I was happy to see the Ignatius J Reilly statue standing outside the site of the DH Holmes department store on Canal Street, where Reilly stood at the beginning of John Kennedy Toole's novel A Confederacy of Dunces.  Now that I have been to New Orleans, I shall have to read it again. 

Tuesday was our last full day in New Orleans, so I ran around taking photos of things I had not yet caught, like the huge grandfather clock in the lobby of the Hotel Monteleone. 

A plaque in the lobby is dedicated to Antonio Monteleone, a Sicilian cobbler who came to New Orleans and wound up owning a hotel.  The fourth generation of the family still owns it. 

We had breakfast at IHOP, a family tradition on vacations, and went to catch an outbound Canal Street car at Bourbon Street.  Here we see car 2012 inbound, followed by a string of other cars. 

We caught car 2001 outbound on Canal, headed for the Cemeteries.  We talked to a young lady who turned out to be from San Francisco.  She was exploring New Orleans while waiting for some friends. When we got back to the foot of Canal, we suggested taking a Riverfront car.  We saw many Catholic Churches.

At the Cemeteries terminal, the motorman raises the rear pole. 

We saw the A Philip Randolph Operations Center, which serves as carbarn and shops.  I couldn't get it in a photo, but I saw at least one green Saint Charles Avenue car in the yard.  I suppose this is because of the track work that has cut off one end of that line. 

This facility was badly flooded during Hurricane Katrina in 2005.  Most of the red cars for the Canal and Riverfront lines were ruined.  Carrollton Station (carbarn and shops) for the Saint Charles Avenue line survived unscathed, but the line was badly damaged.  Green Saint Charles Avenue cars ran on Canal Street and Riverfront for some time until the red cars could be refurbished. 

The Saenger Theater. 

2001 reflected in the windows of a Canal Street building. 

When we got to the foot of Canal Street, we went to the ferry terminal. 

The Canal Street Ferry to Algiers Point was free until 23-February-2014.  It was operated by the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development until the same date, when the New Orleans RTA took ownership.  Veolia Transportation operates it under contract.  The line used to carry automobiles.  Now it carries only passengers. 

An auto ferry still runs between Chalmette and Lower Algiers. 

I was happy to take my first ride on the waters of the Mississippi.  We paid our two dollar (cash only, exact change only) fare on the boat in what appeared to be a fare register from a bus. 

Ferry Colonel Frank X Armiger approaches the Canal Street landing. 

Ominous clouds loom over the bridges called the Crescent City Connection. 

Looking back at the Canal Street landing.  The former auto ramp is on the right.  It is now used for bicycles and handicapped access. 

Our hotel, the Monteleone is the large white building with the white sign on the roof.  Our room did not have a river view.  Next time. 

The former Jackson Brewery and Saint Louis Cathedral. 

Ferry Louis B Porterie used to carry cars and passengers on the Canal Street Ferry. Now it sits by the Algiers Point ferry landing.

The Algiers Point ferry landing.  The former auto ramp is on the left.  We saw a bicyclist waiting when the boat got closer to shore. 

At Algiers, the crew made all the passengers get off.  Those of us going back had to walk down the corridor and around a barrier and back to the gate.  We paid our two dollars again.  After the boat sailed, I watched the lady who took the fares and a guard who stood next to her wheel the farebox into a room and lock it in.  They sat on a bench to enjoy the trip. 

Back at Canal Street, we found another huge crowd waiting for the Riverfront line.  We jumped on 459, which was outbound.  The motorman stopped at Julia Street and said "Convention Center.  End of the line.  Everyone out."  We got out and realized that we were not at the Convention Center.  We waited a while till he came back.  It started to rain. 

The motorman had all three front windows open when we boarded.  He soon closed them because of the rain. 

We got off at the end of the line, French Market Station.  459 is one of the first group of cars built for the Riverfront line.  Note that it does not have air conditioning, so it does not have the fake clerestory roof. 

The rain was very heavy as we tried to work our way through the French Market.  We wound up at Café du Monde and had a late snack. 

The rain stopped when we were done, so we walked back through the French Quarter, stopping at Faulkner House Books in Pirate's Alley.  We bought a collection of his essays on the French Quarter and Soldiers' Pay.  The clerk said he had written both in that same room.  We talked a bit about Sherwood Anderson, and about similarities between San Francisco and New Orleans in the way we regard reality. 

We went on to the Historic New Orleans Collection, a museum in Royal Street.  Downstairs they had an exhibit on the Boswell Sisters.  Upstairs they had a permanent exhibit on the history of New Orleans.  It was worth a visit. 

We went on to the hotel and put our feet up for a while.  I went to sleep. 

We walked down to the French Market and had dinner at the Louisiana Pizza Kitchen.  The food was good but service was agonizingly slow. 

We walked up to Saint Peter Street just in time to get in line at Preservation Hall.  When a staff member reminded people that there were no drinks, no food and no bathrooms, a lady ahead of us wanted to know how they could do that.  She and another woman later left the line after complaining that the charge was $15 each.


We wound up standing for the 8 o'clock show by the Preservation Hall-Stars.  It was worth it.  Drummer Shannon Powell led the band and did some of the singing.  I didn't catch the names of the pianist, bass player, trumpeter, clarinetist or trombonist.  They did "Shake It and Break It," "Bourbon Street Parade," a sing-along of hymns, and other pieces. 

We went back to the hotel and packed our bags. 

My day-by-day posts: