In some places they call it Bark in the Park. Others say Pets in the Park or Dog Days. Whatever they call it, minor league baseball teams, and especially the independent league teams that have to try every trick in the book to fill the seats, have discovered that if you invite dogs to the game they come with a ticket-buying owner or two. These photos show some of the canine fans of the Suxxex County Miners and the Rockland Boulders. And they’re happy to be there. There is nary a bark at Bark in the Park.
Webb Pierce’s car at Country Music Hall of Fame
Hatch Show Print has been in business in Nashville since 1879. Their first print job was a handbill announcing the appearance of the Rev. Henry Ward Stowe, Harriet Beecher Stowe’s brother. For much of its history, from the 20’s until 1992, Hatch was housed at the Ryman Auditorium, the historic home of the Grand Ole Opry. Hatch still prints 200 posters for each show at the Ryman. They’re sold to patrons for $20.
Jack White’s Third Man Records
Carter Vintage Guitars
That was the name given to the Ryman Auditorium during the 30+ year stay of the Grand Ole Opry. The building itself dates back to 1892 when it was called the Union Gospel Tabernacle. It was renamed the Ryman upon the death of Thomas G Ryman who raised the funding for the building. In addition to sermons, the Ryman, in its early years hosted music like John Philip Sousa’s Band and speakers that included Susan B. Anthony and Booker T. Washington.
The Opry left the Ryman in the 70’s for seemingly greener pastures. The old auditorium underwent a renovation in the 90’s and still serves as a downtown venue for a wide range of music. This fall’s schedule includes UB40, Boz Skaggs, Ben Folds, Mary Chapin Carpenter and Kesha. Jason Isbell is booked for a week of shows and the Academy of Country Music Awards presentation is this week.
When the Opry left the Ryman it moved a few miles outside of downtown to an off-highway location. It built a bigger and more spacious facility, but no doubt lost some character. But once you get inside….
The Opry is a pretty unique show. It features multiple acts that do two or three songs at the most. On the night I attended there were 11 performers in a two hour time frame. But this isn’t amateur hour talent show, there were Grammy winners, County Music Association award winners, even one Country Music Hall of Fame member. And it’s a live radio show that you can hear on WSN Online There’s even a live radio announcer reading commercials after every couple of songs.
Before I went to Nashville, I would have told you I’m not that interested in country music. I’ll never say that again.
(Photos are from the Johnny Cash Museum)
At the very end of the 19th century, some 100,000 or so prospectors made their way north toward the Canadian Yukon in search of their fortune. Most of the participants in the Klondike Gold Rush came away empty handed. It has been estimated that only about 4% found gold. But some others learned they could make a fortune off of these fortune seekers. Because when some of the guys did score some gold dust, they might go over to the nearest pop up town and look for some loving. And that’s when they’d head on over to Fred Trump’s place.
16-year-old Friedrich Trump, grandfather of Donald Trump, arrived in the U.S. from Germany in 1885. If you are just counting cash, Grandpa Trump was an immigrant success story. But, like some of his descendants, he had an erratic relationship with the truth and with the law. Trump lied about his age to become an American citizen. He built one of his first establishments in Washington state on land he didn’t own. On his way up to the Yukon he set up a canteen on a dangerous mountain pass known as Dead Horse Gulch. It got its name from the number of dead animals that lay strewn across the pass as a result of owners who whipped them to exhaustion. What did Trump serve at his canteen? Horse meat. Today we might call it road kill.
Trump started out in New York working in a barber shop. After a few years he headed west seeking his fortune. His first venture was to buy a restaurant called the Poodle Dog, which he later renamed the Dairy Restaurant, in the middle of Seattle’s red light district. David Cay Johnson, author of The Making of Donald Trump, describes another of Grandpa Trump’s early ventures: “On a piece of land he didn’t own, right across from the train station, Friedrich built a hotel of sorts—one intended mostly for, shall we say, active short stays, not overnight visits.”
But where Trump made his real money was in gold rush territory. He opened a restaurant called the Arctic with a partner in the town of Bennett, British Columbia. Bennett was a way station for fortune seekers headed north. On the menu was salmon, duck, goose and swan. High end stuff for gold rush country. And it was open 24 hours. But, alas, it was no place for family dining. An ad in the Bennett Sun in 1899 mentioned the “private boxes for ladies and parties.” These boxes came equipped with a bed and a scale. We know what the bed was for, but the scale? I found this answer in the Canadian news magazine Macleans: “’Ladies of the night’ often hiked the trail in skirts, and they stayed at the Arctic Hotel to entertain gold diggers, using a scale to weigh gold powder for payment.”
A new railroad line eventually bypassed Bennett. Trump disassembled his restaurant, loaded the lumber onto a barge, and reopened in Whitehorse, the terminus of the rail line.
Pockets full, Grandpa Trump hightailed it out of gold rush country in 1901 amidst rumors that the Canadian Mounties were about to begin enforcing prostitution and alcohol laws. He headed back to Germany where he married Trump’s grandmother. But he didn’t stay long. The Germans, determining that he had left to avoid military service, tossed him out. So he picked up his 80,000 marks (estimated to be the equivalent of a half-million Euros today) and headed back to New York where he made the first Trump family real estate investments.
Was the Trump family fortune originally earned on the backs (or should we say some other body parts) of the sex workers of the Yukon? No one really knows for sure whether the profits came from the roasted duck or the ‘sporting ladies.’
Much of what we know about Trump’s grandfather comes from the research of Gwenda Blair, author of the book “The Trumps: Three Generations That Built an Empire.” That book was written in 2000, long before we thought Trump was a serious Presidential candidate.
Trump himself has denied the whole story. He claims his grandfather was of Swedish descent. But it is believed the Swedish heritage claim was started by Trump’s father who, during the years between the world wars, had a number of Jewish customers for his real estate business and wanted to hide the German heritage of his parents.
When he finds out there is money to be made, Trump might change his tune. In true Trumpian entrepreneurial fashion, some Canadians are trying to restore the Arctic and make it a tourist attraction. Imagine the lure, for the American tourist in particular, of getting to bring the family to the site of our 45th President’s grandfather’s whorehouse.
(Photos from the New York Public Library public domain digital collection.)