VISIT THE “OLD MAIN” NEW MEXICO PRISON – Scene of 1980 Prison Riot

As an update from the original October 11, 2017 posting,  you can read all about the prison riot of 40 years ago in the Albuquerque Journal. The report in the January 26, 2020 edition is the first in a 3 part series on the riot. As of today, no tours are being offered. Second part published on January 27, 2020. Third part published on January 28, 2020.
In 1980 there was a prison riot in Santa Fe, New Mexico that resulted in the deaths of 33 inmates and the destruction of the New Mexico State Penitentiary. Since then a new prison has been built next to the remains of “Old Main.”
The New Mexico Department of Corrections conducts tours of Old Main at the New Mexico Prison in Santa Fe. I took the tour in 2012. The tour took about two hours.
“Old Main” was virtually destroyed and 33 inmates were murdered.
Tours are conducted for part of the year. The goal is to raise money for a museum; however, nothing seems to have happened in the last five years.
If you want tickets for the  Tour, click here; however, as of the date of posting this post, no tours are being offered. They may be offered again in 2019.
August 23, 2019 – I just checked and it seems a few tours are available this summer, but may be sold out. Click here.
If you still want to visit a prison, try Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia; or read about it in the New York Times.
If you want to read about the 1980 prison riot in New Mexico, click here.
This is out of my comfort zone; but something we should be aware of.

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THINK OLD!

INDONESIAN RICE TABLE (RIJSTTAFEL) – a treat from Amsterdam in Philadelphia??

In August 2019 while visiting relatives in Philadelphia, we ate at Sky Cafe, an Indonesian restaurant that featured a rice table, known in Amsterdam as rijsttafel.

There are several Indonesian restaurants in Philadelphia; but, none in Albuquerque or Tucson. Sky Cafe is authentic, small, and except for us everyone appeared to be Indonesian. It was crowded at 6:00 and we had to sit in the hall for 20 minutes until a table was ready. Sky Cafe was down a hall in an ethnic shopping center. It was full of uncrated furniture. The sign on the door said Sky was expanding.

There is an extensive menu, but only one “rice table (rijsttafel)” for $17.

The liquor laws in Pennsylvania are BYOB (bring your own bottle) for restaurants, so we took two bottles of wine. Sky Cafe provides glasses and cork screws. There is no corkage fee.

This part of Philadelphia is out of our comfort zone, but it was not problem. An ethnic neighborhood, with a safe and local feel.

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We used LYFT and when we left the restaurant, our Lyft showed up in minutes, but we did not recognize it because a cop had pulled him over for a broken tail light, which did not result in a ticket. When we got the message that “your car is here,” we discovered it was the car the cop had stopped in front of us. A story to tell.

The trip back was without incident. He told us he was about to attend the police academy in New Jersey to become a police officer. Most Lyft drivers have an interesting story to tell.

For more information on rice tables in Amsterdam search Rijsttafel on Wikipedia, which has a bunch of pictures and a list of items in a typical Rijsttafel.

Search: Rijsttafel + name of town.  ie. Rijsttafel +New York   or Rijsttafel +Amsterdam

Maybe  you want to prepare your own rice table (Rijsttafel) with a cookbook from Amazon.

THINK OLD!  TRAVEL OUTSIDE YOUR COMFORT ZONE!


EDEN PROJECT – Cornwall, England

 

We visited the Eden Project in Cornwall, England on May 15, 2014. We took the train from Paddington Station in London and the bus from the St. Austell station to the Eden Project.

The Eden Project, which opened in 2002, was built-in a 35 acre reclaimed, open clay pit, 180 feet deep. It was partially filled with soil and recycled waste. On top of this was built two enclosed  biomes; one a Rainforest Biome and one a Mediterranean Biome.

The Rainforest Biome is about 750 feet long by 330 feet wide and 150 feet high. It contains over 1,100 different species of plants and has areas devoted to West Africa, Southeast Asia, Tropical Islands and Tropical South America.

The Mediterranean Biome is about 90 feet high and contains over 850 different species of plants. It represents the Mediterranean, South Africa and California.

In addition to the two major Biomes, there is a Core educational, administration and museum building along with an Outdoor Biome. There is an outdoor stage, paths, parking and a land train.

Eden-scrapsculpture

WEEEman, 3.3 tons of sculpture made from the Electrical and Electronic Equipment waste thrown away in one person’s lifetime.

There are several restaurants serving a variety of “responsibly sourced, fairly-traded, direct sourced, organic, seasonal, and/or local and freshly made” food.

We spent a day there and could have spent more time. They have a lot of special events during the year, including “The Art of Stories,” “Harvest,”  and “Christmas at Eden.”

There are numerous Bed and Breakfasts” in St. Austell. We stayed for two nights at The Grange in St. Austell.

The Grange Breakfast Buffet. The full English breakfast is not shown.

The Grange Breakfast Buffet. The included full English breakfast is not shown.

It is easy to get there, even if you are old. Take the train from Paddington to St. Austell; check into a bed and breakfast: take the free bus from the train station to the Eden Project. Enjoy.

You should compare this to Biosphere 2 in Tucson, AZ and Arcosanti in Cordes Junction, AZ. You should think about how old open-pit mines and remote places can be re-configured as educational, research and residential communities for the future. Maybe you would like to live in one. Maybe it is a partial solution to the aging problem.

If so, go to their web pages; they all allow for interns, visitors, and maybe a new career.

Sources:

The Guide – Eden Project Books, revised edition 2016.

Eden Project -http://www.edenproject.com/whats-it-all-about

Biosphere 2 -http://b2science.org

Arcosantihttp://arcosanti.org 

THINK OLD! TRAVEL MORE!


SUBMARINE AND CRUISER FROM THE PAST- Independence Seaport Museum in Philadelphia!

In August, 2019 we went to Philadelphia to visit relatives who live downtown on the Delaware River. The nearby Independence Seaport Museum,  is home to two ships; the  Cruiser Olympia, launched in 1892, and the Submarine Becuna, launched in 1944.

Most people have not been on a submarine or a cruiser, and have no idea how confining they are especially when they are as old as these are, and as I am. These are not cruise ships.

We toured the two ships and the Independence Seaport Museum. Having recently come to enjoy cruise ships due to our advanced age, we were impressed by the older ships. And, coming from Kansas and Iowa, I have always been attracted to ships.

A third ship, next to the other two, has a formal restaurant and a cafe. No one in the formal restaurant, but in the cafe, we had a shared  lunch  on a sailing ship. Half of a Cuban sandwich.

The submarine is not for someone who cannot manage tight spaces; narrow passageways, and low doors from one waterproof chamber to the other. It is a single narrow path through the submarine. It is climbing up and down ladders and keeping your head down. Things have probably changed in the last 80 years, or so, but I think that they must still be confining. Going through the sub is difficult, especially if you are my age, and/or have knee or balance problems. The sub is divided into sections with small (3 ft) water tight doors between them, and you have to step up and over. The hall is narrow – a fat man in front of me almost couldn’t make it through. Old person alert!

A submarine is out of my comfort zone, but  irresistible. You wonder how sailers managed to get along; and, the psychological testing that they must have gone through to be assigned to a sub.

The Cruiser Olympia, is larger and had a crew of 33 officers and 396 enlisted men. Except for officers, all the sailers slept in hammocks suspended from the ceiling throughout the ship. They were narrow and suspended from hooks only when in use. You wouldn’t believe the bathroom facilities, medical areas, and the kitchens.

On the shore next to the ships is a museum of nautical exhibits. Three of  the exhibits are especially interesting.

The first is devoted to the slave trade and Philadelphia, complete with photos, bills of sale, and slave success stories. They describe the horror of the slave trade which brought from 20 to 50 million slaves to the US. A moving exhibit that everyone should see. They also feature a number of slaves who were successful in Philadelphia.

The New York Times Magazine in its 1619 Project, devoted to slavery, is worth reading, and helps understand the Seaport Museum Exhibit.

The second, the ship building exhibit, follows the life of a sailor on board a ship and sailing in Philadelphia.

The third, Workshop on the Water, is not an exhibit, but a fully equipped boat building shop. There are complete boats in various stages of completion,  lots of tools, and an amazing assortment of wood  in various stages of shaping. Four men  concentrated on the construction of several boats the day we were there.

Workshop on the Water

There is one completed boat for sale for $3000.

A notice seeks teen-age apprentices who want to learn the boat-building trade. I was surprised that there were not a thousand teens lined up. If I was  65 years younger, I would be there.

The bottom line is that it is worth seeing. The space available in 100 year old ships and submarines makes assisted living facilities look like palaces.

The Seaport Museum is on the Delaware River, which runs from the Atlantic to Downsville, NY where there is a dam and the Pepacton  Reservoir, a 101 miles NW of New York City. It supplies about 25% of New York’s water. It is patrolled by New York City Police Officers and is fenced and limited to boats without motors.

 

THINK OLD!  TRAVEL MORE!

 


FRENCH RESTAURANT NEAR INDIAN ROCKS BEACH, FL – CHEZ COLETTE’S

Chez Colette’s, is a French Bistro in Belleair Bluffs, Florida, next to Indian Rocks Beach. It is small, about 24 seats, simple, with a delicious menu, French House Wines, and a pleasant atmosphere. On the menu are Beef Bourguignon: (Angus Beef slow cooked and reduced with Red Wine, Carrots, Onions, Bacon and Fresh Mushrooms)  and Filet Mignon: ( with Red Wine Shallots Sauce or topped with Garlic, Butter, Parsley and Onions confit served with French Fries). In addition, there is fish, chicken and crepes along with a special, depending on what the chef found at the market that day.

I am waiting for the lamb shanks special, which I have had in years past.

Deserts are the usual plus:

Trio Gourmand:

Profiteroles, Chocolate Mousse and Crème Brulee

There is a nice wine list with French wines. Try the house red wine; reasonable, French and smooth.

You can share a plate; always a plus for us and we always share the desert. Closed on Sunday but open for lunch and dinner the rest of the week. Closed during part of September when the owners take vacation.

Parking in front. Quiet and seems to cater to our age group.

THINK OLD!

 


BOOKS ON TRIPS FOR SENIORS – geezer-lite

I don’t carry books on trips any more. There is  too much bulk, weight and trouble for a person my age. I want to share alternate reading solutions with you.

Indian Rocks Beach, Florida has a number of free mini libraries. Take one/leave one. I have seen them in other places including  Albuquerque, New Mexico and Waynesville, North Carolina.

If a mini-library is not available, consider the following:

  1. Kindle – I have downloaded thousands of books, including a number of free ones from Amazon to my I-pad or my Kindle. You can also subscribe to magazines.
  2. Kindle via your library. Your library may allow you to download e-books to your pad or computer for several  weeks. You will probably need a library card, but I can download from the Albuquerque Public Library anywhere I can find Wi-Fi. And, no waiting. It is instant gratification. You will need a library card. And, of course, since you are old,  don’t forget “large print” books. Especially if it is a popular book with a long waiting list. Usually the “large print” waiting list is much shorter. And, they are easier to read.
  3. Libraries. Every library has a room where they sell old books and magazines cheap. Usually $1 to $2 for a hardback and a fourth that for paperbacks; frequently best sellers.

4. Senior Centers – You can find donated books for free. An additional advantage is their bulletin boards which tell you about trips, programs, etc. A cheap tour may be available as well as a computer center with an expert. You can also get cheap meals and a 25 cent cup of coffee.

5. YMCA’s – When you finish your Silver Sneakers work-out, you can take a book from their shelves of donated books. You can also leave books there.

6. Foreign Countries – Check out the bars where ex-pats hang out. You will frequently find shelves of take-one/leave-one books; in English.

 

THINK OLD! READ FOR FREE! Reduce the weight of your suitcase.

 


SALT LAKE CITY – a genealogy adventure for seniors!

Salt Lake City, Utah, the home of the Mormon Church, is also the repository of one of the largest genealogy collections in the world. It is not just a collection, but a large and active group of genealogists.

We recently went to Salt Lake City  because I have   an interest in genealogy and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Family History Library is the place to go. And we had to use up two Southwest Tickets. I  had not been there since 1953 (Boy Scout Jamboree in Irvine, California) when we stopped on the way.

My focus was on the Genealogy Center. I am a member of the New Mexico Genealogy Society and like many old people am interested in stories out of my past. For example see: Bertha and Gertrude.

The Center is several stories high with several basements.  The main floor provides a hands-on genealogy experience; complete with the latest audio-visual equipment and interactive exhibits. You can track your ancestors.

The main research room consists of hundreds of computers and dozens of Elders who are available to assist you in your research. All  you have to do is raise your hand and a knowledgeable Elder is at your side explaining what you need to do. They are genealogy experts.

Computer Stations on the First Floor of the Genealogy Center.

You can spend all day there.

The library has every thing a genealogist needs; and, they are adding to it every day.

 

Organ

Every day at noon there is  a free organ concert; well worth attending.

The rest of Salt Lake City is interesting. We stayed a block from Temple Square in an AirBnB. We could walk everywhere, but there was also a tram.

There was a good restaurant for breakfast in a Church Building; however, no coffee. They directed us to a cafe down the street where we could get coffee to go. By the time I picked it up, my breakfast was ready.

We had dinner at Lyon House; cafeteria style.

The food is simple and the portions generous. Again, no coffee; and, no alcohol. Eating at non-church restaurants allowed us wine with our meals.

The  3 night trip exceeded our expectations. We arrived in the afternoon, took a $11 Lyft ride to The Kimball a block from Temple Square and settled in.

There are several church related museums.

We watched people line up outside the Temple to get married. There were dozens of groups waiting their turn to go into the Temple; non-church members are not allowed in.

There are genealogy sources in all  states at Mormon Churches.

You can find out about your ancestors without exposing yourself, your age, your ignorance, etc. Old People like to find out things anonymously.

What do old people want to know? Five “old” keys to the Salt Lake City trip:

  1. Ease of getting there and around.
  2. Cost – Salt Lake City is reasonable and walkable in the downtown area.
  3. Safety and security. Salt Lake City felt safe and secure.
  4. Interesting stories  to tell when you get home.
  5. Preparation. Salt Lake City is easy to search and prepare for.

Think Old! Travel Now!


TV REMOTE CONTROLS – Why old people go crazy in vacation rentals!

After 79 years I have just barely managed to work my TV at home. Now, every time I am in a new vacation rental, I face an impossible learning experience. I have yet to be able to turn on a TV with ease. Why, I am not sure. This week in Indian Rocks Beach, Florida, a favorite place of ours, was the worst.

There are three TV’s in the unit and NINE TV remote devices. Fortunately the master bedroom only has one.

The living room TV has 6 remotes.

The first night, and over the week-end, I could only make the TV in the master bedroom work; and that only by punching several buttons at random. The TV in the living room simply flashed “No Signal” and “35 Animal Planet.”

On Monday I went to the management company and they suggested that I contact the cable provider. They gave me a number.

The cable provider telephone call consisted of a series of messages and suggestions; none of which did any good and ended up suggesting that I unplug the system, wait 20 minutes, and attempt to restart. I did this. Nothing. I then unplugged the system again, waited an hour, restarted the system. Again nothing. So, I turned to drink.

After a few hours, I called the cable provider again, and by carefully punching buttons on my phone, finally got to a live operator. She was very nice. She must have a nice grandfather.

She suggested I punch “source” on my remote. At first I couldn’t find it; but then hiding at the bottom in small type, was a button that said “video source,” right next to the red button that said “light.”

I punched the video source button and got several choices. By sorting through them (it took me a couple minutes to figure out how  to go from one to another), I hit on one that turned the TV on. Not clear, but after a while the TV got to the point where  could find some familiar channels.

For the next several days, it took several attempts with the  remote to get the cable. I never could make it work in the guest bedroom, but….

Even after I managed to start getting the  cable channels, I got ads popping up suggesting that I upgrade this or that. There seemed to be no way to get away from them except by powering off and restarting the TV.

The one remote that finally worked has 63 buttons; each with small hard to read (and harder to understand) words.

On a prior trip, but a different condo, all of the clickers were dead. After a couple of days, and calls, we discovered that the batteries were not only dead, but corroded.

The remotes are not labeled. They each control a different tv, vcr, or some other electronic device.

I realize that I am 79; that my grandchildren were not with me; and, that I am not versed in “remotes;” however, I notice that a lot of old people rent condos in Florida during the school year, when things are quieter. You would think that there could be a simple solution.

Old people tend to watch TV. Imagine if my life revolved around Jeopardy? I would go crazy if the remote did not allow me to access that.

I have come up with a simple check list. This should help, not just with tv remotes, but with most of the problems old people have with electronics.

  1. Don’t wait. Face the problem now.
  2. Prepare- whoever you contact is going to want information that you don’t have, so get it.
    1. numbers
    2. time
    3. photos on your cell phone
    4. contacts – owner – manager
  3. Think it through
  4. Use your age as a bargaining chip. “I am 79 and need your help.”
  5. Try everything. Whomever you contact will ask you.
  6. Be nice.
  7. Seek help; in person, if possible.
  8. Finally, call your grandson or granddaughter.

THINK OLD!


GeezerPack – Shipping Older Loved Ones

Transporting old people is a pain. They complain, are difficult to work with, and it is time-consuming. Think of a cross-country car trip with the Geezer. Not to mention the expense and the time missed from work.

The Geezer has developed “GeezerPack.” If you have a loved-one over the age of 70, packed (perhaps “boxed” is more accurate)  and ready to go by 5:00 PM, live delivery anywhere in the continental United States is guaranteed by 10:00 AM the next day. Included is a packing box with a comfortable chair, portable light with extra batteries, boxed lunch, water bottle, tranquilizer, portable tape-player with the hits of the 50’s, oxygen, blanket, diaper approved by NASA and identity card.

Couples packs are available. International shipment is being planned. An emergency walker is also included. Each GeezerPack is also waterproof as there have been delays due to inclement weather.

The pack can be used at the destination as a temporary home. It fits through most doorways and  stairways. It is clearly marked “THIS SIDE UP!

We have shipped over 1000 seniors without a complaint.

Each GeeserPack is barcoded and you can track your loved one on your home computer or smart phone. Each GeezerPack is delivered to your address by two strong men and a truck. For a slight additional fee they will help rearrange your furniture. The box and chair  are yours to keep.

Please carefully wrap your senior as sometimes the GeezerPack gets dropped or falls.

Frequent shipper cards available. Every 10th shipment is free. Get your card punched by the driver.

And, when you think about it; this is not so far-fetched. Think of all the astronauts sent into space and to the moon. Why can’t old people travel the same way?

DON’T DELAY, SHIP YOUR SENIOR TODAY!

THINK OLD!


GENEALOGY RESEARCH IN LARGO, FL LIBRARY – ROOTS FOR SENIORS

A library is an old person’s salvation on a vacation, at home or when visiting younger family members who work. It provides books to buy, a cafe for coffee and sandwiches, magazines, free internet access, classes and all sorts of free information. It is frequently open on Sunday and always during the week.

The Largo Public Library is the designated center for genealogical research  for Pinellas, County Florida. This is where  the Pinellas Genealogy Society meets. There is usually something going on.

Like many genealogical libraries. Largo is a wealth of information.There are free computers, free wi-fi and thousands of books that can be used for genealogical research.

The Pinellas County Genealogical Society meets here and sponsors lectures and help with research. There are always a few members hanging around who are happy to help you.

At the main desk you can buy genealogical forms including a 15 generation form for $2. You can make copies and there is a librarian ready to help you with any problem.

You can buy a USB flash drive for $5 and by paying $1 for a day pass you can access Ancestory.com with its infinite source of genealogical information.

The library also subscribes to about a dozen genealogy related magazines that you didn’t even know existed.

Largo is only one example. Many libraries  have a genealogy section; usually run by the city or state genealogical society. In Albuquerque it covers the whole second floor of the main library and includes, copiers, thousands of books from every state, newspaper files, computer access and helpful members of the staff and the Albuquerque Genealogical Society.

In other places, Google: library+name of city+genealogy,

So, Google:    library+Largo, FL+genealogy  and you get:

      City of Largo, Florida | Genealogy
      www.largo.com › City Departments › Largo Public Library
      The Largo Public Library has been designated as the center for genealogical research for the Pinellas Public Library   

In Albuquerque, New Mexico,

Google: library+Albuquerque, NM and you would get:

       www.abqgen.swnet.com/
       The Genealogy Center in the Albuquerque Main Library at 501 Copper, NW is … PO Box 25512, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

You can discover the secrets of your family’s past. You hopefully will discover a number of scandalous stories to tell your friends and grandchildren. You will be more interesting than if you just talk about the last TV show you saw or about how terrible it is to grow old. You will also meet some interesting new (“old”)  people.

With your genealogy as a base, you have a focus for new trips, your own living museums where you and your ancestors are the stars. You can visit the asylum where your great-great grandmother spent most of her life. Most old people aren’t really too interesting, and don’t seem to have much purpose. Don’t be one of those. Explore your  past.

You can also check out old death certificates and find out what your ancestors died from; hopefully, few of them were shot by jealous spouses.

THINK OLD!