05Aug23 “Not here!”

Andy likes to be left alone here.

I see him there and I want to “luv” him!

Anywhere else he likes me to massage his shoulder muscles.

Ick! But not here!


This is close-up of the cover of a folding mirror shown on “Antiques Road Trip”. The voice over called attention to the putto on the upper right of the cover, but the closed caption wrote it is a “pooto”. Sometime the closed captions are a hoot! For those who didn’t grow up as a naughty-mouthed little boy – I know most of you fit that category or you wouldn’t follow a kitty blog!  – a “putto” is Italian for that cherubim in the upper right hand of the photo; a “pooto” (or “poot” more correctly) is a wee fart! 


Growing up in the 1950’s, my friend Terry and I were curious about what appeared to be the rim of a huge bathtub growing out of a neighbor’s vacant lot. My late mother, a life-long swimmer and Red Cross swimming instructor, once told us she swam in that pool as a young woman and that she suffered a bloody noggin driving into it and hitting the bottom. Other than that small detail, we never knew more about it until Terry found this information in an item in the newspaper.


“The present pool” mentioned above was one now used as the Sallows Military Museum, which also includes the least cold tolerant species of the Sallows Conservatory & Arboretum, which is part of the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum.

A replacement city pool now is the site of a tennis court north of the high school and a new pool across from Laing Park replaced that.

The bath house for Big Blue, the newest pool, is named for my mother, Jean R.A. McKenzie Thomas, in recognition of her 60 years of teaching area children and adults to swim. Actually, the only reason to give this little bit of local history in excruciating detail is to recognize that incredible accomplishment of my mother, of whom I am very proud, who spanned the complete history of swimming pools in Alliance.


Watching “The Third Man” some time ago, another closed caption made me laugh! Here’s what I wrote in the review in this blog at the time:

Andy moved just in time for me to catch a caption error – or was it a caption writer’s joke or way of adding suspense for the caption reading audience?? – where German is translated into… German! Fortunately for me, with my considerably crappy 1st Year College German for help, “passiert” happens to be in the classic line in my Conversational German book’s second lesson: “Wenn es regnet, passiert des meistens”. (“When it rains the most happens.”) I get it. Hee! Hee! I get it!

17 thoughts on “05Aug23 “Not here!”

    • Just the bath house was named after her. My father was upset about that. “Big Blue? What’s that? They should have named the whole pool after her!” he said. I agree, though it was a genuine honor that her name is on a plaque on the front of the bath house.

  1. Interesting family history, Doug! It’s so important to learn swimming skills. I was afraid of deep water and didn’t learn until college, where I had very skilled instructors. So I appreciate good swimming teachers! Andy looks adorable in the pictures!

    • Andy is a little poop when he’s on that particular furniture, but a real sweety pie everywhere – mostly! – else.

      Mom swam from an early age because she had polio as a youngster. The swimming was therapeutic, of course, and helped her recovery. In the last years of her teaching swimming, she taught disabled people of all ages to swim, one at a time instead of several individuals at a time.

  2. That is an enjoyable slice of family history. When I worked at Lloyd’s Marine Insurance in 1960 -’63 the name of a German shipping company which sounded like Dampsheepfarts had us all creased up every time.

    • Donaudampfschiffahrtsgesellschaft -is the company. I can see how that transformed into the more colorful and amusing Dampsheepfart! LOL!

      For the record, Donau is the German name for the Danube River; Dampfshif (old spelling) is German for steamboat; Fahrtgesellschaft is something like shipping company

      Somewhere along the line, schif acquired a second f, which would have bedazzled and blinded you with three f’s together in that compound noun of a company name that already is bedazzling and blinding enough with two! You already know all this, Derrick, having knowledge of the company through your work, but I enjoyed piecing together what I could from your Dampsheepfarts to get to the still incredible German name.

      Reminds me of a window sticker I saw on a Citroen 2CV in then-West Germany. The word was a German compound curse word that crossed the whole bottom of the back window, a word so magnificent I had to photograph it so I could parse the individual components at my leisure to fully appreciate the joke and the full glory of the most magnificent curse word I’d even seen. I surely have that slide somewhere in my clutter…! I know I have a photo of a license plate from someplace in the eastern border area that spelled out a particularly vulgar English curse, only with an Umlauted U.

      When I selected my guess at the company’s German name, it brought up several things like the full company name, with “Erste Donau…”, First Danube at the front end.

      Now that I’ve amused myself for several minutes with this company name, I think I’ll go back and read what the Wikipedia article says about it. I’ll try not to snigger!

        • LOL! And thanks to you, Derrick, for giving me an opportunity to play with words, especially “Dampf”! I only recently came across the word when I thought about the Audi logo and the DKW auto that makes up one fourth of the companies that consolidated to make that brand as we now know it.
          I always thought “DKW” stood for “Deutsche Kraft Werke” since, I guess, those words attached themselves easily to the initials. I only got one of three words right, however, as it stands for “Dampf-Kraft-Wagen” according to the Wikipedia article on the make, or “steam-powered car”.
          I remember, too, Germans calling it “Das Kleine Wunder” (the Small Wonder), which is mentioned in the article but not “Deutsche Kinder-Wagen” (German child’s car).

          I had a US Army friend whose German girlfriend’s sister’s boyfriend sold my friend his 1960 DKW when he, the German sister’s boyfriend, had to do his one year’s service in the Bundeswehr.
          He either had a quirky sense of humor or rowdy friends because there was a taped notice on the dash stating his rule of the ride: “Spucke nicht auf den Boden” (Don’t spit on the floor”. That brought out my German-English dictionary at the time before I enjoyed the joke or honored the rule. I’m not sure which.
          It was a nice-riding car as I recall, if 12 years old at the time. He bought a second secondhand DKW after the first one went to the scrapyard. That one got us to Metz where I bought a replacement Peugeot EU08 touring 10-speed bike and assorted tires, tubes, and tools to replace one of the same models stolen the very day US Army bases in Kaiserslautern increased security after a bank robbery by the Baader-Meinhof-Gruppe left one dead and lots of loot stolen.

          All in all, while I came to own an Audi Fox (Audi 80), bought new in 1977, I secretly wished it was a DKW, a brand I came to associate with fun and good friends. (For the record, the Audi Fox acquired an identical association after a short time!)

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