Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Our First New Car - The Honda 600 - A 2 Cylinder Dynamo

Honda's first car - the Honda 600. 
In the summer of 1972 - Lulu and I bought our first new car together to celebrate our first anniversary.  In those days - on the last day of school in June - one was paid a big check that was supposed to last the whole summer. I was making $7000 a year then teaching - so the summer check was a giant one. We were all dressed up and nowhere to go.

Honda just introduced their first car to America - the N600. It had many innovative features for the time. It weighed 1100 pounds - had a 2 cylinder air cooled engine - front wheel drive - 10 inch tires - front disk brakes - The gear shifter was on the dashboard. It could sit 5 people tightly. You could not get air conditioning. It had 36 horsepower. Two features that caught our eye - it got 40 miles per gallon - and it cost $1473 brand new.

The top speed was 75 miles per hour - and it could go from 0 to 60 MPH in 19 seconds.

We went to a dealer near Philadelphia - and they easily pried that summer pay check out of our hands.  As we were driving home to Tamaqua PA - we realized that we had no money left for the rest of the summer. After some quick thinking we realized we could sit around town all summer doing nothing - or we could go on an adventure.

In the summer before - we honeymooned at Miami Beach. We decided we could return there - and get summer jobs. With gasoline at 25 cents a gallon - we made the 1300 mile trip to South Beach on $8. We rented a studio in an old home in downtown Miami for $70 a month. We got to attend the Democratic and Republican conventions that year that were held back to back in Miami Beach. We got jobs immediately.

Lulu ended up working for K Mart at the service desk announcing the Blue Light Specials. I got a job at the local Honda dealership - selling Honda cars. When September came - we drove back to Pennsylvania - Lulu commuted to Kutztown State College - I continued to teach in my only real job at Panther Valley.

We had a yellow Honda 600 - It cost $1473

Jack Cox - Number 28 - Tamaqua Eagles

In 1965 - Tamaqua fielded 4 Knee-Hi Football Teams. They also had 4 cheerleading squads of similar size for the girls.

Front row - Number 28 - Jack Cox - Lulu's brother.

Picture stolen from Whitey Williams page.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Professor Lulu On Her Way To Work

Lulu travels all over the globe doing what library science professors do. In the top picture - she spent Feb - Mar - Apr in Berlin. She is taking the tram to work at Humboldt University where she had a fellowship with DAAD and the German government studying setting up school libraries in the country.

In the bottom video - she rides her scooter to work to teach a class of undergraduates this morning. We live about 2 miles from her classroom. Parking is terrible on campus - except for scooters - she can park right near her classroom door.

When we moved to Tallahassee 2004 - we bought the Vespa LX 150. Now it has 4000 miles on it.

Last night - form 8 to 10 - she taught a graduate course online with students from all over the world.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Our First Free Charge

Our Nissan Leaf plugged into the free charging station.
We bought our 2012 Nissan Leaf 2 years ago. Usually we charge the car every night in our garage. It holds 25 kilowatt hours of electricity. Since a KWH costs about 12 cents - that is a total of about $3.00 of power.

Today we went to the mall at about 11 AM for our normal 2 miles of air conditioned walk. After the walk Lulu decided we would have lunch at the Village Inn - a new restaurant near our home and also near the new Home Suites Hotel. To our surprise - there are 3 electric car charging stations there. I plugged the leaf into one - pressed the button - and it started to charge our car. I guess it was okay.

Our car can go about 75 miles on a full charge. We seldom go that far during one day. People say - why would you buy a car that can only go 75 miles. What they don't realize is that most of our trips are much less than 75 miles. In 2 years - I have never gotten closer than 10 miles to running out of power.

People that own electric cars talk about "range fatigue" which simply means you are scared of running out of power. The more you have the car - the less you worry about running out of power. It is a very dependable rig.

Let's see now - $3.00 a day times 30 days equals $90 a month :-)  It looks like we will be eating a lot at the Village Inn.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Pre-Game Party At FSU President John Thrasher's House

That white haired guy is FSU's President John Thrasher -
we just had a great party at his house before the game

Today we play Wake Forest (5-1) at 3:30. The president of FSU invited us to a tailgate party in his back yard. The band played - we ate - just had a nice time. After the party we drove home to change vehicles. Lulu and I take the scooter to the game for the free party.

We do not have tickets yet - but StubHub has tickets on the 50 yard line for $28. We hope to do better than that.
Here are a few pictures form inside the president's house
Bronze statue of a real Seminole Indian.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Dr. Susan MacManus Talked About The Election

One of the nicest things about living close to a college campus is being able to hear free speakers. Last night Dr Susan MacManus presented "2016: An Election Like No Other." She said Hillary Clinton should win according to the statistics - but this is an election like no other.

Homecoming At Florida State University

Chief Osceola on Renegade -
voted number one college mascot in the country
Grand Marshall Devoe Moore
2003 Stingray with 1953 Corvette body
50 years of Corvette history
What a beautiful day for a homecoming parade in Tallahassee. We enjoyed the parade today - volleyball and block party tonight - football game against Wake Forest on Saturday at 3:30 - and another volleyball game Sunday. 

It is hard to believe this is the 13th homecoming weekend for us - it almost feels like home. 

FSU President John Thrasher
Seminole Homecoming Princess
Seminole Homecoming Prince

Class of 1966 in a 1966 Mustang
Asian Student Club 
Chain gang cleaning up poo

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Eckley PA - Life in a Coal Patch Town

All pictures taken with iPhone 7.
Thanks to my Dad working in one of these - the
only dirt I got on my hands was chalk

Lulu loves shopping - I wonder if she
would have liked just one store

I am one generation removed from living in a coal patch. Both my Mom and Dad were raised in these tiny company-owned villages during their formative years. Mom grew up in the Vulcan - near Mahanoy City - and Dad forever called Seek - the capital of Coaldale - his home.

Patch towns were set up near the mine and breaker so that workers could walk to work and back. This was before automobiles were the normal way of life. When Ford made the car affordable to the masses - it took autos a while to hit these company towns. 

On my visit home to Tamaqua PA for my 50th reunion last month - we had a little time to spare. We were staying at a Residence Inn near Hazleton - so a visit to Eckley Miners Village fit the bill. It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon and I was really surprised when we found the village empty. The museum was open - we paid our $8 admission. But what we really wanted to do was walk the main street from end to end.