Tuesday, March 29, 2011

K Is For Kaiser

It's time again for ABC Wednesday. If you aren't participating in ABC Wednesday, you are missing out on a lot of fun.

This week the letter is K. K is for Kaiser. One of the most burning questions being asked today is whatever happened to Kaiser automobiles. Since I am privy to just such information, I thought I would do my civic duty and give you this privileged information.

The Kaiser automobile was the product of the Kaiser-Frazer Corporation. The company was the result of a partnership between automobile executive Joseph W. Frazer and Industrialist Henry J. Kaiser of Kaiser Industries. The company rose from the ashes of the Graham-Paige Motor Company.

38 Graham 3

In August 1944, Joseph Frazer, former president of Willys-Overland, assumed control of Graham-Paige, and announced that the company would resume automobile manufacture after the war with a completely new car. The new car was to be called "Frazer" rather than "Graham". Frazer quickly had Graham humming with activity. While looking for financial backing, Frazer met Henry J. Kaiser who also had plans for a postwar automobile. The two agreed to work together and in August 1945 formed the Kaiser-Frazer Corporation to build a new Kaiser car. Two Kaisers were to be built for every Frazer, which was to remain a Graham-Paige product. Joe Frazer became president of both companies and Henry Kaiser chairman of Kaiser-Frazer.

1949 Frazer Manhattan

Graham-Paige was unable to finance its share of expenses, so the company quit the car business, and transferred all of their automotive assets to Kaiser-Frazer. Kaiser automobiles were manufactured in the United States from 1946 to 1955, when declining sales forced the closing of Kaiser's domestic automobile operations. At that time production was moved to Argentina and Brazil, where the company turned out a series of sedans, trucks and Jeeps until the 1960's.

Kaiser Carabela Elegant

In 1953 Kaiser bought the Willys-Overland company, the producer of Jeep utility vehicles, and merged the Kaiser and Willys operations. By 1956 the company had stopped building Kaiser automobiles and was only building Jeep utility vehicles. The company changed its name to Kaiser-Jeep in 1963.

By 1969, Kaiser Industries decided to leave the automobile business, which was sold to American Motors in 1970. Included in the sale was the General Products Division, which Kaiser had purchased from Studebaker in 1964. AMC renamed the division AM General, which remains an independent company and government and military contractor. AM General sold the rights to the Hummer name to General Motors in 1999 but continues to build the vehicles for GM.

American Motors Corporation manufactured Jeep vehicles until AMC was purchased by Chrysler in 1987. Chrysler wanted the Jeep vehicle line because of the rising popularity of utility vehicles.

What happened to Kaiser? If you are driving a Jeep or a Hummer, in reality you are driving a Kaiser. Even though the Kaiser name is no longer used on vehicles, the legacy of Henry J. Kaiser lives on.

I hope you have enjoyed this weeks installment of ABC Wednesday. See you next week! I will leave you with some videos of Kaiser automobiles.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Music City Meeting

American Cancer Society

I was recently asked to serve on the American Cancer Society Mid-South Division Relay For Life E-Communication Workgroup. The workgroup is made up of one ACS staff person and one Relay For Life volunteer from each state in the Mid-South; Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, and Kentucky.

This is the fifth year that my wife and I have been involved in our local Relay For Life. As the On-Line chair one of my responsibilities is placing content on the 2011 Polk County Relay For Life Website.

The Relay For Life E-Communication Workgroup is a new group that has just been formed this year to help the ACS and Relay For Life to make better use of social media and the internet.

Friday, March 25th we met together for the first time in Nashville, Tennessee. I left for Nashville on Thursday at 11:00 and met Nikki Ezell, our local ACS community rep, in Little Rock. We traveled together to Nashville. My accommodations were at the Embassy Suites Hotel . The hotel was beautiful and the accommodations were lovely.

Embassy Suites

Embassy Suites Atrium

Century Boulevard, the street that the hotel and the office building where we had the workgroup meeting were located, was beautiful with blooming trees and colorful flowers. I took a walk down the boulevard in the morning before breakfast and took some photos.

Century Boulevard 2


Century Boulevard

Blossoms 2

The Relay For Life E-Communication Workgroup worked well together and I feel that we accomplished a lot. I met so many nice people who are passionate about Relay For Life. Getting to meet great people is one of the fantastic things about being involved with Relay. I am looking forward to working with this great group of people this year.

Relay For Life E-Comm Workgroup

After the meeting ended at 3:00 p.m. I made the long trip back home arriving after midnight. It was a long 36 hours but well worth it.

If you are not involved in Relay For Life in your community look at the Relay For Life Website and search for a Relay in your area by using the search box in the upper right had corner of the webpage. With over 5000 Relays being held in the U.S. this year you will probably be able to find one near you. If you are not participating in Relay For Life you don't know what you are missing.


Monday, March 21, 2011

J Is For Jellyfish

Oregon Coast Aquarium 7

It's time again for ABC Wednesday. If you aren't participating in ABC Wednesday, you are missing out on a lot of fun.

This week the letter is J. J is for jellyfish. Jellyfish are found in every ocean, from the surface to the deep sea. Here a a few photos I have taken of Jellyfish.

Oregon Coast Aquarium 6

In countries like Japan, Korea and China, it is considered a delicacy to eat Jellyfish. I don't think that I would eat them.

Oregon Coast Aquarium 8

In the Artic Sea, the North Atlantic Sea and Northern Pacific Ocean lives a Jellyfish that can grow to over 120 feet long. It is the Lion's Mane Jellyfish, the largest known Jellyfish in the world.

Here is a short video I have shot of Jellyfish

I hope you have enjoyed this weeks installment of ABC Wednesday. See you next week!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Last Day Of Winter

What Do You See?

Yesterday was the last full day of winter. We celebrated by taking a trip to Hot Springs, Arkansas to go to Garvin Woodland Gardens. Our granddaughters have been spending the week with us and we wanted to take them to the Gardens.

Tulip Girls

We spent the afternoon there and the girls were able to explore as we took our time walking through the gardens. The tulips were at their peek, and they were amazing.

Tulips, Tulips, Tulips

Besides the flowers, the girls loved seeing the ducks and the fish.



The girls were very busy as it takes a lot of time to stop and smell that many flowers.

Smells So Sweet


At the Gardens, there are so many photo opps, and I had the most beautiful models posing for me.

Girl At The Gate

Bekah 4

Autumn 3

Bekah 6

We spent over three hours walking and exploring. Finally the girls got tired and needed to ride on our shoulders.

At The Gardens

What an awesome day we had on the last day of winter. It was as good a day as a grandparent can have.

On The Island

On The Bridge

Friday, March 18, 2011

Vermilionville, Louisiana

Vermilionville 2

On our way home from Baton Rouge last weekend we stopped in Lafayette, Louisiana. We had made plans to visit the Acadian Village which is a collection of buildings, gathered around a pond, that simulates an Acadian village of the 1800s. Most of the buildings were relocated to the Village from nearby towns. When we arrived the grounds were closed due to a funeral. We decided to visit the Vermilionville Living History Museum and Folklife Park instead. It was a beautiful day and our visit was lovely.


The Vermilionville park is one of the worlds largest physical representation of an early Acadian settlement using original structures (dating from 1790 to 1890), and new ones built in the style of the 19th century. The many Artisans on site demonstrate the folklife of the region representing a time period from 1765 to 1890. Here is my grandaughter Autumn learning about woodworking.

Learning Woodworking

My Dad enjoyed telling the girls about how the old farm machinery worked.

Papa Great

Papa Great and Autumn

The grounds were beautiful, and the weather was just perfect. Everyone enjoyed a lovely Sunday afternoon outside.

Acadian Life

Vermilionville Fence

Vermilionville Porch

One of my granddaughters favorite places was the old schoolhouse. They liked pretending they were going to school in the olden days.

School Bekah

School Autumn

Elisabeth was too little to pretend she was going to school, but she liked to pretend that she was taking a pirogue down the bayou.

Pirogue Elisabeth

She soon realized that she would get a sunburn if she didn't put on her LSU hat.

LSU Cheerleader

Although everyone had a great time, I think Rebekah had the most fun. She spent the day catching and playing with roly poly bugs. She was too busy with her roly poly to pose for a picture.

At Vermilionville

No Pets Allowed

We were finally able to get a group photo taken by another visitor at Vermilionville.

We had to cut our visit a bit short because we still had an 8 hour drive home from Lafayette to Mena. We didn't arrive home until after midnight. If you are ever near Lafayette, Louisiana I would recommend a visit to Vermilionville.

Monday, March 14, 2011

I Is For Itsy Bitsy Spider

It's time again for ABC Wednesday. If you aren't participating in ABC Wednesday, you are missing out on a lot of fun.

This week the letter is I. I is for Itsy Bitsy Spider. The nursery rhyme Itsy Bitsy Spider was first published in 1910. The origin of this nursery rhyme isn't documented.

The itsy bitsy spider climbed up the water spout
Down came the rain, and washed the spider out
Out came the sun, and dried up all the rain
So the itsy bitsy spider climbed up the spout again.

Jim Carrey appeared in an animated short titled Itsy Bitsy Spider that was released in 1992. The Itsy Bitsy Spider was eventually made into an animated series, which aired on the USA Network.

The best rendition of Itsy Bitsy Spider I have seen is this wacky 15 second version.

My second favorite version is the Carly Simon version from her Coming Around Again album.

It is not common knowledge that Itsy Bitsy Spider is actually an allegory of the struggle of the lower classes. To help you understand the true meaning of the song, here is an analysis of the characters involved.

The Spider - represents the proletariat and his ongoing struggle against the bourgeoisie

The Waterspout - represents the myth of equality and the American Dream. The spider continues to doggedly scale the waterspouts heights, only to be denied the fruits of his hard work

The Rain - represents the bourgeoisie, impeding the progress of the spider, and standing between him and his ultimate goal of true freedom and equality.

The Sun - represent the easing of difficult living and working conditions. It provides false hope for the spider, prolonging his struggle

I hope you have enjoyed this weeks installment of ABC Wednesday. See you next week!