All the good, shady spots near the Dunkin’ Donuts I visit at lunch time were taken. It seems there were a lot of people looking to hide out for their lunch hour, just like I tend to do. I wasn’t in the mood to broil in the sun nor did I want to sit in Dunkin’s eating area, so I decided to explore a bit and find some shade to relax in. I ended up in Downtown Johnstown, about three miles from work. I am sitting under the shade of a big maple tree on a side street. A historical marker proclaims “Site of the Residence of Matthias B. Hildreth. Served as Attorney General for the State of New York from 1808 to 1812.”

I like these historical markers that are scattered all over the Empire State. I wonder how many people read them, though. If you stop and take a few moments you can learn a few things about the area you’re currently in. I find this fascinating, because knowing our history helps us better understand our future.

Downtown Johnstown has a lot of big old houses and other old buildings scattered about. Kitty corner from where I am sitting is building proclaiming that it’s home to the Johnstown Eagles. As I type this, I know that I’ve heard of the Eagles fraternal organization but I have no idea as to what they actually do. I’ll have to hit up Wikipedia after I finish this blog entry. I know that I’ve had relatives that were Eagles, but I didn’t know what they did. I think there might have been beer involved but I could be completely off base on that.

Next door to the Eagles is another facility owned by the company I work for. It actually houses the “disaster recovery” location, as well as a few other office workers. It used to have over a hundred employees working in there, now it’s around a dozen. A co-worker once took me into the decommissioned datacenter in the basement. There’s a lot of old mainframe equipment and the like from the late 1970s to mid 1980s down there. I decided I was an old geek when I realized that my first geek gig was working on that exact same equipment (DEC VAXen, VAXstations, PDP-11s and the like). The first hard drive I changed out was the size of the freezer drawer on the new refrigerator at home. It was big at 20MB. The building itself is kind of nifty in that 50s/60s office building chic with the terrazzo floors and the like.

I really like the 50s and 60s “ranch” styles of home and businesses. Grandma and Grandpa Country’s house was a bigger ranch home custom designed and built in the late 1950s. Earl doesn’t really care for that design; the one floor plan tends to isolate folks that would otherwise be inclined to socialize during a gathering, but I think it’s a cool design. I even like the old Shell stations that were built in a ranch style. I often try to spot these during our travels.

Photo courtesy of Pleasant Family Shopping Blog.

I like old gas stations. I’ve asked for a classic (or current) Shell service man’s uniform shirt for my birthday, as Shell has always been my favorite of the service stations. I imagine it’ll be a difficult present to find.