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BigRedDog

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Tribute to Bay City Times icon Dick VanNostrand
« on: July 10, 2018, 08:36:54 AM »

As far as I know I never met this man although our paths have apparently crossed a few times. 

For our younger readers let me explain what a newspaper photographer is (was).  Newspapers at one time had a staff member or two that used real cameras (as opposed to cell phones) to take real photographs rather than most of the 'snapshots' we see today as the local news journalist is taking their own story photos with their phone while they're doing the rest of the work on the story. 

Anyway, I saw this on Mlive a couple of days ago and thought it soundd interesting since I had spent several years of my life working in Bay City. 

I'll comment on a few of the photos in his collection as to how they apply to me.

Not all of the photos are from Bay City or even from Michigan so you may even have a story to tell about one of them.

https://www.mlive.com/expo/sports/erry-2018/07/62e0a13bab7462/index.html
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BigRedDog

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Re: Tribute to Bay City Times icon Dick VanNostrand
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2018, 09:15:33 AM »

I'm just going to try to work my way down the list without saying any one photo or story were more important than the other. 

His second photo is my first 'memory' jogger.  The photo is of the local Datsun dealer in Bay City as it burned to the ground. 

When I first got out of the Army I needed a 'work truck' but didn't have a lot of money (familiar story to some I'm sure).

A friend of mine had a sister that had a husband that had a 1965 Datsun pickup for sale.  I got out of the Army in '71 so it wasn't really that old but it already was showing some signs of 'road brine cancer'.  I went over and took it for a ride and it actually drove pretty decent.  It was a 4 speed with the shift on the column.  It took a little bit to find reverse but once that was mastered it drove good.  I think the engine was 60hp...   just a little 4 popper but it did get pretty good mileage.  We also had a Mercury Cyclone with a 390 so I didn't need my truck to get my 'power rush' too.  My how times have changed :D :D :D  Today my truck has the big engine and the car has the small engine. 

I was driving to work about 30 miles each way so fuel  economy was important.  The interior was red and was in real good shape.  The exterior had been grey at one time but after a round of patching some rust someone had painted it black.  Looked like a rattle can job and it got more chalky over the years but again I wasn't in it for the looks.  Driving all the miles eventually took it's toll on the poor little engine.  Most of the drive was on US 10 and the last few trips the engine didn't have enough guts to keep up even 60 mph going into the wind.  Did pretty good going with the wind though.  It was probably valves as it didn't smoke or use oil. 

Anyway, it got me through a couple of years of after Army life and I had made enough to go buy a 'new' truck.  I got a brand new 1974 Chevy C10 in robins egg blue.  It had an AM radio and I had the dealer put on a step bumper.  It had a 350 cube inch V8 with a 3 speed.  Most trucks then did not have an auto trans because most auto transmissions were barely sufficient for a car.  I believe we paid $3400 or $3500 for it.  It had a quadrajunk carb on top of it and it could go through a lot of gasoline if you drove it 'hard'. 

So, I drove the little Datsun behind the house on the river.  We had the smallest house in the neighborhood and we were also the last house on the road but it was on the river and there were a few really nice houses so I'm sure a few eyebrows were raised.

One day at work a stranger came looking for me at work.  He had heard about my Datsun and wanted to know more about it.  Turned out he was the body shop manager for the local Datsun dealer and they were looking for something to fix up and put in the showroom.  I think '65 was the first year they imported Datsun pickups so it was some bit of a rarity to the right people. 

I told him what had happened to it and that it was sitting behind the house 30 miles away.  I figured that would be the end of it but a few days later he came back and we made a deal for the truck.  They took it into the shop and spent a year or so 'filling in' on it when they had time.  They painted it a bright cherry red and it actually looked pretty darn good.  I don't know if they ever did anything with the engine or not.  It would start and drive but just didn't have any guts left. 

Anyway, it was in the showroom when the dealership burned so all that's left of that one is 'memories'!!!  It was far from my best truck but it was my 'first'. 



Here's a photo of a '65 pickup I found online.




Here's an online photo I found of a '74 Chevy.  This one looks pretty close to mine.  I don't remember the mirrors being like that though.  I had a '76 later that had those mirrors. 


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BigRedDog

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Re: Tribute to Bay City Times icon Dick VanNostrand
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2018, 09:28:59 PM »

I was around when they were running Miss Budweiser up and down the Saginaw River.  We were putting her in and out of the water at the marina so very good chance I was about a mile down the river when he took this picture.  There was frequently a freighter or two on the river but the river was fairly wide down where we were. 

I had made friends with Les Staudecher (the boat builder) when I fixed an outboard he had always had trouble with.  He thought I was a genius even though he always called me "Kid". 

We had another one of his creations that we would put in the water and play with occasionally.  It was Miss Stars and Stripes (seems like maybe III or even IV).  It had a jet engine in it and it was very nontraditional.  Les had a history of building great boats for legendary owners such as Guy Lombardo.  These were the top of the line 'Gold Cup' boats and that means the owner had to have deep pockets to play their games!

Les always limped the whole time I knew him and here's a web story that tells about him wrecking one of the S&S hulls up on Hubbard Lake. 

http://www.lesliefield.com/other_history/miss_stars_and_stripes_ii_crashes_in_speed_run.htm

I just followed some of the links on the side of the above and found this page and picture.  That looks like it could have been at the marina but it is clearly labeled hull # IV. 


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BigRedDog

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Re: Tribute to Bay City Times icon Dick VanNostrand
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2018, 09:48:41 PM »



This is a neat photo that he obviously worked to get the full effect of the wheel's shadow.

I have no ties to the photo or the man or the mower.   There aren't any dates on most of the photos so I might have been driving by when he took it or I might have been in Germany when he took it. 

The mower appears to be a McCormick Deering No 7 mower which I am very familiar with as we still have one that we occasionally mow with.  It was in my wife's family and her grandfather originally used it with horses to mow. 

What is especially interesting about our mower is that it was originally painted red white and blue.  A patriotic paint them International Harvest ran at the time of production.  It's not real obvious but I have scraped into some of the corners and found various shades of paint that still remain.  The color today would generally match Rustoleum 'rusty metal' red (brown).  When we lost so many ash trees years ago I cut one down and saved it in hopes of finding someone to cut us a 'horse' tongue to put back into the mower. 

Here's the restoration article I just found.  http://www.dixieweb.com/mccormick-deering_no_7.htm

A picture of a restoration project I found online.  Hopefully I live long enough to make our mower look that good!



Here's a YouTube I found of a guy mowing with one behind his Cub Cadet.  I've done that many times and even mowed the edge of the road with it.  The knives and guards have all rusted enough that they need to be replaced.  It only had the 5 foot blade which most of the horse drawn ones had.  We replaced it with an IH mower probably 50 years newer that has a 7 foot blade.  That one is pto driven so no more playing with it behind the CC.

Cub Cadet 108 with McCormick Deering No.7 Regular Gear sickle mower Part 2


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The Fuzz

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Re: Tribute to Bay City Times icon Dick VanNostrand
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2018, 10:27:55 AM »

Those cycle mower shots are great......especially the black and white photo.  Thanks BRD, interesting read!
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SidecarFlip

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Re: Tribute to Bay City Times icon Dick VanNostrand
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2018, 05:28:19 PM »

Think you mean sickle mower.
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BigRedDog

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Re: Tribute to Bay City Times icon Dick VanNostrand
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2018, 07:05:22 PM »

I'm not sure about the info they've put with this photo.  It says near Gaylord but that is about the time we had a similar fire near Sanford or actually closer to Edenville.  I can't see enough of the geography to say it is or isn't the fire near us. 

If the above fire is actually at Gaylord then the well drillers in Michigan had a bad stretch back then.

It is a very neat photo no matter where it was!!!

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BigRedDog

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Re: Tribute to Bay City Times icon Dick VanNostrand
« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2018, 07:20:48 PM »

This guy was not opposed to getting into an airplane to get a different perspective for his photos.

This is the Third Street Bridge in Bay City and I had driven across it just a few days before it collapsed.  When someone told me it collapsed I didn't believe them at first.  I took a boat on a 'test ride' down there later but that isn't the boat or me in the picture.

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BigRedDog

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Re: Tribute to Bay City Times icon Dick VanNostrand
« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2018, 07:41:05 PM »





We had already moved down here by 1986 when Bay City flooded but it was in the area where I had been working just before we moved.  My Dad had a couple of Farmall Hs and I have one still but as far as I know none of them were ever used for flood evacuation. 

Interesting that the framework that is on the one in this picture was for a 2 row IH cultivator but the cultivators themselves are missing.  Maybe the guy removed them to allow more clearance to drive through the water.  The cultivators would only be a few inches above the ground even when they were raised.  Note the piece of linkage that is hanging straight down.  That would have connected to the front cultivators on this side of the tractor to raise and lower them.

Here's a picture of an H with a full set of cultivators mounted.  This one even has shields to keep the dirt from getting onto newly emerged crops.  I haven't seen any tractor with cultivators in years.  Now they spray to control weeds so not a necessary step in the growing process.  You can see in the picture how high the arch between the two sides was which allowed for cultivating corn until it would scrape the top on those arches as you worked.  Up there that was about this time of year.  Your corn better be 'knee high' by the 4th of July or it probably would be a light crop that year.



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BigRedDog

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Re: Tribute to Bay City Times icon Dick VanNostrand
« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2018, 07:52:16 PM »



Barry Sanders...

up close and personal.

That wasn't me but was actually our oldest daughter.  When she was playing high school basketball the team would go up to Saginaw Valley State University for a summer camp.  The Lions also used SVSU for their summer camp back then. 

Our daughter wasn't a big breakfast eater but she loved basketball so while the team went to eat she went to the gym to shoot a few baskets.  She was alone for a bit and then heard a voice ask if he could shoot a few with here...   Barry Sanders himself. 

I asked her later what she said (at the time she was still pretty bashful) and she said "nothing...   I just bounce him the ball"!

She told me later that when you watch him that close on the basketball court you gain even more respect for the way he could move on the football field.  He actually played basketball into college so no surprise he could shoot pretty good.  The rest of the team was a little put out when they got there and saw what was going on :) :) :)
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BigRedDog

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Re: Tribute to Bay City Times icon Dick VanNostrand
« Reply #10 on: July 12, 2018, 08:05:34 PM »



Again, we were 'long gone' by the time this photo of the gasoline tanker 'Jupiter' burned on the Saginaw River.  My tie in was that it was just a few hundred yards from the first marina I worked at and I had gone by the spot where it happened literally hundreds of times.  At one time it was a Bay refinery which was owned and operated by Dow Chemical before they got out of the gasoline business. 

My days there were before they had taken all the lead out of gasoline and premium fuel was still loaded with ethyl.  The ethyl for Bay came from Sarnia by tanker.  In the winter the coast guard would escort the tanker all the way around from Sarnia as the 'lower lakes' were not completely closed to shipping in the winter time like Lake Superior is. 

A few times we saw the Cutter Mackinaw just blow through the river ice which was much thinner than the ice would be out in Saginaw Bay or Lake Huron proper. 
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The Fuzz

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Re: Tribute to Bay City Times icon Dick VanNostrand
« Reply #11 on: July 12, 2018, 09:09:54 PM »

Think you mean sickle mower.

No da, of course I did!
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BigRedDog

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Re: Tribute to Bay City Times icon Dick VanNostrand
« Reply #12 on: July 13, 2018, 08:47:48 AM »

I guess I'm done writing about his photos.  I enjoyed seeing these and actually most of them were very eye catching.  The man was obviously a great photographer.
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SidecarFlip

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Re: Tribute to Bay City Times icon Dick VanNostrand
« Reply #13 on: July 13, 2018, 07:36:27 PM »

I guess I'm done writing about his photos.  I enjoyed seeing these and actually most of them were very eye catching.  The man was obviously a great photographer.

Do have a question BRD....  When Dow was in the gasoline business what brand did they sell under or was it all wholesale?
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BigRedDog

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Re: Tribute to Bay City Times icon Dick VanNostrand
« Reply #14 on: July 13, 2018, 09:52:22 PM »

Do have a question BRD....  When Dow was in the gasoline business what brand did they sell under or was it all wholesale?


It was Bay Refining and they sold it as 'Bay Gasoline' although there were other Bay branded gasolines around the country that I don't think were related.  As far as I know they only had one refinery and it was in Bay City right beside the marina I worked at. 

Dow wasn't real heavy into the gasoline business as the refinery wasn't real big.  I've always suspected they used it more for experimenting with various additives than they did as a profit center. 

I found this site (on a railroad info page of all places) that says the plant had a capacity of 15,000 barrels of crude a day.

http://www.michiganrailroads.com/industry/620-oil-refineries/5693-bay-refining-company-bay-city-mi
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