Monthly Archives: February 2014

PSU Visits Mariucci

In honor of Penn State’s first ever visit to Mariucci Arena:

PSU Lion Going Gopher

It’s also senior weekend: Minnesota seniors Nate Condon, Justin Holl, Jake Parenteau, Tom Serratore and Michael Shibrowski will be playing their final series at Mariucci.

“Detroit City Blues”

Happy birthday to Fats Domino, who turned 86 today. Here’s Fats doing his first release from 1949, “Detroit City Blues”. The “B” side of the 45, was “The Fat Man”, which sold over a million copies by 1953.

Tired Iron

Tired Iron 1

The 9th Annual “Tired Iron” snowmachine race was held on the Chena River in downtown Fairbanks today. It’s quite the event, although I always come home smelling like 2-cycle gas/oil mix exhaust.

“Tired Iron” is a series of events, with only 1979 or older model snowmachines. There are trophies for the most obnoxious sled, the oldest sled, the oldest driver, as well as races for both air and water cooled machines, and one race for sleds with a max speed of 25mph. There is also “moose nugget bowling”, which I really do not want to get into here.

Every year, the races draw quite the crowd, and this year was no exception. It was an absolutely beautiful day out on the Chena, with totally clear skies, and a high near 12 above.

Tired Iron 2

Tired Iron 3

Tired Iron 4

Tired Iron 5

Tired Iron 6



“The Dirty D”


A 1963 Pontiac Le Mans Super Duty racing at the Detroit Dragway with John DeLorean behind the wheel.

The Detroit Dragway was a 1/4 Mile Drag Strip, sanctioned by the National Hot Rod Association, which opened in 1959. It was the home of the US Nationals in 1959 and 1960, before they were moved to Indianapolis Raceway. Up until the late 1970’s, the typical weekend crowd was around 30,000 spectators. By the mid 1980’s, however, crowds had dropped down to a 500 turnout.

The “Dirty D” closed in 1998.

A few years ago, one of Pontiac’s original 1963 Tempest Le Mans Super Duty was spotted on ebay. The owner, not knowing he had his hands on an extremely rare factory race car, opened the bidding at $500. The car, needing a complete restoration and without an engine, eventually sold for over $226,000. The auctioned Pontiac, turned out to be the missing Stan Antlocer Super Duty Tempest Le Mans Coupe.

The ebay Super Duty
The Stan Antlocer ebay Super Duty

Thunderbird Falls

Thunderbird Falls by Banan Tarr Photography

Here’s a cool photo of a frozen Thunderbird Falls near Eagle River, Alaska. The pic is by Banan Tarr Photography out of Anchorage. His stuff is worth checking out, but I think one is forced to go on that facebook site to look at them.

Backyard Face Off

Moose vs Sculpture

A great photo from the Anchorage Daily News: A moose in a backyard off of Wisconsin Street in Anchorage, comes face to face with a sculpture hanging from a birch tree.

Speaking of moose: When I went outside this morning to start the truck, I found a moose curled up in the snow alongside the parked Beetle. I’m not sure which one of us was more surprised at our meeting in the faint pre-dawn light.

Yuengling’s Ice Cream Returns

Yuengling Ice Cream

Established in 1829, D. G. Yuengling & Son is the oldest operating brewery in the U.S. I was more than a little surprised to learn that, as of 2011, it was also tied with the Boston Beer Company for the largest brewery in the United States by volume.

With prohibition, Yuengling started to produce ice cream in 1920, which was followed by other dairy products. The Black & Tan ice cream was common throughout the Pennsylvania area until 1985, when the manufacturing stopped.

After 30 years, Yuengling is once again producing ice cream. For some reason, I think I’ll have to seek some of this out in Philadelphia. If it was called anything other than Black & Tan, I doubt I’d be intrigued, but I think I’ll have to have myself a pint.

This is Post #600 on C-to-C.

Satchel Paige in Alaska

Satchel Paige and Alaska Gov. Mike Stepovich at a Miami Marlins minor league game in 1958.

Satchel Paige made in trip to Alaska in August of 1965 to pitch in a series of exhibition games. At the time, Paige was nearing 60, and he claimed he had not walked a batter in 20 years.

In a game against the team from Fort Richardson, Paige threw 22 pitches over three innings, shutting down every batter. He then switched sides, and did the same thing against the other team.

Photo courtesy of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Rasmuson Library

Alaska sets new wind chill record

Howard Pass, in the Brooks Range, set a new Alaska wind chill record of -97 degrees on Friday. A temperature of -42F and sustained 71 mph northern winds combined to make the record. According to the Weather Service in Anchorage, the Howard Pass area saw wind chills below -90 for much of the day.

The previous record of -96F, was set on 28 January 1989 at Prudhoe Bay.

Governor Stepovich

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Gov. Mike Stepovich (center) with President Eisenhower and U.S. Secretary of the Interior Frederick Seaton, after Alaska became the 49th state.

Mike Stepovich, the 15th and final Territorial Governor of Alaska died on Friday morning. He was 94.

The son of an immigrant gold miner, who came to Alaska during the gold rush, Stepovich was born in Fairbanks in 1919. After getting his law degree at Notre Dame, Stepovich joined the Navy during World War II.
Returning to Fairbanks, he began coaching the Alaska Goldpanners baseball team and practicing law. After three terms in the Territorial Legislature, President Eisenhower appointed him territorial governor. At 38, Stepovich would become the state’s youngest, and first Alaska born governor.

While many pioneer Alaskans had a hand in gaining statehood, as governor, Mike Stepovich was one of the driving forces. Traveling the country, constantly lobbying, Stepovich appeared on the cover of “Time” magazine, the “Tonight Show with Jack Parr”, and even the game show “What’s My Line”. Eisenhower, who initially believed Alaska should just exist as a buffer between the U.S. and the Soviet Union, eventually was swayed by Stepovich and others to support statehood for Alaska.

A good friend of mine recalled parking her car in downtown Fairbanks one summer day decades ago. She was on her way to work, when a man called out, “Ma’am, your car is leaking anti-freeze.” The man insisted on her opening the hood, he tracked down the problem, tightened a couple of clamps, then wished her a good day. When my friend entered her workplace, she asked someone who the gentleman was who had helped her. “Oh. That was Governor Stepovich.”

With Fairbanks being such a small town, I’ve met and chatted with the Governor several times. Normally, I don’t think too many politicians are worth their weight in snow, but I found Governor Stepovich to be a class act. He was always very patient with my questions on Alaska’s territorial days, and shared some great stories. One Christmas, I received a book on Alaska’s trek towards statehood, signed to me from the Governor.

Gov. Stepovich, while visiting one of his sons in San Diego, suffered a fall resulting in severe head injuries last Saturday. He spent his final six days in the hospital in a semi-conscious state, with his 13 children at his side. Former Alaska First Lady, Matilda Stepovich passed away in 2003.

No matter your political interests, or your feelings on statehood, one would have a hard time disputing this fact: Mike Stepovich truly loved Alaska.

Time Mag 9 June 1958
June 9, 1958 Time magazine cover with Gov. Stepovich