As I was leaving the quilt shop in Nyssa, Oregon, I spotted the White Satin sugar factory. I realized it had been the second stop in a good friend’s new career as a long-haul trucker, so I stopped to send him a picture as a reminder/souvenir of his Nyssa to Los Angeles trip. :-)
That’s when I tripped down Memory Lane! Right there in the parking lot. Do you know what this is??
It’s an official weather station for the National Weather Service. When I was young (6th grade), I was responsible for a station just like this in the mountains of Central Idaho. It was one of my first jobs! :-)
Every morning I had to trudge up the hill on the ranger station where we lived and record the readings. The thermometer inside could record the high and the low temperatures each day.
There was a rain gauge attached outside the box and I would have to measure and record any moisture. If the precipitation was in the form of snow, I had to use a ruler to measure what had fallen into the larger metal gauge (looked like a pitcher) and then take it to the house and melt the snow on the stovetop to determine who much precipitation had fallen. Light, powdery snow contains less moisture than wet, heavy snow, so sometimes 6 inches of newly fallen snow would yield less moisture than just an inch of wetter snow. All that measuring leads to average daily, monthly or annual precipitation rates you hear the weather people talking about. (Click on the photo below to enlarge and read)
Then, before 8am, I would have to make a collect call to the National Weather Service office in Lewiston, Idaho, and report my data — high, low, current temp., precipitation, and current conditions (sunny, cloudy, snowing, etc.) :-) I don’t remember how much I was paid, but I remember thinking it was pretty cool to see my data in the newspaper or hear it on the radio!
There may be a few stations like this still active around the country, but most have been replaced with computerized stations. I just have one question about those – ‘how does a computer melt the snow?!’ :-) :-)
Back on the road, returning to Boise, I found another reminder of my childhood.
Yep! Parma, Idaho, still has a drive-in theatre and it plays new releases!
It was always a special treat to visit a drive-in. Mom would make a grocery sack full of buttery, salty popcorn and we got cans of pop! Dressed in our pajamas, we got to play on the playground equipment below the big screen until dark when the movie started. I am sure all the movies had endings, but sometimes we fell asleep in the back of the station wagon! :-)
Yes, good times and good memories!
Until next time,