Thursday, October 30, 2014

Out and about, part 2

Another picture of me, this time with beautiful autumn leaves in the a hilltop overlook in north central New Jersey, with spectacular views.

While carrying my purse and looking for the restroom, I was directed to the ladies' room by the staff.  Because the people with us (and standing in line for the potty) know me as a guy, I used the men's room and had no problems.  But being directed to the restroom I'd really prefer to be using, is always so very affirming!

Autumn leaves...and a red polo top for some contrast.

The weather was warm enough that day, to cause me to wish I'd worn my capri pants.  But I didn't...and at that point, couldn't do much about it. 

Obelisk at High Point State Park...on a dreary day.

The next day, we drove up to High Point State Park (near Clinton, NJ) to take in the view from High Point Monument, which at 1,803 feet above sea level, is a spectacular panorama of rich farmland and forest, soft hills and lush valleys in three states.  Unfortunately, when we arrived it was closed - but most of us probably wouldn't have hiked the 200+ steps to get to the top anyway.  We'd have settled for views from the bottom of the obelisk...

The motel that night was where I found out about an unknown antifreeze leak in my antique car.   Minor, to be sure, but a leak nonetheless.  If it developed more fully enroute, it could have caused major coolant loss.  Several of the mechanics in our group suggested using stop-leak to get it home, thus avoiding any chance of a rip-off from unscrupulous gas stations or dealerships, since none of us had the tools or materials to work on it "in the field."

I took their advice, used the stop leak, and it worked.  Fortunately, the rest of our excursion was uneventful, mechanically speaking!   (Now I just have to get it to my mechanic...but I have time for that since it won't be going any place long-distance till next spring.)

On this excursion, we were able to get into a tour of Atlantic City's Boardwalk Hall.  You might remember this venue from watching many years of the Miss America pageant broadcast from there.   It was so very fascinating...especially to be standing on the very stage where so many beautiful women have "strutted their stuff" each year, during the pageant.  I could almost hear the echoes of many past celebrations:

"There she is, Miss America
 There she is, your ideal
 The dream of a million girls..."  

There was only thing wrong...I wasn't wearing a gown, heels and makeup!  Now, THAT would have been fun!

The stage at Boardwalk Hall.  People are gathered at the hall's Organ Console.

View of the arena, being set up for hockey.  Notice the organ rooms on either side of the stage...and on the side walls.

The world's largest organ console, which operates the world's largest pipe organ.

Per Wikipedia, construction of the organ took place between May, 1929 and December, 1932.

It holds several entries in the Guinness Book of World Records, including "Largest pipe organ ever constructed", "Largest musical instrument ever constructed" and "Loudest musical instrument ever constructed", and it holds several records in the organ world. It is one of only two organs in the world to have an open 64' rank and the only organ to have stops voiced on 100" of wind pressure. Its console features seven keyboards, called Manuals.

The organ's main console is the biggest in the world. It has 1,235 stop tabs controlling 587 flue stops, 265 reed stops, 35 melodic percussions, 46 non-melodic percussions, 164 couplers, 18 tremolos, 120 swell pedal selectors for the 6 swell pedals controlling 15 swell boxes and a stop crescendo pedal. The console is also the only one in the world with 7 manuals.

Antique picture of some of the pipes.

We were able to listen in on a recital, or demonstration of the organ, which was amazing!  And to think, only since 1998 has it been made about 25 percent operational...there were (still are) long standing damages from flooding and roof leaks, which are being repaired as time and grant monies permit.

They estimate complete restoration within the next ten years...if it happens, we'd love to go back and hear the grand sound of the world-record-holding 33,114 pipes, all in full operation! (And maybe by then I'll be wearing a dress???  Time will tell.)

More later...



  1. It is amazing that the original construction of the pipe organ took a total of 3.5 years during a period known as the great depression.

    They started the restoration in 1998 and estimate that the restoration will be complete in 2024. You may recall that during that same period the Empire State Building was built. Construction began on St. Patrick's day 1930 and the ribbon cutting to open the building was Ma 1, 1931. At my former house my next door neighbor did a home remodeling project that took 3 years.

    The only time I was in the AC Convention center was to see a perfomrance by a traveling group from Dancing with the Stars.


    1. Yes, it was during the depression years, but there apparently were only so many skilled craftsmen...

      Some car restorations are done in 6 months, others can be measured in years, or rare cases, decades. Some people throw money at it, others throw time... All depends on one's outlook, I guess.

      We will get back some day, it's in the plan!


  2. Hey Mandy,

    As for the leaking, I'm surprised you haven't discovered "rescue" RTV tape. I keep a roll in the race car box as it's one of those emergency need sort of thing:

    1. Good suggestion, handy stuff. I'll have to get some and put it in the glove box!

      Unfortunately, it wasn't an obvious hose leak (one of the younger folks went under to look for it). He immediately eliminated the radiator (original - still tight), front radiator hoses and water pump (those were replaced ten years ago when the car was repainted.) No leaks in those areas.

      His main theory was the heater core, requiring 2 clamps and a fitting to disconnect water from it, since the leak was under the rear (passenger side) of the engine compartment. But he noted that the leak is under the car, not under the dash. (And the heater core was also replaced when the car was apart for repainting...)

      So, origin of the leak remains a mystery to this day - yet to be solved. He (after concurring with two others) decided that the cleanest and quickest "on the road fix", to get it home without risking an expensive gas station ripoff and not requiring tools, time, or "surgery for an unknown disease" was the stop leak approach.

      And it worked. After Turkey Day it will go to my regular garage, for a check-up.

      Will post results afterward...

      Thanks for responding!