Silver Memories With Lots of Laughter

Ludtke Pony Farm

Ludtke Pony Farm

This morning I did a little “sight seeing” before heading to rehearsal. One of the first places I saw after leaving my suite off of I80 was the old Ludtke homestead. Someone else owns it now and it looks very different from the days when we used to descend on the farm and rehearse in the house’s attic or in one of the barns. The owner has planted a lot of trees on the property where the pastures were for the ponies.

Band Shell

Band Shell

After I left there I shot down to the levee to take a picture of the old band shell where we used to watch groups play on summer afternoons. I do believe Jon played up there, but I never made it. The Ferris Wheel is not part of the permanent fixtures.

Draught House

Draught House

Not far from the band shell at the other end of the park is the old building which was the home of the Draught House. I am told the area is approved for development. Jon and I used to spend a lot of time in the “teen” area watching our heroes, The Night People, seeing if we could pick up any tricks as they played the cover songs of the Beatles, Byrds and Stones.

Al's Lounge

Al’s Lounge

My next stop was to see the old building where Al’s Lounge used to be on River Drive. The Contents Are: played as the house band there for a couple of years before deciding to move to Colorado. So Paul and I became very familiar with that place. In fact, I played there before I was 21 so the bouncer, an off duty police officer, kept a close eye on me making sure I didn’t drink any alcohol!

Masonic Temple

Masonic Temple

After that, I headed up Brady Street to shoot a photo of the old building that used to be the Masonic Temple. It looks like it is now part of Palmer Chiropractic, but all of us in Silver Laughter used to go there to see rock bands when they would come into town. Jon and I were fortunate enough to see acts like the Yardbirds, Buffalo Springfield, The Turtles and many others. We would watch them and run home to learn some of the songs.

WOC TV

WOC TV

Continuing up the hill I saw the building of the old WOC television station. It is now KWQC. It is where Jon and I took our petition when we were working to get the Monkees television show on the air! Power to the people!!!

2103 N. Ohio

2103 N. Ohio

My last stop today was to see my old house on Ohio Street. We wrote some music on that old piano we had in our basement. My grandmother was a really negative woman. I thought she hated me, but I learned years later that she was the one who bought the instrument and insisted that my sister and I be given piano lessons.

Jon and I played a lot of music in that basement, even figuring out harmonies of Badfinger songs with my dad coaching us as he worked on his sales reports. We were using his stereo to play the records despite the fact he preferred listening to jazz while he worked!

Mick Orton



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