Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Some more Indians

Yesterday I promised more Indians . . . well, here they are. The first shot (above) shows the 1950's models, after American production ceased. These were rebadged Britich bikes.

Here's a nice Scout motor.

This bike happens to be the last civilian Indian built in 1942. After this bike rolled off the line Indian switched to military work for the duration of the war.

Here are two of the earliest twins.

These are the famous inline Fours.

This 80-inch Chief was the top of the line for 1950.

Here's one of the bikes Indian developed for desert use.

This is another creation from the war years - a watercooled V8 aero engine.

A side view of the aero engine.

Here's a cutaway 1927 Chief motor.

The Indian exhibit will be open for public preview during the Christmas holiday, and again during spring school break. It opens full-time Columbus Day, 2009.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Indians for Christmas

Those of you who follow my blog know that I have another life, with motor vehicles. Every now and then, I am asked to appraise collectible cars, boats and motorcycles. A few weeks ago, I was asked to appraise the Indian Motorcycle collection that was recently donated to the Springfield Museums, on Edwards Street in our city.

The Indian collection was amassed over a 40-year period by Charles and Estha Manthos. They kept the Indians in a building that was part of the former factory complex on Hendee Street, less than 1,000 feet from my company, Robison Service.

The collection is the largest of its kind in the world. Here are some of the bikes you'll see if you visit us when it's open, in January 2009 . . .

There are a number of famous motorbikes, inclubing this oval tack racer from Freddie Marsh

Here's one of the famous Indian V-twin engines

Few people have ever seen the Indian cars. Here's one of the only extant prototypes

The Scount was one of Indian's most successful models

You can still see Indian style in today's retro designs.

Prior to the late fifties, gears were shifted by a lever on the right side of the tank

Here's a closeup of one of the carburetors

Stay tuned for more images, and check the museum calendar at http://www.springfieldmuseums.org/

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

What I said to them

Here are Miss Illinois and me at the 2008 Raising Student Achievement conference in St Charles, Illinois this Monday. Imagine . . . she and I were talking to the teachers, while across town . . . the FBI was arresting the governor. Miss Illinois was a big hit with the superintendents, especially the males. I even got in on the game, getting her to sign a picture for Cubby.

I'm bigger, but she got all the attention. And for those of you who want specifications . . . she is 24, not married, not engaged, and continuing with college. 17 to 24 is the age range for this competition. She's friendly and personable, and the crown is detachable. She did not offer to let me try it, though.

Luckily there were no arrests at the Pheasant Run resort. The teachers were all well-behaved. I arrived the night before my talk, as everyone was rolling into town. Once I'd gotten settled in my room, I ventured downstairs to get a feel for the audience I'd have in the morning. I found some teachers in the bar.

After first ascertaining that they were friendly, I set out to answer some questions. What do you do? I asked. Are you teachers, superintendents, or something else? Most were teachers. I asked if they were dedicated, and they all said yes. I asked if they planned to attend in the morning, and they said yes to that, too.

Knowing I had a dedicated audience, I retreated to my room to re-read your comments and ponder what to say at the opening bell. Thank you all for the suggestions in my last thread, What Would You Say to Them? I did my best to pass on your ideas during my three sessions. I spoke to the entire assembly at the conference opening. After that, I had a session with regional superintendents, and a session with teachers.

The whole thing went very well, thanks in large part to your suggestions.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

What would you say to them??

On Monday morning, I am speaking to a large group of educators at a conference on raising student achievement levels. It's in St. Charles, Illinois, just outside Chicago. If any of you are nearby, I'd love to meet you in person . . . there is a link on the right sidebar if you want to stop in. Otherwise, I hope you'll send me some of your ideas, so that I can share them with this esteemed group.

Those of you on the spectrum . . . what would you say to a group of educators?

How about you parents? I know so many of you struggle daily with school systems. What would you say?

This is my last speaking engagement until after the holidays. As we move toward spring I will be appearing at some autism conferences. I'll keep you informed as I go.