Saturday, February 09, 2013

The Gravel Must Roll!

     So, I'd followed the "Space marines" thing as far as the Wikipedia article on Robert* Anson Heinlein and been diverted, as I often am, to the Google Maps view of his self-designed home off Bonny Doon Road.  It is recognizably the original for Jubal Harshaw's house, albeit on a slightly smaller scale.

     I'd turned on "photos" and was zooming out, hoping someone had posted street-level views of the place, when a couple of long, straight lines caught my eye, one with a photo thumbnail atop it: it's the "Coast Dairies (?) Conveyor Belt," carrying limestone to a cement plant on the coast.  The quarry appears to have been locally contentious and I'm not even sure it's still operating, but you do have to wonder how the man who wrote The Roads Must Roll decades earlier took to having such a long moving way right there on the other side of a hill or two.

     (ETA: Beseems I must explain that "decades earlier" refers to the relative chronology of story and house, the latter having been built long after the story was published.  Written, I think, during RAH's first California sojourn. The Bonny Doon home was built after their leaving the Colorado Springs house -- Mrs. Heinlein not doing well a mile up and neither of them entirely pleased that their miles-from-any-target home was, of a sudden, sharing Cheyenne Mountain with a very tempting target indeed.  What good is that nice fallout shelter at Ground Zero?  Anyway, I thought this was clear enough from context....)
* If one's own first name happens to be "Roberta," it is all but impossible to type "Robert" without having to invoke the backspace key.


DJ said...

Heinlein wrote Roadtown, but the publisher renamed it The Roads Must Roll and published it in 1940. Heinlein didn't build the Bonny Doon house until 1965.

No, I'm not just being persnickity. It happens that I recently read Volume I of William H. Patterson's biography of Heinlien, which covers up to his marriage to Ginny, but not after, and thus everything in it predates the Bonny Doon house. I recalled it mentioning the publishing of The Roads Must Roll.

But it was an interesting idea.

Roberta X said...

I don't like rubbing readers noses in things they should have caught, but since you have no qualms in (wrongly) doing the same to me, exactly what part of " do have to wonder how the man who wrote The 'Roads Must Roll' decades earlier..." did you fail to comprehend?

The chronology of Heinlein's various homes is not unknown to me.

The title I used is the one the work was copyrighted under and most readers know it by. You were in such a hurry to be esoteric that you maybe didn't notice the last few lines of my little screed?

If you don't like the free ice cream, you're welcome -- indeed, encouraged -- to go elsewhere.

greg said...

Now I'm going to need to go look at the house on Google Earth, causing me to violate my 'No Google Earth' resolution, since I was freaked out seeing my wife's car in the driveway of our current house.

Dave H said...

it is all but impossible to type "Robert" without having to invoke the backspace key.

Tell me about it. My wife's name was Roberta, and my son's name is Robert Aaron, so that little 'a' sneaks in there almost every time.

DJ said...

Roberta, you are correct. I skimmed it, and way too lightly. My apologies.

Roberta X said...

My apologies as well, DJ -- I allowed my irk too much free rein.

HerrBGone said...

Dave, is that little 'a' continuous or [space] capital?

Of course Space Capital might be something for the space marines to defend...

Ms. X., I followed your link and found the conveyor. Pretty cool! Though it looks like the gravel pit may be played out. The two Euclid's parked there are showing a lot of rust and there's a lake of rain water in the back of both.

Greg, I can plainly see my camper in the driveway on Google maps. And it's an itty bitty VW Westy not a big class A motorhome. With Google's new angled maximum zoom you can even tell its a dark brown Vanagon. And if you know what you are looking at you can see that the shed I haven't gotten around to replacing had its roof collapse under the weight of the snow. (Previous owner chose the wrong kind of shed, then didn't shovel its roof.)

If you want to see something really interesting Google Davis-Monthan AFB and look at the bone yard... There are at least 2 F-106's and 3 D-21 drones out there. Along with a staggering number of other planes. Do we have an Air Force left with all those planes parked on the desert?

Dave H said...

HerrBGone: The little 'a' isn't supposed to be there when I write my son's name, but it just sort of slips out of my fingertips as I type. The capital 'A' for his middle name causes confusion with our insurance company, who insists that RobertA is no longer covered.

DJ said...

Roberta, your irk was justified. I offer no excuses. I did what I complain of others doing, and I hang my head in shame.