Sunday, September 30, 2012


Ah, the three rings: Purity, Body and Flavor.
Leave it to Peter to want to celebrate his birthday with a Ballantine Ale. While everyone else is sampling the latest trendy micro-beers, Peter wanted to venture back to the ale of our fathers. For me at the age of six or so, Dad brought out the green bottles late Sunday mornings after Mass. Often he'd invite two best friends, Sonny and Jim, from the Post Office over for a couple, amid ribald jokes and hardy laughter. At other times, Grampa Mike, in his black dress suit, would be our guest for Sunday dinner, and they'd share a few. On those mornings, I'd crawl up into Dad's lap on the livingroom couch and listen to their stories. On occasion, he'd let me put the cold, green bottle to my lips and sip. Back then it was a bitter sin, that I never confessed to Mom nor priest. And to this day I wonder, if when I'm at a pub ordering a beer of choice,  and an auburn-tinted ale is placed in front of me, might it have any roots to those Sunday mornings  nestled in Dad's lap with ale on his breath and aqua velva in the air?
I'm going to say, Yes.

Saturday, September 29, 2012


I usually have a few books going at once. At work, I've got a stack that I pick around and sample from time to time. I just finished Destiny of the Republic by Candice Millard, the back scenes of how James Garfield became President, the relentless stalking of his deranged assassin Charles J. Guiteau and 10 plus doctors that actually brought him to his death some 2 1/2 months later. It was a very interesting historical read.  Here's a close and personal friend of mine, in a quiet spot, with a new book that recently reached his desk. It's another Hesse novel with over 50 black and white photographs that certainly assist you turning the pages. Pick it up at your local seller today. Recommended by Birdman the bookman!  

Friday, September 28, 2012


Welcome! This is a backdoor iron welcome mat at the Mustard House. It's an antique/gift shop that we stopped into a few weeks ago. We got a lamp for the bedroom, a small round mirror, an old duck print in a frame, a tiny glass, blue pitcher for the windowsill and a Halloween decorated sign that says "Spooky". We're a crazy pair. You see, while most of our friends are in the process of downsizing, it seems that Elenka and me are still actively upsizing, gathering stuff. That's a little bit of me. I'm happily doing the opposite of what a lot of my friends are doing anyway. Like George in the Seinfeld episode: The Opposite, sick of failing at most things he does the 'opposite' and approaches this good-looking woman at Monks "I'm fat, balding, have no job and live with my parents." She looks at him with great interest and a sexy smile. It works, at least for awhile. While he spends his time doing the opposite of what he thinks he should be doing, Jerry is actively 'taking a loss to make a gain.' Everything comes out 'even steven' for him. I like to think this is what we are up to collecting stuff, still. Maybe we're making a gain to take a loss. Does this make any sense to you?

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Horse Harness

What's the deal with girls and horses anyway and men at the fair and their rough and tumble life with big steers for that matter? Mix them up a bit and now you're talkin' Temple Grandin. If you haven't seen the biopic on the life of this amazing woman, get up off the couch and rent it from Red Box or Netflix this weekend. You won't be disappointed. It's the story of this autistic woman and her search for a more humane way to handle livestock. If you've never heard of her, I know what you're mumbling right now. A movie about autism, and cattle... no thanks! I'll guarantee you this. Your loss! It's chock full incredible teaching moments for anyone, as she struggles through her life with her sensory integration dysfunction and her dislike of affection from people. I must say too, her frustration as a child right through to adulthood, caused by societal norms, will make you want to almost kick in your TV screen. I enjoyed it for all of these reasons and, of course, her great western shirts! Rent it this weekend and keep the box of tissues nearby, if you're human. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


Everything has a name. Till about 15 years ago I never knew these were gourds. I might have called them albino, miniature pumpkins with green stripes. I'm sure someone will correct me and supply the correct agricultural nomenclature. What a world! If it doesn't have a name, I'll make up one. Everything needs a name and might you be lacking one I can oblige. We have a trail heading up towards the garden at the top of the rise that we call the 'bunny trail'. How it got its name escapes me at the moment. We have a cat named Molly. I've always called her 'Mollycakes'. Why? No idea really. Our inside the house litter box got the title 'poo poo platter' long ago, and it stuck. Names are funny things. Got a unique name for something around the house? Please share. As for now, enjoy these albino, miniature pumpkins with green stripes.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Fish Beach

Let's take one last look at Monhegan Island before we shove off. This is the front side one of the fish house that dot Fish Beach. You don't have to spend a lot of time here to figure out that the lobstermen and fishermen, who inhabit the island, are a hard-working lot. The buildings show it. Their front yards show it. Their faces show it. I grew up in a time when hard work was a good thing. Work early. Work long. Work hard. Save money. It was a mantra my parents tried to instill in all us kids. If you didn't, the good catholic guilt trip would kill you. Based on what we did and how we did it, I believe my brother and I worked harder than any of our neighborhood chaps. Caddying early at the age of twelve, paper routes on top of paper routes throughout our teen years, cleaning the local bank and architect offices nights, helping to clean the local armory on a moment's notice were all part and parcel of the deal we got growing up in our family. Did we complain? Sure, from time to time but not a lot. We thought every kid did it. We were wrong. What do they say about work? If it doesn't kill you, it'll make you stronger. I don't know about that, but I do believe, in the long run, it made us better.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Wooden Boat

I came across this wooden skiff tossed among the tall grass on Monhegan last weekend. You've heard about the 'diamond in the rough'. Well, I do believe this might fall into that category. It looks to have suffered a few years of neglect but still seems in pretty good shape overall. And check out the carving of what looks to be an eagle in the bow. I admire the craftsman who can find something that has been thrown by the wayside and abused and bring it back to life, be it a '57 Chevy, an old house, a vintage piece of furniture or an old boat like this. I greatly value too those of us who can look deep into the eyes of the broken, abused and downtrodden of our society and bring them back. Perhaps these special people are truly the greatest of all craftsmen.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

At the Fair

Bring back the Boob!
We spent all day yesterday back in Hippiedom at the Common Ground Fair in Unity, Maine. It's our favorite fair. No cotton candy, no games of chance, no stupid stuffed animal prizes, no midway rides and no screaming kids wanting to throw dimes in glasses. Ah... my kind of fair! On the other hand lots of birkenstocks, lots of green living, lots of organic diet choices, lots of dredlocks,  lots of wellies, lots of ponytails on men, lots beads, lots of long flowing printed dresses, lots of long hair, no makeup, lots of long beards, lots of braless t-shirts and more. It was comforting to see. We liked it. This van had lots of artwork painted on it. Bring back the BOOB!, Kill your TV, Formula Stinks, but Breastmilk Sucks, LIVE without Fear, Harm None, Do What Ye Will, and Dance or Garden were some of my favorites.
I kept looking for the free LOVE booth, but it was MIA. 
Braless Ts, that's about all she wrote.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

School Days

No, the kids on Monhegan don't lose 2 hours of their life daily, traveling back and forth on a ferry. The Monhegan School fills this bill. Nestled on a hill overlooking the ocean, it's quite an idyllic setting to watch the seasons change. My elementary school years consisted of stints at Allen's Corner School, Perry School and St. Joseph's Grammar School and were for the most part filled with pleasant memories. Falling 'in love' with Miss Lawler my first teacher ever, slamming my finger in Aunt Mimi's car door(that was a bloody mess), learning to read, buying bus tickets and riding school buses, winning classroom spelling bees, playing tackle Red Rover in the snow and first girlfriends were just some of memories that just won't go away. Life was so simple back then, carefree at best. Some mornings when driving to work, I'll glance off toward the distant treeline with the sun edging over the tops and get nostalgic for these times. I can get downright melancholic. I long to turn the truck around, head back home to bed and fain illness. If I could go back and live it all over, would I? 
In a second! 
I bet I'm a bit different here then most.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Island Face

Saturday afternoon we ventured towards Lobster Cove but veered  off on a side road and visited the Alison Hill Gallery. She was having an end of season sale and a conversation in one of the shops we stopped at sent us off in this direction. Her landscapes and portraits of island folk packed her gallery. I'm intrigued by miniatures and that's what I was searching out. If one had caught my fancy, I was in the buying mood. I would think that most of the portraits covering her walls were commissioned pieces, for who would really want a picture in their home of someone with no real connection to their life. I certainly wouldn't. As we were leaving, the wooden sculpture caught my eye against the blue sky, spotted with wispy clouds. People's faces: so unique, so special, so individualistic. So many pass our way each day in the hustle and bustle of our daily living. Ever seen a face you truly can't forget? I bet you have.
Too bad you can't seen mine.
It's a secret still.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

My Dad

Yup! That's Birdman alright. He's seen here at the ripe old age of 5 months 16 days. He looks to be a bundle of joy for Mom and Dad too. I thought about posting this favorite image of this threesome, after seeing fellow blogger KMac's post of Monday. Interesting too, both smiling dads are holding the babies. In this era for men of not showing to much emotion, this is a revealing image of my father. Even in his later years, you'd be hard pressed to find a tear on that cheek in public, but I saw it a few times. I can remember lots of visits to his 3rd floor apartment on Pine Street, right in the heart of the West end he loved so, and talks that divulged that comfortably, hidden softer side. Dad, I haven't forgotten those one-on-one times and your stories. Thinking of you today, on your birthday. Peace.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Fish House

Here's a fish house. They dot the water's edge along the road that leads from the main dock. Fishing is pretty much the main source of income on the island. These fishermen are a hardy bunch. They trap lobsters in the winter when the crustaceans are fewer in number but bring in a higher price. They are typical Mainers. When others are hauling their traps out for winter, these guys and gals are just throwing theirs over the side. There's something that can be said for a lot like this. It's not a lifestyle I'd trade mine for right off the bat. I'll tell you that right now, Mister.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Red House

Skiffs and wire lobster traps are in abundance everywhere you look on Monhegan. It's a working island and it shows. If you head out aboard one of the ferries looking for manicured lawns, tarred roads and white linen tablecloths, you're probably going to be a bit disappointed. On the other hand, if you are looking to get away from it all for a few days and paint, photograph and breathe in what wild nature has to offer, then this might be just your medicine. Basically,  the people who step on the island seem to be of two minds. Those that can't wait till the ferry returns at 3:15 and takes them back to the mainland and their televisions and internet, and those who set foot on this big rock and want to stay forever. There certainly is a lure. There is simplicity and beauty seemingly everywhere you look. The quest is not a difficult one to master.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Island Curtain

Sorry I haven't checked in in the last few days but...

We've spent the last two days on Monhegan Island 10 miles off the coast of Maine. We were up early Saturday morning and on the road to catch the ferry in New Harbor. It's about a 2 hour drive down Route 1. The trip out was quite rough. Four foot swells made for some motion sickness bag use. I was fine, and Elenka was too, as long as she kept her eyes on the horizon. If she was to look down to search for something in her bag, not so much. We paid a return trip to the Monhegan House, where we spent a weekend in 2002 with J- tagging along. This time we took trips to the surf at Lobster Cove, up to Lighthouse Hill and to the deep green of the Cathedral Woods. It was a wonderful, stress-free weekend, like it always seems to be when you get an opportunity to sample island living. I took close to 400 photographs, some of which you'll see this week. Here's one looking out our second floor window towards the island church next door.
Serenity now.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

more Harvest

We've had good times; we've had bad. When it comes to our garden harvest, the glass has been 3/4 full this summer. On the plus side, our tomatoes, lettuce, beans, cucumbers beets, chard, sunflowers and corn hit the jackpot, while the bugs and inattention brought our squash to an early death. I'll take the blame on this one. We have been eating the corn for a few weeks now. It's golden, sweet and delicious. Elenka's mom always had a garden in New Jersey, so when she calls throughout June, July and August these days, she always wants to track the the progress of our vegetables, especially the corn. A couple things that did not raise ugly heads this summer were Mr. and Mrs. Woodchuck and family. Musta headed up the road to the nearby roadside farm. I hope they plan to winter up there and stay next summer too. They are a royal pain in anyone's summer garden. If they head back, my hav-a-hart trap will be oiled, baited with lettuce and ready. 
Say hello to my little friend!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Lost George

George is missing! There's a kitty on the loose, and this ain't no fun. I've posted for lost cats before around our country town. I've walked through the back woods for hours, looking for Wiz and White Sox to name just two. I've jumped in my truck and trolled the neighborhood looking for any traces or sound of our felines. Missing or ill pets near the end of their run with us provide not a happy time. Whether it's a pet goldfish taking a trip to meet the ty- d-bol man, a family hamster meeting its maker with the help of the family pooch or an untimely accident on a nearby road, saying goodbye is never easy. The ultimate downside of a rambunctious, loving puppy or kitty is the adult knowledge that someday, it'll be time to part ways. My remedy? I try to put these thoughts out of my mind and enjoy every day with them in my lap. City, outdoor cats live short lives for the most part, but I do hope George finds his way back to his owners. He looks to be a cutie. Purr!

Friday, September 14, 2012


Hey hay!
Local country fields are being hayed one more time before the first frost comes. Driving into the city yesterday, I saw plenty of action on the field of a large farm. There were three haying machines working, going back and forth, and this scene  reminded me of a haunting hay story. I don't even know if there is a bit of urban myth mixed into it. An eighteen year old was working a field on his family farm in the Midwest somewhere. While working alone one afternoon, he accidentally fell off his tractor and was run over. His arm was severed. Thinking fast, he made a tourniquet out of his t-shirt and ran to the house, carrying his arm. When his parents returned shortly, they found him, covered in blood, sitting in the bathtub. He was rushed to the hospital and his arm was reattached. News reporters asked him later why he was in the bathtub with his arm, and he said he didn't want to get blood on his mother's rugs. Is the story true? I have no idea, but each summer, as I drive by fields being worked by large haymakers, this story comes back to me. I can't shake it. To me, it's very believable, yet haunting. I can actually start to tear up. Now, this is a son who loves his mother.

Thursday, September 13, 2012


Above bOnObO, the wood fire pizza place, this white phantom dog keeps watch over the corner, probably hours before her owners stir. It's a Sunday, about 7:30 AM, and she's probably wondering where everybody is. "Why no traffic? Why no humans moving back and forth below?" She continues, "Hey, I'm worried about my life in dog years. I'm getting too old for this. I need some action, Jackson!" Now, below. We've been here for a meal before. Everybody talks about it. Yada, yada, yada. Gotta try bonobo. Everybody's got to go to bonobo. Great pizza at bonobo. We weren't too impressed. After all, it's just pizza! It was a bit pricey too for bread and tomato sauce. What did we have? Can't remember. It was forgettable! The best part of this picture? The dog! She was not forgettable. Bow Wow!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Odd Jobs

A weekend is all about odd jobs around here this time of year. After a full work week, I enjoy just puttering around the house. I get stuff done but at my pace, not someone else's. Elenka's Dad was the master of the odd job and the big job for that matter. If there was the small but important job to do around the house, he was on it, 'like ants on a popsicle stick' cast aside. And he was pretty good at the big jobs too. The 4-5 summers after we moved in to our house, he and the Mrs. loaded the station wagon with tools and headed North. The first project we tackled was the livingroom. He built beautiful window seats on either side of the fireplace and completely reconstructed the mantle and surrounding trim. He also laid a carpet and help paint the room. All this in just one week! In following summers we repaired the kitchen floor, sanded and refinished it and ripped the porch down to a skeleton frame and rebuilt it completely. Amazing how that man could work. I was his able assistant, and I think I handled that role quite nicely. All he asked in return was the enjoyment of spending a week with his daughter and his zany son-in-law. Oh yeah, that and locating a fine establishment where they could pour a cold draft beer or two. That was the easiest mission to accomplish back on those warm summer days. Thanks Steve!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Red Room

I'm thinking The Shining this morning looking down this long hallway from a red glowing room. If you've seen the movie version of the book, you'll remember the scene. Redrum, Redrum! That little guy on his tricycle headed for trouble. It's one of my favorite, quirky movies. Like The Godfather, The Wizard of Oz, Five Easy Pieces, and the Guns of Navarone (don't ask), if I run across it while I'm spinning the remote, I have to stop and watch a few minutes of it. Sometimes, I'll watch it till the end. These are the ones that come quickly to mind. There are a few others. For me, it's hard to understand the draw they have on me.  I'll stop myself in midstream and for a few minutes take a detour, regardless of what I'm up to. Is this just me? Anyone else do this? What movies?

Monday, September 10, 2012

Rusty Grill

She's just a mere shell of her former self. And I mean shell. All that's left, as she sits along side Rt. 202, is her frame, no interior, no motor. As the double negative would read, no nothing! In this day and age of restoration projects, someone, with a lot more skill in the area then I, will lug this piece of junk home and almost magically turn it into a gem. In the reality TV world, there's a show that is all about doing just this. Take a scrapper off the junk pile, turn it into a show stopper, take to a car auction and make some dough. I get a kick out of reality shows these days. Reality? What a misnomer! Anything but. They are ALL as far away from the real living I'm doing as you can get, but they sell. Bottomline, they must make money. I help a couple make just that, I guess. If I told you I watch the Housewives of NYC, would you believe me? I have utter disdain for them all. However, like a good car wreck, I can't take my eyes away.
"Is anybody hurt?"
"Yes, they all are!"

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Tomato Stock

Fresh from our garden. It was line time up before these tomatoes made their mad dash to the escape food processor. Their reprieve was denied by the Governor, and with the assistance of an old recipe from Bon Appetit, here is how I entertained myself yesterday afternoon.
Birdman's Tomato Soup
3 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 medium , finely chopped onion
2 lbs. ripe sliced tomatoes (unpeeled)
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp finely chopped garlic
2 tsp. cornstarch
3 cups of chicken stock
fresh ground pepper
herb salt
1 tomato, peeled, cut julienne
1 tbsp. chopped parsley
1 tbsp. chives
1 tsp. light honey
Heat 3 Tbsp. oil in a 4qt. saucepan. Over med. heat, add onion and cook til translucent. Add sliced tomatoes and cook 3 minutes. Stir in tomato paste, bay leaf, cover and cook for 10 minutes, stir often. Transfer mixture to processor and puree. Return puree to saucepan. Combine cornstarch and  1 tbsp. oil in a small bowl. Stir into puree. Add stock and bring to boil over med. heat, stir constantly. Reduce heat to low and simmer 10 minutes. Season with pepper and herb salt. Stir in tomato julienne, parsley, chives and honey. 
With a loaf of homemade bread on the side, that's one delicious meal for a cool Sunday.
Bon Appetit... in more ways than one!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Pub Fare

We took in the First Friday Art Walk in the city last night. The streets were packed with faces and music flowed from the many restaurants and shops open for viewing. In some places, it was difficult to make progress there were so many people. It was a warm night, and I'm sure that helped to bring many to the streets. We found a place to park near City Hall and started our stroll up Congress. Our plan was to walk to Longfellow Square and sample a new pub. Elenka and I both wondered if we might run into our friend Peter. We seem to do on these walks. As we made our way to the back of Gleason Fine Art, there he was sitting in a comfortable chair with a glass of red wine. After catching up on our recent comings and goings, we headed out stopping at various galleries along our trek to the Square. LFK is a relatively new pub that filled the spot of an old, two-level used bookstore that I always enjoyed venturing into. The new, dark venue has the look and feel of hipster spot with an eclectic blend of mix of mismatched, communal tables and chairs with flowers on the tables, a used typewriter or two, bookshelves leftover from the previous inhabiter, the constant hum of chatter coming from all directions and what looks to be an interesting, yet small menu. We made our way to the back and found a couch and some comfortable upholstered chairs. We ordered beverages. I ordered a North Coast Scrimshaw Pilsner, Elenka a glass of red wine and Peter, always a man of adventure, a can of Ballentine ale. We spent an hour or so there, toasted Peter's upcoming birthday and took in the scene. Overall review? The decor needs some attention, but I enjoyed the tucked away feeling we had sitting in the back. I'll return some January afternoon, in a snowstorm, sit by the large front window looking out on the Square and watch the Longfellow statue be enveloped in whiteness.
btw LFK stands for Longfellow Fellowship Knights. I'm going to have to do some more research into its meaning. Cheers Peter!

Friday, September 7, 2012


This photograph is a real turn on for me. Cool, cool water. When we headed to Gulliver's Field for an afternoon of baseball, we always dragged along a couple of old 2 gallon, glass vinegar jugs for water. Mom always had them around, left over from the previous fall's canning run. The jugs, filled to the brim with ice, cold H2O, were always a welcomed sight, after an especially long, dusty, dry inning. The metal and plastic water bottles of today were just somebody's pipe dream. Usually, the N- boys were responsible to make sure the jugs made it to the benches for the cool repast between innings. But beware, some of the guys you didn't want to follow in the quench line. They had a history of backwash, if you know what I mean. If you were one of the first to drink, that was good. Your chances of seeing bits and pieces of a recently chomped on peanut butter and jelly sandwich were greatly reduced. Well, at least till next inning. Play ball!  

Thursday, September 6, 2012


Like the maple nearby, my roots run deep. Look at my life. Except for four years, I have lived my entire life in this state. That's a good thing. In 2 months, we will have lived in our home for 35 years. That's a good thing. I have worked for 40 years in the same building. That's a very good thing. So what does this say about me? Am I afraid of change? Am I a guy who likes to play it safe? Am I, at my core, someone who is so rigid he is unable to see changes as things that are positive? Family, friends and acquaintances, who know me well, would answer No, No, No to these last few questions. I like changes, and I do believe I handle them quite well. I have lots of good friends, but my best are few in number, but stalwart. And a curmudgeon, I am not. I'm not one who likes to waste my days complaining about how better things used to be. Ain't got the time. I've got too much livin' to do. My energy is directed forward. My history is long and so important to me, but my eyes are directed down the road, at the next ridge or bridge. This life is a fine trip, and I don't expect to compromise it complaining. Look at this photograph. There's still a lot life here. Push on!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Hand to Hand

"I don't believe in the afterlife, but I am bringing a change of underwear."
Woody Allen

These hands caught my fancy recently on a ride through Evergreen Cemetery. When I worked there for 9 summers, I spent a lot of my free time investigating the stones, carvings, names and dates of the deceased, and in some cases how they met their demise. I love how you can find a baby's small, seemingly insignificant stone alongside a huge family mausoleum. Here are a couple of headstones from Disney's World's Haunted Mansion: 
Fred Joerger- Here Lies Good Old Fred. A Great Big Rock Fell On His Head. RIP
(set designer and model builder for Disney)

(interior designer)
By the way, both real people who worked and knew Walt Disney personally. 
Humor and death: they seem an odd combination.

*These days when I'm in Evergreen, I'm on a bit of a quest. There is a stone, among the 65,000 buried here. I found it once and have been going back and searching for it to no avail. It has a small tin type photograph attached to the front. I know it's in there. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Bike Dreams

This is the Big Moose Harley-Davidson dealership out on Riverside Street. Anything or place with the word 'moose' in it is a good title here in Maine. Truth be known, here in the largest city, this animal seldom makes an appearance. Usually once or twice a year, one strays into Back Bay or there's a sighting in the outer reaches of the city limits. I mean, they are big, so you're not gonna miss one if it meanders into your backyard.
One morning the guy across the street came racing over asking me if I saw it.
"Saw what?" I said.
"That moose, with that big rack, walked right up the road in front of your house. What a bull!" He replied.
"Noooo, are you kidding me? I missed it." I said.
I've seen quite a few on my trips to the North Maine Woods, but never one down here, in the real world. Well, let me take that back. One grazed off my front bumper once over on Running Hill Road. It was twilight, and I saw his eyes and braked. I don't want to make an acquaintance at night while driving fast though, say on the Maine Turnpike. The moose wins that confrontation every time. They are huge. They end up in the front seat, guts and all, and the driver usually at a local funeral parlor. The percentages are against humans in that meeting. Just Saturday night a motorcyclist met one just after passing over the Canadian boarder. Result? Not pretty!
And I bet you thought I was going to be dreaming about motorcycles today.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Working Office

Today is Labor Day. This is the backside of a working building, come tomorrow. I greatly enjoy the oral histories of Studs Terkel. He has the knack of letting people just talk about their loves and hates, when it comes to how they fill their days.  Here are three workers 'talking' about their jobs in WORKING by Studs Terkel. 
"I hate cheap pictures. I hate pictures that make people look like they're not worth much, just to prove a photographer's point. I hate when they take a picture of someone picking their nose or yawning. It's so cheap. A lot of it is a big ego trip. You use people as props instead of as people." Jill Freeman , photographer.  
"To be a jockey you must love the horse. There's lots of times when I lose patience with him. There's just certain horses that annoy you. There's no two alike. They have personalities like you and I do." Eddie Arroyo, jockey.  
"I never listen in on phone conversations, but I'll tell you what. I worked for Illinois Bell, and I don't care who the operator is, the greatest thing is listening in on phone calls. [Laughs] When you're not busy. At the motel, no. At Illinois Bell, I did. If you work nights and it's real quiet. I don't think there's an operator who hasn't listened in on calls. The night goes faster." Frances Swenson, hotel switchboard operator. 

I still love my job, everyday. I wish Studs had interviewed me. Love your job? Hate your job? Why?

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Meg Dripping

Meg is dripping on this tank car left next to McDonalds in the bright sun. As I walked past it, strange noises were coming forth, creaking sounds like the metal was expanding. Is this a name, an acronym or something more? Along the tracks at Lewis Lumber Company, we were more into climbing aboard the idle tank and boxcars and imagining wild adventures on the tracks. We climbed to the top and ran along from one end to the other, never thinking of broken arms or legs that awaited below if we ever fell. No time for those far fetched thoughts like falling. No imaginable reasons to carry spray paint canisters. We had dreaming to do!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Theme Day: People Watching

Today, September 1, 2012, is Theme Day across the CDPB (citydailyphotoblog) community. People watching and music are specialties of mine. Separately, they are intriguing. Put them together and the results from the stage or from the audience can be simply amazing. On a recent trip to San Antonio, we sat foot-tapping for a couple of hours to this Tex-Mex band. They were a crowd pleaser! There's just something about an accordion in a tejano band, or zydeco rhythms emanating from Louisiana that can get me up and movin'. My brother and sisters will probably point to Uncle Howard, my grandmother's brother. On his yearly sojourns from PEI, where the roots of zydeco music run deep, he'd bring his fiddle and squeezebox, and after dinner the chairs were pushed away and within minutes he'd have the grownups and us kids just dancing and a tappin' across that linoleum floor. That combination of smiles, laughter and French singing was something to witness. Thank you Uncle Howard!