Printaphilic Phorum

January 24, 2015

# 146 It’s About Risk

Filed under: Thematic photoessay, Thoughts on Photography — printaphilic @ 9:25 pm
2361SwansCROPone©WEB

2361SwansCROPone©WEB

# 146   It’s About Risk…and benefit…and later on about privilege and even later about responsibility.

A couple of weeks ago a photography and art teacher I like and respect     http://www.jankatherphotography.com/ announced that she would be in a group show in Rochester, NY,  a town we used to associate with photography and FILM !  I decided I would go to her show opening to scope out the mainstream of academic photo-art.  Since it meant about five hours round trip on the road I would make a day of it spend as much time as possible before the evening  reception to do some photography for myself.  I’d even shoot some FILM.
The day and date of the trip was predetermined by the organizers of the show, so I made a place for the expedition on my calendar.   A couple of days before I noticed that my vehicle, a very venerable expeditioner,  had a loudly protesting alternator belt, and a positively bellowing exhaust note from a rotten muffler.  Should I make the trip anyway ?    The car has two alternator belts, and I’d once driven 1700 miles with no muffler at all…so I decided it was a GO.  I checked the official weather forecasts which assured me that I needn’t fear snow nor sleet nor gale nor gloom of night.
About an hour on the road it seemed that the NOAA weather forecast may have been a bit optimistic. Flurries filled the air and the cloud layer lowered.  I began to feel that this expedition was NUTS,  and began to have serious doubts.  I  was past the halfway point when the omens got UGLY.  I heard a little clink and discovered that a lens had spontaneously fallen out of my reading glasses. No glasses…no road map reading !  (It wasn’t really spontaneous, but that’s another story.)  A nearly microscopic screw had come loose from the lens holder and fallen into my lap.  The lens wouldn’t stay put without it.  I pulled over to the roadside,  found the tiny part in my skivvies and spent  an anxious half hour trying to re-connect it.  I could barely see the damn thing.  After all…I couldn’t wear my glasses and fix them simultaneously.  All the screwdriver blades  on my Swiss Army knife were huge by comparison.  I even tried making a tiny screwdriver out of a paperclip.  Finally, after near despair,  I thought outside the box sufficiently to just wrap the damn assembly in a rubber band and start back on the route. But by now I was really spooked.

2338CharlotteGenesseeLightMOD©WEB

2338CharlotteGenesseeLightMOD©WEB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here I was, driving a 2 1/2 hour leg in deteriorating winter weather in a voting-aged 265,000 mile vehicle making ominous noises.  Am I NUTS ?  Why am I doing this ?  What can I possibly gain from risking a car  I can barely afford to repair, much less replace.  If this sucker dies on the road it will cost more than a months income to get home…and this, just to see a selection of photos on a college art gallery wall ?  What kind of Wacko does this ??
The privilege of my situation came flooding over me.  I can take a whole day…commit resources like a third of a year for a family in agrarian societies just on this wacko whim to see a few pictures of the world… and make a few as crutches for my memory as the ones in my brain case begin to slip away.   As for taking pictures on  my own , I could almost as well have cruised the ground using Google Earth rather than driving all this way in person.  How can I justify this ?   I’m using my privilege.  I’m committed now, but what kind of responsibility goes along with it ?

I’m coming inexorably to feel that all privilege comes with responsibilities that sometimes we can’t understand.
When I found I was unable to address this vast a question I was entering the suburban outskirts of the metropolis, had traffic to deal with, and could only feel that for some reason I really* wanted to see the show and might as well follow the plan I’d made a few day earlier…using Google Earth.  BUT…something is compelling me to actually be there…not looking through the insect eyes of the Google Cruisers, but through my own.
I successfully navigated to my first of four possible sites of interest, a park at the narrows where Irondequoit Bay joins Lake Ontario.  What I found  was far more interesting than what I’d been able to see using Google Earth.  There’s a seasonal bridge to the other side of the bay (interesting engineering ),  a gaggle…not a google…of geese trying make the best of the day,  a fine ice covered sand  beach and a fine, scrupulously clean,  all year round hamburger grill and ice cream stand feeding a gaggle of old foggies  (sp?) like me.  The ominous weather had found some other locale to intimidate, and I wandered, taking pictures until cold enough for hot chocolate.

I-819-45IceOnRocksIrondiquoit05©WEB

I-819-45IceOnRocksIrondequoit05©WEB

 

I-819-39FieldOfIceFlowsAshore02©WEB

I-819-39FieldOfIceFlowsAshore02©WEB

The second possible photo site turned out barren…It had looked so interesting on the web,  but I moved on to the Port of Rochester, thinking it might add to my theme of working waterfronts.  It may yet, but currently it’s  closed for the season and largely icebound.  The ice became the focus, and gradually revealed hidden threads in the cables of my thought.

I-819-55BendOnIceRoad05©WEB

I-819-55BendOnIceRoad05©WEB

Stories have  been explored about the Inuit native peoples notion that when a person becomes  too old and perhaps too weak to carry their fair share of the tribal community’s work,  a time comes when they are obliged to go out walking on the ice…a journey from which they may never return.   This idea has even found its way into North Sea European folklore…to go out on the ice in joyous spirit of exploration even when it may well mean individual death…from cold, weakness, laying down to take a final rest, then sleep with no awakening.   This is the responsibility that follows on the privilege of living in the warmth of the tribe.   I don’t necessarily buy this 100%, but I can’t ignore it.
At the mouth of the Genessee I didn’t realize the metaphor I walking until I was well out on the rather long jetty to the outer light marker.

I-819-65BeginningIceRoad03©WEB

I-819-65BeginningIceRoad03©WEB

It started with just a tiny slip close to land when I wasn’t yet even out beside the field of jumbled floes. For milliseconds my feet are disconnected from the earth.  The ice was lovely, a moonscape with stellar reflections for highlights.  But, that tiny slip reminded me that I’m no longer an agile thirty something…that every step risked a fall that could dislocate a joint or crack a knee.  In a very minor way I’d embarked on the ice road.   I was standing on a twelve foot wide concrete and steel pier, and wire rope lifelines were threaded thru stanchions only a few feet apart, but the further from shore I got the less was the dominion of human engineering and more the realm of the ice.

I-819-53IceOnLifeline04©WEB

I-819-53IceOnLifeline04©WEB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once I slipped and grabbed the lifeline with both well gloved hands and easily recovered my footing before noticing that the spacing of the lower line was such that someone…surely not me… could slide under it, over the edge and into the freezing lake where their shocked  life expectancy would be a handful of minutes.  Rescue ladders were few and far between.   Sometimes the footing was the most treacherous right beside the handlines, forcing the choice of walking unsupported in the middle.   At least the pier was not a ship’s deck rolling and pitching in a seaway.  Something*  was making me go further and further out. Something* gave me long pause at a break in the web of the lifelines where it would be possible to get off* the pier and actually out onto the ice itself !

I-819-67GatewayToLandOfIce04©WEB

I-819-67GatewayToLandOfIce04©WEB

 

2357SprayIncoming©WEB

2357SprayIncoming©WEB

 

?  Were those packed, jumbled floes floating on the lake or resting on the bottom of a shelving shore.?  Looking back, I had between me and the park maybe half a mile of  what the Shackleton and the tragic Scott expeditions had faced for days on end.   I got close enough to the outer light to know that I was close enough !

2351EndIceRoad©WEB

2351EndIceRoad©WEB

 

I wasn’t required to risk the last fifty yards.   There was nothing more to be gained, and the distance back was near the limits of my arthritic hips.   On the way back to shore I passed a courting couple…walking out for a lark.   Young bones and reflexes are not old ones.   I’d risked far more.   It was worth it…What’s out there on the ice is NOT on Google Earth.

I-819-51SparyOnIceCharlotteThree03©WEB

I-819-51SprayOnIceCharlotteThree03©WEB

2361SwansCROPpixels©WEB

2361SwansCROPpixels©WEB

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I-819-57EndOfIceRoad01©WEB

I-819-57EndOfIceRoad01©WEB

2341.USCGstationRochesterjpg©WEB

2341.USCG stationRochester©WEB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

? The show…?   Oh yes, the show….it was fine…lots of photographer looking at mirrors.   One picture, seen thru a window, was chilling….human teeth scattered on the ground in the Cambodian killing fields.

 

‘Nuff for now:

     Next Post:   It may be a few weeks before the next effort.  I’m still in writers block on two pieces in the pipeline and have to take some time off for some medical tinkering.

 

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January 3, 2015

#145 Another Quickie…actually it took weeks.

Filed under: Uncategorized — printaphilic @ 3:03 pm

#145   Another Quickie…actually it took weeks.

It looked a lot like something to have for a holiday dinner.

2228Creekside©WEB

2228Creekside©WEB

After laboriously plucking all the feathers, coat uniformly with wet gesso, then shake in a bag with flour and seasonings until completely covered.

2203InWhite©WEB

2203InWhite©WEB

Bake in very slow oven just long enough to make it dry and tough.

There !   That looks like it’s been in the oven long enough.

2401TimeToTakeOutOfOven©WEB

? Anyone care to carve ??

2181LightenUpDuckCROP©WEB

2181LightenUpDuckCROP©

Happy New Year to the guy whose first word in English was “Duckies.”

 

‘Nuff Silliness for now:                                                                Next Post:    It may be a while.  A major piece is in the pipeline that will take us back to New Jersey in a time two hundred years ago.

December 29, 2014

#144 A Quickie Ten From Madison Christmas

Filed under: Uncategorized — printaphilic @ 11:17 am

#144  A Quickie Ten From Madison Christmas

Everyone was pretty much nose to grindstone at first, but I escaped for a four hour hike, hoping to find the land of ice fishing.

2463IceFishingInHeatWave

2463IceFishingInHeatWave

There was a heat wave.  You’d walk on that stuff to your peril.

 

When a break came in the work time we warmed up the season with a visit to Madison’s wonderful Olbrich Botanical Garden.   What’s Christmas without a train under a tree, presents and a mob of kids?

 

 

2466legostrain-kids-pointsettia.jpg

2466legostrain-kids-poinsetia.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At the Olbrich the featured exhibit was a room full of garden railways, poinsettias, and the results of a mob of big kids turned loose with a pickup truck load of Legos.

 

 

The grown ups had as much fun as the kids, but we quickly escaped into the moist, tropical conservatory where birds flew in their huge, verdant cage and everyone threw coins to the fish in the  pools.

 

2484KoiInFalls©WEB

2484KoiInFalls©WEB

 

2485TropicalInWinter©WEB

2485TropicalInWinter©WEB

Outside it was hardly wintery and under bright overcast some of the colors jumped forward to put the golden Thai (Hmong) meditation pavilion in a perfect frame.

 

 

 

 

 

2498ThaiMeditationPavillion©WEB

2498ThaiMeditationPavillion©WEB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We think  of winter as a colorless time, but a walk around the Upper Cherokee River preserve convinces otherwise.

2514CherokeeRiverRestoration©WEB

2514CherokeeRiverRestoration©WEB

Every one else had to go back to their grindstones, but the cameras demanded that I wander along  a bit more alone.  For several years I’ve been chewing my cogitative cud on the notion of “Aulde Stounes”  (‘old stones‘)  as meditation points when searching for enduring values. The 1934 WIRA masonry works that enclose the spring which gives it’s name to Madison’s Spring Harbor neighborhood has escaped me for years. I simply could never find the right camera angle for this structure.  Only those who have visited the site can place this picture in its historic and hydraulic context.  Sometimes we just can’t get it all into just one picture.    http://www.madisonpreservation.org/2012/11/merrill-springs-park/

2524SpringHarborPoolMasonry1934©WEB

2524SpringHarborPoolMasonry1934©WEB

Further along the shoreline a favorite spot…always so peaceful here…stay a while…even when I must move on.

2533SpringHarborMendotaWinterBeach©WEB

2533SpringHarborMendotaWinterBeach©WEB

…Still getting used to my new eyes.   There are friends who’ve never seen me without glasses.   With the cataracts gone my irises simply cannot stop down enough that my optic nerves are not overwhelmed by straight sunlight. My inherent color balance is new.  I still wanna be a photographer when I grow up…if I can have it both ways.

 

‘Nuff for now…other work calls.

Next post:   There’s another quickie in the pipeline before  returning more laborious substantive subjects.   Stop back in a week or so.

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2473SelfieMADxmas14©WEB

 

 

 

 

 

December 5, 2014

#144 Just Sayin’

Filed under: Uncategorized — printaphilic @ 3:06 pm

#144  Just Sayin’

Tompkins County friends: Monday 8 Dec and Fri., 12 Dec. ( possibly Mon.,15 Dec. as well) I’ll be showing selection prints from sixty years of doing photography as part of the Alternatives FCU Holiday Market. The show will be nominally open from 9:30am until 3pm closing in the downstairs main room of the credit union. I’m looking for a couple of volunteers, one each day, to spell me at my display so I can grab a bite to eat and make a pit stop. Prints will be for sale, including some inexpensive bargains like “Non Carpe Diem.”

0066NonCarpeDiem

0066NonCarpeDiem

November 29, 2014

#143 I Was Looking For Something Else, But This Is What I Got.

Filed under: Uncategorized — printaphilic @ 3:08 pm

#143 I Was Looking For Something Else, But This Is What I Got.

#142 The Wizard Returns, Then and Now

Filed under: Just gotta say it., Thematic photoessay, Thoughts on Photography — printaphilic @ 10:56 am

#142 The Wizard Returns, Then and Now

 

Minus017-01WizardInGarbageland03©WEB

Minus017-01WizardInGarbageland03©WEB

Just a few months shy of 50 years ago I began a project that came to be called “The Wizard In Garbageland.” It was a photoessay about the New Jersey meadows shot mostly during the spring term of 1965 while I was studying ‘photojournalism’ ( a class that had nothing to do with the real shoulder monkey) with the late Joseph Briechtenbach at the New School For Social Research in NYC.

Minus018-17YachtClubDogsGreenPointHoboken05©WEB

Minus018-17YachtClubDogsGreenPointHoboken05©WEB

 

Minus018-85OldBulldog06©WEB

Minus018-85OldBulldog06©WEB–Enduring Mack truck.

I’d wandered around the meadows region with my friend Z. Arktos and our cameras both before and after the New School spring term and it has been our intent ever since to return to work on this again . A half century of life has intervened. Our life ties are now elsewhere. I had no idea at the time that as an august a true photojournalist as Bruce Davidson was working on the same subject at the same time…a minor parenthesis in his vitea.

2112SawtoothRoof©WEB

2112SawtoothRoof©WEB–A feature of old style industrial architecture to maximize natural north  light and optimize heating and cooling by sun and wind.

 

 

Minus018-67SecurityHole03©WEB

Minus018-67SecurityHole03©WEB

The entire region of northern New Jersey east of the Watchung ridge was regarded by sophisticated society as a vast cesspool…a charge not without foundation. The mineral, chemical and biological trashing of the region had proceeded, heedless, for a century. The environmental movement of the time probably just wrote the area off as a lost cause. Near the end of the century Robert Sullivan’s wonderful 1998 account of his explorations, “The Meadowlands,” (ISBN 0-684-83285-2) shows some signs that people were waking up to the importance of the region and we began to hear tales of artists lofts in former slaughterhouses and luxury housing with sunset views of the Manhattan skyline rising from the asbestos laden ashes of the Todd Shipyard in Hoboken.

Minus020-71GreenPointYClongShot03©WEB

Minus020-71GreenPointYClongShot03©WEB

In 1965 I was working with a Leica IIIf with 50mm Summitar lens for B&W (obsolete even) and the groundbreaking Nikon F with it’s awful 43-86mm zoom lens for various color slide films. Almost none of the color slides survived poor storage conditions seemed to actively encourage emulsion eating fungus growth. The B&W negatives, processed in various kitchens and bathrooms, fared only somewhat better. They have required extensive digital reconstruction after scanning.
Looking back at that old student work I’m heartstricken that I, at the time, so badly missed the point. I photographed the pollution, the garbage, the industries, the economic foundations of the metropolitan area, curiosities and such pockets of natural beauty as I could find, but Utterly Clueless, I did almost nothing interactively with the people I encountered there. There were a few exceptions. I realized the omission just a week or so before the term project was due…too late to shift emphasis. Now, much of that society is utterly gone.

Minus026-44NapTimeInRailroadYMCA04©WEB

Minus026-44NapTimeInRailroadYMCA04©WEB

 

Minus018-69GuysAtThePlant04©WEB

Minus018-69GuysAtThePlant04©WEB

During my most recent trip to New Jersey there was no option to go looking for interaction with people. The trip was already drastically over budget for time, money and metabolic energy; I had but hours and half a tank of gas before the need to beeline for home.

 

2075UnderBellevillePike©WEB

2075UnderBellevillePike©WEB

2074NewarkFromBellevillePike©WEB

2074NewarkFromBellevillePike©WEB

 

2076ArtUnderPike©WEB

2076ArtUnderPike©WEB

 

 

 

 

Still the comparisons were interesting. I spent my budget in the town of Harrison, interesting because it was an area I’d under-explored half a century ago that then contained some of the most dense concentration of fundamental industry on which the economy of the greater New York metropolitan area so heavily depended. What will it do now ? Also of interest, then and now, were the bridges connecting the City of Newark by rail lines to New York City. What had become of them…how had they fared ?

 

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Minus023-17RRliftBridges@Kearny04©WEB

 

 

Minus023-17RRliftBridges@Kearny04©WEB  2114HouseAboveRooftops©WEB

2114HouseAboveRooftops©WEB
http://www.en.wikipedea.org/wiki/Dock_Bridge

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In the different world of 1965 we were ignored while wandering around such places with our cameras, but on this trip, using a “prosumer” digital SLR and some serious looking lenses, I was thoroughly vetted by a security agent after ignorantly pointing my lens a Federal office building.  After a few initial questions convinced him I was no terrorist this contractors agent was outright friendly and told me lots about the history of the bridge. I was astounded to discover that it’s still considered so vital to the area transport infrastructure that it’s currently undergoing a major overhaul to remain in service another 50 or more years.

2127TrollEyeView©WEB

2127TrollEyeView©WEB

2120PensyRRbridgeOverPassiacR©WEB

2120PensyRRbridgeOverPassiacR©WEB

 

 

 

Not all the area is held so esteemed. Vast areas are in progress of condominization.

2099CondoizationHarrison©WEB

2099CondoizationHarrison©WEB

At least in the hours I could explore, all traces of working waterfronts seemed utterly gone.

 

 

 

Minus020-04CommercialVesselOnHackensack©WEB

Minus020-04CommercialVesselOnHackensack©WEB–~1970. “Black Cloud” of ‘St. Pete’, FLA  ? What was her cargo ?

In past years of riding commuter trains from the suburbs further inland across the meadows to Ferry crossings to Manhattan made me familiar with some of the basic industries. The ferry boats are long gone; you take “the Tubes.”

 

 

 

 

 

Minus026-35GravelBargesOnHackensack03©WEB

Minus026-35GravelBargesOnHackensack03©WEB

Minus025-72StacksAndTanks06©WEB

Minus025-72StacksAndTanks06©WEB

Minus018-75AbandonedPRRferryTerminalJerseyCity01©WEB

Minus018-75AbandonedPRRferryTerminalJerseyCity01©WEB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In this place my grandfather and great uncle loaded lumber on a one horse buckboard and hauled it to a building site in Nutley.Minus026-50KoppersCoke03©WEB

 

Minus026-50KoppersCoke03©WEB

2147FuelStorageOffMcCarterHwy©WEB  In this place my grandfather and great uncle

loaded lumber on a one horse buckboard and hauled it to

2068AbandonedIndustrialSpur©WEB

2068AbandonedIndustrialSpur©WEB

2142RootsEatConcrete©WEB

2142RootsEatConcrete©WEB

a building site in Nutley, NJ

2153WarehouseBecomesParking©WEB

2153WarehouseBecomesParking©WEB

 

 

44BasculeBridgeOpen©WEB

44BasculeBridgeOpen©WEB — Open, abandoned, maybe never to be used again.

It’s clear that many of these industries were environmental bad actors. A great deal of labor strife accompanied their prosperity. The often nameless and incomprehensible forces of the economy move on. Clearly the financial world feels that society needs the condo housing which is taking over the area. All the people will still need jobs…what will they do in the future when all the basic industries have moved off shore and there’s a great Red Bull of a sports stadium where the jobs used to be. ? Sell hot dogs ??

 

Minus026-36FireIn YardDunnage05©WEB

Minus026-36FireIn YardDunnage05©WEB

Minus020-57AlongPennzyMainline06©WEB

Minus020-57AlongPennzyMainline06©WEB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Minus026-61MainlineThruMeadows02©WEB

Minus026-61MainlineThruMeadows02©WEB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Minus022-67Lanterns02©WEB

Minus022-67Lanterns02©WEB

 

‘Nuff for Now: another job calls me away.                                               Next Post: There’s a really extensive piece in the pipeline about industry in the New Jersey Pine Barrens from colonial and revolutionary times forward.  It may be weeks before it’s finished.

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2086PipelineParallelPike©WEB

2086PipelineParallelPike©WEB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

October 31, 2014

#141 markets, Markets, MARKETS

Filed under: Uncategorized — printaphilic @ 11:50 am

#141 markets, Markets, MARKETS

Agoraphobia is the fear of markets, also exposed places and crowds. It can be pretty darn incapacitating. It seems to be the bane of almost everyone who wants to think of themselves as an artist.

      http://www.tedorland.com/artandfear/

 

We have to spend enormous amounts of our psychic energy on marketing when we’d really much rather just be making the art and having people enjoy it. Somehow we should magically be supported (economically) without having to face the hassles of marketing nor the fear of rejection that comes from showing our work in competition.  Some of this fear isn’t groundless. In most markets there are big fish. Often they get that way by eating the small fry…maybe us. It’s not paranoia when they are really after you.

 

©2102RemakeLegoResaleMODWEB

©2102RemakeLegoResaleMODWEB

 

I started becoming agoraphobic during a college years summer job as a gopher for a Wall Street firm whose practices were, to say the least, shady.   The CEO narrowly escaped a three year term on federal securities violations by copping a plea that blew the whistle on even bigger fish…who probably also copped pleas. I came away convinced that no small fish should EVER enter some kinds of markets.

When it became apparent that buyers where not coming, searching under bushes and rocks, to pay high prices for my work, I was forced to start confronting my own market fears and to begin actively studying markets of all kinds…used cars, apartment rents, labor, collector cameras, software, commercial real estate, agricultural commodities, prescription dope, mining futures, corrosion resistant metals.

Not all are easily studied…six years later very bright economists are still trying to decipher the details of funny money mortgage derivative scams and hustles.   My own studies of markets haven’t been helped much by reading classic works about them. Mostly, that stuff is pretty theoretical and abstruse. I’ve needed to get real, so on a fine autumn morning I strode forth in the vastness of the Englishtown, and Collingwood, New Jersey flea market arenas.   My favorite local flea market, FOUND in Ithaca, is dwarfed by these Temples of Stuff.

 

©2101GlareOfMorningWEB

©2101GlareOfMorningWEB

Englishtown is almost as daunting as the Cancha of Cochabamba, Bolivia, where I hadn’t sufficient command of Quechua or local Castillano dialects to carry on complex negotiations. Some markets transcend language…you point…you count on your fingers…the vendor shrugs her shoulders, strangely colorful paper goes from hand to and somehow a transaction happens. Microsoft standard English is not the dominant language of Englishtown.

  • ©2118MetaphysicalRetailWEB

    ©2118MetaphysicalRetailWEB

     

  • ©2109AsianCarvingsOldWEB

Certainly, for me, the fear level is lower when I’m the potential buyer. Little need be at risk, as opposed to selling in such markets when sudden turns of the weather can damage kilodollars worth of my prints, and the very rental of space and finance charges make for a high ‘break even’ line. When just wandering in flea markets it’s possible just to enjoy the day and watching the people. I did have some wonderful conversations with vendors. The guy selling these asian carvings claimed to be a complete neophyte, first day vendor.   The works appeared to be very old and clearly hand carved. Neither of us were knowledgeable enough to even guess what era or culture they came from. He said he’d gotten them as partial settlement of a bad rental debt. He thought they might be really valuable and worth the price of the market table just to see what he could learn about them by talking with passers by. Caveat Emptor…was the guy on the level ?   Who knows ?

©2109AsianCarvingsOldWEB

 

 

©2108BrightMexicanSkullsWEB

©2108BrightMexicanSkullsWEB

I think that some of the proliferation of flea markets, particularly during fair weather has to do with the fun of human contact.   This makes me a litle less afraid.   Some of it results from people just trying to generate a little cash, but also, maybe, to cope with the excesses of our Religion of Stuff.

 

©2121PanoramaOfStuffWEB

©2121PanoramaOfStuffWEB

For a couple of decades a great deal of our collective political discourse has been… ! in the face of considerable evidence to the contrary !…steered by the notion that the operation of free markets by natural laws of economics will fix all problems.

Bullshit, methinks.   Free markets are usually figments of imagination and even when they are approximately free   ( ? compared to what ? ) they are still propelled mostly by thoughts and feelings of people…six billion or so of them with often little overlap of beliefs and assumptions.   You’re claiming there are natural laws governing this ?

Go figure.

I did…and figured I had only enough cash left in the budget to buy a few used music CDs…one jewel case turned out to be empty…was the vendor a crook ?…I’d only bought the label…caveat emptor all over again.   My bad.     I had a fine negotiation over a set of classical guitar strings with a senora whose command of proppa English (cf. Minnesota Fats) was better than my Spanish. I ended up buying a set of top of the line performance strings for just nickels more than the going rate for cheap practice sets. We concluded with considerable good will and smiles.   On the way out I discovered to my surprise that New Jersey, the Garden State is not completely paved over with malls and oil refineries.   There is still commercial agriculture and it’s harvest season.

 

©2110LocalOnlyApples

©2110LocalOnlyApples

How ya’ like dem apples ?

When I die, bury me low… Where I can hear da petroleum flow

A sweeter sound I never did know… den da rolling mills of New Joisey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nuff for now…bread’s raising and needs kneading.  ? How do I get some dough outta dis ?                  Next post: at least two more posts in the pipeline from my recent trip to New Jersey.

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October 22, 2014

#140 Maybe I’ll Get Back To Trying To Make Sense Of It All, But Now…Off to New Jersey

Filed under: Just gotta say it., Thematic photoessay — printaphilic @ 8:10 pm

#140 Maybe I’ll Get Back To Trying To Make Sense Of It All, But Now…Off to New Jersey

Before the Columbus Day weekend I took a nearly week long trip for field operations in New Jersey, both in the town where I grew up and in southern parts of the state which inspire the locales of my photo-roman in progress, and stock for editorial themes.  Altogether I shot about  3  gigabytes of pictures and made volumes of audio notes.  It will be a while until I can process and publish them all in small packets.

One primary reason for the trip was the gathering of the Montclair High School class of 1959 for our  55th reunion.  I avoided these reunions for years until I went to the 40th and discovered what fun it could be.  I’ll try to get back in the swing of regular posting with a few pictures colored outside the lines from the reunion.  One of our classmate spouses  (plural ‘spice’ ? ) took bazillions of pix of our people in various groupings, so I decided to follow the school of “Silent Witness,”  where no people appear.

We’ll start with a view everyone from any Montclair class will remember…

 

EdgemontMemorialWEB

EdgemontMemorialWEB

 

 

 

©1978FormerSmallBusinesSitesWEB

FormerSmallBusinesSitesWEB

 

…But who can recall what local businesses got their modest start in these garage bays.

…Boys who played little league ball…Can you remember the old backstop that  once was here ?     Which was your team and position ?

LittleLeagueBallFieldTodayWEB

Where were you going when you passed thru the Walnut St. underpass?

 

 

 

UnderWearyErieWEB

UnderWearyErieWEB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The reunion itself was drenched in memory and it was truly fitting that the committee  chose Eagle Rock Park, which overlooked the devastation of 911, and has a collection pointers to that tragedy,  for a ceremony recounting the names of classmates who have pre-deceased us.  We are of an age when they become more frequent and numerous.

 

Origina911SteelAtEagleRockMemorialWEB

Origina911SteelAtEagleRockMemorialWEB

The reading of the names and sounding the gong…this time for our own.

ClassOf1959At911MemorialWEB

ClassOf1959At911MemorialWEB

MoreNamesInBlackStoneWEB

MoreNamesInBlackStoneWEB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The banquet space, a former speakeasy resurrected from ruins, looked out to that spot where people watched the New York skyline, and the world, change forever.

It’s a very classy place today…classy enough for our class of ’59 to talk,  feast and PARTY.

©2047ViewFromBanquetHallWEB

ViewFromBanquetHallWEB

 

©2049WonderfulDeeJayWEB

WonderfulDeeJayWEB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Would you believe our DeeJay could get these old fossil bones of mine out on the dance floor for “That Good Old Rock an’ Roll Music.”    He did, and more.

 

 

‘Nuff for Now:    I’ll be trying to post on other aspects of the trip as time goes along. Perhaps I’ll even get back to trying to make sense of it all.

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July 17, 2014

#138 “OH, Well….”

Filed under: Uncategorized — printaphilic @ 1:44 pm

#138    “OH, Well….”

To satisfy an urge to Get Outta Dodge  on the 4th of July this year I gave into a long standing desire to visit the Hanford Mills Museum in East Meredeth,  NY.    Upstate New York WSKG listeners will know the name from their nearly saturation public service announcements and it seemed like a special event there for the Fourth might be just the escape I needed.  I went.

This museum is a visual feast and I strongly recommend a visit,   particularly to families whose children are in the very curious phase when they want to know everything about the world and are not yet afraid to ask a bazillion questions.

 

©1895TheBandUpdated-WEB ©1896MelodySection-WEB ©1898Rhythm&SlideSteel-WEB ©1901Green&SeasonedHORO-WEB ©1915StepdownGearing-WEB ©1918ImpressionMillMotion-WEB ©1920StillLifeMill-WEB ©1923ShakeMaker-WEB ©1926Bearings&Stops-WEB ©1932PedestalLinkage-WEB

 

©1934FeedRollerDrive-WEB ©1935EdgingCut-WEB ©1936Products-WEB ©1941BaggingStation-WEB ©1943BaggingFunnel-WEB ©1842TheChampion-WEB ©1845ModTeIceSaw-WEB ©1848DeeringSickleBarLinkages-WEB ©1849BroadBeltDrives-WEB ©1850ShadesOfRust-WEB ©1852OutfeedRollers-WEB ©1855HorizontalTurbine-WEB ©1857Winnow&SievesDeTAIL-WEB ©1858Winow-WEB ©1859BarrelHead-WEB ©1861FireProtectionMOD2-WEB ©1863OneHoler-WEB ©1866AxleCouplingDetail-WEB

 

 

I was really inspired to try to capture some of the visual richness and complexity of the remains of this mill and the society and individuals who built it.  For this I used two cameras;  A 1952 Auto-Rolleiflex K4a  which shoots only 6 cm square format film in period appropriate black and white.  I’ve not yet processed this film as I’m waiting to accumulate enough rolls to justify a processing session.

The other camera was a currently available  Canon G-12...an advanced amateur point and shoot digital instrument which can make both ordinary JEPG files and Canon Raw CR2 format of surprisingly good technical quality.

http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/G12/G12A.HTM

Imagine my dismay when I got home after a wonderful day to discover that the Canon had been configured only to make small JEPG files suitable only for e-mail or low resolution web posting.  Administer dope slap !   Why didn’t I check for that ?    Dumb,  Dumber,  Dumbest !

Even though these pictures are not suitable for any print publicity or other professional applications I’d like to share them anyway.

 

Each of these pictures has a story attached, but I’m afraid I’m on deadline for next week’s Ithaca Artist Market.  The friendly volunteer docents at the museum can answer your questions much more knowledgeably than I could,  so give your self a treat.  Visit this museum and ask LOTS of questions…you’ll learn about a universe close to home, but very far away in time and style.

 

That’s all for today,   Folks…gotta get my nose back to the grindstone.

Next Week:   Friday 25 July ’14, I’ll be in booth 21 at the Ithaca Artist Market from about noon until they shut off the lights at night.   I’ll have LOTS of new work to show and will offer  some smaller, lower priced editions.  Please visit…bring money.

Next Post:   It will be a few weeks until I post again.  After the market I’m still hoping to poke my nosy lenses into waterfronts north of the border, starting in Saint John,  New Brunswick, Canada.

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June 21, 2014

#137 Adirondack’s, June ’14

Filed under: Just gotta say it., Thematic photoessay, Thoughts on Photography — printaphilic @ 7:14 pm
©0944MorningMistWEB

©0944MorningMistWEB

©0950OlympicTrainingLakePlacidWEB

©0950OlympicTrainingLakePlacidWEB

#137    Adirondack’s,   June ’14

There’s been a lot of water over the falls since I last put up a substantive post here.  Life has been a succession of putting out metaphorical fires…collapsing vehicles, financial hassels, health concerns, seasonal agri-busy-ness and trying to prepare for the unknown in a future of inevitable change.   There’s also been existential angst regarding the place of a photographer in a world where the supply of images rapidly approaches infinity and the price approaches zero.   Is my art of photography still in me ???

Thanks to grants from a private Boston collector and arts patron,  and from family,   a few expeditions this season are now in the realm of possibility.   My dying old expedition partner, Ove the Volvo, was collapsing of terminal rust when one day I returned from a trip to town and found Silver Dragon, a younger,  far less rusty,  Volvo wagon waiting in the drive…challenging me to get off my butt and out in the fields with full camera gear.

I’ve wanted to work further on my series about working waterfronts and have a powerful hankering to see Halifax harbor…so rich in shipping history in the passing century.   But,  I needed to field prove the new vehicle before taking off for a foreign country, so I decided on a shakedown cruise to the Adirondacks of upstate New York where there is rich material on the theme of industrial archaeology.    I got some clues from online research,  set a timetable and budget and took off…to see if my Art of  Photography was still in me.   I’ve come back with more than 330 digital files, half an hour of audio notes and seven rolls of B&W film.

Now I have to see if I can make sense of them.   WAY !! too many to post in a coherent narrative.  

The art of photography to me has mostly meant going out exploring in the world, rather than making something to hang,  framed, on a wall.  Going out exploring in the world means something rather different to a 73 year old fossil like me, with crappy ball joints and almost no discretionary funds than it would to, say,  a kid on a trust fund just out of J-school or say,  Don McCullen setting off to a war zone leaving a wife and three kids depending on him coming back alive with the mortgage payments.   Peeps at the Maine Photo Workshops used to say of photos   “the negative is the score…the print is the performance.”    To me hearing the music in the inner mind means going out in the world and seeing what you see.  You write it down with expensive techie tools.    So, where’s the music ?

Road Log Transcribed — Adirondack’s, June ’14

Friday the Thirteenth, June 2014. 10:00:00 am start log Trip to Daks. Miles 257,799.1 trip miles 546.1. WX cloudy w/intermittent light rain. 10:23 am 7818.0 spring @ Lisle fill water bottles. !0:51 7822. 4 food and fuel at Whitney Point. Sawmill twixt Whitney Pt. and Green. Green antique mall out of business. 12:21 7850.1 Clear Bainbridge.

Walton… Delaware County Fair will be 11-16 Aug this year.   Old armory is now a night club.   Back streets Walton very like Bay Head. 1:50pm clear Walton. Agriculture seems prosperous in Delaware County in the lush late spring.

©0738DelawareMemoryLaneWEB

©0738DelawareMemoryLaneWEB

©0754BrickDetailWEB

©0754BrickDetailWEB National Guard Armory

©0757NightclubBarWEB

©0757NightclubBarWEB

©0743NewPavillionFrameWEB

©0743NewPavillionFrameWEB

 

3:36 Roxbury. visit cousins. 5:45pm clear ROX 7826.0 northbound on Rt-30. 7:10 pm stopped Amsterday for fuel. 7:35 7997.5 stopped roadside. no camping 8:03pm 8010.7 Stopped on shore Lake Sacandaga…poor, exposed campsite. abandoned. Sat 14 June 05:10 am 8017 Awake at visitors information center parking lot on Rt-30. My question was “Where can I find a good, free campsite ?” High wind and torrents of rain…no one was there to tell me to move on. Very cozy with rain on roof. Morning WX cloudy but not raining — minor road washouts on Rt-30 — rivers very high. Stopped @ Wells for equipment discipline. Sunrise 6:02am. —

©0761SmallHydroAtEssexWEB

©0761SmallHydroAtWellsWEB

©0763DistributionSmallHydroWEB

©0763DistributionSmallHydroWEB

©0771FloodgatesWellsWEB

©0771FloodgatesWellsWEB

Small scale hydro raises hackles of energy vs conservation advocates.   Compared to high sulfur coal it’s a saint.   From a salmon’s nose view it stinks.    Seems like a soluble problem in civil engineering.

©0773AidenHouseWEB

©0773AidenHouseWEB

©0776AidenStructureWEB               8:10 am 8099.7 @ MacIntyre Furnace

©0820NippleArchWEB

©0820NippleArchWEB

©0793VegetationInvasionWEB MacIntyre Furnace was the prime first target of this expedition. It combines my interest in industrial archaeology with funky places and history.   Just finding the location would not be trivial to anyone denied the convenience of internet search.  It’s  on a dead end road, both economically and geographically.  The history of the mineral riches of the area open a huge ball of wax involving three generations of exploitation and social power in society all the way to the later president of the USA, rough rider Teddy Roosevelt.  I haven’t yet run down all the good links…but I’ll include a few later in the post for those of you curious.

 

 

 

 

©I-802-50NippleArchConstructionlMacIntyreFurnace010204WEB

©I-802-50NippleArchConstructionlMacIntyreFurnace010204WEB

©I-802-48ConstructionDetailMacIntyreFurnace0102WEB

©I-802-48ConstructionDetailMacIntyreFurnace0102WEB

There was a substantial early 19th century village to support smelting iron at MacIntyre Furnace.  Only buried traces remain evident to skilled archaeologists.  The region later became the property of an exclusive private club…The Tahawus Club…Vice President Theodore Roosevelt was a guest.  The club still exists…still very private, but parts of it’s real estate holding passed to the Adirondack Park and are administered by a conservation organization, Open Spaces.

©0916TahawusLowerWorksWEB

©0916TahawusLowerWorksWEB

The ruins in the village now on maps as Tahawus are now a heavily deteriorated ghost town … fascinating…but must be explored with some common sense regarding its dangers.

©0831YouWereHereWEB

©0831YouWereHereWEB

Ghost towns are fun…stimulate the imagination about times long lost.

©0836RuinInteriorWEB

©0836RuinInteriorWEB

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©0827ClubCampStreetWEB

©I-802-60PumpHouseAtTahawusCamp03WEB

©I-802-60PumpHouseAtTahawusCamp03WEB

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©0840OldFrontPorchWEB

9:40 am clear furnace for trailhead ‘R’ to Henderson Lake. Remains of club era village heavily deteriorated. Due to previous heavy rain Hudson river in thunderous flow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

©0857UpstreamHudsonRiverSpateWEB

©0857UpstreamHudsonRiverSpateWEB

©0883SaturdayNiteBathWEB

©0883SaturdayNiteBathWEB

 

Pure luck found me the remains of village housing on uphill side of Rt-25, and pump house / generator site behind village.

No safe or legal way to get to mine remains. Too long (~7 miles) to hike in along D&H r.r. tracks. More internet research in advanced would have helped.

©0786D&HsignalVaultWEB

©0786D&HsignalVaultWEB

 

1:35 pm 8100.9 clear trailhead area.

©0895OreSampleWEB

©0895OreSampleWEB

 

The mining operations started with iron in the early 19th cent. and were later revived to smelt lead, which proved uneconomic due to contamination from what later proved to be titanium…worth far more as metal and as TiO2, white paint pigment.  Long story…  Abandoned mine machinery was evident until a few years ago when the potential liabilities moved the current owners to fence the mine sites and forbid access.

©0903StripMineEntranceWEB

©0903StripMineEntranceWEB

©0913YouDontWannaKnowWEB

©0913YouDontWannaKnowWEB

3:50 pm8155 Tupper Lake downtown looks tired and down at heels.   Didn’t stop this time.

©0927VernacularStyleWEB

©0927VernacularStyleWEB

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©0937DewDropThruFloorWEB

 

©0920BrokenWindowCurioShopWEB

©0920BrokenWindowCurioShopWEB

 

4:30pm Walkabout Saranac Lake. Fuel.

 

While looking for sitdown dinner and a brewski I stumbled into wonderful party at WateringHole. The scholarship fund of Golf Club was having a private fundraizing BBQ. I got into the line and made a donation…got chicken BBQ, beef BBQ, pork BBQ, poached salmon, new potatoes, corn on cob, cole slaw and a brewski for $7.50 less than the Jackson I’d budgeted for dinner on the town. Great Fun and moldy oldies from the DJ. Got accepted because of my Reese Jones Inc. gimme cap. When party broke up walked the town until knees gave out.   Too many pictures to post and stay on topic.

©0925PartyPartyWaterholeWEB

©0925PartyPartyWaterholeWEB

9:00 pm Campsite behind apartment block on Main St. Bothered by leg cramps and (quiet) rock & roll from bar until 3am.

 

Sunday 15 June ’14 Fathers Day. 6am up after decent nights sleep except for leg cramps. 7:15 Keene NY 8215.7 stopped for equipment discipline. WX cloudy with beautiful mist in patches on mountain slopes.  Passed right through Lake Placid; the whole town is just Sports Nutts…but had to admire the bicyclist training on the mountain slopes.

Sun breaks through. 8:00am 8226.7 on Rt-9n northbound somewhere east of Keene spotted a strange facility roadside surrounded by partial fence but not showing any signage — many wells drilled and capped. AC power and telecommunications on site–low buildings collapsed. ? What WAS this ?? ~ one mile north of Elizabethtown.

©0955StrangeRuinsElizabethtownWEB

©0955StrangeRuinsElizabethtownWEB

 

 

 

 

 

 

Moving right along, folks…

Westport has a distinctly shoreside feeling–might be Wellfleet or Point Pleasant. —

©1010ExhibitHallEssexCountyFairWEB

©1010ExhibitHallEssexCountyFairWEB

©0977PrivateEssexFerryWEB

©0977PrivateEssexFerryWEB

 

 

The Essex county Fairgrounds has lovely architecture.  It seems mostly devoted to race horses,  but other endeavors are represented.  This lovely building if for floriculture.

Village of Essex south of town might be Rt-89 along west shore of Cayuga. Town feels New England. Ferry service to Vermont is privately owned..friendly people. This is the first time I’ve ever encountered a ferry service in the private business sector.  I guess this counts toward working waterfront.

 

My second major objective was to get a look at some of the historic battlegrounds along the Champlain lake shore.

©1045ChamplainBridgeWEB

©1045ChamplainBridgeFromSiteFrenchGunEmplacementsWEB

©I-803-16BritishParadeGroundCrownPoint01030405WEB

©I-803-16BritishParadeGroundCrownPoint01030405WEB

Battlefields from French and Indian and Revolutionary wars – The French had artillery command of the water side but the British threatened with a battalion of infantry.  The French demolished their fort and withdrew.     The British built one uphill, much stronger that commanded all approaches.   American revolutionaries could probably never have taken it if not for an accidental kitchen fire which spread to detonate the British powder magazine which breached the walls,  rendering the guns silent and the fort untenable.  A mere company of rebels displaced them and captured over a hundred cannon for our new nation.

©1045ChamplainBridgeWEB

©1045FrenchGunPitsChamplainBridgeWEB

 

©I-803-08BritishWaterWellCrownPoint01WEB

©I-803-08BritishWaterWellCrownPoint01WEB

©I-803-12ReinforcementBritishRampartsCrownPoint0103WEB

©I-803-12 ReinforcementBritishRampartsCrownPoint0103WEB

©1072KilroyWasHere1870WEB

©1072KilroyWasHere1870WEB

©I-803-20BritishQuarterssAtCrownPoint02WEB

©I-803-20BritishQuarterssAtCrownPoint02WEB

 

 

 

©I-803-18BritishBarracksAtCrownPoint01WEB

©I-803-18BritishBarracksAtCrownPoint01WEB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3:08 pm @ Ticonderoga S.P. boat launch…may do later…need rest now. Fathers Day bass fishing tourney in progress. Snazzy boats ! … cost pro’lly a modest home for a working class family.

 

 

 

Fort Ticonderoga overpriced even with senior discount… had to pass it up. Faulty navigation out of Ticonderoga landed me in Whitehall, NY during a fire dept training exercise. Lucky mistake…good photo opps.

 

©1091ThreeInchNavalRifleWEB

©1091ThreeInchNavalRifleWEB

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©1096WhitehallStylesWEB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

©I-803-26NavyMemorialWhitehall05WEB

©I-803-26NavyMemorialWhitehall05WEB

The town of Whitehall’s claim to be the birthplace is the U.S. Navy is not undisputed.   Note beer can frame right declaring someones attitude to the navy

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©1105USS TiconderogaTimbersWEB

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©1101SchoonerSkeletonWEB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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©1106 SternPeaceSignMODWEB

 

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©1106SternpostWEB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After WHitehall I had to backtrack to Lake George. Fuel. Lake George very Disneyland…worse than Wisconsin Dells…no sense of humor at all.

First attempt at campsite was posted…second attempt had every mosquito, black fly and tick for miles around competing for a bite of my ears.  MytThird try, way down Rt 10 but still in Adirondack Park, was ideal. Very sheltered and quiet Monday 16 June ’14 6:20 am Good nights sleep !!!

Saw good photo opps in Little Falls industrial neighborhoods, but passed by because not on plan…no prior research.

I took a look at Herkimer…not for the diamond mine, but for the nostalgia of McCoy model airplane engine factory.  Not thinking straight. I had no idea where to look. Looking for photo opps in Frankford, NY was totally unproductive.

I was so  mentally exhausted…good night sleep not withstanding…that I couldn’t think straight. Got highway hypnosis and decided it safer to abort the last day of the mission and head for home. 9:15am fuel @ Norwich 10:48 am.

258620.5 absolute miles in driveway at Slaterville Springs. Close log. 821.4 miles. fuel cost $138.38. ca. $46 cash out spent for food, BBQ donation, map, and many cups crappy coffee. Silver Dragon performed flawlessly, but too many miles driven for too few hours productive photography.

De-Briefing   Rollieflex damaged in accident with dog leash toppling tripod. Too little advanced internet research. More than 330 digital picture files. Should have taken Canon G-12 for backup and a backup exposure meter for the film cameras. Three rolls 6 cm film before Rollieflex shelved.  Results mixed…mostly underexposure.   One and a half rolls 35mm black and white backups look good. One and a half rolls infrared… spotty quality mostly due to underexposure. It would be wonderful to have a navigator/logger for company. Knee and hip joints limit hiking ability. Mental fatigue a worse problem then in previous years. If I’m going to Halifax I need to budget more rest time and pick  more direct routes to limit car time.

What’s the point of all this anyway ??   real photojournalists get paid ( peanuts )…over the hill wannabes like me get grants.  This doesn’t mean I’m going to stop doing it, but I’m going to have to find real income streams.

I’ll be at the Ithaca Artists  Market again this year.   Friday 25 July ’14 from 2 pm to dark at Steamboat Landing.   Some prints including some not shown in this post will be available then and there.

-30-

For the curious who’d like to dig further into the ball of wax:   use these starting points.

http://www.aarch.org/archives/leeman/060331VLPTahawusClub,Pt.2.pdf

http://www.adirondack-park.net/history/mcintyre.mine.html

http://www.historiclakes.org/crown_pt/furness.html

 

Way enough for now…I’ve been working on this post for a week.

Next Post:   is going to have to somethin more modest.

 

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