Monday, October 31, 2016


The University of Akron has a fun music department. On the Sunday before All Hallows Eve, they gave a concert in costume. The music varied between the great composers, modern composers, and movie themes. Groups of ten bassoons, ten clarinets, seven flutes, four tubas, a dozen trombones, and a quintet of mixed reeds made music to please. The 'RooReeds' played Alfred Hitchcock's teevee theme, Gounod's Funeral March of a Marionette.

 Lighting was low, and the music stands obscured the musicians. [supra] ten clarinetists
Dorothy, the Scarecrow, and a cat on clarinets, and the Tinman on bass clarinet played Three Short Pieces by Gordon Jacob.
Part of the flute choir played different members of the flute family: [supra] two are on bass flute, and one on the contrabass flute. This was the first time i saw these instruments played.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

the living paint themselves dead

Día de los Muertos Cleveland Ohio

The blending of Christian and pre-Christian traditions of Mesoamerica acknowledges the experience with death in the living. It here is an opportunity to appreciate the art of face painting, coloring live skin to appear as decorated bone.

One of the odd things was to see people as dressed skeletons tethered to their mobile phones. I saw a lot of it, but all the photo attempts proved unsatisfactory, it was hard to catch a well composed foto. The spots around the old St. Mary Romanian campus were congested with people, to isolate subjects was not easy. I do try to snap shots while people stand for other photographers, whether consciously or not, some of these photographers make it difficult. On these occasions they flap their arms, and move about so as to obstruct or appear in the shot. Often, for other shots, they jump very close and centered and stay and become like a wall. Courtesy is not an active concept in their behaviour.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

on a lawn in Oberlin Ohio

So many trumpsters' signs (and flags), i have seen, are hjuuuge. This sign was almost tiny. Perhaps, the owner does not know the definition of 'deplorables', or it is self-mocking humour taken for a point of pride.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Two weeks before Election Day

A convenience store has just finished a coffee promotion tied to the election. They had three cup designs: blue for Democrat, red for Republican, and an undecided cup (which makes little sense since they had their regular cups too) which is winning [click]. Well, we took the coffee poll in the environs about here, and the result was unambiguous.

Every day i read electoral-vote, i find it very current, accurate, and when snarky--dead on. The denouement of the story has been evident from the beginning [fake spoiler alert--Hillary Clinton and the Democracy wins], but with that assurance the show has been entertaining. The press had from early on, as it always seems to do, reported it as an horse race with the various horse and rider teams striding forward against each other; but very recently it appears that the homestretch is going to be a breakaway. The lone question is how many lengths will Secretariat win by?

At first, my question was will this be nearer a Barack Obama total, or a Lyndon Johnson total? Some Republicans fear the latter, it has come to five Republicans running for Congress threatening to sue because of advertisements saying they support Trump. The complaint is: “substantial and immediate harm to the campaign” is being done. The party of tort reform against frivolous lawsuits, the party of personal responsibility turn out to be all Trumplethinskins.

I must remember and go buy a bottle of champagne. I expect the cork to fly early in the evening.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

inspired graffito

Most urban graffiti is nearly pure vandalism. To-day i saw two referencing the Bible. Usually the reference would be John 3.16. This time it was from Daniel. Daniel has two great episodes, his meeting at the lions' club, and his presence at Baltasar's Feast:

"In the same hour there appeared fingers, as it were of the hand of a man, writing over against the candlestick upon the surface of the wall of the king's palace: and the king beheld the joints of the hand that wrote."

Paul Simon wrote, "The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls"

Monday, October 17, 2016


In the past, i usually put up these essays on the day the event being discussed happened. Now, it takes more time. One reason is that celebrations like to be celebrated on the weekends, and i have more than one event i go to. Another reason is no deadline, i have no boss, no financial gain, and the audience (if it exists) is minuscule; friends and relatives are not interested.

Lakewood's Spooky Pooch parade was their ninth, and on a very warm day for mid-October. The word, i heard the most often was 'awesome'. If any dog was so named, he would have turned his head many times. The first costumed hounds i saw were with this matador. I thought the costume and idea was great. There were prizes to be given, and i immediately thought she would get a medal. She did. One malamute played the bull, and had horns, and was like Ferdinand in demeanor. The small one had a cowbell, and a Holstein costume. I pestered them on the idea, and the dogs names. I forgot, maybe one was 'Luna'.
There was a parade, but the better fotos came with people sitting with their hounds.
Kaitlyn Bush was on assignment her journalism professor at Case Western told her to go to such events and write a report. Kaitlyn wrote down a quote from me, it was something very similar to what Thoreau had written, "Fires, shootings, and car wrecks are tragedies; but they are not news".  She found Summer disguised as a Rastafarian. Summer's owner had his doggy's name on his shirt. It was obvious, he had much affection with his furry companion. They have come to the parade in the past, and with the same outfit. I was looking for Finnegan the Irish setter, and Lakewood's most famous dog. I did not see him.
I met Shakespeare the Doberman. I have considered naming a hound 'Shakespeare'.  When i was a small child many years ago, the buzz was that Doberman Pinschers were terrors, and the most dangerous and vicious of dogs. One stomped on my foot then. I found him, and them not following the then reputation, if anything, i found them oafish.
Two families came as the Addams Family. This was the smaller cast: Morticia, Fester, Gomez, and Wednesday (a greyhound named Boom).
Cleopatra here road on a couch.

At the very end of the parade, this Basset went to the ground, and could not be coaxed to move. Eventually the hound had to be picked up, and carried.

Sunday, October 16, 2016


Friday, i saw a note on the birdy page that 14 avocets were at the Lorain impoundment. And yes, they were; my first viewing of an avocet. They are worth looking at. They are wading birds, and hunt insects and other tiny creatures in the mud. The avocets are related to the stilts, how they differ is their long, thinner beaks are curved upwards. The females more so. They swing their beaks like a a scythe through the water. When they are spotted in Ohio, they are migrants resting and feeding so as to be able to continue onward.
It is noted that colonies of avocets are very territorial, and will shoo other birds away. Above, a group of coots (mudhens) swim at peace. There were coots in the larger expanse of pond and reeds, occasionally calling. Coots do not 'sing', their sound is pleasant none-the-less.
The avocets stayed close together in a mini flock, but here above, a female mallard and a greater yellowlegs sandpiper mixed in. The avocets gave no notice.
Sometimes, i go to see birds, and a feeling of warm serenity washes over me. It did so with the avocets.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

rustbelt meets cornbelt

The title of this journal includes 'rustbelt', but the term has not been mentioned much in the essays. Dublin Ohio, two generations ago was surrounded by cornfields; then the outerbelt highway, I-270 came. Now there is further construction about and on that highway near Dublin, and inside of Dublin. What came to Dublin were golf course communities, and corporate headquarters of multi-storeys.
In the generation before Sam Frantz had a farm, where he hybridized corn. Now there are these hundred or so upright cement cobs, taller than a man. These monuments are similar to the crosses in a military graveyard; O, the opportunity for metaphor. Actually, it is better than described or pictured.

The installation is called, “Field of Corn (with Osage Orange trees)” by Malcolm Cochran, 1994. Dublin Arts Council has been graced with money, and a few of the local corporations donated. In front of trees there is a line of informative bronze plaques. There are two rows of osage orange trees, one existing before the project, and one planted with the project. During the Great Depression that came with the Hoover administration and twelve years of Republican national rule, and was dealt with by Franklin Roosevelt and the New Deal millions of osage oranges were planted in the Middle West as windbreaks, and were often used as property lines. In the Plain States these early Depression years were the dust bowl years, and 1936 was a drought year in Ohio also.
Continuing on one of the crossroads is Ballantrae park. Parking on what had been the end of a side street one sees through the driver's window, three giant hares (identifies as rabbits or bunnies) dancing on a hill top. With both the concrete corn and this park (which looks to be an extension of a golf course) the grass was well manicured. Limestone rocks were bunched together, and a very low fence of layers of rock with a top layer of perpendicular stones were part of the landscape of many properties in a great section of Dublin.

Sophie Ryder of Gloucestershire England has sculpted animals, and mythical creatures. Here she has sculpted mad March hares that people see as happy dancing bunnies. Before these came to Ohio, they were seen at The Hague, Netherlands in 2001. If one comes close to the towering metal lupines, one sees tools and other objects embedded. The limestone wall has leprechaun heads, some which squirt water in the summer. In front are ground spouts that also spray.

The first Dublin Art in Public Places project was Ralph Helmick's Leatherlips1990. He sits looking over the Scioto River. This is the third in this essay of really interesting, if not great things to see and experience. There are several smaller pieces of public art about Dublin of diverse style and interest. But these three are large and fun. One thing about public art that is opposite of museum art is that public art can be touched. It is outside and is exposed to the elements, and becomes part of the landscape. A discarded porcelain toilet also fits that description, and some abstract public sculpture is of no greater quality. These three are quality and they add and blend to and with the other scenery in the landscape. The best is this first piece. The limestone slabs fit the slope of the hill. This Wyandot chief in his last years had in translation the name “Long Gray Hair”, and the long, lime walls of trailing, stacked stones fits that description. Next to the sculpture is a terraced theatre which continues the lines. Further fun is one can walk up behind and inside the statue and look out over the scalp.

Chief Leatherlips (as the white men called him) *1732,1810† had been executed by tomahawk nearby. His brother, and other Indians had imposed the sentence.  He was charged with sorcery, in an attempt to cover up politics. In 1794 the Indians lost the Battle of Fallen Timbers, the next year Leatherlips and others signed the Treaty of Greenville giving up most of Ohio. The loss of lands was increasing, and in years to follow, Tecumseh and his brother, the Shawnee Prophet, raised a confederacy of Indians. Leatherlips was not a party.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

King Obama

I have posted several Sysack signs. She survived her brother in their family business. Every once in a while, a new sign goes up in front of her business. I had thought the anti-Hillary Clinton sign would hold until the election. It had several bugbears, and b.s., that Republicans love, and love to babble about.

Well, this one after several points of nonsense says the election will be voided, and Obama will declare himself king. The other figure portrayed is Jim Nabors as Gomer Pyle USMC. One of his repeated lines on the television was, "Surprise, surprise, surprise". Yes, this is the 'October surprise'.

Two things i like to point out: firstly, as a sign painter, she makes several spelling and other mistakes in sign after sign; secondly, as so many of these crazy 'conservatives' after their predictions (and points of argument) prove false, they never make the admission. Hillary Clinton will be elected president.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Leif Erikson Day

This here bust is in one of the oddest places in Cleveland. When one spies the foto, one sees rail tracks, and an ivy covered jack knife bridge. It is near the mouth of the Cuyahoga River, on a saloon's parking lot; it is not free to park in the lot.

Leifr Eiríksson was born in Iceland. Just before the year 1000 a.D. he converted to Christianity, preached in Greenland, and began settlements in North America.

First in Wisconsin, and then in Minnesota a day was instituted in his honor. There are many Norwegians in the upper Middle West. October 9th was chosen, because a ship arrived from Stavanger Norway in New York  on that date in 1825. Leif is a patron of Scandinavian immigration tom the new world.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Cleveland area Protestant Glass

I like stained glass, i like simple geometric color, but figurative glass has more to say. Most, not all, is found in churches. Some churches are only open for services, and if one goes to his regular community he has closed the window of opportunity to see some. 

I am more familiar with local Catholic glass. Wednesday night, a speaker suggested to see the glass at Lakewood United Methodist. In a room that was not the sanctuary, a multi lancet window had a large Nativity of Jesus window in the South German painterly style. I believe, that was the window he wanted to be seen. It was a warm friendly window, but at that time of day anyway, it did not receive enough sunlight. In several Protestant churches there is a huge multi-panel, multi-scene window. This church had two such in the sanctuary. In roughly would be a west transept spot there was a window with ten main panels with fifteen scenes plus tracery windows. The choir loft had another such window. The back of this window is seen outside from Detroit Avenue. One panel has Cleveland's Terminal Tower, formerly the second tallest building in the United States.
Cleveland's oldest church is St. John Episcopalian in Ohio City, supra is the church's patron above the altar. The church no longer holds public services.
St. James Anglican left the Episcopal diocese, and holds Anglo-Catholic high church services. It is on Cleveland's East 55th and Payne, and this window is above their organ and faces East 55th from the outside.
In East Cleveland on Euclid Avenue is the former St. Paul Episcopalian, it is now one campus of  the Empowerment Church. I saw a note somewhere from an old book mentioning how proud the original congregation (1896) was of their John La Farge window. La Farge taught Louis Tiffany how to use opalescent glass in stained glass windows. It had rained the day when i came with camera, and it was gray outside. On a better day, with more time, better pictures could have been taken. The bottom half of the window was of little interest, but noted who the three lancets were memorials to. Also, there is an interesting series of windows on the life of St. Paul, and another on Jesus. An attached hall/school also has good looking c. 1900? windows. Maintenance has long been neglected.

La Farge's father-in-law was Oliver Hazard Perry. John Jr. became a Jesuit priest. A large La Farge is on Cleveland's Public Square in the Old Stone (Presbyterian) Church.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

St. Andrew and the Democratic Presidency

Most of Parma Ohio is working class, and votes with the Democracy. This year there are more Trump signs (it seems), and Trump flags from flagpoles. With the vehemency trumpsters display, some democrats are not willing to show lawn enthusiasm. Inadvertently the vandals have made a Scottish flag of St. Andrew, which is a blue field with a white saltire/St. Andrew's cross. They may be familiar with the pattern since the traitorous confederate battle flag is a saltire too.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Revisiting 5th Christian Science

To-day the demolition continues. I photographed here [click] in January 2013.