*

*
Hawk on a wire © Robert Sommers 2022

Thursday, March 31, 2022

Nilsson

If you get Amazon Prime, you  might want to watch the Harry Nilsson documentary. A brilliant performer with a  beautiful voice and an ear for melody who rose from the streets, became incredibly successful and then unfortunately spiraled out of control and self destructed. 

Two golden eagles, Mt. Palomar

 


Jewel Eyed Judy

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Taki 183

Leslie and I drove back from Long Beach a week ago and stopped in Corona for a late lunch at one of our favorite taco shops, Miguel's Jr., home of the "Garbage burrito." I needed to go to the restroom and punched the buttons on the lock after the manager gave me the code.

I laughed when I saw the grafitti on the urinal, Taki.

You see, when I went back to New York in late 1971, Taki was the first graffiti artist in New York City. 

The first guy anywhere to do what he did, as far as I know. 

Which was to paint his name everywhere.

A mysterious kid from 183rd st. had painted his sobriquet Taki 183, all over the city. Walls, subways, garbage cans, the nom de plume Taki 183 was ubiquitous. A year or two later graffiti exploded, but this guy was the first. If it had just been him, the phenomenon would have been mostly tolerable. But unfortunately, it didn't. 

You can read about Taki 183 here

Anyway, I see this written on the urinal wall and I had to laugh. Was it a maven of graffiti history scrawling his appropriated call sign in homage to the patriarch or merely a case of history repeating itself? Perhaps the man himself was on a west coast swing and couldn't resist one last scribble. I guess we will never know.

*


More New York. Remember Crazy Eddy? Did you know it was a big scam? And then there was this:

New York City sanitation works cut and collected 41,000 pounds of weed from vacant lots across the city in the summer of 1951, which was incinerated in Woodside, Queens, much to the disappointment of tokers everywhere. Photo: Brooklyn Public Library/Brooklyn Eagle archive

I thought this was interesting. 1951? Wow. I'll say a tree grows in Brooklyn. This was pre beatnik, pre Kerouac, slightly post Cab Calloway, Mezz Mezzrow. 

I guess Robert Mitchum was busted much earlier but weed at the time was mostly the province of black hipster jazz musicians. Or so I thought anyway.

I think I was wrong.

*
Bottom chapter redacted...

Neil Young

Bittersweet Spring


It is so beautiful around Fallbrook right now.


The wisteria is pumping, the Hong Kong orchid is blooming, the pride of madeira is unfurling its tall purple towers. 

If you don't find the spring particularly beautiful and enchanting, perhaps it is time for you to take the short final trip up to Temecula where you can dig the stucco and concrete.

This week, I had the flowers start to bloom on the small California red bud tree I planted last year. 

I am really looking forward to seeing it mature.


I went home a bit early yesterday and managed to snag my first picture of a hooded oriole I have been able to take this year, although, in my defense,  it has only been around for a couple of days.

Another great thing about this time, friends like Jim Ramsey and Jeff Barney are bringing me nice fuerte avocados, my favorite! Thanks, guys!

And the mother hawk is patiently sitting on eggs again so you know what is coming soon... 

The only sadness I am feeling right now, amidst all this gorgeous scenery and rainfall is the fact that my great friend Bruce Taylor is leaving Fallbrook tomorrow and moving to Alabama.

Things haven't been the same with Bruce since his wife Sherri died of cancer last year. 

He is raising three great grandchildren with the help of a granddaughter and they are all heading east tomorrow in the family car. 

Bruce has been battling some cognitive issues after all the stress he has been under. He has a brother back there and thinks that life will be easier for he and his family.


Some of us got to say goodbye today but I can tell you that there are very few people in Fallbrook that Bruce hasn't done favors for, usually for free and he is one of our most beloved citizens. I can say, unequivocally, that no merchant has ever provided more services to this community, for nothing.

I am going to miss the hell out of him. And I know that I am far from alone. Alabama is lucky to get him and they better treat him right.

I was looking through some of my old snapshots of Bruce and it made me cry. I have a bunch and I have to stop.





Bruce was gifted with the most inquisitive and mechanical of minds and he could literally fix anything.



You couldn't ask for a better friend. I'll probably never see him again.

Fallbrook will not be the same town without Bruce Taylor. Wish him well.

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

The Modern Alchemist

This story wins the internet today

 


From HuffPo:

Sen. Bruce Bostelman, a conservative Republican, repeated the false claim during a public, televised debate on a bill intended to help school children who have behavioral problems. His comments quickly went viral, with one Twitter video garnering more than 300,000 views as of Monday afternoon, and drew an onslaught of online criticism and ridicule.

Bostelman initially said he was “shocked” when he heard stories that children were dressing as cats and dogs while at school, with claims that schools were accommodating them with litter boxes.

“They meow and they bark and they interact with their teachers in this fashion,” Bostelman said during legislative debate. “And now schools are wanting to put litter boxes in the schools for these children to use. How is this sanitary?”

The rumor has persisted in a private Facebook group, “Protect Nebraska Children,” and also surfaced last month in an Iowa school district, forcing the superintendent to write to parents that it was “simply and emphatically not true.”

On the bright side, the rodent population is practically down to nil. You can train a dog to use a litter box, you got my vote.

State Senator Bruce Bostelman

Another Man Done Gone

Take care, Amigo!

It is with sadness that I report that my fellow antique dealer and long time friend Gary Linscott has passed away from cancer. He died on March first. Those of you in the California and Southwest antique community will know Gary from his longtime job as wall builder for many of our shows. 

The man busted ass and made it happen, without excuses, and delivered us an affordable product that worked. He worked all night on many occasions to get things ready, then showed up the next day to sell.

Gary was a standup guy, a tall man who was once an officer in the army, if my memory serves. He honestly did not have an enemy in this world. Great positive attitude, a hearty laugh. He picked up strays and hired them and often tried to fix them. Sometimes it didn't work but I admired his compassion and patience. Don't know how he nursed those old trucks and kept them on the road either but he did.

I pride myself for having taken pictures of pretty much everyone in our little world, fancy myself an institutional visual memory of sorts, but really had to hunt for a picture of Gary in my files. 

Finally found one, not great by any means, from a dealer meeting in Albuquerque. Better than nothing.

Gary was sweet enough to call me two months ago and tell me that he was dying. He wasn't asking me for sympathy, just wanted to tell me he loved me and to tell me to come out to Colorado soon if I could. Wish I had.

Gary sold me some good paintings over the years, best Charles Reiffel I ever owned, he could turn things up on occasion. I appreciate him very much for lots of things.

Life is a fleeting dream. All we have are the good people we find along the way. Some day they will be gone. Make sure that you take time to give them a hug.

Goodbye Gary. You were a good man.

Monday, March 28, 2022

My Girl Josephine

Lara Logan goes after you know who...


From Media Matters

Fox Nation host Lara Logan used her Gettr account to promote a piece that claimed that Jewish people are behind “a one world government" and “central banking and big corporate money" and are the “divider and conqueror” and “the aggressor, yet always the victim." The post Logan shared also claimed that the Rothschilds engineered the U.S. Civil War and the assassinations of Presidents Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy, and that Russian dictator Vladimir Putin purged "the Rothschild money changers.” 

And there's this one. The jews are responsible for the evolution conspiracy too? Well, maybe not all of them, but definitely those damn Rothschilds again.

LARA LOGAN: What is the only thing on Earth that is actually renewable? It's life. And they can, you know, go back to the big-bang theory and Darwin. I mean, when I found out, does anyone know when, who employed Darwin? Where Darwinism comes from? Well, I mean, you know, look it up, the Rothschilds. It goes right back to 10 Downing Street and the same people who employed Darwin and that's when Darwin, you know, wrote his theory of evolution and so on and so on. And I'm not saying that none of that is true. I'm just saying Darwin was hired by someone to come up with the theory. Right? Based on evidence. OK, fine. 

How come the secret globalist cabal never lets me get in on the action? What am I, chopped liver?

*
Aside from antisemitism, Logan has also been spreading Russian propaganda since it invaded Ukraine, blaming the invasion on Ukraine and claiming that Russian President Vladimir Putin is the "man standing between us and the New World Order."

I was messing around and designed a new t-shirt.



Electric Prunes

I sometimes conflate the Electric Prunes with the Vanilla Fudge. They both had silly names but were both capable of beautiful and unique musicianship. 

Barry told me that he was going to Vegas next month to take his gal to see her fave, Kenny Loggins. "Oh god," I said. "Poor guy.The things that we do for love." I equate Loggins with later era Steve Winwood, when they both might have been in their respective mullet phases. Too cute, music a little sweet for my taste buds, let's leave it at that. You can throw Phil Collins into the mix too. Would be very hard for me to sit through any of their shows in their eighties rockstar heyday without a lot of mind numbing drugs.

Anyway Barry says there will be a whole lot of Pooh Corner coming down the pike in his immediate future and god bless him, hope he can survive all that. Loggins and Messina had good bands and put out some decent if not great stuff in their time but the music morphed into something weird in the eighties and oh well. Better than England Dan and John Ford Coley and could probably best Seals and Crofts in any tag team Texas Death Match.

Barry used to be the music writer for the New Times in Phoenix. (Did I get that right?) He told me that he once interviewed Loggins and Messina and lost them right off the top when he asked Kenny about his work in the Electric Prunes. "We are here to talk about nothing but Loggins and Messina, you got that Friedman?"

I mention this because I had no prior idea that Loggins was in the fabled Los Angeles band and the truth is, after checking, he was only in one of the many post heyday lineups in 1968. Just a brief cup of coffee with the major league club, as they say in baseball. You can read all about the Prunes here, they started out as the electric plums but things got a little dried out somewhere down the line.

Loggins
did have an earlier band, the Second Helping, but if you ever got a bite, you would have never tasted it in the first place. That was new to me too. But there's lots of stuff I don't know.

Strength, my friend...

More likely than not

U.S. District Court Judge David Carter
Interesting article over at Politico. A Federal Judge, U.S. District Court Judge David Carter, has ruled that Donald Trump has likely committed felony obstruction.

A federal judge ruled Monday that former President Donald Trump “more likely than not” attempted to illegally obstruct Congress as part of a criminal conspiracy when he tried to subvert the 2020 election on Jan. 6, 2021.

“Based on the evidence, the Court finds it more likely than not that President Trump corruptly attempted to obstruct the Joint Session of Congress on January 6, 2021,” U.S. District Court Judge David Carter wrote.

Wow. Roll that around a little. Because it is a new thing, the likes of which we have not seen for a long time in our country, if ever.

The remarkable ruling may be the first in history in which a federal judge determined a president, while in office, appeared to commit a crime. The decision has no direct role in whether Trump will be charged criminally but could increase pressure on the Justice Department and its chief, Attorney General Merrick Garland, to conduct an aggressive investigation that could lead to such charges.

“Our nation was founded on the peaceful transition of power, epitomized by George Washington laying down his sword to make way for democratic elections,” Carter wrote in a 44-page ruling. “Ignoring this history, President Trump vigorously campaigned for the Vice President to single-handedly determine the results of the 2020 election. With a plan this ‘BOLD,’ President Trump knowingly tried to subvert this fundamental principle.” 

This is a watershed moment in our history and we should be very ashamed. He almost got away with it. A vote or two the other way, a flip by the former V.P., we could have a Putin style President for life right now.

Dan the Man

Leslie and I went to the comedy night event in Fallbrook on Saturday. It was very sparsely attended and perhaps poorly promoted, there was nothing even on the marquee suggesting that it was occurring. 

I was a little embarrassed that my town could not have had a better turn out when I saw how much effort had been made to put on a fine show by everyone. Oh well, Leslie and I tried. 

As I mentioned we had a somewhat distant or cross connected relative performing, Jay Shore. By the way, the Mission Theater is really beautiful now, Roy did an incredible job renovating it. Definitely want to come back and check out an old movie.

I enjoyed myself mostly, even though stand up comedy is not really my bag. I think most of these comics would be better served strapped to a gurney in a deep therapy session. But I get how important and intense it can be for them on a good night when they are connecting and that it makes it all worthwhile.

The need for emotional response they seem to crave in these settings is just weird to me, would make B.F. Skinner blanche.

I have been to maybe five stand up gigs in my life, if is is your thing, god bless you, it just doesn't really float my boat. I don't do crowds, I like very small groups, not too far from a couple or a few. Mind you, I believe that I am almost funny on a rare occasion and am not above telling a ribald joke or two, just missing that entertainer gene.

Having said that, everybody was working hard, giving it their best and I take my hat off to all of them. With my neurosis, I couldn't do it, I am enough of an emotional basket case as it is. Maybe I don't like or respect people enough to want their feedback or response anyway.

The cousin was really good, the main headliner Adam was great, in a very manic way, but I still found myself wanting the whole thing to end as soon as possible. The event wore on me. Because stand up comedy is just not my deal.

But there was honestly one really cool and incredible performer that night, Dan Naylor, a man that I will probably be thinking about for a long time.

Dan Naylor, known as Dan the man, is one of the most inspirational people you will ever meet.

Hit by a car at a young age, with cerebral palsy, if anyone had ever wanted to give up and feel sorry for himself, it would be Dan.

But he didn't. He works three jobs, one of them keeping Grape Day Park clean in Escondido. And he decided to do stand up and totally expose himself.

Guy drew a line in the sand and moved forward with his life, shedding the most unfortunate of circumstances.

Possessed with a crushing hand shake, you really could not meet a more wonderful person.

No wonder he is so beloved in Escondido and beyond. I am a big fan.

Cobblestones - Rollingstones

I remember how knocked out I was when I first heard this Genya Ravan tune on Underground Garage. I didn't know it was up on YouTube. Now I do. Genya's biography is something else. Hat's off to her, rocking out since 1962.

Raptor shots

If you would like to see some of the bird shots I am posting in a new Next Door group I created, Raptors of San Diego and the Inland Empire, here is the link. You can view or are welcome to join if you please.

Authority run amok

A seven year old accidentally dropped raisins in a neighbors yard. Neighbor grabs and chokes the kid and then calls the cops on the "littering." 

The thing escalates further out of control, cops arrive and the officer uses a "pain compliance maneuver" to force information from the kid's sister, who was recording the event.

Fifth Circuit has no problem with it. Read the sad, sordid story, Fifth Circuit approves a cop's violent response to a dispute over a seven year old's littering.

ACLU asks for a full court appeal.

In December 2016, Jacqueline Craig told police that a neighbor had choked her 8-year-old son [ed. note. 7?] for littering. Rather than take the allegations seriously, Fort Worth Texas Police Officer William Martin interrupted Jacqueline to ask why she didn’t teach her son not to litter; he then suggested the neighbor’s violence was justified because her 8-year-old “broke the law.” When Jacqueline objected to the officer’s suggestion, Martin warned that if she kept yelling at him, he would arrest her for “piss[ing him] off.” 

Martin made good on his threat, violently arresting Jacqueline and her 15-year-old daughter, kicking the 15-year-old when she didn’t get into his police vehicle fast enough, and, eventually, arresting Jacqueline’s 18-year-old daughter, Brea Hymond, who was recording the encounter from a distance.  

Sunday, March 27, 2022

Leon Bridges

The Case of the Serendipitous Sibilant

Shawn from Thailand sent this over yesterday, complimented the photo and my intention to pair the graceful bend of the pipefish with the appropriate banner font.

He sent along the attached mockup.

Fortuitous, yes. Visually appropriate, thanks. Serendipitous, yes again.

But the truth is I am not that clever, at least consciously anyway.

Pure coincidence, if there ever is such a thing.

Good catch, Shawn!

Saturday, March 26, 2022

DeGoff of the day.

 


Glass    takes one million years to decompose, which means it never wears out and can be recycled an infinite amount of times!
Gold    is the only metal that doesn't rust, even if it's buried in the ground for thousands of years.
When a person dies  hearing is the last sense to go. The first sense lost is sight.
Your tongue    is the only muscle in your body that is attached at only one end.
The tooth    is the only part of the human body that cannot heal itself.
If you stop getting thirsty you need to drink more water. When a human body is dehydrated, its thirst mechanism shuts off.
Zero   is the only number that   cannot be represented by   Roman numerals.
Kites   were used in the American Civil War to deliver letters and newspapers.
The song Auld Lang Syne    is sung at the stroke of midnight in almost every English-speaking country in the world to bring in the new year.
Drinking water after eating    reduces the acid in your mouth by 61 percent. Drinking a glass of water before you eat may help digestion and curb appetite.
Peanut oil    is used for cooking in submarines because it doesn't smoke unless it's heated above 450F.
The roar    that we hear when we place a seashell next to our ear is not the ocean, but rather the sound of blood surging through the veins in the ear.
Nine out of every 10    living things live in the ocean.
The banana    cannot reproduce itself. It can be propagated only by the hand of man.
Airports at higher altitudes    require a longer airstrip due to lower air density.
The University of Alaska    spans four time zones.
In ancient Greecetossing an apple to a girl was a traditional proposal of marriage. Catching it meant she accepted.
Warner Communications    paid 28 million for the copyright to the song Happy Birthday, which was written in 1935!
Intelligent people    have more zinc and copper in their hair.
A comet's tail    always points away from the sun.
Caffeine    increases the power of aspirin and other painkillers, that is why it is found in some medicines.
The military salute    is a motion that evolved from medieval times, when knights in armor raised their visors to reveal their identity.
If you get into the bottom of a well or a tall chimney and look up,   you can see stars, even in the middle of the day.
In ancient times    strangers shook hands to show that they were unarmed.
Strawberries and cashews    are the only fruits whose seeds grow on the outside.
Avocados    have the highest calories of any fruit at 167 calories per hundred grams.
The moon    moves about two inches away from the Earth each year.
The Earth    gets 100 tons heavier every day due to falling space dust.
Due to earth's gravity    it is impossible for mountains to be higher than 15,000 meters.
Mickey Mouse    is known as "Topolino" in Italy
Soldiers   do not march in step when going across bridges because they could set up a vibration which could be sufficient to knock the bridge down.
Everything    weighs one percent less at the equator.
For every extra kilogram    carried on a space flight, 530 kg of excess fuel are needed at
lift-off.
The letter J    does not appear anywhere on the periodic table of the elements.
 
 

I shot the sheriff


We were having dinner with Doctor Neon at the Korean place the other night and talking about magnetic performers. I mentioned Ian Anderson as the greatest I ever saw, forget what the doc said but Leslie said Bob Marley was the best she had ever seen.

I love Bob but never saw him live, both Leslie and my ex did and I guess he was unbelievable live. Anyway, Al says, "You know he was jewish, right?" And I am like, "Sure." Like no way. Not that it matters. He told me to look it up. Holy Chalvah! I found this at the website Tablet:
...we learned that Marley’s father, Norval, from whom Marley was estranged, was the son of Ellen Broomfield, a white Jewish Syrian Jamaican (beat that!), it made some sense. Norval Marley was born in Jamaica in 1885 (although the record is disputed) and, by the time he paired up with Marley’s mother Cedella, he was said to have been 60 years old. Norval Marley’s relationship with Cedella didn’t last long and he died of a heart attack when Marley was 12.
Interesting. I kept looking. Some people are debunking the notion but offering no proof either way. I did find this:
Norval Sinclair Marley was a Jamaican of English descent, notable for being the father of the reggae artist Bob Marley. Marley was born in Jamaica to Albert Thomas Marley, an Englishman who was from Sussex, England, and Ellen Broomfield. Born: 1885, Clarendon Parish, Jamaica Died: 1957 Spouse: Cedella Marley-Booker (m. 1944–1955) Children: Bob Marley Parents:
Ellen Broomfield, Albert Thomas Marley.
It also had this old picture of his father, Norval. Looks like a typical brit, not too ethnic but they all aren't.

So a couple things. The first one is who gives a fuck, does it really matter? No it doesn't.

True that, this is just a neat exercise for me of who is and isn't.

And secondly, the orthodox uber jews would tell you that if the heeb genetics aren't from the maternal side, you lose your religious tribe on a technicality.

I say bullshit, any amount of yid coursing through your nervous system is good enough for me and you honestly deserve my consolation but I'm not really in charge of anything and nobody ever asked me.

Still, as far as I know, Bob was the first Jamaican to really hop on the Zion/Exodus train, well after Desmond Dekker anyway and I wonder if there may have been a genetic or familial imperative?

Of course, a simple dna test would solve all these questions. Ziggy, give me a call.

*
By the way, Jews have a long history in Jamaica, going back to the 16th century. From the Jewish Museum, London:
It is thought that the earliest Jewish presence in Jamaica was from 1530 when Jews travelled there to escape the Spanish Inquisition. Once Britain took power of the island from Spain in 1655, Jewish immigration was welcomed, and by 1720, 18% of the Jamaican population was Jewish. They flourished in Jamaica, becoming gold traders, sugar and vanilla merchants, and sometimes even pirates; Moses Cohen Henriques was a Dutch pirate of Portuguese Sephardic Jewish descent who operated in the Caribbean and eventually became advisor to the famous Captain Henry Morgan. They could hold office before the right was granted for Jews in England. Many joined the Jamaican Assembly, and in 1849 it even met for Yom Kippur. In 1866, 13 out of the 47 delegates were Jewish. Early Jewish life in Jamaica was therefore integrated and diverse.
Jamaica was only one among the many remote and distant locales in the New World where Jews and apostates sought a haven far from the rapacious inquisitors of Spain and Portugal. ACCORDING TO Edward Kritzler’s Jewish Pirates of the Caribbean, as early as 1501 the Spanish Crown published an edict that “Moors, Jews, heretics, reconciliados (repentants – those who returned to the church), and New Christians are not allowed to go to the Indies.”
Yet in 1508, the bishop of Cuba reported, “practically every ship [arriving in Havana] is filled with Hebrews and New Christians.” Such decrees banning them, followed by letters home complaining of their continued arrival, were a regular occurrence.“Conversos with the aptitude and capital to develop colonial trade, comfortable in a Hispanic society, yet seeking to put distance between themselves and the homeland of the Inquisition, made their way to the New World. No licenses were required for the crew of a ship, and as many were owned by conversos, they signed on as sailors and jumped ship. Servants also didn’t need a license or exit visa, so that a Jew who obtained one by whatever means could take others along as household staff,” Kritzler writes.
BUT SOME Jamaican Jews turned to a more adventurous – and dangerous – life at sea. Captaining ships bearing names like the Queen Esther, the Prophet Samuel, and the Shield of Abraham, Jewish sailors began roaming the Caribbean in search of riches, sometimes obtained under questionable circumstances.
These Jews most frequently attacked Spanish and Portuguese ships – payback for the property confiscations and torture of their brethren perpetrated by the Tribunal of the Holy Office of the Inquisition.
THE MOST famous of the Caribbean’s Jewish pirates, or privateers, was Moses Cohen Henriques. His name is of Portuguese origin. Like many of his contemporary buccaneers, Henriques’s life is shrouded in mystery. Together with Dutch folk hero Admiral Piet Pieterszoon Hein, Henriques captured a Spanish treasure fleet off Cuba’s Bay of Matanzas in 1628. The booty of gold and silver bullion amounted to a staggering 11,509,524 guilders, worth around US$1 billion in today’s currency. It was the Dutch West Indies Company’s greatest heist in the Caribbean.
Moses Cohen Henriques
More on jewish pirates here.






*

Just for a lark, I plugged the names of Marley's mother and her father Richard into one of my handy genetic tools, Geni. It turns out that it is not spelled Broomfield, it is actually Bloomfield.

Guess what, it says that we are connected somehow. Splendid! Will let you know what I find out...

*
postscript - started fishing around. Turns out I have a bunch of Henriques connections too. Arghh, avast yee mensches. Get to vork or I vill kick you in the pupik.

Putin's Brain

Steve in Santa Fe recommended this article by David Von Drehle, Meet Alexander Dugin, the man known as Putin's Brain. I realize that many of you can't broach the paywall at the Wa Po but if you can find the article, it is illuminating and the playbook is exposed. 

Free the world from the yoke of the liberal unrooted cosmopolitans and individualists and re establish the Great Eurasian empire. Hmmm, where have we heard that one before?

A product of late-period Soviet decline, Dugin belongs to the long, dismal line of political theorists who invent a strong and glorious past — infused with mysticism and obedient to authority — to explain a failed present. The future lies in reclaiming this past from the liberal, commercial, cosmopolitan present (often represented by the Jewish people). Such thinkers had a heyday a century ago, in the European wreckage of World War I: Julius Evola, the mad monk of Italian fascism; Charles Maurras, the reactionary French nationalist; Charles Coughlin, the American radio ranter; and even the author of a German book called “Mein Kampf.”

Dugin tells essentially the same story from a Russian point of view. Before modernity ruined everything, a spiritually motivated Russian people promised to unite Europe and Asia into one great empire, appropriately ruled by ethnic Russians. Alas, a competing sea-based empire of corrupt, money-grubbing individualists, led by the United States and Britain, thwarted Russia’s destiny and brought “Eurasia” — his term for the future Russian empire — low.

Fascism never dies, it just goes to sleep for a little while. 

*

Ginni Thomas’ Election Fraud Guru Claims He Arrested Pope

Friday, March 25, 2022

Leon the liberated lobster

Will sent this over. Very cool.

First We Take Manhattan

My favorite Stevie Ray Vaughn solo. Supposedly he didn't show up until well after midnight, high for the session, hours late. But he certainly delivers here on the Leonard Cohen song, as does Jennifer Warnes.

Palm Oriole


I thought I caught a glimpse of a hooded oriole in my palm tree out of the corner of my eye the other night but it was furtive and a flash. Wasn't absolutely sure.

Leslie thought that she saw him too so we put out grape jelly this week in our feeder. I definitely saw him this morning but did not have a camera in hand.

The picture above is a shot from my files. My recent arrival looks so small and scrawny. 

I wonder how far he had to travel to reach his spring destination? 

It must have taken an enormous amount of energy, it looks like he is at about 60% of normal weight.

But he will fatten up. Look forward to seeing the rest of the family, they have made my Washingtonia filifera their summer home.

And they have lived in these California native palms for ever and that is why they are sometimes referred to as Palm Orioles.

I haven't see their cousins, the Bullock's Orioles, in the hood for a while. I hope they come back and represent.

I did have a band tailed pigeon show up recently and their numbers have been scarce in the canyon.

Thursday, March 24, 2022

Eric Burdon

Geoffrey Watson


I had some great finds at the Long Beach Flea Market last Sunday. One of the nicer things I found was this print. I bought it for a song, instantly loved it. Gorgeous work!

This drypoint and etching was created by an artist that I had never heard of, Geoffrey Watson. 

The print evoked speed in a very art deco style, reminiscent of the work of Otto Kuhler or Thomas Hart Benton.

I looked up his work on line and discovered that he was a British artist born in 1894 who specialized in aviation art but there were no other prints in his catalogue that looked like this one, which I could find no record of. 

Most of them were frankly, more pedestrian in execution.

There was this painting below, however, which looked quite similar. Was this the same aircraft?


The painting is titled Gloster VI and is held at the Royal Air Force Museum in Edgware, England. Interesting to me, the website says that the artist died in 1937 but another reference I found said 1979. Will have to figure that one out. Great painting in any case, beautiful.

I sent the images to my friend Ken, a longtime pilot, and he sent me back this note:

The aircraft is likely the Supermarine S.6.  One of a series S.4 – S.6B built for the Schneider Racing Cup in the ‘20s. One of the most distinguishing characteristics in the series is where the cockpit is located.

Here is a short Wikipedia article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supermarine_S.6

This was very helpful as I could now match the title. It wasn't a date after the title, it was the plane model designation, the S6. Best part of my job is the research part. Anyway later in the day another pilot friend stopped by, J.B., and he confirmed what Ken said about the plane being a Supermarine and he showed me the subtle physical differences with the Gloster.

Yesterday morning I sent a note to the Royal Air Force Museum and received three emails this morning, including his extant print catalogue, correspondence of which I partially include here:

I recently found this etching of a Supermarine by Geoffrey Watson. I have not ever seen another copy. I notice that it is very similar to a painting in your possession, the Gloster VI. Do you know when my print was executed and do you have any more information about it. (Can’t quite make out the date.) Please let me know if you have ever seen this particular work before and if it is the same craft.

sincerely,

Robert Sommers
Blue Heron Gallery
Fallbrook, CA

*

Dear Robert Sommers

Thank you for your email, which was passed to me from the Ask Collections team.

Indeed, the Museum possesses an extensive collection of Watson’s etchings. Please see attached list, which includes long-loaned items to the Museum from the Royal Aero Club, as well as the Museum’s own collection holdings.  These are lovely etchings and drypoints, and you will see one of the Gloster VI which we hold (in addition to the painting).

We do not have an impression of the etching you mention, unfortunately. But it would be dated to between c.1927-1929, judging by the aircraft – it had taken part in the Schneider Trophy Race of 1927, and on 12 September 1929, flown by Augustus Orlebar, it had achieved the air speed record. Only two days before the Supermarine achieved that record, on 10 September 1929 the Gloster VI had achieved it – both races being in Calshot (near Southampton) – and you can see the coastal references in both of the images. It is interesting that the Gloster VI image was the one Watson painted, although I would not know if the edition of Gloster VI exceeds the size of the Supermarine’s editioning – there seems to be no edition number noted on your etching, and indeed it was not especially common in those days for artists to note edition numbers; this developed more into the century. It is important to remember that Watson was a graphic artist and illustrator who produced these aviation prints for journals such as the Graphic and Illustrated London News, as well as for books of the interwar period – and so consulting these would likely help you ascertain whether the Supermarine was reproduced. The British Library would be able to advise you further about the availability of these periodicals in the St Pancras reading rooms – I recommend you consult those from that time in mid-September 1929.

Unfortunately, I cannot determine, for your comparison, which other collections feature Watson’s etchings (the Science Museum was an obvious place to look but surprisingly it does not feature any) – works on paper have not been digitised for the Art UK project which features oils and sculptures, mainly; though it is more likely that multi-collection museums, rather than art museums, will feature Watson’s works. But it might be worth you contacting Dominic Winter, the auctioneer, and the dealer Liss Lewellyn, whose specialists are more likely to know of Watson’s wider oeuvre and possibly the extent to which your impression of the Supermarine is ‘rare’. I am aware, furthermore, that Liss Lewellyn are in touch with the daughter of the artist, Lucinda Hall, who may be able to advise you from the perspective of Watson’s estate and extant impressions they might hold of the Supermarine.  Likely they would have catalogued their collection of the prints – this seems like a good place to start, if you are determined to nail the answer to your question.

I am cc’ing my colleague Andy Renwick, Curator of Photographs, in case he has any further suggestions – as an art historian, rather than a military enthusiast, I am not a specialist of aircraft, so he might shed further light on the subject for you.

I hope you get to the bottom of this. I would be curious to know what you find out.

Best wishes

Julia

*

Shortly thereafter I received this from her colleague:

Dear Mr Sommers

The hint of a four on the rudder and number on the fuselage suggest that Watson’s print represents Supermarine S.6 N247, flown by Waghorn in the 1929 race at Cowes and declared the winner.

I hope this helps alongside Julia’s information below.

Andrew Renwick

Curator of Photographs


Well, hot diggity! Thanks to these wonderful curators from far across the large pond, I now had a plane, a date and a race. The plane is most probably the very Supermarine flown by Waghorn in 1929 to win the race at Calshot. From the link; the two S.6 racers were entered into the 1929 Schneider Trophy at Calshot, England. N247 came first piloted by Flying Officer H.R.D. Waghorn at a speed of 328.63 mph (528.88 km/h).

I wrote the dealer that the kind woman suggested and he also got back to me promptly, letting me know that he had never seen the image before. I have no idea how many impressions in this open edition were actually pulled but there could not have been too many. Rare is good.

I am not sure if I will put the piece up for auction or sell it privately but told the Museum that I would let them know when I put a number on it. Will be interesting to see where it ends up. Best part of my job is that you never know what will turn up. Always have to keep your eyes open in this continual treasure hunt I am involved in.

Any more information about this particular print or plane will be gratefully accepted. Thanks to all of those wonderful souls that helped me research my artistic quarry.