Thursday, March 31, 2022
Wednesday, March 30, 2022
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.
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.
|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|
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...
The wisteria is pumping, the Hong Kong orchid is blooming, the pride of madeira is unfurling its tall purple towers.
I am really looking forward to seeing it mature.
Another great thing about this time, friends like Jim Ramsey and Jeff Barney are bringing me nice fuerte avocados, my favorite! Thanks, guys!
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.
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
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|
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.
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
From Media Matters:
|U.S. District Court Judge David Carter|
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sunday, March 27, 2022
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
...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.
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 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|
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.
Friday, March 25, 2022
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 did have a band tailed pigeon show up recently and their numbers have been scarce in the canyon.
Thursday, March 24, 2022
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.
Blue Heron Gallery
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.
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.
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.