Past blasts

In honor of her move from her almost- natal Newton MA to North Carolina, I thought I would post these photos of Bron Fullington. I may also post later on some linguistic weirdness Jackson sent on her old neighborhood, and her thoughts. TOMORRROW!

 Last spring…

Yes, that is Betsy Huntington about to shoot a Retrieve- R- Trainer dummy off Bron’s Newton porch– 1978?- and get us in trouble with the cops. July 4th with no firecrackers.

Ataika and her mother in Almaty; Almaty life

Could it be ten years ago? More?

Ataika at 6 weeks, in Almaty, Kazakhstan, in Konstantin and Anna Plakhov’s back yard, the day we met her, with mother Oska.

A month in our apartment, with days riding around in Askar Raybaev’s (Mitsubishi!) stretch limo; visiting museums and supermarkets and restaurants and archaeologists; then to New Mexico on KLM. What a strange postmodern dog’s life! Scenes of that month following…

Photoblog: China, early 20th C.

A collage of sorts. Explain, improvise, interpret, or even deconstruct.

UPDATE. Everyone in comments had the idea. The elements: books on China by the American Museum’s Roy Chapman Andrews, “Indiana Jones”, before he ever got to “outer” Mongolia and its fossils, and his China host, missionary, ornithologist and big game hunter Harry Caldwell. Caldwell hunted almost entirely with Savage 99’s in .250 Savage (“250- 3000” for its hitherto unmatched velocity) and .22 Hi- Power, the obsolete cartridge shown here– he used the 250 on the local elk and shot many tigers, at least one a maneater, with it. Perhaps only the easy confidence of a man of God let him get away with that.

Other objects include Mongolian snuff bottles– snuff is still popular there, as it was back then, and a little animalier bronze of a tiger by Tiffany. Photo of me with eaglers including the late R Suleiman in Olgii on first Mongolia  trip, 1997.

Old Photo

From Tim Gallagher.

Caption from Lane Batot: “Upon opening an insurance office in Kyrghistan, agent Smith visited a local village in hopes of raising payment rates in regard to the residents keeping exotic and dangerous animals on the premises. Agent Smith has not been heard from since….”


Matthew Makarewicz tipped me to the best barbecue in Kansas City last year, and I really wanted to revisit Nicholas Payne’s soliloquy from Thomas McGuane’s 1971 Bushwhacked Piano ,  even before he requested it. Now imagine two guys shouting it out in unison in Harvard Square in about 72, laughing so hard they are falling down, each trying to one- up the other– see a few posts below. Here you go, Matthew!

Payne has just been asked by his girlfriend’s odious parents, the Fitzgeralds, what he believes in. They have already condescended to him about “fun” and dismissed his recommendation to read Samuel Butler (“We have”; Payne: “Do it again.”)

“The mother told Payne that they had had enough of him. “We merely asked what you believed in, ” she said. “We had no idea it would precipitate nastiness.”

What I believe in? I believe in happiness, birth control,
generosity, fast cars, environmental sanity, Coors beer, Merle Haggard,
upland game birds, expensive optics, helmets for prizefighters, canoes,
skiffs, and sloops, horses that will not allow themselves to be ridden,
speeches made under duress; I believe in metal fatigue and the
immortality of the bristlecone pine. I believe in the Virgin Mary and others of that ilk. Even her son whom civilization accuses of sleeping at the switch…

“I believe that I am a molecular swerve not to be put off by the zippy diversions of the cheap- minded. I believe in the ultimate rule of men who are sleeping. I believe in the cargo of torpor which is the historically registered bequest of politics. I believe in Kate Smith and  Hammond Home Organs.  I believe in ramps and drop offs…

“I believe in spare tires and emergency repairs. I believe in  the final possum. I believe in little eggs of light falling from outer space and the bombardment of the poles by free electrons. I believe in tintypes, rotogravures and parked cars, all in their places. I believe in roast spring lamb with boiled potatoes. I believe in spinach with bacon and onion. I believe in canyons lost under the feet of waterskiers. I believe that we are necessary and will rise again. I  believe in words on paper, pictures on rock, intergalactic hellos. I
believe in fraud. I believe that in pretending to be something you
aren’t you have your only crack at release from the bondage of time. I believe in my own dead more than I do in yours. What’s more, credo in unum Deum, I believe in one God. He’s up there. He’s mine. And he’s as smart as a whip.

“Anyway, you get the drift. I hate to flop the old philosophy on the table like so much pig’s guts. And I left out a lot. But, well, there she is.”

Soon, perhaps, “The Shining City.”

Old Portrait

… by Jay Dusard, Libby’s place in Bozeman (Montana) in the 90’s, with Bart and Bo, long gone. JP says: “I love the photo of Steve at age twelve with his dogs (good looking little Aussie!). I love photos of people with their pets or working partners, meaning horses, (And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim*) because it always seems to reveal the best of them.” As always double click to embiggen; the depth & detail of Jay’s photos is amazing.

*That’s a quote. I bet Tom McIntyre knows who…

Friends & Family, Music & Words, Past & Present

Everything seems to come around again. Last week, Tom Russell and his sideman Thad Beckmann played at Passim, a cellar room in Harvard square where I heard the likes of Ian Tyson as far back as 1966, when it was the legendary Club 47.

My sister Karen Graham, here with Tom, her husband George, and Tom’s wife Nadine, remembers my going there when she was a child, and the little printed ad sheets I used to keep under the glass of my desktop when I was still in high school.

Bronwen Fullington, a friend since ’68 or so,  saw the other pic and said “It hasn’t  changed a bit since then!” Looks like the same old tiny cellar…

Tom may be as good a writer of words as songs. Buy his book, with all the lyrics and tons of anecdote and history.

Musical Memories

I found this wonderful “paleolithic” video to one of my favorite Leonard Cohen songs. Though I doubt it was what he had in mind, it works for me…

The ‘Net never ceases to amaze me. Looking at this, I said to Libby “First time I saw him was his first US gig, I think. The Newport Folk Festival, 1967. He looked like a rabbinical student, in a black suit– sat and sung “Suzanne” into his guitar. And it was magical. Joni Mitchell brought him out– she was wearing a horizontal striped mini- dress…”

I was wrong. The stripes were diagonal.

Rifle quiz

Pure fun for scholars of guns and readers of travel and adventure tales: how many things can you find in common on these little carbines? Oh, I will add one invisible addition for the bolt:

The first question is for tecchies; the second for readers and travelers: how many books and writers and scientists and… whatever– can you list that mention or who used either?