Showing posts from June, 2021

Day 449, June 9, 2021

 Memory Like an Old Car Tonight's soundtrack: Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, 1976 When I was growing up my father had a great big Ford Galaxie 500. It was a pale jade green with a black vinyl roof. It was a two door, but the doors were long and the front seats tilted forward so kids could climb in back where we had little triangles of window that rolled down for a small face to gasp for fresh air. The broad bench seats were covered in vinyl that got so hot in the summer that you could almost smell the flesh searing when you hopped in with your short shorts. I don't remember seatbelts, and on camping trips, or when we moved out to the Berkshires for the summer, the back seat was filled with suitcases, camping gear, and kitchenware until it was even with the rear window deck, and my brother and I would lie on top of that, comfy and nested among the bedding, the 1970s version of safety. At some point, while my father was away on tour, someone stole the car out of the Logan Ai

Day 448, June 8, 2021

 Progress Tonight's soundtrack: The Charles Mingus Sextet, Sweden, 1964 My daughter is coming home later this week. In preparation for her arrival I have been working on the big gaping hole over the bathtub where the upstairs toilet leaked through. Each day after work, I've done a little light sanding and spread another thin layer of plaster, and then I've walked around the house repairing the other various dents that have accumulated over the years. At this scale, working with plaster is pleasing. There is a gentle perfection one seeks while trying to smooth the surface and lay down an even smoothness. Of course, at a much larger scale, say a whole bedroom or house, it is a dusty and wearying task, but fixing a medium size hole, mending a dent here and there, that is a different more pleasurable thing. There is a nearly immediate reward where you can step back and see how much of a difference just a little bit of work can do. It would be nice to have more things in life as

Day 447, June 7, 2021

Archival Lessons Tonight's soundtrack: Joni Mitchell, London, 1983 My father has been digitizing an entire era of slide carousels from the late 1970s. It is marvelous to see these images again, like unearthing one's own archives. I am lucky that he has such determination and perseverance. I can only imagine how many boxes of slides he has stacked up in the back of a closet.  Family trip to Prince Edward Island, I think? Back then, whenever he returned from a symphony tour every guest to the household would get treated to a slide show in the darkened living room. I particularly remember the images from the trip to China. My father and his friends posing in Mao jackets and standing atop the Great Wall. I got to retrace some of those steps years later on a conference to help foster the development of community colleges in China.  I particularly remember a boat ride on the Li River where I spent time talking with one of the guides, whose name in Chinese was Cloudy. I played her the