RAR

Woman posing her two dogs on picnic table in Lake Ontario
Woman posing her two dogs on picnic table in Lake Ontario

Although we would much rather vote in person at the Sea Breeze fire department hall we opted for early contactless voting and dropped our ballets off at the town hall this morning. It’s an easy walk, just over two miles there, and it seemed to fly by this morning. We passed a couple on Titus, coming toward us, and both were wearing American flag masks. We took that to mean they had both just voted for Trump but we could be way off.

It was the first day of early voting and the line started at the corner of Titus and Kings Highway. It snaked down Titus around the library building and then came back to the an entrance off the parking lot. An easy hour wait for the privilege. We spotted someone carrying a big box and we made a beeline for him. We’re trusting he took them somewhere to be counted.

The Little Theatre is offering “White Riot,” for at home streaming. We watched it last night expecting it to be more about the Clash than it was. Racism was the focus and particularly the Rock Against Racism (RAR) guerrilla group. We really didn’t how vicious the National Front movement was or how much air they took up in England at the time. The Clash urgently addressed this of course and they helped crush the NF but it didn’t ring as loudly on this side of the pond.

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Weep America

George Floyd, BLM posters downtown Rochester NY
George Floyd, BLM posters downtown Rochester NY

Cambridge Analytica mined Facebook data to manipulate the swing state persuadables in the last election. Four years later the manipulators are surly more sophisticated. In 3 minutes, 4 seconds Bill Posters and Daniel Howe’s AI synthesized video personas, “Big Dada,” at Rochester Contemporary illustrates the mind-blowing possibilities. You could almost walk into RoCo, hold your breath for the duration and not risk inhaling the virus.

Kota Ezawa “National Anthem” is one minute and thirty eight seconds long. The video installation was one of the stand pieces in the 2018 Whitney Biennial. It will make you weep, both at and for America. The show, “Big Data”Kota Ezawa: Taking a Knee,” is up til November 7th at Deborah Ronnen Fine Art 328b University Ave.

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Two More Weeks

Log on beach near Eastman Lake Outlet
Log on beach near Eastman Lake Outlet

Sometimes, because of the size of the waves and or the amount of recent rain, it can be next to impossible to walk the entire length of Durand Eastman Beach. The lake was calm this morning but it has been raining for a few days so the outlets from the various small lakes were really running. A guy coming toward us had taken his shoes off to wade across this one. We made it but got our shoes wet.

There were hardly any golfers out and those that were had to carry their clubs. I took advantage of that by going off trail and following the edge of the fairway. I found thirteen golf balls, the most in months. One was so orange it glowed in my hand. Too orange to photograph even.

After bushwhacking I brushed off real good. It will be nice when we don’t half to worry about Lyme anymore. We have two friends who have been involve in a study at UR and they tell us vaccine they give dogs works on humans and and it is now only a matter of determining the dose.

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Labor Of Love

Pine needles and leaves on ridge trail
Pine needles and leaves on ridge trail

Time to think about what I might enter in RoCo’s upcoming Members Show. I put a photo in last year. It sold and I gave 100% to RoCo. It won some sort of prize too, the “Lumiere Photo Award” chosen by William Edwards, photographer and owner of Lumiere Photo, a $200 gift certificate.” I never saw that either but I am not complaining. Art is a labor of love.

Rain is forecast for tomorrow and that would make three days in row that we have walked in the rain. I feel like we are back in Galicia, completing the Camino de Santiago in October. Our rain gear is boss and the rain only deepens the meditation.

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Magic Mushroom

Amanita mushroom at Jeff and Mary Kaye's
Amanita mushroom at Jeff and Mary Kaye’s

We lifted the lid on the firewood we have been storing for years and took a load out to our friends’, Jeff and Mary Kaye’s. We surprised them and helped them load it into their out building. We found this Amanita mushroom right by our feet when we got out of the car. It looks like it could contain the secret of the universe.

Jeff and Mary Kaye suspected the nearby, dead pin oak had made this spot magical. Their friend, Jerry from the former 2 Vine, had already taken a cluster of the mushrooms to one of his restaurants.

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Lost Cat

"Lost Cat Call 911" sign on Horseshoe Road
“Lost Cat Call 911” sign on Horseshoe Road

We recently read a list vintage horror movies and added a bunch to queue. We had seen most but not in while. We’ve checked off Vincent Price in “House on Haunted Hill,” “The Haunting,” “Let’s Scare Jessica To Death” and Brian DePalma’s “Sisters” in the last week. Sisters was better than ever.

MX-80 Sound did a version of “Theme from Sisters” on their Ralph Records Crowd Control lp. That lp is out of print but I helped recreate the lp artwork for a new release, on that contains an additional track, “Theme from Halloween.” It’s on red vinyl at an incredibly low price and it too sounds better than ever. MX-80 is rumored to be in the studio now working on an all movie themed lp.

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Echo De Menos a España

Fisherman at mouth of Durand Lake
Fisherman at mouth of Durand Lake

Since we spent the last two Octobers in Spain and are especially missing it now I’ve been posting a photo from Spain to my Instagram page each day this month.

And we ordered our first take out meal since the pandemic started, the “Spanish Favorites” menu from Atlas Eats. It included a Tapas Sampler of tortilla española, blue crab pincho and olives & crumbs. Shrimp a la Plancha with romesco sauce, poor man’s paella and broccolini. Dessert was Bay Laurel Flan with dark caramel, toasted pine nuts and cinnamon cocoa nibs. We opened a Rioja for the occasion, Coto De Imaz and we cued up the Real Madrid vs. Levante, a La Liga match that we recorded during the week.

Real won 2-0 but it was sort of a struggle. The food was fantastic. I wish I could thank Gerry in person. We still marvel at how his recipe for tortilla, Spain’s national dish, a combination of the simplest of ingredients (potatoes, onions, eggs, olive oil, salt and pepper), is so close to the best we have had in Spain. It was always a hit for us back when we we would have parties.

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Wendy

Street swimming pool on last day of the season, October 15, 2020
Street swimming pool on last day of the season, October 15, 2020

Our garlic is in the ground, sewn for next year. Today was circled on the calendar as the date to plant and July 15th as the time to harvest. We’ll trim the scapes in the Spring of course. This our first time planting garlic so we asked around. Petra at Fruition recommends painting earlier, our neighbors painted theirs in December last year, old timers swear by October 15.

We had walked up Aman’s to pick up some more corn this morning. They’re getting it from a farm in Penfield and the ears we roasted on the grill last night were the best we have had all year. We close the street pool tomorrow so Peggi and I took our last swim after that. The temperature was in the seventies by then.

I had some crazy pandemic dreams last night. I found my in a maze of used junk shops, something like the old Peddler’s Village, and everywhere I turned were close range people without masks. I didn’t have one either. That may have been a reasult having visited my dentist in Webster, for a cleaning that I had put off for a few months, and having my uncovered mouth wide open. I was afraid to use the bathroom there and had to go so bad when I got out the only place I could think of was the playground at the top of street I used to live on. They had reoriented the baseball diamond but I found a cluster of trees in what used to be right field. Doug Click, a left-handed hitter, used to hit balls into the yard behind those trees. Wendy O. Williams, later of the Plasmatics, who was in our class, used lay out back in a bikini.

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Nine Mile Point

My parents moved us from the city to Webster when I was ten. My father saved some money by finishing the family room and the bedroom above it himself. We made frequent trips out there when the house was going up and sort of helped my father as he cut and hung the paneling in the two rooms. The bedroom was designated for my three youngest brothers. The five of us boys were sharing one bedroom in the city.

The housing development was in an old corn field and it was surrounded by corn fields. Webster, pre-Xerox, was a real frontier. They had not yet built the bay bridge so the two routes we took were Empire Boulevard and the “the Dugway,” Browncroft Boulevard. Empire Boulevard, which starts in the city as Clifford Avenue, was a three lane road. The middle lane, a turning or passing lane, was shared by traffic in both directions. There was a gas station near Howard Johnson’s in Eastway Plaza where they collected the head-ons.

We lived on the other side of the four corners on the fringe of the village. 250 or Webster Fairport Road was called North and South Avenue when it crossed the four corners. And somewhere in there it was called Nine Mile Point Road. I always pictured the point as the the big sand cliff overlooking Lake Ontario. It was just to the east of Andy Finn‘s cottage, sort of across Lake Road from that little grocery store between 250 and Philips Road.

There was a little creek there, labeled Four Mile Creek on today’s map, that flowed into the lake and it was lined with funky summer homes. Andy Finn’s father owned the Texaco Station in town. His family rented a big green cottage on Lake Ontario right near Nine Mile Point and we spent a lot of time there. His parents sat around with their friends drinking beer from the can while the flip tops piled up around them. A community of summer homes was just to the west of them, near where Hedge’s is today. It seemed like the Finns had the nicest place. Its been torn down and the whole area has been redeveloped. 

When Peggi and I moved back here in the mid seventies I revisited that spot and took these photos. I was taking a photo class at the UofR then and I used it a class project. It is interesting to me how I am still taking the same photos today. The cropping was a little clumsy but the chunky composition and flattening of the plane are still my tendencies. 

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Triple Homegrown

Triple homegrown carrot from Fruition Seeds
Triple homegrown carrot from Fruition Seeds

Peggi is watching Petra’s (from Fruition Seeds) video presentation on planting garlic. Old-timers tell us to plant on October 15th. Petra says we can even plant earlier. We plan to scoop up a wheelbarrow full of our leaf mulch and bury the cloves in the far corner of the garden.

The carrot above may have grown from three seeds. It is wider than most of our carrots but much shorter and it has three roots. We picked a bag’s worth today because someone got into our garden over night and ate most of the carrot tops. It ate nearly half a row of Jared’s lettuce and it knocked some the branches off our kale plants. Jared theorizes that the fur on the groundhogs backs has gotten so thick for winter that they can’t feel the charge when they slink under electric fence.

We took some pear shavings and a slice of plum down there to put in our Hav-A-Heart trap. We’ll report back.

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Why Is That?

Sky above the pool on October 11, 2020
Sky above the pool on October 11, 2020

We invited a few friends over last night, thinking we would sit around our front yard fire pit but it was too warm for a fire. It was way last minute and most of the friends had other plans. Kathy was free and we started on the deck but it rained as soon as we sat down so we moved to our open air porch. Kathy brought a couple of beers and one was a Genny Cream Ale Dry Hopped. I have been anxious to try one but I didn’t want to go for the full 12 or 18 pack that they have up at Aman’s. I traded Kathy a Big Ditch IPA for the can of dry hopped and liked it quite a bit.

Kathy told us she had found it realy difficult to complete projects during the pandemic. I feel exactly the same way but I am at such a loss as to why I was afraid to say anything. I was afraid to admit it and I wanted to hear her take. She described the days flying by and leaving her feeling like there was so much more she wanted to do but didn’t or couldn’t. Pre-pandemic, with so much more going on, she was able to get things done. Why is that?

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Living In A Dream

Dead shad fish along Lake Ontario
Dead shad fish along Lake Ontario

I’d like to think this fish died of old age. Even that though is not so pretty from what I have seen. But fish do die of natural causes and this guy washed up along the beach at Durand. Even natural causes are grizzly.

We took the newspaper, a bag of peanuts, our books and our devices down to the pool this afternoon. The sun was out and the temps were in the mid seventies. We started by skimming the leaves off the cover and then rolled that back, brushed the bottom and then skimmed newly fallen leaves from the pool surface.

In the pool we marveled at the gorgeous colors of the sassafras tree, one of the first to change around here, just after the sugar maples. The sporadic clouds were zipping across the blue sky and I was thinking about making a time lapse movie. The brought down more leaves and both Peggi and swam from one leaf to the next, scooping up red oak, tulip tree more sassafras leaves. We did this for twenty minutes or so and then got out and skimmed some more before putting the cover on.

“They’re living in a dream, and I’m preparing
to be a ghost.” – Louise Glück

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Glass Half Full

Durand Beach looking west toward Charlotte in October
Durand Beach looking west toward Charlotte in October

While the president was on his steroid binge he issued a statement that his hospitalization and process of recovery was a “miracle from God coming down.”

If God really did come down he would force the president to watch “David Attenborough: A Life On Our Planet.” Then, while under the influence, in his weakened state, the president would erratically switched gears and became an environmental leader, pushing us to take the simple, sustainable steps that will allow our earth to recover.

Attenborough, at 93, with sixty plus years as a naturalist, chronicles the destruction he has witnessed in his own lifetime and instead of hanging his head in shame he is an optimist. Not so much for mankind, but a true believer in nature’s ability to adapt, correct and move forward.This magical film on Netflix is his witness statement.

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Circle Game

Bounty from our garden on October 5, 2020
Bounty from our garden on October 5, 2020

We walked in the rain this morning and then read the paper while the rain changed to hail outside. The temps are headed back up to the 70s this weekend and we’ll think about closing the pool after that.

The sun came out for the afternoon and we headed down to the garden. We noticed a groundhog by our mailbox spinning in circles. It was getting so dizzy it kept falling over only to get back up and continue walking in tight circles. We felt so sorry for it. Since our garden is in Jared’s back yard we asked him what he thought we should do about the groundhog. 

Instead of trapping him Jared thought we should just call Animal Control and have them either test it for rabies or put it out of its misery. We only got a recording at Animal Control so we left a message and didn’t know if that meant they would come or not. 

The groundhog crossed the road and Rick came out of his house so Jared, Rick, Peggi and I all watched the groundhog walk in circles. Rick considered getting his 22 out, the one he bought with S&H stamps in 1966. Jared asked Rick if he had a baseball bat and Rick brought out an aluminum softball bat. Jared grew up on a farm and he did what had to be done. I went in the garage to get a small pink flag that I picked up on one of our walks. I was going to mark the body so Animal Control could find him but when I came back out Animal Control was on the scene.

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Easy Street

Our doctor offered flu shots in his parking lot this weekend so we signed up. He’s up on the hill at Linden Oaks. We rolled down the window, rolled up our sleeves and a nurse in a mask poked us. We’re good to go.

We left the car up there and walked under the railroad tracks in to Penfield on Linden Avenue. There’s a few modern tech buildings over there and then Forest Lawn Manufactured Home Community, a dreamy mobil home park where even the stop signs are miniaturized. We made sure to walk up and down every street, Mainview Drive, Bittersweet Drive, Elderberry Circle, Miami Drive and Easy Street.

I find these tiny homes really attractive. Maybe its because I lived in a trailer for a few years in Bloomington. And I have fond memories of that easy going time.

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Exotic Vacation

Burnt driftwood and my shadow on Durand Eastman beach
Burnt driftwood and my shadow on Durand Eastman beach

The lake must be lower than the long term average. The newspaper keeps that stat on the back page of the sports section. Last time I looked it was above average. There was plenty of beach and hardly anyone on it so walked all the way to Rock Beach Road, Rochester’s Gold Coast, where the private property signs come out. We turned around there and walked the beach back to Zoo Road. It felt like we were on an exotic vacation.

We were reading when I spotted someone backing into our driveway. An old man slowly got out of the car and opened his trunk. I couldn’t imagine who it was. As he walked toward our door I realized it was a friend from high school. We had not seen each other since the pandemic started. He showed us two aspirin-sized bottles of a THC product that he had picked at Building 12, Kodak’s former film finishing operation, a building he used to work in. He takes the capsules for pain and seemed quite pleased with the product. Coincidentally I was wearing my long sleeve Kodak shirt, the one I’m wearing the photo above. I bought it on a visit to Kodak’s camera store. I was there with father when Kodak was still in the film business.

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Ch Ch Changes

More produce from the garden.
More produce from the garden.

My neighbor and I have played horseshoes every other day since April. He just texted to say he would have to cancel today because he suspects he has a torn ligament in his foot. I hope that is not it for the season. Peggi and I spent a good bit of the last two afternoons down at the pool but the weather changed. Today we skimmed leaves off the solar cover. There were some dark spots on the green basil. We have both purple and green. And the bottom half of our tomato plants show signs of brown. But for now the bounty is as much as my t-shirt can hold.

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Too Much For Now

From Philip Guston Small Panels show at McKee Gallery,  NYC 2009
From Philip Guston Small Panels show at McKee Gallery, NYC 2009

Philip Guston has been my favorite artist for a long time and I don’t expect him to lose that position before I pass but you never know. I always loved the photo of Guston’s studio with the late 60’s small panels on the wall. The photo has been reproduced in many Guston books and David McKee rounded up the small panels for a show at his gallery in 2009. Of course we made it to that show and Duane Sherwood took a photo of us there looking at this painting. We used it for our holiday card.

The 60’s was a turbulent time, at least as turbulent as ours and Guston’s paintings spoke to that directly. As bluntly as punk rock. If you don’t see the absurdity of these buffoons pointing out their next victim while hiding under their sheets no wall tag is going to help you. And he went much deeper putting himself under the hood painting a self portrait. Apparently this is all too much for us delicate pansies today. Or so the bone-headed thinking of four major art institutions goes as they pulled the plug the Guston retrospective, “Guston Now.” Even though the show is already on the wall and the catalog is on my coffee table.

The directors of National Gallery of Art, Tate Modern, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston came up with this explanation.

Philip Guston Now
Statement from the Directors

After a great deal of reflection and extensive consultation, our four institutions have jointly made the decision to delay our successive presentations of Philip Guston Now. We are postponing the exhibition until a time at which we think that the powerful message of social and racial justice that is at the center of Philip Guston’s work can be more clearly interpreted.

We recognize that the world we live in is very different from the one in which we first began to collaborate on this project five years ago. The racial justice movement that started in the U.S. and radiated to countries around the world, in addition to challenges of a global health crisis, have led us to pause.

As museum directors, we have a responsibility to meet the very real urgencies of the moment. We feel it is necessary to reframe our programming and, in this case, step back, and bring in additional perspectives and voices to shape how we present Guston’s work to our public. That process will take time.

In a statement sent to ARTnews, Musa Mayer, the artist’s daughter and a scholar who has written extensively on Guston, took issue with the decision and said she was “saddened” by the show’s delay. “Half a century ago, my father made a body of work that shocked the art world,” she said. “Not only had he violated the canon of what a noted abstract artist should be painting at a time of particularly doctrinaire art criticism, but he dared to hold up a mirror to white America, exposing the banality of evil and the systemic racism we are still struggling to confront today.”

Citing Guston’s Jewish ancestry and his family’s history of having fled Ukraine at a time when their people were under attack, she said Guston’s work resonates with contemporary concerns. “This should be a time of reckoning, of dialogue. These paintings meet the moment we are in today. The danger is not in looking at Philip Guston’s work, but in looking away.”

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The Clown Next Door

Rick and Jeff juggling show in Rick's front yard
Rick and Jeff juggling show in Rick’s front yard

By the time we were coming back from our walk this morning people were gathering on our next door neighbor’s lawn. Rick, the guy in the clown suit with the flaming torches, had been teaching our neighbor, Erica Bryant‘s son, how to juggle this summer and they decided to perform for the neighborhood. Rick invited his former partner to join in and it was a real show.

I typically play horseshoes every other day with the clown next door. We are pretty evenly matched so it keeps us on our toes. I cancelled today’s match to make room for Kathy’s “Brew by the Bay” event, a really small outdoor gathering on her pergola overlooking Irondequoit Bay. It was nice enough today hang out at and in the pool and tomorrow even looks better.

I was gonna complain about the cancelled Guston shows but I will do that tomorrow

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Jimmy Carter Says Yes

Sea Breeze Volunteer Fire Association Inc. Rochester, New York
Sea Breeze Volunteer Fire Association Inc. Rochester, New York

Although the Little Theatre five screens are still closed they have been movies that would have been shown there as streams. The Little gets a cut but we still work about them. “Jimmy Carter: Rock & Roll President” seemed like a stretch of a concept but they pull it off. And on top of that it is a real feel good film. Imagine that considering the current occupant.

Present day Carter has a nice looking turntable. Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson and the Allman Brothers are featured. I could never figure out the appeal of that last one but they were fellow Georgians. A glaring omission though was not featuring “Jimmy Carter Says Yes.”

I’m pretty sure it was Chris from the Squires of the Subterrain that first made us aware of those so-called song poems. I think he may have gotten a copy from Tom Ardolino, NRBQ’s drummer. Somehow we wound up with a cassette with that and other gems, “Do You Know the Difference Between Big Wood and Brush” and the sensational “Little Rug Bug.

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