Maybe this what old people do. Without a job you left to fill your days as you please. And there are some many rabbit holes out there. I recently posted a video of our old band performing “Heartbeat” at a concert at RIT in 1984 and the audio was a bit rough so I looked for a cassette recording the show. I had one but we had filled the cassette by the time we got to the second encore and Heartbeat was not ob it. I found a cassette in our box from a show we did with Pylon at the Ritz but there wasn’t a date on it so I looked up “Plyon Ritz NYC” and found a Stephen Holden review of the show from May 29, 1983. The review was not live text but a scan of the actual newspaper. I’m guessing we have access to this by subscribing to nyt.com.
It’s Peggi’s father’s birthday today and I looked up the front page of the paper for the day he was born. WW1 was still raging and there were no photographs in the paper at that time. The Committee for Democratic Control took out a half page ad that asks, “Do the People Want War?” It advances the notion that only Wall Street does.
I looked up Peggi’s birthdate next and found this Macy’s ad for Modern furniture. By the time of our birthdays the papers were full of photos and on my birthdate I found a photo of the Yankee’s manager, Casey Stengel, and catcher, Yogi Berra, arguing with the umpire in a game the Yankees lost to the Boston Red Sox. And next to that photo a capsulized version another New York team’s (the Giants) loss to the other Boston team (the Braves). Pitcher Warren Spahn, a favorite of mine, went nine innings and scored the game winning run after successfully bunting and driving the tying run in.
Across from the sports page was a full page ad for Collier’s Magazine whose new issue featured an article about movie censorship. Westerns were being censured in some towns for too much violence, a comedy was banned because the star had divorced and a negro singing star was cut from a film because “there are plenty of good white singers.” A not so idyllic past.
Peggi made a cherry pie over the weekend with a can of cherries that was stamped “Best by March 2015.” That gave us pause but they smelled ok so we went with it. She also made another batch of applesauce with the bushel of 20 ounce apples we carried home from Aman’s. Because it is the end of the season they were only $2.99.
We walked up to the lake along Log Cabin Road. It seemed awfully quiet but we did see a few familiar faces, the really big guy who wears the Bills gear and the guy with the strange lawn. Strange in that it goes brown in the fall and only comes back when you think it never will, like the early days of Summer. It is always the same conversation with this guy. We say “hi, how ya doin'” and he says, “Can’t complain for a (insert day of the week.)” We always laugh at that after he has passed. What day can he complain on?
We’re looking forward to Derby Day on Sunday, not the Kentucky Derby but the day the two Madrid La Liga teams meet. Atlético, the number one team meets Real Madrid, the number two team. They are two of our three favorite teams and we can’t decide who to root for.
We can see the sidewalks again. We wore our regular walking shoes, not the ones with the Stable-Icers strapped to the bottoms, and we used something other than our X-country ski muscles.
I had a hunch the winter aconites would be poking their yellow flower buds out of the snow so we took a peek at the hill out back. They are! Robins, also a symbol of pleasure, joy, contentment, satisfaction, clarity, rejuvenation, bright future and happiness, were excitedly pecking at red berries that somehow hung to the trees all winter waiting for them to return.
It was a dreamy location for a Saturday morning yoga class. A woman who belonged to the Rochester Yacht Club arranged for Jeffery to teach a class there on the deck overlooking the mouth of the Genesee River. And it was open to the public. We were hanging around after class watching young kids learn how to sail when I found this little pocket along the shore of the river where driftwood was getting trapped. I picked up a handful of pieces and brought them home to dry out. I have mounted four of them on pieces of rough cut white pine and am experimenting with a color or stain for the base. If I can’t come up with something better than black, which works but appears a bit heavy, I will paint the other three that color.
The fifth one, shown in the middle above, is not driftwood. I carved it out of a piece of oak firewood. I spent most of a day in the garage with a chisel and hammer trying to create something as organic as a piece of found driftwood. It’s not easy. I found a piece of wood for the base of that one that I am happy with as is. I will report back on this project.
Peggi once told me that winter is her favorite season. She was born in February and she suspected that might have something to do it. I love winter too especially when it is what hearty people call “a real winter,” long periods of below freezing temperatures with plenty of snow. I feel especially fortunate that we are able to share our enthusiasm for the season with each other.
I like shoveling snow and when they are calling for a significant amount I get out there a few times to reduce the load and just because it is fun. I shovel in my slippers when I grab the papers. We had a neighbor, last name “Painting” (which I thought was pretty cool), who would keep his driveway spotless in winter and we assumed he was obsessive. The neighbors surely think that of me now.
Winter naturally is a time to hunker down. We go out to ski in the woods and then come back to hunker (I assmue hunkering includes projects). Winter during a pandemic has been deep and rewarding. We miss going to to galleries but have found a bounty of beauty in the woods. The art pieces there are all three dimensional. Photos do not do them justice. The form of each tree is unique especially in decay.
This morning we found this big snow roll at the bottom of a hill near our ski path.
Horseshoe Road has two ends. I guess most roads do but in this case you wind up pretty much where you started. We ski parts of it most days as we work our way from our house to the lake and back. We try to alter the route each time and we’re still finding new routes.
Today we took our skis off and crossed Kings Highway to see if the groomer had possibly cut some trails on the other side. He had and we spent a couple hours over there only seeing one other skier. We stopped on the way back to watch the kids sledding down the big hill. Tiny little girls on round saucers squealing with delight as they slid in circles down the hill and boys running toward the crest of the hill and plopping themselves headfirst on their plastic sleds. They were having more fun than we were.
We’ve seen some great art movies lately. “Painters Painting,” “What Remains” with Sally Mann, “Notes on Marie Menken,” but last night’s was my favorite, “Leon Golub’s : Late Works are the Catastrophes.”
Golub opens the movie explaining his process and then demonstrating it. “You can see what a slow boring process painting is compared to photography.” he says. Despite his rough and tumble, monumental paintings of atrocities, the Viet Nam war, El Salvador and Iraq, I knew he would be this lovable guy. Just look at this painting of Franco from Golub’s show at the Reina Sofia in Madrid in 2011.
I had seen his paintings over the years and pretty much dismissed them as so damn messy. But that show in Madrid knocked me out. Maybe it was the setting. Spain knows something about brutal rulers. They revere Goya’s depiction of some of them.
The movie follows Golub through many years and he is another painter who gets better and better right up til the end. He describes his work as sort of political., sort of metaphysical sort of smart ass and a little bit silly. His wife, the artist, Nancy Spero, appears throughout the movie. They shared a studio. After fifty years they grow old. Golub says he still wants his work to be “in your face” but it turns more joyous. “I feel like I don’t have to take on authoritarianism anymore. I’m enjoying letting go.”
The movie will cost you a couple of PayPal bucks on Vimeo. Don’t miss it.
My grandfather, Raymond J. Tierney, was a dynamo. He grew up on Weld Street and by age twenty he owned this store, “Tierney’s Market,” on nearby North Street at Hudson. One of ten children, he became the breadwinner early on.
My father was filling a notebook with research into my grandfather’s stores. He had three, the last of which was on South Clinton where the India House is now. I have slowly been putting my father’s research on a “Tierney Market” page and I just added a a profile that was written about my grandfather in 1962. I particularly like this following section.
“Ray has tremendous confidence in the future of his country. The triple orbit in space a few weeks ago by John H. Glenn thrilled Ray just as did all Americans who followed the history-making flight on TV or read about it in their daily papers.
Like millions of other Americans, Ray is inclined to believe that Glenn’s flight was the first in history. The Russians claim they sent a man in orbit months ago but there has been no proof. Glenn’s flight was mađe with the world looking on; the Russian flight, if there was one, was made in deep secrecy followed by a massive propaganda drive.”
Are CDs recyclable? I’m putting a few hundred of them in our recycling bin tonight in the hopes that they are. I’ve already separated the paper from the plastic. This is the first cd Peggi and I wrote for our business, 4D Advertising. It is named after our nephew. The other nieces and nephews followed. I said we “wrote” but we didn’t have a cd writer at the time and they were not readily available. We hired Kevin Kondo to come up to our attic where we worked. He collected the files on an early removable hard drive and came back with a cd a few days later. We eventually bought our own writer and at some point removable hard drives to keep our backups on.
So what kind of clients were we working for back then? We were doing ads for A.R.T. They made all those rack mounted effects units. We did brochures for AAA Fabrication and Bristol Boarding. Both those jobs required photographing their products and facilities. The King All Stars was an album recorded in Rochester with the reunited James Brown band. I still have a Polaroid of Bootsy from those sessions.
We did a series of public transportation ads for LDA and ads for Light Impressions, the photography and framing company. NAM must have been the National Association of Music Merchants. Our friend, Bob, went to that every year with Whirlwind, the guitar cord company. Pelican Management booked working bands in all the local clubs. Plymouth photo was an old school passport/headshot photo studio downtown. The Refrigerator we did for kicks. Rohrbach Brewing, Rochester’s first micro brewery, was doing business out of the basement in the German House. We did introductory post cards and ads for WJZR when they first went on the air. I had put all this stuff out of my mind years ago.
I don’t usually plan these these posts until I sit down but the lake was so dramatic this morning I knew I would use a photo of the beach. And if a person was in that photo it surely would have been Peggi, my valentine. But I didn’t take a photo of Peggi this morning, she took this one of me and it captures the wonder.
We skied through the woods, across the golf course (where there were so many people out it looked like a ski resort) and then out onto Eastman Lake. We spotted ski tracks out there and followed them, past a dozen or so ice fishing holes, all the way up to the big lake, the Great Lake, Ontario.
I am out on the big lake here, skiing between the two sand bars closest to shore. This was the twenty-fourth day in a row skiing. We are counting! The days are getting longer. It is 5:30 EST as I type this and it is still light out. I am already missing winter.
Atlético is due to meet Chelsea in an upcoming Champions League contest and six of their players have tested positive. On top of that, Spain is restricting entry to citizens from the UK so they are planning to host the match in Budapest. Atlético, who sits rather comfortably atop La Liga, meets Granada on Saturday in their next league contest. The “colchoneros” (mattress makers) have a fairly deep bench so we are not that worried about this one but they will need their best lineup to meet Chelsea.
Luis Suárez was out earlier in the season having tested positive after partying with his national team, Uruguay. The team managed without him. He returned in top form and is leading the league, just behind Messi, in goals scored. But now starters, and some of our favorite Atlético players, the Frenchman, Lemar, the Belgian Carrasco, the Mexican Herrera, and the Portuguese sensation, João Félix are all out with what is rumored to be the British strain of COVID-19.
João spent some time on the bench while recovering from an injury and we kept yelling at him to pull his mask up but it didn’t do any good. Luckily we have two other favorite teams, Real Madrid and Barcelona, the second and third place teams in the the 20 team league. We record the games in Spanish and watch them at dinner time, sitting on the floor in front of the tv in order to see the players clearly. La Liga matches, cross country skiing (we’ve skied twenty days in a row) and the vaccine are going to get us through this pandemic.
We skied along the lake and on the lake this morning. We traveled east to west between the small mound in the center of this photo and the line of bigger mounds nearer the open water. I’m guessing the ice mounds form where the sand bars are and if this winter continues, we’ll soon have bigger mounds on the next sand bar. Tomorrow will make twenty days in a row of perfect conditions.
Barcelona was tied 1-1 with Real Betis at the half when the phone rang. It was our friend, Danita, and her clinic had extra doses of the Moderna vaccine. She signed us up for Monday afternoon, a perfect birthday gift for Peggi’s birthday. We started calling friends, the ones in our age bracket anyway, to tell them about the extra doses. We interrupted the Super Bowl for most but found quite a few takers. And then we got back to our game. Like magic, Messi came off the bench and in dramatic fashion he put one in.
Since we had to get in the car to get our vaccine and because it was Peggi’s birthday we made a few other stops. Aman’s Farm Market first where we bought more apples, both eating and baking. 8 quart baskets of 20 ouncers are $3.99 and they are perfect for applesauce. The woman behind the counter asked if we kept our skins on or took them off. Second stop was the new bodega on Park Avenue where we picked up a few sandwiches and cappachino, Peggi got a mushroom, gouda and and egg sandwich. I had smoked salmon and cream cheese on a bagel. I picked my monitor and prize money at RoCo where my slideshow won an award in the Members Show. And finally out to Trillium Heath for the needle. The waiting room was filled with our friends. A super spreader event.
Bob Martin gave us a key to his master vault of Personal Effects videos. This one was labeled RIT 10.06.84, a gig we did not remember. The song is a cover of Taana Gardners’s, “Heartbeat” and the video must have been done by Russ Lunn, a student there at the time. I’m posting it today because it is Peggi’s birthday.
The video shows we did two encores there and this was the second song of the second one. Two covers, “What Goes On” and “Heartbeat.” Heartbeat reminds me of all the parties and clubs where we danced back in the day. And I love the way Peggi does it.
Can you imagine rolling over and sleeping in the snow? We found evidence of deer sleeping in our yard last night, spots where the snow had been melted to the ground. We were out early this morning, skiing up to the lake and back before our second cup of coffee. It was above freezing but the ski conditions were excellent. And the sky was a wonder. Peggi made a movie. Imagine these white and dark clouds moving left to right (or from the west to the east) at a pretty good clip, our typical weather pattern.
We are practicing for post-pandemic days by entertaining guests around our front yard fire pit. We had Kathy over last night. She showed us pictures of bald eagles in the trees near her home overlooking the bay. Pete and Gloria stopped by tonight. They have already received round one of the vaccine so we felt sort of safe. I showed them my driftwood sculptures. And Pete, whose company, Monacelli Construction, did work at least half of the city, recapped the personal connections he had to the people and places in my grandfather’s world.
Two weeks ago we were walking along the beach in the sand. We’ve skied up to the lake most days for the last couple of weeks but we hadn’t crossed Lakeshore Boulevard until today. All of this happened while we were gone.
This is the earliest picture of Steve that I have. He was my assigned roommate in the dorm my freshman year at Indiana University. This was our crew. I’m thinking the photo was by Rich or Kim since both them were missing. Steve was from New Castle, a small town outside of Indianapolis. His father owned a jewelry store on the town square and there was a Chrysler factory outside of town. Steve was already a junior and he drove a white Baracuda with Led Zeppelin’s first album in the 8-track player.
Steve called us yesterday to report in. He was excited to have an appointment this Wednesday for the first dose of the vaccine. He had bought GameStop stock, sold some, made fifty bucks a share and he was hanging on to some options. He works part time at a car dealer in Charleston and had to drive a new vehicle to the other side of Atlanta, a 600 mile round trip. He was upset because he missed his grandson’s basketball game that day where he scored five points.
Steve asked if he had told us that he was being sued. He hadn’t. He was driving a company car, about to make a left hand turn and And the bicyclist ran into each other. The guy (Steve called him a wino) was riding the wrong way down a one way street. He fell off his bike and he is claiming he has headaches and soft tissue damage.
Steve owns some rental property and the tenant says the water pressure is too weak. She is threatening to move out. Steve says he can’t work on the place because the woman is a hoarder and she has stuff all over the place.
Steve said his next door neighbor told him that Biden would not be inaugurated. Steve bet him one hundred dollars that he would be inaugurated. The neighbor has not paid.
Naturally Kodak’s Coloramas, the giant photos that graced Grand Central Terminal for so many years, have wound up in the collection of the George Eastman Museum. And brilliantly, they have decided to show some of them in their parking lot. I love how the image is so disassociated from the surroundings. We’ve been doing a lot of that in our living room as we stream a disparate array of content on these deep winter evenings.
“M” Fritz Lang, Berlin 1931, Peter Lorre and tough subject matter. The movie feels utterly contemporary. The filmmaking and directing is so good he hardly needs sound and in some cases he lets the scenes play out without. The movie is like getting swallowed up in a Beckmann painting or maybe an August Sander photo. This is a masterpiece. We kept the disc a second night and watched it again.
“Pretend It’s A City” I loved these episodes but I became concerned, finding I share so many of Fran’s curmudgeonly views. Scorsese’s straight man and editing were brilliant.
“Notes on Marie Menken” We knew nothing about Marie Menken, “the mother of the avant-garde.” She inspired Warhol, Stan Brakhage, Jonas Mekas, Kenneth Anger and Gerard Malanga. A larger than life character, Martha in “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” was based on her.
“The Dissident” A rage-maker of a documentary. We know the story so it was painful to watch it laid out in detail. This MBS guy buys so much military hardware from the US that we’ll let this slide. A reporter, Khashoggi, is sawed into pieces in the video conference room of an embassy while the action is streamed to the boss. and then some dude walks out past Khashoggi’s widow while wearing Khashoggi’s clothes.
“Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold” We watched for a second time. Just because she is brilliant and beautiful.
My brother and his wife rented a place in Savannah, Georgia for a few weeks. They were working remotely from their home in Montclair NJ and decided they could do it just as easily in a warmer climate. Peggi’s parents moved to Savannah when they retired and I remember how charming the old city is. The photo above reminds me of Savannah but is in fact in downtown Rochester, in the Corn Hill Area.
My father left a lot of unfinished business when he passed. He had been collecting information about his father-in law, my grandfather, Raymond J. Tierney, a butcher who owned a grocery store on North Street for many years before moving it to South Avenue and eventually Clinton Avenue South. Ray also dabbled in real estate by buying and renovating this house in Corn Hill. It was at one time a single family home, built for a lawyer named Byron McAlpine. My grandfather converted it into apartments and named the building “The Wilmot.”
A journalist named Kitty Galbraith interviewed my grandfather and wrote an article about the history of the Wilmot. I recently put that article on the “Tierney Market” page. And I’ve posted two audio files of interviews that WBBF’s Nick Nixon did with with my grandfather, one on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of his store and one on the Wilmot building. The page is getting long but you can see and hear the articles and interviews there.
Stewart Davis, no, not that Stuart Davis, turned 80 this year. His wife, the artist, Anne Havens, compiled a book of his recent paintings. A lawyer, Stewart started painting late in life but you would never know it. He was eternally young and where most artists strive to paint as directly as they did as a child Stewart had no baggage to shake or unlearn. He was innocent. His art was pure.
Stewart painted in his garage in Rochester. And when Anne and he began to winter in Florida he painted in their garage there. They never came back this summer and Stewart told us he was painting with a fan on. We bought this piece (above) at RoCo. It attracted my eye immediately and I couldn’t get it out of my head. We arranged to buy it on the way out.
Stewart and Anne were/are champion patrons of the arts. Rochester has suffered a huge loss with his passing. But Stewart will always be an inspiration.