I got a little ahead of Peggi while skiing in the woods and ran into a guy on a curve that was too narrow for the both of us. We stopped and he said something about how nice a day it was for skiing. I replied that it was headed up into the forties tomorrow and immediately felt bad for being such a wet blanket. He said, “You’ll just have to get out early tomorrow if we want to ski.” So we plan on heading out after coffee.
A Spectrum Cable truck was parked at the end of Hoffman near where we usually park. We got out with our skies and saw someone climbing out of a snow bank. The cable guy and he had slipped on the ice while walking up a steep driveway. The first thing he said was, “I got a good hill for you.” We skirted the periphery of the golf course by following three different paths that eventually took us right up to the lake. We followed horseshoe Road for a bit. It is just as pretty in the winter as it is in the summer. When we got back to our car we saw an Enterprise delivery truck, probably something Amazon had rented, stuck in the same snowbank where the cable guy was.
We stopped a few places on First Friday before seeing the Members Show at RoCo so we missed the award announcements but learned that my entry won an award. I put a relatively low price, $200 on the large print and if it sold I planned on donating the the whole thing to RoCo and now I see this about the award. “Lumiere Photo Award Chosen by William Edwards, photographer and owner of Lumiere Photo. $200 gift certificate.”
Ossia, the Eastman School’s program of new music, starts at 7:30 tonight and that presents a conflict. Our yoga class doesn’t get out until 8. They usually do five six pieces so we should be able to catch the last half. I heard they were doing an Anthony Braxton number.
I’m secretly looking forward to tomorrow night when we have nothing on our calendar. I need some time to create mp3s from last Wednesday when Pete LaBonne joined Margaret Explosion on piano. Pete and Shelley stayed for the holiday feast and Kevin and Jeanne joined us from Nashville. Kevin Vicalvi was Bat McGrath’s long time bass player (and harmony voice) and he was in town for the tribute on Saturday.
I did my Record Store Day dj set on Friday and we had dinner at Jeff and Marry Kaye’s, tuna from Alaska and some intense homemade ginger bread. We brought home a few pieces of that for breakfast. We had a couple of couples over for dinner on Saturday. Tom and Jann own a shop and Janet and Jonathan wrote a book about Hi Fi living and before the Uber driver returned we finished the evening watching YouTube videos by the fire.
Sunday was reserved for a long walk along the lake and then a visit to Virgin Wood Type. We had hoped to to spend some time with Sam but he was asleep on the couch. Partners, Geri and Paul, showed us their newest line of type. Bill would be so proud.
I have my own system for labeling our firewood. My neighbor uses spray paint. I fold up a piece of white cardboard to 2″x2″ square, label it with the year, wrap it in clear packing tape and nail it into the end of one of the logs in the pile. This year we are burning wood we put up in 2015. While our neighbors were watching the Bills beat Miami we moved two face cords into our porch .
We will fill the space where those logs were with newly split wood. At the moment the log length sections of the big oak that came down on Hoffman are in a heap near our wood pile. They are so big Peggi and I were unable to roll them up on the splitter. So when the weather breaks I will have to swing my ax into them and follow that up with the sledge hammer to split the sections into something manageable for our Heathkit splitter. When those are split we’ll stack them where the the 2015 wood was and I’ll label it 2019. As they say, the wood warms you many times over.
Anita Ward had a hit with that song. We saw her opening for Bootsy Collins at the War Memorial back in the day. Our neighbor had been telling us about these incidents where kids ring their doorbell late in the evening and then run. They did it three weeks in a row and twice her husband was able to open the door, yell at them and chase them off. Why would they keep coming back? Why wouldn’t they ring our bell?
They set up a camera and caught this kid in a short video and sent us this screen shot. I was encouraging them to call the cops. The kids rang the bell again at midnight and and the neighbors did call the cops. The next day Peggi and I were having dinner on our porch when a kid rode up on his bike, rang the neighbors bell in broad daylight and apologized. The neighbors told us the kid was almost crying.
We walked up to the post office today and I found part of a letter on the ground just a few doors from our house. All religious mumbo jumbo it started with, “He took our infirmities and bore my sickness. For the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. You are of God, little children, and have overcome them because greater is he who is in you than he who is in the world.”
The tile on the floor of the India House Food & Imports Store at 999 S. Clinton Avenue is so familiar. It is a deja vu drug for me. My mom used to take us shopping here when it was Tierney’s Market. The floor had sawdust on it then and for good reason. And then there was smell of the 8 o’Clock Coffee that my mom let us grind for her. My grandfather was always behind the butcher case and that is what I remember the most, him slicing a half inch thick piece off one of those white-wrapped, homemade liverwurst rolls and handing it to me.
The Tierney family picnic was today. My grandparents are long gone and all that remains of the next generation is one set of my aunts and uncles. The picture below, taken at my grandparents’ anniversary breakfast, shows most of the extended family on that side although my sister and a few other cousins were not yet born. Most now have offspring with children of their own. We wear name tags to keep each other straight. My cousin Kathleen brought a dvd of The Mission for us. I remember liking the soundtrack so much we bought the lp but I hardly remember the movie. This year’s picnic was more talkative than most and we lost track of time missing most of Scott Regan and Steve Piper’s art opening.
My grandfather’s store on South Clinton was not his first. That one was on North Street downtown and two of my grandfather’s brothers were partners in the operation. Their parents, Ma and Pa Tierney are pictured below.
Somehow we got 8 1/2 miles in yesterday. We walked down to the lake and had a chocolate custard at Don’s Original. Today we walked through the park and up Horseshoe Road, which as you can tell by its name, comes back out where it started, on the lake. A bit of the sandy beach has come back as the lake levels have receded and there were lots of swimmers in the water. We clocked (my watch clocks everything) almost seven miles today.
We’re considering another walk, from Porto to Santiago, an alternate version of the Camino. There is one route via the coastline and another that goes inland. John Brierley has a book about it. There is some urgency as people all around us are falling apart. Our neighbor had her second hip replaced yesterday and we stopped down to visit her husband on the way home from our walk.
I found this pine flattened on our street. It looked like the setting for the Virgin de Guadalupe and I didn’t really want to carry it the whole way so I set it aside on a fence post. Peggi used her Reminder app for the first time, telling Siri to remind us to “pick up the virgin in one hour.” We we’re still down at the lake when the reminder went off. So she set it again and this time Siri heard “Pick up the version in half an hour.” That worked just as well for this version of the virgin.
Butler 8-3041. I still remember our phone number from when we were kids. If I can’t call that up someday I will know I’m starting to slip.
We thought we could beat the thunderstorm. We were inside Wegmans when the skies opened up. I had eight ears of corn from Aman’s in my backpack and one tomato (ours are are just starting to come in). The fish guy cleaned a red snapper for us. We had milk, onions, cherries, blueberries and canned beans in our buggy. At the door we saw lightning flashes. I panicked and called our next door neighbor. He came up to Wegmans and picked us up.
All the walking we’ve done and we have never done that. We could have waited it out. We had rain gear in our backpacks. We’ve walked in the rain before. I don’t know what came over me.
The lake level is a little higher. The beach is a little smaller. This beech tree is hanging on by a thread.
I spent some time wondering whether the high school girls across the street were just shooting baskets to kill time or whether they were actually trying to improve their game. I still couldn’t tell. Peggi came right out and asked one of them as we walked by. She said she and her sister were playing on a summer team.
When we were kids we shot so many baskets in our driveway that we backed the nails out of the siding on the garage. So knowing the girls were serious, well, sort of serious, I felt bad that their net was in tatters and hanging on only two of the twelve hooks. There is nothing more satisfying in basketball than all net, a shot that drops through the hoop without touching the backboard or the hoop. It hangs for a second in the net and then does a controlled drop, right where you want it.
I bought a net and planned to hang it when they weren’t at home. I was up on my ladder in their driveway when a black car came down our street. The kids’ father, who is normally at work at his restaurant, had picked her up and they pulled in the driveway. The girl got out while her father sat in the car. The windows were up and the car was still running. I was almost finished. The girl got out and said, “Oh my god, where did you get the net?” I said, “Amazon. I was trying to hang it while you weren’t home.” I finished hanging the the net and left with my ladder.
I went down to Jared’s house, where we have our garden, and I picked some lettuce, basil and kale for dinner. While I was gone the girls’ mother came over, hugged Peggi, thanked her profusely and gave her two bottles of wine (from the restaurant). Peggi tried to refuse the wine but said they preferred this way because they are transactional. That’s the part I was trying to avoid.
It was so hot today we decided to stay off the streets and take the path in the woods to our friend Kathy’s place. She has workers there constructing a deck in her backyard and we’ve been checking up on the progress. It is not your ordinary deck. This one is off her unattached garage and it is just above ground level. Tick safe.
The garage wall that meets the deck has been reworked as well with hand stained board and batten. And beams and supports for a pergola are being carefully considered. This is a work of art and it has been a joy to watch. The Harbor Town Belle was headed up to the Bay Bridge while we were there.
Peggi wore her backpack over in order to carry Kathy’s pasta maker home. We’re having handmade pasta with artichokes for dinner.
We bought two quarts of local strawberries at Aman’s and put one in each of our backpacks. Our Wegmans purchases were nestled below. These mutant strawberries were on display near the checkout, right next to the refrigerator magnets. The one reading, “Somedays I amaze myself and other days I put my keys in the refrigerator” caught our eye.
I hated to see England lose the the third place match today. I really, really wanted Ellen White to get another one but it was not in the cards. Sweden came out like gangbusters and scored two early goals. The rest of the match was England’s. Most of the items on our shopping list were for tomorrow’s match. We’re having a few friends over to watch it live and then a pool party to celebrate!
We passed a neighbor on our way out. He was completely lost in thought as he hovered over his weed whacker. Peggi identified this flowering bush as a Honeysuckle and geotagged it with the iNaturalist app. We use that everyday now, cataloging the world in some small way.
We waited out a thunderstorm and then headed into the park. The temperature had dropped ten degrees but it was still just as humid. The park was almost empty. No dog walkers parked at the entrance. At the top of Zoo Road we spotted some teenage girls standing by a car. They saw us and quickly got into the car. One kid, a guy, was still standing near the car but he turned his back to us. A small time drug deal was going down.
Up at the lake the parking lot was empty. A couple of Asian kids were playing soccer. We heard people swimming but couldn’t see them. We looked down one of those steep paths and l saw that the beach is still underwater.
On the way back through the park we saw a familiar pickup truck, a dog walker with wacky pro gun bumper stickers on his bumper A little further up the road we saw a guy standing near his car, smoking a cigar. A big branch fell in the woods behind him and we all looked in that direction. He didn’t acknowledge it but told us we were brave to be out walking without an umbrella.
Still no strawberries. The clerk behind the counter a Aman’s said they had two suppliers and both said they expected their strawberries to be ripe enough for market by the end of this week.
I finally won at horseshoes. First time this year. My neighbor keeps track of these things. We’ve played eight times, best out of three, and he had won them all until yesterday.
We may be overusing our iNaturalist app. We are stopping at every strange looking tree and ordinarily ones that we should already have in our database. Today we identified something we thought was an unusual oak as a Silver Maple, and two different Locust varieties.
We stopped in RoCO’s 6×6 show and this furry guy caught my eye.
Watching Gerhard Richter run a huge squeegee over his wet painting in a YouTube clip, the interviewer asks Richter, “How do you know when a painting is done?” Richter answered, “When nothing bothers me. And I don’t know what to do next.”
This afternoon we walked a dvd of “Dazed and Confused” over to the library. We always find something there to bring home and when it’s due we walk back with it and start the cycle all over. We had seen the Richard Linklater movie before. But it was more fun this time, maybe because we are so far out of high school. Talk about archetypes, this movie nailed them. And the soundtrack has aged really well.
We walked along the lake yesterday looking for the beach. It’s there but underwater. We knew it was supposed to rain but we thought we could get a walk in. What we didn’t count on was the Open House detour we took when we saw the sign in front of the Highlands on Lakeshore Boulevard. There are seven gorgeous homes up there, all but one looking out over the lake from that big hill. The house we looked at used to be owned by the owner of Edwards Restaurant downtown. We used to go there when Peggi’s parents came into town. Coming back through the park we noticed they had cancelled the Arboretum Tour and then, boom. We were caught in thunderstorm.
We buy Canaltown’s Rochester Choice blend and were getting low so I called Pete and had him put together a couple of big bags. We parked in the empty parking lot of the old Tops, our store of choice when we lived in the now hot North Winton neighborhood. We decided to take a walk before picking up the bags so we headed downtown on the north side of East Avenue. I had something to drop off at RoCo and we took a last look at the local landscape show while we were there. I was struck by how good looking this show is. Nine widely different artists and yet it hangs together.
We found a flyer there for a used book show at the library so we kept walking. Peggi found a small Rouault book from 1959, just one year after Rouault’s death, from a time when art books customarily had color plates glued to the pulp pages and these are knockouts. Clowns, prostitutes and religious paintings. The book was a dollar. Two of the four Rouault prints my father had on our living room wall can be seen in this family photo. I am a fan.
We walked out of downtown on the south side of Eastman, picked up our coffee and took it across the street to Wegman’s Italian restaurant where we split calamari, roasted beet salad with pistachio vinaigrette and octopus. With all the great Italian restaurants in this town Wegmans gave it a good shot.
I asked our smart speaker to play some Peggy Lee and the first one out was “Is That All There Is?” probably her most popular song. Personal Effects used to do a version of that. But this setlist went deep and reminded me how much I love her. I was especially struck by how good “Where or When” sounded so I went to my library to mark it as a favorite. I only have so much time left to listen to music, as we all do. It already had five stars on it.
We tried to track down Peggi Lee when we were out visiting Peggi’s sister in Belair. We even bought one of those star maps that had her house marked on it. We were on foot, a dangerous way to get around the Hollywood Hills and her house was just too much of hike.
I thought the song below was the most interesting from last week. Nothing like Where or When. That’s my nephew’s drone on the cover.
I knew something was up when I saw our neighbor, Jared, coming back from the corner with his noise cancelling headphones in his hand. We were still reading the morning paper but we waved to Jared and he came up to the door. He told us his wife had gone out for coffee and had to drive under the power lines that were stretched to the max under a fallen oak.
Jared said Spectrum TV was down there and a “cute little reporter” had interviewed him, inquiring how residents were impacted the storm. He said he told the reporter he likes a good storm. By the time we got down there the power company had stung yellow tape across our street, sealing us in. They cut the power and tree surgeons were preparing to go to work. When the power came back on we found Jared’s interview online. He told us “they cut out all the good parts.”
Wegman’s was wacky before the snowfall. We walked up there along Sea Breeze Way and had spaced out enough on the way to have forgotten about the impending storm. We remembered when we saw cars backed up trying to get in the lot. Shoppers were almost giddy. A guy from Custom Brewcraft was pouring tall samples of their new IPA. Every cashier lane was open and our cashier was moving so fast she put a jar of Miracle Whip from the guy behind us into our bag. Of course we had paid for it so we had get in the Customer Service line to get our money back.
It snowed enough on our walk back that we decided to put our skies on and try the woods. There was just enough to cushion a fall but we both stayed upright. It snowed so much last night that by this afternoon we couldn’t even see yesterday’s ski tracks. There were seven deer standing in the creek. We stopped on the bridge to watch. Only 9ºF my fingers were too cold to take a picture.
When the holiday fanfare dies down and the neighbors leave for Florida the heart of the season is just beginning. The lakes in Durand have ice fishermen on them, high school kids are playing hockey in the coves and hundreds of ducks are flocking together beyond the ice formations along the shore of Lake Ontario. The slate grey skies make the male cardinal look like it is on fire. And the threat of 18 inches over the weekend has made us giddy.
Warren Philips framed a print for us. He called to say it was ready for pick-up so drive over there this afternoon and found him sitting in the window of shop, eating lunch with the lights while listening to Christmas music. From the looks of what was left it was a healthy lunch, both fruits and vegetables. We got a total cost from him and then walked down East main from his shop near Goodman to ESL at Winton and Main to pick up some cash. The five mile loop took us though our old neighborhood and brought back all sorts of memories.
About half the houses on the North side of Main have been torn down and there’s a lot of new buildings like Auto Zone. The giant Eckerd’s that put in where Kadri’s gas station was is now a Dollar Store. The Comic Book Store is gone. East High was letting out when we passed. Amazing how much energy those kids have. I found a Trump playing card on the ground near the school, the queen of diamonds with “Melania, Supermodel” on the back. We used to get a Friday Fish Fry at My Brother’s Place, now Club Soda where the bikers and cops hang out. Economy Paper is still in business. We had a salesman from that place call on us at 4D. Eastern Printing is still cranking. We did many jobs there.
Fleckinger’s Meat Market is a tax service place. That guy knew my grandfather. Salvatore’s, the original location at Wisconsin Street, has the whole block now. The founder’s father, Fred, owned the grocery store across the street. Bertha’s is gone. It’s a laundramat. We stopped in there to go to the bathroom. There is a Puerto Rican restaurant where Mooney’s was and Effinger’s German restaurant before that and Jamaican place across the street. Carroll’s Irish Bar painted their place dark grey for some reason. Fam’s disco is a teen center. The greenhouse is a coffee shop for recovering alcoholics. Mustard Street, where French’s used to be, looks as bleak as ever. Nobody remembers any of this stuff.
Personal Effects “Silver Finger Nails” from “90 Day In The Planetarium” 1987
I know I’ve been out of sorts when I don’t find any interesting photos on my camera. It is always with me and I usually start a blog post by looking back at what I have brought home. And then I sort of write to the photo sometimes. Just as often the text has nothing to do with the visuals and that makes its own statement. It is at least a starting point.
It has been a few days and this is all I found. The deer are nearly camouflaged and the photo reminds me of those old Highlights magazines. I remember them in our house but I mostly remember them at Dr. Cleary’s, our family dentist. He had an office on the sixth floor of the Medical Arts building on Alexander Street and my mom would take all six of us, Amy wasn’t born yet, to the dentist at the same time. We usually all needed his attention but there wasn’t a babysitter if you didn’t. We devoured the Highlights magazines and there was always a feature where you had to find a list of things hidden in a photo. I’ve gotten pretty good at it but I could never spot these three deer before they spotted me.
Turns out our car is totaled so we took to the internet to shop for a new one and a few days slipped by. And then there was that whole day we spent looking for the title of old car. If they still made the Element we would already have a new one but they don’t make them anymore. Bob Martin thinks we oughta be looking at panel trucks.