Relax Your Mind

Canopy over front yard fire pit
Canopy over front yard fire pit

I can’t say that I miss working. I should say I still work, I just don’t do it for money anymore. It took a long time for us to retire. Some clients were hard to shake. I’ve been cleaning up our work room, putting the cds we used to write as back-ups into boxes that I will shove to the furthest reaches of the basement. And I thought I would round up a few of the logos we did. This took the better part of a day as I came across eps files I couldn’t open, cds that wouldn’t mount and files I just couldn’t find.

I especially liked creating logos. We would present a first round of ideas as sketches, a second round of revisions, re-workings, color choices and then a third round as a b&w, 2 color and four color vector file. People usually got something they liked.

You can charge pretty good for logos and sometimes come up with a winner in a flash. Or you could work all day and still not have anything worth showing. But I found if I walk away, take my mind off the project, hop in the shower or something – bang, there it would be. Sometimes I would get a good one right away, one that I was sold on, even though I wasn’t the client. So I might create a bunch of other clumsy alternatives just so the choice would be clear.

4D Advertising logo by Paul Dodd at 4D Advertising in Rochester, New York

In 1987 Peggi and I started our own commercial art business called 4D Advertising. We did work for big and small companies as well as individuals. “Whatever comes along,” as we used to say. Our work evolved as the graphic arts field did, from paste-up to web design. This is one of many 4D logos we had over the years.

AAA Welding logo by Paul Dodd at 4D Advertising in Rochester, New York

This Rochester company did a lot of industrial fabrication. I’m still hoping you can see “W” unfolding from the three “A”s.

Refrigerator logo by Paul Dodd at 4D Advertising in Rochester, New York

Back in the nineties, before the internet, the Refrigerator was a local zine. Twenty eight print editions were produced before the website was launched. I spotted this lettering in Spain on a sign that read “SEBO.” I constructed the other characters. Thought about making a wood type version with Virgin Woodtype.

Magna Carta logo by Paul Dodd at 4D Advertising in Rochester, New York

Magna Carta is a progressive rock label with artists such as Terry Bozio and Tony Levin.

World Safety Declaration logo by Paul Dodd at 4D Advertising in Rochester, New York

I can’t remember what this organization did but it was connected to DuPont. Clean, corporate, generic.

Print Bid Online logo by Paul Dodd at 4D Advertising in Rochester, New York

Print Bid Online was a short-lived company that helped customers secure competitive printing quotes.

Rochester Contemporary logo by Paul Dodd at 4D Advertising in Rochester, New York

Pyramid Art Gallery moved uptown and changed its name to Rochester Contemporary

Gerry's restaurant logo by Paul Dodd at 4D Advertising in Rochester, New York

Before Atlas Eats and after Rochester Club, Gerry Brinkman ran Gerry’s.

Earring Records logo by Paul Dodd at 4D Advertising in Rochester, New York

Earring Records released albums by Personal Effects, Colorblind James, The Wilderness Family, Absolute Grey, SLT, The Essentials, Pete LaBonne and Invisible Idiot.

Joe Squared Pizza logo by Paul Dodd at 4D Advertising in Rochester, New York

Joe Squared, in Baltimore, Maryland, makes square pizzas! I also came up with the slogan.

Clear Eye Natural Foods logo by Paul Dodd at 4D Advertising in Rochester, New York

Clear Eye was a distributer of wholesale natural foods. It was such a kick to see tractor trailers with this logo on it.

Cylinder Sound Studio logo by Paul Dodd at 4D Advertising in Rochester, New York

Cylinder Sound, a state of the art studio located behind the Bug Jar, became the home of JoyWave.

Bop Shop Records logo by Paul Dodd at 4D Advertising in Rochester, New York

Owner Tom Kohn asked me to base the Bop Shop logo on an old record cover. The “Bop Shop” type face came from a sheet of press type. I used the same font and the same sheet of press type, for the Freetime logo.

Alliance Barter logo by Paul Dodd at 4D Advertising in Rochester, New York

Alliance Barter grew out of the Rochester Trade Exchange. Companies who joined were paid in trade dollars which they could spend at any of the other members’ businesses. Of course the Exchange took a cut. We bought some Oriental Rugs and kitchen appliances with the money.

World Leaders logo by Paul Dodd at 4D Advertising in Rochester, New York

We did a lot of work for Customericity and DuPont. As I remember, this organization was one that many different companies would join for some altruistic reason.


2 Popes, 2 Potuses

Hoffman Road marsh in November
Hoffman Road marsh in November

It occurred to me that we effectively have two presidents just like we have two popes. A messy situation in both cases. Benedict’s goons are preventing Francis from instituting fundamental reform while Joe is waiting to even be recognized by the don.

My holy card collection is organized by saint, most of whom I grew up having a least a faint familiararity with. It seemed we had a saint for every field, cause or purpose. And their feast days were celebrated throughout the year, one on each day.

I was born of the feast day of Saint Paul of the Cross, April 28, and named Paul after the saint. A friend of the family, the Thomas Merton buff, Father Bill Shannon, gave me a relic of my patron saint. All of my siblings were named after saints until my sister Amy came along. My parents had left the church by then and pagan names were on the table.

Today we have too many saints. Pope John Paul II named 483 new saints in his 27 years on the job. Pope Francis made Pope John Paul II a saint. And now we learn that Saint John Paul II knew of the wretched allegations of sexual abuse against Cardinal McCarrick when he elevated him in the church hierarchy.

And while I wasn’t looking someone changed the church’s calendar of saints. They stuck John Paul in on October 22 and moved my patron saint’s day to October 20th. I was not born in October.



Bishop Kearney High School 2020
Bishop Kearney High School 2020

It figures that Rubino’s would be packed on the day before Labor Day weekend. We walked up there this morning, a 6 or 7 mile round trip, with our N95 masks, hoping to beat the crowds. We needed olive oil and we’re stuck on Zoe’s, the Spanish first cold press gallon tins that they carry. We were also looking for some aged parmesan, Castelvetrano olives and a few packages of figs. And bananas because I left the bunch we had picked out at Aman’s on the counter when left. Rubino’s doesn’t stock bananas.

We took a route that zig zags off Titus and comes out near Bishop Kearney High School. Workers were repairing the roof and teachers were carrying boxes into their classrooms. Peggi related to the dread they must be feeling, a dread that is magnified wildly this year.

Bishop Kearney has not physically changed since I was here in the dark ages. The Irish Christian Brothers no longer run it. They used to live on the top floor but their order went bankrupt under the weight of countless sexual abuse charges. The classes were separated by sexes and we only co-mingled at lunch. The boys were on the right side of the building and the girls were on the left. The gymnasium and auditorium were in the middle along with a small closet-like room were where they whipped you if misbehaved. My only good memory of the two years I spent here is playing soccer.

Bishop Kearney JV Soccer team with Mark and Paul Dodd and Coach Brother Hewlett
Bishop Kearney JV Soccer team with Mark and Paul Dodd and Coach Brother Hewlett

On the way back we found a spot to relieve ourselves. We used to do that at Starbuck’s but we stopped going in there. There is a little tree covered nook off to the left of the school on the field where we used to play soccer that fit the bill perfectly. The tp traces showed we weren’t the first.

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Big guy on the corner of Portland Avenue and Hudson - photo by Paul Dodd 1976
Big guy on the corner of Portland Avenue and Hudson – photo by Paul Dodd 1976

Determined to do something that didn’t leave me exhausted I quit my carpentry job the week before we were married. I could tell my boss, a hard working immigrant named Salvatore Caramana, was completely bewildered by my announcement. 

After our honeymoon I found a job working for the City of Rochester as graphic artist. My salary was paid for one year as part of a grant package and I was told they would cover most of my tuition if I wanted to take classes at night. I signed up for two four hour photo classes, taught by Bill Jenkins, at UR (then the UofR) and decided to cobble together a degree from Empire State. They gave me credit for the job I was doing, my semesters at IU, the paintings and prints I did on my own and they assigned an art mentor, Kurt Feuerherm, who I could work with. 

The only other teacher I remember was Bill Ciroco, who taught English and lived across from us on Hall Street. Bill gave me a list of ten books to read and we met to discuss them in his office. I came across the list (all men) today and may have to reread them all because I only remember “100 Years…” and how much I liked Italo Calvino.

Gabriel Marquez – One Hundred Years of Solitude
Julio Cortazar – Blow-up and Other Stories
Donald Barthelme – The Dead Father
Samuel Beckett – How it Is
John Hawkes – The Blood Oranges
Robert Creeley The Island
Italo Calvino – The Watcher and Other Stories
Cesare Pavese – The Devil in the Hills
Italo Svevo – Confessions of Zeno
Henry Roth – Call It Sleep
Bernard Malamud – The Assistant
John Fowles –  The Magus


¡Viva Mex!

Gang drawing, since deleted from Mex Restaurant Mural by Paul Dodd, in progress, 1999.
Gang drawing, since deleted from Mex Restaurant Mural by Paul Dodd, in progress, 1999.

Twenty years ago I began work on the mural at Mex Restaurant. Casey Walpert (and his brother) bought the building on Alexander Street, the former Chez Jean Pierre, and currently Linai. Casey was gutting the place and he asked me if I wanted to do a mural there. Peggi helped, of course, and my father painted the Marigolds that the flower lady was selling. She was sitting under the pay phone near the entrance to Mex. Karrie Laughton, who owns Lux on South Avenue, took some photos when the project was finished.

I documented the mural as it progressed. I am glad I took the photo (above) because at some point I chickened out and painted the gang members out. The late Bill Jones stopped by while I was working on it and he shot a short video of me painting Frida Kahlo’s nose. Here’s some more photos.

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People Commandeer The Symbol

Chris with skull ring and Roc logo
Chris with skull ring and Roc logo

I used to stop in at the Fairport pizzeria where my nephew worked, just to say hi and see how he was doing, and I was always struck by his tats, the gothic letter “D” and especially the Roc logo on his index finger. The logo, appropriated all over town these days in proud gesture, is a really healthy sign. I’ve always hated it when people bad mouth the city or the weather and I always think, “If you don’t like , why don’t you just leave,” The older I get, the more I just vocalize that thought.

Not too long ago, maybe 2000, I had a page on the Refrigerator website called “Rochester Beat” and I used a tiny version of the City logo between the words Rochester and Beat. To my surprise, the city had employees reading the Refrigerator on company time and I got an email asking to give them a call.

Dear Refrigerator,
Subject: Use of City Logo on your website

Hi, that’s our city logo on your website. Please give me a call so we can talk about it. Thanks.
Ted Capuano, Assistant to the Director, Bureau of Communications, City of Rochester, New York

I blew it off and then got another email.

Dear Refrigerator,
Subject: Re: Registered Rochester City mark on website.

Hi, This is the second time I’ve emailed you about the use of the City’s mark on Please take down the City mark from your website. If you’d like to discuss this, please feel free to contact me. Thanks.

City of Rochester logo on our green trash can.
City of Rochester logo on our green trash can.

I did not want to discuss it. I took it down and put up a close-up photo of the City logo on our green trash container.

Carlie Fishgold from Rochester’s “Post” magazine had an interesting piece about the two competing designers who both claim to have come up with the logo. She finished with this line, “That the people commandeer the symbol speaks to the authenticity of Rochester’s persona . . . as the nation’s first boom town, reinvention is the spirit of our people.”


How I Met My Wife

Peggi on Blind Date, an Australian version the Dating Game, in July of 1969
Peggi on Blind Date, an Australian version the Dating Game, in July of 1969

In the summer of 1969, as I was preparing to go to Woodstock, Peggi and her sister were in Sydney, Australia for the summer. Actually, I didn’t prepare for Woodstock at all. I gave Dave Mahoney 25 bucks so he could buy tickets from a local radio station but no one ever collected tickets when we got there. And I simply got in Joe Barrett’s family’s Corvair with what I had on my back. No sleeping bags or change of clothes, just a few tabs of LSD in my pocket.

Peggi and her sister were bored. Their father had been transferred there from Detroit and they didn’t know anyone. They concocted a scheme to get on Australia’s version of the Dating Game. The tv show was called “Blind Date” and was hosted by Graham Webb. It ran from 1967 to 1970 on the 0-10 Network, now known as Network Ten. Peggi’s older sister sat in the audience and gave Peggi hand signals to ensure that she picked the cutest guy of the three. By some strange, small country coincidence the guy she picked had been an Australian exchange student at Peggi’s high school the year before. And his brother-in-law was working behind the scenes for the tv network. The guy was back in the states for their high school reunion and he brought three old photos, taken by his parents of the show as it was being broadcast.


Le Gusta Esto

Ice formations on windshield
Ice formations on windshield

Not sure if “Busted Valentines” was the name of the band or the performance but we saw Frank DeBlase’s self described “Noir beatnik spoken word jazz” group perform on Valentines Day inside the jam packed Tango Café. Like the best pulp Frank dragged us in and out of strip clubs. With Brian Williams playing the double bass and holding down the musical fort they dug deepest on the slower, minor key numbers. The cat on the organ added the drama.

When we stopped by the Friendly Home we found my mom in the front row of the performance room. A couple of ballroom dancing professionals were using Saint John Fisher students to demonstrate dance steps and the students in turn were dancing with the residents even while most of them stayed in their chairs. They did the box step, the waltz, the tango, the Macarena, the Cha Cha and swing with the mother of all dance tunes for this set, Glenn Miller’s “In The Mood.” For my money though you just can’t beat the rumba.

We tried to watch the Grammys but my sister called in the middle of the show so we missed a good bit of it. I think I liked Taylor Swift better as soft country and the “Hollywood Vampires” with Alice Cooper, Joe Perry and Johnny Depp were just ridiculous. We loved the Lady Gaga’s Bowie tribute and Kendrick Lamar sounded good but I kept wondering what his music would sound like without him rapping all over it.

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Life & Death

Jeff Munson and Tim Schapp on Dartmouth Street in Rochester, New York 1976
Jeff Munson and Tim Schapp on Dartmouth Street in Rochester, New York 1976

Looking back, Tim, on the right in this photo, seems to have gone pretty fast although for him it was torturously slow. I was playing racquetball with him twice a week until six months before his passing and he was still beating me. He was on the varsity tennis team in high school. He was one of the fist people I met when I moved to Webster in the fifth grade. He had a swimming party every year near the end of school. I guess I should have known he was gay. We’d stay overnight and run around in the nude when his parents went to sleep.

He was visiting Peggi and me in Bloomington when he talked us into moving here (back to Rochester for me) in 1975. There was an apartment opening up in the old house he lived in on Dartmouth Street. I think Tom Burke had just moved out. Tim was always a blast and threw the best parties. Everybody loved him. His gay friend’s called him “Otto.” He had a sandwich named after him at Iggy’s. Our classmate and good friend, Charlie Coco, died before Tim. I remember telling Tim between racquetball sets that Charlie had died. Another classmate and Tim’s good friend, Danny Skipioni, died in San Francisco where he had gone looking for a cure. Our friend, Iolo, the dj at Danceteria who played HiTechs and helped produce the first Personal Effects record, was the first to go when no one knew what the disease was. A doctor told him to fly to Florida and sit in the sun to help heal his skin lesions. I think Bobby Moore had already passed. What a grizzly time the early eighties were.

I just saw Jeff, on the left above, last night at the Margaret Explosion gig.

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Til Death Do Us Part

Uncle Bob with priest at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery
Uncle Bob with priest at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery

I still think the world of my Uncle Bob, even though he got going on government overreach while we drove him and my Aunt to Holy Sepulchre Cemetery where my dad’s cousin was being laid to rest. He called us kids “city slickers” when we went out to visit them on their farm in Dundee but he always showed us the time of our lives by involving us in sheering sheep or whatever the day’s chore was. Today, one of the funeral home directors asked if they could help him to a seat by the graveside and he said, “Hell no, I’m a farmer. I can take care of myself.”

A “Mass of Christian Burial” was celebrated at Saint Ambrose earlier in the day. Funerals seem to be the only masses I get to anymore and I am always struck by the changes in the service. I pretty much left off with Latin and the priest with his back to the parishioners. We would just zone out and look at the statues. The altar boys are all grown men now, probably retirees. The kneelers are still there to trip over but no one uses them anymore. People turn and shake hands with the people around them, wish them peace and sing songs from hymnals like the Protestants.

My father spoke and painted a nice picture of the close-knit families in the Thurston Road/Brooks Avenue area when he and his cousins were growing up. Jerry Christopher, who might be related to me in some way, sang a version of “Ave Marie” that could make you believe in the Immaculate Conception. My father’s cousin, Mary, would have loved it all.

Mary was a legal secretary and worked at the four couriers downtown. She married her boss, a practicing Jew, and her nephew, who joked that he had never spoke in a church before, said due to the constrictions of their faiths they were not allowed to be buried next to one another.

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A Real Team

Paul Dodd, number 60, playing for Webter's RL Thomas,battles Gates Chili goalie in Sectional 5 final at Robert Wesleyan College
Paul Dodd, number 60, playing for Webter’s RL Thomas,battles Gates Chili goalie in Sectional 5 final at Robert Wesleyan College

My parents were here for dinner the other night and we got to talking soccer at the table. Spain had just been roundly beaten by the Netherlands and it was all we could think about. I called up a few replays of the scoring on my iPad and my dad asked, “What ever happened to Ralph Wager?” I played with Ralph in the summer soccer leagues in Webster and Charlotte and was hired as the soccer coach at RL Thomas in my senior year. He coached all my brothers as well and we all thought he was great. He was arrested two years ago on a first-degree child sex offense.

When my dad asked it hit me that I never would have gone to Indiana if it wasn’t for Ralph. And Peggi wouldn’t be sitting next to me. Ralph had played for IU and recommended the school as one of the best in the country for soccer. I was all-county in high school, had a few school records for goals when I left and was the first freshman to start for Indiana. The team was mostly foreigners at that time. I loved it but dropped out the next year. My father has been mining the Fulton History site, a giant database of scanned newspapers from New York State, and sent me this article on the Section Five championship game shown above.

WEBSTER HERALD November 15, 1967

Soccer Team Trips On Champ Route

by Jim Rickey

Championship escaped the Webster varsity soccer team as they were tripped 1-0 by newly crowned Section 5 champion Gates-Chill, Saturday, at Roberts-Wesleyan. Before a crowd exceeding 2500, the Rldgemen valiantly attempted to upset a rugged Gates squad which had defeated division champion Pittsford four days previously to advance to the Sections finals. The scrappy Webster outfit outplayed the cross-city rivals throughout the first half, but could not manage a tally. Superb passing and ball control were displayed by both teams when finally, with three minutes remaining in the fourth and final quarter, Harry Bruestle booted the ball into the Webster nets. The Rldgemen fiercely bombarded the opposition’s goal in the remaining minutes, but could not score to tie the contest. Coach Ralph Wager is proud of his well coached troops. All year he has repeated team work, team play and that is what these boys were — a real team.


Recycled History

Rochester Grocery Store History Chart by Leo Dodd
Rochester Grocery Store History Chart by Leo Dodd

While the bands that regularly play the Little Theater Café wait for the schedule for the rest of 2014 the new owner of the building that houses the café has announced that the café will stay open for the time being. This is good news. And the name Glenn Kellogg, an urban planner and the man behind the project, has chosen for his new grocery store (no it is not a Wholey’s) is also good news, the name of Rochester’s first supermarket, “Hart’s.”

I asked my parents what they remembered about Hart’s and I was surprised to hear it was all good to. I expected some sort of rivalry between Hart’s and Tierney’s, my grandfather’s store. My dug up this chart he had constructed years ago that plots the history of grocery stores in Rochester. My grandfather opened his first store with two of his brothers back in 1906 on Hudson Avenue so both the Hart’s and the Tierneys were here long before Wegmans.



Little girl dance outfit on purple wall
Little girl dance outfit on purple wall

I have a great deal of anxiety over “lack of time” issues and now I know what my problem is. I’m an optimist.

An article in yesterday’s paper described an optimist in terms I had never associated with the condition.

“An optimist is “Someone, like me, who plans to get more done than time permits. Having failed to achieve the impossible, someone, like me, who is sure everything will somehow get done anyway.”

A more classical definition from the Mayo Clinic: “Optimism is the belief that good things will happen to you and that negative events are temporary setbacks to be overcome.”

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Hitchhike Baby

Paul Dodd with movie camera, Rich Stim and Norm Ladd at Norm's wedding
Paul Dodd with movie camera, Rich Stim and Norm Ladd at Norm’s wedding

When I was a freshman Norm Ladd’s mam called me and said Norm, a friend of mine from high school who was a couple years younger, had run away from home and he was hitchhiking out to see me. He lived in my dorm for while.

I used to hitchhike all the time. Back forth to work at my uncle’s store during high school, over to Brad and Dave’s house and then back and forth to Bloomington. I got picked up by one of the famous Wyeth family members. He was wearing leather gloves and driving a small sports car but it overheated around Buffalo and he through a fit. A few times I got picked up by a guys that wanted to “pick me up” but most of the time it worked out. Once I was picked up by a salesman who gave me some potato chips that his company had just introduced. He was raving about how much less shelf space the chips took up because they came in cans instead of bags. He had boxes of them in the back seat and we ate them as we drove toward Indianapolis. They tasted pretty good and he gave me a can to take back to the dorm.

Today in the business section I read about Procter & Gamble selling off their food brands, Jif, Folger’, Crisco and Pringles. The article said their advertising division was located in Cincinatti and they test marketed the chips in Evansville Indiana in 1968. That salesman would have picked me up halfway between those two locations that year. I didn’t imagine all this.

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