Jon Crispin's Notebook

Flowering Plant

Posted in Flowers, Plants, Uncategorized by joncrispin on 15/12/2014

 

 

As you can tell from the title of this post, I am clueless about the names of plants that we have.

And our method for taking care of them is quite simple; inside in the winter with not too much watering, outside in the summer to let nature take its course.

At the end of last winter this plant was showing no signs of life.  We put it outside anyway and it came back with a vengeance.  It is now flowering like a champ.

Kalamazoo Asylum for the Insane

Posted in Abandoned Buildings, Architecture, Asylums, Buildings, Travel by joncrispin on 12/12/2014

After my fantastic visit to Wittenberg University I drove up to Kalamazoo, Michigan to visit my great friend Ken Schaefer.  We were taking a tour of Western Michigan University, where he works, and I looked to the south and saw this.  Amazing.  The State Hospital has an interesting history, and dates back to the earliest of New York State’s asylums.  The only building that remains from the original Kirkbride plan buildings is the water tower, and it is huge.

Driving back home tomorrow.  It is about 14 hours and I might break it up back in Erie.  We’ll see.

Heritage Center of Clark County

Posted in Abandoned Buildings, Architecture, Cities, History by joncrispin on 10/12/2014

 

This ⇧ model (made out of corn kernels) is of the building in my previous post.  It is displayed at the Heritage Center of Clark County.  Incredible Richardsonian Romanesque architecture which houses one of the most interesting local museums that I have ever seen.  Really, go check it out if you are ever in this part of Ohio.

So much of downtown Springfield is gone by way of the wrecking ball, which is really sad to me.  But the Heritage Center has a fantastic recreation of downtown streets as the were decades ago.  When I first came to Wittenberg, my friends and I used to stop in to Sons bar for a beer or two.

Off to the Wescott House now.  I can’t wait to see it.

Springfield, Ohio

Posted in Birds, Cities, Jon Crispin by joncrispin on 07/12/2014

Much of the time when I stay in hotels, I get crap views out the window.  This is a bit of an exception.  The black streaks in the sky are crows, which came out in droves as the sun was going down. (Is that what a shitload of crows would be called? A drove?  Hold on, I’ll look it up.  Oh dear, it is a “murder” of crows.).  There were hundreds of them, all making quite a ruckus.  AND, when I was walking around town before dark, I heard what I was sure was a very loud hawk.  It turns out it is a recording (!) of a very loud hawk, probably in an attempt to scare off the crows.  What a world.

Hallway 2

Posted in Buildings, hallways, hotel hallways by joncrispin on 07/12/2014

I made it to Springfield.  Off for a beer and then to work on my presentations.

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Hallway / Suitcases

Posted in Asylums, History, motels, Willard Asylum, Willard Suitcases by joncrispin on 07/12/2014

I am in a motel in Erie, PA on my way to Wittenberg University where I will be spending the next few days talking to faculty and students about the suitcase project.  I am really excited about this and owe a debt of thanks to my friend Peter Wray for reconnecting me to Witt.

Willard Suitcases / Joseph A / Peggy Ross

Posted in Willard Asylum, Willard Suitcases by joncrispin on 24/11/2014

I was back in Rotterdam at the storage facility shooting suitcases this past Friday.  The last time I was there, Peggy and I were only able to get part way through Joseph A’s possessions, and I was really eager to finish up.  I posted about that day here.  Most of what was in his two large trunks was clothing, and as I have said before, setting up this sort of shot is difficult for me.

Thank goodness for Peg.  I have mentioned before just how important she is to the project.  I probably would have never done the second Kickstarter without her, or for that matter, even thought about shooting all 400 of the suitcases.  Friday was a good case in point.  Every single article of clothing in Joseph’s collection had been assigned a catalogue number by the museum.  This meant taking the objects out of their archival boxes, keeping track of the small pieces of paper on which those numbers were written, hiding the numbers in the folds of the clothes so they weren’t visible in the photographs, setting up the shot, taking the photographs, rematching all the numbers with the articles, and finally putting them back into their designated storage boxes.  We worked for about four hours on this one trunk; had I been alone it would have taken days.

And in addition to all of this detail work, she helps to organize the shots, and sees things that I would otherwise miss.  When we were putting Joseph’s clothes away, she pointed out that his initials had been embroidered onto the collar of his pajamas, and it makes for a lovely picture.

So a huge thank you to Peg for her organizational skills, hard work, and dedication to the project.  I couldn’t do this without her.

Sunday Evening

Posted in Cemeteries, Food, Friends, Graveyards, History, Jon Crispin, Nature, Plants, woods by joncrispin on 16/11/2014

cornchowder

I made this corn chowder recipe tonight.  Perfect for a cold Sunday.  I always buy extra ears of sweet corn during the summer and freeze what we don’t eat for days like this.  Very nice; give it a try sometime.

One of the great things about the suitcases project is hearing from people who find other work that is related to institutionalization. Charlie Seton sent me this link today.  What an interesting project.  Thanks Charlie.  And my great buddy Hank who has been following the suitcases from the beginning sent this link about Letchworth Village in Rockland County.  It is interesting to me that surnames are used on the commemorative plaque.

I know some of you know a lot about plants.  I started seeing these guys in the early Autumn.  I don’t think they are plants that lost their leaves; I am quite sure that this is the whole deal.

And I have discovered some new trails above the house.  Before the snow last week I saw a few of these evergreen-like plants that I have never seen before.  If any of you can help identify them, I would love to know.

Sorry the top is out of focus.  I only had my phone with me and as this little guy was only a few inches long, there wasn’t much depth of field.

Wishing you all a great week, my dear online friends.

First Snow with Olive

Posted in Dogs, Weather by joncrispin on 14/11/2014

We had a lovely light snow today.  Olive was a bit confused by it, but ultimately had fun running around.

Willard Suitcases / Thelma R

Posted in Jon Crispin, Willard Asylum, Willard Suitcases by joncrispin on 11/11/2014

I have been working hard to continue uploading suitcases to the willardsuitcases site.  I have just put up Thelma R’s case and it is one of my favorites.  For those of you who are new to the project, you can see what is up so far here.

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