Jon Crispin's Notebook

Japanese Maple

Posted in Seasons, Trees by joncrispin on 29/10/2012

Last year our neighbor Ken decided to open up the front garden of his house and asked us if we would like to have his Japanese Maple.  We were interested but since I know nothing about transplanting trees I was a bit leery.  For quite some time Ken has had a lovely young man from Russia who is studying nursing at UMASS do yard work, and Andrei was willing to move the tree for us.  So last autumn the job was done and I spent the winter worrying that it would die.  When spring came it budded out nicely and has been a lovely addition to the front of the house.  The leaves started out red and then by July turned green.  This is how they look today.

I took Cris to the airport on Saturday, and yesterday she safely arrived at her hotel in Ramallah.  She will be in the West Bank until Saturday and then into Gaza.  I will be posting a bit more regularly to keep her up to date on what’s happening here.

Hadley, MA field

Posted in Architecture, Landscape, Panoramas, Weather by joncrispin on 28/10/2012

I don’t know if it makes sense to post this panorama at only 720 pixels (maximum wordpress size for this template), but I like this shot.  If you are trying to look at it on your phones, I would forget about it.  On a big screen it should look pretty nice.  I took the three photos on Friday and stitched them together a few minutes ago. / All of on the east coast are in for a wild few days with hurricane Sandy starting to rile things up.  Lots of rain and high winds beginning tomorrow.

1969 Ford Torino GT

Posted in Automobiles, Friends, History, Jon Crispin by joncrispin on 25/10/2012

I have been driving past this car for quite some time.  Today was a good day to stop and take some photos.  Torinos were based on the Fairlane platform and as I learned on wikipedia, the name Torino gradually replaced the Fairlane badge.  The ones I really remember are the GT versions of which this is a 1969 example.  When I first saw these cars, I thought they were quite ugly, but in time they have really grown on me.

This one is mostly covered in primer, but you can note from the pictures that the original color is still evident in some places.

This blue/green is the only color I can recall on this vintage of the GT model. /  There are two Ford Torinos in my past.  My college roommate Gail had one our Senior year.  I am pretty sure it wasn’t a GT, but it could well have been.  I remember her coming back to school from Ridgeway, PA where  her family lived and telling me that her dad would give her a few extra dollars to put “a tank of Ethyl” in it.  And my friend Paul who now lives in Arizona had a really nice GT that he has since sold.  He did a lot of work on it himself and in fact one day he drove it out from Boston and tinkered around with it in my driveway.

So, this one is for sale.  Paul? Gail?

Walk

Posted in Dogs, Nature, Plants, Weather by joncrispin on 22/10/2012

The Pearl and I had a nice walk late this afternoon.  It was, as they say “seasonably warm”.  The cattails are starting to go to seed, or whatever it is they do.

As usual, she found some water on the way back to the car and I was happy to have an old towel to dry her off.  She is a great dog.

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Recorder

Posted in Uncategorized by joncrispin on 19/10/2012

I’m in Princeton, NJ and just finished shooting for the evening.  Last night I had a quick job at Smith College and saw this on a bulletin board.  It really made me laugh out loud.

Friends and Thanks Alex

Posted in Friends, Plants by joncrispin on 15/10/2012

I was in Ithaca last week for a quick overnight before a shoot at Binghamton University.  I met Tim and Brad at the Lincoln Street diner for breakfast and it was so great to see them both.  At one point Tim said that he has started reading this blog and was wondering why I haven’t mentioned him (he was only half serious; just busting my balls a bit as friends are wont to do).  I think this is Brad’s first mention as well.  Both great friends of mine.  I am so lucky.

Alex gets a special thanks.  I won’t say why, but this photo of moss is all down to him.  And I really love moss.

Vietnam Memorial and SAAM

Posted in Architecture, Art, Buildings, Friends, History by joncrispin on 06/10/2012

Cris and I are in DC visiting Peter.  He is amazing and is doing really well.  We took the time for a quick visit to the Smithsonian American Art Museum.  I can never get enough of it and I always come back to this part of the building which is near the Lunder Conservation Center.  If any of you reading this are in the area and have never been here you really should make the effort.  There is a great wood fired pizza place a couple of blocks away called The Matchbox.  Get a small pizza and see some art!

Two of my friends from Meadville were killed in Viet Nam.  Jim Rudd was a neighbor whom I knew quite well.  We spent a lot of time together at the YMCA and I can remember his talking about his interest in Native American culture.  He was a very sweet guy.  He was a private in the Marines and died on 6 August, 1968.

I knew David Dragosavac less well, but Meadville was small and I am pretty sure we were on the Y swim team together at one point.  David was a Sergeant in the Army and was killed on 1 April, 1970.

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial is really worth a visit.  Very moving.

Willard Suitcase #19, Dmytre

Posted in Willard Suitcases by joncrispin on 04/10/2012

I happen to know more about Dmytre than most of the other suitcase owners as he was one of the featured folks in the original exhibition at the New York State Museum.  This photo shows him at the institution with one of his paintings.  He was quite an artist.  In the early 1950s he was committed to Syracuse Psychopathic Hospital and in 1953 was sent to Willard.  He was there until 1977 and was discharged to a county home.  Dmytre died in 2000.  Many of his paintings hung on office walls at Willard until it closed in the 1990s.

I like the looks of this case.

It has a solid feel to it even though it is a bit beat up.

As usual, I have had to obscure the last part of his surname, but you can see by the tags that he arrived at Willard in May of 1953.  I’m not sure why there are two dates on the tags.

It was an interesting case to photograph, as the contents seemed so personal.

Dmytre was from Ukraine and spoke English with a heavy accent, which made his life difficult at times.

If you look closely you will note that the flower piece in the case is the same one that the woman in the photograph is holding.

I have always had a thing for small lapel pins, and this little Red Cross one is beautiful.

The above photo should be familiar to my Kickstarter backers as it was one of the reward options.

The Washington, DC thermometer is touching as Dmytre’s problems started in that city when on a visit there in 1952 he claimed to be married to Margaret Truman and was detained by the Secret Service.

This postcard is amazing.  Somewhere I made a note as to what it said on the back, but I’ll need to dig up that information.

Here’s another of the many small wooden dogs that are in the collection.  I wonder if he carved it.

There were a lot of hand-written notebooks and science related texts in the case.  He was clearly a very bright and creative fellow.

And one large manilla envelope contained these cutouts which look to be plans for building models and other small craft objects.

And lastly, here are some personal correspondences and a brochure on Social Security.

I hadn’t planned on doing a post just now, but I wanted to mention that this case is on it way to Baltimore to the American Visionary Art Museum for some sort of exhibit.  I went to their website, but was not able to figure out when it will be featured.  Anyone in the mid-Atlantic who is interested in seeing one of the actual cases and its contents should check with them.

Thanks for all your interest and continued support.  I also wanted to mention that Peg Ross, who has helped me so much on this project came over to my studio today to help out with editing the photos for the Exploratorium exhibit.  I really appreciate all her insight and encouragement.

Tiny Tree / Big Leaves

Posted in Nature, Plants, Seasons, Trees, Weather by joncrispin on 03/10/2012

I had a nice walk with the Pearl just now.  Our usual spot with the scummy pond (no ducks today).  The leaves are starting to change and even though it is a foggy, muggy, warm day it is beginning to feel like the autumn.

There is still quite a bit of green in the trees, but the light at the end of the day is way more toward yellow than it was just last week.

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