Jon Crispin's Notebook

Willard / Meadville Trip / Conneaut Lake Park

AMeadville Trip with Peter September 2018

After living in D.C. for the past 5 years, our son Peter has moved home for a bit to take some classes and do GRE prep.  It is nice to have him around.  Soon after he returned to Massachusetts we planned a quick trip to Meadville and Pittsburgh to catch a Pirates game.

Meadville Trip with Peter September 2018

The Willard employee reunion dish-to-pass event was happening on the Saturday that we drove out, so he and I stopped to say hi to old friends.  We had time afterwards to go to the cemetery which is always a very moving experience.

Meadville Trip with Peter September 2018

The sign at the Jewish part of the cemetery is looking a bit run down and could use some help.

Meadville Trip with Peter September 2018

The little stone marker is still there.

Meadville Trip with Peter September 2018

Here is one of the numbered graves in that part of the cemetery.  It makes me so sad that #43 has no name.  The state of New York could remedy this if they cared enough to publish the names of the patients who are buried here.

Meadville Trip with Peter September 2018

Before Peter and I continued on to Meadville, we stopped by the Romulus Historical Society building to see the recent exhibit updates.  It was nice to see Craig Williams and Debbie Nichols who had been a nursing student and then a nurse at Willard.

Meadville Trip with Peter September 2018

Here is Debbie sitting next to her actual uniform.  It is a great little museum and well worth a visit.

Meadville Trip with Peter September 2018

I’ve been stopping at the Angola Rest Area on the New York Thruway for as long as I can remember.  It is so nice to walk over the highway to get to the main building.

Meadville Trip with Peter September 2018

The first stop was a visit to Eddie’s Footlongs on the lake road outside of Meadville.  I had 2 with the works.

Meadville Trip with Peter September 2018

Next stop Hank’s Frozen Custard.  I had 2 here as well.  Chocolate.

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On Sunday morning we got word that the Pirate’s game was cancelled due to rain, so we checked out of the motel and drove to Allegheny College to see the tree we planted in honor of my Dad.

Meadville Trip with Peter September 2018

My sister Karen chose a lovely Winter King, and it is thriving.

Meadville Trip with Peter September 2018

It was a rainy Sunday morning and after breakfast at the Meadville Market House Grill, we drove out  for a last Hank’s and then around Conneaut Lake.  The amusement park was not surprisingly deserted, but it was strange that country music was playing through the loudspeakers.

Meadville Trip with Peter September 2018

There was no one there to yell at us to stay off the rides, so we wandered and took some pictures.

Meadville Trip with Peter September 2018

Ugh, clowns.

Meadville Trip with Peter September 2018

On the left above is the Blue Streak roller coaster.  I was never keen on riding it, but once Judy Jacoby who was my girlfriend for a short time convinced me to go on it.  It was fine.

Meadville Trip with Peter September 2018

It is difficult to know for sure, but I think the park is still open.  But it was a bit eerie to walk around with the music blaring and nobody else there.

Meadville Trip with Peter September 2018

The coaster car is pretty classic.

Meadville Trip with Peter September 2018

A Century Flyer made in Dayton, Ohio.

Meadville Trip with Peter September 2018

Here’s the entry into the first tunnel.

Meadville Trip with Peter September 2018

The master controls. ↑

Meadville Trip with Peter September 2018

Peter and I actually rode the Devil’s Den many years ago.  The “Infamous Gum Wall!! is just that.  People started sticking chewing gum on the wall when the ride slowed down and it became….well infamous.

Cristine and I are off to Nepal on Friday.  I hope to post regularly from Kathmandu.

Cheers everyone and thanks for following.

 

 

 

American Demographics / Hope and Feathers Exhibit (Image #9)

Posted in Jon Crispin, Rivers, Uncategorized by joncrispin on 10/09/2018

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Here is another of the Soviet Union photos.  I was in Leningrad in March of 1982 and the Neva River was still mostly frozen.  From what I could tell, these women came to the river every day for a dip.  I really like how the school children are standing around watching. Another amazing hand coloring job by Robbie Aceto.

American Demographics / Hope and Feathers Exhibit (Image #8)

Posted in Jon Crispin, photography, Uncategorized by joncrispin on 01/09/2018

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I never did know if the selective hand coloring on this image was Mike Rider’s suggestion or that Robby Aceto was pinched for time when he did the work.  I do know that when he was doing these for American Demographics he was also very active as a touring musician.  He has worked a lot with  guitarist David Torn and quite a bit with David Sylvian.  When I saw Robby recently he talked about doing a gig in New York City and then coming back to his hotel room to work on photos for the magazine.  It is always possible that he just ran out of time before this issue went to press.  I look at this and imagine the sky being blue and the grass green, but the more I look at it, the more I like the fact that only the banners are colored.

The exhibit opens up in about a month.  I am really looking forward to it.

Willard Suitcases / Charles F. / Update

Willard Suitcases Project

I’ve been busy with the Hope and Feathers exhibit and quite busy with my freelance work, but the suitcases project is never far from my mind.

Willard Suitcases Project

I am working on an interesting collaboration on Charles’ cases and hope to have some exciting news soon.

Willard Suitcases Project

He had an interesting collection of ties.

Willard Suitcases Project

There are quite a few Penny postcards in the collection as well as some interesting hand- written notes.  You can see the New York State Museum’s catalogue number (in pencil) on the upper right side of the white paper.

Thank you all for following this project.  I will be devoting a ton of time to the suitcases later this month as I continue to develop ideas for getting the photos out to a wide audience.  And Peter Carroll, Deb Hoard, and I are beginning to work hard on a preliminary short film which we can send to funders for the larger documentary that we plan to produce.

 

American Demographics / Hope and Feathers Exhibit (Image #7)

Posted in Architecture, Jon Crispin, Uncategorized by joncrispin on 28/08/2018

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Another Robby Aceto hand coloring gem.  So subtle.  I took this on a walk around residential neighborhoods of Santa Clarita, CA and had no idea what was going on with this house (I’d never seen anything like this in the East).  Some kind of art project, maybe?  It turns out it was much more prosaic than that.  Fumigation!

Things are moving ahead with the Hope and Feathers exhibit.  Postcards are printed and I would be happy to mail one to anyone who wants to send me a postal address.   Leave a comment and I will email back and get your details.

American Demographics / Hope and Feathers Exhibit (Image #6)

Posted in Jon Crispin, Uncategorized by joncrispin on 21/08/2018

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I was in the Soviet Union in 1982 for a few weeks.  It was an interesting trip.  I’m pretty sure this was taken at The Hermitage in Leningrad (I’ll know for sure when I get to this trip in my contact sheets).  I remember being shocked at how the art was presented.  Big windows with non UV coated glass and flourescent lighting.

My friend Ren is reflected in the glass on the right.  The two women in the center are Americans and I’m pretty sure to woman on the right was our Soviet minder.

The press release for the Hope and Feathers exhibit went out yesterday.  It is so exciting for me to see these photos after so many years in an archival box in my studio.  Thanks again to Robby Aceto for the beautiful hand coloring.

American Demographics / Hope and Feathers Exhibit (Image #5)

Posted in Jon Crispin, photography, Uncategorized by joncrispin on 15/08/2018

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I started going to presidential inaugurations back in the 1970s.  I think the last one I did was Clinton’s second.  I am going through my contact sheets to identify the specific dates of each photo for the Hope and Feathers / American Demographics show, so I can’t yet say what year this was taken.  I should have all the dates by the time the exhibit goes up.  I especially like Robby Aceto’s hand coloring of this shot.  Really nice.

American Demographics / Hope and Feathers Exhibit (Image #4)

Posted in Jon Crispin, Politics, Uncategorized by joncrispin on 09/08/2018

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Here is another shot from my upcoming American Demographics exhibit at Hope and Feathers.  I am having some serious fun looking back at these images and seeing Robby Aceto’s amazing hand coloring.

The dates are pretty much set.  Opening Thursday evening 4 October, with a gallery talk on Saturday the 20th.  I hope to see you there.

By the way, points to anyone who can identify these geezers.  Probably taken in the 80s.

American Demographics / Hope and Feathers Exhibit (Image #3)

Posted in Baseball, baseball stadiums, Friends, Jon Crispin, photography, Uncategorized by joncrispin on 31/07/2018

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I really like this image a lot.  This is Dan who was a friend of Don who was a friend of Herman’s when we all went to a Mets game at Shea.  If I remember correctly, Dan was a scientist of some kind and I think he might be an academic somewhere.  If I can track him down, I’ll give him this print.  Today Herman sent me Don’s phone number, so I’ll text him to see if he is still in touch with Dan.  Robby Aceto did a great job hand coloring this one.

We are in the process of finalizing the Hope and Feathers show.  Looks like the opening will be on 5 October and I will be giving a gallery talk sometime later in the month.  Details to follow.  I am really excited about this.

Lock 12, Erie Canal / “Ward’s Island” Derrick Boat Decomissioned (EDITED)

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I got a call yesterday from my friend and sometimes patron Craig Williams.  Craig worked at the New York State Museum and was responsible for getting me access to the Willard Suitcases, as well as work photographing the panels and artifacts from the World Trade Center 9-11 attack, and a ton of other interesting photography projects.

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Craig has been really concerned with a plan that the NY State Canal Corporation has to scrap some historically important canal boats and sink them off the coast of Long Island to creat artificial reefs.  He asked me to meet him at Lock 12 in Tribe’s Hill, NY and take a few photos of one of the boats as it made its way Eastward.

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Above is the derrick boat “Ward’s Island” which is being pushed from Lyons, NY  through the Erie Canal System and down the Hudson to be sunk off the coast of Long Island.

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Craig and fellow supporters of Canal history are waging a bit of a protest in regards to the State’s decision to move ahead with this plan.  On the left is Will Van Dorp who has a great wordpress site having to do with shipping.  Here is a link that talks about the Ward’s Island.  Interestingly enough, the boat was commissioned by the NY State office of Mental Hygiene in 1929 to ferry cars and people from Manhattan to the Ward’s Island asylum.

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After about 10 years downstate, she was sent up to the Canal to begin life as a derrick boat, and was only decomissioned last year.  Here she is in the lock.  Note that this is the stern; she is being pushed backwards through the Canal.

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Here’s a detail of the stern.  She was sitting really high in the water as much of the weight was stripped out before the beginning of the trip.

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It was an incredibly beautiful day at the Lock.  I have felt for a long time that the Canal is a very underutilized feature of New York State.  Destroying a part of its history is probably not a good way to attract positive attention to it.

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Here’s the tug Lucy H pushing her towards Amsterdam.

The next boat scheduled for scrap is the tug “Urger” (Edit; Urger is not meant for scrap.   As of now the State wants to take it out of the water, beach it, and make it into a display at Lock E13. / Also, Will Van Dorp contacted me with a few more links about the Ward’s Island.  Here and here).  Here is a link to the Urger.  Let’s hope it is not too late to save her.

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