Jon Crispin's Notebook


Posted in Animals, Dogs, Family by joncrispin on 30/12/2011

For some reason, Pearl has become very attached to her leash.  When we walk down to the bottom of our street, we need one to cross the Amherst Road.  Just this past summer, she started wanting to carry it in her mouth.  If I have it in my hand, she keeps nudging me until I give it to her.  She is the sweetest dog.

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Willard Suitcase #10

Posted in Uncategorized, Willard Suitcases by joncrispin on 27/12/2011

This is another of Eleanor G.’s cases.

The way in which the museum wraped these suitcases really resonates with me on this one, and you will see just why as you scroll down to the last picture.

I like the style of this one; nothing special but extremely functional.

The remnants of the tags are always interesting to me.

Eleanor made some of her own clothes, as you might have inferred from the contents of the previous post.

The clothing in this case really got to me.

The fabric had a feel to it that was so much of another time.

And the embroidery work on the collar of this sun dress was so delicate.

I couldn’t figure out why she or someone else wrote her initials on this dress, especially in such a prominent place.

Here is more of her embroidery work.

I love the color of the hat, and would guess that she added the adornment to it herself.

It might be a bit difficult to make out, but the bow on this dress so resembles the way the string is tied on the outside of the wrapped cases that I immediately made a connection between the two.

Milk Cap

Posted in Family, History, Nature, Uncategorized by joncrispin on 22/12/2011

One day when I was in college, I was standing in front of the mailboxes in Ferncliff Hall and dropped a penny.  It landed on its edge between my feet and stayed that way. I thought it was really cool and decided to leave it there.  I walked by several hours later and it was still in the same place in spite of all the people who had walked by.  I thought of it as a good omen; something unusual that I was a part of, and I remember that day as being especially nice.  A similar thing happened with an aspirin a few years later and I began to pay attention to the correlation between dropping something that stayed on its edge and having a happy and productive day.  Over all these years it has maybe happened 20 or so times with various objects, and I always feel elated. Yesterday morning as I was making tea for Cris and me, I took the cap off the milk and dropped it.  It turned out to be a very nice day.


Posted in Animals, Water by joncrispin on 19/12/2011

I have always liked the birds in Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park.

The swan was spending a lot of time looking for something to eat, and the geese were just sleepin’.

Earl’s Court Tube Station

Posted in Advertising, Architecture, Buildings, Cities, People, Travel by joncrispin on 19/12/2011

I have taken this very same photograph multiple times.  I was looking through my contact sheets for an earlier version and realized just how much has changed over the years in terms of photography.  Shoot film>Develop>Dry>Cut>Put in sleeves>Contact sheets>Edit>Enlarge>Make some postcards>Mail to 3 friends.  Digital is so much easier for me now. Shoot>Download>Edit>Upload>Write post>Get great response from loads of people I have never met.  I understand why some still prefer film, but for me this is so much better.

Fox and Herald

Posted in Animals, Automobiles, Cities, Friends, Nature by joncrispin on 18/12/2011

I am back home, and will post some UK images over the next few days.  It is a bit odd to put up photos after I have returned; I usually have internet connections as I travel.  For various reasons on this trip I wasn’t able to get online very much, and when I did, WordPress didn’t seem to want to take the uploaded photos. /  John and I were walking back from the pub late one night and this fox was just wandering around the street.  It walked into a front garden and the resident cat wasn’t very happy about his visit.  John says he sees foxes all the time in the neighborhood and that they are not bothered much by people.

This sweet little Triumph Herald was parked just down the road from where I saw the fox.  It has a really nice set of Minilite wheels and some kind of custom exhaust.  I always liked these cars.  My parent’s friend Polly Seeley had one in Meadville and I distinctly remember her driving up to our house on Cullum Street with the top down.

John Wilson

Posted in Friends, History, People, Travel by joncrispin on 09/12/2011

I’m in the UK for a few days helping my friend John Wilson do some work on his house in Chiswick.  We don’t get to see each other often enough, but when we do it is always a treat.  We met when we were both living in Berlin in the 1980’s and became close immediately.  I have always been fascinated by his personal history.  He was born in Trinidad, went to boarding school in Barbados, moved to the UK when he was 16, and has lived and worked all over the world.  His family had been in the Caribbean for generations, and his father’s father was the Postmaster General of Grenada.  (Charles Livingstone Wilson)  Today we were in his studio and he wanted to show me a suitcase that contained some family items.  (Suitcases seem to be a theme for me lately.)  The name tag above is sewn on to the tennis shorts that he wore while at the Lodge School in Barbados.

The Pan American tag was on the inside of the case.  It was full of family items and lots of folders, including reports to his mother and father about his progress at school.

I really like looking at old documents.  There is something about the typefaces and writing in ink from a fountain pen that appeals to me.

  Above is his housemaster’s comment (turquoise ink).  And he still is quite the gentleman.

The comment above from the headmaster is a true reflection of the times.  This is from his last term at school. / I am constantly reminded of how amazing all of my close friends are, and am so lucky to be a part of their lives.

Willard Suitcase #9

Posted in Willard Suitcases, Work by joncrispin on 05/12/2011

I had my most productive day ever this past Thursday.  This case belonged to Eleanor G.  I was expecting a regular suitcase from the way it was wrapped, but it was something altogether different.

The museum has a total of five cases from Eleanor, and I photographed all of them but the large steamer trunk.  I’ll get to that on my next visit.

This is a very interesting cardboard storage container, and you can see above how I found it as I opened the drawers.

Eleanor must have sewn a lot.  One of her other cases held two beautiful light cotton dresses that were clearly made by hand.

This drawer holds just a small selection of her sewing kit, and a couple of garters for her stockings.

Here is her little needle case.

The handles of these curling irons are the most beautiful shade of green.

For me, the most beautiful and evocative item was this perfume bottle.  I googled Isabey and this is what I found.  The link is a little funky, but at the top is a picture of the reissued bottle and case.

This could not have been an inexpensive bottle of perfume at the time she got it.  Hand blown glass, and a beautiful velvet lined case.

Peggy helped out big time on Thursday.  Both with rewrapping and seeing things that I might have missed.  It made the day doubly productive.

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