Jon Crispin's Notebook

Green Liquid

Posted in Science by joncrispin on 18/02/2013

I am back in Brockport shooting at the College for a few days.  The people here are always so nice and pleasant to be around.  This beaker was in a lab in the department of Environmental Science and Biology.  I didn’t ask what was in it, but the green color was quite lovely.  It was in a bar in San Francisco last week and saw a small martini glass filled with something that looked just like it.

6 Responses

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  1. Scott Bard said, on 19/02/2013 at 6:38 pm

    Mr. Crispin, there’s nothing I can say about your work that hundreds before me haven’t already said, so I’ll leave it at that I am deeply moved. There’s something about the Willard collection, though, that after reading several interviews you did and the photos you shot of the attic at Willard where Beverly Courtwright originally discovered them that the reality really struck me, and it makes the story even sadder still.

    This wasn’t just a storage area just for the bags of those who died and who’s families never came to claim them. This was the storage area for EVERYONE’S bags, and only the bags of those who never made it out are what still remained.

    The setup is too elaborate for just the left-behinds. I’ll bet that on intake residents’ bags were taken and they never saw them again while at Willard. These are the items that people thought they needed for comfort during their stay, but probably never got to see again until the day they may have been released. That’s probably why they are all in such pristine condition.

    Think about it – would patients have had access to razors or syringes or the medications they came in with? Probably not. The things stored in this room were more than likely nothing more than the long forgotten memories of the residents of Willard.

    • joncrispin said, on 14/05/2013 at 11:19 am

      Scott, I am so sorry that your comment got lost in my email. Patients did have access to their bags. Some of the contents were obviously used by the patients while at Willard. Some items would have been kept from them, but for example, there were diaries in the cases that were written during a patient’s stay. And I have spoken to staff who told me directly that access was allowed. Thanks again for your comment. Best, Jon

      • Scott Bard said, on 14/05/2013 at 11:44 am

        Wow, thanks for getting to this John, and wow, I’m surprised they had access! Today you can’t even bring your own Chapstick into a facility and looking at the range of items they had, it’s surprising they were allowed to use them.

      • Scott Bard said, on 14/05/2013 at 11:44 am

        Sorry, Jon, didn’t mean to include the “h”…

  2. Marjorie said, on 03/05/2013 at 5:36 pm

    Can’t say for sure, but given the color and the location I would guess that it’s some sort of algae.

    • joncrispin said, on 04/05/2013 at 12:09 pm

      Marjorie, funny you should comment on this post. I was just at the Exploratorium in San Francisco and in one part of the museum I saw beakers with the same color liquid! Cool. Thanks


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