Jon Crispin's Notebook

Block Island

Posted in Beaches, Jon Crispin, Landscape, Nature, People, Science, Travel, Water by joncrispin on 29/06/2014

We took the ferry to Block Island today.  This evening we walked down to Mansion Beach.  Cris has a knack for finding the most amazing things on beaches.  She found an iPhone once in South Carolina.

Tonight she found this.

And then she found the box it came in.

It appears to be some kine of weather device that was attached to a balloon.

Here’s the code number.

It’s in the back of the car now.

Here’s a sand castle about to disappear.

That Thing Again (with Manner)

Posted in Food, Superstition by joncrispin on 28/06/2014

So odd.  I picked up four of these Manner wafers in the grocery store, put them in the cart and this one fell out of the kiddie seat onto the floor.  I had left my camera in the car so I shot this with my phone.  Two days in a row; something in the air.

That Thing Again (with phone)

Posted in Superstition by joncrispin on 27/06/2014

It happened again.  I left DC this morning at 6.00 and when I got home this afternoon I texted Peter to tell him that I had made it safely.  He replied, I tossed the phone onto the ottoman and it stood on end.  I left it this way for about an hour.

And a note about the Lavender ice cream.  Lisa, you really should try it.  Very subtle; mostly just sweet cream with just a hint of the lavender.  I am still thinking about it.

Tilghman(‘s) Island/DuPont Circle

Posted in Architecture, Automobiles, Buildings, Cities, Fishing, Food, History, Maps, Rivers, Transportation, Travel, Water, Work by joncrispin on 26/06/2014

I  have spent the last two days on Tilghman Island shooting more artifacts and a bunch of really interesting artwork.  It is a remarkable place, and I just love working there.  The above shot is a detail from a very old linen map of oyster beds near the island.  It was literally falling apart but is an amazing remnant of work life on the bay.

After 6 months of really hard work, it looks like Peter has found a job.  It will be a few weeks before he starts, but we are so happy for him.  I took a quick shower after the drive back to DC from Tilghman’s and we went right out to buy him some work clothes.  There is a GAP practically next to Nando’s so we ate some chicken and then went to Larry’s for ice cream.  It is a wonderful place on Connecticut Avenue.  I had lavender, which was probably the most interesting flavor I’ve had in years.

Home tomorrow.

Willard Suitcases/Lawrence Mocha/Theresa L.

Posted in ephemera, History, Willard Asylum, Willard Suitcases by joncrispin on 23/06/2014

There is a very interesting article in today’s Finger Lakes Times.  Here is the link.  It brings up the whole issue of names and honoring those who lived and worked at Willard, and is well worth the read.

I shot Theresa’s case recently and it contained some interesting articles.  If anyone out there can tell me for what “Banana Liquid” was used, I’ll send you a postcard.  Reply in comments and I will get in touch and ask for a mailing address.

Peta Pixel/Peabody Essex Museum/Farnham’s

Posted in Architecture, Art, Asylums, Buildings, Family, Fish, Food, Fried Clams, Friends, Travel, Willard Suitcases by joncrispin on 18/06/2014

There was a very nice mention of the suitcases project on PetaPixel yesterday. Thanks DL Cade!

Cristine, our friend Kate, and I drove to Salem today to see the J M W Turner exhibit at the Peabody Essex Museum.  It is amazing and worth the trip.  No photos allowed in the gallery, but it is a very cool museum.  Note the early Airstream trailer (lower right) that is part of the mid century LA exhibit.

We then drove up to Essex to eat some clams at Farnham’s.  For those of you who follow this site, I have posted about this place before.

The upcoming 10 days are going to be very hectic for me, so please be patient if I don’t respond directly to email.  I’ll do my best.

Luna Moth

Posted in Insects, Nature by joncrispin on 15/06/2014

I surprised myself by knowing that this was a luna moth.  I have a terrible head for remembering the names most of insects and plants, but I knew right away what it was.  This lovely guy (gal?) has been on the side of the house most of the day.  So beautiful.  Anyone out there know much about these creatures?

Have a great week everyone.

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Willard Suitcases / Fred T / NYSHA presentation / La Repubblica

Posted in Willard Asylum, Willard Suitcases by joncrispin on 09/06/2014

Hi everyone.  Fred T’s suitcase is really interesting.  I have just uploaded it to the willardsuitcases.com site and you should check it out (Click on “The Cases” and then click on Fred T).  It was a great case for a lot of reasons, not the least of which it proves that many residents of Willard were free to walk the grounds and to leave on occasion.

He also clearly had an entrepreneurial spirit.

Fred’s other interest was railroads.  He made a comprehensive list of every train station in the United States.

The stations were alphabetized on these sheets of paper that were then folded into three columns.  On the open one you can see Meadville, PA, which is the town where I grew up.  My parents used to pile my siblings and me into the station wagon and we would go down to watch the evening passenger train go through.

It is poignant to see the dates on Fred’s diary.  It makes his life seem all the more real to me.  Sunday the 11th April, 1926 was a day that Fred wrote about, and now we are able to learn something about his life more than 88 years later .  Amazing

This coming Saturday morning (14 June), Karen Miller and I will be talking about our work with the suitcases at the annual conference of the New York State Historical Association.  It will be held at Marist College in Poughkeepsie.  There is a Saturday only fee of $25.00 to attend, but it would be great to see any of you who could make it.  Karen will be reading some of her poems and I will talk about my work with the cases.

Finally, the Italian site La Repubblica did a very nice spread on the project.  Check it out here.  Thanks Agnese!

Willard Suitcases / Agnes M / White Star Britannic

Posted in Boats, Family, History, Ocean Liners, Ships, Transportation, Travel, Willard Suitcases by joncrispin on 05/06/2014

Peggy and I had a very productive day shooting the suitcases yesterday.  We are continuing to make great progress, and still have hopes that we can finish all the cases by the end of the year.

I have always been fascinated by the labels that are on some of the cases and this one is particularly interesting.  The White Star Line has an interesting history and even though there is a bit of confusion about the name of the ship here, I am quite sure it is the Britannic.  (On the label it seems to say Britanica, but when I did an online search only Britannic came up.)  The “Sailing from” line is very difficult to read, but it looks to be Qu….town (Queenstown?) and the sailing date is “Sep 28”.  The port of landing (such a quaint phrase) is definitely New York.  You can see the U.S. Customs sticker in the shot below.

So, as usual, lots of questions come up and I am hoping that anyone who knows about ocean liners and travel might have some suggestions about what route this might have been for Agnes M.  If any of you want to do some serious work on this, I can email a high res file of the label.

Karen Miller, my friend who is using the cases and their owners as a basis for writing amazing poems was in Rotterdam with us yesterday, and she and I realized that we were both passengers on the SS United States in 1957.  She was on her way to the UK to live there for a year with her family, and I was returning from some months in Europe and the UK with my family.  I posted about that trip here.

Kickstarter Rewards

Posted in History, Willard Asylum, Willard Suitcases by joncrispin on 02/06/2014

Today I finished printing all the smaller prints for the backers of my Kickstarter campaign.  I posted an update on my KS page for backers, but I wanted to mention it here as well.  I LOVE printing these images.  There is something about how they look on paper, as opposed to the computer screen, that knocks me out.  I have printed extras as I usually do, and for any of you who missed out on the campaign and would like to be a part of the project, I would be open to selling prints.  Just shoot me an email or comment below and I will be happy to talk about pricing.  I’ll start stuffing and addressing envelopes tomorrow.  Thanks for all the interest in the project and have a great week.

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