I have been seeing these chickens and their mobile home in Hadley for a while now and the light was nice tonight so I stopped.
I passed them as I was driving over to Northampton to see my friend Tom Schack’s band Outer Stylie perform as Talking Heads in the annual Transperformance show at Look Park. It is an annual event that benefits the Northampton Arts Council and is huge fun.
Here’s Tom rocking out dressed as Tina Weymouth. He is the sweetest guy in the world.
And here’s the full band. They sounded great!
I just got word that the governor of New York State has signed Senate Bill S840A. Here is the summary of the bill; “(Senate Bill S840A ) relates to patients interred at state mental health hospital cemeteries; directs the release of the name, birthdate and date of death of certain patients 50 years after the date of death”. I am not totally clear about what “certain patients” means, and to whom this information may be released, but this is certainly good news. Here is a link to two earlier posts I did about the cemetery and the whole issue of names. Click on Coleen Spellecy’s and Lin Stuhler’s links to read about the two people who did the most to get this bill through the legislature. And thanks to Joe Robach for being persistent in getting the bill passed and signed into law.
The issue of not being allowed to name the owners of the suitcases has always bothered me. I have been expressly told by both the New York State Museum and the New York Office of Mental Health that due to state law, I am forbidden to use the surnames of the patients when I publish the photographs, even though some of those names have already been mentioned in local newspapers and in other sources. I feel that not using surnames continues to dehumanize the folks who were already stigmatized just by being patients at Willard. Due to this new law, it might be possible, in some instances, to begin using full names. All in all, this is a pretty exciting development.
Thanks for following and check out the suitcases site to see the latest.
…is a phrase my dear friend Alex Ross coined many years ago. I think I have mentioned it here before. We use it as a general catch-all to cover anything from mild creative block to what the Germans call Weltschmerz. I have been somewhere in it for a while now. I haven’t been posting much, but I have been shooting quite a bit and I wanted to put up a few shots here. / I was chastised by a Kathmandu policeman just after I shot this ↑. The white kiosk in the middle of the intersection was put there this very day. The old one was lying on its side on the corner beside me (and is quite possibly still there).
I’ve been in and out of the New Haven train station a lot lately and have always liked these tunnels.
Our friends Scott and Lisa very generously invite us to visit them on Block Island for a few days in July. This was the view from their rental. We had a lovely time.
Olive is now just over 2 years old and is the most wonderful dog. My pal Peter Carroll took this picture.
These two big stones are in the empty lot next to the house on Ensenada Drive in Woodland Hills, CA where Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band recorded “Trout Mask Replica”. I was going to take a photo of the house, but it is a private residence now and I didn’t want to bother the current occupants. I had a friend in college by the name of Greg Trout whose granny gave him a copy of the album for his birthday. The only reason she bought it for him was that his surname was in the title. When I first heard it, it seemed beyond unlistenable. Now it is one of my most favorite records. Beefheart was a genius. Click on this only if you are open to weirdness.
My brother-in law John is also a huge Beefheart fan. He was up for the excursion to Woodland Hills especially if it involved a stop at Musso and Frank is Hollywood. John is totally amazing and so much fun to be with. He was raised in Southern California and his knowledge of the area is staggering.
He grew up in Palos Verdes and gave us a tour on a lovely Sunday morning. This is a detail of a fountain that is in the center of town.
Here is John and Lynne’s dog Scooter. He is a mischievous sweetie.
Cris and I always go to Huntington Beach when we are in California. The summer program for future lifeguards was happening as we were there. There was a wide range of ages of the kids, and it was way cool to see all of the participants in their red suits and colorful caps.
The older kids paddled out beyone the end of the pier and back. It looked exhausting.
The US Open of Surfing was happening the same day and the pier was jammed with people.
We also usually make it out to the Huntington Library in Pasadena,
mostly just for the chance to see Gainsborough’s Blue Boy. It never gets old.
Peter was visiting from DC last week, and we made our annual trip to Essex to eat fried clams at Farnham’s. It was a beautiful day and the view from the picnic tables can not be beat.
Thanks for following and for giving me the opportunity to unclog some of that karma congestion. I think it worked. Cheers.
UPDATE. This is indicative of how spaced out I am, but the picture of Olive was taken by Peter Carroll. It is the best photograph of her ever, and he totally deserves the credit. Sorry Pete!
Even though my summer has been scattered location-wise, I have been able to work regularly on editing the suitcases, and have been able to upload a good number of them to the Willard Suitcases site. Click on “The Cases” to see the latest. Theresa F was admitted to Willard on 3 April 1935.
It might be a good time to mention a couple of upcoming events where I will be talking about the project. In early October I will be traveling to Galveston to speak at NAMIFEST 2016. NAMI is a national organization dedicated to supporting individuals and families dealing with issues of mental illness. I’ll be speaking at the dinner event on Friday (the 7th). If you have been following the project and live in the Gulf Coast area, please think about attending.
The following week, I will be speaking at a very interesting event in Raleigh, NC. The “Lives on the Hill” project is being organized by the North Carolina Health News folks, and will be highlighting the shuttered Dix Hospital property in downtown Raleigh. I will be speaking at the Sunday (the 16th) event taking place at the Student Center on the NC State Campus. There will also be an exhibit of the photographs up for the entire month of October. I’ll update about the location once those details are finalized.
It is very exciting to be involved in both of these events, and I am really looking forward to being a part of them.
I have been all over the place this summer and posting here has been irregular. Nepal was a while ago and I still have photos to share, but it is difficult for me to play “catch-up”. I like being able to post immediately and when I put it off, I often lose interest. But I do want to share some of this.
Our second full day in the Western Hills started in Sanphebagar. We visited two different schools and it was amazing.
There are two types of education in Nepal; public and private. Kids who go to the public schools wear blue uniforms.
This young fellow is at the Khaparmandu Primary School (Sanphe municipality-2, Goyal Pani, Achham).
I often had to quietly enter the classrooms because the kids were very interested in my presence. I didn’t want to disrupt the lessons, but there was always at least one kid who wanted to see what I was up to.
They eventually got used to me though. This little girl was especially connected to what was going on in the classroom. She was really paying attention to the teacher and seemed to have an answer to any question that was posed.
Males in Nepal often have a comfortable physical association with each other. It is really nice to see this kind of connection.
I like this photo of the bus. It doesn’t really fit into the narrative, but here it is anyway.
The second school we visited was the Saraswoti Lower Secondary School (Sanphe Municipality-2 Loli, Achham).
The classrooms are only illuminated by window and door light, and it is amazing what digital cameras can record in such low light. This is a pretty typical room with fabric covering a dirt floor.
Everyone leaves their shoes outside.
The classes featured a bit of participation by the kids. Often, one child would come up to the front of the room and be asked to recite a lesson.
The kids were so sweet. As I noted earlier, they were very interested in us, and quite open. It is likely that they haven’t seen any Westerners at their school before. Sanphebagar isn’t particularly on any trekking route, and especially during the recent Maoist uprising there wasn’t much contact with outsiders.
The monsoon began in earnest as we were heading back to Dhangadhi. Driving is always interesting in Nepal, and in these conditions was quite thrilling.
There will be one last post on the trip, which I hope to get up soon. I spent a day in Sindhupalchowk, which was devastated in last year’s earthquake. There are some very interesting projects there that World Education Nepal is supporting and I am eager to share them here.
Thanks for following.