Jon Crispin's Notebook

Willard Suitcases / Joseph A’s Wife

In yesterday’s post I mentioned that Joseph had two trunks in the collection and that one of them contained his wife’s clothes.

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An aspect of this project that I find most interesting is to do with questions that arise from looking at the possessions of the patients.  We know from yesterday’s post that Joseph’s trunks arrived more than a year after he was admitted.  The fact that so much of his wife’s clothing was sent to him makes me wonder if she was alive for part of that year, or if she had died before August of 1945 when he was admitted.  Did her death have something to do with his troubles?  Who sent the trunks to Willard over a year after he became a patient?

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There are, of course, answers to most of these questions.  They are in the patient records that are housed in the New York State Archives.  Due to state law and the policies of the State Office of Mental Health, almost no one (including the descendants of Willard patients) has access to these documents.

Early on in the project, I came to realize that my photographs could encourage viewers to think about the residents of Willard in a manner that went beyond their diagnoses.  In most ways, the official records are not relevant to my feelings about the 400+ people whose cases are in the collection.  As I continue to edit the images, my connection to the patients and staff at Willard continues to grow.

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Peg Ross and I came across numerous small doggies as we were shooting the suitcases.  This one is particularly cute.

I’ll have more to post tomorrow.  Cheers all.

Dogs / Thanks / Home

Posted in Animals, Dogs, Jon Crispin, Travel, Uncategorized by joncrispin on 05/06/2017

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I walked Cris to the World Ed office every morning, and back to the hotel at the end of the day.  Kathmandu has a lot of street dogs, most of whom don’t seem attached to any particular person, although the ones we  regularly saw were in the same areas every day.  You would never want to try to pet them, and they mostly ignore you anyway.  We got used to seeing this pup twice a day near a shop, and she was one of the few leashed dogs that we encountered.  She clearly belonged to someone who cared for her.

Thanks to everyone who passed along good wishes in regards to my eye thing.  I really appreciate it.  We are home now and I see my retina guy tomorrow morning; I am really eager to see what he has to say.  The huge black blob is beginning to resolve a bit, which is encouraging.

More suitcase uploads coming soon.  Thanks for following.

Olive

Posted in Animals, Dogs, Jon Crispin, Labrador Retrievers, Labradors, pets, Uncategorized by joncrispin on 03/05/2017

Olive

My day got a bit mixed up and I am editing and uploading suitcases tonight.  It is a good time to take a break and post this lovely photograph of Olive.  She is about to turn 3.  What a great dog.

Big Stick / Water / Crocus

Olive with stick

Now that the winter is (maybe…probably) over, it is nice to be able to walk in the woods without snow shoes.

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Olive always has a funny look on her face when she is carrying a big stick.  Once she has ventured into the woods and made the difficult decision as to her preference, she is all business.

Waterfall

This time of the year is great for her as she gets the opportunity to spend a lot of time romping in the streams that surround our neighborhood.  By August, this waterfall is usually just a trickle.

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These little guys are starting to pop up through the pine needles.  Nice.

Olive in the Woods

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We had a very dry Summer and Autumn this past year and there has been hardly any water  in the woods above the house.  Olive has really missed splashing around.  After the heavy snow of two weeks ago, the warm temperatures, and the recent rains, she is now back in luck.

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She is amazing when it comes to chasing sticks.

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  It’s colder today so she is spending time next to the wood stove.

Wishing you all a great week.

Olive at the Beach / Dolphins?!?

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Today is Olive’s last day at the beach this year.  The weather is incredible and she has been so happy being in the water almost every day.

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We bought her this green flying saucer type thing which really soars on a windy day.  She swims out to get it and then comes right back.

Except yesterday when Cris was playing with her.  Olive paddled out to the saucer and then started to swim out a bit farther into the ocean.  Cris couldn’t figure out what was going on, and then spotted dolphin fins. Olive must have sensed them as well.  It is hard to know what kind of interaction there would have been if she hadn’t come right back when called.  You would like to think that it would have ended in a nice “Flipper-like” scenario with lots of cavorting and intra-mammal bonding, but you never know.

Thanks to Bob and Kath for having us in the house again this year, and it is so great that they have been here for the latter part of our stay.  Heading back North tomorrow.

Olive at the Beach

Posted in Animals, Beaches, Dogs, Labrador Retrievers, Labradors, Uncategorized by joncrispin on 02/01/2017

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Due to the great generosity of my brother and sister in law, we are back at the beach for a bit.  Olive is thrilled.

Happy New Year to you all.

Olive

Posted in Animals, Dogs, Labrador Retrievers, Labradors, Uncategorized by joncrispin on 24/12/2016

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I haven’t posted much of the Olive lately.  She has developed into a really good ball dog,  and has a particularly interesting way of keeping it on the side of her mouth.  She is really a good girl and a wonderful companion.

Warmth

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The past few days have provided what might be the last warmth before the autumn ends.  Olive and I had a nice walk in the woods yesterday.

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There wasn’t any water for her to mess about in, but she seems to enjoy rooting around in the leaves looking for mushrooms.

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I never remember what this plant is called, but there are tons of them livening up the forrest floor.

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The Amherst Farmer’s Market was quite busy today.  This is turmeric, and I don’t ever recall seeing it fresh like this.  I didn’t buy any, but did get some amazing fresh ginger that will go in the freezer.

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Olive loves to go shopping with us and is so well behaved in town.  She has been a great comfort to us in the past couple of weeks.  The world has felt a bit topsy-turvy of late.

Walking and Bricks

Posted in Cities, Construction, Dogs, Landscape, Rivers, Transportation, Travel, Uncategorized, Water by joncrispin on 15/06/2016

Nepal 14 June 2016

I have been spending my afternoons walking around Kathmandu.  Whenever I see bricks (and there are a lot of them here) I think of my friend Richard Pieper.  He loves bricks.  It is nice to be a photographer as it is impossible to ever be bored.  I see bricks, I think of Pieper, I see motor scooters and I am interested because I have a Vespa, I see people giving water to a stray, injured dog and I am touched, I see rivers and I think of Peter Carroll’s brother Alan who worked on water quality here a long time ago, and I see young children reading and I think of all the work Cris does in helping kids become literate.  I see these things, but I don’t always photograph them.  I am a bit self conscious about poking a camera into the lives of people who are just going about their days.  It always takes me a while to be comfortable, and the only way I can do so is to engage with the people I see.  It is a bit more difficult in a place where many speak only a bit of English, and I speak no Nepali.  But after today, I am beginning to see things that I want to photograph, and I know I will eventually wrap my head about how to go about it.  So today I am showing you bricks.

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And another representation of Krishna.

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Here is the Bishnumati River.  I almost didn’t take this picture,  and I almost didn’t post it here because it felt exploitative in a way.  Coming to a place like Kathmandu and pointing out what we Westerners think of as being messed up largely misses the point.  Water quality is a huge issue here.  This river is everything from a sewer to a rubbish heap and then some.  It is easy for me to say it should be cleaned up.  And it is easy for governments and NGOs to put money into doing just that.  But it is not easy, and there are a lot of people putting a ton of effort into sorting this problem out.  I just wonder what it will take.  Somewhere at its source this river came out of the mountains clean and pure.  Along the way it became this. I’m not really sure how to end here, but it is important for me to be a little optimistic, which I guess I still am.  Maybe someday.

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