Jon Crispin's Notebook

The Lucky Bar

Posted in Family, football, Jon Crispin, soccer, Sport, Uncategorized by joncrispin on 21/01/2017

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Today is Peter’s birthday.  United were playing Stoke, so while Cris went to the Capitol for the march, he and I went to The Lucky Bar to watch the match.  I took this photo in added time, about a minute before Rooney equalized.  It was a great goal and the bar went wild.  So nice to watch football with him on his birthday.  Cris is on her way back to his flat, then out to dinner tonight.

Happy birthday, Laddie.

Robert L. Crispin / Cuthbertson Verb Wheel

Posted in ephemera, Family, History, Uncategorized by joncrispin on 16/12/2016

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I never thought of my dad as a bow tie kind of guy.  In fact, this is the only photo that I have with him wearing one.  I found it along with his notes on work he did on the German Cuthbertson Verb Wheel.  I remember him saying that as a grad student at the University of Colorado he did most of the background work putting it together.  Grad students all over the world can recognize this particular situation.

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This one was published in 1933 and belonged to my mom and her brother Bill who were both students at the university.  I’m not sure what H.P.J.C. stands for after Uncle Bill’s name.  My mom was clearly proud of her affiliation with Alpha Chi Omega.

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I looked online, and couldn’t find much information on Cuthbertson beyond the fact that he taught at C.U and was Chairman of the Department of Modern Languages.  And clearly he gave credit to his wife Lulu (great name) who worked with him on all the Romance language wheels they published.

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When I picked up the wheel this morning, I was cheered to see that the arrow pointed to the verb “lächeln” (smile).  Not a bad way to start the weekend.

Peggy Ross has worked with me on the suitcases project from the very start, and today is her birthday.  Happiest of days, Peg.

Cheers everyone.

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.

Karma Congestion… (UPDATE)

©2016 Jon Crispin

…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).

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I’ve been in and out of the New Haven train station a lot lately and have always liked these tunnels.

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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.

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Olive is now just over 2 years old and is the most wonderful dog. My pal Peter Carroll took this picture.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Here is John and Lynne’s dog Scooter.  He is a mischievous sweetie.

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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.

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The older kids paddled out beyone the end of the pier and back.  It looked exhausting.

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The US Open of Surfing was happening the same day and the pier was jammed with people.

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We also usually make it out to the Huntington Library in Pasadena,

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mostly just for the chance to see Gainsborough’s Blue Boy.  It never gets old.

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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!

Gordon Krighoff

Posted in Art, ephemera, Family, History, painters, Uncategorized by joncrispin on 16/02/2016

Gordon Krieghoff

I have mentioned my Krieghoff connection before.  Like Cornelius, Gordon was also a painter, and he lived and worked in Detroit, which is where my mom grew up. If I remember correctly, they were contemporaries, although Gordon was somewhat older.  In addition to works like the one above, he was also a commericial artist.

While my family doesn’t have any Cornelius paintings, we do have quite a few of Gordon’s.  There is not much of a market for his work, and there isn’t much information online about his life.  It is possible that my brother or sister know more than I, and they might add something in the comments.  I don’t ever remember meeting him as a child.

When my parents died, we siblings each got several of the paintings.  The frames were in pretty good shape but the mats were yellowed and probably not acid-free.  This is the second one that I have had reframed, and like the first, there was something sketched out on the reverse side of the painting.

Gordon Krieghoff painting

This is clearly the beginning of what was probably an advertisement of some sort.  I know he did illustrative work for some of the larger Detroit companies, including General Motors.  Like many of us, I wish I had more concrete facts about my extended family history.

French Chicken in a Pot / Vera Louise Krieghoff

Posted in Family, Food, History, Jon Crispin by joncrispin on 10/02/2015

Late yesterday afternoon I made a French chicken in a pot.  I haven’t made it in a while and it was terrific.  In the evening as I was finishing washing up my mom’s well and tree platter, I turned it over and saw this inscription, which I had never noticed.  It was a bit confusing at first, as I was pretty sure it was a wedding gift, but on that day (June 18, 1940) she became Vera Louise Crispin and forever gave up Vera Louise Krieghoff.  (She was proud to have become Mrs. Robert L. Crispin; in fact when the ways of addressing women started to change in the early 70s and she would get mail addressed to MS Vera Crispin, she would write on the envelope “no one at this address by that name” and return it to the post office.  She had a tremendous sense of humor and was in her own way quite subversive.)

I am guessing it could have been a wedding shower gift given to her sometime before the big day.  Here is the mark on the back, but unfortunately the top is obscured and I can’t tell who made it.  If any of you recognize it, I would very much like to know.

Violet on “Clunky”

Posted in Family, Friends by joncrispin on 04/10/2014

Here is my godchild Violet on what she calls “clunky”.  It is a zip line in a nice little park in Stratford upon Avon.  I even got a ride on it and it is FUN.

Another Walk and a Baby

Posted in Animals, Dogs, Family, Flowers, Friends, Jon Crispin, Nature, Travel by joncrispin on 30/09/2014

Cris and I took the Olive up into the woods late this afternoon.  Thanks to Sarah, Leonard, and SCJ (all readers of this blog) I think I can safely say that this is a ghost plant (aka Indian Pipe, monotropa uniflora, or monotropa hypopithys).

And there is no doubt this is a dirty yellow labrador retriever .  It hasn’t rained much lately so the woods (is?) are full of lots of mud holes and very little running water.  What is most amazing to me is that within an hour she is completely clean again.

And my lovely niece Heather just had another girl. On Sunday, we got to meet her while she was chillin’ with her big sister.

I am off to the UK on Thursday for some work and some fun.  My great friend John Wilson just sent me this link to a wonderful article on lists.  It is a great story.  He’ll pick me up at Heathrow Friday morning and I can’t wait to see him.

My Father / Colorado

Posted in Family, Graveyards, Jon Crispin by joncrispin on 27/09/2014

My father died in August of 2007 and my brother, sister, and I have been trying to figure out when we could all meet in Colorado to spread his ashes.

Robert LeRoy Crispin (he hated the LeRoy part) was born in Central City, Colorado on 19 August 1917.  He was a man completely formed by his difficult early life.  At the age of 6 his father died (probably from black lung due to his working in the mines), and as his mother was often poorly, he was largely raised by grandparents.

My family; Bob, Karen, I at Richard Crispin’s grave in the Knights of Pythias cemetery.

Dad’s other side of the family were buried nearby in the IOOF (Odd Fellows) Cemetery.  Both sides of the family were Cornish, whose men worked in the lead mines there and came to Colorado to work the silver mines.

We spread some of dad’s ashes near his Wilkinson grandparents.  This watch belonged to his grandfather.  I usually keep it on my desk at home, but really wanted to bring it along for the trip.

The house he was born in on The Casey (now Casey Street) has been torn down, but this is the entry to his grandparent’s house next door.  Dad would have walked through this door countless times.

And seen this view across the valley every day.

And often would have walked up this path at the end of the street.

I have been meaning to do a long post about my father for a very long time, and I know I will get to it some day.  We had a somewhat complicated relationship, but he was an amazing guy whose life was remarkably full and interesting.

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.

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