Jon Crispin's Notebook

Willard Suitcases / Rodrigo L again

Willard Suitcases
Rodrigo L

I am back to editing more of Rodrigo L’s papers.  This is an amazing photo postcard. / Rodrigo lived in Salt Lake City during his high school years.  Many of his yearbooks are in his collection as well as a ton of materials related to his Pilipino experience in the US .

Willard Suitcases
Rodrigo L

He came to the American West sometime in the early part of the 20th Century, which makes me wonder what his experience adapting to his new life was like.

Willard Suitcases
Rodrigo L

You can check out the latest at the suitcases site.

I have just three more shoots to edit.  I have a feeling that when I finish that part of the project I will be very emotional and a little bit at sea.  Still lots to do though, including finding a publisher and museums / galleries for exhibits.  I started shooting the cases in March of 2011.  It has been quite a run.  Thanks for following.

Willard Suitcases / Madeline C

Willard Suitcases
Madeline C

I have posted about Madeline before and her possessions represent a very interesting life before she came to Willard.

Willard Suitcases
Madeline C

Throughout this project I have consciously tried to avoid obvious links between the objects in the collection and any sort of connection to being institutionalized, but  I found it interesting that this was the only recording among Madeline’s things.

Willard Suitcases
Madeline C

She came to Willard with a fairly complete record of her life in New York City, including her time studying at Columbia University and Hunter College.

Willard Suitcases
Madeline C

She seemed to be interested in philosophy.  There were quite a few references to Bergson in her papers.

Willard Suitcases
Madeline C

Her handwriting was really lovely.

Willard Suitcases
Madeline C

Her diaries were especially complete.

Willard Suitcases
Madeline C

I searched online for this poem thinking that she might have copied it as an exercise in writing in English (her first language was French), but nothing turned up.

Willard Suitcases
Madeline C

In any event, it is an incredible piece of writing.

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Madeline C

It is especially interesting how well her life was documented in photographs, and that most of the images also had their original negatives.  Looking at the dates in her diaries, many of these were taken in the 1920s.

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Madeline C

The fox stole around her neck in the picture on the right is something that one doesn’t see anymore.

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Madeline C

I have stayed in the Prince George Hotel on W. 27th Street twice in my life.  Once in high school with my friends Jay, Jeff, and Dennis.  That was an interesting trip!  And once sometime in the 80s shortly before it became an SRO.  Quite interesting as well.

You can check out the photos of Madeline’s cases at the Willard Suitcases site.  Click on “The Cases”, scroll to the bottom and click on Madeline C.  Be sure to click “view all” as there are many more than 25 images.  The site was hacked into recently and everything seems to be sorted now.  Huge thanks to Steve Fox at Born Digital Web Design for getting it fixed.  He’s the man if you need a photo site set up.

Willard Suitcases / UTMB / Otters

Posted in Animals, Asylums, Jon Crispin, Nature, Uncategorized, Willard Asylum, Willard Suitcases by joncrispin on 23/01/2018

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Well, this is quite amazing.  I had an incredible week in Galveston, which was capped off by a lovely dinner with the resident Osler Scholars, after which this lovely bust of Dr. William Osler was presented to me .  I have never in my life as a photographer felt so respected and acknowledged.  I spent the week talking about the suitcases in a variety of venues and was able to hear so many interesting comments on the collection.  It is difficult for me to say how important this week was to me, but it was such a positive, affirming experience that I am at a bit of a loss for words.  Huge thanks to Dr. Dwight Wolf and Rosemary Lindley for everything they have done to support the project.

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Before coming home, Cris and I took the time to go out to Moody Gardens.  It was so cool to see these giant river otters.

Back home now and trying to decompress from an intense week.  A little stressed today as it seems the willardsuitcases.com site is having problems.  I have been on the phone most of the day trying to get it sorted.  The link above still is still functional but if you just type in the regular url it is broken.  Arrrrgh.  Hope to get it sorted soon.

Willard Suitcases / Madeline C / UTMB

Willard Suitcases Project
Madeline C

I apologize for the long gap in posting about the suitcases.  It has been an incredibly busy time.  I have been devoting most of my mental energy getting prepared for a series of talks at the University of Texas Medical Branch that are scheduled for next week.  This is a huge honor for me, as I will be a visiting Osler scholar.  When I was in Galveston in 2016 presenting to NAMI Gulfcoast I was approached by Dr. Dwight Wolf about returning to speak at UT to the Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences department.  Cristine and I fly out on Sunday (weather dependent), and there are events scheduled for the whole week.

Here is a rundown.

Monday the 15th – I’ll be speaking about the suitcases and my other work at the Galveston Arts Center from 6-8 pm.

Tuesday the 16th – Osler Club Grand Rounds, Temple B’nai Israel, 3008 Avenue O, Galveston.  I believe this is open to the public but reservations are required.

Earlier that day I will present the project to residents at UTMB.  This is not open to the public.

Wednesday the 17th – IMH Colloquium at UTMB during the lunch hour.  Jennie Sealy Hospital.  This might be open to the public, I’m not sure.

That evening I’ll be speaking at the Galveston Historical Foundation about the suitcases and my other documentary institutional work.  6-7 pm at Menard Hall, 3302 Avenue O, Galveston.

Thursday the 18th – There is an open mic event with Dr. Steve Fisher with a display of photographs of both of our work.  Dr. Fisher has been photographing the collection of medical specimens at UTMB.  Should be interesting.  3rd Floor Old Red.  I’ve been told it is an amazing building.

That’s it for now.  Thanks for following.

Beach Snow / Jellyfish

Posted in atlantic ocean, Beaches, Cnidarians, Dogs, Jon Crispin, Labrador Retrievers, Uncategorized by joncrispin on 05/01/2018

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It is easy to see where the high tide line is here.

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There were several of these interesting gelatinous creatures that had been washed up on the beach.

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I want to call them jellyfish, but I’m not sure.  They might fit into the cnidaria phylum, but I would appreciate anyone who could tell me what they are.

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I love looking at the patterns that form when the tide is going out.  This could be a photo taken from 20,000 feet, even though it isn’t.

Snow in Coastal Carolina

Posted in Jon Crispin, Uncategorized, Weather by joncrispin on 03/01/2018

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It was strangely beautiful here today.  Rain then freezing rain then sleet then snow.  At least a couple of inches on the ground.  We didn’t make it to the beach today and the Olive is getting a bit eager to go for a swim.  It will be a tad warmer tomorrow with sunshine.

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New Year’s Day 2018

Posted in Beaches, Jon Crispin, Uncategorized, waves, Weather by joncrispin on 01/01/2018

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Wishing you all a happy and productive 2018.  Thanks for following this silly little blog.

This is the annual Polar Bear Plunge on the island.  It takes a special kind of person to run into the Atlantic when the outside temperature is 30 degrees.

Wilson, NC

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We stopped for gas at the northernmost Wilson, NC exit.  I wonder what this interesting abandoned building once was.

Delaware

Posted in Bridges, Dogs, Jon Crispin, Uncategorized by joncrispin on 24/12/2017

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Hi Everyone, lots going on.  Sorry for neglecting this site.  I’ll have some suitcase updates soon.  Here we are looking  toward the Delaware Memorial Bridge just before sunrise. / Olive is in the foreground on her morning stroll.

An Interesting Day or Two

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Yesterday I took the train from Stratford upon Avon to Marylebone London.  It was raining.

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I made it with plenty of time to spare to make the 5.30 kickoff for the Fulham v Derby County match (ended in a 1-1 draw, but still fun).

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After the match I walked back to my hotel past my favorite row of houses.  Most of them have these amazing stained glass doors.  Mind blowingly beautiful.

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This morning I had a bit of a plan that started in Bishop’s Park.

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I wanted to walk past the Cottage again.  Last night, I entered the ground through door 36.  Quite narrow.

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I really like these graphic tiles set into the pavements along the Thames Walk.  Especially the smell lines coming out of the poo.

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Next stop was The Dove in Hammersmith for a pint of ESB.  Nice

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I started inside in the tiny bar and then moved to the deck out back.

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Just before I got to my ultimate destination (next photo), I got a text from Cris at home telling me to call immediately.  This is why; a giant fookin’ tree had fallen on my Element, and had knocked over my Vespa.  I think the Element might just be toast, but the Vespa could be ok.  Kind of put a damper on things.

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Many years ago John Wilson surprised me at the end of a very long walk along the Thames with this view.

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Here is a closer look at the Naked Ladies of Twickenham.

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And another.

I made it back to the Dove for more beer and a Sunday roast.  Tomorrow I have some meetings with folks interested in the suitcase project.  V exciting.

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