Jon Crispin's Notebook

Tilghman Island / New Orleans

Posted in Architecture, Buildings, Cities, Family, Friends, Jon Crispin, Nature, Rivers, Travel, Weather by joncrispin on 25/03/2013

I am going to break a few of my self-imposed rules in this post.  I have always assumed that the reason people come to this site was to see interesting aspects of the world that they might not otherwise notice.  I have never wanted it to be about me.  But this post is mostly  personal.

Peter Carroll and I have been working on a project on Tilghman Island for the past several years.  In conjunction with the Tilghman Island Waterman’s Museum, we have been documenting the life of the watermen for two films that Peter has been shooting.  The second of those films had its premier on Saturday evening at the elementary school.  The auditorium was full and everyone loved it.

Then on Sunday Cristine and I flew to New Orleans where she was to receive an award from the Commission on Adult Basic Education.  We walked around the city most of the day yesterday and it was as amazing to me as everyone said it would be.

Cris got the Kenneth J. Mattran Award for “Promoting Literacy Nationally and Internationally”.  I was so proud and it was great to see people come up to her and thank her for being so inspirational.

After the luncheon we bugged out and walked back to the French Quarter.  I would love to have seen this neon sign lit up, but The Pearl was closed today.  Next stop was Cafe´du Monde for beignets and coffee.  Later as we were walking down an almost totally deserted RiverWalk, we saw a video crew doing a stand up shot of a guy with the river in the background. It turned out to be Jim Cantore from the Weather Channel.

So here’s where I really break my self-imposed rule (don’t ever have a picture of me in this blog).  My great friend Tania Werbizky has at various times in her life been totally obsessed with the Weather Channel.  After Jim was done with his work, I approached him and asked if I could take a photograph.  He was so nice and immediately suggested that he and I be in the shot.  So Tania, I mentioned you to Jim effing Cantore.  How’s about that?

Our hotel is just next to the Superdome and this is the view from the 17th floor hallway. / It is impossible to walk around this city and not think of hurricane Katrina and the devastation it caused.  And looking at this building that housed so many people in such great need is more than a bit unsettling.  This is an amazing part of America and I feel fortunate to have finally made it down here.

Something New

Posted in Baseball, Buildings, Cities, Family, Flowers, Food, Friends, Jon Crispin, Music, Nature, People, Plants, Rivers, Sport, Travel, Water by joncrispin on 01/09/2012

 

 

 

 

 

This post is a way to jump-start my brain.  I have been so preoccupied with Peter that it has been difficult to concentrate on anything else.  It feels great to be focusing on photographs again.  None of these pictures seem so interesting on their own, but together reflect what’s been going on for the past month.

Above is Tom Schack’s birthday cake from the now infamous “Schackstock” at Snowzies in Sunderland.  Bands started playing at 1 pm and things shut down at closing time.  His Mom, Dad, and Sister were there as well as lots of his friends.

He is just about the nicest guy in the world, and was really enjoying himself.

This flower starts showing up partway down the drive in early August.

When I was shooting the Tilghman project in August I made sure to visit Miss Pigsley.  She lives down the street from Jennifer, has an air conditioner in her shed and will never be bacon.  I took this for Peter because we are both huge P.G. Wodehouse fans and any stories with Lord Emsworth feature his obsession with “The Empress”.  This pig is magnificent and is very happy to have visitors.  She used to drink massive amounts of Kool-Aid until the vet put her on a diet.

On the Sunday morning before Peter Carroll and I left the island, we went to the church to document a service.  This gentleman was in the pew in front of me.

I have always liked cattails.

When Cris, Pete, and I went to see the Sox in August, the Olympics were going on and this guy was checking out the US Women’s Soccer action.  Technology!

I had a hard time getting the white balance right in this shot.  I walk past this box on my way to shoot the suitcases.  It always reminds me of  this Little Feat song.

Going back to Meadville means more than hot dogs and ice cream but two stops are essential; Eddie’s and Hank’s Frozen Custard.

I have been going to Hank’s since it opened in 1952.

Peter loves it too.

There is only one reason to post this photo.  It might be the only time you can see Red Sox pitcher Clayton Mortensen at bat in an American League Park.  At this point the Sox were up something like 12-1 and I still can’t figure out why Bobby Valentine had him at the plate.  Kind of cool though.

When we were at Pymatuning watching the ducks walk on the fishes backs we met the woman I posted about earlier.  She was wearing this shirt which got us talking.  I’d like to visit sometime.

It is very rare to be in on an historical moment, but I can say I was there when one of my neighborhood friends coined the term “Rat Lake” for the body of water that appeared after the flood control dam was built.

I usually help Thom Kendall out with the photos on media day for the UMASS football team.  The new coach is a really great guy.  This picture pretty much tells you most of what you need to know about Charley Molnar.

The Pearl out on the deck.

Cris and I went to Amherst Coffee today.  I often take a shot of my cappuccino for some reason.

Never one to hide my emotions, I have been mentioning to just about anyone I talk to about my feelings of having Peter off in DC.  So many of you have told me that he will be fine, and I want to thank you all for your support.  One of the best bits of encouragement came from Leamuse in France as a comment on my earlier post.  “Bon courage et bon chance.”  Thank you so much; it really helps.

Tilghman in Transition

Posted in Animals, Fishing, Food, Friends, People, Rivers, Water, Work by joncrispin on 28/07/2012

The second film Peter is shooting deals with the transitions that Tilghman folks have been making as a result of the changing situation with the bay.  Larry Gowe was in the Navy and when he returned to the island he used what he learned in the service and became an appliance repairman.

His brother Edward works at Walton’s Seafood counting and sorting crabs.

And this is Darnell Murray who was working at Walton’s with Edward.  Darnell was in the Marines for 18 years and served for most of that time on the USS Nimitz.  His grandparents worked at the Tilghman Packing Company.

Here’s one of the soft crabs from this morning’s catch.  We had some for dinner the other night.  Really tasty.

The folks at Tilghman have really opened up their lives to us.  Peter and I have made some very close friends.

Farnham’s Again

Posted in Family, Food, Landscape, Nature, Rivers, Travel, Water by joncrispin on 15/06/2012

Peter and I made the first trip of the summer to Farnham’s yesterday.  The fried clams are really the best we have found anywhere.  I also had a bowl of the chowder which was very good.

Erie Canal Lock 8

Posted in Architecture, Bridges, Landscape, Rivers, Water by joncrispin on 24/09/2011

I was photographing some of the damage to Lock 8 on the Erie Canal on Wednesday.  It is pretty impressive, and I hope to get back soon to do some of the other locks.  They are magnificent structures.

The river is still very muddy from the flooding and the clean-up will take some time.

We Won! (fourth place)

Posted in Animals, Family, Rivers, Water by joncrispin on 04/06/2011

Last Saturday at the Amherst Farmer’s Market Cris bought a raffle ticket for the 4th Annual Fort River Celebration Day Rubber Ducky Derby. It was in support of the Hitchcock Center and the Rushing Rivers Institute.   Hey, $5.00; goes to a good cause.  On our way to the event today she couldn’t find the stub from the form, but she thought our number was 426.  When we got to Goff park, we checked the list and we were actually #258 which is a favorite number of ours.  I was kind of impatient for the off,  and as usual making rude comments to Cris.  The organizers were telling all the kids to make lots of noise during the race so once the ducks hit the water, I started yelling 258  258 258 258…….Cris got as far away from me as she could.

We hadn’t seen our entry before the race and from a distance they all looked the same anyway.  Once the winners were collected and brought to the shore, the organizers (with great fanfare) announced the winners.  #251 came in first,  then second and third were announced.  The prizes were things we didn’t care much about, but 4th prize was a free canoe or kayak rental from Adventure Outfitters.  Then they read the number and it was……258!  We yelled like we had just won the lottery and as we were the only winners present, got a huge round of cheers.

So here’s the winner.  They gave it to us to bring home.  Some of the paint has worn off, so I am guessing this isn’t its first race.  I like the Islands motif.  We went to the ABC after and each had a Guinness to celebrate.

Connecticut River / Hadley, MA

Posted in Landscape, Rivers, Water, Weather by joncrispin on 18/05/2011

The sun has not made an appearance here since last Saturday.  In the winter time, it would most likely bum me out to have everything so gray, but this spring has been amazing.  So many shades of green and the sky so subtle.  It won’t last long, but it is just beautiful. /  This shot is made up of 4 different images that I stitched together.  They were taken on the levee in Hadley that overlooks the Connecticut.

Bartlett Fishrod Factory Dam

Posted in History, Landscape, Plants, Rivers by joncrispin on 17/04/2011

It rained really hard last night, and I thought it would be a good time to start to document the old dam on Amethyst Brook in Pelham.  There is some talk about removing it to allow the river to revert to its original course.  It was built almost 200 years ago, and the small lake above the dam used to be a popular swimming spot for the locals.  When we first moved to the area, it seemed sad that it no longer filled this purpose.  Years ago the state declared it unsafe, and in 2008, the state Office of Dam Safety declared it “structurally deficient”, and the current owners were forced to either repair or remove it.  Lots of dough involved here, and several local and national pro rivers organizations are trying to raise the money needed to start the demolition.  I hated the idea at first (destruction of a cool old structure), but after reading an article in the Amherst Bulletin, it seems to make a sense in terms of restoring the river to its original state.  It’ll be fun to watch what happens.

%d bloggers like this: