Jon Crispin's Notebook

Willard Suitcases / John R

Willard Suitcases Project

John R had quite a collection of interesting objects in his cases.  He certainly was interested in the wild west.

Willard Suitcases Project

The green shirt has a classic western look and the tie with the scantily clad woman is pretty cool.  One wonders if he ever wore it, and if so, where.  The object in the middle of the photo is a jock strap.  I remember them from gym class when I was a kid, but you don’t see them around much anymore.

Willard Suitcases Project

Back in the day, men sometimes wore garters with their socks.  This color gray is beautiful.

Willard Suitcases Project

I am thinking that these leather straps went with some sort of jodhpur trousers, but I suppose they could have also been worn around the wrists.  Anyone out there have an idea about this?

Click here to see all of John’s cases.  Don’t forget to click on the “view all” tab, as there are more than 25 images in the gallery.  I am really proud of this one.

Robert LeRoy Crispin, Born 19 April 1917

world war II Yokohama

That’s my father in the middle.  He was born in Central City, Colorado one hundred years ago today.  He died on 14 August 2007. / I think I might have posted this photograph some time ago, but it is an image that is on the wall in my studio and I am really drawn to it.  The original is a 4″x5″ contact print and it is beautiful.

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Apparently, the photographer was someone called Noyes and I assume he was using the standard Navy issue camera which was most likely a Graflex.  His pals were “Kinch” Kincheloe and Chuck Louin (not sure of the surname, it is hard to tell from the writing).

The date here is interesting as the Japanese surrendered on the 2nd.  My dad was on a ship next to the USS Missouri on that day.  Two days later he was in Yokohama Harbor, and shortly after that he and his pals were the first Americans on the island of Hokkaido.  The Navy had taught his to speak, read, and write fluent Japanese in about 18 months.  He was pretty good at languages.

Thinking of you today Dad.

DCA / Zoo

Posted in Animals, institutionalization, Jon Crispin, Nature, Uncategorized by joncrispin on 18/04/2017

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Catching an early flight out of DCA.  I like airports in the morning. /  I went to the zoo yesterday.

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I have mixed feelings about zoos. The one in DC is pretty great though.  I look at this zebra and feel bad that he or she is not out running around the Savannah enjoying what would be a normal life.

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But then I go over to see the lions and I realize that at least the zebra isn’t constantly worrying about getting chased down and et by one of these guys.

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The prairie dogs were not out and about, but it was nice to see this little sculpture near their exhibit.

I’ll upload more suitcases soon.

D.C.

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It is always a treat to be in D.C.  The weather was perfect for baseball yesterday.  Peter and I copped a couple of $5.00 seats (section 401, row M, seats 1 and 2).  As far away from home plate as you can get, but for us, the best view in the house.

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I have posted a Sulgrave Manor photo before, but I am always drawn to this particular  entry.  I really like this part of Connecticut Avenue.  It was a lovely evening for a walk.  So much is in bloom and the temperature is perfect.

Wishing all you Massachusetts residents a relaxing Patriots’ Day tomorrow.  And to everyone, a happy and productive week.

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.

Willard Suitcases / Delmar H

Willard Suitcases / Delmar H.
©2013 Jon Crispin
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Delmar had several leather cases which were distinguished by some lovely travel labels.

Willard Suitcases / Delmar H.
©2013 Jon Crispin
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

The Hotel Stella d’Italia & Aquila Nera in Bologna doesn’t seem to exist anymore.  One of the few online links I could find was here.

Willard Suitcases Project

This was another one of his beautiful cases.

Willard Suitcases Project

Sadly, this hotel doesn’t appear to be around anymore either.  Here is a link to a postcard that is for sale.

Willard Suitcases Project

And I can’t begin to guess the relevance of Voltaire to the Republica Argentina.

Check out the latest uploads at the suitcases site, and thanks for following.

Opening Day

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I will often go to Fenway without a ticket in the hope that something will pop up (no pun intended).  When I got to the park I was amazed to see the line for the “day of game” tickets was quite short so I queued up and snagged a cheap (for the Sox) ticket out in the right field  grandstand.

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It is always special to walk into Fenway, especially on opening day.

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The NESN sideline reporter was ready for the cold, but it warmed up nicely.  By the 4th inning I took off my jacket, down vest, and wool sweater.

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I am including this shot for Peter Carroll.  Look closely and you will notice that the “camera” on the tripod for this guy’s live feed is an iPhone!  Amazing.

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The Sox were playing the Pirates, and I am including this shot for my son Peter.  We joke a lot about the 1970s Pirates hats, and this gentleman was totally decked out, including his Willie Stargell jersey.  He wasn’t so happy at the end of the day, as the Sox won 5-3.

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I ended up sitting in the second row of right field box 88, and had a really enjoyable time with the usher in that section, Bobby the Brick.  It was a blast to watch him work the game; keeping people moving, and bantering with the crowd.  He would randomly ask folks what the score was, how many runners were on base, etc, just to make sure we were all paying attention.  He is a totally great guy who grew up in the North End and loves his job.

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I always like to look around between innings.  My seat was just under the retired numbers of famous Red Sox players.  Love that blue sky.

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This was the first time I had taken the Commuter Rail to the park.  There is a new stop just steps from Fenway and it was great.  I love trains.

Willard Suitcases / John R (again) / Quote

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I have learned so much from people who stumble across the project and take the time to comment.  Simon wrote in to say this about the photographs.  “The psychology of keeping belongings is as complicated and as deep as the human spirit itself, the depth of which we will never see. Lets hope recording this project takes us closer.”

Willard Suitcases Project

Thanks, Simon.  Such a perceptive look at my work with the collection, and I really appreciate your insight.

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I had photographed John R’s case over two different days, and yesterday when I edited and uploaded the photographs from the second shoot I was reminded how much fun it was to see what he brought with him to Willard.

Willard Suitcases Project

He clearly had a thing for the Lone Ranger and Tonto, as well as for these discreetly covered women.

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John was clearly learning to speak English, as there were lots of worksheets where he was practicing his vocabulary.

Willard Suitcases Project

It is possible that John worked for a time at GE as he had these brochures about insurance and a pension plan.

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The Mickey Rooney photo is pretty nice.

This is a good time to remind you all about the comments on this site.  It is not obvious where to click to see them, but it usually worth the effort.  At the very bottom of the post is a small “comments” button.  Click it to see what folks are saying.  The dress that I posted last week has been getting quite a few interesting responses, including an amazing one that just came in from my pal Dhyan.  Check it out.

2017 Smith College Bulb Show

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Cristine and I always look forward to the Smith College Bulb Show.  Always in mid March, it is a lovely reminder that Spring is not far off.

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There are always a ton of very exotic tulips.

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It ends tomorrow, so if you live in the Valley and want to see it, get moving!

Willard Suitcases / John R / Talks

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When I talk about the project I am often asked if I have a favorite suitcase.  My answer is always the same; from the start, I have seen the collection as a whole and no case stands out to me. But I do have some favorite photographs from the project, and this is one of them.

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 The dark glasses are pretty cool.

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This was the first time I had ever seen an actual Shinola tin.

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We saw several of these Yardley Talc containers.

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I have uploaded the rest of the photos from John’s case at the suitcases site.  Check it out!

There are two upcoming events near to me where I will be talking about the suitcases.  I’ll have copies of the second Kickstarter reward book for sale at the Hadley, MA Barnes & Noble this Saturday the 18th.  I’ll be there from 2.00 – 5.00 PM.  Come by and say hi.  And on Monday I will be giving a talk at the Amherst Woman’s Club.  I expect to start at 1.00 PM.

Thanks for following!

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