Jon Crispin's Notebook

Nixon Library

Posted in History, Jon Crispin, museums, Uncategorized by joncrispin on 27/06/2017

The Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Birthplace in Yorba Linda, CA opened shortly after Cris and I got together.  Her mom, Dorothy Smith, was one of the early employees and worked at the ticket desk and on occasion, the gift shop.  (We have an amazing set of Camp David whiskey glasses thanks to her.)

Nixon Library

 We hadn’t visited in over 20 years and thought it might be time to check it out again.  (And it is not too far from the In-N-Out in Fullerton.)  My memories of it were quite positive, as I thought it told Nixon’s story in an objective and realistic manner.

The hallway above leads to a reproduction of the East Room where he gave his farewell speech to his staff.

Nixon Library

The exhibits provide a good sense of context about what was going on in the sixties.

Nixon Library

Here he is in all his glory.  This is such an iconic photograph.  I always thought that the “Nixon’s The One” slogan left a lot of room for ambiguity.  I like how LBJ appears to be  giving him the hairy eyeball in this shot.

Nixon Library

Great examples of Nixon election ephemera are spread throughout the museum.  What is up with the “Protest! and Win! with Nixon”?

Nixon Library

Here I am sitting at a recreation of Nixon’s desk in the fake oval office.  This is kind of funny for me.  My childhood friend Mike Hogan’s uncle, Vice Admiral Robert Bruce Brown was the Surgeon General of the Navy and lived at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda.  Mike and I used to visit in the summer and Admiral Brown once took us to the White House for a tour.  One of his best friends was LBJ’s physician and we got the whole behind the scene look.  LBJ was out of town, but we saw his beagles Him and Her.  Later, as we walked past the Oval Office we were asked if we wanted to sit at the desk, which of course we did.  Still wish I had photographic evidence of that occasion.

Nixon Library

Here are some more great buttons.  Right on, Mister President!

Nixon Library

An entire section of the museum is dedicated to the Viet Nam war.

Nixon Library

Including a giant pile of correspondence from people both opposed to, and in favor of the war.

Nixon Library

Here’s the Colt .45 that Elvis gave to Nixon.  There is an amazing and totally bizarre story behind this gift.  Totally Elvis!

Nixon Library

These fake balloons are meant to be from the convention after he accepted the nomination (for the second time, I think).

Nixon Library

I had completely forgotten what a total ass kicking McGovern got in 1972.  This map pretty much says it all.  I was so bummed on election night after having driven from Springfield, Ohio to Meadville just to vote for George.  I am pretty sure I got totally wasted that night.

Nixon Library

But then came Watergate.  I wonder if the White House phone number is still 202 456 1414.  I like the special buttons for Chapin, Haldeman, and Rosemary Woods.  “Hey Rosemary, can you erase some of that tape for me?”

Nixon Library

“Sure Mr. President, no problemo”

Nixon Library

And let’s throw in some dirty tricks too!

Nixon Library

There are some very good recordings of the taping system for all to hear.  And if you are a researcher, the library component of the facility has the entire collection.  Amazing.

Nixon Library

There is something about this photo of Bork.  It reminds me of a promotional still from a bad 1970s era TV show.  After both Richardson and Ruckelshaus resigned instead of carrying out the order to fire Cox, Bork carried it out.  I think it must be one reason the long knives came out when he was nominated to the Supreme Court.  The political world hasn’t really been the same since.

Nixon Library

There are a few more cool exhibits toward the end of the walk-through.  Here is Cris hangin’ with Pat and Dick at the Rose Parade.

Nixon Library

I like this life size cutout in front of the door of his first law firm.

Nixon Library

The gardens are really beautiful.  Off in the distance is the house where Nixon and his brothers were born.  When Cris and I were first together in Placentia, we used to drive over to see it before the site became a museum.  It was then occupied by the custodian of the elementary school (now gone) where Cris got her polio vaccine sugar cube. It had a sign on it that said “Private Residence”.  It is amazing that most of the furniture inside now is original to the family and to the house.

Nixon Library

You can also go into the actual helicopter that flew him from the White House lawn when he resigned, although it was closed when we were there due to the heat.

  Thanks for following, and making it to the end of this long post.  More suitcases soon.

Dadelhura to Sanphebagar

Posted in Travel, Uncategorized by joncrispin on 09/07/2016

Nepal / Visit to Bardadevi V.D.C. School

One of the things I like best about this site is the immediacy of being able to share images. It is always a bit difficult for me to put up a post if more than a few days have passed since I took the photographs.

Nepal / Visit to Bardadevi V.D.C. School

But I have been very busy editing the photos that I took for World Education, and I have had a bit of a hard time getting back into a routine since we returned.  Fortunately I made fairly good notes while we were in the Western Hills. / Before we left Kathmandu, I looked up Achham on the internet and came across this Wikipedia entry.  I was a bit baffled by the  phrase “sporting a non-functional domestic airport”.  That is it in the photo above.  Apparently it is non-functional because the Maoists blew up the control tower during the recent conflict.

Nepal / Visit to Bardadevi V.D.C. School

Here is a view of the Seti River.  At that point of the trip, the monsoon hadn’t really kicked in so the rivers were still a bit dry.

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I spent a lot of time shooting out the front window of the car since we had a lot of ground to cover to get to the first school.

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I felt guilty asking the driver to stop, but the scenery was so exotic that I couldn’t resist shooting as we drove.

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It had started to rain as we got closer to Achham and the roads became interesting.

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There was a lot of water running down the hillsides which made driving a bit hazardous.

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At one point we ended up in a line of cars and busses that were stopped by this slide.  But a front-end loader was just finishing up clearing up the debris and we didn’t have to wait long.

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That’s Nanda Ram, the driver, holding the umbrella with Jagdish on his right and Sukha Ratna on his left.  Jagdish is the early grade maths guy and Sukha Ratna works on reading and did an amazing job organizing the trip.  Cris and I first met Nanda Ram when we were in Nepal in 1992 just after he had started driving for World Education.  He is amazing behind the wheel and such a lovely fellow.

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It was really interesting how quickly the rains started.  We would be climbing up one side of a hill with blue skies and as we would start our descent into a valley it would be foggy and rainy.20160619,1791

Here is a footbridge over the Budhi Ganga.

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We stopped in this town for a bite to eat (I think it might be Doti).  More dal bhat if I recall correctly.

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Since we had had such a long drive to get to the first school, the students had left for the day, but the World Ed staff met with a large group of teachers and administrators to talk about the Early Grade Reading / Maths project.  Every school we visited gave us flowers and  put tikas on our foreheads.  It is such a nice way to be welcomed.

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Here’s Cris with some of the teachers from the Saraswoti Higher Secondary School in Bardadevi V.D.C. (Village Development Committee).

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And here’s Mamta Joshi who teaches at the school.

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Here’s a group shot of the World Ed staff with teachers and administrators after the meeting.  That’s a goat in the background.

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Darrell Earnest is UMASS faculty member who is working on the early grade math part of the project.  He was a fantastic travel partner and he and Cris really had a ton of fun working together.

Thanks for following along.  More soon.

Disney / The Huntington

Posted in botany, Disneyland, painters, theme parks by joncrispin on 05/06/2015

Cristine grew up going to Disneyland as a very young child.  Her parents would drop off all three kids when the park opened and they would pick them up when it closed.  Many of her popular culture references are Disney related.  Once when we were snorkeling in the Caribbean, she popped up from a dive and said “It’s just like the submarine ride at Disneyland”!  We would go to the park while visiting her family when Peter was little, and I really got to like it as well.

We had a wonderful day there on Wednesday which included a fine meal at the Blue Bayou.  Our table overlooked the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, and I was able to make this nice picture.

Yesterday we went to The Huntington near Pasadena, which in its own way is just as cool as Disneyland.  We started off in the Botanical Center which was full of orchids.

Then moved on to the rose garden.

Made the obligatory stop to see Blue Boy.

Which is breathtaking.  Gainsborough had it rockin’.

Asked about Turner, and they had this, “The Grand Canal. A Street Scene in Venice”.  Here is a detail.

Yikes!

And then walked into this room and nearly fell over when I saw this.

When we were in the American Art building I was somehow reminded of a painting in my brother’s and my bedroom when we were children.  All I could remember was a guy lashed to a small boat being circled by sharks.  So I did a quick search on my phone (guy lashed to a small boat being circled by sharks painting) and saw this.  I don’t know why we had it in our house, and as a child I remember being frightened by it.  Bob, do you remember this?

Just got back from a last visit to In-n-Out.  I guess it’s time to go home.

Cris Loves Hammocks

Posted in Family, Insects, People by joncrispin on 25/05/2014

She is either asleep or reading.  It is hard to tell which, but the bugs are out and it is nice to be inside a bit of a cocoon.

Found Earring

Posted in Family, Jon Crispin, Nature by joncrispin on 23/03/2014

Cristine really likes earrings and when I travel, I will often pick up a pair for her if they are unique and not too expensive.  On one of my trips somewhere in the vicinity of Lake Erie, I saw a pair made from glass that had been worn smooth by the action of the sand and waves. /  About a month ago we went for a long snowshoe walk in the woods above our house.  Later that day she realized that one of the earrings was missing.  It always bums her out to lose one.  I am usually optimistic about finding lost jewelry; it seems to be a Krieghoff family thing that has come down through the generations.  My mom definitely had it and I got it from her.   Late this morning I was outside just off the deck taking a leak and I looked down and saw this.

With all the freezing and thawing, it was stuck pretty well in ice, but I ran inside and grabbed a butter knife and dug it out.  The non-silver metal loop is a bit rusty, but it will clean up nicely.

Travels

Posted in Architecture, Art, Bridges, Buildings, Cities, Family, Jon Crispin, Rivers, Travel, Uncategorized, Water by joncrispin on 19/03/2014

It has been a while since I’ve posted.  I think it was a combination of having the Kickstarter campaign wrap up and feeling a bit of “Kharma Congestion” as my friend Alex would call it.

Last week Cris and I drove to Toronto.  She was presenting at the annual CIES Conference and I was tagging along for fun.

We went out to an amazing South Indian restaurant called Udupi Palace and it was the best.  Cristine’s favorite food in the world is a paper masala dosa, and Udupi has the best ones she has ever found outside of India.  After we ate, we were waiting for a streetcar to take us back downtown and I saw this window display.  Love the hands.

I was very excited to get back to Toronto to be able to see the Thompson Collection of Cornelius Krieghoff paintings at The Art Gallery of Ontario.  Here is a previous post about my relation to him.  The museum has a ton of his work.  I was really jazzed to see so many in one place.

This is a detail from one of his paintings that is a sort of self-portrait of his family (in the sleigh).

I especially liked reading the bottom paragraph here.  It helps to explain where I might get my own disregard for authority.

After Toronto, we drove to Pittsburgh for another of Cris’ conferences.  On the way we had to stop at Niagara Falls.  I hadn’t been on the Canadian side for years, and it was a beautiful day.  (Unlike many, I also really like the American side.)

In Toronto we scored some of these great Roots mittens.  And I bought this hat in the Soviet Union in 1982, a very long time ago.

Next stop was Eddie’s Footlong Hot Dogs on the Lake Road just outside of Meadville.  I grew up eating these and was thrilled to see that they had opened for the season just a few days earlier.  I rarely post pictures of food, but oh man are these good.  Too cold to eat at the picnic tables, but two with the works hit the spot.

We got to Pittsburgh in time for a nice walk along the River.  It is a fantastic city that somehow remains largely intact.  The downtown is full of beautiful buildings that are mostly in good shape, and it seems, just waiting for a revival of sorts.  It is hard to imagine why young artists aren’t flocking here and making it home.  It is such a cheap place to live, with amazing loft spaces right in town, and tons of culture.  And the rivers!

So many beautiful steel bridges.  This one leads to PNC Park, just across the river from downtown.

Here’s a view looking back across the water.

Our hotel was very near to Penn Station and on Sunday morning I took a walk over to check it out.  As a kid I had traveled through it on the train, and the upper floors are now converted to “luxury” apartments.  This is a section of the dome which used to be the main entryway from the street.

It was sad to see the “modern” waiting room like this.

With only two trains a day, and nothing running North/South there isn’t much activity.  And the times aren’t particularly convenient.

Thanks for checking in.  I’ll try to get on a more regular schedule of posting.  Tomorrow Peggy Ross is coming over and we are meeting with my friends at Small Batch Books to start work on the Suitcases book reward.  I’ll keep updating progress on the project, and plan to be back shooting next week.

Snow

Posted in Exercise, Trees, Weather by joncrispin on 16/02/2014

We have had quite a bit of snow in the past few weeks, and we are fortunate to be able to walk out our back door and head up into the woods to enjoy it. /  About 10 years ago my brother and sister-in-law gave me these old school snowshoes for Christmas, and I really enjoy tromping around in them.  They are surprisingly efficient and very easy to use.

Yesterday, Cris and I both were on snowshoes.  Today she cross country skied while I stayed on the shoes.  It was magical.

Paperwhite Update #2 / And They’re Off!

Posted in Family, Flowers, Plants by joncrispin on 29/01/2014

This is the tallest of the paperwhite stalks that I posted in Update #1.  At about 4.30 I looked at the bulbs, and they were almost completely dry and there were no flowers.  I added some water to the bowl, and at about 6.00 Cris noticed that two of the bulbs had started to open.  And they smell amazing.

Peter Crispin

Posted in Family by joncrispin on 21/01/2014

As I mentioned in an earlier post today, Peter is now 25 years old.  It seems amazing to me.  All of you who know him are aware of what a remarkable person he is, and to those of you who have never met him, this photograph just about says it all.  Cris and I are so proud.

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.

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