Saturday, February 13, 2016

Valentines 2016; Playing for change; Class of 1965

PLAY this:


This Mexican carving was obtained long ago from The Market Place on Milwaukee's east side.
The owners, the Sanders', were a loving couple who traveled south of the border, sometimes far south, to buy art objects 
made by indigenous crafts-peasantry, then the Sanders re-sold it in their little former flower shop
by the water tower at Prospect and North.
They'd excitedy, gleefully await their selected items to be shipped to the US, and then proudly
put them on their ex-greenhouse showroom display shelves.

Sometimes the now Raccoon editor would, as able,  invest in the crafted beauty.  

This carving was one of the objets d'art chosen.  It was a  wedding anniversity gift some years ago, for Dee.

Now, this year, it is highlighted at Valentines Day.  (As a 'feelie', it sits next to to my chair as always.)

On 'permanent' display at the Odd Fellows Hall (by app't)

308 South St 311
Waukesha 53186
262 547 1427

The dexterous symmetry achieved must be seen and held.

A gifted artist, whoever it was, did this.


Stand by me
Playing for change

Again and again, Happy Valentines Day


We heard an interview on Wis. Public Radio
yesterday with the author:

In the midst of racial strife, one young man showed courage and empathy. It took forty years for the others to join him…

Being a student at Americus High School was the worst experience of Greg Wittkamper’s life. Greg came from a nearby Christian commune, Koinonia, whose members devoutly and publicly supported racial equality. When he refused to insult and attack his school’s first black students in 1964, Greg was mistreated as badly as they were: harassed and bullied and beaten. In the summer after his senior year, as racial strife in Americus—and the nation—reached its peak, Greg left Georgia.

Forty-one years later, a dozen former classmates wrote letters to Greg, asking his forgiveness and inviting him to return for a class reunion. Their words opened a vein of painful memory and unresolved emotion, and set him on a journey that would prove healing and saddening.

The Class of ’65 is more than a heartbreaking story from the segregated South. It is also about four of Greg’s classmates—David Morgan, Joseph Logan, Deanie Dudley, and Celia Harvey—who came to reconsider the attitudes they grew up with. How did they change? Why, half a lifetime later, did reaching out to the most despised boy in school matter to them? This noble book reminds us that while ordinary people may acquiesce to oppression, we all have the capacity to alter our outlook and redeem ourselves.

Key words reminding of the  early 1980s for us:
Koinonia  Farms; Clarence Jordan *
Habitat for Humanity
Cottonpatch Gospel; Harry Chapin etc.



Saturday, February 6, 2016

Melancholy Baby; Gourd horn plays; Morticulture




Gourd vines unfurl on the trellis
So fast now that a pulse is nearly felt
at the growth tips

Little buds that will be flowers
emerge from nothing
Up the wire mesh go the vines
a rung or two at a time

and the tendrils wave
and writhe in air
seeking purchase
Wire to bend

Finding something to grab onto
they kink up
in tight spirals
like octopus tentacles

Twelve plants started from seed
in my south window sill indoors
fragile they were and now

They have enough
collective force to produce
a bin of future horns, rattles
bowls and dippers

or to make good on a sci-fi
and do me in
I will not turn my back on them

At night through the open
bedroom window I hear them
muscling their way toward me

I could have stopped them once
but now they have
harnessed the sun
and they want to grow
all over me

I have to make a run past
this trellis in the morning
when I go to work
They might snatch an arm or pantleg

but I close the door on
the offending tentacles
and back down the drive
a struggle between an auto
engine and photosynthesis

So far the car always wins
and the tendril ends whimper
when their connexions to the mother vine
and come bungeeing back
at the windshield

Neighbor's pets
have begun to disappear
 The vines have a way
of beckoning innocently
like a benign cobra

You have to stare at them
and  you want
to move in for a closer look
because you are curious
aren't you?


[ãDavid Zep Dix 2001]

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Another pie, not just another day; My luve's like; Shout-out from Maureen Dowd; New Yorker cover; Prayer flags

this week from Dee's oven


Robert Burns
(Aye, 1794)

O my Luve's like a red, red rose, 
That's newly sprung in June: 
O my Luve's like the melodie, 
That's sweetly play'd in tune. 

As fair art thou, my bonie lass, 
So deep in luve am I; 
And I will luve thee still, my dear, 
Till a' the seas gang dry. 

Till a' the seas gang dry, my dear, 
And the rocks melt wi' the sun; 
And I will luve thee still, my dear, 
While the sands o' life shall run. 

And fare-thee-weel, my only Luve! 
And fare-thee-weel, a while! 
And I will come again, my Luve, 
Tho' 'twere ten thousand mile!


Some not so good news

"Yes, Sarah, (we're) giving you a shout-out!".......



But some good news:

First Congo is back in camels

[Word on the sands  we've heard :

This renewal of the ancient camel figurine came about by
Dave Bruning's making a new mold over their adult
son John's old Sunday School Nativity figurine.

These sets last and last.  Painted by the SS kids
they tend not to be thrown away.

The one above is either Lee's or Erin's camel
which was not done in intricate colour, but...
a small child did it.]


End of yuletide Tibetan Pray flags

As our Christmas tree returns to the storeroom
here at the Odd Fellows
The emphasis on the vast ceiling height
afforded by the high tree in our window

is a task taken up by a string of prayer flags
attached to the ceiling fan-dusting 3-section
bamboo fish pole presented by downtown friend
Tom Hekkers.  It came from his cabin. 

The assembly stands behind a chair with the much-used
Jean Means quilt thrown over the back.
The pieces for the lap-robe came fron pieces of blue-jean
material left over from her purse-making.

The shapes  of the scraps pick up the flag theme.

(Photo done with the 'painting' setting on the camera.)

"Give a man a fish and feed him for a day.

Give a man your fish pole and allow him to dust his high ceiling

fan forever, or until transciency ends."


Saturday, January 23, 2016

Another day, not JUST another pie; Out of my gourd, and into; Old Man River

Dee does another winner this week:


Gourds grown on home-made trellis in back yard on Arcadian Ave.

These are called Long Neck Bottle Gourds.

The one in right forefront became a playable horn
which is played still.  These shots were taken here
at the Odd Fellows this past week.

Name a tune, we can play it,
including Old Man River, This is my Father's World,
ad infinitum.

KD Cat gives it a try.



Paul Robeson
from Showboat 1936

(Happy birthay to Todd Herdt)

Saturday, January 16, 2016

She directs SRN att'n to pot of gold; Fox close-up; KD wants breakfast; Products that sell and don't; Maria, ave

On her day off, after
 she baked a cherry pie

shw dug through her bathroom pile of unread Sunday New York Times 
and asked why I didn't comment on the page she ripped out
about New York's Gingko leaves in Central Park?

Wow, I'd somehow missed this in the 12-13-15 edition!

See this NYT video
on ace photog weekly Bill Cunningham's gingko/fashion page
saved by Dee:

Watching and listening to Lee's crackling candle
in a gold effect


Tongues may signify hunger:

Close-up nature video
sent by a reader:

Daily at 5 AM
KD expects her

has an alarm 
for rousing us
from our sleep

A series of
jingle bells
sit atop the dresser

she starts with a little one
to get our attention, but if 
that doesn't work
she works her way up 
to knocking down

the whomping big sleigh bell

we usually then get up
and feed her



Other new products
(that did not make it big)

The Happy Cooker



a mixed-media head
fashioned with papier-mache  over a balloon.
The features were to be happy.

The phrase Happy Cooker
was to be emblazed across the wings.

But orders did not  flow as we'd hoped.

We do have the original copper boiler here at the Odd fellows,
which we use as a wood box for our electric fireplace,

the now-famed but out of production
* Whistling Tea kettle *
with genuine old-time whistle (loud-blowing when water boils).

(Both orig. items NFS.)

More on the kettle:

Raccoon editor slices through steel like butter


(Danke  Tom Bentz)

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Son provides crackle; Erin = 30; R. Mocs concl. (maybe)

Son provides crackle

Knowing as he surmises how much I miss the real fireplace at 517
Leland this Xmas presented me with a unique candle that offers the sound
of a real fire.

The flame travels verly slowly from side to side, nearly imperceptibly
as the candle flame makes its transit, wick to wick.
A crackling sound is heard.

This along with my miraculous elecric stove
(with the dancing flames projected onto a translucent screen
via a turning foil brush hidden inside
and lit by an invisible 40 W bulb)

now has me believing easily that I have a real fire going
with just the flick of a switch and the striking of a match.

To walk away from it all afterwards I simply switch the stove off
and blow out the candle.
No ashes to clean up, as simple as can be.

The real look, the real warmth, and NOW the sound.

Plus there is an evergreen scent.  Thanks, Lee!

Who could ask for anything more?

Lee picks out his tap shoes at Milw. east side's  famous Trep Art.
Percussion has always been his thing.


Lee, once really short, looms 'normal plus' with his sister and Ben
at Odd Fellows Xmas 2015.



on Jan. 5, 1916

So Dee decided to go into the jamb-packed storeroom
for 30 items that traveled with us when we
moved downtown to the Odd Fellows Hall
in Apr. 1010.

Erin, upon opening her tightly packed box,
exclaimd that she had no idea some of this stuff
still existed.

The spoon above for her to use as a baby
was made from a spoon fron the kitchen drawer
and a stick of wood out near the bughouse.

I gave it some shape for her little hands to grasp.
It got used by Erin as she sat in her high chair 
and  it got washed -
many many times.

Now the spoon greeted her on her 30th.
It's the kind of remembering girl Dee was and is.

Erin and Lee asleep on way home from Walworth Co. Fair, 1989

Erin's early exposure to music
listening to ukelele and  kazoo

It took.

Is a member of Vento Winds currently, an Appleton WI community orchestra.
She minored in music at Lawrence U.  there.


Ref. last Sat.'s Raccoon

the Russell Moccasins came back resoled
as good as new:


plural noun: moccasins
  1. 1.
    a soft leather slipper or shoe, strictly one without a separate heel, having the sole turned up on all sides and sewn to the upper in a simple gathered seam, in a style originating among North American Indians.