Saturday, May 23, 2015

Memorial Day; Then what are we fighting for; Walt Lohman; Misc. pix

Postby David Zep Dix » Fri May 22, 2015 11:31 am
Most recently appeared in the Waukesha downtown blog TAKIN IT TO THE STREETS 5-22-15
(LANDMARK quarterly - John Schoenknecht Ed.-  had it in 2007)


This event took place at Arcadian and Hartwell during Carol Lombardi's mayorship.

For us - wife Dee, son Lee and daughter Erin - who were there that Memorial Day, with me at the camera,

it provided a memory for this Memorial Day:

Cousin Craigie and I raise the flag in 1942 at our grandparents' in Cedar Falls Iowa.


Cartoon from The New Yorker

As a liberal they can't take that (the flag) away from me....

Take that! Ann Coulter et al


Waukesha farmer/cattleman Walt Lohman, first on right,
good friend of Uncle Lee's and the SRN editor
is currently laid up after an auto accident
caused by a driver who was high.
T-boned Walt and his wife Shirley.

Won't be marching for a while
but is making a come-back.
We'll be breakfasting at Dave's again soon.




The Everyday Enchantment of Music

by Mark Strand

Listen Online

A rough sound was polished until it became a smoother sound,
which was polished until it became music. Then the music was
polished until it became the memory of a night in Venice when
tears of the sea fell from the Bridge of Sighs, which in turn was
polished until it ceased to be and in its place stood the empty
home of a heart in trouble. Then suddenly there was sun and the
music came back and traffic was moving and off in the distance, at
the edge of the city, a long line of clouds appeared, and there was
thunder, which, however menacing, would become music, and the
memory of what happened after Venice would begin, and what
happened after the home of the troubled heart broke in two would
also begin.

"The Everyday Enchantment of Music" by Mark Strand from Collected Poems. © Knopf, 2014.


Another BB:

BB's first confirmation class after years serving congregations of older people
[Brittany Barber the Rev. 1st Cong., Waukesha 5-17-15]


Misc. Pix

Mississippi Sawyer
1-Man Band, Farmers Market 5-16-17

M. Sawyer, IBID

At Dave's with Angel 5-16-15
Owner Jose's son
Upward bound in college
serves customers AND himself eats 
his dad's fine cooking!

Coming out of the historic 1st Nat'l Bank
- after seeing the restored terrazzo floor on a history tour -
Sharon Vallee of the 1st Congo, 5-16-15
white-jacketed blonde, center

Sharon is the adopted mother of Dolly
the three-legged dog.

Dolly was minus a leg when Sharon took her.
Dolly has been trained and now brings comfort
and cheer
to residents in nursing homes etc.

Swallows (or Swifts?) seen swallowing Fox River-hatched bugs
out out windows
have been catching them by hundreds
in big swallow/swift flocks that move up and down the river
 at this hatch-time. Could they be Mayflies?

Trout fishermen habitually watch for such insect hatches 
at their secret creeks and rivers, we're told.
Ravenous, the fish bite more readily on their lures.

Been there, seen it.

David Farragut James
formerly of Fox Point WI
circa 1958
catches great trout
near Wales WI

Young man, confirmed
tells of his church relationship
(see above top)

Odd Fellows rose (chocolate) in rare very late afternoon direct sun; it's our fated dwelling's angle

We do see beautiful sunsets, actual sun being a few degrees west of us



Ben's robot

Saturday, May 16, 2015

A walk in the park; Ravel Bolero; KD, more pix

As it was sunny yesterday (5/13/15)
I took a stroll through the park
along the river
which is close to our Odd Fellows residence
 in downtown Waukesha.

This Redbud tree was in bloom.
The sometimes flooding Fox - not today - was at peace.
Shadows, glimmering wave-lets

A tamarack next to the Redbud
begins to open its tufts of needles
for the season.  It will shed them
come fall.  That's the kind of tree
it is.

We had a tamarack tree in our backyard.
  Here the young tree is going gold for the fall season.
It grew higher than our two story + atticed house.

Scroll down for section on the tree


On the subject of having to move:

The Helts this week sent us this picture taken in a cemetery in Iowa.

There was a knot above the hollow-branched raccoon nest 
that looked like an eye.
So we took the computer to draw in an eyebrow.

We like to think the trimmed tree 
 looks out for its resident raccoons,
-  with sorrows over the disturbance.

Elephants and trees and others (raccoons for sure) never forget!


Ravel: Bolero
The London Symphony Orchestra
Valery Gergiev

(conducting with what appears to be a hat-pin?)

Excerpted from Wiki:

BolĂ©ro is "Ravel's most straightforward composition in any medium".[4] The music is in C major3/4 time, beginningpianissimo and rising in a continuous crescendo to fortissimo possibile (as loud as possible). It is built over an unchanging ostinato rhythm played on one or more snare drums that remains constant throughout the piece:
Ravel bolero drum rhythtm2.png
On top of this rhythm two melodies are heard, each of 18 bars' duration, and each played twice alternately. The first melody is diatonic, the second melody introduces more jazz-influenced elements, with syncopation and flattened notes (technically it is in the Phrygian mode). The first melody descends through one octave, the second melody descends through two octaves. The bass line and accompaniment are initially played on pizzicato strings, mainly using rudimentary tonic and dominant notes. Tension is provided by the contrast between the steady percussive rhythm, and the "expressive vocal melody trying to break free".[11] Interest is maintained by constant reorchestrationof the theme, leading to a variety of timbres, and by a steady crescendo. Both themes are repeated a total of eight times. At the climax, the first theme is repeated a ninth time, then the second theme takes over and breaks briefly into a new tune in E major before finally returning to the tonic key of C major.
The melody is passed among different instruments: 1) flute 2) clarinet 3) bassoon 4) E-flat clarinet 5) oboe d'amore 6) trumpet (with flute not heard clearly and in higher octave than the first part) 7) tenor saxophone 8) soprano saxophone 9) horn, piccolos and celesta 10) oboe, English horn and clarinet 11) trombone 12) some of the wind instruments 13) first violins and some wind instruments 14) first and second violins together with some wind instruments 15) violins and some of the wind instruments 16) some instruments in the orchestra 17) and finally most but not all the instruments in the orchestra (with bass drum, cymbals and tam-tam). While the melody continues to be played in C throughout, from the middle onwards other instruments double it in different keys. The first such doubling involves a horn playing the melody in C, while a celeste doubles it 2 and 3 octaves above and two piccolos play the melody in the keys of G and E, respectively. This functions as a reinforcement of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th overtones of each note of the melody. The other significant "key doubling" involves sounding the melody a 5th above or a 4th below, in G major. Other than these "key doublings", Ravel simply harmonizes the melody using diatonic chords.


KD Cat, more pix

Black Panther ?

KD and leg bones ~
moose leg by her head
mine reflected in stove glass

KD Cat reposes on her favorite companion
the fleece duster - a gift from the Hekkers down the street ~
not to be forgotten by man nor beast.


Dee snoozes while KD lies on the raccoon blanket
(she made for me as a Xmas gift)
and a dove is at the sill feeder ouside behind them.

- Hard to get the light just right for this
on the digital camera. -

"Thanks for my snacks"

One at a time
taken by paw and slid to the rug
... from her treat bowl,
an enamel tart tin
my mother played with as a child ~
now an antique from the great-grandparents
the Wildgrubes (Germans) of the WI shoreside farm 
part of which later became Terry Andre state park...

All things are connected:  Chief Seattle



Robot lamp is Odd Fellows hit

'Tin Toy Arcade'
get yours now!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

A previous band; Disasters; Morning in May; Chain saw cycle; Milwaukee experiment; WW 1; Every sha la la la

My Grandparents' Generation
by Faith Shearin

Listen Online

They are taking so many things with them:
their sewing machines and fine china,
their ability to fold a newspaper
with one hand and swat a fly.
They are taking their rotary telephones,
and fat televisions, and knitting needles,
their cast iron frying pans, and Tupperware.
They are packing away the picnics
and perambulators, the wagons
and church socials. They are wrapped in
lipstick and big band music, dressed
in recipes. Buried with them: bathtubs
with feet, front porches, dogs without leashes.
These are the people who raised me
and now I am left behind in
a world without paper letters,
a place where the phone
has grown as eager as a weed.
I am going to miss their attics,
their ordinary coffee, their chicken
fried in lard. I would give anything
to be ten again, up late with them
in that cottage by the river, buying
Marvin Gardens and passing go,
collecting two hundred dollars.

"My Grandparents' Generation" by Faith Shearin from Telling the Bees. © Stephen F. Austin State University Press, 2015

(In my case, make that 'parents' not 'GRAND'parents; even ME)

I still correspond in writing with like-minded  friends
down with it
can't quit it

letter (starred) from Gaynelle O. in OR


Natural Disasters
by Faith Shearin

Listen Online

During natural disasters two enemy animals
will call a truce, so during a hurricane
an owl will share a tree with a mouse
and, during an earthquake, you might find
a mongoose wilted and shivering
beside a snake. The bear will sit down
in a river and ignore the passing salmon
just as the lion will allow the zebra
to walk home without comment.
I love that there are exceptions.
At funerals and weddings, for example,
the aunts who never speak nod
politely to one another. When my mother
was sick even the prickly neighbors
left flowers and cakes at our door.

"Natural Disasters" by Faith Shearin from Telling the Bees. © Stephen F. Austin State University Press, 2015


From Nelder, Dallas OR
re the VW posting last week
about having a tent on top 
of a VW bug, 1972...


Morning in May

Grass grows in the night
and early the mockingbirds begin
their fleet courtships over puddles,
upon wires, in the new green
of the Spanish limes.
Their white-striped wings flash
as they flirt and dive.
Wind in the chimes pulls music
from the air, the sky’s cleared
of its vast complications.
In the pause before summer,
the wild sprouting of absolutely
everything: hair, nails, the mango’s
pale rose pennants, tongues of birds
singing daylong.
Words, even, and sudden embraces,
surprising dreams and things I’d never
imagined, in all these years of living,
one more astonished awakening.

"Morning in May" by Rosalind Brackenbury from Bonnard's Dog. © Hanging Loose Press, 2015


Sharing the news:

For rest of article go to


Master visualist, retired:
does what he can do

I went to see Wis at the Avalon today (5-8-15) for lunch in the cafe
then to hear a guest speaker in the Avalon all-purpose room,
Professor Emeritus Paul Rempe of Carroll University
who today delivered an illustrated lecture of his father's
WW I experiences as an aviator in the German air force.

At first he was a cavalryman (horses) for the German (Prussian) army, his home nation by birth, but switched to flyer 
of the bi-plane fightering aircraft of the day.  

 Pilot Rempe wore his spurs over his aviator boots.

He later emigrated to the US, a country he loved.  He married Paul's mother when he was a seasoned 46 year old.

It was a fraternity in the early days of  flying.  They were in gauzy planes by today's standards,
 bi-planes, open cockpit, wooly/furry flight gear worn; they sucked oxygen at high altitudes
through  tubes.  It wasn't unknown for a WW I pilot to salute his adversary when he shot him down.

[4 yr old William R. would have loved the aircraft pictured on the big pull-down screen. He once made a leggo model
of a WW I Sopwith Camel and later brought it to church to show us:]

Rempe showed a picture very much like this one
of a crash his dad had and survived.

Thanks for the day, Wis!


Songs for survivors
....every sha la la la...

 For all we know

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Gingko trees; Raccoon behavior; Jazz for cows; Then and NOW; You want camping?; Buffaloed; On the run

South Street Gingko trees

 are budding

to become this: (last year)


Reported Raccoon Behavior:

While the City Sleeps

Waukeshans complacently enjoy their town-grown-to-city
With it’s well-policed, clean, safe streets
And the cerulean blue skies overhead;
Or when it rains

The rain washing everything anew and flowing
If heavy
Away like dirty bathwater down the drain
Out of sight, out of mind;  oh yes,

We think of everything and take for granted
That the solid terra-firma plane on which we work and play
 IS as storybooked as it appears
And that the SKY overhead here is relatively terrorless

That covers two of the three physical dimensions
But we never think about the seething subterranean world
Beneath the city where that dirty bathwater flows
Unless we happen to be with the Sanitation Department

And as far as I know, they aren’t talking;
My friends, we co-exist over a nether-world
About which we never think
And the Sewer Raccoons down there - that’s right - count on our ignorance;

Their profligacy festers beneath us
Growing daily, like whiskers becoming a dread-locked beard
But we don’t know it because we trust in our local government
And in what we see

The coons, woe to us!  phantoms of this opera are
Just a few feet beneath Waukesha in archen coves and caverns
Until nightfall when every storm grate at every corner
Becomes an open doorway into our elysian yards and gardens;

Marauders on velvet paws which they keep licking, masked,
They steal about under cover of nocturnal shadows, late,
When the windows of our proud houses show black; 
It’s then the Sewer Coons take over the town;   by day,

These slick creatures have free rein in their underworld
Bartering our garden produce in little shops and bazaars
In their sub-city
Where they swarm and reproduce like rabbits;

They have their own school district where all the little coons
Study burglary and ankle-nipping;
So far they are content with their lowly position, hence,
The Sanitation Department, the Mayor and the Aldermen

Only monitor them and do not tell us of their spreading presence.
 An Amos or a Paul Revere I send this warning
For I live nearer the Fox River in one of the town’s ruder huts
And the Sewer Coons are, though proliferating

Concentrated only in our poorer neighborhoods at the present time;
By the railroad tracks and the Fox River waterway,
But the storm sewer web is beneath us all, free and accessible
And even now no one is completely safe

I have again lately seen the coons emerge from the grate at our corner
As has my wife;  we know the desolation
Of having our grapes stolen from our vines;
We’ve actually heard the coons’ little “chick-chick-chick” sounds;

Close-up, we’ve seen the phosphorescent reflection of their eyes
In our flashlight beams; they run, are not brazen yet – oh, no -
Carrying little bindles over their hump-ed shoulders
And making their dash back to their grated holes,

Furred hit-and-run warriors, in place,
Waiting for their messiah to come, perhaps from Milwaukee or Chicago
The Really Big Coon, to marshal them into an invading army,
Meanwhile waxing stronger in secret on Dix grapes and sacked left-overs;

And sometimes I think I can hear muffled “tink”s
As they pound on their tiny anvils under Arcadian Avenue
Making suits of armor on foot-pumped forges; flaring
Light seems to flash from the gratings after the clock has struck twelve

And I go out and listen at my corner sewer entrance
And hear their deep “YO-OH, HO HO!” chants
Echoing softly up from below;
The Sewer Raccoons are coming, the Sewer Raccoons are coming

[David Dix 9-19-2002]


When the saints...

Yes, we know this is an oldie
but so is the fellow 1954 WHS classmate
who sent it to us.

Thanks again!


Dee when I met her in 1982




As people now get ready for church camping
it was like this in 1972:

(Archival:  1972)
Many are called, Few are eaten

An entourage on four wheels waited
In line at the Yellowstone park entrance
For the ranger with his clipboard who
Spoke grimly to the would-be campers
In their tinned vehicles with lawn chairs
And bicycles lashed to the sides

In many ways we weren’t like them:
We were traveling light, the only way to go
We had a VW beetle with a pop-up
Canvas tent on top and two ten speeds
On a rack over the rear bumper
The back seat of the car was out

To make room for our six month vacation
Gear and space for Sally the Siamese cat
A mere speck we offered on that canvas
Of  seriously-traveling metal units
Lined up to be admitted into
The nirvanic national treasure, Yellowstone

The Ranger had something serious to tell
All entering vehicle’s occupants
Something that caused most of the
Drivers to do U-turns and head out
With expressions of chagrine
Was the park closed?

We finally reached the number two position
At the Ranger’s shack and I got out
To hear what he was telling the vacationers
Ahead of us:
“Enter at your own risk!

A grizzly bear had dispatched a woman
The night before by performing “A howlingly
hungry, hurried historectomy,
Hideously, horrifically, Honestly!”
Proclaimed the harried Ranger, who
Seemed taken with the letter H

That explained the U turns out of the park
But the man driving the camper ahead of us
Wondered if they wouldn’t be safe
In their  mighty Winnebago
The Ranger stuck his fingernail behind
The camper’s door edge and said

“You see this?  This is a grizzly claw
behind your door.  He’ll peel it back with
no more effort than it takes to open
a can of sardines!”

“Oh,” said the man, and he did a Yooey
While his wife said, “And, you know I’m…”

But after hearing our own private warning
From the hellacious Ranger, we said
 “We’re going in! Lower the drawbridge
As we are the Dixes!”
This was in August of 1972, and the Ranger
Didn’t know I had a break-down .22 Browning

Semi-automatic rifle but if he had known
He would have said, “Those little bullets
Will bounce right off a grizzly; no disrespect,
But you’re a fool!”
So we signed a warning acknowledgement
And deep within a thickly wooded campground

Found a secluded site
And        spent
A~ very~watchful~ night
Encanvassed atop our car
With me hoping I could shoot a bear
Exactly in the eye

[David Zep Dix 

The fact that I am telling this in 2015
means we survived, saw no bears, left early in AM
Fear not, Devils Lake WI has no known grizzlies]


Re:Buffalo poem from last week
daughter Laurie in Alaska sent this after reading the Raccoon:


On the run


( journalism/composition room  term meaning 'the end': ~Thirty ~)