Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Rose from the shaded east side of the house, where we rarely go

A single rose blooms every year on the east side of the house, where the city forestry department replaced some old and decayed trees several years ago. The new ones have now grown tall and shade everything on that side of the house, but this old indominate rose plant still musters enough energy to put forth a single bloom, every year. Here is this year's. The LVD II P6ooo brings it up close and shows tonal range well.
Those mature trees shade the back yard, too, to the extent that we can no longer grow gourds there very well. Not enough sun in this growing zone 4.
Well, we've gotten enough gourds.

The end (30)

Goodbye to June
we reach for July
and swing out, muttering:
Tme for more reading of the WH Auden biograph
on a day that is unseasonal.
58 degrees and overcast;
to read of Wystan's fascination with dwarves, trams,
and limestone quarries.....

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Think like a fish

Click image and enlarge, please

Friday, June 26, 2009

Up and down, up and down / magical triangulation


The former Paul’s Restaurant
Irv Beeman's Barber Shop
Sleeping on the floor upstairs
The honorable Lee folding camp table
Reflections in a diving bell



We stopped for breakfast at the former Paul’s Restaurant the other day
In downtown Waukesha.
Every time I go in there I hark to the early 1950s
When I, in the employ of my stepfather, sanded
And sanded
And s-a-n-d-e-d
The old wooden floors in that building
When it was the Metropolitan Dime Store.
I wore a breathing mask
And used a huge electric sanding machine,
Up and down, up and down
Many times.
For days I sanded those floors,
For it was a big store with doors opening on both
Main Street and Broadway
So that now when I go in there I automatically
- Still -
Become covered in sawdust.

The view out the window at the former Paul's
Includes what was once Irv Beeman’s barber shop
- Having been through many incarnations,
Presently another storefront for rent -
Where I got my hair cut as a youth by a young barber, Butch Marino
Still in business in his 80's now in the RR car by the old train depot.
Ah, Beeman's was a mystifying and glorious place
Where brave men got their shaves, first by having their faces covered
In hot towels to soften the bristles;
Next, the soap got whipped up into a lather, round and round, with
Shaving brushes in out-sized mugs
Containing a cake of special, scented round soap at the bottom.
Leather stropped straight razors
Back and forth, back and forth,
Got put to chatting, joking, trusting customers’ faces
(Oblivious to the potential death at their throats)
By banks of tidily clad white-coated surgically-careful
Scraping and scraping
(sanding and sanding);
And shoe-shine boys went back and forth
at their raised chairs
With their brushes and snapping polishing clothes........
Back and forth
A long time, until they could
See themselves in their customers' shoes
And rightfully extend their palms for a quarter;


The weather has turned hot lately.
Last night we slept on the floor
In our old bedroom upstairs
Where there is air conditioning.
The bed got moved downstairs
While I was under the weather,
Other weather,
And hasn’t gone back up.
Too convenient down here now.
Lying on the 2 yoga futons (two for some thickness)
This morning in the early light I studied the architecture
From that lower angle
Of the mythic Lee folding camp table,
And once again appreciated my temporary custody
Of such a marvel of take-down ingenuity.

Before my time,
In the days of runningboard-lashed camping gear
That table went many places,
Touching and briefly-uniting much foreign turf,
Supported many temporary but unforgotten enterprises
Near campfires, stacked firewood and water jugs;
I've seen it support searching raccoons' weight
And in fact, like a Sampsonite suitcase
A man could stand on its sanded, varnished surface.
By triangulation, it is 'magical'.
Bridges are built like that.


This morning as we moved downstairs
The temperature outside in the pines was 70 degrees.
Reflecting, I made some coffee in the T. Mahoney diving bell
Reflective chrome maker.
Electrically gurgling til done.
Up and down, up and down.
The repetitious perking does the job
Like sanding dime store floors,
Or shining shoes,
Or shaving men's faces.

the former Metropitan Five and Dime
and former Paul's Restaurant

sleeping upstairs on futons
with camping table

view of table from the floor

gurgling, reflecting

Monday, June 22, 2009

You see, it was like this............

We had no choice!
In going through our years-long snapshot collection, we ran across this one in sifting and preparing to send our chosen candidates of photos for photo archival technician, Dee's NYC brother Jeffrey's compilation of a huge all-family album for Gramaw and Poppy. It is to be presented in Sept. at their 60th wedding anniversary.

It seemed Erin and Lee got thoroughly soaked in a surprise rainstorm at a parade where they had walked in Waukesha, some blocks from home. Returning afterwards, they were distressed. Lee was telling us what had happened, in anticipation of potential displeasure. They opted to stay in the rain to watch the event. "We had no choice!" (Some years later, they were to become players in the South High School marching band, in any and all weather.)

You either have a camera ready at a moment like this, or you don't...........

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Cat, convinced man is her father......

......saves up her kibble money and asks her mom to buy dad a Father's Day card.
Mom, amused, touched, declines to take her money.

Long live the print media

click on images to enlarge

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Happy Father's Day, John Means!

Above, Dee's card for her dad, John Means, is in the mail with Father's Day upcoming. It was a typical greeting card from her, hand-made, this time using a flower and border she cut from an expired wallpaper book that has been saved and bears many missing pieces, due to Dee's imagination and old-fashioned craftsmanship. To Dee this is not worthy of note in the widely broadacast SRN. But it is, to me.

She comes by this recycling skill rightly.

Just speaking of her paternal influence, not to mention her mother's which is profound, John Means once built a barn just from recycled billboards from an old job he held. His employment involved erecting billboard signs; ironically, for the same Waukesha WI -headquartered company that at about the same time also employed another billboard hanger, our surrogate dad, Waukeshan Uncle Lee, / See http://raccoonnews.blogspot.com/2009/03/kind-mans-boots-to-fill.html / though John Means was in Pleasant Valley Maryland then, as he always has been. The discards of his choice were given to John for piling up for an eventual barn.

This barn has been romanticized on these pages before, / See http://raccoonnews.blogspot.com/2008/10/poppys-barn.html / Like Dee, who does not herald her creativity, so John Means does not see anything perticularly noteworthy about his utilitarian barn. The front sides of the billboards bearing the advertising face inside and were left, understandably, natural. The outside of the barn has the traditional red color with white trim. Some of the effects, such as the faux windows, add to the pastoral affect, yet affectation is a word unknown to John Means, a two-fisted big man who might leave a rare impression on a deserving jaw, gentle as he is.


Everybody should
know this guy!
Many do.............

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Indelible poem

Reproduced with permission.
From Teri the Gourd Girl, Blue Mounds WI
(Sent to the editor in a Flag
Day Email colloquy June 14, 2009)

you lift a wrinkled hand,
curled fingers smooth my bobbed brown hair.
your numbers hover overhead:
they flash at me.
were they painted there for counting?
determined lips push back the memories.

i learn my numbers from your flesh
setting ink to arm i mark myself:
i am your twin -
i share your stain.

while you teach me to crochet
they play a game -
and seek,
your wrist moves in concentrated twists:
the blue tattoo peeks teasingly
from behind a fine linen hanky
tucked inside your cuff,
edges tatted white.

at Passover you peel red apples.
your wrist turns gracefully.
your numbers roll
like the face of a gas pump.
you scoop the haroset into your palm
your hands are swift
rubbing spheres in circles
so fast your fingers disappear,
your numbers disappear.

ter 2/8/99
alameda co. fair
first place/best of show
july 1999

A good review

This article appeared in Sunday's New York Times. May the print media live forever. Long live the New York Times !
Click on image to enlarge for reading.

Monday, June 15, 2009

A readdressment: limburger lunch

Attention Limburger lovers:

It is 11:19 AM our time. I have just taken the tightly sealed jar of limburger out of the refrigerator and exposed it to the air, as I have a yen for a limburger and rye sandwich for lunch.

I want it to build up its critical mass so have opened it early, ahead of the lunch hour to give it plenty of time to start buzzing.

Other limburger-lovers ( or abhorrers, too/Debbie, I know who you are) are invited to correspond, c/o ddix1@wi.rr.com

Wash down the lovely sandwich with a bottle or Heineken beer. Today, I opt to.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Flag Day and have some limburger cheese

Flag Day recalls a time in 1942 when servicemen Leslie and Leland Dix, my dad and uncle, were home on leave from 'The War' and we were gathered at the kitchen table in Waukesha, having what they called stinky cheese. Those closest relatives were noted for their fearlessness in bringing the farthest out (some thought) cheeses to theip lips.

Dad, Uncle Lee, Mom and Aunt Frances were having one of their ribald times together, and I watched with wide eyes and semi-unpinched nostrils while they comsumed vast quantities of a brick of limburger cheese - they told me what it was, for I was only 6 - and bottles of frosty Schlitz beer.

I was admonished to try some of the limburger. I dared not, but they persisted. "Come on, David Lee, you're a Dix. You have to have some!"

I eventually opened my lips to my mother's insistent presentation, and I was almost instantly wed to limburger cheese.

On Flag Day, or any day, I will gladly purchase as I did this morning a brick of the only limburger said to still being made in the US: Country Castle Limburger, Monroe, WI.

I had two thick sandwiches of limburger on rye today, this Flag Day, in honor of my deceased loved ones. Just the right expiration date on the wrapper found the contents ripened to the taste of a true limburger eater.

YOW-SIR! Here's to those who fought to keep us free to do all manner of things.

(Limburger cheese is also addressed in a previous SRN post: http://raccoonnews.blogspot.com/2008/02/keep-in-tightly-sealed-jar-refrigerated.html

Saturday, June 13, 2009

for supper tonight we had some of these:

Rhubarb is plentiful this time of year. Dee used her sister's recipe taken from a community cookbook. Delicious!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

and in that same vein............

Raccoon Creek Music Hall, Dallas GA



El Dayo, famous hoe-werse of Zepata,
Under cover of darkness and unbeknownst
To his master who slips by the campfire
With his amigos and dear creekets –
Slippin’ soundly all –
Takes an innocent step over the border
between Mayheeko and the Yewknighted Stits
in his unintentional meandering
as he does on a restless night
But under full watchful saddle, always ready;
Unaware he is of the bad offices
many Americanos have toward
undocumented (alien) and therefore
illegal hoe-werses, and others with suspiciously wet backs,
no matter if only slathered after a hard run.

WHOA! Cries a twitchy Zepata,
Roused from slumber by a glowing ember
Sprung from the fire and searing his
Battle-scarred face.
WHOA there, my belawv-ed hoe-werse!
You not going there, me fren’.

No matter to them if you live among them
No matter if you work like a hoe-werse
You are needed here, mi amigo;
Withdraw your hoof and take one step back,
Rejoin your true compadres,
One for all, and all for one!
Stay, Dayo, stay…………..
Dayo obeys
but his eyes bulge
at the curious ways of min.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Discussing The Divine Comedy

Point cursor at any figure, double-click
read background

Monday, June 8, 2009

Brother marries quadri-dextrous woman

On the morrow
June 9, 2009

Leslie V. Dix II
aka Les, Uncle Skippy
takes as his bride
a church organist
in Johnstown PA.

A woman very skilled

in using all of her

appendages at once;

It couldn't be happening

to a nicer guy!

The soon to be Mrs. Dix studied under famed pipe organist Diane Bish, whose feet are shown above. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cRHShb80Ug8

Friday, June 5, 2009

2 B(entz) or not 2 B (broken - much)

Heroic clergyman takes big spill
building houses for the poor
in Mexico/
emerges after two surgeries
to repair shattered bones/
head held high/
ready to try again/
per custom

So you think you can ride a bicycle?

This and previous tree light thing courtesy of David Dix Jr. in his Friday shipment of goodies.........

Connected are all things.............

Genesis 1:14 And Elohim said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:
1:15 And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.
In this case, frog appears to mistake tree light for tasty firefly........

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

It was a cinch

But now it’s a non-functioning belt watch
Even though hitched to its last notch
The buckle hangs loosely down
The baggy pants staying up barely on their own

Get out the leather punch
Oh devout partaker of the lighter lunch
Does not your wan exhibit make the fat man sour?
Your downcast belt laments:
Don’t Get Around Much Any-mahw-er!


The wound wire,
once holding the bird feeder securely,
is about to succumb.
Individually, incrementally,
the worn strands snap,
thus weakening the remaining thread(s)
bearing the load.
Too many squirrels, pesky,
have lept futilely but persistently;
again and again
swinging from the once unified wire
unable to reach footholds on the smooth ovoid gourd,
and dropped to the ground in disgust,
They may or not know that eventually
the feeder will be without sufficient support
from their relentless attacks
and all will fall with the last squirrel,
who will finally reap harvest.
Why then do I, so watchful, not replace the wire
before that happens?

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Where stands the barometer?

A tap of the knuckle on the glass
nudges the barometer needle to register
Atmospheric pressure directs the dial
that goes left, right, left, right,
according to passing bands.
Sometimes to get truth,
knuckles are kneeded;
tap, tap, tap;
do you read me?
Do I read you?