Saturday, October 20, 2012

David Farragut James RIP; She walks in beauty; Bill's wine corks; Silent auction; Hanging on

An old friend passed yesterday

David James is pictured here at our trout pond west of Waukesha in 1958.
We were notified of his death by his brother, Doug.
He was, as Doug put it, In Extremis, at the crossroads
when Doug sent his draft obituary, and later 'The Tucson Babes' did pass.
Raccoon readers, some of them, will remember other writings
about him on this blog/diary.

The SRN shared several Dixieland numbers over the years with Dave,
including this one now sent in his honor:

David in his lifetime played with many groups and at several venues
including with Josh Salter in Madison, the old Buddy Beek's on Downer St., Milw.
and for many years with the band Riverboat Rascals
comprised among others with his brothers Fred and Doug.

The obituary draft from Doug follows:

 David Farragut James, 78, of Tucson, Arizona 
    A native of Fox Point, (Milwaukee) WI.
d. at home after a courageous and dignified battle with esophageal cancer (date)
    He loved the lakes country, fishing, and the woods. He was an accomplished fly-tier and trout fisherman.  First a student at Milwaukee Country Day School, he transferred to Asheville School for Boys, Asheville, NC, where he was captain of the tennis team in 1952. He then graduated from The University of Wisconsin, where he was a member of Chi Psi fraternity. His career began as sales manager of Pabst Motors, a Milwaukee foreign car dealer, where he also participated in sports car racing with Augie Pabst. He then held several positions in sales for midwestern companies, finally as sales manager at Sterling National Industries, Chicago.
    Dave married Arlene Ollie in ????, who died in ????. He then married Gail Westendorf, in xxxx (which ended in divorce -std news term, not nec for a release), and at the time of his death had been married to (Barbara "Bobbi" ???--name needs to be her preference)... for xx years. They have been residents of Tucson for XX years.
    His interest in Native American culture and artifacts was matched by his interest in John Deere memorabilia. An example of his modesty is that he often sold products to divisions of Deere & Co. but never mentioned the fact the he was the great-great grandson of its founder, John Deere.
    He was a lifelong musician, starting with the banjo, playing with his brothers at age 12, then the guitar, and settling on the piano, which he played for most of his life with Dixieland bands in clubs in the midwest   and for private gatherings.
    He was the son of Charles D. James, former president and chairman of Northwestern Natl Ins Gp.of MIlwaukee. His mother was Grace Velie James of Minneapolis, a writer and recipient of an honorary doctorate in public service from Northland College, Ashland, WI.
    Survivors include three brothers: Alfred James III of Wichita, KS; Charles Velie James of Fox Point, WI; Douglas Craig James of Woodstock, NY; a son, David John James, of Franklin, WI; daughter Gailyn James Wink---etc
Services will be held.....
(G:You have the info for your family (grandchildren, which should include Bobbi's kids and theirs too, listed as stepchildren). Bobbi can supply the part about her and her family. I may think of more, and surely you may too, but it's not a bad draft.)
Tucson papers 
Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel
University School of Milwaukee Alumni publ
Whitefish Bay WI  weekly paper
Asheville School Alumni publ
Immanuel Presbyterian Church, Milwaukee
Waukesha Sewer Raccoon News 
UW Chi Psi publ
Also, someone should look through his personal phone book for friends who should be notified as a courtesy...these would include David Decker of Salem MA, and David Dix of Waukesha, WI.
--Love D

A Prayer among Friends

Among other wonders of our lives, we are alive
with one another, we walk here
in the light of this unlikely world
that isn't ours for long.
May we spend generously
the time we are given.
May we enact our responsibilities
as thoroughly as we enjoy
our pleasures. May we see with clarity,
may we seek a vision
that serves all beings, may we honor
the mystery surpassing our sight,
and may we hold in our hands
the gift of good work
and bear it forth whole, as we
were borne forth by a power we praise
to this one Earth, this homeland of all we love.

"A Prayer among Friends" by John Daniel, from Of Earth. © Lost Horse Press, 2012

This poem is germain regarding our friend David with whom we both always 
signed our correspondences with our names followed by FFL, Friend For Life.
We kept that pledge made in Madison WI, in 1958.


Dee's proboscis is dwarfed by the trunk of the elephant watering can on window sill.
She reads while her hair by LC cell cam

She Walks in Beauty

Again, thanks to our major  poetry supplier, Garrison Keillor's WRITERS ALMANAC, our daily read:

She walks in beauty, like the night
   Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that's best of dark and bright
   Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
Thus mellow'd to that tender light
   Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

One shade the more, one ray the less,
   Had half impair'd the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
   Or softly lightens o'er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express
   How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.

And on that cheek, and o'er that brow,
   So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
   But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
   A heart whose love is innocent!

"She Walks in Beauty" by Lord Byron, from Selected Poems. © Penguin Classics, 2006.

Mr. Dix gazes at his Taco John sandwich
(just up the street from the Odd Fellows)
  not wishing to be blinded by wife's beauty;
misplaced his dark sunglasses.

That corks it! 

A Festival of Talents
was put on by the public relations committee
of the 1st Congregational UCC church
Sunday 10-14-12

Items were brought in for a silent auction
and generous sums were bid on crafted things
that members had created -
or promised in writing to perform.

A pot luck lunch preceded the closing of the bids.

John T.,  frequently unsilent auctioneer,
 PR committee chair,
consults with Kimberly R., Congo member and auction bidder, 
as tension mounts.

Our successful bid on Bill G.'s wine cork trivet:

Another winning bid got us a Bill G. cork coat rack,
further generous evidence of his collected excess of wine corks.

In fact, Bill's wine activities resulted in several cork products
being won successfully at our table alone.

Mike C., new church registrar, will find dusty hand-written rules and regulations in the vault
that prohibit drinking, dancing, card-playing, going to circuses, etc. at the Congregational Church.
- Pictured: Dee. D. and Ann W.  -

That was then, and this is now.  
Today, we get to have our wine, etc. in moderation and help the church coffers at the same time.

Many thanks to Bill's and others' craftsmanship
and to all who merrily attended!


Minnesota Clydesdale

Only in Nordern Minnesnowta! ....... This guy raised an abandoned moose calf with his horses, and believe it or not, he has trained it for lumber removal and other hauling tasks. Given the 2,000 pounds of robust muscle, and the splayed, grippy hooves, he claims it is the best work animal he has. He says the secret to keeping the moose around is a sweet salt lick.

During the rut, the moose disappears for a couple of weeks, but always comes home.

The Clydesdale-type moose photo was sent here by Stew Tolbert, an unmet but brother who made the recent SRN-featured art welding.  He lives with his wife, Donna, in the foothills of the Allegheny Mountains near the Ohio River.

They have a trailer home and big barn where Stew practices his art work.  The property is an abandoned coal mine, beautified.
See previous Tolbert writings here.


A squirrel
hangs from a wire leading to our former birdfeeder.
Hand over hand, he works his intrepid way
toward a gourdful of sunflower seeds
not understanding they were meant 
for Chickadees.

It seems to give meaning
to hanging-on by a fingernail.

C'est la vie!