Saturday, June 15, 2013

Gingko revisited; Fathers Day; TIME; Guthrie, guitartown 2013; Municipal parking ramp; Bees and morning glories; Plant brackets


We know from our own experience that there is just too much to read these days.  With only ink-printed matter it was true as Gutenberg’s press invention took communication to the stars.  Now with the burgeoning internet, there is just too much that crosses our paths.  Minds are boggled.

It is perhaps rude of me to toss the Saturday Raccoon on your teetering pile, but for the happy fact that we all do overlook and forget a lot, and now we can delete things -  a keystroke is just a very slight effort, all that is needed.  SO, this presumptuous so-called editor, who himself loathes heavy lifting, passes on to you this end of a frontispiece in a beloved book, WASHINGTON ISLAND 1836 -1876 (a partial history published as a revised edition by Conan Bryant Eaton, 1980):

“Should anyone, upon perusal, find in (this tome) nothing which he did not know before, let him lay it aside quietly, and remember that it was not written for him, but for the less informed.”  C.B.E., Washington Island, June 1972.

That book lies here before me, those words underlined. With apology, it is also our word from the raccoon to you.  

Delete at will.

                           Revolutionizing the way people conceive and describe the world they live in, and ushering in the period of modernity.


after one(+) full week of greenness
on the loft ledge in front of me.

Smiles at world
through war-torn Waukesha milieu;
hard news gets learned
with the good

Father's Day 2013
John Means
father of Denise Means

John Means with daughters Donna and Denise

John Means as beloved Fire Chief
Pleasant Valley Volunteer Fire Department
(In white chief's coat)

Receives hall of fame citation
Maryland Firefighters Annual Convention
to which he hopes to return imminently
with other family members and Jean
in Ocean City on the eastern shore.

In a reflective moment around the dining room table
at Means Rest, Pleasant Valley, Md.

Gramaw and Poppy in the barn
(photo by Emily Means)

60th Anniversary with Jean

Leslie V. Dix
father of SRN ed.

LVD ibid
Dad is 2nd left shaking his boss LBJ's hand firmly

LVD, ibid
enters Arlington National Cemetery
we were there, 1998


you may wish to hear this

hanging on in quiet desperation
is the English way....

Ticking away the moments 
That make up a dull day 
Fritter and waste the hours 
In an off-hand way 

Kicking around on a piece of ground 
In your home town 
Waiting for someone or something 
To show you the way 

Tired of lying in the sunshine 
Staying home to watch the rain 
You are young and life is long 
And there is time to kill today 

And then the one day you find 
Ten years have got behind you 
No one told you when to run 
You missed the starting gun 


And you run and you run 
To catch up with the sun 
But it's sinking 

Racing around 
To come up behind you again 

The sun is the same 
In a relative way 
But you're older 

Shorter of breath 
And one day closer to death 

Every year is getting shorter 
Never seem to find the time 

Plans that either come to naught 
Or half a page of scribbled lines 

Hanging on in quiet desperation 
Is the English way 

The time is gone 
The song is over 
Thought I'd something more to say 

Home again 
I like to be here 
When I can 

When I come home 
Cold and tired 
It's good to warm my bones 
Beside the fire 

Far away 
Across the field 
Tolling on the iron bell 
Calls the faithful to their knees 
To hear the softly spoken magic spell...

Sunday 6-9-13 NYTimes

Wis Guthrie, Waukesha Guitartown 2013

Our friend Wis was set up again this year right below our 3rd floor windows.
His son and art team Guthrie member, Jim, had his back in the Guitartown T shirt and his wide-brim tan hat.

On ground level, we joined the throng of photo-takers.  The Guthries chose a LOG theme for their second effort.  Wis for years had been saving an actual log in his art inreddients for later doing something with.  And since Les Paul sometimes called his guitar his 'log', it fit right in.

Wis had liked the knot hole and other features of his log, and was glad to incorporate this wood from his old woodpile. 

The back side of the guitar has the log continuing.

Other found ingredients are included in the Guthrie guitar this year, as last.
Above, see the electronics simulating Paul's invention that appear in the knothole.
Old radio dials are the controls on the front of the 10 foot guitar. Between frets find Les Paul print artifacts.

Wasting not, the Guthries used the other end of the
wood stove grate plate removers that they attached
in the 2012 model. Those ends of the stove tool had coils
to dissipate the heat of the stove.  That suggested to the Guthries
that Les Paul's music was sometimes hot.

The tool ends used this year are the working 'screwdriver'
finials.  Again, an apt reference to Paul, the inventor.

In the background is the Clarke restaurant, currently vacant
and in need its own 'tune-up'.

Wis reposed for three hours next to his guitar, reveling like the retired
art professor from Carroll that he is, teaching all interested parties
in the thought that went into this Guthrie team guitar.

He sat more comfortably this year in a recycled electric scooter with
padded seats.  He got it from a woman at the Avalon who lost her resident husband.
The husband loved to speed around the bldg and  the downtown and gathered a 
swift reputation.  

Wis is acclimating to the machine and drives it still a bit tenuously,
but has high hopes of often taking the thing to church, the Congo,
with pedestrian ramps all the way, and if the Waukesha authorities
allow, there will be a control traffic light at East Terrace making Wis's 
and many other handicapped travelers way, at that locus, safer.
(That is to be determined.  The alderman is working on it.
Result to be announced;  city has denied this request twice.)

The Guthrie 2013 guitar will sit in the lobby of the Avalon Square
where Wis lives for two weeks. He holds forth at intervals with the guitar at his side,
explaining its features to his encouraged fellow residents.

After two weeks Wis's guitar will head out to the Les Paul Parkway bypass
where it will be put on a pedestal and illuminated weather-safe case, courtesy of
an industrial sponsor.

This photo was shot with zoom from the vacant 4th floor of the
municipal parking ramp across from the Rotunda.

The guitar will be at the Avalon Square for a while longer, so
anyone wanting to see it up close who missed it at the Five Points
has only to request permission through the intercom
and the desk manager will buzz you in.

This photo sits next to the guitar in the lobby.
Wis is shown with son Jim and team-mate grandson, Ryan.

Historian John Schoenknecht sent us this picture taken of him
next to the Central Middle School art class guitar project.
John is a friend of the art teacher there, being a retired art teacher himself,
and was asked for some Waukesha-based product labels from his
vast collection of local memorabilia.
The students then could improvise representations as they painted their guitar.
It turned out great.

For info on how so see the various guitars

A side benefit from ground level inspection of the 
Guitartown scene was a rare opportunity to see the
interior of another but often-closed Five Point
point of interestin the former First National Bank.

Peering inside with our camera, we got a shot of the
uncovered architectural dig, the old Waukesha City Seal 
done in terrazzo, previously buried in concrete.  This revelation was 
thanks to Alan Huelsman, one of the bldg owners.

A screen normally hides that interior view when the tenant
is not open.

It was 'Mad-house City', the first Friday Night Live
of the 2013 season.  Artful guitars seemed everywhere.
A stage was erected at the Five Points for the live music
and ceremonial proceedings.

Men in blue were omnipresent also.
In a squad with tinted windows, a gendarme
spoke through the opaque glass to a
shirtless recumbent-riding spectator.

Thus concluded our circular tour of FFNL No 1.


There are many sights to be seen in downtown Waukesha.

Some are exquisitely pleasant, like this one.  It is little wonder
that the legendary subterranean raccoons choose as their
central meeting place the suspected catacombs beneath this old post office.
 (Now, present ground level incarnation - a site for celebations, weddings,
a focal surround for glitteratae:  "The Rotunda".)

A South Street Gingko tree on the Rotunda side
and a neighbor of ours happens to walk by....
Lsst year we watched the guitar gala from the top floor
of this structure......the

Municipal South St. parking ramp

THIS YEAR, as our way was wended up to the top of the ramp
where we've gone for higher elevation Waukesha photos,
we again noted that the entire 4th floor is void of parkers.

Yet, some people complain of a lack of downtown parking.
This is a huge facility.  We keep our still-running old
car parked here.  (The lower floors are covered from the elements.)

It occurs to us that there could be more use made
of these parking spaces.  The third floor on a regular day
in about half-used. Spaces to park throughout are numerous. Thus,
 the 4th rooftop level has been 'under-utilized' 
to say the least.

From up here you can see our residence,
the Putney/Odd Fellows building.  See the Waukesha-style
turret in the middle.

Masterful engineering was employed in creating this
downtown resource, built for an awaiting future.

The interior elevator spaces are heated
and decorative with the glass blocks and clear windows.
Here you can see at the right of the stairs
the soon-to-be-built Berg/Huelsman combo-
office, store and residential structure above the
present one-level indoor parking bldg on South St.

The plan shown in the Freeman has a skywalk
for those future renovation-occupying tenants to get to
the parking ramp, so there will be some probable increase 
in the ramp utilization, + resultant income to the city.
The rates currently are $2.00 per day, or for monthly
rental, $20.00.

Discussions are ongoing for perhaps waiving the daily
fee to encourage usage by the public.  There are pros
and cons; other undecided considerations.


Taken 6-14-13, a third growth morning glory buds out
on the volunteer vine reported here a year ago.
It is still growing from the little pot given us by Judith
Williams, peace activist of local renown, famous for
for acts of bravery and gentle kindness.  Ex.:  She recently took in a 
a cat that was destined for euthanasia, an 18 yr old cat
with distressing habits to a husband of a friend.
- The cat has to go! -

Our fragile morning glory is still wanly, small, yet strongly 
sending out it's blooming messages. We wonder how long it
can hold out in its foreign environment?
It's in a pot holding an intended cactus that kindly
tolerates its presence and the excessive watering, and does itself do well.

Bees and Morning Glories

Morning glories, pale as a mist drying,
fade from the heat of the day, but already
hunchback bees in pirate pants and with peg-leg
hooks have found and are boarding them.

This could do for the sack of the imaginary
fleet. The raiders loot the galleons even as they
one by one vanish and leave still real
only what has been snatched out of the spell.

I've never seen bees more purposeful except
when the hive is threatened. They know
the good of it must be grabbed and hauled
before the whole feast wisps off.

They swarm in light and, fast, dive in,
then drone out, slow, their pantaloons heavy
with gold and sunlight. The line of them,
like thin smoke, wafts over the hedge.

And back again to find the fleet gone.
Well, they got this day's good of it. Off
they cruise to what stays open longer.
Nothing green gives honey. And by now

you'd have to look twice to see more than green
where all those white sails trembled
when the world was misty and open
and the prize was there to be taken.

"Bees and Morning Glories" by John Ciardi, from The Collected Poems of John Ciardi.

(from Farmers Almanac)

A good idea from the farmers market

A friendly man is selling these brackets he makes.
$3.50 ea with two screws.

The clay flower pots are held by the precise shape
of the notch cut into the bracket, and the weight of gravity.
Plants are easily withdrawn for watering.  When you put
plant back the position may be varied 360 degrees.

Our three windows each got one of these clever brackets.
The Feng shui effect is to broaden the 18 foot
ceiling-ed room.  The vender's stand is found right across from
the Steaming Cup booth.


The End