Saturday, August 31, 2013

Are we there yet?; A matriculation; Odd Fellow bloom; Quite frankly; Essay

from current New Yorker

On Aug. 30, 2013 
grandson MIKE DIX of Dousman WI, daredevil,
heads off to Carroll University.
He joins an august rank of Carroll grads:
grandmother Gina, brother Chris, and sister Melissa.
Good luck - all the way!


Odd Fellowan bloomed
the other day
Plant has lived though some said NAY
It's been alive more time than thought......

(Search these pages; in vain naught:
'Morning Glory')

(makes a great screensaver)


Quite Frankly

They got old, they got old and died. But first—

okay but first they composed plangent depictions
of how much they lost and how much cared about losing.
Meantime their hair got thin and more thin
as their shoulders went slumpy. Okay but

not before the photo albums got arranged by them,
arranged with a niftiness, not just two or three
but eighteen photo albums, yes eighteen eventually,
eighteen albums proving the beauty of them (and not someone else),
them and their relations and friends, incontrovertible

playing croquet in that Bloomington yard,
floating on those comic inflatables at Dow Lake,
giggling at the Dairy Queen, waltzing at the wedding,
building a Lego palace on the porch,
holding the baby beside the rental truck,
leaning on the Hemingway statue at Pamplona,
discussing the eternity of art in that Sardinian restaurant.

Yes! And so, quite frankly—at the end of the day—
they got old and died okay sure but quite frankly
how much does that matter in view of
the eighteen photo albums, big ones
thirteen inches by twelve inches each
full of such undeniable beauty?

"Quite Frankly" by Mark Halliday, from Thresherphobe. © The University of Chicago Press, 2013. 


Essay by D. Septix
Trip to the farmers market
Sat. 8/24/13

It was a perfect morning to step outside and go across the street to the farmers market along the Fox river, so at 8 AM I descended the back stairs of the Odd Fellows hall and stepped into the early sun on Main Street.  Crossing the Five Points intersection I strode down to the Clinton Street entrance, where the market vendors begin displaying their wares.
Already at 8,  the crowded attendance began accumulating.  Key Westconsin outdoor cafe already had lots of breakfasting or coffee-sipping table-sitters.

I pause at the cheese factory table and got some more Caraway Havarti.  I see Beth Lawson with her weekly shopping sack over here wrist.  We chat.  She has a fine shoulder tattoo of a tamarack sprig.  This is an archived picture:

I stop at the honey man's stand.  He says he thinks he knows me from his 1960s Carroll days when he was an art student there. We chat.  Yes, indeed we had common friends there:  Wis Guthrie, Dik Schwanke, John Tyson - his art professors, and some others.  I remark that probably Wis will be appearing that very day for he frequents the market from the Avalon, where he lives.  Moments later, Wis rolls up in his electric chair.  The three of us chat.  Meanwhile, Craig is selling lots of honey........

Next stop, the steaming Cup coffee canteen, right next to Craig's honey. I fill our thermos I'd brought and into which I put some vanilla ice cream before I left home, to chill the hot dark roast coffee so I can drink it comfortably while I walk through the market hordes.  It's getting crowded.

A smiling Asian vendor spreads beauty in Waukesha, setting up between the stand counter and the family van.  Agrees to pose.

The Catholic nun, another regular I recognize, approaches and I do not disappoint her by forgetting to tender my "Nice costume!" plaudit.  She passes, smiling and wordless, as her vows may dictate (one vow might be never talk to that guy), and continues her own hunting and gathering in determined efficient silence.

I eventually return home - to the Odd Fellows - by way of the stoop at the old National Bank across from the old Frideman's men's store at the Five Points near where I started.  It's such a beautiful day I decide to put down the heavy fern plant next to one of the bank columns and sit down.  In the shade at that still early hour I linger and drink my ice-creamed dark roast coffee from the thermos.

Many people, walking and driving, pass by that focal intersection.  I enjoy speaking with those going by on the sidewalk who  I know.  Mitzi and Chris Keadle stop to talk.  They're on their walk down from near Fountain Ave where they live.

And here comes Phil Runkel.

Phil won't recognize me and I greet him and say as much.  He looks quizically at me as I give him some identifying facts.  (I was at his mother's funeral not terribly long ago; she was laid to rest in a quick bio-degrading rush basket coffin; I belong to her church where her sculpture of the flying bird made of drift wood hangs over the former SS stage in the now fellowship hall; I've been in a couple of peace marches with him; have done some civil disobedience things myself which I don't specify......)

He loosens and begins to converse at length.  He tells me of a recent demo he was on in Wash. DC, protesting drones.  He tells me of a good picture I might find in the internet.  I do find it.

Eventually I stand up and ask if he would mind if I take his picture myself.  He acquiesces kindly;

I get to thinking as I continue to linger at that focal locus that I am sitting beneath the 360 degree Opti-Cam mounted
on a high pole atop the Friedman's store.  I know it is there and I think nothing of it because I have no plans to commit any crimes currently.  But there it is up there, the spy camera:

And a couple days later, I'm coming out of Dave's Cafe near there with my brother Steve. We had breakfast together. As we stand chatting (MORE chat!), four (4) squad cars pull up to the five-way stop. The first squad cop looks at me and smiles and waves.  Then the second car pulls up, and the same thing happens - a smiling wave.  The 3rd one, the same,  the 4h one the same.  Why are all these cops waving at me?

Then after a couple of regular cars go by, a sheriff's deputy car comes even with us, and this guy does the smiling wave bit, as well.  Steve and I laugh at all the apparent friendliness the local constabulary are paying little old me.

Then later I get to thinking of that spy cam. 

And I say, WTF?


vis-a-vis drones

'The Strip'
NY Times Op-Ed