Thursday, February 22, 2018

Rainbows, Fairy Tales and The Golden Key

I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. --Genesis 9:13

The Golden Key
On Quora someone recently asked for suggestions of other stories like The Little Prince, that wonderful gem by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. The book that immediately came to mind was George MacDonald's The Golden Key. In fact, in my previous readings I've found the book so heart-warming that I felt compelled to take it off the shelf and read it again.

It had been a number of years, but I never forget the scene in which Tangle encounters the Old Man of the Fire. I won't spoil it, but the feeling one gets while reading this scene is similar (for me, at least) to that sense of the transcendent that occurs when the trapezoidal and diamond pyramid-like structures appear during the hallucinatory light-show culmination in Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey, or Ezekiel's strange visions of fire and wheels within wheels and the four living creatures (Ezekiel 1).

On the other hand this story, The Golden Key, is not like either of these other than it has a powerful way of making you feel that you were in the presence of something otherworldly, and in this case something so sublime, so beautiful, almost magical... in some ways like Oz, except with no witches.

It is a beautiful story, and helped serve as a perfect antidote to some of the painful stories in the news right now, and a recent loss that many of us have shared.

George MacDonald (1824-1905) was a pioneer of fantasy writing as well as a friend and mentor to Lewis Carroll. His influence was extensive, including the likes of J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis and W.H. Auden, who wrote the afterword for this volume that I have. While reading The Golden Key I could see some interesting parallels to Tolkien's Lord of the Rings (The boy here finds a golden key as opposed to a ring, and goes on a quest.) Likewise, elements of Lewis' Narnia books are foreshadowed.

From a review by reader named named Charles:
This is a very famous book, not quite children’s fairy tale and not quite adult allegory—or rather, it’s both, and more. As fairy tale and as allegory, it has so light a touch as to be ethereal, combined with a feeling of enormous substance. There is, for child or adult, little obvious moral, yet the reader is left with a feeling of transcendence. Quite an accomplishment in what is really just a short story, and doubtless why the book is still famous today.

Auden, in his Afterword makes an interesting observation about the book, which struck home with me on a few levels. He stated that it is a mistake to attempt to interpret the elements of the story as symbolic in one way or another. Rather, there is something uplifting and rewarding in simply experiencing the world which MacDonald created, to enjoy its beauty, to feel it rather than interpret it.

* * * *
Fairy Tales by Oscar Wilde
While we're on the subject of fairy tales, it seemed worthwhile to note this collection by Oscar Wilde, who is better known for his witty plays and his one novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray. I stumbled upon my copy at the Midway Book Store in St. Paul, which 35 years ago was a great source of treasures... and may still be to this day. (Rare books and collectibles were upstairs.)

At one time I sketched out a treatment for a 32-page picture book based on his tale "The Nightingale and the Rose," which touched me at the time. His story "The Happy Prince" has been turned into an illustrated book now. In the back of the book are a number of shorter pieces which he calls Poems In Prose, but which nowadays we'd label Flash Fiction.

One of these, titled "The Disciple," is an exquisite gem. It begins, "When Narcissus died, the pool of his pleasure changed from a cup of sweet waters into a cup of salt tears, and the Oreads came weeping through the woodland that they might sing to the pool and give it comfort."

Somewhere Over the Rainbow
This past year I somehow discovered Eva Cassidy, perhaps through Pandora, and her stirring version of Sting's Fields of Gold.

More recently I've been listening to her album Simply Eva, and one of the songs here is a rendition of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" that really goes straight to the heart. According to the RIAA this song was the number one song of the century, Judy Garland's signature song after bringing it to the world as Dorothy in the wonderful Wizard of Oz.

Somewhere over the rainbow way up high
there's a land that I heard of once in a lullaby.
Somewhere over the rainbow skies are blue,
and the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true.

Someday I'll wish upon a star
and wake up where the clouds are far behind me,
where troubles melt like lemon drops
way above the chimney tops, that's where you'll find me.

Somewhere over the rainbow bluebirds fly.
Birds fly over the rainbow, why then, oh, why can't I?

If happy little bluebirds fly
Beyond the rainbow,
Why, oh, why can't I?

music by Harold Arlen and lyrics by E.Y. Harburg

This is a live version of Eva performing the song, performed in 1996, the year she died of melanoma.

* * * * 

Perhaps the Golden Key we're all looking for is beauty. We see it in rainbows, but it's also in the world around us as well, though too often shrouded by shadows and mist. If we could but have eyes to see afresh. George MacDonald's little story was probably conceived with this end in mind.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

John Bushey Legacy Leaves No One Untouched

"My brain is the key that sets me free." --Harry Houdini
On Monday, February 19, we gathered at Clyde Iron Works in West Duluth to memorialize the passing of a significant contributor and gift to our community, John Bushey.

You know how it is. Funerals and memorial services can be emotionally challenging, so we steel ourselves because of all the people we will be meeting, interacting with, touching, sharing the moment with. In spite of such efforts to play it out, something deep was happening because this was no ordinary man we were honoring and remembering. This was John Bushey, a man whose influence and impact went far beyond what most of us realized. He was too modest to call himself important, but as we listened to the stories Monday it was evident to all that this was one remarkable man.

In so many varied ways all who attended Monday's Memorial Service were touched by this guy who was so unassuming and yet noteworthy. Special thanks to Zane and the family, his brother Jim and sister Barbara, and all who helped craft this special occasion.

Cowboy Angel Blue (Bill Maxwell, Jamie Paavala and Bill Bulinski), John's favorite band who helped keep him alive by always giving him something to look forward to, provided the music for this service, opening with the poignant "Girl from the North Country," followed by "He Was a Friend of Mine."

Karen Sunderman, host of the WSDE program Making It, opened the program by sharing a bit of John's life story and its varied elements--magician, teacher, Eagle scout, musician, Dylanophile and host of Highway 61 Revisited. A noteworthy feature of his personality was its total commitment to whatever he was interested in. During the service story after story would be told revealing the extent to which John pursued his passions, whether it be magic, teaching or Dylan. The speakers that followed amplified each of these themes.

Magician Mark Mitton was first to present, beginning with one of John's talks to a lock convention. Yes, he was a master of locks. In addition to a remarkable locksmith, John collected an extensive handcuff collection and even created locks of various kinds.

Mitton began with a number of rope tricks, which John always loved to perform whenever opportunities presented themselves, including the annual Blood on the Tracks Express during Dylan Fest. He also told a story about the time John's brother shackled him to a pole in the basement for several hours, a story Jim would add details when it became his turn to speak.

Terry Roses, founder of the Duluth Mystics (magician club), was an early inspiration and influence on John with regard to this fascination with a career in magic.

There were several stories told that highlighted John's sense of humor. People who knew him knew that he could be a prankster. One of the stories Mitton told was about an incident that took place out east at the home of a famous magician friend. One of the items in his possession was a magic wand once owned by the legendary Houdini. Unbeknownst to everyone, John made a reproduction of this wand and replaced it where it had been displayed. Later, with everyone gathered round, he took the wand and broke it, leaving everyone startled. Until he did the reveal.

Other stories were shared and then a special ceremony performed, a magician tradition. Alex Madsen, Terry Roses and Jodie LeBlanc joined Mitton to perform the traditional Broken Wand Ceremony. When a magician dies, his fellows perform the broken wand ceremony that "his magic would live on in the hearts of all who were enchanted by him."

The next to share was Linda Stroback Hocking, who owned and ran Zimmy's with her husband Bob for near three decades. The first time John came to Zimmy's he noticed that there was no Dylan stuff on the walls. John arranged for Bob Dylan's mom to bless the place so that they could assimilate Dylan memorabilia for interior decorations. John began it all by donating several items. A week later he returned and saw that they had been framed, so he donated more.

Linda shared many other stories about John, and Zimmy's as a place for many people who came to Hibbing from other countries seeking a touchstone to connect them to Bob.

Cowboy Angel Blue followed with the evocative "Not Dark Yet" from Time Out of Mind which has been a special favorite of John's in this past difficult year.

Maija Jensen, program director for KUMD Radio, shared emotional reminiscences and how John loved the May Dylan Days so much that he would begin talking about it on his program in January. The power and reach of John's show resulted in the studio he recorded in being renamed The John Bushey Highway 61 Revisited Studio. His show's importance was profound. Maija then thanked all who were involved in giving him rides or devising set lists that he could air.

Cher Obst, the next speaker, shared stories about John's gift for teaching. This is where John's legacy goes into the outer limits. His teaching career began as a substitute. He loved working with children and enjoyed dazzling them with his magic. The next year he was a 4th Grade teacher at Piedmont and based on the results he was a spectacular teacher. Legislators can propose fancy statements like "No Child Left Behind," but John lived it. His aim was never to "win" as an excellent teacher, but to excel at teaching for the sake of his students.

"Ah, youth!"
When "No Child Left Behind" was implemented, he was able to achieve the remarkable result of having 100% of his students achieve scores of 100% on the required tests. Later, after the memorial service, I met and talked with two of the students from that class who were now in college. They shared how John not only set high standards for the kids, but also produced ways of motivating the kids to achieve those results. When John required them to learn their times tables, one of them said she has no ability to memorize anything, let alone times tables. The way he showed them how to improve their memory was to have them memorize all the lyrics to one of Dylan's longer songs. This experience gave her the confidence to learn her times tables.

For John, Obst said, "the music was not only patterns and rhythms, it was also history and modern culture."

Ms. Obst shared many other stories about John's involvement with Wolf Ridge, bird classes, Chickadee Landing -- now renamed Bushey Landing -- and the all night grad parties, ending with the affirmation, "As long as he was alive he was going to live life to the fullest."

John with his magician friends.

Friends through shared musical dreams,
Billy Hallquist (L) and Marc Percansky (R)
Cowboy Angel Blue followed up with "Red River Shore," another beautiful song that John loved to listen to and play on his show.

The Bushey siblings, John, Barb and Jim
Jim Bushey was the final speaker. He told of John's (lack of) hunting prowess. He also set the record straight on how John missed school one day by being handcuffed to a pole in the basement that morning. Jim got blamed, but John played a role in his situation.

"Shelter from the Storm" closed the testimonial story telling and Karen Sunderman's closing remarks released us for a time of fellowship and refreshments.

Susan Laing of Australia, who is helping with Duluth Dylan Fest this year, later shared with me the following observation. It wasn't just the quantity of people who came, but the caliber of those who came that impressed her. What's more, sometimes we can get jaded about the superficiality expressed at many such services, people paying respects because it's expected of them, but with John "people gathered out of a genuine desire to bear witness to the strength of friendship they had with him." I can't think of any better way than that to express what we experienced Monday.

Mayor Larson honoring John for his service at KUMD.
Most funeral and memorial services have a photo display, but the extensive collection of photos of John was far beyond anything I can recall ever having seen. His various lives, situations, places and growing up shots in manacles served to affirm all that had been said. Photos told the true story of John friendships, achievements and interests. Also on display was the official Mayoral Proclamation of October 15, 2016 as John Bushey/KUMD Highway 61 Revisited Day.

I share these things as a memorial for John, but the family is especially interested in gathering your stories as well. Email your stories to

If you have photos or videos of John Performing magic, or other stories, you may also mail them to Barbara Bushey, 279 E. Harney Road, Esko, MN 55733.

Special thanks should be extended to Clyde Iron Works for donating the space, Valentini's and family members for providing treats, and everyone who shared photos or stories.

John Bushey -- December 6, 1961 - February 8, 2018

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Tech Tuesday: Data-Driven Marketer Jon Thralow Talks About eCommerce, SEO and What's New @ Google

I've been reading Walter Isaacson's The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution, a thoroughly researched history of the men and women whose ideas and energy created the Internet and all the other manifold technologies that have become so embedded in our lives, from video games to A.I. and self-driving cars. Imagine a world without Google, Apple, Microsoft and Facebook.

One of the beneficiaries of all this innovation has been Jon Thralow, a geek programmer who evolved into a data-driven marketer with his fingers on the pulse of emerging trends and the application of new technologies. When I interviewed him in 2009 I asked what were the two or three most important things internet entrepreneurs needed to know. He replied, "First, set up tracking mechanisms to measure every marketing penny that you spend. Second, find your niche and don't deviate; stay focused. Third, use the scientific method so that you can test for the outcome. This ensures that you do not make the same mistake twice."

His article at the end of this interview will show you how he's not deviated from this path and, in fact, has only become more sophisticated at it.

EN: You've been doing eCommerce now for almost two decades. What are some of areas that have been of special interest to you during this time?

Jon Thralow: My first love was programming viral SaaS software. It was fun to see a creative take on a life of its own and grow, but I did not have the time to develop the infrastructure on the program and, eventually, it grew to a point that was unsustainable. I then found SEO and hacking Google's algorithm became a passion of mine. I was getting anything to the top positions and it was easy. Then Google got a lot smarter and the workload to get a site listed on the first page became too time-consuming so I shifted to paid search. Paid search is about the only thing that I do today.

EN: Google has certainly emerged to be a very big gorilla in cyberspace. How did this happen from your point of view. They began simply as a fast, reliable search engine, right?

JT: There was a race to be the most accurate search engine. In 1998 I was trying to get our site listed on about 50 different search engines. All of them had a chance to be the most used after the shakeup, but in 2000 Google came along. It was a research project from Stanford so it did not have the money-hungry feel. It felt like a service and it gave great results. It quickly grew and took the number 1 spot where people found things on the internet.

EN: Online success is more than good Search Engine Optimization, but don't the rules for good SEO keep changing? How does a business stay current?

JT: Today it is more work than ever to be a top ranked site. Google has started ranking profitable sites below content sites making SEO almost impossible to win if you are a business. Google knows that sites that make money can pay for the paid placements so that is what they are trying to do. If you want to make money with search today you will most likely have to pay for it or create amazing content that is published in major news outlets.

EN: Even before the Internet I always said, "You can't manage what you don't measure." Since the Internet, analytics has been taken to a new level. How do you stay current on what's going on in the realm of online analytics?

Thralow is ever on the lookout for
new horizons to explore.
JT: Most of my day is spent measuring. My favorite class in college was statistics and I found a place where I can use that logic for my real-world job. I am at the point now where I am incredibly frustrated by holes in Google Analytics. Most marketers take Google Analytics as cut and dry data, but there is so much bad data that can be misunderstood that sometimes I forget that marketers of 20 years ago had to often rely on gut feeling.

EN: You mentioned that the next step in analytics will be the ability to actually tie in-store sales to Google adwords on mobile devices. Is this really possible and when is it coming?

JT: This is being worked on today and it's being beta tested with some large retail businesses. I have worked on their beta program with Red Wing Shoes and we are seeing some great results. We have recently started uploading our point of sale data to Google and are starting to tie our online and offline sales to online ads.

* * * *

Related Links
Learn to Measure AdWords for In-Store Conversions
The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution

Monday, February 19, 2018

February Tweevenings: Bill Shipley Shares Stories About Art Collectors

February's Tweevenings speaker was Bill Shipley, Tweed Museum docent and lifelong artist who spent most of his career in the Big Apple, occasionally rubbing shoulders with some of the most famous artists of the past fifty years. His topic had to do with collecting art.

After being introduced by museum director Ken Bloom, Shipley prefaced his remarks with a little background on how the Tweed Museum came about.

George P. Tweed and his wife Alice were themselves art collectors. For three decades they collected art until he died 1946. In the 1950s Mrs. Tweed opened her home on Sundays to share the collection with the community. Eventually she developed the funding to build the museum, which opened in 1958, making the collection more accessible still.

In its early years Bill Boice guided the museum and began adding to the collection. The Sax brothers purchased work and added still more. Over time others contributed and today the Tweed maintains an extensive body of work.

By means of storytelling Shipley introduced us to different kinds of collectors.

Four Kinds of Collectors

1. Eugene Victor Thaw

"Lincoln in Dalivision" -- Dali
Born in 1927, Eugene Victor Thaw died just last month. Thaw was a major collector and art dealer. Every museum in country has a portion of their collection that passed through this man's hands. His master drawings went to the Morgan. After meeting Lee Krasner he eventually became the man who wrote the catalog on Jackson Pollock.

Thaw collected bronzes, French ceramics and was a major force in collecting world. When Georgia O'Keefe died he went to Southwest to evaluate her work, but then began collecting Native American work. He was on cusp of everything that was happening.

Though he started with little money he managed to amass a fortune, then gave it all away to the Fenimore Museum.

Shipley noted, "You don't need a lot of money to be a collector." The three things necessary to be a collector, he said, are an Eye, Education and Experience.

2. Dorothy & Herbert Vogel

The Vogels bought minimalist art. Tiny things, small, portable. Tthey talked to artists and collected artists who were working small. (In contrast to the massive Motherwells at the MoMA.) They were so into collecting that they got rid of all their furniture so they could have more room for art. They lived like monks.

Herbert died in 2012. When he died, it took five moving trucks to carry it all away, donated to the National Gallery in D.C. This gift was a work of art in itself because of the way they amassed it and kept it. Bill noted that he got to know them through his late partner.

3. Judith Rothschild

"Cervantes" -- Etching by Salvador Dali
Nanette and Herbert Rothschild were her parents. They built an amazing collection of European works. When the parents died she inherited it.

She liked to hang paintings in her apartment without identifying the artists. Her collection included Mondrian, Milton Avery, Brancusi sculptures…

Judith got zoning for a large glass structure atop her building. She never advertised her collection. An artist, too, she had a studio above Carnegie Hall. Metropolitan wanted her collection so badly, they gave her a show of her own paintings, with a lavish dinner opening… the best champagne, and all the rest. They pulled out all the stops. But the next day the NYTimes called it a scandal.

Judith used some of her money to set up a foundation to help under-recognized artists.

4. Hudson Walker 

"Three Angels Entertained by Abraham"
Marc Chagall
Walker separated himself from his grandfather, and collected American modernists. He gave his work to the University Gallery, which later became the Weisman (U of MN).

Shipley told a story about a controversial event involving a large Motherwell in his collection. Katherine Ordway bought the Motherwell and hung in the Kirby Center at UMD. Evidently it was too modern for some peoples' 1957 tastes because the students protested and were not going to attend graduation unless the Motherwell was taken down. (Student protests evidently didn't begin with the Viet Nam War.)

Hudson Walker modeled his collection after the Frick Collection. The Walker fortune came from lumber industry. An interesting trivia bit: some of the Walker collection was left hanging in his home even after it became a rental home.

* * *

Art displayed on this page is from the Tweed show "Treasure From Home."

Do you collect art? There is plenty to go around. Enjoy it.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Richard Brautigan's "All Watched Over By Machines Of Loving Grace"

While in college I was introduced to the writings of Richard Brautigan, novelist and poet who shortened his life in 1984 by suicide. In the 60's he was a fresh voice on the scene, producing books like Trout Fishing In America and In Watermelon Sugar which spoke to disenfranchised youth.

Having grown up in poverty Brautigan's painful childhood experiences are heartbreaking to read about. In his early twenties he threw a rock through a police window in order to be arrested so he could have regular meals. Instead of jail he was committed to a mental institution and treated with shock "therapy," one of the most bizarre and inhumane forms of therapy that I can imagine. He would later be described by a friend as "a gentle, troubled, deeply odd guy."

In a world that worships charisma and winning smiles, Dale Carnegie energy and can-do spunk, this kind of brooding misfit demeanor isn't the marketable commodity publishing houses clamor for. Nevertheless, Brautigan had a following, for his words connected with a generation that resonated with much he had to say.

* * * *
This past week I've been reading The Innovators by Walter Isaacson, a book about the history of innovation that preceded computers and the internet, from Charles Babbage's Difference Engine thru the Turing's Enigma Machine to the development of silicon wafers, chips, internetworks to A.I. and learning machines. Isaacson cites Brautigan's poem along the way, and I share it here, a dreamer's dream.

All Watched Over By Machines Of Loving Grace

I like to think (and
the sooner the better!)
of a cybernetic meadow
where mammals and computers
live together in mutually
programming harmony
like pure water
touching clear sky.

I like to think
(right now, please!)
of a cybernetic forest
filled with pines and electronics
where deer stroll peacefully
past computers
as if they were flowers
with spinning blossoms.

I like to think
(it has to be!)
of a cybernetic ecology
where we are free of our labors
and joined back to nature,
returned to our mammal
brothers and sisters,
and all watched over
by machines of loving grace.

* * * *

My 2016 reference to the book Machines of Loving Grace.
Intro to the life and works of Richard Brautigan.
Surviving A.I. by Calum Chace

"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." 
--Philip K. Dick

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Local Art Seen: /FINE, Re/FINE De/FINE UMD Faculty Show at the Tweed

The answer is "Yes, there is always more to see."

This week I visited the Tweed Museum of Art with the aim of viewing the UMD Faculty Show titled /Fine Re/Fine De/Fine. Without reading anything about the show, I suspect /Fine has a double meaning or more, being a reference on the one hand to Fine Art and on the other "Fine work." Ideas get refined, and concepts defined when the final pieces are completed for display.

The exhibition, on the balcony level, will be on display through August 5. If you get any chance at all, I recommend making a trek to the Tweed at this time. There are several shows to see from Kathy McTavish's Chance to the Modern(ism) show to Treasures from Home, which is a wonderful display of paintings and pieces from within the extensive Tweed collection.

The faculty show is an annual feature, I believe, always interesting. While there be sure to take in whatever student show is taking place in the corner gallery.

Alison Aune's intricate "Mandala" is striking for its scale.

"Eve Is The Apple, Adam Is The Worm" by Jeffrey Kalstrom
Detail from Kalstrom's piece.
"Real-Unreal/The Rigor of Harmony" by Darren Houser

This is a snapshot of a moment in time in Joellyn Rock's
Remixing Shakespeare.
This shows the morphing taking place.
And a third from that work of experimental video.
Rock's work rocks!
Wanda Pearcy's Bows of Promise; coffee toned cyanotype.
As you can see here the faculty work in a variety of media, the students get stimulation from a variety of instructors and the public gets to enjoy the bi-product of their explorations.

When classes are in session at UMD parking can be a problem, but I've never had a problem on weekends (open 1-5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday). The Tweed is also open on Tuesday evenings till 8:00 p.m. and the parking lots have more space, and no expense.

Meantime, life goes on... 

Friday, February 16, 2018

Local Art Scene: Vern Northrup Discusses Ishkode -- The Role of Fire in Native Culture

Early last week author Judy Budreau, DAI Director Christina Woods and I met with Vern Northrup at the Dr. Robert Powless Community Center to learn more about his exhibition of photography and especially the manner in which traditional Native culture has utilized fire as a tool. The exhibition of Northrup's photographs in the AICHO Gallery is titled Ishkode, which means "Fire" in the native Ojibwe tongue.

Vern Northrup, brother of the nationally recognized poet Jim Northrup, began his talk by noting his own background as a professional firefighter, as in forest fires. But his interest in fire has deeper historical roots. Generations of native tribal peoples used fire as a means of land management.

The current focus for Ishkode is the Apostle Islands off the coast of Wisconsin on the South Shore of Lake Superior. According to Northrup, the Apostle Islands served as a refuge in the Western migration of the Anishinabe from the East. On these islands there was an abundance of pines and blueberries, as well as game.

To put his Ishkode exhibit in perspective Northrup shared a few details about the Native culture. The clan system was a means of protection for tribal peoples. They also had fairly sophisticated means of delivering information. Birchbark canoes were a breakthrough… faster, lightweight. Innovation and technology developed, resulting in tools that made hunting or building easier. Traditions evolved, but some things were constant. The people strove to follow the path of their elders, because it was important to remain connected to the traditions. "Becoming removed from the traditions makes life hard, and life is not meant to be hard," he noted.

One of these traditions was the process of land management, or Ishkode. Ironically, the U.S. government squashed this tradition in the 1930s by making the burning of land illegal. Legislators did not understand the function of the burning, which helped in growing one of Algonquin food staples: blueberries. The Algonquin were practicing forestry. Planned burning helped keep the bugs down and reduced disease as well. In fact, according to Northrup, there were 70 different benefits to the managed burns in various areas every five to seven years.

"Fire is another spirit, another one of our grandfathers," Northrup said. "We have to venerate it. Fire has always been a part of me. My grandfather was a fire warden for Minnesota."

Northrup was modest about his work. He brought with him a portfolio of more than 100 additional photos, many capturing nature's most exquisite beauty. He expressed himself with warmth and authority, and seemed to take pleasure in sharing, perhaps in part because he had such an attentive audience. Our attentiveness was, in part, due to the sense that we were in the presence of something profound, the manner in which the native peoples lived a life fully integrated with respect for the land.

* * * *

The context for this talk was the larger display of Northrup's photos reproduced on anodized aluminum. Vern Northrup began doing photography just 3 years ago in 2015. His tool of choice is a Galaxy S7. It's easy to transport and takes vivid images, to which these photos on the walls of the AICHO Gallery  attest.

Northrup has a keen eye, and understands that the best stories unfold by focusing on small details. Here are my own iPhone reproductions of his S7 shots. You can be certain that the original photos are far superior in person, just as the Grand Canyon is superior to post cards of the same.

It was interesting to see this same split in the shoreline rocks in various seasons.

RELATED STORY: Read Judy Budreau's "How far is the far?"

* * * *
For more information about AICHO, visit 
Tonight the community center in Trepanier Hall will be hosting 
a special presentation of SKIN(S), a dance program 
by Seminole dancer Rosy Simas.
Doors open at 7:00 p.m. Program begins at 7:30.

* * * *