Saturday, August 31, 2019

50 Years Ago Today: A Beautiful Night on the Isle of Wight with Dylan

As I think back on Bob Dylan's performance with the Band, which capped off the Isle of Wight Festival, my only recollection is that the reviews were not stellar. It wasn't until about four years ago that I acquired a bootleg CD of the concert, and gave it a listen. It was a very special set, but in such stark contrast to what must have been explosive sets by the Who, Joe Cocker and Ritchie Havens, among others, that it would have easily felt like a letdown, even though it should not have been. It was very special.

Context, however, is everything, and Clint Heylin's Behind the Shades, Revisited helps shed light on that context. 

First off, Dylan had not been in the habit of performing in front of lives crowds for several years, and after his period of hibernation he wasn't even certain he had a fan base left. So, in a toe-in-the-water trial (before signing the contract) he went and performed at the Mississippi River Festival in Illinois. "Disguised" as Elmer Johnson he did three covers with The Band. 

According to David Amran, Dylan said afterwards, "Man, there was something like 30,000 people there and they didn't forget me."

Heylin says that there was a reason Woodstock was selected as the site for this epic event. As Al Aronitz put it, "In essence, the Woodstock Festival was nothing but a call for Bob to come out and play."

Whether true or not, one thing is certain. There were plenty of people passing through looking for Bob and it must have felt creepy. Years later he said, "It was like a wave of insanity breakin' loose around the house day and night. You'd come in the house and find people there, people comin' through the woods, at all hours of the day and night, knockin' at your door... We had to get out of there." Which is what he and Sara did, flying to England instead.

Dylan spent 12 days in rehearsals with his old bandmates before headlining the final night of the festival. They had prepared a much longer show than the hour they took the stage. Unfortunately, the crowd was exhausted after three days of music. 

The night before, The Who did an energetic set that began with hits, then showcased their rock opera Tommy, and finishing with more power. On the evening Dylan performed, Ritchie Havens preceded. There was a two hour delay between Havens and the Band and the crowd became restless and impatient, which also made Dylan edgy.

As any performer can tell you, when the crowd has been stoked, you are yourself energized. Al Aronowitz explained, "The crowd was getting tired. Both Bob and I knew the crowd must be feeling drained and worn out."

Those who were there remember it as anti-climactic. Which is unfortunate because as I listen today it has some very sweet moments and so strong ones. But in that context, the context of high-powered groups striving to leave their mark, Dylan's homespun, laid back effort failed to be memorable.

The festival had a sealed off VIP area in front of the stage that was populated by three Beatles and their wives (watch the video to see which was absent), along with Jane Fonda, Elton John, Keith Richards, Eric Clapton and other celebs. I would be curious what they thought about Dylan's set, which is a compilation of some truly great songs. My favorites were those in his acoustic set, including the tender Wild Mountain Thyme. 

She Belongs to Me
I Threw It All Away
Maggie's Farm
Wild Mountain Thyme
To Ramona

Mr. Tambourine Man
I Dreamed I Saw St. Augustine
Lay Lady Lay
Highway 61 Revisited
One Too Many Mornings
I Pity the Poor Immigrant
Like A Rolling Stone

I'll Be Your Baby Tonight
Quinnn the Eskimo
and an encore
Minstrel Boy
Rainy Day Women #12 & 35

According to Heylin, "Only once, on a raucous 'Highway 61 Revisited' did some of the old fire return to his singing."

Lavon Helm told Heylin that Bob had eight or ten extra songs on the intended playlist "with question marks" next to them, "but it seemed like everybody was a little bit tired and the festival was three days old by then; and so if everybody else is ready to go hoe, let's all go." 

It's easy to see why many were underwhelmed. In other words, why go through the motions when no one is into it. 

Related Links
UK's FarOutMagazine website has a cool 20 minute video with footage from the press conference and segments from the concert here:
(My apologies for the ads.)

Contrast Isle of Wight with the Rolling Thunder Revue. Here's the trailer.

And for the fun of it, here's what the weather looks like there this time of year.

Friday, August 30, 2019

First Impressions of the Che Exhibition at Karpleles Manuscript Library Museum

Tuesday morning I visited the new Che Guevara exhibition now on display at Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum. My very first thought was how powerful it feels to be inches away from history.

The Che exhibition is quite informative regarding events that occurred in my lifetime to which I--like many Americans--was fairly oblivious as regards what was really going on. Like many people and places, we have too readily assigned labels to things without doing any deeper research, without investigating beyond the surface explanations we've been spoon fed by our media and our government.

Who was Che Guevara? Wikipedia begins with this explanation.

Ernesto "Che" Guevara (June 14, 1928– October 9, 1967) was an Argentine Marxist revolutionary, physician, author, guerrilla leader, diplomat, and military theorist. A major figure of the Cuban Revolution, his stylized visage has become a ubiquitous countercultural symbol of rebellion (Italics mine) and global insignia in popular culture.

As a young medical student, Guevara traveled throughout South America and was radicalized by the poverty, hunger and disease he witnessed. His burgeoning desire to help overturn what he saw as the capitalist exploitation of Latin America by the United States prompted his involvement in Guatemala's social reforms under President Jacobo Árbenz, whose eventual CIA-assisted overthrow at the behest of the United Fruit Company solidified Guevara's political ideology. (See Related Links at the bottom of this page.)

The Karpeles Che exhibition makes the revolution in Cuba quite tangible. You'll see Che's birth certificate, fingerprints, and a variety of unexpected original documents. You'll even see Fidel Castro's high school yearbook. (Last month we saw Bob Dylan's high school yearbook here.)

As you enter the museum you will want to begin on the left, which has a picture of Fidel Castro and some information about him.

The next case features information about Fulgencio Batista, the despotic dictator whom the U.S. supported before he was overthrown in 1959. While Americans were all home enjoying Father Knows Best and the first golden age of television, Batista was enabling U.S. corporations to take over 70% of the arable land and milk the country of its natural resources for profit. Power was maintained by force and an estimated 1000 to 20,000 were killed.

In response, a peoples' resistance arose and after a final battle, led by Che Guevara, Bautista fled the island and Castro took over.

Che immediately became a CIA target as he sought to help other countries free themselves from being under the thumb of U.S. corporate interests.

On display next is a notebook belonging to CIA agent Ross Crozier and his handwritten description of Che Guevara, which begins: "Physical:-- 5' 11" -- 170 lbs. Med. well proportioned build. Well shaped head, oval face, clear white complexion under sun tan. Med. high forehead, slightly furrowed when concentrating. Large, expressive brown eyes."

The next section appears to be a sidetrack here, with numerous newspapers from around the country announcing the assassination of John F. Kennedy. I was perplexed by these until one of the displays had this front page story: "Fidel Castro Sympathizer Held In Dallas."

Next we see a display titled The Execution of Che Guevara which features details of his murder in Bolivia and a staged photo of Bolivian soldiers pointing rifles at the guerrilla leader.

This was followed by a memorandum from CIA Director Dick Helms to President Johnson regarding the death of "Che" Guevara. "SENSITIVE. Eyes Only" and a 2017 Newsweek article about how the CIA helped Bolivia "Kill the Marxist Revolutionary" using the newly released documents, partially redacted.

Here is Che's military registration, filled out by Che himself.

Numerous other original official documents are presented as well.

It's an impressive collection of original documents and an opportunity to take a mentally stimulating look at a portion of history that occurred in many of our lifetimes.

In closing, here are a handful of quotes from the guerrilla leader. The last of these is from a speech given at the United Nations. It implies--or declares--that the era of Colonialism has ended, and is an appeal to allow nations to have self-determination. The problem was, the United States corporations (and their shareholders) were benefiting from this current arrangement, where our puppet government leaders allowed our country to rape and pillage their resources and economies.

"I knew that the moment the great governing spirit strikes the blow to divide all humanity into just two opposing factions, I would be on the side of the common people."
--Becoming Che

"If you tremble with indignation at every injustice, then you are a comrade of mine."
--The Quotable Rebel

"Words that do not match deeds are unimportant."
--Seeds of Revolution: A Collection of Axioms, Passages and Proverbs 

"The final hour of colonialism has struck, and millions of inhabitants of Africa, Asia and Latin America rise to meet a new life and demand their unrestricted right to self-determination."
--Address to the United Nations

If you have never been to the Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum, this is an invitation to take advantage of another opportunity to see unusual, rare and historical documents. 902 East 1st Street, Duluth. Admission is free.

Related Links
CIA and Assassinations: The Guatemala 1954 Documents

A Country for a Company – The 1954 US Backed Guatemalan Coup To Support United Fruit Company

An Apology for a Guatemalan Coup, 57 Years Later

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Why I Write. The First Dozen Reasons That Popped Into My Head

For those unaware, there's a Wednesday evening online writers forum called #PubChat on Twitter. It's hosted by Publishous (a Medium publication) and usually moderated by @TheNicoleAkers, herself a bestselling author. An hour in length, it begins at 8:00 p.m. CST. 

During last night's discussion someone said something that prompted me to make a list of the reasons I write. I personally believe that learning to write well can help people in nearly any career. In about three minutes I had ten items. Afterwards I added a couple more "because they were there."


1. To improve my communication skills.

2. To influence people.

3. To entertain people.

4. To make people think.

5. To document history of things I am part of. Currently I write about the local arts scene here in the Twin Ports. I also cover things related to Bob Dylan, especially with regards to local connections because he was born here in Duluth and grew up in the Northland.

6. To articulate an opinion. (I have lots of them.)

7. To learn how to express something abstract and unshaped (like emotions)  by putting it into concrete language.

8. To comfort people.

9. To give people hope. (One of the great needs of our time.)

10. To educate people.

11. To motivate people to action.

12. And sometimes, to make money.

This morning, after sleeping on it, a couple more reasons people write came to mind. For example, one that I feel really important is this: it improves our thinking skills. It takes brain power to work out the most effective way to communicate instructions or to explain why you want a job with this company. Effective communication means communication that gets results.

Finally, for me writing is a way of connecting with others. Social media builds communities, and a sense of being part of something bigger than ourselves. Also, as an avid reader I like sharing ideas that come from the books and articles I'm reading.

There are many other reasons people write, of course. Some people choose a writing career so they can have a more flexible lifestyle. I've known several people who love the open road and find ways to travel endlessly, supported by their writing. This isn't really the reason I began writing, though now in retirement I certainly enjoy it. Knowing I can get a nap in during the day has resulted in quite a few two a.m. writing binges.

As you can see from my list, learning to write well has value even if you don't choose writing as a career. This is why when we homeschooled our kids I worked hard to make their writing lessons both useful and enjoyable. I created a new approach to teaching writing and am proud to say they both became pretty good at it.

A few years ago I assembled the writing exercises I'd created, as well as my ideas on teaching writing, into a book titled Writing Exercises: How to Teach Writing and Prepare Your Favorite Students for College, Life and Everything Else. Though designed to help homeschooling parents, it has useful information for anyone wanting to improve their writing skills. I invite you to check it out.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Tolstoy Asks Us To Address One Question: How Should We Then Live?

Painting by Ilya Repin. Public domain.
Russia's most significant literary figures of the 19th century would include Nikolai Gogol and Ivan Turgenev, for laying the groundwork of Russian literature, followed by Dostoevsky, Tolstoy and Chekov. These latter three achieved international fame for their stories, novels and writing.

What I remember most about Count Lev Nikolayevich "Leo" Tolstoy--who is best known for his War and Peace and Anna Karenina, was that the second half of his life was devoted to writing about following Jesus and living out a life in harmony with Christ's teachings. As a result, he became keenly aware of injustice and had a falling out with orthodox and organized religion.

Tolstoy was not always motivated by the teachings of Jesus. In his book Confession he writes, "Quite often a man goes on for years imagining that the religious teaching that had been imparted to him since childhood is still intact, while all the time there is not a trace of it left in him."

This paragraph pretty much sums up what he became, despite his nice Sunday school upbringing:

I cannot recall those years without horror, loathing, and heart-rending pain. I killed people in war, challenged men to duels with the purpose of killing them, and lost at cards; I squandered the fruits of the peasants' toil and then had them executed; I was a fornicator and a cheat. Lying, stealing, promiscuity of every kind, drunkenness, violence, murder — there was not a crime I did not commit... Thus I lived for ten years.

When his life bottomed out, he found new meaning in the teachings of Jesus, which infused much of his writing the second half of his life. What follows are quotes from his various writings.

Wikimedia commons. Photo May 1908
The Kingdom of God is Within You
"The most difficult subjects can be explained to the most slow-witted man if he has not formed any idea of them already; but the simplest thing cannot be made clear to the most intelligent man if he is firmly persuaded that he knows already, without a shadow of doubt, what is laid before him."

On Meaning
The only significance of life consists in helping to establish the kingdom of God; and this can be done only by means of the acknowledgment and profession of the truth by each one of us.

The Key Question
This divergence and perversion of the essential question is most striking in what goes today by the name of philosophy. There would seem to be only one question for philosophy to resolve: What must I do? Despite being combined with an enormous amount of unnecessary confusion, answers to the question have at any rate been given within the philosophical tradition on the Christian nations...

But in more recent times, since Hegel´s assertion that all that exists is reasonable, the question of what one must do has been pushed to the background and philosophy has directed its whole attention to the investigation of things as they are, and to fitting them into a prearranged theory. This was the first step backwards.

On Pacifism
"The Quakers sent me books, from which I learnt how they had, years ago, established beyond doubt the duty for a Christian of fulfilling the command of non-resistance to evil by force, and had exposed the error of the Church's teaching in allowing war and capital punishment."

On the Good Life
To be good and lead a good life means to give to others more than one takes from them. --Tolstoy, The First Step

On Oppression
The oppression of a majority by a minority, and the demoralization inevitably resulting from it, is a phenomenon that has always occupied me and has done so most particularly of late.

Artist Ivan Kramskoi. Public domain. 
On True Religion
Genuine religion is not about speculating about God or the soul or about what happened in the past or will happen in the future; it cares only about one thing—finding out exactly what should or should not be done in this lifetime.--Path of Life

All our problems are caused by forgetting what lives within us, and we sell our souls for the “bowl of stew” of bodily satisfactions.

On Wealth and Poverty
"Honest work is much better than a mansion."

"Wealth is a great sin in the eyes of God. Poverty is a great sin in the eyes of man."

"If a poor person envies a rich person, he is no better than the rich person."

On Wisdom
The only thing that we know is that we know nothing — and that is the highest flight of human wisdom. --War and Peace

* * * *

Each of these could become a writing prompt for a future blog post. And since there is much more to say, I will likely return.

Related Links
The Forged Coupon and Other Stories

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Upcoming Events of Note, Twin Ports Scene


Add caption
Due to the forecast of Thunderstorms, the BEST DRESSED DOG CONTEST that was to take place at Wade Stadium tonight has been moved to the Essentia Heritage Center. It is believed that there will be an equal amount of fun at the new location as at the Wade. (Yes, that's a Wiener Dog wearing a bun.)

Indigenous Economy & Entrepreneurs Series
202 W, 2nd Street, Duluth

Nick Hernandez, Indigenous Economy & Entrepreneurs Series
The American Indian Community Housing Organization (AICHO), with support from the Duluth LISC and McKnight Foundation Seed Grant, is offering a three-part Indigenous Economy, Indigenous Entrepreneurs series. We are excited to welcome Nick Hernandez of Makoceag Agriculture Development on August 28 to share his expertise on launching Indigenous economic development and the business start-up process from an Indigenous perspective. Nick will share development strategies, planning process tips, and personal experiences from his work at Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation and his new startup organization Makoceag Agriculture Development.

We will have two FREE opportunities on August 28 in AICHO's Dr. Robert Powless Cultural Center (212 W. 2nd Street, Duluth):

A. Workshop for Entrepreneurs from 2 pm - 4 pm
Nick Hernandez will present on business planning, startup process and food system enterprises. This workshop is geared for entrepreneurs, those interested in creating future enterprises, and community members who are thinking about Indigenous & local food production.

B. Community Presentation from 6 pm - 7 pm
Nick Hernandez will present on Indigenous economic development and creating local & Indigenous food system enterprises. All community members are invited to attend and enjoy an evening of knowledge sharing, storytelling, and being in community. Light food will be served before the presentation at 5 pm with time to visit before the presentation.

Please join us!

Nick Hernandez Bio: Nick Hernandez is a member of the Oglala Lakota Oyate and a citizen of the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. Nick is the partner to Liz Welch and the father of two boys Alee Jax and Kai Tyndall Hernandez. In 2019 Nick earned a master’s degree in Lakota Leadership and organizational management from the Oglala Lakota College (Kyle, SD). in 2015 Nick helped to develop the Food Sovereignty Initiative for Thunder Valley CDCand managed the initiative for 4 years as its Director. Today, through his many years of developing experience, training, partnerships and education in the realm of agriculture and food systems for his community and people. Nick’s passion and dedication are focused on developing Indigenous agriculture and food systems designed to regenerate healthy equitable communities, economies and our environments.

Shocks and Surprises in a Gallery Filled with Sculptures.

Bill Shipley shares his passion.
Saturday, September 7 from 2:00-3:00 p.m.
"Shocks and Surprises in a Gallery Filled with Sculptures!" is a Gallery Talk topic that Bill Shipley is offering about Asymmetry: Three Dimensional Works from the Tweed Collection exhibition at the Tweed Museum of Art.

If you want to see a Fallen Angel in welded steel by Katherine Nash be prepared for a somber note, but if you need a cheery subject look at Judy Onofrio's Pair, Pear creatures.

Docent Bill Shipley will give a tour with highlights of the show, including two lyrical relief wall mounted works by Charles Biederman and paper and fiber sculpture by Leslie Bohnenkamp who made challenging work in both mediums. Ceramic art by Rudy Autio and Sterling Rathsack are also notable for their innovation and humor. This is a memorable show for its diversity and for the variety of materials used in contemporary sculpture.

The Never Ending Book: Paintings by Anna Sorenson
This is an ongoing conceptual project by Swedish artist, Anna Sorenson. A display of her work will be at the Nordic Center.

Sept.10, a lecture by Anna from 6-7 pm at Montague Hall, UMD. Free & open to the public.
Sept. 14, reception at the Nordic Center, 2-5 pm. There is also a SunFunday for kids on Sept. 8, 1-3 pm.

* * * * 
Always more happening than time to share, but we do the best we can. 
Keep making art. Keep making a difference.

Monday, August 26, 2019

John Lennon Notes and Quotes to Start Your Week

Illustration by the author.
"I've always considered my work one piece and I consider that my work won't be finished until I am dead and buried and I hope that's a long, long time."
John Lennon Interview with RKO Radio on the day of his murder (8 December 1980)

* * * *

This past couple weeks I've been reading Philip Norman's Paul McCartney: The Life. Although some of the reviewers give it rather harsh scores on Amazon, I've personally found it a rewarding read because I've not read many books about The Beatles and thus there are more new insights and anecdotes than I was familiar with.

I still listen to The Beatles after more than half a century, and also internalized some of their individual post-breakup albums by repeated listenings.

There's no question that Lennon & McCartney were one of the greatest songwriting teams of all time. There's also little doubt that extreme fame has to do a number on your head. Finding personal equilibrium after the flume ride of Beatlemania took years and was real work.

One of the things that surprised me was how much abuse Linda Eastman received in marrying Paul. I was aware that Yoko was despised for extricating John from the Fab Four, and blamed for the breakup of The Beatles. I was pretty much unaware that Linda was often physically assaulted by Paul's female fans for making him "unavailable" and dashing their own hopes.

Fab 4 arrive in NYC, Feb 7, 1964.
Photo: Library of Congress. Public domain.
The book goes into detail about the context of their emergence as superstars. A good comparison might be the forest fires that raged in California last year. Conditions were right for an exceptional year for destructive blazes. Similarly, with Elvis in the army, Buddy Holly dead, and Jerry Lee Lewis out of favor for marrying his 13-year-old cousin, conditions were ripe for a super talented, outgoing supergroup to set hearts ablaze across the universe... or at least, across the seas.

When their solo careers began, after the breakup, it surprised me how harsh the critics were on Paul's first two albums. I had all those early solo efforts and enjoyed them all, including All Things Must Pass (Harrison) and especially Lennon's Mind Games.

John Lennon features prominently in the book, as it would be near impossible to tell any of their stories without their symbiotic others. The quotes that follow are Lennon's. When I read the quote at the top of this page it set me on a search for other Lennon remarks and observations.

John Lennon Quotes

"The thing the Sixties did was to show us the possibilities and the responsibility that we all had. It wasn't the answer. It just gave us a glimpse of the possibility."--John Lennon

"It's better to fade away like an old soldier than to burn out."--John Lennon

"Nor do I think we came from monkeys, by the way...That's another piece of garbage. What the hell's it based on? We couldn't've come from anything--fish, maybe, but not monkeys. I don't believe in the evolution of fish to monkeys to men. Why aren't monkeys changing into men now? It's absolute garbage. It's absolutely irrational garbage, as mad as the ones who believe the world was made only four thousand years ago, the fundamentalists.
"That and the monkey thing are both as insane as the other. I’ve nothing to base it on; it’s only a gut feeling."--John Lennon

Photo: Jack Mitchell. Free public use via Creative Commons.
"These critics with the illusions they've created about artists — it's like idol worship. They only like people when they're on their way up … I cannot be on the way up again. … What they want is dead heroes, like Sid Vicious and James Dean. I'm not interested in being a dead (expletive) hero. … So forget 'em, forget 'em."--John Lennon

"Everything is as important as everything else."--John Lennon

"I don't mind people putting us down, because if everybody really liked us, it would be a bore."--John Lennon

"Above all else never let people know how physically unattractive they actually are. Everyone deserves to believe they are beautiful."--John Lennon

"We're trying to sell peace, like a product, you know, and sell it like people sell soap or soft drinks. And it's the only way to get people aware that peace is possible, and it isn't just inevitable to have violence. Not just war — all forms of violence."--John Lennon

"It's just natural, it's not a great disaster. People keep talking about it like it's The End of The Earth. It's only a rock group that split up, it's nothing important. You know, you have all the old records there if you want to reminisce."--John Lennon

"Our society is run by insane people for insane objectives. … I think we're being run by maniacs for maniacal ends and I think I'm liable to be put away as insane for expressing that. That's what's insane about it."--John Lennon

"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans."--John Lennon

Related Links
Dylan's Tribute to Lennon Keeps Rolling On
A Leadership Lesson from John Lennon
Tomorrow Never Knows: The Beatles' Turning Point?
Mind Games

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Local Art Seen: Kathryn Lenz at the Zeitgeist Cafe

"Wild Animal"
This month Kathryn Lenz's paintings have been on display at the Zeitgeist Cafe.  It's harvest season for gardeners and some of Lenz's work looks delicious. The show is titled "Out of the Kitchen" and it features a variety of  subjects including vegetables and animalia. Her paintings of bunnies are especially wonderful and seem to reflect her own gentle spirit.

Her artist statement is as follows:
This show focuses on a healthy natural environment as well as small things that capture one’s imagination during a day at home. It features a variety of experiments that I have cooked up recently from ingredients including fiberglass, glues, 3-d prints, jewelry chain, super gloss, acrylic paint and varnishes as well as applications of garden produce for mark making.

While there, be sure to check out Kathryn's "Master's Hand Mobile" which may become a blog post all its own.

If you need an excuse to visit Zeitgeist, the cafe menu is superb. Ignore the Superior Street renovation and just do it. If you're like most of us, you probably could use the exercise.

"Poppy Arrangement"
"In the Beginning"
"In the Beginning" -- Detail
"All In."
"Honey Can You Get It"
"Her Chocolate Duchessness"
"Vegetable Medley"
"The Prep Bowls"
For the record, Kathryn Lenz should be added to your Twin Ports "Artists to Watch" list. 
If you can get out for next Friday's Downtown Duluth Art Crawl make sure you drop in at the Zeitgeist. 

Related Link

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Local Art Seen: New Work by Claudia Faith and Eric Horn

"So Sheep May Safely Graze" -- Claudia Faith
The Duluth Art Institute is preparing for their Fall Exhibitions now. Yesterday afternoon I slipped in to catch a preview and found the walls in the Morrison and Steffl Galleries are stripped bare, getting arranged for two new shows that will be presented here. In the corridor gallery there were five large canvases featuring paintings by Claudia Faith, all colorful and delightful, though her message is serious. 

The opening for these three shows will be mid-September. Look for announcements in all the usual places.

"Mothering in Pastel Light"
"The Chosen One"
"Flocking Toward Lovingkindness"
"Living the Lie"
While checking out Kathryn Lenz'z paintings at the Zeitgeist Cafe I spotted a pair of new paintings by Eric Horn in the Zeitgeist Atrium. Eric has been active in the Steampunk community in the past with large and bold concepts executed with passion Here are a pair of eye-catching images, emphatically extracted from pop culture. 

The late Stan Lee.
The Pop Icon formerly known as Prince

Related Links
Top Ten Things to See at the MN State Fair
Visit Twin Ports Art blog to see additional August Arts activities 
Info on tomorrow's Poets on the Water (see below)

Friday, August 23, 2019

Flashback Friday: 7 Years Ago Today (Plus a UFO Concern))

23 AUGUST 2012

1. Which one does not belong in this list of Mother Earth News cover stories?
a. Care and Cultivation of Permanent Garden Beds
b. Double-Duty DIY Solar Solution
c. Incredibly Easy Homemade Pizza
d. Learn to Be Self-Sufficient (Advice from Leading Experts)
Answer: These are all cover features in the 2012 Feb/March 2012 edition. Yummm. Pizza.

2. Just saw Being Julia this past weekend. I really enjoy watching Jeremy Irons. He is so very, very good in whatever he does. The film itself was much more interesting than I expected. Kudos all around.

3. There will be an autumn Twin Port Gallery Progressive in October, the 11th and 12th. Mark your calendars.

4. On September 8, Lee "Colorblind" Johnson and I will be performing jugband music at the Carlton Chicken Swap. Anyone know anyone who might be available to join us and play washtub bass?

Patricia Canelake
5. The Robinson Scott / Patricia Canelake opening at Lizzard's was well attended last night. Nice event, interesting works. Scott, who resides in Anoka, does glass work that is very much worth seeing. Canelake titled her portion of the show "Unleashed." Her large, loose paintings of farm animals and other topics swim in color. I especially liked her mixed media work. Lizzard's gallery is a half block west of Pizza Luce and the Tech Village on Superior Street.

6. We often think we have to move faster and sleep less to accomplish more. Jesus walked everywhere, never took a subway, did not have a smartphone, never wrote a book and yet continues to influence the world nearly two thousand years later. His career, once his life work really got started, lasted less than four years.

7. Currently watching a documentary on Woody Allen. My first date in college was to ask a girl whom I'd met in orientation to go to Woody Allen's Take the Money and Run. I laughed so hard my cheeks hurt. She did not laugh the whole time. I knew then that we had a problem.   

8. There is a call for submissions by the PROVE Gallery for their September show. The theme is whimsy. That is, they are looking for art that is whimsical in nature or created with that kind of light-heartedness. You can find details on Facebook.

9. A cat in the window is worth 100 points, right?

10. Why are people so fascinated with UFOs?*

11. I'm currently working on a poster comprised of images of my art assembled to form a bust of Dylan. Would you pay $5 for something like that? Would you pay $10 if half went to flood victim relief?

12. “There’s no black and white, left and right to me anymore. There’s only up and down, and down is very close to the ground. And I’m trying to go up, without thinking of anything trivial such as politics.” ~Bob Dylan

* I've been thinking a lot about how challenging it would be to be abducted by aliens. How would you get in touch with your family to let them know you were alright? There's probably no postal service up there. If you're married with children, how would the life insurance policy get settled, in the event you did not return? It's all very complicated. 

Fortunately I comfort myself with this life lesson: 90% of the things we worry about never happen.

Enjoy your weekend to the max.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Throwback Thursday: The Great American Pastime

"Baseball is the only field of endeavor where a man can succeed three times out of ten and be considered a good performer." ~Ted Williams

Photo by Nathan Gonthier on Unsplash
It's a long season. Beginning in the spring, when the birds fly north, you hear the first crack of the bat and hearts going pitter-patter awaiting the season opener... followed by the long weary road as the season wears on. Every day is game day with only the All Star break to interfere. By the time the season nears its end the birds are flying south, and up here in the Northland we wake to find frost on our car windows each morning.

September, just around the corner, is the month when pennant hopes come alive. We see which teams have enough pitchers left who can bring their teams down the stretch, because by this time there are a lot of tired arms out there.

Baseball is a game that has inspired many a poet, journalist, philosopher, artist and story teller. It's a sport that, to some extent, defines the American spirit. Despite numerous strikes that broke many a fan's heart, we still get that "feeling" in September as the days crawl toward the playoffs... At least, I still get that feeling.

I admit that I'm not the fan I used to be, but I still enjoy following the game. There's a ball field in Hermantown that I drive past on the way to the mall, and when I see kids out there playing I occasionally stop and watch a few pitches, watch the way a kid fields a grounder, how they carry themselves. Sometimes I wish I had my camera or think I should do a painting of the sprawling lush green grass, the lime white foul lines, the beige infield.

When I was seven I lied about my age to play in the Little League. This was back when kids went off to play baseball after school and through the evening and parents didn't wonder where we were all hours of the day. The team I played on was called the Mudcats, which came from a pitcher named Mudcat Grant, who was an ace for the Cleveland Indians. This was the spring of '60. Three years later Grant was the only Indian who made the 1963 All Star team which I saw live in old Cleveland Municipal Stadium.

It's hard to say whether life is more like baseball, or that baseball is like life. For sure, baseball has turned more than a few fans into amateur philosophers. Here are some quotes from one of many sources on the internet that collect such pearls, and a few new ones since this was posted in 2012.

"The baseball mania has run its course. It has no future as a professional endeavor." --Cincinnati Gazette, 1879

"When I was a small boy in Kansas, a friend of mine and I went fishing and as we sat there in the warmth of the summer afternoon on a river bank, we talked about what we wanted to do when we grew up. I told him that I wanted to be a real major league baseball player, a genuine professional like Honus Wagner. My friend said that he'd like to be president of the United States. Neither of us got our wish."--Dwight D. Eisenhower

"Baseball is very big with my people. It figures. It's the only time we can get to shake a bat at a white man without starting a riot."--Dick Gregory, 1962

"Good pitching always stops good hitting, and vice versa."--Bob Veale

"Baseball exemplifies a tension in the American mind, the constant pull between our atomistic individualism and our yearning for community."--George Will

“If a woman has to choose between catching a fly ball and saving an infant’s life, she will choose to save the infant’s life without even considering if there is a man on base “--Dave Barry

”Slump ? I ain’t in no slump. I just ain’t hittin’.”--Yogi Berra

”Baseball players are smarter than football players. How often do you see a baseball team penalized for too many players on the field?“--Jim Bouton

"All I want out of life is that when I walk down the street folks will say, ‘There goes the greatest hitter that ever lived.’”--Ted Williams

"Poets are like baseball pitchers. Both have their moments. The intervals are the tough things."--Robert Frost

"If it weren't for baseball, many kids wouldn't know what a millionaire looked like."--Phyllis Diller

"Being with a woman all night never hurt no professional baseball player. It's staying up all night looking for a woman that does him in."--Casey Stengel

"The seductiveness of baseball is that almost everyone with an abiding interest in it knows exactly how it should be played. And secretly believes that he could do it, if only God had seen fit to make him just a little bit less clumsy."--George V Higgins 

Well, y'all have a great weekend... whoever you're rootin' for.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Almost Wordless Wednesday: Foodie Fotos--Omelettes & Salads

Lettuce and other veggies home grown.
Most of the omelettes and egg salads on the salads
courtesy our brood of geese. 

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