Tuesday, June 29, 2010


I took one art class in 1964 at Ohlone Jr. College and I rated a D- grade on my project. I submitted a collage. But I loved collage, and later in life, I did a whole wall collage in one house, even more in another house, and later still a public bathroom, four half walls. They are still there. When people would ask me why I was collaging the bottoms of drawers and the insides of cupboard walls with magazine photos, I'd tell them: "We are of our time and we work with what we see." For me, it was my love of pictures in magazines. The beauty there in print and graphics, ads.
I don't know who David Hall is but he had a similar philosophy: "For a culture to survive through its high art embodiments, we study beauty less from paintings at the Metropolitan than from daily encounters with a well designed beer bottle." There is some room for thought there. Was he in his cups? But, no, a beer bottle really is a smooth feeling, well designed thing with a designer label.
One thing for sure, we are of our time and I thought of that as I cruised through some pictures taken this year of 2010:
Pets are dressed up like children. And loved just as much.
We bring them to the office with us.
Hair styling can be high art.
We communicate in strange ways.
Graffiti is art to some. And I've seen some that isn't bad as art. (Placement is another issue, however.)

This modern stroller is a home.

And, of course, beer making is an art. The well turned glass is an art. Hey, David, lets meet?

Monday, June 28, 2010


Tomorrow, I fly to Murphys, CA. for a family reunion and a "catch-up" with family and friends for two weeks. Yesterday, we left Cape Cod and drove back to Ivoryton, CT., where Jim's son lives. He will visit with his family while I'm gone. Ivoryton is within easy driving range of  Hartford's Airport.

Changing gears is a mental exercise as well for me. Some people live the clean life. They toss things they don't use, and forget things they don't want to remember.
Others, like me, have bits and pieces of notes on my desk and in my brain. Items I forgot to put into a blog, or songs I want to buy, books I want to read. Signs I saw and couldn't stop to photograph; humorous flotsam and factoids nags me. Ahhhh! Such is the life of  persons cursed with a trivia retrieval system in their brains.
      Official government yellow road signs:
They warm you to think there is such regard for a deaf child and turtles.

Then the lighthouse we missed visiting, just never got there. Its called the Lovers Light; real name Minots Lighthouse. It blinks 1,4,3 which equals I Love You.

Quaint road names that make you wonder about the people they are named for, or how did they come to name it?
Moonstone Way
Old Fathers Canyon
Marys Pond
Old Aunt Page Rd.
Lucy Little Rd.

Many, many more that I didn't write down. 

Then, once in awhile, you run across a business that has an unusual name:

Angry Tomato.  Now who would want to eat at the Angry Tomato?
And, on the side of a garbage truck:
Business Stinks But Its Picking Up.
There are funnier ones on the internet.

Most whales are injured by collisions with boats. 50% of whales have scars. In 1992, a National Marine Sanctuary was established at Stellwagen Bank. We didn't get there, either.

  A sign in a town where the Police Chief is named Forth:

If you go forth with a fifth on the Fourth, you'll meet Forth.
Well, Independence Day is close and the warning is a good thing. No?

In closing, I promised a look at some of the art glass I saw at the Sandwich Glass Museum. Its only 16 photos.

Sunday, June 27, 2010


 Woods Hole Historical Society Museum is a homey little place. Old time pictures of downtown buildings can be viewed here, first. From the museum, borrow an MP3 player to carry with you for a self guided tour around the village to see what those building look like today. Neat.
The building in the background is still occupied as a business. These horses drank from a community fountain still standing today.
The first library, named the "Social Library" was put together by a group of women volunteers with  memberships and donations. Local women were very active in the suffragette movement, as well. High volunteerism, a wholesome sign of the strength and goodness of a community, is still going strong.Three guys and a gal are building copies of old time boats for the museum. All wooden, skillfully handcrafted. A dying art kept alive for the love of the task.
One building houses some dandy old boats. Made of red cedar, heavy and durable, the boat below will probably last forever. Others, typical of the area, hang from the walls. Well done boat models can be seen as well.
 Another building held artifacts of a well known New York Pediatrician who was an avid hobbyist. He lived in the Village and donated his stuff to the historical society.  He designed and made some of his own tools. He dabbled in photography, wood crafts, writing, painting, plant biology and more.
The two tools above? Function unknown.
A sink stand.

His typewriter has two sets of keys. One set for capitals, and one for small letters. Isn't that a hoot?

A short walk away is the Woods Hole Oceanographic Museum and Aquarium. Two different buildings. Both free and educational. A great place to inspire kids.
Scientists and Engineers formed the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute in 1930 to study climate and ocean, coastal ocean environs, the fish and plants, and, more recently,deep ocean. First funded by Rockefeller, the institute remains a private, non-profit group that is the mainstay in ocean research today.

In 1865, S. Baird noted  the decline in hunted species of fish. Realize that 8 out of 10 New Englanders fished for a living. The voracious appetites of human nature decreed  the world would provide a never ending supply of bounty from the earth and oceans. In 1871 Spencer Baird  was appointed the first commissioner of the first U.S. Agency concerned with natural resources. His assignment? To determine if fish populations were diminishing, and if so, why?
The evidence was established, but it wasn't until Soviet fishing trawlers began plying U.S. waters that congress got really serious about fishing water legislation. And it took until 2006 for amendments to the Ferguson Act to "...focus more effort on overfishing quickly..."

The museum focuses on their deep ocean vehicle, ALVIN, sent to explore the ocean floor. Descending with an operator and two scientists, it takes ALVIN 6 to 10 hours per trip. Two hours to descend, and two hours back up. No bathroom, no heater. The ALVIN Crew photographed and mapped the Titanic in 1985. A second trip in 1986 was made with JASON, an exterior camera. An excellent film shows the whole trip.
  This picture shows ALVIN with JASON in tow.
 A solid six inch steel mock up of the capsule convinces you it is safe to descend 45,000 feet. It was 2.8 miles to the Titanic. Kids can play with controls of the capsule. Its a marvelous exhibit.
 This core of earth shows sediments that resemble the rings on a tree, which is how you count how many years passed. This core was originally 100 feet deep and showed 6,000 years BC.
You enter the aquarium next to a huge seal pool. Inside many different aquariums feature large fish specimens. In the tide pool above, kids (and parents) can examine live creatures up close.
  We meandered the Shore Road back to Bourne and drove out Wings Neck Rd. to see the lighthouse. The lighthouse is now a private residence. The cove is shallow and choppy. We watched the sailboats run the waters.  
For an interesting time line on natural resources depletion and intervention go to this link:

Saturday, June 26, 2010


We drove the Bronco to Sandwich to enter the bike trail at the visitors center. An early start, about 9:00. The bike path is smooth, paved, and flat. We had a brisk breeze and some shade along the canal. Beautiful.
We passed under the Sagamore Bridge winging our way. Every other light post, it seemed, had a cormorant posing for us.
Very accustomed to humans, the birds don't fly when you get close. 
On the first leg of the journey, we saw many people out reel fishing. I stopped to take pictures of some flowers. I saw many of those I recognized from the film the day before.
 I managed to get a rare photo of a cottontail. This one froze for just a few seconds and I got it. 
Its 13 miles up and back, but an easy ride, even for someone as out of shape as we are. I haven't done much biking since my rotator cuff surgery last year and I was unsure if I could do it. But, it was a breeze. The trail is limited to walkers, inline skaters, and bikers. Everyone is considerate and we enjoyed our morning in the sunshine.
From a distance, we could see that the train bridge at Bourne was down to let a train by. We've seen it now from just about every angle.
 The Boston & Sandwich Glass Company was built in Sandwich Massachusetts because of its goodly supply of wood needed to fire the furnaces for glass making. Deming Jarvis eyed the place twenty years earlier but didn't get the money together to build his factory until 1825.
 This young woman, one of five glass blowers at the Sandwich Glass Museum Cooperative, gave a demonstration of how the work is done. A very comprehensive demonstration. The glass is melted, rolled in additives that give it strength, color and clarity, then blown and shaped, heated again, shaped more by rolling the glass and patting and shaping it, with paddles and tongs, then adding more molten glass and repeating the procedure.
There is also a 21 minute film here, but skip it if you go. The exhibits throughout explain the history of the glass factory very well. Everyone walked out of the film.
Then you get to drool your way through 15 rooms with walls and walls full of glass, much of it in front of windows to play to the light. Gorgeous.
 Jarvis made glass for many notables including a president or two. He had 500 employees at his factory at one time. Most of the items were made in the 1800's and you wouldn't necessarily recognize them, such as a  ladies snuff bottle and fainting spirits bottle. Nor this gold fish bowl below.
  This is beyond a doubt the greatest and most beautiful collection of Sandwich Glass, worth spending several hours to see it. Jarvis was the first glass blower to blow glass successfully into a mold. He describes the anger other glass blowers felt when he proved this could be done successfully. It gave him a business edge, mass production.
 One room had modern art glass. (More on that later.) There are other glass artists shown in the museum, though most of the collection is Sandwich Glass.
The Sandwich Co-operative that operates along with the museum, sells work in the museum store. Here are a couple of pictures of Sandwich Co-operative Glasswork for sale:

 Graceful vases in lavender and blue...
 And a  beautiful orange pipe. (And much more.)

Friday, June 25, 2010


Late yesterday, we stopped at Sandwich to see the Canal Visitors Center. Very child friendly with interactive exhibits for children. Kids practice tying seamans knots, pilot a virtual boat, learn about fish, eagles, flowers and ships. Fascinating to me was the computer generated view of everything moving on the canal right then. We viewed a good film about wild flowers found along the canal. Tomorrow is our canal bike ride from Sandwich to Bourne.
 At the center, the kids learn the names of various fish and then  measure them on these paper models. They also have a new and old lobster pot, an eagles nest and other fun stuff.
We moved the motor home to Bourne and a short evening walk to the Canal Railroad Bridge at Bourne made me remember our walk along the breakwater in Provincetown several days ago.
 It was a hot day but the breeze on the breakwater refreshed us thoroughly. This breakwater stretches all the way to the curve of the "fist" on Cape Cod Bay.
Like giant pebbles on the beach, the color and character changes with each step.
 Birds were picking among the mussels and little fish in shallow water as the tide moved out.
 The birds weren't the only ones hunting mussels. This gentleman filled his sack before leaving.
 I couldn't resist giving it a try. But, without a sack, I had to throw my low tide treasure back to its home.
 We got close to the lighthouses on the far end before turning back. An easy cool walk.
Reluctantly, we returned to shore.

 For about 20 more pictures click this link:

Thursday, June 24, 2010


Yesterday, we set out on our bikes to find a crumbling old wharf we'd seen from atop the Pilgrims Monument. And, we expected to poke around town and look-see Commercial Street. Biking on this narrow, one-way street can be heart stopping as you sidle by within inches of slow moving cars and trucks.
 We found the old wharf and it didn't disappoint. Beautiful in its decaying state; stubbornly hanging on; slowly giving over to the birds and barnacles.
We lingered, knowing it may be gone the next time we visit New England. In its heyday, there were 119 wharves serving Provincetown. Five remain.
Biking is a cool and pleasant way to beat the heat. In town, I stopped at several places that caught my eye. Edel's Stained Glass sits on a corner and twinkles at you as the light catches a rainbow of colored glass. Inside, refreshingly original pieces, some with lacy  lead work,  all vibrant and unique. You can commission a work or pick from delicious choices.
You can find her at www.edelbyrne.com

 At Forbidden Fruit, I was attracted to beautiful masks and learned from the proprietor, the masks are made by an Italian Craftsman, Frank Ciccamore, a very low key guy who worked on several award winning movies, providing the costuming.  The proprietor/partner, below, was unsure how to spell Frank's name.
The Venetian Masks were wonderful, in any case. He had nice stuff, jewelry, garden and home decor, treasures  from around the world. On line he is :www.EatMyApple.com
And then we stopped at this wonderfully storied pub called Old Colony Tap. It appeared to have been built when Massachusetts was still a colony. The wood, old and scarred, the eclectic assortment of oddities clinging to the walls and ceilings was nothing to the stories told us by Proprietor/Partner, George Green.
When asked how long he'd been working here, he told us the Pub belonged to his his grandmother who died at age 94, about 50 years ago. His Great Grandfather was Skerry Jack, one of the men who helped move buildings (and people) off the dangerous Long Point, called Helltown,  and into Provincetown, something we'd learned about in the Highlands Museum.  He was a walking history book.
  A local artist once whiled away many happy hours painting people who hung out at the bar. Now deceased, George told us. There are probably 30 of these portraits hanging about.
Jim remembered a marvelous bar in Buckley, WA. called 747 Main. The proprietor, a gold toothed former vaudevillian loved to entertain. She opened her bar from 6 p.m. to midnight, every Saturday, and entertained and sang with a great deal of charade, using mustaches, and costume props. At midnight, the ritual she introduced was for everyone to stand, hold hands and sing God Bless America. Then exit.
George told us of his favorite bar experience from Garden Grove, California. His then girlfriend told him they were going to a classy joint with a dress code, and he needed a tie. In the 60's, eight bucks was a princely sum to pay for a tie, but he fancied up. She took him to this bar where they were met at the door by the guy who enforces the dress code. He snipped off his brand new tie with a scissors. "There must have been 1200 of them hanging around the place," he laughed.
   We stopped at George's sister establishment, the Surf Club, for a bowl of wonderful chowder and steamer clams. Is life on the road good? Or what?