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Home Ground, Saint Paul, Minnesota, May 2009, photo © 2009 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

Home Ground, Saint Paul, Minnesota, May 2009, photo © 2009
by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

 

We’re back after a 2+ week blogcation. How time flies. On Sunday ybonesy sent me an email titled: Getting Back in the Saddle. We both agreed that the vacation from blogging was refreshing; we needed it. We also took a hiatus from electronics, with the exception of learning a bit about Twitter. It’s a whole other world that moves at lightning speed and (like blogging) has its own protocols, courtesies, and idiosyncrasies. But there are some good, smart people on Twitter including a whole slew of writers and artists.

We’ll keep using Twitter for updates, to stay in touch from the field, and to add links we find of interest or that relate to red Ravine. So keep watching our sidebar for the latest Tweets. If you see an RT, it means we picked the link up from another Twitter user and are giving them credit. Oh, and the bit.ly and tiny.url link shorteners we use are perfectly safe. We test them first and wouldn’t steer you in the wrong direction.

But what should I post today? ybonesy’s back from Vietnam and has a few posts in the works; I survived Art-A-Whirl and am excited to be in the studio. I’m leaning toward something simple for our first day back. While on vacation, I didn’t do much writing, but I did go hear Patricia Hampl at the Highland Park Library in St. Paul. I had already finished The Florist’s Daughter and made the commitment to read all of her work; she is my kind of writer.

Her talk in St. Paul did not disappoint. She was there to promote the new book, Home Ground – Language for an American Landscape from Trinity University Press. The book is edited by Barry Lopez and Debra Gwartney and contains an A to Z history of words about the land written by famous writers like Terry Tempest Williams, Barbara Kingsolver, Robert Hass, and Franklin Burroughs.  Lopez gave each writer a list of words for which they wrote a definition using a combination of research and wordsmithing; the result is over 850 terms—from `a`a to zigzag rocks—defined by 45 American writers. It’s beautifully written with pen and ink illustrations by Molly O’Halloran.

Hampl explained that Barry Lopez had asked her over a glass of wine if she would be interested in participating in the project; she agreed. And after being initially uncertain about the words she received, she ended up loving the project. In addition, each writer was asked to choose the place they considered to be their “home ground.” Patricia Hampl chose the North Shore of Lake Superior, womb of the earth, a Minnesota landscape completely different from the urban setting of her home in St. Paul.

What place do you consider your “home ground?”

  
 

Home Ground, Saint Paul, Minnesota, May 2009, photo © 2009 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.            Home Ground, Saint Paul, Minnesota, May 2009, photo © 2009 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.             Home Ground, Saint Paul, Minnesota, May 2009, photo © 2009 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

 
 

Home Ground – Language for an American Landscape is a historical map drawn by writers — word geography with cairns that weave through centuries of the American landscape. Liz and I fell in love with the book; she purchased it that evening. When I took the photograph at the top (that’s Liz’s finger holding the book up), Patricia Hampl had just walked out of the library and we chatted for a few seconds about the bloom of Spring on the Minnesota landscape and how well the book sold that night. I’m certain it will find a prominent place on our reference bookshelf.

Thanks for hanging in there with us on our red Ravine break. Thanks for reading. We’re back in the saddle and I’m going to wrap it up with a little taste of Home Ground. There is a short essay on saddle written by Conger Beasley, Jr. where he refers to the twin summits of the Spanish Peaks outside of Walsenburg, Colorado (though it’s closer to ybonesy, I did eat dinner there one evening on a drive to Taos). According to Beasley, because of their resemblance to the torso of a woman at the foot of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, the Spanish Peaks are called Wah-to-yah, “Breasts of the World,” by the Ute Indians and locals refer to the saddle as “the cleavage.” Conger Beasley considers the beautiful and nurturing Spanish Peaks his “home ground.”

  
Here’s a final excerpt from a word near and dear to our hearts: 
 

ravine
Ravine is French for mountain torrent, and comes from the Old French rapine, or “violent rush.” Larger than a gully or a cleft but smaller than a canyon or gorge, a ravine is a small steep-sided valley or depression, usually carved by running water. The word is most often associated with the narrow excavated valley of a mountain stream. A rarer usage denotes a stream with a slight fall between rapids. In A Lady’s Life in the Rocky Mountains, Isabella Bird writes: “After descending about two thousand feet to avoid the ice, we got into a deep ravine with inaccessible sides, partly filled with ice and snow and partly with large and small fragments of rock which were constantly giving way, rendering the footing very insecure.”

      -Kim Barnes, from her home ground, Clearwater Country in Idaho

 

Home Ground Resources:



-posted on red Ravine, Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

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Giant Red Wing Boot, Red Wing, Minnesota, August 2005, photo © 2005-2009 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

Giant Red Wing Boot, Bay Point Park, Red Wing, Minnesota,
August 2005, photo © 2005-2009 by QuoinMonkey. All rights
reserved.



We didn’t travel much when I was growing up. Maybe a weekend trip to the beach in Charleston or Savannah. Or taking a drive through the Great Smoky Mountains along winding roads of the Tennessee hills to visit my grandparents over Easter. But for the most part, we stayed close to home.

It wasn’t until my early twenties that I started to criss-cross the country by Ford Econoline van, vintage Karmann Ghia, yellow Mercury Capri, and powder blue VW Squareback. Those were the years I discovered my wanderlust and the uniquely American, Roadside Attraction. Though their heyday may have been the 1950’s and 60’s, if you keep your eyes peeled, Roadside Attractions still pepper America’s highways and byways.

In Minnesota, they might take the form of an 18 foot tall, 2 1/2 ton Paul Bunyan, and 5 ton Babe the Blue Ox. South Dakota has the Corn Palace (thanks to Bo’s comments for the great postcard link). And Texas has Cadillac Ranch creating by eccentric millionaire Stanley Marsh, 3 who in 1973 invited a San Francisco artists’ collective called the Ant Farm to help him turn 10 used Cadillacs into a landscape work of art.


Sassy Red Chrome Boot, Saint Paul, Minnesota, August 2005, photo © 2005-2009 by Liz. All rights reserved.Sassy Red Chrome Boot, Saint Paul, Minnesota, August 2005, photo © 2005-2009 by Liz. All rights reserved.Sassy Red Chrome Boot, Saint Paul, Minnesota, August 2005, photo © 2005-2009 by Liz. All rights reserved.


Are car and seed art not your cup of tea? Head East and check out the Giant Koontz Coffee Pot in Bedford, Pennsylvania (built by Bert Koontz in 1927). In 2003, rather than have the coffee pot meet an untimely demise, Bert’s great nephew Dick Koontz, and a group of Lincoln Highway supporters, relocated the Pot to the Bedford County Fairgrounds across the street. Or perhaps your direction is West; you might explore the haunted Garnet Ghost Town at the head of First Chance Creek, 6,000 feet up in the mountain forests east of Missoula, Montana.

Ping-pong back to the Midwest for a gaggle of giant boots dotting the Minnesota landscape near the southern river town of Red Wing (named after a distinguished Indian Chief named Hupahuduta, meaning a swan’s wing dyed in red). Red Wing shoes were the 1905 vision of Charles H. Beckman. The Red Wing No. 16 boot was issued to World War I soldiers; during the Great Depression, the factory workers burned scrap leather to stay warm.


Red Wing Boot (Size 638-D), Saint Paul, Minnesota, August 2005, photo © 2005-2009 by Liz. All rights reserved.Red Wing Boot (Size 638-D), Saint Paul, Minnesota, August 2005, photo © 2005-2009 by Liz. All rights reserved.Red Wing Boot (Size 638-D), Saint Paul, Minnesota, August 2005, photo © 2005-2009 by Liz. All rights reserved.


For their 100th Anniversary, Red Wing spent $100,000 and 1 year building a supersized “638-D” replica of their classic work boot No. 877. The world’s largest shoe, it’s 16 feet tall, 20 feet long, and required 80 cowhides, 1,200 feet of rope and 300 pounds of adhesives. The shoelace is 104 feet long (here’s a shot of Norm Coleman next to the boot).

Do you have childhood memories of a favorite Roadside Attraction? Big Critters, 2-Story Outhouses, the Jolly Green Giant? Where was it located? What age were you when you visited there. Who was with you? Have you passed a giant Mauston Mouse and just had to stop and take a photograph?

Or maybe you seek out Roadside Attractions wherever you travel like the creator of one of the best sites I’ve found on the subject, Debra J. Seltzer’s Roadside Architecture. Debra travels around the country documenting disappearing Roadside Attractions (she’s heading to South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida in March).


Flip-Flop Travel Bug, Redwing, Minnesota, August 2005, photo © 2005-2009 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.Red Wing Palms, Red Wing, Minnesota, August 2005, photo © 2005-2009 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

Flip-Flop Travel Bug, Red Wing Palms, Bay Point Park, Red Wing, Minnesota, August 2005, photo © 2005-2009 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.



Get out your pens and do a timed Writing Practice on Roadside Attractions. Using all the senses, write down as many details as you can. Choose a specific amount of time — 10, 15, 20 minutes — set a timer, and Go!

Stop when the buzzer, bell, or alarm goes off; read what you’ve just written out loud to yourself. You might be surprised at what you discover. And if all else fails, there’s always the Tom Robbins version of life on the road — Captain Kendrick’s Memorial Hot Dog Wildlife Preserve in Another Roadside Attraction.



Resources & Inspiration:

  • Roadside Architecture — Debra J. Seltzer’s wonderful roadside site, created in 2000. No ads or pop-ups. Check out her Flickr sets from across America. She’s got passion for this subject!
  • World’s Largest Roadside Attractions — Roadside Attractions from around the world. Based in Minnesota. No ads or pop-ups.
  • Roadside Photos — Great photographs and postcards. Site of Doug Pappas with no advertising. Another person with passion for the road.
  • Roadside America — Lots of ads but some good info there.
  • Legends of America — Again, lots of ads. But good detail in the descriptions.

 

-posted on red Ravine, Friday, February 20th, 2009

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Nikki Giovanni At The Fitzgerald Theater, St. Paul, Minnesota, January 2009, photo © 2009 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

Nikki Giovanni At The Fitzgerald Theater, along with MPR host, Kerri Miller, St. Paul, Minnesota, January 2009, photo © 2009 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.



It’s the 200th birthday of Abraham Lincoln and celebrations are going on all over the country. We watched a couple of PBS programs last night on Lincoln’s youth in Indiana and Illinois. The tall man with the high-water pants lost his mother from “milk sickness” at the early age of 34. I was struck by how much he looked like Nancy Hanks Lincoln. He helped carve the pegs for her coffin.

Lincoln loved and understood the importance of words and there have been no shortage of books written about him. I listened to an NPR program on the way home from work this week: Three Books Explore Lincoln’s Complex Genius by Eric Foner. In his reviews of David Herbert Donald’s Lincoln, James Oakes’ The Radical and the Republican, and Richard Carwardine’s Lincoln, Foner dives into Lincoln’s relationship to power and passivity, and his complex friendship with black abolitionist Frederick Douglass.

In a couple of lines, Foner, author of Our Lincoln: New Perspectives on Lincoln and His World, sums up why Abraham Lincoln is still one of the most important figures of our modern times:


Every generation of Americans reinvents Abraham Lincoln in its own image. Politicians from conservatives to communists, civil rights activists to segregationists, have claimed him as their own. Lincoln is important to us not because of how he chose his cabinet or what route his train took to Washington, but because the issues of his time still resonate in ours — relations between the state and federal governments, the definition of American citizenship, the long-term legacy of slavery.

Lincoln was also a key player in the execution of thirty-eight Dakota Sioux on December 26, 1862, in Mankato, Minnesota. The hangings followed trials which condemned over 300 participants in the 1862 Dakota Conflict, the largest mass execution in U.S. history. The complexity and controversy of the decisions he made while president are a testament to his own internal battles and the time in which he lived.

In Birchbark Books last weekend, I picked up Doris Kearns Goodwin’s Team Of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln. She won the Pulitzer Prize in history for No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II. And one of the most fascinating sites I found is The Abraham Lincoln Bookshop with historic and rare authographs and photographs of Lincoln.

The site also offers a whole section on Women’s History, from the women’s point of view. There I found Catherine Clinton’s, Mrs. Lincoln: A Life, a chronicle of Mary Todd Lincoln:


Born into an aristocratic Kentucky family, she was an educated, well-connected Southern daughter, and when she married a Springfield lawyer she became a Northern wife—an experience mirrored by thousands of her countrywomen.

The Lincolns endured many personal setbacks—including the death of a child and defeats in two U.S. Senate races—along the road to the White House. Mrs. Lincoln herself suffered scorching press attacks, but remained faithful to the Union and her wartime husband. She was also the first presidential wife known as the “First Lady.”

I think the women in Lincoln’s life are as compelling as the man. Catherine Clinton will have a virtual book signing on Valentine’s Day if you’d like to join in.



Love Poems, St. Paul, Minnesota, January 2009, photo © 2009 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

Bicycles: Love Poems, on stage at the Fitzgerald Theater, St. Paul, Minnesota, January 2009, photo © 2009 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.



After all this, the event closest to my heart is a Birthday Tribute and Wreath-Laying Ceremony on February 12th, 8am EST at the Lincoln Memorial. President Barack Obama has been invited to commemorate the 16th president at the Memorial erected following Lincoln’s Centennial. He invited poet and author Nikki Giovanni to recite her new work, written especially for the Bicentennial.

When Teri, Liz, and I went to see Nikki read at the Fitzgerald last month, she hinted at the contents of her poem, something I don’t want to miss. Teri sent the following email out to our Poetry Group a few days later:


Poetry Hounds,

Following closely on Elizabeth Alexander’s reading at Obama’s Inauguration, another poet is being called upon to read her work.

February 12th, 2009 is the 200th birthday of Abraham Lincoln. At the Lincoln Memorial on 2-12, there will be a special wreath-laying ceremony with a program that includes poet Nikki Giovanni. It will be at 7:00 a.m. (Minnesota time). I’ve included a link; I presume it will be broadcast widely.

Last week, QM, Liz, & I heard Nikki Giovanni live at the Fitzgerald in St. Paul. She blew us out of the water. She’s 65, was active in the Civil Rights Movement, teaches at Virginia Tech (where the massacre occurred in 2007), and was like seeing a touch of Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, and Rosa Parks rolled into one.

Keep poetry alive, man.

Love, Teri

I’m going to try to get my Night Owl self up early! Happy 200th Birthday, Abe. Your life and legacy are alive and well in the year 2009. And when we attend our Poetry Group tonight, we will all be celebrating the poets and poetry honoring the day you were born.


-posted on red Ravine on Abraham Lincoln’s 200th Birthday, February 12th, 2009

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Band-Aid Freak!, Minneapolis, Minnesota, June 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

Band-Aid Freak!, Minneapolis, Minnesota, June 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.



I’m a Band-Aid® freak. I love Band-Aid® Brand Adhesive Bandages. I’m famous around the office for stocking a plentiful amount in the metal bin above my cube. Paper cut? No problem. Spider-Man, Batman or SpongeBob SquarePants to the rescue!

Band-Aid® Bandages were invented in 1920 by a New Jersey man named Earl Dickson. Earl worked as a cotton buyer for a small start-up company called Johnson & Johnson. His wife Josephine (formerly Josephine Frances Knight) was always picking up nicks and cuts in the kitchen. Earl invented a ready-made bandage by placing squares of cotton gauze at intervals along an adhesive strip and covering them with crinoline (petticoat material!).



First Poison Ivy Of The Year!, Minneapolis, Minnesota, June 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.First Poison Ivy Of The Year!, Minneapolis, Minnesota, June 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.First Poison Ivy Of The Year!, Minneapolis, Minnesota, June 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.



The Band-Aid® was born.

But the new product only sold a total of $3000 the first year. It was the Boy Scouts who put Band-Aid® on the map after an unlimited number of free Band-Aids® were distributed to Boy Scout troops across the country. The long history of innovation continued, and as of 2001, over 100 billion Band-Aid® Brand Bandages had rolled off the assembly line.

In the 1970’s,  John Travolta, Terri Garr, and Brooke Shields all appeared in Band-Aid® commercials. And remember that little jingle, I am stuck on Band-Aid® ’cause Band-Aid®‘s stuck on me? It was penned by Barry Manilow (and will surely get stuck in your head!). Barry did pretty well in the jingle business and is also responsible for Like a good neighbor…well, you know the rest.

Earl Dickson didn’t do too bad for himself either. Johnson & Johnson eventually made Dickson a vice president at the company, a position in which he remained until his retirement in 1957. He was also a member of the board of directors until his death in 1961. At the time of his death, Johnson & Johnson was selling over $30,000,000 worth of Band-Aids® each year.

As much as I love Band-Aids®, they weren’t the only invention of the 1920’s. It was a decade quick to embrace wild ideas and new technologies. Here’s a video and a short timeline of other 1920’s inventions:




               Crazy 1920’s Inventions from Aaron1912 on YouTube



 

  • Hair Dryer (1920)

Prior to 1920, woman dried their hair by inserting a hose in the exhaust of a vacuum cleaner and blowing themselves dry. But in 1920, hand held dryers were introduced by the US Racine Universal Motor Company (Wisconsin), and the Hamilton Beach Company.

  • Combustion Engine Car (1920)

Invented by Henry Ford, cars powered by combustion engines were affordable to the American public and mass produced. The ‘Model-T’ was the first car to roll off the assembly line. (If the price of gas is any indication, the love affair lives on!) 

  • Kool-Aid (1927)

Edwin Perkins of Hastings, Nebraska created the most important invention in American history: Kool-Aid (originally called Fruit Smack). Perkins was a chemist who owned “Perkins Product Company” which sold perfume and calling cards. The original Kool-Aid flavors? Cherry, Lemon-Lime, Grape, Orange, Root Beer, Strawberry, and Raspberry.

  • Liquid-Fueled Rocket (1926)

Robert Goddard’s liquid-fueled rocket and methods of propulsion are still used by the North American Space Association. His oxygen and liquid fuel lifted the original rocket 184 ft.

  • Q-Tips (1923)

Polish-born American Leo Gerstenzang was married to a woman who used to cotton swab each end of a stick to clean her baby’s ears. Leo took her innovation and put it on the market. Then called ‘Baby Gays”, the wood was replaced by white cardboard, and Gerstenzang started the “Infant Novelty Company” to sell Q-Tips.

  • Lie Detector (1921)

John A. Larson was a medical student at the University of California when he invented the Polygraph, or lie detector. The device measured heartbeat and breathing to determine if a person was lying, and later included a skin monitoring system to measure sweat.

  • Bread Slicer (1927)

Otto Frederick Rohwedder of Iowa got the idea for a bread slicer in 1912, and in 1927 invented a machine that could successfully cut and wrap a loaf of bread. The machine was later improved by baker Gustav Papendick.

  • Bulldozer (1923)

In 1885, engineer Benjamin Holt built a crawling tractor, which he called “caterpillar.” Later, scraping blades were attached and in 1923, LaPlant-Choate Manufacturing Company produced the first bulldozer.

  • Traffic Light (1920)

Police officer William Potts from Detroit, Michigan was the inventor of the traffic light. Using red, amber and green lights, and $37 worth of wire, he built a light for the corner of Woodward and Michigan Avenues in Detroit. Around the same time, African-American Garrett Morgan invented the automated traffic light. It worked the same way railroad lights work today and was the concept on which four way traffic lights were built.

 


History is pregnant with writing possibility. Pick a 1920’s invention — the combustion engine, the lie detector, the hair dryer — and write about how it changed the future.

Do a Writing Practice on the first childhood memory that comes to mind when you think of Kool-Aid, Band-Aids®, or Q-Tips.

Maybe you hate the feel of a Q-Tip in your ear; or maybe it’s something you look forward to after a morning shower. When’s the last time you tasted Kool-Aid? Did you know it was invented in Nebraska (along with CliffsNotes and the Vise-Grip)?


What’s the greatest thing ever invented? Ten minutes, Go!



-posted on red Ravine, Tuesday, June 17th, 2008

-related to post, If You Could Go Back In Time…

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Planting The Seed, stained glass, Minneapolis, Minnesota, August 2007, photo © 2007 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

Planting The Seed, Lightpainting Series, stained glass window, Minneapolis, Minnesota, August 2007, photo © 2007 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

 
 

When I walked out into the sub-zero temperatures yesterday to warm up my car, a piece by NPR’s Enrique Rivera poured out of the Alpine radio speakers. Rubbing my hands together, and pulling the end of a wool cap down over my neck, I stared off into the distance at a couple of squirrels playing tag on an old growth oak, and listened to Enrique Rivera.

His family is from El Salvador, and in his research he had stumbled on a yellowed piece of paper, a poem about red spring lilies that his grandmother had written for Martin Luther King. The discovery led him to contemplate King’s influence on the Latino community. As I listened, I thought about what Martin Luther King means to me.

I’m old enough to remember his speeches on TV, graphic black and white photographs in Life magazine, and the sad day in 1968 at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis (now the National Civil Rights Museum) when King was assassinated. Regardless of where you lived in this country, who you were, or what you believed, the way Martin Luther King lived his life, impacted your own.

I honor Martin Luther King Day by remembering the past, and pulling it into the present as a reminder. Not only the power of the March on Washington in August 1963, and King’s I Have a Dream address, but the efforts of others to bring to light injustices in the history of my own state of Minnesota (Clayton Jackson McGhie in Duluth in 1920 or the Mankato 38 in 1862). I remember my tumultuous teenage years in the late 60’s and early 70’s, the Women’s MovementStonewall and Harvey Milk. Or the efforts of women like Emma Lazarus. 

Martin Luther King brought awareness to all of our civil rights. That’s what great leaders do. He spoke for all of us. And reminded us that it is our silence that we should fear:

In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.

No one wants to be silenced. As writers and artists, we work to find our voices every day. Many who have spoken out or taken action against what they see as unjust, have paid a high price. Martin Luther King was one such man.

 
 

Planting The Seed, Lightpainting Series, stained glass, Minneapolis, Minnesota, August 2007,photo © 2007 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.       Planting The Seed, Lightpainting Series, stained glass, Minneapolis, Minnesota, August 2007,photo © 2007 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.       Planting The Seed, Lightpainting Series, stained glass, Minneapolis, Minnesota, August 2007,photo © 2007 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.       Planting The Seed, Lightpainting Series, stained glass, Minneapolis, Minnesota, August 2007,photo © 2007 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.      

 
 

For the Writing Topic this week, write everything you know about Martin Luther King. How old were you when he died, or were you even born? How does your family speak of his legacy; how did they see him in the 1950’s and 60’s. Is there any way that Martin Luther King has changed your life? How has he broken open stereotypes or paved the way for acceptance of your own differences.

 

Do a 15 minute Writing Practice that begins:

I Remember Martin Luther King…

Reverse it. Do another 15 minute Practice:

I Don’t Remember Martin Luther King….

If you get stuck, go to one of the links in this piece. Listen to Enrique Rivera’s commentary on his grandmother who was a writer and artist. Check out the links for Emma Lazarus, Stonewall, Duluth, or Mankato.

Think of conversations/controversies about civil or human rights in your own hometown. Your own family. What about those close to you, people you love, who live a different lifestyle and have opened your mind (and your heart) to a new definition of human rights.

Write everything you know about Martin Luther King.

-posted on red Ravine, Martin Luther King Day, Monday, January 21st, 2008

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By E. Elise


Liberty's Torch, visit to New York City, August 2007, photo © 2007 by R3. All rights reserved.

Liberty’s Torch, visit to New York City, August 2007, photo © 2007 by R3. All rights reserved.



It’s my Granddaddy’s birthday. We were going to New York by train. In New York we’re going to see the Statue of Liberty, and the “Vampire State 50 Cents, visit to New York City, August 2007, photo © 2007 by reccos62. All rights reservedBuilding” as my cousin, Isaac, used to call it.NYC - Room With A View, visit to New York City, August 2007, photo © 2007 by R3. All rights reserved.

My family that went with me was Granddaddy, Jenny, Uncle Larry, Isaac, Erica, and Paula. We had to wake up extremely early at 3:00 am to be on the enormous train by 5:00 am. I could hear people yawning and groaning like bears coming out ofhibernation because it was so early. The train can go more than 170 mph. I could barely see a city full of energy because of the smog.

When we got out of the train, I could smell the nice warm breakfasts. Also I saw so many suitcases, I thought it was an airport! We went on the subway Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor, visit to New York City, August 2007, photo © 2007 by R3. All rights reserved.quite a number of Face Of Freedom, visit to New York City, August 2007, photo © 2007 by reccos62. All rights reservedtimes. The seats felt like ice. I could hear it roaring and screeching to a stop, like a car about to drive off a cliff. Also it was really nerve-wracking to jump on the train.

On the ferry ride to Ellis Island, I could taste the fruit punch Gatorade from the snack shop on the lower level of the boat. Some people were standing on the benches with high-priced cameras trying to take beautiful snapshots of the Statue.



“This is the original torch,” said the tour guide. In the Statue of Liberty, the base is like a museum of her. The Statue of Liberty was supposed to be the artist’s mother, but she was unable to stand. So he used his wife’s body and mother’s face. At her feet are chains to resemble the end of Ellis Island, visit to New York City, August 2007, photo © 2007 by reccos62. All rights reservedslavery.

When it was time to go to the train station again, we were tired and hungry like an animal who didn’t catch their prey. We had dinner and a smoothie. On the way to Harrisburg’s station, we saw a skyscraper with a flashing light in every window. It was almost like everyone was taking pictures of the train. I love New York!

Yes, that’s what I said, New York was awesome! One of my favorite parts was security. In the Empire State Building youhad to go in a box where it blows air from the ground. My hair went wild. Next time, if ever, I want to see everything in New York.



The Statue Of Liberty, visit to New York City, August 2007, photo © 2007 by R3. All rights reserved.           The Empire State Building, visit to New York City, August 2007, photo © 2007 by reccos62. All rights reserved




About E. Elise:  E. Elise lives in Central Pennsylvania with her mother and older brother. She is currently a student at Broad Street Elementary. She likes to swim. One exciting time was when she went to New York. This is her story.




Liberty's Robe, visit to New York City, August 2007, photo © 2007 by R3. All rights reserved.

Liberty’s Robe, visit to New York City, August 2007, photo © 2007 by R3. All rights reserved.



The New Colossus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame

Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

“Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

This tablet with her sonnet to the Bartholdi Statue of Liberty engraved upon it, is placed upon these walls
in loving memory of Emma Lazarus

Born in New York City, July 22nd, 1849
Died November 19th, 1887


-quote on the bronze plaque from the Liberty exhibit in the base of the Statue of Liberty (photo above). It was presented by philanthropist Georgiana Schuyler in 1903, twenty years after Emma Lazarus wrote her sonnet. Originally displayed on the interior wall of the Statue of Liberty’s pedestal, it was placed in the Liberty exhibit in the base of the monument in July, 1886.

Post Script:  When I was visiting home in November for my Mom’s 70th birthday, my niece, E. Elise, tugged at my sleeve, and asked if she could read me her latest pieces of writing. She said she had asked her teacher if she could bring her writing folder home to share with me. And even though the folder was never supposed to leave the classroom, her teacher agreed.

I listened intently as she read (Whose B-Day) Going To New York out loud to me and my family in the dining room on the couch before the cake was cut. The story was about her Granddaddy who came up to visit from South Carolina last August. And over his birthday, my brother arranged a family trip to New York City.

I was ecstatic to see E. Elise so excited about writing (she is named after her Great Grandmama Elise). I loved her piece. And after I saw the family photos of the New York trip, I knew it would be a great post for red Ravine. I hope you are thrilled as I am to see my 10-year-old niece as our Guestwriter this week. And to see the young ones so jazzed about writing!

 

 

Chrysler Building, visit to New York City, August 2007, photo © 2007 by reccos62. All rights reserved  South, visit to New York City, August 2007, photo © 2007 by januaryshadows. All rights reserved  Ode To Ground Zero - Detail, visit to New York City, August 2007, photo © 2007 by R3. All rights reserved. Vertigo II, visit to New York City, August 2007, photo © 2007 by R3. All rights reserved.

 

 

Photoblog Credit:  The photographs were taken by members of my family who graciously allowed me to upload and post them in this piece. I gave anonymous credit in the links (thank you reccos62, R3, and januaryshadows). And if you click on each photograph, it will take you to my Flickr account with larger views and more NYC photographs not included on this page. I also wanted to mention that the names in this post (other than the author’s) were changed to protect the innocent!

-posted on red Ravine, Wednesday, December 26th 2007

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BookMark, Minneapolis Central Library, downtown Mnneapolis, August 2007, photo © 2007 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

BookMark, Minneapolis Central Library, downtown Minneapolis, through the rain, August 2007, opened May 2006, architecture by the design team of Cesar Pelli & Associates, photo © 2007 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

Time for another decade of bestselling books. At the end of the 1960’s, gas was 39¢ a gallon, a 1962 Jaguar XKE would set you back $4,500, and James Bond in Goldfinger grossed $23 million at the box office. Twiggy was big (I just saw her flash by the TV screen last night on America’s Top Model), along with hiphuggers, bellbottoms, collarless Nehru jackets, and cashmere turtlenecks.

People were buzzing about Foster Grants, Duncan yo-yo’s, new math, Dolby noise reduction, macrame, K-Mart, the Twist, the Chicago 8, draft dodgers, Teflon, and St. Louis’s Gateway arch, the world’s tallest monument.

The American 60’s were turbulent, violent, optimistic, free loving, and slow moving. If it was your generation you were either hip, jock, rock, or nerd. If it wasn’t, well, it lives on in the mythology that surrounds it.

The 60’s were big enough to hold Capote, Sontag, Kesey, Plath, Robbins, Baldwin, Ginsberg, Puzo, Hailey, Vonnegut, Nin, Miller, Didion, and Vidal. You can tell a lot about a person by the books they read. You can also tell a lot about a culture. In the 1960’s, for better or worse, here’s what America was reading.



1 9 6 0 ‘ s – B E S T S E L L E R S

F I C T I O N

  1. The Agony and the Ecstasy, Irving Stone
  2. Franney and Zooey, J. D. Salinger
  3. To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
  4. The Winter of Our Discontent, John Steinbeck
  5. The Reivers, William Faulkner
  6. Dearly Beloved, Anne Morrow Lindbergh
  7. The Shoes of the Fisherman, Morris L. West
  8. Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters, and Seymour–An Introduction, J. D. Salinger
  9. The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, John Le Carré
  10. Up the Down Staircase, Bel Kaufman
  11. The Man with the Golden Gun, Ian Fleming
  12. Valley of the Dolls, Jacqueline Susann
  13. All in the Family, Edwin O’Connor
  14. The Adventurers, Harold Robbins
  15. The Confessions of Nat Turner, William Styron
  16. The Chosen, Chaim Potok
  17. The Exhibitionist, Henry Sutton
  18. Airport, Arthur Hailey
  19. The Salzburg Connection, Helen MacInnes
  20. The Tower of Babel, Morris L. West
  21. Preserve and Protect, Allen Drury
  22. Portnoy’s Complaint, Philip Roth
  23. The Godfather, Mario Puzo
  24. The Andromeda Strain, Michael Crichton
  25. Naked Came the Stranger, Penelope Ashe
  26. The House on the Strand, Daphne du Maurier
  27. The Love Machine, Jacqueline Susann
  28. Myra Breckinridge, Gore Vidal
  29. Christy, Catherine Marshall
  30. The Pretenders, Gwen Davis


 

Minneapolis Central Library, Minneapolis, Minnesota, August 2007, photo © 2007 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

           Minneapolis Central Library, looking straight up, through the rain,
Minneapolis, Minnesota, August 2007, opened May 2006, architecture
by the design team of Cesar Pelli & Associates, photo © 2007 by
QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.




1 9 6 0 ‘ s – B E S T S E L L E R S

N O N F I C T I O N

  1. The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, William L. Shirer
  2. The Conscience of a Conservative, Barry Goldwater
  3. I Kid You Not, Jack Paar
  4. Between You, Me and the Gatepost, Pat Boone
  5. Better Homes and Gardens Sewing Book
  6. Calories Don’t Count, Dr. Herman Taller
  7. Sex and the Single Girl, Helen Gurley Brown
  8. Travels with Charley, John Steinbeck
  9. The Joy of Cooking: New Edition, Irma S. Rombauer and Marion Rombauer Becker
  10. Security Is a Thumb and a Blanket, Charles M. Schulz
  11. I Owe Russia $1200, Bob Hope
  12. Profiles in Courage: Memorial Edition, John F. Kennedy
  13. In His Own Write, John Lennon
  14. Reminiscences, General Douglas MacArthur
  15. A Moveable Feast, Ernest Hemingway
  16. A Day in the Life of President Kennedy, Jim Bishop
  17. How To Be a Jewish Mother, Dan Greenburg
  18. A Gift of Prophecy, Ruth Montgomery
  19. A Thousand Days, Arthur Schlesinger Jr.
  20. The Making of the President, 1964, Theodore H. White
  21. How to Avoid Probate, Norman F. Dacey
  22. In Cold Blood, Truman Capote
  23. Phyllis Diller’s Housekeeping Hints, Phyllis Diller
  24. Misery Is a Blind Date, Johnny Carson
  25. Death of a President, William Manchester
  26. Edgar Cayce–The Sleeping Prophet, Jess Stearn
  27. The Weight Watcher’s Cook Book, Jean Nidetch
  28. The Peter Principle, Laurence J. Peter and Raymond Hull
  29. My Life and Prophecies, Jeane Dixon with René Noorberger
  30. Linda Goodman’s Sun Signs, Linda Goodman

 

 

-posted on red Ravine, Thursday, August 30th, 2007

-Resources:  1960’s Bestsellers List at Cader BooksWriter’s Dream Tools, and The Friends of the Minneapolis Public Library

-related to posts: The 1950’s — What Was America Reading?, The 1970’s —  What Was America Reading?

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