It was MIXED BAG (vinyl) in my dorm room in the early seventies. Over and over. Richie Havens sang Dylan better than Bob.
Here’s an email in response to the one I wrote in December.
Subject: A Message of Gratitude
Last Christmas Matthew was back from Croatia and we were sitting in Mark and Erika’s living room in Ohio, remembering the first Richie Havens concert I forced him to go to as a teenager. We saw him together years later in New York City at the Knitting Factory, too. Matthew and Aunt Mary braved a Connecticut snowstorm to see him together and sat right under him.
Thank you so much for taking the time to send along such kind thoughts. I will make sure Richie sees your email.
Best wishes for 2013!
Stormy Forest Productions, NYC
Sent: Sat, Dec 29, 2012 3:50 pm
Subject: Message of Gratitude
This is a message for Mr. Havens as I sit with my 32 yo son tonight (home from Croatia where he lives) listening together to RH on youtube. When Matthew was 14 I forced him to go listen to a Richie Havens concert in Pittsburgh Pa at the Carnegie Music Hall. Oh he was mad cause who wants to go anywhere with their mother at that point of their life? We waited in the corridor afterwards and met Mr. Havens and my son said he emanated positive energy right out of himself into him. Matthew saw him in concert at least six times after that and he said tonight that Richie Havens was able to communicate to his soul. We saw him together at the Knitting Factory years later. So powerful and I wanted to express gratitude for his musical gifts and these wonderful loving memories we share of listening to Mr Havens music and energy. Xxoo Ruth Hendricks
Laura’s 29th birthday. She says it is her FIRST 29th birthday. The family gathers on the front porch because most of them are nearby.
This year I didn’t run around and get in the photograph. Just wanted them. I’ll put it on the fridge. Look at it until we’re all together again. In the middle of winter I’ll glance at this August evening, celebrating Laura’s birthday and be glad I have the picture.
Not too many people really want their photo taken. Maybe a few. The family allows me to photograph them one more time.
They’re gracious and they love me and they know it’s what I like to do.
They probably wonder when I’ll get tired of wanting to photograph them but they don’t complain. Much. Photographing them while they ignore me is easier.
Of course, I want the shot where everyone is with me and looking pleasant on this occasion. Ha. Erika says to me, “Good luck with that!”
I get it the best I can.
Don’t want to drag it out too long, make it quick, Just SHOOT!
Thanks family. Matthew is the one who said to his friends at his college graduation ” This is what my mom does. It’s annoying now, but later you’re glad.”
Penny the Golden Doodle with Lala and James on their front porch.
And Maura and Murphy pose for Mark. Caught them from the side as he got them to look at his phone.
Happy Birthday Laura Christine.
On the left, lounging at the beach in Bibione, Italy as a toddler.
Center- A baby blessing/birth stats I cross stitched in 1983. The town is spelled incorrectly- missing the first C- Eschenbach!
Photo on the right and below as a bride are from 6 months after the wedding in Columbus OH with husband James.
or What Love Looks Like-
It’s been almost two years since I posted Baby Doll (the loved doll) and her “sister” who was bought as a replacement but never really played with or looked at as far as I know.
Baby Doll (b. 1979) belonged to Erika when she was little and now Anna has loved her for 8 more years. I just stitched her arms up as they were coming off. And since I’m visiting the family and not driving around the city today I am showing the effects of two more years of loving. Maybe someone who reads this post will send a photo of the same doll in a similar condition.
One thing I know is they are most cooperative when I set them up to pose for the shooting!
My mother was into homemade whole wheat bread with wheat germ added. She’d scald milk, boil water, crumble a cake of yeast. Knead and knead, place it in an oiled bowl, cover with a tea towel, let rise, punch it down, rest – then shape the loaves.
Let them rise again. this time in battered aluminum bread pans covered lightly with waxed paper.
The aroma filled the house and after it was baked we’d eat a slice with butter and honey when it was still warm.
What I would give to have my mother make a couple of loaves again, turn them out of the greased bread pans. Saw off a slice with a serrated edge.
But when I was a kid, I saw a big white truck with red and yellow and bright blue balloons all over it. WONDER BREAD. I wanted my mother to buy WONDER BREAD. I’d eaten it somewhere and was fascinated you could roll it into a ball! Hard to believe but true. I begged my mother to buy WONDER BREAD. Oh how I longed for the colorful balloons on the wrapper.
Embarrassing to admit, but true.
She never did.
Love you, Ma
Marian VanSickle married Roy Joseph Hendricks August 1939 in Durand, Illinois
This is not their wedding photo but they look like newlyweds to me.
The sign in the window says, BEWARE OF DOG! I’ve driven by this place for almost six years as I go back and forth to school everyday. Sometimes there are balloons tied to the signboard outside. It’s on the corner at Brownsville Road- PLANTS & FLOWERS by Lisa .
Today I pulled over to the curb, ignored the meter, got out and went inside. I was headed to Bridgeville to visit a friend. Einstein used to have two white tufts of hair that stuck out, hence his name. The two women were really helpful to me and I asked if I might photograph him and they agreed. I thought about the flower shop as I left and drove in traffic, finding my way to Bridgeville. I’d heard that photographing animals with a black fur coat is difficult and looking at the shots now (available light) I concur. But those eyes were really checking me out! Einstein was friendly and wanted to communicate. Must be used to new customers off the street.
My grandmother worked in a flower shop in Lincoln, Illinois, and when I was small I would visit her there. I remember the spools of ribbon, the sticky green tape, the wire stands and styrofoam base, that green squishy foam and of course the smell of the place but the thing that sticks with me the most was her can of spinach and a hard boiled egg she kept in the cooler for lunch.
You want to shoot a photograph with some life in it!
I learned in a workshop, photography can be exasperating. And one thing I know-
Sometimes you are an observer and sometimes you are a participant.
You can’t capture the sound of bells ringing in the sanctuary and bell tower simultaneously, a Gregorian chant, the trumpet, everyone holding a candle in the darkness and as the lights are turned up in the dark city church, late Saturday night, you long to capture the spirit, the glow .
You can’t whip out a camera and show the three out of four grandchildren racked out in the pew, or the smell of candle wax or incense or the feel of freshly blessed sprinklings. A good place to think. Mechanical limitations. The intrusion of the moment.
You are’t on assignment from a newspaper, illustrating the occasion. The grandparents have to head back home for work early Monday so we drove downtown for the Easter Vigil. It’s an early dinner at noon. Then we’ll load the cars and drive back east and south.
The thoughts of Easters growing up, the new suits, shoes and hats. Remembering those you love and who loved you the best and have gone on before. i said to my friend, “vacation flies by’ and she said
“just like life.”
I think of unconditional love. Thanks Matthew. Missed you.
A busy picture. So busy I -
transformed it to black and white due to the wild colors, stripes, patterns and conflicting light. Caught with the iPhone without a flash, just a snippet of the fun I enjoy with the grandchildren when I visit. Now the boys say they want a campout with grandma but I think it is my iPod touch they want to use to watch a cartoon. We’re in the basement guest room. Maura(3) looks around and says,”There are no windows.” That’s true, not in this room. Hope no one wakes up at 3 AM and is missing his or her own bed.
Roy Joseph Hendricks
Born Farmersville, Illinois
February 26,1912- October 26, 2002
We haven’t really had a winter yet so at dawn, if Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow, it won’t be surprising to hear there’ll be 6 more weeks of winter. I heard that Punxsutawney schools are closed on February 2nd for Groundhog’s Day. It’s a great holiday to celebrate. No gifts. Thursday night I will serve Groundhog Chicken from the NYTimes, late 1980′s recipe which is browned chicken in orange sauce with ginger, cinnamon, Tabasco and slivered almonds served with CousCous and some garlic green beans. I own cooky cutters in the shapes of Groundhogs, a large and a small, but did not make time to roll dough and cut out cookies to bake.
If you want to watch the Groundhog News or see the Live Webcast, click HERE and if I get a chance I will update what the furry prognosticator declares. UPDATE at 7:20 AM Phil the Groundhog saw his shadow. Six more weeks of winter!!
There is such a wonderful Chicago tour written by Chicago John on the Cardboardmetravels blog that I am not going to bump it off the other blog with today’s groundhog photo. You have read many of his comments on my blog and you may have clicked on his link from the Bartolini Kitchens to read his stories of childhood memory and the preparation of heirloom Italian recipes.
In 1990, three years before Groudhog Day (Bill Murray movie) hit the theaters and everyone had heard about Phil the Groundhog in Punxsutawney, my sister flew out from NYC to Pittsburgh. In the middle of a foggy night, we drove to Punxsutawney for the event. Mary wrote postcards and mailed them so they would have the February 2nd postmark from Punxsutawney. We had a fun day although it was freezing in the woods and all felt a bit strange. You’ve seen Nativity scenes and Santa in yards at Christmas? Well, the residents have GROUNDHOGS on their lawns. Big wooden cutout groundhogs. We experienced the occasion and I guess it could have been something on a bucket list if we had one. Visit Gobbler’s Knob at least once in your life!
So a single post for Groundhog’s Day and here is my Groundhog Folkmanis Puppet holding the original Flat Ruthie in the backyard after school and I will take some license and say he is looking for his shadow? Only problem is the time of day.
Urbanspoon gave it a 93 % positive rating. Check it out here. Next time I visit I will photograph the interior. Meatloaf and mashed potatoes or breakfast all day.
Time for a new oven…..
And stove. (from Perla’s Appliance Plus Maytag Repairman statue post yesterday)
It was time! Past time. It actually went kaput the day before the cookie bake off in December. Fortunately Erika’s Uncle and Aunt own the appliance store and they came right over to deliver on a SUNDAY!
This model certainly livens up the old kitchen. And matches the range hood.
I felt a little sad about discarding the one my parents had bought when we moved into this house in ’91. But it wasn’t reliable anymore. Who knows how many meals I cooked for the kids on that one. A lot!
This one looks “high end” to me. But it’s not. (Well, from afar it does to the untrained eye)
The stainless finish is an update from the white enamel and black top. Those burners seem so flimsy compared to these cast iron ones.
My sister had just given me an oven thermometer after her visit here in the fall. She knew something was wrong. My signature cookies had to be pitched as the insides weren’t baked.
This is my justification for the splurge. I think it will inspire me to cook more!
Not sure why all the blue reflection but took this with the iPhone as I made breakfast. Seemed worthy of a post as it is what is happening in my life these days. Now to learn more about a convection oven.
Friends joined me for tea, even though they weren’t in Pittsburgh.
You can see out the kitchen back door window to the back porch and garage, the bare trees. The shortest day of light. Winter officially here.
Two dear friends in KY sent a shipment of fancy English muffins and the Fed Ex man delivered them Wednesday afternoon. It seemed a good time to split one, toast it and spread some butter (with my Grandmother’s silver butter knife) and spoon some apricot preserves.
Went to fire up the kettle to brew tea but I’d burned the kettle dry on Monday so boiled a pot of water to make the tea. Pulled out the camera on the phone to capture the scene
Oranges were on sale 10 for $2 today and lately they were almost a dollar apiece.
A faithful blog reader in Virgina, C, (and best friend of a my good friend J in Omaha) made me the little quilted mug mat last year and it was J who gave me the lidded butter dish another year. The Botanic Garden mug matches my mother’s cereal bowls.
I was home alone but in the presence of friends and family remembered. Finding the joy of winter. My neighbor called to report a vibrant rainbow spotting and perhaps I could photograph it. i went outside and it was still raining and saw the colored arch across the street. I photographed it but it didn’t make the cut for posting but i appreciate when people see something and I come to mind. There was thunder and lightning, too.
Yes, that is a stack of woven potholders on the left counter top.
My friend J cooked a bday dinner for me the other night and I was checking out her garden. Everything so lush and green. Stunning lilies blooming. J shows me what is a weed and what is not. When she splits her perennials I will plant them in my garden. The plants might not be too happy about the move to my place, though. Her clothesline jumped out at me and I thought of sheets hung on the line and how quickly things dry in the summer. The refreshing scent of the sunshine. I didn’t stay late enough but when it gets dark she has a fish pond and glass orb that lights up so have to plan a return trip. J is an excellent cook, too as you can see by the dinner on the table below. A nice summer evening. Thanks J.
Today’s post is in loving memory of my friend’s mother, Olga Melynchek Muraska. Born 11-29-1921 – Died 6-27-2011. She was always so good to my children and me. And her homemade pierogies were the best! I took some photos of classic photos her daughter Marianne compiled for the memory collage when she was putting them together at her house the other night. I asked if I could make a tribute to her mother’s memory on the blog and she said that was fine. I took the more recent one at a Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast a few years ago. You can see her downtown and as a bride. She had a smile for everyone and was working well into her eighties. An amazing hard working woman who loved wholeheartedly.
All three are manufactured in the USA!!
Two in Pennsylvania, and one in Connecticut (Wiffle® Ball)
Learned how to make a ® symbol on the Mac keyboard so thought I would use (overuse) it for this post.
These names are familiar I know. And to people my age, a host of memories will resurface after you view these images.
Silly Putty® is now owned by Binney and Smith and is more than fifty years old. Tons of this pliable stuff has been manufactured and sold in the past fifty + years.
Slinky® has an interesting history, too, and About.com lists this memorable jingle but be careful cause it might stick in your head all day and you’ll remember the tune, too. They are manufactured in Holidaysburg PA.
“What walks down stairs, alone or in pairs, And makes a slinkity sound?
A spring, a spring, a marvelous thing, Everyone knows it’s Slinky…
It’s Slinky, it’s Slinky, for fun it’s a wonderful toy
It’s Slinky, it’s Slinky, it’s fun for a girl and a boy
- Advertising Jingle for Slinky
You can always buy a new Slinky cause who hasn’t gotten one stretched out and tangled up irreversibly?
And I remember when Wiffle® Balls came out ! Do you? They are still selling strong. Especially to college kids.
I was in Shadyside Variety Store, picking up a few items for the grandchildren. I remember when Mark, Matthew and Laura used to shop here in the early nineties. We lived around the corner for two years and they could walk there to shop.
So many nostalgic favorites- and the latest inventive toys from the Toy Fair, like Spot It which Sharon the proprietor demonstrated for me so I can play it with Anna and Michael when I visit. Keeping my brain sharp. I am fairly certain they’ll beat me.
See the rubber chicken dangling inside the colorful hula hoops at the store entrance? Next time the grandchildren come I am going to take them to the Shadyside Variety Store, give them each some money and see what they decide to buy after extensive browsing!
The nicest guy from Texas,who just finished up a Robotics Conference at CMU, was shopping – he held the Etch-a-Sketch up for me when I was exploring the store for classics!
When your shopping list says birthday gift, jumprope, jacks, sidwalk chalk, art supplies, Dots, Pinky Balls, and Silly Putty, Slinky and Wiffle Ball….. Shadyside Variety Store 5421 Walnut Street, Pittsburgh – (412) 681-1716 (Cash or check!)
Someone asked me the other day if I were a reporter. No, a blogger. Self-assigned!
Today We Saw a Turquoise Plastic Radio, a Bobble-Head Jesus, a Princess Grace Ashtray and a Copy of Paradise Lost
Where can you see all that in one afternoon? BELLEVUE, PA And in the slideshow at the end of this post!! Head vases, a statue of Groucho Marx, autograph book, Betty Boop and an Atwater Kent Radio.…..oh, and another church for sale, too!
After my 11 o’clock appointment, J and I headed for Bellevue. Who knew that tomorrow is the start of their 4 day long Summer Solstice Spectacular. You can click here for the details We grabbed a quick bite at Joe’s Rusty Nail, an ice cream scoop of chicken salad on greens, some mandarin oranges and strawberries with balsamic and a blueberry muffin. A tall glass of ice tea. Cash or check, no cards. We walked down the block to a place we had driven by. Joyce’s Antique Emporium at 494 Lincoln Avenue in the heart of downtown. Oh my. We could have spent hours there, everything so carefully arranged and classified. Things you might have had as a kid or your mom had or the neighbors or your grandmother. I’m still thinking about the set of Pyrex bowls I left there and am thinking about going back if they are still there. Afterwards we stopped by the Farmer’s Market booths and I bought some strawberries that I made into jam when I got home- Joy of Cooking recipe. There was a shaved ice vendor. J bought the perennial Bloodroot to plant in her wonderful garden. We had fun checking out the antiques store with EVERYTHING. The Pickers Show on the History Channel needs to come and do an episode from this place. I am serious. We had the nicest conversation with the man minding the place and he was knowledgeable and full of great stories about the items in the store! The aluminum glasses on a blue coffee table outside the store caught our interest and we couldn’t get over the variety of items displayed. Canisters Depression glass, Kewpie Dolls, Betty Boop, swizzle sticks, an accordion, bugle, toys etc etc etc….See the slide show below. Call them at (412) 761-1288.
What would you do if it’s June and you found an opened box of Marshmallow PEEPS® on top of your daughter-in-law’s washing machine in the laundry room? My son’s washing machine, too but there they were, sitting there, already opened. Someone had eaten half the double box of the little chicks. And true, Easter was the end of April so how hard and dried out must they be by now? Then I thought to myself, I like them with a bit of stale crust, not fresh. When was the last time you ate a Marshmallow Peep?
Darn, they’re BLUE.
I’m always going on and on about how I don’t like to eat anything blue. Wah Wah Wah. Blue food grosses me out I always say. Blueberries are really deep purple not blue. I never liked those raspberry popsicles, either. Blue food seems so fake, like the frosting on a Smurf Cake!
HA! Okay, I won’t eat one but– there was some great light streaming through their foyer windows, even with the new UV protection film they had put on last week. What to photograph? The older kids at dive team, youngest sleeping, Jack watching Tom and Jerry. I took the box of blue PEEPS, put them on the stone tile floor, turned them a bit, let the light catch on the cellophane and reflect from their sugary skin. Oh yes, I was photographing the stale blue peeps, how interesting the light was. I could see a bit of sparkle from the sugar coating. I wondered if they were still moist inside? When was Easter, I calculated the degree of freshness. That stale factor seemed attractive to me and I what does it matter anyway because remember I don’t eat anything BLUE.
I’ll just separate the one from the herd, flock, group, family, row…..yes, there it was, the white marshmallowy interior of a PEEP. \
The guts exposed.
Let me adjust the white balance on the camera settings with the white insides showing now. See how the light reflects on the white?
Oh I remembered the Mother Goose Rhyme about old Hannah Bantry or maybe she was young.
In the pantry,
Gnawing at a mutton bone.
How she gnawed,
How she clawed it,
When she found herself alone.
And you know what happened next. I broke the cardinal rule about Don’t eat anything BLUE. I ripped off the tail end of that PEEP and it was chewy and very stale. Dried to perfection. Just seasoned not raw or gushy. Totally disgusting. Delicious. Childhood remembered, but they were yellow then. I ate it, chewed it, swallowed the sweet sweet sweetness of the sugary confection. And photographed the evidence. PEEPS® and I are about a year apart in age.
I put back the other ones in the still opened, airing-out-box of PEEPS®, right back on top of the washing machine in the laundry room.
I ate it AND enjoyed doing so but limited consumption to a lone PEEP. Honest. Even though it was BLUE!!
There are all sorts of shapes, recipes and crazy info about PEEPS® and the Just Born Manufacturers.
What will you admit to eating when no one is watching?
Today my friend J(of Pittsburgh, not Omaha) and I went to the Tin Front Cafe for lunch. We heard about the St. Joseph the Worker statue having been removed from the nearby church. Judith Tener told us where to find him in a parking lot and so after lunch we wound around one- way streets and asked a few people for directions but eventually we climbed up hills and back and found this beautiful statue waiting for us. He was striking. There were the huge stone barrels pouring molten steel out onto the world. Flames carved in stone. See detail below on image three.
A big crane erected this statue (which was blessed in Italy by Pope VI) on St. Michael the Archangel Church in 1966 in Homestead. Many Slovaks helped build this church.
When the church closed, the diocese took the statue down in 2010.
People missed looking at St. Joseph high above the buildings, overlooking Homestead and the Monongahela River.
A memorial to the hard workers of the mills in this town. He was loaded on a flatbed and taken to St Anne’s now 3 combined parishes to form St. Maximilian Kolbe Parish. Read the names of the people etched in bricks- Vehec, Tarasevich, Godleski, Milchalk, Straka, Pavlik, Sklencar, Sayko to name a few.
The statue was designed by sculptor Frank Vittor (b. 1888 in Italy) who also made the Honus Wagner Statue now at PNC Park. His story on the link if you click on his name tells how he came to work with Stanford White and then a week later White was murdered…but that is not the main idea of today’s post and I am getting off track. It was just incredibly interesting. Vittor taught at Cooper Union in NYC and also at Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon University)
Here are two views of the giant St Joseph the Worker statue. And a detail shot, too.
There are plans in the works to get him relocated in a place of honor but will keep you posted when this happens.
There is an historical marker honoring sculptor Frank Vittor by the Columbus Statue in Schenley Park, Pittsburgh
Laura and James have a new puppy. Nine weeks old! Penny (from Penny Lane) has come to her new family. Anna changed out of her bathing suit into clothes in two minutes flat, got into the car with her seatbelt on, ready to for the drive to Laura and James’ house to meet the new puppy. What a sweet, soft, fluffy, puppy. Puppy dog eyes, just one sweet baby dog. It is a case of PUPPY LOVE all around. She looks a bit like a baby lamb to me. A Golden Doodle but 75% poodle, 25% Golden Doodle(mom).
When Mark was four or five all he wanted was the Millennium Falcon.
It was the one toy of childhood he truly longed for and did not receive. Oh how he wanted it! He LOVED Star Wars.
And I looked at it all those years ago and thought it was a lot of money at the time for a big hunk of plastic (at least that is how I remember it) So I didn’t buy it for him. Obviously, this topic has resurfaced over the years.
This past January I happened to sit next to a nice man and his wife at a friend’s 60th Surprise Birthday Party. We were chatting and he said he owned a Vintage Toy store- Where the Toys Are in Canonsburg PA.
“By any chance do you have a Millennium Falcon?”, I asked.
“Why, yes!”, he said he thought he did AND sure enough he emailed me and sent me photos. His friend (the 60th birthday guy was his childhood friend) delivered it right to my home (in the original box!) in February and I was so excited.
I kept it until Mark’s birthday but it was really hard to keep the surprise. I asked Matthew if he thought Mark would be happy to get it after all this time and he said he thought so and sure enough, look at Mark’s face in this photo.
A couple of weeks ago the Where the Toys Are man and his wife and the 60th Birthday man and his wife were in Zagreb and they called me on their cell phone from a 300 year old bar and I got to hear Matthew playing guitar and singing, 4550 miles away from Pittsburgh! Happy Happy Happy all around.