Serious Unicycles for the Split-Second Story

Thought this a good story for the Split-Second Weekly Photo Challenge although I am in a gray area as it is to be a single frame telling a story.
Uh-oh. If the creator (Shane Francescut, Toronto Street Photographer and Blogger) of the challenge is grading the entries, mine will not meet the objective.

But how often are you in the company of unicyclists?

I was down at PNC Park photographing the prom goers and two nice guys drove by on unicycles. They cycled past me,  and as I was photographing them from behind, the guy in the yellow shirt gave the thumbs up and looked back at me and unintentionally gave me what looked to be an “uncomfortable shot” when he lost his balance momentarily.

 

They stopped and talked with me for a bit and I asked them stupid questions about their wheels.  Steve and Daniel.  Thank you! And I bet I am not the first person to ask them goofy questions-

These were SERIOUS unicycles. Unicyclists are well balanced they said.   I asked if I could blog them and they agreed. unicycles Steve on the left. Daniel on the right   Prom 2014 314 Ouch   Prom 2014 315 Prom 2014 316 Thumbs up sign, all is well.     Prom 2014 317Getting back on the unicycle.  Check out that tread.   unicycle   I was just wondering how different people get involved in different activities.  I am sure I would not even be able to get on one and make it go.

Prom Season Shoes and Corsages

Thursday night I was fortunate to photograph the high schoolers headed to their Senior Prom.  Lots of high heeled shoes.

Flip flops for later!  not even that far into the evening.  There were boutonniérs, too. Everyone looked so nice all dressed up.

What I Saw on my Son’s Bookshelf in his Office

First Communion Weekend in my son Mark’s home office I saw his old Baby Jake from 1976.

I believed little boys should have a doll to love and care for when they were growing up. Preparing for fatherhood.

Now he has his own family of four, but it touched me when I saw his old doll Jake on the bookshelf. Jake has a soft body that has been recovered and filled with fluff, his rubbery arms surgically reattached by me.

You might have seen Mark’s 38th birthday post from Monday.

 

There is something about a toy or a doll with a face.

One that’s been well loved.

If you want to see a doll well loved, his wife Erika’s childhood doll (now named Baby Doll) adopted by their daughter Anna-  really illustrates LOVE! (click the blue link)

 

 

 

old rubber doll from 1976 with home sewn clothes I made for him
old rubber doll from 1976 with home sewn clothes I made for him

Strawberry Rhubarb Preserves Evoke Memories

A bolt of lightning knocked out the internet so blogging from my phone
Rhubarb says Spring to me.
When the three kids were younger, we’d pile in the car and drive 7 hours to New York City to visit my sister. I’d park in the lot by the pier on the Hudson and we’d make our way up the five floor walk-up to her apartment. Everyone would be asleep on the floor camping out and in the early morning, Aunt Mary would walk to Zito’s Bakery on Bleecker Street, come home with warm loaves. She’d have the butter out and a jar of her homemade strawberry rhubarb preserves. She’d slice the bread on a wooden board. That’s what the kids woke up to – warm bread and butter and strawberry rhubarb preserves-

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Berenice Abbott took this photo of Zito’s in 1937.

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Today I went to the Farmer’s market on the South Side and bought two bunches of rhubarb and fresh picked strawberries. I was trying to remember the method and chopped the stalks in one inch pieces, put them into a large enamel kettle and sprinkled with sugar to sit.

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Added the strawberries and cooked it down. I wish it wasn’t so late and I could have called for the recipe. Just did it from memory.

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The loaf from the Farmers Market on the bread board, a gift from my sister.

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Postcard stamp on the back of Zito’s card a dime. I pulled it out of the frame tonight. Read what you wrote.

Before Matthew was born and he’s 33!

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Kids grown up and gone but tonight as I taste the strawberry rhubarb preserves, I remember.

P.S. And to answer your question Mary, on the card-
I did get that assistantship and that’s how I was able to get hired at Pittsburgh Public Schools in 1989!

P.P.S. Zito’s is gone now.

Memorial Day 2014 Photos from Upstate New York- Guest Blog

Across the nation there were parades, memorial services, taps sounding in cemeteries, and specific names of friends and family on Facebook, asking for us to remember a lost friend, family member and soldier.

I received these two photos from my sister where she is visiting friends, south of Albany.

Mark’s birthday was today so his tribute was up for most of the 26th but didn’t want Memorial Day to pass without a post acknowledging it.

Thanks Mary.

Bricks with Service Member Names

Some of the service member names engraved in bricks.

Bethlehem Memorial Day WreathA wreath placed by the memorial stone.

 

Twenty four notes. Taps. 

The Origin of Taps, The Bugler’s Cry  by  “Jari Villanueva, a former ceremonial bugler at Arlington National Cemetery”

(General Daniel Butterfield- July 1862)

 

They Say It’s Your Birthday

Dear Mark,

Seems like just yesterday (May 26, 1976) you arrived at Ireland Army Hospital – Fort Knox, Kentucky.

You were born exactly two years to the day from my graduation from college. 

And suddenly, in a blink, it’s 38 years later!

I am proud of you and the wonderful man you have become. WOW. You have a beautiful family.

With love and gratitude on your birthday,

Your Mom

and of course I should have included the best present ever  

Been on a bit of a Beatles kick lately….

Weekly Photo Challenge: Twist

The perfect twist ice cream cone as suggested by this week’s challenge eluded me.  These photos are taken today expressly for TWIST.

Steve and I went over to the South Side to the Dairy Queen where one of my students had a shift Saturday night.

I asked for a small twist cone!  and this is how they make them on Carson Street.  Waaaaah!   It’s a half and half.

ice cream cone- twist!

There was no licorice to be found so I had to think of another TWIST specifically for this week’s challenge.

Twist on a medicine bottle!

I saw TURN and an ARROW but no word TWIST what I was looking for….. a TWIST CAP! childproof? None to be found in the medicine chest here.

medicine caps

 

The leftover sock yarn ball has a twist to the strand!  Finding a twist in the house

 

 

the base of the red glass goblet ( my friend Joanne knit me this patriotic dishcloth)

 

 

red goblet glass

 

 

twist tiesTwist ties for the tops of bread bags. Or garbage

 

For the final image for TWIST

a couple of hanger tops.

 

Definitely twisted

hangers

 

 

and a couple from the archives  Coney Island Ride

 

coney island ride 2

 

 

student scarf

and a student made this scarf in knitting activity period this year

 

sandwich with a twist

 

Is this a twist or a swirl?

 

 

 

Allen School Memories- 1956-57 Guest Blog

 

 

My school colleague, Robert Baltos shared his memories of Allen School

Once upon a time there was a grade school in the Allentown neighborhood of Pittsburgh. This is a picture of my third grade class in 1956.  Dwight D. Eisenhower was the president, there were 48 stars on the American flag and we were able to walk to school thanks to Dr. Jonas Salk.  It is odd that sometimes I can’t remember what I did a few days ago but my memories of this wonderful place are forever intact. This was one of those photographs that my mother saved for me.  I suppose that it is fitting that while I started writing this that I realized that today is her birthday. She has since passed on to her place in Heaven.  I have looked at this group photo many times and I am able to recall most of the names of my classmates.  We followed each other to junior and senior high school.  Since then, I have never seen or heard from the majority of these people again.  At the time this class picture was taken, air-raid drills were commonplace and we were convinced that World War III was at hand.  Little did we know that in the not-too-distant future that some of the Class of 1966 would end up in Southeast Asia for our “senior trip” or that a young senator from Massachusetts would become our next president and be murdered in public several years later.

The teachers at Allen School were special people, the likes of which we will never see again. The teacher at the center of picture is Miss Helen Laucik,  our physical education and health teacher.  Like all of the teachers there, she was full of energy, ideas and compassion.  She always reminded us to take care of our teeth and our feet, both of which she assured us that we would miss in our old age if we didn’t heed her warning.  Mrs. Demming was our history, writing and music teacher.  She predicted that there would be a currency called the “Euro”, warned us about the proliferation of socialism here and abroad and that much of what we consume would be someday be manufactured in places like China.   Miss Bash was our mathematics teacher. Contrary to what some of the “experts” with their phony PhDs believe today, rote memorization of the multiplication tables and proficiency in long division, fractions and other basic arithmetic was absolutely necessary and you weren’t leaving her class without those basic skills!

Allen School closed in 1961.  The students actually took their books and belongings from the desks, walked up the hill and placed them in their desks in the newly built Grandview School.  However, Grandview could never replace the physical building of Allen School. Today’s architects could not imagine or duplicate such a place.  On the other hand, bricks and mortar are just that.  Miss Laucik, Mr. Kelly and a few others made the move that day too and taught there for many years afterward.  Whey they left, they took the remaining spirit of Allen School with them.  Oh, I almost forgot!  Mrs. Bennett, thank you for being our librarian and teaching us how to use the Dewey Decimal System!  I have a copy of the first book that you helped me select from the 600 aisle.  “The Boy Electrician” by Alfred P. Morgan.

 

 (Mr. Baltos is the third one down on the left. He still has the  striped shirt!)

 

Allen School 1956 _1957

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Outhouse Roofs and a Threatening Sky (plus plural of roof?)

Drama where you find it.

Rule one. Get out of car to compose better shot.

Oops.

Such a great light and I was lazy.  Sitting in the driver’s seat.  Had to turn around because Larimer Avenue was in the process of being blocked off for some kind of light up night festivity last Saturday afternoon.

 

Why oh why did I not get out and take more than these two shots?  The white on these roofs was so nice.

and in case you are wondering rooves is obsolete  I thought about it.       Plural of roof. Like hoof.  Hooves.  But rooves is now deemed obsolete.

 

outhouse roofs

The white on the roofs of these outhouses caught my eye. And the sky.  And the eerie wind blowing as if some storm was brewing close by.

 

 

outhouses and a threateneing skyOh yes, there was a very interesting tree blowing in the wind.

Full Moon, Blimp and a Night Game at PNC Park

It was the Sunday night I returned from Columbus OH.

Mother’s Day evening.

The blue night sky asks to be photographed.

 

full moon UPMC

I enjoy taking photos of the city at night.

 

 

 

 

full moon and UPMC

There’s the blimp

 

 

Night Game PNC Park

From the red light at the Convention Center.Night Game at PNC Park