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Archive for October, 2013

TEST POST October 20

I’ve introduced new software, and it seems to be complicating things. Let’s see if this posts as I hope.

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The business that refuels and repairs general aviation airplanes (Cessnas, Pipers, Learjets etc.) also hosts my AeroKnow Museum. They subscribe to three copies a day of Wall Street Journal (WSJ) which they display on their lobby customer service counter. Aircrew and passengers are welcome to take complimentary copies of WSJ, part of the amenities which include sink-side aftershave, cologne, hairspray and a pump dispenser of Listerine blue mint flavor with paper cups for men’s room visitors (I can’t testify about the women’s room) offered by a first class FBO.  Early into the evening, sometimes there are copies of WSJ remaining on the counter. I see them when I return to the museum after a hard day at “the rock pile.” If it looks like it’s going to be a slow night until they close, I am permitted to take a copy of WSJ for myself. I delight in this “perk” because even though I’m not a “player” in the high finance business, there’s always something worth reading.

I always check with the line crew when I leave for home every night to see if they have one for me, and often they do. I take it to the rock pile the next day or Monday — whichever comes first — and cut out articles to read when I have the time. It’s amazing the “gold in them-thar pages” I harvest with nearly every issue.

The weekend edition for Saturday and Sunday consumption usually has to stay on the counter until late Sunday before  — if there are any left — I receive a copy. But sometimes the FBO employees slip one under my office door Saturday night, and it’s a happy surprise the following morning. So it was October 6. The next day, I took it to “work” and saved the following articles, some to be filed at AeroKnow Museum and some to be read and kept, or read and shared with friends. The list here shows typical weekend edition focus on culture in the back sections. It is all gold to me.

1 — “Lockheed To Idle 3,000 Workers”  — to the museum Lockheed status file.
2 —“Oswald, the Disappointed Revolutionary” – super, for home and then to friends.
3 —“How High the Moon” – a review of Dreams of Other Worlds – I may by the book after reading the review.
4 —“Aviation Deal Set on Pollution” – short and informative for AKM
“And They Had Not” – a review of Churchill’s Bomb – Very newsy book review. I learned a lot. For the AKM files.
5 j— “Write What You Know” – a review of Jack London: An American Life — wonderful piece. The book is on my Christmas list.  The review was a real education for me. Will share this with friends.
6 — “The Father of our Second Constitution” — book review of American Founding Son — about John Bingham, author of the 14th Amendment. The review taught me a lot. I don’t know anyone I feel would want to read the review, but I”ll read it again at home; probably won’t buy the book because I won’t have time to read it.
7 — “What Goes Up — and Why” – combined book reviews of Why We Build and How Architecture Works – I know I’m going to read this, almost a whole page and from my quick look over, more nutrition than a smorgasbord (In the USA these days, they call it an ALLYOUKANEATYUMYUM) . I’m going to take this home to read.
8 — “A Rare Addition to the Audubon Aviary” – book review of The Birds of America: THe Bien Chromolithographic Edition — again a review I will read at home. Has a super color reproduction of the artist’s bald eagle.
9 — Finally the October 5 & 6, 2013 edition of Wall Street Journal included a half-page advertisement for Air France airlines. It is a work of art! If I could afford a frame, I would have it framed so I could display it on a wall here at AeroKnow Museum.  It is absolutely awesome, and it pains me that you, the Honey & Quine reader will never see it. A FLASH of delight . . . . which will be saved.

Not ever WSJ has such a wonderful feast for the intellect and aesthetic, but every WSJ has something eminently savorable. I am lucky to be able to be where I am here at the airport. Thanks to all the powers that allowed this to happen. They know who they are! 🙂

Live long . . . . . . . . . and proper.

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I believe we do not “honor” dead people. I believe we praise them. Praise is good. We cannot legitimize or communicate appreciation to the dead person we would seek to honor, and if we can’t do that, there is no “honoring” to the gesture.  If people join in concert to appreciate something I would have done anyway, say starting my aviation museum at the local airport, I feel honored. Honoring is for the living. Praise is approval of a dead person or a live person and a public exhortation for others to join in the praising, to get to know the person for whom the praise is intended and to learn about the life, the literature created, the deeds done well, the sacrifice, the ultimate outcome of the person praised. Of course, the ultimate ultimate outcome is death. And praise of a person after death is testament to the value of the live lived and deeds done, value that inspires after life, sometimes even more than was understood to have inspired during life.  A gentleman named George, known to his many Facebook friends as ChiefFallingLeaf was inspired to designate a special day to praise poets whose work made positive impressions as they lived and continues to do the same today.  It’s called Dead Poets’ Day. To qualify, you have to die. Personally I’m not eager to qualify, and even after I do, I won’t be surprised if I’m not remembered on that day. That’s okay.

One who does qualify is Springfield native son Vachel Lindsay (1879 — 1931), author of “Abraham Lincoln Walks at Midnight,” “Niagara,” “General William Booth Enters Into Heaven” and many more terrific poems. On Sunday, October 6, seven people gathered at the site of the Lindsay family graves at Springfield’s Oak Ridge Cemetery to praise him and share his poems.

The “sponsoring organization” was Springfield Poets and Writers (SPW), a literary group started in 19-ninety-somethihng by Bob Bartel and friends. This marked the first year, (that I know of) that the group gathered to observe any dead poet, not because of apathy regarding Vachel, but because the significance of the DAY was unknown to them until recently.  When the Chief and members of SPW shared news of the event at the cemetery, we were invited to read one poem, and also to write a poem about Vachel.  I decided to recite Vachel’s “The Santa Fe Trail,” and sing my song about Vachel if time permitted.

Weather had been unseasonably HOT for September and October until the morning of the 6th when it turned chilly and as the gathering time of 4:00 approached, the sky began to threaten rain.

I planned to arrive early, to savor the Lindsay family plot solo for awhile, so I departed about 3:10 for the site. I have been tot he area probably seven or eight times, and I was looking forward to quiet time on site. Unfortunately, I was not accompanied by my memory, and I drove all around the area where I remembered the graves to be. I drove for more than 35 minutes, up and down the narrow asphalt roadways about one and a half lanes wide. During the incredibly frustrating time, I even considered getting out and hiking around the northwest part of the cemetery looking for the Lindsays,, but I feared that if I got out of my pickup truck and started walking in what I thought was the right direction and lost eye contact with my wheels for 10 seconds, I would never find my wheels again. I stayed in the truck and drove and drove and drove in 1st and 2nd gear, never faster than 10 mph. Every time I saw another vehicle, (twice) I followed it, hoping it might be heading for the site, and when it became obvious it wasn’t, I broke away and went searching on my own. About 4, I began driving slower, and chose a few roads I believe I had not driven, looking for any parked cars where my associates might be gathered. The shame of not finding the graves of my favorite poet’ and his family was more than I could handle. But at about 4:05 I decided to go home. As I drove a narrow lane that I knew would take me to a major road to a Springfield main street, I glanced out my right window . . . . and saw familiar faces. Elated beyond words, I  turned toward them, parked, and apologized for being late. There were smiles aplenty.

Lisa, President, Vachel Lindsay Association, her husband and two young daughters were there. So to Anita, past president of SPW, current President, SPW and his friend Lana were there . . . . and the Dead Poets Day remembrance commenced.

The first poem of the day was shared by the younger of Lisa’s daughters, Vachel’s “The Little Turtle,” followed by a reading by Lisa’s other daughter who read a poem too.
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DSC07584The acoustics outside are not the best, so I missed the older daughter’s poem. My hearing is not the best, either, but my camera was working pretty well.

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Hugh read from prepared notes about Vachel’s life.
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Anita read a terrific poem which I think she wrote, about hieroglyphics on butterfly wings. Again, it was a bit of a windy day, and my ears  . . . They are not the ears of a 20 year old, even though they used to belong to one.

I had brought typed text of “The Santa Fe Trail” as a “safety belt” in case the poem I have recited more than any other long poem of Vachel did not come to me as naturally as it should, and I did refer to it a few times.  The pictures of me were taken by Hugh after the event. I had dressed with broad-brimmed hat as Vachel might have dressed. I make no silly pretense about “portraying” Vachel. If I did make such a silly pretense, I would “lose” my beard.

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Lisa also read a Vachel poem. I wish I had stood closer when taking the pictures. If I could have heard it, I’m sure I would have enjoyed it.
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We then posed for a picture taken by Lisa’s husband . . . . . On my right is Hugh’s friend Lana.
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After the event had concluded, I retrieved my guitar and played part of one of my songs about “The Prairie Troubadour,” and Hugh, at my request, took a few pictures.
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All in all, the event was time well spent. 1913 is the year that Vachel became a nationally known poet with the publication of his first hardbound book of his poems and began his very successful period as one of the country’s . . . . and one of the English-speaking world’s most loved poets. It was fitting that we observe the 100th anniversary of the poet’s “hitting the bigtime” on this day. I felt privileged to be a part of it.

Live long . . . . . . .   and proper.

 

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I’ll be honest the title was the “candy on the hook” to attract new followers. Unlike most people who would post that title, I am not your 10-year old son’s counselor from summer camp. This is more about happenings in and around me.

I do love October’ especially after one of the hottest and unhappiest summers I can remember.  It continued almost to the end of the first week in October. One would think, presume, it absolutely must begin to get cooler. October is the month when it’s easy for people to be poets. I had to wait until October 6 for October weather to arrive, and it didn’t come a minute too soon. The cool gives us optimism, respite from summer hades, for a month, we hope, until we become too damn COLD.

I’ve begun my 66th year, and every day is like icing on the cake. How many people do you know who are 66 and have their original brown hair on top of their heads?Jobcloser
And are still trying to find a career as a writer and/or photographer and /or guitarist/folksinger/songwriter? Could it be I’m too dumb to “get the hint?” I believe I’m smart enough to “get the hint.” I also believe I’m too dumb to give up.

The picture was taken October 6. 2013 by ny friend Hugh Moore, btw.

Three days ago I began adjusting my life to the coming winter with the eager anticipation one might more naturally associate with the prospect of having ten toenails removed without anesthetic: crazy dark foreboding. I can’t remember the last time I had a cup of coffee before departing home to head out to AeroKnow Museum. I did it Sunday the 5th.  I spent about two hours arranging my office for what I anticipate will be more work being done at home. My employment is not a sure thing. My employer  is going to court soon and may loose the store where I’m working woefully unhappily as the showroom manager If he closes shop, I don’t have the foggiest what a 66 year old writer is going to do to live. — That’s what’s generating the dark forboding. I anticipate I will be parting company with what has sustained me — BARELY, to be sure, but BARELY has been the best I could do — without a parachute. How would YOU feel? Are you getting the picture here? It’s not just me being paranoid.
I’m reading a fantastic biography of American poet Anne Sexton. The book is affecting me. I loved her poems  before I realized she committed suicide too soon. She knew Ted Hughes’ wife Sylvia Plath when Plath was just beginning and Anne was becoming better known, not quite ARRIVED. Sylvia committed suicide (S) before Anne did, but Anne had tried it once before and failed before she discovered the power of writing poetry. Anne read Sarah Teasdale when Anne was a student. Sarah committed (S) and so did the poet who courted her and failed — Vachel Lindsay who also committed (S) a few years before Sarah, and later in her life Anne succeeded, and so did Hemingway and Elizabeth Bishop (I believe.Someone set me right if I’m wrong here) and so did Hermann Goering

(Goering? Beighnor? Any connection? I do see the resemblance.)

who probably wasn’t much of a poet, but he had a lot of interest in airplanes. I do NOT plan for a wonderful biography about a terrific poet who rode “the early train out of life” (my phrase) to make me follow in Anne Sexton’s tracks.

Without a working television in my house for the first time in a long time, and not particularly suffering from the effect of reading about Anne Sexton instead, I need to will myself on writing more, ease back into my guitar and poetry. Anne was among the first to hang her significant incapacities on lines of poetry, and her analysts encouraged her. Some thought it was in poor taste, but Sexton found readers and to my whey of thinking became a significant poet because so many readers and fans related to what she was sharing in her — and I stress this, METICULOUSLY CRAFTED POEMS. The weren’t BLURTS. There is a difference.

We’ll see. I don’t know what the hey is waiting around the corner, but I wanted to post this preamble for posts that will follow a few times a week. I will make time.

In the meantime,

Live long . . . . . . . . . and proper.

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