Word and Image



Singer sewing machines are marked with a serial number. And there is a web site that tells you what, how, and where the serial numbers originate. 1871 is the earliest machine. This one is 1892. If there are no prefix numbers, it’s old. I have (own) some old ones. But this one is the oldest I recall running across. It was in an antique store in Kentucky. The car was already loaded. Alas, no room for another thing. I guess that’s good. We don’t have room in the house either. And, then there was the ½ price Victrola. That wouldn’t fit either. I guess it’s all good.



I hardly listen to the radio these days. I’m not driving to work. My news is obtained from the internet and cable news. I haven’t missed (radio) it. There’s plenty of new music to listen to. I haven’t read a book in a while. I read ebooks. I look up stuff on the internet and am learning woodworking on Youtube. The Happy Hollisters is a series I read (kid) and passed along to Jules. She loved them. They were a dollar a piece when I was a kid. They sell (used) for more than $5 these days. I’m still holding out for a lower price. The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew are available all over everywhere you look. I’ve never hankered to read any of them again.


IMG_0243 copy

Dave is going to ride his bike from Brooklyn to Atlanta. Why? Don’t ask. His first problem was the bike What Walmart delivered was a “beach cruiser.” Even by Dave’s standard, he can’t make 800 miles on that kind of gear. He doesn’t have a pump. Nor a spare inner tube, rear mirror, lights…etc. He rode successfully to Nova Scotia and across the Yucatan. Yeah! Mexico! Iguana tacos – yuck! Plan B – Target, Dover DE. It was a bit expensive to buy – with disc brakes! He got a “bike rack” off the shelf. It didn’t fit. The down tubes were too big a diameter to fit. On the way to the bike store, we found a $130 old Trek outside. Perfect?! But so old! Dave says it will fall apart during his ride. You need “dependable.” But it has toe clips, a bottle rack, and a rear rack. Cannibalize? The remaining bike has mileage “around town.” We went to get screws for the Target bike rack and came back with a Trek. It’s ain’t over yet.

The stuff of legends


The Original Ray’s. Do you know the story? It’s an urban legend. Copyright! Trademark! The Original Ray had a pizzeria but he did not ever think to protect the name – his name? Everywhere there is an original Ray’s it’s like copycat repetition. Is there an original Ray’s pizza? I believe and would agree that there was a place on 6th avenue and 11 St that would deserve the name. The slices were about $2.75 (expensive then/now). They required a knife and fork (plastic). It was served hot out of the oven. The slices never sat around long enough to cool. And the cheese! Cheese!!! There had to be a pound on every slice. I kid you not. That would be a slice you would remember and never ever mistake for something else. Maybe? Maybe not? But for me it would be the original Ray’s and deserved the name. All the rest are pretenders. They sell. I smile. It’s an urban legend. Is it there any longer? The internet casts doubt. Like all good things, it doesn’t seem to be there any longer. Just the name lives on around town. Too bad for you. Hey! Pizza is pizza, except if you have eaten Ray’s.

Did it!

This is another old chair my visitor sat through. (See previous post – if your memory needs resetting.) “Toss” (throw) the chair out?

Caning. Cane, cane chairs… it’s an art. There is skill. I am once again humbled by the skill of craftsmen. I can do anything. Ego! I got the cane online. It came with an instruction booklet. I ordered without really knowing the size. It’s pretty standard? I was lucky again! It was the right stuff. I prepped the cane – removed the old spline and broken cane. I tried to dye the new to match the old weathered stuff. No dice. Cane doesn’t stain. It just gets dirty. It’s gets brown with age. Removing the spline and old glue? It was like doing a spinal stenosis operation. Ha! Did you know that George Eastman (Eastman Kodak) killed himself with a self inflicted gunshot (rifle) wound. He had been diagnosed with spinal stenosis. At that time there was no (surgical) treatment and he killed himself. I’ve done thousands of the very operation that would have restored his (Eastman’s) health and function. Meanwhile, I re-caned the chair. It was a $45 pick up in a flea market. It cost hours of work and about $45 in material and tools. Ha! Worth it? Priceless!



Okay!? When do you know me to ever take one photo? Every day I take pictures. There’s a rule. Keep a camera close by and take pictures – every day. I do. But never one picture. I go to the store and buy – two. Two milk, two bread, two toilet paper… don’t ask. Ha!

I was taking apart the second chair to repair. Inside, sewn into the seam, was a flower. The petals were now dried and spooky as they fell to the deck. I realized that this was a message from the worker who’d sewn and manufactured this chair in China. It was a message to me. There was no expectation that I would ever receive the message. I might just as easily thrown this chair into the dump. But it was a bond. That worker had sewn in a message – Love? Hope? Pride? And I got it. Spooky as the dried petals were, they conveyed their message. At first I thought they were bugs that had nested in the lining. Then I got the message. Too late, the petals were already over the rail into the garden below. It was the only photo I took that day. Yeah, it’s not an image of merit or quality. But I remember it well.



It’s sixteen years on. A whole generation has grown up. It’s a legend of their childhood. It is a vivid memory like yesterday for me. I saw the buildings fall. I saw the second plane strike the tower. I could not believe buildings so massive could disintegrate and collapse. It was “blue sky” day. It was the rarest of days in which nary a cloud could be seen. The visibility from my vantage to the WTC was crystal clear. Think of the most cloudless crisp fall day you have ever seen. That was my day into evening. The smoke rising thousands of feet into the air drifting lazily away made it seem so surreal. The towers would be there when the smoke cleared. My mind did not want to believe what was truly unbelievable. Times change. We paid homage and remembered Pearl Harbor Day when I was in grade school. Kids nowadays remember 9/11 as I remember December 7. It happened. But they weren’t there. That’s surreal too. It all happened. There was a war, World War II. History moves on. Moved on. History repeats. Do we learn? Will we learn?



Here’s a method I have not come across. Push the money into the slot. Done. It begs answers to a lot of questions. How often do they empty the slot? Or check? Umm? We spent the day inside without a problem. The art? Still making me think…



Mom always did say, “Don’t play with your food.” Sometimes appearance/presentation counts.



Seen in an art gallery. The mind is a scary place… Wake me, please.