Saturday, September 14, 2013

Trinity Church, Boston

Construction of this monumental edifice commenced in April 1873 and was dedicated in February 1877.  The church was designed by Henry Hobson Richardson, whose set the standard for a revival in the Romanesque style of architecture.  Trinity Church is considered his masterpiece.  Walking into the sanctuary is the only convincing I needed to confirm this assessment.

I imagine that the church's squat, bulky, heavy appearance dominated the skyline of the Back Bay neighborhood through the remainder of the 19th century and perhaps a few decades into the 20th.

That's certainly not the case anymore.

Although the 60-story, glass-sheathed Hancock Place (1976) towers over Copley Square, it does nothing to diminish Trinity Church's prominence.

The building between the stone church and glass tower is the Berkeley Building (1947), a.k.a. the Old John Hancock Building.

The Soaring Space of the JFK Museum and Library's Pavilion

MAn elevated view of this impressive space, with its stunning views of the Boston harbor and skyline, greets visitors upon their entrance into the lobby.

At the end of the tour, visitors exit the building through this awe-inspiring space.

Nikita Khrushchev Gets Tied Up in Knots Metaphor

From the Cuban Missile Crisis exhibit at the JFK Museum in Boston.

Most of the visitors present while JoAnna and I toured the exhibits would likely have been married and raising children by the time John F. Kennedy was elected President in November 1960.  A group of 70-somethings particularly enjoyed reminiscing in front of an exhibit of 1960-era appliances and "electronics", most of the latter being a collection of clock radios.  One of them looked very much like the model I purchased in 1962 with my paper-route earnings.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Yes, it's very expensive to park a car in Boston

Spotted while walking on Charles Street in Boston.

The cost of parking in U.S. cities.  (Fox News, 2/24/2012)

The 10 Most Expensive Cities to Park a Car. (Daily Finance, 7/12/2011)

Boston is among the priciest.

A Wisconsin Snapshot, Tuesday, November 8, 1960

Nixon was the one for the majority of Badger State voters.  He won the state handily.

Image from exhibit at JFK Museum, Boston, Massachusetts
Had I grown up in Wisconsin, I would have been pleased with this statewide outcome, just as I was with the results of a mock election in Mrs. Johnson's 5th grade class at Jefferson Elementary School in Warren Pa (pre-16365).  Nixon won in a landslide.  Classmate (and fellow member of the Saturday afternoon "Beat the Jelly" bowling group) Bob Feldman, however, expressed a sincere, outsized enthusiasm for JFK that easily overwhelmed the majority's tepid, sometimes defensive support of Nixon.  

I grew up in a solidly Republican family, although my 2 brothers, sister, and I all became Democrats by our mid-teens.  Dad, who died in 1999 never crossed the line from red to blue, but my mother, thanks to John McCain selection of the inane Sarah Palin as his running mate, voted for Barack Obama in 2008 and would have likely voted for him again had she still been with us.

Michael Carey Explains It All for Us

Link to Boston Globe article.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Brutalism in Boston

More on Brutalism.    Architecture's Ugly Ducklings May Not Get Time To Be Swans.  (The New York Times, 4/7/2012)

Some of you might be disappointed to learn we didn't follow the arrow

JoAnna and I participated in a Richard Simmons-inspired activity today: Sweatin' to the Freedom Trail. We walked for more than 4 hours in heat and high humidity?  (Feels like 90.). 

This photo was taken on the second floor of the Massachusetts State House, a building with labyrinthine hallways and few exits.  We got in some extra steps looking for a way out.

Sussex-Lisbon: This land is my land, this land is my land....

Dispute over land holds up library agreement. (Sussex Sun, 9/10/2013)

Excerpt: Town and village officials have said they will not approve a new longterm funding agreement for library operations unless the town and library board resolve their dispute over who should control the Haass land. 

Town officials say the land belongs to the town because Haass willed it to the town for town library purposes. The Library Board argues that state law requires that all lands bequeathed for library purposes should be controlled by a library board.

Related articles: 
Sussex-Lisbon library agreement still appears to be more "if" Than "when".  (8/22/2013) 
Still following the Sussex-Lisbon library talks -- since 2010.  (8/6/2013) 
Following a brouhaha over a "most objectionable 3-page letter," library talks to resume between Sussex and Lisbon.  (5/27/2013)
A most objectionable 3-page letter.  (5/10/2013)
Dear Greg; Love, Lisbon Town Board.  (4/27/2013)
Perhaps Pauline Haass is spinning in her grave.  (3/18/2013)
What a long strange trip it's been.  (2/13/2012)
Dueling news releases.  (10/7/2012)
Town of Lisbon wants deep discount in payment for library services.  (9/30/2012)
As the world of joint library agreements turns.  (8/22/2012)
The beat goes on.  (7/2/2012)
Joint library negotiations continue.  (5/13/2012)
Jane Stadler on Paying Taxes: " is something that you do because you're part of the community.  (11/26/2011)
Lisbon town chair not likely to get his way on Pauline Haass Library funding. (11/22/2011)
Lisbon Town chair advocates paying for library services on the cheap.  (11/22/2011)
The challenges of shared governance and funding.  (9/28/2011)
Consensus building for new joint library agreement.  (7/22/2011)
Sussex, Lisbon:  Local politics and library negotiations.  (5/28/2011)
Negotiation to continue after information-gathering process.  (10/8/2010)
And the beat goes on.  (10/4/2010)
Differences of opinion of library funding continue.  (9/18/2010)
Leaders of Village of Sussex, Town of Lisbon clash over funding for library. (8/26/2010)
Will annexation resolution interfere with negotiations over joint library agreement?  (8/4/2010)
Proposal to change library funding formula gets cool reception.  (6/7/2010)
Town of Lisbon Chairman proposes new funding formula for library.  (5/31/2010)

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Warren National Bank Building Then and Now

Then. 1950s postcard. Now. Retiring Guy photo, 9/9/2013.

The first floor of the Warren National Bank once featured a large, high-ceilinged customer service space with at least 20 teller stations. As soon as you walked into the lobby, it looked like a bank, it felt like a bank.  

First Niagara Bank -- and who knows what generation of bank name this is -- now provides a cubbyhole of a space with 2 teller stations.

Warren PA.  It's been a long time since it's been "home to 15,000 friendly people".

Not Official, but It Certainly Felt This Warm Today

In spite of the intense heat, JoAnna and I dutifully followed the painted red lines on the sidewalks and crosswalks that guide visitors around the downtown historic district of Salem, Massachusetts.  We also toured the House of the Seven Gables.  Our guide provided an informative overview of the history of the house and its inhabitants.  And we got to climb the secret staircase.

Now I wish I had checked out an audio copy of Nathaniel Hawthorne's book of the same name for the drive back to Wisconsin this weekend.

Derby Square Book Store: Browse at your own risk

Located on the Essex Street pedestrian mall in downtown Salem, Massachusetts, where it's hot enough to fry an egg on the brick sidewalks.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Apparently, Gaughn's is no longer "a real drug store"

Two of my best friends in high school worked at downtown Warren drug stores during their junior and senior years.  For the most part, they stocked shelves, waited on customers, and made occasional delivers of  prescriptions.  Gaughn's delivered as far back as 1966, in other words.  It was the type of job I had wanted to score.

Instead, I had to settle for being the clean-up guy at Mostert's Bakery, located in Warren East Side Business District, which included Lewis Market (with its huge chicken rotisserie temptingly visible from the street), Taylor's Pharmacy (complete with soda fountain and wooden booths), Walker' Dairy Store (also at the tail-end of its soda fountain days), Ideal Bakery (which peacefully co-existed with its across-the-street for many years), Miller's 5&10, and Paul's Barber Shop.  

And what did I do?  Cleaned and greased all kinds of baking pans in a small room at the back of the bakery, a space that was not air-conditioned.  It was a sweat box during the summer months, but I suppose it built character.

Monday, September 9, 2013

I guess we're not in Wisconsin anymore

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.  Alcohol in state parks and forests.

Post Office, Warren PA 16365 (Then and Now)

Darrell Pusateri, a classmate of mine (WAHS class of '68), served as postmaster here for many years. Like me, he is now a retiring guy, i.e., someone who is easing his way into full time retirement.

For many years, the building at left in the postcard (above) housed the YMCA, where young boys used to learn how to swim -- nekkid.  At the time -- and this was more than 50 years ago -- it seemed the, ahem, natural thing to do.

In Retiring Guy's photo, the YMCA has been replaced by Canterbury Court, an independent living apartment for seniors, who, perhaps, have their own nekkid stories to tell.

Cornplanter Bridge, Kinzua Dam Reservoir, near Warren PA 16365 (Then and Now)

One of the iconic views of the reservoir created as a result of the construction of the Kinzua Dam during the early to mid 1960s along the Allegheny River, 6 miles east of Warren PA 16365.

The postcard is from the late 60//early 70s.

The photo was taken by Retiring Guy today along the access road to Jakes Rocks overlook.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

New Madison Central Library: Looks Like Wi-Fi Alley

The Luthgren Sisters

I'm guessing this photo was taken in 1927.  If so, Gen, the youngest sister, would be 5.  Marion, a.k.a. Mom, would be a few months from her 7th birthday.  (Funny' I don't remember her ever liking cats.). Millie, the first sister to marry, would be 12.  And Edna, the oldest, would be almost 14.  Edna graduated from Springfield (MA) Classical High School in 1931, her dream of attending college having crashed in 1929.

(Can't explain how the ink mark found its way to Millie's chin.)

New Madison Central Library: White Stacks with Gray Booktruck


New Madison Central Library's 1st Floor Leisure Seating Area

A partial view.

The section of the library at the corner of West Mifflin and North Henry, where the adult nonfiction collection used to be shelved in the library's previous incarnation.