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Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Exhibition on human migration and refugees at the Phillips Collection

Friday night Pam and I met my art history class to see an exhibition titled "The Warmth of Other Suns: Stories of Global Displacement. "The class is on art and war, so the exhibition was an appropriate assignment since many people have been uprooted from their homes by warfare although economic and environmental factors have also been important in creating refugees.

The exhibit consists of paintings, photographs, sculptures, films, and videos and was too much to fully take in during the time we were there. Even so, what we saw has given me plenty to think about since. Apparently the other students felt much the same because we spent an hour in class yesterday discussing the exhibit. I shared with the class my thoughts on the part that made the biggest impression on me--the inclusion of Dorothea Lange's photos taken during the Great Depression.

"Migrant Mother" by Dorothea Lange

I've felt that the antipathy towards immigration was largely a result of xenophobia, racism, and perceived economic threat. What was so striking about Lange's photos is that the people who fled the Great Plains for California during the 1930's were largely native-born Protestants whose families had been in the country for generations. I know from John Steinbeck's novel The Grapes of Wrath, which is considered an accurate portrayal, that they encountered hostility from Californians, generally people from the same ethnic stock, when they arrived. "An Okie used to mean you were from Oklahoma," one of Steinbeck's characters said, "Now it means you're scum." Obviously, racism and xenophobia can be ruled out as causes for this antagonism, and it's hard to lay the blame purely on competition for jobs since the migrants took the lowest paying jobs as agricultural workers, jobs that most Anglo-Californians spurned.

From the class discussion that followed, I conclude that it seems to be a common human reaction to object to the arrival of newcomers, whatever their ethnic composition. The professor pointed out that when Germany was reunited at the end of the Cold War, West Germans complained about East Germans. I later recalled being part of a merger between two large American corporations where the employees of one of the legacy companies complained about the employees of the other legacy company. We were all American businessmen, but those from the other company became "the others," just as foreign as if they had arrived from another world.


Labor Day baseball

The Nats lost to the Mets, but Pam and I had a good time anyway. Great seats provided by our neighbor, Jim Cooke.


The same egret?

Probably the same that I spotted on August 18 was still around on August 31.

The pond in late August

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Sunset series seven from last night



Sunset number six

I realize I've taken many sunset pictures recently, but on these hot days it's a pleasant time to walk around the pond.

I believe that serious photographers look down on these type photos as clichés. I don't care because the sky always looks different to me, and I like the beauty of sunrise and sunset. Once in a while at the beach I'll manage to get out early for the sunrise, but other than that it's going to be sunsets. Besides, it's my blog so I don't care what anyone else thinks.

This one was taken last Friday.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Friday, August 2, 2019

Nats Game on Wednesday

I go to one or two games a year, and it seems like each time the Nationals lose. The first picture shows Sean Doolittle taking the mound in the tenth inning against the Braves. Although Sean has been our most dependable relief pitcher, he gave up the game-winning homer.

Earlier in the game I took this picture of Anthony Rendon at bat:

Comparing the two photos above, I notice the bluer sky later in the game. The bluer sky also brought more sunlight and higher temperatures. Still, I had a good time, and I'm glad I went.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Visit to Oakland, Maryland

Spent a few days visiting relatives.

In back are Pam and her sister Kathy. Between them is Kathy's granddaughter Anabelle, and the shortest in front in granddaughter Nora. All Winters women although none of them carry that last name.

On the trip we also visited the Garrett County Museum below.

The train station also caught my eye:

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Sunset number three

Dogs enjoying Paint Branch Creek

Lately Barry who is originally from South Africa has been joining in my morning walks. He likes to let his two Britany Spaniels cool off in the stream on hot days.

Visit to National Cathedral

Saturday Tim and Zenny, Rebecca's in-laws, joined us in visiting National Cathedral.

I'm not certain if the above is called a chapel or an altar, but it sure looked pretty.

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Yesterday at the Pond

Above photo taken in late afternoon. Photo below taken a few hours later.

Friday, June 28, 2019

Summer activity for old college students

I've written about the Golden ID program at the University of Maryland. One of our members has been organizing summer events, and Monday we toured the Riverdale Mansion which I described last summer when I attended a musical event there. The mansion was built in 1802, and the estate once included lands that became part of the University.

Inside the mansion:

Two more photos from Beach Week

Sean took this one of Pam and me:

I meant to include this one on the previous post. During the season Bethany often has evening band concerts. We heard this band performing some excellent covers of Queen and the Dooby Brothers:

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Clouds over the pond

All pictures taken at various times yesterday.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Beach Week with Rebecca and Sean

Despite the negative forecasts, we had nice weather at Bethany Beach last week. Daughter Rebecca and son-in-law Sean are always great company.

Here they are a Mickey's Crab House which is a standard stop during our visits:

It has also become traditional to bring some complicated jigsaw puzzles. Rebecca is the most obsessive about working on them which I think might be because she finds it relaxing for her vacation brain.

We've been vacationing at this beach since 1987, staying in various houses. This was the first time for this house, and we liked it.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Saturday, June 1, 2019

The Feral Detective, a novel by Jonathan Lethem

The protagonist, a thirty-some woman named Phoebe, travels from New York City to Southern California to search for the daughter of a friend. The missing woman left her college dorm and cut off communication with her mother, and the only lead is her fascination with the singer-poet Leonard Cohen who died when the results of the presidential election of 2016 were determined. The shock of that election hangs over Phoebe as she enlists the help of a detective who specializes in such cases, and their search takes them far from modern Los Angeles to the city's wild edge of mountains and deserts among people who live off the grid.

Phoebe as the first-person narrator gives the reader an early sense of where the novel goes when she says "The story involves a missing person, and it could well be me. Or you or practically anybody." Or as the detective puts it, "Who's not missing?" It's a good question for anyone who had their assumptions about the American people and American politics shaken at that time.

The witty and talkative Phoebe contrasts with the laconic and mysterious detective, and the New Yorker cannot help expressing her wise-cracks even though she realizes they are falling on the unappreciative audience of the detective and the people living in Manson-like communes in the desert. Her comments, however, provide levity to an often tense story.

I enjoyed this book very much although, judging from the mixed reader reviews, many did not react so positively.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

A different view of the park

In the past I've photographed the wildflower meadows, but the park also has meadows of grasslands. This year they mowed a path through this one along a hillside:

Greg in concert at Metalfest

The largest U.S. festival of heavy metal music takes place annually in Baltimore over the Memorial Day weekend. This year Greg's current band, Inhumation, was chosen to be the opening act. An unknown photographer took this photo which Pam pulled off the internet:

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

First sunset picture of the year

At least, I think so. Shot it Sunday evening.

Live music Saturday Night in Greenbelt

The brother of an old friend of ours has a rock band called Second Sole, and we have enjoyed their music many times over the years. When we heard they were playing at the New Deal Café in Greenbelt, we toke advantage of the opportunity to listen and dance to them once again.

Alan plays lead guitar and does most of the vocals. The drummer is new and is very good.

The Yard: May 2019

The shot above of the back yard was taken about a week ago, and the photo below of Pam's roses was shot last Sunday.

I took this last picture of the front yard today:

Paint Branch Stream in early May

Visiting goats

In a still rural part of Howard County, there is a farm open to the public where parents take their children to see horses, cows, chickens, lambs, and especially goats. A few weeks ago, our neighbor Paul and I took are wives who both have a fondness for goats.

The open fields of buttercups and dandelions caught my attention:

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Trip to England and Wales

At the end of April, Pam, Greg, my sister Elaine and I flew to London. Rebecca joined us a day later, and we had a wonderful trip.

Elaine took this shot of Pam and me on the first day in St. James Park.

Elaine also took this one of Pam, Rebecca, Greg, and me with the Tower Bridge over the Thames in the background.

One day we took a side train trip into Llangollen, Wales where my grandfather was born. Pam took this photo of Rebecca, Elaine, me, and Greg, all grandchildren and great-grandchildren of David Jones. The setting was a bridge over the River Dee which runs through the town. The day was cold, wet, and windy, weather which I believe is not unusual there.