Auction It Off

With a whiff of materialistic chagrin I decided to auction off an old Novag Citrine Computer Chess Set, a gift from my mother that has mostly languished on a closet shelf for 7 or 8 years. One bid already came in within a few hours of listing it, so I guess that means the Citrine will finally cease its role as a piece of mental furniture reminding me of the generous gifts my mother got me when she had little money to spare. She was odd about gifts. One year she’d come up with something like the Citrine chess computer, the next year she’d get me a t-shirt, all as her financial situation remaind unchanged.

Any melancholia I have about setting sail the chess set is extinguished by the fact that I do not even like chess any more, and I am not certain I ever enjoyed the game. If the fancy chess set finds a better home then that should be a good thing.

Once in a while, when rummaging through my bazillion photos in search of one that I know exists but which I cannot seem to find, I encounter images of this apartment from 15 years ago. It is something of a metaphor for life to note the obvious, that so little stuff cluttered these rooms back then compared to now. Objects accumulate in physical space just as experiences throw their weight around your mind. I would like to rid this space of many things but as often as I consider it I find that having certain items within arm’s reach is comforting in some proto-hoarding way.

The Lenovo Horizon 2 which sits atop my piano now creates the possibility that I could rid my shelves of substantial amounts of printed piano music, though I don’t think I would ever do that. There is a comfort in the clutter of all those scores I waded through at the piano, some going as far back as grade school. Do my attentions and concentrations still inhabit those pages? If they do it is mostly in spirit, as I rarely scribbled notations or fingerings onto my piano music. I seem to remember Rudolf Serkin commenting that penciled-in fingerings and dynamic emphases such as commonly violate printed scores are frivolous and self-serving. If one wants to learn this music they will do so without need for mnemonics or hand-written reminders. I tend to agree, though the temptation to correct errors in published scores remains a thorn in my brain.

Wandering through the virtually infinite quantity of piano music I’ve discovered or rediscovered the Clementi sonatas, the etudes of Anton Rubinstein, and I’ve established a goal of playing through every single Scarlatti sonata at least once. The measure of Scarlatti’s ceaseless invention is baffling. At some point I would expect to find predictabilities but somehow he manages to surprise at almost every turn. I may never actually make it through all 500+ sonatas but it will be a fun trip however far I get.

Who Are These People?

Who Are These People?

Who Are These People?

Who are these people? I think this slide is from the early to mid 1980s. The two on the right seem strangely familiar to me, not so much Mr Frownypants on the left. The big camera at the far left and the lapel microphones indicate that it’s a television set, and I’m guessing that the two on the right are host and hostess of a chat show. The camera and rolls of film on the table suggest the unhappy looking gentleman is being interviewed about photography.

Harrisville, NY. Main Street. 1970s.

Harrisville, NY. 1970s. Main Street.
Left to right:
Jim Scanlon’s Bakery is today occupied by Conlin’s Hometown Bakery.
CIBRO? CABRO? Is that a gas station?
Ding’s Construction Company?
The Village Inn is still in business with the same signage.

Harrisville, NY. Main Street. 1970s.

Harrisville, NY. Main Street. 1970s.

American Flag and Mirror

Somewhat curious shot of an American flag draped against a brick wall, next to a mirror in which the reflection of a building can be seen. Somewhere in Colorado, 1970s Ektachrome slide.

American Flag and Mirror

American Flag and Mirror

St. Louis Street, New Orleans, Late 1950s.

St. Louis Street, New Orleans, 1950s.

St. Louis Street, New Orleans, 1950s.

A temporary gray wall partly surrounds construction of the Royal Orleans, which opened in 1960 and is today called the Omni Royal Orleans. Antoine’s Restaurant — established 1840 and still in business today — is next door. Based on the progress of the construction of the Royal Orleans and its opening in 1960 this image is probably from 1959.

Hotel Fremont, Las Vegas, 1960s.

Headlining at the Carnival Room were The Satellites, The Fables, Jody & the Misfits, and Ronnie Gaines. I tried to track down some kind of reference to these bookings to get a better idea of when this photo was taken but I found nothing precise. I found one ad announcing Ronnie Gaines’ appearance at the Carnival Room at The Hotel Fremont in 1964, and another promoting Jody and the Misfits’ nightly performances in 1963, but they were both probably regular acts there throughout the 1960s.

Hotel Fremont, Las Vegas. 1960s.

Hotel Fremont, Las Vegas. 1960s.

Ubon Air Base, late 1960s, Ubon Ratchathani Province, Thailand

Ubon Air Base, late 1960s, Ubon Ratchathani Province, Thailand

Ubon Air Base, late 1960s, Ubon Ratchathani Province, Thailand

Ubon Air Base, late 1960s, Ubon Ratchathani Province, Thailand

Ubon Air Base, late 1960s, Ubon Ratchathani Province, Thailand

Ubon Air Base, late 1960s, Ubon Ratchathani Province, Thailand

Ubon Air Base, late 1960s, Ubon Ratchathani Province, Thailand

Ubon Air Base, late 1960s, Ubon Ratchathani Province, Thailand

Ubon Air Base, late 1960s, Ubon Ratchathani Province, Thailand

Ubon Air Base, late 1960s, Ubon Ratchathani Province, Thailand

Ubon Air Base, late 1960s, Ubon Ratchathani Province, Thailand

Ubon Air Base, late 1960s, Ubon Ratchathani Province, Thailand

Ubon Air Base, late 1960s, Ubon Ratchathani Province, Thailand

Ubon Air Base, late 1960s, Ubon Ratchathani Province, Thailand

Ubon Air Base, late 1960s, Ubon Ratchathani Province, Thailand

Ubon Air Base, late 1960s, Ubon Ratchathani Province, Thailand

Ubon Air Base, late 1960s, Ubon Ratchathani Province, Thailand

Ubon Air Base, late 1960s, Ubon Ratchathani Province, Thailand

Ubon Air Base, late 1960s, Ubon Ratchathani Province, Thailand