Tuesday, June 02, 2020

Space Craft Spotted At Renaldi

Strange Object Sighted Near Renaldi

We stopped in Renaldi to lunch at a diner formerly owned by a boy band famous for falsetto phrasing and, as one music critic said,  ‘harmonies pleasing to Gods and Goddesses.’  The chef, Rose Pend, no relation to any band members, had recently achieved international acclaim as a defendant in a law suit filed against her by her husband.

 A usually quiet hamlet of farm families and barnyard animals, Renaldi has been turned southeast from northwest in an attempt by Wilson Pendrenowned barrator who once sued a dog owner for refusing to leash his Labrador during a fireworks display thus allowing the animal to instigate a brouhaha when a flock of pigeons, intent on escaping what they had perceived as gun fire, crashed through the stained glass window of a nearby chapel—recently, as early as yesterday, sued for abandonment and loss of affection because another resident, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of being implicated in the certain-to-follow court action Pend would pursue, because his wife of forty years had up and left before she’d  heard the cock crow a third time, or so this reporter inferred from the lengthy speech offered by Pend at a subsequent hot dog roast, barbecue, and political rally.

Frank Whatson, Pend’s attorney, refused comment when asked by a reporter for the Happy Valley Sentinel as to his client’s mate leaving home before sunrise. Later, Whatson confirmed that, Marjorie Rose Pend, his client’s wife, had not returned home following a trip to Osaflora, the suburb of Renaldi where the alleged craft allegedly landed, to view what some claim is an extraterrestrial craft. Sitting atop a mound, behind a picket fence, (see the accompanying illustration) a distinguished object, appearing as a cottage with an antiquated television or internet connection.

In his claim that cited his neighbor’s herb gardener as a co-defendent, Pend claimed Roger Delahaunty, a former prosecutor who had recently been disbarred for under reporting income to avoid taxes, had invented the story and had constructed the pseudo craft to establish a theme park from which he hoped to gain a sizable income to allay the pending (no pun intended) bills from attorneys retained to defend against Pend’s pending litigation.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

The Altar at Preg

The Altar at Preg

Stopping for the night in Elta, we consumed an early dinner of conger and rice, a local favorite, and retired early so that we could rise with the sun and visit the Altar of the Preg. We wanted to arrive before the expected deluge of visitors clamoring for seats on this the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Restoration of Faith in the Healing Powers of Star Gazing. The inundation by Gazers of this holiest of sites in the world of collected interpretations would break all previous attendance records.

Prior to the outbreak of, maligilitis, in the early part of the century, the denizens of Eluthia County regularly sacrificed virgins at the Altar of The Preg. (The altar sits atop a hill south of North Tinsdaly.) The ritual, the sacrifice of a male virgin in honor of Theseus, came to an abrupt conclusion when the son of a wealthy land owner, next in line to bear the brunt of the ritual—so to speak, confessed that he had indulged his libidinous longings long before he’d visited a cold storage facility to ensure his role as a progenitor. (At a fertility festival in another province, he’d enjoyed a couple of sips of a philter and had engaged a woman without a filter or any other protective devices.) Fearing the discovery of an heir not apparent at that time and a protracted legal dispute, R. Paltry Howell, then the mayor of the township and President for Life of the local chapter of the Nights of Phaedra declared the annual sacrifice a pagan ritual and deemed it harmful.

Los Animales, a group of cartoon aficionados dedicated to establishing territorial imperatives in a world they feared was going to hell in a hand basket, because they said so, planned a demonstration at this year’s gathering and the size of the group meant any available overflow would be viewing a televised replay of events. Nonetheless, with representatives of the Order of Amigula standing arm in arm at the perimeter of the festival, the local constabulary believed order would prevail.

Saturday, May 16, 2020

The Indian Died

Did I Mention

The Indian died, about ten miles north of Waldingford Bridges, a location well known for its refusal to participate in a feature film. Y’know which one. So we hitched a ride with an eighteen wheeler ( the part of the vehicle in which we sat featured 10 of the 18 wheels) hauling frozen beef lungs to a dog food plant in Taswell. Auntie (I rarely called her that because when I used that form of address she’d snarl and split like a Eastern Diamond Back thinking Johnny Burgoyne was marching through her swamp) nonetheless, she was fascinated with all of the gauges on the dash that the driver used to ascertain the operating condition of the vehicle. Also, she was mesmerized by the chords hanging from the ceiling of the cab. The sway of one chord had a particularly hypnotic affect. The trucker let my aunt haul on one as we passed a pasture filled with grazing dairy stock. As thrilled as she was with her new toy, the cows paid little attention to the sound, and she found that exasperating. (Our driver mentioned that the cows had become insured to the sound of an air horn. Farmers had trained them thusly to prevent the souring of product. My aunt remained unfazed.) As well, as we entered the depot at Taswell, she hauled on the lanyard to the air horn and lumpers scattered. Later, one old timer related a story about how, when he was much younger working the docks in Gloucester, a ship’s horn sounded and so frightened the crane operator, the operator jerked the controls too quickly and a pallet loaded with 50 pound cartons of cheese, tipped and fell into the harbor. A woman, somewhat renowned for her bird portraits, photographing sea birds perched on a nearby wharf recorded the event and the roll of film was seized by the authorities pending the outcome of the law suit certain to be filed. As of this date, the suit remains unsettled but the film, appraised at $50 at the time its execution, is now valued at hundreds of thousands. Appraisers feel that the price will rise even higher as the death of the eminent artist is imminent.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

The Mansion at Brodsleeve


Driving through Lower Brodsleeve, we happened upon this mansion. Prides Muse was built for John D. Walls, Chairman of the D and B Railroad Corporation. Gifted to the village of Lower Brodsleeve, Walls’ former home is now a western music venue and gift shop.  It features several rooms filled with memorabilia from the days when the D&B hauled hoppers filled with stone from the mines, north of Brodsleeve, to crushers east of the village, and finally to finishers south of Brodsleeve. (Nothing but snake infested swamp sat to the west of the village in case you were wondering.) Suffice to say. Walls became filthy rich  hauling hard stone from the mines to be finished into kitchen counters, patio fire pits, decorative planters, and more. 

More rooms have been converted to displays of the recordings for which Lower Brodsleeve has become famous. When stone wear fell from fashion, the building became uninhabitable due to neglect. When Arthur MacArthur stumbled on the building and immediately, if not sooner, decided to purchase the structure and establish a rehearsal space and recording studio for his band, Los Dicotos. The balance as they say, is historical, as Los Dicotos went on to a successful recording career and wowed audiences with appearances on The Lucky Stroke Hit Parade and American Plant Stand. An entire room is dedicated to Moonlight Cruise, the well known composition featuring Roy Ray in his initial foray into western music.

The stairway to the tower rooms was replaced by an elevator in 1947 but has since been restored to its original condition. Visitors found the music in the elevator incongruent with the mission of the museum and insisted the museum rethink its design.

Dell Upton

Dell Upton

Leaving Fardimlee, we passed a sign for Dell Upton. We discussed the name for several miles but were unable to agree on the origins of the hamlet’s appellation. Hoping a visit to the hamlet, might offer insights to the etymology of  the name, we turned back. Despite its history as a refuge for Native Americans during King George’s War there seemed to be no connection to the migration from west to east.  The theory that touted travel by canoe along the ice cap held no water.

Delving into its present-day reputation as a hub of research, where scientists and lab assistants spend hours, days, and months pouring over computer generated formulae with hopes of discovering a cure for Intolerance, led nowhere. So far, any success they’ve enjoyed has been limited to a cure for Impatience with Spring Odors, in particular, the smell of fresh cow manure spread generously over the meadows.

To no avail, an attempt was made several years ago to generate a salve capable of healing nail cracks. The product, failing to affect that condition whatsoever, did prove worthwhile in mitigating fish odors. And much to the surprise and amazement of the research team’s leader, the unctuous salve proved a benefit in facilitating the replacing of axle bearings in older model—pre 1946— Plymouths. Although patents pend, locals feel there is little hope that the product will prove the gold mine promised by the company’s founder, Ben-Ray Donn. Donn, having frittered away the millions he received as seed money from the town, left for the Florida Keys, years prior. As is visible in the accompanying image, Dell Upton’s fields are slowly reverting to original states although old timers argue: Green fields in autumn are more a consequence of leaks in the drums used to bury the excess radium applied to sun dials and wind chimes for night viewing. We left Dell Upton not knowing how much radium we might have ingested but whenever we stopped at a cross roads, and my aunt blinked, drivers approaching in the opposite lanes waved heartily to thank us.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

A Note From Fardimlee

A Note From Fardimlee

Street Corner—Fardimlee  
etching ink monoprint 
15 x 20 inches
edt. 1979

Just beyond Fardimlee is Converse, a town settled by talkers. A quiet village but for the din of interminable conversation, inhabited by descendants of the  early abstract expressionists. Formerly, this visual culture reared descendants on charcoal, paper, and inks but today, the residents of Converse rarely draw and paint. Although they love implied meaning, they prefer simply constructed sentences with little if any embellishment. Therefore protracted diatribe is frowned on making political speeches unwelcome. They construct scenes and images with words. Their penchant for discourse has developed into a culture of storytelling unmatched except for the Southern United States. As one critic stated: Residents of Converse write that which is palpable.

As children progress through their years from infancy to adulthood, life changes obviate the need for sophistication in communication. Residents tend toward gatherings that enhance opportunities for exchange including prattle, gossip, outright boasting, yakking, and confabulation. Words bolstered by images are revered, nonetheless, relying on an image to clarify a message is verboten. Sign language is, however, welcomed.

Annually, pow wows fill open spaces with wordy riposte and banter. Gatekeepers are charged with denying entry to those who would indulge a habit of substituting commonly overused descriptors and nouns. For example, last summer, a professor of communications was asked to leave the grounds when he touted a student’s work that included this sentence. Multiple people, here, at the Pow Wow for Peace Politicos  suffered injuries, here, when exposed to sunlight despite lathering with sunscreen, here.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Cigar Store Indian

Cigar Store Indian

We stopped in Dill Weed for lunch. Since the election a few years ago, when the populous opted to shorten the name of the hamlet to Weed, the area has experienced exponential growth—at least in numbers of residents. This increase is attributed to an influx of refugees from the communes that dotted the hills during the 60s and 70s but were dissolved during the Nixon years.

A crew of cameramen, actors, and best boys remained after an episode of Alias Smith and Jones was shot nearby. They regularly visit the Weed plaza. They sign autographs and picture postcards. Despite the fact that they look nothing like their photos from 60 years ago, they, nonetheless, enjoy the lively exchanges with people who hardly know and or knew them.

During our time in Weed, we, my aunt and I, spied a motorcycle parked in front of Twin Feathers Smoke and Cigar Emporium. The Indian started with no problem and we toured the area for the remainder of the day.

The Hanging Gardens

Deriving their name from their usage subsequent to the feudal feuds of the early 17th Century, these gardens, where early residents washed and dried clothing (thus the name), feature an array of fronds and blossoms unique to this area alone. As we traipsed through the fauna, my aunt noticed several animals that bore a resemblance to rabbits but were much too large. Although they resembled rabbits, we later learned the locals called them ponies. This prompted my aunt to lapse into stories of her youth when her father would leave home early to scour the countryside for food.

Monday, May 11, 2020

Anchored in Presley Bay

Near the coast of Consalvo adjacent to Presley Bay, we anchored. Initially awestruck by the magnificence of the layered sand and the dearth of vegetation, we set to concocting a repast of local fare, hoping to film a documentary of local cuisine. Of course the first course would have to be a digestive consisting of unrisen biscuits salted with seeds from the local borber bushes. Hopeful that this course would ease us into the heavier offerings—palmet livers, coarse ridwol skins stuffed with a mixture of heavy cream and brandied willa berries, and the ubiquitous range lillies to be roasted with the frozen sol we’d packed for just such an occasion.

Singuinal nest in the rocks above the bay and leave future get unguarded. Nonetheless, knowing the danger of disturbing their nests, we opted to leave them alone. (Last season several sailors had entered the bay and knowing of the tasty delicacies had scheduled a film crew to record a documentary on the preparation of Singuinal Omelettes. Nonetheless several Singuinal attacked the crew and a videographer lost arm hairs and the lobe of an ear when a King Singuinal dove on her.)