Saturday, May 21, 2016

Peonies in the Pike Place Market

The peonies are glorious in Washington this time of year. The displays at the Pike Place market 
never fail to please.

After the market, dinner at the Seatown Seafood Bar and Rotisserie. Lamb pot pie.

Salmon with sour cherry purée, shaved fennel and a few baby peas in a pod.

Brynie Utz Hat Store Seattle

Richard needed a new Tilley Hat for our uncruise departing from Seattle tomorrow. We walked over to Brynie Utz, a very fine hat store in downtown Seattle. Jammed with hats, there was something for everyone in the huge inventory. 

Jim, getting interested in the Tilley replacement policy. If you lose your hat,they send you a new one for 50% off. What actuary figured out the odds of losses occurring? Tilley is a Canadian company and they've been around for a while, so their business model works for them. This will be Richard's second or third Tilley. He did lose one in Israel and Tilley replaced it. The hats are proclaimed to have been "handcrafted with Canadian persnickety ness."

Look at all the hat boxes! There's gotta be one that will fit Richard.

Is this the perfect Stella hat? Not quite.

No's not you. What bathroom would you use while wearing it?


We advised Richard to get away from the pith helmets and back to the Tilleys.

The black Tilley was not thrilling me until the excellent hat sales man added the red hatband.


Four happy customers. 


With your Hat or Cap, you’ll be provided with ‘The Straight-Shooter’s Statement of Loss of a Tilley Hat’ insurance policy. The insurance is for two years, all perils, 50% deductible, and is not issued by Lloyds.

We understand the anguish of losing this reliable companion, or of having your dog terminally gnaw it. Should that happen, we’ll replace your late, lamented Tilley at half the current catalogue price.

The details – you may replace your lost, stolen or destroyed Tilley Hat or Cap with the exact same style for one-half the present catalogue price, plus taxes and shipping. If you want another style, we’ll credit 50% of the current catalogue price for the style you lost.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Sepia Saturday #331 May 21st, 2016: Patty and Richard

Our Sepia Saturday 331 theme image shows three award winning babies at a 1938 Baby Show which was part of fundraising efforts for the Dartford Hospital in Kent. The picture was taken by the Daily Herald Staff Photographer, Reuben Sandman, and forms part of the Daily Herald Archive which is held by the National Media Museum. Selections from the archive - including this photograph  - form part of the National Media Museum Flickr Commons stream.
The door-to-door photographer rang Patty's door one fine day in the San Fernando Valley circa 1940.
An excellent salesman, he talked her into sitting for a portrait in her living room. She changed into the dress she'd worn just weeks before as an attendant in her sister's wedding. All was well until Richard, my husband and a rambunctious child, was causing a ruckus and distracting her. The frustrated photographer finally said, "Oh, just pick him up."

This photo of Patty, my mother-in-law, in her pretty satin dress holding a diapered, pleased-with-himself-looking Richard was the result. He's won the greatest prize of all - his mother's attention. It's my favorite of his baby pictures. He thinks he looks goofy and I agree with him.

Unrelated to this photo is a certificate I found in a pile of photos in an antique store in Temecula. I googled the Los Angeles Express Better Baby Exposition and found out that Judy Garland won it in 1930. If I had time, I'd look up Duke Earl Saunders and see if I could find out if his life continued on the same winning upbeat path. The future certainly looked bright for him in 1927. 

We're leaving today for Seattle and a cruise up to Princess Louisa Sound and back. See you later.

Meanwhile, to read more stories about prize winning babies check out Sepia Saturday here

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Sepia Saturday #330: Uncle Lorne at the Winnipeg Free Press

Our theme image this week shows a typesetter at work. It comes from the collection of the Netherlands National Archives and is part of their Flickr stream.

Uncle Lorne McLeod

My Uncle Lorne worked for the Winnipeg Free Press as a linotype operator. Until this week's Sepia Saturday prompt which features type setting, I knew nothing about Linotyping.  Here's how a Linotype keyboard looks:
And here's how a Linotype operator works:

I can imagine my Uncle at this machine in the place of the pictured Eldon Meeks. When there was "breaking news" or some big event, I remember that Lorne would have to work; sometimes it might be on Saturday or Sunday or late at night. He didn't talk about the demands of work too often; I wish I'd asked him more questions about his job.

I do remember a very cold New Year's Day and I mean bitterly cold, probably about -25 F. when Lorne got called to work. Crystal clear out, the sun was blinding, bouncing off the snow. Lorne had to leave our house in the middle of the day's celebrations and get to the Free Press building downtown. He took a cab which is probably why I remember the event. When we opened the front door to let him out, the shockingly cold air rolled into the warm house, sank to the floor and swirled around our ankles like smoke. Lorne wrapped his scarf around his face and breathed through the fabric to warm the air a bit before it hit his lungs. We watched him walk rapidly down our front sidewalk, feet squeaking in the permanently frozen footprints created months earlier when the temperature rose above freezing, jump over the ridge of snow dividing the sidewalk from the boulevard, jump again over the high, dirty heaps of snow created by the snowplows lining the main street and finally climb into the cab. Off he went to get the paper out. And that's the way it went. And why didn't I ask more questions?

The Winnipeg Free Press played a large part in all of our lives when I was growing up. The paper was delivered around 4:00 p.m. and my mother would sit in our living room, wearing a dress and high heels, reading. Most families looked forward to the paper arriving and everyone in our neighborhood read it. Mother would look over the front page, the obituaries and do the crossword puzzle while waiting for my father to get home from work. When I was six, I had a crossword vocabulary consisting of such words as "etui"- small needlework purse and "unco" - strange or unknown, which I learned from my mother as she did the puzzle. To this day, I get a shiver of pleasure when I'm doing a crossword and get the "needlework case" clue; floods of memories of my mother in our living room wash over me. Other than the puzzling with mother, as a child I read only the comics in the paper; gradually I took in more of the editorial content as I grew older.

Getting your name in the paper was a big deal. I can remember mother commenting, "Oh, so and so has their name in the paper today." When mother's dear friend Axel died, she was mentioned in his obituary and she told me over the phone, "At last, I got my name in the paper." She must have forgotten when she appeared with my sister, my niece and grand niece and her mother in a five-generation photo. Now, the littlest one in this photo is a grandmother, my niece Kim is a great grandmother and I'm a great, great grand aunt. Triple G. I have the original photo but in keeping with today's theme I'm posting the yellowed and poorly reproduced photo from the "paper".

Circa 1912, my father was a paperboy for the Winnipeg Free Press. This is one of my favorite pictures of him with his fellow paperboys on a winter day: I love the snow, the poses, the dogs, the sleds. As the photo is in a frame, sealed across the back, I had to take a photo of it. It's very poor but I hope you can get the feel of the boys. Dad always loved the company of men. A scant four years later he was in the Canadian army in France.
My Dad is the face at the top, cropped out of the larger photo below.

Full frame photo of WFP paperboys circa 1912
Dad a few years later....

I've often wondered why my family moved from their farm in Ontario to Winnipeg in 1910 instead of to Ottawa or Toronto. I'm starting to understand the attraction. The city was an exciting place at that time - full of opportunity. Reading about the history of the Free Press, I recalled that thousands of people were pouring in to the prairies from all over the world. Eastern Canadians were flowing west to start anew amid a robust and bustling economy.

The city was called "Breadbasket of the Empire" at that time. The population was 42,000 in 1901, 136,00 in 1911 and 160,000 in 1916. Visionary entrepreneurs were moving in and amazingly, real estate on Main Street was selling for the same amount per square foot as on Michigan Avenue in Chicago.

My Uncle Clem brought the draft horses from the farm when they moved, figuring he could rent them or use them himself in the construction boom. Besides, the horses were members of the family too and they couldn't leave them behind. Clem began making deliveries with his team as soon as he arrived in Winnipeg and as he was an irrepressible entrepreneur he did well in the wide-open city. He was a serial businessman, unafraid to try various money making schemes. He ended up with a glass and insulation company, but along the way was an entertainer, and operated a skating rink on the river. Everybody in the family found work quickly in the city and a kind of prosperity (compared to farming) was enjoyed. 

There were 19 millionaires in the city in 1910. Charlie Chaplin played at the Empress Theatre; W.C. Fields at the Orpheum Theatre and Madame Butterfly was at the Walker Theatre. The darker side of the culture embraced dozens of saloons and plenty of whorehouses in Point Douglas, home to Madame Minnie Woods, Queen of Brothels.

Says Dr. Frank Albo, an art historian and author. "It was a city of tremendous bustle. Real bare-knuckle capitalism. It was a cross-civilization of nations and real, real building."
From beautiful: "In 1911, a newly formed Winnipeg Planning Commission anticipated the population of Winnipeg would reach 4.5 million by 1984. How Orwellian of them. More immediately, a group calling itself the Million for Manitoba League wanted a population of one million by 1922.

"You can't even fathom how much we believed we were 'it'," said Murray Peterson, a provincial historical buildings officer. "We were so at the top of everything. There wasn't a facet of the economy we didn't have a hand in. And not just locally."

After all, not one piece of goods, not one rail car, not one petticoat or bottle of baldness remedy came west without being carried on one of the 24 rail lines into Winnipeg. And not one bushel of wheat, piece of lumber or barrel of oil went further west without Winnipeg getting a taste. Bank clearings in 1913 were $1.5 billion. In 1909, Winnipeg handled 88 million bushels of wheat; more than Minneapolis (81 million) or Montreal (30 million) or Chicago (26 million) or New York (23 million)."

Well, things didn't turn out quite as planned. Do they ever? Winnipeg today has a population of about 750,000 people. Nobody in 1910 could have possibly imagined that in 2016, 11% of the population would be Filipino or that 72,335 citizens would be aboriginal. They wouldn't have dreamed of the brain drain of the 60's or the lure from other provinces or the collapses in farming. Most of my family on the paternal side left the province in the 60's and 70's and settled in the U.S. or in British Columbia. My mother and the French Canadians remained in the province. The "Millions for Manitobans" bunch had to wait until 1975 for the province to reach a million souls. I doubt that many of the forecasters from 1911 lived to see it happen. The good news is, that after losing population for many years, the city is growing again, in large part due to foreign immigration. The influx of youth and population diversity (brains and ambition) are fueling the economy.

To end on an optimistic note, I've included a piece of YouTube video which shows the Golden Boy statue on top of the legislative buildings in Winnipeg. It's a bit grandiose and the music, while original, is a bit annoying. It does, however, show off Winnipeg as the neat and tidy, nicely-sized city it has become.

But wait....just as I was going to press, aka pressing the "publish" button, I realized I have a press clipping of my own from last week I can include! Our Fallbrook Gardening Club hosted a flower show and I attended a demonstration. The local paper, The Village News (my husband, being somewhat cruel about the press, calls our paper "The Village Idiot") attended and took photos: you can tell we live in a throbbing hub of commerce and drama if the paper will send a reporter to a succulent demonstration. My husband made some scathing remarks about the collective age of the front row in the photo, but regardless I'm bravely soldiering forward, shedding his barbs like so many drops of dew. See! There I barely am, almost last in the row, hardly visible in the deep shadow, nevertheless my mother would say, "Helen got her picture in the paper today!"

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Pink aka Mrs. Tishell

Poor Pink developed a boil or growth on his cheek which he proceeded to slash open by scratching at it. The wound required 18 stitches at the Vet (and $460.00) to close it and we had to do something to keep him from re-opening it. At Pet Smarts, they sold me an inflatable donut collar, instead one of those awful stiff cones you see dogs wearing. The only donut they had in the correct size was PINK, so poor Pink is suffering the indignity not only of the donut necklace, but the feminine color.

He's been an awfully good sport about it all. At first, he tried to get it off but after a day or two he seemed to accept it as his "new normal." I watch him running around outside and acting more or less as usual, even with the bubble necklace. Tomorrow he's liberated...stitches come out and his quality of life will improve.

Out of sympathy we've been letting him sleep with us. It's amazing how quickly they catch on to
a good deal. He eats and then runs into the bedroom and nestles in for the evening. No diagrams necessary. He's not going to be happy going back to the old routine. It would be a Sophie's choice for him if he had to choose between wearing the collar and sleeping in bed with us or relief from the collar and bedding with his dreaded roommate, Cashew. A suffering cat is easy to spoil.

We noticed the other day how much he looks like Mrs. Tishell on Doc Martin. What do you think?

Thursday, May 05, 2016

Sepia Saturday #329: Feeling Crowded...

The prompt: If I could gather my flock around me for a moment, I would like to reveal the theme image for Sepia Saturday 329. Look at that calm and gentle stance, look at all that wool - and I am only talking about the shepherd! In addition you have a sheep, a dog, a crook (I can think of several of my relatives who could fit into that as a theme) and a rustic fence. As usual, Sepia Saturday is bounteous with its potential themes. The theme image is from the collection of the National Media Museum on Flickr and was taken in the 1890s by the photographer Joseph Gale. It is entitled "Ninely and Nine" and if you want to know why you can read more about the image HERE. As always, all you need to do is to post your post on or around Saturday 7th May 2016 and add a link to the list below.
I have nothing in my albums for a match this week, but I did remember this event in Spain. Looking at the picture of the sheep made me sweat.

By The Associated Press 
on October 25, 2015 at 4:13 PM, updated October 26, 2015 at 7:17 AM
MADRID (AP) — Spanish shepherds have led 2,000 sheep through the streets of Madrid in defense of age-old droving, grazing and migration rights that are increasingly threatened by urban sprawl and fenced-in pastures.
Tourists and children were surprised to see wide avenues blocked off in the Spanish capital to let the woolly parade — bleating loudly and clanking bells — cross the city, accompanied by sheepdogs.
Government agriculture spokesman Carlos Cabanas says the tradition is essential to "maintain native breeds that are in danger of extinction."
Shepherds have held the right since at least 1273 to use droving routes across land that used to be open fields before Madrid became a sprawling metropolis.
A shepherd handed over 150 maravedies — coins minted in the 11th century — to city officials for the crossing.

Crowds bother me. The largest I've been in was at sporting events years ago and while somewhat unsettling just because of the numbers, the events were cheerful and positive; there was nothing menacing going on back then, short of one's team losing. Back in the good old days, losing was not a reason to go out and trash your community. Now I avoid all kinds of crowds fearing that unexpected violence can erupt anywhere. Even at Walmart on the day after Thanksgiving. 

The greatest hazard involved with crowding is the danger of stampede. During the Jubilee year 2000 I was in Rome and decided to go through the Holy Doors at St. Peters (unlocked for the year) - there was a plenary indulgence involved. I picked the wrong time on the last open day and arrived with crowds of nuns from all over the world. Everyone decided to go through that door at the same time and a stampede almost broke out. I can remember thinking of the irony involved in being killed by stampeding nuns trying to get into St. Peters. Most of the deadly stampedes throughout history are
at religious events. 
Haj crowds from Photo by Muhammad Hamed/Rutgers

2016 is another Jubilee year, the Holy Year of Mercy, and the Pope opened the doors again in December last year. 

A nice orderly line waiting to go through the Holy Doors, but wait until November as the closing date nears. 

Stampedes are terrifying because of the unpredictability. Here’s how John Seabrook described them in a harrowing 2011 article in The New Yorker:
The transition from fraternal smooshing to suffocating pressure—a “crowd crush”—often occurs almost imperceptibly; one doesn’t realize what’s happening until it’s too late to escape. Something interrupts the flow of pedestrians—a blocked exit, say, while an escalator continues to feed people into a closed-off space. ... At a certain point, you feel pressure on all sides of your body, and realize that you can’t raise your arms. You are pulled off your feet, and welded into a block of people. The crowd force squeezes the air out of your lungs, and you struggle to take another breath.

A story that has always fascinated me is "My Petition for More Space" by John Hersey. I myself have suffered attacks of line sickness at times in my life - waiting to get into the Bolshoi Ballet when Rudy Nureyev was dancing, I experienced it - the jamming and cramming and pressure of the crowds behind. Here's a summary of the story by David Hoftas in

"The tale takes place in a waiting line. It is the near future, when couples have to apply to have a child and are allowed only one. (Patriotic teen males can agree to get a vasectomy.) Personal space for individuals is limited to an 8x12-foot painted square in a large warehouse dorm, and the only area in New Haven with grass and trees is walled off -- the mayor gets to mow it but others can only look at it through a window after waiting long hours in line. Thirty-seven-year-old Sam Poynter, who writes reports and is getting divorced, is in a line, four abreast, to get to the petition windows where he will ask the authorities for the unheard-of favor of a slightly larger living space. Crushed around him are people petitioning for more protein, to change their residence or job, to get Havana cigars, to have a child. An elderly woman is petitioning to have her dear grandson not to be taught to read, so he can learn something more useful. Moving a block every 15-20 minutes for several hours, Sam grows to like some of the strangers around him (especially the young blonde in the blue dress against whom he is pressed from behind, who seems to respond to his verbal and physical overtures) and dislikes others. A woman faints and is passed over heads; several people suffer "line sickness" and go screaming mad. An unhappy gent starts up a chant to get Sam thrown out of line." 

I like this book cover design - sardine cans. Says it all. 

I'm so grateful to live in the 182nd most densely populated country in the world at 85.24 persons per square mile. There's plenty of room here for us and for lots and lots more sheep. 

I was in Macau a couple of times in the 90's and it didn't feel so crowded then, but now it's the most densely populated country on earth at 54,970 people per square mile. The sheep and I have crossed Macau off our visitation list. No self-respecting shepherd would be comfortable in Macau either.

Having grown up in Canada, 230th most densely populated, with 9.44 persons per square mile I got used to having a little space. I guess if it gets too crowded here, we can move to Greenland, the 244th and least populated spot on the planet at .08 persons per square mile. Any shepherd out there feeling a bit pinched would be
welcome to come along. 

I realize this population clock has been around forever, but it's very sobering to take a look at it every once in a while. Makes you want to scream "STOP."

Grab your hook or your crook and visit Sepia Saturday.