Thursday, June 29, 2017

Done With Freshman Year

DESPITE THE LONG commute to Manhattan on school days, sometimes with only five hours of sleep, Sara proved she can tackle work at Stuyvesant High School. Good job, babe. Enjoy the summer.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Canal Town

TEN MINUTES from the Hopatcong house is Waterloo Village, a restored 19th century settlement on the banks of the old Morris Canal, the waterway used to transport anthracite coal from Pennsylvania's Lehigh Valley to New York City during the American Industrial Revolution. For canal workers then, the village was an overnight rest stop on the two-day journey to the coast, and it had "all the accommodations necessary to service the needs of a canal operation, including an inn, a general store, a blacksmith shop to service the mules on the canal, and a watermill" (Wiki). But there were other travelers. The alewife herring, anadromous fish like salmon, also used the waterway as a conduit to travel up the Delaware River from the Atlantic Ocean to Lake Hopatcong, the reservoir in the highlands that fed the canal. There they became landlocked with the building of the dam in the 1800s, but thrived so well in their new habitat that they are now the abundant basis of the lake's fish food chain.

The grist mill, Waterloo Village

Friday, June 9, 2017

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Job Evaluations 2017

"HIGHEST CALIBER of service and excellence" versus "acceptable level of competence"? What the--? Don't worry Mom, together we'll still go far.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Cool Without The Coal

MAUCH CHUNK, PA was founded in the early 1800s during the heyday of anthracite coal mining, but when coal use declined in the 20th century, the town reinvented itself as a tourist destination by taking the corpse, and name, of Native American Olympian Jim Thorpe who died in 1953 but whose home state of Oklahoma would not bury with honors. Today, the "Switzerland of America" is a cool weekend getaway two hours from the city (one hour from Hopatcong), and was named by Rand McNally as among the ten Best Small Towns in America. From Wiki: "Geologically, the largest and most concentrated anthracite deposit in the world is found in northeastern Pennsylvania; the deposit contains 480 square miles of coal-bearing rock which originally held 22.8 billion short tons (20.68 billion tonnes) of anthracite." Thought you have eternal rest? Watch out, poor Jim Thorpe, Trump will get you rolling over in your grave.

St. Mark and St. John's Episcopal Church, Jim Thorpe, PA

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Meanwhile, At The Port

NO LONG WEEKEND, got drafted again. Here's to the fallen and unsung soldats inconnus.

Friday, May 26, 2017

True Crime

The Missouri Review liked this, but Digong's martial law soldiers in Mindanao won't. Reposting from Facebook.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

The Death Of A Toad

NOT ABOUT climate change, but Richard Wilbur's poem is relevant this time of year nonetheless. Rockaway Mall (where we shop when in Hopatcong) sits on what used to be a wetland but was prime location for the taking of corporations before the New Jersey Freshwater Wetlands Protection Act was passed in 1988. Many other parking lots and lawns in the lakes region used to be some little guy's happy home.

A toad the power mower caught,
Chewed and clipped of a leg, with a hobbling hop has got
To the garden verge, and sanctuaried him
Under the cineraria leaves, in the shade
Of the ashen and heartshaped leaves, in a dim,
Low, and a final glade.

The rare original heartsblood goes,
Spends in the earthen hide, in the folds and wizenings, flows
In the gutters of the banked and staring eyes. He lies
As still as if he would return to stone,
And soundlessly attending, dies
Toward some deep monotone,

Toward misted and ebullient seas
And cooling shores, toward lost Amphibia's emperies.
Day dwindles, drowning and at length is gone
In the wide and antique eyes, which still appear
To watch, across the castrate lawn,
The haggard daylight steer.