Dear Clusterflock: What was the most comforting condolence sentence you ever heard?

Stolen from Metafilter. I don’t have a MeFi account, so I can’t even favorite things over there, much less comment. So I figured I’d re-pose the question here.

The MeFi thread is great, but bring tissues. I loved this one most:

My uncle, Albert Crary, was an extraordinary man. Not only was he an explorer and scientist of both poles (The Crary Mountains in Antarctica were named by him and the A.P. Crary Science and Engineering Center at McMurdo Station was named fo him) but he gathered stories like no one I’ve ever met. At his public memorial in Washington DC at, I believe, the Cosmos Club, speaker after speaker got up and told about his staunchness, his incredible endurance, but most importantly, they all told a funny story about him: The time he fell off the ice shelf and what he said to the preacher after his rescue when the preacher came looking for a good sermon. The time he went shopping for supplies in South America when they were running a geophysical line across a South American swamp. The time my father put my brother up to calling him and acting like a dumb reporter asking the stupidest questions imaginable about the ice island T3.

Months later, we had a private memorial in his hometown of Canton, New York. One-by-one his nieces, nephews, in-laws and friends got up and told more stories. To all of us he’d been the source of fun, support and laughter when we were growing up – he never let any of us take ourselves too seriously, but he was always there when anyone needed help. When my turn came, I got up, told my story and then said this:

Everyone deserves an Uncle Albert, we were just fortunate enough to have had one.
posted by BillW at 5:23 PM on March 30

(Via the wonderful Ed Yong.)

The Good Soldier of Cinema

Herzog on Ebert:

The good soldier of cinema. I kept calling him that and he kept calling me that. He saw in me a good soldier in cinema. I said you are even more. He was a wounded soldier. He was ill and struggled and was still plowing on relentlessly. And that was completely and utterly admirable and I love him for that.

from the archives: October 26, 2010

foley_sitdownplease-640x430

Roger and Me and Lucy.

Abridged

This is the story of a snake, a bear, and a little girl. Three great friends living together on the forested slopes beneath a mountain. There is a glade within the forest. Evergreens surround the meadow-grass, fireweed, and bee balm. The mountain’s snowcap is visible on clear days. Warmed by the sun, the three friends lay in a lazy pile near a broad, flat boulder. The bear licks the bottoms of the girl’s bare feet. The coiled snake dozes on the boulder. Summer is over but the days remain pleasant.

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A day late and a dollar short,

frogbeebunny

but that’s me all over.

Image courtesy of @asimone, who tweeted last week that “this feels very Sheila to me.”

“The bees make it,” noted Andrew. He knew I’d dig the bees.

Also, the upright rabbit kind of reminds me of Andrew.

Rory Gallagher: Cradle Rock

Cradle Rock (Montreux 1975)

This was on my mind today, although I’m not sure what made it jump out of my memory.

One of the most influential guitarists of the Seventies, Irish-born Rory Gallagher passed away at the age of 47 in 1995, of complications from a liver transplant. Although he remains relatively unknown, Gallagher is remembered by a devoted fan base, and listed as an inspiration by other, more famous guitar heroes.

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Inspiration for My Papal Archival Hat

Speculum_Sophicum_Rhodostauroticum

As we await artist Tom Sale‘s election to the papacy as Pope Pinky I, the design for my Papal Archivist’s hat proceeds apace. This image, courtesy of friend Ian, offers the inspiration and foundation for my papal archival hat.

A kind of cylindrical Advent calendar is what I envision.

As archivist to Pope Pinky I, I vow to stress style over substance.

Let’s make the magic happen

ride-the-bomb

Brian Jones, 1965

Brian Jones

Still in my little-girl locket.

Inventory

The last of the collections is leather scraps. It smells the best. If you burrow into the bins, you don’t want to touch bottom—damp, mulch-like, maggoty. Stay close to the surface and you’ll be fine. Soak up the scent of soap, bay leaves, and fresh-cut softwood.

Someone rolled gray enamel over the windows. Who would paint a window? Nothing inside this warehouse has borne daylight in a decade or more. This isn’t completely correct; a million billion holes permeate the roof and walls. Matrices of light stand out against the dust that is suspended perpetually. That’s a lot of exposition, so let’s move on.
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She’s not there (She’s still here)

From a letter penned in 1993 by my friend Lee, who can now scarcely find words at all.

Steve & I saw Indochine last night. Horrors! I’ve lost the ability to sit still that long even for La Deneuve. When I left the movie I was saying to Steve that it was remarkable how they handled the time in the movie and this blah blah metaphor for the blah blah relationship between France and Indochina and how leaving the Japs out compressed the blah blah and effectively blah blah. This morning I woke up still thinking about it — or seeing it, really — and there on the screen of my mind was the word SONY. No wonder they left out the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere. Well, I loved it anyway. A French Gone with the Wind. [April 1993]

from the comments

SC on December 7th, 2012:

Fifth grade field trip to visit Senator Strom Thurmond. I’m wearing a light brown corduroy suit (in May, in South Carolina), a white shirt, and a green (don’t know why) tie. My class gathers in Thurmond’s office. Thurmond shows up (with orange hair, even way back then) and socializes with the girls, and only the girls, in the class. Several young women sit in Thurmond’s lap while socializing. Our teacher asks the class to gather around Thurmond’s desk for a group photo. Photos are taken. Then, there’s a warm sensation around my tie and some sort of salty liquid in my mouth. My friend Jonathan looks at me and screams “Bathroom! Bloody nose!” then he puts his hand on my face, possibly to help, but he ends up making a bloody handprint on my shirt. I run to the bathroom and bleed for a while in a sink while security guys mill about like personal bathroom attendants. I take my shirt off, button my corduroy coat to the top, turn the collar up, and spend the rest of the field trip testing various theories of invisibility.

i sing of Olaf glad and big

A tribute to those brave folk who just said, “No.” Courtesy of e.e. cummings.

i sing of Olaf glad and big
whose warmest heart recoiled at war:
a conscientious object-or
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In remembrance: Charlotte Bradshaw’s autograph book

My occasional annual Armistice Day commemoration.

Charlotte Bradshaw (1893-1920) was my great grandfather’s sister or put another way, my grandmother’s aunt. She was a nurse in Bradford during the first World War and had an autograph book, most of the entries were collected at the end of 1916 and the start of 1917. After the war she traveled to Australia on account of having weak lungs, she got homesick there and returned to England where she died of TB. There are a few entries here from that return journey. My father, Jim, recently had Charlotte’s autograph book scanned and we have worked together to make this website to commemorate her and the soldiers she treated.

Our man in Red Hook (II)

I’d recognize the back of Mike Dresser‘s head anywhere.

dear clusterflock

In need of cheap lodging for perhaps 4-6 weeks. Have access to same for period required. Physical conditions rough but livable.

Note: Premises likely haunted.

Question: Is this wise?

More Unknown

The houses should have been built closer together. It would save the trouble and expense of pouring those five-foot-wide strips of concrete driveway in between them. Can’t fit a car worth owning.

There’s a bend at the end of the street, and a footbridge that cuts south to cross the ravine. The ravine is half inside the city limits and half outside. Stay on the road, though, and you’ll pass the cemetery. That’s where they bury their dead.

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Crazy Court is back in session –

– at least in reruns.

Hoisting this post is as poignant for me as it is funny. I’ve been in Dallas for a couple of weeks, in part seeing to troubles swirling around my long-time friend Lee, who’s been diagnosed with a form of dementia.

Lee’s last paying job after her formal retirement was a part-time gig writing summaries of lawsuits filed in various district courts of Galveston (TX) County. Before that, she was . . . oh-so-many and oh-so-much. Read more

what it is what it is

Chris Marker’s Cat

Either you’ve learned that Chris Marker died or you haven’t. And you know him or you don’t.

Here is a lovely video of his Guillaume-en-Égypte. Aaron Winslow posted this on clusterflock more than five years ago.

Now here is some Baudelaire for you.
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Things Behind the Sun

He began singing “Thoughts of Mary Jane,” and you could hear the sound of the buttons on his jacket hitting the guitar, the sound of the chair creaking, and midway through, just as it seemed like he was getting warmed up and settling into the performance, he changed directions, changed songs. No one could tell if he’d forgotten the chords or lost the words or simply grown bored and decided to move on. He settled into a rolling guitar figure, beautiful and stuttered and strangely uplifting, and he began singing the opening lines to a new song, new to me at least:

Do you curse where you come from?
Do you swear in the night?

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Strange


Strange to think that if Emmett Till had lived, he’d be seventy-one this day.

I met his mother once.

Green Door

Midnight. One more night without sleepin’.
Watchin’. ‘Til the mornin’ comes creepin’.
Green door, what’s that secret you’re keepin’?

In Regard to Personal Grooming

I used a new brand of razor to shave my whiskers this morning. My face was so smooth afterwards; it felt to me as if it was someone else’s. I’ve been rubbing it a lot since then, just trying to find parts that are familiar. Shaving seems a waste of time, but I detest the idea of wearing a beard. Identifying myself is causing enough trouble as it is. Facial hair would only add to my concerns.
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Tigie Lancaster of Marfa


Photograph by Allison V. Smith.

Here’s something that’ll tell you a little bit about who Tigie was — plus a little bit more on Tigie before she moved to Marfa.

I held off on posting this till one of us could sit face-to-face with our friend Lee and tell her that her friend Tigie had died. It was Steve who finally broke the news to Lee.

I never did meet Tigie, but I knew who she was starting from when I was nineteen or so, when I still lived in Dallas, which is where I met Lee. I was hoping that once Lee moved back to Dallas she and I could revisit Marfa (we went there in 2006) and I could meet Tigie.

Well, nothing to stop our going back to Marfa.

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