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Axel Ghost Story

Oct. 30th, 2014 | 11:55 am

axel this iss

Julian West, in his bio of Clellan Card (a.k.a., "Axel") - identified the large house on the odd-numbered side of the 4600-4700 block of Colfax Ave., S. (Minneapolis, MN) as owned by the Cards.  Throughout the late 50s - early 60s, Clellan would be seen nightly; walking his dog around that block.

Clellan also gave out the best Halloween treats.

A few years ago…over 40 years after his death – there was a GARAGE SALE at that address.
New family had moved in, and was clearing out old junk after remodeling.

On the table was a hideous electric chandelier.  Classic mid- 50s lighting concept;  gilt, plastic, metal, fake-candle-y UGLY.
It had hung in a sunny spot…so the “ivory” candles were now more the color of pee.

I realized the monstrosity must've hung in Clellan's home.  I  COULD  *OWN*  CLELLAN  CARD'S  CHANDELIER !!

The moment after I thought that, I heard a heavily scandihoovian voice I had not heard since I was five…over my right shoulder: "AND HYOOOU KAN *KEEEEEP* IT !"


I slowly backed away from the downed, decorative disaster.
No, I would not buy it.  Not even for eight bucks.
I could hear him snickering.

Before I left the sale, I told the family about who had lived there before.  The wife perked up - and said their realtor told them someone FAMOUS lived there (but could not recall the name).  So I hepped the new residents to the story of Axel, the Great.

"Would that raise the value of this house?"  She anxiously asked.
"Of course!" I replied, and turned to go (I'm certain she scurried inside to look up Clellan on Wiki).

By golly - Clellan Card *does* have an entry on Wikipedia!

(But the Pavek Museum link is far more fun:

H A P P Y   H A L L O W E E N  !

Axel Club Card

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From the Desk of Paul Wellstone

Jul. 14th, 2011 | 11:56 am

c. 2011, Kay Kirscht   (written for live performance, 7/12/2011 @ WordNinjas)

I blundered into it at a sale...sitting under a tree; a Danish-style desk.
It was simple, well-built, and bedecked with a large piece of masking tape that read:  PAUL WELLSTONE'S DESK: $150.
"Yeah…*sure* it is."

I carefully lifted the masking tape, and replaced it...tacking it lightly, for if you leave masking tape on a nice piece of furniture, it will strip the finish.

As I tacked the tape down, the desk said, "Courage."  It rang in my ears. 
So I replied to the desk, "Honey, there isn't anything courageous about removing nasty masking tape."

I walked away, a couple came up.  "Lookie!  Wellstone's desk!"  
The large woman, sipping on her tankard of Coca-Cola, poked down the masking tape once more with her stubby finger.  They couldn't afford the desk, and walked away. 

I returned, carefully took up the masking tape, and set it down LIGHTLY once more.  This time, the desk said, "It takes COURAGE.  It takes courage to do that."
I stared at it. 
I looked across the street.  Now, this sale had been strange; the house seemed to be blanketed in perma-gloom.  The woman tending the register had no smile.

And, across from the house -- a woman and her two sons stood beside a rusted pickup.  She was crying, or about to -- her boys looked just as sad.

A handmade wooden sign leaned against a nearby tree: A blackened heart in flames, with  "In memory of those we have loved"  inscribed.  I remember the memento from a picture in the Strib that day.  OhMyGawd…this is the Wellstone house.
I could not buy the desk, and haul it up to my 3rd floor apartment...that wasn't the point.   My heart went black. 

Mary McEvoy walked into my office, late summer long ago - a crisp, new index card in her hands - an offering, for me.  "Here's my new address!" she grinned.  She had hand-typed the card.

"Jeez, Mary -- I could've typed it for you!"
"No.  I WANTED to do this...besides, it helps me remember where I'll be!"
Looking up quickly to see if my door was closed, I asked..."OK - so how does it feel to leave Academia?"
she replied. 
The fire in her eyes…She had just been hired by Wellstone to lead his Education team.  She had been at the U of M's Physical Therapy Department -- Mary planned to do a lot of work for kids with disabilities in Minnesota.  This job would take her far from school – it would take her all over the world.

But it ended near Eveleth, on the way to a tiny, northern Minnesota airport cursed with low visibility and tricky landing conditions.

By then I worked in another departmental office; it was late - 5:45pm.  I was the only one left – I was trying to find out more about Wellstone's plane, and who was on it. wasn’t helping.

So, I looked up her research division, and when the page came up -- It had her picture; large, surrounded in black.  She had been on that plane. 

In my mind, you can’t scream at U of M Hospitals unless you’re being attacked; so what came out of my throat sounded more like an unholy mix of human and brush wolf.

Scared the shit out of our custodian…


The talent that was on that plane.  I used to work as a corporate admin. – one of the things you NEVER do is book more than one Partner or Director on a plane.  Ever.    They…put all their eggs in one basket.

How strange to encounter Wellstone’s shadow on the 10th day of the longest Government Shutdown in Minnesota History.    How deeply ashamed I am to show him Minnesota (and a nation) held hostage.

The cuts demanded – presently a lovely, disproportionate slice-up involving schoolchildren, women, elderly, disabled, Vets, the poor…

Like, what the GOP would like to do to our Public Transportation System.  Some areas would be left without service altogether.  HOW MANY OF THESE NINNIES have EVER RIDDEN A BUS?   Of COURSE they don’t mind seeing the system gutted by $109 million (if the proposed budget plan goes through).

I can’t build their shiny nation if I CAN’T GET TO WORK, goddammit.


This is just a tiny fraction of the anger; the yowl of the she-wolf behind her computer in an empty office.  The blackened heart that still burns for WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN and WHAT COULD BE.

Courage?  Mr. Wellstone?  Your desk has more balls than I do… 
But I remember you, and I’ll try:  “We all do better, when we ALL do better.”

I’ll frame that picture of The Big Green Bus pinned on my cubicle for the past 8 years; keep your image before me; fight hard.


Fight for a budget made of up actual budgetary issues. 
… and a state constitution that still stands for the people; not for limitations. 

And, come November 8…it will be hard to keep my pen-point from going right through the ballot.

What’s that howling I hear?

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Final Batch of MN Fringe Festival 2009 Sketches

Dec. 30th, 2009 | 04:34 pm
mood: accomplishedaccomplished
music: "Cold Town" - Michael Yonkers & the Blind Shake

(Scroll down to see pictures)  It took me so long to get back to LiveJournal - a couple of the final sketches needed a lot of Photoshop tweaking.  And I got busy.  Overall, I'm proud of the work (definitely progress over last year's set of sketches...this year, they actually resemble the actors!)

Look forward to next year!

Donkey, Donkey, "The Traveling Musicians"

Brant Miller as "Donkey"

I truly enjoyed this show! Actors (who actually play in a live bar band) are mostly out of the spotlight - unless they're singing a solo. That means I have about 4 minutes to draw them.
Cat, Cat, "The Traveling Musicians"

Katie Melby as "Cat"
Mahmoud Hakima, Front View Mahmoud Hakima, Front View,
"Two Bowls of Cereal and Some Bacon"

I like to call this one, "HAVE YOU DREAMED THIS MAN?" after the web meme that went around a while ago. Same, haunted look.
Mahmoud Hakima 3/4 view Mahmoud Hakima 3/4 view

Mahmoud has this incredible. bean-shaped head...
Cole Walsh, Cole Walsh, "Visions of Johanna" (Pont Productions)

This took the most re-working in Photoshop. Actor was *really* hard to track - and most of the play was done in very dim light.

It's got that "high-school-drawn" look, I know (and I received NO comments on this from actor or his auntie) - but *I* think I caught him.

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Fringe Festival Sketches 2009, part 3

Aug. 7th, 2009 | 12:10 pm
location: Minneapolis, MN

Welcome to my LiveJournal!  ...Continuing the series of quick sketches made at the Minnesota Fringe Festival.  Others will be added next week!  All subjects will receive a disk with a decent quality JPEG after Festival!  All drawings were done with an office-grade gel pen on high grade sketchpad paper.

Scroll down to see the pictures (LiveJournal always seems to add extra space between pictures and this text) - scroll down further and see the earlier sketch postings.

If you want to see more Fringe art - go waaaay back to this blog's early August entries!

Kay Kirscht

Rooster, Rooster, "The Traveling Musicians"

Actor/Performer:  Andrew Lynch
Role:  Rooster
Show:  3 Sticks' "The Traveling Musicians"

Band members are about as hard to draw in the dark as mime and dancers!
(Sketched two other members of the band; will have to post that next week.)
Dan Bernitt, Dan Bernitt, "The Gayer Show"

Would Dan grin at you with a smile copped from Charles Schultz?
In my wack world, he would!
Les Kurkendaal, Les Kurkendaal, "The Gayer Show"

Still haven't captured Les quite right; but closer to the mark than when I drew him last time.

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Fringe Festival Sketches 2009, Part 2

Aug. 5th, 2009 | 05:44 pm

This is the second batch of sketches from the Minnesota Fringe Festival!  (Scroll down to see them; LiveJournal tends to put lots of space between this text and the photos).  Double-click to see the larger, higher resolution images.  Keep scrolling - and you will see the first batch of sketches I posted!

Kay Kirscht

Howard Lieberman Howard Lieberman

"Death Camp Diaries"
Dean Hatton Dean Hatton

"Silent Dreaming 2"

Apologies to Kirsten Stephens...I stopped drawing you when I realized you were doing new stuff - I needed to watch!
Candy Simmons Candy Simmons


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Fringe Festival Sketches, 2009 - Part 1

Aug. 4th, 2009 | 12:37 pm

Hey, welcome to my LiveJournal! 

This year, instead of sidewalk chalk or charcoal pencil - I wanted to try my hand at sketching performers in performance...with a simple gel pen. 

The pen was bought at Office Max, and I think it's a "Foray"...not even top of the line.
Am having a great time (hope the ink has archival quality).  I'm drawing on very nice sketch paper, though (that's archival quality).

Scroll down to view the pictures (LiveJournal always seems to add extra space to this template).  Double-click to see larger versions of much better resolution.

After Festival, I will send a high-quality JPEG of the artwork to each subject.

These sketches were done of Fringe performers from the 2009 Minnesota Fringe Festival ( - which runs through August 9.  These sketches were also done VERY quickly, and often in the dark.  Enjoy!  (and get out there and see some shows!)

Kay Kirscht

Ben San Del Ben San Del

"Animal Cracker Genocide"
Loren Niemi Loren Niemi

"Moby Dick Tonight!"
Liz Casebolt Liz Casebolt

"Casebolt and Smith: Speaking Out"
Bard Fiction Bard Fiction

Ben T. from "Bard Fiction"
Phillip Andrew Bennett Low Phillip Andrew Bennett Low

"The Rise of General Arthur"

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The Odd Gumby

May. 27th, 2009 | 11:31 am
music: Alice Cooper: "Monster" (Greatest Hits)


Prema Gumby

Take a close look at this little guy's chest.  Have you ever seen anything like that on any of the millions of Gumby bendies you must've seen by this point in your life?

I bought it from a guy in Uptown in 1997 - Ia garage sale going on outside of The College of Comic Book Knowledge. 

The Story, part 1:  Art Clokey (Gumby's creator) came to town to promote "The Gumby Movie."  It ran at the Uptown Theater - a matinee, and an evening show.  Clokey was selling (and signing) a custom bendy, made to his specifications.

What you see is what Clokey wanted the popular Gumby toy to look like. 
The character is more refined - even more expressive; his eyes are rounder, and seem to be larger - in proportion to his other facial features.  The figure is made of stuff like the original, wire bendy figures - but is lighter in color (as blue as green)...and is much softer; almost "squishy" to the touch.

Two, Sanskrit letters stand inside the heart - spelling, "Prema":  meaning, "Heart"...or "Love," but is usually taken for the larger meaning -  "Universal Love."

The Story, part 2:
  (citation needed!)  I was told Clokey had ordered these custom-made for "The Gumby Movie" at a factory in China.  They did a great job of molding the figure, but demanded several thousand dollars more to PAINT the features on the toys.  Clokey had a few Gumbys painted, but took the rest of the figures, as-is. 

If you saw him at the Uptown that night (or any other venue he appeared at), you could buy a Gumby like mine, or you could have Clokey sign an unpainted one.

The fellow I bought this from told me he bought *two* Gumbys that evening - he kept a signed Gumby for himself, and gave the finished Gumby to his daughter to play with (They're kinda fragile; this image has been PhotoShop-altered to mask a stress-tear between the legs.  Still, considering the squishyness of the plastic; he's in pretty good shape.)

I wish all Gumbys had Prema hearts on them!

"Gumby" is the property of © Prema Toy Co.   This is a blog of a collector, not an entrepreneur. 
If you have any other info on this figure (I've tried to research this, but the only thing I could find is one, signed "Prema" Gumby on eBay), contact me!

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The Burning Pig of May Day

Apr. 28th, 2009 | 11:42 am
music: The Greenskeepers: "I Want a New Drug" (Great, Alt cover of Huey Lewis' Hit)

(or, the Problem with Young Anarchists who decide not to store their floats)
Copyright 2001, 2009 Kay Kirscht

The Burning Pig of May Day

May Day, 2001

What else was going on, while the Sun crossed the water?

I was sitting in front of Powderhorn Park's "Diamond Stage" (near the baseball field), at about the time those canoes reached the island.

I was hashing over tech detail with Dixie, who still wore her Yak Hat from the parade. 
I asked permission to refer to her as "Buffalo Girl" for the rest of the day. 
She replied, with some indignation; "I'm a YAK!"  "OK, ‘Yak Girl’."

Dixie tells me we have signs for our spoken word venue, and can hang them anywhere we want.
Then I see her eyes fixate on the nearby hill.
I turned to see what she was looking at.
We saw the giant, Pig-bike float from the parade rolling down the hill, engulfed in flames.
It headed straight for us – we scattered!

Whomever decided to ignite – and then send – that porcine Death Star hurtling down the hill did not intend to aim for the two women picnicking below...the bike supporting the float hit a bump.  The pilot pedaling inside lost control, then fell out from under the wildly flaming structure of silk, paper mache and bamboo.

The Pig, fanned by a stiff wind, and now totally engulfed (with the exception of its snout) – continued
rolling and bouncing; setting grass alight all the way down.

After removing ourselves from its path, we turned to see – horrified – an arm; then a leg with a hi-top tennie…then part of a face…still bouncing around in the flaming, round pinkness. 
We’re talking Hindenburg, here.

We yelled as One:  “THERE’S A GUY IN THERE!!”

I ran full-tilt toward the flaming pork.
Two folks who’d reached the still rolling fireball yelled, “Break it apart!” 
As I ran the last few yards – I wondered if it would explode all over us.
Then I remembered: “It’s a PIG FLOAT, for chrissakes…there’s no gas tank!”

It looked like plane wreckage.
We wondered how the hell to extract the guy inside without burning our hands to a crisp. 
The pilot, who’d managed to bail, turned in shock to realize his buddy was still in there.
And I’m thinking what-all we have for First Aid:  I had two water bottles, three band-aids and a cell phone…in the backpack I left behind with Dixie.
Firking Pathetic.  At least Dixie had the walkie-talkie, and was reporting the incident to the Park Police.

Fortunately, the guy who’d managed to bounce all the way down the hill inside the flaming structure WITH the bike got out under his own power and pure instinct…the structure burst after it hit the third bump, and he kicked it off.  His partner managed to guide the rest of the still-flaming mess to the bottom of the hill…where it continued to burn.

I asked the guy who’d been in the thing if he was alright; then told him to roll on the ground.
It was the only thing I could think of, really…and I suppose it was over-reaction.
He stared at me as though I was from Mars.

I was from Mars.
I’d forgotten I’d colorfully temp-tattoo’d every inch of my face and showing flesh; on top of it all sat my black bowler hat, bedecked with flowers…
Not an image that Commands, period.

Flaming Pig Survivor was still on auto-pilot; patting out his smoldering hair and butt. 
“But I’m not on fire!” he remarked, as his eyes darted from me to the – still – happily burning wreckage a few yards down the hill, to the blasted bike that had broken loose and now sat smoking – ruined and crumpled, seat singed down to the metal – to the scarred hillside behind him.

And I could see all the (mostly unintended) damage registering in his eyes (although I could never pick him out of any lineup).  I pointed to his trousers, where the torn fringe sported a finger-sized flame.  “No, man, you’re still on fire,” his partner said.  He whapped it out with his hands, trying not to burn his palms. 

At that point, they decided to use their remaining seconds to GET AWAY; they sped back up the hill…all four of us staring at them.

We let them get away.

Five minutes later, the Park Police rolled in on their bikes -- and one of the May Day organizers put out the still-burning float with an extinguisher from one of the food vendors. 

See the attached photo:  All that remained was a half-foot square hunk of pink snout resting peacefully atop the ashes, the crumpled bike, a bizarre burn trail and one surreal tale.

Horns sounded…the Sun had just set foot on the shore, to announce the onset of Summer!

But all of us know a Flaming Pig beat her to it.

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What I Did for Spring Break

Apr. 6th, 2009 | 05:54 pm
mood: rejuvenatedrejuvenated
music: Brian Eno: "King's Lead Hat"

The Sojourn Begins Here

The Sojourn Begins Here

I decided to spend my Spring Break with a bunch of buddies from 1906.

The womenfolk all rented large, Kodak folding cameras (I'm shooting with my own, much smaller VestPocket Kodak.)

Seconds later, Alice (with the large camera) will snap a picture of me.
Unfortunately, I could not stick around to see the developed photo she took of me!

Note:   Our Native Guide, Alphonso (the one with the walking stick). 
We would've been utterly lost without him!

We are on a junket to Turtle Island - the very base of our Planet!

From Left to Right, top row:  Millie, Alice, Agnes, Betty, Olivia, William, Jack, Mary and Betsy
Bottom Row: Tom, Jack Junior, Alphonso, and Billy.

The Very Top of the Turtle What Holds Up the Heavens

The Very Top of the Turtle What Holds Up the Heavens

With the help of Alphonso, we all managed to clamber up onto the back of the Giant Turtle, that balances the Venerable Heavens upon it's huge back.

Here, you can only see the very topmost of the Turtle's shell; we assure you it goes very deep under the ocean.

It was easier to stand upon than I thought it would be.  The sky was almost totally clear, and bright blue. You could see the outline of the Moon as it set past the horizon.

William, Jack, Charles and Virgil on Deck

William, Jack, Charles and Virgil on Deck

After experiencing the Giant Turtle, we took the ferry back to Martha's Vineyard.
After disembarking, we made for the nearest tavern - and enjoyed a hearty meal of cornbread, roast chicken, and various types of local-brewed shandy.

I truly enjoyed my afternoon with these wonderful people; who I met on NoteBook several years ago.


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The 1981 Plymouth Horizon Story

Mar. 10th, 2009 | 11:43 am
music: Rolling Stones: "The Last Time"

This is the first in a series of stories I perform about cars I’ve owned.
The picture below the story does not feature a Plymouth Horizon (It's a Dodge Colt, 4 years later.  Still trying to find a picture of the Horizon.)

1981 Plymouth Horizon

The guy I bought it from told me, “If anything ever goes wrong with it...DON’T CALL ME!"

The Plymouth Horizon was your Grandma’s ride – a great engine, nice interior, and shit for a carburetor.  This popular, early 80s "self-maintaining” car would DIE abruptly at 85,000 miles. 
A car fit only for trips to and from the Casino.  At 50 mph.


Trip Shakespeare and The Wallets shared a double-bill at the Cabooze, New Year’s Eve 1986 – a rare convergence of talent - and the ONLY reason I chose to spend the evening at the notorious bar…stag.

Steve Kramer, the Wallets' front man, spotted me while setting up his monitors.  He didn’t say anything to the girl clutching the Diet Coke; he just gave me that doleful, big-brother look that read: “What’s a nice girl like you...?

The show was Great, and the bar was slimy.  Balloons were dropped; people started kissing, and I escaped - hopped into my car, and took off for St. Paul.

I'd crossed the bridge, turned off of Marshall Ave. – only to roll into a huge beer party spilled out onto the street - cans, bottles and people EVERYWHERE.

My headlights then fell on a sight that made my blood run cold:
two huge jocks from the nearby campus about to slug a much smaller guy into bloody pulp.

One jock held fast to the kid’s peeled-back arms; the other jock aimed for the kill. His dress shirt was ripped down the front to his tee.  I saw the line of his jaw, in the headlamp beam. 
His head would surely land somewhere near Osseo.

Stopping mid-street, I turned my headlights full-on the trio…and grit my teeth, so my heart wouldn’t land on the dash.

The jocks ignored the illumination.
Now there were a lot of people around my idling car...

What’s to stop them from taking their beer bottles, and bashing my car?

I paid over $500 for this car!!

[3 second pause, deep breath, stare straight ahead]
. . . LET ‘EM.

I mashed the horn with my left elbow, and, moving in a fast, fluid arc - flung on the brights AND cranked the radio full-blast with my right hand:

[sings] "This could be the last time,
this could be the last time,
may be the last time, I don’t know...
[voice breaks]  Oh no...

The Horizon had a bitchin' horn; loud as a tornado siren, and able to stop time.
I watched the stars above - set on "whirl" – joined, one by tiny, bright yellow rectangles.  Blinking on…hundreds of windows from the apartments surrounding us, lit up to see the fresh hell for themselves.

That did it. 
The two bruisers turned their attention to me.
I gunned the tiny engine, filling the air with so much exhaust it looked like the car was going to blow.

Jock 1, holding the kid -  squinted; couldn't see just who was behind the wheel; then drawled:

“Lou, Yo' Grandma’s Here!”

Lou, washed out white in my headlamps, drew back one piston-driven fist...wavered; dropped his hand.  Tried again...tensed for the...dropped it; tried once more....

"FUUUUUUUUUUCK!"  he howled.  It bounced off the buildings.
"Let him go!"
"I said,

Bruiser simply uncurled his arms; the kid melted to the ground, then staggered over to the nearest snowbank, and began vomiting.

I …hurled the car into gear, and squealed past them; racing past Eastcliff.
Took the corner on two wheels, past house one, house two, house three - pulled into the driveway; turned off the lights.
I was home. (I had gone a whole three blocks.  Good thing nobody tried to follow me.)

I returned to the scene next morning, on foot. 
The pale winter sun shone over a lunar landscape of ice, piles of busted beer bottles - and iced-over, vomit-pink snow banks.

Happy New Year.

I had been in a car…a car with the integrity of a tuna can, but *protected.* 
I hit the horn and brights;
that's all I did.

Oh, yeah – and I made a choice somewhere back there.

If those windows hadn’t lit up, I would’ve been…
What would've happened if none of those windows lit up.
Sometimes they *don't*, no matter how loud your horn is.

All for the beauty of a boy.  I relished the danger and drama, and wonder if I could’ve stood toe to toe with those drunks…from the safety of memory and past-tense.

I could never do it without calculation…and a hundred other, bright-lit choices...mixed in with the stars.



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8-Day Regulator Clock, 1890

Feb. 12th, 2009 | 11:35 am
music: Rod Stewart: "Reason to Believe," "You Wear it Well" & (of course) "Maggie May"

Busted 8-Day Regulator A co-worker gave me this broken clock - it had been in her family for generations. 

Until it fell down the wall while she was vacuuming; it landed with a crash...and Carla realized that even a 115-year-old thing is one thing too many.

I had been wanting a simple clock like this to work on.

I wouldn't be surprised if the clockwork still works  (Why? Because the thin glass with "REGULATOR" painted on it DID NOT BREAK. Not even a chip.)

Looks like the cabinetry (with all of the structural integrity of an early 80s Honda) took the brunt of the fall.  Break out the hot glue gun!  If the clockwork is utterly busted - they still make the basic design...I can replace it. 

Label inside clock Label inside clock

Pretty much all "Classroom" and "Connecticut" clocks have paper labels pasted inside, behind the pendulum (odd place for a label, when you think of it).

Was astonished to see a Japanese company made this timepiece.  This must've been a takeoff of the then-popular "Seikosha 8-Day Regulator" - a cheap, accurate and practical timekeep for home, shop or classroom.

"Seikosha" is now known as "Seiko"


1)  Valentine's Day STILL SUCKS.

2)  The clockwork does indeed still work.  Kinda.  It runs for a 5 minutes, then slowly peters out (and it will chime - it sounds lovely).  I'm hoping correct positioning and leveling will correct the problem...and some light-grade oil.
And starting the clock up again as much as I can by swinging the pendulum (old clocks get sticky, and can be brought back this way - constant use loosens up the gears, although a pro would clean the entire clockwork rather than risk leaving dust and crud in the works.)


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Dog of God

Jan. 28th, 2009 | 11:29 am
music: Spoon: "You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb"

-- Also cross-posted to my beloved "ThriftHorror" community --
Dog of God

I just love this picture - I found it at an estate sale many years ago.
Am pretty sure - on sentimentality and kitsch factors - that this parlor picture dates back to 1890-1900.  (Published by The W. C. Co., Inc. Title: "SAVED")

At that point in Art History, museums and salons were filled with very large pictures of beautiful, doomed, drowned women washed up on the shore.

I dig this different take on things.  It reminds me of the old joke where the lifeguard sees a little boy caught in the undertow. The lifeguard quickly swims out, snags the boy, and returns him to his mother...who says, "Where's his hat?"

Well, this Newfoundland pup is GOOD.  He remembered to fetch the hat AND the girl.

AFTER-WORD:  Noble LJ blogger faustian  says it's a very poor copy of a famous (at least in Britain) painting by Edwin Henry Landseer:

That it is!

He looks heavenward for his heavenly reward.
This picture is the finest in skyward-gazing dog/god salvation art!

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Thomas KinKaid NiteLite

Jan. 5th, 2009 | 11:51 am
music: "A Deeper Shade of Soul" - Ray Barretto, From "Acid," 1967

KinKaid Nite Lite, Off
KinKaid Nite Lite, Off

Now in the collection of Tom Cassidy, on occasion of his birthday - A slightly modified Thomas KinKaid (spelling intentional to avoid Lawyers) night light!

Since Tom is not a fan of the "Painter o' Lite," I took the liberty of adding bloody footprints, flames, smoke and other mayhem to this lovely glowing, snowy cabin scene.
KinKaid Nite Lite, On
KinKaid Nite Lite, On

I did this right after Thanksgiving, so please don't think I am copying the "Santa Slayer of CA" - this is simply a scene where a Yeti got in, ate the human contents of a small cabin in the woods and accidentally set the place afire.

Then, fur smouldering - wandered from the cabin (quickly and politely closing the door behind him) went down to the lake, and accidentally fell through the ice.  End of story. 

Happy post-holidays!

A KayMark Very Limited Edition of *One*
- by one who cares enough to send the very strange.

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Merry Christmas, W.T.F. !

Dec. 22nd, 2008 | 05:57 pm
music: A silent office, after hours.

-- Cross-Posted to my Beloved THRIFTHORROR Community --

Merry Christmas, W.T.F. !


Maybe it's the kittens, the corridor, the lady, or the bubbles...but I think I’ve finally found the Perfect Card to send to everyone this season!

(Found in the Christmas Card Bin at Arc Value Village, Richfield, MN.  I think it's really a relic from the New Age; circa 1986)


- Just look to that big, Wolf-Eye in tha Sky...and get that warm, utterly confused Holiday feeling! -

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Images of African Americans, early 1900s

Dec. 8th, 2008 | 06:29 pm
music: Cosmic Slop is back - in Podcast form!

Do you remember the professional studio photos I posted last March?
--J. Gralow's Photos--  Opulent settings for the wealthy denizens of a small,
Wisconsin logging town.

Allow me to show you another group of residents!

Young Woman by the Chicken Coop Young Woman by the Chicken Coop

I have no idea who any of these people are, or where these pictures were taken.

There is no photographer's mark - everything is mounted (if it is mounted) on plain cardboard blanks.   Settings are spartan, at best...or very worn.

Portrait photography was a viable career for a black man at the turn of the century.  You could buy an entire set-up from Sears - and travel the countryside, taking pictures.

This is not the first time I've seen a drape or bedsheet thrown over a shed door!

This woman's stance - and facial expression!

I'd say this photo probably came from around 1906, and is NOT a "VestPocket" Kodak shot.

These anonymous, studio-less photos ended up recording history.
Young Woman on a bench; circa 1911


Young Woman on a bench; circa 1911

I love this photo!   I have another one of her, wearing a suitcoat and a hat.

Everything is way too large for her, and she has to cinch it all in with a big old belt!  But all this finery - if handed down - is HERS, now...she's joined the Grown-Up world.

..That smile!

Another, studio-less shot


Another, studio-less shot

The floor is old - the rug isn't large enough to cover.  The backdrop is worn, and way too small...and hits the old wooden floor with an abrupt and wrinkly line.

The wicker chair is old, too - this shot's from the early 20s (love this woman's proud "Bob" hairdo). By then, Victorian porch wicker was considered utterly out-of-date.

A great picture of a strong woman.
Like the other identification.

Boy, early 1900s


Boy, early 1900s

Would you believe his youngster walked the earth a hundred years ago?

Can't help but wonder what all of these people's lives were like.

I NEVER find identification on African American photos - so unlike the copiously documented shots from Wisconsin.

There were cabinets you could buy at the time - actual furniture - to keep treasured photos safe from the ravages of time.  Apparently, none of these subjects had that luxury.  All of these pictures are damaged and faded by sun and casual storage.

Do you have old photos of relatives?  Pencil in their names on the back!  Don't let them fade...from history.

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