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Adalbert is a forum for me, to post ephemera, photography, poetry, occasional travel notes, and various spontaneous motions. Cover photo: Parsonage where my great-grandfather spent his early years. Taken near Liegnitz, Silesia, ca. 1870.

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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Music News from Prague

The front page of Music News from Prague, 8/89; and a Chinese edition of a work by Engels. The newsletter was a solid source of information about Czech (and other nationalities') classical music, and performances and recordings of the works of Bedřich Smetana, Antonín Dvořák, Bohuslav Martinů, and others. There were few, if any, overt political overtones to the publication -- but it was free, had no ads, and was printed with an appealingly old-fashioned press and type. I saw a notice in some pen pal magazine about getting a gratis lifetime subscription to Music News, and sent a letter to Prague, in the Czech Socialist Republic, reading something like, "Sign me up." As transpired, the subscription, which I had for a few years, was for the lifetime of Marxist-Leninist Czechoslovakia. This issue may well have been one of the last, if not the last, I received, for the Velvet Revolution was only a few months off.

Although the tensest period of the Cold War was in the 1950s and 60s, the anxiety remained strong in the 1970s and 1980s, and through Gorbachev's tenure, right up until the 1989-91 period (and in a lesser way, some of the rivalries still go on now).  Had the Cuban Missile Crisis exploded into a war, the whole circus might have closed down; At the least we would be living in a considerably different world. But there was no general sense that the USSR and its satellite states, and outliers such as Albania and Yugoslavia, were in any way weak or about to collapse, right up until the abrupt end (complicated by the survival of a few Communist lands today, some more nominal than others). The ending of an ostensibly bipolar world (leaving aside the Sino-Soviet rift) had an almost religious aspect to it.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Inner Harbour, Victoria, B.C.

This card manages to convey a most uninviting bureaucratic 60s dreariness to it, which would make one NOT want to visit the depicted scene. Despite this, Victoria, the Inner Harbour, and the Royal Museum are all terrific places.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Photographs of the Subject Property






A few photos of one of my homes of youth, with descriptively cold captions from an appraisal. I dwelt in several homes before this (that, due to my age at the time, I only have a few memories of), but this was the lengthiest and most significant.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

John F. Kennedy Birthplace, Brookline, Mass.

Text:

Dear Kay, Frank & all

We are leaving to go to New York tomorrow -- It's hot & humid here like I never felt before. No coolness at nite. We're done mostly visiting and a bit of sight seeing.

Love, Phil & Mary

The Roosevelt stamp dates from the late 1960s, so the postcard must have been written and sent in that timeframe. I saw a clip of David McCullough on tv saying he believed the "Kennedy curse" is not real. I disagree -- with the recent, apparent suicide of Mary Kennedy, RFK Jr.'s estranged wife, one more instance, the statistics are meaningful beyond coincidence.

Friday, May 11, 2012

The Past is never dead

Seemingly, in the late nineteenth century, racialism was seen as somehow enhanced when rendered in 3d. Whilst patronising, this 1897 stereoscopic card by B.L. Lingley (or B.L. Singley?), printed by the Keystone View Company of Meadville, Pennsylvania and St. Louis, Missouri, is actually fairly tame when compared with a lot of material from previous eras.

Friday, May 4, 2012

The Bourn

The Bourn

At the panes and walls of the intolerant houses begins there the cranberry marsh.
The set oak and fir wood distant beyond; Deer stirring and crashing the topped salmonberries, to the West.
Limbs winding in gulph of riven rock. Red patches in the arid, thro' the jungle.
Vines, unfallen trees, clear hollows, the night-canopy of the woods, dogwood, elm, pine, corn leaves, vast slopes, mounting floor of moss-topped rock. Low deliverance of the grey and hollow sea-water, ending at once beyond the cliffs.
A band before the dell, paradisiacal expirations of mist, beyond green and wet walls, with organ tones.
New mountains, apparent and sharp in the wintry and bright rim.

JF early 90s