Wednesday, July 31, 2013



"Albert Camus was born in Mondovi in 1913 to a mother of Spanish origins who was both deaf and illiterate. His father died in the Battle of the Marne when Camus was barely a year old. Young Camus grew up in a three-room apartment in the working-class Belcourt neighborhood of Algiers with his domineering grandmother, his silent mother, who supported the family by cleaning houses, his brother Lucien, and his uncle Etienne, a barrel maker. A grade school teacher, Louis Germain, recognized his talent and saw him through to the lycee, and after completing his under-graduate studies in philosophy at the University of Algiers, with a thesis on Plotinus and Saint Augustine, he turned to theater, to journalism, and to the literary career that led him to Paris, the anti-Nazi resistance, and the many books we know, until his life was cut short by a car accident in 1960, when he was forty-six years old. Long after Camus left Algeria, his writing remained imbued with his intense love of Algerian landscapes — the mountainous Kabylia, the Roman ruins of coastal Tipasa, the shining port of Algiers, and the modest blue balcony of his mother's apartment on the rue de Lyon. Those places were his wellspring."

~ from the introduction by Alice Kaplan

Albert Camus
Algerian Chronicles
edited with an introduction by Alice Kaplan
translated by Arthur Goldhammer
Belknap / Harvard, 2013

Tuesday, July 30, 2013


In 1959, Marie Tharp and colleague Bruce Heezen completed their first map of the North Atlantic

Marie Tharp, oceanographic cartographer, at the drafting table

Monday, July 29, 2013


photo : Carson



"Limelight" ( Charlie Chaplin and Claire Bloom ) 1952
photo : W. Eugene Smith

photo © bob arnold



I always thought Daniel Kramer took the finest photographs of Bob Dylan's world



. . .then Sweetheart went out and saw Kokomo up in the sky!

photo © susan arnold





All of life

is convincing

[ BA ]

photo  ©  bob arnold





(see you soon, off to pick)

(where we picked enough for the week — winter's crop is already stored away — and had enough saved from the picking to have a picnic supper in one corner of the orchard with food we brought with us, finding two cinder blocks discarded in the tall mowing grass and sat there and the rain had stopped in time to pick but the leaves were all wet. And later we visited Eleanor, in the village, and talked of time's past, which is timeless.)





The Circus Rider, 1927







"Susan - Happy Day of Birth and a beautiful new year for you!"

Cheers, Edie and Kathy

chalkie art ©  Edith Platt





Happy Birthday! Susan!

© Bob Arnold

Sunday, July 28, 2013



George and I have been writing back and forth about music. Again. This time it was Harvey Mandel, who blew our collective minds when we weren't yet 16 years of age. A beautiful time to have the mind blown, even if it was to last forever. For me, this is the album that did it. The LP cover art alone, in 1968, stopped me breathing.


Solo discography

    1968 Cristo Redentor, (Philips Records PHS 600-281) LP

    1969 Righteous (Philips PHS 600-306) LP

    1970 Games Guitars Play (Philips PHS 600-325) LP

    1971 Baby Batter (Janus Records JLS-3017) LP - also released as Electronic Progress on Bellaphon Records, Germany

    1972 Get Off in Chicago (Ovation) LP

    1972 The Snake (Janus JLS-3037) LP - with Don Sugarcane" Harris

    1973 Shangrenade, (Janus JLS-3047) LP - with Don Sugarcane" Harris

    1974 Feel the Sound of Harvey Mandel (Janus, JLS-3067) LP

    1975 The Best of Harvey Mandel (Janus, 7014) LP

    1994 Twist City (Western Front WFE 10022)

    1995 Snakes & Stripes (Clarity Recordings CCD-1013) CD

    1995 Harvey Mandel: The Mercury Years (PolyGram, 314 528 275-2) 2-CD anthology

    1997 Planetary Warrior (ESP/Lightyear/WEA, 54215-2) CD

    2000 Emerald Triangle (Electric Snake Productions, Inc., ESP-9701) CD

    2000 Lick This (Electric Snake)

    2003 West Coast Killaz (Electric Snake)

    2003 NightFire featuring Harvey Mandel/Freddie Roulette (Electric Snake)

    2006 Harvey Mandel and the Snake Crew (Electric Snake)

    2009 Harvey Mandel and the Snake Crew (LIVE) (Electric Snake)

"His (Harvey Mandel's) guitar work on the legendary Stand Back! Here Comes Charley Musselwhite's South Side Band (1967) rivaled the playing of both Mike Bloomfield and Eric Clapton and brought blues and rock and roll another step closer to one another with his relentless fuzz tone, feedback-edged solos, and unusual syncopated phrasing."

—  Pete Prown; Harvey P. Newquist, Jon F. Eiche (1997). Legends of Rock Guitar: The Essential Reference of Rock's Greatest Guitarists (Hal Leonard Corporation)

Saturday, July 27, 2013


( J. J. CALE )

 Recently Neil Young stated that of all the musicians he had heard or played with, Jimi Hendrix and J.J. Cale were the two best electric guitar players. Born in Oklahoma City in 1938, John Weldon Cale died of a heart attack yesterday, July 26 in La Jolla, California. The "J.J." moniker was given to Cale by Elmer Valentine the co-owner of the Sunset Strip nightclub Whisky a Go Go. It would take Eric Clapton (who appears on this recording) to lift J.J. Cale out of the doldrums and the blues when he recorded Cale's "After Midnight" in 1970 which gave the laid back songwriter and artist a hit.
 Like good boys & girls we all bought his albums.

Call Me The Breeze by J.J. Cale & Eric Clapton on Grooveshark


Studio albums

    1972 Naturally
    1973 Really
    1974 Okie
    1976 Troubadour
    1979 5
    1981 Shades
    1982 Grasshopper
    1983 #8
    1990 Travel Log
    1992 Number 10
    1994 Closer to You
    1996 Guitar Man
    2004 To Tulsa and Back
    2009 Roll On

Live album

    2001 Live


    1966 A Trip Down The Sunset Strip (as part of the Leathercoated Minds)
    2006 The Road to Escondido (with Eric Clapton; won 2008 Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Blues Album)
    2013 Old Sock - Eric Clapton - Cale plays guitar and sings on his song, 'Angel'.


    1984 Special Edition (a compilation of hits from previous albums)
    1997 Anyway the Wind Blows: The Anthology
    1998 The Very Best of J.J. Cale
    2000 Universal Masters Collection
    2003 After Midnight (German release)
    2006 The Definitive Collection
    2006 Collected (with bonus tracks) (Dutch release only)
    2007 Rewind: The Unreleased Recordings
    2011 The Silvertone Years
(a collection chronicling JJ Cale's music released by Silvertone Records 1989-1992)



Friday, July 26, 2013


Here's an excellent compendium of Davenport's — drawing over forty years of his fiction, essays, poetry, translations and his curious personal "journals."  Not to be missed.

If you can't afford the book, find a library copy, or maybe your town is still lucky enough to have a bookstore (lucky you!) and you can take part of a rainy day and curl up with the essay "Finding" on page 255. Not only will the tremendous piece read like it was written by the son Thoreau never had, and despite all the good chatter about Indian arrowheads, it's really all about developing as a writer, thinker, searcher, son, hidden away neighbor, fine-feathered human being.

I read the essay aloud this evening traveling home the back roads with Sweetheart. It felt like GD had to be in the backseat.

The Guy Davenport Reader
edited and with an introduction by Erik Reece
Counterpoint  2013


Harlan and Anna Hubbard on their shantyboat

from Harlan Hubbard's JOURNALS 1929-1944
edited by Vincent Kohler and David F. Ward
University Press of Kentucky, 1987

June 29 (1932) WED. I copy this from notes at the time. Tuesday, June 21 left 8 A.M., Fort Thomas car. Walked from end of line beyond Owl Creek almost up hill. Rode to Lennoxburg with Newport man hunting turtles. He picked me up twice afterwards, taking me almost to Brooksville, 12:30. Walked through Germantown within 7 miles of Maysville. Picked up by truck, arriving at 4:30. Wharf, swim, supper. Hot and partly cloudy. Walked about 22 miles. About 7 o'clock took eastbound freight to Russell and another up Big Sandy to Elkhorn City, 128 miles from mouth, 218 from Maysville. Arrived at daybreak Wednesday, June 22. Breakfast in lunchroom in Elkhorn City. Praise, Ky., post office across river. Walked down narrow river valley over sandy road 14 miles. Rode a truck through Pikeville to Prestonburg, 40 miles. Arrived middle of afternoon and had lunch. Walked on in hot sun. Walked in Big Sandy under bridge. Over ridge and picked up by man in a car, 5 miles out of Paintsville. Arrived 6:00. Walked 21 miles. Thursday, June 23. Left Paintsville at daybreak in fog. Had slept in sand pile at new post office building. State Road 40 about five miles N.W. and then north up Paint Creek, which I followed all day. Rode on mule with boy. Ophir P.O. about noon. Wheelerstown over ridge at evening. Supper with store keeper, Fanning, and on about 2 miles, sleeping on hilltop. Walked 25 miles. June 24, Friday. Came down hill early into fog. To Sandy Hook, Elliot Co. 6 or 7 miles. Breakfast. New graded road about 4 miles north along creek. Country road east, then north to Olive Hill, mostly poor desolate land, arrived 6:15. Supper on north hillside. Walked 6+21 miles. Clear but not very hot. Had lunch at Ibex P.O. Saturday, June 25. I left Olive Hill the night before and went up country road north through Trough Camp at top of hill. Slept awhile in schoolhouse door and under a  tree but it was cool. Over ridge in moonlight, half moon, to Armstrong P.O. Slept in hay barn until sunrise. Turned left here and over another ridge and down Grassy Creek. A wooded country where they were making oak hoops for tobacco hogsheads, running sawmills and grinding corn. Smoky Valley schoolhouse. Over hill to Kinneconnick P.O. (Conoconique), which I missed and over long grade and dusty road to Vanceburg. Arrive 5 o'clock. 35 miles from Olive Hills. 31 today. Shave, meal, telephone call. Slept in bandstand. Sunday, June 26 left Vanceburg early down track. W.L. Berry, up, stopped across river. Swam above island, Brush Creek Island. Concord, 11A.M. Shower, dinner and left after 1 P.M. Rode to Irwin over old railroad roadbed. Hard showers below, and no shelter. Down to Springdale, R.R. milepost 596. Vanceburg, 572. Slept on station platform. Car put on siding with drawbar pulled out. It was from (the) freight I went up on Tuesday. Sam P. Suit and 8 loaded barges passed me at Manchester Island. Monday, June 27. It was raining and cloudy in morning. Walked down to Lock 33, two miles, Sam P. Suit was tied up above dam. It had a single crew, and did not run at night. I got on as it went through Lock 33 and rode to Lock 36. Capt. Phillip Heller, mate Henry Miller. Passed small towboat coming up, the Robert H. Noble, of Paducah. The Chris Greene rounded the bend above. At Maysville, a yawl with three men rowing went ashore for orders and telegram. Went ashore below for member of crew, without boat slowing up. Chris Greene passed below Maysville. The dredge Maj. Mallery and Cayuga at Charleston Bar. Cayuga passed us on way to Ripley. Juanita up above Ripley. Tied up for bad-looking storm below Augusta. Tied up for night above Dam 35. Telephoned from lock. C.W. Talbot, up. Tuesday, June 28. Left 6 A.M. Diesel towboat up. Dan E. Sullivan. They were throwing Dam 36, but locked through. Left boat here after riding 54 miles. Total distance traveled, 526 miles. Walked 156 miles.

I went away to break the routine of this life, to get new experiences and see new country and if possible, by a different viewpoint, to find new opportunities and inspiration in these circumstances to which I seem bound. I have accomplished the first two, but seem not to be able to do anything with the latter. Many artists would give a great deal for my opportunities — a place to work and live and so many things that neither they nor I could buy. Yet there is much that I lack that they have, as a chance to let life take its natural channel.

No forced work is ever good, only that done in love and inspiration. My inspiration went farther and farther away, until now I really do not know where it is. I am tied to this present life and my friends, yet find no inspiration to paint in them.

I criticized (D.H.) Lawrence, because his life was too synthetic, that is, he reasoned that he should have certain emotions and experiences, and forced himself into them. I sometimes think this applies to me. These writings do not show myself truly, as they were written in times of depression. For elation and ecstasy I have no words.

Thursday, July 25, 2013


St. Lucia

On St. Lucia's day when I was twelve I lit
the candles of the table wreath, put it on my head,
and walked upstairs.

I held a
thawed-out muffin, and a cup of coffee on a tray.

What a fright I gave my mother,
coming slowly up her stairs — the candles

hovering at conflicted angles above my head,
and my long old fashioned nightgown
tripping me a little on the way.

How kind she should have noticed, then, and

mentioned, my extraordinary
beauty in that moment.

Before she leapt at me and blew the candles out.


Johanna Skibsrud
   (b. 1980)
her debut book of poems Late Nights With Wild Cowboys
was published in 2008 from Gaspereau Press.
A native of Meadowville, Nova Scotia, she currently lives
in Tucson, Arizona. 

 The Sentimentalists (fiction)
 This Will Be Difficult to Explain, and Other Stories (fiction)

 I Do Not Think That I Could Love a Human Being (poetry)

Late Nights with Wild Cowboys (poetry)


I Had Imagined Them, Unthinkingly

Where do they go in this
            part of the world?

I had
imagined them,

           unthinkingly, in the

southern part of Florida with

ours, or down as far as

As if all
birds met there, like

Wednesday, July 24, 2013



Woodburners We Recommend
Once In Vermont Films
© Bob Arnold

Tuesday, July 23, 2013



Resurrection (1980) tells the story of a woman who survives the car accident which kills her husband, but discovers that she has the power to heal other people. She becomes a rural celebrity, the desire of those in desperate need of healing, and a lightning rod for religious beliefs and skeptics. The film stars a terrific cast:  Ellen Burstyn, Richard Farnsworth,
Roberts Blossom, Sam Shepard, and Eva Le Gallienne.

The movie was written by Lewis John Carlino and directed by Daniel Petrie.

It was nominated for two Academy Awards; one for Best Actress in a Leading Role (Ellen Burstyn) and another for Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Eva Le Gallienne).

It may seem hokey and cliched now, but the way Burstyn's character heals the little boy in the scene below (and the way Richard Farnsworth's character healed her), each with the attention of love, remains quite something.


( Goodbye )

Pete and Toshi Seeger built a cabin by the Hudson River, where they lived in Beacon, N.Y.