Officials in Jackson, Mississippi, finally took action after residents threw a birthday party for a big pothole. On discovering that his daughter, who had left his house a year before, had settled here with her child, the elder brother had come from St. Prince Michael Ivanovich was a tall, handsome, white-haired, fresh coloured man, proud and attractive in appearance and bearing. Prince Peter wanted to ask his brother how, and under what circumstances, Lisa had left home, and who could possibly be the father of her child.
That very morning, when his wife had attempted to condole with her brother-in-law, Prince Peter had observed a look of pain on his brother's face.
His sister-in-law was a quiet, gentle creature, who bowed in submission to her husband's will. Michael Ivanovich sigheda€”the word pained him; but mastering himself at once, he answered with a tired smile.
For a long while after she had gone Michael Ivanovich walked to and fro on the square of carpet.
He recalled the time when she was not merely his child, and a member of his family, but his darling, his joy and his pride. He also recalled the time when she was growing into womanhood, and the curious feeling of fear and anger that he experienced when he became aware that men regarded her as a woman.
And then, as a last ghastly memory, there was the letter from Moscow, in which she wrote that she could not return home; that she was a miserable, abandoned woman, asking only to be forgiven and forgotten. All this came back to him now as he paced backwards and forwards on the bedroom carpet, recollecting his former love for her, his pride in her. And again a curious feeling overpowered him: a mixture of self-pity at the recollection of his love for her, and of fury against her for causing him this anguish. DURING the last year Lisa had without doubt lived through more than in all the preceding twenty-five. These smiles and glances seemed to reveal to each, not only the soul of the other, but some vital and universal mystery. How it had come about, how and when the devil, who had seized hold of them both, first appeared behind these smiles and glances, she could not say. Suddenly all that was beautiful, joyous, spiritual, and full of promise for the future, became animal and sordid, sad and despairing. She looked into his eyes and tried to smile, pretending that she feared nothing, that everything was as it should be; but deep down in her soul she knew it was all over.
The thought overpowered her that she, too, might have been a mother had he not been married, and this vision of motherhood made her look into her own soul for the first time. Thus months dragged along, and then something happened which entirely transformed her life.
She now directed all her thoughts to getting awaya€”somewhere where she could bear her childa€”and become a miserable, pitiful mother, but a mother withal.
Michael Ivanovich followed her advice and went to the public gardens, which were so near to Everything, and meditated with annoyance on the stupidity, the obstinacy, and heartlessness of women. Michael Ivanovich followed the stout figure of Maria Ivanovna into a tiny parlour, and from the next room came the screams of a baby, sounding cross and peevish, which filled him with disgust. Maria Ivanovna apologised, and went into the room, and he could hear her soothing the child.
He had just turned to leave, when he heard quick, light steps on the stairs, and he recognised Lisa's voice. She got up, and suddenly the wild idea seized her to show him whom she loved so deeply the thing she now loved best of all in the world. When Michael Ivanovich returned to his brother's house, Alexandra Dmitrievna immediately rushed to him.
Spent the first couple days on a high-speed grind across six states I'd already crossed and re-crossed dozens of times since college. I did consider passing the miles by counting trees (Hey, I've done similar with kayak strokes by the thousands) but there were just too many of them. I finally just shifted into Stoic mode -- which I'm good at a€“ hunkering down and staring at the road ahead for dangerous debris.
Occasionally I see an annoying sign alongside the highway and latch onto its theme to pass the time.
My traveling companion (I'd say my pal) Kawasaki has been behaving and is giving me 50 mpg. Who knows, you may get lucky and I'll be left speechless by the beauty of the Great Plains.
In the 62 years I've been consuming corn -- popped, on the cob, candy corn, tortillas, chips, corn syrup and liquor -- I'm sure I haven't eaten more than an acre's worth, tops two.
Spent most of yesterday crossing Missouri on Route 70, a nondescript stretch of highway notable mostly for its gentle undulations -- like a kiddie roller-coaster -- and the amazing number of billboards atop 50-foot stanchions lining both sides of the road. The pace is going well enough that I'm giving up the interstates for the smaller, slower roads.
The drawback to abandoning the interstate is no longer having the shelter of the underpasses when there's rain or lightning.
98 degrees yesterday, possibly higher today, and the engine I'm straddling ups it even further. But, as they tell you at the beginning or end of many church services, "This is the day we are given.
Drove up into the Bighorn Mountains yesterday to get some relief -- and it did knock 10 or 15 degrees off. Spotted a fluid leak from my rear axle, which is a concern because I have limited tools with me and even less know-how. But I remember seeing it in 1952 and unless they've added some guys up there, I figure I'm covered. This stark, barren topography of northern Wyoming looks so familiar to me, and I realize it's from that 1952 trip when the Old Man drove Mom and us four boys out here to see the national parks. Traveling in the car with him was like being confined in tight quarters with a very cranky grizzly bear.
Aside from the 1,500 miles of lush farmland from Ohio to Nebraska and the Bighorns, I liked the Black Hills of South Dakota lots -- if you erase the tourist towns of Custer, Sulphur Springs and Keystone, which are pure kitsch.
Last night I drove far afield and couldn't make it back to a population center where they might have brand-name lodging -- Holiday Inn, etc.
The large dining was was empty except for five young waitresses on break, sitting at a round table with a quiet young fellow about their age.
The youngest and smallest of the ladies -- I'd say she'd just finished high school, or was about to -- came over and asked if it was cold outside. Then she grabbed a telephone and called her boss, who apparently had composed and printed the menu. The other waitresses had jumped up and gone through the entire supply of new menus, only finding the a€?bubesa€? misprint in four of them.
I pulled out a map to occupy myself: Yes, I was the one who found the typo, but I was laying low on this topic. Still bothered by the SUV rollover I came upon three days ago high in the Bighorn National Park.
The lone occupant of the vehicle, a Jordanian student working at a park resort for the summer, had multiple and truly grave injuries -- fractures, gashes, internal bleeding that was bloating his belly.
Although successive people held his hand and tried to encourage him -- and a passing doctor and EMT specialist did all they could -- what he really needed was an operating room, quick.
So he lay in agony alongside the road for almost two hours until an ambulance arrived from a town 30 miles down below and carried him to a patch of road that was flat and open enough for a medevac helicopter to put down.
As for the rodeo action, for me it was like expecting to see the Yankees and getting the Newark Bears -- not even a€?single-Aa€? ball. Many lassoes were flung but few calves were roped, barrels mostly got knocked over in the circle-the-barrels horse races, and nearly every cowboy immediately got bounced off the bucking broncos and bulls. The most fun of the night was when they invited all kids 12 and under to the arena floor to win a prize for snatching ribbons ribbons tied to the tails of three calves running loose.
I was hoping the boy, who appeared bright enough to do it, would remind him that New Hampshire was one of the original colonies, but maybe he was too polite. The Testicle Festival near Missoula, Mont., is in mid-August this year, and I'll be long gone. So many bikers around the South Dakota-Montana-Wyoming junction that everyone's a€?quit waving. The road west through the Lolo Pass into the Bitterroot Mountains overlies, in part, the path of the Lewis and Clark Expedition of 1805-06. For me, to travel over the same ground covered by these 32 brave and resourceful men (never forgetting the remarkable Sacajewea with her baby) is an electric experience. For me, to drive along this pathway -- now Route 12 -- was a privilege and an honor I can't properly put into words. The journals of Lewis and Clark are among the great American documents and the best kind of adventure tale -- a true story experienced by people we hope we could emulate. Two of them were in a motel in Grand Island, Neb., two in a passing car in South Dakota and one in a roadside softball game in Nevada. True, I haven't gone through any real cities, but I'm wracking my brain and I can't recall seeing any other African-Americans. In the category of What Else Is New?: a€?In Riggins, Idaho, a rough-feeling former mining town on the Salmon River, now a a€?summer rafting center, a 50-ish tourist I'd seen an hour earlier strolling on the street a€?lurches away from the Salmon Inn, a billiards joint that sells beer and pizza.
Rolled my bike out of my brother-in-law's San Diego garage, reset the odometer to zero from the 5,060 miles recorded on the westbound leg, and I'm off!
The terrain turns bleak just a handful of miles east of San Diego: Barrenness, rock piles, occasional scrawny bushes. In this visual monotony, the mind drifts and I recall driving past a menacing looking blockhouse of a bar in San Diego that had a foot-square white sign on its door. From Yuma east to Tucson is Moon-like landscape with scrub brush and mountains in the distance. Had the joy, in the far outskirts of Phoenix, of spending eight hours or so talking with Bil Canfield, the best cartoonist The Star-Ledger and before that The Newark Evening News, ever had. Drove -- and drove some more -- east through the startling sprawl that is Phoenix and into the Pinal Mountains. I drove nearly all the way across New Mexico staring at the a€?skies: Fortunately, the straightness of Interstate 10 let me do it without a€?wrecking.
I know it's a vestige of my time in the military, but I have a great a€?aversion to people in uniforms.
Well, this strip above the Mexican border-- from California across to Texas -- is positively crawling with uniforms. You see them in McDonald's, they're racing around in trucks, they're in helicopters scouring the desert, they're at random checkpoints miles north of the border. The waitress was a bubbly local girl named Cindy who was pleasant enough but had a voice so shrill it pierced to the bone. There's a lot of guys in these parts driving pickup trucks in what I would call a hostile manner. The 140 miles of Route 180 north from El Paso to the Guadelupe Mountains National Park are little-traveled but gorgeous. I left the bike on the shoulder of the highway and walked off 100 feet to try capturing the scene with my camera. He gives me the exact mileages, tells me how long it'll take to get there, says where to turn en route and notes that there's 18 miles of construction along the way but it shouldn't slow me down.
The sky heading north into West Texas was all bright and blue except for one dark patch, which grew larger as I rolled onward As the black area expanded I could see lightning strikes and columns of rain in its core. I sped up -- to 90 mph at one point -- figuring I would outrun it or outflank it, but the storm always stayed directly before me.
While I was struggling to put a tarp over the bike, a blocky lady sheriff in a gray-panted uniform ran out of the diner to her cruiser. I covered my bike, took a photo of the nastiest looking sky I've ever seen and sprinted to the safety of the diner. The young fellow, wearing a Texas Tech T-shirt, brushed dead flies off my table next to the front window. Half a dozen were bouncing against the window pane and others were flitting on and off about every surface in the place. I ordered a coffee and burger and waited, taking comfort in being in a safe place with a kid who seemed to understand weather conditions I didn't.
In another few minutes I gave up trying to clear my helmet visor by hand: I lifted it and took the rain in my face.
I couldn't judge which way the storm was traveling, so there was no evasive actiona€?to take. I spent the better part of one day crossing the length of Oklahoma east to west with a 30 mph blow going on. Finally, Cheryl got them all up and busy, filling sugar bowls and wiping down chairs in advance of lunch, and I left.
So many bikers around the South Dakota-Montana-Wyoming junction that everyone's quit waving.
I'm saving one Butte mystery for another visit: How a bar in a blue-collar neighborhood next to the pitmine got the name Helsinki Yacht Club. I get the impression a lot of folks out here don't much care for Easterners, or maybe it's just me personally they don't like. In the category of What Else Is New?: In Riggins, Idaho, a rough-feeling former mining town on the Salmon River, now a summer rafting center, a 50-ish tourist I'd seen an hour earlier strolling on the street lurches away from the Salmon Inn, a billiards joint that sells beer and pizza. A A  Had the joy, in the far outskirts of Phoenix, of spending eight hours or so talking with Bil Canfield, the best cartoonist The Star-Ledger and before that The Newark Evening News, ever had.
A A A  Drove -- and drove some more -- east through the startling sprawl that is Phoenix and into the Pinal Mountains. A A A  I drove nearly all the way across New Mexico staring at the skies: Fortunately, the straightness of Interstate 10 let me do it without wrecking. A A  I know it's a vestige of my time in the military, but I have a great aversion to people in uniforms. A A  The waitress was a bubbly local girl named Cindy who was pleasant enough but had a voice so shrill it pierced to the bone. A A  There's a lot of guys in these parts driving pickup trucks in what I would call a hostile manner. A A  The 140 miles of Route 180 north from El Paso to the Guadelupe Mountains National Park are little-traveled but gorgeous. A A  I left the bike on the shoulder of the highway and walked off 100 feet to try capturing the scene with my camera. Jan Bohuslav Sobota died on May 2nd of 2012 and this is my remembrance of this fine man who was a friend and mentor to me. Each autumn, salmon return to the rivers of their birth a€“ there to spawn and once again trigger a renewal of the eternal passion play. Salmon that do eventually arrive at their destinations must once again compete a€“ this time for mates and to fight for access to the precious and very limited gravels.
The profligate expenditure of life and extravagant wealth of biology is there everywhere to behold, as Death dances lightly among the gathering throngs of fish, picking and choosing from among them; who from their number shall successfully spawn and who shall just be food for the gathering predators and scavengers. Spend a day in silence, walking among the spawning salmon, as they dig spawning redds, jockey for position and slash at competitors with those gaping, snaggletoothed, hooked jaws. Jan Bohuslav Sobota has died, while half a world away; I was preparing these etchings of Spawned Salmon and dedicating them to Jan, the lover of fish. The book you hold in your hands has evolved from my simply giving these etchings a second life in book form, to my using them as a vehicle for honoring a friendship of three decades.
In 1985, Jan and I had been corresponding for some months without ever meeting a€“ all quite distant and correct. A short bit of background on Jan Sobota to begin, but fear not; Ia€™ll soon be spinning anecdotes and thoughts on books as art a€“ celebrating Jana€™s life of course, telling a few stories out of school, but also straying into the personal and speculative in search of the meaning to be derived from the life and death of a friend.
Jana€™s father was a serious bibliophile and collector of fine books, who nurtured that same love of books in his son a€“ an appreciation that steadily grew, until he was apprenticed to master bookbinder Karel A ilinger in PlzeA?. The pivotal event in Jana€™s early life as a book artist was the posthumous retrospective exhibition of fellow Pilsener, Josef VA?chal in 1969.
Jan supported a family, sponsored workshops, exhibited widely, did conservation work on rare historic books, ran a gallery a€“ and on it went. What Jan did for contemporary bookbinding, was to act as a bridge between the traditionally trained masters of the past and innovators of the present. America was a great place to be a book artist in the early 1980a€™s precisely because it was an active zone of hybridization and hotbed of creativity.
An instructive contrast to the anything-goes US scene was the icy reception I got when I showed a wooden box containing loose sheets of poetry and etchings to a Prague publisher.


Neither Jan nor I had much interest in the book-like objects that often sneak into the museums as book arts a€“ the carved and glued together things that sorta, kinda have a bookish aspect to them a€“ rough-looking a€“ perhaps chain-sawed Oaken boards or granite slabs, slathered in tar and lashed together with jute; but lacking text.
When Jana€™s books went beyond function, conservation or decoration, they were subtle statements about binding and the place of books, knowledge and art, as well as statements about the dignity inhering in the handcrafted - with a good dose humor.
There are others who know their conservation and those, whose scientific contributions are far greater, but few of them are also artists at heart. It can sound so pedestrian, these eternal compromises between art and craft, yet what Jan represented was not at all common. There is an inflection point at which exceptional craft begins to make the transition to art and it is closely associated with surmounting the limitations inhering to the discipline. Visiting with Jan in his workshop you quickly realized, that he did what a professional must, but ultimately, he just loved messing about with books. A curiously protean hybrid of artist and craftsman, ancient and modern, one cannot think of Jan without seeing an unabashed Czech patriot in a foreign land.
Early on in their stay in Cleveland, the Sobotas experienced the quintessential American disaster. Even after their medical debts were retired, money was still an issue for a family of immigrants with three kids a€“ two with special needs. Later on, when they were living in Texas, the massacre at Waco opened Jana€™s eyes to yet another difficult side of his adopted home.
In 1979, I apprenticed with Jindra Schmidt, an engraver of stamps and currency, living in Prague.
Schmidt had engraved stamps for Bulgaria, Iraq, Ethiopia, Albania, Guinea, Vietnam and Libya.
In 1992, Jindra Schmidt was honored for his contributions and depicted on the last stamp of a united Czechoslovakia, before it split into Czech and Slovak republics a€“ a fitting tribute. Unlike most children of immigrants, my destiny remained connected to that of my parentsa€™ homeland.
My vocation as artist clarified itself in Prague while learning the increasingly obsolete skills of steel engraving. My first book was indeed, modeled after VA?chal, even to the extent of its diabolical subject matter. Jan showed me a great deal in the following years about the tradition of books as the meeting place of art, craft and ideas a€“ where printmaking intergrades seamlessly with the worlds of language, typography and illustration. One can like these things just fine and admire them from an uncomprehending distance, or you can become engaged.
The book you hold was to have been a simple reprint of the Spawned Salmon a€“ something fun for Jan to work his magic upon.
Nice sentimental reminiscences, but there is still the matter of getting the work accomplished and out before the public, organizing exhibitions, printing catalogs and paying for transatlantic flights.
The Prague show was reconfigured and curated by Jana€?s longtime friend, Ilja A edo, for exhibition at the West Bohemian Museum in PlzeA?. Quite predictably, I like seeing the kind of work I do honored a€“ the wood engravings and etchings made to shine in the context of crisply printed type and an excellent binding. Ia€™ve heard printmakers lament that the surest way to devalue prints is to add excellent poetry, sensitive typography and a bang-up binding a€“ and then live to see the whole thing sell for half the price of just the unbound prints. Therea€™s nothing quite like seventeenth century Bohemia, the dead center of Europe, for particularly thorough violence a€“ with the Bubonic Plague stepping in afterwards as mop-up crew.
The chapel at Sedlec was rebuilt after the major blood-letting of the thirty-years war as a memento mori a€“ reminder of death.
What can you say about the mounds of dead, the ruined lives, destroyed nations and misery multiplied by millions that isna€™t trite or self-evident? But then I pan over to other fields a€“ not the kind where the grass is composting my fellow man, but to fields of endeavor where the ferment is of ideas recombining into ever more refined ways of thinking. I once lived at the Golem house in Prague a€“ at Meislova ulice, number 8, in the old Jewish ghetto. Horoscopes might seem a curious basis on which to select ministers and diplomats, but it is also more common than youa€™d think.
Picture the scene before you: Ita€™s a late night in Prague, before the Marlboro man dominated every street corner, even before the neon of casinos and the vulgarity of Golden Arches assaulted the nightwalkersa€™ eyes at all hours a€“ back when darkness, oh yes, that beautiful comforting velvety, all-enveloping and blessed dark, broken only by the moon, stars and late night taxis, still ruled the streets after the sun went down. The Golem was a mythic being of Jewish folklore, created from clay and quickened by the Shem, a magical stone engraved with an ancient Hebraic inscription, inserted into Golema€™s forehead. The maternal tongues of these small nations have miraculously survived all the invasions, floods, plagues and foreign occupiers to this day a€“ a gift preserved and delivered to them across the generations. Minority languages, on the other hand, carry an emotional load that can scarcely be exaggerated. Ishi and his sister were the last of the Yahi tribe to survive the genocidal colonization of California. Those whose language and culture are not threatened can never know the burden under which the carriers of small minority languages labor a€“ nor how those in exile bring up their children to preserve that which is beyond their capacities to save. Jan was all about preserving traditions and the kind of ancestral knowledge that today is mostly enshrined in books. Today, the stories of our tribes are less and less passed on as oral tradition and most often read to us from the childrena€™s books wea€™ve learned to treasure a€“ illustrated by fine artists and produced with care for the highly discriminating purchasers of childrena€™s books a€“ for grandparents.
A?epelA?k employed binders and typesetters to present complete suites of his work and in this too, he introduced me to a new world. Later in Prague I missed my flight back, due to the World Trade Center bombing and was delayed by a week. The difficult thing to bear in acknowledging my teachers, models, heroes, suppliers and inspirations, is that these masters of the crafts and industries surrounding and supporting the book arts are mostly deceased. The fruit we seek is not fast food, but laden with full-bodied flavors, attained by slow natural processes. All of us come from grandfathers who once were wheelwrights, cobblers or instrument makers; men with a profound love of wood and leather, who knew the working qualities of every kind of obscure tree growing in their countryside a€“ men who knew when to reach for elm or hickory a€“ as well as for goat, dog or even fish-skins.
Jan spoke fondly of his grandmother, who baked bread every week of the year to feed an entire estate a€“ farm hands, livery people, gentry, trainers and hod-carriers alike. Working consciously is the ultimate goal a€“ and that is the legacy youa€™ll find evidently contained within and upon the boards of every book bound by Jan Bohuslav Sobota.
The etchings you see here first came to life as illustrations for the wedding anniversary announcements of MA­la and Jaroslav KynA?l.
Jan Bohuslav Sobota died on May 2nd of 2012 and this is my remembrance of this fine man who was a friend and mentor to me.A  He was an exceptional bookbinder, teacher and promoter of the book arts, but also an exile who successfully returned home after years abroad. The Arizona student, who attended Red Mountain High School, exposed his genitals in his high schoola€™s varsity football team photo after being dared to do so by a teammate.
These words were spoken by Prince Michael Ivanovich to his brother Peter, who was governor of a province in Central Russia. The look had at once been masked by an expression of unapproachable pride, and he had begun to question her about their flat, and the price she paid. When he retired to the room which had been made ready for him, and was just beginning to take out his artificial teeth, some one tapped lightly on the door with two fingers. His daughtera€”hisa€”brought up in the house of her mother, the famous Avdotia Borisovna, whom the Empress honoured with her visits, and acquaintance with whom was an honour for all the world! He saw her again, a little thing of eight or nine, bright, intelligent, lively, impetuous, graceful, with brilliant black eyes and flowing auburn hair. He thought of his jealous love when she came coquettishly to him dressed for a ball, and knowing that she was pretty.
Then the horrid recollection of the scene with his wife came to him; their surmises and their suspicions, which became a certainty. He recoiled with terror before the incomprehensible fact of her downfall, and he hated her for the agony she was causing him. On the one hand, she saw poverty which was real and repulsive, and a sham poverty even more repulsive and pitiable; on the other, she saw the terrible indifference of the lady patronesses who came in carriages and gowns worth thousands. Every word they spoke was invested by these smiles with a profound and wonderful significance. But, when terror first seized her, the invisible threads that bound them were already so interwoven that she had no power to tear herself free. She understood that she had not found in him what she had sought; that which she had once known in herself and in Koko.
She fell ill, and the efforts of the doctors were unavailing; in her hopelessness she resolved to kill herself. It was real life, and despite the torture of it, had the possibility been given her, she would not have turned back from it. Somehow she planned and arranged it all, leaving her home and settling in a distant provincial town, where no one could find her, and where she thought she would be far from her people. He entered his brother's study, and handed him the cheque, filled in for a sum which he asked him to pay in monthly instalments to his daughter.
It was too unbearable, this preparation to meet her, and any explanation seemed impossible.
And when he saw himself as he was, he realised how he had wronged her, how guilty he had been in his pride, in his coldness, even in his anger towards her.
I did have a deer bound in front of me on Route 80 in Pennsylvania but my horn-honking turned him. But these cornfields stretch outwards hundreds and hundreds of miles from here (Grand Island, Neb.). I think it's to find some little bit of company and comfort out among all the larger vehicles.
Without that cover overhead, you're on open country roads getting soaked and -- worse -- sitting on a big piece of metal that attracts electrical charges. Forecast for the next four days where I'm going in Montana-Idaho is for the same temp, with chances of afternoon thunderstorms. The look of the Bighorn National Forest is austere, powerful, vast, a lot of rock faces with detritus heaps below.
I was concerned the fuel injector wouldn't automatically adjust to these changes in altitude (4,500 feet on the high desert to 9,000 in the Bighorns), but it's purring wherever I take it. Rushmore the other day but didn't make the effort to go see it, which sounds vaguely anti-American even to me.
It was hard traveling, especially to make a two-week 4,000-mile round trip like the Old Man did, as the lone driver. But he did want us to see places maybe most kids didn't and I think he wanted to make us adventurous. The formula for making them would be: Take a sea of sand about 200 miles across, stir it up a bit so you get rounded, swelling waves, top it with tall grass, sprinkle lightly with black Angus cattle and every mile or so plunk down a windmill to draw water for the cattle.
As I ate, dust clouds from the adjacent road being repaved swirled around the parking lot, a crushed root beer cup was whirling in irregular circles near the table, and in the distance, jagged lightning bolts among the dark clouds atop the Bighorns.
I explained that my leather jacket wasn't for warmth, but for padding, in case I fell off the bike. The last thing I am is a flag waver, but when the pennants of the rodeo's sponsors -- Coca-Cola, Dairy Queen, Pinnacle Bank, the U.S.
Picking their way along Indian trails and bushwhacking through the towering evergreens, Lewis and Clark had no idea how deep this forest would be, only that the Pacific lay somewhere ahead.
I stopped along the way to read every historical marker, each keying the location to a specific entry in the two expedition leaders' daily journal. With this kind of light ahead, I think I'll need shades every morning till about 10:00 all the way home.
Then the Imperial Valley, which is inhuman in its sterile, mass-production agriculture way. The landscape is all creosote bushes about 20 feet apart and occasional gray rock ridges sticking out of the dust like the dorsals of buried lizards. Who's more manly, Hulk Hogan or Mahatma Gandhi, who probably couldn't bench-press two Wheaties boxes on a stick but helped topple the British Empire?
I assume folks come here to warm their old bones -- it gets to 115 degrees in summer -- and stretch their savings.
The old copper mining towns of Miami and Globe have great potential for photos but the light was wrong and I couldn't wait for it to get right. Billowing several thousand feet in the air, it a€?looks like the product of the largest explosion that ever was, but it a€?doesn't float away or change in any way. The driver was from Utah -- and a look-alike for actor Charles Laughton -- who had doubled back to see if I needed help. If my bike had been disabled, he'd have committed himself to driving me 75 miles to arrange for repair, and he knew that. I veered off the road next to a small town's grain elevator, which I thought might give me some cover.
Its occupants turned out be a skinny kid in charge, who stood about six-foot-six, somebody working the kitchen, me, and about a thousand flies. After about half an hour the kid said, "If you're goin' to Lubbock, you should be all right now.
I could still see a thin strip of blue sky and sunshine before me along the horizon, but raindrops began pelting my windshield. Hailstones began to mix in with the rain, pellets about the size of peas ricocheting off my plastic windshield and helmet. I was hanging off the right side of the seat and still had to tilt the bike a couple degrees in that direction to counter-act the northbound wind.
As I ate, dust clouds from the adjacent road being repaved swirled around the parking lot, a crushed root beer cup was whirling in irregular circles near the table, and in the distance,A  jagged lightning bolts among the dark clouds atop the Bighorns.
Someone has popped him on the cheekbones as perfectly as as you can be punched -- pinpoint shots.
Billowing several thousand feet in the air, it looks like the product of the largest explosion that ever was, but it doesn't float away or change in any way. There they encounter resident trout and bass a€“ even sunfish, chubs and dace, all keyed into the increasingly plentiful and highly nutritious bounty of salmon eggs. Situated 90A km south-west of Prague at the confluence of four rivers, PlzeA? is first recorded in writings from the tenth century.
That vision was about innovation and creativity within the context of an historical tradition. This is what youa€™ll see in a Sobota binding a€“ exceptional attention paid to context and relationships, using materials and technical means that do indeed function and last. He knew his work was valuable and documented it fastidiously a€“ confident that it would be last. There was, however, nothing about his nationalism that demeaned anybody elsea€™s traditions or origins.
That smallish incident within the parade of American fringe politics elicited an insanely violent level of suppression. Masaryk a€“ and the cute little girl with a bouquet of flowers, is my mother Eva, at the age of three. Schmidta€™s income from the federal mint far exceeded anybody elsea€™s in the extended family and supported a network of cars, cottages and rent-controlled flats. Schmidt, as he preferred to be called, was a man of conservative demeanor who preferred polite and reserved forms of speech and address. While visiting their unassuming engraver and extending my tourist visa 30 days at a time, I was quietly becoming qualified for life as a counterfeiter a€“ a vocation within which, one is set for life, however it may eventually turn out.
Jan allowed several binders to have their way with it a€“ amo boxes for slipcases with shell casings for hinges and so forth. This next incarnation of our exhibit in PlzeA? was all just a bit more prosaic and provincial. Is it the binding we consider and exhibit a€“ or is the binding there to conserve a text, which is ultimately the point? There are also binders to whom everything else is merely the text block, who care little if it is an offset trade edition or a book made by hand. The tales therein recorded reflected the accreted wisdom and wit of a people as they retold them across the highlands in modest log cottages after the harvest was in. The way of working belongs to the Sobota vision I addressed earlier a€“ the honor and soul to be found in conscientiously made handcrafts. I dona€™t feel that accomplished or ready to assume their mantle and yet with every generation that is what must happen.
Gravels, with just the right flow of fresh water running up through stones of the right size are but a tiny portion of the riverbed.A  The salmon must struggle past cities and sewer pipes, farms and irrigation systems, dams and turbines, fishermen and waterfalls a€“ just to reach the streams of their birth. The photo was then published in the schoola€™s yearbook a€” somehow without a single person noticing. Thankfully, Bloomberg Politics compiled all of them, named some of them, and set it all to the tune of that classic waltz, "The Blue Don-ube." Enjoy! Petersburg; and the younger, Lisaa€”his favourite, who had disappeared from home a year before.


She was pretty, but her hair was always carelessly dressed, and she herself was untidy and absent-minded.
His daughtera€”; and he had lived his life as a knight of old, knowing neither fear nor blame.
He remembered how she used to jump up on his knees and hug him, and tickle his neck; and how she would laugh, regardless of his protests, and continue to tickle him, and kiss his lips, his eyes, and his cheeks.
He dreaded the passionate glances which fell upon her, that she not only did not understand but rejoiced in. She was a familiar figure, beautifula€”but her first youth had passed, and she had become somehow part of the ball-room furniture. The calamity had happened in Finland, where they had let her visit her aunt; and the culprit was an insignificant Swede, a student, an empty-headed, worthless creaturea€”and married. He remembered the conversation with his sister-in-law, and tried to imagine how he might forgive her. Music, too, when they were listening together, or when they sang duets, became full of the same deep meaning. Her father, so she thought, had cast her away from him, and she longed passionately to live and to have done with play.
To kill oneself because of what the world might say was easy; but the moment she saw her own life dissociated from the world, to take that life was out of the question. She began to pray, but there was no comfort in prayer; and her suffering was less for herself than for her father, whose grief she foresaw and understood. But, unfortunately, her father's brother received an appointment there, a thing she could not possibly foresee.
He was glad that it was he who was guilty, and that he had nothing to forgive, but that he himself needed forgiveness.
She opened her eyes very wide; and, not taking them from her father's face, remained hesitating and motionless. Driving through the puddles on the highway was a little unnerving but there were no overpasses for shelter, so I had to keep going.
Louis for Night 3, but otherwise it's been just the banter with waitresses and gas station folks. I got out the sturdy Pope Paul II church key someone gave me (OK, I bought it) and used it as a kind of giant screwdriver to tighten the fluid cover. I drove hundreds of miles out of my way to get there because it was billed across the state as a hi-grade rodeo. They bolted and the kids chased them every which way, sprawling in the dirt and whatever else was on the ground. When I walked away from the bike to take photos I found a€?myself straining to get enough oxygen. Winter was approaching, and the party's hunters were having no success in finding game on the steep slopes of these unending woods. Lassen, Calif., to visit with my buddy of five decades Ted and his wife Carolyn, then wrap it up with two broiling days down Veggie Valley (California's Route 5) to San Diego. Don't know if you have to bring your own water: I sure didn't pass over a flowing stream or see a lake for a couple hundred miles. Bil suffers from Blatt's Sydrome, wherein the body ages normally but the mind never makes it past 18 -- well, maybe 15 in Bil's case.
The place bored me quickly: Only the cowboy hats distinguish this casino from the the East Coast brand. The pluses with a bike are limited to the physicality of the travel -- if you like that -- and a natural buzz from rolling along out in the open. When I walked away from the bike to take photos I found myself straining to get enough oxygen. This widely beloved stamp was re-issued in 2000 and mother continues to receive philatelic fan mail to this day. He died the day I was composing a colophon for the Spawned Salmon with words of praise for his lifea€™s work. Towards every one, excepting the children, whom he treated with almost reverent tenderness, he adopted an attitude of distant hauteur. She had, also, the strangest, most unaristocratic ideas, by no means fitting in the wife of a high official. She continued to regard him with the same gentle, imploring look in her blue eyes, sighing even more deeply. The fact that he had a natural son born of a Frenchwoman, whom he had settled abroad, did not lower his own self-esteem.
He was naturally opposed to all demonstration, but this impetuous love moved him, and he often submitted to her petting. Michael Ivanovich remembered how he had realised that she was on the road to spinsterhood, and desired but one thing for her. He remembereda€”it was not so very long ago, for she was more than twenty thena€”her beginning a flirtation with a boy of fourteen, a cadet of the Corps of Pages who had been staying with them in the country. Petersburga€”this animal existence that never sounded the depths, but only touched the shallows of life. She yearned for something real, for life itselfa€”not this playing at living, not this skimming life of its cream.
Somehow, she herself did not know how that terrible fascination of glances and smiles began, the meaning of which cannot be put into words.
She hoped that he would not make use of his power; yet all the while she vaguely desired it. This he promised to do; but when she met him next he said it was impossible for him to write just then.
She really desired to take her life, and imagined that she had irrevocably decided on the step.
For four months she had been living in the house of a midwifea€”one Maria Ivanovna; and, on learning that her uncle had come to the town, she was preparing to fly to a still remoter hiding-place.
She took him to her tiny room, and told him how she lived; but she did not show him the child, nor did she mention the past, knowing how painful it would be to him.
After half minute of mayhem, the boy who had grabbed the first ribbon brought his proof to the announcer in the center of the arena. About 17 years old, he's attempting to a€?grow a beard but it's a€?sketchy and mostly fuzz. And the clouds, which are soft and thinnish at eye level, become brilliant white, three-dimensional puffs directly above.
I thought maybe they had given me the plexiglass model from the a€?food showcase in the lobby and slathered barbecue sauce on it. I thought maybe they had given me the plexiglass model from the food showcase in the lobby and slathered barbecue sauce on it.
The engraving was masterfully done by Schmidta€™s long-dead colleague, Bohumil Heinz (1894-1940). The state security apparatus was surely aware of my presence, but if they kept tabs on me, I never knew. And yet it was so natural to him that every one somehow acknowledged his right to be haughty. These ideas she would express most unexpectedly, to everybody's astonishment, her husband's no less than her friends'.
And now this daughter, for whom he had not only done everything that a father could and should do; this daughter to whom he had given a splendid education and every opportunity to make a match in the best Russian societya€”this daughter to whom he had not only given all that a girl could desire, but whom he had really LOVED; whom he had admired, been proud ofa€”this daughter had repaid him with such disgrace, that he was ashamed and could not face the eyes of men!
He must get her married off as quickly as possible, perhaps not quite so well as might have been arranged earlier, but still a respectable match.
Sometimes they would argue, but the moment their eyes met, or a smile flashed between them, the discussion remained far behind. So, obtaining some poison, she poured it into a glass, and in another instant would have drunk it, had not her sister's little son of five at that very moment run in to show her a toy his grandmother had given him. The train left at seven in the evening, giving him time for an early dinner before leaving. I ate my Papaburger Special at a giant picnic table in front of the place, joined by by six unruly kids who piled out of a van from Missouri. A redhead, a€?about 30, who Ia€™d seen walking with him earlier, chases after him for a a€?while, a€?calling his name.
A redhead, about 30, who Ia€™d seen walking with him earlier, chases after him for a while, calling his name.
Everything is just so wonderful and everybody so creative, but suspending judgment long enough to actually look at some artwork and then giving it a chance isna€™t so bankrupt, is it? Human body parts are again flying and the Baron is at his best defeating Turks and evading friendly fire from buffoonish generals. Farmers would occasionally find their possessions and take them as souvenirs, unaware that the last Indians still lived in their midst. Damn the cost; ita€™s who we are and the last material vestiges of soulful encounters with our elders a€“ onea€™s whose stories are slipping inexorably away, thinned by each passing year and generation. Their kids were grown and they were by then slipping into that last, reflective phase of life a€“ done competing. To remember all this, when that sweet child had become what she now was, a creature of whom he could not think without loathing.
She had become more and more fascinated by her own success in the round of gaieties she lived in. Then how she had rebuked her father severely, coldly, and even rudely, when, to put an end to this stupid affair, he had sent the boy away. In the tall, strong figure of this man, with his fair hair and light upturned moustache, under which shone a smile attractive and compelling, she saw the promise of that life for which she longed. The following day he wrote to her, telling her that he was already married, though his wife had left him long since; that he knew she would despise him for the wrong he had done her, and implored her forgiveness. Forgetting everything, his baseness and deceit, her mother's querulousness, and her father's sorrow, she smiled. He breakfasted with his sister-in-law, who refrained from mentioning the subject which was so painful to him, but only looked at him timidly; and after breakfast he went out for his regular morning walk.
Summit reminded me a€?of the fjord area around Bergen, Norway -- no trees, just rock and some hardy a€?vegetation. He had a€?fond memories of the place, which police shuttered in 1982 after 100 years of operation.a€?a€?Went out for a beer in Uptown, but the bars were too raucous. She gives up after 100 feet, turns and runs back to throw her a€?arms around the neck of the guy who did the thrashing, a very beefy fellow about a€?25 in a muscle T-shirt. Summit reminded me of the fjord area around Bergen, Norway -- no trees, just rock and some hardy vegetation. He had fond memories of the place, which police shuttered in 1982 after 100 years of operation.Went out for a beer in Uptown, but the bars were too raucous. She gives up after 100 feet, turns and runs back to throw her arms around the neck of the guy who did the thrashing, a very beefy fellow about 25 in a muscle T-shirt. These scraps turned out to be a deck of medieval playing cards - the second oldest such cards known. A book is so much more than the sum of its parts a€“ and yet each of us tends to have our own bailiwick in which we shine and to which we look first. And then the smiles and glances, the hope of something so incredibly beautiful, led, as they were bound to lead, to that which she feared but unconsciously awaited. She shuddered at the recollection that she was on the point of killing it, together with herself. These plates have been inked and wiped by hand, employing methods that woulda€™ve been familiar to Rembrandt. She said she loved him; that she felt herself bound to him for ever whether he was married or not, and would never leave him. Negatively, entire working class neighborhoods were gobbled up by the mining company as a€?the pit expanded.a€?The Uptown District is on the National Register of Historic Places but that's a€?not doing much for its current economic health.
Negatively, entire working class neighborhoods were gobbled up by the mining company as the pit expanded.The Uptown District is on the National Register of Historic Places but that's not doing much for its current economic health. They crashed with my wife Jana and me in Kalamazoo, while taking the a€?orientation coursea€?nearby. I can confidently report back to my English reader, that Jan would only grow in stature for you, if you could have fully understood the subtlety of his thoughts in his own maternal tongue. She grew more and more depressed, and in this gloomy mood she went to visit an aunt in Finland. The next time they met he told her that he and his parents were so poor that he could only offer her the meanest existence. They're trying to restore the a€?district but it still looks worn, like the subjects of an Edward Hopper painting. They're trying to restore the district but it still looks worn, like the subjects of an Edward Hopper painting. Perhaps right for those who shouldna€™t have sharp objects, for fear of hurting themselves. That show was purchased whole by Special Collections at Western Michigan University and constitutes the largest collection of Sobota bindings and the most complete archive of my work.
The fresh scenery and surroundings, the people strangely different to her own, appealed to her at any rate as a new experience. She answered that she needed nothing, and was ready to go with him at once wherever he wished.
I love Hopper.a€?I stayed at the Mindlen Hotel, a 1924 knockoff of the now-demolished Astor a€?Hotel in NYC, but this version's only nine stories tall.
I love Hopper.I stayed at the Mindlen Hotel, a 1924 knockoff of the now-demolished Astor Hotel in NYC, but this version's only nine stories tall. Few people would have cast a second glance at that glued-up mess of moldering old papers before pitching it, nor would they have recognized what they had in hand or known how to restore or sell it. The Mindlen's been a€?restored to its a€?original condition, which was that of a fine businessmen's hotel.
The Mindlen's been restored to its original condition, which was that of a fine businessmen's hotel. These folks were a profound blessing to a family facing some truly rough sailing a€“ a Godsend. Schmidt had worked was signed with warm dedications to him and thus worth real money to collectors. He wanted to see the printmaker in me come to full fruition and I wanted to be worthy of his attentions. The family has dwelled within sight of the seats of power, pushing copper plates through a press and outlived the Hapsburg Monarchy, First Republic, Nazis and Communists. The intact packages were still there on their shelves, all duly graded, labeled and priced, awaiting an owner who was never to return. But to live on with this secret, with occasional meetings, and merely corresponding with him, all hidden from her family, was agonising, and she insisted again that he must take her away. Tall-columned a€?lobby, chandeliers, marble floors.a€?I didn't detect there were any other guests with me on the second floor, which a€?is maybe why I slept so well. Tall-columned lobby, chandeliers, marble floors.I didn't detect there were any other guests with me on the second floor, which is maybe why I slept so well. Back home, their Czech neighbors would have envied them and accused them of theft or worse, but people here seemed to be pleased as punch to see them prosper a€“ genuinely happy for them. Those items too, kept trickling out the door, until there came a sad, sad day, when the golden eggs were all gone. Petersburg, he wrote promising to come, and then letters ceased and she knew no more of him.
They bashfully admitted their foolishness and went back to making beautiful books a€“ and their American friends were so relieved to see them regain their sanity. You take time to grieve and then pick yourself up by your bootstraps (by God a€“ get a grip) and get on with it (Rome wasna€™t built in a day you know). StrejA?ek was still working, but it was all coming to an inevitable end, as he grew shaky of hand and hard of seeing. Enriched by my days of being nurtured by Prague, Matkou MA›st (Mother of Cities), I moved on to meet my destiny with art.



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