Friday, October 30, 2015

Nov 2015

Sunny & hot in San Antonio...

Yes, Texas. Twas my university reunion... a Big Event.Trinity University is alma mater to a slew of us still around to talk about it. It's mostly perched atop the cliff of an old quarry. From there one can see for miles around, including the San Antonio skyline. That's why it's called the Skyline Campus. That's the upper campus. The lower campus sits at the bottom of that cliff face. All beautiful and dramatic. The school itself started in 1869 and moved to its current campus in 1952 with buildings designed by now-famed architect, O'Neil Ford.

I attended the reunion with Phoebe, the woman I met during my time at Trinity. The woman you've seen on these pages before. She who now lives in Portland. She who weaves. For years Phoebe was among those who wove tapestries for Mark Adams, including these that now hang at the San Francisco airport Terminal 2. We were both sculpture majors at Trinity, under the tutelage of one Philip John Evett. The one and only. He's now retired from teaching. His current work is more vibrant than ever. Go see.

So: top pic shows Phoebe et moi as we wandered about in that 35° C (95° F) sun, Phoebe with Henry Moore (there's a Barbara Hepworth only a short walk away!), me with Evett, and lastly the now-remodelled and expanded art building where we spent so many hours drawing, painting, carving and welding all those years ago. Wandering the hallways and peering into the classroom-studios I felt the lure of The Work and memories of meeting others who also felt that lure then, too.

Evett's show here, was mounted to honour him during our reunion. Lots of us returned to stand with him again, to admire his work and just to remember. Somehow he remembered all of us.

After our reunion weekend, Phoebe and I adjourned to the gracious old Menger Hotel in downtown San Antonio, across the street from the Alamo. There we wandered the old-made-new River Walk and revisited some favourite haunts, including breakfast at Shilo's Delicatessen, a landmark for longer than even we can remember. PLUS, after all these years, I finally met Phoebe's three siblings! They joined us at the Menger and we meandered some more together and celebrated with some perfect Mexican food above the River at Mexican Manhattan.

I returned to a Don Valley that's gradually merging greens into oranges and yellows and daily adding more in preparation for just giving up and dropping everything until the light returns. I do love my Canadian seasons. Snow and ice, not so much.

Have a great Mo/November
Be sure to remember
To remember
On the eleventh:
Et al.
His birthday
And pleas
For humanity.

As former Trinity dean
Coleen Grissom reminded,
I entreat you with some
Always apropos
Kurt Vonnegut words:

I urge you to please notice when you are happy,
And exclaim or murmur or think at some point,

"If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.”

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Oct 2015

PDX threads found in New Jersey...

Kate and David (the David from Portland, not last month's David from Florence!) have bought a condo in Union City! Just next to Hoboken. The day they they got their keys they celebrated by planting their little square foot of old PDX carpet, Q.E.D.

Some of you might ask, What? Why? But you others know: originally designed by SRG Architects and installed in the Portland International Airport in 1987, Portlanders have since marked their departures and returns with pictures of their feet planted somewhere on the many acres of this carpet. Or their dog on the carpet. Or their donut on the carpet. These days the PDX carpet even has its own Instagram account where they post their images:

This year has marked retirement for the iconic carpet—much to the dismay of locals and visitors alike. I was fortunate to have seen the original carpet for myself when in Portland for Thanksgiving 2013. The new design uses similar colours, but it's not the same. Not the same at all. Google it.

The good news is that the old carpet has reappeared in many clever guises. This square, of course, but there are also framed squares and sling back chairs and magazine racks. Google them.

And speaking of Portland... Phoebe, now of Portland, and I are shortly going to our university reunion in San Antonio, Texas. We are all aflutter with excitement and plans. We hope to see friends and profs... in particular our scultpure prof, Philip John Evett:

But, back to Kate and David in Union City. They are busy painting and packing and dreading the overwhelming manual labour that is moving... all to come to fruition in these next three weeks... all while they're working full time. I invite all of you to join me in sending them happy and restful vibes.

Or you're welcome to just drop by their Brooklyn apartment and help them carry heavy boxes down the stairs!

Happy October ya'll.