A Joyful Noise in Winnipeg

The Winnipeg Folk Festival is an annual compass point for our family, an annual highlight.   This year was the 44th festival.  We’ve been to 38. We go to connect with friends and introduce our grandkids to the joys of a multicultural festival, just as we did with our own kids.  We also go to discover new acts, and sometimes get a nostalgic kick. There’s the … Continue reading A Joyful Noise in Winnipeg

Wild and Scenic, 50 years on.

Fifty years ago we weren’t sure.  The Wild and Scenic Rivers act was before Congress and if it passed the St. Criox, the boundary river between Minnesota and Wisconsin, was to be one of the first 8 rivers included in the system.  Landowners along the river would have restrictions on what they could build, especially if that building could be seen from the river.  The … Continue reading Wild and Scenic, 50 years on.

“THIS is why we’re American…  baseball.”

Bases loaded, one out, a long shot to center right, fielded on one bounce.  One run Sioux Falls Canary scores but with a great throw to third the St. Paul Saints turn a double play, third to second, inning over.  Jake turns to me and says “THIS is why we’re American…  baseball.” We are in the new 7,200 seat CHS stadium in Lower Town, downtown, … Continue reading “THIS is why we’re American…  baseball.”

Art Deco Hospital

I was born in a magnificent Art Deco hospital in Jersey City, the Margaret Hague Maternity (named after Boss Frank, “I am the law,” Hague’s mother) Hospital.  It was part of the Jersey City Medical Center.   The Art Deco medical center provided virtually free health care for all Jersey City residents.  Now it’s a condo called “The Beacon” and is not available to virtually all … Continue reading Art Deco Hospital

Victoria’s Totem Poles

One of my favorite walks in Sitka is through Sitka National Historical Park, we call it “Totem Park.”  I have been friends with many of the poles in the park since my first walk through in 1973.  In the 44 years since then I have made the acquaintance of several new poles, carved for different occasions, commemorating the Park Service, or the Battle of Sitka.  … Continue reading Victoria’s Totem Poles

King Street Station, Seattle

The first time I entered the King Street Station in Seattle was when I stepped off the “Coast Daylight/Starlight in 1973.”  A couple of days later Suzi and I got on the “Pacific International” to head to Vancouver.  The impression the station left me was of a dark cave.  The ceilings were too low, made of acoustic tile.  It was a chintzy modern interior that … Continue reading King Street Station, Seattle

Sustainable Propaganda (But Nice Pictures)

October 4, 2016 Much of our trip to Cuba is defined by conditions set by the late Senator Jesse Helms in the Helms-Burton act.  The act limits the conditions under which Americans can travel to Cuba.  We are here on a Person to Person, p2p, program.  Technically we cannot come as tourists but must come on an approved p2p itinerary.   It used to be that … Continue reading Sustainable Propaganda (But Nice Pictures)

Sailing into a Havana Sunset.

Our bus tour took us through different neighborhoods of Havana, through the Miramar and Vedado neighborhoods and we arrived at the pier in time to do a little shopping.  At each place we stopped the seller said “See you Saturday.”  We are not scheduled to return to Havana but Hurricane Matthew is headed toward Santiago in Eastern Cuba so it seems reasonable that we will … Continue reading Sailing into a Havana Sunset.

Cooperative Farm, Cowboys and Cheese

October 6 In many ways Cuba is not the type of Communist country I am used to.  I have traveled in the Soviet Union before the collapse and have visited various parts of the old Soviet empire both before and after the collapse. Cuba is not colorless gray world we encountered in, say, East Germany.  It is colorful and vibrant.  The customs and immigration people … Continue reading Cooperative Farm, Cowboys and Cheese

Waiting for Lunch in Cienfuegos, Communist Problem Solving

After the cooperative farm we are supposed to have lunch at a restaurant between the farm and town, about 20 km out of town.  When we get there two other buses from our ship are at the restaurant.  There is no room for us or the passengers off the bus that pulls in right after us.  The guide tells us we will have to wait … Continue reading Waiting for Lunch in Cienfuegos, Communist Problem Solving

The Second Sea Interlude — Revolutionary Graphics

October 7 This is our second sea day, but I have more time to write and process today, there will be three Sea Interludes today.  So all told we will have 4 Sea Interludes, just like Peter Grimes.  Today’s first, and the trips second, is about graphic art.  We saw a lot of revolutionary graphic art on our travels around Havana and Cienfuegos.  In this … Continue reading The Second Sea Interlude — Revolutionary Graphics

We Flee the Ghost of Jesse Helms, in a Studebaker

On Saturday, our final day in Cuba the “Impact” team had organized another p2p event for our extra day but Suzi and I both decided that after Cienfuegos we had enough of buses, even very nice air-conditioned Chinese buses, so we set off on our own “self guided” p2p tour.  I intend that this blog be part of the documentation in case the feds question … Continue reading We Flee the Ghost of Jesse Helms, in a Studebaker