I Love My Dead Uncle!

See: totally okay:)

9:53 AM (1 hour ago)

Contact BookWorks to see about classes re: letterpress and studio time to produce a first run of 50 compilations of excerpted text and images from this year. (Registering for three day workshop, Letterpress for the Writer, June 25-27 (kids’ll even be out of town with their travel obsessed father. It’ll work out just fine:) Going to layout a cover for the first run. (Current: Check)

Take tax return money out of bank and save for BookWorks/ DIY (as much as possible) production of first run.

Back up weblog to external harddrive.

Finish Cocoon #2 and prep branches. (Will post images of remarkable tiny+messy crochet. I don’t care if it’s remarkable to anyone other than me: that’s about all – at this point – I’m goin’ for with the making of anything I make – a very good point to have reached, finally.)

Urgh. Sort recyclables to drop off at work later. Stop thinking of the museum as work. Put books to drop at work (doh!) In backpack. Also, books from Fairview branch. Check out Look Homeward Angel

Emails for work. Urgh. Must. Do. Emails. (It’s like I type the name into the address field and my brain just goes surprisingly blank, it’s sort of awful and suffocating. I am avoiding it. I am being a bit squirrel-y lately. A little nervous. (See below re: the reassuring evidence of a nervous gene.)

Scan in Marcus Beck materials.

Current and crazily: the scanner scanned only his signature off the page, ridiculously enlarged (!) I didn’t even know my scanner could enlarge things to such a degree. Oh – wait – yeah, I did. The raccoon’s ear, months ago.)

My life frickin’ creeps me out sometimes. Ghost-y.

Transcribe excerpts. (Current: Check)

Make a point…somehow. (Current: Check – ish)

Call physician re: appt. See if Cobra enrollment forms arrived. Call dermatologist to put skin cancer fear away.

Wash wash. Put away dishes. Sweep porch. Take out trash. SCRUB bathrooms. Bills. (Urgh.) Put away kid clothes. Put up medicine chest in room. Pick up kids. Smile genuinely and listen to Neutral Milk Hotel while I drive them out to Fairview, not to drop them off and go to a meeting – but to spend the afternoon with my people…or to take a nap while my parents play with the kids…or to sort through more Marcus Beck…(that guy is breaking my heart!)…some combination thereof… (Current: Check-ish of the non-chore heavily NMH and family archives variety…and the smiling genuinely. That, too: Check.)

note to self: Run in field with children. Try not feel cliche’ – an ad for lines of credit. The advertising industry has really screwed up our perception of reality. Why the fuck should I think: “Priceless” everytime I hang out with my kids. I don’t even have a credit card! (Anymore:/ — still got the debt. Working out a “deal” with Citi to pay them 10.00 a month for the rest of my frickin’ life. Great.

Okay. Let’s do this thing.

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Current: These letters tell the story of 1917 and a wee bit afterward – until my great-great Uncle, Marcus Beck – died in World War 1.
Here is a photo my Uncle Marcus, who was dead fifty years before I was born.

Marcus Beck, posing with his jar of ink and an issue of Cartoons Magazine.

nervous

Note that my great-Grandfather, Clarence, “has gotten just a little nervous again” (The only reason my family ever lived in S. Georgia was because my great – Grandfather had to eventually leave Atlanta, due to his “nervousness.” The ‘nervous’ he felt on January 4th 1917 – when this letter was written – was response to his brother-in-law (Marcus) having fled the family home in Atlanta to travel to Jacksonville, Florida to work with a circus.

Marcus apparently ended up working at the DeSoto Restaurant, on Forsyth Street, downtown.

The Greyhound Station is now near there, if I recall correctly.


A letter from father pleading with Marcus not to
‘waste his life; distress and humiliate his parents.’
(January 3rd, 1917)

and a less pleading later letter…going to try to figure out what in the world was being planned. An escape, a recovery?

(…upon the back of a chair sat an old owl.)

Interestingly, it appears that Marcus was rejected from the Marines for Physical Disabilities in early May, 1917. He must’ve come home. Signed up – eventually with the Army (I think? The primary sources are pretty disorganized.) trained at Parris Island, SC (he spelled it Paris Island, though I am sure he knew the difference:) wrote a lot of letters to a girl named Frances and then died, not sure where or how…somewhere far away. I hope he felt like he was on a big adventure.

“Dear Frances, Here’s another one…”

(this was written while Marcus was in Jacksonville, and explains his plans to attend architecture school @ Auburn. He never made it. The scrawling handwriting appears drunken.

Dang.

Bless his heart.)

I tried to draw a fox, but ended up with a shy horse. Which led me to try to crochet a small horse out of pale blue thread and I ended up with just a sperm cell and a cocoon.

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AND THEN – out of nowhere – we have The Shipman. Who I haven’t, come to think of it, heard from today. Must be busy. Good for him. I still have a huge pile of mental material to sift through from this past weekend re: Shadowlawn, driving, pre-dawn, bus stations, etc.

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There is a decency strain, that has always been around in our country and is passed on, Quaker, Grange, (IWW, don’t quote me) back to Quaker. My wife has it.

***

I’m thinking 11 dollarbucks an hour is still pretty sweet if you enjoy the work.

Longest trip I’ve ever done by bus is only like 52 miles. Tallahassee to Perry. But I’ve spent a fair amount of time in the local Grayhound Terminal after 2 a.m. Before there was the Interwebs, before even FedEx triple quick there was the Bus. When it had to be there in hours. The terminal folks were always good to me. They also did chilled whole blood… srsly… it rode with the Bus Driver.

But the terminal at 2 a.m……………. cazarts! Even in this little town it was weird. Lotta desperation and fear in a small tiled room with greasy hamburger smell backing it up.

Altho… I just damn love a train-station at 2 a.m. I dunno the difference, maybe a slight less desperation? Better architecture? Pinball machines and food isn’t any different.

Meh, enough of that.

If you get bored and worried this summer, consider a couple of hours a day learning (in a classroom, with teachers) something new.

Also Cypress… gawds own tree. Yawls house was really made of cypress? Wow.

(reclaimed even then: my father deconstructed an old house that was on the property from the 1st quarter of the 20th c. – sided our house with it’s old walls and had some milled at the honest-to-gawd old sawmill in Nahunta, Ga. Up towards Waycross. The Okefenokee (Swamp Park!) -)

One day I will drive to Glacier National Park, it’s on my to do list before I die. And it’s important that I get their (funny, this is one of my most common typos – guess it happens when you think of places as characters:)

by ground transportation..

And yes Community Colleges are important (got muh furst degree from 1) after being removed from FSU for what… the 3rd time :)

The Lord is love a Junior College… else him not make so many. But yeah… there is a part of me that is sure that Technical Schools are even more important than, Community Colleges. I got a new start from one. See graphic arts, typography, commercial art. And yes, I did love the big camera, sad to see them go.

Did your Dad ever tell of his time selling used lumber? He helped a fella who cut down old tobacco barns in Gadsden County. Took a chain saw and cut from one side to the other in a horizontal section. I watched him once (your Dad), he was on the roof (tin) of a really big (tall) one, scared the hell outta me just watching (like I said, I’m timid)

And yes, I have an awful weakness for kites.

Silky demands my attention,

Perhaps I will surprise (edit) with cinnamon rolls (no, store bought, white icing… it a comfort food for her)

Anyway, off to muddle around in the false-dawn.

Unamed Ally.

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MY REPLY

Yes – I know the decency strain (Currently: possibly related to the nervous strain?) (I am both decent and nervous.)

you referred to earlier…made total sense to me…goodness not out of morals, but out sense and an inability to even conceive, more than momentarily, of WILLFULLY harming another person, thing, etc. I think it comes from a strong sense of reason…? The problems arise when we fail to realize that world does not take us into consideration as we do it…thus: breakfast. If that made any sense. I’ve never been in a bus station at 2 am…I don’t think. The latest was about 1 am…picking up a “friend” who – before even getting on the bus to California, got his wallet stolen while smoking weed around the side of the building and decided to not go on his big adventure, after all. This dude was stoopid! Nonetheless, I let him stay at the house on Hull Rd. for a month, hide out to save face to all the people he had bragged to about his determination to blow off his hometown. The decency strain can get you into all sorts of snarls, for sure…’cause the world ain’t decent:)

Duh. I am proficient at stating the obvious. It is not, however, out of an attempt to inform others of what they already know…it is more to remind myself of the facts. I don’t go out late at night anymore. It’s hard to get much done sitting in a bar, drinking diet soda and trying to feel like you are having fun and that the band doesn’t totally suck. I tried drawing or writing at small venue shows…but, inevitably there is a dude. And he smells like beer and wants to know what I am doing and…well, inevitably – I want to punch him in the face, because it is SO obvious that he doesn’t give a rat’s left foot re: what I am doing…only what he wants to do…ick. No time for static with ordinary romance.

I’ve got a dead uncle who puts stars in my eyes. (note to self: best lyric ever. Except for some of those in this song.

(Really, the whole day is feeling a little breezy and good and right.)

In fact, I’ve never been too daring about strange places late at night. Even familiar places give me the heebie-jeebies at 2 am. Too many ghosts:)
Speaking of – hours later – sun is out and I am heading to Fairview to pick up the bipeds – who, after hours of nonstop mom – were happy to go play out at my folks for awhile. Really enjoying the headspace of resignation.

Going to look at some ‘family papers’ – what’s left ain’t too much (Current: I was WRONG. My father is a good curator of things with true value) – single trunk, various artifacts. I am looking for a letter to my great-great Uncle Marcus – Rach’s brother, who reportedly ran away to the circus only to later die in WW1. A good story. Probably not as interesting as the stories that would explain why the letter still exists…if it does? I’m going to look through the trunk.


These were drawn by my Uncle Marcus. There are far “better” ones. I liked this one for the ink spill. The process shown.

Then some mandatory event at the kids’ school. Their school is very regimented in it’s expectation of near-constant celebrations.


Hope ya’ll had a good day. I’ll dig around re: Orange Hall and ghosts, as well. The world ain’t constructed for stories like that anymore…best to write down the ones we have:)

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All images here are mine, or my family’s. I take all my photos with an Olympus FE-210 point-n-shoot or – like those featured here – my phone.

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