Friday, July 28, 2017

Even more Marlboro

This was a Marlboro music week! We went to a rehearsal Wednesday a.m., and then went down to Northampton to see Tamar and Mimi, and we went out for lunch together. We heard a lot about a camp for hearing impaired kids they had gone to earlier (since coming back from the trip west). Very interesting! Then we came back to Marlboro for the Wednesday evening concert, held in the dining hall. It was super outstanding. It opened with Bach's Cantata 82, Ich Habe Genug, which would have made the evening by itself. But there was also a Brahms Trio for piano, cello and clarinet; Only the Words Themselves Mean What They Say, a very unusual duet for flute and soprano by Kate Soper (b., 1981) - you can find it on YouTube -  and a marvelous Mendelssohn String Quintet, Op. 87,  featuring prodigy Sirena Huang. Quite an evening!

Thursday we did things at home in the a.m., went to Marlboro in the afternoon for a rehearsal of the Siegfried Idyll and Dvorak Piano Quartet, then to Putney to Next Stage, for a film by Vermont filmmaker Jay Craven, Where the Rivers Flow North, a wonderful film, and Craven was there to talk about it. Very interesting!

 The performers of Ich Habe Genug at Marlboro, featuring Samuel Hasselhorn, baritone (the tall one).

The Mendelssohn musicians, l. to r., Sirena Huang, Sujin Lee, Maiya Papach, Nick Eanet and Cong Wu. 

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Marlboro again

We've come back to Persons Auditorium for rehearsals again, this time a Dvorak Piano Quartet, Op. 23 and Wagner's Wesendonck Lieder. We just heard the Dvorak - a really amazingly tight quartet of young musicians who seemed to inhabit each other's minds. Now we are sitting outside in the sun (inside is chilly), and in a half hour we'll hear the Wagner. 

     Persons auditorium

      A string trio sculpture in the lobby

Rudolph Serkin, founder of the Marlboro Music Festival back in the 1950s. 

Benita Valente (at left) is coaching the Wagner

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Marlboro rehearsal

We're at the Marlboro Music Festival open rehearsal in Persons Auditorium. We earlier heard a 2-hour rehearsal of Wagner's Siegfried Idyll  a favorite for me and Ellen too, and incredibly delicate and very demanding. Now it is a string quartet a Mendelssohn Quartet Op. 80. Really gorgeous, lush music, played beautifully. It is very interesting to hear how the pieces fit together in a rehearsal.

Musicians playing the Wagner - taken with "Photo Booth"

Sunday, July 23, 2017

A special weekend

Yesterday was the year anniversary of Betsey's death. And to our joy, Katie took the trouble to rent a car and drive up to be with us just for the day. She rented through the JFK airport, and left there at about 7:30a.m., arrived at our house about 12:30p.m., we had the afternoon together with John and Cynthia too, had a wonderful meal prepared by Ellen and then we spent some time at the cemetery with Betsey, came back, had ice cream and fresh blueberry sauce (Ellen picked them over in New York at Oxbow Lake), and Katie left about 7:00pm, and was back in her room at the dorm in NYC before midnight. (There is like door-to-door train service between JFK and her dorm). It was the perfect way to remember Betsey. Then today, I led the service in Windham - somehow I was able to get well-prepared!  That went very well. John and Cynthia came to the service and we had a lovely lunch together afterward at the Dam Diner in Townsend (which is between Windham and home - good food and extremely good price. So just a great weekend! We've been relaxing tonight!

Sitting down to a great lunch by Ellen. Cynthia prepared the flowers

Me and Katie

On the stone wall by Betsey's grave at the cemetery

Friday, July 21, 2017

We're home

We arrived home about 10:30 tonight. We spent the last couple of days with Katie, Savanna and Brendon in the Adirondacks. Then today, we drove home, but stopped to visit Jane Hepner at Lake Cossayuna. Jane was a childhood friend of Shirley's on Staten Island. They were best buddies in high school in the fifties. I had lost track of her and wondered if she was still alive. She is very much alive, and was glad to see us.

                 Me and Jane Hepner

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

We're in Erie, PA tonight

We only drove a bit over 425 miles today, and it seemed like nothing. Well, maybe not nothing,  but pretty easy compared to recent days. We arrive at our motel at about 9:00, and it was still light, and it seemed so early. Once again, I read much of the trip, and we also listened to the final American Mind lectures. We took Route 6 across Indiana, and part of Ohio, and then US 20 to Cleveland, and then I-90 to Erie. A familiar route every bit of the way.

Dan sent a couple of photos from yesterday evening when we went to O'Hare's Pub in Bartlett.

L. to r.: Dan, Becky, Ellen, Larry, Jerry and Maggie,  outside O'Hare's

Examining a sculpture near O Hare's

Monday, July 17, 2017

Another fairly quiet day

What did I do today? I got up late, did email, ate breakfast, walked with Ellen to the Bartlett Public Library (about 1 1/2 miles), worked on the Spelling Bee puzzle, walked back, ate lunch, read an old Zane Grey novel Jerry had found, rested, called John, went (walked) to supper at O'Hare's Irish Pub with M&J, Becky and Dan, walked bsck, had a bit of ice cream, talked, now to bed. A fairly quiet day. On our library walk, we went by a horse farm. Right in Bartlett! 


Sunday, July 16, 2017

In Bartlett

We've made it safely to Bartlett. Today was a very pleasant drive across Iowa on Route 34 mostly - in the southern part of Iowa from near Council Bluffs in the west to the Quad Cities on the Mississippi, then up I-88 to Bartlett. A very nice drive through the lush, rolling Iowa countryside on a largely empty road much of the time, going through little Iowa towns and past very fertile fields of corn, soybeans, etc. Iowa really is an attractive state. Being in it always brings back a flood of memories for me - of places, people and events, since I lived there during my high school years, 1946-1950.

We actually crossed the Mississippi at Muscatine, IA, and the bridge was being painted and was shrouded in canvass:

            The bridge at Muscatine 

                 Inside the bridge 

               The mighty Mississippi 

Nebraska City

We didn't get to our motel until 11pm last evening. We got thrown off course a bit around Lincoln, NE. Over 500 miles. Our route was partly I-80, mostly secondary roads south of I-80, a very nice day. Picnic lunch in a little  NE town, and mysterious buildings and bunkers near Hastings - an old, abandoned, munitions storage place? Oh, and scores of grain elevators, the cathedrals of the plains.

               Picnic spot

                  Mysterious bunker - there are 100's of them

                  The mighty grain elevator

Yes, the bunkers were part of a WWII Naval Ammunition Depot.  Here is a note from Wikipedia:

"The former Naval Ammunition Depot (NAD) (near Hastings, NE),  is one of Nebraska's former four major ammunition plants: the Cornhusker Ordnance Plant, the Nebraska Ordnance Plant and the Martin Bomber Plant. Its construction began in July 1942 on 49,000 acres (200 km2) and was completed in early 1943 with over 2000 buildings, bunkers, and various other types of structures. The cost of construction was over $71 million. The navy built in this location due the proximity to the area's three railroads, the abundance of underground water, cheap natural gas and electricity, the stable work force and the distance from either coast (being beyond the range of Japanese or German bombers). At one point during World War II the facility was producing over 40% of the U.S. Navy's munitions. It manufactured 40mm shells, 16 inch projectiles, rockets, bombs, depth charges, mines and torpedoes. Production peaked in June–July 1945, when the depot employed 125 officers, 1,800 enlisted men, and 6,692 civilians."

Friday, July 14, 2017

Laramie tonight

Well, Ellen drove close to 700 miles today and said she could have gone further on to Cheyenne but I had made a reservation at a Motel 6 in Laramie, so here we are. It is austerely furnished but comfortable and clean. We came on Interstate highway all the way. But with the gripping No Ordinary Time and good  lectures on The Anerican Mind,  once again the miles flew by. 

Thursday, July 13, 2017

In Boise

It was pretty warm coming across eastern Oregon yesterday through Burns (appropriately named for the 100 degree temps!), but we had AC, I read aloud, we listened to lectures on The American Mind and the miles flew by. We stopped in Burns for a picnic out of the food box, and it was shady and ok. Today has been a fairly quiet day - I slept late, had breakfast at about 11 a.m. (in the backyard, shady patio), we talked with Suzine and Christian for a bit and then decided to go to lunch at a Thai Restaurant (Christian had not had breakfast), so I had just a bowl of Miso soup there (not the all-you-can-eat buffet), and that was just right.

           Christian and Ellen at the buffet

 Then we did some errands at The Dragonfly (great selection of greeting cards) and at the Boise Coop, went to visit Margie to see her new music room (forgot to take pics), mailed a card, came back and rested, and now it is time for supper. You need a day like that now and then.

                Ellen writing cards in the backyard

   Ella and Fritz love the backyard too: 

Christian grilled some chicken and potatoes, and we had corn on the cob and tofu -  very nice meal on the patio:

And then we walked to the river where Ella and Fritz got a chance to play in the water:

The dogs were incredibly stimulated by the water and they were really frisky on the walk home and especially in the yard after we returned. They are the equivalent  of 70 and 80 year-old humans, but they sure weren't acting it. Eventually they calmed down. 

Tomorrow we leave for Bartlett, IL. Google says it is 1640 miles and a 24-hour drive. That is a lot. We'll hope to be there Sunday night. 

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Another Salem day

Today we stayed in Salem. It was an interesting day, but a bit more leisurely. We had breakfast on the deck and then went to the Humane Society thrift shop, where they have a box of old post cards for sale  -  a big draw for Ellen. I noticed a parlor organ in one corner, and closer inspection revealed it to be an Estey, made in Brattleboro! I played it (to the delight and applause of the staff!), but it proved to have damaged bellows, and wasn't much fun to play. It had a nice case. It had been marked down from $650 to $350.

Then we went out into Minto island to the  MIG food cart  (Minto Island Growers), a favorite spot. Good food in a lovely outdoor setting. After that, J.E. had an appointment for an opthalmological procedure. So we went to the Kaiser Permanente building and waited.  Ellen drove home afterward because J.E.'s eyes were dilated. I rested while Ellen went to another old post card place (which claimed to have 15 000 old cards!). Then we had a lovely salmon salad supper on the deck followed by a good walk on the nearby Oregon State Hospital grounds -  reminiscent for me of summers I spent working in state mental hospitals in 1952 and 1955, where they had similar, classic Kirkbride buildings. Another perfect day weather-wise and an interesting one to boot. 

Tomorrow we head back to Boise.  

                    The Estey parlor organ

Estey label

                                  The MIG Food Cart

Pretty nice place to enjoy a good salad made with super fresh ingredients.

                                             Where we were

                               Our salmon salad supper back home

                                  On the deck at the end of a lovely day

The Kirkbride building at Danville State Hospital, PA, where I worked and studied, summer of 1955. Oregon State Hospital has a very similar design but is painted red

Monday, July 10, 2017

A visit to Corvallis, OR and the BlueBird Hill Winery

Ellen,  J.E., and I made a little trip today down to Corvallis, OR and then on to Neil and Sue Shay's Bluebird Hill B&B and Winery just outside Corvallis in Monroe, OR. Neil is, of course, my son-in-law Rob's older brother. He and Sue are amazing in what they have done and are doing there at their home. When they bought it, about seven years ago or so, the house was surrounded by an old, overgrown Christmas tree farm. They cut down the trees, had the stumps removed, and learned in the process that they had a good potential for a vineyard. Neil's academic work had taught him something about viticulture, so they started planting. They now have over 5000 vines and have started to harvest their own grapes and make wine. They actually started making wine a couple of years ago using fruit from other vineyards, and each year adding a greater proportion from their own fruit; eventually, their wine will be made exclusively from their own fruit. Meanwhile, Sue has opened a B&B, with two guest rooms. The two of them are incredibly industrious! Neil still is teaching full-time at Oregon State, on top of running the vineyard. They have regular hours for tasting over the weekend, they have a growing clientele at the B&B, they are doing a big art fair this weekend to attract people to the farm - it is a going place. And it is really beautiful. A great place to visit and spend some time. And it is very reasonable too. The rate for one of their rooms is $109-135 depending on the season and time of week. That includes a full breakfast on the weekend and full use of a beautiful living room, kitchen and porch, grounds, etc.

Our trip took us to Corvallis, which is home to the Oregon State campus, and is an attractive small city. We took back roads from Salem, including a two-minute ride on the Buena Vista Ferry. We got coffee at a nice bakery downtown, and ate a little picnic lunch on some benches sort of overlooking the Willamette River (too many trees in the way to see the river). We also went into Robnett's Hardware store, an historic business and a wonderful old-fashioned store with creaking wooden floors. Then we went down to Neil and Sue's. It was a beautiful day, and the countryside was lovely - vineyards, orchards, hay fields, and other crops. After our two-hour visit, which included tasting four wines (!), we came back to Corvallis and had pizza on a rooftop at the American Dream Pizza restaurant. Good pizza! A great outing.

The Buena Vista Ferry
A short, happy cruise!
The amazing nuts and bolts display at Robnett's Hardware
A view of Neil and Sue's house from the vineyard
The view from the front porch
Talking with Sue on the porch
The final product
Future Pinot Noir wine - harvest is in September
Wine curing in the barrels
Larry, Ellen, Neil and Sue
Yummy feta cheese, artichoke and red pepper pizza

A varied day in Salem

We arrived in Salem at J. E.'s Saturday evening after a really lovely drive through eastern Otegon. It was a hot day, and we were glad to have AC in the car, but the scenery was great. We stopped in Sisters to say hello to Bonnie Hull who was attending a huge quilt festival there - 800 quilters! -  and got a snack at the Sno-Cap cafe. We won't get to spend time with Bonnie and Roger this time -  Bonnie is in Sisters and Roger is working on a monograph at the shore. So we have J. E. all to ourselves. She planned a varied day on Sunday, starting with breakfast on the deck  (muesli with three kinds of berries!), then a little hike over a brand new pedestrian bridge which spans the Willamette River and now links downtown Salem with the vast Minto/Brown wilderness area. It has become hugely popular overnight. The bridge is near the ever- popular carousel by the River and Ellen and J. E. rode the ponies. Then we had lunch at a Salvadoran restaurant, went to the Hallie Ford art museum where the featured show was psychodelic art from the  60's. Then we stopped at a fascinating little stamp store, and bought some vintage stamps, came back to J.E.'s, napped, worked on the Spelling Bee puzzle, had hors d'oeurves on the deck and a lovely shrimp salad, listened to a bit of Stephen Foster and went to bed.

                                 The carousel in Salem

                                Riding the ponies!

        The new pedestrian bridge - dubbed the "taco bridge" because of its shape. 

                               Also open to bicyclists 

       A black light psychedelic poster at the Hallie Ford Museum

A box of vintage stamps at Bob Burghers' stamp store, which he sells at face value. You could spend a day just going through this box !

                                    Bob making a sale