4 Comments | business, love, relationships | Tagged: age-appropriate dating, bar, booze, business, business as usual, corporate culture, couples, dating, demographics, drinking, gag cartoons, gags, love, old men, older women, relationships, Today's Gag | Permalink
Posted by Jim
“If your pictures aren’t good enough,
you aren’t close enough.”
The following bit of dialogue was part of a conversation (political debate?) I overheard recently at a local diner. The brief fragment that I caught, while standing and waiting for my lunch buddy to show up, involved the recent publication of a very popular book by an unsuccessful candidate for high office. My friend arrived and we were seated several booths away from the young couple in question, but as we ate I could still hear their voices, now coming through as only a soft rumble. From the tone I surmised that the Young Woman continued to dominate, as she had in the snippet that I had earlier overheard. Here it is:
Young Man: What I can’t understand is why the press gives that jerk so much attention.
Young Woman: Well, let’s say that Katie Couric and all those other news hounds had ignored her — how would you have known that she’s a jerk?
Leave a Comment » | media, writing | Tagged: An American Life, best-seller, biography, book, celebrity, conflict, conversation, couple, debate, dialogue, Dialogue Doodle, diner, dominate, famous for being famous, female, Going Rogue, jerk, Katie Couric, lunch, male, media, nonfiction, politics, press, publication, Sarah Palin, voices, writing, young man, young woman | Permalink
Posted by Jim
September 1, 2009
Leave a Comment » | photography, travel, vacation | Tagged: Baltimore, Chad, composition, Fort McHenry, harbor, historic site, history, Law Enforcement Park Ranger, Maryland, national monument, National Park Service, Park Ranger, patrol car, photography, Robbie, ships, summer, travel, U. S. Department of the Interior, vacation, War of 1812 | Permalink
Posted by Jim
A Brief Memoir
By Jake Jakubuwski
Today it is hard to imagine horses on the streets of Baltimore, but when I was a kid they were so common that no one took any real notice. It was not unusual to hear a horse plodding up our alley with its harness bells tinkling, and the steel banded wagon wheels making a metallic racket all their own on the Belgian block pavement stones. Most often, the fellow driving the wagon was the “Junk Man,” looking for old newspapers, magazines, scrap metal, used clothes — anything that he could turn into cash. Also, of course, there were the “Arabbers” — hucksters that sold produce from their colorful (bright reds, yellows and blues) horse-drawn wagons. Like many kids in Baltimore, I used to work for the Arabbers. The pay wasn’t the greatest, but it was usually enough for a movie and a candy bar, and, perhaps, a Coke.
When we were living on Light Street, in South Baltimore, even the ice man delivered his ice from a horse-drawn wagon. Ice man? Yeah, ice man. In the late 1940s there were still lots of folks that didn’t have electric “Frigidaires,” but they did have thick-walled ice boxes, and the ice in them needed to be replaced on a regular basis. The ice man would come every other day or so, driving his wagon loaded with huge blocks of crystal-clear frozen water, a heavy canvas tarpaulin thrown over it to slow the melt. And you could hear him coming because, besides the clangor of his wagon wheels, he had his own chant to alert his customers. Slowly moving down the street or up the alley (with a dozen kids following behind, trying to snatch a piece of ice out of the wagon’s bed, the shards being viewed by them as a cool summer treat) he’d yell: “EyeEESE-mannnnnn! EyeEESE-mannnnnn!”
Many residents had signs with changeable numbers on them in their front window, so the ice man could tell how much the customer wanted. If you needed ice and didn’t have a sign, you could just holler and tell him how much. A dime’s worth? A quarter’s worth? Or, maybe a fifty cent block, if you thought that would be enough to make it through the weekend. The ice man would stop his wagon (shooing the kids away from the back ) and begin using an icepick to hack at one of the larger blocks to give the customer whatever amount they were willing to pay for — 25, 50, 75, even 100 pounds. After chopping the larger block to the proper size, the ice man, or his helper, would grab it with a large pair of black tongs and, using a burlap bag on his shoulder to help protect him form the cold, he’d leverage it onto his shoulder and carry it into the house and put it in the icebox.
During the winter months, we didn’t need to buy ice because our family had a window box. That was a box with a wire bottom to allow for drainage that hung outside of a window on the shady side of the house, in which we stored our eggs, butter, milk and other perishables. The window closed down on the top of the box and had a door in the front so you could easily get to the stored items. Folks that didn’t have a window box often had an open back porch where they would keep perishables in a crate, or other container. On top of the container would be a piece of wood with a brick or stone or piece of scrap iron holding the “lid” down so that stray cats and dogs — and any other free-roaming urban creatures — could not get at the goodies.
Our ice man came around even in the winter, too, with the difference being that he now delivered coal. If you had a coal stove or furnace, as we did, he’d back up to the basement window (or coal chute if you had one) and shovel the coal into the coal bin. Then, suddenly it seemed, when I was about eight or so, the ice man showed up driving a truck — the end of an era! The ice/coal truck had a large wooden body, and when delivering coal in the winter it backed up to the coal chute, the man raised the bed of the truck with a crank and the black lumps of energy ran out of the truck like a noisy, dusty river.
It was only a couple of summers until we had a Frigidaire and didn’t need the ice anymore. I guess a lot of folks in the neighborhood bought Frigidaires as well, because I have no memory of the ice man making his rounds after that.
Copyright © 2009 Jake Jakubuwski.
Jake Jakubuwski spent nearly two decades as an active locksmith and door service technician. He has been writing physical security related articles since 1991. Seventeen years ago, Jake wrote his first article for the National Locksmith Magazine and has been their technical editor for fifteen years. Pure Jake Learning Seminars©, his nationally conducted classes, are designed for locksmiths and professional door and hardware installers. For more information, click the “Pure Jake” link in the sidebar blogroll and under the “business” label. (And to read about Jake’s adventures as an “Arabber’s” assistant, see a short piece on the subject posted September 14, 2009 on this blog.)
4 Comments | business, essays, kids, non-fiction, writing | Tagged: 1940s, alley, animals, Arabbers, Baltimore, Belgian blocks, business, butter, cats, chant, coal, coal bin, coal chute, dogs, eggs, electric Frigidaires, furnace, harness bells, horses, hucksters, ice tongs, icebox, icepick, Jake Jakubuwski, junk man, kids, labor, Light Street, Maryland, milk, money, non-fiction, pavement, perishables, produce, Pure Jake, scrap metal, South Baltimore, stove, street kids, summer, summer treat, The Ice Man, truck, urban creatures, wagon wheels, wagons, window box, work, writing | Permalink
Posted by Jim
Leave a Comment » | photography, travel, vacation | Tagged: Baltimore, clouds, fall, Fort McHenry, historic site, history, Kat, Maryland, meditation, national monument, National Park Service, Orpheus, photography, scaffolding, Star-Spangled Banner, travel, U. S. Department of the Interior, vacation, War of 1812, wind, Zen | Permalink
Posted by Jim
“Most of my pictures are compassionate, gentle and personal.
They tend to let the viewer see for himself.
They tend not to preach.
And they tend not to pose as art.”
Image: Magnum Photos
Leave a Comment » | photography | Tagged: art, Bruce Davidson, composition, Magnum, march, Photo Quote, photographer, photography, pictures, preach, race, viewer, vote, voter registration, voting rights | Permalink
Posted by Jim
Even before you enter the gates of Baltimore’s Fort McHenry these days, it’s obvious that there is heavy construction activity going on in and around this popular national monument and historic shrine. As I write this, part of the entrance is blocked for a new sidewalk and curb installation and, just inside the gate, you are directed off to the right to a temporary parking lot. The old parking lot and the public restrooms have been removed and the site is being prepared for the construction of a new Visitor and Education Center, scheduled to open in the fall of 2011.
Meanwhile, the statue of Orpheus, an important figure from Greek mythology, revered for his association with poetry and music, and in this case dedicated to Francis Scott Key, composer of the Star Spangled Banner, was swathed for a time in scaffolding. Both Orpheus and the statue of Lieutenant Colonel George Armistead, commander of the fort during the British Navel bombardment in 1814, were cleaned and treated with a custom wax coating to seal and protect their natural green patina. The same wax treatment was applied to the Francis Scott Key Plaque near the sally port entrance to the fort itself. These chores have been completed. The statues and plaque are looking sharp and await the completion and re-dedication of the new and expanded visitor facilities. Who knows, perhaps that clear blue sky in the “AFTER” image of Orpheus is an omen from the gods, foretelling a happy on-time and under-budget ending for the entire project.
Copyright © 2009 Jim Sizemore.
4 Comments | art, holidays, photography, poetry, travel, vacation | Tagged: Baltimore, Col. George Armistead, construction, Fort McHenry, Francis Scott Key, historic shrine, Maryland, national anthem, national monument, Orpheus, photography, poetry, Star-Spangled Banner, travel, vacation, Visitior Center, War of 1812 | Permalink
Posted by Jim
“I really believe there are things nobody would
see if I didn’t photograph them.”
Diane Arbus, 1923-1971
Leave a Comment » | photography | Tagged: aging, composition, death, Diane Arbus, health, health care, nursing home, Photo Quote, photographer, photography, portrait, Social Security Administration, U. S. Department of Health and Human Services | Permalink
Posted by Jim
Leave a Comment » | holidays, photography, travel, vacation | Tagged: Baltimore, composition, fall, flag, flagpole, Fort McHenry, historic site, history, Maryland, music, national anthem, national monument, National Park Service, photography, poetry, rangers, shadows, snapshots, songwriting, Star-Spangled Banner, tourists, travel, U. S. Department of the Interior, vacation, War of 1812 | Permalink
Posted by Jim