Today i woke and feel even lonelier
But i c positive potential
My hear shook much like the quake
Then the pain was gone
The arctic breeze formed the fortress
Barricading my fragile heart from Pain
It is not that i don’t love u
It was because i did love u
that i must move on
as long as i breathe
I will remember
“We as 2″
March 1st –The Day After April, by Tupac Shakur
“There isn’t an official Holden’s Haunts map,” writes Deborah Geigis Berry in her Courant Travel section story. Decades later, though, New York City locations visited by Holden Caulfield in J.D. Salinger’s Catcher In The Rye can still be experienced.
-Photographs by Mark Mirko
“Broadway was mobbed and messy. It was Sunday, and only about twelve o’clock, but it was mobbed anyway. Everybody was on their way to the movies–the Paramount or the Astor or the Strand or the Capitol or one of those crazy places. Everybody was all dressed up, because it was Sunday, and that made it worse. But the worst part was that you could tell they all wanted to go to the movies. I couldn’t stand looking at them. I can understand somebody going to the movies because there’s nothing else to do, but when somebody really wants to go, and even walks fast so as to get there quicker, then it depresses hell out of me. Especially if I see millions of people standing in one of those long, terrible lines, all the way down the block, waiting with this terrific patience for seats and all. Boy, I couldn’t get off that goddam Broadway fast enough.”
. . .
“She was always reading, and she read very good books. She read a lot of poetry and all. She was the only one, outside my family, that I ever showed Allie’s baseball mitt to, with all the poems written on it.”
. . .
“To get to where the mummies were, you had to go down this very narrow sort of hall with stones on the side that they’d taken right out of this Pharaoh’s tomb and all. It was pretty spooky, and you could tell the two hot-shots I was with weren’t enjoying it too much. They stuck close as hell to me, and the one that didn’t talk at all practically was holding onto my sleeve. “Let’s go,” he said to his brother. “I seen ‘em awreddy. C’mon, hey.” He turned around and beat it.”
. . .
“Finally we found the place where the mummies were, and we went in. “You know how the Egyptians buried their dead?” I asked the one kid. “Naa.” “Well, you should. It’s very interesting. They wrapped their faces up in these cloths that were treated with some secret chemical. That way they could be buried in their tombs for thousands of years and their faces wouldn’t rot or anything. Nobody knows how to do it except the Egyptians. Even modern science.”"
. . .
“We got to the Edmont Hotel, and I checked in. I’d put on my red hunting cap when I was in the cab, just for the hell of it, but I took it off before I checked in. I didn’t want to look like a screwball or something. Which is really ironic. I didn’t know then that the goddam hotel was full of perverts and morons. Screwballs all over the place.”
. . .
“”I said no, there wouldn’t be marvelous places to go to after I went to college and all. Open your ears. It’d be entirely different. We’d have to go downstairs in elevators with suitcases and stuff. We’d have to phone up everybody and tell ‘em good-by and send ‘em postcards from hotels and all. And I’d be working in some office, making a lot of dough, and riding to work in cabs and Madison Avenue buses, and reading newspapers, and playing bridge all the time, and going to the movies and seeing a lot of stupid shorts and coming attractions and newsreels. Newsreels. Christ almighty. There’s always a dumb horse race, and some dame breaking a bottle over a ship, and some chimpanzee riding a goddam bicycle with pants on. It wouldn’t be the same at all. You don’t see what I mean at all.”"
. . .
“I don’t like any shows very much, if you want to know the truth. They’re not as bad as movies, but they’re certainly nothing to rave about. In the first place, I hate actors. They never act like people. They just think they do. Some of the good ones do, in a very slight way, but not in a way that’s fun to watch. And if any actor’s really good, you can always tell he knows he’s good, and that spoils it.”
. . .
“After we left the bears, we left the zoo and crossed over this little street in the park, and then we went through one of those little tunnels that always smell from somebody’s taking a leak. It was on the way to the carrousel. Old Phoebe still wouldn’t talk to me or anything, but she was sort of walking next to me now. I took a hold of the belt at the back of her coat, just for the hell of it, but she wouldn’t let me. She said, “Keep your hands to yourself, if you don’t mind.” She was still sore at me. But not as sore as she was before. Anyway, we kept getting closer and closer to the carrousel and you could start to hear that nutty music it always plays. It was playing “Oh, Marie!” It played that same song about fifty years ago when I was a little kid. That’s one nice thing about carrousels, they always play the same songs.”
. . .
“I kept walking and walking, and it kept getting darker and darker and spookier and spookier. I didn’t see one person the whole time I was in the park. I’m just as glad. I probably would’ve jumped about a mile if I had.”
. . .
“He was walking in the street, instead of on the sidewalk, but right next to the curb. He was making out like he was walking a very straight line, the way kids do, and the whole time he kept singing and humming. I got up closer so I could hear what he was singing. He was singing that song, “If a body catch a body coming through the rye.”"
. . .
“The sonuvabitch could whistle better than anybody I ever heard. He’d be making his bed, or hanging up stuff in the closet–he was always hanging up stuff in the closet–it drove me crazy–and he’d be whistling while he did it, if he wasn’t talking in this raspy voice. He could even whistle classical stuff, but most of the time he just whistled jazz. He could take something very jazzy, like “Tin Roof Blues,” and whistle it so nice and easy–right while he was hanging stuff up in the closet–that it could kill you. “
“I went to a general store but they wouldn’t let me buy anything specific.” -Steven Wright
Photographer Tia Chapman, before she left the Courant, made many photographs that I still admire but it was her People In Pools series that came to mind as I stood in the Farmington River, water seeping into my boots, thinking about what it was going to take to acquire a proper “rock snot” photograph.
Scientists call it didymosphenia geminata and in the days before fishing season opened this year I had an assignment to photograph a section of the Farmington River that is under invasion.
The algae is described as having the consistency of “overcooked spinach” in the Courant story by David Drury. As I walked in the River looking for a place to photograph this spinach I realized I was not going to get a clear image by shooting from above rushing water in noontime sunlight.
For People in Pools, Tia used an empty aquarium to house her camera. I decided that since I didn’t have in aquarium in my camera bag I would have to hunt one down.
Thankfully, the Riverton General Store was nearby. Owner Leslie DiMartino did not have an aquarium for sale but she did offer to let me borrow, until the store closed at 5:30, a clear acrylic donation box about the size of a 10-gallon aquarium; if the aquarium had a hinged top with a coin-sized slot. The box, said DiMartino, “is used to collect donations for the fishing derby and Christmas in Riverton.”
Despite a small leak in the donation box, DiMartino’s generous assistance went a long way toward documenting and raising awareness of rock snot’s harmful presence.
A final note from Drury’s story, ”To prevent the spread of didymo, the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection advises the following precautions: Remove any obvious signs of algae before leaving the water. Soak and scrub hard material for a least 1 minute in very hot water (140 degrees F), a 2 percent bleach solution or 5 percent dishwashing solution. Absorbent materials like clothing and felt soles should be soaked 40 minutes in hot water or 30 minutes in hot, soapy water. Drying will kill didymo if items are completely dry for 48 hours.”
In 1991, shortly after the first invasion of Iraq, Edward Wazer enlisted with the Army National Guard. By 2003 he was at Pratt & Whitney working as an engineer on the F135 Joint Strike Fighter project.
Despite his military background and work on military projects Wazer, around this time, came to a point of departure. He disagreed with the increased power Congress granted President George W. Bush for his War on Terror and, after the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Wazer informed his supervisors at Pratt he would no longer work on military programs.
Raluca Mocanu, Wazer’s wife, was also an engineer with Pratt during that period and she felt similarly, “The fact that my work was going on a jet plane that was going to bomb somebody and kill people,” Mocanu says, “I just didn’t like that.”
“I knew,” said Wazer, “that I wanted to do something else. We spent a long time looking for farmland. I was quite determined. Even if it wasn’t possible to be a full-time job, I knew I wanted to be growing food.”
After leaving Pratt & Whitney and buying a 5-acre homestead in Mansfield, Connecticut, Wazer and Mocanu in 2009 established Shundahai Farm; named after a Western Shoshone word for, “peace and harmony with all creation.”
Ed and Raluca’s Community Supported Agriculture project now grows food for over 50 members and their families, “In a very direct way, we are supplying food to the community,” says Ed, “It’s one less worry people have when they’re concerned about calamity. If you know that food can be produced in your backyard then you feel much more comfortable.”
“How do you find inner peace?” says Mocanu, “Everybody’s looking for it. We don’t know that we are, but we are. For me, this pursuit, being outside and having a relationship with the land is what’s giving me inner peace. Having a close relationship with my children, with Ed, with our community, that is what gives me peace and that’s what I hope to be able to give other people, as well.”
While making prints of photographs from a recent assignment at the Colt building, I started noticing patterns and symbols created when a print was set adjacent to itself and rotated.
Considering the Colt’s dense history as an arms plant and its fragile reemergence as an art and residential complex, these arrangements presented an interesting photographic path for considering the Colt’s past and potential.
With its distinctive dome, brought to the U.S. from Russia by Samuel Colt in the mid-1850′s, the Colt firearms manufacturing complex has long been a unique feature of Hartford’s skyline. In its heyday, the armory manufactured the Colt single-action revolver, one of two guns “that won the West”; the Gatling gun and the Colt-Browning which was used extensively in 20th century conflict. With the start of this century, the armory has been undergoing a massive, albeit slow, renovation. The pace of these efforts has increased recently with upgrades to residential and business spaces and an effort to designate the area as a national park. Said Jeffrey Ostroff, Principal of the Greater Hartford Arts Academy which now resides in the armory’s Sawtooth building, “We don’t make guns here anymore, we make art.”
Last week, Courant photography editor Sherry Peters asked me to spend some time at the Colt Armory Complex making photographs for a story by staff writer Kenneth Gosselin. Instead of working on photographs that showed what the buildings looked like, however, Sherry encouraged me to look for details around the facility that could be stitched together as a compilation of portraits concentrating more on historical context than appearance. Colt officials granted invaluable access to the site and while walking through the smells, sounds and textures of the building I saw remnants that felt stately, stoic, sad and fanciful.