Archive for November, 2016

Point Reyes Open Studios drew a crowd to artists’ workplaces around Tomales Bay over Thanksgiving weekend despite inclement weather. More than 25 artists took part in the biannual event, which will be held again Memorial Day weekend. This fall, I did most of my touring on Sunday to avoid Saturday’s rainstorms.


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Camouflaged, Inverness Park photographer Richard Blair (right) managed to blend into one of his nature scenes while talking with a visitor.


Point Reyes Open Studios “was established in 1997 to promote the work of artists living around Tomales Bay,” its literature notes. “Realizing the wealth of talent in the communities of Point Reyes Station, Inverness Park, Inverness, Olema and Marshall, the group’s founders sought to bring local artists together to form a group with an identity distinct from artists living in the rest of Marin County. A key aspect of PROS identity is ….to act as a resource and support for group members and other artists.”


100_4643 Painter Sue Gonzalez of Point Reyes Station makes open water a thing of beauty.  She drew numerous admirers Saturday despite the rain.


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Kathleen Goodwin of Inverness Park exhibited a variety of her paintings. She and her husband Richard Blair share a studio atop Inverness Ridge.


thumb_100_4648_1024Along with displaying his photography, Richard Blair offered a couple of his books of photography for sale at good prices. He told Lynn Axelrod (left) that Costco had ordered a large number of copies of different books. They had sold well, and these were the remainders.


Watercolor artist Mark Ropers of Inverness exhibited an engaging variety of landscapes and birds.

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Laurie Curtis paints and does ceramics in her colorful studio behind the veterinary clinic in Point Reyes Station. thumb_100_4660_1024


I got a jarring reminder late last night as to why newspapers need to be accurate. Here’s what happened. I couldn’t remember what day of the month it was, and just looking at a calendar was no help. So I did what I often do in such circumstances. I checked the date on that morning’s San Francisco Chronicle. “SUNDAY, November 20, 2016” was printed atop the front page of each section.

Yikes! My 73rd birthday will be Wednesday, Nov. 23, and as it happens, the 66th birthday of Linda Sturdivant of Inverness Park was on Wednesday, Nov. 16. At the Point Reyes Disaster Council’s pancake breakfast three weeks ago, I had purchased a ticket in a fundraising raffle and won a $40 gift certificate to Tony’s Seafood restaurant in Marshall. Linda is a good friend of ours, so Lynn and I had agreed we could use the gift certificate to celebrate both birthdays together at Tony’s on Sunday, Nov. 20. However, if this really was Sunday, Nov. 20, and we hadn’t gone to Tony’s, we must have stood up Linda. I was mortified.

At a loss as to how we could have gotten the day mixed up, I rebooted the computer and checked Google. What a relief! The date was really Saturday, Nov. 19. No harm had been done — except to my nerves.

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Today we drove up to Tony’s for lunch. The sky over Tomales Bay had mostly cleared after rain Saturday night. The sun was shining, and through the window beside our table in the restaurant, we were able to watch a flock of pelicans perched on pilings.

The food was great, as always. Lynn had shrimp, Linda had prawns, I had fish and chips, and we all had barbecued oysters. The portions were large enough that we had leftovers to bring home. Once back at home, I checked the date on that morning’s Chronicle. For the second day in a row it was: “SUNDAY, November 20.”

From my perspective, The Chronicle should run a correction and an apology. Displacing Saturday with Sunday could easily be taken as anti-Semitic. Or maybe anti-Seventh-day Adventist.


Word usage: In hopes of receiving plush appointments, a gaggle of right-wing politicians are currently trying to curry favor with President-elect Donald Trump. Judging from the bunch of Neanderthals who have been offered jobs so far, it apparently it isn’t too difficult to ingratiate yourself with the Donald. Just don’t mess with his hair.

“To curry favor,” according to the Bergen Evans Dictionary of Quotations, is derived from the name of a 14th century horse. In the French satirical poem Roman de Fauvel, “the horse symbolizing worldly vanity is soothed and lovingly tended by all classes of society, so that to curry Favel [or Fauvel] was to seek to advance yourself, to ingratiate yourself with the powerful.”

But grooming the Donald’s hair with a curry comb is risky. If you irritate the powerful beast, he may well let loose with his famous bucking, kicking, and whinnying.

 

 

Like many of my friends and neighbors, I’m having a hard time coming to terms with the prospect of a Donald Trump presidency; however, I’ll dilute my despondency with joyful pictures from a current exhibit on West Marin’s milk, butter, and cheese industry.

To get our minds off politics for a couple of hours, Lynn and I on Sunday took a drive up the bay to Tomales where the Regional History Center on Saturday and Sunday afternoons is holding an exhibit: “From Milk to Butter & Cheese: 160 Years of Local Creameries.”

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The exhibition is in conjunction with one showing through the end of the year at the Bolinas Museum. That exhibit is called, “Bounty: Fine Food Production in Coastal Marin from 1834 to the 21st Century.”

Seen in an historic photo from the Tomales exhibit, a rancher while milking a cow gives a cat a squirt.

Environmentalists I’ve talked with worry about Trump’s financial advisors’ denying climate change, calling for renewed coal mining, and sounding as if they’re willing to sacrifice public land for short-term revenue.

         Latino families throughout West Marin are uneasy because many of them have at least one relative who might be deported under Trump’s anti-immigrant proposals.

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M.B. Bossevain was Marin County’s first farm advisor. He is seen here in the Tomales exhibit standing in a patch of sweet clover.

         Black acquaintances resent Trump’s lack of respect, and they fear he may appoint Supreme Court justices who will overturn major civil rights victories. After all, Steve Bannon, the Breitbart News Network executive chairman who will be Trump’s senior counselor, is known for his white-nationalist views.

         The Huffington Post quotes Adam Jentleson, spokesman for Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.), as saying Trump’s choice of Bannon “signals that White Supremacists will be represented at the highest levels in Trump’s White House….  It is easy to see why the KKK views Trump as their champion.”

         I may not live long enough to see this country recover from the potential damage of a Trump presidency, but sometimes my mortality seems almost consoling. A neighbor, who has resigned himself to one or two terms of Trump, remarked today, “Well, at least I probably won’t live that long.”

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         In keeping with this melancholy mood, the country this week is simultaneously mourning the death of singer/composer Leonard Cohen. For the last two nights I’ve played his mournful, sometimes hymn-like, music during dinner, which made the meal feel like the Last Supper in a Parisian bistro.

A storage area for the Nicasio Valley Cheese Company (seen in the Tomales exhibition).

I delayed this posting for a couple of days, hoping I would be celebrating most American voters having preferred the decency of Hillary Clinton to the demagoguery of Donald Trump, but as of this morning, the uncouth bigot had won the election. Clinton carried this county with 78 percent of the vote and carried this country by more than 100,000 votes, as of this evening’s count. (Update: The count as of Dec. 20 had Clinton receiving almost 3 million more votes than Trump.) Yet she trailed 228 to 279 in the Electoral College, which ultimately is what counts.

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Although immigrant bashing was at the core of Trump’s campaign, the candidate is for the second time married to an immigrant, Melania of Slovenia. His first wife, Ivana, was from the Czech Republic, but they divorced after he started having an affair with Marla Maples, who would become his second wife.

The now-well-known picture of the bromance between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Trump first showed up in May as a mural on the back of a barbecue restaurant in Lithuania. The nude photo of Melania first appeared on the cover of Gentlemen’s Quarterly in January 2000, shortly after she started an affair with Trump despite his still being married to Marla Maples.

Putin and Trump more than once expressed their admiration for each other during the campaign, and Putin was one of the first world leaders to congratulate Trump on his victory. In the Russian Duma (lower house of parliament), members broke into applause when Trump’s victory was announced. I personally will certainly be uncomfortable that a US president is chummy with Putin, one of this country’s longstanding adversaries. No doubt many Americans (and almost all Ukrainians) feel the same way.

In the Middle East, Islamic extremists are also celebrating Trump’s victory, which they see as a sign of America’s fragmentation, The Washington Post reported today. They also believe that Trump’s outspoken contempt for Islam is alienating Muslims everywhere. Meanwhile in North Carolina, the Ku Klux Klan is so pleased with the election results it will hold a victory parade on Dec. 3.

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À la the Donald, bucks around here openly stalk females and try to poke them although the does usually trot off before they can.

When I discussed the election downtown today with Point Reyes Station residents, their comments ranged from bitter to sarcastic.

This is not a community that wants to deport immigrants — even those who marry Donald Trump.

Fortunately local races in West Marin were far more polite than the presidential race despite being hard fought. Many voters had strong feelings about the Board of Supervisors candidates, but neither side saw the election as an armageddon.

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Local elections can be messy, as has been evident along West Marin’s roadways for the last few months. Hopefully, all those messes will soon disappear. Residents unhappy with roadside campaign signs tore down some of them even before the election.

In the end, Fourth District supervisor candidate Dennis Rodoni beat Dominic Grossi 53 percent to 47 percent. In the race for Superior Court judge, Sheila Lichtblau beat Michael Coffino 52 percent to 48 percent.

The high-light, so to speak, of the California election returns was the passage of Proposition 64, which by a 56 percent to 44 percent vote legalized recreational marijuana. Also highly significant was the passage of Proposition 63; by 62.6 percent to 37.4 percent, Californians approved a variety of gun controls.

As the national election results dribbled in last night, I found them so worrisome, I stopped watching the news. By the time I went to bed, the presidential battle had been lost, and I dozed off wondering if I should move back to Canada, where my mother was born, or hunker down in place. For the moment, I’m opting for hunkering, but that could change.

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Sadly, I can see the lamps going out all over America, and I fear we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime, to paraphrase British Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey on the eve of World War I.


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Like Rocky Raccoon (right), what we all need now is a good rest.