Duffy acts like he’s Big Mr. Tough
Another day finished, another day right
This is a personal blog about lots of topics, e.g., dogs, family, retirement, childhood, life in the U.P., humor. The George in the title is my dear brother-in-law George Levenson, husband, father, grandfather, brother, filmmaker, who left us prematurely on his 63rd birthday in 2007. His having been my favorite e-mail correspondent, I intend these stories as a tribute to George and his ever-present impact on his loved ones.
This is my dad and my younger brother Steven, probably at our house on the Menominee River about 1943. We spent a lot of our childhood playing outside in the yard, the river, and the woods, whether summer or winter.
The Latonia Race Track was located on Winston Ave. in Covington, KY, six miles south of Cincinnati. It opened in 1883 and was the site of a spring-summer thoroughbred racing series, followed by a late fall series. In its prime it was regarded as one of the top race tracks in the U.S. and drew over 100,000 visitors annually. Its main attraction was the annual 1.5 mile Latonia Derby, originally called the Hindoo Stakes. Financial problems caused Latonia to shut down during the Great Depression, and the track was dismantled during World War II. A new Latonia Race Course opened in Florence, KY, in 1959 and is now known as Turfway Park.
As we often do at the supermarket, Katja and I took separate carts and went our ways to make separate purchases. I just got some peanut butter, jelly, and yogurt, so I checked out in the express lane (the sign said “About Fifteen Items”), then sat down and waited for Katja in a chair. An elderly lady (meaning older than me) went through the line next. I couldn’t believe it, but the bagger filled eleven bags with her groceries. “About fifteen items” is admittedly vague, but stretching it to a hundred or so items seemed analogous to a felony crime to me. Then the next customer in the express line bought six bags worth. The express line didn’t seem very express at all, and I decided that the supermarket managers needed to tighten up their rule enforcement. Katja seemed to be taking a longer than normal time, so I called her on my cell phone. A few minutes later Katja arrived at the checkout counter. I brought my cart over and put my two bags in her cart. The bagger who was filling Katja’s cart looked at me strangely and asked, “Are you together?” It seemed sort of obvious to me, but maybe she thought I was a crazy person or some sort of grocery philanthropist. In any case, I said “yes”, and we went on our way.
John Lane Buell was born to Ann and George Buell at Lawrenceburg, Indiana, just outside of Cincinnati, on Oct. 12, 1836. He studied in the Lawrenceburg public schools, then attended the Norwich Military Institute in Vermont for two years. He moved to Leavenworth, Kansas in 1857 and was one of a small band of youth that were the first from there to travel overland for Colorado. The group settled on the Platte River, near the present site of Denver, and Buell platted the present city of Boulder, then engaged in mining at the present site of Leadville. In 1860 Buell travelled to New Mexico, then to Texas which had seceded from the union. Escaping by night, Buell travelled by ship to New York City and was appointed a second lieutenant in the U.S. Infantry. He took part in the second battle at Bull Run and had command of two companies at Antietam. He lost 13 of 27 men to rebel fire. After Antietam Buell resigned from the army and returned to Lawrenceburg, serving in the Indiana militia. He entered Harvard College in 1863, studying law for six months, then returned to Lawrenceburg. Because of ill health, Mr. Buell sought a change of climate and moved to Menominee in 1866. He operated the Jones mill on the Green Bay shore, farmed, published the Menominee Journal, and practiced law. In 1871 Mr. Buell visited the area later known as the Menominee Range and was the first person to discover iron ore there, naming it the Quinnesec Mine. He was elected to the state legislature in 1872, serving as the representative from Menominee, Delta, Schoolcraft, and Chippewa counties for two years. He introduced the first ten-hour labor bill ever submitted, as well as the Marquette and Mackinaw Railroad bill. Buell married Ruth B. Ludlow from Lawrenceburg in 1863, the granddaughter of the first sheriff of Hamilton County.
Katja bought our first rabbit, Thumper, when J was a preschooler. Thumper pretty much had the run of the house though he wound up living in an outdoor hutch next to the garage at our Clifton Ave. apartment. When I recently visited J and his family in New Orleans, he told his kids about Thumper, his first pet rabbit.
The Great Gatsby. Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan, Toby Maguire. In a cinema adaptation of the F. Scott Fitzgerald novel, set in Long Island in the 1920’s, s Midwestern finds himself drawn to the past and lifestyle of his millionaire neighbor, only to conront obsession, madness, and tragedy. The biggest movie of the year to date creates an opulent jazz age world, tells a compelling tragic story, and provides Leonard DiCaprio with the vehicle for one of his best performances. Rotten Tomatoes: 48%; Blog: A.
Iron Man 3. Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow. When Tony Stark's world is torn apart by the terrorist Mandarin, he starts an odyssey of rebuilding and retribution. Terrific special effects are countered by a boring and senseless plot. Rotten Tomatoes: 84%; Blog: C. (West Chester Rave, 5-3-13)
Mud. Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon. Two boys find a man named Mud hiding out from bounty hunters on an island in the Mississippi, and they agree to help him escape with the love of his life, Juniper. A slow-moving kids’ adventure story set in a bleak world with a barely promising message about life’s prospects. Rotten Tomatoes: 92%; Blog: B-.
42. Chadwick Bosen, Harrison Ford. In 1947 Branch Rickey put himself at the forefront of history when he signed Jackie Robinson to the Dodgers. Despite being a 1950’s style sanitized Hollywood version, a powerhouse story with solid performances and an enduring message for an American audience. Rotten Tomatoes: 71%; Blog: B-.
Brooklyn Castle. Rotten Tomatoes: 98%; Blog: B+.
On the Road. Rotten Tomatoes: 56%; Blog: B- .
The Gatekeepers (Shomerei Ha'saf). Rotten Tomatoes: 91%; Blog: B+.
Hyde Park on Hudson. Rotten Tomatoes: 38%; Blog: A.
Anna Karenina. Rotten Tomatoes: 64%; Blog: B-.
A Good Day To Die Hard. Rotten Tomatoes: 16%; Blog: C-.
A Royal Affair (En kongelig affaere). Rotten Tomatoes: 89%; Blog: B+.
Side Effects. Rotten Tomatoes: 82%; Blog: B-.
Amour. Rotten Tomatoes: 92%; Blog: B-.
Gangster Squad. Rotten Tomatoes: 33%; Blog: C+.
Quartet. Rotten Tomatoes: 80%; Blog: B+.
Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel. Rotten Tomatoes: 95%; Blog: B-.
Zero Dark Thirty. Rotten Tomatoes: 94%; Blog: A. (Western Hills Rave, 1-11-13)
Hitchcock. Rotten Tomatoes: 65%; Blog: B.
The Impossible. Rotten Tomatoes: 78%; Blog: C.
Django Unchained. Jamie Foxx, Leonard DiCaprio. Rotten Tomatoes: 88%; Blog: A.
Les Miserables. Rotten Tomatoes: 71%; Blog: A-.
Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away 3D. Rotten Tomatoes: 54%; Blog: C+.
Silver Linings Playbook. Rotten Tomatoes: 90%; Blog: A-.
May 10: The Great Gatsby. Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan. Fitzgerald's novel.
May 15: Star Trek into Darkness. Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto. Captain Kirk returns.
May 31. Now You See Me. Morgan Freeman, Mark Ruffalo. Illusionists turn bank robbers.
June 7: After Earth. Will Smith. Earth destroyed.
June 14: Man of Steel. Henry Cavill, Russell Crowe. Superman adventures.
Jun 21: World War Z. Brad Pitt. Zombie movie.
June 28: White House Down. Channing Tatum, Jamie Foxx. White House taken over.
July 3: The Lone Ranger. Armie Hammer, Johnny Depp as Tonto. Western.
July 19: RED 2. Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren. Retired assassins.
July 26: The Wolverine. Hugh Jackman. Marvel Comics.
Aug. 2: 2 Guns. Denzel Washington, Mark Wahlberg. Military vs. mob.
Aug. 9: Elysium. Matt Damon, Jody Foster. Space adventure.
Aug. 28: Closed Circuit. Eric Bana, Rebecca Hall. Terrorist's lawyers.
(Source: www.cincinnati.com, May 9, 2013)
I always saw, I always said
If I were grown and free,
I'd have a gown of reddest red
As fine as you could see,
To wear out walking, sleek and slow,
Upon a Summer day,
And there'd be one to see me so
And flip the world away.
And he would be a gallant one,
With stars behind his eyes,
And hair like metal in the sun,
And lips too warm for lies.
I always saw us, gay and good,
High honored in the town.
Now I am grown to womanhood....
I have the silly gown.
After modern art, ballroom dancing, and line dancing classes on Tuesday, I left via Delta for New Orleans on Wednesday morning to visit J and K and grandkids V and L. I had a full week with lots of family fun and tourist things. The children are four and a half, cute, smart, and high energy. I went to the school, on a couple of play expeditions to City Park, to the Bayou Boogaloo Festival in mid-City, to the zoo, to an amazing place called Global Wildlife, and to their country place on the North Shore across Lake Ponchatrain. On my own I went to the Art Museum and the Sculpture Garden, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, the World War II Museum, and numerous galleries in the French Quarter and the Warehouse District. I ate out a lot too, did some thrift shops with J, and gave their dog Iko a lot of walks. A very full week.