Saturday, June 29, 2013
"Auntie Mame" written by Marion Tanner's nephew , Edward Everett Tanner III ,under the pen name,Patrick Dennis , is being shown on the Turner Classic Movies Channel tonight. I remember being taken to a Broadway showing of Auntie Mame as a child growing up in the 1960's. It was one of my most memorable trips to New York City and Auntie Mame remained my favorite musical comedy to date. The real life Bohemian Salon matron of the arts and humanities ,Marion Tanner, passed away in 1985. I like to reminisce about her life and spiritual vitality on sultry , storm-threatening summer nights like tonight. "NEW YORK — Marion Tanner, 94, self-described as ``the ultimate Greenwich Village eccentric`` and the apparent model for the madcap fictional character Auntie Mame, has died. She had suffered a stroke two months ago. Known as one of Greenwich Village`s most colorful inhabitants, Miss Tanner bought a red brick house at 72 Bank Street in 1927, and for many years it was a haven and salon for struggling artists, writers, freethinkers, radicals and a wide spectrum of what Miss Tanner sometimes called ``Bohemian types.`" ..."Miss Tanner was born March 6, 1891, in Buffalo. She was graduated from Smith College and became an ice hockey instructor--the sort of thing a Mame might do. She studied psychology and psychiatric methodology with Erich Fromm and Karen Horney, and received a master`s degree in sociology from New York University. Miss Tanner devoted much of her life to caring for children from broken homes, and, although she had none of her own, she always had homeless children living with her. Miss Tanner also taught in private schools, did social work and was a volunteer at Greenwich House, a children`s center. In the 1930s she worked as an arbitrator and mediator with the National Labor Relations Board."[ ] We need to remember Marion Tanner, "Auntie Mame" to shake us out of our slumbers in these treacherous, bourgeois times . we're enjoying the sleepwalk too much .
Thursday, June 27, 2013
I finished reading this new bicycling prospective on improving our local roads and connecting bridges to better serve everyone in the community. Okay , car drivers ,slow down, move over ,and share the road more fairly!"General Washington and bicyclists have (at least) one thing in common: difficulty in crossing the Delaware. After examining twelve bridges that connect New Jersey and Pennsylvania at or near Philadelphia, we are releasing a new report that reveals how poorly the Delaware River bridges provide bicycle and pedestrian accessibility. " http://blog.bicyclecoalition.org/2013/06/crossover-our-new-report-on-walking-and.html And Here's a great idea from @https://www.facebook.com/BicyclistsBelongInTheTrafficLane on calling local artists to design new , artful bike lanes. http://blog.bicyclecoalition.org/2013/06/calling-artists-design-phillys-new-art.html
The U.S. Navy hasn't always been completely open about even routine exercises that they've been involved with at sea. I remember years ago in the early 80's a ship that I worked on was sailing off the coast of North Carolina . There was a U S Naval exercise going on and some practice bombing runs by a few Navy jets in the area. One of the dummy heat-seeking missiles that was launched from one of the jets went awry and locked on to the heat from our ship's stack . The missile just missed going down the stack, and struck on the upper aft lifeboat deck above the ship's galley . No one was hurt, and there had been only minimal damage done , and we continued on to our destination ,Port Arthur ,Texas. Upon arriving in port, U.S. Naval officials were on hand to take complete control , brief the small town press and t v reporters, and retrieve their 'property ' even though no one from the Navy ever actually got around to confirming that the missile had been fired by them . The only warning we had was the jets flying low over the path of the ship. And luck had a lot to do with no one getting hurt. I think that the jet pilots were more surprised and embarrassed than anyone else. I accept it as a kind of cautious optimism tale that we have to be constantly wary of how new, fantastic and complex technology are really going to work in the real world despite the idealistic claims we made for it .
Friday, June 21, 2013
what I find most disturbing is how Claymont's town "center" has become obscured and nearly buried by the suburban sprawl and hop-scotch development of the last thirty years. Claymont 's 'center ' was built around the older two-lane post road , the 'King's Highway' that's been named the Philadelphia Pike and now has become a four lane(in some stretches) highway. The 'Hickman Row homes', 'Overlook Colony' , Brookview Apts., the residential homes built on the slope leading down to the train station (northeast area beside Myrtle Avenue , etc. were inter-spaced in between the commercial properties and businesses --the biggest businesses were ,of course, Worth/Phoenix Steel Corp. (now Chinese-owned Evraz Steel), Dupont's Chemical plant in near-by Edgemoor, and the anchor department store Strawbridges&Clothier in the old Merchandise Mart and the Sears&Roebuck store on the Pike. The smaller businesses(Richardson's, Buffington's, Reese's Gulf, Charles Moon's Plumbing, the Food Fair(now the Waterfall catering establishment, the A&P (now Food Lion , Hoy's 5&10, Walberts, Smith's Drugstore & Soda Fountain, the Claymont Public Stone Library, The Wren House, Naamans Tea House, The Pantry, etc.) were built closer along either side of Philadelphia Pike between the two main High Schools Claymont High and Archmere Academy(rivals in football and for students seeking a smoother upward social mobility path.) What strikes me most about Claymont in its hey day was the literal rubbing of elbows closeness of the very poorest with the wealthiest in the town, we all walked to the same stores on the Pike, took the same mass transit , (Pennsylvania railroad , Wilmington bus service), and shared the same dreams of getting ahead through education, hard work, and community service. I am also struck by the sad realization of the slashing up of the Claymont town center by the two super highways I-95 and I-495 and the damage it has done to Claymont's original exurban fabric integrity. Claymont proper had been cut off from its principle mass transit resource, the train station, and nothing has taken its place . Good walkable towns with strong vibrant cultural and business cores need reliable, friendly, pleasurable mass transit to survive .