Old photos, lively spirits

I have spent the past week sorting, scanning, labeling, and gently restoring old family photos. Like “The Velveteen Rabbit,” they are creased and faded and scuffed, but the very fact that they have been preserved over the decades is testament to their strong spirit. How many old photos get lost or discarded over the years? […]

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The Rochester Patriarchy 1914

Once upon a time, Jim bought a book called “Club Men of Rochester in Caricature.” It was produced in 1914 by Jack Sears and associated cartoonists and printed at the Roycrofters shop in East Aurora NY. The suede-bound volume contains elaborate and affectionate caricatures of 340 Rochester “club men” — businessmen, doctors, lawyers, architects, and […]

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The tau tau and storytelling

Everything sooner or later turns into a story. Maybe in God-time the Word becomes Flesh. But in my experience Flesh fades into Word and the Word becomes Story. Yeah. People loved hanging out with my Irish-American parents, because any disaster could be neutralized by turning it into a story and having a good laugh. It […]

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#1850 Japanese Album

About four years ago, when I thought I’d finished inventorying and cataloging Jim’s better collections, we opened one last drawer in his study — the drawer where he kept trinkets and curios he used for gifts. Beneath the parrot brooches and the scuba-diver toys, we found a few “lost” treasures, including this one — 25 […]

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I am organized, but not obsessive. Get get intense about something. And then it’s put away “for another day.” I’m working on our “stuff” this week, preparing for another round of “tidying up” — a.k.a. selling off. I have a square, metal-mesh file box (image above) full of folders labeled “to do,” all about Jim’s […]

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Thoughts on knives

First thought: guy stuff. Keep it in the man cave. Second thought: useful tool. Where would civilization be without sharp-edged tools for cutting, chopping, slicing, carving, etc.? Third thought: power object. This gallery of Jim’s collection shows knives, daggers, and swords that are as beautiful as they are useful. They are the product of centuries […]

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Rosetsu: Boy on Elephant

Between winter cocoon projects and outdoor summer projects, while workers buzz and grind their way through our bathroom upgrade, I putter around in the files and come upon the little stack of catalogues where Jim’s stuff has been exhibited — back in some superheated era before I arrived on the scene and Jim retreated into […]

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The Maltese Buddha

So we heard about the garage-sale Buddha that brought $2.1 million at Sotheby’s. And wouldn’t you know — we have one just like it! I took it off the shelf, found the receipt, dug out the description. Yep, it was definitely the same style. I was struck with gold fever. While Jim wondered what had […]

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