Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Evanston: Russian interference; RARE BIRD; two men; .333

        Not the Presidential election this time, but the GPS system.  You may want to buy a sextant after all. 


  Moore 24 owners lavish time and money on their boats.  I am not the only one who recognizes them as masterpieces.  Above is RARE BIRD, hull #67.  GANNET is #40 of the 156 built.
Joe Dillard bought RARE BIRD, not then her name, a year or so ago and set Gilles Combrisson, who made GANNET’s cockpit pod and is a master of carbon fiber, to modify and restore her.  I think of GANNET as being a simple boat, but compared to RARE BIRD’s elegant minimalism, she is cluttered.
        Seeing photos of the immaculate GRENDEL and RARE BIRD is increasing my need to get back and sort out GANNET, though I acknowledge I will never bring her to the standards of those two boats.
  Here is a link to a gallery of photos of RARE BIRD.  The workmanship is exquisite.  Note the details such as the jib furling line leading below deck.
I thank Joe and Gilles for permission to use the photo.

Recently readers have made me aware of two remarkable men.  I thank Steve for bringing Nathaniel H. Bishop to my attention; and Win for Walter Anderson.  Their lives did not quite overlap.  Bishop died in 1902; Anderson was born a year later.
I am presently reading Bishop’s FOUR MONTHS IN A SNEAK-BOX.  A Sneak-box is a small boat usually used by duck hunters.  Bishop’s was twelve feet long, that is six feet shorter than CHIDIOCK TICHBORNE, and he speaks of it as being comfortable and spacious.  
During the winter of 1875-76 he rowed, drifted and sailed the tiny craft from Pittsburg down the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, then along the Gulf Coast to Florida, where he joined the end of a previous voyage in a paper boat from Montreal.  There is a book about that, too, which I have yet to read and so cannot answer the obvious questions about a boat made of paper. 
Prior to both these cruises, at age seventeen he walked a thousand miles through South America.  There is a book on that, too.
FOUR MONTHS IN A SNEAK-BOX is very enjoyable reading both for the portrayal of a remarkable man and a portrait of life on the rivers and this country just before its Centennial.

This is an illustration taken from the book.
All three of Bishop’s books are available as free downloads and I will read them all.
Walter Anderson was a reclusive artist who lived on the Mississippi coast and regularly rowed several miles out to Horn Island where he drew and made water colors of everything he saw.  He dragged his rowboat ashore and slept under it in bad weather.  
He was married and had children, but kept his work in a locked studio and it was not until after his death that even his family knew what he had created.
Here is a link to a short video about Anderson.  After viewing it, I ordered the full DVD.
And here are links to a couple of articles about him.

        The NY TIMES reference is to Georgia O'Keeffe and I think wrong.  Walter Anderson was his own original self, not a Mississippi version of someone else however complimentary the comparison is meant to be.
If you google, you will find many images of his art, particularly at Realizations, The Walter Anderson Shop.


  I am not wearing my Apple watch today.  There is no point.  Yesterday it showed that I did 0 minutes of exercise.
  .333 is a very good batting average in baseball. It is somewhat less desirable as the percentage of places biopsied that are cancer.  In my case two of six, one near my right knee, the other on my left upper arm.  So I had to go back to my skin cancer specialist on Monday.  After slicing and dicing she stitched me back up.  I not only can’t exercise, the stitches near my knee prevent it from bending fully and I can’t even climb stairs.  The ignominy of having to ride the elevator to take out the trash.
  The stitches are due to be removed shortly before I return to GANNET.    
        In the meantime I am an aging couch potato, watching Wimbledon, the last season of BREAKING BAD, and the Cubs lose.