p. 205, Back to Crying

Really, self has never experienced anything like it, not in her entire life: it’s like her eyes have been swollen to the size of golf balls for TWO DAYS, all on account of reading Anne Seba’s Ethel Rosenberg: An American Tragedy (The title was slightly different in the UK edition, self noticed. It was Ethel Rosenberg: A Cold War Tragedy).

And also, the house is really, really cold. Insulation is circa 1939, which means there is none. Self is wearing three sweaters.

Also: She is really glad it rained last night. And not just a little sprinkle, either. Ground was wet when she went to the backyard this morning.

p. 205:

  • Ethel was admant that her fate could not be separated from Julius’s: either both of them would be spared, or both would go to the electric chair. “A cold fury possesses me and I could retch with horror and revulsion for those unctuous saviors, these odious swine who are actually proposing to erect a terrifying sepulcher in which I shall live without living and die without dying” . . . Ethel had learned that she might be saved “out of a humanitarian consideration for me as a woman and as a mother while my husband is to be electrocuted,” an idea that appalled her.

Self is simply in awe. This should be an opera. Why hasn’t anyone turned this into an opera?

Meanwhile, on the rejection of their last appeal for clemency, to President Eisenhower, Judge Kaufman — yes, that same Judge Kaufman who presided over their initial trial, where he pretty much functioned as a member of the prosecution team — sets the date of execution for the following week. He’s waited two years for this moment, the moment when the Rosenbergs run out of options and face the music! Oooh. Can’t you just see his face? As far as this judge is concerned, the Rosenbergs should have received their just deserts in 1951, why have they been allowed to live an additional two years?

Ethel is calm, but Julius becomes belligerent. Why, he wants to know, do the other convicted spies get 15-year sentences and he and Ethel get the electric chair? Why indeed. That was probably a question for his lawyer, who was so completely out of his depth, he didn’t even think about the court of public opinion until it was too late.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Ethel and Julius Rosenberg in the prison van, 1951. The last time they were allowed to touch. Even on the day of their execution, two years later, they were separated by a wire mesh barrier.

Life in Colour: Late October, Hyde Park

She’s posting here for Travel Words’ Life in Colour Photo Challenge. Every month, Jude at the blog Travel Words announces a new colour for the challenge. This month’s is ORANGE.

Just look at these pictures she took in London’s Hyde Park. She was walking towards the Prince Albert Memorial. Even now, remembering her first sight of the monument, she can feel that visceral thrill. It wasn’t because of the monument itself, which is your standard royal monument. It was all the leaves she had to walk through to get to her destination.

How beautiul London is in the fall.

Water Water Everywhere (WWE) Challenge # 1

Yet another new Photo Challenge: Water Water Everywhere.

This one’s hosted by Photos by Jez. Enjoy his gorgeous photos of trees reflected in the Forth & Clyde Canal.

Guidelines for Water Water Everywhere are here.

Below: the last time self took a picture with water in it was at the Strybing Arboretum, 23 September.

It was a somewhat chilly day, not unusual at all for San Francisco. Note the flock of geese in the background.

Cee’s Black and White Photo Challenge (CBWC): WEATHER

Very happy that I found a photo for the CBWC this week.

Algodones, New Mexico (December 2019)

Six-Word Saturday Challenge: Golden Gate Park, Viewed from Above

This was from yesterday. Self went with a friend to see the Judy Chicago Retrospective at the de Young Museum.

It was a beautiful day, so we went up to the Observation Tower.

The Challenge Host is Travel with Intent.

Directly across the way is the California Academy of Sciences. Renzo Piano did the design. The living roof is her favorite thing. Six inches of soil were transported up there. The result: meadow. The Academy offers a naturalist-led tour that self highly recommends.

Here’s a view that shows more of the foreground:

Photographing Public Art Challenge (PPAC) # 7: Central Coast

Self still playing catch-up on the Photographing Public Art Challenge, co-hosted by Cee Neuner and Marsha Ingrao, which she adores.

She just completed a road trip to the Central Coast. She loves doing road trips because it’s a break from the unrelenting heat in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Robin’s, 4095 Burton Drive, Cambria: Each Table Top is a unique patchwork of tiles. Mine had a plane.

Cambria Nursery, 2801 Eaton Road, Cambria

Fence as Art: Cambria Nursery, 2801 Eaton Road, Cambria

Life in Colour: August Photo Challenge

The color this month is RED.

There are some intense reds in host Travel Words’ gallery.

Since self is currently on a road trip to the Central Coast, she decided to take pictures from the places she visited today:

Thai-rrific, 208 Higuera St., San Luis Obispo

Outdoor Mural, Pismo Beach

‘Twas foggy this morning, on Pismo Beach.

None of these reds are truly eye-popping. She took all these pictures today. She’s happy she decided to go to Pismo Beach early, before the crowds.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

July #TreeSquare Challenge # 16: Ocean Beach, Carmel

Self will try to post every day during the final days of the #TreeSquare Challenge for July: TREES.

Thank you so much, becky, for another fantastic Squares Challenge!

Currently on Road Trip # 3: CARMEL.

Took these shots of Monterey pines yesterday at Ocean Beach. It was a very cold day, but there were people in the water, and families on the beach, all looking like they were having a GREAT time! Kudos to the brave souls swimming without wetsuits! Water must have been freezing.

July #TreeSquare Challenge # 15: Misty Morning

We are in the final days of The life of B’s fabulous #TreeSquare challenge (The next Squares Challenge is in October) Her post today shows EMBROIDERY. Love it!

Since self is currently in the middle of Road Trip # 3 (Carmel and Monterey), her posts are all coastal trees and coastal gardens. It is cool here (refreshing change from the relentless heat of the South Bay) and there is thick morning mist.

She framed her shots this way because of course, she was thinking of the #TreeSquare challenge. She would never have used these angles otherwise. Thank you, Becky, for hosting!

July #TreeSquares Challenge #11: Last Year, During the Fires of September

Self was looking over the pictures in her archives. She was shocked to come upon the pictures of the backyard in September 2020. There were wildfires raging up and down the state. The Lightning Complex Fires in Santa Clara County, Santa Cruz County, and San Mataeo County began in August and raged through the first half of September. The air quality was so bad, and there were days she could distinctly smell smoke.

For today’s #TreeSquares Challenge, she’s posting these pictures as a reminder. She heard on the news that the fires raging now in California (there are quite a few) have burned four times as much acreage as the fires this time last year. Can you imagine if we get to September with worse air quality than what’s in these pictures. The heat so far this summer is so intense. Cross your fingers and pray.

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