The Noose

Self pulled a switcheroo one sleepless night and decided to read Ethel Rosenberg: An American Tragedy. Something about the prose, something about the hour, something about her mood — she put aside Chris Offutt for later.

The past few days, she’s been reading about idealistic young Ethel Rosenberg, and she hopes her heart doesn’t break too much later, when Ethel is sentenced. It’s bad enough reading about what a hard worker she was, how determined she was to be a good wife and mother, and how all her life she yearned for music and scrimped and saved to buy herself a piano.

Of Julius and Ethel, it is pretty clear that Ethel is probably more intelligent. Definitely, she’s the one more rooted in family (as the woman usually is, even now). So when Julius gets flattered into passing on information to a Russian agent on p. 58, it is quite a gut punch.

Julius Rosenberg to his Russian “handler,” Alexander Feklisov, who was four years Julius’s senior, who’d “been working in New York since 1940”:

  • “I know you may not be aware of it, but our meetings are among the happiest moments of all my life . . . I have a wonderful wife and son whom I adore but you are the only person who knows all my secrets and it’s very important to be able to confide to someone.”

Damn you, Julius Rosenberg and also damn you, Alexander Feklisov!

The Russians expressed skepticism, remarking with cool detachment that his “health is nothing splendid.”

Sentence of the Day, 1st Sunday of October 2021

George Holliday, who recorded the beating of Rodney King, died on September 19th, aged 61.

Lead sentence, The man on the balcony,The Economist Obituary, 2 October 2021:

  • For near on nine minutes, George Holliday stood outside his second-floor windows with his three-pound Sony Handycam clamped to his eye.

It is quite an amazing article.

World’s Fair, Chicago, 1893

In the wee hours, self finished reading The End of Men. Her heart broke for one particular character. There is no real sense of closure (She’s been seeing that more and more in fiction, recently). Four stars out of five!

Her current read is Miracles and Madness: Insanity, Modernism, and Hitler’s War on Art, by Charlie English. Goody, self does love to read about World War II, insanity, etc.

On pp. 6 – 7, the Chicago World Fair of 1893 is described:

A seven-hundred acre site was filled with the fruits of humanity’s most technologically advanced era. Twenty-seven million people would visit, the equivalent of almost half the U.S. population at the time. In Paris four years earlier, fairgoers had been astonished by Gustave Eiffel’s tower, an ironwork lattice that pierced the sky to the height of a thousand feet. The American riposte, the first ferris wheel, was also vast — as high as the tallest of the new skyscrapers — but this construction moved. Powered by thousand-horsepower steam engines, it could lift up thirty-eight thousand visitors each day for a view few had ever seen that of the human world had ever seen: that of the human world from above.

Before & After: Stories from New York, Edited by Thomas Beller

This anthology was required reading in son’s high school English.

The front cover:

The back cover:

43 at Shanksville, Pennsylvania, 11 Septemer 2021

As a nation, our adjustments have been profound.

In the weeks after 9/11, I was proud to lead a united, resilient people. So much of our politics has become an . . . appeal to worry, anger, and resentment. I can only tell you that on our day of trial and grief, I saw people reach for their neighbor’s hands and rally to the cause of one another. That is the America I know.

I saw people reject prejudice, and accept people of the Muslim faith. That is the America I know.

This is not mere nostalgia. this is the truest version of ourselves. This is what we have been, and what we can be again.

On 9/11, the terrorists discovered that a random group of Americans is a remarkable group of people . . . They shocked the terrorists. This is the America I know.

Self found it significant that in his speech, 43 mentioned that we “have seen evidence that” we continue to see terrorism today, but on a new front, at home: “In their determination to defile national symbols, they are children of the same foul spirit, and they must be confronted.”

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

July #TreeSquare Challenge #14: An Orchard

Self couldn’t post every day in July, but she’s making up for it in the final week.

More trees!

Beautiful, beautiful trees!

Thanks so much to becky of The life of b for hosting the Squares Challenges. She has a beautiful gallery of photographs. Go check them out!

Today’s trees are from the orchard behind Alta Bakery, 502 Munras St., Monterey, California. A sign tells the history of the orchard.

Link of the Day: Frederick Douglass

On July 5, 1852, Frederick Douglass stood before the 600-odd members of the Rochester Ladies’ Anti-Slavery Society in Central New York and delivered what would become one of his most famous speeches, best known today as “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?”

Lithub.com, July 4 – July 10

New Challenge: Photographing Public Art

Thanks to Cee Neuner and Marsha Ingrao for co-hosting a new challenge, Photographing Public Art (PPAC).

How it works:

  • We will take turns, one of us hosting every week exploring art in public places. We invite you to join in the fun of exposing public art where you find it – at home or in your travels.

For self’s first post for this challenge, self is happy to share this sculpture, standing right next to the San Luis Obispo Train Station, which she stumbled on last week:

Artist: Elizabeth MacQueen

Stay cool, dear blog readers. Stay cool.

Three So Far 2021

Finished reading Oak Flat: The Fight for Sacred Land in the American West, by Lauren Redniss, early this morning. Wow. Blown away by the polyphonic voices. And by the simple yet so-moving illustrations (by the author herself).

It joins two other books as self’s five-star reads of the 2021 reading year:

  • Ice Walker: A Polar Bear’s Journey Through the Frozen Arctic, by James Raffan (nonfiction)
  • The Relentless Moon, by Mary Robinette Kowal (science fiction)

Mary Robinette Kowal is one of the authors participating in this year’s SiliCon, which will be happening this August at the San Jose Convention Center. Self rushed out and got her tickets. She can’t waaaaait for August.

Have a great summer, dear blog readers.

The Dakota Pipeline and the Standing Rock Sioux

In 2016, protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline attracted worldwide attention. The oil pipeline was designed to run from North to South Dakota, across Iowa, and into Illinois. The Standing Rock Sioux objected to the pipeline’s path on the grounds that it violated treaty rights and threatened the tribe’s water supply, grave sites and sacred land. Thousands camped out at Standing Rock to try and stop the project . . . In December 2016, the Obama administration blocked construction of the pipeline’s most contested section.

A month later, newly inaugurated president Donald Trump reversed the decision. By June 2017, oil was flowing. In the tumultuous first year of the Trump administration, the media moved on. In September 2017, Standing Rock Sioux tribal chairman David Archambault II, a hero while the spotlight was trained on the controversy, was voted out of office.

— Chapter 10, Oak Flat: the Fight for Sacred Land in the American West

This is a fascinating book, as self keeps saying. She hopes she can finish it tonight and return it to the library tomorrow, because it’s way overdue and someone’s put a hold on it.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

« Older entries

Cath's Camera

life through my lens

The life of B

Mainly through the lens of a Nikon

myguiltypleasures

welcome to my past, present and future mixed with whatever pops up right now

Iain Kelly

Fiction Writing

John's Space .....

"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference." The Road Not Taken, by Robert Frost

nancy merrill photography

capturing memories one moment at a time

Rantings Of A Third Kind

The Blog about everything and nothing and it's all done in the best possible taste!

Sauce Box

Never get lost in the Sauce

GK Dutta

Be One... Make One...

Cee's Photo Challenges

Teaching the art of composition for photography.

Fashion Not Fear

Fueling fearlessness through style and inspiration.

Wanderlust and Wonderment

My writing and photo journey of inspiration and discovery

transcribingmemory

Decades of her words.

John Oliver Mason

Observations about my life and the world around me.

InMyDirection

fiction, short story, writing, creative content

Insanity at its best!

Yousuf Bawany's Blog

lita doolan productions

Any old world uncovered by new writing

unbolt me

the literary asylum

CSP Archives

Archive of the CSP