Pulitzer Prize Photographs

It was a busy day today. I ran errands all day long. I won’t bore you though with any recitations. At the end of the day I found myself cruising by Forest Park and decided to duck in, to see what was new at the history museum. One of the two main halls is closed as they stage the next new show, but the other one was open, with actually two new exhibits. The first photographic show is entitled Pulitzer Prize Photographs and was produced by the Newseum, of Washington, DC. The other is locally produced and called, In Focus: St. Louis Post-Dispatch Photographs. The Post was the flagship of the Pulitzer newspaper empire.

I’ve sampled two photos from each show, which I feel is fair use. I don’t usually photograph photos. I think that doing so is too meta, but this is an exceptional collection of pictures. There are eighty pictures on display, out of a portfolio that numbers over a thousand. Many of the photographs are iconic: Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima, Ruby Shoots Oswald, Babe Ruth’s Final Farewell, to name a few.

Many of the displayed pictures are disturbing. There are ample warning signs at the exhibit’s entrance. Don’t worry though, because I decided to choose only photos of a lighthearted or uplifting subject matter. The following paragraphs  gives a synopsis of the exhibits description for each of the above photos:

  1. It was a hot and muggy day. The photographer heard a women scream and looked up to see a lineman dangling lifelessly above him. A second line- man climbed up to him and gave the first mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. After a while, the second lineman called down to the gathered crowd that the first was breathing again. He suffered extensive burns, but survived.
  2. Kosovo was Europe’s worse refugee crisis since World War II. This picture was shot outside a refugee camp in Albania. The infant is being passed back-and-forth between relatives who are already in the camp and newly arrived relatives, who are waiting to get into the camp.
  3. Whitey Kurowski, Enos Slaughter, Marty Marion and Stan Musial helped the Cardinals to their sixth World Championship in 1946.
  4. “All I really need to accomplish are two lanes for my car”, said Richard Burst of Webster Groves. I remember seeing this photo in the paper, but of course that was only last winter.


The Calamitous Calumet

Calumet Aground

The big news in the Soo is that the lake boat Calumet (630′) ran aground in the Saint Mary’s River, forcing the closure of the locks. The Marine Traffic app already shows about a dozen freighters waiting for the shipping channel to reopen. The boat ran aground at its bow on Wednesday, near midnight. 

The above photo was taken near Clyde’s burger stand, which is downriver from the locks. If you look closely at it, you can see that the port bow is riding a little higher than the starboard side. The boat is well out of the channel, but when you already have one shipwreck, you certainly don’t want another one to occur, so the Coast Guard is exercising caution. The zodiac in the foreground is a Coast Guard vessel and the one by the stern, I believe, is the contractor’s boat, who deployed the yellow oil spill boom. Currently, there has been no oil leakage.

The Calumet had just offloaded its cargo in the Soo and was in ballast when it grounded. Which begs the question, how are they going to lighten the boat to get it off the rocks? I suppose that the Corps of Engineers could release more water from Lake Superior, with the hope that a rising tide floats all boats. Just saying. 

This is not the Calumet’s first rodeo either. Last year, in another accident, the boat struck a Cleveland restaurant, Shooters, on the Cuyahoga River. All of which begs the question, how did this latest accident occur? What was the captain thinking? To help answer these questions, I offer up the following top ten excuses that the Calumet’s captain could use for running aground:

  1. The sun got in my eyes.
  2. Is starboard on the left-side or the right-side of the boat?
  3. Canadian pirates. (Arrrgh-eh!)
  4. A Soo Locks Boat Tour boat sideswiped me and I ended up in the ditch.
  5. I was sitting right back and telling a tale, a tale of a fateful trip…
  6. Buoys! Buoys! We don’t need no stinking buoys.
  7. Who wants burgers and fries from Clyde’s?
  8. The 1st mate yelled, “rock” and I started jamming on my guitar.
  9. Red and green lights always reminds me of Christmas. 
  10. Iceberg, dead ahead!

Until the Flood

[White] Mask, David Moore, 1971

[White] Mask, David Moore, 1971

Ferguson, Michael Brown and Darren Wilson, two years after these names were first in the news, they still sting the ears. Until the Flood just finished its run at the Saint Louis Repertory Theater. Written by and starring Dael Orlandersmith, this one-woman, one-act play is both short and intense. Ms. Orlandersmith portrays a host of Saint Louisans, black and white, young and old, male and female. Each new voice adds another viewpoint to the events of two summers ago, when long simmering problems came to a boil and thrust Saint Louis into the unwanted glare of the national spotlight. In the intervening two years some good has come out of that summer’s tragedy, the Black Lives Matter movement was born and has gone national, federally mandated local municipal reform has corrected some of the most egregious inequities that helped to precipitate the troubles in  Ferguson and this play that reminds us once again, less we forget, of our community’s feelings of both outrage and shame about the events in Ferguson.

Happy Anniversary!

Harry and Bubs - 1954

Harry and Bubs – 1954

Happy 63rd anniversary, Bubs and Harry!

Anne has been busy scanning family photos, in-between making plans to head north again. In addition to her looking forward to returning to Michigan, to see family and to summer at her cabin, the weather here is providing plenty of additional incentive to get the heck out of Dodge. The last time that I checked it is 101 ˚F, but don’t worry, because it only feels like 115 ˚F. We should get a momentary cool down tomorrow, which will be much appreciated, because we would like to get outside some this weekend.

A good rule for rocket experimenters to follow is this: always assume that it will explode. Astronautics Magazine, 1937

There was the odor of schadenfreude at Spacely Sprockets this morning. One of our competitors in the launch vehicle business, SpaceX had some misfortune. Their Falcon 9 rocket after successfully delivering two of Mister Spacely’s satellites into orbit had a problem. The Falcon 9 rocket features a reusable booster that lands vertically on the landing pad, as if it was a rocket out of some 1950s science fiction yarn. This rocket has successfully blasted-off and landed four times, but on this fifth landing attempt it experienced a Rapid Unscheduled Disassembly, as they say in the parlance. They even have an acronym version of this, RUD, in short it blew-up. We at Spacely’s have been watching the progress of Elon Musk and his team with a combination of admiration and apprehension. They are doing great stuff, but yesterday’s accident amply demonstrated that they’re not quite yet ready for prime time.

Once the rockets are up, who cares where they come down? That’s not my department. — Tom Lehrer