Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Last Connecticut

Today is the last day we will be visiting Connecticut and I think I found a rather unique artist to help us say goodbye.  Judith Secco is a photographer, and yet as you will see from these examples, her images do not look like photographs.  They appear more like super real paintings.  She does not say how she accomplishes this feat but the images are certainly intriguing and beautiful.  I assume it is some sort of Photoshop legerdemain.  i will write to her and see if she will reveal her secrets and let you know.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018


This trip across our country has unearthed a lot of information that I didn't know and today I made a wonderful discovery that I am happy to share with you.

In 1933, four years before Disney's ground breaking and beautiful SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS premiered there was another animated version of this story created almost entirely by one man, Richard Crandall from Connecticut.  This is only a 7 minute film, but it took him six months to complete.  Actually that seems like a short time considering that each cell was created by hand and there are hundreds needed.  It is a wonderful piece of early animation with some great music and imaginative ideas galore.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018


While searching for Connecticut artists I found Irene Reed who made some fabulous art using crochet as her medium.  You have to give it to an artist who dared to use this homey form with such finesse that it was elevated to "Fine Art" because of her imagination and skill.  Here is some more information about her.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Connecticut #9

Alexander Calder, Sol Lewitt, and Jasper Johns were all born in Connecticut.  They all seem to like primary colors.  Something about the light in Connecticut or the era they live in?

Alexander Calder

Sol LeWitt

Jasper Johns

Thursday, July 19, 2018


Frederick Edwin Church, perhaps the best known painter of the Hudson River School, came from Connecticut.  He did not limit himself to painting the Hudson River area however as he and his wife traveled around the world and he painted wherever he went.  His story is interesting. He was very popular when in his early and middle years but the Hudson River School went out of style in his later years as modernism took the public by storm.  His reputation has only grown over the years however and his work is certainly monumental and  deserving of the greatest respect.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018


It seems to be time to look for artists in Connecticut.  Let's begin with the original people.  These are examples of their art.  The first handsome dude is an example of why the original settlers thought the native Americans were so strong and healthy.  Their face painting was quite spectacular.  I would like to get my hands on one of the beautiful Bandoliers to carry my cell phone for special occasions.

Monday, July 16, 2018


Connecticut is one of the richest, perhaps THE richest state in the union but apparently it is not going to stay that way for long.  The majority of the wealth resides along the gold coast and comes from the financial world. The great insurance industry has produced many millionaires and in recent years lots of hedge fund people make their money in New York and commute to Connecticut to live.  Unfortunately like other cities in the United States this wealth lives beside great pockets of poverty.  Also like many cities in the Northeast the population is flowing West and South for better climate, lower taxes and cheaper real estate.  And so it goes with Americans who can move great distances without a passport.

This article from the Atlantic gives you the full picture.

Here is the final paragraph.

In the biggest picture, Connecticut is a victim of two huge trends—first, the revitalization of America’s great rich cities and second, the long-term rise of hot, cheap suburbs. But Connecticut’s cities are not rich or great; its weather is not hot year-round; and its cost-of-living is not low. The state once benefited from the migration of corporations and their employees from grim and dangerous nearby metros, but now that wave is receding. To get rich, Connecticut offered a leafy haven where America’s titans of finance could move. To stay rich, it will have to build cities where middle-class Americans actually want to stay.

Thursday, July 12, 2018


In 1636 the Piquot Indians were defeated in the Piquot War.  The Piquot eventually were dispersed to reservations and other States with some still living in Connecticut as citizens.
In 1662 Connecticut's original Charter granted it all the land to the "South Sea" - that is the Pacific Ocean.  Connecticut took its grant seriously and established a ninth county between the Susquehanna River and the Delaware River named Westmoreland County.  This resulted in the brief Pennamite Wars with Pennsylvania.  Eventually all the land originally claimed by Connecticut was broken up, ceded to the United States or grabbed by its neighbors leaving the State borders that remain.
Our country was founded on one war after another with boundaries of the States shifting with the tides of human greed.  We take for granted our country with its neat boundaries around States, with governments in place for quite a while, but it was not always so and one wonders how long it will last as it is.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018


The President's pick for the Supreme Court, Brett Kavanaugh, went to Yale University.  Yale of course is in Connecticut.  This article talks about the way Connecticut Governor Danel P. Malloy feels about this appointment.

“Everything from marriage equality, civil rights, workers’ rights, protection for preexisting conditions (and) inadequate gun safety laws would be in peril if President (Donald) Trump’s nominee is confirmed,” said Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.

The question in my mind is whether this guy is bad enough to make a fight over, or if he is not approved, would the next nominee be worse.  Can the Democrats keep fighting until the mid term elections or a possible inditement or impeachment of Trump?  Or should they save their ammunition for a more winnable fight later?

What do you think?

Monday, July 9, 2018

Connecticut #4

While examining the states so far I have been increasingly curious about the switch in the philosophy of the two parties.  The Democrats began their lives as slave supporting, small government advocates and the Republicans were big government supporters of infrastructure improvements and liberal treatment of slaves.  How did that big switch occur and why?  Here is a good article about it.


So it all has to do with business really.  The Republicans have not really changed.  They were always for what helped big business!

Friday, July 6, 2018


Just got my last post and noted I spelled inlaws as inlays.  I think even Saturday Night Live would have a hard time making a sketch out of Indian and Colonists inlays getting together.  I changed it so some of you will not see the mistake but for those who got it perhaps you can come up with something.

connecticut #3

Thinking about the Indians and the earlier colonists in the middle of the night when sleep eluded me I began to wonder how much inter marriage there was.  This morning I searched around a bit and found this surprising statistic.  The 1700s French census of France’s North American subjects shows that over 50% of marriages were interracial. Over 50%!!!

THIS very interesting article tells all.  I suggest reading.  You won't be disappointed.  Imagine the inlaws getting together for family dinner as an SNL routine.

Thursday, July 5, 2018


The first European settlers were Dutch and English, the English arriving from Massachusetts.   In 1639 they established the FUNDAMENTAL ORDERS OF CONNECTICUT.  I encourage you to take a look at this document.  Some say it was a precursor of the Constitution.  What I get from reading it is a new respect for those brave, intelligent men who wrote the Constitution, because as you can see by a short look at this earlier document language can be so convoluted and laden with references to God's power that it is almost undecipherable.  Of course the Constitution was written 137 later but that does not entirely account for the lucidity and brilliance found there.  One would hope that clarity of language would improve over time and in this case it certainly did.  Language reflects the mind of the writer and the mind of the writer is reflected in the language he or she uses.  What do Tweets say about our present state of lucidity?

Here is a recent tweet by our President.

  1. After having written many best selling books, and somewhat priding myself on my ability to write, it should be noted that the Fake News constantly likes to pore over my tweets looking for a mistake. I capitalize certain words only for emphasis, not b/c they should be capitalized!

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

We interrupt this program to celebrate the 4th of July. How better to do so than with Irving Berlin's GOD BLESS AMERICA sung by Kate Smith.  No matter how you feel about God or the state of America today, or because of the way you feel about God and the country today, I dare you to watch and listen to this without swelling up with tears.


God Bless America" is an American patriotic song written by Irving Berlin in 1918 and revised by him in 1938, as sung by Kate Smith (becoming her signature song). Berlin wrote the song in 1918 while serving in the U.S. Army at Camp Upton in Yaphank, New York, but decided that it did not fit in a revue called Yip Yip Yaphank, so he set it aside. In 1938, with the rise of Hitler, Berlin, who was Jewish and a first-generation European immigrant, felt it was time to revive it as a "peace song", and it was introduced on an Armistice Day broadcast in 1938 sung by Kate Smith, on her radio show. More than just the dramatic words and melody, the arrangement for Kate Smith's performance was accompanied by full band, progressing into a grand march tempo, with trumpets triple reinforcing the harmonies between stanzas: the dramatic build-up ends on the final exposed high note, which Kate Smith sang in the solo as a sustained a cappella note, with the band then joining for the finale. In 1943, Smith's rendition was featured in the patriotic musical "This is the Army" along with other Berlin songs. The manuscripts in the Library of Congress reveal the evolution of the song from victory to peace. Berlin gave the royalties of the song to the God Bless America Fund for Redistribution to the Boy Scouts of America and the Girl Scouts of the USA...Ned Nickerson

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Connecticut #2

Now that we know who was there in the very beginning let's see exactly where Connecticut is.

As you can see New York is to the West, Massachusetts to the North and Rhode Island to the East with a very large shore line with the Long Island Sound.  My daughter Ellie has a house on the North Fork and so I sometimes swim in the Long Island Sound.  It is an estuary, a place where saltwater from the ocean mixes with fresh water from rivers draining the land.  Estuaries are among the most productive ecosystems on Earth.  They serve as feeding, breeding, and nursery areas for many species that spend most of their adult lives in the ocean.

The Indians must have been very happy along these shores.

Monday, July 2, 2018


Here we are in the East for the first time investigating Connecticut, one of the states that was in the original colonies. But way back 12,000 years ago there were Paleo-Indians inhabiting the region.  They were thought to be semi nomadic, moving their habitations during the year to use resources that changed with the seasons.

These earlier people eventually evolved into several Indian tribes of the ALGONKIN INDIAN FAMILY.  This included the Pequot and the Mohicans who we know from the classic novel THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS written by James Fenimore Cooper in 1826.  The book was later made into several movies.  This is a trailer for the latest made in 1996 starring Danial Day Lewis, THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS.   HERE is a link to the 1936 version with Randolph Scott. This one I saw as a child.  It made a big impression on me.  I think I saw it on TV in the early days of television or maybe at the Keswick Theatre where there was a children's matinee every Saturday afternoon.  Because it was in black and white it seemed to come from the distant past and be a fascinating peep hole into what went on in the early days of our country.