Friday, April 27, 2012

This Crazy New Island Project

It began in 1992 when I made a painting of a woman dancing on a bluff, and then decided that this event was taking place on an island somewhere - a big island with a variety of landforms. I just had to explore this place so I made many more paintings and drawings of places on the island, including some of the towns and settlements.  Later I made up a map of the island, and then started writing about its history and culture.

In 2003 I self-published The New Island Relocation Guide, a 155-page book about the island and its cultural history. Now I am rewriting the book as a kind of adventure story that will also document the island, including all maps and illustrations, this time in color. I've already posted a few short segments, about a fellow named Alan Faramond who physically lives in the Midwest but lives in his imagination somewhere else.


Monday, April 23, 2012

A Vacant Lot in Putney - from the Putney Times

Many Putney Times readers have been asking about Peagarden Park since our last article. Times city reporter Melvin Kox took a walk around there and filed this report.

Vacant lots have stories
Have you ever walked through an old neighborhood and found a vacant lot amid elegant old, perhaps eccentric homes? A large lot with big trees in the back, and perhaps some forgotten cement work or an overgrown, weedy walkway leading to nowhere?

On the corner of Rigby and Joplin streets in Putney's Peagarden Neighborhood sits such a lot. When I walked by it the other day, I first discovered the old formal walk beginning at the street corner, proceeding up some cracked steps, then disappearing under scrub oaks. Then I heard voices and noticed about eight teenagers huddled back in the trees, having what seemed to be an intense conversation. Bees were buzzing everywhere, likely attracted to the flood of poppies and miandra blooming just now. Have you ever had miandra-blossom honey by the way? Uuuum!

I asked the lady waiting at the streetcar stop if she lived near here, and knew anything about the lot. "Well, I believe a Russian navy man named Valeri Polyakov once owned it, but he had to leave back around 1905, or 1906, one of those years. Now, I think someone has just bought it, but no one knows who...but just the other day my neighbor told me she noticed a woman walking around the property with who she thought might be Faramond the architect." Then the Seville - Library trolley showed up and she had to go.

This is the Peagarden park neighborhood.
The vacant lot above has a number 6 on it.