now we are 4

photo by Eva Porter

Despite the fact that the birthday girl is nowhere evident, the above photo is my fave taken of the partay. The left one, alas, pretty much captures my inability to take pictures of people who won't hold still and not so much the festive nature of the occasion.



Claudia Dowling and Donna Ferrato, TriBeCa evening, 9/10/2014
There's international tragedy, national tragedy and then there is tragedy in the home. But there is also triumph, Donna Ferrato wants to remind us.
   Thirteen years ago today, Donna and I were thinking about how to cover the unfolding tragedy at the World Trade Center. We wound up going to Oxygen to do documentaries, which wound up being about sex and violence, as projects with Donna so often do.
  Tomorrow Donna launches her new campaign about survivors of sexual tragedy, "I am unbeatable," with a show at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. I helped her write the copy for the exhibition. Be there, if you're in the neighborhood. I can't be, because of someone's fourth birthday party in Providence. Life goes on, even as all lives end.




There was a 63 minute wait for the Lincoln Tunnel.
Yes, we had no bananas. But Dada was mostly correct. Finished off the last of the boilers in NYC, there were two boxes of heirloom tomatoes (some from the West Plains farmers' market, some from my fave farmstand in Greenup, Ill.), parmesan Goldfish, two pairs of flip-flops, the new Jane Gardam, lots of smoked almonds, a couple Leicas, Thai silverware (place settings for about 75). And that was no rug: that was a leather hide from a Brahma bull, tanned camel.
   There was also a birthday present for someone turning 4 this weekend, but I can't reveal what it is.


what's in the truck?

This is the first What's In The Truck with the new truck. Please note that it fits more inside (being 4-door) and less outside, having a city slicker short bed suitable for your recycle bin and not much else.
Hint: We have no bananas, but plenty of other edibles and a six pack of cocola.
Tomorrow: New York City.


junk city

"They call us the little WalMart," says the aged proprietor. "One dollar for a shopping bag full." Alas, I was unable to find a single item that my heart desired. This is the stuff I try to give away. And since I'm packing uo to depart the Ozarks now, I am deploring the amount of stuff I have already and am definitely not in acquisition mode.


west plains daily quill

Home of my favorite small-town newspaper

Editor/publisher of my favorite small-town newspaper.
Giving credit where it is due, I wouldn't be a sitting in the Goose at the moment if it wasn't for Mr. Ed Barnes, owner of Avalanche Associates & Brothers. Barnes came out looking for trouble in the militia movement sector and found it here, thanks to a small town newspaper editor whose brains he picked. He came back full of stories of Frank Martin and his paper and town, and I accompanied Barnes out here on a lark. He's not here any more, but I still am. 


the wrong kind of blues

Donna Ferrato's  first view of domestic violence.
Donna's take on domestic violence has changed over the years. Getting out of a bad situation is not enough, she now believes. Women need to learn not to get back into such situations, and girls need to learn not to get into them in the first place. Hence her new campaign, "Unbeatable." Here is a look at a show opening at Vanderbilt University, for which I wrote the text.


the right kind of blues


Everything in this picture is under water #soclear
 This is Blue Spring, the bluest of the several springs in the Ozarks. With a daily flow of 87 million gallons, it is estimated to be only the eighth largest spring in Missouri. It is more than 300 feet deep. It was very hot yesterday, pushing 100, and the temptation to dive in was great. The water is icy, however, and I was afraid I'd seize up and be unable to get out. Or turn blue myself.
Blues Springs flows into the Current River in Missouri


goodbye to all this

West Plains Farmer's Market

Yingdong Zheng and hubby
Many of you know that my week is regulated by the farmers' market hours on Wednesday and Saturday. They see me coming, especially Yingdong Zheng, who presses me with dumplings, Chinese spinach, bok choy and other Asian specialties.
  She and her husband met on line. "I still remember seeing her at the airport in China when we met," he says. "She was wearing this blue dress, and she looked so beautiful. She still fits into it too."
  Now her son from a previous marriage is in college, her mother is growing the bok choy in their garden and they just celebrated their tenth anniversary.


everywhere a sign

Something about the laundromat always gets me. It's called The Washboard, and sure enough washboards hang on the wall as decor. People who have actually used one other than in a jug band are thin on the ground even here. My plumber, however, says he grew up without plumbing in a house with dirt floors. I bet his mom used a washboard.
   Saw another sign of the area on a T-shirt: "They can''t take these guns away." Girl was wearing it right over her bazookas.