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Tuesday, September 4, 2001
Make Up Entries

It has been a few days since I've had a chance to post to temporama.. I need to figure out how to make time to do it.. When I am visiting people I feel kind of rude asking them to leave me alone so that I can update Temporama.. I'm afraid that if I take time out to update I will miss the interesting things that can happen on the road.

Then you would get to read about how I sat in front of my computer instead of going to Niagara Falls, or Toronto. Well I will try and work my way back to my last entry.. Quite a bit has happened since last Wednesday including the internationalization of Temporama.

Monday, September 3, 2001

Jen, Paine, and Salt

Jennifer Hamilton is the one who inspired me to go and visit all of high bidders on items from my life. At some point in late December after she recieved my Salt Shaker, she sent me a photograph of it above her stove and an invite to visit if I ever made it to Maine.

I had never been to Maine and it seemed like a pretty good reason to go. So I started to think about where the rest of my stuff was going and realized that it could be a really interesting adventure. Thus far it has gone really well..

I drove to Maine from Saratoga Springs NY, via VT Rt 9 and 202, It was a little weird how quickly I passed from state to state.. Being in the Midwest now, its hard to imagine driving through four states before 11 am. I arrived early and met Jen, her daughter Paine and the rest of the neighborhood kids on their front stoop.

Portland is pretty amazing. They live in an neighborhood at the top of the city which is surrounded on three sides by water.. Anywhere you look down the block there is the ocean or the bay.. The row houses remind me of Queens, but the city is so clean and apparently safe..

Jen, Paine and Eric took me to the Portland Head Lamp, the oldest light house in the country, originally commissioned by George Washington (whoever that is?) It sits on the mouth of the Portland bay and used to be part of a fort that defended the bay.. Paine and Eric wandered through all of the old gun turrets and other building ruins. And I sat on the rocks talking to Jen about the sense of place that she found in Portland.

She is from Texas, she spent one summer in Portland, and has lived here ever since. She loves it here, the water, the people, the winter.. Yes the Winter. She had Paine at a pretty early age and has done an amazing job raising her. Jen works for a travel agency and makes just enough to make sure that Paine has everything that she needs. She takes Paine school shopping at the Goodwill which I think every parent should.. She also told me that if I can get to Boston or New York that I could easily get a ticket to London for a few hundred bucks... So I might get to visit my brick after all..

When I arrived, Paine emptied out the contents of her backpack and then ask me to empty mine.. If there was a school supply Olympics she would have me beat. She has a hit clip player, more pens than anyone could ever use and a radom assortment of miniture games. I cooked dinner for them as a way to thank them for inviting me all the way to Maine. And as per usual I bought way too much food and cooked enough for ten.

We sat on the front stoop had a few beers and I had a chance to get a pretty good nights sleep.. Not like my experience at the campground in Ohio

Sunday, September 2, 2001

Longshot Bets, Saratoga

My dad is a part owner of a horse stables in Saratoga Springs.. I think he has about a $1500 share which for a thoughroughbred stable means he owns a horseshoe or two... But at the Saratoga Track he is considered an "Owner".

When you visit Saratoga in August you need to make a visit to the Track. I always hated it when I lived here but to visit and not to be working there, it was actually pretty fun.

I bet longshots, if any of the two dollar bets that I placed to win, won, I'd have my gas taken care of for a while. But 50-1 odds usually means that the horse will finish last.. And each of the bets that I placed finished last or second to last.. I kind of think that there should be a way to bet the bottom of the pack too.

"Yes I'd like to place $2 on horse 1 to loose last"

Saratoga was a good stop on the trip.. My whole perspective on my family has changed since I moved to the Midwest.. When I lived within the state I used to come back to Saratoga and not even tell my folks that I was home.. Now I want nothing more than to spend my time at home hanging out with my Dad and Barb.

How does that happen? When does the shift occur? Its like my relationship with my brothers and sisters. At one point we went from intense rivalries and bitterness to the closet friends I have. Is it because I'm 1000 miles away?

Saturday, September 1, 2001

Heather Hibbard

It wasn't until I talked to Heather on the phone two days ago that I made the connection between Kim (the owner of my photograph of heather Hibbard) and Heather's mom. Kim is a single mom who made sure that her kids grew up right, and did what ever she had to do to make sure they had everything that they needed. Heather's mom is the same way. Kim reminded me of her without me even knowing.

So when I came to Saratoga I had two things that I needed to do, visit with my folks who had to buy their Christmas gifts from me this year and visit Heather, who I hadn't talked to in a while but just spent an afternoon in St. Paul talking about to a stranger.

Heather is in a Masters of Education program here and runs a summer resort hotel during the track season. We were really close friends in High-school and have been in relatively good contact ever since. She is one of the only people that I have kept in contact with from high-school, when we were out last night we kept running into vaguely familiar people, that she would later tell me that I knew.

I'm not sure why so much of my high-school is blocked out of my memories. There is a lot that I keep buried in there so maybe I just need some time to think about those days..

Heather and I had a drink where she works, while there we met one of the patrons of her hotel and he said he was going to"Clacny's". Heather and I had know idea where "Clancy's" even was. Its a bar on the one of the main drags, Caroline Street and neither of us had even noticed this bar in our entire lives.

Heather and I went to see my brother Mark at the restaurant that he cooks in and he wanted to go out for a drink to of all place's "Clancy's" So we went and hung out with the plumber who is staying at Heather's hotel, my brother and all of the regulars at "Clacy's".

It is a tiny little bar but they had a killer juke box and a metal disk bowling game. Heather is an excellent bowler and even when the bowling takes place in on a scale model in a bar she tends to hit strikes and spares.

It was really cool to see her again, and she still speaks to me even though I sold a photograph of her to Kim in St. Paul and the purple belt that she gave to me instead of Dennis delay..


Spoons, Spoons, Spoons

On my way to Saratoga from Marnie and Mikes, I stopped at the Keene Coop at Hamilton College. I was the Coop President when I went to Hamilton, the Coop is the place that I learned to cook (sort of)

Laurie was the high bidder on my bag of 37 spoons.. When I went to send them to her though, I actually counted them and found out that there were only 27.. Laurie is a current member of the Coop and donated the spoons to the kitchen there.

I hadn't been back to Hamilton in 4 years or so, It was a little weird to walk back into the Coop.. It really hadn't changed at all, the walls still had random crap written on them, the hobart mixer still had my signature on it from my sad attempt at a Duchampean Readymade (instant F in sculpture)

My spoons are hanging and ready to serve.. I couldn't have dreamed of a better place for them to be.

Friday, August 31, 2001

Sylvia's First Steps

My sister Marnie and her Husband Mike bought a 100 year old farm house in Cato, New York. In the last ten years that have been steadily renovating it and growing a family there. Her youngest daughter Sylvia picked the day that I arrived for her first steps.

She's only 10 months old, and just learned to crawl last month.. She was standing on her own and just started making steps towards Marnie. It was pretty amazing really.. I live so far away that I have missed most of the baby milestones of her other daughters, Avery and Regan.

Avery and Regan call me weird uncle Johnny, and up until this last visit they would cry for the first few minutes after I arrived.. So much for thinking myself good with kids.. They don't cry anymore so maybe they just got used to me.

Marnie didn't buy anything from me, but I needed to visit her on my way to Maine. Besides I did sell the book that she let me borrow.. She wants it back! How do I tell the guy who bought it that my sister wants it back?

Everyone in my family cooks.. Paul and Mark are chefs in restaurants and Marnie cooks at home from scratch for every meal. Her kids eat very well indeed.. She buys organic when she can and I'm sure that Regan an Avery have consumed more vegetables in the last year than I have in the last ten.

Thursday, August 30, 2001


So when I drove into the campground last night there was no caretaker in the booth, so I took an overnight envelope and planned to pay when I woke up in the morning. One night at the campground was $20.. To pitch a tent at 9 at night and leave at 7 am? It was a little pricey for me but what can you do?

I woke up really early in the morning and decided that I would see if I could pack up the tent and get out before the rangers were in the toll booth. I couldn't stand the thought of paying $20 for place to set a tent. I didn't even use the bathroom there... Well, so I get all my stuff into the car, and drive through the empty toll booth thinking how smart I was.

It wasn't until I got to the stop sign at the mouth of the state park that I realized what an idiot I was.. I turned on the radio thinking that I could listen to Morning Edition but the local NPR station was still signed off for the night.. That's when I looked at the clock to find that it was 2:30 in the morning.. I had slept for an hour... not exactly the good nights sleep that I wrote about in last night's entry..

Well I decided to keep going and it worked out well. I made it to Niagara Falls at sunrise and made some really great recordings there. Then I drove into Toronto. I had sent an e-mail to Christina the night before saying that I would be driving though the next day. I'm trying to be as organized as possible but this was not an example of that.. I've been trying to give as much notice as possible and if you have invited me to visit, I promise to give more more notice that I gave Christina.

Luckily she works for herself so she gave herself the day off and showed me all around Toronto. What a great city.. She lives a block from the Toronto Farmer's Market and she introduced me to all of the best meat, cheese, and vegetable vendors in the place. I could move there in a minute..

She is a Numistatist which is someone who buys and sells rare coins.. She didn't show me any of her coins b/c the are all in safety deposit boxes, but she tried to explain to be what makes a coin valuable.. I just made snippy jokes about the US-Canadian exchange rate and said I new what would make a coin more valuable... "get it in the US".. She was not amused

In fact Canadians in general are not too amused by can-states comparisons. Everything in Canada starts with CAN.. Canbank, Canrail, Canbus, Cancash Machines... Can-o-rama... We went to all of the coolest places in Toronto, we had a drink at "Library" in the Royal Grand hotel, stopped in at the Canadian Legion Hall, which was a lot like a VFW, and made the rounds to a few other local pubs and bars.

Christina's boyfriend is an illustrator and drew me a sketch of my self passed out on their couch dreaming of Iowa... Do I really dream of Iowa.. Well maybe a little. Christina's brother suggested that the states just admit that they are the 13th province of Canada.. I recommended the 51st state analogy but .....

10:30 PM, Wednesday, August 29, 2001

Geneva on the Lake, Ohio

I spent the day with Emily and Joanna seeing what there is to see in Columbus, Ohio. Our first stop was the Wexner Art Center on the campus of OSU, currently the largest university in the country. Margaret finished here video "Miracle" at the Wexner Center this February. The Center was closed until mid September but the perky docent told us that we could visit the museum shop and the starbucks coffee cart if we wanted...

Hmm let me think about this a minute.. Do I want a cup of starbucks coffee in a museum store? Fuck No! At least the store is on the bottom floor away from the entrance of the museum. I've been to a few museums of late and have had a hard time finding the current exhibition galleries.. The best way to find out what currently showing is to look in the store window at the catalogues..

Well no art at the Wexner but its a great building none the less. And Emily and Joanna showed be a few spaced around the building with special acoustical tricks.. When you visit Columbus you should ask for the Audio Trick Tour.

I arrived late last night after taking the long way to Ohio across the Lincoln Highway (see below). They were up waiting for me and we sat around talking until 2 am or so.. I thought that this would be the first stop that I visited and stayed with someone with no previous connection to me, but I was reminded that Kembrew and Emily know eachother really well.. So I have yet to stay with a total stranger on this trip.

Emily bought the only ring I ever wore.. And she said before I arrived that she wanted to give it back to me.. I wasn't sure what to do about it. So.. We just didn't talk about the ring or the tape that she bought from me until the last ten minutes that I was in town..

She still has the ring.. It is in good company with an assortment of other rings of importance in here life. Not that my ring is important to her but she knows that it is important to me so she keeps it safe in a hand made box with her other special things. A very good home for Robin's ring.

Emily has been involved with the web for longer than I have, she used to be involved with the earliest posting on a number or BBS boards from her familie's Commodore 64... Way before I even knew what e-mail was.

We talked about how my project had influenced her. Which was a little weird for me.. Again forgetting that the stuff that I have been writing has been read by more than just me and my close friends. Emily said that she enjoyed the earlier part of the project more than the end. When the descriptions were more personal and specific to the items. She even went out and found a few of the records that I had up for sale including a copy of the Ray Charles Record that I sold.. Then she told me that she also found a copy of the second volume of that set..

I guess If I start buying records again I will have to search for both Volumes. They took me to see the life size model of the Santa Maria (Columbus), to the original Wendy's Store, and to a store where I could get candy Buckeyes... I wanted the real thing but if you ate a real buckeye you would die.. So I'll just eat the Chocolate ones...

If I ever form a state of my own remind me not to make the state mascot a giant poisonous nut....

I left there at around 5 PM and drove past Cleveland to a little town on Lake Erie.. I'm camping alone and it it really nice to not be staying at someone's house for a night. Margaret's tent seems to be set up right. The lantern that I bought works great and the stove that Margaret gave me made my tea quickly.

Maybe I will record some of the animal noise for you to hear tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 29, 2001

Lincoln Highway Rt 30:

So I finally found away off the interstate highway system, and nearly out of the Midwest.. Not east yet but nearly. I Found a way to get on old Rt 30 just past Gary Indiana. 30 is made up of what's left of the Lincoln Highway which was the first cross country highway in the US.. It ran from Times Square NY all the way to downtown San Francisco

In 1913 a group of automotive industrialists christened a loose assortment of roads the "Lincoln Highway".. It was little more than a line on a map really.. And they believed that private companies should build the and organize a modern road system so that they could sell more cars..

They went all along the route and built demonstration miles of roads.. Usually in the furthest and most remote places, as to inspire the towns along the route to connect themselves to the modern concrete highway.

The roads of the Lincoln were based on an assortment of thoroughfares many dating back to stage coach routes and Native American trails.. The original Highway meandered through towns and villages across the country.. Highway 30 eventfully absorbed the old Lincoln Highway and depending on where you are you can still see the red, white and blue markers.

It seem that they are still paving demonstration miles on the route of the old Lincoln. Just outside of upper Sandusky the four lane road turns to two, and the highway just stops in the middle of a corn field.

I made it to Columbus safely.. I'm going to look around today and then head north towards Canada..

Tuesday, August 28, 2001

Yellow Shirt: Naperville, IL

Adam gave me simple directions to his house. Get on 294 head to 88 West get of at Naperville road exit.......... And every street was where he said it was. Getting to 294 however was the hard part. I never really figured out where Lisa lives. The major cross streets are Damien and Belmont but I never could figure out which way her street ran N-S or E-W?

So I took a right on Belmont and drove for ten minutes to discover that I was heading east towards the lake rather than south towards the highway.. But I had gone so far east that the through streets that would have lead to the highway no longer get there.. Needless say I made it to Naperville, so I found the highway somewhere.

It felt so good to get on the highway. I found comfort in the giant green signs that said I was heading west. Everything was so familiar to me, exits for streets that I was just lost on.. I realized that nearly any of the streets I was on in Chicago would have lead to the highway eventually

It was reassuring that the directions that Adam gave me to his house were indeed accurate right down to the left and the immediate left.. When I arrived I just knocked on the door.. I didn't feel the need to take all of my stuff out of the car like I did in Chicago. I'm 20 minutes away from Chicago but it is totally different and uncomfortably familiar.

Adam took me for a walking tour of downtown Naperville, which eventually became a stumbling tour b/c we stopped for a beer in every open bar around his neighborhood. Everywhere we stopped everyone said hi to Adam by name. Now Adam is a pretty social guy but it seemed like everybody knew each others names here. This is supposed to be the 2nd largest city in Illinois, do they really know everybody's names?

The first place that we went was an Irish Pub. Adam was keeping a list of where we went for me but I think we left it at our last stop "Orazio's". But it was the contrast of Fast Eddies where I had breakfast on Sunday with the Naperville Pub that struck me. O'Flareties O'Malley, O O O.. This pub was new and the whole bar was "built in Ireland and installed by Irish laborers" in 1998. It was was the quintessential "Irish Pub", except that it was filed with a bunch of guys from a golf outing and the bulk of them were drinking miller lite, and eating chicken sandwiches.

It was at this fist bar that I started to feel that the familiarity of the place was a little creepy. The comfort of a small town, I could be anywhere in the USA.. It was like I was at home in Saratoga or at the Irish Pub in Iowa City, Iowa.. Lots of middle aged white guys drinking miller lites after a golf outing.

20 minutes from Chicago but I might as well have been 14 hours away.

Adam takes the train to his job in the city each day, the rent out here is really affordable, and he has a pretty big place. I can see why he lives out here. Everything you need is within walking distance and the drive into Chicago is pretty easy for going out at night. He gave me the key so I could sleep in a bit which I have. I will also make myself an english muffin.. Adam;s fridge is the typical bachelor fridge, eggs, English muffins, beer, ketchup.. What else could you need.

I'm going to drive around a bit today before I leave to see where 150,000 people live. The down town area is about the size of Saratoga Springs, NY so more than 125,000 of those folks live in subdivisions as far as the eyes can see..

Adam wore my yellow shirt around last night. That's what he bought from me. As you can start to see I'm less interested in what happens to my things than who now owns them and where they live.

I've been on the road for six days and I'm only 5 hrs from where I started.. I have to get moving.. I'm going to go to Ohio visit Emily who has the only ring I ever wore