September 4, 2001
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
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
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
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
September 2, 2001
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
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
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
Saturday, September 1, 2001
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
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
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
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
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..
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
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
My spoons are hanging and ready to serve.. I
couldn't have dreamed of a better place for them
Friday, August 31, 2001
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
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
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 .....
PM, Wednesday, August 29, 2001
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
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
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.
August 29, 2001
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
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..
August 28, 2001
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
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 today...to visit Emily who has the only
I ever wore