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Archive for the ‘newspaper’ Category

Graduation

Jasper Johns is one of my favorite artists – quintessentially American, absolutely provocative and yet unusually quiet about his work.  He has a reputation for saying very little about what he does, which leaves interpretation to the viewer.  As much as I love his work, I love his persona.

Jasper Johns has a new show at the Met (called “Gray”, through May 4th) and a new exhibition of drawings at Matthew Marks Gallery (“Drawings 1997-2007” through April 12th) in Chelsea. There’s a lovely piece about him by Carol Vogel in yesterday’s New York Times. Some highlights (that tickled my tummy!) from Carol Vogel’s article:

♦  “Mr. Johns seems to have perfected the art of talking about his work without ever revealing too much. Always courtly, he answers questions in a measured, seemingly straightforward manner that leaves a listener wanting to know far more. It’s as if he is aware that a myth surrounds him that he must be careful not to dispel.”

♦   “For decades now his interpretation of flags and targets, numbers and letters — things, as he has often said, ‘the mind already knows,’ ‘things that were seen and not looked at, not examined’ — have become as embedded in the contemporary American art psyche.”

♦  “Predecessor Mark Rothko impatiently dismissed Mr. Johns’s targets and flags, saying, ‘We worked for years to get rid of all that.'”

♦  “He often executes drawings after he finishes a canvas, rather than before. ‘To do a drawing for a painting most often means doing something very sketchy and schematic and then later making it polished,’ he said. ‘It’s done out of a different kind of energy. I love drawings, so I’ve always enjoyed making drawings that exist on their own.'”

♦ “Born in 1930 in Augusta, Ga., and raised in Allendale, S.C., he received his early education in a one-room schoolhouse in rural South Carolina.”

♦ “About 60 years after he first arrived in New York, Mr. Johns is still very much the Southern gentleman. He retains his accent and his soft-spokenness. Yet his quiet demeanor and his six-foot frame make him intimidating at first; he chooses his words with such care that a questioner is tempted to do likewise.”

♦ “Each year, as soon as the temperature begins to plummet in Connecticut, he decamps to his house [in Saint Martin], joining his two resident dogs, Pepper and Pumpkin — both were found abandoned on the island — to work, garden, read, cook and do crossword puzzles.”

♦ “Asked what influence he feels he may have had on young artists, Mr. Johns paused. ‘To me,’ he said, ‘self-description is a calamity.'”

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Lady Walking a Mule

Decades-Old Photograph Helps Solve Mystery of New York Man’s Drowning 15 Years Later

Saturday , February 02, 2008

by STEPHANIE REITZ, Associated Press Writer

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. —

A treasured old photograph, a police investigator’s long-shot appeal to the public and a retiree’s sharp memory have combined to solve a 15-year-old drowning mystery.

State police in Somers, N.Y., tried for years to identify a body found in the Titicus Reservoir on June 13, 1993, carrying 38 pounds of rocks in a backpack. The man left no clues to his name and matched no local missing-persons reports.

The only lead was a black-and-white snapshot found on the body that showed a grandfatherly man holding a small boy in the crook of his arm, both wearing attire from the 1950s or early 1960s.

Police assumed the toddler was the drowning victim, but years of investigation produced only dead ends. Then, with a few remarkable coincidences last month, Andrew Bookless got back his name.

Bookless was eventually identified through dental records — though only after police seeking to identify the little boy wrongly guessed a vintage light fixture in the picture may have been in western Massachusetts.

When they circulated the photo in the Berkshires, retired teacher Terry Yacubich, who had moved to Pittsfield from Bellport, N.Y., recognized a building behind the man and little boy as one she had known from her days on Long Island.

Bookless’ family, it turned out, once lived in the very spot the picture was taken.

“I’m not psychic or anything like that, but I think maybe Andrew worked through me to finally get some closure,” Yacubich said.

Bookless disappeared from his family’s lives years before that June day when police found him dead at 31. The snapshot was intact in a glass frame and close to his heart under layers of winter clothing.

Troopers searched for years to find someone who recognized the older man or features in the photo’s background.

Investigator Joe Fiebich sent the picture to The Berkshire Eagle newspaper in January after learning the vintage street light in the background was similar to those installed throughout western Massachusetts decades ago.

It turned out they were common on Long Island’s south shore, too.

But it wasn’t the light fixture that grabbed Yacubich’s attention when she saw the newspaper last weekend. She spotted the church auditorium in the village where she’d lived for 47 years.

“The moment I saw that picture, I knew exactly where it was,” said Yacubich, 59, who had attended decades’ worth of first Communion parties, church socials and funerals there.

Yacubich contacted friend Donald Mullins, a retired Suffolk County, N.Y., police detective and code enforcement officer in Bellport, a village in the town of Brookhaven. He trekked to the church’s neighborhood and quickly found the spot: the front corner of a now-empty residential lot.

“I stood on that very spot and said, `This is it. This is exactly it,”‘ Mullins said.

He tracked the land’s ownership history in town deeds until he found that the Bookless family had a house there before it was destroyed in a fire.

The Westchester County, N.Y., medical examiner’s office confirmed Bookless’ identity Jan. 25, and it was released this week after his four older siblings were notified.

They told police the man in the picture was Bookless’ grandfather and that his parents, John and Marianna Bookless, had died in 1994 and 2004. Police said Bookless’ family had him declared dead after his mother’s death.

Fiebich traveled Thursday to Long Island to speak to Bookless’ family in hopes of determining whether the death was accidental or suicide. Investigators believe Bookless fell through the ice in the winter of 1992-93, months before his body was found with the rock-laden pack strapped on his back.

New York State Police Senior Investigator Patrick Bosley, one of several troopers who reviewed the case over the years, tried unsuccessfully in the mid-1990s to have it featured on television’s “Unsolved Mysteries.”

“It was obvious to us all along that the picture was the best piece of information we had,” Bosley said. “It was clear that evidently the older gentleman was someone very close to him — his father or grandfather, a favorite uncle, someone he cared a lot about.”

Bookless’ family said he often would disappear for months, part of the reason his mother did not report him missing until 1999 even though she had not heard from him in several years, police said.

They said Bookless’ body was buried in New York as an unidentified person, but that his siblings would be able to move it if they wish.

“For me, the best end of the story would be to see that Andrew rests in peace,” Yacubich said.

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 Cow Noses

I feel a mixture of amusement, horror and curiosity everytime I read the local Penny Power classified ads newspaper that serves Bucks County and the Lehigh Valley.  A sampling from this week’s edition: 

PETS R KIDS TOO!  Has quality puppies, kittens, fish, small animals.  Feeders.  All animals guaranteed.  New!  Clearance bin.  New inventory arriving weekly.  Stop in and see our specials.

NOW THAT WE ARE on our way into this New Year, what better way to get the year off to a good start than by having some new flooring installed!

FREE REMOVAL of sawed logs, vintage stereo equipment or let’s barter for any power equipment items for firewood. 

PET HOLSTEIN COW, $400.

THUMBS DOWN to the person who stole two baby cars seats out of my son’s and daughter-in-law’s yard on December 30th.  You should be ashamed of yourself, to steal something that a child depends on for safety is a disgrace.  To go into someone’s yard and just walk off with things that don’t belong to you is just so wrong.  You left my grandshildren without car seats and they were unable to go visiting for the holidays.  If you don’t have a clear conscience and want to return them, please do.  If you choose not to, you are the one that has to live with yourself.  Every time you use them, just think of the children who have no car seats.  Upset Grandmother

MOVIE NIGHT Sunday, January 27, 6pm.  “The Last Sin Eater.”  Cornerstone Community Church.

If you want phone numbers for the ads let me know. 🙂

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