library ladders and a good writer

I just read a delightful piece in the times. I hadn’t really been captured by one of the CITY articles quite like this one. The writing conjured up sounds and smells that made me feel quite warm inside, like a silky bitter hot cocoa. The piece was written by Caroline H. Dworin whose other work can be found at her website. You should read her work, because as she so simply says, ” She is a good writer, and she means well.”

This story reminded me of the moments in Harry Potter where he goes to Mr. Ollivander wand shop. Mr Ollivander climbs a ladder and reaches around many cardboard boxes looking for Harry’s wand. I also thought of the numerous fabulous art stores with wooden floors and ladders to reach stores of lithography inks and papers.

This is just one of the glorious insights into a place where time stands still and quality of materials and product are part of what defines the Putnam culture.

This floor is an orphanage of broken ladders, the bleaker version of those below. Gregg still rescues ladders from closing businesses, and sometimes even buys them back for $25 or $50. Once, while having dinner in a downtown restaurant, he spied one through the window of a closing bookshop, and wrote a letter to the owner asking to reclaim it. His friends and family are mystified by this ability to pick out his ladders from a distance, as if responding to some low-frequency cry.

Mostly I thought of this magical way that the ladders still speak to their makers.

You might want to order a ladder while you still can. Who knows how much longer they can hold off progress.

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photobooth saves the day

We were heading to Pittsburgh to meet with heavybubble agent #1 Matthew Naftzger. Margaret got the Redcap at 30th Street Station and I drove off to park the car. By the time I walked from the garage at 17th and Chancellor back to 30th Street our bags were on a dolly and our Redcap was waiting for me to arrive.

We took the elevator down to the platform and boarded our waiting train. It was dark and most of the passengers were napping recovering from their earlier start I guessed. We tossed our luggage overhead and then settled into our seats with a couple bottles of water and I put on my bright pink travel Crocs.

I put some of my small technology — camera, ipod, and earbuds, in the elastic fishnet pocket on the back of the seat in front of me. Settling in to watch the train departure from Philadelphia to points west.

As we pulled out from under the station to the surface of west philadelphia I began to look up at the passing neighborhoods. I was engrossed in the view of passing rooftops. Time passed and we meandered through the suburbs and then burst through to the farm land of Lancaster. I reached for my camera to catch an image of a four horse team working an Amish farm. Turned the camera on and nothing happened! All kinds of things went through my head, “Crap, did I drop it?” … Then it came to me like a water balloon on my head — I had left the battery in the charger, plugged into the wall receptacle in the studio. I could see it in my minds eye.

No photos on the outbound trip. Maybe I could get a battery and charger in Pittsburgh. I have my laptop, I’ll google for a store. Wait, I HAVE MY LAPTOP. Lucky me. My Macbook Pro could act as my camera. I opened ‘er up and launched Apple’s PhotoBooth app. My little built in camera turned on. Yippie!

The image capture experience became more fun. I even took a couple short test movies to play with and here’s one for you to take a look at. This clip is all about rhythm. The patter of light, the familiar sound of the rails, the change in sound and light when one car ends and another begins.

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