Tuesday, August 29, 2006


Fort Wayne

Summit City

Gateway to the West

Three Rivers

Whatever you call it, we call it home.

My favorite Local Hero - Mad Anthony Wayne. Wonderful statue in downtown that is fun to photograph in all types of weather. Mad Anthony is also the name of a local brewery that is fabulous (love, peace and hoppiness). Mad Anthony fought the Indians and the Indians did not win. He made it possible for the frontiersmen to go past the Ohio River (and the Indians) into the great west. He made it possible for Fort Wayne to be established in the late 1700's. If he had lived past the age of 51 (gout got him , not Indians) he may have even made it to President (that's how popular this guy was).

The Amish - They fascinate me. When I first arrived and was traveling into a more dense Amish area, I could not believe it! How they were so nonchalant about maneuvering a horse and buggy down a very heavily traveled two lane highways! And for some crazy reason I can not fathom, I find them very sexy. I am still amazed when I see them on the outskirts of Ft. Wayne, entire families doing their weekly shopping at Meijers, their horse and buggies waiting outside!

Southside Farmers Market - My favorite place. Along with Hyde Brothers Booksellers. Ahhh, Hyde brothers. I could spend an entire day in there enchanted with the sheer magnitude of books stacked to the ceiling (12 foot ceilings!). Never enough time in any life time to read it all!!

My Favorite Day In Fort Wayne! How I loved sitting in Headwaters park taking photographs of the children playing the fountain. A day full of magic.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Oh, How I love an Assignment!!

Morning Workout at Keeneland Race Track. The Sport of Kings.

Your Weekend Assignment #126: What is the most interesting thing about where you live? "Thing" in this case would be a famous landmark, a famous current celebrity or historical personage from your home town or county, a notable celebration or sports event -- basically, anything that makes where you're from interesting an unique.

Extra Credit: Are there any books that feature your home town (or someplace nearby) in any way?

I have lived in Ft. Wayne since June of 2005, but my home is Central Kentucky. So, I think I will do both for the Blog Father!!

Central Kentucky is beautiful. Anyone who has ever ventured off the interstates to take a closer look will be greeted with the most spectacular horse farms imaginable. Fields of green surrounded by the legendary white fences. And not to disappoint, the majestic animals.

If you have ever flown into Bluegrass Airport you approach from the North and as you descend, the famous Calumet Farm is below you. The horses will race under the plane, maybe trying to out run it. If you ever witness this, it stays with you forever.

The Castle.

So large in scope, I had to cross the street to attempt the all inclusive shot. Everyday people pull over and take pictures of themselves standing in front of the gates with the Castle in the background!! Several years ago the castle, which stood abandoned for over 30 years (never inhabited), was purchased by a Florida developer. He was remodeling the inside mansion. Somehow, it caught fire (in the middle of the night) and burnt to the ground!! The next day, still smoldering, people began placing flowers on the front gate! It was amazing that this land mark, located several miles from my small home town, could evoke such emotion.

Extra credit: Any movie about horse racing, that is authentic, will have some grounding in Central Kentucky. Parts of Seabiscuit were filmed in Lexington, Keeneland, and Paris.

Having film companies and movie stars (and believe it or not, the Queen of England) running about is very common.

Elizabethtown was not filmed in Elizabethtown, but in my little old hometown. Much more picturesque than the title city.

Friday, August 25, 2006


It has been long enough for the shock to have worn off. Not completely, but enough so I am not overcome with hopelessness and anger. I suppose letting go is a variation of realizing you have no power over someone. And actually, you really do not want that type of power after they reach the age of 18.

Then they are on their own. Even if this means you stand on the sidelines and are only allowed to cheerlead, pick up broken pieces, lend money, provide a safe house when needed, and a car, feeling as if you are going to have a heart attack or a seizure from frustration.

She did it right after I bought the wedding dress.

It could have been worse, she could have refused to enter the church. The scene could have been straight out of The Graduate...(hmmmmm maybe not).

Anyway, she decided he was not the one and some other guy she met interested her. I am still flabbergasted. So is S.

It has taken me quite awhile to accept it.

That one day in the dress shop is all I am going to get for the time being. That was a great day, and I will cherish that for a long time.

I have been so upset about everything that I have not seen her since that day in June! Fathers Day. We took her Dad out for dinner, there was a violent thunder storm and the computers got knocked out and I could not pay with a credit card so he paid the bill. More memories from that great day.

I will see her this Sunday. I do not want to meet the new boyfriend. I was very attached to S. (four years for God's sake) and he was part of the family. But there is no way around it, I think.

Life is a Bitch sometimes, isn't it?

Thursday, August 24, 2006


"I don't know who this anonymous guy was, but he sure said a lot!"

It sure is easy to shoot off a bitchy comment and hide behind that great big guy, Anonymous. And cowardly, not to mention mean. Yes, its so easy to be mean when you don't have to suffer the consequences. No, maybe not suffer the consequences....it's just easier to be mean.

When I'm mean, at least I put my signature on it.

'Nuff said.

I don't have much to say. I'm in a funk. I wish I were a hack who had to write for a living. Then I would just shrug off the doldrums and do my job!!

I don't feel it.

I bought a car this week. It was a big deal because in the mid-nineteen nineties I was laid off and my hard earned credit rating took a nose dive. I contemplated declaring bankruptcy, but one of my buddies poo-pooed the idea telling me I did not owe enough. Yet, it was enough to ruin me. I have been clawing and fighting back for a long time. Paying this debt off, then that one. I took on my whole student loan (which those bastards claimed I defaulted, took all my payments for nearly five years, added a 25% total loan value penalty and said PAY ME!!) and paid it off in three years. Then I tackled some other things...too morbid and boring to re-tell, but it was hell working with third party collectors.

I only have myself to blame.

So, imagine my surprise, pleasant surprise when I bought a brand new car (my down payment may have helped) and got a loan...easy, good rate. (And nearly nine years with the same company didn't hurt.)


Sunday, August 20, 2006


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Scenes from DownTown on an Over Cast Day

Climbed up five flights of stairs to the top of the parking garage before spotting the elevator (oh well, sure can use the exercise), scared all the pigeons causing one to fly into the enclosed stairwell (I sure hope someone else climbs the five flights and scares him/her back out). I was hoping the train might make an appearance on its own EL but it did not.

So I got this shot.

I have a new lens and I wandered the overcast streets and Greenway Paths circling Headwaters Park hoping for some fantastic shots! Only men on bicycles looking suspiciously like traveling transients. Then I felt guilt over thinking that there might be homeless in this fair city...but the stashed belongings I stumbled across haphazardly hidden on one of the stairwells confirmed my suspicions.

Sunshine today. Better opportunity.

Monday, August 14, 2006


Finding myself in the rare circumstance of having no one waiting for me and no particular place I needed to be, I was humming down I-64 with the window's open and the music loud when the next exit sign came into view, "Simpsonville".

Ah, Simpsonville. I do not know you well, but I do know that directly after the off ramp is the most funky and downtrodden of dark, dank, smelly, cornucopia of surprises, lies the most magnificent Flea Market in the area! So full of people that it reaches the point of busting which necessitates a spilling of the overflow into the bright sunny outdoors.

So, I exited and entered.

I went directly to his booth, as I always do when I arrive.

I use to head to the bread maker who had the most heavenly smelling cranberry bread in a mound....no longer, no longer there. A great loss.

So now I head right to back of the building, noting as I walk with purpose past the enticing booths of cowboy hats and boots, past Mexican rugs, (a young girl, not more than 14 or 15 on the cusp of developing into a woman, lounging against the mountain of carefully folded Mexican blankets, dressed in purple, one plump leg crossed carelessly and effortlessly over the other, feet clad in black well worn flats....how I wished for my camera....as her father shouted at her, "MARIA!!" she jumped to attention), discounted and most possibly out of date food and health products, past the pictures of velvet framed, the candles, the tapes and cd's, the knives and cigarette lighters, jewelry and shoes. I worked my way through the aisles thick with the Mexican emigrants, arrived in Kentucky to find a better life cutting the tobacco and working in the hundreds of Mexican kitchens that seem to be everywhere anymore, on the horse farms, cleaning the hotel rooms, and working all the hot and sweaty construction jobs they can find and snap up, doing all the labor intensive farm jobs that no one else wants to do because it is too hard, they mill about the Flea Market speaking to each other in their romantic language and eying you out of the corner of their eyes, seen below the lowered brims of their large cowboy hats.

The air thick with the aroma of grease. It smells like the vast amounts of fried chicken which is being gobbled up as quickly as the it can be drained from the hot oil baskets.

I round the corner of Building D and there it is. As always and I dread the day it is not there and waiting for me. The Record Booth. The last of the great record collectors who sets up every week-end with his weekly catch of magic.

He stand over the crates that house his immense collection with a cigarette bobbing out of the corner of his mouth. His sandy dirty blonde hair looking as if the gray does not have the heart of take possession, laying in an untidy flop of bangs brushing across the top of his thick black horn rim glasses. His face is thin and lined. The beginnings of a melt down into that place that separates middle age from old age.

He looks up as I enter the "restricted" area behind the initial tables honoring the beloved albums. I am heading towards the "good" stuff on a special rack in the back. The $10 stuff. I pick up "Layla" and smile. I put it back. I pick up "Exile on Main Street" and open the album and slip out the record to check for damage.

"Their best ever album" I murmur, maybe to him.

"I have a better copy at the store."

"The store?" I thought this was his store.

"In Louisville. On Bardstown and Bonnycastle".

I struggle to see it. I see Leatherhead, I see the old Rexall Drug store, which I know is long gone now. My mind walks up to the Doo-Wop Shop. I blurt out, like a fool, "Ear-X-Tasy"

"That's on the next block, mines called "Better Days." He flicked the ashes from the cigarette. "Been in the business for 30 years."

I ask him, knowing 30 years is legend, "Remember the shop on the corner, they would paint different artists on the building wall. One year it was Hendrix."

"Phoenix Records." He answers.

"Yes" I could close my eyes and go straight back as if on a magic carpet to that time, that era of the 12 inch disc.

"My collection was stolen years ago in the late 70's. I sold what little I had left at a yard sale. Now I am determined to collect them all back."

In my hand I held Cat Stevens and Crosby, Stills and Nash.

He smiled knowingly as he took my $10.

"Good Luck"

Friday, August 11, 2006


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Since I will be spending the weekend in Ft. Wayne I am going to challenge myself to go out and find the beauty. When I first moved here last year I prowled the area, the downtown, US 27 trying to snap shots of the Amish children, Headwater park, the rainbows etc. etc. etc. I saw beauty everywhere.

I am going to dust my camera off and try again. And I have such a new kick ass camera that I never use!! Shame on me!!

There is a Chili Fest Cook Off type competition in the Headwater park area. I believe there are baseball games going on. I think there is a Motor Car Show going on at the Fairgrounds.

Also, I have not taken any photos of the Southside Farmers Market.

Use it or loose it. I find I am becoming shy with the camera. Maybe I can tell everyone at the Farmers Market that I am doing a study....I've gotten so many terrific shots telling people I am entering a contest.

So that is my assignment I give myself. Attitude adjustment and situation acceptance.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


I should know better than to rant and rave about my host town and I apologize if I have offended anyone.

I am tempted to remove the entry, but I thought that would be a little cowardly on my part on top of being such an ass. So, I'm going to leave it intact and just watch my p's and q's when I drive around here.

I was warned about flagrant disrespect for the traffic laws. I guess I felt invincible. I felt I would not get caught speeding or going through yellow lights. I guess I just cracked when it happened. I've received tickets before and kept my cool. The last being when I turned right on red on the University of KY campus and was immediately pulled over. "I do that all the time"...I'm sure the cop would have loved to have given me 823 tickets for all my prior offenses...."When did they put that sign up there???".

That one cost me $70.

I heard through the grape vine this ticket is going to cost me near $300.

That is why I went batty.

Lets counter with all the reasons I love Ft. Wayne........

1) You can see hundreds of miles in any direction.

2) You are two hours away from many major cities, Indy, Dayton, Columbus to name a few. Three hours from Detroit, Chicago, Cincy.

3) People keep their yards neat. They also keep their cars parked pointed in the proper direction on the street. (that one cost us $10 to learn!...)

4) They endeavor diligently to keep children out of liquor stores. So you can not buy a cold pop in there. They endeavor diligently to keep alcoholics out of grocery stores. So you can not purchase cold beer in there.

5) We live very close to Ohio, about 20 minutes away so in case you forgot to purchase beer on Saturday night for the Sunday games, cook-out, or having friends over, its a quick jaunt to Ohio. No beer sales in town on Sunday.

6) We have a university but no football team. That is good because then you can root for Notre Dame and not feel like a traitor.

7) The expressways do not come through town. Therefore you do not have to deal with all that transient traffic!!

8) There is always a handy excuse for not being on work on time. Its either the train caught you or the road construction caused a massive delay.

9) Did I mention you can see for miles?

10) There are no landmarks other than the tall building downtown. So, if you are ever lost you can simply stop your car, stand on the hood and scout for that building!!

I don't think I am full of hate. I think I am full of homesickness for the familiar and the comforts of what I love. I know with all my heart that if I had been born and bred here I would feel differently. I would know people, have a history, know where to go, have a handle on the cool places, enjoy life with my long time friends and family members. I'd love and cherish it too.

Someone moving into Lexington would find it a town of Hillbillys and Rednecks. Everyone driving too fast and flagrantly disobeying the traffic laws! And more than likely anyone from Up North would not understand one word of the southern sing song cadence.

Someone accused Joe of talking Hillbonics the other day!

Hillbonics....Now that's rich!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006


March 8, 2007

Click here to read the latest from my jnl. Just a Hippie Gypsy

I realize that FWOb has linked to this entry rather than to my blog itself. And I understand the sentiment behind that decision, though I am the only journal that he has exercised this judgement (sentence). I am making en executive decision to add the link to the latest entry in my jnl, along with an apology about the content of Tell it to the Judge. I was very upset, and had a drink or two too many. I could easily erase the entry...but that is too cowardly...like some of the people who left comments, not having the guts to comment with an email address. Ah, well....

MY MOTHERS HANDS (written November 28, 2006)

I looked across the table at my Mother stirring her coffee. Around and around, the spoon clinking against the sides of the mug. She had a dreamy look on her face as she was drifting into the past, telling me about her mother who was an astute investor. We were talking about things that are sad, yet inevitable. Probate, inheritance tax, estates, selling rare books on the Internet.

I squeeze the prospect that she is preparing to leave this earth and arrive in heaven (where God will meet her along with St. Peter at the pearly Gates) out of my mind, my thoughts, my reality.

I know she will live forever. I live in denial. I like it here.

In her hands I see my own. My own hands foreign, hers so familiar. Those hands that first held me, cleaned up the messes, chased me around with a paddle, soothed an illness with jello and chicken noodle soup, rags soaked in alcohol ice water and applied to a feverish forehead, grip the steering wheel at 10 and 2, hold a rosary, hand out the dollar bills to the grandchildren, moped up the blood from a head gash my brother so proudly presented to her, "LOOK MOM!! BLOOD!!!".

Those hands that were the center of attention right before her by-pass surgery of several years ago. My brother and I stood over her as she lay moments from the operating room, pleading with her to allow the orderly to cut off her rings, her wedding band and engagement ring, the irish claddagh ring. So long she had kept them on, they could not slide over her knuckles. She shed a tear as they took them off and handed them to us.

I held them though out that excruciating day. A day of 14 hours that seemed like 14 million hours.

Until the doctor came and escorted us into a room and told us she was okay.

I burst into tears of relief, so afraid that he was going to deliver bad news.

Those hands, laid out on the table on either side of the coffee mug, rings in their rightful place, are looking so much like mine anymore that it scares me and soothes me at the same time.

I reach out and squeeze them.

TELL IT TO THE JUDGE (written after receiving a $300 traffic violation at a trap)

A life time ago..maybe not that long ago...when I was in Business School at UofL I took a class called LOGIC that has been the back bone of most everything in my life since.

Why? Because the lessons I learned I use almost every day since.

For example, in writing and thinking things through...

A hypothesis...

Three supportive statements

A summary and conclusion.

When that damn police trap snared me in their insidious trap I was so F****** angry that I made the police officer follow me until I was calmed down enough to stop. I wondered about "resisting arrest".

When he examined my license and asked if the address was correct all I could think of was that it was an Indiana issue and I began to see red. I could only spit out through clenched teeth was the answer "Yes", followed by " ...and I HATE INDIANA."

Hypothesis....I HATE INDIANA

Supportive statements...

1) Last week I answered a call from a customer that demanded my company deliver some product that we "claimed" to be out of stock on. It was Friday afternoon. My drivers are union. I contacted the warehouse and found that we had three of the so called seven he ordered. I went and had it loaded into my vehicle and I delivered it. When I arrived at the account, two men who where painting the front area watched me carry in not once, not twice, but three times carry 30 pound packages of dead weight into the bar.

Never would that have happened in the South. Those men would have immediately asked if they could help and relieve me of the burden instead of just...watching me.

What is up with Indiana men? What is wrong with this picture?

Has women's lib taken hold so violently that real men can not even hold open a door. Which they did not....I propped it open with a chair.

Damn I was so bent out of shape if they had even asked to help I would have just given them the death ray glare.

Rudeness and reverse male chauvinism is alive and well in North East Indiana.

2) It is so flat and nondescript that the words have not yet been invented to describe it's ugliness. This being my second summer here, I have realized what a peril it is to actually live in the "corn belt". Everything from the stink of fertilizer to the scary realization that the water table is so poisoned by insecticides and nitrogen that I am forced to examine everything I eat and drink in this area.

And I am paying about 10 to 20 percent higher (for everything) to be silently and violently harmed. The food is priced so much higher than in the South....certainly housing is lower and I know why.... No one wants to live here!! They can give the real estate away for all I care!!

Every where I go the streets are torn up in the area I live.

I received a water bill. It was a tick under $70. The water part? 14 dollars. (I pay for garbage collection separately). I called the city to ask WTF. I was told that I had received a 66% increase because the city had to install new sewer lines because "some houses" were experiencing sewer back ups.

Wouldn't it be cheaper for our community as a whole to buy them out and relocate them????????

This is the corn belt for God's Sake, why is produce so F****** high???

Why is gas 20 cents higher than Columbus and (what I discovered while in TN) 50 cents higher than Knoxville??

Because our housing is so much lower "they" ( those F****** who make and keep all the money) think they can charge us higher prices than the rest of the nation?

3) There is a lack of culture here that makes me insane. If I want to see Shakespeare in the Park, I must go to South Bend. If I want to see a good concert I must travel to Chicago or Detroit or Indianapolis. Art gallery...forget about it. There is no Bravo station on cable. Nor IFC. How I miss Dinner for Five.

For a city that is about two hours away from everything heavenly, it certainly lacks any sort of sophistication that could possibly seep into town via the "rivers" (they look like creeks to this country girl)

So in a nutshell, that Cop pushed me over the edge and made me realize that I hate this place and I have been keeping a brave front because that is what one must do to survive.


...If you want to live in a nondescript,overpriced, dangerous and uncultured hell hole, Ft Wayne is the place for you!

The Cop....when I told him I was pushed through that light which turned yellow and then red because those in front of me slowed down....and if I had stopped the vehicle behind me would have rear ended me....

"Tell it to the Judge" he instructed me.

I have much sympathy for Mel Gibson. Thank God I was not drinking.

Sunday, August 06, 2006


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...With one hand waving free....

Because the other one was holding a beer!

Due to unavoidable life issues interfering with well laid out plans, it appeared that I would be attending the Dublin Irish Festival (DIF) by my lonesome this year. Not that I gave it much thought, I knew I would just do it and enjoy it even though I would be with just Me.

Imagine my surprise Saturday morning when my husband came roaring into the hotel parking lot, straddling his Honda and looking exactly like the Hero come to save the day. Only then did I realize how I was inwardly holding my breath and longing for a companion.

He looked pretty hot too on that motorcycle.

Brilliant. That was the word. Brilliant performers, brilliant new Celtic Rock Stage and area, brilliant sky, brilliant white heat, brilliant crowd, brilliant time. Just brilliant!!

The crowds seemed larger than before, perhaps because we were now cut off from the main pedestrian area and had our Celtic Rock world on the West Side of the Festival. Brilliant move!!

Other than that, everything else was the same. Lots of festival food Celtic style. The melt in your mouth Fish and Chips from the Old Bag of Nails. The same icy cold cans of Killian beer drawn from gigantic chests of ice. Sneaky Pete had a new location directly on the path to the Rock Tent. The Irish Canines also had new digs, under the cover of a canopy of trees. The Capital City Pipe and Drums still made my eyes tear up and bring a lump to my throat. The Irish thunder stage was still a hell like pit that could toast you to a crisp. The baby buggies and strollers seemed to be everywhere. As did Red hair. Tattoos were shown off by many, the real kind and the henna kind. Young girls still strolled around with their hair twisted up in those torturous looking rollers awaiting their big moment to dance the Irish jig. It was still very risky to enter the port-a-john trailers after a certain time...The buses rolled from 8am till 130 am Saturday carrying back to their vehicles the intoxicated revelers and their dedicated drivers. We still sang on the five minute trip. This year it was Hang On Sloopy. We continued to wander around the parking lots, walking in the wrong direction to the hotel. I awoke with a headache on Sunday morning...again.

The Saw Doctors blew everyone away as was expected. Only this year they played before their largest Ohio crowd ever! This was Joes first time seeing them on stage. I believe he came away impressed.

A year came and went so quickly. Now I look forward to next year, the 20th anniversary of the DIF!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Ashley MacIsaac - The Devil In The Kitchen

Oh my God!! The Devil in the Kitchen!!

Can't believe I found Ashley on this site!!

Now y'all get a double dose of Celtic music.

Ashley is a total talent with the fiddle. (can you call that a violin?)

Who will I discover next at the Irish Festival!!!!!
N17 - The Saw Doctors

I can not believe my luck!!

Finally found a Saw Doctor Video I can upload.

The first time I heard N-17 Joe and I had just returned from Ireland. I began to cry.