Dagnabits Blog (on hiatus)

Of Hardscrabble Wilderness and Wives

A few weeks ago, our daughter astutely observed that although Deirdre and I often argue, we seldom fight. Our arguments, I think, are generally good natured and aimed more at keeping cerebral synapses crackling than anything else. 

Most of our fights, on the other hand, have been in the style of Burton and Taylor (well, not really, just in the style of them the way that my over-55 softball team performs in the style of the New York Yankees) and generally have their genesis in the application of the arcane science of Earthly Navigation. …

Farewell, Gene

Gene McCarthy told me a couple of week's ago that he was taking a "change-of-scenery" assignment in Fleetwood after serving at the Hastings-on-Hudson post office for 16 years (minus a couple of years misspent elsewhere). I thought at the time that I ought to take his picture and write a little something about it, but ideas like that fly through my head all the time. Something, however, drew me to the P.O., out of the blue, a few minutes ago.



I waited until Gene's line was clear and showed him my camera.  …

Could I Modify That? No? Okay, Thought I'd Ask.

There is a book out
that quotes me.
I remember saying
what it says I said,
but I don't believe
I said it.

Rocks and Idiosyncrascies

If you put me in a lineup of idiosyncratic folk, I would stand out, I think, as being the least idiosyncratic. I've pretty much dressed the same way since I was 8, which is pretty much the same way most Americans dress — T shirt, jeans and sneakers (with seasonal variations) — because I don't want to stand out. I have no tattoos, no piercings. My beard, when I've had one, was pretty run of the mill. No Goose-Gossage-like handles like my friend, Jimbo. My social and political views might seem a bit left kooky to Main St. …

Then the Crows Came

"My son says

the subway doors

are not quite

an E flat

when they close,"

she said.

The man

who tunes pianos

smiled knowingly.

"He will have to learn

to make accommodations",

he said,

"because the world 

is not

in perfect pitch."

Then the crows came.

So bleak.

So scrawny.

Compared to what?

Smaller birds squawk


at their presence.

But they are not hawks.

They perch 

rather than swoop.

They natter and conspire

rather than act.

They are malevolent

not amoral.

Their arrogant caw 

Same Old, Same Old River ... But Different

Sublime Seredipity

On the way to the river, I chanced upon an outdoor concert  by the Hastings Bluemothers at the Hastings Station cafe. And wouldn't you know that the second song they played, even as I decided to try out the video capabilities of the Canon PowerShot from across the plaza, was a Van Morrison classic? They do a nice set and are worth catching if you're in the area.

Late yesterday, I spied the  sunlight dancing on the river through library director Sue Feir's window on the children's reading room which, in turn, has a floor-to-ceiling window that I suspect will infect toddlers and their caregivers with the same infectious love for the Hudson I caught when my family  moved to Spuyten Duyvil  in 1962. My eighth-floor bedroom window gave me a sweeping view of the river and the Paliades from its confluence with the Harlem River to the south all the way north to Yonkers. 

Take Me Out To The New Stadium

Hooky yesterday. Again. I could get use to this on, what a marketing company reminded me yesterday, is the upcoming 20th anniversary of T.H. Forbes Co. (They tell me that the "4 most powerful words" I can use are "20 Years of Experience." Is that true? How sad.)

My poker crony, Dennis, and his wife, Susan, treated me to a couple of very nice field-box seats at the new Stadium, 25 rows back and a little behind first base, just underneath the mezzanine overhang and out of the sun.

As  disappointed as I was with the Canon PowerShot's performance under the lights last week at storied Upper Rumbrook Field — the shots below of the

My Backyards

Today was one of those days that seem beyond words; luckily I had my Canon PowerShot along.

Bruce Bolger, his wife Shawn Sparks, a friend of the family, Solene, who has been visiting from France and interning in Bruce's office, Deirdre, Sadie the pit bull/mountain climber, and I  started out by trekking up Storm King mountain this afternoon. It's  across the Hudson and a tad north of Bull Hill, which Bruce and I climbed a couple of weeks ago.

On the drive up, Bruce remember the inscription of a grave he's come across on a trail in the Hudson Highlands that says:

Down to the Shore

I felt drawn to the river this afternoon. When I got to MacEachron Park, a couple of kids who were picnicking with their extended family scooted ahead of me and staked a claim to the south-facing flat rock that I usually sit on. So I moved about ten yards upriver and sat on a smaller rock facing west and let the river come to me for a couple of hours. And it did.

Mostly I  listened to tunes on my iPod, and then did a trance induction and sucked it all in. But I could not resist a few pictures, marveling as I took them at the richness that surrounded my tiny perch. …

Shades in the Rear View Mirror

Her hair darted

and was slammed down

like a wrestler on the mat.

It fluttered and sprang back up

and floated like a wisp of smoke

above sizzling twigs.

Her shades

caught a glint of sun

and seemed to dissolve 

in the rearview mirror.

I was mesmerized 

and the chase was on

for miles and miles

on the twists of the Taconic,

a boxy, grey CRV

trailing a sleek Mercedes

its top down,

like a low-cut dress.

My interest peaked,

like a tomcat prowling.

but all I wanted

was to watch her hair

flailing like Medusa's,

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