Today I added four newspaper clippings about Gray's Shows to Fairgound. There is nothing too interesting except a couple of articles about a drug bust. In my experience, this the oldest coverage of a "drug bust"; every day occurrence today. Also a wonderful little clip about Irene (click clipping to view).

Quite the little dancer apparently

Mom and Me Mom and Me

Carol found a packet of old 616 negatives yesterday while going through some of our storage. The photos look like they were taken in the summer of 1947 when I was still a pup. There were a couple of pictures of me in my mother's arms (click photo to view), 3 of my sister - it looks like she was arriving at an airport, maybe North Bay to be with my parents for the summer, and a few of some Show kids, I think that I recognize Terry Gray. There were only 13 negatives. I scanned each at very high resolution and then flipped the tone curve to make them positive. They are now hosted in Fairground.

I found the following article helpful in thinking about the Nazi demonstration in Charlottesville VA this past weekend. In tribute I will be including the words of Heather Heyer as the closing of every one of my emails for the foreseeable future: “If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention." Heather should have a monument.

An open letter from the great-great-grandsons of Stonewall Jackson - - Jack Christian and Warren Christian

Dear Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney and members of the Monument Avenue Commission,

We are native Richmonders and also the great-great-grandsons of Stonewall Jackson. As two of the closest living relatives to Stonewall, we are writing today to ask for the removal of his statue, as well as the removal of all Confederate statues from Monument Avenue. They are overt symbols of racism and white supremacy, and the time is long overdue for them to depart from public display. Overnight, Baltimore has seen fit to take this action. Richmond should, too.

In making this request, we wish to express our respect and admiration for Mayor Stoney’s leadership while also strongly disagreeing with his claim that “removal of symbols does [nothing] for telling the actual truth [nor] changes the state and culture of racism in this country today.” In our view, the removal of the Jackson statue and others will necessarily further difficult conversations about racial justice. It will begin to tell the truth of us all coming to our senses.

Last weekend, Charlottesville showed us unequivocally that Confederate statues offer pre-existing iconography for racists. The people who descended on Charlottesville last weekend were there to make a naked show of force for white supremacy. To them, the Robert E. Lee statue is a clear symbol of their hateful ideology. The Confederate statues on Monument Avenue are, too—especially Jackson, who faces north, supposedly as if to continue the fight.

We are writing to say that we understand justice very differently from our grandfather’s grandfather, and we wish to make it clear his statue does not represent us.

Through our upbringing and education, we have learned much about Stonewall Jackson. We have learned about his reluctance to fight and his teaching of Sunday School to enslaved peoples in Lexington, Virginia, a potentially criminal activity at the time. We have learned how thoughtful and loving he was toward his family. But we cannot ignore his decision to own slaves, his decision to go to war for the Confederacy, and, ultimately, the fact that he was a white man fighting on the side of white supremacy.

While we are not ashamed of our great-great-grandfather, we are ashamed to benefit from white supremacy while our black family and friends suffer. We are ashamed of the monument.

In fact, instead of lauding Jackson’s violence, we choose to celebrate Stonewall’s sister—our great-great-grandaunt—Laura Jackson Arnold. As an adult Laura became a staunch Unionist and abolitionist. Though she and Stonewall were incredibly close through childhood, she never spoke to Stonewall after his decision to support the Confederacy. We choose to stand on the right side of history with Laura Jackson Arnold.

Confederate monuments like the Jackson statue were never intended as benign symbols. Rather, they were the clearly articulated artwork of white supremacy. Among many examples, we can see this plainly if we look at the dedication of a Confederate statue at the University of North Carolina, in which a speaker proclaimed that the Confederate soldier “saved the very life of the Anglo-Saxon race in the South.” Disturbingly, he went on to recount a tale of performing the “pleasing duty” of “horse whipping” a black woman in front of federal soldiers. All over the South, this grotesque message is conveyed by similar monuments. As importantly, this message is clear to today’s avowed white supremacists.

There is also historical evidence that the statues on Monument Avenue were rejected by black Richmonders at the time of their construction. In the 1870s, John Mitchell, a black city councilman, called the monuments a tribute to “blood and treason” and voiced strong opposition to the use of public funds for building them. Speaking about the Lee Memorial, he vowed that there would come a time when African Americans would “be there to take it down.”

Ongoing racial disparities in incarceration, educational attainment, police brutality, hiring practices, access to health care, and, perhaps most starkly, wealth, make it clear that these monuments do not stand somehow outside of history. Racism and white supremacy, which undoubtedly continue today, are neither natural nor inevitable. Rather, they were created in order to justify the unjustifiable, in particular slavery.

One thing that bonds our extended family, besides our common ancestor, is that many have worked, often as clergy and as educators, for justice in their communities. While we do not purport to speak for all of Stonewall’s kin, our sense of justice leads us to believe that removing the Stonewall statue and other monuments should be part of a larger project of actively mending the racial disparities that hundreds of years of white supremacy have wrought. We hope other descendants of Confederate generals will stand with us.

As cities all over the South are realizing now, we are not in need of added context. We are in need of a new context—one in which the statues have been taken down.

Respectfully, William Jackson Christian Warren Edmund Christian Great-great-grandsons of Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson

Just Finished


Season 6 of Offspring - Carol and I really enojoyed all of the episodes of this Australian TV series. Highly recommended by both of us. Asher Keddy is a brilliant comedic actor with a very clever supporting cast. 1

Today an empty lot LoganView Front LoganView Back LoganView Mainfloor LoganView Basement

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—In a fiercely defiant statement on Tuesday, the White House press secretary, Sean Spicer, denied that any member of the White House staff has ever worked "in any way, shape, or form" for the benefit of the United States. Angrily addressing the press corps, Spicer said that any allegations that members of the Trump Administration have ever acted in concert or collusion with the United States are "unequivocally false."

"At no time during the transition or afterward did any member of the Trump team have meetings, conversations, or any other contacts that furthered the interests of the United States of America," Spicer said. "In the thousands of communications that took place, the United States never came up even once."

Drawing a stark contrast with the Administration of former President Barack Obama, Spicer said that many members of Obama’s staff were “clearly and flagrantly working for the United States government at all times.”

“President Trump has put an end to that,” he said. In closing, Spicer said that the recent effort to pass the Republican health-care bill should silence “once and for all” those trying to link the Trump Administration to the United States government. "If you look at the interaction between the White House and congressional Republicans, there is absolutely no evidence of coordination,” he said.

Devon Cuddy


Went to see Devon Cuddy last night at the Collingwood Amphitheatre. Very nice show. When Cuddy and the band got out of their van a cloud of dense smoke almost obscured them. Hmmm. Only later did I realize that there was a food wagon preparing wood-fired pizza that was sending up the occasional cloud. Cuddy and his band were troopers - playing in the rain and taking a break when the real rain came, but coming back to finish their show. Good music too.

Our home in Blue Shores has been sold. We have purchased a new build in New Hamburg, Ontario. We will be homeless from October 16 through March 22, 2018. Any volunteers? Here is the sales video for the home in Collingwood. I know that the video is a lattle long, but try to hang in until the end where the drone shows the outside of the home and the community. The technology is great.

After reading about Playing For Change and how they are working with street musicians, and how good they can be, I started looking for good buskers on YouTube. There is quite a variety of talent with uploaded videos. Some are bad, but some are really good. Here is Rachael Croft. At the time that I linked to this video it had been viewed just 1628 times. Have a look at the view counter to see if it is moving (if it has, I am certain it is not because of my link.)

Llewellyn Appleton and Carol Appleton

Tim Buckley was one of my favourite singer/songwriters in the 1960s/early 70s. He was odd but had a very distinctive voice and style. He committed suicide in 1975. Tim had a son - Jeff Buckley. Jeff too was a favourite singer/songwriter. He put out one album before he tragically drown in the Mississippi River in 1997 at the age of 31. The album titled "Grace" was brilliant, but he will always be remembered for his version of the Leonard Cohen song "Hallelujah". This song is covered over and over again, but none equal his version. He had a sweet, sweet voice.

Morgan James enters this story by covering not just a Jeff Buckley song, but by paying tribute to him by covering the entire album - thoughtfully and with passion. At times Morgan sings as Jeff, and at other times she extends what he was trying to do - perfectly. I am a big fan of Jeff but I really appreciate her spin on his songs. Morgan's husband Jeff Wamble plays guitar throughout this session. He replicates "dead" Jeff's guitar sound very well.