Best Twice Baked Potatoes Ever!
Catherine Ryan on Gloucester, MA in landmark Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information (FSA/OWI) documentary photographs. Part 1
Have a look at Gloucester from this important collection. First up—the Gordon Parks post. 1942.
FOBs may recognize some of the faces, names, places. You recently featured the ‘American Gothic’Wallflowers, by this super artist on GMG which reminded me of the road less traveled within this historic collection of photographs archived at the Library of Congress and the New York Public Library.
This post is Part 1 in a series on Gloucester images in this legendary FSA/OWI collection. If you are interested in the scope of any Gloucester material from this collection, we know that at least 4 of the FSA/OWI photographers came through Gloucester, MA. No surprise, each photographer took photo(s) of the Fisherman at the Wheel. They also show the impact of WWII. If you can id any of the Gloucesterpeople, please contact me. I’ve listed some known Gloucester names at the end of the post.
In 1934 during the Great Depression, Fortune magazine dispatched Margaret Bourke-White to cover the Dust Bowl. She sent additional images to the New Masses and the Nation.
In 1935, for one of its many New Deal programs, the US government sent photographers across the country on assignment. Initially their photographs were intended to illustrate the results of the country’s latest efforts to alleviate rural poverty.
Ultimately, they created a legendary photographic record of 1935-1945.
Here is a jaw-dropping list of established and future notables who Stryker hired for this incredible visual encyclopedia: Esther Bubley, John Collier, Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange, Russell Lee, GordonParks, Marion Post Walcott, Louise Rosskam, Arthur Rothstein, Ben Shahn, George Stoney, John Vachon, and Marion Post Walcott. Stryker also primed an extensive “orbit” of contacts and influence.
What is the FSA/OWI collection? (See explanation at the end of this post.)
|American Photographer GORDON PARKS (1912-2006)
119 FSA/OWI photos for Gloucester, MA, May and June 1942
|In 2012, the International Center of Photography in New York commemorated the centennial of GordonPark’s birth with a year-long installation featuring 50+ photos (one of the Gloucester ones was in there).|
|Gordon Parks believed the positive reaction he received for some of his early fashion images was his first break (Melva Louis, Joe Louis’ first wife). This support pushed him to set up a photography portrait business in Chicago. He also photographed out in the streets. He was inspired by Norman Alley’s bombing of Panay coverage (1937). FSA/OWI photographer Jack Delano saw his work and urged him to try to enter Stryker’s program via a Rosenwald fellowship. He was 30 when he was brought on board and thrilled to join this famous group. He was the first African American to be hired by Stryker. He worked there less than two years as the program ended. He followed Stryker into a commercial job. Gordon Parks was a man of dazzling talents. His FSA/OWI photos hint at his many future creative pursuits. This work though was rarely seen.|
|You can see Parks skilled portrait photographs: leaders of faith, presidents of universities, people working and at home, such as Mrs. Isabell Lopez of Gloucester, mother of 6 holding her grandchild.|
|There are celebrity portraits: Paul Robeson, Mrs. Roosevelt with Wang Yung, Langston Hughes, and Richard Wright. Portraits and fashion were his bread and butter back in Chicago, before landing a post with this famous group.
|You can see Gordon Parks the social activist. From left to right: pushing for safer streets, e.g. protection for our kids (devastating streetcar accidents); Jim Crow train FLA; his famous ‘American Gothic’ portrait of Ella Watson who cleaned nights at the FSA government office in Washington, DC. Parks thought this image heavy handed; there is essentially what amounts to a still-photo mini documentary of Ella Watson at home, with her family and at work for more of her story.
Gordon Parks did 1 Gloucester protection/safety photograph, a dangerous crossing.
|You can see Gordon Parks the fashion photographer. Welder on the left is Rosie the Riveter style; and on the right Mrs. Lopez’s daughter, at home Gloucester, MA. The still-lives are Duke Ellington’s colorful ties and one of Jay Thorpe’s Four Freedoms textiles.
|You can see Gordon Parks the humanist: ordinary big moments with Girls Scouts at a memorial service,Gloucester, MA; New York state camps where kids and staff are made up of diverse backgrounds; AldenCaptain and crew are relaxed, easy company together while in New York.|
|You can glimpse Gordon Parks the musician/composer through the arts he selected to cover while on assignment for the FSA/OWI. Marian Anderson’s broadcast at a mural dedication commemorating her Lincoln Memorial concert. Duke Ellington and the Orchestra at the Hurricane Club Ballroom, in New York City, April 1943.
|There are also photos of Ellington trying to hear his band; Betty Rocha singing with the Orchestra; and individual portraits of musicians Rex Stewart, Ray Nance, Juan Tizol, Sunny Greer, and Johnny Hodges. The caption for Hodges includes the song title played during his portrait session, “Don’t Get around Much Anymore.” Parks also photographed the Club staff and customers
|You can see Gordon Parks the movie Director. Some of his FSA/OWI work looks ready for neorealist cinema. (Rome, Open City global 1946.) The image on the left features generations of the women of the Machado/Lopez family. The boys at the Leonard Craske Fisherman at the Wheel memorial are not identified (one close up).
The center mirror image reminds me of film school students and their emulation of Citizen Kane (1941) and other camera tricks. The image in the mirror is from one of Parks early assignments with the FSA. Mirrors and reflections tend toward symbolism anyhow. Parks is there photographing HowardUniversity. It feels like he snapped this on the sly when seen with the other ‘dailies’. It’s Thanksgiving Dinner and President of Howard University, Mordicai Johnson, is being served by an African American.
|There’s scene shots: movie-scale streets and crowd shots teeming in NYC or downtown Gloucester. Gordon Parks filed 50+ pictures for the Nature of the Enemy show, the second exhibition of the “This is Our War” series of outdoor installations on the promenade of RockefellerCenter, May – July, 1943. ForGloucester, it’s Memorial Day services.|
|You can see GordonParks the photo journalist and author through the captions he wrote. For the Gloucester FSA/OWI photos there is a complete photo-journalism expose where he tracks a journey from sea to plate that begins in Gloucester and ends up in New York. The collaboration of GMG Gloucester photographers Kathy Chapman and Marty Luster Fish on Fridays series is such an interesting connection.|
|“The mackerel caught off the Gloucester coast ends up on the table of Mrs. Rose Carrendeno, NYC, for Friday’s supper. She prepared and served the fish that she bought earlier that day from Joseph DeMartino’s shop who buys his fish each morning from the Fulton Fish Market. She and her husband have three sons in the armed forces…She stops to chat with Mrs. DeMartino about the ration problems while Joseph DeMartino cleans the mackerel she has purchased.
“Fishermen’s families often make trips down from New England towns to be in New York when the ship arrives. The fishermen consider that nothing is too good for their families.”
|Close up of Mrs. Carrendeno’s ingredients for FOB
|What is the FSA/OWI collection?
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt selected a social economist from ColumbiaUniversity, Rexford Tugwell, as Undersecretary of Agriculture in 1934. One of Tugwell’s policy directives included new analysis of assistance for dislocated farmers. He enticed a protégé, economist Roy E. Stryker, to come with him toWashington to direct the Resettlement Administration’s Historical Section.
Stryker was the perfect hire, and successfully eked out the program from 1935-1942. He believed photography would be the key tool. At Columbia, he was a master at amassing visuals and presentations to illustrate economic topics. While a Professor, he insisted his students get out and survey what’s around them, walk “the field”, “see.”
The FSA/OWI photographers documented daily life, the effects of the Depression and WWII across the country, the problems our country was facing, Main Streets, landmarks, portraits, workers, communities and families. There is great range of intention, style, subject and theme across the collection.
Some of the FSA/OWI photographs received nearly instantaneous and phenomenal fame.
The reputation of this work was so respected, so known, that employment in this program would later open doors to grants and commercial jobs, and for several artists, launched long illustrious careers.
Stryker promoted and protected these artists and the work as the best art dealers do: fleshing out projects, orchestrating exhibits, doggedly getting their work out there to be seen, and placing it in print– whether for church pamphlets or major media publications, or into galleries and collections. When he moved back to the private sector, he hired them. Unlike the art created for some other WPA-era agencies that was lost or destroyed, Stryker and his team had the foresight to try to protect all of it for perpetuity. At the closure of this program, he sought approval from President Roosevelt to transfer the master collection to the Library of Congress (nearly 280,000 items) as part of our National Archives, which was granted. Throughout the program he shipped boxes of prints to the New York Public Library (41,000 items) so that there would be an additional repository if a safe haven in Washington, DC, did not come together. As a result there have been two outstanding collections to study and access. (Other collections and institutions have smaller holdings of vintage prints.)
The Library of Congress remains the primary source for use and research. Through the 1950s, one could check out vintage prints along with books at the NYPL. As with many collections, the same images were often requested over and over. The Library of Congress digitized their FSA/OWI collection in the late 1980s and has been deeply committed to ongoing technological updates. In 2005 the NYPL determined that 1000 photos in their collection were actually “new” discoveries; they put these on line in 2012.
There are over 270,000 items in the Library of Congress Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information (FSA/OWI) archives, all digitized. IF you haven’t seen these images in person, look for exhibitions of the true vintage prints. There are many iconic photographs. Some capture a gap between ideals and reality. They have been studied, published and featured many times over. As the Gloucester images show, the collection is not solely images of farmers, rural problems, and Western states.
-Catherine Ryan / – all photos Library of Congress, FSA/OWI black and white photography collection
|To search Gordon Parks FSA/OWI photographs for Gloucester, type in key words
Fishermen on the ALDEN
Gordon Pew Fisheries worker, Joseph Lopez and his family
Search for Gloucester landmarks. There are two or three photos in Rockport: the Pewter Shop and the owner Mrs. Whitney
Today I did. Dramatically and immediately. My neck and chest are still covered in red itchy hives. I had run out of our usual Ecover detergent and grabbed an old bottle of Dawn that was shoved deep in the far recesses of the kitchen cupboard. The reason we purchase the eco friendly soap is because the smell alone of most super market dish soaps gives me a terrible headache. I only needed to wash several dusty vases and hadn’t yet gone to the store this morning. I thought, what the heck, I could stand the sickly sweet odor of Dawn for a few vases. Within three minutes of washing the vases, I felt as though millions of itchy pins and needles were piercing my chest, neck, ears, and face–all areas that had been exposed to the steamy suds.
I jumped in the shower, which only helped a bit and have been putting ice on intermittently. After googling, this is what I have learned about Proctor and Gamble’s Dawn, which is one of the most toxic household products in our homes. Dawn contains Quaternium-15, which is a formaldehyde releaser*, and may cause severe dermatitis. Quaternium-15 can break down in the bottle or on the skin to release formaldehyde and its carcinogenicity is broadly accepted.
Dawn’s antibacterial dish soap label deceptively features baby seals and ducklings and the words, “1 Bottle = $1 Dollar to Save Wildlife.” Dawn donates soap to help clean up animals after oil spills, but the product itself contains the ingredient Triclosan, which is an antibacterial agent known to be harmful to animals. Triclosan has been officially declared to be toxic to aquatic life.
Have you had an allergic reaction to Dawn, or any hand dish washing soap for that matter? Please write and share your experiences with household cleaners. Thank you!
*Note: A formaldehyde releaser is a chemical compound that slowly releases formaldehyde.
Check out Brian’s photography at http://backwardglance.wordpress.com
To read more information on this beautiful church please follow the link.
Karen MacLean is a blue collar woman in her fifties who has risen in the business world to the point she gets to bury the extraneous divisions a New York mergers-and-acquisitions firm spits out. Karen hates shutting down factory floor guys like her father, but the M&A outfit has promised she can have a company of her own, to run, once she buries her last body, the last fish processor in a hard-times Massachusetts fishing port. She shows up in town, learns she’s going to be canned when she gets back to New York, and decides to buy and run the old plant. She has skills and resolve and wins the help of townspeople, including a roughly charming fisherman, but the rest of it ain’t easy.
Sponsored by the Gloucester Writer’s Center at the Cultural Center at Rocky Neck, 6 Wonson Street. Friday, March 7
Now that even PCMag has selected the Apple Macintosh Operating System as Editor’s Choice, best OS for desktop and laptop the questions about how I do stuff on the Mac is increasing. But I am the worst person to ask. I’ve been using Macs since 1984 so my brain is stuck using methods from all the older programs with all the glitches and work arounds that I keep on using because my brain can’t handle new.
So when someone asks me how to manipulate a photo, I run through my list. iPhoto to resize, change color, Pixelmator to erase background, Photoshop when I want to tilt or animate. But then a Mac Group I belong to points out that most all of that can be done using “Preview”.
What? Preview, the tiny built in Mac program that fires up when you double-click on a photo? I thought you could only … Preview a photo. But no, with MacOS X 10.9.2 Mavericks, Preview has added even more easy tricks. 99% of what I want to do with a photo can be done in Preview. I just need to fire it up and look at the menu, “Tools” especially.
Look at all the stuff you can do without actually running a big photo program! Adjust the color and tint, get Info on size, crop to your hearts content and it even tells you while doing so how many pixels so cropping to that 81×81 sized avatar is now simple. “Export” to any file format and done. This touches on only a few tools and tricks inside Preview. Go double-click on a photo and check out every menu item. You might find like I did that you are wasting time using humongous programs and complicated tricks when the Newbie who just bought their first Mac yesterday is way ahead of you.
ps. The text bubbles I did in Preview too! I created the set-up seen here and used “Grab” in timed screen mode so that my crop was visible. Grab is another program that comes with your Mac. What an easy way to grab a Rubber Duck’s head and stick it on a squirrel’s body but that is another post entirely.
pps. One actual photo tip (if you’re still reading this) from an actual photographer That would not be me): when adjusting contrast, shadow, highlights, you can really mess a photo up. The trick to make it simple:
1) Turn saturation to zero, leftmost. That turns off color.
2) Now go ahead with contrast, exposure, shadow, highlights to get the photo to pop in Black and White.
3) Now go back to saturation and bring color back up, then check the tint. Works for me because otherwise I have no idea what I’m doing and my duck ends up orange with red lipstick applied by Picasso.
A few weeks ago (in this post), we told you to watch these guys based on their being featured in last months Noise Magazine. Well, guess what? Last week at the New England Music Awards they won “Pop Act of the Year”. And their video “Terrible Things” is featured in this month’s Noise Magazine (see video reviews here). And as usual, The Noise is right. Check out the video below:
So keep you’re eyes on them while you go out and party this weekend. Tons of great music — see full weekend schedule here.
For some the month of March made be viewed as cold and dreary month, but for Sicilian families carrying on the traditions surrounding the feast of St. Joseph, it is a month of prayer, family, fun, food, and celebration! Today, my mother Pat, daughter Amanda and I will work together in assembly line fashion, carrying dozens of saints from the “Vetrina” (China cabinet) to the kitchen sink where each will be carefully washed, dried, polished, and lined up on the dinning room table awaiting tomorrow’s scheduled alter set up. Friends and family will gather tomorrow afternoon to erect our Families 2014 St. Joseph alter. This traditional gathering, marks the official beginning off the 2014 Feast of St. Joseph Novena Celebration at our home.
Viva San Giuseppe!
For more photos of last years 2013 St. Joseph festivities click here Continue reading “St. Joseph 2014 Preperations Officially Begin Today At Sista’s House”
This is Anna Swanson from Backyard Growers reaching out again to you for your help through your blog. We are holding a few workshops in March for our participants and would love to get the word out so others can join if they would like! I have posted the blurb below with a picture of a past mentor and participant enjoying planning their spring garden at a previous workshop. We would really appreciate if you could post these once or twice before the deadline on March 19th. As always, please let me know if you have any questions.
Thank you so much for your help reaching out to the community, we so appreciate it!
Backyard Growers Annual Garden Training
Every spring Backyard Growers gives our program participants trainings in the square foot gardening method. We have a limited number of spots available for the general public to attend! The trainings take place at The Open Door on Saturdays, March 22 and March 29 from 9:45-12. The workshop fee is $35 and helps support our non-profit programming. To register contact Anna at610-220-9823 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Deadline to register is Wednesday, 3/19.
Marine Forecast ……
Small Craft Advisory …
Today: S winds 5 to 10 kt…increasing to 10 to 15 kt this afternoon. Gusts up to 25 kt late. Seas 2 to 3 ft.
Tonight: SW winds 10 to 15 kt with gusts up to 25 kt. Seas 2 to 3 ft.
Welcome to March 🙂 today looking at mostly sunny skies highs in the 30’s. Winds west SW 10-20 mph … Tonight cold lows around 30 degrees …
Sunday cloudy with light snow or snow showers late morning through Monday am .. Temps in the 20’s to low 30’s….
There ya go folks sorry feeling blah blah today . Hope to feel better before the snow moves in . I’m forecasting dusting to 2″ for Cape Ann at this time … Thanks for viewing …
CALVO WOODCARVING STUDIO is looking for an Apprentice. Applicant must have good aptitude, dexterity, and hopefully some woodworking skills. This is an interviewed position. For more information you can check the website at www.calvostudio.com or call at 978-283-0231
235 East Main St
Gloucester, MA 01930
Cape Ann Art Haven’s new class for kids ages 3 – 5: Little Hands BIG Art
register at www.arthaven.org
Get Out & Explore!
The Trustees of Reservations Launches a
New Crane Outdoor Adventures Program
Photo courtesy B. Handelman.
Ipswich, MA – February 27, 2014 – The Trustees of Reservations is excited to announce the launch of the new year-round Crane Outdoor Adventures Program at The Crane Estate, located at 290 Argilla Road, Ipswich, MA. With more than 2,000 acres and miles of trails weaving through beaches, dunes, woodlands, and marshes, The Crane Estate offers the ideal outdoor playground. Each month, the program will feature two or three different “adventures” on the grounds of The Crane Estate, the Crane Wildlife Refuge, Choate Island, and the nearby Hamlin Reservation.
“With the increased use of technology in our lives, more and more children and adults are not spending enough time outside,” says Barbara Erickson, Trustees President and CEO, outdoor enthusiast and mother of two young children. “It’s our mission at The Trustees to inspire more Massachusetts residents of all ages to get out, be active and experience our many wonderful outdoor places located across the state. The new Crane Outdoor Adventures Program is just one of the many ways we are trying to support this.”
The program kicks off this March with a Stop, Look and Listen Tour – an outdoor adventure for the whole family that includes hiking, investigating, and swapping stories over hot chocolate at the bonfire. March also marks the first of the monthly Full Moon and Folklore Hikes. Additional springtime family adventures include Spying on Spring Peepers, a Scavenger Hunt at the Hamlin Reservation, and Snakes Alive! – a snake hunt on the property at the Crane Estate followed by Rick Roth’s “Snakes of New England and the World” show.
The adult line-up for Crane Outdoor Adventures for adults include a kayak paddle through Fox Creek, a viewing of the Harvest Moon Rise from the Grand Allée with wine & hors d‘oeuvres, and a kayak paddle to Choate Island for a tour followed by a picnic supper. Visit the website, www.thetrurstees.org/castlehill or call 978.356.4351 x4052 for the complete Crane Outdoor Adventures schedule and information.
MARCH PROGRAM DETAILS
Full Moon and Folklore Hike
Sunday, March16 | 7-10pm
Join us as we celebrate the Algonquin Worm Moon with a night hike through the dunes of the Crane Wildlife Refuge! Transformed and illuminated by the glow of the full moon, the dunes are an eerily beautiful landscape – and on this late winter evening we may be lucky enough to hear the howls of coyotes as they search for a mate. At the end of our walk we’ll warm ourselves with hot cider around a bonfire.
Trustees Members: $15 Nonmembers: $20; suggested ages 13 and older.
Stop, Look and Listen Tour
Saturday, March 22 | 1-3pm
An outdoor adventure for the whole family! We’ll walk the Cedar Point loop, investigating the trail for tracks and telltales, piecing together evidence that will help us see the story in the landscape. Bring your sharp senses and your skills of observation! We’ll end the hike in the Pine Grove with a bonfire and hot chocolate.
Trustees Members: Adult FREE; Child $5. Nonmembers: Adult FREE; Child $8.
APRIL SAVE THE DATES…
Spying on Spring Peepers
Saturday, April 12 | 7-9pm
In the early evening darkness we’ll quietly make our way through the dunes to the bogs and puddles that serve as breeding pools for these tiny frogs, and hope to catch a glimpse of them as they call to find a mate. The cacophonous chorus of Spring Peepers means winter is finally coming to an end; they are among the very first to call and breed in the spring.
Trustees Members: Adult $8; Child $4. Nonmembers: Adult $10; Child $5.
Full Moon and Folklore Hike
Tuesday, April 15 | 8-10pm
According to The Farmer’s Almanac, April’s Full Pink Moon heralds the appearance of the moss pink, or wild ground phlox—one of the first spring flowers. It is also known as the Sprouting Grass Moon, the Egg Moon, and the Fish Moon. Bring your own fun facts and folklore to share around the bonfire at the end of our hike!
Trustees Members: $15 Nonmembers: $20; suggested ages 13 and older.
Scavenger Hunt at Hamlin Reservation
Thursday, April 24 | 1-2:30pm
Looking for something fun to do with the kids during school vacation? Join us at the Hamlin Reservation, where we’ll search for nature’s treasures (and some man-made as well!) as we walk through the gently rolling fields of this former farmland, then over a dike path that leads to a loop trail around Eagle Island. Bring your sharpest skills of observation, and a bag to collect your treasures!
Trustees Members: Adult FREE; Child $5. Nonmembers: Adult FREE; Child $8.
Finally – progress in the fight for healthy kids
Sarah Bartley, NSUW
“We now have a vegetable with dinner every day—whether it be from our garden or not,” says a mom and participant in the Backyard Growers Program. This program helps low- and moderate-income families plant and harvest from raised-bed gardens in their backyards.
This is just one of several innovative local responses to the childhood obesity epidemic in the US. But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finally have good news. This week it was reported that obesity rates have dropped 43 percent among 2- to 5-year-old children over the past decade nationwide. MA is one of just 19 states seeing a decrease in rates.
Part of the Cape Ann Farmers Market, Backyard Growers is one of 10 programs that have been funded by the North Shore United Way’s Women in Action initiative. Women in Action is the North Shore’s first focused response to the issue that engages people in both philanthropy and volunteerism for local programs that increase access to healthy food, sound nutrition, and physical activity for children and families. In its report, the CDC sites citizens groups like Women in Action and innovative local programs like Backyard Growers for nudging the childhood obesity rate down and offering a solution that improves the health and wellbeing to America’s youth.
In addition to supporting philanthropic efforts like Women in Action, there are many people can get involved in the effort to increase access to healthy food and physical activity.
Like to garden? Become a mentor for the Backyard Growers program and share your experience with someone who is starting out. Or maybe you have a truck? If so, you have a great resource to this growing program. MORE
Enjoy preparing healthy food and have a heart for those who struggle to put enough of it on the table? Consider helping prepare community meals with The Open Door, a Gloucester based pantry that has led the way in the nutrition movement. MORE
Have experience swimming or in other sports? Become a swim instructor or volunteer assistant coach for one of the North Shore Y’s leagues. You do not need to be a professional athlete, but have a love of sports and a concern for instilling Caring, Honesty, Respect and Responsibility in children of all ages. MORE
Enjoy volunteering with young children? Beverly Children’s Learning Center runs a Happy Healthy Fit Kids program that introduces their children to being active and eating healthy foods both inside and outside of the classroom. They seek classroom helpers. MORE
These are just four of many ways to become engaged in building a stronger, healthier community listed on the North Shore Volunteer Hub, a new website from the North Shore United Way helping residents find meaningful, local volunteer opportunities.
Volunteer opportunities are meaningful when you know you are meeting a real community need. But it will only last if it is also a good fit for your skills, availability, and interests. Found at nsuw.org, the Volunteer Hub allows you to search by issue or need until you find the right volunteer match.
The North Shore United Way invests almost $1M each year in projects that transform lives and improve communities now and for future generations. NSUW is all about local impact by rigorously vetting and supporting 25 causes that serve children, families, and seniors in eight North Shore communities, including Beverly, Hamilton, Wenham, Ipswich, Essex, Manchester, Gloucester and Rockport. For more information about the projects funded by NSUW donors and how to get involved, visit nsuw.org.