Paris has its tower, Seattle its tower, Shanghai has towers galore, but Tokyo's tower cannot be mistaken. It was built shortly after I departed.
Tim has captured a great photo.
Sunday, June 26, 2011
Monday, June 20, 2011
Friday, June 10, 2011
A SHORT AND PERSONAL HISTORY OF MY LIFE ABOARD A TRAMP STEAMER By Robert L. Huffstutter
Back in the mid 1950s when I was a restless teenager and bored as hell with Kansas City, I wanted to get out of town and start living. I soon learned, passing Lawrence, Kansas, that I was going to have get a hell of a lot farther than Lawrence, Kansas to start seeing the world. And I had heard about tramp steamers. My English teacher back then, Mr. Smith, had mentioned the romance of the world of tramp steamers, so when I got home from my little trip to Lawrence without meeting any college cheerleaders, I started reading about tramp steamers and where I could find one that would sign me on so I could get to Hong Kong or Yokohama to start having some fun. Work? Sure, yes, I could work, I was young, and though not a giant, I could lift boxes and toss them up and aft and wherever, the kind of work I assumed would make up the life of a seaman.
Where does one go to find a tramp steamer I asked myself as I researched the library's reference section. No, I couldn't get to some English seaport to catch a steamer, besides they probably had all the help they needed. Was I longshoreman? I was barely a teenager, but maybe I could become a cabinboy. Afterall, didn't all the Naval heros start out as cabinboys, at least before we became free from the English? Going out of the country wouldn't work. I would have to find a port city in the USA to sign on. My aunt told me I should reconsider, finish school, get a real job. I wouldn't want to end up as a truckdriver would I? She said I would need a good education if I wanted to make more than $5 or $6 dollars an hour. I ought to try to get on at the steel mill where they were paying $7 an hour. That didn't appeal to me because I knew some friends whose dads worked there and they said it was hotter than hell inside those huge buildings. How about the BOP Plant at Leeds, not faraway. They built Buicks, Olds and Pontiacs. Well, I knew you had to be 18 and I didn't want to wait, I wanted to get on a ship where I could see the world, a tramp steamer. The idea appealed to me. I had just read Orwell's Down and Out In London and Paris and I figured Paris would be a great place to be down and out in, if only I could get there. Yes, I could start painting, meet a French woman, hang out in bistros and cabarets and have fun. And sooner or later, I would become famous, like that guy with the big nose that went to Tahiti and painted island women barely clad. Yes.
Thursday, June 9, 2011
Japanese woman with mirrors
Accession Number: 1974:0034:0007
Title: Japanese woman with mirrors
Date: ca. 1890
Medium: albumen print with applied color
Dimensions: 26.6 x 20.0 cm.
George Eastman House Collection
General – information about the George Eastman House Photography Collection is available at http://www.eastmanhouse.org/inc/collections/photography.php.
For information on obtaining reproductions go to: www.eastmanhouse.org/flickr/index.php?pid=197400340007.
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
This is one of the best photographs of the old HIKAWA MARU that I have ever seen. The gulls on the lines are a bonus. You are one excellent photographer. My congratulations to you for your capture of a ship I saw for the first time in 1961. Yokohama was and remains one of my favorite cities.
This is a memory that is fond and one that is bittersweet. It was near this ship, in Yamashita Park, where my love and I walked hand in hand time and again in the 60s.