Monday, May 16, 2016


“Fear is the major cargo that writers must stow away when the writing life calls them into carefully chosen ranks.”  Pat Conroy, author of “The Great Santini”
 The word cargo refers to goods and produce shipped by boat or aircraft.  Sometimes historians have referred to slaves brought against their will from Africa as human cargo. A 2009 science fiction thriller was called “Cargo,” and an upcoming zombie movie of that name will star, of all people, Morgan Freeman.  Cargo Bridge is a math and engineering game. Cargo pants have plentiful pockets.  CARGO is also the name for an imaginative Miller project that promises to be of inestimable cultural, historic, and aesthetic value to the community.  

Corey Hagelberg and Kate Land held an open house fundraiser at their Miller place over the weekend to publicize and help underwrite upcoming Calumet Artist Residency projects, including the Calumet Artist Residency Gallery and Orchard (CARGO).  The goal is to create a sculpture garden and art gallery on a lot donated by Kidstuff PlaySystems.  Since 2012 Corey and Kate have hosted artists who have exhibited work at the Gardner Center and interacted with Wirt/Emerson students.  The CARGO site, once storehouse grounds for the B & O Railroad, has been neglected for the past 30 years and will be utilized for talks, workshops, exhibits, and performances.

CARGO open house photos by Tania Said
 At Miller Market a full lineup of Open Mike participants assembled, including folk singers and a rock and roll band, Tommy T. and the Bailers, whose lead singer nailed the Cranberries song “Dreams.” At Gardner Center was a Wirt/Emerson student display of bead art.  Climbing the 84 steps to Kate and Corey’s place atop a sand dune, I heard an accomplished Wirt/Emerson jazz group.  I had donated several Shavings magazines for a silent auction and was grateful someone had bid $40 for them.  Corey showed me a framed Earl H. Reed drawing that Gregg Hertzlieb gave him for teaching one of his classes.  Quite impressive!  Dick and Cheryl Hagelberg arrived straight from Midway Airport, back from Hawaii via airports in Atlanta and Detroit.  I chatted with a former artist in residence from Columbia College who is returning this summer.  Fellow book club member Donna Catalano (below) said hello; last year she spoke on Daniel James Brown’s “The Boys in the Boat” – about America’s 1936 Gold Medal eight-oar rowing team.  Donna said it’s being made into a movie. 

Following a legal standoff in North Carolina, the Obama administration issued guidelines directing public schools to permit transgender students access to bathrooms matching their gender identity.  Feigning outrage, Republicans are claiming that girls will be exposed to penises.  Similar bullshit helped defeat the Equal Rights Amendment. Texas may forfeit billions of dollars in federal funding rather than comply with the guidelines. Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick wants to invoke the states rights doctrine of nullification.

I finished Saul Wilentz’s biography of slaveholder Andrew Jackson who, I’m glad, will lose his place on the 20-dollar bill to Harriet Tubman.  Like others on our paper currency - Washington ($1), Lincoln ($5), Hamilton ($10), and Grant ($50) – Jackson’s main accomplishment was preserving the Union during the South Carolina nullification crisis of 1832-1833.

In “Appropriate Behavior” (2014), written, directed by, and starring Desiree Akhavan, the bisexual daughter of Iranian immigrants (Shirin) is reluctant to “come out” to them.  Shirin uses the term “gold star” (a lesbian who has never had sex with a man), something I knew about from Anne Balay’s class.  Scott Adsit is a hoot as a mellow dad who hires Shirin (he calls her Cher) to teach an after-school film class to five year-old hellions..
 NWI Times photos by Damian Rico
Forty protestors were arrested at BP’s oil refinery.  Roy Dominguez represented those taken into custody and posted:
  The environmental justice advocates are calling for a transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy. Obviously, no one believes that such a transition will occur overnight but quick action is necessary to protect our climate and planet.  I was thoroughly inspired by the entire group and certainly impressed by the large number of young people involved. A hearty congrats to the organizers of the event.
Equally, I want to extend our sincere gratitude to Whiting's Mayor Joseph M. Stahura, Police Chief Steve Miller and to their administrative staff for their generous support and cooperation. Also, to all the police officers and others assigned to this detail for their professionalism and patience in responding to the protesters with great care. It certainly was Americana at its finest. There were no injuries and everyone went home to their loved ones.

Geologist Ken Schoon proofread my essay “Sand and Steel” that John Cain commissioned for an exhibit catalogue. I had claimed that glaciers covered northwest Indiana for over a million years.  I amended it to “many thousands of years” after Ken explained that, while the Ice Age lasted about 2 million years, there were many periods of glaciation interspersed with warm periods.  I claimed that Lake Michigan’s southern shoreline approximated its present boundaries around 2,500 years ago.  Ken told me that the estimates range from 3,500 years ago to just 200 years ago and, in fact, the lake level is still fluctuating.  I deleted mention of a specific date.  Due to a cut-and-paste goof, I left off Earl H. Reed’s first name – glad Ken caught it. 

Alissa and Josh have sent fantastic photos while on safari at Serengeti National park in Tanzania.  Josh posted: “One of the coolest days of my life.” 
In Grand Rapids Tori and Miranda participated in the 10K River Bank Run.

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