Rosslyn Redux: May Update

I’ve been a little more quiet than usual during the last month, and I hope that you’ll forgive the frequent ellipses. I’ve shifted gears to focus on a steady stream of Rosslyn programming over at the Rosslyn Redux blog. This has been a great way to funnel my blogging energy during the revision process…

Sally Lesh & Hyde Gate “One of the unanticipated joys of living at Rosslyn (aka Hyde Gate) has been discovering the property’s legacy… One recent reminder was the first chapter of All My Houses in which octogenarian Sally Lesh chronicles her itinerant life story by way of the many homes in which she has resided… Lesh opens the memoir with her birth on Janurary 19, 1921 in Boston, but the title of her first chapter and the origin of the journey she intends to chronicle is Hyde Gate, Essex, New York…”

Hail Storm & Apple Tree “An ancient and neglected apple tree… For six years I pruned and nourished the crab apple tree back to health… then the clouds erupted in a short but angry tantrum of driving rain, mothball-sized hail and driving wind. When the hail and rain stopped and the fog cleared, the crooked fruit tree had fallen, snapped off at her stem.” (video eulogy)

2011 Lake Champlain Flood Retrospective “Rosslyn boathouse is dry. Lake Champlain water levels are low. Our waterfront weathered winter — what winter there was — and spring without incurring the destructive flooding which tormented us a year ago… But all is not forgotten. Fully half of Rosslyn’s waterfront, maybe more, remains a boulder piled mess. Thousands of pounds of stone rip-rap installed last spring to stabilize NYS Rt. 22 buried two hundred year old cut stone retaining walls.”

Mary Wade’s Rosslyn “Each winter Essex residents celebrate the holidays early during a weekend-long event called Christmas in Essex. It was this tradition which connected me to Mary Wade, a folk artist who lives in Willsboro but runs a seasonal gallery in Essex each summer. She creates painted wooden models, silhouettes and paintings of historic buildings in Essex that are collected by her fans all around the world.”

Rosslyn Unplugged “Yesterday, Thursday, May 15, 2009 was windier than a subway median at rush hour. Lake Champlain wind blasts reached 50 mph. The forecast had threatened gusts up to 90 mph. The rain drizzled off and on all day, but the fellow building the stone wall near the mud room stuck it out and got the job done.”

Just Google it! “I collaborated with John Brookhouse of 1o’Clock Multimedia on this “long winded” but amusing Google Search vignette which was part of Redacting Rosslyn v1.0 at The Depot Theatrein Westport, New York in August 2011. Although I concepted the content and story arc, and even most of the search queries, Brookhouse was the video maestro who morphed my vision into a far more creative story than I could have managed on my own.

Fox & Squirrel Revisited “At the end of April I posted about a fox that was frequenting Rosslyn to grab a quick squirrel breakfast or supper whenever the urge struck him… Although the fox seems to have moved on, his apex predator slot was quickly filled by an always hungry hawk who’s dietary preferences run to dove rather than squirrel…”

Just Google it? “This video is one of several exploratory forays into the Google Search vignette I included in my Redacting Rosslyn v1.0 performance last August at The Depot Theatre in Westport, New York. Blending readings from my Rosslyn Redux manuscript with oral and digital storytelling, the event was a collaborative attempt to animate type, words and documents into interactive narrative.”

Rifle & Eggs “‘Mornin’,’ Wes said as he pulled the pantry door shut behind him and greeted Griffin with a scratch behind the ears. ‘Good morning,’ I called back from the kitchen where I was scrambling eggs. ‘You don’t want me to run that thing on the tennis court, do ya?’ he asked…”

Excavating Rosslyn “‘I look at it as an excavation, if you will,’ says the architect… Pete Lackey of Charles Myer and Partners in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is referring to “taking the long view” on renovation, specifically to reawakening the heart and soul of a building instead of willfully or inadvertently altering it… In our case, understanding Rosslyn involved literally and figuratively excavating the historic home.”

Rosslyn Roundup, May 4 “It’s time… to share everything Rosslyn-related that I didn’t get a chance to post over the last few weeks. Champlain Valley springs are unpredictable and exciting, sometimes arriving early (this year) and other times hiding behind rain, rain, rain (last year)…”

Rosslyn Rattlesnake “Have you ever ever heard of an Eastern massasauga rattlesnake? Or a Sistrurus catenatus? … As unlikely as it may seem, I now suspect that I may have spotted a massasauga rattlesnake with markings totally unlike our local Adirondack timber rattlesnakes.”

Orchard Rumination “Lately I’ve been reflecting on all the trees I wish I’d planted in the fall of 2006 and the spring of 2007. We’ve been adding new trees for a year now — a half dozen or so each spring and fall — and yet I can’t help but imagine what might be today if I’d started earlier. Fruit trees ten or twelve feet tall would still be blooming. We would have been harvesting apples and pears and plums and apricots and peaches for a couple of seasons by now…”

Reawakening Rosslyn “‘Rather than trying to coerce the house to do something new, we tried to reawaken it.” In Taking the Long View Paula M. Bodah refers to the renovation of a Victorian house near Boston, Massachusetts in unusually anthropomorphic terms… Despite the unfamiliar reference, Bodah’s terminology is precise, accurate and familiar. In the case of Rosslyn, reawakening is precisely how I describe our renovation process, though I didn’t understand this at the outset.”

In been a prolific blogging stretch at Rosslyn Redux and a meager stretch here. Sorry. Perhaps I’ll do a better job of balancing in the future?

No Comments.

Leave a Reply