Washington

Posted by Ellen

There's a troll underneath the Fremont bridge in Seattle, with a Volkswagen in its grip. The three billy goats gruff, in rusty cast iron,  are grazing on a church lawn a couple of blocks away, at the corner of Troll Avenue and 35th Street.

Posted by Ellen

It followed him home.

Posted by Ellen

Stein boys doing their brotherly whatever on the street last summer in Seattle. From the bottom: brothers number 4, 1, and 5.

Posted by Ellen

On July 11, 1926, the Washington Post published this publicity shot for "the Gladyse Wilbur girls," a song-and-dance troupe that did its singing and dancing, as well as its teeing off, in bathing costumes. That's Dorothy Kelly on ice, backed up by Virginia Hunter, Elaine Griggs, Hazel Brown, and Mary Kaminsky.

The show was in Keith's Theater in Washington, which may have been air conditioned by 1926. The ice in the photo is obviously intended to suggest that the Gladyse Wilbur girls can be enjoyed in cool comfort, even in the middle of the summer.

Posted by Ellen

In 1917, guy by the name of Jug Reynolds was trying to make a living doing this sort of thing–standing on his hands on top of a chair on top of two tables on top of the cornice at the edge of the roof of Lansburgh's furniture store at 9th Street and F Street NW in Washington, D.C.

Note that Jug's helper out there on the roof had a cigarette in his mouth. All in a day's work.

The domed building in the background is the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History.

Posted by Ellen

Last night, senior midshipmen at the U.S. Naval Academy participated in Ship Selection to determine their first assignments after graduation in May. The names of ships in need of junior officers were posted on the wall, listed under the names of their home ports. One at a time, beginning with the midshipman at the top of the class, the students walked up to the wall of options and claimed their billets.

Allen chose the USS Ingraham, pictured here at its home port, Naval Station Everett, on Puget Sound  north of Seattle. This year there were only nine billets available in Everett, which is generally a popular home port option; it was Allen's first choice. Many of his classmates chose ships in Florida, Hawaii, or San Diego. 

The Ingraham, a frigate, is the gray ship in the middle. Mount Baker is the snow-covered volcano in the background.

Posted by Ellen

In 1930, a lacrosse team made up of players from both Oxford and Cambridge toured the United States, taking on all comers and thrashing them. Apparently, many of the Oxford-Cambridge stickmen were Americans studying abroad, including a number of Rhodes Scholars who had excelled at lacrosse during their undergraduate years.

Only one American team beat Oxford-Cambridge that season: the St. Johnnies from Annapolis, Maryland, shown here in short-shorts posing with the jacketed Englishmen in front of Washington, D.C.'s Central High School, where the game was played. St. John's won, 7-0.

St. John's College is now a super-intellectual "great books" school where students study the classics in the original Greek and have no time for intercollegiate sports. Every year, however, they do schedule one game against the athletic powerhouse located across the street from their campus in Annapolis, and they usually win handily. The game they play is croquet, and their opponents are the midshipmen of the U.S. Naval Academy, who complain that the Johnnies have all year to practice croquet, while midshipmen have to march and run and shine shoes and do all that other time-consuming navy stuff.

Posted by Ellen

 

Only in Washington, D.C., in the year 2010, does a snowball fight feature lawyerly liability disclaimers, new-media marketing, and streaming traffic reports.

A heavily promoted snowball fight at Dupont Circle on Saturday attracted about two thousand participants, most of them adults, even though the snow was said to be too fluffy for decent snowballs. For every actual snowball thrower there appear to have been several would-be cell phone videographers, whose work may be assessed on YouTube. Six police cars waited nearby, but nothing happened. Some people attacked the fountain in the center of the circle by throwing snow at the people defending the fountain; the fountain is still there, so perhaps the defenders "won."

Facebook pages and Twitterings promoted the event. Lawyers were involved; a disclaimer on Facebook warned: "You are coming to Dupont Circle Park on Saturday, Feb 6, 2010, to play snowballs voluntarily. The people spreading the word about the happening are not preparing any special equipment or conditions and may not be held responsible for your decisions and/or actions."

Radio station WTOP broadcast warnings to motorists, urging them to avoid Dupont Circle and other snowball-fight locales. Although the Dupont Circle "fight" attracted the most attention, Washingtonians apparently were out pelting one another with snow all over town. This picture came from some allegedly voluntary snow play in Meridian Hill Park, where an artist was using an old piece of artwork as a shield.

Posted by Ellen

That's me with the chisel in my mouth, some summers ago, during geologic field work in the North Cascades, in the state of Washington. I'm climbing a hill called Lincoln Rock that rears up about twelve hundred feet above the apple orchards along the banks of the Columbia River. We'd been told there were some good garnet coronas up there--garnets with white rings around them---the metamorphic feature I was trying to interpret for my thesis project.

We'd also been told that Lincoln Rock was the one place in the North Cascades where a geologist named Bob Miller--a man who climbed cliffs for fun when he couldn't think of an excuse to climb them for research--fell badly and almost cracked his head open. This was my last day in the field that summer, and though I'd had wonderful fun, I was beginning to shift gears mentally, to look forward to getting back home so I could stop worrying about slipping and falling and leaving five children motherless.

Perhaps because of Bob's misadventure, but surely also because I was old and out of shape, I was by far the slowest climber. While I toiled upward inch by inch in the August sun, the rest of the gang was already lolling about in the shade of an overhang at the top of the hill, eating lunch and making fun of me. As I finally approached the scene of this snapshot, a Ph.D. student named Carlos Zuluaga asked if I wanted my picture taken. Then he suggested I put the chisel in my mouth. It seemed like a good idea at the time, it really did.

Anyway, there were indeed nice-looking garnet coronas all over the hilltop, and Carlos and the others kindly helped me smash them out of the outcroppings. We all made it down safely, with rocks in our backpacks. When I got a look at my Lincoln Rock samples under the microscope, however, I discovered that the garnets were rotten; they'd cooled too slowly after their metamorphic odyssey, and a mineral named chlorite had replaced much of the garnet. My thermodynamic models wouldn't work on rock with rotten garnet, so I put the Lincoln Rock samples in a drawer in the basement of the geology building, and maybe they are still there today.

Fortunately, I had plenty of other samples. And I'd love to be back up there again.....

Posted by Ellen

A single picture doesn't tell the whole story, but it looks like it was a pretty good party. And although Ted has cut his hair since then, I'm guessing he can still dance.