Romania

Posted by Ellen

Maybe Monday, maybe not, in the countryside outside Bucharest, Romania.

Posted by Ellen

"Somewhere in Transylvania," according to the photographer, who offers up only two facts about himself by way of identification: he lives in the city of Arad in western Romania, and he likes Johnny Cash and Frank Sinatra.

Posted by Ellen

Today's news brought to our attention yet another new crime: CTLOYOHWB, changing the locks on your own house while black. When 61-year-old Jean-Joseph Kalonji and his 57-year-old wife Angelica were caught doing just that the other day in Porterdale, Georgia, they were held at gunpoint by neighbors and then jailed overnight by police.

Fortunately, this time, nobody got shot, but the terror of having strangers hold him prisoner with semi-automatic rifles pointed at his back reminded Kalonji of the violence he had fled when he came to America in the late 1990s as a refugee from Mugabe's Zaire, now Congo. Angelica Kalonji is also an immigrant, from Romania.

The couple was hoping to build a soccer field on the 11-acre property; their son Bruno is a coach in Atlanta.

Among Bruno Kalonji's young soccer players were the children of a high-powered Atlanta attorney, Don Samuel. Samuel took on the case for free, and when he showed up in town, the Kalonjis were released from jail and all charges against them (loitering and prowling) were dropped.

It's been reported that charges may be filed against the gun-toting neighbors, no doubt to take the heat off the idiots in the police department. The Kalonjis have postponed their move into their new home.

These pictures are from Angelica Kalonji's Facebook page; they show the couple's daughter with her cousins during visits to Congo (above) and Romania (below).

Posted by Ellen

Avram Dimitrscu's father was a musician in a Romanian concert band, behind the Iron Curtain. In the 1970s, the band toured western Europe, including the Channel Islands, where Avram's mother, a native of Belfast, Northern Island, was working at a resort hotel. They fell in love, and when it came time for the band to return to Romania, she helped him hide and eventually defect.. Avram was born on the Isle of Jersey and raised in Belfast. His parents ran a catering business until the 1990s, when travel to Romania became possible. Then they bought a truck and began operating a charity, collecting donations of food, clothing, and everything else, and driving all the way across Europe every month or so to deliver the contributions to Romanians in need.

Avram grew up during the troubles in Northern Ireland, in a Catholic part of town, and enrolled as an art student at the University of Belfast. He worked at a McDonald's near campus during the school year but spent his summers abroad, in Maine, where he worked as a camp counselor at a boys' camp. It was there that he met fellow-counselor John Stein. Avram and John traveled together, and Avram spent time in Alabama with all the Steins--always with his sketchbook in hand. Eventually, he married an American woman and moved to the town of Alpine, in the Big Bend area of extreme west Texas. He paints, illustrates, teaches art, runs the Dimitrescu Gallery, and surely still keeps his sketchbook close at hand.

This is his "Tiny Chicken #8."