Break a Leg

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Very best wishes to the phenomenal cast and equally wonderful crew of A Strange Black Passion, as they all soon depart for the San Francisco Fringe Festival.

Clark’s Trading Post

We spent a delightful weekend in northern New Hampshire and Vermont on August 18 & 19. On Saturday we arrived in Franconia, New Hampshire, where we spent the morning at Clark’s Trading Post. Strange little place… a bit of Americana kitsch in the middle of Franconia Notch. It’s a tourist village in the White Mountains that includes a Russian family circus act, and mini-museums housing antique artifacts ranging from old cars, to sewing machines, to typewriters, to boardgames, to swords, to commemorative plates of Queen Elizabeth’s coronation and Charles and Di’s wedding, to a display of the entire history of electricity, among other eclectic collections. They’re famous for their trained bear show which we boycotted because I can’t imagine the bears are too happy about it. It also has a train ride, a gravity-defying slanted house where things roll uphill, and an Old Man of the Mountain rock-climbing facade that Shawn scaled, reached the top and rang the bell, and rappelled back down. I’ve included photo descriptions here and there in this weekend collection.

Wolfman

Still at Clark’s, we took the train ride, where we encountered the Wolfman! Beware this bizarre toothless terror. He threatened us with an ax, a shotgun, and a rocket missile. We won the battle by shouting back at him “Scram, you old goat!“. That sure did learn him a lesson. We found out afterward that this particular Wolfman recently celebrated his 50th birthday.

Flume Gorge

On Saturday afternoon we continued north for one exit to the Flume Gorge, only to find a low water level, so we didn’t get a full Mount Flume effect. Still very pretty, nonetheless, and it was a healthy hike. We spent the night in Franconia, and on Sunday morning continued north into Vermont.

Bread & Puppet Theater Museum

Bread & Puppet Theater was always the highlight for me at each year’s Halloween Parade in Greenwich Village. (Anyone else remember dancing behind the skeleton puppets and band onto 6th Avenue?) On Sunday we finally visited their homestead in Vermont. Prior to their once-weekly afternoon circus performance, we took part in the puppet museum tour in their barn.

Bread & Puppet Theater Circus

We wrapped up our weekend getaway with a beautiful day at The Divine Reality Circus Comedy and pageant, which made for colorful photo opportunities. Never thought in my life I’d see a puppet céile, included here in performance excerpts. And the camera jumping is due to me being dive-bombed by grasshoppers.

Barack Obama

Still undecided. I tried the Clintons, and now I’ve tried Obama. Next up will be Edwards, Kucinich, and whoever else passes through. I’m taking my civic duty seriously as a first-in-the-nation primary voter.

I attended Obama’s town hall meeting in Nashua on Monday, August 13, where I was able to sit in the fourth row. I took lots of photos that aren’t very interesting except for their close-up value, and video of the first five minutes of his introductory speech. It was a very hot day and he doesn’t sweat; I shook his hand and it was very dry and soft. If I were to decide on a candidate solely based on their lack of perspiration, Obama would get my vote.