Sunday, September 30, 2018

Local Authors II

Charles Teale is a retired Hartford Fire Chief.  As a teen, he had ambition but poor learning skills.  He was mentored by Walter "Doc" Hurley, a prominent Hartford teacher and coach.  Teale eventually acquired the learning skills to succeed.  He has written a biography of Doc Hurley.  He has also written a book about how to learn, and he teaches classes on the subject.

Sarah Whelan is a grant writer with a background and clientele in law enforcement.  She has just come out with her debut novel, The Struggle Within, about a riot in a men's prison.
A female counselor in the prison is a protagonist.

Althea Bates works in social services.  She created Project Resiliency, seeking to encourage and empower women of color in areas of self-care and resiliency related to mental, physical and emotional health.  Her new book is Brokenness, Baggage and Blessings.

Nzima Hutchings goes by the name "Every Kinda Lady."  She writes books of poetry.

Steve Thornton has written a couple of small books, including Wicked Hartford.  Thornton had a career in union organizing.  His book pokes holes in the reputations of several of 
the wealthy and powerful figures in Hartford's history. 

Two writers of books for children shared a table.  Brooke Aiello (on the left) wrote Tolerance Tykes, to encourage young readers and their parents, educators and mentors to be accepting of differences.  Lauryn Alyssa Wendus (on the right) writes Oliver Poons children's books that her mother illustrates.

Zulynette worked a corporate job and has since gone off on her own as a poet, artist, performer, author, speaker, facilitator and activist.  Building a Powerhouse draws from her experiences in corporate life and now working for herself.

Mark Dressler worked in insurance and then had a picture framing business.  Now retired,
the idea for a mystery got caught in his brain.  Three years and 300 pages later,
it is his debut novel. 

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Local Authors I

Pratt Street was lined yesterday with tables.  Local authors displayed and talked about their books.

Bonnie describes herself as a Pennsylvania farm girl.  She drives a bookmobile for the Hartford Public Library,  Yesterday she helped put on the authors' event.

Okey (pronounced OK) Ndibe came to the USA from Nigeria 30 years ago.  His uncle watched two many western movies and saw cowboys staring hard at each other before opening fire.  So, he advised Okey never to look an American in the eye or they would shoot.  Okey's memento is full of 
gently humorous stories about his life as a Nigerian in America. 

Lisa Samia is an award-winning poet and writer with a strong interest in the Civil War.  She has written a fictionalized account of John Wilkes Booth's escape and capture as well as a book of poetry about the Civil War experience from a variety of ambiguous perspectives.

Che' La'Mora Hardy is one of several authors attending who describes herself as a life coach and writing instructor in addition to poet and author.  The Devil Wears Nikes is about 
recovering from abusive relationships using a six-stage process. 

Marian Lanouette has written a couple of self-published crime mysteries that have done well enough to earn her a four-book deal with a publisher.  Marian is an active member of the Sisters in Crimes community of mystery writers, readers, librarians and booksellers.

Sandra Horning has written a number of children's books,
including a Girls Who Code series.

Jennifer Wilder is a social worker who has written children's books intended to help children and adults talk about difficult topics.  She is holding One Word, a compilation of one word affirmations chosen to provide a blueprint for a fearless heart.  Her daughter, Christina Jackson, is now 11.  
When she was 8, she wrote Look at Me, I Can Write Poetry.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Bunnies Don't Bite

One of the Seward Johnson sculptures on display in Simsbury as part of the Art Trail
is in front of Rosedale Farms and Vineyards.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Noah Webster House

Lexicographer Noah Webster is celebrated in several places in West Hartford:  the library, Webster Hill School, Blue Back Square  His house is on South Main Street.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018


I pass the densely planted garden of an old house on South Main Street in West Hartford all the time.

A wagon in the side yard holds pots of begonia, geraniums, coleus and foliage plants.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

A Patriot

Mario came over from Italy in the 1950s.  He believes strongly that the United States of America is the best place in the world.  It is refreshing to talk with someone who feels that way 
despite the divisions in the country under the current President.

Monday, September 24, 2018

A Soccer Game

I left the Trinity College football game in the third quarter and went to see the nearby 
men's soccer game for a while.  Trinity lost to Colby 1 - 0.

Since I know little about soccer and since scoring plays are so rare, I just tried to get
shots that seemed to have some action and some interest.  Here are three that passed muster.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Trinity 59, Bates 16

It felt like Fall, so I went to see Trinity College play football.  They are good for a small college, but not in the league of Big Ten or SEC football.  They slaughtered Bates.

Trinity is in blue and Bates is in red.

This play wasn't anything special, but I thought it captured the action well.  Sports photographers must have a hard time deciding whether to pick a shot that shows an important play or 
a shot of an unimportant play in which the photograph and action are good.

To illustrate:  This was a good catch for a touchdown, but not an especially good photograph.

I wish I looked as distinguished as this gentleman in the crowd.

At halftime, the Trinity squash team received trophies.  They won the national championship again.
Trinity's squash team has been national champion 17 out of the last 20 years.  Honest.

Trinity teams are called the Bantams.

The Trinity quarterback kept the ball and ran it in for a touchdown.

Another big run for Trinity.

This Trinity player fielded a kickoff in the end zone and ran it out 47 yards.  Great run.

Early in the third quarter the Trinity newspaper photographer had already taken 1800 shots.
I can't imagine how much work she will have to sort through and edit them.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Back in the US of A: Elizabeth Park

After 24 hours of traveling, I arrived back in West Hartford Thursday night.  
Still on Morocco time, I didn't sleep well.  

Yesterday afternoon I went over to Elizabeth Park to see how things looked.  The annual garden is still blooming, but it shows signs of succumbing soon to the coming arrival of Fall.  Like me, the day was cloudy and gray.  When I concentrated I could focus but otherwise life was a blur.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Out of the Jurisdiction: Mosque of Hassan II in Casablanca

Casablanca is a big, modern, business-oriented city.  The one big feature that gets tourists' attention is the Mosque of Hassan II, built in the 1990s to honor the king who reigned from 1962 to 1991 and who is the father of the current king, Muhammed VI.

 It is the largest mosque in Morocco, the second largest in Africa, and the fifth largest in the world. 
Its minaret is the world's tallest minaret at 210 meters (689 feet).  
It is the only mosque in Morocco that permits non-Muslims to enter.

Oh, yes, there is one more sight that American tourists flock to.  Rick's Cafe.  Casablanca.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Out of the Jurisdiction: Koutoubia Mosque in Marrakech

The Koutoubia Mosque -- or mosque of the booksellers -- is visible from many points in Marrakech.  It is the symbol of Marrakech.  It was constructed in 1184-1189 by the Almohad dynasty after they defeated their arch enemies, the Almoravids, and captured Marrakech.

The minaret is 77 meters tall.  It replaced one on an adjoining site that had been misaligned toward Mecca and fell into disrepair and has been removed (except for rows of columns).  The Koutoubia Mosque is the model for other mosques around Morocco, including the Tour Hassan in Rabat.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Out of the Jurisdiction: In the Marrakech Souks

Souks are the markets in the old city of Marrakech.

This entrance to the Medina is through the 12th century Bab Agnaou ("Black Gate").

Carts, bicycles and motorbikes race through the narrow alleys of the souks.

I love the pierced brass lanterns.

Olives of every variety are on sale.

There is a huge square with merchants, musicians, and sightseers.

And snake charmers for the gullible.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Out of the Jurisdiction: Ouarzazate to Marrakech

It was a long day.  We began with a tour of a kasbah designed for short people, so I couldn't go in.  We then went to a cinema museum that didn't interest me, followed by a long, bumpy and winding ride over the Atlas Mountains to Marrakech.  I was on the wrong side of the coach to take pictures.

So, for today I offer only a placekeeper photo.  This is the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ait-Ben-Haddou, a fortified village in the Atlas Mountains on the caravan route between the Sahara Desert and Marrakech.  Many movies have been filmed here.  It is now almost completely abandoned.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Out of the Jurisdiction: A Desert Day

We began in Erfoud, the town at the edge of the desert, which has a reputation as the fossil capital.

These are ammonites, if my notes are right.

Idris was our tall and handsome guide in  Rassini before we went into the desert.

Idris led us to a store with nice handicrafts and then to a pre-school.

After a while we took 4-by-4 vehicles into the desert.  
We stopped for a visit with a nomadic woman in her tent.

The desert is beautiful.

We reached our destination: sand dunes.

And camels.

Taking one-handed photos with a big DSLR from the back of a plodding camel is not easy.
I liked this shot into the sun.

We got back to the camp after dark and had a good meal while six men 
from sub-Saharan Africa played instruments and danced.