Saturday, April 19, 2008


PS. Martha says Hi to everyone..."unforgettably..."

Dirty Hoe Days

So I've been working 2 days a week in Asheville at a great little landscaping company called The Dirty Hoe. I've been enjoying the company- a great lot of hoes they are- and the work- I'm learning stuff. Also, being out and about in different places around Asheville, I've been sneaking little pictures of beautiful life forms. It's nice to know beauty can be found in the big city too. I took my pay check to the bank, and I couldn't figure out why the teller was cracking up. Then she told me she thought it was really funny that I had a check from "The Dirty Hoe..."

Monday, April 14, 2008

Dayton, a quest for self

I love America. I'm glad I live here. That being said there are things about being a modern "American" that I don't like. Like feeling culturally lost, disconnected to a collective heritage or ancestry, not really belonging to a "people" or specific place. I think a lot of us Americans are missing out on what is probably one of the greatest perks of being human- a sense of deep rooted, ancient belonging to an unbroken line of people and tradition. I love where I live and I do the best I can to feel like I belong here. But there is a great void that wants to be filled. Now that I have a brother and a little baby nephew in Dayton (Ohio), which happens to be where I was born, my mother was born, her mother was born, her mother was born (well, Sibina*, Ohio- close enough), and her mother was born (Sibina again), I have motivation enough to travel to that godforsaken part of America, a journey which is asthetically less than pleasing. To make up for the lack of visual appeal, I have taken to searching Dayton for treasures from my German American Ohio roots- I am desperate to uproot any cultural heritage that might help me in my quest to belong to something bigger than myself. Last time I went to Dayton, I explored my family's soap history. I had a semi-religious experience purchasing Lever 2000 and Dove cucumber scented in the local Kroger's (where my great grandmother used to be a cashier). This spring's trip led to to the Dot's, the meat shop that has fed the last 4 generations of my mother's side of the family (and which has not changed in 40 years, according to my GG), the house that my grandfather built to raise his children, and the run down shack of a shop that housed my grandfather's plumbing business for his entire career. Please enjoy the photos, and tell me if you feel like you fit in anywhere in this vast, beautiful, free for all nation.

* Sibina is the home of "Petrified Eugene," a black man who didn't have any family and died poor and wasn't buried, but somehow naturally petrified. Eugene was the limelight of tourism in Sibina when my mom was a kid. I don't know if he is still available for viewing, but I aim to find out the next time I go up there...