Sunday, September 29, 2013

So ends September

For some reason -- for whatever unrecognized reason -- I decided early on this month that I wanted five posts: Five September Sundays = five posts. Some subconscious superstition, I suppose. Anyway, moving right along, this photograph is sort of historical in nature, as my other recent photos have been, if, in fact, events four years ago should be relegated to history as opposed to the "immediate past." (Never mind. Semantics drive me crazy.) It was taken in Warsaw, Poland. The towering building is the Palace of Culture and Science. I passed by it a number of times by tram and on foot, including twelve trips in six weeks to a dental office. I caught up on my dental work in Warsaw. The price was right and, beyond that, the dentist was an attractive woman (blonde) who spoke perfect English, had studied in France, had lived in America for three years and made a number of passes at me. Primary among them was to make a trip to Florida with her when my dental work was completed. Perhaps, I should have, but I am a gentleman, sort of .... all right, that is a story in itself. I picked this photo for this post because I never did see the inside of the palace, and I wish to return to see it and to walk the streets of Warsaw once again. I had a wonderful time there. As for the music accompanying this post, I decided to include another offering from Badfinger. This song, "Without You," is the band's best, I think. I also think music frequently is best when the influence of an organ is present .... like at the end of this song. Besides creating a wondrous, haunting sound for me, it brings back memories of a long, lonely, snowbound winter.

I am glad I stayed up late tonight

Quiet .... do not bother me .... please .... I am thinking .... plotting, pondering, planning .... scheming .... spinning my wheels ..... hmmmm ....

Well, not exactly, but I really am thinking. I also am wearing new cowboy boots, trying to break them in a bit. I am not sure if I look like Roy Rogers or Gabby Hayes with my jeans tucked into the boots. You do not recognize the names? Then, you must either be very young or without cable television.

The boots are absolutely beautiful. They are Tony Llama boots. I ordinarily do not pay attention to brand names (you probably guessed that), but this time I decided to abandon my usual pedestrian style and to run with the big boys. I had best be careful or I will take up smoking cigars again and drinking bourbon with branch water. As for Western dress, boots are as far as I will go. I have not had a cowboy hat since I was five or six, and have no thoughts of buying one.

Today was a strange day. Actually, most days are strange days from my point of view. Anyway, at some point during the early afternoon, I made a decision. A family obligation has tied my hands behind my back for the past two years. Then, just as the bonds began to come free, an early August storm caused me problems in terms of damage to the house. My thought is that the repairs/renovations which are required as a result of the storm should be taken care of by mid-November. Those which are unfinished by that time would have to wait until mild weather returns in the spring. This is Minnesota, you realize.

So, my afternoon decision today was to return to Warsaw about mid-December for Christmas and New Year's Eve, and then move on to who knows where for a while.

After I had made this decision, I checked the availability of December airline flights. Next, I began writing an email to inquire about my "old room" at The Duval. I had stayed there the initial two weeks after my first arrival in Warsaw.

Only an hour or two had passed when the telephone rang.

When I heard the news, I was a bit stunned: Another family matter has arisen which might create a new situation which would ground me once again. It probably will be at least two weeks before I know if I am simply delayed or must postpone. Time answers all questions -- at least, all earthly questions.

The clock has moved, I have gotten a bit older, the sun and the moon have roamed across the sky some distance -- but, has anything else changed? I am sure it has -- somewhere -- but not in my world. I still feel like I am Fram Actual -- Fram the Fortunate -- but life rules us more than we rule life, and it is best never to forget that simple fact.

So ends September, not with a destination, but with a new question mark.


A Cuban In London said...

Yes, five Sundays indeed, Mr Cowboy! :-) Beautiful photo of a place with which I should be more acquainted (all that back history, socialist bloc and all that jazz) but I'm not.

Great post. Many thanks.

Greetings from London.

Kelly J. Call said...

Awww, such a sad but beautiful song. One day, I, too, will travel to Poland since my step-father is Polish and from Warsaw. Growing up I was exposed to the culture and ways of the polish people and I like them very much.
October is my favorite month. I know it is not yours. Maybe you just need to experience October with new eyes and a fresh heart :-) October is such a beautiful time of year. I love the autumn!

Fram Actual said...

Do you still have your cowboy boots, CiL? I expect you to be wearing them should I put in a London appearance.

To me, the fascination of Europe centers upon Eastern Europe and the people who seem never to be able to escape oppression at the hands of their neighbors or, as often is the case, at the hands of their own leadership. I want to see more of Poland than only Warsaw, and I hope to wander around many of those countries which once were part of the Soviet bloc.

By the way, should you decide to delve deeper into Poland in particular, read James Michener's "Poland." And, I would be happy to act as your personal tour guide should the timing be right when you decide to set foot in Warsaw. I know all the best pizza places.

Thanks, for your visit.

Fram Actual said...

Yes, the song is sort of sad, Kelly. This particular piece would have gone well with my post last week.

It seems to me I recall that your step-father is now living in Paris and that he is a collector of firearms. Perhaps, I should pay him a visit. He would have some interesting stories about both Warsaw and Paris, I am certain, although I do not suppose his collection of firearms is as extensive in France as it was in America.

And, I can make you the same offer I made to CiL. Should the timing be right, I would be pleased to be your personal tour guide in Warsaw. Pizza places, pierogi restaurants and a dazzling spot called the Restauracja U Barssa are on my list of attractions. Of course, I could not guarantee we would not get lost now and then .... hmmmm ....

As for October, that which is most beautiful sometimes also is most dangerous. I will continue to tiptoe through October, always looking left and right and glancing over my shoulder between each step.

Speaking of beauty, that is a great photograph, Ms. Call. Hmmmm, again ....

Kelly J. Call said...

There is a lot of Hmmmmmm-ing going on in this post :-)

And thank you, sir :-)

I think we should buy you a tour guide cap to lead these excursions.

And now......


Have a nice evening, Fram...

Kelly J. Call said...

PS: I vote boots UNDER pants, not tucked in :-)

Fram Actual said...

Hmmmm ....

Well, of course. The boot shafts will be hidden by the trousers when I appear in public, Kelly. Did you think for a moment I would wear them tucked in and run the risk of being mistaken for Roy Rogers or Gabby Hayes or maybe even Don Dokken? Hmmmm .... I think my wheels are spinning.

It is just that the shafts on this pair are so beautiful to my eyes that I wanted to be able to see them while I wear them around the house to break them in -- blue, white, tan, cognac and a few other colors in traditional cowboy boot patterns. Really cool.

Sorry, but I do not wear caps or hats unless I am travelling incognito. (Which, perhaps, I should do more often.) Incognito ..... you know, trying to be Fram Impersonator instead of Fram Actual. Hmmmm .... those days and those posts seem like a long, long time ago.

Possibly, you could become a tour guide. I have not seen L.A. since once upon a time in days of old when my armor was still shining. I would run in there on occasional weekends from Twentynine Palms -- affectionately known as Twentynine Stumps to we, the few, who dwelt among the dunes back then.

It is nice to see a smile here .... thank you .... happy October ....

Kelly J. Call said...

Hello again Fram :-)
The boots sound very nice and I must admit I sort of giggled imagining you strutting around the house in your boots and

Anyway, I do have an active imagination...what can I say? :-)

Should you ever venture to California I would be more than happy to take you on Kelly's Magical Mystery Tour of California. I can't promise that we won't get lost though as I do prefer to take the road less traveled :-)

As for Poland, the city of Gdansk on the Baltic Coast looks beautiful to me. I would imagine to be in a seaside town in Poland would be lovely :-) Actually a seaside town just about anywhere in the world would be lovely :-)

I've got to run, Cowboy. Have fun breaking in those boots :-)

Fram Actual said...

Boots, boxers, belt .... actually.

And, of course, the belt is holding a San Pedro Saddlery holster (complete with pistol) and magazine pouch identical to the rig worn by William Holden in "The Wild Bunch." The holster is a replica of a Western-style holster designed in 1915 for the Colt .45 ACP Model 1911. Sam Peckinpah liked to use authentic gear in his classic western films, so it is said.

As for being a turista needing a guide, up and down Redondo Beach, Hermosa Beach and Manhattan Beach was pretty much the extent of my travels around L.A. Just looking for California girls. Any place else would be "new country" for me, and I have no objection to getting lost now and then.

As for Gdansk, yes. It is holy ground in a way. This is where the dock workers went on strike in 1970 and 1980, igniting the fuse which led to the disintegration of the Soviet Union. And, the waterfront has some beautiful areas. Do you realize I could drive about 175 miles north right now, get on a ship and disembark about three weeks later in Gdansk? The world is getting smaller.

Yes, I know, Kelly. You always are on the run.

Gert Jan Hermus said...

I think this is a beautiful song! I already knew the song by Harry Nilson, but this one is also great ;-)

Warm greetings from the Netherlands,

Fram Actual said...

I remembered "Without You" was written by Peter Ham and Thomas Evans, the two members of Badfinger who committed suicide, but I could not recall when the band recorded it or when Harry Nilsson recorded it. A quick look on the internet revealed Badfinger did it in 1970 and Nilsson did it in 1971. It was a major success for Nilsson. I need to play the Nilsson version and see if it stirs any recollections.

Glad to see your presence and to read your words here, Gert Jan.

ANITA said...

hi!Nice post.Looking forward to your adventures in Polan.Warschawa!iremember very well the time you spent in that christmas time.Hope you can do that again.
Here in Norway we have sunshine explotion and a very nice autumm holidays!Wish you &yours a nice time.
Greetings Anita

Fram Actual said...

If you read closely, you will notice that all my plans were placed on hold, but, undoubtedly, there will be a return to Warsaw for me at some point. I might even have my teeth cleaned there on this trip.

You are more of a traveller than I am these days, Anita. I enjoyed your photo spread on the mountains around Bergen, just as I did your recent display of photos taken on your journey to Cyprus. You really should do a travel book.

Me and mine? Hmmmm ..... that seems a strange concept to me at this moment in time, but I return the wish for you and your son.

ANITA said...

Yes?You and yours:))I think you are a little playboy!Not a little but a big one:)))
thanx for greetings to me and my son.He is 14 tomorrow.I have baked a strawberry cake.Yes.Dentist are very expesive.we norwegians travel to Poland ect to do those teeth it coast too much..
i am very sorry for the loss of your mother.I remember that coffin.But i hope no more trouble or accident will come in your way so you can do the things you like.

Apropo camera.i have sold the Nikon D 3200 and buyed Nikon 5200-a better one..not amataur camera any more.,
Well see you along the road.Stay happy!


Fram Actual said...

If I am a playboy, Anita, it is only in the sense that, like Peter Pan, I never grew up. I never plan to, either, unless, of course, I happen to encounter Wendy and she forces me to act my age. So far, Wendy has eluded me, and there are times I wonder if she exists or if she is a creation of my imagination. Well, at least I have Neverland in which to play.

My mother lived a long, pretty good life. Thank you. That is past, but a person never escapes his own history, and obligations and/or responsibilities from those times might still arise if he has a conscience. I think things are working out for me in that regard. We shall see.

Congratulations on your new camera. You are on your way to becoming a professional photographer, Anita. You should enter a few contests to test your skill level.

A Cuban In London said...

On your Friday view, I always think of the "before" moment. What was happening before you took that picture that made your camera go "click"?

On Alice, one of the great, no doubts about it. And a great laugh, too, as I have witnessed over the years when I have seen him being interviewed on telly.

Greetings from London.

Fram Actual said...

I am a very intent photographer (even on those increasingly rare occasions when I am a photographer), CiL, and all my thoughts are centered upon the elements of the photograph, most particularly the framing of what I am seeing through the lens. My camera days go back before the advent of "automatic everything," and I still have a tendency of running through a mental checklist of f-stops, shutter speeds, lighting conditions and you-name-it during the immediate seconds before the camera goes click.

My concentration is so intense that twice during my newspaper days I was "taken out" by football players as I stood on the sidelines trying until the last second for the perfect action shot.

For this particular location, though, as often is the case, I had been imagining the view as it would have been about a century and one-third earlier, although I would have had to have been hovering in a hot air balloon to have seen it back then rather than standing on a hotel balcony. I have a habit of arriving late for most things .... in the instance of that photograph, very, very late.

As for Alice, I would like to go the opposite direction, about a century and one-third into the future to find out if his music has survived.

Something special ....