Monday, October 26, 2015

What do Chopin & guns have in common?

The Frederic Chopin statue at Royal Baths Park in Warsaw.

Warsaw & Chicago & Birmingham & Fram

In my reply to a comment from Anita a few days ago regarding the paintings of Eugene Delacroix, I wrote these words: "I also like his portrait of Frederic Chopin because I like Chopin's music and because there is a huge statue of Chopin at the Royal Baths Park in Warsaw at which I once spent a few hours contemplating and photographing on a sunny, early spring afternoon. It is a happy memory, and seeing Delacroix's piece stirs that memory to the surface."

(You did not know there were some comments for the October 22 post, did you ?? Some individuals are very creative in finding loopholes to comment cutoffs.)

It was not a "Saturday in the park," as Chicago sang, but, rather, a Wednesday -- Wednesday, March 31, 2010, to be precise -- and, there was ice cream. No matter the day, I decided to publish two of the photographs I took that afternoon in a park in Warsaw of a statue of Frederic Chopin.

One photo is from afar, one is from as near as I could be without climbing up onto Chopin himself. That would not have been respectful. However, respectful or not, I cannot help but commenting that I do not like the look on his face .... or, should I say, on this particular statue's face. It is a rather condescending gaze, a rather arrogant stare. I suppose if one could create music as he created it, the expression might be understood and forgiven. There is a well-known composition by Chopin here for you to judge for yourself regarding his talent.

I also thought I might mention that between this post and my last, I have purchased two more firearms. Surprised, hah ?? Me and guns !! Uffff !!

It was two on Saturday, the first time I recall having bought two guns the same day. One is an old acquaintance in the form of a Colt 1911 Series 70 Combat Commander in .45 caliber. I have more than a few Colt 1911s in various configurations. This one was made in 1975, looks like new and, possibly, has never been fired. Think of that -- forty years old and never fired. It will be when it arrives here from Chicago -- from an attorney's office, not from a park or a band's recording studio.

The Series 70, incidentally, is considered by many to be the "gold standard" among 1911 pistols, and to obtain one in "like new" condition is fabulous.

The other is a rifle made in Birmingham, England -- my first English rifle. My understanding is that the Birmingham Small Arms Company (BSA) has not manufactured rifles for some time. I will try to date this one when it arrives from Provo, Utah. It is in .222 caliber -- triple deuce -- a caliber around which a sort of cult hovers.

This particular rifle was among those manufactured for Herters, a real legend in Minnesota and the Upper Midwest as an outlet of all manner of gear known to mankind for hunters and fishermen. Great recipe books, too -- so I am told. Herters still exists, but only as a sliver of the family-owned firm as it was a generation ago.

Hmmmm .... those two bring the total to almost $10,000 spent to purchase guns during the past twelve months. Sort of silly, hah ?? .... but, boys will be boys. And, that total does not count the money spent buying accessories such as telescopic sights and holsters, or ammunition, which amounts to a few thousand more. Small change to some, but not for most of us.

I am sure all this absolutely fascinated each and every one of you, he says with a smile on his lips. But, fascination by one is all that is necessary, if you get my drift.

To end where we began, what do Chopin and guns have in common? Why me, of course ....



ANITA said...

At last we can comment here Yoo hoo!!:)))

What a nice statue of Chopin!!He was really a pretty guy!

I have read" The book a winther in Mallorca" by George Sand.It was a great hit when it came out in 1841.It reflecs the life of Chopin with the feminist and writer George Sand(a she)in some wintherdays in the mountains of Mallorca.After reading the book I think almost all great persons in history are a bit #rare".Difficult to live with.But creates enormus fantastic art.

Thanx for the photo..But what is he leaning on to?An eagle?A harp?Can figure it out..

So more guns!!hah hah what a joy!!!I should like to hold those cold steels:)))

Take some snapshoots of them when you get them.

Great music of Chopin.Have you heard the magic music in the

Chopin: Nocturne no. 19, Op 72 no. 1

I Love it. I use it when i create something or just relaxing

Thanx for great post Fram!


Kaya said...

Chopin, guns, 24 hours rule... Something is going on and I don't have a clue.

Why not 48 hours rule, Fram? You write serous complicated posts, sometimes I have to think what to answer and how to answer. Sometimes I have to figure out what did you mean and how all pieces are related in your post together. I probably shouldn't write all above and let it be as it's but did it anyway.

Chopin and guns.... A little strange to me. Guns are a strong statement of power in some sense. And Chopin is pure romanticism.

I don't like the guns but I admire your loyal and never ending fascination about them. Sometimes you write about your favorite gun as a mysterious woman, sometimes as a very loyal friend. You have a great loyalty toward your guns, Fram.

That is a lot of money to spend on guns but I don't think that this is silly. Some photographers spend on their gear even more money and that is OK if they can afford it. Sometimes hobbies can be very expensive. Worth it while? My answer is always YES.

Well, I am glad that we can write to you again and talk with you.

Take care, Fram.

Fram Actual said...

You are far beyond me in knowledge about the life of Frederic Chopin and George Sand, Anita. I have read little biographical material about either of them and none of Sand's books. I enjoy Chopin's music, and associate him with Warsaw, which creates good feelings and good memories.

The "element" hovering over the figure of Chopin on the statue is a willow tree. What can I say? In terms of modern art, some is considered to be a failure if the subject matter is recognizable. (I am being facetious, but only a little.)

Cold steel and warm wood has been one description of a gun. So many of them today are made of alloys and plastics and fiber glass and who knows what, but I prefer steel and wood. That is one reason I have a tendency to buy older weapons.

Undoubtedly, these two latest acquisitions will appear in a future post, but it probably will be two weeks or longer before I even have them with me. Purchasing guns via the internet usually is time consuming and sometimes complicated. Anti-gun propagandists would have you believe anything goes with internet sales, but these transactions must go through licensed dealers. After I have paid for these two, they are sent to a licensed dealer I specify. When he has received them, I go to his shop and the appropriate federal paperwork is filled out, a telephone call made to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and, if I am an approved buyer, I take the guns home with me. It even is more complicated than that regarding handguns, and more steps are involved, but that is the system in a nutshell.

Yes, Nocturne No. 19 .... is very beautiful. I am listening to it right now.

So, I am glad you came to visit me, Anita, and it makes me happy that you enjoyed the post. It was Eugene Delacroix who made me think of Chopin through his painting and Chopin who made me think of a park and a statue in Warsaw. They are all links in a particular chain which turned into this post.

Thanks, again .... see you later ....

Fram Actual said...

Twenty-four hours is an arbitrary decision, Kaya.

It is a matter which basically revolves around patience. If there are no comments within a relatively short period of time, my mind begins to leave the post and move on to other places and other things. Beyond that, I am a moody guy, and I often do things simply because it coincides with my mood at the time. There probably is not a complete, concise answer to the question.

Well, as I mentioned at the close of the post, the connection between Frederic Chopin and guns, in this case, simply is me. I like "the music" of them both, and the music of them both is recognizable. Nothing complicated or mysterious. Incidentally, I was not thinking of this before, but just as a person can tell which musical instrument is playing a particular song, so can a trained ear tell what type of gun is being fired solely by its sound.

Similarly, one person might have a love for music which involves collecting a variety of musical instruments (or cameras). My appreciation centers around guns, a few in particular, usually because for some unknown reason they feel like they are an extension of both my mind and my body. There is a real "zen" involved with shooting firearms, which I have mentioned in previous posts.

Other factors come into play. Some guns grow akin to "lucky charms," and the result might be a feeling nothing bad can happen to you when you have a particular gun with you.

All these feelings began to emerge in me before I even became a teenager, and forces like the Marine Corps strengthened them. Consider a few lines from the "Rifleman's Creed" of the Marine Corps:

"This is my rifle. There are many like it, but this one is mine.
My rifle is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life.
My rifle, without me, is useless. Without my rifle, I am useless ...."

Like so much in life, Kaya, these things are a state of mind and form a belief system which evolves over time.

As for spending money, yes, we all have our hobbies and our indulgences. I constantly am reminding myself of other ways -- probably more useful ways -- I could be spending my money. But, again, things like this simply become our ways of expressing who and what we are and how we view our world.

I am glad you came to visit me and took the time to write a comment, Kaya. Now and then, my twenty-four hour rule will appear. But, just as certainly, it always will quickly disappear with the presence of another post.

A Cuban In London said...

"Saturday, in the park, I think it was the 4th of July." One of my favourite Chicago tracks and one I listen to whenever I'm out running.

Indeed, some individuals are creative about leaving comments on your blog. That's because you normally write about subjects that are both interesting and thought-provoking. Chopin has along been one of my favourite composers. His "Revolutionary" etude is probably my favourite composition by him. My dad always played his Fantasie Impromptu at the beginning of his piano practice, together with Lecuona's Comparsa and since then I have never been able to separate one from the other. If I am listening to Lecuona's Comparsa my mind immediately "connects" onto Chopin's Fantasie once the former is over. And viceversa.
Loved this post. Thanks.

Greetings from London.

Fram Actual said...

Your background in music is impressive both in its scope and in its detail, CiL. I am not sure where I would place Frederic Chopin among a list of my "favorite" classical composers. Near the top, of course, but I never have studied these individuals in a technical sense and cannot gauge the intricacies of their work comparing one to another. All I have by which to judge is the sound which penetrates my spirit to determine which is most pleasing in a variety of ways.

In strictly an auditory sense, I suppose I belong to the school of thought which proclaims, "Johann Bach is god." And, as I admitted in the post and in some comments, my impressions and opinions of Chopin are influenced by my attachments to Warsaw, his birthplace and where he grew up. For instance:

I was living in Warsaw on Chopin's birthday, and for an entire week, twenty-four hours a day, his music was being played in a theater/concert hall about a block away from my apartment. I went there in the middle of the night a few times to listen, sometimes inside the hall, sometimes just outside the open doors in the midst of falling snow. Such an experience cannot be easily described, but it has an impact on my impressions of Chopin (and my life view).

Speaking of snow, I am on the road right now (away from home, that is to say, not actually driving at the moment), drinking Southern Comfort and Coco-Cola, eating pizza and looking out a window at the first snowfall of this season. That is an experience in itself, too, neither pleasant nor unpleasant, but sort of memorable.

Thank you, CiL, for your appearance and for a great comment.

A Cuban In London said...

Well, Johann WAS God! :-) Even for an atheist like me, the guy had everything: craftsmanship, drive, energy and faith. His was Christian, mine human, but both overlap. He always BELIEVED he was playing to and writing for God. I have always BELIEVED that he was playing to and writing for humans, reaching out to our common bond as humans. :-)

Greetings from London.

Fram Actual said...

A few hours ago, I turned on television and encountered a travelogue in which a Briton whose name I did not catch was just arriving in Leipzig. He proceeded to visit a few of Johann Bach's haunts. I went away from the television for a cup of coffee, and when I looked back the traveler was seated in "Auerbachs Keller" watching Mephistopheles wandering the room citing the words of another Johann -- those of Goethe.

Obviously, my thoughts began to drift. The lives of the two men overlapped by a year, although not in the same city. Even so, satanic fantasies and heavenly music seem to brush shoulders in Leipzig. I would enjoy tasting a bit of both there someday.

So, if Bach was composing for humans and their/our common bond, who was Goethe writing for, CiL?

I am teasing, but it would be fun to have a beer and an exchange of ideas in Auerbachs Keller.

Thank you, CiL, for your return visit and your comment.

Something special ....