Tarascon Stagecoach

Tarascon Stagecoach (La Diligence de Tarascon)

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Vincent van Gogh, Dutch. 1853-1888

October 1888. Oil on Canvas.  On long-term loan from The Henry and Rose Pearlman Foundation, to the Princeton University Art Museum. Currently on exhibit at the Museum of Fine Art, Houston Texas.

In a letter to Theo on October 13, 1888, Vincent refers to one of his favorite books, Tartarin de Tarascon by Alphonse Daudet, with “the old Tarascon diligence….Well, I’ve just painted that red and green carriage in the yard of the inn.” The stagecoach stopped at Arles, midway along its route from Nimes.

Here is a life size sculpture reproduction in the yard at the Grounds for Sculpture at Hamilton New Jersey.

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Taracson Stagecoach – Hamiton New Jersey

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SERVICE DE TARASCON

 

 

 

 

NUTCRACKER

 

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Once upon a time in a land far away

In the country of New Jersey

I endeavored to to take my Jersey wife to the ballet.

We also took along my mother-in-law for the ride

Whom I deemed Mother Nature

And we crossed the river to the Philly side.

And there for one brief shining moment

There were two ball busters at the Nutcracker.

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Snow Queen

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Sleeping Beauty

It was a fairy tale romance…..

A BRIDGE TOO FAR

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Last night, Governor Chris Christo appeared on Billo Riley’s television show, Fear Factory, on The Fox Force Five Network. What follows is a partial transcript of the interview:

Billo Riley: Governor Christo, you have been described as a prince of a man and that there is no way that you would have done anything so sinister as to order the lane closings on the George Washington Bridge. Can you tell us what your view on life is in general and on politics in particular?

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Chris Christo: Sure, Billo. That’s a great question. Thanks for asking. My view is this: A man who tries to be good all the time is bound to come to ruination among so many men who are not good. Therefore, a prince, such as myself, if he wants to keep his authority, must learn how to be not so good.

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Billo Riley: And Governor, if I may be so bold to ask, if the situation requires gentle persuasion, what say you?

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Chris Christo: Well, Billo, besides what I just said, it should be kept in mind that the temperature of a crowd is mutable. While it might be easy to persuade them of something, it might be difficult maintain their belief. Therefore, when the time comes when the public no longer believes of their own accord, they may have be compelled to believe by force.

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Photo credit NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

Billo Riley: How would you go about this so called gentle persuasion?

Chris Christo: Well, you see, Billo, people are so simpleminded, and answer so completely to their immediate needs, when the need to deceive arises I never fail at finding willing dupes. Everyone sees what you appear to be, few really know what you are.

Billo Riley: Were you absolutely truthful in your recent press conference?

Chris Christo: Well, to tell the truth, Billo, sometimes words must serve to veil the facts. But this should only happen in such a way that no one becomes aware of it. If they do, I always have plenty of excuses at hand to be produce immediately.

Billo Riley: But in that case, how can we trust anything that you say?

Chris Christo: Well, Billo, the crowd always is taken by appearances. The public in general judge more from appearances than from reality. All men have eyes, but few have the gift of sight.

Billo Riley: I noticed you got rid of your deputy chief of staff and several other high ranking associates rather quickly. Would you care to comment on that?

Chris Christo: Sure. Any cruelty that has to be executed should be done so at once, so that the less it is tasted, the less it offends. Benefits, on the other hand must be given out a little at a time, so they will be appreciated more. We cannot flinch at the betrayal of one’s friends, and showing no loyalty, mercy, or moral obligation. These are the means that lead to power.

Billo Riley: Tell me Governor, is it better to be loved or feared?

Chris Christo: It is best to be both feared and loved. However, if one cannot have both, it is better to be feared than loved.

Billo Riley: Any other comments on human nature?

Chris Christo: Yeah, I’ll take a crack at it. I would say it is true in general of people that they are ungrateful, disloyal, insincere and deceitful, timid of danger and quick to line their pockets. Love is a bond of obligation that these miserable creatures break whenever it suits them to do so, but fear holds them in their place by the dread of punishment.

Billo Riley: Any final thoughts or words of advice?

Chris Christo: Yep! Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.

Billo Riley: Ok, Governor. Thanks!

Chris Christo: Thank you, Billo!

Sources: All of Governor Chris Christo’s answers were from “The Prince,” by Machiavelli.

LABOR DAY

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I worked in the glass industry for 35 years. I was the Human Resoureces Manager for the above pictured factory in Salem, New Jersey for over 10 years. This factory is now closed. The workers have now retired or gone to other glass factories in the area or have gone on to other endeavors. When it was fully operational we had three glass melting furnaces, eight glass forming machines and employed 350 workers including 34 supervisors and managers. We operated 24 hours a day, seven days a week 360 days of the year. We made over two million bottles a day.

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We were a union shop with two unions and four locals. Each local had a president. I am extremely proud of the men and women who worked at Anchor Salem and I am proud of my service there.

I would like to salute them on this labor day and remember them with this essay I wrote some time back regarding work:

There is nothing more disheartening that endless futile labor or doing something you absolutely loathe or have a fundamental problem with. As you might recall, Sisyphus was condemned to an eternity of rolling a rock up a steep mountain incline only to have it roll back to the valley again once he got it to the top. On his way back down the mountain, he had to think about his existential position.

Looked at in another way, work is applied effort. It is what we put ourselves into…whatever we expend our energy on for the sake of accomplishing something. Work in this fundamental sense is not what we do for our living, but what we do with our living.

Happiness resides in activity, both physical and mental. It resides in doing things that one can take pride in doing well. Those who have missed the joy of work, of a job well done, have missed something very important.

All work can be done well or it can be done poorly. All work can be done cheerfully and with pride or grudgingly and with distaste. Whichever way we do it is really up to us. It is a matter of choice. There are no menial jobs. Only menial attitudes. In the theater we say there are no small parts, only small actors.  Our attitudes are up to us. A laborer is worthy of his hire.

As Sisyphus presses his face against the rock, each atom of the stone, each mineral flake of that night-filled mountain itself forms a world. The struggle itself towards the heights is enough to fill a man’s heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.

Believe me, there was no one who worked harder, or with greater joy than the employees at Anchor Glass Container, Salem, New Jersey.

 

 

 

A Bridge Too Far

Ghost Dog

DSC_0124Last night, Governor Chris Christo appeared on Billo Riley’s television show, Fear Factory, on The Fox Force Five Network. What follows is a partial transcript of the interview:

Billo Riley: Governor Christo, you have been described as a prince of a man and that there is no way that you would have done anything so sinister as to order the lane closings on the George Washington Bridge. Can you tell us what your view on life is in general and on politics in particular?

Chris Christo: Sure, Billo. That’s a great question. Thanks for asking. My view is this: A man who tries to be good all the time is bound to come to ruination among so many men who are not good. Therefore, a prince, such as myself, if he wants to keep his authority, must learn how to be not so good.

Billo Riley: And Governor, if I…

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