Friday, May 8, 2009

lightning strikes twice in southern michigan

OK, the day started a little shaky--when Don realized he couldn't find the CD's he'd brought into his hotel room last night.  The search was fast, furious and finally fruitful.  Mr. Murphy located them packed away in the camera bag, where eventually, they were bound to be found.
And the camera did get a workout today, in two different locations we only knew a little about prior to arrival.
And both were great!  The first was McCourtie Park, outside Somerset, Michigan--named for the man whose estate contains fifteen photogenic bridges made in the trabaja rustico way we've seen in states much further south.   Turns out Herb McC went to Texas, made a fortune in gas and oil, and while he was there met Dionicio Rodriguez, the art form's true master. When he got back to Michigan, a pair of Rodriguez disciples named Cardosa and Corona came to his place and worked (in secret, like Dionicio) to do their concrete magic.  Muy photogenico!
After a frenzied lunch at the busiest Subway in all the land (noisiest too) we rolled into Lansing--a repeat visit, since we'd buzzed through briefly to see the Big Lug Nut back in 2000.
This time we wanted to dig deeper.  Literally, at the Board of Water & Light Building, the water treatment plant known already for its art deco stylings.  It was built as a WPA project in 1938, complete with murals, futuristic grillwork, and even some handles from the Olsmobiles that were made here then.   Our guide, Mark, almost adjusted one he shouldn't have, which apparently would have altered Lansing's water supply for the worse.  Whew!!!
But the seriously surreal part was yet to come, over in the deep, dank bowels of the plant. That's where a water worker named Charlie Hewes painted panels and murals around the pipes and plumbing he maintained decades ago.  Popeye and a warship, local landmarks and poems about his fellow "narrowbacks" are still down there to prove, as we often say with this kind of work, "that he was here."  We love it, and the fact that even in these post 9/11 times, TV Weasels like us can still be allowed to wander through and share what we find.  Thanks, Lansing.

Music In the Van--"Michigan" Sufjain Stevens, "Together Through Life" (the new) Bob Dylan
Don's $$--It was a very good day, some 63 cents for a total so far of $5.00.
Note--We all did laundry today, and got that headcleaner we needed (for the camera, not Don)

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