29 December 2013

Some color

In the grey doldrums of midwinter, when the sun is but a brief visitor to the day and colors are nearly absent, a bit of splashy color from autumn my be just the tonic you need. Here is my Impressionist rendering of Edinburgh Castle last October, when the trees of Princes Street Garden boldly frame the famous fortress. Mr. Fuzzy hopes it will brighten your day a tad. You may click on it to enlarge and perhaps you will find the effect more pronounced at the larger size...

26 December 2013

Sixty years ago

Christmas Day, 1953

Santa brought three gifts that year: a truck, a stage coach and a jeep. The truck was a gift from one of my grandfather's employees, painted in Papaw's colors. The stage coach was made from scratch (except the plastic horse) by another employee. The jeep was metal, I think it was an early Tonka toy, from my parents. The stage coach eventually disintegrated under hard use, the jeep, well, I honestly don't recall; it was store-bought and soulless.

It was an era in The South where everyone went by a nickname; the man who gave me the truck was "Wimpy" after the cartoon character because of his inordinate fondness for hamburgers. I never knew his given name. Wimpy was short, about 4'10" and was perhaps a dwarf. He always wore bib overalls and an engineer's cap, carried an unlit cigar in the right corner of his mouth that bobbed when he talked, was gruff in speech and demeanor but had the warmest heart you can possibly imagine. 

Perhaps because he and his wife did not have children, he was very fond of them, or at least of me. When my family moved into town, I was despondent because I missed the farm so very much. To try to cheer me up, Wimpy built a sandbox with a fringed surrey top to protect my fair skin from sun burn. Yes, modern people, a sandbox was a major amusement in my youth and I spent hundreds of hours in it. No batteries, no moving plastic parts, no operator's manual, no warranty, no safety warnings, not made in a foreign country.

I still take the truck for a spin around the living room on Christmas and remember the wonderful man who customized it for me. He died about 1960 but every Christmas, he lives on in my memory. God bless you Wimpy.

04 December 2013

My Scottish Lodge

Most readers of this blog (yes, both of  you) will already know that Mr. Fuzzy is a Mason. On his recent trip back to Scotland, he had the inestimable pleasure of attending his Lodge there. Scottish Lodge rooms are, on the whole, much more visually complex and aesthetically appealing than their American counterparts. They are also unique, no two alike. Here is a brief tour of the Lodge.

The ceiling is an elliptical dome, adorned with the seven architectural wonders of the world. As a result of the shape, the acoustics are superb.

The exact date of the origin of the Lodge is unknown but records at the University indicate the Lodge rented temporary accommodations  in 1551. The names of most of the Lodge's Masters are known from 1600 to the present date.

Mr. Fuzzy watched a Third Degree while there and cannot adequately describe the richness of the ritual there and what a joy it is to see it once more. If required to name a single item he missed most about Scotland, Mr. Fuzzy would have to answer "his lodge." Each Lodge has its own personality, formed by a collective attitude by the members. It would be difficult to envision a Lodge with a better personality.