Category Archives: Images

Cousin Edra – The Winter Series

Reid Dickie

Previously I have posted two black and white snapshots of my cousin Edra when she was a child in the early 1940s. Both pictures were taken outdoors in winter with incongruent clothing and furniture. The images popped out of the hundreds of typical family pictures for obvious reasons.

The first was Sweet Dream Baby when she was about a year old. Click pics to enlarge

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The second was Dreaming of Tea Time. She’s about three here.

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Recently I came across two more pictures of Edra from The Winter Series, as I’ve come to call it. This time she’s seated next to her brother Arvin on the same little chairs from Tea Time. She’s about two years old. It’s called Me and My Big Brother.

FAM scan0002The final picture in The Winter Series, at least so far, is Edra wearing my Mom’s hat taken in 1944. She’s almost five. I call it Auntie Helen’s Hat.

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Here’s my Mom wearing the same hat on her wedding day two years before.

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Calendars – The People’s Art

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Reid Dickie

Tis the calendar season!

Stores have large displays of 2015 calendars, Calendar Club kiosks are popping up everywhere and businesses are keen to get their free calendar and their name on your wall. Technology hasn’t figured out a way to transcend the obvious convenience of wall and desk calendars yet. They are still a daily necessity and, thus, a perfect gift, with the right images, of course.

I got curious about the origins of picture calendars and discovered they started in Red Oak, Iowa when Edmond Osborne and Thomas Murphy, two college friends, bought a woodcut of a grand local courthouse with the intent of selling the pictures. To offset the cost of the woodcut they sold advertising around the picture and added a calendar. The first wall calendar was born. It was 1889.

The Osborne Company was formed to create and sell promotional calendars. The founders traveled around the world buying images for their calendars as well as using the work of some of America’s most renowned artists: Thomas Moran, Frederick Remington, Maxfield Parrish, Rolf Armstrong and many others. Wall calendars became the people’s art; their high-quality images often had nostalgic, erotic or humorous motifs. Images of children were and still are very popular as calendar subjects.

While I was looking through some of my mom’s teaching materials she used in the 1930s and 40s when she was a school marm in rural Manitoba, I came across six images painted by an unknown artist with copyright belonging to the Osborne Co, Newark, NJ. No other credit is given although they have a Parrish feeling to them, especially the backgrounds but that’s just a guess. The nostalgic pictures are 4 by 5 inches and each is titled. If you have any information about these images, please contact me.

The picture at the top of the post is called “The organ man singing in the rain.” Here are the other five.

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“Wind a-blowing all day long.”

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“Marching, here we come.”

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“Up in the air I go flying again.”

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“Little children saying grace.”

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“We are lucky, with a lamp before the door.”

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Sweet Dream Baby

FAM EDRA0001

My last post featured a picture of cousin Edra at two years old. Subsequently I remembered I’d seen another similar picture of her so I dug it out. Above is Edra at one year old posed in a similar fashion to the previous picture with her eyes closed gripping the edge of a crib. Both are outdoors with snow on the ground and the same pole in the background. Edra’s birthday was in late March so that would jive with the snow. A couple of my family commented on the previous picture but no photographer was ventured.  Taken together the two pictures capture innocence and growth, change and hope and are lovely mementos to have and share. I call this picture Sweet Dream Baby.

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Faces

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Two Pontiacs – Tom and Lyle

Reid Dickie

A pair of inspired and inspiring short stories from two masters of the territory. The first one is Tom Waits with an improv yarn complete with context, audience and story arc called The Pontiac. It’s from his Orphans triple CD set.  Click the cover and Tom will expound for you. Lovely!

For sheer spookiness and concise yet ambiguous visions, it is hard to beat a tune from Lyle Lovett called Pontiac, the title tune from his second album released in 1987. Lyle evokes a remarkable story in a mere 108 words! And here they are:

PONTIAC

 I park my Pontiac
Down the hill out in back
Late every afternoon
With a coke and a cigarette
And all of the neighbours there
They see a nice old man

And the girl there across the street
She sits on her front porch swing
She never realized
What I told her with my eyes
How back in the second war
I killed twenty German boys
With my own bare hands

And the woman inside my house
She won’t stop talking
She never says a thing
She just keeps talking
And I might just leave her still
After the sun goes down
And I smoke this cigarette

Basically it’s an old man’s well-encapsulated lifestory but we sense his story isn’t over yet. Ominously he hints that the next chapter might suddenly include silence in the house, perfect permanent silence. This pivots on the various meanings of the phrase, “leave her still.” He has killed before with “his own bare hands.” We are left to imagine what will happen after the sun goes down and he finishes his cigarette. This would make a fine story for a movie in the right writer’s hands. Now watch Lyle’s video of his great song.

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Filed under Fiction, Images, Music, Old Souls, Spirit

The Changing Light – Subtle, Relentless, Pure

Afternoon turns into night. Time lapse photography from the porch of Yurt #4 at Spruce Woods Provincial Park. Click pic to watch my video

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Filed under Film, Images, Linda, Parks, Sacred Places

The Faces of War

Reid Dickie

Eleven years ago today my dad, Bruce Dickie, died. He was 83. I miss him every day. I wrote about Dad last year on this day, too.

Recently I came across an article about how the ravages of war become etched on the faces of young soldiers. They show close-up pictures of dozens of Scottish soldiers before, during and after serving in Afghanistan along with their comments. If you ever needed further testimonial to the insanity, destructiveness and uselessness of war, look into the eyes of these men. In every case, the innocence, hope and clarity of the first photograph transmogrifies by the third photograph into reflected horror, soul death and hopelessness. Instead of innocence, their faces convey only fear, instead of hope there is loss and despair, instead of clarity, they are haunted by memories of unspeakable horrors.

http://refreshingnews9.blogspot.com/2012/01/soldiers-faces-before-during-and-after.html

Similar changes were wrought upon the face of another Scotsman, my father Bruce Dickie, before, during and after he saw combat as a lance bombardier in WWII from 1942 to 1945. In a series of pictures he sent Mom while he was overseas, the transformation of my father’s face is obvious and frightening.

This first picture was taken in London just after he arrived overseas in 1942. He was a fresh-faced farm boy from the Canadian prairies.

 The next picture was taken in Aberdeen, Scotland in late 1943 after Dad had seen combat. Experience and sadness lurk in his eyes and his serious expression.

The third picture was taken in Amsterdam near the end of the war in 1945. Innocence is gone, replaced with aggression, his eyes are wild and his teeth are bared. No other image ever taken of my father is more heartbreaking for me than this one.

The horrors of battle that Dad witnessed become progressively more evident on his face in each photograph. Dad signed each picture he sent to Mom but it was only on the last one that he mentions love. Dad lived another 55 years after that last picture was taken. Quietly and peacefully he died of old age eleven years ago today. Luckily he never had to live in a post-911 world.                          

 

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Filed under Deathday, Family, Images, Momentous Day, Prairie People, Spirit

Experiment With Yourself

WOULD YOU SIT DOWN?

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Five Meatyard Pictures = 10,000 Words

Ralph Eugene Meatyard

 1925-1972

Plus one

Learn about Meatyard

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Five Pictures = 5000 Words

1000

2000

3000

4000

5000

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Rhino Child

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Saskatchewan Big Sky

FIVE CLOUDSCAPES IN THE SASKATCHEWAN SKY 

 JUNE 19, 2011

Photographs by Reid Dickie

 

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Filed under Images, Natural Places, Pioneers, PRAIRIES, Saskatchewan

Falling

Look at the woman in white.

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Manitoba Flood Update – June 15

Reid Dickie

“It’s a sad situation up here,” said Dave Shott, who has been farming around Arborg for 22 years. “We have nothing. The atmosphere out here is total despair.”

The despair this farmer feels is shared by thousands of others around the province. Over 2.5 million acres of farmland are too wet to seed this year. This is a record! Many crops that were seeded are now under water. The flood has caused a slump in house, cottage, farm equipment and vehicle sales in Manitoba.

Evacuations are still occurring due to new flooding. Mandatory evacuation notices were issued to approximately 100 people in the community of Vogar in the RM of Siglunes with additional mandatory evacuations at Kernsted Beach, Mrs. Ellie’s Drive, Skinny Dip Bay, Lundar Beach and Sugar Point in the RM of Coldwell. More people were evacuated from three First Nations around Lakes Manitoba and St. Martin this week.

A bridge near Treesbank was washed out as a provincial government employee was inspecting it. The man escaped without harm after being pulled from the Assiniboine.

Last Friday, as I was driving home through Riding Mountain National Park, I noticed at least half a dozen beaver ponds along the road had been recently drained. This includes a huge pond near Beach Ridges as you enter the park from the north. I called the Park office to enquire about this and was told the water from the ponds was threatening the highway in some places so they were drained. Just what we need, more water coming down off Riding Mountain!

It has rained heavily here for two days, adding to the worry and frustration and contributing to river flows province wide. The rivers of major concern today are the Qu’ Appelle, the Souris, the Whitemud and the Assiniboine. Flood watches continue for these rivers. I’ll have more firsthand flood reports on Friday.

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Lake Manitoba Flood Protest Rally

Reid Dickie

Several hundred angry, frustrated Manitobans gathered in front of the Manitoba Legislature early this afternoon to give the provincial government an earful. The all-ages crowd consisted of cottage owners, ranchers, permanent residents, First Nations people and farmers flooded out by Lake Manitoba. Their signs indicate their frustration level, which is as high as the water level in the lake. Due to overuse of the Portage Diversion, 900 properties around the lake are now inundated.

The provincial government stumbles along, still denying the lake flood is man-made (to quote Stan Struthers, our provincial minister of agriculture, “There’s nothing we can do about it.” Appropriately, Stan was thoroughly booed for that comment.) Next up was our minister of EMO, Steve Ashton who received the completely negative crowd reaction he has earned and so richly deserves. Ashton’s speech was mostly drowned out by shouting.

Was Our Great Leader, Moses Selinger, there? Nope. He was out at a media photo-op in Lundar, pretending to care, while The People he should be talking to came right to his doorstep. Also hiding out from The People today was our minister of water stewardship, Christine Melnick. Though there were calls for her from the crowd, no reason was given for her absence. I’m sure she had business much more pressing than dealing with the mere rabble outside.

The other hacks that lead the Conservative and Liberal parties in Manitoba spoke, with McFadyen, the Conservative ‘leader’ striding right up to the mike without waiting for an introduction. He’s a blatherer, dull, witless. The most inspiring speeches came from a cattle rancher flooded out by the Shoal Lakes and Barry Swan, the fiery young chief of Lake Manitoba First Nation, all 190 residents of which have been evacuated and are living indefinitely in Winnipeg hotels.

What I distilled from the event was there are six points and questions that the provincial government needs to address right now to assuage The People. In case the government doesn’t understand what the points and questions are (they don’t) I’ll list them:

  • Admit the flood of Lake Manitoba was man-made because of too much water coming into the lake and not enough leaving (it’s not rocket science),
  • Figure out a better drainage system at Fairford that will create a manageable balance in lake levels,
  • Treat people equally and fairly regarding compensation.
  • Why hasn’t the area around the lake been declared a provincial disaster area?
  • Where is the federal government?
  • When will we have access to our properties?

It’s a hot muggy day here today, thunderstorms are likely this evening. Ironically, The People had gathered just a block away from the river that is causing their havoc. The Assiniboine flows past the Legislature, filled to its banks but not threatening Winnipeg. That’s because the lakeshore residents took the hit. It’s time for the provincial government to own up and pony up for its bad judgment and mismanagement.

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Filed under Flood, Images, Local History, Natural Places, Prairie People, Winnipeg

Signs Along the Road

Reid Dickie

Three signs from my two-day flood tour.

The first can be found just as you are leaving Gladstone heading west on Hwy #16. There is a group of Old Order Mennonites west of town that use horses and buggies necessitating this caution to the motorized.

The next sign is part of a heritage site on Hwy #5 just south of McCreary along the east side of Riding Mountain. The Satterthwaite homestead sat right on the Burrows Trail which followed the open beach ridges left by old glacial Lake Agassiz. More information on the Satterthwaite family and homestead can be found on my Day Tripper page.

Mark’s words are broadcast across the prairie from this old red barn next to Hwy #10 coming out of Riding Mountain National Park south of Onanole.

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DickToolCo Art Page Expanded

The year-by-year history of the art Linda and I created when we first got together now covers seven years. On DTC Art page, you can find our art actions from 1977 until 1983 with plenty of links to the videos we made and other DTC art attractions. Collage, performance, video, audio, fashion, design, public art – DickTool Co used multi-media to probe the world and its all documented. This picture is from June 1985 when Linda and I were married and is a screen shot from a short video of the casual reception. We were happy kids!

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Filed under BEAUTY, dicktool co, DickToolery, Family, Images, Linda, Winnipeg

Faces of the Flood

A series of photographs of people’s faces as they deal with Manitoba’s flood. Click pics to enlarge.

Matt Janzen reaches across his 5 foot dike to hand his 2 year old daughter Kaitlyn to his wife Melanie at their home just outside Elie, Manitoba Thursday.  The family have one of the lowest homes in the community and will have to leave the dike in place for a minimum of 6 weeks.  May 12, 2011. (Ruth Bonneville / Winnipeg Free Press)

Members of 2nd Battalion Princess Patricia’s Light Infantry help load sandbags onto helicopter slings to be transported to weak sections of the dike running along the Assiniboine River 25 km from Portage La Prairie, Man. Thursday, May 12, 2011.   (The Canadian Press/Jonathan Hayward)

Mexican migrant workers sandbag the home of Jeff Connery near Hoop and Holler Bend, Manitoba.  May 11, 2011. (Joe Bryksa / Winnipeg Free Press)

Members of 2 PPCLI  Shilo reinforce a dike on the Assiniboine River off Hwy 430, north of Oakville, MB Thursday.  May 12, 2011. (Joe Bryksa / Winnipeg Free Press)

There was no shortage of help on the James Valley Colony Wednesday as everyone, including young girls, helped pitch in to move sandbags to dikes being built around their colony. May 11, 2011. (Joe Bryksa / Winnipeg Free Press)

Flood relief workers at Breezy Point April 8, 2011 (Photograph by Stan Milosevic)

Members of the Canadian Forces carry sandbags to a home located close to the Hoop and Holler Bend near Portage La Prairie, Man, Thursday, May 12, 2011. (The Canadian Press/Jonathan Hayward)

 

John Bray does last minute sandbagging at his father’s home near Oakville, Manitoba Thursday morning while his dog Lucky keeps an eye out. Their home is next to the Elm River.  May 12, 2011. (Joe Bryksa / Winnipeg Free Press)

Friends, family and volunteers sandbag a home on Cloutier Drive near the Red River in St. Norbert. April 9, 2011 (Photograph by Stan Milosevic)

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My Favourite Flood Picture

Dave Barnes, with his dog Jack, looks over the expanse of flood water covering his property in Brandon’s east-end. Friends and volunteers helped Barnes surround his home with sandbags and protect it from the surging Assiniboine River. This poignant photo of dog and master sharing an anxious moment was taken by Brandon Sun photog Colin Corneau on May 11, 2011. I highly recommend Colin’s fascinating collection of black and white Brandon photographs here.

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Flooding at Spruce Woods Provincial Park

Reid Dickie

Campground office at Spruce Woods Provincial Park is inundated

       Ice jams caused flooding early on but now the sheer volume of water coming down the Assiniboine River has flooded low lying areas of the park including the entire campground. This does not include the Spirit Sands or the yurts which have substantial elevation above the river. The Assiniboine is expected to crest sometime this week.

Here is a very helpful interactive map showing all highway closures and conditions in Manitoba.

 http://www.brandonsun.com/flood/MAP-Latest-closed-highways-119780839.html?thx=y

        A state of emergency due to flooding has been declared in Brandon today as the Assiniboine rose a foot overnight. Brandon is located about 30 miles upstream from Spruce Woods Park. The Brandon Sun has excellent coverage of the local flood situation.

http://www.brandonsun.com/

Live Brandon flood cams

http://www.brandonsun.com/flood/Brandon-Live-Flood-Cams-119244814.html?thx=y

Johnny Cash sings Five Feet High and Rising

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