Easter for Sisyphus

Filed under: Family Events,Glimpses — Chamberlain @ 7:44 pm
No. 74

Sisyphus fully understood the daunting challenge of Easter at Moone Athy.

To lessen his burden, The Management has requested that OurRumpus list the various needs for the Easter festivities and solicit assistance from the clan. To this end the following needs have been identified. If you can help with any of these, simply reply in the Comment Section below so that everyone can pitch in without reduplicating efforts. Also, once we have an established protocol we can use this as a template each year for the occasion. Here goes:

Please sign up for one (or more) of the following:

For the Food Gatherers – I know there are no Hunters

Running Tally as of 8:37:32 AM Apr 10

Adults: 30, Children 17

  1. Volunteer Director 2009 – Sarah Fehlig
    • Coordinates Food Assignments
    • Coordinates with Gina for setup/serving/cleanup
    • Ensures necessary supplies on hand – paper products (dinner and dessert plates and plastic cups), salt/pepper, creamer, coffee/tea, dish soap, dish towels
    • Extends invitations to extended family – John Harney, Charlie Skinner, Helen and Geaorge Quick, Karen Kalish, Clay and Jean Skinner
    • Optional Activities – Wild Flower Walk, Children’s Activities, etc.
  2. Egg Hunt CoordinatorCharlie Judy gets Nod. He says:

    “…every family with egg hunting children, please bring:
    1) at least 1 doz. dyed easter eggs for every egg hunting child you own
    2) at least 1 bag of individually wrapped candies
    even if you don’t own egg hunting children, you are of course welcome to contribute
    3) this year we’d like to start the tradition of a “golden egg hunt”. A commemerative 2009 Moone Athy Golden Easter Egg (currently on order from J.A. Whitney) will be hidden far from the farm house. The easter bunny will leave treasure maps and a group hunt will ensue (adults and children included). The golden eggs will be collected each year, kept at the farm, and displayed every easter.
    i know hunting is forbidden at the farm, but this is one of three exceptions that we make…so don’t miss this opportunity! looking forward to seeing you all…”

  3. Menu Volunteers please bring the following – ready-to-go in their serving dishes! And please provide a post-party assessment of amounts served: how much was served – was it too little, too much, just-right ?
    • Hors d’ Oeurves – McClellands
    • Lamb, Gravy – Sarah and Ed Fehlig (hip hip hooray)
    • New Potatoes with Butter/Parsley – Gina Osburn
    • Asparagus and Hollandaise Sauce – Quicks
    • Buttered Rolls, Mint Jelly – Kate Smith
    • Salad – Tatums
    • Desserts – 2 Volunteers – Sarah Dunn, Lori Judy, and Helen Quick
    • Wine – Quicks (4 Bottles), Halcombs (1 Bottle), Rob and Elizabeth Judd
    • Cheese and Crackers – Laws
    • Beer – Halcombs, Rob and Elizabeth Judd
    • Juice and Bubbly Water – Dellie and Qun Sha
    • Ice –Bobby and Mary Dunn
    • Children’s Drinks – Lori Judy

Rsvps should be sent via the Comments Section below. Be sure to include names of all family members (children too) as well as any guests. Also let us know via the Comments what you plan to bring. Bring lots! and Often!

Sisyphus will be ready for drinks and Hors d’Oeuvres at 12:00 Noon, and his Easter Dinner will commence at 1:15PM. Egg Hunt time at the discretion of the Egg Hunt Director – Sis can’t wait to put down his load! Please Help! We hope to see you there…


Glimpses VII

Filed under: Art,Family Updates,Glimpses — Chamberlain @ 10:08 am

Fastforward – Art in antiquity now gives way to the cutting edge creativity of another family member, Joseph Pentland.

Depending on your internet connection speed and your software you may be able to link to these examples of Joe’s work from his website – be patient after clicking on these images – it may take a few moments for them to load….

These brief flash video clips give only a hint of the impact of Joe’s powerful public art – it is not really possible for a web page to present them to full effect. Realize that these are wall-sized, mechanized and computer synchronized creations meant for large public spaces. His website www.PatternCreation.com (use the password: generator) gives a better sense of his incredible creativity – a combination of artistry, mechanical engineering, and computer wizardry. Again, keep in mind that these images represent large assemblies of moving objects that are choreographed by computer into infinitely variable patterns of shape and color – truly ‘new age’ public space artistry.

Joe describes his work as follows:

“Geometric patterns and sequences have always interested me. While pursuing a PhD in electrical engineering, I started to think a great deal about what distinguishes a pattern or sequence from a random set. It was about this time my interest in patterns turned to fascination and I began to identify an approach to creating and/or generating patterns. Although my work would not be possible without a background in math and engineering, I soon realized this fascination was leading me in a new direction… a form of installation that embodies and facilitates pattern creation and generation….”

And Joe goes on to say…

“I have been working on my artwork for the better part of 4 years now, and on the pieces you see on my website for about 2.5 yrs. Before I build an installation, I first create animations of the piece and the software I use is called Maya. My ideas are mostly from my engineering background. I am afraid that my studio isn’t very glamorous at the moment….”

I don’t know about a ‘glamorous’ studio, but Joe’s work is certainly breathtaking and undoubtedly we’ll be seeing and hearing more about him and his art in the future.

Indications from antiquity (circa 1980) that a military career was unlikely…


The Chamberlain

Glimpses VI

Filed under: Art,Family Updates,Glimpses — Chamberlain @ 12:28 pm

“Drink with me, play music with me, love with me, wear a crown with me, be mad with me when I am mad and wise when I am wise” (Athenaeus, an antiquarian ca. 170-230 BCE)

Zellie McClelland’s Spotlight Gallery Talk “Serious Drinking: Vases of the Greek Symposium” was presented Sept 3 2008 at the Washington University Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum. The presentation provided a illuminating history of the Greek symposium – “a highly choreographed all-male drinking party that often drew to a close with a riotous parade about the shuttered streets of town”.

Zellie’s gallery exhibit, organized in collaboration with Professor Susan Rotroff of the Classics and Art Departments, includes a formal recreation of the ‘andron’ (a ‘for men only’ space designed for entertaining). It features rarely displayed and exquisite period piece vases from the Washington University antiquities collection. The exhibit augments the fall 2008 course “Ancient Athens” which looks at both the archeological and literary records from the 4th century BCE.

Here are a few photos from the opening of the exhibit.

The Mildred Lane Kemper at Wasington University
The Exhibit Poster
Exhibit Opening – Zel’s Presentation
The Nolan Amphora (475-465 BCE) on display

Zellie is a PhD candidate in the Department of Classics and the Department of Art History and Archeology. Her exhibit “Serious Drinking” will remain on view in the Teaching Gallery of the Kemper until January 5, 2009. This link to the Spotlight Gallery Talk series is worth browsing. If you are in the Washington University vicinity you will enjoy seeing this fine new gallery and Zel’s exhibit.

An Aside

“Greek Life” on American University campuses began with Phi Beta Kappa, founded December 5, 1776, at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. Formed as a literary fraternity for faculty and students, Phi Beta Kappa “grew into the most prominent and respected honorary society in academe” (Wikipedia). Subsequently, Greek-letter student societies (beginning with Kappa Alpha, Sigma Phi, and Delta Phi, the “Union Triad” formed in the 1820’s at Union college in Schenectady, New York) were primarily social societies whose members were exclusively students rather than faculty.

One might wonder why these organizations adopted Greek mottos and letters as emblems. Though not by intent, Zellie’s exhibit provides a possible explanation, spotlighting the similarities between the Athenian ‘symposia’ and the American college fraternities. Indeed the subject matter of the Nolan Amphora itself may suggest a ‘hazing’ of a youth preliminary to his acceptance into the “men’s club”.

The Sweetheart of Sigma Chi

The Symposiarc

Glimpses V

Filed under: Family History,Family Places,Glimpses — Chamberlain @ 10:13 am

In 1940 began what Churchill called The Battle of Britain, an attempt by the German Luftwaffe to cow the British into surrender by a bombing campaign targeting not only military installations but also major population centers in Great Britain. To escape the bombing, Great Aunt Alicia Chichester and her grandchildren (Charlie and Rocky Petre and Alicia Cooke ) came to stay at 4969 Pershing in St Louis, the home of her mother Delphine Powell Chambers. They made frequent visits to Taille de Noyer where their Great Aunt Sara Chambers Polk lived. Family lore contends that Lemoine Skinner, an ace reporter with the St Louis Post-Dispatch, while interviewing these “War Orphans”, met and fell in love with their cousin Grizelda Polk. Pictures from Lemoine and Grizelda’s wedding (July 5, 1941) are shown here [Above Left: Lemoine kneeling with Charlie Petre, Alicia Cooke, and Rocky Petre. Bridesmaids Nancy Bascom, Betsy Mahaffey. Below Left:Charlie, Alicia and Rocky. Below Right: Bride Grizelda with Frank Harney and Alicia Cooke].

A decade later, in 1951, “Old Granny” Sarah Polk traveled with her husband Julius (BuPaw), her daughter Grizelda, her son Wm Julius (“Polky”) and the Skinner grandchildren to Europe. They first went to Les Issambres on the French Mediterranean, then traveled on to Tunworth Downs, Hampshire England, where Old Granny visited with her sister, Great Aunt Alicia Chichester and her family. The following 16 mm film footage was shot at Tunworth by Grizelda.

Fast Forward

As noted in Glimpses IV, Molly Wynn Owen provided us a number of current photos of the Petre, Cooke and Salter families. These follow below:

Alicia (Cooke) Salter with Charlie Petre
Emma Louise, Molly, and Alicia in Turkey, Fall 2007
Claudia (nee Petre) and Ambrose Scott-Moncrieff
Jonathan, Simon and Philip Gray, with Hugo Salter
Edward Petre
Hugo Salter, the Gray Boys, Alicia, Edward and Lucy Petre, and Fenella (Petre) Gray
Rocky and Charlie Petre with Anthony Cooke
Caroline Petre and Alicia
Emma Louise Salter with Lucy (fiance to Edward Petre)
Molly and Toby Salter
Molly, Claudia, Ambrose, Gareth and Nick
Nick Salter with Gareth Wynn Owen
Last but not Least: Siena (Sasha Cooke’s oldest daughter)

MIA’s: Ray Salter, Andy Gray, Melanie Petre, Sasha Cooke, Chloe and Oliver. Next Time!

Notice: There will be a Quiz on this material at the end of term – be forewarned…

The Chamberlain

Glimpses IV

Filed under: Glimpses,Image of the Month,Travel — Chamberlain @ 8:20 am

England will be the focus of the next few issues of our family Glimpses series, with Molly and Gareth Wynn Owen as the subjects of today’s posting. Molly and Gareth have very generously responded to our intrusive requests with commentary and great photos which reveal something of their adventuresome lives.

This photo (by Gareth ?) won the August Image of the Month Award. It captures, in an image, Molly’s spirit…

Here’s what the Wynn Owens have to say…

“And what are we up to??

Gareth is working on the Iraqi desk for the British Foreign Office, concentrating on internal politics. His dedicated line is, ‘things ARE improving’. We’ll leave it at that!

I am working for a small consulting firm on sustainability/environmental issues. I primarily advise commerical property developers on how to make their buildings more sustainable. We’re also trying to progress a few carbon credit projects in Africa but facing all of the challenges that Africa presents.

We will probably be in London for another year before we’re posted abroad again. We’d love to see anyone and everyone in the civilized UK before we head to the deepest, darkest corners of the developing world. Our near future travel plans include hiking the West Highland Way in Scotland in September and we’re hoping to have a week of beach indulgence in North Africa sometime in the late fall.”

Molly then added these terrific photos of recent travels:

Molly and Gareth Cycling in London Walking the English Countryside
Fall 2007 -Visiting Turkey with the Salters Vietnam Coast
Springtime 2008 Trip to Rome Nick Salter hosts the Wynn Owens for Dinner

Many thanks to Molly and Gareth for forwarding these materials. Your adventures provide much vicarious pleasure for us more sedentary clan members.

Coming Attractions

Molly and Gareth have also sent in recent photos of the English Cousins (the Salters, Petres, and Cookes) who will be the subject of our next installment of Glimpses. Hope you will tune in then…

The Chamberlain

Glimpses III

Filed under: Glimpses,Kudos — Chamberlain @ 10:03 pm

1st Lieutenant Manning Kalish sends us this update on his remarkable activities as a member of the 10th Mountain Division, Iraq.


This Army division’s specialty is rapid deployment anywhere in the world for combat, especially combat in harsh conditions. Here are some excerpts about the 10th Mountain from Wiki:

During 1993, the 10th Mountain Division [Division Insignia on right.]was deployed to Somalia as part of Operation Restore Hope. When Task Force Ranger and the SAR team were pinned down during a raid in what later became known as the Battle of Mogadishu, 10th Mountain units provided infantry for the UN quick reaction force sent to rescue them… The 10th Mountain Division later was deployed to Haiti and Bosnia in the 1990s. Because of the number of deployments, 10th Mountain gained the reputation as the most deployed division in the army.

On October 3 and 4, 1993, in Mogadishu, Somalia, the 10th Mountain Division played a prominent role in the heroic rescue of soldiers following the downing of two Blackhawk helicopters.This harrowing story of urban warfare against Somali militia fighters loyal to warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid is the basis of the book Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War .

Here is what Manning sends in for us:

“My battalion 2-30 Infantry (part of 4th Brigade 10th Mountain Division) deployed in November of 2007 from Fort Polk, LA. We arrived in Kuwait at the end of the month and conducted 10 days of training, classes/briefings, and to get acclimated to the weather. We then flew North to East Baghdad to begin taking over for the outgoing unit. The battalion we replaced had seen a lot of action due to the situation at that time and partly because of the way they operated. Since we took over around Christmas time for the most part activity has been relatively peaceful. March saw a sharp spike in activity throughout the whole sector with our battalion seeing the lion’s share. While there were some injuries within the battalion, there were no fatalities during that time. Our sector goes from an area called Muthana/Zayuna up to the Northeast to an area called Sharwa Um Jadr or the SUJ as we call it. The Western sectors are very residential and parts are fairly well off with a retired military officers living there. In contrast the SUJ is much poorer and more spread out and less developed. Most of it is quite agrarian.

Day to day operations focus on continuing to operate with the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) mostly the Iraqi Army (IA) and the National Police (NP) and to a lesser extent the Iraqi Police (IP). Generally the IA are the most competent and the NP a little less so. They both function in fairly conventional military fashion. The IP are like regular cops but probably more corrupt. There is also a fair amount of corruption in the NP. The IA appear to be the most immune. I should also add that it can really depend on the unit. The battalion and subordinate leadership (company and platoon level) meet regularly with ISF and civilian leaders to discuss security as well as infrastructure and other projects and issues. The battalion also works on projects, issuing micro grants to local nationals to help or improve their businesses.

Currently we are planning to be stateside sometime around February. After that I don’t know. Some time off. I need to find a car and a place to live and find out what my options are. I think I’ll be stateside for at least a year but I’ve been fooled many times before.

I realize this sounds like a sanitized piece of political fluff. When we get back and there is a little time and distance I’ll put something a little more personal together and throw in a few photos for good measure. Thanks for reading if you made it this far.”

No Manning, Thank You for all that you and your comrades are doing for us. We have the utmost respect for your courage and sacrifice and we all look forward to your followup notes and photos.

Our next Glimpses posting will be from Molly Wynn-Owen and, as a segue, here is a photo of Manning and Molly in the Iranian desert.

The Chamberlain

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