Saturday, June 30, 2018

Sammy Reshevsky

Samuel "Sammy" Herman Reshevsky (born Szmul Rzeszewski; 1911 – 1992) was a Polish chess prodigy and later a leading American chess grandmaster.
Reshevsky with Dutch Grandmaster Max Euwe
He was never a full-time chess professional. He was a strong contender for the World Chess Championship from the mid-1930s to the mid-1960s: he tied for third place in the 1948 World Chess Championship tournament and tied for second in the 1953 Candidates Tournament. He was an eight-time winner of the U.S. Chess Championship. 
Reshevsky with Czech-American Grandmaster Lubomir Kavalek
An outstanding match player throughout his career, Reshevsky excelled at positional play, and could be a brilliant tactician when required. He took a long time over his opening moves, and often found himself in time pressure, but this sometimes unsettled his opponent more than it did Reshevsky.
Reshevsky with Dutch Grandmaster Jan Timman
He was an accountant by profession, and a well-regarded chess writer.

Friday, June 29, 2018

On Presidents and Refugees

A bit of history Mr Trump and some fellow politicians could learn from today... (not in the least Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán). 
The largest wave of refugees in Europe’s post-WWII history were the Hungarians fleeing the country after the crushing of the revolution and freedom fight in 1956. In the weeks after the second, overwhelming, Soviet military intervention on November 4,1956, 200,000 Hungarians set out on foot in the harsh winter, avoiding roads and paths, each with a single bundle on their backs, crossing minefields and barbed wire to reach the Western and Southern borders to Austria and Yugoslavia. 
The refugees were received warmly and with great empathy by the people on the other side of the border; authorities set up refugee camps and Western democracies rushed to offer places for the refugees. In the next two years, all of the Hungarians found a home in the free world, were given free education and helped to find work.
Hungarian refugees at the Immigration Building at Vancouver airport on Dec. 6, 1956
This excerpt from a U.S. news reel is part of the Prelinger Archives collection.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Jim Button and Luke the Engine Driver

Jim Button and Luke the Engine Driver (original title: Jim Knopf und Lukas der Lokomotivführer) is a German children's novel written by Michael Ende. Published in 1960, it became one of the most successful German children's books in the postwar era after having first been rejected by a dozen publishers. It received the German Young Literature Prize in 1961 and has been translated into 33 languages.
Michael Ende grew up in Nazi Germany. His father, Edgar Ende, a painter, was banned as "degenerate" in 1936. Ende began writing the story in 1956 to provide a contrast to the Nazis' racist ideology and their misuse of the theory of evolution. In a 1991 radio interview, he stated, "The idea of racism and racial discrimination came from further consideration of Darwin's theories." Quoting Nazi euphemisms, he added, "The 'extermination of lives unworthy of life' and 'concentration camps'."
Ende did not see his book as a children's book. He based the title character on Jemmy Button, a native Fuegian who, as a teenager in the 19th century, was sold for a mother-of-pearl button and taken to England. He later returned to his homeland on the HMS Beagle, by way of the Galapagos Islands, along with fellow passenger Charles Darwin, who later wrote about the episode.
That Ende's book was full of Nazi symbols and imagery turned on their head, and that its English references stemmed from his interest in Darwin was unknown until late 2008, when Julia Voss, a German journalist, published an article in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung revealing the story's background. Voss cites aspects of Ende's book and of English colonialism, showing their similarity. Her examples of Nazi education and indoctrination, as well as information about Ende's own experiences with it, reveal the sources that inspired him.
Interesting to me is that the film based on the book shows Czech Peaked Berets; the very vintage berets that TONAK reproduced for South Pacific Berets!

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Henri Vincenot

A native of the mountains of Burgundy, Henri Vincenot (1912 - 1985) was a poet, painter and the author of numerous works of history and fiction, for which he won the Bourse Goncourt, the Prix Lamartine, the Prix Chatrain, the Prix Olivier de Serres, and other literary awards.
Henri Vincenot was one of the most famous inhabitants of the château Commarin in Dijon, France, built between 1620 and 1711. Vincenot lived, died, and wrote numerous books within its grounds.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Pierre Eprond

Pierre Eprond is a wood carver from, in his own words, the small paradise of Montabon in France’s Loire region.
His beret is screwed on to his head, never leaving it. In his youth he played the saxophone, now he carves in ash and lime-tree.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Jo Pyronnet

Joseph (Jo) Pyronnet (1927 - 2010) was a philosopher, a committed man of action and prayer, who dedicated his life to the promotion of non-violence.
Joseph is born in 1927in the village of Trébas on the banks of the Tarn, in southwest France. One day, the boy asks God that there will never be war again. Formulated at the approach of the Second World War, this prayer was not answered as he wished, but, he says, "God answered me by allowing me to work to the realization of my prayer".
With Ghandi and Martin Luther King as examples, Pyronnet becomes an active French advocate of non-violence, especially in the light of the French war in Algeria.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Wolfgang Thierse

Wolfgang Thierse (born 22 October 1943) is a German politician (SPD). He served as the 11th President of the Bundestag from 1998 to 2005.
Thierse was born in Breslau (Wrocław in present-day Poland) and grew up in East Germany. In 1975 / 1976 he was employed by the Ministry of Culture of the German Democratic Republic. But when he joined the protests against the expulsion of singer-songwriter and dissident Wolf Biermann from the GDR he lost his job.
Thierse has published several books, especially about the situation in East Germany. In 2003 a CD was published with Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" read by Thierse. The proceeds were for the "Green Berets", a charity that helped young Muslims and Christians to rebuild destroyed areas like Bosnia or Afghanistan.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Jörg Andrees Elten aka Satyananda

Satyananda (aka Jörg Andrees Elten) was born in Dresden on March 30, 1927. In 1945 he completed an emergency baccalaureate at the National Political Educational Institution in Naumburg/Saale and had to participate in the war efforts for another four months. In an exhibition in Munich, in 1948, he saw how a newspaper was made and thought this would be a good job while studying. This is how the Münchner Abendzeitung came into being and how he became a journalist.
In a kind of midlife crisis he made a trip to Poona during a reportage trip in India and discovered Osho (then Bhagwan). After taking time off from magazine Stern to write Ganz entspannt im Hier und Jetzt (Totally relaxed in the Here and Now), a diary about his time at the ashram, he nevertheless quit his job as a journalist in Hamburg and moved to India and later also to Rajneeshpuram in Oregon, USA. Ganz entspannt im Hier und Jetzt became a bestseller and for many of its readers a reason to emigrate to India and become Osho’s disciples.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Carl Lohse

Carl Lohse (1895-1965) worked in the domain of expressionism, and created some masterpiece works between 1919 and 1921. 
His works left their marks in the context of the artistic upheaval, which rose to popularity after the horrors of World War One. His personal history took its course through his paintings. He was dismissed by chance from captivity and even military service and was the only survivor of his fallen down company. His monumental paintings spoke of that experience. He painted expressive and larger than life heads and the daunting color contrasts complemented the depth of his horrified psyche.
His journey from Hamburg to Bischofswerda near Dresden in the October of 1919 changed the course of his artistic journey. He met with his destined creative fury as a result and found financial support to pursue his art. His creative rage shaped one by one, portraits, landscapes and cityscapes within only a year and a half, sequentially. His paintings created within this time span showed the remarkable freedom that the young artist had found in art creation. 
To the academic eye what was near reckless, his color contrast in his art proved that to be dramatic and deserving. The academically tame way was not his; his rhythms were way more energetic than that. His vision radically simplified the faces and the figures of the faces. 
His bold drawings broke the shapes of those larger-than-life portraits that he modeled on plaster. His experiments with his creations were somewhat ruthless and rash, which shaped different imagery of expressionism, cubism, and futurism and led him the way towards absolute abstraction.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Ali Abdullatif Ahmida

Professor Ali Abdullatif Ahmida was born in Waddan, Libya and educated at Cairo University in Egypt and The University of Washington, Seattle.  
His scholarship is cross-cultural and focuses on power, agency and anti-colonial resistance in North Africa, especially in modern Libya.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

The Felted Gnome Knows

Susi Ryan is a felt artist from Vermont and the woman behind The Felted Gnome Knows and this beautiful one-off creation: a wet felted large diameter beret ( a true ‘Txapeldun’, I would say).
All Susi’s creations are made from eco-friendly locally sourced wool, supporting farming and agriculture in the state of Vermont.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Marshall Glasier - 2 Self Portraits

Marshall Glasier (1902-1988) was an artist best known for his work that combined Regionalism and Surrealism. The result, commonly referred to as magic realism, took the figurative and narrative approach of the Regionalists and the mystery, humor, and irony of Surrealism.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Louis Kuechler, the Hermit of the Mountain

Jacob Louis Kuechler was a man of the mountains. Indeed, he made his home and his livelihood in the rocks, trees and hollows on Mount Penn. 
Living alone, Kuechler had a well-earned reputation as a hermit. But he was far from a recluse.
His homey cabin was a stop on the Mount Penn Gravity Railroad. Visitors were treated to homemade wine, bread, cheese and Kuechler’s specialty hasenpfeffer – a German rabbit stew. 
Kuechler rarely left his mountain retreat. When he died in 1904 Kuechler had not left the summit of Mount Penn for 20 years. When the Mount Penn railroad opened in 1889, Kuechler’s roost was the fourth stop on the winding mountain tour. As the popularity of the railroad increased, so did Kuechler’s roost. From the wooden shack just off the trolley line, Kuechler sold wine, cheese and his woodsy fare. He became a celebrity of the mountain with his scraggly beard, long pipe, black beret and wry glances. A native of Germany, Kuechler came to Reading in the 1870s and operated a saloon at 523 Penn St. 
In 1882, Kuechler purchased several acres on the eastern slope of Mount Penn to make wine and live in isolation. After Kuechler died at age 74, his property was purchased by Carl A. Schaich, who opened a much larger and grander establishment on the mountain.  The business lasted until 1919 when sparks from a Fourth of July firecracker set the building on fire.  
A few of reminders of Kuechler are still present on the mountain, including a wine cellar off List Road (last picture). It’s in a lonely spot in the woods, well-hidden from view, an apt monument to the Hermit of Mount Penn.”

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Lilla Cabot Perry

Lilla Cabot Perry (1848 – 1933) was an American artist who worked in the American Impressionist style, rendering portraits and landscapes in the free form manner of her mentor, Claude Monet. 
Perry was an early advocate of the French Impressionist style and contributed to its reception in the United States. Perry's early work was shaped by her exposure to the Boston School of artists and her travels in Europe and Japan. She was also greatly influenced by Ralph Waldo Emerson's philosophies and her friendship with Camille Pissarro. 
Although it was not until the age of thirty-six that Perry received formal training, her work with artists of the Impressionist, Realist, Symbolist, and German Social Realist movements greatly affected the style of her oeuvre.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Fox and Rust at Boneteria Aotearoa

Arguably the most beautiful colours found in berets: 'rust' and 'fox' in the Boneteria Aotearoa range (and at a most competitive price too!). 
Treat yourself and choose from a good range of diameters here, at only $50.00.

Iranian Hatters Qasemi Hats

While it can be pretty hard to find a good quality beret in the US, I am happily surprised to find that in "the axis of evil",  Iran, there is still a professional hatter who sells berets: Qasemi Hats in Teheran!
The description of the berets is not entire clear to me (on the English language page), but that may have to do with an automatic translation from Persian.  What I do like in the description, is that these berets "are suitable for good-humored people" and better still, for "excellent sex".
My first thought was that these are Czech berets by TONAK, but from what I understand from the text is that they are made locally by Qasemi Hats. Fantastic!

Friday, June 15, 2018

The Ohio State University Marching Band

The Ohio State University Marching Band (OSUMB) performs at Ohio State football games and other events during the fall semester. It is one of the few collegiate all-brass and percussion bands in the country, perhaps the largest of its type in the world. Its nickname is The Best Damn Band in the Land (TBDBITL).
Military training was an important part of the early curriculum at Ohio State, and a band was formed to provide music to the cadets for drills. Organized in 1878, the Marching Band was first organized as a fife and drum corps and was sponsored by the Military Department. In 1881, a stolen mouthpiece incident, which prevented the Marching Band from performing, led the Military Department to end support.
The band made national headlines in the summer of 2014 following the release of an internal investigation into the band's culture and reported incidents of hazing.
The Diamond Ohio logo, which is created by superimposing the I over the center of the H, and making the O's into pointed triangles, was first created by the OSUMB in the late 1930s. The band continues to use this formation today every home football game as the team entrance tunnel. The Ohio University Marching 110 has also used the Diamond Ohio logo since 1966 when director Gene Thrailkill designed a pregame set modeled after the Ohio State University Marching Band to give the newly reformed Marching 110 a symbol.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Cooking with Vince

Vincent William Pernicano (1943 – 2016) would joke that his father had him working the family pizzeria/catering business from the time he could reach the sink on a wooden box.
Actually, Vince began working for the Sears Corp., becoming a department manager which led to management positions in Washington, Oregon and Montana. He opened the Southgate Mall Sears store in 1978 and in doing so he fulfilled a childhood dream of coming to Montana after writing a story about the state in elementary school.
Hunting wild game was everything to Vince who also made it his mission to teach hunters how to properly dress and cook their wild game so as not to waste any of the meat. To accomplish that mission Vince belonged to the Outdoor Writers Association of America writing numerous "Cooking With Vince" cookbooks, and offering cooking seminars and TV wild life cooking classes KECI-TV. Vince's weekly recipes under the title, "Wildlife Chef Vince" were carried in several Montana newspapers.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Minnesota Artist Ron Hunt

It wasn't until age 26 that Ron Hunt tried his hand at painting, and it wasn't for fun. He was working for a loan company that was opening a new branch office. The supervisor gave him $40 and told him to buy art to fill a huge, blank wall in the new building. It quickly became clear to Hunt that the money wasn't going to go far.
So, he improvised. He gathered some of his favourite photos he took while serving in the Army in Hawaii, Japan and Germany and displayed them on canvas with a projector. He sketched the images as best he could and began painting. It was then he learned a basic fact about colours — blue and yellow mixed together makes green. He finished the paintings and hung them on the loan office walls.
"I wrote myself a check for $40," Hunt recalled.
That first foray into art led to a 57-year passion for painting and drawing. But the moustachioed artist, known for his trademark black beret, has had to put away the brushes and paint. Five years ago, Hunt was diagnosed with macular degeneration — an incurable eye disease that causes vision loss. 
He can no longer see well enough to do the landscapes he so loves to put on canvas. He has also been diagnosed with prostate cancer and lymphoma, a cancer that affects the lymphatic system, which is part of the body's immune system. In addition, he is in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease.
His partner of 34 years, Billie Hunt, decided to open a temporary art gallery in downtown Lake City to feature the painter's work.