Sunday, May 31, 2020

Wilbur Dorsey "Buck" Clayton

Wilbur Dorsey "Buck" Clayton (1911 – 1991) was an American jazz trumpet player who was a leading member of Count Basie's "Old Testament" orchestra and a leader of mainstream-oriented jam session recordings in the 1950s. His principal influence was Louis Armstrong. 
The Penguin Guide to Jazz says that he “synthesized much of the history of jazz trumpet up to his own time, with a bright brassy tone and an apparently limitless facility for melodic improvisation”. Clayton worked closely with Li Jinhui, father of Chinese popular music in Shanghai. His contributions helped change musical history in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Bien Jolie - with the French Accent


Bien Jolie was an American manufacturer of women’s underwear and lingerie.
The company was set up early 20th century by Benjamin and Johnes, who coined the brand name (meaning “very pretty” in French) to replace their frumpy sounding trademark La Walohn.
Catalogs mailed to rural women in the US typically used French names such as La Petite, La Tour and Bonaire, implying that their owners were French, skilled in creating chic, beautifully crafted foundation garments.
To amplify this perceived French origin, ads and paraphernalia drew attention to “The French Accent” and of course, the French beret.

Friday, May 29, 2020

Wendy Andreu's Beret Designs

Wendy Andreu was born in 1990 in Oloron-Ste-Marie, France - the very heartlands of the beret.
Wendy Andreu is a craft designer who aims to communicate through the materials she is using. By experimenting with them, she finds surprising outcomes that can be translated into functional design proposals. 
Wendy graduated Cum Laude from the (Dutch) Design Academy Eindhoven.
‘Functional Emblems’ are variations on the traditional wool felt head gear, to suit the many different circumstances in which soldiers work. Made in collaboration with the oldest beret manufacturer in France, Laulhère, the range offers protection from different sorts of climates and contexts, and includes one with a rain cover, one for use in wintry surroundings and one made of lighter material in hot climates. 
While preserving the uniform’s look and with the expertise at Laulhère, Wendy has augmented her designs with contemporary materials, broadening the scope of the soldier’s uniform.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

La Guardia Indígena

In response to a history of violence on Colombian indigenous communities and threats to their resources such as water and land use, an indigenous guard was set up and is legally recognized to act as a security force for the indigenous communities. 
Colombia has suffered grave armed conflicts for more than 50 years, which have left an untold number of victims among the civil populations. These conflicts were the result of events involving the army, guerrillas, and the paramilitary groups. 
The indigenous population is the biggest victim of this conflict, particularly since it has been attacked by all actors in the conflict; the guerrillas are responsible for kidnappings of its youth in order to make them members of their group or massacre them; the paramilitary and army kills them, accusing them of supporting the guerrilla.
On April 14, 1998, the FARC attacked an indigenous town belonging to the Nasa tribe. The attack left 2200 displaced, 21 injured, and led to the death of a small girl. This situation led the members of all of indigenous tribes in one department in the south of Colombia, known as Cauca, to immediately start a discussion on these security issues, eventually forming the Guardia Indigena (with distinctive colourful berets).

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Ostrich Eggs

This video was sent to me by my Anglo-French friend Thomas.
True cholesterol bombs the French way, and with beret, naturally!

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Biscuiterie Pierre


In the French countryside of Normandy, Pierre has been making cookies since the 19th century.

Pierre Biscuiterie is a family-owned business, offering tasty cookies made from premium and natural ingredients that are carefully sourced from local suppliers as much as they can. 
Not just in France; Pierre sells his cookies USA-wide too! Bon appétit!
Thanks Bill

Monday, May 25, 2020

How To Play Spoons

A new hobby you can enjoy in your kitchen, or take on the road! Jamie Wylde gives basic instruction for how to play spoons, in a style of percussion designed to accompany traditional old time music. Includes demos for playing along with popular jam songs Arkansas Traveler and Whiskey Before Breakfast (videotaped live during a recording session for Celtic band Charmas).

Sunday, May 24, 2020

The Order of Malta


The Sovereign Military Order of Malta (SMOM), officially the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of Malta, commonly known as the Order of Malta, is a Catholic lay religious order, traditionally of military, chivalric and noble nature. It has been called "the smallest sovereign state in the world", though it is not recognized as one by the United Nations.
SMOM claims continuity with the Knights Hospitaller, a chivalric order that was founded c. 1099 by the Blessed Gerard in medieval Jerusalem. In terms of international law, it is an establishment of the 19th century, recognized at the Congress of Verona of 1822, and since 1834 headquartered in Palazzo Malta in Rome. The order is led by an elected Prince and Grand Master. Its motto is Tuitio fidei et obsequium pauperum ('defence of the faith and assistance to the poor'). The order venerates the Virgin Mary as its patroness, under the title of Our Lady of Mount Philermos.
It maintains diplomatic relations with 107 states, has permanent observer status at the United Nations, enters into treaties and issues its own passports, coins and postage stamps. Its two headquarters buildings in Rome enjoy extraterritoriality, like embassies, and it maintains embassies in other countries. The three principal officers are counted as citizens.
The Order has 13,500 Knights, Dames and auxiliary members. A few dozen of these are professed religious. Until the 1990s, the highest classes of membership, including officers, required proof of noble lineage. More recently, a path was created for Knights and Dames of the lowest class (of whom proof of aristocratic lineage is not required) to be specially elevated to the highest class, making them eligible for office in the order.


Saturday, May 23, 2020

Shepherd Jigi d'Aucelon

Here is a magnificent shepherd, Jigi d'Aucelon in the most isolated part of the Drôme (France), with invigorating outspokenness, who recounts his summer pastures, his passion for animals, his anger against the wolf who decimates his herds.

Friday, May 22, 2020

How Sweet To Be An Idiot

From Monty Python's Live at the Hollywood Bowl (1982)

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Sunday, May 17, 2020

The Maine Hermit

Charles Coffin, “The Maine Hermit” was a well-known tourist attraction in the Freeport, Maine area and lived nearby on the road to The Desert of Maine. The sandy area was formed after the Tuttle family moved there and began farming in the late-1790s; over the course of 100-plus years, poor land management followed by tending sheep caused the top soil to erode leaving behind a forty acre plot of sand-like glacial silt.

Coffin a true Yankee character lived at his shop filled with oddities and antiques that was open to the public on the well-travelled Desert of Maine Road. For more exposure he used his unique Chevrolet motorhome and signage along with his early Brush automobile on the area roads to drum up business.
Coffin although he was a bit of an eccentric apparently supported himself by running a novelty and curiosity shop that displayed his collection of guns, antiques and oddities. Amidst the collection, he sold folk art creations, painted handmade wooden flowers, oil paintings, and charged a 15-cent admission fee.

Saturday, May 16, 2020

2009 - A Good Year for Berets!

24 December, 2009
Calais, France. June, 2009
Istanbul, Turkey 2009
Joyce, 11 years old in 2009
A French Chasseur Alpin captain and mentor (R) supervises an Afghan National Army (ANA) officer during a shooting training session at the Kabul Military Training Center April 13, 2009.