Friday, June 26, 2015


I am a baptized member of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (Uniate), and in fact already received last rites once from it too, though I am not an active member I retain it as my faith nonetheless. My home church is St Michael the Archangel (which is based, I think, on the original church in Kiev); the structure I knew was near Fells Point, but was sold and converted, and now a new, gorgeous gold-domed edifice now houses the congregation). I have never visited it. I saw this really beautiful picture of the dome of the St. Joseph the Betrothed Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in Chicago and wanted to share it.

Monday, June 22, 2015



Herewith some pictures of my little brother Paul Brook Tidd, mostly from the 1980s. Plus a cute baby picture.


You know, I don’t forgive him!
I admire those who say they do,
and they are better than me.
But I can’t just forgive a killer of
innocent, loving parishioners
because of the color of their skin,
and hatred ingrained, taught by
the ignorant and angry who
blame others for their failures;
politicians and legislators,
who protect and promote racist symbols;
false newspeople, who twist truth
to satisfy politics of their owners;
professors who promote disunion.
People must stand against racism,
and we can take a good first step,
by taking down the Stars and Bars.

Thursday, June 18, 2015


As I get older
I make a strident prayer,
Dear Good Lord. Please, Be.

Monday, June 15, 2015


Five years ago took the boys to the fair, Joey a new Boy Scout, Chimo still in Cubs.

Saturday, June 13, 2015


Since the camping trip was cancelled, and it was expected to be a nice, albeit hot, day, Chimo and I decided it was a good opportunity for a road trip. Joey opted out and we hit the road. We decided to try Fort Sumter. After a somewhat slow start to the morning, we got to Patriot's Point around twelve and then had to wait a bit for the next ferry out to the fort. The ride was nice, with porpoises and nice folk to talk with, and we soon were on the sand island that supports the structure at the mouth of Charleston Harbor. It was plenty hot, I can tell you. We explored and checked out the museum, which had some amazing relics, although somewhat fewer than I would have imagined. I wonder what they do when a hurricane sweeps in. Unfortunately most of the pics I took while we were there did not come out that well.

Here is a shot along the outside wall of the fort, looking out into the Atlantic.

Here Chimo stands just inside the entrance of the fort, with the parade ground and huge concrete structure placed there during Spanish American War, and used up to end of WWII. Why is was painted black I didn't discover while I was there. We only had an hour.

Then we headed over to Fort Moultrie and got there with only about a half hour to spare before they locked the parking area. Only one pic came out decent, of Chimo and I inside the battery displaying the WWII commander's office. It was mercifully cool down there. We tried to find where the soldiers would have been bunked, but didn't find it.

Then, since we were so close to the beaches, I convinced Chimo to let me take a quick dip. I need to visit the ocean once in a while. The water was pretty warm. Then we drove around and found dinner. Chinese. We had a nice time.

Friday, June 12, 2015


Iranian screenwriter and director Mohammad Rasoulof has balls. Really big ones, my friends. While awaiting disposition for his conviction on earlier charges, and apparently while still living in Tehran, he wrote and directed his most recent film, Manuscripts Don't Burn (2013), which is about domestic intelligence agents carrying out a mission against several intellectuals and writers who have either written about, are contemplating writing about, or are protecting an existing manuscript that describe an earlier failed assassination attempt against twenty-one writers (by driving them in a bus off a cliff) by the repressive and murderous regime. One agent, a bumbling everyman with concern for the welfare of his family, especially an ill son who is seeking surgery in a hospital, and whose participation in the events depicted struggles with his role, is also ironically the same individual who muffed the original assassination attempt. One wonders, and it is hinted at, that he was specifically chosen for this current assignment. The unit is headed by a smooth, dapper, creepy, intense case manager/censor, and the hunt is on for the original manuscript and any existing copies. The third agent (discounting that there are other members of the organization participating, but they are mostly in support roles and you see only one of them), is a thuggish, idealistic professional hitman who seems to represent the basij element in Iranian society. The targets are three men: a noted author trying to get his book into print without it being censored; his friend and fellow intellectual, entrusted to hide a copy; and a dying third writer who is desperate to get an exit visa from the country in order to see his daughter one last time. The movie is purposely gray, filmed in shadow or in rain, with muted colors and low horizon, reflecting the blanket of oppression experienced by most Iranians since the ascension of clerical rule. About the only light I remember was a prominent display of the Milad Tower through a window at night. The depiction of domestic repression and surveillance is chilling; though seemingly crude in many ways, it is all encompassing and intrusive, and the reaction of participants, even as they resist, is one of defeat. The simple torture of one individual is intense and disturbing, as he struggles for breath. One can only imagine the bravery, not only of Rasoulof, but of the actors and crew that worked on this film. And I know, as an American, though I have love and empathy for the Iranian people, there are likely many visual and verbal references and allusions that sweep right by my, that probably intensify the story for those lucky enough to see the movie in Iran, or those many exiles around the globe. Clearly most knowledgeable people are aware of Evin, the oppression of women, and the intrusive policing and spying by domestic agencies, but this movie brings that reality into, oddly enough, sharper focus. Although there are many chilling and depressing incidents in the movie, one particular scene (which I will not spoil for you) is especially troubling, the conclusion as cloudy as the cinematography, but darkly implied nonetheless. This is not a feel-good movie. I encourage people to view it, and hope the underground distribution network makes it available to Iranians at home. Of course, it won't be telling them anything they don't already know. And I hope Rasoulof has a long career, though his walking so close to the edge of the abyss is scary.

While I am on the subject of Iran, I must heartily applaud the equally brave stance by many women protesting against mandatory hajib usage by posting pictures online with their hair uncovered. As you would think God intended, because he made women beautiful. I proudly support Masih Alinejad and Stealthy Freedoms of Iranian Women. Repression, oppression, and and other evils have many opponents, none greater and more influential than women! If all women could unite in their countries and break the restrictions imposed by men, I think this world would be a wonderful place. We can only hope.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015


Herewith a July 1990 photo, unfortunately somewhat poor, of Dad on the Appalachian Trail. He was photographed with three others, probably in West Virginia or southern Pennsylvania.

Friday, June 5, 2015


It has been raining all week, and cloudy when not actually leaking upon us, even to the point of some flash flood warnings, though I don't think much of that actually materialized. I feared First Thursday would have to be canceled, but lo and behold, the heavens cleared and it was a beautiful night, cool and clear. Perfect for walking around catching bands and seeing art. There was a Puerto Rican salsa band kicking it, as well as this upbeat folk group that was interesting. I visited the brand new Tapps studio of Paul Haynes as he displayed some of his paintings. I liked his new still-life work, mot all the way completed though, of fish. He also displayed some handcrafted oyster shucking knives that are absolutely gorgeous. He is the husband of one of my long-time coworkers, Kourtney. Check him, and the other artists at Tapps, if you get a chance to be downtown. I walked around a bit, people watched. Overall the art didn't bowl me over this time, but it is always good to look nonetheless. A few of the buskers were fun. I then returned to Tapps for a special presentation they were having in the performance area, way too small for all the people who crowded in. Ensemble groups of musicians and artists presented unique combinations of chamber music, dance, theaters, projected images into a whole. I unfortunately was unable to stand for all the shows, but the first one was very interesting and captivating. Although she wasn't displaying any of her art, I managed to run into Evelyn Wong, whose botany drawings are excellent. So, overall, it was a nice night of art and entertainment.

Thursday, June 4, 2015


“He believed books had an aura that protected him, that without one beside him he would die. He happily slept without women. He never slept without a book.”
― Richard Flanagan, The Narrow Road to the Deep North