Home - Guests, Protest, Whatever

Writing started July 16, 2019

Dear Family, Friends, and Diary,garden

The last entry was about an event, Marianne's art show at Vernissage. This diary is less event and more just a record of our normal life, useful for us, but for you?

Garden note: Our new cypress is thriving. It has added close to a foot of new growth in the two months since planting. Eighty or 100 years ago, many local homeowners planted this fast growing species to shade newly-built homes. I am certain it will redefine our backyard, maybe more than we would want, but in a traditional-for-our-neighborhood way. Meanwhile, Marianne's flower garden also thrives and gets her daily attention. This raised-bed held tomatoes and peppers in previous years, but our thumbs were not so green with them. This is better.

One of the best uses for our backyard is as a setting for meals. We have entered a summer-hot period, so the heat chases us away for lunch or dinner, but breakfast is still pleasant. (Before about 10am , anyway.) On Friday, after the Thursday ArtHop, we invited our traveling art patrons Adrienne, Tony, Nancy, and Ted to break bread, muffins and croissants actually. Igor watched over our sunny table.

muffins table Igor

The best part of breakfast-with-friends-on-the-patio may be talking. We generally take un-posed pictures, but we need to add posed-with-smiles snaps as well. I look TOO serious in this middle picture. Really, we were all having fun!

all serious talking

Marianne signThat same day, we joined another gathering, this time on the corner of Blackstone and Nees. There was a nationally-organized march to protest the treatment of immigrants on the US-Mexico border and in Fresno, the Blackstone-Nees sidewalk is our Hyde Park. We have been to two or three demonstrations here now, and value the opportunity to do SOMETHING about the current situation. Today, the cause was the treatment of immigrant children along the border. I'm not sure what the the protests accomplish near-term, but awareness is important, especially in the current administration.

The crowd was small, reportedly only about 300 people, but enthusiastic despite the 100-degree sun. There was a mix of folks, some we could recognize from past protests. Some local churches always have participants, as do the local Native American tribes and the Farm Workers' Union. For this cause, there were a number of young people carrying signs about the treatment of other children.

My favorite sign: "What would Mr. Rogers say?" Indeed.

corner farm workers
children jail sign honk sign Mr Rogers came for me M and little girl

The rest of the weekend, and the days after, were not very eventful for Marianne and me. We helped Marianne's sister Katinka and husband Reuben a little bit in their move into Mamo's house. Actually, it is Katinka's house, and that reality will change things, especially for Marianne and me, I suppose. Magdalena says she is very happy with the new arrangement, and that's what is important.

moonA week passed since our protest in the streets and not much has been happening. The weather has been pleasant, for a Fresno summer, and we have caught up on garden chores. Once the triple-digit heat sets in, we just let things live or die on their own.

It is the fiftieth anniversary of the landing on the moon and this morning I took a moon picture (harder than it would seem.) We have been watching the television stories surrounding the space race of a half century ago.

In 1969, I was a young University of Washington nuclear engineering graduate student and there was a positive momentum in a number of technical fields, even while anti-war protests were all around. The first 747 flew above Seattle months before and, in my own field, hundreds of US nuclear power plants were under consideration. (About 120 would eventually be built.)

Nowadays, "technology" often just means hand-held gadgets built in China. However, private rocket ships and solar and wind power also seem to be replacing NASA engineers and large nuclear and coal power plants. (Maybe. It would still take about a hundred thousand windmills to replace the power from the US nuclear fleet. Many more to replace coal.) Changing times.

Enough techno-philosophy.

mapOn Sunday, we are heading down into a part of Sequoia National Park where we have never been. After we drive about 27 miles on Mineral King Road, a dirt mountain road, we will be at the Silver City Resort. Some of the resort's cabins date from almost a century ago, when mining first opened up the area.

Google EarthUSGSGoogle Earth shows the valley where the resort sits, with the high Sierras on three sides. The USGS map shows how close quakes have been in the last week. I hope Mineral King Road stays in place.

Stay tuned, although Silver City has NO cell phone service and very limited wifi, so we may not be able to report until we return to civilization (aka: Fresno).

John and Marianne .