Tag Archives: southington

Cosmic Convergence? Or just Stuff That Happens?

In the midst of all of the machinations, emails, phone calls, decisions, and other whoop-de-doo involved in making this Rochefort gig happen, something really wild happened.  The point person for getting this “Roy Replacement” thing going is Napoleon Murphy Brock, who is one of the most recognizable frontmen ever to work with Zappa.  If you have heard Roxy and Elsewhere, Bongo Fury, or YCDTOSA Volume 2, for example, you have heard his singing, sax playing, and comedic timing in full effect.  He is a hard working guy (understatement alert), and you never know where he will turn up.

On Monday, as we were breathing a sigh of relief that the travel plans were going to be resolved, he mentioned that he was on the road and had just played a gig in… South-ing-something, in Connecticut… with the Ed Palermo Big Band… at some golf course or something….

He was in Southington, Connecticut last Friday, which is my hometown, and where I still live, and he played a wedding at the Aqua Turf, 5 minutes from my house.  The Aqua Turf is one of the premier event sites in Connecticut, and the place is booked way out in advance.  Think weddings, charity events, galas, and such.  Apparently a lawyer with much FZ themed ink and a real lust for Zappa hired Ed Palermo Big Band to play his wedding, and Napoleon officiated the wedding ceremony, as well as playing with the EPBB.  Which makes it probably the most badass concert ever to take place in Southington.  being a private affair, I had no idea about it and neither did most anyone else…  whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

Two things spring to mind:

  1. It would have been good to know this ahead of time because we could have dome some actual communicating instead of rushed phone conversations with me at work and Napoleon in an airport somewhere.  It is just the nature of bid-nezz that we were not exchanging a lot of details about our itineraries during phone calls about the travel issues surrounding Rochefort.
  2. and, the Aqua Turf thing is kinda hilarious because back in the day it was a “swim club” with a 9-hole chip and putt golf course.  I had family with memberships there so I swam in the old concrete and sand “ceee-ment pond” and used to catch lunker bass in the golf course ponds!  It was very much a redneck scene as far as I remember it.  How the place became a major event destination is a tribute to the Calvanese family…. but I do miss the bass fishing.

BTW, if you are, or know of, who the FZ-mad lawyer is, drop me a line!  Love to know the missing link to this story.

Out with the Old, In with the New

Two very similar photos taken from the top of the Main Cliff at Ragged Mountain:

December 29, 2009

3-shot pano 12-29-09

January 9, 2010

3-shot pano 1-9-10

CLICK TO SEE THEM IN FLICKR, and you can see larger sizes there by using the ALL SIZES option above the photo

Taken from almost the same spot, and they even have the same blur from a piece of lint I didn’t remember to deal with in the intervening two weeks! I sprained the heck out of my ankle on the 31st (new years eve day) and didn’t make it back out onto the trail until today. These photos are taken looking northeast from the top of the Main Cliff, and show how a little snow cover changes the look. The 29th was bitter cold and windy, with temps of about 14F and gusts to 35 knots. January 9th was cold and not as windy, 29F and light winds.

Ragged Mountain Project

Happy New Year and I wish y’all a great 2010.

For the new year I’m starting a new blog project…

It has been about five years since I started making an effort to photograph the Ragged Mountain area as part of my usual hiking activity. Ragged has been one of my favorite places to hike and climb and decompress and whatnot for a long time. I started coming to Ragged as a kid, when my hiking and bicycling adventures led me beyond the Meriden Mountain ridge behind my house. That was over 30 years ago. I was about 13 when I rode my bike to the south levee at Wasel Reservoir, and I started hiking into the woods and up to the top of the Main Cliff at that time. By the time I was in high school I had been watching some technical climbing, and even got a chance to toprope a climb with a borrowed harness, with a climbing party that invited me to take a shot at something easy at the Small Cliff. While still in High School I met my good friend Harry White, who was a very active climber. With partners/belayers in short supply I was able to get in a lot of traprock routes, mostly at Ragged and the surrounding crags.

I picked up a lot of experience in rope handling, rigging belays, rapelling, self-belay techniques, and actual climbing… but for some reason I have very few photos from that period. At the time that I was climbing I was also taking a load of black and white photos, doing my own darkroom work, and basically nagging everyone for tips on darkroom and composition techniques. I had a small set of climbing photos in my collection of negatives, but I had a binder full of negs either stolen or discarded while I was at CCSU in the 80’s, and they were in there. I am still finding old sets of photos, and still hope that some kind of classic image from that period shows up. What I have now is about five years worth of digital images and I hope you find some of them interesting.

Over the course of 2010 I hope to post images from the month/season. I will also be making posts regarding the history of climbing at Ragged, my personal recollections and reflections on my experience there, and maybe the occasional “guest post”.