Orozco fresco at Dartmouth’s Baker Library reserve corridor

detail of Orozco mural at Dartmouth, “Hispano-America”

My mom recently had given me a medal that belonged to her father, Henry. It was from the Rochester, New York Veterans committee honoring “Popsie’s” role in serving his country — our country — in World War I. Henry died in 1974 at the age of 80 or so, so would have been in his early twenties during the First War. I don’t recall him talking about his service much accept he may have said that he learned he was allergic to penicillin during that time and that he turned bright red and they thought it might be scarlet fever.

When the house I was renting on Chimalus Avenue in Palo Alto — in Barron Park — was burglarized in February, 2008 — Friday, February 1, 2008 to be exact –among the items pilfered was Henry’s medal. (The chief loss was of a binder of rare baseball cards, from 1884 to 1962 or so, mostly Topps late fifties superstars –Aaron, Mays, Koufax — but also tobacco cards and gum cards including those featuring Cy Young, Christy Mathewson, Mordecai Three Finger Brown and Lou Gehrig — a 1934 Goudy “Lou Gehrig Says” Gehrig — I bought for $35 at a card show when I was about 11 and supposedly worth $3,000 now — that I had pledged to sell off in part and donate some of the proceeds to a fund for a deceased former athlete — The Danny McCallister Fund — but I digress).

I am also thinking of a picture of Patti Smith that ran recently in New York Times Magazine that showed her with a bunch of medals she must have picked up at second hand shops. I am thinking of Antiques Roadshow, as well. Or Harry Hillman’s three Olympic Gold medals from the 1904 St. Louis games (and Worlds Fair) that are hanging outside the track and field coach’s office at Dartmouth — a five minute walk from the Orozco Mural. (I did not see them in June, 2011, my 25th reunion but saw them and shot them in November, 2009, in town for a funeral, a different funeral.)

The Patti Smith medals photo does not suss up easily; but I did find here that her National Book Award for “Just Kids” included a medal.

I was going to write about Orozco vis a vis my newfound interest in public art and murals — here in Palo Alto we have Joey Piziali, David Huffman, Mohammed Soumeh and plenty of Greg Brown — but flashed to the medals instead. I think Orozco’s intention in this detail was actually critical of the militarized new hemisphere not reverential. Also, I am not sure the significance of writing about art, Orozco, Dartmouth, WWI, medals, the fallen or capitalism is on Rosh HaShanah. I know that Yom Kippur is next Friday night and Saturday day and I doubt I will be posting a blog during that window. I also know that Henry’s yartzeit — honoring the anniversary of his death — is coming up in October and we occassionally attend synogogue for that, and I have a meeting coming up with Rabbi Janet Marder of Beth Am to discuss the benefits of a unmarried person re-joining the congregation. Also, on this Jewish theme –for Rosh HaShana — I did recently speak with the administrator of a synagogue in Chicago — KAM Israel — that holds a Judaica collection donated by my other grandfather, my namesake Mort Weiss, “Pop-pop Mort”, that needs some tending to, in the development sense.

On Rosh HaShana, like this blog, it is written.

About markweiss86

Mark Weiss, founder of Plastic Alto blog, is a concert promoter and artist manager in Palo Alto, as Earthwise Productions, with background as journalist, advertising copywriter, book store returns desk, college radio producer, city council and commissions candidate, high school basketball player; he also sang in local choir, and fronts an Allen Ginsberg tribute Beat Hotel Rm 32
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11 Responses to Orozco fresco at Dartmouth’s Baker Library reserve corridor

  1. Mark Weiss says:

    apropos of this I just found a cite to my grandfather Henry at The Clothier and Furnisher trade publication from August 1922 that gives an account of a company event for Hickok Manufacturer Company of Rochester, NY makers of belts etc. It lists about 20 salesman at the event.

  2. Mark Weiss says:

    this is starting to freak me out but here is a link to what I believe is my grandfather’s childhood home in Rochester, NY, 205 Lark Street, according to the 1919 or so social registry, and I can apparently buy it for only $45,000 if it were for sale. http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/205-Lark-St-Rochester-NY-14613/30851682_zpid/
    It lists two other potential relatives or ancestors.

  3. Mark Weiss says:

    posted on patch about NO on D No on E “Green Goop NO and NO”

  4. Mark Weiss says:

    posted to other paper:
    find your cover offensive. “Less Perfect Union…” etc.

    Are you mocking the preamble to the U.S. Constitution? For reference sake, let me remind my fellow readers the exact words that your cover story seeks to twist, play upon and pun:

    We the People, of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare and secure the blessings of liberty, to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

    It’s hard to tell from your cover which side you would have been on in 1776. Or, who is it that is struggling to stay relevant?

    • Mark Weiss says:


      Your own “Info Palo Alto” states that total assessed value of commercial and industrial space went from valuation of $3.85 billion in 1984 to $22.54 billion in 2011, an increase of nearly $20 billion, and that’s billions not millions. And who benefits from that? Is it good for our community or only certain property owners?

      Might we look elsewhere — like that $20 billion windfall or capital gain or paper gain or what not — to solve our numbers so-called problem and not scapegoat the workers, in our $147 million budget and five or eight per cent fluctuation? What about real estate transfer tax or some other creative ways to work with the real estate stakeholders — public private partnerships, like at Lytton Plaza — and not bash bash bash our rank and file?

      I am NO on D.

      As one of them said recently at Council, a propos of parking, (and not to jump from overall to downtown per se, confusingly), there are 4 million square feet downtown and only 10 entities own 60 percent of that: what are those people doing for our community, besides collecting rent?

      The butler did it. I mean the meter guy, the last-hired firefighter, the public safety worker with a three-hour commute, the librarian who we won’t help pay to finish college, yeah, that’s the lime zone I mean lame zone ticket.

      Orozco fresco indeed!

  5. Mark Weiss says:

    i just reached my dear old friend Betsy I mean Elizabeth Thompson of Menlo Park, the Emmy-award winning and Academy nominated filmmaker, recently married to mad scientist Robert Baertsch, who is making great strides if not great leaps forward with what sounds like a very personal film about family (as our most if not all of Shakespeare) and science and medicine (ALS) and we talked briefly for she is on deadline, which for filmmakers is like a whale taking a gulp of air then submerging for six months at Yaddo, and she had a couple great ideas on the Varsity including the David Brower Center in Berkeley and NextSpace in Santa Cruz and hopes to make five minutes in her tightly edited story to send a brief note to Sid Espinosa who she said she met when he toured Skytron.
    Betsy, as I had the pleasure of telling her half-sister Dayna Goldfine and Dan Geller yesterday and I met when the Terman Junior High cheerleaders attacked her, an Egan rah rah –okay, it’s kind of a horror — and I interceded, and got slapped by Ramona Ciena but took it stoicly and denied the incident or that part of it when queried by principal Jean White. Years later we re-met at Helena Norberg Hodge’s office and through Beau and Adria Brown.

  6. Mark Weiss says:

    this was the 17th september post

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