I admit it, before stumbling upon the amazing SALOON photo (below) I’d never heard of the border town called Douglas, Arizona. But the more I read and saw about town the more I knew I had to get there some day.
Douglas is situated in Cochise County. Its history revolves around mining, ranching, and gunfighting. Cochise County was home to a bunch of historical heroes, rogues and wranglers such as Geronimo (the Geronimo Memorial, the site of his 1886 surrender is in Skeleton Canyon just outside Douglas), Cochise, Thornton Wilder, John Slaughter, Wyatt Earp, and Doc Holliday and their tales played out, sometimes violently, across the tapestry of the county's grasslands and deserts.
Gotta get to my namesake town some day. Some day.



Inspired by a “corned beef sandwiches” story just posted over at ACL I thought I’d post this shot (this was my ‘medium fat’ order) and spread a little Montréal smoked meat love. A few weeks ago we were in Montréal for the weekend. I hadn't been there in a couple years and hadn’t eaten at Schwartz’s in many years. This iconic time machine of an eatery never disappoints. Their smoked meat is sublime.



I just picked up this very old schoolhouse desk at auction. It’s a primitive double-seater from the 1800s. This is a great piece but I feel for the kids that after milking the cows, feeding the chickens, and bringing in the firewood then walking 5 miles to school — in the snow! — would have to sit at this thing all day. Good to see a few of the old-time kids had some “rebel” in them.



We took a bit of a rural break and went on a little road trip to Montréal this past weekend to celebrate my wife’s birthday. Montréal is a great food town and we're lucky to be good friends with two of its finest restauranteurs, Allison Cunningham and Fred Morin of Joe Beef, Liverpool House, and McKiernan fame. We met Allison for an outstanding dinner at Liverpool House. Later in the night we went/staggered next door to Joe Beef and met up with Fred who was hanging out with fellow restaurant guys, the 2 Franks of Frankies Spuntino fame in Brooklyn (457) and Manhattan (17). Joe Beef is not only an incredible eating experience but for a guy with an admitted big love of vintage its also quite the visual feast.

Big buffalo hanging low in the co-ed can.

Frankie Castronovo of Frankies Spuntino sporting a Habs toque. When in Rome . . .

Fred Morin holding court in the candleabra’s glow.



Fitting on this cold and blustery Thursday afternoon — and Thanksgiving Day for our neighbours to the South — that a rafter (had to look that one up) of wild turkeys, 25 or so, decided to take a stroll through our backyard. But, on closer inspection I think these guys are young turkey vultures. 



Since leaving the big city behind almost a year ago our old farmhouse has been in a pretty constant state of renovation. And the dust and noise and fumes continue on. The only room that didn’t (or doesn’t) require pretty extensive reno was the living room. With the exception of a popcorn ceiling that we replaced the original details of this room are still pretty much intact. Its original oak wainscotting was beautifully preserved. Even the old damask wallpaper was in excellent condition. When we moved in every single room in the house was coated in wallpaper, some very nice, some very very bad. All of it had to go. All but the classic raised blue. It wasn’t going anywhere. Here are a few details from the farm livin’ room.



Last night I checked out Jonas Bonnetta and his ever evolving musical experience Evening Hymns in Peterborough. His unique style of indie/rural/experimental art-folk (how’s that for a label) was perfectly suited to the venue, The Cannery, a downtown gallery/performance space/art supply store. The band hit the sort-of stage around midnight by which time Bonnetta admitted to be feeling the effects of a fun day but it only enhanced the, as Jonas put it “unserious” tone of the show. Not since The Band’s Whispering Pines has the quietude and haunting isolation of the north/east been harnessed with such serene fervor. And Jonas knows of what he sings. He grew up in the small Ontario town of Orono. He spent time in Peterborough and now calls the Toronto west end neighbourhood of Parkdale home.

If you're not familiar with Evening Hymns have a listen here.



This was originally a post on my sister blog Cover Love Et Cetera back in february but ever since I fired up Small Town Boy it really belongs over here. This is a wall I uncovered during a demolition preparing what is now our den/reading room at the new (actually quite old) farmhouse. I decided to preserve the wall in its state of disrepair as an homage to the history of the house and the folks who lived in it over the last century.



I spent the first Saturday morning of November, a sunny and cold one, amongst the (mostly) good ol' boys, the salt of the earth, at a farm auction just outside of Bobcaygeon, Ontario.

The big-ticket items were of course tractors, tillers, thrashers and a variety of other farm machinery both reasonably modern and vintage. Also included in the auction was a smattering of old farm and household items from which I picked an antique seed spreader, a vintage barn heat lamp that I'll refit to work as a light, an old tin flour sifter and a little blue Edgeworth tobacco tin.

Even the mare (the auctioneer said she was a filly but I haven't seen many fillies that are going grey) was on the block. I wish I could have taken her home.

This old Ford went for $1,500. What a steal!

Nothing like topping off a nice morning with a slice of homemade pie. I went for the peach. It did not disappoint.


No. 13: BOBCAYGEON FALL FAIR 2010 pt. 2

“It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child.” — Pablo Picasso

“All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” — Pablo Picasso