I found this fellow in an old issue of Life magazine


It was this issue.



That cover is “Mercenaries mop up a Red-armed rebel position in the Congo”

Here’s his friend.


Encounters With The Great Dogs Of History

This is FDR’s dog Fala.  He was famous in his day.

FDR was accused of sending a destroyer back to fetch him after accidentally leaving him on an Aleutian island (why did the President bring his dog to Alaska in the middle of wartime?  I don’t know).

Here is FDR’s zinger of a response, playing on the fact everyone knew back then that Scots are “tight with a penny” as Norm Macdonald put it:

These Republican leaders have not been content with attacks on me, or my wife, or on my sons. No, not content with that, they now include my little dog, Fala. Well, of course, I don’t resent attacks, and my family don’t resent attacks, but Fala does resent them. You know, Fala is Scotch, and being a Scottie, as soon as he learned that the Republican fiction writers in Congress and out had concocted a story that I’d left him behind on an Aleutian island and had sent a destroyer back to find him — at a cost to the taxpayers of two or three, or eight or twenty million dollars — his Scotch soul was furious. He has not been the same dog since. I am accustomed to hearing malicious falsehoods about myself … But I think I have a right to resent, to object, to libelous statements about my dog!


Yesterday I had the pleasure of talking to a woman who once had lunch with Eleanor Roosevelt at Hyde Park.  She said Fala sat on her feet the whole lunch.

A cool book cover

“In Stamboul Train for the first and last time in my life I deliberately set out to write a book to please, one which with luck might be made into a film. The devil looks after his own and I succeeded in both aims.”

A Good Mural In Chelsea

IMG_5432It’s over near the Portugese Jewish Cemetery.



With regard to recent comments


This is a safe space.  The comments section is intended as a great big picnic of fun and musing, but it’s also available as a safe space for personal reflection and emotional unburdening when necessary/drunk.

Regrettably requests for drugs cannot be honored.  But God bless.

Avenue at Middelharnis by Meindert Hobbema

I can’t recall how I got my hands on the postcard – perhaps a teacher gave it to me – but it showed one of the seminal paintings of world art, the one that opened the eyes of European painters to the realities of landscape painting.  It bore a name that enchanted me, and from the first moment I saw it, it has been enshrined in my memory, to be recalled whenever I chance to see a row of fine trees leading down a country lane.  The Avenue at Middelharnis, by the Dutch painter Meindert Hobbema (1638-1709) seems at first to simplicity itself – it is a perfectly flat landscape with minute distant building showing and down the dead middle of the canvas runs a dirt road flanked on either side by a row of very tall, scraggly trees of almost repugnant form, totally bare of limbs for 90 percent of their height but topped by misshapen crowns of small, heavy branches.  It would seem as if almost anyone could paint a better picture than this, but if it commanded my attention and affection at age seven, so also did it captivate the artistic world; it proved that noble landscape painting could be achieved by using simple color, simple design and straightforward execution.  People who love painting love Avenue, Middelharnis, and I am pleased to say that as a child I made that discover on my own.

So says:

World Is My Home

(that one’s at the National Gallery of London)