Sunday, August 17, 2008

Only in America

Cute picture, great caption


Although a city, the annual Westfield Fair (81 years now and counting) has that unmistakable small town feel—the sights, sounds and smells of working America. And when it comes to working hard, they don’t come any more dedicated than our local farmers.

Westfield is still known as the “Whip City” because during the 1800’s it lead the world in manufacturing buggy whips. So a weekend fair with tractor and horse pulls, cows in competition, judged entries of fruits and vegetables, fattening fried food, and aging amusement rides seems perfectly fitting.

Kira rides a raindeer
Jada's first real horseride



Oh yeah, this would be banned in Amherst

video

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

Westfield = economic stagnation. Go through downtown sometime - it still hasn't recovered from the loss of the buggy whip market. Much as Amherst won't recover from the changing approaches to higher education....

Anonymous said...

Wow- Another Kelley makes front page news!!!
What a great photo!

LarryK4 said...

This is the second time Kira made the front page of the Republican. First time was a day or two after arriving in country on Christmas, 2002

Anonymous said...

how can this blogger take a positive think like this and make the entry negative (this would have been banned in Amherst). How bout lightening up and drop the preoccupation with dissing the town that many of us love (crazies and all).

Anonymous said...

Larry, where would they have the Horse Drawing contest, in front of Town Hall?

I was at the Heath Fair on Saturday, watching the Horse Draws, but forgot the Westfield Fair was in progress. Too many things going on , the same weekends.

Very nice pics. Keep em coming.

Until later............

LarryK4 said...

Indeed my comment has nothing to do with dissing the fine work of the horses or trainers.

Yeah maybe I'll change my tagline to "Amherst, where the glass is always half-full."

john sendelbach said...

barry roberts will come by with his big horsies...as far as i have heard that is about all he does for the town, besides rake in the cash from town easement land.

Anonymous said...

Do you folks ever say anything that isn't negative about anybody (other than each other)? I'm just curious. Do you go to the Amherst Cinema? Do you know the history of it? Or do you consider that a mistake for downtown too? The town would be a stronger place if all the negative residents would get rid of their chips.

john sendelbach said...

do you realize the design development i did for academy square, the space and parking lot in front of the cinema, was publically dissed by carol johnson, cinema president, and barry roberts, who owns the cinema building, lied to me and never came through on making it happen, like he said he would. he about a half million in rent off that building, which the town gave him an easement for so he could build it.

you know all of that 150 hrs+ of design development they enticed me to do, was all for naught, the historic commission approved it unanimously, the amherst academy board of trustees, who it was really for, passed my design for emily dickenson's gradeschool spirit frame. the town planner tucker and engineer skeels liked it and were helping it along, the planning commission reps at the meetings approved it.

it seems there were only a handful of folks who didn't want it...and they sunk my ship. maybe if they paid me the 9000+ dollars they engaged me in, i wouldn't have had my home auctioned off by the bank.

maybe you, mr anonymous, think this is a great place to live, but not if you are a public artist, with 3 public pieces in amherst, who got put through the ringer of amherst politics and lost his home.

i used to love this town, until i got to know the people in power, and how sleazy they can be.

john sendelbach said...

yes i do know the history of the cinema and the amherst academy very well. and i know that carol johnson and barry roberts, who are on the 250th executive committee, helped make their conflict of interest decision about public land that affects their private holdings, by dissing my proposal, which everyone else seemed to love.

carol johnson didn't like it because in all of her urban design wisdom, it blocked the view of her precious cinema. when in fact, what i did was make a safe, legible connection from the cvs parking lot to the cinema entrance....the frickin walkway i design leads DIRECTLY to the cinema.

why would carol johnson not approve of channeling pedestrians to her cinema?

john sendelbach said...

why else am i sick of amherst.....come over to 185 sunderland road, i still live here for now, i invite anyone to take a rest on my front porch. if it happens to be between 6am and 6 pm, chances are 100% good you will hear deafening sounds of speeding dump trucks, landscape trailors, and all sorts of other loose loads, crashing over the rutted and poorly patched roadway. not unlike many completely deteriorating roads in town.

yet we have town subsidized golf, swimming pools and ponds, senior programs, and whatever else i will NEVER use as a resident, not to mention a failing, inadequate tax base which has forced our property taxes through the roof. mine, for instance, nearly doubled since i acquired the house 5 years ago.

long time residents, who helped build this town, are on the edge, and at risk of losing their homes too...i know that to be true.

PAVE THE ROADS AMHERST, and forget about your fancy sidewalks for a while! i mean just look at pleasant street, they took all summer to put in those crosswalks at the post office, and now they are a road hazard themselves!

seems ironic my proposal had to do with streetscape improvements....but my design had incorporated into it a way to raise the funds....it could have been self fund generating.....oh well, i guess the committee lacked any kind of innovative vision.

Anonymous said...

Is there a link anywhere to see your design John? It sounds really interesting. I'm sorry you had such a negative and, from the way it sounds, personally costly experience with the town. Why was none of this reported in the news? I love your other installations in town, by the way. You're a talented guy.

A Different Anonymous

john sendelbach said...

thanks anon, here is a youtube of the design

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DiYD7pkg6UQ

the "paper" is anti-sendelbach... i sense some of the people on the 250th are as well.

as one person eluded...
"When a true genius appears, you can know him by this sign: that all the dunces are in a confederacy against him."

Anonymous said...

And if I am not mistaken, the Amherst Cinema also screws UMass Students, who are required to help pay for it.

As to sidewalks, what about the missing bridge on Fearing Street????

Ed

Anonymous said...

And if I am not mistaken, the Amherst Cinema also screws UMass Students, who are required to help pay for it.

As to sidewalks, what about the missing bridge on Fearing Street????

Ed

Anonymous said...

Amherst, RIP?

The cracks are showing. Roads terrible, taxes high, rental housing stock in physically poor conditions, one-company town with UMass's future uncertain.

Like I have been saying for some time, there soon will be a time when you will long for the days when the biggest problem you had was someone urinating on your lawn (as opposed to, say, spray painting your house).

john sendelbach said...

the other thing about the news in the valley....when they don't respond....like not reporting anything about my 250th design fiasco, it means i am RIGHT. that's what happened in sunderland....not one of the sunderland vet memorial contest officials contacted me to say i was wrong....the gazette and cris carl slammed me instead...presumably to shut me up. wrong play sunderland, that only strengthened my case, and when the judge learns of the ftc violations and bid rigging that i believe occurred there in sunderland, he ain't gonna be happy...especially since that memorial contest was in the names of our fallen heroes.

i wager if they ever do write about the 250th/sendelbach design fiasco (as weiss termed it)it will be anti-sendelbach. you heard it first.

john sendelbach said...

here is the great barry roberts' attempt to shut me up...

April 10, 2008
Mr. John Sendelbach 185 Sunderland Road AmherstMA 01002
Re: Solicitation of Donations for Amhersf s 250th Anniversary Celebration Dear Mr. Sendelbach:
It has come to the attention of the Committee for Amhersf s 250th Anniversary Celebration (250th Committee) that you contacted the owner of one of the Town's businesses and made a request for a donation to support a public art project that has been discussed in connection with the Town's 250th Anniversary Celebration.
All fundraising for the activities of the 250th Committee, a Town
Committee appointed by the Select Board, must be authorized by the 250th
Committee and conducted in keeping with guidelines established by the
250th Committee. The 250th Committee has a great many activities planned
to celebrate the Town's anniversary and has a number of fundraising
initiatives under way and under consideration. Among other things, we
want to avoid situations where one individual or business is contacted for
funding multiple times by different parties.
You have not been authorized to solicit donations on behalf of the 250th Committee. Please do not make any further solicitations of anyone - any individual or any business — for support of the activities of the 250th Committee.
If you would like to discuss this matter, please do not hesitate to call me.


Barry Roberts/Chair
Committee for Amherst's 250th Anniversary Celebration
Sincerely,

john sendelbach said...

but here is a letter from one of the burnett gallery board of trustees, who also seemed to fully support the idea...

"To: Amherst’s 250th Anniversary Arts and Literature Subcommittee September 30, 2007

John Sendelbach has asked me to support his design for “Academy Square,” a work to mark the 250th anniversary of the founding of Amherst. I do so with enthusiasm. I am familiar with some of his projects about town. His large stone salamander in Cushman is always a delight for passersby, especially those who pause to examine the whimsical structure closer up. The same thoughts apply to the curlicue newt near the Mill River pool. The design for “Minuteman Crossing”.... between the University of Massachusetts library and pond, is lovely.

When my wife and I recently decided to install a banister along curving stone steps down the side of our house from front to back, we thought of John on the basis of his stone and metalwork exhibitions at Paradise City craft shows, and also our purchase of a metal bird bath from an Amherst craft show on the Common. You are welcome to come see the resulting work of art -- a 30-foot long sweeping arc of painted iron pipe with a constant curvature and constant slope that perfectly complements the stone steps and adjacent rock garden. We told him that an embellishment would be welcome, which he accomplished with curvy supports between the railing and the stanchions and with baseball-sized round rocks capping the stanchions and the pipe ends. The craftsmanship is superb and the structure is very stable. An additional personal touch was the choice of rocks: although he had some appropriately round ones in stock, he suggested we collect our own and told us where to go search for good ones. That was fun -- like being kids again. He also built a somewhat similar banister next to steps on the other side of the house. Many friends and neighbors have come to view our treasure, and two friends contracted with John to build banisters for them. Each construction has a fresh and thoughtful point of view.

John’s idea for Academy Square seems very appropriate: joining the Jones Library from the 1920’s, past the academy site from the 1820’s, to the Amherst Cinema from the 2000’s. The notion of a ghost structure to represent the Amherst Academy seems good in that it is highly visible without taking up much foot-traffic space. I have seen Benjamin Franklin’s ghost house in downtown Philadelphia and think that a similar structure would work well in downtown Amherst. John’s designs are always inventive and imaginative. He mentioned to me that it might also be possible to display three-dimensional art in the mini-park around the existing monument and inside the frame of the ghost house as sort of an outside extension of the Burnett Gallery. As a member of the committee that administers and maintains the Burnett, I endorse this idea. The Burnett is always on the lookout for three-dimensional pieces. Other art agencies in town may be interested in this space. Considerations of security and weather will have to be addressed.

Good luck to your committee as planning progresses."
(name witheld)

john sendelbach said...

and here is the awesome endorsement letter from the amherst academy board of trustees....you don't get a better letter in support of a project than this!

but the 250th canned it anyways.

http://www.see-my-pictures.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=52542