Sunday, June 30, 2013


I almost forgot to tell you about something someone showed to me while I was in Chateaugay.

I am not sure were this is but someday I sure am going to find out.

Bogdan Yelcovich and Jim McFee said they want to go with me when I make the trip.

I don't know. Sometimes the solitude is necessary.  We will see.  If I, or we, make the trip I sure hope it will be as much fun as listening to the loons on loon lake .

This is what someone told me it looks like in the summer.
And then they said this is what it looks like in the spring.
No wonder they send all those logs down the river in the spring.
Someone told me that the boys, Hows and Street that is, got their waterfalls mixed up.
©W. Tomosky♠

Saturday, June 29, 2013


Good old Bogdan is at it again.
He brings the strangest things to work so he could show us.
Today it is earth closets, water closets, etc.
So without ado, here we go.

Nice woodwork on the above.

When it is time, even the most functional, with or without form, is appreciated.

The French have always been able to think out of the box.
When a man has to Goux, he has to Goux!

Thank God for the coppersmith.

Hey!  For twelve bucks? I wish I had one of these when Uncle Otto visited.

Even Bogdan could not explain this one. Either it is for training kids or for someone with a good aim.
I can not believe it is a brush holder. If so, why havn't they used it?

Now we know where the term "Sitting on the throne" came from.  Why it even has a reading lamp.

The plumber's nightmare. Or the maid's nightmare if Grandpa is a little wobbly.

Nothing like a little privacy.

And the job is not finished until the paperwork is done.
Or the skipping.

OK, OK.  So I may have misinterpreted my Lou and my Loo. Sorry!
©W. Tomosky♠

Friday, June 28, 2013

Ahb-bhut and Khas-thello

"Hey Ahb-bhut!  I heard that you got a promotion to 1st Lui-tenent in Ghengis' cavalry."

"That's right Khas.  It's a great job. New horse. New weapons. New crew."

"Congratulations!  Who's in your new crew?"

"Whatcha wanta know that for? You're just being nosey."

"No Ahb-bhut. What if I meet one of them on the street? I want to be able to carry on an intelligent conversation with him."

"Well - - - alright. I'll tell you. Hu's riding first sword."

"Yes. That's what I want to know. Who's riding first sword."

"I just told you.  Hu's riding first sword."

"What is this? A big secret now that you have been promoted?"

"No. I don't have any secrets."

"Well then tell me who's riding first sword."

"Aren't you listening? I just told you."

"Errrrrgrrr. Sheesh. Well then tell me who is riding second sword."

"Will you stop getting things mixed up. I just told you Hu is riding first sword. Rhi-Pete is riding second sword."

"Repeat please?"

"Yes. That's correct. Now your getting the idea. Rhi-Pete."

"EEEeeeeeesh. Why don't you just tell me who your crew is? That is all I want to know."

"That's what I am attempting to do but you're not paying attention."

"OK. OK.  Well then who is riding mace position?"


"I asked who is riding mace position."


"I just want to know who is riding mace position."

"You got wax in your ears?  I just told you - - - Ah-ghen."

"You didn't tell me again. You haven't even told me in the first place."

"I did. I told you that Hu is in first place."


"Yes. That's right. Hu."

"I don't know what you are talking about anymore."

"I didn't mention Hwatt. How did you know he was on my new crew? Are you spying on me?"


"Yes. Hwatt. How did you know he was on the crew?"

"Errrrggghggggrrrr. Gheesh. OK. I give up. Lets just talk about who is riding halberd position."

"Hu is not riding halberd position. He rides first position."

"Hee rides first position? I thought you just told me Hu rides first position."

"That's right."

"Just tell me about halberd position."

"Halberd position?  OK, lets see - - - Hwuns-Mhoor."

"I asked who is riding halberd position."

"No. Hu is riding first position and I have told you Hwuns-Mhoor is riding halberd position."

"You haven't even told me once who is riding halberd."

"Now you've got it. Hwuns is riding halberd."

"OK. Well it is nice to know who your crew is. Thanks a lot."

"Why do you want me to thank Ah-Lhatt?"

"Say 'goodnight' Ahb-bhut."

"Goodnight and goodbye and good riddance Khas-thello."

©W. Tomosky♠

Thursday, June 27, 2013


If one were to look at the court cases in New York City they would see one very busy judge; JOSEPH F. MULQUEEN.

Now we have to determine why he is so busy; but first the facts.

There are so many I can't even find a roll of paper large enough to hold all of them.
Three hundred and sixty cases; and I am sure there are plenty more.
But hold on; we have a reporter visiting the Honorable Judge Joseph F. Mulqueen. He apparently isn't too pleased about answering why there are so many suspended sentences.

But alas!  How did all this come about?

It appears as though New York City Police Commissioner, Rhinelander Waldo, has been quite industrious also; cleaning up the gangs that were remnants of Tammany Hall's goon squad.
And the good judge may be a little overworked or just can't keep up with the industrious commissioner.
Or possibly he owes someone a favor.
The newspapers just love this commissioner. He makes for great stories and sells a lot of papers for them.

What does a serious fellow like Rhinelander look like? He looks like this.

I am so sorry but it appears that Judge Mulqueen is not only shy of reporters but also shy of the camera.
So no pictures of the judge today.
But Rhinelander doesn't appear shy of the camera or the goon squads.
Someday I may write a story about all this; or something else.
©W. Tomosky♠

Wednesday, June 26, 2013


Yesterday I was reading a new book by W. H. Hudson;  "Green Mansions." It was a nice afternoon so I thought I would sit on a bench by the station and read a bit of it.

The book jacket said it was a romantic jungle adventure about a pretty girl and a lost citizen from the "Capital City."

The book was another item that someone had accidently left behind in one of the passenger cars.

I was only on the second paragraph of the first chapter when I had to put the book down.

Something was bothering me but I could not quite figure out what it was.

Finally I saw Bogdan walking toward me from the rail yard. So I asked him to read that paragraph to see if it bothered him also.

He said "Yes, but I also have no idea why."

Bogdan knew Gunther was watching us from his station tower so he motioned him to come down to join us. Boy - - - that Bogdan has guts. I never would have done that.

Gunther came down and Bogdan asked him to read the paragraph.

Gunther did so and said "This is how I would have written it!"




"Every nation, someone remarks, has the government it deserves, and the United States certainly has the one it deserves and that suits it best. We call it a republic, not only because it is not one, but also because a thing must have a name; and to have a good name, or a fine name, is very convenient--especially when you want to borrow money.

If the United States citizens, thinly distributed over an area of  three and one-half a million square miles, are ten percent politically illiterate, half-thinking, and on the dole,  - - - but if they were thoughtful, intelligent men, zealous only for the public good, it would be possible for them to have a real republic.

They have, instead, a government by cliques, tempered by revolution; and a very good government it could be, in harmony with the physical conditions of the country and the national temperament.

Now, it happens that the educated men, representing your more thoughtful classes, are so few these days, that there are not many persons unconnected by ties of blood or marriage with prominent members of the political groups to which they belong. By this you will see how easy and almost inevitable it is that we should become accustomed to look on conspiracy and revolt against the two reigning parties--the men of other cliques -- as only in the natural order of things.

In the event of failure such outbreaks are punished, but they are not regarded as immoral. On the contrary, men of the highest intelligence and virtue among us are seen taking a leading part in these adventures.

Whether such a condition of things is intrinsically wrong or not, or would be wrong in some circumstances and is not wrong, because inevitable, in others, I cannot pretend to decide; and all this tiresome profusion is only to enable you to understand how I—an older man of unblemished character, not a soldier by profession, not ambitious of political distinction, not wealthy for that country, popular in society, a lover of social pleasures, of books, of nature actuated, as I believed, by the highest motives, might allow myself to be drawn very readily by friends and relations into a conspiracy to overthrow the party of the moment, with the object of replacing it by more worthy men ourselves, to wit."
Bogdan told Gunther "If you ever said something like that in the country I came from you would be sent to Siberia."
Gunther replied by telling him "That is why we honor and protect our constitution; it is the first law of the nation."
Bogdan agreed and the conversation ended.
Except for the fact that Gunther told both of us to get back to work.

©W. Tomosky♠

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


Neither I, Bogdan, Jim, or Gunther have anything to add.

Other than "Will we ever learn?"


I think our government has been taking lessons from these two fellows.  Their money math and outlook on jobs is about the same.
©W. Tomosky♠

Monday, June 24, 2013


Yep - - - that is what Bogdan has brought us today - - - Utopia!

There is not much sense in me going on and on about it. You can see for yourself what he meant.

Essentially he meant that we would no longer have to work for a living; thanks to steam.

And this is where he found "Utopia."

Of course it was full of pictures. I have to admit; I sort of like that. There were formulas for Utopia in there also.

I am not going to show any formulas; they are hard on the eyeballs and the brain.

First he had to show me some steam engines that would allow us to never labor again.

And also there would be something called a governor to keep everything under control.

I don't like governors - - - especially if they live in New York State.

There was something written about the centrifugal force and the springs would be pulled and the valves would open and this would keep the pressure just at the right measurement.

So I asked Bogdan "What would we do with a steam engine that was not in a railroad train?"

He promptly went to the page with this brick making machine picture.

Sure beats making bricks by hand!

And then he showed me some pumps.

"Nice" said Gunther. "Sure has an advantage over pumping out bilge water by hand."


But Jim said "Isn't this going to put all of us out of work? My brother-in-law is a brick maker and he is not going to like these machines taking his livelihood away."

Bogdan said "Don't you have another brother-in-law who is a stone mason?"

Jim answered in the affirmative.

Bogdan responded by showing him this stone cutting machine.

Jim asked "HOLY COW!  Am I going to have two brothers-in-law living with me?"
Bogdan said there will be plenty of new kinds of work. People will have to make boilers and little instruments to measure pressure. There will be tons of work for pipe fitters, chain makers, new kinds of lathes, forging works, casting facilities, salesmen and new kinds of stores.
He showed us this boiler and its workings as an example.
I think Bogdan has something there.

And then we all looked, once again, at those pages of "MANUFACTURER AND BUILDER" in complete amazement.

©W. Tomosky♠

Saturday, June 22, 2013


There we all were, standing around the railroad yard waiting for direction from Gunther.

Bogdan said the most important person in the world was the musician.

I said it was the writer.

Jim said it was the artist.

Someone else - - - I don't remember who - - - said it was the mother; now who can argue against that?

Gunther came down from his perch to give us some direction. He listened to our conversation for a few minutes and then pronounced that the most important person in the world was the one who put the toilet paper in the rest rooms.

Then he told us to get back to work and gave each of us specific directions.

Boy - - - that Gunther sure can get to the point of an argument in a hurry - - - and he is almost always correct with his point; as he surely was in this case.

The next day Bogdan brought in this newspaper to prove his point.

Apparently the German people would agree with Bogdan.

These fellows think that an American in Paris is the most important one.

©W. Tomosky♠

Thursday, June 20, 2013


While we were in Chateaugay Jim McFee suggested we go to Loon Lake.

He had heard that it was a beautiful lake and there were some pretty girls whose father's had cabins there.

That Jim McFee; he sure likes the ladies.

He then said "The real reason I want to go there is to hear the loons."

I asked him what a loon was.

Jim said it was like a duck but not a duck.

Bogdan pressed him on the issue.

Jim told us that it floated on the water like a duck but it sat much lower in the water. And sometimes it would dive under the water and disappear for a long time. Then it would pop up in a completely different place.

"Sounds like a duck to me" said Bogdan.

"Not at all" said Jim. "It sounds more like a railroad engine slamming on its emergency brakes."

And then he demonstrated;  

"Why would we want to hear that?" asked Bogdan.

"You have to be there and hear it" answered Jim. "It is really beautiful" he added.

So we found a fellow in Chateaugay with a buckboard who was willing to take us there.

And this is what we heard.

It was beautiful - - - in some weird loonie way.

I think that it is not only the sounds that the loon makes but also the evening sun and the context of a peaceful lake. Yes - - - that is it. It is the context. You seem to see everything that nature has given us and are able to put it into perspective.

I almost teared up when I realized what I was experiencing.

But since Jim and Bogdan were sitting next to me I couldn't let them see me do that.

I don't know what I was worried about - - - both of them had their heads turned away - - - maybe for the same reason.

No wonder Hows and Street made an etching and added a poem.

©W. Tomosky♠

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


Well here we are in Chateaugay, New York.

Canals, railroads and steamers were required to get here.

Thank god for gravity railroads and Roebling's canal viaduct and a steamer ride up Lake Champlain followed by a buckboard ride to the interior of New York.

Not that civilization was absent from the area; there was simply no call for it until city folk saw the beauty of the area.

Lets see what Bogdan had in his folder - - - you know - - - the folder full of periodical articles.

That folder is what caused him and Jim McFee and me to come here.

There is a big gorge that must be crossed if you are going east to west. It is my understanding that Old Man Jenkins made a fortune selling land for the bridge to be built.

Visitors from the city were driven to write stories about the area.

(No - - - this is not "the" Jane Austen)

This is the Chateaugay Gorge that must be crossed by the new bridge!
It is a Gorge-eous place but I pity the fellows who have to build the bridge.

There is a lot of history here. However the following story has been told in different ways by different people.

That's all folks. See you in Scranton.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013


A few days ago I got all wrapped up in the subject of Hows and Street; plus their two compatriots Bobbett & Hooper.

Well - - - you know how that Jim McFee is; always thinking about people and commitment and honesty and integrity and stuff like that.

So McFee says to me "Wally, you promised to tell these kind folks what is inside the book with the red cover that Hows put together."

"Oh darn" I replied. "You are right. I almost forgot about that."

And Mcfee says "You are such a dreamer Wally. You need to remember who you have made commitments to and whether you have met those commitments or not."

Well - - - he was right. I probably turned all shades of red and pink when he reminded me.

So, as a reminder here is the book with the red cover.

And here is one of the poems and etchings you can find inside.

Maybe, and that 'maybe' is my escape route in case I forget again, maybe I can share a few more with you in the future.

These fellows aren't very good at making owl sounds but they are a hoot.

And this little fellow comes from where my ancestors did. Also, he is named after me.

Otherwise you may never have seen him. 

Talk about ego trips.

I think that Jim McFee has made some good observations today.

©W. Tomosky♠

Monday, June 17, 2013


Remember we talked about Tammany Hall and all the crime it could dredge up?

And then we looked into the type of cases that C. B. F. Barra was defending?

I showed you a newspaper article about Barra defending Gaetano Montimagno.

This is what the headlines had to say about Montimagno and Tammany Hall.

There is not much that I can add.

Sunday, June 16, 2013


An certain American cowboy has two faces; depending on who you talk to.
Richard Wetherill's death will be considered a murder by some; the result of rustling cattle by others.
Richard Wetherill will be considered a "pot hunter" by some; the discoverer of ancient American Indian villages by others.
Accused of being the loser in a gunfight due to his own cattle rustling or shot by an American Indian debtor; it makes no difference. He will die in 1910.
Accused of selling archaeological artifacts or collecting them for a museum; it makes no difference. He will die in 1910.

The territory where all this occurred is now called Mesa Verde. 
Future archaeologists will say Richard Wetherill will forever remain known as a pot hunter; the worst of scoundrels in the world of archaeology. They say he was an uneducated cowboy who plundered Mesa Verde. 

Others will consider him an honest man whose first excavations of the great ruins at Mesa Verde greatly outweigh these accusations.

For now, Richard Wetherill remains sitting in the middle, hatless among his four brothers.

 But all this will take place in the future.

All we know is what Dr. T. Mitchell Prudden has told us in Harper's Monthly.

But, for today, let's just enjoy what we know.

©W. Tomosky♠

Saturday, June 15, 2013


I thought we should go back and see what Gunther meant when he said "I remember another book that Street was involved with. It was a book by a guy named 'Hows'; but Street wrote all the poems for that book. It also was illustrated with woodcut prints."

I should have titled this “Hows & Friends”

Alfred Billings Street added the poems that matched Hows’ illustrations.

Bobbett & Hooper engraved Hows’ illustrations into wood for printing purposes.

The “Bobbett & Hooper” is not a shortcut for Bobbett and Hooper.

That appears to be where history left them; as the team of “Bobbett & Hooper.”

All mention of them ties them together that way.

Now that the introductions are out of the way – - – let us look at the men.

John Augustus Hows was the son of a professor. John lived in New York City his whole life. He was able to travel and visited these Adirondack Mountains and all of the mountains between there and New Hampshire. I have learned that he was a studious young man.

It seems to me that he seemed to change major directions from time to time.

If I remember correctly he studied for the Episcopalian ministry but then changed to become a Catholic layman.

Other changes were in the area of professions.

It appears that John Augustus Hows received his arts degree from Columbia University in 1852.

However, right after that he studied for the ministry. Apparently he was not too pleased with that line of work either. He studied with an office of law but that also didn’t seem to please him. He tried his hand at painting, wood engraving and illustrating.

That appeared to be his calling.

He specialized in sketching and illustrated several books between the 1860’s and the 1870’s.

Hows exhibited at the National Academy of Design from 1861 to 1873. He also exhibited at the Brooklyn Art Association in the late-1860’s. He was an Associate of the National Academy.

John left this earth earlier than most;  1831 - 1874.

But not before he, as an artist, and Alfred Street, as a poet, and two engravers, Bobbett & Hooper, assembled a book about the Adirondack Mountains.

There appears to be little mention of Alfred Billings Street on what we call “history”, yet there is just enough for our efforts.

We can see that he was well accepted by a variety of people and organizations.

He wrote poetry that appeared in several literary magazines and was the New York State Librarian.

Bobbett & Hooper seemed to team up on a variety of books; both adult and children’s.

One of those books, “Christmas in Art and Song.”

This book places the artwork of John Augustus Hows, and the engraving of Bobbett & Hooper” in good company; Raphael, Rubens, Nast and Grandville to drop a few names.

Below is the title page of “Christmas in Art and Song.” It has nothing to do with our conversation - - - other than John Augustus Hows’ name is listed.

My main reason for showing it is – - – well – - – I just like it!

One other gentleman's etchings/engravings do not appear in “Forest Pictures of the Adirondacks.”

However his works do appear in the above book and several other illustrated Adirondack  books. His name is Nathaniel Orr.

Orr also does fine work. But he does not belong in this conversation either; other than as an honorable mention.

Back to Bobbett;

There is not much more I can add to Bobbett.

And nothing whatsoever that I can find on Hooper.

That is a shame.

And there you have the four artists who gave us “Forest Pictures in the Adirondacks.”

I may share a few pages with you over the next week or five.

In the meantime I hope you enjoy this.

 ©W. Tomosky♠