sponsor steam powered studio
j.banner design
send me the bill
summer thieves
the stray birds
joe ellis
woggi noggi
kenny gross
the blame
sporting hill ramblers
robert bobby
doll house
the Bambiverse
eagles n' flags
amazingly life-like
tascam porta-two repair
kurzweil key fix
squire amp buzz fix

So long, Joe..

For a serious guy he could get pretty goofy.

joe and me

A good mix. I'm glad to have known and worked with him. Our first thing together was at the Cat Ranch in Paradise, where we went direct to tape. Sometime in the 1970's?

the Joe reel

This was ten songs, I believe it was a demo for his early solo career. I could always count of getting work from Joe, as he was just a little challenged by recording technology.

Here's a song straight off that tape- Genuine Queen of Milwaukee

Years later we got together to take the innerwebs by storm, posting music to MP3.com as a production he called MP3 by Midnight, due to the fact that we could get a song written, recorded, and out on the net in less than a day. What a marvelous idea!

There's been some gigs together, and many more recordings over the years. Miss you, Mr. Bobby.


I can still be delighted by the internet

Alma Fischer

I have 1,770 scans of photographs from my mom's collection, many of which she had taken herself. I sometimes randomly view one, just for fun, and this one, number 1361, came up the other day.

I have notes on these, often referencing their condition, location, or hand-written notes on the back of photograph itself. This one was interesting-
"Alma Fischer Married Sperling" Alma Fischer Coleman's namesake? Discovered this print in back of one of Grandma Fischer in a glass frame.
Now, my mom was Alma Fischer before she married, but this isn't her photograph. My guess is that this was an aunt.

The reason I must guess who this was is because there was an estrangement between my grandfather and his family in the Old Country. As the story goes, Grandpa Fischer pursued a kitchen maid in his family's employ when she emmigrated to Canada in search of a husband, and they never forgave him for it. Whatever there is to be learned about my Grandfather's family has to be inferred from these photographs and the odd paraphernalia- and what I can find on the net.

So... who was Alma Fischer Sperling? Where did she live? Why was this photo hidden in a frame behind another one?

Even more interesting is... was my grands journey to Canada an elopement? The official story was that she came to live with her sister, and that Grandpa pursued her. But at this point it seems much more likely that the two of them cooked this up to cover for the thang they already had going on. The early 1900's were a different time!

You should know that my grands Frederick and Wilhelmina Fischer raised five or six children together, and stayed married all their lives. So the elopement, if that's what it was, turned out to be a good thing.

But I'm curious about that family in the Old Country. Where was the "Old Country"? They spoke German, so that's a start.

Here's another clue...

the list

These are relatives on my grandfather's side! It's just a scrap of paper my mother kept, handwritten by persons unknown. It seems to indicate that someone named Sperling was possibly born on September 1st 1881. The first name looks like "Itlma". And that their residence is Berlin.

So here's the part where I get excited by the internet. For the first time, looking at the photo of Alma, I see that there's a studio imprint on the scan. Atelier Th. Joop I figure out that "atelier" means "studio", and that "Bromberg" is probably the name of a city, so I start googling.

And viola! By including the street address I hit this one...

the studio

This reveals- at some point near the turn of the 20th century my mother's namesake (probably my Grandfather's sister) strolled through that door and had her photo taken. This was in Prussia at that time, now Poland.

When I saw this I just went ahhh