December 17th

Posted in family with tags , on December 17, 2019 by kozmicdogz

A year ago today, my mother passed on, breathed her last breath and stepped into whatever is next.

The photo of my parents above was taken in 1945 in my mother’s backyard. I am thinking this is shortly after they were engaged.


November 25, 1895

Posted in family with tags , , , , , on November 25, 2019 by kozmicdogz

124 years ago today, November 25, my grandfather, Paul (Paolo) Mandolia was born in Santa Nifa, Italy. Paul first came to the United States on December 28, 1911 at the age of 16. As a teen in Italy Paolo apprenticed as a shoe maker for 5 years.

During WWI (see photo) he joined the US Army on September 16, 1918 serving until March 17, 1919 where he put his shoe making and shoe repair skills to good use. He went back Sicily in 1920 and married Josephine Biondo also from Santa Nifa (photo below).

Paul filed for naturalization in 1920 before his trip back to Sicily to be married. Returning to the US he and his new bride lived with relatives at 704 E St. NE, DC, where his first child Genevieve was born. He opened a shoe repair shop on B Street in the shadow of the US Capitol building. His family lived in the back of the shop until he bought the house across the street where he and Josephine had two more daughters, Rose in 1923 and Josephine in 1932. Paul and Josephine lived on B Street now called Constitution Avenue until their 80s. Paul lived there until just about 6 months before his death.

Paul was a man of few words, but he worked hard, enjoyed a few puffs on his pipe, and seemed amused watching all of his grandchildren run about while he sat in his favorite chair.

Paul died in July 1981 and his bride died in 1985.



Happy Halloween!

Posted in family, Music with tags , , on October 31, 2019 by kozmicdogz

My Father in his retirement years liked to spread his love of music and fake noses.

Here he is playing saxophone with his band at the Halloween party for St. Colletta’s school in Arlington, VA. 1982.

Happy Halloween!

Robert Taplin: Everything Imagined is Real (After Dante)

Posted in Art, Dreams with tags , on September 6, 2019 by kozmicdogz

The Joel and Lila Harnett Museum of Art at the University of Richmond is currently showing the work of Robert Taplin.

Taplin is a self-taught sculpture who uses resin, wood, plaster, and lights for his work. At first I had thought his figures were 3D printed, but they are resin figures, representing his take on Dante’s Inferno and to me some scenes are reminiscent of Edward Hopper’s paintings.

The work in this show consist of diorama’s, large wooden bases, and boxes framing the art. One piece also brings to mind Duchamp’s famous peephole work, Etant donnes.

The show runs from August 22, 2019 to October 6, 2019.


50 Years Ago Today – July 20th

Posted in Photography, Science with tags , , , on July 20, 2019 by kozmicdogz

July 20, 1969 the first humans stepped foot on the moon, the smaller rotating ball of rock, dust, and craters that revolves around the earth every 28 days. It effects our oceans, our moods, and has inspired generations to think of someplace else, to think what could be.

Neil Armstrong famously said when stepping from the lunar landing module onto the moon, “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

Apollo 11 brought man to the moon, now let’s see if we can make another great leap and keep our planet from becoming as barren a place as the moon is today.

The above photo of the moon is from the Project Apollo Archive on Flickr. Thousands of photos that can be used for free.

Happy Moon Walk Day!

Happy Father’s Day

Posted in family, Music with tags , , on June 16, 2019 by kozmicdogz

This is a photo of my father probably taken in 1963 in front of the stereo with his tenor saxophone hanging around his neck.

This is how I remember him from my childhood, with his saxophone, in his tuxedo and smiling. My father was probably not quite 50 years old in this photo.

I remember my father saying that he needed to buy a good stereo before my little brother was born because once he was born (Nov. 64) my father would not have the money.

In the photo you can see a reel to reel tape recorder, probably a wollensack with boxed tapes on the shelf below. A sculpture of a twin engine airplane made from used artillery shells by a friend of my father’s while in Australia during WWII. A bowling trophy that my mother earned during the brief two years that she bowled. Bongos, LP’s and the Fisher amp my son-in-law has repaired and is using now in his new house. The viking ship on the top shelf was an Aurora model that I believe me and my brother collaborated on and was one of our favorites.

My father left this life in June 2003.

Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers out there and to all those who father the ones who have none.

Wedding Anniversary – June 2, 1946

Posted in family with tags , , , on June 3, 2019 by kozmicdogz

St. Joseph’s Church in Washington, D.C. – 73 years ago.

After the end of WWII just like many returning soldiers, my father married and fortunately found his soulmate in my mother. Both had been engaged to other people before they found each other.

They were to spend the next 57 years together and have 5 children, my father passing at the age of 85 and my mother at the age of 97. She spent almost 15 years living mostly alone.

Often my mother would search the clouds for images of my father and now I do the same, searching for them both.

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