Yes I wood!

Benevolent envy of wood boats


Click on the wood boats to see our original 2011 story.

Some things never change. Back in the day “us boys” would drool over magazine ads featuring Chris Craft wood boats. The pristine wood and attention to detail, plus the fact that they were chick magnets put them close to, if not the top link, of the “dang I wish I had one of th0se” food chain.

Well, now that “us boys” are antiques, those boats, though also antiques, unlike us, have maintained their appeal and the price has exponentially climbed. Back in April of 2011, I had the opportunity to photograph a gathering of old woodies on floating display at the docks of Garvan Gardens in Hot Springs, Arkansas.

Anthony Chapel

Click the pic to see Anthony Chapel at Garvan Gardens.

I am sending you back to that marine event to ogle the hardware. The boats were shown by members of Heartland Classics, a chapter of The Antique and Classic Boat Society, Inc., a very  congenial group.  Bottom line, the boats are still cool, still chick magnets, and still the target of benevolent envy.

As if the boats were not enough, I also photographed the stately Anthony Chapel at Garvan Gardens. Just to see it is worth the trip. Save some gas and see Anthony Chapel on the Photo of the Week page at Corndancer dot-com.

See 20 more pictures of boats and Anthony Chapel in our Weekly Grist Gallery.

Thanks for looking,

Joe Dempsey
Weekly Grist for the Eyes and Mind


The odds of this happening

You had to be there

 A street corner in Pine Bluff, Arkansas

This potpourri of colors, lines, textures, and shapes must be observed at this exact angle to get what you see. Any deviation will yield a different image.

This image, while not destined for greatness, contains some textbook elements of design which might excite an artsy academian:

  • It has a primary palette of warm colors with a few cool colors tossed in for good measure
  • It has a nice mix of strong vertical lines with a few horizontal lines, just enough of them concentrated at the visual center of interest
  • It contains variety of shapes
  • It has an element tilted at a slightly cockamamie angle.
  • It has a duke’s mixture of textures
  • All of these elements are neatly arranged to bring you into the left side of the image, make your observations, and exit smartly on the right
  • And the arrangement is 100% accidental
A beer can and Bill

Click on the can to see another unlikely picture and story

Speaking of which, our sister publication, the Corndancer Photo of the Week, features a similar happy accident consisting of a beer can on a sidewalk with hand etched information nearby. Take a gander and we’ll wait here until you return.

The collection of urban hardware you see above lives on a corner which I observed for years from my former 6th floor office. I have also driven past this corner probably thousands of times without giving it a second thought. Fast forward to February 15, 2014.

The chain of events gets underway

I was meeting in the home of some friends I am helping with a project. They had invited other friends who were also participants in the project who would provide information to me. I determined that some of the physical pieces should be scanned and the visitors agreed. At the conclusion of the meeting, we all left the home and went to the physical location of the project, to wit: The Community Theatre in Pine Bluff, Arkansas.

When I determined that my usefulness to the other participants was exhausted, I excused myself to leave for other activities. Once inside the truck, I discovered that I had driven off and left the materials to be scanned at the home which was now securely locked. All of which means that I was compelled to sit in the truck and wait for the others to leave and head back home. That decision was made easier by listening to a broadcast of my beloved Hawgs in the process of shellacking LSU in a basketball game.

The pieces fall into place

As I listened to the game, I saw the arrangement above. I snapped a few, then backed the truck up a tad to get a better angle. Once I got back to the computer and took a look at what I shot, it occurred to me that for that light and that setup I had to have:

  • Gone to a meeting at the right time
  • Determined that I needed to scan some materials and took possession of same
  • Driven off to a second location and left the materials in a locked house
  • Parked in exactly the right place at the new location
  • Completed my presence at a second location and decided to leave
  • Discovered absence of the left items
  • Decided to wait in the truck
  • Looked up and saw the nearly perfect arrangement which you see above.

Now I ask you, what are the odds of all of those axes converging at the right time? Off the chart, one would presume, but the convergence occurred at the correct time. The next thing was to recognize the opportunity and do something with it. Then the scary part came. How many of those occasions have I failed to recognize? I don’t know, but not to worry. That which I just discover that I don’t know has plenty of company.

Thanks for looking,

Joe Dempsey
Weekly Grist for the Eyes and Mind

Pictures from a mediocre snow

Snow pictures in spite of the snow

Du Bocage in Pine Bluff Arkansas

Though the snow was mediocre, the beauty of Du Bocage, a restored mid-19th century residence here in Pine Bluff, Arkansas comes shining though. Click on the picture to see Du Bocage greened out in the spring at Corndancer dot-com.

Measurable snow here in LA does not occur every year. Most of the time our snow events are little more than a slight dusting which is still more than enough to send throngs shopping for milk and bread. There is something in the air here in LA (lower Arkansas) which alters otherwise sensible genetic code into believing that the light sprinklings we are subject to will have catastrophic results tantamount to a Yukon whiteout.

On the occasions when we do get measurable snow, one or two inches is the norm. Enough to let you know it snowed, but not enough to give you the visions of a gently undulating white landscape unencumbered by weed and other flotsam and jetsam poking through the white carpet. On most of our snows, the uglies still poke through the otherwise idyllic mantel. Our last, and the snow subject of this epistle was one of those.

Park bench and sign in snow

Click on the bench for more snow pictures.

Such was the event we had earlier this week, which means good snow pictures are hard to come by. These few are what we managed to scrape up. Speaking of which, you can see five more snow pictures including critters and tongue-in-cheek attempts at humor  on the Photo of the Week page at Corndancer dot-com. We’ll wait here while you look.

Crepe myrtle in snow

This crepe myrtle at Harbor Oaks Golf Club in Pine Bluff with a few mini-crowns of snow is itching for spring. Be patient though. Crepe Myrtles are usually the last trees to fully respond to spring. The new growth from its last pruning will give the tree a nice shape.

Prickly pear cactus in snow

Normally when you see a cactus, you expect to see a Tarantula or a Hila Monster, juxtaposed on hot dry sand. This healthy prickly pear in Pine Bluff  breaks the mold.

Pategonian water dog

When the trip was finished, as I was pulling into the Chez Dempsey driveway, I was greeted by Rubenstein Tuesday Leola Glover-Dempsey, AKA Ruby, our latest Pategonian Water Dog. Ruby is a fine pet, never meets a stranger, and has two speeds — 0ff and wide open — a big part of her overwhelming  and endearing charm.

I suppose bemoaning a snow may be deplorable, but then we all have our personal defects. On the bright side, while a two inch snow shut Atlanta down, Pine Bluff took the same lickin’ and kept on tickin.’

Thanks for looking,

Joe Dempsey
Weekly Grist for the Eyes and Mind

Sweetheart dogs

lhasa-aatso show dog, stryker

Stryker, a Lhasa Atso, a breed orginating in Tibet is dolled up and ready. Stryker was shown by Sue Cannimore from Terry, Missippi.

The annual Sweetheart Dog Show

Each February the Southeast Arkansas Kennel Club hosts the “Sweetheart Dog Show” which attracts  partcipants far and wide. You see dogs you couldn’t imagine even existed.

Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Click on the nice doggie to see more pictures from the dog show

Though they are show dogs of the highest order, most if not all are well behaved, friendly and love human attention. Unlike human superstars, they are not tainted by success and remain true to form as man’s best friend. We are fortunate have access to photograph the proceedings and interview participants.

We were fortunate enough to have access to the show floor and preparation areas for pictures and interviews. If you like dogs, this story is right down your alley. See even more dogs from this event on the Photo of the Week page at Corndancer dot com.

lhasa-aatso-stryker and groom

Stryker kept his cool as Sue Cannimore from Terry, Mississppi gives him the finishing touches before he strutted in the big time.

bouvier-desflander dog and handler

Jager, a Bouvier Desflander, literally, “Dog of Flanders,” ater his makeover by his handler/groomer, Greg Reyna. Jager is a big friendly boy. His success as a showdog has not gone to his head. He won his class on Saturday and was in the running for top honors Sunday.


Tibetan Terrier, Dymer, recently groomed by Bryan Leonard of Hot Springs, Arkansas, puts a curious eye in my direction.

Shih-Tzu dog

Honey, a Shih Tzu, peers at me over her snout coiffure. Greg Larson, of somewhere in Minnesota, did the honors on her appearance.

Yorkies and Shih Tzu

Yorkshire Terriers Vanessa and Fire, join Honey the Shih Tzu showing off their makeovers at the hands of Greg Larson.

spinone italiano dog

Flash,a Spinone Italiano, made the trip from Springfield, Missouri with his human, Mattie Cobban. Mattie explained that the Spinone was an old breed and originally served families as a hunting dog, a retriever, or a sniffer, essentially whatever you needed, this dog could handle it. The breed can be traced back to Biblical times.


Tibetan Spaniel Sammy, decided to lay down on the job during for this part of the shoot. His human is Lori Kopreski of Sherwood, Arkansas.

Afgan Hound

A nice Afghan Hound waiting to show off in front of the judges.

American Coon Hound

Money, an American Coon Hound, gets loving attention from his groomer, April. Money hails from Southwind Coonhounds of Pearcy, Arkansas, home of “Elvis,” the American Coonhound who won best of breed at the 2011 Sweet Heart Dog Show. A week later he also won best of breed in the Holy Grail of dog shows, Westminster. Ray Lee Reynolds of Southwind tells us that Elvis now is active in fundraising with the American Cancer Society. Money, following in the footprints of Elvis, won best of breed this year at the Sweetheart Dog Show.

saluki dog

Ally, a Saluki hails from Pearland, Texas, south of Houston. Gerry Thornton, Ally’s human explained that the Saluki origianted in what is today Saudi Arabia and is the oldest breed of dog. Salukis were originally bred to chase down, kill, and return Gazelles to their families for food. The Salukis did not eat the prey during the return trip and were accepted as family members, rather than as animal add-ons. Ally was the big winner of the show!

Australian Shepherd

When I visited with Erin Holley of Hot Springs, Arkansas as I photographed Prissy, her perky Australian Shepherd, I mused that the Prissy had two speeds, off and wide-open. Erin agreed with my assessment for her turbo-dog.

Rough Collie

Rough Collie, River. His human is Shirley Daughtery of Greenbrier, Arkansas. River was not interested in me until Shirley moved to my side.

large newfoundland dog

Virgil, a Newfoundland under the care of Bonnie Bennett of Cabot, Arkansas, spins the dial on the scales to 145 fuzzy canine pounds.

Crate with large and small dog inside

Dogs are not picky about their friendships. Here big ol’ and tiny are making it just fine. I never figured out the headdress on big ol’.

See all 44 of our “keeper” pictures in our 2014 Sweetheart Dog Show Gallery. You may also enjoy our 2011 Sweetheart Dog Show gallery as well.

If there is a dog show nearby and your attitude needs improvement, seek out the show and make an appearance. In the words of Henny Youngman, “It can’t hurt!” Thanks for looking.

Joe Dempsey
Weekly Grist for the Eyes and Mind

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