Saturday, October 8, 2011

Brick Exhibit at the Newport Public Library

This month I have some bricks on display at the Newport library. I got started with brick collecting by picking up discarded street pavers from around town.This KENTUCKY BLOCK was once part of a Newport street. Most street pavers come from Ohio, but not this one.


NEWPORT bricks are hard to find. My neighbor Dennis gave me this one. The lettering is always faint and so I filled it in with a Sharpie. There is another rarer variety of Newport bricks: NPBCo.


Loiusvile Fire Brick Works Kaintuck I found this brick in a dump in Stamping Ground, Kentucky on Derby Day, the day of the Kentucky Derby.


This Cincinnati brick was manufactured by James Gamble,of Proctor and Gamble fame. He invented Ivory Flakes. I found this in a torn down house on Westwood Ave.

ANDERSON (New Cumberland,West Virginia)

Jim Viles found this well preserved brick in a creek bed near Newport. Jim is the husband of my yoga teacher, Phoenix Wilson.


This one came out of a chimney in Li' Man, The Newport house Becky and I are renovating.


My buddy Dan Bare found this brick in Fairmount, an old neighborhood of Cincinati. No collectors had sen one before with a date on it.


So pretty a brick, that I took one to Russia as a brick.


Parker-Russell Mining and Manufacturing Company. A fire brick I picked up canoeing the Ohio River in Cincinnati.


A road trip to Zanesville, Ohio with Mike Corn. Our guide Steve Saunders took us to several secret locations. This brickcame from near the world famous Y bridge.

Wooden Brick

I got this brick from Jean Bear, the famous brick collector from Washington, Pa. She had picked this wooden brick up in a dump in Akron, Ohio. It is made of white oak and soaked in creosote. There are still six wooden bricks on 6th. St. in Newport.

Star brick

This kind of decorative brick was first used in slaughterhouses and later sidewalks. This particular one comes from Nelsonville, Ohio.

Church Brick

Another handsome patterned brick which I recently found on a hillside in Zanesville, Ohio.


In contrast to the crosses of the last brick, here is diablo, the devil. A California brick that I picked up at the Little Rock swap meet.

A. W.

I picked this brick for the library show, simply because I like the deep lettering. I think Frank Clement gave it to me up in Buffalo.


This came from Paducah, Kentucky. Good looking square lugs. With Memphis and Cairo nearby,why not Egyptian bricks?


An Arkansas brick, the name highlighted with a Sharpie.


O.T. stands for Oklahoma Territory. I also have an I.T. brick: Indian territory.


Thurber is from Texas.


Yes, this is a Mexican brick. It doesn't like rain or snow.
For some reason Tennessee bricks are few and far between.

INCARPAZ (La Paz, Bolivia)

This brick is unique to my collection. It is from La Paz, Bolivia. Thank you, Swapna Takkallapell, for snatching it for me when you was volunteering down there. (This is the final brick of my display. At some point they will all be walled.)

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Finkel's (Paducah, Ky.)

Road trip, Paducah, Kentucky where the Tennessee River flows into the Ohio. Used to stop here in the early 1970's when I was a deckhand on the Delta Queen. This time through I snarfed the Egyptian paving brick pictured later.

Cairo, Illinois is a historic river town where the Ohio River flows into the Mississippi. It is also one of America's most forlorn places. Don't believe me? Check out this video clip: Becky and I arrived there in a rainstorm at night which made the deserted streets even more desolate. There were piles of bricks everywhere. With my flashlight, I could see that none of them were marked. All except one.

Halliday and Fletcher Cairo,Ill.

What are the odds? Only one brick is marked and it is from Cairo.

Halliday and Fletcher Cairo, Illinois (cleaned up0

Here is the same brick all cleaned up with a special masonry detergent.

Briar, Missouri in the Mark Twain National Forest

A charming old shack in Southern Missouri

Stone shed Briar, Missouri

A 15' X 15' little building just like what we want to build on Washington Ave.

Little Rock Arkansas Brick Swap

The Little Rock brick swap. It is a few minutes before 9:00 A.M. on Saturday morning. We have all spread out our bricks on the ground. Everyone has checked out what people have brought. You are allowed to put your foot on one brick to claim it before the whistle goes off. Pictured are the bricks I brought from Kentucky.. Being claimed is an 'H' brick and an old interlocking brick. I claimed an O.S.P. (Oklahoma State Prison) When the whistle goes off at 9:00, everyone starts grabbing bricks until they are all gone.

Becky and the legendary Norm Roller

Norm amassed one of the largest collections of bricks in the world. And as he said: "I Like to have my picture taken with a pretty girl."

After the auction

Kalamazoo Jerry Wilinski and Tuscaloosa Jamie Brewer with a prized oversized brick.

Arkansas razorback

It is football season at the University of Arkansas and there are razorbacks all over the state.

Cotton Apoppin

In the Arkansas delta there are fields of cotton,soybeans and rice.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Tinkie 1999- 2011

Tinkie finally used up all of her nine lives. She was our cat - actually Sarah's- for almost 20 years. She had lived in all five of our houses. She hadn't hissed since Blackie died eight months earlier. Now she is resting under the brick wall out back along with Mr.Ted, Willie, and Blackie.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Unveiling the 9/11 monument Newport, Ky.

Ten years after the terrorist attack a monument was dedicated to the firemen who lost their lives in New York at the World Trade Center.
The World Peace Bell in Newport. Local businessman and visionary David Hosea had planned a 1000 foot tower. That didn't happen, but at least there is the bell.
A piece os steel from the World Trade Center. Better watch out for the scrappers.
American flag. I got this flag from my dear friend Abby Phillips after she passed at 92. Someone else found an old helmet in her attic. "This must be from World War Five!", he exclaimed. Barely visible is a Confederate flag in the window next door. That would belong to Becky's pal, 'Cousin' John.

9/11 tiles H&h Grill

Everyone remembers where they were at 9/11. I was getting breakfast at the H&H Grill, a greasy spoon at the corner of Cleaney and Montgomery in Norwood, Ohio. When Xavier University bought it to tear it down, Sarah Fulmer, AKA the Bobkitten, and I snuck over and climbed on the roof to rescue these tiles. Now they cap off the wall at 529 Lexington Ave

Monday, August 29, 2011

Newport Car Show 2011

A 1947 Studebaker pick up truck in front of Mammoth Coffeehouse On Monmouth St.

A genuine hot rod. It had the name of the original business still on the side.

!954 Chevy

When I was a kid in Iowa, we had a Chevy just like this. Ours was the same baby blue, even the roof. We drove out to Oregon in it and sold it when we moved to New York City in 1962.

An old Thunderbird in front of Newport's last strip joint, the Brass Ass. When I arrived in town, there were close to twenty of them.

A really hot looking Studebaker in front of my old hang out, Peyton Place. Best breakfast in town.

Wild orange pickup in front of Kamp's Carpets, 6th and Monmouth.

This girl said she dreamed that someday she would have a Thunderbird like this. I hope her dream comes true.

Mr. Softee

Right across from my warehouse are two Mr. Softee trucks. Here is one at Seventh St. during the car show.

A Crosley minicar. Powell Crosley was a famous Cincinatian. An inventor and entrepreneur, he owned the Cincinnati Reds and WLW, the radio station. He designed this car as well as radios. The beloved old home of the reds, Crosley Field, was named after him.

The Green Line buses used to run through Northern Kentucky. This bus must be from the early 1950's.

A hot rod making its way down Monmouth Street at the end of the show.