Trip to Hudsonville

Well. That was interesting.

I'm sitting on a Greyhound Bus, heading back toward Detoit. I've just finished a visit with my sister Joan, and her husband, Gust. it's a little embarrasing—and I did consider this in the midst of my visit—but you will not find a photo of Gust or Joan on this page. Strange, huh? Somehow, it just didn't come to pass for me to feel the urge to point my camara towards them to catch a few of their photons.

Well, let's not dote on that. Besides, I did catch some pics of their son, my nephew, Michael.

Here are some images from the trip down with my dad. How about a little snow, scarecrow? You find little stands of spindly timber like this all over Michigan; and it's rather picturesque in the winter.

One of the things I have been concentrating on is capturing images that reflect land use that may be of interest to folks back in Taiwan. And here are some farmland shots. People here have these huge tracts of arable land like this. I can't recall anything quite much like this around Dongshih. There, you see a patchwork of little orchards and vinyards and such.

And remember: You can always change you mind if you have misgivings about where you're going. Remember that.

OK, lest I be seen as this cold, impersonal creep who only takes pictures of places and things—devoid of human beings—here we see lovely images of my nephew among his buddies in his school lunchroom.

Afterwards, Michael took me to his library, and we hovered around an alcove with a computer. His district invested in a modest-but-vigorous network of the newer Apple Macs. Mike showed me work he'd done using the system. I was taken with this haiku:


Ears freezing off bad
Want to get inside really fast
Get me some cocoa

Kudos to Mike; this is winter; in all her hoary glory.

From left to right: Nick and Doug, Josh, Rusty. Rusty's sister is a hairdresser.

I had a mad flash while walking around with Gust on Eighth Street here in old downtown Holland, Michigan. I thought of a private student back in Dongshih, Memi. Memi owns and operates a nice little corner women's clothing boutique on Sanmin, just down the way from my apartment building. We had a long private talk one time, and she communicated to me her...disappointment with the standing mayor of Dongshih; alleging that he'd squandered an opportunity to give Dongshih a proper makeover and transform it into a dignified and classy small town.

I have to admit that, at the time, I didn't really understand Memi. I wasn't sure what her vision was, although I did grant, in the interests of ongoing dialog, that she did have some kind of mental model for her ideal small town: Clean, tidy, actually attractive, a place you'd really want to go to stroll, relax, live. But I couldn't make that creative mental leap, myself, forming a mental image of what that might look like.

Well, I was walking down Eighth Street, and I suddenly realized that I may have very well been walking down Memi's ideal small town, small business district street.

So I got these pictures, pretty much for Memi's benefit [NOTE: Memi: If you're reading this, you can thank me later! -raz] The facades are clean and stylish, the architecture is period and fairly uniform, the sidewalks are lightly heated, never requiring shoveling, even in the coldest winters, and...

...There's also some nice, no nonsense, public statuary. Granted, the flagpole scene grates my antinationalistic sensibilities, but the musician scene sort of makes up for it.

Gust and I dropped into this coffee shop and had an earnest discussion about matters personal, spiritual, regarding life directions. It was so...well, I reflect on the fact that I'd really been out of touch with the Basses for quite a while. Let's just say that, having been out of sync with Gust for so long, there was significant ground to cover, and I like to think this time together was good for the both of us.

And here's Gust and Joan's house.

They have perhaps the quintessential middle class American house. Now that you've seen it, you can say you've seen it. People will be justifiably impressed.

I'm reviewing my text, and just reread that previous paragraph. I want to keep it, while knowing it's tinged with irony. I just want you to know I'm not unaware of that. Thank you, —The Managment