Category Archives: Family and Friends

Peter Yarrow in Concert

PeterYarrowEllen and I are long-time fans of the folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary. I’d seen them twice in the 1980s, but Ellen hadn’t, so this past Friday, when she saw that Peter Yarrow of the group would be performing at nearby Stockton State College, she said, “Let’s go!” And we did. When we arrived, Peter was seated outside the Performing Arts Center signing his books for children (Including lovely picture-book and pop-up versions of “Puff the Magic Dragon”).

YarrowSigningThere were about 200 people at the show, many our age or older, but also a contingent of high-schoolers, and many waited in line for a personal moment with the artist, who was enjoying meeting and talking to everyone.

EllenwithPeterInside, it was a fine, fun show. Peter is getting up there in age, doesn’t sing real well, but he clearly loves what he does, and his enthusiasm, sense of humor, and stories about his life and career greatly enhanced the experience. He did some new songs, including “Never Give Up,” a new personal anthem co-written with the Dalai Lama, and plenty of numbers from the Peter, Paul and Mary catalog, including Mary’s hit, John Denver’s “Leaving on a Jet Plane,” and Paul’s “Wedding Song,” written by Noel Paul Stookey for Peter’s own wedding, and still very popular at weddings today. (We had it performed at ours.) The highlight of the evening for many, including Ellen, was the chance to join Peter on stage to perform “Puff,” that’s her in the pink shirt in the back. Peter began by inviting all the children present to join him, but when it became clear there weren’t many in this audience (he’d done an afternoon show geared for kids), he broadened the invitation to “children under 60.”

Ellen with Peter Yarrow from Todd Klein on Vimeo.

Here’s an excerpt from that performance to give you the flavor. We had a wonderful time.

Silver Anniversary

ToddandEllen1989

Yesterday was the 25th anniversary of the day I married my true love, Ellen. This is my favorite picture from the wedding. We’re still in love, and it sure doesn’t seem like that long ago!

CityTavern

Today Ellen had an appointment in downtown Philadelphia, and I went with her. We made it a short day-trip to celebrate our anniversary, starting with a delicious lunch at this restaurant in the historic district. While the building and interiors look authentically colonial, I learned today by reading the fine print on the cornerstone that it’s a recreation of the original built in the 1970s. No matter, it’s still great fun. The food is excellent, and so is the beer. I had the Porter mentioned in the sign above, delicious!

Mural

Afterwards we walked around the historic district enjoying the atmosphere. We considered going in to see the Liberty Bell, but the length of the line discouraged us. I spotted the Curtis Building and had to visit the Parrish/Tiffany mural in the lobby there, which I love. A huge art installation, it was designed by Maxfield Parrish and executed in many thousands of pieces of iridescent favrile glass by the Tiffany Studios. It’s quite amazing, and impossible to get in one photo. Unfortunately, it’s poorly lit, which probably helps preserve it, but makes the colors hard to see and appreciate. I enhanced them some on these photos.

MuralDetail

In this closer shot you can see some of the small pieces of glass forming the mosaic picture. I’ve just looked up the details, it’s 15 feet high by 49 feet wide, and made of about 100,000 pieces of glass. If you’re ever in Philadelphia try to stop in and see it.

After that we stopped at a used book store, bought a few things, and headed home before rush hour made traffic too crazy. A nice break for both of us.

Sand Sculpting with Friends

GabeTimSculpting

It’s been a few years since my friend Tim and his son Gabe were able to visit us in the summer. When they do, we always create some unusual sand sculptures, and that’s what happened this past weekend. Tim had some new sand sculpting tools,  WillySpheres, which do but one thing: make large spherical shapes, and we used them for our carvings. Continue reading

First Sand Castle of 2014

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Ellen’s family is visiting for a long weekend, and yesterday on the beach we did a group-effort castle. Here are several views. this one feature’s Dave Greene’s design with S.H. for Stone Harbor, where we go to the beach.

Castle3

This side features bridges by Zach Greene and some decorations by me on the hillside. I also did most of the castle towers at the top.

Castle5

This side shows more decorations by me as well as some by Anne Greene.

CastleClose

A closer view of the main gate with “Stone Harbor” in stones and shells by Ellen Klein over the doorway (hard to read in this light).

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Flanking the main door are dripped Gargoyles by Anne.

CastleCrew

Here’s the castle-making crew, also giving a sense of scale. Took us several hours, but they were hours when it was cloudy and raining lightly, so a good way to pass the time. Once the sun came out, we all went swimming.

CastleWater

As the tide came in, the castle first became surrounded by water…

CastleFalls

…and then began to succumb to the waves. We didn’t have time to watch the entire castle fall, but such is the way of this ephemeral art.

Bedminster School Reunion, 2014

1950sOldSchool

About fifty years ago, in the 1960s, my brothers and I attended the Bedminster Township School in Bedminster, New Jersey, seen above in the 1950s. Recently I wrote a series of articles about the school on my blog, which begin HERE. During the research and writing process, my long-time friend and Bedminster schoolmate Tim and I were able to contact a few members of our grade-school class, and at some point the idea of a reunion was suggested. Among the group of us that were corresponding regularly now by email or on Facebook, many either still lived in the central New Jersey area, or had family who did. A plan was made, and last Saturday, July 12th, some of us got together.

GroupLibrary

We gathered at the Clarence Dillon Library’s Local History Room in Bedminster, where Tim and I had done some of our research. Attending were myself, Brent Franklin, Catherine (Cathy) Downey, Pru (Hobbie) Cuper, Tim W, and Curtis Vreeland. Several others had planned to attend but were unable to because of last-minute situations: Roxie Blazure, Bruce DeBacco and Robert (Bob) Schork. But, with my wife Ellen and Brent’s wife Sharon, we made a group of eight, and we had a fine time. We spent an hour and more in the library first, getting to know each other again, looking at old photos, and reviving old school memories. Tim and I have stayed in touch, and the two of us had dinner with Curtis a few months ago, but the rest of the group had not seen each other in decades. I was happy to learn that we all have some good memories of our grade school days and each other. From the library we continued on through an eventful day that had been planned largely by Curtis and myself, with help from the rest. Continue reading