Kyle’s Demo at the Holiday Sale

 

Hi my name is Kyle and I would like to talk about my role at the Seeds for Autism Holiday Sale. I am a metal head and it’s not just my taste in music (bad-um tss) but metal is my soul and iron runs through my blood. So naturally I did a forging demo on how to make our garden trowels.

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Jeff’s Gallery: Rube Goldberg

 

 

rube picture from thereformedbroker.com

 

Ok folks here’s how it goes: When you lift spoon (A) you pull string (B) makes ladle(C) fling cracker (D) over parrot (E). Parrot flies off perch (F) dropping seeds (G) into bucket  (H) weight pulls another string (I) opening lighter (J) lighting firework (K) using sickle (L) to cut yet another string (M) freeing clock pendulum with napkin on end napkin to wipe your mouth. You can also put a harmonica on the end latter and play music for the guest. This patent automatic self-wiping napkin was “invented” in 1931 by Rube Goldberg, one of America’s most talented and successful cartoonist.

 

Born in San Francisco on the Fourth of July in 1883 to Max and Hannah Goldberg, Reuben Garrett Lucius Goldberg, the second of four children, loved drawing and the newspapers business. He was a paper delivery boy in his boyhood and would copy pictures from book illustrations. He took his first drawing class at age 11. However his father was a police and fire commissioner who had high hopes for his kids and didn’t want Rube to be a starving artist for a living and sent him to the University of California, Berkeley. Rube graduated in 1904 with a degree in engineering and got a job at the San Francisco Water and Sewage Department. The pay was good for that time but Rube left after six months. He then got a job as a sports cartoonist and started to become a local celebrity. Soon he moved to New York in 1907 where he continued his career at the McClure Newspaper Syndicate in the “New York Evening Mail.”

 

Although it took a while to for him to make it big, Rube soon created over sixty different comic series, some only lasted a few years while others lasted for at least twenty. His first big hit was “Foolish Questions” in 1909 (Q:Doctor, are you listening for his heart? A:No, he swallowed a gramophone and I’m trying to find it) where fans could even send in their own questions and answers. Rube even created a card game based of strip. Other great works included good-natured  simpleton“Boob McNutt,” word wizardry and zingers with “Mike and Ike, They Look Alike” and “I’m the Guy” and daffy dame “Lala Palooza” with her lazy brother Vince Doolittle. Rube also drew political cartoons; winning a Pulitzer for his “Peace Today” strip in 1948 seen below, company advertisements; even a newspaper comic strip just for advertising Pepsi sodas, “Pepsi and Pete: the Pepsi-Cola Cops,” and for a short time created a silent cartoon series for Pathé, an early animation studio from France. The cartoons sold well but Rube Goldberg left the animation business soon because he drew everything by himself and that and his newspaper comic career was taking too much of his time. Rube also wrote and created props for “Soup to Nuts” the first appearance of the Three Stooges and wrote a number of articles and short stories for magazines.

 

Image result for rube goldberg peace today image from pinterest.com

 

Goldberg’s main claim to fame, however, were his “Inventions,” long whimsical contraptions using all kinds of junk put together for “labor saving” methods for simple problems.  Rube used a character by the name of   Professor Lucifer Gorgonzola Butts, inspired by some of his eccentric professors back at the University of California as the “brilliant” inventer. Rube created things for hiding gravy stains on vests and cutting bread for sandwiches to ways for failed stock market investors to commit suicide and a self opening umbrella. Although not always meant to be political, Rube did make fun of bureaucrats, political debates and the government so much that around WWII he told his sons, Thomas and George to change their last name for protection. George W. Goldberg changed it to George W. George and became a famous theater and movie producer. Rube was also a founding member and first president of the National Cartoonist Society and designed it’s highest award, the Reuben.

 

Image result for the reuben award image from tomrichmond.com

 

In 1964, Rube Goldberg made a shocking move in his career, he left drawing comics. Following in the footsteps of his hero the French painter and print maker, Honoré Daumier,  Rube decided to start a career as a sculptor. Liking the idea of giving his drawing a 3-D  feel, he took just one class on sculptures and in a year he had his first show that was a sellout. Although Goldberg stopped drawing comics, he never left the world of them. He helped found the National Cartoonists Society and was its honorary president. In 1967 he used his new skills with his old and designed the Reuben, the Society’s highest award and was its first recipient. In 1970 the old artist-inventor attended a special exhibition at the National Museum of History and Technology at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. called “Do it the Hard Way,” showing his life of work and laughs. Later that year on December 7 he died.

 

Rube’s, um, “simple” machines and inventions remain a part of today’s culture in comedy and technology. In 1995 his self opening napkin, the one I showed you  above, was in the Post Office’s “American Newspaper Comics” series of stamps. His own name, Rube Goldberg is now in “Webster’s New Word Dictionary” as a complicated device with numerous task to complete simple objectives. Rube Goldberg’s have appeared in cartoon and films from “Loony Toons” and “Tom and Jerry” to “Home Alone” and even the “Saw” franchise. There have been Rube Goldberg contest at schools across the country. You most likely have worked on one yourself now that I mention it. Did you ever play the game “Mousetrap?” Yep, that a Rube Goldberg. There is even a Rube Goldberg app game created by Unity Technologies with the Heirs of Rube Goldberg where you can build inventions from the comics. You can also check out the official website for more comics and info here at https://www.rubegoldberg.com/. It may be worth mentioning a similar cartoonist in Great Britain, W. Heath Robinson, quite a contributor to crazy contraption in his own right.

 

The Art of Rube Goldberg: (A) Inventive (B) Cartoon (C) Genius, picture from comics bulletin.com

Seeds Encourages Me to Be Creative

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I am in physical control with the piece that I shape with my

Own two hands in the wood department with my own independence.

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I feel free to express myself due to the energetic atmosphere

In Amy’s department.

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I am also inspired to be myself and use my imagination because of

The inspiring people I work with.

Jeff’s Odd Destinations: Valley of the Moon

Valley of the Moon

Image result for valley of the moon tucson

image from yelp.org

First order of business, I have an important announcement to make. After much thought I have decided that “Jeff’s Eccentric People, Places and Things,” has to awkward a title. While I am pleased with how my work is coming out I decided to go with a different name. While “Eccentric Person of the Month,”  and “Unusual Place of the Month,” my old titles from the Seeds’ Newsletter have been suggested  I decided on “Jeff’s Odd Destinations” and “Jeff’s Gallery”

Now for a very special trip today, I take you on a very mysterious journey to a land of wonder and imagination. To Tucson Arizona’s mystic and mysterious Valley of the Moon. For over eighty years this strange land has enchanted children of all ages. Its story begins with the coming of the Mountain Gnome, George Phar Legler. Born in Evansville, Indiana somewhere between 1884 and 1887, George was a former post office clerk who was forced into an early retirement due to an automobile accident. He was also a spiritualist and believer in fairies. He moved to Arizona around 1917 and bought the 2.25 acres that soon became his life’s work. Nearby lived a clergyman whose teenage daughter was dying of tuberculosis. George created a little mountain scene with a waterfall and a bathtub lake just outside her window. She could leave her room and explore the serene landscape with her imagination. When she died George comforted her mother by telling her she had moved to the spirit world where she would live forever now. He found his life calling and expanded on the small landscape and started building the Valley in 1923.

 

Image result for george phar legler

image from tucsonvalleyofthemoon.com

 

With the help of friends, family and locals George Legler constructed his “secret” fairyland and wild animal sanctuary, opening up officially in 1926 and full of homemade rock decorations, buildings and sculptures of wonder opening to the public . George lived on the property giving tours, telling stories and performing magic tricks as the Mountain Gnome. During the Valley’s original run it did not allow boys in-between the ages of 12 to 21 as visitors in because George thought that they would upset the fairies for not believing or being imaginative for the “magic” to work. The Valley was open until 1963. George would live by himself in his now abandoned fairyland until 1971, when he got an unexpected surprise visit from a group of High Schoolers. While the park never officially closed, visitors were coming less and less. The Valley was falling into disrepair due to vandals and George’s health was failing due to his age.

 

The boys apparently thought they all shared the same dream of a friendly gnome. Apparently they decided it was no dream and went on a quest to find an almost forgotten part of their childhood, climbed over the fence and rediscovered the Valley. While George at first thought they were vandals, the Mountain Gnome gave them an over two hour tour and told them that they were welcome back any time. The boys later formed the Valley of the Moon Restoration Association (VOMRA) now called the George Phar Legler Society (GPLS). The Valley of the Moon was listed on the Arizona Historic Places Register in 1975 and George was awarded the Tucson Outstanding Citizen Award a year before he died in 1982 around age 95. It is also an official National register of Historic Places under Pima County in 2011 and a Historic Landmark for the city as of 2016. The Valley is now owned mainly by the GPLS and partly by the Boy and Girl Scouts of America.

image from http://tucsonsbirthday.blogspot.com

Now, I have never been to the Valley of the Moon (yet) so I can only judge from what I have read and studied but the park contains a large number of statues and buildings made from scraps of old toys, and junk George found and put together. This includes the Wizard’s Tower, a bridge, a cave, a homemade pond and an artificial flower garden. In 2008 a number of sculptures were added from closed down mini golf course named Magic Carpet Golf now a car dealership. A house that a friend of George Legler helped build in the Valley became a storage room for props and costumes stood on the site but burned down not too long ago. Today the park is kept by members of the GPLS and volunteers. I don’t know if it is still an animal sanctum however.

Image result for valley of the moon tucson

image from flicker.com

 

The Valley of the Moon is open on the first Saturday of every month for free and paid for visits are on special occasions and holidays. As well, exploring the Fairyland of the Desert shows are performed by members of the GPLS, many with the audience participating. You can find more information about the Valley of the Moon, George Legler, and helping to keep the wonder and magic alive at the website www.tucsonvalleyofthemoon.com. The Valley is at 2544 E. Allen Rd. Tucson AZ and can be contacted at 520-323-1331 and valleymoon1@yahoo.com.