Iris #138BR, 141C, 142C, 140BR, 142D & 144C

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February 28, 2015

Irises are a genus of three hundred species of flowering perennials named after the Greek goddess who was said to have rode rainbows, so named because of the rainbow of colors the plant is famous for. Irises, whose scientific name is Iris, is the largest genus of the Iridaceae family. Many of the three hundred species are natural hybrids. Once commonly called Flags, Irises are native to the temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere, especially Asia and Eurasia.

Irises like full sun and will grow in nearly every soil type, although they prefer a neutral to slightly acidic, well-drained soil. Without enough sun, typically requiring at least six hours a day, the flower will not bloom. It is said that Irises can withstand drought that would kill most all other flowers. If the soil is too sandy, or clayish, organic matter such as compost should be added. In addition to being drought-tolerant, this flower is also deer-resistant, however the plant is vulnerable to borers, which can eat its roots.

Growing to a height of one to three feet, depending on the species, the flowers of this plant sit atop long, erect stems and appears fan-shaped with symmetrical six-lobed blooms. Three sepals drop downwards, while the three petals stand upright, although some smaller species have all six lobes pointing directly outward. Most Irises bloom in early summer, although some hybrids will re-bloom again later in the growing season. Though purple is its predominate color, the blooms also come in pink, orange, yellow, blue, white and a multi-color. Besides humans, these flowers also attract hummingbirds and butterflies.

What make the Iris somewhat unusual in a typical garden in my neck of the woods, is its rhizomes, which are fleshy, root-like stems of the plant from which it roots. The rhizomes should be exposed, unlike that of bulbs, because they need some sun and air to help keep them somewhat dry. If covered by dirt, or crowded out by other plants, the rhizomes will rot. If the rhizomes appear rotten and/or diseased, let them dry out in the sun for a few days, and any healthy looking piece can be replanted.

Clusters of the plant should be divided every three or four years to keep the plant vigorous. The plant should be divided in late summer or early fall. Do not trim the leaves back during the summer, as they carry on the photosynthesis process until late fall. Brown tips should be cut off, and the stalks of the deadheads should be cut down to the rhizomes to discourage rotting. Irises should not be mulched, as mulching retains moisture and too much moisture will rot the rhizomes.

If I am fortunate to have you view my photographs and you find the color saturation too much or the color schemes of the mats do not match either themselves or the photograph, please let me know via a comment. Being color-blind, what might look great to me might look like sh*t to everyone else!

Steven H. Spring

Chrysanthemums 73BR, 68BR, 69BR, 72BR & 75BR

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February 21, 2015

Chrysanthemums, more commonly knows as Mums, are a member of the Asteraceae family of flowers. This flower is considered a hardy perennial, although many consider them only as a short-season, fall-planted annual, as they bloom in late summer and fall. There are forty known species and thousands of different varieties of Mums. Most species originally came from China, Japan, northern Africa and southern Europe, although China is thought to be the original starting point of the plant, dating there as far back as the fifteenth century, B.C., where the flowers have customarily been boiled to make a tea and also used medicinally to treat influenza. The plant has been grown in Japan since the eighth century. Over five hundred different varieties were known to exist by 1630. Chrysanthemums are considered to have been introduced in America in 1798, when Colonel John Stevens imported a variety known as Dark Purple from England. The plant is considered the death flower in Europe because of its widespread use on graves.

The word Chrysanthemum is a derivative of two Greek words, chrysos (meaning gold) and anthemon (meaning flower). This particular genus of flower at one time included many more species, but was divided into several different genera a few decades ago. The National Chrysanthemum Society recognizes thirteen different classes of flowering blooms of the plant, based on form and the shape of its petals, although there are only eight major types; anemone, cushion, decorative, pompon, single, spider, spoon and quill.

Chrysanthemums are divided into two basic groups, garden hardy and exhibition. Garden hardy are perennials capable of surviving winters in northern latitudes and produce a large quantity of small blooms. Exhibition varieties are not nearly as hardy and sturdy; usually require staking and being kept in a relatively cool, dry location over the winter, sometimes requiring the use of night-lights. In addition to its many different types of blooms, Mums come in a wide variety of colors, ranging not only of gold, but also white, yellow, bronze, red, burgundy, pink, lavender and purple. The plant also comes in an assortment of heights as well, ranging from a height of eighteen inches up to three feet tall, depending on the particular variety, growing conditions and whether they are pinched regularly during the growing season. Pinched plants will generate a smaller, bushier plant, producing many more blooms.

These plants can be planted either in the fall or in early spring. Those planted in the spring will produce a more vigorous flower. Mums prefer fertile, highly organic, well-drained soil and plenty of sunlight. The plants should be spaced roughly eighteen to twenty-four inches apart, although some varieties might require spacing up to three feet. They can be fertilized once a month up through July. Mums particularly need plenty of water once they start blooming. Every two or three years, Chrysanthemums should be divided to invigorate their growth. If bought as a potted plant in the fall, as many people do, they should be planted at least six weeks if not more before the season’s first killing frost, although it seems that many who buy fall pots will throw the plant away after the frost kills the blooms, having never transplanted the flower into a garden.

If I am fortunate to have you view my photographs and you find the color saturation too much or the color schemes of the mats do not match either themselves or the photograph, please let me know via a comment. Being color-blind, what might look great to me might look like sh*t to everyone else!

Steven H. Spring

Henry Paul Band #13B, 7C, 46B, 23B, 43B, 26C, 63C, 88C & 73B

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February 14, 2014

Henry Paul formed the Henry Paul Band in 1978 after leaving the Outlaws the previous year. While a member of the Outlaws from 1972 to 1977, the band released its first three albums: 1975’s Outlaws, 1976’s Lady In Waiting and Hurry Sundown in 1977.

The Henry Paul Band released three albums: Grey Ghost in 1979, Feel The Heat in 1980 and Anytime in 1981. The title track on their debut album was a tribute to Ronnie Van Zant and Lynyrd Skynyrd. In 1982, Paul released the eponymously titled Henry Paul album. From 1983 to 1986, the guitarist and vocalist rejoined the Outlaws.

During 1992, Henry formed the country band BlackHawk, which has released seven studio albums over the years, including their latest, Brothers Of The Southland, in 2014. During this same time period, Paul has played on and off with the Outlaws. With the 2007 death of founding Outlaw guitarist Hughie Thomasson, Henry has assumed leadership of the band.

These photographs were shot on August 25, 1980 at the Agora in Columbus, Ohio, across the street from the Ohio State University campus. The Agora, which bills itself as America’s longest continually running rock club first opened as the State Theater in 1923. It was converted into the Agora Ballroom in 1970 with a seating capacity of 1,700, although seating is a misnomer as there are no seats down front by the stage. The ballroom was purchased by PromoWest in 1984 and changed the name to the Newport Music Club.

The price of a ticket to this show was $4.50.

Steven H. Spring

Breaking News

February 7, 2015

Last Saturday night, while plugged in with my new MXR Phase 90 phaser pedal with the #2 Virginia – #4 Duke basketball game playing on the television behind me, out of the corner of my eye big bold letters screamed Breaking News on the scrawl at the bottom of the screen. Since the game was on ESPN, this breaking news must be really important. It seemed Jerome Bettis had been elected into the Pro Football Hall Of Fame, located in Canton, Ohio. Stay tuned after the game for SportsCenter for the complete list we were told most likely every five minutes, as is the irritating routine of every television station that runs scrawl. Are you freakin’ kidding me? Breaking News? This should not be breaking news even to Pittsburgh Steelers fans.

I find it preposterous how often every television station abuses the breaking news headline. Local networks very often start their newscasts with breaking news. Isn’t this an oxymoron? MSNBC will continue reporting something as breaking news seven or eight hours after it was first reported. When exactly does a news event no longer constitute breaking news? I’m no newsman, but I would guess within an hour, maybe less.

I am a news and political junkie; however, I stopped watching local news many years ago because of their “if it bleeds, it leads” mentality. I will occasionally watch it for a weather report or if the Buckeyes have a big game coming up. The following is my mocking not only of Columbus, Ohio’s WBNS-TV station, but also that of every other television network, especially those twenty-four news channels, as they are all guilty of over-hyping any and all things in their lust to attract and kept their viewers glued to the screen. This commentary was first written as a letter to the program director of WBNS-TV maybe ten years ago. The names have not been changed to protect the innocent, but were the actual names of the WBNS news department staff at that time. However, most of those listed have since retired, or have moved on to another network.

With Aaron Copeland’s “Fanfare For The Common Man” blaring in the background, Dave Kaylor opens the evening newscast:

Dave Kaylor: This is WBNS 10TV’s 6:00 Eyewitness News. Hi! I’m Dave Kaylor in the 10TV Studio. The 10TV News starts now (loud music again blares)….

Angela Pace: But first Dave, our top story (loud music again)….

Andrea Cambern: Angela, we have this breaking news, Channel 10TV has just learned….

Dave Kaylor: Andrea, only on 10TV, tracking the storm is Channel 10TV Meteorologist Mike Davis, Mike.

Mike Davis: This is Mike Davis, Live Dual Doppler 10 Chief Meteorologist, in the Dual Doppler 10 Weather Center, Channel 10TV’s exclusive Live Dual Doppler 10 Radar has just….

Dave Kaylor: Mike, Channel 10TV Eyewitness News has this 10TV exclusive….

Angela Pace: Dave, we have new information on our lead story….

Andrea Cambern: This is Andrea Cambern with Health News (loud music again)….

Kim Adams: Andrea, this is Kim Adams with the Dual Doppler 10 Weather Team, Channel 10TV’s Live Dual Doppler 10 Travel Cast has just….

Angela Pace: But first Kim, we have this breaking news, Channel 10TV has just learned….

Dave Kaylor: Angela, new at 6 (incredibly, loud music once more)….

Andrea Cambern: Dave, as we first told you at noon, 5, and 5:30….

Chris Shumway: Andrea, the 10TV Live Dual Doppler Future Track has just….

Dave Kaylor: Chris, this just in….

Mike Davis: Dave, this is Mike Davis, here in Channel 10TV’s Weather Center, using exclusive Live Dual Doppler Radar, we have a Live Dual Doppler Forecast….

Angela Pace: Mike, breaking news at this hour….

Dave Kaylor: With a look at our Wake-up Forecast, here’s Channel 10TV’s Chief Meteorologist Mike Davis….

Angela Pace: Dave, WBNS Channel 10TV’s I Team has….

Andrea Cambern: Angela, making headlines tonight, only on 10TV….

Kim Adams: Andrea, Storm Tracker 10….

Dave Kaylor: Kim, with a look at what’s coming up at 11….

Angela Pace: Dave, that’s all the time we have. Goodnight from all of us here at WBNS Channel 10TV (loud music blaring one last time).

With headphones on, and the practice amp turned up, I worked up quite a sweat picking for almost 45 minutes. It was actually only 42 minutes, but who’s counting except OCD sufferers. I never did learn who all was inducted into the pro-football Hall of Fame. However, I did learn what a phaser was!!!

Steven H. Spring

Rosie #7C, 17C, 39B, 33B, 12B, 19C, 22C, 43B & 26C

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January 31, 2015

Rosie was a rock band from Columbus, Ohio founded by guitarist Mark Chatfield during 1980. The band released three albums, the self-titled Rosie in 1981, Precious Metal in 1982 and Rosie Live in 1988. Chatfield is best known to central Ohio rockers of my generation as the lead guitarist for the band The Godz. From 1983 until 2011, Chatfield played both rhythm and lead guitar in Bob Seger’s Silver Bullet Band.

I came home from Seattle on leave from the Navy sometime during 1978, and all people were talking about were The Godz, who released two albums, 1978’s self-titled The Godz (which was produced by Don Brewer, drummer for Grand Funk Railroad) and Nothing Is Sacred in 1979 during their original incarnation. By the time I was honorably discharged in October of 1979, the band had broken up. However, led by bassist and vocalist Eric Moore, The Godz are still playing and releasing albums.

Their biggest radio hit was Gotta Keep A-Runnin’ off their debut album. However, to Columbus rockers they were most famous for their song 714 (pronounced as 7-1-4, not 7-14), off Nothing Is Sacred, which featured the chorus line “feelin’ fine on 714s,” a reference to Quaaludes, which were then marketed as Rorer 714. I am told that the band had a fondness for ‘ludes while performing. Not that I am comparing the music of Led Zeppelin to The Godz, but Robert Plant has been quoted as saying the only reason Zeppelin kept a doctor around was to prescribe Quaaludes.

These photographs were shot at the Agora, across the street from the Ohio State University campus in Columbus, most likely around 1980 or ‘81 when Rosie opened for the Johnny Van Zant Band. As the opening act, the lighting for Rosie wasn’t all that great, as most every opening act will surely attest. Some of the original 4×6 photos that I scanned are pretty crappy looking. However, thanks to modern digital photography software, these photos do not look all that bad.

Steven H. Spring

Flowers #134CR, 136CR, 132BR, 133BR, 130B & 135B

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January 24, 2015

Peace Lilies, whose botanical name is Spathiphyllum Cochlearispathum, is a genus of approximately 40 species of flowering plants in the Araceae family. Its botanical name translates from Greek to “leaf spathe,” and is so named for the plant’s unique bloom. The flower consists of a one to two-inch, greenish-white spadix, backed with a single white or cream-colored spathe, (a single petal), which proudly stands atop a tall stem.

Though not a true lily, Peace Lilies are an evergreen perennial plant that grows as a bushy clump of leaves that can grow up to a foot in length. Known as an easy to care for plant, the flower’s natural habitat is a tropical rainforest, with its origins in southern Mexico. They love shade, though will tolerate some indirect sun. This plant however, cannot survive hot, direct sunlight. Too much sun causes their leaves to singe and will stop the growth of the plant. Too much sunlight can also kill a young plant. Peace Lilies will tolerate an hour or two of morning sun, but they should never be exposed to the hot afternoon sun. In the United States, this plant is only hardy in zones 11 and 12, as they will survive outdoors year round in hot, humid areas of Hawaii and Florida.

Known for its lush foliage and unusual blossoms, for most Americans, these flowers are considered houseplants, and are one of the most common houseplants sold to gardeners. Even if grown indoors, this plant should still be kept away from direct sunlight and it should be kept a few feet back from the window. Peace Lilies like a constant temperature between 65-80 degrees Fahrenheit, and should be protected from cold drafts and drastic changes in temperature.

When watered, Peace Lilies like to be watered a lot; however, they also need to dry out slightly between waterings. Too much drying out can cause the plant to wilt and will cause the leaves to yellow. And, as we all know all too well, too much water will kill a plant. When watering, it is very important that you use room temperature water that has sat for twenty-four to allow the chlorine to evaporate, as these plants are susceptible to chlorine damage. As they are native to tropical rainforests, Peace Lilies like to be sprayed with a mist every few days, again using water that has been allowed to sit for twenty-four hours. This plant looses a lot of water through evaporation via their leaves, especially when grown indoors.

Peace Lilies will flourish in almost any well-drained soil. Because of its natural habitat, growing in the undergrowth of decaying plant matter in a tropical rainforest, a peat-based soil is best, especially if grown in pots. Like most every potted plant, they should be re-potted every two to three years. Though it does not require fertilization, however it does best if fertilized on a regular basis using a well balance houseplant fertilizer at one-half of the recommended strength.

Over the years, this plant has been greatly hybridized and as such, there are dozens of different varieties available to flower enthusiasts. These “lilies” range in size from miniatures twelve inches tall up to six feet in height, and in clumps up to five feet wide. One of the great benefits of this plant is its air-purifying capability. Besides their very unusual flowers, Peace Lilies are great for breaking down and neutralizing toxic gases such as carbon monoxide, benzene and formaldehyde when grown indoors.

If I am fortunate to have you view my photographs and you find the color saturation too much or the color schemes of the mats do not match either themselves or the photograph, please let me know via a comment. Being color-blind, what might look great to me might look like sh*t to everyone else!

Steven H. Spring

The Outlaws #17B, 23C, 33B, 104B, 19C, 82B, 7C, 36C, 101C, 79B, 45C, 21C, 66C, 113B & 124C

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January 18, 2015

The Outlaws are an American southern-rock band first formed in Tampa, Florida in 1967.  Although still performing, the group’s heyday was during the 1970s.  Blending country and rock and roll, the band released their self-titled debut album in 1975, which included a nearly ten minute long closing number, Green Grass & High Tides.  Lady In Waiting followed during 1976 and Hurry Sundown in 1977.

In 1978, the Outlaws released a live double album Bring It Back Alive, which featured a twenty-one minute workhorse of Green Grass & High Tides.  Due to a printing error, early copies of both cassettes and 8-tracks labeled the album as Bring ‘Em Back Alive.  Buying a cassette of this album in the ship’s store aboard the aircraft carrier USS Ranger (CV-61) when it was first released, I never knew the correct name of the album until researching band information for this post.  I bought a vinyl copy of the album not long after I got out of the Navy in 1979, but never noticed the discrepancy.  I saw the band open for the Rolling Stones in Anaheim Stadium, in Los Angeles on July 24, 1978.  The stadium featured a large clock and I remember timing Green Grass & High Tides at a little more than twenty-five minutes.  The price of the ticket was $12.50.  Sadly, original members Hughie Thomasson and Frank O’Keefe, along with long-time member Billy Jones have passed away.

These photographs were shot from the fifth row at Veteran’s Memorial Auditorium in Columbus, Ohio on February 22, 1980 during the band’s 1980/81 tour in support of their 1980 album Ghost Riders.  The lineup for this show was: Hughie Thomasson, Billy Jones and Akron, Ohio native Freddie Salem on guitar & vocals, Rick Cua on bass & vocals and David Dix on drums.  The price of the ticket was $8.00.  One wonders if Mr. Thomasson was really an Ohio State fan, or was he merely pandering to the Buckeye faithful?

Enlarging these photographs greatly in order to edit them, I noticed something peculiar on photo number 101C that I had never noticed before.  What caught my eye was the very large gap on Freddie’s Les Paul between the bottom two strings.  For non-pickers, that would be the top two on his neck.  I thought, that’s an awful wide gap between the low “E” and the “A” strings.  Then I discovered the reason for the gap.  Freddie had broken his “A” string, which you can see hanging down from the headstock.

One thing I learned how to do during this concert was to load four or five rolls of film into my camera standing on the arm rests of my seat, in the dark all the while the row of seats and probably the entire auditorium was swaying to the beat of the Florida Guitar Army, which when one thinks about it is probably not exactly an easy feat to accomplish.

Shot long ago, these photos were obviously shot on film. The 4×6 prints were then scanned onto my computer, at which time some digital adjustment was made to both the color and brightness/darkness levels. Due to the scanning process, some sharpness was lost, and as such, the images I look at online do not do justice to the original 4×6 prints. Some day, I plan to buy a film negative scanner, which hopefully will improve to overall quality of any older photo that I post online.

Steven H. Spring