Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Culture Night 2016

Photo by Patrick Jones. Reykjavik Culture Night, 20 Aug 2016.
After the marathon, Reykjavik put on a party, celebrating 230 years as a city. Culture Night (also called Menningarnott in Icelandic) had live music and fireworks. We had a fantastic evening.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Race Recap

Photo by Patrick Jones. Reykjavik, 19 Aug 2016.
It feels great to write "I finished!" after successfully completing my first marathon. On Saturday I ran the Reykjavik Marathon. After months of training, I did it. The achievement would not have been possible without the support and encouragement of a great friend who joined me on my crazy journey to Iceland. I'll have a bit more photos to follow over the next few days. The legs are sore, but otherwise I feel pretty good. Relaxing in the Blue Lagoon on Sunday certainly helped with the recovery.
Photo from Twitter, I'm in the orange shirt on the left.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Reykjavik Marathon start line. 20 Aug 2016.
The organizers did a wonderful job with the race. It was so helpful to have all the locals cheering, rock bands playing on the route, and well-stocked refreshment stops along the way. The "Afram Island" cheers really lift the spirits. I would recommend this race to anyone.

Monday, August 15, 2016

The Goal is in sight

NYPL, Mott Haven, Bronx: Nov 4, 2001. NYC Marathon, mile 20.
It feels like I have been training for the Reykjavik Marathon for a year. On Wednesday I fly to Iceland, where I'll be running my first marathon on Saturday 20 August. Over the course of my training I've completed my longest ever run to date of 20 miles, and I've run in various cities and places around the world.

In December 2015 I wrote about my experiences with running going back to my high school cross country and track days over 25 years ago. Since focusing on the Reykjavik Marathon, I've run with Blacklist LA around Los Angeles, in Marrakech, Morocco, Mexico, completed my 2nd half marathon in Charlottesville, run in Amsterdam, Moscow and Minsk, many miles along the GW Parkway Trail next to the Potomac, run in Helsinki and Reykjavik, Montevideo, and various loops around Alexandria and DC. I am ready and not ready at the same time for this trip.

Watching the Olympics over the past two weeks has been inspiring too. I take with me some inspiring words from Michael Phelps during yesterday's interviews. He said "my success is nothing out of the ordinary. It's goal setting, believing in myself and not giving up until I get there." I am sure in his case it is a lot more than that, but for my purposes those are good enough words to follow. I set a goal to run a marathon in 2016. It is a fantastic opportunity in a wonderful place. I am looking forward to what this week will bring.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Street art in Barracks Row

Photo by Patrick Jones. Mural by Aniekan Udofia. 21 Jul 2016.
Washington DC may not be as much of a street art center as Miami, London, or other places far and wide, but if you look close enough you can find some cool murals around DC (see photos from PowWowDC and Union Market). The mural above is by Aniekan Udofia, who has several commissioned murals around DC. The one above is just south of Barracks Row.

Photo by Patrick Jones. Painting under 395, Barracks Row.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Painting under 395, Barracks Row.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Painting under 395, Barracks Row. 21 Jul 2016.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Mural by Gaia at Nooshi, Barracks Row.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Mural by Gaia at Nooshi, Barracks Row.
The mural above was painted by Baltimore artist Gaia in 2013.

Tom "Toad" Hendrickson

Through much of my Gumpy's childhood, his partner-in-crime was his cousin Tom "Toad" Hendrickson. Tom was the son of Gumpy's Aunt Edna Florence Jones Hendrickson. I previously published a transcription of Chapter 13 of my Gumpy's book "That's Live...and then some" describing his August 1937 cross-country drive on Route 66 from Indiana to California with Toad, his brother Bob and cousin Guy Hankins. After returning from this West Coast visit, Tom finished his senior year at Thorntown High School.
1938 Thorntown yearbook.

Tom was a forward on the Thorntown High School basketball team and would have played in the gym built after the school's 1915 state championship.
1938 Thorntown basketball team. Tom is #67 in the front row.
My Gumpy dedicated Chapter 4 of his book to Tom and his sister Coral Lee, called "A Weekend at Toad's House."

"I always liked to go to Toad's house. Toad is my cousin, and he lived in Thorntown. He had a tree house out by the alley and he also had a tent that we sometimes slept in. Coral Lee was his sister. When there was nothing else to do we could always tease her and her girlfriends. Another thing I liked about going to Toad's house was they got their milk delivered in quart bottles. You know the kind. They had a big bulge in the neck of the bottle for the cream to form in. Toad's family had another neat thing called an electric toaster. Uncle Lee always operated that, because he said I could burn the toast, if not the house down."

"Well it was one of those days. Toad and I had played in the tree house most of the day and were just about to run out of things to do. We were listening to Jack Armstrong, the all American Boy, on the radio, when Coral Lee and Peggy Maple decided to make chocolate fudge. We pretended to listen to the radio, and when the girls left the kitchen for a moment, we thought it would be fun to add a little soap powder to the fudge while it cooked. When the girls returned to the kitchen they could not believe how nice and creamy their fudge was.

"By that time Toad and I were about to split our sides laughing. The secret was out and Coral and her friend did not think it was funny. About that time my Aunt Edna returned from town and she failed to see anything funny in our little prank.

'Just for that little bit of foolishness boys, you will have to go to bed early.'

"We went to bed and were glad that the punishment was not worse and Aunt Edna helped the girls make a fresh batch of fudge. After a while we started talking and laughing and then Uncle Lee came home from the store and came upstairs to our bedroom to settle us down. By now we were real quiet and were expecting the worse. He asked us what we had done? He just smiled and said, 'Better go to sleep now.' We covered our heads and laughed ourselves to sleep.

"When you went to Toad's house you never knew what kind of fun you might have. Uncle Lee and Aunt Edna were great people and I can remember one time we all took off for the Lyric Theater in Indianapolis to see Ted Lewis and his band. I don't think I had ever been in a place so alive and pretty. We sat in the balcony where we could see all the action on the stage. The next day I decided I wanted to be a band leader.

"On another occasion I recall Uncle Lee loading us all into his Essex and took us to Purdue University field house in Lafayette to see and hear the Purdue Band put on a concert of John Phillip Sousa march music. Now if for some reason you have taken to rocknroll or country western music, then I would suggest you bury your head in a rousing Sousa march. If the beat of the drums, clang of the cymbals, and deep blast of the tubas don't arouse you, then you are musically dead.

"I am sure Uncle Lee liked good music and I appreciate my early introduction to it. I only wish there was some way I could thank him for it now. At Christmas time, he always gave Bob and me things from the store like gloves, sweaters, and one time gave me an all leather aviator helmet with ear flaps that had fleece lining and snapped under my chin. Sure did keep your ears warm, it even had a pair of goggles just like Col. Lindbergh. Yes, spending a weekend at Toad's house has left me with life long memories."

After graduation, Tom worked as a lab technician for Eli Lilly in Indianapolis. In 1942 he enlisted in the Army. After World War II, he returned and enrolled in Indiana University in Bloomington. Tom died in September 1968.