A picture of sustainability?

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How best to incorporate environmental responsibility into clothing decisions?

Follow the Three Rs: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle (in that order).

Alison 1

Reusable cloth mask, sewn by workers receiving a fair wage (ethical supply chain)
Cardigan, a very rare new clothing purchase, no synthetics (Reduce)
Tank top, which I’ve owned for years and years (Reuse)
Jeans, a flattering and versatile thrift store purchase (Recycle)

Alison Steele

Gadfly often recommends the always thoughtful “Radical Moderate” blog by Bethlehem native Alison Steele. The above is from her August 2 post.

Let it go, Gadfly, let it go

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Martin Tower site looking south from Eaton Ave.


Gadfly’s camera can’t match the magic of the Grubb and Yoshida lenses. Somehow this picture doesn’t adequately capture the glandular response he registered as the South Mountain horizon opened up to him coming up the hill toward 8th Avenue last night. Such a feeling of delightfully open space filled his lungs. Thinking he was as he impulsively stopped the car how awesome it would be if this site were a park or other kind of recreation area sweeping down on the left to the Monocacy from whence you can trail and trail and trail. But, instead, 548 apartments, medical buildings, a gas station — and much, much imperviosity. Another paradise paved.

Grumpy ol’ Gadfly.

The pandemic blues?

Exterior decoration by Rodentia

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Everybody has a tame squirrel hanging around.

By the look of his Facebook page, Dana Grubb has a whole menagerie.

My Sciuridae domesticus persists in rearranging my flowers.

He’s neat.

I just wish I could understand his design philosophy.

     before                                after

The Gadfly

Rarin’ to go!

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A day ago all this pot revealed was a trio of bright yellow residents. What a difference a day makes. Look closely and you can see the Cardinal Climber is several inches up the stake. A good day’s work. At this rate the 8 ft journey to the lattice roof where it spreads out to provide some shade will take no time at all. Speedy devil!


The Gadfly

Tales of the pandemic (2)

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Every house needs one!

In Walden, Thoreau describes a ritual purification and renewal ceremony of the Mucclasse Indians called a “busk” in which annually “they collect all their worn out clothes and other despicable things,” burn them, and start fresh.

In other words, instead of cramming them in closets, jamming them in cellars, insulating attics with them, carving out special rooms for them, assigning them to ungrateful and unsuspecting relatives.

Thoreau wonders whether the “customs of some savage nations might, perchance, be profitably imitated by us.”

Gadfly thinks something like that may be happening in his neighborhood.

Huge dumpsters appearing to the east and the west of him. And he envious.

Look at the size of those things! You could put the car in the one on the right! Wouldn’t you like a peek into that house!

Ten weeks in to this damn stay-at-home shut-down merry-go-round, and our stuff is getting on our nerves.

(Do you know the classic George Carlin “stuff” routine?)

You don’t realize how much stuff you have till you have to sit and look at it all day.

If we don’t get out of this domestic virus yoke soon, Gadfly predicts a run on these dumpsters.

No mixing, no sharing allowed. You must socially distance your stuff from your neighbor’s.

Better reserve early.

Giving thanks #2

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Friedman 1


My sister Nancy Perusso, her husband Mike and daughter Emily dress up a mannequin that belonged to my mother for many years. Mom bought it from Orrs when it went out of business. “Sophia,” as she is named, gets dressed up for many special occasions and for the past 3 weeks, she’s been donning nurse gear to support our front-line crew.

Jim Friedman

Giving thanks

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Gadfly is under house arrest. He has not been out since Jimmy Carter was president. Or so it seems.

But he had an hour of emergency work release this morning.

And found this at 807 N. Center.

House arrest does not shackle the mind. Especially the worrying part.

Gadfly son #4 works on an assembly line. Gadfly son #5 is a UPS driver. Gadfly son #6 works in a warehouse.

Anxiety is not known for downtime.

Is much of this kind of public thanks going on?

Please share with Gadfly any such public displays you come across.

Well done, 807!


The Gadfly

Levitator turns 77, powers undiminished

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Ron Yoshida


Sunday, 19 April, Historic District.  Friends and neighbors singing Happy Birthday to Norman Giradot on his 77th birthday while practicing social distance.  Even in these times, we can mindfully celebrate life in our community.


On April 28, 1992, just a week over 28 years ago, readers of the Lehigh University Brown and White were astonished by an announcement that Professor Norman Girardot was going to levitate the newly erected Rauch Business College.

Norman Girardot, professor of religion, is planning to levitate the Rauch Business Center on May 4 to celebrate spring and the end of classes. Girardot plans to harness the ancient power of bull roarers, wooden slates that are spun around the head, because Rauch is such a heavy building. Girardot plans to supplement the bull roarers’ power with an immuexia machine, which Girardot says will rend the fabric of the time-space continuum. Girardot received permission from the highest levels of the administration after he promised that the levitation will cause no structural damage to Rauch. He has enlisted the help of over 30 faculty members, who he says will set up a battery of equipment to scientifically prove that the building actually rose. Some residual energy could be left over from the levitation, Girardot warns. He says the energy will present no physical danger but could massage some minds. Will Rauch rise? News at eleven.

Gadfly was not amused. If any building was going to be levitated, it should be venerable Drown Hall, where he chaired the Department of English. English majors were in short-supply, and the department could use the help publicizing to students where it was located.

Besides, Gadfly was fairly certain South Mountain was geologically torpid and immune to such spellbinding, for Professors Frakes and Dowling had tried to levitate the significantly less poundage’d university flagpole in the ’60s with clarinet solos by jazz great Sidney Bechet — and the project was a resounding bust.

But Gadfly was there at Rauch May 4, 1992, and, b’damned, he swears the building moved.

They say it rose B and W May 5 1992

Gadfly has been a Girardot groupie ever since.

And it’s been reliably reported that The Levitator recently moved Bruce Haines’s political views one degree to the left.

(Council watchers know the regular sensible comments on tough issues by Al Wurth. See the report on environmental awareness from Al’s course on p. 8 of the Brown and White article.)