Today is a special day in my history.  I proposed to Adele Lennig on this day and it was one of the smartest and best actions I have ever taken in my life.  Not until I was thirty-two years old did it occur to me that I could be happy.  I thought that life was a mess, that relationships were 49% pain and labor and 51% pleasure.  And that was an average.  Count on most days being obnoxious.  When I was thirty-two I discovered that I could contribute to my own happiness, that I could make choices that lead to improvement in my life, and that I did have something to bring to an adult relationship.  During 1983, I changed jobs, sold the first house I owned, got divorced, and contracted a major disease.  But not until 1984 did I start getting the positive changes in my life.  On January 13, a Friday, I met Adele.  As the year proceeded I established myself in a new, more satisfying and more lucrative career.  I bought a different and nicer house.  On May 28 of that year I proposed marriage to Adele and while she accepted my request, she expressed a desire to receive a more memorable proposal.  That I delivered on May 28, 1992, at the Royal Shakespeare Theater in Stratford, England.  Today I am happy.  Life is good.

Hi, Cheryl,
 
I have been to your site and have been impressed and delighted by the images I have seen.  I especially like the pieces made of layers of papers.
 
I was leaving the Minnetonka Center for the Arts, where I am a member of a photo group, when, out of the corner of my eye, I saw someone who looked like they were throwing books into a dumpster.  WTF!  I turned around and went to investigate.  Sure enough, what I had seen was people hauling books out of an old school house and throwing them by the armful into a dumpster.  To me, that's right up there with satanic child sacrifice.  So I inquired.  (I didn't say WTF!, but almost.)  It turns out that the school, a small for profit operation was retooling from a 7-12 to a K-9 school.  They had to get rid of most of their old books and library.  Fortunately it was not raining that week and fortunately I still owned a minivan so nearly as quickly as they were pitching the books into the dumpster, I was moving them into my van.  In the end, I took about 1,500 books away.
 
Some of these I kept for myself.  Not many because I already have more books than I will ever read.  Most of them went to an operation called Books for Africa, which collects books from all over the country and kits them up into useful libraries and ships them to places in Africa where they have schools but no books.  There was one set of books that I couldn't find a home for: A complete Encyclopedia Brittanica from 1956.  In fact, 95% of the information contained in those books was still accurate, but a lot has happened since 1956 and few people want mostly outdated encyclopedia.  I put a note about them on a website in the Cities (that's what people from Minnesota call Minneapolis and St. Paul collectively) that indicates stuff that is available to whoever will pick it up.  A guy called right away expressing strong interest.  He arrived with a truck that day and carried them away.  Before he left, I asked him what he wanted with encyclopedia that were older than he was.  He said that his wife was an artist who made nearly two dimensional works using mostly old magazines and newspapers, and, now, encyclopedia.  While I was happy to help an artist and happy to know that the books would be useful once again, somewhere I grieved that these magnificent old books would be cannibalized.  Being cut up and deployed in an unexpected way into art production is better than being pitched in the landfill.  My family had the same set of books in my unhappy childhood home so the familiarity added to my wistfulness.  My guess is that most of those sets of encyclopedia produced in 1956 have long since been fed into shredders or are still moldering in landfills.  I attach an image of a similar cultural calamity: the abandonment of libraries in Detroit as the city decayed.
 
Anyway...
 
Tell me more about your trip to NYC.
 
Yours,
 
Chris