Under Different Skies

This 50-foot concrete arrow is located off Interstate-15, in Washington County, Utah.

I don’t know what I love more: driving or flying. Both have their charms, for different reasons. If I want to explore a landscape, though, I’d drive through it, not fly over it. Taking a road trip à la Jack Kerouac is ripe with adventure; flying –at least, today, with stress.

One strange structure you’re likely to encounter, if you drove from one coast of the U.S. to the other, are huge concrete arrows.

These markers were built in the mid-1920s to help pilots navigate the airways. They were placed at the base of a set corresponding set of beacons, which illuminated them after dark. They were painted yellow and each pointed in the direction of the next beacon.

Today, these pieces of Americana are strewn across the length and breadth of the nation and can be an attraction to a passing traveler.


Those Boots Are Meant For Walking On Glass

Leather button boots from J.FitzPatrick.

My taste in footwear matches that of Agatha Christie’s Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot.

I’d quite enjoy wearing a pair of button boots worn by him. They’re chic to the eye. Also, they’d fit snugly. The absence of laces would remove the hassle of their coming undone as the day wore on and the danger of tripping over them.

The only downside to them is that they wouldn’t be easy to fasten.

As Pleased As Punch

“Punch and Judy” is a puppet show that’s as much a symbol of Englishness as are the double-decker bus, the pork pie and Agatha Christie. It’s been a staple of entertainment for kids, for over 350 years, reaching the height of popularity in the Victorian era.

Only, unlike American programs like “The Muppet Show” or “Sesame Street,” it isn’t about cute animals, each with their uniquely endearing characters, but a rascally fellow, whose only vocation is beating his spouse, Judy and members of the constabulary with a baton. The couple would air their bitter exchanges in candy-striped booths in seaside resorts, carnivals, fairs and fetes.

It beats me how a performance about brutality can evoke peals of laughter?