Archive | December, 2009

Parkscape U.S.A.

In 1966, to celebrate the Service’s birthday, an exhibit entitled PARKSCAPE was erected. This exhibit featured a conservation logo designed by the New York firm of Chermayeff and Geismar Associates consisting of 3 triangles enclosing three balls. The triangles represented the outdoors (trees and Mountains) with the 3 balls being the standard symbol for preservation.

In addition, the same firm designed a new seal for the Department of the Interior. Secretary Stewart L. Udall had attempted to change Interior’s name to either Department of Natural Resources or Department of Conservation, but this met with great opposition. He did, however, manage to have the seal changed from the buffalo to a stylized pair of hands holding a circle (sun) over two large triangles (mountains) which inturn were over nine small inverted triangles symbolizing water. The hands motif had been suggested by Vince Gleason as an abstract symbolizing that the Nation’s natural resources were in good hands.

Following closely on the heels of MISSION 66, Director George B. Hartzog, Jr. (1964-1972) came forth with a new agenda titled PARKSCAPE U.S.A. Among it’s facets was one that dealt with the upgrading and modernization of the image of the Service itself. Hartzog had become enamored with the logo of the PARKSCAPE exhibit and adopted it for his new program.

Hartzog used the occasion of an article in the July, 1966, issue of the National Geographic Society Magazine concerning the National Park System to launch his new program. He assured employees that the triangle symbol would supplement rather than supplant the arrowhead.

In 1968, however, when Secretary Udall adopted the new Interior seal (designed by Chermayeff and Geismar Associates), Hartzog seized the opportunity to replace the arrowhead with the Parkscape symbol. With the buffalo gone from the Interior seal, he rationalized, the arrowhead with its buffalo was no longer relevant. Field reaction to this move was nevertheless unenthusiastic, for the representational arrowhead was far better liked than the abstract Parkscape symbol.

Nevertheless, boards were made up by Chermayeff & Geismar showing how the new symbols would look on the various pieces of clothing, as well as on vehicles and signs.

On March 3, 1969, Acting Director Edward Hummel sent a memorandum to all regional directors ordering the removal of the arrowhead shoulder patch. “In keeping with the Director’s desire to act positively on field suggestions, it has been decided that effective June 1, 1969, Service emblem shoulder and cap patches will not be worn on any National Park Service garments,” he wrote. Before this unpopular directive could be implemented, Secretary Hickel reinstated the buffalo seal. Hartzog thereupon reinstated the arrowhead as the official NPS emblem and continued its use as a patch in a memorandum dated May 15, 1969. Perhaps as a gesture to the few supporters of the Parkscape symbol, he simultaneously ordered its retention as the official NPS tie tack.

(via the Badges and Uniform Ornamention of the National Park Service Page)

December 4, 2009 | Politics | Continue Reading | Comments { 4 }

Mikael Kennedy

I’ve been emailing with Mikael Kennedy back and forth for the past several months, and although the two of us live less than a mile from one another, we have yet to meet. Busy lives I suppose, although Mikael’s involves a bit more traveling, something that I’ve been trying hard to keep up with.

Peter Hay Halpert has posted a large online gallery of Mikael’s polaroids for your viewing pleasure, so go on over and be sure to take a look. No word on the show dates, but let’s hope it’s up sometime at the beginning of the new year, so the two of us can finally say hello.

December 4, 2009 | Art/Photography | Continue Reading | Comments { 2 }



- “Witmansexual” by Antler

December 3, 2009 | Uncategorized | Continue Reading | Comments { 2 }

Penfield Summit Classic

When it comes to camping, everything in the pictures/videos/magazines of yesteryear seems bigger. The shoes were thicker, the packs were heavier, and the coats were puffier. The down jackets that grace the covers and ad sections of old camping magazines would never be considered “performance gear” anymore. Rightfully so. But they’re sure as hell better looking (in most cases) and if you’re not worried about a torrential downpour while you’re going snowshoeing, then you really can’t beat a good down jacket. The Penfield Summit Classic does it right. A great 60/40 outer and goose down filling (80% down, 20% feather) make this jacket toasty and lightweight. And for those people that want to look like the pictures on this website, then Hudson, MA’s Penfield is probably just what you’re looking for.

December 2, 2009 | Uncategorized | Continue Reading | Comments { 1 }

Crater Lake

Crater Lake is located in Southern Oregon on the crest of the Cascade Mountains. It lies inside a caldera (a large crater formed by volcanic explosion or by collapse of a volcanic cone) created when the 12,000 foot high Mount Mazama collapsed 7,700 years ago following a large eruption. The lake, supplied by an average of 533 inches of snow per year, is 1,943 feet deep, making it the deepest lake in the United States and the seventh deepest in the world.

MP3: Liz Phair – Crater Lake

December 1, 2009 | Uncategorized | Continue Reading | Comments { 2 }

In Search Of L.L. Bean

I found this book at the thrift store the other day and there’s little information about it on the Internets. I haven’t finished it yet, but most of what Mr. Montgomery has done thus far is set out to expose Leon Leonwood Bean for the lies in his biography, My Story. For example, L.L. claims that when he first made his Maine Hunting Shoes, he sent out a catalog for the shoes to a hunting license registration list from Augusta. The year he claims to have done this was several years before Maine required hunting licenses. Oh well.

Mr. Montgomery is also hell bent on letting the public know (over and over) that people from Maine would never in a million years wear L.L. Bean clothing. Perhaps, back in 1984 when the book was written, L.L. Bean sent him a package with the wrong size shoes and he never got over it. I know it’s a journalist’s job to let the public know the truth, but it seems as though the author’s hate for L.L. runs deep. Anyone else read this book? Am I crazy for thinking that? I have never read L.L. Bean: The Making of an American Icon, so maybe some of the issues brought up in this book have already been addressed.

From In Search Of L.L. Bean, here’s an excerpt from an issue of the Saturday Evening Post, December, 1946. This was included to show how dry L.L.’s humor was:

During the war, a general leaving the Pentagon Building found himself sharing a taxicab to downtown Washington with a civilian. In the casual taxicab conversation that developed, the civilian named his home town as Freeport, Maine. The general’s interest brightened at once.

“Freeport?” he said. “That’s L.L. Bean’s town.”

“Ay-yah,” the man from Maine agreed. “‘Tis.”

“There’s a man I’d sure like to meet,” said the general. “L.L. Bean. I discovered him four or five years ago, and I’ve been buying from him ever since. By George, it’s wonderful the way the man figures out just what you need for hunting and fishing. You hunt or fish?”

“Ay-yah,” said the Freeporter, “do a lot of it. Always use Bean’s things too. Now, you take Bean’s duck-hunting coat –”

The conversation had hit high gear, and continued, an exchange of hunting and fishing experiences, well interlarded with tributes to the equipment and clothing sold by the mail-order house of L.L. Bean, all the way to the hotel where the civilian was getting out. As he stepped from the cab, he extended his hand. “Pleased to meet you, general,” he said. “My name’s L.L. Bean.”

December 1, 2009 | Uncategorized | Continue Reading | Comments { 7 }