Wedding Speech, Delivered by Neal Cropper at Rural Caprine Farm, April 21, 2019
(Written by Dave Olson with Neal Cropper)
<Neal> Dear assembled beautiful people,We come together today from all over the world, bridging countries and cultures, to witness the next chapter in an ongoing Okayama love story.
Indeed it was here at this lovely farm that Ryoko and Dave first met. Like all true love, there’s is a completely unique story / this Okayama love story features a drifting painter slash poet and a sunny arborist slash jazz singer finding each other at a friend’s farm at the exact moment that they were both ready to begin this new life.
Since then, the relationship has flourished into one of mutual respect, shared interest, many laughs, and sparking more love each day.Love stories are all different, but the great ones always share a foundation of working together with common interests and passions. In this case, a mutual love of art, music, nature, creativity, compassion, living slow and simple, and building a community of friends.
What follows are public telephones created in a time when phones did not roam freely and in pockets.
To make a call, one would either enter a specially-created booth (or box), or simply stand close by as the receivers were tethered to the phone unit by a short cord, then insert a variety of coins depending on the location called (local, domestic or international) or in some cases, use a purpose-made phone card, or even a credit card (though doing so often exposed one to fraudulent actors).
Perhaps you have already imagined the unsanitary nature of sharing a phone handset (placed next/close to ear and mouth of course) with strangers – though perhaps this increased “herd immunity” despite being rather unpleasant. Note that oftentimes the coin return slots were checked for forgotten change but the miner was surprised to find discarded chewing gum, or even-less-savoury items, instead.
This gallery is primarily Japan phone – both current working payphones, hotel house phones, house landlines, antique non-working artifacts and one from Indonesia, captured “in the wild”.
What follow is documentation of the Honorary Canadian Consulate in Osaka, located basically in the parking lot of a pre-cut wood shop with lumber imported from BC.
I was the first person to sign the guest register this year
Walls were adorned with newspaper clippings from a decade or so ago
Signs encouraging “More fish and wood”
Several beautiful canoes (unused)
(Somewhat oddly) wooden pig roaster in the lobby
The location, as you likely as assumed considering it’s a lumberyard, is in an industrial park area (photo of street included) and required a variety of transportation schemes to get there including the “new tram”.
While the experience was a little bit surprising (I have a whole riff about the underutilization of consulates and embassies I’ll save for another time), I’m glad it exists as it saved us from a much longer (and more expensive and more hectic trip) to Tokyo.
By the way, the required paperwork was an official affidavit to say that I am free to marry 藤田良子 which we then present at the City Hall on 19th (assuming the certified version arrives by registered mail in due course — update: arrived in Tsuda Lumber Company envelope) to formally register our marriage on April 19th before Shinto ceremony on 20th then party and another ceremony on 21st.
One of the fun things (as it turns out) about putting on a wedding, is all the different outfits. In this case, i’ll need 4-ish outfits throughout the 3 days of activities. Not to be limited in style, i assembled various snippets of inspiration – from poets to fictional agents to military troops – to create looks for the various bits.
Registration of wedding at city hall – glen plaid suit (custom made in Chiang Mai, Thailand), tie (tbd) and Italian shoes (thrift store)
Ceremony at Shinto shrine – black traditional formal kimono
Post-ceremony lunch – another kimono (yukata-esque)
Party & ring ceremony – “Prince Charlie” highland wear with Royal Stewart kilt, cape, sock flashes, wing collared shirt with french cuffs and ascot (silk), blue / steel broach and cufflinks and formal sporran, also brown brogues – switch to Jacobite shirt after formal part
What follows are various screencaps, photos and etcetera for inspiration and examples. Eventually we’ll all see how these various components come together for various guises.
Note: No photo/link provided as these were simply harvested in the wild and used for enjoyment, educational purposes. Need a link? Send a note.
Ryoko suggests every wedding party guests receive a take-home goat in their gift bag. Unfortunately, most apartments and airlines don’t allow them so will stick to Bizen-yake saké cups and other treats.
My groomsmen and I discussing beard styles for upcoming wedding. Very important to coordinate. They declined my suggestion to wear matching kilts however.
This lil fella agreed to fetch me beverages from hold my walking stick as needed in exchange for cuddles. We made a quick agreement.
Of course, the goats are aimless without the careful wisdom of Mac Kobayashi of Rural Caprine Farm who is guided by the Grateful Dead music contained within this Henry Roy Vickers designed box.
Rollin on with albums from the archive, I present these treats for your amusement:
The Jam, Snap!- 2 LP This seminal trio at their finest – well it’s a collection of their finest. Sounds so fresh and explosive even now. Great gatefold deco and liner note copy-writing. Explodes out of speakers and especially love the ambient tube sounds of “Down in Tube Station at Midnight”.
Oingo Boingo, Only A Lad 10 inch, 4 song EP
No other band sounds anything like Oingo Boingo — started as something like a 15 piece, whittled down to more like six, with marimbas and percussive elements along with electronics to make a completely new and extremely danceable heady brew (for you youngsters, this was Danny Elfman of every Tim Burton soundtrack fame)’s band. Also the 10inch 4 song EP is the best music format ever created.
The Specials, The Specials From the opening track “message to you Rudy”, the drum sound is massive and hollow and upfront, the guitars are crisp and restrained, and the stories are all songs (or vice versa) — while they lost their drummer this year, this band is touring, played the Warfield in San Francisco just recently. As an aside, I was fortunate to share a speaking gig with the guitarist Lynval Goulding at SxSw.
Life in the European Theater, Compilation Opens with The Clash’s London Calling and just rocks on from there with aforementioned the Jam & the Specials, plus XTC, Au Pairs, Echo and the Bunnymen, Madness, The Beat, The Undertones (all of the above of UK bands of course), with The Doors’ almost forgotten Peace Frog as (somewhat inexplicably) the only American entry. This was released in 1981 so the first sample of a lot new sounds for this West Coast kid.
For the record, in Sept 2016, picked up a couple of crates of vinyl which I left in a friends dad’s basement in Salt Lake City when I left Grateful Dead tour in 1991 and ended up in Europe, Japan, Micronesia, Cascadia and many departures between. Collecting them now, feels like 20-year-old self wrote a letter for me to receive just when I needed it most. #MusicHeals