I'll go with thee to the lane's end... I am a kind of burr, I shall stick. Shakespeare, Measure for Measure

I write not to teach but to learn. Rebecca West

drew's writing:

  • "Always Forever Now," Ideomancer volume 13, issue 2
  • "Black Sun," Black Static # 32
  • "Bread or Cake" and "Pride/Shame,"2nd Annual Philadelphia One-Minute Play Festival
  • "Copper Heart," Polluto Magazine issue 5, A Steampunk Orange
  • "The Accomplished Birder's Guide to Overcoming Rejection," Last Drink Bird Head, edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer
  • "Another Night With the Henriksens," Player's Theater Halloween One-Act Festival NYC 2008
  • "Hating the Lovers," and "Pipe Down!" Geez Magazine: Thirty Sermons You Would Never Hear in Church
  • "Beth/slash/Nathan," Paper Fruit Blogiversary Contest

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Thaddeus Squire's glasses



Yes, his name really is Thaddeus Squire and these are really his glasses. Thaddeus is the impresario behind Peregrine Arts, which produced Philadelphia's first Hidden City Festival last spring. Check out Hidden City's beautiful and colorful 2009 report, which still has that new report smell. Hidden City Philadelphia paired little-known but significant and sometimes crumbling historic sites with artists and performers. It was great for the sites, for the artists, for the community--and for me! Woody Allen cannot love New York and Fellini cannot love Rome as much as I love Philadelphia.

I worked for Hidden City and got to know Thaddeus and his glasses a little then. Thaddeus claims he has never bought a pair of new frames in his life, but has always worn antiques and hand-me-downs. He takes advantage of the custom fitting services at Marchese Opticians. Above you see two pairs from his desk drawer and one I borrowed from his cherubic face for this photo. Clockwise from the top:

  • 1880s, nickel, purchased from a South Street antiquarian.
  • 1960s, formerly owned by a Philadelphia philanthropist, who, according to legend, was wearing them when her caricature was drawn by the great Hirschfeld.
  • 1920s, "three piece," i.e., just a nose and arms; purchased at a synagogue bazaar in the Bella Vista neighborhood.
Thaddeus also owns a pair from the 1790s, and a pair of 19th century "Chinese Coachman" glasses, which he says are made of shiny brass and enormous. From Thaddeus's description, the Chinese Coachman glasses sound pleasingly steampunk, but Thaddeus does not know why they are called that and neither does the internet.

Whenever I talk to Thaddeus I come away with a broader and more holistic view of the arts than I normally have in my little paddock on the fiction farm. When I showed him the book of flash fiction I'm in, he became fascinated and gave an impromptu discourse about current miniaturizing trends across disciplines and continents. Thaddeus is a far-sighted guy, a visionary; it is fitting that the glasses he sees the world through are art objects that contain narratives.

1 comment:

Laura O'Hear Church said...

I just bumped into Thaddeus in a retail store, literally, passing right by him, as he obviously was moving quickly to gather items he needed.

Little did I know I was bumping into such an interesting person, and nor did I appreciate his spectacles at the time!

Should I ever be given a second chance to see him, I shall be mindful of which style of lenses he trusts to get him through that day!

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