Sculptor John Lopez was born and raised on a ranch in Western South Dakota. In the midst of a successful career in bronze sculpting, Lopez discovered an exciting new direction: scrap iron sculpting.
“I am never bored! I look forward to each new creation, and it is helping me grow and develop as an artist,” he says. As he John explains on his website:
This unusual detour started when his beloved aunt, Effie Hunt, died in a rollover car accident. Lopez moved to his widowed Uncle Geno Hunt’s ranch to build a family cemetery; his aunt would to be the first laid to rest there. Uncle Geno opened his home and welding shop to Lopez, who completed a fence around the cemetery, then ran out of material. The ranch is 35 miles from the nearest town or post office, so he went looking through the scrap iron on site.
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this article comes courtesy of the Associated Press:
NEW YORK (AP) — The U.S. Marine Corps’ chaplain, speaking Sunday to a congregation that has tied gold ribbons on the church’s fence in honor of fallen soldiers since the Iraq War began, lauded the sacrifice of veterans around the world as President Barack Obama made a surprise visit to Afghanistan for Memorial Day.
“What they have done has allowed us to be here,” Rear Admiral Margaret Kibben told the roughly 200 worshippers at the Marble Collegiate Church in Manhattan, including active duty servicemen and women in town for the annual Fleet Week celebration.
Memorial Day, she said, was a time to remind ourselves of the meaning of sacrifice and to put personal struggles and difficulties in perspective.
Across the nation, citizens were marking Memorial Day with somber ceremonies, flag pl5nting at cemeteries, parades and even barbecues – an American pastime that Petty Officer 1st Class Brian McNeal said should be enjoyed this weekend.
“I’m in the service so that they can enjoy that,” said McNeal, 39, who is stationed in Suffolk, Virginia, and is in town for Fleet Week. “They made the sacrifice so everyday citizens don’t have to worry about the evils of the world.”
Thousands of memorial ribbons are tied on the storied church’s fence. There are gold ribbons for service members killed in Afghanistan, green ribbons representing prayers for peace and blue ribbons for the people of Afghanistan.
Obama arrived at Bagram Air Field in Afghanistan to speak with troops and visit soldiers being treated at a base hospital. At least 2,181 members of the U.S. military have died during the nearly 13-year Afghan war and thousands more have been wounded.
On Saturday, Democratic congresswoman Tammy Duckworth served as grand marshal of Chicago’s Memorial Day Parade and struggled to hold back tears during a wreath-laying ceremony to honor fallen soldiers. She lost her legs and partial use of an arm when a rocket-propelled grenade hit the Black Hawk helicopter she was piloting in Iraq in 2004.
More than 300 Junior ROTC students from Chicago Military Academy at Bronzeville marched in the city’s parade. Afterward, still dressed in their uniforms, they chatted, bantered and ordered ice cream from a vendor’s truck while waiting for a bus that would take them back home.
Their instructor, 1st Sgt. Stephen Roberts, an Army veteran, said the students practice all year to march in the parade.
“They enjoy it a lot,” Roberts said. “We tell them about it at the beginning of the year. Our rifle, our drum teams, our flags, they practice every day. They come in on their own accord. They do their own practices. It means a lot to them. They’re very proud to do this.”
In Massachusetts, Boston Marathon survivor Jeff Bauman and his rescuer, Carlos Arredondo, helped plant tens of thousands of flags Saturday at a cemetery to honor soldiers.
Obama directed all government agencies in the United States to fly their flags at half-staff on Monday in observance of Memorial Day.
Associated Press writer Carla K. Johnson contributed to this report from Chicago.
reposted because why the hell not?
and just what do what have here?? So, this is very rough — it’s something old made new (salvaged) for the purpose of my next untitled manuscript. Is it not very good? Pretty much? Is it a start? …I guess. But since it’s so new and fresh and full of wonder, I decided to be nice and share it with you, my dear readers. I do around seven or eight drafts for everything large that I write, and this one will be no exception. By the time it reaches the stage where I consider it a “finished product,” you would hardly recognize it, especially when compared to this humble, rough piece ‘o crap before you.
But, still: Dig.
What is there to say for the summer of hushed voices?? or of how Time would creep slowly through the grass, unaffected by feeling and noise and all the electric daydream excitement of lost, young love, quiet as a snake, not once letting itself be known as something other than a kinetic whisper to all its lost, young children?? can we really, now years in the future, put to words something that we could not then?? I’m trying to do just that right now, myself a (now) humbled, young jackass with not a whole lot to do, and the fiercest problem I’m running in to is simply a trick in the art of remembering, that science for the damned and diabolical, and part of the problem is this: I can barely remember anything. With a capital A. Nothing, nada, zilch, a curious absence. I’ve searched high and low up there in the darkest parts of my brain, sniffed around for the once-fresh fumes of a heart once consumed with heavenly noise, and I can barely remember a fucking thing. Flashes. Whispers. Allegations and jealousies now long forgotten. Her eyes: glittering blue, framed under a gazebo new and white. Words wasted on things as trivial as celebration and hatred. You can tell why my mind is scattered – long ago, eyes blessed and breath missing, foolish work as destiny for a good fool, I caught a glimpse of something other, something wild, something wonderful, something I’m obviously failing to explain; and what I witnessed, whatever it was, has left me as someone different than who I was prior to those first moments of color.
Abigail, a name fitting for a classic like she. Abigail, laughing and whispering, I regress in to corny stereotypes when I try to think back. Gallons of bullshit pour from my mouth, like rivers let loose from their restraints, and yet at the heart of all this bullshit and wasted words is nothing more than pure, unabashed truth. So I like to think. I’m sure you’ll laugh, Abby, when you read this that is, and that was precisely the point of why I even began to compose this document: this is for you because though I act different I do love you, I love you being simply the truest words I could possibly hope to say (even if this little document of mine never sees the light of day). I taped the word ‘smile’ to the front of it because that was the intent of the whole testament. It, being far too meager, is only intended to show that even though I acted like a jerk, harm was never meant even when I said it was really what I meant.
I’m sure you understood what I meant.
It’s sometime in winter, who fucking knows how long ago. I never want to leave this room. I know it’s winter because everyone keeps say that it’s winter and it’s the coldest one they can remember, thank god to them for reminding me. They’ve lived here in Emerald for forty years, their parents have been here even longer than that, and they’ve never seen one like this, not once ever in those long and tiring winters that took place well before I was even born. With wonder in their eyes from thinking back to winters past they would recall how they never saw the ice hang quite like this and this – oh my, this is is the important and world-shattering part – early, too; never once, apparently, has the snow began to fall this early in the season, but who really knows anymore when it comes to the weather, they say, because every year it seems to get weirder and weirder, more violent, more unpredictable, more exciting, extreme, and, most of all, more schedule-altering. It can never be forgiven.
But I’m elsewhere, I always am. It is simply the way I am.
On this evening I am tucked away from what appears to be snow falling down outside the window. I sit next to Abigail. Both of us stare outside at the snowfall, both having now seen snow more than a thousand times each and yet still entranced by its quiet procession from sky to earth, if it had music it would something akin to a violin plucked softly. Call it youth. I’m sitting next to the prettiest girl in the world. Call that statement youth, too, but I wouldn’t change the statement one bit even if I could. There’s no arguing with myself tonight, not when I’m sitting here, young and dumb and in love, only hearing the sounds of our breathing one-two, one-two, one-two, and I suppose she heard it as well, probably couldn’t help it either.
I listen to the breathing until she interrupts its rhythmic certainty:
“I suppose I’m just crazy then.”
During the course of the conversation I had misplaced just exactly what the hell she was talking about. I do this alot, since, you know, I spend a lot of time in my own head.
“Uh, you’re welcome. Babe.”
“I’ll tell them. Honestly.”
“You know. I’ll tell them, really.”
A pause, no more than three seconds.
Time runs slowly through the grass and the Heart pumps wildly, this being before there were only fumes left.
“You don’t have to. It’s fine, Abby. Don’t worry.”
“Ugh.” I hate the fake disdain in her girl-ified grunt, as if everything including success depended on me just keeping my mouth shut and following along. “I am I am, because I better just do it because I already know it’s just going to end up being a fight. I’ll just tell them and get it fucking over with.”
And, like some goofy little bastard (I am), I’m smiling. Like an idiot, a grin beginning sharply at one ear and likewise stopping sharply at the other.
“You never cuss. I love it when you cuss.”
She smiles just a little bit and contorts her face ever so slightly to get that look – The Look, the one she has perfected from what is no doubt years of practice – the one that says, quite simply: I’m dating a complete fucking idiot and I have absolutely no idea why.
“I wished you cuss more,” I continue. “It’s kind of hot, actually.”
“Are you really serious?”
“I like your boobs, too. How’s that for serious?”
“I sound weird when I cuss.”
“You do not.”
“Really?” and as she says this, incredulous as can be, I start to get the feeling that maybe I’m walking in to a fight. While this witty banter of ours seems innocuous enough to an outside observer, I’ve played in this game long enough and been around her just long enough to know and understand that when we mix, even things as simple and harmless as all these words can lead to a dramatic fight and then a breakup. Because as soon as those words are said they have a way of becoming sensitive, every last one of those words, down to each syllable, and pretty soon we’ll be picking each words apart for meaning, going round and round in a circle, each minute building up with more frustration than the last. It’s like a dance that starts out slow, lovingly staring in to each others eyes to what could be described as a waltz, and then the music begins to pick up and before you know it we’re absolutely epileptic, music matching suit, every one of our actions meant to piss the other person of. Honestly: most of these of these fights end up being my fault, but that doesn’t matter….well, maybe it does, but let’s continue:
“Well, I think so Abby. But that’s just me. I like your boobs though. And your hair, too. And when you cuss, oddly enough. Seriously. Not that I’ve run out of things I like.”
“Or: maybe I’m the weird one.”
The snow outside the window has begun to pick up a little more, less like falling leaves now and more like waves, each wave yielding more and more snowfall. We’re on the second floor so all I can really see is the tree across the street, skinny and all-jagged limbs, the limbs clutching the falling snow inbetween sharp fingers. A few of those limbs will be broken by morning, frost and weight doing them in as always. And while I’m staring out at the buckling limbs she rolls over on to her side, her head propped up on one hand. I’m laying next to her on my back. She’s wearing a dress – sweet, wonderful summerdress it is – the one that earlier prompted me to give her my coat because it probably wouldn’t look good if my girl died in my company from sudden pneumonia. It’s the one she wore all summer, or maybe that’s only in my memory, maybe I’ve tied it to her character in my mind and since I’ve done this I’m fucked because from now on she’s only going to be wearing that dress, even when I remember us going swimming or going to dinner or anything else that mind flawed mind conjures up. Maybe: memory’s a cold, cruel bitch.