======================================================= Elsewhere Philatelic Society Bulletin #1.4.7 2017feb07. ======================================================= Hello, this is Kaidan Tansu Jr. of the Elsewhere Philatelic Society. On February 15th, there will be a stamp window in observance of the "Hari-Kuyo" festival. The festival normally occurs on February 8th (or December 8th), but because of tofu shipping safety mandates and other soft foodstuff health policies, we will be observing the holiday on February 15th, 2017. This is a Wednesday, the most middle day of the week. The stamp window will begin at 12pm and continue until at least 1pm, maybe longer. The tradition known as "Hari-Kuyo" began four hundred years ago as a way for housewives to pay tribute to their broken tools, primarily sewing needles. In what is essentially a funeral for their fallen tools, people would bring their broken needles to their local shrine or temple and plant it into a block of soft tofu or konnyaku (soft jelly cake). It is meant to represent a soft place to rest for the needle, which had spent its life driving into hard, rough fabrics. Much of the inspiration behind the festival derives from Japanese animist traditions, and their belief in the spirits inhabiting everyday objects. To those who would observe this ritual, it seemed only fair that the tools which served them so faithfully in life be rewarded with a restful, relaxing slumber. We invite you to bring your own broken tools that may need rest, so that we may pay tribute and thank them for their service by plunging them into soft, cold bean curd. For those of you in search of your "Blue Special #1" stamp for the Reserved section of your passport (Special! #1! Blue!), this event will take place at the same place and time as a "Sewing for the People" event at the Tenderloin National Forest. Two stamps, one pigeon. That pigeon is you. Do not lick pigeons. We would not recommend it. We may or may not speak from personal experience. The answer to that is left as an exercise to the reader. That is also you. --- You may have attended an EPS stamp window in December for the Tom Sachs exhibition Space Program: Europa at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Unfortunately the larger exhibition is no longer open, but the accompanying Logjam Cafe site installation will continue to run until March 19th of this year. The Logjam Cafe is free to visit and offers a variety of drinks, books and stickers ... you can also purchase a Swiss passport for twenty dollars. They have a special stamp for this exhibition for the passport, but -maybe- if you ask very nicely they will stamp your EPS passport with this stamp. Along with various drinks and merchandise, the free "Indoctrination Station" is a window into the workings of the Tom Sachs studio. You (you) will be tasked with sorting various types of screws to turn the "logjams" back into soothing order. There are ten levels; along the way you will be awarded various stickers and a "Space Program Indoctrination Visa" to track your progress via a series of stamps. Once you complete all ten levels, you can send a photo of your completed Space Program Indoctrination Visa to the EPS at firstname.lastname@example.org and you will receive a Logjam stamp if you have not already received one. https://ybca.org/whats-on/logjam-cafe ================================================= see contact page for mailing list information. =================================================
2017 February 15. Hari-Kuyo. A Japanese animist tradition, observed on this day at the Tenderloin National Forest (see logjam entry from February 7 for more details).
2017 April 1. The 39th Annual St. Stupid's Day Parade hatched on the streets of San Francisco and the Elsewhere Philatelic Society was there, Philatelicizingating.
Billy, everyone's favorite envelope from El Segundo, stopped by to explain what the what vis-a-vis Obscura Day and Obscurating.
2017 May 20. Phyllis/Extravaganza of Bands. In May the EPS was joined by Junior Cabinet Member Phyllis, who stepped in to help when her brother Phil got lost in his head for a while. "He's probably off somewhere with Jimmy," she remarked while checking that her cache of stamps in little glassine envelopes was at the ready. "I guess even the most dedicated postal employees need a vacation. Anyhoo, I'm happy to help!" Weeks earlier, sensing a need elsewhere, she had awoken on her basement shelf, somewhat surprised to no longer be an old wine box. She had been transformed into a scrappy, can-do, wearable postal station with clip-in shoulder straps, a small work table and a stencil-painted signboard that doubled as a lid. "My favorite part was my new rope handle, so colorful! And when I was out, so many delightful people gave me stickers!"
Phyllis made her debut at the Extravaganza of Bands stamp window. Typically occurring in late May, the event plays host to an impressive collection of middle and high school marching bands from the greater Bay Area, giving them a place to strut their stuff. As the earnest youths marched, played, color guarded and drumlined through a tree-lined neighborhood in Alameda's West End, Phyllis was enjoying her first taste of fieldwork. "True, there are sidewalks here, but I think I could be good for real remote philately, you know?" She soon became entranced by the rows and rows of feathered marching hats and was unable to comment further.
2017 May 20. ENS Investigation. Please see the home page for more information.
2017 June 10. We were proud to present the Mosswood Mail Service at this year's Figment Oakland festival, enabling adult and child passers-by to experience correspondence firsthand by actually BEING correspondence. Participants were delighted to don larger-than-life envelope or postcard costumes (a postcard of Mosswood Park in Oakland, the location of the festival, natch), select an appropriately-scaled stamp (Would it be Jimmy or Mailman Miek? Timothy's favorite candies or our buddy Arf-Arf? Decisions, decisions, young people!), designate "to" and "from", receive a cancellation mark, and then finally be delivered (mailbox flag is... up!). No one could say that they had ever been mail before, but all were most definitely transported by this very silly experience. Participants small and taller received an actual-size (smallish) color-your-own postcard to take home and mail.
2017 July 9. EPS member O.K. Meanderpäntz has created an ongoing side hatch at Alameda Point. Please see the home page for more details.
2017 August 17. Found at the tiny post office.
2017 August 19. At Burning Man 2017, Doctor Professor and Mailman Miek ran a stamp window from the BRC3PO Post Office and fielded letters from EPS members sent to the dry, dusty place with the help of Phyllis.
Billy attended Burning Man as well, safely ensconced in his transparent plastic Seal-A-Billy costume. "Playa dust is corrosive! I'm from El Segundo!"
2017 September 23. On this day, Doctor Professor and several hearty members of the EPS undertook a serious reconnaissance mission involving recent ENS activity (as related on the home page).
2017 September 27. Letter Carrier First Class Anthony hosted a stamp window at the Museum for Communication (Museum für Kommunikation) in Berlin. EPS members wrote letters of general interest to general entities both human and animal, corporeal and elsewhereian, and LCFC Anthony delivered them to any and all interested parties at the museum.
2017 September 29. A bountiful mail package from Macy!
2017 November 4. Bulbs of Spring. Just before the commencement of the season known as "rainy," the EPS was contacted by an agent who had recently come into a large number of daffodil bulbs. Interested in playing the long game, the EPS and this agent held a stamp window in which participants were given flower bulbs and suggestions for how and where to plant them. The roadside and median on 40th St. in Oakland received many practice bulbs. Only time will tell where the others emerge.
2017 November 13. Stamps submission: Manda P.
2017 November 18. The Oakland Museum of California, in coordination with the Toll Bridge Program Oversight Committee (TBPOC) (made up of representatives from the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), the Bay Area Toll Authority (BATA), and the California Transportation Commission (CTC)), sent out a call for applications from artists interested in publicly displaying steel salvaged from the original Bay Bridge. We at the Elsewhere Philatelic Society quickly indicated that we (the EPS) had enough room on the base of Phillip J. Stafford, the EPS mobile lectern, for the smallest, lightest old Bay Bridge salvaged steel item: a rivet.
The Oakland Museum of California in coordination with the Toll Bridge Program Oversight Committee (TBPOC) awarded the EPS the rivet, which became: the Rivet. Members of the EPS were alerted and a commemorative Rivet ceremony was held, beginning on the new Bay Bridge overlooking the eastern-most remnant of the old Bay Bridge. Doctor Professor spoke to the crowd.
Assembled guests, press, philatelists, and assorted friends, welcome. As we proceed today please remember that we are sharing this space with the Lycra-clad two-wheeled citizens of the Bay Area, so please do your best to stay close to the railing to allow them room to pass.
We are here on this historic date to celebrate the new Oakland San Francisco Bay Bridge eastern span, and commemorate the span that stood here.
The Oakland/San Francisco Bay Bridge was opened on November 12, 1936. Financed by bonds from the Hoover administration, construction took three years and five months to complete. Chief Engineer Charles Henry Purcell and team overcame a series of particularly complicated design challenges to include both cantilever and suspension spans and a tunnel bored into Yerba Buena Island ... and that was only halfway across the bay. It opened to car traffic as well as supporting Key Line trains running between the two cities.
This bridge is about twice as long, twice as busy and a few months older than some other, more famous bridges in the area. But it perseveres. After it sustained damage during the Loma Preita Earthquake, seismic review recommended replacement of the original Eastern span to the new cable-stayed design we see today.
This bridge was created to connect two cities, to span the literal divide between us and bring us together. Beyond the utility of travel between these two shores, the bridge is an extended hand of friendship from the people of these two places. And we hope the new span serves dutifully for the next century and beyond.
But we in the Elsewhere Philatelic Society always have an eye on the thing that is not there, the world that used to be, and sometimes the place that never was. The original span which started right here and went to the island of Yerba Buena, is no longer. But we still stand on it. We stand on the foundation it has laid for the new; we stand on its memory, for the places it took us and the things it withstood. We cross it now into a space that they tell us never existed, the Elsewhere that is so close to this world but a hair's breadth gone, disappeared but still massive in the void it has left behind. We welcome this bridge to Elsewhere and celebrate its memory.
And we are honored today to hold a relic of the now missing span; a hand extended to the memory of the past, a gesture of friendship to the bridge that is no more, a tiny connection that once held this shore and that shore together.
We are proud to now present: the commemorative Bay Bridge rivet.
Honored guests were selected to raise the commemorative curtain to reveal the commemorative rivet, read the commemorative rivet's commemorative plaque out real loud on a bullhorn, to cut the commemorative ribbon with the commemorative scissors, and finally to place the commemorative rivet into the commemorative hole. "Give it a good commemorative shove. And please don't make it commemoratively weird."
Dr. Professor concluded his speech with the paragraph that follows.
This rivet was part of the original span. And as much as any part, it was necessary to keep the bridge standing, and therefore this piece like all pieces of the whole was the crucial lynchpin holding it together. And while it rests in honor here it will continue to hold firm that bridge between now and the past. It was there at the original dedication for the bridge in 1936, and it has heard their words then, just like it has heard ours now. If only we could hear through it, to hear the echoes of the past, as if to travel back in time ... aha! Everyone! Take out your magical time viewfinders and let's look to the past. Like this, Watch me!
At this point Dr. Professor created a landscape-styled rectangle out of his two hands and looked directly through it into the past. EPS members followed suit; the forces bearing down on historical history were strong. Things got wavy, and then suddenly, a vision/apparition/mirage of two olden-tyme people from history's past history appeared before the assembled members. One of them acquired the bullhorn and spoke historically:
Good afternoon to you all. The date today is November 12, 1936, and my name is Mail Man Mike, your host here at the fabulous base of this glorious new Bay Bridge, a wonder of modern engineering. With me is A. John Cowitt, who is the Chief Engineer of the Bridge, and who will help me mark the official opening of this grand structure. This bridge is a sample of the West to come, a signal for renewed civic effort, a proof that the pioneer spirit of San Francisco still lives. This magnificent structure will serve to unite us more closely with our friendly neighbors across the bay and means progress for all of us.
This bridge is the physical, realized dream of the Honorable Emperor Norton, who stated with royal hand and seal on the 17th of September 1872:WHEREAS, we issued our decree ordering the citizens of San Francisco and Oakland to appropriate funds for the survey of a suspension bridge from Oakland Point via Goat Island; also for a tunnel; and to ascertain which is the best project; and whereas the said citizens have hitherto neglected to notice our said decree; and whereas we are determined our authority shall be fully respected; now, therefore, we do hereby command the arrest by the army of both the Boards of City Fathers if they persist in neglecting our decrees.At long last, the decree and dream of Emperor Norton has come true.
In just a few moments, traffic will flow over this 8 1/4 mile ribbon from Oakland to San Francisco -- a long snake of steel and concrete that links the dreams and hopes of the peoples of the San Francisco Bay. The greatest bridge the world has ever seen across the largest body of navigable water will soon be open to the public, and I am so glad you all are with me now to witness this moment. The new Oakland-San Francisco Bay Bridge is more than a tribute to the engineering genius of this decade. It is a monument to the indomitable and undying spirit of the West.
Join with me now, and please place your hand on your heart for our National Anthem.
And all the EPS members sang along to "The Rainbow Connection" as presented on ukulele by Chief Engineer A. John Cowitt.
Then EPS members continued westward and stopped at Bay Bridge Pier "E1" belvedere to pay a visit and speak with the Bay Bridge troll. EPS caretaker Cassie Hassock was on hand to provide translation services from English to Trollish so we could be understood.
After speaking with the troll, EPS members continued across the bridge to complete the journey to Treasure Island, home of treasures. Phil rolled all the way across the new Bay Bridge and back with his new friend and constant companion (the Rivet), all flaunty. We are very proud.