Coatsville Update


The patient presented with kidneys this damaged after only 400 miles since the latest (in-line fuel filter) kidney transplant. This is the patient’s 4th kidney since 2009. The kidney original to the car was a tiny mesh that was the size of the inside diameter of the tubes at each end of the filter, and was problematic probably for the life of the car. It caused me all kinds of grief when I didn’t know it existed while driving it my senior year of high school in 1986. My dad retrieved the car and cleared the mesh, without showing me, then took me out for a spin to show me how much I didn’t deserve the car.


32 years from that drive with my dad, and the patient needed a new gas tank. Ghost dad has been discouraging this tinker, but I’m going to do it anyway. The old tank came out easily enough. Things were pretty clean. No real issues with rust. Just cleaned out and replaced the old rubberized stripping. The patient is lucky, as the original stripping hadn’t been laid all the way around and tended to roll up onto the tank rather then seat under it.


Old and new gas tanks. The old has a sludge mix of rusted grit that continually grows from the rusted inner walls. The drain plug was fused in place from the inside. More than a year ago I siphoned the tank, but that didn’t really effect the heavy silt- it sounds like a gallon of wet sand and pebbles when tipped back and forth.  The fuel sender had quit working long before she came into my care, so the gas gauge didn’t operate. The connective rubber section of gas line to the engine was rotten out as well.


I laid strips of rubberized caulk under the tank to seat it firmly, put in new screws, reconnected the goose neck to the gas cap with new rubber hose & clamps & gasket, and put in a new section of gas line down below.  And a new fuel filter up front in the engine bay.


Tomorrow I’ll head over to the local garage that carries non-ethanol gas and fill up my cans, treating the gas with Archoil to stabilize it. If there are no leaks, and the fuel gauge works again; then she will stretch her legs. Getting rid of the silty tank should cure her of many of her performance issues e.g. low fuel pressure at speed making choking rpms, and choking on whatever bad bits were sliding past the filter (nothing too bad as the jets are still clear).

update: The new gas tank and connections were all fine, so I took her up Emmigration Canyon on Halloween for speed trials on the back bit of “flat” road off the summit and she ran like a whole different car- quieter, no hesitation, no bogging down when pushed; just a clean and smooth response all the way through her full range in each gear, and falloff was just as clean.


Ascension of the Furies.


I cast these in aluminum as an aspect of my MFA thesis. They were The Furies then, but now they can go by Handmaids if they like. With the tree falling in the yard, I finally had a reason to break them out of deep storage.


The remnants of hurricane Rosa will arrive this afternoon, but the morning was perfect for fitting the tree top into the footing, then mounting the figures.



This is about 10 feet tall.




Anywhere and everywhere in the West: Fires. 5 minutes out from Salt Lake City. Try not to breathe. No rain since May, with 9 inches so far this year out of an average of 16.


Meanwhile, in Ohio: days of rain with more than 5 inches fallen and it is unremarkable. This is a potted hibiscus on Joanie’s front steps, with hard southern exposure. It is nice to see something that can’t exist where you come from.



Ferris Wright Park and Hopewell Earthworks entrance; aka- ye old homestead.

Many thanks to the City of Dublin, Ohio for its investment in preserving the history of the unique peoples that have inhabited its lands.


Sisters Kaye Myers and Joan Harless, and Dublin City officials give opening remarks for the ribbon cutting ceremony.


Ribbon is cut and bridge over Wright Creek leads public into open space area, formerly the family farm and childhood home of Kaye and Joan.


Relatives from Wright and Holder sides of the family gathered for the special day.


Wright Run Creek, at a stately September walk, courses through the park into the nearby Scioto River.


Audrey the dog takes her exercise, running through the ghost footprint of the old garage.


The family farmhouse, reconfigured to 1820’s original footprint, constructed by Joseph Ferris, the great great grandfather of Kaye and Joan.


The new footbridge at left brings visitors across the creek and onto the acreage.           (photo credit to Allison)


Walt with David Wright, Joan and Kaye’s cousin.


The house is retrofitted into a historic learning lab, with educational programming soon to come.


All dolled up for her opening day.


The W/Right Women. Allison Myers Hendrixson, Kaye Holder Myers, Elizabeth Myers Gerhart, Joan Holder Harless, Stephanie Harless Smith. All direct descendants of Orpha Josephine Wright Holder.


The W/Right Women


Steve Wright and the ladies discuss history of the surrounding trees.


Elizabeth in the back garden, between the two cherry trees.


Sisters in front of the old old old pear tree whose fruit grandma preserved with a hint of clove and cinnamon. Always a special treat durning summer visits.


The not-twins rockin’ the gray twinsies.


South Side of Ferris Wright house.


The gentle breeze keeps up its reputation, probably since Adena and Hopewell eras.


The yard trees are listening. The distant trees line the Scioto river.


Everyone is standing on grandma’s tomatoes, in garden time travel.


Ladies sharing happy memories of place and family.


View from inside / center of large circle earthwork mound. The sun illuminates the southern arc of the large outer circle.


Joseph Ferris was unaware that he placed the house on the earthwork.


Still can’t see the earthwork? Peter helpfully points it out.


Peter, Allison, and Bartlebee enjoy shady breeze on the mound, opening into the neighbor’s field of soy beans.


The trees demark the center mound of the large circle earthwork. The grasses in the distance delineate the outline and center of the square earthwork. All three earthworks open to the North East.


Native Ohio grasses restore what 100 years of farming blended away.


Standing inside the ring of the square mound, facing the center mound, with the house in the distance.


Lets go inside!


Joseph Ferris, his wife, and four children lived in this one room house, the first framed home built in the area in the 1820’s. (all others were log structures)


Joseph Ferris was a carpenter, he hand-hewed this lumber.


That is a giant mortise & tenon joint with internal wooden dowel, and another protruding up high. Real men don’t need nails.


Other things real men don’t need: mortar. The original field stone foundation is hand laid and still perfectly level.


Bean field was site of flint knapping by Adena and Hopewell people visiting the ceremonial mounds.


Bucolic open-air time-capsule.


Thorn Tree. Ohio style.


Cruel Barb.


No running!


In the deep fencerow, past the thorns and poison ivy vine thick as a wrist, hides the shade-loving mushrooms.


Bartlebee listening to the babel of Wright Run Creek over its limestone bedrock.


Historic Dublin Cemetery in the rain. Headstone of Orpha Josephine Wright Holder and her husband John Lowell Holder. Flowers planted annually by Joan.


Elizabeth with her grandmother’s grave in the soft Ohio rain.


She took me for a spin up Emigration Canyon to thank me for changing her oil (RedLine 10/40 full synthetic race oil) & filter (Mobile M301a), and I gave her 6oz Archoil friction modifier and Archoil fuel additive (after E and I ran her out of gas a week ago to make sure all the old gas was gone). Good “blat’s” coming down, and growls all the way up. It takes some finesse on the clutch not to chirp the tires pulling away at stoplights.


All the fiddling with E’s Subaru and my truck is practice for detailing this blue bombshell. I’m still working up the nerve…


289 D engine (same as the 302) 442 setup (4 barrel carburetor, 4 speed (five with reverse, jokers), 2 barrel exhaust.  



My dad special ordered her back in 1964, getting as close to a race package as Ford could put together- with a convertible top. She is built on the frame of the Falcon. She is essentially all original & un-restored, original owner (I count in my dad’s stead). Today’s odometer: 99,672


60 mph wind gust, with air laden with the despair of a 90k acre forest fire just to the south  (pm2.5 at 220), dropped her.


E uses interpretive stance to coax the tree upright again. no go


The heavy rope tied from the tree, high into the pergola supporting the trumpet vine to the left of frame, ensured that the tree fell away from the fence and into a clear section of yard.


Exploratory surgery sometimes reveals the patient’s true prognosis.


This area had an anchor root below, and the big root heading off to the R, but you can see how much infestation I had stopped short of removing, as that would have just cut her down.


The plank kept her from collapse, but not from being taken down in a strong wind. I considered welding up a tripod to keep her upright in any weather, but she didn’t want to become a limb-dropping killer zombie and had signed a do-not-resuscitate form.


Her branches were spindly and dry, sunburn had peeled away bark from her upper limbs, and grubs had made their way far up her trunk.


Forgoing the chainsaw, as the sawzall with a pruning blade is all she needs.


The upper root comes off easy. Next I’ll dig out her taproot and all the remaining living and dead root system. Then I backfill the hole with dirt from my yarding dirt pile and mix it with compost and gypsum and water it thoroughly.


All excavated and refilled, ready for a new tree next spring.


I’ve put in a few new flower beds, and improved about 10,000#s of soil with 1,200#s of my mix of compost and gypsum.


This is a great hybrid from J&J nursery.


One of many new flowers in the back yard.


Out front I enriched this last section of what used to be lawn, and put in 5 Echinacea of various colors, and some ground cover with matching blooms.


I moved this flowering bush a year after I put in the purple iris, and it has finally taken off.


Orange Echinacea.


Crimson Echinacea.


With this section of lawn turned over to xeriscape, and finally filled in, it was time to cross the walkway.


Even re-sodding couldn’t keep the Utah sun from destroying this corner, so I converted it to a Xeriscape flower bed to match the other side of the walk.


The plants all have to be short here at the corner, as there is a sprinkler head in the bushes that waters the grass (and now this bed as well).


Ready for next summer, even though it is still 90 degrees and more.


Two little retaining walls of treated lumber keep the long horizontal portion of tree tidy and clear of overthrusting garden. The area around the tree was cleared of grass and old mulch, the soil was turned with compost and gypsum, the vines were cut back to the fence line, and a new curve of rubberized berm wall was set.


This morning I went back to removing the bore-holed wood mass-infested with grubs (wasps arrived to eat them again!); the adz is the recurved tool, along with large scoop & mallet. Over the weekend I also treated the tree with five medicine dispensers left over from the ranch treatment of the yard’s pine trees. The root at the bottom R drank two doses. I’ll give it awhile before I remove any more, as I’ve taken away a huge portion.


A lot of rigid dead weight has come free of the living tree, and she got a bit woozy. The big hydraulic jack lifted her back up, the same jack that lifted the side of the ranch house this summer- then she just needed some support.


The 4×6 support beam has a bevel cut to match the tree, and is pinned in place with 3.5″ deck screws. The beam rests on a pair of concrete bricks and is toed in with three green steel fence posts and a long run of smooth rebar. A concrete landscape brick supports her down low.


With help from the jack, I slid this fat landscaping block under her hips.


This footing should remain stable, but this evening when the bees go to sleep I’ll run a rope from her shoulders and sling it through the air to the trumpet vine’s pergola, and tie it off at the ground to the largest vine root (thick as my ankle). This way if she comes down in a windstorm, she’ll yaw into the yard rather than taking out the fence and the neighbor’s garage.


Xander has been watching me work with the Plum tree from his vantage in the sunroom, and creates a sculptural interpretation with Elizabeth.