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Join me this summer as I travel the country to research the steam calliope tradition on America's inland rivers.

Letting Off Some Steam: Weeks of July 20-August 9

Posted 08-11-2008 at 01:15 AM by Jon Tschiggfrie
When I tell people that Iím spending my summer studying steam calliopes, I more often than not am the recipient of a befuddled gaze followed by, ďÖOh. Whatís a calliope?Ē I then launch into my oft-rehearsed spiel on describing this glorified maze of plumbing, which earns a response of a semi-satisfied nod which says, ďI still have no idea what you are talking about.Ē Excusing the nodís clear prepositional transgression, I often refer to circus parades and steamboats, which commonly clears up the...
Posted in Music, Travel
Comments 4 Jon Tschiggfrie is offline

Holy Kratz!: Week of July 13-19

Posted 07-21-2008 at 12:03 AM by Jon Tschiggfrie
As you know, it is about time for your humble author to return to a regular posting schedule. Accordingly, Iím again taking up blogging on Sundays. Iíve had relatives, many friends, and even some people who Iím sure I should know but donít, mention that theyíve enjoyed following this blog, and are always ready for the next installment. All the comments Iíve received on last weekís are much appreciated! It would be terribly unfair of me to deprive all my supporters of todayís entry. Therefore, I...
Posted in Music, Travel
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Nichols and Dimes: Weeks of June 30-July 12

Posted 07-13-2008 at 12:55 AM by Jon Tschiggfrie
Pop Quiz: What do the hills of Cincinnati, OH and the mountains near Denver, CO have in common? Hint: Take a look at todayís blog entry title. Answer: Both have at one time or another been graced by the haunting echoes of an authentic Thomas J. Nichol steam calliope.

As we left Louisville, we drove through the rolling landscape of northern Kentucky along Interstate 71 toward Cincinnati. Contrary to popular opinion, this reminded us of Iowa, or at least the part of Iowa thatís nestled...
Posted in Music, Travel
Comments 7 Jon Tschiggfrie is offline

Up On the Rooftop: Week of June 22-29

Posted 07-11-2008 at 08:46 PM by Jon Tschiggfrie

My sincerest apologies to all of you faithful ďNotesĒ from the Road readers for neglecting my blogging duties for the past few weeks. It would be dishonest of me to blame this seeming desertion solely on my busy schedule. In reality, Iíve been too active with both the research activities and visiting some wonderful friends along the way. Wherever I went, I was greeted by folks who have enjoyed these blog entries and assured me that they were ready for my next one. With...
Posted in Music, Travel
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Full Head of Steam: Week of June 15-21

Posted 06-22-2008 at 02:52 PM by Jon Tschiggfrie
Merriam-Webster defines the term hooey as synonymous with nonsense, and lists its first written usage in the year 1912. However, the indomitable lexicographers failed to find the termís origin. While listening to a calliope recording this week, I noticed that the lower notes on the instrument utter an airy ďooĒ sound, while the higher whistles screech forth with ďEEE!Ē I therefore posit that the termís etymology is thus: a disgruntled calliope witness, listening to the instrument some ninety years...
Posted in Music, Travel
Comments 0 Jon Tschiggfrie is offline

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