Tag Archives: david duckworth

Let’s Catch Up!

13 Jun

Dear Reader,

If you have been a follower, I must apologize for my absence since last November.  There have been several projects in the works.  You will learn of two of these here, while a third I must remain quiet about as it is in the prototype stage.

First, I will be speaking at Treasure Island Museum on Saturday, June 23rd, beginning at 10:30 a.m.  This is one in a monthly series called Little Island, Big Ideas, and my third address at this venue.  This will take place in the lobby of Building One and is free of charge.  You can also enjoy TreasureFest (formerly Treasure Island Flea) following the lecture.  There is a low admission fee.  The flea market offers live music and food truck fare.  The topic is as follows:

Halliburton’s Final Dare: Sailing the Pacific to the GGIE

Of the many ways to travel to the Golden Gate International Exposition, crossing the Pacific Ocean in a Chinese junk could have been the most unusual.  Nothing seemed beyond adventurer and writer Richard Halliburton’s spirit of “impulse and spontaneity.”  He had already circumnavigated the globe in an open cockpit biplane and swum the length of the Panama Canal.  Now, having built the Sea Dragon in a Hong Kong at war with Japan, he and his companion Paul Mooney embarked, intending to arrive at Treasure Island with much fanfare – but never did. His ill-fated trip is seen within the context of the Pacific war and the Exposition’s theme of trans-Pacific unity, positioning Halliburton as a gay man who shaped his own unique trajectory.


Noel Sullivan Papers, BANC MSS C-B 801. The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

Second, LaborFest‘s 25th annual month-of-July programming is soon upon us.  I will be leading a walking tour with fellow historian Gifford Hartman on Saturday, July 21st, at 10:00 a.m.  We meet at One Market Street.  The event is free.  Here is a description of the tour:

Tom Mooney and the Preparedness Day Bombing Walk

During this walking tour, we visit several sites, which were integral to the unfolding of events following a bomb explosion on Steuart Street at Market Street on July 22, 1916. With fervor building to engage the United States in the war in Europe, businessmen in San Francisco embraced the cause, while labor leaders and the left denounced it. With the bomb killing ten people and wounding forty, no clear culprit was identified. But, two figures from the left, labor organizers and anarchists Tom Mooney and Warren K. Billings, were framed for the murder of the victims and spent many years in prison before being released. On this tour, we learn not only about the war between business and labor and open and closed union shops, but also about the divisive issues of American aggression in the Pacific region and against Mexico, crusading and yellow journalism in the city of San Francisco, and the mood of the country regarding World War I. The tour lasts approximately two hours. David Duckworth is an art and cultural historian, having lectured widely, including at California Institute of Integral Studies, Free University, LaborFest, New York University, Popular Culture/American Culture Association, and Treasure Island Museum. Gifford Hartman is an adult educator, labor trainer, working class historian, and has been a rank-and-file militant in various industries (some organized by the SEIU and ILWU, and other non-union shops) and presently works in the unorganized precarious education sector.


To see the full calendar of events, visit: http://www.laborfest.net/wp/2018-event-index/

And then serendipity arrived recently.  I have a group of drawings on view at Hayes Valley Art Works.  The group exhibition opened last Friday evening as a “pop up” event and will continue for two or so more weeks.  All but one of the drawings have appeared at this blog.  The garden site is at Octavia Boulevard between Oak and Lily Streets.  There is a large industrial cargo container that serves as the exhibition space.  Their hours are Friday through Sunday, 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Monday, 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  You can learn more about the garden at: https://hayesvalleyartworks.org/

I hope to see you in the near future!


28 Nov




Thoughts and Prayers

14 Nov





The Rabbit

15 Oct


Putt-Putt Trump

8 Sep


Nothing like a little R&R after a day’s work.  So, I created a figure we could explore with putting iron and golf ball at our local bar.



Now the ball didn’t just disappear into a hole.  It appeared at the other end of a PVC pipe running through a business suit, if you were a good shot.

June 25th

27 Jun



Ready to Restore Trust to the Interior

18 Jun



Don’t look now, but Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke may have plans for those regions of nature and wilderness you value and wish to preserve.  Mining?  Of course!  Timber harvesting?  Of course!  My suggestion: join officebss and write today: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2017/6/17/1672686/-Save-America-the-Beautiful

Only Stealth Can Win

17 Jun


A committee of thirteen Republicans behind closed doors will decide the fate of the nation and its access to healthcare!  For you, the most vulnerable, start deciding your fate now.


The First 100 Days: From Superfund to SuperFun! Sites

1 May


An Imperial Grifter

17 Apr


Recently I escorted program participants along a green hairstreak butterfly corridor created by the non-profit Nature in the City.  We stopped at the 16th Avenue tiled steps, 163 steps adorned with tiles at 16th and Moraga (the project was led by artists Aileen Barr and Colette Crutcher).  The hill to each side of these stunning steps is rich in gardens.  But I noticed trouble in paradise.  A small sign nestled amongst succulents recounted the theft of plants by a woman driving a Mercedes Benz, who had been caught on camera.  A photograph of this woman appears on the sign.  I spoke at length with one of the neighbors about the theft.

I believe that if this woman can afford a Mercedes Benz, she can afford to buy her own plants.  Is this sound logic?  Perhaps not.  After all, the pr*sident of the United States could afford to pay the $35,000+ that the Secret Service agency has spent in golf cart rentals to protect this man at his Mar-a-Lago, Florida resort.  The purchase orders for these Palm Beach excursions amount to $35,185 (see Cathy Burke, “Secret Service Has Spent $35K on Golf Cart Rentals at Mar-a-Lago,” Newsmax, April 17, 2017, http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/secret-service-spends-golf-cart/2017/04/14/id/784507/; accessed 04/17/2017).  But he does not.  The American taxpayer foots the bill.  In essence, we are paying Donald Trump’s property, Trump International Golf Course in West Palm Beach, to host his golfing excursions.

This is ironic given the fact that Trump railed against Barack Obama from 2011 through 2016 about Obama’s trips golfing (for an example of a Trump tweet criticizing Obama for golfing over focusing on international affairs, see Jessica Chia, “Trump hits the links AGAIN as war looms: President enjoys his 16th golf course visit since inauguration – despite Iran and Russia threatening to retaliate over his airstrikes on Syria,” Daily Mail, April 17, 2017, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4396154/Trump-makes-16th-trip-golf-course-inauguration.html; accessed 04/17/2017).

This excess does not stop with Trump.  We can also learn from Burke’s article that “the purchase orders were among those reviewed by CBS News – including Secret Service costs for Trump’s sons, Eric and Donald Jr., who have traveled overseas on Trump Organization business, that’ve topped $190,000 since January.”

Welcome to the royal coffers: your tax dollars.