Fairmont Creamery Breathes New Life

Today we drove into Lawton, OK.  Not for groceries for a change but to take a look at The  Fairmont Creamery Co. historic building be renovated and take photos. Fairmont2It was languishing amidst of other brick buildings long time abandoned and then fortuitously someone had enough imagination and the vision to see it brought back to life. As I peeked through the windows I discovered that major work has been done but there is a lot more to do and a load of bricks stacked up in front  of the building in the ready. These folk who take it upon themselves to preserve history are my heroes.

fairmont1 Fairmont3Fairmont Creameries were once spread out through the mid section of the US as far north as Minnesota, as far east as Buffalo NY and as far south as Lawton, OK. It all started about 1930 in Iowa. They must have been built to last as a number of them have been restored/ repurposed as Lofts and retail space which is the plan for the Lawton version

Check out these links to other Fairmont Creameries.








Just a Walk in the Park

As many with pets will attest walking the dog pushes you out the door. Ours dogs, Doolin & Kyffin, get at least 2 walks a day. Walking behind them are my husband and me.  I carry a purse that has doggie clean bags, doggie treats and my iPhone. Kyffin’s leash wraps around my waist leaving my hands free to take photos as I walk. Medicine Park is picturesque some days more than others. Our walks take us about a mile. Here are the main routes: 1. Creekside down Charley Wright Trail (AKA The Wright Way), 2. Rex Leath Rd which ambles down the Medicine Creek across from the Fish Hatchery then returning West Lake Drive, 3. West Lake Drive takes (AKA the other side of the Creek) takes us past cottages and houses. From there we turn up the side streets and back again. 4. Forrest Ave or as I call it Upper Wacker (a Chicago reference).  A hilly climb one block west of town center, 5. Big Rock Rd. our mountain (Mt. Cummins) road on the North side of town, 6. Buffalo Street, Longhorn Street, East Lake Drive.

The old stock of shops, fences and cottages were constructed of cobblestones, round grapefruit sized red granite most having been built from about 1910 to the 1920s. The majority have been restored while a number are in various stages of collapse. There are new homes that have been built many in the last 10 years. Most of them are too new to be interesting enough for me to photograph although some of the plantings are impressive. My photographing efforts have on and off depending if brought a camera with me but in the last year with my iPhone handy I have been able to snap what I see.

Some I put up raw, some I run through very iPhone apps like Camera+, CameraBag and iPhoto mobile. And if the image warrants it I will take it in to my Macbook iPhoto and/ or Photoshop. I have owned cameras, Polaroids, Nikons, Canons, Minoltas and Pentax. The first being SRL’s film cameras other being digitals. But frankly I like being able to move the photos without plugging things in. The majority of shots you will see in this slide show are shot with my iPhone, most within the last 2 years.




Artcestry: The Wunderle Artistic Inheritance

No doubt we are a large family on my mother’s side with somewhere around 300 individuals coming down from my maternal grand parents, Aloysius and Lucille Wunderle. My aunts and uncles and their families all lived in the Cleveland, OH area. As the original 50 first cousins grew to adulthood they moved about country. It is only since Facebook that many of us have reconnected and at the same time we are learning but each other’s families and each others interests. Maybe because I am an artist myself that I find it remarkable the number of visual artists there are among the cousins and the cousins’ kids. I know that in the mix of my mother’s siblings there are those who could draw and some could paint including my mother. Uncle John and Uncle Charles both took art classes. Taking into consideration that only 1% of the US population are visual artists would mean there would mean a total 5 of the cousins might be artists.
Having put the question forward the answer I arrived at was at least 10, double the national average. To compare, there are about the equal percentage of doctors in the US meanwhile in our family doctors number zero as far as I know. Obviously the artists in the family are not show-offs as when ask to submit their art I ended up for the most part hunting for the images on their facebook and beyond. Through no fault of my own and for not trying, I may have missed some cousins and some art. I can always add names and art to this post if the cousins contact me. Please feel free to move about the the images.

Artist Cousins…

Michelle Losey Nazzaro, Painter, drawing. Cooper School of Art, Cleveland, OH
Mary Losey Kevdzija, photographer, painter / drawing. Cleveland Institute of Art
Laura Losey Faulkner, Artist, Pencil/ charcoal and pastel
Mark Losey photographer
Andrea Wunderle Coble, Artist/Illustrator/ Interior designer. Andrea Coble I received my under graduate degree in illustration at Utah State University. I did cover art for a small magazine in Germany after working for MEM Art Services in the USA, right after graduating. Then for about 5 -6 years I switched gears and fell in love with interior design and worked in high end designer galleries. I also received an award in Germany for my large abstract prints depicting Cleveland of all things. Now I paint on gourds and love to plan a good party. I throw one a month it seems.
Paul Wunderle, Photographer
Susan Norris Trentel,Drawing, Plush and Doll plush design, Clothes designer, pattern maker. Cooper School of Art
Muriel Norris Fahrion concept Illustrator, 3D, cute character developer and photography. Cooper School of Art
Sheila Franczak Tolbert, Painter of portraits, nostalgic images and dog portraits/ Interior Decorating. Dog Portrait is of Tank, he passed away last spring and my friend asked me to paint it for her husband as a tribute. I paint in acrylic on canvas. I do not advertise, I paint for friends, family and an occasional referral.
Patsy Norris Welsh/ stained glass

Cousin’s Kids

Colin Fahrion Concept Graphic Art, Medical Illustration, website design and random acts of creativity, Cleveland Institute of Art
Ted Intorcio Comic Book illustrator, commercial design. Carnegie Mellon, Pittsburgh
Bill Trentel, Graphic Designer and owner Trentel Graphics. Carnagie Mellon, Pittsburg, PA
Rachel Welsh Igas/ Graphic Design/ Computer design Rachel Welsh de Iga BFA in Graphic Design from WVU and have worked as a graphic designer, multimedia designer, art director, etc. I still love drawing the best. I currently have a client who requires me to create works of art on her brown paper lunch bags every morning before she goes to school. I get a kick out of the fact that her friends clamor to see what she brings in (realistic or abstract) every day.
Denise Ginley, Photographer, Food Design. Evergreen State College. Visit her at Little Market Kitchen Blog
Kim Fahrion – Interior Design/ Poster design/ crafts, Has taught these subjects to High Schoolers Nancy Gebauer paints and draws. Teaches art classes.
Mary Trentel Hall– Quilter/ Crafter
Julie Norris, Photography

Cousin’s Grand Kids

Kendall MacKeigan Fashion Design/ Art (cousin’s granddaughter)
Morgan Shina Hosokoawa Ward, fashion design (cousin’s granddaughter)
Cassandra Kelemen Kling, Nature photography

Note: Thanks to Rachel Welsh Igas for the original title “Artcestry”


Starting with buying $3 mini colanders from Big Lots just because I love the color! I was washing carrots in the orange one when it hit me how I loved the orange in orange. For the background I found shiny bright colored folders located in kids school supplies and the rest was 2 weeks worth of experimentation. I would walk into the grocery store and buy things that I wouldn’t normally buy but the colors screamed “buy me!”. I like it that I can make my art and eat it too! The final video product is a minimalistic conceptual color directed piece set to a techno dance beat. All  photos were shot with the iphone 5 on the front veranda out of the sun but still in natural light. Video assembled with iMovie.

I wanted to pair the images up with a musical background so I began sifting through iTunes starting by searching for “Colander”. There were about 4 songs with that name but Joseph Capriati dance mix was perfect. I gave him credit on the video. If you loved it go to his site listen and/or buy.

The most logical thing for me to have done was to make the images into prints. Two of my graphically inclined friends are nudging me to do so. Its in the works.


Part IV Capulin Volcano NM

Capulin Volcano

To cushion our disappointment about not being able to go to Fort Collins we  discovered that on the way home there was Capulin Volcano, a prehistoric site.  It had rained all the way off and on but we were glad that when we got to the volcano the rain had stopped and we were able to drive to the top and looked down to where lava once spewed. The walking path continued to the very top however we were already at 7000+ feet and I did need to challenge my asthmatic condition. Having forgotten to bring a jacket or sweater I did  fortunately pick up a hoodie  in Amarillo.   On the top of the volcano was the one place I was glad I had it. We had been to the bottom of a canyon and a gorge it was now wonderful to be looking down at yet another awesome spectacle. 

Our midway stop was Amarillo, staying in town this time we found Leal’s Mexican Restaurant to have a little Tex-Mex before moving on.

We actually finished our touring at Altus Oklahoma, we stopped in to browse a few antique shops. The Mercantile on Main Street was the kind of antique store appreciated, lots of stuff to rummage through yet not the import junk that so often takes up rooms of so-called Antique Malls. There I purchased antique c1890’s Whiting & Davis purse. Although not perfect (what is at that age) it is charming.

We arrived home and turned on the news, sadly the flooding in New Mexico and Colorado was front story. Our relatives escaped the worst of it although our nephews business has suffered great losses. We visited some beautiful places in those two states, our hopes are they will be fully restored so others can experience them.

All photos were taken by either Muriel or Michael Fahrion. Video by Muriel Fahrion. “Coming Home” by Chuck Cheesman check out his music and buy a song or two