About the “Obituarium, End Prose and Portraits” Project
Robert Gullie and Anthony R. Pezzula have talked for sometime about a collaboration. They were, however, unsure of what form it would take. They knew they wanted to tap into each of their talents; Bob’s visual art and Tony’s written word. After much discussion they finally found their inspiration for “Obituarium” after looking at some vintage photos that Bob had obtained. Bob and Tony had long discussions about how to bring these photos to life. It was finally decided that Bob would use the photos as a basis for his signature mixed media collages and create characters that Tony would imaginatively use as the subjects of obituaries in the style of the early twentieth century. Bob proceeded to lovingly create each person while Tony went about researching old newspapers to get a feel for death notices of the period. In all but one case, Bob created the images and then passed them on to Tony to memorialize each individual through his text. In one, Tony created the text first, and Bob was challenged to develop the visual character. In the end, like some mortal deities, they came to appreciate and respect each individual they brought to life through this process. Tony and Bob thoroughly enjoyed working together and are proud of the finished project. They hope you enjoy getting to know these whimsical characters as much as they have over the past few months. Over the past few months Bob and Tony have also extended the collaboration with a singer/songwriter Jim Gaudet of “Jim Gaudet and the Railroad Boys”. Jim has been transforming these personal stories into songs. (click on images to enlarge)
"Obituarium, End Prose and Portraits" Prayer”
Judge me not by flesh and bone
Or how I may appear
Forgive the sins that I atone
As Judgment Day is near
As I escape these mortal chains
Let your tears be few
Rejoice instead and pray I gain
Reward that I am due
Agatha Schmetterling singer dancer and noted socialite expired Tuesday last in Miami, Florida in her sixty-fourth year. The New Rochelle, NY resident was the daughter of famed entomologists the late Tobias and Anke Schmetterling and was a product of one of their misguided experiments. Miss Schmetterling performed at venues throughout the New York City area as well as at private functions for the social elite. Her generous inheritance allowed her access to befriend many of the rich and powerful and endear herself to them. In the winter she could not resist the urge to migrate south, and became just as popular in South Florida society. It was there, at a beach party bonfire that she wandered too close to the flames suffering mortal wounds. Her wings will be mounted and framed to be displayed at New Rochelle High School where she set many track records that still stand.
The Williamson family of Herkimer, NY, announced the passing of their beloved matriarchs; Mildred and Mavis Monday last in their sixty-third year. Active in their community they once ran for town council, Mildred on the Republican ticket and Mavis as a Democrat. Despite a robust campaign including several fierce debates, they were forced to withdraw after coming down with a debilitating case of the grip. The experience put a strain on their relationship and they didn’t speak to each other for two years. It was the intervention of their daughters, sisters/cousins Elizabeth and Anne, who got them to reconcile. They were inseparable ever since. Their husbands, brothers Samuel and Louis Williamson, announced their law offices will be closed indefinitely for a period of mourning. After retirement as legal secretaries Mildred and Mavis worked as Standardized Patients at the Mohawk Medical College where an overenthusiastic student ruptured their spleen, which led to their untimely death.
Cable advice was received here today of the death in New Guinea of Anson B. Chichester, former president of the Farmer’s and Merchant’s Bank and Loan Company of Ghent, NY. Mr. Chichester resigned from that position in 1918 shortly before the company folded under questionable circumstances and to the dismay of its customers who lost the funds in their accounts. A would-be explorer, Chichester traveled to New Guinea with his wife who disappeared shortly thereafter, her body never found. Two weeks after her disappearance Chichester married Mianna, daughter of tribal Chief Khorve Kunava. Chichester was stricken with jaundice and in a delirium wandered off a steep cliff to his death. Chief Kunava reported Chichester’s body, in accordance with his wishes, will be sautéed with native onions and potatoes.
Morton Clay of Breakabeen, NY, passed from this life in his thirty-third year Tuesday last at his home on Oak St. Mr. Clay performed with Morey’s Travelling Vaudeville Show teaming with Jay Silver to form the comedy team Clay & Silver. The team broke up when Clay cuckolded Silver, who then threw lye in Clay’s face. Clay spent the last few years of his life in isolation except for occasional singing performances at the Schoharie Home for the Blind. Mr. Clay was a collector of masks and vampire bats. As it is mating season his favorite pet bat, Homer, escaped one recent night and contracted rabies. He faithfully returned but unfortunately passed the dreaded disease to Clay who finally succumbed to its ravages. In accordance with his wishes Clay will be buried wearing his favorite mask. After dissection Homer will be cremated and the rest of the bats freed to nearby caves.
Dr. Winslow S. Sloan of Homer, NY died Wednesday last in his sixty-fifth year at his home on Elm St. Despite a valiant battle, he finally succumbed to influenza. A noted ophthalmologist, Dr. Sloan authored several books on the eye and often gave lectures to colleagues and students. But his wife, Matilda Homer Sloan, descendant of the town’s founder and well known in central New York society, reported that his favorite activity was donning costumes and visual aids and performing educational entertainment for children. Always accompanied by his constant companion and life-like doll, Eye-leen, he ended each performance with his favorite phrase, “Remember, eyes love you.” His final hours were spent surrounded by his loving wife and faithful servants while lying next to Eye-leen. Mrs. Sloan indicated he will be entombed in the family’s mausoleum at Homer Rural Cemetery, while Eye-leen will be cremated.
Doyle S. Mycroft of Hudson, NY, died Wednesday last in his fifty-second year. A respected and feared maitred’ at the Hudson Arms, he also took pride in his abilities as an amateur sleuth and often bragged how he could deduce and intuit better than most detectives. His proudest moment occurred in 1918 when he located Mayor Enoch Lake’s cat, Pixie, which had been missing for several days. For his efforts, Mayor Lake awarded him with the keys to the city. Despite that success he was repeatedly rebuffed by Police Chief Hal O’Brien when offering assistance in solving the most perplexing cases. To his credit he never let the rejections prevent him from placing members of the force at the best tables in the Hudson Arms. Death was by fire when he left his magnifying glass in the sun causing papers to ignite while he slept. He left behind a widow and three sons.
Philander B. Warburg of Hadley, NY died in his thirty-first year in mid-ocean following a mental breakdown while returning to this country from Europe. Further investigation is pending the ship’s docking in Boston. Mr. Warburg was a renowned fashion designer who had voyaged to Paris to show off his latest designs. Unfortunately his fashions received a less than enthusiastic reception. According to his family, Mr. Warburg was never the same after suffering a severe undisclosed wound while serving in the Spanish-American War. After his designs for new uniforms were rejected by the Army, he founded his successful business upon his discharge. Mr. Warburg was the first male to be elected vice-president of the New York Women’s Suffrage Association and was also an active temperance advocate having co-founded the Anti-Saloon League of Upstate New York. Unmarried, Mr. Warburg is survived by his mother and three sisters.
Harriett Morgan originally from Randolph, MA, passed on to eternal life at her home in Whitehall, NY in her forty-fifth year. The daughter of decorated Civil War chaplain, Captain Horatio Davis, Mrs. Morgan spent her formative years in the South Pacific while her father pursued his ministry vocation after the war. While in her teens her father credited her with converting many of the young native men to Christianity. She was active in the Whitehall Ladies Interpretive Dance Club and a founding member of the Baptists for Nudism Society. She enjoyed gardening, knitting and pornography. She is survived by her loving and obedient husband Percy and their two children Harry and Dexter. Severe sun poisoning led to her ultimate demise.
Ignatius P. Beachwood of Malone, NY died yesterday in his forty-second year of apoplexy after being stricken while performing at the Ritz Theatre in that city. Mr. Beachwood, who billed himself as Iggy The Great, was a master illusionist and conflagrator who performed in venues throughout upstate New York. He was famous for his signature illusion, the disappearing peacock, which dazzled many audiences. He was forced to give up the trick when his peacock died after choking on a peach pit. He dedicated each subsequent performance to his beloved peacock. When not performing, Mr. Beachwood was a respected chemistry teacher at Malone Union Free High School. He fathered three children, Harry, Carl and Maria with his wife Matilda and was devoted to their welfare. He loved barbequing and was proud of his collection of antique Bunsen burners. Cremation will follow a memorial service at the Beachwood home Thursday next.
Cornelia Miranda, the poisoner, absent a reprieve by the governor was executed at yesterday’s daybreak in her forty-third year. Born in Ithaca, NY Miss Miranda in her tenth year moved to Yonkers, NY where her father was a successful tobacconist. Thrice widowed, Miss Miranda for years was a Colonel in the First Church of Yonkers Army of God where she oversaw sustenance for the destitute at the Church’s Mission. It was in that position that she claimed God spoke to her and told her to bring the poor souls to His Kingdom via arsenic in their meals. In addition to her extensive collection of waxed produce, Miss Miranda was also known to enjoy posing for French postcards fully clothed. She is survived by her father, Nicholas Miranda who intends to claim her cremated remains and keep them in a humidor at his tobacco shop.
Libro Testadura of Rome, NY, died yesterday in his thirty-second year. A noted historian he authored a number of works on medieval weaponry. He was perhaps better known for his participation in two duels in 1906. While he suffered a facial wound in the first duel, he won both thereby gaining the hand of his wife Teresa. He was also fascinated by hypnosis allowing himself to by hypnotized several times in an effort to connect with his twin brother Amoro who predeceased him in childhood. Although introspective and pensive he was known to have a quick temper often engaging in verbal and physical disputes. After his neighbor Dino Mattarazzo made a disparaging comment about his earring, Testadura challenged him to a duel at which he was mortally wounded leading to his untimely death. A doting father and husband, he will be missed by his wife and twin daughters Celestina and Vanusta.
The people of Stillwater, NY were plunged into profound sorrow by the news of the death of young Otis Mahoney in his seventh year. In Otis’ third year the Prince of Darkness claimed him for his own. Despite the best efforts of his parents, Hezekiah and Ophelia, as well as intervention from various Stillwater clergy, Otis remained in the evil one’s grasp. Nevertheless, Otis brought much joy to his parents and to his pet dog, Maggie, who never left his side. His innocence and basic goodness were strong enough to nearly turn the Devil back into the Angel he once was before falling from grace. Otis’ valiant battle against diphtheria was fought so bravely that it is said even the Devil himself shed a tear when Otis expelled his last breath. Otis’ final smile reflected his soul was released from those evil clutches. The morose Prince of Darkness left the area for parts unknown.
Nogi Slobaniewski, daughter of Polish immigrants, passed unto eternal life Thursday last at St. Casimer’s Clinic and Rehabilitation Center. She suffered unfortunate complications from recent corrective surgery. “She wanted fuller lips,” her father Zbigniew said sadly, “she was such a vain little girl.” According to her parents, Nogi was a happy child who had varied interests and talents especially excelling in sporting games. “You couldn’t get anything past her,” her father proudly proclaimed. But her favorite game was Simon Says. “After all,” said her father, “how many children can stand and lift two feet off the ground at the same time?” Her heartbroken parents said they will miss their brown/blue/green-eyed darling and her unbelievable hugs. Nogi’s body will be donated to science.
Bruno (Hats) Cozzolino of Mulberry St, New York, NY, died suddenly last week in his fifty-third year. The exact date and cause of death are unknown pending reassembly of the body. Mr. Cozzolino was President of the Mulberry Street Social Club and, although very private about his business affairs, was believed to be involved in the insurance and loan making business as well as various entertainment enterprises and more recently importing. Mr. Cozzolino was affectionately called “The Enforcer” in his early years, but preferred his self-designated nick-name of “Hats” due to his hobby of collecting various types of headwear. In addition to his hat collection, Mr. Cozzolino loved his family and his collection of Tommy-guns, knives and stuffed animals. Reportedly his favorite stuffed animal, a yellow bird, was found in his mouth when his head was delivered to the Social Club headquarters. Funeral arrangements are pending.