Wednesday, October 22, 2014


Well, tomorrow I hit the open road. I will be traveling North, by car, and I can’t wait to bathe in the beauty of the Shenandoah Valley. I’m sure it will be just the first of many scenic encounters along the way. The trees have taken on their Fall colors and that’s always a treat.

This is simply a hiatus ... a temporary break from my usual life. I will miss you all (my blogging family) but I will check up on you when I can get to a computer and will try to leave some comments along the way. I hope I will come back with lots of fodder for my own blog.

‘bye for now………Ginnie

Thursday, October 16, 2014


1959 was a year of beginnings. My husband and I lived in New York City and we’d fashioned one of the rooms in our apartment into a dark room for his burgeoning free lance photography business. Everything seemed to be falling in place but we had yet to come up with a logo that satisfied us.

A friend of ours was the Art Director for Swissair and he designed the logo that’s pictured above. It was clean and simple and we loved it.  It was my husband’s initials (RD) in lower case (rd).  We
used it on all of our correspondence and even had little glue-backed stamps made up for us in rolls, such as you see at the Post Office. They included along with the logo the words “Richard Dean Concept” and we would adhere one to each finished photo before presenting it to a client.

Another new acquisition at that time was a miniature dachshund we named Tiger. She was a typical puppy and commenced to chew her way happily through most of our slippers and anything else that she found tempting. I guess the glue backing on Dick’s promotional stamps was to her liking because …

…I couldn’t believe it one day when I found four cylindrical shaped turds wrapped in the words, “Richard Dean Concept”. You can imagine the ribbing that Dick got over that !

Saturday, October 11, 2014

My first “real” job … 1954

21 years old and I’m ready to take on the world ! I had just received my degree in journalism from Boston University and although this was pretty far from my dream of being a roving reporter I still felt pretty lucky to get this job at a Boston Ad Agency. My dad was a production manager in a competing agency and I’m sure he cleared the way for me.

Here I am at the drawing table with the Art Manager. He was teaching me how to set type for the ad that our agency was working on. We would peruse thick books with examples of type faces and choose the type that we wanted to use and then we would manually set a page to our specifications. It was tedious and exacting work but it felt wonderful to be the one who brought it all together.

Of course the computer has changed all that but I wonder if Id have had that same sense of accomplishment if I’d just followed instructions and punched in a bunch of numbers.

My oldest son ran into something similar to that after he got his Masters in Architecture in the 1990‘s. Architectural drawings were still hand drawn then and, although it was meticulous work, he enjoyed it immensely and even won some prizes with his designs. Now there are very sophisticated computer programs that have taken all the guesswork out of architecture and it has changed that whole industry. It’s called “progress” and there’s no doubt that it’s quicker and more proficient but I often wonder if we haven’t lost something along the way.

Monday, October 06, 2014


In 1978 my elderly mother spent the winter months with us in North Carolina. At age 84 she was still very active and her mind was exceptionally alert. No matter where she was she would find things of interest and she had a knack for turning the mundane into an adventure.

One of my mother’s disciplines was to take a short walk every day and she would usually be gone for about 30 minutes. A week into her visit she took her regular exercise but it was almost two hours before she returned home. She had heard that we had a bedridden neighbor living just 4 houses down from ours and she took it upon herself to visit her. When there was no answer to her knock she tried the door and, finding it open, she stuck her head in, giving a friendly “Woo, woo, anyone here?” A woman answered and Mother ventured in and introduced herself ! (Can you imagine that in this day and age?) The two women became great friends and those visits were the highlight of her days while staying with us.

She would also bring home leaves and berries and anything else that caught her fancy and she would pour over our encyclopedias to identify them. One day she was doing just that in “her” little back bedroom when I heard a loud cry of astonishment. I went running to see if she was OK and the two of us watched in wonder as more than 20 Cedar Waxwings settled to feed on the berries of a small tree in our backyard
The tree was just outside her window and we were not more than 10 feet from the birds. We watched in awe as these lovely creatures fed to their heart’s content. I mentioned that I could run and get my camera but Mother put her hand on my arm and said, “Don’t move. They’ll be gone before you get back. Just savor the moment.” … and she was right. All of a sudden they perked up, as if they’d heard a silent alarm, and within a minute they were gone.

That was 36 years ago and my tree, my mother and my Cedar Waxwings are all gone. But, not my memory...that I will savor forever.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Famous baby born at Lennox Hill Hospital, NY City, Sept. 2014

Miracle baby born at Lennox Hill Hosp., NY City, Oct. 3, 1961

Here is our wee daughter JoAnna who almost didn’t make it … along with her mother (me!). Hers was a placenta-previa birth where the placenta is “born” before the baby and it leaves the unborn baby with nothing to feed on. In 1961 it was almost always fatal unless you were in the hospital, which, luckily, was the case with me …having been admitted a day before because I had started bleeding. Our baby wasn’t due for another month but the doctor had me admitted for observation.

I was thinking he was being overly cautious until I started to hemorrhage and my husband frantically yelled for the nurses. Everything happened so fast then that it becomes a blur in my mind, but I do remember my husband saying “keep your chin up” and then promptly passing out. For a minute the crew didn’t know if they should take care of Dick or me...but they left him there on the floor and proceeded to rush me to the operating room where they performed a caesarian.

And that’s how our little Jody was born. She weighed less than 5 lbs. and had to stay in the hospital for 10 days, but she and I were lucky to be alive and I’m happy to say that her daddy survived and was able to snap this picture of a happy mother and daughter a few months later.

…and where is our daughter right now? In France with her husband celebrating 25 years of marriage and her 53rd birthday !

Friday, September 26, 2014

Last day of our weekend jaunt …

Back in 2007 I wrote a blog about the world famous Ben Long frescoes in two very small churches in North Carolina and, since we were within a few hours of them I wanted my friend to see them too. So on Sunday afternoon we bid our hosts goodbye and set off for the Jefferson area.

It was a beautiful drive and we reached our destination about 3 pm.  Although I'd seen and been thrilled by them before it was a special treat to show them to Olive.  Both churches are open 24 hours and a recorded talk describes the process of making frescoes and how Ben Long and a group of his students chose to paint them there.  Here is one of them:
and here we have my friend in front of the 2nd church.

We spent a long time admiring the small churches and their frescoes and then we had a delightful dinner before we headed on to our final destination ... the Buffalo Tavern Bed & Breakfast ! We had planned on staying in a motel until our hosts heard about that and insisted that we change our plans. They had stayed with “Doc” Martin, the owner, in the past and couldn’t say enough good things about their experience, so we took them at their word.

We were delighted to see that it was a lovely country home with two front porches and a scenic mountain view.

... and guess what the name of our room was? The Flapper Room ! Hmmm. I wonder if that was because of our age or how our friend described us when he made the reservations ?  Here are some pictures so you can judge for yourself. 

  (We were happy to find that the curtained tub was strictly for show !)


Sunday, September 21, 2014

Last weekend's vacation …continued.

Our destination was just up the road from Carl Sandburg’s home … the quaint and lovely town of Hendersonville, NC, where our friends Jim and Caryl live. They are newlyweds and it was wonderful to see them again.

On Saturday they were our tour guides and we spent the day in Ashville at the River Arts District. More than 170 artists have working studios there in old industrial warehouses that were once thriving but had been unused for years.

They have really turned that area into a thriving community but it wasn’t all artwork as you can see by this next picture. When my traveling companion, Olive, heard the lively music being played by this impromptu group she broke into a lively Irish Jig. The woman with her back to us is one of the artists who dropped her paintbrush to join in !

It was a fun day and we topped it off with a ride to the top of Mt. Pisgah and dinner at the famous inn and hotel located there.

The spectacular view that we’d heard about was completely obscured by fog and all we could see was the reflection of the lights from the ceiling of the Inn, but we didn’t care. The good food and even better companionship made it a memorable evening.

I do have to admit that the ride home down the Blue Ridge Parkway was pretty scary at night in the fog but it didn’t faze our hosts a bit and, as you can tell by reading this, we made it !