Saturday, August 18, 2018

The Relay ...1957

In my last blog entry I talked of meeting my husband in NY city in 1957. He had just left "LIFE" magazine and was starting his own free lance commercial photography business. 

I have often wondered what would have happened to Dick's career (and our life together) had he stayed with "LIFE".   The picture that you see here is titled "The Relay" and it was one that he took on assignment for "TIME" magazine.  It was shot in Madison Square Garden in late 1956 and won first prize for the category in the 1957 issue of Photography Annual.  


This should have been the start of an illustrious career for Dick but it was cut short by sickness.  Photography was an entirely different business then.  For him it meant toting heavy strobe lights and other equipment, working odd hours and often traveling great distances … all things not conducive to a very brittle Type 1 diabetic.  He bravely  accepted his fate but his dream was gone and he died in 1999 at the too-young age of 59.  

My daughter and son-in-law have a small gallery of Dick's photos in their home in NY.  They are photos that he had printed and mounted himself and "The Relay" is among them.

 


Monday, August 13, 2018

1956 Dick's portrait of Margaret Bourke White

I was excited recently when I saw a well-worn autobiography written in 1963 by the famous "LIFE" magazine writer Margaret Bourke White on the sale table of our local library. Of course I bought it ("25 cents for Hardcover's") and it brought back this poignant memory.

I met my husband in 1957 in New York City.  He had left "LIFE" a year earlier to start his own business as a free lance commercial photographer.  During his 3 years with "LIFE" he was privileged to assist some of the best known photographers in the world.... not least of which was Ms. White.   It was on one of these ventures that he took a picture of her that he felt captured her adventurous nature and beauty.  He cropped and enlarged it and presented it to her on the day that he left.   

Fast forward to Dick and I marrying in 1958 and our busy days spent concentrating on enlarging his business venture.  We were still living in NY City and one evening when he came home late he explained that he'd run into his old "LIFE" group and not only did they enjoy getting caught up but they told him that Margaret Bourke White had left a letter for him before she retired but they didn't know where to send it.  Of course he was excited and couldn't wait to see what it was.

It was a lovely short letter thanking Dick for the picture and telling him that it was the best portrait that had every been taken of her.  Of course we were thrilled and when, in 1963 she came out with her autobiography we got our copy and proudly tucked her letter into the pages.  Sadly, many moves later we realized we'd lost the book with her wonderful hand-written letter inside.

Luckily memories are not so easily cast aside and it was fun to be able to resurrect this one.


Wednesday, August 08, 2018

FREEDOM of the PRESS ...



Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost.” Thomas Jefferson


Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech.” Benjamin Franklin


Freedom of the press is not just important to democracy, it is democracy.” Walter Cronkite


Aug. 5th, 2018 … tweet “The Fake News hates me saying that they are the Enemy of the People only because they know it’s TRUE. I am providing a great service by explaining this to the American People. They purposely cause great division & distrust. They can also cause War! They are very dangerous & sick!”    President Donald J. Trump







Friday, August 03, 2018

SOUND FAMILIAR ????

Other quotes from the World War II master of Nazi Propaganda … Joseph Goebbels

"The most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no success unless one fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly - it must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over".

"It would not be impossible to prove with sufficient repetition and a psychological understanding of the people concerned that a square is in fact a circle.  They are mere words, and words can be molded until they clothe ideas and disguise."

"If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.  The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences  of the lie.  It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of  the  State."

A frightening reminder … "THOSE WHO CANNOT REMEMBER THE PAST ARE CONDEMNED TO REPEAT IT"  George Santayana.

(Addendum:  I agonized over posting this; but, in all my 85 years I've never feared for the future of our country as I do now.  I simply cannot sit back and pretend there is nothing to fear and I thank you wonderful blogger friends who allow me to share my concern.)

Sunday, July 29, 2018

"Another" Blood Moon




I was disappointed that we here in the U.S. were not able to see the amazing Blood Moon lunar eclipse two days ago.  I had to be satisfied with the amazing pictures taken elsewhere all over the globe...such as this:
So, imagine my surprise when I woke very early this morning and saw, what I choose to believe, is another version of the Blood Moon.  It was our same old moon ... still full but with a pinky-red aura surrounding it. Not easy to show in a photo (although it would have been a snap for AC or Marie) but here is what I got:  
HMMMMMMM … a message from the Big Guy?  We were the only part of the globe not privy to this amazing phenomenon.  Going it alone has many drawbacks ...


Thursday, July 26, 2018

Before Johnny Carson there was ...

The Jack Paar Show. It was 1961 and my husband and children  and I were living in NY City. Television was coming in to it’s own by then and we loved to watch his show after the evening news. I can remember so clearly a night when I was watching alone and my husband was in the next room doing paperwork. As I recall Jack Paar was not hosting that night and there were no big name guests listed to be interviewed. 

Then the temporary host introduced the next guest, a singer with the strange name of Barbra Streisand. (I was sure that a cast member was responsible for the misspelling !)
It was her TV debut and he said she would be singing 'her interpretation of the old Tin Pan Alley standard Happy Days Are Here Again”. This seemed odd to me. I couldn’t see how her choice could possibly help her break in to the “big time”. Then Barbra walked on stage, the lights dimmed and the orchestra played very softly in the background as she started to sing.
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. She sang this normally upbeat song very, very slowly and each note was pure as a bell. I called to my husband and we listened, entranced, as she continued to sing and ended on a single note that seemed to go on forever. There was dead silence in the room and then the audience exploded … as did we, the two of us sitting alone in our apartment and clapping to beat the band.

I have never experienced another pop singer who impressed me as much as Barbra did that night. I was not at all surprised to read that her debut album “The Barbra Streisand Album”, released early in 1963 and including her rendition of “Happy Days” was voted Album of the Year and won three Grammy Awards.  


Saturday, July 21, 2018

SIMPLE PLEASURES … 10/16/87


It was over 30 years ago that I saw this segment of the “Johnny Carson” show but I remember it like it was yesterday and it still makes me smile.

Myrtle Young, a potato chip inspector for Seyfert Foods in Fort Wayne, Indiana was Johnny's guest. While on the job she'd noticed that many of the defected chips reminded her of everyday images and she'd made a collection of them which she proudly and lovingly brought to his show.

It would have been a short and sweet few minutes on the Carson show except for the intensity and obvious love that Ms. Young had for her collection. She would pick up a chip from the ones spread out on Johnny's desk and describe her vision of it in glowing terms.

At one point, as the picture above shows, she turned to the audience, chip in hand, and was about to give them an explanation when she heard a loud crunch from Johnny. I will never forget the look of horror on her face as she whipped around to face Johnny … obviously thinking that he was devouring one of her beloved collection chips.  As she clutched her hand to her heart Johnny practically fell over himself assuring her that the chip he'd eaten was NOT part of her collection.  Strange as it seems in today's “sophisticated” tech era it was incredibly funny back then and his apologies and her obvious relief and forgiveness of his prank were heat warming.  

In 1999 TV Guide named it the funniest moment on TV.  I don't think I'd go that far but you can judge for yourself … like most everything nowadays it's on YouTube.