Friday, July 30, 2010

Russ in Vladivostok on his way to the Volcanoes in Kamchatka!

This is the view from his room in Vladivostok...

You can follow his exploits on his blog and twitter....

Internet and phone service is poor in Russia, and what is there is very expensive.

Russell in Seoul skipping across River!

You can get a feeling for the size and scope of the water body. Russ was impressed with Seoul. He said it was like China but cleaner and kept up. He said he would definitely return to explore more.

Here is the mid town River.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Who was my grandfather?

Over on the right side of my blog is a link to my grandfather's work presented by a Hollywood television and movie archive. Since my mom's death, I have been going over mountains of photos and letters and notes and drawings from my family. My immediate family was not very big - I was an only child and so were my mother and grandmother. My grandfather had two brothers and only the oldest had children (2) that lived to have children.

I had on an earlier occasion, posted an image and a post of my grandfather's studio - which was 'stolen' by an unscrupulous partner who changed and altered documents putting himself as owner and removing my grandfather. We nearly lost everything but somehow kept our house and car. My parents and I lived with my grandparents and who knows, under the stress of it all may have contributed to my parents divorce. We were hungry, and if not for a wonderful Greek man, Nick, who had a hamburger stand around the corner from my grandfather's studio, and who fed us just about everyday, we would have really suffered. At this point in time, my mom was 22 - 23 my father was 24 - 25 my grandfather was 41 - 42 and my grandmother was 42 - 43..... and I was 2 - 3.
My father helped my grandfather rebuild the building on Argyle. That's he with the jack hammer.

My grandfather is hoisting the block of cement into trailer.
And in the end, my grandfather taught my father how to really work with his hands and that was my father's trade from then on - construction. He was a black jack dealer in Vegas for a number of years. It was easy to do if you had a photographic memory. However, before he died, we was a forman for Los Angeles Airport's retro-fit in the 1980's.

But here is my grandfather who was younger then my father in the last image (Ted was a father at 19), trying to make a living as an artist. He had quite a sense of humor. And, I think I have spotted a theme in much of his work ....

The overriding passion of my grandfather was his art - photography and painting. Though, he created more photographs then paintings, he had the opportunity to paint portraits of some very famous people... idealizing them. His photographs were carefully lit and retouched creating an image of perfection or just plain better then life. Here is California's 31 Attorney General, Jerry Brown's father, Edmund G. (Pat) Brown. This portrait was started before he had become Governor. (Edit: this is not Pat Brown, but rather....)

My grandfather bought the best example of a 'fixer-upper.' His studio was truly a disaster. My grandfather and my father re-built the building from below the ground and up. My mom used to take me to the studio and one memory exists. One tantrum my mom took me into the bathroom ("silence on the set") and I cried so loud my mother was beside herself stuffing what ever food in my mouth. I don't recall crying. I just remember being very scared of the flushing toilets in that building.
So this is the before shot (above) and below is the after.
Ted did television programs and radio and stills. The photo on the bottom was probably shot of Ted when he was at CBS just as television was beginning.
This final shot for this story was of Ted testing taking pictures of himself on a trampoline before asking Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr. to jump up and down. Crazy! Perhaps I will publish the 'Boys' jumping in Sergeants 3.
As I said there was a theme to his life.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Must find happy, or at least, interesting things

So, I am writing a grant to do a study. I am putting together my family's lives in museum grade folders and boxes... sorting through their photographs and personal letters. I am finishing my paintings left for too long on the easels. I am taking care of two more cats (my mother's) and another set of houses (thank you Eddie, for all your help). And I miss my mother and her parents terribly.

I sort of feel like the fly (Drosophila sp.) in the video. - I have been swallowed up by a ton of stuff. I mean, I was just minding my own business when ...... WUMPH! I am gone! This is the larvae of a Cicindela trifasciata sigmoidea.