Saturday, November 16, 2013

Tear Down or Keeper?

I always wonder and predict how the inside of people’s houses look especially when I walk around the neighborhood and try and peak in their windows. This is a house on our street recently listed on HAR and OMG the photos were worse than I expected.

I think it’s great to stay fit and watch our weight but seeing the “healthometer” scale facing you might not be the ideal way to wake up every morning- and if you are trying to sell your house I think this bedroom photo of the healthometer scale, along with the prescription medication on the nightstand are the kinds of things we could move out of the frame- it sort of takes away from the ambiance and charm of the house.

Location is everything and this is a great one but really, it might sell better without the photos for lot value. I do love the portrait of the sweet couple at the headboard I wish them all the best in their next move. If I shot this house I would certainly keep that portrait and I hope they do too, but when I look at all the photos and consider the location it’s hard to call this house “a keeper”. So many of us end up finding ourselves in this same predicament, even when we keep it updated. We simply outlive our houses.

A family friend told me last night that the people of the “old south” would tear down their house before they sold the land to keep their memories. I think this is what these owners should do- keep the portrait, ditch the scale, have a couple of margaritas and move on- yes?

Monday, October 14, 2013

Dorman David

Charles Dorman David- October 27, 1937- September 30 2013

Dorman was a brilliant and talented self taught artist and collector who attracted, acquired and expected beautiful things; objects, friendships, food, and of course women. He was my friend for the past ten years but I was a new friend because held on to friendships for decades. His oldest friend goes back to kindergarten at Poe Elementary.

Dorman was a collector who was ahead of his time with great vision and aesthetic. He loved to buy/ trade and make deals- big deals with the big boys. He loved to make the news too and he did it well.

My favorite thing about Dorman was his humor; I think this was his best attribute. Once, Dorman literally made me laugh so hard I cried. I am happy to say I could make him laugh too, even in the end. When those handsome firemen were doting on him on our way to the hospital I said “Dorman look at all this male attention you are getting- I’m jealous!” He smiled and chuckled pretty well for us that that day.

As Dorman approached the end of his life, he liked to share lots of stories about his past. He constantly reminded me how much good he did- all good things and nothing bad. Dorman wasn't  much of a religious man but I think this was his way of buying his ticket to heaven and by far his biggest deal ever. Rest in Peace Dorman, You will be missed. 

Monday, July 16, 2012

Last Night at Fiesta

We all knew that Fiesta on Dunlavy would close and eventually be torn down but loyal shoppers like myself were in denial. So when Dimitri threw out the idea that we should visit the store for their last night open I didn't want to go. We shopped there daily for years. I remember when it was an Safeway and an Apple Tree but when Fiesta took over they really made the whole shopping experience so much fun. They had the best music, (where else can you shop while listening to Simon and Garfunkel?) The employees were so friendly and they had great inventory. They had this one section I liked to call the groovy section where you could buy essential oils, all natural cleaners and Homeopathic Tinctures. Anyway so I went with do to say goodbye to and we gathered up a few of our friends for a group photo. It was sad but I am glad we went. The big question is where do we shop now and will there ever be another store like Fiesta? RIP Fiesta on Dunlavy.We will always remember you.

Last Night at Fiesta 

Saturday, October 29, 2011

"When Americans hide behind a mask, anything can happen.”

I attended and graduated from a small private K-12 school in Houston called Awty International back in the 80’s. I graduated with 8 other people. The school was so small I was able to take part in pretty much any activity I wanted to; cheerleading, soccer, and my favorite, photographer and editor of our yearbook. 

Halloween is my favorite holiday and NPR is my favorite radio station. I love Halloween, everyone has a chance to be creative and reinvent themselves.This year, NPR called out for submissions of vintage  Halloween photos, so I searched my archive for the oldest photos I could find from my days at Awty. I found some and submitted my series to their site. To my delight, NPR chose a photo from my series and posted it on their website (#3 of 13) title
boys in costume

Of my series, the photo I liked most was the boy dressed as Pac Man,but that might be because I was totally hooked on Pac Man- still am today when I have enough quarters at Agora. NPR chose another one of the series which now that they mention it, their choice is probably the best of the bunch. Anyway I thought I would share them all together here, maybe you can tell me your favorites.

Happy Halloween!

Friday, September 16, 2011

“I never read. I just look at pictures”- Andy Warhol

I don’t read books....... I wait for the movie. That said, I have a true passion for books and bookstores. As a non reader, E-books and Kindles don’t cut the mustard. They offer nothing that appeals to my senses. That is why I love to browse in bookstores and cool old shops; a great pastime especially for me since I don’t spend all my time reading and have plenty extra for browsing.

I do arduously read and analyze book titles, the author’s, publishers and all those “self published” books which seem to be all the rage. I really like the way books look, smell, old, new, rare, first edition. I like the feel of a book in my hand, to measure their cost, how big or heavy they are. I sort, organize and strategically place books on shelves and throughout my house. I photograph them and document the way I find them on a shelf. In short, I pretty much do everything but read the darn things.

For me, the whole “book thing” comes down to storytelling. I used to like reference books but now we have the internet, so it’s all about fiction. OK, I do read a few biographies because I like people’s stories, but really most of those books are movies now too.

The book itself tells enough of a story to fill my needs. Old books have inscriptions, notes or found gems like old ticket stubs or photos used as bookmarks. New ones have funky graphics, imagery and messages claiming to be relevant to current times.

Most of all, I appreciate a good storyteller which isn’t easy for everyone to do. It requires timing, gesture, tone, and humor. So much goes into storytelling and a good storyteller is hard to come by these days. We are in too much of a hurry now for telling or listening. 

My favorite storytellers are what I like to call my older “gentleman friends” Dorman David, Geoff Winningham, Kirk Farris, and of course my Dad. Most Kids today can barely speak in complete sentences; much less tell a good story.

Sadly, storytelling may be a dying ritual, much like the fate of browsing aimlessly through a great bookstore. I won’t miss the loss of the superstores like Borders but I hope the independents can stay in business against the internet moguls somehow. 

Tell me a story or give me the movie, but please keep the books and bookstores for old time sake. What does the future hold for books? And most importantly will storytellers die out along with the ritual of book browsing?

Sunday, May 8, 2011

My Mom, The Monorail Model

My mom was friends with a couple of photographers in Houston. Their names were Ogden and Jim.They were a fun loving gay couple who launched a photography business together back in the 60's. They used my family to model for them all the time, especially my mom because she was so beautiful. Hobby Airport tried to start a monorail and the photographers used my mom to help promote the concept to Houston. She is standing in front of it in the photo. The monorail never came to fruition but the photograph lives on to help us remember that exiting time. My older sister was 2 years old at the time, so she was a young mom but she looks like a glamorous jet setting career woman on her way to somewhere fabulous. Instead she was probably headed to the grocery store to pick up dinner and vacuum cleaner bags on the way home.
My friend Myra Bird suggested I submit it to a blog/book called "My Mom The Style Icon" I heard back from them today and they reposted it to their blog! What fun to see my Mom "In Print" on Mothers day at that! Happy Mothers Day Mommy!