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!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

slips photo blog: Montrose HEB

slips photo blog: Montrose HEB

Montrose HEB

Giant tarps cover the activity going on at the soon to be fabulous HEB in Montrose and now our local tree huggers have expressed their anger with some pretty unoriginal looking graffiti. They want to boycott HEB and have referred to the developers as “greedy” despite their promise to have all the trees they remove replanted throughout the neighborhood. 

The hippie effort seems a little lame. The time for action to was two years ago when Wilshire Village was still standing and salvageable, so at this stage of the game we should ask ourselves does anybody REALLY care? 

I talked to a rich hippie at Whole Foods about it the other day and he was a part of the failed plan to make the property into a vegetable co-op. I couldn’t talk to him too long because he smelled like he was also a member of the group who boycott deodorant, but anyway the point is that it’s just too late for anybody to be complaining.

HEB offers us new trees and more choices of quality foods that we just can’t refuse. I love Fiesta and will continue to shop there but I will also shop at HEB for things I can’t get at Fiesta, and others will do the same. When it’s all said and done, my guess is that stinky hippie will be sneaking in HEB just like the rest of us for all the fresh prepared foods and hopefully some of that fancy all natural deodorant.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Ben and the Astrodome

 I knew the family who lived in the house at 3070 Locke Lane.The owners were Ben and Marie McGuire. Ben was a very successful lender in Houston and Marie was his secretary. Ben was buddies with all the big names in Houston and they financed the building of the Astrodome, among other things. He was one of the biggest dealmakers in town.
Their sprawling house was set up perfectly for their live-in housekeeper, Dorothy, to have her own quarters. Their son got a “circus room” to play in, filled with Barnum and Bailey nostalgia. The upstairs was full of Marie’s spooky doll collection (nobody liked to go up there) and the bar was packed with Ben’s miniature liquor bottles from their many years of travels. Any afternoon they would be guaranteed to be watching the Wheel of Fortune and like most many River Oaks families, they never used the front door.
They outlived Dorothy and after Ben died Marie’s sister Nita moved in the house. Marie died in 2009 and now the house is gone too. This is a beautiful part of River Oaks. The movie "Terms of Endearment" was filmed in the two houses next door. Ben and Marie got to meet Jack Nicholson one day- They gave Jack VIP tickets to an Astros game, and they said he seemed like a nice guy.
Ben and Marie loved their Astrodome- what a shame how young of a building it is and this too is a tear down. We miss Ben and Marie and it’s sad to see their house go, but I’m glad they don’t have to see the bleak future of the Astrodome. Back in the day, Ben would have fought to keep the Astrodome, and knowing him, he probably would have won. Ben was a businessman first but he also had a big heart and many terms of endearments of his own to battle it out with the big guys.