Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Williamsburg Day One

Time does not stand still. Williamsburg is no longer in a dry county and Jim Crow is dead and buried. So even in this historic set piece things have changed in the last fifty years.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

My First Slide Conversions

Right after my mom died...that summer of my discontent II. The first summer of my discontent was the summer after my father died in 1967. Why did my parents have to die in the spring? Isn't spring supposed to be a time of renewal? I guess for me it was. I had to reinvent myself twice in those springs--first as fatherless and then as an orphan. Enough pathos. Although my father died too young for him and for me, I had wonderful years with my mother. Not every day or even every year. Some years were tough. But, you know, I really loved my parents. I thought they were the most elegant beautiful and interesting people on earth. I don't often admit it but they were more interesting to hang out with than my contemporaries which I suppose is why I was a lonely kid. While other kids, teenagers, were hanging out, going to movies, going to the Village to see the beatniks, I was at PJ Clarke's with my parents listening to them talk art, politics, and news. Oh yes, and my father, usually drank himself into a state where he was very funny and very drunk. Then the talk might turn to how my father wanted to get out from under his father's thumb. Well, he did. He committed suicide at 45. My mother said it was "for the best." Literally, she said that in the moments after the doctors pronounced that he was dead. Of course he was dead; he was lying unattended on the bedroom floor for like 12 hours. I had heard him scream in pain at 1 am but I didn't want to wake my mother up. She was sleeping in another room. She didn't go into the bedroom until 2pm when she found him. No one told me he was dead but I figured it out pretty quickly. No one said suicide, but when my mother died, I found the note among her things. That's one of the reasons that I've decided to keep nothing...I always suspected suicide and was glad to have confirmation, but really, it was hard to read. I was mad at mother and father, both of them, for not thinking about what I needed which was a mother and sober father.

Water over the dam. Which leads me back to the original purpose of this post, right after my mother died I decided to have some slides scanned for posterity. Most of them are of my China trip and the rest are just an assortment of stuff -- some duplications of subsequent scans. The first couple of hundred though are of my trip to China with my mother in 1985. That was a fabulous time.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Photo Class

In the 1980s I took a photo class with my friend and teacher, Susan Kleckner. I have destroyed most of the pictures I took from her roll-a-day class because they formed a diary that I didn't want anyone to read. I didn't even want to read it. I have come so far that it is no longer relevant to my life. True, I those diaries record the basis for what came after but as a record it was no longer of any use. I had to clean out my mother's papers and found things that I wish I never knew. I didn't want that for my heirs.

At any rate, here's what's left of the work from my photography classes. It's mostly innocuous stuff, but still, it records New York City from a time that I hope we never go back to...the crime riddled 1980s.

The 1980s

One of my worst traits is that I am lazy about dating my photographs. Therefore, I have this big agglomeration of pictures that I know date from the 1980s, but sadly, I can't tell you more.

Europe 1988

August 1988, my mother took Laurie and me to Venice and Paris. It was the best trip ever. I was with two of my best friends and the greatest women it has ever been my pleasure to know.

When Laurie was a baby

When my daughter was a newborn, I was always so tired. I know it's trite to say this, but having a daughter was the best thing that ever happened in my life. These are from her first three days home from the hospital.