Monday, November 30, 2009

Thanksgiving at Sea

Our family, minus 2 grandsons, boarded the Emerald Princess on Nov. 22 for a week in the Caribbean. Ira and I presided as matriarch & patriarch over a dinner table of 9 laughing, chatting, teasing offspring and grandkids each was absolutely great. We celebrated Bonnie's Dec. 10 b-day early...she wore a lighted crown, courtesy of her clown sibling who also provided sponge ball cone projectiles that added to the gaiety.
The teenagers, Kate, Dane and Hero, who have great social skills, met teens from various countries and parts of the US, participated in so many activities that they enjoyed, and were tearful re leaving their new friends when the voyage ended. Of course, cell phone #s, Facebook, etal were exchanged and they'll keep in touch, at least for a while.

Our three, Keith, Bonnie and Shari hadn't been together in many years, and had time to catch up on news while they shopped, were at the casino, at the beach laughing at how each of their swimming styles hadn't changed...Kathleen joined in their memory fest. Ira and I especially enjoyed watching Keith dancing w each of his sisters at the Past Passengers party where we posed w the Captain upon receiving our 2nd Most Travelled passenger glass plaque and bottle of champagne.
It was a week I'll always remember with joy.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Voices of Witness at Artspace

How sorry I am that all my friends, acquaintances, local artists...everyone who wasn't present....weren't at Artspace tonight. You missed a marvelous evening of storytelling about the Great Depression by the magical voices and words of Jeannine Pasini Beekman, Angelique Feister, Thelma Harrison and Myra Davis.
I sat, entranced, as I listened to individual's tales and also the impact of the WPA, CCC on North Louisiana lives. I grew up in NYC and heard about the selling of apples, the long bread lines, etc., but here in Louisiana, the Depression and the federal programs brought about so many changes different from metro city experiences. Tonight I heard about reforestation, the building of safe, good schools w. added facilities like bathrooms and gyms, the building of rural paved roads, how those beautiful homes on Barksdale AFB were meant to look like a French village from a birds eye view, how the natatorium at Northwestern, buildings at Grambling, La Tech, Northeastern were completed during this era. And all the aforementioned were transmitted through the voices of these talented Scheherazades.
And Chef Michael had fresh yummy cookies, pies...of course I had to sample those, forsaking my pre-cruise diet. I did videotape about 10 minutes of the performance: look at YouTube under Artsmaven75 tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A Madeleine Moment

I was watching Antiques Roadshow, Louisville. A small abstract watercolor and gouache painting was on the easel, signed by Jimmy Ernst, 1959. The appraiser told its owner a bit about Ernst's bio as the son of Max Ernst, etal and gave it a value of $5000.
As I looked at the work, I flashed back to an evening at Brooklyn College, 1954 or 55, when I'd been working late in the photo lab and was leaving for home. The small, rather isolated hallway, on this 4th floor where only the Design office, lab and a few design classrooms were, was covered with newsprint and some heavier paper. Hanging from the central lighting fixture was a cord wrapped around a bottle of India ink whose cap had been pierced. Jimmy Ernst, one of my teachers, was swinging that bottle and examining the arcs produced on the papers. He'd change the direction of the swinging bottle, move the heavier paper sometimes as I silently watched. He was absolutely absorbed in this and after a short time, I walked to the stairs and left for home.
As I looked at the Roadshow work, a watercolor background with white arcs in the foreground, I knew that those arcs were created by swinging a bottle w. a pierced cap, this time of white gouache; that I'd been privileged to see this wonderful teacher and artist in the process of working out a specific technique.

Monday, November 9, 2009


Grandson Wyn Delano, age 17, plays the role of Scrooge in "A Winter's Tale" at the Morgan-Wixson theater. Bragging Grandma reports that he received a standing ovation on opening night.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

World Series in Panama

This a.m., chatted with daughter Bonnie who is at a hotel in David, Panama. David is on Panama's Pacific coast, about a 5 hr. bus ride from her home in Bocas, on the east coast. She said that last night she'd watched the Yankee-Phil. games amidst a huge, raucous crowd who cheered not for either team, but for the Yankee's Rivera, a Panamanian, and the Panamanian on the Phillie team. Of course, she and Ira, brother Keith too are avid Yankee fans. When the Dodgers left Brooklyn, I stopped watching baseball games.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Rain and more rain

Received these photos of the Ouachita River's rising water levels today from Joe and Emmilee Green whose home in Harrisonburg is on the river's banks. Happily their house is on higher ground.
I hope the folks at First Methodist reconsider installing a new steeple. I agree with the woman who commented that the style of the elegant building does not call for a steeple. If they believe that the steeple was a site locator, and therefore a necessity, perhaps they can use a laser beam or an alternative light source that would be unaffected by wind, etc.
Received Neil Johnson's photo of the month yesterday, and it made me look forward to the Nov. 6 opening of the Triumph Over Tragedy exhibit at Artspace. Hope to see you there.