Friday, November 28, 2008
the hawks & great news

I have been organizing my pictures quite a bit lately and I realized that there are some AMAZING Pictures of 'The Hawks' that I have never posted here on my blog.....this one above turned out this way by pure chance! The magic of circumstance often plays such a big part of capturing images with the camera. I love it! In fact I love all the pictures of the Hawks, flying or otherwise that I was able to capture....So, here are a few for your perusal.....! I love the way the feathers spread out like playing cards and the fact that you can see the light coming through them....I dearly hope there will be another Hawk Family this year.....Watching them with their babies was so amazingly wonderful..... This picture above was taken after the "babies" had learned to fly and the three of them would come to these trees on my neighbors yard....Do click on all of these to see them bigger....In this one above, I love how the one baby is looking right up at the third one, who is flying in for a landing.....! There is something quite tender about that to me.....I use to think it was the Mommy or Daddy....But I actually now realize it had to be the third baby because the wing span is just not large enough to be one of the adults in that particular picture......! Here is another fantastic look at the huge wingspan of these Hawks....Again, I LOVE the light coming through and the incredible spread of those beautiful feathers....... Above.....another amazing capture. I love seeing those legs hanging down like that.....He or She, had just taken off......And this is one of the babies in May......They were growing and changing very quickly......And below, about a month later, just before those three babies took off for parts, unknown......And below, one more picture just before 'take-off'.....it is almost like he was revving up, the way a plane does....It fascinates me that you cannot tell from a picture like this what a huge wing spread they have, once in actual flight...... Again, this photo was taken just a few days before the babies moved on to greener pastures.....what a difference a few weeks makes in the life and growth of these dear dear Hawk Babies......And here they were...."The Andrew Sisters", one month before ....Aren't they just the dearest birds you ever saw? I really became very enamored of them and would refer to them as 'My Hawk Babies', when telling people about them....There are many many more pictures and I will share some more again, very soon......





And then.........
The Great Great News that I got on Thanksgiving Day was this: My Dear friend of 40 years, the talented Hazel Medina, who was diagnosed with a rare-in-women virulent form of cancer called Multiple Myeloma a little over a year ago, was told this week that she is Cancer Free! Rejoice, Rejoice!How did this happen? I am going to tell you right now. Stem Cells. Yes. The procedure she had is called Autologous Stem Cell Implant. It is a horrendously painful procedure in every way, but.....But......BUT.....the results have been fantastic for her. Here's the deal: They 'Harvest' her own stem cells from her bone marrow....Then, they save only the 'clean' ones and freeze them to preserve them.....Before they can do this horrific procedure they have to zap her with heavy heavy duty Chemo, which pretty much kills just about everything and leaves her open to God-Know What.....then, after having Harvested these Stem Cells, they wait a day or two so she can rest, and then, they implant the 'clean' cells back into her bone marrow. Now, many months later, Hazel is Cancer Free....! This was the most wonderful news to get on a day when we giving Thanks for all our many Blessings.....This, was, to me, the best Blessing of All..... Talk about hearing "good news'" to lift the spirit and the heart! The picture just above is Hazel and her dear sweet husband, Jerry Matz, taken in Japan where he was working....He is a wonderful actor. And, the second picture is of Kim Hamilton, (you all remember her....) and me and Hay, at a little nightclub in New York City, where a wonderful singer named Eric Gillette was singing a song of mine, "In My Fathers House", which he had included in his 'act'. The very first picture was at a Luncheon I gave at The Palace Hotel. (a different trip.....in a different year.) It was a way to see a few lovely friends while in Manhattan.....And incidentally, Hazel & Kim & I all met back in 1968, at Theatre West....And here we are, 40 years later.....Hallelujah, Hallelujah!




More To Come.......









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Wednesday, November 26, 2008
happy thanksgiving

I want to wish each and every one of you that celebrates Thanksgiving a Very Very Happy One....May you be with those you love and enjoy the spirit of the day........And, Eat Really Well! And, of course, if you are lucky enough....I hope you enjoy one or two of these, as well.......! Yes....My very favorite part of Thanksgiving are the Chocolate Turkeys. This has been a tradition from when I was a child....So, having Chocolate Turkeys at Thanksgiving, is a "must". And....if you do not have any Chocolate Turkeys, I do hope you have some of this really swell traditional Pie as shown below.......A great finish to a Happy Meal......I just want to say that I give great Thanks to all the wonderful special people I have met through this amazing phenomenon called "Blogging"....It is a real bonus and a magnificent experience making friends through this special medium....So, Thank You ALL, dear blog buddies from all over the world for your beautiful comments and your generous support and your very important and special friendship. Your hearts are bigger than anyone could possibly imagine....and this is a great great Gift to me.....!

Blessing's On You All, on this very special day of Thanksgiving, 2008.....

More To Come..........








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Sunday, November 23, 2008
ducks, etc.

Some more pictures of the Ducks in the Pond at Hollywood Forever.....The light was so wonderful at the time of day we were there.....It made for some very interesting designs as the ducks glided slowly and easily through the shallow water......Over on n the right in the picture above is this wonderful curly cur movement creating something very similar to some of the designs of my paintings...... This picture above is an un-cropped look at the whole.....I tell you, the ripple effect on both sides of the Duck just knocks me out.....And it truly does look like something I might have painted....Do be sure to click on all these pictures to see them on a larger scale...... Here above is a closer look at that left side of the water with that wonderful free form rippling effect....Stunning! And that Duck is pretty stunning, too.....! I just think all these Ducks are absolutely beautiful! The colors of the male....Stunning! Watching these sweet birds gliding about was such a peaceful lovely thing to do on a quiet Monday.....When you are there in the Cemetery, you don't have any sense of the outside world. The main street outside of Hollywood Forever is Santa Monica Blvd., and it is heavily traveled....but you hear no street noise whatsoever.....and most of the sounds one hears are the sounds of the quacking of the ducks and the honking of the geese....It is really a little oasis of sorts in the middle of a very busy area.... I don't know what time of day this picture was taken....I've never seen Santa Monica Blvd soooo empty....lol...This is a photo I found on the net.....And it actually looks peaceful out there, too! Believe me, it's not! On the other side----the back side, behind The Fairbanks Monument and the big Public Mausoleum....is one of the "studios".....You can see some buildings and the top of the back of some false buildings....yet, it is very very quiet right in this cocoon of a Cemetery...... And right in the middle of the pond....a Beautiful Swan.....talk about peaceful. A closer look, above......There used to be Egrets here, too.....And I think there still are, but they may have been on the other side of that small Mausoleum in the center of the pond there......Meanwhile....... A slice of life on the pond! I am not sure how many Mallard Ducks there are in the pond....but it is a goodly amount....Male and Female.....Much activity, and especially because of the lady who had brought goodies for all the birds.....When I go back, I think I will being some dried bread and/or some bird seed....That will be lots of fun! And here above, a very handsome fella....elegant and self assured in a very gentlemanly way...... And this young lady looks quite coy to me....Sliding along---her head, very close to the water---making for a marvelous reflection....I think she is his wife, maybe...... Or, maybe this very cheeky guy is her hubby....! They are all so gorgeous...! The colors are amazing....The shape, too....And those little black curls in the back---Aren't they adorable? The shadow reflections on the water that day were so so soooo pretty.....! There are more....but I will leave you with just one more picture....Not another Duck. No. I will leave you with this very fantastic Princess of Elegance and Peacefulness.......



More To Come.........







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Thursday, November 20, 2008
more "hollywood"

Back in May of 1961, the first time I came to The Hollywood Cemetery, it was kind of tattered looking. I mean, it didn't look like it was very well cared for...The grass in many places looked dry and brown. And I don't recall but a few birds on the Pond....Now.....there are an Amazing number of birds that live here, and the grass everywhere is green and beautiful....And it is quite wonderful.....! The sweet dear little duck above, is a perfect example of what I am talking about...... And here is another very beautiful duck....gliding on the water of the Pond. What changed everything was that The Hollywood Cemetery was bought and the people who bought it really took great care to bring it back to it's 'original' beauty.....And one of the things was to being in all sorts of beautiful lovely birds....! Look at this BEAUTIFUL Duck, above....His markings are so very artful....Again, as I say over and over and over, you cannot beat the beauty and design of nature....! Incidentally, if you want to see a Map of the Pond Area and some of the people buried there...Click on these words! I would have copied it, but they don't let you! Here is another view of another part of the Cemetery somewhat to the right of the Pond.......It really is the most peaceful place and a respite from the city. This was late in the afternoon and so the light was quite lovely, adding a kind of glow to all the pictures, which I didn't mind at all..... These elegant beautiful Birds were walking away from the Pond Area when I photographed them.....There were maybe 15 or 16 all together and some of them had been closer to the water.... Here below is a closer view of this amazing Bird...... And an even closer look, below....... Their markings and their feathers are so very beautiful. I asked a guard that was locking up the doors to the very large Public Mausoleum that houses hundreds of Crypts, including Valentino's, what these Birds were.....He didn't really seem to know except he said Egyptian....with a rather quizzical look on his face.....I googled this later and it seems they are Wild Geese, most likely from Canada.......They seem pretty tame though I didn't get too close to them. I didn't want to scare them away...... I was fascinated by these amazing Birds and do not recall ever seeing them before.....Back in the day, when I first came to The Hollywood Memorial Cemetery, they had some birds like the Ducks and a some Swan or two, and, I believe, at least one Egret....But, I don't ever remember seeing these darling Wild Geese...... They ended up near the little road that goes behind that big Mausoleum and stopping there for a little snack or two..... As you can see.....I really really had a great time photographing them. I hope to go back to Hollywood Forever again and get there a little earlier in the day to get more pictures of all the birds and some of the other lovely monuments that represent old Hollywood......There will be one more post from this visit, next time, hopefully........Here is a far away shot of another stained glass window in a different section of The Public Mausoleum..... The actual Window was washed out by the distance and I had to get in closer to see the lovely colors. This is a rather long large hallway with Crypts lining the marble walls from floor to ceiling....Below, a slightly closer look..... Again, as in that first Stained Glass Window, you can see the reflection of this window on the walls and the floor......But then I got in closer...... Oops! Surprise! This is another Window, entirely.....! And it is very very beautiful, isn't it? Somehow, I guess I thought I took a closer look at the other window...but, I guess I didn't. I have to go back to Hollywood Forever, very very soon....!


More To Come.........


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Monday, November 17, 2008
"hollywood forever"

The old Hollywood Cemetery, now known as "Hollywood Forever", is one of my very favorite places in Los Angeles.....It is in the very heart of Hollywood....Paramount Pictures and RKO Pictures are right behind the Cemetery, going south.....A lot of Hollywood Royalty is buried here. Cecil B. DeMille, Marion Davies, Rudolph Valentino, Harry Cohn, the man who started Columbia Pictures. Norma Ralmadge, Tyrone Power, to name just a few. And there is this very sweet pond where there are lots and lots of Birds....above, these are just two of The Ducks that swim around and as you can see and would have heard had you been there, ...they Quack, too! Delightfully so, I might add.....My friend Shawn was here last week for a visit, and he took me for an "outing" through Hollywood and then to this special special place, by my request. Here above you can see a part of the lovely pond....In the middle is a rather large Mausoleum that has a kind of Bridge-Path to the locked door, and it sits there like a little Island.....And you can see some of the ducks swimming around....And here below, a slightly closer look at the Mausoleum and the Pond and those very sweet Birds. But let's get even closer to some of these very dear birds...... On the back side of the pond there were quite a large group of birds swimming towards a woman sitting near the edge of the Pond, feeding the birds..... And below, looking a little bit closer at this dear group.......
And below, here is the woman who, by the time I got this picture, had finished feeding them and many of them were on their way back to the water, but there were still quite a few picking up the Bird Seed and whatever else she had brought for them to eat...... There are lots of little Mausoleums dotted all around this Cemetery, like the one this lady above is sitting in front of. And Benches too, and lots of trees.....Many Very Tall Old, Stately Palms, as well as other trees, too..... This is the front side of the separated Mausoleum, and you can see the little Bridge-Path that leads to the entrance.....In the distance, you can actually see The Hollywood Sign. Unfortunately it was rather overcast the day we were there.....But, here below is a little closer view of The Sign..... As you can see, there are Italian Cypress there in the Cemetery...They are very popular here in Los Angeles.....And here below, one more closer look at history! Maybe one day, soon....When it is not overcast and when it is a bit earlier in the afternoon, I will be able to get a better picture of The Hollywood Sign, and the Cemetery itself......And here below are two very famous Hollywood Icons Crypts. First, Douglas Fairbanks, Sr. This is probably the largest single piece of land in Hollywood Forever, after the area of the Pond and Mausoleum that belongs to a family....Douglas Fairbanks, Sr. was a Silent Film Star during the time when the word "STAR" was coined.....He was married to Mary Pickford, another very famous Silent Film Star, and they were the most famous couple of their day. As famous as Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, today.....I've always thought this was a very beautiful and simple monument and most appropriate for a man of Fairbanks stature. And below, a little closer look at the Profile in Bronze...... I believe his son, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., is buried here, as well. Junior was a big star during the 1930's and early 1940's, too...Both Fairbanks were known for their "Swashbuckling" Films......And next......
The very first time I came to the Hollywood Cemetery was in May, 1961. I had moved to Los Angeles on February 1st....so I had only been here a little over three months, when my dear friend and Soul Mate, Sammy Reese, brought me here to this incredible piece of Hollywood History....And I loved it! That day, when we came in to see Rudolph Valentino's Crypt, there was a huge Horseshoe of Flowers leaning against the wall that houses this incredibly Beautiful Stained Glass Window, right next to Valentino's Crypt. It said: "HAPPY BIRTHDAY RUDY, MAY 6th"......We were there just a few days later, so the flowers still looked pretty good. Here below is that Stained Glass Window.I love that you can see the reflection of this window on the Marble of the Crypts lining the walls on both sides of that area where there floor to ceiling Crypts.....Do click on all these pictures so you can see them bigger....And below, a slightly closer look at the window, itself......It is just a little closer, but you can still see the reflection on the right.
I will do one more post about Hollywood Forever and concentrate on a closer look at some of the lovely sweet birds, in and out of the water......







More To Come........


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