Saturday, November 26, 2011
the tile house-update

Remember when I went up to visit the amazing George Ehling in July? Well....of course you don't....Why would you? There is so much going on in every one's life...too much to remember a little visit of mine back in July....(My Lordy...that was almost over 4 months ago....!) I had spoken to George and he told me that I had inspired him to tile the inside of his two garages......I did write about that here......and here.....With Pictures. Do go back and take a look if you haven't seen this fantastic 44 year project---it gives those of you unfamiliar with this magnificent work of art, a small window into the creativity and passion of George Ehling.Anyway....there was one section in the second and more complex of the two garages, that was unfinished at the time that I was there in July---I did not show the pictures of it because I knew I would come back when it was finished and be able to show you both the unfinished and the finished.......And here is that unfinished section, and that is the incredibly talented George, standing in front of it.......This picture was taken in July and I thought it interesting because you can see the process to some degree. There are many areas unfinished and un-grouted.......Two months later, I went back to see the 'finished' section---in fact, to see all of the entire finished Garage, which you can kind of see in the very first picture at the top of this post.......Below....a closer look at the unfinished........ Unless you know and understand the process of "creating"---which is different for each artist, what unites all of them, (us) is the fact that there is a Vision.....George knew where he was going....and here it is, below..... So.......below.....Unfinished.............<><>And here.....Finished. To me....this is incredibly amazing....! I know first hand, in a small way, the time and effort and artistic vision one must have to see where the 'end-point' will be....And the most amazing thing about 'creating' is....The end point is often never where you thought it would be....That's the most exciting thing about being an Artist.....and it is also the most mysterious thing about being an "artist", too....The intuitive out-of-your-control vision that ends up being different and better than what you first thought of, many times......But is still exactly what you wanted it to be in your interior intuitive 'feelings'.......Below......
Unfinished, and Finished...... Amazing difference, isn't it? It almost looks like it is not the same area.....But it is! The Artist's Way.......
The Floor..........The two pictures above.....back in July....George was still working on everything and so the floor was filled with little bits and pieces and some of his working tools......Below......The finished floor, in all it's amazing beauty........I love that one tile that is somewhat darker than all the others.....a kind of signature of George's, sometimes.......The Artistry of George Ehling, continues........


More To Come.......


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Wednesday, November 23, 2011
happy thanksgiving

All kidding aside......To all of you who will be celebrating 'Turkey Day', I am wishing each of you a Very Very Happy Thanksgiving......Enjoy, Enjoy, Enjoy.....!!!!

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


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Friday, November 18, 2011
status - no news

There are things happening, but nothing to talk about. So.....instead, I am sharing some "Rose" pictures with you.......What is more beautiful than a Rose? Another Rose.....! And these pictures were taken after I had these gorgeous flowers for four days.....Of course, the wonderful Van made the arrangement and this was given to me by my very dear Grand/Great Niece, Laurel Cohen......(Never sure which is correct)....... Above....a lovely pale Rose with a touch of lavender in the middle.....So very elegant and restrained in this very beautiful way.....Laurel got me these flowers for the 'Family' gathering I had, back in October....I was pretty sick, but went ahead anyway....It was a rare opportunity to see some family that I might not see again---with age and infirmities---this is a far piece to come if you live on the other coast, which many of the family do----especially with travel being so difficult now..... Ahhhhh.....another beauty above......These were all such perfect Roses in every way......And I was very touched that Laurel went to the trouble to order these flowers for me---And from my favorite florist Van.....Laurel had flown in from Chicago. Her parents Nancy and Danny Cohen had driven down from Davis, CA, with their other daughter and my other Great/Grand Niece, Sarah.....Danny is my late sister Robin's middle child.....And his Father, Bob Cohen, (Who I had not seen for almost twenty years), had flown in from Boston, as did Robin and Bobby's dear daughter Debbie and her two children, Maya and Jesse...... Above, my favorite of all the Roses, I think---Well, in truth, I love them all.....But, the varied colors of this one just took my breath away.....Robin and Bobby's oldest son, Michael and his wife Dianna had come from upstate New York....and two of their sons were here as well---one with his little seven year old daughter---so she would be Robin's Great Grandchild and my Great Great Niece?? Who knows.....And.....my brother Gordon and his wife Michelle were here from Connecticut, and one of his daughters came with her husband from Colorado.
Because I was feeling so very poorly---I took no pictures. Other people did take pictures, but I have not seen any of them, as yet.....When I get them----IF, I get them, I will definitely share them with you...... And last.....a gathering of Roses and some other pretty flowers, too.....Van worked his 'magic', as always and it was like that day---the magical gathering of 'family'........





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


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Saturday, November 12, 2011
blue nights

Well...here is another post about death.....I'm sorry, my dear readers...But, you reach a certain age and death becomes a bigger and bigger part of your life as each day passes....If you find it too painful and/or depressing to read about all this....well, then....just click off---(maybe some of you already have)---and come back another day......But let me just say this: Your own mortality and the mortality of those you are close to and love dearly becomes more and more paramount as you get older. At least it has for me. I worry about what is happening in my body, and I worry about what is happening in all of my friends "of a certain age"......I know this is the way it goes. I know that. I understand that. But....STILL I worry about it and I find it all very depressing and very hard to be confronted with on a daily basis......I just finished Joan Didion's new book, "BLUE NIGHTS"......I was so moved by it...touched in such a deep way. I LOVE her writing and I so often know the people and places she writes about---that makes it feel familiar and friendly...No, I do not know her personally. But, because of her writing, I feel like I do. It is so honest and truthful and bare-bones heartbreaking....Her last two books---"The Year Of Magical Thinking" and "Blue Nights"....The first, about how she got through the first year or so after the death of her husband of almost 40 years, John Gregory Dunne....the second---this new book---is about the death and life of their adopted daughter, Quintanna Roo Dunne, who died 18 months after her dear husband, at the age of 39.....Adoption is an important part of this book as well as motherhood, and it is also about the frailness that Joan Didion feels at this stage of her life, now having a number of infirmities visited upon her----This little book----only 188 pages long, I read it in less than two days----Is so powerful and so deeply moving---yes I know I said that already...I will say it again----And it is haunting, too.This is a book that stays with you for a long long time. I have always been drawn to 'memoir' and prefer to read this kind of book over almost any other----and I'm not talking about the Kardashien type 'memoir'....I'm talking about the sharing of a life by a superb writer, which is more powerful than anything in it's ability to touch your heart......! This is such a book by one of our finest writers. I urge you to read this very special little book---No, it is not a walk-in-the-park, but it is incredibly rewarding just the same. Why? Because she is not afraid to tell it like it is....And she is a true 'poet'.....To read more about Joan Didion and her body of work, go here......,
here......and here.........!


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


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Thursday, November 10, 2011
11-11-11

Remember.......

Where have all the flowers gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the flowers gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the flowers gone?
Girls have picked them every one
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?

Where have all the young girls gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the young girls gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the young girls gone?
Taken husbands every one
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?

Where have all the young men gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the young men gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the young men gone?
Gone for soldiers every one
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?

Where have all the soldiers gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the soldiers gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the soldiers gone?
Gone to graveyards every one
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?

Where have all the graveyards gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the graveyards gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the graveyards gone?
Covered with flowers every one
When will we ever learn?
When will we ever learn?

(words and music by Pete Seeger)




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





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Monday, November 07, 2011
gil cates 1934-2011

"Death ends a life, but it does not end a relationship which struggles on in the survivor's mind toward some resolution which it never finds....."This is a quote from Robert Anderson's Great play and Screenplay.."I NEVER SANG FOR MY FATHER" (1970)......The film starred Melvyn Douglas, Gene Hackman, Dorothy Stickney and Estelle Parsons and was Directed and Produced by Gil Cates, who died on October 31th--just a few days ago.........It is a truly great film---painful to watch because of it's unflinching honesty. The performances are superb in every way and the Direction and Screenplay deeply touching and indelibly memorable. (Melvyn Douglas, Gene Hackman and Robert Anderson all received Oscar Nominations for this film....) Rent this film. You won't be sorry. I would like to watch this film, once again, right now as I write this and be reminded of the humanity that is possible with "art".....



My connection to Gil Cates is "Spoon River Anthology". Gil and his brother Joe, Produced this special close-to-my-heart production. (Edgar Lee Masters great Prose Poetry, adapted by Charles Aidman for the stage...) bringing it to Broadway in September, 1963. Gil also directed a Pay Television version of "Spoon River" while we were still on Broadway.....





Gil Cates had a fantastic career in the Theatre and in Television and in Films.....And was beloved by just about everybody....
For me, what I will remember about Gil Cates more than anything is "I Never Sang For My Father".....It is a searingly truthful film about family and death; it is about aging and responsibility and the pain and guilt of not taking responsibility.......If Gil Cates did nothing else---and he did plenty---(--you can read all about him here---), He Produced and Directed 14 Academy Award Shows---brought Billy Crystal to The Awards as well as Whoopie Goldberg and Steve Martin, just to name a few.....He was the President of the Directors Guild of America for two terms.....He founded and ran the Geffen Playhouse here in Los Angeles since 1994---a stellar theatre that produces fantastic original productions of new plays and revivals....And he was the founder and Dean of The UCLA School of Theatre, Film and Television, 1990 to 1998....and in fact, died in one of the parking lots on the campus, having just left work---he was still teaching there....BUT, if Gil Cates had done none of these things, he was responsible for bringing "I Never Sang For My Father" to the Broadway stage and to the Screen.There were many other films, too.....But this is the one that tears your heart out, and what an experience it is. It was and is a haunting film in all it's honesty----Oh, I urge you to rent this film as soon as you possibly can----And the first and last line of this picture is a fitting tribute to the late great and incredibly talented Gil Cates.......
"Death ends a life but it does not end a relationship which struggles on in the survivor's mind toward some resolution which it never finds...."

R.I.P. dear Gil Cates.........


More To Come........


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Wednesday, November 02, 2011
anniversaries

Twenty years ago I performed two Wedding Ceremonies that were two weeks apart. The first was Audrey McCann and Michael Franks, on October 27th, 1991......And the second Wedding was Karen Culliver and Garrett Parks, on November 9th, 1991. Both of these Weddings had a very personal meaning for me. There is a long intimate history with the Franks family and me, and with the Parks family and me, too......
I met Michael Franks' father Danny, before he met his wife, Ruth--Michael's mother----in 1953-54. I was at Michael's "briss", spent time with him when he was just a boy.....Above, Michael and me, in Great Neck, at my mother's house---1965-66.....And below-----at my 80th Birthday this past June........And when he moved out to Los Angeles I met his dear loving special then future wife, Audrey.....When they decided to marry, they asked me to perform the ceremony. I was thrilled and very touched, too...... The Ceremony was held in one of the 'Gardens' of The Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills. It was a very cold winy day, but beautiful.......There it is above---Michael sent me this picture of the garden just a few days ago.....And here below, the Happy Couple, twenty years later....... And, in a not so very good picture below, at my 80th Birthday Celebration kast June.....And, that same day----here are Michael & Audrey with Karen Culliver Parks....!


On November 9th, 1991, I 'officiated' at the Culliver/Parks Wedding, held in the garden of the Parks Family home in Studio City---another beautiful day. There we are below.....me signing the very important required license that says, yes, they are actually married.....!I have known Garret Parks since 1962....His Mom and Dad---Betty Garrett and Larry Parks were my dear dear friends and colleagues, too, since 1962. Both are gone now---Larry in 1975, and Betty, just this past February 12th, 2011......Garrett met his dear talented Karen, who has what I call, a-heartbreak-voice because it breaks your heart with it's purity of feeling and soul, back in 1989---when she appeared with Betty in the very special Broadway show of, "Meet Me In St. Louis". Above, Karen and her future mother-in-law, dear Betty G., at the Opening Night party of "Meet Me".......Well, she was the most beautiful young woman you have ever seen---And, she still is. Garry found his true 'soul-mate'. I got to know Karen a little bit later, when she was playing 'Christine' in "Phantom Of The Opera" on Broadway.It was during that time that Karen and Garrett asked me to perform their Wedding ceremony---a very thrilling prospect for me......And, here is what is so very meaningful to me: We are all STILL in each others lives---we are "family". Below, Karen and Garrett last New Years Eve at my house...... And below with their very beautiful and talented daughter Maddy....also here in my house last New Years Eve........The Franks and The Parks...They are my very very dear dear extended "Family". To have people in your life for such a long long time is deeply meaningful. And it was indeed, incredibly meaningful to actually officiate at both of their Weddings. And now, here it is twenty years later......!

So, a Happy 20th Anniversary to each of you....may there be another 60 years of marriage for both couples----you are all so very special in every way.....!!!!


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






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