Tuesday, June 24, 2014
pansies and more columbine

A few more lovelies from Ron Rifkin's Garden, 1979......Above.....A kind of abstract view of a Beautiful Pansy.....
Closed up.......Amazing!
Then.......
Another Pansy----in bloom......
Head On!

Then....more Columbine......But First.....
There is a problem with Google Reader.....it's totally screwed up-plus there are some other Blogger problems.....very discouraging for me.
My energy level is not very good these days----my Lung problems plus other physical crap---well....I get worn out rather quickly.
So....that is the reason I have not been blogging as often----it is a real pain in the arse----I mean the Blogger problems.....
And.....
I have a Birthday coming up on Friday.....
83!
OY!
I'm feeling that number these days!

Back to the Beautiful Columbine----if Blogger lets me.......Grrrrrrr.
I love this picture because you can see the pods are fading and almost 'over', as they say.......
Above....
A closer look at the faded pods.....And that 'hair' is actually in the picture and is somehow part of the flower......
Below......when the bloom is still looking good and healthy.......
Sooooo very pretty.......

And one more, below.......
What a BEAUTIFUL Flower this is......
Once again, nature moves us and brings true exquisiteness to our lives.......
I'm so thrilled I can finally show some of these slides, taken such a long time ago......35 years, to be exact!


More To Come........


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Tuesday, June 10, 2014
rememberances




After reading of Maya Angelou’s death, I was reminded of an experience I had with her, which I wrote about back in November of 2007. It was just a small moment in time, but it was very big to me. I admired her so very much and was always so impressed and moved by her life and her work….. Here is the post, below, very much edited, corrected and re-written…..I was writing about this show I had seen on the Sundance Channel called The Iconoclasts…It brought up some other memories for me, too, about Ruby Dee and my dear friend----actress and producer Rosetta LeNoire.  And another amazing woman, the Artist, Samella Lewis…..At the time, Rosetta was the only one of those four women  no longer alive……and now, the extraordinary Maya Angelou is gone, too…….These women of color were all pioneers and lived through incredible times in the history of our country….They were great teachers, in their way…..I am grateful that they all touched my life……... 

 

The Sundance Channel has this really wonderful series called "Iconoclasts"...where they pair up two people who often don't know each other in 'life' though they are certainly familiar with each other by reputation....And they meet and spend time with one another talking about all sorts of things regarding their life experience and their work, as well..... It is a fascinating, informative and often moving 50 minutes or so The ones that have interested me the most have to do with two people who's lives have more in common than not, though the threads of that commonality may appear to be somewhat obscure. The two that stand out for me are Dave Chappelle and Maya Angelou----the first of these pairings that I saw, and the most recent one which played on Friday night, Alicia Keys and Ruby Dee....It is obvious in a way that the disparity of age is an important factor....in each case, there is an 'elder' and there is a 'younger'.


The conversations that Dave Chappelle had with Maya Angelou were just fabulous. Her life experience as a black woman in America in contrast to his experience as a young man of color, decades later, were quite illuminating and wonderful...The respect that they have for one another----the things that they both admire in each other, well....it was a very informative meeting of people, not just for each other, but for the audience, too.....


A stunning meeting, one might say, and ultimately, a very moving experience to watch......... 





Then the second episode that I found extremely meaningful was the time that Ruby Dee and Alicia Keys spent together.....It was so sweet and so filled with the exchange that two 'artists' can have with each other.... so much respect for one another...I found it deeply touching. In this program, they each took the other to the place where they started their growth as artists....Ruby Dee to the actual Theatre where she got her start as an actress, in Harlem, and Alicia Keys took 'Miss Dee', as she called her throughout the program, to Hell's Kitchen where she grew up and to the theatre there where she got her start....


They shared poetry and songs and history and their talent.... Both these particular programs had a theme in common. Both Maya Angelou and Ruby Dee lived through incredibly historic times in the struggle for Civil Rights. Both knew Martin Luther King and Malcolm X, very very well.....this history, these important milestones of the struggle for 'change' are part of what made both these women who they are today. The 'youngers' get to hear this history and 'feel' it right from someone who lived it....How special is that?




To me, it is everything. Here we have extremely talented and successful people getting together and sharing life experiences with one another and we as an audience have the privilege of peeking in on this sharing....This series is a truly spectacular idea of the amazingly talented Robert Redford, and it comes off like gangbusters.

Watching Ruby Dee, I was reminded of a couple things... My introduction to Langston Hughes' poetry. It was sometime in the mid 1950's, I think, while watching a wonderful series on CBS, (Maybe), called Camera Three.....

Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis spent the whole half hour reciting, in a very artful way, all this wonderful poetry by a number of black writers....it was, actually, my introduction to many writers I was unfamiliar with, and also my introduction to a side of these two wonderful actors that I had not seen before---


Their love of and their commitment to writers of color, and the sharing of same to a mostly white audience who like me, had probably never heard of any of them till that morning.
It was a revelation for me, and opened up a whole new world






About 35 or so years later, I went to a book signing, with my dear dear old friend, (above) Rosetta LeNoire, whom I had met back in 1954---The New York days-----This book signing was held here in Los Angeles and it was a big terrific party. The book is "IN THE SHADOW OF THE GREAT WHITE WAY" - Images from the Black Theatre". This great book features the magnificent photographs of Bert Andrews. Images which he took in and around the greater New York area of a certain period of all the Black Theatre that was happening at the time.....


The story of how this book came about is pretty miraculous in and of itself. Due to a horrendous fire in 1985, the building that housed Bert Andrews Studio in New York City on the corner of 8th Avenue and 46th street was destroyed and with it went 40,000 to 50,000 images and negatives. A devastating loss to say the least.... But because of that devastating fire, Bert Andrews went to all the theatres were he had photographed plays, actors, playwrights and directors---the Negro Ensemble Theatre Company, the New Federal Theatre, the Frank Silvera Workshop, the Richard Allen Cultural Center, etc.---to see what each of them might still have of the photographs he had taken over those years. He was able to retrieve almost 2000 prints from The Negro Ensemble Theatre, alone---and many from all the other theatres, too. And in so doing, a history of black theatre and all the great great artists who had worked in plays at those theatres during that time---1957 to 1984, were saved and preserved and now reside in a special place in The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, in The New York Public Library, at Lenox Avenue and 135th Street...Not far from where Ruby Dee got her start as an actress. This book signing was a joyous joyous evening...so very many actors, playwrights, directors, etc, who are in the 150 or more pictures included in the book were there. The feeling in the room was unlike any other event that I have ever been to, before or since, of this nature....There was so much love and camaraderie in that room---I was utterly thrilled to be there and to be among 'artists' who I admired so greatly. I got to talk to Ruby Dee and she signed my book along with many other special people.... 


And I also thought about my slight connection to Maya Angelou, too....


In 1994 I was invited to a very special book signing by another very dear friend above, Samella Lewis, an artist and Art Historian as well as one of the bravest and smartest women I have ever known. This book was a "special limited edition" of a true work of art---A book of poems by Maya Angelou called "OUR GRANDMOTHERS" with exquisite black and white very complex beautiful illustrations by the incredibly talented black artist, John T. Biggers....It is an over sized book---22" X 17", with a beautiful cloth binding and it sits in it's own protective box, which is just big enough to hold the book..... 
There were only 400 books printed in this Limited Edition....Samella had invited about 50 or so people to her home and Maya Angelou was to be there signing the books in this edition as well as another published edition without the illustrations, etc, which was just a regular sized book of the same poetry.... It turned out that there were only a very small amount of the "Special Edition" at Samella's house that day, and when they ran out, there would be no more available for signing---at least not there. When it came time for the actual signing---Dr. Angelou arrived and spoke to us as a group for a short time----Then, Dr. Angelou took her position behind a large table, big enough to hold this huge heavy book, where she would be signing.

Everyone formed a line and I was about halfway back in the line...And this edition was quite expensive because, indeed, you were buying a work of art....! I didn't know if I would be lucky enough to get one, but I hoped I would. Maya Angelou took a lot of time with each person who bought a book---whether the special edition or the regular edition.....


I was so impressed with her complete total interest in whomever sat down next to her...It was awesome! As I got closer and closer, I could see the small pile of these special editions dwindling before my eyes....But, as luck would have it, I got the very last one and I believe there were only ten of these "special" editions all together.


At my turn, Maya Angelou greeted me and said to sit down and then proceeded to talk to me as if I was the only person in the room, just as she had with everyone else. Interested in what I did and how I knew Samella, etc....I realized later---much much later, that when I said my name was Naomi Caryl, she took that to mean that this was my first name, like Carol Ann, or Joanie Sue, and so when she signed the book, she wrote, 'Naomi Caryl' Joy! and signed her name and the date, 9/11/94.


This was a very wonderful afternoon for me for so very many reasons, not the least of which was and is, my deep admiration for this great great artist. I do feel incredibly lucky to have met and/or known so very many inspiring people throughout my life.....these women---just to name a few---Ruby Dee, Maya Angelou, Rosetta LeNoire, Samella Lewis....all have been inspiring to me on many many levels....these four women growing up in a very openly racist time in our country, achieved so much with such odds against them that one cannot even imagine....three are still alive, Bless them, and one, Rosetta, has left us---(as of this writing, now Dr. Angelou is gone too)....But all of them are fantastic role models of a life well lived in spite of adversity's that are unimaginable....So do watch ICONOCLASTS, if it is still being shown---or find it on YouTube----and see what grace and wisdom and talent that Ruby Dee and Maya Angelou possess. It touches me more than I can say.......


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


Note: Thursday, June 12th:  I just heard that the wonderful Ruby Dee, died yesterday, at 91. Rest Well, dear talented Ms. Dee.....
and
I've lost another dear dear old friend----
 Mitzie Welch, who died on Tuesday......another Heartbreaking loss for me.....my heart goes out to Kenny, Julie, and Gillian.........Mitzie was a truly special and fantastically talented person.....We were one month apart in age---I am one month older......She is the person who said to me when we were 29...."It's all over when we turn 30, Nay.....".
How wonderfully wrong she was....
For darling Mitzie, it was all over on Tuesday, June 10th, just about 6 weeks before her 83rd Birthday.
I'll miss you with all my heart, my dear dear friend.........


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Friday, June 06, 2014
gordon

Gordon.....my dear brother.

My protector--he always watched out for me and took care of me when we were little kids. 
His first car......his first year at college.
Always a ladies man......
Helen....his wife of 25 years and the mother of his three children........
Michelle.....his wife of 22 years and the woman who saw him through Open Heart Surgery and many other serious Health Issues, and who was there till the end when Cancer struck him down so very quickly....always taking good care of the love of her life.......
The last time I saw my dear brother.....October 15th, 2011.....We didn't know it would be the last visit at the time, but, it was.........
The way I love to remember him.....by the water.....Ready to go out on his boat to the place that gave him his greatest joy and his greatest peace......

It is two years ago today, June 6th, 2012. 
That was the day he left us.....
I miss him still, every day, and I guess I always will.......
Rest well, dear Gorga........


More To Come........


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Name: OldOldLady Of The Hills
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