22 January 2020

50 years ago today

I shiverd in a frigid Ohio winter to observe Robert Smithson create "Partially Buried Woodshed."  the piece became part of my life.

Nancy Holt suggestd to Richard Martin that I write abt the piece for his Smithson issue of "Arts." my cover article in 1978 is probably my most read prose work. & my subsequent friendship with Martin was a blessing.

abt the same time I was filmd at the woodshed for the French tv series "L'Aventure de L'art Moderne." I have no idea if I'm in the finishd work.

I was also interviewd by a reporter from the New York Times abt the work. I was part of a symposium abt it sponsord by Kent's school of art. & I was at Mark Bloch's performance piece there.

in 2002 I found a pair of Old Navy boxers there. they are now part of my piece "Underwear in a Box."

Daily Kent Stater 1975

Lainard Bush photographd me at what's left of the piece in 2014

01 January 2020

the new & the old

put on my new Skechers & went to the gym where I huggd Jack Farquhar Halbert in the shower

brewd Italian coffee from Gary Sielaff which I drank from the Sondheim mug I bought at Kennedy Center

took Aunt Mary's quilt off the bed whose sheets I changed

opend Julia Waida's cedar chest to take out an antique patchwork quilt my parents gave me

ate a Vosges cosmic truffle from Regina Yando

got a call from Bill Berger to alert me abt a tv show abt Eleanor Roosevelt

30 December 2019

a curiosity

I was going thru the worn album which holds many of the smaller movie star photos I collectd as a child.

MGM sent pictures of their stars in envelopes. but Universal-International & others sent post card images instead of actual photographs.  I was checking the later to establish dates for the collection.

& that's how I found this. it's on the back of the postcard from Eddie Fisher who I don't remember liking all that much. he was one of the few recording stars in the album which explains why this was sent from the east coast.

besides the useful information from the postmark I'm amused by the signature of 10-year-old me. why I signd the back of the postcard is a mystery. but why I did such a fanciful signing is even stranger. but I find it a sweet look back at little Alex.

& to those who still look in on this site which I fear I've neglectd of late may I wish you a happy new year. a whole new decade.

13 December 2019

let us keep on

it's been more than 3 decades since I met Tony Trigilio when he was a student at Kent. our circles overlapped in library & town. I remember us reading on campus together. & when he left we kept in touch. he was one of those whose work we chose to include in A Gathering of Poets. & I sent him one of my ties for the piece "Tie One On."

today he is a celebrated poet & writing teacher in Chicago where I last saw him for breakfast too many years ago.  & he has become famous for his series of poems based on the tv series "Dark Shadows."

I now have the third book of these poems -- Ghosts of the Upper Floor. & what an utter joy to find myself quoted in Tony's collection. of course I had to include this in Alex in Movieland. I love this layering or what Tony calls an accumulation. it's there in my long serial work & in his.

thank you old friend. & let us both keep on accumulating.

(from "Tie One On")

23 November 2019

a century ago

"Male and Female" was released 100 years ago today. so I watchd it this morning. the star is Gloria Swanson. but the first and last person seen on screen is Lila Lee who is utterly captivating of the lovesick maid. her performance is fresh & charming. it lacks the histrionics some see as a hallmark of film acting of that period.

Lila Lee plays a significant role in my life. I was only 14 when I first met her. her sister Peg Tufford was a realtor in Elyria. she'd appeard on Broadway opposite Al Jolson & had a film or two in her past but never had the acclaim of her famous sister. when Lila came to visit I pesterd her abt her career. she was my first link to silent cinema -- which over the decades has held great significance to me.

Lila appears in my work. here she is in "Ely Park":

Lila Lee walks by
history of film on her fragile shoulders

she appears again at the end of Ohio Triangle in a memory from the time my parents invited her to dinner.

I have great affection for Lila. so it was essential that I spend this centennial seeing one of her sweetest performances. one that remains vibrant after a century. & one that people are still enjoying.

Peg gave me this Elmer Fryer portrait of her with Lila. it hangs in my guest bathroom.

at Lila's grave in Elyria

19 November 2019

in my glass

"Children of Grass" is a collection of remarkable portraits of poets by B. A. Van Sise. I'm not in it. however this morning he sent me this photo he took yesterday. that's his reflection in the glass of my niche at Hollywood Forever.

I'm delightd that he took it & sent it to me. & how lovely to see all the lip prints. some friends find it macabre that I've set up my final resting place before that rest begins. however I'm completely enjoying the experience of seeing interaction with strangers. every lip print kisses my soul.