04 May 2021

Kent State -- May 4th

 I've never found myself in any of the photos from those few days. but tonite I was watching a video of "Four Dead in Ohio." I'm not positive but it looks like me in the upper left corner. sitting with a pair of art profs -- jCharles Walker & Doug Unger.  if so it was at an event leading up to the 4th.

01 May 2021

"PS Portrait Project"

 honord to be one of the subjects for the Anthony-Masterson series. they made me & my home look incredible.

22 April 2021

 Owen Masterson is a photographer & sculptor & filmmaker & writer & o yes..... rock star (remember the Yanks?). also a friend.

he took this yesterday at the post office which today is officially closed & waiting for the tribe to smash it to memory.

I think it's a damnd good photo.

21 April 2021

"change of address"

(photo by Estee Huff)

 as a child I loved the post office. I felt it was the center of communication just as the library was the center of information. to me these were sacred buildings as important to my development as our house & my schools.

when I moved to Palm Springs 5 years ago next month I had no house of my own at which to receive mail. I stayd at a friend's. so while looking for my own abode I got a post office box at the main p.o. downtown. I learnd later that this was once the p. o. box of actress Bonnie Bedelia whose film "Sordid Lives" is part of the city's history.

the post office opend in 1970 -- an example of "New Formalism." & it's officially closing at 3 this afternoon. the building is on tribal land & the local tribe will demolish it just as they did the historic hotel & spa. to honor its existence I knew I had to do a piece. I remember I had some address labels from my year as a box holder. I decided to put them on the postcards USPS gives out to send to friends & businesses. but when I came to the p.o. to get a batch I learnd that in this digital age they are no longer printd. my idea for the piece stalld. but then I rememberd I still had a cache of the envelopes I had printd for my mother's autograph collection. & this wd add another layer to the piece because Mom who loved mail wd be 100 this year.

then I recalld I had a sheet of the Marilyn Monroe stamps from 1995. I found the sheet & took it to town where I placed it on both her star on the Walk of Fame & the base for the returning & now controversial "Forever Marilyn." & then I put the stamps on the envelopes.

this morning I brought the 18 labels & 18 envelopes to the post office. I "performd" this documentation on the front portico for friends. then I went inside.I put the labels on the envelopes.  in front of my old box -- #1525 -- I made a circle of the envelopes around myself (an homage to "85 Envelopes" which I did for Mom's birthday). after being photographd I scoopd up the circle & began distributing the envelopes.

tomorrow is moving day for the post office. it changes its address to Sunrise Way -- the thoroughfare off which I live.

04 April 2021

Easter parade

 thruout my childhood Easter was the dress-up holiday. looking back at old photos I'm always amazed at how well-dressd I was. I wonder when it stoppd being Mom picking out my clothes & when I took over.

I was abt 5 here


another Easter another bowtie (with Mom)

I startd wearing hats early

still wearing bowties at 15

14 March 2021

my monastic year

 one year ago today I walked out of Mario's with a pizza. came home & began my lockdown. for more than a year I've not been to a play or concert. I've not been in a grocery store. I've not taken public transportation or been in a car. the only human touch I've experienced was the 2 times women I didn't know administered my vaccines.

I've already written how I turned this challenge into a burst of creativity. I wantd to view this difficult time thru a positive lens. then Bob died & I suddenly got pissd off. Covid had robbed me of seeing a dear friend in the last year of his life.

so this morning my feelings are mixd. I plan to cautiously ease back into some socializing. & I'll keep on creating. this morning I tried to meld my poetry & art in the first of what I hoped wd be a new series. it didn't work. but then I wrote a poem abt that & abt Bob & abt going on.

I've learned much abt friendship & core values. I accept this not as a lost year but as a strangely rich one.

28 February 2021

Bob Barnes (1963-2021)

 we are warnd abt meeting people online. I'm lucky. abt a quarter century ago I became part of a group that met regularly in a chatroom. in the early years of our chatting I met several of these men & a couple became great friends.

one of them I first knew as Malibu Boy. he cd be wickedly funny. but he was also mysterious. it turnd out he wasn't a Californian at all but a Texan. & because of the sensitivity of his job with the US District Court he kept a low profile & forbade use of his image on social media.

soon we began e-mailing daily. Bob called me his "greatest penpal." eventually he visited me in Santa Fe & I him in Fort Worth. we trustd each other & shared secrets. & we laughd. boy did we laugh. like any deep friendship there cd be prickly moments but we workd them out.

besides being one of my best friends Bob was one of my biggest fans. his last e-mail to me began: The Khashoggi poem was excellent. he was over the moon with "Covid Valentine" & wonderd if anyone wd find one of the hearts & keep it. & over the years he became part of several of my pieces ("The 1943 Pennies" & "Torn Together" & "Butch Series" & "Book of Java"). every time he visitd we had to shop at Trina Turk. so he put at the top of our to-do list for that next visit my bench in front of the store.

Bob retired last year. his plan was to divide his time between Fort Worth & Palm Springs. on his last visit we lookd at rental properties. & he constantly checkd the market. just last week he mentiond a unit for sale in my complex. but then the pandemic...

the kettle was on when an unexpectd call came last nite. I wonderd why I had no e-mail from him all day. in shock I went to the guest room he loved. there waiting for his next visit was a little box. from it I removed the Lucy mug I purchased for him just before lockdown a year ago. I put a tea bag in it & filld it with hot water. Lucy & I sat at the patio where Bob & I had laughd. it was a beautiful nite. even tho there were tears on my face I felt a smile as I lookd up at the stars grateful to have had such a friendship in my life.

with Bob & his lifelong friend Lisa dining at Blue Bayou in Disneyland almost 2 years ago