30 June 2012

one week ago

if you weren't there you'll doubtless be bored by this video of the Santa Fe Pride Parade.  what amuses me abt it is that I make a quick cameo walking down the street (9:24-9:30). in this digital age I think we're unknowingly more documentd than we think.

28 June 2012

sultry summer

day after day of weather in the mid to high 90s.

trumpet vines I brought from Ohio -- even with watering -- are dying.

27 June 2012

Robert McGruder (1942-2002)

as undergrads I workd side by side with Bob on the staff of the Daily Kent Stater. this picture is from the yearbook.

26 June 2012


I've written often abt Martha Radachy because she was such an important person in my life. but I was thinking today abt a high school teacher who matterd.  Jeri Lou Wagstaff taught English. I did write abt her in Postcard Memoirs in which I quoted something she wrote on one of my report cards: "He has talent in writing and should be able to make it his life work."

my life isn't quite over & I'm still writing Miss Wagstaff.

after graduation Roberta Elzey & Tom Queen & Martha Braun & Sally Hewitt & I got permission from Miss Wagstaff's roommate to surprise her.  Tom made a huge mural which we taped to the wall.  we wrote skits. & I took this photo of her as she unlcokd her door to find us:

it was publishd in the Plain Dealer & continues to bring back the best of high school memories.

20 June 2012

19 June 2012

Barton Lidice Benes (1942-2012)

Jean-Claude van Itallie introduced me to the artist in the summer of 1971. we visitd his now famous apartment at Westbeth. it wasn't yet as magically clutterd as it became. I especially remember the little handpress he had.

North Dakota is the only state I've never visitd.  nothing there has attractd me. when North Dakota Musuem of Art recreates Benes' apartment I'll finally have a reason to go.

my getaway

I went to Las Vegas for a long weekend. the best part was when my friend Gary Sielaff pickd me up at Blue Moon for a day of adventure. we drove to the area's newest Hash House a Go Go in Henderson for one of their huge & divine breakfasts. 

 then across the state line & on lonely roads thru Mojave National Preserve.

we hiked the Rings Loop Trail. wonderful cactus was blooming & the rock formations were constantly changing as we walkd the circle. there was one difficult moment: the rings. there was no way up that part of the mountain without grabbing these rings. I confess Gary had to give me a boost but I did it.

thx Gary. every time I come to Sin City you drive me into some wilderness or another.  & we always have a grand time.

18 June 2012

Susan Tyrrell (1945-2012)

years ago I saw her in her one-woman show at Weho's long-gone La Cage Aux Folles.  Lily Tomlin was in the audience. we all applauded like crazy people.

& here's a snippet of her best-known performance:

12 June 2012

& let's not forget

today is also the centennial of Nina Mae McKinney.  here's my 2003 poem abt her:

dice on her bosom
cherries in her hair
Nina Mae McKinney
a bowl of sass

“how you feel big boy?
like my dancin’?”

it was 1929 & her shimmy
turnd a revival into a circuit party

it was a generation
before Dorothy Dandridge
70 years
before Halle Berry
when Nina Mae McKinney
lit up the big screen

& tonite she was hot
all over again

god I love the movies

leather & lace

the first time I wrote to Djuna Barnes was to inform her that I'd put together a handout for my students.  it was titled "How Djuna Barnes Starts Stories."  it was a list of the first lines of her delicious short stories.

I took her flowers once but she didn't answer her door. however I did see her one time on the street. she was elegant in a suit. I didn't bother her.

my major encounter with the celebratd author of Nightwood was when I edited a festschrift for her 80th birthday. (I told the story of that publication in Mary Lynn Broe's Silence and Power.) here's the cover:

it surprises me that today wd be her 120th birthday. all those years gone by. to honor her I just read "A Night among the Horses" with its images of whips & sequins.

09 June 2012


I've always been a walker.  so hiking is simply an extension of something I've been doing all my life. but it's quite the glorious extension.

my men's dinner group has been doing a weekly hike of late. & it's been such fun. conversation rambles from film to poetry to music & observations of nature have been acute. yesterday we drove to Cowell & did a 10-mile hike on Cave Creek Trail where the wild iris are still in bloom. 

06 June 2012

04 June 2012


I sleep straight thru the nite & wake restd with no memory of my dreams.

last nite I had many dreams -- including a nitemare whose moans were loud enuf to wake me.

the good part of the dreams were abt fashion designer Shannon Rodgers.  he creatd the cloak Joan Crawford wore to Truman Capote's black & white ball. when he donatd his collection of historical costume to Kent State many years ago I was his protege & was supposd to be the curator of the fashion museum he began on campus. but his partner Jerry Silverman never liked me & that didn't happen. at the time a major blow to me.

in the dreams Shannon was at his best. he loved to laugh & did so last nite. & fittingly Jerry didn't appear.

02 June 2012

70th anniversary

this is the design for a tee-shirt I did for the golden wedding anniversary of my parents 20 years ago

01 June 2012

Mary Kovach Yando (1912-1996)

her 100th birthday

Aunt Mary with her daughter Regina & me in Lorain many years ago

& the 3 of us on the plaza during her only visit to my Santa Fe house