31 January 2014

30 January 2014

George Sacco (1935-2014)

I met potter George Sacco & his wife   painter Mary Ann Begland in 1966.  they became one of the couples who investd in buying a huge printing press. & I featured their work in an issue of Toucan.

from the beginning I gravitatd to Mary Ann & continue to be her friend.  George cd be gravely.  I remember my partner & I going to Akron with the couple to see onetime child star Bobby Breen at a nite club.  the idea was mine because I was a film nut. all I remember abt that far away evening was George grumbling.  when he was unhappy he let everyone know. 

eventually the couple had 2 wonderful sons   but split up.  Mary Ann moved away & I rarely saw George.  when our paths crossd we never did more than say hi.

but I still have some pieces of his around the house. I bought that blue vase from him in 1967 for $15.  the glass piece may be unusual because I don't recall him doing that much glass work.  & the little guy is one of his kiln gods.


for the past few mornings the planet has been boldly bright

28 January 2014

Brokeback opera

tonite in Madrid a new opera debuts.  it's an adaptation of "Brokeback Mountain" with music by Charles Wuorinen.

here is some footage I took of Wuorinen at the famous birthday party Coburn Britton gave him in 1972:

25 January 2014


we've all read that the young are abandoning this method of communication. if that's what they want to do then let them. but as someone they probably consider "elderly" I must declare that for me it's become a vital link to staying in touch.

as often as not FB is where I learn of deaths. not just the famous but also of people from my personal past. it's a place which has become a forum for my fellow writers & artists to share our work & news of our careers. it was on FB that I discoverd that someone was breaking up because his partner cheatd on him. & it's on FB that I read the grim details of a friend fighting cancer with courage & humor.

I continue to unearth people from my past at the same time that I connect with new friends. I'm one who never felt comfortable with telephones.  I simply don't know what people talk abt for hours as they drive & shop. but I value written communication.  I was a world class letter writer in those long ago days when people used what we now call snail mail.  I no longer write long letters but I toss off tidbits via e-mails or on FB with ease & often even joy. & as I age this becomes important. it wd be so easy to become a recluse. face to face seems to happen less. I value my interaction with my 2 dear neighbors & those guys with whom I hike. even the people with whom I exchange a few words at the gym. without all of them I cd become an old man shuffling from room to room talking to myself. but add to these "in person" connections all those with whom I interact online & I have a rich life indeed.

the reason I'm committing this ramble to words is what happend last nite.  I met Randy Gener once.  we didn't even interact that much. but after becoming friends on FB I've been reading his posts for a few years.  he -- like others I don't know well in actuality -- became a real person. I think I have something like 700 FB friends. I've never had 700 friends in my life. & not all of these commit themselves equally to revealing parts of their lives. but for that core who do I feel a real kinship. I look forward to posts. so after learning of the savage attack on Randy I wrote abt it & went to bed. but thinking abt it made sleep impossible & I'm sure contributed to the bad dreams that woke me at 4.

I don't care if the Justin Beiber generation is dropping FB. but for all those with whom I use it to communicate -- don't you dare. let's continue to share what we think important. o sure every once in a while I wince when some folks impart a bit too much abt their relationships. & sometimes I wonder if even I can tolerate another cute cat picture. but considering it all FB has become part of the fabric of my life. many more people read & digest what I offer there than on this blog (which is why I'll immediately link this entry on my page).

so -- my 700 plus friends -- thank you for being part of my life. stay with me. keep enriching me.

24 January 2014

terrible news

just learnd of the attack on Randy Gener.

Regina took this picture in 2008.  it was a panel at the Jean-Claude van Itallie seminar. Randy (all the way on the right) was the moderator.  I'm sitting next to him.

Tangier 1989

a couple of Santa Feans I know are moving to Tangier.  so I lookd up my photos from there. in this one I'm pretty much washd out because of the dazzle of color all around me.

23 January 2014

a wedding

I took this picture of Dan Kempson taking a picture last summer:

but I just discoverd this lovely little film of the beginning of his 2011 wedding:

22 January 2014


I went to my first game in the fall of 1957. my high school vs Lakewood. the co-captain was the older brother of a hunky classmate of mine. I was a freshman. on the team were a pair of handsome seniors -- Dick Novak (who I knew from his running the projector at noon movies) & Jack Perkins (who had memorable hair). I wrote in my yearbook: "It was a great game."

how wd I know? I knew nothing of football then & still don't. that may have been the only high school game I went to. I think I probably attended a game at Kent. I've never watchd one on tv.

but somewhere in the clutter of my house I own a football card. why? because it's the card of Jerry Smith.  I suspect my parents found a clutch of cards in one of the many garage sales they went to & gave them to me. I probably lookd thru them for a sexy face before discarding them. & I'm sure I'd read somewhere that Jerry Smith was gay.  so I kept that one.

I have no idea where it is but Jim Provenzano used an identical one in his San Francisco exhibition of gay sports & I took this picture.  it's the card on the left.

why did I even bother keeping a football card? I kept it as a sort of moment in gay history. but I knew very little abt Smith till last nite. I'd read online that something calld the NFL Network was running a doc abt him. I searchd for this network unknown to me & watchd the show. it was a fascinating look backward.

I still have no interest in football but I'm glad I watchd "A Football Life." I was born only 3 months before Jerry Smith. since I never cared abt football I never followd his career. last nite it was good to see footage of him when he was a golden god of sport. & it was good to know that at least some of his teammates respectd him as both a professional & as a human being.

19 January 2014

more Hollywood

in 1991 Donald O'Connor celebratd 65 years in show business & David Gest threw him one hell of a party at the Beverly Hilton.  one of the Andrews Sisters   both of the Nicholas Brothers & all of the Four Tops were there.  along with Bob Hope & Sid Caesar & Gene Autry.  another one of those kind of events I loved.

I took these photos. they aren't the best but give some sense of the evening.  in both only O'Connor's back is visible.  but he's chatting with Paula Prentiss & Richard Benjamin & Tony Perkins (& I think that's Berry in red).

& here I am with Rip Taylor who was at the table next to mine.

18 January 2014

thinking of Terence Stamp

who didn't fall in love with him when he burst onto the screen as Billy Budd?

& then there were others films with important directors. quite the career.

I first saw Stamp at a screening in Hollywood more than 30 years after he played the Melville character.

I took this picture of him that nite:

but my short story in which he stars happend in the fall of 1998. I was staying at one of the cottages at Chateau Marmont. early one morning I slippd into my little speedo & walkd the few steps to the famous egg-shaped pool. there was only one person there. I lowerd myself in & left plenty of room for my companion. after our initial nods we kept to ourselves. but it didn't take long for me to realize I was swimming with the actor I'll always remember as Billy Budd.  

I don't recall how long it was before Stamp got out. I tried not to watch as he went over to a lounge chair on which he had a towel & some other items. then to my surprise he slippd off his trunks & showd off every angle of his body while toweling dry. he nodded again & was off.

16 January 2014

a bushel of thx

Mom doesn't have much storage space in her new digs.  so she askd my cousin Sal to send me some of the many greetings you all maild her over the holidaze. we both thank you for yr kindness.  she got to enjoy yr affection last month & now I can now.

14 January 2014

Suellen Sweany Adams (1941-2014)

we met at Kent State over 50 years ago.  she was a dorm buddy of my dear friend Cynthia. Suellen was an explosion of blondeness & exuberance. she & her boyfriend Tim were probably the sexiest couple on campus. when I took a photography class she happily posed for me & this remains my favorite photo of her:

as so often happens we lost touch over the years.  but I was so happy that when I went to Seattle in 2007 I got to see Suellen again. she'd been thru some rough times but remaind positive. she was eager to show me her city & was so generous with her time & energy.  this is the only picture I have with her.  I regret her eyes are closed here because she was the kind of person who faced everything with eyes open & bright.  but since it is our only photo I post it anyway.

08 January 2014

Madeline Gins (1941-2014)

I only met her once -- on my 42nd birthday -- but we "sort of" kept in touch over the past 35 or so years.  she was a fascinating person.

this painting of her with soulmate Arakawa is by someone else I knew -- the late Sylvia Sleigh.

06 January 2014

watching Grace Jones

arrive at Chateau Marmont brought back multiple memories of staying at that place for so many years. here I am at the pool in 1985:

05 January 2014

the Poni-Tails

the death of Phil Everly promptd Tom Mahl to write abt an event from our longagohood.  he remembers when the Everly Brothers played an assembly at Elyria Catholic High School in 1957.

I was at Elyria High School so wasn't there.  in fact I never heard the brothers live altho I did see them in a casino on my first visit to Las Vegas in 1969.  but what struck me was his mention that they shared the stage with the Poni-Tails.

& this caught my attention because this Ohio girl group performd at my senior prom in may of 1961. here I am that nite with Martha Braun:

memory is a funny thing.  I no longer recall the actual performance by the Poni-Tails at my prom but I do remember the performance at the senior prom the year before. that year the guest stars were the Tracey Twins.  Dad & I met them at the Elyria turnpike exit & directed them to EHS.  & once there a problem arose with the accompanist.  so I had to run home to get my 45s which they then playd & sang along to.

01 January 2014

Juanita Moore (1914-2014)

I first met her when Ross Hunter had the premiere of "Imitation of Life" in Cleveland.  altho that remains her most famous performance she had a long career in film & theater.  this picture was taken by her grandson -- actor Kirk Kelly-Kahn -- in the lobby of the Hollywood Roosevelt a few years ago.


I went to bed abt 9:30. took me a while to fall asleep -- probably because I was expecting to be awoken by midnite noise. but that didn't happen. what did was this. I had a dream in which I rec'd a large box. when I opend it I'd wake up. after a while I'd fall asleep again   have the same dream   wake up again. & I never found out what was in the boxes.

so at 5:30 I finally got out of bed & startd doing laundry.

ringing in the new year

with Clara Bow & Richard Dix