27 January 2015

Charles Farrell (1900-1990)

every time I go to a familiar place I seek something new.

this weekend in Palm Springs I went to a small cemetery in downtown. I touchd the tombstones of architect Albert Frey & one of the original Keystone Kops -- Chester Moorten.

but the real reason I was there was to honor this silent screen star:

he was a handsome man known for his smile & his hair. I've written about him before. he died before I got to his city. so this is as close as I'll come.

16 January 2015

going thru

old files before sending them to my collection at Kent State I found this 1968 polaroid:

it's Mary Ann Begland signing her painting "Isadora."

here we are years later with the same painting (which still hangs in my living room).

15 January 2015

calling all doll collectors

before putting the family house on the market I took this picture of part of Mom's doll collection:

I need to find good homes for the dolls.  those which I got Mom during my travels I'm keeping but there are just too many for me.

if you are a real collector let me know. I'm willing to give you a doll for the price of postage.

14 January 2015

Ray Johnson (1927-1995)

hard to believe he's been gone 20 years.

I wrote to Johnson in the summer of 1977 inviting him to contribute to the catalog for Ira Joel Haber's retrospective at Kent State which I was editing. he sent a piece which we used. I returnd the original art to him per his instruction.

this is the only piece of his I own:

when the University Libraries got rid of its card catalog in the early 1990s I got the idea of selecting some cards to send to the authors for signatures. as a fundraiser for Special Collections we sold the cards.

among those I purchased was this one with Johnson's signature backwards & snaking from front of card to rear.

11 January 2015

Palm Springs is

close today because this cactus is in bloom.  it began as a tiny cutting from Inn Exile. over the years it's grown into this.

09 January 2015


photo by Elisa Wike Hurley

for a short time as an undergrad I smoked a pipe -- mostly in my room at Stopher Hall. in  my drinking days a handful of cigarets. & that one time a cigar.  those instances aside I identify as a non-smoker.

but I am a collector & documentarian of my times. so in those days when so many restaurants & hotels displayd heaps of matchbooks for the taking I took.

like so many others I put them in a large glass container. when that filld I startd a second jar.  fear of fire causd me to remove the actual matches -- which I suppose is anathma to true collectors in the field. but I was collecting memories more than artifacts.

I've announcd my intentions to downsize & that I'm thinking of the whole project as a piece of mail art. but as I approach such a daunting task I keep getting ideas for smaller projects within that grand one.

so I dumpd the containers which I discoverd held nearly 500 items dating back to at least 1967. I pickd a handful of favorites which I'll keep in the glass stein someone gave my father for a birthday. soon I'll start mailing out the others.

photo by E W H

05 January 2015

let the downsizing begin

those who know me -- or have read me -- realize the importance of things in my life. no. I'm not a hoarder. but for 7 decades I have been a collector. & I've always gaind true comfort from the history of the objects that surround me.

in the last several months I experienced a confluence of happenings which promptd a serious look at how my movie will end. don't jump to conclusions. I don't plan on that fade-out for some time. but at a certain age it becomes one to get a life in order.

& so I've decided that as much as things in my life have sustaind & enrichd me I have simply too much. I need to live simpler. so out will go the superfluous. how many ice cream scoopers does one person need?

but there are some treasures too dear to put on the curb. & it's up to me to find them new homes. realizing this actually fills me with joy. during the new year I plan on a slow & deliberate transfer of parts of my life to institutions & friends.

so if in the coming months you receive a box from me be happy.  it means I've chosen you to forever be part of my life. think of it as a major mail art project. making my past a part of yr present is going to be an adventure for me.

03 January 2015

just learnd

that a high school classmate died on Xmas eve.  he was the 99th from our class to die. apparently 100 will probably be this week as another classmate in hospice has only days left.

01 January 2015

for me

the holidays are a place where the living & the dead mingle.

in my dream (the last of last year or the first of the new year or both?) I was staying at a resort in a warm place. I was having dinner with Algesa & Joe O'Sickey. Mom stopped by our table to join us for dessert & eventually Dad came by as well. when it was over we all got up to go our separate ways. just then David Hockney strolld by & walkd me to my suite.

& then I woke up.