The Odd Fellows

The Odd Fellows is a secret society formed in 1819 in the United States.

I have a book coming out on December 16, 2013. It's called The Odd Fellows.

My book was released on December 16, 2013. It’s called The Odd Fellows.

This is the cover for my book.

This is the cover of my book direct from the publisher. MY BOOK IS NOW AVAILABLE. Go to http://www.boldstrokesbooks.com/Author-Guillermo-Luna.html or AMAZON.COM to order it.

My books showed up. This photo was taken moments after I opened the box. I'm very happy.

My books showed up. This photo was taken moments after I opened the box. I’m very happy.

This is the All Seeing Eye. It's God's Eye.

This is the All Seeing Eye. It’s God’s Eye. When I submitted my book to my publisher I used this image with chapter 1: The Dead Body.

This is the hand with heart. The basic idea behind the hand with heart is that whenever an Odd Fellow extends his hand -- the greeting comes from his heart.

This is the hand with heart. The basic idea behind the hand with heart is that whenever an Odd Fellow extends his hand — the greeting comes from his heart; an Odd Fellow doesn’t shake your hand while thinking about how he’ll stab you in the back. I used this image with chapter 2: Mexico.

This symbol is the Bundle of Rods. It symbolizes that a group bound together is stronger than one rod alone. I used this image for Chapter 3: The Road to San Felipe.

This symbol is the Bundle of Rods. It symbolizes that a group bound together is stronger than one rod alone. I used this image for Chapter 3: The Road to San Felipe.

These are the three links. The three links symbolize Friendship, Love and Truth.

These are the three links. The three links symbolize Friendship, Love and Truth. I used this image with Chapter 4: The Three Links.

The Moon and the Seven Stars. The seven stars are to remind us of the seven pillars in the house of wisdom and warn us not to wander starless in the night of destitution.

The Moon and the Seven Stars. The seven stars remind us of the seven pillars in the house of wisdom and warn us not to wander starless in the night of destitution. I used this image for Chapter 6: The Disappearance.

This is the Skull and Crossed Bones. This symbol reminds us that we are not only part of the earthly world but that we must the remains of brothers to their graves. I used this image for Chapter 7: The Crucifixion.

This is the Skull and Crossed Bones. We are all part of the earthly world and must bury the remains of our brothers. I used this image for Chapter 7: The Crucifixion.

It's the coffin. This symbol is used to remind us that we all have a date with this last great event we just don't know when. I used this symbol for Chapter 8: Bury the Dead.

It’s the coffin. It symbolizes that we all have a date with death — we just don’t know when. I used this symbol for Chapter 8: Bury the Dead.

This is the hourglass and scythe. The scythe is a reminder that just as hay is cut down by the scythe -- also man is cut down by time. The hourglass reminds us of how time quickly goes forward. I used this symbol for Chapter 8: Bury the Dead.

This is the hourglass and scythe. The scythe reminds us that just as hay is cut down by the scythe — likewise man is cut down by time.
The hourglass reminds us that time moves quickly. I used this symbol for Chapter 9: Man’s Best Friend.

The Shaking Hands of Friendship. I used this symbol for Chapter 11: Three Days Later.

The Shaking Hands of Friendship. I used this symbol for Chapter 11: Three Days Later.

My book is NOW AVAILABLE from my publisher. It can be ordered through the link below:

http://www.boldstrokesbooks.com/Author-Guillermo-Luna.html

You can also browse by GBT author. Click on that tab and then look for GUILLERMO LUNA. Click on my picture and go from there.

It’s also available through Amazon.com.

Published in: on January 26, 2013 at 11:33 pm  Leave a Comment  

Survivor

The Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills had a photo exhibit on the CBS television series Survivor. I have watched every single episode of Survivor since 2000 so I’m definitely a fan. It wasn’t the greatest exhibit that I’ve ever been to but it’s the only exhibit regarding Survivor that I’ve ever heard of or seen. Often people dismiss Survivor with “Is that still on?” Yes, it is and I’m glad Survivor is receiving some respect from the Paley Center.

Here's how they advertised the exhibit.

Here’s how they advertised the exhibit.

That's me, Guillermo Luna, in front of the Survivor logo.

That’s me, Guillermo Luna, in front of the Survivor logo.

There were lots of BIG photographs. Jeff looks good here. I want this photograph for my bedroom wall. Is that too teenage girl-ish?

There were lots of JUMBO photographs. Jeff looks good here. I want this photograph for my bedroom wall.

It seems so long ago but this was the beginning. Rudy is on the right. Richard Hatch is on the left.

It seems so long ago but this was the beginning. Rudy is on the right. Richard Hatch is on the left. Kelly is in the back.

I like this shot because I never thing that there's a crew presence but this shows there is.

I like this shot because I never think there’s a crew presence but this photo shows there is.

I've never been a fan of Rob. His win was an easy win because everyone on his tribe just rolled over and did whatever he said.

I’m not a fan of Rob. His win was an easy win because everyone on his tribe just rolled over and did whatever he said.

That's Mark Burnett next to Jeff Probst. My opinion of Burnett has changed over the years depending on how well I liked each season.

That’s Mark Burnett next to Jeff Probst. My opinion of Burnett changes depending on how well I like a particular season.

A case with torch snuffers.

A case with torch snuffers.

Not the best picture of the currently immunity idol. Entertainment Weekly's Dalton Ross says it looks like a weird Mr. Peanut. I agree. I think his hand is made out of a fork.  This item was laying on it's back in a case with skylights overhead so you'll have to excuse the reflection. Sorry.

The currently immunity idol. Entertainment Weekly’s Dalton Ross says it looks like a weird Mr. Peanut. I agree. I think his hand is made out of a fork. This item was laying on it’s back in a case with skylights overhead so you’ll have to excuse the reflection. Sorry.

Here's another view from the other side. The overhead lights are reflected onto the case. He looks even weirder at this angle.

Here’s another view from the other side. The overhead lights are reflected onto the case. He looks even weirder at this angle.

Some immunity idols from one of the cases. I wanted to hold one because they looked almost plastic.

Some immunity idols from one of the cases. I wanted to hold one because they looked plastic.

The Paley had these banners on the steps that go up to the second floor.

The Paley had these banners on the steps that went to the second floor. Escameca is the name for the Blue Collar Tribe. Everybody’s favorite player, Rodney, is a member of the Blue Collar Tribe. So is Dan who I really like.

I don't know which season these banners are from and I've watched all 30 seasons. It's a blur. A blur.

Masaya is the name for the White Collar Tribe. Max’s tribe. Sorry you went out 4th Max but you’re no Cochran. Who are they going to pixelate now?

The No Collar tribe had creepazoid Vince and Joe (that somebody on-line compared to Malcolm. Which was a bad comparison.)

The No Collar tribe had creepy Vince and Joe with the Fabio hair. Someone online claimed that Joe was the new Malcolm. I don’t think so. (Now, watch Joe win it all.)

More torch snuffers.

More torch snuffers.

One of the best things at the exhibit was a huge television that played the best of Survivor clips. It went on forever. The time when Russell played his idol for Parvatti and then it came down to a vote between him and Tyson and Tyson was evicted; When Brenda demanded at the final tribal council that Dawn take her "bridge" out just to humiliate her. When Eliza played the fake idol given to her by Jason that Ozzy had made. (It was a stick with a face on it.)

One of the most enjoyable things at the exhibit was a huge television that played “best of Survivor” clips. The clips went on for hours (?). Clips I watched included: the time Russell played his idol for Parvatti and then it came down to a vote between him and Tyson and Tyson was evicted; Brenda demanding at the final tribal council that Dawn take her “bridge” out just to humiliate her; Eliza playing the fake idol given to her by Jason that Ozzy made. (It was a stick with a face on it.); Laura and Tina fighting to get back into the game by balancing on a beam while holding up a pot with the other foot and Laura begging Tina to “give it to her” and Tina saying, “No, way sister!”; Sue calling Richard a snake and Kelly a rat; Russell trying to get back into the game after his tribe deliberately lost and Russell “getting emotional” when he didn’t succeed; Kat talking about how “fun and exciting” blindsides are and then getting blindsided; Tony building his spy shack and telling us how he’s going to control the game (when, in reality, he was pretty much alone at that point). I could have stood and watched it all day long. It was the best parts of Survivor played over and over.

The Paley Center for Media also has a library.

The Paley Center for Media also has a library.

I went upstairs to the Paley Library and watched the first episode of Survivor again. Within the first ten minutes of the show Richard was already saying he was going to win and they could write the check already.

I went upstairs to the Library and watched the first episode of Survivor again. Within the show’s first ten minutes Richard was already saying he was going to win and they should just write him the check already. I like Richard very much but sometimes I think he might benefit from some therapy.

After the first episode I watched an event filled in 2001 at the Paley Center. It was filled while season 2 was running. Jeff Probst revealed that he hadn't worked for two years prior to filming. Richard said that when he first heard, "The tribe has spoken" and "Fire represents life" and many of the other Survivor sayings, he thought, "oh, brother" and "how hokey" but now he sees that as perfect.

After the first episode I watched an event from 2001 (?) at the Paley Center. I think Mark Burnett said it was taped while season 2 was running. Jeff Probst revealed that he hadn’t worked for two years prior to filming Survivor. Richard said that when he first heard, “The tribe has spoken” and “Fire represents life” and many of the other Survivor sayings, he thought, “oh, brother” and “how hokey” but now sees them as perfect. Jeff also said when Michael Skupin fell into the fire he thought it was great for the show! Mark Burnett said something about it being terrible and being concerned with everyone’s safety but I didn’t believe him when he said it because there was a glint of happiness in his eye.

My book, The Odd Fellows, was released on December 16, 2013.

S30 must stand for Survivor 30. My book, The Odd Fellows, was released on December 16, 2013.

Published in: on March 15, 2015 at 7:52 pm  Leave a Comment  

San Francisco

I went up to San Francisco to do some “book readings” at two book events on two different nights.

I took the Coastal Starlight from Los Angeles to San Francisco.

I took the Coast Starlight from Los Angeles to Oakland.

I left from Union Station in Los Angeles. Consensus pretty much says this is the last great train station built in the United States. I agree.

I left from Union Station in Los Angeles. Consensus pretty much says this is the last great train station built in the United States. I agree.

We stopped at the Santa Barbara Station for a smoke break. It was a great station right out of the 1920s.  Taking the train is like going back in time.

We stopped at the Santa Barbara Station for a smoke break. It was a wonderful station right out of the 1920s. Taking the train is like going back in time.

An hour or so later we stopped for another smoke break here.

An hour or so later we stopped for another smoke break here. This train station needed a good coat of paint but it was still beautiful.

Along this stretch we saw 50 (?) miles of ocean from the train.

Along a 50 (?) mile stretch all we could see out the windows on one side of the train was the Pacific ocean.

It was cool being that close.

It was cool being that close.

I actually debarked at Jack London Square in Oakland. Then took a shuttle bus to San Francisco.

I arrived at Jack London Square in Oakland — then took a shuttle bus to San Francisco.

SAN FRANCISCO

PALACE OF FINE ARTS

This has to be one of the most beautiful buildings every built and rebuilt.

Since I was going to San Francisco there were a few places I wanted to see and this was number one. This has to be one of the most beautiful buildings ever built and then rebuilt.

We went at the right time of day. The light was just great.

We went at the right time of day. The light was just great.

This building was originally built for the Pan  Pacific International Exhibition in 1915.

This building was originally built for the Panama-Pacific International Exhibition in 1915.

The architect was Bernard Maybeck.

The architect was Bernard Maybeck.

It's just wonderful.

It’s just wonderful.

Originally built of plaster and wood it was practically collapsing by 1964.

Originally built of plaster and wood it was on the verge of collapse by 1963.

The city of San Francisco wisely rebuilt the entire structure in 1964.

The city of San Francisco wisely rebuilt the entire structure in 1964.

It's an amazing monument. It's only function is to be beautiful.

It’s an amazing monument. It’s only function is to be beautiful.

That's Bob and me. I'm the one slightly out of focus.

That’s Bob and me. I’m the one slightly out of focus. Bob is my number one picture taker and my oldest friend. I’ve known him for more than a quarter of a century so I emailed him and said, “Why don’t you meet me there, we can go and see all these sights together, go to these book “events,” and you can take pictures of ME!” Jeez, I sound big headed when I write this stuff down. I don’t know why he puts up with me or still talks to me.

 THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE

Uh, it's the Golden Gate Bridge.

Uh, it’s the Golden Gate Bridge. It wasn’t on my to see list but I’m glad I went because it’s spectacular.

This is a plaque on the way to the bridge.

This is a plaque on the way to the bridge. Basically, the plaque says the Bank of America’s founder Amadeo Giannini was the first finance guy who thought the bridge was a good idea. On the plaque he’s shaking hands with the bridge’s engineer.

The engineer of the bridge was Joseph Strauss. This blurb and photo are from a brochure I bought at the bridge's store.

The engineer of the bridge was Joseph Strauss. This blurb and photo are from a brochure I bought at the bridge’s store.

I'm not into selfies but I did take one of myself at the Golden Gate Bridge.

I’m not into selfies but I did take one of myself at the GG Bridge.

This photo was taken before walking across the bridge. That's Alcatraz out there.

This photo was taken before walking across the bridge. That’s Alcatraz out there.

This view is from the bridge itself.

This view is from the bridge itself. You can see the Palace of Fine Arts in the foreground.

I went to the first tower. It was really windy and cold but I forced myself through. (Uh, there's a dark spot on the left side of this picture and the next one. There was a smudge on my camera lens but I'm still using these photos.)

I went to the first tower. It was really windy and cold but I forced myself through.

It's huge. "That's what she said," The Office.

It’s huge. “That’s what she said,” The Office.

A brochure I bought for a $1.

A brochure I bought for a $1.

 COIT TOWER

This is a view of Coit Tower from the Ferry Building from the day before we actually went.

This is a view of Coit Tower (architects: Arthur Brown, Jr. & Henry Howard) from the Ferry Building.

It's not a exceptionally tall building but it does have a presence.

It’s not a exceptionally tall building but it does have a presence. It looks like a government building.

A plaque installed when the building was built.

A plaque from when the building was built.

There are murals throughout the ground floor.

There are murals throughout the ground floor.

wpa mural 2

He’s a surveyor and very WPA.

I think the reason I like these murals so much is because they are WPA.

I think the reason I like these murals so much is because they are WPA.

This is one of my favorites. It seems so common man.

This is one of my favorites. It seems so working class.

He's a big cowboy and he looks moody.

He’s a big cowboy and he looks moody.

It was a hot day. I think I was already exhausted.

It was a hot day. I look exhausted. Sometimes, I think there should be more relaxation and less sight-seeing on vacations. Also, I’m much taller than I appear in this photograph.

I bought this at the gift shop.

I bought this at the gift shop.

BOOKS, INC.

I took this picture about an hour before the event started. It's a real bookstore.

The primary reason I went to San Francisco was to read my short story, Motorcycle Mash-Up, at a book launch. My story was included in an anthology called, Best Gay Romances 2015. I’m not sure why they included my story. My story is bitter, angry and unhappy. What’s that got to do with romance? I took this picture about an hour before the event started. The Bookstore was located at 2275 Market Street in the Castro district.

This was inside the window. There's the book.

This was inside the window. There’s the book.

Felice is doing an introduction.

Felice Picano is doing an introduction.

This guy had a great story and he had a low key delivery.

This guy, Kevin Killian, had a great story (But for the Grace of God, Baby, There Go I) and he had a low key, almost lethargic, delivery. He was quite funny.

Dale Chase is a kind human being. I immediately liked her. I should be more like her.

Dale Chase is a wonderful human being. I immediately liked her. She was reading from her story, Matters of the Heart.

That's me. I wasn't nervous at all but I felt as if everyone had much more experience doing this than I did. I was thrilled to be there though and overwhelmed to be asked.

That’s me. I wasn’t nervous at all but I felt as if everyone else had much more experience doing this. I was thrilled to be there. I felt more like a writer that night than I ever have before or since.

This guy was also very funny. He was very emotional when he read his story.

Daniel M. Jaffe is an experienced storyteller. His story is called The Great Masturbator. 

There was a good crowd.

There was a good crowd.

All the writers read that evening. The night surpassed my expectations.

All these writers read that evening. The night surpassed my expectations. I’m glad I went.

GOOD VIBRATIONS

I didn't like any of the pictures that were taking of me at this event but I like this one. It was an unusual venue.

I didn’t like any of the pictures that were taken of me at this event, Good Vibrations, but I like this one. It’s a little blurry but that just makes me look younger. It was an unusual venue.

There's the book on the counter.

There’s the book on the counter.

This is Felice Picano. He's reading his introduction to the anthology.

Felice is reading his introduction to the anthology.

This guy is funny. He's been published in over 30 anthologies. Wow. I'm impressed.

This guy was humorous. I forget his name. He’s been published in over 30 anthologies. That’s 29 more than me but it’s not a competition, I know. Whatever.

I've know Eric for about a year. He always dresses so nicely and he's slim. I'm slightly envious.

I’ve know Eric Andrew-Katz for about a year. He always dresses so nicely and he’s slim. His story is called The Kingdom of Haeven.

I didn't get to talk to him but his story was interesting.

I didn’t get to talk to Tom Baker but his story, Jury Duty, was interesting. It involved murder. The other authors that read that night were Dale Chase, Daniel M. Jaffe and me.

My story, Motorcycle Mash-Up, is at the link below. You can read the whole thing there. It's got an alternate book cover but it's still the same book.

My story, Motorcycle Mash-Up, is at the link below. You can read the whole thing there. It’s got an alternate book cover but it’s still the same book.

http://www.prismbookalliance.com/2015/02/felice-picano-ed-on-best-gay-romance-2015-excerpt/

The Ferry Building

It was a nice building with restaurants, gift shops and a grocery store.

It was a nice building with restaurants, gift shops and a grocery store. It sits next to the bay.

The story behind the Ferry Building.

The story behind the Ferry Building.

I took this short. I'm going into photography if this writing thing doesn't work out.

I took this shot. I’m going into photography if this writing thing doesn’t work out.

These two birds spent a lot of time squaking at each other. The one on the railing was kind of dirty. He didn't groom himself very well. Maybe, that's what they were talking about? It was obvious that they were friends.

These two birds spent a lot of time squaking at each other. The one on the railing was kind of dirty. He didn’t groom himself very well. Maybe, that’s what they were talking about? It was obvious they were friends.

CABLE CAR

Cable Car safety tips.

Cable Car safety tips.

We went downtown to take a Cable Car. We wanted to get on the Powell/Hayden line because it went the furthest.

We went downtown to take a Cable Car ride. We wanted to get on the Powell/Hyde line because it went the furthest.

My ticket.

My ticket.

We were near the front so we had a pretty good view.

We were near the front so we had a pretty good view.

The gears were ancient.

The gears were ancient.

Look at that ceiling. It must be a hundred years old.

Look at that ceiling. It must be a hundred years old.

Another selfie but this time on a Cable Car. It was a rocky ride so I'm kind of amazed it's focus.

Another selfie but this time on a Cable Car. It was a rocky, jerky ride so I’m amazed it’s in focus.

THE ODD FELLOWS TEMPLE

That's me at the 7th and Market Streets Odd Fellows Temple. It is such a cool building. How this building survived all these years intact is a miracle.

That’s me at the 7th and Market Streets Odd Fellows Temple. It is such a cool building. How this building survived all these years intact is a miracle.

I like God's eye the best followed by the shaking hands.

I like “God’s eye” the best followed by the shaking hands.

The three tenets of the Odd Fellows are Friendship, Love and Truth so I like that Truth is painted on the side of this Odd Fellows  building.

The three tenets of the Odd Fellows are Friendship, Love and Truth so it’s appropriate that Truth is painted on the side of their building.

Their entrance. I want to get inside this building. Evidently, Peter Sellers, has created a small Odd Fellows museum inside.

Their entrance. I want to get inside this building. Evidently, Peter Sellers, has created a small Odd Fellows museum inside.

I contacted California Lodge number 1, in advance, because I wanted to visit. They no longer meet at 7th and Market streets (but other lodges do). Instead, they meet in this building. I don't remember the names of everyone I interacted with but Patty, Rose, Tom, Frank and Chris were all extremely friendly when I visited their lodge. The great thing about the Odd Fellows is

I contacted California Lodge no. 1, in advance, because I wanted to visit their lodge. They no longer meet at 7th and Market streets (but other lodges do). Instead, they meet in this building above. I don’t remember the names of everyone I met but Tammy, Rose, Tom, Frank and Chris were all extremely friendly when I visited their lodge. The great thing about being an Odd Fellow is no matter where you go — you always have friends. I’m glad I joined the three links fraternity.

SAN FRANCISCO PUBLIC LIBRARY

We didn't have the best WiFi in our motel room but it was at a great location -- 17th and Market Streets. Consequently, we went to the San Francisco Public Library every morning to plan our day. I'm looking at my IPAD there. I hope I'm not looking at pictures of myself.

We didn’t have the best WiFi in our motel room but it was at a great location — 17th and Market Streets. Consequently, we went to the San Francisco Public Library every morning to plan our day. I’m looking at my iPad here. One of the wisest things my publisher had me do was create a website. I never realized how much I would use it. On the other hand, one of the worst things my publisher had me do was create a website. I find myself fixating on it sometimes which is never good.

THE END

Great bag! I bought some post cards at the Golden Gate Bridge store and they put them in it. My book, The Odd Fellows, was published on December 16, 2013.

Great bag! I bought some post cards at the Golden Gate Bridge store and they put them in this bag. I’ve put it in one of my scrap books. My book, The Odd Fellows, was published on December 16, 2013.

Odd Fellows’ Rose Parade Float 2015

The Odd Fellows have had a float in the Rose Parade for years. Since, I became an Odd Fellow in 2014 I decided to help out with the float.

The Odd Fellows have had a float in the Rose Parade for years. Since, I became an Odd Fellow in 2014 I decided to help out with the float.

The building where the decorating took place.

The building where the decorating took place.

This is a rendering of what the float would look like.

This is a rendering of what the float would look like.

Here are some initial photographs I took.

Here are some initial photographs I took.

The eagle at the front of the float.

The eagle at the front of the float is cool.

I like this Wounded Warrior symbol.

I like this Wounded Warrior symbol.

Cathy is applying white rice (?) to the Odd Fellows sign. It's cold in the building.

Cathy is applying white rice (?) to the Odd Fellows sign. It’s cold in the building.

Working on the eagle.

Working on the eagle.

A volunteer applies seeds.

A volunteer applies seeds.

Here I am adhering cut beans to some yellow leaves. I told the girl who took the picture to “get what I’m doing.” Unfortunately, she didn’t get a lot of my face but you can tell it’s me from my Van Dyke.

Here I am adhering cut beans to some jumbo yellow leaves. I told the girl who took the picture to “get what I’m doing.” Unfortunately, she didn’t get a lot of my face but you can tell it’s me from my Van Dyke.

Here I am working on a Rose with Dian. What I'm doing is putting glue on the rose structure and then applying cut flower petals (which have been blended by Mel) to the rose form with the aid of a sponge. The cut and blended flower petals are in the box in the foreground.

I’m working on a rose with Dian. What I’m doing is putting glue on the rose structure and then applying cut flower petals (which have been blended by Mel) to the rose form with the aid of a sponge. The cut and blended flower petals are in the box in the foreground.

Another angle on my rose work.

Another angle on my rose work.

Okay, I'm cutting flowers. Now, I want to mention that my brother,cliff,  once told me that when he dies he wants to come back as a robin. He says that if he dies before me whenever I go outside and see a robin -- that will be him. I like that. If I come back I want to come back as a ginormous, manly teamster. I say that because I included this photograph because I look like I'm one apple-tini away from donning sequinned short-short and joining a Liberace revue.  Ugh, I look like a goofball but that's who I am.

Okay, I’m cutting flowers. Now, I want to mention that my brother, Cliff, once told me that when he dies he wants to come back as a cardinal. He says that if he dies before me whenever I go outside and see a cardinal — that will be him. I like that. If I come back I want to come back as a Teamster. I say that because in this photograph I look like I’m one apple-tini away from donning sequinned short-shorts and joining a Liberace revue. This photo’s redeeming value is that it makes me laugh. That’s why I’m using it.

This is a photo of Martha and her friend. Martha is a member of my lodge, America Lodge in Pasadena.

This is a photo of Martha and her friend. Martha is a member of my lodge.

John. He's also a member of America Lodge.

John. He’s also a member of my lodge.

Jan, from the Ontario Lodge, took me in the flower barn and I was overwhelmed. Each flower is in its own water holding vase.

Jan, from the Ontario Lodge, took me into the flower barn and I was overwhelmed. Each flower is in its own water holding vase.

Trays and trays of flowers.

Trays and trays of flowers.

Gerber daisies. My favorites.

Gerber daisies. My favorites.

I forget what they are but I know they're special.

I forget what they are but I know they’re special.

I like those blue irises in the back.

I like those blue irises in the back.

A drum full of individual  vases.

A drum full of individual vases.

Flowers that need to be processed.

Flowers that need to be processed.

This is the best picture I got of Mel who is also a member of my lodge in Pasadena. Mel's a great guy and I'm very happy I met him in 2014. The Odd Fellows are lucky to have him in their organization and I'm lucky to have him as a brother. I wouldn't be an Odd Fellow if it wasn't for Mel; every time I had doubts -- he walked me away from the edge.

This is the best picture I got of Mel who is also a member of my lodge. Mel’s a great guy and I’m happy I met him in 2014. The Odd Fellows are extremely lucky to have him in their organization and I’m lucky to have him as a brother. I wouldn’t be an Odd Fellow if it wasn’t for Mel; every time I had doubts — he coaxed me away from the ledge.

Roberta and J.R. are in charge of teh Odd Fellows' float. It must be an extremely stressful job so the Odd Fellows are fortunate to have two smart and competent people leading the endeavor.

Roberta and J.R. are in charge of the Odd Fellows’ float. It must be an extremely stressful job so the Odd Fellows are fortunate to have two smart and competent people leading this endeavor.

Some peeps putting roses on the flag.

Some peeps putting roses on the flag.

Cranberries were used for the T. FLT stands for Friendship, Love and Truth.

Cranberries were used for the T. FLT stands for Friendship, Love and Truth.

On the 31st I stopped by the barn to see the finished float. It looks great!

On the 31st I stopped by the barn to see the finished float. It looks great!

Here's a view from the TV side.

Here’s a view from the TV side.

I had one of the float guards take this picture of me.

I had one of the float guards take this picture of me.

This is the holiday ornament the parade committee created.

This is the holiday ornament the parade committee created. Working on the float was very enjoyable. I met many friendly Odd Fellows and Rebekahs from all over the country. I’m already looking forward to working on the 2016 float.

My book, The Odd Fellows, was released on December 16, 2013.

My book, The Odd Fellows, was released on December 16, 2013.

Published in: on January 1, 2015 at 9:41 pm  Leave a Comment  

Rocky and Bullwinkle

The Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills had an exhibit on Rocky, Bullwinkle and their friends

The Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills had an exhibit on Rocky, Bullwinkle and their friends

That’s me in the lobby. I’m on the right. This statue originally stood in front of the Jay Ward production offices, the home of Rocky and Bullwinkle on Sunset Boulevard, from 1961-2013. The sculpture rotated in a circle. I’ve lived in Los Angeles since 1988 and never knew it was there.  Pigeons must have loved it. It was restored by Ric Scozzri.

That’s me in the lobby. I’m on the right. This statue originally stood in front of the Jay Ward production offices, the home of Rocky and Bullwinkle on Sunset Boulevard, from 1961-2013. The sculpture rotated in a circle. I’ve lived in Los Angeles since 1988 and never knew it was there. Pigeons must have loved it. It was restored by Ric Scozzri.

From the “hand out” that went along with the exhibit I deduced that a great deal of the cartoon artwork was done in Mexico. This is some original artwork that survived because it’s that odd piece produced in Los Angeles. (Phil Monroe and Sam Clayberger artists) For more clarity on the subject (and Rocky and Bullwinkle in general) you should check out The Moose that Roared by Keith Scott. It’s a whole book on “Jay Ward, Bill Scott, a Flying Squirrel, and a Talking Moose.”

From the “hand out” that went along with the exhibit I deduced that a great deal of the cartoon artwork was done in Mexico. This is some original artwork that survived because it’s that odd piece produced in Los Angeles. (Phil Monroe and Sam Clayberger artists) For more clarity on the subject (and Rocky and Bullwinkle in general) you should check out The Moose that Roared by Keith Scott. It’s a whole book on “Jay Ward, Bill Scott, a Flying Squirrel, and a Talking Moose.

ah, Natasha. She was so sexy for a cartoon character. (artist unknown)

ah, Natasha. She was so sexy for a cartoon character. (artist unknown)

Her co-conspirator in evil doing: Boris Badenov. It’s called a model sheet and drawn by Pete Burness.

Her co-conspirator in evil doing: Boris Badenov. It’s called a model sheet and drawn by Pete Burness.

Aesop and Son.

Aesop and Son. (Al Shean artist)

Sherman and Mr. Peabody. A boy and his dog is always a good foundation for a story. Don’t tell anybody but Mr. Peabody is smoking.

Sherman and Mr. Peabody. A boy and his dog is always a good foundation for a story. Don’t tell anybody but Mr. Peabody is smoking. (Art Diamond artist)

Sherman drawn for the movie. (Tim Lamb artist)

Sherman drawn for the movie. (Tim Lamb artist)

Sherman with a bad perm? Done for the motion picture. (Craig Kellman artist)

Sherman with a bad perm? Done for the motion picture. (Craig Kellman artist)

Guy Whiplash’s place. Used in the first Dudley Do-Right episode, “The Disloyal Canadians.” (Sam Clayberger artist)

Guy Whiplash’s place. Used in the first Dudley Do-Right episode, “The Disloyal Canadians.” (Sam Clayberger artist)

Inspector Fernwick and Dudley Do-Right. Dudley kind of looks like his horse. (See below) (Al Shean artist)

Inspector Fenwick and Dudley Do-Right. Dudley kind of looks like his horse. (See below) (Al Shean artist)

Nell, who constantly needed saving! How old school in the worst way. (Al Shean artist)

Nell, who constantly needed saving! How old school. (Al Shean artist)

From one of the display cases. Jay Ward had a big block party for the unveiling of the Bullwinkle and Rocky statue in 1961 and he wisely invited Sheriff Peter Pitchess to the event. Pitchess then generously blocked off one lane of Sunset Boulevard, in front of Jay’s production facility, for the festivities. For his efforts the sheriff got his picture taken with Jayne Mansfield which turned out to be a great deal for him. From right to left: Jay Ward, Jayne Mansfield, Sheriff Pitchess and Bill Scott (the voice of Bullwinkle). They look like they’re having fun.

From one of the display cases. Jay Ward had a big block party for the unveiling of the Bullwinkle and Rocky statue in 1961 and he wisely invited Sheriff Peter Pitchess to the event. Pitchess then generously blocked off one lane of Sunset Boulevard, in front of Jay’s production facility, for the festivities. For his efforts the sheriff got his picture taken with Jayne Mansfield which turned out to be a great deal for him. From left to right: Jay Ward, Jayne Mansfield, Sheriff Pitchess and Bill Scott (the voice of Bullwinkle). They look like they’re having fun.

A Bullwinkle block party give away. This was in a glass case so you’ll have to overlook the reflection. It’s wonderful that they saved this stuff.

A Bullwinkle block party give away. This was in a glass case so you’ll have to overlook the reflection. It’s wonderful that they saved this stuff.

Something else they gave out at the block party. Bullwinkle looks extra goofy which is a plus.

Something else they gave out at the block party. Bullwinkle looks extra goofy which is a plus.

I’m not completely against clean living but to each his own.

I’m not completely against clean living but to each his own.

After I looked at the exhibit I walked upstairs and went to the Paley Library. They have all these TV shows that are instantly accessible with a mouse click. You can walk in and watch anything in their library for up to 90 minutes. I watched an episode of Rocky and Friends. It was from 1959 and contained all the original commercials from when it aired in 1959.

After I looked at the exhibit I walked upstairs and went to the Paley Library. They have all these TV shows that are instantly accessible with a mouse click. You can walk in and watch anything in their library for up to 90 minutes. I watched an episode of Rocky and Friends. It was from 1959 and contained all the original commercials from when it aired in 1959.

typewriters

Adjacent to the library was an exhibit of typewriters owned by the famous and the infamous.

This is Marlene Dietrich’s typewriter. She sings a song I like called, “Das Lied ist Aus, Frag’ Nicht Warum.” It’s a lot more beautiful than the title would lead you to believe.

UNDERWOOD STANDARD No. 5: This is Marlene Dietrich’s typewriter. She sings a song I like called, “Das Lied ist Aus, Frag’ Nicht Warum.” It’s a lot more beautiful than the title would lead you to believe.

Glen Ford’s typewriter. He’s a great actor. He’s never been bad in any movie I’ve seen him in.

OLIVETTI IVERA PORTABLE: Glen Ford’s typewriter. He’s a great actor. He’s never been bad in any movie I’ve seen him in.

Ted Kaczynski’s typewriter.  If you click on the image and look at the yearbook you can see Ted on the right page at the very bottom. He’s actually very good looking. This was way before he became a survivalist who was living in a shack and writing missives as the Unibomber.

MONTGOMERY WARD SIGNATURE: Ted Kaczynski’s typewriter. If you click on the image and look at the yearbook you can see Ted on the right page at the very bottom. He’s actually very good looking. This was way before he became a survivalist who was living in a shack and writing missives as the Unibomber.

—————————————————————————

The Paley Center for Media is located at 465 N. Beverly Drive in Beverly Hills. The building’s architect is Richard Meir. Its website is: http://www.paleycenter.org/

The Moose That Roared: Jay Ward, Bill Scott, a Flying Squirrel and a Talking Moose by Keith Scott can be found here: http://tinyurl.com/bullwinkle-and-rocky

The typewriters are part of the Steve Soboroff Collection. There are 28 total and many others were on display including typewriters once owned by Truman Capote, Ernest Hemingway and E. M. Forester. Here’s a link to a radio spot I heard about it. After you click on the the tiny URL (that follows this sentence) click on the headphones (in the middle on the left side of the California Public Radio page) to hear Steve Soboroff speak. http://tinyurl.com/Soboroffs-Typewriters

Some institutions don’t allow patrons to take photographs but the employees at the Paley Center and the security guard all said it was permissible so I clicked away.

My book, The Odd Fellows, was released on December 16, 2013. (This photo was taken by my old friend Greg Lukow.)

My book, The Odd Fellows, was released on December 16, 2013.
(This photo was taken by my old friend Greg Lukow.)

Published in: on December 5, 2014 at 8:25 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Bent-Con

My great publisher, Bold Strokes Books, had a table at Bent-Con. The event took place this past weekend.

My publisher, Bold Strokes books, had a table at Bent-Con which took place this past weekend.

Two other Bold Strokes Books authors that I met over the weekend -- Jess Farway and Daniel Kelley.

Two Bold Strokes books authors I met over the weekend — Jess Faraday (Turnbull House) and Daniel Kelly (Rise of the Thing Down Below).

This is Andrew  .... He wrote the book The Seventh Plyide.

Andrew Peters. He wrote the book The Seventh Pleiade. Andrew told me all about Manhattan and what it’s like to live in New York City. He’s very uptown. (My book The Odd Fellows is right in the center of the table.)

This is one of the panels I was on.

This is one of the panels I was on.

This is the individual vs. Society panel. I got up to take the picture. That's my empty seat on the right.

The Individual vs. Society panel. I got up to take the picture. That’s my empty seat on the right.

This is a panel I moderated.

A panel I moderated.

I did not get a picture of the panel I moderated but this guy, E. Robert Dunn, was on my panel.  I was so glad he was on my panel because I could ask him a question and he could run with it. Afterward, I found out that he knows a great deal about Space 1999, the Gil Gerard Battlestar Galactica and most importantly, Dr. Smith and Lost in Space. If you ever want an opinion on Lost in Space this is the guy to talk to.

I did not get a picture of the panel I moderated but this guy, E. Robert Dunn, was on my panel. I was so glad he was there because I could ask him a question and he would run with it. Afterward, I found out that he knows a great deal about Space 1999 with Barbara Bain, the Gil Gerard Battlestar Galactica and most importantly, Dr. Smith and Lost in Space. If you ever want an opinion on Lost in Space or Dr. Smith this is the guy to go to. My instincts tell me he would be a great friend.

David Holly and I spent some time (between 5pm and 8:30 pm) manning the Bold Strokes Books booth. David had me take pictures of him with various attendees. David is the middle one.

David Holly (The Raptures of Time) and I spent some time (Saturday night between 5:00 pm and 8:30 pm) manning the Bold Strokes books booth. David had me take pictures of him with various attendees. David is the guy in the middle.

David Holly with a space alien (?) and the Joker.

David Holly with a space alien (?) and the Joker.

This is somebody who came up to our booth.

This is something that came up to our booth.

This guy has lots of personality. I think that's what it's called. He's also very patriotic.

This guy has lots of personality. He’s also very patriotic.

Wonder Woman what happened? I think it's a guy.

OMG! It’s Wonder Woman!

uh, various super heroes.

uh, various super heroes.

One's a tree. I don't know what the other one is supposed to be.

One’s a tree. I don’t know what the other one is supposed to be. A raccoon? They make a cute couple.

He looks familiar but I don't know who he is.

Skeletor.

He was one of the LA condom guys. They were giving away free condoms.

He was one of the LA Condom guys. They were giving away free condoms.

Captain America.

Captain America.

That's the son f

That’s the son from Land of the Lost. I told the reptile that I wanted to get a picture of him. He said, “I don’t have my pants on.” I looked and he was right. I had seen him walking around in reptile bottoms but he was just wearing white shorts at the table. I told him, “I’ll photograph you from the waist up.”

She's a glamazon.

She’s a glamazon.

From left to right: Jess, Xavier, Donald and Andrew. I met Xavier on the last day and felt an immediate bond with him because his favorite film was Gone With the Wind, he was a fan of Vivien Leigh and he liked Waterloo Bridge.

From left to right: Jess, Xavier, David and Andrew. I met Xavier on the last day and felt an immediate bond with him because his favorite film is Gone With the Wind, he’s a fan of Vivien Leigh and he likes Waterloo Bridge.

My book, The Odd Fellows, was released on December 16, 2013.

My book, The Odd Fellows, was released on December 16, 2013.

Published in: on November 9, 2014 at 6:44 pm  Comments (2)  

Gamble House

I’ve been to the Gamble house at least five times which includes the time I went with a class in the fall of 2012. The class was called Architecture 444: Great Houses of Los Angeles.

The Gamble House is wonderful yet I do find it slightly “fussy.” I doubt that I could live there (in the event that the house was handed over to me as a gift). I would much rather live in the Bandini House which is another Greene and Greene house built in 1903. Unfortunately, that house was demolished years ago.

This is an interior photo of the Bandini House:

Bandini House

Bandini House*

The Bandini House had a U-shape configuration and a patio inside the U. I really like the Bandini house because I can see myself riding a horse (or donkey!) into the patio area.

This is a back yard view of the Bandini house.

A back yard view of the Bandini house.**

This is a back yard view of the Hollister house. This photo gives a better idea of the Bandini rear exterior.

The Hollister house. This photo gives a better idea of what the Bandini house’s rear exterior looked like.**

Over the years, I’ve seen practically every book published on Greene and Greene. IMO the best book on these two architects is Greene and Greene by Edward R. Bosley from 2000. That book has lots of photos and readable, informative text. If you want a good overview of Greene and Greene, regarding both their practice and private lives, buy this book. It’s from Phaidon.

This is the one I’m talking about:

http://tinyurl.com/kpr33mm

This is the Gamble House from the street.

The Gamble House from the street.

Here's one of the sleeping porches and the design around it.

Here’s one of the sleeping porches and the decorative woodwork that surrounds it.

This is the light fixture hanging under the sleeping porch.

This is the light fixture hanging under the sleeping porch.

The entrance.

The entrance.

Right inside the front door this lantern hangs.

Right inside the front door hangs this latern. On the tour I took with my class we were told that the Gambles wanted a family crest so the Greenes created this crane image for them. The Gambles sound borderline pretentious.

Interior view of Gamble house. This is a postcard I bought while at the Gamble  House. The photographer is Marvin Rand.

Interior view of the Gamble house from a postcard I bought while at the Gamble House. The photographer is Marvin Rand.

This is a lamp in the living room of the Gamble House. It was not made by Greene and Greene. It was made by Tiffany Studios.

A lamp in the living room of the house. It was not made by Greene and Greene. It was made by Tiffany Studios.

It says so on those circular knobs.

It says so on the circular knobs.

Here's a view of the dining room from another postcard photographed by Marvin Rand.

Here’s a view of the dining room. Another postcard photographed by Marvin Rand.

This is a photograph I took of the dinning room.

A photograph I took of the dining room.

I like this bowl on the dining room table.

I like this bowl on the dining room table.

This is a light fixture from the first floor bedroom which would be to the left upon entering the house.

A sconce from the first floor bedroom which would be directly to the left upon entering the house.

In this first floor bedroom (which was a guest bedroom) there were 2 single size beds with bed frames made from metal with a ribbon inlay.  You don't expect there to be metal  bed frames in the Gamble House but there are.

In this first floor bedroom (which was a guest bedroom) there were 2 single size beds with bed frames (made from metal) with a ribbon inlay. You don’t expect to see a metal bed frame in the Gamble House but there it is.

This small cabinet sits on the dresser in the same first floor bedroom that the light fixture from the previous photo is in. I guess this cabinet would be used for hankies or maybe jewelry.

This small cabinet sits on the dresser in the same first floor bedroom that the sconce and the metal bed frames are in. I guess this cabinet could be used for hankies or jewelry. It was definitely made by Greene and Greene.

This is a second floor bedroom in the Gamble House. There is room for lots of furniture.

A second floor bedroom in the Gamble House. There’s room for lots of furniture. Four chairs? Not once in my life have I ever had four people in my bedroom but, then, I’m from Iowa.

An unusual hanging light fixture in this second story bedroom.

An unusual Japanese influenced hanging light fixture in this second story bedroom.

This is a shot from the north side. The houses mass can be seen from this angle.

This is a shot from the north side. The house’s mass can be seen from this angle.

This is the rear of the house. While the house is huge it has a rather small backyard. I'm at the edge of the lot taking this photo.

The rear of the house. While the house is huge it has a rather small backyard. I’m at the edge of the lot taking this photo. One more step back and I would fall down the cliff and onto the road below.

I like this lantern that hangs at the back of the house in the northwest corner.

I like this lantern that hangs at the back of the house in the northwest corner.

This lily pond is at the back of the house. The first floor large hall leads to this.

The first floor’s long, wide hallway leads to some French doors at the back of the house. When those doors are opened you see this.

This is the garage. Now it is used as a bookstore for the house and a place to buy tickets for the tour. The bookstore has a zillion books and some nice pottery. It's really a great bookstore.

This is the garage. Now, it’s used as a bookstore for the house and a place to buy tickets for the tour. The bookstore has a zillion books and some nice pottery. It’s a great bookstore.

______________________________________________________________________________

* The interior photo of the Bandini House is from the Greene and Greene book, listed below, which states the photo is courtesy of Mrs. Elliott Bandini.

  • Makinson, R. L. (1977). Greene & Greene: architecture as a fine art. Salt Lake City: Peregrine Smith Books.

** The exterior photos of the Bandini House and Hollister House are from Architectural Record.

  • David, A.C. (1906, Oct.). An architect of bungalows in California. Architectural Record, 20(4), 306-315.

______________________________________________________________________________

My book, The Odd Fellows, was released on December 16, 2013.

My book, The Odd Fellows, was released on December 16, 2013.

Published in: on October 24, 2014 at 7:34 pm  Leave a Comment  

American Bungalow

I had a short (500 words?) essay published in American Bungalow magazine recently. It’s titled, “Just because you ignore me doesn’t mean I hate you.” It’s in the back of the magazine in a recurring column called From Our Friends.

My short story appears in this issue.

My short essay appears in this issue.

American Bungalow isn’t like most magazines where the inside content is available FREE on-line. No, instead you actually have to buy a copy of the magazine or subscribe to the online version. I like the magazine mainly because of the photographs of bungalow interiors and I look forward to receiving the magazine knowing as soon as I open the cover I’ll ignore everything around me for, at least, an hour.

I scanned it and uploaded it. If you click on it you can read it.

I scanned it and uploaded it. If you click on it you can read it.

After re-reading my story I’m not sure if I’ll ever get used to seeing my words in print but I am happy American Bungalow published it.

This hangs in my bedroom.

This hangs in my bedroom. My book, The Odd Fellows, was published on December 16, 2013.

Published in: on September 15, 2014 at 8:36 pm  Leave a Comment  

Schindler House

I’ve been to the Schindler House on one other occasion. I took a class called Great Houses of Los Angeles and saw it along with some other great LA houses that included The Freeman House (FLW), The VDL House (Richard Neutra), The Gamble House (Greene & Greene), and The Sheats-Goldstein House (John Lautner).

I returned to the Schindler House because I read a review in the Los Angeles Times about an exhibit being held at the house. While I was there the docent stated that the house is often used for exhibits.

This sign sets at  the entrance to the driveway that leads down to the house.

This sign is at the entrance to the driveway that leads down to the house.

It's a very low key entrance. It's a dirt path.

It’s a very low key entrance with a dirt driveway.

This is the entrance to the house. I didn't get a good picture of this elevation so this image is from a book called, RM SCHINDLER composition and contruction by Lionel March and Judith Sheine. Judith Sheine has written a number of books on Schindler.  See that wooden overhang. That's an outdoor sleeping porch.

This is the entrance to the house. I didn’t get a good picture of this elevation so this image is from a book called, RM SCHINDLER Composition and Contruction by Lionel March and Judith Sheine. [Judith Sheine has written a number of books on Schindler. She’s a Schindler expert. I actually spoke with her when I toured this house the first time. She’s very nice and urged me to buy one of the Schindler House tote bags which I did.] Back to this image. See that wooden overhang. That’s an outdoor sleeping porch.

The door from the other side.

The door from the other side.

This is a view from approximately where the city sidewalk would be (edged by the bamboo). The sleeping porch would be above the concrete structure on the right.

This is a view from approximately where the city sidewalk is (edged by the bamboo) in the 2nd photograph. The sleeping porch would be back a bit and above the concrete structure on the right.

This continues the view from above.

This continues the hedge from the previous photograph. You can see another sleeping porch above that concrete square. There are canvas flaps hanging down.

Here is an interior shot. This is part of Schinder's studio. Originally, Schinder lived here with his wife, Pauline, as man and wife but eventually after a falling out between the two, Pauline took one side of the house and Schinder took the other side. They locked the door between them.

Here is an interior shot. This is part of Schindler’s studio. Originally, Schindler lived here with his wife, Pauline, as man and wife but eventually after a falling out between the two, Pauline took one side of the house and Schindler took the other side. They then locked the door that connected the two sides together. It’s sounds like a strained living situation.

This sign is above the table.

This sign is above the table in the previous photograph.

The room empty and not dressed.

The room empty and not dressed.

This gives you an idea what the house would look like when an exhibit is not going on. This image is from R.M. Schindler 10 Casas (Revista Internacional de Arquitectura 2G).

This gives you an idea of what the house looks like when an exhibit isn’t going on and it’s all dressed up for pictures. This image is from R.M. Schindler 10 Casas (Revista Internacional de Arquitectura 2G).

I went up to one of the sleeping porches and found the idea cool but later I told the docent I would be afraid I would wake up and find a possum or skunk staring at me. The docent said that would be part of the charm of the sleeping porch. We obviously have different ideas of charm. When I think of charm I think of Cary Grant. These stairs led down from the sleeping porch.

I went up to one of the sleeping porches and found the idea, in theory, cool but later I told the docent I would be afraid I would wake up in the middle of the night and find a possum or skunk staring at me. The docent said that would be part of the charm of the sleeping porch. We obviously have different ideas of charm. When I think of charm I think of Cary Grant. These stairs led down to the main house from the sleeping porch. I can’t imagine going down these steps at night if I had to go to the bathroom.

When you walk up those stairs to the sleeping porch this is what you see.

When you walk up those stairs (in the previous photograph) to the sleeping porch this is what you see. In this photo my head is eye level with the floor.

Why I would be interested in the bathroom is beyond me but here is the sink. Notice the hot and cold switches.

Why I would be interested in the bathroom is beyond me but here is the sink. Notice the 4 hot and cold white porcelain handles. When you enter the bathroom the first thing you see is this sink. There is a mirror above the sink.

This is the bathtub. I suspect the window in the tub wouldn't bother me. Notice that the baths fixtures are in the previous photo.

This is the bathtub. I suspect the window in the tub wouldn’t bother me. Notice that the baths fixtures are in the previous photo.

The end of the tub and toilet.

The end of the tub and the toilet.

The exhibit at the Schindler House was for this guys work. I had never heard of him. Here is a link to the show in the LA TIMES:

The exhibit at the Schindler House was for this guy, Tony Greene. I had never heard of him. Here is a link to a review of the show in the LA TIMES:

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/arts/miranda/la-et-cam-life-after-death-tony-greene-moment-20140623-column.html#page=1

It was not what I thought it was going to be. I thought it was going to be like this:

This is a Portrait of Joseph Pembauer  by Gustav Klimt done in 1890.

This is a Portrait of Joseph Pembauer by Gustav Klimt done in 1890.

Everybody's favorite secessionist Gustav Klimt.

Everybody’s favorite secessionist Gustav Klimt.

Instead it was this:

Tony Greene 1

and this:

Tony Greene 2

and this:

Tony Greene 3

I don’t know how many times I’ve gone to art exhibits and it wasn’t what I thought it was going to be. I really need to stop having preconceived notions in my head about these things.

My book, The Odd Fellows, was released on December 16, 2013.

My book, The Odd Fellows, was released on December 16, 2013.

Published in: on August 25, 2014 at 3:05 pm  Leave a Comment  

IOWA

I flew to Iowa in May 2014 for my father’s 85th birthday. It was a nice event and it always amazes me how many friends my parents have. While I was in Iowa I also made some side trips. One was to West Branch, one was to LeClaire and one was to the Iowa City/Coralville area.

WEST BRANCH

One of the things to do in West Branch is to visit the Herbert Hoover Museum.

One of the things to do in West Branch is to visit the Herbert Hoover Museum.

Hoover’s birthplace is also located in West Branch. It must be about 100 square feet total. I am never going to complain about my 500 square foot place ever again. Hoover said his boyhood home is “physical proof of the unbounded opportunity of American life.”

Hoover’s birthplace is also located in West Branch. It must be about 100 square feet total. I am never going to complain about my 500 square foot place ever again. Hoover said his boyhood home is “physical proof of the unbounded opportunity of American life.”

This is a map of the site from the National Park Service.

This is a map of the site from the National Park Service.

Hoover from the National Park Service brochure.

Hoover from the National Park Service brochure.

This statue is very close to Hoover's birthplace.  I really like the statue. It's eerie but cool.

This statue is very close to Hoover’s birthplace. I really like the statue. It’s called Isis: The Goddess of Life BUT it looks like it could also be called Isis: The Goddess of death. It’s eerie and cool and I wouldn’t want it anywhere near my place.

What the plaque says...

What the plaque says…

That's me in the Fellowship Meetinghouse. Evidently, men sat on one side and the women sat on the other side. Everyone sat in silence until they were moved to speak.

That’s me in the Fellowship Meetinghouse. I look drunk but I’m not. My glasses are askew so I inadvertently have a Hunter S. Thompson look.  All I need is a cigarette to bite down on. Enough about me. Back to the meetinghouse, evidently, men sat on one side and women sat on the other side. Everyone sat in silence until they were “moved” to speak.

Herbert and Lou Hoover's graves. They're very modest. Nothing like Grant's Tomb.

Herbert and Mrs. Hoover’s graves. They’re very modest. Nothing like Grant’s Tomb.

 

IOWA CITY/CORALVILLE

This is the Old Capital Building on the University of Iowa campus. Iowa became a state in 1846 and the University of Iowa was founded in 1847.

This is the Old Capital Building on the University of Iowa campus. Iowa became a state in 1846 and the University of Iowa was founded in 1847.

There's nothing like a 4.99 breakfast.

While in Iowa City and Coralville I ate at a variety of places but I preferred HY-VEE. It’s a grocery store that serves a $4.99 breakfast. Hey, I’m cheap.

Evidently about ten years ago they started putting up Herky statues around town. Herky is the University of Iowa’s Hawkeye mascot. There are about 50 of them now. So here’s a sample of Iowa public art.

This Herky stands outside a police station. My shirt is wild.

This Herky stands outside a police station. My shirt is wild.

I guess he would be Super-Herky.

I guess he would be Super-Herky. He’s wearing a cape so I have some simpatico with him.

This is a Herky parent with baby Herky. Somebody pulled off the baby's feet!

This is a Herky dad with a baby Herky. Some anti-art degenerate pulled off the baby’s feet! How rude.

I cut this out of a local paper. It was either the Cedar Rapids Gazette or the Quad City Times. It happened about a month ago. My understanding is the whole town was in an uproar and the police are on the case.

I cut this out of a local paper. It was either the Cedar Rapids Gazette or the Quad City Times. It happened about a month ago. My understanding is the whole town was in an uproar and the police are on the case. I can’t believe somebody would do this. Crime is running rampant in Iowa. The vandal is obviously somebody from out of town. I suspect it’s somebody from New Jersey.

 

LeCLAIRE

LeClaire, Iowa is the birthplace of Buffalo Bill Cody.

LeClaire, Iowa is the birthplace of Buffalo Bill Cody.

I was sitting in an A&W Diner eating a chili cheese dog with onions (along with a root beer and fries) thinking about what I should do next. I had already gone to a number of antique stores looking for Odd Fellows items. It was about 3 o’clock in the afternoon. It was a cold day and the sky was overcast but I could still see the Mississippi river from my booth in the diner so life was good. After I finished eating I walked out to my car in the parking lot. I was rummaging through my car’s trunk, looking for something, when I saw this guy in an Antique Archaeology t-shirt walking up the hill beside me. I asked him where he got the t-shirt and he said the Antique Archeaology store was right there. He lifted his arm and pointed to a newish looking brick building looming above us on the hill. He told me there were two stores “up there” and I could go into both of them. He stated that he was from a small town down by Burlington and he wanted to move up to LeClaire and get a job working for Antique Archeaology. He said he would be happy sweeping the place up every night. I didn’t suggest he aim higher in life because I was in Iowa and people there are polite and my comment would be inappropriate. I went to both stores. The newer one was wonderfully designed. It was a large open space constructed of glazed brick with large windows and a place I could see myself living in — it was that nice. The other space looked like an old garage but it had its charms too; the main one being the large Phillip Morris guy from the postcard below being on display inside. I would urge anyone who ends up in this vicinity (for whatever reason) to stop by Antique Archeaology. It’s weird and cool. I ended up buying a coffee mug, some postcards (see below), a 1/2 price – 2014 calendar and a bandana/handkerchief.

I remember seeing this episode when they found this Phillip Morris guy.

I remember seeing this episode (I think the show is called American Pickers) when they found this Phillip Morris guy.

I also remember this episode. Considering I don't have cable and only watch this show when I'm on vacation and in motels is that amazing or do they repeat them so often it's not amazing?

I also remember this episode when they found these Laurel & Hardy heads. Considering I don’t have cable and only watch this show when I’m on vacation (and in motels) it’s amazing (or do they repeat them so often it’s not amazing)?

This is what I bought at .....Antiques. I grew up in Davenport so I was thrilled to find it.

This is what I bought at Big River Antiques on Cody Road. I grew up in Davenport so I was THRILLED to find it.

The antique dealer I bought this from didn't know who it was which made me gasp a little inside. Without any superiority I said, "It's our martyred president...James Garfield.

The antique dealer I bought this from didn’t know who this was which made me gasp a little inside. Without any superiority I said, “It’s our martyred president…James Garfield.”

I bought this tobacco card at the same place that I bought the Odd Fellows Davenport Badge. My book was released on December 16, 2013.

I bought this tobacco card at the same place that I bought the Odd Fellows Davenport badge. The back of this card states there were fifty cards in the set and the antique store had about twenty. The hero was a clean shaven guy who looked like silent film star Tom Mix but I didn’t buy his card. Instead, I bought this card. I thought the guy in the card above was the best friend of the Tom Mix looking hero but I might be wrong. The more I look at the card, the more I think “his best friend” is his gun.

All photos, of me, were taken by my lifelong friend and Coralville resident Robert C. Graef.

That's my friend Bob with Officer Herky.

That’s my friend Bob with Officer Herky.

Here's another picture of Bob that I took in the early 80s with a Polaroid camera.

Here’s another picture of Bob from the early 1980s taken with a Polaroid camera. I think I took this picture.

Jonathan and David.  My book, The Odd Fellows, was released on December 16, 2013.

Jonathan and David. My book, The Odd Fellows, was released on December 16, 2013.

Published in: on May 24, 2014 at 7:17 pm  Leave a Comment  

Los Angeles Times Festival of Books

Bold Strokes Books set up a booth at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books.

festival

BSB is the booth in the middle.

Bold Strokes Books is the booth in the middle.

A close up. It's very cool.

A close up. It’s very cool. I’ve got the best publisher ever!

Here's part of our table set-up. Behind the Jesus Injection our some framed quotes for that book. I need to get something like that for my book.

Here’s part of our table set-up. Behind The Jesus Injection are some framed quotes for that book. I need to get something like that for my book.

One of the cool give aways at our booth.

One of the spectacular give-a-ways at our booth.

Felice Picano and Eric -Andrew Katz,

Felice Picano (20th Century Un-limited and Twelve O’Clock Tales) and Eric Andrews-Katz (The Jesus Injection). Eric was very funny. He said his book’s title is pronounced, The Hay-Zeus Injection. Felice regaled us with stories about his travels.

More of our table. On the first day I spent the 1-3 shift with Sheri. That's her book up at the top. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of her. But she's my new best friend.

More of our table. On the first day I spent the 1-3 shift with Sheri. That’s her book up at the top. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of her but she’s my new best friend.

I like this advertisement the best -- mainly because my book is on it.

I like this advertisement the best — mainly because my book is on it. (I’m like that.) Plus, this advertisement has Light on it too and everybody should read Nathan Burgoine’s book. It’s terrific.

I need a bigger scanner.  This is a BSB book bag that is bigger than my 11 by 17 scanner. I probably shouldn't have shoved it into my other book bag. When I get home I'm going to iron it.

I need a bigger scanner. This is a BSB book bag that is bigger than my 11 by 17 scanner. I probably shouldn’t have shoved this book bag into the book bag I was carrying. When I get home I’m going to iron it. I hope it doesn’t melt.

Richard Natale and me. I'm pushing my book, The Odd Fellows, of course. I read Richard's book, Junior Willis, last night. I really liked it. Richard's a wonderful writer. Obviously, Richard and I both think we're movie stars.

Richard Natale and me. I’m pushing my book, The Odd Fellows, of course. I read Richard’s book, Junior Willis, last night. I really liked it. Richard’s a wonderful writer. Obviously, Richard and I both think we’re movie stars. [Guillermo Luna at the Festival of Books.]

Richard's book. It's really good.

Richard’s book. It’s really good.

Here's Alan Chin promoting  his book The Bitter Tears of....

Here’s Alan Chin promoting his book The Plain of Bitter Honey. Alan was responsible for the set-up so we all owe him a big THANKS! I just waltzed in (in a manly way) and sat down. Alan did all the heavy lifting.

Festival of Books poster

Festival of Books poster

My book, The Odd Fellows, was released on December 16, 2013.

My book, The Odd Fellows, was released on December 16, 2013.

 

Published in: on April 13, 2014 at 5:33 pm  Comments (2)  
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