Category Archives: Memoir

Ted’s Photobooth Story

tedstrutz:

I was honored to be a contributor to Katherine’s fascinating blog. I hope my friends will take a look and enjoy her work. If you have any old strips around, think about sharing them with her… and the world. Now I have to figure out how to tell Cheryl I did this… but judging by the first comments, I don’t think she will mind.

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I thought I would share this reblog with my friends at The Still, to introduce them to a most interesting blog by a friend Down Under… perhaps you too would like to share with her… check out her blog, and start digging through those old forgotten treasures and share them with Katherine at Photobooth Journal

p.s. I have heard from Cheryl… she remembered the Rainbow Club and didn’t mind at all…

 

Originally posted on Photobooth Journal:

Cheryl and Ted

One of the more exciting, and for me, unexpected aspects of being a blogger is the amount of enthusisam and generosity that comes to my inbox out of the blue and from all around the world. I have recently started following a blog by Ted Strutz of Friday Harbor, Wasington State in the San Juan IslandsUSA. The blog is called TedBook and has some very amusing conversational short stories that I encourage you to check out. Ted emailed me the above photos and the following history a couple of days ago -

When I lived in Chicago in the 80′s and early 90′s, there was a bar called the Rainbow Room.  It was quite large with a big horseshoe shaped bar, booths, tables and a stage, maybe a dance floor.  They played 33 LPs on a phonograph.  Kind of an artsy place.  There was a photo booth as well…

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My Favorite Summer Memory

tedstrutz:

To start off the 2014… my first blog post on WordPress… and an entry in a new writing group for me…’ yeah write’!

Originally posted on TedBook:

When I was 15 my father thought it would be a great idea if I worked on a cattle ranch hauling hay… to teach me the lesson of why I should go to college. Well, I did go to college but not because hauling hay was hard work. (which it was) So, in 1958 I spent 4 glorious weeks on a cattle ranch in Modoc County near the town of Adin. Our family spent a few weeks each summer at our friends ranch… and I got an extended stay. The rancher’s wife took me to town in Alturas, and I got fitted with boots, jeans and a cowboy hat! It was Farmer’s Boot Camp for sure… they treated me as an adult and expected me to work. I learned how to do, and did, everything re: haying. I straightened and raked furrows, repaired broken bales, moved bales into rows, rode…

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tedstrutz:

SAINT PATRICK’S DAY REVISIT…

Originally posted on TedBook:

          Quill Shiv has a new Haiku writing prompt… A photo of Saint Patrick.  
My result:
                         You can make your own 
                         corned beef, cabbage and salsa
                         at the taco bar.
 
Corned Beef and Cabbage Tacos… In 1986, back in my Restaurant Days, I went to work for Jerry Franco.  Jerry was a bit of a culinary impresario on the Sacramento restaurant scene.  He had just reopened The Town House on 21st Street, down the block from The Sacramento Bee newspaper.  The Town House had been a Mexican Food tradition, and had been sitting empty for a few years after the owner retired.   Franco had opened in a…

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TIME CAPSULE…

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What would you put in a 2012 time capsule?  A ‘Daily Prompt’ by WordPress 

I have no idea what I would put in my 2012 Time Capsule.  But, the prompt did make me think of a time capsule I did do, almost 60 years ago.

When I was a kid… living in Sacramento… my best friend Jim Kiedasch and I made a Time Capsule.  We placed some important items in one of those army-green ammo boxes my father had brought back from the war.  I can remember a 45 rpm record by Elvis, some photos of us, copies of the Sacramento Bee and Sacramento Union, and a wire recording we had made, telling the events of the day, the biggest one being… burying our Time Capsule.  We sealed the box with candle wax to keep out moisture.  Dug a hole in the flower garden in my parent’s back yard, and covered the box with rocks before filling it in with dirt.  We were very careful to replace the flowers on top.   Our only witness was my sister Nancy… and a cat.  She didn’t know what the hell we were doing, and neither did the cat, so our secret was safe.

We never dug it up.  I would like to think it is still in the back yard, under the rocks and dirt.

KRISTEN MAKES A BOOK…

It was early in the morning last Summer, when Sky Bergman started setting out her supplies.  In a few hours, she would be teaching people how to make books.  Sky, is one of many sharing their skills to show those attending Sweet’s Mill Music and Arts Camp,  how to tie-dye or batik, make hats, jewelry, ceramics, musical instruments and in her case… books.  My son-in-law Steve,  has brought his printing press to teach printmaking, along with Kristen’s dad, Steve Wilson.  It’s a hands on deal here in the Art Area of Meditation Meadow.
Press made by Steve Gutmann

High in the Sequoia National Forrest somewhere, is a gathering of Musicians and Artists sharing music, dance  and experiences during a giant two week camp out.  There are a lot of talented people, from all around the world.  What am I doing here?  After hearing about Sweet’s Mill from my daughter, like forever, I decided to attend.  Krista and her BFF Kristen have been going since they were kids, and now my granddaughter, Ula, has been attending for all of her 11 years.  Krista is an actress and Kristen is a Belly Dancer.  I have no musical talents and marginal artistic skills, but I do like to take photos, so I decided to chronicle life at Sweet’s Mill.

I had my camera ready when Sky started her first bookmaking class.   Actually I did make a book, in fact two, but my modesty prevents me from being the subject of this story… and it is hard to make a book with a camera in one hand.  So, I was delighted when Kristen arrived and said she wanted to make a book.  A group had gathered and the class was underway…
soon the ‘bookmakers were deep into cardboard, art paper and paste…
               Sky began the process with making the cover of the book and concluded after adding the pages.  The books were done, and the campers had a journal to record their experiences in…
making the binding
attaching cover plates
sizing art paper for cover
gluing cover together
press together
adding the pages
Kristen’s Book
Kristen & Sky

And, that’s how you make a book!

I’m looking forward to Sweet’s Mill next month… I will probably make another book, but Sky is also the head of the Photography Department at Cal Poly… and I just bought a new camera… I have lots to learn.

And, I’m not that modest… here’s my book…

THE CRUSADER … and the Acting Student

One day, the actress took me to see Graceland Cemetery…  I was living in Chicago, and she said it was a must see.  It was a beautiful spring day, and we strolled the grounds… me snapping pics and she studying her lines for a play that was opening soon.  Never one to miss a dramatic opportunity, she began posing with the statuary… giving me her reaction to each theme.  When we came to the stone knight, she fell to the ground and played the ‘fair maiden struck down in the prime of life’.  After she got up, I asked her if he had slain her.  “Oh no”, she replied, “he stands guard, protecting her.”

The Crusader by Lorado Taft (1931)…  Cemeteries are the perfect place for a history lesson.  I learned a lot about Chicago history at Graceland.  The place names I had seen around the city came alive with the dead.  The men and women who created Chicago, or made her interesting, making their final stop at Graceland and the other cemeteries around town.  Their gravesites were fascinating, not only for the artwork, but for how they wanted to be portrayed.  Some erected huge mausoleums, and some preferred something quieter…  like their name carved upon a rock.   Victor Lawson got a Medieval Knight.  Victor was the publisher of the Chicago Daily News, and the sculpture embodied his character.   The monument does not bear Lawson’s name, but does have an inscription which reads, “Above all things truth beareth away victory”.   At his brother’s request, Lorado Taft sculpted The Crusader out of a single block of  dark granite.

Taft’s most famous sculpture also stands sentinel at Graceland… although of a different type… it is entitled  Eternal Silence.

English: Eternal Silence, (1909), Lorado Taft....

Wikipedia Photo

I thought of my photo, taken in 1988, while watching Game of Thrones last night.  The knights protecting their charges… and some not with protection in mind.

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For my friends hanging out at the Still.  Here is one I wrote a while back… I thought of it when I advised one of our yeahwriters (the girl in Chicago… do you know who I mean?) to visit Graceland Cemetery.

For my other friends, check out this week’s other stories at yeahwrite’s Moonshine Grid

LITTLE HORSES ON THE GROUND

Last week I saw the most amazing sight.

I had gone to the mainland to see my grandson play in a baseball tournament. Hayden graduates from high school this year, and my chances to see him play ball are dwindling. So I headed North, with Ashley and my sister Mariya,  to the utmost edge of the U.S.A. (not counting Alaska) near Blaine. Washington.

We got as far as Bellingham before a stop at a coffee shop was needed. I was actually surprised we got out of Anacortes without stopping to see Ashley’s favorite barista, but that was a good thing, as she stopped in Fairhaven. Bellingham is made up with a bunch of little towns that kind of grew together. Fairhaven is the oldest, and the buildings are of the historic type. Reminded me a bit of Old Sacramento. I bought some licorice, while they got their coffee and some fab cheesecake… and took photos.

We neared Baine and started looking for Pipeline Road and the baseball fields. Driving country roads is always a treat.  “Stop the car!”  We had just passed 15 ponies lying on the ground. All of them lying on the ground. And they were all Palominos. It was something to see and we went back to take a photo. When I got out of the car and went to the edge of the road, a few stood up. By the time I jumped the ditch and got to the fence they were all looking my way… like dogs expecting a treat. I wished then I had some apples in my pocket rather than licorice. Those little ponies made me think of my friend Jaime, who raises miniature horses to be guide animals. They did their bit for a unique photo-op. I will never forget the sight of those horses.

We find the baseball tournament, and Friday Harbor wins one and loses one. I take a bunch of pics. The usual baseball pics… Hayden at bat… Hayden in the field… Hayden running the bases… that kind of stuff. Later, I notice one shot I took with my phone… I think it’s pretty cool. 

BOB DYLAN REVISITED


The other day, Stephen Elliott of The Rumpus said this… “I’ve been reading about Bob Dylan in 1965. He was tired of music and fame and he went to upstate New York to live in a cabin and be alone. He didn’t even bring a guitar. He said he quit music. After five days he started writing what many consider the best songs of his career.” That got me to thinking…

I saw Bob Dylan in 1965 at the Memorial Auditorium in Sacramento. A girl I was interested in at the time suggested I take her, as she had no money to buy a ticket. I had no idea who Bob Dylan was, but thought it was in my best interest to buy the tickets.

The Auditorium seats 3,000… there were about 600 in attendance, scattered all about. Bob came out on the stage… a skinny guy with a guitar and a folding chair. He sat down, strummed his guitar and sang a song. After a few songs, he told everyone to come down and sit in the chairs on the main floor. In those days no one stood at the front of the stage and lit matches or waved Bics… and certainly not cell phones. I thought that was a cool move on his part.

I enjoyed the concert and my introduction into the World of Bob Dylan. I didn’t get laid that night, but I did get a Bob Dylan record the next day.

Highway 61 Revisited was that album.

俳句… HAIKU BOMBERS #4… “When the Moon Hits Your Eye”

Lost in endless space
My first telescopic gift
Moon, Stars my new friends.

Backyard after dark,
Oohs and awes with each focus
Celestial beings.

And, Steely Dan says
‘That The Stars Come Out At Night’,
Oh, they do…they do!

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I don’t know how ideas come into people’s minds. When I looked at Quill’s Haiku photo prompt, I thought… “what in the hell am I going to do with that?”. Then it hit me… My telescope!

When I was in college, I had to pick an elective science course. I chose Astronomy. One night the class went out to look at the stars, there were only a few telescopes and about 30 budding astronomers. The next day I bought a telescope. That night I set it up in my parent’s backyard, and marveled at the Moon. The stars were not that big a deal with my little telescope, but the Moon… That was Fantastic! The telescope also came in handy at the next field trip… there were a lot of girls in that class.

When my daughter Krista went off to Chicago to attend The Theater School of DePaul University, she too had to pick an elective science course. I suggested Astronomy.

I don’t know why I thought of that, so I called and said “Hey, how did you like that Astronomy class in college?”. She said “Oh, I don’t know. I was an acting major, and it was at 8 o’clock in the morning. The lights were always out, and it made me sleepy”. She did say that she thought she  enjoyed it.  But, I am reminded, that recently when a comet or some such celestial phenom was due, she stayed up half the night in sleeping bags outside, so her daughter could witness the event.

Two years ago, I was staying with a friend in Sacramento. Her neighbor had a big telescope in his backyard. He invited us over for a look. As I focused the full Moon into view, I got the same chills I had experienced over 45 years before.

Looking for an elective science?  Astronomy!

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Quill Shiv took The Haiku Bombers into Space this week… here’s the link if you would like to try… https://quillshiv.wordpress.com/2012/03/27/haiku-bombers-prompt-4/

FRIDAY FLASH FICTIONEERS… Bang!

                                          1959… Modoc County, California

Cruising down a rutted farm road. Clinging for dear life to the hood of a ’48 Mercury… engine purring, one of those Moon footprint gas pedals on the floor.  Searching for rabbits, frozen in their tracks by blare of the headlights piercing our way through the darkness.  I’m scared, cold, excited and have never seen ‘so many stars come out at night’.

There’s one!!!

I blast away with the 10 gauge… it’s a wonder I don’t fly off the Merc. I didn’t hit any that night.

What else would you expect from a city slicker?

This story is a contribution to Friday Flash Fictioneers… see what it’s all about @  Madison Woods and read the many takes on her photo prompt.


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