- Both JoAnne and myself have been extremely lucky over the years. We have many artist friends, some play the blues, others play jazz, some work in pen and ink, oil, watercolor, photography, some are illustrators, some are poets,others are authors and the list goes on…Over the years we’ve been to many gallery openings all over the world. Last night we had an opportunity to go to Phil Rachelson’s The Forge Gallery in Milford, PA. It was like walking into a high end New York City Gallery and studio. The space was amazing. To make it better there were three artist showing there – a father – Peter Fiore, a son Paul Fiore and daughter Lisa Fiore each with their own distinct style. It was obvious in the DNA that they were all accomplished and had a passion for their work. Talking about DNA, I left out the matriarch of the family Barbara Fiore is also an artist as well and works with ceramic sculpture.
- To All the Ships at Sea, if you’re anywhere near the Upper Delaware stop by and visit Phil at The Forge Gallery – you won’t be disappointed.
There comes a time when my words are just not important . The last time I saw Toshi Seeger was June 9th at the Strawberry Festival in Beacon. She looked absolutely beautiful next Pete’s side as she’s been for almost 70 years.
I did not know Toshi but respected her. In an interview on Thursday Pete Seeger called his wife of almost 70 years “the brains of the family” and said it was she who figured out how to turn his artistic concepts into a commercial successes. “I’d get an idea and wouldn’t know how to make it work, and she’d figured out how to make it work,” he said.
My dear friend Jerry Beaver who is the director of the Black Bear Film Festival and owner of the Milford Theatre, after a Pete Seeger concert at his Theatre came across a piece of rolled up paper with words on it by Toshi, which he believed belonged to Pete. He knew how much I loved Pete and gave me this piece of paper on loan to be used for a future blog. When he gave it to me he did not know it would be used for my blog tribute to Toshi Seeger. I am posting it for the world to see.
If I am not mistaken, the cliche is “no good deed goes unpunished”. As a matter of fact, if I’m not mistaken, I’ve used that in a blog recently. Well, let’s be perfectly honest; I do tend to repeat myself. I would like to share an experience with you and for purposes of discretion and for purposes that it’s unfair to speak ill of someone who cannot defend themselves, we’ll make this blog hypothetical. I was brought up to believe that all men and all women are created equal and I should never, ever presume that I am better than anyone ever. And to be quite clear, I still believe that. The problem with that philosophy is it leaves the door open for people with a particular agenda to take advantage of a good thought, a good intention. A psychologist one time tried to explain to me the difference between an A personality and a B personality. Artists tend to think with their hearts, and if you’re dealing with people that are interested in in their own personal agenda, you could get caught between Mount Everest and Mount Kilimanjaro and there’s a very good possibility that the spot that’s left is your heart and soul. The problem of course is there’s another cliche; “fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me”. So no matter how much I try to take my beret off and put on a business hat, invariably it doesn’t work. I guess you can’t change the DNA of the good guys, or for that matter the bad guys. The part that most make believe macho men never want to admit is how much it can hurt. You know what? It hurts. And then when you belly up to the mirror and look straight in, you damn well know whose fault it is. It’s my fault. I can’t blame anybody else. No producers, no creative directors, no corporate moguls, no buildings that are a city block long and a mile high. Ultimately I’m responsible for myself, and when I allow it to happen, I do it to myself. I think the line in the film The Godfather is “don’t take it personal” I wish I had the ability not to take it personally. So to all the ships at sea, moderate your pure heart and thought and your art, but don’t trust the s.o.b.s. Get it in writing. The world does not revolve on your sense of right and wrong. You had better learn the rules, and then you had better be ready to break them.
Pete Seeger is one of the greatest living human beings in the last millennium, there will only be one Pete Seeger.
Thank God for putting him on the planet.
R.I.P. to all the ships at sea. Repetition is part of my DNA. To the point; repetition helps you became a more complete photographer, artist, musician, and business man.You have heard me say I am the luckiest man on the earth. Bob Gilka was one of my instructors at the University of Missouri School of Journalism. As I walked in, (a wet behind the ear want to be photo journalist) I met Bob. He said to me, “do you play football?” and I said yes. He said, “We’re going to have a touch game, I want you on my team.” I said fine. That was pretty much the last nice thing he had said to me over the next week. I watched him and the other great instructors literally tear people to shreds. little did we know he was not tearing us apart, he was actually building and rebuilding us. The experience and the teaching is with me every day, and it never goes away, It never will go away. When you entered Bob’s office at national geographic, there was a sign on his door that said ” Wipe knees before entering.” To be quite honest it’s actually impossible for me to put into words the power, the expertise, and the strength of someone like Bob. He did not live through the golden age of photography. He was the golden age of photography. The whole photographic community is in mourning. The next time you get on your knees to make a photograph, think of Gilka.
Today, I had an opportunity to do one of my favorite types of shoots that I do. My wife and I went to the TACA Craft Fair here in Nashville, TN. I enjoy walking among the booths, viewing the different crafts presented by the artists and making images, typically abstracts. I like to call such shooting “Retail Therapy”. I am spending time with my wife, I am shooting, and an image opportunities abound! I try to ask the vendors if they would mind if I take an image, most don’t mind, a lot ask for me to send them a copy. Below are some of the images I captured at this year’s show…
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To All the Ships at Sea,
Rodman. I was at a Jazz Club one night and I listened to this man and he could blow a mean, mean horn. I invited him to the studio, and he showed up about a week later. What I was looking for was total simplicity. For lack of a better term call it black on black and then highlights on the cheek and horn with fingers. One light. Two black gobos. One small mirror reflector. Camera was Canon F1, Lens 200mm 1.8, PlusX. 90th of a second at 2.8.
All the best,
Hi to All the Ships at Sea,
A WAR WITHOUT HEROS?
The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Corporal Denis James Dermody (MCSN: 2242960), United States Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving as a Fork Lift Operator with Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron ONE HUNDRED FIFTY TWO, FIRST Marine Aircraft Wing, in connection with military operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. On the afternoon of 17 March 1968, the Khe Sanh Combat Base came under intense North Vietnamese artillery fire, and an ammunition storage area received a direct hit which ignited a fire. Reacting instantly, Corporal Dermody unhesitatingly maneuvered across the fire-swept terrain toward the site. As he approached the storage area, a large secondary explosion occurred. Undaunted by the explosion, Corporal Dermody continued to the location and, upon arriving at the site, fearlessly approached the flaming ammunition and commenced spraying an extinguishing agent on the blaze. Despite the enemy rounds impacting near him, he ignored several additional secondary explosions and continued his resolute efforts until the fire was extinguished. His heroic and timely actions prevented numerous nearby personnel from being seriously injured and detonation of large quantities of ammunition. By his courage, calm presence of mind under fire and unwavering devotion to duty in the face of great personal danger, Corporal Dermody inspired all who observed him and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service.
All the Best,