I just got home from the Women’s March in San Francisco. What an amazing experience! It was so hard waiting for our march when most of the others across the US happened in the morning. Ours started at 3pm with a rally at Civic Center, with the march down Market Street to the Embarcadero starting at 5pm. It didn’t quite happen that way—I ended up behind the stage, where we couldn’t see or hear, so a lot of us started down Market Street somewhat early. It rained most of the time, but nobody seemed to mind.
I didn’t see any violence or misbehavior. The mood was friendly and sometimes boisterous. I enjoyed seeing the men, children and dogs who joined in.
A big thank you to Summer, Emily and Alex, who ‘adopted’ me for the march. You’re awesome!
As promised, and long delayed, here are some more glamorous portraits of Barbara Stanwyck. As I was working on these, I couldn’t help wondering why we no longer see beautiful portraits of movie stars. How can we be satisfied with paparazzi shots of stars in sweatpants at the corner market? I don’t want to see beautiful people caught looking their worst. Bring back dazzle, photography as art, and great lighting!
Baby Face (1933)
The Mad Miss Manton (1938)
Lady of Burlesque (1943)
Paramount general publicity 1943
I recently watched the PBS documentary Pioneers of Television: Westerns, and I was struck by what Linda Evans said about Barbara Stanwyck, her co-star on The Big Valley. I didn’t know she was one of the nicest people in Hollywood, taking the time to get to know all the crew members and really enjoying herself on set. This led me to check out the book Starring Miss Barbara Stanwyck by Ella Smith from my local library. I haven’t read much of the text, because the portraits in the book are too wonderful. This book is now out of print, but here are some of those images, with more to come. Perhaps it’s a cheat, to fill my blog pages, but what a great way to cheat!
With Joel McCrea in Internes Can’t Take Money
Columbia general publicity 1930
Breakfast for Two
Today is Armistice Day, marking the end of World War I in 1918. Also known as Poppy Day and Remembrance Day in commonwealth countries. WWI began with bravado and confidence—most people believed it would last only a few months. Four long, bloody years later, the world had irrevocably changed.
This point was brought home to me over the summer. I attended a special screening of the silent documentary South, featuring the footage shot by Frank Hurley on Shackleton’s Antarctic expedition with the ship Endurance. The screening was accompanied by live music and narrated with excerpts from Shackleton’s journal, read by actor Paul McGann. The expedition began the week war broke out in Europe, on August 8, 1914. Shackleton and his men were isolated from the world and its news when the Endurance was trapped and destroyed by ice. When Shackleton finally made it to a whaling station in South Georgia two years later, the first question he asked was, “When did the war in Europe end?” He was told the war was still dragging on, with no end in sight. Many of his men, after surviving the hardships of the Antarctic, returned home to fight in the trenches of France.
They ask me where I’ve been,
And what I’ve done and seen.
But what can I reply
Who know it wasn’t I,
But someone just like me,
Who went across the sea
And with my head and hands
Killed men in foreign lands…
Though I must bear the blame,
Because he bore my name.
— Wilfred Gibson
Today is also Veterans Day in the United States. To those who have served in the armed forces, we thank you for your service.
Troops recite the oath of allegiance during a naturalization ceremony on an aircraft elevator on board the USS Midway Museum in San Diego, Nov. 6, 2012. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services sponsored the ceremony during which 41 service members from 19 countries became U.S. citizens.
Photo credit for Becoming Citizens: US Department of Defense. Special thanks to Shay for the World War I images. The poem by Wilfred Gibson is “Back.”
Every year, I take my camera to the Halloween block party off Central Avenue on Grove. This year, I got there before the light left and the rain began. What a great bunch of kiddies and doggies this year! My thanks to the parents and dog owners who do such a great job with the costumes.
(Click on any photo to scroll through larger versions.)
Today is my birthday, and I celebrated by going to see Argo with a friend. Sometimes the movies that have a lot of Oscar buzz leave me cold. I recognize their excellence but I feel disconnected, without an emotional involvement in the characters and story. Not the case with Argo. I was totally engrossed from the beginning, which gives a brief but helpful overview to the events leading up to the Iran hostage crisis. I was a junior in high school when it began, and while I was aware of the overall situation during those years, I was also busy living my teenage life. The movie made me realize how little attention I’ve paid to the major historical events in my lifetime. Anyway, I recommend Argo, even though the hair and fashions will make you cringe. Believe me, I was cringing then, too.
After the movie, my friend and I headed to Tout Sweet Patisserie, Yigit Pura’s new dessert shop in Union Square. It’s a lovely space, with a delightful staff and a great view of the Square. I had the Petit Tout Sweet cake and my friend had the sous-vide poached egg sandwich. I met Yigit Pura a couple of years ago at the GLAAD Media Awards, and again last October at the Meals on Wheels calendar signing at Macys. I’ve been following the progress of Tout Sweet through facebook and twitter, and today was the perfect day to visit. Yum!
Some projects I’ve been involved with have blossomed over the summer. Some have required little effort on my part, while others have kept me busy. I’ve posted more video creations on my YouTube channel, and they continue to center around the television western Laramie. I did an interview with a young graduate student and fellow blogger about my uncle, Dennis Severs, and it was published on August 15th in a UK literary magazine called Peninsula. The online copy can be read and downloaded on their site in a pdf format. My interview is on page 72. I don’t know yet if this is a limited offer, so download it soon, just in case. The other pieces in the magazine are worth reading, too!
A book cover designer in Canada used one of my photographs of County Mayo, Ireland, for a historical novel. I haven’t read the book, but I do think my photo looks great! The book is available through Libros Libertad.
I have another book cover to reveal, but it will have to wait just a little while longer. In the meantime, I need to get back to reading again. I realized this week that I haven’t finished a book in months. Too much time in photoshop and learning video editing has replaced my reading habit. My book club has selected State of Wonder by Ann Patchett for our September selection, so I’m eager to dive in.
The summer went so fast, and it never got warm here in San Francisco. I wonder what September will bring…