Saturday, January 23, 2021

Childhood Table

When I was a young child, we lived in a small, modest home. It seemed big to me at the time but I realize now it was the smallest place a family of four could have fit. We spent most of our time in the living room which was also small.

The living room contained a coffee-table of mid-century style. With my family's bourgeois taste it's surprising they had a table of such panache. The table was, however, made of cheap imitation wood and ringed with a band of brass metal. 

This table was the centerpiece of my childhood. We lounged on a couch wrapped around the table. Everything of note was put on that table. Everything important in my family's life happened around that table. I remember my brother and I lying on the carpeted floor next to it while our parents watched TV and issued orders. There were no remote channel-changers back then so our job was to get up and turn the TV dial when so commanded.

My parents moved from the house in 1974 and went to a bigger house nearby. Later, in 1985 my parents moved to Florida. During that period they owned a cheap house in the area which they rented to tenants. I eventually moved into the rental house in 1985 and have been living there ever since.

I believed the coffee table of my youth was lost to history. I was in high school when my parents left that house and I never saw the table after that. I was shocked this week to discover the table hidden in the attic of my current home. Apparently, before my parents left for Florida, they disassembled and stored it there. I never knew that. Only because of renovations did I bother to look in the attic. When I crawled into the three-foot high space I instantly recognized the table and its major role in my childhood. 

The table's legs are missing but that won't stop me from pulling it out of the dustbin of history. I plan to clean it up and install new legs. I found some online and they are inexpensive ($25). Once I restore the table to its former-glory I'll display it in my future playhouse. (I'm buying a second home soon to use as an office, art studio, party center and all-around playhouse.)

The picture above is what the table looks like now.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Hair

Hair is important, more than commonly acknowledged. Women understand this; most men don't. There are two significant aspects to hair -- its social role and the experience of having it.

How we style our hair signals gender identity, age, social conformity/deviance and other serious messages. For some, that signaling determines their choices. For them, hair-style creates social identity.

Apart from its social role, hair, particularly long hair, generates experiences. Long hair demands attention or it becomes unruly. Fussing over one's hair can become a daily, even hourly, struggle. I'm in the midst of that right now as I grow my hair longer than it's been since my youth. Back then (1970s), long hair was relatively acceptable for men. I enjoyed it as surreptitious femininity. Later, Procrustean norms in the workplace required me to cut my hair short. For four decades I conformed to what was expected from a trusted male professional.

Playing with my newly-grown hair is as amusing as annoying. Yes, grooming it requires new knowledge and constant effort. I used to shampoo my short hair every day; now I realize that was excessive and stripped off natural oils. Brushing my hair is constant battle with tangled strands. Keeping my hair healthy and attractive today re-focuses my mind in stark constrast to its previous inattention.

How do you style your hair? And why?

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Glamour

Glamour. It's something we're attracted to, an instinct that's innate.

Few of us manage to create real glamour. Perhaps we glance at it dressing for a prom or fancy party. Mostly we see it on the screen and live there vicariously.

I'm no different; in fact, I'm probably much farther from glamour than you. But that doesn't stop me from dreaming and pursuing my dreams. 

Shopping for Christmas presents last month I spotted a feather robe that melted my heart. Truly. I snapped it up; fortunately it wasn't expensive.

What do you think? Could I star in a 1940s movie wearing this?  :-)









Betty White

Happy Birthday, Betty White! Betty turns 99 years old today.

Betty started her career in 1939. She wanted to be on TV but they said she wasn't pretty enough so she began on radio. She got the last laugh and had a lengthy, successful career. She was good friends with Lucille Ball and many other stars over the century.

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Poetry In Words And Pictures

"...the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; 

and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, 

is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, 

and rest in unvisited tombs."

George Eliot





Thursday, January 14, 2021

Close To Home

Due to the pandemic's effect on travel, I've been exploring places close to home -- and finding some previously-unknown gems. Like Target Rock, a federal wildlife refuge hidden away in tony Lloyd Harbor.

Looking at a map for new places to visit, I saw a patch of green in this affluent neighborhood. Target Rock is in the village's most remote area. Surrounded by multi-million dollar mansions, the wildlife refuge is 80 acres of natural beauty, donated by a wealthy family in 1964. I'd never heard of Target Rock and it seems neither has anyone else. During my visit I was the only person there.

The refuge has several miles of nice trails which end at the beach with majestic views of neighboring Northport. There are comfy benches and even a free set of mounted public binoculars. I'll definitely return there with a thermos of hot coffee and the Sunday Times.









Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Color!

When you shoot normal photographs you take color for granted. When you shoot black-and-white, you focus on shapes and shadows -- things obscured by the presence of color. Interestingly when you return to color photography, you suddenly see how color enhances your images.

After shooting black-and-white film for a while I just returned to color. I'm exploring vibrant hues and will continue in this direction for a bit. What do you think?