Thursday, June 30, 2022

Hells Angels

Sonny Barger -- whose real name was Ralph -- just died at 83 from cancer. He was the famous leader of the Hells Angels (Oakland chapter). Sonny founded the group the year I was born (1957) and ran it at the tragic event in Altamont when the Angels (hired as "security") killed a Black man during a 1969 Rolling Stones concert. (The murder was captured on film and is at the center of the documentary "Gimme Shelter.")

I read Sonny's autobiography four decades ago. One notable thing that jumped out at me was Sonny's admission that he wanted to ride a Honda sport-touring bike but feared his fellow gang-members would make fun of him for not riding a Harley so he never switched bikes. Here's a guy, leader of the Hells Angels, who's afraid to ride the motorcycle of his choice because his male buddies might tease him. That story taught me about real courage and cowardice.

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Just Room Enough Island

The 1,864 islands in the region I just visited vary in size from big (40 square miles) to small. To count as an island a place has to be above sea-level all year round and have at least one living tree on it.

Most of the islands I saw have only one or two homes on them. I laughed at one called "Just Room Enough Island" which is true to its name; it's only 3,300 square feet and amazingly has a full-sized house on it. The owner says "One misstep and you're swimming."

Would you live there?!

Monday, June 27, 2022

Thousand Islands

My friend Aimee and I had a wonderful day yesterday. 

We explored the Thousand Islands of St. Lawrence River near the east end of Lake Ontario. The area straddles the Canadian border and literally contains 1,864 islands. 

We rode a boat from Alexandria Bay to beautiful Singer Castle and newly-restored Boldt Castle. A century ago this is where the wealthy spent their idyllic Summers. 

I'd enjoy living in a castle on an island. :)

Sunday, June 26, 2022

New Art

Yesterday, en route to Potsdam, I stopped in Syracuse to visit the Everson Museum of Art. You never know what you're gonna find in small regional museums.

I discovered the works of two artists who are new to me. Their paintings are impressive. One artist, Morris Louis, lived during the Abstract Expressionist period and the other, Angela Fraleigh, is painting now.

The museum lobby has two large paintings, one by Helen Frankenthaler and another by Morris Louis. That makes sense because Helen influenced Morris; both were painting in the 1950s and Morris adopted Helen's new technique of staining canvas with poured acrylic paint. Morris, unlike Helen, lived in Baltimore and had a long affiliation with the Maryland Institute (where Grace Hartigan later taught). Morris was heralded by art critic Clement Greenberg who also lauded Helen and Grace. Sadly, Morris died at an early age (49) from cancer in 1962.

Angela Fraleigh is a young artist working in both New York and Pennsylvania where she teaches at Moravian College. One of her paintings struck me and I'm considering acquiring some other available pieces.

Photos below of their respective paintings.

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Summer Reading

Summer is a good time to read. What are you bringing to the beach?

Sunday, June 19, 2022

Summer Fun

Summer's here -- What fun are you looking forward to? What are your plans?

I'm traveling to visit my close friends Aimee and Emma. And attending a vintage motorcycle rally in Ohio. I hope to do more, like see my dad in Florida, and need to make plans for that.

How 'bout you?

Saturday, June 18, 2022

(Not) Fitting In

I'm normally a happy person which is my way of surviving a hostile environment. Sometimes, however, cumulative pressures mount and act to depress me. I'm in that condition now.

When I was young I realized I couldn't fit into society because of my transgender nature. That fact was explained to me over and over. In case I didn't grasp the lesson, it was forcibly imposed on me, limiting my behavior, my choices, my freedom.

Today I conclude with sadness that I don't want to fit into mainstream society. Most people there don't understand -- or care to learn about -- my reality. Why should I join them when they don't want me?

Don't be alarmed, I'm okay. Just pulling back for a bit to re-assess my place in the world.

Tuesday, June 14, 2022


I saw some funny tweets on marriage:

- My husband says he loves baseball but what he really likes is to leave cupboard doors open

- When my wife puts on a dress I wear cargo pants and complain I can't find my wallet 'cause I have too many pockets

- My wife put parental controls on Netflix because I watched one of our shows without her

- My wife and I got a sitter for date night. We might get a little crazy after dinner and hit up the good Target on the other side of town

- My husband likes to grill. He never makes a side-dish. Last night he smoked a whole chicken and was just gonna have us eat chicken with nothing else

- I hung a world map on the wall, gave my wife a dart & said "throw this: wherever it lands, we're going there for vacation." Turns out we’re spending three weeks behind the fridge

Saturday, June 11, 2022


Just when you think life is mundane you discover secret portals to hidden treasure. They're there; you just need to learn how to look for them.

Friday, June 10, 2022

I [Heart] You

Hard to believe a 1972 Kodak Instamatic 30 can produce a sharp, colorful picture like this. Doesn't the image look like a heart turned on its side?

Monday, June 6, 2022


I love shooting film, especially black-and-white. It offers tools that focus visual attention on imagery that exists in real life but is overlooked by our eyes/brain.

I found this image at my local train station.

Friday, June 3, 2022

Poetic Postbox

Last month the most influential person in my life (sorry, Mom) visited for two weeks. We trekked to my favorite landmark, the Cartas Al Cielo sculpture in Avalon Nature Preserve (Stony Brook).

The sculpture "serves as a vessel of communication with those who have no earthbound address." We sent missives to deceased loved ones via the poetic postbox.

Without fanfare I recorded the moment for posterity. I used alchemy (silver halide film in an ancient camera) which was appropriate for a magical experience.