Sunday, April 24, 2016

Intricacy and Luminance

Point Lobos at the top of California’s Big Sur and just below Carmel Valley is the stuff of photographic legend. On a handful of visits over more years than I care to disclose I have been skunked but for these kelp that are jewel-like in their intricacy and luminance.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Reach for the Red Bull

Not Amos Abeyta
In late February the sheep are shorn. It’s a communal effort where friends and neighbors gather to help out. For friends of young Amos Abeyta, the great grandson and namesake of the Amos Abeyta who started the whole shebang back in the twenties, there’s actual work to be done, work fueled by copious quantities of Red Bull, Bud Lite and eclairs.  For older volunteers there’s a lot more kibitzing than work.

The sheep come in the front door all insulated and round and exit the side door ten pounds lighter. That’s the weight of a typical fleece. Last year all survived the trauma of losing their wool but dozens were lost to the cold. This year one didn't make it, the apparent victim of a heart attack. It was a back to earth moment that underscored the uncertainty of life wrested from the land.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

In the waning moments of World War Two, I was in my first year of kindergarten in Salinas, CA. That’s a turn of phrase I’m pretty sure you’ve never heard.  But rather than a case of sluggardly scholarship it was just that my single mom was a second grade teacher at Roosevelt Elementary and they let me attend kindergarten as a four year-old. Those two rigorous years no doubt account for my stellar college career and numerous advanced degrees.

These photographs of downtown Salinas depict a withering city little changed from 70 years ago. They include the scene of my first movie at the Fox Theater, my first fresh strawberry pie from a café in nearby Alisal and is the place I learned how to hang a sweater from some high school kid in the neighborhood, the way I do it to this day. Some lessons really stick.

More importantly it was the place I had my first homemade flour tortilla rolled around melting butter, though I’m guessing it actually was margarine, wartime rationing considered.

Sunday, April 03, 2016

The Cat with a Hat

My friend Lenny Foster, the estimable photographer and debonair man about town, had a birthday yesterday. These portraits from a couple of years back celebrate Lenny’s fifty some odd years on planet earth sharing his abundant talents and gentle spirit with everyone he meets.

The first two are the Lenny in our mind's eye. The other is a more severe and challenging version of his handsome self.

Feliz cumpleaños, Amigo