Monday, May 29, 2023

Greater Portland, Pilgrim

Satan's Pilgrims in a full throttle interpretation of George Gershwin's Rhapsody In Blue; That's our number one and only son Garrett Immel in the middle. He's playing lead on this number. Every Pilgrim guitarist is a bona fide lead guitar player. So is the bass player for that matter.

We spent four nights in Portland so we could attend a concert featuring Thomas Lauderdale, the leader of the orchestra Pink Martini, with Satin’s Pilgrims. The surf-rock band was started by four young Portland musicians in 1992. It was inducted into the Oregon Rock and Roll Hal of Fame in 2022. Before joining the Pilgrims our son Garrett has played lead guitar in surf bands for more than 20 years including many years as the lead guitar player of The Ghastly Ones in Los Angeles.

Unhappily, Dave Busacker one of the three guitar players in Satan’s Pilgrims died two years ago. Having crossed paths with Garrett on the surf-rock circuit through the years, the Pilgrims asked him to step into Dave’s shoes. He was excited to accept the offer and I’ve never seen him so happy. Three of the members live in Portland. Ted, the drummer, currently lives in Memphis but is moving back to Portland, and Garrett commutes from Los Angeles. He loves the band and calls the Pilgrims the best contemporary surf band in the country.

Garrett, Michelle and Peggy at he foot of Multnomah Falls

To tell the full story of Satan’s Pilgrims properly deserves more time and care than I can give this weekend so here’s a  glimpse at frothy, spraying Multnomah Falls aside the Columbia River 20 miles east of Portland. Our tour guide for the best of Portland and environs was the pride of my life Garrett Immel.

Portland's a beautiful city of vibrant self-contained neighborhoods where everything is a short walk away. It’s green, lush, and cared for. And it’s young, energetic, a tonic for these old bones..

Sunday, May 21, 2023

Cloud Cover, Edition Six

Maybe for the first time I’m choosing images and writing text six days before the actual drop-dead date for Cloud Cover, Edition Six. That’s because we’ll be in the air next Sunday as we return from four nights in Portland, the one in Oregon. As you read this, we will have attended a concert Thursday night headlining Thomas Lauderdale and Satan’s Pilgrims, Thomas being the pianist and founder of the noted orchestra Pink Martini and the latter the Portland based surf-rock band of which our son Garrett is the newly minted third guitarist. Everybody in the band is a bona fide lead guitarist. Garrett calls The Pilgrims the best contemporary surf rock band in the land. Based on their amazing performance with Thomas Thursday Peggy and I agree. Thirty years young Satan’s Pilgrims were inducted into the Oregon Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last year.

Sunlit Wall, San Miguel de Allende

Drake's Bay. Point Reyes, California

This post is the swan song of Cloud Cover, the series that wouldn’t die. These images have earned their way into the pantheon of cloudy greats because the wouldn't take no for an answer.

The Tetons from Mormon Row. Moran, Wyoming

Brazos Cliffs from 10,000 feet. New Mexico

And the one and only

Vanishing Point. Pine Ridge Reservation

Sunday, May 14, 2023

Cloud Cover, Edition Five

Sabron de Ponteves

Upper Oro Mine

Tablas Creek Vineyard

I’m going to ride this horse as long as I can or forever, whichever is longer. That’s because I’ve got a lot of land and clouds or that I haven’t been photographing much. I’ve been romancing the written word a helluva lot more than I’ve been wrestling with f-stops and shutter speeds. I can’t say why, but my photo malaise has been long and deep. That calls for a photo safari yesterday. The contenders are the much ballyhooed A California State of Mind and Deadpool. Deadpool, the shrinking reservoir story, would be easier to service. It's closer, faster and cheaper. Lake Powell and Meade should do the trick. State of Mind demands longer and wider attention. Then again it is California so I'd never say never.

High Sierra from Lone Pine

John Ford Lives

In the meantime, you’re saddled with two more weeks of Cloud Cover.

Sunday, May 07, 2023

Cloud Cover, Edition Four

The deep dig into the archives has uncovered a zillion landscapes where the clouds packed a punch. Here are five more. It’s the fourth tranche in the Cloud Cover sweepstakes. Be warned. There will be at least more in the series.

Layers of Meaning. Somewhere in the Southwest.

As to the item called Layers of Meaning, the photograph is a complex number with layers of mesas, desert scrub, dramatic summer clouds, and a dark strip of low mountains on the horizon. The clouds are dark then bright and threaten rain. It feels like the Four Corners but may be the broad San Luis Valley or the Taos Plateau. Your guess is as good as mine. I can tell you it happened 17 years ago,

Desert Shores Yacht Club. Desert Shores, California.

Desert Shores Yacht Club has a pearlescent sky that complements the towering palms. The overturned rowboat completes the ensemble and is the difference maker. What the hell is that boat doing in the desert? You don’t see the Salton Sea 75 yards to my right.

Welcome. We're Closed. Rice, California.

Maybe 100 miles away in beautiful downtown Rice, California is the retired Standard Oil Station that beckons me whenever I’m in the neighborhood. The luminous sky makes the scene even more empty. And like the rowboat above the welcome mat in the foreground is the punch line to Welcome. We’re Closed.

Pyramid of the Silver Kings. Leadville, Colorado.

That’s a monumental pile of tailings looming like a Mayan temple in the Yucatan. Since it resides on the Route of the Silver Kings it must be the Pyramid of the Silver Kings.

Upper Oro Mine. Leadville, Colorado.

The Upper Oro Mine may or may not be a landscape. If it is, it’s a tight one. The peekaboo clouds and the rusting corrugated metal are in perfect harmony.