John G Morris, Dead at 100

In 2015, I attended a photo workshop in Paris with Peter Turnley. We went to John Morris’s apartment, looked at his images and books, listened to his stories. Then we went to dinner at a cute place on rue St. Louis. Nobody knew who he was.

Through his work, John G. Morris allowed us to see places and get close to people we would not have otherwise known. In doing this, he taught us to see. Think about all the great photographers he knew: Chim, Cappa, Cartier-Bresson, all the giants.

A debt is owed to all photojournalists, especially the ones who gave their lives to help us understand man’s humanity to man, apologies to those who would find this politically incorrect.

PURLIFE

What I really need to do is stick to a fitness plan. When I travel or shoot, I am moving. To keep abreast of the worlds of photography, US Government and art, including movies, books and museums, I sit. While my knowledge grows, my health suffers. Mmmmm.

This guy works at PURLIFE, a gym for the healthy in Del Ray. Too far to drive. 1/2 hour in the car for exercise leads to more sitting, even though NPR or a podcast is on the radio which defeats ignorance. Tough choices. I will go for a walk.

ANYBODY HOME

 

 

George Romero died. He taught me to be scared of the dark. Hell, I am old, which means I don’t carry heavy things and I get tired earlier. But age, the early age of television, let me watch Bela Lugosi while my parents were in the other room doing whatever.

Dracula didn’t scare me, because Zacherly was there to intercept them.

But, no one helped me with George. He made me believe in zombies.

“They’re coming to get you, Barbara.”

Anita Perlmutter, Dead at Almost 99

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So, I was going to shoot older members of Temple Anshei Shalom, people who no longer could make it to pray, but were instrumental in the building of the congregation. No much of an interest from anyone.

I pursued Anita for a couple of months. She was ill. She didn’t feel well. She had a therapy appointment. Her hairdresser was away. Then I got my chance.

We talked. She liked my new camera, telling me her husband had a Leica. We shot for five minutes after she finished breakfast. She couldn’t decide if she wanted to sleep or do the crossword puzzle.

I asked her how it felt to be 99? “You can be too old,” she said.

Two weeks later, she died. Two days short of her 99th birthday.

 

Michael Marden, Survivor

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Michael Marden, 91, survived 9 concentration camps. Freed from Bergen Belsen, he went to Sweden and then the United States. He hold three patents, has grand-children and great grand-children. And he loves his life, except for not being able to have a daily hit of schnapps.

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Grandson Brian is in 11th grade. Has a photo business. Shoots bar mitzvahs, school evens and whatever. And he loves grandpa.

Back To Boynton

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Home. Haven’t really settled in, even though we have been here for a year. Went to Paris last year. Did a couple of weeks here and there. I almost died following gall bladder surgery. We don’t have a routine and I have cruise pounds. Who do you call? Bicycle Doctor. They make house calls to repair and restore bikes. Our antique bikes, bought in Brooklyn and maintained, will outlive us. I want us both to live a while, a wish supported by Sharon and a select few. So, let’s get it on and take off some pounds.

President Obama, Don’t Call Me

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Having been declared unfit for Judicial Office in July, 1998, because, according to the per curium opinion, I put my own interests above that of society, lacked judicial temperament and violated the law, I remove my name from consideration to replace Justice Antonin Scalia.

In addition to my having been declared legally incompetent, irrelevant and immaterial, along with allegations I was a domestic abuser, racist, sexist and insane, I would refuse to serve even if I were nominated and approved; the process would be too painful. I have been beaten and abused quite enough. Not tough or thick skinned, anymore. The establishment won. It destroyed my dreams, my legal and judicial career; took my Mother, home and place in the community; and ruined any chance I could do social justice, leaving the world better than I found it. Find someone else, Mr. President, I have been made quite miserable enough.

And, this time, during the interviews, when my removal came up, I would tell you honestly what I did and what I think of the Criminal Justice System, unrestrained by the hope I would have been reprimanded and put back on the bench when I kept my mouth shut and the hope I would get the exalted job on the Court.

Sadly, Judge Kaye just died and I never got to ask her if she read the record and really believed the finding that she based my removal on. Judge Lippman lives, as do Judge Ciparick and my erstwhile lawyer. One day, maybe I will find out what happened to me. 20 years, almost to the day, and, yes, I have not gotten over it and never will.

My qualifications, Mr. President, make me the ideal choice for the job. I would bring life experience to the interviews. When I raised the issue during my misconduct hearings, the Commissar ridiculed me for my “morning milk,” “legal realism” approach to the job. I was against mass incarceration, putting drug users in jail and exacting fines from those who had no money and no jobs. I refused to set silly bails asked by recently admitted with large law school debts ADAs reading off cue cards handed to them by Supervisors in lofty offices making more than I was, preferring to find alternatives based on community ties. But, alas, that caused me to be denominated as “anti-prosecutorial.” Now, who knows.

Twenty-five years ago, when I was still somebody, I met Justice Scalia at a Judge’s reception at New York County Lawyers. I was a NYC Criminal Court Judge, a Dinkin’s appointee, sitting in the Bronx, moving the calendar, deciding motions and conducting trials. I asked him, after introducing myself, if he thought that sitting in a trial court doing the work most judge do would have made him a better judge. The handlers gasped, as he sipped his wine and responded (don’t remember exactly due to my then anxiety and present aging brain, but close enough): “… don’t know how you do it. In a millisecond, you make a decision to admit or deny and then years later, I get a case which I discuss for 6 months with three of the smartest people to graduate from law school and decide whether you were right or wrong.”

Temple Anshei Shalom – Lifelong Learning

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I delivered a lecture on Preserving Memories – Jews and Photography at Anshei Shalom’s Lifelong learning program. We talked about the origins of the craft, some of the practicioners of the art and capability of images to document, inform and entertain. Haven’t been in front of a group in years, especially when not wearing a suit or robes. I was shakey. About 50 attended and seemed engaged. Nice to talk about art instead of sociopaths.

What would photography be without Jews? Vanity Fair wouldn’t be the same without Annie Liebowitz. No Iwo Jima Memorial without Joe Rosenthal. No VJ day without Eisenstadt. Jews gave photography by Richard Avadon, Jay Maisel, Stieglitz, Diane Arbus, Bruce Gilden, Arthur Felig a/k/a Weegee, Joel Meyerwitz, Lisette Modal, Bruce Davidson, Arnold Newman, August Sander, Elliot Erwitt, Mary Ellen Mark and on and on and on. We wouldn’t see a lot of what we see or know what we know were it not for Jewish photographers.

Where did our camera sight come from? God gave us light and dark so we could see. God called it day and night. Photographers call it contrast. God created us in God’s image, telling us to create, make images we can see, which we can look at (not worship) giving people vision to make the world a better place. Jewish photography is genetic, hot-wired from God, a tool for the mission to do good deeds and leave the world better than what we found when we got here.

David Bowie, Dead at 69

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So, David Bowie got the message. “Major Tom’s” circuit board frizzed. Iggy Stardust will no longer be with us and the world will be a lesser place. I am 68. Were I to die tomorrow, the world would not feel diminished a bit. Luckily, I can look at his picture and listen to his songs. Visit  You Tube today and “Let’s Dance.” Live while you can, have fun and don’t waste time hating or loathing or speaking bad of others.

Image borrowed from Billboard.