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.

Baby Driver

BABY DRIVER – great summer escape movie, especially if you like Heist movies. I mean great, even for a 70 year old grouch. Good guys, Spacey, Hamm and Foxx, playing bad guys. Terrific car chases: streets, parking garages, highways. Lots of corrupt people die. Romance. Tarantino like diner scenes. Music, music, sounds and fury. AND, for the DEFENSE ATTORNEYS, a heartwarming, though somewhat unbelievable, courtroom/justice scene.
Stay focused until the end.

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.”

Nonsensical Judges

Damn, I would have settled for nonsensical, instead of incompetent and unethical. I might have ended up not being reviled and hated, the subject of scorn and recrimination. I might still be living  in Brooklyn and be part of a community I loved. I could still be relevant. Ah, too bad.

May it never happen to another Judge, regardless of how right wing and conservative they are.

Tom Hayden Wrote the Port Huron Statement, Dead

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Tom Hayden died. He stood up against injustice. A hero for our time. I am 69. He stood trial as a patriot. So did I.

Judge Hoffman who presided over the trial, unfairly, made me want to be a judge. In fact it was the only thing I ever wanted to be badly enough. He died as a disgraced judge. So will I.

We were both accused and found to be biased and unfair. Mine, they said, led to the deaths of two people, one of whom I set bail on who killed the complaining witness in an auto dealership owned by Rudy Giuliani’s best friend. Julius, a law partner of Mayor Daley, presided over the most unfair trial in history, one held right after the 1968 Democratic Convention, sentenced the defendants, including Hayden to the maximum term, bound and gagged a defendant, and held the two defense lawyers, Kunstler and Weinglass, in contempt. His work was overturned on appeal. Mine ended in Albany in July 8, 1998.

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Lebowski suggested that a reason it took so long for him to finish college is his participation in the drafting of the Port Huron Statement. Not sure the allegation is true. He deserves a Pinocchio.

Barbara Grau, Dead Too Soon

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Barbara Grau died a few weeks ago. I photographed her last year for the official Temple Anshei Shalom’s President’s Wall. She had just gotten over her latest chemo/poisoning. We talked as we shot. She said she was satisfied with what she had done with her life. More importantly, she thanked me for making her feel beautiful again.

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.

 

GUSSIE, almost 100

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So, I am walking out of a diner and I see this beautiful woman with her home care worker. I ask if I can take her picture. The home care worker says yes. She tells me the woman’s name is Gussie and she will be 100 in a week.

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I take a picture with the home care attendant.

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Then the daughter appears. I take another picture. The daughter asks me if I will come to the birthday party and take pictures. I say no, I don’t do events, but if you come to my studio, I will make portrait and give you a print at no charge.

I give the daughter my card. I tell her if she sends me an e-mail with an address, I will send her a print and a digital file for no money. Haven’t heard from her. And, don’t know her name.

Maybe it’s the time. She might think I am some kind of nut. Who after all would want to make portraits of old women?

 

 

Stars and Stripes

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So, we are shopping at Bed Bath and Bath and Beyond the Fringe. I have a coupon, which if you don’t, you should not shop without a discount. At the counter, Sharon donned this tiara. The sales woman said no one had bought one. Not surprising, in light of the comedy of the Republican party,  supporting a neo-facist who doesn’t realize who he is, because he isn’t smart enough and neither are his supportes.

Sharon said she hoped for America, so long as trumpolini didn’t survive. A woman standing at the next register, said, “Amen.”

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.