National Western Stock Show 2020

The National Western Stock Show is held every year in Denver during January.  It is one of the premiere events for purveyors of livestock, supplies, rodeo gear and all sort of Western Wear.  It is the site of the Coors Western Art show which displays some of the finest western artists around.  Pictures can typically go for as much as $10,000.  When we go we always visit the art show.  This year saw some old faces such as Barbara Van Cleve :


Barbara Van Cleve’s heritage is rich with family history and firsthand experience. Her family’s ranch, the Lazy K Bar, was founded in 1880 on the east slopes of the Crazy Mountains near Melville, Montana. Her father, Spike Van Cleve, was a unique combination of writer, poet, Harvard scholar, and expert horseman-and “a pure quill Montanan,” as her father once put it. 


As a photographer, she has held a camera since she was 11 years old when her parents gave her a “Brownie” camera and a home developing kit. Her youthful interest in photography soon grew into a lifelong commitment. Ranch work also began early for Barbara. Barely six, she could be found helping at the corrals or sitting astride a horse. Ever since she has been documenting the “true grit” and romantic beauty of her experiences on the ranch and on other ranches in the West. 


Along the way, she earned an MA in English Literature at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois; she has been a Dean of Women at DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois; and she taught English Literature, and later photography, for over 25 winters at DePaul University, Loyola University and Mundelein College, all in the Chicago area. At the same time photography continued to be a passionate avocation. In her free time, she worked for Rand McNally as a textbook photographer and also established her own stock photography agency. The long summers were usually spent on the family ranch in Montana. 



New artists to me were Laura Wilson:

Laura Wilson is a photographer whose work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, GQ Magazine, English Vogue, London’s Sunday Times Magazine, The Washington Post Magazine, Marie Claire and Texas Monthly. 

Wilson has done four books. Her latest, Avedon at Work, documents one of the great photographers of the twentieth century. Wilson was Richard Avedon’s assistant for six years and her photographs and journal entries show Avedon’s creative process, working methods, and range of subjects as he worked to complete, In the American West. (Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center/University of Texas Press October 2003).

Yale University Press published Hutterites of Montana: photographs and text by Laura Wilson (Fall 2000). Winner: Book of the Year, Carr P. Collins Award, Texas Institute of Letters 2001. Winner: Golden Light Book of the Year Award, Maine Photographic Workshops 2001. David McCullough, the historian, said “A book such as this - a book so clearly and genuinely extraordinary comes along rarely and only as a result of exceptional skill and dedication.”


Donald Harter has passed on

Donald Harter, MD was my chairman when I was in medical school and residency.  He was what the Jews call a mentsh מענטש. Honorable and Decent.  At a time when department chairman were known to be sometimes cruel, domineering and otherwise unpleasant, Don Harter was the opposite.  I went to him for advice about where I should train after medical school and he helped me look at various programs outside of Chicago.  In the end I decided to stay at Northwestern with Don.  I eventually became his chief resident and that was a wonderful experience as you would go to clinic with him.  In his later years he developed Parkinson’s .  I remember one afternoon he called me long distance from Washington, D.C. to tell me this.  I always felt uplifted even with bad news when I talked to Don.


Donald Harry Harter, MD, passed away August 3, 2019, at his home in Washington, D.C.  He was 86. Born in Breslau, Germany, on May 16, 1933, Donald emigrated with his family to Havana, Cuba, in 1939 and then to New York City in 1940.  In 1941, the family moved to Marcy, New York, and later to Kew Gardens, New York.  He graduated from Andrew Jackson High School in St. Albans, New York, in 1950 and received an A.B. degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1953.  He subsequently enrolled in the medical school of the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and in 1957 received his medical degree.  He was an intern in medicine at the Yale-New Haven Medical Center in New Haven, Connecticut, from 1957 to 1958.  From 1958 to 1961, he served as assistant resident and later as resident in neurology at the New York Neurological Institute of the Presbyterian Hospital in New York City.   In 1961, he began a two-year period of service as a captain in the U.S. Air Force Reserve, serving as a neurologist with the Wilford Hall U.S. Air Force Hospital at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas.  He then returned to the New York Neurological Institute, serving in various capacities including resident and attending neurologist.  He was a guest investigator at The Rockfeller University in New York City from 1963 to 1966.  From 1966 to 1975, he served as assistant professor, associate professor, and professor of neurology and microbiology at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.   During the 1973–1974 academic year, he was a visiting fellow in the Department of Pathology at the University of Cambridge, Clare Hall College, in Cambridge, England.  He was appointed attending neurologist and chairman of the Department of Neurology at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago in 1975.  In 1987, he was named a senior scientific officer with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) in Chevy Chase, Maryland.  While at HHMI, he also served as director of the HHMI–National Institutes of Health Research Scholars Program and held an appointment as clinical professor of neurology at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, becoming emeritus professor in 2001.  He retired from HHMI in 2000 and returned to the Department of Pathology at the University of Cambridge for a year as a visiting research fellow. Throughout his career, he served on many professional committees, medical research advisory boards, and editorial boards for professional journals.  From 1986 to 1992, he served as a medical advisor to the Les Turner Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Foundation.   His work was recognized with a number of awards, fellowships, and honors, including the Joseph Mather Smith Prize from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University in 1970; the Lucy G. Moses Award in Neurology from the same institution in 1970 and 1972; the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship in 1973; the American Cancer Society’s Eleanor Roosevelt International Cancer Fellowship in 1973; the American Cancer Society’s Scholar Award, 1973–1974; and the Donald W. Mulder Award of the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Association in 1998. 
His interests and hobbies were varied and far-ranging, from medical history to theater, including Shakespeare and musical comedy, and to opera and amateur radio.  He was a long-time member of Kesher Israel Congregation of Washington, D.C., as well as of the Cosmos Club, the Yale Club of New York City, the University Club of Washington, D.C., Phi Beta Kappa, and Sigma Xi. Donald is survived by his wife, Marjorie Brandt Harter, Ph.D., and his children (by a previous marriage) Kathryne Harter of Harare, Zimbabwe; Jennifer Harter, Ph.D., of Newton, Massachusetts; Amy Pedulla of Pleasantville, New York; and David Harter, MD, of New York City as well as his grandchildren Emily and Charlotte Harter, Ethan and Matthew Smelson, and Rebecca and Luke Pedulla and a sister, Dorothy Jacobs, of Pembroke Pines, Florida. He was preceded in death by his parents, Harry Morton Harter, MD, and Leonor Evelyne Goldmann Harter.
A memorial service was held on Thursday, August 8, in the chapel of Judean Memorial Gardens, 16225 Batchellors Forest Road, Olney, Maryland.  The service was followed by interment with military honors at the cemetery.   Contributions in Donald’s memory may be made to the Les Turner Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Foundation (lesturnerals.org). 









Too Many Books

I have many photography books, too many according to Vicki.  She advocates ‘reading them’ and then giving them away.  I tried to explain to her that these books are not dime store novels but something that you don’t just read but absorb, reflect.  

The image above is a bunch of books that I can part with - either because I know that I will never read them, have already read them and they hold no importance to me anymore.  Below are just some of the books that I cherish


You Must Unload

You Must Unload


Now you fashion-loving christians sure give me the blues
You must unload, you must unload
You’ll never get to heaven in your jewel-encrusted high-heel shoes
You must, you must unload

For the way is straight and narrow and few are in the road
Brothers and sisters, there is no other hope
If you’d like to get to heaven and watch eternity unfold
You must, you must unload

And you money-loving christians, you refuse to pay your share
You must unload, you must unload
Trying to get to heaven on the cheapest kind of fare
You must, you must unloadAnd you power-loving christians in your fancy dining cars
You must…


Monet and “In the Wake”

The Denver Art Museum is home to the most comprehensive U.S. exhibition of Monet paintings in more than two decades. Claude Monet: The Truth of Nature features more than 120 paintings spanning Monet’s entire career and focuses on the celebrated French Impressionist artist’s enduring relationship with nature and his response to the varied and distinct places in which he worked.

While at the museum shop I bought a sticker book of Monets and a paintbrush that I plan on using to do Haiku with ink.  Not much.  Until I went to the main shop and stumbled on a book of Japanese Photographers take on the disaster of Fukushima, an interest of mine.  In The Wake. So THAT was the big purchase.


Crappy Camera + Ages Old Film =

What do you get with a crappy camera from ? the 1980’s and Film that is at least 16 years old?  Well I’m here to show you - not very much is the brief answer.  The claim to fame for this camera is the large viewfinder.  Unfortunately this does not compensate for the un-sharp lens.  I had so hoped that this would be a nice plastic camera. Some of the shots were so bad from aging of the film that I took them into Black and White and got a little more out of them.     


2020 Predictions and Aspirations

1. Shoot more film - have to as I ordered more film.  Will be exploring low ISO photography

2. Continue to try to lose weight

3. Do a better job of flossing - my hygienist was truly pissed off at me yesterday - I think she took it out on me with that pick she uses.

4.Get back into the Wet Darkroom - going for orientation this week!

5. Try to get back into being a Broncos fan - but then this isn’t up to me is it?  For now it’s the Chiefs for me

6. Aspire to go back to Japan for a more directed, leisurely visit this time.  Tokyo for a few more days and then to the Inland Sea



Canon AE1 with Tri-X

The obligatory test roll when you get a new camera.  For me this was a new to me Canon AE1.  This was my first SLR.  My father went out and he bought two of ‘em - one for me and one for him.  They are cheap to buy and the lenses are also at the bottom of the price heap.  This one was purchased at Blue Moon Camera


The Tri-X was also a bit unusual as I long ago stopped shooting this film - not really because I didn’t like it but more to try something else.  All these years I shot mostly Ilford :  HP5+ and Delta 400.  Well I was told several years ago that the updated Tri-X was finer grained than T Max 400!  I hadn’t read the manual thoroughly on the AE1 and a handful of shots were way off on exposure but all frames came out usable!!  This is why you shoot Trip-X.  Developed in HC110 B.


Retracing our Steps

A long term documentary photography project about the > 80,000 displaced people from around Fukushima Daichi Nuclear plant.  The area was hit with a 9.0 earthquake March, 2011 followed by a devastating Tsunami that caused a level 7 nuclear incident ( INES scale - 7 is the top of the scale).



»The 1,000 square kilometers of land comprising the no-go zone around the Fukushima plant represent the most impressive—and most brutal—evidence of the nuclear accident. More than 80,000 people were forced to pack a few belongings and follow orders to evacuate, while others, fearful of radiation, left of their own volition, leaving behind ghost towns nearly devoid of light. Time has stood still.«

– from the text by Christian Caujolle


»This photographic work is our contribution to the narrative of a historic disaster. The accident is far from being over, both at the power station and among the nuclear refugees. And we hope to continue to testify to this sad but multifaceted chapter in the his- tory of the Fukushima region.«

– from the introduction by Carlos Ayesta and Guillaume Bressi-


https://www.fukushima-nogozone.com



A very concise history of the disaster.


Lakeside Amusement Park

Lakeside Amusement Park is a family-owned[1] amusement park in Lakeside, Colorado, adjacent to Denver. Originally named White City, it was opened in 1908 as a popular amusement resort adjacent to Lake Rhoda by the Denver Tramway, making it a trolley park.[2] The amusement park was soon sold to Denver brewer Adolph Zang. Eventually the name was changed to Lakeside Amusement Park, but the local populace kept referring to it by its original name for its glittering original display of over 100,000 lights. Today it is one of only thirteen trolley parks operating and one of the oldest amusement parks in the United States, and the oldest still running in Colorado. The park, comprising nearly half of the Town of Lakeside that it was responsible for creating in 1907, features the landmark Tower of Jewels.

Shot on Kodak 5222 with a Canon Ftb and a 28 mm lens.  Developed in HC110 -B



Rocky Flats - Hell on Earth

Having just watched Dark Circle I wanted to add my own take on Rocky Flats from my recently published book called Living with the Atom.  Click each frame to enlarge

As I noted in the Dark Circle page - many of the things we now know about weren’t available to the film makers in 1982.  We do know that the findings of a Jefferson County Grand Jury were sequestered and those on the panel were legally prevented from saying anything.  


Dark Circle

I want to get a little sombre this Christmas Eve, 2019.  I watched this award winning documentary today.  It focuses primarily on the disaster that is Rocky Flats Nuclear Plant.  Let me just quote from a review by a documentarian:


Dark Circle’BY BRIAN KNAPPENBERGER


Growing up in Broomfield, Colorado, I vaguely knew that the nearby nuclear weapons plant Rocky Flats existed. As a family, we sometimes worried about drinking contaminated water and would occasionally even glimpse a protest. But radiation is an abstract notion for kids. As someone says in the 1982 film Dark Circle, “You can’t see it, you can’t feel it.” Dark Circle, directed by Judy Irving, Christopher Beaver and Ruth Landy, is one of the most poignant films about the military industrial complex ever made.


Sequences include interviews with a man who survived Nagasaki, footage of hideous experiments on live pigs to determine the effect of a nuclear blast on skin, and soldiers intentionally exposed to radiation. But the film is most focused when it spends time in the subdivisions that multiplied along the Colorado Front Range from the 1960s through the 1980s. These communities were often built on contaminated soil, and under the toxic wind created by a nuclear weapons factory only a few miles away, in Rocky Flats. Dark Circle is about where I grew up.


Seeing this film while I was young made me both horrified and thankful. Out of thin air came a tool to understand my world. Our next-door neighbor worked at Rocky Flats. One day I asked him about exposure to radiation, and he said that it had happened to him a few times. It was called “getting hot,” and it resulted in a couple of weeks paid vacation. At home, we were told Rocky Flats built “triggers” for nuclear weapons. In Dark Circle, it was clear they were building “the Bomb.” The film shows the depth of mismanagement, environmental disaster and lying that took place at Rocky Flats. The plant burned down twice, each time releasing clouds of poison into the air and landscape. Animals in the surrounding farmland were dying or being born disfigured. Workers at the plant kept getting cancer.


Dark Circle also delves into the companies who had vested interests in keeping Rocky Flats running. The filmmakers’ access is astonishing, invoking jealousy in those of us now working in an era of reflexive secrecy. They get an interview with a man whose head is badly mangled from brain surgery, and capture a press conference where an emotional spokeswoman chokes through the company line. “The area around Rocky Flats is a safe place to live,” she says. At one point the crew finds a young saleswoman excitedly talking about the benefits of “unmanned aerial drones”; at that moment it’s easy to forget that this film was shot nearly 40 years ago.

Dark Circle was so controversial that in 1985, PBS decided to yank its nationwide broadcast, calling it “one-sided.” The writer B.J. Bullert, in his 1997 book Public Television: Politics and the Battle over Documentary Film, said the decision “robbed” American audiences of the chance to hear a perspective that was unflattering to the US Government. The PBS series POV aired the film in 1989, and it won a national Emmy. Today, the film’s truths are widely recognized, and it’s clear Rockwell and the government lied regularly and then tried to bury it all in secrecy.


Eventually, after bowing to enormous pressure, Rocky Flats was made into a National Park. But considering the enormous longevity of nuclear toxicity, there is still a dark circle of death in the dirt.


Dark Circle does what great documentaries do: It shows something right in front of you not previously seen. For a kid who grew up drinking and swimming in Front Range water and playing in that Colorado dirt, it re-wrote my genetic code as a filmmaker to include a simmering anger, a deep questioning of entrenched interests and a desire to fight back.


Brian Knappenberger is an award-winning documentary writer and director whose credits include The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz and We Are Legion: The Story of the Hacktivists. Knappenberger is currently in production on a ten-part investigative documentary series for Participant Media—slated to air in the winter of 2016—which will spotlight stories of people fighting back against institutional abuses of power.


My own view of the documentary is that it rolled up all of our fears and horrors into one giant steaming ball of radiation.  Don’t get me wrong, I  think Rocky Flats is an abomination.  After reading about Chernobyl, Hanford Nuclear Site, Rock Flats and Fukushima it is abundantly clear Governments and Industries just can’t keep from lying to us the general public.  I think that when the movie was made in 1982 there wasn’t enough known about the lies and deceit that kept the plant going for another 7 years.  There is plenty now to make a documentary just about Rocky Flats without having to bring in the emotions of Hiroshima or Nagasaki.  





Who by David Byrne

Who

Who’ll be my Valentine?
Who’ll lift this heavy load?
Who’ll share this taxicab?
Who wants to climb aboard?

Who is an honest man? Who is an honest man?

Who’ll help a tired soldier?
Far from his own home town
Carry these men and women
Who get lost when the sun goes down?

Who is an honest man? Who is an honest man?

Who walks this dusty road?
Who always pulls their weight?
Who’s this? Inside-a me?
Who made a big mistake?

Who sees these constellations?
See them go spinning round
Carry these men and women
Who get lost when the sun goes down?

Who is an honest man? Who is an honest man?

With a graceful motion she sat down slowly
Drank a cup of co ee and she’ll fold her laundry
She begins to tell us all her life story
All around the table—ev’rybody starin’

Who shouts out hallelujah?
Who’s gonna sing out loud?
Carry these men and women?
Who get lost when the sun goes down?

Who’s getting out-a here?
Who thinks they’re wide-awake?
Who’s gonna be my friend?
All around the table—ev’rybody starin’

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