A Picture of No Consequence

This picture is worth a lot to me but it’s a picture of no consequence.  The first picture was taken in the late 60’s - Al was still at home and the picture is hanging in our basement of the Marilyn Rd. house.  The next picture is from our spare bedroom .  Was just now able to find that this is a Lithography by  Tucson artist, Ray Strang (1893-1957) and that it sold at auction in the mid-2000’s for $800 - who knew.  But I also saw that another copy sold for as little as $20.  It was also used with modifications by Texas country singer Robert Earl Keen on his “Bigger Piece of Sky” album cover.  It is officially called “Slow Poke”


Back to Ray Strang:Ray C. Strang (1893 in Sandoval, Illinois, United States – 1957) was an American Western artist and illustrator. He was educated in Centralia, Illinois, and attended the Art Institute of Chicago, Art Students League of New York and New York School of Fine and Applied Arts. Strang’s education was interrupted by The Great War, in which he was wounded in the Forest of Argonne. During World War II, he took part in the Consair art colony at the Tucson division of the Consolidated Aircraft corporation. For 17 years Strang was a successful illustrator in New York for such magazines as The Saturday Evening Post, The American Magazine, Ladies’ Home Journal, Country Home Country Gentleman and Harper’s. He created covers for Dodd, Mead and Company and other publishers. He then went West to become a well-known painter who specialized in nostalgic depictions of the Wild West and the prairie life. His paintings hung in many galleries, including Grand Central palace in New York, Bender Gallery in Kansas City, Alden Gallery in St. Louis, the Chicago Art Institute and the New York Art Center. His most famous painting was a work called “Slow Poke”, of
which there were many reproductions printed. Strang was an active member of the Fine Arts Association, Palette and Brush club and belonged to the Salmagundi Club of New York City. He had a ranch near Safford Peak in the Picture Rocks section of the Tucson Mountains, where he died in 1957. Ray Strang did many paintings including “Playmates” which is a canvas painting of two foals.
He married and had a son.



Komiyama Book Store, Tokyo

Thought I would insert this random post about this fabulous book store we visited in October, 2019 on our trip to Japan. Obviously heavy on Japanese photographers, but this was what I was interested in.  The clerk spoke English and this was a big help.  I ended up buying this cute book by Yasuhiro Ishimoto because I wanted a small book as packing for the trip home would be tricky.  She helped me find just what I was looking for.






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

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