Word and Image


Photography: The story behind the image



Elle was a rescue cat. She was chased by bears. I’ve never been chased by bears. So, that’s a real rescue! It also means we have a lot of trust issues. She does not let me hold her. She lets me pet her on “her terms.” And, occasionally, I catch her in an unguarded moment. It’s a long way from when she ran if she saw my camera pointed in her direction. Pardon the soft (blurred) focus. I took the shot without setting up. You can’t get everything some days.



We got these flowers at Winterthur. The gardens have a great variety of plants. Name? This year I vainly saved the little plastic identifying tags and can’t find this one. It starts as a puff box and blooms into an attractive flower. Yeah! I like the details and surprise you get with some of them. Hopefully they will survive the winter and show up again next year. Details! I’m getting more detail and less distraction.


IMG_0243 copy

Dave is going to ride his bike from Brooklyn to Atlanta. Why? Don’t ask. His first problem was the bike What Walmart delivered was a “beach cruiser.” Even by Dave’s standard, he can’t make 800 miles on that kind of gear. He doesn’t have a pump. Nor a spare inner tube, rear mirror, lights…etc. He rode successfully to Nova Scotia and across the Yucatan. Yeah! Mexico! Iguana tacos – yuck! Plan B – Target, Dover DE. It was a bit expensive to buy – with disc brakes! He got a “bike rack” off the shelf. It didn’t fit. The down tubes were too big a diameter to fit. On the way to the bike store, we found a $130 old Trek outside. Perfect?! But so old! Dave says it will fall apart during his ride. You need “dependable.” But it has toe clips, a bottle rack, and a rear rack. Cannibalize? The remaining bike has mileage “around town.” We went to get screws for the Target bike rack and came back with a Trek. It’s ain’t over yet.

The stuff of legends


The Original Ray’s. Do you know the story? It’s an urban legend. Copyright! Trademark! The Original Ray had a pizzeria but he did not ever think to protect the name – his name? Everywhere there is an original Ray’s it’s like copycat repetition. Is there an original Ray’s pizza? I believe and would agree that there was a place on 6th avenue and 11 St that would deserve the name. The slices were about $2.75 (expensive then/now). They required a knife and fork (plastic). It was served hot out of the oven. The slices never sat around long enough to cool. And the cheese! Cheese!!! There had to be a pound on every slice. I kid you not. That would be a slice you would remember and never ever mistake for something else. Maybe? Maybe not? But for me it would be the original Ray’s and deserved the name. All the rest are pretenders. They sell. I smile. It’s an urban legend. Is it there any longer? The internet casts doubt. Like all good things, it doesn’t seem to be there any longer. Just the name lives on around town. Too bad for you. Hey! Pizza is pizza, except if you have eaten Ray’s.

Did it!

This is another old chair my visitor sat through. (See previous post – if your memory needs resetting.) “Toss” (throw) the chair out?

Caning. Cane, cane chairs… it’s an art. There is skill. I am once again humbled by the skill of craftsmen. I can do anything. Ego! I got the cane online. It came with an instruction booklet. I ordered without really knowing the size. It’s pretty standard? I was lucky again! It was the right stuff. I prepped the cane – removed the old spline and broken cane. I tried to dye the new to match the old weathered stuff. No dice. Cane doesn’t stain. It just gets dirty. It’s gets brown with age. Removing the spline and old glue? It was like doing a spinal stenosis operation. Ha! Did you know that George Eastman (Eastman Kodak) killed himself with a self inflicted gunshot (rifle) wound. He had been diagnosed with spinal stenosis. At that time there was no (surgical) treatment and he killed himself. I’ve done thousands of the very operation that would have restored his (Eastman’s) health and function. Meanwhile, I re-caned the chair. It was a $45 pick up in a flea market. It cost hours of work and about $45 in material and tools. Ha! Worth it? Priceless!



Okay!? When do you know me to ever take one photo? Every day I take pictures. There’s a rule. Keep a camera close by and take pictures – every day. I do. But never one picture. I go to the store and buy – two. Two milk, two bread, two toilet paper… don’t ask. Ha!

I was taking apart the second chair to repair. Inside, sewn into the seam, was a flower. The petals were now dried and spooky as they fell to the deck. I realized that this was a message from the worker who’d sewn and manufactured this chair in China. It was a message to me. There was no expectation that I would ever receive the message. I might just as easily thrown this chair into the dump. But it was a bond. That worker had sewn in a message – Love? Hope? Pride? And I got it. Spooky as the dried petals were, they conveyed their message. At first I thought they were bugs that had nested in the lining. Then I got the message. Too late, the petals were already over the rail into the garden below. It was the only photo I took that day. Yeah, it’s not an image of merit or quality. But I remember it well.



Someone I know loves green. It’s her favorite color. Isolate it. Focus. Serenity. Ah…..!


…restaurant… in the Boardwalk Plaza Hotel. It’s…Victorian. Ha! You can eat out on the deck. It takes away from the ambiance. Eat inside. There are two parrots who rule the front desk. Our waitress was from Romania. I tried out the Romanian curses I knew. She understood. My date nearly fell through the floor. Yeah, I can curse in a lot of foreign languages… just not Chinese. Hmmmm….

Campbell’s Soup

I grew up on Cream of Mushroom soup. Campbell’s. I make my own now. I’m much much better. Better ingredients. No chems, preservatives… I got real stuff – real whole mushroom slices. Grew up! Grown up! A few years back the (Campbell) family donated and created a gallery of their soup tureen collection. It’s worth millions of $. Sure, it makes perfect sense that they collected soup tureens. I bet they don’t put their 99 cent soup in them. I’m ok with that. I got my Revere ware pot and the extra can of water to go with your mushroom soup.


For a moment I was back in the Red Sea. Not! But anytime you see a turtle it’s a photo op.