The Hosta Watch
Wednesday, August 12, 2020
Above you see the leaf of a Hosta 'Paul's Glory' and a hosta watch I purchased and ultimately forgot about in the end of the 90s in Indiana at a American Hosta Society National Convention.
This blog is particularly relevant because I have been attempting to navigate the "new and improved' Blogger dashboard. Because it was probably designed by Googlelites under 30 their idea of improvement is to make it all much more difficult. They have added all kinds of features I do not want and have made it more difficult for me to go back to old blogs to correct typos.
But I have been helped by the folks of Skunkworks and in particular by Farley Peck.
So here goes.
A Snapshot Death
Monday, August 03, 2020
|Unknown Manila relative not identified in our family album|
Just about everybody that may follow my blog is aware that
my Rosemary and I have been getting a daily delivered (at the door) NY Times. The best moment of the day
happens with our ritual (every day with few exceptions) of breakfast in bed
with the Times and the Vancouver Sun
and with the added comfort (now) of our brother and sister cats, Niño and Niña.
Until recently the Sunday edition was delivered on Saturday
evenings. But beginning about two months ago we now get the Sunday paper on
Sunday. Can I complain? I don’t think
The pandemic has led me to look in my phone at 9PM (12AM in
NY) and read the next day’s opinion columns.
This past Sunday our daughter stayed with us in a short
visit from her home in Lillooet. This meant that we read our Sunday NY Times in the
I hit astounding pay dirt, which parallels my thoughts
these last months, as I contemplate my impending disappearance into the
inevitable mortal coils.
The fine essay by Bill Shapiro in the Sunday, The NY Times Magazine
is called Other People’s Snapshots
. You can find a
link to it here
It was the last paragraph fulminated me into deep thought
and inspiration. I knew exactly last night how I was going to illustrate this
Here is Shapiro’s last paragraph:
The neuroscientist and author David Eagleman has written
that we all die three deaths: “The first
is when the body ceases to function. The second is when the body is consigned
to the grave. The third is that moment, sometime in the future, when your name
is spoken for the last time.” I would say there’s a fourth: the moment the
last remaining picture of you is seen for the final time. These found
photographs not only remind me of this delicate thing we run toward and away
from – time – but they also hold something else. The humbling, steadying truth
that, one day, that’s all we’ll be: a photo.
|My mother, Filomena Cristeta de Irureta Goyena (centre with hands by face) in the Bronx, 1922|
Wilford Brimley - The Virtuoso Actor - September 27, 1934 – August 1, 2020
Saturday, August 01, 2020
The Stone Boy is a 1984 American drama film directed by
Christopher Cain and starring Robert Duvall, Frederic Forrest, Glenn Close,
Wilford Brimley, Linda Hamilton, Dean Cain and Jason Presson. It is based on
the 1957 short story "The Stone Boy" by American author Gina
For me it is a mystery why when actors die they are
remembered for obvious films. Thus Wilfred Brimley’s death was accompanied by
accolades to his performance in Cocoon.
For me The Stone Boy is one of the finest films I have ever
seen. A lot of the action happens in a kitchen and to watch Brimley, Close and
Duvall is a performance that I like to label as virtuoso.
Of my moments facing Brimley with my camera in the early
90s, with my receding memory I remember little. But I do remember him saying
something like this,”Robert Duvall is our
contemporary Spencer Tracy.”
My Rosemary's Bird Dress
Friday, July 31, 2020
|Thursday July 30 - Kitsilano - photograph - Rebecca Stewart|
One of the particularly special and wonderful aspects of
portrait photography is to photograph your subject more than once. It is even
better when lapses of time have occurred between sessions.
On February 8, 1968 a judge in Coyoacán Mexico married my
Rosemary and me. This was our third attempt. The two previous judges had told
us that since Rosemary was Canadian and I was Argentine we needed permission from
the Secretaría de Gobernación. This third time my mother did not show up. My
good friend Raúl Guerrero de Montemayor was one of the witnesses, the other one,
we flagged on the street. The judge had no opposition to the ceremony as I had
shown up a few days before with a good bottle of French cognac.
|April 1969 - University of Mexico Botanical Garden - Photographs - Andrew Taylor|
On all the three occasions Rosemary wore the white bird
dress. I personally cut it short (and hemmed it) so I could show off her
|Lauren Stewart - 2016 - Fuji Instax print|
Some 52 plus years later, last Thursday, July 30, our granddaughter Rebecca
(22) came over to make Rosemary up. Rosemary had her hair done the day
I made the request that she wear the bird dress. While it
was a tad tight around her chest the dress fit nicely.
|With Rebecca - self timer - I was about to close my eyes|
Invincible Bird of Prey
Sunday, July 26, 2020
|Hosta 'Invincible' July 17 2015|
Perhaps someday I may be able to persuade the hosta gurus of
the American Hosta Society not to ignore what for me is the inherent beauty and
elegance of hosta flowers, and particularly before they open.
One hosta in particular, Hosta 'Invincible' has fragrant white flowers which it
inherited from the August Lily, Hosta
plantaginea. It has thick and dark leaves with a special glossy shine to
I asked its hybridizer, Paul Aden at a hosta convention many years ago why he
had named it like that. His answer was a short one, “I named it after my
|Hosta 'Invincible'26 July 2020|
I have a particular liking for its flowers because before
they open in August to me they resemble the Klingon Bird of Prey ship from my
fave , the original Star Trek.
|Hosta 'Invincible' 26 July 2020|
Lillooet - The Blood Mixes Inside my Heart
Saturday, July 25, 2020
|Yours truly, Kio, Makiyah, Alexandra & Hilary - Lillooet - 25 July 2020|
In this the age of instant communication, my daughter who
lives in the interior British Columbia town of Lillooet, has only one way to
leave town (for example to visit us in Vancouver) and this is with her SUV.
In his wisdom, former BC Premier, Gordon Campbell sold BC Rail
to CNN. They almost instantly dissolved train service to the interior. Lillooet
has a lovely train station. The train never stops there and Greyhound and other bus companies ended their service, too.
For bad medical problems citizens of Lillooet have the
choice of driving (or being driven) to the bigger Kamloops or to Vancouver.
And there is something else. My daughter Ale is renovating
her house that sits almost on a one acre piece of land. She was going to re-floor
it when she realized that any company that had the adequate material would not
ship to Lillooet. Ale bought her flooring ( a metric ton of it) at Windsor
Plywood in Chilliwack.
Enter here into this story, her 78-year-old father, who
volunteered to drive a large truck with the flooring. Fortunately going, I had
the pleasure of my younger daughter Hilary who wanted to spend a week with her
sister. With both of us wearing our facemasks we drove by Canada Highway 1 to
Chilliwack, then past Hope and then took the turn off to Lytton. From Lytton
there is curvy road to Lillooet. I managed, as I did, driving back the same way
on my own.
Lytton (vies with Lillooet as the hottest place in Canada in the summer) has a special significance for me:
In Lillooet we found Ale in the midst of removing the old
carpeting with her deft assistants Kio and Makiyah. They unloaded the flooring
and some plants my Rosemary had sent along. By the time we had taken a portrait
of all of us with the Dodge Ram, my Rosemary had already nagged that we take
I sat with my two daughters for an hour and a half. I marvelled
at that bond that sisters have that I will never understand and enjoy. But
knowing that it exists and being aware of my enjoyment is what counts.
I drove home enjoying the hot (30 Celsius) air and I had
plenty of time to count my chickens and to realize how lucky I am.