¡Marinero, Suerte Para Mí!
Saturday, November 12, 2011
|Matilde de Escudero, Vicenta Puig de Galvez, Lorenzo Escudero, Barcelona 1888|
|Hilary Anne Waterhouse-Hayward, 1979|
future mother of Rebecca & Lauren, sailors, too
Just a few days I was attempting to file more of the pictures that are in boxes and on the floor of my basement room where I keep my many and large metal filing cabinets that nicely filed in alphabetical order or by themes such as authors, family, travel, garden and yes, nudes. I found an envelope that said Hilary in sailor suit. I took a peek and found 9 exposures in 35mm Kodak Safety Film (probably Tri-X) of Hilary in a sailor suit on a ship and there is a Vancouver skyline. I believe that Hilary must have been 8 years-old and thanks to the fact that I photographed her by the life preservers I know the vessel was the Canadian Pacific Princess of Vancouver which used to be a ferry service that went from Vancouver to Victoria, port to port.
|My grandmother's brother, José (Pepe) Reyes, centre right as admiral.|
I looked at the pictures and chose the one you see here. It set me thinking and I went to one of our big and very thick family albums. On the very first page there is an 1888 family (from my maternal grandmother’s side) taken in Barcelona. There are two children in sailor suits. The rest of the pictures simply confirm that while the maritime profession was never a family profession it did seem to be fashionable up until just recently when I photographed Lauren (9) in her sister’s sailor dress which I purchased in Sanborn’s in Can Cun some 8 years ago.
|My grandmother Dolores Reyes de Irureta Goyena standing, left|
centre, standing, my grandfather Don Tirso de Irureta Goyena.
In sailor suits, his half brothers Antonio and Ramón de Irureta Goyena
The baby is my mother Filomena, Manila 1912
I must sadly report that the only real sailor of the family was your present blogger. And he was a very poor one who could never handle boat yawing and all that other stuff without visually inspecting the morning’s breakfast after the fact.
|Antonio & Ramón de Irureta Goyena|
After two years of service in the Argentine Navy, I reached the classification (with no rank) of Marinero Furriel which simply said I was efficient at commanding a desk. There was only one aspect of being a sailor that was rewarding. In my time as a sailor, in the mid 60s there seemed to be an old Argentine superstition that if you saw a sailor on the street and you happened to touch him and say,” ¡Marinero, suerte para mí!” you would indeed be blessed with good luck. I can report here that the only people who ever touched me to wish themselves luck were all young women and that most of them were nice looking, too!
|Dolores Reyes de Irureta Goyena |
my mother Filomena and baby Antonio (Tony), Manila, 1914
|My uncle, Román Lopez Forment|
|Centre, my grandmother Dolores, my aunt Dolly (Dolores) is the baby in arms|
the tall man in left my Tío Pepe (José Reyes, my grandmohter's brother)
Boy in sailor suit my uncle Tony and the young girl, my mother Filomena
The Bronx, 1920
|My grandmother, uncle, aunt and my mother in the Bronx|
|My mother sailor dress or school uniform?|
|My mother, high school graduation in Manila? |
|Alex, and my first cousins Jorge Wenceslao de Irureta Goyena|
Dolores Tow Humphrey, Robin Tow Humphrey
Buenos Aires 1945
|Second from left, Jorge Alejandro Waterhouse-Hayward, Buenos Aires 1966|
|Sailors at attention!|
|My uncle Antonio de Irureta Goyena, North Carolina, 1970|
|Filomena de Irureta Goyena, my mother|
North Carolina 1970
|Rebecca Anne Stewart & Rosa 'Mrs. Oakley Fisher, May 2003, Vancouver|
|Rebecca Anne Stewart, 2005|
|Lauren Elizabeth Stewart, 2006|
|Lauren Elizabeth Stewart, September, 2011|
|Lauren Elizabeth Stewart & Rosa 'William Shakespeare', September 2011|
|Alex, Mar del Plata, Argentina, 1966|
Friday, November 11, 2011
Cenotaph: From Latin cenotaphĭum, and before from the Greek κενοτάφιον which means empty tomb.
Extended range night photography
My Eternal Prunus laurocerasus
Thursday, November 10, 2011
Today Thursday, with its sunny disposition and the threat of a storm to come meant that Rosemary and I spent it in the garden. Sometimes Rosemary gets depressed as getting a garden ready for winter is sort of like washing the dead before burial. There is that one difference that one knows that a garden’s death is only temporary. What is discomforting, particularly when one is of that certain age, that one may not be around come spring. I am not being morbid, just stating the facts.
I took the picture here sometime in the early 90s with my Widelux swivel lens panoramic and Kodak b+w Infrared film. The odd dual toning of what should be a monochrome b+w print is because I used Agfa Portriga photographic paper which I dipped in a hot and very strong solution of selenium toner (a known carcinogen). Portriga reacted like that in what came to be called split toning. Unfortunately the paper has not been available for years.
The photograph shows the march of time in our garden. Sometimes we think trees are forever and forget that all living things must face decline, old age and mortality. The last two shaped conifers on the right and the one on the left are long gone. They succumbed to root rot as at least 8 others of these Lawson Cypresses in our garden. Except for two, all the weeping birches on the boulevard, right, were cut down by the city as they had been ravished by the birch borer. We replace one of the dead cypresses on the right with a Himalayan Birch
that has somehow managed to survive the birch borer that killed the birches on the street.
Since 1986 we have lost two cherry trees, one apple tree, many little dwarf conifers (they do not like wet ground) and four Japanese Maples. The latter died of something called Verticillium Wilt which is quickly lethal. But for a reason unknown to me our Acer palmatum
‘Senkaki’ (Coral Bark Maple) has soldiered one with vigor.
On Tuesday the folks from the Bartlett Tree Experts Company came to our garden to prune the stuff much too high or tough for one of the arthritic owners of the garden to handle. The name of the game, and even Rosemary understood this time, is that as gardens mature, they do not only become more shady but there is a tremendous reduction of light. Shade tolerant plants can deal with shade but all plants need light. The Bartlett people brought light into our garden with some judicious pruning that I did my best to tell the to do without adversely affecting the shape of some of our trees.
But in all this growing and dying in our garden our Prunus laurocerasus
(common laurel) hedge has always been the same. It just grows and every year I must face it and spend many days pruning it to shape. At first, years back when youth was still a not yet gone memory I went at it with secateurs. Then I became a bit less of a purist and used normal but very sharp hand shears.
My arthritis would now render my elbows inoperable after a few minutes of the hand shears. Last year was the first year I used electric shears. The purist would scoff in disapproval as electric shears are not always able to cut thicker branches and the shears tend to go at leaves without cutting them clean off. This means that a month later a hedge can look pretty messy (for a while, anyway).
When we first moved in my eldest daughter’s boyfriend whose parents had a farm feed business in Ladner offered to bring me horse manure. I cringe when I think of how stupid I was. I shoveled horse manure under the hedge to make it grow. I was innocent to the chore that would eventually face me.
This year I have been cutting of (with secateurs) those hedge branches that would stick up. It does not look all that messy. But the hedge awaits and I know that come spring I will have to tackle it. Now if that apparently eternal laurel has any influence I suspect I will be around to do the job.
Hilary Is Home & I Am Content
Wednesday, November 09, 2011
Today was a day that began with stress and ended with a smile, a smile that reminded me of my mother.
Hilary was in hospital waiting for surgery in those places that the Spaniards call Flanders. In the morning they came with her breakfast. She knew that if she were to touch it her surgery would be postponed for at at least until the late evening. She refused to eat so that her little sacrifice (sometimes I think that for my Hilary that could never be deemed a little sacrifice!) was rewarded with rapid entry into the operating room.
We went to see her around 5. She was awake and almost happy. The surgeon arrived, examined her and told her, “You can go home now if you want.” This we did and my Hilary flashed that crooked smile, one that she inherited from my mother, via her father, since I also have that smile askew.
Today Thursday as I write this I am content that my family is well and the sun is out. I had to prune our old English Hawthorne and managed not to be thorned but a couple of times. Looking around I spotted English Rose, Rosa
‘Coverdale’ certainly some sort of a miracle at this stage of November. And I also spotted the fine fall colours of Berberis thumbergii
‘Fire Glow’. It normally has purple foliage but its new foliage (look at the second picture here) is nicely variegated with white/pink. This plant grows with no care and seems to have no pests. It is content in my garden and I am content, too.
Monopoly With Penelope
Tuesday, November 08, 2011
Last week when I wrote my blog review of the Margaret Atwood play, The Penelopiad
now on at the Stanley until November 20 I found that I had written Pelenopiad
down the line. I am a dyslexic so it did not surprise me. But I became curious and looked up dyslexia on my on line Diccionario de la Real Academia Española
. I discovered:
(De dis-2 y el gr. λέξις, habla o dicción).
1. f. Dificultad en el aprendizaje de la lectura, la escritura o el cálculo, frecuentemente asociada con trastornos de la coordinación motora y la atención, pero no de la inteligencia.
2. f. Med. Incapacidad parcial o total para comprender lo que se lee causada por una lesión cerebral.
The word comes from the Greek word λέξις which means talk or diction.
All the above set me to further thinking and wondering what poet Ogden Nash, he of the laboured rhyme, might have to say about the Greeks. I checked on my volume of Selected Poems of Ogden Nash – I Wouldn’t Have Missed It
with an introduction by Archibald MacLeish and found this:
While Homer Nodded: A Footnote To The Iliad
In the days when the hollow ships of the well-greaved Achaeans were
beached off Priam’s city there was a two-faced Achaean named
And he was so two-faced that his duplicity was doubled. It was
He was owner of a mighty fleet which was not under Achaean registry,
it flew the flag of Hesperides.
And his ships were never hollow, they were always full of costly cargoes
such as maidens available for sacrifice and Lotus the predecessor
of LSD and cantharides.
He was far too busy hurling insults at Hector on the
ringing plains of windy Troy.
He was always furrowing the wine-dark sea in search of costlier car-
goes and nearly always accompanied by a fascinating hetaera,
which was the contemporary term for the daughter of joy.
But once he didn’t take her with him and got home a day early and
what did he behold?
There was his hetaera in compromising situation with a shower of gold,
And he said,” How do you excuse such misconduct?”, And she said , “ I don’t
need any excuse,
This isn’t really a shower of gold but aegis-bearing Zeus.
Well, Antiscrupulos was very moral about other people’s morals, anent
he was a veritable bluenose.
And he was also jealous as a dozen Heras and Junos
So after precautiously sacrificing a maiden to the aegis-bearing Zeus
he accused aegis-bearing Zeus as being a compulsive seducer and a
menace to Achaean womanhood both mortal and immortal.
And Zeus did not incinerate him with a thunderbolt , he just gave a
thunderous self-satisfied lecherous chortle.
Antiscrupulos grew even more indignant and ventured on further prods,
He said,” How can you chortle off your licentious behaviour, you who
should set an example of marital fidelity for us humans, you who
bears the dread responsibility of the monarch of Olympus and
king of all the gods?”.
He said, “ Tell me , O king of all the gods , for your godless philandering
can you offer the shadow of an excuse , the ghost of an excuse, the
wraith of an excuse , even the wraithiest?”.
And Zeus said, “I am an atheist”.
I am certainly no Ogden Nash but it made me think that he would have likely questioned with glee the lack of logic of such words like Penelope yet Terpsichore is not pronounced Terspsí-coree. Then why is Penelope not Pen-eh-lope. Would have Nash have perhaps started something like:
To elope with Pen-eh-lope is
Not to elopee with Penelopee.
It is equally not the same to play
Monopoly with Penelope
As Monopoly with Pen-eh-lope, to no avail
Will send you straight to jail
It all makes me wonder how one exactly pronounces Cassiopeia and I have my doubts if I could tackle Calliope (call-i-oh-pee or calli-ope). Consider who she is: In Greek mythology, Calliope ( /kəˈlaɪ.əpiː/ kə-ly-ə-pee; Ancient Greek: Καλλιόπη Kalliope "beautiful-voiced") was the muse of epic poetry, daughter of Zeus and Mnemosyne, and is now best known as Homer's muse, the inspiration for the Odyssey and the Iliad.
This brings me to a preoccupation as to who Menmosyne is and how it is pronounced
Mnemosyne ( /nɨˈmɒzɨniː/ or /nɨˈmɒsɨni/; Greek: Mνημοσύνη, pronounced [mnɛːmosýːnɛː]), source of the word mnemonic, was the personification of memory in Greek mythology. This titaness was the daughter of Gaia and Uranus and the mother of the nine Muses by Zeus.
And I could go on and will for a bit more. When Rosemary and my two granddaughters and I arrived to the Great Salt Lake in July past, we navigated with our Malibu a causeway that took us to an island in the lake called Antelope Island. I had warned my granddaughters that Utahians (does that sound strange? It sounds as strange as Newyoricans) pronounced it Antí-lo-pee and soon even Rosemary was having fun pronouncing it that way.
As for the patient Penelope there seem to be many meanings. The one that Atwood chose was the one of the purple striped duck. This duck, a flock of them saved baby Penelope from being drowned when her father, King Icarius threw her into the sea. Another quite strange is this one: from Gk. Penelopeia, probably related to pene "thread on the bobbin." Used in English as the type of the virtuous wife (1580) as it was in Latin.
It is from this definition that some equate Penelope to the meaning of weaver.
The real reason for all this nonsense, if I am to be truthful is simply to give me space to place here two more pictures of Sandrine Cassini, a Penelope anybody in his right mind would drop Circe, just like that, and hurry home. I’m much too chaste of thought to add, to her bed.
All In The Family
Monday, November 07, 2011
Of late other preoccupations have prevented me from sitting down to write my blog with my usual punctuality. As I write this the blog has gone as far as Sunday but it is Wednesday.
For one last Friday marked one of those rare occasions in my late life as a photographer where an organization paid me a full and most handsome day rate for my services. Before that Friday came around I was preoccupied with the shoot itself. I believe, that no matter how much experience one has if one is not nervous about a photographic job then one is only making the motions of it and passion has long gone.
Last week was the week of a broken iPhone
(fixed and cheaply!), a non-starting Malibu (our mistake and once BCAA started it the battery came back to full charge) and a terrible toothache that Dental Ben
repaired with a root canal. Apparently the whole process of my root canal was so complicated that Dental Ben thanked me for making his day.
It was Thursday when things began to deteriorate in a way I would have never suspected. I photographed Meg Roe and Lois Anderson in a dressing room at the Stanley and then my friend Paul and I watched Margaret Atwood’s play The Penelopiad
Paul Leisz is a transit driver with experience so he went to the men’s room before the performance. I have always boasted of my “Wreck Beach bladder” and felt I did not need to go. I was mistaken. For that first act I performed countless crossings of my legs. We were in the front row and I did not see how I could walk back to the exit. I bared it as well as I could. But I found no relief at the intermission.
If one discounts sex, life is made up of sleeping, eating and evacuating. One seems to take all three in stride and as a given.
By the time that 2 in the morning came around I had finally emptied my liquid contents, little by little, perhaps in the fear that Rosemary would call the ambulance. Had that happened I would not made it for my Friday shoot when a whole office was ready for me and they had hired models and a dog!
I called up my daughter Hilary the next day to ask her if I could possibly have experienced a kidney stone. She said that was impossible. By Saturday night had taken Hilary to emergency with a pain in Flanders (or the Lower Countries as my Spanish grandmother would have said. The folks at emergency even suspected that Hilary might be experiencing what I did not have.
It is Wednesday now and Hilary is in hospital waiting for a minor surgery that will remove a benign growth in the nether parts. She waits and waits. If she were in even greater pain than she is they might whisk her to the operating table. But our health system (not bad in my opinion) has a system, a sort of torture chamber where you suffer and those who suffer more are operated on while you wait for a turn that might happen days after while you enjoy your Jell-O in what is definitely not the Hilton.
My other daughter has also been through a more major operation down in Flanders and is recovering in Lillooet. She will be soon returning to her job as a school teacher, a job she really loves.
It was Hilary who told me something that made me think on how we take so much for granted. From her hospital bed she said, “I want to go back to normal where I can go to my job and do what I am supposed to do in health and take care of my children.”
I did not tell her that Saturday night when I noticed her extreme pain (she described it as knives below her waist) I immediately thought of a cancerous tumor. I further thought about a commentary in one of the books I had been reading about the Iliad and the Odyssey where they said that Homer had obviously preferred to write about Odysseus finding his way home than about the brutal Trojan war. The statement that came back to haunt me on Saturday night was something like this: In peace sons bury their fathers; in war fathers bury their sons. I wondered, if in one of those terrible occurrences, that I might just unluckily be predeceased by my children.
Thankfully that is not to pass and both my daughters will be just fine with Hilary out of the hospital and back home by Friday.
Sunday, November 06, 2011
Penelope has been much in my thoughts. This is because I have seen the terrific The Penelopiad
twice in the last two weeks. It is an Arts Club Theatre production at the Stanley, adapted by Margaret Attwood from her Novella of the same name.
When I found out that French dancer Sandrine Cassini (working as choreographer and dancer for Ballet Victoria) was coming to town to see her father off to Niece I had an idea.
Cassini has a remarkable face which I will not try to describe at length or in detail except to point out that she has a face of someone from the past. I sometimes believe that Mr. Wells’s time machine is around somewhere and people travel back and forth.
Because Cassini danced for the Paris Opera Ballet I like to think that she may have seen Degas sketching (and even sketching her) in her other life as a dancer in Paris in the 19th century.
But when I looked at my previous pictures of her (some as Carmen from the ballet version of the opera) and noted her ballet hair, all swept back in a tight bun and I noticed her narrow face and Gallic nose I saw her as that ever-patient and long-suffering Penelope.
Here she is wearing my mother’s antique 1950 Mexican rebozo and some Mexican black stone beads.
Is she not Penelope looking past the cliffs of Ithaca and imagining Odysseus returning after her long 20 year wait?
Sandrine Cassini & My Toothache
Seeping Blood from the Paris Opera Ballet