The Librarian - La Bibliotecaria
Friday, December 30, 2016
I have friend who works in the Argentine National Library
Mariano Moreno. It is no longer the old building on Calle Mexico that Jorge
Luís Borges headed in the late 50.s. The new library is a modern building on
Calle Agüero. It has a cavernous basement where my friend presides checking the
collections donated to the library. Every once in a while he finds letters and
other memorabilia between the pages of old books. In one a beat up copy of
Julio Cortázar’s Rayuela (Hopscotch) he found this strange albumen print. In
the back in faded pencil and almost impossible to read it reads la
bibiliotecaria or the librarian. The
book is dedicated by the author to Roberto Baschetti and dated December 30th,
argentino trabaja en la Biblioteca Nacional Mariano Moreno. No es la vieja
institución en la Calle México donde presidió Jorge Luís Borges. La nueva y muy
moderna biblioteca está en la Calle Agüero muy cerca de La Recoleta. Tiene un
enorme sótano en donde mi amigo inspecciona colecciones donadas a la
biblioteca. De vez en cuando al revisar los libros encuentra cartas y demás
entre las páginas. Esta fotografía, técnica albumen del siglo 19, la encontró
en una vieja copia, de Rayuela de Julió Cortázar. La fotografía en el adverso,
en lápiz, simplemente dice la bibliotecaria.
El libro está dedicado a un tal Roberto Baschetti por el autor con fecha 30 de
diciembre de 1963.
Daughter & Mother in Hanging Chair
Thursday, December 29, 2016
|Left Lauren Stewart, December 24th 2016, Right HIlary Waterhouse-Hayward Stewart 1978|
Through my years as a photographer I have lost very few
of my negatives and slides. Thanks to my eldest daughter Ale’s help in the late
80s and early 90s I have had a very efficient filing system for my output. I
have one section of two large drawers (a large traditional metal filing
cabinet) that is dedicated to all the family photographs I have taken since Ale
was born in 1968.
Today I was looking for a particular photograph which I found
which will see the light of this monitor on another future blog. While looking
I found this delightful colour negative of my youngest daughter Hilary when she
was 7 and we were living in Burnaby. Today December 29th I went to
pick Hilary, now 45, at her job at Stong’s. She manages the wellness department
of both the Dunbar and North Vancouver stores. I went to pick her up because I
wanted to get her home quickly to her new home (yes in Burnaby!). I don’t like
the fact that she has long days and when I can I like to ease her day in some
We were in our new car a 2017 Chevrolet Cruze in metallic
(with a light blue/silver) colour. The car drives quietly and its steering is
tight and direct. The connectivity of our Cruze to things digital will take a
bit to sink in to this carcass of the 20th century.
It was a pleasant drive, quiet because 2017 cars no
longer have CD changers. This means I will have to copy my CDs and place the
files in drives which I can plug into the car’s system.
After I dropped off Hilary I thought of all the years that
have passed with a feeling of pride that she is such a good mother and wife who
so reminds me of my own mother.
When I found these pictures of Hilary in the hanging
chair which we purchased in Mexico in 1971 and now hangs in our Kitsilano
living room I could not resist!
Wednesday, December 28, 2016
Andy Broennimman, a Swiss-born young man of around 17,
went to visit his father in Basel sometime in 1976. His father was a retired Nestle executive.
He had been the general manager in Mexico in the late 60s and early 70s.
Andy decided he had to go where the king goes alone. When he
was through with his business he could not find any toilet paper. He shouted to
his father about the missing paper. His father answered, “Push the button on
the right hand side.” That was Andy’s discovery of a brand new Swiss
Andy had been one of my best students, in the early 70s in a
Mexico City high school for wealthy American and foreign children of
executives. When we moved to Vancouver in 1975 I was most surprised a couple of
years later that Andy was studying at the University of British Columbia. He
came to visit in his bicycle but I warned him that he would need bicycle chains
if he wanted to cycle in the terrible Vancouver winters. He believed me and
asked for the items at a bicycle shop. When winter came he took a trolley bus
to the loop at Lougheed/Broadway and Boundary Road. From our house in Burnaby
on Springer Avenue I would pick him up for dinner at home.
Andy soon decided to become independent and bought a
motorcycle. My youngest daughter Hilary who was around 7 loved to ride in his
bike but Andy would only take her for a block or two as he did not have a
helmet for her.
After Andy finished at UBC I never saw him again except for
a postcard he sent me from Cairo.
I remembered him almost a year ago when I noticed that our
Kitsilano duplex had one of those toilets.
I have refused to learn how to use it and I have insisted with
Rosemary that we always have toilet paper handy.
Because of my ripe, old age of 74 and in spite of a recent “prostate
reaming job” which was supposed to fix the problem I find that I must get up
two or three times during the night.
|Andy and Hilary on Springer Avenue circa 1978|
Pressure is not up to snuff and I have discovered that to be
manly and stand up for things to happen is stupid. So I have found that the
female way of sitting down is much more comfortable. Once the spigot has done
it’s slow release I go back to bed. For all these months when we sit on the toilet, it
makes a running water swish noise for a few seconds. It doesn’t bother me and
I have learned to appreciate how the toilet seat gently comes down most
It was a couple of weeks ago when things changed for the worse. I have a
feeling that our 14-year-old granddaughter Lauren has been experimenting. In
the middle of the night I found that the running water noise did not stop and
suddenly I (to be precise, my bottom) was sprayed by warm water and then a jet
of hot air followed. I was so shocked that I shouted at a sleeping Rosemary
about the surprising activity. After a few nights of this I decided to unplug
the unit. To my unpleasant surprise, I noticed that the seat was ice cold in
the middle of my visits-to-the bathroom nights. It would seem that the wondrous
toilet has a heated seat.
Since all the above happened I managed to find a stop button
and the toilet is now not volunteering any help and I am happy again. I will
keep my fingers crossed.
Ambulance Chasing in Social Media
Tuesday, December 27, 2016
|Lauren Stewart in her Princess Leia impersonation|
Ambulance chasing, sometimes known as barratry, is a
professional slur which refers to a lawyer soliciting for clients at a disaster
site. The term "ambulance chasing" comes from the stereotype of
lawyers that follow ambulances to the emergency room to find clients.
Arthur Fellig AKA Weegee
One of the most cherished romantic myths is that of the
artist, neglected during his or her lifetime, who earns recognition
posthumously. On first inspection you’d think the photographer Arthur Fellig,
better known by his nom de lentille Weegee, should have filled that bill.
A fedora-topped, broad-faced, middle-school dropout
rarely seen without a Cuban stogey clenched in his mouth, he earned his keep
largely by relentlessly and resourcefully chronicling the seamy side of
night-time New York with a flash-equipped 4x5 Speed Graphic camera. The results
would then be sold to the dozen or so greasy tabloids hawked daily in the city
in the mid-1930s and 1940s. The epithet “ambulance chaser” could have been
coined for him – except for the fact that, equipped with a powerful police radio
in his 1938 Chevy, Weegee usually was on the scene before the ambulances and
the cops. If you knew Walker Evans or Edward Steichen back in the day, Arthur
Fellig was no Walker Evans or Edward Steichen.
Globe & Mail
It is impossible to not notice that some folks in social
media have a specially equipped computer with an RSS Feed with an Ambulance
Chaser APP. It is really important to be the first on social media to point out
that a celebrity has died. In this new century of fake news some people die who
remain alive a lot longer.
If you have known the dead celebrity you might include in
your posting (always to make sure to find a photograph of the celebrity when
young and thin to contrast with one that is the exact opposite) the personal
touch of having been on the elevator with the celebrity, etc. But this is not
usually the case. It is far easier to share with your “friends” a Globe &
Mail, Manchester Guardian, CNN or NY Times obituary or announcement and simply
Today December 27, 2017 social media is full of this
ambulance chasing. I will divert from here to explain why in many cases I do
not know who these dead people are. I have no idea who George Michael was.
Back in the early 70s when I was teaching at a high
school in Mexico City my students asked me if I had ever listened to Alice
Cooper. My answer, “Who is she?” made the whole class explode in laughter.
Earlier in the 60s a friend asked me, “What do you think of Carmina Burana?”
You can imagine my answer!
In one of my last teaching jobs at VanArts in downtown
Vancouver a rather rude English student by the last name of Strand asked me, “Mr.
Hayward do you have any magazine photographs for magazines that still exist?” I
was much too offended to reply verbally the first thing that came to my head
which was, “Most of the famous photographs of people I have photographed in
those magazines that no longer exist are all dead.”
But then there is the fact that somehow my type of
portraiture (with lights and a big camera) somehow end up being requested for
the funeral services of Canadian politicians and other celebrities that I have
Today I found out that author Richard Adams has died.
Predictably our social media ambulance chaser mentioned the obvious in that he
had written Watership Down.
In my case I have no intimate contact to report. The man
was never in an elevator with me. I never photographed him but
There is this:
A Christmas Three Long Ago
Monday, December 26, 2016
|Holding ornament, Lois Anderson, lying down, Bill Dow and right Sheelah Megill|
As a little boy the time between Christmas Eve and the
Epiphany (January 6) when all boys and girls in good standing received the real
gifts (toys) courtesy of Gaspar, Melchior & Balthazar was interminable.
Time stood still. Now, before I know it it is Epiphany when traditionally in
our family I deal with that melancholic task of taking down the Christmas Tree.
Today, Boxing Day I got curious and looked in my files
under Christmas. What I found you see here. What is astounding to me is that I
took the photographs in November 2002 which for me seemed like it was almost
yesterday. And so it goes with time and my speeding train will eventually get
to the destination station with only one passenger, me.
Those Languid & Wonderful Days of Year End
An uncircumcised heathen
A Kitsilano Christmas - 2016
Sunday, December 25, 2016
|The Fuji X-E1|
Our first Christmas in Kitsilano brought happy memories of
the past with sudden unpleasant happenings in the present.
To begin with the latter I must cite that this is the first
Christmas Eve dinner in which my oldest granddaughter Rebecca, now 19, did not
attend. We all missed her and believe that this old codger really missed her more
than anyone might know. Until recently (perhaps two years ago) we shared a bond
that has faded but that I suspect (living in hope) will one day joyfully
|The Mamiya RB-67 Pro-SD with Fuji colour Instant Film|
A couple of last minute presents at Lee Valley Tools brought
the sudden surprise that our most dependable 2007 Malibu’s
engine bit the dust.
To me it seemed like the breaking of the timing chain. The folks at Dueck on
Marine told me that this was not the case but that the car needs a new engine
at around $6500.
Two days ago Rosemary and I went to look at cars at Dueck’s.
I took the unenviable task of going to the shop to retrieve stuff from our car.
It was sad to see it up on a platform seeming so new looking and shiny.
|Lauren, 14 with Pancho|
At one time this situation would have left us in deep
financial trouble with lots of angst and worry. That is not the case now. Now
it is a task of pleasing Rosemary with a brand new car of the right colour.
We have looked at the Chevrolet Cruze as our almost certain
choice because after so many years of dealing with Italian repairmen who should
have all be called Tony (three fiats and one Maserati in that stressful past) I
have a comfortable fit with all the folks at Dueck’s Service Department. I know
them all by name and they all think I am a tad odd (I welcome that!).
Meanwhile Rosemary and I are spending a quite, mostly in bed
Christmas Day. I am waiting for Rosemary to make a decision. The prospect of
having a brand new car come 2017 is not all that unattractive.
Please note in our 2016 Kitsilano Christmas photographs that
Lauren is holding a clarinet. Lauren plays the violin (by her choice) and is in
her 7th year at the Arts Umbrella Dance Program. She plays clarinet
in her high school band.
One of the many gifts that I found for her are most
important and special. One CD features George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue. The
other CD is Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto and the Clarinet Quintet. I am hoping
that Lauren will shut the door of her bedroom and listen to these on what used
to be her mother’s ghetto-blaster.