Remembering George Waterhouse Hayward on Chrismas Day
Saturday, December 25, 2021
|George Waterhouse Hayward - far right - Carabobo Street 1965|
I was in Buenos Aires for Christmas. I belive it proper to place this blog that I am writing today 9 January 2022 in memory of my father.
used to always tell me, “Alex, you will
never understand because you will never be a mother.” It was only after she
died in the presence of my Rosemary and me in 1972 that a few years later I
figured I could have told her, “Mother,
you will never understand because you will never be a father.”
George Waterhouse Hayward was a flawed man I adored. He was a terrible alcoholic.
He left our home voluntarily around 1952 to live in a pension. By then he might
have lost his job as a journalist for the Buenos Aires Herald.
It was in those years before he left home that he would disappear. I would ask my mother about his whereabouts. She would answere,"He wrote something about Perón for the Herald that Perón did not like so he is spending a few days at the Villa Devoto prison."
come regularly on weekends to take me to the movies. If he arrived drunk (that
was the case sometimes) he embarrassed me when I was playing with my friends in
our Coghlan garden.
take the train from the Coghlan station (named after a British railway engineer)
to the cavernous Retiro Station. We would then descend in mechanical stairs to
the underground “Subte” and get off at the Lavalle station. From there we had a
couple of streets of movie house next to a movie house. After a couple of
swashbucklers or Westerns my father would take me for pizza at Las Cuartetas on
Calle Corrientes and from there for an ice-cream soda at the Roxy.
|la gomería - the tire shop|
who was a tad cold with affection (“Love
is doing, “she would say) could not understand my warm relationship with my
father. In spite of everything I adored him.
In 1954 my
grandmother, my mother left Perón’s Argentina for Mexico City without telling
In 1965 I
returned to Buenos Aires for two reasons. One was my then patriotic idea that I
had to serve my country as a conscript in the Argentine Navy and the other was
to find my father. Find him I did.
that escape me I have no memory of our weekend conversations. The only
photographs I took of him are here. A gomería is a tire repair shop and the
car, a Morris Oxford was put together in Argentina as a Siam Di Tella. His
friend the policeman will have a bearing to this account.
1966 my not quite uncle Leo Mahdjubian (an Armenian who was in the famous Black
Watch during WW-II) called me up at my navy office and said exactly in these
words, “Alexander, your father kicked the
bucket yesterday on the street. He was taken by a policeman to the Pirovano
Hospital where he was declared dead on arrival. Because of the police
intervention you will have to go to the police station to sign documents.”
I did and
to my shock at the police desk I was told, “This is irregular as the dead man’s
son was here a few hours ago to sign the documents.” It was then that my mother’s
account that I had a half-brother was confirmed.
day I received a phone call from the policeman (the one in the photo) who told
me, “I was your father’s friend. I took
him to the hospital and emptied his pockets as their contents would have
disappeared inside the facility. Your father was working at a laundry making
money to bribe a general so that you could be sent back to Vercruz, Mexico
where your mother lives. There was a considerable amount in his pockets.” The
policeman and I met for coffee and he gave me the money. With that money my
father paid for a modest funeral and was buried for a 7 year limit at the
municipal La Chacarita (where Juan Domingo Perón is buried).
fond memories of my father and I believe I may have inherited four of his
was a good cook and so am I.
was a journalist. I believe I am not a too bad a writer.
inherited the Hayward stomach. If I get sick I only throw up that which made me
4. I don’t
The Street Photographer I Was
Thursday, December 23, 2021
|Estado de México - 1972|
It was in1992 that I met in Vancouver a Jewish, redhaired
Mexican who had an art gallery called the Threshold. He attempted with mixed
results to introduce to culturally deprived Vancouverites the wonders of
Mexican muralists and artists.
I wrote about him here.
As I try to organize my old negatives in these cold January
2022 days, I stop to look at some of the photographs that I took in Mexico as a
Frid told me that my so-called talent of taking photographs
of undraped females was a total waste of my talent. He said I should have
returned to Mexico and to keep shooting street photographs. He said I was
very good and that what I was doing was a tragedy.
These two photographs here were taken one right after the
other at a church in the Estado de México not far from where Rosemary, our two
daughters, my mother and I lived in Arboledas. I would sometimes pick up my
Pentacon-F and my then improved camera, a Pentax S-3 and go exploring with
friends in what we called camera safaris.
In this church they had a Jesus outside in a horizontal
position that was known to have miracle-inducing ability to cure diseases.
People would come and touch their affected limbs, stomachs, etc and touch the
corresponding parts on the Christ.
The first photograph I know elicited a remark from my
mother that Mexicans were in general fatalistic and depressed peoples. I would
have agreed with her when looking at the little boy, much older than he is in
some way. But I would have added that the folks who lived in Yucatán and
Veracruz who were more Caribbean in nature where a happier people.
I seems I snapped my photograph at the right time. And yet I
like the second one I took right after. It is an after-the-fact photograph that
leaves many questions unanswered.
Wednesday, December 22, 2021
We live in
a century (the 21st) where people say, “What I do is art because I
say it is art. I don’t care what you say to the contrary.”
We live in
a century (the 21st) where Henri Cartier-Bresson, and Leonardo da
Vinci would seek employment insurance after a few months in Vancouver. Neither
men would understand what “an installation” is. Perhaps female artists would fare
better with the current feminist movement. I know for a fact that a teacher of
History of Art was recently (I will do my best not to divulge the teacher or
the school) told to minimize Picasso as the artist had not treated his female
partners well and furthermore had abused them.
art of the airbrush might also be in disuse with temperas and Liquitex.
something takes time it is not worth doing.
light I smiled when a former exotic dancer friend of mine who went by the name
of Tiffany asked me, “I am curious what
does a photographer have hanging on his wall? “
My answer was
a quick one, “Family portraits.” That
is not quite true. In 1977 I had my first all person show (my first and last at
a restaurant) of street photographs I had taken in Mexico. Many of those grace
the walls of the stairs to our (now my) guest room.
taking photographs around 1958. Since then I have shot the gamut from portraits
to landscapes. I would think (and I do) that I know a good photograph when I
photography, which was born in that last century, involved lots of knowledge
that did not include auto-buttons. I had to learn from scratch. Based on that
experience I have little patience for contemporary photography which I think
has little style while being sharp and ultra-saturated (meaning the colours are
super intense). And of course I avoid all art installations.
How Orange is Trump?
Newton, Scriabin, Leopold & God, But Shirley Wasn't Always Blonde
remember a memorable (in negativity) one at the former Emily Carr College of
Art, before it became, to me, the colorless behemoth on the former tractor and
forklift lands. It had a full-size replica of a doctor’s waiting room including
boring magazines on the table.
portraits on the walls of my Kits home stare back at me and I try to think on
how I should weigh their value to me. I cannot.
Tiffany, the family portraits on my walls are proper portraits. They are not
snaps. Thought went into taking them and in every single case they all posed
for me and took my instruction.
procedure, I believe is lost and deemed irrelevant..
Tuesday, December 21, 2021
|Lago de Guadalupe, Estado de México - 1971|
laundry days in my Kits home. In years back Rosemary would wash lots of stuff
at least three times a week. I manage now twice.
important because I wash my sheets and pillowcases. There is a distinct
pleasure in taking a bath in the evening, sprinkling myself with some lavender
talcum powder and slipping myself between fresh, clean sheets.
photograph here I took around 1971 not far from our Arboledas, Estado de México
little brick house. We lived there with my mother and two daughters Alexandra
and I taught English at American companies like Colgate and General Motors. The
pay was pretty good but we had to navigate the terrible freeway called El
Periférico. No matter how carefully I drove we would experience at least one
fender-bender with our VW Bocho or Bochito (bug).
had helped us buy our little house and she got along famously with Rosemary.
While Rosemary was mostly silent about her feelings towards me my mother would
say, “You have to treat Rosemary well. She adores you.”
languid days we sometimes had languid siestas. What a luxury they were in a
life and times that now seem to be so far away and so simple.
I have been writing of late blogs that I insert back to December of last year. I would like to think that my blog is a daily blog. This seems like cheating. This laundry blog I am writing today January 10 2021.
Aplastamiento de las gotas - Julio Cortázar
Monday, December 20, 2021
de las gotas – Julio Cortázar (In English below)
sé, mira, es terrible cómo llueve. Llueve todo el tiempo, afuera tupido y gris,
aquí contra el balcón con goterones cuajados y duros, que hacen plaf y se
aplastan como bofetadas uno detrás de otro, qué hastío. Ahora aparece una
gotita en lo alto del marco de la ventana; se queda temblequeando contra el
cielo que la triza en mil brillos apagados, va creciendo y se tambalea, ya va a
caer y no se cae, todavía no se cae. Está prendida con todas las uñas, no
quiere caerse y se la ve que se agarra con los dientes, mientras le crece la
barriga; ya es una gotaza que cuelga majestuosa, y de pronto zup, ahí va, plaf,
deshecha, nada, una viscosidad en el mármol.
hay que se suicidan y se entregan enseguida, brotan en el marco y ahí mismo se
tiran; me parece ver la vibración del salto, sus piernitas desprendiéndose y el
grito que las emborracha en esa nada del caer y aniquilarse. Tristes gotas,
redondas inocentes gotas. Adiós gotas. Adiós.
I don’t know, look, it’s terrible how it’s raining. It’s
raining all the time, dense and gray outside, here drops, dull and hard, come
against the balcony with a splat!, squashing themselves like slaps piling one
onto another, how tedious. Now a droplet appears just at the top of the window
frame; stays there quivering against the sky, shattered into a thousand subdued
glints, about to fall down but won’t fall, still won’t fall. It holds on tight,
all nails, doesn’t want to fall and it’s clear it grips with its teeth while
its belly grows bigger and bigger; it’s now a majestic drop hanging there, and
then plonk, there it goes, splat, undone, nothing, only a clammy something on
But there are those that kill themselves and surrender right
away, sprouting in the frame whence they jump off outright; I can even make out
the dive’s vibration, their little legs falling off and the inebriating scream
in the fleetingness of the fall and their annihilation. Sad, gloomy, despondent
drops, plump and gullible drops. Good-bye drops. Good-bye.I don’t know, look,
it’s terrible how it’s raining. It’s raining all the time, dense and gray
outside, here drops, dull and hard, come against the balcony with a splat!,
squashing themselves like slaps piling one onto another, how tedious. Now a
droplet appears just at the top of the window frame; stays there quivering
against the sky, shattered into a thousand subdued glints, about to fall down
but won’t fall, still won’t fall. It holds on tight, all nails, doesn’t want to
fall and it’s clear it grips with its teeth while its belly grows bigger and
bigger; it’s now a majestic drop hanging there, and then plonk, there it goes,
splat, undone, nothing, only a clammy something on the marble.
But there are those that kill themselves and surrender
right away, sprouting in the frame whence they jump off outright; I can even
make out the dive’s vibration, their little legs falling off and the
inebriating scream in the fleetingness of the fall and their annihilation. Sad,
gloomy, despondent drops, plump and gullible drops. Good-bye drops. Good-bye.