An Easter Resurrection
Saturday, April 01, 2023
|Rosemary's daffodil, Anemone blanda and Camellia x williamsii 'Donation' - 1 April 2023|
I have written many times of the Indigenous belief that
if one survives winter and is alive in spring that another year of live is in
My Rosemary died on 9 December 2020.
Even if one is a lapsed Roman Catholic (and I will not
reveal here if I may be one) spring always is attached to the idea of renewal
Because I was taught well (extremely so) in Roman Catholic Doctrine
by Brother Edwin Reggio, C.S.C. at St. Edward’s High School in Austin, Texas. I
can write here that when the Pope sits down on the chair of St. Peter, the term
used is “ex cathedra” whatever the pope then says you have to believe under the
pain of eternal damnation. Luckily for
many who might worry the pope does not often sit on that lofty throne.
Brother Edwin also taught us philosophy beginning with Aristotle
and then telling us of two saints who are also considered philosophers, St. Augustine
and St. Thomas Aquinas.
In 1950 Pope Pius XII said Ex Cathedra that the Virgin Mary
went to heaven in both body in soul.
This makes me smile as I suppose some lucky soul going to
heaven after a good life will be in a place full of spirits, that by being incorporeal
are all invisible. But in that lovely emptiness our good soul would spot a
woman dressed in blue sitting on a chair.
I do not think that I could explain this philosophically at
Spring in my Kitsilano garden is a garden in which a few
roses do not come back and some perennials insist that they are annuals and do
not greet me at all. A garden is really a body resurrected. In it I see the
hand of my Rosemary cleaning it and telling me with a smile how this plant came
back as did this other one.
For me then, the spring garden, while being a pleasure to
behold, is one of grief of one who did not resurrect and come back.
It is very human to think that why it is that Rosemary’s
favourite Camellia x williamsii ‘Donation’ is back in bloom and she is not able
to tell me how happy she is that it came back from the cold winter.
Her little blue Anemone blandas are all in up in our lane
garden and her daffodils brighten up the cloudy and rainy days.
I lift up my heart, sursum corda, Rosemary (the one in my
Because I Can
Friday, March 31, 2023
|Helleborus x hibridus 'Glenda's Gloss' 3 April 2023|
diablo no tiene nada que hacer, con el rabo espanta moscas.
When the devil is bored he swats flies with his tail.
Today is 3 April 2023 but I have a blog hole for 31 March
2023. So I am writing this one and placing scans I have just done into March
I can do this because as writer, photographer, art director,
editor (not a very good one) of this blog I can do as I please.
My Rosemary adored hellebores. This year only two
appeared so I purchased four more. This one is Helleborus x hibridus ‘Glenda’s
After I scanned it I reversed the image in my Photoshop 8
and I like the way it looks.
The Devil Knows
Thursday, March 30, 2023
|Malcolm Parry & a Bentley|
Más sabe el
diablo por viejo que por diablo.
A la cama
no te irás sin saber una cosa más.
The devil knows more not because he is the devil but because he is an old
You will not go to bed without knowing one thing more.
In this century when people are obviously living longer,
there seems to be a slipping appreciation for those who are old. For a while I
have been telling people that as a former magazine photographer and writer I
feel obsolete, redundant, retired & inconsequential. In this last month
with the uproar on how Artificial Intelligence will affect our lives I
understand that at my age of 80 I am truly obsolete.
I am a product from and age when a Polaroid print might have
been entered as evidence in a courtroom. Some 20 years ago Vancouver-based Nick
Didlick told me, “You can trust a photograph if you know the photographer.”
All that is no more. I am obsolete.
But while I may be that, I know five men, all over 80, who
are alert, intelligent and active and have so much in their head that what they know should
be appreciated and known to all of us.
I particularly came to that realization when a few days ago
people I know called me (and I am only the photographer!) on information or
quotes I might have about architect Arthur Erickson. They are working on a documentary on
the man and one telling stumbling block is that most of the people who knew Erickson
The men I am thinking about are Tom Durrie (92), George
Bowering (87), George McWhirter (84), Malcolm Parry (86) and Horst Wenzel (84)
I first met Tom Durrie more than 20 years ago when he was
the manager of the Pacific Baroque Orchestra. From there he went to the City
Opera. He now lives in North Bend, BC. Recent conversations with him have
convinced me that his intelligence and memory are all there plus the fact that
he is affable and pleasant. He has just published a book and has a blog. Info
on him in link below.
George Bowering is a friend and we talk at least once a
week. His humour is superb. His knowledge and love for the Mexico I lived in
for many years, matches mine. I call him the great contrarian. Here is my blog
on him. How many in this city know that he was the first Parliamentary Poet
George Bowering - the great contrarian
George McWhirter a former professor at UBC taught many of
the free-lance writers I have known. In 2007 he became the first Vancouver Poet
Laureate. My Mexican friend Homero Aridjis, poet, novelist and environmentalist is quite famous
in Mexico. McWhirter translates his books into English right here in Vancouver!
George McWhirter- The Gift of Women
I first met Vancouver Magazine Editor Malcolm Parry in 1978.
He helped me launch my career as a magazine photographer. In 1982 when the Malvinas (Falklands) War
began he knew I was an Argentine and that I had been a conscript in the
Argentine Navy. He compelled me to write about a coup I participated in. It
became a cover story and I can state that he also launched my writing career.
Parry made Vancouver Magazine one that competed in excellence
with Saturday Night. As editor of Western Living he brought poet Peter Trower
to write for it. Parry used to joke that Western Living was the magazine that
featured bathrooms devoid of humanity. Parry went to Toronto and started a magazine called Vista that launched the career of Douglas Coupland.
Malcolm Parry - with a little help from my friends
As a photographer and gossip writer for the Vancouver Sun
(Town Talk) Parry became the most prolific photographer of the paper. Because of
Parry’s prodigious memory he was able to weave into his gossip true and
important stories of our past (a city with a poor memory for its past).
German-born Horst Wenzel spent his youth with huge lathes in
the Bremen shipbuilding industry. Some of those ships were 50 ton tankers. When he came to Vancouver in 1959 (he was 20)
knowing no English he began VanCam a camera repair business which he sold in
1988 and is still in operation.
Wenzel has been repairing mechanical cameras for Vancouver’s
professionals for years, out of his Westside home. His philosophy, when he
finishes repairing a camera, is that any screw that shows that may look tampered
with he replaces. He has told me, “Nobody should know that I have been in that
He is an expert in fixing panoramic cameras that have a
swivel lens like the Japanese Widelux, the Russian Horizont and the German
Noblex. These cameras invariably fail when a pulley inside made of rubberized
plastic wears out. Wenzel is the only man around (the world?) who puts a
hockey puck into a tiny lathe to replace the faulty pulleys.Who would know that my Widelux and Noblex 175 have a most definite Canadian connection?
While this writer/photographer may indeed be obsolete,
redundant, retired & inconsequential, the men above have much to contribute
to our society. Let’s tap on the source that they are.
Smiles at the Sylvia Hotel
Wednesday, March 29, 2023
The three previous scanner blogs:
The Scanner a burst of inspiration
Nostalgia with a scanner
Nostalgia & association
This week’s photographic obsession in which I combine parts
of photographs and objects placed on my scanner will produce some smiles today.
A few photographers and I will meet at 1:30 at the Sylvia Hotel for lunch or
coffee. We have had a couple of sporadic reunions which all have been on
Wednesdays. The reason is that one of the stellar attendees, Jeff Gin, who is
manager of the North Van Kerrisdale Cameras has a day off on that day. We are
now going to formally organize ourselves to meet on the last Wednesday of every
Part of our core is made up by Robert Kwong, Hans Sipma, Ian
McGuffie and Ralph Rinke.
Why are these folks going to smile? Today’s scanner blog (will
I call them that henceforth?) incorporates all the elements of a technique that
Rinke has perfected in which he places a high contrast b+w portrait
transparency on a hosta leaf with some sort of clamped glass and places it all
to the exposure of sun for two or three hours. It seems that the chlorophyll
acts in conjunction with the UV of sunlight to produce an image on the leaf.
My scanner image includes the framed image of me taken by Rinke, hisb+w
transparency, my Pentacon-F (my first camera purchased in 1958 which is the
camera I am holding in the portrait) and my photograph of Ralph and Robert when
they came for a visit a year or two ago.
Two of them will surely smile as I have made two prints
Jocelyn Morlock - Composer - 1969 - 2023
Tuesday, March 28, 2023
|Laura McPheeters & Jocelyn Morlock - August 2001|
Today, March 28, social media is replete with the news of
the sudden death of the Manitoba born, but Vancouver based, composer Jocelyn
I can state here that we were friends and that I
photographed her many times and always enjoyed her positive view of life that
she displayed with a wonderful sense of humour.
Vancouver is a city with a poor memory for its past. At
my age my memory is not bad. I distinctly recall that at least 15 years ago
the then Musical Director of the Pacific Baroque Orchestra, Marc Destrubé
commissioned Morlock for a composition that was played at the church on 33d
The composition was most unusual as it featured red haired
soprano Phoebe MacRae singing while also playing a glass harmonica. I am
standing by in the hopes that the world trotting Destrubé might call me or
email me with the exact details.
And Marc Destrubé wrote: Her piece ‘Golden’ was commissioned by the Pacific Baroque Orchestra in
2001, and we premiered it as a companion piece to Boccherini’s Stabat Mater, with
Phoebe MacRae as soprano soloist. We later recorded it in a version
with oboe instead of soprano and it appears on ‘Cobalt’, an album of her
music. It conjured “a Manitoba swimming hole so rich in iron pyrite
that bathers emerged dusted with gold”, hence the use of glass harmonica
(in fact two wine glasses tuned with varying amounts of water) in the
My favourite photograph of Morlock is one where I
photographed her for the Georgia Straight with cellist Laura McPheeters.
She also posed wearing my mother’s red Mexican shawl for a
series that featured my friends and relatives wearing the shawl and were
obliged to write about the experience.
She did very nicely. The link is below.
Jocelyn Morlock - Composer in my mother's red shawl
And lastly I want to record here that Morlock was adventurous. She came over to
my house and posed by my antique Chickering baby grand. We also did a double
selfie in my Kits guest bathroom.
Instead of citing that usual requiescat in pace I would
rather say of her death, sursum corda. Let’s lift up our hearts all who met her
and were lucky to hear her music.