Sunday, June 30, 2019


Another interesting conversation at dinner the other night. Charles has lived in a number of places and made his living in several ways. He has cooked in fine restaurants. He is a musician and has an encyclopedic knowledge of guitars. (The necks on Martins are too thick.)

I shot a whole bunch of shows at the Grand Center Theatre Crawl. Still just sorting the images. The Pride Parade is today and it's going to be bloody hot. Careful, old guy.                

Saturday, June 29, 2019


Articans can be fairly characterized as free spirits. That's a big part of what Artica is about. There were so many diverse and interesting people at the dinner and hang-out Thursday that it reminded me of a certain Dr. Seuss fable.   

By the way, his white pants were also tie dyed. But different.       

Friday, June 28, 2019


My friends Lohr Barkley and Carrie Goodson are the propelling force behind Artica. For the last several months they have hosted a creatives pot luck dinner on the last Thursday of the month at the old brick building they are renovating into their home. It was very pleasant last night, not so common at this time of year. Several people brought musical instruments. Celebrate summer. That can of PBR didn't hurt.

I have more good images if I can find time to edit them. I am shooting the Grand Center Theater Crawl tonight and tomorrow. Sunday is the Pride Parade, the don't miss photo op of the year. Then we get into the Fourth of July stuff, with the enormous Fair St. Louis downtown and a more manageable festival in Webster Groves, the suburb where we live. Sometimes I complain about lack of material. Soon I'll have enough to blow out my hard drive.

Thursday, June 27, 2019


Sorry no post yesterday. Way too much work interfering with the finer things in life. But who remembers that old song? It sounds pretty corny today but it's a cultural artifact.

The performance of Circus Flora ended with a long performance by the trapeze artists. Some of the stunts seemed to border on the reckless but they pulled off each one with precision. This is a so-so picture of them. I wish I had, and had permission to use, a tripod. I wish I had brought my heavy f2.8 telephoto lens instead of my lighter f4. I wish I knew more about color correction in Photoshop. Still, there is a bit of the flavor here.


Tuesday, June 25, 2019


More images from Circus Flora. A young man with what I assume is a deliberately wacky hairdo avoids a club on the nose. In the middle, a multi-talented woman entertains the crowd with an electric violin while entwined in cords high above the floor. Below, the same dancer-acrobats we saw yesterday strike a pose that reminds me of a scene from Bob Fosse's All That Jazz.                

Monday, June 24, 2019


One of the nice things about The Lou is that we have our own permanent circus company, Circus Flora. It's been around for 33 years and has its own sophisticated big top tent in the Grand Center arts and education district. I had never been there but we took Ellie on Saturday.

What fun! It was a long show with many acts, all performing feats that you and I could never dream of doing. Plus a little comedy thrown in. More of this to come.            

Sunday, June 23, 2019



The subject matter of Elizabeth Townsend's play Count Time is so somber that I decided to edit some of the photos in monochrome. Townsend is a great talent, both as an actress and a writer. Those of you in Missouri owe it to yourselves to read the summary of the case in the link just above. The last picture shows her wearing a scarf and head warmer that Patty Prewitt knitted for her as gifts.

I get a lot of satisfaction from theatrical photography, working with talented, fascinating people. The result sometimes captures the depth and breadth of their art.         

Saturday, June 22, 2019



I first met Elizabeth Townsend and saw her searing play Count Time while shooting for the St. Lou Fringe in 2016. It tells the story of Patricia Prewitt, who was sexually assaulted and her husband murdered in rural Missouri in 1984. She was wrongfully convicted of his murder and sentenced to 50 years in prison without parole in 1986. It was one of the most awful miscarriages of justice in the history of our state. Townsend and many others have worked tirelessly for her release ever since. The link above sets out the mountain of lies and negligence that brought Patty to this place.

Townsend performed the play again last night to a large audience at a local church and asked me to photograph it once more. It was my pleasure and honor to do so. (If you scroll down her gallery page to this play you will find my pictures from the Fringe.) There was a large television to stage left and it occurred to me to shoot Elizabeth in its black surface. Perhaps it captures some of Patty's nightmare.       

Friday, June 21, 2019


The St. Louis Blues were established in 1967, when the National Hockey League grew from six to twelve teams. By coincidence, that is the year I left NYC and showed up at St. Louis University. Fifty two years later, the Blues finally won the championship and I'm trying to retire. I'm not sorry life set me down here.

Running low on material. Got a theatrical production to shoot tonight.       

Thursday, June 20, 2019


Blues fans on a gray day. The semicircular structure on the lower left is the entrance to the Arch's wonderful underground museum.           

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

ALL THINGS COME TO THOSE WHO WAIT Maybe. If you know something about probability, some events may take an awfully long time to come around. But it's wonderful, though, that this happened here, now.             

Tuesday, June 18, 2019


It was impossible to get a spot on Market Street to view the Blues championship parade unless you arrived many hours early. Some people improvised, standing on the portico of what we call the Old Courthouse. It's part of the Gateway Arch National Park. Normally, park staff would have shooed them away quickly. Others avoided the problem by just hanging out in Kiener Plaza, soaking up the party atmosphere. Nobody got drunk and disorderly. There were no arrests, a bit surprising given the size of the crowd and river of beer.            

Monday, June 17, 2019


The crowd, as they say, went wild. I can't imagine, though, that this was really about a couple of dozen mercenary athletes paid to represent our city. I like to watch well-played sports (with the exception of football, the sanitized modern version of the Roman arena) for its beauty, skill, daring and competition. This vast street party, however, was about us, the people of the St. Louis area.

We are mid-sized and Midwestern, sometimes sneered at by the coasts and much bigger cities. There is a self-esteem problem. But look at us - our team went from worst to first, kicking the pants off every other team in the US and Canada. Yeah, St. Louis was the best of them all.

The memory will fade, but for this one brief shining moment we towered over all. And, as I have pointed out several times, The Lou loves an excuse to drink in public during the day.   

Sunday, June 16, 2019


As most of the US and Canada know, the St. Louis Blues improbably won the Stanley Cup, professional hockey's championship trophy. They had the worst record in the league on January 3, got a new coach and performed an amazing recovery. There was a huge victory parade and party yesterday, with the sound of Freddy Mercury's voice ocasionally hanging in the air. 

The authorities estimated that a half-million people turned out and I believe it. I couldn't get near the parade route itself but there was plenty of good people watching. The most common musical theme was a peppy 80's pop song, Gloria, that became the team's anthem. The Blues have been around for 52 years and never before won the championship. The city was bursting with joy.          

Thursday, June 13, 2019


Mt. Desert Island has several moderate size mountains. The highest is Cadillac Mountain (not Mt. Cadillac for some reason), 1,527 feet / 465 meters above sea level. That part is easily determined. You can drive to near the top but you need Ellie's scrambling skills to make it to the  pinnacle.            

Wednesday, June 12, 2019


Didn't take a single picture yesterday. Raining and chilly all day long. No wonder my right index finger feels flabby.

So, back on the tour boat. There are a few sand and gravel bars from the main island to the little ones that surround it. Walk-able at low tide but you better get back in time. Some members of the crew were goofing off but they were observed from above. This will be noted on their time cards.          

Tuesday, June 11, 2019


We are on a large-ish island just off the coast of Maine. It's several times the size of Manhattan. Odd name, since it's very green. A French explorer, Champlain, I think, noted three bald mountain tops as he sailed by.

The economy is based on tourism and the season is short. It doesn't get into full swing for a week or two. We took a boat ride Monday morning around the area. The top photo is of a lighthouse at the end of the harbor. It has been fully automated for several years. The second shows sea kayaks. That would be fun. I've done it once in Alaska's Inner Passage but I don't think my joints and spine would take it now.      

Monday, June 10, 2019


A rare post with both of my granddaughters. The lodge where the wedding took place provided leisurely pontoon boat rides on Sebago Lake. Both Ellie and her cousin Audrey Crowe of Clare, Michigan, got to drive, sort of. Big thrill. They are almost exactly two years apart. Several people at the wedding took them for sisters.

Really good phone cam shot by daughter Emily.                  

Sunday, June 9, 2019


Late post today. Out late last night, fairly long drive today.

On Saturday night we attended the wedding of my niece Lauren and her new husband Zach on the shore of a gorgeous lake in Maine. They have known one another since high school, ten years now, and kept the relationship going while attending different colleges. They are the most beautiful couple I could imagine and obviously perfect for one another.

Today we drove a few hours northeast to Mt. Desert Island, which contains Acadia National Park and the tony town of Bar Harbor. More lobsters around here than you can shake a stick at, as they say. Further adventures await.        

Saturday, June 8, 2019


Here we are in the most northeasterly state. Our neice's wedding tonight is at a splendid resort on the shore of Sebago Lake. It's pretty good sized. My whole family is here.

There was a lobster bake last night. I don't do lobster. The taste isn't good enough to me to be worth all the work and mess, but that is a minority opinion. 

American states all have a slogan. Missouri is the Show Me State, a phrase whose origins are a bit murky. Maine's is Vacationland. I've been here a number of times before, mostly to photography school, and I've always thought the motto should be More Than Enough Trees.         

Friday, June 7, 2019


Pride Month in Boston under the Seaport Boulevard bridge. We wore ourselves out at the Children's Museum (not any better than the one in St. Louis) and were looking for lunch. The Barking Crab looked a little run down and overpriced for our taste. Emily and Ellie went a bit further down the street and found someplace better.

Crabby footnote: I've been using Google Maps when looking for nearby restaurants and groceries. It has done a pretty poor job, failing to identify good, nearby choices. Online research in the age of monopolies.                   

Thursday, June 6, 2019


So we come all the way from St. Louis to Boston to see what? Hedgehogs.

We are staying in an AirBnB apartment in the North End. That company will make a buck off you any way it can, including selling tickets for local attractions. (It gets a cut.) It sent us an ad for Jill's New England Hedgehogs that got Mrs. C's eye. Great. We travel 1,200 miles to go see some hedgehogs.

Well, it was a treat. Jill Warnick breeds African pygmy hedgehogs in her apartment in nearby Brookline. She sells them to people as pets but also has meet and greet sessions where you can learn all about the adorable little creatures and how to care for them if would like one at home. (No shipping, in case you were curious.) And you can hold them - their spines relax when they are used to people and handled gently. A whole new dimension of cute.

To top it all off, on our way back to the city center in an Uber car, we were stuck in traffic in Copley Square. Looked to my left and found this. I gather this is normal for Boston.

And by the way, if you want to visit Jill, don't book it through a third party online. Contact her directly through her web site, above.              

Wednesday, June 5, 2019


This is a pretty big, intense city. We are staying in the North End, the traditional Italian quarter. The streets are as irregular as the oldest parts of London, laid out on old cow paths. Pretty quiet. It's too irregular for noise.

We have to be a bit circumspect. The finals of the North American hockey championship between the St. Louis Blues and the Boston Bruins is tied at two games each. It takes four victories to win. The fifth game is tomorrow night here in Boston. No desire to meet these people in the truck.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019


This is the area of the Pagan Picnic called the Bardic Circle. To me, a bard is a poetic storyteller, e.g., the Bard of Avon. These folks were not recounting legends but standing in a circle with palms upward, or walking in concentric circles chanting things I couldn't quite understand (maybe on a few levels). Lots going on at this event about goddesses but this event had a dude in charge. Looks like a grayer version of Charlton Heston in The Ten Commandments

It was fashionable to wear a Druidic cape with a hood but only if balanced with a Chevrolet tee shirt.            

Monday, June 3, 2019


Quicky today. Have to clean my desk, pack and get to the airport early tomorrow. This is an illustration of the many vendors of, well, non-traditional clothing at the Pagan Picnic. The effect doesn't work correctly without bright sunlight, shadow, a deep cut and a useless umbrella. No harm in accessorizing, though.           

Sunday, June 2, 2019


St. Louis is small enough to be manageable and big enough to have a weird edge. This weekend brings the annual Pagan Picnic. The crystal merchants, fortune tellers, witches, soul travelers and dragon tamers convene in Tower Grove Park, taking an opportunity to be themselves in comfortable surroundings. You can look like this and fit right in. 

Photography note: it's hard to work the street with a cane in your hand. Gotta figure out a better approach before I hit Boston later this week.              

Saturday, June 1, 2019


Your city may have a monumental statue of a politician or general, the figure of Liberty or a battling bull and bear. We have Erwin Wurm's Big Suit in Citygarden. I find it ambiguous, subject to many interpretations. Many years ago, though, I had a pink seersucker suit. No idea what got into me.

It's going to be crazed around here this weekend. The baseball Cardinals' arch-rivals, the Chicago Cubs, are in town. That always draws thousands of out of town fans. The third game of the Stanley Cup finals is Saturday night, with our Blues and the Boston Bruins tied at one game each. Is it coincidental about Cubs and Bruins at the same time or is there deeper mystical significance? I think the authorities should just turn Market Street into a river of beer and the rest of us should stay far away.