Cacophony of Anniversary

In the summer of 2013, my dad convinced me that I needed an iPhone for everyday life. Previously, the mobile phone that Rich and I brought with us, if we went out of town, in one of our two 1999 Ford Econoline vans, in case we needed to call AAA, was a Trac-Fone. And you couldn’t really text with a Trac-Fone. My dad, a retired USN helicopter pilot,  was an early adopter of technology. When I finished school and moved back to Mystic in the summer of 1990, he had a corded Motorola phone in his car, that was in the middle console, nestled between the drink holders. He loved to call ahead to his destination that he was “on his way”, and when he was fifteen minutes out.

The first text message between my dad and I was on 25 July 2013 at 12:07 pm:

LG:       “Michelle: Running a little late: be there by 12:45 to 1. Please acknowledge. Thanks, Dad.”

MG:     “Got it…that’s fine.”

It was a Thursday, and I had been at work since 9 am at the Mystic Army Navy in Downtown Mystic. I had been co-owner with my dad of our two stores- one in Downtown Mystic, the other in the Olde Mistick Village, since September 2010, when his business partner (also his best friend from the old neighborhood), had retired after 17 years. They reached an agreement, and then my dad made me the co-owner. There was an understanding between the both of us that I would be taking over the two stores, when he was ready to retire. That  day seemed far off at the time.  I felt more than ready for the future change of ownership.

I had been raised in the family business, A Stitch in Time Boutique in Downtown Mystic, opened when I was five years old. Although we lived in Noank, my sister Maria and I would take the afternoon school bus that routed to Downtown Mystic, and we would get off at Pearl Street, and walk across the street to the store, where our mother worked the final shift that ended at  6 pm. Maria and I loved being at the store, and “helping” the customers, and would thrill to the attention that ensued: “Oh, I want the little lady to show me the silver rings in the case…” Our summers were spent at the store, working as a family. By the time I was fourteen, I was on a  schedule, and have been ever since.  As I was back in Mystic that summer of 1990 , I resumed working at Stitch in Time for my mom. Rich and I started our relationship then, and I found myself swept up in the excitement of an intense art scene in Mystic, that he was integral in, and I became enamored with photography.  In 1995, I was fortunate to gain the employ of the professional photographer, Rollie McKenna of Stonington, until she retired in 1998. At that point, I joined the newest family business, Mystic Army Navy that my dad had started in 1993, to fill the void, post- divorce, where my mom “got the store” (Stitch in Time), and my dad “got the house” (in Noank), and “got the boat”.

I had invested in the family business. I was involved in every aspect of helping to run the retail business with my dad and his business partner on a daily basis, but mostly I was chief negotiator between the two Navy veterans, each stationed at their preferred store, my dad was at the downtown store(DT), and his partner at the Olde Mistick Village store(OMV). By the summer of 2013,  the business was getting ready to celebrate its twentieth year in business, and we all felt a sense of relief, especially after surviving the tumultuous Hurricane Sandy catastrophe in October 2012, when the DT store flooded up from the floorboards as a tidal surge from Long Island Sound forged into the Mystic River. The DT store had to be emptied, and all of the merchandise relocated  to the OMV store.  The store had to be bleached and dehumidified, and then rebuilt,  and it had been the most difficult professional experience thus far. However, our staff performed on a high level; it was all hands on deck in true Navy fashion, and we were successfully back on track.

Little did I know that three months after getting the iPhone, my father would pass away on 27 October 2013. The five day sequence leading up to his death, is burned into my memory, and I realized that this year, 2019,  marks the six year anniversary, and as such, the days and dates are lined up in the exact order as they happened. I went into my iPhone for the first time to look at all of the text messages between us, which are all still there, buried at the bottom of my phone.

Prelude on Monday 21 October 2013: 12:46 pm

LG:       “Michelle: Don’t forget I have an endoscopy tomorrow at the WHVA (West Haven VA) hospital. Not sure about Wed/Thurs/Fri at MANS (Mystic Army Navy Store): depends what they find? I’ll keep you posted. Love, Dad.”

MG:     “The store will be fine..Don’t worry there, and try to keep the worry component down..Keep me posted tomorrow.”

Tuesday 22 October 2013:

My scheduled day off, and I had a photoshoot planned at 2 pm, with a brand new model: a veritable “Greek God” that Rich had enthused about to me, Titus Abad, who happened to be a most ardent fan of Slander, Rich’s latest band. Titus and I were going to shoot at the Greek Revival Mansion in Old Mystic, the “House of 1833”, run as a Bed and Breakfast  by Evan Nickles, a longtime Mystic entrepreneur. Titus was 20, and had participated in some photo shoots at school, but had moved back to Mystic, and I was confident that we would hit it off. It was a great shoot.  I didn’t text with my dad that day, but we talked on the phone. It had been a month of mostly minor physical discomfort: he thought he had an ulcer and wanted to get it checked out at the VA.  He was in fair spirits, but I could tell that he was worried. He had just turned 70 on September 19th, and out of nowhere really, he seemed to taking the birthday milestone hard. He was the most vivacious person I have ever known, so to not be up on the mountain, that was so unlike him.

Wednesday 23 October 2013 at 3:52 pm

MG:     “Any news on the biopsy and cat scan?”

LG:       “They found one small polyp in my stomach & sent it out for biopsy.  Results due in today with cat scan results.  Went to see my GI (Gastro-Intestinal) guy here in New London this morning, and I’m going to let him take over the GI stuff. West Haven just too far away.. will keep you posted. Love, Dad.”

My dad loved the West Haven VA Hospital: he had a procedure there in December of 2011, unrelated to his current state, and he always raved about the legendary treatment he had received there. But Pat’s schedule with her new job, which required some serious travel, would have an impact for his future medical appointments, which is why he was considering the local doctor.

We talked on the phone a lot as I was running the two stores , while he was convalescing at his house between doctor’s appointments this week. He was still involved in daily store business, and we would discuss store banking, and other pressing matters. That night he and his girlfriend Pat went out to a scheduled dinner in Providence, and attended a theater fundraiser. They got dressed up in fancy clothes, and from the photographs I later saw, he looked fantastic on the outside, with a big smile on his face.

We’re both Red Sox fans, and that year, our team was playing in the World Series. Later that night, we texted at 9:41 pm

LG:       “Cards making too many errors!!!
“Triple Play! Wow!”

MG:     “We like this lead, but Sox have to realize that no lead is safe..”

LG:       “Agree!”
“PAPI!!!!!!”

MG:     “Love it!!”

LG:       “Spectacular!!!”

MG:     “Awesome!”

This back and forth between us was during Game One at Fenway Park, and the Sox won 8-1.

We were excited.

Thursday 24 October 2013 at 1:05pm

I was at work at the downtown store, and I texted my dad:

MG:     “How are you feeling—it’s beautiful out there-hopefully you can catch some warm rays!”

LG:       “Having lunch: back later.”

MG:     “At home?”

LG:       “Yes!”

Later:

MG:     “How are you feeling? Any pain today?”

LG:       Actually took a full Vicodin last night and slept straight through!!! First full night’s sleep in about three weeks.. Having a meal with us, or just appetizers? Thanks, Love, Dad.”

I was working until 4 pm, then had a mammogram appointment at Pequot, and Rich had a gig at the El-n-Gee later that night with Slander, and I planned to attend with my friend and model Jane, and would be meeting up with Titus there as well. But I wanted to see my dad for dinner and a visit for a couple of hours beforehand. We had veggie burgers and a bunch of appetizers, but he was not his usual self. He was down, and I know he was worried about the medical results.

Later that night, while I was at the Gee, he texted me updates on Game Two of the World Series at 8:53 pm

LG:       “Top of the 3rd¨Sox finally got a MOB, but then fly out. Waca throwing much heat, but so isn’t Lackey!”

He kept me posted throughout the game, which resulted in a loss for the Red Sox (Cards 4 Sox 2), though Rich and I made it home to watch the end of the game, with the Sox down.

MG:     “We’re home now, and hoping for the best!!”

LG:       “Cliff-hanger!”

Friday 25 October 2013

I went to work at OMV for my regular shift of 10-6 pm. My dad normally worked with me out there every Friday, ever since his partner had retired, and we always had a full plate with receiving merchandise, and wanting to get everything in place for the always important weekend. My dad, who enjoyed a good meal immensely, always treated every Friday with a takeout lunch from Mango’s. The Garlic Cheese Bread: “Mozzarella & Romano cheeses, fresh garlic & olive oil on our hearth baked flat bread.” and The Blacksmith Salad: “Crisp lettuce, grated Romano and Parmesan cheese, mushrooms, tomato and red onion. Served with our house balsamic vinaigrette dressing.” It was easier to manage a few bites of bread and salad around customers, and making sales.

But we hadn’t ordered lunch from Mango’s since the last time we ended up working together out there, October 11th, a Friday, two weeks earlier.

So I texted him at 12:19 pm

MG:     “How are you feeling today?”

LG:       “Ok. Slept good again last night. The VA needs more blood work today, so Pat and I are driving to West Haven today & procedure is next Tuesday (cat scan with needle biopsy), Keep you posted. Love, Dad.”

And then he got back to me at 5:40 pm

LG:       “Hell’s bells!!! Just got back from West Haven & they called & said my potassium level was dangerously high (6.5), and it should be under 5. He told me to go to an ER ASAP to get it lowered immediately! Life’s a test, Michelle & Maria, & what doesn’t kill us will make us stronger!! Love to everyone! Dad & Grandpa.”

MG:     “Good Luck!! What do potassium levels indicate? Where are you going to ER?”

He was at Pequot, and I was planning on going over there to visit him right after work. When I got there, his potassium levels were already stabilizing and he seemed in fine spirits and little pain. But because Pequot closes at 10 pm nightly, and is the outpatient arm of Lawrence and Memorial Hospital, they decided to transfer him there for the night so they could monitor him. Before I left to go home, Pat went to their house so she could pack an overnight bag for her and my dad, as she planned on staying the night with him in the room. I wished him a good night and went home. The next day I had to open the downtown store at 9 am, and planned to visit him at L & M after work at 5.

26 October 2013 at 8:07 am

MG:     “Good morning!”

LG:       “Good morning! Fairly decent  night’s sleep! Waiting for ultrasound. Can eat after that!!!”

MG:     “Great! Did you text Maria last night or this morning? Let me know how the day goes..”

This was the last text message between us, as he was busy with tests and doctors in and out of his room. He called me later at work, and told me how he had talked to Maria, and his business partner, and some other friends and family, just letting them know he was getting some tests, pretty normal stuff still.

Game Three of the World Series was at 8 pm that night, and our house was Sox HQ for a few close friends, so they were planning on coming over to watch the game. I headed over to New London to go visit my dad at L & M, and would keep Rich posted. Visiting hours were over at 9 pm, but at 8:30 the doctors came in to take him down the hall for a MRI, as they were still trying to discover what was going on with him,  so I said goodnight to him, and told him that I would come over with Rich on Sunday since it was on our day off. I left L & M, and had taken Exit 88 to get back home, as the van was acting up, and I didn’t want to press it on the highway longer than I had to. I was about to pass by the Dairy Queen in Poquonnock Bridge when a call from Pat came in to my iPhone, so I quickly pulled in to the DQ, and took her call. She was hysterical:  the doctors just told her that he would not live through the night! The MRI had finally revealed the source of all of this: pancreatic cancer, and his organs were now in final shutdown. Stunned I told her that I was on my way back to the hospital. I sat there, and called Rich in disbelief, and told him that I would be in touch.

We sat in his room and I held his hand and talked about the store, and happy times, sailing on the Mystic River into Fishers Island Sound, and so many others. I told him that I had anticipated taking the store over when he was ready to retire, and not that he would be throwing the reins to me! He laughed.. Pat dialed the number of every family member and he talked to them, so bravely and lovingly. Then she dialed the number of all of his Navy buddies and I could hear them breaking down in shock and he comforted them. I talked to Maria in Syracuse and they were having an early Autumn snow storm, and since it was her oldest daughter’s 12th birthday the following day, she had 8 girls at her house in a sleepover party for Emma. My dad recorded a birthday message for Emma that night in his hospital bed, and I don’t know if she has ever heard it. But I urged Maria not to drive down, as I felt it was too dangerous to risk. She was having a hard time with it, and she really wanted to come down. By midnight they were upping the morphine, and he was trying to rest and sleep. Pat was in his room and the rest of us were out in the waiting room. I left at 6 am, and everyone there was trying to doze. I went home and sat there.

Sunday 27 October 2013

Pat texted me at 9 am that he had passed. With Rich by my side,  I called Maria, my mom, and Gordon at the store so he could tell the rest of the staff.

The very last text message entry from his contact in my phone was from Pat using his phone because she couldn’t find her phone and we were making funeral arrangements:

PB on LG’s phone:      “Heading back home to find phone.”

MG:     “I am at Dinoto in the parking lot drinking coffee. I will wait in my car so I can help you carry the photos in when you get here..”

______

Thank you to Rich for the title, given to me five years ago on the first anniversary of my dad’s passing, and all I could do was to schedule another photo shoot with Titus on 22 October, a tradition we managed to uphold until recently, thank you to Titus!

Thank you to Red Sox HQ: Peter Jazz, Humpy and Malthus!

Thank you to Dan Curland, who almost died the same night as my dad, having choked on chicken at dinner,  and saved by his daughter Lena running to our house down the street and getting Rich and Peter to go help him. Dan was brought to L & M the same night that my dad was there, and turning the corner, I bumped into Peter Jazz!

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Qui Transtulit Sustinet

“They Who Transplanted Still Sustain”

“The brand’s beleaguered design team, accustomed to a spreadsheet mentality—churn out X chinos in Y colors, repeat—were suddenly given what felt like creative carte blanche. Drexler “put the product and the design before the business, in a way,” recalls a former employee. “He made the creative drive the business.”
Drexler once told a roomful of employees that he’d passed on a hire because the candidate didn’t know the meaning or origin of her high school’s name. How could you go someplace every day and not be curious enough to figure out where the name came from? Drexler stayed five steps ahead, and for those who could keep up, the sky was the limit: invent a new product, a new category, a new business within the business. And if you can’t keep up, get the hell out of the way.”
https://archive.vanityfair.com/article/2019/6/j-who

“The original Fitch High School (now the former location of Fitch Middle School) was built in 1928 next to the Town Hall on Poquonnock Road, and was funded in part by the will of a local merchant, Charles Fitch, with the stipulation that it be named after his son, Robert E. Fitch. In the early 1950s, the district enrollment was larger than the school could handle. The school district decided to split to a junior high and senior high system. In 1954, the school district built a new school, the current Robert E. Fitch Senior High School, in its current location at the top of Fort Hill Road, and renamed the existing school Robert E. Fitch Junior High School.”

Notable alumni and faculty:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fitch_High_School

If you have not checked out the music of Samantha Urbani, I urge you to do so forthwith:  https://luckynumber.bandcamp.com/album/policies-of-power-ep

 

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Caroline’s Supposed Demon

featuring Model: Caroline Walz
as my PISCES
for Personal Universe, an astrology series
26 September 2017
Watch Hill, Rhode Island, USA
Photograph by Michelle Gemma

title from the song, “Caroline’s Supposed Demon” by His Name is Alive, from their album Livonia (1990). Lyrics by Warren Defever
“Caroline’s supposed demon
Caroline they say she’s haunted
We may only once divide the
Pain and darkness deep inside us”

“Defever began recording in his basement in 1985, while still in high school. His initial work consisted primarily of Defever alone recording the music to a 4-track recorder, with friend Angie Carozzo providing vocals. After Defever went off to college and met Karin Oliver, she became the band’s primary vocalist.

The group’s work resulted in a self-released cassette. Defever sent the tape to 4AD in hopes of being signed to the label. Despite label president Ivo Watts-Russell‘s rejection of the band, Defever continued to send him tapes, with improved versions of the songs appearing on each new tape. Ivo signed the band in 1989, believing that (along with his This Mortal Coil partner John Fryer) he could re-mix the songs into a proper album 4AD could release. Livonia appeared in the summer of 1990, and became one of the label’s biggest sellers of the year. ‘He took it apart, and he didn’t put it back together,’ Defever would later comment on Ivo’s production style.”
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/His_Name_Is_Alive

When I was on social media (June 2013-June 2019), I came to the attention of Warren Defever, because, on occasion, I posted a variety of his lyrics, mostly from Livonia (1990), and  Home Is in Your Head (1991) to illustrate my photographs.  I used the hashtags   #hisnameisalive   and   #hnia and   #warrendefever
and soon enough, I found that he would “like” the posts. His user name was “xoxowar” and one day I realized what his name meant!  I thought, oh he must sign his letters with the fond and cheerful “xoxo” which means hugs and kisses (I had many Italian aunts who used this signature for all correspondence). And his nickname must be “war”. I was so excited that I decided to message him on Instagram. He responded soon after, telling me that I was correct! That was the extent of our correspondence.

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WAX and WANE: The Full Moon of August 2019

“Give me your eyes
That I might see the blind man kissing my hands
The sun is humming
My head turns to dust as he plays on his knees
As he plays on his knees

And the sand
And the sea grows
I close my eyes
Move slowly through drowning waves
Going away on a strange day

And I laugh as I drift in the wind
Blind
Dancing on a beach of stone
Cherish the faces as they wait for the end
Sudden hush across the water
And we’re here again

And the sand
And the sea grows
I close my eyes
Move slowly through drowning waves
Going away
On a strange day

My head falls backs
And the walls crash down
And the sky
And the impossible
Explode
Held for one moment I remember a song
An impression of sound
Then everything is gone
Forever

A strange day”

“*FULL MOON* in Aquarius alchemizes the cauldron of our humanity. Within this axis, Aquarius (humanitarian) and Leo (Self), we become the change. It’s easy to focus on others, but if we keep our focus on our Self and do what we feel moved to do, we create space for others to be informed and inspired by our actions and be led by their own free will, rather than through any kind of pressure or intimidation. This Aquarius FULL MOON encourages us to witness what is being illuminated and unhinge from the ties of public opinion to continue to unfurl who we truly are. We are in an evolutionary time that is encouraging us to embody our true essence. Everything is shifting right now, and it is a time to access higher mind and take a broad wide view. These are the keys that open the doors to new perception. Our thoughts create our world. That is the frontier.” http://www.mysticmamma.com/astrology-full-moon-in-aquarius-august-15th-2019/  

“The Full Moon in August is called Sturgeon Moon because of the great number of this huge freshwater fish that could once be found in lakes and rivers in North America. Other names for this Full Moon include Grain Moon, Green Corn Moon, Fruit Moon, and Barley Moon, all inspired by various crops that can be harvested in August. The lake sturgeon has a greenish-grey color and a pointed snout with two pairs of whisker-like tactile organs dangling near the mouth. It is sometimes called a “living fossil,” as it belongs to a family of fish that has existed for more than 135 million years. Lake sturgeons are extremely long-lived. The males can reach 55 years, while females can live up to 150 years! And they can grow to be enormous. They are the American continent’s largest fish and can grow to over 2 meters long (6 feet) and weigh around 90 kilos (200 pounds). Lake sturgeons do not only live in lakes; they also live in rivers, but not in the ocean. This monster fish used to be a major part of the ecosystems in North America’s Great Lakes, Hudson Bay, and in the Mississippi River, and they were once found all the way from Canada to Alabama. Today, the lake sturgeon has become one of the rarest fish in North America because of intense overfishing in the 19th century, pollution, and damage to their habitat and breeding grounds due to agriculture and lumbering.” https://www.timeanddate.com/astronomy/moon/sturgeon.html

featuring Model: Hadlai Palmerone
15 August 2019 during the Full Sturgeon Moon of August
Barn Island, Stonington, CT USA
Photographed by Michelle Gemma

featuring lyrics from “A Strange Day”, by the Cure, Pornography, (1982).

“Following the band’s previous album, 1981’s Faith, the non-album single “Charlotte Sometimes” was released. The single, in particular its nightmarish and hallucinatory B-side “Splintered in Her Head”, would hint at what was to come in Pornography. In the words of Robert Smith, regarding the album’s conception, “I had two choices at the time, which were either completely giving in [committing suicide] or making a record of it and getting it out of me”. He also claims he “really thought that was it for the group. I had every intention of signing off. I wanted to make the ultimate ‘fuck off’ record, and then sign off [the band]”. Smith was mentally exhausted during that period of time: “I was in a really depressed frame of mind between 1981 and 1982”. The band “had been touring for about 200 days a year and it all got a bit too much because there was never any time to do anything else”. The band, Smith in particular, wanted to make the album with a different producer than Mike Hedges, who had produced Seventeen Seconds and Faith. According to Lol Tolhurst, Smith and Tolhurst briefly met with the producer Conny Plank at Fiction’s offices in the hopes of having him produce the album since they were both fans of his work with Kraftwerk, however, the group soon settled on Phil Thornalley. Pornography is the last Cure album to feature Lol Tolhurst as the band’s drummer (he then became the band’s keyboardist), and also marked the first time he played keyboards on a Cure release. The album was recorded at RAK Studios from January to April 1982. On the album’s recording sessions, Smith noted “there was a lot of drugs involved”. The band took LSD and drank a lot of alcohol, and to save money, they slept in the office of their record label. The musicians usually turned up at eight, and left at midday looking “fairly deranged”. Smith related: “We had an arrangement with the off-licence up the road, every night they would bring in supplies. We decided we weren’t going to throw anything out. We built this mountain of empties in the corner, a gigantic pile of debris in the corner. It just grew and grew”.  According to Tolhurst, “we wanted to make the ultimate, intense album. I can’t remember exactly why, but we did”.  The recording sessions commenced and concluded in three weeks. Smith noted, “At the time, I lost every friend I had, everyone, without exception, because I was incredibly obnoxious, appalling, self-centered”. He also noted that with the album, he “channelled all the self-destructive elements of my personality into doing something”. Polydor Records, the company in charge of Fiction Records, the label on which the album was released, was initially displeased with the album’s title, which it saw as being potentially offensive. Regarding the album’s musical style, NME reviewer Dave Hill wrote, “The drums, guitars, voice and production style are pressed scrupulously together in a murderous unity of surging, textured mood”. Hill further described it as “Phil Spector in Hell”.  Trouser Press said about the track “A Short Term Effect”: It “stresses ephemeralness with Smith’s echo-laden voice decelerating at the end of each phrase”. Ira Robbins observed that “the song closest to basic pop” is “A Strange Day”: It “has overdubbed backing vocals plus a delineated verse and chorus wrapped in some strangely consonant guitar figures”. The journalist also commented: the song “Cold” “gets the full gothic treatment”, with “grandiose minor-mode organ swells”. Describing the title track, writer Dave McCullough said that it “tries to copy Cabaret Voltaire, all shuddering tape noise”.

Smith said that “the reference point for the record was not Joy Division at all but the first Psychedelic Furs album which had, like, a density of sound, really powerful”. Smith also cited Siouxsie and the Banshees as “a massive influence on me […] They were the group who led me towards doing Pornography. They drew something out of me”. In 1982, Smith also said that the “records he’d take into the bunker after the big bang”, were Desertshore by NicoMusic for Films by Brian EnoAxis: Bold as Love / Are You Experienced by Jimi HendrixTwenty Golden Greats by Frank Sinatra and The Early Piano Works by Erik Satie.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pornography_(album)

This post is dedicated to Dan Curland, owner of the Mystic Disc and sponsor of the music-film series showing at Mystic Luxury Cinemas.  The Cure’s “Anniversary 1978 – 2018: Live in Hyde Park London” played at the Mystic Cinema on 11 July 2019, and Curland’s attendance that night introduced him to the Cure for the very first time. https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/the-cure-40th-anniversary-concert-film-841494/
He was moved immensely seeing the film, and the record store has had “Disintegration” and “The Head on the Door” playing on repeat ever since that night. I asked Curland about his recent fascination with the Cure.
MG: What were your first thoughts seeing, hearing and being immersed in the Cure’s anniversary film?
DC:  Even though it was a movie I could feel that opening, the love of the crowd for Robert was so real and immense and the same for Robert to the audience. He just seemed so damn real, humble and then, I did not even know he played guitar, he plays so uniquely, throw into it Simon who is also so charismatic, the power of the drummer, I could not take my eyes off of them obviously Robert is the focal. On stage, one mic, no harmonies, no need for that, he is a troubadour, totally unique. The amazing thing was I knew none of their songs, no lyrics ( Although the way he sings and his emotion I felt like i knew what he was saying) usually I know a song or two, I knew nothing, amazing that he could grab me like that.

MG:  After being convinced for yourself, of the mastery of the sonic and lyrical content of the Cure, what keeps you coming back?
DC:  The incredible songs, lyrics that just blow me away, again even on a record he exudes this beautiful authenticity. I keep going back because once Robert has you that’s it.

MG: I find it really fascinating that you are so into the Cure and I think that your insights are so fresh and refreshing. I think it reminds all of us to give something a chance that you might not initially think is for you. And when you said that your rock band is learning some country songs, that’s pretty interesting. I guess it’s the essence of being human and I’m glad that you’re here to teach us all a little something!!
DC:  We all learn from each other.

 

 

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WAX and WANE: The Full Moon of July 2019

“The Full Moon on Tuesday, July 16, 2019, at 24 degrees Capricorn is a partial lunar eclipse. The lunar eclipse July 2019 astrology is powerful and confrontational because of close conjunction to Pluto. Intense emotional reactions, compulsive behavior, and power struggles are likely to result in a crisis. Lunar eclipse July 2019 is also square the dwarf planet Eris which will reenergize the #MeToo Movement. It will strengthen the feminist attack on the patriarchal authority. Other planetary aspects and fixed stars point to scandal, intrigue, public disgrace, and destroyed reputations. But they also give hope that empathy and understanding will lead to lasting changes.”
https://astrologyking.com/lunar-eclipse-july-2019/

featuring Models: Piper Meyers, my Capricorn and Lehla Owens, my Aries from the Personal Universe series, 2018
16 July 2019 during the Full Buck July Moon, a Partial Lunar Eclipse in Capricorn and a Cardinal Grand Cross: Cardinal Fire represented by Lehla as Aries, Cardinal Water represented by the Sun in Cancer, Cardinal Air represented by the Photographer as Libra, and Cardinal Earth represented by Piper as Capricorn
The July Full Moon is known as the Buck Moon, because, “the Algonquin tribes in what is now the Eastern USA called this full Moon the Buck Moon. Early Summer is normally when the new antlers of buck deer push out of their foreheads in coatings of velvety fur. They also called this the Thunder Moon because of early Summer’s frequent thunderstorms.”  https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/news/995/july-2019-the-next-full-moon-is-the-buck-moon/
Here we used braids to represent the antlers for the Full Moon.
Photographed by Michelle Gemma
Elm Grove Cemetery, Mystic, CT  USA

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“Back To The Old House”

 


“I would love to go
back to the old house
but I never will
I never will
I never will
I never will”

Excerpt from the song, “Back To The Old House” is by The Smiths and appears on the compilation album Hatful of Hollow (1984) and on the compilation album Louder Than Bombs (1987).

featuring Model: Caroline Longo
The New Moon of June
3 June 2019
Chez Elle, Mystic, CT, USA

 

WAX and WANE: The Full Moon of May 2019

Just when the thought occurs

The panic will pass

And the smell of the fields

Never lasts

Put your faith

In those crimson nights

Set sail

In those turquoise days

 

excerpt from “Turquoise Days”, Echo and the Bunnymen, Heaven Up Here, 1981.

“In 1981, music magazine the NME described the album as darker and more passionate than 1980’s Crocodiles. The Record Mirror also said that the band sang the blues and devoted themselves to existential sadness. They went on to note that the album offered ‘an anatomy of melancholy, resplendent with the glamour of doom’ ”

featuring Model: Lena Curland
The Full Flower Moon of May
18 May 2019
Stonington Borough, CT  USA

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“I Won’t Share You”

“I won’t share you
I won’t share you
With the drive
The ambition
And the zeal I feel
This is my time
As the note I wrote
Was read, she said
Has the Perrier gone
Straight to my head
Or is life plainly sick and cruel, instead?
“YES!”
No – no – no – no – no – no
I won’t share you
I won’t share you
With the drive
And the dreams inside
This is my time
Life tends to come and go
Well, that’s OK
Just as long as you know
Life tends to come and go
Well, that’s OK
Just as long as you know
I won’t share you
I won’t share you
With the drive
And the dreams inside
This is my time
This is my time”

featuring Model: Morgan Vail
Branford House, Avery Point, Connecticut
shot on Ilford Delta 400 Pro 35 mm film with Minolta x700 camera
lyrics for “I Won’t Share You” by The Smiths, from “Strangeways, Here We Come” (1987)
inspired by the news report from Rolling Stone Magazine, 12 May 2019, that Morrissey had performed “I Won’t Share You” for the first time ever, because “the group broke up before they had a chance to tour it…”
https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/morrissey-i-wont-share-you-broadway-834482/

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International Dylan Thomas Day 14 May 2019


An international day to celebrate the life and work of Welsh poet Dylan Thomas, held each year on 14th May, the anniversary of the date when Under Milk Wood was first read on stage at 92Y The Poetry Center, New York in 1953.
“International Dylan Thomas Day gives us a chance each year to celebrate Dylan Thomas’s achievements. There is still the enthusiasm for a national day to mark my grandfather’s life and legacy and we want to keep May 14th as a prominent date on the literary calendar.
Dylan Thomas’s writing has travelled through time – it is as relevant today in our troubled times as when it was written sixty-five years ago. It continues to travel across the globe reaching new audiences everyday. His poetry lives on.
We invite you to tell us about how you are going to mark the day and encourage you, wholeheartedly, to get involved and to love the words.” — Hannah Ellis, Granddaughter of Dylan Thomas
https://www.discoverdylanthomas.com/news-events/international-dylan-thomas-day

The photographer Rollie McKenna was at this 92Y reading of Under Milk Wood, to photograph Dylan Thomas, and she writes this in her autobiography, Rollie McKenna: A Life in Photography (Knopf, 1991),
“Dylan Thomas’s career didn’t truly take off until he ‘hit’ the United States. Readings at the Poetry Center and tours throughout the country where–in his own words–he ‘boomed and fiddled while home was burning,’ all but devoured him. The money he made, so necessary to support his family, passed through his fingers like water. The praise, so addictive, was fleeting. Still, he wanted to read again to his vastly appreciative American audiences and, above all, to write the final ending to his play for voices, Under Milk Wood
Frenetic reading tours, sycophant-laden parties and late-night bar-hopping exhausted him, and just an hour before rehearsing the actors for the first New York performance of Under Milk Wood, Dylan was in particularly bad shape.  On arriving at the Poetry Center, he vomited, declared that he could not possibly go on and collapsed in the green room. After half an hour, he was shaken awake.  Pulling himself together, he directed for an astonishing three hours, urging the actors over and over:  ‘Love the words.  Love the words!’  I was so dumbfounded by his recovery that I almost forgot to shoot.
When the night of May 14, 1953, arrived, the theater was packed.  The audience, silent at first, then tittering, finally exploded into laughter on realizing that this was no highbrow affair but a loving, ribald tribute to a village.  Dylan took fifteen curtain calls as tears slipped down his face.”
https://www.nytimes.com/1991/11/17/books/pictures-from-a-life.html

In celebration:
featuring Model: Emma Rocherolle

WAX and WANE: The Full Moon of April 2019

For Ezra Pound:

“April is the cruellest month, breeding


Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing


Memory and desire, stirring

Dull roots with spring rain.

Winter kept us warm, covering


Earth in forgetful snow, feeding


A little life with dried tubers.”

excerpt from:  The Waste Land by  T. S. ELIOT

featuring Model: Emma Rocherolle
The Full Pink Moon of April:
19 April 2019
Noank, CT  USA

 

 

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