Friday, June 27, 2014

Joseph Sterling--Dive Right In

Foster Ave Beach, 1968, Chicago. Lee Balterman. CALUMET 412

Age of Adolescence, 1959-64, Chicago. Joseph Sterling

Age of Adolescence, 1959-64, Chicago. Joseph Sterling

Age of Adolescence, 1959-64, Chicago. Joseph Sterling

Morse Ave Beach, 1929, Chicago. CALUMET 412

Oak Street Beach, 1950, Chicago. CALUMET 412
Through looking at these photos--way too much time spent at the photoblog Calumet 412--I've now been turned onto Joseph Sterling. Who is this guy?

his pictures capture an era of James Dean wannabes, greasers, Bobby sockers, 1950s youth, the TEENAGER. Many of his photos have been collected into a book, The Age of Adolescence. Many of the photos are on display at the Stephen Daiter Gallery | 230 W. Superior, Fourth FLoor | Chicago IL 60654.

Apparently Mr. Sterling went into commercial photography after getting his masters at the Art Institute of Chicago. He died in 2010 in Libertyville, IL. This from the Sun-Times obituary:
Many of the photos were snapped at the beach, and they have a tactile quality that makes the viewer feel sand on skin. "He loved the beach because people were relaxed there, and you could mingle, and you could get all kinds of angles and emotions," Berlanga said.

I would love to learn more about Sterling--there isn't even a wiki entry about him!

Anyway, enjoy the summer, the fireworks, the gritty hot sand, the beautiful girls, the boys in their suits, the feverish humidity and sex in the air. Sterling's beach pictures are ripe with all these crazy feelings. That feeling of now is all we have.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Summer in Chicago--Enjoy the Memories

I just discovered a wonderful new photoblog site: Calumet 412

Here are just a FEW I gleaned--go to Calumet 412 for more summer memories. Click on image to enlarge. There are so many photos at the website that can serve as prompts for you to WRITE YOUR OWN SUMMER FLASH!

53rd-57th Street Beaches, 1954, Chicago. Mildred Meade.
University of Chicago Digital Archives. CALUMET 412

Chicago Park District Lifeguard, 1945, Chicago. CALUMET 412

U-Drive'em Motor Boats, 1947, Chicago River. CALUMET 412

U-Drive'em Motor Boats, 1947, Chicago River. CALUMET 412

Sights on the Sand, Wilson Bathing Beach, 1919, Chicago. CALUMET 412

Water skiing on the Chicago River, 1958, Chicago. CALUMET 412

Thursday, June 19, 2014

A Sudden Summer Memoir



Hey! Bob, remember that time we went out to a golf course in the middle of the night? Maybe it was out by Spring Valley. I don’t know what we were thinking. Often we got our “best” ideas after midnight after being up for twenty hours. You and I weren’t partiers—just arty. Or, our parents might have said we were harebrained because many of our schemes followed little to no logic.

The night was damp with dew and our sneakers got soaked tromping over the hills. We left light footprints trailing us in the short grass. Stars stuck out like pinpricks against a backdrop of a black velvet sky. Did we talk? I don’t recall. We were friends, so we didn’t always need to. Or, you might have been telling me about an art piece you were working on. Or, maybe I was telling you a story, something I was writing.

Hey Bob! Do you remember cresting a hill? At the top we lay down on our backs to look up at the stars. We listened to the crickets, to the sprinklers shushshushing on the putting greens down below, to the sporadic hum of highway traffic. It was late enough that the bars were closed and still too early for regular people to wake up and get going. It was like we’d entered a slip in time.

And then we detected a sound not unlike crickets chirping, like sprinklers spritzing, like a motor purring—   Suddenly a bright headlight was bearing down on us!

We took off running with a creepy golf cart chasing us. That was probably forty years ago, and if we had to run like that today we’d be dead. Sometimes I go back to that damp night and the silence around us and the worlds we built, letting each other inhabit. Hey Bob, it is a privilege to have been included.
Bob used to run cross country
 ALSO LAST DAY TO CATCH

Get your summer flash on--
learn how to write at the beach, in the car, or wherever your summer plans take you.
Flash is fun, easy, and convenient to your schedule--my e-book has dozens of exercises and prompts to get you writing flash memoir this summer--and now, on sale at Amazon. Freeze Frame: How to Write Flash Memoir

*for those without a Kindle you can download for free an e-book viewer for your laptop, etc

Monday, June 16, 2014

Only a Few Days Left--Catch a Deal!!

Summer Special

Get your summer flash on--
learn how to write at the beach, in the car, or wherever your summer plans take you.
Flash is fun, easy, and convenient to your schedule--my e-book has dozens of exercises and prompts to get you writing flash memoir this summer--and now, FOR ONE WEEK ONLY--it is on sale at Amazon. Freeze Frame: How to Write Flash Memoir

*for those without a Kindle you can download for free an e-book viewer for your laptop, etc

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Summer Special--ONE WEEK ONLY

Get your summer flash on--
learn how to write at the beach, in the car, or wherever your summer plans take you.
Flash is fun, easy, and convenient to your schedule--my e-book has dozens of exercises and prompts to get you writing flash memoir this summer--and now, FOR ONE WEEK ONLY--it is on sale at Amazon. Freeze Frame: How to Write Flash Memoir

*for those without a Kindle you can download for free an e-book viewer for your laptop, etc
 **TELL ALL YOUR FRIENDS AND FEEL FREE TO SHARE

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Meeting Up at Millenium Park

Waving, one hand,
over here!
the other hand holding a cell phone
We're here!

Both arms above the head
swaying, doing the cha-cha.
Hey you! Hey you!
We're here!

The guy with the pennant
rocking a flag,
finally spying the rest of his group.
We're here!

One jumps up,
two jump up,
a trio hopping up and down.
We're here!

Then there is the walk,
walking quickly across the populated grass,
walking and shouting--
We're here!

People meeting
seemingly out of no where
as if happenstance,
hugging, ksssing, smiling,
everyone talking at once.
We're here!

Starting tomorrow I will be running a special on Freeze Frame: How to Write Flash Memoir. So if you haven't downloaded my e-book stay tuned!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Arriving at Night

I wrote this because, well, summer feels like it is finally here. And, part of our summer ritual was going to a trailer downstate so far out in the country that starlight was as bright as street lamps. We really enjoyed this time away. But, now it is a memory because the property was sold and the contents of our little trailer scattered. There are others, I'm sure, that also have memories, recent or from childhood, of a summer home, camp cabin, or favorite get-away place. Enjoy.




Arriving at Night

It was always a lot of work just for a weekend
and a long drive down, sometimes hitting traffic.
Arriving in a vacuum of darkness,
you fumble for keys, hidden, uncovering
leaf debris, shaking off cobwebs,
using the headlights of the car to see.
You pause, apprehensive—
What has happened to the contents since last there?
Has the fridge gone out? Did a storm drive in rain?
A musty odor arises from dank carpet,
stale, unstirred air smelling slightly of
desiccated insect wings and mouse droppings,
ladybug carcasses crunch beneath your feet.
You search for the light switch.
DVDs scattered, a plate in the sink,
a toy on the floor by the sliding glass door.
Everything as you’d last left it.
You hurry back, bundling the kids,
carrying their sweet sleeping bodies
close to your chest.