Thursday, October 30, 2014

most memorable halloween

I don't remember the year but I'm pretty sure it was 1972, during my first year of junior high school.  It was the last time I went trick-or-treating.  Kids my age were still going door to door for the fun and candy of it.

My brother Brook owned a MGB that he tooled around in back in those days.  It was a fun ride...when it was running.  Brook seemed to always be working on it.  A rusty toolbox always at ready in the yard, next to where the car was usually parked, because the these foreign jobs always needed the work.

The car was running that October night. My littlest sisters Cindy and Florrie took the passenger seat. There was no backseat to the MGB, so I happily got to perch up on the back of the car, with only my legs in the vehicle to keep the rest of me with the vehicle.  The atmosphere of that early Fall evening was cool  and clear...the air was perfect!

Brook drove us all around the mountain neighborhoods that night. The ride was more enjoyable than the stops that evening.  Brook usually had his 8-track going, but tonight it was just the sounds of that night.  I remember the sound of that MGB motor purring around curves and down the straights, up and down hills, what an awesome ride!  I was looking down on the road, over their heads, over the windshield.  It was a great view all around as dusk turned to night.

I guess it was 9:30 that neighborhoods started getting darker, as people started turning off their porch lights - to indicate it was time for all munchkins and goblins to go home.  Our last stop had been on a hill.  Brook took the emergency brake off and the little car rolled back a little just before the engine started.  The cold seemed to come now that the neighborhood lights were going out.  Riding home in the darkness, running beneath the occasional street lamp, feeling the chill, and knowing that we were all homeward bound. It was my last time out on Halloween night as a boy.  It was the best!

Friday, October 24, 2014

catchy tune

There was this public service announcement back in 1969 that played often throughout the day.  I was ten at the time, had no idea what the song was trying to say.  The video consisted of image after image of people of all ages going about, laughing, having fun. A woman's voice could be singing 'VD is for Everybody'. It was a very upbeat and chipper sounding song.  At eleven years old, I had no idea what VD was (Valentine's Day?), but it sure sounded like something I'd enjoy.

The lyrics were so catchy that I started singing the song right after the family had gathered for lunch one Sunday afternoon. I remember getting the strangest looks from around the table.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Caribbean Blue is Parrish Blue

About the time music videos lost their newness, started becoming formulaic, along came Enya from across the sea.  Her music was ethereal, layered and textured, as were the music videos that accompanied her songs.  The 'Watermark' LP made this Irish woman and international star.  'Sail Away' was a big in the United States.  Her album, 'Shepherd Moons' featured a song with very nice visuals that appealed to me.  'Caribbean Blue' is a song that features wistful imageries of Maxfield Parrish brought to life.  All of Enya's videos are rich in color, with thick textures as if painting oil with a knife.  Shepherd Moons is no different.  This tribute to Maxfield was a perfect marriage of both audio and visual.

I had discovered the fantastical works of Maxfield Parrish and Arthur Rackham in my teens, right before I discovered the brothers Tim and Greg Hildebrandt. I've always appreciated illustrators who could put the meat on the bones of fiction characters. Another artist that comes to mind is N.C Wyeth.  Maxfield Parrish was the first for me, and maybe that's why I find Enya's Caribbean Moons personally satisfying.

Watching this video today, I think of my daughter Katie, how she loves books.
Caribbean Blue reminds me of one of my favorite artist, with imagery that captures what awaits young eyes inside dusty old books. I was reminded when Katie started getting into reading, experiencing new worlds spinning into existence as she reached from page to page, book to book ~ from world to world. These visuals bring these sweet moments back to me. Through her eyes I was reminded of my early pilgrimages, my first adventures into printed worlds.

Enya of course, is always pleasant to listen to, like feeling a cool breeze from the sea, or the first bite of a York Peppermint Pattie.  Her music is ever soothing, and  nice that the video of awakened Parrish figures were invited to the dance.