We're two sisters who are craft book publishers and found ourselves in the midst of an avocado grove. We bought this house where we planned to conduct our publishing business and in the deal got 4 acres of avocado trees thrown in. Now we're not only publishers but ranchers as well! This blog is all about avocados and anything else that strikes my fancy.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Sepia Saturday #170 Storefront Photos

I like to photograph storefronts and store windows, especially ones with really interesting mannequins or unique items or any that are just really arty.  Like this one:

But I wanted to include in this post some vintage photos of storefronts that I had in my collection of photographs.

The first one most resembles the prompt photo of the two men standing in front of a coffee shop. These men aren't interested in coffee. They appear to be employees of the T. F. Fuller Grocery Store.

I couldn't find any information on this store. There are no clues about location and I can't read any of the signs in the window. So I'm at a loss to tell you anything about it.

I bought this photo at a local antique shop. It came with an assortment of items from a dress designer including some of her illustrations. This must have been a store that carried some of her designs. I love that they sell felt scraps for 50 cents. It's an interesting store with the fancy tiles. But as with the other photo there are no clues about where it might have been.

This guy really makes me sad. His suit doesn't fit well, he looks like he'd like to have one of those potatoes in the basket. I wonder if he worked at this store or was just passing by. Then why have his picture taken?  Also, this looks like a photograph of a photo. Again, a puzzle. Who would have taken a photo of this particular photo? Maybe a family member?

Here's another storefront with lots of signs. No coffee or tea, though. The closest that comes to the theme is what appears to be an ad for a cooking class. Maybe you could learn to make coffee cake!

See other stories about men, coffee, storefronts, etc. by clicking here Sepia Saturday.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Sepia Saturday #169 Shoot the Photographer

The prompt photo for this week's Sepia Saturday is of several photographers shooting in Washington, D.C.

You can see the Washington Monument in the background, lots of cherry trees and a painter. The photographers seem to be shooting in all directions and some unknown photographer shot them shooting.

And that's what I like to do.  I started in Guatemala with this photo of a very primitive photographer shooting a family on the banks of Lake Amatitlan. There was a festival going on and this family wanted a remembrance of the day. When the photographer was finished, he dipped the negative in a pail of solution and Voila!. "Here's your photo". This was in the early 60s. I had a Pentax SLR camera with real film. Unfortunately not a very steady hand, so the photo is fuzzy. But I still like it.

It's easy to take a photo of a photographer shooting a celebrity. Here's someone photographing Shepherd Fairy (he's the artist that became famous for the Obama "Hope" poster and was eventually sued for copyright infringement). This was taken at one of his gallery shows in Santa Monica and it was packed. People were lined up for blocks to see his art. I guess he wasn't suffering from the lawsuit, it only made his art more collectible and him more photogenic. He is cute, isn't he?

This photographer was photographing a friend riding through the tunnel on the moving walkway under the the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC.


I'm not sure that this photo will be appropriate for this prompt because I failed to include the photographer in the shot. This family was being photographed in Spain on the occasion of the little boy's confirmation. Cute outfit, isn't it.

Here's another family being photographed by my friend, Connie at a museum in Washington (I don't remember which one, but it sure fits with this theme). What a handsome family.


And for the final "shoot the photographer" shot, here's one I took yesterday on a visit to Palm Springs.

Talk about shooting celebrities!! You can't get more famous than this woman. I wonder what she would think of this silliness.

To see more stories and photographer photos click here Sepia Saturday. 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Sepia Saturday #168 My Most Unforgettable Character

Remember the articles in the old Reader's Digest Magazines "My Most Unforgettable Character". Well today I'm going to introduce you to mine. He's my brother-in-law, Joao.

Here he is looking very Marcello Mastrioni-ish

Joao was married to my ex-husband's sister. I met him in the 1960s when he was working for the U.S. State Department. His job was to squire around important Brazilians who were visiting the U.S. Since he spoke perfect English and knew the country pretty well, this was the perfect job for him.  Everytime he came to Los Angeles, he would visit my husband and I. This is before he married Elba, my sister-in-law.

But since he was from Brasil, he was always being lured back. The U.S. was just too big for him. He eventually moved back to Rio and became a journalist (and married Elba).  He used to send me really funny letters and photos from his travels.

Here he is interviewing General Westmoreland (that's Joao pushing the microphone forward while he's rolling his eyes). This was taken sometime in the 60s. It was a little before our involvement in the Vietnam war. I'm sure he was being interviewed about the US involvement there, which was being denied at the time. Thus Joao's added comment.

Here he is on a plane interviewing Robert McNamara. It was probably about the same subject - is the U.S. involved or not?

I visited Rio and stayed with him and Elba in 1970. Janice Joplin was in town and Joao interviewed her. We met her and her young Brazilian boyfriend at a carnival party that she had just been kicked out of because no one knew who she was. They thought she was just some disgusting hippie and at that time in Brasil, hippies were persona non grata. She was not happy.

(This was from an article I found on google)
In an interview to TRIP, photographer Ricky and singer Serguei, two of her Brazilian hosts, reveal the glory and embarrassment of one of the greatest singers of all time, whose stay in Brazil went almost unnoticed. She made an obscure performance at a Copacabana hellhole, was kicked out of a hotel and almost arrested at the beach, incidents that caused her to declare to Rolling Stone magazine, after her return: "If you have long hair they'll toss you out and never let you back in again. Cops rape people, set dogs on guys' balls. The best were some nights when I sang with friends at a whorehouse ".

I could go on and on about my most unforgettable character, but I'm trying to keep this short. Joao is still in Rio and still having an interesting life. I'm so fortunate to have had him in my life.
For other stories about meetings with important people click on Sepia Saturday.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Sepia Saturday #167 My Own Pond

The theme for this Saturday is all about ponds or lakes or bodies of water. I looked through all my old photos and only came up with one that fit the theme:

Here they are, two gentlemen taking it easy on their boat with the pond to the left. I have no idea who they are or where the pond is since the photo wasn't marked. But they sure look happy and relaxed. And this is what ponds are for. They're supposed to be relaxing. Which reminded me of a pond in my neighborhood.

It's a wetlands habitat right in the heart of Fallbrook, Calif. where I live. About two miles from my house. So I take my dog for walks there three or four times a week.

Now I'd like to take you for a walk there. This is where you enter

Los Jilgueros Preserve was a gift to Fallbrook by the family of Pamela Van Der Linden (side note: she was the mother-in-law of Peanuts creator Charles Schulz!) in 1990. The preserve encompasses 46 acres. The trail is just a 1.5 mile loop, with a pond at the far end. The preserve also includes some projects by the Native Plant and Wildflower Team.

As you walk along the path there are various points of interest like old rusty farm equipment
You cross a bridge

Then walk a little ways and through the trees and a pretty pond is revealed

Stay there long enough and you'll see lots of ducks. Sometimes I see egrets there, but unfortunately not for this photo session. But it's fun to watch the ducks fly in for a landing and then swim and dive trying to find their dinner.

On the walk back you'll think you're in Disneyland because here is what I call The Mickey Mouse Graveyard.

The walk takes only about 30 minutes, then you're at the parking lot. It's a little bit of exercise and a nice relaxing time at the pond.  Not too many people in Fallbrook know about it even though it's right in the middle of the village. So it's very secluded and quiet. Hope you've enjoyed the walk and the view of the pond.

Walk, dive or swim to other pond stories by clicking here Sepia Saturday.