Populism vs. Pop Culture

Humphrey Bogart seems to have disappeared. As a matter of fact, all of the icons of that time frame seemed to have fallen out of the adoring public’s eye. James Dean, Judy Garland, Marilyn Monroe, Jackie K don’t garner headlines or memorabilia sales as they once did. The only one that seems left from that bunch is Elvis and he appears to be slip sliding back into the flower arrangements at Graceland. Is this because everybody that had cherished this crew has passed on or just passed on memorabilia? Or, probably closer to the answer, nobody cares about memorabilia in this day of disposable icons? A Bogie autograph can command up to 10Ks, something that I found on Ebay, with 2 or 3Ks being the norm. A Sheryl Crow will set you back $40 or as Groucho said, for another buck and a half, you could get Minnie.

Culture seemed to evolve around the time of the cave paintings. The Hoi Polloi existed as a Greek form of derision, made popular here in the USA by the Three Stooges as a title for a 1935 film short. Pop culture seemed to spring forward at the time Warhol did and was applied to things both forward and backward in time. Roosevelt’s dog, Fella, was pop culture, FDR was not. Elmer Fudd was, Huckleberry Hound was not.

Sweetest Little Rosebud....

There is always that nice symetry that baseball has which goes far beyond the actual design of the diamond. THe American League trophy was presented to Nolan Ryan last night by jackie Autry, whose husband owned the California Angels. of course, in addition to being a baseball owner, Gene Autrey was known as the "Singing Cowboy." He recorded "That Silver Haired Daddy of Mine," "Frosty the Snowman, "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and "The Yellow Rose of Texas." His money from his recordings gave him the do-re-mi to buy the Angels. Nolan Ryan's money came from a golden right arm and integrity. I was glad that the playoffs didn't become a "Win One For George-fest." Besides, they didn't.


Ben Mondor 1925-2010

My photographs have wound up in a lot of places. Books, galleries, museums, refrigerator magnets, kids rooms....My favorite location is the wall of Ben Mondor's office. When I was kicking and struggling to get back on my feet, the PawSox gave me a chance. I took it and ran with it but the crowning glory was to walk into Ben's office and see five of my photos framed and taking up an entire wall of his office. I had many conversations with him over the years. Sometimes seeing the twinkle in his eyes was enough and spoke innings of knowledge. He liked me and my work. I saw him for the last time about three weeks ago, sitting in his box and he flashed that smile. He did much for many.