Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Phooey to the Good Old Days!

     Today is the first day of my new e-store.  http://www.cactusjackceramics.com/ What a leap for someone who remembers dial phones and 8 track tape players!  I grew up learning cursive writing and latter, typing.  I remember telling my mother and father that the only thing I wanted for Christmas was a typewriter.  It was a tangible link to Gutenberg and to movable type.  A way for a Jack to climb the bean stalk and enter the world of giants.  It was there to help write essays on Hemingway and Heller, to write articles for the school paper, and to make those little poems seem a bit more real in type.  My illusions were soon to be dispelled when I was required to write a Masters Thesis!  In those days every sheet was typed with a carbon as the only record of the work done.  Misspell one word and you had to retype the entire page, or worse, any revision to a paragraph and the entire treatise had to be redone! An industry sprang up around how to "collate" pages.  No Spell check! No Grammar check!  God help you if you wanted to edit a footnote!!!
      Today, recording, editing, typesetting, addition of photos, and web references can all be done easily on the computer.  What Gutenberg did with movable type, any computer can do.  You don't even have to know how to type.  Voice commands can write out your thoughts on your screen, punctuate, spell, underline and even color the letters and add little smiley faces.  In a flash your words can be sent to hundreds if not thousands of people all over the world.  Even those in countries that do not use the same language can, with a button, translate them into any language or dialect.
      So, to those who sigh and let their minds wander back to those "good old days", I say, in terms of the written word, WE NEVER HAD IT SO GOOD!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Happy Birthday

June 6, 2013

     Today we remember my mother's birthday.  I remember her every day, but today is special.  She was a marvelous talented woman, and if you read these posts (and there is no reason for you to do so) you have heard me talk about her in the past.  
     She was born in Mexico, in a colonial town called Guanajuato. Her father was a "horse whisperer" and Mexico was not safe for those who were friendly with land owners.  She grew up in Wyoming and was not a healthy child.  The youngest of five brothers and one sister she was expected to learn the domestic arts and take care of the older family members instead of having a life of her own.  The family moved to Los Angeles and as family do, each member found a way to move forward.  
     Mom graduated from  Roosevelt High School in the L.A. inner city and began a career in fashion design. She lived with her parents and with her Sister and her husband.  They needed money and took in boarders.  One of those was my father, a man trying to raise three teen aged sons abandoned by their mother.  
     Over the objections of her family, she married and had a child.....me.  The early years saw her helping the family by working in a factory assembling thermostat controls, she was good with her hands and took a job with Luis Meyer (Indianapolis Race Cars) as a carburetor adjuster. I still have visions of her being called out of our home to adjust a carburetor for some famous Indy racer.  I would look out into the street and see her with her head deep in the engine with all the men standing around, watching in wonder.  She worked for years as a decorator at Gladding McBean Ceramics.  Most of the "Desert Rose" and "Apple" pattern was drawn by my mom.
     Mom and Dad worked hard and added to their property.  They supported their families both in the United States and in Europe and Mexico.  In 1961 my father died and mom was devastated.  She was encouraged to travel and spent some time in New York with my fathers friends.  One of those friends was soon to become the partner and confidante that she so needed.  I new Frank DeVico longer than I new my father.  I knew Frank as a generous and loving man. He moved to California and became Grampa to my boys.  
     Mom, Frank and my Dad are all gone now, they are all buried side by side in the churchyard cemetery at the San Fernando Mission, not far from a tree that my dad liked from the grave of Walter Brennan the actor.
     Today is the 100th anniversary of the birth of this wonderful woman.  We remember her today and will continue to remember her for as many years as we have to do so.  So, if you have read this far, let's stop for a moment to remember her and all our moms and the love they still send us everyday.