Thursday, August 30, 2007

More Notebook Pages From 1976

Thursday, August 23, 2007

more Images From My Portfolio 1968

These images are from my portfolio. They include my Jesus Christ Christmas Card which I actually sent to people.


Suddenly the fall of 1967 was gone, and I woke up one morning to find myself in the winter of 1968. I was still leaving my portfolio off now and again with ad agencies, but my heart was not in it, and I was determined to devote my life to being an artist. I was still unsure of what to do, and I still really didn’t understand the idea of what art is. I would get it soon enough. I just knew that I was born to be an artist. Dennis was encouraging but he would tell me that I wasn’t yet an artist because “I wasn’t saying anything really new or original and there was no me there”. “You haven’t found your voice yet, Ira,” Still I plugged away, making drawings and collages and hoping that I would eventually hit upon my one big idea, an idea that would allow me to be as original as I felt I was. That early winter Peter had joined up with a children’s theatre group called Gingerbread Players and Jack, which was run by two male lovers Jack and John. John, middle age and overweight was a bit of a letch, and would hit on me all the time. “John leave Ira alone, he’s not gay, and even if he was, he’s too young for you and you’re not his type.” The troupe was comprised of Peter who played many different roles, Michael a dye blonde aging male ingénue number who wore as much make-off stage as he did on, and a character actress who did a million TV commercials and had played in shows both on and off Broadway for years. Never a beauty even when young she had hit rock bottom and was now forced to make her living playing the spinster aunt, friend or cousin in children’s theatre. I really liked her in the shows but she always had a sour look on her face that said ‘help get me out of here.” The big production for the troupe was a musical about Pecos Bill with Michael cast as Pecos Bill. Peter was the sexy villain of the piece and I can’t tell you how many times I sat through this epic production. I took any friend who wanted to see it but I was also there to give Peter support and encouragement. “You were really terrific Peter, I would tell him.” “Really you think so?” And he was good, thank God, as was the entire cast. Peter could sing, and had a nice baritone voice and the rest of the cast was very professional. Peter would return to the apartment still in his makeup and cowboy drag and bitch and complain about the production as if he was doing Shakespeare in the Park for Joe Papp. Michael lived in some sort of arrangement with 3 of his friends all of whom came east from Ohio determined to make their mark in something. I thought (as did everyone) that Michael was a gay man, but he like everyone else I was meeting he seemed to go at least both ways. He was having some sort of a thing with Marianne who was a stylish mod looking young woman with short black black hair who wore mini-skirts, lots of eye make- up and lots of plastic jewelry. No hippie was she. I thought she was swell. The other two members of their household was a very straight looking plain, thin as a rail lovely young woman named Nancy who was a secretary at Seventeen Magazine. She looked like a spinster aunt, but she was the biggest head I had yet met. The final member was Parker, a tall lanky gay man who was also lovely and fun to be around. So we added them to our mulligan stew of friends and I spent many stoned evenings with them either at our apartment or sometimes at their Upper East Side place that looked like it was furnished by Takashimaya the Japanese department store. Lots of bamboo furniture and Room dividers that clanged when you went through them and all sorts of Psychedelic things that were slightly off good taste by way of Cleveland. Dennis was getting stranger and stranger. He was still picking up stray hippies and bringing them home. He once brought home a homeless hippie family, mother father, and some kids, and told them they could spend the night. Peter looked at me with a “what the fuck” look, and I looked right back with my “fuck this shit, I am not giving up my bedroom Dennis look.” But I did, and this would not be the first or last time that I would be asked to vacant my bedroom. Dennis could be very generous at times. He took me to the Fillmore East for the first time to see Jim Morrison and The Doors; he treated Peter and me to two nights in a row at the Met to see Rudolf Nureyev and Margot Fonteyn dance. We dressed up in all our hippy finery and got stared at like we had just come from Mars. And he took Peter and me to Allan Block Sandals on W. 4th. Street where he bought us custom made sandals by the man many said was the greatest sandal maker in the world. But at the same time he could be nasty, difficult to deal with and vindictive. His manic period was yet to come. He told Peter that he thought it best if I move out, because I was too immature and was not doing any chores around the apartment. “Dennis I won’t allow you to do that.” I won’t let you ask him to move out, hell where would he go? And besides he’s part of this household and I love having him here. You will not be able to live with yourself Dennis if you do such a shitty thing.” “Hell he’s only 20 years old, and if you want him to take out the garbage just ask him, I’m sure he will.” So one day soon after that Dennis sat me down, and told me all that was wrong with me and all the things I was doing wrong. “Dennis listen why don’t you just ask me to take down the garbage and I will what’s the big deal. “You’re very immature Ira.” “I’m immature! What about your two hippie dippy friends Gary and Leslie, she acts like a thirteen-year-old. “Don’t confuse exuberance with immaturity Ira.” Oh really. Was it exuberance when Leslie painted her face blue, wore one of the lampshades on her head, and sang “Light My Fire” while standing on the couch.” I asked Dennis. Fine I thought whatever, and besides Gary and Leslie had become sort of friends of mine, which I don’t think Dennis was too pleased with. Gary was a straight good-natured but dense (some would say stupid) young man who Dennis “picked up” at the 2nd hand record shop that Gary worked in over on 16th street and 8th ave. It took me a while to get use to Gary as he was at the apartment every single night of the week and I had to share my bed with him more than once. It turned out that he was a deserter from the army and little by little I took a liking to him and his scatterbrain young girlfriend Leslie and we became friends. Suddenly the weather was cold, and Peter was getting cabin fever and horny all the time, so he started to go out to the one or two gay bars in the village. I was getting curiouser and curiouser so one day when we were alone I started to ask Peter some questions. “So Peter” I said “I’ve noticed lately that some of the people we know have been looking at me in a strange way. “Oh really like who.” He asked. “Well for one the whole Gingerbread Players troop and Jack I might add.” Well sweetie when was the last time you looked in a mirror? “Well this morning of course” And what did you see?” He asked “Just me silly”. Well Ira I should tell that you are turning into one luscious Jewish boy”. “I’m not being anti-Semitic you know, but among some gay men and I’m sure also among some straight women pretty Jewish boys and young men are highly sought after and not all that common, if you know what I mean, and please you know I’m not being anti Semitic, so the looks you’ve been getting coming at you from across our living room my love are looks of yummy lust” “Really that’s amazing. My nose is too big.” “Don’t worry about it, your face will grow to fit it. I’ve never thought of myself as good-looking let alone luscious. Well you are and in the meantime just enjoy being lusted after, no matter by who because it doesn’t last. “So you mean to tell me that Maryanne, Michael, John, and all the rest want to make yummy with me. “Yes sweetie yummy.” “Well what about Dick? “Forget Dick, or at least that dick, he’s into pussy specifically Kathy’s. “Well what about Bob”? “You know he offered to take off his clothes for me, to be in the nude when I went over to his place last week to take some pictures. I of course said “no that’s ok. Clothes will be fine, so who knows what would have happened. Unfortunately none of the pictures came out” “I always thought Bob was into daddies, but who knows” Peter said as he got up from the couch and stretched out making a loud moaning sound. “Oh God I better get my act together I’m making dinner Saturday night for 8 friends + you and Dennis. I’m doing PR cuisine, for appetizers I think I’ll make bacalaitos & surullitos, and maybe arroz con pollo or carne quisada puertorrique.” “Come with me to the A&P and help me shop. I was still yakking on our way to the grimy small A&P around the corner from our apartment. “Well what’s the difference between being a luscious Jewish boy” and a pretty Jewish boy, or a luscious Jewish man.” Am I a boy or a man.” “I don’t want to be a Jewish prince though, you always hear about Jewish princesses, but what about the Jewish princes, are there any? There must be. Are all Jewish princes luscious yummy? “. So you mean all the looks I get on the street from guys and girls is because I’m a luscious Jewish boy? “And they all want to make yummy with me?” “Do you have to use that word? Why can’t you say fucking, or sex, or making love, why yummy.” Oh I could never say those words Peter.” “I like yummy.” “Ok fine he said, as we pushed our cart through the narrow aisles, “I would love to be a fly on the wall when you ask someone if they want to make yummy with you.” “Pretty Jewish indeed.” He said. Just as we came around the corner we nearly ran our wagon into Geraldine Page who was also doing her shopping. Dressed in dungarees and a sweatshirt, her hair in curlers, with a bandana neatly covering her famous head. There she was one of the great actresses of the theatre pushing her wagon through the A&P, which was full of beer and nothing else. Hi Geri, the clerks called out as though Geri was one of the girls. “Hi kids, what’s new” Ms. Page called out. “Peter look there’s Geraldine Page.” Yes I know, she’s in here all the time, her and Rip Torn own the townhouse a few doors up from the apartment.” “Gee I didn’t know that.” “Yeah and its true that the bell is labeled “Torn Page.” Suddenly Ms. Page was right in front of me, and I had the dopiest grin on my face. “Hi cutie pie” she said to me, as she made her way to the checkout. On our way back to our apartment I couldn’t stop gushing as we made our way up the 6 flights of stairs with our heavy bags of groceries “Wow Peter that was amazing, far out.” “Did you notice she called me cutie pie, why didn’t she say Hi luscious Jewish boy, or Hi pretty Jew boy, is cutie pie as good as Luscious? Does cutie pie carry the same weight as pretty Jewish, or what? ‘Do you think my friend Howard wants to make yummy with me? “Ira for Christ’s sake he’s straight.” So what does that have to do with anything?” “Dennis” I called out. "We just ran into Geraldine Page in the A&P” “Big fucking deal, he yelled out from the office, I see her all the time, and she’s sold herself out doing all those crap movies she should be ashamed“ I need a nap” Peter said a long nap why don’t you go for a walk and on the way out take the garbage with you. “ TO BE CONTINUED.

Images used in this post: My Allan Block sandals Peter and Michael in Pecos Bill and one of my favorite photos of myself in 1968

Monday, August 20, 2007

My Portfolio

How amazing is this new technology. I am going to start posting pages from the portfolio that I did when I was 19 years old. Considering the age and the bad glue (RUBBER CEMENT) WHY DIDN'T SOMEONE TELL ME NEVER TO USE THAT CRAP. So I've made some minor restoration both real and photoshop. I had forgotten how political and angry I was but there are also ads to sell booze. The pages measure 8 1/2 x 5 1/2"


I walked into the office where dennis was at his Desk. “When is Peter coming back?” I asked. “Oh I think he’s due in sometime next week, but listen nothing is going to change. Instead of 2 it will be three and of course you still keep the bedroom me and peter will share the convertible bed in the living room.” “He’s a terrific person and I know you’ll like him a lot.” “I hope so,” I said under my breath.” Something new to worry about. What if we don’t get along? “ So early in the week after I got home from work, I met Peter. He seemed somewhat dazed by the changes that had taken place in the short time that he had been in Puerto Rico, and I liked him right off the bat. He was a little overweight and dressed in a conservative manner, but that was to change in a very short time. He was also handsome with a wonderful smile and a great laugh, Ten years older than I was; it was Peter who had originally found the apartment for him and Dennis to move into. He had aspirations to be a actor-singer or playwright and immediately he started to talk about loosing weight, getting pictures made taking classes and just getting back into the swing of things. He was much more open with his homosexuality than Dennis and would be a good role model for me as I struggled with my own mixed up sexuality. I was still dating girls, but there was always something there in the background, which I knew I would have to deal with someday. It wasn’t that Peter pushed me out of the closet, but he certainly allowed me to open the door slightly. After all this was 1967 and gay men were still being harassed and arrested. It’s hard to realize now how repressive it was for gay men and lesbians even in 1967, but of course all that was about to change and blow up in society’s smug face along with everything else. “Let’s have a dinner party so I can see all my old friends” Peter said to Dennis. Oh goodie I was excited to meet more interesting new people. Evenings on 19th street were becoming social events practically every night of the week. Both Dennis and Peter had many friends and would mix and match them with interesting results. The only friend of mine who I would invite to the apartment was Howard, and happily both Dennis and Peter liked him. I used to love to stay up late talking with Dennis and Peter in our tiny kitchen sometimes munching on Dennis’s wonderful hamburgers that were like small meatloaves. He would serve them on toasted white bread with ketchup and pickles and I can still taste them. Peter was generally very positive and up most of the time where as Dennis was morose and depressed about his life. I much preferred Peter’s outlook and we started to become close. We were like two kids, especially when stoned and we would giggle and carry on sometimes to the annoyance of Dennis who would sit in one of the leather recliners doing his needlework. “It helps relax me” he would say. Whatever. Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band” had been released in June and we were still ga ga over it. We would play it over and over, sometimes with headphones, because our downstairs neighbors were complaining about the music it seemed all the time. But God the music oh that music. It seemed like every day a new great album by some group was released. One of my favorites was the Stone’s “Their Satanic Majesties Request” Love’s “Forever Changes”. Occasionally I would play some music that I loved and that Dennis and Peter had not known about such as Donald Byrd’s “A New Perspective” with the haunting “Christo Redentor.” Of course I would have to sometimes sit through the classical albums and opera singers that Peter and Dennis loved, but Elizabeth Schwarzkopf was losing ground fast to Grace Slick. Like all of us, Peter’s appearance was changing rapidly. He lost weight, grew a small goatee to cover “his weak chin.” And stopped wearing his “straight clothes.” Of course like everyone else who was coming into my life at that time, I developed a big crush on him. He was also very enthusiastic about my work and said that he would introduce me to his friend Bob who he said was an excellent painter. Crush number 25. He also introduced me to his friends Kathy and Dick who were lovers and actors. Crush 26 and 27. Although not a beauty, when she was on stage Peter said she became a real stunner. Oh top of that her wit and charm was tremendous and I immediately adored her to bits. Dick was bisexual and had been lovers for years with Bob the painter and even though their lives had changed they were still close friends. Sadly Dick would be killed years later on in a motorcycle accident in upstate New York where he and Kathy had moved. There was also an interracial couple, Carol & Sal. Carol was an extraordinarily beautiful African American young woman and Sal was a good-looking very outgoing Italian man who was also bisexual. Crush 28 & 29. One night Kathy came over alone and she and Peter had an intense funny stoned argument about what was better to fuck ass or pussy. “Well Kathy, since I was once married and have had sex with both men and women I go with ass.” “This is so fucking amazing” I thought as I just sat there stoned turning red with my mouth wide open and a cigarette dangling out of my mouth.. When my new friends would visit I would show them my drawings and they would ooh and ahh a lot, very encouraging but I was still working in the ad world and hating it. I had started to work on a new portfolio, which was very radical in its look. I bought small black sketchbook and started to fill it up with ads, collages, my own photographs and drawings. I wanted to shake things up, and I did. I would love it when I would leave it off at some ad agency and a few days later I would get a call that this art director or that creative director wanted to meet me. “This is just wonderful, but I don’t know how we could use you.” “You should go home and paint, become an artist. The advertising world will ruin you.” So finally I took their advice and made the decision to become an artist. It was soon late fall and I had my first really grown up Thanksgiving when friends of Dennis’s from the publishing world invited the three of us to their place for dinner, and it was the first time that I had eaten a real ham. The taste floored me. It seemed strange to me that I was only 2 months since I moved to Manhattan, but so many changes had taken place in such a small amount of time. Dennis and Peter were doing free lance proof reading and editing for non fiction books and one that they were proofing was Andrew Sarris’s seminal book on auteurs in American movies “The American Cinema, Directors And Directions, 1929-1968”. Dennis asked me if I would be interested in alphabetizing the names for the index of the book, of course for money, and I jumped at it. The next book I worked on was a history of China, and alphabetizing all those Chinese names was a bitch, but I was grateful for the extra cash. How did I make ends meet? Well I was about to get fired from my very last job in advertising so I would have unemployed insurance and I would do odd jobs here and there wherever I could find them. One day I went to this quirky village employment agency that was located down a flight of stairs in a basement store on west 10th street. “How would you like to make an easy $15.00” the manager asked. “Sure what do I have to do.” Get dressed up with a tie and jacket and go to the Warwick Hotel, you will be accompying a woman to the theatre and later dinner, of course everything will be picked up by her.” Great I was now becoming a nineteen-year-old male whore. but hell dinner and the theatre would be great as long as I didn’t have to do anything else. I got to the hotel and was sent up to the room where my “date” awaited me. A middle age not unattractive woman let me into the room and asked me to sit down. She went into the bedroom to put the finishing touches on her face I guess and continued to yak at me, making uncomfortable small talk as she got ready to go. “What are we going to see I asked? “I have tickets for Marlene Dietrich”. “Wow” I said to the room. “And then we’ll have a nice dinner afterwards at Sardi’s. “Wow” I said again to the room. I was alone and opposite me was a very large wall to wall floor length mirror, so I started to check myself out, cute I thought except for the damn pimple on my nose that seemed to come out on my way over. Suddenly the mirror started to move to one side and out stepped Allen Funt of Candid Camera. “You were terrific,” he said, and we might use this on one of our shows. If we do we’ll be in touch. “Does this mean I’m not going to see Marlene Dietrich and have dinner at Sardi’s “ I asked as I was shown to the door. “God was that surreal” When I got home I was kind of excited and burst into the apartment, stepping carefully over Lisa’s poop. “You’ll never guess what just happened.” Peter chuckled as I told the story. “That’s funny, puppy.” He said. Dennis with absolute distain on his face looked at me like I had just joined the Republican Party and went back to his indexing. TO BE CONTINUED.

Images used in this post: Me doing some beefcake, me and peter, My 1 time modeling job, I'm wearing the pea coat, stationary that I designed for myself.

Thursday, August 16, 2007


the link to lamination colony is now working and you can check out three of my teen paintings here.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Dennis Part II

In late September the phone in my parent’s apartment rang and it was Dennis who told me the good news that he would love to have me as a roommate. I let out a loud whoop and turned to see my mother with a sad look on her face. She knew that I would be leaving. I went to the kitchen window that opened up to the airshaft and served as my 1967 cell phone line of communication to Howard. “Howie” I yelled” “ Open the window, I got the apartment can you help me move some stuff there maybe later today.” Of course he said yes and I packed a few suitcases with stuff that we could easily take with us on the subway. My brother had also promised to drive me over to the apartment maybe over the weekend, and that was when I would be bringing most of my stuff. Sadness hung over the apartment; my mother disheveled in her housedress started to yell at my father, “Its all your fault he’s leaving you drove him out.” I paid no attention because I knew that soon I would be rid of all the tension and anger that had filled my young life for so many years. I couldn’t sleep that night, and I could hear my father in his bedroom workshop weeping. The next day there was a note taped to the outside of my door from him begging me not to leave, that he would do better for me. Touched and depressed at the same time by this meaningful note, I knew that it was too late for him or things to change. I would be moving in with Dennis on Oct 1, and when the day finally came both of my parents cried and tried to get me to change my mind. It was a nice cool brisk fall day when I took the subway out of Brooklyn and into Manhattan. Carrying my suitcase I might have been coming from Iowa or a foreign country because the change that was about to happen in my life would be as new and strange as it might have been for someone moving from across the country or the world. My moving and big life change pretty much coincided with all the tremendous changes and upheavals that would soon shake our country to its core. As I got out of the subway on 14th street and 8th ave, I started to take in the sights and sounds of my new neighborhood of Chelsea. It was rough around the edges in 1967. Rooming houses were everywhere, and 8th ave was no where near the gentrified mess Chelsea would become in 20 years. I noticed that there was a Spanish language movie theatre The Elgin right across the street from the apartment, and thought that I wouldn’t be seeing movies there anytime soon. But like a fast paced montage in some good film noir b flick everything moved fast and furious. Overnight the Elgin became a revival house and was one of the first theatres to show midnight movies. It was at the Elgin where I would go mostly in the afternoons that I saw many of the great gems of world cinema for the first time. Huffing and puffing up those 6 flights of stairs I was greeted at the door by Dennis, Lisa the dog, and the two cats Sam and Charlie. “Be careful where you step Ira, I haven’t had a chance to clean up Lisa’s shit or clean the cat’s kitty litter box.” I didn’t need to me told this, as the smell lingered in the air, even though Dennis had used some kind of air freshner spray that sat on the narrow ledge of a long narrow iron wrought table that ran along the hallway wall, making the space even more narrow and difficult to pass by. When entering the apartment you found yourself in this narrow long dark hallway and the animals bathroom was here beneath the table. One false step and you would find yourself with your foot in Lisa’s waste. Surprise No. 1. Dennis never ever took Lisa out for a walk hence her obese pear like shape, and the hallway was the official Lisa the dog poop station. I carefully made my way down the hallway into the wonderful living room, which was just as nice and inviting as I remembered it, and plopped down into one of the leather recliners, which I now noticed had seen better days. All over the chair I could make out lots of little cat scratches. And the rug was covered with cat and dog hairs, washing out the bright colors that I knew were underneath it. “That’s ok I thought, it gives the place a nice lived in appearance.” Dennis sat opposite me and started to give me some of the rules and regulations of the house.” We can either eat on our own or we can shop for food and cook together. It’s up to you. The bedroom was my responsibity and I would have to keep it neat and tidy.” “That’s fine Dennis” “And we’ll share the upkeep of the rest of the apartment.” I have to ask that you help with the picking up and tossing of Lisa and the cat’s waste.” Dennis must have seen the look of despair that fell across my face like the big curtain falling at Radio City Music Hall. “Oh don’t worry I’ll do it more often than not, I can understand some people being queasy about that sort of chore.” After I unpacked I decided to take a walk and explore the neighborhood. I was surprised to discover that I was so close to the village, I had no idea I told Howard that night on the phone. I was floating on air, and that night I had my first joint with Dennis as we watched a Busby Berkeley musical on the late show. I prompedly fell asleep and work up the next morning a little slow and dazed as I got dressed to go to work at the small ad agency where I did crap work, like paste-ups which I hated doing and was no good at doing them. I was expecting the ax to fall anyway. I disliked most of the people who worked there, especially the vicious nasty head of the agency who was almost a midget in size. I didn’t tell Dennis any of my problems I was having there as I was hoping to hang on at least until after the Christmas holidays. And that exactly what happened. I got the heave ho after the Christmas season. I had saved up $800.00 bucks and even in 1967 that was not a hell of a lot of money. I was also having pangs of homesickness, and felt lonely and lost. At night in my bed with the shutters thrown open and the wonderful Empire State building filling part of the view from my window I started to have these weird sensations and thoughts that I really didn’t understand. I would think why am I here, and now what happens. Who the fuck am I? I tried speaking to my mother every night because I knew she missed me and felt guilty about my leaving, but I was happy to be out of that crazy place, and knew that it was for the best and a great opportunity for me. One night soon after moving in I discovered surprise No. 2. Dennis was out at City College where he was taking evening classes and I was going to make something for dinner, (most likely Kraft’s macaroni and cheese) as I turned the light on in the kitchen I was faced with and surrounded by what seemed like100’s of cockroaches. They were everywhere, in the pet’s food bowls, on the sink, the stove, everywhere. I made a mental note to mention this to Dennis; surely there was something that could be done about this. When I brought it up, he just shrugged, and pulled out a can of bug spray from under the sink. “I don’t like using this stuff, it just gets them angry and it doesn’t really kill them.” It was 1967 and things both in society and for me were rapidly changing. The counter culture, hippie revolution, anti war movement was on and the both of us embraced it with a big hug. Both our appearances were changing overnight, and again it seems to me now like a fast moving movie montage. We both started to let our hair grow, mine neat and curly, Dennis’s stringy. We both grew mustaches, his a fu Manchu type and mine was a pathetic thin line of hair under my nose. The movement gave Dennis the freedom finally to connect with his femmine side. Out went the suits and ties and in came the beads, the frilly thin Indian shirts, the knee length boots, the bell bottom pants and the Navy peacoats, which on a shopping spree Dennis insisted on buying one for me. He also started to use the hippie language that was so pretenious and annoying. “Peace man” was said to anyone he saw on the street who had long hair. Never comfortable or happy with his homosexuality, Dennis a child of the depression who grew up in Oklahoma was now a full-blown middle aged flower child. He started to bring home young hippie boys and girls he would meet in the 2nd hand record store that was not far from our apartment, and would let them stay the night, usually sharing my bed, much to my annoyance. Along with the stray hippies he would bring home LPs of the new exciting music that was shaking up the country like The Jefferson Airplane, The Doors, Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Country Joe and so many more. We would get stoned and suddenly the apartment was filled with this great new music. Dennis would react like he was having the best orgasm of his life, jumping up and screaming and moaning at the top of his lungs, Lisa and the cats would get so frighten they would flee for safely. It was also at this time that he would invite some of his friends from his old life for dinner and to meet me. Several were actors in the open theatre, writers and a few artists. Most if not all were bisexual and had had affairs with each other. I of course developed crushes on them all. It was also here in this October of 1967 that I went with Dennis and several of his open theatre pals to my first anti-war demonstration. It was being held in the early morning hours at the Army induction center down on Whitehall street, and it was very scary because at this time there was still an acceptance of the Viet Nam war and we were few in number. As the sun started to come up and people were getting off the Staten Island Ferry and the subways to go to work we were met with abuse and horrible taunts and threats. We stayed and held our own. I was so happy with what was happening to me, I was living the life I had always imagined I would and should have, I was meeting really interesting people and I was starting to become an artist. I bought large sketchbooks and started to draw and paint in them. I still have these meaningful drawings some of which have been published in many on line magazines and print journals including the portraits that I did of Dennis. One Saturday morning I decided that I would take Lisa out for a walk, I mean she hadn’t been out of the house since she was a puppy, and I was feeling sorry for her. Although ugly as sin, and terribly starved for affection she had the sweetest disposition of any dog I had ever know. I would take her to Washington Sq. Park. Getting her down the six flights of stairs was hard enough but after our little day in the park, where everyone just stared at her because she was such a sad sight; I had to literally carry her up the six flights of stairs. As we got in the door, I heard Dennis call out. “Ira I have some news, Peter hates it in Puerto Rico and is going to move back.” TO BE CONTINUED.

Images used in this post: The view from my bedroom window. Me in the village. Dennis smelling the flowers. Dennis at his desk. My bedroom night table and a drawing of Dennis and Charlie the cat.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007


Mungbeing a very nice on line literary art journal has just posted 3 of my drawings. you can view the drawings at this link.

Friday, August 03, 2007


Today I found one of my old notebooks from 1976 that is jam packed with my drawings, paintings and collages. Here is the first batch.
Site Meter