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Category Archives: Pasadena

The Ragpicker

“Sir, I’ve admired you for years,” I tell The Ragpicker. “People in Paris saw a man carrying a long stick, and usually crossed the street.” “They’re forgotten. You’re a masterpiece visited by thousands a week in the Norton Simon Museum.” “They also see a bum.” “It’s your suffering people appreciate when they gaze at your […]

Also posted in Alcohol, Edouard Manet, Homeless, Norton Simon, Painters, Paris, Poverty

Portraits on Glass

I’m a little nervous before talking to audiences about my work but usually warm up and tell part of my story and then am ready to improvise and answer questions. This morning they come nonstop from about a hundred visitors, quite a few for an art lecture, at Bakersfield Museum of Art, in the gallery […]

Also posted in Bakersfield, Painters, Ray Turner

Art Appraisals

To an interviewer who asked Mick Jagger if he had any art, the slender septuagenarian said, well, I just have several paintings people have given me and a few I’ve bought, but it’s definitely not what you’d call a collection, and they (the bad guys) know that so they never bother coming to my place. […]

Also posted in Adonay Duque, Andy Warhol, Art, Art Galleries, Auctions, Bakersfield, Bonhams, George Thomas Clark, Jerry Hall, Lucian Freud, Mick Jagger, Painters, Rose Bowl, Sotheby's, The Rolling Stones

Wallace Beery v. The Bellhop

A couple of weeks earlier I’d gotten this great job as a bellhop at one of the finest hotels in Pasadena. I loved coming to work in a clean uniform and not having to work outside getting hot and dirty with a bunch of grubby men. In the hotel all the guests looked important, and […]

Also posted in Boxing, Gloria Swanson, Movies, Rape, Wallace Beery

Ramos Martinez Debates Rivera

This story is part of the collection “Paint it Blue” “The Bondage of War” “Indian Couple” “Indian Mother” “Calla Lily Vendor”

Also posted in Alfredo Ramos Martinez, Art, Diego Rivera, Mexico, Painters

Pasadena Bedroom

This story is now in the collection “Tales of Romance”

Also posted in Sex, Short Pieces - GTC

Basketball at Caltech

This story is in the collection “Basketball and Football” You’re the basketball coach at Caltech and your most formidable opponents are not opposing players but the scientific and mathematical pedigree of a school that’s generated more than 30 Nobel Prize winners and accepts only students who project to play NBA ball in the classroom. Successful […]

Also posted in Alaska, Basketball, Caltech, Conservatives, Education, Facebook, Google, Mathematics, Nobel Prize, Republicans, Sarah Palin, Science

The Human Canvas

This story is part of the collection “Paint it Blue”

Also posted in Art, Painters, Photography

Charles White Endures

This story is part of the collection “Paint it Blue”

Also posted in Alabama, Art, Charles White, Chicago, Civil War - American, Elizabeth Catlett, Hammer Museum, Harriet Taubman, John Brown, Los Angeles, Marriage, Mexico, Murals, Nat Turner, New York City, Newspapers, Painters, Poetry - GTC, Racism, Slavery, Tobacco, Tuberculosis

Rescued by George Gershwin

In a Bakersfield month I lose twenty pounds eliminating milk and cottage cheese and meat and an avalanche of pies, cakes, cookies and other heart-clogging, prostate-bashing carcinogens, and switching to soy milk and fresh vegetables and fruits, and marvel that I don’t feel starved but worry I still haven’t abandoned the comfort and control of […]

Also posted in Al Jolson, Diet, Food, George Gershwin, Hershey Felder, Ira Gershwin, Kay Swift, Music, New York City

Van Goghs Argue

This story is part of the collection “Paint it Blue” To see Portrait of a Peasant (Patience Escalier), 1888, please click here

Also posted in Art, Depression, Mental Health, Museums, Norton Simon Museum, Painters, Vincent Van Gogh

Obama Abandons Occidental

This story is from the collection “Obama on Edge”

Also posted in Barack Obama, Los Angeles

Ryan Mathews Demolishes the Bruins who Ignored Him

Two years ago this November I went to see a Bakersfield phenom who was rushing for about 300 yards and four touchdowns a game against good high school competition.  I took notes and wrote an article and sent it to UCLA coach Karl Dorrell and three of his assistants, stressing Ryan Mathews wanted to attend […]

Also posted in Football, Fresno, Ryan Mathews

Jackie Robinson is Alive in Pasadena

Be careful.  Don’t get online and type in words that could summon photos of a gray and disintegrating Jackie Robinson days before his death at age fifty-three in 1972.  Even if you’ve just seen “National Pastime,” the acclaimed play about his life, resist the urge to research.  Instead, buy a large, home-baked cookie as you […]

Also posted in Baseball, Jackie Robinson, Theater

Thanksgiving Dinner

This story appears in the collection “In Other Hands” Trees are everywhere and seem greener here than in most places and the air is fresh and clean. It doesn’t matter Los Angeles has the dirtiest air in the nation. Fifteen miles north, in Pasadena, you can breathe as the trees caress you. This is indeed […]

Also posted in Drugs, George Thomas Clark, Homeless, Mental Health, Poverty, Thanksgiving