Went west a few days ago to relax for awhile.Â First stop was Denver to visit friends.Â My sons were restless while an old biker buddy and I worked on his house, so I told them to go to Columbine and visit the Memorial, since it was just down the street.Â They did, and came back to tell me that it was a sobering experience.Â I like hearing those kinds of observations from teenagers.Â
We discussed the tragedy over dinner, handgun laws, and how hard it must be for the many who were affected to bear that burden each day of their lives, since you can be sure they still do–rather like young soldiers after surviving battle.Â Except these were kids, and teachers, and parents in high school.
Went on to Boulder next day, checked out the campus,Â had sushi on the mall, and dug on the combination of hipsters and yupsters that the townÂ is composed of.Â I remember the days when it was all longhaired hipsters, but all things must pass.
Pushed further west afterward.Â Had some serious hiking to do.Â Man I sure doÂ love CO.
These magnificent photos, of a place swallowed by time, are byÂ Robert Cohen of Los Angeles.Â The Salton Sea, as you may know, is a now desolate place in southern CA.Â At one time it was a playground and weekend get-away, but the increasingÂ salinity of the water, combined with increasing pollution, rendered it unsafe.Â So the resortsÂ surrounding it were left high and dry.
Notice how Bob captures each aspect like a personality adrift.
Notice also the way he captures the remains ofÂ a mobile home: like the bones of some ancient creature, bleaching in the son.Â Brilliant.Â He even published a book on the series, and I was fortunate enough to get an autographed copy.
Installed one of these last week in a client’s backyard.Â Double Spinner, copper and steel, by Lyman Whitaker.Â A very kind gentleman bought it for his wife to celebrate their 53rd anniversary.Â She came outside as we were setting it up, sat down, and wept–I mean the good kind of weep.Â Guess she liked it.
We recentlyÂ providedÂ artwork for the Department of Surgery at University of Kansas Medical Center.Â This is located in KC, not Lawrence, and is one amazing institution.Â In fact we created a History Wall for the dept as well, visually telling the story of their development since the 1890s.
The entire suite of offices was just renovated, which called for new artwork.Â Always dig a gig like that.Â These shots are from their recent grand opening.
Good old Louie CoptÂ with Dr. James Thomas in front of one of Louie’s oils.Â Dr. Thomas’ journey, from a poor town in West VA to Dept Chair, is quite a story.Â Â
Artists whose works we placed include Dan Coburn, Louie Copt, Gloria Baker Feinstein, Arlie Regier, Derrick Breidenthal, Kim Casebeer, and Allan Chow.Â More photos later.
Went to South Dakota last week with my sons.Â Quick getaway at the outset of summer.Â Camped in the rain, hiked in the rain, while the Badlands went through their worst summer cold-snap in 60 years.Â The high was 45.Â Â I think that’s calledÂ timing.
But the Badlands were magnificent, as was this lone bull.Â
Did we get dangerously close to him?Â Heck no.Â Zoom lens.Â Black Hills came after, as did a series of warm, dryÂ hotels.
It was in 1996 that I read a story about plans to build a memorial honoring D-Day veterans in Virginia.Â I submitted Jim Brothers as the sculptor and myself as the art consultant, they invited us down for an interview, and in 1997 awarded us the contract.Â For the next four years Jim busted hisÂ butt completing all 12 figures on time, in bronze.Â The budget was good, the client fantastic, and the architect a blast to work with–as were the D-Day vets.
All these years later I’m still proud of this achievement, just sad that the memorial is on hard times, and will have to be taken over by the Park Service if it is to stay open.Â I’m sure they’ll work it out; it’s just a reflection of this particular economic era.Â Either way, it’s nice to know thatÂ the monuments will still be around after Jim and I have croaked, and that weÂ helped honor the vets while they were still around in large numbers.Â They appreciated the effort, but not like we appreciate theirs.