Archive for August, 2010
I was looking through images on the Library of Congress site and came across a photo of a woman who looked remarkably like my mother. She was President Chester Arthur’s wife, Ellen Lewis Herndon Arthur, or “Nell”. Herndon and Lewis are family names, so I did a little digging. You’ll be surprised, but of course, she was part of the family. In the same vein, I found a photograph of my great grandfather who looked remarkably like me at the same age. If these people had such similar genes responsible for our appearance, how much of our behavior is tied to them? Does that mean I’m crazy because Meriwether Lewis was?
It amazes me when I hear about the endless hours involved with graphic design. When I was in school it was common for everyone to pull all-nighters and then drag in with something that made no sense. I didn’t have time for that. I had nightclubs to attend. My life in the early 80s was like this: go to school, do the assignments, buy shirts at Cowboys and Poodles on Melrose, eat dinner at Pages in Encino or Café Casino in Beverly Hills, buy liquor, and go to a club. I was very groovy. This was confirmed by the collection of Wet magazines I had.
Wet was a magazine dedicated to bathing. This may seem thin for a monthly magazine, but it was a center for “new wave” culture. Hip designers created the ads and covers. The articles covered hot tubs, but they also covered Eraserhead and KROQ. The zeitgeist of this time in Los Angeles was rather, and yes this is embarrassing, Less than Zero. This was a city with an amazing amount of faux ennui. Cities have their time: New York in the 1930s, Miami in the 1950s, and Seattle in the 1990s. Los Angeles was in the midst of its time in the 1980s, and everyone here knew it, and knew it wouldn’t last.
Did you know that your pool would turn into a pond if you don’t filter and treat it? I didn’t, but I discovered this after we bought the current house. There was a gap between the previous owner’s pool company and ours. The pool did, indeed, become a boggy brown pond. This and the falling down pool equipment shelter made for a fine afternoon in the sun. After we re-plastered, re-tiled, installed a new heater and filter, and connected the gas line I was still left with a dangerous looking equipment shelter. Many people freely gave me ideas for the shelter. Many of these ideas required vast amounts of money and multiple permits. Fortunately, I am a great fan of vintage Sunset Books. These are a treasure trove of good ideas.
I was tempted to build the wall myself. But I tend to injure myself almost every weekend with house projects. So I wisely left the construction to people who know how to do this. The wall is incredibly simple. I took the idea of the “neighbor-side” of the fence and reversed it. The support is exposed and creates the grid. The marine-grade plywood is attached on the backside. I selected a few colors, and was left with a Piet Mondrian, or Partridge Family equipment shelter. If the wall could talk, I’m sure it would say, “A whole lotta lovin’ is what I’ll be bringing. Come on get happy.”