Monday, November 24, 2014

Nicolas Bearde 8th Annual Jazz & Blues Holiday Concert December 13, 2014 Piedmont Piano Company

Piedmont Piano Company is pleased to present
Nicolas Bearde
8th Annual Jazz & Blues Holiday Concert
Holiday grooves for the whole family
“Bearde taps into music's deeper currents, where love, desire and heartache freely intermingle”
– Andrew Gilbert, San Jose Mercury

Internationally renowned vocalist Nicolas Bearde is a jazz singer of remarkable depth, range and technique who has won acclaim from critics and jazz audiences worldwide for his 'buttery baritone' and deeply imaginative interpretations.
A seasoned showman on stage, Bearde's brilliant and lush vocals combine passion, wit and sensuality, with an engaging rapport that captures and draws the audience into his performance. Forged from his Nashville roots and his 1980's initiation into the thriving San Francisco music scene, Nicolas' unique approach and electrifying delivery of his originals, time-tested standards, blues and other familiar jazz works, are soulful, swinging, improvisational and memorable!!  

Make your reservations early. This “one night only concert” is sure to be a sell out!

Saturday, December 13, 2014 at 8pm
Please stay after the show to enjoy holiday refreshments and meet the performers.
  Piedmont Piano Company
1728 San Pablo Ave. (at 18th), Oakland, CA 94612
 (510) 547-8188
$20 in advance, $25 at the door
To reserve tickets with your credit card, please call (510) 547-8188

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Hasselback Potatoes

Hasselback Potatoes with Parmesan and Roasted Garlic
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Yield: 6 to 8 Servings
  • 6 to 7 large red potatoes
  • 5 to 6 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 cup butter, cubed
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Brush bottom and sides of a baking dish or cast iron skillet with olive oil.
  2. Using a mandoline or a sharp knife, slice potatoes crosswise into desired thickness. Arrange potato slices vertically and loosely in prepared dish or skillet.
  3. Sprinkle garlic and Italian seasoning on top of potatoes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Dot potatoes with butter. Cover skillet or dish with foil and bake in a 375 F oven for about 1 hour or until potatoes are tender. Remove foil, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes or until crisp.
I sliced my potatoes at about 1/4 inch thick as I like my potatoes "meaty". The thinner the slice, the crispier the potatoes get.

Who else cries when yellows drop

November Ends for Belle and Eddie
@Nancy May Boldt Ogden White Battersby Vicknair
Who else cries when yellows

all finished with their 
  1. Pulled up the mums
  2. Swept front porch
  3. Burned the leaves
  4. Make final arrangements = done
  5. Rake, raked
  6. put up the wreath 

Anapanasati Sutta Alameda Sangha

Dear Friends,
This Sunday 11/23, I'll be presenting an overview of the Anapanasati Sutta, one of the central teachings of the Theravadan Buddhist tradition.  On first glance, this sutta seems to be very simply about breath meditation.  But on more in depth study,  it is clear the Buddha meant this teaching to be an encapsulation of the entire path. Because of the context in which this teaching was given, we can deduce that the Buddha was quite well along in his teaching career, and that maturity is reflected in the beautiful way this sutta is structured.  

Come learn how the Buddha taught us to use simple breath practice to lead all the way to liberation through non-clinging.

Judi Fruge will also be continuing our wonderful series of classes in American Sign Language, starting at 6 p.m.

Looking forward to learning and practicing together.
with warmth,
Deb Kerr

Alameda Sangha
Every Sunday, 7pm
@ Buena Vista United Methodist Church
2311 Buena Vista Ave., Alameda
Visit our Website:
Visit our blog:

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Golden Gate Boys Choir & Bellringers From Advent to Christmas Concert

Golden Gate Boys Choir & Bellringers
From Advent to Christmas Concert
2:00 p.m. Sunday, December 7
Chapel of Carmelite Monastery of Cristo Rey, 721 Parker Ave, SF
A free will offering will be taken at the door.  The program performed by the Golden Gate Boys Choir will consist of organ, handbell and choral music appropriate to the Advent and Christmas Seasons.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Edwin White Timeline

Edwin White Timeline
1817 Born South Hadley Mass
ca 18 years old
1835 or 837 startd (metropolitan)Hartford Ct Studied under Phillip Hewins
1840 Living in Bridgeport

Began studying at the prestigious National Academy of Design in New York with John Rubens Smith
Married Harriet Hinman Allen Bridgeport CT
Anatomy classes

1848 Elected to Acad of Design

In 1850, White took his first trip to Europe where he studied at the Academie des Beaux-Arts in Paris under François Edouard Picot, and continued on to Germany to study with Karl Wilhelm Hübner.
-Bulletin of the American Art Union

1852 Dusseldorf
1855 The Antiquitary

1855 Returns to USA

Paris working on Washington Resigning
Also has Hugenots with him
Sanford Gifford described him in a letter to his father as “a most amiable man as well as an excellent artist.”[5]  Excerpt of an article from an art journal tracking the progress of Washington Resigning. "Foreign Correspondence Items," The Crayon, April 1858.
Cbanoh, iu Paris, now occupies the studio lately vacated by 
Edwin White. H
1857-59 Paris

July 1859 Returns to NYC
August 1859 Painting finished in New York

Art journals very closely followed the painting’s progress. The Crayon provided one of the most detailed descriptions of Washington Resigning right after its completion: "The artist has managed a difficult subject very successfully...By making us feel the interest which the figures themselves take in the proceeding before us, all eyes being fixed on Washington, he has succeeded in impressing us with the solemnity of an important event in our national history. We have no doubt but that Washington Resigning His Commission will give perfect satisfaction to the people of Maryland, and take rank with the best efforts of its class."[6]

The Baltimore Sun reported that the painting “elicited a diversity of sentiment as to its merits, but comments thereon are generally disparaging.”[8]

[1] "Maryland Legislature," Baltimore Sun, January 1858.
[2] “The New Painting for the Capitol of Maryland,” Baltimore Sun, 20 May 1857.
[3] Kellogg, Allyn S. Memorials of Elder John White one of the first settlers of Hartford, Conn., and of his Descendants, Hartford: Case, Lockwood, and Company: 1860, p.254.
[4] New York Historical Society. Records of the American Art-Union, 23 March 1851, "Letters from Artists," MS 12. See reel 7, #32.
[5] Sanford Robinson Gifford papers, 1840s-1900, circa 1960s-1970s. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 8 October 1855.
[6] "Sketchings," The Crayon, October 1859.
[7] Comptroller of the Treasury (Paying Warrants), 1859-1860, MSA S 703-14, MSA S 703-15.
[8] "Letter from the State Capital," Baltimore Sun, 24 December 1859.

-Henry Tuckerman Book of the Artists List and bio
Visiting Lecturer
cite The Art  Idea

Florence until 1875

1877 7 Jun Age: 60
Saratoga Springs, Saratoga, New York, USA

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Baltimore’s Frame Maker: Samson Cariss

Baltimore’s Frame Maker: Samson Cariss and Washington Resigning 

This time last year, we watched Edwin White’s Washington Resigning His Commission leave the State House to undergo conservation as part of the restoration, and marked the occasion with a feature on the nineteenth-century artist. So, what better way to welcome Washington Resigning home in the coming weeks, than with a feature on the frame’s craftsman, Samson Cariss!

The frame's latest conservation has revealed superb, detailed craftsmanship and generous gilding. Maryland State Archives, 9 June 2014.

At first glance, Cariss may not seem of interest. Compared to White’s popularity in the American artistic expat inner-circle, Cariss appears only in passing in state correspondence, and it was even questioned for a time whether he could have made the elaborate, carefully crafted frame that has miraculously stayed with the painting over the course of nearly a century and a half. Compared to White’s $3,000 payment, Cariss secured only $300 for the generously gilded work. Because of this, it had been previously suggested that he may have been only the procurer of the frame.[1]

Friday, October 24, 2014

Protecting a Historic Shrine

With the opening of the Old Senate Chamber less than two months away, we are thrilled to soon have a historic room that will be filled with important original and recreated fine arts and furnishings. While we are eager to share many of the original artifacts with the public, much of the items on display in the Old Senate Chamber, and many other rooms in the Maryland State House, are irreplaceable, and the possibility of damage to the room or anything it contains is a constant worry. With such risks being taken, what sort of plan is there to protect the Maryland State House’s historic rooms?

The restoration of a room does not solely revolve around research and architectural discoveries, nor does the care of a room stop on opening day. Rather, many meetings are spent discussing preparation plans to protect the room from disaster and care for it on a regular basis. One aspect of preparation planning of particular importance for historic preservationists is how to protect your artifacts in the case of a fire.

The Old Senate Chamber restoration was prompted by plaster in the room falling off the walls due to nearly twenty layers of several different types of paint applied directly to the historic bricks. By collecting detailed records and working on preventative care of the room and its furnishings, we are taking measures to ensure this does not happen again. Maryland State Archives, April 2004.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Building the State House: Charles Wallace and the Old Senate Chamber

The answer to the question of who built the Maryland State House may be more complicated than you might imagine. While Joseph Horatio Anderson is commonly considered to be the original architect, and provided some of the first floor plans, he did not actually supervise the construction of the building. On June 20, 1771, the Maryland General Assembly contracted a somewhat unexpected individual to undertake the actual construction after Joseph Horatio Anderson had left. Charles Wallace, an Annapolitan, and one-third of the successful eighteenth-century mercantile firm, Wallace, Davidson & Johnson, agreed to take on what would become one of his most famous projects.[1]

Front elevation of the Maryland State House, by Charles Willson Peale, July 1788. Maryland State Archives, MSA SC 1051-2.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Receipts, Letters, and the News: How Archival Documents Crafted the Restored Old Senate Chamber

When most people think of an archives, the first thing to come to mind is often how the documents can be used as genealogical and legal resources. People rarely consider how these centuries of valuable documents can all be applied to restorations. While research within the Maryland State Archives, such as the Legacy of Slavery in Maryland, Maryland 400, and Brookeville projects, all use resources in the institution’s holdings to attempt to piece together the histories of people, the Old Senate Chamber restoration has similarly been using the same documents for years to piece together the history of a single room.

1825 header depicting the State House on the Maryland Gazette, one of the first published American newspapers. Many original editions of the paper are in the collection of the Maryland State Archives. Maryland Gazette, 21 April 1825, MSA SC 378-42.

With a room as old and historic as the Old Senate Chamber, shadows of architectural remains and photographs of the room in later periods do not suffice to explain all aspects of the room's original appearance. Instead, more unusual resources need to be used to flesh out the narrative. In the past, we have used probate and watermark analysis on documents to verify information and craft the lives of the key players in the Old Senate Chamber’s history.

Friday, September 12, 2014

228 Years Ago: The Annapolis Convention of 1786

Many visitors to Maryland's capital city don’t realize that Washington’s resignation and the ratification of the Treaty of Paris were not the only significant national events to take place in eighteenth-century Annapolis. On September 11 through September 14, 1786, delegates from Congress who were elected as commissioners descended upon the city once again in the hopes of meeting to determine the course of American government. While poor attendance prevented much progress at the Annapolis Convention of 1786, its impact on the Philadelphia Convention of 1787 and the resulting United States Constitution cannot be ignored.

A famous depiction of the Philadelphia Convention of 1787, where the Constitution was signed. This gathering is considered by many to be a direct result of the Annapolis Convention of 1786. Scene at the Signing of the Constitution of the United States, by Howard Chandler Christy, 1940, courtesy of the Architect of the Capitol.

After the Revolutionary War, the United States government found itself without money, unable to even offer soldiers’ their pay, and in the midst of an economic depression. Furthermore, Congress found that it could take few measures to resolve this problem as the lack of a unified currency, among other things prevented ease in interstate state trading. Public unrest became a constant problem and though many rebellions were quickly squashed, Shays’ Rebellion in particular threatened the new government from August 1786 until February 1787. It was clear to delegates that something would need to be done.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Charles Willson Peale and the Seven Governors

Edwin White’s Washington Resigning His Commission and Charles Willson Peale’s Washington, Lafayette, and Tilghman at Yorktown are not the only valuable paintings under conservation for this restoration! In fact, a slew of portraits in the state art collection, dating from Peale’s 1774 portrait of William Pitt all the way to the 1970s campaign of crafting copies of portraits of many of Maryland’s founders have become candidates for conservation. Among the slew of fascinating stories attached to the art of the Maryland State House, there is one with a particularly long history. Between 1823 and 1825, Charles Willson Peale painted the portraits of seven of Maryland’s first governors, several of whom played prominent roles in Maryland’s Revolutionary War past and some even in Washington’s resignation!

Detail of Charles Willson Peale's portrait of John Hoskins Stone, 1824, while under conservation as part of the Old Senate Chamber restoration. Maryland State Archives, MSA SC 1545-1057.

Original Post on Maryland State House Blog “A Most Amiable Man As Well As An Excellent Artist:” Edwin White

Original Post on Maryland State House Blog “A Most Amiable Man As Well As An Excellent Artist:Edwin White”

Last week, Washington Resigning His Commission was removed from its place on the grand staircase of the State House’s New Annex for conservation as part of the Old Senate Chamber restoration. But how did this major work come to be in the State House?

Edwin White's Washington Resigning His Commission as Commander-in-Chief, painted in 1859. Maryland State Archives, MSA SC 1545-1112.

On March 5, 1856, the Maryland Senate appropriated $3000 and appointed a committee comprised of Samuel Owings Hoffman, William Lingan Gaither, and James Wallace to commission an artist to paint the resignation of Washington in honor of its 75th anniversary. The Maryland senators hoped that this commission would produce a work comparable to John Trumbull’s 1824 monumental depiction of the resignation at the U.S. Capitol. However, the committee struggled to find a suitable artist for the portrait. James Wallace later explained to the legislature: "Your committee found it difficult to obtain the work from artist of reputation and established fame for the sum heretofore appropriated for that purpose."[1] 
Despite the apparent interest of local artist Francis Blackwell Mayer, who completed several sketches of the Old Senate Chamber in March 1856, the committee ultimately selected American artist Edwin White on April 3, 1857. The Baltimore Sun reported that White, “who already possesses a high artistic reputation, has consented to undertake the work more from a desire to increase his renown, than from motives of pecuniary reward.”[2]

Portrait of Edwin White painting by Frederick R. Spencer, c.1837 when White was around the age of 20. Image courtesy of Frick Art Reference Library, National Academy of Design, 1192-P.

Edwin White (1817-1877) was born in South Hadley, Massachusetts. His family was one of the direct descendants of Elder John White, one of the first settlers of Hartford, Connecticut in 1636, and a founder of Hadley, Massachusetts.[3] From an early age, Edwin White showed artistic talent and, when he was eighteen, began study under portraitist Phillip Hewins in Harford, Connecticut.
Within five years of starting his training with Hewins, White began studying at the prestigious National Academy of Design in New York and went on to be a part of the American Art-Union, which distributed most of his paintings. In 1850, White took his first trip to Europe where he studied at the Academie des Beaux-Arts in Paris under François Edouard Picot, and continued on to Germany to study with Karl Wilhelm Hübner.
Early on in his career, White took an interest in creating historical pieces. He was especially fond of European scenes, and particularly Paris. Of the city, White wrote, "Paris appears to me as one of the most desirable places for an artist in the world whatever branch of the art he may choose to further a study, he finds him the material."[4] White joined a circle of several American artists in Paris in the nineteenth-century including Sanford Gifford and John Singer Sargent. He was well-liked among the artists, and Sanford Gifford described him in a letter to his father as “a most amiable man as well as an excellent artist.”[5] It was no surprise, then, that only a few months after receiving his official commission from Maryland, White left to work on Washington Resigning in his studio in Paris.

Excerpt of an article from an art journal tracking the progress of Washington Resigning. "Foreign Correspondence Items," The Crayon, April 1858.

Art journals very closely followed the painting’s progress. The Crayon provided one of the most detailed descriptions of Washington Resigning right after its completion: "The artist has managed a difficult subject very successfully...By making us feel the interest which the figures themselves take in the proceeding before us, all eyes being fixed on Washington, he has succeeded in impressing us with the solemnity of an important event in our national history. We have no doubt but that Washington Resigning His Commission will give perfect satisfaction to the people of Maryland, and take rank with the best efforts of its class."[6]
Edwin White returned to the United States on July 1859 with Washington Resigning, which was officially completed in August 1859 in his New York studio. Washington Resigning made a brief tour of the east coast before settling into its home in the Old Senate Chamber of the Maryland State House at the end of that year. In total, White was paid $6,000 for the work.
The frame for Washington Resigning was provided by Samson Cariss (1804-1870), an English immigrant and art dealer who had settled in Baltimore in 1829. The Maryland legislature paid Cariss $300 for the gilded frame, along with other unnamed furnishing to the State House.[7]

Photograph of Washington Resigning hanging in the Old Senate Chamber, before it was moved in 1904 to its current home on the grand staircase in the New Annex. 1898, Maryland State Archives, MSA SC 5788.

For several years, Edwin White's depiction of the resignation was regarded as unhelpful for interpretation of the actual ceremony. Almost immediately after its arrival in Annapolis, The Baltimore Sun reported that the painting “elicited a diversity of sentiment as to its merits, but comments thereon are generally disparaging.”[8] Modern researchers, when assessing the accuracy of the painting, frequently pointed toward artistic licenses White took, especially in regards to the audience members. Although it is hard to avoid noting that White left out one of the chamber's windows and placed women (including Martha Washington) on the floor of the chamber, it is important to remember that he was selected for the commission in part due to his reputation as an accurate history painter. 
Recent research into passenger records, letters of fellow artists, and art journals concludes that White had very likely visited the Old Senate Chamber before his departure to Paris to begin the painting. Thus, in Washington Resigning, there exists an interpretation of the Old Senate Chamber's 1850s appearance, nearly ten years before any photographs of the room had been taken. While we do not yet know how faithful White was in his depiction of the architectural appearance of the OSC, it is clear that this painting is an important piece of documentary evidence about the pre-photographic appearance of the room.
Edwin White's Washington Resigning His Commission as Commander-in-Chief will return to the State House after its conservation. As part of the Old Senate Chamber Renovation project, it will be returned to its home on the grand staircase of the new annex to coincide with the opening of the Old Senate Chamber in December 2014.
For more information on Edwin White and Samson Cariss, please see their biographies.
Keep reading for more updates on the conservation process for Washington Resigning!

[1] "Maryland Legislature," Baltimore Sun, January 1858.
[2] “The New Painting for the Capitol of Maryland,” Baltimore Sun, 20 May 1857.
[3] Kellogg, Allyn S. Memorials of Elder John White one of the first settlers of Hartford, Conn., and of his Descendants, Hartford: Case, Lockwood, and Company: 1860, p.254.
[4] New York Historical Society. Records of the American Art-Union, 23 March 1851, "Letters from Artists," MS 12. See reel 7, #32.
[5] Sanford Robinson Gifford papers, 1840s-1900, circa 1960s-1970s. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 8 October 1855.
[6] "Sketchings," The Crayon, October 1859.
[7] Comptroller of the Treasury (Paying Warrants), 1859-1860, MSA S 703-14, MSA S 703-15.
[8] "Letter from the State Capital," Baltimore Sun, 24 December 1859.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Historian Nancy Vicknair Seeking Information About Author Mara Kay For Biography

I am currently seeking any and all information about author MARA KAY, author of MASHA as well as other YA books. I am preparing a biography of the author and an analysis of her body of work.

Active ca. 1950-80. Probably born in Russia or Ukraine ca. 1935. Her surname "KAY" might have been changed when entering USA or upon marriage. May have a twin or brother and only one parent-may have been adopted. Fluent in many languages.

Perhaps related to Russian landed class pre - revolution and/or of Jewish descent. Also perhaps employed by Montgomery Ward. Also tentative residence in Long Island NYC. Want any information which would be appreciated.

Contact me at

Friday, November 14, 2014

Apostrophes Are Mushrooms

Lately apostrophes have been popping up and disappearing as fast as mushrooms after a rainy day. They show up when least expected and cause a reader to come to a screeching halt while reading something, somewhere.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Holiday Shortbread Bites

 Holiday Shortbread Bites

Nutritional Information
(per serving)
Total Fat3g
Saturated Fat2g
Total Carbohydrate4g
Dietary Fiber--
shortbread bitesRita Maas
Prep Time: 30 min
Cook Time: 18 min
Oven Temp: 325
U.S. Metric Conversion chart
  • 1 1/4 cup(s) all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoon(s) sugar
  • 1/2 cup(s) (1 stick) butter (no substitutions), cold, cut into pieces
  • 1 tablespoon(s) red and green nonpareils or sprinkles or 1/2 cup mini baking bits

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. In food processor with knife blade attached, pulse flour and sugar until combined. Add butter and pulse until dough begins to come together. Place dough in medium bowl. With hand, gently knead in nonpareils or baking bits until evenly blended and dough forms a ball.
  3. On lightly floured waxed paper, pat dough into 8" by 5" rectangle; freeze 15 minutes. Cut dough into 1/2-inch squares. Place squares, 1/2 inch apart, on ungreased large cookie sheet.
  4. Bake cookies 18 to 20 minutes or until lightly browned on bottom. Transfer cookies to wire rack to cool. Repeat with remaining dough. Store cookies in tightly covered container at room temperature up to 1 week, or in freezer up to 3 months.

"The Roots of Suffering: Greed, Hatred and Delusion." Meditation Daylong with Three Teachers at the Alameda Sangha November 15 and Sunday November 16th kick off and start your holiday preparation practice

Alameda Sangha
Buena Vista United Methodist Church
2311 Buena Vista, Alameda, CA 94501
Dear Ones,
Please join me this Sunday November 16th to kick off and start your holiday preparation practice on setting intention and using wise speech. The two practices work very well together and support one another nicely. If we start now, and practice the week prior to Thanksgiving and continue on through prepping for the December holiday festivities, I'm sure that we will find what an amazing positive difference these practices will make in managing holiday stress, expectation and actual real time interaction. Then, after we see the fruits of the practice, these will hopefully carry through and become part of our tool kit for life beyond the holidays. I am very excited to offer these two teachings of the Buddha so that we can make a positive difference this holiday season.
Please download or print the chanting: (also available from our Resources page on the website) So that we can end the evening together.

Saturday November 15
This Saturday November 15, the three of us Alameda Sangha teachers, Rebecca Dixon, Deb Kerr and I will be teaching a daylong all day at this same location from 9am to 430 pm. Come and spend the day in silent walking, sitting and eating practice. Give yourselves the gift of spiritual nourishment as we explore together, the 3 Poisons of Greed, Hatred and Delusion. This is one of Buddha's important teachings. When Sariputta asked him why he was teaching about these 3 kilesas (mental defilements - major categories under which all others fall into, i.e. envy, addiction, divisive speech, anger, etc) Buddha answered, "if one can work with these 3 kilesas and are able to dispel them, the end of suffering will be reached and Nibbana attained"

Thus the importance of learning to understand, work with and become liberated from greed, hatred and delusion. What a difference this would make in our world together!

In the morning we will talk about how to recognize their arising in the mind, simple examples of how to work with them and in the afternoon, the counterpart practices of generosity, lovingkindness and wisdom in order to awaken from the trance and hold that these can have on all of us in our daily lives.  It will be quite an amazing day indeed! Wear comfortable clothing, bring a bag lunch and bring any cushions and zabutons that you may be accustomed to sitting in at home. Otherwise the chairs are very comfortable. Plan to arrive early to settle in. Looking forward to seeing you there!
"The Roots of Suffering: Greed, Hatred and Delusion."
Meditation Daylong with Three Teachers at the Alameda Sangha
November 15, 9:00 am to 4:30 pm Donation
Alameda Sangha
Buena Vista United Methodist Church
2311 Buena Vista, Alameda, CA 94501

Monday, November 10, 2014

Emeryville Artist Kills Fiance in Texas

Police in Austin, Texas, say an East Bay artist stabbed an Alameda woman to death in the living room of a home where they were guests last week, then paced back and forth in the room, saying he couldn't believe he had killed her.
Joseph Karr, 53, was arrested Saturday in Austin after police say he killed Kelly Turner, 43. Turner, a flight attendant for Southwest Airlines who operated out of Oakland International Airport, had brought Karr to Austin to meet her family.
Turner and Karr were staying with Michael Hammond, an acquaintance of Turner's, and his girlfriend when the couple went out Oct. 31 with Hammond and his girlfriend to a bar, according to affidavit from an Austin police detective. When they returned to the apartment that night, Hammond said he and his girlfriend went upstairs to bed, while Turner and Karr stayed in the living room.
Joseph Karr
Joseph Karr ( Austin (TX) Police Department )
About an hour later, Hammond told police, he was awakened by a woman screaming. He called 911 and grabbed a nearby handgun.
As Hammond descended the stairs, according to the affidavit, he saw Karr pacing back and forth in the living room and mumbling to himself. Karr, who had blood on his shirt, began walking up the stairs, carrying a knife, and said out loud, "I can't believe I (expletive) killed her."
Hammond pointed his gun at Karr and told him to stop walking up the stairs. Karr left the house, taking Hammond's car, but was arrested a short time later. Police said he had self-inflicted knife wounds when he was caught.
Karr, a metalworker who runs an Emeryville studio under the name "The Bohemian Blacksmith," is being held on $2 million bail in a Travis County jail. His next court appearance is scheduled for Nov. 25.
Turner's sister, Barbara Shannon told television station ABC7 that she would always remember "(Kelly's) beautiful smile. When she walked into a room she just lit up the room with her smile. She always saw something good in every person."
Turner graduated from Austin's Westlake High School and the University of Texas, according to the Austin American-Statesman. A statement from Southwest Airlines said that "Kelly was a wonderful person and our hearts go out to her family during this difficult time."

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Pastels by Nancy Stein and Woodcraft by Victor Larson An Art Exhibition Toby's Gallery

Pastels by Nancy Stein and Woodcraft by Victor Larson
An Art Exhibition
Toby's Gallery
at Toby's Feed Barn
November1-30 2014 

Open everyday 9-5pm, and Sundays 10-5pm. Both artists will be in the gallery at least 11-2pm each day each weekend.  

Nancy demonstrates how she transfers her work from a photo grid onto paper with pastel, using a sanded pastel paper.   

Victor spends the day whittling spoons from the branches of various woods - olive, sycamore, oak, walnut. Children of all ages are fascinated by this activity.  

Toby's Gallery
11250 State Route One
 (the main street in Point Reyes Station)
 Pt. Reyes, Ca 94956


Nancy Stein has been acclaimed for her beautiful renderings of the West Marin landscape.  Her series of the ocean waves - many of
them as large as 6ft. - have been praised for their unromanticized view of the character of the northern California sea.  Now she brings new
work to Toby's Gallery- redwood, fir and oak trees; scenes of farm and ranch life, the diversity of west Marin

Fall is a particularly beautiful time of year in Point Reyes.  While our summers can be foggy and cold; when fall comes the fog burns off early
 in the morning, often with the rising sun coming underneath the trees, silhouetted in golden light.  Our northern ocean, the weathered sides of
 the old barns,  redwood trees lit chartreuse from behind, these speak to me, asking to be represented.   In the fall everything is  side lit even at
midday, and the light creates capricious shadows and tricks.  The sunset is beautiful,  but the time afterward when most people have left the beach
 and the sky reflects the water, the 'ponies manes' on the top of the waves - these ask to be represented.   As I drive to my landscaping jobs, to
 pick up my grandchildren, I often stop and capture the incredible visions of this place - that's the time I'm drawn to.    I am witness to constant
inspiration....and I love the mix of farm and ranch and the environment we have worked hard to preserve.  For many years, my medium was
etching (mfa sfsu 1985) and drawing has always satisfied the way I see.  I am especially drawn to the soft chalk of pastel, and its ability to blend
the lines of what I see.  I intend to work not as sharp as a photograph but on the edge between abstraction and reality...
I worked with etching for many years, developing the skill of drawing and perspective before I came to color.  The colors of my home
are actually quite muted, like the soft edges the fog brings; the landscape changes daily --- one never knows what these familiar roads will unveil, the tricks of light and fog.
It's an honor to show in the gallery with Victor's beautiful bowls, platters and spoons!

artist statement
My sense of form and general aesthetic was informed by my studies with ceramists Bill Quirt and Paul Soldner in the early 60s.
They introduced me to the traditions of Japanese ceramics, for which I have a great fondness.

My woodworking skills were nurtured while working in Bill Grunwald's Aeolus boat shop, building traditional rowing and sailing craft; and
wood has been my medium for many years.

In the early 70s I moved to West Marin and started working in custom residential construction; I spent thirty years working in the wood shop
of Axel Nelson Construction, making cabinets, doors, windows and furniture.  Over the years, I've collected all kinds of local woods - traditional
oak and walnut, but also olive, madrone, sycamore; whatever comes my way from storms and cabinetry scraps.  I enjoy whittling spoons - finding
 the shape and grain inherent in the wood.

Now I'm retired and spending most of my time in the exploration of wood turning, leaning on those early influences to guide the way.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Almost nobody remembers Gig Young now

Blogs Nosey Parker

The Bizarre Death and Mysterious Burial of a Hollywood Oscar Winner

- March 2nd, 2011
Almost nobody remembers Gig Young now, but 41 years ago he was the toast of Hollywood.
The Academy Awards for 1969 were presented on the evening of April 7, 1970, at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles.

It was the second year the Oscars were televised worldwide and it was also the second year there was no host — a brief interregnum between the Bob Hope era and most of the 1970s when hosting was done by committee (before one last hurrah for Bob Hope and the beginning of the Johnny Carson era).

Winning the Oscar for Best Picture was Midnight Cowboy, the only X-rated film in the history of the Academy Awards to win Best Picture.
John Wayne got the only Oscar of his career as Best Actor for his role of crusty Rooster Cogburn in True Grit and Maggie Smith won Best Actress as an eccentric Scottish teacher in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.
Goldie Hawn (in  one of those typical Oscar “huh?” decisions) got the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for Cactus Flower.
And the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor goes to … Gig Young for his performance as Rocky, the sleazy and manipulative promoter of a Depression-era dance marathon in They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?
gig young
It was a popular choice in Hollywood, where Gig Young had established himself over the previous 30 years as a charming, genial party guy who often played the role of a charming, genial lush onscreen  — and on the Tonight Show couch as a frequent, amusing guest of Johnny Carson.
Young had been nominated for Best Supporting Actor twice before, for 1951′s Come Fill The Cup and 1958′s Teacher’s Pet, but the 1969 win was the pinnacle of his career — and the beginning of the end.
Actually the beginning of the end for Gig Young began with the birth of Byron Elsworth Barr in St. Cloud, Minnesota, on Nov. 4, 1913.
For most of the next three decades, Gig Young was Byron Barr, a charming, genial kid and aspiring actor.
According to most biographies, Byron was raised in Washington, D.C. (more about that later) before winning a scholarship at the end of high school to the famous Pasadena Community Playhouse in California, where he worked on his acting chops before being picked up as a contract bit player by Warner Bros. in the late 1930s.
The young actor was still known as Byron Barr — and got the occasional screen credit under that name — until his breakout role in 1942′s The Gay Sisters, in which he played a character named … Gig Young.
Warner Bros. decided “Gig Young” was a catchier name than “Byron Barr” (and — unbelievable as it may seem — there was another young supporting actor kicking around Hollywood at the time also named Byron Barr) so “Byron Barr” stopped being a charming, amiable second-string actor and “Gig Young” stopped being a movie character’s name.
Gig Young, actor, then reverted to Byron Barr, pharmacist’s mate in the U.S. Coast Guard, for the duration of World War II.
When the war ended and Byron Barr returned to civilian life, Warner Bros. dropped his contract. But Byron Barr decided to keep his Warner Bros. stage name and Gig Young quickly became a solid, busy Hollywood presence in movies like Wake of the Red Witch, The Three Musketeers and Only the Valiant.
In the mid 1950s he was hosting the television series Warner Bros. Presents while keeping up his busy movie career and busier social life.
By 1956 he was on to his third wife, Elizabeth Montgomery, daughter of famed Hollywood actor Robert Montgomery. Elizabeth Montgomery would go on to superstardom in the 1960s as Samantha Stephens, the nose-twitching hexess in TV’s Bewitched (1964-72).
But first she had to dump Gig Young. Montgomery divorced him in 1963, citing physical and emotional abuse fuelled by her husband’s alcoholism.
The Gig Young party gig was starting to run low on steam, but there were still two more wives, a pretty good TV series called The Rogues and that 1969 Academy Award to go before the whole charming, amiable Gig Young persona blew apart in a million pieces.
He married his fourth wife, Hollywood real estate agent Elaine Williams, shortly after the Montgomery divorce and daughter Jennifer — Byron Barr/Gig Young’s only child — came along in April 1964.
Of course, Williams was divorcing Barr/Young within three years (physical-emotional abuse/alcoholism) and in the subsequent child support proceedings Barr/Young proclaimed that Jennifer was not his biological child and he was not responsible for her upkeep. The court ruled against him, but more about that later.
So Gig Young staggered into the 1970s, clutching his Oscar, with a few more movie roles to come but far more trouble.
Typical was his experience in 1973 when Mel Brooks picked Gig Young to play the Waco Kid — a role ultimately assumed by Gene Wilder — in the groundbreaking western comedy Blazing Saddles.
Let’s let Mel Brooks tell you what happened on the first day of filming when Cleavon Little’s character Bart and the Waco Kid (Gig Young), a broken-down, drunken gunslinger, meet for the first time in jail:
“We draped Gig Young’s legs over and hung him upside down. And he started to talk and he started shaking. I said, ‘This guy’s giving me a lot. He is giving plenty. He’s giving me the old alky shake. Great.’ And then it got serious, because the shaking never stopped, and green stuff started spewing out of his mouth and nose, and he started screaming. And, I said, ‘That’s the last time I’ll ever cast anybody who really is that person.’ If you want an alcoholic, don’t cast an alcoholic… Anyway, poor Gig Young, it was the first shot on Friday, nine in the morning, and an ambulance came and took him away. I had no movie.”
Gene Wilder flew from New York to Los Angeles over the weekend and was playing the Waco Kid on Monday morning, but that’s another story.
The DTs didn’t deter Gig Young and he was still firmly on his downward spiral when he hooked up with director Sam Peckinpah (another guy on a downward spiral) to make a couple of ultra-violent, nihilistic movies — 1974′s Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia and 1975′s The Killer Elite.
(It seems to be during the making of these films that Gig Young started collecting guns.)
There were two more movies after that and one more marriage before Gig Young’s ignominious end.
Young was an invisible presence in a terrible movie, The Hindenburg, also released in 1975, and then he hit rock bottom in 1978 when he was cast in a patchwork reworking of an unreleased kung-fu movie called Game of Death — incomplete footage of which was shot prior to star Bruce Lee’s death in 1973.
So Gig Young’s last movie had him in a minor supporting role to an action star who had been totally inactive for five years.
Not really a good mental and emotional place to be for his fifth marriage on Sept. 27, 1978, to 31-year-old German actress Kim Schmidt (sometimes erroneously listed as 21 and sometimes erroneously listed as Australian).
I’m not sure why Kim Schmidt married him — maybe it was true love, maybe it was Oscar love, maybe it was just something to do — but it was a bad decision.
Three weeks after the wedding Gig Young ended the marriage in their condo apartment, Suite 1BB of the Osborne Apartments on West 57th Street in New York City, on Oct. 19, 1978.
He ended it by loading a Smith & Wesson .38-calibre revolver — one of many, many firearms he kept in the apartment — and putting one slug through his wife’s head and one slug through the roof of his mouth.
Gig Young 2
Exit, Gig Young.
But not gracefully.
Adding insult to felonious injury, his will left the bulk of his estate to his 1970s agent, Marty Baum of CAA, and $10 to his putative daughter, Jennifer Young. (How creepy is that, taking as your real last name the fictional name of a guy who had disowned you as his daughter?)
In the end, it was up to Gig Young’s sister, Genevieve Barr Merry, to bury her brother. Which she did, in the Green Hill Cemetery in Waynesville, North Carolina.
And that is where Gig Young’s story ends and mine begins.
A couple of years ago, I took an extended road trip down the east coast of the U.S., partly to write travel stories, partly to heal wounds of a dissolved marriage and partly to feed an eccentric hobby of mine — visiting the graves of interesting dead people.
I must admit that Gig Young didn’t meet the main criterion of my search for dead people — for the most past they were people I admired or, at least, could stand in awe of.
People like Rod Serling, creator of the Twilight Zone (a simple stone on a rural hillside in the Finger Lakes district of upper New York); Mark Twain ( a grotesque monument in Elmira, N.Y., erected 30 years after his death by his daughter to jointly honour her dead Russian composer husband); Billie Burke, the actress who played the Good Witch in The Wizard of Oz, alongside her previously deceased/bankrupt husband Flo Ziegfield of Ziegfield Follies fame (simple graves on a hilltop outside New York City shaded by a huge statue Burke erected in honour of her mother). People like that.
But my ultimate destination was North Carolina, the place of my birth and the place where I had scattered my father’s ashes over his parents’ graves the better part of a decade earlier.
I was doing some travel writing/gathering up in North Carolina’s Great Smoky Mountains first and that was where I stumbled across the fact that Gig Young was buried in Waynesville.
That was also when I became aware that Young — an actor I was very familiar with from my childhood — had died in a bizarre murder-suicide. And I couldn’t figure out what he was doing buried in a small mountain town in North Carolina , far away from Hollywood and New York City and even Washington, D.C., where he supposedly grew up.
So driving down the Blue Ridge Parkway chasing 19th Century inns, steam locomotives and a moonshiner named Popcorn Sutton, I stopped off at the Green Hill Cemetery on a hot, sunny June afternoon to look up Gig Young.
One major thing that distinguishes American cemeteries from Canadian cemeteries is the number of little flags erected at gravesites. Those flags are usually put there by the American Legion and other post-service fellowships to honour departed members.
In a normal U.S. cemetery, a third to a half of the graves will be showing flags, in part because of higher American war death tolls in the past half century and in part because mandatory conscription — and thus an extended base of former military personnel — was in effect in the U.S. from the early 1940s through the 1970s.
Then there’s another quirk: The further south you travel, the more Confederate flags you see intermingled with United States flags in cemeteries. Those flags are maintained by organizations like the Sons and Daughters of the Confederacy to honour the southern dead of a war fought 150 years ago.
I tell you this because the Green Hill Cemetery is so old it has far more graves sprouting Confederate flags than U.S. flags.
I like cemeteries: They’re calm and peaceful and have interesting stories to tell. And I generally like people who work in cemeteries: They tend to be calm and peaceful and have interesting stories to tell too.
And when you’re looking for a needle — one single grave — in a haystack — a cemetery with anywhere between 300 and 300,000 (Arlington) graves — the people who work there are a good place to start the search.
Since there aren’t usually a lot of living people in a cemetery on a midweek afternoon, it didn’t take long to find caretaker Lonnie Higgins.
Lonnie was a nice guy but a fairly young guy, cemeterily speaking, so he didn’t have quite the sense of historical ownership I was looking for.
Lonnie could direct me to a grist stone once operated by Daniel Boone (everything in the mountains of North Carolina has some connection to Daniel Boone), to the car dealer buried in a Model T Ford and to the grave of the very last serving Confederate officer (Alden Howell, died 1947 age 106), but he had no idea who Gig Young or Byron Barr was or where he was buried.
Lonnie thought a little more.
“And we’ve got that actress here, the one from Bewitched.”
“Elizabeth Montgomery?” I asked in disbelief.
“No, not Samantha. Her mother.”
“Agnes Moorehead?”
“I guess. I heard she was buried here but I’ve never seen her grave myself.”
That was just too weird: The guy once married to Elizabeth Montgomery and the woman who once played her mother on TV buried in the same rural cemetery in the middle of nowhere.
And then, thankfully, Fred Rathbone drove up in his truck.
Fred was the former Green Hill caretaker, retired now, but the main man for 35 years and the repository of knowledge I had been looking for.
And yes, Fred was related to Basil Rathbone, the Sherlock Holmes actor whose urn crypt in a New York mausoleum I had recently been locked out of.
“He was my daddy’s second or third cousin.”
Well, everybody in North Carolina is pretty much related to everybody else, including Daniel Boone, so the Rathbone connection was no surprise.
With the pleasantries over, I asked Fred about Gig Young.
“Oh, yes, he’s here but not under that name. Under the family name.”
“Yeah, that’s it. I’ve seen it many times but I don’t remember right where now. Over that way somewhere. There’s a family monument and then the individual markers.”
“And Agnes Moorehead? She’s buried here too?”
Fred looked confused.
“Lonnie told me Agnes Moorehead, the mother from Bewitched, is buried here too.”
Fred’s furrowed brow cleared.
“Oh, no. The Bewitched connection is to Gig Young. He was married to Samantha, you know. Lonnie just got his witches mixed up.”
Lonnie and Fred and I had a good chuckle about that one.
So Lonnie and Fred went on talking and watching birds and listening to the wind in the trees while I went grave hunting.
And about 45 minutes later — after finally turning 90 degrees from the direction Fred had pointed me in — I found the Barr family plot.
And under the Barr monument there were five gravestones:
John E. Barr 1877-1975
Emma C. Barr 1879-1944
Donald E. Barr 1906-1949
Floyd H. Barr 1883-1969
Byron E. Barr 1913-1978
So there was Gig Young, buried with his family under a modest stone stained with I don’t know what, except maybe shame.
I went to find Fred and Lonnie and showed them the grave.
Fred told me John and Emma were Gig/Byron’s parents, Donald was his older brother and Floyd was his uncle.
And Fred told me Gig/Byron’s father, John, had served in the Philippines in the Spanish-American War (1899-1901) with Fred’s grandfather.
“So the family was here for a long time?”
“Oh yeah, they owned a cannery.”
“Well, all the published information says Gig … um, Byron … was born in Minnesota and grew up in Washington.”
“Well, John and Emma were away for a while but they came back when Byron was six or so and he grew up here. That’s for sure. I grew up with him. I was a lot younger than he was but I saw him around.”
So that’s why Gig Young is buried in Waynesville, N.C. At the end of his sad, broken life, his sister took him home to be buried with his family in the little mountain town where he spent his childhood.
And that’s pretty much it.
Except for the daughter, Jennifer.
Even though her father had denied her and spurned her in his will, Jennifer Young grew up in Hollywood claiming some reflected glory from her famous/infamous father/non-father.
She has a music career of sorts now and is trying to find backers for a documentary on her father, but she was known as a fixture on the Hollywood party scene for years and made headlines in the past 15 years for two things.
1. Jennifer was BFF and former roommate of Beverly Hills madam Heidi Fleiss, although Jennifer denied persistent accusations that she was one of Heidi’s stable of high-priced Hollywood hookers. Charlie Sheen, a Heidi client, could shed more light on that if he didn’t have troubles of his own that probably outweigh most self-inflicted career setbacks endured by Jennifer’s father/non-father. (I really think Charlie should take a good look at Gig Young’s lifestyle choices. But he won’t. See you at the end of the road, Charlie.)
2. In the mid-1990s, Jennifer launched a highly publicized campaign to get possession of her father’s Best Supporting Actor Oscar from agent Marty Baum, who had claimed it in a round-about way under the terms of Gig Young’s will. In a tripartite agreement involving Baum, Jennifer Young and the Academy  of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (legal owners of the statue), Baum agreed to turn over the Oscar to Jennifer on his death.
Well, Marty Baum died in November 2010. Jennifer Young got the Oscar in December and the Academy says she can keep it for 48 weeks of every year until she dies. That’s about as close to a happy ending as this story can get.
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Terry M. says: