Friday, November 27, 2009

Everything changes...

I grew up downtown on the peninsula in the area called Ansonborough.

The house is on Meeting at Society Street in the "Old" area where my boyhood friends and I were tenants.

Maybe one or two families owned their homes, but mainly, we all were renting back then in the 1950s.

My two brothers and I went to grade school at St. Joseph's around the corner on Anson Street, and then walked up to Broad and Queen Streets to attend Cathedral Grammar school.

We all three graduated from Bishop England high school - walking in the other direction - on Calhoun Street.

All of those schools are gone now.

The Anson Street building is still there but is no longer a school. The others have been torn down.

I passed my old house the other day at the corner of Meeting Street and apparently it's awaiting BAR approval of paint samples displayed on the front and sides.

It also is no longer 270 Meeting Street. The address has been changed to Society Street.

We seldom used the front door so I'm glad the back entrance is now officially recognized.

Even by the mailman..

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

What was said / What was heard.....

It's a shame there's no photo of an unusual Folly Beach dining experience that I had about 12 years ago. No camera was handy when the meal was eventually served.

This classic internet picture of Center Street dates back a few more years than that but it's all I could find.

The restaurant (unnamed and non existent now) had a great beach view from its deck and after enjoying a pleasant sunny afternoon, my date and I went inside for dinner.

I don't remember the actual meal - in light of what happened - but I assume it was either fish or something else from the sea fried or baked, served with potatoes. I do know she asked for Irish coffee with the meal and everyone said "no problem."

She then quietly asked the very young waiter to please serve the Bailey's on the side. He said "sure" and took off for the kitchen.

He was gone a long time. He had disappeared but the beer was cold and the outing was fun.

We chatted with other diners, talked about the beautiful day at the beach and gradually became quiet and concerned about WHEN would we ever eat?

About that moment the flushed waiter finally returns, plates are placed and - with a flourish and genuine pride - he proudly points to the green bay leaves that have been carefully placed around the edge of each plate.

The owner and Chef wandered out to see why bay leaves had to be found and rushed into use. We scratched our heads when they asked and had no answer.

The date sipped her coffee and said "Where's the Bailey's to add to the coffee?

Slowly we all caught on...Bay-Ley's Irish whiskey for the coffee. On the side.

Someone rushed to the bar and brought over a bottle.

(Click on the picture of the bar at Blu's for more details. Usually photos found on the internet do not enlarge. Well, shots I take DO. Usually.) Thanks for stopping by to hear my little story.

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Saturday, November 21, 2009

Taking pictures OF a camera...

Now, this gets tricky.

Wanted to take a picture OF my camera with a new accessory. But, I only have one camera.

We've all heard the phrase "smoke & mirrors" so I reached for a mirror.

See the camera in the mirror in the viewfinder. Place the "Bottle Cap Tripod" in the shot to show plenty of close up detail.

Took this clever device along on my trip to Ireland and Germany and airport security had no problem with it. (Last year I was asked to unpack a small metal tripod which apparently looked like a "stun gun" on the x-ray screen.)

Oh, you noticed. Mirror images are reversed.

Didn't matter on the attachment but reversed lettering on the camera would be an obvious problem.

In Photoshop I have an "image" control with a setting that allows me to "flip" the image.

I did that for the shot of the camera sitting atop the wine bottle.

Did NOT reverse/flip the top picture or the reversed mirror image would not have been apparent. Now it is.

Wine not included.

(Click on photos to see enlarged details.)

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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Tootin' Your Horn.....

This was not really MY horn.

And this is more of a flute than a horn.

I came across some more pictures from my 1970s days at Universal Studios. My job was to promote and publicize the new Tour.

Well, not with this horn/flute. I was just roaming around the Props section of the studio Back Lot.

One of the Tour trams is parked in the background.

When I visited Los Angeles a few years ago and took the Tour, the 3-car trams were just about the only thing that had not changed in nearly 40 years.

I did not see a giant cell phone or ipod.

Or a push-button telephone.

When this large phone was placed up at the Tour Center, it had a sign saying "Keep Off."

I had suggested saying "Don't Touch That Dial."

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Saturday, November 14, 2009

Things Used To Be simpler..and larger

I have three Canon AE-1 film cameras that are dusty. They have not been used for about 5 years.

Back in 2004 was when I bought my first digital camera. I would no longer need film.

The "memory card" that was included showed a capacity of 8MB.

According to a chart that came with my new 2 megapixel camera, the card could store about 12 pictures.

Hmmmm. Back in the 1950s, I had a camera - a film one - that could take 12 black & white pictures on a roll. Then you dropped it at the drug store for processing and printing.

In about a week, you came back and picked up the prints. As I remember, they were in a yellow Kodak envelope.

Usually a few were blurred and some were pitch black because the bulb didn't flash.

Telephone poles and other weird objects often sprouted from heads because you forget to check the background.

I bought my third digital camera a few months ago and it takes pictures in 8.1 megapixels.

The memory card I bought is a 4 Gig and the camera shows me I can take about 1,100 pictures.

On a 2-week vacation to Ireland and Germany I filled three 2 Gig memory cards. That's 1700 pictures.

Now, of course, people are taking pictures with their telephones, laptops and netbooks. Hope they check the background.

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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Happy Veterans Day

Yes I'm a veteran.

In honor of the day (and the fact that yesterday was the 234th birthday of the US Marine Corps), I proudly put on a favorite t-shirt.

While visiting my Mom at a nursing home, I was stopped by a lady who asked "Oh, do you work for the Medical University of South Carolina?"

I hope she was merely dyslectic.

My answer was very polite and truthful.

Semper Fi, vets.

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Monday, November 09, 2009

This is NOT your pilot speaking....

Flying on Aer Lingus recently, I was reminded of the time I held the microphone and talked to a planeload of startled passengers.

When a Convention Bureau goes after a group to come to their city, it tries to show ingenuity whenever possible. Off the wall works too.

So the Committee to select where the 1980 Republican National Convention would be held came aboard the plane in Dallas, Texas after several days of being wined and dined by Texans who wanted the convention.

I was with the Kansas City Convention Bureau and we wanted the GOP back again after they had met successfully in KC in 1976.(Remember the Ford/Dole ticket? Jimmy Carter creamed them.)

As long as the group was in Texas, we held back from tooting our horn. It would have been bad form to intrude or interfere there. But, as soon as the plane buttoned up, they were subject to our message and it began immediately.

There were straw "skimmer" hats placed on each seat with a red, white and blue hat band and the GOP elephant featured very prominently...right next to the KC,MO 1980 logo. Colorful bunting was draped around the cabin as well and KC/GOP campaign-type buttons were being passed around.

I clicked on the microphone and introduced myself as being with the Bureau and asked everyone to welcome the members of the GOP Selection Committee who were on board in their midst. Some applauded.

To our knowledge, this kind of airborne pitch had never been done before.

I quickly added that since we all were headed up to Missouri, we had arranged to have the inflight meal changed to a Kansas City Strip steak with all the trimmings.

Then "Going to Kansas City...." music started playing.

Later, of course, Detroit, Michigan won the convention and a fellow named Ronald Reagan became President.

(I borrowed the steak picture from the internet and, truth be told, the airline served its regular steak. WE just called it a KC strip.)

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Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Ready For My Close Up....

Actually, my job in the 1970s was to promote Universal Studios.

Well, the Tour portion of the studio.

It was decided to allow people inside the gates to peek behind the scenes and my job was to publicize the fact that tours were fun and showed "how movies were made."

Publicity is tricky.

The Los Angeles Times was a serious publication and I needed a reason for it to help me promote the tour.

I suggested the European streets on the Back Lot as a place for a Fashion Shoot. The paper agreed.

The LAT photographer was on time and I was there as escort. The model was late. Very late.

I was asked to slip on a fancy cable knit sweater, brush my hair and strike a pose in "Italy."

Wish we had pushed the fake lamp post electric plug out of sight.

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