Mom’s traveling, film development and The Beatles…

My mother and sister left yesterday morning for a short trip to West Virginia, to visit with relatives and, in many ways, to say some final goodbyes to them as well.  This is probably the last trip like this she will be able to make and still retain a great deal of the experience.  In her words, “Yes, I am excited to go, but it will be also very sad, because so many of us are dead.”  From the mouth of a pragmatic woman comes the truth.  So far news of the trip is very good to excellent.  They are both having a fun time driving and talking…My sister is doing all the driving, btw.  They have done this in two legs–the first to Harrisburg, PA and the second today to mom’s hometown.  I am staying home and allowing the girls to have a week by themselves.

My B/W darkroom course is great.  I have only spent a few hours so far learning the chemistry (dirt simple!) and while the house is all mine I will use this time at night to develop all the rolls of film I shot over in Europe.  That way I can just bring them over to the darkroom across the river and print some stuff this week.  I am also using a friend’s Mamiya medium format, so I’ll be looking at those negs as well.  I found a great store across the river that still sells all the chemistry, so I don’t have to order it all from the Big City.  Plus, on-line stores will not ship Stop Solution, so I have to buy that first hand.  I have all the gear I need to do it, so I’ll be up late nights with test-tube…Oh, oh, oh, oh…

Speaking of the Beatles…In high school there was a personality test one could take to determine one’s spiritual and artistic development.  The question was, “Which Beatle do you identify with?”  The answer would give you a rough estimate.  I was told that the answer “John Lennon” was the best because he was the real artist who didn’t  become commercial or compromise his artistic talent–the anti-thesis of Paul  McCartney who just sang goofy love songs and made a lot of money.  Ringo and George were below both of them–simple, fun-loving Ringo on the bottom rung, with the shy and introspective George above.  Now, however, I am not so sure.  John Lennon was a deeply troubled, angry, resentful and complex person who never really, I feel, achieved substantial inner peace and happiness.  Paul, on the other hand, loved his wife, his children, didn’t take himself or his music too seriously, and has spent millions of dollars trying to make the world a better place–and he’s still happy and having fun.  John clutched at life and Paul just seemed to have let go…

Who would rather be or want to identify with?


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Johnnyboy is a queer recovering alcoholic. For the moment he is also the primary caregiver for his mother, who suffers from age-related cognitive impairment. She is happy as a lark and is surrounded by a crew of sober women which gives him the freedom he needs to get out of town. When he is not at home in Somewheresville, he is searching out the proper path to travel for happiness and joy. He is a photographer who believes in the digital age, but feels that film is still where its at. He has a darkroom and works in it. He is single and is in remarkably great physical condition for all the damage he has submitted his body to. His cardiologist is very happy. Johnnyboy is over the age of 35.

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