jigsaw puzzle beach

The "Bikini girls" mosaic showing wo...

Image via Wikipedia

bikini girls

With charcoal pencils and sketch pad, I choose two bikini girls because their curves have such chiaroscuro.

Their legs shine and their backbones hide in darkness away from the sun.

A man with an Irish brogue approaches to talk to them.  I wonder if they’re interested, because if I was that young and hot I’d be.  He and his friend both wear casts on their arms; a bar fight gone wrong?

The girls smile but no real laughs. He must think they are the first Americans not impressed with his accent. Or they just don’t understand him.

image via flickr

vintage couple

They emerge from an H.G. Wells novel and sit next to us.  He wears navy blue shorts and half boots half shoes; so not into flip-flops.

“His hair was perfect,” as Warren Zevon sang — shaved in the back with a duck tail in front, highlighted with white Ray Bans.

His girlfriend is a pin-up with Betty Page bangs, auburn-dyed hair in a bun.  Black and white vertical stripes cover her top and black covers hips and bottom like suits did back then.

Neither venture in the water, why would they mess up their great looks while the sun shines on the sea like a place setting on a glass table?

image via flickr

image via flickr

motel smell

It seeps must like ghosts out the windows worn down with peeling paint. Maybe 50 years ago it was a nice stop for families who wanted a spot for their beach vacation.  A few more steps and the odor gives way to smoke and meat grilling.

cherries and cheeseburgers

I taste the cherries I brought; my maroon treats my only snack as I smell grills whipping me with cheeseburger aromas.

image via flickr

jigsaw beach

Little pink/orange houses with triangle roofs line up on the coast like Lego’s. With all the rainbow beach umbrellas this scene looks like a perfect jigsaw puzzle.

image via flickr

image via flickr

thunder waves

The surf sounds like heavy approaching Midwest thunderstorms that rarely arrive out here; my only reference to the sound where grass beaches accessorize lakes.

rocky beach

With my boogie board I walk out to the crest of a wave and turn around to fly towards the rocky shore.  I walk over stones like hot coals wondering if I’ll ever find smooth spot, and I do.

midnight in paris: on a whim movie review

Salvador Dali with ocelot and cane.

Image via Wikipedia

I was in the mood for an artist’s date yesterday and in true form, I planned nothing ahead except for bring with me a free movie pass I won in a raffle.

Without checking to see what was playing, I went to the theater to see what movie was starting next.  One couple bought tickets to Midnight in Paris.  I’m not a movie goer so I’m not familiar with anything on the silver screen that doesn’t involve Harry Potter. The couple said it was a Woody Allen film.  I’ve loved his movies for many years but got creeped out with him marrying Mia Farrow’s daughter, but I thought I’ll give it a shot.

And what a shot it was.  We hear but not see Owen Wilson as Gil Pender talking to his fiancée (Rachel McAdams) about how tired he is of being a hollywood hack and how he wants to live in Paris to write a novel but she wants to stay in Malibu. They are in France on business with her parents so they take in the sights.

Gil goes for a walk at midnight and on a whim he gets picked up in a cab from the 1920s with some partygoers. At the party he meets Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald, while Cole Porter entertains on the piano.  The Fitzgeralds take Gil to a bar where they meet Hemingway then see Gertrude Stein (Kathy Bates) where he gives her his novel to critique.  By the way, Picasso is with Stein analyzing a painting I swear looks like something my 7-year-old concocted, but hey, it’s Picasso.

Other artists from the 1920s make appearances such as Adrian Brody as Salvador Dali.  I never knew Dali could be so sexy and crazy at the same time especially since he only spoke of rhinoceroses.

This is the kind of movie I’d write.  Or it would at least be in my dream journal.  It was like walking through all of my lit and art courses in college.  If this movie existed back then, I’d have straight A’s, no problem.  We want to see the people we study come to life.

After the movie I felt inspired as an artist so on a whim I walked to Michael’s.  I still felt like I was in the movie as I walked by an Italian restaurant as a street performer sang, “It’s a wonderful night for a moon dance.”  I walked straight to the artist supplies and saw sketchbooks on sale, so I picked one up with some charcoal pencils.  I plan on using these at the beach today like Reginald Marsh as he sketched by the ocean.

What a terrific unplanned artist’s date’ it’s something we all need to unblock our creativity.  I give this movie a rating of all the stars Vincent Van Gogh ever painted.

the tie, unbound and binding


Image via Wikipedia

July 12 is my dad’s 79th birthday.  To celebrate it, I’m posting a poem he sent me to edit.  Here is what he asked me to do:

Dear Terri,

Now is the time to pay me back for the cost of your education.  See what you can do.

Love, Dad

The Tie, Unbound and Binding: a Tribute to Ray “Buddy” and Joyce Underhill

The life span of a man is like a vapor

you see it then it vanishes

They met as schoolmates

the only date either had was with each other

married young

Unlike the other young people of that impoverished area

who fled up north to big cities bright lights and such.

They chose to stay “home” and Farm the lands

they started small but hard work and long days of “can ’til can’t”

they worked the land

and made a living for themselves and their two boys.

They were married 48 years but

time and toil took its toll.

His body just wore out

Doctor’s offices, Hospital stays, procedures, pills and such

Finally the doctors said

We have done all we can do.

So they set down to gather as was their way and made their final plans.

When they agreed on all the details, he added

No neck tie

I never wore one in life so why in death?

Very softly she said,

I think You are so Handsome. I want people to see why I fell in love with you

when we were just kids.

So he agreed if it made her happy.

That’s what love is: giving yourself away to someone you love.

When the time came She delivered the suit and shirt and yes, the tie

to the funeral director who knew what to do

That night the family had a private viewing

As she approached the casket, she viewed the man she held and loved for many years

tears and memories flowed like a river.

When She first saw him or should I say heard his big booming voice

he could not speak softly.

She admitted to herself, “I like him.”

It was hard those first years

they lived with his widowed mother, “Miss Orlene.”

They had barely more than the clothes on their backs

but farmers they were.

The first crop barely paid for the seed they planted

But as years roll, on larger fields they plowed and yields grew too

They bought more and bigger machinery and the two boys born of their union came on board now.  There was four in the crewand they grew.

Soon without applying they were inducted into a select club known as BIG FARMERS.

For recreation they could have gone on a cruise or visited distance lands but tractor pulls and Weekends at the Wrangler camp close to home suited them fine.

With the marriage of their two sons came a grandson to spoil to their hearts’ content

they were never seen without him by their side.

While she dwelt on these memories

She gently reached into the casket, untied the tie and slid it around his neck and unbuttoned the collar of her man.

Love means giving to the other what will make them happy even if you differ.  This is the tie, unbound and binding.

Copyright Robert Fortney June 11, 2011