Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Silver linings

This has been a very difficult time for me as my 19-year-old cat is now clearly and obviously dying.  He's been terminal for some time with end-stage renal disease, but he lasted months longer than the vet had told us to expect.

But while digging for my husband's birth certificate so that he could change the name on his IDs, I've come across a set of vintage color slides from the 1950s that I bought at an antique store in Las Vegas for something like $10 or $20 in 2007.

I'd assumed that the slides had been stolen or thrown away accidentally while clearing out junk papers, since I literally hadn't seen them in about five years. It turned out they were at the bottom of a drawer of Kobi's sketches, the one place I didn't think to look.

Now that I've found them again, what I have in my possession is a treasure trove of fine vintage photos. It was actually the content of these slides that prompted me to shell out more than $5 for someone's old slides.

These slides came in pressed aluminum magazines for an old Argus projector. They were from the mid 1950s, but there was not a single black and white image among them; they were all gorgeous, rich color images. They include views of Las Vegas, circa 1956. Color views of Disneyland in the same era. A local parade somewhere in California. A number of interesting cars, including hot rods, a Thunderbird parked in front of a sign advertising Frank Sinatra, and a newish-looking '53-55 Corvette, and some vacation shots of Alaska by train.

I know that first, I have to be sure this isn't going to be a copyright issue, but I'm not sure how to do that. I would assume that someone would relinquish the rights to an image if they sold the item through an antique dealer? One of the subjects in the photos is named. He's wearing novelty glasses. Another subject, on the Teacup ride at Disneyland, is identified as “sister” (the caption, charmingly, reads “Sister got sick”). The likelihood of tracking down the owners of these images is slim to none.

If I can establish a reasonable certainty that I can legally do this, I may try to license these images, either as stock photos or possibly in an art book. I'm still trying to figure out more about how to make the most of these images (both for public enjoyment and for my miniscule investment in these slides to pay the most dividends) so if you find anything before I do or know somebody that does this sort of thing, I'd love to know!

I'm excited to finally find this item that's been missing through the very worst of my lost years. I hope it's a sign of better things to come.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Short Story- Sheriff Laredo's Bees

This story is a year and a half old and I had nearly forgotten all about it!

My original description as posted on another site:

This story was inspired by events that I fear may come to pass sooner than most people think.
Consider the following elements:

1. The threat of the extinction of the common honeybee from overuse of pesticides.
2. The droughts in California, which are forcing lawmakers to choose between water for the people and water for lucrative cash crops.
3. A general attitude that pervades the culture of the United States that poverty represents a moral failure.

I see this as a perfect storm for a new breed of slavery in which those too poor to afford the spiraling cost of food and water will be pressed into involuntary service doing jobs that had previously been done by insects.

I decline to comment on whether or not Sheriff Laredo is inspired by a real figure active in law enforcement in the US today -whose name may or may not rhyme with "Ohio"- who attracts millions of admirers with his brand of so-called justice and likes to sue people for exercising their constitutional right to criticize him, but let those who are savvy see the truth for what it is.