If there is an empty space in my life I usually try to take a vitamin D or sit out in the sun for an hour and I usually feel better. I’ve practiced, sometimes successfully Transcontinental Meditation but found that I need the perfect space, time and silence for it to work. If that doesn’t help, then I need to do something creative. Ever since I was a little kid I loved and was fascinated with animation. I used to create them in books by drawing one thing at a time on the bottom of a page. Old school stop action animation. My first one was in one of my fathers old Hardy Boy books of a stick figure running and catching a football.
About ten years back before smart phones, I found out that the camera I was carrying around with me all the time had video. That was the beginning of the end for me. My kids were young and I tried to get stuff of them before they grew up. So I had all these little movies and decided to just mish-mash them together just to get them up on YouTube (for all eternity I was hoping) So there I was with my free time on top of a skyscraper in New York City, my job in pre-press, using my free time to put these little things together. They were ridiculous. But what I remembered most about putting them together was just how much fun I had doing it. I mean, I loved graphics but now add some movement and then music and sound effects, I was in heaven. No plot. No rhyme. No reason. Ridiculous.
The weird kid that I was, when Greg and I were in Westfield and we went to the Music Staff on Elm street to buy music, Greg would load up on Bob Dylan and classic rock and I was buying albums of sound effects. Sometimes I would make the sound effects myself if I couldn’t find them in the Music Staff. Once again, in today’s world, Internet to the rescue. Now I have an endless library of sound and music.
The two photo albums I received from our aunt Carol were in terrible shape. Something about the Florida humidity and weather just kills old photos. I had promised her long ago that I would do my best to save them. She thought it would take me a week but it is an endless job, the results of which have ended up somewhat archived here on Family web site at Photos That Make You Think.
Nobody makes real photo albums anymore.* That might be one of the saddest things to ever happen to this digital society we now live in.
A lot of the old photos on PTMYT needed quite a bit of restoration in Photoshop before I posted them. You’re welcome.
One of my favorite pieces was a great old photo I found of mom in front of 710 Austin street in Westfield. She can’t be more than 19 years old.
I enjoyed this image of my mother so much that she ended up in a movie. Snowball.
I incorporated Adobe Flash, Photoshop and constructed an entire apartment building in Adobe Illustrator with this movie. Getting the “camera” to pan in and out was a great revelation for me. The thing about this “art” as there is with any art is that there were many accidental explosions of brilliance! I was influenced greatly by the graphic novel Watchmen. The movie was brilliant. The recurring symbols and imagery, the smiley face, the doomsday clock were simply genius. The movie, even more so. In this two minute and twenty-five second YouTube video, “Where Do The Clouds Go?” I tried to make it all “cartoon” and that’s why it’s only 2:25. It was a lot of work but still a lot of fun.
This was a fairy tale land. So much better than Carteret. So much more elegant! This town was full of little nooks of culture and art. You could feel the energy in the air. Instead of traffic lights there were real policemen directing traffic and crossing people at the streets. The endless rows of shops and food. The old A&P. The clean back alley shortcuts. Grandma and grandpa Hartman lived on a third floor apartment right around the corner from Dads store. We went there often for lunch. These were the days, right? When everything seems so pure and innocent and carefree. Everybody is nice to you. Everywhere you go is magic. Everything has character and depth and the places even smell good. It is all burned into my memory. And then what happens? All the adults eventually die and things change. These were the good times and I thought they would last forever.
Westfield was my second childhood. We knew the back alleys and mom and pop stores like the back of our hands. It still remains a charming town but has lost it’s innocence as everything does when you grow up. The smell of Woolworth’s during a busy noon time lunch. Tommies. Little Joes luncheonette. Even the smell of our own fabric store, Westfield Sewing Center. Greg sitting in the back room eating his hot dog lunch and reading the back covers of his newly purchased albums. Where is he now???
*another post for another time.