Thursday, June 23, 2016

Digital Dan 2016 Birthday Poem


Digital Dan

Let me tell you about digital Dan.
Dayton Flyer, photographer, the man with a plan;
Sometimes, self righteous and quick to attack.
Spikey white hair wearing all black.

Single lens focus, an eye for composition;
Shrewd, at times crude, when it comes to competition.
Brother he’s known for his sensitivity;
A crybaby, quitter and a bit of a sissy;

But notice --- it is he who boldly hits the road;
The truth belongs to the teller or so I am told.
A well framed layout and a flash;
All other options in the trash.

Set aside what you thought was true;
As we salute the Red the White and the Blue.
A portrait, a journal, a tabletop, on fire or on ice;
A picture speaks louder than words. Isn’t that nice!

In an instant an image is captured and treasured in time;
Cherished, preserved, recorded --- history is kind.
Better than an interpretation --- the ideal is fine.
Parallax displacement, out of focus, or out of line;

Brush the imperfections and photo-shop away;
Digital Dan saves the day. 

Happy Birthday Rex.


Saturday, June 18, 2016

Four Dads Playing a Round

Pausing on hole #5 of a round on Friday someone spontaneously offers a toast.  The band is back together at Normandie Golf Course the Friday before Father’s  Day. “To Macenzie, Nick, Jack, Ally, Nicole, Danny(Dannielle), Sammy(Samantha), Lindsey and Ben.” A foursome of proud Dads hardly aware how often their progeny come up in conversational bits and pieces between tee-boxes, scanning the rough spots for errant golf balls and lining up putts. We know we are blessed. We are stoic and yet all share soft spots in our hearts for those kids.  “To our own dads” – of whom half are now deceased – we are reminded of the passages of time and our own mortality.    

Rowdy Jones, Dave Cox, Tom Shaughnessy and Wes Morgan make a point to get together this way periodically. Not too long ago this confluence of chronies could consist of a dozen (or more) and include a long weekend at the lake with cigars, karaoke, fast food, and perhaps an occasional local tavern or strip joint between tee-times. We are really just kids ourselves.      

You can feel a warm breeze on this day and note the ninety degree rule (which could well be a reference to the temperature). The grounds crew is busy and ever present the first few holes. We are men comfortable in our own skin --- just happy to be surveying the green vistas. Rowdy, from under a wide brim hat straw hat, quotes Tom Kite who described the pressure of being a professional golfer as keeping the number of mistakes in a round to one (or less). Laughingly we know the frequency of error will be at a somewhat higher rate for us. (But, as always, we do the best we can with joy in the journey.)

The "dynamic pricing" online promotion determined the value-oriented timing of this round and it is clear that law and order of a private club is not part of this public venue. A five-some in three carts in front of us and several singles came out to play. Our round concluded in more than five hours. We hardly noticed the slowing of the pace of play on the back nine because we were enjoying being together. We savor each hole and admit we are old enough now and need not play from the tips. (A decision we made and stuck with to the end.)

An uneventful round with a few laughs concludes with the usual banter in the parking lot as we look over the scorecard for something to brag about. Par for the course. A lovely afternoon.

Normandie Golf Club was built in 1901 and is the oldest Public golf course west of the Mississippi still in operation in its original location. It was designed by Robert Foulis, a disciple of Old Tom Morris of St. Andrews, Scotland. It's unique routing and throwback style is a golfing gem.      

Saturday, May 28, 2016

School is Out

School is out, the work is done;
Pupils anticipate a summer of fun.
Grades, reports, assessments in;
Teachers checking out, patience running thin.

Requirements, district compliance, common core for the state;
Plan, set boundaries, noble intentions --- out of the gate.
Make a difference, know your role,  honor your station;
Parents, community, a whole nation --- exceed expectation.

Positive behavior intervention support --- mental health;
Be the very best you can be, be a better self.
Together Everyone Achieves More -- a TEAM battle cry;
All hands on deck --- never mind exactly why.

Data-based decisions made in an instant;
Effective professional leadership development.
Be safe, be peaceful, be cooperative, be kind.
Heat of a moment --- think, look, listen before you find

Running with walkies, keys, urgency on the floor
Behaviors forgiven but not forgotten --- open the door
Admin, educator, specials, paraprofessionals  in play
We are all Students --- We learn every day

Take a break.
Contemplate ---  A phenomenon in a paranormal state
Next year --- greater than great

6:50 am --- Don’t be late.

Bulletin Illustration above by the incredible Michael Rash

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Off Broadway with Parker Millsap


The Glory Bound Grahams opened with a set that included the lyrics - Put your hand in mine, it’s revival time… They set the stage for Parker Millsap with band mates Michael on Base and Daniel on Fiddle. The audience was treated to a well orchestrated show that worked its way up to Hades Pleads as the finale. On Friday the 13th at Off Broadway in the Cherokee Lemp Historic District of St. Louis you couldn’t help contemplate life and death and good and evil. I’m gonna take you to my house on the StyxOn a long black train going clackety-click…I’m begging like Cerberus I’m begging like thisI’m beggin’…

Among Black & While photographic prints on the wall of the brick building venue are Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, and Bob Dylan. It is reminder of the dues great musicians pay on the road. The soundtrack for the evening is somewhere between Sympathy for the Devil and the Devil went down to Georgia. We are even invited to consider atomic annihilation from the title track on the new album The Very Last Day.

Last year, Parker moved to Nashville from his roots in Oklahoma. He lives with my Niece, Megan. I feel a connection with the band since I was fortunate enough to have seen them play the Rock House two years ago when Truck stop Gospel and Parker Millsap’s Pentecostal background was beginning to earn critical acclaim in music circles. The spirituality of this trio headed by the charismatic and youthful singer/songwriter fills the room with a joyful playfulness even through minor technical difficulties that are fixed with a jiggle of plug in to a surge protector on the floor. Parker suggests he might kick that plug if it acts up again. Daniel sarcastically encourages such a move. The sound engineer is, no doubt, working his magic to keep the show seamless.

Of course, there are t-shirts, merchandise and CD’s for sale as the guests at Off Broadway exit into a cool, misty St. Louis evening – almost midnight. I autographed three paperback copies of my book Failure Coach a novel by Wes Morgan to thank the band for coming to my town. Parker, Michael, Daniel – Regards from Meg’s favorite uncle.      

Photo above (l to r) - Michael Rose, Parker Millsap, Wes Morgan, Daniel Foulks in front of venue on May 13, 2016 before performances by The Grahams and Parker Millsap.
Pboto below (l to r) Michael Rose (base), Parker Millsap (guitar), Daniel Foulks (fiddle)






Sunday, May 8, 2016

Meet and Greet


Shop a lot, magic spot;
A  twisted plot;
Up down;
All around town.

List, dis, kiss; 
Raise a fist, miss, enlist;
Try, cry, defy;
Never say die, fly.

Reach, teach;
Beach, beseech;
Fine line;
Rhyme time.

Sneeze, squeeze;
Freeze, please;
Fin, sin, win;
begin, again.

Tangled kites, missing strikes;
football swipes;
Charlie Brown – good grief;
In need of relief.

Snap, trap;
fair, fare, overlap;
Pick up sticks.
Dirty tricks.                                  

Eyeglass repair;
tattered underwear;
Snotty nose;
unraveled hose.

Lawn mow, rakes;
Spiders and snakes;
shovels and hoes;
And so it goes.


Hello Goodbye.


Saturday, May 7, 2016

AMA Type Moving Forward



The American Marketing Association (AMA) has launched an upgrade and enhancement of its graphic standards for the future.  Though still in a roll out stage, AMA International Headquarters gave our professional chapter (St. Louis) a peak into the thought process. A notable piece of the proposed scheme is a move away from typeface Avant Garde to Gotham Rounded. That move alone suggests they are on the right track moving forward.
Herb Lubalin and Tom Carnase designed Avant Garde around 1968. It was based on Lubalin’s logo for Avant Garde magazine. The original face was all uppercase. Avant Garde was the first typeface released by ITC when the company was founded in 1970. Next to being used in all types of art publications, Avant Garde was a classic in ’70s advertising design.
Gotham was born in 2000, when men’s fashion magazine GQ commissioned New York-based Hoefler & Frere-Jones to create a new typeface for use in their publication. Provided with a brief to create something “masculine, new, and fresh,” type designer Tobias Frere-Jones drew influences from post-war building signage and hand-painted letters seen around New York City. Using the seemingly plain, geometric lettering from New York’s Port Authority Bus Terminal as the project’s touchstone, an American “working class” typeface was born.
Gotham Rounded similarly unadorned but at a more intimate size. It is reminiscent of the lettering of engineering: the marks on precision instruments, blueprints, stencils and templates. Drawn, stamped, engraved and routed, forms are sensitively captured by the Gotham Rounded family. It is a technical letter that goes from friendly to high-tech to cheeky with ease

AMA has more than 75 professional chapters and dozens more collegiate chapters and special interest groups in the U.S. (with a number of international initiatives as well). Getting its brand in alignment while supporting all factions is an exercise in diplomacy and leadership. It could be too soon to project the success of this graphic image overhaul but in light of the sea changes in the worlds of marketing communication and branding, it seems necessary and overdue. I hope AMA is able to make enough correct assumptions to get ahead of the curve and remain the organization of thought leadership it has always been.

Laumeier Art Fair 2016


Mother’s Day Weekend May 6-8, 2016 is the latest installation of the annual event that is an exhibition and sale featuring artists selected from a pool of more than 400 applications. Cash and prizes are awarded – but all are winners. This is work. The passion of pursuing a commercial viability that allows the general public access the product – be it painting, prints, photography, ceramics or mixed media. Artist are judged and are mostly used to judgements of others. Here, they must make the first cut to show and are among the 150 deemed by a jury. (This year Juan William Chavez of the Northside Workshop, Dr. Jeffrey Hughes of Webster University and independent Curator Gretchen Wagner). Laumeier Executive Director and Luminary James McAnally lead the charge in selection of Artist’s Awards and the City of Sunset Hills bestows a special recognition as well.

Beer and Wine, member appreciation, and a long list of event sponsors and partners make this happening happen. It is Devine intervention that delivers the weather that is most comfortable for exhibitors and visitors this year. Of course, concessions, creation station and main stage shows provide even more to the sensory overload. Development officer Michelle Siegel is perhaps most emphatic in leveraging this high profile event to shore up member support and plant some seeds she hopes will grow into greater sponsorship levels for the non-profit organization that is a jewel in crown for the arts in our region. Laumeier Sculpture Park is about to celebrate four decades and is doing so well positioned for delivering programming, classes and global showcases of art and artists from 4-6 year old campers to art fair artists to the critically acclaimed.

Visit www.laumeier,org...better yet visit Laumeier Sculpture Park at 12580 Rott Road.