SPREZZATURA is my favorite word. At its base level, it means nonchalance. It describes the art of doing something difficult with the greatest of ease.
Art without (apparent) effort.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Different spellings to produce ooooooo in English

Last night I introduced the folks in my Italian class to one of the odd points of the English language. In Italian there is but one way to produce the sound of ooooooooo. And that is with the letter "u".

In English it's not so easy. Check out the wide variety of spellings below:

  • To
  • Two
  • Too
  • You
  • Shoe
  • Flue
  • Flew
  • Flu
  • Slough
  • Beauty
  • Impugn
I think those of us who learned to speak English at an early age (years ago) can be very happy we don't have to confront this battery of linguistic problems.

Vivent les francaises!

Pia and Julia get dual citizenship.

We just got word this morning that my daughter Pia, and her daughter Julia, who live in Brittany, in western France, became naturalized French citizens. The action by the French government was dated November 2. That happens to be my birthday. We're wondering if, now that they have dual citizenship, Joyce and I will have to change the pronunciation of our name--Boyer.

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Durango Herald 10/31/2011 | In kidney exchange, fortune smiles all around

The world seems to approve . . . .
The Durango Herald 10/31/2011 | In kidney exchange, fortune smiles all around

John Peel writes a weekly human interest column for the Durango Herald. Terry and I are honored that he chose to write about our big kidney transplant adventure. And we are pleased that he cast it in such favorable terms. The transplant was a big deal for both of us. We hope by generating some publicity about our transplant  that we can raise some awareness about the need for more donors to come forward. Thank you, John Peel for helping with this effort.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Steve Davis, June 24, 2011

Davis was bigger than life.

His voice was bigger than life. His art was bigger than life. His capacity for work was bigger than life. And his influence on me was bigger than life.

He needed someone who could photograph his art before it was sent out to clients. And he needed to have it done on the same ridiculous schedule that he kept for himself. If he had worked on an illustration all night long (and that was the way it was always done) he would ask me to meet him at my studio at 7 in the morning.

And then we would talk for an hour. We would talk about anything. Music. Literature. Art. Politics (no, we didn't often agree). Religion. Human decency. When the conversation was over, he'd remind me that the work needed to be in FedEx that day. And he'd be off to work on his next project.

He was a marine illustrator. He would get specifications from marine architects, and turn them into illustrations that the common man could understand. The difficult made easy.

The photograph that accompanies this blog entry was made in 1989, in my Port Townsend studio. I knew he'd be coming in with an illustration for me to copy, and I had everything set up. There was no way he could say no. It's one of my favorite portraits, and it was done with one sheet of film. On a big camera.

When I heard that Davis had died last Friday, I realized that none of us is really bigger than life. But Davis was one who made life bigger for anyone who knew him.

He signed his works, "Davis."

Friday, June 10, 2011

Gleb Derujinsky, June 9, 2011

Gleb Derujinsky and his wife Wallis, were killed yesterday, in a car wreck in Durango. Gleb was a friend, and a regular at the Open Shutter Gallery. I first met him when the gallery was located on 2nd Avenue, and he stood outside on a cold night telling me everything that modern photographers were doing wrong. He was never bashful about his opinions.After several years of friendship, and after doing production work on his 2004 show at the Open Shutter, I think I started to scratch the surface of his multi-faceted life. I am grateful for the portrait that I was able to take in December of 2009. When I look at it, I feel that he was starting to trust me as a photographer.

I am reposting the text from Brandon Donahue's appreciation of Gleb from Facebook. Brandon is the gallery manager at the Open Shutter Gallery. It is a very thorough description of a life fully lived. We all knew Gleb, and we will do what we can to keep his image alive.

Brandon's appreciation:

Open Shutter Gallery & the photography community have lost a great friend, Gleb Derujinsky.
Gleb was an acclaimed photographer, pilot, racecar driver, ski instructor, bicycle racer, jeweler, war hero, musician and director. When you read about Gleb’s life, it’s hard to believe one man could accomplish so many things- but after you met Gleb, you realized how larger-than-life he actually was. We will always remember Gleb’s firey sense of humor and eagerness to share his wealth of experience.

Open Shutter Gallery will be putting together a memorial service for Gleb, please contact the Gallery for more information.

Born in 1925 in New York City, Gleb Derujinsky was taking photographs, developing and printing them by the time he was six years old, and in fact, with the help of his apartment building superintendent, built an enlarger when he was ten, using a paint can as a light source and a camera as the optical system. One of the few, if not the only teenager ever to be invited to join the New York Camera Club, Derujinsky was exposed to the great photographers of the time, such as Steichen and Steiglitz, through his membership.

Straight out of Trinity School in New York, Derujinsky was drafted to serve in World War II, reaching the rank of staff sergeant by the time he was nineteen. After the war, he obtained a GI loan in order to open his first photographic studio. He subsequently photographed for Esquire, Look, Life, Glamour, Town and Country, The New York Times Magazine, and ultimately worked almost exclusively with Harper’s Bazaar. His trip around the world for Bazaar inaugurating the Boeing 707, he photographed fashions in exotic places from Turkey to Thailand and created some of the most exciting photographs of the nineteen sixties. In the late nineteen sixties Derujinsky began directing television commercials, and became a member of the cameraman’s union and the Director’s Guild. He won the Cannes and Venice film festival awards for best direction and cinematography, as well as, the New York Art Directors award.

Gleb has raced autos and was sponsored by Ferrari America. He has flown sailplanes in cross country competition and in the late sixties and early seventies, was one of the top ten sailplane pilots in the country. He has designed and built carbon fiber bicycles for the U. S. Olympic team.

In 1976, Gleb Derujinsky moved to southwest Colorado. He opened a custom jewelry shop and, as an avid skier, eventually also became a ski instructor. He continued his passion for photography and has been continually photographing many facets of the west.

In the past, his deep interest in music led tohis photographing several jazz musicians. Gleb recently took up the playing the piano again, playing almost exclusively Chopin and a bit of boogie woogie now and then.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

And so, an update from me . . . .

The other side of the kidney team. I have no complaints at all. In fact, I've never felt healthier in my life. Joyce and I made a trip to Denver this past weekend, and had a meeting at the hospital. The lab results are good, and everybody is pleased with my progress. The folks at the hospital are going to turn Terry and me into poster kids, doing a feature about our transplant on their website. When that happens, I'll post a notice about it on this blog, and provide an address.
Sometimes I wonder if they even removed one of my kidneys . . . .

Another update from Terry--he's off to the races!

This is Terry's blog update from two days ago. It sounds like the kidney is working very well indeed. 

4 1/2 weeks post op. My new kidney is working fine, lab numbers are right where thy belong for a good working, healthy kidney. Wounds all healing nicely. No pain at the incision site. It's a total success.
From here on out there will be labs every week, clinic visits every couple of weeks. gradual decreases in the anti rejection meds to a maintenance level. And life goes on with a average life span for a transplanted kidney of 20 years. If it, and I, last that long I'll be 90 years old.
But as I've mentioned before I'm having severe back pain with any weight bearing activity. Undoubtedly surgery will be planned as soon as possible, hopefully the first part of July. This back pain seems totally unrelated to the kidney problems. It's its own separate disease. I am getting used to the wheelchair and today plan my first trip off by myself.
But who wants a blog about an old guys back disease. There's plenty of these in every block. A kidney transplant, that's a bit different.
So with a thank you first to Paul, then to the transplant team, then all of you  people who have made 635 visits on this web site in the month or so it's been open, and finally to ingrid and Itzhak. I will say buena salud y bien viajar. Love Terry