Sunday, December 26, 2010

End of the Year

Our Little House in the Snow
My 'Junior Associate', a.k.a. Junior, had his first encounter with snow this month. Initially, he didn't like the cold white stuff but he got used to it and still found lots of mice and voles.

She wasn't able to hula that day because
of all of the snow!

Tom had fun making some cool gifts for friends this year. A drummer friend received FISH STICKS, a big steel trout with hickory drum sticks to hold his, and his wife's, fly fishing waders, vests and hats.

Another friend wanted Tom to make something for his wife who used to sing in 'Sweet Adelines'. Tom made 
KATY, THE SWEET ADELINE as well as a likeness of her husband Rob who plays bass guitar.

On Christmas Eve, Tom and Margaret joined friends up the valley for their annual "The Night Tree" celebration. Tom's LEICA MAN was all dressed up for the holiday.

Our red squirrel enjoying lunch on Christmas Day.

Tom's trellis in our backyard glows in the snow because of Jess Caudill's fused glass.

Tom made Margaret a steel necklace rack for Christmas and Santa gave her lots of books but
Santa gave us the best gift of all...albacore tuna!

 In the afternoon, I like to sleep on the sofa.
Sometimes Junior comes to sleep next to me.

On Christmas Day I let him stay.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Snail Mail

Several years ago, Uncle Greg asked Tom to create a new inside flap for their home mail box in Minneapolis. It had broken and needed to be replaced.While visiting recently, Margaret took photos of SNAIL MAIL.

Me and my buddy Uncle Greg.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Indian Grinding Stone Cradle, Anniversary Party and LEICA MAN

More than 50 years ago, Millie's late husband found this Indian grinding stone along the
banks of The Deschutes River in eastern Oregon.
Millie wanted to somehow 'capture' the pieces so that the stone would, once again, appear whole.
Tom designed and built the cradle then placed it upside down on the stone pieces. Deciding how to safely turn it over without displacing the stone pieces was problematic though because that stone was very heavy! Margaret suggested wrapping the stone and cradle together using nine, well-cinched, nylon windsurfing straps. The straps provided hand holds so that they could carefully lift it off the work bench, turn it right side up and carry it to the truck for delivery to Millie and Dick's Sherman County wheat ranch.
Millie's farm cats liked the stone in its new cradle. Boyd, in particular, enjoyed sitting inside the stone. Margaret told me that I almost got another little brother.
Boyd is very cute but I have enough trouble with Junior!
Last Saturday, 'mom' and 'dad' celebrated their 28th wedding anniversary with friends here on the creek.
Junior and I found a cozy place to nap while they all enjoyed a delicious potluck dinner and music by
Portland singer/songwriter Chris Kokesh.
Chris Kokesh
Chris is so nice, she sings beautifully and she liked me!
Her soft caresses made my eyes glow!

Friends Steve and Vicki asked Tom to make a metal structure for the front porch of their Mosier Valley log cabin. The structure needed to contain a sensor that would trigger the outdoor lights when guests came up the driveway toward the front door. During a recent site visit, Tom, Margaret, Steve and Vicki
brainstormed ideas for the structure over a delicious meal and good wine.
Tom knew that Steve enjoyed photography and had worked in his father's camera shop as a young man. Steve told us that his father loved Leica cameras. Tom had a sudden inspiration to build a little guy holding a replica of a Leica camera. The flash unit could be the light sensor. Pleased with the idea, Steve and Vicki helped Tom determine the site and size of the newly named 'Leica Man'. Drawings were made, Tom set to work and Steve wrote about his Leica camera and his father.

"My dad once told me, "There is nothing like a Leica." This was from a man who, since the 1920's, had pursued his passion for photography in the style of such well-known Leica photographers as Alfred Eisenstaedt (who captured the sailor kissing the nurse in Times Square) and Henry Cartier-Bresson (who advocated capturing the "decisive moment"). In his 20s, my dad once climbed a silo to get a better landscape perspective and another time caught his
parents in prayer at the dinner table.
Our family owned and operated Seymour Photo Store on the main street of Mason City, Iowa, past which Meredith Wilson once led "76 Trombones in the Big Parade". From the time I was in junior high, I worked the floor and the darkroom and for high school graduation, I received a Leica M3. That Leica has been my trusted campanion for over 45 years, capturing laughter, tears and memories all over the world.
I see "Leica Man", the sculpture by Tom Herrera, as a tribute to the camera which, like no other, has allowed those of us with a passion for capturing life through a lens to seize the "decisive moments". Indeed, no other camera will do because
"there is nothing like a Leica".

Steve & Tom reviewing Tom's sketches for
Tom cutting and welding pieces of steel to make
LEICA MAN's vest with pockets
LEICA MAN on his back getting wired
Tim installing the sensor unit into the flash attachment on his fabricated Leica camera for LEICA MAN.
The camera 'lens', made from a stainless steel fire hose nozzel, and the assorted knobs were found at Red's Trading Post. The camera itself was fabricated by Tom from numerous pieces of steel and painted
to look like a real Leica M3.
(also see July 31st blog
for more photos of the fabricated camera)
Setting LEICA MAN on Steve and Vicki's cabin deck
Tom finishing the wiring for LEICA MAN's sensor
Steve checking out LEICA MAN's camera...and trying to see if he can see through it
Dueling LEICA men
Steve and LEICA MAN
LEICA MAN, Vicki and Steve
Look can see Vicki and Steve in the center of the 'lens'.
This was a very, very long blog. There was so much to show you but it tired me out.
Now I must sleep...again.
I hope you liked it.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Bigfoot Comes Home

Bigfoot came home last week.
Tom told me this story.

Last year, Tom created the Bigfoot Guitar to serve as a tangible reminder of the good things that happen when a community comes together to support a cause.
When local musican Rick Hulett, a.k.a. "Bigfoot", was diagnosed with cancer last year, he e-mailed his friends/fellow musicians telling them about his diagnosis. He concluded his note with the words 
"More music, less bullshit!".

 That week, his good friend Kerry Williams invited all of their local musician friends to come play music & support Rick at The Pines Tasting Room in Hood River where Kerry was playing a regular Thursday night gig.

Thursday evenings became jam sessions which quickly became weekly events. Cindy Williams, Kerry's wife, asked Ben Bonham to create a graphic design and then she personally silk-screened 700 t-shirts and sweatshirts to help raise over $10,000 to help cover some of Rick's medical expenses.

Stories were written in the local newspaper. Money was raised. The musicians played their hearts out. People danced and sang and laughed and cried.
New friendships were begun and old friendships got stronger.

All of this was done in support of Rick who, before leaving to undergo surgery in Washington, D.C., vowed that he would recover and triumphantly return to The Pines later in the summer.

Well, he did!
And, one would think that that would be the end of the story but after Rick returned, he learned that a musician friend of his had also been diagnosed with cancer so Rick, Kerry and friends began to raise money at The Pines for him, too.

The Bigfoot Guitar is dedicated to the healing power of music. But, many details of the sculpture are dedicated specifically to Rick. The glass in the headstock is intended to mimic the color of one of Rick's favorite guitars. The big orange feet represent Rick's big orange Crocs that he likes to wear. The mirror in the sound hole of the guitar illustrates a lesson that Rick taught Tom when he was giving him beginning guitar lessons two years ago, i.e.,
"you only get out of it what you put into it".

Cindy & Ben allowed Tom to use the graphic for his sculpture, Linda Steider donated the beautiful glass and Tom's good friend Vinny Schlosser of Schlosser Machine donated all the steel and brass when he found out what Tom was up to.

As Tom told me, a short synopsis like this can't even begin to explain what those Thursdays were like. 
 Tom said you had to be there and that
there was magic in the music...healing magic!

Tom's friend Dan Ross checking out Tom's beginning welds on The Bigfoot Guitar body.

Template, Tom and final sculpture before painting.

Rick's triumphant return, The Bigfoot Guitar and Tom.

After nearly nine months at Columbia River Music in The Dalles, Bigfoot is finally home and
Rick was here last Sunday playing music with twenty-five friends.

There is healing magic in music!