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.