Wednesday, November 30, 2011

letter to her son

sThese days most phone calls and emails deal with illness or tragedy. My writer friend Elia Katz, likened it to the eighties when one would get a call that a friend was HIV or had died of AIDS. Unfortunately, he's right.

I've admired Millicent Rogers since I lived in Taos, NM from 1969. Her Foundation is north of town on the way to the Rio Grande Bridge. I have visited there on and off for many years and was aware of her jewelry making, her portraits by Horst, her friendship with Mabel Dodge, her fine collection of Indian art and her children's book drawings. When I worked for TASCHEN as photo book editor I tried to put together a bk on her. This last visit put me in front of a letter she wrote her young son as she was dying (at a young age).

Millicent Rogers dying fabric in her kitchen

This letter was reprinted with the permission of Paul Peralto-Ramos, her youngest son. on the occasion of the anniversary of her 100th birthday in 2002.

Taos, NM

Dear Paulie,

Did i ever tell you about the feeling I had a little while ago? Suddenly passing Taos Mountain I felt that I was part of the Earth, so that I felt the Sun on my Surface and the rain. I felt the Stars and the growth of the Moon, under me, rivers ran. And against me were the tides. The waters of rain sank into me. And I thought if I stretched out my hands they would be Earth and green would grow from me. And I knew that there was no reason to be lonely that one was everything, and Death was as easy as the rising sun and as calm and natural-that to be enfolded in Earth was not an end but part of oneself, part of every day and night that we lived, so that Being part of the Earth one was never alone. And all the fear went out of me- with a great, good stillness and strength.

If anything should happen to me now, ever, just remember all this. I want to be buried in Taos with the wide sky-Life has been marvelous, all the experiences good and bad I have enjoyed, even pain and illness because out of it so many things were discovered. One has so little time to be still, to lie still and look at the Earth and the changing colours and the Forest- and the voices of people and clouds and light on water, smells and sound and music and the taste of wood smoke in the air.

Life is absolutely beautiful if one will disassociate oneself from noise and talk and live according to one's inner light. Don't fool yourself more than you can help. Do what you want-do what you want knowingly. Anger is a curtain that people pull down over life so that they can only see through it dimly-missing all the savor, the instincts-the delight-they feel safe only when they can down someone.  And if one does that they end by being to many, more than one person, and life is dimmed-blotted and blurred!- I've had a most lovely life to myself- I've enjoyed it as thoroughly as it could be enjoyed. And when my time comes, no one is to feel that I have lost anything of it-or be too sorry-I've been in all of you- and will go on Being. So remember it peacefully- take all the good things that your life put there in your eyes- and they, your family, children, will see through your eyes. My love to all of you.

Millicent Rogers died on January 1, 1953, at 6:30 am. She was living at her beloved Taos home "Turtlewalk" and is buried as was her wish in Taos, New Mexico. Her son, Paul is buried beside her.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Home On The Range

I want to discuss this. I first saw Hale waitressing at Town and Country in Sunset Junction. I was drawn to her smile, her niceness and her ass in jeans. (hold that thought).

The restaurant's gone, I'm gone and Hale is living in the northwest. Back then in LA I wanted to date her but quickly, decisively, she told me she was GAY. That never stopped me and soon enough she was my nonsexual `date' as we travelled around. She was the last woman i saw before I moved to Tucson more than two years ago. One of the things we'd do is go from house to house and she'd play guitar and sing with friends. Many had at home recording studios.
I met up with her in Manhattan at the White Horse Tavern on lower 8th Avenue a year or more ago and I met her girlfriend, Rachel. I remember pool hall bathed in red light in Pasadena and a party I brought her to at Willard Morgan's (Jelvis,the Jewish Elvis, with Paula, actress)

on King's Rd in the Hollywood hills. More music. More hats. She was a clothes hound and would play `dress up' from my collection of clothes 4 models. But she wasn't a model. She never got naked (which was fine).
She facebooked me she was coming with a band and who did I know to help set something up. Carl Hanni, of course. My hiking mate

(looking towards Tucson from Gates Pass)

, camping mate, KXCI radio dj and otherewise dj. I met him as soon as I moved to Tucson-maybe the first night, out with artist friend Wayne, to Colleena Hake's 7th st gallery. Carl was doing the music and I immediately wanted to know this guy. Naturally, he's totally hooked into the Tucson music scene which, to me, is a sister to Austin music scene. Hale (, the musician, got a gig the day b4 Thanksgiving at the Red Room inside the Grill. The Grill is (was) the CBGB's of Tucson, the grunge stage for every band, every musician in town or passing through town- Amy Rude, Naim Amor

, Marianne Dissard, Julia and Ben. BUT that morning there was a terrible thing in the local paper. The Grill, from lack of money, was CLOSED!
Hale, Rachel and singer, song writer , artist

Daniel Michael Viox were coming from Joshua Tree. By the time they crossed the state border they had a house gig on w. 19th st with other bands. Hale sang, Rachel

 (they met when Hale hired her to tune her piano) was on electric organ, V ( sang and played guitar. Nice. This nite, this tour, this was V's band, the Teeth of Turquoise.

 They play in Taos at the Seco Pearl Dec. 3rd. Anyone who knows me knows I have trouble with men with long hair (Durmel is the exception) and V's look

 reminded me of the old transvestite with the adam's apple in Robert Downey sr.'s "Greaser's Palace. But I completely got him, liked him, as the day moved along.
Everyone got to my house b4 3 am and I got up at 6 and went and bought food to cook all of us breakfast in the desert. It is a spot I go to often to cook and shoot- The Micas Trail on the 8 mile cut through Saguaro East.
I was worried it would b bad lite for shooting because it was morning but by the time we had packed up all the cooking stuff and clothes stuff

 and drove east it was afternoon. My goal is to shoot 'hand picked' beautiful women, dressed in interesting clothes of she and my choice, in interesting places

-the DESERT. Then I look for the indecisive moment. My manner of shooting reminds me of the sign outside Frank and Francesca's on Pima- "elegant dining elsewhere". I don't want posed...I have no interest in perfection. Beauty yes, `correct' no.
On the way we passed Arianna Solare,

a musician artist friend of V's. She was crotched down by the side of the road next to her truck, wearing a cowboy hat and t-shirt. Hale remarked how `hot' she was. Arianna is GAY.
We get to the place we are going to cook and Rachel wanders off into the desert to b quiet and to think. I shot the remaining two members of ToT.

At one point Arianna asked me how I met Hale and I mentioned seeing her waitressing and her fine behind in jeans. I got an immediate reaction. I was attracted to the way she looked in jeans. Somehow it was socially unacceptable (my remark wasn't that big a deal to anyone there) but it made me think of sexual remarks Hale had made in the past when she was single and on the prowl. She talked like a guy about women neither of us knew.

part of my research library:

What is one to base their attraction on if there has been no conversation. Anyway...the first time and the last time, two days ago, I was attracted to Hale's sparkle in her eyes

and her butt, among many things. Note she choose to wear a vintage black transparent full length lingerie item and a tiny winy black thong.
Music was played

as we cooked, as V and Hale tried on clothes hanging

from the trees.

Same as it always was.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

It's not my Destany

I like to photograph the same women over and over. After I shot the King sisters I wanted to meet their preacher dad and drove to Sunday services in a remote hallow in North Carolina. Two days ago I drove up to Mesa because I wanted to shoot Destany's dad, Byron visiting from the hills of Maryland. He's got her name and her two sisters tattooed on his upper left arm.

I've been shooting Destany for over two years, through highs and lows and one beautiful pregnancy.

 She's got that thing that wants me to keep shooting her...She looks like a european actress in b&w from the sixties and she's pretty free about being naked but one can't view that here.

We went to a bbq place along Main st .  We pigged out, then I drove back to Tucson after helping Payton do her homework. Destany managed to kick a hole in the painting hanging now above the livingroom couch, right where the woman's belly was supposed to be. Beauty

That night in Mesa I realized I liked shooting cowgirls with toy guns.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

What Can You do For Me

I just went to pick up my prints of Harry, Jagger, Madonna and Stiv Bators from the pop up gallery created by David Olsen, publisher of Zocalo magazine. Entitled "Tucson Shots Rock" it ran parallel to Terry Etherton's exhibition of Baron W. and Lynn Goldsmith's rock pictures and Tucson's Museum of Modern Art Rock photos originally curated by the Brooklyn Museum.
When David put the show together I explained I couldn't put any money into the show and he offered to have three of the prints printed by Photographic Works and framed by Nathan. He kept saying the Madonna prayer shot was his favorite. I figured he'd buy it at a discounted price we'd agree on. Instead when I went minutes ago to pick up the shots he asked if I was going to give him a print (selling for over $1000). After two trips to my car he amended that to "did I want to give him a print". "No", I make my living from sales of prints.
I wanted him to get me credentias to shoot the annual rodeo as though for his mag in exchange for him being able to use the shots I made . He wanted to know what I would do for him if he did fill out the one pager that the rodeo wanted. I pointed out he could use the photos I shot. He said if he wanted shots of the rodeo, he'd shoot them. He suggested I do a shot on assignment for Zocalo. Nope. His magazine had benefitted plenty from the exhibition and I'm sure he had done swaps for a great deal of the work and cost put into the show.

By the time I was leaving he was suggesting I buy him a beer. I agreed to buy him a beer when i had $5.

Hi Eric. I did not give you permission to take a photo of me nor did I give you permission to post it online. I herby request that you immediately remove the photo of me on your blog.

Thank you.

what a guy David Olsen is:

Hi Joan:

My name is David Olsen and I'm the publisher of Zocalo Tucson Magazine. I wanted to bring to your attention a gentleman by the name of Eric Kroll. Eric has been trying to gain media credentials to the Tucson Rodeo by using our Magazine as a cover. However, Eric is not a representative of Zocalo Magazine nor does he do work for us in any capacity. If he should contact you under the guise of Zocalo and ask for media credentials, please reject his request. As far as I know, he does not work for any media in town.

Should you have any questions or concerns, please contact me. I've also cc'd Eric on this email so that he is also clear on where we stand with this issue.

Thank you,
David Olsen
Publisher, Zocalo Magazine

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Tucson Now

For the first time since moving to Tucson over 2 years ago I felt sane enough to work in my yard. The weather was perfect and the sun was behind clouds. I wanted to edit some of my giant blue agave stems or leaves that were dead and I borrowed from my friend Steve Romaniello his shears. But they didn't work and I switched to a surreated kitchen knife and that cut through the leaves like butter. Even so, the points cut into my hand till i was bloody.

Then I cooked myself some eggs and turkey sausage.

Then I went to an opening then for pizza with Bob Dylan, and some of his admirers- Miki, Karen and Gail and Steve Romaniello.

I had to say a word or two for a video being made on the photographers that did the photos for "Tucson Shots Rock" so after pizza we walked over to the pop up gallery and spoke about shooting Madonna, Jagger, Debbie Harry and Stiv Bators of the Dead Boys.  I mentioned my loft above the Old Garden restaurant on w. 29th st. Afterwards a couple came up to me and mentioned she used to live in my old building long after I left. I added a remark about the cockroaches and the back room with floor to ceiling windows looking up at the fog lit Empire State building. She even mentioned Australian Richard and claimed he was still living there 35 years later! Richard wore tights and a long flowing shirt.

It was raining this morning so we couldn't drive over to the swapmeet and eat San Salvadoran eggs and the coffee is miserable at Frank and Francescos so we went to Bobo's on Grant near Country Club but we made the mistake of sitting at the counter which meant we stared down the short oder cook and the grease...the grease. Now its hours lateer after watching Antonioni's La Notte and Gail's in bed with a sore stomach and I'm on my way for a hike in the desert with Carl.

Monday, November 7, 2011

traveling thru

Like in Bansky's "Exit Through the Gift Shop" the character,Thierry Guetta, photographs everything ...much like I do. Sometimes women don't like that. Once I turned my camera on porn star Nina Hartley in the Mandurian rest.  across from King's Row on Beverly Blvd. in LA. She and Iras, her partner got pissed and said I couldn't shoot them, even though I had known both of them for years. Something similar happened in Santa Fe when i turned my camera on Susan McMeans, my ex girlfriend from Taos days. Up came the hand. Later in the same day I turned my camera on Sherry, my ex girlfriend from Boulder when i was at Univ. of Colorado. Up came the hand. Finally I asked Gail to raise her hand. An allegiance of sorts.

We left Santa Fe and took the backroad to Taos stopping in Chimayo, NM that has the holy dirt and chillies. Then to Truchas and down into Rancho de Taos, my old residence from 1969 to 1971. We got a room at the Sagebrush Inn where my parents stayed when they visited me. Gail roasted her breasts at the hearth or sat outside and read.

Gail was getting tired of meeting all the people there was to meet so I kept Dennis and Sylvia a secret till we got to the hills above Arroyo Seco, northeast of Taos. Dennis was Susan MnMeans brother and I had known him and his wife over 40 years. I pulled over across from the Tewa or Taos Indian land and dialed Dennis' number. A voice said I had travelled outside the range allowed. I went to turn around and came face to face with their sign "Luftig". I called out and Dennis and Sylvia after 40 years of marriage and two grown children were outside on their adobe roof watching the sunset. Bravo. Inside they showed us their handmade art and I shot their hands together (Dennis on the left)