Friday, July 24, 2009

My new pal...

Introducing Miss Pretty Kitty...
Assistant managing editor of this blog... She's a perfect 10! She is also the proof reader and excellent roommate.

Lee Balterman... In my thoughts (FOR LEE'S DEATH CHECK THIS SITE FOR MARCH-2012)



The profile image of me on this site was taken by famed photographer Lee Balterman, who only has 2 Life Magazine covers to his credit, and was a staff photographer for Time-Life & Sports Illustrated just to name a few. I usually play phone tag with him and vice versa to see what is on Lee's agenda. It is seldom that we ever plan ahead. However, tomorrow we had a date with partners of a well known sports auction house in the East. Lee was going to sell his sports collection, and for the past year plus, he was getting it into some kind of order from the past 50 years. I first met Lee just after the final outs of the Cubs/ Padres 1984 N.L. Play-offs... the game was in San Diego... but here in Chicago, Cubs fans hung around the Wrigleyville sports bars, especially Murphy's Bleachers. The Pennant went down the drain, when First Baseman Leon Durham booted a play that led to the Cubs downfall. I was there with my life size Voodoo Doll... dressed in the Padre's ugly uniform.

The rainy afternoon added at least 20 ponds to my cotton stuffed friend. I was interviewed by USA TODAY... and as the reporter asked me my thoughts on the Cubs loss... and on "Q" a tear came to my eye. It was the first place nationally that I was tabbed "The Bleacher Preacher". A few hours later, I was still on Addison, near the Tents that popped up containing the latest "Cubs" gear, selling at better than half off, that including Pennants and T-shirts announcing The 1984 World Series Cubs Edition, that became instant collectables. It was there, that Lee was shooting the aftermath of their final game of the year. Lee took a few photos of me... then we walked towards the #36 bus. Then we talked Cubs, Chicago, and photography for most of the next 29 years...

About 3 years ago I had read in a newspaper about an auction house that bought up a famed early sports photographer's collection. And I sent them contact information for Lee... but be that as it may... they never contacted him. Then last month I was meeting Lee to celebrate his 89th birthday... and he handed me a copy of the letter I had sent to that auction house. I resent it, and this time they called back within a few minutes... and was able to set up a date to see Lee's collection. Well... that was to be tomorrow. For the past month, Lee has been working to put it into some kind of order... mostly baseball, but he also shot Mohammed Ali, Sonny Liston and 40 years ago took photos for Life of Buzz Aldrin's wife. Last night, I received a message that Lee was in Northwestern Hospital... and this morning I found out he had a stroke. I just got back from visiting him... and he is partially paralyzed... but he able to speak and recall... and we hope soon for his complete recovery. I am posting a few of Lee's images...
Get Well Soon Lee!

Carmella Hartigan, Margie and Lee circa about 2001

I speak only for myself... I RATHER BE IN AMERICA!

After 72 years plus... I left the country for the first time for more than a few hours. During the 50's I made it to Hawaii before it was a state. A few years later... I left the country in Miami Florida to go to Bimini Island in the Bahamas. I managed to spend an hour in Juarez Mexico just over the border of El Paso.. This time I had to get a passport. Traveling today... you give up a lot of your time in the name of safety. The trip opened my eyes to yesterday's Greece... and today's changing times. There was no love towards Americans, Jews and Yankee Dollars... every thing is in Euros... I had saved some ticket stubs from the side trips in Greece and Turkey... and one in particular. The "Palace of Poseidon" near Athens... However... a senior moment has blocked out where I put them... I am also disappointed that I did not take a photograph of the sign hanging in the entrance box office declaring 4 Euros, but only 2 if you are 65 and older. So for a change, we felt we were getting some bargain in Greece. It didn't last long.
When my brother asked for the discounted price... he was asked "Where are you from?" and he said "the United States!" And then he was told... the discount is only for Europeans! Can you imagine what would have happened if we had done that at our National Parks, and other Treasures?
In fact, the other day my brother treated me and his grandsons to go to the Sears Tower... primarily to step out on the new glass enclosure 103 stories above the ground. Ironically a couple of days later it's now known as "The Willis Towers". He remarked "We should be charging Europeans extra, too. ... this blog was never intended to be a travel guide. However... it's too late for Oprah to take her crew elsewhere. I read she was taking her staff on a cruse to Greece,Turkey, Malta and elsewhere. I am sure there are many places in America that she has never seen. I urge you to $pend your money in the U.S.A.!. Keep Americans working, and, feed the hungary,too.

I am still waiting to read comments from those who spend more than a few seconds on my blog. Even if it has nothing to do with the blog. Let me know you are out there..
And what you think of it... The price is right!


Our Guide to Ephesus


Santorini Greece

Old City Rhodes 6/3/2009

Jewish Community of Rhodes Est.1577 6/3/2009

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Welcome, and take a minute... Up to date

I recently returned from Greece and Turkey, my brother and I visited our older brother... now living there.
He's looking forward to life beyond his next birthday in late October. His life is like an O'Henry story. We spent 17 days out of the country. With most of our time in the suburbs of Athens... and a 7 day cruse. I was given a new Canon G10... and it's making me look like a photographer. I was always in luck getting results... and they got better as I changed cameras....FTB to AE1... and thankfully because... then as now... I always depended on the kindness of my camera's ability to succeed, even while I made mistakes...

Sears Tower "WEEEEEEEEeeeeeeeee" my brother and his grandkids 103 stories high Sears Tower

The view from my apartment

A day in the life - June 2009 Oak Street Beech... he was having a good time with friends.

Rainbow over Chicago's Trump Tower

Hands full of Pride! Chicago 2009 Gay Pride Parade

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

On my recent trip to Greece... it's nice to know that Gay Rights is no longer just a local happening...

More pictures and updates coming soon... Happy 4th of July! Jerry

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cannot be reproduced, re-posted elsewhere or published without PRIOR WRITTEN PERMISSION