Remember that robotic voice you’d hear when the National Weather Service would break-in radio or television programming to issue severe weather warnings?
No, I’m not talking about Jay Trobec.
This voice had..and maybe still does have.. an androgynous monotone not unlike the Conehead characters when they say, “we’re from France.”
Thanks to advances in technology, though, there’s now no mistaking what gender those fake voices are. And, while most people would rather talk to a real person, I don’t mind it when my voice mail lady asks for my pin number and wants to know if I’d care to listen to some more messages or if I’m through. She seems really nice.
My cousin, who travels during the week, absolutely loves the GPS system in his car. He cranks her up as loud as she’ll go finding comfort and company in hearing the lovely automated voice of a woman who really knows her way around.
He also admits his GPS lady is sort of like having his wife along constantly telling him where to go.
These computer voices are so realistic that I nearly got into an argument with one the other day…which eventually leads to an explanation for the title of this blog.
I take five pills a day and once a month those prescriptions need to be filled.
All I do is call up the imaginary pharmacy clerk at Lewis. He’s a very nice, sincere-sounding fake man who says “Welcome, you have reached the Lewis Drug automated prescription service..please enter your prescription number followed by the pound key.”
I proceed to follow a few other prompts from this soft-spoken gentleman, and before you can say “hey, aren’t these drugs cheaper at WalMart and HyVee? …my order is complete. He courteously tells me when I can pick up the pills then says “goodbye” like he really means it.
But then a couple weeks ago, my mechanized friend turned on me.
As I was reading off one of my refill numbers, I’m pretty sure he cut me short and said.”Hey, Mr. Lund, you idiot, we can’t fill this..your prescription has expired.
Why can’t you just read the label before you call. Don’t you think I have better things to do than talk to lunkheads like you? You can stay on the line to talk to a real person if you want to. Good luck with that.”
And then with a “goodbye” that sounded about as sincere as a Las Vegas maître d’, he hung up on me.
Now, I’m stuck. There’s no way out of it. I have to call my doctor’s office to see if they’ll renew my prescriptions..which they won’t, of course, because I haven’t been to the doctor in a year and a half.
“We’ll set you up for a physical at 9a.m. on the 29th. Okay Doug?” said Doctor Allen Funk’s nurse.
“ I guess..but I’m feeling fine.”
“We’ll see on the 29th, then.” (she means that “literally.”)
I have nothing against doctors..except that at my stage of life I can be pretty sure they’re going to find various maladies and ailments that go along with someone of such advanced age.
My appointment starts with the pretty young nurse having me stand on the scale. She has a good laugh when I ask to remove my heavy shoes as if that’s going to make a difference on the obesity chart.
Then, it’s off to the tiny exam room where she mercifully allows me to keep my shirt on while she checks my blood pressure. “144 over 88” she says.
Then I’m handed the lab results from the blood I gave last Saturday.
“Does that “H” by my glucose and cholesterol numbers mean what I think it means?” I asked.
“They’re a little high, she said. Dr. Funk should be here in a few minutes to answer all your questions.
In the meantime, you can disrobe and put on this checkered gown.”
Apparently the only sizes they had left in the drawer under the exam table were small. I looked ridiculous and was waiting for Allen Funk to pop-in telling me to smile I’m on Candid Camera.
No cameras but I’m pretty sure Dr. Funk had all he could do to keep from laughing when he saw me in that silly little outfit.
He proceeded to check me over from head to toe in positions so embarrassing that even I had to chuckle. But it got pretty quiet when I heard that rubber glove snap and I turned around to see him going for the petroleum jelly.
“We gotta do it, Doug. It’s been three years since the last one.”
Finally, it was over and we had a chance to talk about my lab tests. There are a few concerns..especially about getting me to shed some pounds..but basically I’m as healthy as can be expected for someone in the freshman class of babyboomers. Best of all, my prostate is tiny and..much to my relief..the risk of it ever becoming a problem, is extremely low. He checked my blood pressure again after the procedure; it had dropped to 135 over 73. ”That’s pretty typical, he said smiling. “Most people’s BP gets a little elevated before that part of the exam.”
So, is my peace of mind worth all the stress of being prodded and probed and touched in all sorts of forbidden places?
Go get it done, guys.
By the way, I’m back on good terms with my mechanical phone friend at Lewis.
I knew he couldn’t stay mad at me.
Archive for April 2008
By: Doug Lund
By: Doug Lund
"What’s the patient’s name please?"
"Is that with a K or a C?"
"That would be a C."
"Okay, what seems to be the trouble with America?"
"Well, she just hasn’t been herself lately, doc. She used to be so beautiful…inside and out. In fact, that’s what we called her, America the beautiful. She was so big hearted and generous. Whenever there was a problem anywhere in the world she would be right there offering to lend a helping hand. Most everyone looked up to or, at the very least, respected her.
But now, she’s gotten messed up with the wrong crowd and started picking fights. She’s let her appearance go.
She stopped saving the money we give her and has been spending it like there was no tomorrow; gambling it away on foolish adventures and shakey investments until she’s way over her head in debt.
We still love her very much but are worried sick that we might lose her if this sort of behavior keeps up.
Is there anything you can do, doc?"
"Well, she needs help alright but you’ll need to see a specialist. Someone with the credentials to get her back on the proper path to peace and prosperity."Let’s see, I only know of three who claim to have the neccessary qualifications for that kind of challenge. I have their names right here. You can check ‘em out and decide for yourself which one you think is best."
"That’s it? Only three out of so many millions? Oh, alright, let’s see who we have here.
It’s obvious that this one is tough as nails but getting on a bit in years and really doesn’t seem to offer the kind of hope and redirection we were looking for and that our beloved America needs right now.
Oh, and she’s already been to see this second name on the list. In fact, she spent 8 years there and, frankly, picked up some bad habits. Habits we’d rather she didn’t get back into….like stretching the truth and doing some things that were downright embarrassing.We’ve never heard of this last one. Not much experience, that’s for sure. Can’t help but wonder if America would even listen to, much less follow, directions from such a bright-eyed idealist with no real track record. I don’t know what we’re going to do.
Thanks anyway, doc. What do we owe you?"
"Well, lets see, 600 dollars ought to cover it."
"Wow, what a coincidence. We got a government check in the mail just this morning for exactly that amount!"
By: Doug Lund
“Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittensBright copper kettles and warm woolen mittensBrown paper packages tied up with stringsThese are a few of my favorite things."
I haven’t seen the movie, "The Sound of Music" in years..so why is that song running over and over through my head? I like the tune okay but can’t possibily imagine what caused it suddenly pop from the subconscious to the conscious between the time I fell asleep last night until I awoke this morning. I did see a Julie Andrews biography..but that was a couple weeks ago.
I have been thinking about some of my least favorite things lately. Maybe that’s it. More specifically, foods that most people like and think I’m supposed to like too but don’t.
Olive oil, for example. I’ve been paying through the nose for extra virgin olive oil at the store because all the TV chefs use it and it’s supposed to be good for you. We ran out of it the other day so I used butter and a little corn oil to cook some eggs. They were delicious! I sautéed some onions and peppers the same way. Terrific! No funny aftertaste. I also don’t like bread dipped in olive oil at Italian restaurants that everybody seems to go gah gah over. Cilantro is another alleged food item that I don’t like. To me, this popular herb used primarily in Mexican, Italian and Middle Eastern cooking, tastes like someone peeled soap chips onto my enchilada. I’m not alone in this. The beloved TVchef Julia Child enjoyed eating most everything but detested cilantro. There’s even an “I hate cilantro” website.If I’m served a steak like this I see red.You can put rare meat on my yuk list as well. My friend Bob Miller owns the Brandon Steak House and just shakes his head in disgust when I order a filet “medium well.” “That’s a terrible thing to do to a nice piece of meat,” he’ll say. I’ll have to butterfly it.” “Fine,” I’ll tell him as he goes back into the kitchen muttering something that sounds like what Ralphie said in “A Christmas Story” when he dropped the lug nuts.
Our daughter, Christy and my friend Hemmingsen are two examples of people who believe that fire is the enemy of a steak and (I think just to show off) will spend several minutes explaining to the server just how rare they really do want their meat…no more than 30 seconds per side..or some such nonsense. Again, this is clearly to demonstrate some sort of bravado that I can’t explain.If I had to look down at a plate with a hunk of luke-warm flesh swimming in a puddle of blood..I’d become a vegetarian faster than you could say e-coli.
I don’t like orange juice with pulp, Imitation Baileys Irish Cream, (yes, there is a difference) anything seasoned with hot..hot chili peppers, (Why should eating be painful?) bananas, (just something about the texture that automatically induces gagging.) and, perhaps most controversial of all; seafood!
How can someone of my ancestry not like fish?
I could lose a lot of weight if all there was in the world to eat were lobsters, oysters, crabs, salmon or most anything that lives in the water…including lutefisk! I don’t mind a tuna sandwich; breaded shrimp or fish without the bones dipped in beer batter and deep fried. But nibbling on a trout that’s presented on a plate with it’s skin still attached and it’s dead black eyes staring back just creeps me out. So does the thought of eating raw oysters: having them slide off the half shell down your throat and then bragging to your buddies how many you ate and how great they were while never having chewed a one.. And, hey, you can call that liquid these grey creatures live in “oyster liquor” if you want to but we all know it’s just slime.I suppose I’ve made a few of you angry by showing such disrespect for your favorite culinary cuisines. Well, I’m sorry. And to apologize, here’s a cheery little tune to run through YOUR head for a few days.
You’re welcome. it’s a world of laughter, a world or tearsits a world of hopes, its a world of fearthere,s so much that we sharethat its time we’re awareits a small world after allCHORUS:its a small world after allits a small world after allits a small world after allits a small, small world
By: Doug Lund
I suppose a headline like that could get me kicked right out of Springdale Lutheran Church just a week after joining.
But get your minds out of the gutter, people, I’m talking about women who are involved in motorsports..not as trophy girls but drivers.
26 year old Danica Patrick would be welcome as a trophy girl at any track in America.
Guys would drive extra hard for a win and the chance to be kissed by this strikingly beautiful woman.
But Patrick doesn’t hand out trophies..they’re handed to her.
She made history over the weekend by becoming the first female driver to win a race in an Indy Car..the same cars that compete in the Indianapolis 500.
The pressure was really on for Patrick to live up to all the hype she’s received since starting the Indy 500 a few years ago and actually leading for a few laps.
The fact that she’s about as cute as a button has made her the darling of advertisers on television and in magazines.
She made millions of guys drool when she appeared in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition.
But, Danica hasn’t done much on the track and people were beginning to wonder if she was all show and no go.
But now she, along with the struggling Indy Racing League and the media can relax and rub their hands together with joy because she’s a winner!
Her’s wasn’t the fastest car in the IRL race in Japan Saturday but pit strategy and fuel conservation put her in front after everybody else had to stop for gas.
She broke into tears after the race out of relief she’ll no longer have to answer the same question over and over; when will you win?
You have to wonder, though, if Danica Patrick looked like Jane Hathaway from The Beverly Hillbillies instead of Ellie May Clampett, would she get as much attention?
A woman, who actually did resemble Mr. Drysdale’s secretary, was the real trail blazer in the sport.
When Janet Guthrie became the first woman to qualify for the Indy 500 in 1977, she received just about as many jeers as cheers.
A lot fans and drivers couldn’t get past her gender and considered her to be a dangerous novelty behind the wheel of a race car at speeds approaching 200 miles an hour.
Guthrie drove in the big race twice. Her best finish was 9th. Not bad considering the pressures she was under.
She even tried her hand at NASCAR for a while, driving in over 30 races on the Winston Cup stock car circuit but that also proved to be a rough road. She didn’t have the best equipment, she took a lot of heat from the good ‘ole Southern boys on the track and there wasn’t enough make-up in the world to make up for her appearance in the eyes of advertisers and promoters.
Now 68, Guthrie has written a book called “Against all Odds” about her years trying to compete and be successful in the male-dominated sport of auto racing.
Danica Patrick has certainly broken new ground with her win… but look who’s nipping at her heels.
Milka Duno, a native of Venezuela who lives in Miami, is 36 and has been tearing up the tracks..and winning..for the last 12 years in all types of racing series from sports cars to open wheel which now includes the IRL.
Experts say she’s also poised for victory. The Indy Racing League and Madison Avenue would love nothing more than to have Duno running wheel to wheel with Patrick each week. Can you imagine the P.R. possibilities? If only they could get one of them to become a blonde.
I’m not saying that Danica and Milka aren’t as talented or determined as any of the male drivers but I have to wonder if there aren’t a lot of other Janet Guthries out there who’ll never get the chance to race in the big time because their looks don’t dazzle.
I was going to write about and post some pictures of the babes involved in drag racing like Ashley Force, Angelle Sampey and Melanie Troxel but Linda is already getting suspicious about why I’ve spent so much time on today’s blog.
By: Doug Lund
Even though I’ve been away from it for a while now, I still read the web sites and blogs that focus on the business of television news and what I’m reading a lot about these days is the inescapable conclusion that the expensive Katie Couric experiment on the CBS evening news has been a magnificent failure and is mercifully coming to an end well short of her 5 year 75 million dollar contract and ratings that have sunk to the lowest they’ve ever been for that once prestigious broadcast. It’s something I predicted when I first heard that CBS was trying to lure her away from the Today Show.
Katie Couric. Is she pulling up anchor?What was the network brass thinking two years ago when they brought her aboard? Did they really believe this popular perky morning show maven was the best choice to restore the Tiffany network’s reputation which was becoming more tarnished each year with Dan Rather sitting in the anchor chair..a chair vacated by the great Walter Cronkite who was forced out because he’d reached the mandatory retirement age of 65?
(A policy that obviously changed at CBS when the crew of 60 Minutes all began qualifying for the senior discount at the International House of Pancakes.)
I don’t know of anyone in the business who thought Katie Couric had the right stuff for the job..and GENDER has nothing to do with it.
I do think CBS execs had in mind that she could deliver more women viewers..but bad is bad and it doesn’t matter if it’s a woman or a man.
I have nothing against Couric. I know she’s gone through trials in her personal life and is a wonderful caring person. She was popular and pretty good on TV in the morning but as a network news anchor..well it just didn’t wash.It’s not like she was blazing new trails here. There have been women network anchors before. In the mid-seventies Barbara Walters was also a morning show host and celebrity interviewer who switched networks to co-anchor the ABC 5:30 news with Harry Reasoner. It was a disaster too. The story is that old Harry absolutely resented Barbara being there and it was painfully obvious on the air.
That’s probably true but I also think another big reason the experiment didn’t work is because viewers want to see an experienced news journalist in the anchor spot not someone whose claim to fame was talking to Paul Newman about his blue eyes, or trying to get celebrities to cry on camera or asking them what kind of tree they think they’re most like.
Back in the late 70’s early 80’s, NBC’s Jessica Savitch appeared well on her way to moving from anchoring weekends to weekdays. She had a certain something that appealed to viewers. I think journalistic integrity had a lot to do with it. But Savitch’s career was cut short by a fatal automobile accident.
I’ve always felt that Leslie Stall had the right stuff for anchoring especially news knowledge and trustworthyness. In fact, she has filled-in lots of times and done a great job. But, like most of her 60 Minutes colleagues, she’s had her AARP card for a long long time and would probably be considered too old for the job.
One of those news web sites I mentioned earlier showed a poll asking whether or not Katie Couric should go. It was something like 70 percent yes. Just about the same number felt she shouldn’t have been made anchor in the first place.
It’s not Couric’s fault. Who can blame her for accepting the offer, the challenge and the money?It’s just that none of the CBS bosses, nor Couric herself, seemed to grasp what most of the TV watching public had figured out after a few weeks on the air. It was not a good fit and it was not going to work.
That same poll also asked who should be chosen to anchor the CBS evening news?
I’ll tell you that Bob Schieffer..who increased the ratings for the first time in years when he temporarily took over after Rather’s sour departure..and then was squeezed out to make room for Couric..came in first among those surveyed. But, at age 70, Schieffer has said it’s too late now and he really doesn’t want the job.
Not that CBS would listen, but maybe you have some thoughts on who you think should get the eventing news anchor job.
Feel free to click the comments..but please leave Hemmingsen and me out of it. For one reason, none of our suits fit anymore.
By: Doug Lund
“Hi Dad..good to hear from you,” my daughter, Suzan, said when I called Saturday.
“How are you doin’? I asked.
“Well, I’m a little frazzled, she said, because I haven’t gotten our taxes done yet.”
“You haven’t? You’re getting money back aren’t you..why wait until the last minute to file?”
“Daaaaad..you’re a fine one to talk to me about being late. I got the procrastinating gene from you, ya know.”
Yes, I do know.
But in my younger days, the reason I was always late filing taxes wasn’t so much due to my being a procrastinator but because…even though my income was laughably low… I inevitably wound up owing the government money; money I didn’t have.
There were a couple years I had to go into the IRS office before the deadline to try come up with a payment plan that would keep me out of prison.
Well, maybe they wouldn’t have actually locked me up but I got the distinct feeling they wouldn’t think twice about taking their chunk out of my check..lowering even more the paltry salary I was getting working at the shoe store.
Things eventually got better but I’ve never forgotten those times when I was right in there with those people racing to get to the post office before midnight of April 15th.
When I got into TV, I wanted to end, once and for all, that knot I’d get in my stomach every Spring over income taxes so I consulted with my old pal, the late Ken Hirsch.
He was not only a success on television but in business too and I figured he could offer some sound financial advice…which he did.
I wished I’d followed all of it but I did start going to his tax guy who, all these years later, still manages to find a way for us to make it more blessed to receive than to give.
So, my taxes are done; have been for several weeks!
There was even a little refund which went directly into our checking account and has already been spent to help pay down the credit card balance which somehow got out of control during our month in Arizona and Texas.
Now that Linda and I are retired with pretty uncomplicated incomes, I’ve been thinking about the possibility of doing the taxes myself and save the money we shell out every year to our preparer. How tough can it be?
Ooooh, wait a minute; I’m starting to get a knot in the gut again; one I haven’t felt in a very long time.
By: Doug Lund
I saw a strange sight today; a robin just outside my window..shivering in the icy wind and as she surveyed her frigid white surroundings, there was a look of disgust on her face. She actually seemed on the verge of speech.
“I told him it was too early to go back to South Dakota..but would he listen to me? No! So here we are freezing our beaks off without a thing to eat because even the worms in this state have enough sense to stay in the ground until mid May. If he thinks he’s going to cuddle up to me for warmth or anything else tonight, he’s got another thing coming.”
I wanted to get a picture but she flew away..still muttering to herself.
It’s supposed to warm up next week but we’ve heard that before. Some of us have been around here long enough to know that there’s probably another Alberta clipper already gathering steam somewhere northwest of Williston.
Linda and I did get a ray of sunshine this week in the form of a phone call from our friends..and travel partners, Joan and Denny Graves.
They were booking rooms in Deadwood for our annual late summer trip to the Black Hills.
I love the Hills.
There’s always something new to discover no matter how many times you’ve been there.
For example, have you ever seen the fifth face on Mount Rushmore?
Oh, I know..people have been seeing faces in the rock, besides the presidents, for years.
The granite outcroppings can be like puffy white cumulus clouds, anybody with an imagination can see all kinds of things.
I seem to be one of the few people who remember a report on NBC news by John Chancellor in 1977 in which the head of an Indian warrior was clearly visible, if the angle and light was right, just to the left of George Washington.The Indian head, complete with feathered headdress, is the whole left side of the mountain. His nose is Washington’s lapel. His chin is at the bottom of the carved portion. See it? I’ve put a rather lame outline on the photo below.
It caused such a stir that even Lincoln Borglum, son of the sculptor, Gutzon Borglum, was amazed.
NBC interviewed business owners in Keystone who were optimistic that the discovery would be a big boost for tourism.
Most tourists viewing the mountain, however, had a tough time seeing the image.
A few, though, said, oh wow…there it is. Incredible!
In 1991, I co-anchored Keloland News live coverage of the huge 50th anniversary celebration of Mount Rushmore. President George H.W. Bush along with lots of celebrities including Jimmy Stewart and Tom Brokaw, were on hand for the re-dedication ceremony.
We had a lot of air time to fill and somewhere along the line I happened to mention the NBC report I’d seen years earlier about the face of an Indian on the mountain.
People looked at me as though I’d just claimed to have had lunch with Elvis.
No one had heard that story. But our crew, God bless ‘em, appeased me by pointing their cameras in the direction where the face was supposed to be.
“Well, the angle must not be right,” was my excuse. I know it’s there. I saw it."
Undaunted, I pointed out yet another feature of the carving that most people don’t know about; Lincoln’s knuckles.
This one is true and documented.
Gutzon Borglum’s plan was to have all four presidents depicted from the waist up. He started on a couple of them but died before that job was done.
War was on the horizon and money was tight so Lincoln Borglum decided to declare the monument complete in 1941.
But if you look closely, you can clearly see the lapels on Washington’s jacket. What you may never have noticed, though, are the unfinished fingers of Lincoln’s left hand holding onto his lapel. They look like a short curved stairway under his bearded chin.
Now…aren’t you anxious to go see Mount Rushmore again?
I’m just hoping the light is right so the Indian head is visible this time.
Oh well, we had to use our imagination on the Crazy Horse carving for a lot of years too.
By: Doug Lund
I detest tests. Always have.
I do okay at crossword puzzles or games like Trivial Pursuit which challenge one’s basic knowledge, but when it comes down to the real deal for important stuff, like a driver’s license exam or applying for membership in the Mensa Society (kidding) I freeze up like a raccoon in the middle of a busy road.
Linda has a similar phobia about test taking.
So why in the world would we ever agree to stand up in front of a hundred or more people this coming Sunday and be expected to answer a bunch of questions?
Actually, we’ve both taken and passed the same basic test before..twice!
The first time we were just babies and had help with the answers from our parents. The ceremony even included a nice refreshing dip in water from a special wash basin.
The second time… we were old enough to speak for ourselves. We stood at attention in our angelic white robes renouncing the devil and all his works and all his ways even as Satan himself was whispering in my ear, “whaddaya gonna do with all that money in those confirmation cards?”
Well, get thee behind us Satan, we’re about to publicly renounce you again as we become full-fledged members of the little country church east of Sioux Falls called Springdale.
It’ll be good to have a worship place to call home again and they don’t get much homier than Springdale.
The little white church in the daleIn his office after services last Sunday, Pastor Haugrud spent an hour visiting with Linda and me plus two other couples about joining the church..getting to know us better and discussing the joys and responsibilities of membership.
Oh, yeah, he even went over the correct answers for Sunday’s test in front of the congregation.
We may be nervous, but I’m pretty confident we’ll get ‘em right.
Hopefully, we’ll only have to take the test one more time.
I hear St. Peter is tough but fair and there is a real nice prize awarded to everyone who passes.
By: Doug Lund
Well, here it is..Monday. The city election is tomorrow and I still haven’t decided who I’m going to vote for. Or is it whom?
Ah, whom gives a darn?
Linda and I live in the Northeast district which has had a real growth spurt in recent years..more of a growth gusher, actually.
Unlike the rest of the country, Sioux Falls’ housing market shows no serious signs of slowing down so whoever..or whomever is elected to represent us on the council will likely have a much larger constituency at the end of their term than the beginning.
I hope that they keep in mind that growth may be good..but it should not come at the expense of those of us already here. I can still hear Kenny Anderson saying that..or words to that effect.
We cast our ballots at the Kenny Anderson Community Center near Washington High School.
The center..along with an outdoor sports complex..is named after one of the most beloved people ever to come from Sioux Falls.
The fact that Kenny was a black man in a city made up mostly of pasty white Scandinavians, Germans and Irish never seemed to be an issue..at least not for us. He used to love saying, "I’m not black, I’m not green..I’m Sioux Falls."Indeed he was.
Kenny grew up in the North End and eventually operated a successful dry cleaning business. He was also a standout ball player who was elected to the South Dakota fast pitch softball hall of fame. He not only loved to play sports..he was a loyal fan and a familiar face along the sidelines of most any local sporting event.When Kenny decided to run for a seat on the city commission in 1988, he won with ease and served with distinction until he died..way too soon..in 1990 after suffering a stroke.
I don’t know of any real life changing decisions he made during his time on the commission. I just remember that he greeted everybody with a smile, was always approachable, a great interview who had a genuine passion to help the people of his hometown. Accordingly, folks just thought the world of Kenny..enough to name a couple "people places" in his honor.
Now, his son, Kenny Junior, is on the city council ballot this year hoping to follow in his famous father’s footsteps.
Most who knew his old man would have to say they’re some pretty big shoes to fill.
By: Doug Lund
This is one of my favorite Normal Rockwell illustrations.
It shows that even the greats can occasionally run out of ideas.
I’m certainly not comparing myself to Rockwell, but it’s good to know that he’d get stumped once in a while too when faced with a deadline…real or self made.
As I was looking at that and other works of art by him, I got to thinking about what a wonderful observer of people Rockwell was; how he could speak volumes about us on canvas without ever having to saying a word.
Be it humorous, patriotic or poignant, I’ve never looked at a Rockwell painting without feeling some kind of emotion; laughter, pride or a lump in the throat.
Saying Grace, Norman RockwellIn my years at Keloland, I interviewed hundreds of artists. Nearly every one of them was talented but only a few possessed that special ability to tell a story that went beyond the work itself.
Jim Savage immediately comes to mind. A couple of Jim’s comical cowpokes I’m proud to own.
Jim was a soft spoken gentle man who discovered a skill for wood carving rather late in life but oh, what a gift he had. Whether it was one of his comical cowboy carvings or the magnificent reality in his series of Indian Chief busts, Jim, like Rockwell, managed to bring his creations to life.
Greg Latza is another artist who looks for more than meets the eye.
Greg is a photographer who not only takes the pictures, he has built a business around his photography; publishing several coffee table books filled with his amazing images, mostly of people and places in South Dakota.I am particulary fond of this shot. You can sense the anxiety of the little girl as she sizes up the competition while nervously awaiting her turn to show her lamb at the fair.
To the casual observer, it would seem that Greg just has a knack for being in the right place at the right time to capture the perfect moment on film. The truth is, he, like all really good photographers, has an enormous amount of patience and will go to great lengths to make his own luck and get the shot he wants.
Another favorite..small town Saturday night haircut. Sort of looks like a Rockwell painting doesn’t it?Our daughter gave me a digital camera for Christmas and I’ve been trying to learn how to use it properly so I could include a few pictures here from time to time.
I’m afraid, though, it’s going to take a while.
The gift of a keen eye like a Rockwell, Savage or Latza wasn’t included in the instructional manual.