Saturday, November 24, 2012

Anselmo - Return to the Chapel on the Hill


Today we revisited Our Lady of the Seven Sorrows, the chapel on the hills at the Anselmo Vineyards.
What an astonishing accomplishment Reverge Anselmo has achieved.  What a blessing to the community and all who visit.

We dined to celebrate Nancy's birthday, and Reverge allowed us to sample his fine Cabernet wine, which is rich, smooth, round and sweet, with a fruity nose. The food is delectable and the chef takes a great personal delight in creating memorable dishes impeccably displayed.


After lunch we walked up through the vineyard to the new sanctuary. immediately one is struck by the completeness of the project which a year ago was having the roof placed on the tower.  Thoughtfully placed Cypress trees add a traditional old world timelessness to our approach of this inspirational setting.


Ascending the tower one can take in the view down across the daintily groomed vines to the ranch buildings set among the oak trees, and out in the distance the snow-capped peaks of Mount Lassen. Beside you are three handsome bells, Bernadette, Simeon and John. The castings are beautiful and the tones that peel out over the valley are perfectly pitched.


The completed sanctuary exquisite with a mosaic of Abraham and the visit from the three angels above the altar, (Genesis 18:2), an iconic recreation of the Rublev's Trinity.


The view out of the huge church doors is of the vineyards and the distant mountains.


We left enriched and uplifted from the experience,

and will surely return!

Friday, November 02, 2012

Frances Cecilia Clutton 1915 - 2012 Obituary

Frances Cecilia McLeod

November 15 1915 - October 31 2012

Frances Cecila Clutton, the daughter of Francis Owen Clutton, Solicitor and Elizabeth Atherton, and grand daughter of Henry Clutton, the renowned English Architect, was born on the “Rocks”, 493 Alfred Street, in Sydney Harbour in a Seaman’s Medical Refuge center after a rough voyage from Wellington, New Zealand on the Steam ship Ulimaroa. She was raised in England and educated at Roehampton and on the Continent by the Sacred Heart Nuns.

When war broke out in 1939 she applied and was accepted into the Wrens (Women's Royal Naval Service) and was stationed in the Admiralty Command Centre in Liverpool.  She was a war bride marrying Roderick Murdoch McLeod RHR (Royal Highland Regiment) in Torquay, Devon on 28th February 1942.  They made a home in Oxford where her husband was to attend Merton College.  His recruitment by the Foreign Service to work in Kenya drew the family to that colony in 1951.  Though estranged by 1953 she struggled on to support her family returning to England in 1958. For years she worked in a variety of positions both menial and professional in school catering, assistant nursing and as a librarian in The Institute of Commonwealth Studies "Queen Elizabeth House" in Oxford, and she retired to Australia in the1980's to the mild climate at the foot of the Blue Mountains. She is survived by her five children Flora, Neil, Alan, Roida and Ewan, and numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren.  Frances was well educated and greatly gifted.  She wrote beautiful songs and poems.  Her Kenyan songs and the “Skye Lullaby” are recognized treasures.  Bright and cheerful to the end she finally succumbed to complications from right side heart failure just a few days shy of her 97th birthday.  On the Feast of All Souls, Mass was offered at St. Andrew's, a church our mother loved when she was in Edinburgh, for her repose.

Frances was a close friend of Dame Flora MacLeod of MacLeod, and her eldest daughter Flora was born on Skye, the MacLeod Chief became her Godmother.  The strong link to the Clan MacLeod has been a part of her children's lives.
                                   


Do not lament my passing,
Rejoice, my long life is through.
Know where I go there is rest and peace
And I shall be waiting for you.

Scatter me down by the river
I’ve sung my very last song.
Scatter me down where water slips
Past the rills as it flows along.       

Scatter me where my thoughts would go
On a hot Australian day,
By pool and bend and at the end
To the sea as I slip away.

There on the banks of the Nepean
Should you once more chance to hear
The piercing note of the Bellbird’s call
Think I may linger near!

No more will I sigh or shudder
At the turmoil here below,
For my soul is freed to wander
To my long home I go.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Sixty Five - a reflection

















Six o’clock
And the morning air is chilly
With the moon descending on the western hill
And Orion’s belt standing out bright and clear
With Sirius and Jupiter to the left and the right
And Venus way over to the east
Where the sun will rise on my birthday.

Sixty five is the number
But my early venturing was to reconnoiter,
Were those nimble varmints, the racoons,
Digging up my lawn for worms again?
Padding down the upturned turf
Is not my chosen treat
Especially today!

Far across the globe
My mother, who bore me
On a colder morning so long ago,
Now slips softly into a coma of quiet waiting,
For God to call her home,
And the World turns
Another time.



Saturday, October 27, 2012

Hillsdale College - Cookies with Audrey


Waterman Residence - Hillsdale College

















Cookies with Audrey
Audry Gray and my daughter Maran are friends at Hillsdale College in Michigan. 
Nancy and I visited the School for Parents Weekend in 2012 and sat up late in 
Waterman Residence as the girls baked us cookies to go with our tea.

The moonlight fell on Waterman
Through limbs with thinning leaves,
And from the student’s living room
A glow shone out through the trees.
Within we both sat waiting
Defying the hour so late,
And the pot on the hob was starting to bob
And the cookies were starting to bake.

What a night it had been, where we dined
Olivia’s Chop House showed it’s charms,
Then a classical concert in Sage on the stage
With Dvorak, Mozart and Brahms.
For an hour we watched the kids swinging
As the Hillcats played Howard Hall,
And the leaves from the trees danced and fell in the breeze
Now summer had changed into Fall.

Out into the dark we retreated
Not wanting the reveling to end,
So we crossed the campus and Galloway Drive
To Waterman with Maran’s friend.
And there in the night we sat waiting
Ensconced on the long soft settee,
For a chance of a bite of a cookie at night
Served by Maran and Audrey with tea.

Neil Stewart McLeod 10/26/2012


Fall Colors on Campus- Abigail Wood, Audrey Gray and Maran

Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Black Watch Get New Colors at the Seaside Highland Games

RSM, Mike Benjamin– Accepts the Colors from Dr Neil McLeod
This week end the 12th and 13th of October 2012 saw the holding of the 10th annual Seaside Highland Games, John and Nellie Lowry's great gift to Southern California.  What a tremendous job they and their team of supporters have done in continuing this tradition.  The guests of honor were Richard and Kate Graham the Chieftain of Clan Graham in North America, appointed by the 8th Duke of Montrose in 1992.  They had a family dinner which I was fortunate enough to attend,  before reciting Angus MacIntyre's "The SS Politician" at the Saturday night Ceilidh. The real life story of this legendary tale can be heard from a living witness Joe MacAskill.

Apart from telling tales in my tent as Story Teller for the Games, the high point of the week-end for me was the presentation of Black Watch Colors to  for the 42nd Black Watch Highland Society.

These colors were made by my friend John Pomeroy, the artist and illustrator and animator, who before leaving Los Angeles for Tennessee, presented to me the beautiful flag he had made which bore the insignia of my father, Lieutenant Colonel Roderick McLeod's regiment.  John had made the flag up for some movie detail he was working upon, and since his leaving I have guarded the flag in my garage.  John told me this standard is a exact copy of the 42nd Regimental colour use at Quatre Bras & Waterloo. Now thankfully it will really be appreciated by a society of Black Watch enthusiasts.
The new Colors proudly flying

A high point each day was the appearance by the 1st Marine Division Band.  These soldiers dismissed themselves in first class fashion bring smiles and tear of emotion  as they commanded everyone's attention.  The Music  and the presentations were first class.  See them as they play as the Black Watch parade their new colors.





Monday, October 01, 2012

Ned Nelsen - A Good Man

Ned's 90th
 1920 - 2012
Picture courtesy of J. Lee Braly
 Of Ned his family wrote: Ned was born in 1920 on a farm in Neely, Nebraska; started his education in a one-room schoolhouse; and loved attending reunions of his high school class.  Following service in WWII in New Guinea, Ned attended USC on the GI Bill and received both his undergraduate and law degrees.  He was a prominent criminal defense and family law attorney here in Los Angeles beginning in the 1950s.  Ned was featured in the book “A Death in California” which later became a television movie with Cheryl Ladd.  Ned’s only complaint about the mini-series was that he thought Robert Redford should have played him.  Ned was a member of Rancheros; an avid hunter who shot birds in Montana and wild game in Africa; and a pilot who flew with friends such as ace airman Bob Hoover.  Ned was a tall and elegant gentleman, dapper in his dress and particular about manners and grammar.  He was a gourmet chef at home and regularly dined at classic Los Angeles restaurants such as Perino’s and Chasen’s.  And he made the best Ramos Fizz on the planet, a recipe he somewhat reluctantly taught.

Over the last three years I have been knowing that the moment would come when I would want to write and express sentiments which only mature and find expression at times like this. Until the instant when their appropriateness is confirmed, not till then does one put "pen to paper" or dare to verbally express their content.  But now is the time.  Ned was a fine man, a devoted man, a good man, and a man whose interrupted family life was shattered when the wife he cared so much for met her premature demise. That life was rekindled with the infectious enthusiasm for living which he shared with a new bride.  The Lord knows they both took what came by the horns. We might spend time in remorse for his passing, but in reality this is a time to celebrate the accomplishments and the achievements of a full life.  Not to acknowledge that I loved Ned would be a failing.  The Christmas goose he would tuck in the back of my car, the Macallan well aged and a deep dram, and the dry wit.  I have been privileged to serve the Man so many have loved, and I pray that the sweetest memories remain to soften the loss they must feel at this time.

A Good Man

It takes a lot of time before you really know a man,
A lot of hours of talking and watching how he stands
Upon the things that matter
And the way that he reacts
To the challenges that come his way,
It’s then you know the facts.

You really never get to know someone in just a day,
It takes an awful lot of time before you guess the way
They’ll respond when under pressure
Or when something’s done that’s wrong,
And how in private moments
They’ll behave when folks are gone.

You can’t tell how good and loving a man is going to be
Until he kneels and prays for help, and when it counts if he
Will always go the extra mile
And temper all with love,
And be there for you through thick and thin
When push comes to shove.

But if upon reflection looking back through time you find,
That a man you’ve known was always strong and decent warm and kind,
Then you’ve really had a blessing
That few of us can boast
And when tears dry you’ll be clinging
To the memories you love most.


Sunday, September 30, 2012

"Harness the Power of Technology" - Orange Country Cental Society

Hats off to Orange County Dental Society for hosting a first class Technology forum.  This meeting was a pleasure to attend, not because I was the opening speaker talking about web presence and social media for dentists, but because of the way it was organized and the high quality of each of the presentations made on subjects we all need to know more about.

From beginning to end this was an excellent event.  There was good food at every break, excellent corporate support with a wide range of dental support companies promoting their products and a speaking program with enough time to for each speaker to get their points across.
      
President
Mark Maxwell

 and his team did an excellent  job

Immediate Past President

David L. Guichet

was the Program Director
and I especially want to thank Laura Petersen who is the Executive Director for the Orange County Deatal  Society who was my contact person.

The venue was the Anaheim Hilton and there was a  broad based corporate sponsorship for the event. The schedule of lectures can be viewed here: the following topis were discussed.:

Dr. Lyndon Cooper D.D.S., Ph.D. showed that digital dentistry is here in his talk entitled

Digital Dentistry at a Tipping Point

Scott Ganz, DMD
Advances in 3D Digital Imaging Modalites and Beyond

Cloud Computing. . .The Future of Dental Informatics   
Rick Roblee, DDS

Digital Clinical Dentistry with Dr Baldwin Marchak DDS, MBA always an entertaining speaker

Effective Social Networking. . .An Essential Marketing Tool  myself


Georgios E. Romanos, DDS, PhD, Prof. gave a  tremendous expose on
Lasers in Dentistry. . .Enlighten Yourself

Secure Your Patients Data. . .Don't Be a Victim  - Ron Vesely

Train with the Trainer  - Karina Santos taught how important it is to be up to date with the new features of your dental software particularly Dentrix
Michael Unthank, DDS talked on Transitioning to Paperless

Corporate Forums

This event should have been attended by members from all the various dental societies in the area.




Saturday, September 15, 2012

Blue September - Prostate Awareness

Los Angeles City Hall was lit up all blue on Thursday evening, and the Police Helicopters and news teams were flying around the top of the tower in salute of Blue September. Inside a small gathering was present in the Mayor Tom Bradley Hall to officially inaugurate this years observation of this outreach program to raise the public's awareness of the importance of taking precautions to catch prostate cancer early.



A band was playing and speeches were given. With New Zealand Consulate support Dr . Howard Sandler M.D., MS the Chair of Radiation Oncology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center was introduced to discuss the new developments in treatment modalities and early detection and treatment of prostate cancer.






Councilman Tom La Bonge was introduced by his ever trusty assistant Isaac Burks. Tom was there to present an official proclamation from the Los Angeles City Council. These are always splendid documents.
The building is a truly remarkable edifice which was completed in 1928, the architecture and the ornamentation is truly exquisite. Surrounding the top of the four sides of the hall is the following inscriptions starting with Thomas Jefferson's 1807 comment “That Government is strongest of which every man feels himself a part”. Also is to be seenon the other three sides, “With written laws the humblest in the state is sure of equal justice with the great”
“The City came into being to preserve life. It exists for the good life”
“No government demands so much from the citizens as democracy and gives so much back”.


I wish that we all felt as positively about local government as these inscriptions suggest we might.


Neil and Isaac

Walnuts it seems prevent prostate cancer. California Walnuts sponsor Blue September

Friday, August 31, 2012

Ned Cowan - Los Angeles Artist

Once again I was captivated by the creativity of my colleague, and this time I surrendered to my impulse to share my observations and opinions with those who care to read my blogspot. For over three decades I have known the psychiatrist Ned Cowan, I mean the man has a small suite of rooms on the same floor where I have my dental practice. Our building has become a landmark, the Mani Brother's Sunset Medical Tower, and one cannot maintain a practice of any kind there unless some degree of accomplishment in one’s specialty has been acquired. In addition to the fifty three dentists who have practices in the building there are plastic surgeons, internists and dermatologists, an urgent care center, gynecologists and obstetricians. However, it is not the specialty of Psychiatry nor a medical matter that I want to discuss at this time, rather it is art. To be precise painting.



Doctor Cowan is a painter, not just a painter, but a gifted compositor of human emotion which bleeds through the canvases he paints. Over the years the irregular encounters and salutations as we pass in the hallway occasionally, and too infrequently, resulted in a dialogue which drew me into his inner sanctum where decorating the walls have always been a painting or two. They were his paintings, each of which had some story to tell which beaconed to me on some deep level like a voice crying out for attention from the confinement of the bastion of dried oil and pigment.

Cocktails
Today’s visit had me observing again images I had seen in the past but now there was a richer selection many more of his pieces which transformed his consultation room into the boutique wing of a private gallery. Something, clicked into place and now I share the results with you.






About Ned Cowan

Ned's bio says he “has been a practicing psychiatrist in Los Angeles for over 35 years. His love of art began as a child when he took classes at the Art Institute in Chicago. His two worlds, art and psychiatry, collide and collaborate forming a special relationship. This has resulted in his unique style of representational art that has been refined over the years. His influences stem from his medical training and a foreign fellowship in Tanganyika (Tanzania) where he was exposed to the art of his leper patients and their primitive yet deep perspective on life. Cowan was also influenced by his sponsoring bishop who was part of the anti-apartheid movement and close friends with both Bishop Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela.”

“His works hang in private collections in California, Illinois, Kentucky, Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Massachusetts, and New York, as well as France and Italy.”





How about that. Now they can hang in our memories too. It might just be my own projection, but I always see the underlying issue as I look at each piece trying to work out what is going on at the emotional level. Somehow the context of genius capturing some rare moment, some Woody Allenish expression of an idea that might otherwise be missed and which when exposed causes us to identify with it strongly, seems to pervade the images. I also see something of Degas in the way he captures the sorrowfulness of life's trials.

Reheasal













So I share them with you that you might follow the path and come to your own conclusion.









Grandmother's Love

Sunday, July 08, 2012

The Grosvenor's Song - A Salute to a Roast Pig











It was a beautiful wedding. Yes I know you have heard that before, but this really was exceptional.

The setting was the great lawn which gently slopes down to the Rose Garden before the rebuilt facade of the Santa Barbara Mission. The day was warm and bright with a soft breeze that rustled the tall thin distant Eucalypti, and the classically Spanish buildings stood out against the green and clear blue sky.

Sarah was the epitome of a blushing bride as she and her father, Bill, followed the rose petaled path to stand at the head of our white chaired aisle. There Elias waited with his groomsmen and the bridesmaids.

The officiation and the message to the couple by the Reverend John Johnson was tasteful, and a traditional Filipino covering of the couple with a veil and cord ceremony was a poignant aspect to the service. At its end a serendipitous ringing of the mission bells occurred as if publicly acknowledging the proclamation of “Man and Wife”.

The reception was held at the St. Barbara Greek Orthodox Church Hall high on the hill overlooking orchard groves, an idyllic spot.

The tradition continued in the fare for the reception when a roast pig was served, they call it LeChon Baboy in the Philippines. Sarah had requested that a ceremonious toast to the dish be given in the style of the Scottish “Address To A Haggis”. So I wrote and recited the poem, and Bill Beech, the father of the bride, made the first slice.


Grosvenor’s Song
Written for Sarah Beech and Elias Busuego on their wedding day when a roasted pig was served the Filipino way. This is a culinary tradition as old as the hills and which the Grosvenors, have as a part of their personal history that dates back to a famous episode when a culled boar dressed a royal table and gave name to a dynasty, which was that of Le Gros Veneur, great huntsman, to the Dukes of Normandy. The ceremony of Adressing the Haggis is well established in Scottish Tradition, and so a kilted clansman proposing a toast to a pig should not be an event that causes aversion. I read about the Chinese Boatmen in “Guns Germs and Steel”, and my friend Tony Santarelli the Immigration attorney, gave me direct information about his participating in a Boar Hunt in Argentina. I also have a direct experience of roasting a pig in Our Garden in William Street, Oxford, when Branko Babic and his brother helped us McLeod to build the fire pit and roast the porker.

























I sing for you a song of old
That goes back through the ages
A song that tells about a feast
That fills out history’s pages,

When King William the Conqueror
Went hunting for a Boar
He gave the knight who felled the beast
The name of “Gross Venor”
And Grosvenor, the Cheshire Lord
When the gong for dinner rang
Brought forth the game all garnished
Au pomme between his fangs.

They sliced him and they spiced him
And they turned him on a spit,
And served him with mouth open wide
An apple stuffed in it,
With “Salut à toi grand Sanglier”
The chant was made with glee,
That rumbled round the Norman hall
From all the company.

The ancient Chinese boatmen
In outrigger canoe,
Never sailed away to sea
Without a pig or two.
So in Hawaii we have the Luau
In the Philippines Lechon
And all across Pacific Blue
Some local variation.

When down in Argentina
To be macho just for fun
They track down the Jabalí
Without bolas or a gun,
The Gaucho on the Pampas
To impress his girl or wife
Will go hunting for the Wild Boar
With nothing but a knife.

And so it is that round the World
In many different ways,
The grand tradition of roasting pork
Is kept on wedding days.
They toil to bring the trophy home
Hoist it up on high,
And “crested” serve it to their guests
...“with Bay and Rosemary.”

Hail to thee Ĺechon Baboy
We thank God for your breed,
You grace our board and bring us joy
When we a throng would feed.
From age to age your visage
Has made banquet for a king,
A toast to thee and thanks as
You are served at this wedding.

This Statue of the Wild Boar was posed waiting to be photographed after the wedding when Nancy and I took a trip to Victoria to participate in the Pacific Coast Society For Prosthodontics this year 2012. It sits there in Buchard Gardens, a masterpiece!

Le Gros Veneur
http://www.grosvenorestate.com/About/History/Ancestors/Gilbert+le+Gros+Veneur.htm

Luau
http://www.polynesia.com/dining_and_luau.html#.T_ooP8Wfh8E

Salut à toi grand Sanglier
Hello you big Boar
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AVfShFeYaYg

LeChon Baboy
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lechon

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Ramming of the Royal Yacht Britannia





The Royal Yacht Britannia at anchor in Portsmouth Naval Dockyard in the summer of 1963. This photo was taken from a tourist boat which did trips around the harbour.

A true story about a boating accident during a Sea Cadet Training Course in Portsmouth. It was August in 1962, all the cadets got their Whaling License but mine was only Second Class, and here is the reason why!

There’s football, golf and hawking
But when it comes to sporting
He’d rather spend time messin’ in a boat.
At sea, on lake or river
In a yacht or something bigger,
Or just a dinghy that would get his vote.

No matter what you sail,
Rules of the Road prevail,
If your vessel is a dinghy or quite large.
For you never should collide
Or scrape you’re vessel’s side
Especially if your near the Royal Barge.

Now Neil learned these lessons well
As a cadet, so when he’d tell
This tale, he’d feel it was with some remorse.
He was stationed there in Pompey
On the “Sheffield” by the long quay,
To take the Southern Area Boat-Work Course.

They had risen every day,
Exercised the Navy way,
Then they trained to take a Whaler on the foam.
And the course was going well
At this rate he could tell
He was going to make the C.O. proud back home.

Now the harbor pool was wide
With great grey ships on every side,
And in the center all alone their Navy’s joy,
Hard-shined and deep dark blue,
Looking grand from every view,
Rode the Royal Yacht Britannia at a buoy.

The new C.O. was no dud,
Lieutenant Commander Blood,
Who by all accounts was gifted at his prose.
He could swear each other word,
And expletivise each verb
Not repeating till the smoke came out his nose.

Now, one morning on a spree
They had pushed off from the quay,
Stowed the boat-hook and were trimming up the sails.
They were polishing the knack
As they turned about to tack,
Of drawing up the mainsail with the brails.

With their whaler under weigh,
We were beating ‘cross the bay,
Where Britannia’s shackled anchor chain was moored.
The cable made an ark,
And they thought that for a lark
They’d sail beneath it as their spirits soared.

They could see the fit was tight
But if they got it right,
At full tilt the mast would list well to the port.
And they sailed right underneath it
Went about, and to repeat it,
Were gathering speed to make it, so they thought.

But the wind was at their stern,
It was a lesson hard to learn,
And letting draw the brails they made a jibe,
As the sails filled out they lunged,
And to starboard their boat plunged,
And clipped their stern against the great ship’s side.

Neil had a dreadful hunch
As he heard the awful crunch,
As they wacked up on the hard-shine of her bow.
He knew that they were for it,
In a mo’ the C.O. saw it,
A ghastly great white gash beneath her prow.

The boatswain’s pipe peeled out
Then he heard the C.O.’s shout,
Through the megaphone come trembling on the breeze,
Able Seaman Mac
You bring that whaler back,
And in his veins the blood began to freeze.

At the quay-side with boat trim,
The C.O. looked at him,
Amazingly he seemed lost for a word.
“Get that boat out the water
Report back to your quarters.”
Was all the admonition that he heard.

Oh yes he was in trouble,
He responded at the double,
And ran round to the cruiser ‘cross the bay
And below the decks he stayed
And in his mess he prayed
For mercy the remainder of the day.

With his mess mates back to port.
They thought they’d make it sport
To ride him on the trouble he was in,
And it only made it worse
That the C.O. didn’t curse
As he stood there on the quay addressing him.

In the galley hall that night
It was a source great delight
To watch Neil when Defaulters were announced,
But what caught their attention
Was the fact there was no mention
And their expected source of fun was truly trounced.

Next morning at first light,
When the boatswain Colors piped
They peered out the port to where Britannia lay,
But a work crew in the night
Must have painted out the white
And not a mark was on her bow to their dismay.

After breakfast with his mates
All dressed in Number Eights
They fell in for orders on the quarter deck
There instruction were quite clear
No cadet was to go near
Britannia, and they stared at Neil’s neck.

Now when the course was done,
On the train home just for fun,
They all discussed the outcome of this farce.
But although he got his ticket,
He found he’d missed his wicket,
It said “Able Seaman - Whaler 2nd Class”


















Definitions:

Rules of the Road - navigational rules
Pompey - Portsmouth Harbour, England.
H.M.S. Sheffield - Battle cruiser
Whaler - 16 foot boomless sail boat with oars.
C.O. - Commanding Officer
Defaulters - announcement of those to be punished
Number Eights - No. 8's - Standard boating uniform, light blue shirt and dark blue pants.
Ticket - licence to take command of a vessel on the water

Friday, March 30, 2012

Phil MacAvity


The idea of a Scottish dentist named Phil MacAvity (Fill My Cavity) must be as old as modern dentistry, certainly I heard it in rude jokes when I was a boy. But early on in my career as a private practitioner in Los Angeles, now West Hollywood, a patient followed me, from a practice I ran briefly in Beverly Hills, to my newly acquired offices on Sunset Boulevard. His name was Colin Bailey. Colin was a commercial artist, a visualizer, who worked for the Mattel Toy corporation.

Colin was the sort of fellow you could tell, “Colin we are going to make a flying dragon coming in to land and we want some ideas on...” To which Colin would reply, “Yes! Now do you want there to be claws on the front of the wings and scales all the way down the legs?” He would see it in his mind instantaneously, and be able to vocalize his imagery instantly. Mattel put a Facsimile machine in his home so he could transmit his drawings to them daily, and give them his ideas over the phone lines. This was a phenomenon, few enjoyed then in the mid 70's, but one we now consider second nature. Of course scanning and e-mail has superseded all of that now. But I digress!

Colin and I got along like a house on fire, I loved his creativity, and his Canadian Britishness, and he used to send me birthday cards and drawings which encapsulated his humor and frindship for me. Perhaps I should share his cartoons with my blog fans. Anyway, one day when I was cementing a beautiful gold onlay, I asked Colin if he might do a rendering of a Flossing Scott Dancing a Pas De Basque. His immediate response was, “Now do want him to have a Balmoral or a Glengarry, and patches at the elbows and horn buttons, with a toothbrush coming out of his pocket?” “Yes! A Balmoral.” I answered, and a day later a series of drawings appeared in my mail, and Phil MacAvity is the result. It has been a wonderful logo for me, a perfect blend of professional imagery and humor.

Colin Bailey ( 4.11.1926 - 7.16.2001) had a passion for the sea. He built his own boat for his two sons who he dearly loved, and retired to Cambria in the Pines on the Central California Coast, to a home that could easily be mistaken for an up-turned hull. His illustrations of old mechanicals, planes and boats and trains, showed his meticulous attention to detail. He was a patient of mine for twenty five years, and drew the illustration of Phil McCavity which is my practice logo. He passed away after a nine year bout with prostate cancer and will be buried at sea. Colin was 75.

When Colin passed away, his ashes were scattered out at sea in the waters off Morro Bay. Colin loved messing about in boats, as did I, and we played salty dogs together. I miss him, and see him in my mind when I cast an eye on the marvelous logo for my practice.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

It is a soft Saint Patrick's Day






The tree-house "The Crow's Nest" is still discernible in the mild morning. Finally we are having a little rain here in Southern California, talk about a mild winter, 2011/12 has been warm, just a few chilly nights (40's F)

Saint Paddy's Day has come and with it the blessed rain. I went down to pick a lemon for my papaya this morning and opening the door this is what greeted me.

Our daughter Maran is back for the Spring Break from Hillsdale and our sons are fawning over the iPad 3 just released yesterday.

Today the garden looks as green as the Emerald Isle