Monday, December 10, 2012

Chuck Harding Obituary

ABOVE: I took this photo ^ of Chuck driving [my father's Buick] through Tennessee on the way to Mobile, Alabama, spring break 1977.
In the back seat were his young cousins Tommy and David Cunningham and my little brother, Fabri.

Chuck's aunt, Ann Harding Cunningham, dated my father in the late 1970s, when we all lived in Wisconsin (Geneva and Madison). After Ann and my father broke up, I lost touch with Chuck and his family.

In recent years, once it became possible, I googled him every so often, but the closest I ever came to finding him online was a notice in a University of WI alumni magazine listing him as among the missing.

Last year at Christmas I finally found him---he had died the month before. I felt gutted, though I hadn't seen him since the 1980s.

I am posting Chuck's newspaper obituary here (as a record for myself and for anyone else searching) because it is no longer available online:

Charles Stewart ("Chuck") Harding

"HARDING Charles ("Chuck") Stewart Harding, age 56, resident of Mobile, Alabama, died on Tuesday, November 15, 2011, after a brief illness.

"He was the eldest grandson of the late H. Stewart and Susan Tucker Cobb of Mobile. Chuck, the first son of the late Charles ("Bubba") Irwin Harding and Susan Cobb Harding of Mobile.
He was born on June 5, 1955, in Opelika, Alabama, while his parents were attending Auburn University.

"He moved with his parents to Gainesville and then to Jacksonville, Florida, where he enjoyed the beach, boats and Scuba diving with his three younger brothers.
He graduated from high school in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. He attended Stanford University, then received his Bachelors degree in zoology and limnology in 1980 and his Masters degree in Water Resources Management in 1984 from the University of Wisconsin. He went on to receive an MBA in 1988 from Tulane University's A.B. Freeman School of Business. He was working on his Ph.D. in Business Strategy at the University of Wisconsin's Sheldon B. Lubar School of Business, when he died.

"Chuck's career included positions as Senior Vice President of Product Management and Administration for Celtic Life Insurance Company and Vice President of Infocus Financial Group in Chicago, Illinois. He was also an Adjunct Professor of Management Analysis at the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

"Chuck had a love of words and learning and a joyous attitude toward life. He delighted in the many wonders of the world and he had a big heart with love for his family and friends, including the new friends he made everywhere he went.

"Chuck was preceded in death by his parents and his three brothers, David, Tucker and Marcus; his grandmother, Frances Davis Harding, grandparents Stewart and Susan Cobb and cousin, William Tucker Cobb.

"Chuck is survived by his wife, Barbara Morin and stepdaughter, Rebekah Morin, his aunt, Ann Harding Woodward (Tom) and his uncle, H. Stewart Cobb, Jr. (Mary Jane); cousins, Tom and David Cunningham and Stewart and Mitchell Cobb, as well as by two wonderful Corgis, Belle and Alfie.

The Witness to the Resurrection service for Chuck will be held at Government Street Presbyterian Church on Saturday, November 19, 2011, at 1:00 p.m. The family will receive friends 30 minutes prior to the service, at the Church. The family requests that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Government Street Presbyterian Church Urban Ministry."

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Protecting Their Poinsettias

These dogs in the yard down the street scared the bejeezus out of me when they rushed their fence. Can you hear their high little voices?

Thursday, November 29, 2012

"Exercise", by Lucia Nimcova

Oh, oh, oh---this is the sort of documentary I want to make--catching the weird captivation of everyday life, seen just a little askew!

Exercise (Slovakia, 2007), by Lucia Nimcova

Lucia Nimcova - Exercise from on Vimeo.

Nimcova asked people to perform exercises that they used to do at home every morning--following commands on the radio--during the Soviet era.

I love that you can hear her a couple times trying not to laugh (lovingly, it sounds like), from behind the camera.

Nimcova was born in Slovakia, in a small town near the Polish and Ukrainian borders. Since 2000 she has been documenting women in Central and Eastern Europe.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Still Healing

How to learn patience?

Just wait.

I could hardly believe the O.T. that my tendons would take so long to heal, but they are not a whole lot better and it's been almost 4 months.  Plus I strained the left wrist tendons too (overcompensating for the wounded right hand doing "light duty" at the nursing home before I quit---light on the back, but not on the hands).

I am now wearing lighter fabric splints on both wrists.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

WHAT I LIKE in the Twin Cities

"to find the good where I live and praise it"

Independent Filmmakers Project (;
Cupcake Bakery and Coffee Shop; 
me in a mirror;
 and Claire Steyaert's Antiques, all on University Ave, Saint Paul.
(The Green Line is the coming light rail, now under construction.)

ABOVE: My neighborhood!
Election Day 2012 in Whittier neighborhood, Minneapolis
[See more of my Election Day pictures here: Phillips Whittier 365]

ABOVE: The Bookstore at the Minneapolis Central Library (downtown)
Withdrawn library books and donated used books sell for a buck or two.

ABOVE: More Public Art
Aztec warrior mural, by stencil artist Taylor Lindgren
(29th St. & Blaisdell Ave., Minneapolis)

Steeple People Thrift Store, at Lyndale & Franklin 

 When I feel bad and sad, like I did yesterday,
sweet, sweet Steeple People lifts my mood, starting with their Free Box, right inside the door. (I'd like to make a sci-fi movie using only its mostly unidentifiable contents.)

At the cash register, gentle lady volunteers commiserate with the damaged and the desperate (I felt a little of both) and pack your bags so that the heavy, clever door-stopper won't break your frilly porcelain fish.

ABOVE: Sunset, seen from inside the titanium-covered Weisman Art Museum,
east bank of the Mississippi River, on the UM Campus

ABOVE:  Rainy day at the Mississippi River, 
photographed from inside the Guthrie Theater

ABOVE: The Twin Cities Marathon
People along the route help out the runners with everything 
from orange slices to live music.

ABOVE: The Thursday Farmers Market 
Nicollet Mall (downtown Minneapolis)

ABOVE: The Bryant Avenue Bike Boulevard 
A 4.5 miles long, north-south route connecting south Minneapolis (from 58th St.) to downtown (Loring Park)

ABOVE: The Pierre Bottineau Branch Library
in the restored historic Grain Belt campus (55 Broadway St. NE)

ABOVE: The Anchor Fish & Chips, "The Real Deal"
(302 13th Ave NE, Minneapolis)


 ABOVE: The Tin Fish restaurant
at the Lake Calhoun Pavillion (open spring–fall)

The TV comedy Mary Tyler Moore Show (1970–1977) is set in Minneapolis. 
 I don't much like MTM's statue on Nicollet Mall, but I like how people pose with it. I was snapping it when these passersby stepped in and posed for me.

"Who can turn the world on with her smile?
Who can take a nothing day, and suddenly make it all seem worthwhile?
Well it's you girl, and you should know it,
With each glance and every little movement you show it..."

ABOVE : My favorite bookstore: Birchbark Books & Native Arts
2115 West 21st St. (1 block west of Lake of the Isles), Minneapolis, MN 55405

ABOVE: Lake of the Isles
On Rosh Hashanah; fallen apples for a sweet year...

 ABOVE : Uptown Minneapolis YWCA (diptych)

ABOVE: Lakewood Cemetery Triptych
Stainless steel memorial by Gloria Tew; 
"square bar" circle in wrought iron fence; entrance gate

ABOVE: TOP: Puppy Dog Tail, Isles Bun &Coffee
BOTTOM: Coffee Bean Roaster, Dunn Bros.
My Twin Cities are Minneapolis and Saint Paul, Minnesota: sister cities separated only, in parts, by the Mississippi River.

all photos by me: share if you want

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

USA Presidential Election, 2012

Faces in my Minneapolis neighborhood (Whittier) on Election Day 2012


Thursday, November 1, 2012

Marriage Equality

Minnesotans vote in one week on a State amendment seeking to limit marriage to one man and one woman. Lots of creative "Vote No" art out there---I put this one together.

Later: Awesome! Minnesotans voted down the amendment.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Video Camera Shopping

[Notes on my research into starting a home video business... or, more artistically speaking, on becoming a filmmaker.]


I went to my first Cinematography class this weekend, and the teacher confirmed that my video camcorder is "obsolete". 
(It's a Canon HV20 tape-based camcorder, new in 2007.)
I might work with it anyway, but it has developed a hiss. 

So I am researching cameras.
I can immediately see how much better the new DSLR (digital single lens reflex) cameras are:
their digital sensors are as large as those in film movie cameras, so the images are A#1 fantastic.

Downside: they are still-photo cameras with video capability, 
and so they only film continuously for 15-some minutes, then the camera takes a break (to cool off?). 

Not great for long interviews, which is what I intend to do. 
But video camcorders (that shoot for hours on end) don't offer the fantastic image quality.

"That's so frustrating!" I said.

"YOU think it's frustrating!" the teacher replied. 
He's a professional video-maker, and he had to buy all new equipment to keep up.

And all the cameras--plus all their gadgets (audio, lenses, lights)--are expensive.
I think I will RENT pro equipment before I buy anything... I just joined IFP (Independent Filmmakers Project, Center for Media Arts), and they rent pro video cameras (that cost thousands of dollars) for around $125 for a whole weekend.

I'll just have to be creative to work around the limitations--this is a secret of life anyway, eh?--adaptability.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Grant Driven

After 3 months working as a nursing assistant in a nursing home, I pulled my wrist tendon so badly, I had to quit.
I also inherited some money from my favorite uncle, who died this spring. (R.i.p., Uncle Tony.)

Putting the events together, I decided to start a business:
STORYfish Media: Catching Real Life Stories on Film

The process is anxiety producing, and the culture of business is off putting.  Today I decided to relabel what I'm doing:
I have received a grant to explore film making.

Yes. Whew. That's better.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Retro Art Star Trek Posters, by Juan Ortiz

CBS hired artist Juan Ortiz to create 80 Star Trek TOS posters, in a retro style. They are releasing them monthly at Star (links to first batch of posters, released August, 2012).

From October's batch:

Not my favorite episode, but I love Ortiz's Dr. Suessish treatment of "The Trouble with Tribbles"!

See all of them (for sale) at Quantum Mechanix.

UPDATE: In September 2013, the posters will be available as a book, Star Trek: The Art of Juan Ortiz (links to Amazon). 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Daring Greatly

Shana (Angelique Pettyjohn) takes Kirk down, in "The Gamesters of Triskelion."

"Man in the Arena' quote from Theodore Roosevelt's "Citizen in a Republic" speech (1910): full text here.

When TR says "man," he often really means it, as in "man not woman." Nevertheless, I went ahead and made his language inclusive.

I came across this quote recently through Brené Brown's TED talks on vulnerability and shame
Of course I thought of Kirk---a bit of a bully, like Teddy Roosevelt.
Brown just published a book called Daring Greatly (9-12), which I haven't read yet---more about it on her site

Friday, August 31, 2012

Thursday, August 16, 2012

"Abbondanza" (abundance)

Summer Fruits from the Farmers Market
(photo by me)