Griff Smith, my editor at Texas Highways magazine, gave me this assignment in November and I completed much of the shooting by January 4. However, the editors at TH decided it was strong cover candidate so I concentrated on the Sundance Plaza area and the four umbrellas. At dusk the LEDs come on and illuminate the undersides of the umbrellas in what makes for a very cool light show. The LEDs on the buildings surrounding the plaza are synchronized with the umbrella lights so at various times the entire plaza is bathed in red, blue, orange, white and, my favorite, TCU purple.
I also shot photos of the newly renovated Granbury Opera House. It’s a gorgeous new venue for the resident company and a real source of pride for the community.
Fort Worth is my favorite town on earth. Getting to photograph my town for my favorite magazine was a real delight.
It didn’t feel like work at all. But don’t tell Griff.
I was a 23-year-old photographer working at the Denton Record-Chronicle in December of 1978 when my best friend bought me a pair of tickets to see Tom Waits and Leon Redbone at The Palladium Ballroom. The December 2nd show was just a couple of weeks shy of my 24th birthday.
I was then, and continue to be, a fan of both artists but I’ve followed Waits’ career closely. His lyrics have always inspired me and he remains one of my favorite writer/performers. I’ve always believed that poetry, like art, is where you find it and Waits does it better than most.
Waits’ “The Heart of Saturday Night” album is pure genius. The Billboard Top Ten for 1978 featured no less than five songs by the Bee Gees and/or Andy Gibb. Debbie Boone and the Commodores were up there too and while Andy was asking “How deep is your love?” Waits was warning his squeeze that “If I exorcise my devils, well, my angels may leave too.”
My best friend, whom I just happened to be married to, accompanied me and I shot photos while Waits performed.
The Dallas Morning News writer, Pete Oppel did an interview with Waits during his Dallas stop and you can read that here.
This photo and others by several talented Dallas photographers are included in the upcoming “Shot In Dallas” exhibit at Kettle Art in Deep Ellum.
My recent three-day pilgrimage to Terlingua took me past the Playboy Marfa installation which is much closer to Marfa than Prada Marfa. Prada Valentine would certainly be more accurate since it’s maybe a quarter-mile from the town. Back in July the Texas Highway Department gave the artist, Richard Phillips, 45 days to remove the structure but it’s still standing.
According to some Marfans Prada Marfa is art and Playboy Marfa is, well, something less.
Yeah, I love the headline too.
I’m returning to Terlingua this All Hallow’s Eve to document, this time on video, the annual Dia de Los Muertos ritual at the Terlingua cemetery. Despite the presence of a thousand or more CASI (Chili Appreciation Society International) celebrants, Terlingua is full of good folks who are best at minding their own business–and throwing a great party.
Me and my crew are staying at the Villa Terlingua guest house with hostess Cynta De Narvaez.
My short feature package of story and photos documenting a few of my favorite bridges along Fort Worth’s Clear Fork and West Fork of the Trinity River. Also includes not-so-subtle digs at Dallas.
Just four more days!!!
FW Weekly editor Gayle Reaves liked my John Graves blog well enough that she re-published it with another of my John Graves photos in the current (August 7-14) issue. I’m delighted that she thought enough of the tiny piece to publish it. Not a story, so much as a remembrance of my visits with John.
It was John’s words that put me on that river 30 years ago and will find me there again this October.