Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Just a Boy...

In the grand scheme of things, one would hope anyways, kids are free from the same constraints we adults contend with daily. They can screw up and it will, generally, wash right off. Some, like kids that dust their parents, are a whole differerent story. By and large though, kids take a lot of guff from adults and don't deserve a fraction of the heat they endure.
Photo by LeoPosted by Hello

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Parchman Farm

In the spirit o' the day, I dedicate this post to the souls of them that died in the most southern place on earth. -Blind Joe Death.

I'm sittin' over here on Parchman farm.
I'm sittin' over here on Parchman farm.
I'm sittin' over here on Parchman farm,
Ain't never done no man no harm.

Well, I'm putting that cotton in a never-full sack.
Well, I'm putting that cotton in a never-full sack.
Well, I'm putting that cotton in a never-full sack,
A twelve-gague shotgun at my back.

I'm sittin' over here on Parchman Farm.
I'm sittin' over here on Parchman Farm
Say, I'm sittin' here on Parchman Farm,
Ain't never done no man no harm.

Photo by Chester Arthur BurnettPosted by Hello

Land of 1000 Dances

Chris Kenner wrote it in 1962. Many have sung it, but Wilson Pickett did it best. He recorded it in 1966 and it remains his most successful song ever.

Ow! Uh! Alright! Uh!

Got to know how to pony
Like Bony Maronie
Mash potato, do the alligator
Put your hand on your hips, yeah
Let your backbone slip
Do the Watusi
Like my little Lucy
Hey! Uh!

Na na-na-na-na na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na na-na-na-na
I need somebody to help me say it one time
(Na na-na-na-na na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na na-na-na-na )

Wow! Uh! You know I feel alright! Huh! I feel pretty good y'all
Uh! Huh!
Na na-na-na-na na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na na-na-na-na
Come on y'all, let's say it one more time
(Na na-na-na-na na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na na-na-na-na )

Playing, it is a habit
With long tall Sally
Twistin' with Lucy
Doin' the Watusi
Roll over on your back
I like it like that
Do that Jerk-uh
Watch me work y'all
Ow! Do it!
Wow! Do it!
Just watch me do it

Aah help me
Aah help me
Aah help me
Aah help me

Saturday, May 28, 2005

RE: Last post

Leo, why didn't you tell me you were in Saigon in 1975?


I always figure the view from above is considerably better.
Sort of a Busby Berkeley musical or Weeki Wachee Water Ballet.

Photo by Leo
Posted by Hello

Friday, May 27, 2005

Where are They?

Flying Lizards? You didn't see them? Don't worry. They're still here.
You'll see them soon enough.

Photo by Rachel Sadorf Posted by Hello

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Impending Doom

This is the front of the storm that The.Chronicler was referring to in an earlier post. Maybe not dramatic anywhere else, but this is the first precipitation around here since December. Believe it or not, this is early too. We don't get weather like this until after June. Now we usually have fires and dust.

Photo by Leo Posted by Hello

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Ulzana's Raid

Watching "Ulzana's Raid" (1972), starring Burt Lancaster, about Apaches on the warpath.

Beautiful scenery.

IMDB says it was filmed in Nogales, Ariz., and Nevada.

Before the Shave

We ate.

More About Shaving

Taking this shaving thing to the extreme ...

Shopping in Mexico


Oh, Rochester!

"Yeah, boss. Yeah, boss. I know, boss. No pictures, boss. Back in a flash, boss.

Photo by Leo Posted by Hello

Close Shave

To see the rest of this essay, visit http://morrisranch.com/Shave/Clean.html

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Where Is Eddie Adams?

Good question, Leo.

Now THERE was a photographer.

I met Eddie once, in Indianapolis. He was the keynote speaker for one of the annual meetings of the Hoosier State Press Association, back in the 1990s.

But I remember his riveting message: He spoke of the many wars he had covered, and how he recklessly almost came to believe that he was "bullet-proof" because of all the close encounters he had survived.

Of course, we know he's the one who won the Pulitzer by capturing the image of the Saigon police officer executing the Viet Cong suspect at point-blank range. Made the NY Times front page. Incalculable effect toward ending the war.

After the speech, I made a bee-line to Eddie. I had to meet him.

He was dressed in black. Shirt. Pants. Jacket. And this really soft-looking fedora. Everything was black. His appearance was low-key, yet striking, all at once.

His handshake was softer than velvet. He treated me as if I had all his time and attention. I don't remember what we said -- most of it was my babbling fan-appreciation -- but Eddie deeply impressed me at that moment. He was one of the most humble, unassuming, warm and kind human beings I have ever met. A very rare person.

Eddie died last year. Does that answer your question, Leo?

Monday, May 23, 2005

Hollywood & Vine

Maybe not one of my best images but definitely the most requested one. Go figure.
Originally I made it for someone for his book cover (short stories about Hollywood).
Just last week it was purchased by E! Entertainment TV for the pilot of a new show (I believe it's going to air in June)(It doesn't matter which show, their shows are all the same)(nothing much) :)

Who watches the watchdogs?

Shame on the media for their coverage of the First Lady's middle eastern trip. Six idiots heckle her and the networks act like the entire country just turned out to protest her visit. This is why I have to watch John Ritter ogle Suzanne Somers' boobs every night. I can't stand CNN.

Photo by Chester Arthur Burnett

Sunday, May 22, 2005

On a Roll

I guess I've come to expect certain things from life. You know, general things like love and disappointment, certain people and some happiness. But then you wake up one morning and everything you thought you could count on has come crashing down. This is not necessarily a bad thing. It's just the way it is, out of my control. It turns out the only thing you can really count on is that everything earthly is in constant flux. Change is the only true human reality. Eternity still feels too far away and, for me sometimes, is still in the realm of the invisible.

Photo by Leo Posted by Hello

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Dennis Hopper

Dennis Hopper is the best.

He was in "Hoosiers." He was in "Blue Velvet."

... and so many others ...

Now, I am watching a clip from "Waterworld" (1995), and there he is, portraying Deacon, wearing a leather tri-corner hat and eyepatch, holding a bottle of Jack Daniels in one hand and a cigarette in the other.

Here are some memorable lines from Deacon in the movie:

"Don't just stand there, kill something!

"He's like a turd that won't flush!

"If I ever see him again, I'm going to cut open his head and eat his brain.

"Dry land is not just our destination, it is our destiny!

Friday, May 20, 2005

Clean Cut For Certain

To stress a little more what Mr. Burnett wrote in the previous post, I'd like to tell you, Mrs. Nitsa's mom, that we have long been hard working and industrious fellas, not given to lay-about behavior or much intoxicating beverage. Mr. Burnett or, more precisely, Dr. Burnett holds a Doctor of Divinity degree from the Church of Universal truth located in Athens, Ohio. He has held that degree since the early '80's when he found the ad in the back of an old Argosy magazine in a barber shop. He paid the $3.00 and has been doing the Lord's work ever since.

I, Leo, am an heir to the throne of Ethiopia, making me the exiled King of Kings, Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah. I am the lad riding the royal Burro in the above picture. Need I say more?

Thank you for your gracious attention

Photo by unknown Mexican street entrepeneur, 1965Posted by Hello

A letter to Nitsa's mom

Dear Mrs. Nitsa,
Recently your daughter made our acquaintance on the web. She mentioned that you are concerned about men she meets online, so I just want to say you don't have to worry about Nitsa mixing with the wrong sort. We're good boys. We don't pose as teens in chat rooms or any of that crap. No ma'am. Allow me to introduce myself. I'm Lar (left), and next to me is Len. We're a couple of photographer / writers from Milwaukee, Wisconsin who have been pals since 1978. We're the last of a dying breed, not unlike your Anasazi Indians. We believe a man should stand when a lady enters or exits a room. We think she should receive a bit of assistance when trying to put on her coat. Car doors are meant to be held open for her for easier entrance and egress from said conveyance. Len once wrestled a date to the floor in an effort to get the dinner check away from her.

Confidentially speaking, your daughter cuts a right smart figure of womanhood. She's got a good head on her shoulders and I'm almost positive she's still got all her own teeth. Thus, if we ever find ourselves in the 310 area code, I beseech you for permission to call upon Nitsa one afternoon. I'm sure she receives many gentlemen callers, but you'll be able to recognize us as we're the ones with the flowers and candy.

Photo by Chester Arthur Burnett

Thursday, May 19, 2005


Times being what they are, there is always someone telling you what not to do. Litigation suffocates us and the sheer terror of being sued stops us from living life on its' own terms. Back in the day, kids used to make ramps in the alley and race their bananna seated chariots up them and into the atmosphere. Smart guys would wear 2 or 3 of their older brother's sweatshirts and stuff them with newspaper to absorb the shock of re-entry. If you got a good head of steam up, you could propel yourself 10-15 feet up and at least that far horizontally before crashing into old Mr. Kubicki' s still smouldering ashcans.
Photo by Leo Posted by Hello

Fire Season

It's funny in the southwest sometimes. You get rain and snow and wind. You also get fire, sometimes for no apparent reason. It'll be dry and get a little warm (it was barely 80 today) and stuff just ignites and POOF! 30,000 acres burn just like that! It burns fast and hot.

Photo by LeoPosted by Hello

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

La Barberia

Yeah, man. I could use a shave. A real close one with a straight razor and a little bay rum splash to make my cheeks tingle. Man, there's not much that feels better than a nice close shave and a lady barber's soft hands patting your cheeks when you're done.

Photo by LeoPosted by Hello

A Gentleman

Ever since getting my cable TV connected on Tuesday, 10 May 2005, 11:33 a.m., I believe that AMCTV (American Movie Classics) has quickly risen to the top of contenders for My Favorite Channel.

For example, on Saturday I watched, back-to-back:

-- "My Darling Clementine" (1946, John Ford)

-- "Rio Grande" (1950, John Ford)

And, now ... at 12-something-in-the-morning, I am savoring a film I've never seen before, "In the Heat of the Night."

No, it's not that asinine, predictable-plot TV series starring Archie Bunker.

It's the original from 1967, with Sidney Poitier as Detective Virgil Tibbs, and Rod Steiger portraying Police Chief Bill Gillespie.

The camera work is GREAT: In the tense initial meeting between Tibbs and Gillespie, the fat white chief stands next to a case of shotguns/rifles. Half of the frame is the gun rack; the other half is the chief. It's like that for many minutes as the men probe each other's psychology. Excellent visual storytelling.

Poitier is amazing. Very cool. The epitome of a gentleman.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005


The old man loved to rest quietly while no one was watching. He'd sit facing the traffic, feeling the rush of breeze as the cars passed. Someone would occasionally wave, but he had learned to never expect it. He had a rule. Never wave unless they wave first.

At night you really can't tell if anyone is waving or not so, eventually, the old man stopped waving altogether. He felt funny waving to strangers anyways. A few years earlier, there weren't too many strangers around but he also got out more. He figured the less he wandered, the less he'd have to be challenged with. Why cause a commotion unless absolutely necessary?

The night sky was a dark blue. No moon and the stars were just beginning to pin-prick the eastern darkness. Soon it would be 9:00 and he'd head in for the night. But now, just for a second, he felt like staying out. Maybe sleep in the old Cadillac convertible out back and stare into space tonight. Maybe lie in the little bit of grass in front of his desert bungalow. He poured a bucket of water on the fire and went in, satisfied that the day had been long enough. Maybe tomorrow he'd stay out past 9.

Photo by Leo Posted by Hello

A visit with The Wolf

Any good blues odyssey either begins or ends in Chicago. In the years following World War II, the city's Big Shoulders supported the influx of African Americans from the south who were looking for work and the chance to carve out a piece of the dream. Along with them came the bluesmen, whose music was both familiar and comforting after a long day in the factories and steel mills. Thus, Muddy Waters, Howling Wolf, Little Walter, Sonny Boy Williamson and myriad other Mississippi Delta musicians ended their careers in Chicago. God, I love those guys.

Photo by Chester Arthur Burnett

Monday, May 16, 2005

Outside Hell's Backdoor

Watching and waiting in the hot sun. The rays burn more than I remember. I have to leave but I have no place to go as I'm always there. I'm always here.

In the first place, there was no one to meet me when the Greyhound stopped here. I was told there would be crowds and crowds of people. They wouldn't all be waiting for me, but I'd be lucky enough to not be alone. I can't believe this is the end of the line. Not so much as a hot dog stand. Jeeze, I could go for a slab of Chicago style pizza right now. Yeah, and a beer would be good too.

I don't mind being alone. Never have. It's, well, it's this sitting on a bloody hot bench just outside eternity that isn't looking like it's gonna hold any promise. For this I quit smoking.

Photo by Leo Posted by Hello

Goin' Downtown

Well, if you're gonna go fishin', you needs the right kinda bait.
If you lookin' fo' a good woman, you gonna wait and wait and wait.

Photo by Leo
Posted by Hello

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Karaoke Night

Last night, at Golden China (a Korean karaoke pub), I sang the following song. Where appropriate, I substituted the words "Sierra Vista" into the lyrics. You should've seen the looks on the bar patrons' faces. I picked a good one. Of course, most of them weren't born yet when that song was composed.

A Horse With No Name

On the first part of the journey
I was looking at all the life
There were plants and birds and rocks and things
There was sand and hills and rings
The first thing I met was a fly with a buzz
And the sky with no clouds
The heat was hot and the ground was dry
But the air was full of sound

I've been through the desert on a horse with no name
It felt good to be out of the rain
In the desert you can remember your name
'Cause there ain't no one for to give you no pain
La, la ...

After two days in the desert sun
My skin began to turn red
After three days in the desert fun
I was looking at a river bed
And the story it told of a river that flowed
Made me sad to think it was dead

You see I've been through the desert on a horse with no name
It felt good to be out of the rain
In the desert you can remember your name
'Cause there ain't no one for to give you no pain
La, la ...

After nine days I let the horse run free
'Cause the desert had turned to sea
There were plants and birds and rocks and things
there was sand and hills and rings
The ocean is a desert with it's life underground
And a perfect disguise above
Under the cities lies a heart made of ground
But the humans will give no love

You see I've been through the desert on a horse with no name
It felt good to be out of the rain
In the desert you can remember your name
'Cause there ain't no one for to give you no pain
La, la ...

A Fight in the Desert

Today, I watched John Ford's classic "Rio Grande."

A band of soldiers rescues some kids from a church in the desert, sneaking past the hostage-taker Apaches as they dance while singing to a hypnotic drumbeat. It's a drumbeat that ratchets up the movie's tension considerably.

The little girl rings the church bell. The small party of troops fire their rifles through a crucifix-shaped slit in the front door of the church, dropping advancing native warriors on the steps to the church. This is powerful imagery. Seeing the cross as a portal of lethal fire is startling, to say the least. Rescuing children also evokes powerful emotions; thus, it is a righteous fire that issues from the holy place.

The Army commander (played, of course, by The Duke, Mr. John Wayne) is nearby on a ridge in the desert, leading a column of troops on horseback. They hear the gunfire and the tolling bell. The Duke sits bolt upright in his saddle, and in that unmistakable bawling-bull voice, orders: "BUGLER, SOUND THE CHARGE." He grabs his hat off of his head and waves the troops toward the town.

The brilliant John Ford uses his camera to show us, from the bell tower's vantage point, the cavalry column dramatically galloping toward us at the town center, to the entrance of the church where the battle rages. The troops have arrived to relieve the beleaguered rescue party.

A ferocious battle is waged. The girl rings the bell throughout. Is this John Ford's clever use of another symbol in the lexicon of American idealism — the Liberty Bell? Remember how Toby Keith used a tolling bell with tremendous effect in his patriotic song "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue"?

The Duke takes an arrow in his right torso.

At last the Apaches are quelled. The Duke's son, a private, performs the grisly task of removing the arrow.

The Duke rides on. In the closing frames, his arm is trussed up, and he is smiling with an admiring woman by his side.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Baggage Claim

The world does strange things to people, makes them think in all sorts of weird ways. Some are content to meander along and let existence just hit them like so many insects crashing and bouncing and exploding on a windshield on a hot summer afternoon in Kansas. Others sit and wait for the lottery to come their way as it eventually must. Others find strange relationships where none could seemingly have existed before.
Did you know you can sing the lyrics of "Amazing Grace" to the melody of the theme to "Gilligan's Island"?

"I once was lost but now I'm found,
was blind but now I see."
Photo by Leo Posted by Hello

The Wolf's boy

I got a boy who's taken to playin' the guitar. Len's got one o' them too. Makes for a pretty noisy time around the house. But hey, it's a trade-off I can live with. Better I should have a budding musician than a kid who's out stealing hubcaps. Do kids actually steal hubcaps anymore, or are they doin' other things now?

Photo taken on Len's back porch by Chester Arthur Burnett

Thursday, May 12, 2005

'Gamblin' Man' turns 90

Honeyboy Edwards will celebrate his 90th birthday in a few weeks. He's been playing the blues since he turned 13. Honeyboy was with Robert Johnson when he died that Wednesday way back in '38. Last night he shared some of his adventures over the last eight decades. Told me about drinking white whiskey with Alan Lomax. Talked about getting his head cut open over a woman named Betty. Even showed me how to slip a loaded pair of dice into a game and back out again. I can't think of a better way to spend a few hours than with this man. It was an honor and a privilege.

Photo by Chester Arthur Burnett


Originally uploaded by thechronicler.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Walk On

I'm trying to figure how we all fit into the scheme of things. For me, I know I'm not a leader. That one is easy to tell. All I gotta do is turn around and see who follows. 'Course I'm not a follower either. Nobody's in front of me. Some folks hate me, probably with good reason. Me? I hate no man, though there are those I'd prefer to avoid. Some people think I'm a fool. I guess sometimes I am.
Keep your distance from the fray. Don't try to make sense of it. You'll make yourself insane. The smartest thing to do is to just keep walking sometimes.

"All our best men are laughed at in this nightmare land." Jack Kerouac

Photo by Josh SadorfPosted by Hello

I'm Back

Remember the cocky Navin R. Johnson says "I'm Back" after he hooked the rope to the low-riders' car in "The Jerk"? And then he is shocked to see them driving off with a church in tow?

Darkness at the Break of Noon

"Made the scene
Week to week
Day to day
Hour to hour.
The gate is straight
Deep and wide..." -Big Jim Morrison
Photo by Leo Posted by Hello

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Tres hermanos

That's a peach of a picture, enna? If the fella on the left and the one in the middle only had half the testosterone-fueled verve and elan of the Charles Atlas look-a-like sitting beside them, many senoritas would have willingly thrown themselves in their path. Instead, the lovely lasses gave them knives with which to whittle and cracker barrels on which to set their ample posteriors. I would continue, but alas, the recent spate of HIPPA laws prevent me from holding forth on the various medical ailments of the two old coots. Hey, that's one of the coots holding the photo. (He's probably got it propped up from the back, so's we think he's strong).

Photo by Ted, PhotoShopped by Chester Arthur Burnett


No. No more worlds to conquer. No new horizons. The last bastion of a formerly imperial world is now the place we outsource our jobs to. Fear and trembling, the sickness unto death, is all that remains. No new things under the sun.
Photo by LeoPosted by Hello

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