Berlin Wall 1986



tower at berlin wall

A typical part of the Berlin Wall, including a guard tower and “death strip.”

berlin wall

“Destroy the wall.” The wall had already been crumbling from within as more and more people from East Berlin and the former East Bloc fled to the West through neighboring countries and past the Iron Curtain.

berlin brandenburger gate

In West Berlin the Brandenburg Gate could only be seen from the back.

berlin wall
It was one ugly wall…

I went to see the wall in West Berlin with a few friends in 1986 – three years before it came down. It was built in 1961 by the East German Government to keep their residents in East Germany because people were defecting to the West. Much of the Wall was constructed with barbed wire, landmines and other ways to secure it and actively guarded 24/7. The East German government claimed it was built to ‘protect’ its citizens from the fascistic neighbor.

When it came down on November 9, 1989, I couldn’t believe it. It just shows you that things can and will change – eventually. The politicians may get the credit for bringing the wall down, but it was the people that were locked in that wore it down over the years with protest and steadfast resolve.

Happy 25th Fall of the Wall Anniversary, Germany!

For an interesting viewpoint on what exactly ended the Cold War and brought down the Wall, including an examination of four contradictory explanations from the U.S., China, Europe and Russia, read here.

 

you are leaving west berlin - sign

“Attention – You are now leaving West Berlin”

you are leaving the american sector - sign

“You are leaving the American Sector”

 


Ray Charles on ‘Every Sunday’ 1981



ray charles

This is a picture of my friend Lucy with Ray Charles on a TV show in Bulgaria. She used to work as a journalist for Bulgarian TV and someone caught this snapshot of them. I remember watching him on TV when I was just a kid. There was a weekly black and white show on German TV that showed him and other famous artists of that era, but Ray Charles was always my favorite.


Colorful Hopper



colorful hopper on cactus

I’ve never seen a hopper like this – it is so colorful! It was hanging out for days on the same cactus like this spider here and got a bit nervous when I got too close. I couldn’t find exactly what kind this is, so if anyone knows please leave in the comments. For another hopper without much color, click here.


Isla Vista Memorial Paddle-Out for Shooting Victims



Isla Vista Memorial paddle out - Pacific Ocean

A beautiful paddle-out memorial was held for the victims of the Isla Vista shooting last Friday next to the UCSB campus. These images were taken by my daughter who is a student at UCSB. Our hearts go out to all the families affected by this tragedy. We are so sad that this happened. Rest in peace, Chris, Katie, Veronika, George, James and David. You will always be remembered. ♡

 

Isla Vista memorial paddle out

 

More about the event here, here and here.

Update: The shooting is triggering a call for stricter gun control laws in California. Read here, here.

Update 2: New gun control law in California. Read here and here.

 


The CalArts Capitol Sessions: The First 25 Years



jazz band at calarts

According to the brochure they were playing Pancha Tattva – it was a beautiful piece! Played by from left: Eric Heep, Amir Oosman, Dylan Rodrigue, Vineet Vyas, James Waterman.

jazz band

Jazz artists from the first CalArts CD in 1990 (from left) James Carney, Darek Oles, Peter Epstein, Ravi Coltrane, Mark Ferber, Ralph Alessi reunited for this special concert to mark the 25th anniversary of the annual CalArts Jazz Program recordings made at Capital Studios in Hollywood.

We were late and unfortunately only caught the second half of this small, but fun gathering featuring CalArts Jazz students on this wonderful afternoon on April 19 (2014). Great music and company, and in the end awards were given to all involved in these past 25 years of the CalArts Capitol collaboration. (Note to event planners: refreshments would have been great :))

The Wild Beast Music Pavilion was just the right venue for this concert which is part of the Spring Concert Series at CalArts. For more info and to download the CDs from the past 25 years visit CalArts.edu.

If you have any more details, feel free to add them in the comments.

audience

See who’s just walking in 🙂

ravi coltrane, tenor sax

Ravi Coltrane

joe smith

Joe Smith, former President of Capitol/EMI and CalArts Board member is receiving an award.