Saturday, November 05, 2016

Buildings In Time: The Bob Hope Theater (Formerly The Fox Theater) Stockton, Ca

"When we recall the past, we usually find that it is the simplest things... not the great occasions that in retrospect give off the greatest glow of happiness."

~Bob Hope

As I said in a previous post, Stockton has some amazingly beautiful historic old buildings. This is my favorite. The Bob Hope Theater! Previously the Fox Theater, it is a true gem that shows movies, as well as features musical concerts, such as Ringo Starr, coming up later this month! Originally the Fox theater opened in 1930 and was one of just two movie houses in the Central Valley. It was an immediate hit, and was, at the time, one of the largest Vaudvillian venues. Over time the movie house began to not just show motion pictures but began to feature musical and comedy acts like Al Jolson, and the comedy of the Marx Brothers. 

Over time, the theather began to feel the pangs of progress and change, as it was replaced with Drive-in movies, multi-screened theaters and even television began to impact going to movies! The small independant theaters took a serious beating during this time, despite their rich histories and beautiful architecture inside and out! The Fox Theater closed in 1974 due to the steep decline in business. Over the next 35 years the theater went through many different owners and attempts to bring it back to it's once great existance. But in the late 1990's, the theater sprang back to life, with the help of the mayor of Stockton, and the City Councel, which made a commitment to restore and renovate it back to greatness.

Now it is a stunning part of the downtown cultural scene. It stands out for it's character, and really adds a beautiful smile to the downtown! Who doesn't smile when they think of all the joy Bob Hope brought so many people through his movies, and how much he did for soldiers during wartime and peace! After the Fox went through it's last restoration it was renamed after Bob Hope who had many friends who lived in Stockton. He actually spent a good deal of time here, when not filming a movie, or on the go entertaining the troops in USO shows! The theater is listed on the National List of Historic places. Come see it... it's FABULOUS!

I really love that when the city of Stockton worked so hard to restore this fine old theater, they didn't sacrifice it's past, in order to bring it into the future! Well done Stockton!

 Leaf Of The Day
November 5th 2016

Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Friday, November 04, 2016

Life Is A Visual Art

"You are my star in this dark, dark world we inhabit."

~Misty Daniel
The Angel Chronicles:The Fallen: In Search Of Souls

Isn't he the cutest thing? You might think what I have photographed here is someone's toy from the movie Minions, but in fact it isn't. As near as I can tell it is a homemade minion, or perhaps it is a prop from the movie! I can't say for sure, because I have never seen it up close! I have only seen it while Alan and I have been driving south on Highway 880 in Hayward, California. That's right. It sits on the roof of a building, next to the retaining wall of a freeway! Recently, I photographed it out the window of our car, while Alan drove past it at 65 miles per hour!

I first noticed the minion a year ago, or so, and it instantly made me smile! That's what happens when you carry a camera every where you go, you see things you might otherwise miss in this busy world! I don't know his story, I don't know who put him there, but I am grateful for his presence, watching over 880, which can be a scary freeway at times. It was one of my least favorite highways to drive on when I lived in the Bay Area, but it is a necessary evil if you need to get south of Hayward, or if you are headed to the San Mateo peninsula.

I love the minion, and I look for him whenever we are in the area, like visiting an old friend. I wish there were more little fellows like him to give weary travelers, like I tend to be, something positive to look forward to. He is an angel to me. Maybe not necessarily a guardian angel per se, but definitely an angel that reminds us to not take life so damn serious every moment, of every single day! One day I want to stop, and track down where he is, and perhaps thank his creator for this little bit of public art, which really deserves a lot of credit for just how wonderful he really is!

In 2004 I shared the 580 Angel with you, which sits off the freeway on a private driveway on the eastbound side of 580! She is a constant and calming presence, again reminding us to calm down. I am kinda digging these two, I hope it becomes a trend. Sometimes the visual says much more than words ever could! I love the worlds my silent camera have made me aware of! Life is a visual art!

 Leaf Of The Day
November 4th 2016

Mood: Happy

~Me :) 

Thursday, November 03, 2016

Art About Town: Stockton... Dave Brubeck Quartet, By Anthony Padilla

"A man should hear a little music, read a little poetry, 
and see a fine picture every day of his life,
 in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of the beautiful which God has implanted in the human soul."

~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

About 14 months ago I moved to Stockton, California, from the San Francisco Bay Area. It wasn't the easiest move to go through, in fact it was traumatic, and depressing, and more than a little frightening! But it wasn't because we were moving to Stockton, it was because of the suddenness of the situation, and the people who did their best to drain the life out of Alan and I. It all started in late March of 2015, and the days turned into weeks, and eventually months of pain, and uncertainty, until one day Alan and I said enough is enough, and we put the drama behind us, and moved to Stockton!

With the help of a magnificent real estate agent, we found our forever house, within a few weeks. I knew the moment we pulled up to the curb in front of it, that we were finally, and for always... home. But once all the process of purchasing a house was over, and we finally put the keys into the door lock for the first time, something seemed to grab me, and pull me down into one of the longest, deepest, depressions I have ever experienced. 

But it wasn't because we were in Stockton, and it wasn't because of the house, to the contrary, the house seemed like a big hug from the first moment I saw it. We had seen other houses around Stockton, all fine in their own way, but this house was special. It was "born" in 1962, the same year I was, and last year, when it went on the market it was listed on my birthday! It just feels like the house has been waiting for Alan and I all our lives! We are finally... home! Our home! 

But during that first year I didn't leave the house. Not for errands. Not for fresh air. Not for any reason. I just stayed inside and let myself feel all the feelings that I felt I couldn't let out when our lives changed in 2015. I held it all in. I kept it together when it was happening, but eventually it all got so buried that I couldn't deal with life outside the walls that I felt kept me safe. My home became my cocoon.

So how am I now? Well, autumn came around this year, and like most autumns throughout my life, I began to feel alive again! The heat of the summer is gone now, and there is a distinct chill in the air that allows me to feel alive again! We began our vacation on October 13th, and we still have about 2 weeks left of it, and with each day has come a new feeling of contentment. We have finally begun to enjoy the new town we live in, Stockton! 

Its an amazing city, generally ignored by the Bay Area, but let me tell you, it's awesome! Its fairly quiet for a large town, and while it's certainly had its problems in recent years, it is finding it's way back to life, kinda the same way I am. There is a lot of public art to enjoy, some gorgeous, truly gorgeous, old buildings that speak to the rich history of the city, and some pretty fantastic restaurants! There is a lot here to fall in love with, and I believe that Stockton is going to be the place to live in a few years, and will give the Bay Area a serious run for it's money as things progress!

Sometimes you just have to give people, and places time to heal.

You know my love of public art, well, above you see the first piece that I choose to post for your enjoyment! It is a postcard mural, painted on the side of one of those wonderful old historic buildings I told you about! The mural, and the artist that painted it, have a rich history of their own. The mural features the Dave Brubeck Quartet. Dave Brubeck has a history with Stockton, in that he attended the College of the Pacific, in Stockton! You can read about them here. Please click through and read about how this lovely mural, came about. There will be more murals to come in the series, so stay tuned to my blog to see more. 

I am looking forward to sharing my new hometown with you!

Leaf Of The Day
November 3rd, 2016 

Mood: Happy

~Me :) 

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Autumnal Sunshine

"I cannot endure to waste anything so precious
 as autumnal sunshine by staying in the house."

~Nathaniel Hawthorne
The American Notebooks
Notebook: October 10th, 1842

Alan and I went for a ride for the first day of November. This autumn is only at the half way point, so I am prepared to chase it for as long as I can, and my darling husband supports me in my creativity, so off we went for Cisco Grove park. The rain and snow from the day before had unfortunately did some early damage to the usually lovely Aspen trees.

There wasn't much to be photographed, although I did get a few shots there, but after we realized that there was little to do there, we decided to continue on to Donner Lake, and then into Reno! We had a blast, and I will share more about our adventure as the week progresses on! But for now, let me show you some of the most beautiful of the sights we were treated to along the way! Most of them along HWY 80 around Donner Summit, and just west of Reno, Nevada. My cameras got quite a workout!

Stay Tuned. There's More To Come!

Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

November 1st 2016 Or Halloween Part Two!

"And I rose in rainy autumn and
 walked abroad in a shower of all my days..."

~Joe L. Wheeler

November 1st has always been more than just November 1st to me, it was and is Halloween: Part Two. You see, when I was a child, my friends and I were get together during playtime at school, or sometimes after school, and talk about what we got in our Trick or Treat bags, or how many other ghosts and ghouls we saw on our travels the night before! We always shared if we saw a genuine witch or vampire, which of course we never did, but we sure did hope for that! And while it never happened, I still hold some hope that one day, one autumn day I hope, I be lucky enough to not just see something of the other world, but photograph it. It should be a dark autumn day. Cold too. Halloween would be perfect, but it's a little too cliche! 

We didn't see many monsters at our door last night, which made Alan and I a little sad. We bought a TON of candy... which now... more for me! But we are in our first house and I worry that life will deal us a hand... a sad hand... and there won't be a lot of Halloweens left. I don't know. I think I am beginning to feel my age in some ways. I am okay, but I have a lot more grey hair this year, then I did last year, that's for sure! LOL. Life has it's own set of rules, and we don't get to change it's mind! It just is, what it is.

Anyway... enough of that! Alan and I had a wonderful day. We got take out from our favorite restaurant, and snuggled under a big blanket, and watched spooky movie, after spooky movie, until it was time to carve Punky and get the candy pumpkin ready! We watched Psycho, and The Amityville Horror, and The Messengers, and finished Halloween with, what else, Practical Magic! My favorite autumn movie! It was a good day. Every day we are together is a good day!

 Leaf Of The Day
November 1st 2016

 Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Monday, October 31, 2016

Happy Halloween Witches

"Tis the night... the night
Of the grave's delight
And the warlocks are at their play;
Ye think that without
The wild winds shout,
But no, it is they... it is they!"

~Arthur Cleveland Coxe
Halloween: A Romanut

My Season. My Holiday.


Happy Halloween!
Leaf Of The Day
October 31st, 2016

 Mood: HAPPY

~Me :)

Sunday, October 30, 2016

A Presence

"Would it surprise you to know that a presence
 was on your back a few seconds ago?"

~Teresa Flavin
The Shadow Lantern


Only one day left of beautiful October! I am already mourning it's death, and looking forward to next year! A lot can happen in a year. I don't know whats to come. We have a national election, that frankly, scares me more than any ghost or goblin or even a Christmas Krampas! And then there are the bills, and all that goes into owning your own home. Honestly, this last year and a half has been scary beyond belief, but it has been overwhelmingly fun and happy as well! I am done grieving my old life in the cottage in Berkeley, I am now a Stocktonian. Happy. Content. And I love this house we live in for giving Alan and I so much love and hope! Halloween is my New Year's Eve. And I am happy with the magic in my life! No resolutions needed!

Leaf Of The Day
October 30th 2016

Mood: Happy

~Me :)