Frances is 100 today

Frances is 100 today

Los Angeles, California.

I’m in LA for my mother’s 100th birthday and while she’s definitely not as with it as she was a month ago, she’s still with it enough to know it’s her birthday. We have a small group coming over to celebrate and I’ll give each of them one of the albums I made for her.

100 years old. Wow, it’s quite an amazing thing and tough to wrap one’s mind around.

Greyston Bakery

I was driving to JFK the other day and heard this piece on the Greyston Bakery on the NPR show, Here and Now:

No Resume? Criminal Background? No Problem At This Yonkers Bakery

The company aims to hire the hard-to-employ and is known for its “open hiring” practices, where anyone can sign up regardless of background. All profit from the company go to the Greyston Foundation, which uses it for low-income housing, day care open to the community, a medical center for those with AIDS, and other community endeavors.

from Wikipedia

Bernie Glassman (an aeronautical engineer-turned-Buddhist monk) founded Greyston Bakery in 1982 to put some of his ideas about social justice into practice.

When I got out to LA I listened to the piece again and did a bit of poking around and found the Greyson Bakery site where I bought some brownies to try and found this incredibly moving presentation by Greyston CEO Mike Brady and employee Dion Drew:

TED@Unilever

Dion Drew really choked me up. Fantastic success story.

Unilever is a British/Dutch conglomerate that owns numerous brands, including Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. Greyston Bakery makes the brownies that go into Ben & Jerry’s various brownie-infused ice creams. No doubt when the real Ben and Jerry owned and ran their business (before Unilever bought them), they chose the relationship with Greyston to further their own ideas about social change.

I’m an instant fan and will continue to buy Greyston brownies both mail order and from Whole Foods where you can buy them retail.

Lakeside in Pushkar

India: Pushkar

My flickr contact ChoongChing posted this great scene taken on the banks of the lake in Pushkar, India taken with his Ricoh GR.

All the various people and the cow are so beautifully distributed, it’s like a setup but no doubt isn’t. Great stuff. As I mentioned in my comment to him, the Ricoh GR wide angle adaptor might have made this scene even more dramatic.

Making a photo album for my mother

On May 26th my mother will turn 100 and while she has serious macular degeneration and can’t see well anymore, I thought the best way to acknowledge and celebrate her long life would be to scan and put together a book of images from the various eras that her life has spanned. Our family has accumulated boxes of photographs, some from Europe before my grandparents came over here and an increasing flood of them as the years went by.

I decided against using MagCloud or Blurb or other book-making services for this project although will certainly revisit them later. My mother can’t hold a book anymore so for her I made about 50 8×10 prints and put them in sleeves so she can easily hold and look at them.

Images of my mother

For the relatives and friends who will come to her party (the few who are left) I made a small book of 24 4×5″ prints using a simple and inexpensive Pioneer flexible photo album. I pulled the generic covers out and made front and back covers and put an index inside the front cover with dates and captions for the images. I made 20 albums. It was a fun project and being immersed in it is one of the reasons I’ve not been posting to this site in a while.

Photo album for my mother

I could have easily posted all of these images to Flickr (still may) and made a set and pointed people to it but, many of the people who will attend her party are old enough so that posting images online isn’t the most accessible way to share them. And, given the fact that I found most of these images in boxes that we’d saved over many (well over 100) years, the idea of having analog copies of things to preserve them seemed like a good idea. Plus, I like printing and I like making things so this was as much for me as my mother and the folks who will come to her party.

I leave for California tomorrow with a suitcase full of memories. Hopefully United won’t lose it.