Love Story

3 April 2011


Jim Mason, Master of Ceremonies.


Lillian Andrew with red ribbon.


This is what the Supermoon looked like over Biloxi, Mississippi. Where we live in California, we saw NOTHING. Very overcast here still.


Lisa Mills, Pascagoula, Mississippi. Her fingers are beautiful, aren’t they? Lisa has a wonderful singing voice and a charming manner onstage.


Jim Mason sent me this photograph: Rhoda Watson and Sam Andrew, Okinawa. She was my first love. I left Okinawa and left her behind. It took me years to get over her. In some ways I still haven’t. Our story has lasted almost all of our lives. One day I will tell it.


Packard engine 1956. When you could actually see what was under the hood. Now mechanics have to take computer classes occasionally just to keep up with new technologies. I don’t even know where the carburetor is in my car, but then I did. Radiators no longer are in evidence, but the radiator in this car is the largest thing there. Cars are better now. They need less repair and they’re easier to maintain, but I miss the days when I looked at everything and knew what it was.


As Long As Forever Is: I used a little of everything in this sculpture. Papier maché, tape, glue, wood, paint, gesso, plaster of Paris.


This is the real Teahouse of the August Moon on Okinawa.


The Charles River Valley Boys on the bank of the Charles, Cambridge, Massachusetts. John Byrne Cooke, Everett Allan Lilly, Joe Val, Bob Siggins. What a great bluegrass ensemble they were.


The Marin Town and Country Club in Fairfax, California, was a famous venue in the 1940s. Many big bands came to play here, and this was a prime vacation spot for San Franciscans. The place is in limbo now, waiting for someone to come rescue it.


Nusi Dekker is a singer/songwriter with some very interesting opinions, some so interesting that I dare not print them here.


The Moana Hotel 1954. This was when Hawaii and Okinawa resembled each other. Everything was still in proportion on Waikiki. Now it’s megalopolis. Being on Okinawa was like being in Hawaii, but with no tourists. Now, even Okinawa is like West Palm Beach. Vacationland for Japanese tourists.


Erika Andrew-Luzaich and Jason Forland backstage in St. Cloud, Minnesota.


An atoll in the Pacific photographed by astronaut Dennis Wheelock. An atoll is a volcano that has blown its top off, so you get this ring shape. Crater Lake in Oregon is an example of an ancient volcano on land. A caldera was formed by the collapsed volcano and then water filled it. The Bikini Atoll was where a famous nuclear test took place, maybe the first test. And the No Bikini Atoll was a comedians’ routine in the late 1950s.


This is Elise’s friend Tina Lee. She was born in a house in Pascagoula, Mississippi, lived there all her life, married and brought her husband there. Katrina took it all away. Completely destroyed the house. Nothing left. We have one plate that she gave us. That’s all she has left. Now she and her husband David have a shiny new house, but of course it’s just not the same.


This Packard was a V12, six cylinders on each side. A monster. A very good looking monster. 1938.


Tamra Engle. Is there anything she can’t do?

(Photo: Shelley Champine)


Elise took this photo of the butterfly in The Throckmorton Theatre, Mill Valley.


Did you see Sarah shoot the reindeer? She had no idea what was going on, had to be coached through the entire ridiculous process, missed the first time and then made a dramatic victory sign when it was over. What a charlatan.


My “cousins” Ronnie and JL Campsey. We’re not really related, but our mothers were best friends through life. 1945. I see Ronnie every time i go to Long Island.


A musician friend. Interesting, isn’t she?


Frank Bertolli in his Corvette. Very yellow this car. Beautiful.


Shiho, who is a big star in Japan, sat in with us at Bethel, New York. Sophia Ramos graciously gave Shiho the space to do her thing and she sang well.


Joan Getz and Nancy Parker: I always think of Nancy as Nancy Parker even though she has had a plethora of names by now. I’ve known her as long as i’ve known Peter Albin. Maybe longer.


I was with Snooky Flowers in Paris when he acquired this saxophone.


Discussing The Kozmic Blues Band. Janis Joplin and Richard Kermode. 1969.


We have the most talkative cat in the world. She’s a chatterbox.


Dawn and Joel Eisenberg. Lilli Heart took this, a classic photograph.


Waikiki Beach from Queen’s Surf 1956.


Here she is swimming off Maui and right into our dreams.


This is Fairfax Creek. She overflowed her banks one night and destroyed Tom Finch’s recording studio and several of his guitars.


Helicopter made in Dallas. Look at that design. Unusual.


Graphite. Let Fall The Tear Of Time.


My friend Rozman is from Malaysia. He was born very bright and then he had the advantage of a British educational system, so he is well informed also, but mainly he is a lot of fun with a ready laugh and a joy in living rarely equaled. Malaysia is a curious country, split in two, with a large exanse of South China Sea in the middle. Singapore sits on the edge of the west part of Malaysia and the east part shares the island of Borneo with Indonesia. How’s that for a cosmopolitan mix?


Elise Piliwale took this photo of our loquacious feline.


In 1846, John Fremont called this opening Chrysopylae, Greek for Golden Gate, almost a hundred years before there was a bridge here. This small gap in the Coast Range is the reason for San Francisco’s variety of microclimates, and why Mark Twain spent the “coldest winter he had ever felt here one summer.” The sun bakes the Central Valley in the summer, the heat then rises and draws in the cold ocean air through this one aperture in the mountain wall, so August in San Francisco is foggy and it freezes tourists from Ohio who have been thinking about Sunny California and are wearing shorts and sandals.


Mexican folk art. I don’t know why the artist wrote INRI backwards. INRI stands for Iesus Nazarethi Rex Iudaeorum (Jesus of Nazareth King of the Jews). This phrase caused no end of trouble in the Middle Ages, and, indeed, Sarah Palin’s “blood offering” probably owes a something to it.


Musician friend from the Midwest. She’s got that Bettie Page thing.


Mick Taylor and I don’t know the woman’s name, but she was very sweet. Mick played with The Sam Andrew Band one night in Seattle at The Paramount.


Okinawa. I put this chapel/temple on a site for Okinawans and received the strangest responses. People used this building for all manner of purposes not strictly religious, unless you take a very broad view of what religion is. I wager that many a child has been conceived in churches or cemeteries, which seems only fitting somehow. Close to the baptismal font and close to the final destination for us all.


Elise Piliwale and Karen Lyberger in Milan.


My sister Lillian with her daughter Emily Rollins.


Mickey Fischer was so happy to find this zither. He comes and plays it to me at Aroma Café while I paint. It has a beautiful sound and it evokes old Vienna. The strings to the right are tuned in fourths or fifths and the strings on the left are stopped as those on a guitar are, and so play the melodies. This is a classic zither made in the 1950s, but Mickey is a luthier and makes all manner of exotic instruments, including zithers.

Christian, Asher Malachi and Kari Borle, my niece. Either they have gone to Europe, found a time machine, and become royalty, or else this is a very good Cindy Sherman type photograph.


Peter Albin back then. Great swinging bass player. Everyone always says that Peter is the nicest guy in Big Brother. I can’t help but feel a little offended when I hear this, but I try to bear up under the strain.


Interesting cigarette advert from 1939. Today I don’t think you would see the phrase “New methods developed by The United States Government and the States.” Is this a tip of the hat to Southern sensibilities, since tobacco growing was centered in the Carolinas? I stay up at night worrying about things like this.


This is Venice. She comes to see me once a week at Aroma Café, and always seems very interested in what pigments I am using.


Note the god’s eye (ojo de Dios) on the Standel amplifier.


Intimate hairdos: A customer in a beauty salon “Pussycut” in Tel Aviv that specializes in pubic haircuts.


Sign on Okinawa sent by Jim Mason: This could apply to many places, even to many pubic places.


Assemblage, 1980s.


Steve Keyser at one of my art shows, San Francisco.


My brother Dan and his family: Diane, Pat, Dillon Bird, and Kelsi Jeffreys.


Did you see this? Hilarious.

The President’s Speech


Auf Wiederschreiben!

Sam Andrew

Big Brother and the Holding Company