J R's Images & Ideas
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Happy Birthday, J R

Spider Lilies

Photographs © 2004 by J R Compton


Photographs are in chronological order.

The Drink Table on the back porch before the party


Charles Kemp squirts lighter fluid


Charles lights the barbecue for his Performance Art Fajitas.


Ted and Chris Fulmer and Michael Helsem

ceramic chevron by Mary Iron Eyes, clock sculpture by John Snygg


Cindy Love, Michael Helsem, Patty Golden, Carol Nash and Heinz H on the living room side of the anti-Yo fence to the bedroom with the AC running, where Yos are not allowed, because he eats cotton when he's nervous, and parties make my orange cat nervous.

Wall sculpture by A.M. Hudson


Jim Dolan and Sharron Shumann (Christian's mom) in the truckstop


Joe Stokes and Michael Helsem share info.


Carol Nash and Patty Golden — aqua over light blue


Jim Dolan with Ken Shaddock


Richard and Marty ray, Nancy Ferro and Tim Sexton


Ann Huey, Susan and Ken Shaddock, Vicki Wright, Rita Barnard

Hand-scrawled sign on door says "Perfection is Unlikely."


Rita Barnard, Ken Shaddock, Sheila Cunningham, Susan Shaddock and Carol Crowe

Painting by Georgia Stafford, This is Not a Barf Bag under
light switches in hall by Pamela Nelson


Ann Huey, Jutta Clifford and Carol Crowe's son Chris Rentzel

Photographs by J R Compton


three people's feet — somebody, Patty Golden, somebody else


Heinz Hennicke, Cindy Love, Bill Oliver, Carol Nash, Chris Rentzel, Nancy Ferro, Jutta Clifford, Carol Crowe, and Susan Lecky. The image looked black when I uploaded it — serioulsy underexposed, because the flash didn't fire. I "saved" it in Photoshop, hence the weird colors.

Last time this many people sang Happy Birthday to me, I ran away.
This time I stood there, smiled really big and took photographs. Progress.


Singing Happy Birthday with flash: Bill Oliver, Cindy Love, Carol Nash, Nancy Ferro, Chris Crowe, Jutta Clifford, James Dolan?, Carol Crowe, Susan Lecky and Marty Ray


Cindy Love, Jutta Clifford, Nancy Ferro, Marty Ray and Sharron Shumann looking at
my Life Book that my mom made for each of us five kids a few years back.


Very Mellow Mescal in Art's Hands. Remarkably in focus.


Patty Golden and Art Shirer

fabric heart by Beth Reaves; checkerboard painting by Glenna Park

Sharron Schumann, Steve Cruz, J D Matthews and Patty Golden

Pamela Nelson bird; painting by Gregory Horndeski;
bird photo by me; drawing by Arleigh Stark


Steve Cruz


Norman Kary with Rita Barnard


Dwayne Carter


Vicki Wright


Art Shirer, Marilyn Waligore and Dwayne Carter


Lisa Taylor reading a Tony Bones birthday card


Lisa Taylor's back and Amy Martin


J R in Lisa Taylor's hands. Neither of us looks quite in focus.

(The only photo with J R in it — at Lisa's insistence.)


Lisa Taylor, Jeff Luchsinger and Amy Martin's feet


Pots and gifts and my telephone and hammer
and nails on my newly painted table altar

wing pot by Joan Snider, print + green & white vase by Georgia Staford
Two earthware pots by Marty Ray.

The last guests left at one ayem.

cut limes, avocado spoon and blue plate

This image has become remarkably popular.


All but one Birthday Card. I musta put my Tony Bones up somewhere...


I have five bottles of wine left over. None are the cheap and sweet variety I like (I already finished that one off — Arbor Mist Blackberry; thanks, Ann, for sharing), three bottles of alcohol-free beer (yuk on both counts). One can each of diet coke and dr pepper. A big bottle of undiet coke. So many cookies I soaked them down my drain (think of the texture of silty slime; better my drain than my belly). A giant bag of chips I've put on the toppest shelf I need the ladder to reach. I've devoured all the left-over dips.

The first time I tried to walk my two miles the day after my party, after not for more than 10 days (various excuses, including huffing and puffing to clean and store for this party), I barely made 1.2 miles, fell into bed and got up the next day, late. The second time (this evening), I got to tilting boogie so fast I could barely keep up with myself. Did the whole 2.2 miles, rested, then watched TV, and rewrote this.

I'd spent all day processing wedding photographs from an outdoor wedding at night, supposedly lit by firelight, but those are vague red sparkles in the distance. My chief task was pulling people out of the darkness and making the colors some semblance of reality.

Not sure what the Universe has in store for me next, but I'm in both an all-fired hurry and an extended wait. And it hardly matters. Somehow it seems to work.

Only slowly am I cleaning up from the party. I like seeing detritus from it, being reminded of the lovely bash. So many wonderful conversations with so many friends. Near as I can figure, there were 45 people here, almost twice what I thought would be perfect, but this was even better, despite my sign many people liked citing, "Perfection is Unlikely."

I cleaned the crystalware The Roo loaned me for the party. So nice not to foist paper and plastic cups on my friends. Now, if only I can figure out who gave me the Rosemary plant, I'll have everything straight. I think. With luck, I'll find that out before it dies. Yo got into it, and large chunks of it are turning soft and black. Not a good sign.

Sharon gifted me a gift card for my favorite library, Borders. Wow! Nice.

Carol gave me a wonderful rock — petrified snail, it looks like. 'Bout as big as a knuckle. I fondle it often. She says my "birthday fossil was an ammonite ... ancient relative of the chambered nautilus, squid and octopus ... some grew to the size of Volkswagens .... back in the Mesozoic .... 245-65 mybp (not the paleozoic ... 570-245 mybp) .... and the trilobite is paleozoic so they never actually met."

With it was an original Tony Bones card that needs to go on the wall — that wall right there.    Marty and Richard gifted me a tiny Corvette, a lighted yo-yo I've yoed but it didn't light, can't find the switch; an amazing expanding shark sponge; and a flip-top metal turtle who was an ashtray in a former lifetime. He is the true treasure of that bunch (Well, that and Marty & Richard).

Cindy got me a lovely black and white photo book I'd actually talked with one of the famous photographers in and have idolized another since college. New photos from each.  Tim & Nancy gave me a bamboo wind chime that I can't bear to put outside I love those clunks in the night so much in the doorway between bedroom and bath. Tim added a jacknife I carry now. 

Ken & Susan gave me a do-it-myself kalaidoscope I haven't had the heart to even remove from the shrink-wrap yet. Maybe when the tables get cleared off.  Carol Crowe gave a glass-mounted photograph her late husband James Crowe took in New Orleans — of a guy sleeping on a doorstep well past noon, with his leg prothesis paralleling behind him.

And Rita brought a book of sayings including "Age doesn't always bring wisdom. Sometimes age comes alone."


The End


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