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October 30, 2010
R.I.P. Mr. D

Saturday. A good morning, I think, we'll see how the next few days go with the various changes to the meds and such. Odd to be talking like a druggie (meds and such), but I suspect I'm not altogether alone in my late sixties thinking, taking and talking of such.

Rain this morning, up at six after a good night's sleep, the baseball game today, so maybe we'll stay inside. It rained last night and it's overcast, really overcast, of a kind that says rain soon if not now. So inside. I got in a decent hour plus of guitar practice yesterday, maybe we'll top that today. Got to work on the chords. For whatever reason I've been avoiding the chords and concentrating on picking out a melody line. Gotta add a little balance to the picture, I'd think. Good the practice went well, felt better about the progress I'm not making.

As in you're not a rock star yet?

A rock star wouldn't trust me to transport his (her) guitar to the equipment van, let alone take it out of the case and play. We are being rational here, if only in short fits and starts. Rationality isn't the national flavor at the moment so no need to court grief without reason. It's Saturday, the day before Halloween, no need to go looking for trouble.

Later. Some time on the guitar. OK, that's good. I'm thinking of going to a movie (the Clint Eastwood directed Hereafter with Matt Damon - I like Eastwood's work and found the trailer interesting, so I wasn't altogether put off by the general idea of a “hereafter” story line) and catching the one o'clock show (in another hour), coming back in time for the game.

Still overcast, a walk to the post office earlier to mail my ballot, a walk back down the way in the other direction to pick up two bottles of diet Coke and a bag of peanuts, not so much because I'm fond of peanuts, but it was the only thing I could see in the store I felt I wanted to eat. I have no idea why.

You'd think diet Coke would turn a stomach too, but I find I like the carbonation in small amounts. A one liter bottle lasts me a long time sitting in the refrigerator between sips, not quite flat but with just enough bubbles to keep it worth while. Still, a short but decent walk, not but a single picture taken, the farmer's market reasonably crowded on an overcast morning at ten, no children's inflatable rubber slides in evidence. The overcast and potential rain did them in I'd guess. I wonder how a business like that fares in times of stress? Chancy at best? Better than the norm? An inexpensive treat for the kids when it's not raining?

Later still. Back from the movie. A little different, three stories of three people in three cities flowing finally into a last chapter where they come together and all is resolved. I liked it, have to think more about it to form a clearer opinion, but for an old curmudgeon who for whatever reason no longer watches movies as he once did, it was fine. The game now is starting in another hour. We'll do our little guitar riffs over the strike outs and the home runs.

A note just now from Ms. W (was Ms. C, now Ms. W) saying Don Donahue died Wednesday night. Don's Apex Novelties, a small one man print shop, was best known for publishing the first issue of Robert Crumb's Zap! Comix and was one of the first people I met when I came to San Francisco in 1969. He was a bit of a Leprechaun, was Mr. Donahue: crinkly eyes, wide smile and a pint of Korbel brandy in hand as we would sit around at parties at the old Rip Off Press discussing comix, art and lithographic life.

When I got my first job (a very straight job) with an investment company, he printed my first offering document (a thousand copies of a brochure with a lot of (my) words and some few pictures, bound in a plastic spine) after I'd joined the company as their marketing support guy. He charged twice what he would have normally charged and we paid half what we'd normally have paid. My employer was happy - he didn't need to know about underground comix was my thought at the time - and Donahue thought the project a great success, printing it at the old revolutionary headquarters building on Fell. (I think is was Fell. An old building, due for redevelopment, filled with anarchists, politically active women's groups and an offset press.)

I remember there was a law office on the second floor of the building directly across the street and I thought at the time the FBI was probably filming any and all who entered or left from behind their tightly closed curtains. From underground comix to a Montgomery Street investment pitch. Made sense. It did. We were young. We didn't know. You never know until you know, you know.

I've heard little about him in some time, have no idea how his health has been or what may have done him in. I assume he was my age or some few years older. I'm sure I'll hear of more of these passings as time goes along (if I'm still around). At least you don't have to read your own obit when it comes. A long time ago, it was: another age, another world, but a good age and a good world. R.I.P. Mr. D. Save some of that brandy for me.

The photograph was taken last week on the way back from breakfast with a Nikon D3s mounted with a 24 - 120mm f 4.0 Nikkor VR lens.