the kaftan era

For the last couple of weeks, I have taken to starting my day by choosing and scanning around forty photographs from the nine cubic feet of totally disorganized photo boxes here in Spencer’s LA house.

Today’s selection included a few polaroids that I took with this very cool white plastic camera I got for maybe my tenth birthday (that would be 1968.) [okay, I just checked: it was a polaroid swinger, and here’s an advertisement for one. too cool!]

Here are my parents opening gifts at the breakfast table. I can’t remember what the occasion would have been: Grant and Joyce’s birthdays were at the opposite ends of December, and I don’t remember ever opening Xmas gifts at the breakfast table. Could it have been their wedding anniversary? Not impossible, as my friend Dembski would say.

That’s Spencer looking on at Joycie’s gift, of course.

Next, we have a picture of Stefan Bauer-Mengelberg with my father, on a deck in Amagansett, where Stefan had a place. He was an amazing person, a true polymath: mathematician, conductor, attorney, et al. You can read more about him here. I remember a really fun evening at Gene’s Restaurant on 11th Street with him and my father just before Stefan died in the mid-90s.

Check Grant’s kaftan poncho thing along with the excellent white socks.

Here’s an extra shot in honor of Bill Morrison:

And finally, here are two portraits of my parents in full late-60s regalia, kaftan and nehru jacket, with my father sporting this fabulous little short-lived goatee:

There’s an enlargement of a color photograph taken the same night. It hung along the staircase for forty years: first in the Los Angeles house and then in Scarborough. I think the big version, strangely washed out in color, is still around somewhere, and I’m sure I’ll also come across the original photograph eventually. I’ll post it when I do.

But in the meantime, I opened Spencer’s hall closet the other day and came upon this:

Yup, the nehru jacket my father was wearing in those portraits, which was moved from Glen Rock, NJ to Los Angeles to Scarborough, NY, to Broome Street, Manhattan, and back to Los Angeles, CA.

It needs a new home now. If any among you develops a burning desire for a 43-year-old green and yellow and beige paisley nehru jacket that fits a person the size of my father or brother, you know who to ask!