For forty years, David Greenfield maintained a full time periodontal practice and teaching appointment at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine. Now in the encore phase of his career, with clinical and academic periodontics no longer playing a role in daily life, he channels most of his energy into photography. His latest venture is a photo-blog, home for selected new images and accompanying narratives.
When film was the light-sensitive media of choice, David’s work was primarily black and white. With images now recorded digitally, his portfolio has expanded and is replete with color. During the film era, his greatest photographic joy was experienced shooting with a vintage Leica III, circa 1950, formerly used by his father. In 1996, David published Journey to Poland: A Family Mission which chronicled his investigative trip to research the experience of his parents during the war in Europe 70 years ago. That project ignited his interest in photojournalism and in ‘telling the story’ with imagery.
‘There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in’
The lyrics from Leonard Cohen’s Anthem include his vision of a world in need of repair. In these lines, however, he notes that light streaming through the cracks can show the way.
Cohen was surely not thinking about photography when he composed those lyrics, but who better than a photographer to capture the light streaming through the cracks and process it into imagery to inspire the repair process? My photography has that objective when working with not-for-profits that want to ‘tell their story’ and promote their missions using imagery.
Be sure to click on both of the following links to get to David’s photo gallery and blog, both of which are stunning. (Both are listed as well on our list of “BOLLI Bloggers” which can be reached from the BOLLI Matters home page.
MEET MEMBER LOIS BIENER: A PERFECT BLEND OF SCIENCE AND ART
When Lois Biener decided that it was time to cut her work schedule to half-time, she began to feel a bit nervous about how she would fill her days when the time comes to retire fully. Having heard about BOLLI from her neighbors Sally Fleschner and Don Kendall, she decided to explore the offerings at 60 Turner Street for herself.
So, in the spring of 2015, Lois enrolled in Naomi Schmidt’s five-week science fiction course and was quickly hooked. “It was a group of such interesting, vital people,” she said, “including former teachers, lawyers, doctors, and not just one but two physicists!”
Lois’ work has included teaching social psychology for a number of years, but she has also spent a good deal of her professional life doing social science research. In the Survey Research Center at U. Mass. Boston, she has focused, in particular, on tobacco-related issues. Her interest in tobacco control interventions as well as electronic cigarettes keeps her involved in the research.
Outside her scientific work life, Lois has focused on developing her artistic side. She sings with the Commonwealth Chorale (along with BOLLI members Bob Keller and Phil Radoff). But perhaps her most challenging artistic venture has been her dive into pottery.
Lois has been taking pottery classes at Mudflat Pottery School in Somerville for some time now. After five “beginner wheel classes,” she says she’s still developing her basic skills. “One of my classmates has been at it for twelve years now,” she reports. “It’s a little daunting.” Recently, though, she finally had a pottery breakthrough and can now successfully throw a bowl or a cylinder. Now, she is focused on hand building as well.
In addition to doing course work at BOLLI, singing, and throwing pots, Lois relishes the time she spends with her 37-year-old daughter and 3-year-old grandson Noah, who is now talking. She and her husband have also begun to travel more extensively. They visit England fairly often, and, this past year, took a trip to Costa Rica. They are now planning to go to Portugal this winter.
So, Lois has found BOLLI to be a terrific experience. Highlights, she reports, have been the science fiction course; the cotton course, “which was an eye-opening, great introduction to global capitalism and the place of slavery in that story;” as well as the course on the plays of Tony Kushner. She also enjoyed judging junior high school students in their Boston Debate League contest at Brandeis during her first year at BOLLI. “How about a BOLLI team?” she asks.
Clearly, BOLLI has helped ease any tension she may have had about retirement!
There’s nothing I like more than getting to know the people around me even better! I hope you’ll leave a comment for Lois in the box below. It means a lot to each of our profiled members to hear from others. (And I’d love to hear from you about YOU!)
Congratulations to Suzanne on the publication of her book!
Suzanne says that “the memoir is about the ups and downs of the creative process, its challenges and joys, its successes and failures. It also includes over 100 color images in color of my paintings, prints and drawings.”
Suzanne was the subject of one of our first BOLLI Matters member profiles. Just type her name into the blog’s “search box” to bring it up so that you can read more about her and her work. In addition, she has a beautiful website you can access in order to see many of her paintings. Go to: suzannehodes.com (or just click on the picture above).
The book is available at Blurb.com (less expensive) and at Amazon.
Last spring, Marty Kafka took a five-week “trial membership” course at BOLLI, found it to be very interesting, liked the people in the class, and decided to dive right into a full membership this past September. “I feel like I’m back in college,” he says, “but without the grades.”
Marty appreciates BOLLI’s community spirit of cooperative learning and says he is benefitting from the broad knowledge base of our members. “We help each other, and I am developing friendships associated with the courses and activities.”
An amateur digital photographer, Marty soon joined the Photo Club, particularly enjoying the group’s trips to the de Cordova Museum and Walden Pond. He’s also taken part in as many current events sessions as he’s been able to attend.
Prior to his retirement a year ago, Marty worked as a psychiatrist and still supervises psychiatric residents. As a clinician-researcher for over thirty years, he developed a specialty interest in sexual behavior disorders. He was awarded a Distinguished Life Fellowship by the American Psychiatric Association and was selected to collaborate on the revision and publication of the 5th Edition of the APA Diagnostic Manual.
While Marty enjoys a variety of interests, he is passionate about jazz piano and loves playing contemporary jazz. He says, as he was growing up, there was always music in his family.
“My father played the piano, the trumpet, the violin, and the ukulele. Before and after WWII (and before I was born), he spent summers as a small band leader, playing at various Catskill Mountain resorts. That, in fact, was how he met my mother. So, when I was six, Dad encouraged me to try the piano. I took to it naturally. He would accompany me on the violin for simple classical pieces and on the trumpet for popular music. Mom was our appreciative audience. When my younger brother Ken started playing the accordion and then the guitar, we were a trio—with our own built-in audience.
“I think I gravitated away from classical music toward jazz when I started listening to the music of Ray Charles during my teenage years. Listening to Charles as well as Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, I learned the blues scales and chords and gradually evolved my own style. My favorite contemporary jazz pianists were all classically trained—Keith Jarrett, Chick Corea, Stefano Bollani, and Gonzalo Rubalcava.
“For, me, music is meditative. That is one of the great things about improvisational music—your mind must remain in the moment and cannot wander. You try to hear something in your mind and then play what you hear. It’s a lifelong challenge to improve what you create internally and then work to be able to produce it accurately.”
Last summer, Marty played in a quintet that performed at an outdoor festival in Salem, but he says that his favorite place to play is in his living room. Currently, he enjoys playing at home with a saxophonist and a bass player–and he’d love to hear from BOLLI members who might also be interested in playing contemporary jazz!”
Finally, Marty says that “I have been blessed with my wonderful wife of 32 years, Karen, as well as two loving ‘children’ who are now both accomplished young adults. Although I am not a religious person, I am deeply grateful, every day, for having led such a fortunate life.”
To hear some of Marty’s music, here are audio cuts with the saxophone player. Just click on the little triangle on the left end of the bar to enjoy the music!
And, PLEASE–be sure to register your “applause” in the box below!
There’s nothing I love more than talking to people and finding out about their interests, ideas, backgrounds, families, plans, and more which makes it such a complete pleasure to focus on “Meeting Our Members” here on our BOLLI Matters blog. Be sure to send your ideas to: susanlwurster@gmail. com
MEET MEMBER STEVE GOLDFINGER: BEST FRIENDS FOR LIFE
Born and raised in Brooklyn, Steve Goldfinger enjoyed a long and distinguished career as a doctor and professor of medicine at MGH and Harvard Medical School. His wife, a modern dancer and educational administrator, died ten years ago. His four sons inherited both of their parents’ genes and have varied careers–Hollywood script writer, radiologist, psychotherapist, and business executive–coupled with creative musical talents they display in their respective bands and bluegrass group. He has nine grandchildren. In addition to writing, Steve’s interests include classical music and theatre. He was also an ardent golfer “before skill deserted me.”
Steve joined BOLLI in 2016 and says that he has found it to be “a huge resource in my retirement which has fulfilled my desire to return to the humanities in my later years.” The fine and varied program has also brought new friends.
As a member of the Writers Guild, Steve has treated the group to everything from poetry to memoir, short fiction, and creative nonfiction. This piece, an example of the latter, was written in response to the prompt: “Best Friends Forever.”
BEST FRIENDS FOR LIFE
by Steve Goldfinger
He was born in China in 1898, the son of Presbyterian missionary parents. He died 69 years later, leaving behind an estate worth a hundred million dollars. Along the way, he was voted the most brilliant member of his Yale graduating class. An ardent anti-communist, he urged Kennedy to attack Cuba, even saying to him, “If you don’t, I’ll be like Hearst,” meaning he’d use his magazines to push him to it. He was a strong proponent (and rare user) of LSD. His physical awkwardness, lack of humor, and discomfort with any conversation that was not strictly factual was starkly at odds with his glamorous wife’s social poise, wit, and fertile imagination.
Henry Luce embarked on a career in journalism, and before he bought Life magazine in 1936, he and a partner had already taken on both Time and Fortune. His yen to own Life was based purely on its name and how well it would couple with that of Time. His wife Clare saw a grand opportunity to found an entirely new media genre: photojournalism. Before they purchased it, Life magazine had been a declining vehicle for the kid of light-hearted, sophisticated, clean humor that it’s readers had outgrown. Under the Luces, its new mission statement opened with “To see life, to see the world…” How it succeeded!
Within four months, Life’s circulation rose from 380,000 to over a million, and it eventually exceeded eight million. It became the most popular magazine of its time. Renowned photographers captured riveting images for the eyes of the nation: the D-Day landings, aerial views of the remains of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, faces of the Nazis at the Nuremberg tribunal, and, most famous of all, the iconic kiss the sailor planted on that nurse in Times Square to celebrate the end of World War II. And as more print invaded the magazine in the form of essays and memoirs, viewers became readers. Life’s continued popularity brought great acclaim and great profits for more than three decades before it began its gradual fade in the 1970s. Issues became less frequent and staggered to total cessation in 2000. Rising costs were one reason. Television was undoubtedly another.
In contrast to Henry’s somewhat colorless persona, Clare Boothe Luce led a stunning public life. She was an early feminist, an actress, a successful playwright, and then a war reporter, journalist, politician, congresswoman, and ambassador. Attending opening night of one of her plays were Albert Einstein and Thomas Mann. Among the quips attributed to her are, “No good deed goes unpunished” and “Widowhood is a fringe benefit of marriage.” While ambassador to Italy, she was poisoned with arsenic. Initially suspected to be Russian espionage retaliation for her outspoken anti-communism, the cause was eventually found to be arsenate in the paint flaking off her bedroom ceiling. “Broadway’s New Faces, 1952” famously portrayed her illness at Toothloose in Rome. Clare Boothe Luce died in 1987. By the end of her life, she had become a fervent supporter of Barry Goldwater and a Nixon appointee to the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board.
Arguably the most influential and envied power couple of their time, Henry and Clare Boothe Luce made numerous friends for life. They were also the best friends for ,
At BOLLI, we seem to have a host of members who enjoy good mysteries. So, when I discovered that Marilyn Brooks writes a blog in which she reviews mysteries old and new, I went right for it–and it is, of course, terrific…as is Marilyn herself!
MEET MEMBER MARILYN BROOKS
I’ve always been a reader, starting with Nancy Drew (my favorite, of course) and going on to Cherry Ames and Sue Barton. The last two are nurses, but there were always mysteries in the novels. I think I find mysteries so satisfying because there’s a definite plot to follow, a storyline that has to make sense to be successful. And, of course, there’s always the fun of trying to guess the ending!
I don’t collect in that I don’t buy first editions or valuable books, but I do have a couple of hundred mysteries in my house. Since I started writing my blog more than six years ago, publishers have even been sending me books to review, so I’ve been gratefully adding those to my bookshelves.
My husband Bob and I, both originally from Brooklyn, have been living in Needham for forty-six years. We have two grown sons, two daughters-in-law, and four grandchildren. I was the academic administrator for the Latin American and Latino Program at Brandeis for seventeen years, retiring in 2010.
Our older son Rich, who owns a web site design and social media company in Portland, Maine, kept saying I should start a blog because I read non-stop. I countered by saying that I could not imagine why anyone would care what I thought. He countered by saying that I knew more about mysteries than anyone he knew. Eventually, he convinced me, and I reluctantly started blogging. Turns out I love doing it.
I should add that, after a couple of years of blogging, my husband suggested contacting the author of each book I covered, letting him/her know about the review. I started doing that, and I’ve been amazed by the positive responses I’ve had from authors, ranging from first-time writers to those who’ve been writing for decades. Some have even linked to my blog from their Facebook pages or Twitter accounts. Those letters, plus the excitement of getting new books from various publishers, add to the pleasure I get from writing a weekly blog.
I joined BOLLI in 2010, shortly after I retired from Brandeis. Since then, I’ve taken two courses each semester and have also taken several winter/summer seminars–they’ve all been stimulating and enjoyable; I’ve learned so much on so many topics. The SGLs have been uniformly excellent, and I’m always impressed by the knowledge that my classmates have on a wide variety of subjects.
At a meeting of the Camera Club during the spring term, relatively new BOLLI member Dick Hanelin shared linoleum prints he has made from photos he has taken. The amount of detail and intricacy in his work are quite stunning. Here’s what Dick has to say about his art.
I was an elementary school teacher for 37 years and taught in New York City and Newton, MA. As a teacher, I integrated the visual and performing arts into all curriculum areas. After retirement, I took a variety of art courses and found I was most smitten by creating sculptures and linoleum prints. Through Arthur Sharenow’s course at BOLLI, my interest in photography was rekindled, and I have used some of my photos as a springboard for creating some of my linoleum prints.
I was drawn to linoleum prints because of the bold and graphic images that can be created through the use of contrasts. In seeking out subjects for my prints, I am always thinking about shape, texture, line, and value. These elements of design are my driving force. That is why, for example, I find construction sites and basements (not your typical subjects) as fertile ground for my prints. I try to create a tension and movement in my pieces by using both realistic and imaginative elements in my compositions.
The printmaking process begins with making a drawing and then transferring it onto a block of linoleum. I then carve into the linoleum with a variety of tools that create marks of different thicknesses. After this, ink is rolled onto the block of linoleum. (For my prints, it’s black ink.) Where I have cut out the linoleum, white lines, shapes, and textures will appear, while the rest of the print will be black or gradations of grey. This process takes much time, but I find it very enjoyable.
Dick and his wife Isobel, both career educators, are now active BOLLI members who serve on the Study Group Support Committee. We are all benefitting from the wealth of their experience!
Every August, a group of writers and teachers of writing gather at the Bread Loaf Inn near Bread Loaf Mountain near Middlebury, Vermont for a ten-day conference. The New Yorker has called it “the oldest and most prestigious writers’ conference in the country.” And this August, that group of prominent writers and teachers will include BOLLI’s own Marjorie Roemer.
Marjorie’s background as a teacher of writing is an impressive one, which includes her having served as director of the Rhode Island Writing Project and having been a frequent contributor to The Quarterly of the National Writing Project. Her scholarly publications have appeared in numerous professional journals; she has presented at a wide range of professional conferences; and, all along, she has taught.
At BOLLI, Marjorie’s memoir writing class has been a perennial favorite, with many participants, in fact, returning semester after semester. (One class member has actually taken the course all nine times that it has been offered!) “I’m most relaxed when I’m teaching writing,” she says, “and after teaching everything from junior high through grad school, working on writing with this population is thrilling.” She explains that, in this setting, people write what is real, providing testaments to lives lived and reflected upon. “When we read and share, it is a stirring affirmation of our time of life and the wisdom that helps us to cope.”
And yet, writing and teaching writing were not Marjorie’s original path. She actually started out as a dancer.
“I think I always danced,” she muses. “We did a lot of creative play in the neighborhood school I went to in Queens, so there was often a lot of movement. I started lessons with Sophie Maslow at the New Dance Group when I was six.” Sophie Maslow, who danced with the Martha Graham company for nearly a decade, was, herself, a modern dance pioneer who founded the group. “Sophie did with us what modern dance teachers do with children—jumping over puddles, reaching up high for stars. It didn’t seem serious enough to me, and I didn’t like it. So I took ballet—and, to me, that was real dance! Eventually, when I was old enough to take the subway into the city, I studied at Ballet Arts at Carnegie Hall, and on Fridays, after class, I would go to City Center to watch the NYC Ballet Company. When I was a high school freshman, I finally saw Martha Graham, and it was a revelation. I began studying at the Graham studio and then, later, I was back at the New Dance Group—this time, with a new appreciation for puddles and stars. And then, I went to Bennington, in part because of its famous dance department.”
After graduation, Marjorie studied at the Jose Limon company on a scholarship. Classes were not only taught by members of the company but often by Jose himself whom she remembers as “a tremendously elegant man who wore black tights and a ruffled white dress shirt when he taught. I never danced with his company but with Joe Gifford and my then husband Martin Morginsky who both ended up forming companies in New York. We taught and performed at Interlochen Center for the Arts in Michigan. And then, I had a baby, needed to make a living, and began teaching junior high school.”
After a thoughtful pause, Marjorie says that, “teaching feels like choreography to me” and that, to this day, she still gets that “on-stage, it’s-here-and-now, rush” before every class begins. “I feel like my whole life has been ‘provisioning’ as I have looked to find the rhythm and the shape of it. Looking at a class this way gives me a sense of how I might shape it–but how I might improvise at the same time.”
This juxtaposition of planning and improvising seems to be central to Marjorie’s thoughts about dance, about teaching, and about life itself. “That idea of working with ‘the chance thing’ is so intriguing to me…surprising yourself—shaping but maintaining some wildness.” The poet Stanley Kunitz, she points out, says that, “when you pay too much attention, the garden becomes a landscape.”
Today, Marjorie’s writing takes a largely reflective bent—as is evident in the following sermon she wrote and delivered recently at the UCC in Franklin.
A Sermon by Marjorie Roemer
I’m a retired English professor, but the sonnets of Shakespeare are not all memorized in my mind, in order 1 – 154. They are not even all entirely familiar. But one of them has always nestled in my thoughts, even before it had particular, personal meaning for me. Sonnet 73. Here’s the first stanza:
That time of year thou may’st in me behold When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang Upon those boughs which shake against the cold, Bare ruin’d choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.
The poem reflects on the waning of life, the time when most leaves are gone, when only a few yellow leaves remain. The branches that once were filled with birds are now bare, like the empty section of a church where the choir once was housed. The poem is about the November of life… that time of waning. Not the end, but toward the end.
Somehow, the poem always seemed resonant for me, but as my husband was struggling with brain cancer in the last year of his life, the words seemed more and more relevant, etched into my consciousness. Don died almost a year and a half ago, but the poem follows me around, stays with me as background music, a sound track for my life.
That time of year thou may’st in me behold When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang Upon those boughs which shake against the cold, Bare ruin’d choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.
So, now in my 76th year, I think about this November of life. There is much, always, to remind us about aging. The new aches and pains, the knees that don’t quite work the way they used to, the forgetfulness, the night blindness, the diminishment of some faculties, the many losses in our world, in our circle of friends, in our closest loved ones.
But perhaps nothing marks age for me as sharply as my incompetence with electronic devices. Four-year-olds can manage what I struggle with. My grandchildren need to be called in to show me, one more time, how to play the DVD, how to work the iPad, how to text. What is intuitive for them is not for me and seems to mark a dividing line between our lives. Even more significant than our differences in musical taste, or the TV shows we watch, or the movies that we go to are these differences in how we access information, place ourselves as receivers and senders of the pertinent facts about our lives.
If I manage to master one medium, they are already on to the next. I’m on Facebook, but they have moved onto to InstaGram or Twitter. I can manage writing on the computer, but I don’t blog, use wikis, crowd source, or podcast.
What I have finally managed to use is my GPS. For several years, I avoided it. That woman with the irritating voice always wanted me to get on 495 from exit 17 on 140 instead of the King Street exit 16. So, I found myself at odds with her from the beginning. I put away the device and said I’d get along without it, Googling directions in advance and printing out a map. But, recently, I’ve come to rely on the lady in the GPS. When I’m driving alone now and floundering, it is useful to have her tell me that in .2 miles I will be turning right. Or to have her let me know that I’ve got another 45 miles to go on this road and I’m likely to arrive at my destination just in time.
But if I have any idea where I’m going, that I want to come home on 495, not on 126, that I don’t want to drive through Framingham Center on this trip, that I won’t get off the highway at Forge Park . . . I hear that voice saying over and over again recalculating, recalculating.
It has become a new mantra for me . . . recalculating. As I move on to a life alone after 48 years of marriage, to a house without children in it, to a life after retirement, I find myself recalculating, taking a new path, making new choices in the November of my life. And in this “time of year thou may’st in me behold,” while there is no GPS to tell me where to turn or how many miles more I have to go, I have found remarkable guides along the way, a reminder that when you have to throw yourself on the mercy of the universe, it will respond, it will provide.
I began to search out supports. Suddenly, friends became more central to my life . . . the women’s group at the condominiums where I live, the people I know from BOLLI. Old friends. Things that were in the background of my life moved to the foreground. My children became essential to me in a way that was new. And I added some new things as well: painting classes at the Danforth Museum and attendance at the First Universalist Society in Franklin.
I did not grow up believing in a bearded man sitting in the sky keeping watch over my every move and listening to my every cry for help. But I can’t help but believe in some sort of benevolence in the universe, some way that the world can provide what we need if only we are ready to receive. I arrived at the church sort of unexpectedly, venturing tentatively one Sunday when I read there would be some Miles Davis music played. It was right down the street, easy to get to, easy to sit down, and easy to enter on the fringe of this community. The music was great. The feel of the place was interesting. Though the rituals were new to me, the feel of a sacred communal space was palpable. I stayed.
Eventually, I took a sermon writing class and found that the task of writing in a way that bears witness to your own experience while also offering some hopeful idea for others to grab on to was intriguing and challenging. For me, in this last year, the primary subject has been loss– how to deal with it, how to survive it, how to make something useful from it. Writing sermons offered me new ways to approach the problem. I’ve searched for images or situations that could name what I was experiencing. What I found was…Recalculating.
So, on my recalculated journey, what have I found? Certainly that there is love and support in the world that you may overlook when you are tightly enmeshed in your own self-sufficient, small cocoon. Possibilities for growth and new directions are there when you need them enough to seek them out.
The final couplet of that Shakespeare sonnet is:
This thou perceivest, which makes thy love more strong, To love that well which thou must leave ere long.
Those lines haunted me as Don was dying. Mortality is certainly something we all know about. Still, we come, at certain moments in our lives, to know mortality more acutely, more directly. So it was for us when the surgeon said: “The surgery was entirely successful; he has fourteen months to live.” For fourteen months, we lived with that life-sentence hanging over our every minute. And it was true . . . those moments became more precious because we knew that they were few, that they would soon be gone.
And if there is something positive to be wrested from this ordeal, it is that sense of mortality that gives meaning and savor to life. It is because it is fleeting that life is so very precious; it is because it is finite that we have to use it well. And, in the end, it is love which is the enduring, transforming action. Love emerges as the stave against obliteration, the defense against loss.
In her online column, Heart Advice, the American Buddhist nun Pema Chodron has some advice that can be applied here. She says:
YOU HAVE A CHOICE
If you have embarked on this journey of self-reflection, you may be at a place that everyone, sooner or later, experiences on the spiritual path. After a while it seems like almost every moment of your life you’re there, where you realize you have a choice. You have a choice whether to open or close, whether to hold on or let go, whether to harden or soften, whether to hold your seat or strike out. That choice is presented to you again and again and again.
After four years and eighteen courses at BOLLI , I continue to be an eager and voracious learner. I’ve enjoyed classes in history, philosophy, literature, poetry, music and more. Thanks to three writing courses, I am now assembling my memoirs. Best of all, I discovered my very first “creative” hobby –photography!
For BOLLI’s spring term 2015, I signed up for Joe Cohen’s Photography course. When Joe described the term project, I was intrigued. We were to present an essay of twenty photos on a single theme. He distributed a sheet with dozens of theme possibilities. I scanned the list and the word “WINDOWS” jumped off the page. Joe suggested we keep our topics a secret from the class.
During the last three weeks of April, I was married to my camera, visiting many sites and taking hundreds of photos of windows. I wanted to capture the reflections both inside and outside of the glass. The early ones were just awful, but slowly they improved. At the last class, we were called on to present our slide shows with commentary. I was very proud that “Windows” was well received by Joe and the group.
Immediately following my presentation, Linda Dietrich was called upon to present her project. Linda is a charming woman I had sat beside and chatted with throughout the term. I often thought that I would like to continue our relationship outside of BOLLI. Much to my utter surprise and delight, Linda’s topic was “DOORS”! She had assembled photos from her New England travels that captured doors or entryways in the most beautiful and unique way.
That did it! Linda Doors and Linda Windows laughed heartily, and so began a dear friendship outside of BOLLI. We decided to put our favorite doors and windows into a 2016 calendar. It was modestly published and distributed to family members as gifts. We are presently working on another joint project—a calendar for 2017.
With the busy life at BOLLI, it’s always a challenge to make new friends, but definitely possible!
Here is a photo of “Linda Doors” and “Linda Windows.” If you see us at BOLLI, say hello. We’d love to chat.
Fred Kobrick refers to himself as “a highly experienced amateur hobbyist” who loves the challenges that taking pictures provides. “Here is a recent photo of me,” he says, “out in Wyoming, one of my two favorite places in nature to photograph, the other being Africa.”
Fred describes his passion for nature photography in this way: I love being close to nature. Attempting to get superior results pulls me into the scenes, takes my mind to wonderful, calming places, and even takes over my mind at times. I love the open-ended challenges and creative endeavors. Sitting and flying birds, for example, are geometrically more difficult than fast-action sports shots, and I love improving at that.
He talks, too, about some of his most memorable moments “in the wild.”
The moment on the Snake River, after endless practice and attempts, when I got the perfect “fish catch” photo of an osprey taking a big fish from the river–capturing both eyes of the bird and the eye of the fish…
Two lion cubs playing over their dinner remains, after eating their fill…
A perfect sunset in the Okavango Delta taken from the Fish Eagle, the world’s best outdoor bar…
Walking the streets of Hanoi and seeing a young boy’s changing facial expressions as he read a Vietnamese Conan Comic Book, photographing it as he turned the pages…
Another Snake River moment–this time, getting the almost impossible picture of a red winged blackbird with his wings fully stretched out, including his full and perfect reflection in the water…
And the perfect candid of a mother and baby moose looking at each other in the water, as I hid, unseen, in the bushes.
Among other favorite shots are…
Recently, at the urging of his kids, Fred entered several of his nature photos in Smithsonian Magazine’s annual nature photography contest. As a result, he now has a Smithsonian gallery online. To see this stunning work, go to:
Fred says that he came to BOLLI after he heard great things about the program from friends several years ago.
I tried a short one-week program, loved it, took a course or two, and was told by some people that they thought I would enjoy teaching BOLLI students and do that well (I had been a popular teacher in two graduate programs at Boston University). I’m looking forward to more interesting and new subjects to explore as both a student and a teacher and am thinking about possibly creating a sequel to my China course, which many students have requested. My friends were right. I’ve loved BOLLI.
It’s clearly mutual, Fred.
FRED KOBRICK PHOTOGRAPHY: ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
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