Tuesday, November 18, 2008

How great is it to see these two guys again?

42 years, man. That's not a fad--it's a cultural artifact.
Keep Trekkin'!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Kid Finally Sees the Concorde...30 Years Later

The AĆ©rospatiale-BAC Concorde Supersonic Transport (SST); this one retired at the The Museum of Flight in Seattle, Washington. As a kid I used to dream about this beautiful, swan-like vessel, but as we never made it back east on our family vacations, and never went to Europe, I had to make do with plastic model kits and Airport '79: The Concorde. So it was a pretty cool experience when, driving aimlessly around Seattle recently, I pulled over in the dark to take a cellphone call and realized the jet's nosecone was practically suspended over my hood. This picture was taken the next day, using my Mustang for scale.

The Likely Story...

Monday, May 12, 2008

...The Arched Brow of Doom

Mom (Mary Lee Spitzer) in Madeleine Albright mode. Mary Lee was an archetypal example of a how to be loving while keeping the B.S. detector dialed to "full."

Saturday, May 10, 2008

J.J. Abram's (Not Gabe Koerner's) Enterprise Unveiled!

CLICK IMAGE FOR LARGER VIEW Okay, so I'm a lying bastard. Actually it's an extrapolation on what little we've seen in the official teaser by one Jude Xavier. But I'm in agreement that what we see in the movie come Summer 2009 ought not look too different from this, which is absolutely beautiful. We already know the warp nacelles will be a bit large (she's what my buddy Tim used to call a "Big-gunner Babe," er, back in the day). But this is essentially what I was envisioning when I created my poor, tortured Photoshop Frankenstein below. She still needs a little smoothing out, and something done with that deflector dish--something similar to the Big E from ST:TMP, but lit gold--but man, this one's good. Retro but new--isn't that the whole point? Let's go for a ride!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Excuse the Mess While I Write Like A Madman...

Please pardon the site's temp banner and other rushed aspects while I soldier on with The Willows and X-Ray Rider, both time-sensitive. Am tinkering with the original banner (which I am particularly fond of) to improve overall page layout; and to emphasize its colors and amp up its resolution. It'll be the banner--re-mastered! Also want to get the site re-focused on what it was intended to be: a photo-blog about a boyhood and a celebration of a certain time and place and state of mind. Should be a neat little site once it fully manifests into what it's supposed to be; which everything eventually does, of course--people and Art included--if only sunned and watered faithfully.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Friday, December 7, 2007

Finally, Charles R. Knight's Originals and an Allosaurus in the Marrow

As a boy I had something of an obsession with the allosaurus, probably because it was smaller and more compact than T. Rex, just as I was "smaller and more compact" than my bullies. You can imagine my delight, then, at seeing the classic restoration on display at the American Museum of Natural History in New York (ABOVE). The dinosaur's pose (yes, the one in the background) appears to be based on Rudolph Zallinger's famous The Age of Reptiles mural at the Yale Peabody Museum, or visa-versa. Regardless, old allosaurus was a real childhood pal, showing up outside school windows, running alongside my parents' car, and, of course, eating bullies.

His appearance in Ray Harryhausen's One Million Years B.C. amped my interest, as did Aurora's fantastic model kit, which my mother (Mary Lee Spitzer) and father (Giff Spitzer) surprised me with one magical night in the 1970s. How they found it I'll never know (we had searched unsuccessfully throughout Spokane), but it was an unforgettable moment, to be sure. For a Boy That Time Forgot.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Boys Will Be Boys or: The Quick and the Crude. I take my shot at a "re-booted" U.S.S. Enterprise from TOS.

Saw the re-mastered Star Trek: The Menagerie tonight and was blown away by the the quality of the restoration/effects as well as story, which holds up just fine, thanks--powerful and moving as ever. The original Enterprise looked magnificent. Abrams and company would do well to not change her much. Alas, it appears they will be re-designing this great icon. So here's my own shoddy attempt at a "re-imaging," which proceeds from the expectation that they will be re-booting the entire time-line (as opposed to shoe-horning a never-before-seen re-fit into established canon). Not sure how crazy I am about touching the ship at all nor am I particularly enamored of my own take (if I can call it that; I've cobbled it together from things I found on the Internet). For real quality work you need head on over to Trek Movie report and check out images provided by Dennis Bailey and Gabe Koerner. Can't wait till '08. (NOTE: FOR MY PART, THIS IS A PUBLIC DOMAIN IMAGE AND I CLAIM NO OWNERSHIP OF IT. AS I SAID, IT WAS TEASED OUT OF EXISTING IMAGES USING MY LIMITED SKILLS IN PHOTOSHOP. NOR AM I SUGGESTING THIS IS HOW THE NEW SHIP OUGHT TO LOOK. IT'S JUST THAT, WELL, BOYS WILL BE BOYS AND I HAD TO HAVE A GO....

Saturday, October 6, 2007


Anthony Pascale at Trek Movie Report writes:

A year before J.J. Abrams brings his vision of The Original Series to the big screen, the original Original Series is going to get a go. CBS just announced a special presentation of the remastered "The Menagerie" on November 13th at almost 300 theaters nationwide. Both parts of "The Menagerie" will be shown in HD and cinema surround sound. The presentation includes a 30 minute behind-the-scenes featurette about the remastering. You can find theaters and buy tickets at Fathom Events ($12.50). More info at STARTREK.com.

Fantastic news for any "Boy That Time Forgot." It even appears as though it will play Spokane, a miracle in itself. Hope lots of people go and take their children--show 'em what little boys (and girls), the nation itself, used to aspire to. Okay...where was I? Oh yes, that writing thing....

Monday, October 1, 2007


Okay, my kiddies and legions of flying monkeys...it's back to grad school. I won't be posting for a time as I'll be working on my thesis, X-Ray Rider. It's about a kid with a macabre imagination coming to terms with tragedy--two of them: losing his mother and just plain growing up. But it's more Fessenden's Wendigo than Tobias Wolfe's This Boy's Life. Until next time....

Grandma Alice and "Skinny"

Like my mother, Alice is someone I'd do anything to talk to as an adult. She was smarter even than Mom and turned me on to Joseph Heller's Catch-22 when I was still nose-deep in comic books. I don't even know her heritage. The man next to her can only be "Skinny," someone Mom spoke of affectionately and often. He got the monicker because he was "skinny as a pole" in his youth but more than made up for it later. Doesn't he look like a great guy? Alice worked for the War Department during WW II; she smoked, she drank, and she didn't take guff from anybody. There were things she tried to tell me after my mother's death, life-things she tried to warn me about, but I was too young to listen.

Isn't it a shame. It takes a lifetime to get on the same page, and by then we are no longer in the same world.

Two Lost Worlds in One

Somewhere in Utah at the Twilight of the Modern Era.


Field research, MFA-style. Exploring the ruins of Spokane's North Cedar Drive-in in 2006, for X-Ray Rider.

Gratuitous shot of my Pacific Green '97 Mustang -- my current time-machine.

The Cold Equation relents for no one...and nothing. Time and nature have nearly reclaimed the once palatial North Cedar.

"And, oh boy, the first time I saw my father's brand new 1968 El Camino...."

"His father has purchased a white 1968 El Camino with a black vinyl roof and matching decals, but in the boy’s eyes he has purchased a starship, a time machine, a projectile boasting twin-domed hood scoops with louvered ports and long, pin-striped rear quarter panels—like warp nacelles—which through an alchemy known to certain boys and girls can bend space, can stop time."
-- from X-Ray Rider

"...and the first time I saw my brother Shawn's [newly painted] Firebird."

Just like the one in American Beauty, only black.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Mary Lee and Zipper

This is one of my favorite pictures of Mom, probably because I don't see my mother so much as a young woman, simple and clean-faced, rather Tomboy-ish. My mother lived at least two lives, and raised two sets of boys. I can't speak for who she was before; I only know the woman who had me when she was nearly 40 years old, a woman whom I now realize was trying to get it right, was trying to be the best woman and the best mother she could possibly be. That my father and I are still haunted by her memory, some 23 years later, says all that needs to be said.

I'm Thinking This Tells A Story...

...probably not one they'll be studying at universities.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Monday, September 10, 2007

My Own Private Jungle...Forever

Actually, not so much. As my mom operated a babysitting business, I usually had to share it with a throng of other children. Weekends were all mine, especially by the time I was this tall, because my older brother had discovered girls and tragically morphed into Lief Garret, like in a horror movie. It's funny, older and younger brothers each seem to harbor an unacknowledged resentment toward the other: the former resents the latter because he feels the new arrival has forever taken his place, leaving him abandoned. The latter resents the former because he only idolizes his brother and feels abandoned himself when that brother--who feels he must face life alone--moves on.

Dad in His Prime w/Unknown Kid: Maybe Me, Maybe My Brother

Probably me as I don't see a GW lapel pin anywhere. Dad looks way cooler than he ever was, I'm sure of it.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Heart of Fonzness

Hanging with Henry Winkler at the 1976 Auto, Boat & Speed Show. Waiting in line was like steaming down Conrad's river. The horror, the horror, the "Heeeeeeyyy...!"

Southern California, circa 1970: Mom, Crissy and Mini-me

This picture made me think of a Vonnegut quote, which I've pasted below:

"I'm eighty-three and homeless. It was the same when World War II ended. The Army kept me on because I could type, so I was typing other people's discharges and stuff. And my feeling was 'Please, I've done everything I was supposed to do. Can I go home now?' That's what I feel...I've done everything I'm supposed to do. Can I go home...? I've wondered where home is. It's when I was in Indianapolis when I was nine years old. Had a dog, a cat, a brother, a sister."

--KURT VONNEGUT, JR., Rolling Stone, Aug. 24, 2006

That '70s Shot: Giff and His Boys

This is me posing with my dad, Giff, and my older brother, Shawn. And a styracosaurus.

Magnificent Mary Lee

Mom in her natural state...laughing heartily. Mary Lee was smart-as-a-whip, curious about everything, and kept a house full of books and people. They don't make 'em like her anymore. Damn few, that's for sure.