happy birthday, dad

by grace on May 3, 2020

dad would have been 83 today. he was a really good dad.

1974, when he was 31 years old.

This is one of my favorite photos – amy and dad in 2006.

celebrating his birthday in 2009 –

I don’t know what year this was, and i’m assuming it was dad’s birthday because he was holding the cake, instead of uncle jimmy holding it. mighty nice cake.

this wasn’t on his birthday, as far as i know, but i love this photo so much. so cute!

it’s hard to believe it’s been seven years since he died.

ok then,



at the Whitney

by grace on January 9, 2020

After taking so many photos at the Met i was determined to not go so crazy at the Whitney.

It’s a cool museum, and not so big, plus one entire floor was closed so we didn’t have to worry about it. we decided to start with lunch, but on the way i had to take a photo of this cool old jukebox with a mountain scene on the background.

the studio cafe was on the top floor, the eighth, and mom and i had some super-healthy stuff, i can’t remember what i got but it involved grains and things.

The cafe had floor-to-ceiling windows and you could go out on the balcony. it had been raining and it was a little too drizzly and wet to sit outside on the patio but i took this panorama.

Can you see the statue of liberty there in the background? on the left. That’s the Hudson River.

we realized there were stairs outside that we could walk down, so we did. there were all kinds of views up there and it was totally cool. christmas trees on top of balconies and stuff like that.

Here’s a pretty famous photo of the Fort Peck Dam in Montana by Margaret Bourke-White. It was on the cover of the very first Life Magazine in 1936. This magazine was down in our basement for a very long time because my grandmother had saved it. I bet it’s not there now. Maybe mom has it? Hmm, doubtful.

Here’s how it looked on the cover of the magazine.

There were plenty of other things that i took pictures of, but my second-favorite was this wonderful circus by Alexander Calder. he created it out of all kinds of random things like wire, bottle caps, paper, buttons, string…here’s the blurb from the whitney website:

After moving to Paris in 1926, Alexander Calder began to fabricate dozens of tiny figures and props for what would become his most beloved work—titled in French Cirque Calder, and in English Calder’s Circus. Making use of simple, available materials such as wire, wood, metal, cloth, cork, fabric, and string, he constructed ingeniously articulated animals, clowns, and acrobats. In total, the circus consists of an elaborate troupe of over seventy miniature figures and animals, nearly 100 accessories such as nets, flags, carpets, and lamps, and over thirty musical instruments, phonographic records, and noisemakers. In Paris, Calder’s audience would sit on a low bed or crates, munching peanuts and using the noisemakers while Calder choreographed, directed, and performed Calder’s Circus, narrating the actions in English or French. Accompanied by music and lighting, performances could last as long as two hours. Calder’s Circus brought him renown in Paris as he staged it for artist colleagues and friends, including Piet Mondrian, Joan Miró, and Marcel Duchamp. These performances also introduced the kineticism that would become the defining characteristic of Calder’s art from the 1930s onward.

Along with all the objects in the circus, there was a video playing above of Calder doing the circus. i wish i’d taken the time to sit down and watch it because even though it’s here, the picture quality isn’t so great.

I guess what i love most about this circus is that it’s a grown man having a jolly good time playing. Plus he performed it for all those other famous arist friends. that must have been quite the scene back in the 20s.

Calder was such an interesting artist; he worked in many mediums including sculpture, mobiles, painting, printing, jewelry, and he painted some airplanes and a BMW! He also designed sets for some theatrical productions. You can look him up on Wikipedia because he was really something. If you don’t feel like it, let me just tell you a couple more things I read – his grandfather was a famous sculptor originally from Scotland, his father was also a well-known sculptor and his mother was a portrait painter. his sister was a key player in the development of the UC Berkley art museum. You really should take the time to read about him because he’s fascinating.

it’s funny, because both my parents were artists; they met at the University of Illinois Champaign in the painting department. In his lifetime my dad painted, made jewelry, did some wonderful prints, and my parents designed and built sets for some community theater productions. He was an art teacher for a while and we used to have this wonderful cardboard box he’d made in class that had lights in it and all kinds of painting on the outside – we used to put it out at christmas. i just talked to a man i know who had been a student of dad’s, and the guy, gary, told me that dad was a wonderful art teacher. that made me happy.

so i guess i’m saying that my dad was kind of like calder, only he didn’t make it to the big time.

we don’t do that in my family so much.

not yet, anyway.

anyway, next i’m going to show you my most favorite piece at the Whitney, the reason we went there in the first place.

ok then,

g. hughes in 2020.


four years ago today,

by grace on May 18, 2017

my dad died.  it’s weird to think of it being four years ago.

here’s an old photo of mom and dad at a going-away party for somebody, many many years ago.  i have no memory whatsoever of this event, but i know i was there because i saw a picture of me at the event.  i looked like i was having fun.

mom and dad are singing the song “Big D” from musical  “the most happy fella,” which they were in many, many years ago.  i went to rehearsals with them all the time and still remember many of the words to many of the songs.  and yet i don’t remember being at this party.

dad loved las vegas.  amy bought this little pink monkey for dad when he was in the hospital, and she brought it to las vegas with her when we went there on may 2nd.  dad would have loved our rooms at the Signature suites.

and here’s amy and me at the Bellagio Hotel Conservatory and Gardens – this is called “japanese spring,” and dad loved everything japanese.  this was may 3rd, his birthday.

in a cab going to see Cher at the Monte Carlo.

we miss our dad.

ok then,

mrs. h.





by grace on March 29, 2015

mom and i went to see KINKY BOOTS last night at the fox theater in st. louis, and i love that show!  i’m going to go out and buy myself a pair of tall red boots!

or maybe, a pair of tall red pumps, even better!

they had these funny cardboard standups around for photo opportunities.  i think it’s funny that i makes me look like a midget!

what a fun show!  plus, cyndi lauper did the music, and she won a tony, the firs tsolo  woman to win a tony for writing the music!  the music was great, but once again i felt like i surely must be going deaf, because it was so hard to hear things sometimes.  but then everybody else around me was complaining of the same thing, so maybe it’s the problem with the fox theater?  turn up the sound!  but sometimes the instruments were really loud and overpowering, and i really don’t know the problem, but i’m going to go get the CD at the library so i can listen.

soooo good!  and fun.  plus, i only did a limited amount of coughing, so i think maybe i’ll actually be better someday.

meanwhile, kevin has gotten sick, too, but he’s getting better, and amy is sick, so sickness everywhere.  whenever i’ve talked to people, it seems that pretty much everyone is sick.

here’s kevin and sweet lester, pre-sickness.

you can just barely see gus the goose out there eating…we haven’t seen any geese at all for about a week now; they must have decided there are better places, now that the ice and snow is finally gone.

mid-march, a very very chilly day to be out fishing.  but a fisherman’s gotta do what a fisherman’s gotta do.

…which is also true for our sweet kitties.  see lester stretching out soooo long…..

and here’s PROOF that sometimes, but only sometimes, kevin will actually LEAVE THE HOUSE!  with me!  we went to a performance of an irish folk group called “dervish,” and we got seats in the second row, and it was really, really entertaining and fun.  yaaaaay, getting out of the house!

but this is more kevin’s speed – here, he’s practicing hitting targets in the garage using an air rifle.

chester, who looks so fierce when he’s yawning!

my aunt sandy and her friend robin came to visit, and we visited the farm!  i bought many things even though i’d told myself i WOULD NOT BUY MUCH.  i just can’t ever help it, because she has so very many fabulous finds.  plus the chickens.

les paul, intent upon leaping from one counter to the other.

and then, being an angel.

jim sent me this photo, because he thought that calvin coolidge looked a lot like dad.  i see it.

and that’s about it for this sunday morning, and hopefully we’ve seen ALL OF THE TEMPS BELOW FREEZING for the year!

ok ok ok then,

mrs. g.h.



May 20, 2014

…and it feels like spring again.  it was finally warm enough to be outside yesterday, very nice. here’s mom working on the stone we made to put over dad’s ashes under the peach trees down by the lake.  we had marked the spot with a shell, and we bought the kit to make the stone […]

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a year ago yesterday,

May 18, 2014

after 15 unbelievably horrific days in the hospital, dad had a “miraculous recovery,” and the doctor came in and talked about moving him home after the weekend, and dad was so happy and felt good and joyfully drank a chocolate shake. and a year ago today, he died. if you haven’t lost a parent, you […]

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saturday morning,

June 8, 2013

and i somehow managed to mostly sleep through the night last night, so yay for that. we had this cruddy dishwashing soap dispenser on our kitchen sink.  i loved it when we bought it, it’s a clear bottle with a metal top, and the metal part got all rusty and bad-looking. so i finally bought […]

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reeeeeally early wednesday morning…

June 5, 2013

damnitall damnit.  it’s 3:41 a.m. and i just heard a bird chirp outside even though they should be fast asleep. as should i. definitely, fast, soundly, completely asleep.  sitting here in front of a computer screen is, of course, a horrible way to help me get back to sleep.  but i was lying there and […]

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4:14 a.m.

June 2, 2013

whew. up since around two in the morning. finally decided to get up and work on my new banner.  i started it, well, i guess it would be yesterday morning, cause now we’re having sunday, all day. we’re having a Celebration of Life for dad on saturday, june 8th, here at our house, from 2-6.  […]

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May 19, 2013

so, thursday, we made peace with the fact that we didn’t want dad to be in any more pain, so they took the breathing thing off him, turned off the antibiotics and stuff, and we figured he’d be gone soon.  thursday evening they moved him to a very nice “comfort care,” ie “about to die” […]

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