january 4, 2017

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“Growth is painful. Change is painful.
But nothing is as painful as staying stuck somewhere you don’t belong.”
~ Unknown

 

Capricorns 

 

Special Collections has been filled with January Capricorns as long as I’ve been there. The majority of us are still around, too. Here, we’re lined up in the order of our birth day (youngest to oldest as luck would have it) starting with Ruth Bryan (Jan 3), Matt Harris (Jan 4), moi (Jan 8), and Judy Sackett (Jan 9). Matt and I were born the same year. Unlike me with a dog and two cats, he has five real children. He’s holding his birthday card that I thought was going to be cool for his kids (although he had to ask who left it in his mailbox because he couldn’t read my signature). It wasn’t going to be quite as fun as I thought. After a meeting this afternoon, we decided to take pictures with the cute mustache on a stick only to find it didn’t actually come out of the card. I think they used cement to be honest. So, we were forced to pose with the whole card instead of funny individual shots with the mustache. Still, Ruth provided plenty of funny faces. It was good fun, and I hope it made Matt’s birthday a little brighter. It sure made my day bright.

 

making do without the mustache

october 13, 2016

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“We tend to understand that adding things to our lives will enrich us, but somethings need to be removed to propel us.” ~ Unknown

 

out there
out there

 

One of the great things about hanging with the locals is learning where all the best places are. Judy is that local in SoCal. A native of Long Beach, she roamed the coast with her sister when they were growing up. She took Jeff and I to a great hidden gem called Seal Beach. It’s not far from Long Beach, but it’s far enough to be out of the frey. It has a long pier (although the end of it was blocked off due to restoration) from which, past the tankers and oil rigs, Catalina Island can be seen.

 

the walk
the walk

 

Several weeks back at Cane Ridge, Nila said her sacred space is the ocean. She’s not alone. Many people take great solace at the edge of the world. I’ve kept her words near during this trip. I understand why she and so many others find the ocean a place of sacred notions.

 

not quite the sunset
not quite the sunset

And then there’s Judy and Jeff. They have been two of the best people I’ve ever known; great mentors and great friends. I will cherish our memories together during this trip. I’m glad they like me enough to hang out with me. How could I not be happy around people like this?

shiny happy people
shiny happy people

october 12, 2016

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“You will never speak to anyone more than you speak to yourself in your head. Be kind to yourself.”
~ Unknown

 

companions
companions

 

I left Pasadena early, making my way to the totally awesome retro Long Beach airport to pick up my conference companions Jeff Suchanek and Judy Sackett. They left Lexington at 5:30am. Easily an exhaustible flight, the two soldiered on through the afternoon. Judy, always the perfect tour guide, had planned a harbor tour shown here with Jeff as we wait to board. I tell you, once these two retire I’ll be hard pressed to stick around UK. They bless my life at work and out.

august 14, 2016

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“Karma Cleanse: Check your motives. Watch your attitude. Act with love. Be grateful. Forgive.”
~ Unknown

 

legacy
legacy

 

Tom Eblen published an article in today’s Herald-Leader about our IFLA Pre-Conference. It’s a good article, exposing some of the challenges we face as a global community to capture and preserve our news, often referred to as the “first draft of history.” What he didn’t mention were the people in the room from the University of Kentucky Libraries who built the UK program into a national leader (that’s why we were chosen to host the pre-conference after all). At the mixer, Becky Ryder pointed out that the first and last stewards of UK’s newspaper program were present. She was talking about Judy Sackett, above left, and myself. The three of us combined have over seventy years experience with newspaper preservation. You see, Judy was the first formal steward when UK Libraries became one of the first participants in the NEH funded United States Newspaper Program (USNP). It was designed to catalogue and microfilm as many historic newspapers as could be gathered from each state. A decade or so later, Becky took over as the first Preservation Librarian at UK Libraries. She was instrumental in getting UK into the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP), the successor project to USNP. I was the program manager of NDNP when our NEH funding ended in 2013, thus, summarily ending over sixty years of Kentucky newspaper preservation. Since then, Eric Weig and I have been doing what we can to reignite the program, but as Eblen points out in his article, lack of funding and staff make it nearly impossible. Neither Eric nor I are dedicated full-time to newspapers, which is what it would take to put us back on top (did I mention we trained nearly everyone in NDNP, and people still use my tutorials to train their staff?). I have faith that one day we’ll be back to preserving Kentucky’s first draft of history. In the meantime, I’m forever grateful to follow in Judy and Becky’s footsteps. They’re mighty women and excellent mentors.

august 12, 2016

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Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start.
~ Nido Qubein

 

everybody on the bus
everybody on the bus

 

Today was the much anticipated Kentucky Field Trip with our IFLA guests. We wanted to give them a good overview of how beautiful and awesome The Bluegrass State can be. What better way than Keeneland and Buffalo Trace Distillery? Bright and early we loaded up the UK bus (with our awesome driver, Sarah) and off to Keeneland we went. Becky Ryder, Director of the Keeneland Library and local committee member, met us there (as did Ruth Bryan, Kazuko Hioki, and Michael Lütgen who drove themselves). She treated our guests to a delicious Kentucky style breakfast. Judy Sackett even tried gravy and biscuits for the first time…and she liked it! Our guests were then treated to a tour of the track, the grounds, and the sales pavilion. It was a beautiful thing to see their eyes light up watching the horses train, and the excitement when one of the outriders stopped by for a chat was just so special. My heart swelled with pride. Except for the oppressive humidity, it was as close to perfect weather as we could ever hope for.

 

a horse with no name
a horse with no name

 

We could have spent a lot more time at Keeneland. The tour guides were incredibly engaging and the ladies especially loved the gift shop, but Buffalo Trace was waiting on us, so we loaded up the bus and off we went again. This is where the story gets good. My contacts up to this point were not the people who met me at the visitor center as expected. Instead, the Distillery Archivist (whose name I have sadly forgotten) and a man named Art met me at the door. When I asked for my contacts, Art simply said, “I’ll be doing your tour.” It was a bit odd, but I was okay with it because I could tell right away he was a cool dude. We soon found out how lucky we were that Art was our tour guide. He was the most entertaining tour guide I’ve ever had. We had a ton of laughs – and that was before the samples – but we learned a great deal, too, not just about bourbon but the general history of the area. I might also add that the now-forgotten-named archivist was great as well.

 

the angel's share
the angel’s share

 

Art really showed off our Kentuckian sense of humor to our guests (a point of personal pride for me). Truly, he was a load of fun, and when it came time for the samples, he shared with us their White Dog brand. It’s essentially alcohol (something ridiculous like 170 proof) before it’s aged to become bourbon. He poured some in their hands mostly to smell, although a few did taste it. Their reactions ranged from “that’s not so bad,” to, “Oh my God, I tasted it!” followed by a contorted face.  In any case, a gentle rubbing of the hands produced the smell of bread caused by a chemical reaction of the alcohol on skin and oxygen (I think). Everyone then had a chance to sample a couple of their more popular brands, as well as root beer and bourbon chocolate made by Ruth Hunt Candies, another Kentucky staple. By the time we left Buffalo Trace, everyone was tired but completely happy. We could not have planned a better representation of the Commonwealth. My heart was bursting with pride and joy.

 

reunion
reunion

 

That brings me back to where the story gets good. This is Art with IFLA participant and US Government Docs librarian Cynthia Etkin from Virginia. I had the pleasure of getting to know Cindy yesterday when we lunched with Reinette Jones. She’s a warm hearted, open soul who was so happy to be with us and learn about all the good – and troubling – things going on in the world of news media preservation. She had lived and worked in Kentucky for many years some time ago, both at WKU and EKU. It was at the latter where she met Art. Oh yes, they knew each other before today. On the way back to the hotel we learned that she not only knew him, but she dated him… for thirteen years! They never married (at least not each other), but you could tell they remained close after all this time. Cindy had told Art she was coming to Kentucky and would be on the tour. Art, in turn, insisted he be our tour guide. It all made sense why my contacts did not meet me when we arrived. Theirs was one of the sweetest stories I’ve heard, and learning their history together was the perfect way to wrap up our shared adventures. Every second of this week as been worth the sweat and sleeplessness. I made new friends, connected with old friends, shared time with mentors, and smart men and women from all over the world. We might solve this preservation dilemma yet. I continue to be the luckiest woman alive.

may 19, 2016

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“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.” – Albert Einstein

 

photo by the awesome Peter Hesseldenz
photo by the awesome Peter Hesseldenz

 

Cecilia “Ceci” Virtue, whom you met last week during the Library gala, gave a presentation today on her experience as a Career Enhancement Program (CEP) Fellow at UK Libraries. Judy Sackett, who has lead the CEP program at UK since 2009, asked me to bring my camera. As we were doing some group photos I handed Peter Hesseldenz the camera and took my place beside Judy. All of the women in this photo worked with Ceci during her fellowship, and I think I can speak for all of us when I say she is a real breath of fresh air. She’s really smart, funny, and she’s always in a good mood even when her allergies are misbehaving. Someone in another group photo, I’m not sure who, sounded a bit disparaged at the possibility they’d end up in the outhouse. So, instead, I put a picture of myself in the outhouse. I also happen to be with four of my favorite people, one of whom could have been the critic for all I know. In any case, I’m proud to be part of their world, and I’m honored to have them part of mine. I hope they don’t mind that I share my joy of them with Netizens, as my friend Jimmy Duckworth calls readers of the internet. I love how fun we look in this picture. It makes me happy.

may 12, 2016

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“You will not be punished for your anger. You will be punished by your anger.” ~ Buddhist Proverb

 

mother and child reunion
mother and child reunion

 

You’ve met friend and colleague Judy Sackett many times. Here she’s pictured with her fantastic son, Michael. I’ve heard about Michael for 15 years, but only had the chance to talk with him to and from the Library Gala. He was our chauffeur for the evening. He was the perfect gentleman for the job. Having just completed his stint with AmeriCorps, Michael was home and a willing participant for Gala-ing. He really is one of the finest young men I’ve ever met. Judy did real good raising him, and I know his future will be full of greatness.

 

BFFs
BFFs

 

Remember I said Judi Jennings and Anne Ritchie were the best of friends? Do you need further proof than this mile wide smile-O-gram? Judi was the first person I saw when I got out of the car (because Michael, being totally awesome, drove Judy and I to the door). I knew it was going to be a great night the second I saw her. As ever, she did not let me down. Apparently, there’s something pretty cool in the name “Judy/Judi” no matter how you spell it.

march 5, 2016

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“Our reaction to a situation literally has the power to change the situation itself.” ~ Unknown

 

I spy with my little eye
I spy with my little eye

 

I had the opportunity to go to KY Crafted: The Market. It’s one of my favorite things to do. I met Annie Bassoni at the venue and off we went a-lookin’ at glorious art. For three hours we went a-lookin’, and along the way we ran into lots of friends, old and new. David Campbell (above) finally found a way to elude my lens, although it took hiding behind the black curtain to do it. I love David and Rebecca so much. This was her first year at The Market and she won KAC’s Accessibility Award. David also pointed out something really special about this year’s event. “There are three artists here from Morgan County. You’re in the exhibit, Dean Hill is down the other aisle, and here we are. I texted Pam (Oldfield Meade) and told her next year she has to be involved so Morgan County can just take over the whole thing!” Speaking of Dean Hill, he took home a purchase award from the Chamber of Commerce. Rebecca and Dean, way to represent Morgan County! I’m awfully proud to be among such gifted artists from Morgan County, and the Commonwealth overall. There’s just so much good in this state that I have to pinch myself sometimes to remember that I’m here, too, and I’m part of it. Pictured below are just some of the wonderful people I saw today: 1. Judy Sackett and Nancy Lewis 2. Deb Chenault and Annie Bassoni 3. Rebecca Miller Campbell and her beautiful creations.

 

some of the best
some of the best

december 21, 2015

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“Let there be peace on Earth and let it begin with me.” ~ Unknown

 

intimate friend of the hostess
intimate friend of the hostess

 

Ruth Bryan held her annual Emily Post high tea. This year’s intimate friend of the hostess was Annie Bassoni. As you can see, she took her job as, well, as Annie Bassoni. Emily Post was likely turning in her grave. The rest of us were laughing. I recommended Annie use this photo as her facebook profile picture. We’ll see.

 

kitchen friends
kitchen friends

 

Meanwhile, in the kitchen, Stacy Yelton was instructing Kazuko Hioki and Ruth Bryan on the finer points of the Carol Merrill wave.Let’s Make a Deal; it was trip down memory lane and a show with which Kazuko was unfamiliar. She’ll remember it from now on.

 

the Carol Merrills
the Carol Merrills

 

Just off the kitchen sat Judy Sackett with the puzzle. Being the queen of puzzles, she had the pieces organized into separate Ziploc baggies by color or style for easy(ier) assembly. It’s too bad it wasn’t the puzzle Judy told us about. The one whose box cover picture was backward. That would have been a challenge. It may have required more than tea.

 

the puzzler
the puzzler

 

Making her first appearance in the outhouse is Ruth’s mom, Carol, here enjoying a robust cup of hot chocolate. She’s always smiling and pleasant. Stacy and I didn’t get to stay for the Christmas Carols as we were due at Good Shepherd, but we packed in plenty of laughter while we could. Plus, Stacy taught the girls the Carol Merrill wave, so it was a successful event I’d say. I do so love my co-workers, and Ruth’s mom, too.

 

Carol, not Carol Merrill
Carol, not Carol Merrill

november 1, 2015

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“The law of harvest is to reap more than you sow. Sow an act, and you reap a habit.
Sow a habit and you reap a character. Sow a character and you reap a destiny.”
~ James Allen

 

collage of happy
collage of happy

 

I had a guest register available at the reception. I didn’t realize I’d forgotten it until I went to bed Friday night. I attended All Saints Day service this morning and picked it up afterward. Sixty people attended Friday’s reception. Sixty people took time out of their lives to come see my work. Some I’d never met before Friday. Some sneaked in and out without my seeing them though they were kind enough to leave their signature. Some drove nearly two hours to be there. Some took off work. Some were recovering from major surgery. Some couldn’t stay long, and others stayed the whole time. Someone pointed out how many segments of my life were assembled in that room: family, close friends, old friends, new friends, co-workers, writers, actors, artists, musicians, librarians, bankers, software developers, railroad men, professors, social workers, therapists, pathologists, nutritionists, the list goes on. They’re not all represented in this collage, but I couldn’t think of a better way to have a group hug in the outhouse. Sixty people. I may be speechless for a week I’m so overcome with gratitude.

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