ChatterLog April 2012


Greetings everyone, and welcome to the April bulletin! It is now officially spring and you can feel everyone’s eagerness to be outside enjoying the warmer weather. It really is astounding how the seasons sneak up on us and come around each year, literally like clockwork.

For instance, although we really didn’t experience that bad of a winter in New York, when it came to the Spring Equinox, it was as if someone had flipped a switch, or spent the entire night attaching cherry and magnolia blossoms to the trees, while other little worker bees were busy planting fully-grown spring flowers into the flower beds! When I walked out the next day, the 1st day of spring, the world had been transformed into a sunny, flower-filled place!

You may also have noticed a slight increase in energy – the sign of Aries is said to have a “spring in their step” which not only relates to the time of year and the season, but also to the new energy and life that is being created at this time. The earth is sprouting new shoots and vegetation, while the animal kingdom is busy mating, thus Aries people tend to be full of life and very energetic personalities as well. Sometimes too much so because quite often there’s no “off” switch! But I could use a dose of this energy, and as I prepare to do some “spring-cleaning” around the house, I am once again reminded as to why we call it that. As much as we all talk about cleaning out our closets during those dark winter months – it doesn’t always happen, so by springtime, we are ready to dust off the cobwebs and do some serious cleaning. In fact, just to prove my point, and because I honestly couldn’t stand it any longer – even while writing this article, I took a break from the computer and spent the next couple of hours cleaning and scrubbing down my kitchen cabinets!

But what is this month’s theme – I could go with something related to the element and energy of Fire, or perhaps simply Life itself? Last month we talked about having Faith and a trust in the unknown and that everything will turn out, providing we keep a positive attitude. So now, with our new found and restored belief, we are ready to spring into action and conquer the world, so let’s talk about Life! The sign of Aries is literally the “Spark of Life” because without that spark, the car will not even start, so it all starts with Aries. The alphabet begins with the letter “A” does it not, and Aries is also the 1st sign of the zodiac who declares the words “I Am, I Am the Leader” to the world around them! And this is why Aries are the explorers and pioneers of this world, because they are the ones with “fire in their bellies” and the courage (or stupidity!) to go where no man has gone before! For example, the famed Scottish explorer and missionary Dr. David Livingstone was born March 19th, 1813 right on the cusp of Pisces and Aries – so what a perfect combination of these two signs did he become? The compassionate missionary of his Pisces, and the intrepid Aries explorer who went to Africa! And he made it onto the front of a ten-pound note!

David Livingston 1813 – 1873

But back to my “to go where no man has gone before” thought because would you believe it if I told you that both William Shatneraka Captain Kirk of the Starship Enterprise and Leonard Nimoy who played Mr. Spock were both born under the sign of Aries? Captain Kirk was born March 22nd and Spock was born March 26th – I mean honestly, how crazy is that?

Captain James. T. Kirk & Mr. Spock & the original TV series title

Not surprisingly, many of our famous Aries are pioneers of some kind or another, so how about one of the greatest innovators of all time Leonardo Da Vinci, born April 15th, 1452? This man was a painter, sculptor, architect, musician, scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist and writer whose genius, perhaps more than that of any other figure, epitomized the Renaissance humanist ideal. Leonardo has often been described as the archetype of the “Renaissance Man”, a man of “unquenchable curiosity” and “feverishly inventive imagination” – and notice it is the Aries, like Leonardo Da Vinci here, who begins the zodiacal archetype as well.

Leonardo Da Vinci 1452 -1519

Or how about Bessie Smith born April 15th, 1894, Billie Holiday born April 7th, 1915, Pearl Bailey born March 29th, 1918, and Sarah Vaughan born March 27th, 1924 – all four ladies were pioneer blues singers and all four were Aries!

Bessie Smith 1894 – 1937 & Billie Holiday 1915 – 1959
Pearl Bailey 1918 – 1990 & Sarah Vaughan 1924 – 1990

All these examples of Aries are headstrong, inspirational people who are passionate about what they do. And another thing you may have noticed by now is how similar they all look? They all tend to have large heads, and in particular, prominent foreheads, typical of the hardheaded Aries. The ram butts with its head, does it not? Now I know I’ve mentioned in a previous bulletin that Aries rules over the head, so it’s no big surprise that these people like to wear hats and is why we have the custom for dressing up in our “Easter Bonnets.” The Planet Mars rules our aggressive sign of Aries, and many “Martian” professions also involve wearing hats or protective headgear of some kind, such as the Military, Police, Firemen, and Chefs, yes Chefs – this is no accident (no pun intended!) but Aries can be accident-prone as well, so be sure to read this month’s tips! In fact, I noticed how much clumsier I became as soon as we had moved in to the sign of Aries last month, and even today while I was cleaning the kitchen, I managed to break something!

Back to hats, and although the main celebrations for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee don’t take place until June, I wanted to share this timely piece I found in a “People” magazine recently. I thought it was a brilliant story of how her headgear has evolved over the past 60 years, and no, she is not an Aries herself, it was the “hats” that caught my eye! But notice also, that we are talking about her “Diamond Jubilee” and guess what Aries’ stone is – of course it’s the diamond, considered to be the hardest material on earth, a bit like Aries’ head!

A History of the Queen’s Hats from 1953 – 2012

As always we send out Birthday Wishes to all you pioneering Aries!

And in closing I wanted to dedicate this bulletin to my friend Darryl Strawser – someone who lived his life like an Aries, although he wasn’t one, and someone we lost recently. If anyone truly exhibited living his life to the fullest with a positive attitude, despite the challenges it brought him, it was this man. Again, Aries and “attitude” – it all starts there.

So in his honor, I have written a little tribute to him, I hope you enjoy it.

Darryl and I, September 2011

In Memorium
Darryl StrawserI found out not long ago that a dear friend and industry associate had died at the end of last year. He had been ill for some years and although I was naturally quite upset that I didn’t know until recently, I was even more saddened simply by the loss of a wonderful and truly courageous human being. I first met Darryl Strawser back in 2006 when I participated in a marketing presentation for photographers at the Miami Ad School, where he was head of the photography department. The event was orchestrated by my friend, photographer Mike Thoennes, along with fellow consultant Suzanne Sease and Blink Bid owner Lou Lesko. We had a blast for those few days and thus my friendship with Darryl began.I returned to do a second presentation with Margo Pinkerton in 2007, and once again we all had a great time. In Darryl’s company, who didn’t feel uplifted? He was already starting to lose some of his manual dexterity back then, but he still found a way to work on the computer and drive (albeit a bit erratically!) One evening Darryl, Margot and I were taking a post-dinner stroll in Miami Beach, laughing, talking and walking, and all of a sudden Darryl disappeared. Margot and I looked around for a second and then realized he was on the ground in a crumpled heap at our feet, his legs having let him down. No big thing, we helped him back up and on we went, still laughing.

Once in a while he would visit New York and we would see one another for dinner, and whenever any of his students were making the move to the big city, he would always tell them to be in touch with me. Darryl had been suffering with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) for some time even before I met him, and I was amazed by his unfailingly positive attitude. He may have been frustrated at what he was unable to do, but he never really complained. May we all be as positive and good-humored as Darryl Strawser was. Ironically, I was working with my client Randy Boverman this week, who coincidentally has been shooting the Oregon ALS fundraisers for some years now, and he mentioned he would be skiing and photographing a fundraiser this weekend with his son – for guess what? ALS!

Perhaps one of our funniest memories was on one of Darryl’s visits to New York, and a dinner near Times Square in an Irish pub because it was close to Darryl’s hotel. At the end of the meal, as we were standing up to leave, a voice from the adjacent table said, “Excuse me, did we hear you say you’re from Ringwood?” It truly was one of those “only in New York” moments. So while Darryl and the rest of his group departed, I stayed behind to chat with our neighbors, who turned out to be on holiday and not only did they live in Ringwood not far from my mother, the husband worked for the local undertakers, but that’s another story for another time!

Darryl Strawser

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