An article appeared in today's NYTimes about this renovation, which I worked on for almost a year. Check out the online version here.
Dove and Kim and I walked off the holiday meal together as our way of celebrating Black Friday.
Working on the Wilshire Blvd. Temple. A huge restoration of this 1920's building. There's a soaring central dome with murals and decorative surfaces everywhere. The floor in this picture is 85 feet up from the ground level which is entirely filled with scaffolding!
I was interviewed today as one of the last scenic artists standing. This is not due to my elevated standing in the community of scenics. It's just that I was around for the tail end of an illustrious tradition of painted backings for movies...I enjoyed every minute of it, including the sometimes longer than 70 hour weeks and the one stretch where I went on a planned vacation after working around 40 days straight and the other guys kept working for some time after that!
This is a picture taken by one of my helpers on a billboard painting job in around 1979. I say "helper" because it was a category in local 230, Sign Pictorial and Display Union. When I was hired at Seaboard Outdoor Advertising by a guy named John Latona, I didn't know anything about the business except that I could scale the sketch (usually a 1/4 inch to a foot layout) up to full size for a billboard. So I was deemed a "mechanic" and was assigned one of a few helpers who showed me the ropes--literally. I learned from Marvin, Robert, Julio and particularly Jerry, another mechanic, and a few other guys how to rig a job and the ways that a billboard had to be tackled. The picture was taken on the wall on the NE corner of 42nd and 5th...across from the NY Public Library. The ad was for Immigrant Savings Bank. Just a wall, but it was the site of a good story I've told a few times about the 10 pound metal step which broke off the fire escape and fell. It was scary to see that chunk of metal spinning down onto the crowded lunchtime sidewalk!....My heart leapt, but nobody was hurt! We were always very careful about dropping anything....or falling.