Yesterday I posted this video on the buckfifty.org website – to my mind it’s a document of a time in Denver, the early 1990s, when the downtown area was still pretty deserted. My buddy Ray and I used to do performance art around town under the moniker of Two Significant Guys; our general mantra was that “you are only as successful as you pretend to be.” This was the era of Bush the first, so it seemed appropriate. It’s interesting that we spoke so much about change – I guess we were before our time.
So, in this video the Two Significant Guys encourage the feeding of kids while speaking of the importance of family values. We also eat mexican food and report on the implosion of buildings, including the Truckers Terminal and Montgomery Wards. Recorded in Denver in 1991 and 1992 with Hugh Graham and Ray Schelgunov under the direction and camera of Mike Reddick.
I added a new post to buckfifty.org today that’s pretty fascinating. It includes a slideshow of rejection letters from a scrapbook that jhh and I found in our basement back when we lived at 29th and Wyandot here in Highland.
The author of the scrapbook was Mary E. Horlbeck, a writer who lived in Edgewater during the 1930s. Between 1933 and 1937 she created this book of 138 rejection letters she received from magazines and newspapers for short stories she had written. She did eventually publish some stories, but not until after this scrapbook was full. It’s a remarkable expression of the dedication of a writer to getting published during the great depression.
Scrapbooks provide a fascinating glimpse into the past; in fact, Jessica Helfand has published a book on the topic (Scrapbooks, published by Yale University Press). Although this scrapbook doesn’t have the design sensibility of some of those that Helfand includes in her book (Anne Sexton’s scrapbook, for instance) Mary Horlbeck’s scrapbook is still charming and insightful.