Tag: Hélène Baronnie


Let’s talk about the muse and how they function in the life of the artist. We all have influences that kick our artistic butts into gear. Growing up with my grandmother Helene‘s paintings I’ve long been fascinated by the literal artist model. I took a

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Helene on the radio in 1959

I had a fair number of technical difficulties with this entry as the reel-to-reel from 1959 was damaged. You’ll hear some interference despite my best efforts to clean up the audio. In any case, this is an 8-minute interview my grandmother did on talk radio

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Beach vacation 1940s France

Palavas-les-Flots is a French seaside resort south of Montpelier. My mother, along with her mother and new stepfather, spent a summer vacation in Palavas while my step-grandfather  enjoyed learning how to use new film equipment. I find this movie of my mother getting ready and

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Malaga & Morocco

Growing up with stories of globe-trotting family inspired me to do my own traveling. Occasionally, I would walk in their footsteps. My grandmother, Helene, re-married in 1950 and she and her new husband Roger traveled to Malaga, Spain. They then made the ferry journey to

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The portrait problem

Gothic horror, film noire, and melodrama will frequently feature a scene with a spooky portrait. Here are a few examples off the top of my head: The House on Telegraph Hill Dark Shadows The only thing I find odd is that they have so few

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Immigration, 1950s style

My mother and her parents were the first members of my family to immigrate to the new world, and they did it with their usual glamor. Aboard the ship. Her new step father moves my nine-year old mother and his new wife to America from

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Glamour & Fiorello!

Some people say that we will never again see the level of glamour evident in post-world war America. It usually men who lament the passing of this era, but I am relieved. It takes an awful lot of time and effort to achieve these stunning

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Elegiac elephant

One of the facets of my travel-loving family is that they went into places back when the only travelers to an area went there as latter-day colonialists. Long before nature tourism, the only way to live in certain parts of the world was to be

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Halloween past in suburban America

The Halloween costumes of my mother’s youth doubled down on her opera training. Here are three from her teenage years. They were living in the suburbs of Chicago at the time. Her mother’s artistic creativity is evident… not only in the costumes but in that

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Beach 1

My people, going way back, must be a seafaring people. I want to discover pirates in my family tree. No, I probably won’t. I’ve always lived by the ocean and when I travel to a place far from the salty sea breezes I feel a

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