Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Meet some Friends...

My last post was about my long-time friend Russ Adey who passed away on the 18th of March. I'm going to post another art-photo of Russ...but before I do that I'd like to also mention another good friend of mine who died two years ago.

His name was Ken Giddens.

I met him in the U.S. Air Force at Zaragoza Airbase in Spain. We were both 'weather observers'. A boring, thankless job.

Ken's nickname was 'The Great Giddenski'. He was a helluva nice guy and very intelligent. Together with another observer friend named Marty, we pretty much made the best of a boring situation. We went skiing in the Pyrenees and traveled to the Mediterranean sea. We threw great parties and solved problems together and recreated the 'Three Musketeers' in our own unique way. We kept the barracks alive with activity and fun. I myself created a 'Haunted Barracks' for the kids on base in October 1981 which was a great success. We often played elaborate pranks on each other and Ken taught both me and Marty how to juggle. Ken told great stories as well and was even then a great communicator and organizer.

After we each left the service, Ken wound up being a kind of internet marketing guru at 'Netscape' before branching out on his own. He was very successful at winning friends and always took the time to teach people what he knew. The glowing praise I have for him here pales in comparison to the praise of those he worked with over the years.

Ken was a tall man. Tall people are sometimes prone to brain aneurisms. Ken died from just such an aneurism before I thought to look for him on the internet. He was a multi-talented multi-millionare who was loved and missed by hundreds if not thousands...which is a hard thing to do.

Ken can still be viewed on YouTube teaching people about internet marketing skills. Here's a link:


Rest in Peace Ken.


I promised to post another picture of my friend Russ. I think you'll enjoy the results.
Russ talked me into joining a 'Klingon Club' called "The T'mar" some years back. He'd joined months earlier and was having a lot of good times and wanted me to get involved too.

One of the more interesting things the members did was to hold a "Lazer Tag for Breast Cancer Research" event in Fife, Washington in the 1990's wherein those who paid could shoot it out with a gang of Klingons in the Lazer tag arena.

The kids loved it as well as many adults. Everyone had a swell sweaty time of it. I even enjoyed standing on the street corner with a cardboard sign that read:

'Will battle for food!'

A street lady started yelling at me for taking her spot away from her but decided to scoot when I growled at her.

I took a polaroid of Russ during the event and re-worked it on Coreldraw to create a 'Klingon-style Trek Poster' of him in his full Klingon regalia. Russ put a lot of work into his costumes and props. The fine quality showed.

The Klingon afterlife is called 'Sto-vo-kor'. It is a place of raucous feasting and celebrations of honorable lives lived and glorious deaths in battle. It reminds me of the Viking's Valhalla. To enter, one must have led an honorable life and died a glorious death.
The greatest enemy we will ever face...is ourselves. We must each of us face down the demons that lie within us all...the selfishness, the anger, the jealousies and dark demons of temptation and despair. The glorius battle within is won only by never losing hope.
My two good friends...K'Russ and The Great Giddenski...were very special. Had you known them, you would be writing these words in my place. They brightened the world around them with their presence and inspired others by example.
They have passed on now...into the great mystery...the hidden realm of our shared universe...that beckons to us all...and towards which we must all venture someday. Both of them lived joy-filled lives to the best of their abilities and insured that their friends and family and many a stranger standing nearby had a good time living it and learning it as well. I will celebrate their honored lives in the best way possible...
...by remembering theirs...
...and by trying to live one of my own.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

My Friend Russ Adey

My Friend, Russ Adey, died last Wednesday from a meningitis infection. I just found out this morning. I couldn't sleep after hearing the bad news from his brother, so I decided to work on a memorial art piece for him.

I had visited Russ about three weeks ago and we had discussed the usual stuff; family, school, my web-art...and his bad sinus infection. He said it was nothing much and he felt he was 'just getting over it'. It didn't seem like a big deal at the time.

But it was.

For some reason, I decided to snap a couple of pictures of Russ in his workshop just before I left. It was, it seemed, just a 'normal visit'...but it would turn out to be the last time I would ever see him. It's likely that the pictures of I took of Russ that night were the last ever taken of him, so I e-mailed them to his family.

I met Russ around 1988 in Fife, Washington where I was hired to work as an assistant manager at a chain motel called Traveler's Inn. Russ was the acting night auditor. He'd worked at the motel for about a year or so and was more than happy to help me adjust to my new job and filled me in on the whole situation. Russ was a shrewd judge of character and decided I was good for the motel...and said as much.

One night a 'girl-gang' brawl broke out in the back of the motel with lotsa screaming and such. I sorta peeked out the back door to assess the situation...then Russ pushed me clear outside and locked the door behind me to make sure I dealt with it.

We became fast friends right away.

When he left the motel, Russ worked as a pizza delivery driver for many years. He met a very beautiful young gal there who eventually moved in with him for awhile, but they never had any children and eventually, after a year or so, they parted ways. He kicked around at some temp jobs now and then before commiting to a career as a real estate agent.

Over the years, Russ proved himself to be my closest and truest friend. He never let me duck a problem that he thought I was letting slide or let my artist's ego get too big. If my artwork was less than worthy, Russ let me know in no uncertain terms that it 'stunk on ice'. He was very big on 'color' too and would try to push me towards including more of it in my artwork. All-in-all, he was my biggest fan and would sometimes wrestle me out of some of my best works. They're still on his wall. No matter how hard up for money he was, he'd never sell my art.

One of the codes Russ lived by was to 'question everything'. If I had a crazy idea for a project and wanted him to drop everything and join me, he'd look it over and think about it for awhile until he decided it was just hare-brained enough to work. Then he would commit 100% and make me follow through as well. We had many philosophical discussions over the years and disagreed often...but never a cross word to each other was uttered during the entire 20+ years I knew him.

He was always 'Uncle Russ' to my three daughters and my whole family loved him. He'd find artist opportunities for me everywhere and talked me up to strangers to help me make a sale. Whenever we were in need of a hand or a ride to some job or a just needed an ear to listen, he was there for me and my family.

Russ was 'family'.

Russ was also a craftsman and an artist. He loved to create beautiful and exotic art treasures. He made precision models, movie props, star trek collectibles, and much more. Eventually he began to make and sell klingon-style 'bat'leths' and 'mek'leths' on ebay.

There came a time when Russ made enough money from his ebay sales that he could quit the pizza biz altogether and devote himself entirely to his crafts projects. He was known as K'Russ on-line and the high quality of his reproductions and his attention to detail made his works very sought after. To view Russ' work, click on the link below...


Russ eventually started working as a real estate agent. He had been working out of the Federal Way Keller Williams office until the economy went sour. He decided to re-invent his life again and went to school in Tacoma to learn Hospital equipment repair. His test scores at the school had just been posted and according to his brother, they were the highest scores for that series of tests in the school's history.

That brilliant attention to detail...

Russ had many, many friends all over the Puget Sound area and his funeral reception next Wednesday will be a very crowded affair indeed. Russ was involved with creative people virtually everyday and sometimes I was hard-pressed to break into his schedule long enough to get in a good visit. Russ is survived by his mother Lila (a talented artist and oil painter) and his brother Ron (a computer and accounting expert).

After I started working as a limo driver, I began to see Russ less and less. That's the problem with this line of work; it's better if you don't have a life to begin with. The pressing need for money kept me either at work or on the computer. I'm lucky I decided to make that last late night visit with my old friend. The best thing I can share with anyone is the memories of the grand people in my life who made life enjoyable and bearable...and rich beyond measure.

So here's to my great, good friend Russ Adey.

Like all sunshine in the northwest...
...gone too soon.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Washington weather...

A recent spate of stormy weather in the kent Washington area...

I fought the law...and the law ignored me.


I was framed...on a 'bad hair' day...

President Ford came to Seattle on campaign tour in 1976...

...I got to shake his hand...

...but he wouldn't 'pardon' me.

We all love our first getaway car...mine was a 1962 Chevy Impala 4-door...

I was a teen-age 8-Track collector!!!!

Mel Brooks autographed this 8-track for me a year ago...

...at gunpoint.

I make good my escape on a Washington State Ferry....

Time to return to my getaway vehicle...

And as the sun sets on my 2fast-2furious blog entry...

...I put the pedal to the medal and...

WHOA!...Went too fast!...

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

New stuff!

Okay...here's some new stuff I made...

Spies 'R' us....

BOOTH 1 = I SPY (Robert Culp, Bill Cosby).
BOOTH 2 = Man from U.N.C.L.E. (David Macallum,).
BOOTH 3 = Man from U.N.C.L.E. (Robert Vaughn).
BOOTH 4 = Get Smart (Don Adams).
BOOTH 5 = Secret Agent (Patrick McGoohan).
BOOTH 6 = The Avengers (Diana Rigg, Patrick Macnee).

Some Close-Ups...

Booths 1 & 2...

Booths 3 & 4...

Booths 5 & 6...

T.H.R.U.S.H. 'Bird' Symbol on world map...




More later...

Sunday, March 15, 2009

I forgot I had to blog...

Greetings...greetings...to all...
Who am I kidding?

Hi Casey!
Hey thanks for the advice on Imagekind! I set up an account the same day I got your e-mail. I only got one artprint posted there so far (The CampFollower)...but it's a start!

Yesterday (SAT-Mar-14-09) I had some time off from work so I went down to Pioneer square with my three daughters to check some rare book dealers about a very old 'booklet' on Indian Fortunetelling that I have. It was copyrighted around 1923 by a W.S. Phillips (El Comancho) and sold in Denver Colorado...probably at one of those old tourist traps on Route 66. Here's a scan:

Here's another:

Kinda neat....nifty...keeno...eh?

Old Indian Magic Fortune-telling book...refers to standard decks-of-cards as well. Turns out it's a rare bird indeed. Nobody had ever seen such a critter before. Value: Maybe about $75.


While we wuz wandrin round...shreking out other stores...me and my daughters found this cool studio down a stairwell (and in the basement of a building that had a lot of other little artsy places innit) that had suits of armor and swords and stuff layin' around. There was two guys working on computers inside and a couple of little dogs as well. Well my daughter Calliope wanted to take a picture of some of the armor but I said she'd better ask first. The moment she goes in the dogs go defcon 1 and start barking and stuff...so I go in to try and fix it. Then my other two daughters follow me...the next thing you know...we've invaded this small studio and disturbed these two guys. They were both real polite and nice to us though and said it was okay to take Pix and stuff. The guys were swell...especially Carlos who did most of the talking. It turns out these guys do concept art for wizards of the coast and video game companies. So we got to talking...Carlos gave me their business cards and all was well. So tonight I checked out Carlos Paradinha...(http://www.abyssal.us/) he's a photographer and concepts guy...and the other guy...Kieran Yanner...(http://www.kieranyanner.com/) is a pro artist and...as it turns out...he has a blog here as well...so now I'm following two blogs on blogger.com. Kieran's a great artist so stay tuned...

More news...I got sick last week and couldn't work...so I decided to revive the old T.H.R.U.S.H. organization for the helluvit. Remember T.H.R.U.S.H.? The evil organization from the old 'Man from U.N.C.L.E.' TV series?

Hereza Link2it:


Go there...be amazed...JOIN or ELSE!

SMALL PRINT NOW!....Here's the start of my new novel:


by Gary A. (GARTH) Edwards

Seattle Washington, downtown, Thursday, February 27th, 2008, 2a.m.

It was not a magical night.

It had just rained. Low clouds obscured the stars and only a faint glow waxed and waned behind them indicating the presence of a full moon. The tops of the highest skyscrapers disappeared into the low gray clouds and the muffled roar of a distant jet echoed in the distance.
Steel and brick buildings, some old...some new, stood darkened and lonely above the streetlights. Curtained windows, lit dimly from within, sported flickering blue television reflections and, now and then, human shadows.

The streets of Seattle were wet but not clean. Here and there a soaked alcoholic 'streetperson' shuffled in and out of a shadowed doorway or stumbled towards a neon lit nightclub that hadn't shut its doors yet. A taxi cab hissed by wet with raindrops and splashed a small puddle onto a sidewalk.

The city was alive but in a torpid half-sleep awaiting another gray Seattle morning and a bright new day of capitalist motion.
A light blue Seattle police car rolled slowly through Pioneer Square, spreading peace and quiet wherever it drifted.
Streetlights sparkled off wet car hoods. Errant sedans and SUV's whisked through the streets as their occupants called it a night and headed for home.

Then, above the night sounds, came a rythmic thumping of boots on asphalt.
It was a running man...running down the middle of the street. He had a green sack in one hand and a fire-axe in the other. He was dressed in blue jeans and a black t-shirt. He had a short black beard and and black glasses. His dark brown hair looked greasy and wet. He looked somewhat like a coffee house beatnik...somewhat like a microsoft geek.
Here and there people stopped to stare. What was this man's hurry? Where was he off to? What was up with the axe? Was he running from the police?

A lone drunk yelled "HEY!" as the running man thumped by...but the running man kept his stride.
"What was the deal?" people wondered to themselves. But no one wanted to stop the running man. The axe kept people at bay.

The running man was sweating as he held his axe blade forward and his arms pumped up and down. He hissed deep breaths as he ran...and a determined look was on his face. His eyes were furtive, glancing here and there but fixated on a goal up ahead.

The running man increased his speed. His goal was in sight.

Just then a a Seattle police cruiser turned a corner; just in time to spot the running man.
A second of assessment...then the cruiser's engine roared to life and the chase was on.
Too late. The running man had reached his goal.

'Pioneer Square Antiques' read the letters painted on the old front window. A second later and the window was shattered by the running man's axe. The running man leapt through the window and frantically chopped and kicked his way through the thin wood partition and into the dark antique store.

The police car rolled close to the front of the store and stopped at an angle, blocking off the street. Two burly Seattle police officers jumped out and pulled their service revolvers. One officer began to rattle off address information to the police dispatcher as he cautiously took a position at the side of the antique store. The other officer assumed a firing position on the hood of the cruiser and began to yell at the man in the shop.
"COME OUT WITH YOUR HANDS UP NOW!" yelled the police officer.

"I HAVE A GUN!" came the reply from inside the store.
Two seconds sped by.
A loud report from a handgun broke the air. The closest officer backed away from the front of the antique store.
"Shots fired...officers need assistance!"

In the distance, sirens began to wail as more police diverted to Pioneer Square. People began to congregate closer until one of the officers yelled at them to 'GET BACK!'
Whatever was happening was now in full swing.
Quickly, the Seattle police began to cordon off a one block radius around the beseiged antique store. The alley behind the store was cordoned off as well. The police shone their spotlights down the alley and lit up the back exit door from the antique store. The crazy guy was not going to escape that way. And of course...
...S.W.A.T. was on its way.

KIRO and KING5 news vans were on their way as well. KOMO had the worse luck with only one van out and about near SEATAC airport. They would miss the action entirely.

Police diligently shooed away any gawkers who got too close. There was no real rush now. Just secure the area and wait for negotiators and S.W.A.T. to earn their pay. This incident should take them well into the morning.
The police officers kept vigil behind their cruisers parked up and down the block. A Seattle Fire department medical aid unit stood off to the side...just in case. T.V competing newscrews began to pick their way through the gawkers and find the best positions to set up their video camcorders.

Here we go again. Just another crazy perp with issues holing up in a building and...and...?!
What in the world was that?...

Suddenly an eerie silence fell on the scene.
People stared at each other for a few seconds.
Then, on perfect cue...
Everyone began to stare at the front of the antique store with the broken window and the perp hiding inside.
Something just went wrong.
Something was very wrong here all of a sudden.
Something very, very big and very, very wrong was starting to happen.
It was as if an electric pulse of power had shot through everyone within a certain radius of the antique store. No cars could be heard...nor planes...nor radios...nor talking.

Everyone felt the hair rising on their arms and necks. People began to instinctively back away from the scene. The police looked at each other fearfully.
What was going on here?
Everything was so still....and so fearfully quiet.

Then suddenly...(!?)...they heard it.
The police...the gawkers...the newscrews...S.W.A.T. and the fire department...the 'streetpersons'...
Everyone began to hear...'the music'.

It was like nothing you'd ever heard before. It was music...strange music...pagan and otherworldly...yet...just music....and somehow...somehow...it drew you in. it was a 'summoning' music of some kind...yes...summoning music. It wanted you...you could tell that...but not you in particular...not right now...just...someone else...someone else who was very unlucky and was being called by 'it'...to come to it.
Whatever 'IT' was...it was scaring the crap out of everyone within earshot. You couldn't speak...you couldn't scream...even though you wanted to...you couldn't run! There was nothing you could do...except listen.

It was beautiful in its own way...full of deadly promise...deadly 'changes'...and though not strictly music...and not strictly singing either...it was something inbetween. Something old...ancient...and yes...scary beyond belief.

Just then, a warm wind began to rise...flowing mystically...towards the store.
The music started to lilt higher into a scary 'crescendo'...a beautiful greenish light began to emanate and pulsate out of the antique store.
Then there was a quick 'flash' of some sort...
...and mercifully...
...the music...

There was a momentary collective sigh from all who'd heard.
That was it. Done. Over with.
But it left you feeling 'empty'...and sad..at not knowing the music better.
It was the lead S.W.A.T. officer that spoke first.

"What the hell was that?!" he shouted. "What the F--- just happened? Did all of you hear that...that music?!"
"I heard it all right!"
"Me too!"
"GOD!...That was creepy wasn't it?"

A shaken news reporter turned to his camera man.
"Tell me you got that on video."
The camera man shook his head affirmatively. He had.
"I'll be damned though if I'll be the one to replay it!"