Thursday, November 25, 2010


Years ago I was attending a convention in NYC in late November, and as my mornings were free, I would explorer the city, it being my first visit to Manhattan. One of those mornings happened to be Thanksgiving, and as I stepped onto the sidewalk outside of my hotel, I noticed a number of people rushing in the direction of Times Square, which was several blocks away. When I asked somebody what was going on, he looked at me as if I had just crawled out from under a rock. "The Macy's Parade is about to start!" It took me completely by surprise, and before I knew it, I was caught up in the rush to Broadway.

I thoroughly enjoyed the experience--I'll never forget a several stories high Woody Woodpecker floating down the concrete and steel canyon on his way to Macy's, the enthusiasm of the youthful performers, as well as the incredible size of the hands of heavyweight boxer Riddick Bowe as he waved to the crowd from atop a float, and finally Santa himself, looking kinda insignificant.

The crowd was friendly, and I soon struck up a conversation with a lady about my age who had just been transferred to NYC from Hollywood, where she worked for Capitol Records. She was holding a tiny dog, and she said his name was "Barry", which happens to be one of my aliases. We talked until the end of the parade, and then said goodbye. Later that night, as I sat alone in my hotel room, I started kicking myself---why in the world didn't I ask her out for Thanksgiving dinner? I knew she was alone, as she told me that she didn't know a soul in the city. Oh well, live and learn.

Several weeks later, as I was home on the West Coast, I thought I'd write her, and apologize for my social clumsiness. I wrote a brief note, and included a sketch of the Capitol Records building in Hollywood which I had drawn for her. I couldn't recall her name, so I addressed it "To the Woman with the Dog Named Barry", and the address of Capitol Records in New York City.

To my surprise, I received a response from her several weeks later, with photographs of the parade which she had taken, and a very interesting story. She said one day she happened to be in the mail room for the very first time at Capital Records, and she overheard a mail clerk yell to his coworker: "Hey Tom, here's a letter addressed 'To the Woman with the Dog Named Barry!'"

It's funny how things work like that sometimes.


Saturday, November 20, 2010


One of Joe's favorite songs/groups from the 'British Invasion' in the mid-60's.


Thursday, November 18, 2010


A few sketches...

The Gorge, Big Sur

Carmel Beach

Point Lobos