Bob Barker’s Superpower

Bob Barker’s Superpower

The recent passing of Bob Barker made me remember how, as a young Navy Brat in the 1960s, I was obsessed with him. To my impressionable mind, he was not just some grinning pompadour orchestrating nightly hijinks on Truth or Consequences. He was a genie–and his microphone, a magic wand–with the power to bring men in uniform back home from Over There. And I desperately wanted him to pick my dad to magically appear on the show.

Do Tell

Do Tell

This sketch of coquettish actress Alyce Mills was a promotional piece forThe Romance of a Million Dollars, a 1926 silent film based on a novel by Elizabeth Dejeans, whose birth name was Frances Elizabeth Janes. The author chose her nom de plume in case her somewhat racy books “upset staid relatives.” As Elizabeth was my cousin, her staid relatives were my staid relatives. So, naturally, when it came to choosing a cover for my Family Vault category, I couldn’t resist using this image. Not only was this fictional character birthed by my writer-cousin (making us practically kin), but she also looks like she’s dying to spill the tea.

Simply Sonorous

Simply Sonorous

Artist Idris Khan’s timely and timeless Integration of Hope, 2021 is a site-specific installation that transcends its materials and painstaking technique to stir the soul. As I report for Interior Design: “Composed of 15 layers of hand-mixed gesso—consisting of slate and marble dust, Prussian blue, and ultramarine pigments—the result is a violet tone so intense that it can only be described as sonorous.”