| 22-Feb-07 |
"The Rice Brothers"
These guys were fun and loved to party.
I met them for a scheduled shoot one morning at the Arizona Biltmore.
I cant remember exactly what John and Greg were involved with at the time, but it was definitely something to do with making shit loads of money! They were unbelievable salesmen and really enjoyed having a good time!
Directly after the shoot, which ended at 10am'ish that spring morning,
we all ended up at the Biltmore bar for at least a couple of hours!
John Rice; at 2 ft. 10 in., he created large legacy
LOS ANGELES -- John Rice was a self-made millionaire who, at 2 feet 10 inches, was in the record books as one of the world's shortest twins. But neither his wealth nor his height are what people say they will most remember about him. The twins, John and Greg, are household names in Palm Beach County, Fla., where they prospered in real estate, ran a motivational company, and attained celebrity as the improbable television pitchmen for a local pest control company. Devoted civic boosters, they led parades, spoke at schools, visited hospitals, and hosted charity events with a brio unimaginable for two who struggled from birth against dreadful odds. So when John Rice, the more extroverted twin, died Nov. 5, much of Palm Beach went into mourning.
He had just completed an errand at a local bank the day before when he slipped and broke his leg. He died while undergoing anesthesia for an operation to repair the bone. John was 53...
The Rice brothers were abandoned shortly after their birth at a West Palm Beach hospital on Dec. 3, 1951. They lived in the hospital for eight months until Mildred and Frank Windsor became their foster parents. Frank, a school custodian, and Mildred, a full-time mother and devout Pentecostal Christian, already had two children and had recently lost a third in childbirth. They were smitten by the tiny babies and decided to give them as normal an upbringing as possible.
From the start, John -- older than Greg by five minutes -- was the more adventuresome of the pair. It was John Rice's idea, for instance, to try real estate. He and Greg had been honing their sales skills since they were high school seniors selling cleaning and personal care products door to door. Mr. Rice would take one side of the street and his brother the other, checking at the end of each block to see who had sold the most. By the early 1970s, after a year of community college, they were training other salespeople for the company. When he got tired of the travel involved, Mr. Rice proposed that they switch to real estate and sell homes in Palm Beach. They set a goal the first year of selling 50 homes. They sold 57. Eventually, they started buying and selling houses on their own. According to Greg Rice, that's how they made their first $1 million.
In the late 1980s, they launched a Sunday morning real estate show, called ''Television Home Hunt," which featured decorating, home improvement, and moving tips in addition to showcasing homes on the market. The half-hour program was airing in 30 cities around the country, before the Rices sold it in the early 1990s. That show led them to the pest control business. They had approached a local exterminator, Hulett Environmental Services, to advertise on the program, but Hulett couldn't afford to produce its own commercials. The Rice brothers offered to make their ads in exchange for a stake in the growing company. Greg Rice became Hulett's marketing director, while Mr. Rice wrote the commercials. Both starred in the ads, which featured them as wacky sendups of various household insects. Since 1990, they produced 45 ads, which won industry awards and were seen in several states, in versions customized for other pest control outfits.
The Rice brothers also appeared on many TV shows and sitcoms throughout the years...
- ks -
| 20-Feb-07 |
I had to photograph Mickey Rooney one early evening backstage at the Scottsdale Dinner Theater.
He said he was never one to settle down, which explains his eight marriages. In 1942, he married Hollywood star Ava Gardner, but they soon divorced. After entering the service for 21 months in 1944 to entertain the troops in WWII, he married Betty Jane Rase. This marriage was followed by similar experiences with Martha Vickers in 1949 and Elaine Mahnken in 1952. In 1958 Rooney married Barbara Ann Thompson, but tragedy struck when she was murdered in 1966. Stumbling into deep depression, he married Barbara's friend, Marge Lane, who helped him take care of his young children. The marriage lasted only 100 days. He married Carolyn Hockett from 1969-1974, but financial instability ended the relationship.
Finally, in 1978 Rooney married Jan Chamberlin, his current wife, with whom he lives in Los Angeles, California.
In the early 1970s, Mickey undertook several short-lived financial ventures and acted in various dinner theatres. He reluctantly went back to the stage in the burlesque production of "Sugar Babies" in 1979. The production ended up being a phenomenal success, and his career was reborn.
All in all, Mickey Rooney is a man with over 200 films under his belt.
His career has extended through many generations and in many different directions.
Mickey Rooney: actor, survivor, inventor and Hollywood living legend.
He was pretty cool. We spent an hour or so together that night, shooting some photos and just shooting the shit...
- ks -
| 20-Feb-07 |
(September 5, 1942–January 4, 1995)
Eduardo Mata was a well noted Mexican conductor and composer that I had the privilege of meeting and photographing while working in Phoenix in 1977.
He was born in Mexico City. He studied guitar privately for three years before enrolling in the National Conservatory of Music.
He composed several works in the 1950s and 1960s, including three symphonies, chamber works, sonatas, and works for ballet.
His third symphony and some of his chamber works have been recorded.
t;>In 1965 Mata was appointed head of the Music Department of the University of Mexico and conductor of the Guadalajara Orchestra.
He also conducted the orchestra at the University.
In 1972, he left Mexico to take the position of principal conductor of the Phoenix Symphony.
The next year he was appointed as the Phoenix ensemble's music director, holding that position through the 1977-78 season. From 1977 to 1993 he was music director of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and guest conductor of several famous orchestras in the U.S., Europe and Latin America.
He recorded over fifty albums, most of them with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, and the London Symphony Orchestra.
I was working for a Dallas television station on the morning of January 4, 1995,
Mata and a passenger were en route from Cuernavaca, Mexico, to Dallas.
Mata was piloting his own Piper Aerostar.
One engine failed shortly after takeoff, and the plane crashed during an emergency landing attempt.
- ks -
| 17-Feb-07 |
"Billy Graham, Sun Devil Stadium, Tempe, AZ, circa 1974"
Been going thru a bunch of black & whites lately.
I remember this day very clearly, decided to pull this one out for the log.
I was a staffer for the Arizona Republic and living in Tempe at the time. They had paged me to stop by Sun Devil Stadium where Billy Graham's Crusade was to take place that weekend. I needed to get some photos of the stage construction and set up for an advance story we were doing. I met the Graham people (in those days know as Team Members) at the stadium. They told me I was lucky in that Billy Graham was actually on location, checking on the progress of the staging and he would be happy to be in a photo or two if I wanted. Absolutely!
We introduced ourselves with a firm hand shake. He asked me "where should we shoot these pictures Kevin?" I looked around, high ground looked the best..., Yo Bill! "feel like takin' a hike?"
None of the team did the climb with us, just Billy Graham and me, fifty/sixty rows up or so...
We talked for quite a while that afternoon, it was a good shoot...
- ks -