The 1990s were a great era for me. I had two small businesses going; I met Sandy and spent a lot of time in NYC which I really loved, and life was definitely a “work hard, play hard” adventure! I’m much too lazy to put the pics in any particular order–I’ll just let them speak their 1,000 words (or not–LOL!) and you can enjoy them (or not!)
GRANT MAN AND THE ISLAND BEAT
I didn’t play in many bands in the 1990s. It was time to get serious about a career and I knew you couldn’t make much being in a local bar band. And I never had any illusions that I was a real rock star. As I’ve always said, “I just play one on TV”–Hahahaha!!! This band was GrantMan and the Island Beat, a local reggae band. I met my really good friend Dave in this band (he’s on the right), and we’re still friends today.
My sis Kristin with her new husband Jeff on their wedding day. Melissa, Alec and Brad were there too, and Sandy & I took all the wedding photos.
Brad & Melissa my nephew and niece in 1994.
My nephew Brad and his new younger brother Alec
Me and my niece Melissa and nephew Brad at the arboretum in Milwaukee.
My Mom & Dad in black and white courtesy of Sandy the photographer. Dad hated being in pics so there aren’t too many of him!
Occasionally Dad would let loose and have fun though!
A holiday family gathering with Kristin and Jeff and my Aunt Marie on a rare visit from her home in Boston. Side note–My Mom was from Boston and grew up only a block from the ocean in a part of Quincy near Wallaston Beach. We visited every summer as kids and would literally walk less than a block to swim in the ocean. Man, I sure had it good!
Dad used to play Santa when we were kids, but the torch was passed to me in my 20s and Dad became Scrooge instead–Hahaha!!!
Cousins subs–A local Milwaukee sub shop that eventually opened a few stores here in AZ. The best I’ve ever tasted. My friend Brian could have eaten the entire thing, but I shared with my family. 🙂
A very early work photo taken when I was new in the advertising production business. I think we were shooting a Pert shampoo commercial in a studio around 1992. Kim and Keith are still friends to this day, and Lisa was out of the biz pretty quickly when she got fired for stealing something from a client. DOH!!!
With my friend Marc who got me into the biz. Thanks, Man–It was a fun 28-year ride! We took a vacay to visit his friend in SoCal who lived in one of those LA ‘burbs on the beach in the early ’90s.
Marc’s friend (I think his name was Dan, but my memory is old!) and his girlfriend on the right.
That’s me hanging with local gaffer Randy and key grip Stu about 5 years into the advertising biz. I was either the location manager or the production was renting my motorhome.
Sandy & I posing with a delicious pie she made. I’ll blame me getting fat on Sandy’s delicious cooking–Hahaha! I seem to recall our good friends Richard and Judy were involved in that pie somehow though. They were the master bakers.
Our wedding picture at Lost Dutchman flatiron in 1998. It was a small chill wedding which I liked, but I think Sandy’s Mom wanted a giant bash in NYC. I couldn’t afford that! 🙂
Sandy’s sister Grace and her husband Evan at their wedding in NYC. They had the traditional Chinese wedding complete with a 10-course dinner. Yum!!!
My brother-in-law Evan can’t wait to enjoy a lot of the delicious Chinese food we white boys got to eat at our in-laws’ house. Grace and Sandy’s parents were both awesome cooks!!
Good friends (with one exception) at Dano & CeCe’s wedding. Kevin, Chris, Luis “The Stiff,” Dano, Eric and Sandy. I referred to “The Stiff” as “Shifty Luis” but since he ripped Dano off, we’ll go with Dano’s nickname “The Stiff” as the official one!
Kevin’s wife Sandy is in this one…
Dano and baby Ries a few years later.
Our good friends’ Brian and Karen’s kids Jason, Becky, and Christopher. Still close friends to this day…
Becky and Karen in 1995. Sandy would bring her camera everywhere we went on our summer trips, so we actually have some pics from the pre-digital era!
The entire Biernat family (well, actually ONE of the Biernat families I know!) including Brian on the right. I don’t think Becky wanted to be in this pic…
One of Sandy’s pics made the Biernat family Christmas card!
Scooter, I and Brian hanging out and drinking beer. That’s what made Milwaukee famous!!!
Brian’s brother Tim and I hanging out and drinking beer. We actually met on the high school debate team. I met Scooter and Brian there too. We’ve all been friends for 40 years!
Me hanging with Christopher, Becky and Jason.
Brian’s FBI agent look. Obviously someone’s wedding given the corsage, but there may have been a Bolshevik or two trying to infiltrate the wedding (inside joke).
My 10-year reunion at Marquette High School. Brian and I were the only guys who didn’t wear suits. Brian is on the far left of the third row lifting his sweater to show off his “Who” t-shirt. I’m next to him in my velour blazer, paisley shirt, and bolla tie. The rest of you guys look like such squares for being only 28 years old–Hahahaha!!! But then again, Marquette was a Jesuit college prep high school, so half of these guys ended up being doctors and lawyers.
“Bowling with the Champs”–Not! I wasn’t actually too bad–I think Cheeseheads are born with some genetic aptitude for bowling…
Me riding the Wall Street bull during one of our many annual trips to NYC.
Sandy’s old friends and brother-in-law Evan in NYC. Evan was into music like me, and we saw some really cool shows together over the years.
Occasionally you see famous people wandering the streets of New York. Aretha was nice enough to let us take her picture…
Our friend Alain (yes, I spelled it correctly–Alain’s mom was French) and his daughter Josie. Alain was a fashion photographer client who became a friend and died tragically of a heart attack in his sleep when he was only about 47. So very sad and reminds me to be grateful I’ve lasted this long…
Sandy & I with Alain and Judy’s kids Lulu and Josie. Lulu loved her cute little guinea pig!!
My cousin Missy and her four boys Alec, Dillon, Braeden, and Connor
Kevin and Sandy’s wedding with the two “best men” Eric and Bruce. It was October 9, 1993 which was my 29th birthday! Amazing they are still married to this day given such an auspicious choice of days–hahahaha!!! It was also my Sandy’s second date with me, and it’s amazing she stuck around after meeting some of my crazy friends!
“Best men” Bruce and I pretending to be fashion models as my Sandy photographed us. Maybe that’s why she stuck around! 🙂
Sandy the bride and I chilling at the table smoking indoors!
A later visit to Kevin and Sandy’s in 1995. Waldo the cat’s nickname was “Goiter Boy” because he weighed about 23#!!! Sandy used to feed him pasta and shit, so there you go…
A better look at “Goiter Boy.” He’s “huuuuuuuuuge,” as Sandy’s favorite president would say–Ha!
Kevin and his college friend Randy.
Kevin’s college friend Dale. They played in a band together and you can find a recording of Kevin, Dale and I in the “Miscellaneous Music” blog post. Dale’s song is called “Anal Strife…”
Kevin & Sandy qnd I on a day trip to Rhode Island one summer.
Our man Bruce posing for a beer ad on the Rhode Island trip–Hahaha!!
Hard at work with Elmo in our home office–Hahaha!
Michael, Judy & Richard visiting our house. I met Richard in the about 1985, and he and Judy and I are still friends to this day!
Helping Richard build an outdoor picnic table and benches. Richard is a very handy do-it-yourself kind of guy. I think we built two sets–One for him and one for me!
Me with our work friends and fellow location scouts Steve and Mike. The irony in this photo is that Steve and Mike are both rabid Blue Teamers and didn’t really approve of the average schmoe (like me!) having a pile of guns. But at least they had a sense of humor to pose for these pics–Hahaha!
Another work friend Larry who we nicknamed “Lars” decades ago. The archetypical crazy genius to be sure… Here are a few samples of his work below.
This one is titled “Erase Your Head”
Larry was always a smoker!
Sandy & I with Larry’s daughter Vanessa.
Sandy & I camping with “Fish” and our neighbors Melissa, Paul, and their daughter Sarah. We midwestern gringos grew up camping in the rain and shit, and Sandy was a good sport about camping and nature stuff for a NYC Chinese chick!
I didn’t even need a raincoat. I don’t think I’ve ever owned one in my entire life…
Our friends Miko and Frenchy (hey that’s what he called his mate, and I honestly don’t even know her real name. I think Marie was part of it, but she actually liked being called “Frenchy.”) Miko and I recently reconnected because Frenchy died a couple of months ago after three very brutal bouts with breast cancer. I’m certainly not alone in my suffering, and it’s definitely very weird that Miko reached out to me after over a decade when Frenchy and I were on the same path. It really makes you wonder about other forces in the universe. It seems to me like we were reconnected after 12 years to help each other through our experiences of death….
My godmother “Aunt” Marie in Boston in the late 1990s.
Some of my Boston cousins and their kids in the late 1990s. I really hadn’t seen them since I was about 12 or so!
Sandy & I hard at work in Sedona for Needless Markup-Haha!
I’m not sure which “shoot from hell” this was, but we definitely has some over the years!
Producing on shoot days was often a major pain in the ass, but we got a lot of scout days by ourselves to explore nature’s beauty and get paid for doing it! I think we were in southern Utah or nowhere Nevada in these pics. I honestly can’t remember because we went to so many cool and beautiful places at work and I’m very grateful for it.
This was either White Sands in New Mexico or a similar place in Cali. I’ve been to many… 🙂
Me messing around on a work trip to SoCal I believe…
Me messing around on a shoot in our production motorhome. Sorry if I scared the child actor!
Another tough job somewhere in eastern Cali. I think we were looking for idyllic locations for a Chevy Suburban, and we found many. Work was so tough–Hahaha!
Me and “Lumpster” the cat. I already had the cat when I met Sandy, but the cat adopted me so I never bothered to name her. I just called her “the Cat.” Sandy named her “Lumpster” and it was an apt name for a typical cool cat that sat around on the couch all day!
I got Sandy her first car when she moved from NYC to Arizona. It was a 1965 Cadillac Fleetwood with only 50,000 miles on it. I wanted to make sure she was safe in the biggest tank possible, but in hindsight this probably wasn’t the best choice! Her next car was a 1990 Chevy Suburban, and that made a lot more sense on many levels!
Sandy doing her best Pocohantas impression for our photographer friend Sylvie. I think it works, and she plays the “Native American” role a lot better than that gringo congressbitch who was claiming to be an Apache or whatever the hell… FYI–In case anyone doesn’t know, “Native Americans” are genetically Asian. They migrated across the ice (at the time) from Siberia or Mongolia about 20,000 years ago. There actually are no true “Native Americans” in the Americas. Everyone migrated from the cradles of civilization where human chimpanzees evolved over the millenia. The “Native Americans” were simply the first immigrants who got here.