Tag Archives: 1960s

The Rat Pack

I’ve been so busy with my dog boarding business and the holidays that it’s been hard to find time to post anything.  That doesn’t mean that I haven’t been working though because…

I had a surprise commission fall into my lap just before Christmas.  It didn’t actually fall;  more accurately I stalked it and reeled it in.  

One of my daughters works in an upscale restaurant in the Atlanta area, and the owner of that restaurant is opening an even more upscale place in February.  As a holiday gift for their employer all the workers wanted to purchase artwork that they could have matted and framed for him to hang in the new place.  

He is taken with The Rat Pack from the early 60’s, so they thought they should go with that idea.  For those of you too young to remember them they were a group of actors and musicians, most prominently Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis, Jr.  They tended to be heavy drinkers, smokers and carousers who performed in Las Vegas and hence were dubbed ‘The Rat Pack’ by actress Lauren Bacall (wife of Humphrey Bogart).

My daughter asked me to check out different sites to see what kind of artwork I could find, and when I saw nothing that impressed me much, I thought, ‘Hey I think I can do something more provocative and with an edge (which is always a good thing for me!).’  My Rat Pack then has three actual rats…hungry, thirsty and ferocious…running along the skyline of Las Vegas (maybe heading for that very dry martini!).

The team liked it and bought it, and now it’s out being framed.

Here it is (this frame is only a mock-up).  Now if he only hangs it up!


Next time another a tutorial.  Thanks for joining me!






Summer of Love and Haight

The prelude to the Summer of Love was the Human Be-In at Golden Gate Park on January 14, 1967, which was produced and organized by artist Michael Bowen as a “gathering of tribes”.  The event was announced by the Haight-Ashbury’s own psychedelic newspaper, the San Francisco Oracle:

“A new concept of celebrations beneath the human underground must emerge, become conscious, and be shared, so a revolution can be formed with a renaissance of compassion, awareness, and love, and the revelation of unity for all mankind.”

The year is 1967, the place is the Haight Ashbury neighborhood of San Francisco, and the summer is one of love and hate.  Hippies (flower children) arrive by tens of thousands in the Haight, bringing with them a revolution, a new culture promoting free love, communal living, drugs, and anti-war politics Vietnam).   The keynote song is ‘San Francisco,’ written by John Phillips and performed by Scott McKenzie: 

If you’re going to San Francisco,
be sure to wear some flowers in your hair.
If you’re going to San Francisco,
You’re gonna meet some gentle people there.

The Haight, which has essentially been left to it’s own resources, is overwhelmed with the influx of so many people, and, as in many such situations, homelessness and crime abound, and the neighborhood deteriorates. 

Eventually many people will leave the Haight, but the anti-war and sexual freedom counterculture they brought with them will remain and spread throughout the US and Europe where much of it remains in place today.

‘Haight Ashbury’ pictured above is a photo taken in 2008, one year after the 40th anniversary of the Summer of Love.  We’re very proud to announce that this photo was recently purchased as a poster by NBC’s show, Parenthood, as part of its decorations.  We don’t know if they will actually use the poster on the set, or if it may have been purchased for backup, but we are honored that they chose it.  Many thanks to NBC and Parenthood.