A THOUSAND WORDS - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward's blog on pictures, plants, politics and whatever else is on his mind.


Wednesday, June 13, 2007

It was a Saturday sometime in 1957 when as a boarder at St. Edward's High School I went on my usual trip downtown (they let us go on Saturdays and Sundays). I did my usual round of the bookstores on 6th Street. There was no music then, only bookstores that sold Frank Yerby, Frank G. Slaughter, and science fiction paperbacks, barber college and the danger that some spics might roll you if you looked too white. With my crisply starched and ironed khaki pants, my spit-shined long pointed black shoes and my freshly combed duck cut (I used Top Brass that came in a bright red tube) I was safe. From there I would go to the record store on Congress Avenue not far from the Austin movie theater and the Stephen F. Austin Hotel where I often had my favourite cherry-vanilla ice cream with bits of red cherries. At the record store I distinctly remember seeing the album cover The Dave Brubeck Quartet - Jazz Red Hot and Cool.This has to be one of the most appealing record albums ever made. I was not sophisticated enough to note that the photo (taken at the Basin Street Night Club in New York) was credited to Richard Avedon. But somehow I noted the explanation that the model was wearing Jazz Red Hot and Cool lipstick by Revlon!

This is perhaps my favourite quiet Dave Brubeck with the exquisite The Duke. It also features Indiana a tune I played on my alto saxophone with the St Ed's band at basketball and football games. Our school had Brothers of the Holy Cross, so many of our boarders came from Indiana as they hoped to get good grades and then be accepted by the University of Notre Dame in Indiana that also had Brothers of the Holy Cross. For me Indiana awakens a nostalgia for sports that were really amateur, cheerleaders in bobby socks with a glimpse of panty here and there. Being cooped up at a boarding school for seven days (the only woman in sight was the black cook) had its pressures.

The above is all to explain that I learned to be partial to red thanks to that Avedon record cover and that recently I have become most interested in my red roses and even those that are purplish red. I am fascinated how some of these red roses fade with age to beautiful purples that shift to magenta, lilac and in some cases to a bluish tint with metallic overtones. The roses that do this are ancient Gallicas, moss roses and the like. The modern red hybrid tea roses don't do this. This is one more reason why I have none of them in my garden. All the roses, but one, featured in today's scan (but scanned last night) have intense scent. One of them is a modern "ancient" Gallica.

Top right: Rosa 'Dortmund', Kordes Germany 1955. This is a vigorous single climber with thorny branches but alas has no scent.

Middle left: Rosa 'William Lobb', Laffay France 1855. William Lobb is is a moss rose with lots of scent. The large flowers are a mixture of purple, grey, magenta and pink, slightly paler on the reverse.

Middle right: Rosa 'L.D. Braithwaite, Austin UK 1988. This English Rose is a cross between The Squire and Mary Rose. The colour is described by Peter Beales as being, "...rich glowing crimson with a hint of cerise." It has lots of perfume.

Bottom left: Rosa 'Charles de Mills' This is a rose of uncertain origin. It blooms only once (like the moss rose above) but it has intense perfume and a bloom that is flat that looks like someone sliced with a razor. Nobody knows who Charles de Mills was.

Bottom right: Rosa 'James Mason', Beales UK 1982. This rose is an anachronism as it is an ancient Gallica that was bred recently in honour of an actor who also happened to be a rosarian. The single bloom is scented. James Mason is not remontant.

Charles de Mills
Dave Brubeck
L.D. Braithwaite


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Dr. Kevin Vaughn's Concord Grapes

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The Making Of A Snob - Part II

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