Tuesday, December 26, 2006


Pay Phone Booth, Baton Rouge LA 11/2005 from Baton Rouge Blues
all reproduction rights reserved William Greiner

In a tale that exemplifies the strange happenings as a result of hurricane Katrina , in an article today “Wrong number quells Katrina evacuee’s loneliness“, a woman relocated from Slidell, LA to the small town of Lumberton ,Texas , described her response to having a telephone number belonging to the Kwik Kar Lube in town. She would get about 5 calls a day in error, but instead of just hanging up , she would have long conversations with the callers. She would finally redirect callers to the correct number, but it was an error that brought the woman some pleasure and reprieve from being so far from home , in a strange and new place!

By The Associated Press 12-26-06

* referenced from Tommy Tutone’s “Jenny 867-5309” 1982 hit song.

Sunday, December 24, 2006


Michael Mead's House, New Orleans 5/2005
all reproduction rights reserved William Greiner


Saturday, December 23, 2006


Movie Set Shadows, Baton Rouge Raceway 10/2006 from Baton Rouge Blues
all reproduction rights reserved William Greiner

I have gotten into the habit of checking a few folks blogs, almost daily. It was interesting to read in Brian Ulrich's blog about looking for your own name....anywhere or everywhere. I don't know what this means, but I know I do it!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

To Blink or Not?

Mirror on Truck, Baton Rouge 8/2006
all reproduction rights reserved Wm. Greiner

Reading a Reuters article online today by , Arthur Spiegelman , titled Director Lynch produces film that puzzles critics , David Lynch talked about his process in making films. Lynch said, "It is not an intellectual thing. I am an intuitive filmmaker. You go by intuition. You let the idea talk."

I realized that idea connected with Malcolm Gladwell’s notion about how some decisions were best made intuitively. He expounded on this in his popular book, BLINK. Gladwell is not saying , not to think in making decisions. However, he is saying that our subconscious mind can make some decisions better and quicker.

I have subscribed to this notion in making pictures after realizing some of my most successful images were made quickly , without much conscious thought.


Carnival Ride Exit, Baton Rouge LA 10/2005
from the series Baton Rouge Blues

There was an article in the New York Times today titled , Tax Leads Americans Abroad to Renounce U.S. , by DOREEN CARVAJAL. The article is about how a small number of American citizens give up their U.S. citizenship each year for various reasons.

It was a strange idea , and then I applied it to leaving New Orleans. I feel some guilt and a great deal of sadness about leaving. The only consolation being that I can always move back someday.

all reproduction rights Wm. Greiner

Tuesday, December 19, 2006


Portrait Posing , 12/2005 from the series CRUISE

Christian Patterson kindly forwarded the link to installation shots of the Tinyvices show , which opened December 16 in Tokyo. Thanks Christian!


all reproduction rights reserved Wm. Greiner


Fats Domino's House, 9th Ward - New Orleans 8/2006

A friend , Minnesota photographer, Stuart Klipper sent me this clip.
It's a real jambalaya: Ray Charles, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Fats Domino


*jambalaya - a dish of Creole origin, consisting of rice cooked with ham, sausage, chicken, or shellfish, herbs, spices, and vegetables, esp. tomatoes, onions, and peppers.

all reproduction rights reserved Wm. Greiner

Friday, December 15, 2006


Blue Heart, Houma LA 1989 from the monograph The Reposed LSU Press

Only Love Can Break Your Heart
Born and raised in New Orleans, it was reported* yesterday that Sylvester Major Jr. died of a heart attack. Mr. Major is not considered a victim or statistic of hurricane Katrina , but family and friends all say that he died of a broken heart. After surviving the flood waters in his home , days afterwards at the Superdome shelter and then evacuation to another city , Mr. Major it seems had endured enough. Major’s brother, Ellis, was quoted as saying, “Being away from most things we love, the people we’re use to…it had to take a toll on him”. “He just didn’t have the will to go on. He lost his spark”.

I have wondered and worried about all the other Sylvester Majors out there, who are still alive but live with broken hearts?

*The Advocate, “Families blame Katrina for Deaths” by Michelle Roberts 12/14/06

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The OH factor!

Red Ford Falcon, La Place LA 10/2005
all reproduction rights reserved Wm. Greiner

I stopped for gas today in La Place , a small community located along I-10 between New Orleans and Baton Rouge, on my way back from New Orleans. While the gas was pumping, I got my camera out and started taking pictures of the pumps and various other things. A store employee came over to me, I assume on her cigarette break since she was smoking, and asked me if she could help me? I said , yes , if you wish to finish pumping my gas - that would be a great help?

Of course, I realized the real question was , why was I taking pictures in the station? It is always , my nature, to give the smart ass answer first, but after we got that out of the way I explained that I hoped to photograph things in ways that people overlooked. As a photograph , some of these things, places and situations looked different than if you were standing in front of them. I told her my intended response by people , looking at my photographs , is OH!

I call it the OH factor.


There is a good chance I will speak with Saul Leiter, whom I am a huge fan,
at our exhibitions in Maine early next year! Merry Christmas!!

Sunday, December 10, 2006


Blue Ball in Yard, Baton Rouge LA 11/2006
from the series Baton Rouge Blues. all reproduction rights reserved Wm. Greiner

It was a shortsighted decision at best, but it cost the State of Louisana billions of dollars over a period of almost 60 years!

In 1949, President Harry Truman offered Louisiana a settlement of 37.5 percent of all oil and gas revenue adjacent to Louisiana’s coast. Then-Gov. Earl Long rejected the offer, holding out for 50 percent on the recommendation of political boss Judge Leander Perez of Plaquemines Parish. The state has been fighting to regain the settlement ever since.

excerpt from The Advocate "Coast funds OK'd" . 12/10/2006

Saturday, December 09, 2006


Stained Mattress, Baton Rouge LA 12/2006
from the series Baton Rouge Blues
all reproduction rights reserved Wm. Greiner


I was corrected by a number of people in my describing the Alabama women in previous post as cheerleaders, when they are in fact dancers. I don't place a great deal of importance on titles, beyond helping me locate an image in archive by a name - this is obviously not true for many others!

Friday, December 08, 2006


Advertising Frame, Baton Rouge LA 7/2006
all reproduction rights reserved Wm. Greiner

BREAKING NEWS: House approves offshore royalty sharing billThe House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a measure this afternoon that could pump billions of dollars in offshore oil and gas revenues into the state's economy, money that will be used to pay for hurricane protection, flood control and reverse coastal erosion. The bill, which was heavily supported by members of the state's Congressional delegation, was attached to a bill extending President Bush's tax cuts. The measure goes back to the Senate, which has passed it before, and then to President Bush, who has said he will sign the bill. Rep. Bobby Jindal, who shepherded the bill through Congress, says the bill is a "positive step for the future" and urged the Senate to take quick action so Louisiana can start getting the revenues. Estimates are that the bill will generate $20 million a year for the state during the next decade, then bumping up to 2017 to $650 million a year.

The Baton Rouge Business Report 12/2/2006

Thursday, December 07, 2006


Alabama Cheerleaders , Tiger Stadium, Baton Rouge LA 11/2006
all reproduction rights reserved William Greiner

Jindal says House to vote Friday on offshore bill

Congressman Bobby Jindal says the U.S. House of Representatives will likely vote tomorrow on a tax-extension bill that gives Louisiana a bigger cut of offshore oil and natural gas royalties. "It looks like a deal has been reached, " Jindal, R-Kenner, said this morning. "I want to allow the committees of jurisdiction to make the official announcement." Jindal said it would take time to draft the bill. It could go before the House today but it would likely be Friday, he said. Jindal said both the House and Senate "pre-conferenced" the bill, which "makes it very likely it will be approved." "I think both chambers expect to pass it without any amendments, " he said. The Senate has passed an offshore revenue bill, and President Bush has indicated he will sign the measure. Sen. David Vitter, R-Metairie, this morning said the House and Senate had reached an agreement on the OCS legislation. However, he said the House was expected to vote later today and the Senate would vote tomorrow. Louisiana's Congressional delegation has been trying to beat the clock during the short lame-duck session to get a bill passed that would boost the amount of offshore royalty money.

(Bill Bowden)
The Baton Rouge Business Report 12/7/2006

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Kafka and Katrina

Restroom Doors , BREC Park, Baton Rouge LA 11/2006
from the series Baton Rouge Blues , all reproduction rights reserved Wm. Greiner

Editorial - The New York Times

Kafka and Katrina

Published: December 2, 2006

One of the many victims of Hurricane Katrina may turn out to be the hospitality that American cities, particularly Houston, showed to people fleeing the storm. Thanks largely to the Bush administration’s catastrophic handling of the relocation crisis, Houston endured much more civic strain than it should have in caring for the tens of thousands of Louisianans who landed on its doorstep.

The administration’s mishandling of the crisis has often looked like a calculated attempt to discourage displaced people from seeking housing aid, even if it means leaving them vulnerable to homelessness. A federal district court judge implied as much this week, when he found that the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s aid application process was so convoluted and confusing as to be unconstitutional — and likened it to something out of a horror story by Kafka.

Judge Richard Leon ruled that FEMA had unconstitutionally denied housing aid to thousands of residents who were displaced by hurricanes Katrina and Rita. He ordered the government to resume payments immediately, pointing to blind alleys and contradictory information that often led vulnerable families to lose aid without understanding why or having reasonable recourse to appeal.

In Houston, people are at least being housed now in apartments rather than remote trailer camps where other displaced Louisianans have now been trapped for more than a year . But throughout this saga, FEMA has whipsawed the survivors and their host communities with unpredictable policy changes that have hindered the resettlement process and kept everyone on edge. Despite those obstacles, many have managed to get on their feet.

But Houston must still worry about impoverished and hard-to-employ refugees who represent an enormous burden in health care, law enforcement and education costs. City officials also say that the federal government has been unpredictably late and tightfisted with badly needed aid.

The administration made its most disastrous misstep when it failed to enlist the Department of Housing and Urban Development, which was created to deal with just these kinds of situations. If the administration had provided Section 8 housing vouchers through HUD, families could have been directed to affordable housing all over the country. No one city would have been asked to absorb tens of thousands of people.

Congress needs to make sure that its housing application process is rendered intelligible. But it needs to go much further. It has to make sure that the survivors who qualify are given aid through programs like Section 8 that allow them to pick up their lives quickly, and that there will be no more Houstons in the American history of disaster response.

Friday, December 01, 2006


Baton Rouge Sky, Baton Rouge LA 11/2006
all reproduction rights reserved Wm. Greiner

No Hurricanes Hit U.S. in 2006

MIAMI, Nov. 30 (AP) — The 2006 Atlantic hurricane season closed uneventfully Thursday.

No hurricanes hit the United States this year, in stark contrast with a record-breaking 2005 season. Nine named storms and five hurricanes, two of them major, formed this season.