And then I would start to play eugh-eugh-eugh-eugh-eugh-eughhhh. Eugh-eugh-eugh-eugh-eugh-eughhhh eughhhh. Augh-augh-augh-augh-augh- auuuugh. My hand would start to ache. It never ached whenever I played it by myself or when I was playing in the orchestra. I was hanging around with Schwartz and we used to jam a lot and it never ached! I’d play for two hours straight! All I had to do was play maybe three or four measures for Miss McCullough. My hand was aching all the way up through my elbow. It’s your left hand that aches when you play the bass. Then I would finish the section eugh-eugh-eugh-eugh-eugh-eughhhh eughhhh. Augh-augh-augh-augh-augh- auuuugh.
“Thank you. Now would you turn to page fifty-seven. I’d like you to try page fifty-seven and begin at the top.”
I don’t know what got me thinking this way (probably images by Picasso), but whenever I see three dots or little circles in some arrangement, I see two eyes and a mouth—a face. I see faces everywhere. So, for me, it’s only natural that when I come across a cardboard easel used to support upright a flat ad on a counter, I see the opening as a mouth.
I began making animal faces and abstract faces by drawing on easels with felt-tip markers. Some of them are rather tall and work well for large animals such as bulls, elephants, giraffes. Then I thought they might be a good adjunct to commercial displays of perfume or other objects for sale, so I arranged some in our backyard and photographed them for my design portfolio.
I made an appointment with Tiffany’s renowned window display designer, Gene Moore. He liked my easels a lot but said they were too dramatic and would overwhelm the jewelry. He recommended that I show them to his friend across Fifth Avenue and 57th Street, who designed the windows for Bergdorf Goodman’s Delman Shoe Department. This designer liked them and bought them from me. (I made copies of them for me to retain.) He used them for all of their 5th Avenue windows–not for the usual month, but for two. He gave me black and white photos of the displays.
I’ve got my easel faces scattered on perches around my study,
from which they peer down at me.