Eighty-nine Years and Four Degrees

Dec 23, 2019 | 0 comments

Freida Callo Ornament

Freida Callo (Frida Kahlo) has joined us for Christmas this year.  Charlie brought her up from L.A. — her likeness, anyway — and placed her carefully on the tree.  She looks out on us in all her “glory” which, depending upon your point of view, is gorgeous or rather weird.

I almost feel as if I knew her.  She’s one of those “I almost met her once” people — although I didn’t.  When I was married (1962-1971) to photographer Bill LaRue, we spent quite a bit of time with Ansel Adams (who had been a good friend of Edward Weston’s) and a little time (like two afternoons/evenings) with Brett Weston, Edward’s son.  Although Edward had died a few years previously (1958), he was often a subject of discussion and we almost felt that we had known him, too.  We attended every Edward Weston exhibit, poured over his Daybooks and enjoyed “knowing” the people he knew,  Freida Callo and Diego Riviera, among them.

Edward Weston

In his December 14, 1930 Daybook entry, Edward Weston wrote:  I met Diego! I stood behind a stone block, stepped out as he lumbered downstairs into Ralph [Stackpole]’s courtyard on Jessop Place, – and he took me clear off my feet in an embrace. I photographed Diego again, his new wife – Frieda – too: she is in sharp contrast to Lupe, petite, – a little doll alongside Diego, but a doll in size only, for she is strong and quite beautiful, shows very little of her father’s German blood. Dressed in native costume even to huaraches, she causes much excitement on the streets of San Francisco. People stop in their tracks to look in wonder. We ate at a little Italian restaurant [Coppa’s] where many of the artists gather, recalled old days in Mexico, with promises of meeting soon again in Carmel… 

Frida by Weston, 1930

And now Freida (her likeness, anyway) is in Oysterville — eighty-nine years and four degrees of separation as I count it!



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