23 May 2002
You know how some parents have names picked out for their babies before they're born
and then when they come and they try out the name for awhile, it just doesn't fit somehow,
so they end up renaming them?
Well, URL was a funny name for a bike. It said what I wanted to say. It seemed to fit
the description of the bike function, but, face it, "URL" is a pretty dumb name.
And besides, this is a woman's bike and URL is a male name.
I've had a difficult time talking about URL because...well, it just didn't roll
trippingly off the tongue. I couldn't find a "personality" in URL. But nothing
else seemed quite right.
But as I ride around town, songs come into my head. And today, as I was riding my bike
around Davis, through the streets broad and narrow I thought of the old song "Molly
Malone," which I've known all my life and which took on new meaning when we were in
Dublin and saw the Molly Malone statue.
Molly. Now there's a perfect name. It not only says it all, but it does so in a way
that is less "contrived" than "URL." So here's to the death of URL and
the rebirth of Molly. I think Molly is definitely something I can bond with, something
that says exactly what I mean, and something that is a bit more warm and fuzzy than
* * *
When looking for quotes for a page in this journal recently, I stumbled across a quote
by photographer Ruth
Bernhard. It was a name from my distant past.
There was a time when I had a close friendship with a gay couple in San Francisco.
Early in our friendship, they invited me to a party and at the party I met Ruth, who lived
across the street. Not being into photography (other than to take pictures), I had no idea
she was so well known. In fact, I didn't realize she was a famous photographer until long
after the friendship with the gay couple died when I turned on PBS late at night and found
a show on her life and a retrospective of her work (she was about 80 when I met her).
I might not have recognized her even then, except the photo they were showing ("Creation")
was one which was hanging in the stairwell of my friends and I recognized it as
"something famous" but couldn't quite place where I'd seen it before.
This very dull story does have a point (believe it or not). I ended up checking
Amazon for Bernhard's photographs (I have looked, off and on, in book stores to find such
a book and have been unsuccessful for years). Amazon had two of her books, and I bought
them both, a retrospective of her life and her art, and a book of nudes. (Bernhard
is famous for her nudes and
they are gorgeous. Ansel Adams has described her as "the greatest photographer
of the nude.") In one of the books there was a photo which inspired this story.
When I was in San Francisco last weekend, we went to Fort Point and climbed to the top
of the 3-story fort to stand under the Golden Gate bridge. It was a freezing cold day and
the wind was blowing a gale. To prove my point, here's the photo I took of Tricia and
I know both Tricia and Mary will appreciate this picture, taken by
Bernhard, in just the same place where we stood on Saturday.