As I reflect back on this pandemic year, I don’t really have exciting news to report other than I digitized newly found 14 hours of video footage for my son’s 30th surprise birthday party. Took a few months but I edited 14 hours of footage to a an hour. Here’s the intro to Operation Red.
Below is my annual Christmas card and letter….A joy to write most every year for the last 30 years and a good record of what I did and a lot of what my son was up to….This year I struggled and it was tough to concentrate and finish but it happened! The Xmas letter emailed out and mail/snailed out because a lot of my friends like the paper and to collect them (so they say) I included a short 30 seconds of “A Brand New Day” when the new President was elected to add some hope for all those sharing the same boat!
OK friends & family! …. I’m posting my first blog of this year since my last post December 21, 2019. So this is my 10th blog since I started Momfoo.com January 27, 2019!
I originally planned on writing & posting when my boss was scheduled to start shooting his feature film in Canada on March 16th. A whirlwind of pre-production activities for both his movie and his Big 3 Basketball League was underway and I knew once he was on his Canadian 39 day shoot, I would have plenty of time to write. But no, the world halted & our doors closed on Sunday March 15, when our Governor announced “Voluntary Self-Isolation”.
MARCH 15, 2020 “Gov. Gavin Newsom asked Californians over the age of 65 on Sunday to isolate themselves from others and said that neighborhood bars and pubs should close their doors as the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the state continue to rise. To this date the numbers in the United States”
Forty-eight days later, we have all become proficient and fashionable in mask & glove wearing, hand washing with real bar soap, Zoom calls, Lysol spraying and binge watching. Special early senior hours are now close to being elite and mask patrolling and shaming is the norm. We all have a new appreciation for “first responders” (our field Lieutenants), hairdressers, all service people, teachers, schools and dancers & singers who can tape award shows, and concerts from their laptops at home. And special thanks to those who love emailing and posting quarantine jokes and videos to lighten our spirits.
It’s been a major learning curve for us all and although we earthlings who inhabit this beautiful planet are all experiencing the same Storm, we are not all in the same Boat. Please count your blessings and let’s all release wider broadband compassion for the other boats surviving this storm ….. love & Light Nancy (Momfoo)
Dear friends and family….I’m not preaching only repeating what I read and see around me… The good news for us (and the planet), is that the vegan/veg diet is no longer deemed a hippie, alt-left trend. It’s fast becoming mainstream, and its popularity intersects gender, age, culture, race, political camps, and economic differences. What better way to bring us together—all of us—than through our shared interest in the veg lifestyle, one that guarantees overall health for ourselves, for our children, for the animals we share this planet with, and for the planet itself.
May peace, love and good health be plenty in our 2 thousand & twenty !!! xxxNancy (Momfoo)
I guess the tech world first used the word “downtime” and maybe even parents & child rearing experts coined the word “ timeout” who probably borrowed it from the sports world after committing a foul.
Whatever it’s origins…..I think I experienced a month of casual “downtime”. After over-seeing the clearing out of merchandise in my son’s 5,000 square foot warehouse with in 6 weeks time…I needed some downtime and photo time to get back some appreciation of the simple things of life…
I mean I didn’t “veg out” completely of all my responsibilities and availability because I still have an “Ice Cube” administrative job and a publishing career with Redfoo’s publishing but I took more time for myself. You know, booking more future Viking cruises, setting up on-line banking, teeth cleaning, exercising more and a few carefree weekend Netflix binges, meetings with my financial manager, the stuff people do when they are retired!
Well, I’m not retiring any time soon, just vacationing more and not rushing frantically around doing “everything” on my daily list ! Sometimes it take 3 days to accomplish my daily list of to do’s!
I accomplish “stages” now of a certain task. You know, like eliminating the trash & recyclables in your kitchen area, one can do it in stages….I do a lot of leisurely pre-production and then rush with excitement to finish the project and get on to the next project..
I’m back to relocating my scanning stations into my home…One desk area with the scanner for photos and next to it a small monitor and video machine to transfer the video tapes to digital format. I’m giving myself along with a few P.A’s about 3 years to finish the task.
Right now I have to think about packing for my trip on Monday. I fly off to Croatia, Hungary & Portugal to film my son’s Festival Concerts. Can’t wait to break my downtime and now have fun-time!
Enjoy your 4th of July !!!! xxxMomfoo
My son’s strawberry patch in his new garden!!!
And that’s my home where dreams are born,
And time is never planned.
Just think of lovely things.
And your heart will fly on wings,
Forever in Never Never Land.
You’ll have a treasure if you stay there,
More precious far than gold.
For once you have found your way there,
You can never, never grow old.
And that was the mindset in 1988 when I flew to Detroit to produce Michael Jackson’s trip to Detroit when he donated $125,000 to the Motown Museum. Michael at 30 years old was peaking at super stardom driven by his magical belief of staying young and creative while he slowly changed things the way he wanted to see them. (i.e. In 1985, he invited me to work on “We are the World”) My entire production team worked on his inspirational fuel that seem to ignite whenever you were around Michael. My son Stefan K. Gordy was eleven and he worked as a P.A. and handled a small video camera that kept a close watch on Michael. As the camera crew squeezed through the halls of the Hitsville Museum, Stefan stayed closed to Michael with even a closer angle on his face and his newly reduced nose. I think it made Michael uncomfortable because he kept touching his nose unconsciously so he soon befriended Stefan by sharing a secret with him. During a break to reload tape, Michael took Stefan aside and showed him the secret of knowing every VIP’s name that was introduced to him. With their back turned towards a corner, Michael revealed his tiny earbuds to Stefan. Michael was fed the names of the VIP’s from his publicist, Bob Jones, who was on the other side of the room with one eye on his list and the other on who was being introduced to Michael while he whispered in a small microphone that transmitted the names to MJ. Michael made Stefan promise not to reveal his secret and immediately they bonded and magically Stefan put his camera down, and would never reveal the footage he shot of Michael.
We certainly experienced the charm of Michael that week and he even asked if he could be part of one of our “Peace Christmas Cards” that I had been sending out for the last 2 years. (Michael was on my Xmas Card list) Later he performed at the Palace in Auburn Hills and for the first time the entire Gordy Family experienced Michael’s Solo “Bad” show and we were all blown away…We discussed among ourselves on the way home…. how could this soft spoken, very shy young man, appear on stage and transform into this incredible charismatic entertainer!!!
By the end of 1988, I was back in L.A. and working on the documentary “Michael Jackson: “The Legend Continues”. Michael proved to be a very involved, hard working consultant on his life story. I respected his work ethic and his genius in editing and mixing the final bio. I was introduced to his friendly pet chimp “Bubbles” and got a hint of why Bubbles was so prominent in his life at the time. Michael was newly estranged from his family and left their Encino home and was in the process of looking for a place outside the city to buy. In 1988 he was 30 years, alone and purchasing the Neverland Ranch and Bubbles was the perfect “comfort creature” to make him laugh and give him hugs because after all who would ever get to cuddle or give pure love hugs to the King of Pop …Michael Jackson?
As many of you may know, I have worked & socialized with Michael Jackson for over 38 years of his life. I met him in LA when he was 13 years old and recording the Jackson 5 ABC album. He was a fun, touchy-feelee curious but quiet little fellow who was lorded over by his very loud and dominant father, Joe Jackson. In 1971, I was the editor of the Motown Newsletter, “Comotion” and little Michael graciously hand drew a pencil portrait of himself and his brothers for my cover. He often hid behind his drawings while his father ranted and raged when they couldn’t get their harmonies in 2 takes. Michael was always polite, as he looked for permission to exist, being number 8 of 10 children that his mother Katherine birthed. Many unique experiences and events happened between us during the next 12 years from family baseball games, taping commercials, Las Vegas family shows, his solo career singing “Ben” ( a song my friend Susan Pile and I had a hand in delivering to him) and finally his & his brothers departure from the Motown Label. In 1983 I worked on the Motown 25th and no one was more in “Wonderland” surprise when Michael performed “Billie Jean“introducing his famous “moon walk”! So many lovely experiences we shared and yes Michael was eccentric and so very talented but never inappropriate. I was honored after working, & off line editing his biography when Michael awarded me personally with the credit “Associate Director”. He noticed my sensitivity in my edits and he loved that I threw in enough water balloon fights with the “Make A Wish” kids.
So all these Michael precious flashbacks brings me to this recent HBO film “Leaving Neverland” and child molestation allegations made by Wade Robson and James Safechuck. A very compelling film captured by Dan Reed and it has me thinking about Michael. I took my Child Behavior classes at LSU in LaCrosse when I majored in child development and I was a LA “Suicide Prevention Counselor” and listened to all the horror stories which resulted in perverse behavior and end of life thoughts. I realize the damaging effects that trusted adults can manifest upon a young soul but no one has yet to mention or take the angle of what really happened to Michael growing up and what is the real sickness behind a pedophile. I believe his years between 31 to 39 were his experimental & alone, lonely years when he built his Neverland Ranch, left his Jehovah Witness church and stopped touring. He was a very health conscious dancer and an off & on vegetarian and when he was 39 he became a father to his first child “Prince”. This talented being never had a camping experience, a casual walk down the street and just imagine that every adult who ever met him most likely wanted something from him. He longed for an innocent child’s life with unconditional love from his parents….but with ten children his parents could only assign the older girls to parent and the father needed all of them to work at a young age.
I know Michael loved his own children and would never harm them in anyway. He did start taking pain pills when he got burned during the Pepsi commercial in 1984….It was a taste of a painless world through opioids, After he moved to Europe and his 1993 rehab to stop the opioids, he still struggled with his sleepless night and then he got turned on to propofol, the heaviest instant sleep elixir and he floated through his 2005 molestation trial. Other than the trial, most of his previous confidents and family members were basically shut out of his life and his own children became his world. I vehemently defended Michael through his trial and was greatly relived when he was found innocent. But when I watched the 4 hour documentary and then OPRAH’s special “After Neverland” I witnessed 2 very damaged young men tell their stories of love, grooming and then sexual abuse from Michael, and I thought there could be a “possible” different side to Michael. Whether their experiences with Michael are true, his followers and fans have been effected and hopefully we will all see the bigger picture and warning from this #Me2 era that highlights self respect, caution and inner truth!
For me, after long discussions with my friends, my son, his girlfriend Jasmine and writing this blog, I am still processing all these new allegations. And so far, my creative heart that spoke with Michael’s heart will always go back to a gentle pure experience from a soft spoken eccentric youthful man, who too has lived through an existence of fame & abuse that none of us could never even come close to imaging. No one can ever take his talent for song and dance away and there will never be another Michael Jackson!!! Thank you Michael, for touching my heart and teaching me to honor that child within and I invite your spirit to see the new Disney Movie, Dumbo….Yes, I bought my tickets last week already!!!!
Please recall this beautiful melodic song…..
Michael’s own amusement park….
A proactive expression, whether you are applying it to your environment, home or health, we can “always make things better”! And that’s what my intention was when my longtime friend, Tucker Comisar Hering, met me in San Diego last Saturday to experience Rancho La Puerta’s amazing retreat just inside the Baja Mexican border. Tuckie hadn’t been to the Ranch in 30 years but her heartstrings kept pulling her return. She mentioned the trip in December and by end of month we were booked! What a wonderful break and retreat for both us to renew our souls and wake up our aging bodies!
Rancho La Puerta’s 4,000 acres include 32 acres of gardens, hiking trails,
an organic farm, several swimming pools, extensive spa and fitness facilities, individual casitas for guests, Villa’s for families, a large dining hall, gift shops, tennis courts, and now “Pickle Ball Courts”!
Explanation of Pickle Ball’s Popularity
Family-owned and operated since June 1940, when the first guests arrived at a beautiful Baja California campsite created by Edmond Szekely and his young wife Deborah, Rancho La Puerta has been changing lives now for over 75 years.
Deborah, 97 years old and pictured with Tucker, still lectures weekly and is hard at work on her many projects to spread the word about American’s need to live a healthier more-active lifestyle that is also supported by a protected, chemical-free environment.
Of course, I took a lot of photos and wanted to share with you these 4 slideshows.
Many memories were made and meeting wonderful staff , talented presenters, and
repeat guests will always be treasured….
Thank you, Brooke, Barry Patrick, Brice & Natalie, Bonnie O, and photo bug Patricia for sharing.
Black History Month, also known as African-American History Month in the U.S., is an annual observance in Canada, Ireland, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States.Celebrating Black History Month allows us to pause and remember their stories, so we can commemorate their achievements.
Black history month (just like Hispanic, Asian, European & Native history) belongs to all of us—black & white, men & women, young & old.
The impact African Americans have made on this country is part of our collective consciousness! Contemplating Black History draws people of every race into the grand & diverse story of this nation.!
My salute to this February celebration is a video I directed back in 1989, DP Bryan Greenberg, and the song written by Brian O’ Doherty with Universal Publishing. Lead singer Ollie Woodson sang this heart wrenching song with Otis Williams, Ron Tyson, Melvin Franklin & Damon Harris….Pictured Billie Bullock who worked with Shelly Berger at Star Direction Management.
We shot in Venice on Paloma St. near Sunset Ct and a soundstage in 35mm film.Headlines & the Dr. Martin Luther King clips licensed from API were the most expensive part of the video!
Chorus to Soul to Soul
We don’t have to be eye to eye (or meet face to face)
I’m not asking for miracles (or saving grace)
And I don’t need another heart (to have and hold)
All I want is someone I can talk to (soul to soul)
Oh I need a friend right now
(Sooooul to soul)
Someone I can talk to
And wouldn’t it be nice to one day have a conversation with Barack Obama ???
Former President Barack Obama donned a black Rag & Bone bomber jacket with “44” embroidered on the sleeve at the Duke-UNC basketball game, Feb. 20, 2019.
August 2018 Sandy Doumani, Sandy Leiviska, Candance Mayeron and myself attend a wonderful musical “Ain’t Too Proud ” by Otis Williams…..
Well, maybe it’s not an either or question, it’s probably both but these day I struggle with even a simple lifetime decision! Do I wear the collagen patches at night on my winkled neck or order another 3T (terabytes) outer drive to store my video and photo history?
(1952 Nancy showing off her homemade dress by Grandma Leiviska. Palatine Farm, Illinois)
35 years ago when I had to finally move my over-whelming collection of photos and video into a storage facility in the Marina, I had a stack of boxes of loose photographs & negatives marked, “To Be Sorted at 70 years old”!
I guess my 35 year old self thought I would have nothing to do at 70 but to sit back in my rocking chair and sort through photos! I even had shelves built and someone log all my 2,000 video tapes into a computer based system that doesn’t even exist anymore!!!
2 years ago, when I spearheaded my son’s transferring of his 10 storage places into one massive 5,000 square foot warehouse, we relocated my library as well. Today an entire 400 sq.ft room is filled and shelved with both mine and my son’s photos & videos. Now comes the daunting job of digitizing all the photos and videos (in various formats) and put them onto a neat little hard drive!!!
Friends recommend that I just have an outside company transfer them but you still have to take the time to go through & select which tapes or albums warrant a lifetime of preservation!
I have purchased & set up the scanning system for both photos and video, hired energetic, young enthusiasts to do the scanning, but it gets all bogged down because I personally have to go through the nicely prepared albums and hand them the photos to scan! During the process, more time is spent pontificating comments & memories about the photos than they actual deed of sorting & selecting.
I’m desperately searching for a system and/or philosophy to sort & toss but even once they are scanned, I have a hard time tossing the original 4X6 color Kodak paper printed photos !!!!
So dear friends and readers, please comment and give me your rule or philosophy on how you sort and save your precious photos & videos…..I need help!!!! Thank you so much…..
The “Never Can Say Goodbye” photo gal Nancy (Momfoo)
A couple of things are influencing me this week: Marie Kondo’s Netflix Series, “Tidying Up” and the Super Bowl Game this Sunday between the LA Rams and the New England Patriots. (February 3rd, 2019)
One subject is way out of my circle of influence and the other is staring me in the face as I look at my file cabinet that is filed with papers I need to eliminate. As the little 4 ft 9 inch Marie Kondo proclaims, “if it doesn’t spark joy, toss it!! Not sure that applies to business contracts but my closet awaits my attention as well and that needs a refresh!!Truthfully, I can’t wait to fold my tops into tight thirds that can be stood up and arranged vertically!
I did a little research and there is some sharp contrasts between the Rams & Patriots…
3.Patriot’s owner Robert Kraft’s influence in the football world has grown steadily since he purchased the Patriots, to the point that the 77-year-old American is now widely considered one of the NFL’s most powerful and influential owners.
Rams owner, Stan Kroenke, does not have a great reputation or a great fashion hair piece that he wears on his head, BUT he did bring the Rams to LA and he is building a great stadium in Culver City !
So after Motown’s Glady’s Knight sings the National Anthem and the games begins, I will look forward to half time with Maroon 5 although nothing can surpass Madonna & LMFAO’s half time in 2012!
I’ll miss my old tribe gathering (2013) at The Leiviska’s but look forward to a different gathering with Jeff Holloway & son with girlfriend Jasmine at the Malibu Racquet Club! No cooking, no hassle just pure spectator bliss at it’s best !!!!
My score predication:Rams 37 Patriots 31 !!!!!!!
What’s your predicted score ??????
xxx Nancy Momfoo