Oldies but goodies…. photos by JVA

Continuing on from previous post, here are some more of the old favorites


Adlai Stevenson 9/9/58

Adlai Stevenson 9/9/58

Adlai Stevenson (1900–1965), Governor of Illinois (1949–1953), U.S. presidential candidate (1952, 1956), U.N. Ambassador (1961–1965), grandson of Adlai Stevenson II.   Not sure if the gentleman standing next to him is his son, Adlai StevensonIII


Anna Maria Alberghetti

Anna Maria Alberghetti 1/29/58

Anna Maria Alberghetti (born 15 May 1936) is an Italian operatic singer and actress.

Carol Channing

Carol Channing

Carol Elaine Channing (born January 31, 1921) is an American actress, singer, dancer, comedian, and voice artist.


Bess Myerson 5/26/58

Bess Myerson (July 16, 1924 – December 14, 2014) was an American politician, model and television actress who was crowned Miss America in 1945. She became a city commissioner in 1969, beginning a prominent New York political career. In the late 1980s, her career ended amid personal and professional scandal.


Celeste Holm 11/21/57

Celeste Holm 11/21/57

Celeste Holm (April 29, 1917 – July 15, 2012) was an American stage, film and television actress


Danny Kaye2

Danny Kaye

Danny Kaye 1958

Danny Kaye (born David Daniel Kaminsky; January 18, 1911 – March 3, 1987) was an American actor, singer, dancer, comedian, and musician. His performances featured physical comedy, idiosyncratic pantomimes, and rapid-fire novelty songs.


Ed Sullivan 11/11/57

Ed Sullivan 11/11/57

Edward Vincent Sullivan (September 28, 1901 – October 13, 1974) was an American television personality, sports and entertainment reporter, and longtime syndicated columnist for the New York Daily News. He is principally remembered as the creator and host of the television variety program The Toast of the Town, later popularly—and, eventually, officially—renamed The Ed Sullivan Show. Broadcast for 23 years from 1948 to 1971, it set a record as the longest-running variety show in US broadcast history

JVA continued

I am making the audio track to this post as optional…but it does have a special meaning.  James, aka Pop Pop was born and raised in Brooklyn and this song always brings a smile to my face and makes me imagine him as a boy…

So without getting in the bush and tangle of my family tree and Ohhhh all those attached, let’s keep it simple.    I spent a few years of my youth with a family…amoungst them was Peter Xeller….fast forward many many years and we reconnected, thru Facebook.   Fast forward a few more years and I met Dan Xeller, his son and a photographer…met him thru Facebook …thru his father that I reconnected with thru facebook….you get the drift…

And where am I going with all this? and how in the world does it relate to the title of this blog????   I’m getting there.  So let’s flash back (yeah they do it on TV all the time)   Last year I wrote a few blogs about a very special man in my life, James V Antizzo,  he was a Public Relations photographer that worked for  the “Aviation News” which at the time was located at Kennedy Airport, well actually at the time it was call Idlewild Airport, but I digress….

Anyway before I loose you all, Last summer I had the opportunity to meet Dan Xeller for the first time, which after only communicating on Facebook, is really quite thrilling!!!   Besides meeting him and his lovely wife and his son  Johann, he had a gift for me.   Somewhere in the years of family collections he had ended up with many of Jim’s (aka POP POP) photographs and he presented them to me, in archival sleeves over a glass of iced tea at the beach house that I grew up in….  What a thrill!!  I don’t know if he and his dad appreciated how much that meant to me.  It’s been nine months since that special gift was presented and since then I have really not had the time to focus and  devote to identifying many of the photos and scanning all the care that  goes into sharing until now….I thought it about time, well long overdue…

So what is to follow for the next few blogs is a collection of photos of celebrities of the time…the 1950’s.  Many of you will have no idea of who these folks are, many of you will…I hope you enjoy the walk down memory lane….I thank the photographer James V Antizzo and the present photographer Dan Xeller for making this possible  Thank you both

Cary Grant


Yule Brynner


Sophia Loren


Gene Kelly and Donald O’Connor 6/4/1958

Gene Kelly

Donald O’Connor


If you have not gone back to view my previous blogs on JVA,  you will notice that most of the photos have TWA Icon somewhere in the photo….that was free advertizing back in the good ole days  :)


More to come….


St. Kitts, Finale

Our 7 days in St. Kitts / Nevis were the first time in many years that my husband and I had a vacation together alone….Good for the soul and spirit…and attittude  This island country is beautiful, as are most of the Caribbean islands.  The people are friendly and welcoming, the weather of course is perfect and I think I mentioned in an earlier post that there are no bugs!!!  Nothing worse than a bug in the umbrella drink!  LOL

We had a nice mix of fun tours and just relaxing by the beach and pool. Long walks along the beach resulted in additions to my shell collection…like I need more

A must do on our list was to take a catamaran excursion, included was snorkeling at  Shitten Bay…not shitten ya…OK I couldn’t resist.  This cove is only accessible by water, the cove’s depth is about 15 – 20 feet and abundant with beautifully colorful fish.  I bought an underwater camera before we left, I really should have practiced a bit and figured out ahead of time how to operate it   I thought I was snapping photos but came to find out I had a bunch of 5 sec videos.  Oh well, not too many photos to share but a great memory!


Fire Coral

StKitts-12 StKitts-27


Leeward Islands Charter  is the company we booked with.  The first day was on the Eagle, she is a 67′ former racing cat.  The crew could not do enough to make the day wonderful.  They were totally engaged with the passengers, even had a few dancing on the deck.  After snorkeling we cruised over to Nevis and spent a few hours on the beach, and visited Sunshines….apparently an infamous gathering spot.  We had so much fun we booked another day…2nd day was on the Spirit of St. Kitts, also terrific, but should you ever get to St. Kitts and take the all day cat sail try to make it on the Eagle…crew is more fun!!!!

Captain of the Eagle

Captain of the Eagle

The Eagle on her mooring while we played on the beach

The Eagle on her mooring while we played on the beach

Counch gathering

Local conch fisherman

View from the water while snorkeling

View from the water while snorkeling

Shipwreck in Shitten Bay

Shipwreck in Shitten Bay


Sunshines on Nevis

Sunshines on Nevis


Rainforest Tour with Captain Sunshine was nice, drove through downtown Basseterre then along the shore and up to the rainforest and Romney Manor.  Was really hoping to see more “wildlife”, but did spot a monkey up in the tree canopy.  Our guide was very informative and did all he could to accommodate us photographers that wanted to constantly stop to take a photo :)  the 4 hour tour ended up be about 51/2 hrs.

Monkey in the tree canopy

Monkey in the tree canopy


descending from the top of the rainforest

Rainforest tour

Romney Manor


The 7 day vacation was just what the doctor ordered…and what a great place to spend it.  Considered leaving it all behind and moving in here! :)


The People of St. Kitts

So anyone that knows me, particularly my shooting buddies, know that I DO NOT take people pictures, the only exception are my kids and grandkids.  Well surprise surprise, I took some people pictures while on vacation.  It really all started with the first photo, this guy had such charactor in his face….then I guess I got a little carried away.  StKitts-20-2


A group of locals entertaining visitors with music and dance


Captain on catamaran cruise





This elder gentlemen was apparently enjoying an early morning bath in the harbor.









One of the crew and hubby on the Catamaran cruise


First mate and me showing off some of the catch of the day….photo compliments of hubby :)

The Colors of St. Kitts & Nevis

This small island in the British West Indies provides an abundance of natural beauty; the mountains, the rainforest, Carribean and Atlantic ocean waters, the black sand…the list goes on. The island residence also add their own color…












I’m slipping a little nature in here…I do not know the type of tree this is but it attracts birds and butterflies…and it attracted me :)




The Infamous “Sunshine Bar” on Nevis


Sunshine Bar












The National flag of St. Kitts & Nevis features green for fertile lands, yellow for year-round sunshine, black for the African heritage, and red for the struggle from slavery through colonialism to independence. It also displays two white stars on a black diagonal bar, symbols of hope and liberty.

Flag of St. Kitts – Nevis




















The National flag of St. Kitts & Nevis features green for fertile lands, yellow for year-round sunshine, black for the African heritage, and red for the struggle from slavery through colonialism to independence. It also displays two white stars on a black diagonal bar, symbols of hope and liberty.







The Birds of St. Kitts

I didn’t have a lot of luck finding some of the birds of St. Kitts that I was hoping to see, but I was able to capture a few.  There were 2 that hung out on our terrace, the Grey Kingbird and the Lesser Antillean Bullfinch…the bullfinch had no fear, in fact they would fly into our room through the open terrace doors.  By the second day I made sure I had some bread or fruit available for both, the bullfinch could almost be handfed, the Kingbird would swoop in grab the goodies and fly off to a nearby tree.

Lesser Antillean Bullfinch

Lesser Antillean Bullfinch

Grey Kingbird


Grey Kingbirds

Grey Kingbirds






















The one bird I REALLY wanted to find was the Magnificent Frigatebird…I saw plenty of Brown Pelicans down by the piers but no Frigatebirds.  We spend one morning deep sea fishing and finally was able to capture one flying overhead.  With only a 135 mm lens on the camera I doubted there would be any details, but I was pleased to discover I could actually see the blueish bill.  From afar these birds are easily recognizable by their triangular wings. The males sport a red pouch used to attract the females, this one appears to be a juvenile.Magnificent Frigetbird

Magnificent Frigatebird


One would normally expect to see the Ruddy Turnstone on the beach, however there were many of them wandering the grounds of the hotel and hanging out by the pool along with Cattle Egrets.

Ruddy Turnstone

Ruddy Turnstone – juvenile








The Bananaquit has alot to say and sings it very loudly :)  Very small and elusive, I chased this one from tree to tree for about 15 minutes before I was able to capture this rather out of focus image, but was happy to capture this colorful little guy.
















The Zenaida Dove is as common as the Mourning Dove by our house.  When the sun catches them just right that blue/purple patch just glistens!Zenaida Dove

Zenaida Dove

Lastly, during a hike through the rainforest spotted this Green Throated Carib, with little light available through the trees was not able to capture the beautiful colors.Green Throated Carib Green Throated Carib 2

St Kitts and Nevis part I


The Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis, also known as the Federation of Saint Christopher and Nevis, is a two island country in the West Indies.  Located the Leeward Island chain of the Lesser Antilles, it is the smallest sovereign state in the Americas, in both area and population.  The country is a Commonwealth, with the British monarch as its head of state.  The capital city is Basseterre on the larger island of Saint Kitts.  The smaller island of Nevis lies about 2 miles southeast of Saint Kitts across a shallow channel called the “The Narrows”.

We just spent 7 wonderful days at the Marriott exploring and relaxing in the warm Caribbean weather.   Everyday temps range from 82 – 84, clouds come and a few showers, but most of the day is blissfully sunny.  One of the first things we noticed was…there are NO bugs…as in mosquitos or fly’s or any of those annoying insects that bite and can ruin any relaxing time at the beach.

Upon arrival last Monday, we were upgraded to an ocean view room with a balcony the size of our patio at home :)





Sunrise on our first morning in St. Kitts


Here are some additional pics of the hotel…tomorrow are the birds of St. Kitts…


Room with a view…and what a view it is!


The hotel is open air, the breezes off the ocean are throughout the lobby….as is the sunlight




Of course there a potted palms everywhere….




…and real palms line the entrance to the beach




Being from the north….Palm trees fascinate me :)



I plan on a blog on the “Colors of the Island”…here is a sneak peek.




Love the Weather Station Forecast!!!





Mandarin Duck

So I’ve heard that the Mandarin Duck is the most beautiful duck in the world…yup have to agree!!!!  Came upon one hanging out with a gaggle of Canada Geese this past weekend at a pond in Irving, TX.   What a site to see.  He is quite small but OMG, what a presence!!  I have to admit, I probably shot 500 images….now I have to decide which ones are the best and which to delete…..Being a hoarder by dna, that’s gonna be tough!


I initially spotted him under an oak tree…after reading more about them I discovered they like acorns…well that explains that.

This whole relationship with the Canada goose baffels me  :)  Really can one more colorful fall for one more drab???

Mandarin duck and his goose


How about a staring contest?

Irving Jan 2016-1018-Edit




Irving Jan 2016-279-Edit


what a wonderful start to 2016 Photography of Birds