A Rolling Crone

A blog about travel, art, photography and crone power


North Grafton, Massachusetts, USA
February 04
After 40 years as a journalist, I turned 60 and decided to return to my first love--painting, especially portraits of people encountered in my travels to Greece, Mexico, India & Nicaragua. I’ve exhibited my watercolors and photographs in Massachusetts and have some of them on my web site: www.joanpgage.com. My photo book “The Secret Life of Greek Cats” can be purchased on the web site, or on Amazon. I collect antique photographs, including daguerreotypes, and write about how they have introduced me to some fascinating historic figures, such as Elizabeth Keckley, a slave who became Mary Lincoln's dressmaker and confidante. Last year I attended my 50th high school reunion in Edina, Minnesota and I've just turned 70. My husband and I recently reached our 40th anniversary. We have 3 children, now amazing adults, who keep me up to date on technology--although I still haven't mastered texting. It's been a marvelous journey since I was born in 1941, and I can't wait for the next chapter.


Joanpgage's Links

The Mani region in the southern Peloponnesus has been notorious for over 400 years (from the fall of Mystra in 1480 or so until about 1870) for the fierce blood feuds, worthy of the Hatfields and the McCoys, that caused families to barricade themselves inside their fortress-like homes and
Read full post »
Siting on our balcony in Nauplion, Mommy Eleni and Papou Nick planned our route driving to Monemvasia, our next stop on Amalía's grecian odyssey, and on Thursday, Aug. 9, we set out.

Luckily Amalía slept through most of the harrowing drive along narrow mountain roads. (Lesson learned, if there's a c/…

Read full post »

Staying in Nauplion--first capital of modern Greece--at the Hotel Marianna in a Turkish-style house under the crusader castle --the Dreaded Palamidi, as we always call it, perhaps because you have to climb 999 steps in the rock to get there (or drive up the back way.)

Napping and ignoring the view of… Read full post »
Monday August 6--Packing--Don't forget the giraffe.

Looking stylish in the security line.

Checking carry-on size.

Here's my passport.

Now where did I put that giraffe?

Sleeping on the plane.  Dreaming of tomorrow when Papou will meet us at Athens airport with a car and drive us to Nauplion for Day On…

Read full post »

AUGUST 1, 2012 7:00AM

Amalía Fashionista Wraps up Summer

 Amalia wears a maxi dress in a tropical print while informing her staff that it's time for her afternoon snack.

For Suri Cruise, fashion guru of the pre-school set, it’s been a pretty crumby summer, what with her parents splitting up and then her Mom, Katie Holmes,… Read full post »
Editor’s Pick
JULY 30, 2012 7:00AM

The Mom with Messy Hair (The Story Behind the Photo)

I love it when one of the antique photographs in my collection poses a mystery that sets me off on research in an effort to solve it.  Often the solution remains frustratingly elusive, as in “Is This a Lost Portrait of Lord Byron?” which has brought me fascinating
Read full post »

Please click on the photos to enlarge them.

I’ve been taking a course called “Night Photography” at the Worcester Art Museum from photographer Norm Eggert, and our assignment on Wednesday night was to transport our cameras and our tripods to Shrewsbury Street, the “Restaurant… Read full post »

                                                 Chester Higgins/New York Times

Yesterday I was leafing through the new August issue of Vogue magazine. It&rs
Read full post »
Editor’s Pick
JULY 23, 2012 7:00AM

Before TV & Movies…Stereoviews

(Please click on the photos to enlarge them)

The Story Behind the Photos--19th Century Greece

Starting around 1860 and lasting well into the 1900’s, nearly every home in the USA was equipped with a stereopticon viewer and a good supply of stereoview cards.  Some of the stereo-view… Read full post »
JULY 16, 2012 3:16PM

Found Art In the Garden

(Please click on the photos to make them bigger.)

Monday is Found Art Day, so yesterday I took my camera out to the garden, which has pretty much been doing its own thing this year--perennials crowded together with weeds,  plus a few new annuals, some bean plants, a couple of tomatoes.  For…

Read full post »

JULY 12, 2012 9:22PM

Amalia’s Big Fat Greek Baptism

 When I was growing up a Presbyterian in Minnesota, I thought that the ceremony of baptism consisted of a short period after church when the minister said a few words over the baby and splashed some water on its head.

That was long before I met a Greek-American,Read full post »

Color guard at the beginning
A concert on our picturesque town common in Grafton has been a Fourth of July tradition for 33 years.  Yesterday, all day, citizens placed their lawn chairs on the site around the white bandstand that dates from 1935 when the town center w
Read full post »
JULY 2, 2012 7:00AM

Scenes from Damascus

The first and only time I saw Damascus --March 3, 2006--I was fascinated with the capital and vowed to go back. The oldest continuously inhabited city in the world, Damascus is a mind-boggling mixture of Roman ruins, living Bible history and Muslim mosques.

I came as part of a group… Read full post »
Editor’s Pick
JUNE 29, 2012 7:00AM

The Prince Imperial – Murdered by Zulus

The story behind the photo

 I wrote a post in May about an antique photograph in my collection which I called “The Executioner’s Granddaughter”, a small CDV which led me to the fascinating story of the Royal Executioner of France,  Charles Henri Sanson, who
Read full post »

                                                     Bebeto Matthews, Associated Press

The New York Timesobituary of artist LeRoy Neiman, who died last wee
Read full post »

(I posted this last year on Father's Day and got such good comments that I thought I'd post it again, with the addition of a brand new father who has proved over the last nine months to be a world-class Daddy.) 

Read full post »

 Since this is a blog  written by a crone, often about fellow crones, I’m ashamed to say that until yesterday, when I saw something about it in the NY Times, I wasn’t aware that a team of  Babushka-wearing Russian grannies won second place and everyone’s
Read full post »
JUNE 12, 2012 8:52PM

Found Art: Greek Windows

As I’ve mentioned before, when I’m traveling in Greece, I find myself often photographing windows. (In Paris it’s doors and in Nicaragua, it’s chairs!)

Greek windows, with their pristine white lace or cut-work curtains and the inevitable pot of basil in the window,… Read full post »
JUNE 8, 2012 11:16AM

Free Father's Day Cards

Favorite Photos Friday

Some time ago I designed a few Father's Day cards using antique photos from my collection.

Here are three of them.

Just in case you haven't gotten around to buying Dad a card yet -- Father's Day is June 17 this year--feel free to assemble your own card by printing… Read full post »

JUNE 6, 2012 9:09AM

Where Does the Joy Go?

It’s been a privilege and an inspiration to spend time with granddaughter  Amalía during her first nine months of life, as she discovers her body (first hands, then feet) and the world around her.

Nearly forty years ago, when my own three children were born, I watch
Read full post »

I’ve written before about the murals that fill nearly every wall in the Mission District of San Francisco—locally  designed art that expresses the hopes and aspirations, traditions and goals, heroes and saints of the many ethnic groups that make up the area.
MAY 31, 2012 1:09PM

The Faces of Civil War Vets

 Favorite Photograph Friday.

Since Memorial Day has just passed and flags are flying all over town in tribute to our country’s  military defenders, it seemed appropriate to share with you this photograph of a group of Civil War veterans assembled in Reading, Massachusetts in… Read full post »
MAY 28, 2012 8:03PM

The Executioner’s Granddaughter

The Story Behind the Photograph
Last week, as I was selecting antique photos of children with toys from my collection for my post of May 18, I picked up this one of a curly-headed moppet holding a toy lamb and a riding crop.  It’s a CDV (carte de visite) a
Read full post »

On the second day of her San Francisco visit, Amalía, eight-month-old fashionista, headed for the wineries of the Russian River Valley with Tia Marina at the wheel and Yiayia Joanie and Mommy Eleni completing her posse.
Amalía visited three wineries in all:  first Copa

Read full post »

 Recently People magazine had a page of photos of Suri Cruise, fashion guru of the pre-school set, hitting the hot spots in Manhattan with a stuffed giraffe as her constant escort (although he looks more like a deer to me.)

During the same week, my granddaughter Amalía, eight… Read full post »