Thursday, January 26, 2012


David Huff Photography                                 Serbin Studio, Inc. Architect
David Huff Photography                                 Serbin Studio, Inc. Architect

David Huff Photography                                 Serbin Studio, Inc. Architect

You have to listen to the whole song. I am sorry, I know you have your safety goggles on and you want to saw down your front tree, but you HAVE to listen to this song the whole way through. Just do it for me now!  Ok, I am actually wearing safety goggles while I type this at 10:15pm at night after my bike ride.  Really, I bought them at Home Depot and now I don't get pelicans and gnats in my eyes.  I barked at a coyote and he ran for cover.

This is the Town of Buckeye Park and Ride and the Architect of Record is

Serbin Studio, Inc.


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Traffic Does Not Stop

So there were these roses. Acres of roses lined up in a north and south direction. The sun was high and bleaching everything, including the fighter jets screaming by. I took my shot in between the rows.  The space is where the magic is. It really is.  This is how I got up to speed. 

When I go after a new project I have to get up to speed on the context super fast.  Gawd I know this is so deep. Winners get up to speed on a project's context so fast; it is like entering the interstate and pushing like hell on the gas so you can merge into traffic. 

  This is how I look to the left as I merge into a new project. I look at stuff quickly. I take photos of things most people don't even notice.  In the architecture world it is called CONTEXT.  Context is a word a professor just loves to throw around.  If you are late to class don't worry, you will hear it a million more times.  Context is found when you get lost in it. Drive, walk, ride a bike and talking with locals leads you right to it.  It's not like the building design will have cherubs in loin cloths at the building entrance.

  It is more of a Johnny Depp thing.  Johnny Depp walked in Jack Kerouac's jacket and squeezed a used tissue in the crumby pocket. Depp gets up to speed with his screen roles by walking in their shoes.

This fence is a good mile from the site.  You will never guess where my site is.  Sage, gray, red and a dirty white makes my mind start thinking of building materials.

I have a short time to put our qualifications for this project together and lock in my cruise control speed.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Sonuva Gun Arizona Centennial Cover

If you really want to know about it, this Buckeye Valley Heritage Cookbook cover was designed by Serbin Studio.  It all started with me seeing a book cover that another architectural firm had designed for the City of Goodyear.  I wanted to do one better for Buckeye.  I also had some time on my hands. 

I use any excuse to work with Pat Rovey, President of the Buckeye Women's Club.  She lives on this farm with two palm trees that are a million feet high.  I always know which street to hang a left on when I see those green pom poms way down on the horizon along the thick ancient tree line of west Buckeye.   

It started with the Ariona Flag that Pat wanted on the cover.  Pat was crazy about having the flag on the top waving around. This was all her idea. It really was.  Did I tell you about her crazy bird that said "Quit leavin' the gawd-damn door open!".  Pat whispered with her hand blocking her mouth that the bird had colorful language.  But we were alone among the boxes and piles of old timey things. I mean the bird was about a hundred years old.  This wasn't even her bird, she was just watching it for her son.  He knew a guy who had a bird, who had a bird, who had this bird...   

Spent a Sunday afternoon going through old photo albums with Verlyne Meck and Pat Rovey to hand pick each photo that would eventually end up on the front cover of the cook book.  Verlyne and Mayor Meck's daughter Sara Faccio drilled out the way cool Hobo font that you see on the cover.  Her grandfather who is holding the megaphone in the photo below wrote his correspondence in the Hobo style.  Eventually, this text needs to be a font in a digital format so we can use it for signage in Down Town Buckeye. Now that would be something!

Jeffrey Serbin helped in the photoshop layout.  He is lighting fast that boy!  It was impossible to pick which photos for the cover. I tried to focus on food, gatherings and farm life for a cookbook for Buckeye.  My granola recipe is on page 170.  It will be hard to compete with recipes like Bootlegger Beans, When Mama's Gone Casserole or Sheriff's Posse Sonuva Gun Stew on page 66.

Art Arnold, Buckeye, Arizona 1950's

Originally I had Art Arnold right smack in center on the cover.  I quickly realized that I had too many cowboy photos for a  Buckeye Women's Club cookbook.  This shot is my favorite from Verlyne's collection.  She has thousands of photos. Some day Serbin Studio will design a museum for all of Verlyne's stuff.  Tell Pat's son's bird that I would really love to design a museum.  That bird is really hundreds of years old.  Yes, the bird was in this cage next to her kitchen sink under these flouncy calico curtains.

Monroe Avenue, Buckeye, Arizona, 1957

Second favorite photo. This photo prompted me to buy a ivory colored cow girl hat for the upcoming Centennial festivities.   Check out the pack of smokes on the table and Constable Meck in command.

This is the finished book. I like the 3-ring style so I can quickly find the Velveeta Cheese Fudge, Mile High Biscuits or Verlyne's Chalupa. Even the insert tabs were custom designed by me.  I tried to pack in as many vintage Buckeye photos like cowboys throwing pigs into a barbeque pit, grandma baking bread, picnics by the canal and the watermelon eating contest. 

 Erna Siervogel Bottcher, Prize-winning Bread for Arizona State Fair, 1950. Erna is Pat Rovey's grandmother.

What's for dinner?

Friday, January 6, 2012

Friends in the Woods

I forgot to tell you why I was in Port Townsend, Washington. Oh, that. Yes, a town on the northern tip of the Puget Sound.  Well I want to look all important like I know what I am doing in front of the Buckeye Main Street Coalition meetings. I sit at the end of the table as the Design Chair with David Calvert who owns Calverts Shell Service Station in Buckeye, AZ. This David races a lawn mower like nobody's business.  I like the end of the table so nobody can cough on me.  I usually fill up the end of the table with piles of my crap that I carry around.   
I knew I needed an edge with these Buckeye people or I would be kicked out of town like a busted up Lincoln Town Car in a demolition derby. I know a thing or two about putting together a great team.  I had scheduled a meeting way before flying out to speak with the insiders of the Port Townsend Planning and Zoning Department.  I mean why do we steal ideas from Florence, Arizona when we can be different and have friends in the woods.  In the woods along a sea port where you can buy a sharply cornered turn table with sepia hued Plexiglas or a felted hat with five felted mushrooms on either side.  Everything is not always for sale in this town.  Some things are untouchable like the 1960's motorcycle ridden by Peter Fonda, well Peter Fonda when he was 10. It was a really small red, white and blue star spangled bike covered in 12 inches of dust.  It really was.

Where I want to start is after I had the soup. You know the soup. I stood on the cold cement sidewalk looking like a grunger.  I had the full-on grunge too.  I found these sick skirts made from Jenny Jo Clothing.  I bought 3 skirts made from regenerated knits.  I layered it over leggings, crazy paisley socks and purple  boots that I wore for the entire 10 days. And no I didn't sleep in them.  Water Street, the Historic Main Street, is located on the "flat".  I know this from reading Jefferson County Historical Society books.   The buildings woke up knowing I was there for business.  Port Townsend is a menagerie of old odd things kept safe behind large shop windows like book bindings of an old dusty library that smells like sea foam.  The Victorian buildings are like favorite classic books all slammed together. Here the books are buildings and each spine is a different color steeped with gorgeous dentals, crenellation and friezes.  I mostly focused on building paint colors, store front treatment and well you know good stuff to buy.  

I liked how the Golden Rod yellow was effectively translated from a Victorian to a modern building along Water Street in Port Townsend.  This is what I want to see more of in Buckeye.  

  I get a bang out of the huge ass text on the side of the building.  See the water on the right.  There are people inside building sail boats right now at this minute. There is also a navy sweater in the Gift store that I didn't buy and am kind of glad because I would have looked like Popeye in it.

The The Writers' Workshoppe was a treat to find. If you step foot inside you just may want to go write or read.  It happened on a dark and stormy night...