I Found Vivian Maier, My New Dorothea Lange.

I was very fortunate in my four decades voyage as a camera salesman in Chicago to have met some very incredible photojournalists that unfortunately have now left us, and hopefully are now making trillions of photographs in heaven, I am speaking about  Declan Haun, Archie Lieberman, Lee Balterman and Arnold Crane, (who I recently found out about). However, the one photographer I never had the privilege to meet was Miss Maier, Miss Vivian Maier, and certainly not by what she despised, Viv.  However during my beginning photography learnings at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois from 1965-1970, I had only one spiritual photographic advisor who influenced me the most , Miss Dorothea Lange. Like many of my fellow photography majors, we were all searching on what kind of photographers we  would become, I never once thought about what kind of future income I would make, or what really was instore for me, all I knew was that I loved taking photographs. At first I was thrown for a loop during my first week, one strange photo instructor, praised my first photo assignment, told me that one of my pictures, a red fire hydrant had a real artistic flair, and incredible resemblance of a flamboyant penis.

I left the class in tears, and had to speak to one of the photography instructors, a true friend, and not only had a P.H.D. in Education, but certainly a legendary photojournalist of Souther Illinois, Doctor (Doc) William C. Horell(“Coal Mining In Southern Illinois).He immediately handed me a handkerchief, and when I babbled my story that I did not come to Carbondale Illinois from Chicago to learn how to be a “pee-pee” photographer, he almost got a heart attack from laughing so hard. He looked at my photograph and assured me that it looked like a fire hydrant, and it might be difficult to take it to bed.

My tears started to dry up, and finally I found some one I could ask about my photography destiny. He asked me about my background and seeing that I had cerebral palsy, he wanted to know if I really needed to major  in photography at SIU, he felt that even for himself having a P.H.D in education, it never stood in the way of  him being a photographer. Never the less I felt his concern, and I figured out that even if I could not make money in something I loved to do, I could always make a living as a camera salesman. Yep, I spent some four decades working in some of Chicago’s finest camera stores, Altman Camera, Central Camera, Pallas Photo Supply, Standard Photo, Colonial Camera of La Grange, Illinois, and my last camera store employment, Calumet Photographic. I think “Doc” Horrell knew I would be a camera salesman  for the rest of my life, and a probably a good one. He liked my photos, insisted  that I get a Nikon F, and read everything I could about my new mentor Dorothea Lange.

I started to read every thing I could find about Dorothea Lange, and her husband, Dr. Paul Taylor,   they wrote and captured  photographs from 1935-1939, for what was later called the Farm Security Administration, the plight of our country’s poor and (certainly the unforgotten), displaced farm families and what were known as “sharecroppers”, our migrant workers.  who I refer as the Taylors did,  made the government get of their asses and focus in helping help all our  stricken families in America, ” The Dust Bowl Years.”

As Dr. Taylor wrote and carried her cameras, it was Dorothea Lange’s camera philosophy and her missions in shooting, that has influenced me so much, and have no intention in it to my grave, but unlike Vivian  Maier, should be shared. Dorothea Lange always realize that the human face is really the universal language in her  photos, a Japanese little boy smiling  pretty much has the same meaning of that given from an American little girl also making a smile, next she believed in the hands off approach-no manipulation of the subject(she would not be a fan of Adobe Photoshop if she was with us today, just photograph as you see it, and lastly what I think Vivian Maier instored in her subjects, photograph the things you love and of course the part of life you mostly  hate.

What I see in Vivian’s photographs is her attempt to stop time, freeze the moment, and question her existence, why am I part of a world that has so many diversities, and why am I here, and mostly how do I accept my finality. Strangely at times I have felt this as I point my camera at someone or some place I know nothing about, and unlike Ms, Maier are my photographs going to make a difference in other people’s lives. It is quite obvious that Miss Maier had no intention of being a professional photographer, or what she was taking pictures had to matter to others, however what I feel that it was affecting her, unfortunately she did not want to share her intentions with the world.

Most of us are probably thinking that Vivian Meier could of been recognized as the world’s new Dorothea Lange, her photographs definitely command thousands of dollars as they are doing know, certainly she could of been a prominent photography instructor giving lectures around the world, museums screaming to have their walls covered with her work(which is happening now), and of course not being that mystery woman who 100,000’s of negatives, and cameras and worthy possessions were discovered in a storage locker. I feel the greatest photographic impact that Vivian Maier has made in my life that I do not want my cameras, photographs and negatives found in a soon to be auctioned storage locker, or that my wife will have no choice to throw out my photo junk after having an uneventful garage sale. I just recently discovered some of my wonderful photos, (what I refer as my photo storage locker)that I had on FLICKR, from some ten years ago. Sadly I cannot tell you were are all of my negatives are, or what I have on photo cd’s, or the 100 of flash cards that are scattered around the house, but I know that the clock is ticking and I am starting my new photographic journey. I am making an attempt make my own photographic storage on the world, wide , web. Please visit my new website .


I want to thank Vivian Maier, John Maloof and Charlie Siskel, on their recently nominated Academy Award winning documentary “Finding Vivian Maier”, their efforts are not only  mentoring me,but hopefully the millions of other photographers that we have an obligation to ourselves as well to the rest of the world is first to recognize our Gift to be photographers and secondly most of all, not to have our eye-seeing, heart-feeling, and used breaths expire in vain.


It’s A Time To Boycott My Boyhood.

I remembered my wanting to be a member of a fraternity at Southern Illinois University. During rush week I hobbled my cerebral palsy legs through a lot of the frat houses. Even though it was 1968 I found myself just piping a dream of smoke, many of the fraternities were sympathetic to me wanting to be “Greek”, I had to settle on what I was meant to be, a up and coming photography major. I guess there was room in the world for one more Jimmy Olson on the ‘Daily Planet”.

As the week went by, a lot of my dormies were asking me if any of the Greekers asked me for a revisit. Nah I said I guest it was not to be, or maybe not. Walking to my photo class, and of course with always one or two Nikons around my neck, I suddenly heard my name shouted out, “Howie, Howie”, hey man where you really wanted to be a Kappa? I guess we got a couple whites bros in our fraternity, and you are from the south side of Chicago, and we can help your boat driving(1964 Pontiac Bonneville). We can use a photog in the house, you know we sure got some cuties to look at.

Was I ready to make Jewish history, one more adjective, to be added to my bein, Howard Michael Silvers, Jewish, only child, divorce parents, handicap, photographer, and now wanting to be a member of Kappa Alpha Psi, founded in Indiana University Bloomington on January 04, 1911. (Achievement In Every Field of HumanEndeavor), 721 chapters, over 150,000 plus members, notable members Elbert Frank Cox, First African American to earn a P.H.D. in mathematics, Bob Boozer, former NBA forward, 1960 Summer Olympics gold medalist, as with Bill and Cazzie Russell, Ivory Crockett, in 1974 broke the world record for the 100 yard dash and held the distinction of being the world’s fastest man at his distance, Los Angles mayor Tom Bradley, Bernard A Harris, first African American Astronault to walk in space, and many historic Americans.

I ponder this, and thought how could this going to happen and how would this change my life, and even yet, what can I contribute to so many African Americans. My new brothers told me that Doctor Martin Luther King had a dream, “that now is the time to make justice a reality,for all of God’s children, and has his speech goes on, we must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. again and again , we must rise to the majestic heights meeting physical force with soul force, we can not walk alone.  Doctor King’s dream will soon be my dream, I will show  the country the inequality, hatred, and misunderstanding that caucasians and negroes have been experiencing for over two hundred years, I knew now what Josh White(a folk singer  met when I was in the hospital for one of my many surgeries, “Every man is the same when he got his skin off”. I needed to know more about my new black brothers, and hopefully they will get to know me, heck we sure ain’t going to make the Klu Klux Klan membership list,

In the next two weeks I had to talk to each of my new to be brothers and they all wanted to know why I wanted to be a Kappa, I guest I to photographjust had one answer, I was tired of being an only child, I needed to feel that I had a purpose in life, I just wanted to take  pictures of people with their skin OFF. Well I did get an unexpected calling,  if this was group of brothers broke into my dorm room, tied me up, put tape over my eyes and kidnapped me. I did not know they wanted be to make just one photograph, a photograph that resulted in Southern Illinois University’s first Afro American coming queen, a most beautiful young lady, Miss. Hazel Scott of Carbondale, Illinois.

I was now getting hugs and kisses from my fraternity kisses after Miss Hazel made an entrance on her throne. I was ready for Hell Week, but I still had to be voted in. UNFORTUNATELY it was not meant to be, I was BLACKBALLED, SNUBBED, disappointed but I completely understood. I would of done the same thing to me. I cried, my brothers and sisters cried. The World was crying. for on April 4, 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee, another Kappa Alpha Psi brother was assassinated.

As I look back on this, I have learned that some films are meant to be shown and not to be snubbed. So Boyhood will win more Oscars than Selma, and Boyhood shows the twelve years of development, and it could the picture of the year as it’s African Brother, 12 years a Slave, it will never stand up to the greatness of the  film Selma.

Some things are meant to be snubbed, but for me I will always cherished my Boyhood, and never forget Dr. Martin Luther King’s ending words.

“And this will be the day – this will be the day when all God’s children will be able to sing with new meaning.

“My country ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty of thee I sing.  Land where my fathers died, land of the Pilgrim’s pride. From every mountainside, let freedom!

And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true. And so let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania. Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado. Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California.

But not only that;

Let freedom ring from the Stone Mountain of Georgia. Let freedom ring Lookout Mountain of Tennessee. Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

And when this happens, and when we allow freedom ring, and when we let it ring from every village, and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children , black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hand sand sing in he words of the old Negro spiritual.

“Free at Last”

“Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”


My Journey Has Made Me Feel That I Am A Star.

Take a deep breath, and imagine to not have to take the garbage out any more, I still do and don’t mind, but the real garbage that working on a job that really had no future. Even worse, having someone, I won’t mention any names, that it must be hard to tell your wife that we might never be able to live in a million dollar house. Yes it was hard to face the financial reality that I ain’t rich, but I really don’t give a shit. My journey has taught me that an unwanted enemy can be my best enema. I am am finally cleansed and see that my life is really composed of so many heart beats. In better words, it’s just the amount of time I get to enjoy and define it.

In the three years since I lost my job,(New Years Eve-2011), I learned that I never defined what my purpose, my journey was. I never put making money in the equation, and I thought my social security check was my God given gift to be able to live happy ever after. Nothing was so far from the truth. Trying to convince people to buy life insurance and join my network was very disappointing, helping others with their projects and not making money was certainly a BIG mistake on my behalf. I blame myself for not being ready. Hell, I was a Boy Scout, “Be Prepared”. I guest I forgot. So what am I going to do now.

I have no choice but to take another breath and actually define what I need to fulfill my journey.; I will make a list and maybe some of you can give me some ideas from your personal journey. Here goes.

A) Discovering away to generate an additional $50,000.00 a year income?

B) How to stay healthy?

C) Where would be a great place to live?

D) Make my wife proud of me?

E) Define my spirituality.

F) Give my life purpose.

G) Learn to share my life experiences.

H) Don’t dwell on the past.

I) Gain the respect from others I never was able to get.

J) Be able to travel to places I only see photographs of.

K) Help the children I never had.

L) Read or listen to the books that I never time to do,

M) Stop equating myself to others.

N) Learning to play a musical instrument.

O) Be able to make 100,000 photographs and being able to share.

P) Make every day in my life as it was a vacation.

Q) Go to some great photography work shops.

R) Have enough money to restore my 1984 Jaguar XJS-HE.

S) More Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter connections.

T) Make howiemaui.com a success.

U) Being able to help others, especially my family in the Philippines.

V) Treat my wife and myself with things we were not able to afford.

W) Give thanks to the most wonderful wife in the whole world.

Y)  Make new friends and continue with the friendships I have.

Z)  Be prepared when I am told that my days are numbered.

Don’t get me wrong, I feel great that I have been able to realize how lucky I have been to finally to be able to define and of course enjoying my journey. I am a beautiful STAR after all.

My Apps Are My New DNA.(appyelp.com)

Each day on my new journey, I find myself being using my cell phone like they were my new limbs. They are becoming my closest friends, and I just know how I could not  enjoy my life without them. They have enable me to do so much more in my like. As I write this posting I am listening to The Wall Street Journal from my www.audible.com app. For a monthly subscription price of $14.99, I not only get a daily summary of Wall Street Journal, but each month I get one selection as well as a daily discounted recording. I just finished listening to Tony Robbins wonderful book on the Financial world, Money. I probably would of  been a millionaire if it was written ten years ago. I am presently listening to Ken Robison’s book, “Finding YourElement: How to Discover Your Talents”  I need all the help in discovering my New Journey.

Being an only child, I always wanted to have brothers and sisters to play and argue with. I now have over new 500 friends on Facebook(www.facebook.com) Even at the age of over six decades I feel like a kid all over again. I am communicating to my old high school buddies more than I did some fifty years ago. It has been my daily diary and a wonderful vehicle to share my photos.

I suddenly discovering my new world of Twitter(www.twitter.com), it definitely has me singing I got the “The Whole World in My Hands”   It’s amazing that I have so many strangers and now friends want to follow me. I can now swim in my own Shark Tank. Good morning Mister President.

My final app I want to express my devotion is my first entrance of the  web is Jeff Weiner’s Linkedin(www.linkedin.com) After I was fired from my my job on New Year Eve(2011). I was was very fortunate to be featured on the Linkedin Blog “New Adventures with Linkedin:A Retiree’s Journey ” August, 22, 2012. Linkedin has enable me to tell the world about my new journey  and being able to get support for (www.photographers.com)&(www.butterfliesandbuffalo.com), I am so grateful for being part of the Linkedin planet.

I could continue with hours of telling you about my other favorite apps, SeekingAlpha, Bloomberg, Zite, Dropbox,Google, Pulse,TuneinRadio,DUSppedBooster,EntertainmentBook,StarzPlay,ShowAnytime,Viber,Pulse,MyCarLocator,Spotify,Skype,PayPal,Mailbox,AmazonKindle,Restaurant.com,NightCamera,EagleEye, Camera,Perfect365, and of course CandyCrushSaga. There will be so many more applications that will be discovered to help me with my journey. My apps have been my life substances, thus my digital DNA. Hey I think I will see if the domain name www.appyelp .com is available? Not anymore.



Am I Tired or Just Retired With My Journey?

As I came home to my blog, I realized that I never defined what I expected to be the final destination of my journey, or does it really mattered ? I see now that I have been very fortunate to have a devoted wife that has been, and supported me in some difficult times. I don’t think I would of endured so much pain as I suffered through three hip reconstruction surgeries without her love and much needed support. I feel so disappointed that in the last three years of helping others with their missions, projects or journeys I was unable to generate Any additional income that would made possible for my wife to be able to retire. With her having been stricken with polio at the very young age of six years old and myself being born with cerebral palsy I feel that I certainly let her down.

Hey my journey is not about you feeling sorry for me but to experience and learn from the steps of learning I discovered that I never knew or learned what the later years of my life can offer me. Never in my right mind would I think I would be entering a digital world that would able me to be able to reach out to millions of people and also to be able make thousands of photographs, and not have to worry that after I die that maybe someone might be very fortunate to find my negatives in some storage locker.(Vivian Maier) There is so much to do, and it is a matter of having the ample time to be able to enjoy and share it with so many of you.

So what is this journey I am trying to explain you the readers of my are just retired.blog is. It is my opportunity to focus on what is going to make me healthy, discovering the world but never had the time to prioritize what I wanted to pursue, being able to have to be financially dependent on where my next pay check be  coming from, and being able to define my spirituality with my lifetime partner, Teresita Silvers.

Maybe in the beginning of my life(College}, I never asked myself as I am able to do now, what do I expect to find in my journey, or am I just  tired like so many that have lost their jobs and say that they are just retired. For me it will be able to share my journey  on my www.howiemaui.com blog. Please email me at [email protected], if you would like to me a guest blogger. There is plenty of room for us howiemauiers.

My Three Month Vacation Is Over.

It’s been three months since I last posted anything to my howiemaui.com blog. My mother’s passing took me for a loop and suddenly I found myself, what have the last three years of my new journey has taught me? Quite a bit I must say. Perhaps that what my last thirty six months was all about. Would I have done it differently, probably so. The first awakening I discovered that when you have a purpose or in my case, a forgiving, time goes very quickly.

I wanted to do so many things, but I did not get the results I wanted to accomplished, however I would not of been able to reach out to so many high profile people, I first was helping a Chicago photographer to get both exposure and funding for his thirty five foot camera that incorporates a six foot film  neg(www.butterfliesandbuffalo.com). It was also a great honor to be featured on the Linkedin Ceo’s blog, and I made over 1100 connections. This helped me with being a sales representative for a (photographer portfolio website (www.photographers.com).

It was incredible to be able to reach out to so many photographers, artists and museums. I did not stop there, I was able to reach out the the family of the last living Navajo Code Talker, Chester Nez. I was also  blessed to hear and spread the words about a blind teenager angel, Marlana VanHoose singings (www.littlemarlna.com)from my Facebook page. Not really having very many relatives to confide in, I met a Man who has been my greatest inspiration, Mr. Ronald G. Wayne(author of Adventures of An Apple Founder and Insolence of Office, one of the original Apple Corporation founders, who left Apple in less than two weeks. I no longer think what I “shoulda” done, but now realize that my three year journey has just started. I found my place and purpose for being alive on Earth, (and after death), I am my own person, scout master, journster, friend-collector, purpose, tryer, complainer, and keeper of my eternal home on the whole wide web, www.howiemaui.com.

It’s good to be back and looking forward to my next posting.