Elsa, guardian spirit of high volume and steady tempo
Many years ago, my good friend Larry decided to take an extended holiday in Thailand.  (And when I say "extended", I mean it lasted something like 6 years.  My man Larry knows how to vacation!)  One of the things he brought back (besides a wife) was this mask that he gave to me.  Allegedly, the mask is supposed to be good luck; it's frightening visage wards off evil spirits.  I don't know if all that is true, but it's a nice story anyway.  I really dug the mask and still do.  It has a home in my studio.  In the first version of Suburban Din I hung it from the ceiling over the mixing desk.  In the current version, I have it on my keyboard stand.  I often put it on a mic stand and use it as a stand-in for dialing in camera settings when I'm going to take a portrait.

I named the mask after Elsa Lanchester who most people are familiar with even if they don't know it.  At the very least they know her scream.  She played the title character in The Bride of Frankenstein.  Ms. Lanchester had a heck of an interesting life!  She was born in 1902 to parents who were socialists, pacifists, vegetarians, and didn't believe in marriage or other legal constraints like compulsory education.  In other words, they were hippies 65 years before there were hippies.  She studied dance for a short time under Isadora Duncan.  She performed in theater and cabaret, and was a nude art model.  She had an open marriage to Charles Laughton who confessed later to her that he was gay.  She apparently didn't mind much and was by all accounts happily married to him until he died in 1962.  Most of all, she was a sharp, witty, and a keen observer of life, which is on full display in her autobiography which unfortunately is out of print.


  1. There's just something about a friend who brings back gifts. Still have a belt buckle and Zulu (okay brazilian) horn.

    Say hi to Larr-moe if you see him.

    Oh and I like the burrito day idea. Make it so.


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