Monday, September 14, 2009


We launched our Cuba website yesterday!! Check it out, log in and often. Read our stories, view the photos and videos. Visit the tour page and the store!! Every few weeks we will post additonal stories, news and reviews.

Remember, one day in the near future, the travel ban to Cuba will lift, and Americans will once again be able to travel to the island nation.
When that happens, let us take you there.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


A Source of Inspiration
Written by Mickie c. 1996

Filling the well involves the active pursuit of new images to refresh our artistic reservoirs. Art is born of attention; its midwife, detail. At times it may seem like art springs naturally from pain, but perhaps that is because pain serves to focus our attention onto details, small compelling details. For instance, the memory of the excruciatingly beautiful curve of a lost lover's neck.

As often, people imagine great art to originate from grand schemes and exhaustive planning, delivered in broad strokes. But true art captures the imagination through its subtlety which is never created out of force or labor. Usually it is a singular image that lingers and lives within us, haunting our thoughts forever. Even in the midst of pain, it is the exceptional detail, focused and vibrant, that confers delight and comfort.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Russian activist abducted in Chechnya found slain
...Andrei Mironov, a rights activist and former gulag prisoner, asserted that Estemirova's killing, and others in recent months, were clearly sanctioned by government officials.
"First off, they kill reporters, to cut off the front line of information. Then they kill activists. ... They are by definition enemies and they must be eliminated," he said. "This is the Russian state. This is a Russian political system that generates terror, systematic terror."

Saturday, July 11, 2009



PHOTO:  How some of us looked when Michael Jackson was King.

How can I justify mourning Michael Jackson to those who tell me that everyday thousands of innocents die and no one makes a big deal about them.  I am human, I can feel suffering, and I have oodles of empathy. Once in a great while I get my ass into gear and do volunteer work, putting my so-called money where my mouth is.  And it is still my dream to one day spend a year someplace in this country or abroad, where I can do  good, give back, and utilize my skills to help and teach others who need it. But back to Michael Jackson.

Why did so many people, including me, become glued to the tele just to watch him dance, sing, and  perform across the decades, from behind so many  masks? Because people like me--baby boomers -- grew into our adulthoods surrounded by MTV and what MJ brought to it, how he changed it; how he energized us. I did not know the many sufferers of this world who got sick and died each day, but I did know MJ.  For ten years while tending bar, I watched him and a full generation of musicians that he influenced blast out of the television screens that hung right over the service station where I worked, and usually invaded by three-deep waitrons calling for Margaritas and Coronas. Michael was everywhere; the icon always making us glad, really really glad, we'd gotten out of bed that morning. He electrified a nation and a world. And now we are mourning because that is our way of giving tribute, by remembering who we were and what we were doing when he was dancing like an angel even as he was turning into a vampire.
But he seems so alive right now. . . With each new MJ story, especially those about his childhood and family, he seems to resurrect over and over again, come alive during the day and each night die a little, once again. He is a living dead thing.  He is a thriller.  For many of us, Michael Jackson is a continent. And that's the real reason we mourn his loss. He's a big deal to lose.

I highly suggest reading the 1993 GQ investigative journalism report about accusations leveled against Michael Jackson. It's riveting and revealing:

Wednesday, July 8, 2009



Here the best things are always found at the top of the stairs.  As I began the familiar ascent, I saw her for the first time in the doorway.  Not shadowy and hesitant.  But like a puppy.  Bright and buoyant.  Expectant, suspended.  I began to climb the fifteen steep steps. The demanding trek took a sudden detour after I saw her eyes.  Their sparkle landed on each tread, erasing my fatigue.  Very lovely, the black eyed Gypsy.  That is what the Viking had called her.
           With joy and childlike openness, she told me over and over again how pretty she thought I was. That she loved my eyes; I gave her his gifts.  I told her I would come back in two days to drink tea and talk.
           On Tuesday at nine in the evening I arrived with my American idiosyncrasies and a camera.  She is a poet.  Obsessed with Anne Frank and Sylvia Platt.  Scattering equal amounts of hope and despair, she told me about her life.  I asked if I could take her photo.  She let her hair down and smiled.
             “I will take your picture now,” she announced.  I thought about declining.   She said I needed a new look, a new outfit.  First came the Cuban hat.  Then a turquoise blouse, pearls and new makeup, removed my inhibitions.  My face in a stranger’s hands.  Playing Barbie on the island nation.  I looked in the mirror.  Enlarged lips and bedroom eyes stared back at me.  I could not help myself.  “I need a scarf,” I pleaded.  A flowing colorful, Spanish mantilla discovered my head and shoulders.  A Russian Madonna.  She approved and took the picture.  I said goodbye and promised to write.
 ~    End   ~


Check out our new website.  Seriously, it's beautiful.  Read our stories, view the photos and videos and get on the mailing list for future Cuba tours.

Check back often for new stories and timely news and reviews.

Monday, July 6, 2009

OFFICIALLY A Blogger....

It's 12:01 AM and I am officially a blogger.  Since last November, Margaret Ford Rogers and I have been working on a way to return to the island nation of Cuba to start up new projects, including a tour biz.  Lo and behold Obama gets himself elected and begins to pave our way.  Then Orbitz publishes:, a website that sends strong support for opening up the border to our friends in the Caribbean.  Give us another week and you will see our progress and intentions in the form of a new website:  Long live our myths.