Growing up, we all heard the phrase 'April showers bring May flowers'. April really isn't known a month having an abundance of quotes, so this one from English poet Thomas Tusser is a little overused and pulled out every April. On the surface it's a rather simplistic turn of phrase. Given April and May are the core months of spring growth, rain is essential for colorful lush flowers and gardens.
When I was in my twenties I moved from the city to a more rural area. It was during this time, that the quote took on a broader meaning with a little more depth. Spring flowers were nice, but they were really rather unimportant when it came to precipitation levels. Flowers are beautiful to look at, but they're growth is more like the wrapping, than the actual present underneath.
Living in the country, most fields were filled with fruit and vegetable crops, and getting the right amount of rain and snow each year was essential. April was the month most farmers analyzed the amount of snow that came during the winter, and how much moisture was saturating the soil. A dry winter meant you needed a ton of rain in the spring in order to ensure you had enough moisture in the soil to get through the summer. We tend to think it's the rain that falls when the plants are above the ground that's important, but it's really the amount of water underneath the surface that tells the tale.
In the country, many people still get their water from wells, and without enough rain in the spring and summer, water has to be trucked in during August and September. April showers are also essential in the growing of hay. A wet early summer, means the hay will be ready to harvest when it dries out later in the summer. It's the hay that feeds the animals when the snow returns to cover the ground during the winter.
Although the quote is about two months, and connection between one thing, showers, and another, flowers, it really speaks to how everything that occurs, and everything that we do, impact everything we experience the rest of our lives. A simple decision at 20, one we don't really think about, can have a domino effect on things we experience the rest of our lives. So many of things we do and experience today, can be tracked back to things we thought so unimportant at the time.
I know I rambled on a bit about precipitation, but when photographer Bob Burkhardt first sent on this set of images a few months ago, rain and April showers immediately came to mind. Researching Thomas Tusser's quote also had me thinking about it's meaning beyond just the one spring month of tulips and daffodils. In addition to being a poet, Tusser was also a farmer, and he knew the importance of taking care of his crops twelve months a year, and not just hoping a few April showers would be enough to sustain them over time.
So, what's the connection between spring precipitation and Bob's shots of Camell? Well, in addition to both having the power to get you wet, it's the umbrella that tied them together for me. I fell in love with this series the first time I saw it and knw they'd be the perfect way to kick off the month of April. The erotic Singin in the Rain theme theme also works well on a number of other levels. Bob doesn't often use props in his shoots, and I love how Bob spotlighted the umbrella without having it overtake Camell or the images.
I always feel uncomfortable using an umbrella, even when it's pouring. I'm not sure why. I never really know how to hold it, or what to do with it when the rain passes. I hate having to carry a wet umbrella into a store or coffee shop, and have even ditched one in a garbage can when I didn't want to carry it around any more. Umbrella's are really known as the most 'manly' of accessories, and I usually go the easy route buying the basic black model. Camell holds his handle just fine though, and manages his large checkered parasol with masculine finesse.
Although I had visions of Gene Kelly soft shoeing in and out of rain puddles, I didn't ask Bob whether Camell did any dancing during during their shoot, or if he twirled his umbrella around. I know I can't really pick up an umbrella without giving it at least one twirl. I'm sort of guess that Camell didn't do any twirls, Bob shares that although he loved how images came out, there really wasn't a lot of talking going on during his time shooting Camell.
'I remember him sending a message about shooting with him. He proposed it as an opportunity for me. He was professional and new how to present his best attributes. I can't say we really talked much during the shoot. He definitely projected his masculinity. He was a good model and women especially loved the posts. I don't think he's still modeling, but is focused on photography. He has good work.'
For this part of the shoot, Camell kept his umbrella handy, careful not to get wet. In the second part of the shoot, Camell puts his brolly away and lets the water hit and cascade over his beautifully naked body. Check out images from that part of Bob's work with Camell on THE NEXT PAGE HERE:
As a fan of the adorable Ken Olandt, I featured his two nude scenes previously on the site. Most have seen and enjoyed Ken's g-string stripper scene from 1987's Summer School. (HERE:) Ken also bared his butt ten years later in 199'7's A Time to Revenge. (HERE:) Although there's nudity in the 80's film April Fool's Day, Ken does have a couple of shirtless scenes, and a scene in his tighty whities.
'Nine college students staying at a friend's remote island mansion begin to fall victim to an unseen murderer over the April Fool's Day weekend, but nothing is as it seems. '
Olandt plays Rob in the 1986 horror flick which also features actors Jay Baker, Clayton Rohner, Griffin O'Neal and Amy Steel. The film has a twist ending that's a little predictable, but was ok, especially given it's one of the few films focused on April 1st. I noticed there's a more recent film with the same title featuring actor Josh Henderson. I'm not sure if it's a remake or a new story, but I might have to check it out before next April roles around again.
Olandt and Rohner
'[finds a letter on the boat] State Hospital. 'Pursuant to our previous communications, please be advised that the patient under discussion has still not been found and returned to custody, and is now believed to be attempting to return to her home in your jurisdiction. If encountered exercise extreme caution and notify us immediately as Miss St. John has been a patient here for three years and is still considered incorrigibly unstable and extremely dangerous.'