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Creative Connector: Todd B. Kimmell

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Quotation to Live By:
"Love is above all; and when it prevails in us all, we shall all be Lovely, and in Love with God and one with another."
—William Penn
Books on my nighstand now:
  • "The Great Wave: Gilded Age Misfits, Japanese Eccentrics, and the Opening of Old Japan" (2004) by Christopher Benfey
  • "Charles Frohman: Manager and Man" (1916) by Daniel Frohman and Isaac Frederick Marcosson
Favorite Author(s), fiction or non-fiction:
  • George Orwell
  • Mervyn Peake
A few favorite poets:
  • Marty Watt
  • William Shakespeare
Book(s) that influenced how I live my life:
  • "Catch 22" by Joseph Heller
  • "Windows For The Crown Prince" by Elizabeth Grey Vining
If I could order all of Philadelphia to read one book, it would be this and here's why:
I could not and would not order all of Philadelphia to read one book, just as I could not and would not order them all to say hottentottensoldatententententoonstelling.

That said, if I could somehow be the point person for suggesting a book that all of Philadelphia was poised, ready to pounce on the suggestion and read, I would have them read "Catch-22" and discuss it. I think it serves as a great trumpet for people to pay attention and recognize and then cry "bullsh*t" when they see it or hear it or smell it coming their way... and Heller does that in one of the most entertaining books I've ever read.
TV shows that I happily admit I watch:
  • The Prisoner
  • The Singing Detective
  • Mad Men (only in the company of my wife)
  • Dexter's Labratory
  • The Daily Show / The Colbert Report
  • American Masters
  • Jeopardy (occasionally, during dinner)
  • SNL
TV show that's my secret, guilty pleasure:
"Dateline NBC" when Keith Morrison hosts
Movies that I watch again whenever I get the chance:
  • "Amarcord"
  • "La Strada"
  • "Night Of The Hunter"
  • "Some Like It Hot"
  • "Blade Runner"
  • "Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?"
  • "The 10th Victim"
  • "I Teddy Boys Della Canzone"
  • "Dr. Strangelove"
  • "Black Narcissus"
  • "Cat On A Hot Tin Roof"
  • "M"
  • "The Seven Samurai"
  • "The Wicker Man"
  • "The Girl Can't Help It"
  • "A Clockwork Orange"
  • Cocteau's "Beauty And The Beast"
  • "Orphee"
  • "A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum"
Magazines I read regularly:
Antique magazines I buy at junk sales or on the internet.
Favorite Websites:
The Grand Review and any of the many sites created by my friends who are involved in the delights of living.
Favorite Twitter Feeds:
Never Twitter... EVER. We do not text either, at home or at work. EVER.
I'll be your Facebook friend if....:
If I know you, if we've interacted over a period of time face to face, and I like and respect who and what you are and what you bring to the world.
If I could have dinner with one famous person, this is who and here's the question I'd be dying to ask:
Stephen Sondheim, and I'd like him to tell me stories and adventures he had hanging around with my late mother when they were teens. What shows did they see? What kind of shoes did they wear? What popular music did they listen to? Other, bigger and more culturally significant questions have been asked of him and answered in books and radio interviews, but I would like some simple yarn spinnin' and laughs ...
Heroes from history:
  • Giles Corey, pressed to death by stones in Salem, Massachusetts, during the witch trials for refusing to play along with the absurdity of a system of petty power gone mad.
  • The Quaker settlers from the 1600s who came to New Jersey and then to the newly formed Pennsylvania to create a world where peace, truth, justice and good old-fashioned hard work were central to the New World they wished to create.
  • The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, who dared to turn the spotlight onto the ugliness in our society, and quietly demanded that we all could and should be better than that.
  • Mina Mazzini, who triumphed over convention and official condemnation, and deserved the love and adoration of her country for just being who she is ... and sharing that with the world.
Person in my field I most admire:
I'm an historian and a graphic artist. My specific field of expertise is the history of living on wheels, and in that world there is no more joyful human being than John Agnew of Funky Junk Farms in Altadena, California.

He manages to be the sort of wild man that rides the wind like a bucking bronco, yet when in his voracious and remarkably successful vintage vehicle acquisition mode, he maintains a moral center that compels him to conduct his business in a refreshingly straightforward manner even while surrounded and chewed at by callous sharks who smell the treasures John has managed to uncover.

What tales we tell around the fire pit!
If you turned on my car radio right now, it'd be tuned to:
WPEN a few years ago, when they were programming post-war music that included our beloved Frankie Laine. Nowadays I play WXPN, WHYY and WRTI mostly.
Last concert I attended:
Big Sandy & The Fly Rite Boys, Tony Bennett, and The Raveonettes
Favorite musical performer(s) or composer(s):
  • Charles Aznavour
  • Mina
  • Eddie Cantor
  • k.d. lang
  • Buffy St. Marie
  • Frankie Laine
  • The Ravens
  • The Beatles
  • Big Sandy
  • Nina Simone
  • Buddy Holly
Music I play to lift my soul:
Buddy Holly, k.d. lang, and early Santana
Favorite painter or painting:
  • Primavera, stained glass by Judith Schaechter
  • Maude Adams as Peter Pan, signed 'Best', most likely by George de Forest Brush
Favorite Vacation Spot:
The Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and a road trip up the east coast of the state in an antique trailer and a vintage station wagon to get there.
The top item on my "bucket list" of things to do before I die is:
I mean to spend a summer with my wife and kids touring Japan in an early '70s space-age fiberglass motorhome, stopping in towns along the way and setting up classic films with Japanese subtitles on a 16mm projector.
Anything else you'd like us to know:
Well, I kept filling in the various blanks on this survey expecting it to eventually ask more about my relationship to the community, and specifically the arts community. Without that element for balance, it seems all about me, which wasn't what I signed on for. I will submit it as asked, but I ask that however this information is used and presented to the public, it is not done in a way that seems to have me puffing myself up in some grandee manner, when my intention was to just share a little fun.


Todd B. Kimmell is a Creative Connector.
What is MindMap?
MindMap is a profile of what a person reads, watches or listens to feed their mind and navigate life.

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