A Few Minutes in the Life of a Docent at the Gallery@CityHall.


In March of 2013 I was accepted as a docent at the Gallery@CityHall. Lee Broom.

(Visitor enters the gallery and begins asking questions about the photography. We exchange memories of our knowledge of various buildings.)

Visitor: Are you the resident docent?

Lee: I am.

Visitor: What does a docent do?

Lee: Dispenses information, asks questions, reads body language…

Visitor: Really! And my body language….What secrets does my body language reveal?

Lee: It tells me that you are a very inquisitive fellow and that you might be an architect.

Visitor: Not fair, we’ve been talking about buildings already.

Lee: So are you an architect?

Visitor: Not quite. I’m a mechanical engineer; I studied at ASU. Graduated in ’75.

The conversation lasts for several minutes and two more people enter the gallery. “Welcome to the Gallery@CityHall.”


“Phoenix Icons: The Art of our Historic Landmarks Exhibition”

‘Phoenix Icons: The Art of Our Historic Landmarks,’ features photographs of more than 30 historic Phoenix landmarks, by Patrick Madigan and Michael Lundgren.The exhibit is the second in a series of rotating exhibitions from the city’s historic Municipal Art Collection of 1,000 artworks.

The works in ‘Phoenix Icons’ were commissioned by the Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture Public Art Program. They include once private homes that have been transformed into public venues and once revered schools reborn as new places to learn. An old department store now houses a restaurant and a former auto showroom emerges as the face of a vibrant downtown park.

The Phoenix Arts and Culture Commission and the Historic Preservation Commission have partnered in this exhibition of photographs that feature views of Phoenix’ first century historic landmarks and portraits of our mid-century marvels, the distinctive architecture created after World War II.”


A Six Pack, a Hammer and a Church Key, Please.


It is said that it is easier to break an empty bottle of beer than a sealed one.

It is also said that it  is easier to break anything than to fix it, unless that thing is an undesired habit or a relationship.

Is it any consolation to realize that when a thing is made by man,  that something was first destroyed?

Whatever we make of ourselves requires raw materials, desire and a whole lotta Love.

Lee Broom.



Eye and Ego Surgery


On Monday I had eye (I) surgery.

Cataract removal, it was.

Ego repair as well.

This was not a routine procedure.

I had been reminded on several occasions of medical consultation, that I have macular degeneration, glaucoma and the scarred and biased memories of an emergency surgery some years ago and that all this must be taken into consideration before making a final decision.

The physician on call that day so many years ago clearly did not want to be dragged from a private social event of obvious priority. Dr. Badmouth cursed and barked at me throughout the surgery. Fortunately, I lacked the good sense to be afraid of this weekend warrior; I was attempting to be in control of my every thought, every unexpressed fidget and I was indeed fanatically focused, as only a truly experienced OCD practitioner such as I could be. My only thought was to focus intently on the image of a good result which was fixed firmly in that particular visionary vestibule assigned to precise results.

Within a week after that surgery I would be told by yet another doctor that the vision in that left eye was blocked by the sudden onset of glaucoma. That was in the early nineties. A few years later I would have the stressed and abused lens on that eye replaced and the cataract thrown into a feline litter box or wherever it is that such detritus ends up.

A decade earlier I had been forewarned that due to optical abnormalities, my career in the arts might better be amended to a saner livelihood as a consultant. I began to slowly gravitate toward such a goal, developing as time went on, another set of ideas in a less conspicuous compartment, probably much closer geographically to a more lizardly section of my brain.

During this last year that sleeping giant, the Godzilla of my latent nightmares began to rouse, eventually roaring to life in April of 2012, growling noisily in protest minutes after my arrival for surgery for the other eye, my right eye, an orb with all the same problems as the one which had left me with such troubled memories that they now were more valuable as fodder for a Japanese Sci-Fi film on the Giant Screen.

Minutes later I was being chauffeured away from that awkward scene, still raving as my friend John who in twenty-five years of friendship had known me only as a gentleman and not given to overt displays of emotion, listened quietly in his own better defined demeanor of gentleness.

It has taken a year now to persuade The Good Doctor, a physician whose normal presence is quite the opposite of that crazy Dr Hyde of the nineties whose dull wit and noisy method affected me so, to proceed. On April 2, 2013 the cataract was removed.

I was not prepared for the experience that would result from this surgery. The work of this Good doctor and his able assistants appears to have been a success. Though visual problems, most of which I am told are temporary, are with me still, I can see the world as never before. Millions of people may see their world better than I do right this minute but I can imagine no one more grateful than I.

My instructions for after-care include the warning that I may not be able to drive for a month or so and that great caution must be taken to follow instructions to the letter and to avoid mistakes. A family member, Betty, my oldest daughter’s mother in law and the widow of the founder of the church which is a second home to many of my family’s members is providing me with the guest bedroom at her house and has been driving me to doctor’s appointments and such. Other friends are offering me transportation to and from important social events and soon I shall be doing those things for myself.

This post has been difficult (and wordy) and as for the regularity of future posts I plan only to discover the daily increments of that plan with the greeting of each morning.

Lee Broom