Remembering Jay Starker

Jay Barry Starker
October 7, 1932 – July 26, 2012

Jay Starker was born in Brooklyn, New York in Oct. of 1932. He was part of the Bohemian group in New York’s Greenwich Village in the 1950’s. He continued his work in the arts as a ceramist, leather grinder, silver and goldsmith, musician and painter. He opened a shop in Sarasota in 1960.

“In every work the seeds of new thought are brought to bloom. To the extent that whatever comes forth is appealing to one’s senses, it becomes a welcome addition to our life inventory of pleasantries. The human race is continuing its ancient bent, and once again the art of this time represents what has successfully transpired plus the added magic of the “great manipulator.” I hope to be a part of this process in some small way that jubilance may be brought to one’s life.”

Some thoughts from me, his daughter India.

Since my local friends speak French and my friends elsewhere speak English I will write in both languages.

A great pacifist, my father. Dream number one was that the peoples of the world join hands and walk across the borders. It was way before the euro zone but when travelling from France to Italy or Belgium and passing by the abandoned buildings where there was once border control I think of his dream.

Another item on his mind was the interminable  Israel Palestine conflict. He said  they should become a single country (if we have to continue to put up with the damn notion of countries). Papa is the only pro Palestine Jew I know personally but there are others. He named the new joint country the *Republic of Abraham*.

On the same theme is the latin phrase that returns often in his work, Amor vincit omnia or Love conquers all. Maybe I first thought that it was agape or love of fellow humans he was referring to but now I see he probably meant all kinds are to be celebrated and eros was in mind when he wrote in 1969 concerning Enoch Powell,
“It’s just too bad that a West Indian maiden didn’t stop by and open the buttons on his fly.”
Or the suggestion that foreign troops in Afganistan marry the fantastic beautiful and intelligent local women.

Dad thought that as the races intermingle a lot of idiotic behavior would go away thanks to those bi-cultural kids.  No doubt!


Puisque mes amis locaux parlent français et mes amis ailleurs parlent anglais, je vais écrire dans les deux langues.

Un grand pacifiste, mon père. Son rêve numéro un était que les peuples du monde se donnent la main et traversent les frontières pendant une longue promenade. C’était bien avant la zone euro, mais quand je traverse la frontière entre la France et l’Italie ou la Belgique et j’aperçois les bâtiments abandonnés où il y avait une fois le contrôle des frontières, je pense à son rêve.

Une autre préoccupation était l’interminable conflit israélo-palestinien. Il a dit qu’ils devraient devenir un seul pays (si nous devons continuer à vivre avec la putaine notion de pays). Papa est le seul Juif pro Palestine que je connais personnellement, mais il y a d’autres. Il a nommé le nouveau pays joint *La  République d’Abraham *. Il s’agit d’un projet nous avons encore à mettre en action.

Sur le même thème est la locution latine qui revient souvent dans son travail, Amor vincit omnia ou l’amour triomphe sur tout. J’ai du penser au départ qu’il parlait de l’agape ou l’amour de son prochain mais je m’aperçois qu’il voulais sans doute dire que tous les genres sont à célébrer et c’était eros qu’il avait en tête quand il a écrit en 1969 au sujet d’Enoch Powell,
“C’est dommage qu’une jeune fille hindoue n’est pas passée défaire les boutons de sa braguette …”
Ou la suggestion que les troupes étrangères en Afghanistan épousent les femmes fantastiques belles et intelligentes  de la région.

Papa pensait que avec le mélange des ethnies,  beaucoup de comportements idiots disparaîtraient grâce à ces futurs enfants bi-culturels. Forcément !

Amor vincit omnia 😉

October 2, 2010

It is a warm and sunny day in Sarasota. The human problems of life remain. The road I have taken is to create whatever I can of beauty and value and justify my existence to myself. The greatest joy comes from working on and perhaps completing a necessary project or originating a project in art, music, literature, or other field of endeavor. As the sun sets the work of the previous hours give respite to a restless soul until sleep sends it’s protective blanket for a while. There is much to be thankful for and hope reigns.

Lookin’ for a nip in the air

It;s August 14, 2010 and the goin’ is slow. Heat, and more heat comin’. For me, it’s do a little, rest a little, do a little more, rest and live in semi hibernation. The slow life is not something I’m used to. But what else is there Mr. Universe. Hot! hot! and hot some more. Tough it out says I. Bon soir—Jay

It’s “Watering” A Wee Bit

Although this has been dubbed the “rainey season” it is hardly that. Our thirsty plants yearn for more than the little they get. Remember their thirst when engaging in any extravagant water use. We need to share the little we receive. Today it rained a small amount. The plant world put it’s hands in the air. I wonder why the media considers hot, cloudless, days to be beautiful?

Over and over and over

The repetition in the public media pounds on one’s head. After hearing a statement it is repeated ad nauseam. This has entered our culture and we are subjected to redundancy throughout our lives. If speech were short, sweet, truthful, and compassionate our lives would be improved. As we speak to each other let the principles of kindness, brevity, and truth prevail. Mutual respect brings happiness.

Big E’s

Big E’s is a one of a kind coffee, tea, and assorted goody shop. It’s inhabited by high intellect people from the Ringling College of Art, New College, U.S.F. and assorted figures of note from all walks of life. You can get into mighty important discussions here and also relax and “flemmarder” (do nothing). It’s across from the big old Burger King on the North Trail and also across from Ringling College. You can walk to the bay down Virginia Drive. Eric, the owner, is a compassionate being who really likes everyone and leaves people to their machinations. There are usually paintings from Ringling  students on the walls. There is free wi-fi and you can never tell whom you might run into. It’s the “funnest” coffee shop in Sarasota and operates in a true Bohemian manner.

My family***

My business declined and I was forced to move by economic circumstances. The truest and dearest allies were my three children and their spouses. They contributed “sweat, blood and tears” and made their Papa feel like there was a divine force at work in the universe. No greater love is there in the universe than I experienced during these hectic days. Although the temperature was unbearably hot my children were hard at work, doing the things that had to be done. They made my new home possible and gave me the confidence to go on with my creations. In the end Hope and Love, when allowed in the door, are one’s most honored guests. Amor vincit omnia.


I was sitting in an outdoor coffee shop this morning as a spectator. Next to me was a couple with a guy on a cell phone while the lady silently watched and waited for ten full minutes. At another table people were also waiting for each other to get off their respective cell phones. There were some people immersed in their computer screens oblivious to the world around them. Suddenly a middle aged man sat down alongside me and with a wonderful Turkish accent said that he he was leaving for Istanbul on June 2. I never saw this stranger before but in a few seconds he was no longer a stranger. The technofudges were soothing their egos with electronic instruments that obeyed their every command and I happily met a person who did not bury himself in gadgets and could enjoy the morning breeze.