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Jim Mountford

Profile Updated: July 5, 2020
Jim Mountford
Jim Mountford

Then

Jim Mountford

Now

Jim Mountfort Class of 69 yearbook-small

Yearbook

Yes! Attending Reunion
Residing In:
Murphy, NC USA
Spouse/Partner:
Divorced for 15 years - not sure I want to go down that road again.
Occupation:
Retired English teacher
Children:
Chelsea 21
Erick 29
No grandchildren
Military Service:
Air Force  
Comments:

Sorry I can't make it to the reunion, love to go, but now living on a fixed income fizzles that.

Lets do the fast forward to this point and go a little backwards from there.

I currently live on a little island in the Philippines for the last year. It's a nice quiet life here and suites me just fine. Prior to that I taught oral English in China for 7 years. What my mother found amusing is Jim, the guy who failed in just about every high school class, especially English is teaching English??!!#@#$!!! On top of that, I am somewhat dyslectic, I get spellings jumbled up, my handwriting is atrocious and I am currently managing my way, slowly, through the first of the Dune books. Yet I was a respected teacher, many of my students giving me the name, Professor. Being an oral English teacher suited me and the students had lots of fun correcting my spelling. I taught most all levels of oral English, from small children to corporate executives.

School Story:

I was just that guy with a camera slung around my neck marching and rioting against the war. One of the the things I am most proud of is going against the grain and getting a D- in my history class because I made a good case why we shouldn't be in Vietnam. The teacher called me a communist.

I hated school, not Paly, but school in general. I found most of the classes monumentally boring. How does a senior drag his lackluster 2.5 GPA down to a 1.87 in the course of a year? Answer: Never going to class and smoking weed in the bushes by the Standford Stadium with my other lost friends. Or in some cases, going over to Stanford to attend a random class or two because it was far more interesting. In order to graduate I had to take 4 classes of PE, the English, history and other classes didn't matter, but PE did.

After Paly, at my parents insistence I did all of 3 weeks at Foothill. I majored in, avoiding classes.

When I reached 27, living in Quincy California, my claim to fame was I ran the local bus station. With only two buses a day and certainly nothing to be proud of and being constantly broke, I decided I needed to go back to school, but screw it, I didn't want to do 2-4 years to get a piece of paper that said I knew things. So I joined the air-force, aced electronics tech school and eventually landed a job at IBM. When I reached 45 I got my final job in the states, the imaging department at the San Francisco Chronicle eventually becoming the night manager. Technology eliminated that job and they stuck me in front of a computer making sure ads dropped into the right spot on the page. Yes a trained monkey could do it, yes I was not happy. I then got a job in the photo department working up photos for publication. Then that job got eliminated and back to being a monkey. Then I screwed up a major ad and got fired a few weeks after my 55th birthday. That, my friends, was Friday, June 13th, 2006, a day that will live in my infamy which turned out to be one of the luckiest days of my life -- that and getting a backseat ride in an F4 with a hot dog pilot during my Air-Force days. I almost spewed but I managed to hold it in -- then got out looking the same color as the Grench That Stole Christmas and said, "lets do it again!"

Years before, when I worked for IBM I told my boss I wanted to retire at 55 and maybe try my hand at teaching overseas. By pure dumb luck that is exactly what happened.

So how is this about my school story? Isn't life a serious of educational vignettes, that everything we learn from the time we are born to the day we die, or can no longer think, education?

My school story started the day I was born and will end on the day my girlfriend, or wife depending on if I am brave enough to do that again, ships my body off to a medical school so the students can learn, from my corpse, what made this old guy tick.

"Lord my body has been a good friend, but I won't need it, when I reach the end." Cat Stevens.

Do you want to NEVER hear from a Paly Reunion again?

No

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Paula Rowland Klein posted a message on Jim Mountford's Profile. New comment added.
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Mar 30, 2021 at 6:44 AM

Posted on: Mar 16, 2021 at 6:48 PM

Your photos are so beautiful...I especially loved the garden angel....I had one in my garden for many years in Spokane...had to leave it behind when I moved to Austin. Being from San Francisco...you probably remember the Flower Mart at 6th and Brannon ...got that angel at one of the supply houses there. A fun place to explore. Thanks ...keep posting.

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Dec 19, 2020 at 1:13 PM

Posted on: Dec 19, 2020 at 1:33 AM

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Aug 18, 2020 at 1:25 PM

Posted on: Aug 18, 2020 at 11:36 AM

can you start a section called "Why I Photograph"
I am not getting much of anything on my photographic posts

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Jun 07, 2020 at 3:05 PM

Posted on: Jun 07, 2020 at 2:44 PM

Rog,
The last update I got regarding new posts was 2 weeks ago. It seems like it is still buggy.
Jim

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Dec 19, 2019 at 6:28 AM

Posted on: Dec 19, 2019 at 1:35 AM

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Dec 19, 2018 at 9:59 AM

Posted on: Dec 19, 2018 at 1:33 AM

Jim Mountford has left an In Memory comment for his Profile.
Feb 12, 2018 at 1:33 AM

My first boss, Koji Murata at Nippon Goldfish Company at Town and Country village said the one thing he hated about growing old is burying his old friends, relatives and acquaintances. I didn't really understand it then, but I do now.

May you rest in peace Jim. Although I hardly knew you, I remember your face and name.

Jim

Dec 20, 2017 at 12:42 PM

Posted on: Dec 19, 2017 at 7:13 AM

Happy birthday!

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Dec 19, 2017 at 9:41 AM

Posted on: Dec 19, 2017 at 1:34 AM

Dec 17, 2017 at 6:42 PM

Jim, just wanted to make sure I sent you a B-DAY HUGGGG across the cosmos and let you know that you still hold a special place in my heart my friend.....SO glad to see you happy & in love! Rock on!! LEE

Dec 19, 2016 at 7:26 AM

I hope your birthday is joyful, happy and full of inspiration!

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Dec 19, 2016 at 1:33 AM
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Nov 08, 2016 at 6:27 PM

Posted on: Nov 08, 2016 at 8:18 AM

I'd be happy to be included in the artists in residence, I think it is more appropriate to put my posts there as I think the amphitheater is more for chit chat. Which is one of the reasons I stopped posting.

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Dec 19, 2015 at 1:33 AM
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Dec 08, 2015 at 4:21 PM
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Jan 14, 2016 at 1:10 PM

Posted on: Dec 08, 2015 at 5:20 AM

I Get Angry

I'm a pretty happy go lucky kind of guy, not a lot bothers me, except gross incompetence by government officials, wars for profit which most of them are, promises of superior service and getting crap, those who lie, cheat and steal then go to church and get forgiven only to start the whole cycle over again, bigotry, racism, gossip and the list goes on and on and on. Yea, I get angry, when I see a family sleeping on the streets, a vet who's 3 cans shy of a six pack living out of a shopping cart, malnourished anything, and people so acclimated to it, they no longer care. Don't even get me started on the current crop of most running for prez, I am embarrassed to be an American.

Yea I'm angry and yet I have so much to be thankful for. I have some money, I eat everyday, I can buy new clothes, if I save my money I can buy a new state of the art computer, camera, TV but TV suck so I don't bother, a Big Mac and go extra super duper large and work up the girth to prove it, a girlfriend that is half my age, a really sweet dog, a nice step daughter that gets angry at her mom when she treats me like crap, a roof over our heads and an extra room to set up all my photo crap, computers, hard drives, printers and so on. Putting photo albums together for my friends knowing the internet is a terrible way to show your talents -- it is to fleeting, but a photo book 20 years later will still be remembered, and my memories of everything that for some reason found a place in my head and keeps reminding me I am still alive and it sure as hell is worth it.

I wish I had a billion gazallion dollars so I could set up all the people who have little or nothing in a way to make a living. I wish I could help all those who can't work, can't contribute, can't barely think. I wish I could do so much, but the guys on top, who got all the money tell us it will trickle down and it never does, they just horde it to gain more power. Those are the ones that make me really angry, the selfishness, the greed, and the wholesale slaughter of decency -- not all, but I'd be safe to say, most.

I wish I could stop the hate

Not an excerpt from our book
Beauty and the Beast
By Keith Warren
Photography by Jim Mountford

http://www.amazon.com/BEAUTY-THE-BEAST-splendour-Philippines-ebook/dp/B00Y9S6U3K

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Jul 14, 2015 at 10:43 AM
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May 30, 2015 at 12:25 PM

Posted on: May 27, 2015 at 7:08 AM

Beauty and the Beast
By Keith Warren and myself
Is now available via Amazon

"A mixture of photo journalism and fiction which explores highly effectively the paradox of the Philippines: it is at one and the same time a country of stunning natural beauty and also a society driven by social inequality, corruption, pollution and superstitions rooted deep in the past. The authors are friends who live in the Iloilo area of the Western Visayas. Each has used his creative skills to create a unique written and pictorial montage of their surroundings."

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00Y9S6U3K

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May 30, 2015 at 12:26 PM

Posted on: May 21, 2015 at 5:02 AM

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Posted: Jan 08, 2015 at 12:21 PM
Untitled
(DSC4895)

And now for something that has nothing to do with the Philippines which brings up some thoughts, but not now.

By the way, Happy New Year everybody, a week late.
Hey, who was it that spiked the punch bowl at the graduation party?
Posted: Jan 07, 2015 at 5:12 PM
Waiting
San Miguel, Guimaras Island, Philippines
(DSC_2893)

This is kind of amusing. This is right outside the LTO office (equivalent to our DMV in the states) waiting to be called on. Which can be hours, maybe a whole day and then once you get your brand new car registered you have to wait anywhere from 6 months to over a year to get the license plates. If you change the color of your car, from lets say Blue to Silver, you have to do it all over again. You can almost forget it if you buy a car in a distant province, you are in for a lot of paperwork.

The other thing, is they have computers, but they don't have it set up so they talk to each other properly. What would take a few minutes in the states can take a year or more in the Philippines. Which adds to corruption as they have "fixers" who, for a fee, knows someone who knows someone who for a bribe can get things rolling faster.

This problem is not subject to the LTO office, all offices work like this, if you want something done, it is best to get a "fixer" to help you.

Try buying land here, I learned quickly on, ask if the title is free and clear, which to them can mean, they have the title, but a dozen relatives, most of them dead are in line for the land which then takes lawyers and years to straighten it out. Which is why I always ask, title and one owner. Which, unfortunately is rare. They have no mechanism to make sure titles are properly taken care of. In the mean time the taxes keep adding up so that million peso wonderful piece of land you fell in love with can double in price through back taxes and lawyer fees and years of sleepless nights.

Welcome to the Third World where nothing is as it seems.

JM
Posted: Jan 07, 2015 at 1:29 AM
Store Clerks
Iloilo, Philippines
(DSC_2551)

Typically friendly so I asked them if I could take their photo. Sure came back the reply, and the two married ones displayed their hands saying, look, I'm married so get rid of that dirty mind of yours! Well ok, I made that up, but it does seem that way, whenever I talk to a married woman, she usually prominently displays her wedding ring. Pay attention here, one is wearing her ring on the left, the other on the right, and some wear it on the wrong finger so what is set in stone in the USA is not necessarily that way overseas.

How did I know if they were married? They asked me, then I asked them and the two that were married showed me their rings, again.

JM
Posted: Jan 04, 2015 at 4:02 AM
Enrico Resort
Guimaras Island, Philippines
(_DSC5196)

Living in the tropics, what's so great about it?

Yes it is great, despite my complaining, I really do love it. But it is what you make it and if you fight it, you'll hate it.

First off, I'll start with a few little anecdote of dreams being more then a person can handle. This is not a bragging look what I've done, it's just after years of seeing people having dreams and not following them is what set me apart.

The dream was, sailing the south seas. Out of all the seafaring wannabe's at the marina I had my 32 Islander sailing sloop parked, there was a dozen liveaboards. All of them were saying, someday ---- someday I'm going to --- and off to some great dream that they were years, or a lifetime from achieving, that is, if they got their butts in gear. I came close, very close till I got tendinitis in my elbow which nixed that dream all to hell. I learned how to sail in most any weather that the bay and the coast could throw at me. I had a stout boat, all my rigging led aft so I could control most of what I needed to do from the cockpit, all I was missing was a decent life-raft, emergency locator transponder and a new set of sails. Yet with the exception of one livaboard, no one even started their dream and the last I heard of the one lone livaboard who did is he, his wife and kid were somewhere in South America living their dream.

My new dream became, living overseas, since sailing was no longer an option of getting there. When I announced to all my friends that I was going to move to China to teach oral English, everyone of them said, either to me, or privately that I was making a huge mistake and I'd be back sooner rather then later, the bets were, 6 months. Today many of them are still asking when I will come home, my answer has been and will remain, I am home because it is not based on a country, or a city or town, it is where I chose to make it. Be it China, the Philippines, Ecuador, Cuba or whatever, it is my place of residence be it a week, or 20 years.

Is living in the tropics what it is cracked up to be? Yes, if you learn to roll with the punches and it will punch you into next week from time to time. Like power that is undependable, banking that is screwy, a postal system that is iffy, politics that is corrupt, trying to buy land a lawyers wet dream, spotty access to western food in the markets, beef that needs to be boiled to eat it, lack of vegetables, insects, lots of insects and lizards that live in your home eating the insects you don't want to think about, even stupid things like wire nuts to join two wires together are non existent, yet in the states you can find them in the hardware section of the grocery store!

What I notice is the westerners who come for a year of so, be it in China or the Philippines and just have to go back to get their USA fix -- they've had enough. My fix, after I had left 7 years earlier was to see my mom, she's not doing so well having had a stroke and now living in a rest home (god I hate that word) and have a few great bottles of wine, a decent steak and prime rib, joking around with my brother and son and that is about it. Perhaps my next trip, this fall will fulfill a lifelong dream, to visit and stay in our great capitol, Washington DC to see the great museums and monuments and shake Obama's hand, well at least the cardboard cutout.

In my last and only trip back to the states I wondered around the quaint little town of La Crosse Wisconsin where my younger brother and mother, after her and my step father became to old to take care of themselves moved there from Palo Alto a few years before. My step father had passed on a year before so there I was, visiting her everyday, and walking around La Crosse thinking what a perfect little town that seemed, boring. I wanted my life back, with all the craziness that is associated with working through the nuances of living overseas, that is my life, not some little bungalow with a white picket fence, but rather a termite infested home full of cockroaches and spiders (really, I am making that up, but it could be) and an island that can be circumnavigated over all kinds of roads in a day where third world is king and first world is a dream.
Posted: Jan 02, 2015 at 5:35 AM
Enrico Beach Resort
Guimaras Island, Philippines
(DSC_2224)

Living in the tropics or overseas is not what it's cracked up to be.

Toilets, which at our age becomes more and more important. In China, they are a hole in the floor and usually stink. In the Philippines they are the regular throne that does not flush so you have to fill a bucket up with water and hope to god it flushes as you pour it in.

Heat, Hawaii does not get hot, it is ideal, but it gets hot in the Philippines and in China, oh my God, you can cook breakfast on the sidewalk at 11am during the summer, bacon included.

Bugs, not so bad in China, but all kinds of new and interesting ones in the Philippines where a must have is a bug zapper.

Transportation, cheap and crowded, in China, insanely crowded.

Drivers, in China the average driver has 6 years experience to our over 20 years, you do the math.

Power, 220 volts, which is no big deal, but it goes out all the time for minutes to days. In China, I had to have a regulator because the voltage went from 160 volts to 245. Sometimes I'd hear the servos on the regulator go wrrrrrrr, whap! Then wrrrr, chug, chug, chug, whap!

Food, in China fried and spicy, enough to blow your head off it you're not used to it. In the Philippines, deep fried and make an appointment with your doctor. I love Chinese food and tend to stay away from 80% of the food here.

Coconut Trees, you must never walk under a coconut tree on a windy day, if one of those babies hits you on the head, you be dead, dead, dead.

Typhoons, not a problem in China where I lived, but very much a problem here. We call them hurricanes, in Australia they call them Willy-Willies and I'd say that is the best description. They also play Rugby which is pretty close to what a Willy-Willy is without the speed.

So after all this, why do I stay here, why don't I go back to the states, especially the San Francisco Bay Area, the place of mild weather year around, the Niners and Giants, social life, concerts, good food and great living? Because I got tired of it, like a good book, it's got to end sometime and when it did it was time to move on. Nor would I trade my experiences for love or money, well maybe for a romp with Keira Knightley as long as she picks up the tab.
Posted: Dec 31, 2014 at 7:18 PM
Posted: Dec 31, 2014 at 6:33 PM
Perhaps a harbinger of things to come?

I've always had a desire to create a photo book, but the problem is, it is the most expensive way to publish and since self publishing is the way to go today for unpublished authors with the hopes that someday a publishing house will notice it, the cost, being the mitigating factor pretty much prohibits that.

The photo above I entered in a photo contest using a photo or photos to illustrate the photographers life. The photo(s) can be in any form, any subject (family oriented) and at any time and must have a title of the book, or make a complete book cover which I did here. The photos must be taken by the photographer.

I am not a graphic designer and threw this together in 1/2 an hour using Photoshop. I don't expect to get first place, most of my photos end up in the middle of the pack. The ones that win are what I would call typical, lots of color, sharp and don't go outside the creative box. I tend to like to enter photos that are not that way, many of them black and white which out of 100 entered, maybe 2 or 3 are black and white.

So, is this a harbinger of things to come? I doubt it, but there is no sense in not trying, or at least creating it, even if it is a private creation that will never see the inside of a publishing house.

JM
Posted: Dec 28, 2014 at 5:39 PM
Vinta Sailboat
Guimaras Island, Philippines
(DSC_2151-sig)

I don't see these boats out often and usually only on holidays.
Posted: Dec 26, 2014 at 4:34 AM
Vision?
Iloilo, Philippines
(DSC_1929)

I often complain about my adopted country, the Philippines, mostly for good reason. Poverty and lack of government headway being one of them. The other being apathy, an apathy that is probably born out of frustration more then anything else.

The Filipino people, since Marcos was thrown out of power have had a succession of presidents dogged by corruption. It seems, to the people, every politician is on the take as the country is seemingly sliding further into an abyss.

What is sad, even though Ferdinand Marcos was a dictator, foreign investment was high, the economy was expanding, poverty was not what it is today and the government and society was stable. For foreign investment, the Philippines was considered a good bet. But the people wanted more, they wanted democracy, they wanted freedom and by golly, they got it, not realizing that comes with a lot of responsibility which opened up the flood gates of corruption. Not that it didn't exist, with Marcos stealing money from the treasury and Imelda and her gazillion shoes, when all that got out it was inevitable that he would fall.

Today the Philippines have clowns like the one in the sign with their slogans of empty dreams, "a man of vision and outstanding performance" when there is nothing outstanding about Iloilo, especially in the enclave this photo was taken. Who is he trying to kid? The people don't buy it and after decades of failure through the ballot box, I wonder how much more of the BS they can put up with before it all comes to a head.

JM
Posted: Dec 25, 2014 at 4:21 AM
Minor Street Repair Overkill
Iloilo, Philippines
(DSC_1913-sig)

Walking the river road down near the Iloilo Wharf an enterprising official did his public duty warning people there were two rather large pot holes that the city, in due time, would repair. Yes, the holes could do serious damage to a car hitting them at 40 mph, but deep they were not.

What is ironic are the pot holes that are just as big with no signage in Iloilo. Perhaps a public official got his rear end all messed up and demanded they fix it, or put up detour signs.

Which brings me to a story when I lived in Reno (Drain-O) Nevada for 15 years. A road was being repaired and at one point there was a sign that simply said, in big bold letters, DIP. It was one heck of a dip and if you hit that thing going more the 5 mph and was not buckled in your head would hit the ceiling. Shortly thereafter someone spray painted under the sign, "NO SHIT" and that sign along with no shit stayed there for a few weeks till they filled the dip in.

Yes, we are both amusing in our own ways, one was over kill, the other an understatement till it was fixed.

JM


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