Last Sunday, Jerry Joyner made a meal from scratch, and we drove out and visited Virginia Team, at her home near Ashland City. I met Virginia in the early 1980’s, when she was the main Art Director at CBS Records, on Music Row. She had a reputation as being a world-class Art Director, with high standards. I remember being terrified when I went their the first time to show her my book. I remember it was summer, and she was dressed in all white, and the sun was shining in the window, and she was nice to me and welcoming.
Later, we became true friends, as we traveled the country, doing record covers over the years. There were many fun adventures out west, in Arizona and New Mexico, scouting remote locations. She has a heart of gold, (even though it was scary to work for her!). She has an eye for subtle CMYK color like I’ve never seen with anyone else. She was known for taking her grease pencil to Matchprints, and marking them up for retouching. I’d just stand in her office and marvel over what she’d take note of. There was this retouching broker, in those days — Bob Towery — and he’d bring in these Matchprints and retouching — on dye transfer prints, done by hand in those days, and she’d send them back, over and over, til they were perfect.
Now, she’s retired, and lives on many acres outside of Nashville, with sixteen chickens, two cats, and Beau, the dog. Pete died a while back; he looks a lot like Beau.
We made a nice meal that day; took the golf cart out across the land; and built a nice fire. Was a good day.
Virginia Team, behind one of the many outbuildings on her land. She’s holding a basket that we used to gather lettuce for the salad, out of her winter garden.
A day afterwards, Virginia emailed me this photo of her as a small girl, in South Carolina. Look at that priceless face, and her prized possession.
Virginia throwing seed to the chickens, outside the kitchen door. Jerry, amused by it all. Beau, following our every footstep, on security detail. She even grows homemade sprouts to spoil the chickens. They’re the best-fed chickens in all of Cheatham county.
Virginia said that one day, she left the kitchen door cracked, and she turned around and the chickens had come into the house, and were on the kitchen side table, eating the cat food. So she showed me how they entered…
Serene setting in her living room, with Scooter holding court.
While we were in the winter garden, collecting lettuce, the cat delivered a prize, in the center of the kitchen floor.
Virginia, armed and dangerous, and looking like either Annie Oakley or Shirley Temple, with her father, in South Carolina.
We made a nice campfire that burned all day. This is one of three firepits on the property; take your pick.
Beau followed us wherever we went, all afternoon. He’s about 12 or 13, but doing great, for a large dog.
Every afternoon, Virginia takes out the golf cart, through the roads on her land, and Beau gets a workout, running along beside the cart.
This is Simon Levy, one of the many roosters on the land. (Simon, in real life, was well-respected Art Director at Warner Brothers, in both LA and Nashville. Great guy and excellent artist).
A wooden egg, in the henhouse, to remind the hens about their role in life.
Interior of the henhouse, in the late afternoon, when they (automatically) come home, and hop up on their perch, for bed.
On the dining room table was a beautiful book from Virginia’s father. He’d made the book when he was about eleven years old. (Love the typeface, and everything about this book).
There is this famous graphic that floats around the internet — a mark-up by Richard Avedon, to show his B/W printer how to print the final print. I sent this to Virginia to show her that there was at least one person more demanding about retouching than her! (I guess it’s not bad to play second fiddle to Richard Avedon).