Archives for posts with tag: Dieter Stark

The Beginning Of The Longest Cocktail Party

Haresh Shah

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Dieter (Stark) is tickled pink. He s standing behind the kitchen island, swinging the stainless steel cocktail shaker back and forth in his hands. Equally as handsome, he looks like Tom Cruise would behind the bar years later in his movie Cocktail. Surveying the scene and the mood of the night. He is feeling absolutely no pain. His face wears a glow of amazement at the mission accomplished as he looks down at all those bottles of booze lined up in front of him like miniature Chicago skyline. Most of them are half gallon bottles of just arrived Kentucky Bourbon, Scotch Whiskeys, Bombay Gin, Bacardi Rum, Absolut Vodka. There are smaller ones of the mixers containing of red and white Martinis, Crème de Menthe, Grenadine, Tonic water. Open cartons of orange juice, some Coke and 7-up bottles stand ready to be poured in whatever cocktail he would end up concocting. He must feel like a kid let loose in the liquid candy store. Innumerable possibilities, the night not long enough!

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Dieter and I worked together as repro photographers for Burda Verlag in Offenburg, Germany. My early days living and working in the town of Offenburg in southern Germany were some of the loneliest. It didn’t help that I spoke no German yet and the little bit that I did, I misunderstood more than did I understand. I must give credit to the people I worked with in doing their best to communicate with me. But by and large, I was lost like a babe in the woods in that provincial south western German town that boasts of being the gateway to the picturesque Black Forest.

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Haresh Shah

You Are What You Drive

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“That damn Buick of yours. As much as we have paid to transport it all over the world, the company should own the damn thing.” Exclaims my boss Lee Hall. So it should. The company could have even bought two of those damn things. But what was I supposed to do?

I had applied for a job at Playboy at the same time as I did Time. I have had a perfunctory interview with the production boss John Mastro. Nothing came out of it while Time offered me the job in Chicago. Now four years later when John does offer me the job, its over the phone – the one that would take me to Germany. And wouldn’t you know? He wants me yesterday.

Its Thursday October 26th 1972. This is how the conversation goes.

‘When can you start?’

‘As soon as I could.’

‘Can you leave in a couple of weeks?’

‘That might be a bit tight. I still have a job, I need to give them notice first,’

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