Category Archives: History

TWS: September 2017





Text by Racquel Ward, Copyright 2017


Photography by Tony Ward, Copyright 2017




Angelinos live amongst the stars, palm trees, vegan diets, terrible dating and gorgeous people. But if you live in the city the right way, it means to explore the rich history of Hollywood, visit it’s beautiful beaches, eat a myriad of authentic ethnic foods and talk to the characters of the city.

Catalina Island is a good place to start. Yes, there are great restaurants and south of France like beaches, but perhaps one of the most underrated sights to see is the 20th century art deco inspired Catalina Casino. Built and owned by the Wrigley Family, this architectural marvel puts you right back in time to the early days of Hollywood. The island itself is known as the “playground of the stars,” but the casino is where they gathered. Casino means, “gathering place” in Italian, and that’s just what Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra and many others did at this decadent Hollywood hot spot.

There is nothing “unknown” about the famous pink wall which houses Paul Smith’s flagship clothing store – mostly because it is one of the most popular places to take a selfie in the United States. If you’re into pop culture and all things Instagram, this is a must-see when you’re shopping on Melrose. It’s a great place to people watch since just about every second of every day you can see people taking snaps at the wall. However, perhaps the most unusual fact about it is that visitors rarely go into the actual store. Go figure.

Let’s not skip over the locals in Venice Beach. The neighborhood is a gentrified mess, but that still has not kept the locals from honoring their stake in the cultural fabric of the area. Keeping the character of Venice alive, 30+ year Angelino residents like Ben Bennett, have made their homes in Venice and do not intend to leave. It is not always appreciated but these guys and gals make the neighborhood what it is despite the presence of Facebook and Snapchat. Next time you see a Venice local, and believe me you’ll know one when you see one, stop and say hi. Ask about their lives, their histories and what makes Venice special to them. This exchange will deepen your understanding and appreciation of one of America’s greatest neighborhoods.

Next time you’re in Los Angeles, explore the city through a different lens. You may be surprised at what you find. But shhhh, don’t tell everybody, for like the oceans and the rain forests, these gems too need protection. Visitors and locals are all stewards of the cultural preciousness of the city.  Happy hunting!


About The Author: Racquel Ward is a writer and educational therapist living in Los Angeles. She holds a BA in Culture and Media studies and a BFA in Contemporary Music from the New School University – Manhattan, New York. Racquel also holds a Master’s of Science in Teaching. She has been published on ThoughtCatalog and most recently finished her first children’s book entitled: The Boy Who Couldn’t Read. Available at


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Studio News: Recent Vintage Print Sale


Dinner For Two, Philadelphia 1995


Photography and Text by Tony Ward, Copyright 2017.




This 11 x 14 inch vintage photograph entitled, “Dinner For Two, Philadelphia 1995  is from the book of Tableaux Vivants, published by Editions Stemmle, Zurich, 2002.  The archival print was recently sold to a private collector in Philadelphia for $2500.00.  It was the only print of its kind in inventory and from a  very rare limited edition of prints. The picture is part of a series of Tableaux Vivants I produced between the years 1993 to 2000. This particular photo was staged at the Striped Bass in Philadelphia,  once declared by Esquire Magazine as the number one restaurant in the United States for dining at the time.  Owners, Joe Wolf and Neil Stein commissioned me to make the photograph for an ad that would later run in Philadelphia magazine to promote the famous restaurants “midnight breakfast”.

 To see more pictures from this series, click here


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Dad: Happy Father’s Day


Milt Ward: Elkins Park, Pa. 1955



In Memorium


Milt Ward: July 30th, 1917 – October 31, 2003


Photo: Self-Portrait by Milt Ward at home in the fall of 1955, Elkins Park, Pennsylvania.

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Jean Ward: July 9, 1920 – June 10, 2017


Jean Ward: July 9, 1920 – June 10, 2017



Eulogy by Gina Cimino


JEAN WARD: JULY 9, 1920 – JUNE 10, 2017


Just yesterday morning, June 10th, 2017, at 6:00 AM, My Family lost a Mother, a Grandmother, a Sister, a Sister-in law, an Aunt, a Godmother, and a Friend. I am honored to represent My Family, The Wards, and Trasatti’s, in paying tribute to my Aunt and Godmother, Jenny Ward.

For so many reasons, and in so many ways, Aunt Jenny left a permanent mark upon my life. I’m convinced that whatever I am, whatever I am to become, I owe it to all those who have left an imprint on my life: my parents, yes, who gave me life; my Aunt Rita, too, who enriched my life, and Aunt Jenny who refined, and one might even say, defined, my life.

I am not sure if I totally understood this as a child, but as an adult looking back, I realized that many of the values I hold for myself were shaped by watching my Aunt Jenny’s life, and benefitting from that life. She taught me to Love and Accept all people of every age, color, ethnicity, gender, nationality, religion, status, ability, sexual identity, and/or country, no matter who they are, what they do, or who they Love! 

She embodied the spirit of parenthood, as she raised and loved her three children, Mark, Dwight, and Tony, unconditionally. Everything she did was for her family. As a woman, she was a pillar of strength, courage, and determination. As a Mother, she dedicated her entire life to her family.  She will always be remembered for her never tiring, and never-ending love, she so effortlessly gave to all of us!

She was a gracious host, she was a phenomenal cook, and she always made you feel welcomed in her beautiful, cozy home. I remember so many weekends, as we would pull up to her driveway, you could hear the sweet sound of the saxophone, as she played her jazz albums on the stereo, mixed with the scent of her delicious food, cooking on the stove. Aunt Jenny always understood what really mattered. It was being with her family that mattered! Now, she was not perfect. Was she stern? Yes! Could she speak her mind? Yes! Could she put you in your place without uttering a word—with just one look? Oh, Yes!

However, she also possessed something that is so unique—and sadly, it is growing increasingly unique: She had a servant’s heart. She spent her life taking care of her family, and therefore, “Her Life”, was a life of, “True Sacrifice”.

Too often, we measure success by how much money one makes, but the truth is we must measure our lives by God’s plan. Therefore, I define success as fulfilling the purpose for which God called us, and I believe with all my heart, that my Aunt Jenny fulfilled that purpose. I believe with all my heart, her life was an “epic success”. When you look at her Sons, you see her success; when you look at her Grand Children, you see her success; when you look at me, you see her success. Therefore, she still lives. She has left a legacy that will not die.

I spent a good bit of time with Aunt Jenny over the last few years, and as difficult as those times were, they were, oddly, some of the most precious times God allowed me to have. It was a time of personal healing, and bonding; it gave me a chance to talk with her, to laugh with her, to enjoy pictures of family with her, and very often, just to sit there quietly. It allowed me an opportunity to remind her of how much I Loved her, and I “Thank God”, for that opportunity. Some people do not get that opportunity. It is something I will always cherish, and I know God had a plan—and He worked it, as only He can. I cannot say I understand it all, because I do not, but I trust Him.

As I end, Aunt Jenny may have departed this life, but her legacy lives on. It lives on in the lives of so many; it lives on in me, and among the most prominent of those lives, is the life of my Aunt Jenny, for she is the one who “Shaped my Values”.



Last Hours With My Mom, Jean Ward: Rest in Peace



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Night Fever: 1977 to 1979


Night Fever: 1977 to 1979


Photography and Text by Tony Ward, Copyright 2017


NIGHT FEVER: 1977 to 1979


It was the end of the 1970’s, where  I discovered an electric atmosphere at a Rochester, New York discotheque called Club 747.  The fun and excitement of this unique night club drew me back frequently to make photographs. Inside the energy and unusual décor, inspired by the interior design of a 747 jumbo jet, typified the Zeitgeist in nightclubs of the Disco era.  New York’s Studio 54, where the famous and not so famous partied until dawn epitomized this same period in time.  In 1977, the famous American actor, John Travolta introduced his Fred Astaire-like moves on the big screen in the smash hit, Saturday Night Fever.  Travolta’s ode to a neighborhood Brooklyn nightclub was represented with the same enthusiasm by the Saturday night fever of Club 747 in Rochester, New York.

The characters at Club 747 enhanced the mood. There was the African American man whose face and hands were marked by the scars of severe burns. He looked upscale in his three piece suit dancing to the rhythms of Donna Summer, The Bee Gees and the Village People. A young determined white college student with her hand in a sling was deterred from receiving her drink. She simply waited for her shot from an anonymous donor with her functional left hand outstretched, as if the drink was already received. The crowd was from all walks of life, the young and the old, the upper class and the less fortunate.  They all seemed oblivious to their differences in age, gender, race, social class, religious beliefs, political persuasion or sexual preference. As a body they were universally seduced, united and enlightened by the music and dance of this uniquely American period in time: the 1970’s.


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