Stephen’s Picture/Photo Collage




The Finished Photo Collage. 90% Stephen and 10% Sister DeBorah!! Hooray for Stephen!!

Given the opportunity people with Autism can express their Creativity in unique ways. Some like Stephen’s friends and fellow consumers in the AABR Choir have magnificent voices the bring happiness and joy to those who hear them sing.

Stephen enjoys Art and even though the Art program at AABR has been eliminated due to budget cuts I will continue to bring art into Stephen’s life by taking him to various New York City Museums (Our Favorite is the Brooklyn Museum) and purchasing art supplies for him so we can do our artist thing when Stephen comes to visit me.


One Word Photo Challenge: Hippopotamus

This Week’s Challenges: July 23 – 29 (OWPC & WW)

A new week means new challenge themes!

One Word Photo Challenge: Hippopotamus 


This Hippo lives in the Egyptian Wing of the Brooklyn Museum



The Least of These………..


I work as a Museum Security Guard. In order to live comfortably in New York City one needs an income of at least $75K to $80K.  As you can see Museum Security Guards are the last on the list. We are the most visible and in fact we are the face of every museum yet we make the least. Often we put our safety on the line. Yes guards have been attacked by visitors. Myself included and believe me it’s worse for the female guards. Though it’s not reported it happens. We are maligned, mistreated and pretty much taken for granted by the visiting public and sometimes the other departments. Nameless. Faceless. Until trouble or need arises. At times No appreciation.

Yet over 95% of museum security officers at my workplace have at least a Bachelors degree and often advanced degrees, many of us are multi-lingual, a good portion of us are artists in our own right. Yes. That’s right most of my colleagues are writers, painters, musicians, fashion designers, visual and literary artists. Talented and creative people.

Why do a job where you are often not respected?

Because we Love the Art. We are creative beings and working for a museum standing in those galleries day after day and sometimes night after night fuels our creativity even more. We feel we have something to contribute. Our reward comes from reuniting a lost child with his/her parents, a child, teen or even an adult’s eyes light up with knowledge as we not only direct them to a specific artwork but many times we are expected to have infinite intricate knowledge of various types of artworks on display and even those not on display, making sure that an ill/sick visitor receives the medical assistance they need in an emergency (And Believe Me when I say I’ve had visitors collapse, pass out, vomit, have convulsions and fall down stairs splitting their heads wide open bleeding profusely. I am not squeamish. Can’t be with my job.)  We are trained to deal with various types of emergencies.

Despite the low pay and being called everything but a Child of God I’m glad for the 9 years I’ve spent working as a museum guard. It has been a learning experience and I’ve even surprised myself with all the knowledge and information I’ve acquired over the years. A Few years ago just for fun I created curriculum courses on How to Read a Painting partially based on the talks I’ve heard given by the Docents (Unpaid Volunteers) and the many curatorial talks I’ve attended.  Being a museum guard can be boring and listening to the museum tours is a welcome distraction. Pretty much I came to memorized a good many of those talks verbatim. As far as I can tell the docents have a script from which they rarely deviate.  I’ve also had the opportunity to give impromptu talks about the artwork. Not only do I listen to the docent/curator talks I also make it my business to watch videos about art and read books on the subject.

Me writing this is not to malign or be critical of the other museum works. I know the Curators work their behinds off and deserve their high paying salaries as do the technicians, art handlers, etc…  My desire/wish is that Security be seen as an integral part of the museum team which we are since the museum galleries cannot open without security guards.  Also a Living Wage that does Not require working hours and hours of overtime would be nice.

Now I work the Night Shift so I rarely see visitors.  In addition to performing my Nightly Security duties I can spend quiet time reflecting on the various exhibitions since the galleries are empty and silent.

The next time you visit a museum especially one in my hometown of New York Thank that Museum Security Guard. You will bring Joy to their day. And by the way, DON’T TOUCH THE ART!!!


Museum Director: $233,398
Chief Operating Officer/Administrator: $150,100
Deputy Director: $142,994
Chief Curator/Director of Curatorial Affairs/Curator A: $123,725
Director of Development/Development A: $120,000
Chief Conservator/Conservator A: $107,832
Director of Information Systems/Chief Information Officer: $106,692
Director of Finance/Finance A: $103,000
Senior Curator/Curator of Special Collections Area/Curator B: $102,500
Director, Planned Giving/Institutional Giving: $95,000
Director of External Affairs: $94,500
Human Resources Director: $92,830
Senior Conservator/ Conservator B: $83,771
Curator of Exhibitions/Curator C: $81,017
Systems Manager/Technology Director/Director of New Media: $79,000
Director of Education/Curator of Education/Education A: $77,030
Facilities Director/Building Manager/Operations Manager: $75,400
Marketing Director: $74,375
Director of Finance/Finance B: $73,917
Associate Curator/Curator D: $69,340
Editor/Director of Publications: $68,688
Engineering Manager: $67,009
Exhibition Designer: $66,955
Head Librarian/ Librarian A: $64,272
Associate Conservator/ Conservator C: $61,165
Web Manager: $60,600
Public Relations Officer: $60,458
Grant Manager/Institutional Giving Manager/Development B: $60,416
Chief of Security: $60,416
Photographer: $58,915
Assistant Curator/Curator E: $58,052
Registrar A: $55,973
Associate Librarian/Librarian B: $55,703
Graphic Designer: $55,620
Special Events Manager: $54,368
Assistant to Director: $53,960
Chief Preparator/Preparator A: $53,077
Museum Store Manager: $53,000
Associate Registrar/Registrar B: $52,755
Development Associate/Development C: $52,020
Associate Educator/Educator B: $52,000
New Media Manager: $50,000
Associate Librarian/Librarian C: $49,728
Associate Preparator/Preparator B: $45,127
Volunteer Coordinator: $43,722
Assistant Educator/Educator C: $43,000
Assistant Registrar/Registrar C: $41,787
Curatorial Assistant: $40,000
Membership Assistant: $39,100
Education Assistant: $36,025

Museum Security Officer/Museum Security Guard: $31,213

Numbers from


Share Your World – January 23, 2017


Share Your World – January 23, 2017

Share Your World – January 23, 2017


fruit-vs-fruit-juiceDo you prefer juice or fruit?

A difficult choice. Juice is more convenient because you can carry a bottle of juice with you and it is not messy to eat whereas with fresh fruit you’re peeling the fruit and creating a mess. On the other hand obviously fresh fruit is better because sugar is added to most juices unless you do home juicing of fresh fruit but that too is time consuming. So I’d say juice on the job ~~ fresh fruit at home.

Did you grow up in a small or big town? Did you like it?

Big Town. The Big Apple. Yes I Love it. When I was younger and my Maternal Grandmother and Aunts were alive I used to visit them in Dayton, Ohio. Talk about boring. No I could never live in a rural or suburban community where there is nothing to do and you must drive everywhere. Despite my complaints about the New York City MTA for Non-Drivers like me our Transit system makes New York an excellent place to live.

If you were to paint a picture of your childhood, what colors would you use?

All the Colors of the Rainbow because for me childhood was pretty much carefree. Red, Blue, Green, Purple, Orange… anything bright. It is only when I got to adulthood that things became murky grays and muddiness.

Ways to Relax List: Make a list of what relaxes you and helps you feel calm.


Spending time with my brother Stephen who is an Awesome Autism Guy!! Hooray!!

Time with my cat Sylvester.


Photography in good weather.

Listening to music.

Watching videos/films/movies on Netflix and YouTube.

Going to any of New York City’s Botanic Gardens when the weather is good.

Hanging out in Central Park.

Spending time exploring the streets, places and faces of Harlem my Dad’s birthplace and where he grew up. Also one of the greatest and best Black History spots!!

Attending Cultural Events in New York.

Going to the beach even though I have not done this in years. With my work schedule virtually no time.

Visiting Museums other than the one that I work for!

Reading even though I’ve had to cut back because of problems with my eyesight.

Optional Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? 


Passed an exam and obtained a license required for my job.

As for the upcoming week perhaps I can go back to getting my B 12 shots. I had to stop because of meetings with my brother Stephen’s Group Home/Residence and his training center, then last Friday I had to take that professional exam. Since not receiving my B 12 shots I’ve noticed I’ve been more tired.  Self-care is so difficult because with my long hours at work and caring for Stephen my needs fall to the bottom of the list. Of course as you all know I Love my brother Stephen more than anything so I’m willing to sacrifice my time for his. He is more important. I always wonder about these folks who talk about Self-Care. They must not work, be retired, or are self-employed or just filthy rich!!


Picture courtesy of Cee Neuner!! ❤  





Together ~~ Super Siblings


Had an fabulous fantastic weekend with my brother Stephen. Yesterday we both got hair cuts from Mel the Barber who is not only a great barber but a great guy. Stephen also received a shave from Mel, a small matter as Stephen only has a goatee and mustache.  
My brother Stephen has smooth skin and really does not have much facial hair.
Stephen enjoys sitting in the back yard just relaxing. We got in our exercise walk where I stopped by an excellent store where you can get many items for low prices. Purchased underwear, undershirts, socks and slippers for Stephen.
Prior to his home visit this weekend I had already gotten him a spiffy hat, some Spider-Man socks and a few other items.  I also spent money on Halloween costumes for both Stephen and me. So next month Stephen will either be Spider-Man or a Knight. The only thing I forgot was to buy him a belt but I will do it later on this week.
Today we went to one of our favorite places the Brooklyn Museum where we explored the various exhibits. They were setting up for a Wedding so some exhibits were closed however we still had an enjoyable time together.
Then back onto the subway and off to Franklin Avenue for more shopping. Stephen needed a new backpack and of course Big Sister was there to fulfill his needs. Since today was pretty hot we stopped for ice cream. Then back inside home where Stephen indulged his taste for horror movies!!
Stephen is the reason that I work overtime. My desire is to give him the best Life possible so I will endure the pain of standing for hours on end to ensure his happiness.
You may wonder or be asking yourself doesn’t Stephen get SSI (Social Security) and a clothing allowance?  The answer to your question is Yes Stephen does received Social Security and a clothing allotment allowance.  Why he comes to my house sometimes looking like the Rag Pickers son is beyond me, however I will be having a discussion with both the Director and Manager of his group home.  I do see that they buy him some shirts, pants (that usually don’t fit well) and sneakers but I know that they can do a better job.
Anytime you live in any institutional environment there will be some theft however I am not working hours and hours of pain inducing standing overtime to supply someone else with the clothing, bags and other items I buy for Stephen on a monthly basis.
When Stephen comes over for a home visit I give him my bedroom and I crash on the sofa downstairs.  He will watch movies on my Kindle Fire while I relax or prepare meals downstairs. Stephen always had a habit of looking for me and making sure that I was close by no matter where we were but in the last few years he will done the stairs just to sit by me on the sofa. He likes to be close to me.  The Love is there and it shows. Especially since it is only the two of us. All of our immediate family have died so we both treasure our time with each other.
The Most Important thing in my Life is for us to be Together! Super Siblings Forever!! An Amazing Sibling Team for Eternity!!

Stephen Vincent Palmer ~~ An Amazing Awesome Autism Guy!!


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