Later this week we shall go to stay for a night or two with our friends, the Kondors, in Kapolcs, Veszprém County. Think here of a wonderful fusion of the hills of Tuscany, the fertile valleys of the Dordogne and the clustered cottages of some Cotswold hamlet. To this add rolling vineyards sweeping down to the shores of Lake Balaton, wild flower meadows, bosky woods, a thriving artistic community, and the picture is complete.
|the village of Kapolcs in Veszprém County, Hungary|
László, and his American born wife, Linda, are not only delightful, but the most generous and entertaining of hosts. And already, even before our arrival, we are promised country walks, wine tasting, a vintage market, new friends to be met and, if previous visits are to go by, delicious dinners eaten under the stars of a hot Hungarian night. For László is no stranger to the grill.
|temporary shelter for Hungarian refugees in Austria in November 1956|
But it has not always been so. As a young, reckless [some woud say] boy of sixteen in 1956 he, along with his brother, in the revolutionary spirit of that year, climbed on to the roof of the village school and removed the Red Star which topped the building. Facing years in a Labour Camp, and possibly the firing squad, they fled to Austria, escaping across the heavily guarded border at night, and then later to the United States.
|a captured Viet Cong flag in 1970 during the Vietnam War: László Kondor|
Still under thirty, and by now an American citizen, László enlisted in the army where he served his adopted country with distinction in Vietnam both as a combatant and as a Combat Photographer in the DASPO [Department of Army Special Photographic Office]. His photographic record of that war continues to be acclaimed and examples of his work are to be found in museums and galleries, as well as private collections, not only within the United States but also throughout Europe.
|figure on a staircase: László Kondor|
Today the walls of the Kapolcs house display examples of László's work reflecting a lifetime of corporate and fashion photography. But, whilst the camera may be set aside, life continues to be as rich and varied as it ever was. More so, perhaps.
|a glimpse of the studio archive of László Kondor|
As always, we anticipate fun and adventure!