Prepare to enter a world of both shadow and substance

Take a journey of body, mind and spirit where you'll encounter things you won't find anywhere else.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Travels With Charley (uh, Kenny)

Throughout my adult life, I have had the privilege to visit many of what is considered the great places in this nation of ours. At a young age, my family moved to Arizona and I came this close to seeing the Grand Canyon, but never did quite make it. If I could choose one thing to see that I haven't witnessed in person, that would probably be at the top of my list. But, the places already checked off my list run into double figures.
When I was a senior in high school, and at the ripe old age of 18, my graduating class had the pleasure of a trip to our nation's capital, Washington D.C. I have to tell you that seeing all those buildings our forefathers built and used was pretty awe-inspiring. Plus, it was the first real test of any consequence for my relatively new Minolta XD-11 camera. Here are a few of the places we saw:

Yes, we got to go inside the Capitol Building, the White House, The Lincoln Memorial, up the Washington Monument, the National Archives, The Supreme Court building and the Smithsonian Institute, among others. On a few side trips, we also got to take in George Washington's home, Mount Vernon, Colonial Williamsburg and the battlefield at Gettysburgh. A very sobering place, indeed. I don't think I'll ever forget the places we visited that year of 1979.

A few years later, my family, which by this time had moved back to Southern Illinois, took a vacation trip to Canada. The province we chose was Ontario. And if the rest of the country is as beautiful as that area, they are some very lucky citizens. Here are a couple scenic shots from that trip in 1982:

It was also during this trip that I took my first train ride. It took us into the heart of the wilderness and it was here I shot the cascading waterfall above.

Many years later, while on my second honeymoon, my then-wife and I went to the Big Apple - yes, New York City. We travelled by way of Philadelphia and it was there I witnessed another part of the historic early years of our nation. What more can symbolize the beginnings of our country than the building where the Declaration of Independence was signed or the Liberty Bell?

Don't let this get about, but I actually got to touch the crack in the bell!

Just a short, one-night stopover in Philadelphia, then it was on to the city. Many places I had seen in the movies and on television were right there - bigger than life! And, of course, I had to try and see as many of them as I could. Where do I begin? There was the Empire State Building, and then my favorite building of all in the world, the Guggenheim Museum, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, (which just happens to be my mother's maiden name!) and it goes without saying but I'll say it anyway, the Statue of Liberty:

Of course, I had to visit the Museum of Modern Art - because it houses my favorite painting inside it's walls:

That is the famous painting by Salvador Dali called "The Persistence Of Memory." Of course, there were many other places that just had to be seen in person and in the flesh. These included the New York Public Library, Rockefeller Plaza, Wall Street, a ride on the subway, Ellis Island, The Battery, Fifth Avenue, Times Square, Grand Central Station, The Chrysler Building, and de rigeur appearance at Central Park. And to cap it all off, a visit to that world-famous restaurant where the stars hang out, Sardi's. (Although I didn't see any of them when I was there....)

Pictures of a few of these other buildings might grace future blogs, as well as photos from some of the other places I've been, such as Atlanta, Texas, White Sands New Mexico, Chicago, St. Louis, Indianapolis, Cincinatti, Kansas City, Memphis, Music City - Nashville, Milwaukee, and Louisiana. But, those were other times and other places. While holding a special place in my memory, they didn't quite equal the special feelings I got from the cities and provinces I visited and spoke about in this blog.


Ernie said...

Couple of years back, the Dali Museum in St. Petersburg exhibited Persistence of Memory right alongside Disintigration of Persistence of Memory. Pretty cool to see both paintings side by side. (I have the poster with both around here somewhere still.) They're both much smaller than I imagined. They didn't allow cameras inside the museum, unfortunately.

HaarFager said...

I was amazed at how small the Persistence of Memory painting actually was. It was only about 10x12 inches or so. Not what I was expecting at all. When I saw it, I had a camera, but didn't dare use it. So instead, I bought a post card featuring it from their gift shop. That's where I got my image from for the post.