Would Ike like Frank?

Vintage Campaign Button

A recent article by George Will of the Washington Post  titled, “Reasons to Like (and honor) Ike,” caught my eye.  Yes, I remember him when he was President Eisenhower,  but don’t remember him when he was General Eisenhower!

Will’s article exposed me to the proposed memorial to Dwight D. Eisenhower by Frank Gehry to be placed near the National Mall in Washington.  I also learned of a new biography by  Jean Edward Smith, “Eisenhower in War and Peace.”

As  it seems to be with many memorials, what Gehry proposes is not without controversy.  Remember the Vietnam Memorial and more recently the Martin Luther King Memorial?  And almost anything proposed in Washington these days is up for debate between Republicans, Democrats and undecided!

So what is the opposition?  Will writes, “…the memorial will have a colonnade of huge limestone-clad columns from which will have 80-foot  stainless-steel mesh ‘tapestries’ depicting the images of Eisenhower’s Kansas youth. And almost as an afterthought, there will be a statue of Eisenhower as a boy.”   So far so good.  I love Gehry’s building designs which seem like works of art to me.  Several years ago I attended a concert by the Los Angeles Philharmonic at Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles.  It is magnificent inside and out.

Disney Hall

Disney Hall

Members of the Eisenhower family seem to have many objections to the planned project including the background of the sculptor who will provide the statue of Eisenhower as a boy.  And they question the endurance of the 80-foot stainless-steel mesh walls.

If you want to see a bigger-than-life-John Wayne memorial, visit the site of his birthplace in Denison, Texas.  He was the first Texas-born president.  The north Texas town of Denison takes pride in that fact and maintains his place of birth even today as a historical site complete with a life-size statue of him in military uniform on the grounds.  Eisenhower’s father  had come from Kansas to Texas to work for the railroad,  but  he moved his family back to Kansas when the future president was only eighteen months old.

We will have to wait for the recommendation of the oversight panel to see if Gehry’s design will be an acceptable  memorial for a United States president and lives up to Gehry’s “architectural flamboyance” as George Will puts it.  However, I have seen the statue in Dennison and that is good enough for me.



Liebster Blog Award and Muchas Gracias


Liebster Blog Award

Just in time for Valentine’s Day I received this ♥ which nominated me for an award from Cara Olsen.  Muchas gracias!  Check out her blog at  http://thislittlelight516.wordpress.com/2012/02/  I am new to blogging so this was a suprise to me, but it is a good way for newbies like me to have blogs recommended without random searches.
Per Cara:  “‘Liebster’ is a German word meaning dearest or beloved, but it can also mean favorite. The idea behind the Liebster Blog Award is that it is given to bloggers in order to create new connections and bring attention to these wonderful blogs!”

The Rules:  (Also per Cara)

1 – Thank the fellow blogger who nominated you.

2 – Link back to the person who awarded you.

3 – List the blogs that have affected your writing in a positive manner.

4 – Leave comments on those blogs to let them know of their nominations.

5 – Post award to your blog (Optional, of course)

Here is my list of blogs for now, but I as I take the time to discover more and interact I will be sharing links and reposting blogs.  These may have already been nominated, but I hope they won’t mind my recommending them again. 

Ruined for Life:Phoenix Edition  http://smkelly8.wordpress.com/
Susan Kelly posts beautiful photographs to accompany her varied cultural interests and weekly blogger challenges.  You will not be disappointed.  Without knowing it she gave me the courage to start my blog.

Crowing Crone Joss http://crowingcrone.wordpress.com/
Joss is a sister crone.  Need I say more?

Lisa’s History Room http://lisawallerrogers.wordpress.com/about-lisa-waller-rogers-2/
Lisa’s blog probably has plenty of traffic without my small mention, but it is interesting and has plenty of  photos.  Recently Lisa posted about Whitney Houston, but you will also find a post on Queen Victoria.

Thank you again, Cara!

The Road to Ricardo Brig Casarico

Recently a very fine photographer and blogger, gweaverii, mistakenly assumed a photo she had seen on my blog via Flickr on the sidebar was taken by me.  I was flattered, but  it was not mine as I have never posted pictures on Flickr and only take snapshots.  By way of making amends to the actual photographer, Ricardo Brig Casarico, I decided to research his work and post something on my blog about him even though I am sure he never knew I was briefly given credit for his stunning black and white photograph titled “Horror Road.”  It reminds me of a scene from the 1949 movie, “The Thrid Man.”

"Horror Road" by Ricardo Brig Casarico

So far this is all that I know about him:

1.  He lives in the northern part of Italy – Monzae e Brianza, Lissone.
2.  His Flickr profile is mostly in Italian.  The little in English states he is “male and taken.”
3. The photo was taken January 2, 2012 in Esino Laria, Lombardy, Italy.
4.  His photos are in both black and white as well as color and are outstanding.
5.  Two photos feature cigars – one is Cuban.

I am not a member of Flickr and don’t know my way around it very well, but you can view Casarico’s photos via the link below.  I admit that I do not have his permission to post “Horror Road,” but I hope I can be forgiven as I posted it to make amends for my blunder.


As most of you can tell from my simple blog, I am new at this and still learning.  (I have removed Flickr from my blog!)  I take a wrong road now and then, but look what I sometimes find.   Every day is a new adventure!  And lately I keep finding roads that lead me to Italy.  Is that a sign or coincidence?

Mended Heart – a poem for Valentine’s Day


My heart is stitched and
patched with tender threads
pieces of
worn silk,
and calico –
oddly cut shapes of
practical love
that repair
the wounds of my soul-flesh heart.

I remember
hues the yellow of the sun,
black of the darkness,
purpled passion,
blue of a baby’s first view,
neutral of a gritty shore,
green reflecting envy
in the red of blood,
brown as heavy
stalks of ripening grain,
silver of old hair and
golden dreams.
I believe
in the fabric
of tangled love
and color
as the world
coils into
black and white
around me.

– Coastal Crone

Happy Valentine's Day


In November my husband and I spent several days in the French Quarter in New Orleans.  We had not been back since Hurricane Katrina, so it was good to see that the city and people had made a comeback despite a killer storm. 

One morning we took the St. Charles Avenue streetcar to the Garden District. You can ride one way for $1.25 or buy a one-day pass for $3.00 good also on the other streetcars,  Canal Streetcar and Riverfront Streetcar.  On the  ride we encounter locals utilizing the public transportation as well as other tourists.  There were a few unusual riders:  Santa, a nun in a purple habit and matching Mardi Gras beads, a man in red tights and cape.   The conductors are helpful and friendly to everyone! 

We departed the streetcar at Washington Avenue and walked left for one block on Prytania Street and stopped at the Garden District Book Store.  It is located inside The Rink which is just what it sounds like – an old skating rink (buildt in the 1880s) which now houses the book store, a coffee shop and other small retail shops.  The day we stopped in we just missed a book signing by Walter Isaacson,author of Steve Jobs.

Garden District Book Shop

From there we took a walking tour of many lovely homes.  It was like walking back in time as we strolled the tree-lined streets as we admired the old homes which were well-maintained and presented various architectural styles.  Most of them were built in the 1840s when cotton and sugar cane produced wealth for the landowners.  The area reflects mainly the American influence as opposed the  influence of the French and Spanish of the early settlers of the Vieux Carre’. It was once was a separate city.  Today individuals such as Anne Rice, Nicholas Cage and Sandra Bullock have at one time maintained homes there. My favorite was one with a huge corner solarium.

We ended up our walking tour at the Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 near where we started from across from The Rink.   Established in 1833, this “city of the dead” is one of the oldest cemeteries in New Orleans.  The raised tombs are, of course, because it is below sea level.  The site has been featured in Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire.

There I found that a possible distant relative was buried.  He was Wheler Harvill.  He apparently came to New Orleans and married a widow.  He must have been accepted because they allowed him to be buried in the family tomb.  His father, Bon Harvill, came from North Carolina so he may indeed be a distant, distant relative.  There must be a story there so I will do more research! 

At the Lafayette Cemetery No. 1

Our final stop was The Rink where we  had coffee at Still Perkin’ before we caught the St. Charles back to the French Quarter for another stop at Harrah’s!

A Diamond for the Queen

H.M. Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II ascended the throne at  the young age of 25 on February 6, 1952 after the death of her father, King George  VI.  Her coronation took place June 2, 1953.   This year she will celebrate her Diamond Jubilee – 60 years as queen.  London will be celebrating her Diamond Jubilee June 2-5 with activities all over the city.  CNN puts it this way: 

The Diamond Julibee will be marked with a special four-day holiday weekend in the UK…packed with enough pomp and spectacle to rival Prince William and Catherine Middleton’s royal wedding.”

One spectular event will be a parade of up to a 1,000 boats, ships and steamers lead by the Queen’s Royal Barge down a seven mile stretch of the Thames.  In past centuries the river was often used for royal celebrations but less so in modern times.  Surely Handel’s “Water Music” will be played! 

Many other events are planned including a concert at Buckingham Palace, lighting of beacons across the Commonwealths and a service of thanksgiving at St. Paul’s Cathedral. 

Her great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria, the longest reigning British monarch and longest reigning female monarch, was on the throne for sixty-three years and seven months.  Queen Victoria’s beloved Prince Albert died twenty-one years into their marriage and left her with forty years of widowhood.  Queen Elizabeth, who will be 86 this April 21, has enjoyed good health and the continued companionship of her husband, Prince Phillip, 90.

I admire the Queen as she has aged gracefully through the years.  She continues to carry out her duties dressed appropriately as always in her coordinated coat dresses and hats whether entertaining a United States president, addressing Parliment or greeting her subjects.  Her royal status has not shielded her from the usual ups and downs of ordinary family life.  Whatever the royal family does – good or bad – is fair foddar for the British tabloids.

Queen Elizabeth deserves a magnificent Diamond Jubilee!  I wish I could be back in London June 2-5 to celebrate.  Long live the Queen!

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