Monday, September 25, 2017

The Rainbow Connection

There's a park on the South side of town that I rarely think of. I remember it from fifty-some years ago because my sister lived near it and would take her toddler there to play. I think I remember going to her house once and she and I took our boys, Mike and Doug, to the park.

This may or may not be the house they lived in. I just remember it as being on the east side of the park. I was on that side of town this morning and decided to stop at the park and look around.

I always wondered why it was called Rainbow Park. I found out why. Originally it was named South Park and is the city's oldest park. It was renamed Rainbow Park to honor WWI Company C, 168th Infantry Battalion, 42nd (Rainbow) Division.
But why was it known as the Rainbow Division? Because it was comprised of National Guard units from twenty-six states, Colonel Douglas MacArthur remarked that "the 42nd Division stretches like a rainbow from one end of America to the other".

The park encompasses a city block with these arbors at all four corners. I wonder if they would like some Cardinal Climber seeds for next year?

When I first got there, this older gentleman was walking around picking up trash with one of those hand held reachers. I wouldn't be surprised if this is something he does almost every day.

A plaque on the bandstand reads: "In honor of Charles A. Hayden, Founder and Director of the Creston Municipal Band, 1921 - 1953".

Centerpiece of the park is the 116 year-old fountain which has been restored. I remember thinking it was called Rainbow Park because of the rainbows created when the fountain was running. It seems to me like it was a wading pool when my son and nephew were little. I'm sure there wasn't a fence around it then.

Close up of the fountain. The park has a playground, picnic shelters and is surrounded by mature shade trees.

With evidence of at least two old trees which had to be cut down. From the shoots growing up around one of them, I think they were Poplars.

We live so close to McKinley Park that I don't even think about going to Rainbow Park, but maybe next time we have great-grandkids visiting we should consider taking them there to play.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Homecoming Weekend Reunion

Last Sunday, thanks to the Facebook 'On This Day' feature, I was reminded that five years ago my younger brother was here for his class reunion. That 'made the penny drop' - the 'Class of 1972 Reunion' info I had been seeing was HIS class. I sent him a message: "Are you coming? Do you want to stay with us?"
As the week progressed more messages and phone calls jelled the plans. He would stay in Corning with our older brother, but thought we should get together because "It's been seven years since we were all in the same room" and "you never know, it might be our last time."
One of the Homecoming Weekend activities in our old hometown was a tour of the Opera House which was featuring a photography exhibit. We agreed to meet there. Ron and I had seen the Opera House since its resurrection and refurbishment, but Les had not.
I love looking at art work, paintings, photography, sculpture, whatever. It interests me. But the exhibit wasn't just current photographs, there two long rows of tables with old black and white photos, most 8 x 10's. The sign asked for help in identifying people in the photos.
Looking at those old pictures, trying to recall the names of once familiar faces was so absorbing I forgot to take pictures of the pictures or of the Opera House. Between Ron and I, we managed to identify quite a number of people - quite the trip down memory lane.

From there, we went to lunch, where I did remember to get the camera out. It was fun being with my brothers, doing the reminiscing thing you naturally do and noting that we were together on what would have been our sister's 72nd birthday.

Les was attending his 45th class reunion dinner last night, where I'm sure he had a good time. My good time was the reunion with my brothers, Homecoming was just the vehicle.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Autumn Light

The light of Autumn is here
Illuminating the gold of leaves
Perceptibly it moves South

As day subsides
In the sunset of evening
Three hawks flap home

A slender new moon rises
Unveiling the beauty of night
The light of fall is here

Friday, September 22, 2017

When Bright Flowers Bloom

"When bright flowers bloom
Parchment crumbles, my words fade
The pen has dropped......."

"A fairy seed I planted,
So dry and white and old,
There sprang a vine enchanted,
With magic flowers of gold."
   (Marjorie Barrows) 

"In my garden there is a large place for sentiment.
My garden of flowers is also my garden of
thoughts and dreams.
The thoughts grow as freely as the flowers,
And the dreams are as beautiful."
    (Abram L. Urban)

                                        Welcome, Autumn.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Shades of Home Ec

It's like being a freshman in Home Economics all over again with the first unit on sewing. (Yes, I still remember that apron and the grade I received.) Even though I bought a new sewing machine a dozen or so years ago, I only used it a time or two. Now that I want to get those pillows finished I can't find the instruction booklet, I've forgotten how to thread the machine and when I brought it in from the garage I found a dead mouse inside it. Ugh!

Funny that I have set up my sewing machine in front of the same window the previous owner had hers when we first looked at this house.

Two down; two to go. They are stitched together, ready for the pillow forms (I had to order them online, they'll be here Monday) and closing stitches.

Now that I've "started sewing again", I wonder if I'll get enthused to keep going? I used to make a lot of my own clothes. Haunting the fabric stores was a favorite pastime; choosing a pattern and then just the right material.

Too often my enthusiasm waned and I ended up with a lot of material. I sold all of it when we had the farm sale - except for this piece of a very nice wool I bought at a garage sale in Des Moines YEARS AGO. I was always going to make it into a throw cape - a longer version of the brown one I made and love.

It's such a pretty heather color in a herringbone pattern. I know I'd love wearing it. Surprisingly, after all these years, the moths haven't gotten to it.

Who knows, maybe now that Hillary is bringing the caftan back in style, I might even make another one of those to replace the one I made in 1972 and wore until it fell apart.

Wouldn't (my home ec teacher) Mrs. Poindexter be surprised?

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The Dragon Fountain

This painting, La Fontana Dei Draghi by Ettore Roesler Franz, was one of my daily puzzle choices - one I just had to work because of its soft colors, theme and those two white doves. As happens when the subject of one of my puzzles interests me, I hit the 'explore' button.

Forget the Trevi Fountain. Who needs it when you could have The Four Dragons and all the other fountains found at the Villa d'Este in Tivoli?

The Fountain of the Dragons was designed by PIrro Ligorio to illustrate the story of Hercules fulfilling one of his labors by stealing the golden apples of the Garden of the Hesperides, which were guarded by the dragon Ladon. The same story is illustrated in frescoes in the interior decoration of the Villa.
The fountain is located on the central vertical axis of the gardens, aligned with the Villa, and in the center of the original garden. just below the Hundred Fountains. It is enclosed by two semi-circular ramps which lead to the level above. The walls of the ramps around it are covered with pebbly tartar and ornamented with bands of mosaic and majolica tile, and contain two larges niches. Ligorio planned this fountain to illustrate the theme of war and combat against evil; he intended that one niche would be occupied by a statue of Hercules with his club, before he killed the dragon Ladon; and the second with statues of Mars, the god of War, Perseus, and gladiators. In the center of the fountain is a small scogliera or island, which holds four sculpted dragons, which jet water from their mouths into the fountain, while a powerful central fountain shoots a column of water vertically high in the air, visible from all around the garden This idea of a vertical jet of water as the centerpiece of the garden was copied in many baroque gardens in the 17th and 18th centuries. In addition to the dragons, two sculpted dolphins spray water across the pool. More water flows down from above, running in channels attached to the parapets of the ramps. The water emerges from the breasts of two sphinxes- half-women, half sea horses; flows down a channel, enters the mouth of a sculpted frog, and emerges again through the mouth of a carved salamander. In keeping with the theme of combat against evil, in Ippolito's time the fountains also produced dramatic sound effects heard throughout the garden; water kept under pressure was suddenly released, imitating the sound of fireworks or cannons firing. To make more noise, the flow of water from above could also be from a fine spray to a heavy downpour.
Ippolito had the fountain altered for the visit of Pope Gregory in 1572. The dragon with one hundred heads was replaced by four dragons, the family emblem of the Pope. Ippolito died three months later, and the fountain was still not completed. It was not finished until late in the 17th century with a different sculptural program; Instead of a statue of Hercules, a statue of the god Jupiter holding lightning bolts in his hands was placed in the central niche. The cannon-like sound effects from the fountain now were meant to be the sound of his thunderbolts. (Copied from Wikipedia)

Darn. Now that I no longer feel up to traveling, I keep finding all these interesting places I'd like to visit. Sad.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Of Unknown Name

The title of this sculpture is Anonymous. It is the work of Ligeti Miklos (or Miklos Ligeti) and is located in City Park in the courtyard of Vajdahunyad Castle, Budapest, Hungary. Never in my life did I think I would be interested in visiting Budapest until we started watching House Hunters International and I took note of how interesting the two cities of Buda and Pest are.

The statue represents the first medieval chronicler of Hungary - Anonymous because historians have been unable to decide who the storyteller was, other than he was a monk.

The statue makes me think of the Grim Reaper, except instead of the scythe, Anonymous holds a stylus. Perhaps that is why I am drawn to this sculpture - the pen being mightier than the scythe.