After listening to the wistful and nostalgic tone of Francis Poulenc’s Mélancolie, it may not surprise you to know that it was composed in 1940, while Poulenc was living in war torn France. This performance is by Neil Rutman for Noontime Concerts, which streams a new concert from its archives every Tuesday at 12:30.
Earlier this month, as the impeding pandemic was just looming on the horizon in the US, my husband and I were traveling through Georgia. We stopped in Macon for an overnight stay, intending to continue on to Florida the next day. Ultimately we made the decision to turn around and return home the next day as news of the coronavirus’s spread intensified. We were however, fortunate enough to visit the Ocmulgee Mounds National Park before heading home. Fittingly, it is a testament to the resilience of humanity, as the park is home to a pre-historic American Indian site. Occupied by many different cultures for thousands of years, the Mounds were constructed around 900 CE, during the Mississippian era for tribal elites. Normally I would edit down the large amount of photos I take during a visit to a park or event, but since many of us are stuck inside and unable to travel, I decided to include more then usual, to create a virtual tour of sorts.
As Charlotte slowly thaws out from winter, I’m looking back at some of the places I explored last year, and planning new excursions. Around this time last year, I visited Körner’s Folly, a historical home in North Carolina in the midst of a renovation. It was a fascinating visit, and I’m looking for more places like it to see this year. So far I have my eye on a massive greenhouse, a few battlefields, and the glaciers in Alaska. Stay tuned!
Love is never defeated, and I could add, the history of Ireland proves it. Pope John Paul II
By the time this is posted New Years Eve celebrations will be well underway around the world, and no song will be more played during them than Auld Lang Syne. Originally a Scottish poem set to the tune of a traditional folk song, it became a Scottish tradition to sing on New Years Eve, funerals, and at the close of other events. As Scots emigrated to other parts of the world, they took the tradition with them. Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadians played Auld Lang Syne at Times Square from 1939-1977, and is credited by many with popularizing the tradition in the US. His version is still played in Times Square after the ball drops every year.
There is only one step from the sublime to the ridiculous. -Napoleon Bonaparte
Growing up a town over from Plymouth, Massachusetts, I spent a lot of time in elementary school learning about the Pilgrims. Their perilous trip across the Atlantic in Mayflower, surviving disease in the first few months of arriving in America, and finally establishing Plymouth as a colony. Although Plymouth is known for being the settlement of the Pilgrims, it also has a local reputation for being home to one of the most disappointing historical sites in New England. Plymouth Rock, to be specific. Named the official landing place that the Pilgrims stepped on when they came ashore by Elder Thomas Faunce in 1741, (121 years after the Pilgrims arrived!) the rock has been moved, broken, and chipped away at before finally being returned to its original place on the waterfront and covered by a granite canopy. It is now half buried by sand and frequently covered by the high tide, disappointing visitors who come expecting a huge stone slab, and look down to find an unimpressive stone marker. If you ever visit Plymouth, there is …
I’m heading home to Massachusetts this weekend for the Thanksgiving holiday, and am planning on visiting as many of my favorite places as possible during the week I am there. One of those is is the wildlife refuge that I used to live a few minutes away from in Taunton, Ma. A quiet park with trails and a boardwalk along the river, it was the perfect place for summertime strolls and appreciating the local fall foliage.
I love those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. ‘Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but they whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves their conduct, will pursue their principles unto death. -Leonardo da Vinci