Category Archives: Historic Sites

I Can Never Get Enough

US Capitol, Washington DC

Every time I visit Washington DC and walk around the Capitol, chills run through my body.  Being there gives me a perspective of our history and what our Nation represents.  Looking at the Capitol reflecting on the water, caused me to reflect in turn about how our Nation has grown and changed over the years.

A few years ago, I had the opportunity to visit the Capitol with my Aunt.  It was her first trip.  Visiting Washington DC was one thing that she wanted to do before she passed.  Walking with her, I could see the sparkle in her eyes and the pride she had on her face.  Her parting remark was that every child should visit Washington DC to gain a perspective of what our Nation is really about.

I have been lucky over the years to have had the opportunity to live in the Washington DC area and visit the Capitol many times. Prior to 911, access to the Senate and House chambers was not restricted.  I recall sitting up in the galleries listening to various sessions.  What a great experience that was.

I still try to visit Washington DC on a relatively frequent basis.  I can never get enough!

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How Lucky We Are!

Civil War Monument and Capitol, WDC

How lucky we are to live in such a great Nation! The current time is extremely challenging and full of discord.  But it is not even close to the times our Nation bas persevered in the past.  On a recent visit to Washington DC, I walked by this Civil War Memorial sculpture with the Capitol in the background.  It stimulated me to think about what our Nation was going through over 150 years ago.  So no matter how bad we may think things are now, lets have the strength and confidence that we all will survive together as a united Nation.

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Tying Things Together

A.E. Larson Building Entry Foyer, Yakima, WA

This image ties the images from the two prior posts together.  The contrast here are the differences in the design elements (triangular geometric vs. sweeping curves, color vs. monochrome, and smooth marble vs. sculptured metal).  The horizontal (diagonal) lines of the cornice moulding and the vertical lines of the wall designs also provide a geometric contrast.

Looking at Details

A.E. Larson Building Entry Foyer, Yakima, WA

This post continues my self-assignment to look for contrasts.  This image was taken from the same location as my previous post.  It is the corner of the wall/ceiling cornice moulding.  I saw the contrast of colors, shapes, lines and light/shadows. The foyer of this historic building is full of “eye candy”.

Memories of a Long Time Ago

Old Northern Pacific Train Station – Yakima, WA

The bright red-orange roof against the blue sky caught my eye as I was walking down Front Street.  The color and shape of the building. looking through a street tree caught my interest.  But ofd memories kept my attention.

When I was just a little boy, I remember my grandfather taking me down to the train station to see Uncle Ben off and to pick him up from his annual winter trip back to Pittsburgh.  I became fascinated with the idea of riding a train across the country.  When I was five, I had my opportunity for such a grand trip.  My grandfather took me back to Pittsburgh to see the “Aunts”!  I remember anxiously sitting in the “grand train station” waiting for the train to stop and pick us up.  It seemed like an eternity, the ceiling was so high, and the room so large.  I could not sit still.  It seems like just yesterday.

My last trip through the station was in the late 70’s. My wife and I decided to take the train from Seattle to Yakima instead of driving.  It was a wonderful trip over the Pass and through the Canyon.  My father and a brother picked us up at the station.  It was still such a great place.

So many wonderful memories.  I am thankful that the old station has been put back in productive use.

Looking Back at Me

Salt Collecting Rocks at Lapakahi Historical Park

I was walking along a path in a historic Hawaiian Village when I saw this face looking back up at me.  I couldn’t resist stopping and capturing an image.  See the eyes, nose and mouth.

These small hollowed-out stones were used by the Hawaiians to collect salt. Sea water was poured into hollowed-out stones like these.  Sun evaporated the water leaving pa’akai (salt crystals.  Salt was used to preserve fish and season food.

Christmas at Fonthill – Conclusion

151231_FonthillChristmas_YellowTreeDetail_Impression by Karl Graf. Fonthill Yellow Room Christmas Tree Impressionistic Detail

This image is an impressionistic perspective of yesterday’s post of the Yellow Room Christmas tree detail.  I used Topaz Impressionism plug in to achieve the look.

This posting ends my series on the Fonthill Castle Christmas Decoration Exhibit.  I hope you have enjoyed the series.  I have enjoyed sharing it.

This probably be my last major project at Fonthill.  I will be moving back to the Washington State next Spring.  I have thoroughly enjoyed my experiences at Fonthill starting with a workshop led by my good friend John Barclay.  I want to also thank Ed Reidell and the staff at Fonthill for the opportunities to help out.  It was truly my pleasure.  I enjoyed every moment of it.

Tomorrow starts a New Year.  Every day is a gift to be enjoyed to the fullest.

Christmas at Fonthill – Map Room

151228_FonthillChristmas_Map Room by Karl Graf. Fonthill Castle Christmas Decorations – Map Room

Books and reading areas are everywhere at Fonthill.  The Map Room is a small alcove extending from a walkway between the Study and the West Room.  Byers Choice Carolers are on the bureau on the far side of the room. The Dickens’ era figures compliment the decor of the Castle.  Mercer and Dickens were acquaintances.  See below.

151228_FonthillChristmas_Map Room2 by Karl Graf.