Walking around the Capitol, one receives different beautiful vignettes. These two were taken five years apart, about 20 feet from each other. Maybe this summer we will get the chance to return and get another perspective from this spot.
The siege of our Capitol yesterday by the Trump-incited mob is a travesty of respect for our democracy. For me, it will never be forgotten.
I reflect on more sane times like this image taken on a warm summer late afternoon around a decade ago. I have been lucky to have had the opportunity to be able to freely walk around the various sections and chambers of the Capitol back in the Reagan administration. It made me proud to watch open Congressional sessions. I gained an insight and appreciation of our Democracy in progress. Those opportunities are no longer available to the general public.
Many have not had the opportunity to visit the Capitol. My aunt, who was a retired school teacher, saw the Capitol for her first time in her late years. Tears came to her eyes, and she exclaimed that every young student should have the opportunity to visit the Capitol to understand how our nation is governed.
For the next several posts, I will share images of the experiences I have had working in and visiting our Capitol.
“Astronomy Grotesque” Miller Hall, University of Washington Quad
Astronomy is a topic that I have always been interested. During my years at the University as an engineering student, I did not have much of an opportunity to take elective classes outside of engineering-related disciplines if I wanted to graduate in 4 years.
I had to wait until I graduated to take a couple of astronomy classes at the University of Washington “Experimental College”. Subsequently I have taken on-line classes through the “Great Courses” to satisfy my curiosity. There is always opportunity to learn something new. Now, I need to learn how to apply a little creative photography to it.
And we are now laying the foundation to a manned landing on Mars!
“The Fish Teacher” Miller Hall, University of Washington Quad
In this grotesque on Miller Hall, the Roman god Neptune is depicted with a fish over his head. I have spent a couple of hours trying to research the connection between Neptune, a fish, and teaching. No luck so far…
“The Phoenician Teacher” Miller Hall, University of Washington Quad
This grotesque, the Phoenician Teacher, is also located on the third floor of Miller Hall. Miller Hall, built in 1922, was originally “Education Hall”, thus being decorated with education-related figures. Carl Gould was the building’s architect. Alonzo Victor Lewis created the 44 sculptures adorning the building.
“Chinese Teacher (Confucius) Grotesque” Miller Hall, University of Washington Quad
The Quadrangle, located in the “Upper Campus” of the University of Washington, is the center point for the classic Collegiate Gothic architecture on campus. This was were the non-engineering students and all the attractive girls had their classes. They did not allow engineers to grace the halls of these classic buildings. We were all too busy with our slide-rules. In the six years that I attended the UW, I never had a class there.
Even though I did not attend any classes there, I had ample time to stroll through the Quad on the way to the Chemistry and Physics Buildings and the Suzzallo Library. While doing so, I would occasionally look up at the strange figures on the buildings. I always called them gargoyles. But as I discovered later, they are really grotesques. They are differentiated from gargoyles in that gargoyles have water coming out of them from rain down spouts.
For the next several postings I will focus on a few of these pieces of art.
Let us not forget all those who have given their lives to give us the freedom that we now have. Let us look back in history and understand all the difficult situations we have encountered and faced as a nation. Let us remember what it took to overcome those times.
Our current situation with the Covid-19 virus is minor compared to what we have faced before. Yet we are fighting amongst ourselves on how to move forward. Rather than fight, let all of us focus on how we can move forward to assure a strong recovery and a safe environment. It will take patience, compromise, and sacrifice. But as many times before, we can do it!
While the interior of the little “Painted Church” is lavishly colorful, the exterior is a simple white structure. I could feel the history surrounding the church through it’s old, but well maintained, grave yard and gardens. It is a beautiful and peaceful site on the gentle sloping sides of Moana Loa.
The “Painted Church” is a must see little gem in the heart of Hawaii’s Kona coffee plantation area in South Kona. The church is on a peaceful hillside overlooking the coastline below. It was built by Belgian Catholic missionary Father John Velghe from 1899 – 1902. Father Velghe painted scenes of biblical stories along the church interior walls. He used the scenes to deliver his messages since most of his native Hawaiian parishioners could not read.
A history of the church can be found at the following link: https://keolamagazine.com/art/painted-church/