Apr 30, 2016

Williamsburg, Virginia: My Experience

Once we set our feet on the Duke of Gloucester Street, I felt like we entered a time warp back to the 1700's of Colonial America. This is considered a living museum, where history is reenacted. The streets were filled with visitors as well as interpreters.  

When people first came to this country it was known as Virginia.  A place filled with landscapes and oceanic views. Eventually, the borders expanded north, south, and west.  

The first building we passed was the Capitol building, with fine round windows, and gardens in the back.

And a picturesque view from a doorway. But this was just the beginning of an adventure back in time.  

James Innes came to our side of the street to rant about freedom, taxes, and tyranny. (This man is on the cover of Colonial Williamsburg, The official Guide and yes I have a copy, even if it is for the picture of him that I wanted the book)

As various points were debated, Patrick Henry contributed with, "Hear, Hear or Aye". (famous for the quote: "Give me liberty of give me death.")

And a young Thomas Jefferson was present trying to persuade the audience to agree with his side of the argument. (Monticello, the home of Jefferson is not far from Williamsburg)

Lord North's effigy was boo'd and hissed at while we watched this demonstration. I loved every minute of it. 

There were garden paths that led to inner places of extreme beauty.

And the innermost gardens are filled with flowers, bushes, and statues. 

One day was not enough  to spend in such an historic place and to be able to comprehend the chain of events which brought our country to its present state. 

The price to get into the buildings is a bit steep, but in my mind it is well worth it.  You can come and walk around and view the demonstrations for free and also eat at any of the taverns, plus, a small park it located close to the end of the Duke of Gloucester Street for picnics.  The William and Mary College is at the end of Merchants Square. A student will give you a free tour of the building. Filming of the series Turn: Washington Spies was done in the Wren building.

But more than this, my Campbell relatives had their beginnings in Virginia. That is why I came.  

Apr 24, 2016

Virginia: My Experience

In a land far away from where I live is a place called Virginia. The place of beginnings, not only for my family, but, many, many more began there too.  

They came for various reasons to a wilderness and created a new life. To a place that still reminded them of home.  We drove along the Blue Ridge Highway and admired the mountainous view. 

The season is far more advanced than Indiana. The leaves are more than half-way out and the new green shoots have engulfed the landscape. Before long the barren branches will no longer be visible. 

And the waterfall roared.  This is how I imagined Virginia. A place of beauty. A place for new beginnings.  To be continued...

Apr 11, 2016

Charlotte Temple: America's first best seller

I am an avid reader and love finding good books at second-hand stores and other various venues.  I happened to come across a small book called Charlotte Temple a little while back. It has probably a year since I first brought it home. The author, Susanna Rowson, referred to this small novel as, A tale of truth and added that little line to the title when it first published in 1791. The novel was available in America by 1792. Over the years, the novel came to be known simply as Charlotte Temple.  The only extant copy is in the Barrett Collection at the Alderman Library of the University of Virginia. 

Charlotte Temple the first American best seller that went through more than 200 editions and was the most popular novel until Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin, which I plan to read next. I am ashamed to say how long I've had that book on my shelf and not read it. 

This is a tale of a young girl about 15 years of age who was seduced by a man, they eloped to America with the promise of marriage upon arrival, then Montraville abandoned Charlotte, while heavy with child, to marry another woman. In that time period, women were considered ruined if they deviated from the societal norm of not having sex outside of marriage and Charlotte knew it. The desire to be forgiven by her parents was nearly more than poor Charlotte could bear.  The author meant for this tale to be an inspiration to young women that virtue is a possession that females must hold in high esteem and to protect until marriage. Even though our society has become lax with this view, I believe that some still cling to it.  Oh I know it is a melodramatic novel, written simply and at times the author writes directly to the reader, but take it for what it is worth, a novel meant to help young girls.  

Fans of the novel had a stone placed for Charlotte Temple in the Trinity Churchyard in Manhattan, New York.  Click on the link and it will take you to her burial place, well, hypothetically. 

The book ends with poor Charlotte dying as soon as her father arrives, but her deceivers get a bit of karma, which I liked the best. Why can't real life be like that?

Apr 2, 2016

Anxious to shoot

I have ideas for my class assignments that are due in August. But finding models can be challenging. My nephews are willing sometimes but only if I ask every once in a while, otherwise they get irritated.

The one below is based on a picture that I saw by Diane Arbus that she took back in the 70's I think. The thing is I have seen this same pose two other times and just recently on a DVD cover for the series called TUT. I like the merging of the faces. which looks like an optical illusion. My nephews were gracious enough to let me experiment on them.  Hmm, sounds like I am a weird scientist but only with a lens. 

As long as they were willing, we decided to go outside and pose in front of a building close to where I live. My nephews put on their new suits and out we went. 

Sometimes they are very hard to get to stay still.  I probably took 20 shots before I got the one below.  

Now I need to go and photograph their sisters. Wish me luck!