Thursday, July 14, 2016

Museum and Marching Band

Yesterday, in search of something to do that didn't involve spending a lot of time outside, Mom and I went to the Cummer Museum, Jacksonville's art museum. Yay! Air conditioning! We enjoyed browsing the museum's collection, and then ventured outside and risked spontaneous combustion for a brief walk around the gardens, beneath the shade of the gigantic Cummer Oak and the I-95 overpass.

This was my favorite painting -- "Figure in a River Landscape" by Herman Herzog, from 1910. Herzog, a German-born painter who eventually moved to Philadelphia and often visited his son in Gainesville, painted more than 250 views of west-central Florida during his lifetime. Ah, swamps!

We also saw an exhibit based on artists' responses to the civil rights anthem "Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing," which explored issues of race, identity and oppression, including police violence. We were lucky enough to come across two of the artists giving talks about their work to a group of patrons, so we listened in.

After lunch at the museum (grilled cheese and tomato sandwiches!) we drove to the mall so I could buy some bedsheets. As I've mentioned before, Dave and I have an American king-sized bed and we can't easily get sheets in the UK. And Olga has an unfortunate tendency to put holes in our sheets when she builds her little dog-nest each night.

Finally, we drove to the photo shop where the newly scanned photo of my great uncle was ready.

As I mentioned, the original photo is too large for our home scanner. So I had it professionally scanned and touched up, for the princely sum of $85. (!)

We don't really know the story behind this photo -- it came in a box of stuff retrieved from my great-grandmother's house in Avon Park, when it was sold in the '90s after my great uncle's death. My great uncle, Rudolph, who I also wrote about here, is shown just behind the drum. He seems to be holding a staff, so maybe he was the drum major for this band? (My mom says he usually played clarinet.) Why he was in a Winter Haven band while living in Avon Park, we're not sure -- and we also don't know what they were doing in South Carolina. So many mysteries.

Anyway, I plan to put this photo online -- maybe the people of Winter Haven will appreciate the history. As I told Mom, for all we know, we have the only copy in existence! It could be historically significant!


  1. It's so odd to me that you and I share that Winter Haven connection.
    Mysteries DO abound.
    You and your mother could go down to the Flagler museum in St. Augustine. Have you been?

  2. Glad you're having a good visit. Nice photos!

  3. That painting is wonderful and the picture you had scanned is fantastic. It reminds me of photos of my grandparents that I have stored in boxes. I should get those out and start scanning them. I think I have one of my grandfather with his military unit and it's a long one like this. I remember seeing it rolled up in a small tube.
    I went looking for shrimp and grits last night and found that the restaurant that used to serve it took it off the menu. Bummer! That sounded so good.

  4. That is what I always think about old photos I have - they *might* be historically important ... to someone ... and so, I cannot throw them out. I will have to think about scanning them except I don't have a scanner, but maybe someday, and then put them on the internet. Dontcha love the possibilities the internet provides.

  5. And great photos - I really enjoyed them all, each one for different reasons!

  6. great painting of the Florida swamp. it's really hot and dry here so yeah, yay air conditioning.

  7. How spooky! You are Great Uncle Rudolph's reincarnation! Just check out the ears man...or should I call you Rudie from now on?
    By the way - a lovely, sunny day in Yorkshire today.

  8. It's a good idea to find something airconditioned and spend your time there. There are many mysteries in some of our old photos.

  9. Family resemblances always fascinate me. This man has has to be your Uncle Rudy, there's absolutely no doubt about that!