Goodbye Springfield – A Walk in the Garden

Posted in On Tthe Road, Photography Tricks on June 1st, 2009 by MadDog
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I love being in interesting places, but I hate getting there. Springfield, Illinois has its interesting spots, but it’s not Vienna. Anyway, we had a good time and visited family that I seldom see. But, I start to get very anxious when travel time draws near. For someone who has been around the world about a dozen times, I’m not a very good sojourner.

So, as my anxiety grows, I grab my trusty camera (I presently have three to choose from. I look like a Japanese tourist) and find a garden to calm myself. Fortunately, this morning all I had to do was walk out of the door of Jim and Mary Sexton’s house to find a pleasant spot to exercise my eyes. Mary is Eunie’s sister.

Heritage roses seem to be gaining popularity everywhere. At least I think that these are a heritage variety:

Pink heritage roses

The pink is quite pretty, but I was more intrigued by these blue ones. I thought blue roses did not exist:
Heritage BLUE roses - no, they are fakes.
Well, as it turns out, they don’t exist. I faked the colour with Photoshop.

Red roses are beautiful and they smell nicer. Jim and Mary have some nice red ones in their garden:

Red, red rosesI did notice that they lack yellow roses.

So, I made some for them:

Fake yellow roses courtesy of PhotoshopYes, they are also Photoshop fakes.

I captured some more images in Jim and Mary’s garden this morning. Here is a little gallery:


I feel mentally and spiritually rested now. I’m almost ready to face TSA.

Would they arrest you when you took your shoes off if everybody fainted? Do they sell “Foot Stink” any place? I’m looking for trouble. I’ve never been arrested and I’m ready to try it. It would make a great war story.

UPDATE: Mary says that they are violas, not pansies. What do I know?

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Springfield Illinois – Land of Lincoln

Posted in On Tthe Road on May 30th, 2009 by MadDog
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In the nearly three decades that I’ve been an expatriate I’ve observed that people who have lived for many years away from their country of birth seem to fall into two categories. There are those who never cease to long for the ‘mother land’ and revere it. Others develop a cynical and hypercritical attitude concerning the land of their birth. I suppose I fall somewhere in between.

I do revere the memory of the land in which I was nurtured and still believe in its fundamental founding principles. However, mine is a fantasy of longing for a time long past when every social issue was not coloured in indiscernable shades of grey. Nothing seems clear. Few serious social issues seem solvable.

Of course, real Americans don’t run off for decades to a distant land and hurl dissent from a safe distance. That’s why I don’t lay claim to being a functional American any more. If I lived there, I’d be a noisy participant. Since I don’t live there, I try to hold my tongue.

Still, even through my cynicism and fear for the future, I am occasionally stirred by representations of greatness from the past. One place where you can find that in abundance is in Springfield Illinois.

I’ll not say a lot more. I’ll let you look at the images to see if any of them speak to you.

Here are the steps of the old court house where Abraham Lincoln delivered his great “A Nation Divided” speech and Barack Obama announced his candidacy for the Presidency:

The courthouse steps where Lincoln and Obama announced their candidacy for President
This is a gallery of some of the photos that I took today as Eunie and I wandered around the centre of Springfield:
I would like to mention that Eunie told me that when she was a kid in Springfield, practically nobody knew that the building on the corner was Lincoln’s law office.

I can’t leave without making a tongue-in-cheek political statement with this image:

The Capital building in Springfield, Illinois - and yes, this is a political statement
It is a shot of the Capital Building in Springfield. I was amused by the juxtaposition of the One Way sign and the ediface of political rule. Please note the obvious. The arrow is pointing left.

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