Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Cher in concert in Nashville - part 1

First I would like to thank all my blogging friends who visited my last post on my 5th year anniversary of blogging.  I appreciate your comments - I do not answer each comment on my blog because I rather spend the time going to your blogs and read your posts.  I know that "virtual" friendship is not the same as traditional friendship and that it takes commitment and time to stay connected so I am very appreciative of your visit.  This is an eclectic blog - it is easy with a virtual friendship, when one reads a remark not to our liking, to click to the next blog, so I am pleased that many of you have kept reading my blog and I am grateful.  The 5th year anniversary of my blog coincides with my birthday.  It was for my birthday in 2009 that we visited our eldest daughter in California where she helped me create this blog.  This year, for my birthday which is March 26, our youngest daughter bought, as a birthday present, tickets for the March 31st Cher Concert  "Dressed to Kill Tour 2014" in Nashville.  Below is the poster for the Concert.

So we drove to Nashville, Tennessee, and first we enjoyed the birthday cake ...

Then on Monday March 31, 2014, my daughter, husband and I drove to the Bridgestone Arena in downtown Nashville.  On the way there, while she was driving down Broadway, I took photos from the car window.  We passed the historic Union Station, opened in 1900 and now a hotel.  Then we passed by the Frist Center for the Visual Arts which is housed in the historic US Post Office, opened in 1930 to serve as Nashville main post office.  Finally we drove by a massive building - the historic Customs House and old post office built in 1898.  (Click on collage twice to enlarge.)

As my daughter was driving it was difficult to take the whole buildings, I was only able to take snippets of them.  Below are vintage postcards of the same buildings.

It was a lovely evening, warm with a beautiful sky.  You can see the roof of the arena below.

There is a large indoor trade show area around the arena.  My daughter (below in the white dress) waited to buy some water and we stopped to look at the Cher souvenir booth.

I remember watching the Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour on television in the early 1970s - Cher already wore outrageous costumes.  I found out then that, just like me, Cher is half Armenian - her father, Garabed Sarkisian, was the son of Armenian immigrants.  She was born Cherilyn Sarkisian on May 20, 1946.  Actually my Armenian childhood friend in Paris looks a lot like her but not so tall.  The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour, a variety show, was broadcasted from 1971 until they divorced in 1974.

In an interview, an Armenian reporter from Massachusetts said to Cher "Eench bes es?" which means "how are you?" (one of the few Armenian expressions I know.)  He was totally amazed when she answered in fluid Armenian.  Her large Armenian father family in Fresno, California, taught her the language and the cuisine.  She likes Armenian food and can cook specialties like "kufta" and "sarma."  Below, as a blonde, Cher is interviewed by Lusine Shahbazyan for US-Armenia TV. (Photo courtesy US-Armenia TV.)

Cher did travel to Armenia on a humanitarian mission - she was surprised to find that many women looked a bit like her - I think she was her natural brunette then.  My father had cousins named Sarkisian, but then many Armenians say that they are all "cousins" as they believe they are related through ethnicity.  The country of Armenia has less than 3 million inhabitants, which is less than Metro Atlanta, Georgia, with over 5 millions.  Below is the map of Armenia - I made a circle around it, below Georgia and adjacent to Turkey.

Cher has been a red head, platinum blonde and uses many wigs.  I like her in the 2014 photo below, on the right.  It is hard to believe that on May 20, 2014 she will be 68 years old - she seems ageless.

In addition to philanthropy in Armenia she has been involved in anti-poverty initiatives, veteran rights and charities, and Habitat for Humanity.  She actively support children with craniofacial conditions and is the National Spokesperson for the association CCA.  She supports the Peace Village School in Kenya and many other charitable programs.  Cher has been in the public eye since the late 1960s.  She has been successful on television, on Broadway (with Come Back to the 5 and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean) in the movies, with an Oscar for Moonstruck and as an exercise video guru.  She also sold her line of perfume and skin-care products and diet guides.  Between 2002 and 2005 she performed a record-breaking 325 concerts for her "Farewell Tour" - which was not a farewell tour after all.  She is the only recording artist to have a No. 1 hit in every one of the past six decades.  She has sold more than 100 million records and her latest 25th studio album "Closer to the Truth" was sent to each person upon the purchase of a ticket to attend her 2014 Dressed to Kill Tour - here is mine below.

My daughter had purchased good seats, on the side, not too far from the stage.  It looked like the Nashville Bridgestone arena was full - as a stage concert hall it can seat about 20,000 people.  All the cities on the Tour so far have been sold out.  The Dressed to Kill Tour or "The D2K Tour" (named after a song in her latest CD) started in March in Phoenix, Arizona, and is stopping in 50 cities across the US and Canada.  The show opened with Pat Benatar and her husband, guitarist and pianist Neil Giraldo.  It is their 35th anniversary tour and celebration of their 32nd wedding anniversary.

Benatar and Giraldo went through some of their 1980s classic rocks with a high-energy sound.  The crowd loved the two performers - Giraldo, playing his guitar in the Jimi Hendrix style, went well with the four-time Grammy Award winner Pat Benatar's strong and crisp voice.

After this first hour of hard-driving rock we waited for Cher.  It was fun looking around at the audience which was a diverse group of all ages.  Some were wearing Cher-type outfits - sequined, feathered, etc.  There was a large gay audience as well.  I was surprised to see teenagers next to seniors older than me.  When Cher show started many on the ground floor stood up, and stayed standing up - I was happy we were seating on the side with a perfect view of the stage.

This post is becoming too long, so I'll finish it next time.  More to come ...

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Five years of blogging ... already

Last Sunday, March 30, 2014, was the fifth year anniversary of my blog.  I published my first post on March 30th, 2009.  First, I had written an Introduction then the post which was called "Rancho Los Cerritos."  This post was short, just two paragraphs and one collage.  I received 4 comments on this first post.  Rancho Los Cerritos was close to our daughter's condo.  Here are some more photos I took that day and did not publish.  (Click on collage twice to enlarge.)

At the time I wrote that I wished my two little grandsons could read about my past and now I have 4 grand children!  Now I also publish more pictures in my posts.  Unfortunately I have noticed that many of my pictures have been copied without my consent, some are even being sold as computer screen backdrops, and so I try to mark some with my name.  I really enjoy working with my photos, and that is this love of pictures, painting and postcards which partly started me in blogland.  This past year we visited our eldest daughter, who had moved from Long Beach, California, to Memphis, Tennessee.  We accompanied her to Jackson, Mississippi, on a business trip.  There we visited the house of Pulitzer Prize author Eudora Welty (1909-2001.)  Ms. Welty lived in this house for close to 80 years.  I'll have a post on it in the future, but for now I wish to show you some of Eudora's quotations which echo my feelings.

During my last few years at work I was transferred to a different department in a large building with no windows.  I would come about half an hour before work and drink a cup of coffee while looking at pictures on my computer.  I found a site showing a new photo daily - and this would start my day with a beautiful image.  The site had many different sections, such as landscape, animals, flowers, cities, etc.  They could be downloaded.  The site was called Webshots.  It still exists but has been sold.  Here are some of the pictures I watched, in 2006.

Looking for French pictures on the computer during lunch I had found a site by a man called Jean, who had a "Blog" called "Le Blog de Jean Couleurs."  (I think he stopped the blog in 2010.)  He published one picture on each post usually with little or no text.  Below are some of the pictures I saw on his blog in early 2006.  I printed the photo of the garden gate and placed in on the file cabinet facing my computer so I could look at it and imagine that I would walk through that door into a romantic garden.

At about that time, April 2006, I read an article in the New York Times, under Retirement, about "Elderbloggers."  You can read it here.  That is when I started to look at blogs.  In the fall of 2006 my daughter had also started a family blog.  When we visited her in Long Beach in March 2009 to celebrate my birthday, she persuaded me to start my own blog and helped me create one.  We called it "Recollections of a Vagabonde."  By May 2009, I had three followers already, who still read my blog today.  I thank them heartily for having been reading my posts for these last five years.  Thank you Elaine of Arctic View ,  Friko of Friko's World and Djan of Djan-ity .  I appreciate your friendship.  Now I won't show pictures taken these last five years, as this post would last 10 pages or more, but I have picked some photos from this last year of blogging, since March 2013.  Some of these images were in posts, some not yet.  These below are from last spring.

After a long winter spring flowers are always an exciting sight.

This past year I was able to photograph a variety of subjects, including animals.  In March 2013 I took a picture of our new little kitten, Mitsuko, a Korat female, who was about 2 months old then.

During the course of the year I was able to photograph more animals.  Don't forget to click on pictures to see better.

In May 2013 we welcomed our latest grandchild, a little girl (after 3 grandsons.)  I had been busy knitting baby blankets.

Then when we came back to Georgia we drove to New Echota, the former capital of the Cherokee Nation and attended the service commemorating the 175th anniversary of the Cherokee Trail of Tears.

In 2013 we visited three of my favorite cities - San Francisco, New Orleans and New York.  In June it was San Francisco (I still have several posts coming relating to that visit.)

We also visited some interesting museums and exhibitions during the year.

We ate some delicious meals.  I made up a new cake recipe - an upside down fresh fig cake.

This last year of blogging I took so many pictures again that it is hard to choose which ones to show here - birds, or cats, or interesting shots or scenery - the selection is large indeed.

We rode the train they call The City of New Orleans and loved it - more posts on New Orleans will be coming up.

In New Orleans, Memphis and other towns, we stopped to listen to musicians.

We also stopped to look at flowers and read meaningful quotations.

Our warmest day might have been in Key West, Florida or the Bahamas.

Our coldest was in New York City - but it was warm in the Public Library.

It was cold one day only for us in New York, and then the weather was temperate for the rest of our stay.

This last blogging year saw much activities and beautiful images.  I still have many photos that are not downloaded.  It has been a pleasure to share my pictures here on my blog.  I thought that once I retired I would not meet many people, but with this blog I have met and become friends with many talented, kind and interesting people from all over the USA and many parts of the world.  Some I have met in person such as Naomi in Hollywood, California of the blog Here in the Hills and others several times, such as Frances in New York of the blog City Views, Country Dreams .  We even went all the way to Oslo, Norway, to attend a Blog Gathering!  I know that I now look at the world with a keener eye, looking for the right picture and trying to absorb all the information so I can share it on my blog - the picture can be of an attractive person, or appealing color combination.

The picture can be of a glamorous bird or just an old pot in a window,

or it can be a photo taken from the wall of a local historic railway station,

or just a gorgeous sunset on the Mississippi River.

My life has certainly been enriched by this blog.  I have learned so much from all the creative bloggers I read.  I wish to say a heartfelt "Thank You" and "Merci" to all my readers.  I appreciate that they have taken some of their precious time to leave a comment and I also appreciate the readers who just look at my pictures.  These five years of blogging have gone by very quickly and I'm looking forward to many more.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Bulloch Hall 32nd Quilt Show - attic

This is the third and last post on the Bulloch Hall Quilt Show.  Please look at my two other posts if you have not seen the quilts yet.  After coming up the stairs to the attic and taking just a glance we could see that many exquisite quilts were hanging on the wall and other places and we would have to slowly look at each one.  (Please click on collage twice to enlarge.)

Below, top left is "Moon and Stars" by Dianne Cannestra, next to "Patriotic Star Sampler" by Linda Wirtz.  Lower left is "Macchiato Scraps" by Karen Gornall, next to "Underground Railroad" by Kayla McDavid who says "I did this for my senior project in high school."

Some quilts were hanging in the middle of the arttic.  The bluish quilt on the right below, no. 184 is called "Winter Reflections" by Patrick Cavigliano who says "I grew up in western New York State.  Lots of snow and good memories.  Fabric reminded me of my childhood."  It does look like all the winter scenes are seen through shelves or windows, with the three dimension illusion.

Quilt no. 166 "Familiar Expressions" by Pam Martin, did have some funny scenes like "Dog Days of summer" and "3 Dog Night."

Some of the quilts were not easy to photograph as they were hanging on a slight angle and there was not much room to photograph them.

In the collage below you can see part of the quilt I placed at the top of this post - it is no. 167 "Circle Illusion" by Betty Duff of Milford, Michigan, who says "I was intrigued with the sewing together of curves to achieve circles."  My husband found the orange-yellow quilt no. 183, below on the right, very attractive.  It might be because the quilter, Nancy Hutchison says "Scrappy ties include recycled fabrics from my husband's shirts."

The quilt on the bed looked comfortable, but the bed ... not really.  I liked the quilt hanging behind the bed, mostly in aqua and blue tones, no. 161 "Mixing Traditional with Contemporary" by Julie Bizzoso.

Another quilt near the bed was very intricate - no. 160 "Mountain Cabin" by Pam Martin.

I took time to look at the sunny view from the little window and also at the wood under the roof.  It does not look like there is any layer of insulation.  It could be what they call "double" roofing, with the insulation being above, maybe.

More beautiful quilts below.  Quilt no. 173, top right-hand side, by Karen Gornall is called "My Faux Pottery Barn."  She says "I saw this quilt in Pottery Barn's catalog - so I just made it."  Below, on the bottom right-hand side is quilt no. 177 "Count your Blessings" by Holly Anderson.  She says "This was a mystery quilt for the members of Sea Island Quilt Guild in Beaufort, South Carolina.  There are 52 pieces in each blog, not to mention the pieced sashing."

I took some close-up shots too.

Most of the quilts were tall and large but there were some lovely smaller ones as well, such as those below.  Quilt no. 187, top left, by Barbara Rotondi is called "Heartland Crossing" - she says "This quilt gets its name from the passage by wagon across the Heartland of America and the log cabins that were built after they staked out their land and settled."

You had to look closely at quilt no. 178 "Thanks for Alaska" by Diane Berdis, as there was much going on there.  She says "We saw this quilt in a quilt shop in Skagway, Alaska on a recent trip.  This is a kit purchased at that shop called "Quilt Alaska."  My husband fell in love with it."  I think anyone would love it too.

Then we walked downstairs and passed another quilt hanging on a door, and another one I had missed earlier.  Quilt no. 73 by Barbara Rotondi is called "At Mama's Knees."  She says "Title of quilt refers to a young girl's education during the 1800's when a girl would start sewing by hand by age 5, and start making quilts, samplers and clothing to be a good wife."  Quilt no. 55 "Lines at the Seashore" is by Liz Bauer.  It certainly reminds you of the colors close to the sea.

Then I remembered that I had to choose one of the quilts and write its number on my slip of paper.  As I went down the stairs I had seen a really stunning quilt in purple hues - purple being one of my favorite colors.  So I went back to get a closer look.  It is quilt no. 7A named "Together" by Zoe Palmer of Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.  She says "Found these fabric strips in my stash of "To-do one day" - perfect for a wedding quilt to celebrate the love of my sister and her wife."  The more I looked at it, the more I liked it - it looked so lovely and peaceful.  So I voted for 7A.

Then we went out and saw two inviting rocking chairs - just waiting for us ... good to rest our feet for a while.

After our little rest we walked toward the Slave Cabin.  At the Gift Shop there was a brochure with the title "The topic of Slavery is a difficult one, ..." see below.  Inside they give information on the slaves from Bulloch Hall.  Daddy William was a coachman and butler.  Maum Charlotte was the housekeeper and ran the Bulloch household.  Daddy William and Maum Charlotte continued to live in Roswell after the end of the Civil War.  Daddy Luke Mounar was a literate slave and read to the mill work's children.  After the family left Bulloch Hall, Daddy Luke cared for the property and gave account about it in letters to Mrs. Bulloch.  In 1873 he inherited money from the family.  The Bulloch family supported him financially until his death at the age of 105.  Mittie Bulloch Roosevel, President Roosevelt's mother, would recall her childhood in Roswell for Teddy.  She and her siblings had often gone to the slave cabins to listen to stories such as B'rer Rabbit, B'rer Fox that the slave told them and she recounted them for her young son, Theodore.  Here she is below with Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., as a young boy.

My husband and I visited Theodore Roosevelt, Jr.'s birthplace home in New York City last November when we were in New York.  It is maintained by the National Park Service (I'll have a post on this in the future.)  Our guide told us "Mittie was considered a true southern belle who possessed great beauty, charm, and spirit.  It is believed that the character of Scarlett O'Hara in Margaret Mitchell's novel Gone with the Wind is partly based on her."  Because of all these childhood memories from his mother, President Roosevelt wished to visit his mother's girlhood home.  He was finally able to do so in October 1905.  Mammy Grace and Daddy William were there to greet him as you can see them in the picture below.

In early 20th century the slave buildings were destroyed by fire.  The dog-trot Slave Cabin has been reconstructed with living quarters and exhibits.  It is dedicated to their legacy.

My husband went then to sit on a bench and looked at some large bird flying above.  Could it be a falcon?

A large tree must have fallen down many years ago and was looking like a nice bench - that is where I went to sit.

As we were leaving Bulloch Hall a sweet Bluebird was chirping on the fence.

It was 2:30 pm then and we were ready for a late lunch.  I recalled that the French bakery Douceur de France had opened a second shop in Roswell.  We found it and they were still serving lunch.  I had my favorite - the Basque tartine, and my husband had a tuna salad sandwich.  We then shared a luscious looking chocolate pastry.

That cake was delicious and the perfect, sweet topping to a wonderful and warm day - by then it was 75 degree F (24 C.)