Three Generations, No Imbeciles, Lombardo.  I just couldn’t continue, I think because my attention span is very short right now.  Lots going on.

However, I did read 2 other books this week, and started another.

What It Is by Sarah Burleton.  Quick read, a memoir by someone who was abused horribly by her mother.

Return From Tomorrow by George Ritchie w/ Elizabeth Sherrill.  It is Ritchie’s account of his after life experience when he was at boot camp in training WWII.  It is quite fascinating.  I believe his co-author, Sherrill, originally wrote about George Ritchie in Guideposts magazine.  They state in the book that Ritchie’s story was the inspiration for Raymond Moody’s research into after life experiences.  I found the book very inspirational.  Ritchie is a Christian, and believes the name of God is Jesus, based on his experience.

I am now reading a very entertaining book about the marijuana trade in the 70’s & early 80’s.  It is called  Jackpot, High Times, High Seas, and the Sting That Launched the War on Drugs by Jason Ryan.  It is very interesting, I love historical books that recount events that didn’t happen very long ago.  I’m also dying to see if I recognize any of the characters, because in the late 80’s or early 90’s a fugitive smuggler who was a pilot was captured in Richmond, and, sadly, broke the heart of a girl he was seeing, who I knew.  Small world, no?

Plus, my sister, Betsy, is visiting from IN, I left a job under duress 2 weeks ago, starting a new job next week, closing on a house next week, youngest going to FL on a chorus trip next week, and moving the following week.  I guess that’s about it!


Not Barbie


My friend, Susan, and I went to this show, Not Barbie:  A Celebration of Real Women, at Crossroads Art Center last night.  The artist is Susan Singer.  First, let me say I love Crossroads Art Center.  It’s not too far away, and there is a variety of quality paintings, pottery, sculpture and more.  Last night they had some local food trucks and eateries there, two beautiful hoop dancers, one of whom may or may not be Stacey FireFly.  I’d never seen them before, but it was delightful-fresh, graceful and exciting.

We browsed the galleries, listened to soothing 70’s music, and had some wine.  I ran into my old friend, Sandra Francisco, who I’ve known 38 years.  She has assisted me in buying and selling several houses!  She introduced me to Lisette, the subject of one of the paintings in the Not Barbie exhibit.

The exhibit was phenomenal.  Each painting had a written word from the subject about being painted, and how it affected her body image.  One day when I’m more open I’ll talk about my view of my body.  It isn’t exactly self-loving.  Anyhow, this body of work (no pun intended, but immediately noted) really spoke to me.  I think I’ve kind of withheld the feelings it evoked for me from myself.  Lisette’s portrait was the most striking because it showed some of the physical scars she has from being shot by her husband, who then killed himself.

Domestic abuse is near to my heart.  I used to volunteer at a shelter, and, like animal rescuers who always come upon strays, I’ve had abused women seek me out.  It’s an energy thing where what we need shows up for us.  It’s difficult for many people to understand why women stay in these types of relationships.  The reason is fear, fear, fear.  Deep down, their most intuitive, intelligent selves know, perhaps subconsciously, that leaving puts them in very real danger.  Statistics show this to be true.  Most women who are killed in abusive relationships are killed whilst trying to leave the relationship.

Susan Singer has a series of lectures planned for this fall at Crossroads.  It’s called Beyond Barbie: Piecing Together Today’s Woman.  I definitely plan to attend.  I love when the creative and emotional are in sync, and this appears to be a wonderful example.

One of my favorites was this portrait, Joyful, joyful! of a beautiful, elderly woman.



I just saw the most incredible, awesome meteor I’ve ever seen.  Had just walked out to walk Elsie, and thought it was an airplane b/c it was low in sky, but it was moving too fast.  We don’t have the best night sky, but it was very bright, white.  I think it lasted 3-5 seconds.  I saw one smoky contrail, didn’t see it then saw it again.  It went from South to East.  At the end, it exploded into 2 pieces.  Phenomenal.  I feel so blessed.

RVA Arts


First, just let me say–It is 54 deg & Sunny in Richmond, VA right now!!!  Beautiful day.  I recommend you check here and here to find out what’s going on in the arts arena in Richmond.  The first site is Richmond.com, which is an extension of the local newspaper, I think.  The 2nd link is RVA Arts Blog and I can’t say enough good things about them.  They blog, they twitter, they really keep us up to date on what’s happening around town. 

RVA Arts Blog also has links to all of the galleries in town, as well as gallieries in the VA/DC/MD region.  This site is also good for artists.  Just yesterday they posted all of the venues in the Richmond area that display local artwork, again, with links to these venues.

Personally, as a member of the Visual Arts Center I want to remind you about the opening tomorrow night which I wrote about a couple of days ago, and don’t forget, our Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is having their grand re-opening in May!  Lots of great stuff to do now and in the future.

Oh, and the mayor of Short Pump is on Twitter now.  @shortpumpmayor  If you live in this area I’m sure he’d love to hear from his constituents.

Ta Ta!

Art Patrons


I spoke earlier about The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA).  I love that place.  I used to live almost across the street from it and I’ve been a member off  & on for my entire adult life.  It is undergoing a massive expansion (add’l 100,000 sq. ft. to its 250,000 sq ft).  I can’t wait for it to reopen 2010/5.  My favorite art patrons are Frances & Sydney Lewis.  A well educated couple, they started the Best Products catalog stores, which made them very wealthy.  They were able to build a substantial collection of contemporary works such as Pop Art and Photo Realism and later  Art Nouveau and French Art Deco works.  They donated many pieces to VMFA, as well as funds to add to the museum’s modern art collection.  It was always my favorite gallery there, and here is a picture of one of my favorite pieces, a sculpture by photo-realist Duane Hansonhanson

I had the good fortune to tour the Lewis home on Monument Avenue back in the 80’s.  Richmond’s Monument Avenue is pretty much its signature.  When I tell people I’m from Richmond, the first thing they usually mention is Monument Avenue.   The Washington Post has satirically referred to Monument Avenue as “Richmond’s Happy Median”.   Among its monuments are 4 Confederate generals, 1 or 2 other military luminaries, and Arthur Ashe.  When a monument in memory of tennis great Arthur Ashe, who was from Richmond, was proposed, there was much squabbling regarding its location.  Some people felt Monument’s monuments should be preserved for military figures (or white people?).  Like Bill “Bojangles” Robinson’s monument in Jackson Ward, some felt Ashe’s monument should be located at the Byrd Park tennis courts where he played.  Was he even allowed to play at the Byrd Park courts?  I’m not sure.  I think it was a black neighborhood when he was growing up.  In the end, as the Post said, Richmond had “proven its resilience” with the monument’s prominent location on Monument Avenue.

Arthur Ashe

Back to the Lewis home.  It is a stately Georgian home situated at Robinson and Monument, and modern sculpture adorns its small landscape.  The composition of the traditional home and modern art is pleasing.   The modern art collection in it was, well, awesome, even though they had gifted most of it to VMFA by then.  Andy Warhol’s painting of Frances Lewis was still there.  I’m not a detail person, so I couldn’t say what other pieces I saw there, but it was thrilling to tour their home.  I don’t feel like I’ve given the Lewis justice in this post.  They were generous people who ventured with uncertainty among many pieces of contempory art, before some of these artists were well known. 

Realizing that architecture is art, they invested in some of their stores when they built them, and the result was startling to many, and precious also.  After Best Products went out of business, some of these brilliant buildings were destroyed, and others were transformed into other businesses.  Here’s a link to an article on one of them.  http://www.texaschapbookpress.com/magellanslog54/indeterminatefacadeintro.htm.  Here is a link to pictures of all of these historic Best Products stores.  http://www.siteenvirodesign.com/proj.best.php 

Well, that’s it for now.  I hope I can be more eloquent very soon, but I’ve been thinking about the museum, the Lewises, and the store architecture all day, and I wanted you to know a little bit about it.



Richmond is a lovely town.  We have a rich history, in the traditional sense.  Some of the great things about Richmond are the variety of architecture, its diversity of some of the neighborhoods and  there are several old, established universities & seminaries.  There is a large cultural presence here.  The Virginia Museum for Fine Arts  is quite nice, and large & advanced for a city of this size.  Thanks to VCU and its great art school, we have many artists here. 

We had a baseball team for years, a farm team associated with the Atlanta Braves, the Richmond Braves.  A new baseball stadium called ‘The Diamond’ was built in the 80’s to replace the decades old Parker Field.  About 5 or so years ago, some proponents for the advancement of our city suggested we build a new stadium in Shockoe Bottom.   Here are some pictures of Shockoe Bottom when Tropical Storm Gaston dropped a deluge of rain here.

AfterAfter GastonDuring the storm


I don’t think I need to say anything more about that!  Actually Richmond was one of the earliest cities in America that had underground waterpipes, so they are ancient.  It was a dangerous storm, and the aging water pipes, along with the flood wall that keeps the James River out when it floods, worked together as if Gaston had come here to build a pool in Shockhoe Bottom.

Anyhow, our Braves got tired of us and went to another fair city.  A lot of us didn’t attend the games, and some of us were always talking about what a rotten venue we had in the Diamond.  Now, a new farm team is coming to Richmond.   I think they will be playing at the Diamond.  Haven’t heard much about a new ball field lately.  Guess what we named this new team?  The Flying Squirrels!  flyingsquirrel

I hope the kids will come!