A couple weekends ago, I visited Monticello in Charlottesville, Virginia,
and this past weekend I visited Colonial
Williamsburg, which isn’t far from Mathews, with my daughter
Patty and some of her friends. What an amazing, special place
it is! To quote Colonial Williamsburg’s website,
“Williamsburg was the thriving capital of Virginia when the dream
of American freedom and independence was taking shape and the colony
was a rich and powerful land stretching west to the Mississippi River
and north to the Great Lakes. For 81 formative years, from 1699
to 1780, Williamsburg was the political, cultural, and educational center
of what was then the largest, most populous, and most influential of
the American colonies. It was here that the fundamental concepts
of our republic—responsible leadership, a sense of public service,
self-government, and individual liberty—were nurtured under the
leadership of patriots such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson,
George Mason, and Peyton Randolph. Near the end of the Revolutionary
War and through the influence of Thomas Jefferson, the seat of government
of Virginia was moved up the peninsula to the safer and more centrally
located city of Richmond.”
For nearly a century and a half after the Revolutionary War, Williamsburg
was a quiet college town, home of the College
of William and Mary, the second oldest college or university in
the country. In 1926, the Reverend Dr. W.A.R. Goodwin, rector
Parish Church, shared his dream of preserving the city’s historic
buildings with philanthropist John D. Rockefeller, Jr., who is largely
responsible for the preservation of this remarkable national treasure.
The historic buildings have been lovingly restored and preserved, and
the Colonial way of life is likewise preserved and presented by interpreters.
Patty and I must have been bad! Here we are in the pillory,
a common form of punishment during the Colonial period.
Patty, her friends, and I so much enjoyed the Colonial
gardens that even offer plants for sale, the oxen coming down the streets,
and the different kinds of buggies and wagons. A special treat
was getting to march along with the Drum and Fife Corps and hear their
music. We followed them all the way to the Peyton Randolph House,
the oldest wing of which dates to 1715.
Marching along with the Drum and Fife Corps. The building
in the background is the Courthouse, where lawyer Benjamin Waller read
the Declaration of Independence from its steps in 1776.
We took a moment to visit one of my authorized dealers
located in Williamsburg right across from the College of William and
Mary. Steven King at Gallery on Merchants Square is a relatively
new dealer, and I hadn’t been to the gallery or met him before.
He specializes in originals, and the gallery is beautiful.
Next year the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia and North Carolina will
celebrate its 75th Anniversary, and I am most honored that the Blue
Ridge Parkway 75th Anniversary Committee asked me to help commemorate
the event with a special painting and print edition. The grand
finale event will be held at the Blue Ridge Music Center in Galax, Virginia,
on September 10, 2010, and I’ve been invited to attend.
The Framer’s Daughter in Galax will host a kick-off event this
weekend, and we’ll release the print during the show, with a portion
of the proceeds benefiting the Blue Ridge Parkway.
The Good Road—Blue Ridge Parkway 75th Anniversary will be
released during my show with The Framer’s Daughter in Galax, Va.,
September 11-12. For more information, please contact the gallery
at 276-236-4920. Included in the image, top to bottom and left
to right, are: Peaks of Otter, the Farmstead at Humpback Rocks,
Explore Park, Mabry Mill, the Blue Ridge Music Center, the Cone Manor
House, the Linn Cove Viaduct, Linville Falls, and Looking Glass Rock.
Also included are a stone bridge and the rhododendrons that one sees
so prevalently along the Parkway.
My chapter focus this week is on the Central Iowa Chapter
of the P. Buckley Moss Society.
I’ve been privileged to be able to spend some time with the members
of this remarkable chapter during the last several years when I’ve
been in the Des Moines area for shows with Kenneth Paul Gallery.
The Iowa countryside is beautiful, with lush corn and soybean fields
and vineyards. It may be surprising to some that one of Iowa’s
fastest growing crops is grapes, and numerous local wineries are appearing
all over Iowa. The most famous showcase for Iowa’s wonderful
products is the world-renowned Iowa
State Fair, which ended its ten-day run in mid-August, with over
one million attendees.
The Central Iowa Chapter was founded in 1987 and currently has thirty
members. For the past five years, the Chapter’s major fundraiser
has been a tea with a live and silent auction. Each year, they
have raised enough money to sponsor one or two teachers to attend the
P. Buckley Moss Foundation
for Children’s Education’s Annual
Creative Mind Conference. Last year, the Chapter was very
pleased to be able to sponsor the teacher-daughters of two of their
members. This year, they are sponsoring a Des Moines kindergarten
teacher, whom they also helped in July with prep work for her classroom
and collected school supplies for students in her school. The
Chapter plans on continuing their support throughout the school year.
Members of the Central Iowa Chapter at work.
I am so grateful to our wonderful chapters who are sponsoring
their local teachers to attend the Foundation’s Creative Mind
Conference. This conference is so important, because it gives
teachers creative ideas to reach learning different children and help
them learn. The conference brings together educators to share
ideas and experiences and help one another understand that not all children
learn the same. There are so many wonderful, special people in
this world who grew up with a learning difference and who blossomed
with the help of a special teacher or mentor.
The teachers who attend the conferences return to their schools and
share what they have learned with other teachers and also with parents
and the chapter members who have sponsored them. The sharing of
ideas with one another is so worthwhile and rewarding.
The theme for this year’s conference is “Voices from the
Past, Envisioning the Future”, and it will be held October 23-25
at the American Frontier
Culture Museum in Staunton, Virginia, with a special Sunday, October
25, brunch with me at the P.
Buckley Moss Museum in Waynesboro. The Foundation has some
scholarships available, and all you have to do to apply is mail or e-mail
them and let them know why you would like to be awarded a scholarship
to attend the conference: P. Buckley Moss Foundation for Children’s
Education, 152 P. Buckley Moss Drive, Waynesboro, VA 22980; PH:
L. to R.: Jean and Robert Humphrey and Museum Receptionist
Marianne Fickling. Robert was the P. Buckley Moss Museum’s
Monthly Mystery Winner for September. Robert and Jean were on
their way home to Ames, Ia., when they stopped by the Museum on Labor
Day. Jean would have been the winner of the $50 gift certificate,
redeemable in the Museum’s gift shop, except Robert was a gentleman
and held the door for her, making him the 11th visitor (and correct
number) through the door that day. For more information on the
Museum’s Monthly Mystery Winner Program, please see my February
11, 2009, newsletter.
This Friday, September 11, is the eighth anniversary
of the horrific terrorist attacks in 2001. The day has officially
been named Patriot Day, and I hope you will join me in saying a prayer
for the victims and their families and also for our soldiers who fight
bravely to keep us safe and defend our freedom.
The beautiful quilt on the table in the foreground was given to
me by Anita Mahoney during Quilt Camp at Sea’s 9-Night New England
Cruise for a Cure. It goes perfectly in my sunroom in Mathews,
Va. Thanks, Anita!