Morning all:

I just finished a nice buffet breakfast so am ready to face the day – the morning coffee proved to be extra good. It’s been quite the week for me. It started last weekend when Adrianne invited me to see the movie of Lewis and Clark at our museum Omnimax theater. What a thrill and something every parent dreams of, having some great parent-child quality time – thanks Adrianne. The additional bonus came when we joined a volunteer docet for a behind the scene tour of Union Terminal, the place where the Omnimax and the major Cincinnati museums are located. Union Terminal is one of the largest and most significant surviving Art Deco structures in existence and the tour was fabulous.

Tuesday it was one day in Bean Town, and then Wednesday a short trip into the UK. Finally business is done so now it’s playtime before I head home on Sunday. With my struggling ‘left side of the road’ driving skills, rain, wind, early darkness and Friday evening rush hour traffic I started the adventure by setting my little Renault Scenic rental unit squarely for the Birmingham city center ten miles away. I had reservations in their showpiece Symphony Hall and it truly is an amazingly beautiful building. The concert was also very special for it took us back to a setting akin to one of the large “Moving Picture Palaces” of the 1920s. In those days of silent movies the movie was a part of a larger entertainment offering, which during the evening could consist of music, dancers, comedy, even the possibility of an animal act alongside the feature moving picture.

Our setting for the evening created a vision of one such ‘Palace’, the year being 1923 and George Gershwin is leading a Jazz band with his new Rhapsody in Blue. Finally came time for the movie to start, the massive screen lowered, and in full black-and-white Safety Last starring Harold Lloyd began to roll. Way down deep in the pit the Birmingham Symphony accompanied using the original Paul Whiteman score. Harold Lloyd made his reputation as the ‘king of daredevil comedy’. The photo of Lloyd dangling from the face of a large clock some twelve stories up on a building is one of the most famous images in silent movies. Three thousand people in the hall laughing uproariously with one pratfall after another, and then gasping collectively as our hero appeared to be on the brink of disaster was marvelous. A very special evening.

The great part is that tonight I get to do it all over again. This time at Birmingham’s ‘The REP’ for a live theater production of The Madness of George III. In a few days I’ll post some pictures, but at around $1.50 to $4.00 per unit (I minute) hotel phone charges I don’t want to connect more than an absolute minimum. The hotel very kindly placed a small paragraph on the bottom of the phone rate card which goes on to explain that the length of time for a ‘unit’ is dependent on destination and time of call – my college level math proved no match calculating what I could be billed.

Hey, have a great week.



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