Places to go and things to see by Gypsy Bev

Archive for February, 2020

Gypsy Highway

Snyder's BluffWhile visiting Vicksburg, Mississippi to do some research for a Civil War Diary, my journey took me to Snyder’s Bluff, one of the places frequently mentioned in the diary. This is where my GPS took me that hot, southern day.

   Dust settled over my gypsy car while exploring a dirt road not far from that grand Mississippi River that divides our country. With temperatures near 100 degrees as the sun beat down, I felt fortunate that the Chevy’s air conditioning worked properly.

   Soon the road went through a narrow pass cut into the ground with sides ten feet high and trees extending their roots like tentacles reaching out to capture something or someone. Because of the desire to do research for the book, my curiosity led me forward. After a few miles, no end seemed to be in sight so when the road widened, giving an opportunity to turn around, I maneuvered the car back and forth until it was headed out.

   Returning through the pass, a loud sound reached my ears and there was more dust up ahead. Around a slight bend headed straight toward me rumbled a semi loaded with logs. Imagine they were as surprised to see me as I was to see them.

   Somehow we passed with inches to spare between us and between the banks of the road with tree roots waiting to grasp. No walls came tumbling down!

   After that close call, it was necessary to stop for a few minutes. With my hand resting on my chest, I could feel the rapid heartbeat. The smell of dust filled the car.

   My lips felt like sandpaper from the dust and heat, and my tongue stuck to the roof of my mouth. Perhaps back on the main road, there would be someplace to buy a cold ice tea to wet my whistle.

   You never know what you might encounter when taking a Gypsy Highway. It made me wonder how Pvt. George Painter, the writer of the diary, handled the dangers in the area back in 1863 when he was a member of the Mississippi Marine Brigade.

“Chihuly: Celebrating Nature” at Franklin Park Conservatory

Chihuly Annie's Pond

“Anemones and Niijima Floats” can be found at Annie’s Koi Pond. Artwork © Chihuly Studio. All Rights Reserved.

I want my work to appear like it came from nature. So that if someone found it on a beach or in the forest, they might think it belonged there.

~Dale Chihuly

Stunning glass artwork by Dale Chihuly is being featured at Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Columbus. The vibrant colors make this exhibition glow from within.

     Select pieces of Chihuly have been exhibited at Franklin Park since 2003 when they were honored to be the second botanical garden in the world to host an exhibition by Dale Chihuly. This time they are excited to be able to exhibit their full collection and several pieces on loan, the largest Chihuly collection in a botanical garden.

Chihuly Sunset Tower

“Sunset Chandelier” can be seen suspended in the Pacific Island Biome. Artwork © Chihuly Studio. All Rights Reserved.

     These breathtaking pieces can be found in the Conservatory’s botanical gardens and courtyards. Most of his pieces are inspired and named for objects in nature. In the Pacific Island Water Garden, you can find that awesome Sunset Chandelier.

     Chihuly has been interested in glass since childhood walks on the beaches of Puget Sound where he found little pieces of broken bottles and Japanese floats. However, it wasn’t until he was a student at The University of Washington that he decided to weave some small pieces of glass into his tapestries.

Chihuly Lavender Reeds

“Neodymium Reeds & Green Grass” contain a rare lavender hue. Artwork © Chihuly Studio. All Rights Reserved.

     A few years later, he melted some glass in an oven and blew his first glass bubble. At that moment, this artist decided to be a glassblower. Over the years he has experimented with many old and new techniques to create artistic creations beyond the normal bounds of function and beauty.

Chihuly Ceiling

“Persian Ceiling” contains hundreds of layered blown glass forms. Artwork © Chihuly Studio. All Rights Reserved.

     This creator of unusual glass artwork still makes his home in Seattle where he and his wife, Leslie, take art to places that might not normally see it. They have formed the Leslie and Dale Chihuly Foundation which works with veterans, teenagers, and seniors. The foundation also gives grants each year to two Washington state innovative artists.

Chihuly Macchia

“Macchia” series is aglow with an unbelievable combination of colors. Artwork © Chihuly Studio. All Rights Reserved.

     Glass is the most magical of all materials and is one of the few materials that light can pass through easily. Chihuly was attracted by the way even a small glass opening creates a beautiful object. Color doesn’t seem to matter as he said, “I’ve never met a color I didn’t like.”

     Since an auto accident in 1976 where he lost his left eye, Chihuly has not blown glass himself but oversees a team of skilled glassblowers. He likens himself to the director of a movie or an architect overseeing the project these days. But his mark is still left behind on the productions. Traditional glass factories create perfectly formed vessels while Chihuly lets the glass take its own shape, and irregularity is prevalent.

Chihuly Paintbrushes (2)

“Paintbrushes” is named for the Indian Paintbrush flower.  Artwork © Chihuly Studio. All Rights Reserved.

     Because of interest in glasshouses, his exhibitions have found their way into many botanical garden settings around the world. This outstanding blown glass has been seen from Venice to Jerusalem and Montreal.

     From 1994 to 1996, the artist worked with glassblowers in Finland, Ireland, Mexico, and Italy to create “Chihuly Over Venice” – a series of fifteen Chandeliers which he hung over canals and in piazzas of Venice, one of his favorite cities.

Chihuly Venetian

“Venetian Vase” is overwhelmed by sprouting flowers. Artwork © Chihuly Studio. All Rights Reserved.

     Four years later, his largest public exhibition, “Chihuly in the Light of Jerusalem, 2000” was viewed by over a million visitors at the Tower of David Museum. His creations can be found in over two hundred museums around the world.

     Like many artists, when asked about plans for the future, his response is, “If I knew what was to be created next, I would already have done it.”

Chihuly Blue Garden Fiori

“Blue Garden Fiori” was inspired by his mother’s flower garden. Artwork © Chihuly Studio. All Rights Reserved.

     He does encourage young artists to surround themselves with artists and see as much art as possible. “Create something that nobody has ever seen before.” That’s something that Chihuly has become an expert at doing.

     The full Chihuly: Celebrating Nature will be at Franklin Park Conservatory until March 29. Don’t miss this chance to see beautiful and unique glass creations that are sure to please and surprise you.

     “I want people to be overwhelmed with light and color in some way that they’ve never experienced.” ~Chihuly

Franklin Park Conservatory is in Columbus, Ohio at 1777 E. Broad Street. They have exciting things happening all year long. Pictures in this post were taken by Gypsy Bev and were then approved for publication by Dale Chihuly.

Jack Marlin Rekindles Memories of Elvis Presley

Jack Country Club

Jack recently entertained a Dickens Victorian Village tour bus group with Elvis songs at the Cambridge Country Club.

If you’ve ever had a fondness for the music of Elvis Presley, you’re certain to be entertained by the voice of Jack Marlin, who sounds remarkably like the King of Rock and Roll. His easy-going manner and rich, smooth voice make him a crowd-pleaser.

Jack as a child

A young Jack Marlin performs in the backyard.

   Singing has been something Jack has enjoyed since high school in St. Clairsville, where he sang in the school and church choirs. Over the years, he has sung country, gospel and Elvis music. Today, the Elvis style and songs are what he prefers performing.

Jack Scout

As a teen, Jack earned his Eagle Scout award and sang at that presentation.

   As a young man, Jack admired the music of Elvis, his favorite entertainer, played his 8 tracks and tried to mimic his style and voice. He decided to conquer one song at a time and the first Elvis song learned was “Amazing Grace.” Determination set in as he then learned those popular favorites “Blue Suede Shoes” and “All Shook Up.”

Jack with City Band

An Elvis song is always popular at the Cambridge City Band concerts.

   This is a caring man who began his public singing by going to nursing homes and cheering the residents. He’s even been known to go to the home of a true Elvis fan when they were very sick just to boost their spirit. Smiles and tears from those in attendance made Jack’s voice quiver.

Jack with Crash Craddock and daughters

Jack, pictured with his daughters, opened for Billy “Crash” Craddock at the Secrest Auditorium in Zanesville.

   While Jack lives in Cambridge these days, he has performed at so many musical performances it would be impossible to list them all. Some of the ones he remembers best include opening for Nashville names like Ronna Reeves, Connie Smith, and Billy “Crash” Craddock. Singing on a Caribbean Cruise at their piano bar was fun for Jack and the passengers.

Jack with Grace Boyd

Abby and Jack enjoyed meeting Grace Boyd, Hoppy’s wife, at Park School.

   Jack has even performed with the Blackwood Quartet in Pigeon Forge, TN. Also, he’s had the pleasure of singing at the Capitol Music Hall in Wheeling, WV where it was broadcast on WWVA radio. While performing at fairs and festivals all over the area, he admitted, “I like the local places better.”

Jack Roy, Trigger and Me (2)

His recording of “Roy, Trigger, and Me” was a popular song at cowboy festivals.

   A single released entitled “Roy, Trigger and Me”, written by Julie Bell of Byesville, was encouraged by the late Howard Cherry. Howard, being a great Roy Rogers fan, took Jack along to the festivals celebrating Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, and Hopalong Cassidy. Jack recalls singing the song at Park School during Hoppy Days when Hoppy’s wife, Grace Boyd, was in attendance.

Jack Elvis Dress

The Roy Rogers Festival in Portsmouth featured Jack in full Elvis dress.

   In the early years, Jack always dressed as Elvis when performing. One of his suits was made locally by Hallie Ray at the Stitchin’ Post. Today his suit from Las Vegas hangs in the closet except on very special occasions. While it was fun to dress as Elvis, his main goal has always been to sound like Elvis.

   One special time happened down in Portsmouth when the Roy Rogers Festival was in full swing. They put Jack, aka Elvis, in a big white limo and dropped him off at the town square where he entertained the crowd with popular Elvis hits while dressed in a bejeweled white jumpsuit.

Jack performing

Jack performs for parties and reunions as well as at concerts.

   His favorite Elvis song is the one that Elvis frequently ended his concerts with, “American Trilogy.” The older Jack gets, the more emotional he becomes when singing this song. Elvis sang a lot of gospel songs, too, and those are something Jack really enjoys.

Jack and 3 yr old daughter at Noble County Fair

Emily, Jack’s three-year-old daughter, got into the country act at the Noble County Fair.

   The many wonderful people he’s met have been a real blessing over the years. Locally Jack has performed with the Cambridge Singers, Lions Club Show, Golden Sixties, Cambridge City Band, barbershop groups and the list goes on. But individual performances are still his favorite. It’s been great fun.

Jack Lori Christmas

Jack’s wife, Lori, controls his computerized band quite often.

   Most of the time, the accompanying band is on the computer these days. His wife, Lori, handles the sound for him, and his daughters, Abby and Emily, have always been Dad’s girls and very supportive. They do many things together as a family.

 

Jack Luminary

Abby, Gordon Hough, Jack and Lori organize the Luminary on Christmas Eve.

   For the last three years, Jack, his wife Lori and daughter Abby have revived the Luminary on Christmas Eve in their neighborhood. Cars line the street as they pass through the lighted candles along the roadway. It’s no surprise that this family also enjoys Christmas caroling.

Jack and daughters

Jack with his daughters Abby and Emily help at the root beer stand at Pritchard-Laughlin.

   Recently, Jack retired from Columbus Gas after working there for 40 years as a dedicated employee in customer service. Helping people is what he enjoys doing the most. Today, Jack is a city councilman and volunteers at the Municipal Court in various capacities. Once in a while, a break at the golf course gives some relaxation.

Jack singing

Jack entertains at high school reunions and birthday parties.

   He encourages young people to sing and play musical instruments. Music is something you can enjoy all your life. Being able to bring a smile to someone’s face means more to him than anything. Let’s face it, Jack likes people. His performances end with the words of Elvis, “Thank you. Thank you very much!”

   Jack Marlin is always ready to sing an Elvis song.

If you would like to hear the sound of Elvis, contact Jack at jlmarlin1959@gmail.com.

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