While Jon battles winter weather in a possibly foolhardy attempt to get to New York (when last heard from, he was on a train between Harrisburg and Philadelphia after his flight from Raleigh was diverted to Pennsylvania), Susan takes time out from her academic labors to think about cultural landscapes. A session presented by the Jaeger Company on the Reynolda Historic District was smart and informative.It turns out that cultural landscape reports (CLRs) are prepared according to a standard format specified by the Secretary of the Interior and are used primarily to assess National Park Service sites. The slide show that Susan saw is available on line. The historic photo of the Reynolda Estate was taken by the Aero Services Corp. of Philadelphia in 1927 (the link to Philadelphia is through landscape architect Thomas Sears, who designed the grounds of Reynolda). Reynolda Road, which links the Moravian settlements of Salem and Bethania, is on the left; the modern Wake Forest University lies to the upper right, behind the house and the lake. The lake (Lake Katherine, after R.J. Reynolds' wife) is now entirely filled in - a wetland rather than a lake.
Although the blog has been lying low, it has taken advantage of the winter to attempt to unravel some of last year's mysteries. Tonight a breakthrough was achieved. In December, Susan, Jon, and Abe saw an enormous obelisk from the train on the way from Belfast to Carrickfergus. The obelisk was visible several miles away from the walls of Carrickfergus Castle. But our tourist information did not describe the obelisk, and its significance remained a mystery. A systematic search of websites describing County Antrim finally yielded the answer: it is the County Antrim War Memorial, started in 1922 to honor the men of Country Antrim who fell in the Great War. The Countess of Antrim laid the foundation stone, but apparently the project ran over budget and was not completed until the late 1930s...after WWII the monument was rededicated to honor the dead of both wars...renovation projects were completed in 1985 and 2006. The top photo is from the Ulster War Memorial web site; the lower was taken by Abe from Carrickfergus. Jon, I know that you have better photos taken from the train and I will post them if you send them to me. Next time we are in Belfast we should go to the top of the hill, as the view must be grand. It is also called the Knockagh Monument (Knockagh means "hill place" in Irish).
Not quite "the moon over Dock Street" or "the moon over Soho", but this is how the moon looked when Susan and Nate went to watch the Deacons lose to the Hokies on Jon's HD TV on Tuesday (Jon, alas, was hard at work on The Threepenny Opera, which opens at the Wake Forest Main Stage Theatre this Friday).
...of whining about the new downtown ball park is close-at-hand. The Sunday Winston-Salem Journal reported that the Dash Stadium is likely to be finished on time for its April 13th opening homestand, although important issues about the installation of the sod remain unresolved. Before there was a blog, Jon and Susan went on a hard-hat tour of the stadium in January 2009 in the happy conviction that the stadium would open in April 2009. Little did they know that owing to financial problems and cost overruns etc.,work on the stadium would not resume until late in 2009 (until after the proverbial taxpayer bail-out).
Earlier in the day, Nate took first place in the Unrated K-8 division of the Winston-Salem Scholastic Chess tournament. Here he poses with the runner-up in the hallway of East Forsyth Middle School, the site of the tournament.
Susan and Nate went to hear the writer Thomas Friedman speak at Wait Chapel (Jon is overwhelmed with Threepenny Opera preparations). Friedman's message was sober - basically that change in the climate, the growth of an American-style middle class in other regions, and global overpopulation doom the U.S. to a very unpleasant future with a lower standard of living unless our political system figures out how to overcome its current gridlock - but he is an animated and intelligent speaker who can get a point across. His solution to all of these problems is technological - develop new, cheap, clean sources of energy - and he proposes that the major (possibly the only) role of government in getting from here to there is getting the price of energy right via appropriate taxes. He noted that Kyoto and Copenhagen and UN reports are all very well and good, but that price matters so much that without getting this right the necessary innovation will be slow in coming and will likely come from other countries, not the U.S. Because Susan is a regular reader of the New York Times she was already familiar with most of Friedman's best lines, but she did learn a new one - Friedman's guilty wish that the U.S. could become "China for one day" so that the government could set energy prices at an appropriate level so its citizens could just get on with the innovation.
The blog went to an event in Deacon Tower to celebrate the successful conclusion of the Forsyth County 2009 United Way campaign. The views of the setting sun on the field where the Deacons play football were lovely. Blog readers should note that the unusual winter weather has reduced the ability of the blog to generate new material, but we're working on it...
Jon and Susan are professors at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem. Jon is in the Department of Theatre and Dance. He has lived in Winston-Salem for 25+ years. Susan is in Biology, and has lived in Winston-Salem for 5+ years. Jon's neighborhood is Sherwood Forest; Susan's neighborhood is Ashley Forest. Maurice, who lives in the District of Columbia, serves as occasional capital correspondent.
"The reality is the reality."--Pedro Martinez
"It's only gonna get funner."--Roy "Doc" Halladay
"I believe in a relatively equal society, supported by institutions that limit extremes of wealth and poverty. I believe in democracy, civil liberties, and the rule of law. That makes me a liberal, and I’m proud of it."--Paul Krugman
"Nobody is going to come out of this looking good."--Maggie Christman