Friday, March 21, 2008

Spring? Cleaning/CULTURE

Finally a post about doing something here at Foxcroft. The girls and I have been on Spring Break this week. We have also had three days in a row above 50 degrees so a lot of our snow has melted. Never fear, the forecast for today and tomorrow has a mix of rain and snow. I'm not optimistic about getting any of our early garden (peas, lettuce, spinach) in by my usual target date of the end of March.

March is when we trim back the lilacs, which like everything else here, seems to have been growing unchecked since Bess died in 1970. I hacked out the last of the really overgrown stuff this week. Pete came over yesterday and we chainsawed out two volunteer hackberry trees. Laurel counted 28 rings on the bigger one, which is just about right with my estimation of when Helen let the yard "grow wild." As we were working I realized that March 20 was Helen's birthday, she would have been 97 this year. Lisa raked up the leaf litter we hadn't gotten last fall from around the flower beds in back, our cilla and a few other early things like snow drops, and crocuses are just peeking through.

Since the weather has been nice we got the bikes out of the garage, fortunately none of the tires were stuck in the two inches of ice that has frozen many other things to the floor inside the garage. We rode down to the University of Iowa Art Museum to see Robert Wilson's VOOM exhibit.

Coyright Robert Wilson (photo courtesy of the Ekatarina Foundation)

These are high definition video "portraits" that are video loops of varying length that seem to have no beginning or ending. All are displayed using HD video screens. There is also sound edited for each work. Literally EVERYTHING else has been taken out of the museum and with darkened lighting the viusal effect is dramatic. The still above is Mikhail Barishnikov in the nature of the martrydom of St. Sebastion by Andrea Mantegna. The girls liked the hedgehog portrait the best. Brad Pitt standing in the rain shooting a water pistol is pretty good too.

To find out more about the exhibit go to:

University of Iowa Art Museum

Googling "Robert Wilson VOOM Portraits" gives a faint idea of what the exhibit is like too.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

March 12 1930-35

Entries from Bess' Daily Diary for today


1930 Wed. White Shrine picnic dinner. H played her accordion

1931 50 Thurs. Wash. H + I to movie "Kiss Me Again" Home at 4:30. H to rifle practice. Shower at 8.

1932 20 Sat. Nice bright day but still cold. Up at 9 Made cream puffs + orange shebert. H, Buff + I home alone all day. H covered roses Shower at 9. Chains off

1933 68 Sun. 20 more puzzle pieces. Wrote chain letter + 3 others H and Hildegarde cooked picnic supper then roller skated til 8:30. Heard Roosevelt give a good talk on banking. Shower at 10.

1934 64 Mon. Mr. Floyd bushed 6 more pram ship. (?) Nice box from Aunt May. Worked on Scout decorations + Amy's pillow slips. H ordered 56.00 records- H to movie evening.

The number after the year is the high temperature for the day. H is always Bess' daughter, Helen. Rifle practice was for the University of Iowa's women's rifle team. Roosevelt's "good talk on banking" was FDR's very first "fireside chat." Helen was an adult leader for the local Girl Scout troop. I have no idea what "Mr. Floyd bushed 6 more pram ship." is about, Bess' handwriting is not always easy to read.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

A Moving Experience

The Wetherby cottage finally moved yesterday. I am glad. I had spent nearly the entire month of October brokering an agreement between the owner and people who wanted to save the structure. Fortunately we were successful. I never imagined my term as president of Friends of Historic Preservation would end before it moved.

Here are some more links.
Iowa State Historical Society Press Release about their role in saving Weatherby Cottage:
Information about Issac Wetherby

Iowa City Press Citizen's photo essay on the move:

Photo Gallery: Wetherby Cottage Moved