Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Bus Trip to Home of Russel Wright and West Point, NY

The worst thing about these trips is waking up early in the morning.

It's dark and no birds sing.

 After being cooped up on the Hagey Coach for a couple of hours, it was a pleasure to get off and use my legs.

Who sang, She's got legs and knows how to use em.

Okay, we're heading now for the little-known home of "industrial designer" Russel Wright - 1904-1976.

Photos, please, from the Internet

Russel Wright - 1904-1976.

He was an influential designer of home goods, such as these lovelies

They were made of unbreakable plastic. He and his wife Mary would advertise them by dropping them. See! They don't break.

His work is on the cover.


I asked our guide Laurie if Russel was aware of Frank Lllllloyd Wright. Yes, she said. I myself had the great pleasure of visiting Fallingwater with the Fabulous Fleishers!
We drove up to Garrison NY to see his home and studio, perched high atop a hill. This photo is out of place. It's from West Point and is where the US defended itself from the British in the War for Independence.

Wright hired one David Leavitt to design his home. His wife Mary died of breast cancer before the two could move into "Manitoga." They have a daughter, Annie, who was only 2.5 when Mom died. So dad hired a nanny.

Getting up the hill to see Manitoga - Algonquin for "place of great spirit" -  was akin to scaling the Berlin Wall.

Many of the 26 folks on our trip couldn't do it. And, me, wanderer in Pennypack Trust, had a difficult time climbing up all those rocks.

When Russel bought the 75-acre property it was literally a mess from the detritus of logging and quarrying.

See what happens when there are no rules?

He diverted a river (!!!) and had boulders moved and artistically placed in many spots.
 Oh no! I'm getting dizzy.....
 Russel loved moss. So does Ruthie.

 We approach the studio, which is connected via pergola - or breezeway - to the house.
 Would you like a boulder on your property?
 Manitoga sees many international students come study and offer their ideas. How bout this lovely moss and stone sofa? It was designed by students from Czechoslavakia. I was the only one who wanted to try it out. And did.

Wait a minute! There is no Czechos. anymore. How about the Czech Republic?
 Click twice to enlarge and hopefully you'll see Russel's desk with his Salem cigs at the ready.
Yawn! Don't mind if I do.

 Reminds me of all the wood used in the Norman Fisher House, right around the corner from me in Hatboro, PA.

 Thanks, I just shaved my mustache yesterday.
Dig this! A door made of birch bark.

 Make yourself at home on the indoor boulders.
 Kitchen is downstairs. Russ designed the chairs, as well as the dishware.
 We're in the 'great room' - living room - and a huge door has been opened and one of The Twenty-Six stepped outside!
Fireplace of birch wood.

 This Bridge over Untroubled Water was easy to cross since it had a railing.
 Our guide Laurie was excellent. She took a look at our shoes since she was responsible for our rock crossings.
 B/c we were under time-constraints we couldn't visit the gift shop.


Next stop.....  West Point.

Our bus was boarded by a Security Dude who wanted to see our IDs.

Then it was lunch at last at the Hotel Thayer.

Our table. I was starving. Attractive decor.

 Salad, cole slaw. Brisket BBQ, Tilapia, Beans.  Tilapia wasn't any good. BBQ too fatty.

Peach pie was good. I asked the maitre D if I could have ice cream on it. He checked and said, If I get it, everyone would want it.

Therefore, he'd charge me $2.50.

I'd rate the food a C+ and the service an A.

 West Point has several stadiums. Soccer. Football. And the Abner Doubleday Baseball Stadium. He attended West Point.

The famous rivalry between Army and Navy. West Point is Army.

Cadet Chapel, largest chapel on the compound. All religious facilities are called chapels, including the synagogues.

Built 1910.

The organist sits here to play the largest organ in the US. There have been only 4 organists since the chapel's inception.

Wiki - The organ in the Cadet Chapel, United States Military Academy, West Point, New York is the largest all-pipe organ, in a religious structure, in the world. Built in 1911 by M. P. Möller.

In one of the pews are the names of the Superintendents of West Point. Current leader is Superintendent Lt. Gen. Robert L. Caslen USMA '75.

Many famous generals are listed here, including Gen Douglas MacArthur.

Superintendent's house. (Wiki)

Student housing.

Okay, Shari, take us on a walk. Our legs need to start walking again.

 You'd see cadets walking by or jogging. They're in top physical condition. Shari told us they have special swimming pools that mimic conditions on the warfront.

Jan and I took a poetry class together. She's still writing poetry. 

 "Lady Fame" is atop this granite pillar, the highest pillar made of granite.
 The monument is very detailed. Upside-down torches mean "fallen soldiers."

 Every class donates a tree.
 Beech tree.

New exercise equipment.

 Okay, the tour is over. Let's visit the West Point Museum. It's free. They do not check your back pack at the door!

Ya like uniforms? Old timey band costume.

 I believe this is a Polish general who came to the aid of the US in one of our wars.
Instruments to help win wars.

Double-click to find out what these objects are.

 Look, you gotta take a break in between trying to kill your enemy.

First female cadet to graduate. She scored in the top of her class. Now she's out there whipping ass.

 General George Washington by Charles Willson Peale
He looks good in yellow, don't you think?

 Black soldier fighting in the Civil War.

 Robert E Lee surrenders.  West Point grad, as was Ulysses S Grant.
 This is just a really nice hat.
 Mask of a dead Indian. The display case states how Indians - native Americans - taught the US Army some winning war techniques.
Camouflage jacket worn by Germans in the Afrika Corps.

 WW2 Japanese POW's flag and accoutrements.
 Raggedy clothing.
 Vietnam medals.
 Poster to join the army.
 Double-click to read what this is.
West Point Museum, side view.

We were to meet our bus at 4:30. Unwilling to sit down, I just kept walking.

Carpet of pine needles across from an Inn for West Point visitors.

 Gift shop with parachutist.
 Setting off for home. Phil got us into the parking lot of Cheltenham HS at 7:30 pm.
 What are the chances of sitting next to Marion, who knows my friend Barry Bush? Marion, who works downtown at the Social Security Administration, is taking a trip to New Orleans to learn from a master gardener, one of the foremost experts on Roses.

We stopped at our final rest stop and Phil bought sweet-smelling French fries. "I can't gain weight," he said.

Inside were

The book I chose for the bus ride. Even tho it's about life in North Korea - altho true, it sounds like a dystopian novel, yes it does! - there are a few chuckles in there.

And now, if you'll kindly excuse me.....

No comments:

Post a Comment