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June 9, 2009 / howardmestas



Our first full day in Chicago was a memorable one, especially since we had the morning to ourselves; one to fill our souls with discovery and first impressions. This was that special moment we all waited for after months of and research about the city. Finally the significance of that planning had been realized.

I know that each of us had our own anticipation about what we most wanted to see on that first day; for me it was where I could see panoramas of Lake Michigan and the cityscape from the lakefront. I was soon rewarded when I took a bench seat beneath the mist of Buckingham Fountain. The Mother Ship had arrived.

After spending about two hours taking in the scenery it was off to the Art Institute of Chicago which turned out to be everything Jonathon said it would be. Too many times I felt like a real hillbilly when I turned around to see people staring at me because of the way I was gaping at some of the artwork. I know I violated the customary decorum of viewing such masterpieces, but when you’ve spent over 20 years working with textbooks, then seeing the original work that is in those pages, I think I should be forgiven. There were many pieces that captured long gazes, but I found myself returning to American Gothic, and to Paris Street, Rainy Day. The artist who I will find myself reading about in the future was Renoir. There was something about his works that really made a connection with my imagination, although I don’t know what it was. I guess that is why people go to special places to study art. I hope to discuss this with the art teacher at my school; perhaps there can be some collaboration between his classes and mine.

After leaving the Art Institute, it was off to Grant Park. This was another anticipated place for me, ever since Barack Obama gave his victory speech from that location on election night. I know I couldn’t have been there for the actual moment, but I have a fantastic imagination for such things. Along the way I walked through the fabulous Millennium Park Pavilion and traversed along the incredible BP Bridge; and incredible aluminum serpentine structure amidst a flowering botanical garden. The photo at the top of the page was taken from this walk which was an adventure I will long cherish and return to again in my lifetime if I should be so fortunate.



Leave a Comment
  1. Karin / Jun 10 2009 12:15 am

    Were Jerry, Buddy, Jim, and Koko on the Mothership?? Is there a jam session to follow? Let me know the details please!

    • howardmestas / Jun 10 2009 1:32 am

      Of course Koko was there! No jam session yet, but there was a gospel festival there. I thought I saw you in the crowd claygirl.

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