Sunday, June 24, 1984

1984 Clearwater Beach, FL (6/22-24/1984)

Friday, June 22, 1984
After work I went to pick up Kent’s suit from the dry cleaners. A lady was there dropping things off, and when asked how many items, she had to count them, and threw them around in such a way that she had to recount several times. Then she wanted to pick up items, but did not have receipts and didn’t even know what she had left! The girl went in the back and started pulling out things, including a gray suit with a red tie. I wondered, but didn’t say anything. The girl laid out the receipts to add them up, and I saw that the number of one of the receipts matched mine! “Hey, that’s mine!” The girl checked my receipt and said, “Oh! What a coincidence!” So I saved Kent’s suit from being given away!
I went to the airport by 16:30 and sat by the gate to wait for Kent. Then I noticed him in line checking in! So I ran to give him my ticket to check in as well. As we waited to board, we overheard a couple speaking with the stewardess. He was a bearded middle-aged fellow who met this 80-year old woman in St Petersburg and he turned a two-week vacation into four as they became friends. She was in the seashell business and had come to visit a friend in Providence. The guy then turned to us to ask if they had called Row 15. We were waiting for Row 15, and the guy wanted to know what seats. Turned out they had double-booked seat 15F! Kent went to rectify the situation. On board, I sat next to the woman, who got plenty of attention from the stewardess, including a free cocktail and a note that said, “Enjoy!” We didn’t have a choice for dinner, or as Kent said, our choices were dinner or no dinner.
The woman next to me asked for the stewardess’ name and address. The stewardess asked if she wanted the information to write a letter of commendation to Frank Gorman, the president of Eastern Airlines. “Uh, yes,” the woman said. The stewardess said she would give her Frank’s address, plus names of all the flight crew, because they get a free trip to their parents’ whenever someone writes a nice letter about them!
We took off 20 minutes late at 17:40, and arrived in Atlanta at 19:55. The 20:48 flight to Tampa was late in from Miami, and we didn’t depart until 21:50. Kent struck up a conversation with the woman next to him, who had a daughter who was a P.T. Kent remarked that I was one, too, and the woman said she had thought so, something about my hands and that I looked nice…
We arrived in Tampa at 23:00. Took the People Mover to the terminal and found the Avis car rental place. I got a dark blue Sunbird, and Kent wanted to do the driving to Clearwater. We got sidetracked a bit when we missed an unmarked turn to Rte 60. There was a long drive across the Tampa Bay with sparkling lights and stars. We drove through Clearwater and along the causeway to Clearwater Beach, a Riviera of hotels.

Saturday, June 23, 1984
It was after midnight when we went to check in to the Adam’s Mark Caribbean Gulf Resort, and we were told that the hotel was full and that the couple in our room decided to stay another night and they could not be legally kicked out. They would put us up in the Holiday Inn Gulfview for free that night. Kent left some things at the desk for Ralph, and drove over to the Holiday Inn. Our room 202 had a view of the parking lot, with a queen-size bed, a TV with movies you could rent for $5.75, a clock-radio with the wrong time, safety bars around the toilet and in the bathtub, a door that I had trouble opening, and freezing cold air-conditioning! We went for a walk along the beach, and dipped our toes in the Gulf water; warm!
I was awake at 6:00 and looked out to see ominous clouds. At 7:00 it was better, but still cloudy. I woke Kent up at 8:00, saying he could always sleep on the beach. He didn’t seem to appreciate being awakened when it was completely gray outside! But he jumped up, got dressed, and wanted to know what my plan for next was. Breakfast. We drove over to Clearwater to Robby’s Pancake House for a breakfast for $10 with tip.
We returned to the hotel, changed into bathing suits and checked out, leaving our things in the car. We thought about walking to the Adam’s Mark beach, but were stopped by a wall perpendicular to the shore. So we climbed the fence of the condominium and walked to the public beach beyond Adam’s Mark. It began to sprinkle as we walked in the surf. People were beachcombing. We noticed kids sliding odd-shaped boards about 3x5’ in the surf, then running like crazy to hop on them to skim along the water.
There was a crowd past the fishing pier, for the skimboarding championships! We watched a while, then it started raining in earnest. We went to the Adam’s Mark to check in, but no room was ready. We wanted to wait for a gulf view anyway, so left to drive down along the coast. We went over a 35-cent toll bridge, and soon left behind the hotels and motels. Passed waterfront homes and condominiums. Kent pointed out that most were boxy Bauhaus architecture, but one looked like an extra-tall Cape Cod house with white siding and green-tiled gables. Went through some small towns including Indian Shores with a tacky Tiki Gardens.
At Madeira Beach we crossed over to St Petersburg, and went in search of the Salvador Dali Museum.
Salvador Dali brochure 1
Salvador Dali Museum brochure 2
The Morse family had the collection and Kent had seen it several times. They wanted to give the collection to the Cleveland Museum of Art, who wanted only a part of it. All or none, so it ended up here in a new museum built for it on Tampa Bay, but in an old neighborhood. Admission was $3 each, and we paid 15-cents for a guide. We joined a tour in progress which was fascinating and informative. I hadn’t realized that Dali was such an excellent draughtsman. With the advent of the camera, the artist had to go beyond presenting realistic images, and Dali made an art of that. The Morses were actually friends of the Dalis, and we received good explanations of several of the paintings, having missed the part of the tour with his earlier works. They apparently show he was a precocious painter and able to master any style. There were photos of his home area, portraits showing the influence of Picasso and Renoir, and a pre-Surrealist “Apparatus and Hand” that already showed some of the symbols that would recur in his paintings. There was a realistic painting of a basket of bread.
The transition period showed the influence of Picasso (cubism), Prague, Max Ernst, Joan Miró, and Yves Tanguy, using various materials (sand, collage, decals, etc.). This break from the norm alienated him from his father, but often in his paintings, a man and a boy are representing Dali and his dad. The fish is sometimes seen as an ecumenical symbol, and often as a phallic symbol. The rocks of Cape Creus are often seen in his paintings, rocks near his home, that can be interpreted as many different things. One set of rocks was seen by Dali as a self-profile standing on its nose, and it recurs in many paintings. Also a mountain whose shadow looked like a grand piano. The influence of architect Antoni Gaudi and Parisian artist Robert Guinard is seen in undulating strokes. Among the Surrealist paintings was the “Profanation of the Host” with rock profiles, and grasshoppers that Dali feared as a child.
Dali went beyond Surrealism, to his paranoiac-critical creative method. He was interested in Sigmund Freud, and would doze off with a spoon in his hand and when it fell and clattered on an awaiting plate, he would wake to remember dream pictures, which he would then immediately paint. The “Average Bureaucrat” showed an empty head. He also had some erotic figures, one female flowing pink vastly deformed figure. There are fried eggs which he claimed was a memory from the womb.
Dali’s wife, Gala Éluard, was also a great influence on Dali, who painted her into his pictures and signed them “Gala Salvador Dali.”
Pillars in the center of the museum held miniatures done by Dali, with Catalan landscapes in the background. “Myself at Age Ten When I Was a Grasshopper Child” may have been Dali’s way of ridding himself of the fear of grasshoppers. “Gala,” a very mini full-length portrait of his wife was superb in detail, but did she really look like that?
Dali decided to go classic and went to study in Italy, as first seen in “Geopoliticus Child Watching the Birth of the New Man” (1943), emerging from the New World! The watching figures looked Renaissance-like. Dali began using zigzag strokes likened to images left by atomic particles on slides, and using a lot of ecumenical/mystical symbols. Mark Tobey was an influence on “Dionysus Spitting the Image of Cadaques” (1958-1960). Here Dali took pictures from a primer book, added figures, atomic zigzags, and copied Jean-Francois Millet’s "Reapers" to show his concern about the gap between art and physics!
At the far end of the museum was the “salon” of Masterworks, with Dali’s largest paintings and some of his most involved ones, which really show how he took art beyond photographic realism. His “Nature Mort Vivant/Still Life Fast Moving” is based on principles of Werner Heisenberg of uncertainty, symbolizing objects in space and the unpredictability of intra-atomic motion. Dali likened his moving cherry to the Russian Sputnik. He used the spiral, which he felt was the true form of nature, and correctly predicted DNA would have this form. He used the rhinoceros horn (with spiral form) in several paintings, and here a botanical cauliflower. Fragments of color represent particles left over from abstract expressionism. It had the mathematical proportions based on the Golden Section by Matile Ghyka (like a square that is dented on all four sides).
In 1960 on the 300th anniversary of the death of Diego Velázquez, Dali created “Velázquez Painting the Infanta Margarita with the Lights and Shadows of His Own Glory,” with Willem de Kooning-like splashes showing an overwhelming figure of the Infanta, covered by diagonal and vertical light and dark strokes, the vertical being beams of a wall and you could pick out the figure of Velázquez painting his own Infanta. Anti-matter is shown as an exploding rose in the de Kooning-like Infanta. The face is spiraling like a rhinoceros horn, and in the upper left was a gallery referencing the work of Pieter Breughel. The integration of old masters and modern science typifies Dali.
In the larger “Dream of Christopher Columbus” we see Gala on the banner of a giant standard. One can make out the figure of Christ on the Cross, as seen from above in the painting. Dali also did a sketch of this that we saw on one of the pillars. “The Lances of Breda” by Diego Velázquez is venerated in the many vertical lines. Archangel Raphael is carrying the banner; he was known for saving cattle from disease (he is known as a healer of humans and animals). Christopher Columbus (symbolized with a ship) was known as cattle (he brought cattle to the New World, is that why?). In the forefront was a huge sea urchin banded in two directions, somehow predicting the Panama Canal!
“The Ecumenical Council” is full of nuclear mysticism with the zigzag of atomic particles. Gala is shown as the central of three figures of Queen Mary. Dali is self-portrayed in the lower left. A cross divides the painting into quadrants and the Trinity is shown (perhaps in unusual fashion!).
Most of Dali’s symbolism is seen in “The Hallucinogenic Toreador” (1969-1970). Here Dali acknowledges Op Art with his colored balls in the cape draped over the toreador’s shoulder. The balls are supposedly arranged like the twelve towers of Antoni Gaudi’s Cathedral of Barcelona. The Dalmatian dog at the pool shows Dali’s fascination with the scientific work of R D James, who removed details from objects until near invisible. A chair in the lower left salutes Cubism and Juan Gris. Venus de Milo figures (inspired from the logo of that brand of colored pencils) and corporeal shadows make up the shirt and face of the toreador. A tear is shed for the dying bull who is shown in the rocks of Cape Creus. Below is the Mediterranean Sea and a tourist on an air mattress. There is a small boy with a hoop representing Dali, and brightly colored shadows of Venus de Milo faces represent the Crucifixion (?). This painting is supposedly Dali’s greatest and most successful double image. Another that fascinated me was the “Bust of Voltaire” made up by two Dutch merchants at a slave market!
A special exhibit of watercolors done by Dali was set up for the 25th anniversary of the State of Israel, titled “Miyah.” Also on display were some pictures that Dali has done over, such as the picture of the sheep in a field is made to look like sheep in a woman’s boudoir! There was a Nieuw Amsterdam bust sculpture of an Indian, which Dali did over with the eyes being two heads of two Dutch merchants sitting at a table (Indian’s chin) with a basket of fruit (the lips), and the nose is a “Premonition of the Coke Bottle.” Also painted plates, medallions, glass sculptures, and other items. A tribute to a man’s imagination and creative powers! A genius likened to Leonardo da Vinci.
We went into the gift shop, and Kent filled out a questionnaire to enter a contest to win a Dali-designed scarf.
It was still raining when we left and we and others were skidding when trying to accelerate from standstill. Kent found the Fish House on US-19. He had a martini sans rocks, and then a white wine; I guess he is on vacation. He had the salmon special; a pastry shell filled with salmon, spinach and Monterey Jack cheese, that came with a salad, a pair of hush puppies, and fries. He was given a baked potato, which he gave to me after he then got his fries. I had the seafood medley of shrimp, clams, oysters, and scallops, and a second baked potato! The bill came to $14.
The sun was coming out when we went to check into the Adam’s Mark, so after parking in their garage and taking our things up, we put on bathing suits and went to the beach. Just in taking off my shirt I almost lost the bikini top, so I was cautious in jumping the waves. Decided to lie in the sun until Kent came out of the water to watch our things. I ran back to the room to change to a one-piece bathing suit. Our room had a gulf view right down on the strand, and a balcony, too.
View from the hotel
We did some more jumping the waves, until about 17:30. When we entered the hotel, we heard steel drum music and went to investigate. A band was playing by the pool, where we met Ralph and his wife. Kent had a drink with them. We weren’t hungry for dinner, and watched a movie on HBO, “Spring Break.” Then Kent sat on the balcony to smoke and he had at least four beers. I knew I had lost him for the evening. So when I decided to go for a walk, I was surprised he decided to come, too. We walked to the fishing pier, but you needed to pay to walk out on it, and we didn’t bring any money. We walked out on the causeway and sat on a bench, but Kent was falling asleep. Back in the room we found a basket of fruit, compliments of the manager for the inconvenience of being put in the Holiday Inn last night.

Sunday, June 24, 1984
We went out to the beach from 10:30 to 12:00, then drove to ChiChi’s for lunch. Kent wanted a Margherita, but it was too early for the bar to be open. Munched on nacho chips with a cold (as in very mild) sauce, and a mild hot sauce. We both ordered the Chihuahua dinner with three flautas, refried beans and rice. Kent remarked it was plain. The Mexican music was a bit overbearing with the speaker right over our heads. Kent filled out a feedback card, and we paid the bill of $15.
Returned to the hotel at 14:00, and I had to leave for the Tampa airport. Filled the rental car with gas, and checked it in, trying the new express return computer system. Took the People Mover to the gate to check in for the 16:15 flight to Atlanta. Left only a few minutes late. Arrived in Atlanta at 17:40, and checked in for the 18:50 flight to Providence. It left a half hour late, arriving in Providence at 21:30. Got my car for $7.50 and drove home.

Sunday, June 10, 1984

1984 Fort Worth, TX (6/10/1984)

Sunday, June 10, 1984 (continued)
I drove on I-30/35 and continued on I-30 towards Fort Worth. Passed a Sunset Strip with Wild Water Amusement Park, Wax Museum, the Six Flags over Texas Entertainment Center, with a double-loop roller coaster. Soon passed downtown Fort Worth, which somehow reminded me of downtown New Haven, CT. I headed first for the Botanic Gardens in Trinity Park. They looked quite extensive and well laid out, but I was going to the Japanese Garden. Bought the $1 admission and a roll of film (only 20 exposures!) for $5. Oh, well!
Japanese Garden map
The garden was really lovely, so full and green and cool. Stone lanterns, meandering paths. The Meditation Garden was unique with manicured sand/gravel and strategically placed rocks.
Meditation Garden
I didn’t take time to contemplate the whys of the sculpting of nature here!
The Moon Bridge was being repaired.
Ivy-covered hill
The three monkeys: Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil
Stone lamp
Stepping stones
The ponds were absolutely full of colorful carp, which swarmed around when people fed them.
There were vending machines to dispense fish food.
The Mary K Umstead Teahouse was set up for a tea for two.
The Moon Viewing Deck was interesting with a very flattened cone to symbolize Mount Fuji.
Moon Viewing Deck
The brochure says one views the garden by moonlight here, but there’s no way you could see the garden. It’s for viewing the moon!
The teahouse complex reminded me of Scandinavian architecture.
Scandinavian-like design
The checkerboard bridge had lattice railings. The pagoda was the least real looking thing here.
There was a ceramic bird house.
Ceramic bird house
I left to drive through Trinity Park and find Thistle Hill (1903-1904), a mansion on Pennsylvania Avenue.
Thistle Hill
A Georgian Revival brick house built by A B Wharton for his wife, Electra, a “honeymoon cottage.” Electra was the daughter of W T Waggoner, a wealthy cattle baron. Wharton owned the Fort Worth Auto and Livery Stable and sold cars. Winfield Scott, Jr later owned the property. I arrived at 13:30, and the next tour was at 14:00. I would have to leave by then, and the man in the gift shop allowed me in the house alone when he heard I was going back to RI today! He wouldn’t let me pay, even after giving his introductory spiel. The house is in the process of being restored and some of the rooms were painted over, like the music room and bedrooms. The entrance and stairway were done with impressive woodwork. Some TV series was filmed here. I was glad to be able to see it. When I was done, the gift shop guy came out to talk my ear off, giving more info then I could retain; names and dates, etc. The Buick Electra was named after her niece of the same name. The house belonged for a time to a girls’ home. And a property behind the house was where Ginger Rogers grew up. He told me about other Victorian houses to see.
Ginger Rogers' childhood home
I went past Ginger Rogers’ house, and to see a couple more on Pennsylvania Avenue.
Ball-Eddleman-McFarland House (1899) in Queen Anne style
I drove down 7th Street, turning down University Avenue. I passed the Casa Mañana, an aluminum domed theater in the round. Returned to I-30 and headed to the airport, first filling the car with gas; only $6 worth. When I entered the car rental place, I was given a ticket. I had the ticket stamped, which I turned in at the desk when I paid the $33 for renting the car. Caught the first bus to the terminal, which happened to belong to Avis.
I checked in for the 15:47 flight, and we didn’t depart until 16:00. Arrived at LaGuardia at 20:20, 20 minutes late. The Ransome flight was to leave at 20:25. There was no one at the Ransome desk, so I followed a sign pointing down the stairs to the Ransome gate. Found myself outside with two planes and no one in sight. Ran back to the Delta desk and was told they were loading for Providence, and to go back down. I saw two people walking from one of the planes, so I flagged them down. They took me back to the plane, had the door unlocked, and let me in! The plane then taxied to the runway. We had a long wait so that I was done with the Ransome magazine crossword puzzle before we took off at 21:00! Arrived in Providence at 21:40, and retrieved my car for $8.

1984 Dallas, TX (6/8-10/1984)

Friday, June 8, 1984
Left work on the dot at 14:30 to get gas and cash a check at the bank. I was drenched with sweat from my hot car (92 degrees and humid). Ran home to change and left for the airport at 15:10 for a 15:50 flight! Ran into a traffic jam and started to get frantic! Parked in the north long term lot by 15:30 and ran to check in. The flight was delayed due to an overbooking situation and they were looking for volunteers to give up seats. Not me!
We finally left at 16:20, and I worried about the connection in Newark. But this Ransome Airlines flight was billed as the Delta Connection, so I could hope. We had a good view as we flew over Manhattan. This four-prop plane didn’t even have oxygen masks! We landed at 17:10 and the gate next door was for the 17:35 flight for Dallas. So I had plenty of time (everything is relative!). After we boarded, we were told we couldn’t leave until 18:20 because of air traffic congestion. All the while you could hear banging under the plane, so you wondered the real reason for the delay.
We did leave at 18:20, and arrived in Dallas about 20:30. I went to bank of hotel phones and called the Sheraton Dallas and asked to speak to one of the guests. They put me through to Kent, and he told me his room number. I then called for the courtesy van for Budget Rent-a-Car. A 15-passenger van picked me up. Avis and Hertz have buses! But they all went to the same place in the middle of the parking lot. The Dallas-Fort Worth airport is supposed to be the largest in the U.S. and the 4th largest in the world in traffic. I got a Grand Prix at an economy car price, and headed out. Came to a toll gate, and the guy said there was a ticket attached to my rental contract. Oh!
Drove east on SR 183 into Dallas. Everything was dulled by smog/fog/mist. After following the Great White Way, I saw a skyline. Joined I-35 and got off at Commerce Street E which circled me down and around and gave me a choice of streets to take. I took Main Street through quiet downtown Dallas, with a few cars and fewer people. I caught sight of the Sheraton Dallas and worked my way towards it. I was told there was free parking for the guests, but only saw valet parking. So I parked next door at the Southland Plaza underground garage. From the Southland lobby you can walk directly to the Sheraton lobby. I took the first elevator to avoid passing the reception desk, which only took me to the mezzanine level. But I found the guest elevators and went up to Room 703. Kent was watching the Celtics-LA basketball game, as I arrived at 21:30.

Saturday, June 9, 1984
I had breakfast with Kent, which he put on his bill. I had a continental breakfast (grapefruit juice and two small Danish pastries) for $4.25. Expensive!
Kent went to the desk to see if he could move to a suite now, and he could. So we changed into shorts and moved the luggage to Room 518 that had an adjoining living room with wet bar and a full bath. The air conditioner here under-worked as much as the one overworked in the other room.
Our next errand was to pick up a package. A security woman took us through a back door into the hotel service area with bleak walls, no carpet, etc. We had to wait at a control booth (the guy had a fan) while the keys were tracked down. There were a lot of kids in the hotel for a karate competition, and a lot of trophies were coming through the service entrance. We commandeered a trophy-laden elevator to go to a sub-basement. The lady tried several keys before unlocking a room. Kent signed for his package and we were told to head back on our own. There was a long wait for the elevator, and Kent said something to a guy passing with a garbage bin, but he only nodded. Mexican?  We were looking for the stairs when the security lady came back and had apparently radioed for an elevator. The woman got off at the ground floor, but told us to go to the second floor where it was “safer,” and told us to go left. Kent got a kitchen person to lead us through the kitchens to the mezzanine, and he took us right to the guest elevators. ¡Gracias!
Next we went to find the rental car, and paid $8; no free parking for guests! We drove to the Convention Center beside the new Dallas City Hall. We marched in past all the convention set-up for the AWWA (American Water Works Association) to the exhibitors’ hall, which wasn’t to open until Monday. A guard stood there and said we needed passes. Kent went to get a pass and talked to some people to get a little pass for me, too.
My AWWA pass
We entered stepping over crates and around pieces of machinery, sliding on plastic sheets covering the carpets, to the BIF booth where Kent had to put a second coat of gray paint on the base of the “silo.”
We left and I drove as Kent navigated us to the Kennedy Memorial, going around Reunion Plaza with modern glass buildings and the older Reunion Tower, 50-stories high with a 3-level geodesic dome. We parked and put nickels in the meter (each worth three minutes) to walk over to the very simple Kennedy Memorial (1970, designed by architect Philip Johnson).
Kennedy Memorial
The walls are to shut out the outside world and the top is open to facilitate meditation and communion with God! Nearby were maps showing the buildings in the area. The site of the JFK assassination was not shown. Kent thought he figured out which building was the Texas School Book Depository, and I took a photo zooming up to the southeast 6th floor window from where the shots were allegedly fired. But it turned out to be the wrong building, although it looked very similar.
View down Elm Street to
Dallas Main Center construction
In the same square was Bryan’s Cabin (1841), a very small log cabin, home of the first settler here who wanted to establish a trading post.
Bryan Cabin
The cabin served as the first post office and courthouse in Dallas. There was also the armory-like red stone old courthouse (1890, designed by architect Max A. Orlopp, Jr. in Richardsonian Romanesque style).
Old Courthouse with Reunion Tower to the left
We returned to the car and attempted to head north to the Southern Methodist University. We found ourselves on the Dallas North Tollway and came to a 50-cent tollbooth. We asked the attendant how to get to SMU, and were told to take the Mawkinburg exit and turn right. Kent understood the guy correctly to have said “Mockingbird!” We followed the directions and drove through more exclusive neighborhoods before arriving at SMU. We drove onto campus and ended up right at the Owen Arts Center where we wanted to see the Meadows Museum. Also in the complex was the Bob Hope Theatre (1968), and we saw a plaque for the Bob Hope Fellowship Foundation.
We found the museum and Kent donated $1 to get a guide. The gallery was small but impressive; six centuries of Spanish Art. The oldest was “Acacius and the 10,000 Martyrs” (c. 1493) by Francisco Gallego, which takes place on Mt Ararat. It was done with Flemish influence. There was a painting of San Sebastian (c. 1506), the only example of Fernando Yáñez de la Almedina’s works in the U.S., showing Italian influence (he worked with Leonardo da Vinci) in the detailed hair and plant life. The Spanish characteristics were the sloping shoulders, nipped-in waist, and expressive right arm.
There were several examples of the tradition of portraiture in Spain. Diego Velázquez was one such court painter, with fuzzy contour lines and single stroke shadows that endeared him to Impressionists, as seen in the painting “Sibyl with Tabula Rasa (wax tablet)” (c. 1648). There was a Jusepe de Ribera portrait of a Knight of Santiago, wearing dark rimmed eyeglasses. He used the Caravaggio chiaroscuro effect at times.
The allegorical painting by Claudio Coello of “St Catherine of Alexandria Dominating the Emperor Maxentius, or Christianity Triumphing over Paganism” (1683), was full of symbols, such as a thistle representing Christ’s Passion. A very interesting painting was “Jacob Laying the Peeled Rods Before the Flocks of Laban” (c. 1665) by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, with an interesting story of the much-deceived Jacob who places these peeled rods in front of mating sheep so that they see spots and have spotted lambs which he is promised from the flock.
There were several Immaculate Conception paintings, all with a floating Mary surrounded by cherubs. We saw many works by Francisco Goya, including the “Madhouse of Saragossa” (1793-1794). Goya contracted a disease that left him deaf, which would explain a whole series of his paintings, especially those seen in the Prado! Symbolism with the dark indoors and the light outdoors. Luis Jiménez y Aranda did a Renoir-like painting, “Lady at the Paris Exposition” (1889), with a detailed foreground and a fuzzy background.
The most outstanding painting in the extensive collection was by Emilio Sánchez-Perrier of a “River Landscape” (1886). Extremely realistic as it was influenced by the invention of the camera. Photographs often have blurred areas and the blurring of the trees may be due to wind with a long exposure. I thought it could be the nature of the trees with softer foliage. There was an example of Pablo Picasso’s synthetic cubism, which had an unusual variety of colors in it. Impressive in the gallery was the collection of Goya intaglios and etchings. A whole roomful! There were also Joan Miró paintings.
Before we left, Kent asked a guard what was the Bob Hope connection to SMU. It was apparently in Dallas where Bob Hope broke into the big time, and he was always well–received here, so he showed his appreciation by donating to local causes.
We drove over to the State Fair Park, and drove through, passing several classical buildings. Kent saw that one had names of Texas literary greats etched around the frieze. We passed the Cotton Bowl in search of the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts. We found it, but it was closed. We decided to go to the Dallas Museum of Natural History, and the guard told us the Fine Arts Museum has moved downtown. The Museum of Natural History had a watercolors exhibit, some good and some funky. The different halls had stuffed animals in natural habitat dioramas. Thus we could identify the wildlife; animals, birds, insects, and plants. The fossil hall was closed for which Kent was just as glad after I dragged him through the bird gallery, that also had lots of Edward Marshall Boehm porcelain birds, like a few seen in the Charleston Museum. In the basement were a few live subjects.
We drove along local roads in search of a store to buy paper towels and a cleanser. No luck. We found ourselves at Old City Park, first grabbing a bite at McDonald’s. I’ve noticed that Dr Pepper is available everywhere!
I used a coupon to get Kent into Old City Park for free; my ticket cost $4. It was Dairy Day, with stands in front of each of the historic buildings offering samples of cheese, butter churning, yoghurt, strawberry flavored milk, ice cream making, exercise sessions, a diet analysis, cow milking, and a band. There seemed to be several weddings taking place, and so the church was closed to the public. Another wedding was in the gazebo. We bought the tickets at the railroad station and had to wear huge dangling tags.
Old City Park ticket
We passed the 1900 popcorn wagon, and turned down a commercial street past a Citizens Bank (closed on Saturday afternoon!). We entered the General Store and got a spiel from a volunteer who was actually from Boston. He got out notebooks in an attempt to answer Kent’s questions, unsuccessfully. Date moved, population at the time, etc. The store had some nice antique items, and one of the original promotional items, a train of coffee canisters. We skipped the gift shop and crossed the brick street to peek in the print shop. Many things hadn’t opened up yet. We passed the fountain to come to the Pilot Grove Church, which was also closed for a wedding. We could see that they were setting up, including a video camera to tape the wedding. Next was the Renner School where upstairs there was a display of Victorian wedding gowns, trousseau items, and some men’s apparel with accessories. We went to the gingerbread Victorian Queen Anne style house with fretwork, gables, a red tin roof, and a privy built in the same “style!” Across the street were the doctor’s office and apothecary in a Queen Anne style cottage. This place had an extensive array of drugs and herbs, including a relatively huge bottle of saffron!
We passed the hotel, the railroad station again, and a silent old-timer’s band to come to the Miller Log House. The Miller family first lived here in 1847. Next door was the log playhouse, and then Millermore, a much larger home finished in 1862. It had a breezy central foyer with a large room on either side, both parlors. On one side behind the parlor was a dining room and then the kitchen (not open to the public). We waited on the back upstairs porch for the tour of the second floor. We were taken to a crafts room where the girl proceeded to point out the wrong order of the process from cotton plant to woven article. She had them winding the cotton thread on the weasel that pops on every ninth turn (“pop goes the weasel”), before spinning it. We also saw two bedrooms. On the back porch were several buckets of ice cream being made. We walked through a wisteria arbor and decided to leave at 14:30.
I drove back along Central Expressway (a regular street!) in hopes of finding a place to buy the paper towels and cleanser. Kent was not as tolerant as Kathy C when I missed a turn that neither one of us knew was coming, especially being new to the area. Or maybe I was going too fast? We found a convenience store and Kent bought his supplies and we returned to the hotel. The lot next door was one where you slip money in a slot of your numbered space at a central “meter.” Kent put in $1 for a half hour. Kent checked at the hotel desk to see if any of his business associates had arrived. I checked in for Room 911 for $45. I had originally had a room reservation for two nights at $59 per night! Kent was paying $76 per night for the suite. I got my bags from Kent’s room, and went to mine which was twice as big with two double beds, a TV with a radio, and a bigger bathroom.
Kent had to be available for his business associates, so I went out on my own and drove to the brand new Dallas Museum of Fine Arts. I only had an hour and managed to walk through the entire place to get a flavor of what was available. Out front was the “Gates of Hell” by Auguste Rodin.
"Gates of Hell" by Rodin
Inside there was another statue by Rodin, plus Alberto Giacometti, whom Kent later identified as Swiss. They had Polynesian tapestries, modern bas reliefs (like the "Corporate War" of writhing bodies), and modern art (the usual paint splashes and colorful geometric shapes, and some unique things in style and medium). I would have liked to explore with Kent, or Jan and Kirby. There were works by Andrew Wyeth, Edouard Manet, Claude Monet, and Vincent Van Gogh. I was interested to see the “Madonna” painting by Mary Cassatt in a style very similar to her contemporary Edgar Degas, who also had a painting here. Also a Whistler, etc., etc., I was impressed. They also had Asian, Egyptian, African, Middle Eastern, Pacific Island, and Ancient Greek and Roman art and artifacts.
First United Methodist Church
near the Dallas  Fine Arts Museum
When I left, I hoped to get to the Neiman Marcus department store, but it was closed. I parked near Dealey Plaza, and found the actual Texas School Book Depository.
Texas School Book Depository
The second window down on the right is
where the shots were fired that killed
President John F Kennedy
Reunion Plaza and Tower
Dealey Plaza view of Dallas skyline
I drove back to the hotel and parked in the lot where I put in $2 for “after 5 pm and Sundays.” Back at the hotel, I called room service to order a birthday breakfast for Kent tomorrow morning. It would also include a blueberry muffin with a candle in it and a rose. I then called Kent who informed me he had to meet his business associates at 7:00 tomorrow and take them to the convention center, then pick up his boss from the airport, and there was a noon meeting. Which meant I wouldn’t see him at all Sunday! I called to cancel the birthday breakfast. I was resigned to not seeing him tomorrow, but was looking forward to dinner out to experience the “hot” Texas night life!
Went down to meet Kent at 19:00, and we waited for a Tom and a Ralph. Kent decided to just eat in the hotel. After we ordered drinks, Kent saw another associate at another table and went to invite him to eat with us. Then Kent disappeared and I was left to talk to the three business associates. They were under the impression that Kent had to convince me to come to Dallas with him. Au contraire!
Ralph went off to talk to someone he knew, and Kent joined them. Eventually the two of them came back. The waiter had given two of us lunch menus. Then he mixed up the steaks, giving Kent the medium, and Ralph the medium well. Tom’s parsley potatoes weren’t cooked through. So the waiter promised him fettuccini and ketchup, and never brought them. The waiter never showed to get a dessert order. BIF paid the bill. We were joined by Bill, and went to have “one drink.” I enjoyed the jazz quartet, while they ended up with three drinks each. They finally decided to turn in at the third band break. They talked to the band members about how dead it is in Dallas; conventions keep it alive! Kent got off at the 5th floor, and I got off at the 9th while the other guys went higher. Kent had fallen asleep. I ended up crying and getting mascara all over. I went out in the hall thinking to go for a walk, but a look in the mirror scared me back into the room.

Sunday, June 10, 1984
Sheraton Dallas Hotel
I checked out of the hotel and put my things in the car, but decided to walk. As soon as I started walking, I could tell the difference from walking with Kent! Now there were whistles from passing trucks, “ollas” from loitering Mexicans, the up-and-down look and inviting smiles of black guys.
It was the usual bright gray outside. I went down Live Oak Street to Pacific Avenue to come to the triangular Thanks-Giving Square (dedicated 1976).
Thanks-Giving Square
It is dedicated to the universal principle of gratitude for life and all its manifestations. It was locked up, but through the gate you could see green grass and shade trees, waterfalls and a reflecting pool, and a stark white circular chapel with a bell tower. The garden provides an oasis of calm in the heart of Dallas to facilitate meditation. I turned on Ervay Street to take a look at the Neiman Marcus department store (1914),
Neiman Marcus Department Store
and continued to City Hall (1976, designed by I M Pei, an immense modern structure.
Dallas City Hall
City Hall flagpoles
I turned in front of it on Marilla Street, passed the Convention Center, and turned up Ackard Street, heading right toward the architecturally significant Adolphus Hotel (1912, designed by designed by Thomas P. Barnett in Beaux Arts style, for the founder of Anheuser-Busch, Adolphus Busch).
Adolphus Hotel
Next to it was the flying Mobil Oil horse atop another building (1922, built for Magnolia Petroleum Company).
Mobil Oil flying horse
The neon-lighted Pegasus was the logo for Magnolia Petroleum and was installed in 1934. Mobil Oil merged with Magnolia in 1959.
I turned left on Jackson to head to Dealey Square, with its arbored walls, statue of civic leader George Dealey, and gardens.
George Dealey in Dealey Plaza
Went over to the Texas School Book Depository to read the plaque. Went over to Bryan Cabin and the Kennedy Memorial, then headed down Commerce Street. Stopped for lunch at Burger King, and had a Dr Pepper! Passed the Adolphus and discovered the ultra-modern building next to it was also the Adolphus Hotel.
Affluence was seen in the many new buildings being built, the renewal of streets and sidewalks, the brick crosswalks, the new street signs, street light systems, etc. I later found out they are sprucing up for the Republican National Convention to be held here. But there were loitering men with varying growths of beard and shabby clothes just sitting here and there. There seemed to be a lot of bums, but perhaps more so because there was no one else!
I went over to Main Street in hopes of getting a photo of a bus, but just got a bus stop, with a blue-painted curb, and signs giving routes and schedules. Returned to the car and it was only noon, so I decided to drive to Fort Worth. I drove past the Market, with huge striped roofs covering vendors of fresh fruits and vegetables.
The Market