Saturday, March 25, 2006

Good Time

We drove over to Philadelphia for Jilda's birthday on Thursday and donated a little to the Indian Educational fund via the Roulette table. The room and the meals were free so the donation was a wash.
We got up early Friday morning and had some coffee and headed out highway 16 west towards Carthage, Mississippi and ultimately to Jackson. The wind was chilly, but the sun was warm and the sky was blue as a robin's borrow
a line from a Joan Baez song. One thing I've noticed about Mississippi is that their roads are getting much better. Apparently they are putting some of our money to good use.
A few miles past Carthage we turned south towards Jackson on highway 25. It was about 8:30 in the morning and traffic was lite.
I had to deliver some computer parts as a favor to one of my co-workers but a short time afterward we were standing on the portico of the Mississippi Museum of Art on Lamar Street just a few blocks from the state capitol.
Jilda had read a few weeks ago that the museum has an exhibition of Georgia O'Keefe paintings so we decided to go for her birthday present...Jilda's not Georgia's.
The museum was very easy to find and the people were friendly over the phone. Once we got there and paid our $10 we strolled up the stairs to the exhibit. They gave us little tour recordings that described the background of the paintings and gave hints on things of interest. Also included in the exhibit were letters exchanged between O'Keefe and her curator in New York. These letters revealed a down-to-earth woman who loved her work.
What's striking about O'Keefe's work is her remarkable use of color. She was a pioneer and one of the first female American artists. She painted the things around her. She was a good artist in the early 1900's yet she was unknown. It was her acquaintance and subsequent marriage to Alfred Stieglitz the world famous photographer that launched her career and helped groom her for the New York crowd and made her famous in her lifetime.
She started spending time in Santa Fe, New Mexico and that's where she lived and worked for much of her life. The area's beauty influenced her work a great deal and is evident in her paintings of various bones and landscapes bleached by the desert sun.
Seeing art in pictures is good but being in the presence of great art does something to your soul on a level that is very hard to describe.
We spent most of the morning viewing the paintings and the black and whit photographs of Georgia taken by some of the best photographers on the planet.
After we left the museum, we drove a short distance to a restaurant about which we had read. It's just off of interstate 55 on Northside drive and the place is called Juleps. It's a small establishment but you know the food is good when people start lining up to get in at 11 a.m.
We managed to get in and get a corner table and on the menu we saw something unlike anything I had ever tried....Shrimp and Grits. I know what you're thinking, but it was scrumptious. The grits had melted Cheddar and smoked gouda cheese, corn, chopped onions, basil and some other mystery ingredients. I almost ate the plate.
Now we're back home and I'm getting ready to fly out tomorrow to Colorado Springs for a week but I'm thinking about shrimp and grits, Georgia O'Keefe and what a good time we had.

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