Friday, November 20, 2009

The Yugoslavian Beach Ball

In unpacking my many boxes, some of which had been in storage for eight years, I came upon the Yugoslavian beach ball. I blew into it, and lo and behold, it still held air! I guess the Communists could do some things right, because this beach ball was obtained in the former Yugoslavia in the summer of 1988. Yes, this beach ball is twenty-one years old and still going strong. I kept it, of course, because it is an artifact of the days when Yugoslavia was still a country, still under Communist rule, and still a peaceful nation where many different peoples lived together. And the map on this ball, for it is a globe of the world at the time, shows Europe as it was then, with Yugoslavia clearly one country, as was the USSR. "SFRJ," or Socijalistička Federatvna Republika Jugoslavija, stood for Yugoslavia (see below). Note that all the spelling is in Serbo-Croatian.

How did we happen to be there that summer, our first in Europe? Well, I had had a foreign exchange student at Hall High School in Spring Valley, Illinois, not long before we moved overseas. His name was Mladen Latinovic, and he came from Sarajevo, Yugoslavia. He invited my family to come and stay at his family's vacation house on the beach in Yugoslavia, somewhere between Dubrovnik and Split. That summer, our first in Europe, we traveled almost continuously--Berlin, Austria, Yugoslavia, and Italy--driving everywhere in our 1985 VW Jetta. Shana was turning nine that summer and Alison four. Here we are (below) at the beach with the beach ball which was brand new (I seem to hogging it). I do remember the water being so warm in the Adriatic, especially that far south. Little did we know that we'd never have the chance again to visit Yugoslavia as such. Even Mladen and his family emigrated to different countries because they did not want to fight in the war that tore their country apart. It only exists in our memories and on the beach ball.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

You gotta know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em

How I ever got through almost six decades of life without playing poker, I just don't know, but the occasion arose recently for me to learn and to play. I was invited to a Ladies Only Poker Night at a friend's house, and the invitation came early enough for me to gather my resources and learn something about the game so as not to be a total beginner. So I cornered my friend Elaine into learning with me and going to the party. Between the internet and Poker for Dummies, we managed to learn enough to at least not be totally in the dark at Poker Night.

We did not know what to expect, although we had been assured that anyone who did not know how to play would be taught. There was a $20 buy-in and ten people playing. The first and second place winners would split the pot, 70/30%.

First of all, playing with ten people is crazy. Secondly, it is significantly different from the sources we'd used. Third, it takes guts and luck to win. Amazingly, I won the very first hand, which, of course, was only practice and so I didn't get any winnings! Ha! So the game began in earnest. It turned out that one family of a mother and two daughters clearly dominated the game and knew a whole lot more about it than the rest of us put together. After hours, one by one, players began to drop out because they lost all their chips. I actually had pretty good luck most of the time and ended up being one of the last three in the game! Unfortunately, at one o'clock A.M., I went out before the other two and thus didn't win any money, but I had a lot of fun trying!

And really, I at least didn't make a fool of myself . . . except one time, and we won't relate that story. I'm happy for my friend Dianna, whose house was the location of the party, because she staged a fantastic comeback from NO chips and won! I hope we play again sometime soon.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Thrashing the Blues in Atlanta

Hockey in Atlanta, y'all! I was thrilled to be invited to join my friends David and Ritchie and their friend Lisa at an Atlanta Thrashers (pro hockey) game last weekend! I had never been to a pro hockey game before. My only experience was an Olympic match between the USA and Slovakia a couple of years ago.

It was a first-time experience for me also to be inside Philips Arena, where the Hawks and the Dream also play pro basketball. It's a beautiful facility, and it sure didn't hurt to find ourselves seated in the Club Seat section with access to fancy restaurants, private bar, and extra-comfortable seats. Woo-hoo! No hot dogs for us, but instead I had fish tacos from the Atlanta Fish Market between periods two and three.

The match itself was also fun, as Atlanta took on the St. Louis Blues. Both teams had so-so records, so they were actually well-matched. The Blues took a two-point lead in the second period, but the Thrashers came back to tie it up in the third, throwing them into a five-minute overtime of four-on-four (plus goalie), which then led into a shootout, where the Thrashers WON!

Whenever the Thrashers scored, a giant Thrasher-head (bird) would come down from the ceiling and shoot out flames. It was quite impressive. The team mascot is "Thrash," who was hanging around just waiting to have his picture taken with us before the game! (Notice David covering up his St. Louis Blues shirt under his jacket.) Thrash is quite tall, and he sure can dance, too!

There just might be more hockey in my future, as the guys go to several games a season. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Native Americans Are Still Indians in Georgia

The reason I know that is because my daughter Shana and I went to the Stone Mountain Indian Festival on Sunday at Stone Mountain Park outside of Atlanta. And, sure enough, there were lots Indians, Native Americans, and wannabes there. It was a gorgeous sunny and warm day, and the festival was set up all around the Southern "plantation," which made an interesting contrast.

It was fun to wander through the vendors and the exhibits, listen to music, and see part of the huge dance competition that was being held that day. We got to see Native American/Indian pottery being fired, medicines and remedies, weapons, foods, hide-tanning, basket-weaving, birds of prey, and more, as well as hear drumming, chanting, and music of many types. I had the opportunity, but did not buy, the "weapons" of my childhood: handmade slingshots, pea shooters, and tomahawks. Kids got to shoot arrows with bows. Blow-gun shooting was demonstrated (see above.) With the bamboo I have growing outside my condo, I could make my own! We went in some of the teepees that were set up. The most unusual items were a "scalping knife"(bottom of page) and a one-of-a-kind arrow holder made from a bobcat that had been in this guy's chickenhouse (below).

When the dancing started, we got great seats to hear and see the Call to Dances, the Veterans Dance, the Flag Dance, and a tribal dance. Maybe it was a throwback to the cowboy and Indian movies of my childhood, but a shiver went through me when I saw all of those Native Americans/Indians with their feathers and all dancing at one time. To me, they were a little scary.

It was a festival well-worth the ten bucks each, though. Anyone interested in this part of our American heritage would enjoy it.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Buford Highway Farmers Market

Everyone seems to know about the Dekalb Farmers Market, and I have been there several times myself to recycle cardboard and to shop. But who knows about an even cooler (by far) place on Buford Highway, the Buford Highway Farmers Market? I credit my daughter Shana for finding this one online, and for going with me last Saturday to check it out. There are lots of free food samples on Saturday, too, just like Costco.

Of course, like 99% of everything in Atlanta, it's in a strip mall, and, of course, it looks nondescript from the outside (see above). But inside--that is where everything changes! My friend David who went there on my recommendation a day later called to say, "I have only three words to describe this place: Oh . . . my . . . God!"

It is not really a "farmers market" at all, but rather a huge, gigantic international supermarket with foodstuffs from all over the world along with an unbelievable produce section, three bakeries, and a seafood section to die for. There were fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, spices, and grains I had never seen or heard of before. One whole island was just peppers of various sorts (above)! There were like six different types of bananas (from red to baby) and one fruit that Shana described as a cross between a lemon and an octopus, called Buddha's fingers (below).

Entire rows of this market were devoted to food products from different cultures. At least one-third of the store was Asian of all kinds. We were there for a couple of hours and didn't even venture into that section! Then there was Latino/Hispanic, Eastern European, Caribbean, African, Middle Eastern, European, and probably more I am forgetting. And this place is about the size of a Super Target. We had the best time just wandering around and checking it all out. We did, of course, buy some things. Shana found a Serbian package mix to add to ground beef to make pljeskavice, a favorite dish of ours from Germany days. So, we bought the other ingredients, including Bulgarian feta cheese to stuff it, and went home and made the best supper ever (see below). It was delicious!

If you live in or visit Atlanta, you've got to visit this incredible place. It is located, of course, on Buford Highway, just half a block north of 285, just OTP, as they say here (Outside the Perimeter). I know I'm planning to be there quite often! Prices are better than Dekalb's market, and you can find unusual items, too, like the frozen pig's head below.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Feminism Is Alive and Well

The great thing about living in a big city is that there is never a lack of something to do or see. The very day after Lenny Kravitz, I was watching and listening to Gloria Steinem, the founder of Ms. magazine and an icon in the world of feminism. Along with Betty Friedan, author of The Feminine Mystique, Gloria Steinem is considered to be the leader of the modern feminist movement that began in the 1960s. The photo above is how she is probably remembered by most people of my age. Besides founding the first and foremost feminist magazine, she also "went underground" as a Playboy bunny and exposed the exploitation of those women in an article that propelled her into fame and led to her own magazine. From there, Steinem became perhaps the most politically active woman in the world. She co-founded the Coalition of Labor Union Women, Choice USA, the National Women's Political Caucus, and the Women's Action Alliance. She has been immersed in every political campaign back to her support for Adlai Stevenson in 1952 and has spoken definitively on all issues of importance that affect women, especially politically, economically, and socially. Today, Gloria Steinem is seventy-five years old, although you would never know it from seeing or hearing her (see photo below).

So, the opportunity to hear this great feminist in person was much too good to pass up. Several hundred people filled the Grand Ballroom of the Georgia Tech Hotel in downtown Atlanta for the event, which was hosted by Charis Books and Charis Circle as part of the 35th anniversary of this feminist bookstore in Atlanta.

The evening was arranged as a "conversation" entitled "Founding the Future" with Gloria Steinem and Beverly Guy-Sheftall, a professor of Women's Studies at Spelman College. Despite the lousy sound system and a moderator with some very strange questions, it was still thrilling to hear Gloria Steinem. Every time she spoke, it was articulate, interesting, clear, and re-affirming. On topics ranging from demonizing same-sex relationships to helping tribal women build electric fences in Africa, she had encouraging things to say.

The ones that stuck most with me had to do with how all the "rights" movements are inter-related and the future of feminism. The civil rights movement helped women's rights and vice versa. Issues of race and gender and sexuality and handicapped access and immigration are all related. Limiting one group's rights or advancing them impacts all the others. While we have made much progress, "There is much work to do," as Dr. Guy-Sheftall stated several times. When asked how one lives today to advance feminism, Ms. Steinem said simply that you do it one day at a time, one situation at a time. When you have the right to say "yes" or "no" in order to stand up for the rights of women on any issue, in any theater, you must, she said. You cannot turn your head or keep your mouth closed. You must speak.

Young women take much for granted because of what Gloria Steinem and others have done in the past fifty years, but they must continue to examine what a woman is and what it means to be one, free and equal. It was not only a great opportunity to reaffirm my own past in "the movement," but it was heartening to see so many young women (and men) at this event.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Who doesn't love Lenny?

I was a little fearful that I would be the oldest person (and the only old one) at the Lenny Kravitz concert yesterday when I got comment on Facebook from a former student who must be all of twenty years old, "you like lenny kravitz? lol." However, my fears were laid aside when I saw the audience at The Tabernacle in downtown Atlanta. There were many fans there as old and much older than me! It was a really interesting crowd for a rock icon like Lenny: no teenagers, but everything from twenties to eighties, I swear. It was also a very mixed audience, with the majority being white, which was surprising because Lenny is black. However, when I stopped to think about the number of other black rockers I knew, I couldn't think of any (although there must be some). All the black musicians seem to be into other genres, primarily rap, R&B, and jazz. Even Lenny's backup band was mixed racially.

I don't go to concerts anymore, so this was a step outside my comfort zone. The last I attended was Simply Red in Sicily. Before that, I can't even remember, but it had to be pre-Germany days, which began in 1987.

Lenny and band performed for a solid TWO HOURS, with a wide variety of songs, including my personal favorite, "American Woman," as well as "Mama Said," "Fly Away." "Are You Gonna Go My Way," "Let Love Rule," "Believe," "Mister Cab Driver," and much more. He has been performing for twenty years, so this tour, called Let Love Rule, is named after that album of twenty years ago. He personally played several instruments during the concert, including three different guitars, keyboards, tambourine, and drums. He highlighted all of his band at various times, especially the horn section. The guy next to me, who was a musician himself, told me that Lenny Kravitz performed every instrument on every album he's made up until the last one, when he finally let someone else play the lead guitar. His lead guitarist used to play with the Black Crows of Atlanta fame. It was a very lively, loud, light-crazy show and Lenny was all over the place with his presence and his music. It was incredibly entertaining. At one point, he even left the stage and walked all across the floor in front of it making direct contact with his fans. His message throughout the night was one of peace, love, brotherhood, and "we're in this together, so make it work." Refreshing and recharging all around! The audience LOVED him.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Atlanta Pride 09

The Atlanta Pride celebration this past weekend was the 39th such occasion for the city but the first to be held in the fall instead of middle of summer. Piedmont Park was the location, and it was beautiful with the fall colors and cooler temps. The festival also coincided with Halloween, so many people were dressed for that, which is a popular gay diversion anyway.

Hundreds of sponsors and vendors and businesses lined the park streets hawking their wares and services--big names like Delta, Home Depot, State Farm, ComCast, etc., to every gay-affirming church group in Atlanta, law offices, banks, health providers, home improvement, teams and clubs and sports, and "rainbow-ware" of all kinds, from t-shirts to jewelry. It was quite impressive. Then there were lots of food vendors and musical venues, too. Sunday brought the big parade, with Dykes on Bikes, floats, gay support groups, and GLBT (Gay, Lesbian, BiSexual and Trangendered) police officers, firefighters, flight attendants, and much, much more.

I don't know how many people actually attended and/or participated in the events of the weekend, but it had to be in the tens of thousands. I watched most of it from behind the counter of a vendor's tent, the friend of a friend who needed help to sell her stuff. It turned out to be a great location--dry, interesting, and perfect for people-watching. I never so so many different-looking people nor so many happy-looking people in my life. GLBTs come in all ages, sizes, ethnicities, and personalities. And many attendees are supportive friends and family members.

Perhaps most suprising was the number of "seniors" at the events. I did not feel at all "old" in light of the number of folks there as old or older than I. Quite a few women asked if we had an "I love my Grannies" t-shirt for toddlers, as they had both become grandmothers. That should be added to the "I love my mommies/daddies" shirts for next season. In spites of the crowds and the presence of alcohol, everyone was exceedingly courteous, friendly, and respectful (and happy, as I said). The greeting of the event is "Happy Pride," and I heard it a hundred times if I heard it once!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Daughters of Bluegrass

Although I am not a big fan of country music, I do really love bluegrass. I guess I see it more as folk music than country music, and who can resist the foot-tapping, hand-clapping music that comes with banjos, mandolins, violins (fiddles), bass fiddles, guitars, and some other instruments whose names I do not know? And then there are the soulful, harmonizing voices, the painfully sad or honty-tonk happy lyrics. It just makes you want to dance, even if you don't dance. Who can resist it? What's not to like? I love the way they all know know the same songs, they gather and jam on the square in Daholonega, and men and women of all ages just sit down and make happy music!

So, I was excited when my friend Louisa asked me if I'd like to see the Daughters of Bluegrass perform here in Atlanta. Louisa Branscomb was herself on the Daughters of Bluegrass CD that got Recorded Event of the Year and is a very talented and successful songwriter in this genre and country. So, we not only got to see and hear these ladies perform at the Southeastern Bluegrass Association's 25th Anniversary Concert, but Louisa was invited to perform two songs with them, one of which she had written, "Fool's Gold." This year's Daughters of Bluegrass included Jeanette Williams, Gena Britt, Tina Adair, Mindy Rakestraw, Lorraine Jordan, Jenny Obert, Dale Ann Bradley, and Frances Mooney. I got to meet all of them, thanks to Louisa, get lots of photos, and also get some CDs. And what nice women they all are!

Dale Ann Bradley is a performer for whom Louisa writes a lot of songs (about 4-5 on her new CD), including one that is in the top five on the charts, "Don't Turn Your Back." Dale Ann is the 2007, 2008 & 2009 IBMA Female Vocalist of the Year. What a voice she has! But she also a great guitarist. I was so pleased to meet her and have my photo taken with her and Louisa after their show. I think I'm going to be seeking out a lot more bluegrass!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

BRATS are all around us . . .

Yesterday at the nearby Firestone store, one of the mechanics struck up a conversation with me. As conversations go, it meandered, and lo and behold, it turns out he was a BRAT! And, in my world, that is not a bad thing, but a very, very good thing. BRATS are children of soldiers, airmen, sailors, and marines who grew up in the military, often living on bases or posts or forts either here or in other countries. BRATS make up 5% of our American population.

The Firestone mechanic, a handsome man in his late 30s or maybe early 40's, told me his family basically moved every two years. First, his dad was a Marine, but he left that and joined the Army and became a Ranger. This guy lived in Germany, Italy, the States, and ended up in Puerto Rico, where he completed school and his dad got a civilian job related to the military, as so many do. He named all the former bases and schools in Puerto Rico and I told him I'd been there on a business trip for DoDDS/AVID in 2002. We reminisced a bit about Puerto Rico . . .

But this scene happens fairly often! The shampoo girl at Vidal Sassoon was a BRAT, living most of her life in Germany. So was a teenager on the street in Decatur who gave us directions. Numerous people I've met online are BRATS. So is one of the trainers at the gym. Quite a few of the new, younger teachers in DoDDS are BRATS. They want to come back! My kids are always running into them, too.

There is a wonderful documentary about BRATS called BRATS: Our Journey Home, that is narrated by famous BRAT/singer Kris Kristofferson. It's a poignant and moving film that cannot fail to have an impact on the viewer. I have shown it to my students, bought copies for my family, and shared it with my colleagues. Even friends with no attachment at all to the military have been moved by this film. It is still being shown in special showings in cities around the USA, but you can also buy a copy on the site above.

BRATS are a very special part of my life. I have spent twenty years teaching them, loving them, and saying goodbye to them. Facebook has become a wonderful way to stay in touch with this special group of individuals. One point made in the film is that not only is dad (or mom) in the military, the whole family is. That creates kids and then adults with very special characteristics (see link above) who go on to serve their country and humanity in much higher proportions than the average American graduate. Thank God for BRATS.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

A Touch of Turkey

Who would have thought there were so many Turks in Atlanta? But, I guess in a city of 4.5 million, there is a hardly a nationality that isn't represented. But I only know of one (and maybe a half) Turkish restaurants, and that hasn't changed much in quite a few years. So, it was very pleasant surprise to find the Atlanta Turkish Fest well-organized and attended this weekend at the Gwinnett Convention Center in Duluth, GA.

It was strange, and yet comfortably familiar to see the faces and clothing, to smell and taste the food and drink, to hear the music and language, and to see the unique Turkish items such as Evil Eyes and tea sets. I have been to Turkey at least five times, and it is a place that is truly magical. Everyone should go there at least once. Also, there is a huge Turkish presence in Germany, and it was very easy to find restaurants, stores, travel agencies, mosques, and other indicators there.

The first, and most important thing, to do at the Turkish Fest was eat! I was starved, but I took time to look at all the options, about ten vendors, to see what was available. Did I want a doner kabob, shish kabob, the honey-dripping desserts, salads, or what? It all looked and smelled great. I settled on something I had never had before: Gozleme ve Manti (Turkish Crepes and Dumplings), which the servers told me was from the middle part of Turkey. The crepe was very thin and filled with a spicy meat. The dumplings were actually more like tiny tortellini covered with a garlic yogurt sauce, a thin tomato sauce, and a sprinkling of dried mint. I ordered a traditional Turkish yogurt drink, something like buttermilk, to go with it. It seemed like way too much food, but guess what? I ate it all with no problem and even had a few bites of my friend's chicken doner! Afterwards we had real Turkish coffee (sweet and strong with grounds on the bottom) with hazelnuts to munch on.

Finally satisfied with the food fix, we spent time looking through all the vendors' booths, probably two dozen or so, which including tourism, services, souvenirs, foods, copper, scarves, jewelry, music, food, language school, religious information, books, calligraphy, marbling, cooking classes, and more. The entire time, various musical performers were on stage. Nothing makes me happier than Turkish music! Many people were in folk costumes, obviously part of a later presentation.

The people were their usual hospitable Turkish selves. Everyone was very anxious that we should find what we wanted, be happy, etc. Here, take this, take this--a pocketful of Jordan almonds, maps, postcards, brochures, a CD, a folder. Can I help you? Smiling families and children. The entire event was happy and interesting. My only phrase in Turkish, "Tesekkür ederim" (thank you), was understood everywhere and met with surprise and smiles. It's a good one is know if you only know one thing in Turkish! I can't wait for next year's fest.

Friday, October 16, 2009

High on Monet

I have been to many places to see works by Monet: London, Paris, Stuttgart, Chicago, Boston, and Washington, and Giverny, to name a few. So, I was excited to learn that the High Museum of Art in Atlanta was showing his work early this summer. When Alison came to visit, we went to see it. There she is above with Claude himself!

The show was very small, only four paintings, and a bit anti-climatic after the big Henry Moore exhibit at the Botanical Garden. The "big draw" was this huge, room-length, curved water lilies painting. "The highlight of the exhibition is a breathtaking 42-foot painting that inspires a sense of serenity, meditation, and the infinite. Painted at the end of his life, this series became Monet's "obsession," as he wrote in 1908. In these paintings, he sought to capture the beauty he found in nature, especially in his beloved garden at Giverny."

This and the other three, smaller works were all from the New York Museum of Modern Art, but I had already seen a really impressive and large exhibit of the water lilies large curved painted at the Orangerie in Paris in 1998. Now that is a Monet exhibit not to miss! Nor was the Monet at Midnight show I saw in 1999, which was the largest collection of Monets (80 works!) ever assembled in the world. Atlanta, and the High, are, however, trying.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Cowboys and Indians and Andy Warhol

I had known about the Booth Western Art Museum in Cartersville, about thirty miles north of Atlanta, for several years, but I finally got the chance to see it with my friend Elaine this past weekend. It turned out to be bigger, better, and much more interesting than I ever thought it would be! Not only is the facility itself beautiful, but the collections and exhibitions are extensive, well-organized and documented, and really interesting! In fact, it is so large, we were there for several hours and did not get to see everything.

There are paintings ranging from traditional Western art of the 1800s to contemporary art, including a significant number of Andy Warhol works centered on Native Americans and the American West. The galleries are well-lit, well-organized, and well-documented. In my mind, that means the placard tells you the necessary things about the painting without telling you what to think about it, as many museums are now apt to do. Here at the Booth, they might give you some interesting background, but they do not interpret it for you. Thank heavens. There are many galleries consisting primarily of paintings, with some prints and drawings: the Mythic West Gallery, Modern West Gallery, Cowboy Gallery, Heading West Gallery, Faces Gallery, War is Hell Gallery, and the American West Gallery.

One sub-section of the Modern West Gallery was a hall of movie posters of famous Westerns, which brought back to mind some of my childhood cowboy heroes like Roy Rogers, the Lone Ranger, Gene Autry, and Bat Masterson. Of course, John Wayne was everywhere--posters, paintings, and even sculptures (so was Ronnie Reagan).

Famous Western figures and events from history were abundant throughout the museum, but especially upstairs. General Custer and "the last stand" were popular, as was "the shootout at the OK Corral." Remember that one? Geronimo has a section devoted to himself. The Native American tribes are well-represented on maps, in art, and in exhibitions of original objects and clothing. There are a couple of stagecoaches, and many, many sculptures, especially the large bronze ones that are usually associated with the American West. One particularly frightening one has a Native American warrior being snatched away by a huge eagle. Something went terribly wrong in the hunt.

The section of the museum that was a total surprise (and a nice one) to me was the Presidential Letters Gallery. Wow! This is an exhibit of a picture, a few interesting facts, and one original letters from every President of the United States! There is even a spot for President Obama's letter, with a little sign saying it is on its way! Most of the letters are hand-written, so there is a typed translation next to each of those. I just found that whole collection fascinating! And to think it is in Cartersville, GA!

Unfortunately, you cannot take photos inside, so the only ones I have are outside. It costs $10 for an adult and is open every day but Monday. You can view a fifteen-minute film about Western art and the Booth for free, and there is a nice gift shop. There is also a research section with more than 20,000 volumes and an interactive children's gallery organized like a working ranch.

Like I said, I didn't get to see it all, but I'm eager to go back again.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

More Moore in America

In July, my daughter Alison and I had the opportunity to see the Henry Moore (Large Sculpture) Exhibit at the Atlanta Botanical Garden, and we enjoyed both the Large Sculptures and the Botanical Garden itself. We had one of the few cooler, less humid days of summer and no crowds to distract us from the art and the plant life.

I had seen a Henry Moore exhibit years ago at the Mannheim Art Museum in Germany and greatly admired his large rounded human forms. The Atlanta show had twenty pieces displayed throughout the garden, which seemed the perfect place to show and see them, so different from the modern, white, cold museum in winter. This show was also the largest outdoor exhibition of Moore's works ever shown in America.

Henry Moore (1898-1986) was a British artist and sculptor and is one of the world's best-known and admired 20th-century sculptors. Most of his work is in bronze, and nearly all depict human forms. One of his recurring themes is the mother and child. There is something very appealing about the pieces . . . perhaps it is the whimsical nature of the forms themselves, something like giant crib toys or stuffed pillows, or maybe it is the smoothness and roundedness that is somehow soothing and never threatening.

To see them all, we had to walk all over the garden, which gave us plenty of time to also admire the flowers, trees, and even "wildlife" in the enclosed spaces like the Orchid House. By the end, we had as many or more photos of the garden as we did of the sculptures. The funniest thing we saw was a volunteer fall off her ladder into a lily pond!

I do hope the ABG continues to bring shows like this to the city. It was a highlight of the summer. More Moore, please!