Monthly Archives: July 2013

Visiting the Colorado History Museum- A to Z

 Denver A-Z Colorado MuseumThe Colorado History Museum uses the alphabet to inform visitors about  its capital city, Denver. 
big blue bear colorado museumB is for Big Blue Bear.  There is a sculpture of a big blue bear outside of Colorado’s Convention Centre. The bear is just one example of the more than 150 pieces of public art that have been installed in Denver since 1988 thanks to a special financial incentive offered by the city. cow town display colorado history musuemC is for Cow Town.  There seems to be some controversy as to whether Cow Town is still a desirable nickname for Denver but the city does have strong cowboy roots. In the past stockyards packed with cattle stretched far and wide. In 1898 when the Stock Growers Association Board of Governors had their annual meeting in Denver they hosted a barbecue and beer event that drew 300,000 people. Police had to be called in to manage the rowdy crowd. Greeters in the Denver airport wear cowboy hats and the Denver Art Museum grounds have been graced by a huge sculpture of a Scottish Angus cow and her calf by Don Ostermiller since 2003. IMG_6164

M is for Microbrewery.  Colorado has over a hundred of them.  We visited two during our time in Colorado. I wrote about one in Visit to a Colorado Microbrewery and the Barry Manilow Concert That Wasn’t. 

 

one and only red rocks O is for one and only. The Red Rocks amphitheatre in Denver claims to be the one and only naturally occurring acoustically perfect outdoor theatre in the world. I saw Pete Seeger and Arlo Guthrie give a concert there in 1971.IMG_6168

T is Triceratops. Denver is fossil rich. A triceratops was found not far from the city center in 1879. There’s even a Triceratops Trail to hike!variety of celebrations denver

V is for variety of celebrations. From May to August Denver has a Greek Festival, Irish Festival, Gay Rodeo, Black Arts Festival, Comic Convention, Chalk Art Festival, Dragon Boat Festival, Mexican Festival, State Fair, Pride Fest, Highland Games, Country Music Festival, Arts Festival, Rock Music Festival, Underground Music Festival and Renaissance Festival. 

If you want to find out about the rest of the Denver ABC’s you’ll have to visit the Colorado History Museum yourself. I’ve been thinking about what kinds of things I’d select if I were to put together an ABC’s of Winnipeg where I live. What would you include in the city where you live?

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Visiting A Land Mine’s Museum

Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix

A Bizarre Museum in Florence Italy

 

 

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Kelly House- A Charming Residence in My Neighborhood

sunburst design kelly house winnipegI’ve been exploring the history of a charming old house in my neighborhood. I’ve written about it on my Destination Winnipeg site. 

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Confessions of a Fairy’s Daughter

Without a doubt Confessions of a Fairy’s Daughter was the best show I saw at the Winnipeg Fringe Festival this year. It engaged me completely and left me in tears. Alison Wearing is a gifted writer and captivating story teller and in her Fringe show she uses photographs, music and movement to share her memoir.  When she was twelve Alison learned that her father, a Trent university professor, was gay and was moving out of their home. It certainly wasn’t easy for a young adolescent girl in the 1980s to adjust to such a major change in her family life but Alison tells her story without a sense of victimhood. Her mother supported Alison’s father in his desire to continue to play a major role in their children’s lives, something commendable when one considers that it wasn’t till 1996 that the federal government passed Bill C-33 which added discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation to the Human Rights Act making it illegal in Canada. In two successive anecdotes about Christmas, Alison suggests sometimes life was more normal and traditional with her Dad than with her Mom.

Alison loves both her parents and speaks with pride of their gifts and accomplishments as well as her gratitude that they have allowed her to share their family’s story so publicly. She clearly admires her father’s courage in ‘coming out’ when he did and is glad he has found happiness in a partnership with another man that has lasted for many decades.

Her stage play is a re-telling of the first section of her book published by Alfred Knopf. I am looking forward to reading it. As a teenager Alison went to great lengths to hide the fact her father was gay. She expressed her happiness that times have changed so much her own son doesn’t have to give a second thought to his grandfather’s sexual orientation and can talk about it freely. 

I saw the last performance of Alison’s show in Winnipeg but she is moving on to the Saskatoon Fringe and if you live there I encourage you to go. 

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Winnipeg Fringe Festival – The First Play

Fringe Festival- Second and Third Play

Fringing Times Four

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Fringing Some More

I’m fringing again! My reviews of another four plays are on my Destination Winnipeg site under Fringing Times Four. 

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Planning Ahead

I’m learning how important outlining and planning ahead are when you try to write a novel. I blog about the process in a post on Vast Imaginations.

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More Fringing

I’ve seen two more plays at the Winnipeg Fringe Festival. 

To find out what Till Death Do We Part and Crumbs are all about check my Destination Winnipeg site. 

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Winnipeg Fringe Festival – First Play

I went to my first Fringe Play last night. It was Thom Pain written by Will Eno and performed by Grant Burr, who just happens to be the editor of The Carillon the regional newspaper I’ve worked for as a weekly columnist for many years.  Check out my thoughts on my Destination Winnipeg blog. 

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ICS Reunion in Colorado- Part 5

dave and janetBy Saturday morning almost all the ICS teachers from Hong Kong had left Denver but the few of us stragglers who were left got together. Janet was kind enough to pick us up at our hotel in Arvada and take us downtown. mad restaurant denverWe had lunch at the MAD restaurant where the menu items are named after famous authors, historical and literary characters. You can order a Mark Twain sandwich, a Marilyn Munroe panini or an Edgar Allan Poe salad.ernest hemingway salad mad restaurant denver

Janet and I both had the Ernest Hemingway salad. pilgrimage by zhang huan denver art galleryJanet and Dave check out a unique sculpture called Pilgrimage in the courtyard where we had lunch. It is by a Chinese artist named Zhang Huan who was born in Anyang City and created this piece to document a performance art presentation he did in New York in 1998.

rain has no father by el anatsui denver art galleryWe spent the next couple hours touring the Denver Art Museum. Here Janet examines a piece of textile art by El Anatsui an artist from Ghana.  It is called Rain Has No Father and was made by stitching together flattened bottle caps.  After we had toured the art gallery Janet chauffeured us to our hotel near the airport. Luckily her hotel was just down the street. ruby tuesdaysFor supper we decided to go to Ruby Tuesday for old times sake. It was a favorite haunt in Hong Kong when we wanted to eat Western food. 

ics reunion ruby tuesdaysWe were joined by the Herzog family and Melanie who were all staying at hotels nearby ready for early flights home the next day. It was a fun way to end the Denver reunion. 

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ICS Reunion in Colorado- Part 1

ICS Reunion in Colorado- Part 2

Visit to a Colorado Microbrewery and the Barry Manilow Concert That Wasn’t To Be

ICS Reunion in Colorado- Part 3

ICS Reunion in Colorado- Part 4- The Wedding Reception

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ICS Reunion in Colorado- Part 4- The Wedding Reception

Finally it was time for the event that had brought us to Denver. The wedding reception of John and Cath. Here they are front and center with the whole gang of former and current ICS teachers who showed up for the festivities. The groom’s sister-in-law had done the decorating of the church hall and it was so thoughtful and interesting. There are three globes here. The one on the right with a heart on New Zealand which was the home of the bride, the one on the left with a heart on Denver, which was the home of the groom, and they are attached with ribbon to the globe above with a heart on Hong Kong where the bride Cath and the groom Jon met, work and will live.  The W stands for their last name and the American and New Zealand flags are nestled in pink roses. Dave with Jeff who is now a teacher in North Carolina. He and Dave played together on the ICS Orange, the staff basketball team when we lived in Hong Kong. Here’s Jeff with his whole family. Jonah who was born in Hong Kong, Ezekiel and Micah and Susan who was a kindergarten teacher at ICS. Dave chats with Janet and Melanie, two former elementary school teachers we worked with at ICS. Janet is now a teacher in Saudi Arabia and Melanie lives in Alabama. Dave and our former colleague Bryan get ready to enjoy the Western barbecue buffet. Bryan is still at ICS serving as the middle school principal.Since both the bride and groom have traveled a lot their wedding cards were collected in an old suitcase with a mirror nestled in the lid. Beautiful bouquets like the one in the pitcher to the left were all over the room. 

meyer familyWe worked with Chris at ICS where he is still the art teacher and had many dinners out in Hong Kong and travel adventures with him. We also got to know his wife Keiko in Hong Kong but met their son Kaili for the very first time at this ICS reunion. He’s a sweetie and I had lots of fun playing with him. The bridal gown Cath had worn at her New Zealand wedding was on display and there were notebooks where we could write messages for Jon and Cath to read on their first, fifth and tenth wedding anniversaries. Dave with the groom Jon. There were lots of samples of the wedding program for us to look at. It was decorated with illustrations by Cath’s grade one students. Dave chats with the bride’s Dad who had traveled all the way from New Zealand for the reception to surprise his daughter. It was great to visit with former colleagues Susan and Janet. In honor of the bride’s New Zealand home we had pavlova for dessert. Cath, the bride entertains us with a story about her and Jon’s courtship. Janet and Jack check out the book of wedding photos taken by Chris at the wedding in New Zealand. Dave visits with Dana a former middle school teacher at ICS who just moved home to the states. We were happy to get to know her boyfriend Justin. Rebekah and Jen former ICS teachers who now live in Minneapolis and Omaha respectively, catch up on what’s been happening in their lives. dave ics guysDave loved catching up with some of his Hong Kong buddies. ics gang weddingThe wedding provided a wonderful opportunity to reunite with old friends and teaching colleagues. I wonder who will plan a wedding for next summer that just might bring another group of us together again?

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ICS Reunion in Colorado- Part 1

ICS Reunion in Colorado- Part 2

Visit to a Colorado Microbrewery and the Barry Manilow Concert That Wasn’t To Be

ICS Reunion in Colorado- Part 3

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ICS Reunion in Colorado- Part 3

biking in denverOur first morning in Denver a bunch of our Hong Kong friends met downtown. Emily who lives in Denver and taught with us at ICS had arranged for bicycles to do a driving tour of the city.  Dave tried getting on one of the bikes, but it wasn’t to be.

man on crutches walking in denverSo we arranged to meet the others for lunch and Dave and I went off on our own adventure. Denver art gallery

First we went into the Denver Art Gallery shop to buy a card for the wedding reception we would be attending later in the day. Dave also bought new sunglasses. Denver Public Library

We walked by the impressive Denver Public Library on our way to……………

Denver History Museumthe Colorado History Museum.  It was an excellent museum. We learned about the Japanese internment camps in Colorado during World War II.  We saw a small Colorado town the way it would have looked at the turn of the century. We saw a photo exhibit called The American Soldier. biking in denver

When we came out of the museum our friends were waiting for us. lunch at the wynkoop

We went to the Wynkoop for lunch. The Wynkoop was founded by Colorado’s governor John Hickenlooper and is said to be the business which initiated the renewal of Denver’s downtown area. Jack a former ICS  teacher from Chicago and his two daughters joined us for lunch. marylou and the two emily's Here I am with the two Emilys. They were both my teaching colleagues at ICS in Hong Kong.at the wynkoop in denverDave entertains the group at the Wynkoop with a story. touring the wynkoopBefore we left we took a tour of the Wynkoop building which was built in 1899 and was initially used as a mercantile where ranchers, miners and city dwellers bought supplies. 

Then we all went to our respective hotels to get ready for the wedding reception in the evening. 

huddled to watch barry manilowI’m going to include a photo our friend Mike just sent of our adventures at the Barry Manilow concert. We are braving the cold and wind at 10:30 pm. waiting for Barry to perform. You can read about our experience here

If you enjoyed this post you might also like……

ICS Reunion in Colorado- Part 1

ICS Reunion in Colorado- Part 2

Visit to a Colorado Microbrewery and the Barry Manilow Concert That Wasn’t To Be

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