Saturday, November 22, 2014

Photo of the Day: Church of the Cross, Bluffton, SC

This Episcopal church, like so much of lowcountry South Carolina, when I vacationed down there two weeks ago, is filled with beauty and history. Though the community itself dates back to 1767, when a church was built nearby, this particular cruciform Gothic structure was constructed in 1854. Its rose-colored glass windows came from England.

The church survived two disasters: one in 1863, when Union troops spared it from the torch to which they put most of the rest of the town, and the other in 1898, when a hurricane damaged the building. (Repairs were made within two years.) The Church of the Cross has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1975.

Quote of the Day (Andre Gide, on Prejudice and Art)

“There is no prejudice that the work of art does not finally overcome.”—French novelist Andre Gide, quoted in The Viking Book of Aphorisms:  A Personal Selection, edited by W. H. Auden and Louis Kronenberger (1962)

Andre Gide, born on this date in Paris 145 years ago today, won the 1947 Nobel Prize in Literature.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Photo of the Day: Celtic Cross, Emmet Park, Savannah

Given my ethnic heritage, it was a given that I was going to photograph this cross (made of limestone from County Roscommon, in the west of Ireland) when I visited Savannah for the day a week ago. The cross, dedicated in December 1983, is located in Irish and Robert Emmet Park. The latter park, on a bluff overlooking the Savannah River, was originally known as the Strand, then later as Irish Green because of the Irish living nearby in the neighborhood at the time. The park was renamed in 1902 to honor the great Irish patriot, orator and martyr Robert Emmet (1778-1803), as well as those of Irish descent in this most beautiful of Southern cities.

Quote of the Day (Andy Richter, on Fox News and Facts)

“Kinda neat that @FoxNews took a break for a ‘fact-dissemination exercise.’ They used to call that ‘the news.’” — Andy Richter, October 19, 2014 tweet, on the cable channel’s “Ebola message everyone needs to hear.”

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Photo of the Day: Bluffton Oyster Co., Bluffton SC

You’re looking at one of the last examples of a thriving local industry. With five different operations, oysters gathering represented the principal business of Bluffton, S.C., until the 1930s. The Bluffton Oyster Co. is a proud, enduring remnant of those times. The shell stock is unloaded on the docks of the May River, washed with fresh water, and put on shucking tables.  All oysters are harvested and shucked by hand.

Quote of the Day (John Steinbeck, on How a Man ‘Builds the Best of Himself Into a Boat’)

“Bad boats are built, surely, but not many of them. It can be argued that a bad boat cannot survive tide and wave and hence is not worth building, but the same might be said of a bad automobile on a rough road. Apparently the builder of a boat acts under a compulsion greater than himself. Ribs are strong by definition and feeling. Keels are sound, planking truly chosen and set. A man builds the best of himself into a boat—builds many of the unconscious memories of his ancestors.”— John Steinbeck, The Log from the Sea of Cortez (1951)

The scientific expedition that Steinbeck made with friend Ed Ricketts took place on the coast of California; I took the photograph you see here clear across the other side of the United States, in the coastal town of Beaufort, S.C.  But the principles of sturdiness and seamanship are universal, as is the magnificence of the sea.