Tuesday, August 6, 2013

You can get anything you want - in Stockbridge

Goodbye to Concord, hello to Stockbridge.

Three worlds intersect here.

It's the home of the Norman Rockwell museum.

It's also the town made famous by Arlo Guthrie in his "Alice's Restaurant Massacree."

And it's also the home of the Divine Mercy Shrine.

We started off at the Rockwell Museum. His art, his illustrations, his final studio. I admire his talent, his humor, and the ideas he expressed. I bought prints of his Four Freedoms to hang in my classroom; his art contribution to American culture is something I think my students - especially my AP students - need to know.

The museum was also featuring an exhibit of the art of his youngest son, Jarvis (who had obvious talent, but went off in some strange artistic directions!). And there was also an interesting exhibit of the art behind the machining of Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.  

Just a few miles from the museum is the church made famous in Guthrie's song. He later bought it, named it the Guthrie Center, and turned it into a community center for various programs  - including a meal program reaching to the less fortunate - and as a site for concerts. There was another couple there - about the right age to remember all that surrounded the song.

We later ate dinner in Theresa's - the restaurant that's taken the place of the actual Alice's Restaurant run by the Alice of the song. It is located where he describes it in the song - "it's around the back, just a half mile form the railroad track." Arlo's picture graces the wall, along with pictures of Alice and a guitar signed by Arlo. Good food, too.

We'd been to the museum and the Guthrie Center before, years ago. But this visit included the Divine Mercy Shrine. Amazing place - with multiple statues and mini shrines. The Lourdes Grotto - a duplicate of the real one - was particularly arresting. It inspired me -

Divine Mercy Shrine -
surprised to find real candles
in the Lourdes Grotto

(too many of the candles in shrines and churches these days are electric ones)

But being me, noticing the age of most of the people at the shrine, I had to add a humorous twist -

Divine Mercy Shrine -
venerating relics
with fellow relics

Tomorrow, home, and the effective end of the summer for me.

Pax et bonum

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