Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Robert Tharsing's Room With A View


Robert Tharsing's "Room With A View" Exhibit. Author's collection.
Circumstances caused me to enjoy several trips down the long corridors of the Chandler Medical Center. Enjoy? Well, if life gives you lemons then it is best to make lemonade.

In designing the new hospital, great steps have been taken to make it a beautiful place. During the week, musicians perform in the library. And art is everywhere.

Painting of the Old Courthouse by Robert Tharsing
Ann Tower Gallery.
Along one hallway that connects the new hospital to the traditionally-institutional old hospital is a display of art by UK art professor Robert Tharsing.

Tharsing's "Room With A View" stems from the artist's time living in a flat above Cheapside Bar & Grille during the 1990s. At the time, Tharsing also maintained a studio near High and Rose Streets.

In moments of thought, the artist would stare out his windows.

And his paintbrush followed his eyes to create scenes of downtown Lexington that transcend time.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Tying the knot that gave us Abraham Lincoln

Historic Marker at the Homesite of Jesse Head. Author's Collection.
Postcard of Jesse Head. Ky. Hist. Soc.
A block or two off of Springfield's Main Street is the homesite of Jesse Head. Though the home is long gone, replaced in a prior century by a rural Victorian which itself has seen better days, the once-occupant of the site is uniquely tied to history.

One of Springfield and Washington County's greatest claims is their relationship with Abraham Lincoln.

It was in Washington County that Lincoln's parents, Thomas Lincoln and Nancy Hanks, were wed in 1806.

Three years later, the Great Emancipator was born in nearby Hodgenville.

The preacher who wed the two was Jesse Head.

Rev. Head, a Marylander born in 1768, had lived in Springfield since the 1790s. On the place of his old  homesite now stands a historic marker which reads  
On June 12, 1806 he performed the marriage of Thomas Lincoln and Nancy Hanks, who, in 1809, became the parents of Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the U.S. Head, born in Maryland in 1768, "came-a-preaching" to KY in 1798. Cabinet maker, justice of peace, on Sundays he preached fearlessly. Moved shop to Harrodsburg, 1810, kept on preaching, began newspaper.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Retirement Home of Senator John Pope

Retirement house of Sen. John Pope in Springfield, Kentucky. Author's Collection.
One of Lexington's finest landmarks is the Pope Villa which was designed by Benjamin Latrobe for Senator John Pope and his wife Eliza. The senator sold Pope Villa in 1829 after President Jackson appointed Pope to serve as the territorial governor of Arkansas.

John Pope. Congress.
Departed for the Gem State, Pope would serve as governor until 1835. While in Arkansas, he brought in Kentucky architect Gideon Shryock to design the state capitol for Arkansas. The old capitol remains standing as the oldest state capitol (albeit no longer used as the capitol) west of the Mississippi River and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1997.

After his governorship, Pope returned to the Commonwealth and retired to Springfield, Kentucky, in 1835. Eliza had died in 1818 and Pope remarried in 1820 to a widow from Washington County. In Springfield, Pope returned both to the practice of law and elected office including serving in Congress from 1837-1843.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Goal! Soccer at the University of Kentucky

UK Men's Soccer at the Bell Soccer Complex, University of Kentucky. Author's Collection.
Soccer isn't really my thing. I'm a football first, then basketball kind of guy. But I'm a fan of the University of Kentucky. And we were playing Louisville. And the proceeds from the ticket sales were going to benefit the Kentucky Mansion Preservation Foundation (KMPF) which is an important non-profit dedicated to preserving historic structures in Kentucky (see comment below).

So last night, I went to my first UK Soccer game. And I took my son along; at age six, he is beginning to show an interest in playing soccer. In all honesty, it was the first time I've attended a soccer match (outside of youth games) since the 1996 Olympics group play between the USA and Argentina in Birmingham, Alabama.

Back in Kentucky, UK's sports marketing planned an "Abe Out" with the suggestion that President Lincoln, Kentucky's native son, was a Cats fan. (We'll ignore historical accuracy for a minute solely because it is at the expense of Louisville.)

With Abe on deck, tickets were a penny each and the first 500 fans got a pretty cool t-shirt. We arrived too late to join the ranks of the free t-shirt. Traffic to the soccer complex was heavy and it was a record attendance for UK Soccer (3,368). Few, if any, followed the other Lincoln suggestion as I saw no one dressed in mid-19th century attire.

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