This is an in-between post, because I've been so close to the SFM lately, and it kept feeling funnier until my funnyostomy bag was getting too full. Here's where I empty it.
We visited here eight years ago, and my mother INSISTED we go to the Stephen Foster Memorial. She woke us up to announce departure time. Somehow my 16-year-old son charmed his way out of the trip, which is a shame because he would have made it all better and worse at the same time.
I'll introduce the clip, Johnny. The museum houses several skillfully-constructed dioramas of Stephen Foster songs, a few of which, uh, offended me. Okay, okay, I get offended occasionally, just not as much as Snarky Duck. It's my elitist northeastern way.
A charming volunteer guide (I'll call her Marlene) approached us and asked if she could 'show us the moving parts in the dioramas.' She pointed to a large portrait and explained that it was "53 square feet in diameter." I read that Foster grew up in Pittsburgh, PA, and never got close to the Suwanee River, so I asked Marlene why he romanticized slavery so often in his music. She told me that he tried writing other kinds of songs, but the ones about the South made money, so he reverted to "Ethiopian verbiage."
Marlene led us outdoors so we could hear the beautiful carillon playing.
When these bells ring, my Christian burro brays.
Your Christian burro?
Yes ma'am! He's got a cross down his back just like Mary.
She and my mother hit it off right away, and began to talk about Jacksonville, from which they had both escaped. Marlene was horrified at the memory of the city: Children working at Pizza Hut, and death all around! For eight full years, this has been our shorthand for urban decay.
Squawmama provides a favorable and unsnarky review of the lovely park and the (now surely) more culturally-sensitive museum.
We celebrated the first day of Summer by floating down a cold, lazy river in inner tubes. More later. We want to go back.