Friday, April 17, 2009
Thomas Moran, Ancient Ruins, graphite and brown ink on paper, 1856
My hometown, Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, came up #5 on a list of cool small towns on the CBS morning show the other day. I have to say, as much I was ready to flee the moment I graduated from high school, it was a pretty great place to grow up. One of the things that made it great was the small liberal arts college in the middle of it, Juniata. It provided a window that looked out beyond the county line. I never went into the small museum on campus when I lived there, but I always played on the steps when I was a kid. Jack Troy, master potter, has been doing wonderful work for years, but I knew of him because I had a crush on his daughter in 8th grade and he had a really cool license plate for his VW bus . . . "Gogh Van". It wasn't important for me to be exposed to art directly growing up. What was important was the idea of art. It was the idea that pulled me through, that pointed to something outside the boundaries. Sometimes that's all you need.
I used to go with friends to drink vodka and Kool-Aid on a hilltop spot in the woods we called the College Farm. After I left it became the Peace Chapel, it was the first project Maya Lin did after the Viet Nam Memorial. I've posted about it before. It's pretty much one of my favorite spots in this world. "Cool" is right.