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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Bob Connelly - Dec 24, 1947 - Dec 23, 2015

My precious husband and partner, Bob Connelly died last week, December 23, 2015, after a 2-year battle with cancer. He was a local award-winning Photographer, having been selected for exhibits at Delaware Art Museum and the Biggs Museum of American Art, Arts advocate - recently chosen for the board of the Delaware Arts Council, Vice President of the the Board of Second Street Players, tireless volunteer in Milford who served on the board of Mispillion Art League, the Economic Development Committee and the Bug and Bud Committee and volunteered with Downtown Milford Inc wherever help was needed. 

He was instrumental in Second Street Players receiving a sizable grant from the Longwood Foundation and put his own sweat and muscle into making much needed repairs to the Riverfront Theater. He was the driving force behind MaRT - Movies at Riverfront Theater showing second-run films in English and in Spanish, for Milford's hispanic population. Recognizing and celebrating diversity was another of his passions.

A Vietnam veteran, he was a professional firefighter for 25 years, attained the rank of Captain and was a member of the Hazardous Materials Team and, after retiring, taught high school students Photography and touched the lives of many. He earned a BA in Photography from Arizona State University at the age of 50. He was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship for Teachers and spent a month in the Czech and Slovak Republics.

Together we espoused the motto to "live cheap and make art" - having lived in Italy for two years after retiring in our mid-50s. He learned the language (in a rudimentary way!) and made friends wherever he went. The goal of his life and mine has been to live a simple life, focused more on experiences than materials things and he lived life to the fullest, enjoying each day. Our studio of the same name will continue to exhibit his breathtaking photography.

His latest cause was to try to bring attention to the Death with Dignity bill that is floundering in Delaware's legislature but that he felt could help so many. The Milford Chronicle published an interview with him about this cause that appeared in the paper the day he died peacefully and with the dignity he deserved, one day before his 68th birthday

Donations in his name can be made to Second Street Players Lobby Expansion Program, something he was passionate about. Checks should be written to Second Street Players, c/o Dan Marabello, Treasurer, 2 S. Walnut St., Milford, Delaware 19963. Visit their website at http://www.secondstreetplayers.com.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Road Trip in Powhatan County, Virginia

The last time we visited our son and granddaughter in Richmond we had some time to do a bit of sightseeing and found this tour of Powhatan (POW'-a-tan) County and decided to check it out. 

Powhatan County's Driving Tour map, from the website http://www.powhatanva.gov/

Here's a bit of background from Powhatan County's website:

Originally settled by French Huguenots in the early 1700's, Powhatan County was created by The Virginia General Assembly in 1777. The County was named in honor of the Indian Chief Powhatan, father of Pocahontas. The original courthouse was constructed in 1778 and the immediate area was named Scottville after General Charles Scott, a revolutionary war hero. In 1850 a small portion of Chesterfield County was annexed, creating the current boundaries of Powhatan County.

Located in Virginia's Central Piedmont between the Appomattox and James rivers, Powhatan is twenty miles west of Richmond, the Commonwealth's capitol city, and is within an easy two-hour drive from the Atlantic Ocean, Washington, D.C., Colonial Williamsburg, and the Blue Ridge Mountains.

The county consists of 272 square miles (174,800 acres) and has a population of 28,046 (per the 2010 U.S. census), a 25% increase from the 2000 population of 22,370. Powhatan ranks as one of the fastest growing localities in Virginia.

We found all sorts of fascinating places! I did some watercolor journaling and Bob took loads of photos. The weather was iffy and threatened rain all day and was on the cold side of comfortable so I didn't add color to my sketches but plan to.  We barely scratched the surface and have lots more to see on this tour that you can find. Here's a link to Powhatan's Three Hour Driving Tour

Here's our photo essay of the day: (click on the image for a better view!)

Powhatan Courthouse Village is a treasure trove of historic buildings

Emmanuel Episcopal Church - the cemetery holds the graves of Confederate soldiers

Belmead Mansion is in dire need of repair. On the National Register of Historic Places,
it was once part of a school for African American men.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Orchid Extravaganza at Longwood Gardens

Yesterday I had the opportunity to make a quick visit to Longwood Gardens. I was teaching two back to back Watercolor Journaling Sampler Workshops for Boscov's Campus of Classes at Christiana Town Center and allowed myself some extra time to take a peak at the orchids at Longwood. Stepping into the conservatory from the cold air outside, the warm, deeply scented air inside the Conservatory nearly took my breath away as I was greeted with the lush interior gardens filled with orchids and other blooming flowers. I had hoped to sketch but just couldn't make up my mind where to start, so I contented myself with wandering and looking and snapping these photos with my phone.

Longwood Gardens is located at 1000 Longwood Road, Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, just across the state line from Delaware. Winterthur and the Brandywine Valley museums are all in this general area, worth a visit any time of year.

As I believe that one picture is worth a thousand words, I'll post the photos I took and hope you are within driving distance and can visit Longwood to see Orchid Extravaganza for yourselves! This exhibit will be up until March 29 when something else wonderful will take its place.