Thursday, April 21, 2011

The temptation to put Mr. Hunter in your bag...

Mr. Hunter must be a charming fellow.  
Look how some people have tried to smuggle him away in their bags.

In this photo, Steve's heading off for some important journalistic work with a pleased-looking Mr. Hunter in tow.  

And when Allyson stopped by for a visit after traveling around the world with the original Flat Mr. Hunter, she thought it might be time for the real Mr. Hunter to tag along with her.


Mr. Hunter loves Miss Allyson an awful lot, so he was tempted!

August 2005
December 2006

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Their eyes met...

Mr. Hunter made a connection with St. Anthony at the Carmel Mission.

Here's a story about St. Anthony, 
along with another photo of this statue.

Carmel Mission Basilica
Carmel, California
April 2006

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Drive Yourselves to the City of Salzburg

Naturally, Mr. Hunter is a big fan of The Amazing Race, and he was tickled this week to see teams directed to the city of Salzburg.

Mr. Hunter and his traveling companions basked in this view from the Hohensalzburg Fortress.  That's Salzburg's Old Town in the foreground, and the Salzburg Cathedral (with the green dome) on the right.

The clouds scattered in the blue, blue sky...
The lush green hills surrounding the city...
Mr. Hunter asks me, "When can we go back?"

 Hohensalzburg Fortress
Salzburg, Austria
June 2007

Monday, April 18, 2011

Imitations: Gabriel

An entry for the Hall of Fame, and one of Mr. Hunter's favorite photos.
The always-dramatic Gabriel imitates Mr. H.

Gabriel's pose brings up a question: Does Mr. Hunter have a big lower lip?  Or is he, in fact, sticking out his tongue? 
People have imitated Mr. Hunter using both of these approaches.

What do you think?

August 2004

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A Civil War Faux Pas!

After Mr. Hunter had posed with Stonewall Jackson and General Lee, we went in search of the man whom we thought was portraying General Ulysses S. Grant.  My friend and Mr. Hunter and I kept going to different tents and asking where General Grant was.  It might have been a good clue when more than one person answered that they didn't know if General Grant was there.  Nevertheless.

Finally we located our guy.  I remember that the youngster who portrayed a Union bagpipe player was hanging out at this tent, too.  (The bagpipe player was notable during the battle because he kept playing on and on.) 

Our Union general was amenable to posing with Mr. Hunter, so we took this very serious photo first.  Then I think we went to take a group photo with my friend and I in the shot, too.  The bagpipe player had trouble working my camera, so as I wrestled with the camera, my friend talked some more to the general.  She mentioned that she'd been reading the Autobiography of Mark Twain recently, and how Mark Twain had talked about his time working with Ulysses S. Grant on Grant's memoirs.  There was a pause.  A long pause.  And then our general said, "I'm not General Grant.  I'm General George H. Thomas."  !!!!!

Not only was this fellow portraying General George Henry Thomas, aka the Rock of Chickamauga, aka the Sledge of Nashville, aka Slow Trot Thomas.  This fellow in the General Thomas costume was descended from General George Henry Thomas.  Um, faux pas!

August 2001

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Civil War: General Lee and Stonewall Jackson

In the summer of 2001, Mr. Hunter traveled back in time to the 1860s.  How so?  He'd been invited to see a Civil War reenactment.  After watching the battle itself, he had a chance to walk around the camp and pose with some Civil War "generals." 

I'm a Union gal myself (of course) but still I have a great affection for this black-and-white photo of Mr. Hunter in the hands of the guy dressed up as General Robert E. Lee.  And that's "Stonewall Jackson" on the right.  

Side note: the real Stonewall Jackson died of complications of pneumonia a few days after he was accidentally shot by Confederate pickets at the Battle of Chancellorsville.  One of my ancestors (a great-great grandfather) was a Union soldier and actually fought at the Battle of Chancellorsville; he was captured there and held as a prisoner of war.

Here's a photo of my great-great grandfather and some of his family; 
it was taken in 1915:
(I love that cane!)

Civil War Reenactment
August 2001

Saturday, April 9, 2011


Of course Mr. Hunter and friends visited the Galleria dell'Accademia in Florence so that they could bask in the glow of Michelangelo's David.  
But the Accademia has these rules lately that you can't take photos in the museum!  (This is pretty typical of museums in Italy.)

Mr. Hunter had to make do by posing with the replica David that stands in the Piazza della Signoria.

But we recommend that you visit the real David, too.  It's such a famous statue, but when we saw the David in person, he was astonishing.  He had a profoundly beautiful energy.

It was a delicious feeling, by the way, to wander around in the Piazza della Signoria and think about Lucy Honeychurch and George Emerson in A Room with a View.  Remember the scene in which Lucy faints in the piazza, and George catches her?

Piazza della Signoria
Florence, Italy
June 2008

Friday, April 8, 2011

People I Have Asked: The Carabiniere Who Looked Like My Cousin

Another photo for which I have great affection!

We were standing in front of the Duomo cathedral, watching the portion of the Festa di San Giovanni parade that traipsed into the Baptistery.  I took lots of photos of the various costumes and faces, like this lineup of young drummers in red and white.  

And then I figured I'd get Mr. Hunter in on the action.  This policeman (carabiniere) stood there with his arms crossed as I took this picture.  He looked a little puzzled about what I was doing, a little stern.

My path was clear.  I held out Mr. H to the carabiniere and gestured to ask, "Can I take your photo?"  Obviously, he said yes.  
Although, come to think of it, he didn't really say anything. 
 But he did hold Mr. Hunter and pose for me.  Yes!

The bonus in all this was that the policeman reminded me somehow of one of my cousins.

Piazza del Duomo
Florence, Italy
June 24, 2008

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Ponte Vecchio

Mr. Hunter has such fond memories of Florence.  
Here he is posing in front of the Ponte Vecchio.

The Oltarno district of Florence is on the opposite side of the river here.
 If you're lucky enough to find yourself near the Ponte Vecchio someday, make sure to visit Caffe delle Carrozze's gelateria, which is located quite close to the Ponte Vecchio on the Signoria side of the river. 

Our favorite gelato combination: amarena and coconut.  

Many is the time that I've longed to be standing in this same spot again and indulging in this gelato.

Piazza del Pesce
Florence, Italy
June 2008

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Gates of Paradise, Part Two

Mr. Hunter recommends visiting the Museo dell'Opera del Duomo in Florence, home to the original panels of Lorenzo Ghiberti's Gates of Paradise doors.  It's a light and airy museum that also features some lovely Michelangelo statues, figures from the Duomo cathedral, and a striking statue of Mary Magdalene by Donatello.

Ghiberti's Jacob and Esau panel

I love these dogs from the Jacob and Esau panel!

the courtyard where the original Ghiberti panels are displayed

San Francisco's Grace Cathedral has a lovely site about the specific Ghiberti panels.

Museo dell'Opera del Duomo
Florence, Italy
June 2008

Monday, April 4, 2011

Mr. Hunter and Ghiberti's Gates of Paradise, Part One

The Baptistery in Florence is home to Lorenzo Ghiberti's famous Gates of Paradise doors, which feature bronze panels that illustrate various Bible stories.  The doors on the Baptistery itself are now replicas, and the original panels can be seen nearby in the lovely Museo dell'Opera del Duomo.  

Here's Mr. Hunter admiring the replica doors.

We'd paused to take these photos on our way to the Accademia.  Earlier that morning, we'd caught a bit of a parade for the Festa di San Giovanni and the Calcio Storico.  When we got to the Accademia, we realized that we had plenty of time before our reservations to go see Michelangelo's astonishing David, so we headed back toward the Duomo and the Baptistry to see if we could catch more parade action.  When we got there, another part of the parade was in full swing, and the Gates of Paradise were wide open!

Here's a snippet of the Festa di San Giovanni parade.

Battistero di San Giovanni
Piazza del Duomo
Florence, Italy
June 24, 2008

Friday, April 1, 2011

The Baptistery

One of Mr. Hunter's first stops in Florence was the Baptistery, which features a lovely mosaic ceiling.

Yes, that is the thumbs-up, thumbs-down Jesus in the background.

Battistero di San Giovanni
Florence, Italy
June 2008