Padua Hills Theater

Padua Hills Theater 5One of the joys of being a musician is playing wedding gigs and checking out all the different venues for ceremonies. This weekend found us playing at Padua Hills Theater, in the foothills above Claremont. I’ve been a guest at a winter wedding here, and I can now say that a summer wedding is equally lovely here. The forecast predicted temps near 100, but the clouds came over, the breeze came up, and it ended up being quite comfortable.



Padua Hills Theater 4

Padua Hills Theater 2

Claremont City Reptile

IMG_5057California has quite a few state symbols, from the State Mineral (Gold) to the State Motto (Eureka!) and many things in between. Claremont has a City Flower (the Sticky Monkey Flower), but I’m not sure there are any other official symbols. Claremontography will put forth occasional suggestions for consideration.

The California State Reptile is the Desert Tortoise, but since there are very few living in Claremont, the reptile that suggests itself for our fair city could be the Western Fence Lizard. At least, I presume that’s what I see any time I walk through the streets.

The Bridges of Madison County

Roseman BridgeTwo weekends ago we took a family trip to Iowa for a memorial service. Because the daughters and husbands came along, we extended the weekend and in our extra day, we drove the 45 minutes from Des Moines to Winterset, Iowa. Winterset, the county seat of Madison County, is famous for being the birthplace of John Wayne and a collection of covered bridges.

In the days of film cameras, we had toured some of the bridges, but thought it might be time to have another look-see.

These bridges were made famous by a book called The Bridges of Madison County back in the 1990s. I had read the book (and later saw the movie), so we made sure our daughter took a photo of us kissing on the Roseman Bridge. We then reenacted this scene, and here are the earlier and later photos. If you are paying attention, you can see that these photos were on opposite ends of the bridge.

This time around we visited three of the bridges – the one in the city park (the Cutler-Donahoe), the Roseman and the Holliwell. The Cedar Bridge was recently burned down, so we didn’t check that one out.

Each bridge is filled with graffiti, most of it with hearts and sentimental offerings.

The weather, being July in Iowa, was pretty hot, so we saw a few people playing in the rivers.



Miura Walk in the Glass Forest

IMG_5903While stopping by the Last Drop Cafe last month, I spied this announcement for “The Miura Art Walk” on the community bulletin board. Seems that Facebook and the  Courier are not the only ways to learn about events.

I was not aware of what or who Miura was, so I’m glad I went to the opening ceremony at Decker Hall to learn about these glass art works now scattered around Pilgrim Place.

Keiko Miura, a Japanese stained glass artist, spent a year as artist-in-residence at Cal Poly Pomona. She had once been a student of a Pilgrim Place resident in Japan, and after her time in Southern California, she gifted Pilgrim Place with a large work. At some point it was placed in a storage room and forgotten. Then it was rediscovered. Residents of the retirement community came together to restore and re-vision these stained glass panels. Instead of one large work, portions are placed in new frames around the campus, like its own forest.

After an introduction to the story of these panels, people wandered the campus to enjoy their beauty. It was a good day to wear a hat, as you can see.

Miura Art Walk

Each panel is similar to the others, but still unique.

The textures just begged to be touched.

At the end of the tour, visitors saw two different Miura works in the Petterson Museum.

Miura 3


Little Bridges Organ Loft

IMG_6101Bridges Hall of Music (aka Little Bridges) on the Pomona College Campus draws audiences for concerts throughout the academic year. The beautiful venue also hosts weddings. Last month while playing for a wedding, I got to view the hall from the organ loft, a perspective not everybody gets to see.

Many times have I sat in the balcony, admiring the ceiling, and now I enjoyed this particular view of the intricate woodwork above.



The Hill Memorial Organ was dedicated in 2002, many years after the opening of the hall in 1915.

As long as I was walking around upstairs, I enjoyed the views out of the second-story windows.