Art, architecture, history, travel

Madrid 1974


The wall is gone 1989

She’s singing my song



Stuck in the ’70’s

Something that I care about

If you know anything about me you know I went to high school in the 1970’s. So what’s it like to be stuck there?

  • Disco
  • Oil Embargo
  • Jimmy Carter
  • Inflation
  • Gas is 30 cents/ gal I noticed my keyboard doesn’t even have the cents sign anymore
  • Nixon visits China
  • The Brady Bunch-are you kidding?
  • Peter Max
  • Psychedelic art
  • Bell Bottoms
Osaka Daimaru 1979

Osaka Daimaru 1979


Giovanni Battista Tiepolo


Giovanni Battista Tiepolo

b. 1696 Venice, d. 1770

Madrid I saw this painting at the royal palace in Madrid and fell in love with Tiepolo immediately Apotheosis of Spain. Below see his crucifixion from the St. Louis art museum. It has recently been removed from public view. Trained in Venice, Tiepolo also worked in Spain and Germany. His work is simply awe-inspiring.

Giovanni Battista Tiepolo - Apollo and the Con...

Giovanni Battista Tiepolo – Apollo and the Continents – WGA22323 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Born into a wealthy and noble family in Venice, Giambattista Tiepolo was recognized by contemporaries throughout Europe as the greatest painter of large-scale decorative frescoes in the 1700s. He was admired for having brought fresco painting to new heights of technical virtuosity, illumination, and dramatic effect. Tiepolo possessed an imagination characterized by one of his contemporaries as “all spirit and fire.”

2nd third of 16th century

2nd third of 16th century (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A gifted storyteller, Tiepolo painted walls and ceilings with large, expansive scenes of intoxicating enchantment. In breath-taking visions of mythology and religion, the gods and saints inhabit light-filled skies. His ability to assimilate his predecessor and compatriot Paolo Veronese’s use of color was so profound that his contemporaries named him Veronese redivio (a new Veronese). His style was also influenced by renaissance artist Tintoretto.  He was the great eighteenth century painter of the baroque and rococo periods.



Last supper


Tiepolo Crucifixion, Saint Louis Art Museum, SLAM

Tiepolo’s commissions came from the old-established families of Italy, religious orders, and the royal houses of Spain, Germany, Sweden, and Russia. His frescoes adorn palaces, churches, and villas, and his artistic legacy consists of some eight hundred paintings, 2,400 drawings, two sets of etchings, and acres of fresco. When Tiepolo died at the age of seventy-four, a Venetian diarist noted the “bitter loss” of “the most famous Venetian painter, truly the most renowned…well known in Europe and the most highly praised in his native land.”

David Teniers, younger

Würzburg Residence

Würzburg is a town on the romantic road in Germany. Also on the romantic road Castle Neuschwannstein and Rothenburg ob der Tauber.

Wuerzburg Residenz

Wuerzburg Residenz

Tiepolo was active in Italy, Germany, and Spain.

This ceiling and staircase made quite an impression on me the first time I saw it 36 years ago.

Margaret Lewis told me the first time she saw the his ceiling frescoes in Venice it left her in tears, also Rembrandt and Venus de Milo.

Mid-18th century
Mid-18th century (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What artist has influenced you?

What trip or city have you visited that has had a particular influence on you?

Do you have a favorite painting in your home city?

Do you know of another artist with as far reaching a range as Tiepolo?;jsessionid=16f06j5jjb65e?dsid=2222&dekey=Giovanni+Battista+Tiepolo&sbid=lc04a&linktext=Tiepolo
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University of Regensburg 1965

University of Regensburg 1965

Is Putin trying to revive the failed Soviet Union?images imgres imgresI was still in divided Germany in 1977 for the sixtieth anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution. Regensburg was less than an hour by car from the Czech border and the Iron Curtain. The outcome of the Cold War was far from clear.

How many more anniversaries would there be after that?
I could listen to their propaganda on my shortwave radio.
The Berlin wall crashes just twelve years later in 1989.

Boris Kustodiev and Nicholas Roerich



Europe Madrid 1974: More on one of my popular blogs


Europe Madrid 1974








Now, I’m asked tell us more about that first trip to Europe in 1974. The one when you were 17. The one forty years ago.

Madrid was the first city I visited in Europe.

Well, actually I was supposed to go when I was in 8th grade with my PE teacher, but that one fell through because we didn’t get enough people to sign up. There were other trips to choose from including ones to Germany and Salzburg.

The great thing about that Madrid trip was we spent a month  studying the art, history, and culture of the countries before we left. Europe has some great art museums. We spent time in Madrid just walking around looking at shops and supermarkets. They had interesting  soft drinks and coffees for sale. I am very excited. It is so much fun just walking around the hotel looking at things. We also visited Retiro park, the Rastro, Botins, a bullfight, and my favorite department store in Madrid el Corte Ingles. We also visited  the Plaza Mayor and the Royal Palace.

There is no king. Other landmarks include the great post office and telecommunications building and plaza mayor.Our trip also included a side trip to the ancient capital of Toledo. Madrid is a lively city with a great nightlife. I returned there in 1975, 1978 and with my wife in 1992. Well with the death of Franco in November 1975, Juan Carlos became King of Spain. He served until 2014 until he

abdicated in favor of his son Felipe VI.

We ate most of our meals in the hotel, chicken I think, a few times we got beef. I went to my first discotheque in Madrid. Some of the girls got their nails done at Elisabeth Arden.  After a few days in Madrid we flew to Rome on Alitalia.

Madrid has a different culture. Everything shuts down after lunch. Shops close. Dinner often isn’t taken till after 10 o’clock at night. The national delicacy is pulpo in su tinta squid in its own ink.

Edie’s big five art museums, two are in Italy.

  1. The British Museum, London a little different no paintings
  2. Vatican Museum, Rome the atlanten,  Gallery of mosaic maps, and of course the Sistine Chapel
  3. Uffizi Gallery, Florence Botticelli, Leonardo, and Raphael. Now you have to wait in line forever. In 1974 you could just walk right in.
  4. images


    Hermitage, Leningrad/Saint Petersburg I went there twice.

  5. Louvre, Paris the word’s most famous and most visited museum with all those goodies. O, where to begin? You can visit the Louvre for free any day until your 18th birthday. Closed Tuesday.

Runners up

The Prado, Madrid


Goya Clothed and Naked Maja


KHM Infatada Maria Thersa

Museum of Fine arts (Kunsthistorishes museum) Vienna

Old picture gallery, Munich (Alte Pinakothek)

National Museum, Tokyo

  •  What is your favorite museum?
  • Do you remember your first trip abroad?
  • What interesting drinks or foods do you remember about that trip?
  • What was your favorite thing of memory about high school?
Leonardo Alte pinakotek

Leonardo Alte Pinakothek


Billy Liar

Billy Liar

Billy Liar (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Lindley Players present Billy

This West end play, I first saw in London in 1974 continues to enjoy popularity especially as a new generation of boomerang kids finds itself trapped at home. Billy is a sort of  Walter Mitty character with two fiancées and a rather vivid imagination. Here is a review as well as some original ARTWORK. The 1963 movie stared Tom Courtenay and Julie Christie.

A Musical based on ‘Billy Liar’ by Keith Waterhouse and Willie Hall. Book by  Dick Clement and Ian La Francis, Music by John Barry, Lyrics by Don Black. This amateur production is presented by arrangement with Josef Weinberger Ltd

This riotous musical comedy, based on Keith Waterhouse’s all-time classic play ‘Billy Liar’, is bound to have you splitting your sides with laughter and tapping your toes to its tunes this summer.

Set against the grim background of 1960s Yorkshire life, it tells of the dreams and lies of Billy as he seeks to escape his humdrum job, his overbearing family and his two fiancées in the search for the bright lights of London in the believe that some of us ‘belong to the stars’


Billy (musical)

Billy (musical) (Photo credit: Wikiublished: 2005/05/03 13:24:35 GMT

BILLY (Sony Music)

Like My Sister Eileen and Auntie Mame, Billy Liar is one of those properties that has succeeded in multiple incarnations. The story of a young undertaker’s assistant who escapes his dreary Yorkshire existence through elaborate daydreams, Billy Liar was first a 1959 novel by Keith Waterhouse. The following year, it became a well-received West End play by Waterhouse and Willis Hall, originally starring Albert Finney, who was succeeded by Tom Courtenay. . . .

The lyrics were by Don Black (Bombay Dreams, Dracula, Aspects of Love, Song and Dance, Sunset Boulevard), the music by John Barry, who had already composed the scores for the London musical Passion Flower Hotel and the American road-closer Lolita, My Love. Barry was the winner of several Oscars for his work in films; he and Black had collaborated on the Academy Award-winning song “Born Free” and on the title song for Thunderball, one of several James Bond films Barry scored. In 1982, Barry and Black would reunite to write the score for one more musical, Broadway’s The Little Prince and the Aviator, which closed in previews.

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Billy was a brassy, Broadway-style musical, and it took advantage of the services of top-notch American choreographer Onna White. But its trump card was its star, Michael Crawford, who had done the film versions of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and Hello, Dolly! but was making his musical stage debut. At the time of Billy, Crawford was a household name owing to his role on a recent BBC TV comedy series, “Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em.”

Circle Triangle square after Kandinsky by Ted Gast
Loaves and Fishes Original Artwork by Ted Gast

1986 So this is what happened 1/4

Español: escritor argentino jorge luis borges

Español: escritor argentino jorge luis borges (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Satellite image of the falls

Satellite image of the falls (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Katie and I decided to go to South

America. We had just bought our house on Berry Avenue in Cincinnati. It was 1986.

Katie’s dad Mr. Finn was scared he didn’t want us to go. He came over to the house to take us to the airport but really he wanted to talk us out of it. He couldn’t talk us out of it so he took us to the Cincinnati airport, which is in in Kentucky CVG.
Then we got on the plane and flew  to Buenos Aires in Argentina EZE. I’m sure we didn’t fly direct. Stopped in Brazil had a free coffee in the airport, Rio GIG I think. We had this big game with us called He-man space mountain it was for Fracisco Arrenetta. Katie carried that thing all over SA until we got  Peru. It was for the Arrenettas who lived in Peru. We left the airport on the bus and went to the hotel. It was beautiful. The highway was modern and just like any highway in the United States.
The hotel was great. It was a residence hotel on Maipu and it turned out Jorge Luis Borges, the famous blind Argentina poet lived there. Although he lived there we never met him. He died soon after that. I was a nice old style hotel with a beautiful lobby.
We had dinner one night at a wonderful restaurant called El Palacio de la Papa Frita, the french fry palace, with red wine a sparkling mineral water mixed together white table cloths and  a huge steak called baby beef. It was very crowded and busy but the waiters  did a great job. When we got to Peru, Pancho told us he had heard of it and had eaten there too. He even knew about the baby beef.
Florida avenue in the Retiro district beautiful pedestrian shopping street with lots of nice furniture and antique stores and  cafes and bars. Lavalle street and the plaza de Mayo are also main sights.We got a tour of the beautiful Teatro Colon Opera house by and opera student. Maybe not as well known as the one in Manaus in Brazil, but I’m sure the operas are better these days. The one in the Herzog movie Fitzcarraldo starring Klaus Kinski. We sort of did our own walking tour. The pink house or Casa Rosada, the white house of Argentina is pink. It felt very much like Europe especially Italy which I also like very much. Argentina is beautiful and the people are very sophisticated and fashion conscious.
My friend Beatriz, who worked for Procter & Gamble in Cincinnati had been helping us with our Spanish before we Left. She said now Ted just stop at any pub and ask for dos cervesas, por favor that means two beers please. Well the first time we tried it the waiter looked at me and replied dos cervesas o una grande, which means two or one big one? We couldn’t stop laughing. We hadn’t thought of that one. Beatriz would later return to to Peru and be elected Prime Minister the first female PM of any Latin American Country. That night we went to a fancy restaurant, nightclub, milonga and tango. Katie had been working hard so she had gotten a$100 bonus award. We tried to spend it all but it was impossible even with dinner, champagne, nightclub tango, milonga and taxi tour including la boca barrio. I think we spent about half or $54.Image In the 70’s Argentina had been known for wild inflation, death squads and the Dirty war when tens of thousands of people just disapeared.
I’ll never forget I was in Spain when the infamous Argentine dictator Juan Peron died. We saw it in all of the newspapers.
Then we took a plane to Iguazu falls IGR and back to Brazil and an over night stay in Paraguay, Ciudad del Este not Asunción the capital. I had to buy the plane tickets at the airport using my Spanish.  Bought them the day before and then came back just to be sure there was space. It is a very popular place I think it was a Tuesday It was a small plane with the old stairs no jet way and the cockpit door was open the whole flight. Many people had never flown before so they just got up and started talking to the pilot, pre 911 of course.
The Iguazu falls straddle the border of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay. It’s a triple border. It is one of the most amazing places I have been in my life and I have been to some amazing places. Three times the volume of Niagara Falls. In Brazil they speak Portuguese of course and the Falls are know as the Cataratas de Iguacu.
From Puerto IguazuImagewe missed our bus to the falls. We should have just followed the crowd. You must see the falls from both the Argentine and Brazilian side. The views are quite different, although I now understand Brazil now charges Americans $150 for a
visa. Back then you could just cross back and forth across the border as many time as you wanted. The    view from Argentina is up close. The view from Brazil gives a better perspective of the immensity of the falls.
Misiones province We took a cab across the friendship bridge from Foz de Iguacu, Brazil to Puerto Presidente Stroessner now Ciudad del Este. Named for the cruel dictator who had ruled this land locked South American country with an iron fist since WWII(1954). Foz de Iguacu will play host to part of the ESPN Summer X Games in 2013.
ImageThat night we met a charming guy with Scotch whisky and a pick up date at a cool hotel with an outdoor restaurant and colored lights. It reminded me of Christmas even though it was August.
There was an outdoor  market and Katie bought a purse. Katie said, I never even knew Paraguay was a place and all of a sudden I was there. When we got back to Cincinnati Mr. Finn was sure I meant Uruguay but that was one place we hadn’t been, yet. I would love to take the hydrofoil from BA to Montevideo some day like in the movie Gilda with Rita Hayworth.

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Our plane to Peru LIM had mechanical trouble and was delayed one full day. That’s the way they do it in SA no planes today, come back tomorrow. Lufthansa flew over the  Andes and with a stop in Santiago SCL those mountains are so high it seemed the plane had just enough altitude to make it over them.

London:A Toby Jug for myself 1974

May Day Parade 1957. Left to right Georgy Zhuk...

May Day Parade 1957. Left to right Georgy Zhukov, Nikita Khrushchev, Nikolai Bulganin, Kaganovich, Georgy Malenkov, Vyacheslav Molotov and Anastas Mikoyan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

7/29 Monday London

Last day in London. I got up early today to get David a present. I think I have something for everyone now. I got a nice porcelain vase for my grandmother.

Finally found a Toby jug for myself. Harrods didn’t have any. Can you believe it?? After that I came back and went to a pub with Cindy to use the rest of my luncheon vouchers.

Flew back to Chicago on TIA, then back to St. Louis by bus. The longest bus ride of my life. I’m so excited. What a great trip! I had a great time and have so many new friends now. I can’t wait to tell my friends about it.

A week after I got home Richard Nixon resigned. August 1974.

FINIS! End of Post

Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev was born in 1894 to an illiterate peasant family in Kalinovka, a village near Russia’s border with Ukraine. To supplement his family’s meager income he began working at an early age, but despite this, and despite his father’s second job as a coal miner, Khrushchev’s family was unable to survive as farmers. In 1908 they moved to an industrial center in Ukraine, where young Nikita began working in a factory. It was the beginning of his activist career: at the age of 18, Khrushchev joined a group of workers who had organized a strike protesting working conditions. He was fired.

Khrushchev found another job but continued his activism, helping to organize strikes in 1915 and 1916. In 1917, after the Russian Revolution had ousted the Czar, Khrushchev joined the Bolshevik forces of the Red Army in the Russian civil war, serving as a political commissar. He was now a dedicated communist.

After the war, Khrushchev was given a series of political assignments and received his first formal training in Marxism at a Technical College. After graduation he was appointed to a political post in Ukraine, where Lazar Kaganovich, a protege of Joseph Stalin, was head of the Communist Party. Khrushchev joined Kaganovich in supporting Stalin in his power struggles against Leon Trotsky and Nikolai Bukharin. With Stalin’s success, Khrushchev’s career soared. In the 1930s Khrushchev was promoted from one political position to the next, until finally, in 1935, he became second in command of the Moscow Communist Party. In Moscow, Khrushchev oversaw construction of much of Moscow’s subway system, and in 1939 he became a full member of the Politburo.

Khrushchev’s rise to power coincided with one of the darkest periods in Soviet history: the Great Terror. During the 1930s, Stalin began a series of bloody purges to consolidate his power. The terror spread throughout the Soviet Union, and Khrushchev was part of it, denouncing several fellow students and workers as “enemies of the people” and willingly taking part in the extermination of the Ukrainian intelligentsia.

By the time Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union in 1941, Khrushchev had been sent to head the Communist Party in Ukraine, which put him near the front lines. He saw the devastation of war first-hand as the Germans routed the Red Army, then again as the Soviets turned back the Nazi advance.

After the war, Khrushchev was called back to Moscow, where he soon became one of Stalin’s top advisers. When Stalin died in 1953, Khrushchev and Nikolai Bulganin won a power struggle against Stalin’s successor, Georgi Malenkov, and secret police chief Lavrenti Beria. Beria was executed, and Malenkov was forced to resign. Bulganin became premier, but Khrushchev, in charge of the Communist Party, soon became the dominant figure.

Khrushchev’s leadership marked a crucial transition for the Soviet Union. From the beginning, Khrushchev set out to make the Soviet system more effective by curbing Stalin’s worst excesses. In an historic speech to the 20th Party Congress in 1956, he attacked Stalin for his crimes — acknowledging what many people believed, but which no Soviet leader had ever dared mention. What Khrushchev dared not mention was his own complicity in those crimes.

Khrushchev’s advocacy of reforms contributed to a groundswell of independence movements among Soviet satellite nations in Eastern Europe. While promoting change, Khrushchev would not tolerate dissent: he supported sending tanks into Budapest in 1956 to brutally suppress a Hungarian rebellion. The Iron Curtain remained in place.

In relations with the West, Khrushchev’s tenure was marked by a series of high-stakes crises: the U-2 affair, the building of the Berlin Wall, and the Cuban Missile crisis. At the same time, he was the first Soviet leader to advocate “peaceful coexistence” with the West, and to negotiate with the United States on reducing Cold War tensions.

By 1964, his reforms had alienated too many powerful Soviet constituencies. A group of conservatives led by Leonid Brezhnev ousted Khrushchev, and he retired to a dacha in rural Russia, where he died in 1971.

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Bairisch als Sprachbezeichnung bezeichnet den oberdeutschen Dialekt, der in Ober- und Niederbayern, der Oberpfalz, in Österreich (Ausnahme Vorarlberg) und Südtirol heimisch ist. Im heutigen Bayern gibt es daneben noch das Schwäbische, das Ostfränkische, das Rheinfränkische und das Thüringische. Bairisch war einer der Hauptdialekte im späten 8. Jh. Bei den sprachlichen Merkmalen fällt auf, daß die zweite Lautverschiebung im Bairischen besonders konsequent vollzogen worden ist.


Bavarian, as a language designation denotes the upper German dialect, which is spoken native in Upper and Lower Bavaria, the Oberpfalz,  Austria (with the exception of the Vorarlberg) and South Tirol (Northern Italy). In  Bavaria of today, there also exist the dialects of Swabian, East Frankish, Rhine Frankish and Thuringian. Bavarian was one of the main German dialects of the late eighth century.  What is notable, linguistically is that the second sound shift is particularly consistent in Bavarian.

Simply stated, the Bavarian dialect is not spoken exclusively in the German Land/state of Bavaria, where other dialects are also spoken, but also in other countries such as Austria, Slovenia and N Italy. (trans. tcg)

Does London remind anyone of Italy, 1974? 1974

7/27 Saturday London

Rome Piazza Navonna

Walked down Oxford Street today and then went to Harrod’s. I like going out by myself because I can do what I want. When I meet someone from the group I can stay with them awhile but I don’t feel obligated to stay with them. Harrod’s is really a fantastic place. I still can’t figure out its shape, but I think it’s square. When I ask people on the street where to get things, they name a few shops and then say “Try Harrod’s. It has everything.”

Went to Fortnum and Mason. What a fantastic store!

Men in morning suits assist people with their shopping. It’s really cute. The crowds are similar to those at Via Veneto, but not really. Anyone can walk along Via Veneto and window shop. Not everyone can or would come to Fortnum and Mason. People on Via Veneto are well dressed (those who buy), but in a different way. Some people send their butlers to Fortnum and Mason. No one would do that on VV. The FM crowd is more quaint the people are older and there are more women. Also, FM isn’t as crowed as VV.

The Kremlin Moscow

VV sells more clothes and other things than FM. FM is most famous for its food hall. Personally I like Fortnum and Mason better than the Via Veneto.

English: The Clock striking One at Fortnum and...

English: The Clock striking One at Fortnum and Mason (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I really liked Billy, the musical we saw. I thought I wouldn’t after seeing the pictures on the marquis. After the play Ann, Lisa and I went to Trafalgar Square and had a riot with the pigeons. I took a little boy’s picture and he thanked me in a cute way. When his sister told him people swam in the fountain on New Year’s Eve; he wanted to swim right away. I helped another boy fish tins out of the water.

The crowds at Trafalgar are different from those at Piccadilly. There are more English at Trafalgar and people of all ages. There are many more young people at Piccadilly. Many families come to Trafalgar. There are more typically English at Trafalgar and more children. From the above stories, I’ve decided people are friendlier at Trafalgar. I had no experiences with kids at Piccadilly. Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean I don’t like Piccadilly. Piccadilly is more a night place. I was there during the day and it’s really different; nothing happens. We saw no student hangouts or squares in Moscow, or places where people really hang out, but then Red Square was closed.

The Kremlin seemed really empty, despite the long line everywhere in Russia I wouldn’t call a museum, store, etc. a hangout. Those people were there for a different reason. The Piazza Navona is similar to Trafalgar. There were lots of kids there too, but not with their families. There was a street soccer game. There were old people too, but there were fewer people at the Piazza Navona than a Trafalgar.

Kremlin and Piazza Navona

For Dinner we ate at a Chinese restaurant. I had roast duck that was really good. I tried the girls’ food too: Sweet and sour pork and curry chicken, which was also good. I also had Chinese tea, strange but good. After dinner the girls left and I went to Piccadilly. I saw a building on fire and watched that for awhile.

From what I’ve seen and heard people say, England (at least London) is a lot like the U. S, besides having a common language and history we share many of the same problems: Inflation, housing, pollution, and energy. From signs in the tube it looks like they’re having trouble with mass transit (not enough employees). On top of it all they have Ireland, a sore thumb like Watergate that no one really understands or can explain. Maybe there were the same similarities in other countries, but because of the language barrier I didn’t notice them (not being able to communicate with ordinary people or read signs or newspapers).

7/28 Sunday London

Cheri Queen of the Tootses

Sunday a day to relax. My first day of breakfast since Moscow. I had Corn Flakes. Was it good! Went to Hyde Park with Cheri ‘queen of tootses (toots (toots) pronunciation like took n. Slang. Babe; sweetie. Girl or young woman) , Kim, Susie, Lisa, David and me. Made a hilarious pose with a statue (wait till you see the pictures). Went for a rowboat ride and had a ball. My first time in a rowboat. Ate lunch in the park. Went to speaker’s corner. Located on the corner of Park Lane and Cumberland Gate, opposite Marble Arch tube, Speakers’ Corner is the spiritual home of the British democratic tradition of soapbox oratory.

Every Sunday since the right of free assembly was recognised in 1872, people from all walks of life have gathered to listen to speeches about anything and everything… and to heckle.

The coherence of the speakers varies greatly as do the topics of discussion, but as a whole it makes for great street theatre. So, if you have a burning desire to share your opinions with the world, take something to stand on and start pontificating.

Although Sunday morning is the best time to visit, speakers can now be found on the corner throughout the week.

What are you waiting for?

We saw communists and socialists, but the most interesting was the anti-American. We had just been in the Soviet Union so we had lots to say.

We had fun defending America against him, along with other people. One of his points was that America didn’t send enough aid to countries like Greece, Chile and Bangladesh. Then he contradicted himself by saying we were involved where we shouldn’t be. He said we had no business in other countries like Vietnam. Basically, when we weren’t involved we should have been and when we were we shouldn’t be. Despite what he had to say, the fun was in arguing with him. Even though, I didn’t agree with him, it’s good he had a chance to say it. Some of his speech was sarcastic and funny.
He said he was a CIA agent sent to start revolutions and wars in other countries. When he started attacking Blacks a Black man came over from another soapbox and they started arguing. It was hilarious.

After speaker’s corner I looked at the artwork on the railings and ran into Mr. Cordell. I bought a beautiful acid etching of the Tower Bridge.

For dinner we went to Oliver’s. I went on the metro and passed right by it. The food was good and I liked the dessert, especially. I think Susie had a good time for her birthday. After dinner Kent, Phil and I went out to a Pub and had two pints of beer apiece. We talked and listened to people and watched two dogs playing in the pub, one was a cute bulldog. When we got back we all had to go to the John so bad it was funny.

Another day in London 1974

7/26 Friday London

Claude Monet

Tower Guard Beefeater

The tour today was one of the best we’ve had on the trip, despite the fact it was late. I slept so well last night I didn’t wake-up until 9:10 when I heard a lady yelling, “Has the tour been postponed? I thought, God I hope so. We have been having American style breakfasts here with bacon and eggs and corn flakes. We are staying in an apartment tower kind of thing with a common dinning area somewhere in London. Near the newly constructed BT Tower in the west end near Regent street.  I have been using the stairs instead of the elevator. I have developed a bad cough. Nolting told me to get something for it at the Chemist’s.

Our RAP is named Tobie he is a proper English gentleman with black hair and a beard. I’m still researching grocery stores. I went for a walk tonight with Shelley. We got lost on the way back and nice women helped us. When she was done she gave us a cheerio and walked away. Toby told us that phrase is not used much any more.

Proper Gentleman

Something new in Britain this year is currency reform. Great Britain now has a decimal system like the US with 100 pence to a pound. They no longer use the shilling, sixpence, farthing system with 240 farthing or 80 pence to a pound. The thing I don’t like about the pound is that it is worth about $1.60 so if something is 50p it’s almost a dollar. It would have been bad to miss this tour. I like the idea of not having to go back and forth for lunch all the time. We should have done that in some of the other cities. I really enjoyed many of the sites. I’m glad I got to see the Albert Memorial. accessed 2012 April 4. I’ve got to go back. I was sorry to hear that the Crystal Palace burned down in 1930, but Tobie(our RAP) said there’s a copy in Houston. I liked Westminster very much. O, Rare! Ben Johnson he’ll always have his name misspelled. Westminster is completely different from St. Peters. Westminster is gothic although some of the restorations are in other styles. Westminster has all kinds of famous people buried there. Mainly popes are buried in St. Peter’s. The popes are buried under the main storey in St. Peter’s; each tomb has a little chapel. Just below this window you find the grave of the Unknown Warrior which commemorates the many thousands killed in the 1914-18 war who have no grave. . In Westminster the people buried under the floor. People can walk over their graves, not so for the popes. Another difference: St. Peter’s is a Cathedral and Westminster is an Abbey. St Peter’s is under the authority of the Pope and the Catholic Church. Westminster is controlled by the Queen and is Anglican. The Popes are elected in the Sistine Chapel and the Kings are coronated in Westminster.

I’m glad it wasn’t crowded at Westminster. Chris a buxom, typically British lass and Toby’s girlfriend, said tours usually don’t see anything. We just happened to be there at noon so we got a special benediction.


Some of the most famous to lie here, include the poets John Dryden, Tennyson, Robert Browning and John Masefield. Many writers, including William Camden, Dr. Samuel Johnson, Charles Dickens, Richard Brinsley Sheridan, Rudyard Kipling and Thomas Hardy are also buried here.

Charles Dickens’s grave attracts particular interest. As a writer who drew attention to the hardships born by the socially deprived and who advocated the abolition of the slave trade, he won enduring fame and gratitude and today, more than 110 years later, a wreath is still laid on his tomb on the anniversary of his death each year.

Via Veneto
Rome, Italy

I didn’t get to see the jewels because of the bomb scare. It really messed things up. When we got to the gate guards wouldn’t let anyone out. I think it was just a scare, no real bomb. Someone said the bomb squad had been drilling, It was exciting, but I had to miss the jewels. The only things that didn’t mind staying at the tower during the scare were the ravens, because their wings are clipped. I’m having a good time here. We went to the Discotheque and I stayed late-then went gambling and won. It was so late there were no buses or tubes. We walked most of the way home.