St. Helena's Church

I am still on vacation in Beaufort, South Carolina.  I really do miss Geneva, but today, as I walk through these tree-lined streets, I am daydreaming about perhaps one day writing two part-time blogs that celebrate my favorite places on Earth.  Like Geneva Daily Photo, Beaufort Daily Photo has a lovely ring to it too, I think.

This is the of steeple St. Helena's (Episcopal) Church in downtown Beaufort, South Carolina, and the brick wall surrounding the adjoining cemetery.  The church was established in 1712, and the first church building erected in 1724.  The congregation will celebrate its tricentennial in 2012.

Uncle Bubba's

A quick side trip to Uncle Bubba's in Savannah, Georgia for lunch.  Shown here are the Shrimp and Grits I ordered, and they were GOOD!  I think this may well be my new favorite thing to eat, but I will need another bowl to be absolutely sure.

We had a terrific afternoon together, and especially enjoyed visiting with Uncle Bubba, who checked in on us while we were dining, and spent some time chatting with us in the parking lot outside.  I hope he remembers to tell his sister, Paula, we said hello!

You can try this lowcountry favorite for yourself!  Click here for the recipe!

Life's A Beach

Still on vacation, but missing you, Geneva!  After a day spent on the beach, the girls and their cousins have collected a king's ransom in sand dollars, shown here drying as the sun sets.


A small shop in Frogmore, on historic St. Helena's Island.  St. Helena's is one of the sea islands near Beaufort, and many argue it may be the site of one of the oldest European settlements in the new world.  The island was home to large plantations that produced indigo, cotton and rice, and were worked by a large slave population.  The blending of so many traditions produced the rich Gullah culture which is still in evidence today.

St. Helena's has retained its rural, agricultural character, and unlike many of the islands along the coast, is not dotted with gated resort communities.  Frankly, I think that is why I like it so much. There are a couple historic sites that I love to photograph, namely the ruins of the old Chapel of Ease, and the site of the former Fort Fremont, deactivated about a century ago.

They island may be best known as the location of Penn Center, a school which was established in 1862 for newly freed slaves. 


Lunch, Southern style. 

Pulled pork, sweet potatoes, squash, cornbread and iced tea.  The food at Sgt. White's in Beaufort is out of this world!  Which is a good thing, since with such a full plate, I won't be eating again, I don't think, for a couple of days!

Changes In Latitudes

For the past several days, I have been on vacation.  Unfortunately, the images of Geneva that I planned to show you this week didn't make it on vacation with me.

So instead, I bring you sunset in Beaufort, South Carolina.  My other adopted home town.  The South Carolina lowcountry is quite possibly (after Geneva, of course!) my favorite place in the world.


The Herrington Inn from the east side of the Fox River in Island Park. 

A Moveable Feast

On Sunday, the French Market opens up on South Street, in the parking lot north of the train depot.  There are many interesting vendors, bur for me, only two stalls truly evoke memories of my visits to Paris.

One is the antiquarian bookseller, who reminds me of afternoons spent walking along the Seine, and also hours spent hiding from the rain at one of my favorite Paris treasures, located at 37 Rue BĂ»cherie (5eme).  The other is this one, selling lovely damask linens that make me wish I were spending a morning shopping for fabrics in the 18eme (Montmartre), in the shadow of Sacre Coeur. 

There is something here for everyone, even if it is French in name only.  Maybe you will find your own little bit of Paris here

You Can Leave Your Hat On

"I myself have 12 hats, and each one represents a different personality.  Why just be yourself?"  (Margaret Atwood)

I spied this impressive bit of millinery as I waited for the train last week.  This woman, and about a dozen others, were all attired in red hats and purple clothing.  One or two went far enough as to accessorize with red shoes.  It was like Margaret Atwood's collection of bonnets (each with their own unique character) on parade.  Truth be told, one was wearing only a simple red headband in lieu of a flashy chapeau.  My teenager gave her very high marks for her comparatively subtle expression of conformity with her party.

Very Short Stories

They say Ernest Hemingway, on a bet, once wrote a short story in only six words, declaring it one of his finest pieces of writing.

I might be able to tell the story of this photo in only five:

My neighbor has a dog.

Awesome Blossoms

Despite the heat wave this week, I found these sturdy "flowers" in full bloom outside of the Paper Merchant on Third Street.

Not A Sound From The Pavement

Twelve o'clock.
Along the reaches of the street
Held in a lunar synthesis,
Whispering lunar incantations
Dissolve the floors of memory
And all its clear relations,
Its divisions and precisions,
Every street lamp that I pass
Beats like a fatalistic drum,
And through the spaces of the dark
Midnight shakes the memory
As a madman shakes a dead geranium.

T. S. Eliot


"It is not from ourselves that we learn to be better than we are."  Wendell Berry

In The Pink

Sort of an overcast day here in Geneva, and just far too hot and humid for a photo safari.  These flowers, planted by Geneva Beautification volunteers, seem to be tolerating the heat better than I am. 

From His Footprints Flowed A River

This sculpture stands just off of Illinois Route 25, on the former estate of George and Nelle Fabyan.  Like much of the diverse, and sometimes eccentric, statuary on the grounds, this work is likely attributed to the Fabyan's resident sculptor, Silvio Silvestri.

I have long been curious about the Fabyan Indian statue, but not just because it seems a little bit disconnected from everything else in the park.  In particular, I often wonder if it influenced, or was influenced by, The Eternal Indian (more commonly referred to as the Blackhawk Statue) by Lorado Taft.  Taft's towering statue, dedicated in 1911, stands on the banks of the Rock River in Oregon, Illinois, on land that was once part of the Eagle's Nest Art Colony.

The Colony itself operated on the summer estate of Wallace Heckman, a prominent Chicago attorney and generous patron of the arts.  Like Fabyan, Heckman was a successful businessman, and noted for his diverse interests.   Both men were profiled by Halliday Witherspoon in his book, Men of Illinois (1902), so perhaps it is not entirely unlikely the men knew or knew of each of other. 

Interestingly, the two statues may have a remote, six-degrees-of-separation sort of connection.  The renowned sculptor and medalist, Trygve Rovelstad, studied art at the studio on the Fabyan estate upon graduating from Elgin High School in 1922.  He later worked for Taft at his Midway Studio in Chicago.

What, if any, real connection which may exist between the two pieces, I cannot know for sure, but I confess that in my imagination, the vision of two wealthy eccentrics trying to outdo each via sculpture makes for an amusing daydream. 

Small Details

While walking home from the train station earlier this week, I noticed, for the first time, the detail on these sidewalk planters.

Bien Trucha

Dinner outside on the patio last night at local favorite, Bien Trucha.  The setting sun and the watermelon margaritas made for a beautiful summer evening.  And, as usual, the service was exceptional!

A Bug's Life

My daughter and I spent some time yesterday watching hundreds of butterflies at the Geneva Park District's Butterfly House, located west of town at Peck Farm Park.  I sat quietly on one of the benches for a pretty long time before this butterfly landed nearby.  If you haven't visited yet this summer, I hope you find some time to experience this peaceful spot for yourself.  The house is open daily, and the suggested donation is $2.00 per visitor or $5.00 per family.

(I think this one might be a Spicebush Swallowtail.) 

The Remains Of The Day

I took this photo at about 8:00 Monday night from the eastern end of the State Street Bridge.  That's the United Methodist church on the corner of Hamilton and Second Streets in the background. 

Carry Us Away

The Fox River looking north from the Island Park footbridge.

Blue Bench

Several members of my family are away from home this week.  It sure is quiet around here.

Geneva Cycling Grand Prix

Geneva played host to an exciting cycling event yesterday!  The 2011 Geneva Cycling Grand Prix was sponsored by local merchant, Bicycle Heaven.  For nearly 12 hours, seven separate races featuring approximately 600 cyclists, wound through the historic, tree-lined streets of Geneva.

The race attracted professional cycling talent from around the world, and was the second stop on the International Cycling Classic, which includes 17 consecutive days of  races throughout Illinois and Wisconsin.  For more information about the tour, click here.