A Brief Visit to Columbia, SC

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I was down in Columbia last weekend. I managed to forget my Ben Irving postcards, but I did check my database against whatever images I could find, and most of the sites included were torn down. This wasn’t the first time I had run into that issue, but it was pretty dispiriting. Downtown Columbia has a lot of great things going on, as both the state capital and a major college town. My favorite building (and beneficiary of benign neglect) is probably Tapp’s Arts Center at 1644 Main Street. According to the official history, it was built in 1940. Irving went to Columbia at least four times (1936, 1938, 1940, and 1941), so he saw the growth of that block as the department store went up.

il_340x270-1480314154_8sc4Here are a couple of online resources I found about two of them: the Jefferson Hotel and the Hotel Wade Hampton. The namesake of the latter is indelible to antebellum South Carolina history, and I’m just learning about the Hampton family now. Their plantation Southeast of downtown Columbia, Millwood, was also featured on one of Irving’s postcards and remained a tourist attraction for over a century after Sherman’s raiders torched it in 1865. The columns depicted on the postcard and various easily-searchable photos from the 1940’s were all that survived of the estate (one of which toppled in 1930, leaving five standing). On the way out of town, I drove down to the site, which sits behind a private fence across from a Target Plaza on the outskirts of Columbia. As the sun was setting, I drove down Woodlawn Avenue slowly, trying to catch a glimpse of anything through the trees. No luck, unsurprisingly; the Millwood site was too far West of anywhere visible. It seemed like everything was still named after Wade Hampton, including the private road leading to the old site and the public park off of Woodlawn where a bunch of young African-Americans played basketball. The site owners still give tours monthly, though all that’s there to see are decapitated pillars slowly being reclaimed my nature. Meanwhile, up the road, Columbia’s downtown grows fast; the Old South vanishing as the New South booms. Though he may not have realized it at the time, Ben Irving’s Southern journeys afforded him a glimpse at a South, albeit paralyzed by Jim Crow laws, limping into modern America. Today, like many Southern cities, it’s at the forefront.

Thanks for reading! Here’s a photo of one of their giant Gamecock statues on Gervais Avenue. Some colleagues goaded me into climbing onto this thing during the 2016 SEDAAG meeting. I don’t want to talk about it.

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Did YOU Have to Explain ‘Blossom’ to Your Students Today?

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In case any of you were wondering, yes my PhD is hard at work, discussing the dated early-career arc of Joey Lawrence to a group of confused students in my Population Geography class. Let me backtrack and explain how it came to this.

The University of Tennessee opened a 1906 time capsule left entombed somewhere in the Estabrook Building, one of my favorites on campus (and slated for demolition). I watched it on their Facebook Live video feed with my Population Geography students before they took their final exam this morning. I also paid attention the livestream of comments, which were a heady mixture of demands they stop blabbing and open it already, self-deprecating “jokes” about Tennessee Football, and (after they opened it and found… desiccated nothing) righteous anger and Geraldo Rivera references.

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They historians on hand, including my colleague Bob Hutton (who would no doubt appreciate that last link), did a great job recovering from the disappointment. They had a comprehensive catalog of the items the 1906 crew left in the buried box, most of which had been preserved lovingly in the UT Archives behind them. They also took this opportunity to reiterate the value of well-maintained and funded archives, a sentiment upon which I’ve doubled down on multiple occasions.

Another curious byproduct of this experience was the seemingly inevitable reminscing about the Nickelodeon time capsule, which Mike O’Malley and Joey Lawrence buried in Orlando, on live television, on April 30, 1992. It was moved when Nickelodeon studios moved in 2005, but it is still slated to be opened on April 30, 2042 – fifty years to the day after it was buried.

The first epiphany I had was that 1992 was 26 years ago. 2042 is in 24 years. Society is more than halfway to the finish line of waiting to unearth this sealed box of early 90’s ephemera, most of which is readily available in thrift stores and vintage shops. Popular movies on VHS. An Orlando-distributed issue of TV Guide with Burt Reynolds on the cover. A hat embroidered with “WHOA! ’92” in honor of Joey Lawrence, then at the height of his teenybopper fame.

The latter item made me and an older student in my class (three years my junior) laugh out loud. When I saw the younger students looking on in confusion, I informed them that once upon a time, there was a show called Blossom that helped catapult their teenage cast to fame. I never watched the show, so I forgot that it starred Mayim Bialik , who is still incredibly famous as a star on The Big Bang Theory, perhaps the worst and most culturally caustic show ever produced (not a personal knock on Bialik by any means).

gi_153511_green20gak20lo20resIt’s impossible to predict these things, but it wouldn’t surprise me if the video camera they put into the capsule (after being unable to eject the tape) wound up being the most valuable thing upon unearthing in 2042. That, or the Barbie Doll in it’s original packaging. Or, maybe even the tube of Gak, a sticky slime compound cross-promoted with Nickelodeon shows whose name, somehow, functions as a stand-in for cocaine. You can’t make this stuff up.

So, in conclusion, time is like sands through the hourglass; I fear I may blink and it may be time for Mike O’Malley’s great-grandson to crack open that thing LIVE on YouComvrizoncasTube Mentalscreen Googlevision. There are more important lessons here, though, which can be applied to our experience from today. First, keep your archives funded and well-maintained by enthusiastic historians and lovers of material culture. Second, whenever your university gives you the opportunity, pull up a local Livestream to watch with your students. It may pull everyone on board, even temporarily, with campus civic life, and you never know what cultural revelation you may find, even if the capsule is empty.

Re-Photography in the Midwest: Indianapolis | Cadiz, OH | Cleveland

Over Spring Break, a friend and I headed up to the Southern Great Lakes Region on a road trip. I brought along a few selections from the Ben Irving postcard collection. Here is what came of that.


INDIANAPOLIS

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Irving mailed this one from Indy to family in Hartford on the evening of September 23, 1934. The caption reads “Obelisk of black granite in the INDIANAPOLIS WORLD WAR MEMORIAL PLAZA AT INDIANAPOLIS showing 100 foot pink marble basin of electric fountain illuminated.” I always find the different ways objects reference the Great War interesting, considering how in 1934 the building blocks for World War II were in place but it was not yet imminent. I suppose it was common, more than fifteen years on, to refer to the Great War as ‘the World War.’ I wonder if the terminology differed depending on where it was published.

Also noteworthy was this card’s crude illustration and its unique publisher. Rather than the nationally oriented Teich Company, this card was printed and distributed by a local concern: the DeWolf News Co in Indianapolis. Strangely, this doesn’t turn up in a search for DeWolf in the Indianapolis Library Postcard Collection here. The artist seemed to want to depict the underlit fountain, which I’m sure would be running in full vigor during the summer, but what came out was a botched, blotched depiction that looks closer to how a schoolkid might draw fire. The obelisk at attention also appears to be dark blue with a golden triad on top.

At any rate, this shot was challenging. Thankfully, my smartphone’s camera has a smart iris/shutter tandem. I think I took this around 2pm, right before we left town and right when the sun was sitting almost directly above the obelisk’s tip from this vantage point. It took a couple attempts, but it came out. Here are a few outtakes where I played with card placement and focus.


CADIZ, OH

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Irving mailed this postcard home to Brooklyn from Wellsburg, WV (right across the state line) on December 16, 1936. The card was published by the Cadiz News Agency. His note on this one was pretty lengthy, asking my grade-school aged grandmother if she had been behaving. He also mentions “remember Clark Gable the actor was born in this town. His picture is all around here. Interesting.”

At the time Irving sent this card, Gable was probably the biggest star in Hollywood. Today, Gable’s birthplace and an annual festival there every February are the depleted town’s two biggest meal tickets. Though he was born there, he wasn’t from there, technically. At least, this was what Cadiz native Jamie Miller told me when we stopped to chat outside of her Ohio Valley Winery. Miller also told me that the vacant lot across the street from the Court House building (whose roof most likely provided the vantage point for this postcard) was occupied until a few years ago by Mr. Fish, a seafood joint torn down sometime over the past two years. My friend and I had to push on to Pittsburgh (as the sun was obviously setting), so we couldn’t stick around, but if you’re ever passing through Cadiz, check out their Winery.

We pulled into Cadiz with about 20 remaining minutes of sunlight and I did my best to get the photo you see above while it was still recognizable. Most of the features in the postcard are still visible, including the statue in the foreground. Here are a few of the other shots I took in the vicinity.


CLEVELAND

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This souvenir packet, mailed to Brooklyn in October 1938, gave me so much material to work with. First of all, seeing Cleveland referred to as “The City of Industry and Refinement” invites a whole bunch of jokes about its de-industrialization. Of course, that’s been done to death. The cover features a vantage panorama of Public Square and Terminal Tower, which you can see in the blurry background of the photo above. The May Company Building, the white structure next to my thumb, now houses a Community College and a Taco Bell Cantina (a late-night Taco Bell that serves alcohol… what a time to be alive).

The packet had a slew of information about Cleveland’s then-recent development. It doesn’t mention anything about the May Company, but it does detail the function of the Terminal Tower and the network connected through the unified terminal, often called the “Gateway to the Continent” at the time. The only other featured site I was able to find nearby was the Public Auditorium, a massive building located next to the Fountain of Eternal Life. Though we couldn’t talk our way inside, I did snap this from a platform atop the submerged Convention Center across the way:

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From what the desk guy told us, the interior was undergoing some work and was closed to the public. They could still hold events in there, however… he mentioned something about wrestling. No idea. Hopefully, next time I’m in town I’ll be able to make an appointment to recreate the interior shot featured here.

According to the booklet, the Civic Auditorium went up for $15,000,000 in 1922, which converts to $220,997,930 today, which is absolutely insane. The packet described it as “the finest and most serviceable municipal auditorium in this country…[with] acoustics [that] have been declared perfect.” Additionally, it describes a $100,000 pipe organ ($1.7 Million today) with over 10,000 pipes and 150 direct speaking stops. I’m not an expert on pipe organs, but that sounds massive. Here are a couple of shots I took around the lobby:


If you’re from any of these locations and have any good stories, pictures, or links to share, leave a comment! If you haven’t spent any time in any of these cities, make it a point to check them out, even if it’s just for the opportunity to live más in an old department store building.

Speaking of Cleveland department stores, we paid a visit to the house from A Christmas Story, which I will hopefully get a chance to write about soon. The visit couldn’t have come at a better time, since I will be introducing film geography to two of my classes in the next few weeks. What a perfect case study.

Anyway, have a great week, everyone.

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Checking in Again with the Farragut Hotel

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A little over a year ago, I joined Knox Heritage so I could attend an open house of the under-extreme-renovation-at-the-time Farragut Hotel building in downtown Knoxville. I hadn’t been able to track down any of the hotel’s official records from 1938 and 1940, the two occasions I have evidence to believe that Ben Irving stayed there. The work that the contractors and development company had been doing, even at that point, was pretty astounding.

A few Fridays back, many of us had the rare opportunity to do another walk-through. It was impressive how much progress had been made. One of my favorite points that owner Rick Dover mentioned was that, although they were building a full kitchen for a morning breakfast buffet, the new Farragut would not have an in-house restaurant. There are too many great restaurants within walking distance, and they were encouraging guests to actually get to know the city around the hotel – a sentiment I can get behind. Here are some photos from the visit.

 

The building’s official re-opening as the Hyatt Place at the Historic Farragut Hotel is slated to be weeks away, which means that workers are scrambling to get all the holes filled and everything else in working order as I type this. The Knoxville News-Sentinel interviewed the new General Manager (who moved his family from Austin to come and run the show) and gave a pretty good bullet-point history of the building on their site here.

New Article Published in ‘Arts and the Market’ Journal

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aamcoverJust a quick announcement that I have a new article out this week! I wrote a piece about the idea of the vinyl record as a souvenir for the Emerald Publishing journal Arts and the Market. Thanks to the editorial staff for helping me sculpt this one, which originated as a research paper for a seminar on tourism. I drew equally on some older MA thesis research on the marketplace around vinyl as well as some PhD research on the seismic legend around harDCore.

Sonnichsen, T. (2017). Vinyl tourism: records as souvenirs of underground musical landscapes. Arts and the Market 7 (2), 235-248.

You can check out this issue as well as prior issues of Arts and the Market on the Emerald Insight page here. Depending on your institutional access, you may be able to find the HTML or PDF version of the article directly from there. If not, then don’t hesitate to contact me and I can help get you a copy.

Ben Irving Visits Historic Westwood Tomorrow (9/15) at Noon

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I’ll be bringing my presentation about the life and somewhat-unintentional legacy of Ben Irving (and our collective digital heritage) to Knox Heritage tomorrow for their ‘Lost & Found Luncheon’ series. This will be my first time presenting about Irving in Knoxville since I presented a (heavily truncated) version of the talk at Pecha Kucha last November, and my first time presenting the full version since Western MA last Thanksgiving. I’m very excited to bring this to Historic Westwood.

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More info on the event is available at their website, which I’ll paste below. You can also RSVP to the Facebook event, which I found just now.

Lunch is available on a first-come, first-served basis at 11:30 a.m. The talk will begin promptly at noon. Please RSVP to Hollie Cook at hcook@knoxheritage.org or at 865-523-8008. FREE. ALL ARE WELCOME.

‘Exploring Europe’ Preview: The Time I Got Very Lost in Segovia

CIMG9195This fall, I will have the privilege of teaching my second 300-level Geography course at the University of Tennessee, and my first focusing specifically on Europe. I am still in the teeth of designing the curriculum, but I have been enjoying combing through my Europe travel archives for possible lectures and lesson plans. I’ve already found at least four places of interest for separate case studies, one of which I’m excited to share here:

The Time I Got Very Lost in Segovia

In July 2015, I took a weekend trip to Madrid to see some friends in the middle of my fieldwork month in Paris. After spending time in northern France, it truly struck me just how off-center Spain (particularly Madrid) was from the socio-economic core of Europe (clustered between Paris, Frankfurt, and the Low Countries). Prior to this trip, Spain had always been my base of travel and tourism in Europe, so it never really hit me how relatively distant Spain was from the core of the continent. It wasn’t necessarily a positive or a negative attribute; it was just the first time it hit me.

On my second day there, I saw my hosts off to work and walked over to the nearby RENFE station. Apparently, Spain (or at least the Capital region) had upgraded its regional rail system a bit since I had last visited in 2009. The most profound difference was that, because I took a commuter bullet train up there, it dropped us off in a brand new, state of the art, station in the middle of nowhere. In 2009, my train stopped at the station on the south side of town, a lengthy walk from the Cathedral and Aqueduct but still walk-able. Because I was leaving Northern Madrid, I was taking an AVE train to the specialized AVE station, which had clearly been built within the previous few years. It stood in the middle of a giant pasture off of the highway, connected to downtown Segovia by incredibly inexpensive shuttle buses. I got in line to wait for the shuttle, eager to get there realizing that trying to walk would end with me recreating the opening scene from Paris, TX.

CIMG9180On the shuttle, I met a friendly newlywed couple from Massachusetts who complimented my Red Sox cap. I quickly admitted that I’d shifted my allegiance to the Nationals, but still loved being from New England and I’d had the hat forever. We broke into conversation about our experiences in Spain over the years. He explained that he was a Spanish teacher who periodically led high school trips there; his new wife had never been, so there was little doubt where they were going to spend their delayed honeymoon. When we got to the Aqueduct, we grabbed coffee and I told him that the reason I fell in love with travel, geography, and Spain at large was because I went on one of the high school group trips that he fought administrations and budget cuts to lead. Even though none of us had ever met before, it felt strangely full circle to be back in Segovia with a Spanish teacher from New England, talking about the importance of foreign language education. Tragically, I have forgotten both of their names. I probably wrote them down somewhere, but it’s been two years. I am pretty sure I gave him one of my cards, but I know how easily those get misplaced. On the outside chance that anyone who sees this knows these kind people, let me know.

After we said our goodbyes, I honed in on my mission for this visit. Ever since I first visited Segovia in 2000, a little cathedral outside the city walls had piqued my curiosity. My sense of perspective was a little off, so I assumed that it was a few kilometers (not an impossible walk) outside of the city walls, next to the Alcazar. Keep in mind here that I did not have an international data plan, so unless I could duck into or saddle up next to a cafe or business with free and open WiFi (a rarity in any tourism epicenter), I was travelling largely unmoored by technology. Strangely, it felt like 2000 all over again.

Here is the spoiler: the little cathedral, which was called La Iglesia de la Veracruz (simple enough) was actually not even one kilometer outside of the city’s northwestern entry point; it turned out to be, as I would find out later, sweaty and exhausted, about a five minute walk back into Segovia proper. It just seemed like a mysterious little outpost, a tiny monastery-looking thing residing in my memory on the outskirts of the city. In 2000, when we were touring the Alcazar and looking out over the vast, beautiful plains that surrounded the town, I was really into Sierra Role Playing Games like Quest for Glory IV and my all-time favorite, King’s Quest VI. La Iglesia de la Veracruz reminded me of those outposts your character would encounter after screens of vast nothingness. Somehow, you needed to get your character into that outpost, because somewhere in there was a key to your journey, or at least a weird but friendly loner who had a valuable piece of information for you.

If I had walked to the Alcazar, then I may have spotted the church from the city’s northern wall. However, I wandered along a road toward the city’s western expanse, stopping at the Bar Los Claveles for some tapas. Further down el Paseo Ezequiel Gonzalez, I saw an interesting set of signs, which included a fancy view of the city’s southern wall and a… Jewish cemetery?

I headed further out, not realizing how desolate the landscape got so quickly. Undeterred, I kept going, convinced that this would turn into a ring-road that would hook around the Alcazar right to this mysterious little church I’d been wondering about for almost two decades. What I found wasn’t just a Jewish cemetery – it was a Jewish necropolis.

As most of you know, the Spanish regents Ferdinand and Isabella cast all Jews and Muslims out of Spain in 1492 as part of their historically short-sighted decree to “unify” the Spanish peninsula under their Catholic God and a strange new law of the land that somehow had no use for a middle class. This meant that this cemetery predated 1492, which was interesting in itself. The fact that Judaism was essentially put in exile by a despotic order less than one kilometer from where this necropolis sat made it even more geographically and symbolically unbelievable.

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I took this picture of the castle where Ferdinand and Isabella ruled standing less than 500m down the hill from a Jewish necropolis.

I continued down the road, spotting a faded painting of Marty Feldman as Igor on a rock outcropping (see above). I’m glad that Mel Brooks’ influence is still as pervasive in Spain as it is in the States. Granted, it could have been American street artists who painted it, but I’m going to assume it was locals.

And then I kept walking. And walking. And walking. The city’s walls and all signs of tourism infrastructure (the shuttle bus routes) started to disappear. The cloud system I saw on the horizon wasn’t getting close enough to protect me from the sun’s searing heat. I wandered by what felt like a portion of Segovia’s hinterland; I stopped to take a photo of a shuttered plant of some kind. After what felt like another kilometer, I finally came to a right turn. I saw a restaurant that had a few cars parked in front of it, so I decided to stop in and see if anybody had any idea what I was looking for, and where I could find it. Bear in mind that I was covered in sweat and people rarely, if ever, just walked in there on foot from the walled city over three kilometers away.  After looking at this area on Google Maps, I remember that this restaurant was called San Pedro Abanto, and it was part of an old Inn. I ordered a Coke and asked the young woman at the bar about this little church. She started asking me some specifics that I did not know the answer to, but fortunately, a group of elderly folks was leaving lunch and they overheard my question. One older woman told me the name of the church, and that I had to walk a few minutes back and take the road up the hill to my left. I thanked everyone profusely, too grateful that I had directions to realize how much more walking that entailed.

As I headed up the road for the next two-kilometer stretch, the clouds that I had spotted an hour earlier were now overhead. I took a few more pictures of the sky, which now looked stunning, draped over the scenic hillside. Then something occurred to me; I was probably about to get soaked. My fourth trip to Segovia had already been my most interesting but had been veering towards officially becoming my worst. By the time I reached the next stop, a little township called Zamarramala (HOW HAD I WALKED TO ANOTHER TOWN?), I had walked at least 5 kilometers due to a wrong turn and didn’t even have any disease research to sponsor. I wound up stopping in yet another restaurant, an empty bar built next to a yellow train car.

CIMG9221All I remember was seeing a placard having to do with Antonio Machado, the legendary Generation of ’98 poet. I went inside and had a similar conversation with the woman behind the bar, asking her if she could call me a cab if it started pouring. Fortunately, the rain held off and she told me I could get back to Segovia proper (and the little church) following the road headed Southeast. The clouds started to pass, so I set back out on foot.

After another kilometer back in the direction of the Alcazar, I reached the crest of a hill. There it was. La Iglesia de la Vera Cruz. It looked just as secluded, mysterious, yet oddly inviting as I had remembered it for all those years. I took a moment to be furious at myself, seeing how close it was to the North wall of the Alcazar – I had left the city on the wrong side. As it turns out, I could have also doubled back over a hill with another landmark cathedral and saved myself a solid hour and a half of walking. But what would the fun have been in that? I chose to look at the bright side and reflect upon the random spots outside the city I would likely have died never knowing existed had I not taken that stupidly wrong turn past the Jewish Cemetery. Writing this now makes me want to go back to San Pedro Abanto someday for a proper meal, in fact.

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I walked past the church and into its nearly empty parking lot, save for one small car. I noticed there was an older man sitting in it. Strange, I thought. The church didn’t appear to be open, so I paced around it a few times. I felt somewhat dejected, going through all that I had to find this place and then finding it closed. I wasn’t shocked, though – I had no idea what it was called, and even if I had it would have involved a laundry list of complicated steps to contact them and ask if they were “open.” Did they even sell anything besides the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit? It didn’t seem to be much of a tourist destination, dwarfed by one of Spain’s biggest tourist magnets less than one kilometer down the road. As I rounded the opposite corner back toward the parking lot, I thought – at least I got to see it up clo-

The man was out of his car. He was standing on the ledge next to his parking space, looking out into the gigantic ravine with his hands in his pockets. Despite how many strangers I had engaged with in two languages that afternoon, I was getting a bad vibe from this man. He acted like there wasn’t a stranger there, wandering around and looking at the building inquisitively. I paced around and took a couple of photos, thinking that maybe I should leave. Without looking at me, the man turned, got down off the giant curb next to his car and walked toward the church door. He produced a key – a big lunk of a key.

‘Wait,’ I thought to myself, ‘Is this…’

He unlocked the massive door, slipped inside, and closed it behind him.

I stood there for a minute, rethinking my impending decision to walk back to the city wall. For all I remember, I could have boded my time by pacing around the church again. I had a lot of nerve I needed to conjure in order to go up and knock on that door. I was thousands of miles from home and I had nearly worn out my legs getting to this place, nearly collapsing from dehydration in the process. 17-year-old Tyler would have been furious if 32-year-old Tyler finally got to that little church on the outskirts and didn’t get inside. I walked up the steps, reached up, and knocked on the door twice. Three times.

After a pregnant moment, I heard something jostling the other side of the door. CLICK. The inset door opened; the quiet man saw me, said “espere” inaudibly, and shut the door immediately.

Uhhh. Huh. Had I just blown my chance? Or did I do something (read: existing) to annoy him and shut me out of the church? Either way, for the next 15 seconds, I was crushed. If I could have heard him better and he had enunciated, I would have realized he just told me to wait. As I turned around and stepped down from the stairs onto the parking lot, I heard the door creek open again. I turned and practically ran in the door. The quiet old man was sitting in a white booth, a box office on the left of the entryway, reading a newspaper and eating a sandwich. I wanted to minimize my interaction with this person, but I also wanted to avoid doing anything (read: breathing) to aggravate him even more. I saw a vague price guide, so I pulled out my wallet and a few Euro coins. “Eh, es gratuito” he said, waving his hand dismissively without even looking up from his paper.

CIMG9242At the risk of sounding sacrilegious: holy crap, I was inside that little church. After 15 years of wondering about it, I had finally made my way inside. I had to compose my thoughts for a second as I pulled my camera out, making sure that I had turned off the flash. The last thing I wanted, after clearly bothering the old man in the booth next to the door, was to give him an excuse to kick me out. I walked a circle around the pulpit, reading through some of the historical displays that surrounded it. I even took a selfie with a mannequin dressed as a nurse from the Guerra Civil. For those of you  who are curious, there are a lot of better-quality shots from the interior of the church on Wikimedia commons here. I’m still trying to discover what those red flags with the white arrows pointing inward are supposed to represent. It didn’t feel quite like the Church saw a whole lot of revenue from tithes anymore; it felt like a living memorial geared toward curious foreign visitors like me. The quiet man in the box office hardly had any game-winning strategic advice for me, but he did save me a couple of Euro by waiving the admission fee, so maybe he was sent out of some early-90s RPG. Either way, it was worth that trek, though next time I’m taking the short cut.

 

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I may need to lay clear my Spanglophilia on the first day of class, considering how its still the country where I’ve spent the most time outside the United States. Sonically, the course will probably include music from all over peninsula, including Asturian bagpipe jams, stereotypical Sevillano flamenco-style crooning, and even Malaguense power-pop from our friends in Airbag. One of my students contacted me from Basque country, where she is currently working on an archaeological field expedition. You can read her blog updates here.