I enjoy my weekends. And my weekend begins just as early as I can manage. I pile a lot of living into Friday! And as such, I missed Endeavor’s Los Angeles fly over.
I was in the Pasadena area, but Pasadena is a large city. The shuttle flew over my daughter’s house, my mom and dad enjoyed a sighting, and while Jay was working outdoors he could almost reach out and touch it. Me? No!
Although disappointed, I think perhaps it’s fitting that I would miss out. You see, I did not make the effort to go with my family when the Columbia 2 completed the 2nd Space Shuttle Mission, coming to rest in Palmdale, California, November 14, 1981.
The landing was scheduled for Saturday, and Jay packed our two children and his mother into our motor home and headed out on a Friday to be sure to witness the landing. I don’t know what important business prevented me from making the trip with them. I sadly suspect it was more about a busy young mother recognizing this was her big break–an empty house! Quiet!
They have wonderful memories of a major moment in space history. I have a nice souvenir button commemorating an event I didn’t witness.
But I learned my lesson! I do my best to follow anything that’s interesting or remotely newsworthy. I am willing to put myself out there to be witness to history when I can. Did you forget that I followed Michael Heizer’s 340-ton granite megalith on its journey to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art?
Do you want to see it shrink-wrapped before it arrived at the museum? I can refresh your memory here.
Although I missed the space shuttle this past Friday, later that evening I did make it to LACMA for Friday night jazz…and this was my first opportunity to enjoy a brief moment with Levitated Mass.
My apologies for the photography! My friend Ellen and I should have arrived while there was still light. But in my desire to take a short cut and avoid the worst of Friday night Los Angeles traffic, I decided to Mapquest a short cut. Dear family members, please don’t laugh too hard.
I anticipated being early enough to snap a good photo of the artist’s famous installation.
It would be such a wonderful thing if this late in life I developed a sense of direction. Instead, I rely on the printed word and that let me down. Thankfully, we pulled over and my iPhone navigator shortened the gap and we arrived in time to hear saxophone and woodwind specialist Louis Van Taylor. Sublime. Worth the traffic.
But the sun was setting, and to my surprise, the artist’s installation was without spotlight. For photo opportunity I was slightly disappointed, but the lack of artificial lighting made sense. It stands-or hovers–over a fifteen-foot channel, drawing visitors to walk beneath the pyramidal stone obscuring all light, blocking out all space overhead.
It definitely makes an impression, but arriving so late in the afternoon it was impossible to do it justice. I will return! And next time with the good camera!
But I can share another LACMA delight. Daylight museum visits fail to do justice to Chris Burden’s Urban Light.
More than two hundred restored cast-iron lampposts from Los Angeles County sit in LACMA’s front courtyard, open to the street, fully lit from dawn to dusk. We won’t discuss energy efficiency, okay? Let’s just talk about how striking and beautiful this is!
So listening to a great jazz combo in this beautiful setting of lights amid palm trees, part of an installation by Robert Irwin, designer of the Getty garden, made for a wonderful evening. Following a day of high temperatures, we simply relaxed and recognized that one way to better appreciate being part of an overcrowded almost combustible urban society is to take advantage of its artistic offerings.
It took a little planning and effort to get across town at rush hour. But the reward was a lovely evening. And it was the perfect prelude to a very busy weekend. Aren’t older people supposed to slow down? Maybe next year.
After a fully active weekend I’m ready to go to work Monday morning. I don’t sing “Manic Monday” with the Bangles. I go to work to calm it all down. I’ll sing Lindsey Buckinghams’ lyrics, “Monday morning you sure look fine!”
Here’s to a new week.
“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.” Ralph Waldo Emerson