Innocence and Religion

Cambodian Children in Mosque

Cambodian Child of Peace

Just a short post today…thought I would do some organizing of the thousands of photographs on hard drives and came across these two shots from Cambodia. One was taken at an outdoor Buddhist Temple and the other at a Cambodian Mosque. Children can teach us so much. The little girl just instinctively gave me the peace sign and the others were just having such fun jumping from one prayer rug to the other…laughing and giggling the entire time. To me, this is the beautiful essence of religion…peace for all, enlivening and elevating with a few giggles thrown in to be sure!
The divine in simplicity and innocence.

Haunted Houses, Hare Krishna and a 100 Year Old Princess

Time for a Tiara

Time for a Tiara

From One Princess To Another

From One Princess To Another

Past Meets Present

Past Meets Present

Love is Ageless

Love is Ageless

Tender Moments Between a Mother and Her Daughter

Tender Moments Between a Mother and Her Daughter

Mother and Son

Mother and Son

The Haunting Party

The Haunting Party

The Teacher and The Student

The Teacher and The Student

Hare Krishna

Hare Krishna

The Devotee

The Devotee

The Candle and The Veil

The Candle and The Veil

One would think there would be no common denominator to speak of with regards to a haunted house, a Hare Krishna Temple and a 100 year old princess but that is what makes sharing people’s stories so fascinating. Here is just the overview.

On Halloween in the year 1914, Ethel Marberger was born and her years have not been dull! Her life on 2nd and South was an advantaged one with her family controlling a large portion of real estate. She grew to be an accomplished artist creating beautiful Chinese watercolor paintings. Ethel met and married a man who was a leading Zionist and had just escaped capture by the Nazis in Europe before coming to the US. They raised four very accomplished children…Aladar was a major art dealer in New York City but unfortunately died of AIDS at a time when it carried a heavy stigma. Their daughter Elaine, now known as Davishakti, has lived over 40 years in India and is held in high esteem in Vrindavan at the Hare Krishna Temple. John became a doctor and Donna is a fashion designer living in California with her own line of yoga and travel wear called “b”.
So here we are, Halloween 2015, and all have come to celebrate 100 years of life with this feisty and loving artist, wife and mother. The nursing home transformed into a haunted house while Ethel was transformed with tiara and feathers into a princess. Her hand was tenderly held by her “boyfriend” Winnie as so many well wishes greeted her. A century of life definitely calls for more than one celebration so the next one was at the local Hare Krishna Temple where Davishakti was asked to teach the devotees. I have had the good fortune to photograph Ethel for the past several years for a piece regarding aging with grace and dignity. I have come to know her immediate family well and am now looking forward to the next celebration this weekend for many other family members and friends. One can never have too many parties for a woman reaching 100 and one can reach 100 by being surrounded by family, friends and love.

PetPT

 

Madison Can Swim!

Madison Can Swim!

 

PetPT

 

PetPT, NJ
https://vimeo.com/89858263

Video Link

 

One night, a call came in  from a great friend, Carolyn Hannan Bell who was very excited to tell me about a place she had just been to and thought the story definitely needed to be told.  After having made several visits, I was in total agreement and would like to now share this.

In a small strip mall located at 1900 Greentree Rd., Cherry Hill, NJ, Dr. Russell Howe-Smith has created a healing haven…a very special place filled with incredible care and compassion for animals suffering from previous abuse, injuries, arthritis and spinal issues. During the time I was there, I met Reisling who had been chained and had his ears cut off, Bubba an abused pit bull, Peanut a minute spit fire, Axle with only three legs and Madison who was blind and could no longer walk.  When Russ gently placed Madison in the pool and guided the movement of her legs, this dog came alive!  Carolyn’s sister Jacqui Canter,  after receiving a recommendation from her vet, brings her dog Annie here each week. Out of the blue, Annie had a neurological event and now can no longer walk. Jacqui comes here to provide Annie with the necessary treatment and the chance to experience movement again. The dedication I witnessed from Dr. Russell Howe-Smith and his staff as well as all of the owners was an incredible connection of love and compassion. PetPT’s mission statement is the following:

“Our goal is to provide our patients with the best possible quality of life.  We work to maximize the physical and emotional condition of our patients and to provide a comfortable caring community for our clients.  We believe that the relationship between pet and owner is, at its best, a source of infinite joy and pleasure. It can, however, be damaged by the extremes of chronic pain and disease.  Our practice exists to protect and nurture that bond by providing the best possible care for our patients and the most compassionate support for their families.”

Trust me when I say that everyone at PetPT truly embodies this goal. Those who are unable to tell us where it hurts or were helpless victims  are held with hearts full of love and strong enfolding arms.  All the owners expressed how much their pets had given to them so this was one way to now give back. “Compassion truly is their passion.”

For more information:  PetPT

Holi at the Bharatiya Temple

Holi Festival

Holi Festival

 

 

Holi Video Link  <iframe src=”//player.vimeo.com/video/89756373″ width=”640″ height=”360″ frameborder=”0″ webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen allowfullscreen></iframe>

 

Rather than being in the midst of falling white snow, I was thrilled to be in the midst of multi-colored powders falling over a thoroughly joyous crowd! Holi is the Hindu Festival marking the coming of Spring, light and hope and after this winter, it was so appreciated!  This exuberant festival also commemorates the immortal love of Krishna and Radha and is spread over 16 days in Vrindavan, India, at the temple of Lord Krishna. It is one long colorful love fest! Who would not want to photograph this?! When I was there a few years ago and happened to mention that I definitely wanted to come back for Holi, they all just laughed at me and told me I must not like my camera very much!  This year, I so wanted to travel with a friend, Tewfic El-Sawy, The Travel Photographer,  as he lead a photographic expedition and workshop to this sacred site (click on the link to see amazing photographs!) It was not to be but as fate would have it,  I received an special invitation through a student (Thank you so much Anika!) to come and celebrate with the local Hindu community in Chalfont, Pa. From the moment Conrad Louis- Charles and I walked in, we were taken right into the midst of the celebration.  We were offered delicious food from Bombay Spice – II (just looking at their website could make you hungry!) We were then escorted into a tent and instantaneously felt the spirit of community and just sheer fun!  Winter was finally over… and now it is time to CELEBRATE and that we all did!  As the day went into night, a bonfire was lit to chase away evil.  This was now a time for the Hindu people to reflect and offer gifts of thanks to the gods. Roses, oils, rice and coconuts which are considered the perfect food having the drink, meat and bowl together were the gifts given from their hearts.  While the people were offering their appreciation, I was offering my sincere gratitude for the welcome and the care people took when painting my face and not my camera! I am not sure my friends were as lucky! Finally, I was able to celebrate and photograph Holi!  Life is so good!

Bringing a Focus to Human Trafficking and Slavery

Inspiration

Inspiration

Inspiration

Inspiration

We can  never know how expansive the rippling reciprocal effects can be when we make the decision to use our talent for others simply  because we have been given so much. The VERY talented and generous  film makers of Stillmotion had no idea how one article in the Huffington Post and one decision would be transformative in so many ways.  The article related the story of Vivienne Harr, a nine year old girl  from Fairfax who saw the powerful and striking photography of Lisa Kristen documenting present day human slavery.  This one little girl believed that she had the power  to make a difference and so began her quest to raise $150,000 by simply selling lemonade. Others  then began to gather together to give voice to those who had none.  From one article on line, the film #STANDWITHME  was brought forth…from a little one’s belief and enthusiasm, $150,000 was raised.  The film makers discuss how this endeavor unfolded in a very honest and well done brief  video entitled, The Making of #standwithme  A Stand Against One of the World’s Darkest Evils.

Last Friday here in Philadelphia, the film had its premier.  It is one that should not be missed.  It provides a witness to what has remained in  the silent dark recesses of almost every country on earth.  I had no idea how pervasive this is. There are 27 million slaves in the world today…more than any other time in  human history.  It exists behind brick kilns, carpet looms and closed doors of motels. $90. is the average cost of a human slave around the world. Human trafficking is the third largest international crime industry behind illegal drugs and arms trafficking and reportedly generates a profit of $32 billion every year. The film provides the springboard to both knowledge and action. Paul Rice shows how poverty is intimately tied to the issue of slavery and speaks to the power we each have to cast votes with every dollar we spend when we shop.  Maurice Middleberg (originally from Philadelphia), Executive Director of Free the Slaves, educates villages and communities around the world how they can protect themselves from the chains of forced labor. It provides an awakening, a call and a challenge to share your voice and stand together.  What we do matters.

After attending the premier, the next day I was then fortunate enough to learn from these film makers as they took a small group through a day long, intensive and brilliant workshop entitled, Story Telling With Heart because as they say, “When you tell a remarkable story, the world opens up!” I sat at the feet of masters. They touched that knowing that for me, holding a camera and telling stories  is as life giving as breathing. Then the week unfolded. There is a saying that goes, “Nothing ever happens by accident!” Through sharing  about the movie,  I was invited to have dinner with a group of very articulate and dedicated young women from Cornell College who were here in Philadelphia.  After driving 20 hours through the night, they wanted to be of service to  women who were trying to break free from the bonds of sex trafficking.  The college students shared their favorite moments and most difficult ones.  They shared their great respect for these women and described their sheer strength of character in trying to break free even under the threat of death. The average age a teen enters the sex trade in the U.S. is 12 -14 years of age. According to the U.S. State Department, 600,000 to 800,000 people are trafficked across international borders every year.  More than 70 percent are female and half are children. Just this week in the Philadelphia news, there was an arrest of a man who forced and threatened multiple women into sex. Due to the very nature of  our discussions, the conversation from that evening must be held as a sacred sharing and honored, respecting the privacy of all. As I was leaving though, they pointed out all sorts of post-it-notes placed at eye level throughout the bathroom, bedroom and kitchen.  The women were breathing in these bits of inspiration when they began their day to then take that out to others.  Yes, we are stronger together and hopefully through many different conversations and conscious acts, we will join with those who are asking, #Standwithme!

The International Beauty Show, NYC

IBS, 2014

IBS, 2014

IBS, 2014

IBS, 2014

 

IBS, 2014

 

One week, I am perusing travel brochures from the NYTimes Travel Show and the next week, I am back up I95 to capture all that is new in the beauty and spa industry.  Tyra Banks said, “I love the confidence that makeup gives me.”  Roberta Gately said, “Lipstick is really magical.  It holds more than a waxy bit of color – it holds the promise of a brilliant smile, a brilliant day, both literally and figuratively.” I would say that thousands would agree with her.  After only two hours, it was a very tight squeeze to see all the latest and best from beauty insiders definitely breaking the 61,000 attendance in 2013. With over 500 exhibitors , IBS  is the longest running, professionals only beauty show in the nation.  The International Esthetics, Cosmetics and Spa Conference is the largest spa show in he Northeast and provides a complete spa business-building event for the thousands of spa and medical spa industry professionals who attend.  Some of the notable exhibitors included: Redken, Sassoon Academy, Essie, La Brasilliana, Farouk, Pibbs Industry, Brazilian Blowout,  Eve Pearl, Clarisonic, Hydrafacial MD, Farm House Fresh.  The hair trends for 2014 seem to be the unrefined, slightly disheveled looks that showcase natural textures.  Women were having their hair cut into the popular waif-like shapes, going from locks to ponytails with casual looks emphasizing understated elegance.  Modern romance still reigns with braids and sweptback chignons adorned with flowers.  Hair hues run the gamut from vibrant reds (thank heaven I am still current!) to bold platinum blonds and the ombre trend has transitioned to one where the color is placed higher up. Thousands of products were on display, from protecttive UV blocking hand guards for gel manicures to formaldehyde-free keratin treatments, oils from India and South American rainforests replenishing moisture in hair, styling tools, body wraps,  and many green and organic products. Eminence Organic Skin Care introduced its Artic Berry Peel and Peptide Illuminating system while Etienne Raff Paris  introduced products which are a combination of scientifically proven peptides with natural, non-traditional ingredients such as Dragon’s Blood extract, honey , Royal Jelly and Mimosa Tree extract. Technology has it’s place from lasers to a new app called “Go Panache Look-Book-Go” which allows the consumer to book an appointment on line and be able to locate their favorite professional if they happen to move to another location.  As I sit here writing, my ankle is wrapped in a Tourmaline Nano-Tech Auto Heating Wrap which creates a great deal of heat and promotes better blood circulation and detoxification.  It feels better already and the people selling this were just the nicest around!

I have had the great fortune of photographing the very poor and the very rich, presidents, popes and orphans, those who live on communes and share their clothes rather than buy new ones,  those who thread flowers for adornment and those who paint henna on their hands and feet in such exquisite designs.  I have photographed people who pray in temples, mosques, and churches. Life,  beauty  and cultural norms are so multifaceted.  It is like looking through a kaleidescope and constantly turning it to see the new patterns of light/darkness and color, each unique and a true reality for some while totally out of the norm for others.  For over 60,000 last weekend, NYC provided the professionals, products and proposals for beauty and wellness.  Definitely an interesting mix of light, darkness and color!

Sarasota Florida in a Weekend!

On the road in Sarasota, Florida

This story starts with a surprise cell phone call and a very happy ending! My brother and I live close to each other and are close but we haven’t lived under the same roof for a few decades (give or take some)! He had an idea…why didn’t the two of us go off to Sarasota, Florida for the weekend. Never having been to Florida..ever…”YesGreatWhenDoWeLeave” became one word!

The first thing that struck me were the incredible skies, constantly changing due to the two or three hours of rain each day we were there.
Siesta Keys beach was voted the number one beach in 2012. I would heartily add my vote to that. The sand never gets hot, the water is crystal clear and the waves seemed to be the perfect size for drifting and swimming! We were there every evening after the crowds left and it was the perfect way to end the day!

One cannot go to Florida without looking for alligators and or crocodiles! I can now proudly say that I know the difference between the two after riding the “Gator Gal” airboat at the Myakka River State Park. For $12.00, one can go out on a very leisurely and informative tour of natural wonders. There are also canopy trails and horse trails but we were on a time crunch and one always has to leave something to come back to!

Fall has worked its magic on our Philadelphia trees. Maples, oaks and walnut trees are now glorious shades of orange and gold. While in Florida, watching the spanish moss (Tillandsia usneoides…what can I say, I love “Google”!) draped over branches and gently swaying in the breeze is as calming as a meditative experience. It is a signature of the Deep South!

During the early 1900’s, 67,000 acres of what is now Sarasota and Longboat Key were purchased by
John Ringling to be used as the summer headquarters for the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. Hundreds of personal mementos as well as the world’s largest miniature circus is on display in the museum. One can walk through the opulent Venetian styled mansion of John and Mable, envisioning the huge parties and the famous guests who also walked through the same doors. Designed in the Italian renaissance style, the John and Mable Museum of Art houses his collection of over 600 painting, sculptures and tapestries. The entire Ringling estate is now under the auspices of Florida State University. What can I say, I had never been to Florida or a circus and in one weekend, I now felt fulfilled!!!

Back to the water now with Adventure Kayak. I was in the manatee playground and as my paddle went into the water, a family of manatees rose up out of the water. The term “gentle giants” is a perfect description. I loved being so close to them in their natural environment. Now my brother is a MUCH better athlete than I am and he “had my back” as I clumsily tried to maneuver my way through the maze of exotic mangrove tunnels. According the Discover, Science for the Curious, “Mangroves are survivors, due to elaborate root systems that sprawl above and below the waterline. These so-called walking trees coolly shrug off extreme heat and muddy topsoil deficient in oxygen and filter the salty waters of southern Florida and tropical Southeast Asia, where the majority of the 73 known mangrove species live. Mangroves also help other species survive, forming dense forests that shelter monkeys, kangaroos, and tigers as well as shellfish and brightly colored corals. Even humans benefit as impoverished 
coastal communities exploit the tree for food, lumber, and medicine. ”

Heads have to be down as not to hit a hanging black mangrove crab feasting away and paddles have to be close by as not to get caught in the complex root system. A difficult task while trying to capture the experience with a camera in one hand. A memorable experience for sure!

So even though my brother and I are so very different on issues related to politics, religion and philosophy, Florida was the perfect spot to reminisce, argue over who was the favorite sibling and enjoy our shared love for adventure! Where do we go next Tom?

Those Who Inspire and my attempt to honor them!

This will be remembered as the summer of inspiration for me. In the beginning of June, a former student showed me his power point presentation… a simple one with such a compelling message that frankly took me totally by surprise and truly touched me. In his brother he saw a hero. His brother is 12 years old and he can’t speak, can’t eat and has difficulty learning due to CDLS but Joe didn’t remain in the “can’t” category. He saw so much more and recognized all the lessons that his brother was teaching him. Joe created for his audience just a brief glimpse but this story to me, just called for so much more. He needed the tools to tell his story more fully and Kickstarter, a wonderful program that funds those with creative endeavors seemed to be the path we needed. http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1262482929/my-hero-my-brother-a-short-film. I am so sincerely grateful for all those who have visited the Kickstarter site and I am happy to say that in less than a week, our contributions total over $600. My sincere thanks also extend to the Patitucci family, to Beth and Paul and Joe and Andrew for their gracious welcoming (and feeding me) as we try to birth a short documentary on the lives of teenage boys and the impact of CDLS on the family.

Last week, I received a call from a friend who invited me to a Tony Melendez concert and perhaps I would be interested in filming this! Tony was born without arms due to the thalidomide his mother took while pregnant. In Nicaragua, he developed his love for music. His family brought him to Los Angeles to be fitted with artificial arms which he wore until he was ten and then decided to dispose of them because he could use his feet for so much more! Tony has gone on to travel the world, stand next to two Popes, be gifted with the First Inspirational Hero Award from the NFL Alumni Association and asked to sing our National Anthem at the fifth game of the World Series in 1989. He had a desire to enter the priesthood when he was in high school but due to the fact that he didn’t have an index finger and thumb, he was rejected (I could go off on this but I won’t!) but he has remained faithful to his love of contemporary music that speaks to faith, courage and inspiration and has taken it throughout the world and this past weekend to St. Thomas Acquinas parish in South Philadelphia… a truly vibrant parish that celebrates the rich ethnic diversity of its parishioners. The church came alive and I certainly was thrilled that I was there to film this.

So this summer I have been given the challenge and the grace to reflect upon those who strive not let expectations and limitations hold them back and hopefully, when I have something difficult ahead of me, as Tony said, “Just think of me!” Thanks Tony, I will!

Our Lady of Guadalupe: The Faithful Celebrate

Parishoner

Parishoner

Still in Prayer
City Procession

Over the past few years, some leaders of the Philadelphia Archdiocese have become known for very grevious offenses. However, this past week, I was able to witness what the spirit of the real church looks like. St. Thomas Acquinas is a multi-cultural parish located in South Philadelphia. Members are from the Indonesian, Vietnamese, Filipino, Hispanic, African American, Italian and Irish communities. This parish is microcosm of the world. Although struggling financially, all are committed to being a beacon of hope for the neighborhood and the vibrancy of support and welcome is so palpable.

Five centuries ago on a hill in Mexico, Our Lady of Guadalupe appreared to the poor and abandoned. Speaking their language she promised protection and inspired hope. On a small hillside in the freezing cold, roses bloomed. The Virgin told Juan Diego to gather the flowers in his peasant cloak (tilma). When the flowers were laid out in front of the Bishop, there appeared the image of the Virgin of Guadalupe which was miraculously imprinted on the fabric. This cloak of a poor man touched by grace can still be viewed to this day. Over time, she was declared the patroness of the Americas and has endeared the largest number of pilgrimages in the world. On December 11th, in the cold night air, the people of St Thomas Acquinas processed over an hour and a half to the cathedral to join thousands of others filled with the same heartfelt faith,belief and joy. It was so inspiring for me to see the strength and faith of the men, women, children, old and young from all different cultural backgrounds sharing in this celebration. These are the acts that should not go unnoticed. Hopefully the video provided will give an small insight into the tremendous spirit!

The Harpist: Another Way of Storytelling

As a visual storyteller, I have always been drawn to the power of the still photograph. One image can convey so very much and if strong enough, bring one to stop and breathe it in. I chose to create another way of relating the powerful and gentle story of Marilyn Lemke who is receiving chemotherapy for her second bout with breast cancer. Marilyn allowed me to come into her home and listen as she shared her life story. A former teacher who decided to play her harp at the bedside of those in hospice. It was there that she met Nancy Ostroff, a hospice nurse. Nancy saw first hand how soothing the music was and she and Marilyn became quick friends. Nancy began taking lessons from Marilyn every Monday. At other times, Marilyn has travelled around the world with Jerry Lacey while sharing a relationship spanning decades. Both were such valued and strong supports when Marilyn learned her breast cancer returned. They now sit by her side at every chemo treatment, doctors’ appointments and recently surgery to remove a brain tumor. Marilyn has made a choice to approach each treatment in a very gentle way . She visualizes each drop as a cleansing while playing her harp throughout. I had the great honor of seeing how her music brought a peace and certain joy to the infusion room at Fox Chase Hospital. Rather than stay in each small section of the room, curtains were drawn and patients were all talking. Before Marilyn began, the only sounds were that of machines and quiet whispers. Her music drifted in and melted that sterile, secluded environment. Marilyn is still very much a teacher by her gentle example. I was given a glimpse of very strong bonds of love, courage rather than fear and peace rather than war. I am so very grateful.

A Great Woman, Gentle Music and Loving Friends Standing Up To Breast Cancer

I met Marilyn Lemke by chance…at the Lancome Counter where she had just received a make-over sponsored by Fox Chase Cancer Center (although she is so beautiful without the make-up!) Marilyn was so easy to talk with. She related that this was her second bout with breast cancer and previously she saw it as a battle, this time around Marilyn brings her harp to each treatment and puts herself in the mindset of receiving a gentle cleansing. Marilyn is such an inspiration to me in the way she meets this challenge with courage, dignity and grace. She radiates a sense of peace. We became fast friends and I just knew I had to tell the story of Marilyn, her harp and her very loving friends, Nancy and Jerry.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Too many of us know friends, mothers, wives, sisters and brothers with this disease. May a cure be in sight.

2012 copyright Frances Schwabenland

In Celebration of Artists Around the World


On this rainy day in Philadelphia, I was going through my photographs and was drawn to the artists… those I met who brought color, soul and beauty into the world. Some were carrying on generational traditions. Some were doing it for survival while others just felt the need to share a gift and vision.The Italian street artists, the young girls who coax the very fine silk threads from cacoons in Cambodia and the Indian men who hand print designs on material…these are the transforming magicians who give the traveler another connection with place, spirit and people to cherish and remember.

Gentle Greatness

I believe there is a synchronicity to life. In an exquisitely unfolding universe, there is a plan and a purpose for all. Today was one of those days when a chance meeting turned into a truly inspirational day. I met Marilyn and her great friend Nancy, while just waiting for a salesperson. We got to talking and she related that she and Nancy play the harp for hospice patients and that she herself was going through her second bout with breast cancer. In order to make the best of this very challenging situation, Marilyn takes her harp for each session of chemo. Her great friends, Jerry and Nancy, accompany her to every Friday session. When Marilyn can’t play, Nancy takes over. I could not stop talking and thinking about this amazing woman and the strong bonds of friendship which surround her. I just knew I had to share her story, her courage and her uplifting spirit in the face of adversity. I am so very grateful to Marilyn for allowing me the priviledge to accompany and photograph/video her today while she received her chemo treatment. I have her music, video and photographs to gather together, but I just wanted to pass on the very beginnings of this day.

All rights reserved. No unauthorized use, distribution, sales, lending or duplication is permitted without written notice from Frances Schwabenland, copyright 2012.

Cape May, NJ /Multiple Exposure

Cape May is the home to beautiful Victorian homes, a lighthouse beacon, pristine beaches and enough stimulation for all those who “shop till they drop”! I previously did a post on the vintage archetecture but in this post, I wanted to try to capture and convey the mood which emanates from this summer beach town.

All rights reserved. No unauthorized use, distribution, sales, lending or duplication is permitted without written notice from Frances Schwabenland, copyright 2012.

The Rocky Statue: (My time lapse video and a two hour study!)

The iconic Rocky statue stately stands in front of the beautiful, Greek inspired Philadelphia Art Museum . This bronze icon of the underdog going up against all odds and achieving success seems to strike a chord in so many hearts. It is Philadelphia’s “David”. A photograph with this famed statue has become the siren call for tourists. I wanted to document this in a different way so off I went with a time lapse camera set to take a photograph every minute for two hours while I also stood and took individual pictures. One grandfather told me that the only thing his grandson from Florida wanted to see was this statue and to have his picture with Rocky on his phone. I found that the majority of people morphed into the Rocky pose. Others stood stoically as if to show, yes they had come to Philadelphia. Some dressed him in an American Flag while others struck a fighting pose. Some touched his “private parts” and another blew him a kiss. Even though our world renowned Art Museum was closed, I was amazed at the number of people coming up. But for me, the most incredible moment which seemed to sum it all up was when a man came up in a wheel chair. He was disabled but he got up out of the chair and even though walking was obviously very difficult for him, he made it to the statue and stood tall next to this inspiration of greatness and the hope of transformation. He didn’t need the steps, he had the statue and its meaning.

All rights reserved. No unauthorized use, distribution, sales, lending or duplication is permitted without written notice from Frances Schwabenland, copyright 2012.