Tuesday, November 12, 2013


Sunday morning started out with breakfast at Nudy's in Wayne - quite the favorite place among the locals. I had the pumpkin bread french toast. My thinking was that I wanted to eat something that I'd never had before, that I'd never seen on a menu before. I enjoyed it. At the time. But the gluten made me miserable for the rest of the day. Sorry: no happily ever after there, as much as one might like there to be.

After breakfast, we headed for Brandywine River Museum which showcases the work of Andrew Wyeth, his father N. C. Wyeth, his son Jamie Wyeth as well as N.C.'s teacher, Howard Pyle. I had encountered Wyeth years ago and loved his work, particularly those paintings he did which depicted Pennsylvania stone barns and weathered houses. When I worked for my dad in the early 80's, just out of college and living in my own house, I acquired a framed print of Andrew Wyeth's "The Quaker" (see below) which hung in my living room over the fireplace. When I joined the Mormon Church and went on a mission to France, I sold this, along with a number of other pieces of art and furniture. I regret that I don't still have this work (which is now selling for anywhere between $3000 and $6000 on the Internet).

As it happened, Mark was/is also a lover of Wyeth's works. So we knew that we would have to visit Brandywine. And we weren't disappointed.

The exterior of the museum, which is housed in an old grist mill

Shutters on the museum walls

"The Nation Makers" by Howard Pyle

"They Use to Drill Every Evening," illustration by Howard Pyle for "The Soldiering of Beniah Stidham." I liked this painting because it depicted boys being boys. Young men, yes, but still boys. Mischievous. Idealistic. Hopeful. Funloving.

"Traveling In the Olden Time" by Howard Pyle, 1886. An illustration for Harper's.

Illustration for Ladies Home Journal by Howard Pyle, 1896. The scene as depicted is at Valley Forge.

My favorite paintings in the museum were a series done by Jamie Wyeth - Andrew's son - depicting Rudolph Nureyev. Stunning. I thought perhaps I would be able to find images of the paintings on the Internet (photography was prohibited in the gallery), but all I could find was this one:

First thought: Stunning.

Second thought: Damn. I should have taken pictures of the other paintings. No one would have ever known.


It was a fun time. Rachel took the lead photo, above, and I took this one of Rachel. Beautiful.

After saying goodbye to Rachel, we headed on south to Washington, D.C., ready for our next adventure.

Our hotel in Foggy Bottom, next to George Washington University campus.

Townhomes in the vicinity of Dupont Circle

Closing thought: I didn't do a lot of obsessive advanced planning for this trip. I was determined just to let it happen. (Plus, I have been to Washington a number of times and am pretty familiar with the city.) We had thought that we might spend the better part of Saturday in Philadelphia proper, but that didn't happen, for various reasons. We/I let things unfold, trying to stay in the moment, to enjoy what life proffered us. The result? We had a wonderful time with Rachel in areas close to where she lives, enjoying Amish Country, Valley Forge, King of Prussia Mall, Brandywine Museum and just hanging out. It was a good lesson for me.

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