Category Archives: statues

Heritage State Park (Holyoke, MA)

 

Date Of Visit: March 31, 2017

Location: 221 Appleton St., Holyoke, MA

Cost: Free, although there is a fee to enter or use some of the attractions at the park such as the Children’s Museum, Volleyball Hall Of Fame and the Holyoke Merry-Go-Round

Hours:

Park hours

Sunrise to sunset

Visitors center hours

Sunday:
12:00 pm-4:00 pm

Tuesday – Saturday:
12:00 pm-4:00 pm

Parking: Free onsite parking for about 50 cars is available in Visitors Center lot

Park Size/Difficulty: 7 acres/Easy

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes, leashed dogs are allowed

Highlights: merry-go-round, canal, children’s museum, volleyball hall of fame, easy trail, statue, picnic area, play area, guided tours of the area

Website: Holyoke Heritage State Park

Tip: From May through mid-October, the park offers hour-long narrated train rides on a 1920s vintage railroad on Saturday and Sunday.

Fun Facts:

  • Holyoke is still known as the “paper city” because during the 19th century the city produced an estimated 80% of the writing paper used in the United States and was home to the largest paper and alpaca wool mills in the world
  • Between 85% and 90% of Holyoke’s energy which is powered by the municipally owned canals pictured below was carbon neutral as of 2016
  • Holyoke is also the birthplace of volleyball

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Among the abandoned and dilapidated buildings of a once thriving mill town there is a special park that preserves the history of the area while providing family friendly entertainment and honoring their heroes.

The first building you notice upon entering the park is the Holyoke Merry Go Round.  The affordable merry go round ($2 per ride) is very popular with children celebrating birthdays (perhaps I can have mine there).  The merry go round, which was once part of Mountain Park (an amusement park that used to be located in the area), has been around in one capacity or another since the early 1900s.

 

Railroad tracks remain at the park as a reminder of what was a staple of the area.  The railroad tracks are no longer in use.  Yet they remain a reminder of the railroad system that bisected the area.  The last photo shows the end of the tracks right next to the entrance of the Children’s Museum.

 

The Children’s Museum At Holyoke is located along the path of the canal (444 Dwight St).  Although we didn’t go in, I did take some photos of the some murals on the exterior of the building.

 

Located next to the children’s museum is the Volleyball Hall Of Fame.  Again, due to time constraints, we did not visit the museum.  But, it is certainly on my list!

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I loved walking along the canal.  The views of the old factories and the canal offered some nostalgia and pretty views.  I also appreciated the simple, yet historic, feel of the park.  It is, in a word, charming, despite the many abandoned buildings in disrepair that line the canal.  It felt like a refuge from the busy, crowded streets, although I am sure it is much more crowded during the summer season and when the temperatures rise (if that may ever come).

 

Along the walkway, which is handicapped accessible, there is a small picnic area and play area.  There are also some interesting exhibits.

One of the exhibits is a storm drain art display.  The artful displays encourage people to not pollute.

 

This flywheel stands near what was once the location of Skinner Mill.  The mill was sold in 1961 and burned in 1980.

 

The pearl of the park is the statue dedicated to all of the officers who have lost their lives while on duty as police officers.  The officer’s names are all engraved on the monument.

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There are three police officers’ names listed on the monument.  All three of these officers died while on duty working for the Holyoke police.

Officer John P. Driscoll lost his life on April 25, 1922 when he succumbed to injuries sustained when he fell from the running board of a car that he had commandeered after pursuing a vehicle that was being driven by a drunk driver.  Officer Driscoll had been with the agency for five years and was survived by his wife, five children and parents.

Officer James Gatzounas  died after being assaulted as he and other officers responded to a fight at a New Year’s Eve street party on January 1, 1977. During the altercation, Officer Gatzounas was kicked and punched as he attempted to place one of the suspects under arrest.  He later died after going into cardiac arrest.

Two suspects, ages 19 and 17, were charged with first degree murder. When Officer Gatzounas’ autopsy revealed he died of cardiac arrest instead of injuries from the beating, the charges were reduced to manslaughter.  Officer Gatzounas had been with the agency for 18 months and had previously served with the United States Army during the Vietnam War. He was survived by his wife and child.

The Man displayed in the statue, flanked by two children, is John A. DiNapoli.  Officer DiNapoli was shot and killed i his vehicle while he was following a suspect.  Officer DiNapoli had served for 21 years.  DiNapoli was known for his service to the community.  he and a few other officers started a Christmas tradition of giving toys to the children of Holyoke who lived in high crime neighborhoods. He was survived by two grown children.  His son also became a police officer.

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Below is a short video from the Holyoke Merry Go Round

 


Wonder Woman Rosey House (Lee, MA)

Date Of Visit: May 31, 2017

Location: 22 Robert St, on the corner of Center St. and Robert St, Lee, MA

Cost: Free

Hours: Accessible everyday, 24 hours a day.

Parking: You can park on Roberts St.

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

Highlights: House decorated with statues, designs and other decorative items

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Most houses are decorated for the holidays, birthday parties or some other celebration.  But, the Wonder Woman Rosey House on the corner of East Center St and Robert St in Lee, MA is decorated all year round.

Without knowing the back story or reason for decorating the home, the house and property may seem crazy or a little bizarre.  However, it is more of a tribute and memorial than some random decorations.  Rosey (or Rosemarie) was the wife of painter and resident of the house, Bob Dupont, a professional painter.  He painted and decorated his home and property as a tribute to her.

The garage next to the house is decorated primarily in red, white and blue.

 

 

The decorations do not stop there at the garage, though.

The house and property are also decorated with decorations and statues ranging from Santa Claus to rabbits.

 

 

I would have loved living in a house like this when I was a growing up.  It looks like a real fun place to experience!

There are many randomly placed decorations scattered around the property.

 

 

The home owner doesn’t seem to mind having visitors.  I wasn’t bothered or questioned while I photographed the area.  But, it is private property.  So, visitors should be respectful of that.

The featured link of the day is another decorated home called The Crazy Christmas House in Coventry, RI.

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Three Sisters Sanctuary (Goshen, MA)

Date Of Visit: June 4, 2017

Location: 188 Cape St (rt112), Goshen, MA (about 45 minutes northwest of Springfield, MA and an hour and a half southeast of Albany, NY)

Hours:  Open 7 days/week, 8:00 am – Dusk

Cost: a $10 donation is suggested.  Children under 12 are admitted free

Parking: The parking area next to Three Sisters can accommodate about 15-20 cars.

Handicapped Accessible: There is limited wheelchair access.

Dog Friendly: Service pets are allowed

Highlights: unique pieces of art in a natural setting

Website: Three Sisters Sanctuary

 

The sign at the entrance to Three Sister Sanctuary states, “Where nature and art merge.”  That’s a pretty apt description of the sanctuary if there ever was one.

Three Sisters Sanctuary is no run of the mill art sanctuary.  Every piece of art is made of rock, plants, water, iron and other parts of the land in its composition.  In fact, sanctuary is a very good way to describe the place.  Three Sisters is more than just a place to look at art or enjoy the beautiful nature which surrounds the sanctuary.  It is a place for reflection, meditation and peace.

 

Richard Richardson, the owner and on site artist at Three Sisters created the pieces of art to foster a feeling of serenity, inner peace and spirituality.

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The name “Three Sisters” comes from Richard’s three daughters.  His three daughters gave him so much joy and happiness he wanted to give this joy and happiness to others through his art.  He says he did not find the garden.  The garden found him.  It helped fill a void in his life and it has brought him a purpose and meaning.

 

Richard’s use of old machines as well as other tools and spare parts is indicative of the unique style of the art at the sanctuary.

 

One thing you’ll notice in Richard’s works are his emphasis on people, particularly children, in his work. Looking at these works of art, you can’t help but stop and consider the effort and creativity it took to create such interesting and meaningful works of art.  It certainly does make you think about the many forms of inspiration and how we express that inspiration.

 

From afar, some of the statues look a little like something might see in a zombie movie.  But, they are all pretty harmless.

 

Keeping with his themes of spirituality and peace, you will also see angels and other spiritual figures.

 


Richard feels the presence of his older brother and his eldest daughter, who he tragically lost.  He says the art and nature both work to provide healing and peace while keeping the spirit of his brother and daughter with him.  Whether you are a spiritual person or not I still think you can at least find inner peace among the statues and other works of art.

 

Another common theme of the art at the sanctuary is the use of animals in his work.  Dogs, horses, butterflies and even a few mythical creatures are a few of the animals and wildlife

 

You may even run into a few real wildlife.  While walking along the sanctuary, I noticed this rather unhappy goose.  Unsure why he or she was making faces and noises at me, I went to take a closer look.  It turns out the mommy or daddy was just being protective.  It seemed appropriate that life would begin here and share in the peacefulness around them.

 

Some of the rocks at the sanctuary are said to give up energy and even be a source of healing.  In fact, if you stand in between some of the bigger rocks, it i said you will feel a certain energy and healing power.  One of Richard’s daughters who was helping him during my visit said she feels rejuvenated after standing next to the rocks.

 

Jut when you think you’re at the end of the art sanctuary, there are pretty cool statues and other works of art at the front of the sanctuary.

 

Richard has succeeded in making a sanctuary that is not only a place for art lovers to seek out unique pieces of work.  He has also helped create a place for people to reflect and find an inner peace.

Three Sisters Sanctuary also provides accommodations for visitors as well as ceremonies on their grounds.  The Nomad’s link of the day is a blog post by Kristin Chalmers.  She recently attended a wedding as the photographer and posted about Nicole And Kilean’s Medeival LARP Wedding At Three Sisters Sanctuary.

 


Irish Famine Memorial (Boston, MA)

Date Of Visit: March 17, 2017

Location: corners of Washington and School St, Boston, MA

Cost: Free

Hours: Accessible everyday, 24 hours a day

Parking:Street parking can be difficult is this neighborhood.  Finding a parking garage is probably the best option.  Also, the Park St train stop on the Red Line is within walking distance (about half a mile) to the memorial.

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

While we’re celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day with our green beer and corned beef (pause for the collective yuck) it’s easy to forget about the history of the Irish people and the hardships that brought so many Irish here, especially to New England.

The Boston Irish Famine Memorial is dedicated to the Great Famine that gripped Ireland in 1845.  Potatoes, a main crop in Ireland, stopped growing, leaving many to go hungry and suffer financially as they could not sell their crops.  Mold was the culprit.  Since potatoes were the main crop in Ireland, many of the poor in Ireland suffered from the famine, with about one-eighth of the population dying from hunger or disease related to the famine over the following years. As a result of the famine, Irish immigration to the United States spiked with over 1.5 million Irish arriving on our shores. Boston was one of the main destinations for these new citizens and the Irish remain a prominent part of our community.

Robert Shure’s Boston Irish Famine Memorial displays the pain and, conversely, pride of the Irish people who have suffered so much.  It is a somber, powerful and inspiring display of the suffering and, ultimately, the ability of the Irish to overcome their “troubles”.

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The first statue, located on School and Washington streets, shows three people, presumably a mother, father and child, in the throes of hunger.  Shure was meticulous in his sculpture.  You can see how thin the figures are and, from certain angles, you can actually see the ribs of the figures.

The second sculpture shows three people, presumably the very same family healthy and happy.  Standing up straight and proudly, the family looks happy and healthy.  It is most certainly a sign of how all of us can overcome adversity and how the Irish have been able to withstand so much.

As an aside, I love the diversity of Boston.  Traversing through the memorial, I witnessed people of all walks of life and ethnicities.

A wreath and flower was placed by the Charitable Irish Society at the sculpture of the suffering family and on one of the figures of the memorial to commemorate Saint Patrick’s Day.

A series of 8 plaques encircle the memorial.  One of the plaques, entitled “Let’s We Forget”, gives a nod to the suffering and famines across the globe and how we continue to watch as others starve helplessly.

The bronze and granite memorial was dedicated in June of 1998, marking the 150th anniversary of the famine.

On my way back to the train station, I saw Brig, a beautiful Bull Mastiff.

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The National Monument To The Forefathers (Plymouth, MA)

Date Of Visit: November 19, 2016

Location: Pilgrim Memorial State Park, 72 Allerton St., Plymouth, MA

Hours: Sunrise To Sunset

Cost: Free

Parking: There is ample parking at the statue and street parking available on Allerton St and on nearby streets

Dog Friendly: Yes

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Highlights: Largest solid granite sculpture in the United States,

Web Site: National Monument To The Forefathers

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Mostly known for the tourist attractions Plimoth Plantation and Plymouth Rock, Plymouth Massachusetts is home to another lesser known, but no less impressive attraction.  In  fact, Plymouth is home to one of the largest sculptures in the states.

Clocking in at 81 feet, the National Monument To The Forefathers is the the largest solid granite sculpture in the United States. The granite was quarried in and transported to Plymouth from Hallowell, Maine.

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The monument, also known as the Pilgrim Statue, was created by Hammatt Billings, a Boston architect, illustrator and sculptor.  Billings would never got to see the sculpture in its final stages.  Billings died 15 years into the construction of the monument, or about half the time it took to construct the statue.  After Hammat Billings’ death his brother, Joseph, worked with a group of other sculptors to complete the project.  Dedicated on August 1, 1889, after 30 years of construction, the sculpture was meant to be a memorial to the Pilgrims who settled in the area.

The memorial has several statues within the memorial itself.  Statues representing Liberty, Peace, Tyranny, Education, Wisdom, Youth, Law, Mercy, Justice, and Morality surround the monument.  The monument wwas position to face Northeast towards Plymouth Harbor and, perhaps not coincidentally, towards Plymouth, England.

Faith, the statue at the top of the monument, is 36 feet tall and made of solid granite.  The Faith statue itself is listed as the 32nd largest statue in the entire United States and its territories.  The statue is pointing to heaven with her right hand.  In her left hand she is clutching a bible.

True to its description as a monument to the forefathers, all of the names of the passengers of the Mayflower.  Recognize any names?  Clearly, Massachusetts, as it would be later part of, was not all that progressive jusging by how women were considered “the wife of” the male passengers.

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The park offers grand views of the statue and it is said that before all of the construction and the planting of trees in the area many years, you could see the monument from miles away.  The park allows for some scenic views of the monument.

The memorial is surrounded by a spacious park and there is lots of room to walk your dog.  China, also known as China Doll, a rescued Siberian Husky and Lab mix, was enjoying the park while I was there.  She looks so happy!


Grieving Gold Star Mother Statue (Manchester, NH)

 

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Date Visited: August 7, 2016

Location: Charles R. Stanton Plaza, in front of the JD’s Tavern and Radisson hotel, 700 Elm St # 1, Manchester, NH

Hours:  Open daily, 24 hours a day

Cost: Free

Parking: You can usually find metered off street parking

Dog Friendly: Yes

I found this statue to be timely considering some of the discourse these days. The Grieving Gold Star Mother statue located, appropriately, across the street from the Veterans Memorial Park at Charles R. Stanton Plaza in front of the Radisson and JD’s Tavern at 700 Elm St, Manchester, NH, is a tribute to all mothers and families who have lost a loved one at war.

The Grieving Gold Star Mother shows the teary eyed mom clutching a telegram, presumably with the notice of her son’s death. A potted planted lies knocked over in front of a photo of her son.

The 407 pound bronze statue, sculpted by Andrew Chernak, was said to depict a mother from World War II because that is the war that had the most fatalities. However, the Gold Star Mothers group was formed by Grace Darling Seibold during World War I when her son, George Vaughn Seibold, was lost (his body was never identified). In an effort to console herself and other mothers who had lost a child during the war, Grace created the group. The group not only consoled each grieving mother. They also dedicated themselves to doing community service and visiting wounded service members.

There are two Grieving Gold Star Mother statues in the U.S. The first Grieving Gold Star Mother statue is located in Carmel, New York. There is also a Gold Star Mother and a Gold Star Father memorial with statues of each Gold Star parent in Clinton, Ohio.

Bricks with the names of all of the wars the United States have been involved in (Colonial and post Colonial times) have been placed in front of the statue. The list of conflicts and wars and the loss of lives involved in those actions are staggering.

The memorial in New Hampshire was erected in April 15, 2011.

 


The Nature of Glass: Contemporary Sculpture at Chesterwood 2016 (Stockbridge, MA)

Date Visited: July 16, 2016

Location: Chesterwood, 4 Williamsville Rd, Stockbridge, MA (413)298-3579

Hours: Open Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend to the Monday of Columbus Day Weekend. May 28 – October 10 of this year from 10am to 5pm daily. Self-guided tours only. Residence closed daily from 12:30pm – 2:00pm

Cost: Adults, $18.00; Seniors, $17.00; Grounds ONLY fee, $10.00; NTHP Members, Military & Children, 13-17, $9.00; Friends of Chesterwood & Children Under 13, Free

Parking: There is ample parking in the various parking areas for at least a couple hundred cars

Time To Allot For Visit: 1 hour to 2 hours (less if you don’t appreciate art)

Dog Friendly: No

Highlights: lots of art, statues, scenic trails

Nature Of Glass: Contemporary Sculpture

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Named after one of America’s foremost sculptor, Chesterwood is home to  the works of Daniel Chester French.  French’s work can be found on multiple continents.  His most prominent works include designing the Abraham Lincoln and the Minute Man statue in Concord, MA among many other works of art.

In addition to statues and replicas of French’s work, Chesterwood also shows off exhibits on its spacious grounds.  The latest exhibit, on display until September 18, is a bit of a break from the traditional pieces of French.  The Nature Of Glass shows a variety of unusual works of art for the entire family.

This blown gas display called Optic Lens Installation (2016) is by Richard Royal.  Part of the Optic lens series, this art evolved from his fascination with water or being near water as well as lighthouses and the Fresnel lens.  On the description plaque for this design, Royal said safety and security are recurring themes.  he finds glass and light as instruments of safety to be inspiring and he finds the system of glass and light to be metaphor for simple concepts and a reminder that basic things in life are sometimes the most important and have the strongest impact.

Throughout the exhibition, I found the artists to have a such depth and insight into what may seem to be simple displays.  This is a recurring theme throughout the displays.  It does make sense that the artists would have a deeper meaning to their work.  One does not put so much time and effort into a work of art without having some deep significance to their work and inspiration.

This sculpture by John Kiley is called Clear Cut (2016).  Kiley made this 8 foot sculpture out of glass, steel and Douglas fir.  According to the information on the sign next to the display, Kiley described his work as using circular openings to show interior divisions of space to alter their sense of space and light.  Depending on your point of view, the overlapping circles can focus your attention in different ways.  The Douglas fir is meant to connect the ground through a natural material to the sky using material engineered by humans, evoking a sense of history, place and reflection.

Martin Blank created Crystal Reveil (2012) from hot sculpted glass. The segments of the sculpture are curled and hollow so you can look through the sculpture and see a different form of negative space. The individual forms are very delicate and skin-like, similar to the madrone tree which is prevalent in the pacific Northwest.

Depending on where you stand and the time of day that you view Time Of Day – Blue Moment (2016), by Richard Jolley, looks different.  As you can see by the photos above, you see different things from each angle.  The work of art is of a veiled form of a human figure that changes color at specific times of the day.  The passage of light through the small portal will shift the light transmission and wash the figure in a blue light referencing daily time sequencing and change.  The intent, according to Jolley is to not only mark a specific, finite time of day but also to address the significance of the passage of time and awareness.  He went on to say how it addresses in a deeper sense time and the effect it has on every aspect of our existence.

I did photograph Time of Day again later in the day after viewing the other sculptures about an hour later to see any changes in the work.  Unfortunately, it was an overcast and misty day.  So, since there was a lack of light, the changes in the art work were very minor.  The photos are shown below

One In One (2014) by Thomas Scoon is a cast glass and granite sculpture.  Just short of 5 feet (57 inches to be exact), the figures are meant to show people rising from the external landscape.  He tried to choose rocks that evoked the feeling and gesture of human forms, specifically torsos and heads.  The layering of kiln-cast glass and stone allows light to pass through the figures and embodies the spiritual and physical essence of human nature into the sculpture.  He felt the combination of the materials expresses both the fragility and the enduring qualities and humanity.

Scoon continued with his granite and glass theme with Companion Series I-IV (2016).  Similar to the One In One sculpture,this work shows human figures made of cast glass and granite.  I suppose he didn’t want his other sculpture to feel lonely.

Earth/Sky (2016) by Tom Patti is one of the more unusual works at the exhibit.  Patti wanted to show the ambiguous condition between the literal and the phenomenal.  Patti felt the unique quality of the reflection combines the transparency of glass in his design.  This combination results in an ambiguous sense of space that obscures any references to the physical solidity of the materials, revealing the natural essence of the environment.

This work of art, like many more in the exhibit, was not as provocative because of the lack of light on the day of my visit.  If the sun had been out the shadows would have played off the work of art more dramatically.

One of the more unique works of art, Remember What (2016) by Marko Remec is 128 thirty two inch dome acrylic mirrors.  Also made of aluminum, steel hardware and twine, Remec’s work is described as a “chess pattern gone awry.”  The mirrors reflect 180 degrees of Chesterwood.  The work is a reconfiguration of the installation Can’t Hear You that had been displayed at MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA.

Another piece of work that would have benefited from sunlight, Vitro Muralis (2016) by William Carlson is made of granite, metal and glass.  The sculpture shares a common area of overlap.  The edges have a visual noise as they collide into shared space.  The transparent components are meant to offer a language of design as a text of spiral repetition and marks that are more musical than linguistic, according to Carlson.

Another design by William Carlson, Sine Nomine (Without A Name) (2014) is another sculpture made of metal and glass. The “x” in the middle of the sculpture is meant to reference missing identity.  It has also been used as a mark for those who cannot sign their name or in equations in algebra as an unknown in the equation.  Other interpretations include a reference to something that has been eliminated from a list.  The historical use of the x also makes it a powerful graphic symbol universally understood.  The exact meaning is not made clear in the plaque next to the sculpture.

Icebergs and Paraphernalia 117 (2007) was inspired by traveling through the Polar Regions, specifically a small stranded iceberg off the shore of Greenland that looked like a bird.  Created by Peter Bremers, the work of art is made of kiln-formed glass cut and polished and outdoor glass.  The almost marble structure pays tribute to the marble sculptures of the French.

Also made of kiln-formed glass cut and polished and outdoor glass, Movement II (2007) depicts a window moving forward.  The concept of the work is that we perceive “reality” as a dynamic image that changes in time and as a result of the viewer’s change in perception as well as how we rewrite history as our understanding of the past transforms the present and vice versa.

Daniel Clayman’s North 41.47 West 71.70 Copper (2016) may just look like an ordinary rock but there’s much more to this boulder.  The name coincides with the GPS coordinates where the boulder was found.  Copper refers to the interior treatment of the piece.  While on a jobsite excavation, Clayman observed large boulders being carted away to make room for a new landscape design. Clayman was struck with the idea of reformatting an ordinary boulder into a magical object.   When the sun is out, the sun reflects off the copper boulder making it a highly detailed surface (I had to use a flash to gain the same effect).

Julia’s Garden (the pieces range from 2010 to 2016) includes pieces from Nancy Callan’s Orbs And Winkle’s signature series.  The design consists of geometric forms (spheres and cones).  Callan strived to create a sense of infinity complexity with lines that wrap and fold around the shapes.  Each orb is like a world in itself.  The shapes of the orbs are said to represent planets.  The cones are meant to be like stocking caps – a reference to Rip Van Winkle – which gave the name Winkle to the pieces.  The cones also add a vertical element that echoes the growth of plants and trees – straight towards the sun as in White Spiral Cone or gently unfurling as in Ivory Winkle.

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Trigonal  (2016) by Kait Rhoads was inspired by a trip Rhoads took to  the Joshua Tree National Park in California after her the mother’s death.  Rhoads was struck by the beauty in the contrast of the quartz seams running through the fields of granite rock in the landscape.  Her search for healing and cleansing within a natural habitat largely untouched by man drew her to create the work of art.  She placed the color of the desert sky onto the form of the quartz crystal in a wash of opaque white ranging to intense transparent blue.

There is another work of art that I somehow missed.  Sidney Hutter’s Louie’s Electric Two (1976, revised in 2016) is sandblasted mirror glass design.

Dogs are not allowed at Chesterwood.  But, I did find this friendly cat.

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