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Two weeks ago, I posted here about the Oak Park, Illinois, neighborhood with several homes designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. When I was in Maui last week on vacation, I had to take a look at a golf clubhouse from designs by Frank Lloyd Wright.

I drove up the hill with two golfers, my husband and our friend Larry Franklin, who raved about the golf course, but our first look at the clubhouse startled us. Overlooking a large valley, hugging a hillside, the clubhouse looks futuristic.

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You see a small part of the valley below.

You see a small part of the valley below.

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Built in 1993, decades after the passing of Wright, the clubhouse of the King Kamehameha Golf Club, is from archived Frank Lloyd Wright designs for a structure or structures that were never built. They were adapted by Taliesin Architects.

Check out the link above. It has photos of a side with circular windows, and the interior, which I did not get to see. It is a private golf club. (Golfers can sample the course with a day pass.)

The video on the page, from the Golf Channel, says the design was based on a home for a certain screen legend. No spoiler from me.

The website also devotes a page to Frank Lloyd Wright’s design, with more photos.  I’m glad I bought that travel guidebook! I did not expect this in Maui.

Me at Kapalua Bay, Maui

Me at Kapalua Bay, Maui

 

The Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio was closed for the day by the time we arrived in Oak Park, Illinois. We bought a map in the gift shop and walked around the corner.

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On Forest Avenue, most of the homes were not designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. The yards are not wide, so it’s one lovely house after another, mostly Victorian and conventional, as you see above.

And then, bang. The 1902 Arthur Heurtley House, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. This is Prairie Style, horizontal as Great Plains. Wright wanted to create an American style for homes. This home has leaded windows, for which Wright is known.

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Across the street is the Moore-Dugal Residence, built by Wright in 1895. It’s a Tudor with some twists. Wright said, “A porch on a half-timber English Tudor. That never happened before.” I like the balls under the porch railing, and elsewhere, like the fence, where I got a close look at their ornamentation.

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This house went through a fire in the 1920s, and Wright, who had moved on from Oak Park, returned to redesign and rebuild the ruined upper half. The chimney had been conventional before, and he replaced it with a blade-shaped one.

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Too bad Wright’s studio and home were closed, but if I had got there on time, maybe I would have skipped the neighborhood tour, which I enjoyed very much. I did get to see his studio and home from the outside. The pillars have birds on them.

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There’s a lovely plaque with his name in stone, and above it,one of two sculpted crouched figures.

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Would I have noticed this, up high, if I had toured the interior? I don’t know, but I do know I will try to go back.

 

 

Just think what life was like in rural America before and after the mail-order catalog. Aaron Montgomery Ward used the trains in Chicago to get goods to far-flung parts of the country. Mr. Ward and his partners stocked goods to launch their first mail-order catalog, but his stock was destroyed in the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. He did not give up but started over, an inspiration to us all, and the Montgomery Ward Catalog debuted the following year. It was a single page long, basically a price list with ordering info.

I own a replica of an 1895 Montgomery Ward Catalogue, published by Dover. I am writing a novel set in the West in 1894, so an 1895 catalog is fantastic for me, but some of the items are remarkable. For example, it offers music boxes, the kind we had as children for our jewelry, but these played three songs, or six or eight, depending on how much you wanted to pay … it was the days before radio.

I bought it brand new several years ago. Wearing it out.

We’re all familiar with old butter churns where the person pushed a pole up and down. In 1895, people ordered butter churns that were boxes or barrels with a side crank. Everything’s up to date in Kansas City! If you could spend another fifteen or twenty-three dollars, you could buy a treadmill to attach to the churn’s crank and put your sheep, goat or one or two dogs walking on it, and they’d churn the butter.

The latest styles:  those little hats women wore, with lots of bows on them. Corsets. Stereoscopes — here’s a link to my post on those .  At over 600 pages, it offers thousands of items. It had no competition at the time, years before Sears & Roebuck.

Aaron Montgomery Ward used his fortune to sue the city of Chicago twice to remove and prevent structures in Grant Park, shown below, a lovely park between the skyscrapers and the lake. Bully for you, Mr. Ward.

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Wild times at the Bird Cage Theater in the silver boomtown of Tombstone, Arizona.

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Tombstone was the site of the O.K. Corral, where Wyatt Earp and his brothers, along with Doc Holliday, had a gunfight with a gang.

The Bird Cage Theater website proudly quotes the NY Times from 1882, when the Bird Cage Theater was new:  “The wildest, wickedest night spot between Basin Street and the Barbary Coast.” That’s New Orleans to San Francisco, quite a ways.

At the Bird Cage Theater, stairs backstage lead down to one of the wicked areas. There are some bedrooms where prostitutes entertained customers, and they are right beside poker tables. The poker players must have heard a lot of embarrassing noises from behind the prostitutes’ doors a couple yards away from their card game.

The poker games went round the clock. You’d sign up and have to wait a day or so for your spot to open. Someone would go and find you when it was your turn.

This basement is shown in two small photos on the home page, on the right. They are not labelled, but here’s how to find them: where the text reads: “recently, six more rooms …” the photo beside it shows one of the prostitutes’ bedrooms. Below it, you can see a table and chairs where men, and maybe women, played poker. Wild and wicked, indeed.

In History of Wyoming, T.A. Larson writes that roller skating rinks operated in Wyoming cities in the 1880s. They were popular with adults as well as youngsters, and in the eastern U.S. as well. I suppose most rinks in Wyoming had wooden floors, the same as most sidewalks of the 1880s.

Wyoming has cold winters, but the plains have few ponds for ice skating.  Indoor roller skating rinks provided fun all winter long. Imagine — cowboys roller skating on their trips to town.

From childhood, I’ve loved The Twilight Zone, the sci-fi TV show (1959-64).  Most episodes were only 24 minutes long, but with a different premise and characters in each, like the short stories in science fiction magazines of the time. Some of the stories were adapted for the show.

Richard Matheson was a prolific author whose writing included sci-fi short stories, but I first heard of him when I watched every Twilight Zone episode on Netflix, one per day.

Matheson wrote sixteen episodes of The Twilight Zone, including the classic “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet,” in which William Shatner sees a gremlin on the wing of the aircraft. This is sometimes spoofed, maybe because the creature looks like a man in a hairy costume, but the frustration felt by William Shatner’s character is what makes this a classic:  what if you saw impending doom, and nobody believed you?

You can watch Richard Matheson’s Twilight Zone episodes for free by clicking here.  They are easy to view — no signing up for anything. They have modern commercials.

Later, Matheson wrote the novel and screenplay for “Somewhere in Time,” a wonderful time-travel romance. Blending science fiction and a powerful romantic love, the film is beautiful, as are its stars, Jane Seymour and the late Christopher Reeve (heart-breakingly beautiful to me because of his tragic real life).  Click here to see the trailer.  It was filmed on location at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, Michigan.

The phenakistoscope is an early animation device.

 

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Disc by Eadweard Muybridge (1893).

 

There were variations on the device, but the principle is of a spinning wheel with slots between the images, as you see above.   Note the hole in the middle where a handle attaches.

 

 

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Say you face a mirror and hold the disc in front of you. Spin the disc and look through the slots. You catch each image as it whizzes by, and the persistence of vision creates the moving picture.

 

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