Tomorrow is the anniversary of the worst disaster of an American steamboat, the unexplained explosion of the Sultana cause the loss of an estimated 1,800 mainly union soldiers returning home in 1865.  It is the Independence Day for both Togo and Sierra Leone.  It is the death anniversary of Portuguese explorer Ferinand Magellan (1521) and the birth anniversaries of Coretta Scott King (1927), Ulysses S Grant (1822), creator of Woody Wood Pecker Walter Lantz (1900) and Samuel Morse (1898).

Heads up for Butler events this summer.  We’ll start with the Butler County Chainsaw Carving Invitational occurs May 10 – 12. Next up, the annual Bantam Jeep Heritage Festival June 14 – 16, a Father’s Day tradition at the birthplace of the iconic Jeep.  And then at the end of June, the 158th Annual Big Butler Fair will be the event  will be held June 28 through July 6.  The other July event (21 – 27) will be the 2013 National Unicycle Convention.  August 3 & 4  will be the 15th Annual Regatta at Lake Arthur.  The lastscheduled summer Butler event will be the 65th Annual Butler Farm Show.

Architect Paolo Soleri would design futuristic cities where people/cities/manufacturing/business was put in tight quarters leaving the balance for parks/recreation/agriculture.  Though extensively studied in architectural school, very little of his designs were ever actually built.  So to support his family and the apprentices working for him, he made bronze and ceramic bells and wind chimes.  Mercy Hospital has two of them, the big one is suspended over the main stair case and the other is outside the chapel.

There’s a contest to name to pair of Bald Eagles nesting out in Harmar.  If you would like to make a suggestion, go to the Audubon Society and make your suggestions.

This summer is the 150th anniversary of the July 1 through July 3 Battle of Gettysburg.  The Gettysburg Foundation has activities planned from June 28th through July 7th.  Lots going on, they are expecting in excess of 200,000 visitors for the festivities.  Lots of activities are planned, the time line is at the Foundation’s website. Gettysburg is not a day trip from here, if you are going out, a good friend had a wonderful Inn, The Stone Manse Inn.  Myra, Phil & Alex’s in is the oldest occupied structure in York county.  The summer house was built in 1737 (I think).  Random plank floors, huge stone hearth with a bread oven and swivel iron rod for cooking the pot of stew over the flames.  🙂  Very cool, great breakfast and hosts.

Speaking of Inns, we had the Pittsburgh Bed and Breakfast Association meeting last week at Doone’s Inn at Oakmont.  Innkeeper Lorna was a gracious hostess at this beautiful Inn.  You can see the world renown golf course from the Inn just across the street.  So if you have any golfers coming into town (or your a golfer and want to make a weekend of it), give her a call.  It’s always nice to meet up with other Innkeepers to see what they’re up to and swap tips and tidbits.  In a couple of weeks (May 8th), I’ll be hosting the fairly new Pennsylvania Association of Bed and Breakfast Innkeepers.  PABBI has been around just over a year and they are holding meetings around the state to get input from Innkeepers that are PABBI membrs and non-members.  In less than a year, I think PABBI has about half the bed and breakfasts in the state signed up.

Phipps is starting one of my favorite combinations they do, Glass in the Gardens.  Somehow glass artwork and flowers just seem to compliment each other.  When Dale Chihuly had his exhibit at the Phipps several years ago, I had a number of Chihuly groupies stay at my Inn that plan their vacations around Chihuly exhibits and they all said it was the most spectacular they had ever seen.  I’m not a major fan of his, I do like a lot of what he does, but I’m more into smaller local artists like Gary Guydosh’s 8′ glass sunflower that’s in the visitor’s center.  Daviea Davis created a mosaic pillar for the Serpentine Room that’s very cool.  You don’t have to break your neck to get over to see it, the show runs through October 6.  More info at the Phipps website or by calling 412-622-6914.

Speaking of me not being a fan, then there’s always Justin Bieber.  Last week his grandfather did an expose interview somewhere about being destitute and going to loose his house, gramps complains Da Biebs doesn’t talk to him.  Justin travels with a 17 week old capuchin monkey?  When he entered Germany Tuesday, the customs agents seized the monkey.    And I think it was his concert this week in London the the police searched his bus and confiscated a yet to be identified “controlled substance”.  I have no details on any of this, I just have noticed the last week snippets on NPR and in the newspaper. Sounds like he may be traveling down the road of Lindsay Lohan.  🙂

The Cultural Trust‘s galleries at 707 and 709 Penn Avenue have two very different looks.  One of the Trust’s installers has his own exhibit he calling Adult Arcade in the 707 gallery.  It’s kind of a dark showing (illumination wise) that’s lit by the glow of red lasers on his paintings.  It is accompanied with a futuristic sound scape.  In 709, curators Vicky Clark and Cindy Lisica pulled works of 6 artists that all had used characters or character identity in their art.  Mark Newport of Detroit made four life sized super-hero suits made out of macrame, while former Pittsburgh resident Jeff Schwarz did some whimsical ceramic busts that blend some self portrait characteristics and those of the original inspiration.  My favorite is Mexican artist Mr. Glaubitz from Tijuana’s “Punk” portrait.  Punk is not on his website, but you can get a feel for his graffiti style influence.  As always, admission is free and these both run through May 17.  More info at their websites or by calling 412-456-6666.

Even with being closed for two full weeks in February for a wonderful trip to Costa Rica and the Steelers AGAIN not making the playoffs, The Parador has gone over last years sales, year to date.  And we’re just coming into “season”.  Yeah!  Enjoy your weekend,


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