6.10.2007

Photo Dump - Jacob in Texas, Me in NJ


As I mentioned in this space, I recently hosted my cousin Jacob in Texas for three weeks, had him work with me at LCRA, and further fanned the flames of his love affair with my state. This weekend, my mom and I returned the favour and traveled up to the Garden State to see him graduate from high school. What follows here is a collection of photos I have from a highly enjoyable month:



Jacob at the Really Big Dead Animal Museum of San Antonio in front of a Texas Longhorn with his new cowboy hat. I think he pulls off the cowboy hat look well...



Uncle Bill and I on the back side of the Pennsylvania State House (also known as Independence Hall). The tour guides are great - they get to the point when they explain what happened in each room, and the significance of said events. What struck me most was the austere colonial style of each room - no gilded doorways, no ornate paintings, just humble, no-nonsense New England furniture and railings befitting a nation governed by its people and for its people...

(Humming "America the Beautiful"...)

Philadelphia is the birthplace of our nation, the City of Brotherly Love, and a beacon of freedom to the world. Benjamin Franklin was her greatest citizen, but I think her greatest symbol may be someone else...



In about ten hours of screen time (assuming that Rocky V never happened), Rocky Balboa accomplished the following:

1) Came from out of nowhere to take Apollo Creed, the Heavyweight Champion of the World, 15 rounds in a split decision on July 4th, 1976. Drank raw eggs and ran up the steps of the Art Museum, singlehandedly starting the jogging craze in the process...
2) Beat Apollo Creed at the bell in the rematch to become Heavyweight Champion of the World. Ran down and caught a chicken.
3) Overcame the death of his trainer and the constant derision of his wife to beat Mr. T. Took part in most awkward hug ever with Apollo Creed in training montage.
4) Beat 8-foot steroid-pumping Russian fighter on Christmas Day 1985 in Soviet Union. Over course of 15 rounds, he avenged Apollo's death, won over the Russian crowd and single-handedly ended the Cold War.
5) At age of 75, successfully renewed boxing license and again lost split decision to heavyweight champion, maybe with the help of, uh, special training supplements.

Just thought I'd mention all that. Moving on...



Jacob Riesser graduates! Jacob Riesser graduates! Jacob Riesser...



After the graduation ceremony, we ate dinner at Rats, a luxurious restaurant that opens up to the Grounds for Sculpture. This park combines numerous sculptures and sumptuous landscaping with a series of life-size tableaus of famous paintings by Monet, Renoir and others. Just for fun, let's play a little game of "Where's Jacob" with...



...a sculpture of a Depression-era work line (Jacob's favorite)...



...Monet's Terrace at Sainte-Adresse (Read an explanation of the sculpture here)...



...and Renoir's The Luncheon of the Boating Party.

If it's not already obvious, I had a great time with my cousin the last month. Jacob is a bright kid with a good heart. He takes off for Kettering later this month, and I believe that he has a great future ahead of him.

Godspeed, Jake. The Eyes of Texas are Upon You, even all the way up there in Michigan...

3 Comments:

At 9:20 PM, Anonymous Laura said...

Very nice post. Three comments:

1. What did you yell as Jacob walked the stage?

2. That picture of our cousin at the Alamo looks like he was photoshopped in. If he hadn't come to Houston with Mommy to visit me and Gregor and Marjory, I think I wouldn't believe he had actually come to Texas based on this pictures.

3. Why so many references to Rocky on your blog? Personally, I haven't ever actually seen any of those movies in their entirety.

 
At 11:26 AM, Blogger Nate said...

Forget Rocky - I just realized that I have a picture of Independence Hall, and didn't mention National Treasure...

 
At 10:48 AM, Blogger Ethan Smith said...

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