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Adventures at Home

Posted on March 26th, 2020 by

Blog post by JMM archivist Lorie Rombro. You can read more posts by Lorie HERE.

Like most parents around the world this past week, my husband and I have had to learn how to work out of the home together while two boys (a teenager and elementary student) are at home with us. We were somewhat prepared because our children were supposed to be home for spring break. The problem was we had planned to do things with them like visit museums, go to DC for the day, fossil hunt at Calvert Cliffs, and eat out at all the places they like.

Obviously, none of these things happened, but that didn’t mean we had a bad week. It is not easy, but a rhythm of work and family is starting. My husband, who normally works from home most of the week, has had to get used to the rest of us being home too. My children have been lazing about and I let them all week, because it was spring break.

We took walks together, watched movies (I highly recommend Onward for all), played catch, built a Lego tower taller than my 3rd grader, made chalk art in the driveway, worked on numerous art projects, puzzles, and even had my teenager leave the video games for a bit to join us in the activities.

We are constantly cooking and I’m afraid my dishwasher will break soon from being used 2 or 3 times a day. And the one exceptionally happy member of our home is our dog, Bowzer, who is in heaven that we are all home with him.

A little painter’s tape and a box of chalk can take up a huge amount of time.

In the past week I have also received many emails and Facebook posts about online museums and travel experiences. My younger son and I decided to spend some time each day exploring some of the sites and places that we are interested in. I thought I would share some of these with you!

First, we went to France as we are currently reading together Stuart Gibbs’ The Last Musketeer. The book starts in France with the family going for a tour of the Louvre, so that’s where we started too.

We have another wonderful book at home, The Story of Paintings: A History of Art for Children by Mick Manning & Brita Granstrom.

This inspired us to search the Louvre and then the Musee d’Orsay for the artist and paintings we liked. We also took a tour of the Hall of Mirrors at the Palace of Versailles and we searched the online database at the Jewish Museum of Maryland for images of France.

This week we have plans to visit Italy and Egypt. Perhaps we’ll follow in the footsteps of the Freidenwald family adventuring through Italy or maybe visit the same places that Lester and Eleanor Levy saw on their honeymoon! In Egypt we will definitely try to see the great pyramid and Sphinx like Harry Greenstein.

Freidenwald family vacation to the Mediterranean in 1911: Harry Friedenwald in Pompeii. JMM 1984.23.48.

Lester and Eleanor Levy in Piazza San Marco on their honeymoon in 1922. JMM 2002.79.228.

Harry Greenstein (2nd from left) on a UNRAA Middle Eat Mission, 1944. JMM 1971.20.163

While we are all learning to work, go to school, and study while being at home, these virtual adventures to other museums have been an enjoyable addition to our life, expanding our limited surroundings. What virtual museums and global adventures are you experiencing?


Posted in jewish museum of maryland

Traveling With Grace: Colorado Springs

Posted on March 24th, 2020 by

This week’s entry for our #TravelTuesday series: Traveling with Grace moves from Denver to Colorado Springs. To read more of Grace’s travels, click here. 

U.S. Mint, Denver, Colorado. Photo from the Detroit Publishing Company, courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Thursday, August 14, 1947

Denver, Colorado

Weather: Clear

After lunching at the hotel, we went to the mint which is open for inspection. Guides take parties thru every few minutes. Then to the beautiful municipal and County bldg. on the 4th floor of which is housed the Denver Art Gallery and Public Library. Besides a fine collection of American and French painters (modern and semi-modern) there is a beautiful room of [bester] ware, snuff-boxes, French furniture, Chinese and Japanese ceramics, Oriental bronzes and religious art, the most interesting and complete a collection of Indian arts and crafts representing most of the N. American tribes that I’ve ever seen. Weaving of cloth and basketry, sand painting, garments of hide embroidered with quills, shells and beads, masks of wood and of fur, bone and shell implements, jewelry, toys, all marked with explanatory cards. Afterward we went to Perrenoud Apts. to try to trace the Salmon[?] family but without success.         

View of the Denver Public Library at Colfax Avenue and Bannock Street in the Civic Center neighborhood of Denver, Colorado. Courtesy of the Denver Public Library, X-27938.

Tonight, I called Aunt Blanche and Uncle Eli. We had dinner at a French-Italian restaurant, Boggio’s, which was very good, and they rode out to Washington Park, a pretty residential section. They have a lovely apartment-hotel here called the Park Lane. In Washington Park we saw a lovely old-fashioned dance given under the auspices of the Denver Dept. of Education. They have an orchestra and a caller who gives all the cues and they dance the old square dances, reels, etc., the girls dressed in the fashion of Civil War days (they make their own dresses of printed cottons, voile, and organdy with full flounced skirts, lace berthas, and some have pantaloons lace-edged. They look very pretty, and their escorts have on bright colored satin shirts and cowboy boots. They dance on a wooden floor beneath the trees and the whole thing looks just like a musical comedy stage setting. We talked to some of the couples and they told us they learn these old dances in the schools as children and keep them up by going to dances once a week (for which they pay 50 cents). During the summer they are held in different parks every night and they are really experts.

Vintage postcard, State Capitol Building, Denver, CO., 1940s. Via.

Friday, August 15, 1947

Denver to Colorado Springs

Weather: Partly rainy

This morning we visited the state capitol building very interesting, saw both chambers, house and senate, stained glass windows with portraits of Colorado’s elder statesmen and beautiful murals depicting the development of the country’s resources with appropriate verses by a local poet. Then we rode through one of Denver’s outstandingly beautiful suburbs, Crestmore. Most of the homes are bungalows with beautiful gardens and the windows are very large admitting a maximum of air and light. The centers of the streets are banked and well landscaped and continually watered as are all the lawns and parks in Denver to keep them green as the moisture dries out very quickly in this climate.

We started for Colorado Springs about 1 and not far from the city we saw the cutest place called The Country Kitchen where I was anxious to eat lunch but they only served evening dinners so we went a little further and ate at a lunch counter further up the road. The ride into Colorado Springs was pretty but not unusual and we had a storm on the way. It is very cool here.

Vintage postcard, Blue Spruce restaurant, Colorado Springs. Via.

We went to the Blue Spruce restaurant for dinner and then to Hansen’s Landis Terrace where Helen was deluged with mail as tomorrow is her birthday. We have two cabins here, each with its own roof garden canopies and furnished with table and chairs. Colorado Springs seems to be quite a large town and it runs right into Manitou where we are located. They serve breakfast in our cabin.

View to the Antlers Hotel, c. 1948. Photo by Victor Albert Grigas, courtesy of Wikimedia.

Saturday, August 16, 1947

Colorado Springs, Colorado

Weather: Rainy

We stayed in all day and I read my prayers and rested. We went to dinner at the Antlers Hotel and when we came out the rain had about stopped. We went to the Colorado Springs annual rodeo (it was the last night) in a huge stadium in back of the Broadmoor Hotel and had very good seats. The show lasted until 11:30. It was very exciting. Trick and fancy riding (gorgeous horses), steer roping, bucking horses, bull riding, clowning, cutting horse contests, and racing (a girl named Edna McKinnly[?] winning all races in a field of men. [Some jockey.?]

Colorado Springs Rodeo 1947 brochure. Via.

Sunday, August 17, 1947

Colorado Springs

Weather: Fine

We took a grand trip today via Penrose and Florence, and once part of the boundary line between Mexico and the U.S. Cañon City to the Royal Gorge and one of the highlights of our trip. In riding thru Cañon City we passed the Penitentiary situated across from the city park and a band of music was on an upper balcony giving a concert while the townspeople say in the park to listen and some of the inmates were sitting in the barred windows.

Grand Canyon, Royal Gorge, looking west. Photo by J. Thurlow, courtesy of the Library of Congress.

When we reached the Gorge ($1.50 per person) we rode over the highest suspension bridge (opened Dec. 8, 1929) in the world, 880 feet or ¼ mile long and the car can stop anywhere along the bridge. We look down into the depths of the Grand Canyon of the Arkansas River 1,053 feet below. The railroad along the riverbank looks like a toy from here and we watched the train as it circled around and disappeared under a bridge far below. Then we went up a high road on the side of the gorge to a look-out pavilion where we got out for another magnificent view.

Upper Station Incline Railway at the Royal Gorge, c. 1930-1945. The Tichnor Brothers Collection, Boston Public Library.

On our way back we went down on the Otis Equipped Scenic Incline which runs on a 45-degree angle to the bottom of the gorge 1550 feet below. It was a real thrill to look down into the depths as the cage-like car descends, and again from the bottom to look up 1/5 of a mile to the bridge above. On the way back to Canyon City we took a road called the Phantom Skyline from which the view is different from any we have seen before and very beautiful. On one side are mountains bare save for some scrub oak and sage brush while on the other stretches a veritable garden of Eden, so lush and green and fertile.

Vintage postcard, Colorado’s first Capitol Building. Via.

On our way back we passed Camp Carson, a large U.S. Military reservation where they had a prisoner of war camp, the bldgs. still standing. We saw the original capitol building standing in the Broadmoor area. It is a log cabin with an extra painted wooden front (congress made Colorado, a territory on Feb. 28, 1861. We saw some beautiful country estates around here. We had dinner at the Broadmoor Hotel and afterward walked thru the beautiful lobby, terrace overlooking a large swimming pool. The Tavern is attractive with electrified wine bottles as lights.

Thanks for reading “Traveling with Grace,” a series where we’re sharing (and annotating) posts from the travel diaries of Grace Amelia Hecht, native Baltimorean, b. 1897 and d. 1955. As mentioned in my introductory post transcription errors sometimes occur and I’ve made my best guesses where possible, denoted by [brackets]. – Rachel Kassman, marketing manager


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Traveling With Grace: The Cities of Colorado

Posted on March 17th, 2020 by

This week’s entry for our #TravelTuesday series: Traveling with Grace continues her visit through Colorado. As mentioned in earlier posts, the language and prejudices used in Grace’s writing are very much of her time and may be disturbing or uncomfortable to read, though they appear only occasionally in these entries. To read more of Grace’s travels, click here. 

Monday, August 11, 1947

Denver, Colorado

Weather: Fair to rainy

After breakfast in the coffeeshop we went to Daniel Fisher’s store to buy theater tickets, then to Denver Dry Goods store, very nice, where we did some shopping, then to AAA to have some trips mapped, then to Bennett’s restaurant for lunch. After that we rode out Colfax Blvd. to the Jewish Consumptive Relief Society’s hospital where we were graciously received and guided through by a Mr. Saxe (patient) and a Mr. Bernstein, the former from Florida the latter from Chicago. There are 100 acres, 80 of which are cultivated. Beautiful flower gardens, corn and alfalfa for the herd of pedigreed Holsteins, ultra-modern dairy and kitchen (electrical) equipment, synagogue, well stocked library, theater, arts and crafts workshop, laboratories, etc. All buildings well designed and modern. It is 43 years old.

We then went to the other side of Colfax to visit the National Jewish Consumptive hospital. It is run on a somewhat different plan. Strictly within the city it has less open space, more bldgs., takes children patients, is 46 yrs. Old but bldgs. Look older. Bnai Brith has given a splendid big building.

Vintage postcard, vista in City Park, Denver Colorado, 1940s. Via.

We then visited the city park. Its entrances are most imposing adorned with large statues. There is a fine new high school nearby. The park is beautifully landscaped, contains fine natural history museum, large lake on which boats ride, zoo in which we saw herd of very large buffalo, and many other animals, a well-equipped playground and other attractions. Saw some of the better residential districts and as it rained rather hard by now returned to the hotel and dined in style in the Emerald Room.

Vintage postcard, “Buffalo Bill’s Grave on Lookout Mountain,” 1923. Via.

Tuesday, August 12, 1947

Weather: Fine

We left Denver about 11, rode up the beautiful Denver Mt. Park, saw Buffalo Bill’s grave and museum of his relics (Frederick W. Cody) then on to Golden (we saw a big herd of fine buffalos in this vicinity and several Indian villages – real tepees.) then thru Clear Creek Canyon to Idaho Springs – a very attractive spa – and on up to the top of Mt. Evans 14, 260 ft. We were exceptionally lucky with the weather which is clear and cold. The view from the summit (glass enclosed pavilion was sublime) and we stayed here a little while to enjoy it.

Vintage postcard, Sanborn View of the crest of Mr. Evans, 1940s. Via.

On our way down the coloring in the sky was magnificent. In the distance the sun was drawing water and there was prismatic effect like a huge fountain colored like a rainbow (later we had a real double rainbow which followed us all the way home). We stopped at Echo Lake Lodge for a trout lunch (the best part of it was the view) and back thru Berger Park, Troutdale, Evergreen Lake (very pretty), Bear Creek Canyon (thru which are scattered some beautiful summer homes and camps) then Moraison, Red Rocks, and a stretch of lovely lands back to Denver, one of the nicest imaginable rides. Tonight, we went to a movie opposite hotel – antiquated theater, no air conditioning, they all show double features here and most of them have steps. We saw the March of Time, Paullette Goddard and Fred Astaire in an old picture and Al Jolson, Frank Morgan and Helen Hayes in another old revival, “The Heart of N.Y.” Back to the hotel and Helene and I went into the Ship Tavern (very crowded) where we each had a big glass of egg-nog.

Wednesday, August 13, 1947

Weather: Rain

We got up late and went to the Blue Parrot for lunch (its namesake was preening its feather in its window cage) and at 3:15 we started out for Central City. Stopped to visit an Indian trading post with very pretty merchandize and I talked to an old Sioux dressed in full regalia – deer skin suit and moccasins heavily beaded and trimmed in rabbit fur and war bonnet of eagle feathers. It started to rain hard after we left here. Nevertheless, we enjoyed the beautiful ride to Blackhawk and Central City thru Clear Creek canyon (the road runs thru several tunnels and is cut out of the solid rock.) These two old mining towns built high on the mt. side are very quaint and look like they have come out of an old museum. Helene and Charles visited the Lost Gold Mine, which they said was quite interesting.

Vintage postcard, Teller House, Central City, Colorado, c. 1940s. Via.

The Teller House, leading hotel, seems to have stood still since about 1870. We had supper at “Cousin Jack’s” and he was an excellent host, entertaining us until it was time to go to theater and giving to each of us a piece of rock containing lead, glints of silver and gold. He also provided good food. Next door to Cousin Jack’s was a tin-type parlor filled with the quaintest dresses and hats of a century ago which one might don for a picture sitting. The window frames were outlined in lace paper like valentines. Next to the theater on one side was a pretty little flower garden with a gristmill and grindstone in the center. On the other side is a lady’s parlor in a little one-story white cottage with antique furnishings.

Vintage postcard, Central City Opera House interior, c. 1940s. Via.

Before the opera house opened (and luckily the weather had cleared) the ushers in long coats, high boots and high stock collars, paraded up the street singing old fashioned songs. The opera house itself is very quaint, typical of the gaslight era, all red and gold with hand-painted ceiling. The chairs were donated by various public-spirited citizens in the old days whose names are painted on the chair backs. The play “Harvey,” starring Frank Fay is a riotous comedy written about an imaginary white rabbit and is what I would term a psychopathic satire. The audience a large one – there were standees – was enthusiastic and Mr. Fay gave us a very humorous curtain talk at the end of the show. The cast, about 14, was excellent and there was a 3-piece orchestra to furnish pleasing music between the acts. We started back for Denver about midnight in a long procession of cars which looked like an illuminated snake twisting around the mountains. The stars were out now, and we had radio music to enliven the trip.

Theater program, Frank Fay in “Harvey,” 1940s. Via.

Thanks for reading “Traveling with Grace,” a series where we’re sharing (and annotating) posts from the travel diaries of Grace Amelia Hecht, native Baltimorean, b. 1897 and d. 1955. As mentioned in my introductory post transcription errors sometimes occur and I’ve made my best guesses where possible, denoted by [brackets]. – Rachel Kassman, marketing manager

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