I’m excited to be going into our thirteenth week. Thanks to all who participated last week. I hope you will continue to join us when you can.
A few weeks ago I was in Staunton (pronounced Stanton) Virginia for a little overnight trip. I got a marvelous deal through Groupon, easy to do in the winter. I had looked forward to this trip for months. Staunton is one of those quaint little cities (population 26,000) with lots of art galleries, history, and cool architecture; that’s right up my alley! Unfortunately it was raining/snowing when I was there so after a quick lunch I sprinted back to my car only to catch, out of the corner of my eye, an interesting art galley across the street. While I had a parking space I decided to check it out. This was one of those moments that must have been preordained; you know, like fate or destiny. I had a whole itinerary printed out and this gallery was not on it, but like I said; fate.
I went on in and met a friendly man at the desk who seemed a bit nervous. I later found out this was his first time volunteering at the R.R. Smith Center for History & Art; again, fate, but I will explain that more in a minute. I moved through the gallery excited to view their current exhibit; Youth Art (from the students of local schools).
When I came out of the exhibit hall I stopped to talk to the charming gentleman. I asked about the beautiful structure and he told me it was a hotel built-in 1895 and designed by local renowned architect, T.J. Collins. He went on to describe the community project to save the building and turn it into an art center. I explained my visit and how I loved architecture and was disappointed that I wasn’t going to get to shoot as much outdoors as I had hoped. He excitedly told me to help myself and explore the upper floors of the building; mentioning some interesting windows that were put in during the renovation. “Windows?”, I thought. I found myself salivating but I never let on. Yes I was as cool as any cucumber, smiling politely and slowly ascending the stairs.
Fate, I tell ya! This museum was not on my list, it just happened to be next to the place where I had lunch when my first choice of restaurant was brimming with the after church crowd. I doubt a seasoned volunteer would have been so accommodating. If anyone from the Smith Gallery ever reads this, please don’t be mad at Mister, he was wonderful and even though I got some pictures from inside some of your offices, I swear, I never touched a thing!