50 for 50 #26 – Learn Somthing New

The year is half gone and I’ve now crossed over the half way point in my 50 for 50. This week I decided it was time to learn something new. Bill has played around with making bracelets out of paracord. He is coming up to the first day of Girls Camp in a couple of weeks to teach the girls how to make them. He showed me a new sample bracelet that I really liked, so today he taught me how to do it. It is the KBK Bar and there is a very good video on how to do it by TIAT. Tying It All Together makes the best videos on how to tie knots that I’ve ever seen.

Here are the photos from my effort. The rope I’m using isn’t paracord but it works ok for practicing. We have a bunch of paracord on order but it hasn’t arrived yet.

my finished KBK Bar bracelet

wearing my new KBK Bar bracelet


30 June 1856 – Arrival in Boston Harbor – Mary Taylor


From the Life History of John Jaques;

Mon. 30: About 7 o’clock the steam tug “Huron” came alongside and towed us to Constitution Wharf. Brother Haven returned having learned that Brother Felt was in New York. The presidents of wards had the privilege of going onshore with two or three men from each ward to bring provisions for those who wanted them. I and Brother Steel, Paul and Taylor went and bought cheese, bread, butter, and sugar for our ward. I bought for myself about eighty cents worth of bread, about three pounds of cheese, two pounds of butter, a little fresh meat, and a few other things. Very hot day. Took a walk with Elders Haven and Steel along Washington Street. Elder Haven leaving us went on the Common. Very tired on our return. City very clean, also the people. Bought one quart of milk, 5 cents, several 10 cent loaves, 4 or 5 pounds of ham, and several other articles. Our letter did not appear in the Journal. The editor rejecting it, ostensibly on account of its length. I and Brother Haven shortened it and he gave us to understand that he would print it.

From the Diary of Samuel Openshaw;

June 30 – Very hot. Remained in the vessel while arrangements were made for us to go by rail.

From the Journal of Joseph Beecroft;

Monday 30th I arose a little to four and with my wife arranged our loose things into bags, during which time the Saints was emptying their bed into the river through the portholes. We had to throw out our good flocks and have some 3 months to lay on hard boards or ground. We got our things arranged, washed our floor, and being invited I went on shore and was in through this business [UNCLEAR] I felt comfortable. We breakfasted on cold water given to us by Sister Peel and about 7 the steam tug came and about 8 o’clock we were on tugged to Boston. I went on deck and enjoyed the scenery and the view of buildings next the sea as we passed along. The town is a great length along the side of the bay and presents a dazzling prospect from the water, but our joy was short for we were ordered below with orders that a man was not to stir, except by leave.

While below I got up some boiled rice, and about this time the anchor was cast and double guards were placed at each of the hatchways to prevent parties from coming to plunder us. While a number of awkward looking men came and wanted to come in our midst. About eleven I was asked to go onshore with our president and went with him and quite a number of the brethren in search for provisions and I had cheese, butter, and bread bought by Elder Brodrick [Broderick], who exerted himself as he always has done for our well-being.

The Saints had the privilege given to go on deck so I went up before Elder Brodrick [Broderick] was ready and looked abroad and Elder Brodrick [Broderick] having come to us I went out of the ship on the quay, followed by my son John, who so soon as he felt the floor, he stamped with one foot and then the other exclaiming, “I have put my feet on ground again.” I now felt joy to spring up because I had got to land and thought of those who had kissed the very ground when they first touched the shore. I felt on free soil for the gospel has made me free and I will live under its banner while I live and in death I will sail under it into another world, and in the resurrection I will be a more than conqueror under its ample folds and life giving principles through the spirit of God. [p.32]

When Elder Brodrick [Broderick] was ready in company with a many brethren we went into Boston and traveled a great part of a street that runs alongside the quay or harbor till we came to the marketplace, and there we purchased a large cheese and some butter and while [-] there the sweat flowed freely from us in consequence of our weak state, the sharp walk and the exceeding weather. The parties of whom we bought our provisions inquired where we had come from and where we were going and one gave the address of his brother-in-law who resides in Provo, Salt Lake Valley and presented me with a last Saturday’s newspaper which afforded me the news that the American government had dismissed Mr. Crampton, the English minister and that England was likely to dismiss the American minister. Strange news, what I oft feared., I felt glad I had escaped.

We got a good drinking of new bread, principally with butter and cheese, what luxury. I wrote a letter for my Brother William and finished a letter for Brother Peel, in which I enclosed my letter for brother William. I wrote much in journal and felt happy.

I got the privilege to go out again a little before 8 o’clock and in company with Brother John Pears went through a many streets, and while out we were passes by few water engines which was drawn at a good run by the men who was going to put out a fire. We should have gone further but I began to rain very hard. The rain passed off and we hastened on to ship which we reached a little after 9. The streets and houses was brilliantly lighted up by lightening ever now and then. Got some American coin for half a sovereign, I gave to Elder Brodrick [Broderick] to get changed. Attended prayer meeting and about 10 went to bed on the boards. A many put their beds on the floor in the gangway. Some slept on boxes, others on bags. Brother Litter [James Lister] and others cracked jokes and kept us our merry as pipers. [UNCLEAR]


Puppy Photo Shoot

Yakira and Zodiac by Lisa Thompson

A few weeks ago Lisa Thompson, did a photo shoot for the puppies in our club and this week I got a cd with the photos. She was our club leader until a couple of years ago and she has access to a photo studio through her job. So once or sometimes twice a year she invites the club to come and she and a friend of hers take wonderful pictures of our pups. I have a wall about our stairs where I hang the “official” portrait of each of our GDB puppies. All but Apex’s are from Lisa’s photo shoots. I have them printed on 10″ x 10″ canvas at Pixels, where she works with their name and the year they were born. I’m so excited to get Yakira’s and Zodiac’s images up on our wall.

Now I just need to pick which pictures to use. I’ve narrowed it down to these. I thought it would be fun to see if any of you have opinions of which image you like for their official portrait. Just comment and let me know what you think.

Yakira #1

Yakira #2

Yakira #3

Yakira #4

Zodiac #1

Zodiac #2

Zodiac #3

60 Years Ago Today

Monday, 30 June 1952:

I had a good continental breakfast with the seething masses of people already up early. There were all kinds of vehicles. We proceeded to an ancient church built in 1600 a.d. that was restored. It had 54 silver statues with each one representing a saint. Our guide told us about the parade and feast day with different floats sent from each church. We found a sculpture in silver created in 1695 a.d. that weighed 45,000 pounds. It was St. Michael with a dragon. A large and ancient baptismal font was used to baptize by immersion. We passed through a section of the city that had been attacked during World War II and people were living among the ruins.

We got off on the wrong track to Mount Vesuvius and ended down at the Mediterranean Sea. We stopped traffic getting the bus turned around. And I observed a church with two beautiful yellow and green domes. There were purple frustration flowers creeping over the walls of the ruins and cactus plants in the courtyard. Then we squeezed by an overflowing wagon load of baskets. I noticed the dark rich volcanic soil. No matter how often it erupted, the Italian people refused to abandon the city.

Orchards and vineyards lined the road in Vesuvius. Italians had plenty of fruits and orchards, but lacked minerals. Then Andre had another tight squeeze past a small vehicle on a one way street. Some little kids ran to watch us and raised their hula hoops as we passed. The curves were too sharp for our long bus, but once again Andre did a super job. I viewed a man in the street without shoes.

At last a panoramic view of Naples, the valley, and the Mediterranean as we climbed higher and higher. Naples had a population of 1,600,000. By the side of the road there were little pepper fields. We passed a man and his family taking fruit to the market by wagon.

Again we had trouble with the curves. Andre really earned his money today. Lava flows had taken over some of the orchards here. Various kinds of vegetation were popping up everywhere since Mount Vesuvius had last erupted. This included wild grass and flowers. There were still some strips of fruit trees higher up in some spots between the lava flow.

The bus engine heated up with its 4000 ton load. We made it around the curves without having to back up. We stopped at the Eremo Restaurant and Hotel to pick up our guide and to gain the privilege of going on a private road for 300 lire apiece.

With our finances collected, the road turned out to be rather narrow and treacherous. We parked the bus and took to our feet, and me in Voodoo sandals, through loose lava, slate and dust. The road went inside the original crater that had destroyed Pompeii. A small crater had fallen into the larger crater in 1944.

At the top of the huge new crater it was still smoking in one section. Herr Watkins had been here nine days before the last eruption in 1944 and said the landscape had completely changed since then. He had gone clear to the top in a funicular which was destroyed in a 1944 eruption. There had been 33 previous eruptions recorded on Mount Vesuvius.

We climbed for about 30 minutes after leaving the bus. Then we reached a spectacular view of Naples, Mediterranean Sea, and countryside. It was from one side of the top to the yawning mouth of the other side of the crater. My sandals and rocks made even better friends with each other on the way down. The soles of both feet and sandals were walking on rocks. They came in from both the front and back of my sandals. There was only one advantage, no dirty socks.An Italian trail repairman at the bottom gave me a pretty rock with gold colored flecks as a medal of valor for my bravery in hiking Vesuvius in my sandals.

Andre did a good job turning the bus around on a really narrow road while we were gone. Going down was even more hair-raising than going up. Andre’s brow was furrowed from the strain when a huge rock got lodged between the left rear dual tires. It felt like riding on the rim and a square rim at that! We couldn’t stop to remove it until we got farther down.

While Andre maneuvered our big unwieldy long bus around one sharp turn after another we ate lunch. Andre backed up on many of the curves to make it around them. Finally, we found a level spot and stopped to remove the rock. Italian truck workers stopped to help Andre remove it. They had to partly remove the outside tire to get rid of the huge rock.

All of us relaxed again when we reached the foothills. We passed a wagon load of barrels that were hanging out on all sides of the truck. After crossing a railroad track, we made a detour to visit a cameo factory. I caught sight of little kids asking for cigarettes and a tiny shoeshine boy at the side of road who was busy at work.

What a madhouse the cameo factory turned out to be when we arrived! First I was busy taking pictures of Andre, the bus and purple frustrations. I missed seeing how the cameos were made. However, I got a pretty good explanation from the other kids afterwards.

In any case I didn’t miss going into the shops. There were so many beautiful cameos. I looked and looked and was tempted and tempted. But at the ninth hour I settled on a beautiful cameo ring set in gold for Lois. I was almost the last one on the bus.

Now we’re off for Sorrento. The view from the bus window en route was superb or more so than heretofore. Mount Vesuvius and the Island of Capri looked like thick purple mists on opposite horizons. The road curved high above the edge of the Mediterranean Sea and olive trees terraced from the sea edge to the roadside. I tried to pick out our hotel as Sorrento buildings came into view across a strip of the Mediterranean Sea. There were plumed horses pulling buggies through the streets.

We arrived at Hotel La Terrazza and the grounds were like an estate. Alice said she thought it used to be someone’s pensione. We went exploring while the rooms were being assigned. There was a terrace overlooking the sea with beautiful flowers. I wandered down tons of steps to the private beach below.

First thing on the docket for me was a dip in the Mediterranean Sea. It cost 100 lire and I was the first one in. What fun I had riding the waves! I played water ball and talked to Puerto Rican girls who knew the kids on the Sibijak. I found a warm shower on the beach, my bath for today.

Afterwards there was a long trek up just like climbing the steps of Notre Dame.
We dressed for dinner on the terrace. We had sliced bread, water, soup with a little macaroni, hamburger with a cheese topping, and cheese rolled in pepper skins. The meal was 300 lire and dessert was a potato-like ice cream or pastry cake fruit.

Then we went downstairs to the square called the Bagalella. A boy from the hotel showed us the way to the native Tarantella dances. This traditional Italian folk dance had a fast upbeat tempo and used tambourines like castanets. There were beautiful costumes, a blues singer, and musicians wearing black and white striped shirts.

Another group of American girls were there from Roanoke, Virginia. They were really dressed up. I sat by a man and his wife and daughter from Buenos Aires, Argentina. He pronounced thousand as Susan. Alicia talked to the daughter and a small Italian man asked me to dance. He was a good dancer and smooth, but so short.

We sat down to talk and he asked me what “ice block” meant. He had a letter from a girl signed “ice block.” I tried to explain. Then another character came over. I decided it was time to bid them adieu before things got involved. They both had spoken pretty good English though.
On the way to the hotel one of them followed us on a motorbike and offered to give us a ride. I said okay if the two of us could come. Eloise hung tightly to him and I to her for a hair-raising ride to the pier. We rounded the curves laying on one side of the motorbike. We climbed up on the pier and talked for a few minutes.

Then another bike roared up the hill. It sure looked liked a “put up job.” He asked permission to introduce us. I said “You can introduce us but that’s all.” The second bike left and I decided that we best get out of there. No! He said he’d take us home in a few minutes.

But before a few minutes were up the other bike came back. Then the other guy came up and talked to us. We convinced both of the bikers that we don’t smoke or drink and must get back to the hotel. We insisted on going back together, but they swore so sincerely to take us back to the hotel that we relented. We arrived at the door safe and sound, but the manager complained about the noise of the motorcycles.

It was a gorgeous view from our room. However, there was no water stopper in the tub which made taking a bath challenging. Margaret, Helen, Alicia and I took our mattresses out on the terrace to sleep under the stars.

60 Years Ago Today

Sunday, 29 June 1952:
I was up early at 6:30 a.m. Alice didn’t really think I would get up early, so she wasn’t ready. Around 8 a.m. we finally went straight up our street to Saint Magiore Cathedral and past Peter in Chains to the Coliseum. At the Coliseum I had to get up higher to get a better picture. I kept wandering inside the forum and the guard continued to kick me out again. However I begged him to let me take a picture and then I quickly took off, climbed the rocks, and got the picture while Alice tried to calm him down. I practically ran all the way back so he wouldn’t be upset.

As we drove out of town we passed the Coliseum again and then went through modern Rome. We kinda got lost and turned down a beautiful tree-lined boulevard. I really hated to leave Rome. It was so beautiful.

Next we journeyed past gorgeous greens at a golf course that had rough grass in between the greens. We continued near a railroad that was right next to the highway. The highway and railroad were as close as the two could get. Then there were many beautiful well kept vineyards and soon after an intersection with a road to Tegis.

The bus proceeded to Anzio and its beachhead. We went over a bridge to a city on a hill. A public watering place and a beautiful valley greeted us. What captivating sights: checkerboard fields, fairly new trees lining the streets, trees that curbed each side of the road and railroad, another small town, busy market place, and trees growing out of the pavement along the main street.

This part of the country seemed much more fertile here than coming into Rome from the north. There were ladies with big loads on their heads and modern irrigation of a big canal. It helped explain the greater fertility here in Italy. Then there were huge fields of wild poppies, mountains rising on the left, orchards, and villages and towns built part way up. The name of the highway was Via Appia.

The city of Terracina was next. As we entered the city the Mediterranean Sea was at the side of the street coming into town. Purple frustration flowers were everywhere with a high wall between us and the mountain. The beach tapered out to leave just enough room for the road between the mountain and the sea. Then the beach widened again for a beautiful vineyard and palm trees between the road and Mediterranean Sea. We sang church hymns. What a beautiful way to spend Sunday, soaking in this magnificent scenery and singing!

What’s up? Cars were lined up for over a quarter mile. Around the curve of the road, the men took off to get the scoop of what was happening. We proceeded to eat lunch with dry tuna on dry biscuits, pastries and oranges.

A boy with the scoop biked around the line of cars. He said a boy riding a bike was hit by a truck in a semi-phore or a four way intersection. Unfortunately he was killed. We drove past the little boy’s body. It was covered up, lying on the road with blood and gore spread around him. His family was huddled by the rail. I didn’t feel much like singing anymore.

There were mules and donkeys, reminiscent of Christ’s time. A whole family was in a cart behind one mule and a tiny girl was carrying a basket on her head. Oleanders, an evergreen shrub, were alternating with trees along side the road. Whatta picture!

There was a spectacular double row of trees. I wish I could have captured it all with my camera. I spied a little canvas covered truck with a mother, child, and household belongings in the back. Next were fields of strange looking hay? We stopped at a railroad crossing and Herr Watkins asked a man what kind of hay it was. It was cannibas hay, which was used to make clothing.

At 2:30 p.m. we reached Naples, that was supposed to be the dirtiest city in Italy. The green, white and red, Italian flags were hanging in the corners of the city square with the obelisk in the center. I strained to get my first view of Mount Vesuvius. There were herds of goats on the side of the road with signs pasted on walls down the street.

We proceeded down the main street of Naples, via Roma, to our Hotel Albergo Universo. It was pretty centrally located. Three bell boys met us with smiles and little kids gathered around us. The hotel facade wasn’t bad. The hotel had a beautiful lobby, slow elevators, and nice rooms.
Next we went to Pompeii with its wide streets and toll gate. On the way I saw a pill box, relic of World War II. We encountered a hot rod barreling around town that almost hit us. There were only inches between us and his windshield.

Pompeii was a ruined and partially buried Roman town near modern Naples and located in Sarno Valley. It had been inhabited since the 7th century and was influenced by the Greeks and Italians. It had resisted Roman domination till 80 b.c. In 63 a.d. Pompeii was destroyed by an earthquake and later in 79 a.d. by an eruption of Mount Vesuvius. There was a nucleus of Christians in Pompeii before the volcanic eruption. The town was buried in 25 feet deep of volcanic ash and its people were suffocated by the ashes. When it was covered there were 20,000 people in the city. Excavations commenced in 1599, rediscovered in 1738, and continued on and off till the present. The last lava flow from Vesuvius was in 1943.

There were two parallel main streets in Pompeii with loose ash and puma stone. Porta Marina was the main entrance and sea gate. A statue of Minerva, the Roman name for Greek Goddess Athena, was found by the Marina Gate. The streets were paved by lava stones and in 1597 Domenica built a subterranean aqueduct. Many relics had been taken to the Louvre and other museums. In the House of Vetti, one of the most famous of Pompeii’s luxurious residences, were the most important statues and frescoes.

There were plaster casts of the city as it was at the time of the erupting volcano. There also were plaster casts of just about everything: Dead people, dead animals, wheels, money box, huge steel deal, fish hooks, cameos, ring stone, pearls, scissors, fish scales, vases, bread, wine, press, dentist instruments, gold and silver coins, cake molds, strainer, locks, keys, little stoves, and taps. One third of the city had not yet been excavated.

Excavated items included earrings, springs, bones from San Marzano, statue from 500 b.c., pottery with art work, tufa stones, sculpture with little figures on a dish, baby jewelry, silver cups, bronze hooks, little statuettes, needles, jewelry, dice, and mill out of lava stones for making olive oil.

There were statues in the museum in Naples, including the statue of Livia. The original sidewalks and walls the Romans had constructed were still there as well. The walls were made of webbed tufa stones. Next we discovered pillar of bricks, wine shops, sliding doors, families living behind the shops, and imitation marble decorations. As we continued we saw the Apollo Temple, statue of Drana, Magistrate of Pompeii, and Palace of Justice Tribunal.

The forum, main square, included the religious and political center of the city. The Temple of Jupiter had marble carving on its gateway. The people washed their clothing with their feet. In the Temple of Augustus the walls were covered with marble and had its original altar. There were money changers, food markets, and big wine jars. Blocks were put up to stop traffic.

Then we went to the Temple of Fortune which had a chapel shrine inside and the triumphant arch of Nero. The public baths were like a club with Terne el torre Mosaic floors. The cold baths were open to the sky with frieze around the top of the walls. The Temple of Fortune still had its original marble floors, beautiful decorations, and locker area for the tepid bath. The hot bath had marble mosaic floors with a round dome of steam falling down on the side. A big wash bowl was there for washing hands and face.

I spied a wine shop across from the bath houses on the main street. Pompeii was symmetrical just like some modern cities. Also, we went to Casa del Poetatregica, the House of the Tragic Poet, with the infamous cave canem inscription which means beware of the dog. I discovered some lizards there.

Next the House of Dancing Fauns, built during the 2nd century b.c. was one of the largest, and most impressive private residences in Pompeii. The house had a fruit and flower garden and filled one whole city block.

Then to the House of Vetti, another important home, had large blocks with coats of plaster and original gargoyles. It was well preserved. The bedroom was so small there was only space for the bed. And there were high doors and a Roman bowl that dated back to 15-20 years before Christ. Some of the paintings were well preserved as we caught sight of paintings by Mercury, Juno, and Isis. In the dining room there were Pompeii red figures on a black background.

Other art included two money boxes, cupid breaking medicine, and paintings of Gods. There was a slab of lead to keep out the dampness around the floor. We walked through one sitting room for mom and pop and another one for the kids. In the kitchen were copper looking apparatus’, lead pipes, and fountains out of mosaic.

During our tour we found out that our guide had been in the movie September Affair and spoke four languages. He took us through the butcher shop, soap factory with a mill stone, and by the beautiful statue of Nero. I noticed that the pharmacy symbol was represented by snakes. Also, I caught sight of a rock that had a hole in it in order to tie the horses during that time period. The Doric columns in Pompeii were dated to 600 B.C.

Next on the tour was the ancient Roman city of Stabiae which was destroyed in the eruption. Then the Greek style theater, which seated 5,000 people, which opened upwards to the sky. On rainy days they put up an awning and on hot days they put water on the awning to cool themselves.

Picturesque Towns of Italy Swarmed With Tourists From All Parts of World

Editor’s note: This is the seventh of a series of letters written by Mrs. Afton A. Hansen giving her impressions of a trip through Europe she is making with a group of 35 Utah college students. This one was written on July 7 in Italy.

Dear Friends;
From one end of Italy to the other—from north to south and back again, we have traversed this strange land—along its blue Mediterranean coast, over the dry summer hills, to the rim of Mt. Vesuvius, which was so dry and windy that workmen went ahead of us to clear the trail of wind blown dirt and rolling rocks.

Throughout the country we find construction work going on in roadway and building. It is said that Italy is using her lend lease money [post WWII economic aid from the US] for reconstruction of their country to attract the tourist who provides a major part of the national income. These lovely towns are swarmed with tourists from all parts of the world.

Our first stop in Italy was somewhat disappointing. Expecting some romantic Romeo to serenade us with song, or hear a street cleaner singing an aria, we were almost alarmed when looking through the hotel window to see four dismal looking characters playing cards. Unkempt, dirty and mostly toothless, they were pounding the table in vigorous competition of the game.

Felt Like Emigrants
Having been repeatedly warned to watch our baggage, I was much concerned when an Italian gentleman attempted to help with my heavy suitcase. Although I said “No, No!” he insistently carried my bag to my door and went down stairs laughing. Indeed we looked like we might need help as we trudged from bus to hotel with bags and bundles.

A few of us with scarfs on our heads looked and felt like emigrants sitting on all our worldly possessions.

The next hotel in which we stayed—Grand Verde, in Rapolic—held the romance of situation on the hilbarde, overlooking the beautiful Mediterranean from a balcony window. No Romeo’s yet though.

Not until we came to our noisy Atlantico Hotel in Florence did we hear street singing. Two boys on a bicycle, in working clothes at 5 a.m. were lustily singing an Italian “ditty.” The little girl, strolling along with her parents in the warm summer evening singing to her heart’s content, was unnoticed, except by us Americans.

Enjoy Laughter
Italian like the French seem uninhibited, stopping anyplace on the street to discuss and gesticulate. They seem to enjoy laughter and a good joke.

The country of Tuscany affords picturesque traveling. Our 30-mile-per-hour bus permits good seeing. The hill tops are crowned with old medieval castles, walls and fortifications, while below them are ripening grain fields, trees and gardens. Highways are lined with Oleander trees, fig, olive and pomegranate trees.

For centuries, women here have trudged to the water well with jugs on heads. I am anxious to try out, with brush and paint some of the sketches I have of a young lady balanced on a donkey with heavily laden baskets on either side, and the family coming home from market in a large two-wheeled cart drawn by two white oxen.

There is a variety of interest in every city we visit. Even the ancient dead city of Pompeii had an amazing silent story to tell. Two thousand years ago it was a thriving commercial and agricultural city on the side of the hill near the Mediterranean. For nearly 10 centuries before Christ the nearly 25,000 inhabitants traded with Greece. One day they heard a deep earth rumbling and their beautiful city was shaken with an earthquake. Then on a warm August day at about 1 p.m. in the year 79 A.D., the nearby Mt. Vesuvius erupted, spreading ashes and pumice over the entire area, covering Pompeii in a depth of 30 feet. It remained covered until about 60 years ago when the excavation began. One third of the city’s 161 acres still remains to be uncovered.

Ancient Wheel Ruts
As we were guided along the stone sidewalks, two and three feet wide, we noticed the ruts in the narrow stone streets made by the many chariot wheels rumbling along thousands of years ago. We saw the shops along the main streets, stores, snack bar, stock exchange, wool market, dye shops, palace of justice and fountains on the corner where we quenched our thirst.

In one house, once lived two rich merchants, perhaps father and son with their family. A sign on the entrance read — “Care Canni” — which means “Beware of the dog.” In the vestibule were marble columns, benches and low chests. The house had many so-called modern conveniences such as a central heating system for warm and cold air. Bath tubs were of Carrara marble. A huge wash basin of Egyptian Chipolena marble, was put there at a cost of $60,000,000.

This size basin would be convenient for a large family for it could easily accommodate eight people at once. The stone stove in the kitchen could bake 89 loaves of bread at one time.

Glorious Past
This dead city tells of a glorious past, with only one inner yard being kept alive with flowers, shrubs, grass and vases.

Don’t you wonder what these people did, when the volcanic ash began to spread over their city? Of course many of them left the city when the earthquake occurred, but about 3000 victims have been uncovered from the ruins. From the position of their bodies we can be almost sure that they did what we have been told to do in case of an atomic bomb attack. They threw themselves to the ground covering their faces with their arms. One man sat in a corner protecting his face with his hands. A dog was found in an agonizing position.

Bodies Restored
We wondered how they could recover these bodies with such detail even to eye lids, folds of the skin and expression of the face. The guide told us that the ashes and pumice hardened as it poured over the bodies. In time the flesh decayed, leaving a cavity containing bones, skull and teeth. Into this cavity was poured a thin plaster which was left to harden for several months.

With small picks and a brush, the ash was cleared away, leaving the perfect shape of a victim of suffocation. The same process was employed in recovering furniture.
In the houses have been found furniture—kitchen utensils, cereal, cloth, water faucets, ring, money, surgical instruments, oil press, wine press and other things which would indicate their activity. So much could be told of Pompeii as well as many other places which are so interesting by we who see them but could become tiresome on paper.

Let me tell you a little about the schools. For more than an hour we visited with an elementary grade school teacher and her sister who teaches piano lessons. They were delightful ladies who discussed education in Italy through our interpreter Dr. Watkins.

From the readers and work books which we saw, we were pretty sure that an Italian child of seven or eight in the second or third grade was two to three years ahead of our youngsters the same age and grade in the reading, writing, arithmetic and ability and quality of work.

Even in these young grades they learn to sing songs from the opera. The program of Verdi’s work put on by these youngsters was very good, according to the teachers and principal. These youngsters of course have an opportunity to visit these museums, so full of history. Their penmanship is excellent.

We wondered, if, in our mania for freedom we have lost some thing in basic values. This would be worthy of further investigation. One choice idea from this visit was old but always worth repeating: “Keep the avenues of expression and conversation open between you and the child.” These people love to converse.

Afton A. Hansen

Little boys and girls were trying to sell things for cigarettes or American dollars. We looked at some canvas in a factory and saw a double bus leaving Pompeii. At 7:30 p.m. we were leaving Pompeii and what a wonderful experience it had been!

Back at the hotel I had a delicious dinner with two desserts, just like on the Sibijak. Gastone, a guide, wanted to show us the city and was persistent. At first we ended up talking to a few sailors. Then there was a Catholic parade for St. Peter’s Day that had money hanging from a statue. Henry walked down the main street with us.

Millions of people were everywhere. Other guides, Sam and Mario, came along as well. Sam, 15 years old, had stowed away to America twice. He doesn’t work because he only gets 70 cents a week. And he doesn’t have any money for school, so he was a man of leisure. He was very old for his age. Paul, the elevator boy, studied English, German, French, and Spanish. He spoke the languages well. Many people spoke English here. I made a mistake by saying Signora instead of Signor. As a side note the post office in Naples was built by Mussolini.

28 June 1856 – First Sight of Land – Mary Taylor

From the Diary of Samuel Openshaw:

June 28 – Beautiful day and a propitious wind brought us in sight of “Yankee Land” which is the first land that we have seen since we left sight of Ireland and truly it was beautiful. As we entered into the Bay of Boston to behold the rise and decline of hills beyond hills intersecting covered with green grass, cattle grazing, bedecked beautiful houses, rocks rising out of the water as if to resist the force of the waves. It was truly sublime to us to gaze upon it. Our hearts were cheered to behold our destined fort. We cast anchor about nine miles from the city of Boston. A pilot came on board.

From the Life History of John Jaques:

Sat. 28: Beautiful calm morning. Many small vessels seen. A thin sandy broken black streak was pronounced land which proves true, being Cape Cod. Great rejoicing at this. Towards the middle of the day a fresh breeze sprung up which sent us right into the harbor at the rate of 10 to 12 knots per hour. It was truly refreshing to see the houses, trees and the green landscape after being deprived of the privilege for some time. We cast anchor at 6 p.m. within a mile or two of Boston. As we came up the river the passengers were kept down below while the sailors were taking in sails. This was quite a deprivation, but was submitted to with patience. The captain went ashore soon after casting anchor and took with him a letter to the Daily Journal and one to President John Taylor. I saw a steamship about the harbor. There were plenty of little sailing vessels such as yachts and barges. Also a steam packet or two. The view of Boston and the vicinity is very interesting. A small hillock is an island, with trees upon it, is quite a relief to the eye.

From the Journal of Joseph Beecroft:

Saturday 28th I arose about four and looked out of the porthole but could see no land. I went to bed again, and laid till half past 5, washed, shaved, carried up water, and about 7 o’clock I hear a person say he saw land from the first landing on the mast. I ventured up and the 3 of our company to see land for the first time for near 5 weeks. About 9 o’clock we could see land very plain from the ship side of the forecastle. The same Saints seem [p.28] highly pleased with the sight. I feel grateful to my Father in Heaven for his goodness in sparing our lives to see the land of Zion, the land of the free and home of the brave. The land of Joseph’s, choice above all lands. Glory to God in the highest and goodwill to men. I got breakfast after prayer meeting, and then went on deck, and beheld from the ship side the distant hills which indeed appeared lovely to those who have been a long time deprived of the sight of [-]. I stood on the forecastle and with joyous feelings beheld our noble vessel glide rapidly through the yielding waters and bringing us nearer to the sand hills in the distance. About noon we had got opposite the hills which lay on the left side of the ship and in a short time we were opposite Cape Cod Fishery and opposite the Cape Cod Lighthouse. In the neighborhood which was a wind hill and at a short distance from this was a number of houses, the first I had beheld since the channel. We continued our course about a mile or so from the shore and could see one sandbank after another until, I discovered with my small glass, large fields clothed with waving corn and yellowing for the harvest. This sight was truly gladdening to behold. I could see the fences separating field from field. We were all ordered to our berths and having obeyed orders we saw but little of what passed, but though I took off a lock from a box and put on another yet being near our porthole I had a grand chance of seeing village after village as we passed along. We came to a point of land that retired and a great basin was formed, and we could see but the dark mountains in the distance. In a short time we came up with the land again and at this juncture I asked to go out to [-] and got on deck finding a number of Saints up, I thought I had as much right up as anyone so I stayed. For a long way as we went a short distance from one side of the shore while on the other side lay the wide ocean. As we passed along we came opposite village after village with fields interspersed between dotted here and there with trees. Now was a gentle slope inclining to the sea covered with fields, houses here and there, and then an opening beyond which we could see the water as far as we could see. By and by we came to a large [p.29] embankment which we were told was Naval Fortifications. About this time we began to be enclosed on both sides with land at a short distance and passed no less than 3 lighthouses. Here we came to little islands and then we had on our right hand an opening to the wide ocean and ships or vessels gliding in all directions. Every now and then a large boat passed us which skimmed lightly along. The individuals who manned them were dressed elegantly. The sights that presented themselves all on all sides baffles all description. Such was their grandeur, splendor, and sublimity. Among other buildings as we passed was custom house and quarantine hospital, on our right, which when we had neared, the first mate at the orders of the pilot, cast an anchor, at 25 minutes to 6 p.m., for we had got the pilot on board a little before he being brought in a light barge. He is the picture of a Yankee. Having cast anchor I came below deck and found the porthole by our berth crowded with Saints all anxious to catch a glance of things as a view was afforded through the hole. I got tea and attended to writing till we had privilege to go on deck. It was a little before sunset that we got on deck and lovely indeed was the evening as the orb of day went out of sight, right behind the city of Boston. A many boats came past us and two large ships passed for Boston. The shades of night soon followed. The setting of the sun and shut from our sight the lovely landscape that surrounded us and left the eye not to rest upon but the dim outlines of some near objects and the lights of the lamps in Boston and those of a revolving and stationary lighthouse. After chatting a little with Brother Jesse Haven upon the resources of the Americans in case of war &c. I came down and got to bed. Thus ended one of the most important days that ever dawned in my history.

60 Years Ago Today

Saturday, 28 June 1952:

Today we got to see the tombs of Keats, Shelley, and the Pyramid of Porta San Palo, an ancient tomb. But first we saw the Piazza Colonnade, Italian Senate, and Obelisk of Marcus Valerius. He was a Roman general, author and patron of literature and art.

While walking around the wall of the Vatican Museum, a man was washing his clothes in the fountain in St. Peter’s Square. There was a thick ornate bronze spiral staircase with large shallow stairs. Next was the Vatican Library, one of the oldest libraries in the world, that holds books and manuscripts behind locked cabinets. I observed gold miniatures of the Basilica of St. Anthony.
It was time to go to the Sistine Chapel, the official residence of the Pope. There were lit windows in the passageway. Pope Sixtus IV built the Sistine Chapel in 1470, 22 years before the discovery of America. There were frescoes, a type of painting done on plaster, representing Christ and Moses, which were begun in 1481 a.d. The frescoes included the circumcision and baptism of Christ by Pinturicchio, and the story of Moses and Christ by Botticelli.

In 1508 a.d. Julius II ordered Michelangelo to paint the ceiling in four years. Michelangelo began working on the Last Judgment three decades after finishing the ceiling of the chapel. It took four years to finish as well. The chapel was filled with groups of people crowded around their guides. Huh….this is certainly a contrast to our temples to which the public was not admitted.

Then we saw Raphael’s four rooms which form a suite of reception rooms for the public part of the papal apartments. School of Athens was one of Raphael’s most famous paintings. There was an optical illusion on the ceiling with John the Baptist’s head by Raphael. And the ceiling and the mosaic floors were elaborate. We viewed the sculpture Laocoon and His Sons. Laocoon was a figure in Greek and Roman mythology where the father and sons were killed by a snake.

We had to dash quickly through to make the appointment with the Pope. At the door we were met by the guards. Then the usher asked for our invitation and we entered a room almost full of people waiting for the Pope. The ushers were dressed in red costumes in the red-walled rooms. Many of us were left standing so we were ushered into another smaller room that was not quite so elaborate. I noticed paintings of all the popes on the walls.

Here we sat like bumps on logs, not knowing what to expect or what to do. I was anxious to see how the Pope handled us as an audience of curious students from BYU. Herr Watkins had a Book of Mormon autographed by each of us to give to the Pope. We thought perhaps we would be in a large group with others who were Catholics, but here we were pretty much by ourselves. Wrong clue! Now back into the main receiving room where everyone was standing in a circle. We looked like a bunch of peasants with our scarves.

The Pope, dressed in white, came in with his assistants. He was 77 years old with a pleasant manner. He shook hands with everyone and gave us each a little remembrance. Some of the Catholics kissed his hand and knelt before him. There were several monks in the audience and he spoke to them for several minutes. He had a pleasant personality.

Herr Rogers was one of the last to meet the Pope. He presented our scriptures to him. We all watched intently to see how he would receive it. The Pope asked if we wanted the book blessed, but Herr Rogers told him no. However, we would like him to put it in the Vatican Library. His secretary looked at it rather queerly and handled it gingerly.

After the Pope had talked to everyone individually, he spoke a few words to everyone collectively. Afterwards a photographer came in and took two pictures of the Pope and his audience. And if you put your name on a slip of paper, they would deliver a picture to your hotel for 500 lire. Talk about commercializing the Catholic Church!

Next we ate lunch on the way to St. Paul’s Cathedral. The cathedral was Romanesque and I really liked it. It seemed much simpler than other chapels we had seen. It had a flat ceiling, Ionic columns, and five naves. St. Paul was buried here. There was a beautiful courtyard with paintings on the outside.

Outside St. Paul’s Chapel is the Domitilia Catacombs. There were four floors of catacombs that were the oldest and best in Rome. The catacombs were excavated and had murals on the walls, baby tombs with paintings from the 1st century, and martyr tombs. There was a painting of Christ and the twelve apostles in the Last Supper in an alcove of the catacombs. Over 100,000 tombs were there including coffins for noble Romans, sculpturing from the 2nd century, and Dorian, Corinthian, and Ionic columns.

Afterwards we reached the St. Sebastian 17th century chapel. Ancient Christian symbols, Jesus Christ, and fish adorn the church. The chandeliers were fish holding light globes and there were four levels of chandeliers that measured nine miles long. A pupil of Bernini sculptured Sebastian beaten with arrows. About 45 feet under the church, St. Peter and St. Paul were originally buried there with the inscription from the 1st century. Overall there were 174, 000 tombs. A monk told us to shut up and listen and it took courage to come over and drink out of the old well.

Utah Travelers See Power, Beauty of Rome

Editor’s Note: This is another letter from Mrs. George H. Hansen of Provo who is traveling through Europe with a party of 35 college students from Utah.

Dear Friends;
“All roads lead to Rome; the eternal city.” For three full days we’ve seen the power and beauty of Rome, old and new.

Expecting to see a city brown and grey with age, as we entered on the Aurealian Highway we saw modern and unique signboards, which stretched for miles, before we reached the city. Of course, many of us could only read the pictures, but lucky are we to be guided by Dr. Arthur Watkins who knows and speaks so many languages.

Anxiously, going directly to the American Express Office to get our mail, we found the office closed from 13 to 15 o’clock for the midday rest period. This is a welcome arrangement during the warm weather.

Rome offers so much for the tourist to see and hear, smell and taste. Our view of past time has lengthened and our understanding is more alive. The older the country is, the more we can see the four dimensional processes of civilization at work. The vast stretch of time backward and forward, and the high and low levels of humanity are clearly widened in Rome. The apparent poverty of the woman peasant as she carries bundles of straw or sticks on her head is contrasted with “mama” who came into the silk shop (where we stopped) with huge diamonds on her hands, and many strands of pearls hanging down from her stout neck.

With evening, came the opera. The week’s program offered Rigeletto, La Traviata, The Barber of Seville and Madam Butterfly. We were amazed to see so many common people in attendance. They enjoyed the opera and it is as much a part of their lives as the picture show is to us.

Tramping around on foot to see the ancient ruins, we first saw the Colosseum. Though not in use now we climbed its awkwardly spaced steps to the second and third balconies, hearing from our guide that as many as 7000 animals were often slain in the 100 days of festivities. It was Constantine who tried to stop the fights, but a monk by the name of Telimacus ended their orgy when he jumped into the arena between two gladiators ready for action. Telimacus lost his life but so did the fights; they were held no more.

As the life of ancient Rome unfolded before our eyes, we saw the Circus Maximus where chariot races were held, and Nero’s circus where events of competition, as well as trial and slaughter were held. The fountain in the center sprayed water for more than 300 years. Numerous fountains, statues, and bridges have their stories in silence to tell. Father Neptune at the huge Trevi fountain tells us that if we will drink of the fountain or throw a coin in the water, we will come back to Rome. We did both-for all of us would love to come back some time.

The interior of the Sistine Chapel was a disappointment to us because so many people were there. The confusion of tongues of five or six different languages interfered with our vision. Yes, it was so noisy that we could not see well.

We were well-paid with serene quietness however, when we had an audience with Pope Pius XII. He is one of the most personable men we have ever known. Gowned in a white robe and red shoes, he shook hands with all thirty-six of us individually, asked where we were from and gave us a token and a blessing. We in turn gave him a combination copy of our church books to put in the Vatican library. It was an occasion of lasting worth to us.

Along the ancient, yet modern Appian Way we will go to Naples, Pompeii, Mt. Vesuvius, and the Isle of Capri.

Good-bye for now, Mrs. George H. Hansen

Next we went down the road to Naples via Appian Way. We were in the old Roman Campagna, which was a low-lying area surrounding Rome. Soon after we saw part of an old aqueduct, a tomb of Cecilia, fragments of an old Roman road, and remains of monuments all along the road leading into the city.

There was one spot with the original stones of the Appian Way, one of the earliest and strategically most important Roman roads of the ancient republic. Italian people used to live in the old mausoleum along the Appian Way. Today they live on streets with billboards and signs. Next was an old aqueduct and a woman thrashing with a broom.

Andre, drove down the wrong side of a four lane road. He turned around and went back along the new Appian Way. There were eleven aqueducts and modern Rome still used three of them. Again we saw acres with white stripes. Next were the ruins of the Baths of Caracalla which were the most extensive baths in ancient Rome. The Romans came to bathe everyday as part of their social life. Open air operas were still held here in July.

We spotted the Aurelian wall that was the last big wall built in the beginning of the 2nd century by Marcus Aurelius. Rome didn’t feel secure, so a wall was built for protection. We passed the Pyramid of Cestius that was built for himself as a burial place. It stands in a fork between two ancient roads and was erected in the last years of the republic on Piazzale Ostrense. There was a family of cats living at the base of the pyramid.

In a cemetery next to the Pyramid we proceeded to the gravesite of Percy Bysshe Shelley who died at age 30 in 1822. He drowned in a sudden storm while sailing back from Livorno to Lerici in his schooner in Italy. Percy, one of the major English Romantic poets, was critically regarded among the finest lyric poets in the English language. Edward J. Trelawny, a friend of Shelley’s, died in England and was buried next to him. His grave stone quotes from Shakespeare’s Tempest:

Nothing of him that doth fade
But doth suffer a sea-change
Into something rich and strange.

John Keats, a famous English poet, was also buried in the same cemetery. He was 25 years old when he died of tuberculosis. His last request was to be buried under a tombstone, without his name, and bearing only the legend in pentameter. Joseph Severn, devoted friend of John Keats, was buried next to him. The plaque on the wall near John Keat’s grave states:

This Grave contains all that was Mortal,
of a Young English Poet, Who,
on his Death Bed in the Bitterness of his Heart,
at the Malicious Power of his Enemies,
Desired these Words to be engraven on his Tomb Stone
Here lies One Whose Name was writ in Water.
24 February 1821

John Keats epitaph tombstone states:

Keats! if thy cherished name be “writ in water”
Each drop has fallen from some mourner’s cheek;
A sacred tribute: such as heroes seek,
Though oft in vain-for dazzling deeds of slaughter
Sleep on! Not honoured less for epitaph so meek!

Next was the tomb of Goethe’s son, August. After that I spotted a fellow running and jumping on a street car. The streets were wider here with modern buildings. Then we passed an anchor in front of a Navy building. We learned that the Italian government had tried to buy the Barberini Palace by our hotel. Then we saw the buildings and a stadium that the Fascist, Mussolini erected. At the end of World War II, Mussolini and his mistress, Petracchi, were shot and hung by their heels from the roof of a service station near Milano. His body was buried in a secret place.

Then we observed a monument to the Balilla youth organization, mosaic in a courtyard, and big rest camp for the 5th Army in 1945. Piazza Del Popolo, a city square, was to Rome what Place de la Concorde was to Paris. The name in modern Italian literally means piazza of the people. It was historically derived from the populus in Latin, pioppo in Italian. The Church of Santa Maria del Popolo was in the northeast corner of the Piazza.

Afterwards was the Banco di Santo Spirits, which was the first national bank in Europe founded by Pope Paul V. It was typical of the city eternal with spiritual and commercial mixed together.
We ate standing up at the cafeteria just around the corner from the hotel. One must see it before you can eat it! I had an egg salad and spaghetti—not bad. It was my turn to fix lunch for tomorrow so I went down the street with Alice to the bread, fruit, and pastry shops.

That night I had an interesting evening concert with Kay, Dean, and Dixon. The music included Bach, Mozart and Brahams. I think the atmosphere of the ruins and Basilica made the music sound better. At intermission we met American and English speaking Italian artists. They walked home with us and were interesting to talk to. It gave us a little more insight into the Italian people. Armando, one of the artists, claimed Italy hadn’t forgotten America. That they loved all of the United States. In fact, they were going to New York in December.

60 Years Ago Today

Friday, 27 June 1952:

The group had breakfast at the hotel. Then I spent 715 lire to mail two letters and five cards. Via del Corso, the main street running through the historical center of Rome, used to have horse races. We crossed the Tiber River. Then we identified the Caesar Augustus Old Mausoleum, Palazzio Justice Renaissance building or Hall of Justice, courthouse, Castle St. Angelo the former burial place of emperors, and Berssini’s colonnades which was the latest addition added about 130 years after the church was started.

Then we finally ended up at St. Peter’s Basilica and discovered fountains that had been working for over 700 years and an obelisk weighing 500 tons in the center of the square. Here we actually walked up to St. Peter’s door and looked at the statue of Charlemagne through iron doors. Then I saw bronze doors that were copied from some bronze doors in Florence. The northernmost door is the “Holy Door” which, by tradition, was walled-up with bricks, and opened only for holy years such as the Jubilee year by the Pope. The present door is bronze and was designed by Vico Consorti in 1950. The southern door, the Door of the Dead, was designed by 20th century sculptor Giacomo Manzù. Popes and others exited here for their funeral processions.

I caught sight of La Pieta, a statue by Michelangelo, which depicts the Virgin Mary cradling the dead body of Jesus. La Pieta was much smaller than most of his other statues, and it was the only statue he ever signed. Then there was a beautiful mosaic of Pope Clement VIII holding the key to the Jubilee door. In the right aisle is a monument to Christina of Sweden who renounced Protestantism and became Catholic.

Then I saw another monument to Leo 12th and later the Chapel of St. Sebastian, which was named after the subject of the mosaic above the altar. Other sites included: Tomb of Innocent XII, tomb of Countess Matilda, tomb of Gregory XII, tomb of Gregory XIV, painting of The Mass of St. Basil for the altar of St. Basil, monument to Benedict XIV, and painting of Martyrdom of St. Erasmus.
As we continued our tour in St. Peter’s Basilica, a man came up and called us down on our vulgar dress. After that experience we continued by viewing the eleven chandeliers that hung down on strings from every corner. The chandeliers came to an arch or a point above a central arch. Michelangelo redesigned the dome in 1547 when he was 72. The weight of St. Peter’s dome rests on four big pillars. The huge main altar was made of bronze from the Pantheon. There were 92 lamps burning and St. Peter was buried right under the mantle. Big maroon booth things decorated each huge pillar for special ceremonies. I saw a lady kiss the toe of St. Peter. His toes were worn down from people kissing them. St. Peter had the keys of authority in his hand that were supposedly found in his original shrine.

We proceeded through St. Peter’s Basilica with St. Andrew statue, St. Veronica statue, St. Longinus statue by Bernini, St. Linus statue, monument to Paul III, tomb of Urban VIII (Mafeo Barberini), monument to Benedict XIV and St. Helen statue who was the mother of Constantine. She converted to Christianity and became a devout Christian. She brought part of the true cross from Jerusalem.

Next was the entrance to St. Peter’s crypt where Peter was buried. The rounded domes were Renaissance architecture. There was a copy of the painting Sacred Heart. And later a list of all the 143 popes was on a marble plaque. The Chapel of Immaculate Conception was next with a beautiful mosaic.

Then we climbed the stairs to the top. It cost 50 lire on the way up and I saw autographs on most of the tombs. There were plaques commemorating the days when important figures came to visit the current popes. St. Peter’s Basilica was partially built over the same site of the earlier Nero’s Circus where St. Peter had been killed there in 67 a.d. during the Christians martyrdom.

The obelisk was the only existing structure from that time period. The first level of the dome had a mosaic all around it and was clear to the top. It was made of little stones and looked down on the main altar. There were narrow winding stairs to the top with autographs all over the place.
Later I snuck two pictures from the first level of the Chapel of Immaculate Conception.

Afterwards I snuck a couple more shots of the Vatican gardens from on top. Then we sang O Suzannah with two Roman boys on the way down. We talked to them at the bottom as well. We were tired of trying to get the Italian guards to let us take pictures of the Swiss guards. No soap! Their uniforms were beautiful and elaborate costumes.

Later we followed Herr Watkins to find some food. We found a lady and man fighting over our patronage. It was quite a circus! We split up and gave them both a break. The salt and pepper in this place are not in shakers, but in little round tin bowls. There were things with toothpicks sticking up between the salt and pepper.

A cute waiter brought us cherries, apricots and plums. Finally I snapped a picture of a Swiss Guard. He was not supposed to smile, but he couldn’t help it. There are 90 Swiss Guards that represent an honor guard from the nobility.

We viewed a tunnel where the Pope escaped to St. Angelo Castle in the 16th century. A Swiss Guard died protecting the Pope. There was an old mote around St. Angelo. It was originally built as a mausoleum and burial place for emperors and family members. St. Angelo was built of gleaming white marble that was later stripped off.

We found wide open “dealies” along the street with not even as much protection as in Paris. Afterwards it started to sprinkle. We waited under a tree for it to stop. There was a little garden down along the Tiber River. Little boys were swimming in the river and gambling on the streets.
Old Roman ruins were preserved in the midst of new buildings. Little kids were playing on the ruins. I was mobbed by little boys when I brought out my pack of gum. They ran after the other kids to see if they could get more gum.

Huge lemons were at a streetside stand. Caesar Augustus’ Mausoleum had withstood the ravages of time. Gardens were replanted around it. Then I saw Rendezvous of Poets and a silk shop that was mentioned in Fielding which sells ties and silk scarves.

American Express popped up on the next corner so I left a forwarding address. Then I stopped in a book shop and drooled over a book about Italy. I was too tired to talk to a fellow working in the store about literature. I stopped in the silk shop to see what it was like. The kids were wondering what happened to me.

Alene, Lucy and I went down to Economico for dinner. The manager brought chips over to us, but we didn’t understand. All of us ordered spaghetti and soup because we couldn’t read the menu. We discovered from watching others that we were supposed to buy chips before we got what we wanted.

At 9 p.m. we spent the night on the town in Rome. At the Trivi Fountain I threw five lire in the pond and also drank the water. A traditional legend states that if visitors throw a coin into the fountain, they are ensured a return to Rome. Guess I’m coming back for sure. [Yes! And I returned in July of 1983.]

A policeman in a white spotless uniform had a spotlight on him in the middle of the square in front of the monument to Victor Emanuel II, Italy’s great king. Victor was born in Turin, Italy and claimed Nice during the last war. I saw his tomb in the Pantheon. At the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier we discovered something new. By pushing a button something would come up from the underground. While there we caught the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

We proceeded to Palazzo Venezia, a residential papal palace, which was a building belonging to the Venetian Republic. Mussolini had had an office there and used the balcony for many of his notable speeches. Napoleon’s mother had lived centuries earlier on a corner across from Mussolini’s office. From there we progressed to the Tor di Valle that was an important and large horse racing venue of the city of Rome.

Next was the Trajan Forum which was a forum for Caesar and Circus Maximus that was an ancient Roman chariot racing stadium and mass entertainment venue. Palatine Hill, one of the most ancient parts of the city, was on the right. Then we caught sight of the Temple of Vesta and Temple of Fortune Virale.

And we discovered the Theatre of Marcellus, an ancient open-air theatre, that was the second largest seating capacity in ancient Rome. Then we passed over the oldest Roman bridge, Ponte Fabricio, still in its original state from 62 b.c. It spanned the Tiber River.The little Church of St. Bartholomew and hospital was next. There was a four headed statue on the other side of bridge. There was a baby that was born in ancient Rome with four heads so the Italians made a statue of the baby. Another bridge, Pons Cestius, was a Roman stone bridge spanning the Tiber River as well.

Then we caught sight of the House of Dante, a major Italian poet of the Middle Ages. He stayed here when in Rome. We rode over Gianicolo Hill that was the second tallest hill in Rome.
Next we observed the monument to Giuseppe Garibaldi in Piazza don Minzoni Square. It was sculpted by Angelo Viotti in 1884 and dedicated on 6 September 1885. Giuseppe Garibaldi was to Italy what Washington was to America. There was a cannon at the base of the monument that had been fired from the hill every night. About 15 years ago the Italians stopped shooting the cannon.
At St. Peter’s Basilica, Bernini, a prominent Italian artist, built colonnades around St. Peter’s Basilica and got both fountains going.

The light was on in the apartment of the Pope. Papa Pius XII, the current pope, was 74 or 75 years old. Tomorrow at 12:15 p.m. we get to meet him. Everyone was in bed—except me! I snuck around trying to wash my clothes at midnight.

60 Years Ago Today

Thursday, 26 June 1952:

Only about one-third of the Roman Coliseum, originally the Flavian Amphitheatre, still remained. Emperor Vespasian, founder of the Flavian Dynasty, started construction of the Coliseum in 72 a.d. It was completed in 80 a.d. the year after Vespasian’s death, and later furnished by Titus, the next emperor. Titus had been put in charge of the Jewish war by Vespasian. He later destroyed Jerusalem and dispersed the Jews in 70 a.d. The Coliseum, an elliptical amphitheatre in the center of the city of Rome, was the largest building ever built in the Roman Empire. It was considered one of the greatest works of Roman architecture and engineering. Hebrew prisoners were employed in its construction.

The Colossus of Nero, an enormous bronze statue, was erected by the Emperor Nero after himself. It was in the vicinity and later torn down so they would have room to build. In the beginning of the 12th century it was used as a stone quarry and then was left. Benedictus in the 14th century consecrated it as a Christian edifice.

And a naval battle was staged here. Also when it was dedicated there were approximately 9,000 animals killed during the 100 days of the festival. Constantine tried to stop the bloody battles. A monk, Saint Telemachus, placed himself between two gladiators that were fighting and he was stoned to death by the crowd. The Christian Emperor Honorius, however, was impressed by the monk’s martyrdom and it spurred him to issue an edict banning gladiator fights. The last known gladiator fight in Rome was on January 1, 404 a.d.

Hey Lois, somebody already put your name on the Coliseum! We walked around where Christians walked to their deaths over 2000 years ago. It cost 20 lire to go into the Coliseum.

It seemed that a church marked every corner. And there was a man holding a pan of bread on his head while riding a bike. I caught sight of the Trajan’s Column and Forum which commemorates the Roman Emperor Trajan’s victory in the Dacian Wars.

Next we discovered the Arch of Constantine, a triumphal arch in Rome, situated between the Coliseum and the Palatine Hill. The arch was constructed to commemorate victory in 312 a.d. I stood on its original pavement.

Next we saw the Basilica of Maxentius and Constantine. The building’s northern aisle was all that remained and was started by Morentius. This building was one of the first Christian churches and had a rectangular building with curved ends. Titus came in on a chariot that fulfilled the prophecy of Palestine. Augustus formed an imperial residence here and other emperors followed.

We saw an old hearse with black and gold as we read street signs on the way over to the forum. The street was built of big stones. We identified Saint Peter in Chains Church. It contained what they believed to be the chains which held St. Peter in prison. In order to show us the chains, a priest opened the sliding doors of the shrine at the front of the chapel.

Inside there was also a famous statue of Moses with a long flowing beard by Michelangelo. Hebrews didn’t have vowels, so horn and light were written the same. Michelangelo misunderstood it and put horns on the statue of Moses. It was the apex of sculpturing with Rachel and Leah on each side of Moses. I noticed an iron gate along the front of the building.

Soon after we discovered the Temple of Venus and of Rome which was near the Coliseum. Then the Arch of Titus, which was built for Emperor Titus in 70-81 a.d., stood in a slightly elevated position at the entrance to the Roman Forum. Its religious significance lay in its depiction of Titus’ victories which included the sacking of Jerusalem. Three young priests told us about Circus Maximus which was the largest stadium in ancient Rome and like a modern racetrack. At one point the Circus could seat 300,000 people. As I spotted a red robed priest from Germany the marble path was caved in and crumbling. Next was the Temple of Romulus which still had its original door. It was green, made of bronze, and still had its original lock.

Then we reached the white marble Arch of Septimius Severus at the northeast end of the Roman Forum, a triumphal arch dedicated in 203 a.d. to commemorate the Parthian victories of Emperor Septimius Severus and his two sons. Mamertine Prison, state prison of ancient Rome, was located on the northeastern slope of the Capitoline Hill, where St. Paul and Peter were imprisoned. There were two upper cells but the lower cell was probably the most ancient prison in Rome. The church of San Giuseppe dei Falegnami now stands above the Mamertine Prison.

At the Tombs of Romulus there were pansies growing all over the grassy area. Later there was a large platform called the rostrum that was built facing the Senate building. It was where people would stand and make their proclamations. SPQR was from a Latin phrase, Senatus Populusque Romanus which means Senate and People of Rome, referring to the government of the ancient Roman Republic.

Next on the tour was the Basilica Ulpia which was an ancient Roman civic building located in the Forum of Trajan. Ulpia was the name of Empress of Trajan. There was this most unique Ulpia Restaurant in Rome. Antiquities were in the basement and the manager was Senore Conti. There was a statue of Nero. In 1840 the basement was excavated and cleaned out and fixed up in 1870. Another statue of Nero was in the Vatican by a bar on an old Roman street. It was dedicated as a place to burn incense before going out into the forum.

As we moved on there was an obelisk at the end of the Trajan’s Forum which the obelisk in Paris was copied from. Next we saw the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, a national monument in Italy. Before entering through the doors there were round circular stone stairs. This same pattern was repeated in four or five areas on surrounding buildings for emphasis.

Then we journeyed to the Pantheon which was a temple to all the gods of ancient Rome, the glory of the Eternal City. It was commissioned by Marcus Agrippa on this sight as a temple and rebuilt by Emperor Hadrian in about 126 a.d. The Pantheon used to be the national church of all Italians. The bronze was taken from here to construct the altar at St. Peters. Also, the dome at the Pantheon was a model for St. Peter’s Basilica dome and a dome in Florence. The Pantheon was preserved because it was changed into a Christian Church. It was the largest pagan church still standing with the original bronze door with autographs on the doors.

At the Pantheon was the tomb of Victoire Emmanuel II. He became the second father of the Fatherhood and assumed the title King of Italy to become the first king of a united Italy. An artist Raphael was buried at the Pantheon also. A round hole in the top always represented the open tomb of Raphael. One of his pupils created a statute of Raphael with a dove. Margherita was a promised wife for Raphael.

I bartered for a souvenir picture of Rome for 1400 lire with a few postcards thrown in. Then we walked past the National Parliament that was in session. The actress, Ingrid Bergman, was at every newsstand. She had had twins on June 18, 1952. Carol and I stopped at a book shop, because we were still trying to find a tour guide of Europe. We then lost the group and found our way to American Express. After finding it I got a letter from Mom. We had pizza pie on the way back to the hotel. Then we walked around and window shopped.

I was excited because the opera was tonight. I read the story of La Traviata to the kids. We left early so Carol and Alene could get tickets. As we went we stopped in a Pasticceria for a little Italian pastry. I got one soaked in rum or something similar.

At 8:30 p.m. the rope was still across the entrance to the opera. I climbed over and sat on the stairs to write letters. Eventually at 9 p.m. they let us in. It was not elaborate. However, I enjoyed the opera although the tenor had his eyes glued on his hands. The soprano carried the show.

60 Years Ago Today

Wednesday, 25 June 1952:

I was up earlier than normal today. I was ready to go. It was either Rome or bust today. I learned policemen stayed in the hotel as well as Capone’s brother a long time ago. Finally we were ready to go but Dick and Henry’s passports were missing. They were not at the hotel desk. The manager was quite excited about it and said, “I don’t want to go to America. I’ve already been.” Everybody checked for the passports and Joyce had all of them.

On our way again, the country was flatter with a few hills. We followed the seacoast for a ways. I noticed a Singer sewing center sign and the biggest haystack that I’ve ever seen before. The haystack was still in a teepee shape with a pole in the middle. The farmers cut slices off the sides to use. Soon after there were groves of toadstool trees, flower and tree-lined roads, white strips painted on the trees, and a few women gleaning in harvested fields. Next the countryside had grapevines planted along the side of the railroad tracks and an orchard with a vineyard planted beneath the trees. I spied ox teams loading hay.

This plain country was drier and didn’t have such heavily luxurious growth as farther north did. I found striped road barriers at the railroad tracks. When the train whizzed by, the gates came up. Next I saw a lady carrying water up the steps of the farmhouse. The water in the river beds was low and the grass and weeds were high.

And I noticed the grains came in long shocks rather than in high piles. There were wild poppies growing amidst the stubble while other grain fields came in round shocks. The grain shocks were between rows of trees and grape vines. Later we passed an olive orchard, a little hedge between the trees, Oleander bushes alongside the road, and a really modern new service station. We waited for two trains, a passenger train and a freight train.

We didn’t have enough food hanging from the window baskets, so we stopped at a small town for something to eat. The mob descended upon a poor little alimentari shop, which was the Italian’s combination grocery, deli and cafe. It was one of the largest shops we had found so far.
When the bus was back on the road again, we passed a large auto van transporting about a dozen new little European cars. The little cars got better gas mileage, one of the main reasons for their widespread use here in Europe. I identified different shaped stacks of grain. Next was a cornfield, windmill by a farmhouse, and barbed wire fences. It was the first time I recalled seeing wire fences in Europe. This part of Italy looked somewhat like our dry farms. Then we went down by the Mediterranean again.

Next we crossed a river or canal or something. I couldn’t find on the map. Men working in field waved to us, just like we used to do in Idaho when we were out hoeing beets. Along the way I caught sight of a combination orchard, cornfield, wheat field and vineyard. I noticed rectangular two story houses with outside stone stairs going up to the second story. The little village looked like a ship sitting on top of a hill.

Our plans for Rome were to spend the first day at the Vatican, second day in the central part of the old city, and the catacombs the last day. The Vatican, the world’s smallest country, was a small independent state. A 400 ton obelisk was in the center of the square. It was the only remnant of Nero’s Circus where the obelisk would preside over Nero’s countless brutal games and Christian executions. The Vatican had two long colonnades on the side of the square that represented outstretched arms. Bernini had been the architect. Railroads, considered the shortest tracks in the world, were created to lead into the Vatican.

In this small country the Vatican had its own post office and guards. All the priests in the Vatican must be unmarried and within a certain age range. Also, there was a covered passageway which still connected St. Angelo Castle to the Vatican. St. Angelo sat along the river and was close to the main road leading to the Vatican. Often St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican was full of people for many different occasions. The Catholic Church, the wealthiest church, had sold many indulgences to pay for it.

I took a nap and missed part of the lecture. Lunch was crazy. Whatta circus! As we sped down the road, I chawed on an old dry bunch of Italian bread trying to get a little cheese or jam to stay on it! What an experience and it happened almost everyday. I was going to have strong teeth or none at all. The cross country bicycle race passed us going the other way, while we were eating. I wonder if Italy’s top cyclist was participating. The cyclists had jockey suits on and were eating and drinking while riding.

I just had a scare! I reached into my bag to put a plastic bag away and missed my travelers checks. A little voice with not so calm thinking thought it might be in my suitcase. I hope it was! Then we passed several bus loads of sailors. Inside the bus we waved at them and they whistled back.

I observed big white farmhouses with green shutters and orange roofs. And all the houses were built about the same. Italy looked drier and felt hotter than France. At spaced intervals we saw houses with the sign casa cantoniera. Later I found out they provided shelter for road workers and travelers in need. Another advertising sign showed baby baths that looked just like the thing we call foot baths in our hotel rooms.

We came into Rome from the northwest corner and there were big apartment houses on the outskirts. We spotted the dome of St. Peters and towers to the Vatican radio station. They sent messages all over the world. Next we passed the wall around the Vatican City. We observed a watering trough in which a man and horse were both drinking out of the same place. Nasty! Soon after I identified black robed priests and a bus load of priests.

Finally! We were in Rome which was 2700 years old. White uniformed police were in the middle of the streets. Then we went through a long tunnel and across a beautiful bridge called the Tibre. St. Angelo Castle, built in 150 a.d., was stripped of marble and turned into a fortress. Popes have taken refuge there.

Then we entered into the older part of the city. We passed old Roman ruins about 12 feet below the present level of Rome. The most modern monument, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, was part of the forum. Next was the Palazia Venezzia, formerly Palace of St. Mark, in central Rome just north of the Capitoline Hill. It was the balcony Mussolini used to speak from. I spied the Roman Colliseum for one moment.

We stopped at the American Express building only to find out they were closed until 3 p.m. We immediately went to our hotel, the Hotel Angelo American. It was unimpressive from the front but nice inside. I had room six with Carol and Alene. The bathroom had everything with all the trimmings except for the soap. I found my traveler’s checks and other important stuff in my bag. What a relief! We hurried down to American Express again for mail call.

It was wonderful to receive mail from Twila, Lucy, Loy, Cleo, and Dean Woodruff. I would like to write letters so I can receive more mail. We found a little tiny restaurant and had a good dinner. It consisted of tomato soup, roast veal, orange, and fruit. It cost 750 lire which included the cover and service.

After dinner I took off with Herr and Mrs. Rogers, Alene, Mrs. Hansen and McDonald looking for opera tickets. We went down the Billboard street to the intersection going to the fountain and Santa Mario Maguire. We found the theater, but the box office didn’t open until 7 p.m. So we went on farther exploring. Mrs. Hansen and Mrs. McDonald got a large charge out of walking behind us and watching the people stare at us. I assume it was because we are so tall.

We passed the Trajan’s old market coming off from the square where we thought the concert would be. Later we went back to the theater at 7 p.m. to get tickets, but we fouled up again. Blow! Tickets for that night were at the CIT office. As we headed back to the hotel, we were window shopping all the way.

I bathed and washed my hair before the concert, so I went with a wet pony tail. An Italian helped me find the Basilica and I paid 250 lire for standing seats. I thought it was going to be outside, but it was a covered building. As I went through the gate, it ended up being in front of the building. The Vorekovsky Symphony was in process. What an enchanting atmosphere for a symphony—in the midst of Roman Ruins. I ran around trying to get a program. At last an usher gave one to me. At 10:38 p.m. I watched Hawthorne’s Marble Faun. What a wonderful night!