Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Coolest Thing I Got for Christmas

Now I have to show off something that I think is really neat! Our daughter-in-law Kate is a staffer on Capitol Hill, and a while ago she got herself and son Rich onto the Capitol Dome Tour, which is a very tough ticket. If you've been in the Rotunda and looked up, you've seen where the Dome Tour goes. All...the...way...up.

A prominent feature in the dome is the Frieze of American History, which encircles the dome 58 feet above the Rotunda's floor. It's a trompe l'oeil fresco about eight feet high depicting 19 historical vignettes, the last of which is The Birth of Aviation. The frieze was begun in the 1870's by Constantino Brumidi, but the last three vignettes, including The Birth of Aviation, were finished by Allyn Cox in 1953.

So, anyway...Kate got some good pictures on the tour, including several of the frieze. And when unwrapping time arrived, I found this:

The work depicts, obviously, Orville and Wilbur in their moment of triumph. The figures at left are Octave Chanute and Samuel P. Langley (Leonardo da Vinci is out-of-frame left). Kate snapped the shutter, and Rich cropped, printed and framed the result. And I'm as thrilled as I can be.


Dave Starr said...

A lovely and thoughtful gift indeed, Frank. How nice it is at this time of year to take stock of the blessing we have ... and family almost always tops the list.

Best wishes for a healthy, Happy and Prosperous New year to you and yours. I've already seen more than half a day of 2013 as I write this, and I can tell you for sure it looks like a very good year.

Fly on, my friend.

Frank Van Haste said...

Dave, my friend, it's been a while!

So good to hear from you and to infer that all is well. I wish for you and all that you hold dear a healthy, prosperous and safe 2013.

Keep well, my friend,