This post will pick up where the last one left off, and bring you up to date, writing as I am once again from the parking lot of Glen Erin Golf Club in Janesville.
First, for those readers who consider me family, here’s a group selfie from the riverboat restaurant on the Mississippi:
The following day, Susan (once again a gracious tour guide) brought me to view the Minnesota Statehouse in St. Paul, a most impressive edifice indeed.
Completed in 1905, this building, rich with symbolism, was the first such attempt by noted architect Cass Gilbert, who later designed a number of other statehouses along with the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC. There is much to admire about the Minnesota Statehouse, starting with the voluminous amounts of marble (from Georgia) and granite (from Minnesota) contained therein. Gilbert was criticized for not putting Minnesota granite on the outside, but he knew that the marble would glow in the sunlight, while the dark and somber hues of granite would make the building look like a fortress.
Electricity was a relatively new commodity when this building was designed, and apparently Gilbert didn’t trust it; he made sure that every significant chamber in the building was also equipped with a large skylight in case the electricity went out; in such a circumstance, therefore, the people’s work could still continue.
Here is a close-up of the bas-relief on the wall below the skylight. The barely-visible inscription on it reads “Vox Populorum Est Vox Dei” (the voice of the people is the voice of God). And let me here encourage all young readers to ensure that they study Latin in high school — you’ll never regret it!
Overlooking the entrance to the Statehouse, just below the Capitol dome, is the Quadriga — four horses, being led by two women while pulling a chariot and driver. The horses represent the four elements (earth, air, fire and water); the women are Agriculture and Industry; the driver is Prosperity. Thus, agriculture and industry manage the four elements to keep the state moving forward into prosperity. I was shocked to learn from our excellent tour guide that years ago the Quadriga was accessible to the public, despite its three-story height above the granite steps — and people routinely put their kids up on it for photos! Apparently as a result, this remarkable artwork was defaced with graffiti; a recent refurbishment with 24-carat gold leaf has restored it to glory:
From this photographic angle, the women of the Quadriga cannot be seen; but if you enlarge the earlier photo of the statehouse, you can see them better.
Inside the statehouse is a plethora of lovely artwork, paintings and sculptures, commemorating significant events and people in Minnesota’s history. In the governor’s reception room are some impressive Civil War paintings.
Inside the statehouse can also be found the Minnesota Supreme Court. Although I did not take any photos inside the court chamber, I nevertheless noticed with bemusement the Latin word “lex” (law) posted about ten feet up on each wall of the Courtroom, the implication of course being that no man is above the law.
After our morning tour of the Minnesota Statehouse, we picked up Uncle Jimmy and went out for lunch. That evening, Susan and Jim treated me to a baseball game — the local Minnesota Twins AAA affiliate St. Paul Saints hosted the Omaha Storm Chasers (and I’m not making these names up!). The game was marked by a seven-run Omaha first inning in which the Saints pitcher gave up three gopher balls — but there were also two outstandingly memorable outfield fly-ball catches during the game, one by each team, wherein racing outfielders dove headlong to snag would-be hits just before they touched the grass, and then somehow, miraculously, hung on to the ball as they skidded face-first along the turf.
After the game, I returned to Lake Elmo State Preserve to spend the night in the Little Guy (as the preserve is east of the Twin Cities and so is on my way home). This morning I retraced my route back down I-94 to I-39 and so on into Janesville and Glen Erin Golf Club – but today, unlike on my northward trek, there was room on the tee sheet for me to play nine holes.
As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, Glen Erin is a beautiful links-style course, complete with pot bunkers and fescue grass, and in outstanding shape. Truly, if such a course were located in my neighborhood, I would be a member – challenging, interesting, yet playable, I really enjoyed my round, despite yanking two mulligan drives left off the first tee (“breakfast balls”) and into the woods.
Tomorrow I will execute a diagonal course southward across Illinois, where I have reserved a spot at a winery in Fairmount, just shy of the Indiana border. From there, it should be an easy jaunt back to daughter LJ’s house outside of Cincinnati the next day.