Changing Conceptions at the Hunter Museum of American Art in Chattanooga, Tennessee

Outdoor sculpture in front of the Hunter Museum of American Art in Chattanooga, Tennessee

I must confess that I find most museums tedious. The exceptions tend to be small, quirky museums like the East Martello Museum in Key West, which is home to Robert the Doll, said to be the source for the Chucky series of horror films, or those dedicated to culture, such as the Rafael Coronel Museo … Read more

When is a Tour Not a Tour? When it’s a Tauck.

Private concert by Donald Harrison for Tauck Jazz Event

Most of my travel is done independently. I research the places I visit and make all my own arrangements for transportation, accommodations and sightseeing. Once in a while, however, I’m offered the opportunity to take a tour, where I travel with a group and stick to a set itinerary. I have always recognized the benefits … Read more

New Orleans and the Story of the Survival of Jazz

Playing bongo drums in New Orleans' Congo Square during the Tauck Jazz Event

Wishes are powerful things. Last year, I wished that I could experience more live music as I travel around the world, learning about other cultures. Like photography and writing, music has the ability to transport me, but traveling perpetually makes it difficult to plan for live performances when I barely know where I’ll be next … Read more

Mardi Gras Indians – the Most Mysterious and Least Understood Tradition in New Orleans

Big Chief costumes take up to a year to make, cost thousands of dolars, and can weigh more than 100 pounds

Like a proud peacock, the Big Chief strutted around the courtyard, showing off his hand-beaded and sequined costume. Carefully balancing his neon-orange feathered headdress, he strode purposefully toward the Big Chief from a competing tribe. Just inches apart, they stopped in their tracks. Arms crossed over their broad chests, they glared at one another. Chief … Read more

The World’s Largest High-Relief Sculpture, Was Nearly One of the World’s Greatest Boondoggles

Confederate Memorial Carving on the face of Stone Mountain is largest high-relief sculpture in the world

My first glimpse of the monumental sculpture carved into the massive granite dome known as Stone Mountain was slightly disappointing. From the viewing platform the three sculpted figures of Confederate President Jefferson Davis, General Robert E. Lee and Lt. General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson were dwarfed by the sheer immensity of the naked rock that thrusts … Read more