Fire Cloud...
An irregular marking on the exterior of Native American pottery: usually resulting from burning fuel coming in direct contact with the vessel during firing

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Lord Beaverbrook

Fredericton, New Brunswick

It was a lovely day. No rain. High about 70. We visited a couple of Fredericton museums, both got haircuts and had lunch in a pub. The museum in the old garrison on "Officer's Square" has a lot of information about the 400 year history of New Brunswick.

Many of the original settlers were "loyalists" or "Tories" from the American Colonies who made the mistake of backing the British in the Revolution. According to the information here the rebels were blood-thirsty terrorists who made life miserable for those remaining loyal to the Crown, stripping them of property, executing them and imprisoning them in dank mine shafts.

Probably the most famous thing in Fredericton is Kermit, a 42 pound giant frog, shown here stuffed and under glass. A 100 year old controversy still rages over whether Kermit, a corn fed pet frog, is actually a hoax.

It's a pretty little provincial town, no match for Ottawa or Montreal. I listened on the street and heard an astoundingly large number of people recognize and greet each other warmly...no urban alienation here.

Our next stop was the Lord Beaverbrook Art Museum which was surprisingly good. Lord Beaverbrook started life in Canada hawking newspapers. He moved to England and somehow amassed the worlds largest newspaper empire. He hounded King Edward the VIII over his relationship with Wallis Simpson until the poor fool abdicated...Maybe he was thinking with his what? Beaverbrook took charge of aircraft and overall war production in England during WWII. There is some speculation that King Edward was a Nazi sympathizer and that Hitler would have given him back the crown, had he invaded England...Perhaps the mysterious flight of Rudolf Hess entered into all this...Perhaps not. Anyway, there is a 1936 portrait of the King in the Museum.

The crown jewel of the Beaverbrook Art Museum is an amazing 12 foot by 10 foot Dali called, I think, Santiago Grande. It's being packed up to be loaned to Atlanta.

We had a nice lunch, bought some wine and a birthday card for our son and drove back to prepare for the expedition North in the morning....I'm keen to see a 1,700 foot covered bridge, the Potato Museum and Grand Falls and gorge on up the St. Johns river valley.

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