Sunday, March 25, 2012

A Connection to my Grandfather

On our recent trip to Taos, we stopped at a Texas rest area just outside the OK-TX border.  I took the camera with me, not even sure why.  I'm sure glad I did.  Inside the ladies room the walls were tiled with an interesting mosaic of the North Texas landscape.

The tile work triggered a special memory of my grandfather.  He and my great uncle designed a number of buildings on the University of Wyoming campus and one in particular has a special place in our family's lore.  The story goes that the inspiration for the Classroom Building came from one of my mom's casserole dishes.  The exterior of the building is quite stunning and for its time was forward thinking in the amenities for classroom instruction.

UW Classroom Building (center) - Photo courtesy Wyoming_Jackrabbit
via  Creative Commons copyright
My grandfather and great uncle envisioned four mosaics in each of the directional corners to represent the state of Wyoming.  Each mosaic was designed by an art professor at the university.  As a little girl I remember my grandpa sharing about the project at their dinner table and I remember seeing the mosaics for the first time.  The building was dedicated in 1971 and underwent significant renovations in 2007 to bring it to current standards.

Several years ago at the suggestion of one of my husband's friends, B and I got copies of the architectural plans from the UW archives (American Heritage Center) and put together a beautiful remembrance for my mom and dad.  We spent several hours looking through boxes and settled on a few drawings.  It was a sweet treat to watch B in the archives, a place where he's spent many hours.

Here is a picture of my dad after opening the Christmas gift.  I know that gift touched a deep place in his heart that day.


Anonymous said...

So cool!!! What a great acknowledgement and validation from you to your dad!!!

Anonymous said...

What wonderful memories of some special people in our lives! Thank you. - Pam

Small Glimpses said...

Thanks Melinda - I'm glad I could write about this and share the pictures. The gentleman who framed it brought the pictures together in such a touching way. He is genius!

Small Glimpses said...

Pam - These are wonderful memories (!!) and remembering them brings such a sweetness. One day when I (we!!) revisit UW I want to take some picture of the murals.