Sunday, December 10, 2006

More American Heritage

Many older generation North Americans of the English speaking variety have this expression "What in the Sam Hill?" meaning they've never seen it before, have no ready explanation (the question usually comes with a skeptical edge to it).

What fewer probably realize is Sam Hill was a neighbor in these parts, alias Prince of Castle Nowhere, which castle he constructed along the Columbia Gorge not far from his lifesize model of Stonehenge, in turn close to his tomb.

Maryhill Castle, now a museum, includes a treasured Rodin collection -- that's the guy who did The Thinker -- plus an admirably large collection of chess sets.

Back in the day, when I was still living in Rome, my friend Seth Tuska would sometimes dramatically assume a standing version of The Thinker's pose when questioned about something -- an endearing mannerism I thought. Both Seth and Muqtada al-Sadr remind me of John Belushi in some twisted way (great thinkers all). But then, I'm the guy who linked Rush Limbaugh to Barney.