Wanderblogger Travels, wanderings, peregrinations, and philosophical musings on places in our world.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011 :::

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::: posted by David Beckwith at 8:10 AM

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::: posted by David Beckwith at 8:06 AM

Monday, December 17, 2007 :::
Masham and environs, North Yorkshire

Excellent diary, beautiful pictures. Really gives you a sense of the area.

::: posted by David Beckwith at 7:54 PM

Tuesday, October 23, 2007 :::
Some people say that Greensboro is not a destination city. I have to disagree. At least I can count on it being a destination every October...when the celebration of the minds takes place, under the rubric of ConvergeSouth...the current evolution of Ed Cone's Piedmont Blogger Conference.


::: posted by David Beckwith at 12:46 PM

Wednesday, May 24, 2006 :::

...is not how I’d describe Oxford. On the contrary, it is serious and ancient. I doubt that it has changed much since I visited there some 20 years ago. But that is a good thing, in the main.

Careful the little pubs and nooks. You may wander into a coterie of exclusives, and find yourself feeling quite out of place, indeed. But alas, that is part of the charm.

::: posted by David Beckwith at 8:14 AM


Anyone interested in horseracing should find a trip to Bowie most satisfying—in particular, Belair Mansion and Stables, whose curator and guide are most informative and delightfully generous with their knowledge.

Among Belair’s bragging points are Gallant Fox, Omaha and Nashua. Selima is also associated with Belair.

The mansion, once occupied by Governor Ogle, went through many changes over the centuries. But, as the curator tells us, this museum reflects those changes, rather than trying to be true to only one particular point in time. It works particularly well in this case, since most changes tended to be improvements.

::: posted by David Beckwith at 8:13 AM

Wednesday, July 20, 2005 :::

"WEDDING CRASHERS" Maryland's Eastern Shore

Take off work and go see this movie. Tell your boss that the globe is simply too hot for you right now, and that you need to sit in a dark, air-conditioned environment and just laugh a while. I am here to attest to the restorative powers. Bring a date or a friend or a party of friends. Bring the blogosphere while you're at it. We're talking about healing the globe.

Perhaps I overstate, but don't let that stop you from experiencing this fount of risibility. You may be witnessing the birth of the next great comic duo. Butch and Sundance. Bing and Bob. Malkovich and Sinise.

There is so much to like about this film, it is a little hard to know where to start. I could start by saying that it is a great "How to pick up girls" movie, or an excellent "How to dress" movie. Maybe it is the exemplary "What not to blurt out during a formal wedding" movie.

I could point out that the wondrous settings of the movie, which includes the Eastern Shore of Maryland, which, perhaps unbeknownst to the writers, has a long history of Beckwiths, dating back to the 1600s. (Owen Wilson plays a character named John Beckwith.) As a Beckwith, I have long wanted to visit the Eastern shore, and in particular, St Michaels, Easton and Cambridge (among others)...and so it was a special treat to see it on celluloid. Now I know I will go there! Coincidence? Synchronicity?

In this rather specialized light, I would like to say that I thought Owen Wilson played the character much to my satisfaction. He felt comfortable enough to date the daughter of the Secretary without trepidation -- after all his family had been there forever, and John Beckwiths go back to the 1300s, with the most recent, Sir John playing host and uncle to West End London socialite Tamara -- and yet, in general, he was an affable goof-off, who liked to call his bud, Jeremy, "Baba Ghanouj" -- certainly a family trait. At least around my house. And his revulsion at the displays of machismo by his petulant nemesis (played almost too well by Bradley Cooper) was spot on. Just let's get through another century!

As the costume designer said, "The local people that we used in Maryland were by far the best-looking extras I have ever worked with in my 17 years of being a costume designer. We brought a bunch of wardrobe with us from Los Angeles, but it couldn't hold a candle to what they showed up on set wearing which really made the scene look as rich as it did. You know you're dealing with people who are used to the lifestyle we were portraying when the men can tie their own bowties without looking in the mirror. I can't even tie a bow tie and they did it perfectly and were the gems of the movie for me."

But as everyone has said, it is the relationship between Wilson and Vaughn that is the real reason to see the film. The dialog is laugh-out-loud funny, and it is, perhaps, their differences, rather than their similarities which create the dynamic flow of the movie...and it is a movie.

Legend has it, they were given a wide berth to allow their characters and interaction to develop beyond the script. A smart move on the part of the director, David Dobkin and producer, Andrew Panay. One is easily reminded of the hilarious team of Gerard Depardieu and Pierre Richard, who always created magic, albeit in the language of Freedom.

But Wedding Crashers doesn't content itself with setting fire to your cerebrum, or opening up your higher chakras. There are ample and effective scenes guaranteed to ignite and inspire the loinage and lower chakrage, as well as the heart. Jane Seymour, who plays the wife of Secretary Cleary (played by the luridly ludibund Christopher Walken) is smitten by the insouciant John Beckwith, whom they all think is really John Ryan (which happens to be the name of a friend of mine, and yet another reason why I often think I am Truman) and boldly pursues him, and is soon enough demanding that he place his ragged claws upon her mammary organs. Ah! Mammals!

There is also a delightful and, so to say, tittilating montage not unlike the cut scenes from "Team America", only where once was wood there is now...well, wood. And flesh, yes. Nice flesh in fact. (Guido, could you play that back?)

But in the sex department, no one could top Isla Fisher, who played Secretary Cleary's concupiscent daughter, who foisted her love-horde upon an initially apotropaic Vince Vaughn, who, at first, suspected she was of the clingy newly deflowered class. I suspect we will be seeing more of her.

The Hero of the movie, and by that I mean the character in "Much Ado about Nothing" played beautifully by Kate Beckinsale, was Claire Cleary. And wouldn't you know it...Tamara's sister's name is Clare. And around 1100, there was some intermarriage with the Clare family, but alas that is too much information. Claire was played to perfection by the lovely and talented Rachel McAdams, one of Canada's fine exports, and while lovely and gracious, like Hero, was also quick of wit, like Beatrice. One wonders, in retrospect, whether the authors may have been thinking about the bard when they penned this charm.

As I said, Wedding Crashers has a good deal of heart as well, but I think I will keep silent, and let that speak for itself. Lord knows, we use too little of our heart. A tenth, I believe it was.

From "Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In" comes the ever-lovable Henry Gibson (not to be confused with Henrik Ibsen) who charms throughout. There is even a cameo appearance by the omnipresent Will Farrell, who plays a real nutcase. (What else?) Did no one warn him not to eat the brown acid? Speaking of which, the good Secretary also has a son. A very bizarre son. Not unlike the character played by Christopher Walken in Woody Allen's "Annie Hall". Keir O’Donnell, looking like a demented Roman Polansky, if you can imagine that, plays the tormented son with a Locrian luridity rarely seen in modern foozball. O'Donnell pulls it off though, literally, and shoehorns it into celluloid before anyone can tell him not to. Certainly an acquired taste, but a strangely funny acquired taste.

And speaking of Woodstock, there is a 5-star soundtrack, including music by Dave Brubeck -- "Blue Rondo", in fact -- and Death Cab For Cutie, Bloc Party, Jimmy Eat World, Spoon, PoMo, Guster as well as The Flaming Lips.

Go for the music, go for the healing, go to open those creaky chakras, go to see a beautiful part of America, go for the laughter, but go to the bathroom before you sit down. You won't want to miss a second.

Dave Beckwith is a writer, the blogger anonyMoses Hyperlincoln, and a researcher at Parker Web Developers, located near Charlotte, North Carolina.

::: posted by David Beckwith at 12:06 PM

Tuesday, June 28, 2005 :::

Broach Sports Tours , one of Southeast's premier sports package companies, is offering a special package for ye golf enthusiasts...at the very place where golf began. Sign up early to get the best seats...

2005 British Open
St. Andrews, Scotland

Royal Dunkeld Hotel in Highland Perthshire, British Open tickets for four days, 3 rounds of golf at Taymount Castle, ground transportation, Broach Sports Tours host, full English breakfast daily, Dinner 8 nights in hotel, All sightseeing admissions, Scottish show, Airport shuttle to hotel.
Open Full Brochure

::: posted by David Beckwith at 10:28 AM


Pinehurst, North Carolina

Captain Cy Emerus' Trends, Taste & Travel in conjunction with Maples Golf Packages, Clickitgolf and the JFR Barn are happy to present a Pinehurst Golf Vacation including 2 nights lodging, 2 days of golf and dinner for two with yours truly, the Captain, for an "In The Loop" email newsletter subscriber and their guest.

It includes:

- Two nights at the Longleaf Villas
- Golf for two at The Pit Golf Club
- Golf for two at The Club at Longleaf
- Join Captain Cy for dinner at the JFR Barn
- Winner announced on the air with Captain Cy on August 6th

To register to win, please sign up for "In the Loop", our weekly audio email. The winner will be randomly selected from registrations received before July 15th. (on the website)

If you've never played Pinehurst, this may be your opportunity. And if you are into fine dining, travel, cigars, golf, trends or podcasting, Cy Emerus' Trends, Taste & Travel just might be the show, or podcast, for you.

Captain Cy Emerus

::: posted by David Beckwith at 10:15 AM

Sunday, June 05, 2005 :::
The sites

::: posted by David Beckwith at 8:45 AM

Mecklenburg County, Virginia

Situated on the bluffs high above the point where the Dan and Stanton Rivers converge in Southside, Virginia, is the family house of Sir Peyton Skipwith. Built at the end of the 18th century in a post revolutionary Georgian style, Prestwould Plantation prospered to become one of the wealthiest properties in America.

In the Company of Gardeners:
The Flower Diaries of Jefferson, Skipwith, and Faris

Skipwith Family Papers, 1760-1977,
Mecklenburg County, Virginia

::: posted by David Beckwith at 8:40 AM


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Parker Web Developers
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Uwharrie Vineyards
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Charlotte Internet


Travels, wanderings, peregrinations, and philosophical musings on places in our world.

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