We take culture where we find it

It’s already been a busy month back home. Don and I are both auditing some college courses, but of course are too competitive not to do the assignments and take the tests. So much for no pressure, and back to that soon.

But before we headed to campus, we had our lovely week in Pennsylvania, which ended with some great America moments.

We went to a minor league baseball game in Allentown, PA, to see the IronPigs – the Triple-A affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies – play the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Railriders. (The Pigs’ name would make sense if you know what industry used to dominate this area. Think Bethlehem Steel and pig iron.) What a great game! A gorgeous night, complete with hot dogs, a lovely stadium, courtesy of Coca-Cola, a wildly enthusiastic crowd, and a winning home team. It doesn’t get better than that.

Somehow it was just the icing on the cake of coming home.

There was one more iconic treat in store for us, when we went to the “Crayola Experience” in nearby Easton. I remember that you used to be able to go to the factory and watch them make crayons. Evidently too many people wanted to do that, hence the separate “Experience” downtown.

You might have had to have grown up with Crayola crayons to love everything about the place, especially including the smell. We did every silly interactive thing that involved melting our crayons into molds and making spin art, just like the kids. And then, there was the gift shop.

Okay, maybe I was compensating for not having been given the BIG box of 64 colors when I was little. I tried to work that out in therapy, but nothing helped as much as being able to pick out every single color I love and put my own personal collection in my own Crayola tin. Such satisfaction!!! Such glorious colors!!! Such excess!!! I am now ready for anything that might involve crayon art. It is easier sleeping at night, let me just say.

Having found a place to store my Crayola tin at home, we next headed for our own nearest culture palace, the Met.

We spent just a few hours wandering among the Etruscans, Romans and Greeks. Had to visit the original of the studiolo of Federico da Montefeltro, duke of Urbino, from the ducal palace at Gubbio (1476), which was installed at the Met – while a copy of the fabulous inlaid wood of the studiolo graces the real palace – which we just visited in Italy. It’s all too dizzying…

The morale of this story? Maybe culture is everything that a people or a country find beautiful or pleasurable, or that just makes them happy.

We all have our own crayon box.

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