Ah, love! More songs and sonnets and poems have probably been written about love than all other subjects combined. Is that wrong? I think not. Love is, after all, rather wonderful!
In Saratoga, CA, is Villa Montalvo (I’ve already posted about it a few times recently). There are beautiful hiking trails, an arts center and several gardens. On of the gardens is called the Italianate Center, entered through wrought iron gates. One walks down a sidewalk with decorative garden plants on either side towards a structure that houses a sculpture. The structure is known as the Love Temple. The statue, as you can see in this first picture, is strange. It is a large marble fountain, but there are four figures who appear to be crawling out from under the bowl area of the fountain. They grasp the edge with their fingers and look down into the bowl. At first glance, from a distance, they seem rather strange and intriguing:
If, however, you thought that they were strange and intriguing from a distance, wait until you get closer and can see their faces! These four characters are satyrs! And they look downright c-r-e-e-p-y!!!
Satyrs are not angelic little creatures as in “Cupid”. In Greek mythology, satyrs are one of a class of lustful, drunken woodland gods. In Greek art they were represented as a man with a horse’s ears and tail, but in Roman representations as a man with a goat’s ears, tail, legs, and horns. These satyrs are a bit “tamer” than that, but they’re still rather scary:
I told you they were creepy! I guess people have long struggled to separate sheer lust from love. They are not the same…and I have to question (to some extent) what these leering satyrs are doing in the Love Temple. I wouldn’t want to get married there!!!
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1985, former teen idol Rick Nelson died in plane crash in De Kalb, Texas.
When the teenage Ricky Nelson launched his pop career in 1957 by picking up a guitar and singing at the end of an episode of The Adventures of Ozzie And Harriet, he established a template for pop-music stardom that inspired hundreds of imitators in the decades that followed. But what Ricky Nelson had that so many other actors who failed as pop stars didn’t was undeniable musical talent. Having the full weight of the American Broadcasting Corporation behind him at the start of his career certainly guaranteed that the younger son of Ozzie and Harriet Nelson would sell a few records, but it didn’t guarantee that he wouldn’t stink. And Ricky Nelson didn’t stink—not by a long shot.
Beginning with his double-sided hit debut single, “I’m Walkin” b/w “A Teenager’s Romance” (1957), Nelson reeled off a string of 30 rockabilly-tinged top 40 hits in the next five years—more than any other artist in the same period save for Elvis Presley and Pat Boone. Like Elvis himself, Nelson saw his commercial appeal take a major hit with the arrival of the Beatles in 1964. Nelson would remain musically relevant over the next decade, though, even earning credit for helping inspire the California sound of artists like Linda Ronstadt and The Eagles with his country-inspired late 1960s work. But after a brief revival in the early 1970s fueled by the #6 pop hit “Garden Party” (1972), Nelson’s career as a recording artist essentially ended.
Nelson continued to tour frequently, however, and it was on one such tour that he boarded a chartered DC-3 in Guntersville, Alabama, bound for a New Year’s Eve appearance in Dallas. Shortly before reaching Dallas, however, the cabin of Nelson’s plane apparently filled with smoke due to a fire of undetermined origin. While the two pilots of the plane would survive their attempted emergency landing in a field outside De Kalb, Texas, all seven passengers on board were killed, including the first pop star to cross over from the Nielsen charts to the Billboard chats, Rick Nelson.
In 1987, Rick Nelson was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame—an honor no other former child actor has yet achieved.
Interestingly enough, on this day in 1943, singer John Denver was born…and he also died in a plane crash.
TRIVIA FOR TODAY: Venus, the brightest of all the planets, can be so bright that on a moonless night, the planet can actually cast shadows on Earth. Makes sense since she’s the goddess of love in ancient belief!