Hood and Trillium

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On our recent trip to the west coast, we spent some time up in the Pacific Northwest (Oregon, to be precise). I love the northwest! Some really beautiful country there – so if you’ve not been there, you should go sometime.

Today’s pictures is looking eastward toward Mt. Hood with Trillium lake in the foreground. We’d just come down from being up at the lodge above timberline on Mt. Hood and had heard that this lake was an easy drive after coming down from the mountain, so we went. We weren’t disappointed with the vista!

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1969, movie star Richard Burton dazzled his wife Elizabeth Taylor—and their legions of fans—when he bought her a 69-carat Cartier diamond ring costing $1.5 million. It was just another chapter in a tempestuous marriage that began on the Ides of March and continued thereafter in the public eye.

Taylor and Burton met and fell in the love during the filming of Cleopatra (1963). She was a 30-year-old London-born American starlet who was already on her fourth marriage, and he was a former British stage actor, also married but known to fool around and drink on the set. Cleopatra made them both superstars, and on March 15, 1964, they were married at the Ritz in Montreal. As one of the most famous married couples in the world, they commanded high salaries to appear in nearly a dozen movies together. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966) and The Taming of the Shrew (1967) were the only two to receive critical acclaim.

The couple’s stormy private life often drew more attention than their movie roles, and their extravagance was legendary. During the 1960s, they earned a combined $88 million and spent more than $65 million. They bought a fleet of Rolls Royces, whole floors of luxury hotels, a private jet, a helicopter, and a multi-million-dollar yacht. They were American royalty, and the world watched as their lives began to fall apart. Taylor appropriated Burton’s alcohol-abuse problem and also mixed drugs into the stew. By 1969, their marriage was a constant cycle of verbal and physical battles that was only interrupted by the mutual presentation of expensive gifts. The famous Cartier diamond was the product of a fight they had in a restaurant one night. Burton called Taylor’s hands large and ugly, and she responded that in that case, he’d better buy her the 69-carat ring she wanted so that her hands looked smaller and more attractive.

Taylor and Burton became estranged in 1970, in 1973 they formally separated, and in 1974 they divorced. They remarried in 1975 but stayed together just a few months. The next year, they divorced for the second and last time. Three years later, Taylor put the Taylor-Burton diamond up for auction. The jeweler Henry Lambert bought it for $3 million and then sold it to an anonymous buyer in Saudi Arabia. Elizabeth Taylor went on to have two more husbands, both of whom she divorced. She died on March 23, 2011.  Richard Burton died of a brain aneurysm in 1984.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: according to Irish legend, Jack O’Lanterns are named after a stingy man named Jack who, because he tricked the devil several times, was forbidden entrance into both heaven and hell. He was condemned to wander the Earth, waving his lantern to lead people away from their paths.

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