Wednesday, January 25, 2012

What to Wear Over Niagra Falls - Day 18

Anticipated Walk: R/T Embarcadero Cinema to see 'A Separation' then R/T Trader Joes to stock up.
Total Distance: Cinema R/T @ 5.2 mi; Trader Joes R/T 2 mi = 7.2 mi total

Back to Gustav Grunewald's paintings of Niagra Falls, I kept thinking of how the tiny people he placed in both canvasses were dressed so formally.

From the vantage point of 2012 where people are protected from Niagra's slippery spray with railings and optional slickers and from the thunderous roar of the waters with optional earplugs, standing near the edge of the Falls in formal attire seems an artistic conceit.

But going to websites about Niagra Falls, particularly a rather chilling one about Niagra Falls Daredevils, I found picture after picture of people risking their lives dressed in formal attire.

Maria Spelterini wearing wooden buckets on her feet walking a tightrope over Niagra River Gorge in 1876. Spelterini was the only woman tightrope walker ever to challenge the gorge.

Fifty-four years later, William 'Red' Hill, Sr. wore his military uniform when he went over the falls in his craft.

Local angle for San Franciscans was a flying daredevil named Lincoln Beachy born here in 1887.

Lincoln Beachy

Late in the afternoon on June 11, 1911, Beachy was the first person to fly under a Niagra Falls bridge (Falls View Honeymoon Bridge). Unfortunately his story continues to have a local angle:

Five years later, on March 14, 1915, Beachy was killed during an airshow when his plane crashed into San Francisco Bay. (Presumably on both occasions he was as nattily dressed as he was in the picture above).

Now off to Embaracadero Cinema to see 'A Separation' - wearing black jeans, nice tee shirt, jacket...

PS - Remember these from the other day?

Well, my cleaning girl looked at them with less tulip-enamored eyes and tossed them while I was at the de Young. I'm sure it never occurred to her I intended to keep them. Probably your assessment was the same as hers: toss.




crossing the Niagara River Gorge on a rope in 1876

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