Today was a day that saw Germany go to war against France. As did Brazil against Colombia.
Not on battlefields that left bodies destroyed, but rather on pitches of green grass.
I’m talking about the FIFA World Cup in Maracano Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, and the Castelao Stadium in Fortaleza, Brazil. Germany prevailed 1-0, Brazil eked out a 2-1 victory, with both of those teams heading into a semi-final match. What was destroyed were the hopes of France and Colombia to proceed deeper into the World Cup Championship.
There was more warfare today on another patch of green grass. This time the location was the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in London. Roger Federer of Switzerland squared off against the Canadian Milos Roanic in the semi-final of the Wimbledon Men’s Championship.
Federer won in straight sets, and neither player lost any blood. Federer will play for the championship against Novak Djokovic on Sunday morning in what has been called ever since I can remember Breakfast at Wimbledon at least on this side of the pond. In London it is decidedly after breakfast.
In the USA, July 4th celebrates the anniversary of American Independence. While it is a national holiday and there are parades, and fireworks, some folks will be at work. But for most of the country it is a day of parties, outings, and celebrations. Did I forget to mention the NASCAR Race at Daytona tonight?It is also a day when many Americans, those not at the beach, or the mountains, or at work, do their favorite things.
Here, annually on July 4th, as well as another American holiday, Thanksgiving, I present some art works by American artists. These great paintings may not all be about patriotic fervor, or about activities you have ever done; but I believe they represent a handsome example of Americans enjoying themselves, or at least – doing what they do to maintain their families and their homes, and their hopes and desires.
I am going to begin this year with a painting by James Bama. It is called Waiting for the Grand Entry. Now if you aren’t sure of what The Grand Entry is, it is how every rodeo begins. In short a procession of the contestants and other riders that follow the flag bearers.
In this painting, Bama spotted Kenny Claybaugh as he waited at the beginning of a junior rodeo in Cody, Wyoming. Bama has commented that he was struck by the colorful combination of the yellow rain slicker, the dark glasses and the American flag. Incidentally, I did a post on James Bama back in 2009, for Thanksgiving. Check it out here.
In this next one called, Hopes and Dreams we have another piece of breathtaking art by Alfredo Rodriguez. This grizzled prospector, like so many before him, followed his dreams deep into the American West in hopes of striking gold.