Temple Fireside

. They talked about the construction and some of the many mircles that took place that allowed them to complete the temple so it could be dedicated on April 6th, 2000. From ground breaking to dedication, it was less than 1 year.

Although yesterday was the last day of the pageant play, today really marks the end.  Today we had many pageant visitors as they wind down their visit.

The choir sang all three pieces.  President and Sister Sherwood talked.  It was a good meeting.

After church, I took Elizabethe with me as we visited a couple of my home teaching families.  We had a nice visit with the Greens.

When evening came, I went to a fireside.  The speaker was the contractor who built the temple and his wife.  They talked about the construction and some of the many miracles that took place that allowed them to complete the temple so it could be dedicated on April 6th, 2000.  From ground breaking to dedication, it was less than 1 year.    It was amazing how it all came together so quickly.


Well, I guess I have to say something about blog spammers again.  Spammers, give it up.  They won’t appear on the blog.  All your moronic ads and comments are screened by humans AFTER the spam filter checks your e-mail address and content.  They will not make it on the blog.  Go away.  Go do something productive.

Okay to Play

In the basement this morning, I found this little guy under the carpet.

Isn’t it funny as kids we would play in the scorching heat, but try to get us to work in the heat was another story?

It’s hot outside and in the studio.  I have a lot of work to do, but I fear the heat will just dehydrate me quickly.  Yet, I’m toying with the idea of taking my camera to the village to do some street photography.  Go figure.  I guess one is more of a commitment once you get started, and the other isn’t.

Nila is coming to visit today.  Elizabethe’s been getting things straightened up inside.

I already made a trip to the hill to save some seats for us for tonight.  We’re supposed to get rain around 6pm.  Let’s hope it cools things down in time for pageant.

In the basement this morning, I found this little guy under the carpet.  I’m not sure how he made his way there, but we’re holding him prisoner until Elizabethe can show him off.  Then, we’ll release him in the garden.

Basement Frog

More Work on the Studio, Website

I spent the majority of my day working on the studio and the Beckwith Mansion web site (www.beckwithmansion.com).

I spent the majority of my day working on the studio and the Beckwith Mansion web site (www.beckwithmansion.com).  I got many of my backdrop tracks screwed into the ceiling.  I made a run to WalMart and picked up some cubes to use in the studio.  It was a pretty productive day.

Our weather is warming up again and getting muggy.  It was funny.  Last year, all the ol’ timers were complaining the summer was too cool.  Well, they aren’t complaining this summer.

1st Ever Palmyra L.D.S. Photo Walk

Tender #1

Today I hosted my first ever Palmyra L.D.S. Photo Walk.  I only had one person show up.  (Remember, this is the 1st time… so I need to work on getting the word out and advertising.)

We made a loop through Main Street and a section of the Erie Canal.  I pointed out things to photograph that are of historical significance to members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as well as other points of interest.  We had a good time and I too got some good shots.

Aqueduct and Creek

Elizabethe and I went to see the Sorcerer’s Apprentice tonight.  It was pretty good.  A little too much like a Disney after school movie, but even those are typically good.  (Mostly corny.)  I would not rate it as good as the Mummy movies, and definitely not as good as the Harry Potter movies.  My advice… wait for the DVD.

Eat At Jerry’s

But, in all honest, it is good food. Jerry does a great job preparing the dishes and he is a stickler for freshness.

I got a kick out of telling these people that Happiness Garden is the BEST Chinese restaurant in all of Palmyra.  The wise ones catch on and say, “Yeah, it is the only one.”   But, in all honesty, it is good food.  Jerry does a great job preparing the dishes and he is a stickler for freshness.

Happy Family at Happiness Garden

I spent a good portion of the day in Spencerport at a “workshop” about New York State grants available for small-town businesses.  It was informative, but there are some real issues I have with government and these programs.

First of all, they claim they are for economic development.  However, to qualify, the majority of people in the area have to be living below poverty level.   To me, that goes contrary to what they are trying to accomplish.

The other thing that really bothers me about these programs are they come from the Federal Government to the state.  The state takes their administration fee.  From there, it goes to the local municipality that takes its cut.  From there, the individual has to apply to the local entity to get the funding.  Although this is good that it is driven down to the local level, you’ve got all this red tape before it gets to the individual applying.

I’m sure a better way exists.

More Grandin Tours

I made my rounds through the village.  Things seemed a little light today.  No protesters were out there when I came through.  But, they may have already headed to the Hill for the evening.

Pure Religion

I get a kick out of people who say, “I’m not religious, but I’m spiritual.”  I know what they are trying to say, but pure religion requires serving others, and you can’t do that in a spiritual sense without a community of others who believe likewise.

Today I volunteered for security at “the Hill”.  I asked for the post in front of the stage because it is busy and that makes the time go by fast. 

Cast Practicing There was an added bonus - the cast was practicing.  I got to see the entire Pageant (sans costumes).  It was very interesting.  In fact, a group of cyclists came through and were disappointed they missed the rehearsal and were debating on staying late enough to watch it.  Now, that is COOL.  They were not members of the church either. Sister and Brother Wallace, my good friends, are in the cast.  Also, although I didn't get their picture, the O'Donnells are too.  It's even more fun seeing people you know in pageant. I came home from my shift and my lens had arrived.  So, I walked downtown to test it out.The Mansion
I decided to grab a photo of the house with my new 8mm lens.  It is cool that I can get it ALL in.  So, I get down there and I’m not there too long and it starts to just POUR.  Well, there are some protesters out there (see next pic) and I’m sure that is why it started to pour rain.  I think God was trying to tell them to LEAVE. 
Sure enough.  They left, it let up.  And I mean, it was REALLY pouring.  I have never seen it rain like that.  EVER. 
Moved to the front
As you can see the guy with the blue coat and green umbrella moved to the front of the building, but it still came down.  Again, it didn’t let up until they left.  In the meantime, while it was pouring, back behind the Grandin building was this sister missionary leading a tour group in singing some hymns… 
Pouring Down Rain - Singing Hymns
I wish I had a video camera.  I love how the young ladies of this church, when things get tough, often start singing a Primary song or hymn.  Now, while this is all going on, Elder Hamblin is protecting the tour group from some disruptors who were trying to get on a tour so they could heckle the sister missionaries.  (Like, come on guys… we don’t go in to your church buildings during a meeting and heckle your ministers.  Really… how immature can you get?)  At the end, Elder Hamblin got the card of the most vocal of the group… 
The card (back)
I love how Elder Hamblin handled the situation.  He even walked the group of would-be hecklers back to their car under cover of an umbrella.  Now, that’s service.  Now, that’s “love those who evily despise you.”  Elder Hamblin, I think I speak for all those Saints in Palmyra, we love you.  Thanks for the service you give.
The card (front)
Would-have-been Disrupted Tour

Monday, and the Village is Still Open, You Know?

I guess I need to start a crusade to educate members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who come to Palmyra during pageant.  Here’s a guide to help you if you are planning a trip to Palmyra to see the Hill Cumorah Pageant.

  1. Pageant starts on a Friday, and plays the next day Saturday.  Sunday and Monday, there is no pageant play, and it starts back up again on Tuesday and runs nightly through Saturday.
  2. You can save your seat early in the day, and then go and see the village while waiting for evening.
  3. While in the village, there is plenty to see to keep you busy throughout the day.  Don’t be rushed.  Devote a day to the village, visiting the shops, and museums.
  4. The day after the pageant, don’t leave town.  Go see the Sacred Grove and the Smith Farm.  Devote a good 3-4 hours for just that.
  5. While staying in Palmyra, take a 3rd day, and venture out to the Peter Whitmer Farm. On your way there, stop in Seneca Falls at Sauder’s and buy a sandwich at their deli counter.  Take it and a soda or juice with you to the Whitmer Farm and eat lunch there at the picnic tables.  Then, go on the tour.  When you’re done, it will be early afternoon.
  6. After the Whitmer farm, go south on 96 to Watkins Glen and spend the afternoon seeing the waterfalls in Watkins Glen State Park.  Next door, there’s a Burger King, and an ice cream shop next to it.  Grab dinner, and then head back to Palmyra.
  7. Day 4, head in to Rochester and tour the Eastman House.  When you’re done there, come back to the village and grab a burger at Chill-n-Grill and an ice cream cone for dessert.
  8. Day 5, oh, there’s still more to do around here….  Take the “lakes drive”.  Drive down to Canandaigua, and zig-zag up and down between the finger lakes.  The drive is spectacular and you’ll see waterfalls, vinyards, orchards, old barns, and more historical markers than you can shake a stick at.
  9. Day 6, go to Fairport and take a canalboat cruise, or go to Canandaigua and take a paddle boat cruise on the lake and just take it easy before heading home.
  10. Don’t forget, one of those days, we’ll call it day 7, will be a Sunday.  Attend church in the Palmyra Ward.  They really go all out to make you feel welcome.

I decided to write this up because I went down to the Grandin building and it was empty.  There were a few tourists, but folks, if you don’t spend several days here, you will not understand why Elizabethe and I just fell in love with this wonderful place.    I spend every spare day I get exploring, and I keep finding more and more cool places to visit.

Sister Stone and Sister Maples


Elder Frankenbarry
Wetlands Behind our House (Elder Crockett on left)

Pageant Sunday 2010

This morning was quite a rush.   It was like playing organ for a stake conference.  We had about 1,200 people in Sacrament meeting.  The choir sang 2 of the 3 songs we had prepared.  The speakers went over, so the visiting Seventy asked us to not sing the last choir number, and go straight to the closing hymn.

For the closing hymn, I did not sing, but was the organist.  The organ descant part at the end went well.  I was worried about it because of the few times we had practiced it together.

After church, we asked some of our Pageant missionaries if they’d join us for dinner.  They made a tossed salad and I made a stroganoff with meatballs and green beans.  (I’ve also made a gooey cake for later.)

Primary was a hoot today.  We had so many kids in there.  Some of them were quite entertaining… but then, little kids always are.  I do love playing piano for them.

Pageant Guests Are HERE!

This morning started off with a lot of work.  By the time noon rolled around, I was not in the mood to walk to the village with my camera, but I forced myself.  I’m glad I did.  It’s one of those things where you do it reluctantly, and then after you did it, you are very glad you did.

If you go to http://dbwalton.smugmug.com there are some pictures.  You can see them with the password of today’s date (july10).

Here’s a few I’ll share here…


Dave has become my friend.  He saw me coming and wanted me to take his picture.  He’s a sweet man who looks after people the best he can.

Sarah and her dad, Matt

Matt’s one of the first people I met here in Palmyra.  He works for the Church Educational System (CES) and is a very knowledgeable guy when it comes to L.D.S. Church History.  Sarah, his daughter, is a sweet young lady and it is always a joy to see her visiting her grandparents (my friends, the Hippens.)

Latter-day Harvest Bookstore (mgr. Jeffery)

Latter-day Harvest is carrying my book.  Its up at the counter near the front corner.  It is a high-quality coffee-table (hmmm… do Mormon’s have “coffee tables”?  LOL) book that features much of my work in and around Palmyra.  It is a good missionary tool too.  Oh, and it also has non-church stuff in there too, which makes it all the more worth having.

Two Sister Missionaries

When people come to the Grandin Building to tour it, they are greeted by sister missionaries like these young ladies. 

You're probably wondering...

These young people were trying to drum up business for their high school choir fund-raising BBQ.  Who could resist?  I couldn’t.  I bought two dinners and that’s what Elizabethe and I had for dinner.  (They also had cookies and brownies for sale.  I won’t miss this in the future.  Worth the $8/plate.)


Lehi taught that there must be opposition in all things.  This man helps prove that point.  More non-members each year ask the missionaries about “What is this guy talking about?” than you would believe.  So, before you say, “I wish they’d chase these “antis” away”, remember this… every year, the Palmyra Stake gets baptisms all because people want to learn the truth…. which they learn through the spirit while being taught by the missionaries.

Garden At the End of the Day

I’ll leave you with this last shot… Elizabethe’s garden.  I must say, having a garden in NY is a delight.  Having one in California was a pain-in-the-keister.  I think I’ll go pick some sugar peas and have a healthy snack before going to bed.

Vacation !!!

After work today, I start a week-long vacation.  I could use it.

I figure pageant time is a good time to take off from work.  Lots of visitors and tourist and I enjoy going down to the Grandin block and taking pictures and meeting people.

That, of course, starts tomorrow.  Tonight, it is just relax after work. 

Here’s what the village looked like this morning…

Ready for the Tourists

The building in the center is the E.B. Grandin Building.  That building will have people touring it all day long for the next couple of weeks.  The line, which forms in the rear of the building, will be gathered under tents in the rear parking lot as bus load after bus load of tourists arrive.

Why you ask?

Because they want to see the place where the first edition of the Book of Mormon was printed.