Sunday, October 7, 2012

Photo-a-Day - Oct 2012 - Day 07: Light

Photo-a-Day - Oct 2012 - Day 07:  Light
No matter your mood, or how dreary the day, a stained-glass lamp just seems to brighten things up a bit.  I've always felt they add a bit of warmth and elegance, or charm, to a room.

The upper-left lamp is the only old lamp I have.  When I moved to California, I had practically nothing.  The only lamps I owned were two old lamps my parents had been given early in their marriage.  I still have, and love, both the lamps.  But I needed a little more light.  A trip to Mammy Pleasants' Parlour on Clement Street in San Francisco proved to be a treasure trove for me.  Among the many things I bought there was this lamp.  Look what it started.

A short side trip in this story.  One of the reasons I loved Mammy Pleasants' Parlour, was the fascinating woman after whom the shop was named.   Mary Ellen Pleasant was born a slave around 1814, and claimed to be descended from a long line of voodoo queens of Santo Domingo.  She said that her father was John H, Pleasance, the white son of a governor of Virginia.  Mary Ellen was very fair-skinned and throughout much of her life she passed as white.   Mary Pleasant became celebrated as a philanthropist and business woman, amassing a $30,000,000 fortune with her secret partner, Scotsman, Thomas Bell.  Called "the Mother of Civil Rights in California" from work begun in the 1860s, scholar and performer Susheel Bibbs is quoted as saying "Pleasant was Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King and Malcom X all rolled into one".   Sadly, as often happens, she lost everything and died homeless and penniless at the age of 92.  Her ghost is said to walk where her mansion used to be before burning down. 

The two lamps on the right were actually bought through QVC.  First the one on the bottom, as I love anything with a Celtic flavour; then the top lamp, which is only 18" tall, to add something cheerful to my office cubicle.

The Merlin lamp was somewhat accidental.  A friend had called looking for a birthday present for her nephew.  The first Harry Potter book had come out and he was fascinated by it, and by wizards.  I don't remember where I found this lamp--it could have been QVC--but it was incredibly inexpensive at $15.00.  I ordered one for her nephew and, being a fantasy fan all my life, ordered one for myself, as well.  It's on my bedroom dresser and always makes me smile.

My lovely lamps both add light to my rooms and to my spirit.

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