James Museum

Shelly Belzer

A boyhood love of cowboy movies isn’t unusual, but Tom James, now chairman emeritus of Raymond James Financial, turned his love into a lifetime of art collecting and then founded a museum to house part of the collection that he and his wife, Mary, have amassed.  The James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art in St. Petersburg opened in April 2018, holding 400 paintings and sculptures, a bit more than 10 percent of the James collection. (Most of the rest of the collection fills the Raymond James corporate headquarters.)  Word about the museum got around, and one day in August the OLLI Shutterbugs went to see for themselves.  (More…)

No Fleas in Sight

OLLI Shutterbugs

The Indie Flea Market, a classy event with an ironic name, seems to draw all the beautiful young people in Tampa to the Armature Works every third Sunday of the month. So the OLLI Shutterbugs went to check it out in May.

Dozens of friendly, mostly young, artisan sellers of handmade clothes and jewelry, soaps, plants, greeting cards, cookies, gelato and other wares stood and sat at rows of stalls, some of them unable to keep from dancing to the pervasive beat of piped-in music. They were well outnumbered by the even younger, upbeat crowd, with the occasional baby and dog, that filled the aisles. You have to love crowds to come here, and for photographers who like to take candid shots of people, what better way to spend a summery afternoon? And, of course, it’s air-conditioned. (More…)

Come wiz Me to ze Casbah!

Shelly Belzer

One of the phrases people of a certain age have imprinted on their memory was not spoken by Charles Boyer in the movie “Algiers,” which he made in 1938 with Hedy Lamarr, although comedians continued uttering it in a bad French accent for years afterward.  “Come wiz me to ze Casbah” was probably most famously spoken at the movies by Bugs Bunny.

“Algiers” was an American remake, down to some of the same camera angles, of the 1937 “Pepe le Moko,” starring the French film icon Jean Gabin.  With scenes of those movies in my mind’s eye, I set foot in the Casbah in Tangier in April.    (More…)

A Day at the Races

Shelly Belzer

When the OLLI Shutterbugs SIG gathered for a photo outing at Tampa Bay Downs on a bright December day, we dug into our memories for what this reminded us of.

Rich Edwards talked about growing up within sound of Roosevelt Raceway, the former harness racing track in Westbury, Long Island. He would fall asleep to the voice of the announcer calling the races. The track, he related, began as Roosevelt Field, famous for  Charles Lindbergh’s takeoff on his nonstop flight to Paris in 1927. In the end it became Westbury Plaza, a shopping mall. (More…)

Gallery Updated

North Carolina Arboretum

We’ve added some stunning new photographs to our Gallery page, and we invite you to come in and enjoy them.

Like the articles you read here in OLLI Connects, the photographs come from OLLI members, just like you, and we urge you to submit your images for publication.  (More…)

Opa! Greek Festival

Shelly Belzer

When my wife, Jane, and I went on a cruise to the Greek Isles in 2016, a folkloric troupe from Crete came aboard ship and performed the elegant, vigorous dances of their island in traditional costume. We were right back there — similar dances, similar costumes — on Saturday night, November 10, when the OLLI Shutterbugs visited the Opa! Tampa Greek Festival at St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church in Hyde Park Village. (More…)

Riverfront Park

(Regular readers of OLLI Connects will be familiar with our usual format.  Since we don’t want you to get bored, we’re bending our usual formatting rules for this article.  Read on. –Editor) 

Shelly Belzer

Inside Mayor Bob Buckhorn’s head is a master plan for renewing downtown Tampa from the Hillsborough River out. First came Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, then the Riverwalk.  The third jewel in this triple crown is the $35 million restoration of Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park, 25 acres on the west bank of the river, with a boathouse, community center and green-monster sculpture.   (More…)

 

Photo Gallery

The botanist should make interest with the bees if he would know when the flowers open and when they close.–Henry David Thoreau

We’ve added a new permanent page to OLLI Connects: a gallery of members’ photographs.  Most of our posts are “words in a row” illustrated with a few photographs.  But some OLLI members, especially the OLLI Shutterbugs, see the world the other way around:  vivid and powerful images, perhaps given context with a few words. We have a few of those images in our Gallery now, and we hope to add many, many more.    (More…)

Ybor City Night Market

Shelly Belzer

You may travel far and never know what’s under your own nose. I had to go halfway around the world to take pictures at the night market in Hong Kong. But did you know that Tampa has a night market of its own? Did I? Not until I started looking for likely places for the new OLLI Shutterbugs SIG to go shooting. We held our organizational meeting on Wednesday, May 9, and on Thursday night, May 10, six of us were rendezvousing at a truly unprepossessing spot near Ybor City:  the back entrance to the loading yard of Coppertail Brewing.   (More…)