West Virginia and Ohio 2011: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, The Wilds, August 2011
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The third of three trips this summer (Chile and Northern California were the first two), I went with Lisa to West Virginia to visit Lisa's family. I've been going with Lisa to the WV every year for the past ten years. It's a beautiful state, and I like her family quite a bit, and for me, it's quite relaxing.

A plane sunset, although not a plain sunset, over West Virginia.

I have a new Ken Lee Photography Facebook Page (above), and I warmly invite you to "like" it.

Lisa and I hit the ground running. We met up with our friend Mary Wade and drove to Cleveland, Ohio the next morning. Every visit to West Virginia also includes a road trip with Mary Wade, and this year was no exception.

After eating delicious Turkish food at the Istanbul Grill in Tremont, we checked out the St. Theodosius Russian Orthodox Cathedral. Although not knowing it at the time, we were there for its 100th anniversary. Built in 1911, the church is the oldest Orthodox church in Cleveland and a fine example of classic Russian orthodox architecture, and its large onion domes can be seen for quite a distance.

Nikon D90 with 50mm f/1.4, yesiree.

The next morning, we visited the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

When I first saw a photo of the glass pyramid a few months before visiting, I thought immediately of the glass pyramid in front of the Louvre. Turns out that famous Chinese-American architect I. M. Pei designed both.


Mary Wade and Lisa.


Although I enjoyed my visit to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, I don't have much respect for their choice of inductees, often snubbing crucial artists for years, or taking eight years to admit Black Sabbath, one of the most influential rock bands, into the Hall of Shame.

We are, after all, discussing a committee that inducts ABBA and Madonna to the Rock and Roll HOF, but ignores Link Wray for over a quarter of a century.

Rock and Roll HOF snubs:
Link Wray (eligible since 1985 and not one nomination!), Kraftwerk (eligible since 1995!), KISS (passed over since 1999), Rush (ignored since 1999), Joy Division (eligible since 2004), Depeche Mode (2006), Iron Maiden (2005), Smiths (2009), Can (snubbed for 18 years and counting!), King Crimson (17 years, but not even a nomination!), Dick Dale (eligible for 24 years and not even one nomination!), Motorhead (9 years, no nominations), Brian Eno (eligible since 1999), Bad Brains, The Beastie Boys, The Cure, The Cars, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Judas Priest, Steppenwolf, Joe Cocker, Electric Light Orchestra, Deep Purple, Bad Company, Devo, Peter Gabriel, The Guess Who,T. Rex, Willie Nelson, The Replacements, Los Lobos, The Guess Who, Donovan, Hawkwind, Captain Beefheart, Roxy Music, Richard and Linda Thompson, New York Dolls, Sonic Youth, Afrika Bambaataa, Gram Parsons, ELP, Duran Duran, The Jam, Slayer, MC5, X, Sparks, Chicago, Black Flag, and many more.


Oh, yeah. There's a car in the photo. That's Janis Joplin's psychedelic Porsche. I took a photo of it when we visited New York in 2007.

Pink Floyd, who was first eligible in 1993 before being inducted in 1996 (the committee waited THREE YEARS to induct Pink Floyd?), has their Storm Thorgerson sculptures exhibited. The HOF has an irritating no-photo policy in the exhibits, but you can take photos in the outer levels.

All in all, I enjoyed the exhibits and had a great time. I just cannot possibly talk about the HOF without mentioning their egregious snubs.

Cleveland flowers. Not the name of a dancer, no no...it's mandatory to have photos of flowers on every trip, innit?

The Crowne Plaza Hotel had some rock and roll-themed exhibits, but it was this modern art piece that captivated us most.

I kid, I kid. Their air conditioning had conked out, so they needed to haul this monstrosity into the lobby. They were, however, extremely apologetic and polite, even getting us a cooler room when our A/C was not cooling the room effectively.

We ate at Momocho's Modern Mexican Restaurant on Fulton, which was also quite good. Between the delicious Turkish food and this, we were eating quite well.

This Bactrian camel is not roaming the streets of Cleveland. No, it's in The Wilds in Cumberland, Ohio, where we drove to the following morning.

What is The Wilds? Let's let them explain: "The Wilds is one of the largest and most innovative wildlife conservation centers in the world. Located on nearly 10,000 acres in southeast Ohio, it is home to rare and endangered species from around the world living in natural, open-range habitat, as well as home to hundreds of indigenous species. In addition to innovative, in-depth science and education programs, the Wilds offers guided experiences."

And I can tell you that it's a good 20 mile drive through rural farmland from the Interstate to get there.

More Bactrian camel, indigenous to Mongolia. There's less than 1000 wild Bactrian Camel left, and according to The Wilds, are one of the most endangered large mammal species left due to hybridization with domestic camels, habitat loss, and hunting. Scientists from The Wilds are working in Mongolia to survey the remaining population of camels.

Giraffes. But you knew that, didn't you?

Persian Onagers, from Iran, once roamed in great numbers throughout Central Asia and the Middle East. Now, fewer than 700 remain in the wild. Poaching for meat and hides as well as competition with domestic livestock threaten their survival.

This Grevy's zebra not only makes an outstanding Navigation Button, it is the largest of the three zebra species. There are fewer than 3000 Grevy's zebra remaining in the wild. They have been hunted for their hide, but also face competition from livestock for water. They live in Northern Kenya and Southern Ethiopia.

This is a Sichuan Takin, which inhabit the same dense bamboo forests as the giant panda. Habitat loss and hunting for food and fur has led to their decline, and they are now listed as "vulnerable" (IUCN). It is part of the goat-antelope family.

To go to the next page, follow the zebra.

Ken's photos of Nobel Peace Prize Winner Aung San Suu Kyi, as well as photos of Peru, Burma, India, Morocco, China, Thailand, Ghana, Ecuador, and elsewhere, have appeared in many books, magazines, websites, and galleries.  Visit the Ken Lee Photography Website. Some of Ken's select photos may be purchased through his Imagekind Store.

Buy Ken's art at ImageKind.com.



West Virginia and Ohio 2011
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Bonus: Mary Wade's Column from the Times West Virginian, September 7 2011


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