Saturday, July 6, 2019

Waiting for the Lake Eola July 4th Fireworks

I experienced the Lake Eola Fireworks with Pam Schwartz and her family visiting from Iowa. July 4th also happens to be Pam's niece, Destiny's birthday so she gets to celebrate her birth on the same day as our nation. We all got a strong lesson in Central Florida History before heading down to the lake along with artifacts like a KKK robe and a lynching photo. On the same floor of the Orange Country Regional History Center there is Love Speaks which features art created in answer to the Pulse massacre three years ago. The history Center is just one block from the lake and we hiked to the lake with a picnic blanket, some lawn chairs and a cooler. We got to the lake about four hours before the fireworks were scheduled to go off.

The crowd grew thick as we approached the Disney Bandshell which had live music. Food trucks. TV trucks and various vendors were around the bandshell. A bus was parked at the end of Washington Street adjacent to the park so that no madman could drive into the park to kill pedestrians. As we spread out our blanket I scanned the high rises looking for spots where a gunman might decided to fire on the crown below. Our blanked fit nicely between two other families. Kids played cards and grew squirrely as they lost patience.

I decided to sketch a woman seated next to us who had a piece of luggage which had a convenient shelf that opened up as a portal to a TV screen. She had on head phones and around her neck was another digital device probably for audio. I had been tracking storm clouds using my iPhone radar and predicted about a 50 chance of rain. As I sketched it started to rain. Pam went back to the museum to get some red white and blue umbrellas and also some Geico blue ponchos for the kids.The rain never got heavy enough to keep me from sketching. The opposite was true. The rain settled the crowd down making the scene easier to draw.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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