I have had a history book of some kind in my hand since I was a very, very young boy. I remember a large book which my grandfather had in his library, filled with page after page of prints of English kings and queens as well as of great historical figures. There were stories from history which dominated a young boy’s imagination. When my fifth grade class had a lesson at the public library , a very fine older lady asked what I liked to read. I told her I liked history books with “big pictures.” I am sure she was really amused, but my honesty changed my life when she found a book HISTORY OF SCOTLAND. I checked out the book, took it home, and spent the next two weeks living between the covers of this wonderful book. As I grew older and began to spend more and more time in London, the NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY fascinated me; it was just like a history picture book. I lived in the rooms and rooms filled with portraits of the great figures of British History. My grandfather used to talk about a lot of these people as if he knew them personality. I became a “child historian” who preferred a history novel or a history book far more than a baseball or football game. I was fortunate to have parents who shared my love of history, so I spent my university years researching obscure historical facts which were supremely important to me. In later years, my mother’s youngest brother asked my mother what I was doing at this time. My mother responded in those words which have somewhat defined me for years to come: WHAT IS TOM DOING? OH, HE IS SPECIALIZING IN TRIVIA. The beautiful thing was she supported me completely.
In this light, I encourage my visitors to spend some time during their visit in London in the NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY. My history teachers like your history teachers encouraged me and my friends with the wonderful words: IF YOU DON’T KNOW HISTORY, YOU ARE BOUND TO REPEAT IT. We all know the roots of that phrase, but it absolutely true.
I LOVE THE GREAT ROOMS, FILLED WITH THE PORTRAITS OF BRITISH HISTORY
There is no photography allowed in the National Portrait Gallery. I understand that rule, but I have searched for years for a Internet image of the fabulous portrait of King George V and Queen with their two children. It symbolized the BRITISH EMPIRE with all that those words mean. So, today, I set out in the direction of the NPG with the sole purpose of sneaking a photograph which could cause me to be thrown out. I got to the first floor, walked down the long hall and there sat a gallery guard. I knew I was in trouble. I sat on the bench, played with my camera, turned off my flash, and waited for my chance. The guard went into the other gallery for a moment, AND I HAD MY CHANCE. I got three shots when I saw a finger flashing at me. I knew I had been caught and had to move on. I was tickled knowing that whatever the quality, I had my image. Let me share it. Can you believe, this painting is 20 feet tall, and the King is splendidly representing all that is historical British. I am thrilled.
Oh goodness! Aren’t we having great fun. Please come join.
Thomas Moore email: TMooreSr@me.com Telephone: 801.791.9918