I didn't know this of course. I thought we were going to Scottsdale to visit with Broken Bow, Nebraska's crack medical team of Keith and Shaleah and touring the architecturally significant structure that is Taliesin West. I assumed it would be, er, more bucolic and awe-inspiring. Mostly I just felt like FLW didn't want guests.
At Taliesin we were led by our knowledgeable volunteer tour guide, Philip, around the property where he shared all kinds of anecdotal evidence of Frank's irritability. Wright was a true reactionary. Mostly in that anything that annoyed him created a chain reaction of design furies carried out by slaves, I mean architecture students.
The delightful firefly-like lights the guide your way in movie theaters and airplane aisles? Yep. The brain fury of FLW.
Apparently people were using flashlights to get to their seats during performances and PISSING HIM OFF.
The delightful siting of the property?. No. Not an organic approach to architectural design that reflects the gentle slope of the Arizona hills. He just hated the power lines the city put up so he flipped all the buildings around.
My mental image of FLW is a man with that mad professor look. Unkept hair (and eyebrows) and yelling a lot.
And he seemed to care nothing for safety. Every ceiling was low and made of skin-ripping concrete. The fireplaces, considered revolutionary by our tour guide, looked like dog/kid/drunk friend crematoriums with their "open" design.
There seems to be such a huge FLW following. So many groupies wanting to know where he slept, ate, created, and if they can touch his pencil.
I'm more impressed by such inventions as this spatula. So maybe I'm not their target audience.
Then the next day we climbed Phoenix's South Mountain.
This is an activity I suggest you do under the advisement of your doctor. I, feeling brave since I was with Broken Bow, Nebraska's crack medical team, nearly got to the top (totally out of breath the whole time) before getting nauseous and dizzy.
By the time I finally caught up with the tall athletic threesome from Nebraska (who all practically skipped to the top while I struggled along behind) I found them sitting happily on benches taking in the view.
Nearby, families also took in the view as they scrambled about and then drove back down the mountain. Couldn't help feeling a little a) pissed that they were all such weaklings that they had to drive and b) pissed I hadn't been given the option.
TOMORROW: Report on the 999 Eyes Freakshow. Exploitation of physical deformities? Yes please!