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Cadiz's old city is technically an island, but it's connected to the Iberian peninsula by a long causeway built on a sandbar. This sandspit defines a bay to its east that has served as the port for Spain's fleet since the town's heyday in the 18th century. Founded by Phoenicians around 1100 BC, Cadiz may be the oldest continuously inhabited Western city. The Carthaginians took over about 500 BC, followed by the Romans who made this their 2nd busiest port (after Ostia which served the city of Rome itself). The town's position exposes it to whatever navy happens to be in the area. With Spain's wealth and power, many enemies came sailing by including the English from the north and the Barbary Pirates from the south.
Mostly I am guided by the green and the blond (upper left), namely, the Michelin Green Guidebook held by its interpreter, Jane. Here we had other colors as Cadiz created 4 color coded walking routes -- painted right onto the sidewalks and streets. A great idea and it made up for their charging two Euros for the kind of advertising-encrusted tourist map that every other town in Europe gives away. In 2007, Cadiz installed nearly 200 bilingual pictures-signs like the kiosk next to Jane -- another plus, (but not enough to make up for most churches being closed).
Fortifications such as these on the Caleta beach started after the Anglo-Dutch fleet destroyed the place. They were substantially upgraded in the 17th and 18th centuries when the City became the only port where any of the Spanish colonies could trade. In those days, Spain then had the greatest empire in the world -- and Cadiz was booming. If this island-fort looks familiar to you, it may be that you saw James Bond invade it. It's really the Castillo de San Sebastián, accessible only at low tide until the footpath you see in the foreground was added in the 18th century. Why would anyone name a fort after the first Christian martyr (especially one depicted with multiple arrows sticking in his torso?) No one did. Long before this was a fort, the island confined Venetian sailors during a plague outbreak. They built a chapel to San Sebastian and the name stuck like arrows in flesh.
Today the fortifications are attacked only by tourists and beach structures such as this modernist building on sticks at Playa de La Caleta were built for the natives. Does every building in this neo-classical town get a dome, even the changing rooms on the beach? Unfortunately, this building fell on hard times before being restored in the 1990s. Today it serves as the headquarters for underwater archeologists -- a busy group as over 2500 ships have sunk into the anaerobic mud in Cadiz harbor and bay. Although the smallest beach on the island, Caleta is the most popular and witnessed knife-bearing and bikini-clad Halle Maria Berry emerging ala Ursala Andress in a 2002 James Bond film where Cadiz impersonated Havana. (If you’d rather your mythology came from the Greeks instead of Bond movies, you may argue that Halle rises ala Aphrodite who wore even less than Ursula did in her 1962 Bond film. Cadiz, founded within a century of Troy’s destruction, needs no modern heroes, especially from the Brits.)
A bit of tile by Justo Ruiz de Luna honoring our Lady of Palma who greets bathers at La Caleta's beachhouse. This 1920s reinforced concrete structure replaced two previous wood buildings, one the Royal Spa (hence the REAL) and the Palma Spas. Nice of Mary to stop by for naming rights. She was not the first as the Phoenicians who came around 1100 BC had a temple here to their virgin and mother goddess Astarte (whom the Greeks renamed Aphrodite.) Halle, Mary, Astarte, Aphrodite -- this is a beach for goddesses!
In Roman days the town, thought to be at the edge of the world, was a lively harbor for the Roman fleet and had a bit of a party reputation. It was also known for its Temple to Hercules who supposedly founded the city. Temples are still attractions here. Both the old (rebuilt after 1586) and the new (1722 -- 1838) cathedrals back up to the water on the small island that holds up the old city of Cadiz. The unusual concave and convex front of the "new" cathedral (shown above) fronts one of the larger squares and faces the center of the island. Obviously the new wealth pouring into Cadiz immediately after it received the trade monopoly called for a more elaborate Baroque/neo-Classical cathedral, in this case designed by Vincente Acero. Acero's family stretched back to the invading Berbers in 711. He served as master architect of many Spanish and North American cathedrals and possibly of many of the ships in the ill-fated Spanish Armada. The towers were added in the 19th century by Juan de la Vega.
Since it took nearly 120 years to build, several architects served as master builder -- good if you like eclecticism, bad if you prefer consistency. Either way, this is a gorgeous place of elegant symmetry floating above its triple-nave Latin cross plan: note the two gold pulpits which frame the octagonal tabernacle enclosure under its matching dome. Corinthian columns abound making the huge support for the dome look rather graceful.
A view from the back of the tabernacle whose double Corinthian columns suggest an ancient Greek temple.
Here's a closer look at the neo-classic dome. On the outside, it's a golden dome that seems to float in the clouds when the fog surrounds Cadiz. But inside, this cathedral (with the exception of the tabernacle) does not try to overwhelm with silver and gold as do other Andalusian cathedrals like the one in Seville. (However, Cadiz displays its wealth from the Indies in the Cathedral's museum which we shall see next.) Here the stately marble and classic forms surround the worshiper. Note the simplicity of its pendentives (those triangles that make this dome look a bit like a four-pointed star).
In this city made by New World gold and silver, the wooden choir is the most decorated area of the cathedral with stalls carved by Pedro Duque Cornejo. The "throne area" at center provides an unusual focal point we hadn't noticed before. My guess would be that this area serves as a chapter house where the bishop presided over meetings with clerics. After all, the Latin word for a chair with arm rests is "cathedral" -- and it was typically reserved for the emperor until bishops stole the idea in the 4th century. Usually the bishop's throne is found near the main altar.
Given that it took 116 years to build, the Cathedral shows elements of the styles that flourished during that period: Baroque, Rococo and Neoclassical. But Cornejo's choir somehow feels downright medieval.
The upper cherubs seem to have started an orchestra. (They probably have that kind of time.) They stand above a row of bust reliefs of female saints who are supported by some hard working cherubs with backs bent under the load. Below them stand the men with Jesus and Mary on each side of the throne emblazoned with a gold emblem of a bishop.
Half dome side chapels provide plenty of space for devotion to particular saints. During construction, these housed the workshops of the builders.
Here the large collection of relics of saints are encased in side displays.
Cadiz has a huge festival ending with Mardi Gras patterned after the Venetian festival. (Much trade occurred between Venice and Cadiz). However, this silver float by Enrique de Arfe is used in religious processions on the feast of Corpus Christi and during Holy Week. Arfe was probably of German origin but did his best work in early 16th century Spain where gold and silver poured in from the colonies. He started out Gothic but switched to Renaissance art right away. More of his work can be found in the Cathedral museum across the plaza. Processions are big in Cadiz and there are 30 associations (called "brotherhoods") who carry floats through the streets.
A closeup of one of the two gold leaf pulpits. Even the bottom is elaborately decorated.
A huge crypt contains the remains of many bishops and the composer Manuel de Falla. (We found these flamenco dancers honoring his spirit. ) While most church crypts have small rooms and low ceilings resulting from the huge pillars required to support the upper weight of their churches, that was not the case here. The central area was very large with no obvious means of support for this circular room. This is even more surprising when you consider that this crypt is below sea level -- and the Atlantic is only a few yards away from this spot.
Here's a typical altar area with bishops stacked in the walls.
This tiny area was once one of the most important squares in Cadiz. It's called Plaza Fray (Friar) Félix and is bordered by the Cathedral Museum (above) and the old cathedral not shown at right. These buildings seem to have been merged with the tower of the old cathedral which appears to have been once freestanding (and because of that perhaps the minaret for the mosque which was near this site). Below this spot, the Romans built the second largest theater to survive their empire. It was rediscovered in the 1980s and is undergoing restoration. Later 17th century expansion added an ornate stairway seen behind the little dome (which provided well access to a cistern below).
The cathedral museum occupies several of these merged structures including the old accounting house for the cathedral chapter, built right on top of the seats of the 1st century BC Roman theater. It was merged with old cathedral tower and the Santa Cruz college which housed clerics and altar boys serving the cathedral. This is the Mudejar patio just behind the museum entrance. Most likely this medieval building survived somehow when the Brits leveled the city in 1596. Most of the city was then rebuilt in neo-Classical style. Parts of this complex are very old with 7th century BC Phoenician remains underneath the Roman's stones.
Inside these ancient rooms are outstanding religious vessels attesting to the wealth that poured into Cadiz. Here we have a relic of the crown of thorns (see the toothpick in the glass cylinder) surrounded by rationally exuberant angels. Separate exhibit rooms are devoted for gold and silver works. In addition, exquisite marble carvings such as crucifixes and many oil paintings are displayed.
Elaborately carved repositories (left) were used inside the cathedral to lock up the gold altar cups and monstrances. Shown here is one of the two on display. The inside is Dutch tile with an inlaid wood door.. Thieves might consider emptying the safe -- and then carting it away.
And you think you should clean up your bookshelves! Here we have the choir books, so large that the entire ensemble could sing off the same page.
Several were on display: Someone would have to turn these pages pretty fast in these pre-Powerpoint days as the choir chanted from the measure-less staffs. Perhaps this inspired Mitch Miller to "follow the bouncing ball." (If you're too young to remember this, ask Mitch who, as of this writing, is still alive and conducting at age 97.)
We were also enchanted by the free WiFi service available to cafe patrons lining the edges of Cathedral square, compliments of the city government which is headquartered...
...here in Cadiz's largest square which supports some vehicle access. The area was created by filling in one of the sea channels that crossed the island and borders the tightly constricted medieval parts of the city. After the (re)discovery of the Americas, a huge market pedaled goods extracted from the New World. A plaque here commemorates Columbus's sailing from here for his 2nd voyage. He wasn't the first big name here: Hannibal lived here before his assault on Rome during the Punic Wars and this town was where an ambitious climber named Julius Caesar held his first political office as quaestor in his early 30s.
This building, once a hospital, holds down a corner of the square of San Juan de Dios -- which was named after the religious order that ran the hospital starting in 1614. This building was built in 1678-88 and is in need of a little refurbishment.
The relatively unadorned but lovely shaped bell tower of the old hospital of San Juan del Dios. The religious order of brothers started in the 16th century in Granada at the opposite end of Andalusia from Cadiz. Today it runs hospitals throughout the world. Juan del Dios had all the trappings of a homeless man with mental problems when he started a hospital for people a lot like him. Today he'd probably have an underpass and a cardboard sign.
Next to the old hospital rises another tower belonging to the town hall (Ayuntamiento ). It dominates the square of San Juan del Dios at the end of this inlaid marble street.
The first (lower) stage of the Ayuntamiento (town hall) de Cádiz was built in 1799. It's the work of Torcuato Benjumeda, considered by some to be the most important neo-classical architect in Andalusia. His unusual first name is also that of his godfather and teacher Torcuato Cayon who laid out this square. They and their various family members are responsible for many public buildings erected during Cadiz's heyday.
This passageway leads through the facade of Torcuato Benjumeda's Ayuntamiento. Benjumeda was only 24 when his mentor Cayón died and he took over as Cadiz's master builder. He lived until almost age 80 and left his mark on much of Cadiz despite falling out of favor when his bullfight ring collapsed in 1820. On the borders of this square of San Juan Dios alone, he designed 19 houses...
...but not this 1795 home for the Pazos Miranda family called Building Amaya. Miguel de Olivares designed this outstanding domestic academist (Spanish neoclassical) building. Olivares served as one of the many architects on the long-abuilding Cadiz Cathedral. His home above fits into this square well unlike...
... this tall headquarters for the town's newspaper which surprising rises a dozen stories or so. To do that, builders must go through much sand to attach to the limestone bedrock -- a modern technique making this a rare high structure at the end of the Cadiz peninsula.
The overall feel of the Plaza de San Juan Dios is academicist/neoclassic but that doesn't stop modern architects from having a little fun with the doors -- especially only a few yards from the port.
But let's go look at some older doors in the old city called Populo -- where the Moors built their town on top of the Roman city. Here's a couple of typical doors\ways built as entrances to the merchant's homes. Built mostly during Cadiz's peak in the 18th century, today 115 of these still stand in the old city. This one is the before picture as refurbishment is underway. (Did you catch the purple line to guide tourists hiding below this caption?) Members of the merchant guilds began building their multipurpose homes when the center of the Spanish Colonial trade moved from Seville (whose river silted up) to Cadiz in 1717. This virtual monopoly gave the Crown 20% of the take, leaving plenty left to pump up the local economy and raise three story structures along the narrow streets.
This doorway nearby shows what one looks like after restoration. (Perhaps a statue is missing from the niche?) The bureaucracy that ran the trade monopoly was called La Casa de Contratación (The House of Trade). It provided security, made maps (and kept them secret from outsiders), and trained future ship captains -- and, of course, collected the 20% tax. One of its better known map makers and captains was a Florentine named Amerigo Vespucci who got naming rights to two continents.
This street (wide enough here to allow for a few sidewalk cafes) lead to the side entrance of the Convent of Santo Domingo. Trade with the New World made Spain the richest nation in the world in the 16th and 17th centuries. By law, the Spanish colonies could only trade with a single port in Spain -- first Seville, then Cadiz. The ships sailed in convoys protected by the Spanish navy lest they be attacked by privateers, a form of state-sponsored piracy. Things were much different then.
Here's a close-up of the Epistle side door for the church with a 17th century depiction of Saint Dominic of Guzman between two coat of arms of his Dominican Order. This 12th century Spaniard founded his order in France and it spread the devotion to the Rosary. His guys are also associated with the Inquisition, but we won't go there.
Here's a lateral view of the Convent of Our Lady of the Rosary and Santo Domingo built just after the English sacked the city at the end of the 16th century. The Dominicans ran out of money and raised funds to finish by selling burial niches in the chapel to the wealthy merchants. Unfortunately this was closed to tourists. The gospel door above is protected by a statue of Our Lady of the Rosary -- the patron of Cadiz.
The interior of the church has been restored several times but the outside could use a little work.
Kitty corner to the Convent of Santo Domingo is the old Tobacco house, an impressive brick building with glazed tile roof and high chimney. Note the brickwork in this fence next to it.
The Royal Tobacco Factory was established by the King in 1741 and eventually employed about 500 women. The building we see here is the result of a late 19th century renovation in the neo-Mudejar style popular in civil architecture at that time. The lines tells us that we are on several color-coded tourist routes.
Today what was once the largest factory in old town Cadiz serves as an exhibition hall. At rear is the first electrical clock in town show to Thomas Edison during his visit.
Here's another elaborate portico -- today it leads into the Cadiz Provincial Archives.
Streets are narrow but are relieved by squares usually anchored by a church such as this 17th century Saint Augustine church which served the now-closed convent of the same name. This is a Genovese facade from 1647.
Along streets too narrow to get proper pictures, we found adjacent religious buildings: the Church of the Holy Rosary and the Oratorio of the Sacred Cave.
This portico is of Holy Rosary church. The Rosary gets special devotion here as our Lady of the Rosary is the town's patron after saving the place from the plague twice. Note the papal tiaras and St. Peter's keys on either side of the door. About the time this church was built, the bishop established 15 brotherhoods -- one for each mystery of the Rosary. Members would walk through town chanting the prayers. Unfortunately the church was closed, but the extraordinary Oratory attached to it was open.
Oratories are semi-public churches usually serving as chapels for specific congregations. This one has two main chambers: the lower one quite austere and probably devoted to somber spiritual exercises by novitiates. The upper is one of the most beautifully decorated neoclassical spaces in this area.The pocketbook of all this belonged to nobleman, Jose Saenz de Santamaria, who's buried inside.
At the rear of the lower chapel is this desk used by the religious formation master to observe the retreatants and novices during their spiritual formation. While the elegant upper chapel is an ellipse, we have a mundane rectangle-shaped space here separated into 3 naves by heavy pillars bearing the weight of all the inlaid marble which forms the upper chapel.
Dominating this space is the large neoclassic sculpture of Calvary with its cross soaring into the dome area. At its feet are torture implements. The sculptors include one of many called Vaccaro. Joseph Haydn's famous Oratorio based upon the 7 last words of Christ was commissioned for this place (and a copy of the original publication is on display in a mini-museum which uses some of the wider hall spaces). Ready for your weekly quiz: which Gospel contains the 7 last words?
Often we find the buildings of one or two architects dominate the look of smaller Andalusian towns. This is especially the case if the place was wealthy for a fairly short period of time. For Cadiz, these architects are Torcuato Cayon de la Vega (died 1783) and his godson/namesake Torcuato Benjumeda (died 1836). Cayon started out Baroque but transitioned to the neo-classic architecture which Benjumeda mastered. This room is their masterpiece. Note the semicircular lunette paintings between the soaring ionic columns.
The two Torcuatos appeared to work well together. Typically the younger Benjumeda would execute the designs of Cayon de la Vega, meaning the overall feel would be restrained neo-classic as we have here rather than the flamboyant Baroque of de la Vega.
The layout pays homage to Italian master sculptor Gian Lorenzo Bernini. Bernini's favorite of his architectural works was the elliptical chapel done for the Jesuit seminary of Sant'Andrea on the Quirinal Hill in Rome built a century before this oratory. We couldn’t tell what the Jesuit DNA was in this place, but it’s all over the décor. The choice of Bernini’s seminary chapel was not by accident.
The ionic columns define 6 spaces, one of them recessed into the elegant tabernacle capped by this ceiling.
The inlaid multicolored marble floor seems like the type that would someday inspire Escher who was clearly influenced by the Moorish Alhambra.
Virtually no detail is left undecorated including this harvest decoration on the door.
Five lunettes (three done by Goya in 1795 including this one of the Last Supper) circle the walls and complement the altar ceiling. (Please forgive the camera shake, these are much better preserved than this photo suggests.) Already the dominant Spanish painter when he did these lunettes, Goya became first painter to the King shortly afterward.
It's hard to tell just what the Jesuit connection is to this place but besides this spot's overall elliptical design being inspired by the Jesuit seminary chapel in Rome, each side has an elaborate relief of a young Jesuit saint receiving communion, perhaps to inspire Jesuit novices who may have prayed in this space. Here we have Saint Stanislaus Kostka, a Jesuit novice who died at age 18. This image recalls how Saint Barbara brought angels to give Kostka communion when he was sick. Although the son of wealth, Kostka walked the 1500 miles from his native Poland to enroll at the Jesuit seminary in Rome. In the top portion, we have Mary and Jesus at left and Saint Barbara and Saint Lawrence (on whose feast Kostka died) at right.
These high reliefs are the work of sculptor Cosme Velasquez Merino (1755 --1837). Born in Madrid, Velasquez became head of the sculpture department of Cadiz's art academy. On this side we see the first communion of another young Jesuit -- Saint Louis (or Aloysius) Gonzaga who also joined the Society at Sant'Andrea. He died while ministering to victims of the plague in 1591. He was 23. Here he receives communion from another Jesuit saint, Charles Borromeo. Gonzaga is dressed in the lower section as the noble he was but wears the Jesuit novice cassock at upper right as Mary receives him into heaven. So ends our visit of this exquisite chapel.
And now for something completely different. After leaving the neo-classical jewel of the Oratory, we found this shop window across the street selling both religious and secular sculpture. ANSWER TO THE QUIZ: It was a trick question, the 7 last words were compiled from all four Gospels.
Just a few yards from the Atlantic, Cadiz's old mansions screen the sun from falling on these narrow streets which lead to expansive squares. Fortunately cars are verboten on most of these cobblestones. Population density in the old city is among the highest in Europe and roughly equal to that of New York City.
Here's a typical square: the plaza of San Francisco. The church in the background has naming rights. This was a convent whose supporting agricultural area was commandeered in the 19th century for a larger square called Plaza de Mina. Founded in 1566, this was home to Cadiz's Franciscans. Major renovations occurred when the 16th and 17th century wealth poured in from overseas including a dome and huge gold altarpiece.
Another view of San Francisco Plaza: Even though these building appear to be modernized, they maintain their "Indian Merchant" towers to allow occupants to see over rooftops to the port disgorging New World wealth.
During the 19th century, much of the land belonging to the convents was appropriated to create city squares including the Plaza de Mina, made from the vegetable garden of the convent of San Francisco. Despite some construction, this is a beautifully landscaped area surrounded by elegant homes and a bit of cafe life. Most of Cadiz's squares are vegetation challenged but this plaza holds its own and the vegetation reminds one of the verdant town squares found in the Hispanic Americas. To some extent, this is deliberate as exotic trees from the distant Spanish empire were planted here and parrots from Argentina were relocated as well.
Here's a typical Plaza de Mina edifice now part of the architectural school. Spain's most important modern composer, Manuel de Falla, who turned the flamenco into concert music, was born in a similar house on this square in 1876. His image decorated the Spanish currency's 100 peseta note before being replaced by the Euro. (He'd be worth about 85 cents in US dollars today). During Franco times, de Falla fled to Argentina. Today Cadiz's cathedral holds his remains and a square with adjoining concert hall holds his name ever dear to his native Cadiz.
A closeup of the Colegio de Arquitectos on the west side of the Plaza de Mina. The plaza was built in 1838, after Cadiz had reached its peak since the Spanish colonial empire was beginning to disintegrate as places like Mexico fought for independence against a Spain struggling to maintain its own against people like Napoleon whose troops occupied most of Spain from 1808-1814. Although battered by the war, Cadiz remained free. In fact, one of Europe's first democratic constitutions was promulgated here in 1812 (and copied by the rebels in Spain's disintegrating empire). When the French were expelled and the Spanish king returned, he refused to abide by the limits that constitution put on his power. It was an experiment not for nobles.
The upper window details and Corinthian pillars from the same building. Since it was one of the few towns to avoid the Napoleonic occupation, the town hosted the Spanish parliament which created the liberal Constitution of Cádiz. For most of the rest of the 19th century, Spanish kings tried to be absolute while parliaments led by that in Cadiz tried to limit them. In the meantime, the Spanish empire continued to dissipate and with it, the wealth that drove Cádiz. An influx of Irish, exiled by the potato famine, revived the place somewhat towards the end of the 19th century.
This huge Banyan tree dominates the Plaza de Mina's landscaping. The 19th century neo-classical building at left is the Museo de Cadiz, a photo-friendly museum with (sometimes) bi-lingual displays including those of the Egyptian and Phoenicians once buried nearby. The Atlantic around Cadiz has gobbled up thousands of ships over its 3100 year history. The mud at sea bottom is anaerobic and swallowed these ships fast -- so fast and sealed so well that the wood in those vessels is well preserved. All this means that a huge archeological treasure surrounds Cadiz if only funds become available to rescue it before progress in the form of harbor expansion destroys this fragile heritage.
While known for its archeology finds discovered typically during port reconstructions or extracted from Phoenician or Roman necropoli, the museum also contains fine paintings, typically taken from convents which closed (or had their art appropriated by the government in the 19th century). Here we have "Ecce Homo," a tenebrist work of Jose Ribera's (Lo Spagnoletto). There are many more canvases from his Andalusian followers such as Zurbarán and Murillo who died painting a church in Cadiz after falling from his scaffold.
Let's take a last look at the typical "Indes merchant" house (Cargadores a Indias). This one is the baroque palace of the Marquis of Recaño, built on the highest part of Cadiz island in 1730. Once the home of the Spanish Supreme Court, today it's a music conservatory named for (who else) Manuel de Falla. The sounds of practicing students wafted through its open windows as we walked by. Typically these structures would extend through their elaborate marble doorways into patios. The first floor would serve as a warehouse for the merchant's import/export materials. A mezzanine level would hold the merchant's offices with his family and servants on the next two floors. While much would be spent on the facade and stairways, the piece de resistance would typically be...
... a high tower so the merchant could keep an eye on the port. The tower of the Marquis of Recaño was converted into the watchtower for the port in 1788 and was called the Tavira Tower after its original owner. On a clear day, you can see nearly 100km from here, including the coast of Africa. Once over 160 towers peaked over Cadiz roofs. In many Andalusian towns, the highest towers contain camera obscuras (essentially pinhole cameras you can walk into to get real-time panoramic view of the town). Cadiz put one here in 1994.
Here's a more modern tower, one of the two galvanized steel Pylons of Cadiz, which carry electric power to the peninsula. At over 500 feet, these are more than 3 times higher than the Tavira Tower. These hollow towers have the elegance of the Eiffel tower and breakup the monotony of the long causeway leading from the Spanish mainland into the old town. Look carefully and you can see the spiral staircase which climbs to the top inside. As practical as they are beautiful, they were created during the late 1950s when the Franco regime could not import the steel it needed to build traditional carrier poles and so had to rely on Italian ingenuity as they did in the days of Columbus and Amerigo Vespucci. In this case the architect was Alberto Toscano. (Thanks to Wiki for these images as I was driving when we passed this.)
Since we started with a view of the purple lines on Cadiz's streets, let's use this as our final shot: We found this Snuffleupagus, obviously imported from its native Hawaii, able to keep up with the litter left by the heavy foot traffic on these narrow cobblestones. On most pedestrian-friendly streets, it was the only thing with wheels. Perhaps its fellow native Hawaiian Obama can deploy several of these to clean up Wall Street.
Thanks for the visit! Access our other pictures and commentary at: http://www. dickschmitt.com/travels.html